Comprehension Passages

Language in the most simple terms is a means of communication. It is a medium to send or share information and ideas with other people. This language can be verbal that includes both written and spoken(oral) which are commonly used by the majority of people around us. Or it could also be a non-verbal language like paralinguistics, haptics(the language of touch) and sign language. The study of language is an important part of a child's development as it is through this means a student will present their ideas and learning. 


Over the years, English has become an important part of Indian education as a creative language and literature. Especially for English medium students, it is an essential part of learning that can make or break your progress. In this regard, Vedantu provides a free online learning platform for students that ensures excellence from the expert teachers in each subject by providing free study material for all classes in CBSE, ICSE and State board.


To solve comprehension passages is an important part of understanding any language. It is the art of reading, understanding, and remembering what you read in any given piece of writing. Once you have understood the passage, you will be able to reproduce the same passage in your own words. Reading comprehension builds the foundation for high-level thinking in different subject areas. Comprehension writing is the other part of this practice.


Passage Reading Meaning 

To comprehend means to understand. In any academic curriculum, reading English comprehension passages is an important topic. As a part of reading comprehension passages, you need to very carefully go through a given passage, understand its meaning, and notice the meaning of various contexts in which the sentences appear. You will then have to answer different questions that are based on the passage you read. If you are wondering how to understand comprehension passages, then here are some points.

  • Comprehension tests your vocabulary, so building a good vocabulary is important to understand passages.

  • You also need to have a good sense of the language in which the comprehension is written.

  • You need to develop the ability to identify the meanings of phrases or words by reading the passage multiple times.


Reading comprehension passages assesses your intelligence in grasping the gist of the written text and inferring your conclusions based on the context. Most of the questions in comprehension are directly related to the passage. A few of them will need you to find the contextual meaning of different words, and some of them will test your ability to find suitable antonyms of given words. 


How to Answer Questions of Comprehension?

While answering comprehension passages, the most important part is to read the passage carefully. To answer a comprehension question properly one needs to do the following.

  • Decipher what you just read.

  • Try to make a stable connection between what you read and what knowledge you already have.

  • Think in-depth about what the comprehension passage says.


Some of the important strategies for solving comprehension passages are:

  • Upgrade your Vocabulary - For attending competitive exams, it is very important to develop your vocabulary. A comprehension question will appear difficult if you do not understand the meaning of a few of the words used in it. The many ways by which one can improve English vocabulary are:

    • Reading newspaper articles.

    • Reading various vocabulary books and newspapers.

    • Writing down new words that you come across in your daily life, for example, while watching a movie or while reading a book. You could then find the meaning of those words in a dictionary.

  • Utilise your Strengths - While answering a comprehension question, try to utilise your strong points. For example, some students like to read the passage completely to get an idea of the whole thing while others may find it confusing so they can approach the topic with a “down to top” approach. In this approach, students first read the given questions and then read the paragraph to get the required answers. Any of these methods can be used based on your preference and acumen.

  • Try to get the gist of the Passage - Many students start getting into the details of a passage like trying to understand all the words and sentences in it. Yet, understanding the passage in its entirety is not always required. It is too time-consuming if you start getting into each example, illustration, etc. The best way is to understand the summary of the passage or its main intent. If you comprehend the overall flow and structure, you will be good at answering the questions in the given time frame.

  • Managing Time - Time is the most common concern that students have during comprehension writing. Exams test not only your basic knowledge but also your ability to manage time well. A good way to manage time while reading comprehension passages is not to spend time on tricky parts of the passage. If you find that a certain section of the passage is complex and you are having difficulty understanding it, then it is better to skip that part. Once you are done reading the passage and the questions, you can decide if you need to go back to the complicated piece of the passage or not.

  • Do Not Rely on Outside Knowledge - Do not try to answer a comprehension based on your assumptions or knowledge of the subject outside the given passage. You must use whatever information is provided in the passage to answer the questions. If you include your version of any topic, they can be marked as wrong by the evaluator.


Answering a comprehension passage can be summed up as shown in the image below.


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Importance of Solving Comprehension for the Students of all Classes 

  1. Comprehension helps students to prepare for the unpredicted and the syllabus questions to face them and answer the same with ease and expertise.

  2. Comprehension helps students to improve their vocabulary and grammatical errors by practising the unprecedented passages again and again. 

  3. Comprehension contains high weightage in the language exam of every class. Therefore, preparing and practising unseen passages only boosts the morale of students and their expertise towards a topic that holds importance for every student in every class.

  4. Solving Comprehension consistently elevates the presentation skills and learning skills of students like reading and writing etc.


Some Important Links by Vedantu to Articles that help Students to understand Unseen Passage and Comprehension 


Vedantu is an e-learning platform for passionate students who wish to score high marks in the exam by reading and learning the free study material for all the classes from the best teachers of the country provided at Vedantu.

  1. Students can find Important Questions on Comprehension, Revision notes and keynotes for comprehension, Reference solutions, Sample question papers and Previous year’s Question papers of English with unseen passages solved by the expert and experienced trainers at Vedantu for the students of CBSE, ICSE and State Board.

  2. Students can also find articles strictly dedicated to English language and literature including Comprehension like CBSE Sample Questions Papers for Class 10. 

  3. Specifically for junior students in subject English, students can also find personalised courses like Spoken English courses, English reading courses junior students. So why wait? Register at vedantu.com and grab your offer now!

FAQs on Comprehension Passages

1. How long will it take for students to master the art of solving comprehension of unseen passages?

At Vedantu, students are provided with step by step guidance from the best and experienced language teachers. By learning the basics of comprehension provided in this article and by practising Unseen passages from sample question papers and previous year’s question papers available at Vedantu, students can master the art of answering comprehension in the best way possible to touch academic heights in exams, and in life. In this regard, students can find Solved Sample Papers of English on Vedantu.

2.  Which Class includes Comprehension as a necessary part of the syllabus in exams for students?

 As mentioned before, Comprehension is a part of the syllabus for the students of all classes from grades 4 to 12. It is worth mentioning here that in most of the senior classes of 10 and 12, the weightage of unseen passages, comprehension only gets increased with every subsequent class which makes it even more important for students to practice comprehension.

3. What are other courses available at Vedantu other than study material for the unseen passage?

Apart from the free study material in all subjects for all classes and English courses, Vedantu also provides micro-courses for different topics, coding classes, crash courses for Grade 10 and NEET to get AIR preparation in just 70 days. For passionate students who wish to start from now, Vedantu provides Foundation courses for IIT JEE (Mains and Advanced) and NEET to begin their best academic adventure to date.

4. How does Vedantu help students in preparing for the Comprehension passages and related topics in the English language exam?

Vedantu is the best platform for online learning to excel in all the subjects including Comprehension passages and related topics of English to score high marks in the examination. This is because of the quality experts and experienced teachers available at Vedantu right from the best academic institutions like IITs and top tier colleges in the country. Vedantu is undoubtedly the one-stop solution for comprehension passages that a student would ever need, FREE study material from best teachers, free LIVE experience at the interactive classes for various types of passages by different teachers and micro-courses available for topic wise explanation to students. Students can also avail different academic courses for English learning at an affordable price with an absolute money-back guarantee, if not satisfied with the improvement.

5. What should be the best approach or some quick tips for the students to solve the Comprehension faster and with expertise?

First and foremost requirement of solving the comprehension is to read the passage carefully and mark the important points. The first reading of the passage should be quick to know the gist of the passage. Then, read the questions carefully. After reading the questions, read the passage again. This time, make proper points for this time, you may come across directly with the answers. After completing the reading, start answering the questions you’ve figured out. After answering them, read the remaining questions and referred paragraphs for the same. If the question expects to be answered in your own words, then give it a try in mind. After doing the necessary improvements write the answer. Check your answers again and voila, You made it

6.  Give a few tips for solving a comprehension Passage.

After reading the passage carefully, there are few tips you can follow to save time and answer comprehension questions accurately.

  • Reading the questions first saves time. It is best to go through the questions before you begin reading the passage. This would help in picking answers instantly.

  • Go through the alternatives as well before finalizing your answer. At times there are some partially correct and some fully correct answers. So only when you check all the options, you would know which is the correct one.

  • If there are bold words in a passage, pay attention to them and understand their context. You might have to answer synonym and antonym type questions for those words later.

  • Mark the keywords by underlining them. It helps you to discover logical connections in the passage.

  • Note the nature, tone, and style of the passage. Find out if it is argumentative, sympathetic, humorous, descriptive, critical, serious, sarcastic, or defensive. There will be questions based on this.

  • Avoid short forms and abbreviations in your answer. Always give answers in complete sentences.

  • If you come across any unfamiliar word, then try to read the whole sentence to get the context of it.

7.  What are the different types of reading Questions?

There are 6 types of reading questions discussed below.

  • Comprehension - This kind of question means mentally grasping the meaning of something. You can answer comprehension questions by finding them in the given passage.

  • Detail Question - They specify smaller chunks of information as compared to comprehension. The answer to such questions is very specific, like a date, number, name, etc.

  • Following Direction Questions - This is a type of comprehension in which it is specified how one should answer a question. You are not supposed to write long answers here. Some examples are: underline the verb, put parentheses around the prepositional phrase, etc.

  • Main Idea Questions - Questions like who, what, where, when, are part of the main idea questions. The main idea question includes a topic and something specific about the topic. For example, the main idea could be “civil war”, and the specific topic could be “the two most important causes of the civil war were disagreements in slavery and state rights.”

  • Inference - This involves the reader to come to decisions or conclusions by inferring the meaning of the passage rather than direct facts and figures. The information is present in the passage as a hint and not stated directly. Some of the questions can be “The writer suggests that…”, “The author seems to expect…”.

  • Sequence - These questions are based on the chronological order of an event. You need to answer questions like what happened first, second, etc.
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