Kind of Questions in Reading Comprehension

Kind of Questions in Reading Comprehension

According to Loughed and TOEFL Information Bulletin in Djiwandono (2002:97), usually the questions in reading comprehension tests are about:

  1. Main idea
  2. Supporting details
  3. Inferring meaning
  4. Passage structure
  5. Author’s aim
  6. Knowledge about certain vocabulary
  7. Defining vocabulary based on the context


In this study, the writer only concerns on main ideas and supporting details, because two kinds of reading comprehension test above are most important specific comprehension skills.

a.   Main Ideas

         The question about main idea asks the reader to determine the main idea or topic from a reading text, and commonly it is signed by words such as: main point; mainly discussed; main idea; best title; main purpose; mainly concerned; main topic.

Here are some examples of questions to ask about main idea:

– What is the main idea of the passage?

– With which of the following is the passage mainly concerned?

– What is the main part of the passage?

– Which of the following would be the best title?

                                                                                  (Djiwandono, 2002 : 98)

b.   Supporting Details

         The question about supporting details asks the reader to find detail information that is printed explicitly in the text. It is commonly signed by words such as: according to the author…; according to the passage…; who, what, when, where, why, how, which.

Here are some examples of questions to ask about supporting details:

– Which of the following question does the passage answer?

– According to the passage, which statement is true?

– When did ‘something’ happen?

– Who did ‘something’?

                                                                                              (Djiwandono, 2002:99) 


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