(1) Why was the question asked in ASSET test?
Comprehension at this level involves locating and recognizing information that is presented in a very direct manner. This information usually covers facts and details and relationships between ideas like: comparison, contrast, sequence or cause and effect that are stated directly in the passage. This question checks if students are able to understand the relationship of facts, when choosing an answer.
(2) What did students answer?
39% of 6,991 students chose C, the correct answer, ‘It climbs the tree and taps it.’ , while 31% of the students chose B, ‘It makes the sound ‘aye-aye’ .’ a common wrong answer.
Possible reason for choosing A and D: The low percentage of students opting for these options shows that they are random guesses, as the both the options are quite dissociated with the hunting habits of the aye. These options seem to have been chosen because they appear close to the word ‘hunt’ in the first paragraph. Students have not realized that the words in Option D are slightly different.
Possible reason for choosing B: Students appear to be influenced by the line, ‘It sleeps during the day and comes out to hunt for food at nights.’ as it precedes the line indicating the sound the ‘aye-aye’ makes. They may have thought that when the animal hunts, it makes that sound. It has not registered that the two sentences in paragraph 2 are not related to each other but are independent pieces of information.
Students don’t seem to be reading the passage very carefully to connect the facts, nor are they relating the question to the facts in the passage. They have not been able to segregate the paragraphs of the passage into distinct sub-headings when looking for their answer. They have not realized that Options A, B and D do not suggest any preparatory or procedural action of the aye-aye’s hunting habit, which is very clear in Option C. Had they questioned why the aye-aye taps on the tree, they would have been able to relate it to ‘hunting’.
Good readers have been able to understand the way the passage has been organized, so they could identify that paragraph 4 of the passage details the whole hunting procedure and Option C is only the first step in the aye-aye’s hunting habit.
4) How do we handle this?
Give students factual passages about rare animals like: lori, albatross, lynx, pouched frog, grey falcon etc. Ask students to read this passage carefully and add suitable headings for each paragraph. Then ask them to write the points under each heading like a tree diagram. An example is shown with this passage. This will help them to understand how a passage is organized and how to look for specific information on passages related to animals. You can do this exercise with any factual passage on animals.
For more information about ASSET, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org