Visual Text Comprehension is different from Open-Ended Comprehension.

This section uses images and words to convey meaning. These help to make the meaning of the information clearer for readers.

Examples of Visual Text:

  • Web pages
  • Flyers
  • Posters
  • Advertisements
  • Brochures
  • Newsletters

Misconceptions about Visual Text

  1. This section is super-easy, so I can relax.

This section CAN be easy, but it also can contain some very TRICKY questions. So you STILL need to be careful.

  1. I cannot prepare for this section. It can be about ANYTHING.

You may not be able to prepare for the CONTENT of this section, but knowing the key vocabulary / technical terms and types of questions WILL definitely help.

Steps and Processes

  1. Read from Left to Right, Top to Bottom. Be ORGANIZED in reading. Read the information in a very systematic way. Don’t skip sections, even if they look MORE important.
  2. Don’t miss out the FINE PRINT. There may be information written in very small print / letters at the bottom of the text, or at the side. Look out for these. Just because they are smaller in size does not mean they are UNIMPORTANT. In fact, fine print often contains key information that may affect the answer you choose, e.g. discounts, exceptions  exclusions and restrictions
  3. Highlight or underline KEY WORDS in the questions, like SPONSORS or ORGANISERS. EVENT/FLYER/ADVERTISEMENT etc
  4. Highlight or underline KEY WORDS in the text, like who are the hosts (organisers), prize support (sponsors), timings and schedules, prices, contact details etc
  5. Highlight or underline the ANSWERS after you find them

Common Errors

  1. Rushing through the section
  • Not highlighting keywords
  • Not highlighting answers

You think you can remember ALL the info. You may also forget SOME of the info. Don’t take that chance!

  1. Not reading ALL the options
  • Verify EACH option from information provided in the text
  • Put a (T) or (F) for each option, or tick / cross
  1. Unsure of technical terms in text
  • Refer to Technical Terms and Vocabulary below.

Tricky Questions

  1. Main Purpose
  • Purpose of the Poster/Ad/Brochure/Flyer
  • Purpose of the Event/Activity

This is a VERY common question found in every Visual Text component. Students often confuse these 2. Just remember Purpose ads/posters are usually meant for the public, to get attention, draw crowds, meaning it goes OUTWARDS. Purpose of events/activities are usually more focused, singular, and concentrating on telling people, raising awareness about certain CAUSES (e.g. Cancer Foundation, Speak Good English etc)


More examples

The Purpose of the EVENT is to foster the love of the English language through a Scrabble Competition,

The Purpose of the POSTER is to encourage schools and pupils to take part in the Scrabble Competition.

2, Date/Time/Numbers

Tricky prepositions of time


AFTER 100 years… 101, 102, 103, 104 etc

FROM 100 years…  100, 102, 103, 104 etc

The carnival is open FROM Monday to Friday – you can come on Monday, Tues…Friday.

The carnival is open BETWEEN Monday and Friday – you CANNOT come on Monday OR Friday, only Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

You must submit your registration form BEFORE 20th July – Last day of submission – 19th July!

You must submit your registration form BY 20th July – Last day of submission – 20th July!

3. Facts vs Non-Facts (True or False, NOT TRUE, NOT FALSE)

These questions test your ability to distinguish between facts and non-facts. Facts contain information that is true or valid and can be proven by information located in the text. Non-facts can be opinions, views or judgments that are not supported by evidence. These cannot be correct or true.

In this type of question, four pieces of information are given in the MCQ options. One of them is a fact, while the other 3 are called DISTRACTORS. The purpose of these distractors, of course, is to DISTRACT the student from the correct fact.

Verify every option with a T (or tick) or F (or cross), by cross-checking and going through the visual text AGAIN. Remember to check for tricky prepositions of time too!

Technical Terms and Vocabulary

1. annual
Once a year

2. biannual
Twice a year

3. biennial
Once every two years

4. alternative/ alternatively
Another choice or option

e.g. You can call the hotline for more information. Alternatively (As another choice), you can visit the website below.

5. compulsory
A must

6. mandatory
A must

7. Inaugural
The first or first of many planned events

E.g. The Guest-of-honour, Mrs Fernandez, will light the torch for the opening ceremony of the inaugural event. (First time the event is taking place)

8. organizer
the person or group who plans and arranges the event

9. sponsor
the person or group who supports by giving money or other help (e.g. prizes)

10. purpose (of an event or of the poster)
Why the event is held or why the poster is put up

Note that there is a difference between:
the purpose of organizing an event (Why is the event held?)
e.g. to foster in pupils a love for the English language through the Scrabble competition the purpose of a poster/ advertisement. (Why is the poster put up?)
e.g. to encourage schools to take part in the Scrabble competition. Read the question carefully!

11. aim/ objective (of an event)
What the event hopes to achieve

e.g. for people to know more about how to prevent the breeding of Aedes Mosquitoes

12. fact or opinion

Fact: something that is known to be a truth and to exist. Supported by evidence.

e.g. The Art Activity will be an hour long. (Fact – The activity is held from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.)

Opinion: based on thoughts and beliefs about something

e.g. All children will enjoy the Art activity and develop their skills in painting. – (Opinion – A belief that the activity can do that but not all children may enjoy the activity or become better at painting.)

Remember to ALWAYS VERIFY each option, READ and ANNOTATE the text, and look out for TRICKY PREPOSITIONS!

If you can’t PROVE IT, don’t CHOOSE IT! Always highlight evidence in the text to verify your options chosen (write the question number beside the text evidence). This proves your answer (even if they paraphrase it) as correct. 6 out of 8 questions in Visual Text are usually based on details IN THE TEXT (there will be 1 or 2 inference/vocabulary types).

Then you’ll find this section a BREEZE!

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