How To Answer Summary Questions – 10 Best Ways

Answering summary questions is easy for a lot of students and job seekers but for others, it is one of their biggest challenges in academics or job interviews. Are you among the set of people/students that finds summary questions hard and difficult to tackle? Even in college or as a graduate you’re still finding it difficult to answer summary questions.

Do you know why? It is because you’re yet to learn the best ways to answer summary questions. In this article, we have compiled common tips, simple steps, and tricks on how to answer summary questions without any difficulties anymore. the tips explained in this article will enlighten you on summary questions while positioning you for success.

Answering summary questions is hard because it requires a lot of intelligence, carefulness, and comprehensive answers that discourse the essential facts only. Summary questions test your understanding and interpretation of a concept or text, which is why it’s important to read, understand, analyze, and then answer the questions without beating around the bush.

What is a summary question?

A summary question is a type of question that seeks a concise overview or summary of a particular context or text, topic, or event.

Summary questions capture the main points in a brief manner which requires the responder to find and identify the most important details, and key ideas present in a clear and concise form.

Summary questions are often used in schools to test the level of students’ understanding, critical thinking, and ability to extract and synthesize information. Some hiring firms also use summary questions to test the intelligence, abilities, and understanding of job seekers.

Top 10 Simple Tips on How to Answer Summary Questions

1. Read the passage or text carefully

As a student or job seeker, before you start answering any summary question, make sure you read the passage or text thoroughly without skipping any details as this will help you pick the right information when answering your questions. If enough time is given, you must read the passage over and over again before giving out your answers.

2. Understand what the question is asking

Before you begin to form your answer, you must understand the information the passage was trying to convey in other to pick the right answers as the responder.

3. Identify the main idea

When you are done reading and understanding the passage, you’re required to go straight to the point, you don’t have to make too many sentences trying to explain a point. Just go straight with your answers by picking out the main point that is most suitable to the question asked.

4. Be concise

It is called a summary question because you’re only expected to summarize what you’ve read, exclude every unnecessary detail when answering your summary questions, and let it be concise.

5. Identify the key points in the passage or text

Every question in the summary question has a key point in the passage, ensure to identify the main point in the passage that best answers each question. If it is difficult for you to do so, you should read the passage all over again for better understanding. Don’t be in a rush especially when there is enough time on your side.

How to Answer Summary Questions
How to Answer Summary Questions

6. Apply skills or experiences

To show you understand and know what you are doing, you can go ahead to use concrete details to show the teacher or interviewer that you have the necessary experience and qualifications to fulfill the job or program or to get the desirable marks.

7. Highlight your best qualities and skills

For job seekers, you must highlight your best qualities, skills, and experiences. Convince the interviewer that you are the most qualified candidate for the job or program by highlighting your skills and qualities where necessary.

8. Use your own words

One of the secrets of passing summary questions is by using your own words in your answers, when you use your own words to give the key points or express the main ideas to the questions asked, it is assumed you’ve read and understood perfectly.

9. Maintain coherence

Ensure there is a clear relationship in your answers. All your answers must be straight and easy to understand, they must be expressing the same thought in the same direction instead of beating around the bush. That is to say, the flow of your idea from one sentence to the next must be smooth and logical to make it easier for the reader to pick out the main points/ideas you are trying to make.

10. Proofread your response

This is one of the most important stages in summary questions, after answering your summary questions, you must reread all your answers in other to make sure there are no grammatical errors because nobody is perfect and free from mistakes.

In a bid to answer fast, a lot of people tend to make mistakes in their writing, which is why you must check your work thoroughly and correct the mistakes and typographical errors before submitting.


Answering summary questions calls for sufficient caution, comprehension, and calm. Avoid answering quickly out of an urge to submit your answers ahead of other people. Instead, take your time, attentively read the section, and comprehend the information before responding.


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