Strengthening Visual Literacy

Visual Text Comprehension Skills 


Now more than ever, competition for our attention has grown more overwhelming for the average individual; advertising campaigns, posters and notices battle for our eyeballs to get their message across in the most efficient means possible. 
The Visual Text Comprehension in the O Level Examination prepares Secondary school students in evaluating the effectiveness of such advertising mediums. 


This section encourages students to think critically about the information they encounter in the real world, thus sharpening their interpretation and communication skills. 


Students often struggle in this section as they do not provide a comprehensive answer. To address this, it is important to consider the following in order to lay the foundations before diving into the questions. 


(1) Elements of an Advertisement
In order to make an advertisement appealing, eye-catching, and memorable, design elements most suited to the message are incorporated into it. 
Students can first identify the different design elements in the advertisement. These elements include images, typographical features, slogans, infographics, and logos. 
What effect do they create? 
For a significant design element in the advertisement, students should consider how it affects the viewer’s Feelings, Actions, and/or Thoughts. 


(2Target Audience 
For an advertisement to be effective, it should successfully reach out to the group that it wishes to communicate. 
The target audience should be a specific group (“general public” is not an acceptable answer). 
Students should consider the target audience’s needs that are addressed in the advertisement, and the unique characteristics that this group has that distinguishes them from others. 


(3Purpose vs. Message 
The purpose and message behind an advertisement may overlap and seem indistinguishable. 
A simple way to differentiate these is to remember that purpose relates to action while the message refers to a belief. 
Hence, the purpose of an advertisement may be to encourage or educate individuals because its message is that it believes the issue is important to discuss. 


Secondary One and Two students may encounter the aforementioned points phrased as direct questions. However, most questions require an understanding of a combination of points. 
This is especially so for Secondary Three and Four students, who may be asked about language features and unique aspects of the advertisement. 
Thinking about these points first will ensure that students’ answers are precise and comprehensive. 
At Cognitus Academy, we guide our students through question analysis so that students develop a keen understanding of how to approach examination components. By providing our students a strong foundation in critical thinking, they are set up for success in the modern world. 

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