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More Reading comprehension Techniques

  • Ability Tested
    This question type tests your ability to understand, interpret, and analyze reading passages on a variety of topics. Passages are generally taken from the following categories:
    • Biological science: passages about botany, medicine, or zoology
    • Physical science: passages about chemistry, physics, or astronomy
    • Humanities: passages about art, literature, music, folklore, or philosophy
    • Social studies: passages about history, government, economics, or sociology

    The questions will frequently ask you:

    • about the main idea, main point, or possible title of the passage
    • about information that is directly stated in the passage
    • about information that is implied, suggested, or can be inferred
    • to recognize applications of the author’s opinions or ideas
    • to evaluate how the author develops and presents the passage
    • to recognize the style or tone of the passage
  • Analysis
    • Use only the information given or implied in a passage. Do not consider outside information, even if it seems more accurate than the given information.
    • You are looking for the best answer, so be sure to read all the choices.
    • If you don’t know the answer, try to eliminate some choices and then take an educated guess.
    • Because you may refer back to the passage, don’t try to memorize everything in the passage. Read the passage focusing on the main point or purpose and the structure of the passage.
    • Because the complete passage may not fit on the screen, make sure that you are comfortable with the method of scrolling on the screen.
    • Each passage contains numbered lines for reference and to assist you in finding a particular spot.
  • Suggested Approach
    • Skim the first question before you read the passage. Skimming could give you a clue about what to look for when reading the passage. This is called prereading.
    • As you pre-read the question, your focus should be on the main purpose. This is a main-point question. Notice that you should not spend time reading the choices when you preread. Preread the question only, focus on the key word(s), and then read the passage.
    • As you read the following passage, focus on “what the author is really saying,” or “what point the author is trying to make.” Also, pay attention to “how the passage is put together”—the structure.
    • Always look for the main point of the passage. There are many ways to ask about the main point of a passage. What is the main idea? What is the best title? What is the author’s purpose?
    • Some information is not directly stated in the passage but can be gleaned by reading between the lines. This implied information can be valuable in answering some questions.
    • Watch for important conclusions or information that might support a conclusion.
    • Understand the meaning and possible reason for using certain words or phrases in the passage. And take advantage of the line numbers given.
    • Your answer choice must be supported by information either stated or implied in the passage. Eliminate those choices that are not supported by the passage.
    • Read all the choices because you are looking for the best answer given.
    • Some questions deal with specific detail in the passage. Know where to locate this detail.
    • Notice what the author is stating and what the author is implying.
    • Try to recognize the tone and purpose of the passage. Would the author agree or disagree with something?
    • Be careful to spot the word “EXCEPT” in a question.
    • Use an elimination strategy. That is, immediately eliminate answers that are irrelevant, not addressed, or just wrong. Do not consider them again.
    • Some questions ask you to reason from the information given.
    • Realize what you can and can’t infer from the passage. Watch for answers that are too general or too specific.
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