Steps on how to read for standardized tests
- Questions about a passage do not appear in order of difficulty; however, passages themselves are usually from least to most difficult.
- Always skim the questions for a passage before you actually read the passage.
- As you quickly read the passage, concentrate on the main idea and main points.
- Next, note specific examples in fact filled areas.
- Notice key words that indicate a shift in viewpoint. Some examples of these words are: but, however, although, nevertheless, moreover, and unless. What kinds of shifts do these words indicate?
- Don’t grab at a likely looking answer. Eliminate those that are wrong so you choose the correct answer.
- Lengthy quotes are seldom correct answer choices. Tests are to see if you understand what you read.
- Use what you do know. Truth is truth.
- Watch out for answer choices that express strong emotion. How often does something happen always or never?
Types of questions you will see on the test
- Main idea: What is the point that the writer is making? What should I remember about this paragraph? What is this essay about?
- Supporting details: What in the essay holds up or supports the main idea?
- Factual information: What pieces of specific information supports the main idea or is an example you should remember?
- Inference: What information is implied, not directly stated, or said that is opposite of what the author means?
- Context clues: What do words mean when their definition is gained from the meaning.