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Test Taking Tips How to help yourself with multiple choice and short answer questions for reading selections A. Caldwell.

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Presentation on theme: "Test Taking Tips How to help yourself with multiple choice and short answer questions for reading selections A. Caldwell."— Presentation transcript:

1 Test Taking Tips How to help yourself with multiple choice and short answer questions for reading selections A. Caldwell

The main goal of the reading sections of standardized tests is to determine your understanding of reading passages. Basically, if you can grasp the main idea and the author’s purpose (while paying attention to the details and vocabulary) you will do well on the test.

3 Strategies for Answering Multiple-Choice Questions
Here are some suggestions for taking any standardized reading test: • First, read the passage as if you were not even taking a test. Get an overview of both the topic and the tone of a passage. • Look at the big picture. In other words, examine the most obvious features of the passage.

4 Ask Yourself . . . Ask yourself the following questions as you read:
What is the title? Is there anything in italics? What do the illustrations or pictures tell me? What is the main idea? What is the author’s purpose? to inform? to entertain? to show how to do something?

5 Read the Questions Next, read the questions. This will help you to know what information to look for when you re-read. • Re-read the passage. Underline information that relates to the questions. This will help you when you begin answering the questions. • Go back to the questions. Try to answer each one in your mind before looking at the answer choices. • Finally, read all the answer choices and eliminate those that are obviously incorrect. The remaining choices will be the best answer and the distractor. Choose the BEST answer.

6 Types of Multiple-Choice Questions
The following categories of multiple-choice questions are the most common. 1. Main Idea: The main idea of a reading passage is the most important point expressed in the passage. The main idea must relate to the entire passage, not just to a portion of the selection. After reading a passage, locate and underline the main idea. 2. Significant details: You will most probably be asked to recall specific details from a reading passage. You will know what details to look for if you read the questions before re-reading the passage. Underline these details as you read. Remember that correct answers do not always use the precise phrases or words that appear in the passage.

7 More Types of Multiple Choice Questions
3. Vocabulary: Standardized tests will often ask you to define a word within the context of the passage. In many instances, an answer choice will include an actual meaning of the word that does not fit the context in which the word appears. To avoid choosing such an incorrect answer, read the answer choices and then plug them into the sentence to determine which answer fits. 4. Conclusion and inference: Standardized tests often want you to draw conclusions or make inferences. There is often some idea within a passage that the author is trying to convey but does not state directly. Sometimes, you must consider various parts of the passage together in order to determine what the author is implying. If an answer choice refers to only one or two sentences or details within the passage, this is probably not the correct answer.

8 Other Tips . . . If you do not understand a passage at first, keep reading. Many times you will find that you know more answers than you first thought. Once you understand the main idea of a passage, you can go from there to figure out specific information. Be sure to read all of the answer choices before choosing one. Students often make the mistake of rushing through the multiple-choice questions and marking the first answer choice that seems correct.

9 Distractors Also, keep in mind that the people who write standardized tests often create incorrect answer choices that are designed to distract you from the right answer. Such “distractors” include answer choices that are true, but not relevant to the question, answer choices that relate to the wrong part of the passage, and answer choices that are too broad and narrow. Finally, read the questions and the answers as carefully as you would read the passage and you should succeed on the reading sections of standardized tests.

10 Strategies for Answering Short-Answer Questions
Short-answer questions differ from multiple-choice questions in that they often ask you to look much more broadly at the reading passage. Short-answer questions test your writing skills and your ability to synthesize what you have learned from reading a passage. Here are some suggestions for answering short-answer questions: • Read the passage in its entirety. Pay close attention to the major events and characters. Jot down information that you believe is central to the passage. • Go through each question carefully. If you cannot answer the question at first, simply skip it and return to it later.

11 Short Answer Questions
There are some words that appear frequently in short-answer questions, such as “compare,” “contrast,” “interpret,” “discuss,” and “summarize.” Be sure you have a complete understanding of these words within the content of the question. • Return to the passage and skim it, paying attention to parts you underlined. Do this to find the details or evidence that you need to support your answer. • Once you have an answer in mind, try organizing your thoughts on a piece of scrap paper. When you think you have enough information to answer the question, write a general statement with which to begin. This will be your topic statement. • When writing the rest of your answer, it is important to be precise but brief. Refer to details from the passage. Write in complete sentences, and be sure to proofread for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors

12 Review of Key Word Meanings
Compare – show how things are alike Contrast – show how they are different Compare and Contrast - show how things are alike AND different Interpret – to provide the meaning of; explain Discuss – to talk about in detail Summarize – to give all facts in a shortened form

13 Arkansas Reading Questions
Multiple choice questions fall into categories. The following are some of the categories covered in the Arkansas English Language Arts Curriculum Framework.

14 Question: Author’s Purpose
You will be asked to determine the author’s purpose for writing the selection. Make sure the purpose you choose fits the entire selection.

15 Question: Author’s Style
You will be asked to determine how an author’s choice of words and literary devices contributes to his or her work. Check you answer by re-reading the work to make sure it fits the work as a whole.

16 Question: Drawing Conclusions/Making Inferences
You will be asked to draw conclusions, infer and generalize based on the information in the text. Look for specific words in the text that support your conclusion.

17 Question: Predicting You will be asked to use the information in the text to make predictions. After you have made your prediction, look back at the text to find information that supports that prediction.

18 Question: Summarizing
You will be asked to choose the best summary of the text. Don’t be fooled by words or phrases that are t he same as the original text. Make sure the summary or paraphrase contains all the important ideas from the text.

19 Question: Paraphrasing
You will be asked to choose the best paraphrase (put into your own words) of a part of the text. Make sure the paraphrase you choose contains all the main ideas from the part of the text that is being paraphrased.

20 Question: Compare and Contrast
You will be asked to compare and contrast elements of two texts or elements within one text. Reread the text to find ways the elements are alike and different.

21 Question: Point of View
You will be asked to identify the point of view used by an author. Ask yourself, “who is the narrator?” First Person – the story is told by one of the characters, referred to as “I.” The reader sees everything through that character’s eyes. Third Person Limited – the narrator reveals the thoughts, feelings and observations of only one character, but refers to that character as “he” or “she.” Omniscient – the narrator knows everything about the characters and events and may reveal details that the character themselves could not reveal.

22 Question: Figurative Language
You will be asked to answer questions about the meaning of figurative language (metaphors, similes, etc.) and symbolism (a word or object that stands for another word or object). To check your answer, ask yourself whether it fits with the overall meaning of the text.

23 Question: Theme You will be asked to identify the theme of a work of literature. Remember that the theme is a common thread or repeated idea that is incorporated throughout a literary work . Make sure that your answer choice is broad enough to encompass the entire work.

24 Question:Characterization
You will be asked to describe an author’s use of characterization. Remember that the different attitudes, mannerisms, and even appearances of characters can greatly influence the other major elements in a literary work, such as theme, setting, and tone. Be sure that you look back at the text to find information that supports your answer regarding characterization.

25 Question: Setting You will be asked to tell how the setting of a work contributes to its effect. Ask yourself how the work would be different if it were set in a different time, place, and with different circumstances .

26 Question: Plot You will be asked to answer questions about the plot of a story or narrative. Mentally review the elements of plot: Then double-check your answer by looking back at the story.

27 Question: Context Clues
You will be asked to determine the meaning of a word based on its context. To check your answer, try using it in the sentence from the text to be sure it makes sense.

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