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SAT Prep- Reading Comprehension Strategies- Short Passages

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Presentation on theme: "SAT Prep- Reading Comprehension Strategies- Short Passages"— Presentation transcript:

1 SAT Prep- Reading Comprehension Strategies- Short Passages

2 Short Passage Question Types and Strategies
The Reading Comprehension section has five basic types of questions that follow both short and long passages. The three more straightforward, and usually easier, questions are: Detail (what?) questions Global (big picture) questions Vocabulary-in-Context questions The two often more challenging types ask you either to understand the author’s intent or to identify conclusions drawn from the passage. They are: Function (why?) questions Inference questions

3 Detail Questions: These What? Questions ask about specific facts or details in the passage and often provide you with a line reference or at least indicate the paragraph where the detail is located. Detail questions test: Whether you understand significant information that’s stated in the passage Your ability to locate information within a text Your ability to differentiate between main ideas and specific details

4 Detail Question Wording:
Detail questions may be worded as: According to the passage… In lines 12-16, what does the author say about… How does the author describe…

5 Global Questions: Global questions test how well you understand the passage as a whole. They ask about: The main point or purpose of a passage of individual paragraphs The author’s overall attitude or tone The logic underlying the author’s argument How ideas relate to each other in a passage If you are stumped on a Global question, even after reading the passage, do the Detail questions first. They can often help you understand the big picture (and even some of the other, harder questions).

6 Global Question Wording:
Global questions may be worded as: The passage is primarily concerned with… What is the author’s attitude toward… What is the main idea of the passage? Why does the author mention…

7 Vocabulary-in-Context Questions
Vocabulary-in-Context questions ask about the usage of a single word. These questions do not test your ability to define hard words, instead, they test your ability to infer the meaning of a word from context. Vocabulary-in-Context questions always have a line reference, and you should always use it! Sometimes one of the answer choices will jump out at you. It will be the most common meaning of the word in question- but it’s RARELY right. You can think of this as the obvious choice. Example: curious- The most obvious answer choice is inquisitive but curious also means odd, and that’s more likely to be the answer.

8 Vocabulary-in-Context Wording:
As used in line 8, __________ most nearly means… Which of the following is the best description of the meaning of this word in the context of the passage? The term _________ most likely refers to…

9 Function Questions: These Why? Questions are a little tricky because they require you to take an extra step beyond the What? of the passage. To answer these questions effectively, you must put yourself in the author’s place. A Function question will ask you: Why include this detail? Why include this word? Why include this sentence? Why include this quote? Why include this paragraph?

10 Function Questions Continued…
Your job is to look back in the passage using the line references or other hints the question stem gives you. There you will discover clues to the answer. Most often, you have to read around any lines they give you to find the answer. Function Questions are easy to spot because of their wording Question stems: serves to, in order to, is meant to, is used to, or functions as. Be careful as you go through the answers. Sometimes you’ll see an answer that is really a Detail/What answer, and a perfectly good answer- for a different question.

11 Function Question Wording:
The “______” mentioned in lines 4-5 serves primarily to… The author uses the description of “______” in lines 5-7 mainly to The second paragraph mostly serves to… The author cites “________” in lines 8-9 in order to convey…

12 Inference Questions To infer is to draw a conclusion based on reasoning or evidence. For example, if you wake up in the morning and there’s three feet of fresh snow on the ground, you can infer that school will be canceled. Inference clues include: Word choice (diction) Tone Specific details Inference questions test your ability to use the information in the passage to come to a logical conclusion. The key to Inference questions is to stick to the evidence in the text. Most Inference questions have pretty strong clues, so avoid any answer choices that seem far-fetched.

13 Inference Continued… Inference questions ask you to read between the lines. The correct answer will be a small step from what is directly said in the passage. You’ll see one of the following phrases in the question stem: Suggests Implies Infers Would regard as Most directly supports the conclusion that

14 Inference Question Wording:
Inference questions may be worded as: It can be inferred from the passage that… The phrase “_____” implies that… The author states that “_____”. This would indicate which of the following?

15 Strategies for Answering Short Passage Questions:
You must be able to identify: the type of question being asked Do research Make predictions Identify tricky answers The SAT is an open-book test, and focusing on details is a waste of time, especially on long passage. Instead, concentrate only on the main focus of each paragraph.

16 Strategy for Reading Comprehension Questions:
1. Read the question stem. 2. Locate the material you need. 3. Predict the answer. 4. Select the best answer choice.

17 Step 1: Read the Question Stem
This is the time and place to read very carefully. Make sure you understand exactly what the question is asking. Keep the following in mind: Look for the following flag words and phrases: in order to, implies, because, etc. Are you looking for a main idea or specific information? Are you trying to determine the author’s attitude or why someone did something?

18 Step 2: Locate the Material You Need
If you are given a line reference, read the material surrounding the line mentioned. It will clarify exactly what the question is asking and provide you with the context you need to answer the question correctly. If you’re not given a line reference, scan the text to find the place where the question applies, and quickly reread those few sentences. Keep the main point of the passage in mind. In the passage’s question, you’re given a line reference, so be sure to go back to that line. Don’t just read that specific line- read the line or two before and after it as well

19 Step 3: Predict the Answer
Don’t spend time making a precise answer. You need only a general sense of what you’re after so you can recognize the correct answer quickly when you read the choices.

20 Step 4: Select the Best Answer Choice
Scan the choices, looking for one that fits your idea of the right answer. If you don’t find an ideal answer, quickly eliminate wrong choices by checking back to the passage. Rule out choices that are too extreme or go against common sense. Get rid of answers that sound reasonable but don’t make sense in the context of the passage or the question. Don’t pick far-fetched inferences. Make sure there is evidence for your inference in the passage.

21 Wrong Answer Traps These are the most common wrong answer traps:
Out of Scope: the answer lies outside the passage topic or is only vaguely connected to it Extreme: If it’s strong, it’s wrong. Beware of answer choices with words such as all, only, never, always, most, least, or unique Opposite: Small syllables (unusual vs. usual) or a small word, such as not, change everything Distortion: An answer starts out promising but turns into a wrong answer with the addition of a single word or two. Misused Detail: This is an answer that is true, but refers to a different section of the text.

22 Let’s Practice! 1. Read every question and underline the clue words. In the space next to the question, write which type of question it is. 2. Go into the passage and identify words (circle/underline) that are referenced in the question stems. Write the question number in the space next to the passage. 3. Begin answering the questions.

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