2 REAding section Breakdown The Act reading includes 4 passages – prose fiction, social sciences, humanities, natural sciences. You have just under 9 minutes per passage – 3 min to read; 30 sec per question.The key is to read quickly but actively- you need to get a sense of the main idea and see how everything fits together to support that main idea.Don’t read slowly and deliberately, paying attention to every detail. Instead, skim the passage with an eye for structure, looking for key words like For example, nevertheless, moreover, as a result, clearly, no one can deny that…
3 Take notesThe best way to read actively is to take quick notes, underline, marking up the passage as you go.ABC strategy:A – Abbreviate margin notesB – Bracket key sentencesC – circle key words and phrases
4 Method for readingStep 1: Actively read the passage, taking notes as you go.Step 2: Examine the question stem, looking for clues.Step 3: Predict the answer and select the choice that best matches your prediction.You should spend about 3 minutes reading the passage and an average of 30 seconds per questionMake two sweeps through the questions, getting the doable ones first and coming back for harder ones later.
5 So, what are you saying, exactly? Read the question stem to identify what the test maker is asking:A detail (what happened)The passage as a whole (the big idea)A conclusion (reading between the lines)A specific word or phrase used in the passageTest makers will offer you choices that don’t answer the question at hand.
6 Don’t peek at the answers!! Make a habit of answering the question in your own words (not from memory but from checking the passage) before you look at the answers.If you take time to consider each answer, you will never finish in time. Plus, the other options may confuse you. come up with your answer and then choose the answer that most closely matches it. Pick it and move on!!Now let’s practice doing just that. Begin reading on page 172 and complete page 173 by answering the questions in your own words. Then, match your answer to a multiple choice option on the following pages. I am giving you extended time to try this method.Once finished, we will look at a break down of the answers on pgs
7 Types of Reading Questions Specific detailInferenceBig picture
8 PracticeGet a feel for the different types of reading questions – read passage ii on page 181 and answer questions You have 9 minutes.
9 Specific detail questions Vocab-in-context - look for the answer that would make the most sense, not just a direct definition of the words. Plug your answer into the sentence. (question 2 page 183)Detail – some ask you to locate details with a reference and some without a reference. (examples 6 & 7 page 184)Function – these questions ask why an author uses a word, phrase or detail. They use phrases like “is used to” and “is meant to.” (see question 10 page 184)
10 Inference QuestionsInference questions require you to combine ideas logically to understand something that is not stated explicitly in the passage but is definitely implied.To get it right, you have to read between the lines. Common sense is your best tool here. You have to use various bits of information in the passage as evidence for your own logical conclusion.See questions 1, 3, 5 pages
11 Big picture questionsThese questions test your understanding of the theme, purpose, and organization of the passage as a whole.They look for main point or purpose, author’s attitude or tone, logic underlying the author’s argument, relationship between parts, and difference between fact and opinion.Doing the detail and inference questions first may help you fill in the big picture. Question 8 on page 184 is an example.
12 Nonfiction passagesAll nonfiction passages are well-organized essays that lay out ideas in a straight- forward, logical way.The natural sciences passage may contain unfamiliar terms but will usually be defined in the passage or will have definitions inferable from text.Do not get bogged down in the science passage. Don’t lose yourself in complex details. You don’t actually have to understand and/or remember everything. You can still get questions right about a passage that is confusing or difficult to understand.Practice on page 200. answer questions you have 9 minutes.
13 Prose Fiction passageWho are these people? What are they like? How are they related to each other?What is their state of mind? Angry? Sad? Reflective? Excited?What’s going on? (on the surface and beneath it)What is the author’s attitude toward the characters?
14 Prose passagePay close attention to what the characters think about each other as well as what they say and do.Imagining the prose passage as a movie may be helpful.Do the questions you can figure out quickly first. Skip any hard or time-consuming questions and come back to them later.Practice passage iii on page 194 – answer questions you have 9 minutes.