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Reading Tests

If you are taking a standardized English test or attending English language classes, you will probably be tested on your reading skills. Here are some things that you may be asked to do in a reading test or assignment:

  • Find the gist or main idea. Write (or say) one sentence that explains what the reading is about.

  • Summarize. Describe a few of the main points that are presented.

  • Locate details. Find specific information that is provided in a piece of text.

  • Understand inferences. Make assumptions based on information you are given in a text. You may be asked to make inferences about the author.

  • Make predictions. Guess what a reading will be about. Guess what will happen next.

  • Identify genre and style. Name the type or category of writing that you read.

  • Sort information. Organize details in a systematic or chart form, such as creating a chronological timeline or labeling a map.

  • Match information. For example, match dialogue to a character.

  • Paraphrase. Rewrite the text in your own words.

  • Identify parts of speech.

  • Compare and Contrast.

  • Identify key words.

  • Match paragraphs to headings.

  • Write an opinion.

  • Draw conclusions.

  • Write comprehension questions.

  • Decide whether something is True, False or Not Mentioned in a text.
Did you know you can increase your score by understanding the format of the reading and questions on a standardized test? Stress stems from not knowing what to expect. Learn as much as you can about the types of questions and the rules for the test before you take it. This will help you to feel more relaxed on test day. Also, be sure to note how long you will have to read and answer the questions. Do some timed reading practice before test day.

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