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WRITING

Grammar

LISTENING

READING

A better way to improve your reading skills

STUDENTS GUIDE
The following booklet has been prepared to assist you in developing your reading skills. Time is always a factor when you are doing a test or an examination. You are going to need to practice the following at home: Reading to a time limit I suggest that you find a number of passages and time yourself to see how long it takes you to read a passage. A good indicator is for every 10 lines you should not take longer than 2-3 minutes. Reading to understand get a friend or a family member to read the same passage and then talk about the passage to see whether or not you agree as to what the passage was about.

Strategies for the reading comprehension test 1. Skim/ Scan the passage to determine the main idea and the overall organization of ideas in the passage. A good way is to pick out the topic sentences- underline them, and then keywords from the paragraph that support the topic sentence. 2. Look ahead at the questions to determine what types of questions you must answer. 3. Read the part of the passage that contains the answer carefully. Make sure you have understood what you have read. Remember to follow the punctuation marks, they will help you to correctly make sense of the passage. 4. Choose the best answer for each. 5. If the answers are a multiple choice type, then try to work out which answers are not suitable so that you narrow your selection down to two or even one

The questions are generally broken into two sections Understanding the passage and related ideas Words and their meanings vocabulary

SKILL 1: IDENTIFYING THE M AIN IDEA CORRECTLY For this skill you will be required to identify the main idea correctly according to the following: 1. the Topic 2. the subject 3. the main idea

4. the main point in the passage 5. what the writer is primarily concerned with 6. which one would be the best title for the passage

MAIN IDEA QUESTIONS What the topic of the passage? What is the subject of the passage? What is the main idea of the passage? HOW TO IDENTIFY THE QUESTION What is the authors main point in the passage? With what is the author primarily concerned? Which of the following would be the best title? WHERE TO FIND THE ANSWER The answer to this type of question can generally be determined by looking at the first sentence of each paragraph 1. Read the first line of each paragraph 2. Look for a common theme or idea in the first lines 3. Skim the rest of the passage to check that you really have found the topic sentence 4. Eliminate any definitely wrong answers an choose the best answer from the remaining choices

HOW TO ANSWER THE QUESTION

SKILL 2: ORGANISATION OF IDEAS Writers dont write without a structure. There is a logical progression of ideas. For this reason each paragraph relates to next paragraph. IDEAS LINK WITH EACH OTHER.

ORGANISATION OF IDEAS How is the information in passage organised? HOW TO IDENTIFY THE QUESTION How is the information in the second paragraph related to the information in the first paragraph? WHERE TO FIND THE ANSWER The answer to this type of question can generally be determined by looking at the first sentence of the appropriate paragraphs 1. Read the first line of each paragraph 2. Look for words that show the relationship between the paragraphs 3. Choose the answer that best expresses the relationship

HOW TO ANSWER THE QUESTION

DIRECTLY ANSWERED QUESTIONS


These answers are stated directly in the passage. This means that you are required to skim the passage and find the answer. SKILL 3: STATED DETAIL QUESTIONS You are looking for one piece of information Answers are usually in order and follow the same order as the in the passage

STATED DETAIL QUESTIONS According to the passage HOW TO IDENTIFY THE QUESTION It is stated in the passage The passage indicates that The author mentions that Which of the following is true? WHERE TO FIND THE ANSWER The answer to these questions are found in order in the passage 1. Choose a key word in the question 2. Skim through the appropriate part of the passage for the key word or idea 3. Read the sentence that contains the key word or idea carefully 4. Look for the answer that restates an idea in the passage 5. Eliminate any definitely wrong answers an choose the best answer from the remaining choices

HOW TO ANSWER THE QUESTION

SKILL 4: NOT STATED DETAIL QUESTIONS Unstated or non-stated questions require you to think a little. Remember that all answers are in the passage in some form. 3 true and 1 false 3 true and 1 not discussed in the passage

NON STATED DETAIL QUESTIONS Which of the following is not stated? HOW TO IDENTIFY THE QUESTION Which of the following is not mentioned? Which of the following is not discussed..? All of the following are true except WHERE TO FIND THE ANSWER The answer to these questions are found in order in the passage 1. Choose a key word in the question 2. Scan in the appropriate place in the passage for the key word (related idea) 3. Read the sentence that contains the key word or idea carefully 4. Look for answers that are definitely true according to the passage. Eliminate those answers 5. Choose the answer that is not true or not discussed in the passage

HOW TO ANSWER THE QUESTION

SKILL 5: FIND NOUN REFERENTS These questions usually relate to pronouns. You may be asked to look at a pronoun and state which pronoun it is relating to: Example: - The pronoun it in line 6 refers to PRONOUN REFERENT HOW TO IDENTIFY THE QUESTION The pronoun in line __ refers which of the following? WHERE TO FIND THE ANSWER The line where the pronoun is located is generally given in the question. The noun that the pronoun refers to is generally found before the pronoun. 1. Find the pronoun in the question. (the line where the pronoun can be found is generally stated in the question) 2. Look for the nouns that come before the pronoun 3. Read the part of the passage before the pronoun carefully 4. Eliminate any definitely wrong answers and choose the best answer from the remaining choices

HOW TO ANSWER THE QUESTION

SKILL 6: IMPLIED DETAIL QUESTIONS Questions in this skill contain words such as: implied, inferred, likely and probably Remember that some information will be given in the passage. YOU DONT HAVE TO THINK UP AN ANSWER.
IMPLIED DETAIL QUESTIONS

HOW TO IDENTIFY THE QUESTION

It is implied n the passage that It can be inferred from the passage that It is most likely that What probably happened? The answers to these questions are found in order in the passage 1. 2. 3. 4. Choose a key word in the question Scan the passage for the key word (or related idea) Carefully read the sentence that contains the key word Look carefully for an answer that could be true, according to that sentence

WHERE TO FIND THE ANSWER

HOW TO ANSWER THE QUESTION

SKILL 7: TRANSITION QUESTIONS


In this section you will be required to determine what came or happened before the passage or what will follow after the passage the information you require is NOT STATED in the passage you will have to draw your own conclusions

TRANSITION QUESTIONS The paragraph preceding the passage probably HOW TO IDENTIFY THE QUESTION What is most likely in the paragraph following the passage? WHERE TO FIND THE ANSWER The answer can generally be found in the first line of the passage for the preceding question. The answer can generally be found in the last line for the question relating to the follow on of the passage 1. Read the first line for the preceding question 2. Read the last line for a following question 3. Draw a conclusion about what comes before or after 4. Choose the answer that is reflected n the first or last line of the passage

HOW TO ANSWER THE QUESTION

WORDS AND THEIR MEANING


SKILL 8: FINDING DEFINITIONS FROM STRUCTURAL CLUES
You dont always have to know the meaning of a word. The clue and answer are in the passage. You will need to use the passage to find the correct or most suitable answer to the question. The passage promotes information about the meaning of a word There are structural clues to tell you that the definition of the word is included in the passage.

STRUCTURAL CLUES What is? HOW TO IDENTIFY THE QUESTION What is the meaning of ? What is true about? Punctuation: comma, parentheses - dashes, brackets Restatement: or, that is, in other words, i.e Examples: such as , for example Information to help you determine what something means will generally be found after the punctuation clue, the restatement clue or the example clue 1. find the word in the passage 2. locate any structural clues 3. read the part of the passage after the structural clue carefully 4. eliminate any definitely wrong answers and choose the best answer from the remaining choices

TYPES OF CLUES

WHERE TO FIND THE ANSWER

HOW TO ANSWER THE QUESTION

SKILL 9: DETERMINE MEANINGS FROM WORD PARTS Here you decide on the meaning of the word by breaking the word into parts Example: bicycle This word is made up of two parts 1. bi meaning two 2. cycle meaning wheels, rotations , revolution , sequence so this word is a two wheel , two revolutions apparatus.

SKILL 10: USE CONTEXT TO DETERMINE MEANINGS OF DIFFICULT WORDS


The difficult word is given to you and you need to use the passage to determine/ work out what the word means. Clues are in the passage.
VOCABULARY QUESTIONS HOW TO IDENTIFY THE QUESTION CONTAINING DIFFICULT WORDS What is the meaning? Which of the following is the closest in meaning to ? The word is a difficult word, one that you probably dont know The question usually tells you in which line of the passage the word can be found 1. 2. 3. 4. Find the word in the passage Read the sentence that contains the word Look for context clues to help you understand the meaning Choose the answer that the context indicates

WHERE TO FIND THE ANSWER

HOW TO ANSWER THE QUESTION

SKILL 11: USE CONTEXT TO DETERMINE MEANINGS OF SIMPLE WORDS HINT: DO NOT give the everyday meaning of a word. Instead you must give the meaning of the word as it is found in the passage. CONTAINING SIMPLE WORDS What is the meaning? HOW TO IDENTIFY THE QUESTION Which of the following is the closest in meaning to ? The word is a SIMPLE word, one that you often see in everyday English
VOCABULARY QUESTIONS

WHERE TO FIND THE ANSWER

The question usually tells you in which line of the passage the word can be found 1. Find the word in the passage 2. Read the sentence that contains the word carefully 3. Look for context clues to help you understand the meaning 4. Choose the answer that the context indicates

HOW TO ANSWER THE QUESTION

SKILL 12: DETERMINE WHERE SPECIFIC INFORMATION IS FOUND


Here you will be required to give the location where in the passage the specific piece of information is located or to be found. Study the question identify what information you are looking for. Go to the passage locate the information by referring to the lines in the answers

QUESTIONS ABOUT WHERE HOW TO IDENTIFY THE QUESTION WHERE TO FIND THE ANSWER

IN THE PASSAGE Where in the passage.? The answer can be in any of the lines in the answers to the question 1. 2. Choose a key word or idea in the question Scan the lines in the passage that are listed in the answers to the questions. You should scan for the key word or idea Choose the answer that contains the line numbers of a restatement of the question

HOW TO ANSWER THE QUESTION

3.