INTRODUCTION

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)

PREFACE

Welcome to the SSEU Local 3 71 Civil Service Examination Preparation Course. The course will provide classroom activities that will include lectures, review of examination questions with analysis of their answers, sharing of policies/procedures and distribution of updated handouts.
This accompanying manual contains previously administered and related examinations, summaries of agency programs and services, procedures, executive orders, informationals and articles on current topics.

you,

Both the manual and the course are given with just one objective: to provide our SSEU Local 371 member, with an organized method of preparation that will yield maximum results. Best 01 luck on your upcoming Civil Service Exam.

THE TRUSTEES SSEU LOCAL 371 FUNDS

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TEST - TAKING TECHNIQUES

2

PREPARING FOR EXAMS

GENERAL INFORMATION

ON PREPARING FOR AN EXAM: THE NIGHT BEFORE

It is assumed that you have mastered the subject matter to be c overed on the exam so we will deal here with the mechanics of pre-exam preparation. It is important to have a good dinner the night before, but spicy one that might make you extremely thirsty the day of to get a good night's sleep so you will be well-rested and alcoholic beverages the night before the exam. Alcohol processes. not a heavy one or an especially the exam. It is equally important alert the next day. Do not drink will interfere with your thought

It is usually not a good idea to do any last-minute cramming the night before the exam. You might, however, want to spend an hour or so reviewing your notes. It will also be helpful to review the pointers on essay writing in the pages that follow.

PREPARING FOR THE EXAM:
Eat a nourishing breakfast -

THE DAY IT IS GIVEN

the brain needs food in order to think clearly.

Allow more than enough time to reach your destination about 15 minutes before the exam is scheduled to begin. Thatwill give you time to "settle in." It might help to make a "dry run" a few days before the exam date to familiarize yourself with the route and the area. Bring the following things with you to the exam: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Your admissions card Your Social Security card if you have trouble remembering the number A watch that works -

if you don't have one, borrow one!

Several well-sharpened pencils A small pencil-sharpener Two pens (make sure beforehand that they do not leak) An eraser

3

ADDITIONAL HINTS
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Get to the test site early. Know travel directions in advance. Bring a watch. Bring a candy bar. Be confident. but not overly confident. Pian your day. Plan for control. not panic. Plan for success, not failure. Feel free to take a break during the test. if necessary, to refresh yourself and revive your energy.

..... :

4

WRITTEN TEST-TAKING TECHNIQUES

DEVELOPING THE STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS
The basic purpose of examinations is to measure knowledge that the test-maker thinks we should possess. It is obvious that a good performance on these exams requires possession of the necessary knowledge and information; however, knowledge is not enough to guarantee success. To be successful as test-takers, we must acquire the common sense and tools to demonstrate our knowledge. A successful test-taker must become familiar with efficient testtaking techniques. In order to develop your "personal exam strategy," you should become totally familiar with the test-taking techniques, considerations, and strategies in this section. The section is divided into four parts. "Attitude" is about acquiring a positive test-taking attitude. The "Basics" are the general techniques. Read through them and make certain you understand them. Then go on to the "Essentials." Experiment with the essentials. integrate them with your knowledge and with the skills you will learn in the other sections of the manual. Finally. read over the ·Checklist of Test-Taking Techniques" and make sure your strategy contains all these necessary elements. Remember, the best test-taking technique is the one that works for you.

A TTrrUOE:

THE KEY TO SUCCESS

Peak performance on an exam requires knowledge and information; however, successful performance does !l21 always result from mere possession of knowledge. We have all experienced situations where we knew the correct response, but were unable to give the desired answer. How often have we said to ourselves;

- I'm a bad test-taker.
- 1 got nervous and forgot what I knew. I froze during the test.

- I can't learn math (or English grammarL - Those Questions were written so I'd fail. - I know I'm going to do poorly. These thoughts are all negative. They defeat us before we begin.

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To become successful test-takers you must begin with your knowledge, your skills, and your attityde. Attitude is an important factor influencing our performance. You have no control over the questions asked. the time of the test, the weather on the test day, and so on; you have complete control over your response to these factors and over your beliefs about yourself. In short, the most powerful tool you can use from now through the test day is your own attitude. A winning attitude enables you to use common sense and practical tools to demonstrate your knowledge and skills to your best advantage on the test day. It provides you with the desire and ability to employ successful study techniques prior to the examination. Using those techniques sets you on a structured path to develop and practice skills and abilities crucial to scoring high on the test.

THE BASICS:

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS AND TECHNIQUES FOR SUCCESSFUL TEST-TAKING

1.

Arrive early for the test so that you don't feel hurried and panicky. Go into the test alert and calm instead of tense and anxious. Remember, control your attitude and you control your performance. Make certain that you fully understand the test directions before attempting to solve or answer any Questions. Regard a lapse of memory as perfectly normal and do not let it block out those things you remember immediately. If you should have a mental block on one question, leave it for a while and return to it later. Use your test time wisely. Quickly read the front page of instructions and gauge your time for the number of questions. Se committed to successfully manage the time you set for answering each question. Give yourself sufficient time to answer all questions and to review the answers you have chosen. Read each test question carefully and completely before marking your answer. Reread if you are confused by the wording of any question. Try to understand what is being said and asked in the question so that you can select the best answer. 00 not be disturbed about other people finishing before you do. Take your time and you will do much better on the test. Focus on ~ performance, not that of others. Check and reread your answers. Use all the time available to eliminate careless errors.

2. 3.

4.

5. 6. 7. S. 9.

View the test as an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to attain peak performance.

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THE ESSENTIALS:

SPECIFIC STRATEGIES AND TECHNIQUES FOR SUCCESSFUL TEST-TAKING

Understanding and Applying Exam Analysis Analysis has three important through. 1. stages: 1) interpretation. 2) methodQ!QQY.and 3) follow-

Interpretation is the fundamental step of analysis. It is the stage in which we translate and interpret statements and questions into terms that have meaning for us. Interpretation is the process in which we ask. "What are they telling me? What are they asking me to do?" Questions and instructions give us vital information and knowledge. The interpretation stage of analysis is when you decipher. determine. and comprehend exactly what is being stated and asked.

2.

Methodology is the planning stage of analysis. It is during methodology that we decide on the best course of action. It is also where we map out our strategy and attack. Combining stages 1 and 2 of analysis. we see that. during interpretation we determine exactly what is being stated and asked; in methodology. we utilize our knowledge to determine the best and most efficient way to give the test-makers what they want. .

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3.

Follow-through is the "action" stage of analysis. Stage 3 is where we use our knowledge to do what must be done. It is where we answer the question. choosing the best answer. In other words. it is only after interpretation (the "What" stage) and methodology (the "how" stage) that we come to follow-through (the "do" stage).

Analysis is a three-stage process which aids in successful test-taking. It enables us to comprehend what the question is telling and asking, to utilize that knowledge to determine how best to deal with the question. and finally, to answer the question efficiently and correctly. This manual-contains numerous applications of exam analysis for each content area. Let us now look at a math problem from a previous Civil Service exam. See jf you can solve

it using exam analysis and your knowledge of mathematics.
First, read the question. The daily compensation to be paid to each consultant hired by a certain agency is computed by dividing his professional earnings in the previous year by 250. The maximum daily compensation they can receive is $100 each. Four consultants who

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were hired to work on a special project had the following professional earnings in the previous year: $18,750; $22,000; $23.250; and $30,550. What will be the total daily cost to the agency for these four consultants? .

)

lA) $466

(8)

$412

.(C)

$378

(D) $356

Stage 1 - Interpretation - What is the question telling us?
1)

First, it is a math Question. (Don't panic. Let's continue.) Specifics: a) Consultants are paid (daily) based on their earnings divided by 250 - but . not to exceed $1 00. $18.750 22,000 23,250 30,550

2)

b) The earnings are:

What is the question asking us? The total daily cost of the four consultants. Stage 2 - Methodology 1) 2) Divide each consultant's professional earnings by 250. (Remember, the most a

Add the 4 answers together to get the total. consultant can make per day is $100.)

75

250/18.750
88

==
=
=

75 88 93 100
356

250/22,000

250/23.250

93

122-

250/30,550
Total

=

-Note:

$30.550 divided by 250 is more than $100 - but only $100 countS

Stage 3 - Follow-through After dividing and then adding the totals. select choice CO)$356.

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Understanding and Following Examination Instructions There are two types of instructions 1. 2. General instructions .Specific instructions for questions or groups of Questions on Civil Service examinations:

The general instructions that appear on the first page of the test booklet deal with procedures and test protocol. Included in these general instructions are three very important pieces of information: 1) the number of pages, 2) the number of Questions, and 3) the amount of time. You will not be able to turn the page and begin the test until the second signal (bell). What you can and should do before the second signal (bell) is to plan an approximate time schedule. This can be done by dividing the number of minutes of the test by the number of test questions. By doing this, you will get an idea of how much time to spend on each test question. When making this schedule, remember to allot your time so that you leave enough time for review and for time consumers, like reading comprehension passages and difficult math. When you do get the second signal (bell) to begin the exam, make certain your booklet contains all the pages and questions and that the pages are legible and correctly numbered. Also, remember when you begin the exam not to waste time on anyone Question. Specific tnstructions Make sure you read and analyze all instructions before going on to answer the questions. If the instructions say you should base your answers only on the information in a passage, then do that.
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Understanding and Using the Answer Sheet You will record your answers on a separate answer sheet rather than in the examination booklet. The reason for this is that the separate answer sheet is marked electronically, which expedites scoring. We are providing you with some important suggestions on how to use the answer sheet. If you understand the suggestions and become familiar with them, you should have no problems with the answer sheet on the day of the examination. 1. Be precise and follow the given directions when you enter the required identifying information in the upper portions of your answer sheet. DQ . not put. your name on the answer sheet. Answers are recorded with a #2 lead pencil in the specified space. Make sure your marks are distinct enough to be read by a scoring machine, but do not waste time marking the space repeatedly. Extraneous marks on the answer sheet can be considered wrong by the machine. You can avoid making these marks by using the exam booklet. not the answer sheet, to work out problems and Questions. Make it a final step to examine the answer sheet and to erase all extraneous marks.

2.

3.

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4..

To save time and redundant thought, the exam booklet and answer sheet should be placed close to each other, with the booklet visible when you are recording answers on the answer sheet. This tends to hetpyou maintain your train of thought. Be sure that any change of answer is accompanied by a careful and thorough erasing of the previous answer. Very import$lnt. Check periodically to be sure that the answer sheet number corresponds to the question number in the test booldet. This is especially important if you skip a difficult question. tn that situation, be sure to skip that answer space on the answer sheet so that you can mark it in when you return to the question later.

5.

6.

Underst$lnding and Dealing with Multiple Choice Questions Most Civil Service exams are multiple choice. This type of exam consists of a direct question or an incomplete statement followed by four answer choices (A, B, C, or D). You must select the best answer. Although there might be three or even four good answers, there is one and only one best answer. When working on the multiple choice examination. remember to use the three steps of analysis to choose your answer. AI~a~ remember your time schedule and don't waste time on anyone question. In addition. several specific suggestions are listed to help with interpretation, and follow-through for multiple choice questions. 1. methodology,

Read and analyze the basic question carefully and try to answer it without referring to the choices. Afterward. read the choices to see if you can find your tentative answer among them. (Be aware that the wording in the answer choice will probably be different from the answer you considered when you finished reading the question.) Read all the answers (A. B. C. and 0)' even if fA) seems to be the correct choice at first sight. On this type of exam, there are degrees of correctness. and a more precise and correct answer may be found later. Also, it is possible that an "all of the above" answer. which means all responses are correct, might be the best response. Hint: Remember that on a multiple choice examination. a correct answer does not have to be written out. The correct answer is offered - it just has to be selected through analysis. We have been mentioning "best answer." The best answer is the one that is appropriate. complete and precise. rf it lacks any of these criteria. it is not the best answer and is therefore not correct. -

2.

3.

If the correct answer does not immediately occur to you, try the process of elimination. Remember. it is not only that the best answer is right. but that the other answers are wrong. Therefore. cross out the obviously wrong answers and narrow your choices down to two or three. Try treating each choice as a true-false statement. Finally, j~~t take an educated or even blind guess.

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4.

Be especially careful in reading and analyzing a problem if several questions are based on the same problem or passage. This is especially true for reading comprehension questions. Exam clues are those specific determiners which allow you to select the correct answer, even if you do not know the material. The successful test-taker will always recognize and use these clues to his advantage. The following are a few suggestions you should pay attention to:
a)

5. Make sure to use exam clues to your advantage.

Grammatical structure clues are very dependable. Be aware of question/answer agreement with words such as "a" or "an," and "were" and "was." Here is an example of grammatical structure clues: Another name for one of the choices presented as possible answers in a multiple choice question is an _
1)

stem

• 2) alternative

3)

mistake

4)

absolute

Answers 1 and 3 are inconsistent with the "an" in the question. This narrows down the choice to either 2 or 4. Choice 2) alternative is the best answer. b) Use word absolutes and Qualifications to your advantage. Absolutes such as always, ~, necessarily, absolutely,.QIili:, merely,.IllW. place restrictions and are difficult to satisfy. They are good indicators of incorrect answers. On the other hand, qualifying words such 8S !llI::£, 2fW1. perhaps. sometimes. in general, generally, could indicate right answers. c) Be aware of the length of answers. An extended answer, with qualifiers. is often a right answer since it is thorough; overly concise answers may be too limited and possibly incorrect. Use clues that other exam questions might provide. Use information and clues given in the instructions.
Use logiC.

d)

e)
f) g)

Be extremely conscious of negatives and Qualifiers. Examples: ·which is ngt" "all of the following except"

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Make Your Guesses Count The score you receive on a Civil Service exam reflects the number of Questions answered correctly. If any Question is not answered. it is automatically wrong. Therefore, mak.e sure you answer all Questions; guess if you have to. . There are two kinds of guesses we can m..ce - educated and blind. An educated guess is made when your k.nowledge for answering a question is too limited to selectthe best answer. but complete enough to eliminate at least one of the wrong answers. Remember to analyze and look for exam clues to eliminate obviously wrong choices. If you have no idea what the Question is about. or if you can't read a Question because of insufficient time, make a blind guess. Keep in mind that you should use the same tetter (A. B. C, or D) for all blind guesses that you make. This will definitely increase your odds for choosing a correct answer. In other words, don't leave any blank.spaces on your answer sheet. Analyze. make educated guesses, make blind guesses, but do answer a" the questions.

CHECKLIST OF TEST-TAKING TECHNIQUES
1. 2. 3. Examine the question book.let for proper sequence of pages and Questions. Read all instructions carefully. Skip any question which seems too difficult; been answered. return to it after all other questions have

4.

Use your time wisely; do not spend too much time on any single Question or group of Questions. Note and underline k.ey words - all. most. fewest. least,~, worst. same, opposite.

5. 6. 7.

Pay particular attention to negatives and qualifiers - flQ.1, ~xcept. Note unusual answer options, e.g. those that are unduly long. short, complex, different or similar in content to the body of the Question. Observe the.use of "hedging" words - probably, may, most likelv. If in doubt, change a negative Question to a positive one for ease of"handling . Answer only on the oasis of information supplied - do not make unwarranted assurnptions. Mark carefully unanswered questions and questions of which you are unsure. Be sure to return to them later. Devise your own identification method. such as one check. mark. for an answer that you are not too sure about. two check marks for an answer that you are very doubtful of, and three check. mark.s for a Question which has been left blank.
..

8. 9. 10.

11.

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Answer the questions with three check marks first, then the ones with two check marks. then the ones with one check mark. 12. 13. An answer that is only half right is considered wrong. Be wary of any answer which "passes the buck" to your supervisor. unless the question clearly indicates this is correct. When answering a question which specifies that you must take a certain action in a particular situation. pick the answer which specifies this action. even if you would not take such action in real life. Answer Questions on the basis of "text book" principles, rather than of your own experience. Remember that the examiners can read text books, but they are not aware of particular experiences you may have encountered. Be wary of using the actual practices in your agency to select an answer. If there is a conflict between actual practices in your agency and management andlor supervisory principles, select the answer encompassing the principles. 00 not become personally involved in the questions. Remain objective and remember that the situations contrived in the questions are not real and are merely intended to judge your response. Do not ignore any part of a question. Be careful of parts of a question which are "telescoped" or lumped together. Consider each of the parts separately. Keep in mind the larger meaning of a question. Do not pick an answer that refers to only a narrow portion of the question. It may be useful to read the question and devise what you believe the answer will be before you study the actual answers. In this way, you may be less likely to be confused than after reading a number of answers skillfully designed to be confusing.

, 4.

15.

16.

17.

18.

19.

20.

21. 22.

Make sure that your answer is put next to the same number as the question.
Do not second guess unless you have good reason to believe that the second answer is definitely more correct. Answer aU questions; guess unless instructed otherwise. Leave time for review.

23. 24.

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FOllOW DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY
tll= are

breaching it than for any other causc. By aaual count

Ifs an obvious

rule. but more people

fail for

O\'CI" hundred types of dir=tions given on tests. You'll familiariz: younelf with all of them in tbe a)urse of this book. And you'lI also lcam not to

tel your guard down in reading thCm. listening to them. and follewinl tbem . .aiJht now, before you plunge in. we want to be sure that you have nothin, to fear from the answer sheet and the way in which you must mark it; from the most important question forms and tbe ways in which they are to be aoswcred.
ON MACHINE-SCO.ED ANSWEl SHEETS:

HERE'S HOW TO M4U.

YOUIt

4NSWEU

II

2::

.. .. 3 :: ..
Il Il II

1

I

EXAMPLES bc ,. d :: b cd
:1

Make only ONE mark for each answer. Additional
c:

.. .. n .. .. ..
I
c

and stray mara may be counted .. mistakes. In .... kine cornctions, .rase emn COMPLmL

.. .. .. c. .. . 4" .. .. .. .. ..
h b

::

I ~! ii
d e e

.. .. :1 il .. d .. .. I ..
c:-

Mat. &toss, black marks.

Y.

(b) Each mark must be in the space between the pair of dotted lines and entirely fill this space. (e) AU stray penal marks on the paper. eleariy not inlCftded as answers. must be completely erased.

( a) Each penal marlc must be heavy and black. Ught mms should be retraced with special penciL

me

Each question must have only one answer If multiple answers occur. aU extraneous marks shouJd be thoroughly erased. Otherwise., the machine will give you no credit· for your eorrect
(d)

indicated.

:tnswer.

MULTIPLE CHOICE METHODS
Multiple choice questions are very popular tbc:sc days with examiners. The cbanccs aR JOOd that you'll get Ihiso kind on your test. So we've ammged that you practice with them in the following paps. But first we want to pw you alitdc help by eXplainiaJ the best methods for band1ina: Ibis qUCSlion form. absoUtk abSDhtrely

all
tdwllY$

IUiomtItic dorIbtlat mtird,

You know. of coarse. that Ibese qtaeaioDs offer you four or five possible aswers. that your job is to se1a:l Dilly the bat aaswer. ud tbat nm me incorrect uswen are freqac:ndy fHII'rl1 cam:c:t.. 1"bae pardy-uue choices are inserted to force you to thiDt ... aad prove that you blow the riaht UI'WU.
USE THESE MITHCOS 'TO AHswn QUUTlO!CS c:ou.£CTt, y: MULnpu CHotCE

auqoriaU Cflfftplndy

UI1YIWJfGIUly ~ ~ly ~

incoIrIauIbk i.namtIowrtibk
~ ~

1.

Rad cbe nan closely to sec what the examiner is aIIer. R.aad it if aecen .. y.

20 Mcatal1y rejI:ct uswen that arc dcarty
3.

wrona-

j"dvbitafe laerilGbk
iIIat1nIbIe

Suspect II bcia& WIOIlI lIllY of the choices wbicb coaWn broad stltemc DIS binPDl on
"ale"

iJlfllllibk

wonts like

ittfUriu ;"/luible

)
4.

5.

&.

7.

8.

Ir you're unsure of the ft'JC2ninp of any of these words. look them up in your dictionary. A well-c:onsuu=ed multipte c:boia: item win :lvoid otmoasiy inconer:t c:hoia:s. The good eumtner will try to write a dawer of answers. all of which are plausible.. Use &be due words to help yowseif pick the most C01'ftCt answer. In the case or itemS whc:n: you an: doubtfuJ of the answer. you might be able CO bring to bear the informalion you hne pined from previ. ous study. This kDowtedge might be sufficient to indicate that some of the saD sted answers are not so plausible. EJimiDate such answers from funber CODSidentiDa. Then 'O..u:tdl~ Oft the remammg suggested answas. The more you diminatc in this way. the bcuc:r your ebances of geaiDg the item righL If the item is in the fonn of an incomplete statrmeUt, it someIime:s hdps 10 tty to compleIe the mtcment before you look at the suggt:i1ed: uswe:rs. Thc:u see whether the way you have compieted the statement COl responds with any of the answers provided... If one is found. it is Ukdy 10 be the coma one. Usc your head! Make shrewd infer:nc:cs. SomeUmcs with a little Ibougbt. and the information thaI you have., you can reason out -me answer. Wc're-suggrsring a method of intelligent guessing in which you can become quite expert with a little praaice. It's a useful method that may-ftdp you with some debatable answa'S. II.

ter waterproof materials available. such as plastics and rubber. In fact,lc:1ther must be treated to make it waterproof. So by analyzing the key phrase of the question we can eliminate (A). ( B) seems plausible. Leather is durable. and durability is a good quaiity in shoes. But the word quif~ makes it a broad sutement. And we become suspicious. The original meaning of quil~ is eoJn. pJetety. wholly. entirety. Since such is the ease we must reject this choic:e because leather is nor com· pwt~/y durable. It does wear out.. (el Leather is comparatively easy to procure; but would that make it b~sr for shoes? And would that be the chit! reason why it is used for making shoes? Although the swement in itself is quite true. it docs not fit the key piuase of the qu:stion and we must. reluctandy. eliminate it. (D) is a doubte~ statemalt. ODe pan. the durability, bas been suggested in (B) above. Leather is also quite fiexible. so both pans of the SIaIement would seem to fit the question. (E) It is true that Jc:ather can be manufactm'=i in various styles. but SO can many other materials. Again.. gomg back to Ihe key phrase. this could be considered one. but not the chiq reason why it is b~st for shoes. So, by carefully auiyzing the k~ phrase of the question we line aanowed our c:boices down to (D). Although we rejccled (B) we did pmpize that durability is a good quality in shoes. but only one of several.. Sia= ftexibility is also a cood quality. we have no hesitation in choosing (D) as the correa aftSWa'. The same qUCRiOD. by slightly abaiu& the answer c:boices. can also call for a neptiv~ response. Here. neD more so. the identificuion of the key phrase becomes vital in fiadiag the conec:t answer. Suppose the question aad Us rc:spoasc:s ~ worded thus; 2. Leather is amsidcled the: best material for shoes chidIy bn IUSC (A) it is wataptwf (B) it is easily c:oiored (Cl it is easily prucarabIe (D) it em easiiy be maJI'rbcnrred in various styles . We

HOW. LET's tty THESE METHODS OUT ON SAMPLE MULnPLE-atOlCE "QUEST1OK.

1. 1 cather' is coasidered

the best mawial for shoes cbidly ~ ( A) it is w.taprOOt' (B) it is quire daJabIc (C) it iscuily ptoamble (D) it is 8aiblc ucl dmable (El it em be easily llWlUfac:mred in various styles.

Here we see that ew:ry one of the eswer state· ments is plausible: leatbcr is wateqJrOOf if treated pro~ty; it is reIaIndy ci~ it is ~ ~ proeurable; it-beads ad IS sbaJ'Cd ~. ~ IS. .~ durable; it coast:IDUy appc:an; m nnous styteS of sbces aDd boots. -

an eye toward

I!IUSl csamine the question with idaatifying the key phrase which is: bat for shoes chi#fy.

HGWe'Va".. we

(El none of tbae. see that the prior paniaJly c:om:r:t amwer (B) bas DOW becD dR•• ad the ~ . answer diminated. IDstead we bne • new respoase
C2Jl

because for shoes. simply because it is WIIlLZpruof. There aR far bet-

Now we em

see that (A)
Dot

is i~

icathcr is probably

the bn: umcrial

possibility (E). "ftOftC of these." We baye anatyzcd tbrce of Ihc cNliCClptCWiaasly and baY!: seen the reason why aoac of tban is the dUrt reason why leatber is coaAd Cled the bnt material for shoes. The two new ckm [Db are (Bl "easily colored." and eE) "'aoae of tbesc. ..

15

If you think about it. leather ("Oft be c:asily colored aad ofteD is. but this would not be the chief IaSOIl why it is c:oa.sideftd bar. Maar other materials ate. just as e.uiiy dyed. So we must come to the cor.cl"RM that ftOftt" of the cboiccs is com,nnft1 correct--nanc fit the key phrasC. Therefore.. the qUlCSlioa caUs for a aqaU~ raponse (E). We haft now scaa bow imporwu it is to identify the key pbase. EquaUy. or perhaps even more imponaDt. is the idcmifyiag aDd aaaiyziDg of the key ... Q-tbe qualifying word-in a questicm. This is usaally. tboqh 80t always. an adjc:crM or adverb. Same of the key words to walCh for are: most. bnt. kat. Jri,hnt. ltnvrn. Gl."fIYS. rwwr. ~. most likdy. fmJf~n. ~SI. t4Ilnt. (lV~. HSi~SI. most Mllriy. nauilllUlft. miftiIrumf. dairlfy. mainly. only. bu, a'ld or. Identifying tbcse key wonI$ is usually .aaIf the batde in undenranciinc and. conscquentiy. answering aU
typeS

For uamplc. we can lake r:pbrase it.
(A)

the

same question aftd

The dUd reuon why leather is CODSidcred the best nwcrial for shoes is that it is waterprOOf.

Because it is walClproof. leather is amsidered Ihc best ma&crial for sbocs.. or (A) Cbidy because it is WAta'f'rOOf. Icalher is considcrai the best material for shccs.. J t wiU be SCICft from the ~ three new -asious of the origisW staraaent aDd answer that the question has become less obscure because it has bccL so to speak. iUuminarrct from dilamt aft!ics.. It becomes quite obvious also in this rephrasing that the stalCmCftt (A) is iDcon'ect. altbougb the DriJi. lUll phrasing of the question left some doubL (A)

or

of eum qaeRiom.

It is obvious. ~ that by catdully analyzing a qUC'S1ioa.. by idcmifying die key phrase aDd Us key ~ you c:m usually fiDel the com:ct answer by logical deduaioa aDd. ohc:n. by dimiaa!;on. One otbcr way of cuariniDg. or "dissec:tiDg. 4=SIion is 10 reswe· or rephrase it with each of tt. _uggcsted answer choices integrated into the qucsuon.

The rules for understanding aDd analyzing the key pbnsc and key words in a queuion, and the way 10 idauify che _ correa answer by meaas of intdlipt analysis of me imponant ~ elements. arc basic to abc solucion or aU the ~ tems you will face on your lCSt. In fact. perhaps the IJ'I.tIiIf reason for faiiing an examination is failure 10 "nG!'~ w qunriDn. In many cases. eumin=s do know the 3ftSWU. to· a panicubr probtcm. but they c:aanot answer c:orrcctty because they do not uadcmand it.

METHODS FOR MATCHING QUESTIONS
In Ibis qUCllion form you an: attuaIJy faa:d with JDUJIipC qneaions tbat n:quire 1D1Iitiple auswen.. It's .a ctifticult fona in whic:b you are asked ,.-;;1 pair up one set of faca with aaodaer. It can be ;;secl with 3ft)' type of awmal . . . vocabulary. spatial rdatiaas. 1Ullllbas. bcu. c=. A typical matdring quc:aicm might appear in this form:
ten words 1I1IIIIbercd 1 10 at". twenty other words diYided iIIlo five groups k ,:dcd Gtoup A to Groap E. For ada of the numbered words sdcct abc word ill one of abc fiyc poaps which is most nariy die same ill meaaing. The Ieuer of that group I. fiscal Group A

2. deletion
3. cquiYOClI
4. corroboration

Dint:rions: Below is a

Set

to.

of

words

comaiDing

5. 6. 7. 8.

tortuous predilection

sallow vinuosily

indication ambiguous ezcraciatinl thin GroupB contirawion financial phobia cr.mm Groupe fiduciary simibr
yedotrish skill

9" scion

10. tenuous

=me

Gn)llpD theft winding
procrastiaation

for that ft1IIISbaed item. AItboap this amnsanent is a rdatiYdy simptc one for a "ra1'Cbing" qucsUoIl. !be pm:ral principle is dae same fot aD IeYds of dif&c:utty. Basically. Ibis type of question consists of two coil!!s\DS is the
aDSWei

fnnebiw:
baldy

GmapE

heir

prefemtCC .

c.n-t
2. B
3. A 1. B 4. B S. D

A ......

The cIc:malcs

matched with some or all of the ICCODd coiUIUD.

of one

of the c:oiumns
dcmc:Ins

must be .

6~ £

of the

7. C

to.

9. E A.

I.e

There are nu~ ways in which these questions may be composed. from the simple: one shown abow: to the mosl difficult type of atr.111~t... ln many ascs the ~l of the question may be so compticued that more time may be spent upon r.he com~ of the instrUCtions than on the acwal question. This again. pointS up the imporwac:e of fully ad quidly understanding the instructicms before aaanpting to solve any problem or aJIS'Wa' any qucszion. 5eYer.aJ genenl prmc:iples apply • however. when solviag a matching question. Work with one column at a time: and march each item of that column against all the items in the second column. skipping around that second column looking for a pmp:r nwcll, Put a thin pencil line through itemS that are matched so they won't interfere with your

later selections. (This is parucularly imporwtt in a test th:lt tells you to c:hoose any item only O=:. The lest gets real tricky" however. when you are :lsked to choose an item more than ona:.) Match each item very aJd'ully-odon'l mark it unless you an: l:CfUin--bec:ausc if you have to change any oee, it may mean changing three or four or more. and that may !Ct you hopdessty c:onfused, After you have marked all your ('rnGin choices. go over the unmarted ilCmS again and make a guess at the remaining j~ if you have time, USE CONTltOLLED ASSOClAnoN when you come to an item which you are not able to match. Attempt to recall any and all facts you might bave conceruing this item, Through the PfOCI:SS of association. a faa recalled might provide a due to the answer,

"w

TRUE·FALSE TACTICS
Because they arc easier to :mswer they are used less
f~UCDlIy than nndtipte-cboicc questions.. Howevu. find that they are e:asi:r to prepare. here are SOftaC suggestiOns to help you answer them correctly.
because examiners

True-falsc

qucsUODS

may appear on your

teSl,

Single-Statement Question
The basic form of true-false question is the "single~ent" question; i.e.. a sentence contains a single thought. such as:

wt

1. The Statue of Liberty is in New York.

I, Suspect the truth of broad statements hinpng -on those GIl or nothing "QIC" words we listed for you in discussing multiple-choice qu:stions, out for ~ , , , , the word ot_ pbn.sc wbidl ncplCS an otherwise true Slatemeat. V~~uuiDtt is ~ on Ih~ Silbma d~snr ""h~ th« dimtn~ is hot IUUi Iuunid, TF 11. Watch

T F-

The same statement becomes slightly more difficult by including a negative dement 2. The Statue
or,

of Liberty is not in New York

T
men: subtly: 3. The Stalue of Lib:ny

F F
in New

is not in Chicago

T
oe, by adding other moclifiers: 4. The Statue of Libenv is sometimes

Ill, Staccments
noIly, usually 1\'.

containing such modifiers as gm&ISIIGily.mono and similar words arc

York

T T

F

uuc.

5, The Statue York
formula

of Libeny

is always

in New

.F

is -Rights minus Wrongs", doIl't guess.. If you know it's true, mark it T. If you don"t know it's true. ask yourself ""What have 1 learned that would make it falser If you can think of ~ Oft eitber-sidc. omit the answer. Of counc. if the R-W formula is not beinl used it is advisable
10

If the scoring

guess if you"re neil sure of an
first buacll is usually

aDSWCf.

v. Your

best. Unless you

hue ~ good reason to do so. don', c:hange your first aaswcr to uue-faJse questions about wbi&:b you arc doubtful

Even from these ~ simple and basic examples of a -single-statemeDt" truc-false question it an be seen that .a cvmpW,r 1DIIl~ of the subject area as well as of the pbnsiag of the question is essential bcf~ you aaernpt to aDS'ftt it. Careless or hasty reading of the SlaUftCftt will often make you miss the kry word. e:spcciatly if the . queslion af'PeUS to be a ~ simple one. An imporwat point to remember wileD answer· ing this type ofquestion. is dw tbe stalemeftt must be r1lri'~/y t"'~to be am.m::d as -nue"; if nm just a prm of it is false. the answer must be marked

"iaise.-

17

).

Sometimes a true-false question will be in tbe form of a kcomposite statemCftt.·· a sta1efnent that contains more than one thought. such as: 11. The SWUe Uberty is in New York. and Chicago is in Illinois TF

This principle goes for aU c:omposi%e Slatc1neGts that are. or can be. c:onnec:ted by the word ••anct... even if the various "'thoughts" of the statemc:llt seem to be entireJy unrelated.

or

We have seen how to handle a composite

SIaIe-

Some basic: nriations of this type of c:ompositestatement question aR these: J 2. The Statue of Uberty is in New York. and Chicago is in Michigan .T F J3. The SWue of Ubcny is not in New York aucl Cbiago is in Illinois TF 14. The Statue of l.ibcny is Dot in New York and OUcago is in Mic:hipn TF Of the four questions above. ODly question I J is true. Each of the other SWCIDcDlS (12, 13. 14), is false beClime each CODWas at least OM dcmc:Dt that is false. It can be seen from the above that in a c0mposite statcmcDt both demeats, or '"'substatcmcnt" must be tnJe in order for die aaswu to be ""trUe." Olberwise, the. aaswer must be ""faIse."

ment that consists of unrelated substatemeats Fmally. we will aamine a ccmposiu: true-fa1se statement which coasius of relmed demeats: 1S. The Golden Gate Bridge is in San Francisco, which is not the capiW of Califomia.

TF

16. The Golden Gale Bridge is in San Frmcisc:o. the capital of Califomia.
] 7. The Golden Gate Bridge: is Dot in San Francisco. the capital of California.

TF
TF

18. The Golden Gate Bridge is DOt in San Ffm. cisco, which is Dot the capital of Califomia.

TF

Again. only the first composi1e stalement (lSi is true. AU the rest are false bc:c:ause they rontain at least ODe false subaatemcnt

18

NOTE: It is suggested that you make to use with each practice exam. DIAGNOSTIC WORKSHEET

additional

b1ank

copies

of worksheet

This is designed to give you more ~sight into why you answere~ a problem incorrect1y. Analyze each question you missed in terms of the checklist below. Put the number of the question missed next to each trait that you feel contr1buted to the error. This will make it obvious which areas you need to work on. By working to improve your abilities in these areas, your scores should improve. Question Number (s) 1. 2. 3. I jumped Trai t Exhibi ted to an incorrect what conclusion was asking'

I miSinterpreted I had little the problem

the question I cou1d

confidence

solve

4.

I didn't break the reading passage into more easily understood parts I knew I couldn't solve the problem, so I gave up and guessed I made a careless error without

down

5.

)

6. 7.

I "followed

a hunch" through

checking

it

8.

I didn't step back and evaluate the reasonableness of my solution'

9.
10 . 11.

I worked mechanically
it was hopeless I didn't check my work

because

I knew

I became bored took a guess

or frustrated,

and

12.

I was inconsistent in my interpretation of parts of the reading passage I didn't try to visualize part the problem

13. 14.

I miSinterpreted passage

of the reading

15.

I tried to answer the question without realizing that my understanding of a section of the reading passage was vague

19

NOTE: It is suggested that you make additional blank copies of worksheet to use with each practice exam. DIAGNOSTIC WORKSHEET This is designed to give you more insight into why you answered a problem incorrectly. Analyze each question you missed in terms of the checklist below. Put the number of the question missed next to each trait that you feel contributed to the error. This will make it obvious which areas you need to work on. By working to ~rove your abilities in these areas, your scores should improve. Question Number(s) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Trait ExhiPited I jumped to an incorrect conclusion I misinterpreted what the question was asking' I had little cOnfidence I could solve the problem I didn't break the reading passage down into more easily understood parts I knew I couldn't solve the problem, so I gave up and guessed I made a careless error I "followed a hunch" without checking it through I didn't step back and evaluate the reasonableness of my solution' I worked mechanically because I knew it was hopeless I didn't check
my

8. 9. 10 . 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

work

I became bored or frustrated, and took a guess I was inconsistent in my interpretation of parts of the reading passage I didn't try to visualize the problem I misinterpreted part of the reading passage I tried to answer the question without realizing that my understanding of a section of the reading passage was vague

20

Practice Using Answer Sheets
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