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Reading Comprehension: Follow the Clues

Face reading tests with a strategy for success.

Learning Benefits

Hover over each Learning Benefit below for a detailed explanation.
Critical Thinking
Reading Comprehension

Picture it: a reading passage with a bunch of related questions on the side. Have you seen this before? Probably so, and you're likely to see it again. A few simple steps can make your test time just a little easier.

Switch things up

Try scanning the questions before reading the passage. Then you'll know what information to zoom in on. 

Leave your mark

After you've previewed the questions, read the passage. If it's okay to mark up your test booklet, try underlining or placing a check mark where you find each answer in the passage. Marking it will help your brain make sure the connection between question and answer is clear. 

Keep it simple

Make sure you're not falling for a trap by filling in extra info that isn't really there. If your reasons for picking one answer over another go something like this:

"Well, that might be the answer because maybe the big bad wolf isn't really a bad guy, but he's just misunderstood and even though it doesn't say it in the passage, maybe the grandmother is just on vacation in Hawaii, not eaten by the wolf."

It's possible you might be over thinking. Take one step back and make sure that the passage, not your own interpretation, provides the answer to each question.

Don't get stuck

Some passages and questions will undoubtedly take longer than others, but in general try to keep moving so you'll get to as many questions answered as possible. See if it makes sense for you to skip the real stumpers the first time around and then come back to them once you've completed everything you know the answer to.

At the end of the day, a reading comprehension test is just a multiple-choice test with a twist.

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