Fundamentals of Reading Comprehension Tests

Reading comprehension tests as the name implies are experiments designed to test your reading and comprehension ability. Such tests are often administered in high schools, universities, and colleges to assess students’ ability to read passages and understand the meanings conveyed by technical words, phrases and transition signals in the passage. A reading comprehension passage can as well be used in testing for summary skills and to determine whether or not an employee would be able to fit into a position requiring the ability to read and comprehend. Your goal in such a passage is to find the main point and supporting points, and once done; you will be able to answer questions asked in the passage accurately.

Getting the main point in a passage

The main point of a passage or an essay is known as the thesis sentence or subject matter, and this is usually conveyed in the title of the passage. However, each paragraph in a comprehension passage also has its main point called the topic sentence. The topic sentence in a comprehension passage is accompanied by other supporting sentences which merely elaborate the topic sentence and make its meaning obvious. To hit the hammer on the head and select the correct answers in reading comprehension tests, it is essential to get the main point and the supporting point in such a passage.

You can get the main point in a passage by reading it and finding out the points that convey the entire meaning of the passage. As the name implies, the supporting points just support the central point in one way or the other. The supporting points could be bullet points, examples, enumerations and so forth but the main points are always statements or facts. In other words, when you find enumerations, you should simply know that they are points which support a main point in the passage.

Another important key point to note to get the best result in reading comprehension tests is that the main point or the topic sentence could be found virtually anywhere in the paragraph. In other words, you can see the topic sentence at the beginning, middle or end of the section. However, topic sentences are usually found at the beginning of the paragraph.

Some paragraphs are such that they do not contain a topic sentence. However, the two main type of paragraphs namely inductive paragraph and deductive paragraphs contain topic sentences at the end and the beginning respectively.

Workplace and reading comprehension

reading comprehension test

Some positions in a workplace demand exceptional skills in reading comprehension. That's why some job interviews incorporate reading comprehension tests to test the job seekers on how to read and comprehend. Proficiency in reading comprehension is a skill that has to be acquired by anyone who wants to mount to a managerial position in the workplace. It is because such roles and offices always expose you to the challenges of reading comprehension as you would have to read a lot of passages and use your comprehension skills to judge their meanings and relevance.

Testing in reading comprehension tests

Reading comprehension tests are not only administered in workplaces and schools but also in some professional examination bodies such as TOEFL and others. Such professional examinations test your comprehension ability, and therefore you can ascertain whether or not you have what it takes to work in some professional organizations requiring such skills as reading comprehension. Also, you can easily learn the techniques of reading comprehension by going through a lot of materials that teach exhaustively on it over the internet.

As its name implies, reading comprehension involves “reading” and “comprehension.” It means that you have to read the passage thoroughly, carefully and understand it. However, various other skills and techniques might be employed depending on what you are asked to find, and some of such skills include skimming and scanning. You can scan through the passage to find its topic sentence and know the supporting points. However, you browse the passage when you want to determine some technical words such as signal words and phrases, transition signals and so forth.

The reading comprehension skills mentioned above are essential in reading a passage and understanding it. When carefully applied, you will be able to gain mastery in reading comprehension at all levels. However, most importantly, you need to consistently practice reading comprehension to achieve mastery and get the best result.


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