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Welcome to  » Psychological Service Bureau (PSB) Study Guide Learning Lab

Reading Comprehension

Steps on how to read for standardized tests

  1. Questions about a passage do not appear in order of difficulty; however, passages themselves are usually from least to most difficult.
  2. Always skim the questions for a passage before you actually read the passage.
  3. As you quickly read the passage, concentrate on the main idea and main points.
  4. Next, note specific examples in fact filled areas.
  5. Notice key words that indicate a shift in viewpoint. Some examples of these words are: but, however, although, nevertheless, moreover, and unless. What kinds of shifts do these words indicate?
  6. Don’t grab at a likely looking answer. Eliminate those that are wrong so you choose the correct answer.
  7. Lengthy quotes are seldom correct answer choices. Tests are to see if you understand what you read.
  8. Use what you do know. Truth is truth.
  9. Watch out for answer choices that express strong emotion. How often does something happen always or never?

Types of questions you will see on the test

  1. Main idea: What is the point that the writer is making? What should I remember about this paragraph? What is this essay about?
  2. Supporting details: What in the essay holds up or supports the main idea?
  3. Factual information: What pieces of specific information supports the main idea or is an example you should remember?
  4. Inference: What information is implied, not directly stated, or said that is opposite of what the author means?
  5. Context clues: What do words mean when their definition is gained from the meaning.

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