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Summary : Preparing yourself for a content test; or a reading comprehension test, can seem intimidating, especially if the idea of reading through lengthy passages and writing long essay answers makes your stomach turn.
Preparing yourself for a content test; or a reading comprehension test, can seem intimidating, especially if the idea of reading through lengthy passages and writing long essay answers makes your stomach turn. But here are some study tips to help you master even the longest most boring content test.
There are six basic types of reading content questions. If you familiarize yourself with this style of questioning ahead of time it can save you loads of time when taking a content test, because you can pick apart the content question, find the important sections of the passage, and focus your answers. The six most popular reading content questions are:
-What is the central idea? (Write the main theme of the passage or the major significance of the content.)
-Write a detailed description (these questions are looking for explicit details and facts)
-Draw a conclusion (describe in paragraph form the specific meaning of the content)
-Describe the tone (write the state of emotions the writer of the piece was intending to portray)
-Define the context (define a specific work in relation to the context of the passage)
-Write the technique (write what style of writing was used in the passage)
When you are first scanning your test, treat a content question like you do a short answer question, start with the familiar ones. Concentrate on content passages that you know, and go back to those harder questions after. Your test nerves will have settled a bit, and you can battle those harder questions with more confidence once you've got the bulk of the test under your belt.
Don't start answering a content test question until you've read through the entire section. Your goal in a content test is to write a lengthy response covering the context of the question. And this becomes confusing if you start writing before you've finished reading the whole passage. So put your pencil down and read the whole passage. Those few minutes will be worth the time spent, because you'll have a better grasp on question's content and can write a more efficient essay answer.
Keep in mind, that if a content question asks you to pick a title for a specific passage, the best answer is always the one relaying the main theme of the passage.
The most effective ways to study is to read. Get yourself used to reading lengthy sections of writing and your concentration will improve, and you'll be better able to pick out the main points of writing. Reading is the best way to exercise your attention span and prepare for a content test.
So when you are faced with content tests, remember to start with the questions you are most confident with. Take your time reading the entire passage, thinking about your answer, but not writing anything until you have read and understood the whole passage.
Robert McKenzie is a former teacher and expert on tests and how to study. Visit his website for more information on how to study
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