Title III, REA 0002 CBT
The Reading Exam FAQs
- How many questions are on the exam?
There are 36 or 37 questions depending upon which form of the exam you are given.
- How much time will I have to take the exam?
You will have 75 minutes to complete the exam. Note the ending time so that you will be able to finish on time.
- How should I manage the time?
Look over the test and note how many reading passages and questions there are. Be sure to check the last page. This ensures that you have a complete test booklet. Notify the instructor or proctor immediately if there is a problem.
Before reading each passage, look at the time and estimate how much time you have left. Try to allow yourself at least five minutes at the end of the test so that you will have time to look it over to be sure you have answered every question or to review any that you were unsure about.
- Do I need to bring any materials with me to the exam?
No. Your instructor or the proctor will provide pencils and the Scantron for your answers
- What is a Scantron and how do I use it?
The exit exam is taken with automatic scoring sheets called Scantrons. You must use a pencil. The test is graded by a machine that will count any stray mark as a wrong answer; therefore, do not make any stray marks anywhere on the answer sheet. You will 'bubble in' the space corresponding to your answer choice. Be sure to make the mark dark enough. If you must erase, you should do so carefully and thoroughly. If any marks are left in the wrong space, the scoring machine will detect two answers and will be marked wrong.
- What types of questions will be on the exam?
QUESTION TYPES [ click ]
- The exam covers all the skills in your textbook:
figuring out the meaning of new vocabulary in context, finding main ideas, locating supporting details, determining implied main ideas and central points, using relationship words, distinguishing fact from opinion, making inferences, determining the author's purpose and tone, and recognizing relevant and adequate support in argument.
- Read the directions!
Make sure you understand what you are being asked to do.
- Read the questions (NOT the answer choices) for the first passage first!
This will familiarize you with the topic of the passage; this will help your brain return any previous knowledge of the subject. In addition, this will set a purpose for your reading which enables you to read for specific information.
- Pause after each paragraph of the reading to think about what you've read and determine the topic and main idea. At the very least, you should determine the topic of the paragraph so that you can save time and find the answers more quickly.
Most tests begin by asking the main idea of the passage.
Begin with determining the topic and then asking yourself what point the author is trying to make about the topic. Use the supporting details to help determine the main idea.
If you feel confident that you have answered the main idea question correctly, use that information to lead you to the correct answers to questions regarding the author's purpose and tone, and the passage's pattern of organization.
What should I do if I don't know the answer to a question?
If you are not sure of an answer, narrow your choices down to two.
Make a slash ( / ) in one of the bubbles but don't fill it in. When you have finished your test, go back and review the answers that have slashes. In addition, if you run out of time, you will have one answer marked which might be correct! Never leave a blank! A blank is a certain wrong answer.
What should I do when I have finished the exam?
When you finish, go back to be sure you have answered every question with one, and only one, answer! Be sure you have ended up on the correct number on your last question. If you discover you are one or more short, work backwards until you find the one (or two) that you skipped.
How can I practice before the exam?
A Practice Exam is provided on this site. [ click ]
This site is provided and maintained by Valencia Community College.
The practice exam provides typical exit exam questions and answers.
This site is provided by AB Longman (Publishers).
The main idea statement is a general statement that is supported by the other material in the paragraph. It is an 'umbrella' idea: the main idea is the author's general point and under it fits all the other material in the passage. The other material is made up of supporting details - specific evidence such as examples, causes, reasons, or facts. Sometimes the main idea is not stated and the reader must use the details to determine the implied main idea.
Author's Purpose (4) and Tone (3)
Writers work from a personal point of view. This point of view is reflected in the author's purpose and tone.
- The reason the author wrote the passage is the author's purpose. These purposes might be to inform, to persuade, or to entertain.
- The purpose is often reflected in the tone. Tone reveals the author's attitude toward a subject and is expressed through the words and details the writer chooses. Anger, sympathy, sadness, dislike, and hopefulness are examples of tones. If there does not seem to be an attitude toward the subject, the tone would be neutral or unbiased.
- Relationships (8) and Patterns of Organization "RELATIONSHIP WORD ESSENTIALS"
As you can see by the number of questions about relationships, this is an important skill to master. The reading exam will include questions about relationships between parts of sentences, between sentences, and between paragraphs.
Relationship words (or transition words) involve addition, time, illustration, comparison, contrast and cause/effect patterns of organization. Examples of these are also, in addition, then, next, for example, to illustrate, similarly, likewise, in contrast, different, result, lead to, and because. Refer to your text for additional help.
Vocabulary in Context (2)
You will be asked to define a targeted word based upon its context. Context clues might be synonyms, antonyms, examples, or a general sense of the sentence or passage. Punctuation is also used to provide clues to meaning.
In all societies there is some vertical mobility - moving up or down the status ladder. The dash is followed by the definition of vertical mobility.
A bias is an attitude that is for or against the subject. This subjective point of view may have a negative or positive attitude. Recognizing positive or negative language will help you to determine the author's bias for against the topic. If the writer does not seem to have a positive or negative attitude, then the writing is considered unbiased. In unbiased writing, the writer tries to balance opposing views without appearing to be for or against the topic. Unbiased writing has a neutral, objective, straightforward, or matter-of-fact tone.
- A fact is any statement that is verifiable, or provable.
- An opinion is not provable. It is a personal belief, a judgment, or an attitude. All future events are considered opinions because, since they have not yet occurred, they are not provable, even when they seem certain to happen.
- Be careful about opinions within quotation marks:
"This is the best book I've ever read," our instructor said.
The statement contains an opinion (within the quotation marks) but it is provable by verifying that the instructor said it. Therefore, it's a fact.
- If a statement appears to be half fact and half opinion, and the choices available are only fact or opinion, choose opinion. If a third option of 'fact and opinion' is offered, choose that one.
Argument or Evidence and Support (2)
These questions will test your ability to recognize the difference between adequate and inadequate support, relevant and irrelevant support, and objective and emotional support for an argument.
- Check the details provided against the organizational pattern. Depending upon the organization of the passage, the writer will provide different details about the same event. For example, a narrative passage will include different time order details from a process passage that includes ordered steps in a series.
- Check the logic of the inferences; match conclusions to evidence. Is the author's point or claim logical and based on facts?
- What kind of support is offered? Objective (factual) or Emotional (opinions)? Watch for opinions.
- Are the supporting details relevant to the issue? All details given in support must be directly related to the issue in order to logically support the argument.
Supporting details (4)
Supporting details are sentences that give more specific information about the main idea. Main idea questions will often include two or three supporting details as answer choices, therefore, knowing the difference between main ideas and details helps answer correctly.
Supporting details may be reasons, examples, characteristics, senses,results, people and places, analysis and explanations, or statistics.
Inferences and Conclusions (3)
An inference is sometimes called an "educated guess." Making an educated guess is coming to a logical conclusion based on the facts given. You must look at the facts and details to make a logical inference because it will not be stated directly. Don't assume more than what is stated; do rely upon your background knowledge.
- Treat each answer choice as if it is a true/false question. Reread the passage to see if the choices could be true or false based on the information given.
- An implication is similar to an inference because it is not directly stated but is hinted at by the author.
Practice Reading Exam (20 questions with answers and explanations)
- PRACTICE TEST [ click ]
Sources: Langan, Ten Steps to Advancing College Reading Skills, 4th ed., (2004); Henry and Markus, Thinking Through the Test, 3rd ed., (2006); Perillo, Writing and Reading Tests for the FEE, 4th ed., (2006)
Fact and Opinion (3)
Main Idea Questions (4)
Additional sources for practice:
Taking The Test
The questions on the Reading Exam are straightforward. The answers to all the questions are in the passages. You just need to know how to find them!
Following is a list of the types of questions included on the exit exam. The number in parentheses indicates the number of questions related to that type of question.