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Reading Question Types (TOEFL Review Notes)


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  • 1. READING QUESTION TYPES TOEFL REVIEW //jenglai.03.24.2009
  • 2. 1. Factual Information Questions  Focus on facts details, definitions or other information presented by the author  Asks you to identify specific information that is typically mentioned only in the part of the passage  Do not generally ask about general themes that the passage as a whole discusses  Often, the relevant information is in one or two sentences  To answer – information is in the passage//jenglai.03.24.2009
  • 3. 1. Factual Information Questions  Examples:  According to the paragraph, which of the following is true of X?  The author’s description of X mentions which of the following?  According to the paragraph, X occurred because…  According to the paragraph, X did because…  According to the paragraph, why did X do Y?  The author’s description of X mentions which of the following? //jenglai.03.24.2009
  • 4. 2. Negative Factual Information Questions  Asks you to verify what information is true and what information is NOT true or not included in the passage based on the information stated  To answer: 1. Locate the relevant information in the passage 2. Verify three or four TRUE answers  Examples:  According to the passage, which of the following is NOT true of X?  The author’s description of X mentions all of the following EXCEPT… //jenglai.03.24.2009
  • 5. 3. Inference Questions  Measures the ability to comprehend an argument or an idea that is strongly implied but explicitly stated in the text  If an effect is cited, the cause might be asked  If comparison is made, comparison may be inquired  Important – explicit meaning of the author’s words, but the logical implication of such words //jenglai.03.24.2009
  • 6. 3. Inference Questions  Examples:  Which of the following can be inferred about X?  The author of the passage implies that X…  Which of the following can be inferred from paragraph 1 about X?  To answer – Choose an answer that is important or true and that is inferable from the passage //jenglai.03.24.2009
  • 7. 4. Rhetorical Purpose Question  You are asked WHAT and information an author presented  You are asked WHY the author has presented a particular information in a place or manner  Examples:  The author discusses X in paragraph 2 in order to…  Why does the author mention X?  The author uses X as an example of…  To answer – focus on logical links between sentences and paragraphs //jenglai.03.24.2009
  • 8. 5. Vocabulary Question  Asks you to identify the meanings of individual WORDS or PHRASES as they are used in the passage  Remember – a word might have more than one meaning but only one meaning would be relevant in the passage  In TOEFL IBT, words are unusual, technical or have special meanings in the context //jenglai.03.24.2009
  • 9. 5. Vocabulary Question  Examples:  The word X in the passage is closest in meaning to…  In stating X, the author means that…  To answer – identify the expression(s) as it is used in the passage //jenglai.03.24.2009
  • 10. 6. Reference Questions  Asks you to identify referential relationships between the words in the passage  Often, relationship is between a pronoun and its antecedent  Sometimes, other kinds of grammatical reference are tested  Example:  The word X in the passage refers to  To answer – the word or expressions chosen could perfectly be substituted to the choice //jenglai.03.24.2009
  • 11. 7. Sentence Simplification  Asks to choose a sentence that has the same essential meaning as a sentence that occurs in the passage  Examples:  Which of the following best expresses the essential information in the highlighted sentence?  To answer – should not contradict the main argument of the paragraph in which the sentence occurs, or the passage as a whole //jenglai.03.24.2009
  • 12. 8. Insert Text Questions  Given a new sentence & asked where in the passage it would best fit  Examples:  Look at the four squares () that indicate where the following sentence could be added to the passage:  To answer:  Structure should be fit  Logical connection should be ensured //jenglai.03.24.2009
  • 13. 8. Insert Text Questions  To answer:  Structure should be fit  Logical connection should be ensured  Frequently used connecting words:  On the other hand  For example  On the contrary  Similarly  In contrast  Furthermore, or Further  Therefore  In other words  As a result  Finally //jenglai.03.24.2009
  • 14. 9. Prose Summary Questions  Will be asked to pick the choices that best express the most important ideas in a passage  Will be asked to recognize the major ideas by distinguishing them from minor ideas  Will be asked to understand the relative importance of information in a passage (very critical to this activity) //jenglai.03.24.2009
  • 15. 9. Prose Summary Questions  Examples:  An introductory sentence for a brief summary of the passage is provided below. Complete the summary by selecting the THREE answer choices that express the most important ideas in the passage. Some sentences do not belong in the summary because they express ideas that are not presented in the passage or are minor ideas in the passage. This passage discusses fundamental differences between applied-art objects and fine-art objects.  ________________________________  ________________________________  ________________________________ //jenglai.03.24.2009
  • 16. 10. Fill-in Table Questions  Measures the ability to conceptualize and organize major ideas and other important information across the passage and place them in appropriate categories  Requires the ability to understand rhetorical functions such as cause-effect relationships, compare-contrast relationships, arguments and the like  Questions are more likely to be abstract concepts based on the passage phrases or information //jenglai.03.24.2009
  • 17. 10. Fill-in Table Questions  To answer – Pick the choices that are slightly more detailed outline; Correct answers represent major ideas and important supporting information in the passage  Examples:  Complete the table below to summarize information about the two types of art discussed in the passage. Match the appropriate statements to the types of art with which they are associated. Type Statements Major Topic Statement 1 Statement 1 Statement 1 //jenglai.03.24.2009