If you have taken any English proficiency exam before, you will be familiar with the famous multiple choice question type. This is the same!
You will see a text on the screen and have to answer a question based on the text. You will find a number of options and you have to select all the correct options. In this question type, more than option is correct.
There is negative marking! You will lose marks if you pick a wrong option. So, be careful and don’t make random guesses.
How well you score in this question type depends upon your ability to read and understand a passage in English. If you are able to understand the theme of the text, the implicit and explicit meaning in it, find out specific details from the given text, you will be able to score well.
Let’s look at the basics to begin with:
|Number of questions||2~3|
|Scoring||Contributes to Reading score.|
|Time to answer||No time limit for an individual question. Be mindful of the overall Reading section time limit.|
The questions in the reading multiple choice sections can be of few types.
They can ask you to pick out the right or wrong sentences. What does that mean? That you have validate each and every sentence against the information in the passage.
The other type might ask you to identify the passage’s theme or the writer’s opinion. This can be stated in a different form, such as which of the following statements will the author most likely agree with. This tells you that you should be able to understand what the overall idea expressed in the passage is.
Another type of question is the one in which you will have to find out specific information from the passage. For example – Which of the following events happened before 1970? Which of the following forms of government are least popular in the world? In these questions you will have to look into the passage for specific information on each of the given options.
Two skills which are vital in reading passage questions are – skimming and scanning. Skimming is when you quickly go through a passage to get an overall of the passage or of the organization of information in it. Scanning is when you go through the passage to look for some specific information. Check out this Wikipedia article to learn more about Speed Reading.
Please note, this question type has negative marking. If you select a wrong option, you will receive a negative mark, for a minimum total of zero i.e. your score in any one question of this type cannot go below zero despite the negative marking.
The first thing to do in these questions is to read the question prompt and the options. This will help you understand what is expected of you. If you understand that, you will know how to read the passage – whether you should look for specific information or try to understand the overall theme of the passage.
Next, you should go through the passage, with the options in mind. When you come across any information related to an option, stop there and validate the option against the information in mind. Don’t just match words! You need to properly understand the sentence and what it means in the context of the passage. At this stage, you are just shortlisting the options. They are not final yet.
Once you have gone through the passage, again read the question prompt and the options. It is possible that by the time you read the end of the passage, your understanding of a particular option might have changed. That is why never make a final decision before reading the whole option.
Go through each option and decide whether it is right or wrong in the context of the question. Only then submit your answer.
Please remember, there is negative marking, so it is better to select just one option that you are confident of, than select the ones you are not sure of and risk losing marks.
Following the steps we just discussed, will make it easy for you to attempt questions of this type. Here are some more tips and tricks to help you maximize your score in Multiple choice, Multiple Answers.
Understand correctly what is asked of you
You must understand the question prompt correctly. Sometimes you are asked – which of the following statements are correct and other times – which of the following statements are false. Even slight confusion can change the result! So, first and foremost understand what the question requires you to do and then start finding the answer.
Read the options before reading the passage
If you just start reading the passage straightaway you will end up wasting a lot of time. It is like finding your way in dark. On the other hand, if you first read the question prompt and then read the options, you will have a better understanding of what to read for in the passage. This will make your reading more focused.
Practice skimming and scanning
Do some daily practice. Give yourself couple of minutes to skim through a passage and ask yourself the overall theme of the passage. This will teach you how to skim. For scanning, go through the passages to look for a specific piece of information. Again, do this in timed circumstances for optimal practice.
Be careful of negative marking
If you are sure of only one option, then just select that one option. If you are sure of multiple options, select those options. If you are sure of one option, but have doubts about the other option, then only select the option you are sure of. If you are not sure of any option, make your best guess and select one option.
Don’t waste too much time
Always be mindful of the overall section timer. Before going into the exam, you should know how much time you need to spend on this question type. Don’t spend too much more time than that.
In this FREE Practice Test you can test your current preparation level in a real PTE exam like software!