The Multiple choice, Single Answer question type in the reading section of PTE is the simpler of the two multiple choice question types in this section.
You will see a text on screen and answer a question based on that text. You will be given some options out of which only one is the correct option. How well you in this question type is directly dependent on your ability to comprehend written English text, understand the meaning, the theme and the main ideas in it. If you are also able to read long texts and find specific information in it, you will do well in this question type.
Let’s first look at the basics:
|Number of questions||2~3|
|Scoring||Contributes to Reading score.|
|Time to answer||No time limit on per question basis. Be aware of the time limit for the overall Reading section.|
This multiple-choice question type tests your reading comprehension. In other words, it tests how well can you understand the ideas presented in a medium to long text. The questions you face may require you to dig out a specific detail from the passage or they may require you to understand and answer based on the overall theme of the passage.
It is therefore important that you know what exactly to look for in the passage. When you read the text, you should be clear about what kind of information are you looking for. Is it a specific detail or is it an understanding of the opinion expressed in the text?
Building reading skills can take some time. Therefore, make it habit of reading some general text every day. Any major newspaper such as The Australian is a good option.
The first thing you should do is read the question prompt. Next read the options. Together this will give you sufficient information to go ahead and start reading the passage. As we discussed earlier, do not read the passage without any context. You must always read it with the specific goal in mind. What exactly is the information you need?
You can first skim through the passage to get an overall idea of the theme and the organization of information in the text i.e. which paragraph or part of the text talks about what. After that you can scan through the passage to either look for a specific detail or validate the given options.
Once you find a reference to the options in the passage, you should read that part of the text again. Also read the sentences before and after to make sure you understand the whole context. Sometimes, the meaning changes after a couple of sentences!
Before you submit your answer make sure to look at all the options. Eliminate the wrong options, don’t be a hurry to select the first option that looks right to you.
If you can read an English text in a reasonable time and follow simple steps discussed in the previous section, you can do very well in this question type. Follow these tips and tricks to maximize your score:
Never read the text in the beginning
You must always first read the question prompt and the options. Once you do that, you have some guiding points which can guide your reading. You will know exactly what to look for in the text. If you immediately start reading the text, you will just end up wasting precious time.
Find and validate
Once you find a reference to an option in the text, don’t immediately decide whether its correct or not. You must stop and validate it in the context of other sentences around it. Read the sentences before and after. That will give you more context.
Don’t confuse almost with the whole
Some options look similar but are not! For example – an option that says 90% of people like coffee and an option that says all people like coffee. Someone who doesn’t pay attention can often confuse 90% with most or all. That is why you should always read all the options and look for the very specific information.
Don’t base a decision on your personal judgement
All questions require you to answer based on the text. Even if the topic is something you are very familiar with, you should still not use your own judgement. The text might be focused on a limited time frame, or past or future or just a different set of conditions than you are aware of. So, even if it is something whose answer you know from your general knowledge, you should still read through the options and validate them against what is in the text.
Keep an eye on the timer
Don’t get lost in any one question that you forget others. Keep an eye on the overall timer for the Reading section. You must decide before the exam, how much time you are going to spend on each question type.
Don’t just match words
Don’t depend simply on finding matches between words in the options and in the text. You should read and try to understand the whole sentences to make a proper decision. Quite often, you will not find a match between the exact words but can find one with a synonym. So look out for synonyms and other words which might mean the same in that context.
Find out how prepared you are for these multiple choice questions! Take this FREE Practice Test now!