Reading Comprehension Strategies

In this part, you will be asked Questions about Texts, such as emails, memos, letters or advertisements. Texts can be long or short.  For each Text, you will be asked 2 to 5 Questions.  Each Question has four possible Answer Choices.

Reading Comprehension STRATEGY#1
Extreme Inferences

Some wrong Answer Choices will use Extreme Adverbs (“never”, “always”, “too”) or Extreme Helping Verbs (“must”, “cannot”, “need to”) to make the Answer Choice wrong.  Every other word in the Answer Choice could be correct, and the Answer Choice would be correct if the Extreme Word was removed.

Other Extreme Inferences can be about Emotions.

Example:

Sample Text: “…Because last month’s sales meeting ran over its scheduled time by over an hour, we will be instituting new procedures regarding meeting length…These changes will hopefully help us keep our meetings to their normal 2 hours…”

Question: Why are the meeting changes taking place?

A) Mr. Smith was angry at the length of the last meeting.
WRONG: No information is given about Mr. Smith’s emotions

B) Mr. Smith thinks staff people talk too much at meetings.
WRONG: No information is given about how much staff people talk at the meeting

C) Mr. Smith thinks last months’ meeting was too long.  CORRECT

D) Mr. Smith thinks sales must increase next month.
WRONG: Maybe this is true, but the Text doesn’t tell us anything about this

When you see any Emotion or Extreme Word in an Answer Choice, look carefully for it (or its synonym) in the Text.

Reading Comprehension STRATEGY #2
Topic-Related Wrong Answer Choices

Many wrong Answer Choices use words related to the topic of the Text, but give information that the Text does not provide.  Students are often tricked by these kinds of Answer Choices because they try to use their personal knowledge, not information from the Text.

“NOT” Questions will usually use this Trick for the correct answer!

Example:

Sample Text:

To:       All sales staff

From:   Randal Smith, Head of Sales & Marketing

Re:       Future sales meeting

Date:   June 2nd

Because last month’s sales meeting ran over its scheduled time by over an hour, we will be instituting new procedures regarding meeting agendas.  These changes will hopefully help us keep our meetings to their normal 2 hours.  Please read the new procedures below.

1.   Sales staff must write any topics they wish to discuss at the sales meeting on the agenda sheet posted in the main office before the day of the meeting.  Only 3 topics can be added to the agenda sheet by any sales staff person.  Two additional topic slots will be reserved for myself.

2.   Only topics already on the agenda can be discussed at monthly sales meetings.

These changes will take effect for our June meeting.  If you have any questions regarding these changes, don’t hesitate to contact me, but know that these changes will occur.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Question: What is a new procedure for sales meetings?”

A) Ask Mr. Smith to add agenda topics WRONG
B) Email Mr. Smith new agenda topics WRONG
C) Vote to add topics to the agenda WRONG
D) Write new agenda item on a sheet CORRECT

Note that all the wrong answer choices are reasonable and logical procedures for sales meetings, but the Text does not give these as new procedures.

More Free TOEIC Reading Strategies!

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