Big Idea Vocabulary in Virginia SOL Questions

Many Reading SOL questions ask about a reading passage's main idea.  Normally, the very first sentence of the passage will state the main idea.  These highlighted words are frequently found in SOL reading questions.  Thoroughly understanding these words and how they signal that the reader ought to look for the key points or main idea, wil help the student understand the question and what he or she needs to find:

Significant-important, often main idea or theme

Best-clearest most accurate answer or example, there may be two answers that are good, but one is better or best

Main idea-the most important thing, general theme, usually said in first sentence

Theme- main or general idea/focus

Best Heading-clearest, most important information, best title, best headline

Most clearly-best answer, best evidence, clearest

Main Focus- focus is what the passage is talking about or looking at; focus means to see, like let me focus my eyes, what is the passage trying to reveal or help us to see or focus on?
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