Tips for Reading Comprehension for Standardized Testing

The reading comprehension sections of standardized testing can be intimidating. Here are a few tips to help you with them.

     First of all, read the title of the passage, and all headings and summaries. These often give you an idea of what the passage covers.
     Then, if your test allows, read the comprehension questions before you read the passage. When you read the questions first, your brain may notice the answers automatically as you read the passage. If you see the answer to a question while you're reading, underline the answer, and then keep reading. Do not stop reading to answer the questions until you reach the end of the passage. If you stop, you may lose the flow of the passage as a whole. Remember, you can always read it again once you understand the context.
     If you cannot read the questions before you begin, then underline any important information and main ideas as you read. It may also be helpful to write the main ideas of each paragraph next to the paragraph. Remember, the first and last sentences of each paragraph sometimes tell you what the paragraph is about, so pay attention to these sentences. Also, it is okay to look back in the passage for the answers to the questionsafter you finish reading.
     Most importantly, keep calm, and take your time. If a thirty-second break helps you focus and work more efficiently, then it’s worth it. I hope your test goes well!


Bethany G.

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