Ontario's Designated Provider of Distance Education

Independent Learning Centre

Language Arts, Reading

Hints for Language Arts, Reading

  • Before you read the selection, look at the purpose question, which is printed in bold, so that you will have a focus and purpose in mind as you start reading.
  • Some test-takers benefit from glancing at the test questions before starting to read the text; others prefer to read the selection first. You should try both methods to see which works best for you.
  • Read the selection before you start answering the questions. Most of the questions demand an overall understanding of the text even when a very specific question is asked.
  • If you come to a word you don't know, use the meaning of the whole sentence to guess at the meaning of the word.
  • Pay attention not only to the actual excerpts themselves, but also to any explanatory notes, which are set off in square brackets. In excerpts from plays, the stage directions are printed in italics; make sure to pay attention to these sections in addition to the dialogue because the stage directions often contain important information about the setting and characters' actions and emotions.
  • Some questions refer to line numbers in the text. When answering these questions, make sure to go back to the passage to reread those words in their correct context. Do not rely solely on your memory!
  • Make sure to select the answer that best and most completely answers the question. Do not select a choice just because it is a true statement.
  • The excerpts and questions are arranged in order from easiest to hardest.