Hints for Success on the Reading Test
  • Make sure you understand the directions!
  • Read to answer the questions - not to learn the material.
  • Expect to refer back to the passage as you answer the question(s).
  • When answering factual questions, skim or scan the passage looking for a
    significant term from the question; this may be a person's name, at date or a
    certain word (or synonym for that word).
  • For most questions, choose an answer that contains only material directly stated in
    the passage.
  • Do not rely on your knowledge or understanding of a subject. All of the
    information you need to answer the questions is in the passage or the answer
    choices.
  • A few questions - assumption, inference, and conclusion questions - will ask
    you to go inside the author's or the reader's mind to find the answer. Even in
    these question types, you are not expected to have any background
    knowledge of the subject in the passage.
  • The main idea, main point, author's purpose for writing and other important
    statements are frequently found in the first or last sentence of a paragraph.
  • Details are often found in the inner sentences.
  • Pay careful attention to conjunctions and adverbs in the passage; they are often clues
    to the writer's argument.
  • Conjunctions:
  • Words like but, however, although, nevertheless and yet often indicate
    that two sides of an issue are being discussed and that the author
    disagrees with the first point.
  • Words like in addition, similarly, furthermore, and and often indicate
    that an argument is being constructed to prove the initial point.
  • Therefore, hence, and similar words often indicate the writer's final
    conclusion and are helpful when asked to identify an appropriate
    summary for a passage.
  • Adverbs:
  • Words like  since and because (of) often indicate the author's purpose
    or argument.
  • Pay attention to words like always and never within the passage; they
    usually indicate a fact, or what was accepted as fact.
  • within an answer choice, words like always and never limit possibilities
    for error, mutation and chance; answers with the words always and
    never are frequently an incorrect choice.
  • Be aware of the difference between what is stated in a passage and what is implied,
    suggested, or can be inferred.
  • material that is stated can be found in the passage
  • material that is implied, suggested, or can be inferred is not directly declared in
    the passage.
  • If two answer choices are nearly identical, one of those choices is often the correct
    one.
  • Pay attention to descriptive words like misleading, absurd, inspirational, and
    remarkable. These are often clues to the writer's purpose and tone.
  • Vocabulary questions can be tricky because so many English words have more than
    one meaning.
  • If in doubt, try replacing the word in question with each answer choice - check
    to see that the sentence still makes sense.
  • Don't forget to guess!
  • Use the process of elimination to narrow down your answer choices.
  • There is no penalty for a wrong answer in the PRAXIS examinations.
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