Question type: multiple choice: testing understanding of the writer’s viewpoint
These questions test your ability to recognise specific points in a passage or to distinguish between what the passage says and what it does not say. In other words, you demonstrate your reading comprehension by indicating what, according to the passage, is correct.
These questions might also test your ability to identify the main idea of a section of a passage or an overall understanding of the entire reading passage.
One type of question that is used to test your understanding of the writer’s viewpoint is multiple choice. This question type can also be used to test other skills. It is important to understand how to answer questions of this type. Note that these questions usually follow the order of the text. This saves you time searching all over the text.
Multiple-choice questions offer a choice of answers. Often they are similar, but only one will be correct beyond a doubt. Some options are there to distract.
What do you need to do?
Step 1 Quickly survey the text – look at the title, and any other clues, read the first and last paragraph, look at the overall organisation of the text, read the first line of every paragraph.
Step 2 Identify key words in the question. Take special note of qualifying words such as definitely or always.
Step 3 Locate the part of the text the question refers to by scanning the appropriate part.
Step 4 Identify a similarly expressed idea in the text that exactly matches one of the options given.
Step 5 Check the other options in order to be completely sure that they do not also express the idea.
Optional: transfer your answers now to the answer sheet. Check spelling and grammatical accuracy as you go.
GUIDED PRACTICE ACTIVITY
Read the passage and answer the multiple-choice question.
After years of focusing on the bad-and there are still legitimate concerns, for instance, about the psychological effects of certain violent games-scientists are increasingly examining the potential benefits of video games. Their studies are revealing that a wide variety of games can boost mental function, improving everything from vision to memory. Still unclear is whether these gains are long-lasting and can be applied to non-game tasks. But video games, it seems, might actually be good for the brain.
1 What, according to the writer, are scientists not sure about in relation to video games?
A If games can improve mental abilities. Does the text say they can?
B If violent games have negative effects on the brain. Does the text say they can?
C If there will still be benefits when you are doing other activities. Are there benefits?
D If memory and vision are improved. Are they?
2 Now reread the question. Which of these are scientists not sure about?
Read the passage below and answer the multiple-choice questions
Ifs payday or, more accurately, pocket money day, and Julia Spargo-Ryan, 15, is cashed up. Like clockwork, $50 is transferred every Wednesday from her parents account to hers. The Wesley College student also earns around $150 per week from a part-time job. Her parents pay for her mobile phone and occasionally give her extra money. Julia spends her money on clothes, movie tickets and snacks. She has to help out around the house, but does no specific tasks.
3 What is the best way to describe how Julia gets her money?
Now read the passages below and answer the True/False/Not Given questions.
Han-Seok Seo, study leader of the Seoul National University in South Korea, and his colleagues conducted their tests on four groups of adult male Wistar rats stressed from sleep deprivation. The aim of the study was to demonstrate influences of roasted coffee aroma on rat brain functions and evaluate the impact. After testing, the impact was conclusive; roasted coffee bean aroma changes the mRNA and protein levels of the rat brain. This showed for the first time that valuable proteins with healthy antioxidant properties, which are important in protecting cells from stress, were found in the brains of the coffee-sniffing rats.
1 The laboratory rats drank coffee. What was given to the rats? Does the passage say whether they drank coffee or not?
2 The rats were stressed from being tested. Why were the rats stressed?
3 The smell of coffee improved healthy proteins in the laboratory rats’ brains. What improved in the rats· brains? What caused the improvement?
Driven to distraction
Distracted driving may not get the publicity given to alcohol, drugs and speed, but it is thought to play a role in one third of fatal and serious injury crashes on roads. And while there is strong community opposition to drink drivers or people who speed, our attitude towards making phone calls or reading text messages is much more relaxed. Surveys for the Office of Road Safety have found that while 96 per cent of people believe reading and sending text messages is distracting, 54 per cent admit reading texts and 35 per cent have sent them while driving. About 85 per cent of people think mobile phone use is distracting but 46 per cent said they take calls on the road and 36 per cent concede making them.
1 Alcohol, drugs and speed cause more crashes on the road than distracted driving. How many crashes are caused by these factors? Is it more or less than distracted driving?
2 People are more tolerant of drivers who speed. What does ‘tolerant’ mean, and how is this expressed in the passage? How do we feel about people who speed? Which drivers are we more tolerant of?
3 People like to use their mobile while driving because it is relaxing. Does the passage mention relaxing? Does the passage say that using a mobile phone is relaxing or not?
Refer back to the full text ‘How Video Games are Good for the Brain’ from practice activity 4.4 on pp. 59-61.
Choose the correct letter: A, B, C or D. Write your answers in boxes 35-40 on your answer sheet.
35 What are scientists not sure about in relation to video games?
A If games can improve mental abilities.
B If violent games have negative effects on the brain.
C If there will still be benefits when you are doing other activities.
D If memory and vision are improved.
36 How do video games encourage players to keep on playing?
A A player is rewarded with extra points.
B The challenges get progressively harder.
C The games become more powerful.
D The games encourage competition.
37 After three months of playing Tetris, teenage girls
A found the challenges easier
B were quicker at completing the tasks
C developed better vision
D got higher scores.
38 What social benefits can result from playing video games?
A increased honesty
B increased confidence
C increased caring
D increased interaction.
39 Video games
A punish bad behaviour
B reward good behaviour
C might not always reward good behaviour
D do not consider moral outcomes.
40 An important goal for future game-makers is
A making interesting characters who do the right thing
B making games as interesting as possible
C making all games teach moral values
D making all games Like The Sims.
Reading skills 8: Understanding argument
What do we mean by understanding arguments?
Writers will use various methods to persuade readers that their point of view is valid. One of the main ways they do so is by showing results of research that support the main argument. Sometimes, different viewpoints or arguments on a topic are discussed together.You may be asked to identify and understand the different arguments being presented.
Your ability to understand different arguments can be tested through a matching exercise in which a number of different arguments from different sources is presented and you are asked to identify which writer made the claim.