PTE Reading Strategies: Multiple-choice, choose single answer

This is a multiple-choice item type that assesses reading skills. It requires you to read, analyze, understand and assess a short text on an academic subject and choose a single correct response.

In many ways Britten’s most ambitious effort is the War Requiem of 1961, a flawed but still impressive work for chorus, soloists, and orchestra. It weaves together the traditional Latin Mass for the Dead with antiwar poems by Wilfrid Owen, a young officer killed in World War I. The point of War Requiem is how the words of the liturgical text are reinterpreted and often rendered hollow by the realities of death in war. In this work we see Britten’s prodigal inconsistencies on display. For all its problems, the War Requiem will probably survive as one of our time’s most impassioned indictments of war and its heroic myth. Read the text and answer the multiple-choice question by selecting the correct response. Only one response is correct.

Which of the following most accurately summarizes the opinion of the author in the text?

A. He finds the weaving together of the Latin Mass and antiwar poems to be quite effective.

B. He is critical of Britten’s inconsistencies as observed in the War Requiem.

C. He admires the War Requiem of Britten but finds it far from perfect.

D. He questions whether Britten’s work will endure.

Item Type Strategies

Strategy 1      Approach each reading item in a different way. Adapt your reading strategy according to the direction of the question and the purpose of your reading.

Strategy 2      If the topic of the reading passage is unfamiliar to you, concentrate on what you understand rather than worrying about words that are new to you. Focus on finding the general meaning of what is in the text rather than the meaning of individual words and phrases.

Strategy 3      After you have chosen your response, quickly check the remaining response options against the passage one-by-one, to make sure they can be rejected.

Explanation and Practice of Each Strategy

Strategy 1

There is no one way of approaching multiple-choice reading items, and each item should be approached in a way that matches the purpose of the reading. To do this, you need to first identify the direction of the question and the type of information that needs to be found. Once you have done this, you should decide on your reading strategy and then read the passage using it.

To practice this strategy, do the following activities:

Note that the questions for multiple-choice items can require you to find different types of information.That is why you need to decide on the best reading strategy for each of the following different types of questions, e.g.:

What is the main idea/main aim/point … ? (main idea or gist; useful reading strategy: look for topic sentence(s))

According to the text, which of the following …? (supporting information; useful reading strategy: read for specific details, look for key words in the options and find similar words in the text)

Why does the writer …? (writer’s purpose; useful reading strategy: look for reasons or words indicating reasons)

What is the writer’s point of view/opinion on … ? (writer’s opinion; useful reading strategy: look at the conclusion or concluding sentence)

Look at Item1. Read the question and the options, and try to identify an appropriate strategy (e.g.,look at the concluding sentence) and decide on the correct response option.

Note that the correct response will be confirmed later.

Strategy 2

If the topic of the reading passage is unfamiliar to you, concentrate on the information you understand rather than worrying about words and phrases that are new to you. Focus on finding the general gist of what is in the text rather than the meaning of individual words and phrases.

To practice this strategy, do the following activities:

Look at of Item1. Do not read the text fully but just quickly scan the question, the response option sand the reading passage for unfamiliar or confusing words. Then underline any words or phrases where the meaning is not fully clear to you.

Now reflect on the activity for Strategy 1 and confirm the correct response to Item 1. Think about whether your understanding of these unfamilar words stopped you from being able to decide on an appropriate response option.

Strategy 3

After you have chosen your response, quickly check the remaining options against the passage one-by-one, to make sure you have made the right choice.

To practice this strategy, do the following activities:

• Read through each incorrect response option one-by-one and check the text carefully to find a reason why each one is not correct.
• Now go through the answers and explanations for Item1.

Respond to a (Reading) Multiple-Choice, Choose Single Answer Item

You will now respond to a test item simulating the test conditions. Remind yourself of the three strategies for this item type and apply them.

Now look at Item 2 and provide your response.

Assess your Response

Were you able to use the strategies? Which one was the most difficult to apply? Which one was the most useful?

Read the answers and explanations for Item 2.

Item 1

Read the text and answer the multiple-choice question by selecting the correct response. Only one response is correct.

In many ways Britten’s most ambitious effort is the War Requiem of 1961, a flawed but still impressive work for chorus, soloists, and orchestra. It weaves together the traditional Latin Mass for the Dead with antiwar poems by Wilfrid Owen, a young officer killed in World War I. The point of War Requiem is how the words of the liturgical text are reinterpreted and often rendered hollow by the realities of death in war. In this work we see Britten’s prodigal inconsistencies on display. For all its problems, the War Requiem will probably survive as one of our time’s most impassioned indictments of war and its heroic myth.
Which of the following most accurately summarizes the opinion of the author in the text?

A. He finds the weaving together of the Latin Mass and antiwar poems to be quite effective.

B. He is critical of Britten’s inconsistencies as observed in the War Requiem.

C. He admires the War Requiem of Britten but finds it far from perfect.

D. He questions whether Britten’s work will endure.

Item 1: Answer Key and Explanations

Which of the following most accurately summarizes the opinion of the author in the text?

Incorrect: He finds the weaving together of the Latin Mass and antiwar poems to be quite effective.
Explanation: This response is incorrect. Although the passage mentions that Britten’s work weaves together theLatin Mass for the Dead and antiwar poems, it does not comment on the effectiveness of this combination.

Incorrect: He is critical of Britten’s inconsistencies as observed in the War Requiem.
Explanation: This response is incorrect. The author recognizes inconsistencies and weaknesses in the work, yet still praises the War Requiem as “one of our time’s most impassioned indictments of war.”

Correct Answer: He admires the War Requiem of Britten but finds it far from perfect.
Explanation: This response is correct. The writer describes Britten’s War Requiem as “impressive” and gives details of what the work accomplishes. However, the writer also describes the work as “flawed” and refers to the work’s “prodigal inconsistencies” and “all its problems.”

Incorrect: He questions whether Britten’s work will endure.
Explanation: This response is incorrect. The writer hypothesizes that the work will last by stating, “the War Requiem will probably survive.”

Item 2

Read the text and answer the multiple-choice question by selecting the correct response. Only one response is correct.

The approach to the methodology of learning and teaching has to be comprehensive, presenting all options in an explicit and transparent way, and avoiding advocacy or dogmatism. It has been our fundamental methodological principle that the methods to be employed in language learning, teaching and research are those considered to be most effective in reaching the objectives agreed in the light of the needs of the individual learners in their social context. Effectiveness is contingent on the motivations and characteristics of the learners as well as the nature of the human and material resources which can be brought into play.

What point is the writer making in this paragraph?

A. Motivation is worth more than intelligence in learning.

B. Language can be effectively learnt through play.

C. There is no single best method for learning.

D. Teachers should regularly change their methods.

Item 2: Answer Key and Explanations

What point is the writer making in this paragraph?

Incorrect: Motivation is worth more than intelligence in learning.
Explanation: This response is incorrect because the passage does compare the impact of motivation and intelligence on learning.

Incorrect: Language can be effectively learnt through play.
Explanation: This response in incorrect. The writer uses the phrase “brought into play” figuratively to refer to the “material resources” which can be used. The text does not suggest a method of language teaching.

Correct Answer: There is no single best method for learning.
Explanation: This response is correct because the writer consistently uses plurals when discussing methodology as in “presenting all options” and “the methods to be employed…are those considered to be most effective.” This indicates that there is more than one method.

Incorrect: Teachers should regularly change their methods.
Explanation: This response is incorrect. The passage discusses areas to consider in the selection of teaching methods but does not address how frequently to change these methods.

PTE Reading Strategies: Multiple-choice, choose single answer
5 (100%) 6 votes

Leave a Reply