Readingbetween the lines
AS has been mentioned in the previous issue, the MUET Reading is an assessment of your ability to cope with different types of reading texts. This paper comprises 45 multiplechoice questions — which also carry 45 per cent of the overall marks — based on passages from texts which may be taken from newspapers, magazines and journals.
All 45 questions will be in the form of either 3-option multiple choice questions or 4-option multiple choice questions. The multiple choice questions can be divided into three categories: questions with three answer options (True, False and Not Stated), questions with three answer options (A, B and C) or four answer options (A, B, C and D).
You will be tested not only on what is actually stated in the text but also on what can be inferred from the information given in the text. The texts given in the exam will vary in type, length and level of complexity and may be sourced from journals, newspaper and magazine articles, academic texts and electronic texts.
To date, at least one of the texts includes a graphic stimuli such as a table, a chart or a graph. Do note that there are various skills assessed in the test.
You will need to score 39 out of 45 to qualify for Band 6; 33 out of 45 for Band 5; 27 out of 45 for Band 4 and 21 out of 45 for Band 3.
In the last issue we discussed and practiced on how to identify facts from opinions. In this issue, let’s discuss how to use contextual clues to get your answer.
Contextual clues are hints found within a sentence, paragraph, or passage that you as a reader can use to understand the meanings of new or unfamiliar words. You must be aware that many words have several possible meanings. You can decide upon an appropriate definition to fit the context by being sensitive to the circumstances in which a word is used. The context is the words, sentences, and ideas that come before and after a word or phrase.
Sometimes you won’t understand every word in a reading passage. Context clues are bits of information from the text that, when combined with prior knowledge, allow you to decide the meaning of unknown words in the article you are reading.
As a reader you must act similar to a detective and put together clues from sentences surrounding an unknown word in order to make an intelligent “guess” as to what the definition of a word is.
Writers and authors include words or phrases to help their readers understand the meaning of a new or difficult word.
These words or phrases are built into the sentences around the new or difficult word. When we become more aware of the words around a difficult word, we can make logical guesses about the meanings of many words.
The phrase “a large mass of ice moving slowly” tells us what a glacier is.