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How to handle RC 'Tone' Questions?

Learn the Tact to Answer Tone based RC Questions

Reading Comprehension Question Types


Reading Comprehension is one topic that throws up a number of different question types. These question types vary in their nature and require you to keep some small things in mind before answering them. Broadly, we can classify the different question types into two categories: broad picture questions (based on the whole passage) and specific purpose questions (based on some specific element of the passage). Let us evaluate these two broad categories and take out some results for our convenience.

Big Picture Questions:
1. Main Idea Question:

This question type can be asked in the following way:

  • Which of the following most accurately states the main idea of the passage?
  • Which of the following best states the central idea of the passage?
  • The gist of the passage is:
  • Which of the following is the principal topic of the passage?
  • Summarize the passage in one line.
2. Primary Purpose Question:

This question type can be asked in the following way:

  • The primary purpose of this passage is to:
  • The primary focus of this passage is on which of the following?
  • The main concern of the passage is to:
  • In the passage, the author is primarily interested in:
  • The passage is chiefly concerned with:

This question type can also be asked for a specific paragraph (The primary purpose of paragraph 3 is to...) instead of the whole passage.

3. Title Question:

This question type can be asked in the following way:

  • The most apt title for the passage is:
  • Select the most suitable title for the passage from the following:
4. Structure & Organization

This question type can be asked in the following way:

  • Which of the following best describes the organization of the passage?
  • The structure of the passage can be outlined as:
    Again, this question type can also refer to a particular paragraph of the passage instead of the whole passage:
  • Which of the following best describes the organization of the first paragraph of the passage?
  • One function of the third paragraph is to:
Specific Questions:
5. Fact-based or Specific Detail or Target Question:

This question type can be asked in the following way:

  • According to the passage,....
  • The passage states that:
  • Which, out of the following, is true/false?
  • Which _____ has not been cited as ______?
  • According to the author, what is ______?
  • By a ______, the author means.......
  • "According to the passage, _______?
  • Which factor has not been cited _______?
6. Inference Question:

This question type can be asked in the following way:

  • It can be inferred from the passage:
  • It cannot be inferred from the passage:
  • The passage uses ______ to imply that ______"
  • What can be inferred when the author states_____?"
  • The sentence, '_____', implies that

This question type can be constructed from a specific portion of the passage or from the whole passage

7. Must be true Question:

This question type can be asked in the following way:

  • According to the passage, which one of the must be true?
  • According to the passage, which one of the must be false?
  • According to the passage, which one of the following would the author agree with?
  • According to the passage, which one of the following would the author disagree with?

This question type can be constructed from a specific portion of the passage or from the whole passage.

8. Paraphrase Question:

This question type can be asked in the following way:

  • The following extract , ".........." , can be paraphrased as:
  • "........." can be rewritten as:

Paraphrase means 'Express the same message in different words/ Rewording for the purpose of clarification'.

9. Vocabulary Question:

This question type can be asked in the following way:

  • Identify the meaning of the word, "............" , in the given context.
  • In the passage, the phrase ______ refers to
  • In the sentence, _________, what is the meaning of '______'?

The above forms a comprehensive list of question types that generally accompany reading comprehensions. Any new question will essentially be a derivative of these only.



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