A Guide to PTE Reading Test: Multiple Choice – Single Answer

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How do you feel about reading academic texts in English? Are you skimming and scanning skills up to scratch? Moreover, are you able to utilize your time management skills to read a chunk of text and pick your answer accurately within two minutes? The PTE Reading Test – Multiple Answer – Single Answer may evoke stress and panic but there are proven methods to this task that will make it seem less intimidating. This guide to PTE Reading will describe exactly what the task is, outline strategies for you to tackle it, give you some general and specific-to-the-task reading tips and let you take attempt some practice prompts with the information and knowledge you have acquired.

What is Multiple Choice – Single Answer?

What is the task? (Multiple Choice – Single Answer/Multiple Answer)
  •  This is a multiple-choice item type that evaluates reading abilities. It requires examination candidates to read, analyze, appreciate and assess a short text on an academic subject and choose a one correct answer. 
How long do you have to speak to complete this task?
  • Approximately 2 minutes per task.
How many of these prompts will I have to complete?
  • 3-4.
Can I choose more than one answer?
  • Not for single choice, however multiple answer requires more than one choice. Ensure you pay attention to the task format.

This article’s main task prompt: 

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

Everyday millions of lights and computers remains switched on in uninhabited offices, apartments and houses. Environmental campaigners say that simply and easily turning them off could reduce Sydney’s greenhouse gas emanations by five percent within the following year.

Per capita, Australia is one of the world’s major creators of carbon dioxide and other gases that numerous scientists believe are contributing in heating the Earth’s atmosphere, instigating climate imbalance.

Historic drought and severe water shortages in Australia have concentrated much attention on climate change. Some specialists note that higher temperatures could result in this nation of 20 million people exposed to severe droughts and overwhelming tropical cyclones.

Strategical process for this PTE reading test task:

Strategy 1

  • Approach each reading item differently and according to the prompt and what the question suggests. Adjust your reading strategy depending on the direction of the question and to the extent of your own reading capacity.
  • It is important to be aware that there is no single, one-size-fits-all approach to completing multiple choice questions like this. It is therefore important that each piece should be tackled in relation to the meaning and context of the question and text.
  • To do this accurately and efficiently, you should initially recognize what the question requires and then think about how to attain that information to support your answer. Once you have done this, you should then be able to follow through with your reading strategy.
  • As the questions for multiple-choice items will require you to interpret, analyze and extract different kinds of information, you are now going to and decide on the best reading strategy for each of the following different types of questions:
  • What is the main idea of the text? :

Gist/Overall meaning

  • Analyzing and comprehending topic sentences
  • According to the text, which of the following…?
  • Supporting information
  • Locating key information and other similar words to support.
  • Why does the writer…?
  • Writer’s resolve
  • Cause/effect relations, reasons for.
  • What is the writer’s point of view/opinion on…?
  • Writer’s opinion
  • Look at conclusion or concluding sentence

Let’s have a look at the prompt and the corresponding question again:

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

Everyday millions of lights and computers remains switched on in uninhabited offices, apartments and houses. Environmental campaigners say that simply and easily turning them off could reduce Sydney’s greenhouse gas emanations by five percent within the following year.

Per capita, Australia is one of the world’s major creators of carbon dioxide and other gases that numerous scientists believe are contributing in heating the Earth’s atmosphere, instigating climate imbalance.

Historic drought and severe water shortages in Australia have concentrated much attention on climate change. Some specialists notify higher temperatures could result in this nation of 20 million people exposed to and suffer from more severe droughts and overwhelming tropical cyclones.

One present indicator of climate change in Australia is…
  • Greenhouse gases
  • Cyclones
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Lights and computers

Which reading strategy do you think is most important?

You need to extract key words and information for this question so According to the text, which of the following… is key.

Strategy 2

  • Remember, if the topic of the reading article is unaccustomed to you, it is recommended to focus on the information that you apprehend rather than fretting about unfamiliar vocabulary and lexis. Try to focus on figuring out the general gist of what is in the text rather than the connotation of individual words and phrases. 
  • Scan the text or new or unfamiliar words. Take a note of these words and do some research in your own time to expand upon your vocabulary.
  • Now, try and pick an answer using the two previous strategies.

Strategy 3

  • After you have chosen their response, you should quickly assess the remaining options against the passage one-by-one, to ensure that the correct answer has been chosen.
  • Look through the remaining answers one by one and find a reason why they are incorrect.

Answer = greenhouse gases.

Tips for the Task

  • Remember, the question could relate to the main idea or detail, implication, resolve and even the organisation.
  • Skim read to get an idea of the main point or gist, as knowing this will help to answer most questions.
  • Remember to scan the question and all four options in the text.
  • Once you have done this, read through the text to find supporting evidence for the one answer while eliminating the others.
  • If this is difficult, eliminate as many as you can and re-evaluate again.
  • Do not stress over unfamiliar words. Try to gain an understanding of their meaning through context but do not spend much time on this.
  • Do not leave any question unanswered. If unsure, use your best judgement.
  • You have 2 minutes to read and answer each question. If time is up, circle any answer.
  • Keep an eye on the clock.  This a useful tool for your own time management.

Further Practice

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

Utilizing photography as a information gathering method in public enquiry has become increasingly collective as tools has become inexpensive and simpler to use, and as contributors’ direct envelopment in the process of analysis has increased in intensity amongst investigators.

Photography is used to gain insights into a widespread series of subjects and is utilized by both academic and non-academic researchers. It is principally favoured in examination with children, proposing young participants the autonomy to choose a reply away from the investigator’s direct attendance and the consequential gravity this can entail. Photography is also nominated in research with young people on the basis that it is a enjoyable activity, one that can add a ‘fun’ element to a research project. 

Because of the superior notch of plasticity and creativity it can propose, photography is therefore seen as a means that can include young people as lively participants in the research process, including them directly in an pleasant and appealing manner.

Which of the following is not a reason behind the increase in use of photography as a research tool?

A – Inexpensive cameras have made it simpler to use camerawork in inquiries.

B – Direct contribution of contributor in the procedure of research is now adequate.

C – Photography is the solitary research tool which the younger generation finds suitable.

D – Younger population finds photography entertaining and therefore can be more easily involved in the research.

Wrapping up

Were you able to use these strategies? Which tip for PTE Reading test was the most difficult to apply? Which one do they think was the most useful? Please let us know with any comments and suggestions. Remember, practice with these strategies and check out more PTE reading resources to help you get a higher score. I wish you all these best with your PTE Multiple Choice – Single Answer section. Take a PTE survey.

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