In the SSAT test reading comprehension section the candidate will be expected to show that they have read the given passage thoroughly and can understand it fully and answer questions and give explanations of various points of the passage.
They may be asked about the general topic of the passage, the meaning of the title, specific details within the passage, and the general tone of the passage its structure and the reason or purpose of each paragraph amongst other things.
EXAMPLE OF SSAT READING COMPREHENSION WRITTEN PASSAGE
Sample SSAT TEST Passage — People have different opinions about the primary school level of education being followed. While most everybody agrees that providing a high standard of education is important, how we go about education in different ways is what can cause some controversy. While some will believe that the sole purpose of education must be to prepare the child for his own environment another school of thought is that education should enable the child to integrate in a global capacity at a world citizen. These two differences of opinion have an impact on the current education system used.
While a certain group of people will think that education is a natural path that can be learned form the moment we are born and that education should be done only in their countries language and that basic education is all that is needed and use of creative ans artistic activities that allow the child to self develop and in addition to this they believe that nature is of up-most importance in education and that such things as biology and other sciences should be learned naturally from nature and not inside the classroom.
Then another group of people may be of the belief that a scientific approach to education and methodical procedures for developing skill should be used. Theories and knowledge should be a broad and the emphasis should be on high quality factual information, rules, terms and theories. Therefore it does not have a specific age group and any person can get the same education. This school of thought attaches great value to the source of education, the content being taught, descriptions in the form of theories.
Sample Main Idea Question — The main purpose of this written passage is to:
- A) Explain how these different schools of thought are opposing each other.
- B) Explain two different opinions about primary school level of education being followed.
- C) To show how the best points of each of these two schools of though are being combined to form a better education.
- D) To analyze two different systems and determine which one is the best
- E) To explain why a scientific attitude is better than a more natural approach when it comes to education.
How to Answer – A simple process of elimination should be used to remove any completely wrong answers…so (A) is wrong… (C) is wrong as the passage does not talk about combining these two opinions for better education..(D) is wrong because the purpose of the passage is not say which system is best..(E) is wrong for the same reason that the passage does not argue one system over another and say which is best.. (B) in this case B is the correct answer..the main Idea of the written passage is to explain two different opinions about primary level of education being followed.
Understanding the types of questions and what is expected in answer is the key to a high score in Reading Comprehension test. We are limited as to what we can explain here and the above example focused on the ‘Main Idea’ question for a full understanding with various sample questions and passages click here.