Main Idea and Fact or Detail Questions for Firefighter Exam Study Guide (page 2)
Main idea questions and fact or detail questions are both asking you for information that's right there in the passage. All you have to do is find it.
Fact or Detail Questions
In fact or detail questions, you have to identify a specific item of information from the test. This is usually the simplest kind of question. You just have to be able to separate important information from less important information. However, the choices may often be very similar, so you must be careful not to get confused.
Be sure you read the passage and questions carefully. In fact, it is usually a good idea to read the questions first, before you even read the passage, so you will know what details to look out for.
Main Idea Questions
The main idea of a passage, like that of a paragraph or a book, is what it is mostly about. The main idea is like an umbrella that covers all of the ideas and details in the passage, so it is usually something general, not specific.
Sometimes the main idea is stated clearly, often in the first or last sentence of the passage. The sentence that expresses the main idea is often referred to as the topic sentence.
At other times, the main idea is not stated in a topic sentence but is implied in the overall passage, and you will need to determine the main idea by inference. Because there may be a great deal of information in the passage, the trick is to understand what all that information adds up to—the gist of what the author wants you to know. Often some of the wrong answers on main idea questions are specific facts or details from the passage. A good way to test yourself is to ask, "Can this answer serve as a net to hold the whole passage together?" If not, chances are you've chosen a fact or a detail, not a main idea.
Practice Passage 2: Main Idea and Fact or Detail Questions
Practice answering main idea and fact or detail questions by working on the questions that follow this passage. Circle the answers to the questions, and then check your answers against the key that appears immediately afterward.
There are three different kinds of burns: superficial, partial thickness, and full thickness. It is important for firefighters to be able to recognize each type of burn so that they can be sure burn victims are given proper medical treatment. The least serious burn is the superficial burn, which causes the skin to turn red but does not cause blistering. Mild sunburn is a good example of a superficial burn, and, like mild sunburn, superficial burns generally do not require medical treatment other than a gentle cooling of the burned skin with ice or cold tap water.
Partial-thickness burns, on the other hand, do cause blistering of the skin and should be treated immediately. These burns should be immersed in warm water and then wrapped in a sterile dressing or bandage. (Do not apply butter or grease to these burns; despite the old adage, butter does not help burns heal and actually increases the chance of infection.) If partial-thickness burns cover a large part of the body, the patient should be taken to the hospital for immediate medical care.
Full-thickness burns are those that char the skin and turn it black, or burn so deeply that the skin shows white. These burns usually result from direct contact with flames and have a great chance of becoming infected. All full-thickness burns should receive immediate hospital care. They should not be immersed in water, and charred clothing should not be removed from the victim. If possible, a sterile dressing or bandage should be applied to burns before the victim is transported to the hospital.
- Which of the following would be the best title for this passage?
- Dealing with Full-Thickness Burns
- How to Recognize and Treat Different Burns
- Burn Categories
- Preventing Infection in Burns
- Partial-thickness burns should be treated with
- cold water.
- warm water.
- Superficial burns turn the skin
- Which of the following best expresses the main idea of the passage?
- There are three different types of burns.
- Firefighters should always have cold compresses on hand.
- Different burns require different types of treatment.
- Butter is not good for healing burns.
- b. A question that asks you to choose a title for a passage is a main idea question. This main idea is expressed in the second sentence, the topic sentence: "It is important for firefighters to be able to recognize each of these types of burns so that they can be sure burn victims are given proper treatment." Choice b expresses this idea and is the only title that encompasses all of the ideas expressed in the passage. Choice a is too limited; it deals only with one of the kinds of burns discussed in the passage. Likewise, choices c and d are also too limited. Choice c covers types of burns but not their treatment, and d deals only with preventing infection, which is only a secondary part of the discussion of treatment.
- d. The answer to this fact question is clearly expressed in the sentence, "These burns should be immersed in warm water and then wrapped in a sterile dressing or bandage." The hard part is keeping track of whether "these burns" refers to the kind of burns in the question, which is partial-thickness burns. It's easy to choose a wrong answer here because all of the answer choices are mentioned in the passage. You need to read carefully to be sure you match the right burn to the right treatment.
- a. This is another fact or detail question. The passage says that a superficial burn "causes the skin to turn red."Again, it's important to read carefully because all of the answer choices (except b, which can be eliminated immediately) are listed elsewhere in the passage.
- c. Clearly, this is a main idea question, and c is the only choice that encompasses the whole passage. Choices b and d are limited to particular burns or treatments, and choice a discusses only burns and not their treatment. In addition, the second sentence tells us that "It is important for firefighters to be able to recognize each of these types of burns so that they can be sure burn victims are given proper medical treatment."
- Coats and Car Seats: A Lethal Combination?
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- Child Development Theories
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Social Cognitive Theory
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- GED Math Practice Test 1
- Problems With Standardized Testing
- The Homework Debate