Words in Context, Fill-in-the-Blanks, and More Reading Questions for CBEST Exam Study Guide
This section will review most of the rest of the kinds of reading questions you will be likely to encounter on the CBEST: words in context, fill-in-the-blanks, extra evidence, order, and opinion vs. fact. Most test takers do not find these questions to be among the most difficult on CBEST, so knowing what to expect will help you to work through them easily. This lesson is a little longer than the rest, but you can easily accomplish it in half an hour by skimming over the passages, working on the sample questions, and then concentrating on any of the question types that give you trouble.
Words in Context
Questions on words in context have stems like these:
- What is the best synonym for _____ as it is used in the passage?
- Which of the following is the best meaning of _____ as it is used in the second sentence?
How to Find Word-in-Context Answers
Answers to word-in-context questions are found in the sentences immediately preceding, including, and following the word. Usually, there is some explanation nearby—some synonym for the word or paraphrase of its meaning.
Three Success Steps for Fact vs. Opinion Questions
- Read through the sentences looking for opinion words.
- If a sentence sounds as though it could be a news item, found in a textbook, or otherwise verified, it is probably a fact. If it sounds like a judgment that can't be proven, then it is probably an opinion.
- If you are left with two answers, choose the one that is most strongly a value judgment.
Sample Passage and Question
There is no universally agreed upon definition of intelligence. However, a commonly used one is "the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly, and learn from experience."
The most common method used to measure intelligence is the IQ (Intelligence Quotient) Test, which measures mental ability. The scientific community, however, is divided on whether or not the IQ Test can actually measure intelligence. This is because many researchers believe that there are several kinds of intelligence—such as logical, spatial, verbal, emotional, and kinesthetic—and that they cannot all be measured simply by taking an IQ Test.
Out of all of the types of intelligence that are thought to exist, it is emotional intelligence (EI) that is a relatively nascent concept. This is quite unlike IQ, which has almost 100 years of research to support it. Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to understand your emotions and those of people around you. This high level of self-awareness, then, allows a person to keep anxiety from hampering his or her ability to think clearly. It provides one with the ability to self-motivate and persevere in the face of setbacks. In short, a high EI helps one succeed in life, and this has been proven in various research studies.
IQ, in turn, has offered little explanation for the discrepancies between the destinies of people who have been afforded equal opportunities and schooling, for example. In fact, research has shown that people with high IQs or high test scores in college are not necessarily more successful in terms of salary, status in their fields, or productivity in middle age than their lower scoring counterparts are. Recent data shows that the ability to handle frustrations, control emotions, and get along with other people makes the most difference in the quality of one's life. In essence, people who score well on tests are good at achievement as measured by grades or scores, but this skill says nothing about how they will react to the ups and downs that life will surely bring.
Culturally, we are entirely focused on academic success, and do little in the way of emotional education, yet it is precisely this that accounts for an immense part of our future success and happiness. Continuing to expand research in the field of EI will surely benefit future generations.
- The word nascent, as it is used in the passage, most nearly means
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