Additional Reading Skills and Knowledge for Praxis II ParaPro Test Prep Study Guide (page 2)
Practice questions for this study guide can be found at:
Every question on the reading section of the ParaPro Assessment is multiple-choice with four answer choices. The answer choices will always be a, b, c, and d.
Most questions on the Reading Skills and Knowledge section of the ParaPro Assessment are based on a short reading passage, book excerpt, or lesson plan. Fortunately, most of the passages on the ParaPro will be relatively short—one or two paragraphs. Each passage will then include anywhere from one to four questions. There will be a few "stand-alone" questions in between passages that are not related to any particular passage.
Most problems on the reading section of the ParaPro Assessment will ask a specific question, such as the following problem:
- Which pair of words are antonyms?
- high and far
- big and large
- find and lose
- there and their
Even though this book calls them "questions," some of the problems on the ParaPro Assessment do not include a question mark. Those questions will ask you to complete a sentence, such as the following problem:
- The main idea of the passage is
- building the ancient pyramids was a very difficult job.
- Egypt is the best place to see pyramids.
- it can be very hot if you visit Egypt in the middle of the summer.
- there are pyramids in several different countries in the world.
A few questions on the reading section will ask you to find the answer choice that is NOT true. These types of questions can be very tricky! Fortunately, the makers of the test will capitalize the word that tells you that you are looking for the answer that is NOT true.
- The passage says all of the following facts about snakes EXCEPT that they
- live in almost every part of the world.
- are all poisonous.
- have two lungs.
- are a type of reptile.
For this type of question, you would need to get rid of any answer choice that presents a true fact, based on the information in the passage. The one statement that is NOT supported by the passage will be the correct choice.
Test Taking Tips for Reading Skills and Knowledge Questions
Below are a handful of specific tips for the reading section of the ParaPro Assessment.
Always Consider the Main Idea
The ParaPro Assessment will include several questions about the main idea of a passage. In fact, about half of the passages you will read in the section will include some type of main idea question. (It may use the term central idea, primary purpose, or a similar term which still means the same thing.) Therefore, always consider the main idea of a passage as you begin to read it.
As you start reading a passage on the test, look for its main idea right away. This will save you time and energy later on if you see a question about the main idea. Even if there is no question about the main idea, understanding the purpose of the passage can help you identify other important information—such as supporting details. Therefore, always consider what the main idea of a passage is while you're reading it—rather than having to go back later and figure it out.
Use Any Information before the Passages
It may be tempting to skip the directions before a passage and just start reading. After all, the ParaPro Assessment is a timed test! However, the sentence or two that precedes the passage and its questions may contain some important information. That is why those words will be in italics. For example, the italicized words before the passage may tell you about the author or how students will be using the passage. Or it may tell you that the passage you are about to read is only an excerpt, suggesting that there is a lot more to the story that isn't necessarily given in your test. That may be useful to know when answering a question, so be sure to spend the few extra moments to read the directions text in bold.
Peek at the Questions
For tests that have really long passages with many questions, it isn't advisable to look at the questions first. (You probably wouldn't remember all of the questions by the time you finished the passage!) But the passages on the ParaPro Assessment are very short—usually only one or two paragraphs. And there are usually only two or three questions per passage. Therefore, it is absolutely to your advantage to take a peek at the questions before reading the passage.
For example, if you look over at the questions and see that one asks for the organization of the passage, you can then read the passage with its organization in the back of your mind. You may not have paid too much attention to the organization of the passage if you were reading it on your own. But by peeking at the questions before you read, you can get a head start on figuring out the answer. And now you might not have to waste precious time by reading the passage twice.
Important Reading Vocabulary
The reading section of the ParaPro Assessment will test your knowledge of important literary terms. You will be expected to know the bolded words in the following paragraphs. Make sure you are familiar with every one of these terms before taking the test.
An antonym is a word that has an opposite meaning. For example, tall is an antonym of short. It may help to remember the meaning of this word if you consider that ant- is a prefix that means opposite, just as Antarctica means the opposite of the Arctic.
The author of a story is the person who wrote it.
A compound word is a word that is created by putting two words together, such as extraordinary, teacup, or butterfly.
The context of a word, or a context clue, is the area around the word or phrase that helps to determine its meaning. For example, the context clue that helps define frigid in the following sentence is that Jack needed to wear his heavy coat: Because it was so frigid, Jack needed to wear his heavy coat. (Frigid means very cold.)
A consonant is a letter of the alphabet that is not a vowel. The consonants are b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, z, and y in words like yes or beyond.
A dictionary is resource that provides the meaning, or definition, of words.
A fact is a statement that can be proven. For example, the sentence Barack Obama was an Illinois senator before he became U.S. President is a fact.
First-person point of view expresses the writer's personal feelings and experiences directly to the reader using these pronouns: I, me, mine; we, our, us. The first person creates a sense of intimacy between the reader and writer because it expresses a subjective point of view.
A homonym is a word that sounds like another word but has a different meaning. For example, two and to are homonyms.
An inference is a conclusion that can be made from given information.
The narrator in a story is the person who is telling the story. Many stories do not have a narrator. If the passage includes a speaker speaking in the first person (using words like I or me), then that speaker is the narrator.
An opinion is a statement that cannot be proven. For example, Fuji apples are the most delicious types of apples is an opinion.
A paragraph is a group of related sentences together in a story. Some of the passages on the ParaPro Assessment will only have one paragraph. Most will have one or two paragraphs.
A prefix is the beginning part of the word that helps identify its meaning. For example, the prefix in the word tripod is tri-, meaning "three." Many words do not have a prefix.
The root of a word is the main part of a word that conveys the word's meaning, without any prefixes or suffixes. For example, the root of disinterested is interest.
Second-person point of view is another personal perspective in which the writer speaks directly to the reader, addressing the reader as you. Writers use the second person to give directions or to make the reader feel directly involved with the argument or action of their message.
A suffix is the ending part of the word that helps identify its meaning. For example, the suffix in the word dogs is -s, meaning that there is more than one dog. Many words do not have a suffix.
A syllable is one sound of a word. For example, the word baseball has two syllables: base- and -ball. Some words with only one sound only have one syllable, such as the words talk and peace.
A synonym is a word that has the same meaning as another word. For example, use and utilize mean essentially the same thing, and are synonyms.
Third-person point of view expresses an impersonal point of view by presenting the perspective of an outsider (a third person) who is not directly involved with the action.
A vowel is a letter of the alphabet that is not a consonant. The vowels are a, e, i, o, u, and y in words like hymn or my. A short vowel sound has a shorter vowel sound like ah, eh, ih or uh in the words lab, egg, big, top, or fun. A long vowel sound has a longer vowel sound like ay, ee, eye, or oh in the words hay, me, bye, or no.
Practice questions for this study guide can be found at:
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