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Reading for Essential Information Help (page 3)

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Updated on Sep 21, 2011

Practice

Now look at one more short passage. Again, read carefully and answer the questions that follow.

Today's postal service is more efficient and reliable than ever before. Mail that used to take months to move by horse and foot now moves around the country in days or hours by truck, train, and plane. First-class mail usually moves from New York City to Los Angeles in three days or less. If your letter or package is urgent, the U.S. Postal Service offers Priority Mail and Express Mail services. Priority Mail is guaranteed to go anywhere in the United States in two to three days or less. Express Mail will get your package there overnight.

  1. Who or what is this passage about?
  2. How was mail transported in the past?
  3. How is mail transported now?
  4. How long does first-class mail take?
  5. How long does Priority Mail take?
  6. How long does Express Mail take?

Once again, here's how you might have marked up this passage:

Getting the Essential Information

You can see how marking up a text helps make it easier to understand the information a passage conveys.

Answers

  1. Who or what is this passage about? The U.S. Postal Service
  2. How was mail transported in the past? By horse and foot.
  3. How is mail transported now? By truck, train, and plane.
  4. How long does first-class mail take? Usually three days or less.
  5. How long does Priority Mail take? Two to three days or less.
  6. How long does Express Mail take? Overnight.

Summary

Active reading is the first essential step to comprehension. Why? Because active reading forces you to really see what you're reading, to look closely at what's there. Like a detective who arrives at the scene of a crime, if you look carefully and ask the right questions (who, what, when, where, how, and why), you're on your way to really comprehending what you read.

Practice exercises for this concept can be found at Reading Comprehension Strategies Practice Test.

Test your knowledge at Reading Comprehension Final Practice Test.

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