Reading task type nine: short answer questions

Task description

You will be provided with a number of questions which you have to answer. Generally your answers must be in three words or fewer but confirm this with the instructions.

What is being tested is your ability to:
  • skim for general information
  • read for details
  • identify the focus of the question
  • understand paraphrase in the incomplete sentences

Sample task

Complete the sentences below using words taken from the reading passage.

Use NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 1-3 on your answer sheet.

1Alexander Carlisle implied that the Titanic's owners were more concerned about the ship's appearance than what?

2The laws of which government regulated the lifeboat requirements that the Titanic conformed to in 1912?

3What term used in the passage tells the reader that this was the Titanic's first journey?


How to approach short answer questions

Step 1:
Read the instructions carefully. Note that in the sample task you may use your own words but you may not use more than three words for each answer.
Step 2:
Briefly read through all of the questions to get an idea of what information you will have to find in the text.
Step 3:
Read the first question more carefully. Decide what information you will skim for. In this case you will skim for reference to Alexander Carlisle.
Step 4:
Once you have found the relevant section of the reading text, look back at the question and decide what specific information you need to answer the question. In this case, you need to find what the owners thought was less important than Titanic's appearance.
Step 5:
Read that part of the text more carefully to find the answer.
Step 6:
Your answer does not need to be a complete sentence but it does need to make sense grammatically.

Dear readers,

This is to inform you that we have moved to a new domain,

Our old domain, will remain active till the time we migrate all our content to the new domain.

We look forward to your continuing support.