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The Reading Comprehension section of the HS Exam

Types of text given on the HS (formerly "HF")  Reading Comprhension:

Texts you are given are  usually discursive and, (like the essay you will write in the Writing Skills section), "argumentative" i.e. they discuss and often  take a position on an issue. They may be from a quality journal or newspaper, such as the Guardian, New York Times  or  Economist. It will help you prepare for the exam  if you regularly read  these and similar magazines, newspapers and websites.

Thus, the  Commment and Opinion pages of newspapers are better for HS practice than news summaries and headline news, because the latter are usually  just descriptive. 

It is important that when you read for self-study and practice, you consider

  • the overall position of the author
  • where in the text the author is giving her opinion and when  he is simply referring to opinions of other people

Types of question on the HS Reading Comprehension

A. The first few questions (usually 5 questions) on the HS Reading Comprehension section  are  multiple choice. Of the four possible answers, only one is the right answer.

B. These are followed by  some  general or written answer  questions. Usually there are two of these.

These written answer questions will need answering in English. You do not always have to use complete sentences but the answers must be complete and give as much relevant information as possible.