Reading Comprehension Technique


The most effective Reading Comprehension technique for multiple choice tests is to eliminate wrong answers.

Before we can begin to eliminate answers, though, we need to first make sure that we understood the question.

Misreading, or even misunderstanding what the question actually asks, reduces your chance for success drastically.

Misunderstood questions will destroy or ruin any reading comprehension technique no matter how good it is.

There’s no need for it.

So... read very carefully.


Now that we are sure that we know what the question is asking, let's continue.

The first thing you should do when dealing with the questions from a reading comprehension text is to get rid of at least two wrong answer choices.

Eliminate choices that are obviously wrong.

What are the obviously wrong choices?

For starters, look for an answer that is not mentioned in the text.

In fact, I've always had my students write nm (not mentioned) next to the answer choice that isn't mentioned in the text. I want to see ‘nm’ written in their books. That way, I know they are using the right technique for getting the correct answer.

Eliminating wrong answers is vital...
to getting the right answer!

Is there ALWAYS an answer choice that isn't mentioned in the text? No, not always, but I'd say around 85-90 percent of the time there is. Eliminate even one answer choice, you will raise a guessing score from 25% to 33%. ‘Not mentioned’ is usually the easiest answer choice to eliminate, so look for them first.


California Sea Lions feed on a wide variety of seafood including fish, shellfish and squid. They are excellent predators with a streamlined body and highly sensitive whiskers to detect food. California Sea Lions are highly sociable and gather in large numbers on beaches and coasts.

1. According to the text, California Sea Lions…
a. are playful
b. eat many different kinds of food
c. are found only in California
d. have highly sensitive whiskers to help identify each other

The first answer choice to eliminate is... C.

Nowhere in the text is it mentioned that California Sea Lions are found only in California.

By the way, words like only, never, always, usually etc., are very important and you need to pay special attention to them… but you knew that already, right?

This lesson regarding the best reading comprehension technique continues on the next page.

As you follow along remember what we've learned so far.