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PTE reading: approaching multiple-choice, multiple answers questions

The Reading section of the Pearson Test of English (PTE) assesses your ability to comprehend written texts and extract information accurately. One common question type in the PTE Reading section is the Multiple-Choice, Multiple Answers question. In this blog, we will explore effective strategies for approaching and answering Multiple-Choice, Multiple Answers questions to maximize your score in the PTE Reading section.

Understanding Multiple-Choice, Multiple Answers Questions:

Multiple-Choice, Multiple Answers questions present a passage or a portion of a passage followed by a question and several answer options. Unlike traditional multiple-choice questions where only one answer is correct, this question type requires you to select multiple correct answers from the provided options. It is crucial to carefully read the question and all the answer choices before selecting the correct responses.

Strategies for Answering Multiple-Choice, Multiple Answers Questions:

Read the Passage Carefully:

Start by reading the passage carefully to gain a clear understanding of the content, main ideas, and supporting details. Pay attention to the context and the relationship between different pieces of information. Understanding the passage as a whole will help you identify the relevant information needed to answer the question accurately.

Identify Keywords in the Question:

Focus on the keywords in the question that relate to the specific information being sought. These keywords will guide you in finding the correct answers within the passage. Look for words that indicate specific details, such as names, dates, locations, or descriptive terms.

Skim the Answer Options:

Quickly skim through the answer options to get an overview of the possible choices. Pay attention to any keywords or phrases that match the keywords in the question. Eliminate any answer options that are clearly irrelevant or contradict the information presented in the passage.

Analyze Each Answer Option:

Carefully analyze each answer option, comparing it to the passage to determine if it aligns with the information provided. Look for direct statements or paraphrased versions of the information in the passage. Avoid making assumptions or selecting answers based on prior knowledge or personal opinions.

Apply the Process of Elimination:

Use the process of elimination to eliminate answer options that are incorrect or unsupported by the passage. Cross out options that do not align with the keywords, main ideas, or details mentioned in the passage. Narrow down the choices to those that have the highest likelihood of being correct.

Utilize Contextual Clues:

Contextual clues within the passage can help you identify the correct answers. Look for supporting details or information that directly corresponds to the question. Pay attention to phrases or sentences that provide explicit or implicit clues, such as cause-effect relationships, comparisons, or examples.

Consider Inference and Implication:

In some cases, the correct answers may require inference or deduction from the information provided in the passage. Consider the implied meaning or logical connections between different pieces of information. Be cautious and ensure that your inferences are based on evidence from the passage rather than personal assumptions.

Refer Back to the Passage:

Whenever you are unsure about an answer, refer back to the relevant section of the passage to verify your understanding. Read the identified portion carefully to confirm the accuracy of your selected answers. Avoid relying solely on memory or guesswork.

Manage Your Time:

Time management is crucial in the PTE Reading section. Allocate an appropriate amount of time for each question to ensure that you have enough time to read the passage, analyze the question, and select the correct answers. If you are struggling with a particular question, make a strategic guess and move on to avoid spending too much time on a single item.

Practice, Practice, Practice:

The key to mastering Multiple-Choice, Multiple Answers questions is practice. Familiarize yourself with different types of passages and question formats by practicing with sample tests and mock exams. This will help you develop your reading speed, comprehension skills, and ability to select the correct answers efficiently.


Effective strategies for approaching Multiple-Choice, Multiple Answers questions in the PTE Reading section include careful reading of the passage, identifying keywords, skimming the answer options, analyzing each option, utilizing the process of elimination, using contextual clues, considering inference and implication, referring back to the passage, managing time effectively, and practicing regularly. By employing these strategies, you can improve your accuracy and efficiency in answering this question type, leading to a higher score in the PTE Reading section. Remember to stay focused, remain calm, and trust in your reading comprehension abilities as you tackle these challenging questions.

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