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The Nursing Entrance Test Reading Comprehension

Aug 17, 2007
How does one approach the reading comprehension section on the Nursing Entrance Test? Many for one are unprepared for the wealth of reading that is required and the computerized method of testing. It can be difficult for those who are not computer savvy to comfortably navigate from page to another and go back to re-read. Time is of course of the essence in taking any test. The questions are at best hard to assimilate due to the ambiguous nature of the way that they are asked. This can be a stumbling block for those who are not prepared afore hand for the reading comprehension section of the Nursing Entrance Test.

Comprehension testing is very useful in improving reading comprehension, not only because it gives the teacher a measure of progress, but it supplements the reader's perception of his or her own ability. Learning readers commonly fail to accurately assess their own comprehension. A comprehension test can accelerate their ability to self assess their own comprehension levels as they progress. However, a poorly constructed reading comprehension test can deceive the learner and disturb progress. Indeed, it has been found that poorly constructed tests often train the reader to mis-assess their own reading performance.

Reading comprehension is best tested using carefully constructed questions which quiz natural or non-concocted passages of text. The questions themselves can be requests to summarize, open ended questions; Cloze formats, and carefully constructed multiple choice questions.

The multiple choice format must use questions that quiz the overall meanings of the text, the details and the most important meaning of the words. The background of the reader must be taken into account. For example, if an answer is general knowledge, then it will not measure the comprehension of the passage, but the memory of that knowledge. Likewise, the questions should not give clues to the answers of other questions. In this way it makes the multiple choice format hard to devise. Speed reading courses and books generally design their comprehension tests using the antithesis of these factors in order to mislead the reader into believing that their reading comprehension has improved with increased speed.

To sufficiently prepare for the type of questions that are asked one must practice reading passages and answering questions in a similar format. One of the pitfalls that students find when taking the reading comprehension, is that they have a hard time assimilating new knowledge and answering questions that have a high level of difficulty associated with them. Dr. Kimmel's software that also includes math preparation covers the important principals and assists the student in mastering key words when reading. Certain key words are typically used over and over again in reading comprehension questions. Words, and statements such as, the author assumed, inferred or the paragraph stated are key to understanding and grasping the questioning methodology.

Reading comprehension can be defined as the level of understanding of a passage or text. For normal reading rates (around 200-220 words per minute) an acceptable level of comprehension is above 75%.

Reading comprehension can be improved by: Training the ability to self assess comprehension, actively test comprehension using questionnaires, and by improving metacognition. Teaching conceptual and linguistic knowledge is also advantageous.

Self assessment can be conducted by summarizing, and elaborative interrogation, and those skills will gradually become more automatic through practice.

For children in K-12 public schools in the United States, building reading comprehension skills to pass the high-stake tests mandated by the No Child Left Behind Laws is a top priority. Many parents when informed that their children need to build comprehension skills do not know where to start. Effective reading comprehension is the culmination of mastering vocabulary, phonics, fluency, and reading comprehension skills. The reading skills pyramid illustrates how these skills are expected to be built in most public schools.

Reading comprehension skills separates the "passive" unskilled reader from the "active" readers. Skilled readers don't just read, they interact with the text. To help a beginning reader understand this concept, you might make them privy to the dialogue readers have with themselves while reading.

Skilled readers, for instance:

* Predict what will happen next in a story using clues presented in text
* Create questions about the main idea, message, or plot of the text
* Monitor understanding of the sequence, context, or characters
* Clarify parts of the text which have confused them
* Connect the events in the text to prior knowledge or experience

When answering questions on the Nursing Entrance Test, it is sometimes hard to relate concepts that seem totally unrelated. This type of questioning requires abstract thinking. The questions are designed to test the reader's analytical reasoning while at the same time test their vocabulary. It is always advisable when reading to have a dictionary at hand. Other examples of similar reading comprehension tests can be found in graduate entrance exam practice books. Entering into the nursing field will indeed require unique analysis skills in many different forms.
About the Author
Melih ("may-lee") Oztalay, CEO
SmartFinds Internet Marketing
Web: www.thenetstudyguide.com
EMail: melih@hsfideas.com
The nursing entrance test study guide provides nurses the assistance they need with the nursing entrance test. The nursing study guide helps nurses.
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