Many times during an exam, applicants are pressed for time trying to finish the test. For many people, the reading comprehension portion slows them down.

One test-taking strategy that you can use is …before you read the passage, read the questions. Don’t read the answers, just the questions. Then when you go back to read the actual paragraph, you will be looking for material pertaining to those questions. For example, maybe one of the questions involves the flashpoint of gasoline. As you are reading the paragraph, you can underline the section in the paragraph that discusses that topic. When you are then answering the questions, you can quickly go to your underlined material to determine the correct answer.

This tip will free up some time for you so that you hopefully will have time at the end to go back over questions that you weren’t sure on or spend time on sections that were more difficult.

Brent Collins
Retired Assistant Chief, Cleveland Fire
[email protected]