PTE Reading MCQ multiple answers overviewA summary of useful and effective practice tips
In “Multiple Choice, Choose Multiple Answers” type questions, more than one response is correct. The answer choices carry 5-7 options to choose from. The texts are up to 300 words long and cover a variety of academic topics drawn from the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. The score is given based on partial credits and you can expect around 2-3 questions of this type.
The first thing to do in these questions is to read the question prompt and the options. This will help you understand what is expected of you. If you understand that, you will know how to read the passage – whether you should look for specific information or try to understand the overall theme of the passage.
Next, you should go through the passage, with the options in mind. When you come across any information related to an option, stop there and validate the option against the information in mind. Don’t just match words! You need to properly understand the sentence and what it means in the context of the passage. At this stage, you are just shortlisting the options. They are not finalized yet.
Once you have gone through the passage, again read the question prompt and the options. It is possible that by the time you read the end of the passage, your understanding of a particular option might have changed. That is why never make a final decision before reading the whole context.
Go through each and every option and decide whether it is right or wrong in the context of the question. And then submit your answer.
Please remember, there is negative marking, so it is better to select just one option that you are confident of, than select the ones you are not sure of and risk losing marks.
How you are scored
MCQ - Choose Multiple Answers scoring system features negative marking, which means points will be deducted for incorrect options chosen.
- +1 Each correct response
- -1 Each incorrect response
- 0 Minimum score (mark doesn’t go below zero) correct sequence
How to preapre PTE Reading MCQ multiple answers for high score?
How many options to choose?
The key here is that obviously you want to select all the correct answers, if you are not quite sure about a question, you have the option of play safe and just select one answer that you are most certain about and walk away with partial marking. Because you will be penalized by choosing wrong options, don’t choose it if you are unsure about an option.
For Reading MCQ – Multiple Answers question, when you choose one wrong answer and one correct answer, you will get 0 point, so don’t be too greedy, you can still achieve 65+ by choosing one answer in MCQ multiple answers.
And there is one thing you need to be aware of, if there are 5 options to select from, you can only have a maximum of 2 right answers. If you are given 6-7 options, you can have a maximum 3 correct answers. Based on our experience, the most common two combinations are to choose 2 out 5 options or 3 out of 7 options; if there are 6 options, there are either 2-3 right answers it depends.
One more tip for you is that, 2 is the worst number by guess, so if you run out of time on your exam day and try to guess answers, either guess 1 answer or guess 3 answers, never guess 2 answers. If you are not sure, stick to one option that are you most certain about. Of course, if you are confident about your reading ability and you know for sure you’ve got two right answers, then go ahead.
Understand the question
The first and foremost thing you must do is to read the question first and understand the question prompt.
The questions in the reading multiple choice sections can be of few types.
They can ask you to pick out the right or wrong sentences. What does that mean? It means that you have to validate each and every sentence against the information in the passage.
The other type might ask you to identify the passage’s theme or the writer’s opinion. This can be stated in a different form, such as “What can you conclude from the passage about the author’s opinions?” This tells you that you should be able to understand what the overall idea expressed in the passage is.
Another type of question is the one in which you will have to find out specific information from the passage. For example, "Which of the following events happened before 1970?" "What is the purpose for the author to use the word 'invasion'?" In these questions you will need to look into the passage for specific information in relation to each and every option given.
Skim the text
Skim the text we talked about here is not deep reading and try to get a thorough idea of the context, instead what we want you to do is to read paragraph rapidly and find the information that is related to the options given.
Look carefully at the options
We need to look at answer options and we want to identify key words in the answer options and try to find corresponding key words in the text, one thing we need to remind you – the corresponding information in the original paragraph is probably not 100% identical as in answer option, there will be some key words there or some synonyms or substitute words that can help you to locate the information. First answer option might come from the bottom of the text, and final option might come from the top, so that they’re not in the same order as the text, that is why it is very important to identify key words through speed reading.
We then compare option answer with what it is in the text, if it is contradicting with original context or it is not mentioned in original paragraph, we can eliminate the option.
Now, what you need to do is to put effort into practice. If you make a mistake, then go back to context to read the corresponding information again, so that you can learn from your mistakes and ensure to avoid it the next time. With active preparation, you will definitely nail the task.
Try to answer the question within a maximum of 2 minutes!
Time management is a major key to success in PTE. We have stressed that time and again. So, make sure that you spend less than 2 minutes on the question.
You can also try out the sample questions on our PTE Practice Portal. Yes, there are plenty of them for you to perfect this task! MYPTE has a huge a collection of PTE Reading MCQ multiple answers questions for you to practice, each question comes with answer.