Bitesize has changed! We're updating subjects as fast as we can. Visit our new site to find Bitesize guides and clips - and tell us what you think!

Did you know?

We also have Bitesize study guides covering many subjects at National 4 and National 5 on our Knowledge & Learning BETA website.

Home > English > Close reading exam > Overview of question types


Overview of question types

  • Page
  • 1
  • 2

It is helpful to remember that all the questions in the Reading Test relate to the five Reading Skills covered in the Standard Grade Course. In other words, there will be no shock questions, nor will the Examiners try to test you on some unfamiliar skill.

Five reading skills

To have proof of how well you can read and understand a piece of text, the examiners ask you a range of questions which cover the Five Reading Skills.You will be asked questions which will check if you can read -

To gain overall impression

This means there will be some questions which check you can spot the general point of the passage - what it is about, what type of passage it is, and so on.

To obtain particular information from a text

This means there will be some questions that will check you can pick out particular facts, information. You are sometimes directed to a specific bit of the passage.

To grasp ideas and feelings implied in the text

This is sometimes called reading between the lines . These questions want you to respond on a deeper level to the text, to feel the mood or emotion of what is in the passage or to find some information which is only suggested or referred to indirectly.

To evaluate the writer's attitudes, assumptions and argument

This type of question wants you to judge the writer's viewpoint. Why did he write the passage? What message does he give? Always give evidence to justify your answer. You may also be asked to comment on the writer's position and how it relates to your own experience or feelings.

Appreciating the writer's craft

This type of question wants to check you are aware of how the writer has created the style of the passage, what writing features he has used and sometimes to give your opinion on them.

  • Page
  • 1
  • 2


Atlantic rower Debra Veal.

Class Clips

Video clip - an example of a response to descriptive writing

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.