The CATW Reading Selection

Student Handbook

One way to prepare for the test is to understand the types of readings used on the test. The reading passage that you will be asked to respond to will have the following characteristics:

  •  The text is 250-300 words in length.
  •  Reading passages are at 10th to 12th grade reading level and appropriate for high school graduates.
  •  Topics are familiar and interesting to high school graduates, and they will come from general knowledge areas (for instance, sociology, psychology, technology, popular culture, etc.).
  •  Readings are clearly written, with the author’s main idea placed early in the passage, so that you can better identify the writer’s central point and write a response based on the text.
  •  Readings come from the following sources: general interest magazines, newspaper articles, speeches, and excerpts of essays from academic anthologies. For example,The Utne Reader, The New York Times, The Week and Slate.com are good sources ofengaging general interest articles.
  •  Reading passages will appear with a title and author’s name. You are encouraged to refer to the author’s last name and the title of the passage in your response.
  • Reading passages always appear with the following standard writing  directions:

Read the passage above and write an essay responding to the ideas it presents. In your essay, be sure to summarize the passage in your own words, stating the author’s most important ideas. Develop your essay by identifying one idea in the passage that you feel is especially significant, and explain its significance. Support your claims with evidence  or  examples  drawn  from  what  you  have  read,learned in school, and/or personally experienced.

Remember to review your essay and make any changes or corrections  that  are  needed  to  help  your  reader  follow your thinking. You will have 90 minutes to complete your essay.

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