Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Section - Skill 2: Reasoning Within the Text
Questions that test Reasoning Within the Text rely on many of the same activities required for Foundations of Comprehension questions. One key difference is in the scope of the information needed to answer the question. The Foundations of Comprehension questions mainly focus on inferring meaning or intent from an immediate sentence context. Questions that test Reasoning Within the Text differ from those assessing Foundations of Comprehension in that they ask you to integrate distant passage components into a more generalized and complex interpretation of passage meaning.
It’s important to remember that Reasoning Within the Text questions do not ask you to provide your own personal opinion. You may, in fact, disagree with the author’s overall conclusion yet find that the conclusion is a reasonable inference from the limited information provided in the passage. If you happen to know some obscure fact or anecdote outside the scope of the passage that could invalidate the author’s conclusion, ignore it. The content of the passage or new information introduced by the questions should be the only sources you base your responses on.
Two sets of skills are the basis of the Reasoning Within the Text questions on the Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills section.