The Strategy for the Detail Question in TOEFL Reading

Here in this article, I will try to show you the strategy to apply when it comes to a detailed question in the reading. If you are familiar with TOEFL Reading questions then the term detail question is not something new to you. We will first begin with how to understand whether the question type is a “Detail question” or not and then we will move to the strategy for this question.

How to Detect Detail question in TOEFL Reading

If the question starts with “according to” and is followed by a “who, where, what, which and when” question it means it’s a detail question. Let us take a look at the following example.

As for celebrity appearances in commercials that do not involve selling the host, the evidence is mixed. Researcher Charles Atkin found that children believed that characters used to advertise cereals were familiar with cereals and that children accepted these characters as reliable sources of nutritional information. This discovery was even more remarkable for most television viewers. In addition, when choosing a product, children feel validated when a celebrity approves it. However, a study of children in Hong Kong found that the presence of celebrities who are not popular in advertisements can have a negative impact on children’s perceptions of a product if the children do not like the celebrities in question.

According to paragraph 5, what did an investigation of children in Hong Kong show about the utilization of superstars in promotions focused on kids?

A) It is highly effective with children who spend a lot of time watching television
B) The effect is minimum if the celebrities are unknown
C) It is effective on products like cereals and food products
D) In case the celebrities are not popular it might have a negative effect
Here we have a detail question. The reason why is that the question starts with “According to ” and followed by “what”. Now, we can talk about the strategies that we need to apply in order to solve this question.

What is the Strategy for Solving the Detail Question in TOEFL Reading?

First, you need to be focusing on the keyword that is stated in the question. Do not forget that you do not necessarily need to read the whole paragraph for the questionç Otherwise, you will be wasting a lot of time. What is our keyword on this question? The keyword is the investigation of children. What we need to do is to skim the whole paragraph and find either the keyword that we have spotted or find the synonym of it. Afterward, we will be reading only that part of the paragraph. The reason for that is that most of the time the answer to the detail question is in one sentence. Your duty is to find out that sentence and read it carefully. However, if the answer is not there then you need to read the following sentence. Another reason why that one selected sentence is not going to be giving you the correct response is that the selected keyword might be wrong. Be cautious while selecting your keyword from the question itself.

After spotting your keyword in the paragraph and skimming it, now read that sentence carefully.
However, a study of children in Hong Kong found that the presence of celebrities in advertisements can have a negative impact on children’s perceptions of a product if the children do not like the celebrities in question.

This is our key sentence. After reading it carefully we realize that if the children do not like celebrities who are not popular and play in the advertisement for a product, there will be a negative impact on the children. Let us now take a look at the answer choices.
The choices “A”,” B” and “C” are totally irrelevant to our key sentence. The selection D says “In case the celebrities are not popular it might have a negative effect”. This is selection basically summarizes our key sentence. For that reason, this is the correct answer.
As you can see, the detail question in TOEFL Reading can be tackled easily when you know how to approach the question carefully. Here is a summary of the whole strategy.

  1. Read the question carefully and spot your keyword
  2. Skim the paragraph and find the matching keyword
  3. Read the sentence that has the keyword carefully and check the answer choices
  4. If you can’t find the answer in the answer choices read the sentence following and check the answer choices again

Conclusion

Detail question in TOEFL Reading is pretty trivial when the strategy is known. By applying this strategy to other TOEFL Reading paragraphs with the detail questions, you will master the skills of answering the detail question in TOEFL Reading.

If you would like to get tutoring from me you can check out the following link: https://drlanguage.org/toefl-tutoring/

For more information on the reading part please visit ETS website. Here is the link: https://www.ets.org/toefl/test-takers/ibt/about/content/reading/

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