Analysis of the CET test – Reverse Engineering

I have been reverse engineering the CET test or tracing back from the correct answer to (1) determine exactly what English was necessary to answer that question correctly and (2) how did the student acquire that English to answer the question correctly.

Below is part of the analysis that I did of the June 2010 CET-4 test “Reading Comprehension”.

Surprisingly, there are many questions that need almost no special vocabulary knowledge. For example, below is the beginning of the reading passage and question #1. When you study this passage and the question you realize that all the student needs to do is to see in the passage the word “but” and match “constant complaints” and “daughters” to three words in the question, “daughters’ repeated complaints”.

Everything else in the passage is a distracter but to answer the question correctly requires no complicated English.

Out of ten questions, four questions were simply matching up words and required almost no vocabulary knowledge. Four questions required knowledge of general vocabulary. Only 2 required knowledge of some advanced vocabulary words.

Caught in the Web

A few months ago, it wasn’t unusual for 47-year-old Carla Toebe to spend 15 hours per day online. She’d wake up early, turn on her laptop and chat on Internet dating sites and instant-messaging programs – leaving her bed for only brief intervals. Her household bills piled up, along with the dishes and dirty laundry, but it took near-constant complaints from her four daughters before she realized she had a problem.

“I was starting to feel like my whole world was falling apart – kind of slipping into a depression,” said Carla. “I knew that if I didn’t get off the dating sites, I’d just keep going,” detaching herself further from the outside world.

1. What eventually made Carla Toebe realize she was spending too much time on the Internet?

A) Her daughters’ repeated complaints. <- correct answer – find “but” then connect “constant complaints” to “repeated complaints” and “daughters” to “daughters” – easy

B) Fatigue resulting from lack of sleep.

C) The poorly managed state of her house.

D) The high financial costs adding up.

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