Reading Test in THEA

Types of Questions in the Reading Test

The Reading section is one of the 3 sub-tests included in THEA, which is an undergraduate placement examination for freshman students enrolling in various colleges in the U.S. state of Texas. This test is designed to measure the basic reading skills of the freshman students and determine if those match with what is expected for comprehending college-level reading material. This article describes all you need to know about this section, along with a description on the types of questions that will be posed in this test.

Important Details Regarding this Test:

In both formats of the THEA (IBT and Quick test), the Reading section consists of 7 reading passages, which may be approximately 300-700 words long. Each passage is followed by a set of multiple-choice questions that are based on it. A total of approximately 40 questions are included in this test, with 4 answer-options in each question. Through these questions, the basic reading comprehension skills of the students such as analysis, evaluation, inference, vocabulary, reasoning and research skills are assessed. At the same time, it must be noted that a few questions in this test may be only for experimental purposes and may not be scored.

This section is not timed separately, which means that the candidates must complete it within the total test-time that is allotted to them (which is 4 hours for the IBT format and 5 hours for the Quick test format). This test is scored by scanning and counting the correct answers electronically, following which a total scaled score in the range of 100-300 is calculated. In order to pass this test, a minimum scaled score of 230 is required. This score is reported in the score transcript. The candidates who fail this test may re-take it within 15 or 30 days of the original test date. A practice test is available on the THEA website at

Types of Questions That Will Appear in the Reading Test:

The questions that appear in this test may belong to one of the following categories (not necessarily in the same order as listed here):

    1. Main Idea/PurposeThe questions in this category test a candidate’s understanding of the main idea, theme or purpose underlined in the given reading passage. Mostly, these questions are direct questions such as “What is the main idea of this passage?” or variations of it.
    2. Supporting IdeaThe questions in this category assess a candidate’s ability to identify the supporting ideas or themes in the given passage that reinforce the main idea.
    3. Inference & AnalysisThese questions are designed to assess the ability of candidates to make hidden or implicit inferences from the statements in the given passage; thus, enabling them to make conclusions or decisions based on those inferences. These questions may also include the following sub-types:
      • Questions that require analyzing the cause and effect relationships implied in the given passage.
      • Questions that require differentiation between a fact and an opinion in a sentence.
  1. OrganizationIn questions belonging to this category of the Reading test, the candidates are quizzed on how the information is presented, structured or organized in parts or whole of the passage. This may also include questions on summarizing information, wherein the candidates will be asked to select the answer-option that best summarizes the substance provided in a particular paragraph or the whole passage.
  2. RecallIn this category, the candidates are required to simply recall certain pieces of information provided in the given passage and thereafter, select the right answer-option.
  3. VocabularyThese questions are designed to measure the verbal knowledge of the candidates by probing them about the meaning and/or context of a word in a given sentence.

Thus far, we have discussed the important aspects of the Reading section, along with the details on the category of questions that will appear in it. For reading prep materials, sample questions and practice tests, you may visit the official website –