Reference words are common in Reading Part C
In Reading Part C, one of the questions about each text may be a reference question. These test your understanding of how words such as ‘this’ or ‘it’ are used in specific sentences. Once you understand how these words are used in texts, they can be quite straightforward questions to answer.
Here’s an example:
- OET is the English test for healthcare professionals. It has been around for over 30 years.
In the above example, ‘it’ is used to avoid repeating the main noun in the previous sentence: OET. To be confident you have chosen the correct answer option, try replacing your answer with the underlined word in the question. If the sentence still makes sense then you are likely to be correct.
Here’s an example using this:
- Many patients dislike the idea of hospitals. Results of a survey on this topic showed a significant proportion said it was because of the smell.
Here ‘this’ is more hidden in the second sentence and it replaces a noun phrase ‘the idea of hospitals’ rather than a single noun. It’s important to remember that reference words refer back to the main idea even if other nouns are mentioned.
When you start looking for them, words like ‘it’, ‘this’ and ‘that’ can be seen everywhere in texts. This makes it easy for you to practise identifying the main noun the reference word is replacing.
Explore the OET blog for more reading tips.