Reading Test

The CAAP Reading Test is a 36-item, 40-minute test that measures reading comprehension as a combination of skills that can be conceptualized in two broad categories: Referring Skills and Reasoning Skills.

  • Referring Skills. Test items that focus on referring skills require the student to derive meaning from text by identifying and interpreting specific information that is explicitly stated. Typical items of this type require students to recognize main ideas of paragraphs and passages, to identify important factual information, and to identify relationships among different components of textual information.
  • Reasoning Skills. Test items that focus on reasoning skills require students to determine implicit meanings and to go beyond the information that is explicitly presented. Typical items in this category assess students' ability to determine meaning from context, to infer main ideas and relationships, to generalize and apply information beyond the immediate context, to draw appropriate conclusions, and to make appropriate comparisons.

The Reading Test consists of four prose passages of about 900 words each that are representative of the level and kinds of writing commonly encountered in college curricula. The four reading passages come from the following four content areas, one passage from each area:

  • Prose Fiction—Entire stories or excerpts from short stories or novels.
  • Humanities—Art, music, philosophy, theater, architecture, or dance.
  • Social Studies—History, political science, economics, anthropology, psychology, or sociology.
  • Natural Sciences—Biology, chemistry, physics, or the physical sciences.

Each passage is accompanied by a set of nine multiple-choice test items that focus on the set of complementary and mutually supportive skills that readers must use in studying written materials across a range of subject areas.

Three Reading scores are reported:

  1. a total test score based on all 36 items
  2. a subscore in Arts/Literature based on 18 items in Prose Fiction and Humanities
  3. a subscore in Social Studies/Sciences based on 18 items in the Social Studies and Natural Science

Content Specifications Summary for the CAAP Reading Test

Content Category Proportion of Test Number of Items
Referring Skills .25–.33 9–12
Reasoning Skills .67–.75 24–27
Total 1.00 36