Detail questions are the largest category of questions on the Praxis Core Reading exam. You can expect this question type to take up nearly half of the test. So it’s important to understand what detail questions are and how they’re structured. And it’s just as important to get in a lot of practice with this question type.
There are three types of detail questions: directly stated information questions, inference questions, and purpose-of-information questions. Questions about directly stated information require basic reading comprehension—test takers will be asked to correctly identify specific ideas that are clearly stated in the passage. For inference questions, test-takers need to recognize ideas that are not directly stated, but represent the logical implications of directly stated ideas in the text. Purpose-of-information questions focus on the way specific pieces of information are used in a passage. Here, the task is to recognize whether an idea in the passage is being used as a supporting detail, an answer to a question, an introduction to a new concept, etc….
In this post, we’ll look at three practice detail questions, one for each question subtype. All three questions are based on the same reading passage. Practice these questions to build your Core Reading Skills. You may check your answers with the answer key at the bottom of this post.
Twice a year, many Western nations change their clocks in observation of Daylight Savings Time, setting timetables an hour forward in the spring and an hour back in autumn.
The first Daylight Savings Time practices emerged in the early 1900s. However, the origins of this multinational biannual clock change are a bit older. The modern concept of Daylight Savings Time originated more than a century before people first began to actually change their clocks.
Benjamin Franklin, a United States scientist and writer, was the first to suggest seasonal time changes. In a humorous essay that Franklin wrote in 1784, Franklin half-jokingly proposed that clock times in France could be changed so that there was more daylight in the morning, in order to save money on candles for lighting. Decades later, increased use of strict timetables for industrialized life led to a renewed and more serious interest in Franklin’s suggestion.
By the late 1800s, synchronized mechanical clocks and punctual scheduling for transportation and work had become the norm in much of the developed world. After a century of industrialization and increasingly strict consciousness of time, Daylight Savings Time had grown in the imaginations of many authorities in the British Empire. George Hudson, a scientist in New Zealand, wrote the first serious essay proposing the use of Daylight Savings Time in 1895, echoing Franklin by suggesting that such a policy could save money in lighting costs. Within the next twenty years, European industrialists and politicians implemented Hudson’s ideas across the Western world.
Practice question 1: directly stated information
According to the passage, one reason that Daylight Savings time was instituted in the early 1900s is because
A) people found the idea humorous.
B) it became an important part of seasonal activities.
C) scientists conducted experiments that proved it would be a good idea.
D) time management became more important in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
E) other countries wanted to imitate the United States.
Practice question 2: Inferences
It can be inferred that both Benjamin Franklin and George Hudson regarded Daylight Savings Time as
A) a serious proposal that should be voted on by lawmakers.
B) a financially prudent measure.
C) something that should be observed in the fall and the spring.
D) a way to ensure that strict timetables were followed.
E) only possible with the use of newer clock designs.
Practice question 3: Purpose-of-information
The author refers to “a renewed and more serious interest in Franklin’s suggestion” in order to
A) explain the results of increased industrialization in the decades after Franklin’s essay was published.
B) provide an explanation for the continued popularity of Franklin’s books and essays.
C) demonstrate that Franklin wanted his ideas about Daylight Savings Time to be taken seriously.
D) introduce some cultural differences between the United States and New Zealand.
E) quantify the increase in lighting costs between the late 1700s and late 1800s.