What to Expect


Part B: Reading is the second and final part of your diploma exam.

  • Part B is worth 50% of your total diploma exam mark
  • It is made up of 70 multiple choice questions
  • It is designed to be completed in 3 hours, but you may have double time as outlined by Alberta Education. 
  • Its purpose is to assess your critical reading and thinking skills, including your understanding of:
    • vocabulary (the meaning of words and how they are used in a text)
    • tone (the text creator’s attitude towards the topic)
    • literary and rhetorical devices (tools text creators use to create a desired effect in their work)
    • the human experience (as explored by the texts provided)

What to Expect:

  • You will receive two booklets on the exam.
    • Your Readings booklet includes the texts about which you will answer questions.  NOTE:  These WILL NOT be texts you studied in your English 30-1 course. 
    • The Questions booklet contains all the questions you need to answer. You will use the answer sheet provided to record your answers.

  • You will answer 70 multiple choice questions, based on your reading of texts provided to you in the exam.

  • Texts will include:
    • modern drama
    • poetry
    • Shakespearean drama
    • songs
    • television scripts
    • non-fiction and response to non-fiction
    • fiction and non-fiction readings from a variety of literary sources (e.g., persuasive, personal, expository, biographical, and autobiographical essays, novel excerpts, as well as visual texts)
  • Linked Questions — Some texts will be linked, meaning they will have something like theme or genre in common. Such linked texts will have questions that must be answered by thinking about the texts together. For example, a question could be asked about the theme of two or more texts.
  • Visual TextsVisual texts may be present as part of a different text to enhance the students' reading, or may be presented independently as a reading selection with questions. Students will be asked to identify how elements of a photographic composition, photograph, poster, advertisement, or piece of artwork convey meaning, relate to the purpose of the text, or contribute to the total effect of the text.


The Rules:

  • Bring HB2 pencils, a good eraser, and a few highlighters with you to the exam.
  • You may not use a dictionary and thesaurus for the Reading portion of the exam (though you are allowed these on the Written portion).
  • The texts and the questions are written in a particular order to help you through the exam.  Therefore, you should complete the questions in the order they appear in the exam.
  • Read each text entirely before answering the questions.

This exam is multiple choice, not multiple guess. Choice means you think carefully about the questions and select the correct answer. You can prepare to write this exam. This tutorial contains strategies to help you do so.