Understand Inference Questions

In this worksheet, students will learn how to answer inference style questions in preparation for the SATs reading test. Some of the answers will need to be manually marked as these types of questions require a pupil to be able to write in their own words, using the evidence presented.

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Exam-Style Questions: SATs English

Curriculum subtopic:   Exam-Style Questions: Inference Questions

Difficulty level:

QUESTION 1 of 10

Fantastic, so you've decided that you want to revise how to answer inference style questions in preparation for the SATs reading test.

First you need to know, what is an inference question?

No doubt about it, inference can be quite a tricky area of reading!

Inference questions often begin with phrases such as: 'how do you know that', 'how can you tell that', 'what evidence is there' or 'explain what this description suggests'.

When you answer an inference question, you will need to look for clues to find the answer and you will then then explain your answer by using the clues and including the word 'because'.

You must think of yourself as a detective, proving what you know!

The key question you must always ask yourself when you answer an inference question is- how do you know?

When you are finding your evidence, make sure you take it straight from the text, don't make it up or guess.

Remember to also look out for how many marks are available for the question. If there are 2 marks available, give 2 pieces of evidence, if there are 3 marks available, give 3 pieces of evidence. I'm sure you get the idea.

Due to the nature of inference, you will need to write your answer in your own words, just as you will in the SATs reading test.

Over to you now! Let's work through some questions together and really consolidate your inference skills.

Look at the picture below.

Where do you think this woman is?

At work in an office building

Relaxing on holiday

In a hotel room listening to a phone voicemail

Catching up on her favourite TV show

Write down everything you can infer or assume about the picture below. (3 marks)

1. Observe: "I can see..."

2. Wonder: "What do I not know but want to know?"

3. Infer: "I think..."

1. Observe: 'I can see...'

2. Wonder: 'What do I not know but want to know?'

3. Infer: 'I think...'

1. Observe: 'I can see...'

2. Wonder: 'What do I not know but want to know?'

3. Infer: 'I think...'

1. Observe: 'I can see...'

2. Wonder: 'What do I not know but want to know?'

3. Infer: 'I think...'

Read the sentence below and write down what you think may have happened. (3 marks)

When I woke up, I looked out of the window and saw rubbish strewn all over the garden; the bin was lying flat on the ground. Furthermore, some of the rubbish had teeth marks in it!

Make an inference about the sentence below, highlighting and picking out a keyword or phrase. (1 mark)

We bought tickets and some delicious, salted popcorn.

Look at the sentence below.

What 'wonder' question could you ask? (1 mark)

I nimbly dodged my opponent who tried to tackle me from behind.

Make an inference about the sentence below, highlighting and picking out a keyword or phrase.

Remember to use 'Observe, Wonder and Infer' to help you. (2 marks)

The judge decided to condemn the suspect and issued a hefty £10,000 fine.

Make an inference about the sentence below, highlighting and picking out a keyword or phrase.

Remember to use 'Observe, Wonder and Infer' to help you. (2 marks)

I couldn't believe it, I forgot to set my alarm clock last night.

• Question 1

Look at the picture below.

Where do you think this woman is?

In a hotel room listening to a phone voicemail
EDDIE SAYS
How did you get on with this first question? This was an easy question to start with. When looking at a picture like this, you could start reading with an opener like this: 'I can infer from the picture that the woman is...' If you look carefully, you will be able to spot the hotel menus and phone. The bedding and lamp also have the 'look' of a hotel room. You may ask yourself additional questions, such as, 'is she there for work or a holiday?'
• Question 2

Write down everything you can infer or assume about the picture below. (3 marks)

1. Observe: "I can see..."

2. Wonder: "What do I not know but want to know?"

3. Infer: "I think..."

EDDIE SAYS
When answering a question like this, you should be asking yourself questions such as 'what do I actually see?', 'what do I not know but want to know?' A good answer would be: I can see badly sunburnt feet that were at one point wearing flip flops, I infer this from the shape of the tan line. It must have been really hot, perhaps the person is on holiday. I think that the person in the photo may have also cut their foot as I can see a plaster.
• Question 3

1. Observe: 'I can see...'

2. Wonder: 'What do I not know but want to know?'

3. Infer: 'I think...'

EDDIE SAYS
The best way to tackle a question like this is follow the observe, wonder and infer approach. What can you see? Terrible destruction, buildings are ruined. What questions do you have that have been left unanswered? What has happened? What conclusions can you draw from the picture? I think a terrible earthquake has taken place and destroyed people's homes.
• Question 4

1. Observe: 'I can see...'

2. Wonder: 'What do I not know but want to know?'

3. Infer: 'I think...'

EDDIE SAYS
What can you identify in the picture? What questions are you left pondering looking at the picture? What can you infer from the picture that isn't immediately obvious? An example of a model answer would be: In the picture I can see lots of different coloured fireworks going off. Was the photo taken at some sort of celebration? Although I am unsure what event the photo was taken at it may have been on New Years Eve.
• Question 5

1. Observe: 'I can see...'

2. Wonder: 'What do I not know but want to know?'

3. Infer: 'I think...'

EDDIE SAYS
When your response to this question is marked, the marker will be looking to see if you have been able to follow the 'observe, wonder, infer' structure to gain the full 3 marks. A model answer would look like this: I can see a woman in the image with a magical light glowing for her hands. Is she a fairy or a witch? I think she is a good, powerful witch who will help people. You're making fantastic progress! Let's push on.
• Question 6

Read the sentence below and write down what you think may have happened. (3 marks)

When I woke up, I looked out of the window and saw rubbish strewn all over the garden; the bin was lying flat on the ground. Furthermore, some of the rubbish had teeth marks in it!

EDDIE SAYS
Again, in this question you need to demonstrate that you can make an observation, ask a question and provide an inference that isn't immediately obvious. For example: This passage is set in the morning as the narrator has just woken up. I wonder what happened to the bin? Perhaps an animal has created the mess that has been left all over the garden, trying to eat food in the bin!
• Question 7

Make an inference about the sentence below, highlighting and picking out a keyword or phrase. (1 mark)

We bought tickets and some delicious, salted popcorn.

EDDIE SAYS
You're inference could look something like this: 'The narrator is at the cinema and has ordered popcorn' or, 'The narrator is at the funfair and has won a bag of popcorn'. You had to take a key word from the sentence to form your inference. Got it?
• Question 8

Look at the sentence below.

What 'wonder' question could you ask? (1 mark)

I nimbly dodged my opponent who tried to tackle me from behind.

EDDIE SAYS
In order to answer this question you had to think about what information is left out of the sentence, what are you left wondering? E.g. what sport is the narrator playing? or Where is this scene taking place?
• Question 9

Make an inference about the sentence below, highlighting and picking out a keyword or phrase.

Remember to use 'Observe, Wonder and Infer' to help you. (2 marks)

The judge decided to condemn the suspect and issued a hefty £10,000 fine.

EDDIE SAYS
In order to gain the first mark in this question you had to draw information from the use of the word "condemned" to conclude that the suspect was found guilty. To also be awarded the second mark, you had to make an assumption about the kind of crime committed e.g. 'We aren't told but maybe the suspect robbed a bank'.
• Question 10

Make an inference about the sentence below, highlighting and picking out a keyword or phrase.

Remember to use 'Observe, Wonder and Infer' to help you. (2 marks)

I couldn't believe it, I forgot to set my alarm clock last night.

EDDIE SAYS
Great focus, this worksheet required a lot of detective work but you made it through to the end! Now, why not take a well deserved break before smashing a different worksheet from our new SATs content?