Paragraph Comprehension Overview for ASVAB Power Practice Problems (page 2)
These paragraph comprehension practice questions are based on the actual ASVAB. Take this quiz to see how you would do if you took the exam today and to determine your strengths and weaknesses as you plan your study schedule.
Time: 13 minutes
Every 10 years in America, the federal government conducts a national census to enumerate the national population. The United States Constitution actually requires that all American citizens, non-citizen long-term visitors, and both legal and illegal immigrants be counted on a decennial basis, with specific information gathered regarding population density in all voting districts. This information is what determines how many seats each state is permitted within the House of Representatives.
The census has been conducted every 10 years since 1790. Specific questions have varied from one census to another, but the basic information gathered has been the same since the beginning: how many people live in a particular voting district. This information is vitally important, since it determines the extent of political representation the voters have in Washington, DC.
- According to the passage, the basic purpose of the census is to
- learn information about American voters.
- see how population densities influence political trends.
- determine a voting district's political representation.
- keep the Postal Service in business.
- As used in the passage, enumerate most nearly means to
- expound on.
- make amends.
- steal from the treasury.
- The census is conducted every 10 years because
- population trends can best be tracked in 10-year intervals.
- seats in the House of Representatives expire every 10 years.
- the American people get angry if it is more frequent.
- the Constitution requires it.
- As used in the passage, decennial most nearly means
- every 10 years.
The stories about King Arthur are an enduring legend in Western literature. Most people are familiar with the Round Table and famous characters such as Merlin, Sir Lancelot, Guinevere, and King Arthur himself. The stories date back to the Middle Ages, with such classic works as Sir Thomas Malory's famous Le Morte d'Arthur (The Death of Arthur), Alfred Lord Tennyson's Idylls of the King, and T. H. White's The Once and Future King. The legend is so enjoyable that writers even today use it to create new works of fiction.
But many people are not aware that there was a real King Arthur, a real Merlin, and even a real castle of Camelot! The actual details of these historical facts and personalities are very sketchy, but historical documents record a warrior named Arthur who led an army against Anglo-Saxon invasions during the sixth century. A man named Merlinus Ambrosius was instrumental in establishing a lasting British independence, and he was probably the prototype of Merlin. Perhaps someday historians will unveil more about this legendary topic
- The author of this passage would most likely agree with which statement?
- King Arthur is an old-fashioned story.
- Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote many poems.
- The legend of King Arthur is based loosely on historical facts.
- The future of the Arthurian legend is in question.
- As used in the passage, enduring most nearly means
- lasting a long time.
- ending quickly.
- interesting and lively.
- historically accurate.
- According to the passage, Merlin should be best remembered for
- being a powerful magician.
- inventing the round table.
- helping to establish British independence.
- wearing funny hats.
- As used in the passage, prototype most nearly means
- clearly written.
- the historical basis.
- fictional character.
In 1440, a German named Johannes Gutenberg created a new invention which revolutionized Western society—the printing press. In modern times, most of us take printing for granted, being able to create printed documents with the push of a button and the click of a mouse, but 600 years ago no such technology existed. Books were produced by hand, people working long hours to write out each page using pens made from feathers! The closest thing to a printing press was the art of xylography, which involved engraving an entire page of text into a wooden block, which was then covered with ink and pressed against paper.
Gutenberg invented something called "moveable type," which consisted of individual letters made of lead that could be placed together to form words and sentences. His press allowed a printer to set those lead letters together to produce an entire page of text, which was then inked and printed onto paper. Books could be reproduced on a large scale very quickly, which allowed printers to disseminate ideas around the world without much effort and expense.
- The printing press revolutionized Western society because
- it allowed people to make money.
- it was fast.
- it enabled people to share ideas worldwide.
- there had never been one before.
- As used in the passage, disseminate most nearly means to
- spread around.
- heat up quickly.
- cool down quickly.
- cause pain.
- Moveable type is made of
- The art of xylography involves
- playing music.
- engraving lead.
- making paper.
- engraving on wood.
Reality TV shows will have an adverse effect on traditional dramas and comedies. As reality TV increases in popularity, network executives will begin canceling more traditional programs and replacing them with the latest in reality TV.
- This paragraph best supports the statement that
- Reality TV is low quality.
- Reality TV shows get the highest ratings.
- More and more people love to watch and participate in reality TV.
- As reality TV gets more popular, more traditional television shows may be threatened.
In cities throughout the country, there is a new direction in local campaign coverage. Frequently in local elections, journalists are not giving voters enough information to understand the issues and evaluate the candidates. The local news media devotes too much time to scandal and not enough time to policy.
- This paragraph best supports the statement that the local news media
- is not doing an adequate job when it comes to covering local campaigns.
- does not understand either campaign issues or politics.
- should learn how to cover politics by watching the national news media.
- has no interest in covering stories about local political events.
The entire low-carbohydrate versus low-fat diet argument is so prevalent that one would think that these are the only two options available for losing weight and staying healthy. Some experts even feel that the low-carb and low-fat debate distracts us from an even more important issue—our culture's reliance on processed and manufactured foods.
- The paragraph best supports the statement that
- experts state that not all fats are equal, so we need not reduce our intake of all fats—just those that contain partially hydrogenated oils.
- important health concerns get overlooked when we focus exclusively on the low-fat versus low-carb question.
- low-carbohydrate diets lead to significant and sustained weight loss.
- processed foods can lead to many adverse health problems including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
- c. The passage states that the census is used to determine how many representatives each voting district can have in Washington, DC. None of the other choices is addressed.
- b. The word enumerate means to count. The census counts the number of people who live in any voting district; thus, the people who work for the census are called enumerators or counters.
- d. The passage states in the first paragraph that the 10-year census is required by the U.S. Constitution. None of the other choices is addressed.
- b. The word decennial means occurring every 10 years. The prefix dec- means 10, and the root -ennial is the same as our word annual.
- c. The passage states that many details of the Arthurian legend are based on historical facts. The author does touch on Tennyson's works, and mentions the legend's existence from the past into the future, but only choice c can be fully supported from the passage.
- a. Something that endures lasts a long time despite difficulties and opposition. The legend of King Arthur is enduring because it has been written and read about for hundreds of years.
- c. The second paragraph states that the reallife Merlin was influential in helping to establish British independence. None of the other choices is mentioned in the text.
- b. The prefix proto- means first in time or earliest, so a prototype would be the first historical appearance of a person or thing.
- c. The printing press revolutionized Western society because it allowed people to share ideas easily, as stated in the last sentence. The other choices might or might not be true, but they are not addressed in the passage.
- a. To disseminate means to spread or to scatter in different directions. Farmers will disseminate seeds when they scatter them in a garden.
- c. The passage states that moveable type consisted of letters molded in lead.
- d. The first paragraph defines xylography as the art of engraving a page of text into a wooden block.
- d. Both sentences in the paragraph support this choice. Choice a is an opinion and is not in the paragraph. Choices b and c may be true, but they are also not supported by the paragraph.
- a. Choice d may seem attractive at first, but the passage simply says that the local media does not adequately cover local politics.
- b. Both sentences in this passage support the idea that the emphasis on the low-carb and low-fat debate is misleading and might distract us from other important ideas. The other choices are not supported by or developed in this passage.
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