GED Practice Exam 1: GED Language Arts, Reading (page 2)

Updated on Mar 9, 2011


  1. c.   This passage is a humorous exchange of opinions between Larry and his mother. Larry wants to invite a lot of friends to visit them in a house that is too small, but he seems oblivious to the fact that his request is inconsiderate.
  2. d.   The conflict is humorous, but it still exists—caused by Larry's demands that his mother host a number of his friends, which his mother thinks is very unreasonable.
  3. b.   No matter how much we want to—even if we have all the good will in the world—we cannot fit 13 people into the villa.
  4. c.   The narrator is in the third person, meaning that he is not a character in the story.
  5. b.   You can infer that Larry is self-centered by the fact that he does not recognize the absurdity of his suggestions. His focus is on his own plans, not on how those plans will affect others.
  6. a.   Thoreau is saying that he moved into the woods in order to live more simply, hoping to avoid the unnecessary distractions of life in a civilized society.
  7. e.   Thoreau may have done these other things, but the point that he is making in his essay is that we can get the most out of life if we live as simply as possible.
  8. c.   The word founder in this context means to sink, as a ship that has hit rocks and is about to sink to the bottom, as Thoreau states.
  9. b.   Thoreau is trying to convince the reader that his lifestyle is the best, the most pure. This is obviously open to debate; many readers would not agree that it's best to live alone in the woods. Therefore, the author is trying to persuade.
  10. b.   This is an excerpt from an essay entitled "Walden," by Henry David Thoreau.
  11. d.   The sunrise is being described, which the poet lets us know by informing us that he is picturing dawn. The sunrise is described as slitting the darkness from ear to ear, implying that it goes across the whole horizon.
  12. e.   The blue snake is also described as the bargeroad, a road that is used by barges. Barges travel on rivers, and the poet is describing a frozen river.
  13. a.   The word solstice refers to the shortest day of the year, which occurs in the middle of winter. The poet is saying that it is six weeks past that, so the days should be getting longer.
  14. d.   There is no rhyme scheme in this poem, nor do the lines scan to any particular meter. It is written in free verse.
  15. b.   This poem is drawing word images, describing a frozen river in the winter months. It is an example of imagistic poetry.
  16. c.   The characters' attitude toward marriage is very flippant; they are joking together about their own previous marriage, as well as the marriages that each is in at present.
  17. b.   This couple used to be married to each other, and have since married others. Now hey discover that they miss one another. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
  18. e.   Each of the characters had been convinced in the past that the other was being unfaithful. Both confess to thinking that the other was cheating.
  19. a.   Underneath all the humor, there is a strong sense that this couple is doomed to be unhappy no matter whom they marry.
  20. a.   This play is very humorous, and deals with everyday subjects (such as marriage) with ordinary people. It is probably a comedy, therefore, and will end happily.
  21. b.   The couple are not wealthy. We are told in the first sentence that Jim needed a new overcoat and gloves. We are not told any of the other details, but we can infer that they are ordinary working-class people.
  22. c.   Della is eagerly excited to see her husband, and she wriggles off the table in order to run to him.
  23. d.   Jim is struggling to make sense out of what he is seeing. His wife has suddenly cut her hair very short, but he has bought her special decorations (combs) to wear in her hair.
  24. e.   Della starts to cry because she realizes that Jim bought her the very thing that she wanted—despite the fact that the combs were very expensive. She is also overwhelmed with the thought that now her hair is too short to wear them.
  25. c.   The word ardent means passionate, burning with love.
  26. d.   It is easy to picture Della and Jim being very generous with their friends, because they have been so generous and unselfish with one another.
  27. b.   Jim has sold his watch to buy Della's combs.
  28. d.   Jim has sold his watch to buy combs for Della's hair, but Della has cut off her hair to buy a chain for Jim's watch. This is an example of irony, where a character's expectations turn out to be the opposite of what happens.
  29. a.   The narrator is trying to persuade a woman to become intimate with him. He is using the fact that their bloods have already commingled inside the flea, so they should not hesitate to sleep together.
  30. c.   The poem is divided into three stanzas, or groups of verses.
  31. a.   The flea has sucked blood from the narrator and from the woman, plus it is a living creature in its own right—therefore, there are "three lives in one flea."
  32. e.   The living walls of jet refers to the flea itself. Jet refers to the flea's black color. The couple's blood is commingled inside the flea's body.
  33. b.   The first two lines rhyme, then the next two lines rhyme, and so forth—making a rhyme scheme of a, a, b, b, c, c, d, d, d.
  34. b.   The narrator is not taking the idea of love very seriously. He is using distorted logic to persuade the woman to be intimate with him, but it is mostly just a word game.
  35. e.   The woman has killed the flea by squishing it with her nail. The poet refers to the fact that she has purpled her nail—meaning that she has gotten the flea's blood on her fingernail.
  36. b.   This memo does spend some time on statistics, but the overall purpose is to ensure that the job site is a safe place to work—free from bullying by labor unions.
  37. d.   Coercion means forcing someone to cooperate, bullying a person into submission.
  38. e.   Employee turnover rates have increased over the past several years, and the trend is higher each year.
  39. b.   The passage states specifically that union agitation has been a large factor in employees leaving the company. None of the other issues is addressed in the passage.
  40. a.   There is nothing particularly humorous in this passage, but the writer also does not sound angry or confrontational. The overall tone is very businesslike and professional.
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