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Reading Comprehension Practice Exercises: GED Language Arts, Reading

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Updated on Mar 9, 2011

The study guide for these practice exercises can be found at:

Reading Comprehension Study Guide: GED Language Arts, Reading

Practicing Main Ideas and Themes

Try your hand at identifying the topic and main idea for each of the following passages. Underline the topic and circle the main idea in each passage as you read it through; this will help you in answering the questions.

Passage 1

Reading is an important part of life. Critical reading, however, is a demanding process. To read critically, you must slow down your reading and perform specific operations on the text—with pencil in hand. Mark up the text with your reactions, conclusions, and questions. When you read, become an active participant.
  1. The topic of this passage is
    1. how to pass reading tests.
    2. the hard work of critical reading.
    3. reading.
    4. a pencil is an important tool when reading.
    5. active participation is essential when reading.
  2. This paragraph best supports the statement that
    1. critical reading is a slow, dull, but essential process.
    2. the best critical reading happens at critical times in a person's life.
    3. readers should get in the habit of questioning the truth of what they read.
    4. critical reading requires thoughtful and careful attention.
    5. critical reading should take place at the same time each day.

Passage 2

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures. No search of a person's home or personal effects may be conducted without a written search warrant issued on probable cause. This means that a neutral judge must approve the factual basis justifying a search before it can be conducted.
  1. This paragraph best supports the statement that the police cannot search a person's home or private papers unless they have
    1. legal authorization.
    2. direct evidence of a crime.
    3. read the person his or her constitutional rights.
    4. a reasonable belief that a crime has occurred.
    5. requested that a judge be present.
  2. The topic of this paragraph is
    1. the Constitution of the United States.
    2. the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.
    3. a judge's role in search and seizure.
    4. the origin of search warrants.
    5. factual bases for search warrants.

Passage 3

Mathematics allows us to expand our consciousness. Mathematics tells us about economic trends, patterns of disease, and the growth of populations. Math is good at exposing the truth, but it can also perpetuate misunderstandings and untruths. Figures have the power to mislead people.
  1. This paragraph best supports the statement that
    1. the study of mathematics is dangerous.
    2. words are more truthful than figures.
    3. the study of mathematics is more important than other disciplines.
    4. the power of numbers is that they cannot lie.
    5. figures are sometimes used to deceive people.
  2. The topic of this paragraph is
    1. truth.
    2. expanded consciousness.
    3. using math to mislead.
    4. how math can help society.
    5. mathematics.
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