Reading Comprehension Practice Exercises: GED Language Arts, Reading (page 4)

Updated on Mar 9, 2011

Practice 8

Following are some possible opinion statements that could be written from the facts.

  1. The movie Crash deserved to win the Best Picture award in 2006.
  2. Summer is the most pleasant of the four seasons.
  3. Deciduous trees lose their leaves in winter, so evergreens are a better choice for landscaping.
  4. Coffee is brewed from beans, so instant coffee is not natural.
  5. Daylight Saving time actually costs more than it saves.

Practice 9

  1. d.   It can be inferred that there is a problem with the security at the garage. There is nothing to suggest that the garage has been busy lately, so choice a is not supported by the passage. Choice b is far too sweeping a conclusion to draw, suggesting that all parking garage security officers are slackers; the passage does not deal with parking garages in general, only with one garage in particular.
  2. One of the fundamental rules in drawing inferences is that the passage must support what you infer. The passage does not make any sweeping statements about parking garages in general, nor does it address the question of whether the identification card system is working. The main idea of the passage is that there is a problem within this particular garage, and the writer is focusing on the garage's security officers in particular. Therefore, we can conclude that the writer is implying that the security guards aren't doing their jobs, even though he does not directly make that statement.

Practice 10

  1. b.   There is no evidence given in the report that Smith had been drinking, so choice a is not supportable. It is, of course, entirely possible that the witnesses lied, but the passage itself makes no mention of that possibility, so choice c is not correct. The only statement that can be supported by the passage is that Smith fell asleep while driving down Main Street.

Practice 11

  1. d.   Notice the words and phrases that the writer has used to describe Coach Lerner: drill sergeant, marches, barks orders, troops on a battlefield, and so forth. The writer is deliberately using expressions that make the reader think of being in the Army and undergoing basic training. There is nothing in the passage to suggest that Coach Lerner's techniques are either good or bad, so choices a and b cannot be supported. The author does not say whether he is new to the team or an old hand, so answer c cannot be supported.

Practice 12

  1. e.   Choice b might be tempting, and in fact the author might actually want you to believe that Bush doesn't care about poor people, but the passage does not address poor people or how Bush deals with them, so it cannot be supported.
  2. Notice, however, the words that the writer has used. The president visited his family's large estate, which is actually a huge compound. The writer could just as easily have described it as the old family homestead, but those words would have brought a very different picture into the reader's mind. Pay attention to how a writer describes a thing or person or event, and ask yourself what other words could have been used to describe it. These clues will help you quickly understand what a writer is implying, and you can then safely infer related conclusions.

Practice 13

  1. a.   The passage supports the statement that Aunt Polly whacked Jim with her slipper. None of the other statements has any support in the passage. You can find this answer by asking yourself why the author is telling you this.
  2. Notice the last sentence in the passage:… he was flying down the street with his pail and a tingling rear. Why does Twain tell you that Jim had a tingling rear? Then the author adds another fact that, at first glance, may seem irrelevant: He tells us in the last sentence that Aunt Polly had a slipper in her hand and triumph in her eye. Why does he mention triumph? And why does Aunt Polly have a slipper in her hand instead of on her foot?

    When you encounter something in literature that seems odd or out of place, ask yourself why the author included that information. Your answers will help you understand what the author is implying, and what information you can infer.

Practice 14

  1. Cause: We hired three salespeople.
  2. Effect: Sales have doubled.

  3. Cause: I met you.
  4. Effect: I've been happy.

  5. Cause: Jim didn't buy gas.
  6. Effect: His car stalled.

  7. Cause: Tom skipped breakfast.
  8. Effect: He got hungry at noon.

  9. Cause: Jane started a diet.
  10. Effect: She lost 35 pounds.

Practice 15

  1. a.   The author tells you that the character was suffering from lonesomeness, and that she decided to go to the movies to stop feeling lonely.
  2. c.   The author hints at the effect of the movie by saying that there… she succumbed to some message in the movie. This message, the author tells us, is one of the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought. The author is letting us know that the movie was the cause of some dangerous idea that the character believed, so the dangerous idea is the effect that the movie had on the character.

Practice 16

  1. a.   Ostracized means shunned or avoided by others. The context tells you that Megan's friends had never shunned her before, so you know that ostracized has something to do with being shunned or excluded.
  2. d.   Obdurately means stubbornly. The context tells you that Zachary keeps on applying for the managerial position, even though he is unqualified—and this suggests that he is stubborn.
  3. d.   Ambiguous means unclear or having more than one meaning. The context tells you that the person read the memo four or five times, but still could not understand it; it was unclear.
  4. d.   Incredulous means disbelieving. The context tells you that Bob is timid, and that people reacted strongly when they heard that he had taken up skydiving. The only choice that makes sense in this context is d.
  5. b.   Plausible means believable or likely to happen. The context tells you that the police looked elsewhere for the criminal, which suggests that they found his explanation believable.


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