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Reading Short Passages and Implicit Review Practice

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Updated on Aug 10, 2011

In this section, you will find short passages (one and two paragraph), accompanied by questions that ask you to identify explicit information, analyze, and interpret what is written. This is your first chance to use everything you've learned so far. Pay special attention to the details and the facts, and make a habit of trying to identify the author's main idea; also, try to think of the author's motive for writing the passage. Ask the questions, "Who? What? When? Where? How? and Why?" Is the author's purpose to inform you of facts, persuade you of something, or simply to entertain you?

As you read, try marking up the passages or taking notes. The more active a reader you are, the more likely that you will understand and fully enjoy what you read.

The crystal clear, blue water and the magnificent sun make the Caribbean island of Saint Maarten a favorite vacation spot, one that is popular with North Americans during their winter holidays from December through March, as well as with South Americans and Europeans from April through August. The French and Dutch settled on the island in the 1600s, and to this day, the island is divided between the two of them. The French capital is Marigot; the Dutch capital is Philipsburg.

Tourists soon discover that St. Maarten has an intriguing history. Ancient artifacts found on the island date back to the Stone Age, 6,000 years ago! Tourists also learn that 1,200 years ago the Arawak Indians inhabited all the islands of the West Indies and were a peaceful people living under the guidance of their chiefs. Three hundred years after the Arawaks first arrived on St. Maarten, in the 1300s, they were defeated and forced to abandon the island by a hostile tribe of Indians originating in South America. This new tribe was called the Carib. The Caribbean Sea was named after them. Unlike the Arawaks, they had no permanent chiefs or leaders, except in times of strife. And they were extremely warlike. Worse, they were cannibalistic, eating the enemy warriors they captured. In fact, the very word cannibal comes from the Spanish name for the Carib Indians. The Spanish arrived in the fifteenth century and, unfortunately, they carried diseases to which the Indians had no immunity. Many Indians succumbed to common European illnesses; others died from the hard labor forced upon them.

  1. One can infer from the passage that the Stone Age people lived on St. Maarten around the year
    1. 6000 b.c.
    2. 4000 b.c.
    3. 800 a.d.
    4. 1300 a.d.
  2. Which of the following is NOT true about the Carib Indians?
    1. The sea was named after them.
    2. They were peaceful fishermen, hunters, and farmers.
    3. They ate human flesh.
    4. They settled after defeating the Arawak Indians.
  3. According to the passage, the Carib Indians were finally defeated by
    1. sickness and forced labor.
    2. the more aggressive Arawak tribe.
    3. the Dutch West India Company.
    4. the French explorers.
  4. One can infer from the passage that the underlined word strife means
    1. cannibalism.
    2. war.
    3. duty-free.
    4. chief.
  5. According to the article, present-day St. Maarten
    1. belongs to the Spanish.
    2. is independent.
    3. is shared by the French and the Dutch.
    4. is part of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  6. A metaphor is a poetic device that deals with comparison. It compares similar qualities of two dissimilar objects. With a simple metaphor, one object becomes the other: Love is a rose. Although this does not sound like a particularly rich image, a metaphor can communicate so much about a particular image that poets use them more than any other type of figurative language. The reason for this is that poets compose their poetry to express what they are experiencing emotionally at that moment. Consequently, what the poet imagines love to be may or may not be our perception of love. Therefore, the poet's job is to enable us to experience it, to feel it the same way that the poet does. We should be able to nod in agreement and say, "Yes, that's it! I understand precisely where this person is coming from."

    Let's analyze this remarkably unsophisticated metaphor concerning love and the rose to see what it offers. Because the poet uses a comparison with a rose, first we must examine the characteristics of that flower. A rose is spectacular in its beauty, its petals are velvety soft, and its aroma is soothing and pleasing. It's possible to say that a rose is actually a veritable feast to the senses: the visual, the tactile, and the aural [more commonly known as the senses of sight, touch, and sound]. The rose's appearance seems to border on perfection, each petal seemingly symmetrical in form. Isn't this the way one's love should be? A loved one should be a delight to one's senses and seem perfect. However, there is another dimension added to the comparison by using a rose. Roses have thorns. This is the comprehensive image the poet wants to communicate; otherwise, a daisy or a mum would have been presented to the audience as the ultimate representation of love—but the poet didn't, instead conveying the idea that roses can be treacherous. So can love, the metaphor tells us. When one reaches out with absolute trust to touch the object of his or her affection, ouch, a thorn can cause great harm! "Be careful," the metaphor admonishes: Love is a feast to the senses, but it can overwhelm us, and it can also hurt us. It can prick us and cause acute suffering. This is the poet's perception of love—an admonition. What is the point? Just this: It took almost 14 sentences to clarify what a simple metaphor communicates in only five words! That is the artistry and the joy of the simple metaphor.

  7. The main idea of this passage is
    1. poetic devices are necessary for poets.
    2. poetry must never cater to the senses.
    3. always use words that create one specific image.
    4. the metaphor is a great poetic device.
  8. It can be inferred that a metaphor is
    1. a type of figurative language.
    2. the only poetic device.
    3. not precise enough.
    4. a type of flower in a poem.
  9. According to the passage, thorns
    1. protect the rose from harm.
    2. reduce the ability to love another.
    3. add a new element to the image of love.
    4. are just more images to compare to a rose.
  10. It can be inferred that the true meaning of the love is a rose metaphor is that
    1. love is a true joy.
    2. love comes only once in a lifetime.
    3. love is never permanent.
    4. love is a combination of good and bad experiences.
  11. According to the passage, the poet's intention is
    1. to release anger.
    2. to announce heartache.
    3. to enable you to experience the poet's point of view.
    4. to reward the senses.
  12. The composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's remarkable musical talent was apparent even before most children can sing a simple nursery rhyme. Wolfgang's older sister Maria Anna (who the family called Nannerl) was learning the clavier, an early keyboard instrument, when her three-year-old brother took an interest in playing. As Nannerl later recalled, Wolfgang "often spent much time at the clavier picking out thirds, which he was always striking, and his pleasure showed that it sounded good." Their father Leopold, an assistant concertmaster at the Salzburg Court, recognized his children's unique gifts and soon devoted himself to their musical education.

    Born in Salzburg, Austria, on January 27, 1756, Wolfgang had composed his first original work by age five. Leopold planned to take Nannerl and Wolfgang on tour to play before the European courts. Their first venture was to nearby Munich where the children played for Maximillian III Joseph, elector of Bavaria. Leopold soon set his sights on the capital of the Hapsburg Empire, Vienna. On their way to Vienna, the family stopped in Linz, where Wolfgang gave his first public concert. By this time, Wolfgang was not only a virtuoso harpsichord player, but he had also mastered the violin. The audience at Linz was stunned by the six-year-old, and word of his genius soon traveled to Vienna. In a much anticipated concert, the Mozart children appeared at the Schonbrunn Palace on October 13, 1762. They utterly charmed the emperor and empress.

    Following this success, Leopold was inundated with invitations for the children to play, for a fee. Leopold seized the opportunity and booked as many concerts as possible at courts throughout Europe. A concert could last three hours, and the children played at least two per a day. Today, Leopold might be considered the worst kind of stage parent, but at the time, it was not uncommon for prodigies to make extensive concert tours. Even so, it was an exhausting schedule for a child who was just past the age of needing an afternoon nap.

  13. A good title for this passage would be
    1. Classical Music in the Eighteenth Century: An Overview.
    2. Stage Parents: A Historical Perspective.
    3. Mozart: The Early Life of a Musical Prodigy.
    4. Mozart: The Short Career of a Musical Genius.
  14. According to the passage, Wolfgang became interested in music because
    1. his father thought it would be profitable.
    2. he had a natural talent.
    3. he saw his sister learning to play an instrument.
    4. he came from a musical family.
  15. What was the consequence of Wolfgang's first public appearance?
    1. He charmed the emperor and empress of Hapsburg.
    2. Word of Wolfgang's genius spread to the capital.
    3. Leopold set his sights on Vienna.
    4. Invitations for the miracle children to play poured in.
  16. Each of the following statements about Wolfgang Mozart is directly supported by the passage except
    1. Mozart's father, Leopold, was instrumental in shaping his career.
    2. Maria Anna was a talented musician in her own right.
    3. Wolfgang's childhood was devoted to his musical career.
    4. Wolfgang preferred the violin to other instruments.
  17. According to the passage, during Wolfgang's early years, child prodigies were
    1. few and far between.
    2. accustomed to extensive concert tours.
    3. expected to spend at least six hours per a day practicing their music.
    4. expected to play for courts throughout Europe.
  18. Based on information found in the passage, Mozart can best be described as
    1. a child prodigy.
    2. a workaholic.
    3. the greatest composer of the eighteenth century.
    4. a victim of his father's ambition.
  19. The sentences are numbered in the following passage to help you answer the questions.

    1) The Woodstock Music and Art Fair—better known to its participants and to history simply as "Woodstock"—should have been a colossal failure. 2) Just a month prior to its August 15, 1969 opening, the fair's organizers were informed by the council of Wallkill, New York, that permission to hold the festival was withdrawn. 3) Amazingly, not only was a new site found, but word spread to the public of the fair's new location. 4) At the new site, fences that were supposed to facilitate ticket collection never materialized, and all attempts at gathering tickets were abandoned. 5) Crowd estimates of 30,000 kept rising; by the end of the three days, some estimated the crowd at 500,000. 6) Then, on opening night, it began to rain. 7) Off and on, throughout all three days, huge summer storms rolled over the gathering. 8) In spite of these problems, most people think of Wood stock not only as a fond memory but as the defining moment for an entire generation.

  20. Which of the following would be the most appropriate title for this passage?
    1. Backstage at Woodstock
    2. Woodstock: From The Band to The Who
    3. Remembering Woodstock
    4. Woodstock: The Untold Story
  21. Which of the following numbered sentences of the passage best represents an opinion rather than a fact?
    1. sentence 1
    2. sentence 2
    3. sentence 3
    4. sentence 4
  22. Why is the word amazingly used in sentence 3?
    1. The time in which the site move was made and the word sent out was so short.
    2. The fair drew such an unexpectedly enormous crowd.
    3. There was such pressure by New York officials against holding the fair.
    4. The stormy weather was so unfavorable.
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