Reading Comprehension Final Practice Test

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Updated on Sep 21, 2011

Reading Comprehension Final Practice Test

The practice test consists of a series of reading passages with questions that follow to test your comprehension.

Today, you'll practice concepts covered in these Study Guides:

Practice Passage 1 and Questions

Grunge Music and American Popular Culture

The late 1980s found the landscape of popular music in America dominated by a distinctive style of rock and roll known as glam rock or hair metal—so called because of the over-styled hair, makeup, and wardrobe worn by the genre's ostentatious rockers. Bands like Poison, Whitesnake, and Mötley Crüe popularized glam rock with their power ballads and flashy style, but the product had worn thin by the early 1990s. Just as superficial as the 80s, glam rockers were shallow, short on substance, and musically inferior.

In 1991, a Seattle-based band called Nirvana shocked the corporate music industry with the release of its debut single, "Smells Like Teen Spirit," which quickly became a huge hit all over the world. Nirvana's distorted, guitar-laden sound and thought-provoking lyrics were the antithesis of glam rock, and the youth of America were quick to pledge their allegiance to the brand-new movement known as grunge.

Grunge actually got its start in the Pacific Northwest during the mid-1980s. Nirvana had simply mainstreamed a sound and culture that got its start years before with bands like Mudhoney, Soundgarden, and Green River. Grunge rockers derived their fashion sense from the youth culture of the Pacific Northwest: a melding of punk rock style and outdoors clothing like flannels, heavy boots, worn out jeans, and corduroys. At the height of the movement's popularity, when other Seattle bands like Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains were all the rage, the trappings of grunge were working their way to the height of American fashion. Like the music, the teenagers were fast to embrace the grunge fashion because it represented defiance against corporate America and shallow pop culture.

The popularity of grunge music was ephemeral; by the mid- to late-1990s, its influence upon American culture had all but disappeared, and most of its recognizable bands were nowhere to be seen on the charts. The heavy sound and themes of grunge were replaced on the radio waves by boy bands like the Backstreet Boys, and the bubble gum pop of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.

There are many reasons why the Seattle sound faded out of the mainstream as quickly as it rocketed to prominence, but the most glaring reason lies at the defiant, anti-establishment heart of the grunge movement itself. It is very hard to buck the trend when you are the one setting it, and many of the grunge bands were never comfortable with the fame that was thrust upon them. Ultimately, the simple fact that many grunge bands were so against mainstream rock stardom eventually took the movement back to where it started: underground. The fickle American mainstream public, as quick as they were to hop on to the grunge bandwagon, were just as quick to hop off and move on to something else.

  1. The best word to describe grunge music is
    1. flashy.
    2. rebellious.
    3. fickle.
    4. antithetical.
  2. Teenagers embraced grunge fashion because
    1. they were tired of Glam Rock fashion.
    2. it defied corporate America and the shallowness of pop culture.
    3. grunge rockers told them to embrace it.
    4. it outraged their parents.
  3. By stating that "glam rockers were shallow, short on substance, and musically inferior," this author is
    1. using a time-honored form of reporting that dignifies his or her position.
    2. resorting to a subjective, emotional assertion that is not an effective way to build an argument.
    3. making an objective, logical assertion based on facts.
    4. merely quoting what others say about glam rock and detaching herself or himself from the opinion.
  4. This writer is trying to document
    1. the popularity of glam rock.
    2. Nirvana's role in popularizing grunge music.
    3. the rise and fall of grunge music.
    4. the reasons young people responded so enthusiastically to grunge music.
  5. According to this passage, what is the difference between glam rock and grunge?
    1. Glam rock is flashier and superficial, while grunge is thought-provoking and anti-establishment.
    2. Glam rock appeals to teenagers, while grunge appeals to adults.
    3. Glam rock faded quickly, while grunge is still prominent.
    4. Glam rock was more commercially successful than grunge.
  6. The tone of the sentence, "The fickle American mainstream public, as quick as they were to hop on to the grunge bandwagon, were just as quick to hop off and move on to something else" can be best described as
    1. authoritative.
    2. gloomy.
    3. cynical.
    4. ironic.
  7. Which of the following bands is not associated with grunge?
    1. Nirvana
    2. Mudhoney
    3. Pearl Jam
    4. Poison
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