Reading Comprehension Success Practice Test (page 3)

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Updated on Sep 20, 2011

Reading Passage 5 and Questions

(excerpt from a letter to a pet-sitter)

Dear Lee,

As I told you, I'll be gone until Wednesday morning. Thank you so much for taking on my "children" while I'm away. Like real children, they can be kind of irritating sometimes, but I'm going to enjoy myself so much more knowing they're getting some kind human attention. Remember that Regina (the "queen" in Latin, and she acts like one) is teething. If you don't watch her, she'll chew anything, including her sister, the cat. There are plenty of chew toys around the house. Whenever she starts gnawing on anything illegal, just divert her with one of those. She generally settles right down to a good hour-long chew. Then you'll see her wandering around whimpering with the remains of the toy in her mouth. She gets really frustrated because what she wants is to bury the thing. She'll try to dig a hole between the cushions of the couch. Finding that unsatisfactory, she'll wander some more, discontent, until you solve her problem for her. I usually show her the laundry basket, moving a few clothes so she can bury her toy beneath them. I do sound like a parent, don't I? You have to understand, my own son is practically grown up.

Regina's food is the Puppy Chow in the utility room, where the other pet food is stored. Give her a bowl once in the morning and once in the evening. No more than that, no matter how much she begs. Beagles are notorious overeaters, according to her breeder, and I don't want her to lose her girlish figure. She can share water with Rex (the King), but be sure it's changed daily. She needs to go out several times a day, especially last thing at night and first thing in the morning. Let her stay out for about ten minutes each time, so she can do all her business. She also needs a walk in the afternoon, after which it's important to romp with her for awhile in the yard. The game she loves most is fetch, but be sure to make her drop the ball. She'd rather play tug of war with it. Tell her, "Sit!" Then, when she does, say, "Drop it!" Be sure to tell her "good girl," and then throw the ball for her. I hope you'll enjoy these sessions as much as I do.

Now, for the other two, Rex and Paws… (letter continues)
  1. Which effect is most likely to occur if the pet sitter does not supervise Regina and encourage her to play with her chew toys?
    1. Regina will get frustrated or damage her owner's personal property.
    2. Regina will overeat and gain weight.
    3. Regina will fight with her sister.
    4. Regina will find something else to do.
  2. If the pet-sitter is a businesslike professional who watches people's pets for a living, she or he would likely prefer
    1. more first-person revelations about the owner.
    2. fewer first-person revelations about the owner.
    3. more praise for agreeing to watch the animals.
    4. greater detail on the animals' cute behavior.
  3. The author uses the word children to describe his or her pets because
    1. the author believes her pets possess childlike qualities.
    2. the author has never had children and the pets are substitutes for the children she never had.
    3. she dresses them in clothing and indulges them with special foods.
    4. her beagle has a girlish figure and the author calls her a "good girl."
  4. The information in the note is sufficient to determine that there are three animals. They are
    1. two cats and a dog.
    2. three dogs.
    3. a dog, a cat, and an unspecified animal.
    4. a cat, a dog, and a parrot.
  5. Given that there are three animals to feed, which of the following arrangements of the feeding instructions would be most efficient and easiest to follow?
    1. all given in one list, chronologically from morning to night
    2. provided separately as they are for Regina, within separate passages on each animal
    3. given in the order of quantities needed, the most to the least
    4. placed in the middle of the letter, where they would be least likely to be overlooked
  6. From the context of the note, it is most likely that the name Rex is
    1. Spanish.
    2. English.
    3. French.
    4. Latin.
  7. If the sitter is to follow the owner's directions in playing fetch with Regina, at what point will he or she will tell Regina "good girl"?
    1. every time Regina goes after the ball
    2. after Regina finds the ball
    3. when Regina brings the ball back
    4. after Regina drops the ball

Reading Passage 6 and Questions

(excerpt from a pro-voting essay)

Voting is the privilege for which wars have been fought, protests have been organized, and editorials have been written. "No taxation without representation" was a battle cry of the American Revolution. Women struggled for suffrage, as did all minorities. Eighteen-year-olds clamored for the right to vote, saying that if they were old enough to go to war, they should be allowed to vote. Yet Americans have a deplorable voting history.

Interviewing people about their voting habits is revealing. There are individuals who state that they have never voted. Often, they claim that their individual vote doesn't matter. Some people blame their absence from the voting booth on the fact that they do not know enough about the issues. In a democracy, we can express our opinions to our elected leaders, but more than half of us sometimes avoid choosing the people who make the policies that affect our lives.

  1. This argument relies primarily on which of the following techniques to make its points?
    1. emotional assertions
    2. researched facts in support of an assertion
    3. emotional appeals to voters
    4. emotional appeals to nonvoters
  2. Which of the following sentences best summarizes the main idea of the passage?
    1. Americans are too lazy to vote.
    2. Women and minorities fought for their right to vote.
    3. Americans do not take voting seriously enough.
    4. Americans do not think that elected officials take their opinions seriously.
  3. By choosing the word clamored, the author implies that
    1. 18-year-olds are generally enthusiastic.
    2. voting was not a serious concern to 18-year-olds.
    3. 18-year-olds felt strongly that they should be allowed to vote.
    4. 18-year-olds do not handle themselves in a mature manner.

Reading Passage 7 and Questions

The Unconventional Lives of Famous Writers

Throughout the centuries, various writers have contributed greatly to the literary treasure trove of books lining the shelves of today's libraries. In addition to writing interesting material, many famous writers, such as Edgar Allan Poe, were larger-than-life characters with personal histories that are as interesting to read as the stories they wrote. Poe's rocky life included expulsion from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1831 and an ongoing battle with alcohol. Yet, despite heavy gambling debts, poor health, and chronic unemployment, Poe managed to produce a body of popular works, including "The Raven" and "The Murders in the Rue Morgue."

Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick, once lived among the cannibals in the Marquesas Islands and wrote exotic tales inspired by his years of service in the U.S. Navy. Dublin-born Oscar Wilde was noted for his charismatic personality, his outrageous lifestyle, and creating witty catchphrases such as, "Nothing succeeds like excess." D. H. Lawrence wrote scandalous novels that were often censored, and Anne Rice led a double life writing bestselling vampire novels under her real name and using the nom de plume "A. N. Roquelaure" for the lowbrow erotica novels she penned on the side. Nonconformist author and naturalist Henry David Thoreau once fled to the woods and generated enough interesting material to fill his noted book Walden.

Thoreau wrote on the issue of passive resistance protest in his essay "Civil Disobedience" and served time in jail for withholding tax payments in protest of the United States government's policy towards slavery. American short story writer O. Henry's colorful life was marred by tragic events, such as being accused and sentenced for allegedly stealing money from an Austin, Texas bank. Despite his success selling his short stories, O. Henry struggled financially and was nearly bankrupt when he died.

As diverse as these famous authors' backgrounds were, they all led unconventional lives while writing great literary works that will endure throughout the ages. The next time you read an interesting book, consider learning more about the author by reading his or her biography so you can learn about the unique life experiences that shaped his or her writing.

  1. Select the word that best defines expulsion.

    1. admittance
    2. entry
    3. ejection
    4. inclusion
  2. Based on the passage, select the best choice regarding the statement: "Edgar Allan Poe was a commercially popular author."
    1. The statement is false.
    2. The statement is an opinion.
    3. The statement is factual.
    4. The statement is fictional.
  3. What can you infer from the following sentence? "D. H. Lawrence wrote scandalous novels that were often censored, and Anne Rice led a double life writing bestselling novels under her real name and using the nom de plume 'A. N. Roquelaure' for the lowbrow erotica novels she penned on the side."
    1. D. H. Lawrence and Anne Rice had similar writing styles.
    2. Anne Rice used a pen name because her novels were more scandalous than D. H. Lawrence's novels.
    3. Anne Rice used different names when she wrote in different genres.
    4. none of the above
  4. Which statement is false?
    1. Henry David Thoreau was passionately opposed to slavery.
    2. Anne Rice used a pen name to disguise her true identity.
    3. Herman Melville experimented with cannibalism during his naval service.
    4. Edgar Allan Poe was an alcoholic.
  5. Select the word that best defines marred.
    1. improved
    2. soaked
    3. tarnished
    4. ended
  6. The main idea of this story is
    1. Many famous writers lived nontraditional lives.
    2. Writers are troublemakers.
    3. All writers lead interesting lives.
    4. Writers' biographies are inspirational.
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