Reading Comprehension Success Practice Test (page 4)

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Updated on Sep 20, 2011

Reading Passage 8 and Questions

(excerpt from "First," a short story)

First, you ought to know that I'm "only" 14. My mother points this out frequently. I can make decisions for myself when I'm old enough to vote, she says. Second, I should tell you that she's right—I'm not always responsible. I sometimes take the prize for a grade-A dork. Last weekend, for instance, when I was staying at Dad's, I decided it was time I learned to drive. It was Sunday morning, 7 a.m. to be exact, and I hadn't slept well, thinking about this argument I'll be telling you about in a minute. Nobody was up yet in the neighborhood, and I thought there would be no harm in backing the car out of the garage and cruising around the block. But Dad has a clutch car, and the "R" on the shift handle was up on the left side, awful close to first gear, and I guess you can guess the rest.

Dad's always been understanding. He didn't say, like Mom would, "Okay, little Miss Know-It-All, you can just spend the rest of the year paying this off." He worried about what might have happened to me—to me, you see, and that made me feel more guilty than anything. Overall, I just think he'd be a better number-one caregiver, if you get my drift. Of course I can't say things like that to Mom.

To her, I have to say, "But Mom, Dad's place is closer to school. I could ride my bike."

She replies, "Jennifer Lynn, you don't own a bike, because you left it in the yard and it was stolen, and you haven't got the perseverance it takes to do a little work and earn the money to replace it."

  1. Which description best explains the structure of the story so far?
    1. chronological, according to what happens first, second, and so on
    2. reverse chronological order, with the most recent events recorded first
    3. intentionally confused order, incorporating flashbacks to previous events
    4. according to importance, with the most significant details related first
  2. What device does the author use to illustrate the narrator's feelings about her mother and father?
    1. vivid and specific visual detail
    2. rhetorical questions, which make a point but don't invite a direct answer
    3. metaphors and other figurative language
    4. contrast between the parents' typical reactions
  3. The narrator attributes her inability to sleep when staying at her father's house to
    1. thinking about a disagreement with someone.
    2. the uncomfortable quiet of an early Sunday morning.
    3. the sore throat she had from shouting so much.
    4. her accident with the car.
  4. The first-person point of view in this story
    1. obscures how the narrator's mind works.
    2. illustrates the thoughts and personality of the narrator.
    3. makes the narrator seem distant and rigid.
    4. gives us direct access to the minds of all the characters.
  5. When the narrator says she sometimes "take[s] the prize for a grade-A dork," the word choice is intended to indicate
    1. that she doesn't know proper English.
    2. her age and culture.
    3. that she is unable to judge her own actions.
    4. that she thinks she's better than most others who might be termed "dorks."
  6. Jennifer Lynn's mother and father differ because
    1. they have very different temperaments.
    2. her mother doesn't care about Jennifer Lynn as much as her father does.
    3. she dislikes her mother and thinks her father is a better parent.
    4. none of the above
  7. Overall, this narrator's tone is best described as
    1. emotional and familiar.
    2. stuck up and superior.
    3. argumentative and tactless.
    4. pleasant and reassuring.
  8. In choosing to use the bike argument with her mother, the narrator is trying to appeal to her mother's
    1. compassion over her lost bike.
    2. disregard for material objects.
    3. laziness.
    4. reason.
  9. The main argument the narrator has been having with her mother is over whether she should
    1. be allowed to date.
    2. live with her mother or father.
    3. be allowed to drive a car.
    4. pay for things she breaks.
  10. It appears that the mother has alienated her daughter by
    1. being too busy to give her the attention she needs.
    2. having divorced her father.
    3. insisting too much on reasonableness.
    4. valuing things over people and feelings.
  11. What most likely happened with the car?
    1. The narrator mistook first gear for reverse and ran into the garage wall.
    2. The narrator stole it from her father and drove it over to her mother's.
    3. The father left it in gear, and when the narrator started it, it leapt forward into the wall.
    4. The narrator taught herself to drive in order to prove her mother wrong.


  1. c.
  2. d.
  3. d.
  4. a.
  5. b.
  6. c.
  7. c.
  8. b.
  9. a.
  10. b.
  11. b.
  12. c.
  13. d.
  14. b.
  15. a.
  16. b.
  17. a.
  18. d.
  19. c.
  20. c.
  21. b.
  22. a.
  23. c.
  24. a.
  25. b.
  26. a.
  27. c.
  28. a.
  29. d.
  30. d.
  31. b.
  32. c.
  33. c.
  34. c.
  35. c.
  36. a.
  37. c.
  38. c.
  39. a.
  40. c.
  41. d.
  42. a.
  43. b.
  44. b.
  45. a.
  46. a.
  47. d.
  48. b.
  49. d.
  50. a.
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