Reading Comprehension Success Practice Test (page 4)
Reading Comprehension Success Practice Test
This test consists of a series of reading passages with questions that follow to test your comprehension.
Reading Passage 1 and Questions
Cultural Center Adds Classes for Young Adults
The Allendale Cultural Center has expanded its arts program to include classes for young adults. Director Leah Martin announced Monday that beginning in September, three new classes will be offered to the Allendale community. The course titles will be Yoga for Teenagers; Hip-Hop Dance: Learning the Latest Moves; and Creative Journaling for Teens: Discovering the Writer Within. The latter course will not be held at the Allendale Cultural Center but instead will meet at the Allendale Public Library.
Staff member Tricia Cousins will teach the yoga and hip-hop classes. Ms. Cousins is an accomplished choreographer as well as an experienced dance educator. She has an MA in dance education from Teachers College, Columbia University, where she wrote a thesis on the pedagogical effectiveness of dance education. The journaling class will be taught by Betsy Milford. Ms. Milford is the head librarian at the Allendale Public Library as well as a columnist for the professional journal Library Focus.
The courses are part of the Allendale Cultural Center's Project Teen, which was initiated by Leah Martin, director of the Cultural Center. According to Martin, this project is a direct result of her efforts to make the center a more integral part of the Allendale community. Over the last several years, the number of people who have visited the cultural center for classes or events has steadily declined. Project Teen is primarily funded by a munificent grant from The McGee Arts Foundation, an organization devoted to bringing arts programs to young adults. Martin oversees the Project Teen board, which consists of five board members. Two board members are students at Allendale's Brookdale High School; the other three are adults with backgrounds in education and the arts.
The creative journaling class will be cosponsored by Brookdale High School, and students who complete the class will be given the opportunity to publish one of their journal entries in Pulse, Brookdale's student literary magazine. Students who complete the hip-hop class will be eligible to participate in the Allendale Review, an annual concert sponsored by the cultural center that features local actors, musicians, and dancers.
All classes are scheduled to begin immediately following school dismissal, and transportation will be available from Brookdale High School to the Allendale Cultural Center and the Allendale Public Library. For more information about Project Teen, contact the cultural center's programming office at 988-0099 or drop by the office after June 1 to pick up a fall course catalog. The office is located on the third floor of the Allendale Town Hall.
- The Creative Journaling for Teens class will be cosponsored by
- The Allendale Public Library.
- The McGee Arts Foundation.
- Brookdale High School.
- Betsy Milford.
- The writing in this article is
- emotionally charged.
- According to Leah Martin, what was the direct cause of Project Teen?
- Tricia Cousins, the talented choreographer and dance educator, was available to teach courses in the fall.
- Community organizations were ignoring local teenagers.
- The McGee Arts Foundation wanted to be more involved in Allendale's arts programming.
- She wanted to make the cultural center a more important part of the Allendale community.
- Which of the following factors is implied as another reason for Project Teen?
- The number of people who have visited the cultural center has declined over the last several years.
- The cultural center wanted a grant from The McGee Arts Foundation.
- The young people of Allendale have complained about the cultural center's offerings.
- Leah Martin thinks classes for teenagers are more important than classes for adults.
- From the context of the passage, it can be determined that the word munificent most nearly means
- The title of the course "Creative Journaling for Teens: Discovering the Writer Within" implies that
- all young people should write in a journal daily.
- teenagers do not have enough hobbies.
- writing in a journal can help teenagers become better and more creative writers.
- teenagers are in need of guidance and direction.
- Which of the following correctly states the primary subject of this article?
- Leah Martin's personal ideas about young adults
- The McGee Foundation's grant to the Allendale Cultural Center
- three new classes for young adults added to the cultural center's arts program
- the needs of young adults in Allendale
- This article is organized in which of the following ways?
- in chronological order, from the past to the future
- most important information first, followed by background and details.
- background first, followed by the most important information and details.
- as sensational news, with the most controversial topic first
Reading Passage 2 and Questions
(excerpt from the opening of an untitled essay)
John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, published in 1939, was followed ten years later by A.B. Guthrie's The Way West. Both books chronicle a migration, though that of Guthrie's pioneers is considerably less bleak in origin. What strikes one at first glance, however, are the commonalities. Both Steinbeck's and Guthrie's characters are primarily farmers. They look to their destinations with nearly religious enthusiasm, imagining their "promised" land the way the Biblical Israelites envisioned Canaan. Both undergo great hardship to make the trek. But the two sagas differ distinctly in origin. Steinbeck's Oklahomans are forced off their land by the banks that own their mortgages, and they follow a false promise—that jobs as seasonal laborers await them in California. Guthrie's farmers willingly remove themselves, selling their land and trading their old dreams for their new hope in Oregon. The pioneers' decision to leave their farms in Missouri and the East is frivolous and ill-founded in comparison with the Oklahomans' unwilling response to displacement. Yet it is they, the pioneers, whom our history books declare the heroes.
- From the context of the passage, it can be determined that the word frivolous most nearly means
- Suppose that the author is considering following this sentence with supportive detail: "Both undergo great hardship to make the trek." Which of the following sentences would be in keeping with the comparison and contrast structure of the paragraph?
- The migrants in The Way West cross the Missouri, then the Kaw, and make their way overland to the Platte.
- The Oklahomans' jalopies break down repeatedly, while the pioneers' wagons need frequent repairs.
- Today's travelers would consider it a hardship to spend several days, let alone several months, getting anywhere.
- The Joad family in The Grapes of Wrath loses both grandmother and grandfather before the journey is complete.
- Which of the following sentences illustrates an important difference between Steinbeck's and Guthrie's characters?
- Steinbeck's and Guthrie's characters are primarily farmers.
- Steinbeck's migration was forced, while the Guthrie farmers chose to leave their land.
- They look to their destinations with nearly religious enthusiasm, imagining their "promised" land the way the Biblical Israelites envisioned Canaan.
- none of these
- The language in the paragraph implies that which of the following will happen to the Oklahomans when they arrive in California?
- They will find a means to practice their religion freely.
- They will be declared national heroes.
- They will not find the jobs they were promised.
- They will make their livings as mechanics rather than as farm laborers.
Reading Passage 3 and Questions
Bill Clinton's Inaugural Address
(excerpt from the opening)
When George Washington first took the oath I have just sworn to uphold, news traveled slowly across the land by horseback and across the ocean by boat. Now the sights and sounds of this ceremony are broadcast instantaneously to billions around the world. Communications and commerce are global. Investment is mobile. Technology is almost magical, and ambition for a better life is now universal.
We earn our livelihood in America today in peaceful competition with people all across the Earth. Profound and powerful forces are shaking and remaking our world, and the urgent question of our time is whether we can make change our friend and not our enemy. This new world has already enriched the lives of millions of Americans who are able to compete and win in it. But when most people are working harder for less; when others cannot work at all; when the cost of healthcare devastates families and threatens to bankrupt our enterprises, great and small; when the fear of crime robs law-abiding citizens of their freedom; and when millions of poor children cannot even imagine the lives we are calling them to lead, we have not made change our friend.
- What is the central topic of the speech so far?
- how Americans can keep up with global competition
- ways in which technology has undermined our economy
- ways in which technology has improved our lives
- how change has affected America and our need to adapt
- By comparing our times with those of George Washington, Bill Clinton demonstrates
- how apparently different, but actually similar, the two eras are.
- how technology has drastically speeded up communications.
- that presidential inaugurations receive huge media attention.
- that television is a much more convincing communications tool than print.
- Bill Clinton's inaugural address expresses which point of view?
- first-person perspective
- second-person perspective
- corporate America's perspective
- third-person perspective
- Assuming that Clinton wants to add something about crime being a more serious threat in our time than in George Washington's, which of the following sentences would be most consistent with the tone of the presidential speech?
- If I'd been alive in George's day, I would have enjoyed knowing that my wife and child could walk city streets without being mugged.
- In George Washington's time, Americans may not have enjoyed as many luxuries, but they could rest in the awareness that their neighborhoods were safe.
- George could at least count on one thing. He knew that his family was safe from crime.
- A statistical analysis of the overall growth in crime rates since 1789 would reveal that a significant increase has occurred.
Reading Passage 4 and Questions
The Crossing--Chapter I: The Blue Wall
(excerpt from the opening of a novel by Winston Churchill)
I was born under the Blue Ridge, and under that side which is blue in the evening light, in a wild land of game and forest and rushing waters. There, on the borders of a creek that runs into the Yadkin River, in a cabin that was chinked with red mud, I came into the world a subject of King George the Third, in that part of his realm known as the province of North Carolina.
The cabin reeked of corn-pone and bacon, and the odor of pelts. It had two shakedowns, on one of which I slept under a bearskin. A rough stone chimney was reared outside, and the fireplace was as long as my father was tall. There was a crane in it, and a bake kettle; and over it great buckhorns held my father's rifle when it was not in use. On other horns hung jerked bear's meat and venison hams, and gourds for drinking cups, and bags of seed, and my father's best hunting shirt; also, in a neglected corner, several articles of woman's attire from pegs. These once belonged to my mother. Among them was a gown of silk, of a fine, faded pattern, over which I was wont to speculate. The women at the Cross-Roads, twelve miles away, were dressed in coarse butternut wool and huge sunbonnets. But when I questioned my father on these matters he would give me no answers.
My father was—how shall I say what he was? To this day I can only surmise many things of him. He was a Scotchman born, and I know now that he had a slight Scotch accent. At the time of which I write, my early childhood, he was a frontiersman and hunter. I can see him now, with his hunting shirt and leggins and moccasins; his powder horn, engraved with wondrous scenes; his bullet pouch and tomahawk and hunting knife. He was a tall, lean man with a strange, sad face. And he talked little save when he drank too many "horns," as they were called in that country. These lapses of my father's were a perpetual source of wonder to me—and, I must say, of delight. They occurred only when a passing traveler who hit his fancy chanced that way, or, what was almost as rare, a neighbor. Many a winter night I have lain awake under the skins, listening to a flow of language that held me spellbound, though I understood scarce a word of it.
"Virtuous and vicious every man must be,
Few in the extreme, but all in a degree."
The chance neighbor or traveler was no less struck with wonder. And many the time have I heard the query, at the Cross-Roads and elsewhere, "Whar Alec Trimble got his larnin'?"
- Why did the narrator enjoy it when his father drank too many "horns," or drafts of liquor?
- The father spoke brilliantly at those times.
- The boy was then allowed to do as he pleased.
- These were the only times when the father was kind.
- The boy was allowed to ask about his mother.
- Judging by the sentences surrounding it, the word surmise in the third paragraph most nearly means
- to form a negative opinion.
- to praise.
- to desire.
- to guess.
- The mention of the dress in the second paragraph is most likely meant to
- show the similarity between its owner and other members of the community.
- show how warm the climate was.
- show the dissimilarity between its owner and other members of the community.
- give us insight into the way most of the women of the region dressed.
- It can be inferred from the passage that Alec Trimble is
- a traveler.
- a neighbor.
- the narrator's father.
- the narrator.
- What is the meaning of the lines of verse quoted in the passage?
- People who pretend to be virtuous are actually vicious.
- Moderate amounts of virtuousness and viciousness are present in all people.
- Virtuous people cannot also be vicious.
- Whether people are virtuous or vicious depends on the difficulty of their circumstances.
- Which of the following adjectives best describes the region in which the cabin is located?
- The author most likely uses dialect when quoting the question, "Whar Alec Trimble got his larnin'?" in order to
- show disapproval of the father's behavior.
- show how people talked down to the narrator.
- show the speakers' lack of education.
- mimic the way the father talked.
Reading Passage 5 and Questions
(excerpt from a letter to a pet-sitter)
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)
- Which effect is most likely to occur if the pet sitter does not supervise Regina and encourage her to play with her chew toys?
- Regina will get frustrated or damage her owner's personal property.
- Regina will overeat and gain weight.
- Regina will fight with her sister.
- Regina will find something else to do.
- If the pet-sitter is a businesslike professional who watches people's pets for a living, she or he would likely prefer
- more first-person revelations about the owner.
- fewer first-person revelations about the owner.
- more praise for agreeing to watch the animals.
- greater detail on the animals' cute behavior.
- The author uses the word children to describe his or her pets because
- the author believes her pets possess childlike qualities.
- the author has never had children and the pets are substitutes for the children she never had.
- she dresses them in clothing and indulges them with special foods.
- her beagle has a girlish figure and the author calls her a "good girl."
- The information in the note is sufficient to determine that there are three animals. They are
- two cats and a dog.
- three dogs.
- a dog, a cat, and an unspecified animal.
- a cat, a dog, and a parrot.
- 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?
- all given in one list, chronologically from morning to night
- provided separately as they are for Regina, within separate passages on each animal
- given in the order of quantities needed, the most to the least
- placed in the middle of the letter, where they would be least likely to be overlooked
- From the context of the note, it is most likely that the name Rex is
- 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"?
- every time Regina goes after the ball
- after Regina finds the ball
- when Regina brings the ball back
- 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.
- This argument relies primarily on which of the following techniques to make its points?
- emotional assertions
- researched facts in support of an assertion
- emotional appeals to voters
- emotional appeals to nonvoters
- Which of the following sentences best summarizes the main idea of the passage?
- Americans are too lazy to vote.
- Women and minorities fought for their right to vote.
- Americans do not take voting seriously enough.
- Americans do not think that elected officials take their opinions seriously.
- By choosing the word clamored, the author implies that
- 18-year-olds are generally enthusiastic.
- voting was not a serious concern to 18-year-olds.
- 18-year-olds felt strongly that they should be allowed to vote.
- 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.
Select the word that best defines expulsion.
- Based on the passage, select the best choice regarding the statement: "Edgar Allan Poe was a commercially popular author."
- The statement is false.
- The statement is an opinion.
- The statement is factual.
- The statement is fictional.
- 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."
- D. H. Lawrence and Anne Rice had similar writing styles.
- Anne Rice used a pen name because her novels were more scandalous than D. H. Lawrence's novels.
- Anne Rice used different names when she wrote in different genres.
- none of the above
- Which statement is false?
- Henry David Thoreau was passionately opposed to slavery.
- Anne Rice used a pen name to disguise her true identity.
- Herman Melville experimented with cannibalism during his naval service.
- Edgar Allan Poe was an alcoholic.
- Select the word that best defines marred.
- The main idea of this story is
- Many famous writers lived nontraditional lives.
- Writers are troublemakers.
- All writers lead interesting lives.
- Writers' biographies are inspirational.
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."
- Which description best explains the structure of the story so far?
- chronological, according to what happens first, second, and so on
- reverse chronological order, with the most recent events recorded first
- intentionally confused order, incorporating flashbacks to previous events
- according to importance, with the most significant details related first
- What device does the author use to illustrate the narrator's feelings about her mother and father?
- vivid and specific visual detail
- rhetorical questions, which make a point but don't invite a direct answer
- metaphors and other figurative language
- contrast between the parents' typical reactions
- The narrator attributes her inability to sleep when staying at her father's house to
- thinking about a disagreement with someone.
- the uncomfortable quiet of an early Sunday morning.
- the sore throat she had from shouting so much.
- her accident with the car.
- The first-person point of view in this story
- obscures how the narrator's mind works.
- illustrates the thoughts and personality of the narrator.
- makes the narrator seem distant and rigid.
- gives us direct access to the minds of all the characters.
- When the narrator says she sometimes "take[s] the prize for a grade-A dork," the word choice is intended to indicate
- that she doesn't know proper English.
- her age and culture.
- that she is unable to judge her own actions.
- that she thinks she's better than most others who might be termed "dorks."
- Jennifer Lynn's mother and father differ because
- they have very different temperaments.
- her mother doesn't care about Jennifer Lynn as much as her father does.
- she dislikes her mother and thinks her father is a better parent.
- none of the above
- Overall, this narrator's tone is best described as
- emotional and familiar.
- stuck up and superior.
- argumentative and tactless.
- pleasant and reassuring.
- In choosing to use the bike argument with her mother, the narrator is trying to appeal to her mother's
- compassion over her lost bike.
- disregard for material objects.
- The main argument the narrator has been having with her mother is over whether she should
- be allowed to date.
- live with her mother or father.
- be allowed to drive a car.
- pay for things she breaks.
- It appears that the mother has alienated her daughter by
- being too busy to give her the attention she needs.
- having divorced her father.
- insisting too much on reasonableness.
- valuing things over people and feelings.
- What most likely happened with the car?
- The narrator mistook first gear for reverse and ran into the garage wall.
- The narrator stole it from her father and drove it over to her mother's.
- The father left it in gear, and when the narrator started it, it leapt forward into the wall.
- The narrator taught herself to drive in order to prove her mother wrong.