Reading Comprehension Strategies Practice Test (page 3)
Reading Comprehension Strategies Practice Test
In order to solve a crime, a detective cannot just get the facts of the case, just discover the motive, just decipher difficult clues, or just distinguish between fact and opinion. To be successful, a detective must do all these things at the same time. Similarly, reading really can't be broken down into these separate tasks. Reading comprehension comes from employing all of these strategies simultaneously. This lesson gives you the opportunity to combine these strategies and take your reading comprehension skills to the next level.
- Reading for Essential Information Help. You practiced looking for the basic information that was being conveyed in the paragraphs: the who, what, when, where, and how.
- Reading and Finding The Main Idea Help. You learned about topic sentences and how they express an assertion about the subject of the paragraph. You saw how the main idea must be general enough to encompass all other sentences in the paragraph; it is the thought that controls the paragraph, and the other sentences work to support that main idea.
- Defining Vocabulary In Context Help. You practiced looking for clues to determine meaning in the words and sentences surrounding the unfamiliar word or phrase.
- Distinguishing Between Fact and Opinion Help. You learned that a fact is something known to be true, whereas an opinion is something believed to be true. You practiced distinguishing between the two and saw how good paragraphs use facts to support opinions.
Practice Passage 1
Begin by looking at the following paragraph. Remember to read actively; mark up the text as you go. Then answer the questions. An example of how to mark up the passage, as well as the answers to the questions, follow.
It is clear that the United States is a nation that needs to eat healthier and slim down. One of the most important steps in the right direction would be for school cafeterias to provide healthy, low-fat options for students. In every town and city, an abundance of fast-food restaurants lure teenage customers with fast, inexpensive, and tasty food, but these foods are typically unhealthy. Unfortunately, school cafeterias—in an effort to provide food that is appetizing to young people—mimic fast food menus, often serving items such as burgers and fries, pizza, hot dogs, and fried chicken. While these foods do provide some nutritional value, they are relatively high in fat. Many of the lunch selections school cafeterias currently offer could be made healthier with a few simple and inexpensive substitutions. Veggie burgers, for example, offered alongside beef burgers, would be a positive addition. A salad bar would also serve the purpose of providing a healthy and satisfying meal. And tasty grilled chicken sandwiches would be a far better option than fried chicken. Additionally, the beverage case should be stocked with containers of low-fat milk.
- What is the subject of this passage?
- According to the passage, which of the following options would make healthy, low-fat additions to a school cafeteria's offerings? (Circle all correct answers.)
- veggie burgers
- low-fat milk
- salad bar
- grilled chicken sandwiches
- stir-fried vegetables
- The meaning of mimic is
- The fast-food restaurants described in the article are noted for serving
- veggie burgers and salads.
- tasty, inexpensive food.
- seafood specialties.
- home-cooked meals at an inexpensive price.
- True or False: "One of the most important steps in the right direction would be for school cafeterias to provide healthy, low-fat options for students" is a topic sentence.
- True or False: "One of the most important steps in the right direction would be for school cafeterias to provide healthy, low-fat options for students" is an opinion.
Marking Practice Passage 1
Before you check the answers, look again at the paragraph. Did you mark it up? If so, it may look something like this:
- The subject of the passage is healthier, low-fat lunch options in school cafeterias. Remember, the subject of a passage is who or what the passage is about.
- b, c, e, f. These results are all mentioned in the passage. Tofu (a) and stir-fried vegetables (g) are both healthy, low-fat lunch options, but they are not mentioned in the passage. Fries (d) are mentioned, but they are not low-fat and are mentioned as one of the unhealthy items that should be replaced.
- b. Mimic means to copy. The most obvious clue is the way the word is used in the sentence: "Unfortunately, school cafeterias—in an effort to provide food that is appetizing to young people—mimic fast food menus, often serving items such as burgers and fries, pizza, hot dogs, and fried chicken." Burgers and fries, pizza, hot dogs, and fried chicken are all foods served by fast-food restaurants, and if school cafeterias are also serving those foods, they are clearly copying fast-food menus, not rejecting, ignoring, or disregarding them.
- b. This is the correct answer because the text describes the food served by fast-food restaurants as "fast, inexpensive, and tasty." Although the article mentions veggie burgers (cited in choice c), and while it is true that salads are served in some fast food restaurants, tasty and inexpensive are the qualities that are mentioned in connection to fast-food restaurant menus in this article. Seafood and home-cooked meals are never mentioned.
- True. This sentence expresses the main idea.
- True. This sentence is an opinion. It is debatable. Someone else might think that altering the menu in school cafeterias isn't one of the most important steps to be taken in order to make the United States a healthier, slimmer nation. They might think that launching a public service ad campaign about the dangers of fast food or implementing more rigorous classroom education about eating healthy is more important than changing the menus of school cafeterias.
Remember, you're looking for the facts that the author has provided. It is extremely important, especially in test situations, not to choose an answer that isn't present in the text. Logic may tell you that tofu and stir-fried vegetables are healthy, low fat lunch options, but the paragraph doesn't tell you this. You need to stick to the facts. Any assumption that you make about a passage must be grounded in evidence found in that passage itself.
Practice Passage 2
Try one more paragraph to conclude this first section. Once again, mark up the paragraph carefully and then answer the questions that follow.
Robert Johnson is the best blues guitarist of all time. There is little information available about this legendary blues guitarist, and the information is as much rumor as fact. What is indisputable, however, is Johnson's tremendous impact on the world of rock and roll. Some consider Johnson the father of modern rock: His influence extends to artists from Muddy Waters to Led Zeppelin, from the Rolling Stones to the Allman Brothers Band. Eric Clapton has called Johnson the most important blues musician who ever lived. Considering his reputation, it is hard to believe that Johnson recorded only 29 songs before his death in 1938, purportedly at the hands of a jealous husband. He was only 27 years old, yet he left an indelible mark on the music world. Again and again, contemporary rock artists return to Johnson, whose songs capture the very essence of the blues, transforming our pain and suffering with the healing magic of his guitar. Rock music wouldn't be what it is today without Robert Johnson.
- According to the passage, from what musical tradition did Robert Johnson emerge?
- rock and roll
- Johnson died in
- True or False: Johnson influenced many rock artists, including Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones.
- Contemporary rock artists turn to Robert Johnson for
- musical influence.
- life lessons.
- recovery from painful injuries.
- The most appropriate title for this article would be
- "A Fleeting Life"
- "The World's Greatest Musician"
- "Blues Guitar Legend Robert Johnson"
- The main idea of this paragraph is best expressed in which sentence in the paragraph?
- Indicate whether the following sentences are fact or opinion:
- "Robert Johnson is the best blues guitarist of all time."
- "Eric Clapton has called Johnson the most important blues musician who ever lived."
- "Rock music wouldn't be what it is today without Robert Johnson."
- c. See the first and second sentences. The next-to-last sentence also provides this information.
- b. See the sixth sentence.
- True. See the fourth sentence.
- a. In sentence five, the author mentions that contemporary rock bands such as Muddy Waters and Led Zeppelin were influenced by Johnson's music. In the last sentence, Johnson's legendary musical influence is communicated when the author writes, "Again and again, contemporary rock artists return to Johnson." Based on the text, the logical conclusion is that the contemporary artists are turning to Johnson for musical inspiration.
- c. Although "A Fleeting Life" might be an appropriate description for Johnson's brief life span, it describes only one aspect of his life. On the other hand, specifying that Robert Johnson is a blues guitar legend is more specific and descriptive. Although some of his fans might consider Johnson to be "The World's Greatest Musician," there are many who would disagree. The term "musician" covers music in general, and while Johnson might have been great in his particular genre, he would not likely be recognized as "the greatest musician" in all other music genres, such as classical or country music.
- The third sentence. The point of the whole passage, which is Johnson's impact on rock and roll, is very clearly stated in the third sentence, "What is indisputable, however, is Johnson's tremendous impact on the world of rock and roll."
- Choice a is opinion. It is debatable whether Johnson is the best blues guitarist of all time. Choice b is fact. This is verifiable information. Choice c is opinion because this is a debatable proposition.
TIP: The more often you read, the more likely it is that you will learn new words. Because it is sometimes difficult to know how to pronounce a word solely by reading it, consider using an electronic dictionary with a pronunciation feature. That way, you can learn the correct pronunciation of an unfamiliar word at the same time that you learn its definition.
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