Reading Comprehension Organization Practice Test

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Updated on Sep 20, 2011

Reading Comprehension Organization Practice Test

Like an architect designing a building, a writer must have a blueprint—a plan for how he or she will organize the passage. So far in this section, we've looked at several ways that authors may organize their information and ideas:

  • Reading Chronological Order Help. Ideas are arranged in the order in which they occurred (or in the order in which they should occur).
  • Reading Order of Importance Help. Ideas are arranged in order of increasing importance (least important idea to most important idea) or in order of decreasing importance (most important idea to least important idea).
  • Compare and Contrast Help. Ideas are arranged so that parallel aspects of item A and item B are compared and contrasted either in block style (AAAABBBB) or point-by-point style (ABABABAB).
  • Reading Comprehension Cause and Effect Help. Ideas are arranged so that readers can see what event or series of events caused something to take place or what effect an event or series of events had.


Although writers often rely on one particular structure to organize their ideas, in many cases, writers use a combination of these structures. For example, a writer may want to compare and contrast the causes of World War I and those of World War II; or a writer may want to describe, in chronological order, the events that led to (caused) the failure of a computer system. Thus, today we will look at how writers may combine these strategies. In addition, we'll continue to strengthen your reading comprehension skills by including strategies from the first week:

  • Finding the facts
  • Determining the main idea
  • Defining vocabulary words in context
  • Distinguishing between fact and opinion

Practice Passage 1

Begin with the following paragraph. Read it carefully, marking it up as you go. Then answer the questions that follow.

There were several reasons behind our decision to move to Flemington. The first occurred about 18 months ago when Mark and I decided to start a family. We were living in a one-bedroom apartment and we knew that we wanted to move into larger quarters before we had a baby. We began to look at houses. Then, much sooner than expected, I got pregnant. Soon after that, Mark's company announced that they were relocating to Flemington, which was in a less expensive part of the state, about 90 miles south of us. Mark's company had been good to him, and they were one of the few around with excellent benefits, family-friendly policies, and a child-care center on site. With a baby on the way, these things were imperative for us. Since I ran my graphic arts business from home, I wasn't bound to any particular place, so we began looking at real estate in Flemington and also did some research on their school system as well as the overall community. We were very excited about what we found—reasonable housing costs, great schools, and a lively town. Mark then accepted the relocation offer and we found a beautiful old Tudor house. We'll be moving about a month before the baby is due. Let's hope she doesn't decide to come early.
  1. Which two organizational strategies does this writer use?
    1. chronological order
    2. order of importance
    3. compare and contrast
    4. cause and effect
  2. Imperative means
    1. trivial, unimportant.
    2. luxurious, lavish.
    3. pressing, crucial.
  3. What prompted the initial decision to move?
  4. What happened after the initial cause set things in motion?
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