Reading Comprehension Sample Test

A. Sentence Relationship Questions

Two sentences are followed by a question or statement. Read the sentences, then choose the best answer to the question or the best completion of the statement.

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1. Today’s teenagers spend millions of dollars on clothing, cosmetics and other types of products. One reason is that they have grown up in a time of almost constant prosperity.

Which answer best describes the relationship between these two statements?

  1. The second statement contrasts with the first.
  2. Both statements are examples of the same concept.
  3. The second statement is an example of the first.
  4. The second statement is a cause of the first.

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2. To perform CPR correctly, open the victim’s mouth and free the throat of any obstructions. Begin artificial breathing by blowing down the victim’s cleared throat while keeping the nostrils closed with your fingers.

What is the relationship between these two statements?

  1. The second statement is an example of the first.
  2. The second statement is in contrast with the first.
  3. The second statement describes what happens after the first.
  4. The second statement restates the first.

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3. There are rules that drivers and passengers should follow to stay safe when in moving vehicles. These rules include driving within the speed limit and wearing seatbelts.

What is the relationship between these two statements?

  1. The second statement provides examples of the first.
  2. The second statement restates the first.
  3. The second statement describes an effect of the first.
  4. The second statement makes a comparison to the first.

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4. The Midwest is experiencing its worst drought in fifteen years. Corn and soybean prices are expected to be very high this year.

What does the second sentence do?

  1. It restates the idea found in the first.
  2. It states an effect.
  3. It gives an example.
  4. It analyzes the statement made in the first.

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5. The number of young, unmarried people has grown dramatically in the last decade. Business people, politicians, and advertisers now target the incomes and interests of this population.

What is the relationship between these two ideas?

  1. The first statement is the cause of the second.
  2. The first statement contradicts the second.
  3. The second statement defines the first.
  4. The second statement illustrates the first.

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B. Narrative Questions

Read the statement or passage and then choose the best answer to the question. Answer the question on the basis of what is stated or implied in the statement or passage.

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6. Divorce or the death of a parent is bound to unsettle children who may be involved. Daily routines like eating meals together or doing homework may disappear at a time when children need structure the most. Many children, testing the stability or security of their new family situation, may become defiant or uncharacteristically hostile.

According to this passage, divorce or the death of a parent:

  1. is a direct cause of hostility in children.
  2. may have unintended effects on children’s behavior.
  3. can be blamed for many missed homework assignments.
  4. always serve to split families apart.

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7. After seven years of construction, the new East Wing of the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., was finally opened in the public in 1978. Designed by I.M. Pei, the East Wing is probably the most expensive public building ever erected in the United States. Most of the $95 million that went into constructing it was donated by Paul Mellon and the Mellon Foundation. Interestingly enough, Paul’s father, Andrew Mellon, was the person who donated funds in the 1930’s to build what is now the main building of the National Gallery.

The main purpose of the passage is to:

  1. relate facts about the East Wing.
  2. describe how the East Wing was built.
  3. show why the East Wing is expensive.
  4. question the need for a public building like the East Wing.

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8. Jazz is a peculiarly American contribution to Western culture. It was born out of the unique experience of American Blacks. Although its history is not entirely clear, jazz obviously has roots in the rhythm patterns and melodic lines of Africa, the tradition of Christian spirituals as sung by slave communities, the music of the blues as developed in the Deep South, and ragtime.

According to this passage, one can conclude that:

  1. jazz is the sole Black contribution to Western culture.
  2. there is some difficulty tracing the origin of jazz.
  3. jazz is most closely related to spiritual music.
  4. jazz is not a complex musical form.

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9. There are two types of pottery that I do. There is production pottery—mugs, tableware—the kinds of things that sell easily. These pay for my time to do the other work, which is more creative and satisfies my needs as an artist.

The author of the passage implies that:

  1. artists have a tendency to waste valuable time.
  2. creativity and mass production are incompatible.
  3. most people do not appreciate good art.
  4. pottery is not produced by creative artists.

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10. Some actors and rock stars are paid almost 100 times as much per year as school teachers. Not to downgrade the role of entertainment in our lives, but these people are not the valuable social resource that educators are. As another example, professional athletes earn vastly more than the nation’s firefighters. Again, there is little doubt that the lower paid group contributes a more vital function to communities. Finally, dress designers, who can make up to $50,000 for a gown, far out-earn police officers, whose very presence makes our cities and towns livable.

Based on this passage, the earning power in our society:

  1. is subject to staggering inflation.
  2. does not relate to one’s usefulness in society.
  3. is highest among those whose achievements are the greatest.
  4. should be highest among actors and rock.

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