1. Read the paragraph in order to answer the question.
Harvey loved the game of football. He practiced passing and
kicking every day. But, at age 15, Harvey was short and slender.
Soaking wet, he barely tipped the bathroom scale at 108 pounds.
One day, Harvey told his older brother he was going to try out
for the football team. Harvey's brother laughed and suggested
that he try out for the chess team.
The main idea in this passage is that
A. Harvey was small for his age, but he was strong.
B. Harvey loved football more than chess.
C. Harvey wanted to play football in spite of his size.
D. Harvey's brother preferred chess to football.
2. Read the passage to answer the question. Four parts of the
passage are numbered to help you answer the question.
(1) One day, Lucy and Tom had a picnic. (2) Lucy spread a
tablecloth in the grass beside the millpond it was a pretty day
for a picnic. (3) All went well until Lucy discovered that ants
had invaded the lemonade. (4) They had also overrun the
Which number marks a run-on sentence—a group of words
made up of two sentences?
A. 1 C. 3
B. 2 D. 4
3. Read the paragraph in order to answer the question.
Anyone can walk around a golf course. Anyone can hit a golf ball with a golf club. To do
so, a person doesn't have to know the names or numbers of the different clubs. He or she
does not even need to know the rules of golf. But a person who wants to play golf properly
has to learn the rules of the game and when to use different clubs.
The main topic of this paragraph is that
A. anyone can play golf.
B. a person has to learn how to play the actual game of golf.
C. a person does not need to know the rules of golf.
D. a person who wants to play golf must have golf clubs.
4. Read the paragraph in order to answer the question.
When he went to his first day of riding instruction, Jody told the instructor he had never
ridden a horse before. He also admitted that he was a little bit afraid of horses. The instructor
wanted Jody to overcome his fear. She decided that he should begin his lessons on a horse
named Nellie. Nellie was not wild or frisky; she was docile.
From the context of this paragraph, you can tell that the word docile means
A. cheerful. C. gentle.
B. content. D. slow.
5. Read the paragraph to answer the question.
Dr. Lazar admired the work of the nuns of the Sisters of Charity Hospital. Each week, he
donated a small sum to the hospital's children's ward. However, the money was delivered
anonymously. The sisters never learned who donated the money.
Based on this paragraph, you can make an educated guess that when a gift is given
anonymously, the _________ of the donor is withheld.
A. purpose C. intention
B. name D. admiration
6. Read the following passage.
Jake's friends all describe him as an affable person. He often allows others to go before
him in the lunch line. He seldom says an unkind word about anyone. In fact, he seems to
have a smile for everyone he meets.
From the context of the passage, determine the meaning of the word affable.
A. Courteous, good-natured C. Jealous, guarded
B. Humorous, silly D. Spiteful, aggressive
Read the following passage to answer questions 7 and 8. The sentences are numbered to
help you answer the questions.
(1) The solar system is made up of the sun and the planets that go around it. (2) The
planet closest to the sun is called Mercury. (3) The planet next closest to the sun is
Venus. (4) Earth is the third planet and Mars is the fourth. (5) The planet farthest from
the sun is called Pluto. (6) Life on Earth is thought to have begun about three billion
years ago. (7) For many millions of years, the most common life form was bacteria.
(8) Scientists have tried hard to understand how plants and animals developed from
these simple, one-celled creatures.
7. The passage is made up of two paragraphs. Which sentence begins the second paragraph?
A. 4 C. 6
B. 5 D. 7
8. The topic sentence in the first paragraph is number
A. 1. C. 4.
B. 2. D. 5.
9. Judy began reading a long story in a magazine. After reading a page and a half, she
stopped reading and tried to guess what would happen next. Judy is _______ what will
happen in the story.
10. Read this paragraph from a newspaper article in order to answer the question.
Crystal Creek was just below flood stage late Tuesday night when the heavy rains of the
last week gave way to snow. More than 14 inches of snow fell in parts of Driscoll County.
The good news is that Crystal Creek did not overflow its banks. The bad news is that a
sudden thaw could create flood conditions once again. The flood of the century hasn't
occurred, but the residents of Driscoll County are not yet ready to count their blessings.
The residents of Driscoll County are not yet counting their blessings, because
A. quickly melting snow could cause flooding.
B. heavy rain changed to snow.
C. the snow has not melted.
D. Crystal Creek did not overflow its banks.
The next two questions, 11 and 12, are based on this sentence:
After much practice in archery, Lois was able to hit the target with a high degree of accuracy.
11. The word degree has more than one meaning. What does the word mean in the sentence?
A. An academic title
B. A step or stage in a process
C. Intensity or amount
D. A unit of division in a temperature scale
12. Which of the following is most specifically connected with the word archery?
A. Practice C. A skill
B. Aiming D. An arrow
13. Read the paragraph below. The sentences are numbered to help you answer the question.
(1) Some people exercise because they want to look good to the opposite sex. (2) Some
people exercise because they're concerned about their health. (3) Other people exercise so
they can compete in bodybuilding contests. (4) Still other people are addicted to exercise
because they like how it makes them feel. (5) But, let's face it, when it comes to good health,
why a person exercises is not as important as staying with a regular exercise program.
Choose the number of the sentence which best identifies the main idea in the paragraph.
A. 2 C. 4
B. 3 D. 5
14. Suppose this sentence is the first one in a paragraph:
Laverne always feels she has to dress well, even at home, but Shirley would just as soon
wear sneakers and faded jeans at home, at work, or at play.
The paragraph that begins with this sentence would be organized by
A. time. C. importance.
B. contrast. D. cause and effect.
15. Read the paragraph in order to answer the question.
Sally rises every morning at 6:30 AM. After deep-breathing exercises, she dresses in
sweats and sport shoes for a morning jog over the same paths in Lakewood Park. On
average, her jog takes 23 minutes. The rest of her day also follows a formula. Dinner is at
6:30. At 7:00, she turns on the TV to watch the national news. And so it goes. Some say
Sally is a boring person. Sally declares she is not at all boring, just well organized.
The paragraph is organized by
A. importance. C. showing cause and effect.
B. time. D. comparison.
16. Read the following paragraph and complete the sentence below.
Grace had something to say about everything and everyone. Some of her friends teased
her, saying Grace never left a word unspoken. Then, one day, Grace's history teacher
complained to the principal, saying Grace was so garrulous that she often disrupted the
class. Grace was called to the principal's office that very day. She was told she would be
required to meet with the school counselor.
Grace was required to meet with the school counselor because she was
A. opinionated. C. impolite to her friends.
B. very talkative. D. a smart mouth.
Read this paragraph to answer questions 17, 18, and 19.
He said it was because a private detective sees the dark side of human nature. But whatever
the reason, Gill Landers had an innate suspicion of politicians. When Senator Randy
Brill walked into his office on that summer day in August, mopping his flushed features with
a monogrammed handkerchief, Gill could think of no good reason to change his attitude.
He'd only met Brill once. That had been two years ago at a country club reception for state
political notables. Since then, he'd learned all he wanted to know about the senator's sinister
reputation. Gill sat back in his chair, put his feet on his desk, and fought to keep a
poker face. But there was no way he could stop the chill that coursed along his spine like
a rush of ice water.
17. In the context of this paragraph, the word innate means
A. reasonable and understandable. C. native or inborn.
B. unreasonable. D. annoying or irritating.
6 Reading Assessment
18. Which of the following sentences most clearly represents the main idea in the paragraph?
A. Gill had a deep-seated dislike of state senators.
B. The day was too hot for dealing with politicians.
C. Like all private detectives, Gill was suspicious of politicians.
D. Gill felt justified in his suspicion of Randy Brill.
19. In this paragraph, the word notables probably signifies that the persons so described
A. are contributors to charity. C. would like to be politicians.
B. are wealthy people. D. have political influence.
20. Read the paragraph. The sentences are numbered to help you answer the question.
(1) John was nice looking, and he did well in school. (2) However, John was also known
for having a volatile personality. (3) One day, when his track coach criticized him, John
lost his temper. (4) He stormed back to the locker room muttering under his breath.
(5) When the incident was reported to his parents, John was grounded for a week.
(6) He was also required to write a letter of apology to his coach.
Which two sentences in the paragraph help you define the word volatile?
A. 2 and 3 C. 4 and 6
B. 3 and 4 D. 1 and 6
21. Which of the following groups of words best defines the word volatile?
A. Moody and thoughtful C. Anxious and depressed
B. Temperamental and impulsive D. Bad-tempered and mean
22. Read the following paragraph. The sentences are numbered to help you answer
(1) Many historians consider Abraham Lincoln one of the great presidents of the United
States. (2) He led the nation through a great civil war and signed the Emancipation
Proclamation in 1863. (3) However, Lincoln's critics point out that he freed the slaves only
in the states that had broken away from the Union. (4) Therefore, it's clear that Lincoln
was more interested in hurting the South than in freeing the slaves.
Which sentence most clearly expresses opinion rather than fact?
A. 1 C. 3
B. 2 D. 4
23. Read the paragraph and answer the question.
You can use trick sentences or rhymes as mnemonic devices to recall information. For
example, you can recall this rhyme: “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” The rhyming
of “2” and “blue” should help you remember that Columbus arrived in the New World in 1492.
Or you can use the sentence “Every good boy does fine” to remember the notes of the
treble clef in music notation. Simply name the first letter of each word in the “nonsense
sentence” to remember E,G,B,D, and F—in that order.You can also recall information by
using acronyms. An acronym condenses information into an abbreviation expressed as
a set of capital letters. For example, WHO stands for the World Health Organization. To
recall the names of the Great Lakes, you can associate the names of the lakes with the
acronym HOMES to remember Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.
Which of the following best expresses the main idea of this paragraph?
A. Mnemonic devices are silly sentences while acronyms are abbreviations.
B. You can use mnemonic devices to recall information.
C. Mnemonic devices are usually rhymes while acronyms require definitions.
D. Acronyms are easier to recall than mnemonic devices, but both are useful.
Read the following paragraph to answer questions 24, 25, and 26.
Lucas was a voracious reader, absorbing novels, biographies, and popular science books.
His standardized test scores were all quite high. He also got along fine with other kids
during recess, laughing and playing like a perfectly normal twelve-year-old. But when the
bell rang for class, his facial expression changed. An observer might have been reminded
of a prisoner returning to his cell. In class, Lucas was one of those kids who slouched at
his desk in the back of the room, gazing out a window or trying to find ways to allay his
boredom. To that end, he often drew pictures of spaceships. He also drew pictures of
dragons attacking spaceships. When truly inspired, he drew pictures of alien monsters
attacking dragons, thus allowing his spaceships to escape to distant galaxies. Indeed, the
inside of his desk was a dense clutter of these fanciful sketches. By late afternoon, too
drowsy for dragons, alien monsters, or spaceships, Lucas would gaze hopefully at the
white clock on the wall, willing the second hand to move faster, faster. Of course, it never
moved faster, and, inevitably, he would only become more and more impatient with the
painfully slow movement of the hour hand.
24. The main idea we can get from this paragraph is that
A. Lucas was obsessed with science fiction.
B. Lucas was irresponsible, but artistic.
C. Lucas was smart and creative, but bored with school.
D. Lucas was poorly adjusted and possibly mentally ill.
25. The word voracious, found in the first sentence of the paragraph, probably means
A. was a rapid reader. C. read a lot of science fiction.
B. read a lot of books. D. was a rapid but careless reader.
26. The word allay, as used in the paragraph, is best associated with
A. avoiding. C. despising.
B. preferring. D. detesting.
Read the following paragraph to answer questions 27 and 28. The sentences are numbered
to help you answer the questions.
(1) Mardi Gras always falls on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, so it's held in February
or early March. (2) At that time of year, you can only hope the weather will be warm.
(3) But regardless of the weather, my family tries to go to several parades and at least one
costume ball. (4) In spite of its reputation for wild times, Mardi Gras week can be fun for the
whole family. (5) I think the most exciting time to visit New Orleans is during Mardi Gras.
27. Which sentence most clearly states the writer's opinion?
A. 2 C. 4
B. 3 D. 5
28. Which sentence most clearly states a fact?
A. 1 C. 3
B. 2 D. 4
29. The prefix mono comes from Greek and means singular, alone, or with reference to only
one person. The Greek logos is the word from which we get the English logic. As a suffix,
it generally refers to a body of logically written description or explanation. For example,
the word biology means “the study of life.”
With this information in mind, which sentence best illustrates the word monologue?
A. Seeking out her teacher during homeroom, Frieda expressed her anxiety about
delivering a report to the class.
B. Standing before her mirror, Frieda practiced her oral report.
C. Having studied their topic carefully, Frieda and Steve delivered their biology report to
D. Having completed the first draft of the report she was to deliver in English class,
Frieda carefully edited her sentences for errors.
30. The following question is taken from a passage written by Mark Twain in his novel, The
Prince and the Pauper. The story centers on the premise that a youth born in poverty
trades places with a boy of his age and identical appearance who is a prince and heir
to the throne of England. Read the passage carefully to answer the question.
Tom was conducted to the principal apartment of a noble suite, and made to sit down—a
thing which he was loth to do, since there were elderly men and men of high degree
about him. He begged them to be seated also, but they only bowed their thanks or murmured
them, and remained standing. He would have insisted, but his “uncle” the Earl of
Hertford whispered in his ear—
“Prithee, insist not my lord; it is not meet that they sit in thy presence.”
The Lord St. John was announced, and after making obeisance to Tom, he said—
“I come upon the King's errand, concerning a matter which requireth privacy. Will it please
your royal highness to dismiss all that attend you here, save my lord the Earl of Hertford?”
Based on the passage, the word meet signifies _______ and the word prithee
probably means _______.
A. appropriate behavior / “I pray thee”
B. required modesty / “I believe thee”
C. appropriate modesty / “behold”
D. required disclosure / “I command thee”