This is a test of reading comprehension. It is designed to measure your understanding of the material that you read.
The test contains 9 passages. Following each passage is a set of questions about the passage. There are 54 questions on the test.
For each question following a passage, choose the best response on the basis of the content of the passage.
Do not spend too much time on any one question. If a question seems very difficult, make the most careful guess you can. Your score is the number of correct answers that you give; there is no added penalty for wrong answers.
You will have sixty minutes to complete the test.
A mass production line is essentially a timing
machine which moves goods from place to place in
a given time. In that given time, a man has to be
available to perform a given task. He is, in fact, in
many ways a slave of the machine. It fixes his time
and fixes his movements, and he has to produce a
series of semi-intelligent mechanical motions to keep
the machine fed and moving. This is what I mean
by saying that mechanization is his master.
Automation, on the contrary, by being a
self-adapting and a changing piece of mechanism,
enables a man to work at whatever pace he wants to
work, because the machine will react to him. He is
the master of the machine, except in the simpler
processes. The machine that forms part of an
automated system is not predetermined: this kind of
machine gives information and suggests a course of
action, but it does not necessarily say "I won't
|1. In the last sentence, the "I" referred to in "I
won't wait" is
2. a machine.
3. a man.
2. Man is servant to the machine in
2. the work force.
4. the mass production line.
3. With which of the following statements would the author agree?
1. Automation and the mass production line work equally well.
2. Neither automation nor the mass production line works
3. Automation is more flexible than the mass production line.
4. The mass production line is more flexible than automation.
4. Which of the following does the author primarily use in this passage?
3. specific examples
4. personal experience
5. This passage fails to mention the
1. definition of the mass production line.
2. shortcomings of automation.
3. advantages of automation.
4. shortcomings of the mass production line.
The Norman victory at Hastings marked the turning
point of a blood-splashed October day just 900 years
ago -- a day which so changed the course of events
that it is impossible to reckon our history without
those few furious hours. For when darkness fell on
Senlac Hill, near the seaside town of Hastings on the
southeast coast of England, William, Duke of
Normandy, had earned the lasting sobriquet of
"Conqueror." And a flow of concepts began that
would influence men's lives for centuries to come.
William the Conqueror. Resolute and resourceful,
avaricious, rarely humorous, always unsentimental,
he found life a serious business. He expressed
practical ideas in a grinding tone of voice. In the
blood-and-iron era of the 11th century, he lived his
greatest -- and his worst -- moments on the
His victory at the Battle of Hastings made England
once more a part of Europe, as it had not been since
the better days of the Roman empire. After the
Conquest, the Scandinavian influence on England
began to give way to the political and cultural ideals
of the Latin world.
Besides feudalism and a new aristocracy, the
Normans implanted in England much of their
language, law, architecture, and social customs.
The island kingdom was thus brought into the
mainstream of medieval civilization. Englishmen
participated in the Crusades, the reform of church
and monastery, and other movements of the time.
6. The primary purpose of this passage is to explain
1. the nature of medieval warfare.
2. the politics and culture of medieval England.
3. the significance of the Norman Conquest.
4. the strengths and weaknesses of William the Conqueror.
7. As used in the passage, furious means
8. As used in the passage, sobriquet means
9. "The island kingdom" (line 30) is
10. It is implied in the passage that the Norman Conquest had results that
1. advanced the civilization of England.
2. restored England to her rightful place in the Roman Empire.
3. turned England into a militaristic nation.
4. unified church and state in England.
Your eyes are about three inches apart. That's
more than trivia -- it's the reason you see the world
in three dimensions. The separation gives your eyes
two slightly different views of every scene you
encounter. In the brain's visual cortex, these views
are compared, and the overlap is translated into a
stereoptic picture. To estimate relative distances,
your brain takes a reading of the tension in your eye
But you only see in 3-D up to about 200 feet.
Beyond that, you might as well be one-eyed -- your
eyes aren't far enough apart to give two very
different views over long distances. Instead, you
rely on experience to judge where things are; the
brain looks for clues and makes its best guess. For
example, it knows that near objects overlap far
ones; that bright objects are closer than dim ones;
and that large objects are nearer than small ones.
These "monocular cues" are what painters use to
trick us into thinking a flat canvas is three-
dimensional and miles deep. That's why paintings
are much more convincing if you close one eye:
Your brain hunts down all the clues the painter has
dropped. But when both of your eyes are open, the
brain gets more information and mixed signals. The
paint may say miles, but the muscles in your eyes
All of this fancy eyework is second nature to us, but
it is learned. "Other cultures don't perceive pictures
the same way we do," says J. Anthony Movshon,
Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at New
York University. "For example, primitive people
don't always think bigger means nearer. It's our
Western way of seeing things, and it's a way of
seeing that we've learned."
11. The primary purpose of the passage is to explain
1. how we see in three dimensions.
2. the difference between Western and primitive cultures.
3. the use of 3-D paintings.
4. why your eyes are three inches apart.
12. As used in the passage, stereoptic means
13. 3-D vision would be most useful in looking at which of the following?
1. a distant mountain range
2, a flower arrangement
14. The author mentions cultural differences in perception to support his point that
1. bigger means nearer.
2. fancy eyework is second nature.
3. we get mixed signals from paintings.
4. perception is learned.
15. The language used in this passage can best be described as
After almost five years as an elected Superior Court
judge in Georgia, I am convinced that all significant
problems in the administration of our judicial system
can be summed up in one word: politics.
Georgia judges are, purely and simply, politicians.
Some are able jurists, but they all serve under a
system that forces them to be more political than a
judge should be. I learned early on that many
citizens fail to make a distinction between a
judge/politician and other breeds of politician.
Trying to explain to a constituent that you want his
support but that you can't do anything for him is, at
Judges in Georgia have the worst of both
worlds -- they must run for election like a county
commissioner, but they are bound by law to observe
a strict set of rules: the Canons of Judicial Conduct.
The canons are voluminous and complicated; suffice
it to say here that they make it impossible for an
honest person to run a campaign and be true to
For example, a candidate for judicial office cannot
solicit funds or even ask anyone to solicit votes for
him. All of this is done, in theory, by a committee
of friends, but in reality the canons are ignored by
It was a sight bordering on the ridiculous this year to
observe the candidates for the Supreme Court of
Georgia. Some of them showed up at professional
gatherings such as State Bar meetings with political
buttons on their lapels, shaking hands feverishly
with everyone in reach. During the campaign, one
candidate was overheard remarking to a group at a
political function that he needed to rush off to a
"fund-raiser" in another town -- a blatant and
fundamental violation of canons.
No one makes any serious effort to enforce the rules
of conduct that judges are sworn to live by. Within
the past few years there have been flagrant
violations of the ban on political activity by judges,
but little, if anything, has been done about it.
16. The underlined word constituent refers to
1. a judge specializing in constitutional law.
2. an opponent running for political office.
3. an ordinary citizen serving on a jury.
4. a person represented by an elected official.
17. The underlined phrase suffice it most nearly means
1. it is better.
2. it is enough.
3. it is inexact.
4. it is unfair.
18. In line 23, "them" refers to
1. the canons of Judicial Conduct.
2. judges in Georgia.
3. political commitments.
4. political supporters.
19. What is meant by the statement that observing the candidates for the Supreme Court of Georgia "was a sight bordering on the ridiculous"?
1. The judges looked silly wearing campaign buttons and shaking hands.
2. The judges were behaving in an undignified manner.
3. The judges were openly violating the Canons of Judicial Conduct.
4. The candidates were obviously not qualified to be judges.
20. It is implied that a judge is not likely to be re-elected if he
1. attends professional meetings.
2. follows the Canons of Judicial Conduct.
3. lets a committee campaign for him.
4. makes campaign promises.
21. The passage most likely appeared in
1. chapter about the judicial system in a political science textbook.
2. The Canons of Judicial Conduct.
3. an editorial column of a newspaper.
4. a novel about Southern politics.
Heartened by the knowledge that Polly was not
altogether a cretin, I began a long, patient review of
all I had told her. Over and over and over again I
cited instances, pointed out flaws, kept hammering
away without letup. It was like digging a tunnel. At
first everything was work, sweat, and darkness. I
had no idea when I would reach the light, or even if
I would. But I persisted. I pounded and clawed and
scraped, and finally I was rewarded. I saw a chink
of light. And then the chink got bigger and the sun
came pouring in and all was bright.
Five grueling nights this took, but it was worth it. I
had made a logician out of Polly; I had taught her to
think. My job was done. She was worthy of me at
last. She was a fit wife for me, a proper hostess for
my many mansions, a suitable mother for my well-
It must not be thought that I was without love for
this girl. Quite the contrary. Just as Pygmalion
loved the perfect woman he had fashioned, so I
loved mine. I decided to acquaint her with my
feelings at our very next meeting. The time had
come to change our relationship from academic to
"Polly," I said when next we sat beneath our oak,
"tonight we will not discuss fallacies."
"Aw, gee," she said, disappointed.
"My dear," I said, favoring her with a smile, "we
have now spent five evenings together. We have
gotten along splendidly. It is clear that we are well
"Hasty Generalization," said Polly brightly.
"I beg your pardon," said I.
"Hasty Generalization," she repeated. "How can
you say that we are well matched on the basis of
only five dates?"
I chuckled with amusement. The dear child had
learned her lessons well. "My dear," I said, patting
her hand in a tolerant manner, "five dates is plenty.
After all, you don't have to eat a whole cake to
know that it's good."
"False Analogy," said Polly promptly.
"I'm not a cake. I'm a girl."
I chuckled with somewhat less amusement.
22. The statement, "I pounded and clawed and
scraped, . . ." in paragraph one is meant to be
23. The narrator's attitude toward Polly can best be described as
24. It can be inferred that the narrator is most concerned with
2. his children.
3. his mansions.
25. On the sixth night the narrator wants his relationship with Polly to change to one that is
26. From the narrator's point of view at the end of the passage, how well had Polly learned what he taught her?
1. just right
2. not at all
3. not well enough
4. too well
27. The outcome of the story is an example of which of the following literary devices?
In New Orleans, Moon Walk -- a pathway along a
stretch of the Mississippi -- now provides the public
access that had previously been denied. It's a
charming place, where one night recently a band
played on the walk as tourists and residents of the
adjacent Vieux Carre (the Old Quarter or French
Quarter) strolled past. A few feet west, the
paddlewheeler Natchez sounded its whistle, signaling
its imminent departure.
Now the city plans to extend public access to the
area adjoining Moon Walk in an ambitious design
that will, the city hopes, be a part of its development
for the next world's fair. This more ambitious
concept for the waterfront will be likely to stir
considerable debate as competing projects vie for
the opportunities for profit. The development will
therefore require substantial participation,
cooperation and scrutiny by citizens to make sure
that while private profitability is maintained, the
public's needs are satisfied, too.
The joint efforts of environmentalists, business-people,
civic leaders and politicians have transformed
abandoned, derelict port landscapes in cities
throughout America into exciting commercial
and recreational centers. Examples are the Cannery
in San Francisco, the Riverfront Walk in San
Antonio, Faneuil Hall Market in Boston and
Harborplace in Baltimore.
It's easy to understand why the port areas were
neglected. While many cities were growing up
along rivers, lakes and natural harbors, depending
on water-borne commerce, waterfronts thrived.
After World War II, however, technological
changes in transportation -- improved planes and
airports, the interstate highway system, larger tracks
for freight trains and containerized shipping --
rendered many old port facilities obsolete.
Waterfront areas became peripheral to the life of the
city. Piers were abandoned, and the waterfronts lay
idle in many older cities, paralleling the more
general urban decay.
With the 1970's came a period of reflection on
this condition and a resurgence of urban pride. Urban
renewal stopped being a license for large-scale
demolition; politicians and planners took a hard look
at their available resources and began to experiment
with new development techniques. Waterfronts
became one focus of the large urban revitalization
28. As used in the passage, vie most nearly means
29. The primary purpose of this passage is to describe
1. business expansion of urban areas.
2. Moon Walk in New Orleans.
3. the causes of urban decay.
4. the renewal of waterfront areas.
30. The overall impression of Moon Walk conveyed in the first paragraph is that it is
31. The author implies that successful renewal of a waterfront area requires that
1. both public and private interests be considered.
2. designs like that of Moon Walk be used.
3. technological changes in transportation be made.
4. historical monuments be preserved.
32. Between World War II and the 1970's, waterfronts became
1. centers for water-borne commerce.
2. commercial and recreational centers.
3. sites of urban decay.
4. the focus of revitalization efforts.
33. Which word or phrase could be used instead of "while" (line 33)?
2. as long as
3. in the meantime
34. As used in the passage, rendered means
35. In line 47, "this condition" refers to
1. technological change.
2. urban decay.
3. urban pride.
4. waterfront commerce.
A wool sock, a toilet seat, Oriental silk -- out of a
millennium of mud comes proof that the globe-traveling
Vikings weren't the ravaging rovers historians made
them to be.
"The old English image of the Vikings as simply
blood-thirsty bands of pillagers vanished with these
finds," says Richard Hall, an archaeologist.
"We dug down and found a cocoon of water-logging,
a time capsule of everyday life," said Hall,who led a
tour Wednesday through a muddy concrete hall
fashioned out of the hole left from the excavation.
Hall was one of some 400 people who, for five
years, dug up the leftovers of the lives of an
estimated 30,000 Vikings. Workers discovered the
sophisticated settlement when a central district of
York was leveled for rebuilding.
Starting April 14, 1984, electric cars will carry
tourists through a tunnel of time that goes back to
866 A.D., when the Vikings came to York, 188
miles northwest of London.
Archaeologists are eager to display what they found
in a $3.9 million reconstruction of Jorvik, the
Anglo-Saxon name for the settlement.
"We have skeletons, 15,000 objects, a quarter-of-a-
million pieces of pottery, some of the best preserved
Viking-age buildings ever discovered and five tons
of animal bones," Hall said.
The digs revealed intimate details of Viking life.
There is a toilet seat, keys, tools, games counters,
the seeds in the blackberries they picked and a
knitted woolen sock.
"They were a great trading nation with a
sophisticated monetary system," Hall said.
"We will show the range of products in which they
traded -- silk from the Far East, amber from the
Baltic, pottery from the Rhineland, cowrie shells
from the Indian Ocean."
36. The primary purpose of the passage is to describe
1. a new archaeological discovery about the Vikings.
2. a new tourist attraction.
3. the intimate details of Viking life.
4. the process of archaeological research.
37. As used in the passage ravaging means
38. The Viking settlement was discovered by
1. archaeologists looking for a settlement.
2. builders reconstructing Jorvik.
3. tourists looking for buried objects.
4. workers leveling parts of a city.
39. According to the passage, the Vikings are best characterized as
40. About how long ago did the Vikings come to York?
1. 100 years ago
2. 1000 years ago
3. 10,000 years ago
4. 30,000 years ago
41. In the last paragraph, the word "they" refers to the
42. Which of the following does the author primarily use to support his view of the Vikings?
2. comparison and contrast
4. personal experience
Review of "The Collected Prose." By Elizabeth
Bishop. Edited by Robert Giroux. 278 pages.
Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
The late Elizabeth Bishop always epitomized, in
John Ashbery's phrase, "a writer's writer's writer."
By 1976, when she became the first American --
and the first woman -- ever to receive the Neustadt
International Prize, the world at large began to
realize what many of her fellow poets had long
suspected: that her poetic achievement might in
time overshadow that of her more famous
contemporaries. Bishop's admirers will want to
consult her "Collected Prose" for the light it sheds
on her poetry. They will discover, however, that it
is more than just a handsome companion volume to
last year's "Complete Poems, 1927-1979." Bishop's
clean, limpid prose makes her stories and memoirs a
delight to read.
Robert Giroux, Bishop's editor, divides her
"Collected Prose" into "Memory: Persons &
Places" and "Stories." Fair enough, though
inevitably the distinctions between these two
categories blur. Stories like "Gwendolyn" and the
justly celebrated "In the Village" do double duty as
autobiographical statements. By the same token
"Efforts of Affection" -- a memoir of Marianne
Moore as mentor and friend -- achieves the
emotional resonance of a finely wrought short story.
So does "The U.S.A. School of Writing," Bishop's
account of her first job after graduation from Vassar
in the midst of the Great Depression. For the grand
sum of $15 a week, she impersonated a "successful,
money-making" author named "Fred G. Margolies"
for a shady correspondence school in New York
43. In general, the reviewer's reaction to "Collected Prose" is
44. It is implied in the passage that Bishop's recognition as a writer will
1. decrease because she is no longer writing.
2. decrease because she is read mainly by other writers.
3. increase because her writing is good.
4. increase because the reputations of writers always increase after they die.
45. Bishop is known primarily for her
4. short stories.
46. Limpid, underlined in the passage, means
47. The reviewer's primary purpose for mentioning specific examples of Bishop's work in the second paragraph is to show that
1. Bishop had an interesting life.
2. "Collected Prose" is a companion volume to "Collected Poems."
3. Bishop started her career at a correspondence school.
4. Bishop's stories and memoirs have similar characteristics.
48. Which of the following could be a fact rather than an opinion?
1. Bishop is admired by other writers.
2. Bishop's stories are a delight to read.
3. "Efforts of Affection" achieves the emotional resonance of a finely wrought short story.
4. Bishop's stories are justly celebrated.
Said a Melrose, Massachusetts, housing engineer in
1980, "Every politician is the same, regardless of
whether he's in Boston or Washington. That's why
a lot of us may choose not to vote this November."
As a result, people are focusing efforts on the local
level. There, one sees not apathy but intense
There has been a gradual but pronounced shift of
power out of the hands of elected officials to direct
ballot voting through local initiatives and referenda
where people, not officials, decide by a majority
vote a certain course of action.
Politicians matter less and less. So there is a
declining interest in national political elections. It is
a natural consequence of the shift from a
representative to a participatory democracy.
Political commentators and the media, of course,
see this as anything but natural. We are constantly
upbraided for apathy and for taking democracy for
granted. And by now we all feel even guilty about
We should not. Low voter turnout does not
automatically signal trouble in democracy.
In any event, exceptionally high turnout is not
necessarily the wonderful thing the commentators
would have us believe it is. Worldwide, the highest
turnouts occur in totalitarian states. For example,
only one voter failed to turn out in Albania's 1978
general election; North Korea counts on a full
100-percent turnout; and in Romania and East
Germany the vote hovers at around 99 percent.
Political analysis used to associate low turnout with
apathy or ignorance. But as the electorate becomes
better educated, more informed, and more assertive,
that rationalization is becoming increasingly difficult
to substantiate. Analysts are finally beginning to
understand that voters are making a conscious
decision not to participate.
We have pulled the essence of political power out of
the hands of our elected representatives and
reinvested it into two main areas: (1) the direct
ballot vote of initiatives and referenda and (2)
grassroots political activity. In both cases citizens,
not politicians, decide on a course of action and live
49. As used in the passage, pronounced most nearly means
50. Which of the following best describes the author's attitude toward low voter turnout?
51. The underlined word upbraided means
52. The author mentions the voter turnout in some other countries to show that
1. high turnout is not necessarily a sign of democracy.
2. voter turnout in the U.S. is low.
3. the U.S. is less democratic than some other countries.
4. we take democracy for granted by not voting.
53. According to the passage, which of the following is the main reason for low voter turnout in national elections?
1. ignorance of the issues
2. lack of education
3. lack of interest in politics
4. shift in political focus
54. Which of the following statements is an opinion and could NOT be a fact?
1. Political analysts attempt to determine why people don't vote.
2. Many Americans don't vote in elections.
3. The voter turnout is high in North Korea.
4. We should not feel guilty about not voting.
Item Item % choosing each option P- Pb Bis Number Classification 1 2 3 4 Value Corr Corr 1 Literal 2 93* 3 2 93 .19 .35 2 Literal 0 2 3 94* 94 .33 .66 3 Inference 4 1 93* 2 93 .33 .62 4 Analysis 88* 6 5 1 88 .16 .27 5 Literal 2 78* 5 14 78 .42 .59 6 Inference 2 7 87* 4 87 .35 .55 7 Vocabulary 4 10 1 85* 85 .36 .56 8 Vocabulary 23 7 67* 3 67 .36 .47 9 Literal 86* 4 8 2 86 .24 .38 10 Inference 74* 17 2 6 74 .39 .53 11 Inference 80* 2 2 16 80 .23 .33 12 Vocabulary 6 75* 13 6 75 .32 .44 13 Inference 8 55* 2 35 55 .41 .52 14 Analysis 7 6 2 85* 85 .37 .57 15 Analysis 14 4 16 65* 65 .27 .35 16 Vocabulary 4 8 22 66* 66 .45 .58 17 Vocabulary 30 56* 4 10 56 .42 .53 18 Literal 75* 5 4 17 75 .39 .54 19 Inference 11 10 73* 5 73 .32 .44 20 Inference 3 76* 10 11 76 .43 .58 21 Analysis 6 5 77* 11 77 .37 .52 22 Analysis 4 6 2 88* 88 .31 .51 23 Inference 48* 13 30 9 48 .41 .51 24 Inference 82* 1 1 16 82 .37 .55 25 Literal 1 2 96* 1 96 .22 .49 26 Inference 8 4 6 82* 82 .39 .58 27 Analysis 79* 8 5 8 79 .41 .59 28 Vocabulary 4 74* 11 11 74 .43 .58 29 Inference 11 5 6 78* 78 .39 .54 30 Inference 4 3 88* 5 88 .36 .59 31 Inference 88* 4 4 3 88 .35 .57 32 Literal 3 3 81* 13 81 .49 .70 33 Analysis 30 44* 24 1 44 .42 .52 34 Vocabulary 2 88* 6 4 88 .45 .72 35 Literal 6 85* 3 5 85 .44 .67 36 Inference 76* 8 13 2 76 .30 .41 37 Vocabulary 91* 2 3 4 91 .36 .63 38 Literal 19 6 2 72* 72 .43 .58 39 Inference 2 91* 3 3 91 .31 .54 40 Literal 2 72* 16 9 72 .42 .55 41 Literal 1 1 0 98* 98 .24 .64 42 Analysis 8 2 81* 9 81 .39 .56 43 Inference 81* 12 5 2 81 .28 .40 44 Inference 1 5 81* 13 81 .39 .56 45 Literal 12 74* 1 13 74 .27 .37 46 Vocabulary 1 96* 1 2 96 .22 .48 47 Analysis 12 17 4 67* 67 .31 .40 48 Analysis 50* 8 29 12 50 .38 .48 49 Vocabulary 72* 20 4 3 72 .56 .74 50 Inference 6 75* 7 9 75 .51 .70 51 Vocabulary 82* 6 8 2 82 .45 .66 52 Analysis 76* 8 3 9 76 .56 .77 53 Inference 9 4 26 58* 58 .56 .71 54 Analysis 5 4 4 84* 84 .44 .66
Raw Score to Scale Score Conversion Table for Form 23 of the Regents' Reading Test ____________________________________________________________________ Raw Scale Raw Scale Score** Score Score Score ____________________________________________________________________ 1 6 31 53 2 13 32 54 3 18 33 55 4 21 34 56 5 24 35 57 6 26 36 58 7 28 37 59 8 30 38 60 9 31 39 *61 10 33 40 62 11 34 41 63 12 35 42 64 13 37 43 66 14 38 44 67 15 39 45 68 16 40 46 70 17 41 47 72 18 42 48 74 19 43 49 76 20 44 50 78 21 45 51 82 22 46 52 86 23 46 53 93 24 47 54 99 25 48 26 49 27 50 28 51 29 52 30 53 _________________________________________________________________ *minimum passing score **The raw score is the number of items answered correctly.
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Last updated: September 23, 2003