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Sample Practical Reading Passage: Regular tune-ups of your heating system will cut heating costs and will most likely increase the lifetime and safety of the system. When a service technician performs a tune-up, he or she should test the efficiency of your heating system. The technician should measure the efficiency of your system both before and after servicing it and provide you with a copy of the results. Combustion efficiency is determined indirectly, based on some of the following tests: 1) temperature of the flue (or chimney); 2) percent carbon dioxide or percent oxygen in the atmosphere; 3) presence of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere; and 4) draft. Incomplete combustion of fuel is the main contributor to low efficiency. If the technician cannot raise the combustion efficiency up to at least 75% after tuning your heating system, you should consider installing a new system or at least modifying your present system to increase its efficiency. Adapted from Alex Wilson and John Morrill, Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings. 1993 by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. (Reasoning) 1. The passage suggests that the presence of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere: A. can provide information regarding combustion efficiency. B. is found in 75% of heating systems tested. C. can be reduced by decreasing heating system draft. D. is the main cause of low efficiency in heating systems. E. is more reliable than flue temperature as an indicator of combustion efficiency. (Referring) 2. According to the passage, when performing a tune-up of a heating system, the service technician should: A. ensure that the combustion efficiency is at least 25%. B. modify the heating system before initially measuring efficiency. C. measure combustion efficiency both before and after servicing the system. D. provide his or her supervisor with a written report of the system's efficiency. E. ignore the age of the heating system. Answers:

2. Sample Practical Reading Passage: When I'm in New York but feeling lonely for Wyoming I look for the Western movie ads in the subway. But the men I see in those posters with their stern, humorless looks remind me of no one I know in the West. In our earnestness to romanticize the cowboy we've ironically disesteemed his true character. If he's "strong and silent" it's because there's probably no one to talk to. If he "rides away into the sunset" it's because he's been on horseback since four in the morning moving cattle and he's trying, fifteen hours later, to get home to his family. If he's "a rugged individualist" he's also part of a team: ranch work is teamwork and even the glorified open-range cowboys of the 1880s rode up and down the Chisholm Trail in the company of twenty or thirty other riders. It's not toughness but "toughing it out" that counts. In other words, this macho, cultural artifact the cowboy has become is simply a man who possesses resilience, patience, and an instinct for survival. "Cowboys are just like a 1

pile of rockseverything happens to them. They get climbed on, kicked, rained and snowed on, scuffed up by the wind. Their job is 'just to take it,'" one old-timer told me. Adapted from Gretel Ehrlich, The Solace of Open Spaces. 1985 by Gretel Ehrlich. (Referring) 1. According to the passage, cowboys are probably "strong and silent" because: A. their work leaves them no time for conversation. B. they have been cautioned not to complain. C. they are stern and humorless. D. there is no one nearby to listen to them. E. their work makes them too tired to talk. (Reasoning) 2. For which of the following statements does the passage give apparently contradictory evidence? A. The cowboy's work takes endurance. B. Cowboys work alone. C. Cowboys are adequately paid. D. The cowboy's image has become romanticized in American culture. E. Cowboys think of themselves as humorless. Answers:

3. Sample Practical Reading Passage: Fortune Tellers A young couple entered the restaurant in Andys view. They were holding hands. Andy sat back down in his chair. He felt sick. He turned and faced his father, who was eating pudding. Whats the matter, son? asked his father. I thought you were going to the birthday party. Its too late. Are you sure? Andy nodded. He looked at the plate of pudding He wanted to bury his face in it. Hi, Andy. A voice came from behind. Andy looked up. He recognized the beautiful face, and he refused to meet her eyes. Hi, Jennifer, muttered Andy, looking at the floor. You didnt miss much, Andy. The party was dead. I was looking for you, hoping you could give me a ride home. Then I met Tim, and he was bored like me. And he said hed take me home. Andy, do you want to eat with us? Ill introduce you to Tim. Andy said, No, Im eating pudding with my father. Well, Ill see you in school then, okay? Yeah. And Andy watched her socks move away from his view. Andy grabbed a chunk of pudding The rice and beans stuck to his fingernails. He placed the chunk in his mouth and pulled it away from his fingers with his teeth. There was a dry bitter taste. But nothing could be as bitter as he was, so he chewed some more. The bitterness faded as the pudding became softer in his mouth, but it was still tasteless. He could hear the young couple talk and giggle. Their words and laughter and the sounds of his own chewing mixed into a sticky mess. The words were bitter and the laughter was tasteless, and once he began to understand this, he tasted the sweetness of pudding Andy enjoyed swallowing the sticky mess down. 2

Andy swallowed everything down sweetness and bitterness and nothingness and what he thought was love. 1. Who is telling this story? A. Jennifer B. Andy C. Tim D. Andys father E. An unnamed narrator 2. What is the most reasonable conclusion to make from the statement in the first paragraph, He felt sick.? A. Eating pudding with his father gave Andy a stomachache. B. Andy was upset when he saw Jennifer holding hands with Tim. C. Andy was unhappy about the restaurant his father had selected. D. Andy was upset with Jennifer for making him miss the party. E. Andy mistakenly thought that Tim was his best friend. Answers: 4. Sample Practical Reading Passage: Schools expect textbooks to be a valuable source of information for students. My research suggests, however, that textbooks that address the place of Native Americans within the history of the United States distort history to suit a particular cultural value system. In some textbooks, for example, settlers are pictured as more humane, complex, skillful, and wise than Native Americans. In essence, textbooks stereotype and depreciate the numerous Native American cultures while reinforcing the attitude that the European conquest of the New World denotes the superiority of European cultures. Although textbooks evaluate Native American architecture, political systems, and homemaking, I contend that they do it from an ethnocentric, European perspective without recognizing that other perspectives are possible. One argument against my contention asserts that, by nature, textbooks are culturally biased and that I am simply underestimating children's ability to see through these biases. Some researchers even claim that by the time students are in high school, they know they cannot take textbooks literally. Yet substantial evidence exists to the contrary. Two researchers, for example, have conducted studies that suggest that children's attitudes about particular cultures are strongly influenced by the textbooks used in schools. Given this, an ongoing, careful review of how school textbooks depict Native Americans is certainly warranted. Which of the following would most logically be the topic of the paragraph immediately following the passage? (A) Specific ways to evaluate the biases of United States history textbooks (B) The centrality of the teacher's role in United States history courses (C) Nontraditional methods of teaching United States history (D) The contributions of European immigrants to the development of the United States. (E) Ways in which parents influence children's political attitudes Answers:

5. Sample Practical Reading Passage: Ever since the giant panda was discovered in the middle of the nineteenth century, a controversy has raged over its relation to other species. While the general public tends to view the giant panda as a kind of living teddy bear, biologists have not been sure how to classify this enigmatic animal. At different times, the panda has been placed alternately with bears in the Ursidae family, with raccoons in the Procyonidae family, and in its own "Ailuropodidae" family. Biologists who classify animal species have tried to categorize the panda according to whether its traits are "homologous" or merely "analogous" to similar traits in other species. Homologous traits are those which species have in common because they have descended from a common ancestor. For instance, every species of cat has the homologous trait of possessing only four toes on its hind foot, because every member of the cat family descended from a common feline ancestor. The greater the number of such traits that two species share, the more closely they are related. A cat and a lion have more homologous traits between them than a cat and a human, for exampleso cats and lions are more closely related, biologically. What appears to be a homologous trait may only be an analogous trait, however. An analogous trait is a trait that two species have in common not because they are descended from a common ancestor but because they have different ancestors that developed in similar ways in response to their environment. The eagle and the butterfly, for example, both possess the trait of wings. It is often difficult to distinguish homologous from analogous traits, which is why analysis of the panda's traits has raised more questions than it has answered. The panda may look like a bear, for example, but its appearance could just be an analogous trait; the panda also has many traits that bears do not possess. It has a more massive jaw than a bear since its diet consists primarily of bamboo. Giant pandas also have thumbs which are used to strip leaves from bamboo stalks. Bears do not have a similar digit. Furthermore, most bears growl or roar, but giant pandas bleat. Progress has been made on the panda mystery only through examination of its genetic material. Using a technique known as DNA hybridization, biologists have demonstrated that the giant panda is indeed a relative of the bear, but the relationship is distant indeed. Their most recent common ancestor lived over fifteen million years ago. The primary purpose of the passage is to: praise the work that has been done by biologists in the attempt to classify the panda. draw attention to the fact that the giant panda is not really a species of bear. discuss the difficulty of determining to which category the giant panda belongs. point out the similarities between the panda and certain other animal species. prove that the giant panda has long been incorrectly classified.

6. Sample Practical Reading Passage: The study of history provides many benefits. First, we learn from the past. We may repeat mistakes, but, at least, we have the opportunity to avoid them. Second, history teaches us what questions to ask about the present. Contrary to some peoples view, the study of history is not the memorization of names, dates, and places. It is the thoughtful examination of the forces that have shaped the courses of human life. We can examine events from the past and then draw inferences about current events. History teaches us about likely outcomes. Another benefit of the study of history is the broad range of human experience which is covered. War and peace are certainly covered as are national and international affairs. However, matters of culture (art, literature, and music) are also included in historical study. Human nature is an important part of 4

history: emotions like passion, greed, and insecurity have influenced the shaping of world affairs. Anyone who thinks that the study of history is boring has not really studied history. 1. What is the main idea of this passage? A. Studying history helps us to live in todays world. B. Studying history is riot just memorization. C. The role of education is to help students deal with real life. D. Students should study both national and international history. 2. In the first paragraph, inferences means A. graphs B. articles C. conclusions D. circumferences 3. Which method of teaching history would the author of this passage support? A. Applying historical events to modern society. B. Using flash cards to remember specific facts. C. Weekly quizzes on dates and events. D. Student competitions for most books memorized. 7. Sample Practical Reading Passage: Autumn Autumn is the season that falls between summer and winter. There are many changes that begin in this fascinating season. Days become shorter. Leaves of trees turn from green to vibrant red, yellow and orange. Trees need sunlight to keep their leaves a lively green. Without sunlight leaves turn colors. The grass is no longer blanketed with dew but with frost, almost every morning, as temperatures reach the freezing point. Animals start storing up a food supply to last the long winter months. These changes occur as the as we adjust from the heat of the summer to the chill of the winter. ANSWER THE QUESTIONS: 1. Autumn occurs between summer and which other season? a. January c. winter b. spring d. solstice

2. Which of the following changes may occur during Autumn? a. days become shorter c. days become longer 3. Why do leaves change color during Autumn? a. they don't get enough oxygen c. they don't get enough water b. they don't get enough light d. they get too much oxygen b. it becomes very hot d. Their is more sunlight

4. What do animals begin to do to prepare for the end of Autumn? 5

a. store extra body fat c. shed fur

b. eat less d. turn colors

8. Sample Practical Reading Passage: Chicago Chicago is the third largest city in the United States. Over three million people live in the two hundred and twenty five mile area of Chicago. The world's first skyscraper was constructed in Chicago in 1885. Today, some of the world's tallest and most famous skyscrapers are found in the city. Located in the heart of the city is the one hundred and ten story Sears Tower, which is among the most famous skyscrapers ever built. Chicago is often called "The Windy City". It is assumed that this is due to the City's weather, but in the 1990s 11 major U.S. cities outranked Chicago for average annual wind speed. ANSWER THE QUESTIONS: 1. How many cities in the United States are larger than Chicago? a. one c. three 2. Which of the following is true? a. Chicago is the largest city in the world b. Chicago is home to some of the world's tallest skyscrapers c. Chicago is the windiest city in the United States d. None of the above 3. How many of people (in millions) live in Chicago? a. one b. two c. three d. four 4. What is one of Chicago's most famous skyscrapers? a. The Sears Tower b. The Sienna Tower c. The Times Tower d. The Empire State Building b. two d. four

9. Sample Practical Reading Passage: National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum More than 350,000 fans visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum located in Cooperstown, New York, every year. The museum, established in 1939 is located in the very town where Abner Doubleday was said to have designed the game approximately 100 years prior. Great baseball players, such as Babe Ruth and Ted William's, are honored in life size woodcarvings in the Hall of Fame Gallery. The Cooperstown Room traces the history and development of baseball. 6

Displays of women in baseball, the All Star Game, and world tours can be found on the museums second floor. A newly constructed wing houses a 200-seat movie theatre and interactive exhibits that make the trip, from anywhere, worthwhile! 1. Where is the National Baseball Hall of Fame located? A. New Mexico C. New York B. New Jersey 2. Who designed the game of baseball? A. Abner Doubleday D. Canada C. Babe Ruth

B. Derek Jeter D. Ted Williams 3. What floor can displays of women in baseball be found on? A. first floor C. second floor B. third floor D. fourth floor 4. How many seats are in the new movie theatre? A. 2000 B. 200 A. 1739 B. 1839 C. 300 D. 30 C. 1939 D. 1639

5. The game of baseball was designed in about or around this year.

10. Sample Practical Reading Passage: THE MISTS OF AVALON The Mists of Avalon is a novel written by Marion Zimmer Bradley. The story is unique because it is retold through the lives and viewpoints of the women who possessed power beyond the throne. Morgaine, half sister to King Arthur, is a high priestess in the land of Avalon. The magical land of Avalon believes that women are the gatekeepers of knowledge and the creator of life. It is Morgaine's quest to move Britain away from Christianity, which has a different view. The novel is told with clarity and wonderful detail. This spellbinding novel is magical and a must. 1. The Mists of Avalon was written by A. E. B. White C. Robert Conwell B. Marion Zimmer Bradley 2. Morgan is half sister to A. Sir Lancelot D. Judy Blume C. Guinavere

B. Jennifer D. King Arthur 3. Morgain is a high priestess in the land of A. Oz C. Avalon B. Kingdoms D. Luxury 4. The author of this paragraph thinks The Mists of Avalon is told with 7

A. Honesty B. Clarity

C. humor D. excitement

11. Sample Practical Reading Passage: Henry Hudson Henry Hudson first set sail in 1607 in the attempt to find the Northwest Passage to the Far East. Three subsequent voyages followed. The first two voyages were made on the shop "Hopewell." After a third unsuccessful voyage, Hudson could no longer find anyone in England interested in sponsoring his quest of finding a shortcut to the Orient. In 1608, Hudson dined with a Dutchman named Emmanuel van Meteran, an English representative to the Dutch East India Company. The company was looking for a shorter route to trade with the Orient. Ultimately, the Dutch hired Hudson. With the assistance of a trusty Dutch sailing vessel, Hudson continued on his voyage and eventually discovered a river that had been called an assortment of names, including Muhheakunnuk, Grande River, Rio de Sant Antonio, and River of Mountains. This river was finally named after Hudson himself. 1. Henry Hudson first set sail in A. 1608 C. 1607 B. 1609 D. 1610 2. What was Henry Hudson looking for? A. Short cut to the Orient C. Silver B. Gold 3. Who finally sponsored Hudson? A. England D. A wife C. United States of America

B. Dutch D. China 4. The Hudson River was at one time also known as A. Grande Rio B. Dutch River A. 3 B. 2 Mists of Avalon 1 B 2 D 3 C 4 B 5 A Henry Hudson 1 C 2 A 3 B 4 D 5 C C. Wavy River D. Grande River C. 4 D. 5 National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum 1 C 2 A 3 C 4 B 5 B

5. How many total voyages did Hudson make looking for the short cut?