Paragraph Comprehension Practice Questions

Questions 1-2
The last time the American economy received as much attention as it is now getting was in the 1929 stock market crash and the Great Depression that followed it. There are some similarities in comparing that catastrophic event of long ago to the troubles with the economy today. American and world stock markets have fallen to record lows. Unemployment continues to rise. Many people do not have the money to pay their bills. There has been an increase in the cost of food and other basic living items. However, in today’s economy, people have advantages that they did not have in the 1930s when there were no unemployment benefits. Nor were there the vast array of social and governmental agencies that offer help to needy families. There was no state Medicaid. There was no Social Security. Certainly, there was no giant bailout of the banking industry as there is today.

1. The main theme of the paragraph is

a. a comparison of the economy in two different eras.
b. the Great Depression.
c. the cost of food and shelter.
d. the great number of social and governmental agencies.

2. In the opinion of the writer of the above paragraph,

a. things are tougher now than in the 1930s.
b. food costs are higher than ever before.
c. we are in the midst of another Great Depression.
d. society is more prepared to deal with economic downturns today than it was during the Great Depression.

Questions 3-5
Having a pet is a big responsibility because animals do not often respond the way people do. Therefore, pet owners are often surprised by the behavior of their pets. Dogs are a good example of a common household pet which requires a sense of responsibility on the part of the dog’s owner.

A responsible dog owner should be prepared to walk the animal at least twice a day. The larger breed and more active dogs require about forty minutes of exercise each day. Failing to exercise your dog can lead to bad indoor behavior because, like humans, animals get bored. When dogs are bored, they look for things to do, such as chewing, or barking, or pestering family members to play. Ignoring your dog by not exercising it and confusing it with a variety of erratic commands can even make your pet dog very spoiled and possibly aggressive. The best method of turning your dog into a friend you can live with is to hold to a regular schedule of feeding, exercise, play, and quiet time. These rules are the same ones that apply to human children.

3. According to the article above,

a. dogs learn more quickly than adults.
b. irresponsible dog owners are lazy individuals.
c. a neglected dog is a troublesome dog that causes problems in the household.
d. walking a dog eliminates all dog problems.

4. According to the article above,

a. bored dogs can exhibit a variety of unpleasant behaviors, including chewing, excessive barking, and even aggression.
b. regular exercise and feeding of your pet is a panacea for all your ills.
c. poor dog behavior is caused by friendly dog owners.
d. memorizing proper animal commands is key to good dog behavior.

5. The meaning of the word “erratic” in the passage above most closely means

a. inconsistent.
b. angry.
c. bold.
d. congruent.

Questions 6-9
The material presented below is an informational document. Read it carefully and choose the best answer.
It is clear from most sources that the Indians, at the time of early settler contact, had their villages on both sides of the Upper Delaware River. We are lucky to have a great deal of archaeological evidence from local Indian sites due to the hurried excavations during 1967 and 1968. The reason for the hurried excavations was that a plan was afoot to inundate the entire area in the creation of a huge dam project. Many of the dig sites and discoveries during this period can be attributed to the efforts of environmentalists, archaeologists, scientists, and just plain folks. Had the dam actually been constructed, the entire natural history museum, and a large part of the Native American heritage of Eastern Pennsylvania, would have been lost forever.

6. This excerpt from a local history of Eastern Pennsylvania is about

a. the abandonment of a dam project.
b. the disintegration of the Native American population.
c. the building of dams and other water projects.
d. the preservation of a historic site.

7. The word “inundate” in the second paragraph most nearly means the same as

a. intubate.
b. plow.
c. regulate.
d. flood.

8. The chief point of the writer of the passage above is that

a. building a dam would provide jobs.
b. deciding against building a dam preserved an important historical site.
c. building a dam would preserve Indian culture.
d. Indians were able to stop a dam project.

9. According to the passage, the reason for the hurried archaeological excavations in 1967 and 1968 was that

a. archaeologists needed to dig quickly because after the area was flooded by the dam’s waters, historical research would be impossible.
b. 1967 and 1968 were the best years for archaeology.
c. the government ordered the sites to be excavated during those years.
d. a team of archaeologists petitioned the government to dig during those years.

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