Practice Questions (Advanced Reading Comprehension)
1. In 1892 the Sierra Club was formed. In 1908 an area of coastal
redwood trees north of San Francisco was established as Muir Woods
National Monument. In the Sierra Nevada mountains, a walking trail from
Yosemite Valley to Mount Whitney was dedicated in 1938. It is called
John Muir Trail.
John Muir was born in 1838 in Scotland. His family name means
“moor,” which is a meadow full of flowers and animals. John loved
nature from the time he was small. He also liked to climb rocky cliffs
When John was eleven, his family moved to the United States and
settled in Wisconsin. John was good with tools and soon became an
inventor. He first invented a model of a sawmill. Later he invented an
alarm clock that would cause the sleeping person to be tipped out of
bed when the timer sounded.
Muir left home at an early age. He took a thousand-mile walk south
to the Gulf of Mexico in 1867and 1868. Then he sailed for San
Francisco. The city was too noisy and crowded for Muir, so he headed
inland for the Sierra Nevadas.
When Muir discovered the Yosemite Valley in the Sierra Nevadas, it
was as if he had come home. He loved the mountains, the wildlife, and
the trees. He climbed the mountains and even climbed trees during
thunderstorms in order to get closer to the wind. He put forth the
theory in the late 1860's that the Yosemite Valley had been formed
through the action of glaciers. People ridiculed him. Not until 1930
was Muir's theory proven correct.
Muir began to write articles about the Yosemite Valley to tell
readers about its beauty. His writing also warned people that Yosemite
was in danger from timber mining and sheep ranching interests. In 1901
Theodore Roosevelt became president of the United States. He was
interested in conservation. Muir took the president through Yosemite,
and Roosevelt helped get legislation passed to create Yosemite National
Park in 1906.
Although Muir won many conservation battles, he lost a major one.
He fought to save the Hetch Valley, which people wanted to dam in order
to provide water for San Francisco. In the late 1913 a bill was signed
to dam the valley. Muir died in 1914. Some people say losing the fight
to protect the valley killed Muir.
What happened first?
A. The Muir family moved to the United States.
B. Muir Woods was created.
C. John Muir learned to climb rocky cliffs.
D. John Muir walked to the Gulf of Mexico
E. Muir visited along the east coast.
2. When did Muir invent a unique form of alarm clock?
A. while the family still lived in Scotland
B. after he sailed to San Francisco
C. after he traveled in Yosemite
D. while the Muir family lived in Wisconsin
E. after he took the long walk
3. What did John Muir do soon after he arrived in San Francisco?
A. He ran outside during an earthquake.
B. He put forth a theory about how Yosemite was formed.
C. He headed inland for the Sierra Nevadas.
D. He began to write articles about the Sierra Nevadas.
E. He wrote short stories for the local newspaper.
4. When did John Muir meet Theodore Roosevelt?
A. between 1901 and 1906
B. between 1838 and 1868
C. between 1906 and 1914
D. between 1868 and 1901
E. between 1906-1907
5. What happened last?
A. John Muir died.
B. John Muir Trail was dedicated.
C. Muir's glacial theory was proven.
D. The Sierra Club was formed.
E. John's family visited him.
6. When using a metal file, always remember to bear down on the
forward stroke only. On the return stroke, lift the file clear of the
surface to avoid dulling the instrument's teeth. Only when working on
very soft metals is it advisable to drag the file's teeth slightly on
the return stroke. This helps clear out metal pieces from between the
It is best to bear down just hard enough to keep the file cutting
at all times. Too little pressure uses only the tips of the teeth; too
much pressure can chip the teeth. Move the file in straight lines
across the surface. Use a vice to grip the work so that your hands are
free to hold the file. Protect your hands by equipping the file with a
handle. Buy a wooden handle and install it by inserting the pointed end
of the file into the handle hole.
These directions show you how to-
A. work with a hammer
B. use a file
C. polish a file
D. oil a vise
E. repair shop tools
7. When using a file-
A. always bear down on the return stroke
B. move it in a circle
C. remove the handle
D. press down on the forward stroke
E. wear protective gloves
8. When working on soft metals, you can-
A. remove the handle
B. clear metal pieces from the teeth
C. bear down very hard on the return stroke
D. file in circles
E. strengthen them with added wood
9. Protect your hands by-
A. dulling the teeth
B. dragging the teeth on the backstroke
C. using a vise
D. installing a handle
E. wearing safety gloves
10. “Old woman,” grumbled the burly white man who had just heard
Sojourner Truth speak, “do you think your talk about slavery does any
good? I don't care any more for your talk than I do for the bite of a
The tall, imposing black woman turned her piercing eyes on him. “Perhaps not,” she answered, “but I'll keep you scratching.”
The little incident of the 1840s sums up all that Sojourner Truth
was: utterly dedicated to spreading her message, afraid of no one,
forceful and witty in speech.
Yet forty years earlier, who could have suspected that a spindly
slave girl growing up in a damp cellar in upstate New York would become
one of the most remarkable women in American history? Her name then was
Isabella (many slaves had no last names), and by the time she was
fourteen she had seen both parents die of cold and hunger. She herself
had been sold several times. By 1827, when New York freed its slaves,
she had married and borne five children.
The first hint of Isabella's fighting spirit came soon afterwards,
when her youngest son was illegally seized and sold. She marched to the
courthouse and badgered officials until her son was returned to her.
In 1843, inspired by religion, she changed her name to
Sojourner(meaning “one who stays briefly”) Truth, and, with only
pennies in her purse, set out to preach against slavery. From New
England to Minnesota she trekked, gaining a reputation for her plain
but powerful and moving words. Incredibly, despite being black and
female (only white males were expected to be public speakers), she drew
thousands to town halls, tents, and churches to hear her powerful,
deep-voiced pleas on equality for blacks-and for women. Often she had
to face threatening hoodlums. Once she stood before armed bullies and
sang a hymn to them. Awed by her courage and her commanding presence,
they sheepishly retreated.
During the Civil War she cared for homeless ex-slaves in
Washington. President Lincoln invited her to the White House to bestow
praise on her. Later, she petitioned Congress to help former slaves get
land in the West. Even in her old age, she forced the city of
Washington to integrate its trolley cars so that black and white could
Shortly before her death at eighty-six, she was asked what kept her going. “I think of the great things,” replied Sojourner.
The imposing black woman promised to keep the white man-
11. This incident occurred in the-
12. Sojourner Truth was raised in a damp cellar in-
A. New York
C. New Jersey
13. Isabella lost both parents by the time she was-
14. When New York freed its slaves, Isabella had-
B. no children
C. five children
D. an education
E. three children
15. Her change in name was inspired by-
A. a fighting spirit
C. her freedom
16. She traveled from New England to-
17. She forced the city of Washington to-
A. integrate its trolleys
B. give land grants
C. care for ex-slaves
D. provide food for ex-slaves
E. clean its trolleys
18. She preached against-
E. women having no rights
19. Sojourner Truth died at-
20. The Galapagos Islands are in the Pacific Ocean, off the
western coast of South America. They are a rocky, lonely spot, but they
are also one of the most unusual places in the world. One reason is
that they are the home of some of the last giant tortoises left on
Weighing hundreds of pounds, these tortoises, or land turtles,
wander slowly around the rocks and sand of the islands. Strangely, each
of these islands has its own particular kinds of tortoises. There are
seven different kinds of tortoises on the eight islands, each kind
being slightly different from the other.
Hundreds of years ago, thousands of tortoises wandered around these
islands. However, all that changed when people started landing there.
When people first arrived in 1535, their ships had no refrigerators.
This meant that fresh food was always a problem for the sailors on
board. The giant tortoises provided a solution to this problem.
Ships would anchor off the islands, and crews would row ashore and
seize as many tortoises as they could. Once the animals were aboard the
ship, the sailors would roll the tortoises onto their backs. The
tortoises were completely helpless once on their backs, so they could
only lie there until used for soups and stews. Almost 100,000 tortoises
were carried off in this way.
The tortoises faced other problems, too. Soon after the first
ships, settlers arrived bringing pigs, goats, donkeys, dogs and cats.
All of these animals ruined life for the tortoises. Donkey and goats
ate all the plants that the tortoises usually fed on, while the pigs.
Dogs and cats consumed thousands of baby tortoises each year. Within a
few years, it was hard to find any tortoise eggs-or even any baby
By the early 1900s, people began to worry that the last of the
tortoises would soon die out. No one, however, seemed to care enough to
do anything about the problem. More and more tortoises disappeared,
even though sailors no longer needed them for food. For another fifty
years, this situation continued. Finally, in the 1950s, scientist
decided that something must be done.
The first part of their plan was to get rid of as many cats, dogs
and other animals as they could. Next, they tried to make sure that
more baby tortoises would be born. To do this, they started looking for
wild tortoise eggs. They gathered the eggs and put them in safe
containers. When the eggs hatched, the scientists raised the tortoises
in special pens. Both the eggs and tortoises were numbered so that the
scientists knew exactly which kinds of tortoises they had-and which
island they came from. Once the tortoises were old enough and big
enough to take care of themselves, the scientists took them back to
their islands and set them loose. This slow, hard work continues today,
and, thanks to it, the number of tortoises is now increasing every
year. Perhaps these wonderful animals will not disappear after all.
What happened first?
A. Sailors took tortoises aboard ships.
B. The tortoise meat was used for soups and stews.
C. Tortoises were put onto their backs.
D. Settlers brought other animals to the islands.
E. Pigs had been all the sailors had to eat.
21. What happened soon after people brought animals to the islands?
A. Tortoise eggs were kept in safe containers.
B. Scientists took away as many animals as they could.
C. The animals ate the tortoises' food and eggs.
D. The tortoises fought with the other animals.
E. The tortoises continued to wander freely.
22. When did people start to do something to save the tortoises?
A. in the 1500s
B. in the 1950s
C. in the early 1900s
D. in the 1960s
E. in the 1400s
23. What happens right after the tortoise eggs hatch?
A. The scientists take the tortoises back to their islands.
B. The scientists get rid of cats, dogs, and other animals.
C. The sailors use the tortoises for food.
D. The scientist raised the tortoises in special pens.
E. The scientist encouraged the villagers to help.
24. What happened last?
A. The tortoises began to disappear.
B. The number of tortoises began to grow.
C. Scientists took away other animals.
D. Tortoises were taken back to their home islands.
E. The number of tortoises began to decrease.
25. The first person in the group starts off by naming anything
that is geographical. It could be a city, state, country, river, lake,
or any proper geographical term. For example, the person might
say,”Boston.” The second person has ten seconds to think of how the
word ends and come up with another geographical term starting with that
letter. The second participant might say, “Norway,” since the
geographical term has to start with “N.” The third person would have to
choose a word beginning with “ Y.” If a player fails to think of a
correct answer within the time limit, that player is out of the game.
The last person to survive is the champion.
This game may help you with-
E. current events
26. The person trying to answer needs-
A. no time limit
B. to know geography only
C. to ignore the last letters of words
D. to know something about spelling and geography
E. to be a good speller
27. Before you choose your own word, think about how-
A. the last word starts
B. the last word ends
C. smart you are
D. long the last word is
E. the spelling of the first word
28. The answer must be-
A. in New York
B. within the United States
C. proper geographical terms
D. in the same region
E. along a coast line
29. Charles A. Lindbergh is remembered as the first person to
make a nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic, in 1927. This feat,
when Lindbergh was only twenty-five years old, assured him a lifetime
of fame and public attention.
Charles Augustus Lindbergh was more interested in flying airplanes
than he was in studying. He dropped out of the University of Wisconsin
after two years to earn a living performing daredevil airplane stunts
at country fairs. Two years later, he joined the United States Army so
that he could go to the Army Air Service flight-training school. After
completing his training, he was hired to fly mail between St. Louis and
Then came the historic flight across the Atlantic. In 1919, a New
York City hotel owner offered a prize of $25,000 to the first pilot to
fly nonstop from New York to Paris. Nine St. Louis business leaders
helped pay for the plane Lindbergh designed especially for the flight.
Lindbergh tested the plane by flying it from San Diego to New York,
with an overnight stop in St. Louis. The flight took only 20 hours and
21 minutes, a transcontinental record.
Nine days later, on May 20,1927, Lindbergh took off from Long
Island, New York, at 7:52 A. M. He landed at Paris on May 21 at 10:21
P. M. He had flown more than 3,600 miles in less than thirty four
hours. His flight made news around the world. He was given awards and
parades everywhere he went. He was presented with the U. S.
Congressional Medal of Honor and the first Distinguished Flying Cross.
For a long time, Lindbergh toured the world as a U. S. goodwill
ambassador. He met his future wife, Anne Morrow, in Mexico, where her
father was the United States ambassador.
During the 1930s, Charles and Anne Lindbergh worked for various
airline companies, charting new commercial air routes. In 1931, for a
major airline, they charted a new route from the east coast of the
United States to the Orient. The shortest, most efficient route was a
great curve across Canada, over Alaska, and down to China and Japan.
Most pilots familiar with the Arctic did not believe that such a route
was possible. The Lindberghs took on the task of proving that it was.
They arranged for fuel and supplies to be set out along the route. On
July 29, they took off from Long Island in a specially equipped small
seaplane. They flew by day and each night landed on a lake or a river
and camped. Near Nome, Alaska, they had their first serious emergency.
Out of daylight and nearly out of fuel, they were forced down in a
small ocean inlet. In the next morning's light, they discovered they
had landed on barely three feet of water. On September 19, after two
more emergency landings and numerous close calls, they landed in China
with the maps for a safe airline passenger route.
Even while actively engaged as a pioneering flier, Lindbergh was
also working as an engineer. In 1935, he and Dr. Alexis Carrel were
given a patent for an artificial heart. During World War I in the
1940s, Lindbergh served as a civilian technical advisor in aviation.
Although he was a civilian, he flew over fifty combat missions in the
Pacific. In the 1950s, Lindbergh helped design the famous 747 jet
airliner. In the late 1960s, he spoke widely on conservation issues. He
died August 1974, having lived through aviation history from the time
of the first powered flight to the first steps on the moon and having
influenced a big part of that history himself.
What did Lindbergh do before he crossed the Atlantic?
A. He charted a route to China.
B. He graduated from flight-training school.
C. He married Anne Morrow.
D. He acted as a technical advisor during World War II.
E. He was responsible for the fuel supply for planes.
30. What happened immediately after Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic?
A. He flew the mail between St. Louis and Chicago.
B. He left college.
C. He attended the Army flight-training school.
D. He was given the Congressional Medal of Honor.
E. He married Anne Morrow.
31. When did Charles meet Anne Morrow?
A. before he took off from Long Island
B. after he worked for an airline
C. before he was forced down in an ocean inlet
D. after he received the first Distinguished Flying Cross
E. when visiting his parents
32. When did the Lindberghs map an air route to China?
A. before they worked for an airline
B. before Charles worked with Dr. Carrel
C. after World War II
D. while designing the 747
E. when he was thirty
33. What event happened last?
A. Lindbergh patented an artificial heart.
B. The Lindberghs mapped a route to the Orient.
C. Lindbergh helped design the 747 airline.
D. Lindbergh flew fifty combat missions.
E. Charles finally was given an honorary degree from college.
34. Always read the meter dials from the right to the left. This
procedure is much easier, especially if any of the dial hands are near
the zero mark. If the meter has two dials, and one is smaller than the
other, it is not imperative to read the smaller dial since it only
registers a small amount. Read the dial at the right first. As the dial
turns clockwise, always record the figure the pointer has just passed.
Read the next dial to the left and record the figure it has just
passed. Continue recording the figures on the dials from right to left.
When finished, mark off the number of units recorded. Dials on water
and gas meters usually indicate the amount each dial records.
These instructions show you how to –
A. read a meter
B. turn the dials of a meter
C. install a gas meter
D. repair a water meter
E. be prepared for outside employment
35. Always read the meter dials-
A. from top to bottom
B. from right to left
C. from left to right
D. from the small to the large dial
E. from the large dial to the small dial
36. As you read the first dial, record the figures
A. on the smaller dial
B. the pointer is approaching
C. the pointer has just passed
D. at the top
E. at the bottom
37. When you have finished reading the meter, mark off-
A. the number of units recorded
B. the figures on the small dial
C. the total figures
D. all the zero marks
E. the last reading of the month
38. The village of Vestmannaeyjar, in the far northern country
of Iceland, is as bright and clean and up-to-date as any American or
Canadian suburb. It is located on the island of Heimaey, just off the
mainland. One January night in 1973, however, householders were shocked
from their sleep. In some backyards red-hot liquid was spurting from
the ground. Flaming “skyrockets” shot up and over the houses. The
island's volcano, Helgafell, silent for seven thousand years, was
Luckily, the island's fishing fleet was in port, and within
twenty-four hours almost everyone was ferried to the mainland. But then
the agony of the island began in earnest. As in a nightmare, fountains
of burning lava spurted three hundred feet high. Black, baseball-size
cinders rained down. An evil-smelling, eye-burning, throat-searing
cloud of smoke and gas erupted into the air, and a river of lava flowed
down the mountain. The constant shriek of escaping steam was punctuated
by ear-splitting explosions.
As time went on, the once pleasant village of Vestmannaeyjar took
on a weird aspect. Its street lamps still burning against the long
Arctic night, the town lay under a thick blanket of cinders. All that
could be seen above the ten-foot black drifts were the tips of street
signs. Some houses had collapsed under the weight of cinders; others
had burst into flames as the heat ignited their oil storage tanks.
Lighting the whole lurid scene, fire continued to shoot from the mouth
of the looming volcano.
The eruption continued for six months. Scientists and reporters
arrived from around the world to observe the awesome natural event. But
the town did not die that easily. In July, when the eruption ceased,
the people of Heimaey Island returned to assess the chances of
rebuilding their homes and lives. They found tons of ash covering the
ground. The Icelanders are a tough people, however, accustomed to the
strange and violent nature of their Arctic land. They dug out their
homes. They even used the cinders to build new roads and airport
runways. Now the new homes of Heimaey are warmed from water pipes
heated by molten lava.
The village is located on the island of-
39. The color of the hot liquid was-
40. This liquid was coming from the –
41. The island's volcano had been inactive for-
A. seventy years
B. seven thousand years
C. seven thousand months
D. seven hundred years
E. seventy decades
42. Black cinders fell that were the size of__
C. golf balls
43. Despite the eruption-
A. buses kept running
B. the radio kept broadcasting
C. the police kept working
D. street lamps kept burning
E. the television kept broadcasting
44. This volcanic eruption lasted for six ___.
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