ISEE Reading Comprehension: inference Practice Test 12

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Intuition is not a quality everyone can understand. As the unimaginative are miserable about a work of fiction until they discover what flesh-and-blood individual served as a model for the hero or heroine, so, too, many scientists scoff at the unscientific notion that intuition as a force exists. They cannot believe that a blind man can see something they cannot see. They rely utterly on the celebrated inductive method of reasoning: expose the facts and conclude from them only what can be proven. Generally speaking, this is a very sound rule, but can we be certain that the really great accomplishments are initiated in this plodding fashion? Dreams are made of quite different stuff, and if any are left in the world who do not know that dreams have remade the world, then perhaps there is little we can teach them.

1. The author implies that intuition

  • A. is the product of imagination.
  • B. relies on factual information.
  • C. is an inductive reasoning process.
  • D. is valueless.

It is exceedingly difficult to draw on a canvas the man whose nature is large and central, without cranks or oddities. The very simplicity of such souls defies an easy summary, for they are as spacious in their effect as daylight or summer. Often we remember friends by a gesture or a trick of expression, or by a favorite phrase. But with Nelson I do not find myself thinking of such idiosyncrasies. His presence warmed and lit up so big a region of life that in thinking of him one is overwhelmed by the multitude of things that he made better by simply existing among them. If you remove a fire from the hearth, you will remember the look, not so much of the blaze itself, as of the whole room in its pleasant glow.

2. The phrase "to draw on a canvas" is used in this context to mean to

  • A. paint a portrait.
  • B. summarize.
  • C. make a collage.
  • D. describe.

3. The last sentence is a metaphor comparing Nelson to

  • A. the blaze in a fireplace.
  • B. a hearth.
  • C. fire.
  • D. a pleasant glow.

4. From the tone of this selection, you might draw the conclusion that the author

  • A. thinks of Nelson as a strange man.
  • B. is describing a man who has died.
  • C. is overwhelmed by Nelson.
  • D. remembers Nelson only by his gestures.

A glass case in the British Museum houses the mummified remains of two Egyptian kings who lived beside the Nile. The exhibit includes a broken plow, a rusted sickle, and two sticks tied together with a leather strap. These were the "bread tools" of Egyptians who lived 4,000 years ago during the reigns of the two kings. They are not unlike the tools used by eighteenth-century American farmers, and, in fact, similar sickles may be viewed at Mount Vernon, George Washington's Virginia home.

5. We may conclude from this selection that the ancient Egyptians

  • A. had only two important kings.
  • B. taught farming techniques to eighteenth-century Americans.
  • C. were relatively advanced in the use of agricultural tools.
  • D. neglected their equipment.

The horn of an automobile is a valuable aid to good driving if properly used. When about to pass another car, it is advisable to notify the driver of the car ahead. Children or animals on the street should be given a warning note. Of course, a courteous driver would not blow his horn unnecessarily in the vicinity of a hospital or a place of worship. He should also be considerate of schools, where quiet is important. The way in which a driver uses his horn is a fairly accurate index to his character, for through the sound he expresses his impatience and his good manners, or the lack of them.

6. The place that a good driver would be least likely to use his horn is

  • A. St. James Theater.
  • B. Riverdale Apartments.
  • C. Memorial Convalescent Home.
  • D. Yankee Stadium.

7. The character of a driver who fails to sound his horn when a dog is crossing the street is

  • A. noble.
  • B. impatient.
  • C. uncaring
  • D. bold.

According to early English history, a small group of people from northeastern Europe, called Easterlings, came by invitation to England to devise and develop a new system of coinage. These people lived in towns that were famous for the accuracy of their coins. The coins that they worked out for England were made of silver and came to be known as the Easterling coins. Later the word Easterling was shortened to sterling. The word sterling gradually came to be applied to all silver articles of very fine quality.

8. The passage implies that the Easterlings

  • A. had an excellent reputation.
  • B. used silver exclusively.
  • C. were silversmiths.
  • D. coined the word sterling.

9. The word sterling began to be used for high-quality silver because

  • A. it was used to make English coins.
  • B. the Easterlings were known for the quality of their work.
  • C. silver is very expensive.
  • D. the Easterlings were the only people who could make silver coins.