SSAT Upper Level Reading Comprehension Practice Test 10

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There is evidence that the usual variety of high blood pressure is, in part, a familial disease. Since families have similar genes as well as similar environment, familial diseases could be due to shared genetic influences, to shared environmental factors, or both. For some years, the role of one environmental factor commonly shared by families, namely dietary salt, has been studied at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The studies suggest that excessive ingestion of salt can lead to high blood pressure in man and animals. Some individuals and some rats, however, consume large amounts of salt without developing high blood pressure. No matter how strictly all environmental factors were controlled in these experiments, some salt-fed animals never developed hypertension, whereas a few rapidly developed very severe hypertension followed by early death. These marked variations were interpreted to result from differences in genetic makeup.

1. The main idea of this article is that

  • A. research is desperately needed in the field of medicine.
  • B. a cure for high blood pressure is near.
  • C. research shows salt to be a major cause of high blood pressure.
  • D. a tendency toward high blood pressure may be inherited.
  • E. some animals never develop high blood pressure.

2. According to the article, high blood pressure is

  • A. strictly a genetic disease.
  • B. strictly an environmental disease.
  • C. due to both genetic and environmental factors.
  • D. caused only by dietary salt.
  • E. a more severe form of hypertension.

The dark and the sea are full of dangers to the fishermen of Norway. A whale may come and destroy the floating chain of corks that edge the nets, break it, and carry it off. Or a storm may come suddenly, unexpectedly, out of the night. The sea seems to turn somersaults. It opens and closes immense caverns with terrible clashes, chasing boats and men who must flee from their nets and the expected catch. Then the men may lift their nets as empty as they set them. At other times the herring may come in such masses that the lines break from the weight when lifted, and the men must return home empty-handed, without lines, nets, or the herring.

But often the nets are full of herring that shine and glisten like silver. Once in a while, a couple of men will venture in their boats along the net lines to see whether the herring are coming, and when the corks begin to bob and jerk, as if something were hitting the nets to which they are attached, then they know that the herring are there. The nets are being filled, and all the men sit in quiet excitement. They dare only to whisper to each other, afraid to disturb, and quite overcome by the overwhelming generosity of the sea. Eyes shine in happy anticipation; hands are folded in thanks. Then muscles strain with power. It is as though the strength of the body doubled. They can work day and night without a thought of weariness. They need neither food nor rest; the thought of success keeps their vigor up almost endlessly. They will take food and rest when it is all over.

3. What is the best title for this passage?

  • A. "Whaling in Norway"
  • B. "The Perils and Rewards of Fishing"
  • C. "Hard Work in Norway"
  • D. "Risky Business"
  • E. "The Generosity of the Sea"

4. The fishermen's difficulties include

  • A. the eating of the herring by whales.
  • B. becalming.
  • C. an attack on the men by the herring.
  • D. the jerking of the corks.
  • E. interference by rough seas.

5. At the first indication that herring are entering the nets, the men

  • A. try not to frighten the fish away.
  • B. strain every muscle to haul in the catch.
  • C. glisten like silver.
  • D. collect the nets quickly.
  • E. row quickly along the edge of the nets.

6. Which quality of the sea is not mentioned?

  • A. Its sudden changes
  • B. Its generosity
  • C. Its beauty
  • D. Its power
  • E. Its destroying strength

7. The fishermen are described as

  • A. patient, brave, and cautious.
  • B. angry, weary, and sickly.
  • C. strong, angry, and reckless.
  • D. skillful, impatient, and weary.
  • E. hardworking, surly, and excitable.

8. Which is not mentioned as a problem to fishermen?

  • A. Destruction of the nets
  • B. Too large a catch
  • C. Rough seas
  • D. Unexpected storms
  • E. Theft of the nets by other fishermen