SSAT Upper Level Reading Comprehension Practice Test 16

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C-4, also known as Composition C-4, is a generic version of the plastic explosive, Composition C. It is composed of explosives, plastic binder, plasticizer, and usually some variety of chemical marker like 2,3-dimethul-2,3-dinitrobutane (DMNDB). When these ingredients are combined, the final product is off-white in color and is like modeling clay in consistency. This quality directly impacts the utility of C-4, as it can be pressed into small crevices where other explosives might not fit.

C-4 was widely used during the Vietnam War because it burns when ignited by a flame instead of being detonated. Unfortunately, burning C-4 creates noxious fumes, so its utility as a heat source is limited. Additionally, during the Vietnam War, soldiers would occasionally ingest a small amount of C-4 to make themselves temporarily sick, which would earn them medical leave so they could go home.

1. It can be inferred that C-4

  • A. is economical
  • B. requires a fuse to ignite
  • C. produces an unpleasant aroma before being detonated
  • D. is malleable
  • E. is an ideal heat source

2. Which of the following titles best summarizes the main idea of the passage?

  • A. The Use of C-4 in Vietnam
  • B. Pros & Cons of C-4 Use
  • C. Heat Sources for Soldiers at War
  • D. C-4 & DMNDB
  • E. An Overview of C-4

3. The author implies that C-4

  • A. is nauseating
  • B. is not unique
  • C. hardens quickly
  • D. can be used to fill cracks
  • E. is advantageous on the battlefield

4. The author uses the phrase "directly impacts the utility of C-4" to show that C-4 is

  • A. comparatively useful
  • B. extremely combustible
  • C. not moldable
  • D. highly noxious
  • E. inedible

5. According to the passage, C-4

  • A. has a short lifetime
  • B. exists in nature
  • C. is only beneficial during times of war
  • D. is composed of several ingredients
  • E. is an effective means of getting out of work

6. The author's attitude can best be described as

  • A. cautionary
  • B. didactic
  • C. sarcastic
  • D. wry
  • E. encouraging

7. The author suggests that C-4

  • A. generates heat quickly
  • B. is fatal if ingested
  • C. does not always have a chemical marker
  • D. contains DMNDB
  • E. is unique

As a decrepit father takes delight
To see his active child do deeds of youth,
So I, made lame by fortune’s dearest spite,
Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth.
For whether beauty, birth, or wealth, or wit,
Or any of these all, or all, or more,
Entitled in thy parts do crowned sit,
I make my love engrafted to this store:
So then I am not lame, poor, nor despised,
Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give
That I in thy abundance am sufficed
And by a part of all thy glory live.
Look, what is best, that best I wish in thee:
This wish I have; then ten times happy me!

8. Which of the following words describes the speaker?

  • A. rich
  • B. elderly
  • C. youthful
  • D. parental
  • E. pleased

9. According to the passage, the speaker is "ten times happy" because

  • A. he is a decrepit father
  • B. he has become lame
  • C. the youth has what is best
  • D. he has earned wealth and beauty
  • E. he can watch someone he loves live well

10. Which is true about the speaker?

  • A. He is satisfied to appreciate someone else's life.
  • B. He has lost all of his money.
  • C. He believes in God.
  • D. He thinks the youth has significant faults.
  • E. He is arrogant about his own capacities.

11. The speaker suggests that "abundance" is most likely

  • A. his own self-worth
  • B. physical opulence
  • C. another's exceptional qualities
  • D. another's desires
  • E. his own material wealth

12. Which of the following sayings most accurately expresses the main idea of the poem?

  • A. When there is love, you can live even without happiness.
  • B. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
  • C. Give someone an earful.
  • D. Don't rain on my parade.
  • E. Take the bull by the horns.