SSAT Upper Level Reading Comprehension Practice Test 19

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More than fifty years ago, Jane Goodall arrived in Tanganyika (now Tanzania), East Africa, where she planned to study chimpanzees in what would become Gombe Stream National Park. At that time, there was not much known about chimpanzees, and scientists hoped that studying these animals would lead to insights about human evolution.

At first, the chimpanzees fled from Jane, but she persisted, climbing peaks to watch them through binoculars, and hiding behind palm fronds when she came near them during her hikes.

Jane made a major discovery just a few months after she first arrived in Gombe, when she observed a chimp feeding on a baby pig. Until then, scientists had believed that chimpanzees were vegetarians; further studies showed the chimps frequently hunting smaller animals.

An even more significant discovery occurred just weeks after she first saw chimps eating meat: she watched two chimps strip the leaves off twigs in order to fashion tools they used to dig termites out of a termite mound. This was revolutionary because up until this time anthropologists considered tool-making a distinctly human characteristic. The research Jane was conducting was beginning to blur the lines distinguishing humans from apes.

1. The passage is primarily about

  • A. how chimpanzees accepted Goodall's presence
  • B. discovering similarities between chimpanzees and humans
  • C. creating a national park
  • D. teaching chimps to make tools
  • E. learning about chimpanzee mating rituals

2. According to the passage, studying chimpanzees is helpful because

  • A. their hunting habits can be replicated by humans
  • B. they are an endangered species
  • C. anthropologists may learn more about human evolution
  • D. they are hunted by larger animals
  • E. their population is on the rebound

3. The passage implies that scientists

  • A. have completed learning about chimpanzees in the last fifty years
  • B. thought making tools was common among many species
  • C. had believed chimpanzees did not eat meat
  • D. had never studied chimpanzees more than fifty years ago
  • E. believed chimpanzees were very similar to humans

4. It can be inferred from the passage that Gombe Stream National Park was

  • A. Tanganyika's first national park
  • B. the best place to study chimpanzees
  • C. not a national park when Jane first arrived
  • D. the first place Jane ever studied chimpanzees
  • E. was a hard place to study chimpanzees

5. The author indicates the line between humans and chimps was blurring because

  • A. the chimpanzees' dietary needs are very similar to that of humans
  • B. the chimpanzees look very much like humans
  • C. the evolution of chimpanzees and humans is very comparable
  • D. the chimpanzees could do something that only humans were thought to do
  • E. chimpanzees and humans are both shy and do not like to be watched

6. Which of the following is the main idea of the passage?

  • A. The New York Draft Riots were the worst civil disturbance in New York City history.
  • B. Racism caused the New York Draft Riots.
  • C. Poor men didn't want to serve in the Civil War.
  • D. The New York Draft Riots occurred because of a variety of factors.
  • E. The New York Draft Riots could have been avoided.

7. It can be inferred that

  • A. all rioters were between the ages of 20 and 45
  • B. no rioters were black New Yorkers
  • C. more than 100 people died in the riots
  • D. July 1863 was the first time the U.S. government attempted to enforce the draft
  • E. black New Yorkers took jobs from white New Yorkers

8. According to the author, some rioters

  • A. took their frustrations out on innocent people
  • B. were not poor
  • C. were black
  • D. paid 300 dollars
  • E. disapproved of the Civil War

9. Which of the following is probably true?

  • A. The New York Draft Riots lasted only a few days.
  • B. All of the rioters were white.
  • C. The U.S. government wanted to incite riots.
  • D. The U.S. government hoped to raise money through the draft avoidance payment.
  • E. Men under the age of 20 could not be drafted.

10. In the context of the passage, the word strife (line 11) most nearly means

  • A. conflict
  • B. heritage
  • C. identity
  • D. understanding
  • E. neighborhood