SSAT Upper Level Reading Comprehension Practice Test 20

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1. What best summarizes the main point of the passage?

  • A. Congress has the power to regulate trade.
  • B. Congress should enact laws relate to public health.
  • C. An absence of order is inconsistent with a free society.
  • D. Good manners are as important in government as in private business.
  • E. Religion must remain a part of public and private life.

2. The author expresses gratitude that

  • A. a disease has vanished and Congress may without worry meet
  • B. Congress has the ability to enact laws to protect health
  • C. sea ports were unaffected by a recent health problem
  • D. commerce and revenue continue to grow
  • E. public and private business have been cleansed of evil

3. The "ravages in some of our principal seaports" (lines 6-7) refers to

  • A. losses during a battle
  • B. damage from a hurricane
  • C. spoilage of food to be shipped
  • D. disease affecting people in business
  • E. work stoppages relating to a bitter strike

4. It can be inferred from the passage that Congress

  • A. has failed in its duties
  • B. has power to regulate commerce
  • C. is revered by the people
  • D. previously passed health laws
  • E. raised insufficient revenues

5. The word "visited" (line 3) most closely corresponds to

  • A. called upon
  • B. joined in
  • C. traveled
  • D. remained
  • E. afflicted

By eight o'clock everything was ready, and we were on the other side of the river. We jumped into the stage, the driver cracked his whip, and we bowled away and left "the States" behind us. It was a superb summer morning, and all the landscape was brilliant with sunshine. There was a freshness and breeziness, too, and an exhilarating sense of emancipation from all sorts of cares and responsibilities, that almost made us feel that the years we had spent in the close, hot city, toiling and slaving, had been wasted and thrown away. We were spinning along through Kansas, and in the course of an hour and a half we were fairly abroad on the great Plains. Just here the land was rolling—a grand sweep of regular elevations and depressions as far as the eye could reach—like the stately heave and swell of the ocean's bosom after a storm. And everywhere were cornfields, accenting with squares of deeper green, this limitless expanse of grassy land. But presently this sea upon dry ground was to lose its "rolling" character and stretch away for seven hundred miles as level as a floor!

We changed horses every ten miles, all day long, and fairly flew over the hard, level road. We jumped out and stretched our legs every time the coach stopped, and so the night found us still vivacious and unfatigued.

6. The passage focuses on the

  • A. variety of landscapes throughout Kansas
  • B. lives of people in a foreign country
  • C. enjoyment of a journey away from a city
  • D. importance of taking proper care of horses
  • E. fellowship of men with a common goal

7. The passage is written from the point of view of which of the following?

  • A. the driver
  • B. an outlaw
  • C. a Kansas resident
  • D. a passenger
  • E. an observer

8. The sensory image most important to this passage is

  • A. sound of the crack of the whip
  • B. sensation of brilliant sunshine
  • C. smell of horses
  • D. sound of the ocean
  • E. view of the terrain

9. The narrator of the passage is

  • A. in a stagecoach, leaving an old life behind
  • B. aboard a ship sailing from the United States
  • C. on a train heading to work in a city
  • D. riding a horse through cornfields
  • E. aboard a boat sailing down a river

10. The mood of the author and his companions is

  • A. disconcerted
  • B. excited
  • C. brooding
  • D. concerned
  • E. calm