SSAT Reading Comprehension Practice Test 27

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1. When the narrator says, "my complacency could hardly get start enough to lift my nose a trifle into the air, before Mr. Bixby would think of something to fetch it down again," he means:

  • A. Whenever the narrator picked his head up, Mr. Bixby was there to tell him to keep his eyes on the river.
  • B. Just as he thought he was learning the river, Bixby would demonstrate how little the narrator actually knew.
  • C. No one can name all the islands, towns, bars, points, and bends of the Mississippi River.
  • D. No other pilot knew the river as well as Mr. Bixby did.
  • E. The narrator could never hope to know the river as well as Bixby did.

2. Why does the narrator compare Bixby's question about the shape of Walnut Bend to asking about his grandmother's opinion of protoplasm?

  • A. Only his grandmother could answer Bixby's question.
  • B. Both are questions that have no real answer.
  • C. Both are questions the narrator cannot answer.
  • D. Walnut Bend has the same shape as protoplasm.
  • E. Bixby does not know the narrator's grandmother.

3. What is the meaning of "gunpowdery" in line 19?

  • A. loud
  • B. smoky
  • C. strong
  • D. explosive
  • E. gritty

4. Which of the following best describes the narrator's reaction to the information that he will need to know the shape of the river perfectly even at night?

  • A. anger
  • B. regret
  • C. amazement
  • D. enthusiasm
  • E. despair

5. The tone of this passage can best be described as

  • A. humorous
  • B. serious
  • C. angry
  • D. analytical
  • E. tense

6. This passage can best be described as

  • A. a news item
  • B. propaganda
  • C. an autobiography
  • D. a research report
  • E. a textbook excerpt