Reading Test



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Answers and Explanations for Questions 1 through 10




Explanation for question 1.

Choice B is the best answer. In the passage Lady Carlotta is approached by the “imposingly attired lady” Mrs. Quabarl while standing at a train station (sentence 10 of paragraph 1). Mrs. Quabarl assumes Lady Carlotta is her new nanny, Miss Hope: “You must be Miss Hope, the governess I’ve come to meet” (sentence 1 of paragraph 2). Lady Carlotta does not correct Mrs. Quabarl’s mistake and replies, “Very well, if I must I must” (sentence 1 of paragraph 3).
Choices A, C, and D are incorrect because the passage is not about a woman weighing a job choice, seeking revenge on an acquaintance, or disliking her new employer.
Explanation for question 2.

Choice C is the best answer. In sentence 1 of paragraph 1, the narrator states that Lady Carlotta “stepped out on to the platform of the small wayside station and took a turn or two up and down its uninteresting length” in order to “kill time.” In this context, Lady Carlotta was taking a “turn,” or a short walk, along the platform while waiting for the train to leave the station.
Choices A, B, and D are incorrect because in this context “turn” does not mean slight movement, change in rotation, or course correction. While Lady Carlotta may have had to rotate her body while moving across the station, “took a turn” implies that Lady Carlotta took a short walk along the platform’s length.
Explanation for question 3.

Choice A is the best answer. In sentence 4 of paragraph 1, the narrator states that some of Lady Carlotta’s acquaintances would often admonish, or criticize, Lady Carlotta for meddling in or openly expressing her opinion on other people’s affairs.
Choices B, C, and D are incorrect because the narrator does not suggest that other people viewed Lady Carlotta as tactful, ambitious, or unfriendly.
Explanation for question 4.

Choice A is the best answer. In sentence 4 of paragraph 1, the narrator states that people often criticized Lady Carlotta and suggested that she not interfere in other people’s affairs, which were “none of her business.” The fact that people often were critical of Lady Carlotta’s behavior provides evidence that Lady Carlotta was outspoken.
Choices B, C, and D do not provide the best evidence that Lady Carlotta was outspoken. Choices B, C, and D mention Lady Carlotta, but do not specify how others view her.
Explanation for question 5.

Choice C is the best answer. The narrator notes that Lady Carlotta decided not to interfere when one of her “most eloquent exponents” was stuck in a tree because an angry boar was nearby (sentence 5 of paragraph 1). This “eloquent exponent” was a woman who often criticized Lady Carlotta for interfering in other people’s affairs. Lady Carlotta’s decision to “put the doctrine of non-interference into practice” (to not help her female acquaintance who was “besieged” in a tree) suggests that Lady Carlotta has a sense of humor.
Choices A, B, and D are incorrect because the description of how she “put the doctrine of non-interference into practice” does not suggest that Lady Carlotta is deceptive or cruel, or explain a surprising change in her behavior.
Explanation for question 6.

Choice A is the best answer. The narrator explains that Mrs. Quabarl told Lady Carlotta about the “nature of the charge” when she gave Lady Carlotta details about the Quabarl children (sentence 1 of paragraph 7). Since Lady Carlotta is pretending to be a governess, the term “charge” refers to her responsibilities, or job duties, when caring for the Quabarl children.
Choices B, C, and D are incorrect because in this context “charge” does not mean attack, fee, or expense.
Explanation for question 7.

Choice A is the best answer. Lady Carlotta learns about Mrs. Quabarl’s children Claude, Wilfrid, and Irene (sentence 1 of paragraph 7). The narrator then describes Mrs. Quabarl’s child Viola as “something or other else of a mould equally commonplace among children of that class and type in the twentieth century” (sentence 1 of paragraph 7). This statement about Viola implies that all of the Quabarl children have skills typical, or “of a mould equally commonplace,” to other peers in their social class.
Choices B, C, and D are incorrect because the narrator does not indicate that all of the Quabarl children are unusually creative and intelligent, hostile to the idea of having a governess, or more educated than their peers.
Explanation for question 8.

Choice B is the best answer. In paragraph 8, Mrs. Quabarl explains to Lady Carlotta that she wants her children to actively participate in their education, and that Lady Carlotta should not create lessons that require her children to simply memorize historical figures and dates. Mrs. Quabarl emphasizes an education centered on active engagement when she states that her children should “not only to be TAUGHT . . . but INTERESTED in what they learn.”
Choices A, C, and D are incorrect because the narrator does not suggest that Mrs. Quabarl favors an education that emphasizes traditional values, artistic experimentation, or factual retention.
Explanation for question 9.

Choice B is the best answer. In sentences 2 and 3 of paragraph 12, the narrator describes Mrs. Quabarl as appearing “magnificent and autocratic,” or outwardly domineering, but easily “cowed and apologetic” when someone challenges, or defies, her authority.
Choices A, C, and D are incorrect because the narrator does not describe Mrs. Quabarl as selfish, bitter, or frequently imprudent.
Explanation for question 10.

Choice D is the best answer. In sentences 2 and 3 of paragraph 12, the narrator provides evidence that Mrs. Quabarl appears imposing, or autocratic, but is easily defied, or opposed: “She was one of those imperfectly self-assured individuals who are magnificent and autocratic as long as they are not seriously opposed. The least show of unexpected resistance goes a long way towards rendering them cowed and apologetic.”
Choices A, B, and C do not provide the best evidence that Mrs. Quabarl appears imposing but is easily defied. Choices A and B are incorrect because they present Mrs. Quabarl’s opinions on railway companies and education, and choice C is incorrect because it focuses on Lady Carlotta, not Mrs. Quabarl.
This is the end of the answers and explanations for questions 1 through 10. Go on to the next page to begin a new passage.


Questions 11 through 20 are based on the following passage and supplementary material.



This passage is adapted from Taras Grescoe, Straphanger: Saving Our Cities and Ourselves from the Automobile. ©2012 by Taras Grescoe.
Though there are 600 million cars on the planet, and counting, there are also seven billion people, which means that for the vast majority of us getting around involves taking buses, ferryboats, commuter trains, streetcars, and subways. In other words, traveling to work, school, or the market means being a straphanger: somebody who, by choice or necessity, relies on public transport, rather than a privately owned automobile.
Half the population of New York, Toronto, and London do not own cars. Public transport is how most of the people of Asia and Africa, the world’s most populous continents, travel. Every day, subway systems carry 155 million passengers, thirtyfour times the number carried by all the world’s airplanes, and the global public transport market is now valued at $428 billion annually. A century and a half after the invention of the internal combustion engine, private car ownership is still an anomaly.
And yet public transportation, in many minds, is the opposite of glamour—a squalid last resort for those with one too many impaired driving charges, too poor to afford insurance, or too decrepit to get behind the wheel of a car. In much of North America, they are right: taking transit is a depressing experience. Anybody who has waited far too long on a street corner for the privilege of boarding a lurching, overcrowded bus, or wrestled luggage onto subways and shuttles to get to a big city airport, knows that transit on this continent tends to be underfunded, illmaintained, and illplanned. Given the opportunity, who wouldn’t drive? Hopping in a car almost always gets you to your destination more quickly.
It doesn’t have to be like this. Done right, public transport can be faster, more comfortable, and cheaper than the private automobile. In Shanghai, Germanmade magnetic levitation trains skim over elevated tracks at 266 miles an hour, whisking people to the airport at a third of the speed of sound. In provincial French towns, electricpowered streetcars run silently on rubber tires, sliding through narrow streets along a single guide rail set into cobblestones. From Spain to Sweden, WiFi equipped high-speed trains seamlessly connect with highly ramified metro networks, allowing commuters to work on laptops as they prepare for sameday meetings in once distant capital cities. In Latin America, China, and India, working people board fastloading buses that move like subway trains along dedicated busways, leaving the sedans and S U V s of the rich mired in dawntodusk traffic jams. And some cities have transformed their streets into cyclepath freeways, making giant strides in public health and safety and the sheer livability of their neighborhoods—in the process turning the workaday bicycle into a viable form of mass transit.
If you credit the demographers, this transit trend has legs. The “Millenials,” who reached adulthood around the turn of the century and now outnumber baby boomers, tend to favor cities over suburbs, and are far more willing than their parents to ride buses and subways. Part of the reason is their ease with iPads, MP3 players, Kindles, and smartphones: you can get some serious texting done when you’re not driving, and earbuds offer effective insulation from all but the most extreme commuting annoyances. Even though there are more teenagers in the country than ever, only ten million have a driver’s license (versus twelve million a generation ago). Baby boomers may have been raised in Leave It to Beaver suburbs, but as they retire, a significant contingent is favoring older cities and compact towns where they have the option of walking and riding bikes. Seniors, too, are more likely to use transit, and by 2025, there will be 64 million Americans over the age of sixtyfive. Already, dwellings in older neighborhoods in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Denver, especially those near light-rail or subway stations, are commanding enormous price premiums over suburban homes. The experience of European and Asian cities shows that if you make buses, subways, and trains convenient, comfortable, fast, and safe, a surprisingly large percentage of citizens will opt to ride rather than drive.

Figure 1.



Begin skippable figure description.

The figure presents a circle graph titled “Primary Occupation of Public Transportation Passengers in U S Cities.” The graph is divided into 6 different sectors. The respective percents are labeled, clockwise, as: unemployed, 6.4 percent; student, 10.7 percent; homemaker, 2.0 percent; retired, 6.7 percent; other, 2.2 percent; and employed outside the home, 72 percent. Each sector has its own percent label.
End skippable figure description.

Figure 2.



Begin skippable figure description.

The figure presents a circle graph titled “Purpose of Public Transportation Trips in U S Cities.” The graph is divided into 7 different sectors. The respective percents are labeled, clockwise, as: work, 59.1 percent; school, 10.6 percent; social, 6.8 percent; shopping/dining, 8.5 percent; medical/dental, 3.0 percent; personal business, 6.3 percent; and other, 5.7 percent.
End skippable figure description.

Source: Figure 1 and figure 2 are adapted from the American Public Transportation Association, “A Profile of Public Transportation Passenger Demographics and Travel Characteristics Reported in OnBoard Surveys.” ©2007 by American Public Transportation Association


Question 11.

What function does the third paragraph serve in the passage as a whole?

A. It acknowledges that a practice favored by the author of the passage has some limitations.

B. It illustrates with detail the arguments made in the first two paragraphs of the passage.

C. It gives an overview of a problem that has not been sufficiently addressed by the experts mentioned in the passage.

D. It advocates for abandoning a practice for which the passage as a whole provides mostly favorable data.

Explanation for question 11.



Question 12.

Which choice does the author explicitly cite as an advantage of automobile travel in North America?

A. Environmental impact

B. Convenience

C. Speed


D. Cost

Explanation for question 12.
Question 13.

Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to question 12?

A. “In other words, traveling to work, school, or the market means being a straphanger: somebody who, by choice or necessity, relies on public transport, rather than a privately owned automobile.”

B. “And yet public transportation, in many minds, is the opposite of glamour—a squalid last resort for those with one too many impaired driving charges, too poor to afford insurance, or too decrepit to get behind the wheel of a car.”

C. “In much of North America, they are right: taking transit is a depressing experience.”

D. “Hopping in a car almost always gets you to your destination more quickly.”

Explanation for question 13.
Question 14.

The central idea of the fourth paragraph is that

A. European countries excel at public transportation.

B. some public transportation systems are superior to travel by private automobile.

C. Americans should mimic foreign public transportation systems when possible.

D. much international public transportation is engineered for passengers to work while on board.

Explanation for question 14.



Question 15.

Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to question 14?

A. “It doesn’t have to be like this.”

B. “Done right, public transport can be faster, more comfortable, and cheaper than the private automobile.”

C. “In Shanghai, Germanmade magnetic levitation trains skim over elevated tracks at 266 miles an hour, whisking people to the airport at a third of the speed of sound.”

D. “From Spain to Sweden, WiFi equipped high-speed trains seamlessly connect with highly ramified metro networks, allowing commuters to work on laptops as they prepare for sameday meetings in once distant capital cities.”

Explanation for question 15.
Question 16.

As used in sentence 1 of paragraph 5, “credit” most nearly means

A. endow.

B. attribute.

C. believe.

D. honor.

Explanation for question 16.



Question 17.

As used in sentence 2 of paragraph 5, “favor” most nearly means

A. indulge.

B. prefer.

C. resemble.

D. serve.

Explanation for question 17.
Question 18.

Which choice best supports the conclusion that public transportation is compatible with the use of personal electronic devices?

A. “The ‘Millenials,’ who reached adulthood around the turn of the century and now outnumber baby boomers, tend to favor cities over suburbs, and are far more willing than their parents to ride buses and subways.”

B. “Part of the reason is their ease with iPads, MP3 players, Kindles, and smartphones: you can get some serious texting done when you’re not driving, and earbuds offer effective insulation from all but the most extreme commuting annoyances.”

C. “Even though there are more teenagers in the country than ever, only ten million have a driver’s license (versus twelve million a generation ago).”

D. “Already, dwellings in older neighborhoods in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Denver, especially those near light-rail or subway stations, are commanding enormous price premiums over suburban homes.”

Explanation for question 18.
Question 19.

Which choice is supported by the data in the first figure?

A. The number of students using public transportation is greater than the number of retirees using public transportation.

B. The number of employed people using public transportation and the number of unemployed people using public transportation is roughly the same.

C. People employed outside the home are less likely to use public transportation than are homemakers.

D. Unemployed people use public transportation less often than do people employed outside the home.

Explanation for question 19.
Question 20.

Taken together, the two figures suggest that most people who use public transportation

A. are employed outside the home and take public transportation to work.

B. are employed outside the home but take public transportation primarily in order to run errands.

C. use public transportation during the week but use their private cars on weekends.



D. use public transportation only until they are able to afford to buy a car.

Explanation for question 20.


Answers and explanations for questions 11 through 20 are provided in the next section of this document. You may skip directly to the beginning of the next passage if you do not want to review answers and explanations now.


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