Critical Reading Practice Test 2 : Questions Answers

Critical Reading Practice Test 2: Questions Answers: Download free Critical Reading Practice Test with passages in printable PDF files. This will help you prepare for any standardized exam in the United States.

Critical Reading Practice Test 2:

Directions: The passage below contains questions. Answer the questions using only the stated or implied information in the passage and its introduction, if any.

Questions 1 through 12 are based on the  following passage:

Early in the day Dorothea had returned
from the infant school which she had set
going in the village, and was taking her
usual place in the pretty sitting-room
(5) which divided the bedrooms of the sisters,
bent on finishing a plan for some buildings
(a kind of work which she delighted in),
when Celia, who had been watching her
with a hesitating desire to propose
(10) something, said — “Dorothea dear, if you
don’t mind — if you are not very busy —
suppose we looked at mamma’s jewels
today, and divided them? It is exactly six
months today since uncle gave them to
(15) you, and you have not looked at them yet.”
Celia’s face had the shadow of a pouting
expression in it, the full presence of the
pout being kept back by an habitual awe of
Dorothea. To her relief, Dorothea’s eyes
(20) were full of laughter as she looked up.
“What a wonderful little almanac you are,
Celia! Is it six calendar or six lunar
“It is the last day of September now, and it
(25) was the first of April when uncle gave
them to you. You know, he said that he had
forgotten them till then. I believe you have
never thought of them since you locked
them up in the cabinet here.”
(30) “Well, dear, we should never wear them,
you know.” Dorothea spoke in a full cordial
tone, half caressing, half explanatory.
She had her pencil in her hand, and was
making tiny side-plans on a margin.
(35) Celia coloured, and looked very grave. “I
think, dear, we are wanting in respect to
mamma’s memory, to put them by and
take no notice of them. And,” she added,
after hesitating a little, “necklaces are
(40) quite usual now; and Madame Poinçon,
who was stricter in some things even than
you are, used to wear ornaments. And
Christians generally — surely there are
women in heaven now who wore jewels.”
(45) Celia was conscious of some mental
strength when she really applied herself to
“You would like to wear them?” exclaimed
Dorothea, an air of astonished discovery
(50) animating her whole person. “Of course,
then, let us have them out. Why did you
not tell me before? But the keys, the
keys!” She pressed her hands against the
sides of her head and seemed to despair of
(55) her memory. “They are here,” said Celia,
with whom this explanation had been long
meditated and prearranged.
The casket was soon open before them, and
the various jewels spread out on the table. It
(60) was no great collection, but a few of the ornaments
were really of remarkable beauty,
the finest that was obvious at first being a
necklace of purple amethysts set in exquisite
gold work, and a pearl cross with five brilliants
(65) in it. Dorothea immediately took up
the necklace and fastened it round her sister’s
neck, where it fitted almost as closely
as a bracelet; but the circle suited the style
of Celia’s head and neck, and she could see
(70) that it did, in the pier-glass opposite.
“There, Celia! You can wear that with your
Indian muslin. But this cross you must
wear with your dark dresses.”Celia was trying not to smile with pleasure.
(75) “O Dodo, you must keep the cross yourself.”
“No, no, dear, no,” said Dorothea, putting up
her hand with careless deprecation.
“Yes, indeed you must; it would suit you —
in your black dress, now,” said Celia, insistingly.
(80) “You might wear that.”
“Not for the world, not for the world. A cross
is the last thing I would wear as a trinket.”
Dorothea shuddered slightly.
“Then you will think it wicked in me to wear
(85) it,” said Celia, uneasily.
“No, dear, no,” said Dorothea, stroking her
sister’s cheek. “Souls have complexions too:
what will suit one will not suit another.”
“But you might like to keep it for mamma’s
(90) sake.”
“No, I have other things of mamma’s — her
sandal-wood box which I am so fond of —
plenty of things. In fact, they are all yours,
dear. We need discuss them no longer.
(95) There — take away your property.”
Celia felt a little hurt. There was a strong assumption
of superiority in this Puritanic toleration,
hardly less trying to the blond flesh
of an unenthusiastic sister than a Puritanic
(100) persecution.

Q1. From the details of the passage, it can be learned or inferred that

I. Dorothea and Celia are sisters.
II. Dorothea and Celia may be orphans.
III. Dorothea and Celia are temperamentally very alike.

  • A. III only
  • B. I and II only
  • C. I and III only
  • D. II and III only
  • E. I, II, and, III
View Correct Answer
 Answer: B

The passage explicitly refers to Celia and Dorothea as sisters. Although it does not mention their father’s death, you know that the jewels belonged to their mother, and because an uncle, not her father, gave them to Dorothea, it may be that the father is dead and they are in the uncle’s care.  

Q2. The first paragraph of the passage refers to the “infant school” and “plan for some buildings” in order to suggest that Dorothea is

  • A. prying and interfering.
  • B. rich and idle.
  • C. self-centered and ambitious.
  • D. active and unselfish.
  • E. philanthropic and ineffectual.
View Correct Answer
 Answer: D

. That Dorothea has started an “infant school” in the village and is busy with plans for some buildings tells you at once that she is active and generous. No details in the passage suggest that she is prying, idle, ambitious, or ineffectual, although she may be rich or philanthropic.  

Q3. In lines 22–23, Dorothea asks Celia whether it is “six calendar or six lunar months” because she

  • A. wants to know exactly how many days have passed.
  • B. is good-humoredly teasing Celia.
  • C. had hoped to keep the jewels from Celia.
  • D. wants to demonstrate the scientific precision of her mind.
  • E. has forgotten what the current month is.
View Correct Answer
 Answer: B

The preceding sentence tells you that Dorothea’s eyes are “full of laughter,” and her tone when she speaks again is “full” and “cordial.” She is teasing Celia good-naturedly, making fun of her sister’s remark that it is exactly “six months today.” In this dialogue, it is Celia who has planned what she will say, and Dorothea speaks spontaneously. Dorothea has probably forgotten all about the jewels, and Celia has probably been thinking about them for some time.  

Q4. In line 36, the phrase “wanting in respect” can be best understood to mean

  • A. obliged to be more deferential.
  • B. desirous to esteem.
  • C. lewd in regard.
  • D. deficient in regard.
  • E. eager for consideration.
View Correct Answer
 Answer: D

The phrase means disrespectful or lacking in respect. The reader must recognize that the verb “want” here means to lack, not the more common to wish for. Choice C confuses “wanting” and “wanton.” 

Q5. The “argument” to which Celia has “really applied herself” (line 46) is intended to convince Dorothea to

  • A. show greater respect for their dead mother.
  • B. give all the jewels to her.
  • C. give the most valuable of the jewels to her.
  • D. agree to sharing and wearing the jewels.
  • E. examine the jewels and lock them up again.
View Correct Answer
 Answer: D

Celia does not wish to have all the jewels, although she does want a share, and she expects to wear them. Unlike Dorothea, she is not at all Puritanical. She correctly anticipates that Dorothea might object to wearing jewelry, so she has prepared this defense on the moral grounds that she thinks will best convince Dorothea.  

Q6. Although in lines 30–31 Dorothea has said, “we should never wear them, you know,” she changes her opinion because she

  • A. is moved by Celia’s appeal to the memory of their mother.
  • B. is convinced by Celia’s reference to Madame Poinçon.
  • C. realizes that Celia wants to wear the jewels.
  • D. sees how becoming the jewels are to Celia.
  • E. can appear superior to Celia by refusing to wear them herself.
View Correct Answer
 Answer: C

Dorothea, who does not care about the jewels herself, has simply not realized that Celia really wants to wear them. In lines 48–50, the reader is told that this “discovery” is astonishing to her, and the moment she realizes Celia’s true feeling, she rushes to open the cabinet. Celia’s arguments would have been more effective if she had simply told Dorothea of her real wishes because Dorothea loves her sister and is eager to make her happy. Notice that Dorothea has said that the jewels would not be worn only before she realizes what Celia really wishes  

Q7. In line 77, the word “deprecation” means

  • A. protest.
  • B. lessening.
  • C. indifference.
  • D. removal.
  • E. agreement.
View Correct Answer
 Answer: A

“Deprecation” is disapproval, or protest, as is suggested in this sentence by Dorothea’s saying “no.” A lessening is a “depreciation,” and a removal is a “deprivation.”  

Q8. The word “trying” in line 98 means

  • A. irksome.
  • B. attempting.
  • C. effortful.
  • D. experimental.
  • E. determining.
View Correct Answer
 Answer: A

The adjective in this context comes from the verb meaning to annoy, to irk, as in to try one’s patience. In some contexts, “trying” might mean attempting or determining, but here, irksome is the best definition  

Q9. In lines 97–98, “Puritanic toleration” is a reference to

  • A. Celia’s awe of Dorothea.
  • B. Celia’s acceptance of Dorothea’s foibles.
  • C. Celia’s love of jewels and finery.
  • D. Dorothea’s hypocritical indifference to finery.
  • E. Dorothea’s self-denial and generosity.
View Correct Answer
 Answer: E

The “Puritanic toleration” is Dorothea’s. She has given up all the jewels to Celia and even encouraged her to wear them. Although this is in one way pleasing to Celia, it does put Dorothea in a position of moral superiority, which Celia finds annoying. 

Q10. In the last sentence of the passage, the word “unenthusiastic” refers to

  • A. Dorothea’s refusal to wear jewels.
  • B. Dorothea’s giving her permission for Celia to wear jewels.
  • C. Celia’s attitude toward self-denial.
  • D. Celia’s attitude toward wearing jewels.
  • E. the author’s attitude toward Dorothea.
View Correct Answer
 Answer: C

. Dorothea is the Puritan, and Celia is the “unenthusiastic sister;” that is, one who has not adopted the religious extremes of self-denial, such as not wearing jewels.  

Q11. The inconsistency in Dorothea’s reasoning that the passage reveals is her

  • A. forgetting about when the jewels were given to her.
  • B. losing the keys to the cabinet holding the jewels.
  • C. insistence that Christians cannot wear jewels.
  • D. wanting Celia to wear jewels but refusing to wear them herself.
  • E. deceitful claim that she honors the memory of her mother.
View Correct Answer
 Answer: D

Although some answers here describe Dorothea accurately, only D points to an inconsistency. Dorothea regards wearing jewelry as somehow immoral, and yet, because she sees that Celia really wants to wear the jewels, she encourages her to do so. What is right for her sister would not be right for her.  

Q12. The purpose of the passage as a whole is to

  • A. reveal the likeness of Celia and Dorothea.
  • B. expose the submerged ill feelings between Celia and Dorothea.
  • C. reveal the differences in the natures of Celia and Dorothea.
  • D. demonstrate the dangers of materialism.
  • E. satirize the hypocrisy of the two young women.
View Correct Answer
 Answer: C

The passage is centrally concerned with delineating the two sisters. Although there is some mild comedy at the expense of both, the passage is not satiric, and it reveals as much love as friction between the sisters. They are not alike, and though Celia may take pleasure in jewels, the passage is not about the dangers of materialism. The author, the reader senses, is amused by and fond of both of these young women  

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