Critical Reading Practice Test 2020 With Answers PDF

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Critical Reading Practice Test 2020

 Practice Test Name Critical Reading Test
Test Type Sample Question with Answers
Question Type Multiple Choice
Passage Type Critical Reading Passages
Difficulty Level High School
Printable/Editable File Available Yes PDF & DOC
Total Question 15
Total Passages Two

Directions: Questions follow each of the passages below. Using only the stated or implied information in each passage and in its introduction, if any, answer the questions.

Passage 1

Gauguin decided to settle in Mataiea, some
forty-five kilometres from Papeete, probably
on the advice of a Tahitian chief whom
he had befriended. There he rented a
(5)native-style oval bamboo hut, roofed with
pandanu leaves. Once settled, he was in a
position to begin work in earnest and to
tackle serious figure studies. It was probably
soon after this that he painted Vahine
(10)no te tiare, his first portrait of a Tahitian
model.By the late summer of 1892 the completed
canvas was back in Paris, hanging in the
Goupil gallery. From the many subsequent
(15) references to this image in his correspondence,
it is clear that Gauguin set considerable
store by his “Tahitienne” and, by
sending her on ahead to Paris, wanted her
to serve as an ambassadress for the further
(20) images of Tahitian women he would be
bringing back with him on his return. He
pressed his male friends for their reactions
to the girl, rather than to the picture, anxious
to know whether they, like him, would
(25) be responsive to the beauty of her face:
“And her forehead,” he later wrote, “with
the majesty of upsweeping lines, reminded
me of that saying of Poe’s, ‘There is no
perfect beauty without a certain singularity
(30) in the proportions.’” No one, it seems, was
quite attuned to his emotional perception:
while Aurier was enthusiastic, excited by
the picture’s rarity value, Schuffenecker
was somewhat taken aback by the painting’s
(35) lack of Symbolist character. Indeed,
apart from the imaginary floral background
which harked back to Gauguin’s 1888
Self-Portrait, the image is a relatively
straightforward one. Recent anthropological
(40) work, backed by the use of photography,
had scientifically characterized the
physical distinctions between the different
races, distinctions that in the past had been
imperfectly understood. Generally speaking,
(45) artists before Gauguin’s time had represented
Tahitians as idealized types,
adjusting their features and proportions to
accord with European taste. This meant
that hitherto the Tahitian in Western art
(50) could scarcely be distinguished from his
African or Asian counterpart.
Unfortunately, Charles Giraud’s paintings
have disappeared, so we cannot compare
them with Gauguin’s, but this first image
(55) by Gauguin suggests a desire to portray the
Tahitian physiognomy naturalistically,
without the blinkers of preconceived rules
of beauty laid down by a classical culture.
Naturalism as an artistic creed, though,
(60) was anathema to Gauguin; it made the
artist a lackey of science and knowledge
rather than a god-like creator. He wanted
to go beyond empirical observation of this
kind, to find a way of painting Tahiti that
(65) would accord with his Symbolist aspirations,
that would embody the feelings he
had about the place and the poetic image
he carried with him of the island’s mysterious
past.

Q1. In lines 15–16, the word “correspondence” means

  • A. correlation.
  • B. agreement.
  • C. conformity.
  • D. similarity.
  • E. letters.
View Correct Answer
 Answer: E

Although “correspondence” can mean correlation, agreement, or similarity, here it means communication by letters. Gauguin’s “correspondence” refers to the letters he wrote to France from the South Pacific.  

Q2. Gauguin found the faces of Tahitian women beautiful because of their

  • A. elegant coloration.
  • B. unusual proportions.
  • C. refusal to wear makeup.
  • D. dark hair covering the forehead.
  • E. openness and innocence.
View Correct Answer
 Answer: B

Gauguin’s letter refers to the quotation from Poe that finds “singularity” (oddness, uniqueness, strangeness) in perfect beauty, and he is reminded of these lines by the beauty of his first Tahitian model.  

Q3. The passage suggests that a painter depicting a Tahitian in a period sometime before Gauguin would probably

  • A. rely on photographs for models.
  • B. make an image that was not in accord with European ideals of female beauty.
  • C. paint a picture that employed a symbolic landscape as background.
  • D. fail to differentiate a Tahitian from the inhabitants of Asian countries.
  • E. paint only models who were fully clothed in Western-style costume.
View Correct Answer
 Answer: D

The passage points out that most of the artists before Gauguin had not painted Tahitians realistically, but as “idealized types,” altered to fit European tastes, just the opposite of choice B. The passage goes on to point out that the Tahitian could “scarcely be distinguished from his African or Asian counterpart.”  

Q4. It can be inferred that the author would like to see the lost paintings of Charles Giraud in order to

  • A. determine whether they presented the Tahitians realistically.
  • B. determine whether they were better paintings than Gauguin’s.
  • C. determine whether they deserve their high reputation.
  • D. compare the symbolism of these paintings with that of Gauguin’s.
    E. discover what subjects Giraud chose to paint.
View Correct Answer
 Answer: A

The reader can infer that Charles Giraud painted Tahitians before Gauguin did, but because the paintings have not survived, the author cannot know whether Giraud followed other artists and painted to suit European ideas of beauty or if, like Gauguin, he painted the Tahitians as they really were. It is for this reason the author would like to see Giraud’s work.  

Q5. Of the following phrases, which does the author use to refer to the aspect of Gauguin’s art that attempts to depict the real world accurately?

I. “the image is a relatively straightforward one” (lines 38–39)
II. “desire to portray the Tahitian physiognomy naturalistically” (lines 55–56)
III. “a way of painting Tahiti that would accord with his Symbolist aspirations” (lines 64–66)

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

The passage opposes the terms “Naturalism” and “Symbolism.” The naturalistic or realistic in Gauguin is alluded to in lines 38–39  (“straightforward”) and lines 55–56 (“naturalistically”), and lines 64–66 refer to the nonrealistic “Symbolist aspirations.” 

Q6. The passage suggests that an important problem Gauguin would have to deal with in his paintings of Tahiti was how to

  • A. reconcile his naturalistic and symbolistic impulses.
  • B. make Europeans understand the beauty of Tahiti.
  • C. find the necessary supplies in a remote location.
  • D. earn enough money to support himself by selling his paintings in Paris.
  • E. make artistic use of the new advances in photography.
View Correct Answer
 Answer: A

The two impulses in Gauguin that appear to be at odds are his wish to render the Tahitians as they really are and at the same time to reveal a “poetic image” of the “island’s mysterious past.” The problem is discussed in the last 40 lines of the passage  

Passage 2

Questions 7 through 15 are based on the following passage:

Jim Hansen, a climatologist at NASA’s
Goddard Space Institute, is convinced that
the earth’s temperature is rising and places
the blame on the buildup of greenhouse
(5) gases in the atmosphere. Unconvinced,
John Sununu, former White House chief of
staff, doubts that the warming will be great
enough to produce a serious threat and
fears that measures to reduce the emissions
(10) would throw a wrench into the gears that
drive the United States’ troubled economy.
The stakes in this debate are extremely
high, for it pits society’s short-term
well-being against the future of all the
(15) planet’s inhabitants. Our past transgressions
have altered major portions of the
earth’s surface, but the effects have been
limited. Now we can foresee the possibility
that to satisfy the energy needs of an expanding
(20) human population, we will rapidly
change the climate of the entire planet,
with consequences for even the most remote
and unspoiled regions of the globe.The notion that certain gases could warm
(25) the planet is not new. In 1896 Svante
Arrhenius, a Swedish chemist, resolved the
long-standing question of how the earth’s
atmosphere could maintain the planet’s relatively
warm temperature when the oxygen
(30) and nitrogen that make up 99 percent of
the atmosphere do not absorb any of the
heat escaping as infrared radiation from
the earth’s surface into space. He discovered
that even the small amounts of carbon
(35) dioxide in the atmosphere could absorb
large amounts of heat. Furthermore, he reasoned
that the burning of coal, oil, and natural
gas could eventually release enough
carbon dioxide to warm the earth. Hansen
(40) and most other climatologists agree that
enough greenhouse gases have accumulated
in the atmosphere to make
Arrhenius’s prediction come true. Burning
fossil fuels is not the only problem; a fifth
(45) of our emissions of carbon dioxide now
come from clearing and burning forests.
Scientists are also tracking a host of other
greenhouse gases that emanate from a variety
of human activities; the warming effect
(50) of methane, chlorofluorocarbons, and nitrous
oxide combined equals that of carbon
dioxide.
Although the current warming from these
gases may be difficult to detect against the
(55) background noise of natural climate variation,
most climatologists are certain that as
the gases continue to accumulate, increases
in the earth’s temperature will become evident
even to skeptics. The battle lines for
(60) this particular skirmish are surprisingly
well balanced. Those with concerns about
global warming point to the recent report
from the United Nations Intergovernmental
Plan on Climate Change, which suggests
(65) that with “business as usual,” emissions of
carbon dioxide by the year 2025 will be 25
percent greater than previously estimated.
On the other side, the George C. Marshall
Institute, a conservative think tank,
(70) published a report warning that without
greenhouse gases to warm things up, the
world would become cool in the next century.
Stephen Schneider, a leading computer
modeler of future climate change, accused
(75) Sununu of “brandishing the [Marshall] report
as if he were holding a crucifix to repel a
vampire.”
If the reality of global warming were put on
trial, each side would have trouble making
(80) its case. Jim Hansen’s side could not prove
beyond a reasonable doubt that carbon dioxide
and the other greenhouse gases have
warmed the planet. But neither could John
Sununu’s side prove beyond a reasonable
(85)doubt that the warming expected from greenhouse
gases has not occurred.

Q7. The purpose of the first paragraph (lines 1–23) of the passage is to

  • A. argue for the reduction of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
  • B. defend on economic grounds the reduction of greenhouse gases.
  • C. present two opposing positions on the subject of the earth’s rising temperature.
  • D. lessen the concern of the public about the alleged buildup of greenhouse gases.
  • E. introduce the two most important spokesmen for and against ecological reforms.
View Correct Answer
 Answer: C

The first paragraph is introductory and presents the opposing positions on global warming and greenhouse gases represented by the climatologist Jim Hansen and the politician John Sununu. 

Q8. In the first paragraph in line 13, the word “pits” means

  • A. removes the core of.
  • B. sets in competition.
  • C. depresses.
  • D. marks with small scars.
  • E. hardens.
View Correct Answer
 Answer: B

Although “pit” (the verb) can mean to scar or remove the core of, the meaning here is sets in opposition or sets in competition. 

Q9. From the information in the second paragraph of the passage, you can infer that a planet

  • A. whose atmosphere was made up entirely of oxygen would be warmer than a planet equally distant from the sun with an atmosphere made up entirely of nitrogen.
  • B. whose atmosphere was made up entirely of nitrogen would be warmer than a planet equally distant from the sun with an atmosphere made up entirely of oxygen.
  • C. with a larger amount of carbon dioxide in its atmosphere, other factors being equal, will be warmer than a planet with less carbon
    dioxide.
  • D. with a small amount of carbon dioxide in its atmosphere cannot increase this amount.
  • E. with little infrared radiation escaping from its surface is likely to be extremely cold.
View Correct Answer
 Answer: C

Because neither oxygen nor nitrogen absorbs heat, neither A nor B is likely. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can be increased by burning of fossil fuels D. In choice E, the opposite is more likely to be true because heat escapes as infrared radiation. Because carbon dioxide absorbs heat, a planet with more in its atmosphere would be warmer.  

Q10. The passage implies that a greenhouse gas is one that
I. forms a large part of the earth’s atmosphere.
II. absorbs heat escaping from the earth’s surface.
III. can be formed by the clearing and burning of forests.

  • 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: D

Because oxygen and nitrogen, which are not greenhouse gases, form 99% of the atmosphere according to the second paragraph, the passage does not imply that greenhouse gases make up a large part of the atmosphere. The second paragraph also tells us that carbon dioxide absorbs large amounts of heat and that the release of carbon dioxide can lead to warming. The third paragraph adds that clearing and burning forests create carbon dioxide  

Q11. From the passage, it can be inferred that all the following are greenhouse gases EXCEPT

  • A. nitrogen.
  • B. carbon dioxide.
  • C. methane.
  • D. chlorofluorocarbons.
  • E. nitrous oxide.
View Correct Answer
 Answer: A

If greenhouse gases absorb heat and nitrogen does not absorb heat (paragraph 2), then nitrogen is not a greenhouse gas. The other four are mentioned in the second and third paragraphs of the passage.  

Q12. Which of the following, if true, would call into question the argument of the Marshall report?

I. Since the earth’s climate did not grow colder in the five hundred years since 1400 when the amount of greenhouse gases released by
humans was small, there is no reason to expect a decrease in temperature when the amounts of gas released are now much larger.
II. The radical reduction of the emission of greenhouse gases will result in massive unemployment throughout the industrial world.
III. Some scientific studies have shown that the temperature of the earth is unaffected by the presence of oxygen in the atmosphere.

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

The first statement makes a point that logically questions the Marshall report theory that “without greenhouse gases to warm things up, the world would become cool in the next century.” If so, why was it not cool before there were greenhouse gases? The passage does not give us any information about economic predictions in the Marshall report, and in any case, because the report advocates the encouragement of greenhouse gases, this idea would not undermine its conclusions. Similarly, the third statement would not affect the arguments of the report because oxygen is not a greenhouse gas. 

Q13. The word “skeptics” in line 59 most nearly means

  • A. scientists.
  • B. ecologists.
  • C. opponents.
  • D. doubters.
  • E. politicians.
View Correct Answer
 Answer: D

The word “skeptic” now usually means a person who habitually questions or doubts even matters generally accepted.  

Q14. Stephen Schneider probably referred to Sununu’s “brandishing the [Marshall] report as if he were holding a crucifix to repel a vampire” in order to

I. amuse his audience.
II. suggest that Sununu’s claims are melodramatic.
III. imply that the idea that greenhouse gases are dangerous is as imaginary as a vampire.

  • 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 image of Mr. Sununu as a character in a Dracula film was probably intended to amuse the audience and to make the opponent seem a bit ridiculous. It would also suggest that the claims are melodramatic. A believer in the danger of too much greenhouse gas in the atmosphere would not be likely to suggest that the danger is imaginary, so the third statement is very unlikely  

Q15. The effect of the final paragraph of the passage is to

  • A. stress the superiority of Jim Hansen’s case.
  • B. undermine Sununu’s argument.
  • C. support the conclusions of the Marshall report.
  • D. call Arrhenius’s theories into question.
  • E. leave the debate about global warming unresolved.
View Correct Answer
 Answer: E

The final paragraph leaves the debate unresolved. Although a reader of the whole passage may feel a slight bias in favor of the climatologists, the final paragraph asserts that neither side can prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. 

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