Reading Comprehension Practice Test 4


Passage For Question 1 to 9

The fossil remain of the first flying vertebrates, the pterosaurs, have intrigued paleontologists for more than two centuries. How such large creatures, which weighed in some cases as much as a piloted hangglider and had wingspans from 8 to 12 meters, solved the problems of powered flight, and exactly what these creatures were-reptiles or birds- are among the questions scientist have puzzled over. Perhaps the least controversial assertion about the pterosaurs is that they were reptiles. Their skulls, pelvises, and hind feet are reptilian. The anatomy of their wings suggests that they did not evolve into the class of birds. In pterosaurs a greatly elongated fourth finger of each forelimb supported a wing like membrane. The other fingers were short and reptilian, with sharp claws, In birds the second finger is the principle strut of the wing, which consists primarily of features. If the pterosaur walked or remained stationary, the fourth finger, and with it the wing, could only turn upward in an extended inverted V-shape along side of the animal's body. The pterosaurs resembled both birds and bats in their overall structure and proportions. This is not surprising because the design of any flying vertebrate is subject to aerodynamic constraints. Both the pterosaurs and the birds have hollow bones, a feature that represents a saving in weight. In the birds, however, these bones are reinforced more massively by internal struts. Although scales typically cover reptiles, the pterosaurs probably had hairy coats. T.H. Huxley reasoned that flying vertebrates must have been warm – blooded because flying implies a high internal temperature. Huxley speculated that a coat of hair would insulate against loss of body heat and might streamline the body to reduce drag in flight. The recent discovery of a pterosaur specimen covered in long, dense, and relatively thick hairlike fossil material was the first clear evidenced that his reasoning was correct. Efforts to explain how the pterosaurs became air-borne have led to suggestions that they launched themselves by jumping from cliffs, by dropping from trees, or even by rising into light winds from the crests of waves. Each hypothesis has its difficulties. The first wrongly assumes that the pterosaur's hind feet resembled a bat's and could served as hooks by which the animal could bang in preparation for flight. The second hypothesis seems unlikely because large pterosaurs could not have landed in trees without damaging their wings. The birds calls for high waves to channels updrafts. The wind that made such waves however, might have been too strong for the pterosaurs to control their flight once airborne.

Question 1

It can be inferred from the passage that scientists now generally agree that the

  1. enormous wingspan of the pterosaurs enable them to fly great distances
  2. structure of the skeleton of the pterosaurs suggests a close evolutionary relationship to bats
  3. fossil remains of the pterosaurs reveal how they solved the problem of powered flight
  4. pterosaurs were reptiles
  5. pterosaurs walked on all fours.

Correct Answer : D

Question 2

The authors views the idea that the pterosaurs became airborne by rising into light winds created by waves as

  1. revolutionary
  2. unlikely
  3. unassailable
  4. probable
  5. outdated

Correct Answer : B

Question 3

According to the passage, the skeleton of a pterosaur can be distinguished form that of a bird by the

  1. size of its wingspan
  2. presence of hollow spaces in its bones
  3. anatomic origin of its wing strut
  4. presence of hooklike projections on its hind feet
  5. location of the shoulder joint joining the wind to its body

Correct Answer : C

Question 4

The ides attributed to T.H. Huxley in the passage suggest that he would most likely agree with which of the following statements?

  1. An animal's brain size has little bearing on its ability to master complex behaviors.
  2. An animal's appearance dramatically over a period of time.
  3. Animals within a given family group are unlikely to change their appearance
  4. The origin of flight in vertebrates was an accidental development rather than the outcome
  5. The pterosaurs should be classifieds as birds, not reptiles.

Correct Answer : B

Question 5

It can be inferred from the passage that which of the following is characteristic of the pterosaurs?

  1. They were unable to fold their wings when not in use.
  2. They hung upside down from branches as bats do before flight
  3. They flew in order to capture prey
  4. They were an early stage in the evolution of the birds
  5. The lived primarily in a forest like habitat.

Correct Answer : A

Question 6

Which of the following best describes the organization of the last paragraph of the passage?

  1. New evidence is introduced to support a traditional point of view
  2. Three explanations for a phenomenon are presented, and each is disputed by means of specific information.
  3. Three hypotheses are outlined, and evidenced supporting each is given.
  4. Recent discoveries are described, and their implications for future study are projected
  5. A summary of the materials in the preceding paragraphs is presented, and conclusions are drawn.

Correct Answer : B

Question 7

It can be inferred from the passage that some scientists believe that pterosaurs.

  1. lived near large bodies of water
  2. had sharp teeth for tearing food
  3. were attacked and eaten by larger reptiles
  4. had longer tails than many birds
  5. consumed twice their weight daily to maintain their body temperature

Correct Answer : A

Question 8

Which of the following is the principle topic of the passage?

  1. What causes labor market pathologies that result in suffering
  2. Why income measures are imprecise in measuring degrees of poverty
  3. Which of the currently used statistical procedures are the best for estimating the incidence of hardship that is due to unemployment
  4. Where the areas of agreement are among poverty, employment, and earnings figures
  5. How social statistics give an unclear picture of the degree of hardship caused by low wages and insufficient employment opportunities

Correct Answer : E

Question 9

The author uses “labor market problems' in lines 1-2 to refer to which of the following ?

  1. The over all causes of poverty
  2. Deficiencies in the training of the work force
  3. Trade relationships among producers of goods
  4. Shortages of jobs providing adequate income
  5. Strikes and inadequate supplies of labor

Correct Answer : D

Passage for Question 10 to 15

How many really suffer as a result of labor market problems ? This is one of the most critical yet contentious social policy questions. In many ways, our social statistics exaggerate the degree of har-ship. Unemployment does not have the same dire consequences today as it did in the 1930's when most of the unemployed were primary bread-winners, when income and earnings were usually much closer to the margin of subsistence, and when there were no countervailing social programs for those failing in the labor market. Increasing affluence, the rise of families with more than one wage earner, the growing predominance of secondary earners among the unemployed, and improved social welfare protection have unquestionably mitigated the consequences of joblessness. Earnings and income data also overstate the dimensions of hard-ship. Among the millions with hourly earnings at or below the minimum wage level, the overwhelming majority are from multiple-earner, relatively affluent families. Most of those counted by the poverty statistics are elderly or handicapped or have family responsibilities which keep them out of the labor force, so the poverty statistics are by no means an accurate indicator of labor market pathologies. Yet there are also many ways our social statistics underestimate the degree of labour-market-related hardship. The unemployment counts exclude the millions of fully employed workers whose wages are so low that their families remain in poverty. Low wages and repeated or prolonged unemployment frequently interact to undermine the capacity for self-support. Since the number experiencing job-lessness at some time during the year is several times the number unemployed in any month, those who suffer s a result of forced idleness can equal or exceed average annual unemployment, even though only a minority of the jobless in any month really suffer. For every person counted in the month unemployment tallies, there is another working part-time because of the inability to find full-time work, or else outside the labor force but wanting a job. Finally, income transfers in our country have always focused on the elderly, disabled, and dependent, neglecting the needs of the working poor, so that the dramatic expansion of cash and in kind transfers does not necessarily mean that those failing in the labor market are adequately protected. As a result of such contradictory evidence, it is uncertain whether those suffering seriously as a result of labor market problems number in the hundreds of thousands or the tens of millions, and hence, whether high levels of joblessness can be tolerated or must be countered by job creation and economic stimulus. There is only one area of agreement in this debate-that the existing poverty, employment, and earnings statistics are inadequate for one of their primary applications, measuring the consequences of labor market problems.

Question 10

The author contrasts the 1930's with the present in order to show that

  1. more people were unemployed in the 1930's
  2. unemployment now has less severe effects
  3. social programs are more needed now
  4. there now is a greater proportion of elderly and handicapped people among those in poverty
  5. poverty has increased since the 1930's

Correct Answer : B

Question 11

Which of the following proposals best responds to the issues raised by the author ?

  1. Innovative programs using multiple approaches should be set up to reduce the level of unemployment.
  2. A compromise should be found between the positions of those who view joblessness as an evil greater than economic control and those who hold the opposite view.
  3. New statistical indices should be developed to measure the degree to which unemployment and inadequately paid employment cause suffering.
  4. Consideration showed be given to the ways in which statistics can act as partial causes of the phenomena that they purport to measure.
  5. The labor force should be restructured so that it corresponds to the range of job vacancies.

Correct Answer : C

Question 12

The author's purpose in citing those who are repeatedly unemployed during a twelve-month period is most probably to show that

  1. there are several factors that cause the payment of low wags to some members of the labor force
  2. unemployment statistics can underestimate the hardship resulting from joblessness
  3. recurrent inadequacies in the labor market can exist and can cause hardships for individual workers.
  4. A majority of those who are jobless at any one time do not suffer severe hardship
  5. There are fewer individuals who are without jobs at some time during a year than would be expected on the basis of monthly unemployment figures

Correct Answer : B

Question 13

The author states that the mitigating effect of social programs involving income transfers on the income level of low-income people is often not felt by

  1. the employed poor
  2. dependent children in single – earner families
  3. workers who become disabled
  4. workers who become disabled
  5. full-time workers who become unemployed

Correct Answer : A

Question 14

According to the passage, one factor that causes unemployment and earnings figures to overpredict the amount of economic hardship is the

  1. recurrence of periods of unemployment for a group of low-wage workers
  2. possibility that earnings may be received from more than one job per workers.
  3. Fact that unemployment counts do not include those who work for low wages and remain poor
  4. Establishment of system of record-keeping that makes it possible to compile poverty statistics
  5. Prevalence, among low-wage workers and the unemployed, of members of families in which other are employed

Correct Answer : E

Question 15

The conclusion stated about the number of people who suffer as a result of forced idleness depends primarily on the point that

  1. in times of high unemployment, there are some people who do not remain unemployed for long
  2. the capacity for self-support depends on receiving moderate-to-high wages
  3. those in forced idleness include, besides the unemployed, both underemployed part-time workers and those not actively seeking work
  4. at different times during the year, different people are unemployed
  5. many of those who are affected by unemployment ae dependents of unemployed workers.

Correct Answer : D