READING COMPREHENSION TEST 1
I. Can we SEE that the earth is a globe? Yes, we can, when we watch a ship that sails out to sea. If we watch
closely, we see the ship begin to disappear. The bottom of the ship disappears first, and then the ship seems to
sink lower and lower, until we can only see the top of the ship, and then we see nothing at all. What is hiding the
ship from us? It is the earth. Stick a pin most of the way into an orange, and slowly turn the orange away from
you. You will see the pin disappear, just as a ship does on the earth.
A. This story is mainly about 1. the shape of the earth.
2. traveling to the New World.
3. sailing ships in the old days. 4. the shapes of fruits, such as oranges.
B. The ship in this story 1. probably sank to the bottom of the ocean.
3. was actually a toy.
C. A globe is shaped like 1. a box.
2. a pyramid.
2. was going farther and farther away.
4. was a sailing ship.
3. an orange.
4. an ice cream cone.
D. The pin on the orange is most like 1. the ship on the earth.
2. a person watching the ship.
3. a sailor on the ship.
4. a needle for mending a rip.
II. At the bottom of the sea there are creatures that do not know what light means. They have neither eyes nor
ears, and they can only feel. For them there is no day or night. There are no seasons, no sun, no moon, and no
stars. It is as if a child spent its life in darkness in bed, with nothing to see or hear.
How different our own life is! Sight shows us the ground beneath our feet and the heavens above us - the sun,
moon, and stars, shooting stars, lightning, and the sunset. It shows us day and night. We hear voices, the sound of
the sea, and music. We feel, we taste, we smell. How fortunate we are!
A. This story is mainly about 1. sea creatures at the bottom of the sea. 2. changes in day and night and the seasons.
3. how wonderful our lives are.
4. the differences among creatures of the earth.
B. The sea creatures in the story 1. have the same senses that we do.
3. hear the sounds of the ocean.
2. have no sense of touch.
4. live in darkness.
C. A child in darkness in bed is like 1. someone who lives where there are no seasons.
3. a sea creature without sight or hearing.
D. The "heavens" in this story are 1. the Milky Way.
2. the sky.
3. the home of God.
2. an animal without the sense of touch.
4. a deaf child.
4. the place above the clouds.
III. After months of colder weather, the days get longer, the buds come out in the trees, birds sing, and the world
puts on a green dress. Spring passes into summer. Everyone knows that summer will not last. The power of all
the wisest men and women in the world cannot keep it for us. The corn becomes ripe, the leaves turn brown and
then drop to the ground, and the world changes its green dress for a dress of autumn colors.
A. During which season does the world put on a green dress?
B. This story is mainly about 1. the wisdom of nature. 2. the beauty of the seasons.
4. the shortness of summer.
C. What is the season described at the end of the story?
D. What is it that the world cannot keep for us?
4. The world's dress
IV. North America has four great slopes - one slope that rivers flow down toward the Atlantic Ocean, one slope
that rivers flow down toward the Hudson Bay and Arctic Ocean, one slope that rivers flow down toward the Gulf
of Mexico, and one slope that rivers flow down toward the Pacific Ocean. Land also slopes toward the Great
Lakes, but water there empties into the St. Lawrence River and goes on into the Atlantic Ocean.
A. This story is mainly about 1. the great rivers of North America.
3. the shape of North America.
2. the importance of shapes.
4. the sources of rivers in North America.
B. The St. Lawrence River is full of water from 1. the Hudson Bay.
2. the Atlantic Ocean.
3. the Great Lakes.
C. Water that flows into the Great Lakes flows on into the 1. Atlantic Ocean.
2. Hudson Bay. 3. Gulf of Mexico.
D. Which one of these is not a shape?
4. the Arctic Ocean.
4. Pacific Ocean.
V. Millions of years ago, water covered much of what is now North America. As creatures and plants in the
water died, their remains settled to the bottom of the water and piled up, sometimes many feet thick. These thick
piles have been dug up. Some of the piles in Alaska are made of plants that grow only in warm places. In this
way we learn that parts of Alaska were warm, millions of years ago.
A. This story is mainly about 1. the warming of Alaska.
3. piles of underwater plants and animals.
B. Piles were dug up by 1. men and women.
C. The piles are made up of –
2. the death of water creatures and plants.
4. how the earth was different millions of years ago.
3. earthquakes. 4. changes in the surface of the earth.
3. creatures and plants. 4. minerals.
D. We learned that Alaska was once warm from 1. plants from millions of years ago.
2. animals from millions of years ago.
3. Alaskan climate.
4. Alaskan lakes.
READING COMPREHENSION TEST 2
I. North America is changing. The sea tears away some coasts and builds up others. Rivers cut away their banks,
and hills and mountains are worn away. Some of the Western mountains seem to be slowly rising. The coast of
New Jersey is sinking about two feet in a hundred years. The land in Canada toward the Hudson Bay is rising;
some day, thousands or millions of years from now, the water in the Great Lakes might possibly find its way into
the Mississippi River, as it did long ago, instead of into the St. Lawrence River.
A. This story is mainly about 1. changes in the earth of North America.
3. changes in Canada and New Jersey.
2. the wearing away of the land.
4. what might happen to water in the Great Lakes.
B. Water in the Great Lakes might someday flow into the Mississippi River because 1. the land in Canada is rising.
2. the banks of the rivers are being worn away.
3. mountains are rising.
4. coast lines are changing.
C. Which statement is most true?
1. Water from the Great Lakes flows into the Mississippi River.
2. The St. Lawrence River flows into the Great Lakes.
3. Water in some Canadian rivers might someday end up in the Mississippi River instead of in the St. Lawrence
4. The Mississippi River flows into the Great Lakes.
D. Water flowing downhill is the sign of 1. a bay.
2. a pond.
3. a lake.
4. a river.
E. Long ago, water in the Great Lakes flowed 1. into the Hudson Bay.
2. into the Mississippi River.
3. toward the Western mountains.
4. in the opposite direction.
II. Many mountains and hills in the West are dead volcanoes. In Arizona there are thousands of them, separated
from one another on the otherwise flat land. There are also volcanoes in the West that are not dead but are
sleeping. Who knows when one might blow apart or shoot rock and ashes into the air? Not long ago, the entire
side of Mount Saint Helens was blown away - rock and soil were thrown into the air, and forests were blown flat.
A. This story is mostly about 1. Mount Saint Helens.
B. A sleeping volcano 1. rumbles while it sleeps.
3. will always sleep.
3. volcanoes in the West.
4. dead volcanoes.
2. might wake up some day.
4. will surely awaken.
C. "Dead" in this story means 1. is sleeping. 2. makes no sound or movement.
3. is cold.
D. Before it was blown apart, Mount Saint Helens was 1. a dead volcano.
2. a hill in Arizona.
3. a sleeping volcano.
E. Which statement is most true?
1. The explosion of a volcano can cause a wind.
3. Mount Saint Helens is not in the West.
4. will never blow up again.
4. a mountain in Arizona.
2. Volcanoes are always found among mountains.
4. All volcanoes explode through a hole in the top.
III Thousands of years ago, the climate of North America became so cold that great sheets of ice, called glaciers,
covered most of Canada and much of the northern part of the United States. The ice sheets were several miles
thick in some places. The glaciers moved, pushing in front of them scooped-out soil and rock, which they left
behind when they melted away. These heaps are called moraines. Long Island, Cape Cod, and Martha's Vineyard
are mostly moraines. Huge boulders seen lying in fields were left by a glacier. The water in many, many lakes,
including the Great Lakes, fills holes scooped out by glaciers.
A. This story is mostly about 1. the history of glaciers.
2. how Long Island, Cape Cod, and Martha's Vineyard were made.
4. how glaciers changed the land that we see today.
B. Moraines are made up of 1. ice.
2. soil and rock.
4. water in lakes.
C. There are not as many lakes in the South as in the North because 1. the glaciers didn't move over the South.
2. there is less water there.
3. the South is less rocky than the North.
4. the holes that the glaciers scooped out have filled up in the South with rock and soil.
D. Which of these statements is NOT true?
1. Some glaciers were several miles thick.
2. Thousands of years have passed since the time of the glaciers.
3. Ice covered all of Canada and all of the United States.
4. When the glaciers melted, they left behind soil and rock.
IV. When Christopher Columbus and other explorers came to the New World, they saw animals that they had
never seen before. In the forests there were turkeys. On the Great Plains there were buffalo. They saw some
plants that were strange, also. They had never seen tobacco. The tomato and potato were new to them, as were
corn and pumpkins. When the settlers came, they brought animals and plants that the Indians had never seen:
hogs, chickens, cattle, and horses. Dogs were common in both the Old World and the New World.
A. The Indians had never seen 1. turkeys.
B. The settlers had never seen 1. cattle.
C. The explorers had never seen 1. tomatoes.
D. Dogs were 1. new to the explorers.
2. new to the settlers.
3. new to the Indians.
4. not new.
V. In New Mexico and Arizona lived the Pueblo Indians. The word "Pueblo" comes from the Spanish word
"pueblo," meaning town or village. The Spaniards found these Indians living in apartment houses, some of them
on the side of a cliff so that they could be reached only by ladders. When attacked by Apaches, the Pueblos
would pull up the ladders. They grew corn, which they watered with water flowing down in ditches. They wove
cloth, made wonderful baskets, and created jars and pots out of clay.
A. The Pueblo Indians were afraid of 1. cliff dwelling.
2. Apache Indians.
3. apartment houses.
4. water flowing down in ditches.
B. The Spaniards called these Indians "Pueblos" because they 1. were close to the Apaches.
2. lived together in a town or village.
3. farmed and brought down water in ditches.
4. pulled up their ladders when attacked.
C. Water in ditches flowed down from 1. apartment houses.
2. the sky.
D. Which of these does the story not mention?
READING COMPREHENSION TEST 3
3. the tops of ladders.
4. a lake, a stream, or a pond.
I. Some American Indians grew corn, sunflowers, squash, beans, and pumpkins in garden plots. To prepare a
garden plot, they first killed the trees there by cutting off a ring of bark to kill the tree. Then they scratched the
ground with a stone hoe or with the bone of a deer or buffalo, or they used a stick sharpened in the fire. Some
Indians put a dead fish into the hole where they planted the corn in order to provide food for the corn plant.
A. This story is mainly about 1. hunting.
B. The dead fish in the story was used 1. to keep away wild animals. 2. to provide food.
3. to put out a fire.
4. as bait.
C. Why did the Indians kill the trees?
1. So that sunlight could reach the growing plants.
2. To provide room for the growing plants.
3. To let food and water in the soil go to the plants instead of to the trees.
4. All of the above.
D. Which of these is not mentioned in the story?
II. The Indians made little progress during the thousands of years before the Europeans came. One reason for this
was that horses, cows, sheep, pigs, and chickens were not found in America. Without horses, the Indians had a
hard time digging up the soil, and they could only get animal food by hunting. Another reason for their lack of
progress was that they did not know how to use metals to make tools. Stones and flat bones do not make good
A. This story is mainly about 1. problems the Indians had.
3. reasons for the Indians' lack of progress.
2. how poor the Indians were.
4. Indian farming and hunting.
B. Why is it better to raise animals than to hunt for them?
1. Hunting takes too much time.
2. Hunting is a sport.
3. Hunted animals are too sickly.
4. Wild animals can not be eaten.
C. The Indians made tools out of 1. metals.
2. stones and wild animal bones.
D. Which of these is not a tool?
3. the bones of horses and cows.
3. Buffalo bone
III. Eastern Indians who were related lived in the same house or in nearby houses. Today, we call such a group a
"clan." Several clans made up a "tribe." From the old men in each clan a ruler or "sachem" was elected. The
sachems from the clans met together to make rules for the tribe and to punish those who broke the rules. Each
clan also elected a war chief, who led the warriors in battle. Some tribes also elected a head war chief.
A. This story is mainly about 1. war chiefs.
B. Sachems were chosen from among
1. the men.
2. the men and women.
C. The word "clan" describes 1. the sachems of the tribe.
3. the old men.
2. the people in the tribe.
4. how Indians were organized.
4. the entire clan.
3. people who are related who live together or near to one another.
4. Indian tribes.
D. The head war chief was the head war chief of
1. the tribe.
2. the clan.
3. the sachems.
4. the old men.
IV. Indian hunters would sometimes hunt for days without finding anything. They learned to follow animal
tracks. They learned to listen. In order to get close to their prey, the Indians had to move quietly. When they were
close enough, they could shoot their arrows. Often, the prey got away.
A. This story is mainly about 1. following tracks.
4. Indian weapons.
B. "Prey" in this story means 1. wild animals.
3. Indian weapons.
C. Indians moved quietly so that they 1. would not disturb nature.
3. could get a good view of the wild animals.
D. The prey sometimes got away because 1. the Indians weren't quiet enough.
3. the Indians weren't close enough.
2. would not frighten the wild animals.
4. could follow the animal tracks.
2. bows and arrows are not very good weapons, as guns are.
4. all of the above.
V. The Aztecs and the Mayas were Indians much more civilized than North American Indians. The Mayas were
great builders. They knew how to write down their words, and some of their books still exist. The Aztecs were
not as good builders as the Mayas, but some of their temples and palaces were very large. They did not know
iron, but their workmen did wonderful work in gold. silver, copper, and tin. They had a system of picture writing.
They knew how to weave cloth out of cotton.
A. This story is mainly about 1. Ways in which the Mayas and Aztecs were very civilized.
3. How the Mayas and the Aztecs differed from one another.
2. Great Indian builders.
4. Indians to the south of North America.
B. Both the Mayas and the Aztecs 1. did wonderful work in gold, silver, copper, and tin.
3. were not as civilized as North American Indians.
2. knew about iron.
4. built wonderful buildings.
C. North American Indians 1. had a system of picture writing.
3. built large temples and palaces.
D. The workmen in this story were 1. builders.
READING COMPREHENSION TEST 4
2. wore clothes woven of cotton.
4. were not as civilized as Indians to the south.
I. At any ocean beach you can see the water rise up toward high tide. Something is pulling the water up. We now
know that the moon is doing the pulling. How can it pull? We call the pull gravitation. All matter everywhere
pulls all other matter everywhere. The bigger the object, the greater the pull. The moon is big enough to pull the
earth, and it pulls the water on the earth. The moon pulls the water facing the moon. When you see high tide, you
know that the moon is pulling the water up.
A. When you drop something, and it falls to the ground, it falls because of -
1. the moon.
3. its size.
B. High tide is caused by 1. gravitation.
2. all matter everywhere.
C. The moon pulls 1. all matter.
2. water only.
4. the sun.
3. the earth.
3. the earth only.
D. If the earth did not spin, 1. there would be no tides.
3. the earth would not pull the moon.
4. the water.
4. the tides.
2. the moon would not pull the water.
4. there would be no gravitation.
II. The sun also pulls the earth. However, the sun is much farther away from the earth than the moon, and so the
pull, that is, the gravitation, is less. Sometimes, the sun and the moon pull together on the same side of the earth.
Then, the high tide is very high, indeed.
A. The pull of the sun on the earth is called 1. tides.
2. high tide.
4. pulling together.
B. When there is a very high tide, the sun and the moon are 1. on opposite sides of the earth.
2. on the same side of the earth.
3. near to each other.
4. farther away than at other times.
C. The sun pulls the earth less than the moon because 1. it is so large.
2. it is farther away than the moon.
3. the sun and the moon have no water.
4. it is on the opposite side of the earth from the moon.
D. At low tide, 1. the water is piling up somewhere else.
3. the sun and the moon are not pulling together.
2. the sun is much farther away.
4. the sun and the moon are on the same side of the earth.
III. Why does oil not mix well with water? We know that water mixes well with water. If you add hot water to
cold water, you soon have lukewarm water. Alcohol, too, mixes well with water. Alcohol and water are quite
similar. Water is composed of oxygen and hydrogen, whereas alcohol is composed of oxygen, hydrogen, and
carbon. Why do oil and water not mix well? The reason is that they are not similar. The molecules of water, that
is, the tiny pieces of water that include oxygen and hydrogen, are very small, whereas the molecules of oil are,
by comparison, enormous and very different in their composition.
A. Water molecules include 1. oxygen and hydrogen.
3. tiny pieces of water.
2. oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon.
4. both hot and cold molecules.
B. The molecules of alcohol 1. are enormous. 2. are similar to oil. 3. mix well with water. 4. contain only oxygen and hydrogen.
C. Oil and water do not mix well because 1. they are similar in composition.
3. they are both composed of oxygen and hydrogen.
D. A molecule of water is 1. bigger than a molecule of oil
3. similar to a molecule of oil.
2. water has big molecules.
4. their molecules are very different.
2. composed of oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon.
4. a very small piece of water.
IV. From where does a flower get its smell? It gets its smell from an oil that the plant produces. The oil is
volatile. Long ago, volatile meant flying. The oil seems to be flying, for it escapes into the air. Insects that smell
the oil fly to the flower, where they leave behind them the pollen that the flower needs to grow seeds. Some
plants do not need insects to bring pollen. They depend on the wind to bring it. These plants usually have little
smell or no smell at all.
A. Something that is volatile 1. is carried on wings. 2. leaves pollen.
3. is necessary for seed growth.
4. escapes into the air.
B. This story is mainly about 1. the smell of flowers. 2. insects that fly to flowers.
3. how flowers get pollen.
C. Flowers with little smell or no smell at all 1. need insects to bring pollen to them.
3. depend on the wind to bring pollen to them.
2. depend on volatile oils.
4. do not need pollen.
D. Insects in the story are attracted to a flower by 1. pollen.
3. volatile oil.
4. the beauty of the flower.
4. volatile oils.
V. There are several birds, once common, that have died out in the last few hundred years, so that now not one of
them exists. The dodo was quite common on the island of Mauritius 300 years ago, but there is not one alive
today. It was easy prey to animals new to the island, because it could not fly on its small wings. In New Zealand
there used to be birds called moas, which were twice as high as the biggest man. They have all died out. The
great auk, which used to come in thousands to the shores of Newfoundland, is another bird that has died out in
the last few hundred years.
A. This story is mainly about 1. animals that have died out.
3. why birds have died out.
2. birds that have died out.
4. where birds that have died out lived.
B. The dodo died out because 1. of its size.
3. it was common on the island of Mauritius.
C. The great auk was 1. a bird.
2. a kind of dodo.
2. it was new to the island of Mauritius.
4. it was easy prey to animals new to the island.
3. a kind of moa.
D. Moas were 1. about two feet tall. 2. about five feet tall.
READING COMPREHENSION TEST 5
4. a bird with small wings.
3. about twelve or fourteen feet tall. 4. about twenty feet tall.
I. From bones found in the United States we have learned that many, many animals no longer found in the world
once made their homes here. We say that these animals are "extinct." Sometimes, workers find their bones in pits
from which rock and coal have been dug. Other workers who make way for railroad tracks and workers who dig
pits for the basements of new buildings sometimes uncover them. Nowadays, scientists know where to look for
them. Huge fishes and enormous reptiles swam in the water. On the shores roamed tigers with tusks, very big
lions, great bears, rhinoceroses covered with wool, and herds of hippopotamuses, as well as horses only as big as
A. This story is mainly about 1. the bones of animals.
3. how workers uncovered bones of extinct animals.
2. very large animals in what is now the United States.
4. extinct animals in what is now the United States.
B. "Extinct" means 1. the bones of ancient animals.
3. uncovered in pits.
C. Workers found 1. tigers with tusks.
2. no longer found in the world.
4. animals found in what is now the United States.
2. enormous reptiles.
3. rock and coal.
D. The workers mentioned in the story 1. were making way for railroad tracks.
3. were digging pits for the basements of new buildings.
4. bones of extinct animals.
2. were digging for coal and rock.
4. all of the above.
II. Have you ever thought, when looking through a window, that at one time there was not a pane of glass in the
world? Then a man dug things out of the earth, mixed them, and heated them, and he found he had made
something hard, smooth, and clear, so that he could see through it. Who was he? We do not know. We do know,
though, that we owe him a great debt, and we owe a debt, also, to other discoverers and inventors whose names
are no longer known.
A. This story is mainly about 1. glass.
3. unknown discoverers and inventors.
2. things dug out of the earth.
4. people to whom we owe a debt.
B. Why do we owe this unknown man a great debt?
1. Because he spent much money making his discovery.
3. Because he discovered glass.
2. Because his name is no longer known.
4. Because he did not ask for any reward.
C. Why can you see through a window?
1. Because it is clear.
2. Because it is hard and smooth.
3. Because it is open.
4. Because it keeps out the cold.
D. The names of other discoverers and inventors are no longer known because 1. no record was kept of their names.
2. they didn't know their worth.
3. their discoveries and inventions were unimportant.
4. they lived hundreds of years ago.
III. Long ago, people living where the weather was always warm never dreamed that there were such things as
snow and ice. People living where the weather was always cold did not imagine that, elsewhere, oranges and
grapes grew in the warm sunshine, colorful birds flew like living rainbows amidst the trees, and dragonflies
danced like winged rubies in the warm air.
A. This story is mainly about 1. how people, long ago, did not know much about other parts of the world.
2. snow and ice in the North and fruit, birds, and insects in the South.
3. the differences in weather in the world.
4. the pleasures of fruit, birds, and colorful insects.
B. The birds in the story are like rainbows in that 1. their colors are the same as those in a rainbow.
3. they are colorful
C. The people in the story were 1. not smart
2. not well traveled.
D. Dragonflies in the story are like 1. oranges and grapes.
2. they reflect light like a rainbow.
4. they fly like rainbows.
3. not up to date.
3. birds among the trees.
4. not curious.
4. birds in the sunshine.
IV. It was a man who lived before the time of Christopher Columbus that was the world's first great traveler. His
name was Marco Polo. With his father and his uncle, he traveled from Italy to China, crossing mountains and
deserts to get there. In China a king called Kublai Khan was pleased to see the Polos and had them live near to
him. They stayed for twenty-three years. Kublai Khan sent Marco to other countries to do business for him.
When Marco finally returned to Italy, he wrote all about his adventures in a book, which was read by Columbus
and many other people, who also became interested in traveling to strange countries.
A. This story is mainly about 1. the world's first great traveler.
3. the Polo family.
2. traveling from Italy to China.
4. Marco Polo and Kublai Khan.
B. Marco Polo is called great because 1. he traveled very far to reach China.
2. he wrote about his adventures in a book, which many people read.
3. he was so well liked by the king of China.
4. he crossed mountains and deserts to reach China.
C. We know from the story that Kublai Khan liked Marco because 1. Marco told about his adventures in a book.
2. Marco stayed in China for twenty-three years.
3. Kublai Khan knew that Marco had crossed mountains and deserts.
4. Kublai Khan sent Marco to other countries.
D. Marco's book was 1. a travel book.
3. a story of the world.
4. a biography of Kublai Khan.
V. In the days of Christopher Columbus, people in Europe traded goods with India. The goods were carried along
paths or roads from one country to another. However, no person from Europe had ever reached India by ship.
After Columbus found what he thought was India by going west, people in Europe wanted to try to reach India
by going east. The first sea captain to do this was Vasco da Gama. His sailors were just as afraid to go into open
ocean as were Columbus' sailors, but Vasco da Gama insisted, and, sure enough, they found a sea route to India.
They found it by sailing around the south end of Africa.
A. This story is mostly about 1. Vasco da Gama. 2. Christopher Columbus.
3. finding a way to get to India by ship. 4. trade with India.
B. Vasco da Gama found the route to India by ship by 1. going west.
2. going around the south end of Africa.
3. following the route of Columbus.
4. trading goods.
C. A ship is better for carrying goods than a pack animal because 1. it can hold more goods.
2. it doesn't have to go over land.
3. it is safer.
4. more people can be employed.
D. Columbus and Vasco da Gama are alike in that 1. one went west and one went east.
2. they both found a different way to carry goods.
3. they were both sea captains.
4. they both found a route to India.
READING COMPREHENSION TEST 6
I. After the voyages of Columbus, the king of Spain still believed that India could be reached by sailing to the
west, so he sent Ferdinand Magellan, along with ships and sailors, to seek the truth. They set out for what we
now know as South America. Nobody could tell whether it was possible to get around or through South America.
One ship left him, because the crew were too frightened to go farther. Magellan explored all down the coast and
at last came to a great channel. We now call this channel the Straits of Magellan. They are at the southern end of
South America. Magellan got through the channel, and then a great open ocean appeared before him. He called it
the Pacific, which means peaceful, because it was smooth and calm.
A. The king of Spain sent Magellan to find 1. the Straits of Magellan.
2. South America.
B. Magellan was 1. a South American.
3. frightened to go farther.
2. a sea captain.
4. the Pacific.
4. an Indian.
C. The Straits of Magellan are 1. a channel.
2. a river.
4. the Pacific Ocean.
D. "Pacific" means 1. open ocean.
3. a channel.
II. There is a disease that used to cause people sick with it to lose their fingers, toes, and noses, little by little. It
is called leprosy. Other people were afraid of catching it, so they sent the lepers to live by themselves. In one of
the Hawaiian Islands called Molokai there were lepers living together in shacks without enough food or clothing.
When a young man from Belgium named Father Damien heard about them, he wanted to help them. He went to
Molokai and lived among the lepers, doing everything he could for them. He caught leprosy himself and died of
it. He is now famous for his wonderful kindness to people who needed someone.
A. This story is mainly about 1. living among the lepers.
2. the kindness of Father Damien.
4. sending lepers to live by themselves.
B. Molokai is 1. in Belgium.
2. an island.
C. Father Damien is famous because 1. he caught leprosy.
2. he was kind.
4. a Hawaiian word for kindness.
3. he was from Belgium.
4. he lived in a shack.
D. People were especially afraid of leprosy because 1. lepers lived in shacks.
2. people sent lepers to live by themselves.
3. lepers lost fingers, toes, and noses.
4. lepers died of their disease.
III. Until only a few hundred years ago, people thought that, every day, the sun moved in a circle around the
earth. They saw the sun rise in the East in the morning and set in the West in the evening, so they thought that the
sun was moving. They were like a person in a car watching another car alongside. If the person's car slowly
moves forward, it can seem that the car alongside is moving backward. We now know that it is the earth that is
moving, while the sun stays still.
A. This story is mainly about 1. the sun and the earth.
2. why people thought that the sun moved in a circle around the earth.
3. two cars that move next to one another.
4. the earth's moving around the sun.
B. The person in the car is watching 1. another car.
2. the earth.
3. the sun.
C. The sun SEEMS to move 1. from West to East.
3. because we seem to stay still.
2. because it is so far away.
4. because it wakes us up in the morning.
4. the rising and setting of the sun.
D. People learned that the earth moves during the day and night 1. a few hundred years ago.
2. when cars were invented.
3. when they could see the sun rise and set.
4. when they felt the earth move.
IV. Can you tell what Sunday is named for? Yes, the sun. What about Monday? Yes, the moon. The other days of
the week are not as easy. Tuesday is Tyr's day. Tyr was a god of war in northern Europe. Wednesday is Woden's
day. Woden was the greatest god of northern Europe. He lived in a palace called Valhalla. Thursday is Thor's day.
Thor was the strongest of the gods of northern Europe. He had a hammer which no man could lift. Friday is
Frigga's day. Frigga, the wife of Woden, was highest among goddesses. Saturday is Saturn's day. Saturn was a
Roman god. The Romans used to feast and make merry in honor of Saturn.
A. The god of war in northern Europe was called 1. Woden.
B. Valhalla was the home of 1. Saturn.
C. The strongest of the gods in northern Europe was called 1. Thor.
D. The highest among the goddesses was called 1. Tyr.
V. Chinese men in China do not wear pigtails nowadays, but it is possible that their grandfathers or greatgrandfathers did. For many years in China, a pigtail was thought to be proper for men. The men shaved their
heads in front and wore the pigtail in back. It was also thought proper to wrap the feet of little girls tightly so
that, when they grew up, their feet would be small. Small feet on girls were admired. This practice has also
A. People in China thought that girls should have 1. small feet.
3. shaved heads.
B. This story is mainly about 1. boys and girls in China.
3. outdated practices in China.
2. the feet of girls and the hair of men.
4. the Chinese.
C. The Chinese wanted girls to have small feet because 1. small feet were easier to keep warm.
2. small feet were quieter.
3. small feet were admired.
4. small feet were younger looking.
D. Grandfathers of Chinese men 1. might have wrapped their feet to keep them small.
3. would not have had shaved heads.
READING COMPREHENSION TEST 7
2. might have worn pigtails.
4. would have dressed like girls.
I. Several hundred years ago, an English king, Henry V, fought and won almost half of France. He died trying to
win even more of France, and his brother took up where Henry V left off. However, the brother was not
successful in war, as Henry V had been. The reason for his lack of success was a peasant maiden who was the
head of the French army. Her name lives in history as Joan of Arc. The king of France had put Joan in charge of
his army because he believed her when she told him that God wanted her to save France.
A. This story is mainly about 1. the French army.
2. the English army.
3. Joan of Arc.
4. Henry V.
B. The king of France 1. believed that Joan of Arc knew a lot about leading armies.
2. believed that God wanted Joan of Arc to be in charge of the French army.
3. believed that the English could not win.
4. believed that he should be leader of his own army.
C. Henry V 1. wanted his brother to be in charge of the army.
3. wanted to be friendly with Joan of Arc.
2. won most of France.
4. wanted to own France.
D. Joan of Arc was successful because 1. she had had much army experience.
3. she convinced people that God was on her side.
2. she understood the English.
4. she understood the brother of Henry V.
II. At one time not very long ago, Italy was made up of little states under different rulers. Northern Italy was
ruled by Austria. A fisherman's son named Joseph Garibaldi wanted Italy to be one nation. He, along with an
army of men, fought the Austrians and won. Then, he and his men got all the little states in Italy to join so that
Italy became one nation. They made King Victor Emmanuel their leader. Garibaldi's courage and enthusiasm had
a lot to do with making Italy one nation.
A. This story is mainly about 1. the little states of Italy.
2. the part that Garibaldi played in making Italy into one nation.
3. one nation.
4. courage and enthusiasm.
B. Garibaldi was 1. a rich man.
2. a ruler of Italy.
C. When Garibaldi started out, Italy was 1. made up of many little states. 2. one nation.
3. a peace-loving man.
3. ruled by Austria.
D. Garibaldi is mostly known for 1. having courage and enthusiasm.
3. being a friend to King Victor Emmanuel.
4. the son of a fisherman.
4. ruled by King Victor Emmanuel.
2. his part in making Italy one nation.
4. beating Austria.
III. Just about everyone now knows that the earth travels in a great circle around the sun (actually, a circle
slightly flattened). We say that it takes a "year" for the earth to travel around this circle once. While it is
traveling, what are the other planets doing? One, Mercury, that is much closer to the sun, travels around the sun
more than four times while we are going around it only once. Neptune, on the other hand, takes 165 of our years
to go once around the sun.
A. Neptune takes 1. longer than the earth to travel once around the sun.
3. less time than the earth.
2. about the same length of time as the earth.
4. one of our years to travel around the sun.
B. Mercury takes 1. longer than the earth to travel once around the sun.
3. less time than the earth.
2. about the same length of time as the earth.
4. one of our years to travel around the sun.
C. The earth travels around the sun 1. four times while Neptune is traveling around once.
3. every day.
2. once a year.
4. 165 times while Mercury is traveling around once.
D. Planets 1. travel in a great circle.
2. travel around one another.
3. take 365 days to travel around the sun.
4. take 165 years to travel around the sun.
IV. When you see a flash of light in the sky, it might be a meteor, which circles the sun, just as we do. When the
earth cuts across the path of a meteor, the meteor heats up, and its light can be seen. Meteors can be as big as a
grain of sand, a bullet, a pebble, a ball, or something even larger. Sometimes, when meteors do not completely
burn up, they fall to earth and can be picked up. Some are found in museums.
A. A flash of light in the sky might be 1. the sun.
2. a circle.
3. a grain of sand.
B. We can see a meteor because 1. it falls to earth.
2. it heats up.
3. the earth cuts across its path.
C. Meteors found in museums 1. have fallen to earth.
2. have burned up.
3. circle the sun.
D. A meteor heats up because 1. the air around the earth is hot.
3. it comes into contact with the air around the earth.
4. a meteor.
4. it circles the sun.
4. are the size of a grain of sand.
2. it is traveling fast through space.
4. the sun shines on it.
V. There is a metal that runs downhill, just as water does. Like water, it is a liquid. Its name is mercury. It is
much heavier than water. If you put mercury on a towel, it will not be absorbed by the towel, as water would be.
The tiniest parts of mercury - atoms - hold fast together. Push at a puddle of mercury, and it will separate into
smaller puddles, but it will not be absorbed by the towel.
A. We know that something is a liquid because 1. it can be absorbed by a towel.
2. it runs downhill.
3. it separates into smaller puddles.
4. it is heavy.
B. The atoms of mercury 1. hold fast together.
3. are a part of water.
2. will be absorbed by a towel.
4. cannot be pushed into smaller parts.
C. Mercury will not be absorbed by a towel because 1. it is a liquid.
2. it is heavier than water.
3. it separates into smaller puddles.
4. its atoms hold fast together.
D. This story is mainly about 1. liquids.
READING COMPREHENSION TEST 8
4. mercury and water.
I. When young, a little crab looks quite unlike its parents. As it grows older, it drops its outer covering time and
again and grows a new one. With each new coat it comes to look more and more like its parents, until finally it
appears in a shell with its legs and claws just like its parents. When this stage has been reached, it continues to
drop its covering several more times, but the change is in its size, not its form. While the old shell is being made
ready to come off, there is a new shell forming over the flesh of the crab underneath, but it is quite soft and
flexible until the old one has been dropped.
A. This story is mainly about 1. how little crabs look.
3. how often crabs change their coats.
B. Crabs drop their coats -
2. the resemblance between little crabs and their parents.
4. the way that crabs get bigger.
1. throughout their lives.
3. to change their size but not their form.
2. as they get bigger.
4. to be separate from their parents.
C. The form of a grown-up crab 1. is just like its parents.
3. continues to change every time it gets a new coat.
2. is like the form of a baby crab.
4. changes every time its size changes.
D.The new shell 1. starts to grow after the old one has been dropped.
2. is always hard.
3. is soft so that the crab can squeeze out of its old shell. 4. is always a copy of the young crab's parents' shell.
II. The West Indian Land Crab makes its home two or three miles from the sea. When the females wish to lay
their eggs, they do not carry them attached to their bodies, as most crabs do. Instead, they make their way back
to the sea to lay them in the sand. All of them go at once, together, the males leading the way. There may be
enough to form a host a mile long and forty yards wide. Houses and walls and cliffs do not stop them. They
never turn aside but keep straight on until, if they survive, they reach the sea.
A. This story is mainly about 1. where the West Indian Land Crab makes its home.
3. a host a mile long.
2. the egg-laying behavior of a certain type of crab.
4. a terrible trek to the sea.
B. The West Indian Land Crab 1. lives its life next to the sea.
3. carries its eggs next to its body.
2. lays its eggs on the seaside.
4. lays its eggs several miles from the sea.
C. The trek to the sea 1. can be dangerous.
3. is safe, since there are so many.
2. is for females only.
4. allows the crabs to stop and rest.
D. The word "host" is this story refers to 1. a large group.
2. a group on the attack.
3. a group of females.
4. a powerful group.
III. One of the strangest crabs, called "birgus latro" by scientists, is one that lives on coconuts. It makes its home
by burrowing deep among the roots of a coconut tree. Its food comes from the coconuts that fall from the tree.
Taking a fallen nut, it strips off some fiber with its great claws and hammers away at the coconut until an
opening is made. Through this opening the crab thrusts its smaller claws and drags out the "meat" of the coconut.
It might even thrust in a claw and swing the coconut and smash it on the ground. This crab is used by the natives
for food. As much as a quart of coconut oil can be obtained from one crab.
A. This story is mainly about 1. the power of birgus latro.
3. a way to obtain coconut food.
2. the way that a certain type of crab obtains its food.
4. birgus latro.
B. The oil in this crab comes from 1. the roots of coconut trees.
2. birgus latro. 3. coconuts.
4. the island on which this crab lives.
C. This crab makes its home 1. by thrusting its claw into a coconut.
3. by burrowing deep into a coconut.
2. among the roots of a coconut tree.
4. safe from natives who want it for food.
D. The word "natives" refers to 1. people who live on crabs.
3. people who lack skill and knowledge.
2. people who live in an area.
4. people who take coconut oil from crabs.
IV. Like oysters, mussels attach themselves to rock. First, the mussel attaches its foot, which acts as a sucker, to a
rock. This is only temporary. Then, strands of a silk-like texture, called a byssus, are put forth by the mussel and
woven into a sort of string.This holds to the rock. Mussels collect in great masses. The byssus of one mussel
joins the byssus of another until they are all joined together.Heavy waves can beat upon them, but they hold their
positions in safety.
A. This story is mainly about 1. the life of mussels. 2. the byssus of mussels.
B. A byssus is 1. the foot of the mussel.
3. mussels and oysters.
2. the mussel's tie to rock.
4. how mussels hold onto rocks.
3. a piece of string.
4. a large group of mussels.
C. Mussels can hold onto rocks because 1. the "foot" holds them.
3. they are joined by pieces of string.
2. they are all joined together.
4. the waves beat upon them.
D. The "foot" of the mussel 1. is used for walking. 2. has a sucker on it.
3. makes the byssus.
4. joins with other mussels.
V. Lobsters are "crabby," just like crabs. By "crabby" we mean "always ready to fight." It is common for a
lobster to lose a claw in a fight. However, the lobster can always grow a new claw to replace the one that has
been lost. The new claw is smaller than the old one, at least at first. After the lobster continues to grow and to
lose its shells one after another, the new claw in time gets to be as large as the one that has been lost. Then the
lobster can fight again just as well as it did before it lost the claw.
A. This story is mainly about 1. crabs and lobsters. 2. a lost claw.
B. "Crabby" means 1. unhappy.
3. how lobsters grow a new claw.
C. Once a claw has been lost, the lobster 1. can never fight again.
3. can grow a new one.
3. easily irritated.
4. the lobster's readiness to fight.
2. is helpless.
4. right away gets another just as good.
D. A lobster's shell 1. grows bigger as the lobster inside grows bigger.
3. is hard so that the lobster doesn't need to fight.
READING COMPREHENSION TEST 9
2. stays the same for the life of the lobster.
4. is dropped when the lobster inside gets too big.
I. The White Cliffs of Dover on the coast of England are chalk. Chalk is composed of the shells of sea animals.
How, then, did they come to make up huge cliffs on the seacoast? Well, at one time, the chalk was under the
ocean. As the animals with shells died, the shells fell to the ocean floor and piled up over millions of years, often
to great thicknesses. Then, the ocean floor rose, and the water fell back, leaving the chalk to make up dry land. In
many parts of England and France you can scratch the soil and find chalk underneath. Some train tunnels go
A. This story is mainly about 1. the natural history of chalk.
3. the seacoast of England.
2. sea animals with shells.
4. the many places where chalk is found.
B. When they die, some sea animals leave behind 1. sea coast.
2. ocean floor.
4. white cliffs.
C. The White Cliffs of Dover formed because 1. sea animals died.
2. there was chalk on the ocean floor.
3. the ocean floor rose up.
4. there is chalk under the soil.
D. Some train tunnels 1. leave the water behind.
3. are on the seacoast of England and France.
2. allow the train to go through chalk.
4. are stopped by the shells of sea animals
II. We know that gold and silver are elements. An element consists of atoms of only one kind, unlike water,
which consists of both hydrogen and oxygen. Another element is radium. Radium is especially interesting,
because it produces heat. When soil is carried by rivers down to the sea and falls to the bottom, it often carries
radium in it. As more and more soil is washed down into the ocean, more and more radium is carried in it. There,
as elsewhere, it constantly produces heat.
A. This story is mainly about 1. a heat-producing element.
3. soil that is washed down into oceans.
2. gold and silver.
4. atoms of only one kind.
B. Oxygen and hydrogen 1. are not in the same class as silver and gold.
3. are elements.
C. Some heat on the ocean floor comes from 1. oxygen and hydrogen.
D. One heat-producing element is 1. gold.
2. are unlike water.
4. are not elements.
3. the water from rivers.
4. gold and silver.
III. An iron or steel bridge swells (gets larger) when warmed by the sun and shrinks (gets smaller) when it
becomes colder. Heat makes everything expand, and cold makes everything contract. Cold is the absence of heat.
Metals change their size when heated or cooled, and this change is noticeable in a bridge that is made of iron or
steel. The builder of a bridge must leave empty spaces for the metal to expand into. Have you noticed that
concrete sidewalks have cracks every few feet? These cracks provide space for the concrete to expand into when
A. This story is mainly about 1. the effect of heat on everything.
B. Another word for "swells" is 1. warms.
2. metal bridges.
3. the cracks in sidewalks.
C. Empty spaces allow room for a material to 1. warm.
D. The sun causes materials to 1. expand.
4. the absence of heat.
IV. An ear of corn on a corn plant is protected by a husk, and at the end of the ear, emerging from the husk, you
can see a bunch of silk-like threads. What is the purpose of these threads? Well, each thread is attached to a
kernel of corn inside the husk, and each kernel of corn, if it is fertilized by pollen, can become a seed that can
grow into a new corn plant. How does pollen reach the kernel? It travels through the silk-like thread, which is a
A. This story is mainly about 1. threads.
2. new corn plants.
3. the purpose of corn's silk-like threads.
B. The part of corn that we eat is 1. silk-like threads.
3. new corn plants.
C. Pollen makes it possible for kernels to become 1. silk-like threads.
D. Pollen travels in 1. a kernel.
2. the ear of corn.
4. kernels of corn.
4. a hollow tube.
3. a hollow tube.
4. the covering of the ear.
V. Why is it impossible to sink in the Dead Sea? The reason is that, not only is the water in the Dead Sea heavier
than ocean water and much heavier than fresh water, but it is also heavier than a person's body, when equal parts
are measured. You can't sink in something that is heavier than you are. The reason for the heaviness is extreme
saltiness. Are there materials that would sink in the Dead Sea? Yes, and I'll bet that you can think of some.
A. This story is mainly about 1. why you can't sink in the Dead Sea.
3. the reason for the saltiness of the Dead Sea.
2. the saltiness of water.
4. how heavy your body is.
B. Water in the Dead Sea is heavier than 1. a person's body only.
2. ocean water, fresh water, and a person's body.
3. ocean water and fresh water only.
4. ocean water only.
C. The reason for the heaviness of Dead Sea water is 1. ocean water.
2. materials that would sink.
4. fresh water.
D. "Equal parts" means 1. a quart of one measured against a quart of another, for example.
2. Dead Sea water measured against ocean water.
3. ocean water measured against fresh water.
4. a person measured against fresh water.
READING TEST 10
I. Why doesn't the air remain still? The reason is that air, when it becomes heated, becomes lighter, and it rises.
When it rises, other air moves in to take its place. The temperature of air becomes like the surface of the earth
over which it travels. Over dry land, the air can become very hot. Then, when the sun goes down, it cools off
quickly. Over water the air heats up more slowly and cools off more slowly. These changes cause the movement
of air, which we call wind..
A. This story is mainly about 1. air over dry land.
2. the heating up of air.
3. how air becomes lighter.
4. why air moves.
B. As air heats up, it 1. cools off quickly.
3. becomes very hot.
4. blows gently.
2. becomes lighter.
C. Over dry land, the air 1. heats up and cools off quickly.
D. Wind 1. is the movement of air.
2. only heats up quickly.
3. only cools off quickly.
2. causes the air to heat up. 3. cools off more slowly.
4. is still.
4. is hotter over water.
II. What is the difference between a fruit and a vegetable? Well, we know that all fruits bear seeds. Think of an
apple or an orange. However, squash, peppers, and tomatoes have seeds in them. Are they fruits? In a scientific
sense, they are. However, you wouldn't want to eat them for dessert, as you would an apple or a pear. We don't
call them fruits, because they are not sweet, even though, scientifically, they are fruits.
A. This story is mainly about 1. foods that we eat for dessert.
3. how fruits and vegetables are alike and different.
2. the scientific definition of a fruit.
4. why we call some foods vegetables.
B. Scientifically, a fruit 1. is the same as a vegetable.
3. bears seeds.
2. is good for dessert.
C. For dessert, people are likely to eat 1. something sweet.
2. a vegetable. 3. something that bears seeds.
D. Scientifically, examples of fruits are 1. apples and beans.
2. spinach and potatoes.
4. is a seed.
4. a strawberry or an orange.
3. lettuce and oranges. 4. strawberries and carrots.
III. Where does our warmth come from? We might think that warmth comes from clothes, but clothes can only
keep the warmth that we already have from escaping into the air. Sometimes, it is true, we get warmth from
something outside ourselves, such as the sun or a fire or a hot bath. However, we would be badly off if we had to
depend on the sun, a fire, or a hot bath for warmth. The fact is, we make the warmth outselves, and it comes
from our food. Our food is burned inside our bodies. Burning requires oxygen, which comes from the air that we
breathe. Food and oxygen together burn to create warmth.
A. This story is mainly about 1. food and oxygen.
2. keeping warmth inside.
3. the importance of burning inside our bodies to keep us warm.
4. the importance of the sun, a fire, or a hot bath.
B. Burning requires 1. oxygen.
2. the sun.
C. The oxygen in our bodies comes from 1. food.
2. the sun.
D. Clothes 1. make warmth.
2. keep warmth from escaping. 3. are like the sun or fire.
4. require oxygen.
IV. Does a fish drink? All living things must drink, and they require a fresh supply of water often. A person can
go without food for many days, but he or she cannot go for long without water. Fishes drink, and fishes that live
in salt water must drink salt water. However, when we watch them in an aquarium and see them opening and
closing their mouths, we must not assume that they are drinking. Fishes need water for its oxygen. The water that
they seem to be gulping gives them oxygen, which is in the water. On the other hand, when a fish drinks, it
swallows water, just as we do.
A. This story is mainly about 1. drinking.
2. the need of a fish for oxygen. 3. a fish's uses of water.
B. A fish opens and closes its mouth 1. in order to get oxygen.
2. to drink.
C. A person -
3. in order to gulp.
4. why a fish gulps water.
4. to swim in an aquarium.
1. can live for a long time without water.
3. has no need for food and water.
D. When fishes drink, 1. they require fresh water.
3. they require salt water.
2. can live for a long time without food.
4. has no need for a fresh supply of water.
2. they swallow water, just as we do.
4. they drink water for its oxygen.
V. What do we mean when we speak of a calorie? Well, we know that the food that we eat is burned and provides
heat. Some foods can provide much heat, and other foods, very little. The foods that provide much heat provide
many calories. We measure the amount of heat a food provides in calories, just as we measure your height in
inches or your weight in pounds. A calorie is a measure of the heat required to raise the temperature of one gram
of water one degree centigrade. One calorie of food can also raise one pound of matter to a height of 40 inches.
Two thousand calories a day of food in the body can provide a lot of heat and a lot of of work.
A. This story is mainly about 1. calories.
2. heat and work.
B. Calories 1. are the same as heat and work.
3. are the same as food.
4. the differences in foods.
2. are a measure of too much heat.
4. are a measure of heat and work.
C. Oily foods provide a lot of calories. Therefore, we can say that 1. oily foods provide a lot of heat and work.
2. oily foods must be avoided.
3. oily foods have too many calories.
4. oily foods provide very little heat.
D. One degree centigrade is a measure of 1. water.
4. one gram.
READING TEST 1
READING TEST 2
READING TEST 3
READING TEST 4
READING TEST 5
READING TEST 6
READING TEST 7
READING TEST 8
READING TEST 9
READING TEST 10