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Revised GRE Reading Comprehension Practice 1

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Revised GRE Reading Comprehension Practice 1

If you're prepping for the Revised GRE Verbal test, then chances are good you're up to your armpits in reading comprehension practice. Why? It's the most difficult of the three types of questions in the Revised GRE. Text Completions and Sentence Equivalence have nothing on the reading comprehension passages! Since you must reading a portion of text and then answering questions based on that text, your time is much more limited and the opportunity for making errors increases by a quite a bit. Hence, it's imperative that you practice these questions prior to diving in so you get the best possible GRE score you can!

The reading comprehension passages will offer you three different types of questions based on passages that are anywhere between one and five paragraphs long. The passages will come from books and periodicals about science, arts, humanities, and everyday life issues, too. After reading, you'll either have a multiple-choice question where you'll choose one answer, which is the format you've been using your whole life. Or, you'll encounter a multiple-choice question and have to choose one or more correct answers. This is new! The final question type is the "Select-in-Passage" where you'll just click on the sentence in the passage that answers the question.

Read to try them? Great! Get started below. All of the questions have been reprinted from ETS' Official Guide to the Revised GRE.

Question 1

For this question, select ONE answer choice.

In the United States between 1850 and 1880, the number of farmers continued to increase, but at a rate lower than that of the general population.

Which of the following statements directly contradicts the information presented above?

A. The number of farmers in the general population increased slightly in the 30 years between 1850 and 1880.
B. The rate of growth of the United States labor force and the rate of growth of the general population rose simultaneously in the 30 years between 1850 and 1880.
C. The proportion of farmers in the United States labor force remained constant in the 30 years between 1850 and 1880.
D. The proportion of farmers in the United States labor force decreased from 64 percent in 1850 to 49 percent in 1880.
E. The proportion of farmers in the general population increased from 68 percent in 1850 to 72 percent in 1880.

Answer and Explanation

Question 2

For this question, consider each of the choices separately and select all that apply.

I enjoyed "A Dream of Light and Shadow: Portraits of Latin American Women Writers" for the same reasons that, as a child, I avidly consumed women's biographies: the fascination with how the biographical details of another female's life are represented and interpreted.

"A Dream" offers a rich read, varied in both the lives and texts of the women portrayed, and the perspectives and styles of the sixteen essayists. Yet, as an adult, I have come to demand of any really "great" book a self-consciousness about the tenuous nature of representations of reality, a critical contextualization of florid detail, and a self-awareness of the role of ideology in our lives. In these critical senses, "A Dream" is inadequate.

The author of the passage suggests that "A Dream" falls short in which of the following respects?

A. It does not appear to recognize that representations of reality can be unreliable.
B. It seems to focus on stylistic variety at the expense of accuracy of detail.
C. It offers a wealth of detail without sufficient critical examination of that detail.

Answer and Explanation

Question 3

For this question, select ONE answer choice.

Answer the following question using the previous passage.

Which of the following best describes the function of the second sentence ("A Dream…essayists.") in the context of the passage as a whole?

A. To give examples of how "A Dream" presents fascinating portraits that display awareness of the tenuous nature of representations of reality
B. To elaborate on how "A Dream" fulfills the author's childhood criteria for a great book
C. To suggest that the author enjoyed "A Dream" for reasons more sophisticated than the reasons she enjoyed certain books as a child
D. To illustrate ways in which the author finds "A Dream" to be inadequate in certain critical senses
E. To imply that "A Dream" is too varied in focus to provide a proper conextualization of the biographical details it offers

Answer and Explanation

Question 4

For this question, select ONE answer choice.

A person who agrees to serve as mediator between two warring factions at the request of both abandons, by so agreeing, the right to take sides later. To take sides at a later point would be to suggest that the earlier presumptive impartiality was a sham.

The passage above emphasizes which of the following points about mediators?

A. They should try to form no opinions of their own about any issue that is related to the dispute.
B. They should not agree to serve unless they are committed to maintaining a stance of impartiality.
C. They should not agree to serve unless they are equally acceptable to all parties to a dispute.
D. They should feel free to take sides in the dispute right from the start, provided that they make their biases publicly known.
E. They should reserve the right to abandon their impartiality so as not to be open to the charge of having been deceitful.

Answer and Explanation

Question 5

For this question, select a sentences in the passage.

Was Felix Mendelssohn a great composer? On its face, the question seems absurd. One of the most gifted prodigies in the history of music, he produced his first masterpiece at sixteen. From then on, he was recognized as an artist of preternatural abilities, not only as a composer but also as a pianist and conductor. But Mendelssohn's enduring popularity has often been at odds – sometimes quite sharply – with his critical standing. Despite general acknowledgement of his genius, there has been a noticeable reluctance to rank with with, say, Schumann or Brahms. As Haggin put it, Mendelssohn, as a composer, was a "minor master…working on a small scare of emotion and texture."

Select a sentence in the passage whose function is to indicate the range of Mendelssohn's musical talents.

Answer and Explanation

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