ASVAB Paragraph Comprehension Test
The metal porch swing virtually sizzled on the old wooden front porch today. But we sat there anyway. Gramma wouldn’t hear of anything else. I suggested a walk through the forest, hoping to entertain a breeze or two and to take advantage of the shade. Gramma shook her head. You were supposed to sit on the porch after supper, and that’s what we were going to do. This author implies that
The last sentence implies a routine of sitting on the porch every night after supper.
A lamb’s thick winter coat keeps it warm during the cold winter months. When the summer brings sunny days, the sheep doesn’t need its thick coat and the sheep’s wool is sheared. That wool is made into yarn, further processed, and then transformed into sweaters, socks, pants, skirts, and blankets. The verb “transformed” referred to in the passage suggests that the wool changes by
If you are taking yarn, processing it, and then turning it into clothing, the yarn is undergoing a mechanical operation.
DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic acid. It has proteins attached to it and exists in the form of chromosomes. DNA in chromosomes contains the information that determines all of the physical characteristics that were inherited from the previous generation. Although some features of DNA are different from species to species, there are many things that are the same about DNA, regardless of the parent organism. Strawberries, for example, have DNA. This author implies that
The author mentions the similarities of DNA between all organisms, and then uses strawberries as an example of this in the very next sentence. This implies that strawberries are organisms.
The Mississippi River is key to New Orleans’ flavor and pizzazz. The seafood, the steamboat cruise, the swamp tours, and the history–it’s all there. And the jazz? There are those who would swear that the uncanny beat of the music comes from the intrepid rhythm of the Mississippi’s waters. According to the passage, some people believe that the atmosphere and reputation of New Orleans is derived primarily from
The paragraph begins with "The Mississippi River is key..." The next two sentences also suggest that other aspects of the city's atmosphere all stem from the river.
A story line is comprised of the main plot, a sequence of events involving the primary characters. There are also subplots in which the minor characters carry out their roles. The situations of the main and minor/supporting characters intertwine, thereby creating a realistic plot where people’s lives interact, just as they would in real life. This author is making a comparison between
The comparison is evident when the author mentions "...a realistic plot where people’s lives interact, just as they would in real life."
In general, most people think of a culture as a set of behaviors belonging to a group sharing common values, history, and traditions. This group may call itself a community, but this does not mean that those in a common culture necessarily live in the same neighborhood, or even nearby. But, it does mean that they share norms for what is expected in their culture. According to the passage, people in a community will
"Norms" are standards and patterns of social behavior. If they "share norms", this suggests that they follow the same standards. It may be likely that they speak the same language or share the same religious beliefs, but the passage doesn't state that this is necessarily true.
American Sign Language (ASL) is a conceptual language, and the way those concepts are put together is called syntax. In ASL, a statement usually begins with the main idea and then the details follow. Very different from English, ASL syntax is based on what is most important to the person signing. This author implies that
The author states that sign language "...usually begins with the main idea." The author then states that, "Very different from English, ASL syntax is based on what is most important to the person signing." This suggests that English usually doesn't begin with what is most important.
While some playwrights are known for writing essays defending their own work or criticizing the work of competing writers, Arthur Miller’s essays are simply about theater. While we may discover politics and favoritism when we comb through Miller’s essays looking for such things, in doing so, we may risk missing the point of the works—Miller only wants for us to benefit from his years of experience. Even his earliest essays read as virtual how-to manuals for new playwrights and directors. These works ring with clarity and forthrightness, and are filled with thoughtful and often provocative opinions. These essays teach us what the theater is, what it might be, and how to make it so. The author suggests that Miller's essays differ from other playwrights' essays in that
In the first sentence, the author contrasts the focus of Arthur Miller’s essays with the other playwrights who, in their essays, “criticize the work of competing writers” and “defend their own work.”
Although much about dolphin communication remains a mystery, scientists have discovered three distinct sounds that dolphins frequently make: chirps, clicks, and whistles. Scientists have learned that dolphins use clicks to create a sonar map, which allows them to navigate and hunt. But, apart from possibly transmitting location, the clicks do not appear to serve any communication purpose. Rather, research indicates that dolphins communicate with each other by whistling. This discovery has necessitated further investigation, as scientists are not yet sure whether the whistles comprise a complex system of linguistic communication or a simple set of sonic cues, like the ones used by other animal species. According to the passage, the whistles are significant in part because they
The author declares that whistles are important because scientists think dolphins whistle to communicate with each other, and scientists want to learn how advanced this communication system is, which matches choice (B).
Although much about dolphin communication remains a mystery, scientists have discovered three distinct sounds that dolphins frequently make: chirps, clicks, and whistles. Scientists have learned that dolphins use clicks to create a sonar map, which allows them to navigate and hunt. But, apart from possibly transmitting location, the clicks do not appear to serve any communication purpose. Rather, research indicates that dolphins communicate with each other by whistling. This discovery has necessitated further investigation, as scientists are not yet sure whether the whistles comprise a complex system of linguistic communication or a simple set of sonic cues, like the ones used by other animal species. Based on the passage, the most reasonable inference is that
The final sentence of the passage mentions “sonic cues like the ones used by other animal species,” which suggests that other animals use vocal communication, so (A) is correct.
Marvin Freeman’s groundbreaking new study of the plays of Henrik Ibsen will alter the course of Ibsen scholarship forever. Previously, scholars limited the areas of their studies to a particular phase of Ibsen’s career, since a different scholarly approach seemed to fit each of the phases. Freeman has instead taken on the entirety of Ibsen’s work. Happily, this breadth of scholarship does not diminish the depth with which Freeman explores each work. The career of Ibsen is now liberated from arbitrary divisions and stands before us as a complete picture. It will be years before we can fully appreciate the service that Freeman has rendered. What is the main point of the paragraph?
The author has a consistent tone of praise for Freeman’s work, so the correct answer must be positive. Only (A) and (D) have a positive tone, and (D) best matches the meaning of the final sentence.
Decades before you experienced websites which create custom radio stations by tailoring your musical selections according to your likes and dislikes, a pioneering researcher had the same concept. Although he is known now primarily among music historians, it is entirely possible that such sophisticated computer programs would not exist without the work of Alan Lomax. What is the best title for this passage?
This passage introduces Alan Lomax by explaining his contributions to music and that most people are not aware of him. The passage is entirely about Lomax, therefore the best title would be, "Alan Lomax: A Pioneer in Music."
Because blues musicians were likely playing their music for years before it occurred to anyone to study it, it's impossible to know just where and when it began. Different parts of the South claim to be the birthplace of the blues, but many music historians agree that it emerged from the Mississippi Delta—that the broad plain stretching from Memphis down to Vicksburg was uniquely suited to produce music that spoke of hard times and deals with the devil. According to the passage, the blues originated where?
The passage is about the role of the Mississippi Delta in the creation of the blues. Although the author states that different parts of the South may claim the blues, most people agree that it originated in the Delta.
1963 was one of the most eventful years in the civil rights movement. Throughout the year, Americans watched in shock as police in Birmingham turned fire hoses and German Shepherd police dogs on marchers. In late summer, Alabama governor George Wallace made his infamous "stand in the schoolhouse door," an attempt to prevent African American students from entering the University of Alabama. According to the passage, who attempted to prevent African American students from entering the University of Alabama?
The passage clearly states that governor George Wallace attempted to prevent African American students from entering the University of Alabama.
Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce was one of the most noble leaders in Native American history. His given tribal name was Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt, or Thunder Rolling Down the Mountain. But he was widely known as Joseph, which was also his father's name. He was born in Oregon in 1840. Which of the following is NOT true regarding Chief Joseph?
The passage clearly states each of these options, except for Chief Joseph's being born in Idaho in 1856. That option is false.
While only a teenager, Maria moved to New York City, in the hopes of finding a spot with a major ballet company. It was in New York City that Maria was advised not to take the name Maria Tallchief. Russian ballerinas were very much admired at the time, and many American dancers took Russian stage names. Maria, however, was very proud of her Native American heritage. She refused to change her name. According to the passage, why did Maria keep the name Tallchief?
The passage clearly states that Maria Tallchief was proud of her Native American heritage and wanted to keep her family name.
The Pacific Northwest is home to some of the United States' most remarkable natural scenery. Located in south-central Oregon, Crater Lake is arguably the most striking site in that part of the country. A caldera lake, Crater Lake is the result of the eruption and collapse of Mount Mazama nearly eight thousand years ago. The lake is known for its brilliant blue water, as well as its depth: an astonishing 1,932 feet. Crater Lake is located in what state?
The passage clearly states that Crater Lake is located in Oregon.
Without question, the greatest appeal for most visitors to Bandhavgarh is its wildlife. The former hunting preserve of the maharajahs, the park is now home to an important tiger preserve, with perhaps the greatest density of Bengal tigers in the world. Visitors to the park can view the tigers via either jeep or elephant safari, although making the tour by elephant is recommended. The tigers are accustomed to tourists, but visitors are understandably encouraged to avoid sudden movements. In addition to Bengal tigers, Bandhavgarh is also home to numerous other animal species, as well as more than 250 species of birds. What type of publication would this passage be most appropriate for?
The passage explains what makes Bandhavgarh attractive to visitors and is therefore most suited to a travel guide.