Free NWEA Reading Questions and Answers


The vastness of the universe and the minuscule size of an atom might be difficult concepts to comprehend. Even after reading hundreds of science books, you would still not understand it. In approximately eight minutes, a tour of the cosmos can be seen in the short film Powers of Ten. A couple enjoying a picnic is seen at the start of the film, which gradually zooms out 10 times faster every ten seconds until the entire Earth, the Solar System, the Milky Way Galaxy, and the edge of the known universe are all visible. The camera then swiftly pans back in on the couple before advancing ten times closer to a human hand every ten seconds until cells, molecules, and eventually atoms are seen. The viewer feels like a giant and an ant at the end of the video!

Which of the following passage's sentences uses an idiom?

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An idiom is a sentence or set of related terms that belong to a language's linguistic tradition. Idioms are used to add color and expressiveness to language; they are typically used figuratively rather than literally. As an illustration, the expression "to pull someone's leg" refers to making jokes with someone.

Suddenly a storm began as Anna and Ralph were stretched out on chairs in the attic, their feet hanging and their hands behind their heads. They could hear the strong wind whistling outside as the roof was hammered by the heavy downpour. The children could hardly see anything around them when the room's lone lamp went out. A piercing roar of thunder shook the house as lightning struck the sky again and again, and the kids clutched hands. The storm sounded like it was occurring in their backyard. But the storm abruptly ended a short while after. As Anna and Ralph carefully got up and tried to find the door in the dark, everything around them was deafeningly silent. Luckily, the lights returned on before they reached the door, and they grinned and exhaled with relief.

What does the text mean when it says "deafeningly silent"?

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The expression "deafeningly silent" is contradictory. A figure of speech in which two opposing terms are used is called an oxymoron. One cannot describe a quiet place as "deafening"; one can describe a loud noise as such. As a result, its use has a purpose and is not literal. This passage describes a violent storm that ends abruptly. The statement highlights the stark contrast between the storm and the quiet that follows in a highly dramatic way. This is a dramatic event that is heightened by the quietness that follows.

The sweet potato is a root vegetable that is only distantly related to potatoes; its young leaves are occasionally eaten as greens. The root is long and narrow, and its flesh can vary in color from beige to red, pink, purple, yellow, orange, or purple. Sweet potatoes with white or pale yellow flesh are less moist and sweet than those with red, pink, or orange flesh.

Why did the writer pen this section?

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A work that aims to educate has a wealth of information about a certain topic. There are numerous information regarding sweet potatoes in this passage.

Fleas are tiny, flightless insects that live as parasites on the bodies of animals. They usually reside on fur or feathers, with their powerful claws keeping them in place. They feed on the blood of their host, which can be a dog, cat, bird, reptile, or human. A flea can survive for over a hundred days without food—imagine not eating for a hundred days! The female flea eats 15 times her body weight in blood per day—that's like eating 1300 pounds of pasta in one day! And last, and perhaps most amazing, is that fleas can jump up to eight inches, or roughly 200 times their own height. You jumping to the top of the Empire State Building is equivalent to that.

How does the writer entice the reader to read the book?

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The author uses the second person to put the reader in the shoes of the flea and help the reader understand how remarkable the flea is. The author uses the second person a few times in the text as side notes after providing facts about fleas, such as "Imagine not eating for a hundred days!" and "Imagine eating 1300 pounds of pasta in one day!" and "That is the same as you jumping to the top of the Empire State Building."

Even though Jade knew the river was right behind the scary tree patch in front of her, she still needed to cross it to get to the river. She proceeded from tree to tree, stepping gingerly and slowly, her eyes darting around to check for signs of danger and stopped every few seconds to make sure no one was approaching.

What does the term "gingerly" mean?

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The passage makes clear what "gingerly" means, even if you are not familiar with the word. Its correct definition is "with extreme caution." It is reasonable to believe that Jane was going cautiously because she entered "the most dangerous part of the forest," stopped every few seconds to "look around and make sure no one was coming," and "her eyes darted everywhere to look for signs of danger."

Find the definition of the word that is underlined in each of the next two statements as you read them:

In his later years, the guy had become  very reclusive, only coming out of his home to fetch the newspaper in the morning.

George found it strange and even challenging to converse with individuals at the party because he had been accustomed to his reclusive behavior for the previous five years.

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The term "reclusive" characterizes a propensity to isolate oneself from other people or from society. The context of the lines makes this clear: George found it strange and challenging to talk to people after refraining from doing so for five years, and the old man was described as "his reclusive behavior," meaning that he rarely left his house.

The Galápagos Islands are a province of Ecuador and are recognized as both an Ecuadorian national park and a World Heritage Site. The most well-known aspect of the Galápagos Islands is their wildlife, as many of these species are exclusive to the islands. The Galápagos Islands are a group of islands located in the Pacific Ocean close to the equator.

The paragraph claims that the Galápagos Islands are not.

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Take note of the word not at the conclusion of the directive. This indicates that it is best to tackle this question by removing any wrong response options. In general, you should think about removing answer options from a question that asks you to find information in the text in order to select the right response.

How often do we look at commonplace items and wonder who invented them? One example is the flat-bottomed paper bag, which is so commonplace today yet was virtually unheard of in the 1860s.

Born in Maine in 1838, Margaret Eloise Knight and her siblings had to leave school early to work at a cotton mill after her father passed away. At the age of twelve, Knight witnessed an accident at the mill where a worker was hurt by one of the machines; a few weeks later, she invented a safety device for those machines, which was implemented by mills throughout the city.

In 1867, Knight relocated to Massachusetts and started working at the Columbia Paper Bag Company. She created a machine the next year that could glue and fold paper to create paper bags with a flat bottom. A man who was present when her machine was being built stole the design from her and patented the invention as his own. This implied that Knight would not be compensated for her invention's royalties. She was the first woman to receive a U.S. patent after she successfully sued him. Later, she founded the Eastern Paper Bag Co. and went on to receive 86 additional patents, including ones for rotary engine-related devices, window frames and sashes, and lid-removing pliers.

Knight died in 1914 and never got married. Several of her innovations, most notably the paper bag, are still widely used today. She was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006.

Which kind of text does this passage fall under?

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A biography is a narrative written in the third person about a particular individual. Typically, it contains information about the person's birthdate and place, education, employment history, family life, and present location or the moment of death. These details are provided to the readers in the third-person narrative. It is therefore a biography.

Tom materialized on the pavement with a long-handled brush and a bucket of whitewash. As he observed the fence, all joy left him and a profound sadness descended upon his soul. Board fence thirty yards long and nine feet high. He perceived life as meaningless and existence as a burden. With a sigh, he dipped his brush and ran it along the highest plank; did it again; compared the small whitewashed strip with the vast continent of unwhitewashed fence; and, feeling dejected, sat down on a tree-box. Singing Buffalo Gals, Jim arrived at the gate with a tin pail in tow. Tom no longer felt that carrying water from the town pump was terrible labor, as he had in the past. There was company at the pump, he recalled.

He picked up his brush and worked calmly. The boy he had been fearing would be ridiculed, Ben Rogers, hove into view at that same moment. Ben's hop-skip-jump gait was sufficient evidence that his expectations were high and his heart was light. In addition to eating an apple, he was personifying a steamboat and would occasionally give a long, melodic whoop followed by a deep-toned ding-dong-dong.

"Hello, old chap, you got to work, hey?"" exclaimed Ben."

Tom abruptly turned and spoke:

"Why, Ben, it's you! I caution against noticing.
Say, ""I'm going to swim, I promise."" Do you not wish that you could? Naturally, though, you would druther work, wouldn't you? Of course you would!"

Which of the following narrative points is the passage's conversation advancing?

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A story point is an event that takes place in the narrative. The exchange of words between two characters is referred to as dialogue. When the reader learns that these things happened—not because the narrator claims they did—through the discussion between the characters, the plot is advanced. When Ben says to Tom, "Say—I'm going in a-swimming, I am," the reader is made aware that Ben is making fun of him. Do you not wish that you could? Naturally, though, you would druther work, wouldn't you? Of course you would!To put it another way, the reader advances the plot point of Ben mocking Tom by reading what Ben said to him in a taunting manner rather than the narrator stating that Ben did so.

It may be difficult to believe that not too long ago, the animation behemoth that we all know and love nearly shut down its animation division entirely. The Walt Disney Company was known for ruling the entertainment industry both in the past and present, from its classic hits to its modern expansions. Disney had become extremely unpopular in the 1980s, and the company struggled to produce films that measured up to a fraction of the glory that their predecessors held. For this reason, the films it produced between 1989 and 1999 came to be known as the Disney Renaissance—a term that literally rebirthed Disney animation.

In the passage's introductory paragraph, the word "Juggernaut" is used. What does that mean?

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“Juggernaut” is a word that has meant different things in its history and has different connotations in different contexts even nowadays. In American English, it is generally used to refer to something immensely powerful that crushes whatever is in its way, literally or figuratively. It can have a negative or positive connotation, and its definition can be applied loosely. In this passage, it is clearly a positive connotation. The implication seems to be that Disney is big and powerful, likely in size and influence based on what is known about the organization. It would not fit the context to imply that Disney crushes anything physically, so it is likely referring to the fact that Disney surpasses its competition in popularity and influence. Even though this answer choice uses the definition very loosely, it is clearly the correct usage based on the context.Option A is incorrect because the author does not mean to imply that Disney is crushing anything.Option C is incorrect because the context does not suggest that Disney is smothering anybody financially.Option D is incorrect because this is not a connotation of the word “juggernaut.” The connotation must be pointing to Disney’s size and/or power, not the fact that it does its job well and satisfies audiences.

What does the term "bidirectional" mean?

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This is an example of a sentence using the term "bidirectional": Central Boulevard has both eastbound and westbound traffic lanes. For a list of prefixes used to indicate numerals, consult the Study Guide.

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