# Free Online Math Reading Questions Test 1

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#### As used in line 39, “intense” most nearly means

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Choice B is the best answer because the context makes clear that the clustering of jobs, innovation, and productivity will be more concentrated in, or more densely packed into, “a smaller number of bigger cities and city-regions” (line 40). Choice A is not the best answer because although “intense” sometimes means “emotional,” it would make no sense in context to say that the clustering of jobs, innovation, and productivity will be more emotional in “a smaller number of bigger cities and city-regions” (line 40). Choice C is not the best answer because although “intense” sometimes means “brilliant,” it would make no sense in context to say that the clustering of jobs, innovation, and productivity will be more brilliant in “a smaller number of bigger cities and city-regions” (line 40). Choice D is not the best answer because although “intense” sometimes means “determined,” it would make no sense in context to say that the clustering of jobs, innovation, and productivity will be more determined in “a smaller number of bigger cities and city-regions” (line 40).

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#### Which claim about traffic congestion is supported by the graph?

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Choice C is the best answer. Higher bars on the graph represent longer annual commute delays than do lower bars; moreover, the number of hours of annual commute delay generally decreases as one moves from left to right on the graph. The bar for Washington, D.C, is higher than and to the left of that for New York City, meaning that D.C. automobile commuters experience greater amounts of delay each year. Choice A is not the best answer because the graph’s bar for New York City is higher than and to the left of that for the average for very large cities, meaning that New York City automobile commuters experience greater, not lesser, amounts of delay each year. Choice B is not the best answer because the graph’s bar for Los Angeles is lower than and to the right of that for Washington, D.C., meaning that Los Angeles automobile commuters experience lesser, not greater, amounts of delay each year. Choice D is not the best answer because the graph’s bar for Detroit is lower than and to the right of those for Houston, Atlanta, and Chicago, meaning that Detroit automobile commuters experience lesser, not greater, amounts of delay each year.

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#### The passage most strongly suggests that researchers at the Martin Prosperity Institute share which assumption?

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Choice B is the best answer because details in the third paragraph (lines 20–31) strongly suggest that researchers (“we”) at the Martin Prosperity Institute assume that shorter commutes will lead to more productive time for workers. The author notes that “across the country, commuting wastes 4.2 billion hours of work time annually” and that “the overall cost to the U.S. economy is nearly \$90 billion when lost productivity and wasted fuel are taken into account” (lines 25–28). Given also that those at the institute “calculate that every minute shaved off America’s commuting time is worth \$19.5 billion in value added to the economy” (lines 28–30), it can reasonably be concluded that some of that added value is from heightened worker productivity. Choice A is not the best answer because there is no evidence in the passage that researchers at the Martin Prosperity Institute assume that employees who work from home are more valuable to their employers than employees who commute. Although the passage does criticize long commutes, it does not propose working from home as a solution. Choice C is not the best answer because there is no evidence in the passage that researchers at the Martin Prosperity Institute assume that employees can conduct business activities, such as composing memos or joining conference calls, while commuting. The passage does discuss commuting in some detail, but it does not mention activities that commuters can or should be undertaking while commuting, and it generally portrays commuting time as lost or wasted time. Choice D is not the best answer because there is no evidence in the passage that researchers at the Martin Prosperity Institute assume that employees who have lengthy commutes tend to make more money than employees who have shorter commutes. The passage does not draw any clear links between the amount of money employees make and the commutes they have.

#### Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?

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Choice D is the best answer. Lines 11–13 explain that Mattie “had an eye to see and an ear to hear: [Ethan] could show her things and tell her things, and taste the bliss of feeling that all he imparted left long reverberations and echoes he could wake at will.” In other words, Mattie is open, or receptive, to ideas and experiences. These lines thus serve as the best evidence for the answer to the previous question. Choice A is not the best answer because lines 1–4 only describe Ethan and Mattie’s living situation and indicate that Ethan enjoys walking with her in the evenings. They do not indicate which quality of Mattie’s Ethan values most. These lines thus do not serve as the best evidence for the answer to the previous question. Choice B is not the best answer because lines 5–9 only indicate Ethan’s first impression of Mattie. Mattie comes across as generally friendly and enthusiastic in their first encounter, but it is not these qualities that Ethan values most. These lines thus do not serve as the best evidence for the answer to the previous question. Choice C is not the best answer because lines 9–10 only convey that there was something special about Mattie beyond her friendliness and enthusiasm. They do not indicate what quality of Mattie’s Ethan values most. These lines thus do not serve as the best evidence for the answer to the previous question.

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#### In the context of the passage, the author’s use of the phrase “her light step flying to keep time with his long stride” (line 3) is primarily meant to convey the idea that

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Choice A is the best answer. The author uses the phrase mainly to introduce a topic discussed at length in the second paragraph (lines 14–35)—namely, the growing connection Ethan sees himself forming with Mattie over the course of many evening walks during which they share similar feelings for the wonders of the natural world. In the context of the passage, the phrase evokes an image of two people walking eagerly and in harmony. Choice B is not the best answer because while the phrase literally conveys Mattie’s attempts to keep up with Ethan’s pace, the phrase relates to times of leisure during which Ethan and Mattie walked arm-in-arm (see lines 1–4) rather than times of work. Moreover, the phrase is used primarily in a figurative way to suggest shared enthusiasm (see explanation for choice A). Choice C is not the best answer because while the phrase literally describes Mattie’s attempts to keep up with Ethan’s pace, the context makes clear that Mattie and Ethan are not in competition with each other but rather enjoying times of leisure during which the two walk arm-in-arm (see lines 1–4). The phrase is instead used primarily in a figurative way to suggest shared enthusiasm (see explanation for choice A). Choice D is not the best answer because while the phrase could in isolation be read as conveying some frustration on the part of Mattie, who had to expend extra effort to keep up with Ethan’s pace, the context makes clear that Mattie is not annoyed with Ethan but is instead enjoying times of leisure during which the two walk arm-in-arm (see lines 1–4). The phrase is instead used to suggest shared enthusiasm (see explanation for choice A).

#### The author includes the descriptions of the sunset, the clouds, and the hemlock shadows (lines 30–32) primarily to

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Choice B is the best answer. Lines 29–30 indicate that “there were other sensations, less definable but more exquisite, which drew [Ethan and Mattie] together with a shock of silent joy: the cold red of sunset behind winter hills, the flight of cloud-flocks over slopes of golden stubble, or the intensely blue shadows of hemlocks on sunlit snow.” In the context of the second paragraph (lines 14–35), which focuses on the connection Ethan and Mattie establish through their shared interest in and sensitivity to nature, the descriptions primarily serve to emphasize the acuteness, or intensity, of the characters’ sensations. According to the passage, Ethan and Mattie do not merely appreciate nature or see it as pretty or calm; rather, they experience a powerful “shock of silent joy” when in the presence of natural beauty. Choice A is not the best answer because there is no indication that the descriptions are included primarily to emphasize the peacefulness of the natural world. Some readers may see “the cold red of sunset behind winter hills, the flight of cloud-flocks over slopes of golden stubble, or the intensely blue shadows of hemlocks on sunlit snow” (lines 30–32) as evoking a peaceful, harmonious scene. However, Ethan and Mattie do not merely appreciate nature or see it as pretty or calm; rather, they experience a powerful “shock of silent joy” (line 30) when in the presence of natural beauty. Choice C is not the best answer because there is no evidence in the passage that the descriptions are included primarily to foreshadow Ethan’s and Mattie’s declining fortunes. In fact, there is no evidence in the passage of decline for either character apart from the agitation that Ethan experiences over his relationship with Mattie. Choice D is not the best answer because there is no evidence in the passage that the descriptions are included primarily to offer a sense of time as fleeting. In fact, the speed at which time passes plays no particular role in the passage.

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#### The description in the first paragraph indicates that what Ethan values most about Mattie is her

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Choice C is the best answer. Lines 5–9 mention many of Mattie’s traits: she is friendly (“smiled and waved”), eager (“jumped down with her bundles”), easygoing (“she ain’t a fretter”), and energetic (“like the lighting of a fire on a cold hearth”). However, the trait that appeals most to Ethan, as suggested by it being mentioned last in the paragraph, is her openness to the world around her: “She had an eye to see and an ear to hear: he could show her things and tell her things, and taste the bliss of feeling that all he imparted left long reverberations and echoes he could wake at will” (lines 11–13). Choice A is not the best answer because the passage suggests that Ethan does not actually view Mattie as particularly well suited to farm labor. When first seeing Mattie, Ethan thinks to himself, after “looking over her slight person,” that “she don’t look much on housework” (lines 7–8). Choice B is not the best answer because the passage suggests that Mattie’s youth is not what Ethan values most about Mattie. Although the passage does note that “the coming to his house of a bit of hopeful young life was like the lighting of a fire on a cold hearth” (lines 9–10), the narrator goes on to note that “the girl was more than the bright serviceable creature [Ethan] had thought her” (lines 10–11), indicating that Ethan values something more in Mattie than simply her vivacity. Choice D is not the best answer because although Ethan acknowledges that Mattie “ain’t a fretter” (line 8), there is no evidence that Mattie’s freedom from worry is what Ethan values most about Mattie. The first paragraph lists several positive traits that Mattie has, with the most emphasis being placed on her openness to the world around her (see explanation for choice C).

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