SSAT Practice Test (Middle Level: Reading)

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The Trojan War, according to the passage, is rooted in:

Correct! Wrong!

Correct answer: vanity and pride

Trojan War is rooted in vanity and pride.

Which title best captures the essence of the passage's ideas?

Correct! Wrong!

Correct answer: “Recognizing Colors”

The main idea, the topic of this passage, is looking closely at colors in order to truly recognize them. The farmer is the vehicle for making the point, and the sky and hills are used as illustrations.

The basic goal of the speaker is to

Correct! Wrong!

Correct answer: advocate for better arts education

C Remember to answer the question (why is the speaker sharing this information?) and not choose an answer about what the speaker is saying. The final three paragraphs explain the purpose of the author's speech—theatre has an influence on society and can educate its citizens, ultimately for the better. If there were more theatres, more lives could be reached, educated, and improved as a result.

What does the underlined word "natty" mean based on how it is used in the passage?

Correct! Wrong!

Correct answer: Dapper

The passage uses the word "natty" to describe the new boy's clothing, along with other adjectives like "well-dressed," "dainty," "new," and "citified." We are also told that the new boy "even wore a necktie, a bright bit of ribbon," and his clothing is called "his finery." Based on this description, we can guess that "natty" means something like "fancy," and that is correct: "natty" means dapper or well-dressed.

The passage's underlined section is most likely intended to _______.

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Correct answer: help the reader empathize with Tom and his experience

The underlined part of the passage occurs when the passage is discussing the particular kind of whistling Tom is learning to do: ”It consisted in a peculiar bird-like turn, a sort of liquid warble, produced by touching the tongue to the roof of the mouth at short intervals in the midst of the music—the reader probably: remembers how to do it, if he has ever been a boy. "The underlined part of the sentence assumes that the reader has likely learned how to whistle in this exact same way when ”he" was "a boy. "So, by pointing out an experience that the reader likely shares with Tom, the underlined part of the sentence is encouraging the reader to empathize with Tom, or understand his feelings.

Which of the following does the passage's first paragraph's last sentence appear to suggest?

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Correct answer: Tom is likely happier than an astronomer who has discovered a new planet.

The last line of the passages first paragraph is, "He felt much as an astronomer feels who has discovered a new planet—no doubt, as far as strong, deep, unalloyed pleasure is concerned, the advantage was with the boy, not the astronomer.“ Let's analyze this line in detail. The first part of the line, ”He felt much as an astronomer feels who has discovered a new planet,” tells us that Tom feels as happy as an astronomer who has discovered a new planet. The rest of the line develops this comparison further, by telling us that ”as far as strong, deep, unalloyed pleasure is concerned, the advantage was with the boy, not the astronomer." In other words, this latter part of the line is saying that Tom was not only as happy as the hypothetical astronomer, but likely actually happier, as he has ”the advantage“ ”as far as strong, deep, unalloyed pleasure is concerned." So, the correct answer is “Tom is likely happier than an astronomer who has discovered a new planet."

What is the most reasonable conclusion you can draw about the author?

Correct! Wrong!

Correct answer: He is an avid bird watcher.

You can reasonably infer that the author is “an avid bird watcher.” This is because he seems familiar with the specific type of eagles that he has observed, and also because he is out and about wandering around frequently enough to observe and carefully track two eagles. He also seems to know, from experience, that eagles are the rarest of all birds. There is nothing to suggest he is “not religious,” or is writing for the first time. Its possible he is “a natural woodsman,” but requires a great deal more inference than the correct answer. The idea that he has a “fear of riflemen” is not supported by the text.

Which of the following could be the point of view of the passage?

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Correct answer: a devoted patron of the arts

A The speaker is not a stage manager or a producer. The speaker is also not being aloof or offering a critique of the play. Rather, the speaker is a strong supporter of the arts and feels strongly about what theatre can offer to citizens and their community.

The sky is normally _________ at the zenith.

Correct! Wrong!

Correct answer: violet-blue.

The last sentence of the first paragraph gives you this detail.

The major goal of the author is to:

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Correct answer: summarize the events most believed to have led to the Trojan War

The author’s primary purpose is to summarize the events most believed to have led to the Trojan War.

What can we infer about Tom's situation immediately before this passage begins?

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Correct answer: Something bad but ambiguous

The passage begins with the lines, "Within two minutes, or even less, he had forgotten all his troubles. Not because his troubles were one whit less heavy and bitter to him than a man's are to a man, but because a new and powerful interest bore them down and drove them out of his mind for the time—just as men's misfortunes are forgotten in the excitement of new enterprises." Based on this introduction, we can infer that something bad just happened to Tom, because it left him with "troubles," even though he forgot about those troubles within two minutes. The passage doesn't tell us exactly what caused Tom to have troubles, just merely that he did. So, the best answer choice is "Something bad but ambiguous."

What conclusions can you draw from the author's quotations around the word "elected"?

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Correct answer: That he does not really believe the position of Holy Roman Emperor was truly an elected position

When authors use quotation marks in text without actually describing something that someone has directly said, it is usually done to suggest that what the author is mocking or expressing his disbelief in something. So, when the author says, “The Hapsburgs were so successful that they were able to maintain their 'elected' position for almost four centuries," he really means that the position was clearly not an elected position.

Which of the following might be substituted for "furnishes" in line 17 without affecting the speaker's meaning?

Correct! Wrong!

Correct answer: provides

A Read the sentence and substitute your own word into the sentence. For example, this theatre "shares" or "offers" pure and clean plays. Choice (A), provides, is closest in meaning to "shares" or "offers."

According to the author,

Correct! Wrong!

Correct answer: perceived color varies.

You should be able to infer this answer from the passage. If not, you can choose the correct answer by eliminating all the other choices as being ridiculous.

Eris, the Goddess of Discord, is best described as the following:

Correct! Wrong!

Correct answer: clever

Eris, the Goddess of Discord, can best be described as clever.

The underlined term "the knack of it" almost certainly means in context __________.

Correct! Wrong!

Correct answer: the skill to do it

The phrase "the knack of it" appears in the following sentence in the passage's first paragraph, which discus's Tom's experience learning to whistle: "Diligence and attention soon gave him the knack of it, and he strode down the street with his mouth full of harmony and his soul full of gratitude." We can tell that Tom successfully learned to whistle because the next sentence compares his happiness to that of an astronomer who has just discovered a new planet. 80, based on the context in which the phrase is used in the passage, the correct answer is "the skill to do it."

When the author awakened early in the morning, why couldn't he see his shadow?

Correct! Wrong!

Correct answer: Because the sun had not yet risen.

Answering this question requires you to make a prediction, or inference, based on the passage. In the last line, the boy describes how he awoke early and discovered that his shadow was not yet awake. We know that shadows form from light hitting an object and not being able to pass through; therefore, if there is no shadow, there is likely no source of direct light. As it is very early in the morning, the most logical reason for the absence of light is that the sun had not yet risen.

In the fifth paragraph, the speaker says, "If we had forty theatres of this kind in this city of four millions."

I. the valuable role theater serves in society
II. building new theaters would guarantee residents of the city would attend productions
III. theater can enrich the education and morals of its attendees
IV. all wealthy patrons should invest in theater construction

Correct! Wrong!

Correct answer: I and III only

E The speaker uses the phrase in the fifth paragraph to show the reach that more theatres could have on a community—"how they would educate and elevate!" He isn't trying to dictate what individuals should do with their money or guarantee attendance numbers at productions. He is indicating the valuable impact the theatre can have on the city because, as a means of education, theatre can better the lives as well as the actions and beliefs of those who attend shows.

In the first paragraph, the word zenith most likely refers to

Correct! Wrong!

Correct answer: a point directly overhead.

Reread the first paragraph carefully if you got this wrong. The phrase “moves up toward the zenith” should lead you to the correct answer.

The Trojan War, according to the passage, had all of the following EXCEPT:

Correct! Wrong!

Correct answer: prisoners of war

According to the passage, the Trojan War had all of the following EXCEPT the prisoners of war.

Which of the following statements best describes Tom's feelings toward the new boy?

Correct! Wrong!

Correct answer: Tom is annoyed by the new boy.

After the passage's second paragraph describes the new boy and his fancy clothes, it says that the new boy "had a citified air about him that ate into Tom's vitals." From this statement, we can assume that Tom is annoyed by the new boy, because when something ""eats at"" you, it bothers you or annoys you.

In this passage, the author contrasts which of the following?

Correct! Wrong!

Correct answer: The beliefs of historical scientists and the beliefs of scientists of the author’s time

Nowhere in the passage is the feeding of hummingbirds by humans mentioned, so “The results of feeding a hummingbird insects and the results of feeding a hummingbird flower nectar” cannot be correct. While a hummingbird with a long tail, the Polytmus, is mentioned, it is not contrasted with any short-tailed hummingbirds. The author appears to agree with Mr. Gosse’s opinion about what hummingbirds eat, so “The author’s opinion about what hummingbirds eat and Mr. Gosse’s opinion about what hummingbirds eat” cannot be correct either. This leaves us with “Hummingbirds that eat flower nectar and hummingbirds that eat insects” and “the beliefs of historical scientists and the beliefs of scientists of the author’s time.” While the passage is concerned with what hummingbirds eat, it doesn’t suggest that some types of hummingbirds eat only nectar and others eat only insects. Hummingbirds are considered as an entire group; they’re never divided into “hummingbirds that eat insects” and “hummingbirds that eat flower nectar.” This leaves us with one answer choice, the correct one: “The beliefs of historical scientists and the beliefs of scientists of the author’s time.” These beliefs are contrasted in the paragraph’s second sentence: “All the early writers down to Buffon believed that they lived solely on the nectar of flowers, but since that time, every close observer of their habits maintains that they feed largely, and in some cases wholly, on insects.”

The first three paragraphs have a primarily tone

Correct! Wrong!

Correct answer: nostalgic

B In the first three paragraphs, the speaker speaks fondly about his experience as an actor in this same play many years ago and how touched he is by the production he just witnessed.

Which title is the best fit for this selection?

Correct! Wrong!

Correct answer: “Early Polynesian Navigation”

You should have no trouble finding the main idea of this passage

The passage's major point is to:

Correct! Wrong!

Correct answer: acknowledge the popularity of local news in small town newspapers

The main idea of the passage is to acknowledge the popularity of local news in small town newspapers

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