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Why Reading Counts – Cynthia M. Leary

Posted by dadangiskandar on July 4, 2008

Reading Practice

As stated by Cynthia M. Leary, Illiteracy is a serious problem in the United States. Equally important, however, may be the fact that many of us who can read give up books once we leave school. We avoid reading, with excuses that range from:”I don’t have time” to “I don’t know what to read” to “Reading books isn’t useful or practical.”

There are strong counterarguments to all these excuses, and it is vital to make them. The consequences of not reading are grave: our social conscience lies dormant, and we lose our best opportunity to explore our interior. Reading may be a vital acgtivigy in heling us remember what make us truy human.

Anyway, the following is an exercise for Reading Skill – SP1


A stated detail question asks about one piece of information in the passage rather than the passage as whole. The answers to these questions are generally given in order in the passage, and the correct answer is often a restatement of what is given in the passage. This means that the correct answer often expresses the same idea as what is written in the passage but the words are not exactly the same.




The passage :

Flutes have been around for quite some time, in all sorts of shapes and sizes and made from a variety of materials. The oldest known flutes are about 20,000 years old; they were made from hollowed-out bones with holes cut in them. In addition to bone, older flutes were often constructed from bamboo or hollowed-out wood.

Today’s flute are generally made of metal, and in addition to the holes they have a complicated system of keys, levers, and pads. The instrument belonging to well-known flautist James Galway is not just made of any metal, it is made of gold.

The questions:

1. According to the passage, the oldest flutes

(A) had holes cut in them.

(B) were made of metal

(C) were made 200,000 years ago

(D) had a complicated set of levers and pads.

2. The passage indicates that James Galway’s flute is made of

(A) bones.

(B) bamboo

(C) wood

(D) gold

The answers to the questions are generally found in order in the passage, so you should look for the answer to the first question near the beginning of the passage. Since the first question asks about the oldest flutes, you should see that this question is answered in the second sentence. The passage states that the oldest flutes were bones with holes cut in them, so the best answer is answer (A). Answer (B) and (D) are true about today’s flutes, but not the oldest flutes, so they are incorrect. Answer (C) is an incorrect number; the oldest flutes are 20,000 years old, not 200,000 years old.

The answer to the second question will probably be located in the passage after the answer to the first question. Since the second question is about James Galway’s flute, you should skim through the passage to find the part of the passage that discusses this topic. The answer to this question is found in the statement that the instrument belonging to well-known flautist James Galway is not just made of any metal, it is made of gold. The best answer to this question is therefore answer (D).

The following chart outlines the key information that you should remember about stated detail questions.




Ø According to the passage, . . .

Ø It is stated in the passage that . . .

Ø The passage indicates that . . .

Ø The author mentions that . . .

Ø Which of the following is true . . . ?



The answer to these questions are found in order in the passage.



1. Choose a key word in the question..

2. Skim the appropriate in the passage for the key word (or related idea).

3. Read the sentence that contains the key word or idea carefully.

4. Look for answer that restates an idea in the passage.

5. Eliminate the definitely wrong answers and choose the best answer the remaining choices.


PASSAGE ONE (Questions 1-2)



Many parts of the Southwestern United States would become deserts again without the waters of Colorado River. A system of thousands of miles of canals, hundreds of miles of tunnels and aqueducts, and numerous dams and reservoirs bring Colorado River water to the area. The Imperial Valley in Southern California is an example of such a place; it is a vast and productive agricultural area that was once a desert. Today, 2,000 miles of canals irrigate the fertile land and keep it productive.

1. Which of the following is mentioned in the passage as a way that Colorado River water gets to the Southwest?

(A) By truck

(B) In bottles

(C) In wells

(D) Through canals

2. According to the passage, the Imperial Valley

(A) is a desert today

(B) is located in Colorado

(C) produces a lot of agricultural goods

(D) does not require irrigation

PASSAGE TWO (Questions 3-5)



The ancestors of humans had a lot more hair than the humans of today; in fact, they had thick hair all over their bodies. This thick hair was necessary for protection against the cold of the Ice Ages.

As the Earth got warmer, the hair began to thin out, except for on the head. The head hair has remained through the evolutionary process, both as a sort of pillow to cushion the sensitive head when it gets banged around and as a sort of hat to keep the head warm and prevent so much heat from escaping through the scalp.

3. Which of the following is true about the hair of the ancestors of humans?

(A) There was not much of it

(B) It covered their entire bodies.

(C) It was thin

(D) It was not useful

4. According to the passage, what happened as the temperature on the Earth increased?

(A) The hair on the head began to thin out

(B) The hair on the body remained the same.

(C) The hair on the body got thicker

(D) The hair on the body began to thin out

5. The author indicates that one of the purposes of hair on the head is to

(A) fill up pillows

(B) help heat escape through the scalp

(C) ensure that head is warm

(D) Make it easier to think

PASSAGE THREE (Questions 6-10)




The plane with the largest wingspan ever built was nicknamed the Spruce Goose. The wingspan of the Spruce Goose was 320 feet (almost 100 meters), and the plane weighed 2000 tons. It was so big that it needed eight engines to power it.

The plane was designed by Howard Hughes in response to a U.S. government request for a plane that was able to carry a large cargo for the war effort. It was made of wood because wood is a less critical material in wartime than metal.

The plane was so difficult to build that it never really got used. It was flown one time only, by Hughes himself, on November 2, 1947; during that flight it traveled a distance of less than one mile over the Los Angeles Harbor, but it did fly. Today, the Spruce Goose is on exhibit for the public to see in Long Beach, California.

6. Which of the following is true about the Spruce Goose?

(A) Each oh its wings measures 100 meters

(B) It weighs 200 pounds.

(C) It has eight wings to help it to fly

(D) It has wingspan larger than the wingspan of any other plane

7. The passage indicates that the plane was designed

(A) as cargo plane

(B) as a racing plane.

(C) to carry wood

(D) for exhibition

8. According to the passage, the Spruce Goose is constructed from

(A) wood

(B) lightweight metal

(C) plastic

(D) steel

9. According to the passage when the Spruce Goose flew,

(A) it went only a short distance.

(B) it fell into the Los Angeles Harbor

(C) it flew 100 miles.

(D) it carried a large cargo.

10. The passage indicates that the Spruce Goose today

(A) flies regularly for the U.S. government

(B) is in the Los Angeles Harbor

(C) is in storage

(D) can be seen by the public

PASSAGE FOUR (Questions 11-15)




Walt Whitman, born in New York in 1819, was one of America’s unusual literary figures. An individualist, he rambled through the countryside seeing people and places and making them his own. His experiences at earning a living were varied: times in his life he was a printer, a teacher, a carpenter, a nurse, and a newspaper editor. He was a big-hearted man, open and accepting. He gave freely of his time by caring for the wounded during the Civil War. Though he lived in the city he often spent time in the country, developing a strong sense of nature that carried through to his poems. In 1855 he collected many of the verses he had written and published them in one thin volume, Leaves of Grass, a book that he revised and rewrote all the rest of his life. The book was not well received at the time; it was ridiculed by some poets and generally ignored by others, probably because his verse forms were not traditional. Whitman broke from tradition because he felt that it was necessary to achieve a new poetic form in order to communicate his views. His reputation didn’t grow until after his death, and it reached a high point in the 1920s. Since then, Whitman’s style has greatly influenced modern poets.

11. In the phrase, “making them his own,” in line 2-3 Whitman is

(A) owning them

(B) changing them

(C) understanding them

(D) working for them

12. Whitman’s big-heartedness is shown by his

(A) visiting the countryside

(B) being an individualist

(C) caring for the wounded

(D) rewriting Leaves of Grass

13. The passage says that during his lifetime other poets

(A) laughed at him

(B) communicated with him

(C) praised him

(D) accepted him

14. We can assume that Whitman was ignored because he

(A) rewrote his book

(B) rambled through the countryside

(C) published his poems

(D) wrote in a new form

15. The phrase “a high point” in line 14 refers to which of the following?

(A) a critical period

(B) a turning point

(C) a peak

(D) a base

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