E T S Praxis Series

Computerized Pre-Professional Skills Test: Reading (5710)

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Sample Test Questions

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The sample questions that follow illustrate the kinds of questions in the test. They are not, however, representative of the entire scope of the test in either content or difficulty. Answers with explanations are available for these questions. There are additional sample questions in the Pre-Professional Skills Test: Reading (0710) Test at a Glance.

Directions:  Each statement or passage in this test is followed by a question or questions based on its content. After reading a statement or passage, choose the best answer to each question from among the five choices given. Answer all questions following a statement or passage on the basis of what is stated or implied in that statement or passage; you are not expected to have any previous knowledge of the topics treated in the statements and passages.

Directions:  Remember, try to answer every question.

1. On the computer screen you will see the following:

The passage describes filmmaker Marguerite Duras' attitude toward becoming a professional of the cinema: she refused to become involved with the fame, financial matters, and technology associated with film. Thus, the correct answer is the second one. The first and fourth choices can be eliminated because the passage neither criticizes Duras nor indicates that others have failed to appreciate her work. The third and fifth choices can be eliminated because the passage discusses neither the style nor the content of Duras' films.

Questions 2–3

One promising energy source is sophisticated development of the basic windmills that have ground grain, drained land, and pumped water for centuries. Coupled with advanced storage batteries, very large windmills might satisfy total energy needs for rural areas, towns, and even small cities in locales where strong and prevalent winds can be counted on. Wind power has several advantages. First, no new technology is really required. Second, the energy source is inexhaustible and one hundred percent clean. Third, relatively little capital investment is needed to install or operate windmills.

But wind power has major disadvantages, too. Most obviously, it will work only in limited geographical areas. Less obviously, large-scale deployment of huge windmills might have unforeseen atmospheric and environmental effects. And forests of giant windmills might turn into ugly eyesores. Finally, the amount of electricity that could be generated by wind power would simply be insufficient to meet major nationwide energy needs.

However, a network of sea-based windmills, placed on deep-ocean buoys and driven by the same prevailing winds that once powered sailing vessels all over the world, could provide a substantial fraction of the world's electrical energy—especially if the buoy-based windmills could be linked to land by loss-free superconducting power transmission cables.

2. On the computer screen you will see the following:

The first choice can be eliminated because the windmills are described as being placed in deep water; the second choice can be eliminated because there is no indication that the windmills would have to be near ports. The passage directly contradicts the third choice, since "buoys" (see first sentence of third paragraph) are not stationary platforms. The last choice brings up the batteries that were mentioned in the second sentence of the first paragraph. However, such batteries are not specifically related in the passage to sea-based windmills. The passage does specifically mention highly efficient cables as a critical part of the sea-based system. Therefore, the fourth choice is the best answer.

3. On the computer screen you will see the following:

The last choice is the correct answer. "A problematical issue is discussed" summarizes the first two paragraphs, in which both the pros and cons of a complicated situation are examined. They are followed, in the third paragraph, by the suggestion of "a partial solution," which partially remedies some of the problems of using windmills to generate electricity.

4. On the computer screen you will see the following:

The passage focuses on how audiences since the big-band era have responded to jazz. Therefore, the third choice is the correct answer. The first choice is incorrect because the focus of the passage is not on critics' response to jazz but rather on the responses of general audiences to jazz. The second and fourth choices can be eliminated because the passage does not discuss the effects of audiences on performers or the author's personal reminiscences. The last choice is incorrect because the passage does not give an outline of the origins of jazz.

5. On the computer screen you will see the following:

In making the comment about Michelangelo's greatness, the author relies on information Vasari has supplied. If Vasari's claims that Michelangelo worked with great care and was inspired by his work are not correct, the author's claim about Michelangelo may not be valid. It would therefore be useful to know the information represented by the third choice. The first choice may appear at first glance to be relevant, but it is not as good a choice as the third choice, since Vasari might have known Michelangelo quite well but not have supplied accurate information in his biography. The second choice is even less satisfactory since we are concerned only with how Vasari described Michelangelo, not how he described other painters. The fourth choice, while it might confirm statements about Michelangelo's skill, does not help us evaluate the author's claim in the last sentence of the passage. The last choice can be eliminated for similar reasons. The third choice is, therefore, the best answer to this question.

6. On the computer screen you will see the following:

The second choice is clearly supported by the last sentence of the passage. Because the fund-raisers had to insist that Johns Hopkins admit women, it can be inferred that the author believes the admission of women was directly caused by their insistence and would otherwise not have taken place.

Question 7

Recently, increasing attention has been called to the fact that the four freedoms of universities—the freedom to determine who may teach, what will be taught, how it will be taught, and who may study what is taught—are being threatened by the many regulations imposed on universities by the federal government.

Surprisingly, much of this criticism of governmental regulation has come from the universities themselves. After all, universities eagerly accepted the money that was made available for research and scholarships by the National Defense Education Act, which was a governmental response to the launching of Sputnik I in 1957 by the Soviet Union. As its name implies, the National Defense Education Act was concerned with a governmental goal, the national defense. Moreover, the federal government made it clear from the very beginning that it intended to control how such money was spent. Similarly, universities actively supported the Higher Education Act of 1965, which was part of a governmental attempt to end discrimination—a goal that can accurately be described as political.

Clearly, any attempt by the federal government to limit the four freedoms of universities is undesirable. But it is also important to remember that the federal government became involved in university education because it was seeking admirable goals, goals that were also sought by universities.

7. On the computer screen you will see the following:

In the first sentence of the third paragraph, the author expresses the opinion that all attempts by the government to limit the four freedoms of universities are undesirable. Thus, the author would be least likely to agree with the last choice, the best answer, which states that the federal government should limit university freedoms if the goal it plans to achieve by doing so is desirable.

Questions 8–9

Lyndon Johnson's father once told him that he did not belong in politics unless he could walk into a roomful of people and tell immediately who was for him and who was against him. In fact, even the shrewd Johnson had not quite such uncanny power, but his liking for this story tells us something useful about him: he set much store by instinct. No wonder, then, that it would be to his instincts—honed in the Texas hill country, sharpened in a life of politics, confirmed in a long and respected congressional career—that he would often turn while in the White House.

This reliance on instinct enabled Johnson to put on the presidency like a suit of comfortable old clothes. John Kennedy, on the other hand, came to it with a historical, nearly theoretical view of what was required of a strong President—he knew exactly what Woodrow Wilson had said about the office and he had read Corwin and Neustadt. With eager confidence, Kennedy acquired a presidential suit off the rack and put on a little weight to make himself fit it.

8. On the computer screen you will see the following:

The "uncanny" power described in the first sentence is clearly not a power that people ordinarily have. It could, therefore, best be described as "supernatural." The last option is the best answer.

9. On the computer screen you will see the following:

The passage is about the different approaches of Johnson and Kennedy to the presidency. In explaining how each approached the office and how they differed in this respect, the author is necessarily making a comparison. The correct answer is the second option, "making a comparison."

10. On the computer screen you will see the following:

This passage states that Alice Fletcher helped American Indians secure legal title to their land so they would not be forced to abandon it. This idea is expressed in the second choice, "obtain property rights for American Indians," which is, therefore, the correct answer.

11. On the computer screen you will see the following:

The first choice can be eliminated because there are clearly fewer orders for Chinese food than for pizza in both the first and second quarters. The second choice is incorrect because there were more orders for Chinese food than for rotisserie chicken in the second quarter. The fourth choice can be eliminated because pizza was clearly not the most ordered food item in the third and fourth quarters. Also, the last choice is incorrect because the combined pizza orders for the first and second quarters are clearly greater than the combined pizza orders for the third and fourth quarters. The third choice is, therefore, the best answer: results for the fourth quarter show that orders for pizza and for Chinese food were about the same, if not identical.