Test Information Guide

Field 01: Communication and Literacy Skills
Reading Subtest
Sample Multiple-Choice Questions

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Read the passage below; then answer the six questions that follow.

The Special Olympics

1    On July 19, 1968, one thousand athletes with intellectual disabilities gathered in Chicago's Soldier Field to participate in the first Special Olympics Games. That day the games were relatively limited in scope. The United States and Canada were the only two countries represented, and the events were limited to track, aquatics, and floor hockey. Yet the modest number of participants in the first games belied their importance. For the individual athletes, the games were an unforgettable experience that changed their lives forever. Just as importantly, the Chicago games instituted an international movement that continues to inspire people all over the world.

2    The origins of the Special Olympics movement can be traced to the establishment of Camp Shriver in 1962. Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded Camp Shriver as a place where children with intellectual disabilities could participate in physical activities, form lasting friendships, and have fun. Unlike many people at the time, Shriver believed these children were just as capable as others of taking advantage of such experiences. Her work at Camp Shriver prompted her to promote similar programs across the country through grants from the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., Foundation. In 1967, the Chicago Park District applied for one such grant to fund a citywide track meet, hoping it would attract public attention to the city's new sports programs for people with intellectual disabilities. Shriver found the idea intriguing, but before directing the Kennedy Foundation to make a grant, she suggested that the Park District include more athletic events and invite children from all over the country to participate. Thus was born the idea for the first Special Olympics Games.

3    The success of the first games spurred the creation of a larger movement dedicated to promoting the welfare of individuals with intellectual disabilities. In December 1968, Shriver's brother, Senator Edward Kennedy, announced the establishment of an official organization to lead the Special Olympics movement. Its initial goal was to encourage the spread of athletic competitions for people with intellectual disabilities across the nation. The organization's founders believed such events would improve the lives of the participants and empower them to become active members of their communities. They also hoped that the games would change perceptions of the athletes who participated in Special Olympics.

4    There are many ways to measure the success of the Special Olympics movement. One is the rapid expansion of the games since 1968. In 2005, more than 1.7 million individuals with intellectual disabilities from more than 150 countries participated in regional and international competitions. An even more meaningful measure is the personal testimony of the athletes themselves. Many say participation in the games has not only given them the confidence to excel in the workforce, but has also helped them pursue and achieve the goal of living independently.

5    The Special Olympics movement has uplifted the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and broken down negative perceptions held by others. Yet leaders of the movement believe much more can be done. Now led in part by the athletes themselves, the movement hopes to bring the Special Olympics experience to even more of the estimated 170 million with intellectual disabilities living in the world today. The movement's organizers want to offer these athletes an opportunity to feel the pride those first athletes in Chicago felt when they recited the Special Olympics oath: "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."

Objective 0001
Determine the meaning of words and phrases in the context in which they occur.

1. Which of the following words would be the most appropriate synonym for the word belied as it is used in the first paragraph of the passage?

  1. understated
  2. contradicted
  3. challenged
  4. emphasized
Answer
Correct Response: A.

Correct Response: A.


Objective 0002
Understand the main idea and supporting details in written material.

2. Which of the following statements from the passage best expresses the main idea of the passage?

  1. Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded Camp Shriver as a place where children with intellectual disabilities could participate in physical activities, form lasting friendships, and have fun.
  2. In December 1968, Shriver's brother, Senator Edward Kennedy, announced the establishment of an official organization to lead the Special Olympics movement.
  3. In 2005, more than 1.7 million individuals with intellectual disabilities from more than 150 countries participated in regional and international competitions.
  4. The Special Olympics movement has uplifted the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and broken down negative perceptions held by others.
Answer
Correct Response: D.

Correct Response: D.


Objective 0003
Identify a writer's purpose, point of view, and intended meaning.

3. Which of the following statements best expresses the author's point of view in the passage?

  1. The author feels that organizers of the Special Olympics are not doing nearly as much as they could.
  2. The author is disappointed that more countries do not participate in the Special Olympics.
  3. The author has considerable respect for the aims and achievements of the Special Olympics movement.
  4. The author believes the objectives of the Special Olympics movement should be redefined.
Answer
Correct Response: C.

Correct Response: C.


Objective 0004
Analyze the relationships among ideas in written material.

4. Which of the following outlines accurately arranges the three events listed below in the order in which they occurred?

    1. the formation of an official organization to lead the Special Olympics movement
    2. the participation of athletes with intellectual disabilities in the first Special Olympics Games
    3. the establishment of Camp Shriver to help children with intellectual disabilities
    1. the establishment of Camp Shriver to help children with intellectual disabilities
    2. the participation of athletes with intellectual disabilities in the first Special Olympics Games
    3. the formation of an official organization to lead the Special Olympics movement
    1. the participation of athletes with intellectual disabilities in the first Special Olympics Games
    2. the formation of an official organization to lead the Special Olympics movement
    3. the establishment of Camp Shriver to help children with intellectual disabilities
    1. the formation of an official organization to lead the Special Olympics movement
    2. the establishment of Camp Shriver to help children with intellectual disabilities
    3. the participation of athletes with intellectual disabilities in the first Special Olympics Games
Answer
Correct Response: B.

Correct Response: B.


Objective 0005
Use critical reasoning skills to evaluate written material.

5. Which of the following details from the passage best supports the author's assertion that, for the individual athletes, participation in the games has been "an unforgettable experience that changed their lives forever"?

  1. the observations on the consequences of the success of the first games in Paragraph 3
  2. the description of the goals of the Special Olympics' organizers in Paragraph 3
  3. the number of individuals who would participate in later games in Paragraph 4
  4. the discussion of the personal testimony of Special Olympics athletes in Paragraph 4
Answer
Correct Response: D.

Correct Response: D.


Objective 0006
Apply skills for outlining and summarizing written materials and interpreting information presented in graphic form.

6. Which three main topics would best help outline information in this passage?

  1. —from Camp Shriver to Soldier Field
    —contributions of Senator Edward Kennedy
    —number of countries now involved in the Special Olympics Games
  2. —major events in the first Special Olympics Games
    —work of the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., Foundation
    —growth of the Special Olympics Games since 1968
  3. —origins of the Special Olympics movement
    —expansion of the Special Olympics
    —effect of the Special Olympics experience on participants
  4. —the establishment of Camp Shriver
    —aims of the Special Olympics organization
    —number of participants in recent Special Olympics Games
Answer
Correct Response: C.

Correct Response: C.


Read the passage below; then answer the six questions that follow.

Deliberate Practice vs. Inherent Skill

1     Proud mothers and fathers should brace themselves for disappointment. New research suggests that few, if any, children are born with innate talent. In recent years, a group of scholars led by K. Anders Ericsson has been working to answer the age-old question: What makes certain people expert performers in their chosen fields? By studying top performers across a range of disciplines that included everything from surgery to stock picking to dart throwing, the researchers concluded that high achievers are almost always made, not born. This lends support to the saying "practice makes perfect" and suggests that everyone has the potential to be great.

2     Most people who are classified as experts, geniuses, or savants share several common traits. In a wide range of fields, it takes at least ten years of dedicated training to produce world-class performance. This holds true even among those who peak at a young age. Bobby Fischer became a chess grand master at age 16, but he had begun his intensive study of the game almost a decade earlier. Performers in fields such as music and literature may require up to twenty or thirty years of experience before peaking. This is not to say that mere repetition over an extended period of time will make you an expert performer. Most people who succeed at a high level undergo a very specific form of "deliberate practice." To take one example, simply shooting a basketball for an hour a day probably will not result in appreciable improvement. If, however, you were to shoot a basketball while setting concrete goals, observing results, and making necessary adjustments, there is a much greater likelihood that you would improve. In other words, deliberate practice is rigorous, concentrated work that is performed day after day and week after week.

3     One of the most telling studies by Ericsson and his colleagues examined the skill levels of a group of 20-year-old violinists. Those who were the most skilled averaged 10,000 hours of deliberate practice over their lives; the second-best group averaged 7,500 hours and the third group, 5,000. The study showed an almost perfect correlation between skill level and practice hours. Its findings suggest that the central question is not where people get talent, but how they develop the drive to do the arduous work necessary to become high achievers. Needless to say, this is one area in which cultural expectations and family relationships can have a significant impact.

4    Of course, there are also biological factors that might provide a natural advantage. In sports, the right height and build undeniably give certain people an edge. Yet even Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team and only achieved recognition as the greatest player in the world after years of deliberate practice. The evidence shows that the best way to guarantee success is to start early and to focus on a single thing that you love to do. You may not have the perfect physique for a sport or the highest IQ for chess, but if you genuinely enjoy the activity, you will be much more likely to do the work that it takes to succeed. More than who you are, who you know, or where you were born, success is ultimately a result of how hard you practice. This may be disappointing to those still hoping to discover their "natural" gifts, but for the rest of us it should be a call to action.

Objective 0001
Determine the meaning of words and phrases in the context in which they occur.

7. Which of the following words is the most appropriate synonym for the word arduous as it is used in Paragraph 3 of the passage?

  1. assigned
  2. hard
  3. unpleasant
  4. usual
Answer
Correct Response: B.

Correct Response: B.


Objective 0002
Understand the main idea and supporting details in written material.

8. Which of the following statements from Paragraph 3 best expresses the main idea of that paragraph?

  1. One of the most telling studies by Ericsson and his colleagues examined the skill levels of a group of 20-year-old violinists.
  2. Those who were the most skilled averaged 10,000 hours of deliberate practice over their lives; the second- best group averaged 7,500 hours and the third group, 5,000.
  3. Needless to say, this is one area in which cultural expectations and family relationships can have a significant impact.
  4. Its findings suggest that the central question is not where people get talent, but how they develop the drive to do the arduous work necessary to become high achievers.
Answer
Correct Response: D.

Correct Response: D.


Objective 0003
Identify a writer's purpose, point of view, and intended meaning.

9. The author's main purpose in this passage is to:

  1. examine factors that enable individuals to become high achievers.
  2. show that high achievers deserve all the acclaim that they typically receive.
  3. compare the attributes of high achievers in various fields of endeavor.
  4. describe the accomplishments of individuals who have become high achievers
Answer
Correct Response: A.

Correct Response: A.


Objective 0004
Analyze the relationships among ideas in written material.

10. Based on information in the passage, the author would most likely agree with which of the following statements concerning the relationship between inherent talent and deliberate practice?

  1. Inherent skill reduces the need for deliberate practice.
  2. Deliberate practice is necessary to develop inherent skill.
  3. Deliberate practice has no effect on inherent skill.
  4. Inherent skill is a component of deliberate practice.
Answer
Correct Response: B.

Correct Response: B.


Objective 0005
Use critical reasoning skills to evaluate written material.

11. Which of the following assumptions is most important to the author's argument in the passage?

  1. It is easier to attain success in some fields than it is in others.
  2. There are many ways to define success.
  3. People seeking shortcuts to success are unlikely to be successful.
  4. Many people are unable to handle success.
Answer
Correct Response: C.

Correct Response: C.


Objective 0006
Apply skills for outlining and summarizing written materials and interpreting information presented in graphic form.

12. Which of the following lists best outlines the main topics addressed in this passage?

  1. —the average person's potential for greatness
    —how Bobby Fischer became a chess grand master
    —how Michael Jordan became a basketball star
  2. —recent studies of top performers
    —findings of the Ericsson study
    —biological factors and success
  3. —shared characteristics of high achievers
    —studies showing the relationship between skill and practice
    —doing the work necessary to achieve success
  4. —age at which high achievers begin practice
    —number of hours that high achievers practice
    —physical attributes of high achievers
Answer
Correct Response: C.

Correct Response: C.