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Reading Comprehension Practice for GRE


questions 1 to 3 below are based on this passage:
From Ian Buruma's article, "The Freedom to Offend," in which he uses the example of movie star Mel Gibson's 2007 anti-Semitic outbursts to launch a discussion of offensive social terms.

It should be no surprise that anti-Semitism still exists, just as bigotry against blacks, or Muslims, or Sikhs, or Tutsis, or indeed Catholics still goes on. That Jews were the victims of the most systematic genocide ever attempted lends a particularly sinister resonance to anti-Semitism, but as a prejudice it is hardly unique. Mass murder of the Jews, at least in the Western world, is no longer on the agenda, and it is surely not what Gibson had in mind [in his 2007 outburst]. But social prejudice is bad enough. It is at least one sign of progress that anti-Semitism, like racial prejudice against black people, is no longer socially acceptable. We cannot call people 'yids' or 'niggers' without being taken to task for it, and this is a good thing.

1. The passage supports all of the following EXCEPT:
A)Over history, awareness has grown around offensive language.
B) While once limited to racial slurs, recognition of offensive language is now also being applied to religion.
C) Bigotry has not been extinguished, despite it being socially unacceptable.
D) Offensive language does not limit itself to any particular minority groups.
E) People who use certain offensive terms do so today without any consequence.


2. What does the author suggest was the intention behind Gibson's outburst?
A) To initialize another mass murder of Jews.
B) To continue a long history of degrading particular targeted groups.
C) To raise awareness of anti-Semitism and encourage its end.
D) To turn the media and paparazzi against him.
E) To demonstrate that prejudice is not merely confined to particular religions.

3. Which technique or device does the author NOT use in this passage?
A) Broad generalizations.
B) Specific Examples.
C) Rhetorical questions.
D) Ethos.
E) Comparisons and analogy.

questions 4 to 6 below are based on this passage:
From Mark Danner's essay "Iraq: The War of the Imagination," in which he discusses how American perception of the Iraq war has changed over its course.

Thus the War of Imagination draped all the complications and contradictions of the history and politics of a war-torn, brutalized society in an ideologically driven vision of a perfect future. Small wonder that its creators, faced with grim reality, have been so loathe to part with it. Since the first thrilling night of shock and awe, reported with breathless enthusiasm by the American television networks, the Iraq war has had at least two histories, that of the war itself and that of the American perception of it. As the months passed and the number of attacks in Iraq grew, the gap between those two histories opened wider and wider. And finally, for most Americans, the War of Imagination - built of nationalistic excitement and ideological hubris and administration pronouncements about "spreading democracy" and "greetings with sweets and flowers," and then about "dead-enders" and "turning points," and finally about "staying the course" and refusing to "cut and run" -began, under the pressure of nearly three thousand American dead and perhaps a hundred thousand or more dead Iraqis, to give way to grim reality.

4. The author suggests that popular opinion of the Iraq War changed in what way over time?
A) Forceful opposition to manipulated agreement.
B) Useless conflict to necessary action.
C) Supportive to apathetic.
D) Sympathetic to violently opposed.
E) Ideologically supported by public opinion to sheer obligation.

5. Which would the author consider to be an accurate description of the term "The War of Imagination"?
A) A war that exists in a psychological state of fantasy.
B) A war in which the most creative and innovative tactics ensure victory.
C) A war created to fool unsuspecting Americans into support of morally questionable actions.
D) A war which has a foundation of popular intrigue and idealistic motivations.
E) A war between civilians and politicians to determine who is more patriotic.

6. In context, what is the best definition of the phrase "ideological hubris"?
A) Pride in the proposed spreading of the American tenet of democracy.
B) The most esteemed form of government assembly.
C) The assurance that the most creative solution to conflict will be carried out.
D) The proclamation of the American government as superior.
E) A belief in the inherent ability of humans to maintain their values.



  • Reading Comprehension Practice Test 1
  • Reading Comprehension Practice Test 2
  • Reading Comprehension Practice Test 3
  • Reading Comprehension Practice Test 4
  • Reading Comprehension Practice Test 5

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