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Reading Comprehension Practice for GRE 4


Questions 1 to 3 below are based on this passage:
From John Lahr's essay, "Petrified."

In a sense, the term "stagefright" is a misnomer - fright being a shock for which one is unprepared. For professional performers, the unmooring terror hits as they prepare to do the very thing they're trained to do. According to one British medical study, actors' stress levels on opening night are equivalent "to that of a car accident victim." When Sir Laurence Olivier was in his sixties, he considered retiring from the stage because of stagefright. It "is always waiting outside the door," he wrote in Confessions of an Actor. "You either battle or walk away." The Canadian piano virtuoso Glenn Gould, who suffered from disabling stagefright, did walk away, abandoning the public platform for the privacy of the recording studio. "To me the ideal artist-to audience relationship is one to zero," he said.

1. According to the passage, what would be a more appropriate name for stagefright?
A Impromptu shock response
B Calculated panic
C Post-traumatic numbing
D Acute reaction disorder
E Pre-performance anxiety

2. In context, which of the following best describes the use of "unmooring" in the passage?
A Unjustified fear
B Anxiety that has been freed from the body
C Anxiety so great it feels that the performer is without any support
D Fear that feels as though it is weighing the performer
E A sense of anchoring nervousness that keeps the performer motivated

3. Which of the following is NOT a potential result of stagefright as it is described in the passage?
A An actor channels his anxiety into an emotional performance
B A musician fights through nervousness to perform a difficult number
C A dancer fails to go out onto stage due to fear
D A comedian gives up his career because he can no longer think of good material
E A singer permanently quits performing due to intense fear of the audience

Questions 4 to 6 below are based on this passage:
From Richard Singer's opinion article, "What Should a Billionaire Give," discussing philanthropy and moral obligations among the wealthy.

In this light, our obligation to the poor is not just one of providing assistance to strangers but one of compensation for harms that we have caused and are still causing them. It might be argued that we do not owe the poor compensation, because our affluence actually benefits them. Living luxuriously, it is said, provides employment, and so wealth trickles down, helping the poor more effectively than aid does. But the rich in industrialized nations buy virtually nothing that is made by the very poor. During the past 20 years of economic globalization, although expanding trade has helped lift many of the world's poor out of poverty, it has failed to benefit the poorest 10 percent of the world's population. Some of the extremely poor, most of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa, have nothing to sell that rich people want, while others lack the infrastructure to get their goods to market. If they can get their crops to a port, European and U.S. subsidies often mean that they cannot sell them, despite - as for example in the case of West African cotton growers who compete with vastly larger and richer U.S. cotton producers - having a lower production cost than the subsidized producers in the rich nations.

4. According to the passage, all of the following are reasons why poor populations have been unable to expand their economies EXCEPT:
A Lack of interest from industrialized nations.
B Having lower production costs than rich nations.
C Prohibition by subsidies of the import countries.
D Difficulty getting crops and goods to port.
E Lack of appropriate infrastructure to get goods to market.

5.
A Government aid is more crucial than philanthropy for low-income families as the money is dispersed amongst them.
B Monetary value multiplies as it is passed from the wealthy to the poor.
C Donations from the wealthy must be given out in small increments so as to not overstimulate spending habits among the poor.
D Wealthy people effectively stimulate the economy with their spending, which in turn creates jobs for the poor.
E Economic stimulation will initially produce a rush of new wealth, and then slow dramatically.

6. What can you infer about the author's overall opinion about wealth and what must be done to change the global economy?
A The wealthy have a social obligation to contribute to philanthropic causes.
B The poorest 10 percent of the world's economies must reevaluate their infrastructures and update their technologies to be competitive in the global market.
C It is not the responsibility of the wealthy to aid the poor, but rather the government's.
D If poor were to sell more relevant items to the wealthy, their economies could recover.
E If the wealthy do not aid the poor, they will be perceived as morally reprehensible by society.



  • 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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