Reading Comprehension Practice for GRE

questions 1 to 3 below are based on this passage:
From Louis Menand's essay," Name that Tone.
There is a new cell-phone ring tone that can't be heard by most people over the age of twenty, according to an NPR report. The tone is derived from something called the Mosquito, a device invented by a Welsh security firm for the noble purpose of driving hooligans, yobs, scamps, ne'er-do-wells, scapegraces, ruffians, tosspots, and bravos away from places where grownups are attempting to ply an honest trade. The device emits a seventeen-kilohertz buzz, a pitch that is too high for older ears to register but, as we learn from additional reporting by the Times, is "ear-splitting" for younger people. A person or persons unknown have produced a copy of the Mosquito buzz for use as a cell-phone ring tone, evidently with the idea that it will enable students to receive notification of new text messages while sitting in class, without the knowledge of the teacher.

The Times, in a welcome but highly uncharacteristic embrace of anarchy, celebrated this development as an ingenious guerrilla tactic in youth's eternal war against adult authority-"a bit of techno-jujitsu," as the paper put it. But it's not entirely clear which side is the winner here. When you hear the tone, it apparently sets your teeth on edge, which means that, if the entire class suddenly grimaces, it's a good bet that one of the students just got a text message. (Which probably says "sup." Youth, as George Bernard Shaw correctly observed, is wasted on the young.) Anyway, what was wrong with "vibrate only"?

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to:
A Criticize the obsession of today's youth with technology.
B Encourage media outlets to support this new cell phone ring tone.
C Describe the technical specs of this new ring tone.
D Encourage further rebellion amongst today's youth.
E Introduce a new ilk of technology and initiate a discussion of its true efficacy.

2. Why is it important to note the "highly uncharacteristic embrace of anarchy" by the Times?
A The deviation from the norm of the publication calls even more attention to the new technology by piquing readers' attention.
B Such a prevalent publication's encouragement of anarachy could be perceived by the government as a serious threat.
C It suggests that it is being used ironically by the Times to actually express disapproval.
D It is likely an advertizing ploy by the maker of the ring tone to gain sales.
E Older adults need to be worried about the increasingly aggressive tactics of youth.

3. What is the author trying to convey by describing young people as "hooligans, yobs, scamps, ne'er-do-wells, scapegraces, ruffians, tosspots, and bravos"?
A The opinion that, whatever name you call them by, young people will continue to disturb business transactions.
B An insulting tone implying the ignorance of youth.
C That all young people can be generalized into one of these descriptive groups.
D A sense of criticism on the part of older adults who feel patronizing toward young people.
E Support for embracing jargon when communicating between people of different generations.

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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