HESI A2 Reading Comprehension Practice Test

Below is our free HESI A2 Reading Comprehension practice test. It features HESI Reading Comprehension practice questions that are designed to be very similar to those found on the actual exam. Make sure you read each passage very carefully before answering the questions. After choosing your answer, the correct answer is provided along with a detailed explanation. Just click on the arrow in the lower right corner in order to move on to the next question.

Congratulations - you have completed . You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%. Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%
Your answers are highlighted below.
Question 1
Questions 1-4 are based on this passage.

Food away from home (FAFH) has been associated with poor diet quality in many studies. It is difficult, however, to measure the effect of FAFH on diet quality since many unobserved factors, such as food preferences and time constraints, influence not just our choice of where to eat, but also the nutritional quality of what we eat. Using data from 1994-96 and 2003-04, this study applies fixed-effects estimation to control for such unobservable influences and finds that, for the average adult, FAFH increases daily caloric intake and reduces diet quality. The effects vary depending on which meals are consumed away from home. On average, breakfast away from home decreases the number of servings of whole grains and dairy consumed per 1,000 calories and increases the percent of calories from saturated and solid fat, alcohol, and added sugar (So FAAS) in a day. Dinner away from home reduces the number of servings of vegetables consumed per 1,000 calories for the average adult. Breakfast and lunch away from home increase calories from saturated fat and So FAAS on average more among dieters than among non-dieters. Some of the overall negative dietary effects decreased between 1994-96 and 2003-04, including those on whole grain, sodium, and vegetable consumption.
 
Which meal(s) eaten away from home have worse results for dieters than for non-dieters?

A
The article doesn't state which meal is the worse for non-dieters.
B
Dinner eaten away from home is worse because people consume fewer whole grains and vegetables.
C
Breakfast eaten away from home is worse because it increases the percent of calories from saturated and solid fat, alcohol, and added sugar (So FAAS) in a day.
D
Breakfast and lunch eaten away from home are worse because they increase the percent of calories from saturated fats.
Question 1 Explanation: 
The paragraph states that breakfast and lunch away from home increase calories from saturated fat more among dieters than for non-dieters.
Question 2
Questions 1-4 are based on this passage.

Food away from home (FAFH) has been associated with poor diet quality in many studies. It is difficult, however, to measure the effect of FAFH on diet quality since many unobserved factors, such as food preferences and time constraints, influence not just our choice of where to eat, but also the nutritional quality of what we eat. Using data from 1994-96 and 2003-04, this study applies fixed-effects estimation to control for such unobservable influences and finds that, for the average adult, FAFH increases daily caloric intake and reduces diet quality. The effects vary depending on which meals are consumed away from home. On average, breakfast away from home decreases the number of servings of whole grains and dairy consumed per 1,000 calories and increases the percent of calories from saturated and solid fat, alcohol, and added sugar (So FAAS) in a day. Dinner away from home reduces the number of servings of vegetables consumed per 1,000 calories for the average adult. Breakfast and lunch away from home increase calories from saturated fat and So FAAS on average more among dieters than among non-dieters. Some of the overall negative dietary effects decreased between 1994-96 and 2003-04, including those on whole grain, sodium, and vegetable consumption.
 
Why is it difficult to measure the effect of food away from home on diet quality?

A
People eat out too much, so it is not possible to collect accurate data.
B
Researchers are unable to assess the nutritional quality of people's diets.
C
Peoples' food preferences are too complex and may even be unmeasurable.
D
Too many unknown variables affect the data.
Question 2 Explanation: 
To answer the question look for clues in the second sentence in addition to the word "why." The answer lies in "many unobserved factors" and the more specific "such as food preferences and time constraints." The correct answer is supported by the following: "many unobserved factors, such as food preferences and time constraints, influence not just our choice of where to eat but also the nutritional quality of what we eat."
Question 3
Questions 1-4 are based on this passage.

Food away from home (FAFH) has been associated with poor diet quality in many studies. It is difficult, however, to measure the effect of FAFH on diet quality since many unobserved factors, such as food preferences and time constraints, influence not just our choice of where to eat, but also the nutritional quality of what we eat. Using data from 1994-96 and 2003-04, this study applies fixed-effects estimation to control for such unobservable influences and finds that, for the average adult, FAFH increases daily caloric intake and reduces diet quality. The effects vary depending on which meals are consumed away from home. On average, breakfast away from home decreases the number of servings of whole grains and dairy consumed per 1,000 calories and increases the percent of calories from saturated and solid fat, alcohol, and added sugar (So FAAS) in a day. Dinner away from home reduces the number of servings of vegetables consumed per 1,000 calories for the average adult. Breakfast and lunch away from home increase calories from saturated fat and So FAAS on average more among dieters than among non-dieters. Some of the overall negative dietary effects decreased between 1994-96 and 2003-04, including those on whole grain, sodium, and vegetable consumption.
 
Which statement is not a detail from the passage?

A
Eating breakfast away from home can result in an increase in fatty protein consumption.
B
Eating food away from home is connected to bad food choices.
C
In general, people who eat breakfast away from home consume more calories.
D
Eating dinner away from home results in less vegetable consumption.
Question 3 Explanation: 
For this question, eliminate answer choices that ARE explicitly stated in the passage. The correct choice will be entirely out of scope. The passage does not mention an increase in fatty protein consumption anywhere and is therefore the answer.
Question 4
Questions 1-4 are based on this passage.

Food away from home (FAFH) has been associated with poor diet quality in many studies. It is difficult, however, to measure the effect of FAFH on diet quality since many unobserved factors, such as food preferences and time constraints, influence not just our choice of where to eat, but also the nutritional quality of what we eat. Using data from 1994-96 and 2003-04, this study applies fixed-effects estimation to control for such unobservable influences and finds that, for the average adult, FAFH increases daily caloric intake and reduces diet quality. The effects vary depending on which meals are consumed away from home. On average, breakfast away from home decreases the number of servings of whole grains and dairy consumed per 1,000 calories and increases the percent of calories from saturated and solid fat, alcohol, and added sugar (So FAAS) in a day. Dinner away from home reduces the number of servings of vegetables consumed per 1,000 calories for the average adult. Breakfast and lunch away from home increase calories from saturated fat and So FAAS on average more among dieters than among non-dieters. Some of the overall negative dietary effects decreased between 1994-96 and 2003-04, including those on whole grain, sodium, and vegetable consumption.
 
What is the meaning of the word “associated” in the first paragraph?

A
specialized
B
predated
C
connected
D
obfuscated
Question 4 Explanation: 
In saying the two things are “associated,” the author intends to describe two ideas that are linked or intrinsically connected.
Question 5
Questions 5-7 are based on this passage.

A nanometer is a billionth of a meter. A DNA molecule is 2 nanometers in diameter. Protein molecules are about 10 nanometers in diameter. A human hair is 100,000 nanometers in diameter. But what is a nanometer and how does it relate to technology? Nanotechnology is defined as the understanding and control of matter at dimensions of roughly 1 to 100 nanometers, a scale at which unique properties of materials emerge that can be used to develop novel technologies and products. At the nanoscale, the physical, chemical, and biological properties of materials differ from the properties of matter either at smaller scales, such as atoms, or at larger scales that we use in everyday life such as millimeters or inches. Nanotechnology involves imaging, measuring, modeling, and manipulating matter only a few nanometers in size. Gold nanoparticles are made of the same material as in jewelry. But when light interacts with particles of gold, different colors are reflected. The different colors can be used in simple medical tests to indicate infection or disease. Metals such as copper become extremely rigid at the nanoscale, rather than bendable as in copper wires seen in everyday use.
 
What is the major difference between matter at the nanoscale and matter at larger scales such as millimeters or inches?

A
At the nanoscale, metals are bendable, and at larger scales they are rigid.
B
Matter has different and special characteristics at the nanoscale.
C
At the nanoscale, matter has the same properties as matter at the atomic level.
D
There is no difference.
Question 5 Explanation: 
Nanotechnology is the science of studying very small pieces of matter. A nanometer is bigger than an atom, but smaller than a millimeter. The author explains that matter at the nanoscale and matter at larger scales both have different and special characteristics: "At the nanoscale, the physical, chemical, and biological properties of materials differ from the properties of matter either at smaller scales, such as atoms, or at larger scales that we use in everyday life such as millimeters or inches."
Question 6
Questions 5-7 are based on this passage.

A nanometer is a billionth of a meter. A DNA molecule is 2 nanometers in diameter. Protein molecules are about 10 nanometers in diameter. A human hair is 100,000 nanometers in diameter. But what is a nanometer and how does it relate to technology? Nanotechnology is defined as the understanding and control of matter at dimensions of roughly 1 to 100 nanometers, a scale at which unique properties of materials emerge that can be used to develop novel technologies and products. At the nanoscale, the physical, chemical, and biological properties of materials differ from the properties of matter either at smaller scales, such as atoms, or at larger scales that we use in everyday life such as millimeters or inches. Nanotechnology involves imaging, measuring, modeling, and manipulating matter only a few nanometers in size. Gold nanoparticles are made of the same material as in jewelry. But when light interacts with particles of gold, different colors are reflected. The different colors can be used in simple medical tests to indicate infection or disease. Metals such as copper become extremely rigid at the nanoscale, rather than bendable as in copper wires seen in everyday use.
 
Which claim from the passage best describes the benefits of nanotechnology?

A
Scientists can develop novel technologies and products.
B
Nanotechnology is defined as the understanding and control of matter at dimensions of roughly 1 to 100 nanometers.
C
The different colors can be used in simple medical tests to indicate infection or disease.
D
Unique properties of materials emerge.
Question 6 Explanation: 
Nanotechnology is the science of studying very small particles of matter. The author states that it is a new field that may help scientists develop new technologies and products that will be helpful in industry and medicine as a result of the different ways that matter behaves at the nanoscale.
Question 7
Questions 5-7 are based on this passage.

A nanometer is a billionth of a meter. A DNA molecule is 2 nanometers in diameter. Protein molecules are about 10 nanometers in diameter. A human hair is 100,000 nanometers in diameter. But what is a nanometer and how does it relate to technology? Nanotechnology is defined as the understanding and control of matter at dimensions of roughly 1 to 100 nanometers, a scale at which unique properties of materials emerge that can be used to develop novel technologies and products. At the nanoscale, the physical, chemical, and biological properties of materials differ from the properties of matter either at smaller scales, such as atoms, or at larger scales that we use in everyday life such as millimeters or inches. Nanotechnology involves imaging, measuring, modeling, and manipulating matter only a few nanometers in size. Gold nanoparticles are made of the same material as in jewelry. But when light interacts with particles of gold, different colors are reflected. The different colors can be used in simple medical tests to indicate infection or disease. Metals such as copper become extremely rigid at the nanoscale, rather than bendable as in copper wires seen in everyday use.
 
What is the author’s primary purpose in writing this essay?

A
to explain how to utilize the nanoscale
B
to review the conversion between the nanoscale and nanotechnology
C
to advocate for the usage of more nanotechnology
D
to describe nanotechnology and what it is
Question 7 Explanation: 
The overall tone of the passage is informational and fairly dry. The topic is nanotechnology and the paragraph explains in some detail what it is and what its value is.
Question 8
Questions 8-9 are based on this passage.

Researchers have developed a recording device that essentially melts into place, snugly fitting to the brain's surface. This new technology allows for closer interaction between machines and living tissue, paving the way for more advanced implantable devices. Currently, the simplest devices for recording from the brain are needle-like electrodes that can penetrate into brain tissue. More state-of-the-art devices, called micro-electrode arrays, consist of dozens of semi-flexible wire electrodes. These are usually fixed to rigid silicon grids that don't conform to the brain's shape. An ideal recording device would conform to complex curved surfaces while placing minimal stress on the tissue. The scientists chose silk as their base material because it is flexible and durable enough to withstand manipulation. The team reported that they were able to create ultrathin flexible implants that hug the brain like shrink wrap, collapsing into its grooves and stretching over its rounded surfaces. The silk base dissolves once it makes contact with the brain, allowing the array to end up tightly hugging the brain. They found that the ultrathin arrays they created can record brain activity more faithfully than thicker implants embedded with similar electronics.
 
Which sentence best summarizes the benefits of the new silk technology?

A
The new technology allows for closer interaction between machines and living tissue, paving the way for more advanced implantable devices.
B
These implants have the potential to maximize the contact between electrodes and brain tissue, while minimizing damage to the brain.
C
They could provide a platform for a range of devices with applications in epilepsy, spinal cord injuries, and other neurological disorders.
D
The arrays could potentially read the complex signals in the brain that direct movement, and then route those signals to healthy muscles or prosthetic devices.
Question 8 Explanation: 
The statement from the beginning of the passage encompasses all of the benefits of the new silk technology and is consequently the best answer. The other three choices are all strong supporting ideas showing how the technology will work.
Question 9
Questions 8-9 are based on this passage.

Researchers have developed a recording device that essentially melts into place, snugly fitting to the brain's surface. This new technology allows for closer interaction between machines and living tissue, paving the way for more advanced implantable devices. Currently, the simplest devices for recording from the brain are needle-like electrodes that can penetrate into brain tissue. More state-of-the-art devices, called micro-electrode arrays, consist of dozens of semi-flexible wire electrodes. These are usually fixed to rigid silicon grids that don't conform to the brain's shape. An ideal recording device would conform to complex curved surfaces while placing minimal stress on the tissue. The scientists chose silk as their base material because it is flexible and durable enough to withstand manipulation. The team reported that they were able to create ultrathin flexible implants that hug the brain like shrink wrap, collapsing into its grooves and stretching over its rounded surfaces. The silk base dissolves once it makes contact with the brain, allowing the array to end up tightly hugging the brain. They found that the ultrathin arrays they created can record brain activity more faithfully than thicker implants embedded with similar electronics.
 
Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of the silk brain recording device?

A
Durability
B
Flexibility
C
Different rates of dissolution
D
Needle-like electrodes
Question 9 Explanation: 
This answer is not one of the characteristics of the silk technology. It is a characteristic of an older, simpler brain recording device: "Currently, the simplest devices for recording from the brain are needle-like electrodes that can penetrate into brain tissue."
Question 10
Questions 10-12 are based on this passage.

Neurologists and biological psychologists have witnessed a sharp increase in the knowledge and understanding of particular structures of the brain over the past two decades. As technology becomes ever more advanced, scientists are able to isolate the functions of even small regions of the human brain. One noteworthy discovery is the role of the amygdala in human fear and aggression. The amygdala, a small, almond-shaped conglomerate, is just one part of the limbic system. Located at the very center of the brain, the limbic system is the core of our 'emotional brain;' each individual structure in the limbic system is somehow connected to an aspect of human emotion. Scientists have found that electrode stimulation of the amygdala can elicit extreme and aggressive acts. Patients or experimental subjects who experience this utter rage and fearlessness have no rational foundation for their reaction. In other words, this aggression is wholly attributable to electrode stimulation. On the other hand, patients with trauma or damage to this structure exhibit a complete absence of aggression. Researchers find that no amount of poking, prodding or harassment will evoke even remotely aggressive responses from these subjects.
 
The author suggests that persistent passivity and imperturbability may be a direct result of which of the following?

A
Drug-induced stimulation of the amygdala.
B
A stroke that resulted in severe tissue damage in the limbic system.
C
Encephalitis as a result of head trauma.
D
Activation of a strategically implanted electrode in a patient’s amygdala.
Question 10 Explanation: 
The author states that "patients with trauma or damage to this structure [the amygdala] exhibit a complete absence of aggression." Earlier in the passage the author indicates that the amygdala is located centrally in the brain's limbic system, which is responsible for emotional regulation.
Question 11
Questions 10-12 are based on this passage.

Neurologists and biological psychologists have witnessed a sharp increase in the knowledge and understanding of particular structures of the brain over the past two decades. As technology becomes ever more advanced, scientists are able to isolate the functions of even small regions of the human brain. One noteworthy discovery is the role of the amygdala in human fear and aggression. The amygdala, a small, almond-shaped conglomerate, is just one part of the limbic system. Located at the very center of the brain, the limbic system is the core of our 'emotional brain;' each individual structure in the limbic system is somehow connected to an aspect of human emotion. Scientists have found that electrode stimulation of the amygdala can elicit extreme and aggressive acts. Patients or experimental subjects who experience this utter rage and fearlessness have no rational foundation for their reaction. In other words, this aggression is wholly attributable to electrode stimulation. On the other hand, patients with trauma or damage to this structure exhibit a complete absence of aggression. Researchers find that no amount of poking, prodding or harassment will evoke even remotely aggressive responses from these subjects.
 
Which statement is not listed as a detail within the passage?

A
Electrode stimulation of the amygdala can elicit extreme aggressive acts.
B
Scientists are able to isolate the functions of even small regions of the human brain.
C
Typically temperamental rhesus monkeys with amygdala damage are completely imperturbable.
D
Subjects who experience this utter rage and fearlessness have no rational foundation for their reaction.
Question 11 Explanation: 
The other statements are directly lifted from the passage. This answer is not part of the passage.
Question 12
Questions 10-12 are based on this passage.

Neurologists and biological psychologists have witnessed a sharp increase in the knowledge and understanding of particular structures of the brain over the past two decades. As technology becomes ever more advanced, scientists are able to isolate the functions of even small regions of the human brain. One noteworthy discovery is the role of the amygdala in human fear and aggression. The amygdala, a small, almond-shaped conglomerate, is just one part of the limbic system. Located at the very center of the brain, the limbic system is the core of our 'emotional brain;' each individual structure in the limbic system is somehow connected to an aspect of human emotion. Scientists have found that electrode stimulation of the amygdala can elicit extreme and aggressive acts. Patients or experimental subjects who experience this utter rage and fearlessness have no rational foundation for their reaction. In other words, this aggression is wholly attributable to electrode stimulation. On the other hand, patients with trauma or damage to this structure exhibit a complete absence of aggression. Researchers find that no amount of poking, prodding or harassment will evoke even remotely aggressive responses from these subjects.
 
What is the main idea of the passage?

A
The human brain is as complex as it is mysterious.
B
Patients with damaged amygdalas are less aggressive than individuals with healthy ones.
C
Electrode stimulation is a valuable tool for researchers who study the human brain.
D
Scientists have learned a lot about how the amygdala affects human emotion.
Question 12 Explanation: 
The passage is focused on the amygdala and how scientists have studied its relationship with emotions such as fear and aggression. The other answer choices are too specific or too broad. The correct main idea will always match the scope of the passage.
Question 13
Questions 13-15 are based on this passage.

The ability to see at a distance, in good light, does not diminish as a result of aging to the extent that other visual acuities do. Myopia, or nearsightedness, is more common to younger eyes, while presbyopia, or farsightedness, more commonly afflicts people as they age. The word presbyopia comes from Greek presbys, "old man," and opia, "eye," and names a condition in which, because the lens of the eye hardens slightly and loses elasticity as a person ages, one cannot as easily focus sharply on nearby objects. This condition leads to the familiar habit of lifting up one's glasses and bringing an object or reading material close to the face so that the eyes can more easily focus on it. The function of the lens is to accommodate different focal points so that sensory data can be correctly directed to the retina for interpretation into images by the brain. Corrective lenses, particularly bifocals or progressive lenses, adjust for the focal point aberration. In essence, they do the work that the eye can no longer do for itself.
 
In the context of the passage, “accommodate” means to

A
arrange lodging for
B
contain
C
make allowances for
D
excuse
Question 13 Explanation: 
For vocabulary-in-context questions, always look up the word to see what it means in the context of the passage. Here, we are looking for a word or phrase that means something like “facilitate the proper viewing of” the different focal points. “Make allowances for” means “adjust for” or “compensate for,” which is what lenses—either those in the eye or those in eyeglasses—must do. "Arrange lodging for," meaning “house” or “put up,” is another meaning of “accommodate” but does not apply in this context, so it is incorrect. "Excuse," meaning “remove blame from” or “disregard,” does not apply in this context either.
Question 14
Questions 13-15 are based on this passage.

The ability to see at a distance, in good light, does not diminish as a result of aging to the extent that other visual acuities do. Myopia, or nearsightedness, is more common to younger eyes, while presbyopia, or farsightedness, more commonly afflicts people as they age. The word presbyopia comes from Greek presbys, "old man," and opia, "eye," and names a condition in which, because the lens of the eye hardens slightly and loses elasticity as a person ages, one cannot as easily focus sharply on nearby objects. This condition leads to the familiar habit of lifting up one's glasses and bringing an object or reading material close to the face so that the eyes can more easily focus on it. The function of the lens is to accommodate different focal points so that sensory data can be correctly directed to the retina for interpretation into images by the brain. Corrective lenses, particularly bifocals or progressive lenses, adjust for the focal point aberration. In essence, they do the work that the eye can no longer do for itself.
 
The author of the passage would probably agree with which of the following statements relating corrective lenses and aging eyes?

A
A dancer with a broken bone needs a cast to protect it.
B
A hiker reinforces a fraying backpack strap with duct tape.
C
A traveler gets a passport before going abroad.
D
An athlete stretches before a game to avoid a potential injury.
Question 14 Explanation: 
To answer this question, we must go back to the passage to see what it says about how corrective lenses aid the eye. The last sentence of the passage states that the corrective lenses "do the work that the eye can no longer do for itself." We need to find a similar relationship: something doing work that can no longer be done by something else. The correct answer describes such a relationship. The damaged strap can no longer fulfill its task; the duct tape bolsters the strap so it can do the task instead. The frayed strap cannot repair itself, so the situation is not temporary.
Question 15
Questions 13-15 are based on this passage.

The ability to see at a distance, in good light, does not diminish as a result of aging to the extent that other visual acuities do. Myopia, or nearsightedness, is more common to younger eyes, while presbyopia, or farsightedness, more commonly afflicts people as they age. The word presbyopia comes from Greek presbys, "old man," and opia, "eye," and names a condition in which, because the lens of the eye hardens slightly and loses elasticity as a person ages, one cannot as easily focus sharply on nearby objects. This condition leads to the familiar habit of lifting up one's glasses and bringing an object or reading material close to the face so that the eyes can more easily focus on it. The function of the lens is to accommodate different focal points so that sensory data can be correctly directed to the retina for interpretation into images by the brain. Corrective lenses, particularly bifocals or progressive lenses, adjust for the focal point aberration. In essence, they do the work that the eye can no longer do for itself.
 
What was the author’s primary purpose for writing this essay?

A
to define what presbyopia is
B
to describe how eyes age and the function of corrective lens
C
to compare and contrast nearsightedness with farsightedness
D
to review the anatomy of the human eye
Question 15 Explanation: 
The passage describes how the eye loses some of its functionality as a person ages and how corrective lens work to do the work that the eye can no longer do for itself.
Question 16
Questions 16-19 are based on this passage.

Alfalfa thrives on land which contains lime, and gives poor results when this ingredient is deficient. The explanation is simple: there is a community of interest between the very low microscopic animal life, known as bacteria, and plant life, generally. In every ounce of soil there are millions of these living germs which have their allotted work to do, and they thrive best in soils containing lime. If one digs up a root of alfalfa (it need not be an old plant, the youngest plant will show the same peculiarity), and care is taken in exposing the root (perhaps the best method is the washing away of the surrounding earth by water), some small nodules attached to the fine, hair-like roots are easily distinguished with the naked eye. These nodules are the home of a teeming, microscopic, industrious population, who perform their allotted work with the silent, persistent energy so often displayed in nature.
 
Which of the following is an accurate paraphrasing of the underlined phrase?

A
Many people are intrigued by the relationship between bacteria and plant life.
B
Bacteria and alfalfa plants have a symbiotic relationship.
C
Bacteria in alfalfa is worth studying.
D
The gardening community is very invested in the bacteria found in alfalfa.
Question 16 Explanation: 
This question asks you to choose the sentence that has the closest meaning to the underlined phrase. Paraphrase the underlined portion in your own words, and then select the answer choice that best fits. “A community of interest” indicates that bacteria and alfalfa plants work together. This type of relationship can be described as symbiotic.
Question 17
Questions 16-19 are based on this passage.

Alfalfa thrives on land which contains lime, and gives poor results when this ingredient is deficient. The explanation is simple: there is a community of interest between the very low microscopic animal life, known as bacteria, and plant life, generally. In every ounce of soil there are millions of these living germs which have their allotted work to do, and they thrive best in soils containing lime. If one digs up a root of alfalfa (it need not be an old plant, the youngest plant will show the same peculiarity), and care is taken in exposing the root (perhaps the best method is the washing away of the surrounding earth by water), some small nodules attached to the fine, hair-like roots are easily distinguished with the naked eye. These nodules are the home of a teeming, microscopic, industrious population, who perform their allotted work with the silent, persistent energy so often displayed in nature.
 
In the context in which it appears, "naked" most nearly means which of the following?

A
nude
B
opaque
C
unaided
D
reflective
Question 17 Explanation: 
For this vocab-in-context question, go back to the passage and re-read the containing sentence. Consider what is meant by the word; usually a secondary meaning is used. Predict an answer and eliminate incorrect choices. Here, naked indicates that only the eye, and not a microscope, is necessary to see the nodules.
Question 18
Questions 16-19 are based on this passage.

Alfalfa thrives on land which contains lime, and gives poor results when this ingredient is deficient. The explanation is simple: there is a community of interest between the very low microscopic animal life, known as bacteria, and plant life, generally. In every ounce of soil there are millions of these living germs which have their allotted work to do, and they thrive best in soils containing lime. If one digs up a root of alfalfa (it need not be an old plant, the youngest plant will show the same peculiarity), and care is taken in exposing the root (perhaps the best method is the washing away of the surrounding earth by water), some small nodules attached to the fine, hair-like roots are easily distinguished with the naked eye. These nodules are the home of a teeming, microscopic, industrious population, who perform their allotted work with the silent, persistent energy so often displayed in nature.
 
Which of the following can NOT be inferred from the passage?

A
A 1-month-old alfalfa plant will have more bacteria than a 5-month-old plant.
B
A soil without lime will not grow bacteria.
C
Bacteria is located inside the root nodules.
D
A 3-month-old alfalfa plant will have more bacteria than a one-year-old plant.
Question 18 Explanation: 
This is a 'NOT' question, so we need to eliminate answer choices that are reasonable inferences based on details from the passage. Answer choices (A) and (D) can be inferred from the mention that young plants still display the same “peculiarity.” In addition, since answer choices (A) and (D) seem to suggest the same thing, namely that younger alfalfa plants will have more bacteria than older alfalfa plants, they cannot both be invalid inferences, so you should eliminate (A) and (D). Answer choice (C) can be eliminated because the author describes the nodules as the “home” of the bacteria. Finally, nothing in the passage allows us to infer that “a soil without lime will not grow bacteria”. The correct answer is (B).
Question 19
Questions 16-19 are based on this passage.

Alfalfa thrives on land which contains lime, and gives poor results when this ingredient is deficient. The explanation is simple: there is a community of interest between the very low microscopic animal life, known as bacteria, and plant life, generally. In every ounce of soil there are millions of these living germs which have their allotted work to do, and they thrive best in soils containing lime. If one digs up a root of alfalfa (it need not be an old plant, the youngest plant will show the same peculiarity), and care is taken in exposing the root (perhaps the best method is the washing away of the surrounding earth by water), some small nodules attached to the fine, hair-like roots are easily distinguished with the naked eye. These nodules are the home of a teeming, microscopic, industrious population, who perform their allotted work with the silent, persistent energy so often displayed in nature.
 
The author of the passage suggests which of the following about bacteria?

A
Bacteria feeds on lime.
B
Bacteria is visible to the human eye.
C
Bacteria is compact by nature.
D
Bacteria is a plant, not an animal.
Question 19 Explanation: 
For this inference question, look for statements based on facts explicitly stated in the passage. Eliminate choices that are out of scope, extreme, or that misuse details. Bacteria is microscopic, and can be described as compact.
Question 20
Questions 20-22 are based on this passage.

Initially, scientists suspected a high dietary calcium intake of increasing the risk of kidney stones. A high intake of calcium, however, reduces the urinary excretion of oxalate, which is thought to lower the risk. As a result, the concept that a higher dietary calcium intake increases the risk of kidney stones, and the mechanism underlying their formation, required examination. Stanford researchers studied the relationship between dietary calcium intake and the risk of symptomatic kidney stones in a cohort of 35,119 men ranging in age from 40 to 75 years old who had no history of kidney stones. Dietary calcium was measured by means of a semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire in 1998. During four years of follow-up, 535 cases of kidney stones were documented by LifeWork analysts. After adjustment for age, dietary calcium intake was inversely associated with the risk of stones; in fact, a high calcium intake decreased the risk of symptomatic kidney stones. Surprisingly, intake of animal protein was directly associated with the risk of stone formation.
 
According to the passage, dietary calcium intake

A
was measured by means of a semi-quantitative medical examination.
B
was discovered to decrease the chance of symptomatic kidney stone formation, after adjustment for age.
C
increases the excretion of oxalate through the urinary tract.
D
is impossible to accurately measure.
Question 20 Explanation: 
According to the author, dietary calcium intake "was measured by means of a semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire," not "by means of a semi-quantitative medical examination." The correct answer is a conclusion of the study discussed in the passage. The fact that 'daily calcium intake decreases the excretion of oxalate through the urinary tract,' is given as background information in the passage's second sentence.
Question 21
Questions 20-22 are based on this passage.

Initially, scientists suspected a high dietary calcium intake of increasing the risk of kidney stones. A high intake of calcium, however, reduces the urinary excretion of oxalate, which is thought to lower the risk. As a result, the concept that a higher dietary calcium intake increases the risk of kidney stones, and the mechanism underlying their formation, required examination. Stanford researchers studied the relationship between dietary calcium intake and the risk of symptomatic kidney stones in a cohort of 35,119 men ranging in age from 40 to 75 years old who had no history of kidney stones. Dietary calcium was measured by means of a semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire in 1998. During four years of follow-up, 535 cases of kidney stones were documented by LifeWork analysts. After adjustment for age, dietary calcium intake was inversely associated with the risk of stones; in fact, a high calcium intake decreased the risk of symptomatic kidney stones. Surprisingly, intake of animal protein was directly associated with the risk of stone formation.
 
The passage suggests that in conducting this medical study, researchers

A
drew few conclusions beforehand on the indeterminate outcome of their scientific research.
B
discovered associations they had not been looking for.
C
had little interest in calcium’s effect on organs other than the kidneys.
D
neglected researching how the intake of calcium can reduce urinary excretion of oxalate.
Question 21 Explanation: 
Among the correct inferences that can be drawn from this passage, one is that researchers discovered associations they hadn't been looking for, the cited example being "surprisingly, intake of animal protein was directly associated with the risk of stone formation."
Question 22
Questions 20-22 are based on this passage.

Initially, scientists suspected a high dietary calcium intake of increasing the risk of kidney stones. A high intake of calcium, however, reduces the urinary excretion of oxalate, which is thought to lower the risk. As a result, the concept that a higher dietary calcium intake increases the risk of kidney stones, and the mechanism underlying their formation, required examination. Stanford researchers studied the relationship between dietary calcium intake and the risk of symptomatic kidney stones in a cohort of 35,119 men ranging in age from 40 to 75 years old who had no history of kidney stones. Dietary calcium was measured by means of a semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire in 1998. During four years of follow-up, 535 cases of kidney stones were documented by LifeWork analysts. After adjustment for age, dietary calcium intake was inversely associated with the risk of stones; in fact, a high calcium intake decreased the risk of symptomatic kidney stones. Surprisingly, intake of animal protein was directly associated with the risk of stone formation.
 
What is the main focus of this passage?

A
How dietary calcium affects kidneys.
B
How kidneys function.
C
How kidney research is conducted.
D
How Stanford researchers perform studies.
Question 22 Explanation: 
The main idea of the passage focuses on dietary calcium and its relationship to the kidneys and the formation of kidney stones.
Question 23
Questions 23-27 are based on this passage.

Despite increasing enrollments of women in medical schools, feelings of isolation among women medical students persist. Women students still have to contend with the social stereotype of a male doctor. In addition, institutions themselves may unintentionally foster feelings of separateness. Comparatively few women are hired for faculty positions, thus offering women students few role models. The pervasive sexual humor of male doctors and students further intensifies women students' alienation. Alienation, in turn, negatively affects individual self-perception. As women enter medical study in increasing numbers, they may feel less at odds with their peers and the teaching establishment. Institutional bias will, no doubt, also change in response to evolving societal values. However, we should not wait passively for gradual social processes to bring changes; schools must provide current students with support services designed to meet women's needs. In a recent study, 48 percent of the women questioned rated a student support group as the most important support service a school can provide.
 
The passage cites all of the following as causing psychological problems for women medical students EXCEPT

A
feelings of alienation from teachers and fellow students
B
prevailing societal conceptions about doctors
C
declining admissions of women to medical schools
D
expressions of sexism by peers and superiors
Question 23 Explanation: 
According to the first sentence, enrollments of women in medical schools are increasing, not declining.
Question 24
Questions 23-27 are based on this passage.

Despite increasing enrollments of women in medical schools, feelings of isolation among women medical students persist. Women students still have to contend with the social stereotype of a male doctor. In addition, institutions themselves may unintentionally foster feelings of separateness. Comparatively few women are hired for faculty positions, thus offering women students few role models. The pervasive sexual humor of male doctors and students further intensifies women students' alienation. Alienation, in turn, negatively affects individual self-perception. As women enter medical study in increasing numbers, they may feel less at odds with their peers and the teaching establishment. Institutional bias will, no doubt, also change in response to evolving societal values. However, we should not wait passively for gradual social processes to bring changes; schools must provide current students with support services designed to meet women's needs. In a recent study, 48 percent of the women questioned rated a student support group as the most important support service a school can provide.
 
The author of the passage is concerned that

A
medical schools practice widespread discrimination on the basis of sex
B
feelings of isolation among women medical students are partly the result of social stereotypes
C
some medical school policies are deliberately designed to make women students feel isolated
D
social norms must change before institutional bias can decline
Question 24 Explanation: 
The author's purpose is to show readers that although increasing numbers of women are enrolling in medical school, they still face disadvantages arising from societal issues.
Question 25
Questions 23-27 are based on this passage.

Despite increasing enrollments of women in medical schools, feelings of isolation among women medical students persist. Women students still have to contend with the social stereotype of a male doctor. In addition, institutions themselves may unintentionally foster feelings of separateness. Comparatively few women are hired for faculty positions, thus offering women students few role models. The pervasive sexual humor of male doctors and students further intensifies women students' alienation. Alienation, in turn, negatively affects individual self-perception. As women enter medical study in increasing numbers, they may feel less at odds with their peers and the teaching establishment. Institutional bias will, no doubt, also change in response to evolving societal values. However, we should not wait passively for gradual social processes to bring changes; schools must provide current students with support services designed to meet women's needs. In a recent study, 48 percent of the women questioned rated a student support group as the most important support service a school can provide.
 
The author cites factual information in support of which of the following contentions?

A
Women students have more negative experiences in medical school than male students.
B
Medical schools are moving rapidly to eliminate the effects of sexual bias.
C
Many women are psychologically damaged by the feelings of alienation in medical school.
D
Many women medical students feel a need for officially sponsored support services.
Question 25 Explanation: 
The correct answer refers to the only hard data given, the 48 percent of women who reported that a student support group is "the most important support service a school can provide." The wrong choices not only lack factual support; they are points the author does not make at all.
Question 26
Questions 23-27 are based on this passage.

Despite increasing enrollments of women in medical schools, feelings of isolation among women medical students persist. Women students still have to contend with the social stereotype of a male doctor. In addition, institutions themselves may unintentionally foster feelings of separateness. Comparatively few women are hired for faculty positions, thus offering women students few role models. The pervasive sexual humor of male doctors and students further intensifies women students' alienation. Alienation, in turn, negatively affects individual self-perception. As women enter medical study in increasing numbers, they may feel less at odds with their peers and the teaching establishment. Institutional bias will, no doubt, also change in response to evolving societal values. However, we should not wait passively for gradual social processes to bring changes; schools must provide current students with support services designed to meet women's needs. In a recent study, 48 percent of the women questioned rated a student support group as the most important support service a school can provide.
 
The passage suggests that which of the following would be likely to reduce the isolation felt by women medical students?

A
An increased proportion of women in medical schools.
B
A decrease in the number of women filling faculty positions in medical schools.
C
A decrease in support services available to women students.
D
A more complete segregation between men and women in medical schools.
Question 26 Explanation: 
This question asks us to identify initiatives or developments which would reduce the sense of isolation felt by female medical students. The correct answer is supported by the first sentence of paragraph 2. As women increasingly enter medical schools, they "may feel less at odds with their peers and the teaching establishment."
Question 27
Questions 23-27 are based on this passage.

Despite increasing enrollments of women in medical schools, feelings of isolation among women medical students persist. Women students still have to contend with the social stereotype of a male doctor. In addition, institutions themselves may unintentionally foster feelings of separateness. Comparatively few women are hired for faculty positions, thus offering women students few role models. The pervasive sexual humor of male doctors and students further intensifies women students' alienation. Alienation, in turn, negatively affects individual self-perception. As women enter medical study in increasing numbers, they may feel less at odds with their peers and the teaching establishment. Institutional bias will, no doubt, also change in response to evolving societal values. However, we should not wait passively for gradual social processes to bring changes; schools must provide current students with support services designed to meet women's needs. In a recent study, 48 percent of the women questioned rated a student support group as the most important support service a school can provide.
 
In terms of its tone and form, the passage is most appropriately described as

A
an impassioned polemic
B
an indignant protest
C
a reasoned appeal
D
a detached summary
Question 27 Explanation: 
The question asks about both tone and content. The tone of the passage is neutral; the author summarizes facts, cites a statistic, and does not use charged or emotional diction. The content, however, is not disinterested; the author definitely advocates changes -- medical schools should not "wait passively" for society to change but should do more to address the problems of "current students." The correct answer is the choice that best fits this combination of a quiet, persuasive tone and clear-cut advocacy.
Question 28
Questions 28-30 are based on this passage.

Cystic fibrosis is a disease that is passed down through families. It is caused by a defective gene that makes the body produce abnormally thick and sticky fluid, called mucus. This mucus builds up in the breathing passages of the lungs and in the pancreas. The buildup of mucus results in life-threatening lung infections and serious digestion problems. The disease may also affect the sweat glands and a man's reproductive system. Millions of Americans carry a CF gene, but do not have symptoms. This is because a person with CF must inherit two defective genes, one from each parent. About 1 in 29 Caucasian Americans have the CF gene. It is more common among those of northern or central European descent. Most children with CF are diagnosed by age 2. For a small number, the disease is not detected until age 18 or older. These children often have a milder form of the disease.
 
Which of the following describes the purpose of the passage?

A
to describe the causes of cystic fibrosis
B
to explain how cystic fibrosis is passed down through families
C
to overview the causes of CF and how it is carried
D
to review why some Americans have CF, but others do not
Question 28 Explanation: 
The first paragraph explains what CF is, and the second paragraph goes into detail about how it is carried. The correct answer choice here must describe the function of the ENTIRE passage. The other choices are specific to only one sentence or one paragraph.
Question 29
Questions 28-30 are based on this passage.

Cystic fibrosis is a disease that is passed down through families. It is caused by a defective gene that makes the body produce abnormally thick and sticky fluid, called mucus. This mucus builds up in the breathing passages of the lungs and in the pancreas. The buildup of mucus results in life-threatening lung infections and serious digestion problems. The disease may also affect the sweat glands and a man's reproductive system. Millions of Americans carry a CF gene, but do not have symptoms. This is because a person with CF must inherit two defective genes, one from each parent. About 1 in 29 Caucasian Americans have the CF gene. It is more common among those of northern or central European descent. Most children with CF are diagnosed by age 2. For a small number, the disease is not detected until age 18 or older. These children often have a milder form of the disease.
 
In context, the word “defective” in the first sentence of the passage means which of the following?

A
unusual
B
remarkable
C
postponed
D
faulty
Question 29 Explanation: 
If the “defective” gene is the way that a disease is being passed, it is probably negative in some way. The only word here with a negative connotation is “faulty.” Defective describes a thing as not operating correctly, whereas unusual indicates something that is rare.
Question 30
Questions 28-30 are based on this passage.

Cystic fibrosis is a disease that is passed down through families. It is caused by a defective gene that makes the body produce abnormally thick and sticky fluid, called mucus. This mucus builds up in the breathing passages of the lungs and in the pancreas. The buildup of mucus results in life-threatening lung infections and serious digestion problems. The disease may also affect the sweat glands and a man's reproductive system. Millions of Americans carry a CF gene, but do not have symptoms. This is because a person with CF must inherit two defective genes, one from each parent. About 1 in 29 Caucasian Americans have the CF gene. It is more common among those of northern or central European descent. Most children with CF are diagnosed by age 2. For a small number, the disease is not detected until age 18 or older. These children often have a milder form of the disease.
 
Which statement is not a detail from the passage?

A
Most children with CF are diagnosed by age 2.
B
About 1 in 39 Caucasian Americans have the CF gene.
C
Millions of Americans carry a CF gene, but do not have symptoms.
D
Mucus is a thick, sticky fluid that cystic fibrosis sufferers produce internally.
Question 30 Explanation: 
According to the passage, “About 1 in 29 Caucasian Americans have the CF gene.” “39” is the incorrect number. Always go back to the passage to verify details. Do not rely on memory alone.
Once you are finished, click the button below. Any items you have not completed will be marked incorrect. Get Results
There are 30 questions to complete.
List
Return
Shaded items are complete.
12345
678910
1112131415
1617181920
2122232425
2627282930
End
Return