Try our free TASC Reading practice test. These practice questions are designed to help you prepare for the reading section of the TASC high school equivalency test. For this section you will be presented with passages of text that are followed by questions about the key ideas, the craft and structure of the passage, and word usage. There are 50 questions which must be answered within 75 minutes.
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Which of the following would make the best title for this selection?
Martial Arts in China during the Qing Dynasty
A Brief History of Shaolin Temples
Wu Mei: Bringing Martial Arts to the Masses
Wu Mei: How Legends Become Reality
Which event came last?
The Shaolin Temple was destroyed.
Mei created a style of martial arts for smaller, weaker fighters.
Mei became one of the temple’s Five Elders.
Mei trained a young girl to defend herself.
As it is used in the first paragraph, the word “Elders” most nearly means
old people living in the Shaolin Temple.
experts in Wu Mei’s fighting style.
the leaders of the Shaolin Temple.
leaders in China during the Qing Dynasty.
According to the passage, in what way did Wu Mei’s fighting style benefit from the fact that she based it on the movements of animals around China?
It helped her students feel connected with nature.
It capitalized on what had enabled animals to survive among humans.
It highlighted the Qing Dynasty’s great reverence for animals.
It helped her fighting style appeal to people all over China.
Which anecdote best supports the main idea introduced in the opening sentences?
The legend of Mei training a young girl
The fact that Mei based her style of martial arts on animals
The story of the Shaolin Temple being destroyed
The detail about Mei becoming an Elder of the Shaolin temple
The phrase “tiny creek babbles” is an example of
What is implied about the speaker from her experience?
She does not feel comfortable in her own skin.
She chatters as much as the wren does.
She knows the animals have a unique perspective.
She is damaging the forest by her presence.
The poem ends with the sense of the speaker's
joy at being in such a beautiful environment
greater understanding of the wren
dismay over her destruction of the environment
relief to be leaving the forest
When she considers herself within the scene, the speaker believes she is most like a
In the last stanza of the poem, the word "reprieve" most nearly means
Which sentence best describes the organization of the poem?
The speaker dedicates each stanza to a separate sense.
The speaker makes observations and then forms an opinion.
The speaker presents an opinion followed by examples.
The speaker describes a process she observes.
The main purpose of the last paragraph of Passage 1 is to
provide an update to Cronon’s 25-year-old complaint about environmentalism.
refute Cronon’s claim and prove why he was wrong about the wilderness.
further support the argument presented in the first paragraph.
summarize Cronon’s newest articles on the subject of environmentalism.
The author of Passage 2 uses the phrase “cry wolf” in order to
warn people about the dangers of not taking environmentalism seriously.
point out that, like the fairy tale, environmentalists continue to make claims about a danger that doesn’t exist.
identify an animal species that needs to be saved from man-made climate change.
identify the precise method in which environmentalists lie to the public.
Which choice best describes the relationship between the two passages?
Passage 1 introduces the idea of environmentalism, and Passage 2 explores it in more detail.
Passage 1 is a biased discussion of environmentalism, while Passage 2 remains objective.
Passage 1 argues for environmentalism, while Passage 2 questions the validity of the claims made by environmentalists.
Passage 2 offers a direct response to the claims made in Passage 1.
Given the evidence in each of the passages, with which statement would the authors of both passages most likely agree?
It is clear that humans have had a negative impact on the environment.
Environmentalists are often wrong about their claims.
William Cronon was right when he suggested that people needed to make realistic changes to try to improve the environment.
Some people deny that climate change is affected by humans.
Read this sentence from the passage:
Which of these best explains the meaning of the phrase “the players are the new gladiators”?
Football is an outdated game that needs to fall just like the empire of Rome fell.
Football players are violent and want to hurt each other.
People like to see football players hit each other in the same way that people loved to watch gladiators kill themselves in ancient Rome.
The more we watch football players, the more we give in to our instincts and cause harm to our society.
How does Paragraph 2 contribute to the development of ideas in the passage?
It establishes the complexity of the topic the author is discussing.
It simplifies the topic to make it more palatable and digestible for the audience.
It presents a counter-argument that she will refute later in the article.
It defines the author’s thesis and sets up the rest of the article.
Read this sentence from Paragraph 1:
Based on the context of the passage, what is the problem (if any) with this quote?
A culture cannot have an “identity crisis” because it is not a living thing.
The author introduces the “world” in this quote, but only discusses American culture throughout the article.
The word “bit” is too informal for the article and distracts the reader.
There is no flaw in the logic of the statement.
Which sentence from the passage best expresses the author’s attitude toward violence in sports?
“The simple answer is that a sport like mixed martial arts is intended to be violent; the sport involves two people getting into a ring and fighting.”
“We worry that our children are focusing so early on one sport that they are causing their body harm.”
“Football fans worry about what’s going to happen to the sport in the next few years as reports of brain injuries continue to surface.”
“The more complicated and depressing reason why we can’t seem to figure out whether we want violence or not is because it plays to our human nature.”
Which of the following is an inference the audience can make about the author’s opinion in Paragraph 4?
When people think rationally, they don’t want violence, but when they are in the moment they enjoy it.
Until we stop supporting football, our country will never fix our problem with violence.
The popularity of violent sports like mixed martial arts are making it more difficult to curb violence in other sports.
The real way to fix our problem with violence in sports is to more closely regulate it so that our athletes are protected.
Which of the following statements best describes the structure of the author’s article?
The author introduces a complex problem, then offers several possible solutions.
The author presents two opposing sides to a complex argument and leaves it up to the reader decide with which side they agree.
The author provides a detailed, sequential strategy for solving a difficult problem.
The author introduces a complex problem, then explores it throughout the rest of the article.
Read this sentence from Paragraph 4:
Why does the author use the phrase “dinner table” in this sentence?
To stress the idea that people only find violence a problem in sports when they are trying to eat a meal and don’t want that kind of imagery in their minds.
To point that people don’t actually share their true feelings at the “dinner table” because they are afraid of what their family will think.
To emphasize the idea that people are anti-violent sports when they are discussing the problem at home at the “dinner table,” but act differently when they are watching a sporting event.
To highlight the point that violence in sports has gotten so prevalent that it’s even invading our time with our family at home.
What is President Kennedy’s main purpose in this address?
to encourage Americans to be more civil with each other and with America’s foreign allies
to ask Congress to give the executive branch more power in military affairs
to illustrate the precarious position of America in foreign affairs
to rally Americans to serve their country
In the final paragraph, what hope does President Kennedy express about his government?
that it will be better than the preceding government
that it will be held accountable by the people
that it will make future generations proud
that it will be ruled by God’s will
What is “the trumpet” a metaphor for in the beginning of the fourth paragraph?
a call to bear arms and fight foreign dictatorships
a call to overcome domestic strife and petty differences
a call to build up the military and allocate more tax revenue to that purpose
a call to endure the challenges that come with fighting tyranny
How does Kennedy attempt to recruit Americans to join the fight against tyranny?
by placing it in a historical context
by boasting of his personal bravery and confidence, and encouraging American pride
by outlining a plan of action for future American conflicts
by criticizing the inaction of other countries
Which of these statements most strongly supports your response to the previous question?(Use the left arrow below to go back and review the previous question.)
In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course.
In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger.
I do not shrink from this responsibility; I welcome it.
Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you.
It can be inferred from the passage that a dolphin would use clicks instead of whistles to
call to another member of the same pod.
locate a possible route through an underwater obstacle.
communicate a perceived threat to other dolphins.
contact other dolphins when separated from a group.
According to the passage, highly organized communication enables dolphins to
work in unison to locate food sources.
move quickly as a group to escape a perceived threat.
establish relationships quickly with their peers.
have more highly organized hunting patterns.
As it is used in the second paragraph, the word “emit” most nearly means
Which of the following is the function of the first paragraph?
to contrast the communication styles of dolphins with those of other cetaceans
to define an abstract idea in order to simplify the discussion that follows
to introduce the passage’s focus on how the dolphins communicate and behave in groups
to show the consequences of a mistake made in earlier research
The author of this passage is primarily concerned with
contrasting dolphin communications with those of other cetaceans.
providing an in-depth analysis of a disputed claim.
offering an example of how dolphins used highly-developed communication patterns to escape predators.
explaining how dolphins communicate and behave in groups.
The phrase “acoustic flashlight” is an example of
What is the setting for the story?
A chilly night in the Amazon rainforest
A sweltering afternoon on the Amazon River
A humid night on the Caribbean Sea
A damp night in Rio de Janeiro
Read this sentence from the passage:
The author uses this underlined statement to show that:
Rainsford is a skilled hunter
Rainsford is a lucky shot
Whitney idolizes Rainsford
Rainsford is a ruthless hunter
How do Rainsford and Whitney's opinions on the jaguar differ?
Rainsford doesn’t believe jaguars have feelings.
Whitney believes they should consider the feelings of the jaguar.
Rainsford believes the jaguars are intelligent.
Whitney believes the jaguars lack understanding.
The description of the island creates a sense of
As it is used in the last paragraph, the word “soft” most nearly means
Which of the following best describes Rainsford's character?
realistic and blunt
bullying and aggressive
sarcastic and jaded
philosophical and practical
According to the chart provided, which of the following materials was most commonly recycled in 2010?
According to the text, what are TWO factors that have made reverse vending machines a success?
ease of use
curbside recycling programs
Read this excerpt from the text
As used in the excerpt, what is the meaning of the word aggregate?
Read this excerpt from the text
How does the author use this statement to develop the argument that recycling is a relatively easy activity for the average person?
By providing the specific collection times for the recycling bins, and indicating what is picked up on which days.
By demonstrating how materials are cleaned, sorted, and placed into specific bins.
By outlining the various bins required for recycling and noting how simple it is to sort the recycled materials.
By showing there is minimal inconvenience to homeowners to recycle, since they already put out garbage bins once a week.
In the first paragraph, the author uses the phrase American recycling experiment to show
that Americans will only recycle on an experimental basis
that America has not figured out exactly how recycling programs should be implemented
that recycling in America will only continue until the experiment is completed
that other countries are more committed to recycling than America
Read this excerpt from the text:
The most likely meaning of iconic is?
required by a rule
pertaining to charity
happening once a year
widely recognized and well-established
Which detail in the passage supports the idea that the tradition of selling Girl Scout cookies started as a local project before it caught on within the GSA nationally?
“…from these humble beginnings, a national fundraising phenomenon was born” (paragraph 2).
“In more recent years, the GSA has begun to focus more heavily on design…” (paragraph 5).
“by 1951 Girl Scout cookies came in three varieties: Sandwich, Shortbread, and Chocolate Mints” (paragraph 4).
“For nearly 100 years, the Girl Scouts and their supporters have made their annual cookie sale into an iconic American tradition” (paragraph 1).
Which idea about the history of the Girl Scout cookie is supported by the passage?
A troop in Oklahoma was the first to use commercial bakers in their fundraising efforts.
The GSA is known for putting little effort into the design and presentation of their product.
A troop in Philadelphia was the first to use commercial bakers in their fundraising efforts.
The GSA have always been focused on how the design of their cookie boxes impacts their cookie sales.
Read this sentence from Paragraph 4:
What can readers infer from this sentence?
Girl Scouts in New York are better marketers than Girl Scouts in Philadelphia.
Selling cookies didn’t become profitable for Girl Scout troops until 1935.
Girl Scouts in Philadelphia are better marketers than Girl Scouts in New York.
The name “Girl Scout Cookies,” which is so well-known now, wasn’t created until 1935.
How does the final paragraph of the passage relate to the rest of the passage?
It summarizes the history of Girl Scout cookies.
It provides a counterargument to solidify the position of the writer.
It provides the most recent chronological information in the passage.
It calls the audience to action.
Read this sentence from paragraph 5:
Replacing the word “excitement” with “astonishment” changes the meaning of the sentence to suggest that allowing Daisies to sell cookies was