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ASVAB Practice: Paragraph Comprehension Sample Questions

One of the subtests on the ASVAB is the Paragraph Comprehension test. Check out the following sample questions to get an idea of what you will encounter on test day.

Sample questions

Paragraph Comprehension

Time: 13 minutes for 15 questions

Directions: Paragraph Comprehension is the fourth subtest on the ASVAB. The questions are designed to measure your ability to understand what you read. This section includes one or more paragraphs of reading material, followed by incomplete statements or questions. Read the paragraph and select the choice that best completes the statement or answers the question. Then mark the corresponding space on your answer sheet.

Questions 1 and 2 refer to the following passage.

Tiffany often wished her family lived closer to another airport. It seemed like her flights were always either canceled or delayed due to weather. In fact, she missed Christmas one year because of a blizzard, and her flight home from her grandma's birthday celebration was postponed for five hours because of a thunderstorm. But she couldn't do anything about it. The region just had terrible weather sometimes.

1. What is the main point of the passage?

(A) Tiffany doesn't like visiting her family.
(B) The region's weather is unpredictable.
(C) Tiffany's local airport is terrible.
(D) Tiffany has bad luck.

2. In this passage, postponed means

(A) ruined
(B) over
(C) expedited
(D) delayed

Question 3 refers to the following passage.

Historical battle reenactments date back to the Middle Ages, when actors would perform scenes from Ancient Rome to entertain a public audience. The most famous reenactments, of course, are those pertaining to the American Civil War, which became popular during the war's centennial celebration in 1961.

Almost 50,000 people gathered to commemorate the beginning of the Civil War, which started on April 12, 1861. These days, anywhere from 500 to 20,000 people will congregate to reenact a famous battle from the war. Both the Confederate and Union armies are equally represented.

3. How many years does a centennial celebration recognize?

(A) 20,000
(B) 100
(C) 500
(D) 1,861

Questions 4 and 5 refer to the following passage.

When you're driving in snow, a few bits of knowledge can be the difference between a safe trip and an accident. Never slam on the brakes in the snow. Tapping the brakes helps you slow down without skidding. If you are skidding, turn into the direction of the skid, not away from it. This approach will help you gain control of the vehicle.

4. The author wrote this passage to

(A) convince the reader to drive in the snow
(B) provide driving tips for snowy conditions
(C) make sure your brakes are tuned
(D) scare the reader about driving in the snow

5. Driving safely in snowy conditions means

(A) understanding the results of your actions
(B) avoiding braking
(C) avoiding busy roads
(D) relinquishing control

Question 6 refers to the following passage.

The crowd at the store was growing quickly. Children reached for their favorite-colored backpack. Notebooks flew off the shelves, and pencils of different shapes and sizes were running low in stock. Back-to-school shopping had definitely begun.

6. What is the author telling the reader in the passage?

(A) that school supplies are scarce
(B) that the store isn't prepared
(C) that parents spend too much money on supplies
(D) that the beginning of school is approaching

Answers and explanations

  1. B. The region's weather is unpredictable.

    Although Tiffany certainly seems to have bad luck with flights, the passage describes the different inclement weather conditions for her region. The use of "sometimes" at the end signifies its unpredictability.

  2. D. delayed

    The passage states that the thunderstorm caused her flight to be delayed for five hours, which is the meaning of postponed.

  3. B. 100

    The term centennial means 100 years, but even if you didn't know this fact, you read that the people gathered in 1961 to celebrate a war that started a hundred years earlier, in 1861.

  4. B. provide driving tips for snowy conditions

    The passage provides safe driving tips for snowy conditions in order to prevent safety hazards. The first part of the first sentence states the focus.

  5. A. understanding the results of your actions

    The passage describes what to do and what not to do when driving in snow. The author explains the results of each action. Therefore, you can infer that knowing what actions are dangerous in the snow will help you drive more safely.

  6. D. that the beginning of school is approaching

    If back-to-school shopping has begun, the beginning of school must be around the corner. Nothing in the passage suggests any of the other answers are correct.

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