GED Reasoning through Language Arts Reading Skills Sample Questions - dummies

GED Reasoning through Language Arts Reading Skills Sample Questions

By Murray Shukyn, Dale E. Shuttleworth, Achim K. Krull

On the Reasoning though Language Arts section on the GED, you may encounter excerpts from fiction and nonfiction. These excerpts will each be followed by a series of questions about the passage.

Sample questions

Questions 1–5 refer to the following excerpt from Jack London’s “In a Far Country” (1899).

When the world rang with the tale of Arctic gold, and the lure of the North gripped the heartstrings of men, Carter Weatherbee threw up his snug clerkship, turned the half of his savings over to his wife, and with the remainder bought an outfit.

There was no romance in his nature — the bondage of commerce had crushed all that; he was simply tired of the ceaseless grind, and wished to risk great hazards in view of corresponding returns … and there, unluckily for his soul’s welfare, he allied himself with a party of men.

There was nothing unusual about this party, except its plans. Even its goal, like that of all the other parties, was the Klondike. But the route it had mapped out to attain that goal took away the breath of the hardiest native, born and bred to the vicissitudes of the Northwest.

Even Jacques Baptiste, born of a Chippewa woman and a renegade voyageur (having raised his first whimpers in a deerskin lodge north of the sixty-fifth parallel, and had the same hushed by blissful sucks of raw tallow), was surprised. Though he sold his services to them and agreed to travel even to the never-opening ice, he shook his head ominously whenever his advice was asked.

Percy Cuthfert’s evil star must have been in the ascendant, for he, too, joined this company of Argonauts. He was an ordinary man, with a bank account as deep as his culture, which is saying a good deal. He had no reason to embark on such a venture — no reason in the world, save that he suffered from an abnormal development of sentimentality.

He mistook this for the true spirit of romance and adventure.

  1. What is meant by “bondage of commerce” in the second sentence?

    • (A) the corresponding returns

    • (B) the romance in his nature

    • (C) the drudgery of life as a clerk

    • (D) the risk of great hazards

  2. What was the goal of the party?

    • (A) to find the old trails

    • (B) to reach the Klondike

    • (C) to map out a route

    • (D) to tell the tale of the Arctic

  3. How would you best describe the chosen route to the Klondike?

    • (A) blissful

    • (B) hardy

    • (C) hushed

    • (D) ominous

  4. Why was Jacques Baptiste important to the party?

    • (A) He was a native of the Northwest.

    • (B) He was born of a Chippewa woman.

    • (C) He was a renegade voyageur.

    • (D) He was born in a deerskin lodge.

  5. Why do you think Percy Cuthfert joined the party?

    • (A) to show that he is an ordinary man

    • (B) to fill his bank account

    • (C) to seek romance and adventure

    • (D) because of his abnormal development

Answers and explanations

  1. C. the drudgery of life as a clerk. Carter wanted to escape his everyday drudgery in life as a clerk. “Bondage of commerce” refers to his dislike of his daily routine in the business world. His need for wealth (returns), romance, and risk taking are different factors that don’t apply to the question.

  2. B. to reach the Klondike. The text says that “Even its [the party’s] goal … was the Klondike.”

  3. D. ominous. The chosen route to Klondike was ominous because there was a foreboding of ill-fortune. Throughout the passage, words such as unluckily, ominously, and evil star … in the ascendant give the passage an ominous feeling. The route certainly wasn’t blissful or hushed, and hardy refers to a native of the region.

  4. A. He was a native of the Northwest. The fact that Jacques was native-born and raised in the Northwest made him important to the party. The fact that he was a renegade voyageur, born of a Chippewa woman in a deerskin lodge, isn’t as relevant as his knowledge of the area is to his importance to the party.

  5. B. to fill his bank account. Percy was seeking some romance and adventure in his otherwise mundane life. The fact that he was an ordinary man with a bank account, who spoke a good deal and was abnormally sentimental, aren’t the best answers.