Reading Comprehension Practice Questions similar to questions on standardized tests.
Making Inferences, Summarizing, Main Idea, Author’s tone, Author’s purpose, Opinion vs. Facts, Meaning in Context and more!
Reading Comprehension Practice
Passage 1 – Who Was Anne Frank?
You may have heard mention of the word Holocaust in your History or English classes. The Holocaust took place from 1939-1945. It was an attempt by the Nazi party to purify the human race, by eliminating Jews, Gypsies, Catholics, homosexuals and others they deemed inferior to their “perfect” Aryan race. The Nazis used Concentration Camps, which were
sometimes used as Death Camps, to exterminate the people they held in the camps. The saddest fact about the Holocaust was the over one million children under the age of sixteen died in a Nazi concentration camp. Just a few weeks before World War II was over, Anne Frank was one of those children to die.
Before the Nazi party began its persecution of the Jews, Anne Frank had a happy life. She was born in June of 1929. In June of 1942, for her 13th birthday, she was given a simple present which would go onto impact the lives of millions of people around the world. That gift was a small red diary
that she called Kitty. This diary was to become Anne’s most treasured possession when she and her family hid from the Nazi’s in a secret annex above her father’s office building in Amsterdam.
For 25 months, Anne, her sister Margot, her parents, another family, and an elderly Jewish dentist hid from the Nazis in this tiny annex. They were never permitted to go outside and their food and supplies were brought to them by Miep Gies and her husband, who did not believe in the Nazi persecution of the Jews. It was a very difficult life for young Anne and she used Kitty as an outlet to describe her life in hiding.
After 2 years, Anne and her family were betrayed and arrested by the Nazis. To this day, nobody is exactly sure who betrayed the Frank family and the other annex residents. Anne, her mother, and her sister were separated from Otto Frank, Anne’s father. Then, Anne and Margot were separated from their mother. In March of 1945, Margot Frank died of starvation
in a Concentration Camp. A few days later, at the age of 15, Anne Frank died of typhus. Of all the people who hid in the Annex, only Otto Frank survived the Holocaust.
Otto Frank returned to the Annex after World War II. It was there that he found Kitty, filled with Anne’s thoughts and feelings about being a persecuted Jewish girl. Otto Frank had Anne’s diary published in 1947 and it has remained continuously in print ever since. Today, the diary has been published in over 55 languages and more than 24 million copies have
been sold around the world. The Diary of Anne Frank tells the story of a brave young woman who tried to see the good in all people.
1. From the context clues in the passage, what does the word Annex mean?
2. Why do you think Anne’s diary has been published in 55 languages?
a. So everyone could understand it.
b. So people around the world could learn more about the horrors of the Holocaust.
c. Because Anne was Jewish but hid in Amsterdam and died in Germany.
d. Because Otto Frank spoke many languages.
3. From the description of Anne and Margot’s deaths in the passage, what can we assume typhus is?
a. The same as starving to death.
b. An infection the Germans gave to Anne.
c. A disease Anne caught in the concentration camp.
d. Poison gas used by the Germans to kill Anne.
4. In the third paragraph, what does the word outlet mean?
a. A place to plug things into the wall
b. A store where Miep bought cheap supplies for the Frank family
c. A hiding space similar to an Annex
d. A place where Anne could express her private thoughts.
Questions 5 – 8 refer to the following passage.
Passage 2 – Keeping Tropical Fish
Keeping tropical fish at home or in your office used to be very popular. Today, interest has declined, but it remains as rewarding and relaxing a hobby as ever. Ask any tropical fish hobbyist, and you will hear how soothing and relaxing watching colorful fish live their lives in the aquarium.
If you are considering keeping tropical fish as pets, here is a list of the basic equipment you will need. A filter is essential for keeping your aquarium clean and your fish alive and healthy. There are different types and sizes of
filters and the right size for you depends on the size of the aquarium and the level of stocking. Generally, you need a filter with a 3 to 5 times turn over rate per hour. This means that the water in the tank should go through the filter about 3 to 5 times per hour.
Most tropical fish do well in water temperatures ranging be tween 240 C and 260 C, though each has its own ideal water temperature. A heater with a thermostat is necessary to regulate the water temperature. Some heaters are submersible and others are not, so check carefully before you buy.
Lights are also necessary, and come in a large variety of types, strengths and sizes. A light source is necessary for plants in the tank to photosynthesize and give the tank a more attractive appearance. Even if you plan to use plastic plants, the fish still require light, although here you can use a lower strength light source.
A hood is necessary to keep dust, dirt and unwanted materials out of the tank. Sometimes the hood can also help prevent evaporation. Another requirement is aquarium gravel. This will improve the aesthetics of the aquarium and is necessary if you plan to have real plants.
5. What is the general tone of this article?
6. Which of the following cannot be inferred?
a. Gravel is good for aquarium plants.
b. Fewer people have aquariums in their office than at home.
c. The larger the tank, the larger the filter required.
d. None of the above.
7. What evidence does the author provide to support their claim that aquarium lights are necessary?
a. Plants require light.
b. Fish and plants require light.
c. The author does not provide evidence for this statement.
d. Aquarium lights make the aquarium more attractive.
8. Which of the following is an opinion?
a. Filter with a 3 to 5 times turn over rate per hour are
b. Aquarium gravel improves the aesthetics of the
c. An aquarium hood keeps dust, dirt and unwanted
materials out of the tank.
d. Each type of tropical fish has its own ideal water
Questions 9 – 12 refer to the following passage.
Passage 3 – The Life of Helen Keller
Many people have heard of Helen Keller. She is famous because she was unable to see or hear, but learned to speak and read and went onto attend college and earn a degree. Her life is a very interesting story, one that she developed into an autobiography, which was then adapted into both a stage
play and a movie. How did Helen Keller overcome her disabilities to become a famous woman? Read onto find out.
Helen Keller was not born blind and deaf. When she was a small baby, she had a very high fever for several days. As a result of her sudden illness, baby Helen lost her eyesight and her hearing. Because she was so young when she went deaf and blind, Helen Keller never had any recollection of being able to see or hear. Since she could not hear, she could not learn to talk. Since she could not see, it was difficult for her to move around. For the first six years of her life, her world was very still and dark.
Imagine what Helen’s childhood must have been like. She could not hear her mother’s voice. She could not see the beauty of her parent’s farm. She could not recognize who was giving her a hug, or a bath or even where her bedroom was each night. More sad, she could not communicate with her
parents in any way. She could not express her feelings or tell them the things she wanted. It must have been a very sad childhood.
When Helen was six years old, her parents hired her a teacher named Anne Sullivan. Anne was a young woman who was almost blind. However, she could hear and she could read Braille, so she was a perfect teacher for young Helen. At first, Anne had a very hard time teaching Helen anything. She described her first impression of Helen as a “wild thing, not a child.” Helen did not like Anne at first either. She bit and hit Anne when Anne tried to teach her. However, the two of them eventually came to have a great deal of love and respect.
Anne taught Helen to hear by putting her hands on people’s throats. She could feel the sounds that people made. In time, Helen learned to feel what people said. Next, Anne taught Helen to read Braille, which is a way that books are written for the blind. Finally, Anne taught Helen to talk. Although Helen did learn to talk, it was hard for anyone but Anne to understand her.
As Helen grew older, more and more people were amazed by her story. She went to college and wrote books about her life. She gave talks to the public, with Anne at her side, translating her words. Today, both Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller are famous women who are respected for their lives’ work.
9. Helen Keller could not see and hear and so, what was her biggest problem in childhood?
a. Inability to communicate
b. Inability to walk
c. Inability to play
d. Inability to eat
10. Helen learned to hear by feeling the vibrations people made when they spoke. What were these vibrations were felt through?
11. From the passage, we can infer that Anne Sullivan was a patient teacher. We can infer this because
a. Helen hit and bit her and Anne still remained her
b. Anne taught Helen to read only.
c. Anne was hard of hearing too.
d. Anne wanted to be a teacher.
12. Helen Keller learned to speak but Anne translated her words when she spoke in public. The reason Helen needed a translator was because
a. Helen spoke another language.
b. Helen’s words were hard for people to understand.
c. Helen spoke very quietly.
d. Helen did not speak but only used sign language.
We know that an annex is like an attic because the text states the annex was above Otto Frank’s building.
Choice B is incorrect because an office building doesn’t have bedrooms. Choice C is incorrect because a basement would be below the office building. Choice D is incorrect because there would not be a kitchen in an office building.
The diary has been published in 55 languages so people all over the world can learn about Anne. That is why the passage says it has been continuously in print.
Choice A is incorrect because it is too vague. Choice C is incorrect because it was published after Anne died and she did not write in all three languages. Choice D is incorrect because the passage does not give us any information about what languages Otto Frank spoke.
Use the process of elimination to figure this out. Choice A cannot be the correct answer because otherwise the passage would have simply said that Anne and Margot both died of starvation. Choices B and D cannot be correct because if the Germans had done something specifically to murder Anne, the passage would have stated that directly. By the process of elimination, choice C has to be the correct answer.
We can figure this out using context clues. The paragraph is talking about Anne’s diary and so, outlet in this instance is a place where Anne can pour her feelings.
Choice A is incorrect answer. That is the literal meaning of the word outlet and the passage is using the figurative meaning. Choice B is incorrect because that is the secondary literal meaning of the word outlet, as in an outlet mall. Again, we are looking for figurative meaning. Choice C is incorrect because there are no clues in the text to support that answer.
The general tone is informal.
The statement, “Fewer people have aquariums in their office than at home,” cannot be inferred from this article.
Both plants and fish need lights.
The following statement is an opinion, “ Aquarium gravel improves the aesthetics of the aquarium.”
Helen’s parents hired Anne to teach Helen to communicate.
Choice B is incorrect because the passage states Anne had trouble finding her way around, which means she could walk. Choice C is incorrect because you don’t hire a teacher to teach someone to play. Choice D is incorrect because by age 6, if Helen had never eaten, she would have starved to
The correct answer because that fact is stated directly in the passage. The passage explains that Anne taught Helen to hear by allowing her to feel the vibrations in her throat.
We can infer that Anne is a patient teacher because she did not leave or lose her temper when Helen bit or hit her; she just kept trying to teach Helen. Choice B is incorrect because Anne taught Helen to read and talk. Choice C is incorrect because Anne could hear. She was partially blind, not deaf. Choice D is incorrect because it does not have to do with patience.
The passage states that it was hard for anyone but Anne to understand Helen when she spoke. Choice A is incorrect because the passage does not mention Helen spoke a foreign language.
Choice C is incorrect because there is no mention of how quiet or loud Helen’s voice was. Choice D is incorrect because we know from reading the passage that Helen did learn to speak.
Quick Tips for Answering Reading Comprehension
- Read the passage carefully and thoroughly, paying attention to details and main ideas.
- Make sure you really understand the question. Identify key words, ideas and phrases.
- Use the information in the passage to infer and make logical connections.
- Eliminate any answer choices that are clearly incorrect. Elimination is your best strategy for answering multiple choice
- If you are unsure, look for clues in the passage and in previous questions and make an educated guess.
Common Reading Comprehension Mistakes
- Skimming or not reading the passage carefully enough.
- Not fully understanding the question being asked.
- Assuming you know the answer before reading the passage.
- Focusing on small details and missing the main idea.
- Not using the context of the passage to infer meaning.
- Jumping to conclusions without considering all the information provided.
- Not eliminating clearly incorrect answer choices.