Practice Questions on Reading Comprehension
Verbal Test Questions and Answers

Common Information

After the end of World War II, a pervasive, but unfortunately fallacious, economic perspective took hold. Based on the United States’ successful emergence from the Depression, the idea that war was good for an economy became fashionable. However, linking the United States economic recovery with its entry into World War II is a prime example of flawed economic thinking.

Supporters of the war benefits economy theory hold that a country at war is a country with a booming economy. Industry must produce weapons, supplies, food, and clothing for the troops. The increased production necessitates the hiring of more people, reducing unemployment.

More employment means more money in the pockets of citizens, who are then likely to go out and spend that money, helping the retail sector of the economy. Retail shops experience an increase in business and may need to hire more workers, further reducing unemployment and adding to the economic momentum. While this scenario sounds good in theory, it does not accurately represent what truly happens in a war time economy.

In reality, the government can fund a war in a combination of three ways. It can raise taxes, cut spending on other areas, or increase the national debt. Each of these strategies has a negative impact on the economy. An increase in taxes takes money out of an individual’s hands, leading to a reduction in consumer spending. Clearly, there is no net benefit to the economy in that case. Cutting spending in other areas has its costs as well, even if they are not as obvious.

Any reduction in government spending means the imposition of a greater burden on the benefactors of that government spending. Cutbacks in a particular program mean that the people who normally depend on that program now must spend more of their money to make up for the government cuts. This also takes money out of consumers’ hands and leaves the economy depressed. Of course, a government could go into debt during the war, but such a strategy simply means that at some point in the future, taxes must be increased or spending decreased. Plus, the interest on the debt must be paid as well.

Easy Reading Comprehension Question - 21

Q21.

Common Information Question: 4/4

The second paragraph of the passage performs which of the following functions?

A.

It describes the common economic benefits of a wartime economy.

B.

It provides the background information necessary to understand the information in the third paragraph.

C.

It explains what happened to the United States’ economy during World War II.

D.

It presents a possible objection to the author’s main thesis.

E.

It helps explain why individuals might hold the viewpoint presented in the first paragraph.

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Common Information

In the pantheon of great thinkers, Karl Marx certainly ranks as one of the most influential, even if it has been said that no thinker has ever had his words more badly misrepresented, by supporters and detractors alike, than Karl Marx. After Marx, no social discipline was safe from an assault by Marxist thinkers. However, while the views and insights brought to bear by Marxists have helped to illuminate relationships in some disciplines, the Marxist worldview has been less successful when applied to certain human interactions.

For example, Marxist perspectives on global power relations have been assailed by many critics. Because Marx himself was especially concerned with economics, his followers have tended to elevate economic concerns, including the class struggle and control over the means of production, over all other areas. Thus, when analyzing the balance of power on a global level, key concepts such as nationalism, security, and the state are virtually ignored by Marxist scholars.

On a theoretical level, it may be useful to strip away these concepts to more closely examine certain other dynamics at work, but the Marxist view often fails to describe what actually happens in the real world. Consider the strong nationalism evident in Poland, even after generations of one-party Communist rule.

Also, the Marxist devotion to capitalism leads to simplifications on the world stage. Marxist political scientists typically refer to the "world capitalist system" when analyzing interactions among nations, but this definition has less and less relevance when applied to the variety of economies at work in the world. Where do countries with transitional or developing economies such as China, Russia, and North Korea fit into this schema? Ultimately, a Marxist view of global interactions sacrifices a great many crucial concepts at the altar of one overarching economic perspective. Some critics have likened such a view to an analysis of Shakespeare’s Hamlet that neglects to discuss the protagonist and his motivations.

Easy Reading Comprehension Question - 22

Q22.

Common Information Question: 1/4

The passage suggests which of the following about Karl Marx?

A.

Marx has had more influence on more disciplines than has any other thinker.

B.

He focused too much of his efforts on economic issues.

C.

Some believe the meaning of his work has been distorted to support a variety of views.

D.

Marx launched an assault on the social sciences.

E.

Marx’s views have been less than successful in describing economic relationships.

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Easy Reading Comprehension Question - 23

Q23.

Common Information Question: 2/4

The author of the passage most probably discusses Poland in order to:

A.

refute an argument about the viability of Communism as an economic system

B.

highlight an example of a country in which Communism has failed to take hold

C.

demonstrate how theoretical descriptions of nationalism conform to real world examples

D.

provide an illustration of a deficiency in the viewpoint held by certain scholars

E.

prove that Marxist scholars have been unable to accurately describe the real world

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Easy Reading Comprehension Question - 24

Q24.

Common Information Question: 3/4

The passage suggests that the author would be most likely to agree with which of the following statements?

A.

Global power relations are too complex to be effectively explained in terms of a single variable.

B.

The Marxist view of global relations should be abandoned because of its failures to accurately describe the world.

C.

The economies of China, Russia, and Korea will eventually transition to fully fledged capitalism.

D.

Marx’s followers have misrepresented his work in an effort to apply his economic ideas to a global setting.

E.

Any view of global relationships must include concepts of nationalism, security, and the state in order to accurately describe the world.

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Easy Reading Comprehension Question - 25

Q25.

Common Information Question: 4/4

As used in the passage, the phrase "world capitalist system" most likely refers to:

A.

an effort by capitalist countries to attempt to dominate world markets

B.

a fully integrated global economy

C.

a homogeneity among the economies of the countries of the world

D.

a system that fails to take into account developing or transitional economies

E.

a Marxist critique of the global class struggle

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