Practice Questions on Reading Comprehension
Verbal Test Questions and Answers

Common Information

A fundamental principle of pharmacology is that all drugs have multiple actions. Actions that are desirable in the treatment of disease are considered therapeutic, while those that are undesirable or pose risks to the patient are called "effects." Adverse drug effects range from the trivial, e.g., nausea or dry mouth, to the serious, e.g., massive gastrointestinal bleeding or thromboembolism; and some drugs can be lethal. Therefore, an effective system for the detection of adverse drug effects is an important component of the health care system of any advanced nation. Much of the research conducted on new drugs aims at identifying the conditions of use that maximize beneficial effects and minimize the risk of adverse effects.

The intent of drug labeling is to reflect this body of knowledge accurately so that physicians can properly prescribe the drug; or, if it is to be sold without prescription, so that consumers can properly use the drug.

The current system of drug investigation in the United States has proved very useful and accurate in identifying the common side effects associated with new prescription drugs. By the time a new drug is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, its side effects are usually well described in the package insert for physicians. The investigational process, however, cannot be counted on to detect all adverse effects because of the relatively small number of patients involved in premarketing studies and the relatively short duration of the studies.

Animal toxicology studies are, of course, done prior to marketing in an attempt to identify any potential for toxicity, but negative results do not guarantee the safety of a drug in humans, as evidenced by such well known examples as the birth deformities due to thalidomide.

This recognition prompted the establishment in many countries of programs to which physicians report adverse drug effects. The United States and other countries also send reports to an international program operated by the World Health Organization. These programs, however, are voluntary reporting programs and are intended to serve a limited goal: alerting a government or private agency to adverse drug effects detected by physicians in the course of practice. Other approaches must be used to confirm suspected drug reactions and to estimate incidence rates. These other approaches include conducting retrospective control studies; for example, the studies associating endometrial cancer with estrogen use, and systematic monitoring of hospitalized patients to determine the incidence of acute common side effects, as typified by the Boston Collaborative Drug Surveillance Program.

Thus, the overall drug surveillance system of the United States is composed of a set of information bases, special studies, and monitoring programs, each contributing in its own way to our knowledge about marketed drugs. The system is decentralized among a number of governmental units and is not administered as a coordinated function. Still, it would be inappropriate at this time to attempt to unite all of the disparate elements into a comprehensive surveillance program. Instead, the challenge is to improve each segment of the system and to take advantage of new computer strategies to improve coordination and communication.

Easy Reading Comprehension Question - 31

Q31.

Common Information Question: 6/7

The author is most probably leading up to a discussion of some suggestions about how to:

A.

centralize authority for drug surveillance in the United States

B.

centralize authority for drug surveillance among international agencies

C.

coordinate better the sharing of information among the drug surveillance agencies

D.

eliminate the availability and sale of certain drugs now on the market

E.

improve drug testing procedures to detect dangerous effects before drugs are approved

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Easy Reading Comprehension Question - 32

Q32.

Common Information Question: 7/7

The author relies on which of the following in developing the passage?

A.

Statistics

B.

Analogy

C.

Examples

D.

Authority

E.

Rhetorical Questions

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Common Information

Newton’s surprising success at developing the laws of motion, as well as the development and refinement of other physical laws, led to the idea of scientific determinism. The first expression of this principle was in the beginning of the nineteenth century by Laplace, a French scientist. Laplace argued that if one knew the position and velocity of all the particles in the universe at a given time, the laws of physics would be able to predict the future state of the universe.

Scientific determinism held sway over a great many scientists until the early twentieth century, when the quantum mechanics revolution occurred. Quantum mechanics introduced the world to the idea of the uncertainty principle, which stated that it was impossible to accurately measure both the position and the velocity of a particle at one time. Because Laplace’s omniscience could never occur, even in theory, the principle of scientific determinism was thrown into doubt. However, quantum mechanics does allow for a reduced form of scientific determinism. Even though physicists are unable to know precisely where a particle is and what its velocity is, they can determine certain probabilities about its position and velocity. These probabilities are called wave functions. By use of a formula known as the Schrodinger equation, a scientist with the wave function of a particle at a given time can calculate the particle’s future wave function. These calculations can give the particle’s position or velocity, but not both. Thus, the physicist is in possession of exactly half of the information needed to satisfy Laplace’s view of determinism. Unfortunately, under modern physics theories, that is far as any researcher can go in predicting the future.

Easy Reading Comprehension Question - 33

Q33.

Common Information Question: 1/4

The passage suggests that if scientific determinism were true:

A.

scientists would, in theory, be able to predict the future

B.

all the particles in the universe would have a measurable position and velocity

C.

the theory of quantum mechanics would be false

D.

Schrodinger’s equation could be used to calculate any particle’s Position

E.

the quantum mechanics revolution would not have occurred

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Easy Reading Comprehension Question - 34

Q34.

Common Information Question: 2/4

According to the passage, wave functions:

A.

allow scientists to determine the position and velocity of a particle

B.

are determined by the Schrodinger equation

C.

provide a range of possible locations and velocities for a particle

D.

allow a scientist to calculate the future state of the universe

E.

threw the proposition of scientific determinism into doubt

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Easy Reading Comprehension Question - 35

Q35.

Common Information Question: 3/4

Which of the following best describes the organization of the passage?

A.

A paradox is introduced, competing explanations are offered, and a final resolution is reached.

B.

Two opposing theories are introduced, critiqued, and reconciled.

C.

An idea is introduced, its validity is questioned, and its application qualified.

D.

A theory is introduced, its mathematical basis is examined, and it is rejected.

E.

An argument is made, an objection to it is detailed, and the argument is revised.

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