Practice Questions on Reading Comprehension
Verbal Test Questions and Answers

Common Information

On the whole, the American population has very little taste for income redistribution as economic policy. Beginning in the 1930s, public opinion polls have rarely shown strong support for income redistribution; during times of economic hardship, the percentage of Americans in favor of such a system has barely crested 50 percent. Similarly, Americans have been reluctant to press for a limit on the profits of big corporations, with less than a third of those polled in the 20 year span between 1950 and 1970 favouring such a policy.

Even during the Depression, the populace was reluctant to embrace income redistribution as a solution to the country’s woes. In 1939, over 60 percent of respondents indicated that the government should not increase taxes on the wealthy and an overwhelming majority—over 80 percent—rejected the idea of the government confiscating wealth. Clearly, the American spirit of Lockean liberalism and rugged individualism runs deep. It appears that most people are content to trust income distribution to the private market.

Of course, while overall support for income distribution remains low on average, there are some significant differences in levels of support based on income levels. As expected, those in the lowest income bracket demonstrate the strongest support for employment and income maintenance programs. However, contrary to expectations, these differences in support were not largest during the volatile economic times of the 1930s and 1940s. Rather, the documented differences in support based on income have been relatively stable over time. On the whole, political scientists have noticed anywhere from a 22 percent to 34 percent difference between the opinions of those classified as "prosperous" and those classified as "poor" on the question of income redistribution.

Moderate Reading Comprehension Question - 36

Q36.

Common Information Question: 2/4

The passage states that differences in support for governmental income redistribution policies:

A.

defied expectations by showing that those in lower income brackets had less support for these programs than those in higher income brackets

B.

vary greatly depending the income level of respondents and the economic conditions at the time the poll is taken

C.

are not, for the most part, significantly affected by outside influences

D.

are not significantly different due to the American ideal of rugged individualism

E.

are based solely on differences in the income levels of respondents

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Moderate Reading Comprehension Question - 37

Q37.

Common Information Question: 3/4

Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?

I. During the Depression, a smaller percentage of Americans supported raising taxes than supported government confiscation of wealth

II. Today, about a third of Americans support limits on corporate profits

III. Before 1930, a majority of Americans supported income distribution

A.

I only

B.

I and II only

C.

I and III only

D.

I, II, and III

E.

None

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Moderate Reading Comprehension Question - 38

Q38.

Common Information Question: 4/4

An assumption underlying the author’s assertion in the second paragraph is that:

A.

the private market is the best way to distribute income in an economy

B.

Americans had never experienced economic hardships as severe as those experienced during the Great Depression

C.

Lockean liberalism and rugged individualism entail a reliance on private markets for income distribution

D.

the government had no intentions of confiscating property during the Great Depression

E.

income redistribution would be insufficient to solve the country’s economic woes during the Great Depression

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Common Information

Some people maintain that the whole of medieval society can be explained by the relationship between lord and vassal. But while much of Europe was divided into fiefs, the very lands from which the word feudalism derives, there were parts of the continent that did not fit so nice a definition. In fact, much of Italy, Spain, and southern France were not "feudal" in this sense.

Still, contractual obligations based on land ownership did define much of the social interaction of the period. Corporations, such as they were in this time, might be lords or vassals or both. For example, a monastery might be the lord to the tenant who resides in one of the manor houses on the monastery grounds, while at the same time the monastery pays its homage to the king. There was much room in the medieval system for ambiguities, but the exchange of obligations between superior and inferior was the key element of the society.

As the feudal system increased in scope, new social structures emerged to help maintain the convoluted networks of relationships required by feudalism. In order to justify the continued extraction of resources from the peasants, the kings and lords had to provide security. This exchange led to both the aristocracies that would come to control Europe for centuries to come and the rise of a dedicated warrior class, whose militaristic tendencies would be partly responsible for the years and years of warfare that would wrack Europe. Counterbalancing this, though, was the tradition of courtly behaviour and romantic love that would not have arisen without the fighting class.

While the lives of the vassals were not to be envied, it would be remiss to think that medieval kings led luxurious lives. The great kings of early Europe had more freedom, but that freedom was tempered by the paucity of options available. There was not much more to do than eat, sleep, pray, hunt, and watch over the estate.

Moderate Reading Comprehension Question - 39

Q39.

Common Information Question: 1/4

The primary purpose of the passage given is to:

A.

critique the position of those who believe medieval Europe was defined entirely by the feudal system

B.

compare and contrast medieval European social structures with modern ones

C.

describe the social conditions prevalent under the feudal system

D.

discuss the historical conditions that led to years of European warfare

E.

detail the daily lives of typical medieval citizens

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Moderate Reading Comprehension Question - 40

Q40.

Common Information Question: 2/4

Each of the following aspects of the feudal system is mentioned in the passage EXCEPT:

A.

responsibilities based on land ownership

B.

simultaneous occupation of roles

C.

complicated societal relationships

D.

pastimes of vassals

E.

early form of taxation

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