ACCUPLACER Reading Comprehension Practice Test

Try our free ACCUPLACER Reading Comprehension practice test. The ACCUPLACER Reading Comprehension test consists of 20 questions of two different types. In the first type you must read a passage of text and then answer a question about the passage. The second type of question presents two sentences, and then asks you a question about the relationship between the two sentences.

Directions for questions 1-10: Read the passage and then choose the best answer to the question. Your answer should be based on what is stated or implied in the passage.

Directions for questions 11-20: Read the two underlined sentences and then choose the best answer to the question.

Congratulations - you have completed . You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%. Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%
Your answers are highlighted below.
Question 1
At the time Paine wrote "Common Sense," most colonists considered themselves to be aggrieved Britons. Paine fundamentally changed the tenor of colonists' argument with the crown when he wrote the following: "Europe, and not England, is the parent country of America. This new world hath been the asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty from every part of Europe. Hither they have fled, not from the tender embraces of the mother, but from the cruelty of the monster; and it is so far true of England, that the same tyranny which drove the first emigrants from home, pursues their descendants still."

The main idea of the paragraph suggests that Paine

A
influenced people to migrate from England to the colonies.
B
contributed to the colonists’ growing sense of group identity.
C
refuted the notion that most colonists emigrated from Britain.
D
had come from a country other than England.
Question 1 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). The passage shows that after Paine released “Common Sense,” the argument of the colonists changed, and that rather than considering themselves as solely aggrieved “Britons,” they now shared a larger bond in opposition to Europe as a whole.
Question 2
A new study suggests that thick crustal plugs and weakened mineral grains may explain a range of relatively speedy moves among tectonic plates around the world, from Hawaii to East Timor. Traditionally, scientists believed that all tectonic plates were pulled by subducting slabs—which resulted from the colder, top boundary layer of the Earth's rocky surface becoming heavy and sinking slowly into the deeper mantle. Yet that process does not account for sudden plate shifts. Such abrupt movement requires that slabs detach from their plates, but doing this quickly is difficult since the slabs should be too cold and stiff to detach.

According to the study, there are additional factors at work. Thick crust from continents or oceanic plateau is swept into the subduction zone, plugging it up and prompting the slab to break off. The detachment process is then accelerated when mineral grains in the necking slab start to shrink, causing the slab to weaken rapidly. The result is tectonic plates that abruptly shift horizontally, or continents suddenly bobbing up.

The passage is primarily about

A
the results from new research.
B
the weaknesses of mineral grains.
C
how crust is subducted on the earth’s surface.
D
the types of tectonic plates.
Question 2 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). The first sentence of both paragraphs mentions the “new study” and each paragraph goes into detail to discuss what the study has found. The focus of the passage is about this new research. The other answer choices are too specific to be the main idea.
Question 3
Sea turtles migrate across thousands of miles of ocean before returning to nest on the same stretch of coastline where they hatched, but how they do this has mystified scientists for more than fifty years. Sea turtles likely go to great lengths to find the places where they began life because successful nesting requires a combination of environmental features that are rare: soft sand, the right temperature, few predators, and an easily accessible beach.

From this passage it is safe to conclude that sea turtles

A
are not easily observed by scientists.
B
cannot lay their eggs on any beach other than the one on which they hatched.
C
will not lay their eggs on beaches with pebbly sand.
D
must have the ability to precisely detect their location.
Question 3 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). This makes the most sense. If the turtles are able to migrate “thousands of miles” as the passage states, they must be able to know their location with precise certainty; otherwise it is unlikely they would be able to find the beach on which they were hatched.
Question 4
In November 2007—after the sale of nearly 1.4 million iPhones—Time magazine named the sleek, 4.8-ounce device, originally available in a 4GB, $499 model and an 8GB, $599 model, its invention of the year. The iPhone went on sale in parts of Europe in late 2007 and in parts of Asia in 2008. In July 2008, Apple launched its online App Store, enabling people to download software applications that let them use their iPhones for games, social networking, travel planning and an ever growing laundry list of other activities. Apple went on to release updated models of the iPhone, including the 4S, which debuted in October 2011 and featured Siri, a new voice-activated digital assistant.

We can conclude from the information in the passage that

A
each generation of the iPhone has been better than the last.
B
Siri was released after the App Store was launched.
C
the App Store is older than the iPhone.
D
the iPhone is more popular in Europe than in Asia.
Question 4 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). Based on the dates from the passage, we can conclude that the App Store came before Siri, since the App Store launched in July 2008 and Siri debuted in October 2011. Choice (A) may be tempting, but the word “better” is a matter of opinion. It’s possible some people believe that an older model is “better” than a newer model. Look for a more fact-based answer choice to this question.
Question 5
About a minute after taking off from New York’s La Guardia Airport on January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 collided with a flock of geese. Crippled by the bird strike, both engines lost power and went quiet, forcing Captain Sullenberger to make an emergency landing. When air traffic controllers instructed the seasoned pilot to head for nearby Teterboro Airport, he calmly informed them that he was “unable” to reach a runway. “We’re gonna be in the Hudson,” he said simply, and then told the 150 terrified passengers and five crew members on board to brace for impact.

Ninety seconds later, Sullenberger glided the Airbus 320 over the chilly surface of the Hudson River, where it splashed down. As flight attendants ushered passengers into life jackets, through emergency exits and onto the waterlogged wings of the bobbing jet, rescue vessels hastened to the scene. One survivor suffered two broken legs and others were treated for minor injuries or hypothermia, but no fatalities occurred. After walking up and down the aisle twice to ensure a complete evacuation, Sullenberger was the last to leave the sinking plane.

The passage implies

A
Sullenberger could possibly have reached the Teterboro Airport, but did not want to risk it.
B
the flight attendants acted as heroically as the pilot.
C
that Sullenberger’s experience contributed to his success in dealing with the emergency.
D
many passengers had to wait in the water before help could arrive.
Question 5 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). The passage mentions the pilot was “seasoned” and says he “calmly” informed the passengers and crew of the situation. It is likely his experience helped him effectively deal with the incident. (D) may be tempting, but the passengers could have suffered hypothermia from the cold air, and did not necessarily have to be in the water. The fact that they put on life jackets does not mean they were literally in the water.
Question 6
NASA's Kepler Space Telescope has discovered a star with three planets only slightly larger than Earth. Its outermost planet orbits in the 'Goldilocks' zone—a region where surface temperatures could be moderate enough for liquid water, and perhaps life, to exist. The star ranks among the top 10 nearest stars known to have transiting planets.

The purpose of the passage is to

A
explore the possibility of life in outer space.
B
fundraise for further research.
C
announce the discovery of a new planet.
D
describe the conditions required for the ‘Goldilocks’ zone.
Question 6 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). The purpose of the passage is to inform the reader that a new planet has been found – one that could possibly have the conditions required to support life. We can conclude this because of the phrase “has discovered” in the first sentence.
Question 7
The long reign of Elizabeth, who became known as the "Virgin Queen" for her reluctance to endanger her authority through marriage, coincided with the flowering of the English Renaissance, associated with such renowned authors as William Shakespeare. By her death in 1603, England had become a major world power in every respect, and Queen Elizabeth I passed into history as one of England's greatest monarchs.

The writer believes Queen Elizabeth I did not marry because

A
she did not want to diminish her power.
B
she did not fall in love.
C
there were no suitable matches.
D
she was preoccupied with the English Renaissance.
Question 7 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). The passage states that Elizabeth felt “reluctance to endanger her authority” and so refrained from marriage. The English Renaissance is mentioned in the passage, but not in direct connection to Elizabeth’s refusal to marry.
Question 8
The amount of time a person sits during the day is associated with a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and death, regardless of regular exercise, according to a recent study. More than one half of an average person's day is spent being sedentary—sitting, watching television, or working at a computer. Avoiding sedentary time and getting regular exercise are both important for improving your health and survival.

Which of the following is implied by the passage?

A
Regular exercise will help counteract the negative effects of being sedentary.
B
Physical activity alone may not be enough to reduce the risk for disease.
C
Sitting still causes some types of heart disease and cancer.
D
Watching television while on a treadmill is considered sedentary time.
Question 8 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). The passage mentions that “regardless of regular exercise” sedentary activities can negatively impact one’s health. Choice (B) is a clear restatement of that idea.
Question 9
Victor Hugo, the son of one of Napoleon's officers, decided while still a teenager to become a writer. Although he studied law, he also founded a literary review to which he and other emerging writers published their work. In 1822, Hugo married his childhood sweetheart, Adele Foucher, and published his first volume of poetry, which won him a pension from Louis XVIII. In 1823, Hugo published his first novel, Han d'Islande. His 1827 play, Cromwell, embraced the tenets of Romanticism, which he laid out in the play's preface. The following year, despite a contract to begin work on a novel called Notre Dame de Paris, he set to work on two plays. The first, Marion de Lorme (1829), was censored for its candid portrayal of a courtesan. The second, Hernani, became the subject for a bitter and protracted debate between French Classicists and Romantics.

In 1831, he finally finished Notre Dame de Paris. In addition to promoting a Romantic aesthetic that would tolerate the imperfect and the grotesque, the book also had a simpler agenda: to increase appreciation of old Gothic structures, which had become the object of vandalism and neglect. Hugo's writing spanned more than six decades, and he was given a national funeral and buried in the Pantheon after his death in 1885.

Why did Victor Hugo write Notre Dame de Paris?

A
To pay his extensive debts.
B
To fund his playwriting career.
C
To reject the tenets of Romanticism.
D
To spark interest in architectural preservation.
Question 9 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). According to the passage, Hugo has a simple agenda: “to increase appreciation of old Gothic structures, which had become the object of vandalism and neglect.” (D) is the closest restatement. (C) may be tempting, but Hugo embraced rather than rejected the tenets of Romanticism.
Question 10
Athletes who down beet juice before exercising to increase blood flow and improve performance may be surprised at the results of a recent study. While beetroot juice rich in nitrates did not enhance muscle blood flow or vascular dilation during exercise, researchers found that it did 'de-stiffen' blood vessels under resting conditions, potentially easing the workload of the heart.

The author of the passage believes that beet juice

A
is over-rated and should be avoided.
B
can be positive in small doses only.
C
may be beneficial in unexpected ways.
D
does not have as many benefits as once thought.
Question 10 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). Though the author states that athletes might be surprised, the “surprise” discussed is a good thing: the beet juice can potentially ease “the workload of the heart.”
Question 11
Climate change threatens the genetic diversity of the world’s food supply.

Saving crops and animals at risk will be crucial for preserving yields and adapting to wild weather patterns.

What does the second sentence do?

A
It provides an effect.
B
It expands on the first sentence.
C
It restates the idea found in the first.
D
It rejects the idea found in the first.
Question 11 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). The first sentence makes a simple point: climate change hurts food diversity. The next sentence expands on this by describing more specifically how food diversity will be affected and what are preventative measures that can be taken. This is more than a simple “effect” from a stated cause.
Question 12
Researchers have built a rice grain-sized microwave laser, powered by single electrons, that demonstrates the fundamental interactions between light and moving electrons.

It is a major step toward building quantum-computing systems out of semiconductor materials.

What does the second sentence do?

A
It emphasizes the importance of the main idea in the first.
B
It provides a contrast to the main idea in the first.
C
It proposes an alternate invention to the one mentioned in the first.
D
It analyzes the statement made in the first.
Question 12 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). The second sentence provides a context for the importance of the invention. Why should we care about this new laser? Because it will help in the development of advanced computers.
Question 13
Combining insecticide-treated bed nets with vaccines and other control measures may provide the best chance at eliminating malaria.

More than 20 malaria vaccine candidates are in different stages of development, but none are licensed for use.

How do the two sentences relate?

A
They provide a problem and a specific example.
B
They contradict each other.
C
They describe a cause and effect.
D
They reinforce each other.
Question 13 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). The first sentence states that bed nets combined with vaccines could help fight malaria. The second sentence reinforces this idea by describing the lack of a currently licensed malaria vaccine. Since there is no vaccine, it makes sense that bed nets should be used. The two sentences complement each other.
Question 14
The Abu Sir necropolis southwest of Cairo contains several pyramids dedicated to Egyptian rulers of the Fifth Dynasty.

One of which was the recently uncovered burial site of Khentakawess III, a previously unidentified pharaonic queen.

What does the second sentence do?

A
It states an effect.
B
It provides a concrete example.
C
It reinforces the first.
D
It contrasts with the first.
Question 14 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). The first sentence mentions “several pyramids” for “Egyptian rulers.” The second sentence includes specific details by providing an example, the burial site for Khentakawess III.
Question 15
In the short run, especially during recessions, economic output is strongly influenced by the demand of consumers, so governments should spend money to stimulate spending in tough economic times.

The ability of a free economy to regulate itself is the healthiest sign of a strong economy.

How do the two sentences relate?

A
They express roughly the same idea.
B
They reinforce each other.
C
They present conflicting ideas.
D
They establish a contrast.
Question 15 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). The first sentence advocates government spending to “stimulate” an economy in bad times, but the second sentence states that an economy is “healthiest” when it can “regulate itself.” The author of the second passage would not likely agree that the government should try to regulate the economy. Thus, we can conclude these are conflicting ideas.
Question 16
Common wisdom and prior economic research suggest that an inventor filing a patent would want to keep the technical know-how secret as long as possible.

But since 2000, most inventors when given the choice opted to disclose information about their patents before patent approval.

What does the second sentence do?

A
It provides a contrast.
B
It explains what is stated in the first.
C
It analyzes a statement made in the first.
D
It presents a solution for a problem.
Question 16 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). The keyword “but” at the beginning of the second sentence is the biggest clue that indicates this sentence contrasts with the first.
Question 17
Half a millennium before Columbus “discovered” the continent of North America, Vikings may have been the first Europeans to reach it.

Christopher Columbus was an Italian-born navigator who sailed in the service of Spain, and was the discoverer of the New World.

How do the sentences relate?

A
They provide a cause and effect.
B
They contradict each other.
C
They provide similar points of view.
D
They present problems and solutions.
Question 17 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). The first sentence puts quotation marks around the word “discovered,” indicating some hesitancy to call Columbus the official discoverer of North America. It implies that the Vikings may have been first. This idea contradicts the second sentence, which expressly states that Columbus was the discoverer of the New World.
Question 18
People are more successful in taking up healthy habits if their partner makes positive changes too.

My mother recently tried to quit smoking, and finally stopped completely after my father quit chewing tobacco.

What does the second sentence do?

A
It states an effect.
B
It makes a generalization.
C
It provides a contrast.
D
It offers an example.
Question 18 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). The first sentence makes a generalization about how couples can help each other be healthier, and the second sentence offers a concrete example that supports that generalization.
Question 19
Doing eye exercises for as little as fifteen minutes a day, can vastly improve myopia in patients over time.

Research has demonstrated that wearing glasses to provide clear vision for distance seeing does not cause more nearsightedness.

What does the second sentence do?

A
It provides additional information on the same general topic.
B
It rejects a statement made in the first.
C
It clarifies a statement made in the first.
D
It restates an idea found in the first.
Question 19 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). Both sentences have to do with eyesight, but relate to different specific issues: correcting myopia with exercises, and preventing additional nearsightedness. One sentence focuses on eye exercises, while the other focuses on wearing glasses. The sentences do not closely relate to each other, but in general they relate to the same thing: eyesight.
Question 20
The habitat for the American alligator has steadily declined every year in the past decade.

It is important for pet owners in the Florida swamps to keep their animals inside in the evening in order to keep them protected.

What does the second sentence do?

A
It gives an example.
B
It states an effect.
C
It makes a contrast.
D
It restates the idea found in the first.
Question 20 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). The first sentence introduces a fact: alligators have a smaller habitat available to them. The second sentence introduces an effect: pet owners need to keep their pets inside to keep them safe. It makes sense that this is an effect. If the alligators have a smaller habitat, then they are likely to be found in the backyards of those individuals living in the Florida swamps and thus endanger pets.
Once you are finished, click the button below. Any items you have not completed will be marked incorrect. Get Results
There are 20 questions to complete.
List
Return
Shaded items are complete.
12345
678910
1112131415
1617181920
End
Return