ASVAB Paragraph Comprehension Practice Test 2

Try another of our free ASVAB Paragraph Comprehension practice tests. There are 11 questions that must be answered within 22 minutes. This test measures your reading comprehension skills and your ability to make inferences. Make sure you read the paragraphs slowly and carefully. We recommend that you read the paragraph, then read the question, and then read the paragraph a second time.

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Question 1
You may think that all cells are the same; however, plant and animal cells actually have quite a few differences. The most obvious difference is size, as a plant cell can be up to ten times bigger than an animal cell. Furthermore, they contain different structures. Animal cells lack the chloroplasts, cell wall, and vacuoles that are found in plant cells.

What would be the best title for this passage?

“Plant and Animal Cells: What’s the Difference?”
“What Do Cells Do?”
“Why Plant Cells Are More Efficient”
“The Importance of Cell Walls”
Question 1 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A) because the paragraph primarily discusses the difference between plant and animal cells. It does not state any superiority between them, which makes answer (C) false. Answers (B) and (D) are incorrect because neither of those topics are discussed in the paragraph.
Question 2
The long reign of Elizabeth I coincided with the flourishing of the English Renaissance, associated with such acclaimed authors as William Shakespeare. Elizabeth I became known as the “Virgin Queen” for her reluctance to endanger her authority through marriage. By the time of her death in 1603, England had become a major world power in every respect, and Queen Elizabeth I passed into history as one of the country's greatest monarchs.

The writer believes Queen Elizabeth I did not marry because

she was preoccupied with the English Renaissance.
she did not fall in love.
she did not want to diminish her power.
there were no suitable matches.
Question 2 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). 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 3
Jerry started to sweat. He hadn’t spoken in front of a crowd before, but this was his chance to prove himself. Pretending his hands weren’t shaking, he lifted his head and smiled at all the people sitting in front of him. He began to speak in what he thought sounded like a confident tone, but his words came out jumbled, and he stuttered out a plethora of “ums” and “uhs.” He began to shake even more. Maybe this wasn’t as easy as he thought it would be.

In the passage, Jerry

has to deliver a speech to thousands of people.
tries to do something he hasn’t done in a long time.
thought speaking would be hard, but it was actually easy.
thought speaking would be easy, but it was actually hard.
Question 3 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). The last sentence states that Jerry thought speaking would be easy, but based on the information that he was stuttering, sweating, and shaking, it was clearly not so simple for him. Answer (A) is false because the passage never mentions how many people were in the crowd. Answer (B) is also incorrect because the second sentence says Jerry had never spoken in front of a crowd. Answer (C) is incorrect because it is the opposite of what happened.
Question 4
Ocean pollution is a widespread problem in our world. Individuals as well as industries often dump chemicals, trash, or debris into the ocean, which has many harmful effects. One of the most terrible things to result from pollution is the harm it causes to marine wildlife. Not only does debris deplete the oxygen content of water, but the many harmful chemicals introduced to the water cause failure of animals’ reproductive systems, inhibit photosynthesis in coral reefs, and often kill individual creatures through choking, digestive complications, or entrapment.

Which of the following statements is NOT supported by the passage?

Ocean pollution has many harmful effects on the ecosystem.
People throwing trash in the ocean is the biggest problem for sea creatures.
Corporations and people both deserve blame for pollution.
Chemicals as well as trash are disrupting marine life.
Question 4 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). Answers (A), (C), and (D) are all directly stated in the passage. Answer (B) is not supported by the passage because the author never states what causes the most harm or is the biggest problem; it was simply stated that there are multiple sources and types of pollution.
Question 5
It seems there has been a recent resurgence of all things vintage. Teenagers and young adults all across the country are buying record players, Polaroid cameras, and even clothes that used to be super trendy, like bomber jackets and old rock band tees. Old trends are being revived, and the younger generations are fascinated with clothes and objects that originated way before their time.

The main idea of this passage is that

people are no longer buying anything new.
CDs are being replaced by vinyl records.
kids don’t appreciate past generations like they should.
young people like styles and products that were popular years ago.
Question 5 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). The passage discusses a resurgence of old trends in an appreciation for everything “vintage.” The passage does not state that everyone loves vintage or that no new styles and products are being bought, so answers (A) and (B) are false. Answer (C) is incorrect because the passage does not mention children; it only discusses young adults and their apparent appreciation of past generations.
Question 6
Scurvy is caused by a genetic mutation that prevents humans from synthesizing vitamin C, causing the body to disintegrate. It was inevitable on long voyages of discovery during which fresh food was hard to get. One of the remarkable symptoms among sailors was an extreme receptivity to sensory impressions. Sudden sounds, such as a loud boom from a musket or a cannon blast, were known to kill scorbutic sailors. Even pleasant stimuli, such as a drink of fresh water or a long-awaited taste of fruit, could provoke a seizure and put an end to their lives.

The passage implies which of the following about scorbutic sailors?

Fresh food could cure them of the disease.
They would be prone to genetic mutation.
They could be easily overwhelmed.
They were more likely to commit suicide.
Question 6 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). The author mentions that sailors could be killed from a “long-awaited taste of fruit,” which supports answer (C), that “They could be easily overwhelmed” by outside stimuli. It is therefore unlikely that “fresh food could cure them of the disease,” as answer (A) states. Answer (B) is incorrect because scurvy doesn’t itself cause genetic mutation, and answer (D) is not discussed in the passage.
Question 7
The amount of time a person sits during the day is associated with a higher risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and death, regardless of regular exercise, according to a recent study. More than half of an average person's day is spent being sedentary—sitting, watching TV, or working at a computer. Avoiding sedentary time and getting regular exercise are both important for improving your overall health and longevity.

Which of the following is implied by the passage?

Regular exercise will counteract the negative effects of being sedentary.
Physical activity alone may not be enough to reduce the risk of disease.
Sitting still causes some types of heart disease and cancer.
Watching television while on a treadmill is considered sedentary time.
Question 7 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. Answers (A) and (D) are all false according to the information in the passage. Answer (C) assumes that sitting still is a direct cause of disease, though the passage only suggests that long periods of sitting increase the risk of these diseases.
Question 8
Never get out of your car alone at night when you pull over—even if you were just in an accident. Many criminals will use the strategy of lightly rear-ending you or hitting your car to get you to pull over and exit the vehicle. This is an opportunity for them to rob or hurt you, so exercise great caution and stay in your car!

The purpose of this passage is

to persuade people to drive more carefully.
to convince people that all accidents happen on purpose.
to inform people of a possible danger.
to tell a story.
Question 8 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). The author instructs the reader on what not to do because of a common danger that could be present. The author does not mention how you should drive, making (A) false. Answer (B) is incorrect because the author never made a statement about “all” accidents. Answer (D) is incorrect because the author is giving a warning, not telling a story.
Question 9
Mental illness is commonly misunderstood in modern society. Many people think that you can “choose happiness” over depression, or “man up” to overcome an anxiety attack. In truth, mental illness actually results from chemical imbalances in the brain. With illnesses such as depression and anxiety, the person with the illness often has a serotonin deficiency that is causing their emotions and behavior. Before you make assumptions about people with mental illness, remember that there’s a biological reason for the way they’re acting.

The author feels that

people with mental illness are often treated unfairly.
science education in America is lacking.
he or she may have a mental illness.
depression or anxiety can be cured.
Question 9 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). The author discusses that mental illness is “misunderstood” and prompts readers to not “make assumptions about people with mental illness.” The author never mentions education or cures, making answers (B) and (D) false. Answer (C) is also incorrect because the author does not mention personal thoughts or connections to mental illness.
Question 10
I heard voices coming from the living room, so I stopped coming down the stairs and listened. I knew one voice was my mother’s, but I did not recognize the other. Who could she be talking to so late at night? I wanted to creep down the stairs and try to get a peek, but I knew the bottom steps creak and would give me away. My mother mentioned my name in this conversation with a stranger. Why would she do that?

The narrator of this passage is

a teenager.
in trouble.
Question 10 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). The questions racing through the narrator's mind indicate curiosity. Answer (A) is incorrect because the passage never mentions the narrator’s age. Answer (B) is incorrect because there is no evidence of fear; the narrator simply asks questions about what’s going on. Answer (D) may sound right, but that would only be an assumption. There is no clue as to whether or not the narrator is in trouble, only that he or she does not want to be caught listening.
Question 11
The Romantic Era was a great time for literature. Writers centered their works around ideas of individual thoughts and feelings, and often used natural or spiritual symbols. As evident in the writings of Romantic poets such as William Blake, John Keats, and Percy Bysshe Shelley, there was often an emphasis on imagination, now appropriately referred to as the “Romantic Imagination.” Literature during this movement was increasingly unique and creative, causing readers to delve into their own imaginations and emotions to encounter the Romantic worldview.

According to the passage, Romanticism

was a religious movement.
emphasized imagination and emotion.
focused on education.
was relatively unimportant.
Question 11 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). The passage mentions that this literature had “an emphasis on imagination” and that it caused readers “to delve into their own imaginations and emotions.” Although the passage mentions spirituality, it does not mention religion, making answer (A) false. Similarly, answer (C) is incorrect because the passage makes no mention of education, and answer (D) is incorrect because the Romantic Era was said to be “a great time for literature.”
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