Reading Practice

The Reading Comprehension section contains reading passages and questions about the passages. The questions are about information that is stated or implied in the passage and about some of the specific words in the passages. Because many English words have more than one meaning, it is important to remember that these questions concern the meaning of a word or phrase within the context of the passage.

Answer all questions about the information in a passage on the basis of what is stated orimplied in that passage.

Read the following passage:

The railroad was not the first institution to impose regularity on

society, or to draw attention to the importance of precise

timekeeping. For as long as merchants have set out their wares at
daybreak and communal festivities have been celebrated, people
have been in rough agreement with their neighbors as to the time of

day. The value of this tradition is today more apparent than ever.

Were it not for public acceptance of a single yardstick of time,

social life would be unbearably chaotic: the massive daily transfers

of goods, services, and information would proceed in fits and

starts; the very fabric of modern society would begin to unravel.

Example I

What is the main idea of the passage?
  1. In modern society we must make more time for our neighbors.
  2. The traditions of society are timeless.
  3. An accepted way of measuring time is essential for the smooth functioning of society.
  4. Society judges people by the times at which they conduct certain activities.
The main idea of the passage is that societies need to agree about how time is measured in order to function smoothly. Therefore, you should choose answer C.

Example II
In line 6, the phrase “this tradition” refers to
  1. the practice of starting the business day at dawn
  2. friendly relations between neighbors
  3. the railroad’s reliance on time schedules
  4. people’s agreement on the measurement of time
The phrase “this tradition” refers to the preceding clause, “people have been in rough agreement with their neighbors as to the time of day.” Therefore, you should choose answer D.