GED Reading Practice Questions

GED Reading Practice Questions

GED Reading Practice Questions | Fiction 1920-60

Read the passage beneath and answer the following five questions.

It goes a long way back, some twenty years. All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was naive. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: That I am nobody but myself. But first I had to discover that I am an invisible man!

And yet I am no freak of nature, nor of history. I was in the cards, other things having been equal (or unequal) eighty-five years ago. I am not ashamed of my grandparents for having been slaves. I am only ashamed of myself for having at one time been ashamed. About eighty-five years ago they were told they were free, united with others of our country in everything pertaining to the common good, and, in everything social, separate like the fingers of the hand. And they believed it. They exulted in it. They stayed in their place, worked hard, and brought up my father to do the same. But my grandfather is the one. He was an odd old guy, my grandfather, and I am told I take after him. It was he who caused the trouble. On his deathbed he called my father to him and said, “Son, after I’m gone I want you to keep up the good fight. I never told you, but our life is a war and I have been a traitor all my born days, a spy in the enemy’s country ever since I give up my gun back in the Reconstruction. Live with your head in the lion’s mouth. I want you to overcome ’em with yeses, undermine ’em with grins, agree ’em to death and destruction, let ’em swoller you till they vomit or bust wide open.” They thought the old man had gone out of his mind. He had been the meekest of men. The younger children were rushed from the room, the shades drawn and the flame of the lamp turned so low that it sputtered on the wick like the old man’s breathing. “Learn it to the younguns,” he whispered fiercely; then he died.

Ralph Ellison, “Battle Royal,” 1947

1. In the last sentence of the first paragraph the narrator says, “I am an invisible man!” Why might the narrator feel he is invisible?

A. He doesn’t know who he really is.
B. He goes unnoticed as a black man in America.
C. He hides from his past to not face the truth.
D. He doesn’t know what to do with his life.

2. What kind of tone does the following piece of literature have?

A. Longing and Regretful
B. Frustrated and Defiant
C. Thankful and Accepting
D. Shameful and Confused.

3. What is the meaning of the word exulted in the second paragraph?

A. Grieved
B. Were disillusioned
C. Were ashamed
D. Rejoiced

4. How was the narrator’s grandfather a traitor?

A. He was caught as a spy in the civil war.
B. He had gone against his family’s traditions.
C. He never fought for rights of his fellow black people.
D. He was part of the Reformation Army.

5. In the first paragraph, why does the narrator say his was naive?

A. He did know himself before this time.
B. He was looking for himself in other people.
C. He was born and raised where he was.
D. He forgot his family’s past.

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GED Reading Practice Questions | Fiction 1960-Present

Read the passage beneath and answer the following five questions.

And Sonny hadn’t been near a piano for over a year. And he wasn’t on much better terms with his life, not the life that stretched before him now. He and the piano stammered, started one way, got scared, stopped; started another way, panicked, marked time, started again; then seemed to have found a direction, panicked again, got stuck. And the face I saw on Sonny I’d never seen before. Everything had been burned out of it, and, at the same time, things usually hidden were being burned in, by the fire and fury of the battle which was occurring in him up there.

More review materials: Reasoning Through Language Arts

Yet, watching Creole’s face as they neared the end of the first set, I had the feeling that something had happened, something I hadn’t heard. Then they finished, there was scattered applause, and then, without an instant’s warning, Creole started into something else, it was almost sardonic, it was Am I Blue. And, as though he commanded, Sonny began to play. Something began to happen. And Creole let out the reins. The dry, low, black man said something awful on the drums, Creole answered, and the drums talked back. Then the horn insisted, sweet and high, slightly detached perhaps, and Creole listened, commenting now and then, dry, and driving, beautiful, calm and old. Then they all came together again, and Sonny was part of the family again. I could tell this from his face. He seemed to have found, right there, beneath his fingers, a damn brand-new piano. It seemed that he couldn’t get over it. Then, for a while, just being happy with Sonny, they seemed to be agreeing with him that brand-new pianos certainly were a gas.

We have Practice Test that you can use: GED® Reasoning Through Language Arts Practice Tests

Then Creole stepped forward to remind them that what they were playing was the blues. He hit something in all of them, he hit something in me, myself, and the music tightened and deepened, apprehension began to beat the air. Creole began to tell us what the blues were all about. They were not about anything very new. He and his boys up there were keeping it new, at the risk of ruin, destruction, madness and death, in order to find new ways to make us listen. For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it must always be heard. There isn’t any other tale to tell, it’s the only light we’ve got in all this darkness.

James Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues,” 1965

Learn more about GED Reasoning through Language Arts Guide

1. What point of view is this story told from?

A. Second-person
B. Outside perspective
C. First-person
D. Narrative

2. What is the best definition for the word sardonic used in the second paragraph?

A. free
B. playful
C. humorful
D. cynical

We have GED Reasoning through Language Arts

3. How does the narrator describe Sonny’s change in the second paragraph?

A. like he was a the only one on stage
B. like he had never played piano before
C. like he was playing from his heart
D. like he found a new piano

4. In the second paragraph, what metaphor does the author use to describe the bands playing ?

A. a conversation
B. playing new piano
C. the first time playing piano
D. a dream

Start reviewing with our helpful contents: GED Reading Practice Questions | Fiction 1960-Present

5. Life is best represented symbolically in this story by what?

A. the blues
B. the stage
C. the instruments
D. audience

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The two boys were indistinguishable from one another. They could have been twins separated at birth. What is the meaning of indistinguishable?

GED Reading Practice Questions | GED Study Guide

The two boys were indistinguishable from one another. They could have been twins separated at birth.
What is the meaning of indistinguishable within this sentence?

A. apart
B. similar
C. close
D. identical

The two boys were indistinguishable from one another. They could have been twins separated at birth. What is the meaning of indistinguishable? Read More »