The following exercise a sample one. Its purpose is to show how the information you have studied in Parts One and Two is put to use in reading.
A second purpose of the sample exercise is to preview the 30 exercises which appear in Part Four. Reading the sample passage and answering the sample questions will help you get off to a good start.
The answers to all the questions are explained fully. Reasons are given showing why the correct answers are the best answers and where the wrong answers are faulty.
Complete the sample exercise carefully and thoughtfully. Do not go on to Part Four until you are certain that you understand inferences and how they are made.
Mrs. Harris, an elderly patient in a nursing home, sat all day in a chair. She did nothing else. She required complete physical care, even feeding. No one seemed to realize that she was partially deaf and blind. One day, a young doctor observed cataracts in both her eyes. He discovered that if he spoke in her ear, she seemed to respond. One eye was operated on, and when it was first uncovered, the old woman cried with joy. Her recovery was quick, and she soon became quite independent. She started feeding herself and took to smiling and talking with others. The change in her attitude was amazing. Not only did she require less nursing care, but she was also able to help other patients. She was again able to see and with this, seemed to experience some hearing recovery.
1. The regular attendants of the nursing home were most probably
2. It can be reasonably inferred from this paragraph that
3. Evidence suggests that the young doctor was
4. Underline the sentence in the paragraph from which you can infer that Mrs. Harris was discouraged and depressed.
Answers and Explanations
1. The best answer to the first question is c, the attendants were probably unaware of Mrs. Harris' real problem. One sentence in particular makes this inference likely: "No one seemed to realize that she was deaf and blind."
Answers a, b, and d are wrong for these reasons:
Answer a: There is no mention of the attendants' work schedule so it is impossible to infer that they are overworked.
Answer b: The paragraph states that Mrs. Harris received complete physical care. No one purposely ignored her health problems.
Answer d: Highly trained medical specialists would have discovered that Mrs. Harris was deaf and blind, as the young doctor did.
2. The best answer to the second question is a, a person's state of health affects his outlook on life. This idea can be inferred because after her eye operation, Mrs. Harris "soon became quite independent ... and took to smiling and talking with others". As her health improved, her outlook on life improved, also.
Answers b, c, and d are wrong for these reasons:
Answer b: The paragraph suggests the opposite. The attendants seemed qualified to carry out their daily tasks of caring for the patients.
Answers c and d: Nothing in the paragraph suggests that elderly people should be cared for by their families, or that state governments should supervise nursing homes closely.
3. The best answer to the third question is b, evidence suggests that the young doctor was alert. He discovered cataracts in both her eyes and determined that she was not totally deaf.
Answers a, c, and d are wrong for these reasons:
Answers a and c: Nothing in the paragraph suggests that the doctor was unusual or independent. He was probably performing a regular check-up on Mrs. Harris.
Answer d: A casual doctor probably would not have discovered Mrs. Harris' medical problems or acted so swiftly to help her.
4. The first and second sentences of the paragraph suggest that Mrs. Harris was discouraged and depressed. "Mrs. Harris, an elderly patient in a nursing home, sat all day in a chair", and "She did nothing else." A person who has no interests and participates in no activities is often discouraged and depressed. Consider either of the two sentences as a correct answer.
If you had difficulty answering these questions correctly, review the paragraph and questions. If, after that, you still do not understand the answers and explanations, check with your instructor before going on.