TSI Reading Practice Test

Try our free TSI Reading practice test. All of our TSI Reading practice questions are designed to be similar to those found on the Texas Success Initiative. This portion of the test measures reading proficiency in these four content areas: (1) Literary Analysis (2) Main Idea & Supporting Details (3) Author’s Use of Language (4) Inferences in a Text. Start your test prep right now with our TSI Reading practice test!

Directions: 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.

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Question 1
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.

*Source: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/elizabethan-age-begins

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 1 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 2
Jane Austen was born in 1775, the seventh of eight children born to a clergyman in Steventon, a country village in Hampshire, England. She was very close to her older sister, Cassandra, who remained her faithful editor and critic throughout her life. The girls had five years of formal schooling, then studied with their father. Jane began writing stories as young as age 12, completing an early novella at age 14. Jane concealed her writing from most of her acquaintances, slipping her writing paper under a blotter when someone entered the room. Though she avoided society, she was charming, intelligent, and funny. She rejected at least one proposal of marriage. She published several more novels before her death, including Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma. She died at age 42, of what today is thought to be Addison’s disease.

*Source: www.history.com/this-day-in-history/jane-austen-declines-royal-writing-advice

Which of the following best describes the author’s attitude towards Jane Austen?

A
vapid praise
B
servile commendation
C
cautious adulation
D
unqualified admiration
Question 2 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). The author describes Jane Austen as “charming, intelligent, and funny,” and there is nothing in the passage to suggest that the author has anything but admiration for her. Unqualified means “without reservations.” The author’s respect for Jane Austen appears to be wholehearted, so “unqualified admiration” would be a good description of the author’s attitude. Vapid means dull or uninspiring. Servile means slavish. The author does not offer dull or uninspiring or servile praise. The author is not cautious in praising Jane Austen.
Question 3
Scientists have found a new function of the nuclear membrane, the envelope that encases and protects DNA in the nucleus of a cell—it fixes potentially fatal breaks in DNA strands. Previously, the nuclear membrane was thought to be mostly just a protective bubble around the nuclear material, with pores acting as channels to transport molecules in and out. But a recent study has documented how broken strands of a portion of DNA known as heterochromatin are dragged to the nuclear membrane for repair. The reason why we don't experience thousands of cancers every day in our body is because we have incredibly efficient molecular mechanisms that repair the frequent damages occurring in our DNA.

*Source: https://pressroom.usc.edu/nuclear-membrane-repairs-the-dark-matter-of-dna/

The main idea of the passage is

A
to present the findings from new research.
B
to refute old notions of the structure of DNA.
C
to describe how heterochromatin functions.
D
to explain how our bodies destroy pre-cancerous cells.
Question 3 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). In the first sentence, the author mentions that “scientists have found” something new. Later, the author mentions a “recent study.” The author’s intention here is to describe new information that has been uncovered by researchers in the field of DNA and cancer research. The other choices are either too specific to fit the overall scope of this paragraph, or do not describe an informational tone.
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.

*Source: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/steve-jobs-debuts-the-iphone

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
Marvin Freeman’s groundbreaking new study of the plays of Henrik Ibsen will alter the course of Ibsen scholarship forever. Previously, scholars limited the areas of their studies to a particular phase of Ibsen’s career, since a different scholarly approach seemed to fit each of the phases. Freeman has instead taken on the entirety of Ibsen’s work. Happily, this breadth of scholarship does not diminish the depth with which Freeman explores each work. The career of Ibsen is now liberated from arbitrary divisions and stands before us as a complete picture. It will be years before we can fully appreciate the service that Freeman has rendered.
 
What is the main point of the paragraph?

A
Freeman has triumphed over obstacles.
B
Henrik Ibsen has triumphed over obstacles.
C
Freeman’s book is overly complicated, despite its scholastic value.
D
Freeman’s book will have lasting importance.
Question 5 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). The author has a consistent tone of praise for Freeman’s work, so the correct answer must be positive. Only (A) and (D) have a positive tone, and (D) best matches the meaning of the final sentence.
Question 6
Caused by a genetic mutation that prevents humans from synthesizing vitamin C, scurvy was inevitable in long voyages of discovery during which fresh food was hard to get, causing the body to disintegrate. One of the remarkable symptoms 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?

A
Fresh food could cure them of the disease.
B
They would be prone to genetic mutation.
C
They could be easily overwhelmed.
D
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.” Therefore it is unlikely that “fresh food could cure them of the disease.” (B) describes something that affects all humans, but scurvy doesn’t itself cause genetic mutation. More than likely, their reactions to stimuli meant they could easily be overwhelmed during their illness by outside stimuli.
Question 7
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.

*Source: uanews.arizona.edu/story/three-nearly-earth-size-planets-found-orbiting

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 7 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 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.

*Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150119171701.htm

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
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."

*Source: www.history.com/this-day-in-history/thomas-paine-publishes-common-sense

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 9 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 10
Although much about dolphin communication remains a mystery, scientists have discovered three distinct sounds that dolphins frequently make: chirps, clicks, and whistles. Scientists have learned that dolphins use clicks to create a sonar map, which allows them to navigate and hunt. But, apart from possibly transmitting location, the clicks do not appear to serve any communication purpose. Rather, research indicates that dolphins communicate with each other by whistling. This discovery has necessitated further investigation, as scientists are not yet sure whether the whistles comprise a complex system of linguistic communication or a simple set of sonic cues, like the ones used by other animal species.
 
According to the passage, the whistles are significant in part because they

A
show that dolphins are capable of expressing emotion
B
prompt questions about the complexity of dolphin communication
C
aid dolphins in navigating and hunting
D
continue to spur research into their unknown purpose
Question 10 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). The author declares that whistles are important because scientists think dolphins whistle to communicate with each other, and scientists want to learn how advanced this communication system is, which matches choice (B).
Question 11
Questions 11-14 refer to the following two passages:

Passage 1
Beatrix Potter had a life of two halves, which makes her a difficult subject for biography. Until she was 45-ish she had twice-yearly publications of the little books that transformed childhood and made her famous. Between 1902 and 1913 characters such as Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Jeremy Fisher and Jemima Puddle-Duck poured from Potter's fertile sketchbooks into the imaginations of small children everywhere. After that her work slowed down and became less inventive. Previous studies of Potter have tended, inevitably, to concentrate on the first part of her working life. But there was never anything sentimental about Potter's attitude to animals. When the real Peter Rabbit or Mrs Tiggy-Winkle were sick, they were gassed, boiled down and their skeletons used to better understand anatomy. It was this ability to look closely at the natural world that brought Potter her first opportunity to break out of her limited family circle.

*Source: www.theguardian.com/books/2007/jan/13/featuresreviews.guardianreview20

Passage 2
Helen Beatrix Potter, born Saturday, 28 July 1866, grew up in a fully-serviced Kensington house. A cold, uninterested mother raised the child at arm’s length, and the warmest early companionship came from pets—lizards, guinea-pigs, newts, birds, mice, bats and rabbits, cats and dogs. Her animal friends opened a portal into the widest and most powerful arena of all—the natural world. In the year she was born, her grandfather purchased a 300-acre estate in the countryside. Annual family trips to the Lake District and Scotland clinched the deal, and led to a lifelong love affair with the fields and forests of England.

*Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2014/07/23/the-tale-of-beatrix-potter/

The author of Passage 1 would most likely criticize the author of Passage 2 for

A
a somewhat limited perspective on the life of Beatrix Potter
B
placing too much emphasis on the importance of Beatrix Potter’s childhood
C
neglecting to provide details on Beatrix Potter’s later life
D
failing to specifically mention Beatrix Potter’s main characters in her books
Question 11 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). Passage 1 makes the point that Beatrix Potter’s life should be examined as two distinct halves, yet Passage 2 only expresses her love of animals and her experiences with the natural world. No doubt the author of Passage 1 would find the author of Passage 2’s perspective somewhat limited.
Question 12
Questions 11-14 refer to the following two passages:

Passage 1
Beatrix Potter had a life of two halves, which makes her a difficult subject for biography. Until she was 45-ish she had twice-yearly publications of the little books that transformed childhood and made her famous. Between 1902 and 1913 characters such as Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Jeremy Fisher and Jemima Puddle-Duck poured from Potter's fertile sketchbooks into the imaginations of small children everywhere. After that her work slowed down and became less inventive. Previous studies of Potter have tended, inevitably, to concentrate on the first part of her working life. But there was never anything sentimental about Potter's attitude to animals. When the real Peter Rabbit or Mrs Tiggy-Winkle were sick, they were gassed, boiled down and their skeletons used to better understand anatomy. It was this ability to look closely at the natural world that brought Potter her first opportunity to break out of her limited family circle.

*Source: www.theguardian.com/books/2007/jan/13/featuresreviews.guardianreview20

Passage 2
Helen Beatrix Potter, born Saturday, 28 July 1866, grew up in a fully-serviced Kensington house. A cold, uninterested mother raised the child at arm’s length, and the warmest early companionship came from pets—lizards, guinea-pigs, newts, birds, mice, bats and rabbits, cats and dogs. Her animal friends opened a portal into the widest and most powerful arena of all—the natural world. In the year she was born, her grandfather purchased a 300-acre estate in the countryside. Annual family trips to the Lake District and Scotland clinched the deal, and led to a lifelong love affair with the fields and forests of England.

*Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2014/07/23/the-tale-of-beatrix-potter/

In the last sentence of Passage 1, the word “closely” most nearly means

A
intimately
B
unemotionally
C
perfunctory
D
brazenly
Question 12 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). The sentence, in context, follows a very unsentimental sentence: “gassed, boiled down and their skeletons used to better understand anatomy.” It is more likely the meaning of the word “closely” will reflect this straightforward, unsentimental feeling.
Question 13
Questions 11-14 refer to the following two passages:

Passage 1
Beatrix Potter had a life of two halves, which makes her a difficult subject for biography. Until she was 45-ish she had twice-yearly publications of the little books that transformed childhood and made her famous. Between 1902 and 1913 characters such as Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Jeremy Fisher and Jemima Puddle-Duck poured from Potter's fertile sketchbooks into the imaginations of small children everywhere. After that her work slowed down and became less inventive. Previous studies of Potter have tended, inevitably, to concentrate on the first part of her working life. But there was never anything sentimental about Potter's attitude to animals. When the real Peter Rabbit or Mrs Tiggy-Winkle were sick, they were gassed, boiled down and their skeletons used to better understand anatomy. It was this ability to look closely at the natural world that brought Potter her first opportunity to break out of her limited family circle.

*Source: www.theguardian.com/books/2007/jan/13/featuresreviews.guardianreview20

Passage 2
Helen Beatrix Potter, born Saturday, 28 July 1866, grew up in a fully-serviced Kensington house. A cold, uninterested mother raised the child at arm’s length, and the warmest early companionship came from pets—lizards, guinea-pigs, newts, birds, mice, bats and rabbits, cats and dogs. Her animal friends opened a portal into the widest and most powerful arena of all—the natural world. In the year she was born, her grandfather purchased a 300-acre estate in the countryside. Annual family trips to the Lake District and Scotland clinched the deal, and led to a lifelong love affair with the fields and forests of England.

*Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2014/07/23/the-tale-of-beatrix-potter/

The author of Passage 2 would probably respond to Passage 1’s remarks on the “previous studies of Potter” by

A
conceding they could have done more to incorporate her later life
B
detailing how real life and fiction were paralleled in Beatrix Potter’s life
C
agreeing with the emphasis placed on Beatrix Potter’s early life
D
rejecting the idea that Beatrix Potter’s personal sketchbooks contributed to her success
Question 13 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). The second passage emphasizes the importance of Beatrix Potter’s early life, so the author of Passage 2 would likely agree with the first passage to the extent that it emphasizes the importance of Potter’s early exposure to the natural world.
Question 14
Questions 11-14 refer to the following two passages:

Passage 1
Beatrix Potter had a life of two halves, which makes her a difficult subject for biography. Until she was 45-ish she had twice-yearly publications of the little books that transformed childhood and made her famous. Between 1902 and 1913 characters such as Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Jeremy Fisher and Jemima Puddle-Duck poured from Potter's fertile sketchbooks into the imaginations of small children everywhere. After that her work slowed down and became less inventive. Previous studies of Potter have tended, inevitably, to concentrate on the first part of her working life. But there was never anything sentimental about Potter's attitude to animals. When the real Peter Rabbit or Mrs Tiggy-Winkle were sick, they were gassed, boiled down and their skeletons used to better understand anatomy. It was this ability to look closely at the natural world that brought Potter her first opportunity to break out of her limited family circle.

*Source: www.theguardian.com/books/2007/jan/13/featuresreviews.guardianreview20

Passage 2
Helen Beatrix Potter, born Saturday, 28 July 1866, grew up in a fully-serviced Kensington house. A cold, uninterested mother raised the child at arm’s length, and the warmest early companionship came from pets—lizards, guinea-pigs, newts, birds, mice, bats and rabbits, cats and dogs. Her animal friends opened a portal into the widest and most powerful arena of all—the natural world. In the year she was born, her grandfather purchased a 300-acre estate in the countryside. Annual family trips to the Lake District and Scotland clinched the deal, and led to a lifelong love affair with the fields and forests of England.

*Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2014/07/23/the-tale-of-beatrix-potter/

According to both passages, which of the following was the most importance influence on Beatrix Potter’s development?

A
her isolated childhood
B
her family’s wealth
C
her sentimentality
D
the natural world
Question 14 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). Both passages mention the “natural world” as having a profound effect on the development of Beatrix Potter. Each of the other answer choices are only supported by one, but not both, of the passages.
Question 15
Questions 15-17 refer to the following passage:

An overview of the United States at the end of the Civil War reveals a society which bears little resemblance to our society today. The America of Civil War days was a country without railroads, telephones, cars, electricity, sky-scrapers, the internet and email, or a thousand other things that today supply the conveniences and comforts of our civilization. The cities of that period, with their unpaved streets, their dingy, flickering gaslights, and their slums, were appropriate settings for the rough-and-ready political methods of American democracy.

Only by talking with the business leaders of that time could we understand the changes that have taken place in the last hundred years. For the most part we speak a business language which our fathers and grandfathers would not have understood. The word "trust" was not part of their vocabulary; "restraint of trade" was a phrase which only the antiquarian lawyer could have interpreted; "interlocking directorates," "holding companies," "subsidiaries," "underwriting syndicates," and "community of interest"—all these words of modern business would have meant nothing to our Civil War-era ancestors.

Our nation of 1865 was a nation of farmers, city artisans, independent business men, and small-scale manufacturers. Millionaires, though they were not unknown, did not swarm all over the land. Luxury had not become the American standard of well-being. The industrial story of the United States in the last one hundred and fifty years is the story of the most amazing economic transformation the world has ever known—a true marvel.

*Source: The Age of Big Business by Burton J. Hendrick

The author of the passage mentions “restraint of trade” and “holding companies” in order to

A
paint a picture of what life was like in 1865
B
draw a comparison between the days of the Civil War and the present
C
illustrate how word connotations change over time
D
emphasize the divide between business leaders of the past and present
Question 15 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). The topic sentence of the second paragraph is: "But only by talking with the business leaders of that time could we understand the changes that have taken place in the last hundred years." The author then goes on to describe how such a theoretical discussion would highlight the differences in business. The inclusion of details within a paragraph is designed to support the function of that paragraph.
Question 16
Questions 15-17 refer to the following passage:

An overview of the United States at the end of the Civil War reveals a society which bears little resemblance to our society today. The America of Civil War days was a country without railroads, telephones, cars, electricity, sky-scrapers, the internet and email, or a thousand other things that today supply the conveniences and comforts of our civilization. The cities of that period, with their unpaved streets, their dingy, flickering gaslights, and their slums, were appropriate settings for the rough-and-ready political methods of American democracy.

Only by talking with the business leaders of that time could we understand the changes that have taken place in the last hundred years. For the most part we speak a business language which our fathers and grandfathers would not have understood. The word "trust" was not part of their vocabulary; "restraint of trade" was a phrase which only the antiquarian lawyer could have interpreted; "interlocking directorates," "holding companies," "subsidiaries," "underwriting syndicates," and "community of interest"—all these words of modern business would have meant nothing to our Civil War-era ancestors.

Our nation of 1865 was a nation of farmers, city artisans, independent business men, and small-scale manufacturers. Millionaires, though they were not unknown, did not swarm all over the land. Luxury had not become the American standard of well-being. The industrial story of the United States in the last one hundred and fifty years is the story of the most amazing economic transformation the world has ever known—a true marvel.

*Source: The Age of Big Business by Burton J. Hendrick

The primary purpose of the passage is

A
to give a survey of changes in business in the past hundred years
B
to describe how the language of business has changed significantly over time
C
to tell the industrial story of the United States and describe the rise of the corporation
D
to marvel at the swift and all-encompassing recent shifts in the American economy
Question 16 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). The topic of this passage is indicated in the first sentence: a “society” with “little resemblance.” The author’s interest lies in drawing out the differences between American 150 years ago after the Civil War, and America today. The verb “marvel” fits the author’s tone—he seems awestruck by the vast changes that have happened so quickly, calling the transformation “amazing” in the final paragraph.
Question 17
Questions 15-17 refer to the following passage:

An overview of the United States at the end of the Civil War reveals a society which bears little resemblance to our society today. The America of Civil War days was a country without railroads, telephones, cars, electricity, sky-scrapers, the internet and email, or a thousand other things that today supply the conveniences and comforts of our civilization. The cities of that period, with their unpaved streets, their dingy, flickering gaslights, and their slums, were appropriate settings for the rough-and-ready political methods of American democracy.

Only by talking with the business leaders of that time could we understand the changes that have taken place in the last hundred years. For the most part we speak a business language which our fathers and grandfathers would not have understood. The word "trust" was not part of their vocabulary; "restraint of trade" was a phrase which only the antiquarian lawyer could have interpreted; "interlocking directorates," "holding companies," "subsidiaries," "underwriting syndicates," and "community of interest"—all these words of modern business would have meant nothing to our Civil War-era ancestors.

Our nation of 1865 was a nation of farmers, city artisans, independent business men, and small-scale manufacturers. Millionaires, though they were not unknown, did not swarm all over the land. Luxury had not become the American standard of well-being. The industrial story of the United States in the last one hundred and fifty years is the story of the most amazing economic transformation the world has ever known—a true marvel.

*Source: The Age of Big Business by Burton J. Hendrick

With which of the following inferences would the author of the passage most likely agree?

A
American business during the Civil War was not as profitable as American business today.
B
American cities today do not mirror our economic situation as closely as they did in the past.
C
The American fondness for luxury is not necessarily desirable in all situations.
D
Most major corporations in the United States evolved from the construction and gas industries.
Question 17 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). The author discusses wealth in the following terms in the final paragraph: “Millionaires, though they were not unknown, did not swarm all over the land. Luxury, though it had made great progress in the latter years of the war, had not become the American standard of well-being.” The usage of the word “swarm” in describing millionaires is interesting since it has a slightly negative connotation (think of the type of insects we usually describe as “swarming”). The author describes luxury today as the “standard of well-being,” implying the author does not wholly approve of millionaires and too much luxury.
Question 18
Questions 18-20 refer to the following passage:

In the year 1885, the Eiffel firm, which had an extensive background of experience in structural engineering, undertook a series of investigations of tall metallic piers based upon its recent experiences with several railway viaducts and bridges. Preliminary studies for a 300-meter tower were made with the 1889 fair immediately in mind. With an assurance born of positive enthusiasm, Eiffel in June of 1886 approached the Exposition commissioners with his idea for a unique project, the Eiffel Tower.

However, numerous difficulties, both structural and social, confronted Eiffel as the project advanced. In the wake of the initial enthusiasm—on the part of the fair’s Commission inspired by the desire to create a monument to French technological achievement, and on the part of the majority of Frenchmen by the stirring of their imagination at the magnitude of the structure—there grew a rising movement of disfavor. The nucleus was, not surprisingly, formed mainly of the intelligentsia, but objections were made by prominent Frenchmen in all walks of life.

The most interesting point is that although the Eiffel Tower’s every aspect was criticized, there was remarkably little criticism of its structural feasibility, either by the engineering profession or by large numbers of the general population. True, there was an undercurrent of what might be characterized as unease by many property owners in the structure’s shadow, but the most stubborn element of resistance was that which thought the Tower was an ugly intrusion upon the architectural and natural beauties of Paris. It wasn’t that people though it was unsafe, just hideous. This resistance voiced its fury in a flood of special newspaper editions, petitions, and manifestos signed by such famous figures as De Maupassant, Gounod, and Dumas.

*Source: http://samples.sainsburysebooks.co.uk/9781486418916_sample_184334.pdf

Based on the discussion of public opinion regarding the Eiffel Tower’s construction it can be inferred that

A
the Tower was generally embraced by the public early in its planning.
B
the poorer Parisians took to the Tower more readily than the educated classes.
C
there was some disagreement about whether a 300-meter tower could be constructed.
D
those who disagreed with the plans for the Tower were mostly members of the intelligentsia.
Question 18 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). The second paragraph states: “In the wake of the initial enthusiasm—on the part of the fair’s Commission inspired by the desire to create a monument to French technological achievement, and on the part of the majority of Frenchmen by the stirring of their imagination at the magnitude of the structure—there grew a rising movement of disfavor.” According the passage most Frenchmen were in fact initially supportive and enthusiastic. It was only later that “disfavor” began to grow.
Question 19
Questions 18-20 refer to the following passage:

In the year 1885, the Eiffel firm, which had an extensive background of experience in structural engineering, undertook a series of investigations of tall metallic piers based upon its recent experiences with several railway viaducts and bridges. Preliminary studies for a 300-meter tower were made with the 1889 fair immediately in mind. With an assurance born of positive enthusiasm, Eiffel in June of 1886 approached the Exposition commissioners with his idea for a unique project, the Eiffel Tower.

However, numerous difficulties, both structural and social, confronted Eiffel as the project advanced. In the wake of the initial enthusiasm—on the part of the fair’s Commission inspired by the desire to create a monument to French technological achievement, and on the part of the majority of Frenchmen by the stirring of their imagination at the magnitude of the structure—there grew a rising movement of disfavor. The nucleus was, not surprisingly, formed mainly of the intelligentsia, but objections were made by prominent Frenchmen in all walks of life.

The most interesting point is that although the Eiffel Tower’s every aspect was criticized, there was remarkably little criticism of its structural feasibility, either by the engineering profession or by large numbers of the general population. True, there was an undercurrent of what might be characterized as unease by many property owners in the structure’s shadow, but the most stubborn element of resistance was that which thought the Tower was an ugly intrusion upon the architectural and natural beauties of Paris. It wasn’t that people though it was unsafe, just hideous. This resistance voiced its fury in a flood of special newspaper editions, petitions, and manifestos signed by such famous figures as De Maupassant, Gounod, and Dumas.

*Source: http://samples.sainsburysebooks.co.uk/9781486418916_sample_184334.pdf

The overall opinion of the author towards the construction of the Eiffel Tower can best be described as

A
enthusiastic and objective
B
measured and reticent
C
balanced and didactic
D
nostalgic and matter-of-fact
Question 19 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). This passage is more informational than persuasive. The author is discussing the background of the Tower’s construction, overviewing its design inspiration as well as the public opinion regarding it. The author is enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the topic, even calling an aspect of it “interesting” in the beginning of the third paragraph. But beyond that, there’s no real emotion from the author, who keeps a scholarly tone throughout. “Balanced” and “didactic” work since the tone is objective and instructive.
Question 20
Questions 18-20 refer to the following passage:

In the year 1885, the Eiffel firm, which had an extensive background of experience in structural engineering, undertook a series of investigations of tall metallic piers based upon its recent experiences with several railway viaducts and bridges. Preliminary studies for a 300-meter tower were made with the 1889 fair immediately in mind. With an assurance born of positive enthusiasm, Eiffel in June of 1886 approached the Exposition commissioners with his idea for a unique project, the Eiffel Tower.

However, numerous difficulties, both structural and social, confronted Eiffel as the project advanced. In the wake of the initial enthusiasm—on the part of the fair’s Commission inspired by the desire to create a monument to French technological achievement, and on the part of the majority of Frenchmen by the stirring of their imagination at the magnitude of the structure—there grew a rising movement of disfavor. The nucleus was, not surprisingly, formed mainly of the intelligentsia, but objections were made by prominent Frenchmen in all walks of life.

The most interesting point is that although the Eiffel Tower’s every aspect was criticized, there was remarkably little criticism of its structural feasibility, either by the engineering profession or by large numbers of the general population. True, there was an undercurrent of what might be characterized as unease by many property owners in the structure’s shadow, but the most stubborn element of resistance was that which thought the Tower was an ugly intrusion upon the architectural and natural beauties of Paris. It wasn’t that people though it was unsafe, just hideous. This resistance voiced its fury in a flood of special newspaper editions, petitions, and manifestos signed by such famous figures as De Maupassant, Gounod, and Dumas.

*Source: http://samples.sainsburysebooks.co.uk/9781486418916_sample_184334.pdf

Which of the following is the author’s main goal?

A
To discuss the effectiveness of the Eiffel Firm’s plan for the Tower.
B
To detail how the public turned against the Tower in the months after the Exposition.
C
To give a general history of the Tower’s construction and public reaction to it.
D
To explain how the Tower would not have been approved without Eiffel’s reputation and knowledge of structural engineering.
Question 20 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). The word “general” here does a good job of matching the scope of the passage. Not too many specific details are given. Rather, the passage is a broad overview on the structural engineering that helped build the Tower, its approval, and how the public opinion on it evolved.
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