Language Network

 Test Practice

Reading Comprehension Questions

Reading comprehension questions test your ability to understand written material and to draw conclusions based on what you have read. The following approaches can help you answer reading comprehension questions.

  • Read the entire passage quickly.
  • Read the questions that follow the passage.
  • Read the passage again. As you read, think about the questions you will have to answer.
  • Reread each question carefully. Choose the response that best answers the question. If necessary, go back and reread part or all of the passage.


You are going to read a passage from "America the Not-so-Beautiful" by Andrew A. Rooney about the growing problem of trash disposal. Answer the first question before you begin reading.

1. Which idea would you not expect to be discussed in this passage?

A. the types of trash people produce

B. the various manufacturers of garbage trucks

C. how trash is disposed of

D. the effects of trash disposal on the environment

E. what might happen if the trash problem is not dealt with

Throwing things out is the American way. We don't know how to fix anything, and anyone who does know how is too busy to come, so we throw it away and buy a new one. Our economy depends on us doing that. The trouble with throwing things away is, there is no "away" left.... We've been doing that for so many years that (1) we've run out of places to throw things because houses have been built where the dump was and (2) some of the things we're throwing away are poisoning the earth and will eventually poison all of us and all living things. Ten years ago most people thought nothing of dumping an old bottle of weed or insect killer in a pile of dirt in the back yard or down the drain in the street, just to get rid of it. The big companies in America had the same feeling, on a bigger scale. For years the chemical companies dumped their poisonous wastes in the rivers behind the mills, or they put it in fifty-gallon drums.... The drums rusted out in ten years and dumped their poison into the ground. It rained, the poisons seeped into the underground streams and poisoned everything for miles around....

2. What audience do you think Rooney was writing for?

A. mathematicians

B. the general public

C. garbage collectors

D. farmers

E. the food-packing industry

3. What does Rooney mean when he says "there is no 'away' left"?

A. The world is getting smaller and smaller.

B. People are in poor physical condition and can't throw far anymore.

C. Throwing things away is too much work for people.

D. There's no more room on the earth to dump trash.

E. Many people's houses look like garbage dumps.

4. What phrases has the same meaning as "thought nothing of" as it is used in this passage?

A. ignored

B. did not agree with

C. were not concerned about

D. thought about nothing

E. forgot


1. B

2. B

3. D

4. C

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