GED Reading Practice Test 3

The Reasoning Through Language Arts section in the updated GED focuses more on nonfiction passages. Here is another nonfiction passage that tests your ability to make inferences, define words, and organize events that occur within a text. Carefully read the passage and then answer these GED Reading practice questions.

Directions: Read the passage and choose the best answer to each question that follows.

How to Paint a Floor Cloth

Floor cloths were used in the 18th century to protect wood floors from moisture in areas near an outside door, around the tub, or under the family table. Artists painted colorful designs on cloth that became popular because of their beauty as well as their usefulness.

Linoleum floors eventually replaced floor cloths in prevalence, but many people make floor cloths for their homes today or commission artists to create personalized floor cloths for them. Floor cloths are used under babies’ high chairs, near the kitchen sink, and even under the family pet’s water bowl. As it was in the early years of the floor cloth’s use, the ultimate goal for today’s floor cloth is to provide an attractive rug that protects the floor.

Artists apply color to a surface called a support base, or “support” for short. For floor cloths, the support is canvas that can be purchased from the fabric store, a hobby shop, or a boat supply company. Before painting, the artist will cut the fabric to the desired size and hem the edges. This can be done by hand stitching or by using a sewing machine. The fabric is tucked into the seams so that the fabric won’t unravel, leaving frayed edges.

Most artists apply two coats of sealant to the back side of the mat at 24-hour intervals and a single base coat to the front before applying even the first coat of paint. Both sides of the fabric are sealed so that water cannot seep into the cloth from the top or the underside. It is important for the floor cloth to be water resistant so that it doesn’t hold water next to the floor, causing damage to the wood, and this process begins with the first steps of its creation.

Next, the artist paints a background and allows this to dry thoroughly before adding the actual picture. Some artists paint scenes such as landscapes, animals, or floral arrangements. Others create designs or patterns that are comparable to those of the 18th century. Floor cloths can be painted with oil or acrylic paints, although the artist might want to consider that acrylic paint dries faster.

Complete drying is essential before adding the sealant so that the paint doesn’t smear. The artist applies at least two or three coats of sealant over the painted picture at 24-hour intervals. Some artists add as many as ten coats of sealant.

Polycrylic, varnish, and polyurethane are sealants that work well for floor cloths. Of the three, varnish requires more thought as to clean-up. Because varnish is oil-based, cleaning must include mineral spirits or paint thinner. Some artists feel it is worth the extra effort since the mats that are sealed with varnish tend to be stiffer than the mats sealed with protective topcoats that are water-based.

A floor cloth that is painted on canvas will last years with little visible wear.

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Question 1
Which sentence from the passage supports the idea that the modern creation and use of floor cloths to protect floors is a revival of an old custom?

A
"A floor cloth that is painted on canvas will last years with little visible wear."
B
"As it was in the early years of the floor cloth’s use, the ultimate goal for today’s floor cloth is to provide an attractive rug that protects the floor."
C
"Floor cloths were used in the 18th century to protect wood floors from moisture in areas near an outside door, around the tub, or under the family table."
D
"Linoleum floors eventually replaced floor cloths in prevalence, but many people make floor cloths for their homes today or commission artists to create personalized floor cloths for them."
Question 1 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). The words “early years” infer that there was a time in the past when floor cloths were used. The rest of the sentence explicitly states that the floor cloth is an “attractive rug that protects the floor”.
Question 2
Which definition best matches the use of the word support in paragraph 3?

A
painting surface
B
show of approval
C
financial assistance
D
weight-bearing foundation
Question 2 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). The text makes reference to the artist’s “support” as a painting surface.
Question 3
How does the author’s use of the words “most artists” in paragraph 4 function in the story?

A
It provides a criticism for a select group of artists.
B
It reveals the author’s point of view that two coats are better than one coat.
C
It points out that not all artists use paint sealant on their floor cloths.
D
It indicates there is some sort of general standard procedure for applying sealant and paint.
Question 3 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). The author’s overall tone is information — outlining a certain process for the creation of floor cloths. The author does not adopt any kind of critical or negative tone, or discuss different groups of artists at length. He uses “most artists” to show that there seems to be a certain process that the majority of artists follow. Answer choice (D) is the best match for that type of meaning. Remember, informational passages will not typically have a strong point of view.
Question 4
Which fact can the reader infer about making a floor cloth?

A
Making a floor cloth is too hard for most people to attempt.
B
Proper drying time is important to the administration of paints and sealants.
C
Sealing with polyurethane or varnish does not make a difference in the final pliability of the finished floor cloth.
D
In keeping with tradition, artists must paint scenes such as landscapes, animals, or floral arrangements on the floor cloths they make.
Question 4 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). The author indicates time allotments for drying in paragraphs 4 and 6. Additionally, the author stresses that the sealant should not be applied too quickly over the painting or it might smear.
Question 5
Based on the article, what is NOT a step in preparing a floor cloth?

A
Painting a support base
B
Adding water-based or oil-based sealant
C
Drawing a background
D
Replacing linoleum floors
Question 5 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). The passage mentions coloring a support base, adding sealant, and drawing a background and the picture itself as steps necessary to create a floor cloth. Though linoleum floors are mentioned in the second paragraph, there is nothing in the passage to support the idea that in order to prepare a floor cloth, linoleum floors must be replaced.
Question 6
Read the following sentence from the passage.

Complete drying is essential before adding the sealant so that the paint doesn’t smear.
 
Replacing the word “essential” with the word “beneficial” changes the meaning of the sentence to suggest that

A
it is imperative that paint be dry prior to sealant being added
B
the order in which paint and sealant is added is not important
C
it’s possible that sealant can be successfully added before drying is finished
D
sealant might not be necessary at all
Question 6 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). The difference between the word “essential” and the word “beneficial” lies in tone. “Essential” indicates something that is completely necessary, and without it, some type of failure would result. “Beneficial” indicates something that is nice, but not totally necessary. Therefore, if the words were to be swapped, the meaning would change from complete drying being something that HAS to occur prior to sealant, to complete drying being nice, but non-essential.
Question 7
How does paragraph 5 relate to paragraph 4?

A
It continues to outline the steps in a procedure.
B
It contradicts the information that preceded it.
C
It switches to a new topic.
D
It elaborates on details mentioned in the previous paragraph.
Question 7 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). Notice the key use of the word “Next,” at the start of paragraph 5. That indicates the second paragraph is a continuation of the steps and procedure outlines in paragraph 4. Answer choice (C) might be tempting, but the topic of floor cloths remains constant throughout the entire passage. Both paragraphs share the same topic; they simple discuss different steps related to the topic. Answer choice (D) is incorrect, since paragraph 5 moves on to new details: painting the background and the actual picture.
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GED Reading Practice Test 4 >>