GED Reading Practice Test 4

This is our fourth GED Language Arts practice test. On the updated 2014 GED you will definitely be asked to make specific comparisons between two texts. For this practice test we have provided excerpts from two famous speeches. Continue your GED reading test prep now by reading these speeches and answering the practice questions.

Directions: Read the two speeches below and then choose the best answer to each of the questions.

Speech 1: The Gettysburg Address
by Abraham Lincoln

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

 

Speech 2: Remarks on Signing the Bill of Rights Day Proclamation
by Ronald Reagan

“When Americans think about the nature of human rights, we begin with what Abraham Lincoln called ‘the definition and axioms of free society contained in the Declaration of Independence.’ Well, that testament of liberty declares that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights. To secure these rights, it states ‘governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.’ Well, those words reveal the meaning of human rights and our philosophy of liberty that is the essence of America.

Sometimes we in free countries forget the richness of that precious possession. Our human rights are respected, so our freedom is almost indivisible — invisible, I should say. There are no walls, no troops or guns to prevent us from traveling. There are no guards at our churches or spies in our congregations. And there are no censors at the newspapers or universities.

People who live in tyranny, however, can see freedom much more clearly. It shines like a candle in the midst of darkness, and America’s freedom shines through a world of stormy seas, giving hope to tens of millions of people for a better way of life.”

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Question 1
Reagan credits Lincoln with what he calls “the definition and axioms of free society contained in the Declaration of Independence.” Though this statement is not a part of the Gettysburg Address, what generalization or hypothesis can be drawn?

A
Reagan didn’t like the Gettysburg Address.
B
Reagan had read other speeches by Lincoln.
C
Reagan didn’t understand the quote from Lincoln.
D
Reagan didn’t understand the Gettysburg Address.
Question 1 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). Reagan refers to a phrase that Lincoln used. It is not referenced in the Gettysburg Address as you can see from the passage. The logical assumption is that it came from another speech by Lincoln. Since Reagan quotes Lincoln, he must have been familiar with other speeches by Lincoln.
Question 2
Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address on a battlefield, stating, “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.” The unfinished work to which Lincoln refers is the protection of

A
his presidency.
B
the dedication of the field.
C
the human right to freedom.
D
the history of the United States.
Question 2 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). Lincoln states that they “highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.”
Question 3
In Lincoln’s speech, how does paragraph 2 relate to paragraph 1?

A
It broadens the scope of the topic.
B
It re-interprets the idea of “liberty.”
C
It questions the validity of the points made in the previous paragraph.
D
It contradicts a fact offered in the preceding paragraph.
Question 3 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). In the first paragraph of the speech, Lincoln focuses on a historical event — the founding of the United States. The second paragraph, beginning with the word “now,” broadens the scope of the speech from the past to how the past relates to the present moment. Lincoln starts with a narrow scope and broadens it. The ideas build upon one another, and do not “question” or “contradict” each other.
Question 4
How are Lincoln and Reagan’s speeches similar?

A
They both emphasize the high cost of war.
B
They both explore the oppression of tyrannical governments.
C
They are both concerned with the theme of freedom.
D
They are both focused on the plight of the common soldier.
Question 4 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). If you chose (A), Lincoln’s speech does this, but Reagan does not really discuss the specific implications of war, nor its high cost. Answer choice (B) is not something that Lincoln’s speech dwells on at any length. Neither speech particular focuses on the “common soldier.” The best choice is (C) — they are connected in that they are both interested in the broad topic of America’s freedom, and freedom in general.
Question 5
Read the following sentence from the second speech.

Our human rights are respected, so our freedom is almost indivisible — invisible, I should say.
 
Replacing the word “invisible” with the word “undeniable” would change the meaning of the sentence to suggest that Reagan:

A
believes that every American is due his or his rights and does not need to work to maintain them.
B
has a positive outlook on American citizens’ awareness of their privileges.
C
considers human rights something that has historically been denied to certain Americans.
D
emphasizes that most Americans take basic human rights for granted.
Question 5 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). By stating that our freedom is “invisible, Reagan issues a warning Americans may take such freedom for granted. However, if the word were changed to “undeniable,” then the tone of the sentence becomes much more positive. Answer choice (A) might be tempting, but the phrase “does not need to work” is too extreme, and is not implied by the word “undeniable.” Answer choice (C) is also unsupported, since there is not implication of what has happened “historically” in this sentence. Answer choice (D) provides a meaning that is supported by the word “invisible,” and not the word “undeniable.”
Question 6
Which words would the Reagan use to describe his Lincoln’s interpretation of the Declaration of Independence?

A
admirable yet inaccurate
B
unprecedented and burdensome
C
simplistic but profound
D
accurate and far-reaching
Question 6 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). Reagan states that, "When Americans think about the nature of human rights, we begin with what Abraham Lincoln called ‘the definition and axioms of free society contained in the Declaration of Independence.’” Reagan says that to “think” about something as broad as human rights, we “begin” with Abraham Lincoln’s interpretation. This indicates that Reagan believes Lincoln’s emphasis on the importance of the Declaration of Independence as the foundational document for America’s philosophy on human rights to be correct. The only choice that contains two positive adjectives is answer choice (D).
Question 7
Which of these word sets are used in both speeches to develop the main idea?

A
rights, people, acts
B
society, hope, resolve
C
freedom, equal, liberty
D
inalienable, birth, civil
Question 7 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). These three words are strong in their own right and they overlap to add strength to the main idea. “Freedom” ties to “liberty” in meaning, reinforcing the need for “equality.”
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GED Reading Practice Test 5 >>