GED Reading Practice Test 5

This is our final GED 2014 Reading Practice Test. This passage will test your reading comprehension ability, including your ability to make inferences, analyze actions in a plot, and organize events within a story. Read the text carefully and then proceed to the multiple choice practice questions. You may refer back to the passage at any time as you answer the questions.

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

Jamie’s Friend
by Elaine Ernst Schneider

Jamie waved good-bye as the moving truck pulled away, watching until it was nothing more than a tiny speck. He kicked the dirt with his shoe and grumbled, “Now what? Who’s going to walk to school with me and play ball during gym time?”

He trudged home begrudgingly. Then before even stepping on his front porch, Jamie yelled to his mother. “Mom!” he called. “He’s officially gone. There went the best friend I’ll ever have.” He slammed the door and stood before her.

Jamie’s mother knew right away from the look on her son’s face and the exasperation in his voice that he was hurting. “Jamie,” she began, “I know you are sad to see Ben go. But Ben’s dad has a different job now and he will make more money. Their family is excited about this change for their lives. It could mean that Ben would be the first person in that family to go to college.”

“Yeah, yeah, I hear you. But what am I supposed to do without my friend?” he retorted and abruptly left the room. Jamie’s mother called him to come back and talk more but he ignored her, sulking in his room.

Jamie’s next few days at school were tough. He kept looking at Ben’s empty desk, expecting to see him there. Worse than that was the day that the new kid came. His name was Bobby. The teacher gave Ben’s books to Bobby and then led him to Ben’s desk. Why did she do that? How could anyone take Ben’s place?

Jamie ran all the way from the school to his back door that afternoon. “Mom, you’ll never believe what my teacher did,” he bellowed. “She put the new boy in Ben’s desk right up front, like he is something special. He’s not Ben. He doesn’t deserve to sit there.”

Jamie’s mother answered thoughtfully. “Jamie, no one can ever take Ben’s place. But maybe Bobby can be a new friend. Why don’t you give him a chance?”

During gym class the next day, Jamie followed Bobby to the ball field. He tried to walk with him, calling, “Hey, Bobby! Wait up!” Bobby didn’t slow down, and Jamie had to run to catch up. He had to stand right in front of Bobby before he paid attention.

“I guess you don’t play ball, do you?” Jamie blurted out.

“Yes, I do. I’m a good catcher.”

Jamie noticed that Bobby’s speech was slow and labored and that he seemed to think about each word before saying it. But it didn’t matter to Jamie. He liked what Bobby said.

“Really?” Jamie answered. “I’m the pitcher for our team. Come one, let’s play some catch.”

The boys walked side by side back to class. “I wish you lived close to me so we could throw balls after school every day,” Jamie commented. Bobby didn’t respond.

Saturday morning, Jamie’s mother fixed pancakes. As he swirled his last bite in the maple syrup, Jamie heard a loud noise in the street. Curious, he ran out on the front lawn just in time to see a moving truck pull in to what used to be Ben’s driveway. A boy jumped out of the front seat.

Bobby waved.

Jamie grinned.

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Your answers are highlighted below.
Question 1
Why does the author include the phrase, “watching until it was nothing more than a tiny speck” in paragraph 1?

A
To show Jamie’s emotional state at the moment
B
To reveal how his best friend left town
C
To emphasize the length of the street
D
To describe Jamie’s inner monologue
Question 1 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). The author tells the reader that Jamie stood there watching the moving truck for a long, long time to set up the idea that Jamie is sad his best friend is moving away. We do not hear any of Jamie’s inner thoughts, so choice (D) cannot be the correct answer, and choices (B) and (C) do not relate this detail back to Jamie.
Question 2
Read the following sentences from the passage.

He trudged home begrudgingly. Then before even stepping on his front porch, Jamie yelled to his mother. “Mom!” he called. “He’s officially gone. There went the best friend I’ll ever have.” He slammed the door and stood before her.
 
What inference can be made about Jamie?

A
He does not have a good relationship with his mother.
B
His mother did not approve of his best friend.
C
He is unhappy about moving to a new city.
D
He is upset about something beyond his control.
Question 2 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). In the story, Jamie’s best friend has moved away. The words “begrudgingly” and “yelled,” show that Jamie is filled with emotion. He is sad and angry at the situation. Even though he is speaking to his mother, there is nothing to indicate his mother did not like his best friend, or that he blames his mother for the situation. More likely, Jamie is simply unhappy with the situation itself.
Question 3
Which fact from the passage supports the idea that Bobby moved into Jamie’s neighborhood?

A
Jamie and Bobby attend the same school.
B
Jamie wants Bobby to play on his baseball team.
C
Jamie wants to throw balls with Bobby after school.
D
Jamie can see Bobby’s driveway from his front yard.
Question 3 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). Bobby is eating breakfast when he hears the raucous outside. Since his mother cooked the pancakes, it can be inferred that he is eating in his home. This is supported by the fact that Jamie runs to his yard and sees Bobby. If he is close enough to see him, it can be inferred that they live in the same neighborhood.
Question 4
Why does the author choose to end the passage with the sentence “Jamie grinned”?

A
to show that Jamie cares more about Bobby than he did Ben
B
to explain that Bobby’s father owns the moving truck
C
to hint that Jamie and Bobby might become close friends
D
to describe how Jamie’s mother invited Bobby over
Question 4 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). The author chooses to show the reader Jamie’s happy emotional reaction to seeing Bobby in order to provide some hope that Jamie and Bobby will go on to become friends.
Question 5
What word best describes the mother’s behavior in paragraph 7?

A
condescending
B
elated
C
diplomatic
D
strict
Question 5 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). Jamie’s mother answered thoughtfully. In paragraph 7, Jamie is upset that Bobby might be taking Ben’s place at school. Jamie’s mother responds, “Jamie, no one can ever take Ben’s place. But maybe Bobby can be a new friend. Why don’t you give him a chance?” Jamie is attempting to soothe Jamie and be diplomatic — acknowledging Ben’s importance to Jamie, while also encouraging Jamie to become friends with Bobby. Jamie’s mother is being kind to Jamie, so neither answer choice (A) nor (D) would make sense. There is nothing from the passage to indicate that Jamie’s mother is elated, or extremely happy.
Question 6
Which fact can the reader infer about Bobby?

A
He cannot see well and requires a seat in the front of the classroom.
B
He ran to the ball field ahead of Jamie because he doesn’t want to be his friend.
C
He is deaf and only understands Jamie when he faces him so that he can read his lips.
D
He didn’t respond to Jamie about throwing balls because he really doesn’t like to play baseball.
Question 6 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). Bobby couldn’t hear Jamie when he yelled at him on the way to the ball field or when walking by his side. He needed to see his lips move because he couldn’t hear his voice. A slightly more complex reinforcement of this is seen in Bobby’s labored speech, something that is hard for him because he cannot hear himself talk and has to think about the production of words.
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