Overview: The GED exam is an important test that requires preparation. Since it is a computer-based exam, The test questions are scrambled to protect its integrity. We recommend reading the following articles to know more about the exam and learn key strategies that’ll help you make big improvements during the actual tests.
This is Part-1 of our free GED reviewer for the Reading portion. This measures your ability to understand, interpret, and analyze various types of texts.
GED Ready reviewer for Reading
Direction: Read the passage below and choose the correct answer for each question from 1-5.
Excerpt from “A Study in Scarlet”
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sherlock Holmes’ ignorance was as remarkable as his knowledge. Of contemporary literature, philosophy, and politics he appeared to know next to nothing. Upon my quoting Thomas Carlyle, he inquired in the most naive way who he might be and what he had done. My surprise reached a climax, however, when I found incidentally that he was ignorant of the Copernican Theory and of the composition of the Solar System. That any civilized human being in this nineteenth century should not be aware that the earth traveled around the sun appeared to me to be such an extraordinary fact that I could hardly realize it.
“You appear to be astonished,” he said, smiling at my expression of surprise. “Now that I do know it I shall do my best to forget it.”
“To forget it!”
“You see,” he explained, “I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these, he has a large assortment and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depending upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”
“But the Solar System!” I protested.
“What the deuce is it to me?” he interrupted impatiently: “you say that we go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work.”
Question 1. What is Holmes referring to when he mentions “lumber of every sort?”
A. A large assortment of tools
C. Useless information
D. All types of knowledge✅
Question 2. Which of the following words best describes the narrator’s feelings about the “ignorance” of Sherlock Holmes?
Question 3. Why does Holmes want to forget the Copernican Theory?
A. It will take up space in his brain, but won’t help him with his work✅
B. He thinks it is relevant to his work
C. His brain is too jumbled to remember it
D. He doesn’t believe that it’s true
Question 4. How did the narrator find out that Holmes was unaware of the Copernican Theory?
A. He was questioning him to test his knowledge of science
B. It was mentioned by Thomas Carlyle
C. By chance✅
D. It came up in a debate
Question 5. What is the overall purpose of this passage?
A. To show that Holmes is an unusual man who is focused on his work✅
B. To demonstrate the importance of a well-rounded education
C. To contrast the intelligent narrator and the foolish Holmes
D. To show that Holmes is naive
For Questions 6-10 read the article below and answer the questions that follow.
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 a 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 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.
Question 6. Which fact can the reader infer about making a floor cloth?
A. In keeping with tradition, artists must paint scenes such as landscapes, animals, or floral arrangements on the floor cloths they make.
B. Sealing with polyurethane or varnish does not make a difference in the final pliability of the finished floor cloth.
C. Proper drying time is important to the administration of paints and sealants.✅
D. Making a floor cloth is too hard for most people to attempt.
Question 7. Based on the article, what is NOT a step in preparing a floor cloth?
A. Drawing a background
B. Adding water-based or oil-based sealant
C. Painting a support base
D. Replacing linoleum floors✅
Question 8. 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. “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.”
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. “A floor cloth that is painted on canvas will last years with little visible wear.”
D. “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.”
Question 9. How does the author’s use of the words “most artists” in paragraph 4 function in the story?
A. It indicates there is some sort of general standard procedure for applying sealant and paint.✅
B. It points out that it is not standard for artists to use paint sealant on their floor cloths.
C. It reveals the author’s point of view that two coats are better than one coat.
D. It provides criticism for a select group of artists.
Question 10. How does paragraph 5 relate to paragraph 4?
A. It elaborates on details mentioned in the previous paragraph.
B. It switches to a new topic.
C. It contradicts the information that preceded it.
D. It continues to outline the steps in a procedure.✅
For questions, 11-15 read the passage below and answer the following questions.
by Elaine Ernst Schneider
Jamie waved goodbye 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 on, 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.
Question 11. What word best describes the mother’s behavior in paragraph 7?
Question 12. Which fact from the passage supports the idea that Bobby moved into Jamie’s neighborhood?
A. Jamie can see Bobby’s driveway from his front yard.✅
B. Jamie wants to throw balls with Bobby after school.
C. Jamie wants Bobby to play on his baseball team.
D. Jamie and Bobby attend the same school.
Question 13. Why does the author include the phrase, “watching until it was nothing more than a tiny speck” in paragraph 1?
A. To describe Jamie’s inner monologue
B. To emphasize the length of the street
C. To show Jamie’s emotional state at the moment✅
D. To reveal how his best friend left town
Question 14. Why does the author choose to end the passage with the sentence “Jamie grinned”?
A. to describe how Jamie’s mother invited Bobby over
B. to hint that Jamie and Bobby might become close friends✅
C. to show that Jamie cares more about Bobby than he did Ben
D. to explain that Bobby’s father owns the moving truck
Question 15. Which fact can the reader infer about Bobby?
A. He didn’t respond to Jamie about throwing balls because he really doesn’t like to play baseball.
B. He cannot see well and requires a seat in the front of the classroom.
C. He ran to the ball field ahead of Jamie because he doesn’t want to be his friend.
D. He is deaf and only understands Jamie when he faces him so that he can read his lips.✅