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    Reading Comprehension
  I: Introduction  
  II: The Challenge  
  III: The Five Steps  
  IV: Question Types  
  V: Tips  
  VI: Sample Essays  
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VI. Reading Comprehension Sample Questions- Easy Essay 6  
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Sample Essays


7 Questions/ 11 Minutes

Musical chameleon Miles Davis must be laughing from beyond the grave at the dispute over his recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Many criticize the decision, terming Davis a jazzman, and calling him an inappropriate choice for a rock music establishment. However, Davis was never strictly a jazz artist. His style teemed with crossovers and musical ambiguities. The blurring of traditional genres was an intentional move on Davis’s part, and proved to be one of his most influential choices as an artist.

Davis first found fame as a bebop jazz player, playing alongside Charlie Parker, but switched to a minimalist style soon after. He could easily have remained a talented artist in the jazz idiom, were it not for the fact that he felt fated to change again and again. Davis called it his “curse,” and it profoundly affected the music of his later career. By the 1970s he was performing in rock venues dressed in sequins, snakeskin and other clothing associated with a rock sensibility. His musical ideas and style influenced many artists of the 1980s.

Those who find the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to be incorrect in its choice to admit Davis are simply interested in preserving a pure and early-career version of Davis in the public eye. Clearly, there were several incarnations of Davis’s artistry and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame chose to recognize this “curse” as worthy of celebration. Davis now stands alongside legends such as the Beatles and Michael Jackson for his essential musical influence. Known simply as “Miles,” Davis was a tireless innovator and truly was a rock star in his time.

1. The author believes those who criticize Davis’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are

(A) misinformed
(B) narrow-minded
(C) progressive
(D) ordinary
(E) unintelligent

2. According to the passage, Davis’s musical style was:

I. consistent
II. influential
III. progressive

(A) I only
(B) II only
(C) I and III only
(D) II and III only
(E) I, II, and III

3. According to the passage Davis’s “curse” was his

(A) rock star appearance
(B) need to break free from his early career
(C) interest in musical scholarship
(D) negative feelings towards jazz
(E) desire for artistic transformations

4. The author believes Davis’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is

(A) unwarranted
(B) peculiar
(C) contrived
(D) justified
(E) surprising

5. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) endorse Davis’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
(B) describe the many changes Davis went through musically
(C) criticize those who are unsupportive of Davis’s rock career
(D) celebrate Davis’s musical influence
(E) reveal the true Davis few people understood

6. Which of the following would be an analogy to the “musical chameleon” the author describes in the first line of the passage?

(A) a dancer who changes costume during a show
(B) a non-fiction writer who shifts suddenly to writing fiction
(C) a painter who incorporates several styles into one painting
(D) a reporter who shows an active bias in presentation
(E) a chef whose recipes change with popular tastes

7. This passage probably appeared in a:

(A) brochure for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
(B) jazz history textbook
(C) opinion column in a music magazine
(D) biography of Miles Davis
(E) arts news periodical


Easy Essay 5

Easy Essay 7