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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- Hard Essay 5  
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Sample Essays


7 questions/ 11 minutes

Now that I am trying to tell what I saw I am conscious of a thousand maddening limitations. Things seen by the inward sight, like those flashing visions which come as we drift into the blankness of sleep, are more vivid and meaningful to us in that form than when we have sought to weld them with reality. Set a pen to a dream, and the colour drains from it. The ink with which we write seems diluted with something holding too much of reality, and we find that after all we cannot delineate the incredible memory. It is as if our inward selves, released from the bonds of daytime and objectivity, revelled in prisoned emotions that are hastily stifled when we would translate them. In dreams and visions lie the greatest creations of man, for on them rests no yoke of line or hue. Forgotten scenes, and lands more obscure than the golden world of childhood, spring into the sleeping mind to reign until awakening puts them to rout. Amid these may be attained something of the glory and contentment for which we yearn; some adumbration of sharp beauties suspected but not before revealed, which are to us as the Grail to holy spirits of the mediaeval world. To shape these things on the wheel of art, to seek to bring some faded trophy from that intangible realm of shadow and gossamer, requires equal skill and memory. For although dreams are in all of us, few hands may grasp their moth-wings without tearing them.

1. According to the author, which of the following is true of childhood memories?

(A) They are easier to recall than memories of dreamscapes.
(B) We feel contentment when they are shaped on the wheel of art.
(C) They contain emotions that are inaccessible from the waking state.
(D) They are more difficult to meld with reality than are dreams.
(E) Like dreams, they originate in the realm of shadow and gossamer.

2. The author's belief that man's greatest creations lie in his “dreams and visions” is supported by which of the following ideas?

(A) His creations in dreams require no realtime or effort.
(B) His creations in dreams are like those of a child's imagination.
(C) His creations in dreams are more fantastical than his real creations.
(D) His creations in dreams are not bridled by natural laws and conscious tendencies.
(E) His creations in dreams can be perceived by no one but himself.

3. Which of the following statements would best maintain the meaning of the passage if it were to replace the last sentence?

(A) Most dreamers do not understand their own dreams.
(B) Few dreamers can trace the source of their dreams’ content.
(C) Most dreamers find it difficult to uphold their dreams’ essence through storytelling.
(D) Most dreamers can tell the differences between their dreams and their realities.
(E) All dreamers should appreciate the freedom their dreams permit them to have.

4. Which of the following is mentioned in the passage as having greater meaning and brilliance in its original form?

(A) the inner self
(B) the indelible memory
(C) things seen by the inward sight
(D) the adumbration of beauty
(E) the golden world of childhood

5. It can be inferred from the passage that the “thousand maddening limitations” referred to by the author do NOT include which of the following?

(A) the objectivity accompanying daytime hours
(B) the inability to translate dreams using the mediums available to the waking mind
(C) the sense of there being too much reality in the written word
(D) the flashing visions that come to us before sleep
(E) the difficulty of remembering a dream upon waking

6. Which of the following ideas is most central to the author's vision?

(A) It is impossible to articulate the details of one's dreams after waking.
(B) Dreams offer us greater access to our inner selves than do our waking lives.
(C) It is impossible to determine the true meaning of one's dreams in hindsight.
(D) The beauty and complexity of the dreamstate cannot be expressed adequately outside of it.
(E) The dreamstate is simply more enjoyable than waking life.

7. The attitude of the author of the passage toward the dream itself is best described as one of:

(A) ambivalence
(B) vexation
(C) reverence
(D) disdain
(E) bafflement



Hard Essay 4

Hard Essay 6