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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- Medium Essay 6  
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Sample Essays


8 questions/ 12 minutes

The electric atmosphere of the American business world is all too apt to make our young people impatient. They want to fly before they can even walk well. Ambition is a splendid thing, but moving too quickly is just as injurious as getting along too slowly. Young people between twenty and twenty-five must be patient. Patience may be a difficult thing to cultivate, but it is among the first lessons we must learn in business. A good stock of patience, acquired in early life, can be drawn upon and makes a splendid safety valve. Because a young person, as he approaches twenty-five, begins to see things more plainly than he did five years before, he must not get the idea that he is a business man yet, and entitled to a man's salary. If business questions, which he did not understand five years before, now begin to look clearer to him, it is because he is passing through the transitory state that separates the immature judgment of the young man from the ripening penetration of the man. He is simply beginning. Afterward he will grow, and his salary will grow as he grows. But Rome wasn't built in a day, and a businessman isn't made in a night. As experience comes, the judgment will become mature, and by the time the young man reaches thirty he will begin to realize that he didn't know as much at twenty-five as he thought he did. When he is ready to learn from others he will begin to grow wise. And when he reaches that state where he is willing to concede that he hasn't a “corner” on knowledge in this world, he will be stepping out of the chrysalis of youth.

1. The primary function of the passage is to:

(A) exhort young businessmen not to be ambitious.
(B) criticize the behaviors of young businessmen in the workplace.
(C) compare American business practices to Roman practices.
(D) instruct young businessmen on the virtues of patience.
(E) track the psychological development of a businessman from youth through old age.

2. According to the passage, which of the following indicates that a young man is passing through the transitory state that precedes maturity?

(A) He develops clarity in regard to business matters.
(B) He has stepped completely out of the chrysalis of youth.
(C) He has not yet learned any lessons about ambition.
(D) He believes that he has achieved wisdom in business matters.
(E) His salary begins to grow as he grows.

3. According to the author, which of the following is NOT true of a young man between the ages of twenty and twenty-five?

(A) He believes that he knows more than he does.
(B) He is entitled to a man’s salary.
(C) He is often overflowing with ambition.
(D) He should be preparing for his future.
(E) He must learn to exercise patience.

4. According to the passage, a young businessman must guard against all of the following dangers EXCEPT:

(A) advancing too quickly.
(B) advancing too slowly.
(C) being too moral.
(D) being too ambitious.
(E) being impatient.

5. It can be inferred from the passage that the author uses the image of a “safety valve” most likely in order to:

(A) warn young businessmen about the dangers of cultivating patience.
(B) illustrate the importance of having a good stock of patience.
(C) identify the proper attitude a young man should have toward his pride.
(D) elaborate on the fire and water metaphor found earlier in the passage.
(E) suggest that patience will lead eventually to financial success.

6. The description of the American business world at the start of the passage most clearly implies that which of the following is true?

(A) There are so many ambitious young businessmen that the majority will end up failing or being ousted by the competition.
(B) American businessmen, unlike those in other countries, are particularly well-qualified for the positions they pursue.
(C) At the time this passage was written, the American business world was relatively slow moving and non-competitive.
(D) The American business environment is high-energy and offers young businessmen the potential for rapid advancement.
(E) The American business world is more exciting for older, experienced businessmen than it is for young men aspiring to enter into it.

7. Which course of action would the author be LEAST likely to recommend to a young man looking to enter the business world?

(A) applying to take classes at a local business school
(B) interning at a well-known firm where there is room for growth
(C) taking a high-stakes job that the applicant is well-qualified for
(D) researching how to start a business
(E) pursuing a lucrative but high-pressure managerial position

8. It can be inferred from the passage that a man who thinks that he has “a 'corner' on knowledge” thinks that he:

(A) is always learning.
(B) knows nothing.
(C) knows everything.
(D) can learn from others.
(E) has learned something new.



Medium Essay 5

Hard Essay 1