Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test
Florida Department of Education
This item was offered to a Florida newspaper with this descriptor: This question is similar to those on the 10th-grade reading FCAT. There\’s more than one question. I guess we can assume they are all similar.
Try doing this item–with the thought in mind that your high school diploma depends on it.
A longer version of this passage also pops up in Tucson–as preparation for AIMS, the state test. Among other things, I object to a literary passage employing irony being used as proof of a student\’s reading competence. How many members of Congress can recognize irony?
Read the passage, and then answer the questions below it.
Juan knows there won’t be a problem with the letter’s contents, that it’s irreproachable, harmless. But what about the rest? He knows that they examine, sniff, feel and read between the lines of each and every letter, and check its tiniest comma and most accidental stain. He knows that all letters pass from hand to hand and go through all sorts of tests in the huge censorship offices and that, in the end, very few continue on their way. Usually it takes months, even years, if there aren’t any snags; all this time the freedom, maybe even the life, of both sender and receiver is in jeopardy. …
Well, you’ve got to beat them to the punch, do what everyone tries to do: sabotage the machinery, throw sand in its gears, get to the bottom of the problem so as to stop it.
This was Juan’s sound plan when he, like many others, applied for a censor’s job not because he had a calling or needed a job: no, he applied simply to intercept his own letter, a consoling albeit unoriginal idea.
1. Which of the following is a FACT in the passage?
A. Some letters are delivered without being examined.
B. Even if the contents of a letter are acceptable, the censors may still decide not to send it to its recipient.
C. The censors are necessary to protect the country.
D. All letters are delivered within six months.
2. Which of the following is a FACT in the passage?
A. Most letters are eventually delivered to the people to whom they are addressed.
B. No letter has ever reached its destination.
C. Trying to send a letter is too dangerous.
D. Although it may take years, some letters are sent on.
3. Which of the following is a FACT about how letters are handled?
A. Each letter is carefully read by one censor who decides whether it will be sent.
B. After letters are read, they are saved for months or years.
C. Each letter undergoes many different tests at the hands of different people.
D. All of the above.
4. Which of the following statements from the passage reveals an OPINION?
A. “Juan knows there won’t be a problem with the letter’s contents, …”
B. “Well, you’ve got to . . . get to the bottom of the problem so as to stop it.”
C. “Usually it takes months, even years, …”
D. Both A and B
Answers: 1. B; 2. D; 3. C; 4. D