Free SBAC High School ELA 2 Practice Test Questions

Answer the following questions about this selection from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott:

“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.

“It’s so dreadful to be poor!” sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress.

“I don’t think it’s fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all,” added little Amy, with an injured sniff.

“We’ve got Father and Mother, and each other,” said Beth contentedly from her corner.

The four young faces on which the firelight shone brightened at the cheerful words, but darkened again as Jo said sadly, “We haven’t got Father, and shall not have him for a long time.” She didn’t say “perhaps never,” but each silently added it, thinking of Father far away, where the fighting was. Nobody spoke for a minute; then Meg said in an altered tone, “You know the reason Mother proposed not having any presents this Christmas was because it is going to be a hard winter for everyone; and she thinks we ought not to spend money for pleasure, when our men are suffering so in the army. We can’t do much, but we can make our little sacrifices, and ought to do it gladly. But I am afraid I don’t,” and Meg shook her head, as she thought regretfully of all the pretty things she wanted.

“But I don’t think the little we should spend would do any good. We’ve each got a dollar, and the army wouldn’t be much helped by our giving that. I agree not to expect anything from Mother or you, but I do want to buy Undine and Sintran for myself. I’ve wanted it so long,” said Jo, who was a bookworm.

“I planned to spend mine in new music,” said Beth, with a little sigh, which no one heard but the hearth brush and kettle-holder.

“I shall get a nice box of Faber’s drawing pencils; I really need them,” said Amy decidedly.

“Mother didn’t say anything about our money, and she won’t wish us to give up everything. Let’s each buy what we want, and have a little fun; I’m sure we work hard enough to earn it,” cried Jo, examining the heels of her shoes in a gentlemanly manner.

“I know I do-teaching those tiresome children nearly all day, when I’m longing to enjoy myself at home,” began Meg, in the complaining tone again.

“You don’t have half such a hard time as I do,” said Jo. “How would you like to be shut up for hours with a nervous, fussy old lady, who keeps you trotting, is never satisfied, and worries you till you’re ready to fly out the window or cry?”

“It’s naughty to fret, but I do think washing dishes and keeping things tidy is the worst work in the world. It makes me cross, and my hands get so stiff, I can’t practice well at all.” And Beth looked at her rough hands with a sigh that anyone could hear that time.

“I don’t believe any of you suffer as I do,” cried Amy, “for you don’t have to go to school with impertinent girls, who plague you if you don’t know your lessons, and laugh at your dresses, and label your father if he isn’t rich, and insult you when your nose isn’t nice.”

“If you mean libel, I’d say so, and not talk about labels, as if Papa was a pickle bottle,” advised Jo, laughing.

1. Which of the following sentences best describes the theme of this passage?
  1. You should always use the biggest words you know.
  2. The youngest member of a family should do the most work.
  3. Everyone has problems, and it is important to think of others.
  4. You should spend your money on yourself because you deserve it.
2. Which choice gives the best summary of the problems presented in this passage?
  1. Father is away at war, money is scarce, and the sisters are unhappy with their responsibilities.
  2. Mother forbade any presents this Christmas, and the sisters are unhappy with their responsibilities.
  3. The sisters do not have as much money to spend as they would like, and Amy is made fun of at school.
  4. Beth is tired of cleaning and washing dishes, and Father is away at war.
3. What do you know to be true about Father?
  1. He wants the sisters to spend their money on themselves.
  2. He misses his wife and children.
  3. He wants the sisters to give their money to the army.
  4. He is with the army.
4. What do you know to be true about Mother?
  1. She misses her husband. 
  2. She is sorry that the family is poor.
  3. She proposed not having presents.
  4. She wants the sisters to spend their money on themselves.
5. Who is the only sister who does NOT specify what she wants to buy with her money?
  1. Amy
  2. Beth 
  3. Jo
  4. Meg
6. What does the phrase “no one heard but the hearth brush and kettle holder” tell the reader about where Beth is located in the room?
“I planned to spend mine in new music,” said Beth, with a little sigh, which no one heard but the hearth brush and kettle-holder.
  1. Near the stove
  2. By the window
  3. In the kitchen
  4. Closest to the fireplace

Answers


1. C: This answer best sums up the theme of the passage.

2. A: Choice B is incorrect because Mother did not forbid any presents. Choices C and D give some of the problems presented in the selection, but do not offer a complete summary.

3. D: The passage states: “‘We haven’t got Father, and shall not have him for a long time.’ She didn’t say ‘perhaps never,’ but each silently added it, thinking of Father far away, where the fighting was.” The other choices may be true of Father, but they are not specified in this selection.

4. C: Although choices A and B may be true, they are not specified in this selection. Jo believes choice D to be true, but whether or not she is right is not stated: “‘Mother didn’t say anything about our money, and she won’t wish us to give up everything. Let’s each buy what we want, and have a little fun; I’m sure we work hard enough to earn it,’ cried Jo.”

5. D: The other sisters all specify what they want to buy. Choice A: “‘I shall get a nice box of Faber’s drawing pencils; I really need them,’ said Amy decidedly.” Choice B: “‘I planned to spend mine in new music,’ said Beth.” Choice C: “‘I do want to buy Undine and Sintran for myself. I’ve wanted it so long,’ said Jo.”

6. D: The presence of a hearth brush and kettle-holder indicate a fireplace, and the fact that the fireplace “hears” Beth’s sigh when no one else does indicates that Beth is closest to it.


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by Mometrix Test Preparation | Last Updated: April 5, 2019