ASVAB Paragraph Comprehension Practice Questions

1. Mitosis refers to the process of cell division that occurs in most higher life forms. During interphase, all of the genetic material within the cell is replicated. Then, the strands that contain the genetic material, which are known as chromatin, become compacted and condensed. Centrosomes then move to opposite ends of the cells, after which the nucleus contained in the original single cell disintegrates.

Immediately before the chromatin becomes compacted:
a. the genetic material in the cell is copied.
b. the centrosomes move to opposite ends of the cell.
c. the nucleus inside of the cell disintegrates.
d. the process of mitosis takes place.

2. Obesity in the Western world has reached epidemic levels. While exercise is important to maintaining a healthy weight, healthy eating is even more important. Even the most active people cannot burn off hundreds of excess calories if they are consumed on a daily basis.

It can be concluded that:
a. most people need to exercise more
b. many people do not practice healthy eating
c. obesity would not be a problem if people were active
d. most people do not know how to choose healthy foods

3. Racism is still a widespread problem in North America. For example, one man of Arab descent was held at an airport for hours for no apparent reason. The man said he was later told that officials thought he was carrying a bomb. An African-American woman was passed over for a promotion. She says the job went to a less qualified applicant.

The author is constructing her argument by:
a. relying on studies conducted by others
b. relying on the self-reported experiences of others
c. relying on events that she personally witnessed
d. relying on accepted facts and proven statistics

4. Beowulf is an epic poem that is important because it is often viewed as the first significant work of English literature. Although it was first written in 700A.D. it is thought to be even hundreds of years older than that. It is believed that the story of Beowulf was told for centuries before it ever made its way on to paper. It is still taught today in various schools and universities.

Beowulf is a significant poem because:
a. it was first written down in 700A.D.
b. it was told for centuries before it was written down
c. it is still taught today in academic settings
d. it is the first important work of English literature

5. Cats are by far a superior pet compared to dogs. They are perfect for the working person, as they don’t mind being left alone during the day. In addition, they are very easy to litter train. They require little care or effort, and are much cheaper to feed compared to dogs.

The author’s purpose in writing this passage is:
a. to compare cats and dogs
b. to convince the reader that cats are better pets
c. to show why cats are cheaper to feed
d. to explain why cats are preferred to dogs

6. Malaria is a dangerous disease that is still common in many countries. It is carried and transmitted to humans by female mosquitoes. When they bite humans or animals, the malaria parasite is introduced into the human’s or animal’s bloodstream. The parasites travel to the liver. There, they multiply, and soon they infect red blood cells. Malaria symptoms like fever will begin to be experienced at this point.

After the malaria parasites infect the red blood cells:
a. symptoms like fever occur
b. the parasites multiply
c. the parasites travel to the liver
d. malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes

7. Many people feel that summer water sports are dangerous. While accidents do occur, the vast majority are preventable. For example, boating is a relatively safe activity, provided that life vests are worn and a reasonable speed is maintained. When diving, it’s important to know the area well and be certain that water is deep enough. Finally, alcohol should never be consumed while engaging in water sports or activities. Following these simple tips would prevent many accidents.

The main idea expressed in the passage is:
a. summer sports are dangerous
b. many people who engage in water activities are careless
c. boating is a safe activity if precautions are followed
d. summer water activities aren’t necessarily dangerous

8. At one time, people who wanted to be writers had to write a query letter to a magazine and then wait weeks, sometimes months, for a response, which was usually a rejection. Today, with blogs, virtually anybody can put their work out there for others to view. It’s as easy as setting up your blog, naming it, and posting anything you want: opinions, poems, short stories, news articles, etc. Of course, while people who have blogs may choose to call themselves writers or journalists, it’s unlikely they are making a living by putting their random thoughts out there into cyberspace.

It can be concluded that:
a. it is easier to make a living as a writer now
b. there are more people who want to be writers now
c. most people do not submit query letters to magazines anymore
d. there is no approval process for getting a blog

9. Organic food has become quite popular in the last number of years, but the price of organic foods still prevents many people from eating them on a regular basis. People choose to buy organic foods because they are becoming more concerned about what types of chemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides are in their food. Organic food is usually relatively easily obtained by visiting a grocery store or a farmer’s market, and the selection of foods is also quite good.

People don’t eat organic food because:
a. it’s hard to find
b. it contains chemicals
c. the selection is poor
d. it’s too expensive

ASVAB Paragraph Comprehension Answers and Explanations