Name (Optional)

Read the next two selections. Then answer the questions that follow them.



Use “Allison’s Gift” to answer questions 1–5.

1Why are Allison’s parents surprised when Allison wants to take a gymnastics class?
AThey know Allison has not expressed interest in any kind of physical activity in the past.
BThey think it would be easier for Allison to learn gymnastics from her sister.
CThey think that she has little time to add another activity to her schedule.
DThey know that Allison and her sister do not like to participate in the same activities.

2What is Allison’s main problem in this story?
FShe cannot find anything that interests her.
GShe ignores her own strengths in trying to be like her sister.
HShe does not like vacationing with her family.
JShe is bothered by her art teacher’s insistence on entering her art in contests.

3In paragraph 3, the author uses the words “froze me in awe” to show that Allison thinks Carla’s gymnastic abilities are —

4What is the tone of paragraph 3?

5Allison learns to appreciate her own gift when —
Ashe has difficulty practicing back bends in her living room
Bshe sees her sister doing cartwheels in the sand
Cshe finds out that she has won an art contest
Dshe sketches the seashell she found on the beach

Use “Mikhail’s List” to answer questions 6–10.

6Why did Mikhail’s family move to the United States?
FMikhail wanted to attend a school where he could play sports.
GMikhail’s father was offered a teaching position at a university.
HMikhail’s family had other relatives living in Boston.
JMikhail needed to improve his English-speaking skills.

7Which idea from the story best shows that Mikhail understands that his original expectations were unrealistic?
AMikhail believes he must set a good example.
BMikhail decides to make a new list of goals.
CMikhail realizes that he cannot live his sister’s and brother’s life for them.
DMikhail thinks he will be a disgrace if he doesn’t succeed.

8In paragraph 2, the author uses the words “knotted up” to show Mikhail’s feelings of —

9Look at the chart of information from the story.

 Which of these belongs on the blank line?
AHe misses his friends back in Russia.
BHe thinks no one wants to be his friend at his new school.
CHe looks for friends who like to collect baseball cards.
DHe realizes that friendships take time to develop.

10What is one of the main reasons Mikhail sets high expectations for himself?
FHe wants to be a good role model for his siblings.
GHe wants to do as well in his American school as he did in his Russian school.
HHe wants to be one of the most popular people at his school.
JHe wants his parents to compare him to Superman.

Use “Allison’s Gift” and “Mikhail’s List” to answer questions 11–14.

11What are Allison’s and Mikhail’s problems at the beginning of the stories?
AAllison’s sister will not help Allison learn gymnastics, and Mikhail’s siblings are eager to help Mikhail achieve his goals.
BAllison does not like being at the beach, and Mikhail is excited about being in a new country.
CAllison ignores her true talent, and Mikhail sets impossible expectations for himself.
DAllison will not ask her sibling for help, and Mikhail feels that he must help his siblings.

12In both selections, use of the first-person point of view allows the authors to —
Fshare each narrator’s inner thoughts and feelings
Gconcentrate on creating unusual characters
Hfocus on the most important facts
Jdescribe each story’s setting in vivid detail

13An important theme in both stories is that —
Ashowing concern for others is critical for self-improvement
Bfacing one’s fears is important in accomplishing goals
Clearning to accept oneself is necessary for happiness
Dbeing willing to try new things is the key to success

14How do Allison and Mikhail approach their goals differently?
FAllison seeks the help of her parents, while Mikhail ignores what his parents tell him.
GAllison is trying to accomplish something for selfish reasons, while Mikhail is trying to do something that will help others.
HAllison laughs when she makes a mistake, while Mikhail finds it hard to forgive himself when he makes an error.
JAllison focuses on becoming expert at one skill, while Mikhail is trying to excel at many things.

Read this selection. Then answer the questions that follow it.


15Read the diagram of information from the article.

 Which of the following belongs in the empty box?
ATwo alligators are stoned to death.
BThe alligators are protected by a plastic enclosure.
CThe alligators are brought back to El Paso for a brief time.
DThe alligators are considered community pets.

16The first alligators were originally sent to El Paso —
Fas a gift to the city
Gto be community pets
Hto welcome tourists
Jas part of a joke

17Which sentence from this article supports the idea that many people in El Paso still think of the alligators as special?
AMunsenberger went to the mayor and offered the gators as a gift to the city.
BAn El Paso native, Jiménez remembered seeing the gators as a boy.
CThe statue brought back fond memories for many who attended the dedication.
DMany El Pasoans came to view the alligators’ reappearance as a sure sign of spring.

18What is paragraph 6 mainly about?
FHow the alligators were used to scare tourists
GWhy El Pasoans thought the alligators were harmful
HTwo alligators that were killed in the 1960s
JWhy the alligators had to be moved to the zoo

19Which sentence from this article supports the idea that it would be unusual to find alligators living in El Paso?
AHundreds of residents gathered in San Jacinto Plaza to dedicate the large fiberglass statue and fountain.
BYounger residents, however, found it hard to believe that gators actually lived in the park, hundreds of miles from the nearest swamp.
CEl Paso newspapers reported their activities as though they were respected citizens.
DAlligators occupied the pond in San Jacinto Plaza for some 80 years.

20From information in this article, the reader can conclude that El Paso —
Fhad many other parks with alligator ponds
Gdid not have a zoo when Adolph Munsenberger received the alligators
Hdid not have any fountains when city officials contacted Luis Jiménez
Jwanted the alligators to be returned to Louisiana

21The tone in paragraph 4 can be described as —

22Read this part of an outline of information from the article.

 Which idea belongs on the blank line?
FUsed for pranks
GCold winter temperatures
HSeen as pets
JGrew too large

23What does the word agape mean in paragraph 7?

24Why does the author include information about the real alligators that once lived in the plaza?
FTo persuade readers to visit the alligator statue in El Paso
GTo educate readers about the dangers the alligators faced
HTo give information about alligators in Texas
JTo show how the statue relates to the city’s history

Read this selection. Then answer the questions that follow it.


25This story is organized by —
Acomparing a family’s life in an apartment with its life in a house
Bdescribing a series of events that fulfills a family dream
Cdiscussing what each member of a family thinks about building a home
Dproviding examples of how people lived in 1925

26The author includes the information in paragraph 9 to —
Fshow what kind of relationship the narrator has with her father
Gillustrate how Mama’s feelings about the house have changed
Hcreate suspense about whether the family will ever have its own house
Jexplain how to recognize and treat the symptoms of pneumonia

27Based on information in the story, what can the reader conclude about the year 1925?
AMost people lived in houses built from kits.
BCatalogs were seen as luxury items.
CA dollar was considered a lot of money.
DMany men worked as coal miners.

28Which of the following is the best summary of the story?
FThe father of a large family orders a catalog offering kits for building a house. The mother of the family thinks he is just dreaming and says that the kits are too expensive. But in time the father convinces her that buying a house kit is a good idea. The mother gets a job as a seamstress, and all the family members work hard to save money for land and a kit.
GThe father of a large family living in a small apartment wants to buy a house kit from a catalog so that the family can build its own house. With everyone working together, the family members save money, buy land, order a house, and start building. When the father gets sick and can’t work on the house, the mother and the children take over and work to finish it.
HAfter a man orders a catalog, his family looks through it. The family decides to buy a kit for a house called the Solace. The house kit that arrives by train contains everything the family needs to build its own home. There are 30,000 pieces, including nails, wood, paint, roofing, doorknobs, windowpanes, and floors.
JThe members of a large family decide to buy a kit to build their own home. The family starts to build a house, but disaster strikes when the father gets sick with pneumonia. The mother of the family reads the directions that came with the house and tells the children that she wants to finish it.

29To the family the catalog is a symbol of —

30Read this phrase from paragraph 9.

 The author uses these words to create a feeling of —

31Which sentence from the story shows that the narrator’s father is a source of strength for the rest of the family?
AIt was hard work, but Daddy’s excitement was contagious.
BDaddy called this the bones of the house—the pieces of wood that would later be covered by the walls and the roof.
CIt took a while, but Daddy finally wore down Mama’s resistance.
DOur hopes of ever finishing it started to fade.

32Which idea from the story shows how different life in 1925 was from the way it is today?
FThe narrator’s mother disapproves of the narrator’s father wasting money.
GThe narrator and her family live in a small apartment.
HThe narrator, her father, and her brother ride to the train station in a wagon.
JThe narrator’s father takes a long time to recover from pneumonia.

33Why does the author choose to tell this story from a first-person point of view?
ATo help the reader better understand the emotions the family experiences
BTo show how families react in the face of tragedy
CTo help the reader know what it was like to be 13 years old in 1925
DTo show how children react to a parent’s illness

34The family members solve the problem of having enough money to order a house by —
Fworking together to earn what they need
Gdeciding to order the cheapest house in the catalog
Htaking their savings out of the bank
Jdeciding to sell their apartment

35In paragraph 10, the word obstinate means —

36The author wrote this story most likely to —
Fshow how a family’s life changes because of a catalog
Ginform readers how to build a house from a kit
Hexplain how family members can work together to save money for a house
Jcompare life in 1925 with life today

Read this selection. Then answer the questions that follow it.


37When Victor receives the computerized baby, he feels —
Athankful for Mr. Klecko’s help
Bangry that his friends won’t stop teasing him
Ccapable of caring for Stephen
Dfrustrated with the assignment

38Why does Victor say his parents make him feel like a baby?
FThey tell him how to take care of Stephen.
GThey won’t let him hold Stephen.
HThey think he will not do his assignment.
JThey tell him to go to bed early.

39In paragraph 2, what does the word implanted mean?

40Which of these is the best summary of the story?
FAll the students in Victor’s health class are given a computerized baby to take care of. At first Victor enjoys caring for his baby Stephen. However, when Stephen begins to cry loudly in English class, Victor does not know what to do. Throughout the day Victor has to deal with teasing from his friends and unwanted advice from his parents. Stephen cries off and on all that night and starts again the next morning during Victor’s class.
GVictor is given a computerized baby to take care of for 48 hours. His baby is named Stephen. When Stephen begins to cry, Victor does not remember how to comfort him and must be reminded what to do by his English teacher, Mr. Klecko. At lunch Victor’s friends tease him, and at home his parents give him suggestions he doesn’t want.
HA few students in Victor’s school are given computerized babies to take care of for 48 hours. Katrina, who has a baby sister at home, does a good job caring for her baby. Other students, such as Victor’s friend Ralph, have no idea how to stop a baby from crying. Victor does not leave Stephen’s side all day.
JVictor feels tired after taking care of Stephen, his computerized baby, especially after doing his homework and eating dinner while holding Stephen. The next morning in his health class, the students are talking about their babies, but Victor just sits at his desk staring into space until it is time to check Stephen’s diaper and give him another bottle.

41Paragraph 13 is mostly about —
Athe different ways students try to quiet their babies
Bhow good Katrina is with her baby
Chow envious Victor is of Katrina
Dwhy the video’s suggestions do not work

42Which idea from the story shows that other teachers know about the baby experiment that Victor’s health class is conducting?
FVictor has to sign a paper promising he will not leave baby Stephen alone.
GVictor’s English teacher tells him about the metal contacts.
HVictor knows his friends will all have to participate in the baby experiment eventually.
JVictor’s teachers give the students homework that is related to baby care.

43In paragraph 5, which words does the author use to create a sense of frustration?
Aa lot easier to remember
BI felt a little better
Ca shrieking, squirming baby
DEverybody laughed

44The reader can conclude that as the second day unfolds, Victor will —
Fhave his parents take care of Stephen for a little while
Gcome up with a way to make Stephen sleep
Hbecome more tired until it is time to give Stephen back
Jtry to persuade Katrina to trade babies with him

45Which statement best describes Victor’s feelings about taking care of Stephen?
AHe thinks of this assignment as no different from any other.
BHe grows more unsure of his ability to quiet Stephen.
CHe realizes that he should listen to his parents’ suggestions.
DHe finds it more difficult than he expected.

46In paragraph 13, the author uses the phrase “like something out of a horror movie” to —
Femphasize how disturbing the noise is
Gdescribe Felicia’s feelings about the project
Hexplain why the baby is crying
Jcompare Katrina’s and Felicia’s behavior

47Victor realizes how exhausting a baby can be when —
Ahe has to carry Stephen all day at school
BMr. Klecko tells him what he should do in class
Che remembers all the video’s instructions on how to take care of a baby
DStephen cries throughout the night

48How has Victor changed by the end of the story?
FHe decides to break his promise not to leave Stephen alone.
GHe thinks Stephen is more advanced than the other babies.
HHe is learning how to take care of Stephen.
JHe realizes he is better at caring for a baby than Katrina is.

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