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CUNY/COMPASS READING EXAMINATION

 

Sample Practices

Another Practice Paragraph

Fortune Tellers

A young couple entered the restaurant in Andy’s view. They were holding hands.
Andy sat back down in his chair. He felt sick. He turned and faced his father, who was
eating xôi.
“ What’s the matter, son?” asked his father. “I thought you were going to the
birthday party.”
“ It’s too late.”
“ Are you sure?”
Andy nodded. He looked at the plate of xôi. He wanted to bury his face in it.
“ Hi, Andy.” A voice came from behind.
Andy looked up. He recognized the beautiful face, and he refused to meet her
eyes. “Hi, Jennifer,” muttered Andy, looking at the floor.
“ You didn’t miss much, Andy. The party was dead. I was looking for you,
hoping you could give me a ride home. Then I met Tim, and he was bored like me. And
he said he’d take me home…. Andy, do you want to eat with us? I’ll introduce you to
Tim.”
Andy said, “No, I’m eating xôi with my father.”
“ Well, I’ll see you in school then, okay?”
“ Yeah.” And Andy watched her socks move away from his view.
Andy grabbed a chunk of xôi. The rice and beans stuck to his fingernails. He
placed the chunk in his mouth and pulled it away from his fingers with his teeth. There
was a dry bitter taste. But nothing could be as bitter as he was, so he chewed some more.
The bitterness faded as the xôi became softer in his mouth, but it was still tasteless. He
could hear the young couple talk and giggle. Their words and laughter and the sounds of
his own chewing mixed into a sticky mess. The words were bitter and the laughter was
tasteless, and once he began to understand this, he tasted the sweetness of xôi. Andy
enjoyed swallowing the sticky mess down. Andy swallowed everything down—
sweetness and bitterness and nothingness and what he thought was love.


Adapted from Nguyen Duc Minh, “Fortune Tellers.” in the collection American Eyes.©1994 by H. Holt

Choose the correct answer by clicking on it


1. Who is telling this story?

  1. Jennifer
  2. Andy
  3. Tim
  4. Andys father
  5. An unnamed narrator

2. What is the most reasonable conclusion to make from the statement in the first
paragraph, “He felt sick.”?

  1. Eating xoi with his father gave Andy a stomachache.
  2. Andy was upset when he saw Jennifer holding hands with Tim.
  3. Andy was unhappy about the restaurant his father had selected.
  4. Andy was upset with Jennifer for making him miss the party.
  5. Andy mistakenly thought that Tim was his best friend.

3. According to the passage, Tim would most likely describe the party as:

  1. mysterious.
  2. lively.
  3. dull
  4. upsetting
  5. remarkable.

4. Based on the last paragraph, it can be most reasonably inferred that Andy’s
increasing enjoyment of eating xôi was related to:

  1. hearing Tim and Jennifer laughing and talking.
  2. the fact that it stuck to his fingernails.
  3. sitting at a table with Tim and Jennifer while he ate
  4. the fact that his father made the xi.
  5. seeing Tim and Jennifer eating xi.

5. This passage is mainly about the relationship between:

  1. Andy and his father.
  2. Andy and Tim
  3. Andys father and Tim.
  4. Jennifer and Tim.
  5. Jennifer and Andy.



 

 

Go to Practice Paragraph 3


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