PSAT Reading: Practice Quiz

Free 2023 Digital PSAT Reading Quiz

Test your PSAT readiness by taking this PSAT Reading quiz!

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Digital PSAT Reading Practice Question #1

New Zealand consists of two large islands
and over seven hundred smaller islands. ______, this view of New Zealand misses something critical, a fact that was obscured for eons until humans mapped the seafloor. The islands of New Zealand are the mountains of a submerged continent, a land-mass called Zealandia. Mostly submerged beneath the ocean approximately twenty-three million years ago, Zealandia is half the size

of Australia. New Zealand is merely the 6% of Zealandia’s landmass that is still above sea level.

Which choice completes the text with the most logical transition?

  • A) Additionally,
  • B) Subsequently,
  • C) Therefore,
  • D) However,


Correct Answer: (D)

Difficulty: Easy

Category: Expression of Ideas

Getting to the Answer: This question deals with a tran- sition. When determining which transition is the one to use in a given situation, consider what the transition is doing. Is it a continuation of the ideas in the previous sentence? Does it set up a contrast between the ideas in the current sentence and the ones in the previous sentence? Or is it laying out events in a cause-and-effect situation?

In this passage, the first sentence establishes how many islands make up New Zealand. The second sentence establishes that “this view” is missing a “critical” fact. In terms of purpose, the transition connecting both sentences would be establishing a contrast between those two ideas. Choice (D) sets up that contrast, and it is correct. (A) is incorrect because that transition func- tions as a continuation of the first sentence’s ideas. Choices (B) and (C) are incorrect because those transi- tions establish a cause-and-effect relationship between the two sentences.

Digital PSAT Reading Practice Question #2

Poet and monk Ukñā Suttantaprījā Ind wrote about life in Cambodia in the early twentieth century. In “Journey to Angkor Wat,” written in his native Khmer ______ Ind reflects on the ancient Buddhist ruins in light of the political change occurring in Cambodia at the time.

Which choice completes the text so that it conforms to the conventions of Standard English?

  • A)  language,
  • B)  language—
  • C)  language
  • D)  language)

Correct Answer: (A)

Difficulty: Easy

Category: Standard English Conventions

Getting to the Answer: Since this question asks about Standard English conventions, read the answer choices before looking at the passage. The choices signal that this question deals with punctuation, most likely testing how to set off parenthetical information, as indicated by the comma, dash, and parenthesis in the answer choices. The sentence with the blank contains the parenthetical phrase “written in his native Khmer language.” Parenthetical elements should be set off from the rest of the sentence with a pair of matching punctuation marks. Since the phrase is preceded by a comma, either predict that a comma should also follow “language” or eliminate incorrect answer choices; (A) is correct. Choices (B) and (D) include other ways to set off parenthetical information, but a comma must be used here to result in a matching set. Choice (C) incorrectly runs the text together by omitting all punctuation

Digital PSAT Reading Practice Question #3

Few developments have so greatly affected American life as the automobile. The car has had a significant effect on nearly every facet of American life, including how we work, where we live, and what we believe. Interestingly, it was the process of building cars rather than the cars themselves that first brought a sea of change to the American workplace. In 1914, a Ford plant in Highland Park, Michigan used the first electric conveyor belt, greatly increasing the efficiency of automobile manufacturing. Assembly lines for the production of automobiles were quickly adopted and became highly mechanized, providing a new model for industrial business.

Which choice best states the main idea of the text?

  • A) The automobile has changed American life more than any other invention.
  • B) A new method for building automo- biles changed American manufacturing processes.
  • C) Assembly lines have proven to be the most efficient method of producing industrial equipment.
  • D) Until the installation of the conveyor belt, the Ford plant in Highland Park, Michigan was unsuccessful.

Correct Answer: (B)

Difficulty: Hard

Category: Information and Ideas

Getting to the Answer: The first two sentences intro- duce the automobile as an invention that had a large impact on American life, but the passage changes focus after that. Marked by the emphasis keywords “Interest- ingly,” “first,” and “sea of change,” the main idea expressed in the remainder of the text is that the process of manufacturing cars changed American business practices. This prediction matches (B), the correct answer.

Incorrect choices (A) and (C) take ideas from the passage but go too far. In the first sentence, the text states the automobile is one of a “Few” crucial inventions that changed American life, but not that it was the most important one. (A) also makes no mention of the change in car manufacturing processes that was the focus of the rest of the text. Similarly, the passage never states that assembly lines are the “most efficient method” for manufacturing all “industrial equipment” because the text only discusses car assembly. The success of the Ford plant is never mentioned in the passage, so (D) is also incorrect.

Digital PSAT Reading Practice Question #4

The following text is from Honoré De Balzac’s 1830 short story “The Elixir of Life.”

At the age of sixty, Belvidéro had become enamored of an angel of peace and beauty. Don Juan was the sole fruit of this late love. For fifteen years the good man had mourned the loss of his dear Juana. His many servants and his son attributed the strange habits he had contracted to this grief.

As used in the text, what does the word “contracted” most nearly mean?

  • A) Agreed
  • B) Ordered
  • C) Acquired
  • D) Withdrawn

Correct Answer: (C)

Difficulty: Medium

Category: Craft and Structure

Getting to the Answer: In the text, the servants and son believe Belvidéro’s strange habits came from his grief. So Belvidéro would have “added” or “obtained” these new habits. (C), “acquired,” matches this prediction and is correct.

The incorrect choices are all alternative definitions of “contracted” that do not fit this context.