David Recine

Praxis Core Reading: Structure Practice Questions

On the Praxis Core Reading exam, a number of questions ask about a reading passage’s structure. There are two types of structure questions in Core Reading.

One type of question asks test-takers to identify the way a reading passage is organized. Then there are reference questions. In this quesiton type, you’ll be given a specific pronoun or phrase that refers to another thing in the passage. From there, you must correctly identify the thing that is being referred to.

Below, I’ll give you a typical Praxis Core Reading passage. (It’s the same passage you saw in the post on practice language questions for Core Reading.) The reading will be followed by five Core Reading structure questions. Practice with these questions, and then check the answer key to see how you did.


Daylight Saving’s Time (DST), was originally introduced in the nineteenth century. The goal of DST was to save money on lighting costs by changing the clocks so that workers always labored during daylight hours. At its inception, DST was an answer to the world’s newfound need for punctuality and efficiency. Today, however, many problems arise from this practice of moving timetables an hour forward in the spring and an hour back in the fall.

In twenty-first century commuting situations, this policy can cause traffic accidents. The University of Colorado-Boulder found that car accidents spike in late March, after clocks are set one hour forward for spring Daylight Savings Time. The reason appears to be poor sleep. Hard working commuters have trouble recovering from the lost hour of sleep that comes with the time change, and they are less alert as they drive to work.

DST practices can also lead to scheduling problems for multinational companies. Not all countries observe Daylight Savings Time. As a result, the time differences between international business offices is not consistent over the course of a year. For example, Lima has the same clock time as Chicago from March to November. But from December through February, it is one hour later in Peru than it is in Illinois. These differences create a lot of confusion. Missed phone appointments and hastily rescheduled conference calls are very common when some parts of the world make a DST clock change while other parts do not.

Praxis Core Reading practice: organization question

    Which of the following best describes the organization of the passage?
    A) A problem is described and a solution is proposed.
    B) Two historical periods are compared and contrasted.
    C) A time management practice is described and its flaws are identified.
    D) A piece of research is summarized and its findings are disproven.
    E) A popular argument is presented and its merits are examined.

Praxis Core Reading practice: reference question

    In paragraph 2, sentence 1, “this policy” refers to which of the following?
    A) The national practice of setting the clocks an hour ahead in the spring, and then setting them back in autumn.
    B) The lack of public transportation so that commuters need to drive to work.
    C) Looking for the best ways to save money on lighting costs.
    D) A law stating that individual cities can choose not to follow Daylight Savings Time.
    E) The use of Daylight Savings time to make twenty-first century international companies more efficient.

Answer key

    1) C
    2) A

A note about dual passages

Some passages in Praxis Core Reading are dual passages, with two separate short readings on the same topic. These kinds of passages are structured very differently from other readings on the Praxis Core. So in some cases, structure questions can look very different for this alternative passage format. In an upcoming post on dual passages, we’ll look at structure questions designed just for this format.


  • David Recine

    David is a Test Prep Expert for Magoosh TOEFL and IELTS. Additionally, he’s helped students with TOEIC, PET, FCE, BULATS, Eiken, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. David has a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MA from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. His work at Magoosh has been cited in many scholarly articles, his Master’s Thesis is featured on the Reading with Pictures website, and he’s presented at the WITESOL (link to PDF) and NAFSA conferences. David has taught K-12 ESL in South Korea as well as undergraduate English and MBA-level business English at American universities. He has also trained English teachers in America, Italy, and Peru. Come join David and the Magoosh team on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram, or connect with him via LinkedIn!

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