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Praxis Core Reading: Practice Analysis Questions

Read about the Praxis Core Reading Test and then check out the the sample analysis questions below.

Inference question:

Praxis Core Reading sample bar chart

Given the information provided, which of the following best accounts for high school students’ sports preferences?

    (A) Students dislike indoor sports because they have little access to indoor facilities.

    (B) Boys like sports more than girls do.

    (C) The students are more gifted in soccer than in other sports.

    (D) The students prefer sports that use balls over sports that do not use balls.

    (E) Sports that involve large teams are more popular than less team-oriented sports.


Attitude question:

Note: This passage is taken from pages 18 and 19 of the official ETS Study Companion PDF. Like this post’s organization question reading, this passage comes with a different additional question on the PDF itself.

Jazz is the most original aesthetic form to emerge from the United States, but it has not always been the most popular. After the big-band era of the 1930s, most jazz was played in small rooms that held about a hundred people. The sound systems were usually bad, and the players were considered to be small-time entertainers. If the music was strong enough, however, the audience would quiet down or shout approval when something especially swinging was played. Unlike in the more polished venues found recently, the participation of listeners was not forbidden, and people were not expected to keep absolutely quiet until a song ended.

The author would most likely agree with which of the following statements about jazz in the era immediately after the 1930s?

(A) Because the sound systems for jazz were bad during this time, the audience was often unhappy with the performances.

(B) Jazz lacked popularity because it was perceived as unoriginal by audiences, who preferred other more original American forms of music.

(C) Newer jazz venues discourage audience participation, while earlier venues permitted audience participation and were characterized by lively audience response.

(D) Jazz players felt very insecure in their art form because of frequent criticism from the audience during their performances.

(E) Because of the extreme popularity of jazz in the 1930s, jazz’s subsequent loss of popularity is surprising.


Argument analysis question

Note: This dual passage comes from ETS’ online Praxis CORE Reading guide. It appears on pages 34 to 45, along with several additional practice questions.

Passage 1
When conducted properly, ecotourism—responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and sustains the well-being of local people—is less destructive than many other environmental uses. The impacts of ecotourism can be managed to realize a balance between preservation and development; such balance can be achieved, for example, by limiting both the size and the number of tours in a particular area and by incorporating environmentally conscious meals, lodging, waste management, and wildlife viewing principles into the tours. Further, by creating economic incentives for impoverished villages and communities, ecotourism can encourage local guardianship of natural resources, habitats, and wildlife.

Passage 2

The environmental impacts of Lapa Rios (LR) Ecolodge in Costa Rica are clear and unambiguous. First, the LR nature reserve and adjacent forest areas have shown pronounced forest regrowth since the beginning of ecotourism in the region in the 1990s. Second, the increasing number of tourists at LR has not led to negative consequences, because the company prepared for such increases from the start: trails were designed to handle a number of simultaneous tours with dispersion, and trail policy rigorously limits the number of tours per day (to two) and guests per tour (to eight).

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the implied argument in these passages that ecotourism is better for the environment and local people, compared to other types of tourism?

(A) Eco-tourism has smaller profit margins than other forms of economic activity in the same localities.

(B) Eco-tourism business are staffed both by local people and by immigrants from other regions.

(C) The Lapa Rios nature reserve is just one of several hundred eco-tourism sites in the world.

(D) Forest growth is sometimes more pronounced in wooded regions adjacent to conventional tourism, compared to areas adjacent to ecotourism sites.

(E) Ecotourism has only been common for the last 20 years.


Explanations for Practice Questions

Inference question: (E) is correct because the two sports that the fewest students favored are tennis, which is played with paired or single opponents, and gymnastics, which isn’t a team sport at all. Inference (A) isn’t supported in the chart because the chart doesn’t have any data about indoor facilities or whether the sports are played inside. (B) is also unsupported due to lack of information—the chart doesn’t mention the gender of the students surveyed. (C) doesn’t work because there’s no way of knowing whether the students like soccer because they’re the best at it, or for other reasons (it’s fun, their parents encourage them to play, etc…). (D) can’t be true because the least popular sport is tennis, a ball sport.

Attitude question: (C) is correct, reflecting the author’s assertion that “recently” listener participation has been “forbidden” in Jazz venues, and the author’s description of audience participation as an important aspect of the earlier jazz era. (A) seems tempting because bad sound systems and audience unhappiness are mentioned in the passage. Here, it’s important to notice that the author never says that the poor acoustics actually caused the audience to dislike jazz performances. (B) can easily be spotted as wrong, because it says that jazz in “unoriginal”—the opposite of what the author says at the very beginning of the passage. (D) and (E) contain assertions that are possible but not clearly supported in the passage; the passage never mentions the emotional state of jazz performers, and doesn’t mention whether jazz’s relative unpopularity after the big-band era was a large change, or a surprising one.

Argument analysis question: Here, none of the information in the answers will be reflected in the text, because every answer presents new ideas that aren’t in the original passage. What you need to do is find the new piece of information most relevant to the original argument. (A) isn’t really relevant. The exact profit margins of an ecotourism venture don’t have an obvious impact on local environment or local populations. (B) doesn’t clearly demonstrate the impact on local people, and doesn’t mention environmental effects at all. (C) makes no mention at all of things related to local people or the environment, nor does (E). (D) is the best answer, because if it’s true that other industries promote forest growth more than ecotourism, than the argument that ecotourism is exceptionally good for the environment is undermined.


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