SSAT Middle Level Reading : Making Inferences in Argumentative Social Science Passages

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SSAT Middle Level Reading

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Making Inferences In Argumentative Social Science Passages

Adapted from the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America by Thomas Jefferson (1776)

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.—Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

What can be inferred to follow this passage?

Possible Answers:

A summary of the contents found in the passage

A list of demands to be met by England

A list of the acts committed by England against the colonies 

A longer philosophical treatise on the rights of man

The format of the new government for the colonies

Correct answer:

A list of the acts committed by England against the colonies 

Explanation:

The last two sentences of this selection are key for answering this question. Consider them directly: "The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world." The first of these sentences states that the current king of Great Britain had repeatedly and continually acted against the colonies. Then, the author states that "facts" are to be "submitted" to the world. That is, the facts proving the claim about the king will then be listed at length. Hence, we can suppose that there will be a list of acts committed against the colonies by England. (Indeed, this is what follows in the actual document.)

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