SSAT Elementary Level Reading : How to Locate and Analyze Details in Nonfiction Passages

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

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Example Questions

Example Question #84 : Isee Lower Level (Grades 5 6) Reading Comprehension

Adapted from The Great Round World and What Is Going On In It, Vol. 2., No. 24 (June, 1898)

There is a very interesting account of the origin of the Red Cross Society. About forty years ago, M. Henry Dimont, a native of Switzerland, having witnessed the unnecessary suffering of the wounded, from lack of care, at the battle of Solferino, published a book, pointing out the necessity of forming a group of nurses to work in the cause of humanity in time of war, regardless of nationality of the injured, and who should be permitted to aid the wounded on the battle-field, under the protection of a flag which should be recognized as neutral. So much interest was taken in the idea that the outcome was a convention held at Geneva in 1864, which was attended by representatives from sixteen of the great nations of the world, who signed an agreement that they would protect members of the association when caring for the wounded on the field of battle. It was decided that the work of the Red Cross Society should not be confined to times of war, but that in case of disasters and calamities the organization was to provide aid. During the past seventeen years the American Red Cross Society has served in fifteen disasters and famines, and Russians, Armenians, and Cubans have all received aid from this society.

Which of these nationalities does the article NOT mention as receiving help from the Red Cross Society?

Possible Answers:

Cubans 

Armenians 

Swiss 

All of these nationalities are mentioned as receiving help from the Red Cross Society

Russians 

Correct answer:

Swiss 

Explanation:

At the end of the passage the author mentions how the “Russians, Armenians, and Cubans” have all received aid from the Red Cross. Although Henry Dimont is from Switzerland, there is no mention of the Red Cross helping the Swiss. 

Example Question #181 : Prose Passages

Adapted from The Great Round World and What Is Going On In It, Vol. 2., No. 24 (June, 1898)

There is a very interesting account of the origin of the Red Cross Society. About forty years ago, M. Henry Dimont, a native of Switzerland, having witnessed the unnecessary suffering of the wounded, from lack of care, at the battle of Solferino, published a book, pointing out the necessity of forming a group of nurses to work in the cause of humanity in time of war, regardless of nationality of the injured, and who should be permitted to aid the wounded on the battle-field, under the protection of a flag which should be recognized as neutral. So much interest was taken in the idea that the outcome was a convention held at Geneva in 1864, which was attended by representatives from sixteen of the great nations of the world, who signed an agreement that they would protect members of the association when caring for the wounded on the field of battle. It was decided that the work of the Red Cross Society should not be confined to times of war, but that in case of disasters and calamities the organization was to provide aid. During the past seventeen years the American Red Cross Society has served in fifteen disasters and famines, and Russians, Armenians, and Cubans have all received aid from this society.

The Red Cross Society was quickly expanded to include __________.

Possible Answers:

Politics 

Agricultural production

Education 

Disaster relief 

National defense

Correct answer:

Disaster relief 

Explanation:

Shortly after its inception, the Red Cross Society expanded to include disaster relief. The passage says: “It was decided that the work of the Red Cross Society should not be confined to times of war, but that in case of disasters and calamities the organization was to provide aid.”

Example Question #85 : Isee Lower Level (Grades 5 6) Reading Comprehension

Adapted from The Great Round World and What Is Going On In It, Vol. 2., No. 24 (June, 1898)

There is a very interesting account of the origin of the Red Cross Society. About forty years ago, M. Henry Dimont, a native of Switzerland, having witnessed the unnecessary suffering of the wounded, from lack of care, at the battle of Solferino, published a book, pointing out the necessity of forming a group of nurses to work in the cause of humanity in time of war, regardless of nationality of the injured, and who should be permitted to aid the wounded on the battle-field, under the protection of a flag which should be recognized as neutral. So much interest was taken in the idea that the outcome was a convention held at Geneva in 1864, which was attended by representatives from sixteen of the great nations of the world, who signed an agreement that they would protect members of the association when caring for the wounded on the field of battle. It was decided that the work of the Red Cross Society should not be confined to times of war, but that in case of disasters and calamities the organization was to provide aid. During the past seventeen years the American Red Cross Society has served in fifteen disasters and famines, and Russians, Armenians, and Cubans have all received aid from this society.

In what century was the Red Cross Society established?

Possible Answers:

The nineteenth century

The twenty-first century

The twentieth century

The fourteenth century

The eighteenth century

Correct answer:

The nineteenth century

Explanation:

The passage tells you that the Society was established in Geneva in 1864. The 1800s are called the nineteenth century, the 1900s are called the twentieth century, and the years between 2001 and 2100 are called the twenty-first century.

Example Question #41 : Nonfiction Passages

Adapted from "Marvels of Men’s Making" in Chatterbox Periodical edited by J. Erskine Clark (1906)

When two large cities stand opposite to one another on the banks of a river, it is not likely they can do very well without a bridge to connect them. Yet the citizens of New York and Brooklyn were obliged to manage as best they could for a good many years before they had their bridge. There were many difficulties in the way. For one thing, the river is very broad; for another, the tall-masted ships ply up and down so frequently that it would never do to build anything which would obstruct their passage; and to overcome these difficulties would mean the expenditure of a vast sum of money. But the folk who earned their daily bread in New York and lived in Brooklyn grew thoroughly tired of spending chilly hours in foggy weather on the river-side piers, waiting for the ferry-boat to come and take them across, and at last they began an agitation which resulted in the Brooklyn Bridge.

Which of these does the passage not mention as one of the reasons why building a bridge between New York and Brooklyn was considered difficult?

Possible Answers:

The waterway is constantly used by ships.

The river is very wide.

All of these answers were mentioned as reasons why building a bridge between New York and Brooklyn would be difficult.

It is very foggy in Brooklyn. 

It would cost a lot of money.

Correct answer:

It is very foggy in Brooklyn. 

Explanation:

The author tells us that “there were many difficulties in the way" of the Brooklyn Bridge being built. He goes on to list those difficulties, and the only difficulty not mentioned is that is very foggy in Brooklyn. This information is revealed later in the passage and relates to why the people of Brooklyn wanted to build the bridge, as opposed to being listed as one of the obstacles in their way.

Example Question #1 : Identifying And Analyzing Details In History Passages

Adapted from Early European History (1917) by Hutton Webster

A medieval village usually contained several classes of laborers. There might be a number of freemen, who paid a fixed rent, either in money or produce, for the use of their land. Then there might also be a few slaves in the lord's household or at work on his domain. By this time, however, slavery had about died out in Western Europe. Most of the peasants were serfs.

Serfdom represented a stage between slavery and freedom. A slave belonged to his master; he was bought and sold like other belongings. A serf had a higher position, for he could not be sold apart from the land nor could his holding be taken from him. He was fixed to the soil. On the other hand, a serf ranked lower than a freeman, because he could not change his house, nor marry outside the manor, nor hand down his goods, without the permission of his lord.

Which of these is NOT one of the things forbidden to serfs?

Possible Answers:

All of the answer choices were forbidden.

Handing down property

Moving houses

Marrying outside the community

Correct answer:

All of the answer choices were forbidden.

Explanation:

At the end of the passage, the author describes all the things that are forbidden to a serf. “On the other hand a serf ranked lower than a freeman, because he could not change his house, nor marry outside the manor, nor hand down his goods, without the permission of his lord.” All of the answer choices were forbidden to serfs.

Example Question #1 : Identifying And Analyzing Details In History Passages

Adapted from A Man Who Coveted Washington’s Shoes by Frank E. Stockton (1896)

The person whose story we are now about to tell was not a Jerseyman, but, as most of the incidents which make him interesting to us occurred in this state, we will give him the benefit of a few years' residence here.

This was General Charles Lee, who might well have been called a soldier of fortune. He was born in England, but the British Isles were entirely too small to satisfy his wild ambitions and his bold spirit. There are few heroes of romance who have had such a wide and varied experience, and who have engaged in so many strange enterprises. He was a brave man and very able, but he had a fault which prevented him from being a high-class soldier: he could not bear authority and was always restive under command of another, and, while always ready to tell other people what they ought to do, was never willing to be told what he ought to do.

He joined the British army when he was a young man, and he first came to this country in 1757, when General Abercrombie brought over an army to fight the French. For three years, Lee was engaged in the wilds and forests, doing battle with the Native Americans and French, and no doubt he had all the adventures an ordinary person would desire, but this experience was far from satisfactory.

Why does General Charles Lee not stay in the British Isles?

Possible Answers:

They were too small to satisfy his wild ambitions. 

His wife had already immigrated to the United States.

He wanted to fight in the Revolutionary War.

He was wanted for committing a petty crime.

The British Isles could not match New Jersey for natural beauty.

Correct answer:

They were too small to satisfy his wild ambitions. 

Explanation:

The author states that Lee was born in Britain but did not stay there because the British Isles were too small for him: “He was born in England, but the British Isles were entirely too small to satisfy his wild ambitions and his bold spirit.”

Example Question #1 : Identifying And Analyzing Details In History Passages

Adapted from A Man Who Coveted Washington’s Shoes by Frank E. Stockton (1896)

The person whose story we are now about to tell was not a Jerseyman, but, as most of the incidents which make him interesting to us occurred in this state, we will give him the benefit of a few years' residence here.

This was General Charles Lee, who might well have been called a soldier of fortune. He was born in England, but the British Isles were entirely too small to satisfy his wild ambitions and his bold spirit. There are few heroes of romance who have had such a wide and varied experience, and who have engaged in so many strange enterprises. He was a brave man and very able, but he had a fault which prevented him from being a high-class soldier: he could not bear authority and was always restive under command of another, and, while always ready to tell other people what they ought to do, was never willing to be told what he ought to do.

He joined the British army when he was a young man, and he first came to this country in 1757, when General Abercrombie brought over an army to fight the French. For three years, Lee was engaged in the wilds and forests, doing battle with the Native Americans and French, and no doubt he had all the adventures an ordinary person would desire, but this experience was far from satisfactory.

When did General Charles Lee first come to the United States?

Possible Answers:

1777

1776

1757

1767

1783

Correct answer:

1757

Explanation:

The author says that General Charles Lee "joined the British army when he was a young man; and he first came to this country in 1757.”

Example Question #11 : How To Locate And Analyze Details In Nonfiction Passages

Adapted from Early European History by Hutton Webster (1917)

History cannot easily go back beyond written records. These alone will preserve a full and accurate account of man's achievements. Manuscripts and books form one class of written records. The old Babylonians used tablets of soft clay, on which signs were impressed with a metal instrument. The tablets were then baked hard in an oven. The Egyptians made a kind of paper out of the papyrus, a plant native to the Nile valley. The Greeks and Romans at first used papyrus, but later they employed the more lasting parchment prepared from sheepskin. Paper seems to have been a Chinese invention. It was introduced into Europe by the Arabs during the twelfth century of our era.

History, based on written records, begins in different countries at varying dates. A few manuscripts and inscriptions found in Egypt date back three or four thousand years before Christ. The annals of Babylonia are scarcely less ancient. Trustworthy records in China and India do not extend beyond 1000 B.C. For the Greeks and Romans the commencement of the historic period must be placed about 750 B.C. The inhabitants of northern Europe did not come into the light of history until about the opening of the Christian era.

What did the Babylonians use to record their history?

Possible Answers:

Sheepskin 

Clay tablets 

Papyrus 

Computers 

Paper 

Correct answer:

Clay tablets 

Explanation:

This question asks you to pick out a detail from the passage. You have to read the passage carefully to determine the information, but it should be plainly stated. The author says “The old Babylonians used tablets of soft clay, on which signs were impressed with a metal instrument.”

Example Question #181 : Ssat Elementary Level Reading Comprehension

Adapted from Early European History by Hutton Webster (1917)

History cannot easily go back beyond written records. These alone will preserve a full and accurate account of man's achievements. Manuscripts and books form one class of written records. The old Babylonians used tablets of soft clay, on which signs were impressed with a metal instrument. The tablets were then baked hard in an oven. The Egyptians made a kind of paper out of the papyrus, a plant native to the Nile valley. The Greeks and Romans at first used papyrus, but later they employed the more lasting parchment prepared from sheepskin. Paper seems to have been a Chinese invention. It was introduced into Europe by the Arabs during the twelfth century of our era.

History, based on written records, begins in different countries at varying dates. A few manuscripts and inscriptions found in Egypt date back three or four thousand years before Christ. The annals of Babylonia are scarcely less ancient. Trustworthy records in China and India do not extend beyond 1000 B.C. For the Greeks and Romans the commencement of the historic period must be placed about 750 B.C. The inhabitants of northern Europe did not come into the light of history until about the opening of the Christian era.

Which civilization introduced paper to Europe and in what century did this occur?

Possible Answers:

The Arabs introduced paper to Europe in the tenth century.

The Chinese introduced paper to Europe in the tenth century.

The Arabs introduced paper to Europe in the twelfth century.

The Chinese introduced paper to Europe in the twelfth century.

The Chinese introduced paper to Europe in the tenth century.

Correct answer:

The Arabs introduced paper to Europe in the twelfth century.

Explanation:

This is another detail identification question. To answer it, you need to find the part of the passage where the author states, “Paper seems to have been a Chinese invention. It was introduced into Europe by the Arabs during the twelfth century of our era.”

Example Question #41 : Nonfiction Passages

Adapted from The Boy Heroes of Crecy and Poitiers by Treadwell Walden (1879)

There was only one road to success or fame in those days, and that was the profession of fighting. The ambition of every high-born young fellow was to become a knight. Knighthood was something that both king and nobles regarded as higher in some respects than even the royalty or nobility to which they were born. No one could be admitted into an order of the great brotherhood of knights, which extended all over Europe and formed an independent society, unless he had gone through severe discipline, and had performed some distinguished deed of valor. Then he could wear the golden spurs; for knighthood had its earliest origin in the distinction of fighting on horseback, while ordinary soldiers fought on foot. Although knighthood changed afterward, the word "chivalry" always expressed it, from the French word “cheval,” a horse. And in addition to valor, which was the result of physical strength and courage, the knight was expected to be generous, courteous, faithful, devout, truthful, high-souled, high-principled. Hence the epithet, "chivalrous," which, even to-day, is so often heard applied to men of especially fine spirit. "Honor" was the great word which included all these qualities then, as it does in some measure now.

What does the author describe as the only road to success in "those days"?

Possible Answers:

Birthright 

Fighting

Good parenting

Education

Good health

Correct answer:

Fighting

Explanation:

In the opening sentence, the author says, “There was only one road to success or fame in those days, and that was the profession of fighting.” So, "fighting" is the correct answer.

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