TACHS Reading : TACHS: Reading

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for TACHS Reading

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Vocabulary

The cottage was small, but well-decorated and located in a charming and quaint village.

Possible Answers:

Query

Quaint

Negligent

Putrid

Correct answer:

Quaint

Explanation:

"Quaint" means old-fashioned and charming. "Putrid" means decayed or rotten. "Negligent" means not cautious or careless. "Query" refers to a question or the act of asking a question.

Example Question #1 : Vocabulary

Andrew gingerly dismounted the fence, he really didn't want to hurt himself.

Possible Answers:

Hastily

Cautiously

Gingery

Reddening

Correct answer:

Cautiously

Explanation:

If you do something “gingerly,” you do it cautiously or carefully. This makes sense in this context, and Andrew is trying not to hurt himself, and adjusting the manner in which he dismounts the fence accordingly. Do not confuse it with, "gingery," which means related to the spice ginger. To clarify the other terms, “reddening” means turning red, such as when blushing; a “fastening” is something you use to affix things together; “hastily” means hurriedly or quickly.

Example Question #1 : Abstract Nouns

A sharp and well-schooled attorney, Roger Howarsmith was always praised for his acumen in the field of tax law.

Possible Answers:

Coalesce

Imply

Anoint

Insight

Correct answer:

Insight

Explanation:

“Acumen” is a noun that refers to the sharpness of mind and describes someone who can make quick and insightful decisions; therefore the best available synonym is “insight” which means perceptiveness. For clarification, "imply" means to suggest without directly expressing; "coalesce" means to merge or bring things together.

Example Question #3 : Vocabulary

After seeing how unstable the monorail Roy had built was, the townspeople had no doubt that they'd been fooled by a charlatan.

Possible Answers:

Fraud

Charleston

Schoolteacher

Haberdasher

Correct answer:

Fraud

Explanation:

Well, let's start by eliminating the noun "Charleston," which sounds more like a dance or a place on a map than the right answer! "Fraud" is the closest in meaning to "charlatan," a person who pretends to be something he or she is not in order to trick people out of their money. The other answer choices have completely unrelated meanings.

Example Question #1 : Vocabulary

Kevin was more than willing to debate his sister's claim that he had destroyed her carpet.

Possible Answers:

Disgruntle

Dispute

Antagonize

Rebate

Correct answer:

Dispute

Explanation:

This question was solvable by understanding the full context of the sentence, and the definition meaning required to make sense, in the context of the sentence only "dispute" discussed the particular act of arguing describing in the sentence. It was also solvable by knowing the definitions of all the other verbs provided, as only "dispute" had a definition that was close to "debate."

Example Question #1 : Vocabulary

Even though he was a great shooter, DeMarr totally choked in the finals, missing two key free throws.

Possible Answers:

Desolate

Bungled

Elevated

Gasped

Correct answer:

Bungled

Explanation:

The primary meaning of “choke” is gag or strangle someone, but since none of the answer choices are close in meaning to this definition, you can assume you are searching for a secondary meaning of the word. If you “choke,” then you lose your composure and fail to perform effectively in a critical situation, like, for instance, taking key free throws in the finals, so you could say, "He had a chance to win the game but he choked." Thus, "choke" used in this way is most similar in meaning to "bungle,"which means mess something up. As for the other answer choices, "elevate" means rise up or place at a higher position; and "desolate" means empty, barren, or devoid of life.

Example Question #1 : Biographical Sketches And Literary Non Fiction

Adapted from Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads by John A. Lomax (1910)

The big ranches of the West are now being cut up into small farms. The nester has come, and come to stay. Gone is the buffalo, the Indian warwhoop, the free grass of the open plain—even the stinging lizard, the horned frog, the centipede, the prairie dog, the rattlesnake, are fast disappearing. Save in some of the secluded valleys of southern New Mexico, the old-time round-up is no more; the trails to Kansas and to Montana have become grass-grown or lost in fields of waving grain; the maverick steer, the regal longhorn, has been supplanted by his unpoetic but more beefy and profitable Polled Angus, Durham, and Hereford cousins from across the seas. The changing and romantic West of the early days lives mainly in story and in song. The last figure to vanish is the cowboy, the animating spirit of the vanishing era. He sits his horse easily as he rides through a wide valley, enclosed by mountains, clad in the hazy purple of coming night,—with his face turned steadily down the long, long road, "the road that the sun goes down." Dauntless, reckless, without the unearthly purity of Sir Galahad though as gentle to a woman as King Arthur, he is truly a knight of the twentieth century. A vagrant puff of wind shakes a corner of the crimson handkerchief knotted loosely at his throat; the thud of his pony's feet mingling with the jingle of his spurs is borne back; and as the careless, gracious, lovable figure disappears over the divide, the breeze brings to the ears, faint and far yet cheery still, the refrain of a cowboy song.

It can be inferred from the passage that the author values _____________.

Possible Answers:

the preservation of the world ecosystem

None of these

the ranching culture of the American West

the financial viability of large-scale agriculture in the United States

Correct answer:

the ranching culture of the American West

Explanation:

By describing the cowboy as a homesprung hero, the author presents the cowboy as a cultural figure instead of a socio-political one. He says that the legends are continued through stories and songs, both cultural art forms. It is therefore reasonable to say that he most values the ranching culture of the American West, as opposed to, say, the economic value of ranching or the ecosystem of the prairies.

Example Question #1 : Science Passages

Adapted from Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads by John A. Lomax (1910)

The big ranches of the West are now being cut up into small farms. The nester has come, and come to stay. Gone is the buffalo, the Indian warwhoop, the free grass of the open plain—even the stinging lizard, the horned frog, the centipede, the prairie dog, the rattlesnake, are fast disappearing. Save in some of the secluded valleys of southern New Mexico, the old-time round-up is no more; the trails to Kansas and to Montana have become grass-grown or lost in fields of waving grain; the maverick steer, the regal longhorn, has been supplanted by his unpoetic but more beefy and profitable Polled Angus, Durham, and Hereford cousins from across the seas. The changing and romantic West of the early days lives mainly in story and in song. The last figure to vanish is the cowboy, the animating spirit of the vanishing era. He sits his horse easily as he rides through a wide valley, enclosed by mountains, clad in the hazy purple of coming night,—with his face turned steadily down the long, long road, "the road that the sun goes down." Dauntless, reckless, without the unearthly purity of Sir Galahad though as gentle to a woman as King Arthur, he is truly a knight of the twentieth century. A vagrant puff of wind shakes a corner of the crimson handkerchief knotted loosely at his throat; the thud of his pony's feet mingling with the jingle of his spurs is borne back; and as the careless, gracious, lovable figure disappears over the divide, the breeze brings to the ears, faint and far yet cheery still, the refrain of a cowboy song.

As used in the passage, the bolded and underlined word “vagrant” most nearly means __________.

Possible Answers:

beggar

aggressor

wandering

traveler

Correct answer:

wandering

Explanation:

To begin, we can eliminate “beggar” and “traveler” because they are nouns, and the context calls for an adjective. “Wandering” is the best answer; not only is it a standard definition of “vagrant,” but it also makes the most sense in the context of the sentence.

Example Question #1 : Reading Comprehension

Adapted from Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads by John A. Lomax (1910)

The big ranches of the West are now being cut up into small farms. The nester has come, and come to stay. Gone is the buffalo, the Indian warwhoop, the free grass of the open plain—even the stinging lizard, the horned frog, the centipede, the prairie dog, the rattlesnake, are fast disappearing. Save in some of the secluded valleys of southern New Mexico, the old-time round-up is no more; the trails to Kansas and to Montana have become grass-grown or lost in fields of waving grain; the maverick steer, the regal longhorn, has been supplanted by his unpoetic but more beefy and profitable Polled Angus, Durham, and Hereford cousins from across the seas. The changing and romantic West of the early days lives mainly in story and in song. The last figure to vanish is the cowboy, the animating spirit of the vanishing era. He sits his horse easily as he rides through a wide valley, enclosed by mountains, clad in the hazy purple of coming night,—with his face turned steadily down the long, long road, "the road that the sun goes down." Dauntless, reckless, without the unearthly purity of Sir Galahad though as gentle to a woman as King Arthur, he is truly a knight of the twentieth century. A vagrant puff of wind shakes a corner of the crimson handkerchief knotted loosely at his throat; the thud of his pony's feet mingling with the jingle of his spurs is borne back; and as the careless, gracious, lovable figure disappears over the divide, the breeze brings to the ears, faint and far yet cheery still, the refrain of a cowboy song.

Why does the author open the passage with a list of disappearing species of the plains?

Possible Answers:

To describe the sparse economic resources that cowboys had available to them

To give the reader important quantitative data about the ecology of the American West

To highlight the bravery of the cowboys

To compare the cowboy to other disappearing figures of the American West

Correct answer:

To compare the cowboy to other disappearing figures of the American West

Explanation:

The author starts the paragraph by describing how the whole of the western landscape, including the animals that live there, is changing. He then shifts into a discussion of cowboys with this transition: “The last figure to vanish is the cowboy, the animating spirit of the vanishing era.” In this way, the author puts the cowboy into context by comparing him to other classic—and disappearing—figures of the American West.

Example Question #2 : Reading Comprehension

Adapted from Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads by John A. Lomax (1910)

 The big ranches of the West are now being cut up into small farms. The nester has come, and come to stay. Gone is the buffalo, the Indian warwhoop, the free grass of the open plain;—even the stinging lizard, the horned frog, the centipede, the prairie dog, the rattlesnake, are fast disappearing. Save in some of the secluded valleys of southern New Mexico, the old-time round-up is no more; the trails to Kansas and to Montana have become grass-grown or lost in fields of waving grain; the maverick steer, the regal longhorn, has been supplanted by his unpoetic but more beefy and profitable Polled Angus, Durham, and Hereford cousins from across the seas. The changing and romantic West of the early days lives mainly in story and in song. The last figure to vanish is the cowboy, the animating spirit of the vanishing era. He sits his horse easily as he rides through a wide valley, enclosed by mountains, clad in the hazy purple of coming night,—with his face turned steadily down the long, long road, "the road that the sun goes down." Dauntless, reckless, without the unearthly purity of Sir Galahad though as gentle to a woman as King Arthur, he is truly a knight of the twentieth century. A vagrant puff of wind shakes a corner of the crimson handkerchief knotted loosely at his throat; the thud of his pony's feet mingling with the jingle of his spurs is borne back; and as the careless, gracious, lovable figure disappears over the divide, the breeze brings to the ears, faint and far yet cheery still, the refrain of a cowboy song.

Which of the following options best expresses the meaning of the underlined and bolded section of the passage?

Possible Answers:

While cowboys might not be spoken about in as lofty terms, their behavior is as praiseworthy as that of Arthurian knights

While their behavior is similar, cowboys are more venal and greedy than Arthurian knights

Arthurian knights and cowboys are exactly the same

None of these

Correct answer:

While cowboys might not be spoken about in as lofty terms, their behavior is as praiseworthy as that of Arthurian knights

Explanation:

This sentence makes a comparison between Arthurian heroes and cowboys. The key distinction here is one of class, while the knights are high class, and thus ascribed in legend a level of "purity" the cowboys are working class people. They are not valorized as pure or virtuous in the same way, but according to the author his behavior would justify such a comparison.

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