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Sample GRE Reading Comprehension Questions

Maps made by non-Native Americans to depict Native American land tenure, resources and population distributions appeared almost as early as Europeans’ first encounters with Native Americans and took many form: missionaries’ field sketches, explorers’ drawings, and surveyors’ maps, as well as maps rendered in connection with treaties involving land transfers. Most existing maps of Native American lands are reconstructions that are based largely on archaeology, oral reports, and evidence gathered from observers’ accounts in letter, diaries, and official reports; accordingly, the accuracy of these maps is especially dependent on the mapmakers’ own interpretive abilities.

Many existing maps also reflect the 150-year role of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) in administering tribal lands. Though these maps incorporate some information gleaned directly from Native Americans, rarely has Native American cartography contributed to this official record, which has been compiled, surveyed, and authenticated by non-Native American tribes and their migrations and cultural features, as well as territoriality and contemporary trust lands, reflects the origins of the data, the mixed purposes for which the maps have been prepared, and changes both I United States government policy and in non-Native Americans’ attitudes toward an understanding of Native Americans.

1. Which of the following best describes the content of the passage?
(A) A chronology of the development of different methods for mapping Native Americans
(B) A discussion of how the mapmaking techniques of Native Americans differed from those of Europeans
(C) An argument concerning the presenta-day uses to which historical maps of Native American lands are put
(D) An argument concerning the nature of information contained in maps of Native American lands
(E) A proposal for improving the accuracy of maps of Native American lands

2. The passage mentions each of the following as a factor affecting current maps of Native American lands EXCEPT
(A) United States government policy
(B) non-Native Americans’ perspective on Native Americans
(C) origins of the information utilized to produce the maps
(D) changes in wys that tribal lands are used
(E) the reason for producing the maps

3. The passage suggests which of the following about most existing maps of Native American lands?
(A) They do not record the migrations of Native American tribes.
(B) They have been preserved primarily because of their connection with treaties involving land transfers.
(C) They tend to reflect archaeological evidence that has become outdated.
(D)They tend to be less accurate when they are based on oral reports than when they are based on written documents.
(E) They are not based primarily on the mapmakers’ firsthand oberservations of Native American lands.

4. All of the following are examples of the type of evidence used in creating “Most existing maps” (line 7-8) EXCEPT
(A) a nineteenth-century governemtn report on population distribtuion of a particular tribe
(B) taped conversations with people who lived on Native America ntribal lands in the early twentieth century
(C) aerial photographs of geological features of lands inhabited by Native Americans
(D) findings from a recently excavated site once inhabited yb a certain Native American people
(E) a journal kept by a non-Native American explorer who traveled in Native American territory in the early nineteenth century

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