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Sample GED Language Arts, Reading Test

GED Sample Test Questions
Language Arts: Reading

The Language Arts, Reading Test contains 40 multiple-choice questions that measure your ability to comprehend and interpret workplace and academic reading selections and to apply those interpretations to new contexts. The questions ask you to understand, apply, analyze, and synthesize information that you are given in the reading selections.

Literary texts constitute 75% of each test and include at least one selection from each of the following areas:

  • Poetry
  • Drama
  • Prose fiction before 1920
  • Prose fiction between 1920 and 1960
  • Prose fiction after 1960

Nonfiction texts constitute 25% of each test and include two selections of nonfiction prose from any two of the following areas:

  • Nonfiction prose
  • Critical review of visual and performing arts
  • Workplace and community documents, such as mission and goal statements, rules for employee behavior, legal documents, and communications (for example, letters and excerpts from manuals)

The reading selections in the Language Arts, Reading Test range from 200 to 400 words, with poetry running from 8 to 25 lines. A purpose question appears in bold before each selection; the question is designed solely to help you focus and provide a purpose for reading the text. You are not asked to answer the purpose question. Each selection is followed by four to eight questions.


Directions: Choose the one best answer to each question.

Questions 1 through 8 refer to the following document:

How Shall Employees Conduct Themselves? 
Guidelines for Conducting Business with Those outside Our Company 
  Our employees are the most effective advertisement of our values, beliefs, and abilities. Always
  keep in mind that when you are acting in your capacity as our employee, you are contributing
  materially to the public image and the ultimate success of this company.


Gifts for Influence
  No payment or gift of money, goods, or services should be given or received to influence govern-
  ment or business decisions. Accurate and complete records for all accounts will be strictly moni-
  tored for everyone’s protection.
   If it becomes apparent to you in the course of the performance of your business responsibilities that a
 (10) payment of some kind is expected by your business associate, please contact your division president.
Conflict of Interest
   A conflict of interest can be described as a situation where a person has a vested interest in two
   areas of the business world that may give him or her an unfair advantage in business dealings.
   Our employees should be sensitive to any relationship that creates such a relationship—or even
 (15) creates the appearance of such a relationship.
       Keep these rules in mind:
         • Throughout your employment period, be vigilant about potential conflicts of interest
           between this company’s interests and your personal or immediate family’s interests.
         • Don’t use your position with this company to obtain a personal benefit of any kind.
 (20)        • Avoid any action or relationship that creates, or even creates the appearance of, a conflict
           of interest. For example, having an interest in a nonpublic company that competes or does
           business with our company or any of its affiliates might create the appearance of a conflict
           of interest and might prompt accusations and/or an investigation.
 (25)  This company respects your privacy, as well as your right to conduct your personal affairs with-
  out interference; however, you must make prompt, complete, and continuing disclosure of all
   facts relating to any factual or potential conflict of interest.
   Inquiries or investigations may be undertaken at this company’s direction by its attorneys,
 (30)  investigators, internal auditors, or independent public accountants. Employees should regard this
   vigilance as the company’s commitment not only to fair competition but also to the protection of
   its employees. Your cooperation is needed for your protection as well as that of this company,
   and it is a condition of your employment.
   This excerpt is a composite of information from several business documents.


  1.  Based on the information in this excerpt, what would be the company's policy about accepting gifts or entertainment from people representing your competitors?

Accepting gifts or entertainment from people representing competitors would be considered

1.  dangerous
2.  practical
3.  reasonable
4.  unacceptable
5.  good business
  2.  Based on the information in this excerpt, when is it permissible to give money that might be considered a bribe or a tip to a government official in order to facilitate business?
1.  It is never permissible to give a gift or other payment to influence government or business decisions.
2.  It may be necessary in certain foreign countries where it is expected.
3.  Payments to government officials can be made at any time with prior approval of the division president.
4.  Modest gratuities can be offered at any time.
5.  All payments or gratuities must be worth their fair trade value.
  3.  What is the meaning of the phrase “or even creates the appearance of” (lines 14–15)?
1.  an actual conflict of interest
2.  a conflict between the company's interests and your personal or immediate family's interest
3.  a situation that is not truly a conflict of interest but may appear to be
4.  the company's high standards for employee personal appearance and behavior
5.  a situation that is within your personal affairs
  4.  What is an example of a conflict of interest?
1.  Your cousin works for the same company.
2.  You have given gratuities to foreign government officials.
3.  You often meet with the employee's union representative.
4.  You have cheated on your income tax.
5.  Your spouse owns stock in one of the company's competitors.
  5.  While this excerpt is discussing a very serious topic, it tries to maintain a feeling of sincere interest in the employee.

Which of the statements below most clearly reflects that feeling?

1.  "No payment or gift of money, goods, or services should be given or received to influence government or business decisions" (line 6-7).
2.  "...records for all accounts will be strictly monitored..." (lines 7-8)
3.  "Don't use your position with this company to obtain a personal benefit or any kind" (line 19).
4.  "This company respects your privacy, as well as your right to conduct your personal affairs without interference" (lines 25-26).
5.  "Your cooperation...is a condition of your employment" (lines 32-33).
  6.  How is this excerpt organized?
1.  statements of fact supported by personal stores
2.  specfic topics followed by explanations
3.  rules for behavior supported by warnings of consequences
4.  general policy statement without specific performance standards
5.  debate of public versus personal philosophies
  7.  Earlier in this document, the company describes how employees of this company are to behave toward each other. It includes a statement about complete and enforced intolerance for discrimination in any form.

Based on this information and the information in this excerpt, why might a potential employee want to read all this company’s rules and regulations for employee behavior carefully?

1.  One mistake with this company could cost an employee his or her job.
2.  Competitors have several options for securing their rights
3.  Employees and their managers must interact carefully.
4.  Unfair labor practices will not be tolerated.
5.  This company has high expectations for employee behavior
  8.  If you were running this company and you wanted to hire someone to enforce these rules, what primary characteristic would you want in this potential employee?
1.  knowledge about the company's product
2.  honesty and integrity
3.  communication skills
4.  human relations skills
5.  familiarity with your employee


Answers to these sample questions are available on the Answers page.

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