The Earth’s Hardest Comprehension Questions

Comprehension Problems

Marta Suplicy


1. Based on the above passage, the author contends that individuals who want to achieve extraordinary things
l. need to go to Harvard University.
m. need to revert to techniques utilized by other successful individuals in the past.
n. need to let their parents and grandparents help them along the way.
o. need to avoid confrontational situations in life.
p. need to be persistent and need to be willing to take the offensive in achieving their goals.
2. The author implies in lines 11-13 that political advertising was utilized by Suplicy’s adversaries to
v. encourage people to vote for Marta Suplicy.
w. primarily misinform voters.
x. show what the actual positions each political candidate has.
y. present positive images of rival candidates.
z. make sure that voters focus only on the real issues.
3. Marta Suplicy and Senator Hillary Clinton are similar in what ways?
l. Both were ignorant women with little education.
m. Both candidates were supported heavily by businessmen.
n. Both women knew how to fight back using the media and were very charming.
o. Both women were easily frightened by the media.
p. Both women were admired by their political opponents.
4. The “inchoate rise of a Brazilian form of feminism,” mentioned in lines 20-24 refers to
v. the feminist movement; it was focused and highly regarded by opponents.
w. Paulistas who would not vote for a powerful, media-savvy female politician.
x. he old guard, like Boss Tweed, who would choose who would represent Sao Paulo.
y. a liberalization of Paulistas attitudes towards female politicians that went largely ignored by the old guard.
z. peoples votes not being counted fairly by crooked politicians.
5. According to the passage, the “old guard” most likely represents
l. powerful right-wing forces in a democracy who protect their self-interests first.
m. Nero-like men who live by the saying “do as I say and not as I do”.
n. corpulent men who are above the law of man and God.
o. old security officers who are forced to work after retirement.
p. Cannot be determined from the information provided.


New York City Real Estate


6. What is the antithesis of the argument made by the xenophobic press about Japanese investment?
v. Japanese investors often made investment decisions by themselves.
w. The Rockefeller family was misled by its advisors.
x. Newspapers always tell the truth.
y. New York City real estate cannot be owned by foreigners.
z. Japanese companies made investment decisions based on prudent evaluation of potential profits.
7. What is the main idea of this passage?
l. Japanese investors often made shrewd investments in the United States.
m. Japanese investments were often wrongly portrayed in the press.
n. Lawyers and advisors are paid first.
o. New York City real estate is a risk-free investment.
p. Media companies are in the business of selling advertising, not news.
8. The Japanese invested in US real estate primarily
v. to make the United States into a colony.
w. to sell Hondas and Toyotas to the tenants.
x. because they wanted to get office space for their corporate headquarters.
y. to take advantage of the high investment returns available only in the U.S.
z. because it was a risky investment.
9. Joe Six Pack, in the above passage, represents
l. a real estate investment banker.
m. an immigrant from England.
n. an astro-physicist.
o. a beverage vendor.
p. an average resident of New York City.
10. Investing money that you borrowed at 1% and making a positive return on your borrowed funds in excess of 10% is an example of
v. a bad investment.
w. an investment with very high returns.
x. an average investment.
y. an investment that Joe Six Pack has available to him.
z. an investment that the Rockefellers would not make.


Japanese Business Practices


11. What is the main idea of this passage?
l. Japan is an easy market for American business to penetrate.
m. Foreign corporations in Japan face few hurdles.
n. Japanese zaibatsu have limited influence in Japan.
o. American companies put the customer first.
p. The Japanese market is highly complex and has its own rules that American companies must adhere to in order to be successful.
12. The author contends that US corporations have difficulty doing business in Japan because
v. they cannot adhere to or accept Japanese rules of trade.
w. they cannot speak Japanese.
x. they can make more money in Singapore.
y. the Japanese prefer cheaper Taiwanese goods.
z. the Japanese use the metric system.
13. The zaibatsu will only trust the foreign corporation if it meets all of the following except:
l. build large infrastructure in Japan
m. share manufacturing data
n. put the corporation first over the customer
o. do business with the zaibatsu’s subsidiaries
p. share customer and trade data
14. The reader can infer from the last paragraph that American companies typically
v. believe Japanese return policies to be too generous.
w. never replace defective goods.
x. view defective goods as the customer’s responsibility.
y. never manufacture defective goods.
z. view the customer as an adversary after the sale.
15. By “American companies have to dig a very large expensive hole and then spend many years trying to climb out,” the author is describing
l. a horticultural procedure.
m. construction of a building’s foundation in Tokyo.
n. Japanese zaibatsu experience in penetrating the American market.
o. the very large investment needed by American corporations and the many years it will take to make a positive investment return in Japan.
p. the procedure that American corporations face in drilling for oil in the Bay of Bengal.


Science Challenges Accepted Beliefs


16. Based on the passage, geocentric theory stated
v. that man evolved from lower forms of hominids.
w. that a large explosion occurred billions of years ago causing primordial matter to form.
x. that creation science was a clever way to inject religion into the public education system.
y. that the planet Venus was the center of the known universe.
z. that the sun revolved around the earth.
17. Which of the following statements would not reflect the viewpoints of someone who has accepted the validity behind heliocentric theory?
l. Humanity is not the center of the universe.
m. Man is the most important species, due to his place in the center of the universe.
n. The sun is at the center of our planetary system
o. The planets revolve around the sun.
p. The sun exerts tremendous energy on the planets that circle around it.
18. The passage implies that scientists who discover new theories that circumvent existing religious beliefs will encounter
v. adulation from their fellow scientists.
w. respect and admiration from those whose theories have been disproved.
x. censure and often severe punishment from very powerful non-scientists.
y. vast fortunes made available to them due to the nature of the patent system.
z. tenure opportunities from major European universities.
19. The writer implies in lines 13 through 17 that human society determines scientific fact from fiction based on
l. what they can actually see with their eyes and what they can understand with their limited scientific knowledge.
m. committees of lettered scientists who evaluate their steeped understanding of various sciences.
n. detailed evaluation of scientific data.
o. deferring to those who are eminently qualified to review the data.
p. careful review of an unbiased report which reflects all the facts of the situation.
20. The main idea of the passage above is that
v. scientific research is not affected by the opinions of powerful megalomaniacs.
w. all scientific endeavor must be certified as non-heretical by the Roman Catholic Church.
x. Copernicus, in publishing his views on heliocentric theory, took a grave personal risk in order to expand humanity’s knowledge-base.
y. organized religion is a major proponent of advanced scientific research.
z. organized religion leaves science to the scientists.


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