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VSTEP READING PRACTICE TEST 1

VSTEP READING PRACTICE TEST 1
PASSAGE 1 – Questions 1-10
Jonas Salk is the American physician and medical researcher who developed the first safe
and effective vaccine for poliomyelitis. Salk received his M.D. in 1939 from New York
University College of Medicine, where he worked with Thomas Francis Jr., who was
studying how to develop vaccines from killed viruses. Salk joined Francis in 1942 at the
University of Michigan School of Public Health and became part of a group that was
working to develop a vaccine against influenza.
In 1947, Salk became associate professor of bacteriology and head of the Virus Research
Laboratory at the University of Pittsburg School of Medicine, where he began research on
poliomyelitis. Working with scientists from other universities in a program to classify the
various strains of the polio virus, Salk corroborated other studies in identifying three
separate strains. He then demonstrated that killed virus of each of the three, although
incapable of producing the disease, could induce antibody formation in monkeys.
In 1952, he conducted field tests of his killed-virus vaccine, first on children who had
recovered from polio and then on subjects who had not had the disease. The results of both
tests showed that the children’s antibody levels rose significantly and no subjects contracted
polio from the vaccine. His findings were published the following year in the Journal of
theAmerican Medical Association. In 1954, a mass field trial was held, and the vaccine,
injected by needle, was found to safely reduce the incidence of polio. On April 12, 1955, the
vaccine was released for use in the United States.

Salk served successively as professor of bacteriology, preventive medicine, and
experimental medicine at Pittsburg, and in 1963, he became fellow and director of the
Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California, later called the Salk Institute.
Among many other honors, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977.
1. What is the main idea of the passage ?
A. How Jonas Salk trained to be a physician and medical researcher
B. How the medical research of Jonas Salk led to the development of the polio vaccine
C. How Salk and his colleagues learned to kill viruses
D. How Salk was promoted to important positions at the University of Pennsylvania
2. Which of the following is the closest in meaning to the underlined word “vaccine” as
used in paragraph 1 of the passage ?
A. Medicine designed to cure a disease temporarily
B. Medicine that cures a disease after the patient gets sick
C. Medicine designed to kill viruses that are fatal to children
D. Medicine that creates immunity against a disease
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3. In the first paragraph, what was Thomas Francis Jr. studying ?
A. How to prevent the spread of influenza in Michigan
B. How to work with physicians from Manhattan
C. How to develop vaccines from killed viruses
D. How to get a degree in medicine from New York University
4. Which sentence in the second paragraph describes Salk’s first work at the University of
Pittsburg ?
A. The first sentence
B. The second sentence
C. The third sentence
D. None of the above
5. Which word is closest in meaning to the underlined word “corroborated” as used in
paragraph 2 of the passage ?
A. Rejected
B. Published
C. Examined
D.Confirmed
6. All of the following statements about the killed virus vaccine are true EXCEPT :
A. it did not induce antibody formation in monkeys
B. it had three strains that scientiests worked with
C. it was incapable of producing the disease
D. it helped monkeys form antibodies


7. The underlined word “findings” in paragraph 3 refers to
A. Results
B. Antibody levels
C. Vaccine
D. Polio
8. From the passage, it can be inferred that the experimental polio vaccine was given to
people by
A. pill
B. injection
C. surgery
D. liquid9. In the passage, it is implied that the Salk Institute was
A. originally called the Institute for Biological Studies
B. originally the University of Michigan School of Public Health
C. originally the Virus Research Laboratory at the University of Pittsburg
D. originally the medical school at New York University
10. Where in the passage could the following sentence best fit?
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Thousands of children and adults were free from the fears of contracting this terrible
disease
A. At the end of paragraph 1
B. At the end of paragraph 2
C. At the end of paragraph 3
D. At the end of paragraph 4

PASSAGE 2 – Questions 11-20
Rainforests are disappearing in tropical areas around the world. They are being cut down,
burned and damaged through a process called “deforestation”. This is a serious problem in
developing countries within tropical regions. The impact of deforestation also has vast
global implications. It is, therefore, very important to find solutions to these problems.
Unfortunately, progress in this area has been very slow.
According to World Bank statistics, many developing countries, such as Brazil, Ecuador,
and Indonesia had lost almost half of their rainforests by 1991. Worldwide, in 1800 there
were 7.1 billion acres of tropical forests, while today there are only3.5 billion acres. Recent
statistics suggest that an area of tropical forest larger than North Korea is deforested every
year.
Most importantly, the rainforests play an important role in the health of our environment.
Trees and other plants act as filters that clean pollutants out of the air and produce clean air.
With air pollutant increasing as forests decline, the world is facing a potential crisis with
regard to air quality.
Poverty is one of the main forces behind deforestation in tropical countries, where many
rely on farming as a way of life. The most practical method is “slash and burn” agriculture,
in which a small area of trees is cut down and then burned to fertilize the soil. For a period
of time, the soil can produce good crops, but rain gradually washes away the nutrients,
reducing fertility and causing crops to grow at a slower rate. Eventually, the soil can no
longer support crops, and farmers are often forced to abandon the land.
Government policies also contribute to the destruction of rainforests. In countries like
Brazil, much of the rainforest is owned by the state. However, the state does not have
enough resources to control access to the forests. Therefore, the government allows people
to claim area of land within the forest. To do this, people must clear the land that they want
to claim. Small farmers, then, often clear plots and then sell them. They then move to a new
area, clear it, and then sell it again. While this is good for farmers, it is highly destructive to
forests.
Larger companies contribute to their own problems. Logging companies can do a great deal
of damage on their own, but they also cause secondary damage through their effects on
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small farmers. Often, road construction companies hired by the government claim land that
they clear during their projects, thus pushing small farmers further into forests. In addition,
the government might set low tax rate for agricultural production. Corporations and wealthy
investors buy up lands, and the small farmers are gain forced to find plots in unclaimed
areas of the forests.
The problem of deforestation is strongly affected by poverty in developing countries.
Clearly, any long-term solution to deforestation must focus first on how poverty can be
reduced. Any other solution can only be a temporary measure.
1. According to World Bank statistics, a lot of developing countries had lost ……….
their rainforests by 1991.
A. A half of
B. Nearly a half of
C. One third
D. A fourth
2. The phrase “way of life” in paragraph 4 is closest in meaning to
A. Daily living
B. Hobby
C. Interest
D. Future survival
3. The author mention North Korea to
A. Demonstrate the impact of deforestation in North Korea.
B. Demonstrate that North Korea policy is favorable to that of Brazil.
C. Demonstrate how much forest is being destroyed each year.
D. Demonstrate that deforestation is not as serious as we thought.
4. The word “this” in paragraph 5 refers to
A. Claiming land
B. Burning the forest
C. Allowing farmers to claim land
D. Making policies
5. What is the main purpose of paragraph 6?
A. To explain the primary damage caused by logging companies
B. To explain how large companies affect small farmers
C. To explain agricultural taxes
D. To show how corporations purchase land
6. According to the passage, why is “slash and burn” agriculture harmful?
A. It leaves areas of land infertile.
B. It pollutes the water supply.

C. It keeps farmers in poverty.
D. It can cause forest fires.

7. All of the following are mentioned in the passage EXCEPT
A. The extent of rainforest destruction
B. The fast food industry clearing rainforests for grazing land
C. The practice of slash and burn agriculture in Brazil
D. Logging companies and their effects on farmers.
8. From the passage, it can be inferred that
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A. Deforestation is the main cause of poverty in tropical countries.
B. Deforestation must be addressed if developing countries are to succeed.
C. Deforestation is a serious problem for small farmers.
D. Deforestation is driven by economics.
9. According to the passage, why does Brazilian government allow farmers to make
claims on rainforest land?
A. They want to improve living conditions of farmers.
B. If the farmers do not claim them, larger companies will.
C. They do not have the resources to prevent it.
D. The economy is based on agriculture.
10. According to the passage, which of the following would be best addressed the
problem of deforestation?
A. Changing government policies
B. Increasing angricultural taxes
C. Reducing poverty
D. Studying plant life for medicinal benefits

PASSAGE 3 – Questions 21-30
Every modern war has its icon, the technological development essential to the conflict, the
one that changes the course of battle and becomes, ever after, symbolic of the time. The
Civil War’s cannon, World War I’s machine gun, World War II’s tank — each left its mark
on the landscape and the soldier. Vietnam’s icon was the helicopter, specifically the UH-1
utility helicopter soldiers referred to as “the Huey.”
The geographic and political realities of Vietnam called for a new kind of warfare, one the
U.S. Army termed “Airmobile.” Remote battle zones, mountains topped in old-growth
hardwood jungles, and poorly developed roads eliminated motor vehicles as a means of
quickly moving masses of troops and supplies. Helicopters took over. In Airmobile warfare,
flocks of helicopters took troops and supplies to strategic locations, monitored operations
from the air, engaged in battle, and evacuated forces. The famed U.S. Army 1st Cavalry
joined aviation units already in Vietnam to pioneer Airmobile operations, trading its horses
for helicopters and creating an archetype followed by the 101st Airborne, the 1st Aviation
Brigade, and several other aviation units and smaller detachments.
Many helicopters were used in Vietnam, but none was as widely employed as the Huey. The
UH-1 “Iroquois,” popularly dubbed the Huey, is known as “the workhorse of the Vietnam
War,” used by all military forces for troop transport, medical evacuation, and combat
assault. Hueys transported soldiers and supplies to the lines as the horses for a modern
cavalry. The U.S. Army and Marine Corps made them into gunships, modifying them with
machine guns and air-to-ground rocket pods and putting them to work in frontal assaults.
Hueys carried officers to develop battle plans, soldiers to battle, nurses to orphanages, and
“Donut Dollies” to entertain troops. Outfitted with broadcasting systems, they ferried
Psychological Operations (PSYOPS) messengers. And, perhaps most significantly, Hueys
were the technology behind “Dustoffs,” evacuations of the wounded so-named by a pilot
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who gave his life doing it. The ability to swoop into the battle, load the Huey with wounded,
and fly to evacuation hospitals, started in Korea and refined in Vietnam, has been called
“one of the major medical innovations of the Vietnam War.” This quick transport meant that
more than 90 percent of wounded soldiers who reached a medical facility survived. The
medical evacuation technology gained in the Huey experience of Vietnam came home to
become the air rescue operations we today take for granted.
The Huey is an enormously versatile helicopter, easily modified for various missions. The
interchangeable interiors of the Huey allowed for easy conversion from troop carrier
to ambulance. It was also an amazing machine, capable of flying in extreme stress and
relatively easy to get in and out quickly–a feature crucial in troop extraction and rescue
missions. Those who flew and maintained them, the pilots and crew chiefs, are fiercely loyal
to the Huey, even though many have flown many other aircraft.
More than 7,000 Huey helicopters served in Vietnam and nearly half were lost. 2,177 Huey
crew members were killed in action. Because the Huey was always there for them, for
soldiers on the ground, the distinctive WHOP WHOP of the Huey’s 48-foot rotor blades
slapping the air was the sound of their lifeline.
21. What was the icon of The Civil War?
A. cannon
B. machine gun

C. tank
D. helicopter

22. Which list best describes the conditions that necessitated the use of the helicopter in
Vietnam?
A. strategic operations, supply routes, troop movements
B. large rivers, vast shoreline, marshy rice paddies
C. dense jungles, remote battle sites, bad roads
D. rapid transport, medical evacuation, soldier resupply
23. The word “its” in paragraph 2 refers to
A. The 101 st Airborne
B. The famed U.S Academy 1st Cavalry
C. Vietnam
D. Airmobile operations
24. The word “assault” in paragraph 3 is closest in meaning to
A. advance
B. aggression

C. attempt
D. strike

25. The word “them” in paragraph 3 refers to
A. Hueys
B. soldiers
C. horses
D. The U.S Army and Marine Corps
26. What name was given to helicopter ambulance missions?
A. Dustoff

B. PSYOP
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C. Donut Dollies

D. Cavalry

27. What is the best title for this passage?
A. Icon of Wars
B. Helicopters
C. The UH-1 Helicopter: Icon of the Vietnam War
D. Kinds of helicopters in Vietnam
28. The word “versatile” in paragraph 4 is closest in meaning to
A. adaptable
B. flexible
C. resourceful
D. talent
29. Read the sentence below, then answer the question.
The interchangeable interiors of the Huey allowed for easy conversion from
troop carrier to air ambulance.
Which of these is the best category for this fact?
A. Safety features of the Huey
B. Huey crew members
C. Versatility of the Huey
D. Effects of the Huey on the enemy force
30. What can be inferred from the last paragraph?
A. Flying a Huey in Vietnam was dangerous work.
B. The Huey helicopter was extremely versatile.
C. Other helicopters were safer than the Huey.
D. Most military personnel preferred a motor vehicle to a Huey.

PASSAGE 4 – Questions 31-40
Photographic evidence suggests that liquid water existed on the surface of Mars. Two types
of flow features are: runoff channels and outflow channels. Runoff channels are found in the
southern highlands. These flow features are extensive systems-sometimes hundreds of
kilometers in total length-of interconnecting, twisting channels that seem to merge into
larger, wider channels. They bear a strong resemblance to river systems on Earth. Geologists
think that they are dried-up beds of long-gone rivers that carried rainfall on Mars from the
mountains down into the valleys. Runoff channels on Mars speak of a time 4 billion years
ago when the atmosphere was thicker, the surface warmer, and liquid water widespread.
Outflow channels are probably relics of catastrophic flooding on Mars long ago. They
appear only in equatorial regions and generally do not form extensive interconnected
networks. Instead, they are probably the paths taken by huge volumes of water draining
from the southern highlands into the northern plains. The onrushing water arising from these
flash floods likely also formed the odd teardrop-shaped "islands" (resembling
the miniature versions seen in the wet sand of our beaches at low tide) that have been found
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on the plains close to the ends of the outflow channels. Judging from the width and depth of
the channels, the flow rates must have been truly enormous. Flooding shaped the outflow
channels 3 billion years ago, about the same times as the northern volcanic plains formed.
Scientists speculate that Mars may have enjoyed an extended early Period during which
rivers, lakes, and perhaps even oceans adorned its surface. A 2003 Mars Global Surveyor
image shows what mission specialists think may be a delta-a fan-shaped network of
channels and sediments where a river once flowed into a larger body of water, in this case a
lake filling a crater in the southern highlands. Other researchers go even further, suggesting
that the data provide evidence for large open expenses of water on the early Martian surface.
A computer-generated view of the Martian North Polar Region shows the extent of what
may have been an ancient ocean covering much of the northern lowlands. The Hellas Basin,
which measures some 3,000 kilometers across and has a floor that lies nearly 9 kilometers
below the basin's rim, is another candidate for an ancient Martian sea.
These ideas remain controversial. Proponents point to features such as the terraced
"beaches" shown in one image, which could conceivably have been left behind as a lake or
ocean evaporated and the shoreline receded. But detractors maintain that the terraces could
also have been created by geological activity, perhaps related to the geologic forces that
depressed the Northern Hemisphere far below the level of the south, in which case they
have nothing whatever to do with Martian water. Furthermore, Mars Global Surveyor data
released in 2003 seem to indicate that the Martian surface contains too few carbonate rock
layers-layers containing compounds of carbon and oxygen-that should have been formed in
abundance in an ancient ocean. Their absence supports the picture of a cold, dry Mars that
never experienced the extended mild period required to form lakes and oceans. However,
more recent data imply that at least some parts of the planet did in fact experience long
periods in the past during which liquid water existed on the surface.
31. What does the word “these” in paragraph 1 refer to?
A. runoff channels
B. outflow channels

C. both A and B
D. flow features

32. What does the discussion in paragraph 1 of runoff channels in the Southern
Highlands suggest about Mars?
A. The atmosphere of Mars was once thinner than it is today.
B. Large amounts of rain once fell on parts of Mars.
C. The river systems of Mars were once more extensive than Earth's.
D. The rivers of Mars began to dry up about 4 billion years ago.
33. The word “miniature” in paragraph 2 is closest in meaning to
A. temporary
B. small

C. multiple
D. familiar

34. According to paragraph 2, all of the following are true of the outflow channels on
Mars EXCEPT:
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A. They formed at around the same time that volcanic activity was occurring on the
northern plains.
B. They are found only on certain parts of the Martian surface.
C. They sometimes empty onto what appear to have once been the wet sands of tidal
beaches.
D. They are thought to have carried water northward from the equatorial regions.
35. According to paragraph 3, images of Mars' surface have been interpreted as support
for the idea that
A. The polar regions of Mars were once more extensive than they are now
B. A large part of the northern lowlands may once have been under water
C. Deltas were once a common feature of the Martian landscape
D. the shape of the Hellas Basin has changed considerably over time
36. What can be inferred from paragraph 3 about liquid water on Mars?
A. If ancient oceans ever existed on Mars’ surface, it is likely that the water in them
has evaporated by now.
B. If there is any liquid water at all on Mars’ surface today, its quantity is much
smaller than the amount that likely existed there in the past.
C. Small-scale gullies on Mars provide convincing evidence that liquid water existed
on Mars in the recent past.
D. The small amount of water vapor in the Martian atmosphere suggests that there
has never been liquid water on Mars.
37. All of the following questions about geological features on Mars are answered in
paragraph 3 EXCEPT:
A. What are some regions of Mars that may have once been covered with an ocean?
B. Where do mission scientists believe that the river forming the delta emptied?
C. Approximately how many craters on Mars do mission scientists believe may once
have been lakes filled with water?
D. During what period of Mars' history do some scientists think it may have had
large bodies of water?
38. Which of the sentences below best expresses the essential information in the
highlighted sentence in paragraph 4?
A. But detractors argue that geological activity may be responsible for the water
associated with the terraces.
B. But detractors argue that the terraces may have been formed by geological
activity rather than by the presence of water.
C. But detractors argue that the terraces may be related to geological forces in the
Northern Hemisphere of Mars, rather than to Martian water in the south.
D. But detractors argue that geological forces depressed the Northern Hemisphere so
far below the level of the south that the terraces could not have been formed by
water.
39. According to paragraph 4, what do the 2003 Global Surveyor data suggest About
Mars?
A. Ancient oceans on Mars contained only small amounts of carbon.
B. The climate of Mars may not have been suitable for the formation of large bodies
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of water.
C. Liquid water may have existed on some parts of Mars' surface for long periods of
time.
E. The ancient oceans that formed on Mars dried up during periods of cold, dry
weather.
40. In paragraph 2 of the passage, there is a missing sentence. The paragraph is repeated
below and shows four letters (A, B, C, and D) that indicate where the following
sentence could be added.
These landscape features differ from runoff channels in a number of ways.
Where would the sentence best fit?
Outflow channels are probably relics of catastrophic flooding on Mars long ago. (A)
They appear only in equatorial regions and generally do not form extensive
interconnected networks. (B) Instead, they are probably the paths taken by huge
volumes of water draining from the southern highlands into the northern plains. (C)
The onrushing water arising from these flash floods likely also formed the odd
teardrop-shaped “islands” (resembling the miniature versions seen in the wet sand of
our beaches at low tide) that have been found on the plains close to the ends of the
outflow channels. (D) Judging from the width and depth of the channels, the flow
rates must have been truly enormous—perhaps as much as a hundred times greater
than the 105 tons per second carried by the great Amazon River. Flooding shaped the
outflow channels approximately 3 billion years ago, about the same time as the
northern volcanic plains formed.
A. Option A
B. Option B
C. Option C
D. Option D

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