UPPER LEVEL SSAT SAMPLE QUESTION:Humanities Reading Comprehension

Here are two SSAT sample questions to help you practice the type of reading comprehension problem you may find on the reading section of the Upper Level SSAT.

How are the Reading Comprehension Questions Presented?

The SSAT presents each passage (or poem) with a corresponding group of three to six questions. The directions instruct you to read each passage and answer the questions about it

Praise is the reflection of virtue; but it is as the glass or body which giveth the reflection. If it be from the common people, it is commonly false and naught; and rather followeth vain persons than virtuous. For the common people understand not many excellent virtues. The lowest virtues draw praise from them; the middle virtues work in them astonishment or admiration; but of the highest virtues they have no sense of perceiving at all.

1.The author refers to praise as “the glass or body which giveth the reflection” (line 1). Which statement best captures the author’s meaning?

(A) Praise is transparent, much like glass.

(B) People praise only people they understand.

(C) One should look at oneself before judging


(D) Praise is more reflective of the giver than the


(E) Praise reflects one’s feeling similar to the way

glass reflects light.


2. The attitude of the author toward “the common

people” (line 3) is one of

(A) envy

(B) respect

(C) curiosity

(D) contempt

(E) amusement

Answer Key:

  1. (D) It can be inferred from the first sentence that praise is more characteristic of one who gives it rather than one who receives it.
  2. (D) The author’s attitude in line 3 is best described as contempt because he suggests that praise given by common people is lacking substance or worth

Would you like to see more SSAT sample questions from the makers of the SSAT itself? Let us know what topics you’d like covered most. Email the blogger at: aramos@ssat.org

Ready to take the test? Register for the SSAT at SSAT.org.

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