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Standardized Test

Skill Builders
for Reading
Grades 56

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Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
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Interior design by Creative Pages, Inc.
Interior illustrations by Kate Flanagan

ISBN 0-439-16231-9

Copyright 2000 by MWP.


All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A.

Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
Contents
Introduction to Teachers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

PRACTICE 1: GETTING THE MAIN IDEA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6


Reading: Main idea, supporting details, summarizing
Vocabulary: Unfamiliar words
Writing: Paragraphs and complete sentences

PRACTICE 2: UNDERSTANDING TEXTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1


Reading: Sequence, cause and effect, comparison/contrast
Vocabulary: Homographs
Writing: Combining sentences; using adjectives and adverbs

PRACTICE 3: MAKING INFERENCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16


Reading: Inferring, making predictions, drawing conclusions, generalizing
Writing: Using verbs correctly

PRACTICE 4: READING LITERATURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 1


Reading: Character, plot, setting, and theme
Vocabulary: Figurative language
Writing: Using pronouns correctly

PRACTICE 5: MAKING JUDGMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26


Reading: Evaluating information, fact and opinion, authors purpose and point of view
Vocabulary: Word connotations
Writing: Using correct capitalization and punctuation

PRACTICE 6: VOCABULARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Reading: Context clues, multiple-meaning words, synonyms, and antonyms
Writing: Using correct spelling

READING TEST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35

Answer Key . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47

Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
Intr oduction to Teachers
We all know how important it is for students to do well on tests. This book is one in a series designed to
help you help your students become better test takers. Your students will learn strategies that will help them
apply essential reading skills to a standardized test format.

In the past few years, many statewide tests and national standardized tests have undergone significant
changes, not just in what they measure but also in how they measure content and skills. The examples and
practice tests in this book reflect the latest developments in testing and are designed to look like the state and
national tests. Features include:

A variety of different types of literature and informational texts


A combination of multiple-choice and short-answer questions
Integrated questions measuring both reading and language arts

This book covers all of the significant reading and language arts skills tested on the five most widely used
standardized tests: the CTBS TerraNova, Metropolitan Achievement Test, Stanford Achievement Test, Iowa Test of
Basic Skills, and California Achievement Test. It also uses the same kinds of questions and the same formats as the
standardized tests.

Practice Activities
There are six Practice sections in this book, followed by a full-length Reading Test. Each Practice focuses on
specific reading strategies and skills and includes related questions on vocabulary, composition, grammar and
usage, capitalization, punctuation, or spelling. Features of each Practice include:

Sample items for students to work through


Hints on how to answer each type of question
Explanations of the correct answers
Reminders to help students during an actual test
A Practice Test to help students apply what they have learned

Procedures
We recommend that you first teach the targeted reading skills before you use this book. Then work through
each Practice Sample with your students. Using the overhead with transparencies of assigned pages helps
students understand the process of thoroughly reading passages and accurately answering the questions. Discuss
the sample questions and how to get the right answers, and then have students take the Practice Test. Use the
Answer Key at the back of the book to score each test, or have students score the tests themselves and record
their scores in the box at the end of each Practice Test. Either way, make sure students have ample opportunity
to study their own tests and learn from any mistakes they might have made. When students have completed all
the practice activities, administer the Reading Test (beginning on page 35). The Reading Test has five selections
and a total of 40 items. It will take about one hour to complete.

Students who complete the activities in this book will become familiar with the kinds of questions they will
see on real tests, and they will have a new arsenal of techniques and strategies for achieving better test scores.

Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources 5
Getting the Main Idea

PRACTICE 1: SAMPLE HINT: Read the


title and the whole
Directions passage to decide
Read the passage. Choose the best answer to each question. what the passage is
mostly about.

The Worlds Best


Until recently, the most famous athlete in the world was probably Michael Jordan.
Now it may very well be Mia Hamm. On July 17, 1999, Hamm led the U.S. womens
soccer team to a thrilling shoot-out victory over China in the finals for the World Cup.
During the tournament she also scored her 111th international goalthe world record for
most goals scored by any player, man or woman. Both of these feats were witnessed by
millions of viewers all over the world.
For Mia Hamm, winning the World Cup was the latest achievement in a dazzling career.
Now 27 years old, Hamm has been a member of the national team since she was 15. She
has been U.S. Soccers Player of the Year for five years straight, and she was a member of
the U.S. team that won the gold medal in the 1996 Olympics. Before that,
Hamm played soccer at the University of North Carolina, where she led
her team to four national championships.
Mia Hamms remarkable career has made her world-famous. It has
also made her a role model for girls all over the world who now want
to play sports and grow up to be as good as Mia Hamm.

A What is this passage mostly about? HINT: Look back


A players on the U.S. womens soccer team at the passage to find
B Michael Jordan the answer to each
C Mia Hamms remarkable career question.
D how the U.S. team won the World Cup

B Mia Hamm holds the world record for


F most games played. H most years on the national team.
G most national championships. J most international goals scored.
C The passage says that winning the World Cup was Hamms latest achievement. What does
the word achievement mean?
A personal trait C world record
B loss; lack of success D something gained or done

D Find the sentence that is complete and is written correctly.


F Mia Hamm grew up with five brothers and sisters.
G Playing soccer since she was very young.
H More popular than Michael Jordan.
J In a game watched by millions of viewers.

6 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
Finding the Answers to Practice 1: Sample
The most important idea in a passage is the main
idea. It may be clearly stated in the passage, or you Getting the Main Idea
may have to figure out the main idea from the
PRACTICE 1: SAMPLE HINT: Read the
information given. Questions about the main idea title and the whole
Directions passage to decide
may ask you to choose a main idea sentence, the Read the passage. Choose the best answer to each question. what the passage is
mostly about.
best title, or a main topic that tells what the passage
is mostly about. Other questions may ask you to The Worlds Best
Until recently, the most famous athlete in the world was probably Michael Jordan.
find details that support the main idea, or to Now it may very well be Mia Hamm. On July 17, 1999, Hamm led the U.S. womens
soccer team to a thrilling shoot-out victory over China in the finals for the World Cup.
summarize the information in a passage. During the tournament she also scored her 111th international goalthe world record for
most goals scored by any player, man or woman. Both of these feats were witnessed by
millions of viewers all over the world.
To answer question A, you must decide what the For Mia Hamm, winning the World Cup was the latest achievement in a dazzling career.
Now 27 years old, Hamm has been a member of the national team since she was 15. She
passage is mostly about. You are looking for the has been U.S. Soccers Player of the Year for five years straight, and she was a member of
main topic. This passage focuses on Mia Hamm the U.S. team that won the gold medal in the 1996 Olympics. Before that,
Hamm played soccer at the University of North Carolina, where she led
and what she has accomplished in her career as a her team to four national championships.
Mia Hamms remarkable career has made her world-famous. It has
soccer player. The correct answer is C. also made her a role model for girls all over the world who now want
to play sports and grow up to be as good as Mia Hamm.

To answer question B, you must find the


A What is this passage mostly about? HINT: Look back
supporting detail that tells what record Mia Hamm A players on the U.S. womens soccer team at the passage to find
B Michael Jordan the answer to each
holds. Since the passage states that she scored her C Mia Hamms remarkable career question.
D how the U.S. team won the World Cup
111th international goalthe world record, the B Mia Hamm holds the world record for
F most games played. H most years on the national team.
correct answer is J. G most national championships. J most international goals scored.
C The passage says that winning the World Cup was Hamms latest achievement. What does
the word achievement mean?
For question C, you must figure out what A personal trait C world record
B loss; lack of success D something gained or done
achievement means from the way it is used in the D Find the sentence that is complete and is written correctly.
F Mia Hamm grew up with five brothers and sisters.
passage. The first paragraph says that winning the G Playing soccer since she was very young.
H More popular than Michael Jordan.
World Cup and setting a world record were things J In a game watched by millions of viewers.

done by Mia Hamm, so an achievement must be 6 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading, Grades 56
Scholastic Professional Books
something gained or done, answer D.

Question D is about writing complete sentences. A


complete sentence has a subject, which tells what
the sentence is about, and a predicate, which tells
what the subject is or does. Answer F is correct
because it is the only choice that has both a subject
(Mia Hamm) and a predicate (grew).

REMINDERS: As you take the Practice Test, remember these hints.


Read the title and the whole passage carefully. Then decide what the whole passage is mostly about.

Look at the picture. Sometimes a picture gives clues to what the passage is about.

Look back at the passage to find the answer to each question.

Summarize a passage by including only the most important information. Omit minor details.

Look for clues in the passage to figure out the meaning of an unfamiliar word.

Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources 7
Getting the Main Idea

PRACTICE 1: TEST

Directions
Read each passage. Choose the best answer to each question.

The Power of Music


Imagine that a young Navajo man finds himself alone at night in the desert.
Strange noises frighten him, so he begins to sing. Music fills the air, creating an
invisible shield around him. No evil spirit within hearing range of the song can get
through. The young man is now protected under the cover of a song. He is safe.
For centuries, many of the Navajo (also called Dineh, which means the people) have believed in
the special powers of music. It can be used for protection from evil spirits, to cure disease, and to change
the weather. Like the young man in the desert, anyone who can sing can affect the world around him.
Perhaps the most important use of music for the Navajo of today is for healing and driving out
disease. Songs are used to call upon spirits known to have healing power. During these sings, anyone
who wants to feel better can come and listen.
The most famous of these events is the Night Chant, a Navajo healing ceremony that lasts nine days.
For eight days, the Navajo call the gods, who finally appear on the ninth day and begin to dance. Their
dancing is what cures the sick person.
Music has always been important to the Navajo, although these days it is mostly the elders who use
music to protect or heal. The younger Navajo sing mostly for pleasure or to express pride in their heritage.

1 Which sentence best tells what this passage is mostly about?


A Navajo performers sometimes sing for nine days.
B Music is an important part of Navajo life.
C The Night Chant is a Navajo healing ceremony.
D If you can sing, you can affect the world around you.

2 Which sentence should be included in a summary of this passage?


F The gods appear on the ninth day.
G A young Navajo man becomes afraid, so he begins to sing.
H For the Navajo, music has the power to protect and to heal.
J The Navajo sometimes perform healing ceremonies.

3 According to this passage, many Navajo believe that music has the power to
A find love. C make money.
B travel across time. D change the weather.

4 The passage says the young man created an invisible shield. Invisible means
F cannot be seen. H cannot be broken.
G very strong. J very large.

8 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
First Lady of Solo Percussion
Percussion instruments are those musical instruments that are hit or shaken to make sound, such
as drums, cymbals, and rattles. Percussion instruments are usually played with a band or orchestra.
They are seldom played alone. One person, though, is changing all that.
Evelyn Glennie often performs alone. She is one of the worlds finest solo percussionists. Often
referred to as the First Lady of solo percussion, Glennie also performs with some of the worlds
greatest orchestras. She has received many awards, including the Queens Commendation Prize.
That is the highest award given by the British Royal Academy of Music. What makes Glennies
achievements even more amazing is that she has been deaf since
the age of 12.
Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, on July 19, 1965, Evelyn Glennie
began taking piano lessons at age eight. That same year she began
to notice that she was having trouble hearing. Over the next four
years, her hearing grew worse. By age 12, her hearing was almost
completely gone, but that did not stop her from pursuing her
dream.
Glennie began to study percussion when she was 12 and came
up with her own ways of listening to the music. She feels low-
pitched sounds mainly in her legs and feet. High sounds are felt
on her face, neck, and chest. On the concert stage, Glennie often
performs barefooted to help her feel the music. However she
does it, Glennie has become a remarkable performer.

5 Which of these would be another good title for this passage?


A Making Sounds C Life in Aberdeen, Scotland
B Drums and Rattles D Musician Evelyn Glennie

6 Where would be the best place to look for more information about Evelyn Glennie?
F in an almanac H on the Internet
G in an atlas J in a local newspaper

7 Which of these is a percussion instrument?


A trumpet C tambourine
B flute D violin

8 Write one or two sentences to summarize what this passage is mostly about.

Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources 9
Directions
For questions 911, read the paragraph below.

__________________. (2)He grew up poor in New Orleans. (3)From a very early


age, Armstrong loved music. (4)When he was 13, he learned to play the bugle
and the cornet. (5)He later switched to the trumpet. (6)By age 26, Louis
Armstrong had become the worlds best trumpet player.

9 Choose the sentence that best fits in the blank.


A Jazz is a type of American music.
B Cornets and trumpets are very similar.
C Louis Armstrong was born on July 4, 1900.
D Jazz became popular in New Orleans during the early 1900s.

10 Which sentence could best be added to the end of this paragraph?


F Joe Oliver was a popular jazz musician in the early 1900s.
G In later years, Armstrong also became popular as a jazz singer.
H Perdido Street was the meanest street in New Orleans.
J Young boys formed singing groups and performed on Perdido Street.

11 Where would this sentence best fit in the paragraph?


He dreamed of one day playing the cornet.
A after sentence 3
B after sentence 4
C after sentence 5
D after sentence 6

12 Find the sentence that is complete and is written correctly.


F One of his songs, What a Wonderful World.
G New Orleans being a city in Louisiana.
H Louis Armstrong earned the nickname Satchmo.
J Also appeared in many different movies.

SCORE
12

10 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
Understanding Texts

PRACTICE 2: SAMPLE HINT: Scan the


passage first to see
Directions what it is mostly
Read the passage. Choose the best answer to each question. about. Then read
it carefully.

An Itch for Tennis


Suki sighed as the tennis ball slammed into the net for the umpteenth time.
Suki could tell Jiro was getting discouraged. How about we call it quits for
today? she suggested.
All right, said Jiro, but lets play this one last ball before we go. He served the ball to
Suki, who returned it easily. Jiro sprinted toward the ball and swung his racket as hard as he could.
The ball sailed over the chain-link fence and landed in the tall grass behind the tennis court.
Dont worry, Ill get it, said Jiro, jogging off the court. Meanwhile, Suki retrieved the other
balls and got herself a drink of water. Then she went to join Jiro.
Oh, no, said Suki when she saw Jiro standing in the high grass.
Whats the matter? asked Jiro when he saw the look on her face.
Youre knee-deep in poison ivy, she explained. Forget the ball. You need to get home quickly
and wash up because if you dont, the poison ivy will make you itch like crazy. If you hurry, you
might not get a rash tomorrow or itch too much.
Jiro groaned. Then he grabbed his tennis racket and ran home. Dont worry, youll be fine,
Suki hollered after him, but she didnt really believe it. Jiro was in for an itchy time for the next
two weeks. Suki knew because shed been through the same thing last year.

A What did Jiro do first in this story? HINT: To find the


A He went to look for the tennis ball. information you need,
B He hit the tennis ball over the fence. look for signal words,
C He grabbed his racket and ran home. such as first, then,
D He walked through poison ivy. because, like, and
unlike.
B Why did Suki believe that Jiro would soon itch terribly?
F She could already see the beginning of a rash. H She had been through the same thing herself.
G He did not run home fast enough. J He had hit the ball over the fence.

C How is Suki different from Jiro?


A She has never had poison ivy. C She tries harder to win.
B She becomes discouraged more easily. D She is a better tennis player.
D The passage says that Jiro jogged off the court. What does court mean in this passage?
F a short street H a room where trials are held
G to try to win the love of J an area marked off for a game

E Choose the word that best completes the sentence.


Jiro hits the ball __________ than Suki does.
A hard C hardest
B harder D hardly

Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources 11
Finding the Answers to Practice 2: Sample
To understand a text, you must figure out how ideas
are related to one another. Ideas in a passage are often Understanding Texts
Texts
related by sequence of events, by cause and effect, or
PRACTICE 2: SAMPLE HINT: Scan the
by comparison and contrast. Questions might ask you passage first to see
what it is mostly
to figure out how ideas are related or use your Directions
Read the passage. Choose the best answer to each question. about. Then read
it carefully.
understanding of the text to complete an outline.
An Itch for Tennis
Suki sighed as the tennis ball slammed into the net for the umpteenth time.
Question A is a question about the sequence of Suki could tell Jiro was getting discouraged. How about we call it quits for
today? she suggested.
events in the passage. The question asks what Jiro All right, said Jiro, but lets play this one last ball before we go. He served the ball to
Suki, who returned it easily. Jiro sprinted toward the ball and swung his racket as hard as he could.
did first, and it lists four things he did. Since hitting The ball sailed over the chain-link fence and landed in the tall grass behind the tennis court.
Dont worry, Ill get it, said Jiro, jogging off the court. Meanwhile, Suki retrieved the other
the tennis ball over the fence was the first of the four balls and got herself a drink of water. Then she went to join Jiro.
Oh, no, said Suki when she saw Jiro standing in the high grass.
things Jiro did in the story, the correct answer is B. Whats the matter? asked Jiro when he saw the look on her face.
Youre knee-deep in poison ivy, she explained. Forget the ball. You need to get home quickly
and wash up because if you dont, the poison ivy will make you itch like crazy. If you hurry, you
might not get a rash tomorrow or itch too much.
Question B is about cause and effect. To answer the Jiro groaned. Then he grabbed his tennis racket and ran home. Dont worry, youll be fine,
Suki hollered after him, but she didnt really believe it. Jiro was in for an itchy time for the next
question, you must understand why Suki believed two weeks. Suki knew because shed been through the same thing last year.
that Jiro would soon itch terribly. The passage says
A What did Jiro do first in this story? HINT: To find the
she knew because shed been through the same thing A He went to look for the tennis ball. information you need,
B He hit the tennis ball over the fence. look for signal words,
last year. Answer H is correct. C He grabbed his racket and ran home. such as first, then,
D He walked through poison ivy. because, like, and
unlike.
B Why did Suki believe that Jiro would soon itch terribly?
F She could already see the beginning of a rash. H She had been through the same thing herself.
Question C asks how Suki was different from Jiro. G He did not run home fast enough. J He had hit the ball over the fence.

According to the passage, Suki has had poison ivy, C How is Suki different from Jiro?
A She has never had poison ivy. C She tries harder to win.
so answer A cant be correct. Jiro is the one who B She becomes discouraged more easily. D She is a better tennis player.
gets discouraged while Suki plays easily, so B and C D The passage says that Jiro jogged off the court. What does court mean in this passage?
F a short street H a room where trials are held
must be incorrect. The correct answer is D. G to try to win the love of J an area marked off for a game

E Choose the word that best completes the sentence.


Jiro hits the ball __________ than Suki does.
A hard C hardest
Question D is about using context clues to figure out B harder D hardly

the meaning of a word that has more than one Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading, Grades 56 11
Scholastic Professional Books
definition. The word court has several meanings, as in
the judges court, to court a sweetheart. In this story,
court means an area marked off for a game, answer J.

Question E is about words that compare. Jiro hits


the ball harder than Suki does. Answer B is correct.

REMINDERS: As you take the Practice Test, remember these hints.

Scan the passage first to see what it is about and how it is organized.

To find the information you need, look for signal words that indicate:
sequence of events (first, then, later, before, after, finally, last).
cause and effect (because, so, since, as a result).
comparison/contrast (like, unlike, same as, different from, however, but, both).

For words with more than one meaning, try each meaning in the sentence and choose one that
sounds correct.

12 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
Understanding Texts

PRACTICE 2: TEST

Directions
Read the passage. Choose the best answer to each question.

Poison Ivy
Anyone who has ever touched poison ivy knows there is nothing worse than
the rash it causes. The itching alone is enough to drive you bonkers.
What is poison ivy?
Poison ivy is a bushlike plant or vine that grows well in moist, warm places.
It is found almost everywhere in the United States except Hawaii and parts of
Alaska. Poison ivy usually has three shiny leaves on each stem, but it may have
more. As a result, the old saying, Leaves times three, let it be might be helpful,
but it does not always apply. During the spring and summer, poison ivy leaves
are green like many other plants. In the fall, though, they turn a bright red-
orange color that makes them much easier to identify.
What happens when you touch poison ivy?
Poison ivy contains an oily sap called urushiol. If you brush against a leaf,
stem, or branch of poison ivy, some of this oil gets on your skin. Urushiol causes
itching in most people. Within 6 to 48 hours after contact with poison ivy, a rash
usually develops. The rash usually begins as red streaks. It often appears on the
face first and then on other parts of the body. It lasts about two weeks. Younger
people between the ages of five and 20 seem to be most affected.
What should you do?
It takes between 10 and 15 minutes for the oil from poison ivy to get under your skin. Washing with soap
and water immediately after contact can sometimes prevent a rash. Because the urushiol sticks to clothing,
you should remove your clothes and shoes and wash them as soon as possible. If you do develop a rash, try
not to scratch, because this can cause an infection. Also, scratching can spread the rash if there is urushiol
under your fingernails, so make sure your fingernails are trimmed short and are clean. Keep your skin clean
and dry.

1 What happens first when you touch poison ivy?


A Red streaks appear on your skin.
B A rash appears on your face.
C The rash begins to itch.
D Oily sap gets on your skin.

Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources 13
Use the incomplete outline below to answer questions 2 and 3.

2 Which of these best fits in I.C?


F wash immediately with soap
and water I. Description
G What should you do? A. bushlike plant or vine
H younger people most affected B. three shiny leaves on each stem
J red-orange leaves in the fall C. ____________________

3 Which of these best fits on line II?


II. ______________________
A What you should do
B What poison ivy looks like
A. urushiol gets on your skin
C What happens when you touch B. rash develops within 6 to 48 hours
poison ivy
D What to do to avoid poison ivy

4 Why doesnt the saying Leaves times three, let it be always apply to poison ivy?
F The plant has green leaves.
G Poison ivy grows in moist places.
H The plant sometimes has more than three leaves on a stem.
J The leaves turn colors in the fall.

5 The passage says you can get poison ivy if you brush against a leaf. Which meaning
of brush is used here?
A touch lightly in passing C wipe away or remove
B a tool for sweeping D a painters tool

6 What should you do first if you touch poison ivy?


F Clean your clothes. H Keep your skin clean and dry.
G Trim your fingernails. J Wash with soap and water.

7 The spread of poison ivy is most likely to be caused by


A sunlight. C washing.
B scratching. D walking.

8 Name two or three ways in which poison ivy is different from most other plants.

14 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
Directions
Read the passage below. Then answer the questions about how the passage is written.

(1)There is no place most beautiful than New England in the fall. (2)During
September and October, the leaves change color. (3)They turn glorious shades of red,
orange, and gold. (4)Some years the leaves seem to change overnight. (5)In other
years they seem to change more gradual. (6)Thousands of people travel to New
England each year. (7)They go there to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage.

9 Which is the best way to write sentence 1?


A There is no place better beautiful than New England in the fall.
B There is no place beautifuler than New England in the fall.
C There is no place more beautiful than New England in the fall.
D Best as it is

10 Which is the best way to combine sentences 2 and 3?


F Turning glorious during September and October, the leaves turn shades of red, orange, and gold.
G During September and October, the leaves turn glorious shades of red, orange, and gold.
H Shades of red, orange, and gold turn the leaves glorious during September and October.
J During September and October, the leaves change color, but they turn glorious shades of red,
orange, and gold.

11 Which is the best way to write sentence 5?


A In other years they seem to change most gradual.
B In other years they seem to change more gradually.
C In other years they seem to change more gradualer.
D Best as it is

12 Which is the best way to combine sentences 6 and 7 into one sentence?
F Thousands of people travel to New England each year to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage.
G Enjoying the beautiful fall foliage each year, thousands of people travel to New England
each year.
H Thousands of people travel to New England each year, so they go there to enjoy the beautiful
fall foliage.
J To enjoy the beautiful New England fall foliage there, thousands of people travel each year.

SCORE
12

Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources 15
Making Infer ences

PRACTICE 3: SAMPLE HINT: Before you


read, take a quick
Directions look at the questions
Read the passage. Choose the best answer to each question. so you know what to
look for in the story.

The Runaway
Aunt Thelma phoned Blakes house in a panic. Chad has disappeared
again, she said. He bounded off the porch before I could put him on
his leash. Could you and your sister come over and help me search for
him?
Jens not here, said Blake, but I can be there in a few minutes.
He hung up the phone, grabbed a handful of Chads favorite beef jerky treats
from the kitchen, and headed out the door.
On his way to the garage to get his bike, Blake spotted something slowly trotting up the
street. When he realized what it was, his face broke into a smile. You rascal, he said. Aunt
Thelmas been worried sick about you. He grabbed Chads collar and gently steered him

A What will most likely happen next? HINT: Look for


A Chad will run back to Aunt Thelmas house. clues in the story to
B Blake will eat one of the beef jerky treats. help figure out the
C Blake will phone Aunt Thelma and tell her he has Chad. answers.
D Blake will ride his bike over to Aunt Thelmas house.

B You can tell from this story that Blake lives


F in a big city. H close to Aunt Thelmas house.
G far away from town. J next door to an animal shelter.

C You can tell that Chad is


A Aunt Thelmas dog. C Jens brother.
B Blakes uncle. D Blakes father.

D Find the word that best completes the sentence.


Blake found Chad and __________ him to Aunt Thelma.
F return
G returning
H returned
J have returned

16 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
Finding the Answers to Practice 3: Sample
To make inferences, you must read between the
lines. For example, if a character in a story looks Making Inferences
outside in the morning and sees puddles on the
PRACTICE 3: SAMPLE HINT: Before you
street, you can infer that it rained the night before. read, take a quick
Directions look at the questions
Inferences are not stated in the story; you must Read the passage. Choose the best answer to each question. so you know what to
look for in the story.
figure them out from what you know.

To answer question A, you must predict what will The Runaway


Aunt Thelma phoned Blakes house in a panic. Chad has disappeared
happen next. At the end of the story, Blake grabs again, she said. He bounded off the porch before I could put him on his
leash. Could you and your sister come over and help me search for him?
Chads collar and leads him toward the house. Based Jens not here, said Blake, but I can be there in a few minutes. He
on this clue, the most likely answer is C, Blake will hung up the phone, grabbed a handful of Chads favorite beef jerky treats
from the kitchen, and headed out the door.
phone Aunt Thelma and tell her he has Chad. On his way to the garage to get his bike, Blake spotted something slowly trotting up the
street. When he realized what it was, his face broke into a smile. You rascal, he said. Aunt
Thelmas been worried sick about you. He grabbed Chads collar and gently steered him
To answer question B, you must look for clues. toward the house.

Blake says to Aunt Thelma, I can be there in a few


minutes. He plans to ride his bike to Aunt Thelmas, A What will most likely happen next? HINT: Look for
A Chad will run back to Aunt Thelmas house. clues in the story to
so Blake must live close to Aunt Thelmas house. B Blake will eat one of the beef jerky treats. help figure out the
C Blake will phone Aunt Thelma and tell her he has Chad. answers.
Answer H is correct. D Blake will ride his bike over to Aunt Thelmas house.

B You can tell from this story that Blake lives


F in a big city. H close to Aunt Thelmas house.

For question C, you must look for clues to help you G far away from town. J next door to an animal shelter.

draw a conclusion about Chad. The story does not C You can tell that Chad is
A Aunt Thelmas dog. C Jens brother.
tell you who or what Chad is, but you know that B Blakes uncle. D Blakes father.

Aunt Thelma usually keeps Chad on a leash, he likes D Find the word that best completes the sentence.
Blake found Chad and __________ him to Aunt Thelma.
beef jerky treats, and Blake grabs his collar. From F return
G
these clues you can tell that Chad is probably not a H
returning
returned
J
person, so he is not Blakes uncle (choice B), Jens have returned

brother (choice C), or Blakes father (choice D). 16 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading, Grades 56
Scholastic Professional Books
Chad is Aunt Thelmas dog. Answer A is correct.

Question D is a question about using verbs correctly.


The verb you choose should be in the same tense as
found. Blake found Chad and returned him to Aunt
Thelma. The best answer is H, returned.

REMINDERS: As you take the Practice Test, remember these hints.


Take a quick look at the questions first. Then read the whole passage carefully.

Look for clues in the passage to help answer the questions.

Go back to the passage to find the information you need.

When you draw a conclusion, look for two or more details in the passage to support
your answer.

Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources 17
Making Infer ences

PRACTICE 3: TEST

Directions
Read the passage. Choose the best answer to each question.

A Grand Idea
It looks like the deer have been raiding our garden again, said Grandpa, pointing to the fresh
tracks around the lettuce patch. Its frustrating to put so much energy into a garden, only to have
the deer feast on it. That fence is pretty much useless, he added, eyeing the thin wire fence
surrounding the garden.
Lets build a scarecrow, suggested Josh. Maybe if we can trick the deer into believing theres
someone in the garden, theyll stay out.
Grandpa agreed that a scarecrow was a fine idea and sent Josh to the barn for some hay. They
stuffed the hay into one of Grandpas old flannel shirts and an old pair of his overalls. Then they
plopped an old straw hat on the scarecrows soccer-ball head and declared him done. Stepping
back to examine their work, they both burst out laughing.
He looks like you, said Josh, his eyes darting back and forth between Grandpa and
the scarecrow.
Grandpa chuckled. Hes a tad more handsome, I think. Lets just hope he gets the job done.
Just before breakfast the next morning, Josh peered out the window and spotted two young does
in the garden. Grandpa, come quick! he cried, racing out of the house toward the garden. Go
on, shoo! he hollered, running and waving his arms. In one graceful movement, the two deer
leaped over the thin wire fence enclosing the garden. They turned back once to look at Josh before
dashing for cover in the nearby forest.
Josh frowned at the scarecrow. A lot of good you were, he said.
I guess well have to come up with a better plan, said Grandpa as he checked the garden.
It doesnt look as though they got much this time. Come on, lets go plan our next move
over breakfast.
Grandpa and Josh were busily tossing ideas around at the breakfast table when Grandma
suggested they try placing bars of soap at various spots around the garden. Ive heard that really
works, she said. Josh and Grandpa both
looked doubtful. Well, it cant be any worse
than that scarecrow that doesnt scare
anything, she huffed.
Sure, Mum, well do that, said Grandpa,
winking at Josh. Which soap do you
recommend? He kicked Josh gently under
the table.
Josh bowed his head and tried not to laugh.

18 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
Later that afternoon, after they had failed to come up with a better idea, Josh and Grandpa made
a trip into town to buy a few dozen bars of scented soap. They spent the rest of the afternoon
planting soap all around the garden. Grandpa cut long sturdy branches and sharpened both ends.
Josh stuck a bar of soap on one end and planted the other end into the ground. When they were
through, Grandpa shook his head and said, If this works, I swear Ill eat my hat.
Ill remember you said that, said Grandma. Josh and Grandpa both started in surprise. They
had not heard Grandma approach. On the other hand, she said, I think Id rather you boys took
me out for a nice dinner in townyou know, by way of saying thank you for a great idea.
Chuckling to herself, she turned and headed back to the house.
A few days later, Josh and Grandpa stood on the porch waiting for Grandma. Grandpa looked
toward the garden and scratched his head. Still no deer, huh?
Nope, answered Josh, not one.
Well, I hate to admit it, said Grandpa, but your grandmother was right.
As if on cue, Grandma appeared on the porch dressed in her Sunday best. She handed Grandpa
his hat. I believe you were going to eat this, she said.
Grandpa chuckled. I think I like the second choice better, he said, offering her his arm. We
have reservations for six oclock.

1 What will most likely happen next?


A Grandpa will eat his hat.
B Grandpa and Josh will take Grandma to see the garden.
C Grandma will go into the house to make dinner.
D Grandpa and Josh will take Grandma out to dinner.

2 You can tell that Grandma and Grandpa live


F near the ocean. H in a city.
G in the country. J in a desert.

3 Why is Grandpa trying to keep the deer out of the garden?


A He doesnt want the deer to eat everything in the garden.
B Hes afraid the deer will get sick if they eat the weeds in the garden.
C He doesnt want the deer to break down the fence.
D Hes afraid Grandma will make him eat his hat for dinner if he doesnt.

4 In what month does this story probably take place?


F January H July
G February J November

5 Which statement about deer is most likely accurate?


A Deer are easily fooled by scarecrows.
B Deer never feed alone.
C Deer cannot find enough food to eat in the forest.
D Deer stay away from strongly scented soap.

Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources 19
6 Why did Grandpa wink at Josh and kick him under the table?
F He was angry at Josh because of his bad table manners.
G He wanted to let Josh know that he was teasing Grandma.
H He got something in his eye and wanted Josh to take a look at it.
J He wanted Josh to pay attention to what he was saying.

7 Write one or two sentences comparing how Josh and Grandpa first felt about
Grandmas idea and how they felt about it a few days later.

Directions
Choose the word or words that best complete(s) each sentence.

8 The deer raided the garden and __________ all the lettuce.
F eat H ate
G will eat J eaten

9 Grandpa __________ to take Grandma out to dinner.


A promise C promising
B promised D have promised

10 Josh and Grandpa __________ determined to keep the deer out of the garden.
F being H were
G is J was

11 Will you __________ me how to build a scarecrow?


A teach C taught
B teaching D have taught

12 Grandma served Josh dinner after he __________ his hands.


F wash H will be washing
G had washed J was washing

SCORE
12

20 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
Reading Literatur e

PRACTICE 4: SAMPLE HINT: Look for


clues about how
Directions the characters feel
Read the passage. Choose the best answer to each question. and where the story
takes place.

Mail From Earth


Liz heard a whirring sound outside the cabin. Peering out a window, she
saw a spaceship landing. It was silver, with the letters EMM on the hatch. It was the Earth-
Moon Mail ship!
A man in a space suit stepped out of the EMM ship with a package in his hands. He
bounded toward the cabin with floating, slow-motion hops. The man opened the cabins mail
chute and pushed the package in. Liz picked it up. The package was to her from Granny! In the
blink of an eye, Liz tore it open. The sweet smell of homemade cookies drifted out. Liz also
found a note from Granny tucked in with the cookies. It said, I am so excited that you, Dad,
and Mom are flying to Earth for your school vacation. Ill make more cookies when you arrive.
Liz smiled and munched a cookie. Vacation was starting in a week. It would be great to
see Grannyand Earthagain.

A Which words best describe how Liz felt about seeing HINT: To understand
Granny and Earth again? the plot of the story,
A shy and nervous C happy and excited think about the
B frightened and worried D annoyed and bored characters main
problem or conflict
B Where does this story take place? and how it is solved.
F on the moon H at Grannys house
G inside a spaceship J on a faraway planet

C What was the man in the space suit doing in this story?
A exploring outer space C visiting Liz and her parents
B offering Liz a ride to Earth D delivering a package to Liz

D When Liz tore open the package in the blink of an eye, you know that she
F blinked when she saw what was inside the package.
G opened the package with her eyes shut.
H stared at the label before she opened the package.
J opened the package very quickly.

E Find the word that best completes the sentence.


Although the cookies were for Liz, she shared __________ with her parents.
A it C them
B they D its

Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources 21
Finding the Answers to Practice 4: Sample
Questions about literature focus mainly on
characters, plot, setting, theme, and narrative point Reading Literature
Literature
of view. Some questions ask about figurative
PRACTICE 4: SAMPLE HINT: Look for
language, which expresses a meaning that is different clues about how
the characters feel
from the literal meaning of the words. Directions
Read the passage. Choose the best answer to each question. and where the story
takes place.

Question A is about a characters feelings. Clues in Mail From Earth


Liz heard a whirring sound outside the cabin. Peering out a window, she
the story can help you figure out how Liz was saw a spaceship landing. It was silver, with the letters EMM on the hatch. It was the Earth-
Moon Mail ship!
feeling. When she read Grannys note, Liz smiled. A man in a space suit stepped out of the EMM ship with a package in his hands. He
bounded toward the cabin with floating, slow-motion hops. The man opened the cabins mail
Then she thought how great it would be to see chute and pushed the package in. Liz picked it up. The package was to her from Granny! In the
Granny and Earth again. Based on these clues, C is blink of an eye, Liz tore it open. The sweet smell of homemade cookies drifted out. Liz also
found a note from Granny tucked in with the cookies. It said, I am so excited that you, Dad,
the best answer. and Mom are flying to Earth for your school vacation. Ill make more cookies when you arrive.
Liz smiled and munched a cookie. Vacation was starting in a week. It would be great to
see Grannyand Earthagain.
Question B asks where the story takes place. A Which words best describe how Liz felt about seeing HINT: To understand
You can tell that the events take place on the Granny and Earth again? the plot of the story,
A shy and nervous C happy and excited think about the
moon because the man in the story arrived on the B frightened and worried D annoyed and bored characters main
problem or conflict
Earth-Moon Mail ship, was wearing a spacesuit, B Where does this story take place? and how it is solved.
F on the moon H at Grannys house
and bounded toward Lizs cabin. Answer F is correct. G inside a spaceship J on a faraway planet

C What was the man in the space suit doing in this story?
A exploring outer space C visiting Liz and her parents
Question C asks what the man in the spacesuit was B offering Liz a ride to Earth D delivering a package to Liz

doing. According to the story, the man opened the D When Liz tore open the package in the blink of an eye, you know that she
F blinked when she saw what was inside the package.
cabins mail chute and pushed the package in. The G opened the package with her eyes shut.
H stared at the label before she opened the package.
story also explains that the package was sent to Liz. So J opened the package very quickly.

the man was delivering a package to Liz, answer D. E Find the word that best completes the sentence.
Although the cookies were for Liz, she shared __________ with her parents.
A it C them
To answer question D, you must understand what it B they D its

means to say that Liz tore the package open in the Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading, Grades 56 21
Scholastic Professional Books
blink of an eye. Since the phrase in the blink of an
eye means quickly, you know that Liz opened the
package quickly. Answer J is correct.

Question E is about choosing correct pronouns. In


the sentence, the pronoun you choose should take
the place of cookies and should be an object
pronoun. The correct answer is C, them.

REMINDERS: As you take the Practice Test, remember these hints.


Look for clues in the story to figure out how characters feel and where the story takes place.

To understand the plot, think about the main characters problem or conflict and what he
or she does to solve it.

To find the theme of a story, think about what lesson a character learns or what message
the author wants to express.

Use clues in the story to determine the meaning of figurative language (such as in the blink of an eye).

22 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
Reading Literatur e

PRACTICE 4: TEST

Directions
Read the passage. Choose the best answer to each question.

The Shoemakers Luck


Many years ago, a young shoemaker named Jacob moved to the city to make his fortune. The city is
bustling with people, he reasoned, and they all need shoes. So Jacob rented a shop on a busy street and
set to work making shoes, which he proudly displayed in the shop window.
Unfortunately for Jacob, there were a dozen more shoemakers in the city, and all of them made better
shoes than Jacob. Weeks passed, and Jacob did not have a single customer. Unsold shoes piled up in the
window.
Jacobs bad luck spurred him to work harder. From dawn to dusk, he made pair after pair of shoes.
Practice will make me a better shoemaker, he predicted, and then people will buy my shoes.
Now it happened that, unknown to Jacob, a pair of mice lived in the shop walls. They pitied Jacob and
wished that they could help him somehow. Jacob should move to a village where he is the only
shoemaker, suggested one mouse. Then people would buy his shoes.
Youre right, replied the other mouse, but how can we persuade him to leave the city?
The two mice put their heads together and came up with a scheme. As soon as Jacob left the shop that
evening, the mice jumped into the pile of unsold shoes and gnawed holes in each and every one. When
Jacob returned the next morning, he wept at the sight of the shredded shoes. Ive had awful luck in this
shop, so now its time for me to move on, he said. Perhaps Ill have more success as a village shoemaker.
With that, Jacob started packing up his tools. But as he did, a woman stopped to peer in the shop
window. Then she hurried inside, picked up a shredded shoe, and exclaimed, I must have a pair of these
smart-looking sandals!
Amazed and pleased, Jacob sold the woman a pair of shredded shoes, and then he went back to packing.
But a moment later, a man entered the shop. He, too, asked to purchase sandals. After that, more and more
customers came into the shop for sandals. In an hour, Jacob had sold every pair of shredded shoes.
Jacob wasted no time wondering what he should do next. He unpacked his tools and set to work making
sandals. From that day on, Jacob always had many eager customers. After all, he was the only sandal maker
in the city.

Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources 23
1 Where does this story take place?
A in a small village C in a city
B on a farm D on a country road

2 Based on what you read in this story, which word pair best fits in this sentence?
As a shoemaker, Jacob was __________ but __________.
F skillful . . . . greedy H lazy . . . . lucky
G determined . . . . unsuccessful J rich . . . . unhappy

3 When the two mice put their heads together, they


A worked together to solve a problem.
B looked into each others eyes.
C posed for a picture together.
D whispered secrets to each other.

4 When people started buying his shoes, Jacob felt


F delighted. H hurt.
G annoyed. J sneaky.

5 You would most likely find this story in a collection of


A poems. C folktales.
B historical fiction. D biographies.

6 This story is told by


F Jacob. H a customer.
G the mice. J an outside observer.

7 What lesson does this story teach?


A Keep your troubles to yourself.
B Happiness is better than wealth.
C Dont accept help from others.
D Be willing to try new things.

24 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
8 What was Jacobs problem in this story, and how did he solve it?

Directions
Choose the word that best completes each sentence.

9 I like these sandals because __________ are comfortable.


A them C its
B it D they

10 One woman bought shoes for __________ daughters.


F her H she
G hers J they

11 His sneakers were worn out, so __________ threw them away.


A he C them
B him D it

12 After the clerk measured my feet, she brought __________ some shoes to try on.
F I H my
G me J mine

SCORE
12

Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources 25
Making Judgments

PRACTICE 5: SAMPLE HINT: To make


judgments about
Directions a passage, think
Read the passage. Choose the best answer to each question. about why the
author wrote it.

Save the Wilbur


Mayor Nichols has talked about tearing down the Wilbur Hotel to
make room for a parking garage. This is a terrible idea! The Wilbur is an
important part of our towns history. We should preserve it instead of
tearing it down.
Today the Wilbur is empty and boarded up, but it was once the
loveliest building on Main Street. The hotel had comfortable rooms and a
terrific restaurant. Famous people, including two presidential candidates,
stayed there. Our town was proud of the Wilbur.
Is the Wilbur doomed for sure? Not if concerned citizens can find a
way to restore and reopen it. If you think the Wilbur should be saved,
make sure Mayor Nichols hears from you!
A Which action taken by the mayor would please the HINT: To find a
author most? fact, look for a
A building a new hotel beside the new parking garage statement that can
B inviting famous people to visit the town be proven true.
C tearing down the Wilbur to build a gasoline station
D finding a different location for the parking garage

B Which idea from the passage is a fact?


F Tearing down the Wilbur Hotel is a terrible idea.
G The Wilbur Hotel should be preserved.
H The Wilbur Hotel is empty and boarded up.
J The Wilbur Hotel was once the loveliest building in town.

C The author mentions that two presidential candidates stayed at the Wilbur as evidence to
support the idea that
A citizens should vote. C the town is famous.
B the Wilbur was a fine hotel. D the Wilbur had lots of rooms.

D Look at the underlined part of the sentence. Choose the answer that shows the correct
capitalization and punctuation of the underlined part.
The Wilbur Hotel was owned by Mr and mrs Bernard.
F Mr and Mrs Bernard H Mr. and Mrs. Bernard
G Mr. and mrs. Bernard J Correct as it is

26 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
Finding the Answers to Practice 5: Sample
To make judgments, you must consider the
information included in a passage and decide what Making Judgments
the author is trying to say. You must also distinguish
PRACTICE 5: SAMPLE HINT: To make
between factual information and the authors opinions. judgments about
Directions a passage, think
Read the passage. Choose the best answer to each question. about why the
author wrote it.
For question A, you must use clues from the
Save the Wilbur
passage to figure out which action the author would Mayor Nichols has talked about tearing down the Wilbur Hotel to
like the mayor to take. The passage states, We make room for a parking garage. This is a terrible idea! The Wilbur is an
important part of our towns history. We should preserve it instead of
should preserve the Wilbur instead of tearing it tearing it down.
Today the Wilbur is empty and boarded up, but it was once the
down, and the author urges citizens to find a way loveliest building on Main Street. The hotel had comfortable rooms and a
to restore and reopen it. Since finding a different terrific restaurant. Famous people, including two presidential candidates,
stayed there. Our town was proud of the Wilbur.
location for the parking garage will allow the Wilbur Is the Wilbur doomed for sure? Not if concerned citizens can find a
way to restore and reopen it. If you think the Wilbur should be saved,
to remain standing, answer D is the best choice. make sure Mayor Nichols hears from you!
A Which action taken by the mayor would please the HINT: To find a
author most? fact, look for a
To answer question B, you must decide whether A building a new hotel beside the new parking garage
B inviting famous people to visit the town
statement that can
be proven true.
each idea from the passage is a fact or an opinion. A C tearing down the Wilbur to build a gasoline station
D finding a different location for the parking garage
fact is an idea that can be proven true, while an B Which idea from the passage is a fact?
opinion is a belief or feeling. Of the choices given, F Tearing down the Wilbur Hotel is a terrible idea.
G The Wilbur Hotel should be preserved.
the only statement of fact is answer H, The Wilbur H The Wilbur Hotel is empty and boarded up.
J The Wilbur Hotel was once the loveliest building in town.
Hotel is empty and boarded up. The other C The author mentions that two presidential candidates stayed at the Wilbur as evidence to
statements are opinions. support the idea that
A citizens should vote. C the town is famous.
B the Wilbur was a fine hotel. D the Wilbur had lots of rooms.

For question C, you must think about the authors D Look at the underlined part of the sentence. Choose the answer that shows the correct
capitalization and punctuation of the underlined part.
reasons for including certain information in the The Wilbur Hotel was owned by Mr and mrs Bernard.
passage. By mentioning that famous people, F
G
Mr and Mrs Bernard
Mr. and mrs. Bernard
H
J
Mr. and Mrs. Bernard
Correct as it is
including two presidential candidates, stayed at the
Wilbur, the author suggests that it was once a fine 26 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading, Grades 56
Scholastic Professional Books
hotel, answer B.

Question D is a question about correct capitalization


and punctuation. Each of the abbreviations Mr. and
Mrs. should begin with a capital letter and end with
a period. The correct answer is H.

REMINDERS: As you take the Practice Test, remember these hints.

To make a judgment or decision, think about all the details or reasons given. Choose the one that
seems most important.

A fact is a statement that can be verified or proven true. To find an opinion, look for a feeling or belief
that cannot be proven.

The authors purpose in an advertisement or editorial is to persuade. For most stories, the purpose is
to entertain or to teach a lesson. Most other texts are written to inform.

Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources 27
Making Judgments

PRACTICE 5: TEST

Directions
Read the passage. Choose the best answer to each question.

Bicycle Safety
Dear Mr. Locke,
Last week I fell off my bike. I bruised my elbow and sprained my wrist,
but my injuries would have been worse if I hadnt been wearing my bicycle
helmet. Tell your friends what happened to you, the doctor said, so theyll
be sure to wear their helmets, too.
I did what the doctor said and told my friends, but getting a few kids to
wear helmets is not a big deal. A famous basketball player like you, however,
could convince thousands of kids to wear helmets. How do I know? Sport-
Ade is the best-selling soft drink because Sam Locke drinks it. Zoomers are
the most popular basketball shoes because Sam Locke wears them. And, of course, the Locke is the
coolest hairstyle for boys.
I think you should film a public-service announcement for television, telling kids to wear helmets. If the
message came from you, kids would pay attention. I hope youll think about it.
Sincerely,
Ray Brown

Dear Ray,
Your terrific letter has persuaded me to film a public-service announcement about the importance of
wearing bicycle helmets. Now I have a request for you. Would you appear in the announcement with
me? You could talk about your accident and how your helmet protected you. Im sure well persuade more
kids to wear helmets if we make the announcement together. Please call me at 555-3471 to say yes. Then
well arrange to fly you to Chicago for the filming.
Sincerely,
Sam Locke

1 Rays main purpose for writing his letter was to


A ask Sam Locke to make a public-service announcement.
B tell an interesting story about his bike accident.
C convince Sam Locke that he is a famous basketball player.
D describe some of his favorite products.

28 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
2 What can you tell about Ray from his letter?
F He has lots of friends. H He is a good basketball player.
G He wants to help others. J He loves to watch television.

3 Which sentence in Rays letter supports the idea that kids would pay attention to a
message from Sam Locke?
A Last week I fell off my bike.
B My injuries would have been worse if I hadnt been wearing my bicycle helmet.
C I did what the doctor said and told my friends.
D Zoomers are the most popular basketball shoes because Sam Locke wears them.

4 Which idea from the passage is an opinion?


F Ray bruised his shoulder. H The Locke is the coolest hairstyle.
G Sam Locke is a basketball player. J Sam Locke drinks Sport-Ade.

5 The most important reason for Ray to be in the announcement is that he can
A get more kids to wear helmets. C fly to Chicago.
B be on television. D meet Sam Locke.

6 Which word suggests that Ray and Sam will try to make a helpful suggestion?
Ray and Sam will __________ kids to wear bike helmets.
F order H lecture
G advise J beg

Directions
Look at the underlined part of each sentence. Choose the answer that shows the correct
capitalization and punctuation for the underlined part. If the underlined part is written
correctly, mark Correct as it is.

7 The doctor said you could have been badly hurt.


A said, you C said, You
B said You D Correct as it is

8 Ray mailed the letter: and Sam Locke received it three days later.
F letter, and H letter; and
G letter. And J Correct as it is

9 Sam Locke lives a few miles from Chicago in Park forest Illinois.
A Park forest, Illinois C park Forest, Illinois
B Park Forest, Illinois D Correct as it is

10 Mrs. Brown, Rays mother, will fly to Chicago with him.


F Rays Mother H Rayss mother
G Rays mother J Correct as it is
SCORE
10

Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources 29
Vocabular y

PRACTICE 6: SAMPLE HINT: Read the whole


paragraph first. Try to
Directions think of a word that fits in
each blank before you
Read the paragraph. For each blank, choose the word
look at the answers.
that best fits in the sentence.

During a thunderstorm, you see lightning before you hear thunder. If you are in the center of the storm,
the thunder immediately (A) the lightning. If the storm is far away, several seconds may pass between
the (B) and the rumble.

A A takes B F rain
B brightens G flash
C creates H clouds
D follows J air

Choose the word that means the opposite Choose the phrase with an underlined
of the underlined word. word that is not spelled correctly. If the
underlined words are all spelled correctly,
C reluctant child mark No mistake.
A helpless
B strong E A with our apreciation
C quiet B in this circumstance
D eager C lengthen the sleeves
D a dedicated woman
Choose the word that best completes E No mistake
both sentences.

D Turn __________ at the corner.


Josey __________ two hours ago.

F right
G around
H left
J finished

30 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
Finding the Answers to Practice 6: Sample
To answer the first two questions, you must look for
clues in the whole paragraph. In question A, the Vocabulary
ocabulary
missing word is answer D, follows. This is the
PRACTICE 6: SAMPLE HINT: Read the whole
best choice because the first sentence says you see paragraph first. Try to
think of a word that fits in
lightning before you hear thunder. For Question B, Directions
Read the paragraph. For each blank, choose the word each blank before you
look at the answers.
the missing word is flash, answer G, because this that best fits in the sentence.

sentence refers to seconds that pass between the During a thunderstorm, you see lightning before you hear thunder. If you are in the center of the storm,
the thunder immediately (A) the lightning. If the storm is far away, several seconds may pass between
flash of lightning and the rumble of thunder. the (B) and the rumble.

A A takes B F rain
B brightens G flash
For question C, you must find the antonym, or C creates H clouds
D follows J air
word that means the opposite, of reluctant. Since
reluctant means unwilling, the word with the
Choose the word that means the opposite Choose the phrase with an underlined
opposite meaning is eager, answer D. of the underlined word. word that is not spelled correctly. If the
underlined words are all spelled correctly,
C reluctant child mark No mistake.
A helpless
Question D is a question about words that have B strong E A with our apreciation
C quiet B in this circumstance
more than one meaning. Each answer choice fits at D eager C lengthen the sleeves
D a dedicated woman
least one of the sentences. You must find the word Choose the word that best completes E No mistake
both sentences.
that completes both sentences correctly. The words
D Turn __________ at the corner.
right and around fit only the first sentence; finished Josey __________ two hours ago.
fits only the second sentence. The correct answer is F right
G around
H, left; it fits both sentences. H left
J finished

In question E, check the spelling of each underlined


word. The words circumstance, lengthen, and
dedicated are spelled correctly. Answer A contains
the misspelled word; the correct spelling of this
word is appreciation. Remember that if all of the 30 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading, Grades 56
Scholastic Professional Books
underlined words are spelled correctly, you should
choose the last answer, No mistake.

REMINDERS: As you take the Practice Test, remember these hints.

To find a word that fits in a sentence, look for clues in the sentence or sentences before
and after the blank.

Try to think of a word that fits in the blank before you look at the answers.

When looking for an antonym, watch out for words that mean the same or almost the same
(such as reluctant and quiet in question C).

For multiple-meaning words, try each answer choice in both sentences to see which one fits best.

In questions about spelling, check each word carefully before choosing an answer.

Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources 31
Vocabular y

PRACTICE 6: TEST

Directions
Choose the word that means the opposite of the underlined word.

1 accurate answer 4 must nourish


A clever F observe
B correct G create
C surprising H starve
D wrong J attend

2 temporary office 5 did persist


F modern A improve
G permanent B recall
H cozy C examine
J messy D stop

3 abrupt change 6 gallant act


A gradual F amusing
B small G cowardly
C helpful H expected
D necessary J tender

32 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
Directions
Read each paragraph. For each numbered blank, choose the word that best fits in the sentence.

Hank was wondering why he had ever agreed to camp out with his friends. It was a hot night, and the
mosquitoes were (7) . The ground (8) his sleeping bag was so hard he could not get comfortable.
Now the other boys were telling scary (9) , and Hank was getting nervous. He wished he could just
pack up and leave, but he knew the other boys would (10) him. Just then Hank noticed a small
(11) at the edge of the campsite. He jumped to his feet and shouted, SKUNK! Hank ran toward
home as (12) as he could go, and his friends were right behind him.

7 A watching 10 F help
B biting G check
C resting H forget
D leaving J tease

8 F within 11 A tree
G near B rock
H beneath C animal
J from D tent

9 A stories 12 F neatly
B noises G swiftly
C faces H cleverly
D costumes J often

You probably know lots of ways to recycle cans, bottles, and plastic bags. But can you think of a new
(13) for a jet that is too old to fly? Jo Ann Ussery can. When an ice storm (14) Jo Anns home,
she had to find a new place to live. She bought an old jet and had it trucked to her (15) beside a lake
in western Mississippi. Then she removed the passenger seats and replaced them with her own (16) .
Jo Anns house is unusual, but she loves it.

13 A fuel 15 A property
B use B flight
C pilot C design
D color D vehicle

14 F approached 16 F luggage
G formed G friends
H destroyed H stairs
J passed J furniture

Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources 33
Directions Directions
Choose the word that best completes Choose the phrase with an underlined word that
both sentences. is not spelled correctly. If the underlined words
are all spelled correctly, mark No mistake.
17 Sarah began to __________ the clay with
her hands. 21 A this historick day
B an affectionate greeting
That bread is covered with __________.
C a music recital
A shape D all the delegates
B pinch E No mistake
C mold
D crust 22 F a reasonable amount
G the new technique
18 Dad will __________ the apple trees H a marble sculpture
tomorrow. J todays bulletin
K No mistake
Have you ever eaten a __________?
F water 23 A a continuous line
G spray B did not oppose
H prune C in preperation for
J plum D on the frontier
E No mistake
19 We climbed to the top of the __________.
24 F such an annoyance
Sean tried to __________ but did not G became more confedint
fool anyone. H her unique idea
J a peculiar smell
A cliff
K No mistake
B bluff
C pretend
D hill 25 A in comparison to
B a genuine apology
C after the operation
20 As the swimmer tired, she began
D reading the journil
to __________.
E No mistake
Kevin caught a large __________.
F flounder
G cold
H fish
J trout

SCORE
25

34 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
READING TEST
Directions
Read each passage. Choose the best answer to each question, or write your answer on the lines.

Eriks First Job


Erik was jealous of his sister Martha because she was 13 and had started to baby-sit. She boasted about
how much the kids loved her.
Mitchell cries whenever I put him down, she would say with a smirk. Candace and Kelly told their
mom they dont want anyone else but me to baby-sit for them.
They must be insane, Erik would growl.
Martha also loved to show off about how grown-up and responsible she was.
Let me just check my special baby-sitting calendar, Mrs. Garcia, she would say over the telephone.
Yes, I do seem to be available on the evening of the 15th.
Gee, Martha, Erik would comment sarcastically, I wonder what Mrs. Garcia would think if she
could see you making faces at me while youre talking to her!
But most irritating of all was the way Martha always made sure Erik knew how much money she
had earned.
Thirty-five dollars just last weekend, she would gloat, fanning the bills in front of her cash-starved
younger brother.
One summer morning, Erik went out for the newspaper. Mrs. Yee, a neighbor, strolled by with her
dog Chuck.
Erik, I wonder if you can help me. Im going to Alaska for my sons wedding. Im taking Chuck to the
kennel, but I need someone to water my garden.
Minutes later, Erik had the job. He had to water Mrs. Yees garden once a week
for three weeks, unless there was a heavy rain. She gave him written
instructions, a map of her backyard with practically
every plant drawn and labeled, and a phone number
where she could be reached in Alaska. Erik thought
she was overdoing her concern, but she was also
paying him generously: $15.00!
The first week Mrs. Yee was away, it rained on Tuesday.
This job was going to be even easier than Erik had thought!
At the end of the week, his mother asked him if he had
remembered to water the garden.
I dont need to, he replied. It rained, dont
you remember?
That was just a sprinkle, his mother explained.
Mrs. Yee was referring to a real, soaking
downpour.

Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources 35
Okay, okay, muttered Erik as he headed out the door.
The second week, Eriks friend Philip invited him to go camping. When Erik asked his mom for
permission, she frowned.
Have you forgotten your job? she asked. Its an important responsibility, Erik, and it is your
responsibility, not mine. This is the last time I am going to remind you.
The third week, the weather was very hot and very dry. Erik went swimming every day and tried to
ignore the fact that it was almost time to go back to school. On Saturday morning, Erik woke with a
horrible feeling in his stomach. Mrs. Yee was coming home on Sunday, and he had forgotten to water her
garden all week. Still wearing his pajamas, he dashed down the street and into his one and only
employers backyard. He checked flower after flower; all of them seemed to have survived. But when he
reached the row of newly planted roses, Eriks heart sank. The white rose in the center had shriveled and
died. Sadly, he looked at the round tag that dangled from the dead plant. It said, Pearl Beauty$13.95.
There was only one solution. He borrowed $15.00 from Martha Moneybags, rode his bike to Doms
Garden Center, and bought the last Pearl Beauty rose in stock.
At dinner that night, Eriks father said, Its too bad you wont end up earning anything on the job,
but you did the right thing.
Erik nodded glumly.
Martha gave her brother a thoughtful glance. I have to baby-sit for the Gleasons tomorrow night.
You know how the Gleasons have four kids?
Yes, sighed Erik. Martha was going to show off again, just when he had been such a failure. You
always brag about how much they love you and what good cookies Mr. Gleason bakes and how big the
TV is!
What I havent said is how hard I have to work when I go there, said Martha. If its okay with
Mrs. Gleason, would you like to come along and be my assistant this time? Id split the pay with you
fifty-fifty.
You would? said Erik in amazement.

1 Based on the story, which word pair best fits in this sentence?
For most of this story, Erik seems __________, while Martha seems __________.
A boastful . . . humble
B generous . . . greedy
C thoughtless . . . responsible
D confident . . . shy

2 Eriks main reason for wanting a job was to


F earn money.
G impress his friends.
H have something interesting to do.
J get a special calendar.

36 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
3 Where does this story take place?
A in an apartment building C at a campground
B on a farm D in a suburban neighborhood

4 At the end of the story, you can predict that Erik will
F laugh at his sisters offer.
G tell Martha that he wants all the money for the job.
H go to Mrs. Yees and tell her what happened.
J baby-sit with his sister for the Gleasons.

5 Which of these events happened last?


A Erik went camping with his friend Philip.
B Erik rode his bike to the garden center.
C Eriks mother reminded him that he had a job.
D Erik ran down the street in his pajamas.

6 The story says, Let me just check my special baby-sitting calendar. Which meaning
of check is used here?
F a pattern of small squares H a piece of paper used to pay bills
G to examine carefully J to stop

7 On the day before Mrs. Yee returned home, Erik went to Doms Garden Center to
A buy his mother a rose like Mrs. Yees.
B get a present for Mrs. Yees daughters wedding.
C replace the rose that had died when he failed to water it.
D get his sister a present so she would treat him better.

8 If Erik starts getting his own baby-sitting jobs soon, what kind of baby-sitter do you
think he will be?
F He will always show up on time and do a perfect job.
G He will sometimes forget a job but offer to make up for it by baby-sitting for free.
H He will frequently forget to show up and refuse to apologize.
J He will frequently turn down jobs because he doesnt care about money.

9 What does Erik most likely think of his sister at the end of this story?
A She is more thoughtful than he realized.
B She is lazy.
C She is always looking out for herself rather than for others.
D She doesnt usually tell the truth.

10 Name two or three ways in which Erik is different from Martha.

Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources 37
Directions
Choose the word or words that best complete(s) each sentence.

11 To Erik, washing dishes was the __________ job in the world.


A worse
B worstest
C worst
D most worse

12 When Mrs. Yee got back, __________ probably noticed the new rosebush.
F her
G he
H she
J you

Directions
Read this story about one of Marthas baby-sitting adventures. Then answer questions 13 and 14.

(1) One evening Martha was baby-sitting for the Cohens. (2) Martha lived on North Harrison Street.
(3) The three children were watching a movie on TV, and they wanted popcorn. ____________________
(4) When she returned, the children were gone! (5) For a moment, Martha panicked. (6) This was
terrible! (7) But then she heard a soft giggle coming from inside the hall closet.

13 Which sentence best fits in the blank to complete the story?


A Martha went into the kitchen to get some popcorn.
B Bedtime for the children was eight oclock.
C Martha did not really like popcorn.
D None of the children had ever been lost before.

14 Which sentence does not belong in this paragraph?


F Sentence 1
G Sentence 2
H Sentence 3
J Sentence 4

38 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
Jobs Wanted
The number one job for most kids is going to school and trying to
reach their full learning potential. However, many kids enjoy other kinds of jobs
as welljobs that have earning potential!
Im going to give you some great ideas about ways to earn extra
money in your free time. But before I start talking about specific jobs, I want
you to listen to what I say next. Your safety is more important
than your savings. Some jobs involve entering the home or
backyard of your customer. You should never work for anyone
until a parent or other responsible adult has first made sure
that person is trustworthy.
Start your job hunt by asking yourself some questions.
Do you have any special interests, such as animals,
gardening, crafts, or cooking? Would you rather work
inside or outside? How much free time do you have?
Would you prefer performing a service (such as grooming
pets) or selling a product (such as homemade note cards)?
Next, think of a level of responsibility that fits your age and
experience. While an adult probably wouldnt hire someone your age to watch her kids while she went out
for the evening, she might hire you to help play with the kids so she could get some work done around the
house. An 11-year-old wouldnt be hired to cater a wedding, but he or she might be asked to bake some
cookies for a party.
Some job opportunities for fifth and sixth graders might be shoveling snow and raking leaves. You could
make money and have fun by walking dogs, making and selling simple jewelry, or gift-wrapping presents.
Maybe you could decorate cakes, help out at little kids birthday parties, raise and sell houseplants, or sell
homemade T-shirts.
Once you have picked your job, figure out what to charge for your work. Look into the prices of similar
products or services in your area. Figure out your expenses, and then set a fair price. Buy any supplies you
will need for that first job. Ask friends and neighbors if they are interested in hiring you, and ask if they can
recommend friends or relatives who might also be interested.
Once you get a job, do your best! Try to dress neatly, always show up on time, and be friendly and polite.
Make sure you and your customer agree on exactly what your job involves. (Are you supposed to take the
puppy around the block once or twice?)
Youll have the satisfaction of a job well done and money in your pocket. Try to put a chunk of each
payment in a savings account. Youll be thrilled at how your earnings add up!

Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources 39
15 Which is another good title for this passage?
A The World of Careers
B Fun for Kids
C The Hunt for a Job
D How Kids Can Make Money

16 Which detail from the passage best supports the idea that kids can get paid for doing things
they enjoy?
F Your safety is more important than your savings.
G How much free time do you have?
H An 1 1-year-old wouldnt be hired to cater a wedding.
J You could make money and have fun by walking dogs.

17 Which statement is an opinion?


A The number one job for most kids is going to school.
B Kids cant usually earn as much money as adults can.
C Look into similar products or services in your area.
D Taking care of pets is the best job in the world.

18 The author addresses the reader as you and says things like, I want you to listen to what
I say next in order to
F pretend that he or she is a kid.
G sound serious and important.
H make the reader feel involved in a conversation.
J force the reader to take the authors advice.

19 To find information about jobs in your community, you should look in


A an encyclopedia.
B a newspaper.
C a dictionary.
D an atlas.

20 Find the sentence that is complete and is written correctly.


F Kids at our school sell wrapping paper.
G Making money by selling lemonade.
H Three chores to do on Saturdays.
J Working for your parents.

40 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
Mr. X and Mrs. Y
Mr. X went to work at a bank every day.
His suit was brown, his expression was gray.
As he drove into work, his heart sank like a stone.
I wish it were over, the poor man would moan.
All day he signed papers and added up sums.
He stared at the clock and twiddled his thumbs.
At the end of the month he was paid a huge fee,
And he tried hard to smile, and he said, Lucky me!
He listed the things that his salary bought
But dreamed of his freedom and got lost in thought.
His kids watched him worry and grumble and grump,
And they secretly hoped they would never grow up!

Mrs. Y had a job as a traveling clown,


With her wig and red nose she drove all over town.
At parties, in classrooms, she made children giggle;
She talked with a lisp, she walked with a wiggle.
She held a fake daisy that squirted out water;
She carried a horn and a jumbo flyswatter.
She tripped over cobwebs and rolled like a ball.
She performed in Town Square and performed at the mall.
Her pay was quite modest, but her grin was immense.
She said she was lucky to live on nonsense.
Her kids watched her juggle with fire and food
And thought to be grown up would be very good!

Stacey Sparks

Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources 41
21 Mr. Ys heart sank like a stone means that he
A was mean and hard-hearted.
B had problems with his health.
C felt sad.
D sat low in his seat.

22 What was Mr. Ys main problem?


F He was bored by his job.
G He needed more money.
H He didnt get along with his kids.
J He hated driving.

23 Which sentence best expresses the theme of this poem?


A Childhood is the happiest time of life.
B Being a clown is not an appropriate job for an adult.
C Mr. X cares only about money.
D Having fun is more important than being rich.

24 Name one way in which Mr. X and Mrs. Y are alike and one way in which they
are different.

Directions
Choose the word that best completes each sentence.

25 The banker and the clown enjoyed __________ at the party.


A theirselves
B theyselves
C theirself
D themselves

26 One of the new employees __________ a tall man named Fred.


F were
G was
H are
J been

42 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
Superstar
Venus Williams was born in Compton, California, on June
17, 1980, the fourth daughter of Richard and Oracene
Williams. From the beginning, her father made a prediction:
she would be a tennis champion.
Life in Compton wasnt easy. Gunshots from gang warfare
sometimes sounded in the background as Venus and her
younger sister Serena, coached by their father, played tennis
every day on a run-down public court. But Venus was
confident. Her mother always said, You can do anything you
want. Nothing is unattainable.
It takes more than confidence, though, to become one of
the top tennis players in the country; it takes talent. Venus
had that from the start. When she was only eight years old,
she ran the mile in five and a half minutes. She started to play
tennis at age four, and by the age of 12 she had won 63 games
and lost none on the junior tennis circuit. Her father always
insisted she keep the game in perspective. The goal was to
win, but also to have fun.
People noticed Venuss talent, but they doubted she would be a success. How could she? Her main
coach was her father, who had no background in tennis. She also wasnt allowed to play as much as
other young players were. Her father limited her playing time so that she could do well in school.
Venus wasnt bothered by doubt. The tall girl with braces and braids just grinned and echoed her
fathers prediction. She and her little sister would be the two best players in the world one day.
Venus Williams turned professional at age 14. She reached the finals of the U.S. Open at age 17. By
the age of 18 she was ranked 12th in the world, and just a year later, she was ranked third. Before
turning 20, she had made millions of dollars in prize money and millions more in product endorsements.
So far, none of this has fazed the six-foot-two athlete with the 127-mile-per-hour serve. Speaking for
herself and Serena, she says, Were showing that were capable of doing what we always said we
would. Shes also still having a lot of fun.

Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources 43
27 What kind of selection is this?
A biography C folktale
B realistic fiction D science article

28 From this passage, you can conclude that Venus


F has little faith in her younger sisters abilities.
G cares about nothing except winning at tennis.
H secretly wished to be something other than a tennis player.
J was inspired to succeed by both of her parents.

29 Which of these events occurred last?


A Venus turned professional.
B Venus reached the finals of the U.S. Open.
C Venus ran a mile in under six minutes.
D Venus won her 63rd game on the junior circuit.

30 Which is the best summary of this passage?


F Venus Williams has become a champion tennis player, as her father predicted she would.
G Venus Williams and her sister Serena learned to play tennis.
H Richard and Oracene Williams had five daughters, two of whom play tennis.
J Many female tennis champions today are fairly young.

31 Which sentence is written correctly?


A Serena Williams also a powerful tennis player.
B Serena Williams playing tennis powerfully, too.
C Serena Williams is a tennis player she is powerful too.
D Serena Williams is also a powerful tennis player.

32 Which sentence is correctly capitalized and punctuated?


F Venus Williams, a tennis player, also loves to surf.
G Venus please serve the ball to your opponent.
H Venus is being interviewed, the reporter is from Australia.
J Venuses older sisters are Yetunde, Isha, and Lyndrea.

44 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
Switching Jobs
a retelling of a Swedish folktale

Once there was an old married couple. The man worked in the forest chopping wood, while his wife took
care of the house. Every morning the old man left the house grumbling about how lucky his wife was
to stay behind, and every night he complained about how hard he had labored while
she was enjoying herself all day.
Finally, the old woman lost her temper. Fine! she exclaimed.
Tomorrow lets switch jobs. Ill go out and chop wood, and you
can do my jobs at home.
The old man agreed to the trade, confident that he was getting
the better deal.
The next morning the old woman marched out of the house,
carrying her husbands axe. Before she disappeared into the forest, she reminded her husband to bake the
bread, keep an eye on the cow, and cook some greens for dinner.
Whistling, the old man started a fire in the oven and put the bread in to bake. Then he fetched the cow
from the barn and took her up to the pasture to graze. Lazily, he sat in the sun and reflected about how easy
his wifes life was. Suddenly, he remembered the bread. He couldnt leave the cow alone in the pasture while
he took it out of the oven, but she didnt want to stop eating the grass. He had to tug on her rope the whole
way home, and by the time he got there, the bread was burned to a crisp.
It was time to cook the greens, but how could he be outside with the cow and inside cooking at the same
time? The old man got a brilliant idea. In Sweden, where he and his wife lived, some of the houses have
roofs made of sod, which is earth with grass growing out of it. The old man put the cow on the roof of the
cottage to graze. Then he took the rope that was tied to her halter, flung it down the chimney, ran inside,
and grasped the other end of the rope to keep the cow from running away. But before he could light the fire,
the cow slipped off the roof and the old man shot up the chimney.
Just then the old woman arrived home, a huge pile of wood on her back.
Seeing her cow hanging from the roof, she took the axe and freed the poor
beast. There was a loud thunk from inside, so she ran in to find her
husband lying bruised and dirty in the fireplace. He entreated her to
let him return to his work in the forest.
Never again will I complain, he promised, or say you have it easy.
You are a genius, wife, a genius, to manage this crazy household the way
you do!

33 Write a brief summary of what happens in this story.

Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources 45
34 Why did the old woman trade jobs with her husband?
F Her husband was not very good at cutting wood.
G The old man was a better cook than she was.
H She got tired of her husbands complaints.
J She wanted to learn to cut wood.

35 The story says, He entreated her to let him return to his work. What does
entreated mean?
A ordered C begged
B trusted D dreamed

36 What conclusion can you draw about the wifes day in the forest?
F She grumbled all day about how hard she had to work.
G She had a successful days work.
H She had as much trouble in the forest as her husband did at home.
J She secretly rested all day.

37 Which sentence is written correctly?


A Either the man or his wife watch the cow while it grazes.
B The woman had just began to knead the bread dough.
C All of the sod were eaten by the cow.
D The jobs will be divided fairly in the future.

38 Find the sentence that best combines these two sentences into one.
The husbands job was hard.
His wifes job was even more difficult.
F The husbands job was hard, but his wifes job was harder.
G The wifes job was harder than the husband.
H The husband and the wife had jobs that were hard and harder.
J The husbands job was hard the wifes was hard too.

Directions
For numbers 39 and 40, choose the sentence that is written correctly and shows the correct
capitalization and punctuation.

39 A Aunt Julia bought me a volume of swedish folktales.


B Hans Christian Andersen wrote a short story called The Little Mermaid.
C This tale features giants, ogres, goblins, and talking birds.
D I like American tall tales said James.

40 F The Harry Potter books were written by j.k. rowling.


G The first book was released on June 20 1997.
H Harry lived at 4 Privet Drive in the town of Little Whinging.
J He met several students while shopping in london, england.
SCORE
40

46 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources
Answer Key
Getting the Main Idea Making Inferences
PRACTICE 1: TEST PRACTICE 3: TEST
1. B 1. D
2. H 2. G
3. D 3. A
4. F 4. H
5. D 5. D
6. H 6. G
7. C 7. Example: At first they thought Grandmas
8. Example: Evelyn Glennie is a great musician idea of using soap to keep the deer away from
who plays percussion instruments. She is also the garden was silly. After they tried it, they
deaf. realized it worked.
9. C 8. H
10. G 9. B
1 1. A 10. H
12. H 1 1. A
12. G

Understanding Texts
PRACTICE 2: TEST Reading Literature
1. D PRACTICE 4: TEST
2. J 1. C
3. C 2. G
4. H 3. A
5. A 4. F
6. J 5. C
7. B 6. J
8. Examples: Poison ivy usually has three 7. D
leaves on each stem; the leaves turn a bright 8. Example: There were too many shoemakers in
red-orange color in the fall; poison ivy contains the city, so no one bought Jacobs shoes.
an oil called urushiol; it causes rashes and When two mice chewed holes in all his shoes,
itching in most people. he sold the shoes as sandals.
9. C 9. D
10. G 10. F
1 1. B 1 1. A
12. F 12. G

Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources 47
Answer Key (continued)
Making Judgments 3. D
PRACTICE 5: TEST 4. J
1. A 5. B
2. G 6. G
3. D 7. C
4. H 8. G
5. A 9. A
6. G 10. Example: He is younger than Martha; he doesnt
7. C make as much money; he has no regular jobs; he
8. F is not as conscientious or responsible.
9. B 1 1. C
10. J 12. H
13. A
14. G
Vocabulary 15. D
PRACTICE 6: TEST 16. J
1. D 17. D
2. G 18. H
3. A 19. B
4. H 20. F
5. D 2 1. C
6. G 22. F
7. B 23. D
8. H 24. Examples: Both Mr. X and Mrs. Y have jobs,
9. A and both have kids. Mr. X is unhappy with his
10. J job, but Mrs. Y loves her work.
1 1. C 25. D
12. G 26. G
13. B 27. A
14. H 28. J
15. A 29. B
16. J 30. F
17. C 3 1. D
18. H 32. F
19. B 33. Example: A husband complains that his wife
20. F has it easy, so they switch jobs. She cuts a load
2 1. A of wood, and he finds that her job is much
22. K harder than he thought.
23. C 34. H
24. G 35. C
25. D 36. G
37. D
READING TEST 38. F
1. C 39. C
2. F 40. H

48 Standardized Test Skill Builders for Reading: Grades 5-6 MWP, Scholastic Teaching Resources