PTE Reading multiple choice choose single answer type assesses reading skills of the candidates. Here the practice questions have been provided for students reference. In this type, the students have to read and analyze a short paragraph and answer the question mainly related to the conclusion or the main or central idea of the passage.

The main or central idea of the passage is the purpose with which the author wrote the passage. And the conclusion is the author’s opinion or belief. So whatever has been asked in the question, do read it carefully as it will tell you what exactly you need to find in the passage. Before the recording begins, quickly skim the question and answer options.

While reading the text, focus on the keywords as it will help you find the answer more quickly. Always look for signals or indicators of the author’s opinion. This way you will spend less time reading the whole text again and again.

PTE Academic Reading – Multiple Choice, Choose Single Answer Practice Questions With Answer Key & Explanation

1. Mutation breeding is a method of crop development that requires breeders to first find plants that randomly display the traits researchers are looking for, and then breed those plants with other plants displaying similar traits. In order to bring about the required mutations, researchers bombard plants with thermal neutrons, x-rays, and known carcinogenic chemicals in order to damage the plant’s DNA. Today, almost all varieties of wheat grown commercially are products of mutation breeding. Ironically, when scientists discovered how to splice desirable genes directly into the plants, thus avoiding the use of harmful chemicals and radiation, critics derided the new process as potentially dangerous despite the lack of any supporting evidence, resulting in boycotts and bans on genetically modified foods.

Which of the following most accurately summarizes the opinion of the author in the text?

(A) Genetically modified food may have been unfairly stigmatized by its critics.
(B) Mutation breeding produces safer food than does genetic modification.
(C) Foods produced by genetic modification are healthier than foods produced by mutation breeding.
(D) Researchers should stop using mutation breeding in order to modify foods.

[expand title=”ANSWER KEY & EXPLANATION”]
Option (A) is the correct sentence that most accurately summarizes the opinion of the author in the text. The initial sentences of the text do not state the opinion of the author. It rather talked about the method of mutation breeding. “Ironically” in the 4th sentence represents a paradoxical situation and describes how the author feels. The author feels that despite any supporting evidence, genetically modified foods are banned whereas mutation breeding using harmful chemicals and radiation is used for almost all varieties of wheat grown commercially.

(A) Correct Answer: Genetically modified food may have been unfairly stigmatized by its critics.
Explanation: This response is correct as “ironically” suggests that author believes in unfairly stigmatized by critics towards genetically modified food.

(B) Incorrect: Mutation breeding produces safer food than does genetic modification.
Explanation: The 2nd line mention use of “carcinogenic chemicals” in the process of mutation breeding so this response is exactly opposite of what author argues.

(C) Incorrect: Foods produced by genetic modification are healthier than foods produced by mutation breeding.
Explanation: The author does not really talk about the health of food products in the text so this response is incorrect.

(D) Incorrect: Researchers should stop using mutation breeding in order to modify foods.
Explanation: This response is incorrect as the author has not talked about the ban on mutation breeding in the text.[/expand]

2. While new census data reveals that unemployment numbers are even direr than was previously suspected, it is not clear that the forecast for American entrepreneurship is equally alarming. An article in a major national newspaper suggests that the contraction in hiring at existing companies might result in more new companies being founded. College graduates, unable to find traditional jobs, instead opt to start their own businesses. Where a recession may seem an unpropitious time for such a historically risky endeavor, with no better options, would-be entrepreneurs have little to lose. Unfortunately, this situation does not necessarily impact the economy positively. Though the average number of new businesses started per year has been higher during the recession than it was before, the proportion of high-value businesses founded each year has declined. So even if a business manages to stay solvent, it may not bring significant returns. Also, because of an inevitable dearth of angel investors and venture capitalists, many new entrepreneurs are putting their own money on the line. In certain ways, the choice between accepting a traditional job and starting a business is not unlike the choice between renting and buying property. The latter requires a significant initial outlay and carries heavier risks, but the rewards can be equally substantial.

What point is the writer making in this paragraph?

(A) Propose changes in the way the public generally interprets census data.
(B) Maintain that college students should form their own companies, especially during economic recessions.
(C) Present a nuanced view of a contemporary economic issue.
(D) Evaluate the viability of low-versus high-value businesses under various environmental conditions.

[expand title=”ANSWER KEY & EXPLANATION”]
Option (C) is the point that writer wants to convey in the paragraph. According to the passage, many college graduates are opening up their own business or choose to launch their own companies as they are unable to find traditional jobs. And in such economic climate, the number of high-value businesses founded per year declines.

(A) Incorrect: Propose changes in the way the public generally interprets census data.
Explanation: The paragraph is not about how the public interprets the census data and the writer is not suggesting any change in the view.

(B) Incorrect: Maintain that college students should form their own companies, especially during economic recessions.
Explanation: The writer does not suggest to form a company during the recession but does maintain that “recession may seem an unpropitious time” to students to form their own company.

(C) Correct Answer: Present a nuanced view of a contemporary economic issue.
Explanation: “Unfortunately, this situation does not necessarily impact the economy positively” and many other points suggests that the writer has presented his view on contemporary economic issues.

(D) Incorrect: Evaluate the viability of low-versus high-value businesses under various environmental conditions.
Explanation: The paragraph is no way evaluated between low and high-value businesses.[/expand]

3. During the 1930s Depression, many Americans, nearly helpless against forces they didn’t understand, made heroes of outlaws who took what they wanted at gunpoint. Of all the lurid desperadoes, one man, John Herbert Dillinger, came to evoke this Gangster Era and stirred mass emotion to a degree rarely seen in this country. Dillinger, whose name once dominated the headlines, was a notorious and vicious thief. From September 1933 until July 1934, he and his violent gang terrorized the Midwest, killing 10 men, wounding 7 others, robbing banks and police arsenals, and staging 3 jail breaks—killing a sheriff during one and wounding 2 guards in another.

Which of the following most accurately summarizes the opinion of the author in the text?

(A) The author blames the Depression for creating heroes like Dillinger.
(B) The author agrees with the public’s opinion that people like Dillinger were heroes.
(C) The author feels the public was misled about people like Dillinger and so turned them into heroes.
(D) The author does not think the public should have turned people like Dillinger into heroes.

[expand title=”ANSWER KEY & EXPLANATION”]
Option (D) is the correct sentence that most accurately summarizes the opinion of the author in the text. In the passage, the author talked about the persons who had broken the law and remains at large. The author gave an example of John Herbert Dillinger who dominated that era with many killings, robbery and jail breaks.

(A) Incorrect: The author blames the Depression for creating heroes like Dillinger.
Explanation: This response is incorrect because the passage does not blame depression for the situation.

(B) Incorrect: The author agrees with the public’s opinion that people like Dillinger were heroes.
Explanation: This response in incorrect. The writer uses the phrase “made heroes of outlaws” to refer to Dillinger. The text does not agree public’s opinion.

(C) Incorrect: The author feels the public was misled about people like Dillinger and so turned them into heroes.
Explanation: This response is incorrect.

(D) Correct Answer: The author does not think the public should have turned people like Dillinger into heroes.
Explanation: This response is correct because the writer feels people should not make the person like “heroes of outlaws” and “lurid desperadoes” into heroes.[/expand]

4. Martha and Mary were identical twin sisters in our high school class. They didn’t dress identically, but they did share and exchange clothes, so it could be difficult to tell them apart without observing their behavior or conversing with them. As identical as they looked, they had quite different personalities. While both were soft‐spoken, Martha would sometimes volunteer information or an experience relevant to the subject in class, while Mary never did. Martha was more social and outgoing. She both enjoyed and was serious about acting, and appeared in several school plays. Mary was more retiring, preferring reading, knitting, and listening to music. While they were very pretty, the twins did not date, but for different reasons. Martha had such high standards that no boy in high school was acceptable, and she preferred to wait for the greater variety of choices she would find in college. Mary, on the other hand, was too shy to talk to boys much in high school. College life helped her gain social confidence.

What is the primary purpose of this passage?

(A) To compare and contrast the personalities of twin sisters.
(B) To chronicle the developmental growth of identical twins.
(C) To describe vividly so readers feel they know both sisters.
(D) To support the argument that nature outweighs nurture.

[expand title=”ANSWER KEY & EXPLANATION”]
Option (A) is the correct choice as it rightly conveys the primary purpose of the passage. The author through the passage has described twin sisters, Martha and Mary. They were alike in some things and different in others.

(A) Correct Answer: To compare and contrast the personalities of twin sisters.
Explanation: The writer by describing both sisters traits and characteristics, compare and contrast their personalities so (A) is the correct choice.

(B) Incorrect: To chronicle the developmental growth of identical twins.
Explanation: The passage does not outline the occurrence of their development.

(C) Incorrect: To describe vividly so readers feel they know both sisters.
Explanation: The writer described both sisters in terms of similarities and differences. The paragraph does not outline their traits in details so the readers do not feel like if they know both sisters.

(D) Incorrect: To support the argument that nature outweighs nurture.
Explanation: The writer nowhere argues that nature outweighs nurture.[/expand]

5. It might seem illogical that the development of modern currency rests on a scientific discovery, but the invention of the “touchstone” allowed ancient societies to create a standard by which valuable metals could be judged. In its most basic form, a touchstone is any dark, finely grained stone upon which soft metals leave trace. When rubbed, a process known as “Probing” precious metal alloy cleaves to the stone leaving a strip. The colour of the strip (which reveals the percentage of its content that is base metal) can then be compared to a stripe of a known grade of standard alloy. Despite its primitiveness, this probing process allowed merchants to examine alloys quickly and with reasonable certainty. Though civilizations were using gold and silver currencies as early as 500 B.C., coins were easily forged or diluted with less valuable metals, such as tin or lead. The invention and popularization of the touchstone ensured that pure gold and silver could become a standard expression of value.

What is the primary purpose of this passage?

(A) Demonstrate that science can influence non scientific progress.
(B) Underline the touchstone’s importance in the history of currency.
(C) Explain how the touchstone is able to measure the purity of an alloy.
(D) Explore the etymology of the word “touchstone”.

[expand title=”ANSWER KEY & EXPLANATION”]
Option (B) is the correct choice. In this passage, the author described ‘touchstone’ and how it is able to measure the purity of an alloy. Overall, outlined the importance of touchstone in the history of currency.

(A) Incorrect: Demonstrate that science can influence non scientific progress.
Explanation: The author nowhere demonstrated that ‘science can influence non scientific progress’.

(B) Correct Answer: Underline the touchstone’s importance in the history of currency.
Explanation: With an example of measuring purity, advances in probing process and adulteration in the coins, the author wants to convey the importance of touchstone through this passage.

(C) Incorrect: Explain how the touchstone is able to measure the purity of an alloy.
Explanation: The author gave a detailed example of ‘how the touchstone is able to measure the purity of an alloy’ in the paragraph and do not outline the main idea.

(D) Incorrect: Explore the etymology of the word “touchstone”.
Explanation: The author does not specify the origin of the word ‘touchstone’ and the historical development of its meaning in the passage.[/expand]

6. In The Federalist Number Ten, James Madison forewarned against the dangers of factions—groups of people with a common interest adverse to the overall good of the nation, what today are referred to as “special interest groups.” Madison described two hypothetical ways to check a faction: Either eliminate the causes or mitigate the effects of the faction. To eliminate the causes, the government would either have to make all people perfectly equal, an impossible goal, or take away people’s liberty and thus defeat the purpose of having a republican form of government. Madison argued, alternatively, for ameliorating the effects of factions by enlarging the population of the country and thus diluting their influence. If there are a sufficient number of diverse peoples, it will be difficult for a majority to share a common interest at the same time.

Which of the following most accurately summarizes the opinion of the author in the text?

(A) Madison solved the problem of factions in the United States.
(B) Madison thought that the best solution was to make all citizens equal.
(C) Madison analyzed the effects of increased population.
(D) Madison considered more than one way to constrain factions.

[expand title=”ANSWER KEY & EXPLANATION”]
Option (D) is the most accurate statement that can be inferred from the passage. In the passage, James Madison believes it is necessary to check a faction and considered factions to be detrimental to the common welfare. Madison also described two hypothetical ways to check a faction.

(A) Incorrect: Madison solved the problem of factions in the United States.
Explanation: Madison suggested two hypothetical ways check a faction and not really solved the problem.

(B) Incorrect: Madison thought that the best solution was to make all citizens equal.
Explanation: “an impossible goal” counters the view presented in the sentence.

(C) Incorrect: Madison analyzed the effects of increased population.
Explanation: Madison argued for the reform of factions with increased population but does not really analyzed ‘the effects’.

(D) Correct Answer: Madison considered more than one way to constrain factions.
Explanation: Madison described two hypothetical ways to check a faction so definitely considered more than one way to constrain factions.[/expand]

7. Historically, sociologists have presumed that people will attribute certain characteristics to a member of a particular group when it is generally believed that most members of that group possess the characteristics in questions. For sociologists Hepburn and Locksley, such social stereotyping has led to the broader question of whether people are cognizant of their own stereotyping behavior. Seemingly, if one knows that one holds a stereotypical notion such as “all members of a certain ethnic group are natural musicians” then one might also be aware that the notion that “a particular musician” is a corollary of that stereotype. However, people are most aware of their stereotyping when they have no information. When given information that conforms to their beliefs and the individual case observed, people become less aware of their tendency to stereotype and therefore more liked to engage in stereotyping.

What is the lecture mainly about?

(A) investigations into stereotyping and an awareness of stereotyping by individuals
(B) an examination of the relative truths behind well known stereotypes
(C) an attempt to prove that stereotypes are a result of ignorance
(D) a refutation of a broader question surrounding stereotypes

[expand title=”ANSWER KEY & EXPLANATION”]
Option (A) is the correct choice. The passage gives a historical overview of stereotypes and delves into two investigators study i.e “Hepburn” and “Locksley”. Their study investigates whether people are aware of their own stereotyping behavior and to what extent.

(A) Correct Answer: investigations into stereotyping and an awareness of stereotyping by individuals
Explanation: By far option (A) is the most accurate summary of what the lecture is mainly about. The passage gives a historical overview of stereotypes and the practice of stereotyping by individuals.

(B) Incorrect: an examination of the relative truths behind well known stereotypes
Explanation: The author nowhere in the passage mentions about the relative truths behind well-known stereotypes.

(C) Incorrect: an attempt to prove that stereotypes are a result of ignorance
Explanation: The writer has not attempted to prove anything in the passage.

(D) Incorrect: a refutation of a broader question surrounding stereotypes
Explanation: In the passage, the author outlined the backdrop for Hepburn and Locksley’s study and not attempted to refute anything.[/expand]

8. Just by looking at images of Earth from space, it’s clear that the ocean is a significant piece of the Earth’s story. In fact, the ocean represents over 70% of the Earth’s surface and contains 97% of all water on Earth. The ocean stores heat like a “fly wheel” for climate. Its huge capacity as a heat and water reservoir moderates the climate of Earth. Within this Earth system, both the physical and biological processes of the ocean play a key role in the water cycle, the carbon cycle, and climate variability. Even if you live nowhere near the ocean, you will still experience the ocean’s influence in our Earth system.

What point is the writer making in this paragraph?

(A) The ocean plays a vital role in life on earth.
(B) The ocean is only a minor part of the life cycle on earth.
(C) The ocean only influences the lives of people living near it.
(D) The ocean plays no part in the earth’s climate.

[expand title=”ANSWER KEY & EXPLANATION”]
Option (A) is the correct choice. The author outlines the importance of the ocean in life on earth. It play a key role in the water cycle, the carbon cycle, and climate variability.

(A) Correct Answer: The ocean plays a vital role in life on earth.
Explanation: This response is correct because, in the author’s opinion, the ocean plays a vital role in life on earth.

(B) Incorrect: The ocean is only a minor part of the life cycle on earth.
Explanation: This response in incorrect. The author uses the phrase “significant piece” to describe the major role of the ocean in “Earth’s story”. So this statement contradicts statements made in the article. Clearly, it is not the correct choice.

(C) Incorrect: The ocean only influences the lives of people living near it.
Explanation: This response is incorrect because it contradicts author’s fact presented in the last line of the passage “Even if you live ……. ocean’s influence in our Earth system.” So it is too incorrect.

(D) Incorrect: The ocean plays no part in the earth’s climate.
Explanation: This response is incorrect. The passage discusses ocean’s role in earth’s climate and it is clear by the phrase “moderates the climate of Earth”. So it is not the correct choice.[/expand]

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