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SAT Reading Comprehension Practice


Read the two passages. Then answer the  SAT reading comprehension questions.

Refugee Resettlement

Passage 1

   A refugee is a person who is stateless for political reasons. Most refugee peoples have been forced to leave their homes during wartime or because their religious beliefs differ from those of the state. Even the worst economic hardship does not qualify a person or group of people to attain refugee status. Being recognized as a refugee by the international community does not have immediate beneficial effects, however. One is usually forced to live in refugee camps while attempts are made to resolve the political conflict. This can take many years.
   The standard path of refuge is this: 1) a person is forced to leave the native country; 2) a person lives in a refugee camp in a second country, one near to the native country; 3) if no political resolution is found, a person is resettled to a third country. For instance, a group of refugees called the 1972 Burundians were not resettled until 2007. After ethnic violence killed 200,00 and forced many to flee, they lived in camps in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and ultimately Tanzania. In 2007, UNHCR, the international group that decides refugee issues, at last declared that land issues would be "too complex" if they returned to their homeland. After thirty-five years of living in camps, most people were uneducated. Resettlement required infracture in the resettlement country, the U.S.A., to teach people basic skills and help them find work.
   Resettlement in a third country is essentially a move of last resort. While some would advocate for more rapid resettlement, there are many reasons to defer resettlement until absolutely necessary. Firstly, it taxes the resources of the resettlement nations which are mainly the U.S.A., Australia and Canada. With sixteen million refugees in the world today (there are forty-two million uprooted people), local methods of resolving conflicts are clearly more economical. Secondly, resettling people could send a false message to tyrannical governments--it could lead them to believe that other countries will take the people that they unlawfully expel. Thirdly, though living in refugee camps often means people must live without jobs or educational opportunity, many refugees have attachment to their native land and would not wish to be relocated until they knew it was the only possibility left to them.

Passage 2

   Most people from the First World have little idea of the wealth inherent in their birthright. The ability to travel easily means greater job opportunities. Public education means that basic needs in terms of reading and writing skills are met regardless of socioeconomic status. Having the potential to own property means that people can live independently and have a place to retire during old age.
   Now let us examine what it means to be a refugee. By not having a state, one cannot have legal work. One's access to education is dependant on the state of the refugee camp where one happens to live. Some camps provide limited education while others provide none. There is a state of constant ennui because there is simply nothing to do. Most people have children in the hopes that they will live better lives, and yet have to watch their kids growing up without knowing what they can attain.
   While resettlement to a third country should not happen too quickly, there can be fewer delays in the process. There could also be greater international accountability for the resettlement location. Clearly, the leaders in refugee resettlement, the U.S.A., Australia and Canada, cannot accept too many people at one time without losing job opportunities for their own citizens. UNHCR can create promotional campaigns for the more timely resettlement of all uprooted peoples while simultaneously demonstrating that this is a world-issue, one in which every country needs to play its part. As we move toward a global world, we can argue for productivity and stability on an international level in order to ensure a higher quality of life for all of our children. Keeping refugees in camps for twenty years or more, we cultivate the disparity between the first and the third world which only exacerbates political tensions worldwide.

Answer the questions:

1. According to the passages, a refugee is defined as:

A. A person who is stateless and penniless
B. A person who cannot work or gain education.
C. A person who is stateless for political reasons.
D. A person who is stateless for socioeconomic reasons.
E. A person who needs to be resettled.

2. According to the readings, third country resettlement results when:

A. The first country and the second country do not resettle.
B. The second country has it's own economic problems.
C. The third country as the means to accept newcomers.
D. A fourth country cannot be found for resettlement.
E. The second country does not reconcile its political issues.

3. Refugees are typically under-educated because:

A. Refugee peoples do not value education.
B. Refugee peoples believe in strong families over education.
C. Refugees often do not endeavor to achieve higher education.
D. There is often little or no educational opportunity in refugee camps.
E. They frequently move from one camp to another.

4. In the second paragraph of Passage 2, the word "ennui" most likely means:

A. anger
B. boredom
C. intensity
D. power
E. illness

5. In the first paragraph of Passage 2, the phrase "inherent in their birthright" most likely means:

A. naturally included because of the person's place of birth
B. rights created by elected officials in the country of origin
C. natural rights that any person should have
D. laws made for citizens of certain countries
E. an ancient order that still exists today

6. The author of Passage 1 uses the example of the 1972 Burundians as:

A. an argument for timely resettlement of refugee peoples
B. a disturbing example of the waiting process that refugees can endure
C. an example of the path refugees take
D. an example of one of the longest waiting periods endured by refugees
E. en example of refugees who were accepted by the U.S.

7. In the last sentence of Passage 2, the word "exacerbates" most likely means:

A. makes ongoing
B. makes worse
C. makes better
D. aids
E. lessens

8. In Passage 1, the author describes third country resettlement in a tone that is:

A. critical of the number of times that third country resettlement is necessary
B. reproachful of the long waiting periods that exist before refugees are resettled
C. cautionary toward speeding the process of third country resettlement
D. objective toward third country resettlement's pros and cons
E. disapproving of third country resettlement

9. According to Passage 1, rapid resettlement to third countries would be LEAST likely to:

A. affect tyrannical governments and their policies
B. send a beneficial message to tyrannical governments
C. send a poor message to tyrannical governments
D. cause ongoing political unrest in the third world
E. teach people from the first world about life in the third world

10. Both passages support which idea about third country resettlement:

A. few people from the first world fully understand their birthright
B. the 1972 Burundians are a good example of a refugee case
C. second country resettlement is the ideal in refugee cases
D. the three leading countries in resettlement cannot handle sixteen million refugees
E. all countries in the world should accept a percentage of refugees

11. The passages differ in tone in that Passage 1 is:

A. less caring toward the outcome for refugee peoples than Passage 2
B. more political in nature than Passage 2
C. less concerned with new ideas about refugee resettlement than Passage 2
D. more assertive about refugee needs than Passage 2
E. more passionate in argument than Passage 2

12. Which statement best describes a significant difference between the arguments in the two passages?

A. Passage 1 does not argue for rapid refugee resettlement while Passage 2 does
B. Passage 2 argues for more accountability worldwide while Passage 1 argues for resettlement in only the U.S.A, Australia and Canada
C. Passage 1 argues for slow third country resettlement while Passage 2 argues for second country resettlement
D. Passage 2 argues for improved birthrights for everyone while Passage 1 does not
E. Passage 1 argues for slow processing before third country resettlement while Passage 2 argues for faster processing




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Answers: 1. c, 2. a, 3. d, 4. b, 5. a, 6. c, 7. b, 8. c, 9. b, 10, d, 11. c, 12. e