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GED Sample Questions : Writing Skills

Refer to the following paragraph.

From this time I was most narrowly watched. If I was in a separate room any considerable length of time, I was sure to be suspected of having a book, and was at once called to give an account of myself. All this, however, was too late. The first step had been taken. Mistress, in teaching me the alphabet, had given me the inch, and no precaution could prevent me from taking the ell.

The plan which I adopted, and the one by which I was most successful, was that of making friends of all the little white boys whom I met in the street. As many of these as I could, I converted into teachers. With their kindly aid, obtained at different times and in different places, I finally succeeded in learning to read. When I was sent on errands, I always took my book with me, and by doing one part of my errand quickly, I found time to get a lesson before my return. I used also to carry bread with me, enough of which was always in the house, and to which I was always welcome; for I was much better off in this regard than many of the poor white children in our neighborhood. This bread I used to bestow upon the hungry little urchins, who, in return, would give me the more valuable bread of knowledge.

I am strongly tempted to give the names of two or three of those little boys, as a testimonial of the gratitude and affection I bear them; but prudence forbids;—not that it would injure me, but it might embarrass them; for it is almost an unpardonable offense to teach slaves to read in this Christian country. It is enough to say of the dear little fellows that they lived on Philpot Street, very near Durgin and Bailey’s shipyard. I used to talk this matter of slavery over with them. I would sometimes say to them, I wished I could be as free as they would be when they got to be men. “You will be free as soon as you are twenty-one, but I am a slave for life! Have not I as good a right to be free as you have?” These words seemed to trouble them; they would express for me the liveliest sympathy, and console with the hope that something would occur by which I might be free.

from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Following are some GED writing skills sample questions:

  1. Based on information in this selection, when was Frederick Douglass’ Narrative written?

    1. During the Middle Ages
    2. During the Renaissance
    3. Before the Civil War
    4. Between 1880 and 1900
    5. After 1900

    Answer: C

  2. According to the information in the passage, how did Douglass learn to read?

    1. By his own efforts
    2. From his mistress
    3. With the help of young white boys
    4. By using his time in a clever way
    5. By going to school

    Answer: C

  3. Which of the following would be the most suitable title for this selection?

    1. The Yearning for Freedom
    2. The Burning for Success
    3. As the World Turns
    4. How I Learned to Read
    5. A Lover is Spurned

    Answer: D

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