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Contemporary's GED Social Studies
Kenneth Tamarkin
Jeri W. Bayer

Comprehending Social Studies Materials

GED Practice Quiz


Choose the one best answer to each question. When you have finished the quiz, click on Submit Answers to receive feedback and results. You may also choose to e-mail your results to your instructor.

Questions 1 and 2 refer to the following map and information.

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Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration
In 1956 President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law the Federal-Aid Highway Act. The largest public works project in the nation’s history, it provided for more than $32 billion over 13 years to create a 41,000-mile system of interstate highways.


The map supports which of the following statements?
Need a Hint?
A)The interstate system is 41,000 miles long.
B)The interstate system links the United States by road to Canada and Mexico.
C)An interstate highway system is one that connects two or more states.
D)The interstate system was built mainly to connect New York with Los Angeles.
E)Only those cities not linked by railroad were connected by interstate highways.

What was the most likely reason for building the interstate highway system?
Need a Hint?
A)to link the United States with Canada and Mexico
B)to spend $32 billion of surplus tax money
C)to improve the nation’s transportation and communication
D)to help the construction industry
E)to compete with the railroads

Questions 3 through 5 refer to the following information.

Report to the Twenty-Third Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 1966

Prerevolutionary Russia was an economically backward country. It was . . . a land of the sledgehammer and the wheelbarrow, the wooden plow and the spinning wheel. Despite its rich mineral deposits, the country was acutely short of metal. Its numerous villages were illuminated at night by the miserable flame of a smoky splinter. The people lived in want and overwhelming ignorance . . .

From the time of this report, just five decades had passed since the day the October Revolution of 1917 was won in Russia, and the Bolsheviks (later called Communists) took power into their own hands. In 1922 the United Soviet Socialists Republic (U.S.S.R., or Soviet Union) was established. By 1966 the face of the country had changed beyond recognition. It was no longer the underdeveloped country it used to be, but a much stronger and more prosperous land, yet the people were controlled by the dictates of the Communist Party. In time, the people demanded greater freedom from the central government. In 1991 Communist rule ended. The Soviet Union was dissolved, and the Soviet republics declared their independence. Power was in the hands of the people.


Which of the following is a factor that, according to the article, should have favored economic development in prerevolutionary Russia?
Need a Hint?
A)numerous villages
B)sledgehammers and wheelbarrows
C)mineral resources
D)ability of its people
E)concentration of power

Which of the following statements best summarizes the information given in the passage?
Need a Hint?
A)There was a shortage of metal in prerevolutionary Russia.
B)The Soviet Union has made great progress since the revolution of 1917.
C)Russians live mainly in small, poorly built villages.
D)The Soviet economy is still backward and underdeveloped.
E)The Soviet people need to seize control of their governments.

What did the writer mean by calling Russia a land of "the wooden plow and the spinning wheel"?
Need a Hint?
A)The most modern factory equipment had just been installed.
B)There was a shortage of metal products in Russia.
C)Most Russians worked as farmers and spinners before the revolution.
D)Russia was no longer a backward nation.
E)Russia had primitive agricultural and industrial production.

Question 6 refers to the information and chart below.

In the 1920s, as many as 30 million Americans invested in the stock market. They purchased shares of ownership in companies that they hoped to sell later at a higher price. Throughout the decade, stock prices rose steadily. However, in a rush of panic selling, the stock market "crashed" in October 1929, and the Great Depression began.

The chart below gives the stock prices of selected companies before and during the Great Depression.

Stock Prices Among Selected Companies
CompanyHighest PriceLowest Price
in 1929in 1932
General Electric$403.00$8.50
General Motors$91.75$7.58
Sears, Roebuck$46.37$9.75


Which of the following statements best summarizes the main idea of the chart and paragraph above?
Need a Hint?
A)Stock in AT&T was more valuable than stock in General Motors.
B)Millions of Americans invested in the stock market in the 1920s.
C)The value of stock dropped sharply during the Great Depression.
D)With new controls in place, there is little or no chance that there will be another Great Depression in the United States.
E)People with stock in General Electric lost the most money because they were the first to panic and sold their stock immediately.

Question 7 refers to the following information.

During the 1960 presidential campaign, John F. Kennedy criticized the Eisenhower administration for letting the United States fall behind the Soviet Union in military might. In particular, Kennedy charged that there was a "missile gap" developing between the Untied States and the Soviet Union.


What would be the implied danger of such a "missile gap"?
Need a Hint?
A)The Soviets could be easily attacked.
B)The Soviets would reach the moon first.
C)The United States would be vulnerable to a Soviet attack.
D)Western Europe would side with the Soviets.
E)Such missiles are too difficult to track by radar.

Questions 8 through 10 refer to the following cartoon.

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Tribune Media Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with Permission.


What is the subject of the cartoon?
Need a Hint?
A)the increase in global warming
B)government corruption
C)the differences between the energy crisis and global warming
D)The similarity between Carter’s response to the energy crisis and Bush’s response to global warming.
E)the causes of global warming

According to the cartoon, what do presidents do when faced with large-scale problems?
Need a Hint?
A)They offer effective plans to combat the problems.
B)They fail to proactively address the problems.
C)They tackle the problems head-on.
D)They ask for help from their cabinet members.
E)They raise taxes.

Which of the following best supports the cartoonist’s point of view?
Need a Hint?
A)Global warming is going to get worse.
B)Bush does not believe that the problem of global warming deserves a lot of attention.
C)The energy crisis was a bigger problem in 1977 than global warming is today.
D)Bush would have dealt with the energy crisis better than Carter did.
E)Carter’s biggest strength as a president was foreign relations.