Test 3


  1. Read the passage carefully. DO NOT PRINT ANYTHING OUT!!
  2. Select the correct answer for each question.
  3. Click on the Check button to see your score.
  4. The recommended time limit for this test is twenty minutes.

Extract from Why Go to College? An Address
Alice Freeman Palmer

To a largely increasing number of young girls college doors are opening every year. Every year adds to the number of men who feel as a friend of mine, a successful lawyer in a great city, felt when in talking of the future of his four little children he said, "For the two boys it is not so serious, but I lie down at night afraid to die and leave my daughters only a bank account." Year by year, too, the experiences of life are teaching mothers that happiness does not necessarily come to their daughters when accounts are large and banks are sound, but that on the contrary they take grave risks when they trust everything to accumulated wealth and the chance of a happy marriage. Our American girls themselves are becoming aware that they need the stimulus, the discipline, the knowledge, the interests of the college in addition to the school, if they are to prepare themselves for the most serviceable lives.

But there are still parents who say, "There is no need that my daughter should teach; then why should she go to college?" I will not reply that college training is a life insurance for a girl, a pledge that she possesses the disciplined ability to earn a living for herself and others in case of need, for I prefer to insist on the importance of giving every girl, no matter what her present circumstances, a special training in some one thing by which she can render society service, not amateur but of an expert sort, and service too for which it will be willing to pay a price. The number of families will surely increase who will follow the example of an eminent banker whose daughters have been given each her specialty. One has chosen music, and has gone far with the best masters in this country and in Europe, so far that she now holds a high rank among musicians at home and abroad. Another has taken art, and has not been content to paint pretty gifts for her friends, but in the studios of New York, Munich, and Paris, she has won the right to be called an artist, and in her studio at home to paint portraits which have a market value. A third has proved that she can earn her living, if need be, by her exquisite jellies, preserves, and sweetmeats. Yet the house in the mountains, the house by the sea, and the friends in the city are not neglected, nor are these young women found less attractive because of their special accomplishments.

While it is not true that all girls should go to college any more than that all boys should go, it is nevertheless true that they should go in greater numbers than at present. They fail to go because they, their parents and their teachers, do not see clearly the personal benefits distinct from the commercial value of a college training. I wish here to discuss these benefits, these larger gifts of the college life,--what they may be, and for whom they are waiting.

It is undoubtedly true that many girls are totally unfitted by home and school life for a valuable college course. These joys and successes, these high interests and friendships, are not for the self-conscious and nervous invalid, nor for her who in the exuberance of youth recklessly ignores the laws of a healthy life. The good society of scholars and of libraries and laboratories has no place and no attraction for her who finds no message in Plato, no beauty in mathematical order, and who never longs to know the meaning of the stars over her head or the flowers under her feet. Neither will the finer opportunities of college life appeal to one who, until she is eighteen (is there such a girl in this country?), has felt no passion for the service of others, no desire to know if through history or philosophy, or any study of the laws of society, she can learn why the world is so sad, so hard, so selfish as she finds it, even when she looks upon it from the most sheltered life. No, the college cannot be, should not try to be, a substitute for the hospital, reformatory or kindergarten. To do its best work it should be organized for the strong, not for the weak; for the high-minded, self-controlled, generous, and courageous spirits, not for the indifferent, the dull, the idle, or those who are already forming their characters on the amusement theory of life. All these perverted young people may, and often do, get large benefit and invigoration, new ideals, and unselfish purposes from their four years' companionship with teachers and comrades of a higher physical, mental, and moral stature than their own. I have seen girls change so much in college that I have wondered if their friends at home would know them,--the voice, the carriage, the unconscious manner, all telling a story of new tastes and habits and loves and interests, that had wrought out in very truth a new creature. Yet in spite of this I have sometimes thought that in college more than elsewhere the old law holds, "To him that hath shall be given and he shall have abundance, but from him who hath not shall be taken away even that which he seemeth to have." For it is the young life which is open and prepared to receive which obtains the gracious and uplifting influences of college days. ...


1. What according to the author is largely on the increase?
a) The number of young girls entering the law profession.
b) Opportunities for men to attend college.
c) Opportunities for young girls to enter college.
d) Career opportunities for families living in cities.

2. The author means to suggest that:
a) American girls will be best prepared for life after attending college.
b) American schools do not provide adequate preparation for the most serviceable lives.
c) American colleges are not aware of the discipline problems in schools.
d) American girls do not need to attend college to be prepared for the most serviceable lives.

3. Which of the following statements best describes the author's view of education?
a) It provides the guarantee of life-long employment which will benefit many people.
b) It is important to train young girls to fend for themselves.
c) It is important to train young girls for their own benefit.
d) It is important to train young girls for their own benefit and that of society.

4. The author's point about expert training:
a) is not supported with any details or examples.
b) is supported with details and examples.
c) is confused by the mention of art, music and cooking.
d) does not need any further clarification or support.

5. What would the author like to see?
a) More boys attending college.
b) Less girls attending college.
c) Less boys attending college.
d) More girls attending colllege.

6. The author is of the opinion that:
a) all girls are suitable for a college education.
b) many girls are suitable for a college education.
c) many girls are not suitable for a college education.
d) some girls are not suitable for a college education.

7. According to the author, the "amusement theory of life" is:
a) compatible with her views.
b) popular in America.
c) incompatible with her views.
d) only for the dull and idle.

8. The author:
a) does not deny that college life can transform one's character.
b) does not deny that college life can be amusing.
c) does not deny that college life can be boring.
d) claims that college life has no effect on one's character.

9. According to the author:
a) those who are open and prepared to receive benefit most from college.
b) those who are closed and ungracious benefit most from college.
c) some of those who are open and prepared to receive can benefit from college.
d) only those who start off with a lot can benefit most from college.

10. Overall, the author's views can best be described as:
a) neutral.
b) egalitarian.
c) highly-principled.
d) unprincipled.

Your score is:

Note: The passage used in this test was downloaded from the Project Gutenberg Web Site and is used on the project designer's understanding that this material is in the public domain and can be freely utilised for a non-profit educational purpose.


Copyright 2000 Phillip Towndrow. All Rights Reserved.