GRE Reading Comprehension Practice Questions

Each passage in this section is followed by several questions. After reading the passage, choose the best answer to each question based on the content of the passage. Answer all questions following the passage on the basis of what is stated or implied on the passage.


Although the schooling of fish is familiar form of animal social behaviour, how the school is formed and maintained is only beginning to be understood in detail. It had been thought that each fish maintains its position chiefly by means of vision. Our work as shown that, as each fish maintains its position, the lateral line, an organ sensitive to transitory changes in water displacement, is as important as vision. In each species a fish has a “preferred” distance and dangle from its nearest neighbor. The ideal separation and bearing, however, are not maintained rigidly. The result is a probabilistic arrangement that appears like a random aggregation. The tendency of the fish to remain at the preferred distance and angle, however, serves to maintain the structure. Each fish, having established its position, uses its eyes and its lateral lines simultaneously to measure the speed of all the other fish in the school. It then adjusts its own speed to match a weighted average that emphasizes the contribution of nearby fish.

Question 1

According to the passage, the structure of a fish school is dependant upon which of the following:

I. Rigidly formed random aggregations
II. The tendency of each fish to remain at a preferred distance from neighboring fish
III. Measurement of a 
weighed average by individual fish

A. II only
B. III only
C. I and II only
D. I and III only
E. II and III only

Question 2

Which of the following best describes the author’s attitude toward the theory that the structure of fish schools is maintained primarily through vision?

A. Heated opposition
B. Careful neutrality
C. Considered dissatisfaction
D. Cautious approval
E. Unqualified enthusiasm

Question 3

The passage suggests that, after establishing its position in the school formation, an individual fish will subsequently

A. Maintain its preferred position primarily by visual and auditory means
B. Rigorously avoid changes that would interfere with the overall structure of the school
C. Make conscious sensory readjustments to its position within the school
D. Make unexpected shifts in position only if threatened by external danger
E. Surrender its ability to make quick, instinctive judgements