Compass Reading Sample

Compass Reading Sample Test:

Here is a Compass reading sample test, which is an extract from reading test 8 from our Compass Practice Reading Tests PDF download.

Compass Reading Sample Passage: The Theories of Jean Piaget

Born in France in 1896, Jean Piaget became one of the most influential thinkers in the areas of education psychology and child development in the twentieth century. The primary thrust of his research revolved around the question: How do human beings come to know? His research culminated in the groundbreaking discovery of what he called "abstract symbolic reasoning." The basic idea behind this principle was that biology influences child development to a greater extent than does socialization. That is to say, Piaget concluded that younger children answered research questions differently than older ones not because they were less intelligent, but because their intelligence was at a lower stage of biological development.

Because he was a biologist, Piaget had a keen interest in the adaptation of organisms to their environment, and this preoccupation led to many astute observations. Piaget found that behavior in children was controlled by mental organizations called "schemes," which enable an individual to interpret his or her world and respond to situations. Piaget coined the term "equilibration" to describe the biological need of human beings to balance these schemes against the processes of environmental adaptation.

The French-born biologist postulated that schemes are innate since all children are born with these drives. Noting that while other animals continued to deploy their in-born schemes throughout the entire duration of their lives, Piaget hypothesized that human beings' pre-existing, innate schemes compete with, and ultimately diverge from constructed schemes, which are socially-acquired in the environmental adaptation process.

As Piaget's research with children progressed, he identified four stages of cognitive development. In the first stage, which he termed the sensorimotor stage, Piaget noted that at the incipience of the child's mental development, intelligence is displayed by way of the infant's physical interactions with the world. That is, the child's intelligence is directly correlated to his or her mobility and motor activity. Children begin to develop some language skills, as well as memory, which Piaget called "object permanence," during this initial stage.

When the child becomes a toddler, he or she enters the pre-operational stage. During this stage the child is largely egocentric, meaning that intellectual and emotional energy is directed inwardly, rather than on other individuals. Although memory, language, and intelligence continue to develop during these years, thinking is illogical and inflexible on the whole.

Next, the child begins the concrete operational stage. Beginning roughly at age 5, this stage is characterized by the appearance of logical and systematic thought processes. In this stage, the child begins to conceptualize symbols and measurements relating to concrete objects, such as numbers, weights, lengths, and volumes. As the child's intelligence becomes more logical, egocentrism begins to dissipate.

At the commencement of the teenage years, the final stage, called the formal operational stage, is initiated. During this stage, the individual should be able to grasp abstract thought on a range of complex ideas and theories. Yet, unfortunately, recent research has shown that adults in many countries around the globe have failed to complete this stage, perhaps owing to poverty or poor educational opportunities.

Compass Reading Sample Question 1:

1) Based on the information in paragraph 1, which of the following best explains the term abstract symbolic reasoning?

A. The idea that younger children are less intelligent that older children.

B. The idea that younger children are less physically developed than older children.

C. The idea that younger children are less socially developed than older children.

D. The idea that younger children are less culturally developed than older children.

E. The idea that biological development affects the intellectual development of children.

Compass Reading Sample Question 2:

2) The word egocentric in the passage is closest in meaning to

A. extroverted

B. self-centered

C. illogical

D. underdeveloped

E. undisciplined

Compass Reading Sample Question 3:

3) Which of the sentences below contains the main idea of paragraph 3?

A. Piaget theorized that, unlike the schemes of other animals, human beings' schemes are primarily acquired in the socialization process.

B. In contrast to other animals, human beings use their innate schemes throughout their lifetimes, rather than departing from constructed schemes.

C. The process by which human beings acquire schemes is different than that of other animals because human beings acquire schemes during the socialization process, and these acquired schemes bifurcate from their innate schemes.

D. Piaget noted that human beings differ to other animals since they do not rely only on in-born cognitive mechanisms.

E. Piaget theorized that children's schemes are completely socially acquired.

Compass Reading Sample Question 4:

4) According to the passage, which of the following statements best characterizes the sensorimotor stage?

A. The growth of the child's intelligence in this stage depends predominantly on his or her verbal ability.

B. The skills obtained during this stage are of less importance than those achieved during later developmental stages.

C. During this stage, the child learns how his or her mobility relates to language.

D. The child's interaction with the world is limited.

E. The child's cognitive development in this stage is achieved through physical movement in his or her environment.

Compass Reading Sample Question 5:

5) Based on the information in paragraphs 5 and 6, what can be inferred about child development?

A. Before the child enters the concrete operational stage, his or her thinking is largely rigid and unsystematic.

B. The conceptualization of symbols is not as important as the conceptualization of numbers.

C. The child becomes more egocentric during the concrete operational stage.

D. Memory and language become less important during the concrete operational stage.

E. The child develops by psychologically interacting with others during the pre-operational stage.

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