ASSET Assessment

Sample ASSET Item:
Directions: In the passage that follows, certain words and phrases are underlined and numbered. In the right-hand column, you will find alternatives for each underlined part. You are to choose the one that best expresses the idea, makes the statement appropriate for standard written English, or is worded most consistently with the style and tone of the passage as a whole. If you think the original version is best, choose “NO CHANGE.” You will also find questions about a section of the passage, or about the passage as a whole. For each question in the test, choose the alternative you consider best and blacken the corresponding space on your answer sheet. Read each passage through once before you begin to answer the questions that accompany it. You cannot determine some answers without reading several sentences beyond the phrase in question. Be sure that you have read far enough ahead each time you choose an alternative.

[1.] In the end, everyone gives up jogging. Some find that their strenuous efforts to earn a living (1) drains away the energy
B. drain
C. has drained
D. is draining
  necessary for running. Others (2) suffering from defeat by the hazards of 2. A. NO CHANGE
B suffered
C. suffer
D. suffering with
  the course, which can range from hard pavement to muddy tracks and from smog to sleet and snow. (3) Person’s can also 3. A. NO CHANGE
B. Still others
C. One may also
D. It’s also possible to
  simply collapse in their sneakers. My experience (4)_having been different, however, I had a revelation. 4. A. NO CHANGE
B. being different,
C. was a difference,
D. was different,
[2.] It happened two summers ago up at Lake Tom, where I was vacationing with friends. I had been accustomed to running fairly regularly, but that whole week I decided to be lazy. I sailed, basked in the sun, and (5) ate wonderful: lobster, 5. A. NO CHANGE
B. ate wonderfully:
C. eating wonderful:
D. eat wonderful:
  steak, corn on the cob, baked potatoes, and ice. cream. By the fourth day of this routine I had to face the (6) truth which my body was slowly changing to dough. 6. A. NO CHANGE
B. truth about
C. truth:
D. truth, which
[3.] So, filled with worthy ambition, I tied on my favorite pair of running shoes and loped out to the main road in search of a five-mile route. (7) Out of curiosity. I turned onto Lockout Hill Road 7. A. NO CHANGE
B. Out of curiosity. Lockout Hill Road was turned onto
C. Having become curious, Lockout Hill Road was the road I turned onto
D. Lockout Hill Road, having become curious, was the route I turned onto

and soon discovered how the road had come by its name. I was chugging, at a painfully slow rate, up one of the(8) longest, steepestinclines in the region.

Perched at the faraway top of the hill was a solitary house, and only a desire to get a closer look at the place kept me going

B. longest, steepest,
C. steepest longest,
D. longest and steepest,
[4.] I was exhausted when, gasping and bedraggled, I reached the crest of the hill. There I found a native New Englander rocking tranquilly on the front porch of the (9) house, which was painted. “Mister,” I panted, “you sure live on a big hill!” 9. A. NO CHANGE
B. house (painted).
C. house, and it was painted
D. house.
[5.] He studied me closely for a moment and then responded, “Yep, and I’ve got the good sense not to run up it. ” That night I tied the (10) laces of my running shoes around a rock and pitched them into Lake Tom. 10. A. NO CHANGE
B. laces, of my running
C. laces of my running.
D. laces: of my running


DIRECTIONS: The passage below is followed by 8 questions. After reading the passage, choose the best answer to each question and blacken the corresponding space on your answer sheet. You may look back at the passage as often as you wish.

The Industrial Revolution got under way first in England. This is a historical fact of the utmost significance, for it explains in large part England’s primary role in world affairs in the nineteenth century. Consequently, the question of why the Industrial Revolution began where it did is of much more than academic interest.

The problem may be simplified by eliminating those countries that could not, for one reason or another, have generated the Industrial Revolution. Italy at one time had been an economic leader but had dropped behind with the Discoveries and the shift of the main trade routes from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. Spain had been economically predominant in the sixteenth century but had then lost out to the northwestern states for various reasons already noted. Holland had enjoyed her Golden Age in the seventeenth century, but she lacked the raw materials, labor resources, and water power necessary for machine production. The various countries of Central and Eastern Europe had been little affected by the Commercial Revolution and hence did not develop the technical skills, the trade markets, and the capital reserves needed for industrialization.

This leaves only France and Britain as possible leaders, and of the two, England had certain advantages that enabled her to forge far ahead of her rival. In commerce, for example, the two countries were about equal in 1763, or, if anything, France was somewhat in the lead. But France had a population three times that of England. France also lost ground in foreign trade when she was driven out of Canada and India in 1763. Furthermore, the blockade of the British fleet during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars reduced French commerce to about half its 1788 value, and the loss was not restored until 1825.

Another important advantage enjoyed by Britain is that she had taken an early lead in the basic coal and iron industries. Because the forest reserves were being depleted, Britain early began using coal for fuel and for smelting iron. By the time of the French Revolution in 1789, Britain was producing about 10 million tons of coal per year, while France was producing 700,000 tons. A contemporary poet sensed the significance of this unlimited source of power for English industry when he wrote,

England’s a perfect World!
has Indies too!
Correct your Maps!
New-castle is Peru.

England also pioneered in the development of the blast furnace which, in contrast to the old forges, could mass-produce iron. In 1780 Britain’s iron output had been a third that of France; by 1840, it was three times more. All this meant that Britain was pushing ahead in the production of goods of mass consumption for which there was a large and steady demand, whereas France specialized more in luxury commodities of limited and fluctuating demand. Perhaps Voltaire had this in mind when he wrote in 1735, “In truth we are the whipped cream of Europe. “

From L.S. Stavrianos, The World Since 1500: A Global History.

1. The word forge, as it is used in the third paragraph, means: A. make use of the blast furnace.
B. alter in order to deceive.
C. move forward steadily.
D. produce wrought iron.
2. In comparing the economic development of England and France, the passage shows that: A. England and France were essentially equals until the middle of the nineteenth century.
B. France modeled itself on the examples of Italy and Spain, while England modeled itself on the example of Holland.
C. England gained most of its capital reserves from the spoils of war, while France gained its capital reserves from trade.
D. England began on an equal base with France in the middle of the eighteenth century, but pulled far ahead by the middle of the nineteenth century.
3. What reason does the author give for discussing several countries besides England and France? A. Enriching the information provided in the passage
B. Balancing the passage in the interest of fairness
C. Simplifying the problem confronted in the passage
D. Eliminating countries whose Golden Age was yet to come
4. The passage suggests that generating the first Industrial Revolution required which of the following?
I. Raw materials
II. Technical skills
III. A large population
A. I only
B. Ill only
C. I and II only
D. II and III only
5. The author asserts that England’s primary role in world affairs in the nineteenth century can be explained in large part by: A. the Industrial Revolution getting under way in England first.
B. England’s overwhelming naval power.
C. the decline of Italy, Spain, Holland, and Central and Eastern Europe.
D. England’s unlimited source of power to fuel its industry.
6. The passage suggests that one indication of a country’s success in industrializing was: A. an educational system that could produce a steady supply of skilled workers.
B. an ability to satisfy a large market for necessary, rather than luxury, goods.
C. a forest reserve that could be rapidly and efficiently replenished.
D. a fluctuating demand for luxury, rather than necessary, goods.
7. According to the passage, France was compared to whipped cream by: A. an unnamed contemporary poet
B. Voltaire.
C. Napoleon.
D. L.S. Stavrianos.
8. The main idea of the passage is that: A. certain conditions gave England an advantage over other countries in industrializing.
B. with its conquest of Canada in 1763, England controlled the raw materials necessary for industrialization.
C. the English preferred quantity in their goods, while the French demanded quality.
D. England’s primary position in international affairs gave it the wealth and influence necessary for industrialization.


DIRECTIONS: Solve each problem, choose the correct answer, and then blacken the corresponding space on your answer sheet. For some questions, the fifth choice for an answer will be “Not given.” Whenever none of the first 4 possible answers is correct, choose “Not given” as your answer.

Do not linger over problems that take too much time. Solve as many as you can; then return to the others in the time you have left.

1. 0.05+0.30 = ? A. 0.08
B. 0.305
C. 0.35
D. 0.38
E. Not given
2. 0.35 + 5 = ? A. 0.07
B. 0.70
C. 1.75
D. 7.00
E. Not given
3. On a road map with a scale of 1/4 inch per 10 miles, the highway from Waukee to Winterset is 1 3/8 inches long. How many miles long is this highway? A. 44
B. 55
C. 65
D. 70
E. 90
4. The price of gasoline has increased by 5% during the past month. If the price per gallon a month ago was $1.20, what is the current price per gallon? A. $1.24
B. $1.25
C. $1.26
D. $1.70
E. $1.80
5. -2|3 – 4 – 5| = ? A. -12
B. -8
C. 8
D. 12
E. 24
6. Which of the following fraction is equivalent to 0.05? A. 1/5
B. 1/20
C. 1/25
D. 1/50
E. 1/200


Directions: Solve each problem, choose the correct answer, and then blacken the corresponding space on your answer sheet.

Do not linger over problems that take too much time. Solve as many as you can; then return to the others in the time you have left.


1. If 5×10n = 0.005, then n = ? A. -5
B. -3
C. -2
D. 2
E. 3
2. lfx=-3,then x2 – 2x +1=? A. 16
B. 4
C. 1
D. -11
E. -14
3. Which of the following gives 6a 2b3 – 3a2b in factored form? A. 3a2b(2b2)
B. 3a2(2b2 -1)
C. 3ab(2ab2 -1)
D. 3a2b(2b2 -1)
E. a2b(6b2 -1)
4. For all x * 0 and y * 0, (3x-2y3)2 =?
A. 9x3y8
B. 9y4x
C. 9y4x2
D. 9y5x5
E. 9y7x5
Writing Skills Answer Key
1. B 6. C
2. C 7. A
3. B 8. A
4. D 9. D
5. B 10. A
Numerical Skills Answer Key
1. C 4. C
2. E 5. A
3. B 6. B
Reading Answer Key
1. C 5. A
2. D 6. B
3. C 7. B
4. C 8. A
Elementary Algebra Answer Key
1. B
2. A
3. D
4. D