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Test Prep CBEST Section 2 Reading Exam Actual Questions

The questions for CBEST Section 2 Reading were last updated at June 6, 2022.
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Question #1 Topic 1

(1) Produced in 1959, Lorraine Hansberrys play, A Raisin in the Sun, was a quietly revolutionary work that depicted African-American life in a fresh, new, and realistic way. The play made her the youngest American, the first African-American, and the fifth woman to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best
Play of the Year. In 1961, it was produced as a film starring Sydney Poitier and has since become a classic, providing inspiration for an entire generation of
African-American writers.
(2) Hansberry was not only an artist but also a political activist and the daughter of activists. Born in Chicago in 1930, she was a member of a prominent family devoted to civil rights.Her father was a successful real-estate broker, who won an anti-segregation case before the Illinois Supreme Court in the mid-1930s, and her uncle was a Harvard professor. In her home, Hansberry was privileged to meet many influential cultural and intellectual leaders. Among them were artists and activists such as Paul Robeson, W.E.B. DuBois, and Langston Hughes.
(3) The success of A Raisin in the Sun helped gain an audience for her passionate views on social justice. It mirrors one of Hansberrys central artistic efforts, that of freeing many people from the smothering effects of stereotyping by depicting the wide array of personality types and aspirations that exist within one Southside
Chicago family. A Raisin in the Sun was followed by another play, produced in 1964, The Sign in Sidney Brusteins Window. This play is about an intellectual in
Greenwich Village, New York City, a man who is open-minded and generous of spirit who, as Hansberry wrote, "cares about it all. It takes too much energy not to care."
(4) Lorraine Hansberry died on the final day of the plays run on Broadway. Her early death, at the age of 34, was unfortunate, as it cut short a brilliant and promising career, one that, even in its short span, changed the face of American theater. After her death, however, her influence continued to be felt. A dramatic adaptation of her autobiography, To Be Young, Gifted, and Black, consisted of vignettes based on Hansberrys plays, poems, and other writings. It was produced
Off-Broadway in 1969 and appeared in book form the following year.Her play, Les Blancs, a drama set in Africa, was produced in 1970; and A Raisin in the Sun was adapted as a musical, Raisin, and won a Tony award in 1973.
(5) Even after her death, her dramatic works have helped gain an audience for her essays and speeches on wide-ranging topics, from world peace to the evils of the mistreatment of minorities, no matter what their race, and especially for her works on the civil-rights struggle and on the effort by Africans to be free of colonial rule. She was a woman,much like the characters in her best-known play, who was determined to be free of racial, cultural, or genderbased constraints.
On the basis of above passage please answer the following question.
The writer of the passage suggests that Hansberrys political beliefs had their origins in her experience as

  • A. the daughter of politically active parents.
  • B. a successful playwright in New York.
  • C. a resident of Southside Chicago.
  • D. an intellectual in Greenwich Village.
  • E. a civil rights activist.
Reveal Solution Hide Solution   Discussion  

Correct Answer: A 🗳️
The first paragraph speaks of Hansberrys being raised as the daughter of political activists. Choices b, d,and e are related to her beliefs but are not depicted as the origin of those beliefs. The passage does not say that Hansberry herself ever lived in Southside Chicago (choicec).

Question #2 Topic 1

(1) Produced in 1959, Lorraine Hansberrys play, A Raisin in the Sun, was a quietly revolutionary work that depicted African-American life in a fresh, new, and realistic way. The play made her the youngest American, the first African-American, and the fifth woman to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best
Play of the Year. In 1961, it was produced as a film starring Sydney Poitier and has since become a classic, providing inspiration for an entire generation of
African-American writers.
(2) Hansberry was not only an artist but also a political activist and the daughter of activists. Born in Chicago in 1930, she was a member of a prominent family devoted to civil rights.Her father was a successful real-estate broker, who won an anti-segregation case before the Illinois Supreme Court in the mid-1930s, and her uncle was a Harvard professor. In her home, Hansberry was privileged to meet many influential cultural and intellectual leaders. Among them were artists and activists such as Paul Robeson, W.E.B. DuBois, and Langston Hughes.
(3) The success of A Raisin in the Sun helped gain an audience for her passionate views on social justice. It mirrors one of Hansberrys central artistic efforts, that of freeing many people from the smothering effects of stereotyping by depicting the wide array of personality types and aspirations that exist within one Southside
Chicago family. A Raisin in the Sun was followed by another play, produced in 1964, The Sign in Sidney Brusteins Window. This play is about an intellectual in
Greenwich Village, New York City, a man who is open-minded and generous of spirit who, as Hansberry wrote, "cares about it all. It takes too much energy not to care."
(4) Lorraine Hansberry died on the final day of the plays run on Broadway. Her early death, at the age of 34, was unfortunate, as it cut short a brilliant and promising career, one that, even in its short span, changed the face of American theater. After her death, however, her influence continued to be felt. A dramatic adaptation of her autobiography, To Be Young, Gifted, and Black, consisted of vignettes based on Hansberrys plays, poems, and other writings. It was produced
Off-Broadway in 1969 and appeared in book form the following year.Her play, Les Blancs, a drama set in Africa, was produced in 1970; and A Raisin in the Sun was adapted as a musical, Raisin, and won a Tony award in 1973.
(5) Even after her death, her dramatic works have helped gain an audience for her essays and speeches on wide-ranging topics, from world peace to the evils of the mistreatment of minorities, no matter what their race, and especially for her works on the civil-rights struggle and on the effort by Africans to be free of colonial rule. She was a woman,much like the characters in her best-known play, who was determined to be free of racial, cultural, or genderbased constraints.
On the basis of above passage please answer the following question.
The main purpose of the passage is to

  • A. praise Lorraine Hansberry’s writings and illustrate their artistic and political influence.
  • B. summarize Lorraine Hansberry’s best-known works.
  • C. demonstrate that if one is raised in a welleducated family, such as Lorraine Hansberry’s, one is likely to succeed.
  • D. show Lorraine Hansberry’s difficult struggle and ultimate success as a young female writer.
  • E. persuade students to readA Raisin In The Sun.
Reveal Solution Hide Solution   Discussion  

Correct Answer: A 🗳️
The passage begins and ends with praise of Hansberrys works and influence. Hansberrys works are summarized (choice b) but this is not the main purpose of the passage. Choice c is not necessarily true and is not in the passage. Lorraine Hansberry may have had adifficult struggle (choice d), but the struggle is not shown in the passage. The author tells about Hansberrys plays, but does not try to persuade students to read them (choice e).

Question #3 Topic 1

(1) Produced in 1959, Lorraine Hansberrys play, A Raisin in the Sun, was a quietly revolutionary work that depicted African-American life in a fresh, new, and realistic way. The play made her the youngest American, the first African-American, and the fifth woman to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best
Play of the Year. In 1961, it was produced as a film starring Sydney Poitier and has since become a classic, providing inspiration for an entire generation of
African-American writers.
(2) Hansberry was not only an artist but also a political activist and the daughter of activists. Born in Chicago in 1930, she was a member of a prominent family devoted to civil rights.Her father was a successful real-estate broker, who won an anti-segregation case before the Illinois Supreme Court in the mid-1930s, and her uncle was a Harvard professor. In her home, Hansberry was privileged to meet many influential cultural and intellectual leaders. Among them were artists and activists such as Paul Robeson, W.E.B. DuBois, and Langston Hughes.
(3) The success of A Raisin in the Sun helped gain an audience for her passionate views on social justice. It mirrors one of Hansberrys central artistic efforts, that of freeing many people from the smothering effects of stereotyping by depicting the wide array of personality types and aspirations that exist within one Southside
Chicago family. A Raisin in the Sun was followed by another play, produced in 1964, The Sign in Sidney Brusteins Window. This play is about an intellectual in
Greenwich Village, New York City, a man who is open-minded and generous of spirit who, as Hansberry wrote, "cares about it all. It takes too much energy not to care."
(4) Lorraine Hansberry died on the final day of the plays run on Broadway. Her early death, at the age of 34, was unfortunate, as it cut short a brilliant and promising career, one that, even in its short span, changed the face of American theater. After her death, however, her influence continued to be felt. A dramatic adaptation of her autobiography, To Be Young, Gifted, and Black, consisted of vignettes based on Hansberrys plays, poems, and other writings. It was produced
Off-Broadway in 1969 and appeared in book form the following year.Her play, Les Blancs, a drama set in Africa, was produced in 1970; and A Raisin in the Sun was adapted as a musical, Raisin, and won a Tony award in 1973.
(5) Even after her death, her dramatic works have helped gain an audience for her essays and speeches on wide-ranging topics, from world peace to the evils of the mistreatment of minorities, no matter what their race, and especially for her works on the civil-rights struggle and on the effort by Africans to be free of colonial rule. She was a woman,much like the characters in her best-known play, who was determined to be free of racial, cultural, or genderbased constraints.
On the basis of above passage please answer the following question.
Hansberrys father earned his living as

  • A. a civil-rights worker.
  • B. a banker.
  • C. a real-estate broker.
  • D. an artist and activist.
  • E. an attorney.
Reveal Solution Hide Solution   Discussion  

Correct Answer: C 🗳️
See the third sentence of paragraph 2. Her father definitely worked in the cause of civil rights (choice a), but he did not earn his living that way (choice e). There was no mention of her fathers being either a banker (choice b) or an artist (choice d).

Question #4 Topic 1

(1) Produced in 1959, Lorraine Hansberrys play, A Raisin in the Sun, was a quietly revolutionary work that depicted African-American life in a fresh, new, and realistic way. The play made her the youngest American, the first African-American, and the fifth woman to win the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best
Play of the Year. In 1961, it was produced as a film starring Sydney Poitier and has since become a classic, providing inspiration for an entire generation of
African-American writers.
(2) Hansberry was not only an artist but also a political activist and the daughter of activists. Born in Chicago in 1930, she was a member of a prominent family devoted to civil rights.Her father was a successful real-estate broker, who won an anti-segregation case before the Illinois Supreme Court in the mid-1930s, and her uncle was a Harvard professor. In her home, Hansberry was privileged to meet many influential cultural and intellectual leaders. Among them were artists and activists such as Paul Robeson, W.E.B. DuBois, and Langston Hughes.
(3) The success of A Raisin in the Sun helped gain an audience for her passionate views on social justice. It mirrors one of Hansberrys central artistic efforts, that of freeing many people from the smothering effects of stereotyping by depicting the wide array of personality types and aspirations that exist within one Southside
Chicago family. A Raisin in the Sun was followed by another play, produced in 1964, The Sign in Sidney Brusteins Window. This play is about an intellectual in
Greenwich Village, New York City, a man who is open-minded and generous of spirit who, as Hansberry wrote, "cares about it all. It takes too much energy not to care."
(4) Lorraine Hansberry died on the final day of the plays run on Broadway. Her early death, at the age of 34, was unfortunate, as it cut short a brilliant and promising career, one that, even in its short span, changed the face of American theater. After her death, however, her influence continued to be felt. A dramatic adaptation of her autobiography, To Be Young, Gifted, and Black, consisted of vignettes based on Hansberrys plays, poems, and other writings. It was produced
Off-Broadway in 1969 and appeared in book form the following year.Her play, Les Blancs, a drama set in Africa, was produced in 1970; and A Raisin in the Sun was adapted as a musical, Raisin, and won a Tony award in 1973.
(5) Even after her death, her dramatic works have helped gain an audience for her essays and speeches on wide-ranging topics, from world peace to the evils of the mistreatment of minorities, no matter what their race, and especially for her works on the civil-rights struggle and on the effort by Africans to be free of colonial rule. She was a woman,much like the characters in her best-known play, who was determined to be free of racial, cultural, or genderbased constraints.
On the basis of above passage please answer the following question.
Paragraph 3 suggests that Hansberrys main purpose in writing A Raisin in the Sun was to

  • A. win her father’s approval.
  • B. break down stereotypes.
  • C. show people how interesting her own family was.
  • D. earn the right to produce her own plays.
  • E. win a Best Play award.
Reveal Solution Hide Solution   Discussion  

Correct Answer: B 🗳️
This correct answer is clearly stated in the second sentence of paragraph 3. There is no support for the other choices.

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