Monday, January 17, 2011

Adolescence: ECPE Reading Passage

Read the passage and answer the questions.

Adolescence is a time of tremendous changes. The adolescent may experience feelings which, at first, may seem strange. These feelings lead to changes in socialization. For example, boys and girls start to find one another attractive, which alters how they behave with friends and acquaintances. At the same time, there is a profound impact on the adolescent’s relationship with authority figures, notably parents. Perhaps, subconsciously, the adolescent realizes that parental support must be sacrificed for independence. As a result, the culmination of these changes influences how the adolescent views society and himself.

In an effort to understand the psychological development of a teenager, psychologists come across many obstacles. While a teenager, as compared to a child, is capable of discussing his emotions and rationale, he may find certain topics embarrassing. In addition, a teenager’s actions cannot be easily observed first-hand by psychologists, thus the actual facts of an adolescent’s behavior are difficult to accurately record.

A society’s perception of adolescence affects the expectations it has of a teenager. In countries such as the United States, a teenager is expected, to some extent, to be financially independent. What this means is that, instead of getting an allowance, the average teenager has an after-school, part-time job to earn pocket money. Similarly, he may be responsible for others, such as a younger brother or sister, while their parents are at work; whereas in other countries, such as those of southern Europe, a teenager is expected to devote his time solely to his studies and not work.

Once a teenager has proven to be responsible, then he is allowed certain privileges that are reserved for adults. In some states, for instance, an American high school student is allowed to drive by the age of 16. He is usually free to decide what to wear unless the school which he attends has dress restrictions. At the age of 18, an American teen can vote and live on his own but is not permitted to consume alcohol.

According to the passage, which statement is NOT true?
a Adolescents experience changes they don’t expect.
b Adolescents experience emotional changes.
c Adolescents become distant from their parents.
d Adolescents are indifferent towards the opposite sex.

What problem do psychologists face when they study adolescents?
a Psychologists won’t talk about embarrassing issues.
b Teenagers cannot explain why they act the way they do.
c First-hand observations are misleading.
d The behavior of teenagers cannot always be observed.

According to the passage, teenagers in southern European countries
a are responsible for younger siblings.
b are expected to have a part time job.
c are supposed to focus on school.
d can live alone.

In the United States, teenagers
a aren’t allowed to drink beer.
b don’t drive until they are 18.
c cannot vote until they get a job.
d wear what parents don’t allow.

The passage suggests that
a being a teenager is the best time of a person’s life.
b teenagers only worry about school.
c teenagers grow closer to their parents.
d rights and responsibilities are a part of adolescence.

Reading score: ___ / 5


  1. Sotiria's answers: 1a, 2d, 3c, 4a, 5d

    Any other candidates? :)

  2. Those who haven't tried the reading yet should not read this comment! :)

    The correct answers are: 1 d, 2 d, 3 c, 4 a, 5 d

    (Sotiria, a person is indifferent towards something when he/ she doesn't care about it. As you can imagine, even without reading the text, teenagers care a lot about the opposite sex, so this statement is true.) :)