HESI A2 Reading Sample Test

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1

According to news reports, more senior citizens are accruing credit card debt than ever before. One reason given for the increase is that many seniors simply did not save enough money for retirement. Another reason given is the high cost of prescription drugs that are not covered by Medicare. Although the possibility of a prescription drug benefit being added to Medicare was a big issue in the last presidential campaign, it does not appear that any legislation will be enacted soon.

Meanwhile, some seniors are spending 50% to 60% of their income on prescription drugs. With utilities, mortgages, and groceries, it is easy to see why some seniors are forced to use their credit cards. According to SRI Consulting Business Intelligence in Princeton, New Jersey, a research and consulting firm, the average debt of households headed by someone over 65 rose from $8000 in 1992 to $23,000 in 2000. That is an increase of 188%.

Another reason given for seniors ending up in so much debt is the fact that they don't understand how credit cards work, and when they simply pay the minimum, most of the payment goes toward interest. Whatever the reason, many seniors today have to abandon formerly held conservative attitudes toward debt and join the millions of Americans who buy on credit.

Congress should enact Medicare legislation that helps make prescriptive drugs more affordable for seniors. It doesn't seem fair that those who have worked hard all their lives should have to worry about finding enough money to pay their bills in their so-called golden years. Write your congressional representatives encourage them to enact eh appropriate legislation.

HESI HINT~ When determining the writer's purpose and/or tone, look closely at the writer's choice of words. They are the key clues.

2

Which of the following statements is an opinion?

  1. More seniors are accruing credit card debt than ever before
  2. The high cost of prescription drugs has added to the credit card debt of seniors.
  3. Congress should enact Medicare legislation to make prescription drugs more affordable.
  4. some seniors get into debt because they do not understand how credit cards work.

C

3

What is the main idea of the passage?

  1. The high cost of presciption drugs is a difficult burden for seniors to bear.
  2. Credit card debt for seniors rose 188% from 1992 to 2000.
  3. Senior citizens today did not save enough money for their retirement years.
  4. There are several reasons why many senior citizens today are in credit card debt.

D

4

Which of the following is not listed as a detail in the passage?

  1. Seniors did not save enough for retirement.
  2. Many seniors spend money gambling.
  3. The cost of prescription drugs is a drain on seniors income
  4. Seniors do not always understand how credit cards work

B

5

What is the meaning of the work accruing as used in the first paragraph?

  1. Something that increases or accumulates
  2. Something that attaches itself likes a parasite
  3. Something that annoys
  4. Something that describes emotion

A

6

Identify the overall tone of the essay.

  1. Encouraging
  2. Optimistic
  3. Pessimistic
  4. Angry

C

7

What is the author's primary purpose in writing this essay?

  1. To inform
  2. To persuade
  3. To entertain
  4. To analyze

B

8

Which statement would not be inferred by the reader?

  1. Some seniors are having a difficult time paying their bills.
  2. Seniors should not allow their children to use their credit cards.
  3. Some seniors did not plan well for their retirement.
  4. Some seniors have to use credit cards to pay for their food and other basic necessities.

B

9

Choose the best summary of the passage.

  1. Prescription costs are keeping seniors in credit card debt.Many seniors were not financially prepared for retirement.Some seniors do not understand how credit cards work. There has been a huge increase in credit card debt for households headed by seniors.
  2. More seniors have credit card debt than ever before. The high cost of prescription drugs has caused many to use their credit cards for basic necessities.
  3. The average debt for households headed by seniors has decreased in the last decade. Many seniors hold conservative attitudes about debt, but they are being forced to Congress could help seniors by enacting legislation that would reduce the cost of prescription drugs
  4. More seniors hold credit card debt than ever before. Reasons for this include the lack of adequate financial planning for retirement, the high cost of prescription drugs, and the misunderstanding of how credit cards work. Congress needs to enact legislation to help today's seniors with the high cost of prescription drugs.

D