Question 18 - Reading: Level M Practice Test for the TABE Test

This is a two-part question. First, read the material provided and choose an answer to this first question.

Which statement identifies the main idea of the passage provided?

A. Most miners who came to the California Gold Rush became rich and powerful.
B. Women who came west for the California Gold Rush often made more money than their husbands.
C. The California Gold Rush, while relatively short, transformed the state and the nation.
D. Levi Strauss was one of the people who made their fortune during the California Gold Rush, but not from mining.

Keeping your answer to the first question in mind, which of the following sentences from the text provided supports that answer?

The California Gold Rush was a relatively short period of time that changed the country. It started when James Wilson Marshall was building a water powered sawmill for John Sutter in 1848. When he finished building the sawmill, he went to the river to fetch some water. He saw some shiny little flakes of gold in the river. He immediately went to tell John, and they tried to keep it a secret. But word soon got out, and the gold rush started. People came from all over the country and around the world to try and make their fortune.

It was 1849 when the Gold Rush started. People who came to California for gold were called forty-niners because they came in the year 1849. Some of them became rich, but most did not. Some people started selling goods to the miners who were hoping to strike it rich. One of these men was Levi Strauss, who invented and sold jeans made from strong denim. Many of these merchants became rich, famous, and politically powerful themselves. Sometimes a woman could earn more than her mining husband.

The California Gold Rush brought over 300,000 people to the California territory and sparked its statehood in 1850. The rush ended in 1855. Many gold miners went back home because gold was harder to find; others found other work. But in less than a decade, California was changed forever.

Adapted from

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