Sample GED Language Arts: Reading Questions

What are the Effects of our Daily Choices?

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth. (5)

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same. (10)

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. (15)

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. (20)

1. In the first stanza, the narrator is deciding with path he should choose. Which of the following best describes how he feels about making this decision?

A. He knows he will regret his decision.
B. He feels the decision is a very simple one.
C. He feels that it is a difficult decision.
D. He wishes he had someone to help him make the decision.
E. He is not worried because he knows he can change his mind later.

2. According to the narrator, why did he choose to take the path he did?

A. He could see farther down the path he chose.
B. The path he chose had more grass and was less worn.
C. The path he chose had less undergrowth than the other.
D. He felt he could come back more easily on the path he chose.
E. The other path was full of black leaves that would have made travel difficult.

3. What does the narrator mean when he says, in line 13, "Oh, I kept the first for another day!"?

A. He knew he would never get to explore the other path.
B. He decided to take the first path he looked at instead.
C. He realized that the first path was probably better.
D. He intended to travel the other path at some point.
E. He was not ready to decide which path to take.

4. Which statement best expresses the overall theme or message of the poem?

A. It is important to consider all the options available before making a decision.
B. When we make a poor decision that we later regret, it is usually possible to correct it.
C. People who choose to conform are usually happier than those who do not.
D. When we are faced with a choice, both options often have disadvantages.
E. The decisions we make often have permanent effects on the course of our lives.


Answer Key:

1. Correct Answer: C

Explanation: The narrator feels that choosing which path to take is a very difficult decision. This is indicated in the first stanza when the narrator states he was "sorry I could not travel both." This suggests that he can see the advantages of both choices. He also states that he stood there for a long time ("long I stood"), something somebody would do if they were having trouble making up their mind.

2. Correct Answer: B

Explanation: This answer is stated directly in the piece. The narrator chose the path he did because it had more grass and was less worn down by foot traffic. In other words, that path was the one that fewer people chose to take. The narrator explains his decision when he says "Then took the other, as just as fair/And having perhaps the better claim/Because it was grassy and wanted wear."

3. Correct Answer: D

Explanation: Choices B and E can be eliminated because the narrator states before line 13 that he took the other path instead of the first one he looked at. Choice A is suggested in the lines immediately following line 13, but not in the line itself. Choice C is incorrect because there is no indication he judged the other path to be better. When he says, "Oh, I kept the first for another day!" he is suggesting that he may one day return to travel the path he did not take on that particular day.

4. Correct Answer: E

Explanation: This poem is about how our decisions can affect the entire course of our lives. The narrator, once he makes his choice, doubts he can undo it ("I doubted if I should ever come back.") The last line of the poem ("And that has made all the difference.") really sums up the message of the entire work.

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Last Updated: 04/24/2014

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