Reading Comprehension Quiz

[A new interlinear poem will be available each Monday: Weekly Interlinear Poem .]

Use the dictionary, the acronym finder, and the word origins dictionary (links above) as needed. A new quiz is available each Monday through Thursday. This is the quiz for July 17.

Sam Walton was an active student of retailing, so by the time a barber named Herb Gibson from Berryville, Ark., began opening discount stores outside towns where Sam ran variety stores, Walton saw what was coming. In 1962, at the age of 44, he opened his first Wal-Mart store, in Rogers, Ark. That same year, S.S. Kresge launched K Mart, F.W. Woolworth started Woolco and Dayton Hudson began its Target chain. Discounting had hit America in a big way. At that time, Walton was too far off the beaten path to attract the attention of competitors or suppliers, much less Wall Street.

Once committed to discounting, Walton began a crusade that lasted the rest of his life: to drive costs out of the merchandising system wherever they lay in the stores, in the manufacturers' profit margins, and with the middleman all in the service of driving prices down, down, down.

Using that formula, which cut his margins to the bone, it was imperative that Wal-Mart grow sales at a relentless pace. It did, of course, and Walton hit the road to open stores wherever he saw opportunity. He would buzz towns in his low-flying airplane studying the lie of the land. When he had triangulated the proper intersection between a few small towns, he would touch down, buy a piece of farmland at that intersection, and order up another Wal-Mart store, which his troops could roll out like a rug.

1. To keep prices low, Walton had to have
A. a huge market.
B. sales at a discount.
C. high profit margins.
D. stores on farmland.
2. Triangulate means
A. to measure distances by mapping out triangles.
B. to measure the distance from one place to another.
C. to use surveying instruments.
D. to squeeze.
3. A Wal-Mart store at first served
A. a suburb.
B. a city.
C. several small towns.
D. a small town.
4. A profit margin is
A. the difference beween the $income and the $sales.
B. the $profit.
C. the $profit divided by the $sales.
D. the $sales minus $expenses.

The information comes from an article by John Huey at Time Magazine Most Important People of the Century.

Write down your answers and then see Answer Key below.

Answer Key: 1-A..........2-A..........3-C..........4-C
Corrections? Questions? Comments? E-mail Robert Jackson at