Reading Comprehension Quiz

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 June 17.

With Depression raging in 1931, Stephen Bechtel helped organize a consortium to tackle what was then the biggest civil engineering construction job in U.S. history: the Hoover Dam. He was first in charge of all transportation, engineering, and administration, but, upon the death of his father, he became chief executive of the whole project, which transformed the economy of much of the West.

After Hoover Dam, Bechtel began building the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Then, during World War II, he operated shipyards that turned out cargo carriers and oil tankers. At the same time, he built a pipeline through the Canadian wilderness to Alaska.

1. A consortium is
A. a secret group.
B. a group of supportive allies.
C. a group of gamblers.
D. an association of companies for some definite purpose.
2. It would seem that Bechtel is known for
A. big projects.
B. winning and then failing.
C. unwavering successes.
D. wild ideas.
3. Unexpectedly, Bechtel became chief executive of
A. shipyards.
B. an oil pipeline.
C. the Hoover Dam project.
D. cargo carriers.
4. Civil (as in civil engineering) refers to
A. benefiting the public.
B. courteous, agreeable.
C. city life.
D. rights.

The information comes from an article by George J. Church at Time Magazine Most Important People of the Century.

Write down your answers and then see Answer Key below.

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