Are you smarter than a 12th-grader? A reading comprehension quiz.

Jake Turcotte/Staff

The National Assessment of Educational Progress has just released the results of math and reading tests that 12th-graders took last year. The average score on the reading portion was higher than in 2005, but lower than in 1992. What follows are six sample questions from the reading section. Overall on the test, 38 percent of students scored at or above a proficient level in reading. How many questions can you answer correctly?

1. According to the rental agreement, what is the first action the landlord will take if the rent is not paid on time?

Keep the security deposit

Terminate the tenant's contract

Send a seven-day notice

Require one month's rent in advance

Address ______________________________

THIS AGREEMENT is made this _____ day of _______________, by and between ___________________________________________, herein called
"Landlord," and __________________, __________________, __________________, __________________, herein called "Tenant." Landlord hereby agrees to rent to Tenant the real property located in the City of __________________, State of __________________, described as follows: __________________ . Lease commences on the 1st day of __________________ and monthly thereafter until the __________________th day of __________________, at which time this agreement is terminated. Landlord rents the demised property to Tenant on the following terms and conditions:

1. Rent
Tenant agrees to pay Landlord as base rent the sum of $__________ per month, due and payable monthly in advance on the first day of each month during the term of this agreement. Rent must be received by 5:00 p.m. If the rent has not been received by 9:00 a.m. on the second of the month, then a seven (7) day notice will be posted.
2. Payment of Rent
Monthly rent payments may be paid by check until the first check is dishonored and returned unpaid. Rent shall be made payable to __________________ and hand delivered (or sent by mail at Tenant's risk) to Landlord at ____________________________________. Any rents lost in the mail will be treated as if unpaid until received by Landlord.
3. Bad-Check Servicing Charge
In the event Tenant's check is dishonored and returned for any reason to Landlord, Tenant agrees to pay as additional rent the sum equal to thirty-five dollars ($35) for each occurrence. This amount shall be in addition to all late fees, if check is not paid prior to the first of the month. If for any reason a check is returned or dishonored, all future rent payments must be cash or money order.
4. Use
Tenant agrees to use the property only as a residence for self and those persons identified below.
 __________________, __________________, __________________.
Landlord will hold Tenant solely responsible for all damages to property or for violations against this rental agreement.
5. Appliances
The house is rented with the following appliances: Refrigerator and Stove. Other appliances that may be included in the rental property are the sole responsibility of Tenant to maintain. Landlord will not be responsible for the maintenance of these other appliances and does not warrant the condition of these appliances.
6. Repair Policy
Tenant shall use customary diligence in care of the Property. All minor repairs are expected to be performed by or at the direction of Tenant, at the sole responsibility of Tenant. Any and all repairs made at the direction of Tenant shall be done by a competent professional, or by Tenant provided that Tenant is capable and qualified to make said repairs. All repairs shall be done in compliance with all applicable codes and regulations. Any repair that is estimated to cost more than fifty dollars ($50) must receive permission of Landlord prior to being made. Under no circumstances will Landlord be responsible for any improvements or repairs costing more than $50 unless Tenant is given written authorization to make repairs or improvements in advance.

Tenant is to maintain the dwelling unit as follows:

a) Comply with all obligations primarily imposed upon Tenant by applicable provisions of building codes materially affecting health and safety.
b) Keep that part of the property that Tenant occupies and uses as clean and safe as the condition of the property permits.
c) Dispose from the dwelling unit all rubbish, garbage, and other waste in a clean and safe manner.
d) Keep all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit as clean as their condition permits.
e) Use in a reasonable manner all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating,
air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, on the property.
f) Not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair, or remove any part of the property or knowingly permit any person to do so.
g) Not disturb neighbors' peaceful enjoyment of the property.
8. Security Deposit
Tenant has deposited with, and Landlord acknowledges receipt of, $________ as a Security Deposit. This Security Deposit is to guarantee the return of the property to Landlord in the same or better condition as when accepted by Tenant, reasonable wear excepted, and to satisfy any obligations of Tenant unfulfilled at the termination of this Rental Agreement, as specified herein. Satisfactory compliance with this section includes removing all trash and belongings of Tenant. If any provision of this Rental Agreement is violated, the Security Deposit is forfeited. The Security Deposit may not be applied by Tenant as payment for any rent due to Landlord. Should Tenant be responsible for damage and/or loss of value to the property greater than the value of the Security Deposit, Tenant hereby agrees to reimburse Landlord for such loss immediately upon the presentation of a bill for said damage and/or loss. Landlord shall return the balance of said Security Deposit, if any, to Tenant at Tenant's forwarding address, upon Tenant's vacating the property and returning keys to Landlord and upon termination of this contract according to other terms herein agreed. The Security Deposit will be returned within thirty (30) days after Tenant vacates the property, along with an itemized statement as to the deductions, if any, from said Security Deposit.
9. Alterations
Tenant shall make no alterations, decorations, additions, or improvements in or to the property without Landlord's prior written consent, and then only by contractors or mechanics approved by Landlord. All alterations, additions, or improvements upon the property, made by either party, shall become the property of Landlord and shall remain upon, and be surrendered with, said property, as a part thereof, at the end of the term hereof.
10. Vehicle Policy
Tenant must follow rules and laws of the City Parking Department concerning parking. Tenant must obtain all necessary parking permits and information for self and guests. Landlord is not responsible for Tenant's parking needs. Off-street parking is not provided by Landlord, unless otherwise noted in this agreement.
11. Utilities
Tenant will be responsible for payment of all utility and garbage bills, water and sewer charges, telephone bills, gas bills, and any other bills incurred during residency. Tenant specifically authorizes Landlord to deduct amounts of unpaid bills from the Security Deposit in the event bills remain unpaid after termination of this agreement.
12. Access to Property
Landlord reserves the right to enter the residence at reasonable times to inspect, make necessary repairs, supply services, or show it to prospective residents, purchasers, mortgagors, workers, or contractors. Whenever practicable, a 24-hour notice of Landlord's intent to enter shall be given to Tenant. Landlord may also display "for rent" and "for sale" signs on the building of which the rented residence is a part.
13. Full Disclosure
Tenant signing this Rental Agreement hereby states that all questions about this Rental Agreement have been answered, and that Tenant fully understands all the provisions of the agreement and the obligations and responsibilities of each party, as spelled out herein. Tenant further states that he/she agrees to fulfill Tenant's obligations in every respect or suffer the full legal and financial consequences of his/her actions or lack of action in violation of this agreement. Signature by Tenant on this Rental Agreement is acknowledgment of receipt of a signed copy of the Rental Agreement.
Accepted this __________________ day of __________________ .
_____________________ _____________________
, Landlord , Tenant
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  , Tenant
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