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PRACTICE TEST 56

August 1991


Passage 1
British Columbia is the third largest Canadian province both in area and population. It is nearly three times as large as Texas, and extends 800 miles (1,280 km) north from the United States border. It includes Canada's entire west coast and the islands just off the coast.
Most of British Columbia is mountainous, with long, rugged ranges running north and south. Even the coastal islands are the remains of a mountain range that existed thousands of years ago. During the last Ice Age this range was scoured by glaciers until most of It was beneath the sea. its peaks now show as islands scattered along the coast.
The southwestern coastal region has a humid mild marine climate. Sea winds that blow inland from the west are warmed by a current of warm water that flows through the Pacific Ocean. As a result winter temperatures average above freezing and summers are mild. These warm western winds also carry moisture from the ocean. Inland from the coast, the winds from the Pacific meet the mountain barriers of the coastal ranges and the Rocky Mountains. As they rise to cross the mountains, the winds are cooled, and their moisture begins to fall as rain. On some of the western slopes almost 201 inches (500 cm) of rain fall each year.
More than half of British Columbia is heavily forested. On mountain slopes that receive plentiful rainfall, huge Douglas firs rise in towering columns. These forest giants often grow to be as much as 300 feet (90 m) tail, with diameters up to 10 feet (3 m). More lumber is produced from these trees than from any other kind of tree in North America. Hemlock, red cedar, and balsam fir are among the other trees found in British Columbia.

1. In which part of British Columbia can a mild tree found in British Columbia?

(A) In the southwest (B) Inland from the coast

(C) In the north (D) On the entire west coast
2. In line 16, the word "heavily" could best be replaced by which of the following?

(A) weightily (B) densely (C) sluggishly (D) seriously


3. Which of the following is NOT mentioned as a climate be found?

(A) Hemlock (B) Cedar (C) Fir (D) Pine


4. Where in the passage does the author mention the effect the mountains have on winds?

(A) Lines 4 – 5 (B) Lines 8 – 10

(C) Lines 13– 14 (D) Lines 16 – 17

Passage 2
Though they were not trained naturalists, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in their explorations of North America in the early nineteenth century came across enough unfamiliar birds, mammals, and reptiles to fill a zoo. In keeping with President Jefferson's orders they took careful note of 122 species and subspecies that were unknown to science and in many cases native only to the West. Clark made sketches of any particularly intriguing creature. He and Lewis also collected animal hides and horns and bird skins with such care that a few of them were still intact nearly two centuries later. While Lewis and Clark failed to meet the mythological monsters reputed to dwelt in the West, they did unearth the bones of a 45 - foot dinosaur. Furthermore, some of the living beasts they did come upon, such as the woolly mountain goat and the grizzly bear, were every bit as odd or as fearsome as any myth. In their collector's enthusiasm, they even floated a prairie dog out of its burrow by pouring in five barrelfuls of water, then shipped the frisky animal to Jefferson alive and yelping.

1. What does the passage mainly discuss?

(A) President Jefferson's pets

(B) Collector's techniques for capturing wildlife

(C) Discovery of animal species by Lewis and Clark

(D) Jobs for trained naturalists
2. "In keeping with" in line 3 could best be replaced by which of the following?

(A) Following (B) Managing (C) Retaining (D) Delaying


3. It can be inferred from the passage that President Jefferson ordered Lewis and Clark to

(A) bring back animals for a zoo (B) train to be naturalists

(C) compile sketches for a book (D) record newly discovered species of animals
4. In line 8, what does the word "they" refer to?

(A) Lewis and Clark (B) Dinosaur bones

(C) Mythological monsters (D) Western dwellers
5. The author compares which of the following animals to mythological monsters?

(A) The grizzly bear (B) The prairie dog (C) A tropical bird (D) A poisonous reptile


6. According to the passage, Lewis and Clark poured water into a prairie dog's burrow because they wanted to

(A) bathe the animal (B) capture the animal

(C) give the animal water (D) teach the animal to float


Passage 3
What makes it rain? Rain falls from clouds for the same reason anything falls to Earth. The Earth's gravity pulls it. But every cloud is made of water droplets or ice crystals. Why doesn't rain or snow fall constantly from all clouds? The droplets or ice crystals in clouds are exceedingly small. The effect of gravity on them is minute. Air currents move and lift droplets so that the net downward displacement is zero, even though the droplets are in constant motion.
Droplets and ice crystals behave somewhat like dust in the air made visible in a shaft of sunlight. To the casual observer, dust seems to act in a totally random fashion, moving about chaotically without fixed direction. But in fact dust particles are much larger than water droplets and they finally fall. The cloud droplet of average size is only 1/2500 inch in diameter. It is so small that it would take sixteen hours to fall half a mile in perfectly still air, and it does not fall out of moving air at alt. Only when the droplet grows to a diameter of 1/125 inch or larger can it fall from the cloud. The average raindrop contains a million times as much water as a tiny cloud droplet. The growth of a cloud droplet to a size large enough to fall out is the cause of rain and other forms of precipitation. This important growth process is called "coalescence."

1. What is the main topic of the passage?

(A) The mechanics of rain (B) The climate of North America

(C) How gravity affects agriculture (D) Types of clouds
2. The word "minute" in line 4 is closest in meaning to which of the following?

(A) Second (B) Tiny (C) Slow (D) Predictable



3. Why don' t all ice crystals in clouds immediately fall to earth?

(A) They are balanced by the pressure of rain droplets.

(B) The effect of gravity at high altitude is random.

(C) They are kept aloft by air currents.

(D) The heat from the sun' S rays melts them.
4. The word 'motion" in line 6 is closest in meaning to which of the following?

(A) Wind (B) Descent (C) Movement (D) Humidity


5. What can be inferred about drops of water larger than 1/125 inch in diameter?

(A) They never occur.

(B) They are not affected by the force of gravity.

(C) In still air they would fall to earth.

(D) In moving air they fall at a speed of thirty-two miles per hour.
6. In this passage, what does the term "coalescence" refer to?

(A) The gathering of small clouds to form larger clouds

(B) The growth of droplets

(C) The fall of raindrops and other precipitation

(D) The movement of dust particles in the sunlight
7. What is the diameter of the average cloud droplet?

(A) 1/16 inch (B) 1/125 inch

(C) 1/2500 inch (D) One million of an inch


Passage 4
In general, the influence of Anglo patrons has been much less pronounced on Hispanic arts than on American Indian arts. The Hispanic crafts revival was confined to a much shorter period of time, beginning in the early 1920's, reaching its peak in the late 1930's, and dying down by the Second World War, less than 20 years. During this period, in spite of the enthusiasm of the wealthy Anglo patrons in northern New Mexico, Hispanic crafts never "caught on" nationally in the way American Indian crafts did. Interest was fairly well limited to the Southwest and Southern California, the areas in which the adobe hacienda revival was taking place. The major interest in Hispanic crafts was as furnishings for these comfortable Southwestern-style adobe homes. These crafts were not, as were American Indian crafts viewed as valuable art objects in themselves purchased with an eye for speculation. Hispanic arts to, a great degree have been ignored by the speculative Anglo art market. A beneficial consequence of this oversight is that the artisans have been freer to work according to their own standards and within their own traditions. Their work has not been "emptied of previous vital meanings" and become a meaningless revival. as has so much ethnic art of this day. Rather it has remained as an object of cultural pride and identity and not simply the product of the tastes and demands of the art market.

1. What does this passage mainly discuss?

(A) Differences in the degree to which His-panic and American Indian arts have been influenced by Anglo patrons

(B) Marketing strategies for Hispanic artists

(C) American Indian influence on Hispanic crafts

(D) Negative consequences of the influence American Indian and Hispanic arts have had on Anglo artists

2. According to the passage, during which of the following periods were Hispanic crafts most popular?

(A) The early 1920's (B) The late 1930's

(C) In the middle of the Second World War (D) At the end of the Second World War
3. In line 6, the author says that Hispanic crafts never "caught on" to indicate that they

(A) failed to become fashionable (B) were hard to hang on walls

(C) were impossible to understand. (D) seldom stayed glued together
4. In line 15 of the passage, to which of the following does the word "it" refer?

(A) The clay (B) Ethnic art

(C) Their work (D) A meaningless revival
5. Which of the following places is NOT mentioned in the passage as a place in which Hispanic crafts were popular?

(A) Northern New Mexico (B) The Southwest

(C) Southern California (D) New England
6. Where in the passage does the author indicate the primary use of the Hispanic crafts purchased prior to the Second World War II

(A) Lines 2-4 (B) Lines 8-9

(C) Lines 11-13 (D) Lines 15-16


Passage 5
Botany, the study of plants, occupies a peculiar position in the history of human knowledge. For many thousands of years it was the one field of awareness about which humans had anything more than the vaguest of insights. It is impossible to know today just what our Stone Age ancestors knew about plants, but from what we can observe of pre-industrial societies that still exist, a detailed learning of plants and their properties must be extremely ancient. This is logical. Plants are the basis of the food pyramid for all living things, even for other plants. They have always been enormously important to the welfare of peoples, not only for food, but also for clothing, weapons, tools, dyes: medicines, shelter, and a great many other purposes. Tribes living today in the jungles of the Amazon recognize literally hundreds of plants and know many properties of each. To them botany, as such, has no name and is probably not even recognized as a special branch of "Knowledge at all.
Unfortunately, the more industrialized we become the farther away we move from direct contact with plants, and the less distinct our knowledge of botany grows. Yet everyone comes unconsciously on an amazing amount of botanical knowledge, and few people will fail to recognize a rose, an apple, or an orchid. When our Neolithic ancestors, living in the Middle East about 10,000 years ago, discovered that certain grasses could be harvested and their seeds planted for richer yields the next season, the first great step in a new association of plants and humans was taken. Grains were discovered and from them flowed the marvel of agriculture: cultivated crops. From then on, humans would increasingly take their living from the controlled production of a few plants, rather than getting a little here and a little there from many varieties that grew wild – and the accumulated knowledge' of tens of thousands of years of experience and intimacy with plants in the wild would begin to fade away.

1. Which of the following assumptions about early humans is expressed in the passage?

(A) They probably had extensive knowledge of plants.

(B) They thought there was no need to cultivate crops.

(C) They did not enjoy the study of botany.

(D) They placed great importance on the ownership of property.
2. What does the comment "This is logical" in line 6 mean?

(A) There is no clear way to determine the extent of our ancestor’s knowledge of plants.

(B) It is not surprising that early humans had a detailed knowledge of plants.

(C) It is reasonable to assume that our ancestors behaved very much like people in preindustrial societies.

(D) Human knowledge of plants is well organized and very detailed.
3. According to the passage, why has general knowledge of botany begun to fade?

(A) People no longer value plants as a useful resource.

(B) Botany is not recognized as a special branch of science.

(C) Research is unable to keep up with the increasing numbers of plants.

(D) Direct contact with a variety of plants has decreased.
4. In line 16, what is the author’s purpose in mentioning "a rose, an apple, or an orchid"?

(A) To make the passage more poetic

(B) To cite examples of plants that are attractive

(C) To give botanical examples that all readers will recognize

(D) To illustrate the diversity of botanical life
5. According to the passage, what was the first great step toward the practice of agriculture?

(A) The invention of agricultural implements and machinery

(B) The development of a system of names for plants

(C) The discovery of grasses that could be harvested and replanted

(D) The changing diets of early humans
6. The relationship between botany and agriculture is similar to the relationship between zoology (the study of animals) and

(A) deer hunting (B) bird watching

(C) sheep raising (D) horseback riding
7. In which lines in the passage does the author describe the beneficial properties that plants have for humans?

(A) Lines 1-2 (B) Lines 7-9

(C) Lines 11-12 (D) Lines 14-16


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