Practice test 47 3 practice test 48 8

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January 1990

Passage 1
The railroad industry could not have grown as large as it did without steel. The first rails were made of iron. But iron rails were not strong enough to support heavy trains running at high speeds. Railroad executives wanted to replace them with steel rails because steel was ten or fifteen times stronger and lasted twenty times longer. Before the 1870's, however, steel was too expensive to be widely used. It was made by a slow and expensive process of heating. Stirring, and reheating iron ore.
Then the inventor Henry Bessemer discovered that directing a blast of air at melted iron in a furnace would burn out the impurities that made the iron brittle. As the air shot, through the furnace, the bubbling metal would erupt in showers of sparks. When the fire cooled, the metal had been changed, or converted, to steel. The Bessemer converter made possible the mass production of steel. Now three to five tons of iron could be changed into steel in a matter of minutes.
Just when the demand for more and more steel developed, prospectors discovered huge new deposits of iron ore in the Mesabi Range, a 120-mile-long region in Minnesota near Lake Superior. The Mesabi deposits were so near the surface that they could be mined with steam' shovels.
Barges and steamers carried the iron ore through Lake Superior to depots or: the southern shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Erie. With dizzying speed Gary, Indiana, and Toledo, Youngstown, and Cleveland, Chic, became major steel-manufacturing centers Pittsburgh was the greatest steel city of all.
Steel was the basic building material of the industrial age. Production skyrocketed from seventy-seven thousand tons in 1870 to over eleven million tons in 1900.

1. Which of the following is the best title for the passage

(A) The Railroad industry (B) Famous Inventors

(C) Changing Iron into Steel (D) Steel Manufacturing Centers
2. According to the passage, the railroad industry try preferred steel to iron because steel was

(A) cheaper and more plentiful (B) lighter, and easier to mold

(C) cleaner. And easier to mine (D) stronger and more durable
3. According to the passage, how did the Bessemer method make the mass production of steel possible?

(A) It directed air at melted iron in a furnace. removing all impurities.

(B) It slowly heated iron ore.. then stirred it and heated it again.

(C) It changed iron ore into iron, which was a substitute for steel.

(D) It could quickly find deposits of iron ore under the ground.
4. The furnace that Bessemer used to process iron into steel was called a

(A) heater (B) steamer (C) converter (D) shower

5. According to the passage. where were large deposits of iron one uncovered?

(A) In Pittsburgh (B) In the Mesabi Range

(C) Near Lake Michigan (D) Near Lake Erie
6. In line 17 the words 'Barges and steamers could best be replaced by which of the following?

(A) Trains (B) Planes (C) Boats (D) Trucks

7. It can be inferred from the passage that the mass production of steel caused

(A) a decline in the railroad industry (B) a revolution in the industrial world

(C) an increase in the price of steel (D) a feeling of discontent among steel work

Passage 2
The origins of the horse go back to eohippus the "dawn horse" of me Eocene only 10 to 20 inches tall. Like its relatives the ancient tapir and rhinoceros, eohippus had four toes on its front feet, three on the rear, and teeth adapted to a forest diet of soft leaves. Eohippus died out about 5.1 million years ago in both North America and Europe.
Late ancestral horse types moved from their forest niche out onto the grassy plains. Their teeth ac to accommodate to hard siliceous grass. No longer could these protohorses slip away through thick forest when dancer threatened. Escape now demanded speed and endurance Limbs crew longer. Extra toes became vestiges that were not visible externally

1. The passage mainly discusses the

(A) evolution of the horse (B) size of eohippus

(C) animals of the Eocene (D) plight of endangered species
2. The author states that eohippus was related to the

(A) horsefly (B) tapeworm

(C) hippopotamus (D) rhinoceros
3. What did the eohippus eat?

(A) Rhinoceros meat (B) Soft leaves

(C) Hard siliceous grass (D) Other horses
4. In what way did predators present less of a threat to eohippus than to later proto horses.

(A) Eohippus was hidden by the forest. (B) Eohippus could run farther.

(C) Eohippus was not edible. (D) Eohippus was larger and stronger
5. The paragraph following the passage most probably discusses

(A) other changes that the rhinoceros has undergone

(B) more reasons for the extinction of eohippus

(C) further development of early horse types.

(D) the diet of eohippus.

Passage 3
In terrestrial affairs we think of "big" as being complicated; a city is more intricate than a village, an ocean more complicated than a puddle. For the universe, the reverse seems to be the case bigger is simpler Galaxies have some puzzling features, but on the whole, they are scarcely more complicated than the stars that compose them Beyond the galaxies, in the hierarchy of the cosmos, there are clusters of galaxies; these clusters are loosely bound by the gravity of their largest members and tend to look very much the same in all directions. Simplest of all is the universe at large, it is far less complicated than the Earth, one of its most trivial members. The universe consists of billions of galaxies flying apart as if from an explosion that set it in motion, it is not lopsided, nor does it rotate. The more thoroughly scientists investigate the universe, the more clearly its simplicity shines through.

1. What is the main point made in the passage?

(A) The Earth is more complicated than the solar system

(B) The universe is filled with puzzling materials.

(C) The universe is a relatively simple phenomenon.

(D) Galaxy clusters are an illusion.
2. According to the passage, clusters of galaxies are

(A) indiscernible in the cosmos B) held together by gravity

(C) made up of only one or two galaxies D) created when stars explode
3. According to the passage, which of the following is the most complicated?

(A) The Earth (B) A cluster of galaxies

(C) The universe (D) A galaxy
4. It can be inferred from the passage that future research will support which of the following statements?

(A) Scientists in the past have been misled by the apparent simplicity of the universe.

(B) The chaos and confusion of the universe will never be understood

(C) Findings will confirm the belief that the universe is simple

(D) Billions of galaxies are predicted to explode, adding to universal complexity.

Passage 4
Arid regions in the southwestern United States have become increasingly inviting playgrounds for the growing number of recreation seekers who own vehicles such as motorcycles or powered trail bikes and indulge in hill-climbing contests or in carving new trails in the desert. But recent scientific studies show that these off-road vehicles can cause damage to desert landscapes that has long-range effects on the area’s water-conserving characteristics and on the entire ecology, both plant and animal. Research by scientists in the western Mojave Desert in California revealed that the compaction of the sandy arid soil resulting from the passage of just one motorcycle markedly reduced the infiltration ability of the soil and created a stream of rain runoff water that eroded the hillside surface. In addition, the researchers discovered that the soil compaction caused by the off-road vehicles often killed native plant species and resulted in the invasion of different plant species within a few years. The native perennial species required many more years before they showed signs of returning. The scientists calculated that roughly a century would be required for the infiltration capacity of the Mojave soil to be restored after being compacted by vehicles.

1. What is the main topic of the passage?

(A) Problems caused by recreational vehicles

(B) Types of off-road vehicles

(C) Plants of the southwestern desert

(D) The increasing number of recreation seekers
2. According to the passage, what is being damaged?

(A) Motorcycles (B) The desert landscape

(C) Roads through the desert (D) New plant species
3. According to the passage, the damage to plants is

(A) unnoticeable (B) superficial (C) long-lasting (D) irreparable

4. According to the passage, what happens when the soil is compacted?

(A) Little water seeps through (B) Better roads are made

(C) Water is conserved (D) Deserts are expanded

5. What is happening to the desert hillsides?

(A) The topsoil is being eroded

(B) The surface is being irrigated

(C) There are fewer types of plants growing on them

(D) There are fewer streams running through them
6. According to the passage, what is happening to native plants in these areas?

(A) They are becoming more compact (B) They are adapting

(C) They are invading other areas (D) They are dying
7. It can be inferred that which of the following people would probably be most alarmed by the scientists' findings?

(A) Historians (B) Mapmakers (C) Farmer (D) Ecologists

Passage 5
Certainly one of the most intelligent and best educated women of her day, Mercy Otis Warren produced a variety of poetry and prose. Her farce The Group ( 1776) was the hit of revolutionary Boston, a collection of two plays and poems appeared in 1790, and he three-volume History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution. Interspersed with Biographical and Moral, Observations appeared in 1805 She wrote other farces, as well as anti-Federalist pamphlet Observations on the New Constitution, and on the Federal and State Conventions (1788). There is no modern edition of her works, but there are two twentieth-century biographies, one facsimile edition of The Group, and a generous discussion of her farces and plays in Arthur Hubson Quinn's A History of the American Drama From the Beginning to the Civil War. Of her non-dramatic poetry, critics rarely speak Mercy Otis was born into a prominent family in Barnstable, Massachusetts. In 1754, she married James Warren, a Harvard friend of James Otis and John Adams, comes Warren was to become a member of the Massachusetts legislature just before the war and a financial aide to Washington during the war with the rank of major general. The friendship of the Warrens and Adamses was lifelong and close: Abigail Adams was one of Mercy Warren's few close friends. Following the war. James Warren reentered politics to oppose the Constitution because he feared that it did not adequately provide for protection of individual rights. Mercy Warren joined her husband in political battle, out the passage of the Bill of flights marked the end of their long period of political agitation.
In whatever literary form Warren wrote, she had but one theme-liberty. In her farces and history, it was national and political freedom. In her poems, it was intellectual freedom. In her anti-Federalist pamphlet, it was individual freedom. Throughout all of these works, moreover, runs the thread of freedom (equal treatment) for women. Not militant, she nevertheless urged men to educate their daughters and to treat their wives as equals.

1. Which of the following is the main topic of the Passage?

(A) Mercy Otis Warren and other poets of the Revolutionary War period

(B) The development of Mercy Otis Warren’s writing style

(C) Mercy Otis Warren’s contributions to American literature and society

(D) The friends and acquaintances of Mercy Otis Warren
2. In what year was Warren's pamphlet about the Constitution written?

(A) 1776 (B) 1788 (C) 1790 (D) 1805

3. Which of the following is NOT mentioned as a kind of writing done by Warren?

(A) Farces (B) Poetry (C) Plays (D) Advertisements

4. The author implies that Mercy Otis Warren felt the Constitution would fail to Protect

(A) literary progress (B) political parties

(C) the American economy (D) personal freedom
5. In line 21 the word "but" could best be replaced by which of the following?

(A) only (B) yet (C) still (D) however

6. According to the passage. the kind of liberty emphasized in Warren's poems was

(A) national (B) intellectual (C) political (D) religious

7. In lines 24-25, the author refers to Warren as "not militant" to indicate that she

(A) remained politically aloof

(B) did not continue agitating for a Bill of flights

(C) did not campaign aggressively for women's rights

(D) did not support military conscription

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