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PRACTICE TEST 60 August 1990



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PRACTICE TEST 60

August 1990


Passage 1
Scientists estimate that about 35,000 other objects, too small to detect with radar but detectable with powerful Earth-based telescopes, are also circling the Earth at an altitude of 200 to 700 miles. This debris poses little danger to us on the Earth, but since it is traveling at average relative speeds of six miles per second, it can severely damage expensive equipment in a collision. This threat was dramatized by a cavity one-eighth of an inch in diameter created in a window of a United States space shuttle in 1983. The pit was determined to have been caused by a collision with a speck of paint traveling at a speed of about two to four miles per second. The window had to be replaced.
As more and more nations put satellites into space, the risk of collision can only increase. Measures are already being taken to control the growth of orbital debris. The United States has always required its astronauts to bag their wastes and return them to .Earth. The United States Air Force has agreed to conduct low-altitude rather than high-altitude tests of objects it puts into space so debris from tests will reenter the Earth's atmosphere and burn up. Extra shielding will also reduce the risk of damage. For example, 2,000 pounds of additional shielding is being considered for each of six space-station crew modules. Further, the European Space Agency, an international consortium is also looking into preventive measures.

1. Which of the following would be the best title for the passage?

(A) The Problem of Space Debris

(B) The Space Shuttle of 1983

(C) The Work of the European Space Agency

(D) A Collision in Space
2. It can be inferred from the passage that debris was harmful to one of the space shuttles because the debris was

(A) large (B) moving very fast

(C) radioactive (D) burning uncontrollably
3. What effect did orbital debris have on one of the space shuttles?

(A) It removed some of the paint (B) It damaged one of the windows

(C) It caused a loss of altitude (D) It led to a collision with a space station
4. The word “them" in line 11 refers to which of the following?

(A) Astronauts (B) Wastes (C) Tests (D) Crew modules


5. Which of the following questions is NOT answered by the information in the passage?

(A) How can small objects orbiting the Earth be seen?

(B) What is being done to prevent orbital debris from increasing?

(C) Why is the risk of damage to space equipment likely to increase?

(D) When did the United States Air Force begin making tests in space?
6. Where in the passage does the writer mention a method of protecting space vehicles against damage by space debris?

(A) Lines 1-3 (B) Lines 6-8 (C) Line 9 (D) Lines 13-15



Passage 2
Scattered through the seas of the world are billions of tons of small plants and animals called plankton. Most of these plants and animals are too small for the human eye to see. They drift about lazily with the currents, providing a basic food for many larger animals,
Plankton has been described as the equivalent of the grasses that grow on the dry land continents, and the comparison is an appropriate one. In potential food value, however, plankton far outweighs that of the land grasses. One scientist has estimated that white grasses of the world produce about 49 billion tons of valuable carbohydrates each year, the sea's plankton generates more than twice as much.
Despite its enormous food potential, little effort was made until recently to farm plankton as we farm grasses on land. Now, marine scientists have at last begun to study this possibility. especially as the sea's resources loom even more important as a means of feeding an expanding world population.
No one yet has seriously suggested that "planktonburgers" may soon become popular around the world. As a possible farmed supplementary food source, however, plankton is gaining considerable interest among marine scientists.
One type of plankton that seems to have great harvest possibilities is a tiny shrimplike creature called krill. Growing to two or three inches long, krill provide the major food for the giant blue whale, the largest animal ever to inhabit the Earth, flealizing that this whale may grow to 100 feet and weigh 150 tons at maturity, it is not surprising that each one devours more than one ton of krill daily.
Krill swim about just below the surface in huge schools sometimes miles wide, mainly in the cold Antarctic. Because of their pink color, they often appear as a solid reddish mass when viewed from a ship or from the air. Krill are very high in food value A pound of these crustaceans contains about 460 calories-about the same as shrimp or lobster to which they are related.
If the krill can feed such huge creatures as whales, many scientists reason. they must certainly be contenders as a new food source for humans.

1. Which of the following statements best describes the organization of the passage?

(A) The author presents the advantages and disadvantages of plankton as a food source.

(B) The author quotes public opinion to support the argument for farming plankton.

(C) The author classifies the different food sources according to amount of carbohydrate.

(D) The author makes a general statement about plankton as a food source and then moves to a specific example.
2. According to the passage, why is plankton considered to be more valuable than land grasses?

(A) It is easier to cultivate (B) It produces more carbohydrates

(C) It does not require soil (D) It is more palatable
3. Why does the author mention "planktonburgers" in line 13 ?

(A) To describe the appearance of one type of plankton

(B) To illustrate how much plankton a whale consumes

(C) To suggest plankton as a possible food source

(D) To compare the food values of beef and plankton
4. Blue whales have been known to weigh how much at maturity?

(A) One ton (B) Forty tons

(C) One hundred and fifty tons (D) Four hundred and sixty tons
5. What is mentioned as one distinguishing feature of krill?

(A) They are the smallest marine animals: (B) They are pink in color.

(C) They are similar in size to lobsters. (D) They have grass-like bodies.
6. The author mentions all of the following as reasons why plankton could be considered a human food source EXCEPT that it is

(A) high in food value (B) in abundant supply in the oceans

(C) an appropriate food for other animals (A) free of chemicals and pollutants
7. Where in the passage does the author first compare plankton to land grasses?

(A) Lines 2–3 (B) Lines 4–5 (C) Lines 13–14 (D) Lines 16–17




Passage 3
The most interesting architectural phenomenon of the 1970's was the enthusiasm for refurbishing older buildings. Obviously, this was not an entirely new phenomenon. What is new is the wholesale interest in reusing the past, in recycling, in adaptive rehabilitation. A few trial efforts, such as Ghirardell Square in San Francisco, proved their financial viability in the 1960's, but it was in the 1970s. with strong government support through tax incentives and rapid depreciation, as well as growing interest in ecology issues, that recycling became a major factor on the urban scene.
One of the most comprehensive ventures was the restoration and transformation of Boston's eighteenth century Faneuil Hal' and the Quincy Market, designed in 1924 This section had fallen on hard times, but beginning with the construction of a new city hall immediately adjacent. it has returned to life with the intelligent reuse of these fine old buildings under the design leadership of Benjamin Thompson. He has provided a marvelous setting for dining, shopping, professional offices, and simply walking.
Butler Square, in Minneapolis, exemplifies major changes in its complex of offices, commercial space, and public amenities carved out of a massive pile designed in 1906 as a hardware warehouse. The exciting interior timber structure of the building was highlighted by cutting light courts through the interior and adding large skylights. San Antonio, Texas, offers an object lesson for numerous other cities combating urban decay. Rather than bringing in the bulldozers. San Antonio's leaders rehabilitated existing structures, while simultaneously cleaning up the San Antonio River, which meanders through the business district.

1. What is the main idea of the passage?

(A) During the 1970's, old buildings in many cities were recycled for modern use.

(B) Recent interest in ecology issues has led to the cleaning up of many rivers.

(C) The San Antonio example shows that bulldozers are not the way to fight urban Decay.

(D) Strong government support has made adaptive rehabilitation a reality in
2. What is the space at Quincy Market now used for?

(A) Boston's new city hall (B) Sports and recreational facilities

(C) Commercial and industrial warehouses (D) Restaurants, offices, and stores
3. According to the passage, Benjamin Thompson was the designer for a project in

(A) San Francisco (B) Boston

(C) Minneapolis (D) San Antonio
4. When was the Butler Square building originally built?

(A) In the eighteenth century (B) In the early nineteenth century

(C) In the late nineteenth century (D) In the early twentieth century

5. What is the author's opinion of the San Antonio project?

(A) It is clearly the best of the projects discussed.

(B) It is a good project that could be copied in other cities.

(C) The extensive use of bulldozers made the project unnecessarily costly.

(D) The work done on the river was more important than the work done on the buildings.
6. The passage states that the San Antonio project differed from those in Boston and Minneapolis in which of the following ways?

(A) It consisted primarily of new construction.

(B) It occurred in the business district.

(C) It involved the environment as well as buildings.

(D) It was designed to combat urban decay.


Passage 4
The classic Neanderthals, who lived between about 70,000 and 30,000 years ago, shared a number of special characteristics. Like any biological population, Neanderthals also showed variation in the degree to which those characteristics were expressed. Generally, they were powerfully built, short and stocky, with the lower parts of their arms and legs short in relation to the upper parts, as in modern peoples who live in cold environments. Neanderthal skulls were distinctive, housing brains even larger on average than those of modem humans, a feature that may have had more to do with their large, heavy bodies than with superior intelligence. Seen from behind, Neanderthal skulls look almost spherical, but from the side they are long and flattened often with a bulging back.
The Neanderthal face, dominated by a projecting and full nose, differed clearly from the faces of other hominids; the middle parts appear to be pulled forward (or the sides pulled back), resulting in a rather streamlined face shape. This peculiarity may have been related to the greater importance (in cultural activities as well as food processing) of the front teeth, which are large and part of a row of teeth that lies well forward in the head; it may reflect a reduction in importance of certain jaw muscles operating at the sides of the face; or it may reflect an adaptation to cold. Whether it results from any or all of these three factors or from other, undiscovered causes, this midfacial projection is so characteristic that it unfailingly identifies a Neanderthal to the trained eye. Neanderthal teeth are much more difficult to characterize: the front teeth are large, with strong roots, but the back teeth may be relatively small. This feature may have been an adaptation to cope with heavy tooth wear

1. What does the passage mainly discuss?

(A) The eating habits of the Neanderthals

(B) A comparison of various prehistoric populations

(C) The physical characteristics of the Neanderthals

(D) The effect of climate on human development
2. The author describes the Neanderthal as being all of the following EXCEPT

(A) short (B) swift (C) strong (D) stocky


3. Which of the following most likely accounts for the fact that the Neanderthal brain was larger than that of the modern human?

(A) The relatively large size of the Neanderthal's body

(B) The superior intelligence of the Neanderthal.

(C) The swelling behind the Neanderthal’s head

(D) The Neanderthal's midfacial projection
4. Where in the passage does the author specifically stress the contrast between the Neanderthal face and that of other biologically related populations?

(A) Lines 1–4 (B) Lines 7–9 (C) Lines 10–11 (D) Lines 18–20


5. Which of the following explanations is NOT cited as a possible explanation of the Neanderthal’s streamlined face shape?

(A) Some jaw muscles had limited use.

(B) The facial features were well adapted to the cold.

(C) The front teeth were particularly important.

(D) The nose was set far back
6. The phrase "the trained eye" in line 18 most likely refers to which of the following professionals?

(A) An optometrist (B) A dentist (C) An anthropologist (D) A photographer


7. In line 20, the author uses the expression "heavy tooth wear" to imply that the Neanderthals

(A) had unusually heavy teeth (B) used their teeth extensively

(C) regularly pulled out their teeth (D) used teeth for ornamentation
8. The paragraph following this passage most probably discusses

(A) other features of the Neanderthal anatomy (B) cave painting of prehistoric time

(C) flora and fauna of 70,000 years ago (D) difficulties in preserving fossils


Passage 5
Television was not invented by any one person. Nor did it spring into being overnight. It evolved gradually, over a long period, from the ideas of many people-each one building on the work of their predecessors. The process began in 1873, when it was accidentally discovered that the electrical resistance of' the element selenium varied in proportion to the intensity of the light shining on it. 'Scientists quickly recognized that this provided, away of 'transforming light variations' into electri6al" signals. Almost immediately a number of schemes were proposed for sending pictures by wire ( it was, of course, before radio).
One of the earliest of these schemes was patterned on the human eye Suggested by G. R. Carey in 1875, it envisioned a mosaic of selenium cells on which the picture to' be transmitted would be focused by a lens system. At the receiving end there would be a similarly arranged mosaic made up of electric lights. Each selenium cell would be connected by an individual wire to the similarly placed light in the receiving mosaic. Light falling on the selenium cell would cause the associated electric light to shine in proportion. Thus the mosaic of lights would reproduce the original picture. Had the necessary amplifiers and the right kind of lights been available, this system would have worked. But it also would have required an impractical number of connecting wires. Carey recognized this and in a second scheme proposed to "scan" the cells-transmitting the signal from each cell to its associated light, in turn over 3 single wire. If this were done fast enough the retentive image to be seen as a complete picture.

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

(A) The Art of Television (B) Television in the Electronic Era

(C) Harmful Effects of Television (D) First step in the Invention of Television
2. In line 1 of the passage, the word "being" could best be replaced by which of the following?

(A) place (B) existence (C) creature (D) subsistence


3. An important discovery in early television was the electrical resistance of

(A) mosaics (B) the human eye

(C) lenses (D) the element selenium



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