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PRACTICE TEST 61

October 1990


Passage 1
During the early years of this century, wheat was seen as the very lifeblood of Western Canada. When the crops were good, the economy was good; when the crops failed, there was depression. People on city streets watched the yields and the price of wheat with almost as much feeling as if they were growers. The marketing of wheat became an increasingly favorite topic of conversation.
War set the stage for the most dramatic events in marketing the western crop. For years, farmers mistrusted speculative grain selling as carried on through the Winnipeg Grain Exchange. Wheat prices were generally low in the autumn, but farmers could not wait for markets to improve. It had happened too often that they sold their wheat soon after harvest when' farm debts were coming due, only to see prices rising and speculators getting rich. On various occasions, producer groups asked for firmer controls. but governments had no wish to become involved, at least not until wartime wheat prices threatened to run wild.
Anxious to check inflation and rising living costs, the federal government appointed a board of grain supervisors to handle deliveries from the crops of 1917 and 1918. Grain Exchange trading was suspended, and farmers sold at prices fixed by the board. To handle the crop of 919, the government appointed the first Canadian Wheat Board, with full authority to buy, sell, and set prices.

1. What is the main purpose of the passage?

(A) To explain how wheat is marketed today

(B) To justify suspension of trading on the Grain Exchange

(C) To describe the origins of the Canadian Wheat Board

(D) To argue for further reforms on the Canadian Wheat Board
2. The author uses the term "lifeblood" (line 1) to indicate that wheat was

(A) difficult to produce in large quantities (B) susceptible to many parasites

(C) essential to the health of the country (D) expensive to gather and transport.
3. According to the passage, most farmers debts had to be paid

(A) when the autumn harvest had just been competed

(A) because wheat prices were high

(C) as soon as the Winnipeg Grain Exchange demanded payment

(D) when crop failure caused depression
4. According to the passage, wheat prices be-came unmanageable because of conditions caused by

(A) farmers (B) supervisors (C) weather (D) war


5. In line 13, the word "check" could best be replaced by which of the following?

(A) control (B) investigate (C) finance (D) reinforce


6. According to the passage, a preliminary step in the creation of the Canadian Wheat Board was the appointment of

(A) the Winnipeg Grain Exchange (B) a board of supervisors

(C) several producer groups (D) a new government

Passage 2

American Indians played a central role in the war known as the American Revolution. To them, however, the dispute between the colonists and England was peripheral. For American Indians the conflict was a war for American Indian independence, and whichever side they chose they lost it. Mary Brant was a powerful influence among the Iroquois. She was a Mohawk, the leader of the society of all Iroquois matrons, and the widow of Sir William Johnson, Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Her brother, Joseph Brant, is the best-known American Indian warrior of the Revolution, yet she may have exerted even more influenced in the Confederacy than he did. She used her influence to keep the western tribes of Iroquois loyal to the English king, George III. When the colonists won the war, she and her tribe had to abandon their lands and retreat to Canada. On the other side, Nancy Ward held position of authority in the Cherokee ration. She had fought as a warrior in the war against the Creeks and as a reward for her heroism was made "Beloved Woman" of the tribe. This office made her chief of the women's council and a member of the council of chiefs. She was friendly with the White settlers and supported the Patriots during the Revolution. Yet the Cherokees too lost their land.



1. What is the main point the author makes in the passage?

(A) Siding with the English in the Revolution helped American Indians regain their land.

(B) At the time of the Revolution, the Superintendent of Indian Affairs had little power.

(C) Regardless of whom they supported in the Revolution, American Indians lost their land.

(D) The outcome of the Revolution was largely determined by American Indian women.
2. The word "it" in line 4 refers to

(A) side (B) revolution (C) dispute (D) independence


3. According to the passage, Mary Brant's husband had been a

(A) government official (B) Mohawk chief

(C) revolutionary hero (D) Cherokee council member
4. The word "he" in line 8 could be replaced by

(A) Sir William Johnson (B) the Superintendent of Indian Affairs

(C) Joseph Brant (D) George Ill
5. To which tribe did Nancy Ward belong?

(A) Mohawk (B) Iroquois (C) Cherokee (D) Creek


6. How did Nancy Ward gain her position of authority?

(A) By bravery in battle (B) By marriage to a chief

(B) By joining the Confederacy (D) By being born into a powerful family
7. According to the. passage, what did Mary Brant and Nancy Ward have in, common?

(A) Each was called "Beloved Woman" by her tribe.

(B) Each influenced her tribe’s role in the American Revolution

(C) Each lost a brother in the American Revolution.

(D) Each went to England after the American Revolution.

Passage 3
In the late 1960's, many people in North' America turned their attention to environmental problems and new steel-and-glass skyscrapers were widely criticized. Ecologists pointed out that a cluster of tall buildings in a city often overburdens public transportation and parking lot capacities.
Skyscrapers are also lavish consumers, and wasters, of electric power. In one recent year, the addition of 17 million square feet of skyscraper office space in New York City raised the peak daily demand for electricity by 120, 000 kilowatts-enough to supply the entire city of Albany, New York, for a day.
Glass- walled skyscrapers can be especially wasteful The heat loss (or gain) through a wall of half-inch plate glass is more than ten times that through a typical masonry wall filled with insulation board. To lessen the strain on heating and air-conditioning equipment builders ~f skyscrapers have begun to use double glazed panels of glass, and reflective glasses coated with silver or gold mirror films that reduce glare as well as heat gain. However, mirror-walled skyscrapers raise the temperature of the surrounding air and affect neighboring buildings.
Skyscrapers put a severe strain on a city’s sanitation facilities, too. If fully occupied, the two World Trade Center towers in New York City would alone generate 2.25 million gallons of raw sewage each year--as much as a city the size of Stamford, Connecticut, which has a population of more than 109,000.
Skyscrapers also interfere with television reception, block bird flyways, and obstruct air traffic. In Boston in the late 1960's. some people even feared that shadows from skyscrapers would kill the grass on Boston Common.
Still, people continue to build skyscrapers for all the reasons that they have always built them – personal ambition, civic pride, and the desire of owners to have the largest possible amount of rentable space.

1. The main purpose of the passage is to

(A) compare skyscrapers with other modern structures

(B) describe skyscrapers and their effect on the environment

(C) advocate the use of masonry in the construction of skyscrapers

(D) illustrate some architectural designs of skyscrapers
2. According to the passage, what is one disadvantage of skyscrapers that have mirrored walls?

(A) The exterior surrounding air is heated. (B) The windows must be cleaned daily.

(C) Construction time is increased. (D) Extra air-conditioning equipment is needed.
3. According to the passage, in the late 1960's some residents of Boston were concerned with which aspect of skyscrapers?

(A) The noise from their construction (B) The removal of trees from building sites

(C) The harmful effects on the city's grass (D) The high cost of rentable office space
4. The author raises issues that would most concern which of the following groups?

(A) Electricians (B) Environmentalists

(C) Aviators (D) Teachers
5. Where in the passage does the author compare the energy consumption of skyscrapers with that of a city?

(A) Lines 5-8 (B) Lines 13-14 (C) Lines 19-21 (D) Lines 22-24


Passage 4
It was not "the comet of the century experts predicted it might be. Nevertheless, Kohoutek had provided a bonanza of scientific information. It was first spotted 370 million miles from Earth, by an astronomer who was searching the sky for asteroids, and after whom the comet was named. Scientists who tracked Kohoutek the ten months before it passed the Earth predicted the comet would be a brilliant spectacle. But Kohoutek fell short of these predictions, disappointing millions of amateur sky watchers, when it proved too pale to be seen with the unaided eye. Researchers were delighted nonetheless with the nevi information they were able to glean from their investigation of the comet. Perhaps the most significant discovery was the identification of two important chemical compounds-methyl cyanide and hydrogen cyanide-never before seen in comets, but found in the far reaches of interstellar space. This discovery revealed new clues about the origin of comets. Most astronomers agree that comets are primordial remnants from the formation of the solar system, but whether they were born between Jupiter and Neptune or much farther out toward interstellar space has been the subject of much debate. If compounds no more complex than ammonia and methane, key components of Jupiter, were seen in comets, it would suggest that comets form within the planetary orbits. But more complex compounds such as the methyl cyanide found in Kohoutek, point to formation far beyond the planets there the deep freeze of space has kept them unchanged.

1. What is the subject of the passage?

(A) What was learned from Kohoutek (B) What was disappointing about Kohoutek

(C) Where Kohoutek was spotted (D) How Kohoutek was tracked
2. Why was Kohoutek referred to as "the comet of the century"?

(A) It was thought to be extremely old.

(B) It passes the Earth once a century.

(C) Scientists predicted it would be very bright.

(D) Scientists have been tracking it for a century.
3. In what respect was Kohoutek a disappointment?

(A) It could be seen only through special equipment.

(B) It did not approach the Earth.

(C) It did not provide valuable scientific information.

(D) It was moving too rapidly for scientists to photograph.
4. Before the investigation of Kohoutek, where had methyl cyanide been known to exist?

(A) In comets (B) On asteroids

(C) Between Jupiter and Neptune (D) Beyond the Earth's solar system
5. According to the passage, what is one major component of Jupiter?

(A) Hydrogen cyanide (B) Methyl cyanide

(C) Hydrogen (D) Ammonia
6. What aspect of Kohoutek did scientists find most interesting?

(A) Its shape (B) Its composition

(C) Its orbit (D) Its size
7. Which of the following questions is best answered by information gained from Kohoutek?

(A) Where were comets formed? (B) When were comets formed?

(C) When was the solar system formed? (D) How was the solar system formed?

Passage 5
George Washington Carver showed that plant life was more than just food for animals and humans. Carver's first step was to analyze plant parts to fine out what they were made of. He then combined these' simpler isolated substances with other substances to create new products.
The branch of chemistry that studies and finds ways to use raw materials from farm products to make industrial products is called chemurgy. Carver was one of the first and greatest chemurgists of all time. Today the science of chemurgy is better known as the science of synthetics. Each day people depend on and use synthetic materials made from raw materials. All his life Carver battled against the disposal of waste materials and warned of the growing need to develop substitutes for the natural substances being used up by humans.
Carver never cared about getting credit for the new products he created. He never tried to patent his discoveries or get wealthy from them. He turned down many offers to leave Tuskegee Institute to become a rich scientist in private industry. Thomas Edison, inventor of the electric light, offered him a laboratory in Detroit to carry out food research. When the United States government made him a collaborator in the Mycology and Plant Disease Survey of the Department of Agriculture, he accepted the position with the understanding that he wouldn't have to leave Tuskegee. An authority on plant diseases-especially of the fungus variety- sent hundreds of specimens to the United States Department of Agriculture. At the peak of his career. Carver's fame and influence were known on every continent.

1. With what topic is the passage mainly concerned?

(A) The work and career of George Washington Carver

(B) The research conducted at Tuskegee Institute

(C) The progress of the science of synthetics

(D) The use of plants as a source of nutrition
2. In line 2, the word "step" could best be replaced by

(A) footprint (B) action (C) scale (D) stair


3. According to the passage, chemurgy can be defined as the

(A) combination of chemistry and metallurgy

(B) research on chemistry of the soil

(C) study of the relationship between sunlight and energy

(D) development of industrial products from farm products
4. Why does the author mention Thomas Edison S offer to Carver?

(A) To illustrate one of Carver’s many opportunities

(B) To portray the wealth of one of Carver's competitors

(C) To contrast Edison’s contribution with that of Carver

(D) To describe Carver’s dependence on industrial support
5. Which of the following is NOT discussed in the passage as work done by Carver?

(A) Research on electricity (B) Analysis of plant parts



(C) Invention of new products (D) Research on plant diseases

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