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PRACTICE TEST 52 August 1992



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PRACTICE TEST 52

August 1992


Passage 1
Passage 2
The oldest living things on Earth are trees. Some of California's sequoias have for four thousand years looked down on the changes in the landscape and the comings and goings of humans. They sprouted from tiny seeds about the time the Egyptian pyramids were being built. Today these giant patriarchs seem as remote and inaccessible as the rocks and mountain cliffs on which they grow, like cathedral columns holding up the sky. It is hard to imagine them playing any part in the lives of mere humans or being in any way affected by the creatures that pass at their feet.
Lesser trees, however, have played an intimate role in the lives of people since they first appeared on Earth. Trees fed the fires that warmed humans: they provided shelter, food and medicine and even clothing. They also shaped people's spiritual horizons. Trees expressed the grandeur and mystery of life, as they moved through the cycle of seasons, from life to death and back to life again. Trees were the largest living things around humans and they knew that some trees had been standing on the same spot in their parent's and grandparents' time, and would continue to stand long after they were gone. No wonder these trees became symbols of strength, fruitfulness, and everlasting life.

1. What is the main idea of the passage?

(A) Trees grow to great heights.

(B) Trees have been important to people throughout history.

(C) Trees make humans seem superior

(D) Trees that grow in California are very old.
2. Which of the following is NOT mentioned in the passage as a way in which people have used trees?

(A) For furniture (B) For fuel (C) For housing (D) For nourishment


3. In line 4, the phrase "giant patriarchs" could best be replaced by which of the following?

(A) tiny seeds (B) important leaders

(C) towering trees (D) Egyptian pyramids
4. In line 11, the word "they" refers to which of the following?

(A) Trees (B) Grandeur and mystery

(C) Seasons (D) People's spiritual horizons
5. The author implies that, compared with sequoias, other trees have

(A) been in existence longer (B) adapted more readily to their environments

(C) been affected more by animals (D) had a closer relationship with people
6. Where in the passage does the author make a comparison between trees and parts of a building?

(A) Line 1 (B) Lines 4-5 (C) Lines 9-11 (D) Lines 12-14



Passage 3
Martha Graham's territory of innumerable dances and a self-sufficient dance technique is a vast but closed territory, since to create an art out of one's experience alone ~ ultimately ~ self-limiting act. If there had been other choreographers with Graham's gifts and her stature, her work might have seemed a more balanced part of the story of American dance. but as she built her repertory, her own language seemed to shut out all other kinds. Even when an audience thinks it discerns traces of influence from other dance styles, the totality of Graham's theatrical idiom, its control of costumes. lights. and every impulse of the dance makes the reference seem a mirage. Dance is not her main subject. It is only her servant.
Graham had achieved her autonomy by 1931. By that time. three giant figures who had invented the new twentieth-century dance were dead: Sergei Diaghilev, Anna Pavlova, and Isadora Duncan. Their era ended with them, and their dance values nearly disappeared. Their colleagues Michel Fokine and Ruth St. Denis lived on in America like whales on the beach. During the twenties, Martha Graham and her colleagues had rescued art-dance from vaudeville and movies and musical comedy and all the resonances of the idyllic mode in the United States, but in so doing they closed the channels through which different kinds of dance could speak to one another-and these' stayed closed for half a century. Modem dance dedicated itself to deep significance. It gave up lightness it gave up a wealth of exotic color, it gave up a certain kind of theatrical wit and that age-old mobile exchange between a dancer and the dancer's rhythmical and musical material. No material in modem dance was neutral. The core of the art became an obsession with meaning and allegory as expressed in bodies. Modern dance excluded its own theatrical traditions of casual play, gratuitous liveliness, the spontaneous pretense, and the rainbow of genres that had formed it. But all these things survived in the public domain, where they had always lived, and they have continued to surface in American dance, if only by accident.

1. What is the main purpose of the passage?

(A) To discuss Martha Graham's influences on modem dance

(B) To trace the origins of different dance techniques

(C) To argue the role of modem dance as an artistic form of expression

(D) To compare several famous women choreographers of the twentieth century
2. According to the passage, which of the following most influenced Martha Graham's dances and techniques?

(A) Her own experiences (B) Exotic and idyllic themes

(C) Familiar classical stories (D) The works of St. Denis and Duncan
3. It can be inferred from the passage that Martha Graham had become famous by

(A) the beginning of the nineteenth century (B) the end of the nineteenth century

(C) the early 1920's (D) the early 1930's
4. In lines 12-13, the author uses the phrase "like whales on the beach" to indicate that Fokine and St. Denis were

(A) good swimmers (B) physically large

(C) out of place (D) very sick
5. In lines 13-16, what criticism does the author make of Martha Graham and her colleagues?

(A) They patterned much of their choreographic style after vaudeville.

(B) They insisted that all dancers learn the same foreign choreographic style.

(C) They adopted the same dance values of the previous era without interjecting any new ideas.

(D) They prevented modern dance from expanding beyond their personal interpretations.

Passage 4
The invention of the incandescent light bulb by Thomas A. Edison in 1879 created a demand for a cheap, readily available fuel with which to generate large amounts of electric power. Coal seemed to fit the bill, and it fueled the earliest power stations(which were set up at the end Of the nineteenth century by Edison himself). As more power plants were constructed throughout the country, the reliance on coal increased. Since the First World War, coal-fired power plants have accounted for about half of the electricity produced in the United States each year. In 1986 such plants had a combined generating capacity of 289,000 megawatts and consumed 33 percent of the nearly 900 million tons of coal mined in the country that year. Given the uncertainty in the future growth of nuclear power and in the supply of oil and natural gas, coal-fired power plants could well provide up to 70 percent of the electric power in the United States by the end of the century.
Yet, in spite of the fact that coal has long been a source of electricity and may remain one for many years (coal represents about 80 percent of United States fossil-fuel reserves), it has actually never been the most desirable fossil fuel for power plants. Coal contains less energy per unit of weight than natural gas or oil; it is difficult to transport, and it is associated with a host of environmental issues, among them acid rain. Since the late 1960's problems of emission control and waste disposal have sharply reduced the appeal of coal-fired power plants. The cost of ameliorating these environmental problems, along with the rising cost of building a facility as large and complex as a coal-fired power plant, has also made such plants less attractive from a purely economic perspective.
Changes in the technological base of coal fired power plants could restore their attractiveness, however. Whereas some of these changes are evolutionary and are intended mainly to increase the productivity of existing plants, completely new technologies for burning coal cleanly are also being developed.

1. What is the main idea of the passage?

(A) Coal-fired plants are an important source of electricity in the United States and are likely to remain so.

(B) Generating electricity from coal is comparatively recent in the United States.

(C) Coal is a more economical fuel than either oil or nuclear power.

(D) Coal is a safer and more dependable fossil fuel than oil or gas.
2. Edison's electric light bulb is mentioned in the passage because it

(A) replaced gas as a light source

(B) increased the need for electrical power

(C) was safer than any other method of lighting

(D) could work only with electricity generated from coal
3. It can be inferred from the passage that coal became the principal source of electricity in the United States, because it

(A) required no complicated machinery (B) was comparatively plentiful and inexpensive

(C) was easy to transport (D) burned efficiently
4. In the author's opinion, the importance of coal-generated electricity could increase in the future for which of the following reasons?

(A) The possible substitutes are too dangerous.

(B) The cost of changing to other fuels is too great.

(C) The future availability of other fuels is uncertain.

(D) Other fuels present too many environmental problems.


5. Acid rain is mentioned in the passage for which of the following reasons?

(A) It reduces the efficiency of coal-fired plants

(B) It increases the difficulty of transporting coal

(C) It is an environmental problem associated with coal use

(D) It contains less energy per unit of weight than coal does
6. According to the passage, which of the following is one of the goals of the new technology in coal-fired plants?

(A) To adapt the plants to other kinds of fuel

(B) To reduce the cost of building more plants

(C) To lengthen the lives of plants already in use

(D) To make the plants already in use more productive
7. Where in the passage is there a reference to the establishment of the first electric power stations?

(A) Lines 3-4 (B) Lines 5-7

(C) Lines 9-11 (D) Lines 16-18


Passage 5
The military aspect of the United States Civil War has always attracted the most attention from scholars. The roar of gunfire, the massed movements of uniformed men, the shrill of bugles, and the drama of hand-to-hand combat have fascinated students of warfare for a century. Behind the lines, however life was 1e53 spectacular. It was the story of back-breaking labor to provide the fighting men with food and arms, of nerve-tingling uncertainty about the course of national events, of heartbreak over sons or brothers or husbands lost in battle. If the men on the firing line won the victories the. means to those victories were forged on the home front.
Never in the nation's history had Americans worked harder for victory than in the Civil War. Northerners and Southerners alike threw themselves into the task of supplying their respective armies. Both governments made tremendous demands upon civilians and, in general, received willing cooperation.
By 1863 the Northern war economy was rumbling along in high gear. Everything from steamboats to shovels was needed-and produced. Denied Southern cotton, textile mills turned to wool for blankets and uniforms. Hides by the hundreds of thousands were turned into shoes and harness and saddles; ironworks manufactured locomotives, ordnance, armor plate. Where private enterprise lagged, the government set up its own factories or arsenals. Agriculture boomed, with machinery doing the job of farm workers drawn into the army.
In short, everything that a nation needed to fight a modern war was produced in uncounted numbers. Inevitably there were profiteers with gold-headed canes and flamboyant diamond stickpins, but for every crooked tycoon there were thousands of ordinary citizens living on fixed incomes who did their best to cope with rising prices and still make a contribution to the war effort. Those who could bought war bonds: others knitted, sewed, nursed or lent any other assistance in their power.

1. With what topic is the passage primarily concerned?

(A) Why the South lost the Civil War

(B) The causes of the Civil War

(C) Where the Civil War battles were fought

(D) The civilian response to the Civil

2. According to the passage, during the Civil War the South no longer provided the North with

(A) cotton (B) wool (C) hides (D) shoes


3. In line 15, the word "Hides" is closest in meaning to which of the following?

(A) Animal skins (B) Tree trunks

(C) Disguises (D) Shelters
4. In line 21, the word "crooked" could best be replaced by which of the following?

(A) twisted (B) dishonest (C) uneven (D) distorted


5. The author implies that students of the Civil War usually concentrate on the

(A) home front (B) battlefield

(C) government (D) economy
6. Where in the passage does the author mention a contribution made by the government to the war economy?

(A) Line 4 (B) Lines 11-12

(C) Line 17 (D) Lines 19-20



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