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PRACTICE TEST 54 January 1991



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PRACTICE TEST 54

January 1991


Passage 1
By the late nineteenth century, the focus for the engineers and builders of tunnels was beginning to shift from Europe to the United States and especially New York, where the rivers encircling Manhattan captured the imagination of tunnelers and challenged their ingenuity. The first to accept the challenge was a somewhat mysterious Californian named DeWitt Clinton Haskin, who turned up in New York in the 1870's with a proposal to tunnel through the silt under the Hudson River between Manhattan and Jersey City.
Haskin eventually abandoned the risky project. But a company organized by William McAdoo resumed the attack in I 902, working from both directions. McAdoo’s men were forced to blast when they ran into an unexpected ledge of rock, but with this obstacle surmounted. the two headings met in 1904 and McAdoo donned oilskins to become the Hudson’s first underwater bank - to - bank pedestrian. World' s Work magazine proudly reported in 1906 that New York could now be described as a body of land surrounded by tunnels Three one - way shafts beneath the Hudson and two under the Harlem River were already holed through; three more Hudson tubes were being built. Eight separate tunnels were under construction beneath the East River.

1. According to the passage, DeWitt Clinton Haskin came from

A) Jersey City (B) Europe (C) California (D) New York


2. What does the author imply about DeWitt Clinton Haskin's background?

(A) It did not qualify him to handle explosives.

(B) It was not something people knew much about.

(C) It included diverse work experiences.

(D) It included many inferior projects.
3. According to the passage, when did William McAdoo begin to work on the Hudson River tunnel?

(A) 1870 (B) 1902 (C) 1904 (D) 1906


4. According to the passage, the workers tunneling for William McAdoo were surprised to find which of the following where they were working?

(A) Oil (B) Silt (C) Rock (D) Shafts


5. The quotation from World' s Work magazine in line 12 introduces facts about

(A) cities that were building new tunnels to Manhattan

(B) people' s concern eve the weakening of the city's foundation

(C) the role of New York City in promoting engineering

(D) the number of tunnels being built at the time
6. Where in the passage does the author refer to the first person to walk beneath the Hudson River?

(A) Lines 1 – 3 (B) Lines 4 – 6

(C) Lines 8 – 11 (D) Lines 14 – 15

Passage 2
Icebergs are among nature’s most spectacular creations, and yet most people have never seen one. A vague air of mystery envelops them. They come into being somewhere-in faraway, frigid waters, amid thunderous noise and splashing turbulence, which in most cases no one hears or sees. They exist only a short time and then slowly waste away just a unnoticed.
Objects of sheerest beauty, they have been called. Appearing in an endless variety of shapes they may be dazzlingly white, or they may be glassy blue, green. or purple, tinted faintly or in darker hues. They are graceful, stately, inspiring-in calm, sunlit seas.
But they are also called frightening and dangerous, and that they are-in the night, in the fog, and in storms. Even in clear weather one is wise to stay a safe distance away from them. Most of their bulk is hidden below the water, so their underwater parts may extend out far beyond the visible top. Also, they may roll over unexpectedly, churning the waters around them.
Icebergs are parts of glaciers that break off, drift into the water, float about awhile, and finally melt. Icebergs afloat today are made of snowflakes that have fallen over long ages of time. They embody snows that drifted down hundreds, or many thousands, or in some cases maybe a million years ago. The snows fell in polar regions and on cold mountains, where they melted only a little or not at all, and so collected to great depths over the years and centuries.
As each year’s snow accumulation lay on the surface, evaporation and melting caused the snowflakes slowly to lose their feathery points and become tiny grains of ice. When new snow fell on top of the old, it too turned to icy grains. So blankets of snow and ice grains mounted layer upon layer and were of such great thickness that the weight of the upper layers compressed the lower ones. With time and pressure from above, the many small ice grains joined and changed to larger crystals, and eventually the deeper crystals merged into a solid mass of ice.

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

(A) The Melting of Icebergs (B) The Nature and Origin of Icebergs

(C) The Size and Shape of Icebergs (D) The Dangers of Icebergs
2. The author states that icebergs are rarely seen because they are

(A) surrounded by fog

(B) hidden beneath the mountains

(C) located in remote regions of the world

(D) broken by waves soon after they are formed
3. The passage mentions all of the following col­ors for icebergs EXCEPT

(A) yellow (B) blue (C) green (D) purple


4. According to the passage, icebergs are dan­gerous because they

(A) usually melt quickly (B) can turn over very suddenly

(C) may create immense snowdrifts (D) can cause unexpected avalanches
5. According to the passage, icebergs originate from a buildup of

(A) turbulent water (B) feathers

(C) underwater pressure (D) snowflakes
6. The formation of an iceberg is most clearly analogous to which of the following activities?

(A) Walking on fluffy new snow, causing it to become more compact and icy

(B) Plowing large areas of earth, leaving the land flat and barren

(C) Skating across a frozen lake and leaving a trail behind

(D) Blowing snow into one large pile to clear an area

7. In line 23, the expression "from above" refers to

(A) sunlit seas (B) polar regions

(C) weight of mountains (D) layers of ice and snow
8. The attitude of the author toward icebergs is one of

(A) disappointment (B) humor (C) disinterest (D) wonder




Passage 3
Born in 1830 in rural Amherst, Massachusetts, Emily Dickinson spent her entire life in the household of her parents. Between 1858 and 1862, it was later discovered, she wrote like a person possessed, often producing a poem a day. It was also during this period that her life was transformed into the myth of Amherst.
Withdrawing more and more, keeping to her room sometimes even refusing to see visitors who called, she began to dress only in white-a habit that added to her reputation as an eccentric.
In their determination to read Dickinson's life in terms of a traditional romantic plot biographers have missed the unique pattern of her life-her struggle to create a female life not yet imagined by the culture in which she lived. Dickinson was not the innocent, lovelorn and emotionally fragile girl sentimentalized by the Dickinson myth and popularized by William Luce’s 1976 play, The BeIle of Amherst. Her decision to shut the door on Amherst society in the 1950's transformed her house into a kind of magical realm in which she was free to engage her poetic genius. Her seclusion was not the result of a failed love affairs but rather a part of a more general pattern of renunciation through which she, in her quest for self – sovereignty, carried on an argument with the Puritan fathers, attacking with wit and irony their cheerless Calvinist doctrine, their stern patriarchal God, and their rigid notions of "true womanhood."

1. What is the author's main purpose in the pas­sage?

(A) To interpret Emily Dickinson’s eccentric behavior

(B) To promote the popular myth of Emily Dickinson

(C) To discuss Emily Dickinson's failed love affair

(D) To describe the religious climate in Emily Dickinson's time
2. According to the passage, the period from 1858 to 1862 was for Emily Dickinson a peri­od of great

(A) tragedy (B) sociability

(C) productivity (D) frivolity
3. Which of the following is NOT mentioned as being one of Emily Dickinson' s eccentrici­ties?

(A) Refusing to eat (B) Wearing only write

(C) Avoiding visitors (D) Staying in her room
4. According to the passage, biographers of Emily Dickinson have traditionally

(A) criticized most of her poems (B) ignored her innocence and emotional fragility

(C) seen her life in romantic terms (D) blamed her parents for restricting her activities
5. Why does the author mention William Luce's play The Belle of Amherst?

(A) To give an example of the sentimentalized Emily Dickinson myth

(B) To show how popular Emily Dickinson's poems have become

(C) To show that Emily Dickinson was also an actress

(D) To illustrate the theatrical quality of Emily Dickinson's poems

6. The author implies that many people attribute Emily Dickinson's seclusion to

(A) physical illness (B) a failed love affair

(C) religious fervor (D) her dislike of people
7. The author suggests all of the following as reasons for Emily Dickinson's unusual behavior EXCEPT the

(A) struggle to create a new female identity

(B) desire to develop her genius undisturbed

(C) search for her own independence

(D) attempt to draw attention to her poetry
8. It can be inferred from the passage that Emily Dickinson lived in a society that was charac­terized by

(A) strong Puritan beliefs

(B) equality of men and women

(C) the encouragement of nonconformity

(D) the appreciation of poetic creativity


Passage 4
Native Americans from the southeastern part of what is now the United States believed that the universe in which they lived was made up of three separate, but related, worlds, the Upper World, the Lower World, and This World. In the last there lived humans, most animals, and all plants.
This World, a round island resting on the surface of waters, was suspended from the sky by four cords attached to the island at the four cardinal 'points of the compass. Lines drawn to connect the opposite points of the compass, from north to south and from east to west, intersected This World to divide it into four wedge - shaped segments. Thus a' symbolic representation of the human world was a cross within a circle, the cross representing the intersecting lines and the circle the shape of This World.
Each segment of This World was identified by its own color. According to Cherokee doctrine,' east was associated with the color red because it was the direction of the Sun, the greatest deity of all. Red was also the color of fire, believed to be directly connected with the Sun, with blood, and therefore' with life. Finally, red was the color of success. The west was the Moon segment; it provided no warmth and was not life - giving as the Sun was. So its color was black. North was the direction of cold, and so its color was blue (sometimes purple), and it represented trouble and defeat. South was the direction of warmth, its color, white, was associated with peace and happiness.
The southeastern Native Americans' universe was one in which opposites were constantly at war with each other, red against black, blue against white. This World hovered somewhere between the perfect order and predictability of the Upper World and the total disorder and instability of the Lower World. The goal was to find some kind of halfway path, or balance, between those other worlds.

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

(A) One Civilization's View of the Universe

(B) The Changing of the Seasons in the Southeast

(C) The Painting of Territorial Maps by Southeastern Native Americans

(D) The War Between Two Native American Civilizations
2. In line 3, the phrase "the last" refers to

(A) all plants (B) This World (C) the universe (D) the Upper World


3. The author implies that This World was located

(A) inside the Upper World (B) inside the Lower World

(C) above the Upper World (D) between the Upper World and Lower World
4. According to the passage, southeastern Native Americans compared This World to

(A) waters (B) the sky (C) an animal (D) an island


5. According to the passage, lines divided This World into how many segments?

(A) Two (B) Three (C) Four (D) Five


6. According to the passage, southeastern Na­tive Americans associated red with all of the following EXCEPT

(A) fire (B) trouble (C) blood (D) success


7. According to the passage, which of the fol­lowing colors represented the west for southeastern Native Americans?

(A) Blue (B) While (C) Black (D) Purple


8. The shape of This Word is closest to that of which of the following?

(A) A circle (B) A triangle (C) A square (D) A cube





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