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PRACTICE TEST 55

May 1991


Passage 1
Forces other than damaging winds are also at work inside tornadoes. Sometimes, as the writhing, twisting funnel passes over a house, the walls and ceiling burst apart as if a bomb had gone off inside. This explosion is caused by the low air pressure at the center of a tornado.
The pressure at the center of a tornado is usually 13 pounds per square inch. However, inside the house the air pressure is normal, about 15 pounds per square inch. The difference of 2 pounds per square inch between the inside and outside pressure may not seem like much. But suppose a tornado funnel passes over a small building that measures 20 by 10 by 10 feet. On each square inch of the building, there is 2 pounds of pressure from the inside that is not balanced by air pressure outside the building. On the ceiling, that adds up to an unbalanced pressure of 57, 600 pounds. The pressure on the four walls adds up to 172,800 pounds.
If windows are open in the building, some of the inside air will rush out through them. This will balance the pressure inside and outside the building. But if the windows are shut tightly, the enormous inside pressure may cause the building to burst.
Unfortunately, heavy rain and hail often occur in thunderstorms that later produce tornadoes. So people frequently shut all windows to protect their property. This may cause far worse damage later. For the same reason, tornado cellars must have an air vent. Otherwise, the cellar door might be blown out when a tornado passes over it.

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

(A) How tornadoes can be prevented (B) When tornadoes usually occur

(C) Where tornadoes are formed (D) Why tornadoes cause so much damage
2. In line 2, the word "funnel" refers to which of the following?

(A) A bomb (B) A house (C) A tornado (D) An explosion


3. According to the passage, tornadoes can destroy buildings because the

(A) force of a tornado increases the air pressure in a building

(B) air pressure at the center of a tornado is over 172,000 pounds

(C) weight of a tornado can crush a building's roof when it passes overhead

(D) air pressure inside a tornado is less than the air pressure inside a building
4. According to the passage, what is the difference per square inch between the air pressure inside a building and the air pressure inside a tornado?

(A) 2 pounds (B) 10 pounds (C) 13 pounds (D) 15 pounds


5. According to the passage, the pressure on a building during a tornado can be relieved by

(A) closing the cellar (B) opening the windows

(C) using a fan for ventilation (D) strengthening the roof and walls
6. According to the passage, people close their windows to prevent damage caused by

(A) tornadoes (B) thunderstorms

(C) uprooted trees (D) bursting structures
7. In line 17, the word "it" refers to

(A) wind (B) hail (C) cellar door (D) air vent



Passage 2
Grandma Moses is among the most celebrated twentieth - century painters of the United States, yet she had barely started painting before she was in her late seventies. As she once said of herself: "I would never sit back in a rocking chair, waiting for someone to help me.' No one could have had a more productive old age.
She was born Anna Mary Robertson on a farm in New York State, one of five boys and five girls. ("we came in bunches, like radishes.") At twelve she left home and was in domestic service until at twenty-seven, she married Thomas Moses, the hired hand of one of her employers. They farmed most of their lives, first in Virginia and then in New York State, at Eagle Bridge. She had ten children, of whom five survived: her husband died in 1927.
Grandma Moses painted a little as a child and made embroidery pictures as a hobby, but only switched to oils in old age because her hands had become too stiff to sew and she wanted to keep busy and pass the time. Her pictures were first sold at the local drugstore and at a fair, and were soon spotted by a dealer who bought everything she painted. Three of the pictures were exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art, and in 1940 she had her first exhibition in New York. Between the 1930s and her death she produced some 2,000 pictures: detailed and lively portrayals of the rural life she had known for so long, with a marvelous sense of color and form. “I think real hard till think of something real pretty, and then I paint it,” she said.

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

(A) Grandma Moses: A Biographical Sketch

(B) The Children of Grandma Moses

(C) Grandma Moses: Her Best Exhibition

(D) Grandma Moses and Other Older Artists
2. According to the passage, Grandma Moses began to paint because she wanted to

(A) decorate her home (B) keep active

(C) improve her salary (D) gain an international reputation
3. From Grandma Moses' description of herself in the first paragraph, it can be inferred that she was

(A) independent (B) pretty (C) wealthy (D) timid


4. Grandma Moses spent most of her life

(A) nursing (B) painting (C) embroidering (D) farming


5. In line 13, the word "spotted" could best be replaced by

(A) speckled (B) featured (C) noticed (D) damaged




Passage 3
There were two widely divergent influences on the early development of statistical methods. Statistics had a mother who was dedicated to keeping orderly records of governmental units (state and statistics come from the same Latin root. status) and a gentlemanly gambling father who relied on mathematics to increase his skill at playing the odds in games of chance. The influence of the mother on the offspring, statistics, is represented by counting, measuring, describing, tabulating, ordering, and the taking of censuses-all of which led to modern descriptive statistics. From the influence of the father came modern inferential statistics, which is based squarely on theories of probability.
Descriptive statistics involves tabulating, depicting, and describing collections of data. These data may be either quantitative, such as measures of height, intelligence, or grade level-159 variables that are characterized by an underlying continuum-or the data may represent qualitative variables, such as sex, college major, or personality type. Large masses of data must generally undergo a process of summarization or reduction before they are comprehensible. Descriptive statistics is a tool for describing or summarizing or reducing to comprehensible form the properties of an otherwise unwieldy mass of data.
Inferential statistics is a formalized body of methods for solving another class of problems that present great difficulties for the unaided human mind. This general class of problems characteristically involves attempts to make predictions using a sample of observations. For example a school superintendent wishes to determine the proportion of children in a large school system who come to scho6l without breakfast have been vaccinated for flu. or whatever. Having a little knowledge of statistics, the superintendent would know that it is unnecessary and inefficient to question each child; the proportion for the entire district could be estimated fairly accurately from a sample of as few as 100 children. Thus, the purpose of inferential statistics is to predict or estimate characteristics of a population from a knowledge of the characteristics of only a sample of the population.

1. With what is the passage mainly concerned?

(A) The drawbacks of descriptive and inferential statistics

(B) Applications of inferential statistics

(C) The development and use of statistics

(D) How to use descriptive statistics
2. According to the first paragraph, counting and describing are associated with

(A) inferential statistics (B) descriptive statistics

(C) unknown variables (D) quantitative changes
3. Why does the author mention the "mother" and "father" in the first paragraph?

(A) To point out that parents can teach their children statistics

(B) To introduce inferential statistics

(C) To explain that there are different kinds of variables

(D) To present the background of statistics in a humorous and understandable way
4. The word "squarely" in line 8 could best be replaced by which of the following?

(A) solidly (B) geometrically (C) rectangularly (D) haphazardly


5. Which of the following is NOT given as an example of a qualitative variable?

(A) Gender (B) Height

(C) College major (D) Type personality
6. Which of the following statements about descriptive statistics is best supported by the passage?

(A) It simplifies unwieldy masses of data.

(B) It leads to increased variability

(C) It solves all numerical problems.

(D) It changes qualitative variables to quantitative variables.
7. According to the passage, what is the purpose of examining a sample of a population.?

(A) To compare different groups

(B) To predict characteristics of the entire population

(C) To consider all the quantitative variables

(D) To tabulate collections of data

Passage 4
The beaver is North America’s largest rodent. As such, it is a close relative of two creatures that are not held in particularly high regard by most connoisseurs of wildlife, the porcupine and the rat. Even so, the beaver has several qualities that endear it to people: ii is monogamous and lives in a family unit; it is gentle and clean; it is absolutely industrious.
The beaver's legendary capacity for hard work has produced some astonishing results. In British Columbia, for example, one ambitious creature felled a cottonwood tree that was 11.1 feet tall and more than five feet thick. In New Hampshire, beavers constructed a darn that was three fourths of a mile long and the body of water it created contained no fewer than 40 lodges In Colorado, beavers were responsible for the appearance of a canal that was a yard deep and ran for 7511 feet. Each adult beaver in Massachusetts, according to one researcher’s calculations, cuts down more than a ton of wood every year.
Beavers appear to lead exemplary lives. But the beaver's penchant for building dams, lodges, and canals has got it into a lot of hot water lately. People who fish in the Midwest and New England are complaining about beaver dams that spoil streams for trout and. in the Southeast, loggers object whenever the animals flood out valuable stands of commercial timber. But some beaver experts champion a more charitable view. Historically, they say, this creature's impact on the environment has been tremendously significant, and its potential as a practical conservation resource is receiving more and more attention.

1. What does the passage mainly discuss?

(A) Characteristics and habits of the beaver

(B) Forest animals as conservation resources

(C) Rodents of North America

(D) The beavers role in building canals
2. In the first paragraph, the author implies that the porcupine and the rat are

(A) gentle and clean (B) not found in North America

(C) disliked by connoisseurs of wildlife (D) monogamous and live in a family unit .
3. According to the passage. a beaver in British Columbia was responsible for

(A) cutting down a ton of wood (B) constructing a 750- foot canal

(C) building a dam almost a mile long (D) felling a 110- foot cottonwood tree
4. In line 9, to what does the word "it" refer?

(A) A dam (B) New Hampshire

(C) A cottonwood tree (D) Colorado
5. According to the passage, beavers have been the subject of complaints because they

(A) contribute to soil erosion by cutting down so many trees

(B) build dams that ruin popular fishing areas

(C) attack people who trespass on beaver territory

(D) destroy log cabins by gnawing on the wood
6. The paragraph following the passage most probably discusses

(A) examples of destructive forest-dwelling rodents

(B) favorite trout streams in New England

(C) reasons for the beaver's popularity among loggers

(D) ways in which the beaver acts as a conservation resource
Passage 5
To produce the upheaval in the United States that changed and modernized the domain of higher education from the mid 1860's to the mid-1880's, three primary causes interacted The emergence of a half dozen leaders in education provided the personal force that was needed. Moreover, an outcry for a fresher, more practical, and more advanced kind of instruction arose among the alumni and friends of nearly all of the old colleges and grew into a movement that overrode all conservative opposition. The aggressive Young Yale movement appeared, demanding partial alumni control, a more liberal spirit, and a broader course of study. The graduates of Harvard College simultaneously rallied to relieve the college’s poverty and demand new enterprise. Education was pushing toward higher standards in the East by throwing off church leadership everywhere, and in the West by finding a wider range of studies and a new sense of public duty.
The old-style classical education received its most crushing blow in the citadel of Harvard College, where Dr. Charles Eliot, a young captain of thirty - five, son of a former treasurer of Harvard, led the progressive forces. Five revolutionary advances were made during the first years of Dr. Eliot's administration. They were the elevation and amplification of entrance requirements, the enlargement of the curriculum and the development of the elective system, the recognition of graduate study in the liberal arts, the raising of professional training in law, medicine, and engineering to a postgraduate level, and the fostering of greater maturity in student life. Standards of admission were sharply advanced in 1872-1873 and 1876-1877. By the appointment of a dean to take charge of student affairs, and a wise handling of discipline, the undergraduates were led to regard themselves more as young gentlemen and less as young animals. One new course of study after another was opened up-science, music, the history of the fine arts, advanced Spanish, political economy, physics, classical philology, and international law.

1. Which of the following is the author’s main purpose in the passage?

(A) To explain the history of Harvard College

(B) To criticize the conditions of United States universities in the nineteenth century

(C) To describe innovations in United States higher education in the latter 1800's

(D) To compare Harvard with Yale before the turn of the century
2. According to the passage, the changes in higher education during the latter 1800' s were the result of

(A) plans developed by conservatives and church leaders.

(B) efforts of interested individuals to redefine the educational system

(C) the demands of social organizations seeking financial relief

(D) rallies held by westerners wanting to compete with eastern schools
3. According to the passage, Harvard College was in need of more

(A) students (B) money (C) land (D) clergy


4. According to the passage, which of the following can be inferred about Harvard College before progressive changes occurred?

(A) Admission standards were lower. (B) Students were younger.

(C) Classes ended earlier. (D) Courses were more practical.
5. From the passage it can be concluded that which of the following was a characteristic of the classical course of study?

(A) Most students majored in education

(B) Students were limited in their choice of courses

(C) Students had to pass five levels of study

(D) Courses were so difficult that most students failed

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