0 of 161 questions completed
You have already completed the quiz before. Hence you can not start it again.
Quiz is loading…
You must sign in or sign up to start the quiz.
You must first complete the following:
0 of 161 questions answered correctly
Time has elapsed
You have reached 0 of 0 point(s), (0)
Earned Point(s): 0 of 0, (0)
0 Essay(s) Pending (Possible Point(s): 0)
Directions: Choose the word or phrase that best fits the meaning of each sentence.
Jamal read the letter ______.
Mitch was sure the problem ______
Emmanuel wishes that he ______ never moved from his old neighborhood.
I expect ______ to the meeting.
The key is ______ on the table under the envelope.
Directions: The following sentences test your knowledge of grammar, usage, diction, and idiom. Some sentences are correct as is. No sentence has more than one error. You will find the error, if there is one, underlined and lettered. Elements of the sentence that are not underlined will not be changed. In choosing answers, follow the requirements of standard written English. If there is an error, select the one underlined part that must be changed to make the sentence correct. If there is no error, select choice e.
Homesteaders on the Great Plains brang few possessions to their new home. No error.
Flightless birds, such as ostriches and emus, retain their wings, which they primarily use for balance when they run, they even have been known to flap their wings up and down in order to maintain a comfortable temperature. No error.
Although castles were commonly cold and uncomfortable places, they were cunningly designed to withstand the siege of enemy forces, thanks to small windows, stone walls, and protective towers. No error.
The naïve first-year college student frequently sleeps too late and parties too much, which, not too surprisingly, can lead to their failing a class or even losing a scholarship. No error.
Joseph’s weekend plans so far included finishing his research paper, paying his rent and utilities, stopping in for a visit with his grandparents, and to make out a new class schedule. No error.
If your not too busy, and I know everyone is, please read and complete this questionnaire. No error.
Ronnel told me that the letter from the attorney was short, curt, and it troubled him. No error.
Lukas and Elliot said that only one of the solutions make sense, and Evan said he agrees. No error
The plumber did a complete estimate for us so that we would know exactly how much the job would costed. No error.
Ginger sees her mother regularly. She was healthy and strong, even though she is over 80 years old. No error.
The sun was raising over the mountain when I rose out of bed and sat at the table. No error.
After Peter breaks his promise, Wendy vowed never to trust him again. No error.
In 1963, Betty Friedan’s expose of domesticity, The Feminine Mystique, became an immediate bestseller and creating a national sensation. No error.
Anyone interested in joining the newly formed drama club that meets on Friday afternoons are welcome to attend an orientation meeting this week from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. No error.
In most public libraries throughout the community, there isn’t hardly a single book, magazine, video, or compact disc that has not been checked out at least a dozen times. No error.
Neither of the contestants are planning to pursue a career in entertainment after their dismal failure in front of the judges of American Idol even though they still wanted to be performers. No error.
Without a doubt, Kevin is the best runner on the team because his speed, stamina, and stride guarantees a strong performance in every event he participates in. No error.
Considering the extreme heat today, I think it would be rather inadvisable for you to ride your bicycle as quick as you did. No error.
The ten-foot-tall arbor vitae hedges on either side of our house provide an immense amount of shade in the summertime and welcome protection from the wind during the winter. No error.
When I first joined the high school debate club, the senior team leaders were unbelievably strict about making you attend every single practice and have one’s parents go to all competitive events. No error.
While only in the school for a few weeks, the gym teacher was starting to felt comfortable with the principal. No error.
Directions: You will read sentences with some or all of the sentence underlined, followed by five answer choices. The first answer choice repeats the underlined portion and the other four present possible replacements. Select the answer choice that best represents standard English without altering the meaning of the original sentence.
A whistle-blower is when an employee reports fraud or mismanagement in a company.
The government has passed a law regulating the sale of dangerous drugs to teenagers, therefore, prescriptions from licensed physicians are now required before a druggist can dispense them.
If one considers the millions of years during which humanity has occupied this small space in the vastness of space, they cannot help believing that one person’s life is truly insignificant.
Lee’s mother and father insists that he call if he is going to be out after 8:00 P.M.
The weather forecaster said that people living near the shore should be prepared in the event that the storm headed for land.
The hiker grew tired greater as the day wore on.
Some couples have their first child before they have learned any real parenting skills, while a few reading books and attending seminars as soon as they find out they are pregnant.
Andy Warhol was a man of many talents; he painted many strange and unusual pictures, wrote a novel based on the experiences of his coterie, and he produced several experimental films for commercial distribution.
The bus driver was always pleasant to we riders even though he must become impatient with some of us who never have the correct change.
Since Old Mother Hubbard hadn’t scarcely enough food for herself, her friends wondered how she expected to feed a pet from her meager supply.
That type person always strongly resents any attempt by anyone to limit around his actions.
Although meteorologists continue to get more and more advanced technology and equipment, their weather forecasts wrong about 50% of the time.
Raymond’s new vacuum worked beautifully on the interior of his new car, he still was not able to get the pine needles from last year’s Christmas tree out of the side pockets.
The number of grocery store shoppers that carry a wallet full of coupons with them is growing, approximately 50% of those in line have at least one applicable coupon to apply to their purchases.
In the United States, a growing number of families that do not have much spare time on their hands and end up in the drive-through lines at convenient fast-food restaurants.
Direction: Choose the most suitable answer appropriate for the blanks.
The operation was unsuccessful because of the ________ that developed in the midst of it.
She held on so tightly to the pole that her ________ turned white.
When his telephone rang during the performance, he _________ mumbled an apologyand dashed outside the theatre.
As he was so ________ on paying, we gave in and just thanked him for dinner.
The string ________ gave an impressive performance at the school concert.
We have a/an _________ selection of wine in our wine cellar, so you’ll probably find something you like from there.
Although dinner starts at eight, ________ are served half an hour before that, so do turn up early to enjoy the
Your father is shaking hands with the movie star. Now is your photo ________.
David kept a _________, to record his experiences and feelings while he was in the army.
That cruel owner took _________delight in punishing his dog.
Although skinny as a rail, the young girl had a(n) ________ appetite.
Because the rajah was sagacious, he ruled his subjects with ________.
Percival’s _______ approach to life caused him to miss the kind of ______ experience his more frivolous peers enjoyed.
One of the most effective ways to resolve conflict is to seek an outside mediator, someone who can hear both sides of the argument and attempt to ______ the angered parties.
Even though ________ meals cause her digestive trouble, my grandmother insists on eating her food as _______ as possible.
Direction: Choose the letter which contains a pair of words with a relationship most similar to the relationship between the given words.
Doctor : Cure ::
Terrified : Scared
Read : peruse ::
Sailboat : course ::
Talkative : ______ :: shy : ______
Scales : fish
Stool : bench
Endorse : candidate
Weight : kilogram
Writer : pen
Articulate : mute
Ink : paper
Splinter : wood
Filament : lightbulb
Good : excellent
Direction: Arrange the given phrases to form a coherent and logical sentence.
Direction: Arrange the given sentences to form a coherent and logical paragraph.
Directions: Read the following passages carefully. Then answer the questions that follow.
The following passage is about the literature of the African- American culture and its impact on society.
The literature of an oppressed people is the conscience of man, and nowhere is this seen with more intense clarity than in the literature of African-Americans. An essential element of African-American literature is that the literature as a whole—not the work of occasional authors—is a movement against concrete wickedness. In African-American literature, accordingly, there is a grief rarely to be found elsewhere in American literature, and frequently a rage rarely to be found in American letters: a rage different in quality, pro-founder, more towering, more intense—the rage of the oppressed. Whenever an African-American artist picks up pen or horn, his target is likely to be American racism, his subject the suffering of his people, and the core element his own grief and the grief of his people. Almost all of African-American literature carries the burden of this protest.
The cry for freedom and the protest against injustice indicate a desire for the birth of the New Man, a testament to the New Unknown World to be discovered, to be created by man. African-American literature is, as a body, a declaration that despite the perversion and cruelty that cling like swamproots to the flesh of man’s feet, man has options for freedom, for cleanliness, for wholeness, for human harmony, for goodness: for a human world. Like the spirituals that are a part of it, African-American literature is a passionate assertion that man will win freedom. Thus, African-American literature rejects despair and cynicism; it is a literature of realistic hope and life-affirmation. This is not to say that no African-American literary work reflects cynicism or despair, but rather that the basic theme of African-American literature is that man’s goodness will prevail. African-American literature is a statement against death, a statement as to what life should be: life should be vivacious, exuberant, wholesomely uninhibited, sensual, sensuous, constructively antirespectable, life should abound and flourish and laugh, life should be passionately lived and man should be loving: life should be not a sedate waltz or foxtrot but a vigorous break-dance; thus, when the African-American writer criticizes America for its cruelty, the criticism implies that America is drawn to death and repelled by what should be the human style of life, the human way of living. Black literature in America is, then, a setting-forth of man’s identity and destiny; an investigation of man’s iniquity and a statement of belief in his potential godliness; a prodding of man toward exploring and finding deep joy in his humanity.
The author states or implies that
When the author, in referring to African-American literature, states that “life should be . . . constructively antirespectable”, it can be inferred that people ought to
With reference to the passage, which of the following statements is true about African-American literature?
I. It expresses the need for nonviolent opposition to antiracism.
II. It urges a person to have respect for himself and for others.
III. It voices the need for an active, productive, and satisfying life.
The tone of the passage is one of
Which of the following constitute(s) the author’s view of a “human world”?
The word “iniquity” means
All the arts contain some preposterous fiction, but the theatre is the most preposterous of all. Imagine asking us to believe that we are in Venice in the sixteenth century, and that Mr. Billington is a Moor, and that he is about to stifle the much admired Miss Huckaby with a pillow; and imagine trying to make us believe that people ever talked in blank verse—more than that: that people were ever so marvelously articulate. The theatre is a lily that inexplicably arises from a jungle of weedy falsities. Yet it is precisely from the tension produced by all this absurdity that it is able to create such poetry, power, enchantment and truth.
The theater is a venue for the most realistic and direct fiction ever imagined. So many of the contemporary plays make us realize how we are living our lives and perhaps how we should change them. From these “reality shows” we can feel all the poverty, despair and unfairness in our world which then affords us the opportunity for change for the better.
Which statement best illustrates the author’s meaning when he says, “The theatre is a lily that inexplicably arises from a jungle of weedy falsities”?
The author’s feeling toward contemporary plays is that they
The two passages are similar in that
Which of the following is true?
It may be difficult for adults to learn not to interfere but rather to support the child’s desire for freedom and autonomy. For example, if you watch a boy of three trying to tie his shoes, you may see him work with extraordinary motivation even though the loops aren’t matched, and well over half the time as he tries for the final knot, he ends up with two separate laces, one in each hand. Then watch his parents as they watch their children attempt a task like this. Too often the parent will step in and take over, tie the shoes the “right way” and defeat the child’s growing attempt at self-mastery. The same goes for putting on boots, coats, and even playing with toys. It is exceedingly easy to fall into the trap of almost always responding negatively to a child at this age. Commonly, a parent might say no up to 200 times a day at this stage. Such nagging not only is aversive in the extreme, but also a constant reminder to the child of his or her lack of self-control.
The passage suggests that helping a boy to tie his shoes the “right way” can be
The passage indicates that negative responses to a child can lead to the child’s
The following is an essay about T. S. Eliot, an American poet of the early 20th century, and the Modernist movement, of which he was a part.
Modernism is the most peculiar of all artistic movements of the twentieth century and the most difficult to pin down since people started coming up with “movements” in the first place. Modernism is the only thing that strikes more fear into the heart of an English undergraduate than the idea of going to a lecture. Critics and academics, not unwisely, prefer their artistic movements to be readily comprehensible and clearly enough defined to make some logical sense. Modernism, however, will not be tamed. It is straggly, begins nowhere and with no one in particular, and ends only when its writers have started to baffle even themselves. One treads carefully through its key texts: James Joyce’s Ulysses, T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land (both 1922), and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway (1925). The authors of these aberrations, these posturing, egotistical, lunatic, kaleidoscopic works of blatant and self-conscious genius, have laid literary landmines throughout their works. Joyce said of Ulysses that “I’ve put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that’s the only way of insuring one’s immortality.” This statement sums up the enigma of modernism (if one can be said to sum up an enigma) in that it contains arrogance mingling with modesty, cleverness tied up in self-effacing humor, and above all absurdity with a purpose. Plots, such as they exist at all in modernist writing, are submerged beneath wave upon wave of classical allusions, archaisms, neologisms, foreign languages, quotations, swear words and other hyper literary and meta-literary indulgences. If I haven’t made it clear already, it is hard not to love modernism. It is hard to work out what exactly it is.
Recently, while browsing in an Oxford bookshop, a friend of mine picked up a copy of Finnegans Wake—James Joyce’s final book—and read the first page. Between tears of laughter, he managed to indicate to me that he couldn’t understand a word of it. It is hard not to sympathize with the outsider’s attitude so amply demonstrated by my friend’s outburst of shock and wonder. To find one of our most famous authors writing gibberish is rather heartening. Yet we remain outsiders to the work. Finnegans Wake, you see, is emblematic of all that is right and wrong with modernism. It took a spectacularly long time to write and was finally published in 1939, seventeen years after its predecessor, Ulysses. That probably had something to do with the fact that over 40 different languages crept into its catalogue of portmanteau words (ersatz words consisting of two or more real words or word elements, like those of Lewis Carroll in his poem “Jabberwocky”). The resulting book is uniquely inventive and at the same time uniquely confusing. In that sense, it is the perfect example of a modernist text. It alienates its readers just as it tries to mimic how they think. The English modernist novel is a sociopath and a cad: dangerous and reprehensive but somehow roguishly likeable.
In the first paragraph, the author characterizes Modernism as which of the following?
III. politically oriented
The passage suggests that critics and academics dislike artistic movements that are
The “landmines” are
The reference to “wave upon wave” suggests that, in Modernist fiction, plot is
The author’s overall attitude toward Modernism can best be described as
The final sentence of the passage employs each of the following EXCEPT
I fretted the other night at the hotel at the stranger who broke into my chamber after midnight, claiming to share it. But after his lamp had smoked the chamber full and I had turned round to the wall in despair, the man blew out his lamp, knelt down at his bedside, and made in low whisper a long earnest prayer. Then was the relation entirely changed between us. I fretted no more, but respected and liked him.
“Fretted” most nearly means
The probable purpose of the author using the phrase, “lamp had smoked the chamber full” is to
What can the reader infer about the speaker based on the passage?
Love is necessary to righting the estate of woman in this world. Otherwise nature itself seems to be in conspiracy against her dignity and welfare; for the cultivated, high-thoughted, beauty-loving, saintly woman finds herself unconsciously desired for her sex, and even enhancing the appetite of her savage pursuers by these fine ornaments she has piously laid on herself. She finds with indignation that she is herself a snare, and was made such. I do not wonder at her occasional protest, violent protest, against nature, in fleeing to nunneries, and taking black veils. Love rights all this deep wrong.
The author’s attitude toward women can best be described as one of
Sans love, what does the author purport to be the state of woman in this world?
According to the passage, plausible remedies to ward off being sought only for pleasure include
The phrase, “savage pursuers,” in line 8 refers to
To set down such choice experiences that my own writings may inspire me and at last I may make wholes of parts. Certainly it is a distinct profession to rescue from oblivion and to fix the sentiments and thoughts which visit all men more or less generally, that the contemplation of the unfinished picture may suggest its harmonious completion. Associate reverently and as much as you can with your loftiest thoughts. Each thought that is welcomed and recorded is a nest egg, by the side of which more will be laid. Thoughts accidentally thrown together become a frame in which more may be developed and exhibited. Perhaps this is the main value of a habit of writing, of keeping a journal—that so we remember our best hours and stimulate ourselves. My thoughts are my company. They have a certain individuality and separate existence, aye, personality. Having by chance recorded a few disconnected thoughts and then brought them into juxtaposition, they suggest a whole new field in which it was possible to labor and to think. Thought begat thought.
The purpose of this passage is
During the course of the passage, the author
To what does the author wish to “rescue from oblivion?”
The term “nest egg”, is a metaphor for
The author suggests that the main reason to journal is
“Thought begat thought” means
I think I knew General Washington intimately and thoroughly; and were I called on to delineate his character; it should be in terms like these.
His mind was great and powerful, without being of the very first order; his penetration strong, though not so acute as that of a Newton, Bacon, or Locke; and as far as he saw, no judgment was ever sounder. It was slow in operation, being little aided by invention or imagination, but sure in conclusion. Hence the common remark of his officers, of the advantage he derived from councils of war, where hearing all suggestions, he selected whatever wasbest; and certainly no general ever planned his battles more judiciously.
Why does the author write the first sentence before writing about Washington?
Which of the following best describes the treatment of Washington in this passage?
What may we infer about the author as it relates to the assessment of Washington’s mind?
What does the author mean by the term “penetration”?
What may be inferred about Washington’s judgment based on the passage?
Certain qualities common to the sonnet should be noted. Its definite restrictions make it a challenge to the artistry of the poet and call for all the technical skill at the poet’s command. The more or less set rhyme patterns occurring regularly within the short space of fourteen lines afford a pleasant effect on the ear of the reader, and can create truly musical effects. The rigidity of the form precludes too great economy or too great prodigality of words. Emphasis is placed on exactness and perfection of expression. The brevity of the form favors concentrated expression of ideas or passion.
The author’s primary purpose is to
The word “afford” means
The author’s attitude toward the sonnet form can best be described as one of
The following passage is taken from a review of a general survey of the natural and physical sciences published in 1964.
“Idle speculation” has no place in science, but “speculation” is its very lifeblood, a well known physicist believes.
“The more fundamental and far-reaching a scientific theory is, the more speculative it is likely to be,” Dr. Michael W. Ovenden, author and lecturer at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, states in his book “Life in the Universe.” Dr. Ovenden says it is erroneous to believe that science is only concerned with “pure facts,” for mere accumulation of facts is a primitive form of science. A mature science tries to arrange facts in significant patterns to see relationships between previously unrelated aspects of the universe.
A theory that does not suggest new ways of looking at the universe is not likely to make an important contribution to the development of science. However, it is also important that theories are checked by new experiments and observations.
Dr. Ovenden discusses recent discoveries in biology, chemistry and physics that give clues to the possibility of life in the solar system and other star systems. He discusses conditions on Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn, and considers whether or not the same conditions may be found on planets of other stars.
Only the planets Venus, Earth, and Mars lie within the temperature zone, about 75,000,000 miles wide, in which life can exist. Venus is covered by a dense layer of clouds which permits no observation of the surface, and the surface temperature of the planet is not known.
Mars is colder than Earth, the average temperature being about minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit, compared with plus 59 degrees Fahrenheit as the average for Earth. However, near the Mars poles during the summer season, temperatures may rise to as much as 70 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas winter temperatures may fall to minus 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
Because of the extreme difference in the Martian seasons, the only life-forms expected to exist, without a built-in temperature control such as warm-blooded animals and humans have, are those which would stay inactive most of the year. These life-forms may be a kind of vegetation that opens its leaves to the sun in the daytime, stores water and closes its leaves in the night for protection against the cold.
Attempts have been made to detect in the spectrum of the dark markings on Mars the absorption lines due to chlorophyll. So far the test has not succeeded. But the infrared spectrum of the Martian markings has been found to be very similar to the spectrum of Earth vegetation when studied at high altitudes.
The word “idle” most nearly means
“Speculation is its [science’s] very lifeblood” means that scientists
According to the passage, a mature science
The similarity from high altitudes between the infrared spectrum of the Martian markings and the Earth spectrum suggests
The author does all of the following EXCEPT
The following passage, taken from a memoir by a Japanese-American writer, describes the conflicts she felt as she grew up living in two cultures and trying to meet two very different sets of expectations.
Whenever I succeeded in the Hakujin world, my brothers were supportive, whereas Papa would be disdainful, undermined by my obvious capitulation to the ways of the West. I wanted to be like my Caucasian friends. Not only did I want to look like them, I wanted to act like them. I tried hard to be outgoing and socially aggressive and act confidently, like my girlfriends. At home I was careful not to show these personality traits to my father. For him it was bad enough that I did not even look Japanese: I was too big, and I walked too assertively. My behavior at home was never calm and serene, but around my father I still tried to be as Japanese as I could.
As I passed puberty and grew more interested in boys, I soon became aware that an Oriental female evoked a certain kind of interest from males. I was still too young to understand how or why an Oriental female fascinated Caucasian men, and of course, far too young to see then that it was a form of “not seeing.” My brothers would warn me, “Don’t trust the Hakujin boys. They only want one thing. They’ll treat you like a servant and expect you to wait on them hand and foot. They don’t even know how to be nice to you.” My brothers never dated Caucasian girls. In fact, I never really dated Caucasian boys until I went to college. In high school, I used to sneak out to dances and parties where I would meet them. I wouldn’t even dare to think what Papa would do if he knew.
What my brothers were saying was that I should not act toward Caucasian males as I did toward them. I must not “wait on them” or allow them to think I would, because they wouldn’t understand. In other words, be a Japanese female around Japanese men and act as a Hakujin around Caucasian men. The double identity within a “double standard” resulted not only in confusion for me of my role, or roles, as a female, but also in who or what I was racially. With the admonitions of my brothers lurking deep in my consciousness, I would try to be aggressive, assertive and “come on strong” toward Caucasian men. I mustn’t let them think I was submissive, passive, and all-giving like Madame Butterfly. With Asian males I would tone down my natural enthusiasm and settle into patterns instilled in me through the models of my mother and sisters. I was not comfortable in either role.
The author’s father reacted negatively to her successes in the Caucasian world because
The author most likely uses the Japanese word Hakujin to stand for Caucasians because
The father of the author expected her to be
By describing the white boys’ fascination with Oriental women as “not seeing”, the author primarily wishes to convey that
By a “double identity within a ‘double standard’ ” the author primarily means that
As used in the last paragraph, the figure of Madame Butterfly can best be described as
The author’s reaction to the roles she was required to adopt was primarily one of
The following passage is taken from Cranford,
Elizabeth Gaskell’s nineteenth-century novel set in a small English town.
In the first place, in Cranford all the holders of houses, at least those above a certain rent, are women. If a married couple come to settle in the town, somehow the gentleman disappears; he is either fairly frightened to death by being the only man in the Cranford evening parties, or is accounted for by being with his regiment, his ship, or closely engaged in business all the week in the great neighboring commercial town of Drumble, distant only twenty miles on a railroad. In short, whatever does become of the gentlemen, they are not at Cranford. What could they do if they were there? The surgeon has his round of thirty miles, and sleeps at Cranford; but every man cannot be a surgeon. For keeping the trim gardens full of choice flowers without a weed to speck them; for frightening away little boys who look wistfully at the said flowers through the railings; for rushing out at the geese that occasionally venture into the gardens if the gates are left open; for deciding all questions of literature and politics without troubling themselves with unnecessary reasons or arguments; for obtaining clear and correct knowledge of everybody’s affairs in the parish; for keeping their neat maid-servants in admirable order; for kindness (somewhat dictatorial) to the poor, and real tender good offices to each other whenever they are in distress—the ladies of Cranford are quite sufficient. “A man,” as one of them observed to me once, “is so in the way in the house!” Although the ladies of Cranford know all each other’s proceedings, they are exceedingly indifferent to each other’s opinions. Indeed, as each has her own individuality, not to say eccentricity, pretty strongly developed, nothing is so easy as verbal retaliation; but, somehow, goodwill reigns among them to a considerable degree.
The Cranford ladies have only an occasional little quarrel, spurted out in a few peppery words and angry jerks of the heads; just enough to prevent the even tenor of their lives from becoming too flat. Their dress is very independent of fashion; as they observe, “What does it signify how we dress here at Cranford, where everybody knows us?” And if they go from home, their reasoning is equally cogent, “What does it signify how we dress here, where nobody knows us?” The materials of their clothes are, in general, good and plain, and most of them are nearly as scrupulous as Miss Tyler, of cleanly memory; but I will answer for it, the last gigot, the last tight and scanty petticoat in wear in England, was seen in Cranford—and seen without a smile.
The passage can best be described as
According to the passage, the men of Cranford are primarily distinguished by their
The word “offices” as used in the passage refers to
The narrator’s attitude toward the ladies of Cranford is primarily one of
The scrupulous Miss Tyler most likely was noted for her
“The last gigot” is
To the narrator, the ladies of Cranford seem to be all of the following EXCEPT
Pioneering conservationist Marjory Stoneman Douglas called it the River of Grass. Stretching south from Lake Okeechobee, fed by the rain drenched Kissimmee River basin, the Everglades is a water marsh, a slow-moving river of swamps and sawgrass flowing southward to the Gulf of Mexico. It is a unique ecosystem, whose enduring value has come from its being home to countless species of plants and animals: cypress trees and mangroves, wood storks and egrets, snapping turtles and crocodiles. For the past 50 years, however, this river has been shrinking. Never a torrent, it has dwindled as engineering projects have diverted the waters feeding it to meet agricultural and housing needs.
Today South Florida’s sugar industry is in serious trouble. Responding to the concerns of the scientific community and to the mandates of the Everglades Forever Act, local sugar producers have spent millions of dollars since 1994 to minimize the runoff of phosphorus from sugar cane fields into the Everglades. (Phosphorus runoff, scientists maintain, has encouraged an invasion of cattails, which overrun the native sawgrass and choke the flow of water through what was once a vast sawgrass marsh.) Sugar producers have adopted ecologically sound farming practices and at great cost have dramatically reduced phosphorus levels to help save the Everglades’ fragile ecosystem. But who or what will help save Florida’s imperiled sugar industry?
The author of Passage 1 cites the conservationist Marjory Stoneman Douglas in order to
In Passage 1, the word “enduring” most nearly means
The author of Passage 2 uses a parenthetic remark to
On the basis of the final sentence (“But…industry”) of Passage 2, the author of this passage would most likely appear to the author of Passage 1 as
Consider the humble jellyfish. Headless, spineless, without a heart or brain, it has such a simple exterior that it seems the most primitive of creatures. Unlike its sessile (attached to a surface, as an oyster is attached to its shell) relatives whose stalks cling to seaweed or tropical coral reefs, the free-swimming jellyfish, or medusa, drifts along the ocean shore, propelling itself by pulsing, muscular contractions of its bell-shaped body. Yet beneath the simple surface of this aimlessly drifting, supposedly primitive creature is an unusually sophisticated set of genes, as recent studies of the invertebrate animal phylum Cnidaria (pronounced nih-DARE-ee-uh) reveal.
Which assertion about jellyfish is supported by the passage?
The last sentence of the passage serves primarily to
The passage below is excerpted from Somerset Maugham’s The Moon and Sixpence, first published in 1919.
The faculty for myth is innate in the human race. It seizes with avidity upon any incidents, surprising or mysterious, in the career of those who have at all distinguished themselves from their fellows, and invents a legend. It is the protest of romance against the commonplace of life. The incidents of the legend become the hero’s surest passport to immortality. The ironic philosopher reflects with a smile that Sir Walter Raleigh is more safely enshrined in the memory of mankind because he set his cloak for the Virgin Queen to walk on than because he carried the English name to undiscovered countries.
As used in the passage, the word “faculty” most nearly means
The author mentions Sir Walter Raleigh primarily to
In this excerpt from Richard Wright’s 1937 novel Black Boy, the young African-American narrator confronts a new world in the books he illegally borrows from the “whites-only” public library.
That night in my rented room, while letting the hot water run over my can of pork and beans in the sink, I opened Mencken’s A Book of Prejudices and began to read. I was jarred and shocked by the style, the clear, clean, sweeping sentences. Why did he write like that? And how did one write like that? I pictured the man as a raging demon, slashing with his pen, consumed with hate, denouncing everything American, extolling everything European, laughing at the weaknesses of people, mocking God, authority. What was this? I stood up, trying to realize what reality lay behind the meaning of the words. Yes, this man was fighting, fighting with words. He was using words as a weapon, using them as one would use a club. Could words be weapons? Well, yes, for here they were. Then, maybe, perhaps, a Negro could use them as a weapon? No. It frightened me. I read on, and what amazed me was not what he said, but how on earth anybody had the courage to say it.
What strange world was this? I concluded the book with the conviction that I had somehow overlooked something terribly important in life. I had once tried to write, had once reveled in feeling, had let my crude imagination roam, but the impulse to dream had been slowly beaten out of me by experience. Now it surged up again and I hungered for books, new ways of looking and seeing. It was not a matter of believing or disbelieving what I read, but of feeling something new, of being affected by something that made the look of the world different.
As dawn broke I ate my pork and beans, feeling dopey, sleepy. I went to work, but the mood of the book would not die; it lingered, coloring everything I saw, heard, did. I now felt that I knew what the white men were feeling. Merely because I had read a book that had spoken of how they lived and thought, I identified myself with that book. I felt vaguely guilty. Would I, filled with bookish notions, act in a manner that would make the whites dislike me?
I forged more notes and my trips to the library became frequent. Reading grew into a passion. My first serious novel was Sinclair Lewis’s Main Street. It made me see my boss, Mr. Gerald, and identify him as an American type. I would smile when I saw him lugging his golf bags into the office. I had always felt a vast distance separating me from the boss, and now I felt closer to him, though still distant. I felt now that I knew him, that I could feel the very limits of his narrow life. This had happened because I had read a novel about a mythical man called George F. Babbitt. But I could not conquer my sense of guilt, my feeling that the white men around me knew that I was changing, that I had begun to regard them differently.
The narrator’s initial reaction to Mencken’s prose can best be described as one of
To the narrator, Mencken appeared to be all of the following EXCEPT
As used in the passage, “coloring” most nearly means
The passage suggests that, when he saw Mr. Gerald carrying the golf clubs, the narrator smiled out of a sense of
The passage as a whole is best characterized as
Both passages relate to the career of the abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Passage 1 comes from the introduction to a collection of his short prose. Passage 2 is excerpted from Douglass’s letter to his former master, written while Douglass was in England.
To elude slave catchers, the fugitive slave Frederick Baily changed his name, becoming Frederick Douglass, abolitionist spokesman and author. When he published his autobiography, however, Douglass exposed himself to recapture: federal laws gave Douglass’s ex-master the right to seize his property. Douglass traveled to Britain, where slavery was illegal; there he worked to gain support for America’s anti-slavery movement. After two years, British friends unexpectedly bought his freedom, allowing him to return home to continue the fight. Some abolitionists criticized Douglass, however, saying that by letting his freedom be bought he acknowledged his master’s right to own him.
I have often thought I should like to explain to you the grounds upon which I have justified myself in running away from you…. We are distinct persons, and are each equally provided with faculties necessary to our individual existence. In leaving you, I took nothing but what belonged to me, and in no way lessened your means for obtaining an honest living…. I therefore see no wrong in any part of the transaction. It is true, I went off secretly; but that was more your fault than mine. Had I let you into the secret, you would have defeated the enterprise entirely; but for this, I should have been really glad to have made you acquainted with my intentions to leave.
In Passage 1, the word “property” most nearly means
As described in the final sentence of Passage 1, the attitude of some abolitionists to the purchase of Douglass’s freedom can best be characterized as
Compared to Passage 2, Passage 1 can be described as
The “enterprise” to which Douglass refers in the final sentence of Passage 2 is
The ancient Chinese believed that in the features of the natural landscape one could glimpse the mathematically precise order of the universe and all the beneficial and harmful forces that were harmoniously connected according to the principle of the Tao—the Way. This was not a question of metaphor; the topography did not represent good or evil; it really was good or evil. Under these circumstances, locating a building in the landscape became a decision of momentous proportions that could affect an individual and his family for generations to come. The result was feng-shui, which means “wind and water,” and which was a kind of cosmic surveying tool. Its coherent, scientific practice dates from the Sung dynasty (960–1126), but its roots are much older than that. It was first used to locate grave sites—the Chinese worshiped their ancestors, who, they believed, influenced the good fortune of their descendants. Eventually it began to be used to locate the homes of the living; and, indeed, the earliest book on feng-shui, published during the Han dynasty (202 B.C.–A.D. 220), was entitled The Canon of the Dwellings.
Feng-shui combined an intricate set of related variables that reflected the three great religions of China—Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. First were the Taoist principles of yang and yin—male and female. The five Buddhist planets corresponded to the five elements, the five directions (north, south, west, east, and center), and the five seasons (the usual four and midsummer). Feng-shui employed the sixty-four epigrams of the I-Ching, a classic manual of divination popularized by Confucius, and also made use of the astrological signs: the constellations were divided into four groups: the Azure Dragon (east), the Black Tortoise (north), the White Tiger (west), and the Red Bird (south).
The first task of the geomancer, who was called feng-shui hsien sheng, or “doctor of the vital force,” was to detect the presence of each of these variables in the natural landscape. Hilly ground represented the Dragon; low ground was the Tiger: the ideal was to have the Dragon on the left and the Tiger on the right (hence, to face south). In a predominantly hilly area, however, a low spot was a good place to build; in flatter terrain, heights were considered lucky. The best site was the junction between the Dragon and the Tiger, which is why the imperial tombs around Beijing are so beautifully situated, just where the valley floor begins to turn into mountain slopes.
The shape of mountain peaks, the presence of boulders, and the direction of streams all incorporated meanings that had to be unraveled. Often simple observation did not suffice, and the Chinese had to resort to external aids. The mariner compass was a Chinese invention, but the feng-shui compass served a different purpose. It resembled a large, flat, circular platter. In the center, like the bull’s eye of a dartboard, was a magnetic needle, surrounded by eighteen concentric circles. Each ring represented a different factor and was inscribed with the constellations, odd and even numbers, the planets and the elements, the seasons, the hexagrams, the signs of the zodiac, the solar orbit, and so on. With the aid of the compass, the geomancer could discover the existence of these variables even when they were not visible to the naked eye.
It might appear that feng-shui made man the victim of fate, but this is not the case. For one thing, there was a moral dimension to the belief; and to gain the full benefit of an auspiciously placed home, the family itself had to remain honest and upright. Moreover, the geomancer’s job was not only to identify bad and good sites but also to advise on how to mitigate evil influences or to improve good ones. Trees could be planted to camouflage undesirable views; streams could be rerouted; mounds could be built up or cut down. It is no accident that the greatest Chinese art of all is gardening.
Many villages in China have a grove of trees or bamboo behind them, and a pond in front. The function of these picturesque features is not as landscaping embellishment, or at least it is not only that; they are intended to fend off evil influences. The pagodas that can still be seen built on the tops of hills and mounds serve the same purpose. When visiting some recently built farmhouses in the county of Wuqing, I noticed that the entrances to some of the courtyards were screened by a wall that forced the visitor to wind his way around it, as in a maze or an obstacle course. But the purpose of the ying-pei, as the Chinese walls are called, is not to prevent the passerby from looking in. These are “spirit walls” and are meant to keep out asomatous trespassers. The ying-pei is not an isolated superstition, like lucky horseshoes in the West; it too is part of feng-shui.
Lacking a body; ghostly; spirit-like.
The passage suggests that the ancient Chinese