SAT Critical Reading Test - 1

Instructions: Each sentence below has one or two blanks, each blank indicating that something has been omitted. Beneath the sentence are five words or sets of words labeled A through E. Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted into the sentence, best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

1. In a perfect democracy, power is not an ____ force, based on the desires of a single individual, but derives from the public will.
A) illusory
B) arbitrary
C) abstract
D) irresistible
E) inclusive

2. The writer ends the novel on a note of ____, warning us that we are less ____ by our ignorance than by the belief that we hold the required wisdom.
A) optimism...devastated
B) levity...anguished
C) satisfaction...debilitated
D) caution...imperiled,
E) nostalgia...enriched

3. The border established in 1848 between Mexico and the United States was not a cultural, but a political ____; as far as clothing styles, diet, and general ways of life were concerned, the Mexican populations on both sides of the boundary remained as ____ as ever.
A) event...evident
B) affiliation...coherent
C) division...differentiated
D) partition...estranged
E) demarcation...homogeneous

4. His excellent reputation as an actor was ____ by his appearance in a TV soap opera.
A) blemished
B) concluded
C) enhanced
D) intensified
E) appreciated

5. Rather than allocating available money to education and thereby ____ the incidence of crime, the governor is ____ to the construction of more prisons.
A) revoking...assigning
B) nourishing...planning
C) disdaining...denying
D) reducing...diverting
E) abolishing...confining

6. The student's feelings about delivering the commencement speech were ____; although honored to have been chosen, she was nonetheless ____ about public speaking.
A) restrained...confident
B) positive...insecure
C) ambivalent...anxious
D) euphoric...hopeful
E) unsure...modest

7. The private sector must continue to expand in order to ____ an adequate supply of jobs to compensate for those ____ by automation.

A) compose...required
B) invent...repealed
C) create...eliminated
D) produce...introduced
E) formulate...engendered

Instructions: The passage below is followed by questions based on its content. Answer the questions on the basis of what is stated or implied in the passage and in any introductory material that may be provided.

One of the dangers of swimming in the sea is a surprise meeting with a jellyfish. Contact with the jellyfish's tentacles will cause sharp pain, or possibly death if the victim is sufficiently sensitive to the poison. Even though jellyfish are not aggressive, these encounters frequently occur. This is unsurprising considering that jellyfish inhabit every ocean on earth and have done so for hundreds of millions of years. One possible reason they are found globally is their extreme adaptability-they are hardy and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and conditions in their habitat.

8. The author uses the phrase "jellyfish are not aggressive" in order to
A) emphasize the danger that jellyfish pose for swimmers.
B)introduce humor to the discussion.
C) promote sympathy for the jellyfish.
D) correct a common misunderstanding.
E) contrast the jellyfish's reaction to that of humans.

9. According to the passage, encounters between swimmers and jellyfish are common because jellyfish
A) seek and attack humans.
B) live in all oceans of the world.
C) are not aggressive.
D) can endure a wide temperature range.
E) have poisonous tentacles.

10. The author implies that
A) some people can die from jellyfish stings.
B) jellyfish stings are not a serious concern.
C) jellyfish are often killed by humans.
D) jellyfish work together for mutual defense.
E) a jellyfish sting will usually result in death.

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