Question Explanations For
PRACTICE TEST 3 (Writing and Language Test)
The Correct Answer is (D) — The first sentence is a dependent clause, and so cannot stand alone. Therefore, the two sentences must be combined, making the answer either (B) or (D). The phrase best sets up the independent clause that follows with a comma, rather than a colon, since a colon implies an example or supporting statement that contradicts the turn signaled by “though.” Thus, (D) is the correct answer.
The Correct Answer is (B) — The paragraph discusses the various techniques that scientists use to spot exoplanets. Only answer (B) directly expresses this, while (A) is off-topic and (C) and (D) are too specific or tangential to serve as effective topic sentences here.
The Correct Answer is (D) — The tenses in this sentence must be consistent. Since the first half of the sentence is in the past tense, the second half should be as well, as the actions here are consecutive and both take place in the past. Thus, answer choice (D), “found,” is most appropriate.
The Correct Answer is (B) — The sentence must compare like things; since we are comparing the orbits of enormous planets to the orbit of Earth, we can eliminate (A), (C), and (D), which all mistakenly compare the orbits to the planet Earth itself. Only answer choice (B) implies that we are not comparing Earth to the enormous planets’ orbits, but Earth’s orbits to their orbits.
The Correct Answer is (C) — Sentence two begins with a signal of a change, with its use of “however.” It then discusses “both of these techniques.” Only in later sentences do we see a discussion of different techniques, including in sentence 3, which starts with “one such technique,” and sentence 4, which begins with “another is.” We can therefore conclude that sentence 2 should be after these two sentences, placing it after sentence 4. Since it fits well in context before sentence 5’s discussion of the application of the techniques, we can conclude that the correct answer is (C), after sentence 4.
The Correct Answer is (C) — Choose the most concise answer choice here that makes sense in context. Since the earlier part of this sentence describes how NASA “launched an orbital telescope called Kepler,” we do not need to repeat information about this launch, eliminating (A) and (B). Between (C) and (D), only (C) creates a correct sentence, since “to make” sets off the phrase that follows that discusses the reason for Kepler’s launch.
The Correct Answer is (B) — The “its” here is possessive; since it also refers to the mission, we know it is singular, and can thus choose (B) as the correct answer.
The Correct Answer is (C) — Choose the word that best fits the meaning of the sentence and the tone of the passage. The Kepler mission was beset with problems, due to limited funding. The choice that best matches this meaning is (C), “plagued,” while choices (A), (B), and (D) do not make sense when paired with “problems” in the sentence.
The Correct Answer is (D) — Since the two phrases in this sentence are not independent clauses, we do not need a semicolon to separate them, eliminating (B) and (C). The phrase “as a result of funding cuts” is a restrictive clause and thus requires no comma, making (D) the correct answer.
The Correct Answer is (A) — Since the question states that the author wants a sentence that helps support the claim that NASA’s budget problems result from changing government priorities, we can eliminate answers (B) and (C), which do not discuss the relationship between NASA and government priorities. Answer (D) is a general statement about the government’s obligations, without providing any specific support, while answer (A) correctly shows how NASA’s budget, as a percentage of the federal budget, has decreased over time, providing direct evidence for the statement in the question.
The Correct Answer is (D) — “So” in this sentence sits between two independent clauses. However, the two independent clauses are not logically linked by this transition, and so the best answer choice would be (D), which removes this word and sets up the two independent clauses as two separate sentences.
The Correct Answer is (D) — The underlined portion is a list of the types of writing that constitute Haruki Murakami’s “enormous body of work.” Thus, they should be separated by commas, with the final item following a comma and the word “and.” Answer (D) is thus the correct choice.
The Correct Answer is (B) — Choose the word that best fits the context. Here, the sentence is describing the impetus behind Murakami’s decision to write—in other words, his inspiration, making (B) correct.
The Correct Answer is (B) — This question requires you to choose the phrase that best fits the tone of the passage. Answers (A), (C), and (D) are too informal and colloquial, while (B) best fits the language of the rest of the passage.
The Correct Answer is (A) — The passage already contains one example of outsiders in Murakami’s novels, including “Mari” and “Takahashi” in the previous sentence. Look for another sentence that, like sentence 4, emphasizes the outsider status of characters in Murakami’s novels. Answers (B) and (C) do not focus on this aspect of the characters, while (A) directly references another character, “Kaoru,” who is “on the margins of Japanese society,” making this the best choice. Answer (D) does not address Murakami’s characters at all.
The Correct Answer is (C) — The underlined portion of the sentence should be parallel to the earlier segment, since the sentence is describing the things that Murakami’s outsider characters allow him to accomplish: first, “criticize conformist aspects of Japanese culture,” and second, “explore themes of isolation and alienation.” Thus, answer (C) is correct; all other answers have extraneous words that muddle the parallelism of the sentence.
The Correct Answer is (D) — Sentence 2 is an example, as signaled by the words “for instance.” The example here discusses unusual characters, with elements of the fantastical. Looking at the passage, we see that sentence 6 discusses Murakami’s use of magical realism, which “blends fantastical and surreal elements with the everyday.” Sentence 2 would serve as a good example after this sentence, so we can choose answer (D), “before sentence 7.”
The Correct Answer is (C) — The paragraph here discusses some criticism directed at Murakami for the “strong influence of Western culture on his work.” None of the options discuss Western culture, but choice (C) serves as a nice transition to the discussion of this criticism with its signal word “however” and mention of criticism, the main focus of this paragraph. Answers (A) and (D) do not mention criticism at all and can be eliminated. (B) is too narrow and is an inaccurate transition, since the passage has not yet discussed any criticisms of Murakami’s novels, so “additional criticisms” does not make sense.
The Correct Answer is (C) — The two phrases connected by the underlined portion here discuss two points: the numerous references in Murakami’s work to Western jazz and classical music, and the small amount of attention paid to classical Japanese culture. Since both of these are in the same vein, emphasizing the Western influence of Murakami’s work, they should be linked with words or punctuation that signal this relationship. Answers (B) and (D) imply reversals not shown in these two sentences, and can be eliminated. Answer (C) is concise and accurate, while (A) unnecessarily breaks up the two sentences and adds superfluous words.
The Correct Answer is (B) — The phrase “considered a delicate subject by many” modifies World War II. Since it is a nonrestrictive clause, a comma is required, making (B) correct.
The Correct Answer is (D) — Here, choose the preposition that best goes with “critical.” Since the sentence is expressing the book’s potential criticism of Japanese culture and media, “critical of” best represents this relationship, making (D) the correct choice.
The Correct Answer is (B) — The final sentence of this paragraph describes how Murakami remains popular, even though he has received some criticism. Answer (B) best expresses this relationship, transitioning from a discussion of such criticism to Murakami’s popularity.
The Correct Answer is (C) — Pick the choice that best fits the tone and language of the rest of the passage. Answers (A) and (B) are too informal, while (D) is too exaggerated. Answer (C) is the best fit in context.
The Correct Answer is (A) — The verb “to be” here should match in number with “contributions,” which is plural. Since the rest of the sentence is in the present tense, we can conclude that (A) is the correct choice.
The Correct Answer is (C) — Since the sentence is describing Semmelweis’s care for pregnant women and their offspring, we can conclude that the noun here should be plural, or “children.” “Their” correctly links these children with the pregnant women mentioned earlier in the sentence, so (C) is the best answer.
The Correct Answer is (C) — Choose the word here that best fits the context of the sentence. Since the author is describing Semmelweis’s observation and analysis of the differing infection rates in the First and Second Clinic, we can choose answer (C) as most appropriate here, which correctly pinpoints what exactly Semmelweis was investigating.
The Correct Answer is (D) — This question requires you to pick the most concise version of the underlined phrase that conveys all necessary information. Since we already know that Semmelweis is discussing autopsies performed by medical students vs. midwives, we do not need to repeat “autopsies” and can eliminate (A) and (B). “Perform” was also mentioned earlier and is implied already, so we can eliminate (C) and pick the correct answer, (D).
The Correct Answer is (B) — The introductory phrase of this sentence must describe the noun that follows. In other words, the person listed after the comma must be the person who reached the conclusion, which in this case was Semmelweis. Since the medical students did not conclude that they were infecting new mothers with cadaverous particles, we can eliminate (A) and (D). Nor did the act of hand washing make this conclusion, eliminating (C). Only answer choice (B) correctly positions Semmelweis here.
The Correct Answer is (D) — This paragraph discusses the prevailing thoughts of the time about the causes of disease, and doctors’ reactions to Semmelweis’s new postulations, which were mostly negative. Only answer (D) accurately captures this, while (A), (B), and (C) are off-topic and too specific.
The Correct Answer is (D) — Choose the vocabulary word that best fits the context of the sentence. The medical community reacted negatively to Semmelweis’s ideas about cadaverous particles; only “derided” (D) has such connotations, and is the correct answer.
The Correct Answer is (C) — Sentence 5 continues the discussion of why doctors found Semmelweis’s theories unpalatable. Most of this discussion occurs around sentences 2 and 3 in the passage. Sentence 3 wraps up the discussion with the phrase “the medical community thus…” Therefore, sentence 5 would best work as a supporting statement after sentence 2, and before the wrap-up of the topic in sentence 3, making (C) the correct choice.
The Correct Answer is (A) — In order for the sentence here to be a complete, independent clause, the verb “to help” must function as the main verb of the sentence. Answers (B), (C), and (D) all change the sentence to an incomplete phrase, while (A) correctly uses “to help” such that the sentence can stand alone.
The Correct Answer is (B) — The first example here serves as a model for what we should look for in the added sentence. In the sentence before, the author described how Louis Pasteur helped discover the role of bacteria and viruses in disease. A second example that models this is found in (B), which describes how Joseph Lister developed antiseptic techniques to clean surgical instruments.
The Correct Answer is (D) — Since the sentence here is a question, as signaled by “what skills” at the start, a question mark is required, making (D) the correct answer.
The Correct Answer is (D) — This sentence is talking about what directors need to be able to read and interpret fiction, so the plural is required, as shown in (D), “they need.”
The Correct Answer is (C) — This question requires you to choose the vocabulary word that best fits the context of the sentence. Since it is discussing the necessity of directors understanding authors’ intentions, we can infer that the second half of the sentence is also talking about the subtle points of an author’s writing. This is best captured by answer (C), “nuances.”
The Correct Answer is (C) — Pick the answer choice that best fits the tone of the passage. Answers (A), (B), and (D) are too informal, making (C) the best option.
The Correct Answer is (C) — Since “others” here is not possessive, it does not require an apostrophe. Thus, only answer choice (C) works in context.
The Correct Answer is (B) — Since the underlined portion is part of the phrase “in order to,” the verb must take the form of the infinitive. Thus, answer (B) would best match the phrase, since adding the verb “to be” would make the sentence unnecessarily passive.
The Correct Answer is (A) — The previous sentence discusses the need for directors to give instructions to actors to ensure the best performance, while the sentence after the underlined word discusses how directors are also required to be the public face of a production. Consider the relationship between these two ideas; they do not contradict one another. Instead, the second sentence is a continuation of the first. This makes choice (A), “furthermore,” the best option in context.
The Correct Answer is (C) — Most of the paragraph discusses various things directors must do to ensure a smooth performance. The underlined sentence does describe an action of directors, but it does not fit in with others described. The others all center on communication-related actions, while this sentence focuses on an operational action that is not relevant to the rest of the paragraph. Thus, the sentence should be deleted for the reason listed in (C).
The Correct Answer is (D) — The underlined verb should be parallel to the previous part of the sentence, matching the form of “build practical skills.” Thus, answer (D) is the correct answer, since like “build,” “make” pairs with the preposition “to” to take the infinitive form.
The Correct Answer is (C) — Since we are looking for a sentence that provides evidence of the career benefits of working on independent productions, search for a choice that directly links these two. Answers (A) and (B) do not discuss careers at all, and so can be eliminated, while answer (D) veers in a separate direction, adding an additional example rather than providing support for the previous sentence. Answer (C) states that the portfolio of projects and additional network can help secure further work, providing direct support for the claim. Thus, answer (C) is the best choice.
The Correct Answer is (B) — The previous sentence describes the challenges of directing, while the current one adds that, despite this, directing can be a fulfilling career for those who love the work. Search for an answer option that signals this change but still makes sense in context. This is best expressed by the word “though” in answer choice (B).