The Correct Answer is (C) — Throughout the passage, the protagonist moves from room to room, insistently cleaning and rearranging, even what is already clean. This gives her an air of tenseness, and hints at the reasons for her tenacious cleaning. (C) is thus the correct answer. Process of Elimination can be a good approach to this question, because all of the incorrect answer choices have no evidence in the passage. (A) is incorrect because the passage does not mention the protagonist cleaning a spare room, and the only person who arrives after she has finished, her husband, cannot be described as an “unexpected guest.” (B) is incorrect because the passage does not indicate that the protagonist’s husband changed careers. (D) is incorrect because although the scene takes place in January, and there is a mention of snow on the driveway, there is no evidence that the protagonist is anguished about the cold winter weather.


The Correct Answer is (J) — The word “orderly” describes the protagonist’s yell when she catches her finger in the drawer. The passage states that the yell offered “no relief”; this suggests that the connotation to orderly is one of rigidity or restraint, so (J) is correct. The protagonist does not appear to command or order around anyone or anything, so (F) is incorrect. (G) is incorrect because it suggests detachment, which is not necessarily the case. (H) is incorrect because the yell is not shown to be tidy or clean, but rather held back and thus unsatisfying.


The Correct Answer is (B) — In line 68, the passage says that “All of the sheets were made for king-size beds.” This suggests that the protagonist’s house, before the addition of the “new beds” (line 3) for which she is searching for “single sheets,” previously contained a king-size bed, making (B) the correct answer. (A) is incorrect because there is no proof that the protagonist and her husband cannot afford other sizes of sheets. (C) is incorrect because the passage does not suggest that the protagonist and her husband are forgetful or disorganized; if anything, the protagonist is markedly meticulous. Finally, (D) is incorrect because there is no evidence that a furniture store sent the wrong size of sheets. Process of Elimination is very helpful for this question, because once you return to the passage and see that the couple has king-size sheets for their king-size bed, you can eliminate all three wrong answer choices, which incorrectly state or imply that the king-size sheets are a mistake.


The Correct Answer is (G) — When the protagonist is cleaning the rest of the house, she feels “industrious” (line 10) and moves “with a sure step from room to room” (line 25). When she tries to clean her husband’s files, the weight of her husband’s working life presses down on her, the files stretch before her as if organizing them would be an impossible task, and she ends up catching her finger in a drawer. She appears markedly less comfortable when trying to clean her husband’s files than when she cleans the rest of the house, and thus (G) is the correct answer. (F) and (H) are positive, and run counter to the correct descriptor. They are thus incorrect. (J) is incorrect because the protagonist is in fact shown to be hurried when cleaning her husband’s files, and not so hurried when cleaning the rest of the house.


The Correct Answer is (C) — Lines 34−35 state that the protagonist feels the weight of her husband’s life at school. We know from the end of the passage that the protagonist’s husband is a principal. The heaviness of his work life suggests that the couple experiences some conflict over his career, and that the protagonist may feel alienated from this side of his life. So, (C) is the correct answer. (A) is incorrect because there is no support for the notion that the protagonist helped her husband finish his schoolwork when he was younger. (B) is incorrect because the passage does not actually show the protagonist arranging her husband’s files, so attributing her emotional burden to fatigue from arranging these files does not make sense. (D) stretches the significance of the preceding line, and adds a connotation that is not there; the passage does not indicate that the protagonist feels sympathy for the student who gave her husband the frog as a gift.


The Correct Answer is (F) — The first clue about the protagonist’s husband is the weight the protagonist feels about his working life, which suggests a lack of communication between them. The second clue is the husband’s dialogue, which show him somewhat mockingly lamenting her choosing him as a husband, followed by a nonchalant transition to a comment on the bedroom’s appearance. The husband thus appears unsentimental and distant, (F). (G) is incorrect and nearly opposite; the husband does not seem good-humored or warm. (H) is incorrect, as the husband does not seem stately or regal; he is more detached and slightly sarcastic. (J) attributes a dismal tone to the husband’s character that is not present, and so, this answer choice is also incorrect.


The Correct Answer is (B) — The third paragraph (lines 10−17) shows the protagonist cleaning, while admitting to herself that the room she is cleaning is actually already clean. The implication is that she is cleaning not because the room, or the house, needs cleaning, but because she, because of her own motivations, feels she must. (B) most closely matches this idea and is the correct answer. (A) is incorrect because although cold weather, fairly approximated as desolate weather, is mentioned, the purpose of the paragraph is not to depict this weather. Further, the protagonist cannot fairly be called cold in character. (C) is incorrect because the paragraph and the passage do not show the protagonist’s technique to be especially excellent. (D) is incorrect because no timetable of events is established in the paragraph, and no tragedy is presented later in the passage.


The Correct Answer is (F) — The question asks you to find the answer choice that is NOT answered by information in the passage. The passage does not say how long the husband and the protagonist have been married, so (F) is the correct answer. One way to solve this questions is to use Process of Elimination to eliminate answer choices that are answered by information in the passage. The husband’s job as a school principle, (G), is mentioned, so this answer choice is incorrect. The husband reacts to the new single beds by noting that they are new, so we can state that the husband did not expect to see the new single beds; the question in (H) is then answered, and so this answer choice can be ruled out. Finally, the passage says that the protagonist feels the injury to her finger “would be less important than finishing the project she had started, so she picked up her rag and began again” (lines 47−49), indicating that the protagonist keeps cleaning. The question in (J) is thus answered by the passage, and this answer choice can be eliminated.


The Correct Answer is (D) — In the paragraph from which “industry” (line 55) was pulled, the protagonist is imagining what would happen if someone saw at that moment through the window into the room. The paragraph ends, “He would gaze at her industry as if it were a fire” (lines 54−55). The passage has spent several paragraphs describing the protagonist’s work cleaning the house, so it can be inferred that the protagonist imagines someone getting a look at this work. Thus, the correct answer is (D). (A) is incorrect because the passage does not mention the protagonist utilizing machinery. (B) is incorrect because the protagonist is not conducting business. (C) is incorrect because the protagonist’s cleaning is not a trade, which is a skill that is done for financial compensation.


The Correct Answer is (G) — To answer this question, you must read all of the answer choices. (G) is the correct answer, as the protagonist, through her implied tenseness, is seen appreciating a sense of control through cleaning. (F) is incorrect because the protagonist does not find cleaning a tedious necessity, but rather cleans vigorously out of choice. The protagonist would disagree with (H), because she cleans her house even while recognizing that it is already tidy. Finally, (D) is incorrect, because the passage does not suggest that she cleans because of the mess from the delivery.


The Correct Answer is (D) — The passage states in the sixth paragraph that because of the many wire systems in the U.S., a single cable outage would likely not be noticeable (line 92). Then, the final paragraph says that there is no economic incentive or supervising body to make sure the global wire system is resilient, and this is a potential vulnerability, thus suggesting that a single cable outage would potentially cause significant disruptions in places outside of the U.S. (D) is thus the correct answer. (A) reverses both the implications for the U.S. and for other places, (B) mistakenly anticipates significant disruptions for Americans, and (C) incorrectly predicts moderate disruptions for Americans. These are all thus incorrect.


The Correct Answer is (H) — As used in line 34, the word “populate” refers to the undersea wires being located in, or occupying the same spaces, that we do. So, (H) is correct. (F) is incorrect; the wires do not make anything popular. (G) is also incorrect, as the wires do not make or produce anything. (J), too, is incorrect, because the wires are not described here as exiting a location, but rather taking up a location.


The Correct Answer is (B) — The author neutrally provides detailed information about the basics of undersea cables and their potential for being disrupted. Her tone can best be described as “informative,” (B). The author is not ironic or biting, so (A) is incorrect. The author also does not appear surprised, as stated in (C). While the author seems to approve of undersea cables, she is not excited, so (D) is also incorrect.


The Correct Answer is (J) — In the second paragraph, the author acknowledges most people’s incorrect impression that we have moved to transmitting data through the air, and then shows how the actual components of data traffic, cables, are “state-of-the-art global communications technologies” (23−24), and “are not going to be replaced by aerial communications anytime soon” (29−30). The main point of the paragraph is then to show that undersea cables are still the best way to carry data, matching (J). (F) contradicts information in this paragraph and the passage as a whole, which say that cables are still very present and will continue to be used in the future. (G) contradicts the line in this paragraph, which says that cables transmit signals more quickly and cheaply than satellites. The author does mention deep sea creatures in this paragraph, but only to bring up people’s surprise at our communications system existing in water, not to say that these creatures cause excessive traffic.


The Correct Answer is (D) — The third paragraph of the passage introduces the idea that cables are at substantial risk from certain accidental activities, such as dropping anchors and nets, more so than from sabotage or deliberate damage. The fifth paragraph expands and solidifies this comparison by showing that sabotage is rare, while regular faults, referring to accidental damage, occur about 200 times a year. Thus the risk of sabotage is significantly lower than the risk of accidental damage, and (D) is correct. The contrast between the levels of risk is greater than “slightly,” making (A) incorrect. (B) and (C) are incorrect and contradict the nature of the contrast; the risk of sabotage is not about the same, nor lower than, the risk of accidental damage.


The Correct Answer is (G) — The fourth paragraph states that “The International Cable Protection Committee has been working for years to prevent such breaks,” (lines 45−46) via this method of burying and covering with steel. The term “such breaks” refers to the breaks mentioned in the last sentence of the preceding paragraph, which talks about disruptions from dropping anchors and nets. Thus, (G) is the correct answer. (F) is incorrect because the International Cable Protection Committee is not said to have tried to protect cables from deliberate cutting, which is rare. There is no mention in the passage of seawater eroding cables, so (H) is incorrect. (J) is incorrect because it confuses content in the passage; although the author mentions the German raid of Fanning Island during World War I, this is not the reason for the burying and covering of cables with steel.


The Correct Answer is (B) — The word “critical” (line 71) occurs in context as follows: “It would be impossible to stop every vessel that came anywhere near critical communications cables” (lines 70−72). The author means communications cables that, if cut, would cause a disturbance—in other words, important cables, so (B) is correct. The cables themselves are not said to be dangerous or perilous, so (A) is incorrect. The cables are not disparaging or derogatory, so (C) is incorrect. The line in question is discussing intact cables that could be disturbed, not cables that are already damaged, so (D) is incorrect.


The Correct Answer is (F) — The final paragraph says that cables are susceptible to breakage, that diversity of the cables is the only way to address this reality, and that there is no economic incentive or supervisory body to ensure the global cable system is diverse enough to be resilient. It then says that this lack of global work on making the global system resilient is the most pressing potential vulnerability to cable systems, and thus (F) is correct. (G) is incorrect because the final paragraph does not say that the global undersea cable system is more resilient as a whole than its individual parts; these are different matters that the author does not compare in this way. (H) is incorrect because the passage never mentions corrosion as a threat to cables, and the vulnerability of individual cables is not the focus of this paragraph—the focus is on the global cable system as a whole. (J) is incorrect because neither the final paragraph nor the passage advocate for incorporating satellites or cloud computing into data transmission systems.


The Correct Answer is (A) — The passage states that cable disruptions outside Alexandra, Egypt, in 2008 affected 70% of Egypt’s internet access, so (A) is correct. The passage does not say that outages affecting 70% of the nation’s internet access occurred in Germany during World War I (B), France in 2011 (C), or the U.S. in 1999 (D).


The Correct Answer is (H) — In the fifth paragraph (lines 57−74), the author shows that disruption, particularly from accidental damage, does happen somewhat commonly, but mentions that it would be futile to try to stop accidental damage caused by ships. Furthermore, the author notes that creating “no-go” zones for ships in the ocean would badly hurt the economy. Thus, the author would probably agree with (H), that it would be a waste of time and money to try to prevent damage from ships to undersea cables. (F) is incorrect because it runs counter to the author’s opinion that trying to stop ships from disturbing cables would be impossible. (G) is incorrect because the author does not in this paragraph or anywhere else in the passage criticize the media for not doing enough to watch for sabotage of cables, and indeed considers sabotage rare and thus insignificant. Finally, (J) is incorrect because the paragraph only mentions telegraph lines laid in the 1800s to identify when the first cables were set, not to suggest that emulating telegraph companies of the 1800s would allow for better monitoring of cables.


The Correct Answer is (B) — To find the answer to this question, you will need to have a grasp of the author’s main ideas. The Pencil on Paper method, which asks you to mark key ideas in the passage, would be helpful for this. The author of Passage A argues that comics do not need to be treated as high literature to be worthwhile. Therefore, (B) is the correct answer. (A) is incorrect because the author does not say that all forms of writing are worthy of academic study. (C) is incorrect because it is unsupported. The passage never compares the values of form and narrative, let alone asks critics to prioritize one over the other. (D) is incorrect because the author does not advocate for including comic books in academic study—he does the opposite, suggesting that studying comics alongside literary and popular prose fiction works may lead to a reduction of appreciation for comics.


The Correct Answer is (F) — The author of Passage A says he dislikes the term “graphic novel” because it is “used in an attempt to elevate certain comics, and their readers, to a more legitimate social position” (lines 7−10), and that using the term demonstrates an “ignorance” of the history of the novel (lines 10−11). Thus, (F) is the correct answer. (G) is incorrect because while the author thinks the term is unnecessary and is an attempt to make comics seem more academic, he does not suggest the term is confusing. As the author is opposed to the term “graphic novel,” (H) and (J) are both too positive and are thus incorrect.


The Correct Answer is (A) — Look back to the passage, read the directed lines, and see if you can use Prediction to formulate your own way of expressing the intention of of the author. The use of “lower” in line 16 is included in statements about the perception in the 18th century that the novel, a popular form, was entertainment for the lower classes. The word “lowly” in lines 24 and 25 refers to how comics were common in 1950s Britain and thought to be meant for the working class. The author appears to be using these terms to show the historical perceptions of popular forms of literature with lower social classes. (A) matches our prediction and is therefore the correct answer. These lines and the passage never actually say that comics are less expensive than works of other forms of literature, so (B) is incorrect. The terms “lowly” and “lower” do not refer to classifications by critics, so (C) is also incorrect. (D) is incorrect, as the passage does not compare literature to other forms of art such as painting or music.


The Correct Answer is (J) — The word “image” (line 36) is used to refer to the image that the public have of Neil Gaiman as a “‘serious’ writer” (lines 36−37); the meaning therefore connects to his reputation, (J). The term is not used to talk about Gaiman’s physical appearance (F), and “copy” (G) and “portrait” (H) suggest an object, not a concept such as a person’s reputation. These answers are therefore incorrect.


The Correct Answer is (A) — The author says that the seeming elevation of comic books, particularly through academic inclusion of comic books with other forms of literature, may be a “reduction” in line 50. He explains in the following sentence that this is because this elevation causes the comic book form to be treated as a version of the prose novel, so (A) is correct. While the author says that comic books have been traditionally seen as lowbrow, he does not say that critics subscribe to this belief, and more importantly, what critics may or may not believe is not relevant to the author’s explanation of why the elevation of comic books may actually be a reduction. (C) is incorrect as the author does not comment on the comparative levels of rigor with which academics study comic books vs. other forms of literature. (D) is incorrect because it is unsupported; the passage does not say that critics tend to forget about comic books.


The Correct Answer is (G) — Passage B states in its first paragraph (lines 57−63) that graphic novels, in combining visual and textual elements, demand their own kind of analysis. In the fourth paragraph (lines 78−89) of Passage B, the author emphasizes this point by saying that graphic novels are a unique form, highlighting again their text and the importance of visual elements. (G) captures this conclusion and is the correct answer. (F) is incorrect because the passage does not say that graphic novels have replaced videos as the most popular multimodal form of storytelling; it only says that the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority includes graphic novels in the “multimodal” category. (H) is incorrect because the author does not characterize graphic novels as simpler in form than novels and film, and instead recognizes the complexity of graphic novels. (J) is incorrect as the author does not say that graphic novels have, or are chosen, for having strong moral themes.


The Correct Answer is (C) — Within Passage B, the author discusses elements important to the comic book form, and brings up Gunther Kress in order to depict and contrast the logic of writing and the logic of the image. This purpose is captured by (C). (A) is incorrect because while the author seems to approve of academic study of graphic novels, she is not in this section trying to prove the usefulness of academic conversation about graphic novels, but is rather trying to describe features of graphic novels’ form. (B) is incorrect as the author does not show a belief that comics are a less serious form of literature. (D) is incorrect because there is no mention of a “logic of comic books” or a “logic of novels,” and contrasting comic books and novels is not the purpose of mentioning Gunther Kress.


The Correct Answer is (J) — Refer back to the second paragraph of Passage B. (J), turning the “film” category into the “multimodal” category, was one of the changes instituted by the VCAA, so this is the correct answer. (F) is not supported by the paragraph or the passage. (G) contradicts information in the passage; the VCAA’s changes allowed comic books to be included in curricula. (H) is incorrect as it takes the inclusion of comic books in curricula too far. Graphic novels were made eligible to be a part of school curricula, not used to replace prose fiction.


The Correct Answer is (C) — Passage A suggests that the comic book form should not be treated as a version of the prose novel, and that comic books should be “taken on their own terms” (line 55). Passage B says that comic books require their own kind of reading and have been recognized as unique in form, and describes the complex and unique interplay within comic books between images and words. Thus, both authors would agree that comic books have literary qualities unique to their form, (C). (A) is incorrect. The author of Passage A only says that the effort to elevate comic books is unnecessary and negative, indicating that he believes that, at least in the eyes of others, the comic book is being treated erroneously as a “serious form of literature.” The author of Passage B would likewise disagree with the statement in this answer choice, as she notes comic books becoming part of school curricula. (B) is incorrect because neither author laments a lack of attention from critics to comics. (D) is incorrect because neither author indicates that more authors than ever are experimenting with graphic novels.


The Correct Answer is (F) — This question involves identifying a key difference between the two passages. The Pencil on Paper method can help keep main ideas clear. (F) is the correct answer, as Passage A is against the inclusion of comic books in academic curricula because it tends to lump comic books in with the novel, and Passage B, dissimilarly, approves of putting comic books in curricula. (G) and (J) are incorrect because Passage B does not find this inclusion foolish or detrimental. Passage B does not necessarily find the inclusion ambitious; it is to her a welcome—but not necessarily surprising, reaching, or enterprising—move.


The Correct Answer is (C) — The passage focuses on puff adders’ ability to use not only visual camouflage but scent-masking in order to avoid predators, making (C) the best option. (A) is incorrect because the passage does not suggest puff adders are a newly discovered species. (B) is incorrect because the purpose of the passage isn’t to argue for more research, but to describe a fascinating phenomenon. (D) is incorrect as the passage is focused on puff adders, and only mentions dogs and meerkats as animals involved to support the research about puff adders.


The Correct Answer is (J) — Lines 15−16 note that “the puff adder’s risk of being eaten is remarkably high,” with the paragraph going on to state that annualized mortality rates can reach 50%. This indicates that, despite their stealthy camouflage techniques, puff adders still suffer large population losses, making (J) the best answer. (F) is incorrect because the passage does not suggest that the puff adders’ natural defenses have weakened. The passage notes visual and olfactory (smell) camouflage, and not poisonous bodies, as puff adders’ defenses, so (G) is incorrect. (H) is incorrect because it is not supported by any information in the passage.


The Correct Answer is (D) — The given lines are in a portion of the passage that notes that selective pressures are acting on both predator and prey, citing the puff adders’ camouflaged coloring and patterning as “testament” (line 22), or evidence of this. (D) is therefore the best option. All three incorrect answers confuse content in the passage, misattributing correct information elsewhere in the passage as evidence for the claim found in these lines. (A) is incorrect because puff adders’ annual mortality rates are mentioned in the passage, but are not used as evidence of an “arms race.” (B) is another fact mentioned later in the passage, but again does not support the idea of an “evolutionary arms race.” (C), likewise, is a fact mentioned by the passage that does not support line 20, and is thus incorrect.


The Correct Answer is (J) — The passage states that “the use of detection dogs as research tools is growing in popularity” and that they are “now routinely used to locate rare, elusive, or invasive species” (lines 47−50). This would indicate that their use is now “customary” (J). The other three choices are incorrect because they are not supported by the passage. (F) would suggest that detection dogs were previously hardly used, and are now suddenly used in great numbers; the passage does not support this idea of a sharp change. (G) contradicts the idea in the passage that the use of detection dogs is “growing in popularity.” (H) is incorrect as it is too positive and unsupported by the passage.


The Correct Answer is (B) — The given lines note that an easily detectable puff adder would be very vulnerable to predators without its camouflage defenses, making (B) the best option. (A) is incorrect as it suggests that puff adders are simply helpless from skilled predators, which is not true. The phrase “sitting duck” is meant to describe a hypothetical situation in which puff adders lack camouflage, in order to show that they rely on it. (C) is incorrect as the given lines are discussing puff adders as prey, not predators. (D) can be eliminated for the same reason.


The Correct Answer is (G) — The study described in the passage aimed to determine how puff adders avoided detection by predators, so (G) is the best option. (F) is incorrect as it is too narrow; the study was not concerned with the mechanisms behind the chemical defense. (H) is inaccurate, as the study was concerned with puff adders’ ability to avoid detection more than predators’ hunting methods. (J) is incorrect as the researchers were not training the puff adders to use one defense over another, but merely recording which defenses were used.


The Correct Answer is (D) — The passage notes that “the results from the other snake species were very different” (lines 69−70), indicating that puff adders were unique in “the art of being scentless” (lines 73−74). Thus, (D) is the best answer. (A) is incorrect as camouflage in general, which includes other forms of disguise like visual camouflage, is not said to be unusual. (B) is incorrect as the passage nowhere mentions the puff adder defending itself against predators, instead relying on its ability to avoid detection. The passage mentions that puff adders use stealth in hunting their prey, but not that this stealth is unique, which makes (C) incorrect.


The Correct Answer is (G) — Earlier in this paragraph, the author notes that chemical crypsis may be more common than previously believed, and the given lines provide support and examples for this proposed idea, making (G) correct. The examples are speculative, and not summarizing the research results, so (F) can be eliminated. (H) is incorrect as it is exactly opposite the author’s hypothesis. (J) is incorrect as the animals mentioned are noted as examples of other animals that may use a similar defense to puff adders, not as animals that are prey of puff adders.


The Correct Answer is (A) — “Stumped” here is used in reference to the dogs and meerkats in the study, who were unable to locate the puff adders. Thus, (A) is best as it captures this idea that the puff adders’ predators were confused and unable to locate their prey. (B) is incorrect, as it was not the researchers but the predators who were stumped. (C) is incorrect, as the puff adder evolved, rather than engineered, its defenses, and this is not the topic of line 65. (D) is incorrect as the puff adders relied on camouflage, not flight from predators.


The Correct Answer is (G) — The passage notes that “chemical crypsis has probably not been shown before simply due to research focus being biased toward our own primary sense—vision” (lines 83−85). Thus, (G) is the best match. (F) is incorrect because the passage does not mention a lack of research funds (F). (H) is too broad and thus incorrect; the bias is toward one particular sense, not toward plural defenses. (J) is plausible, but unsupported by any evidence in the passage and thus incorrect.