Question Explanations For

Test (Writing and Language Test)

2.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question asks you to correctly punctuate the underlined portion of the sentence. (B) is correct because it correctly separates the adverb “however” from the following clause with a comma and places a colon between two independent clauses. “However” is an adverb: it shows the connection between this sentence and the one before it, but it can’t connect clauses the way a conjunction does. In this sentence, the second clause explains the first: it outlines the simple concepts mentioned in the first clause. It’s appropriate to use a colon between two independent clauses with this relationship. (A) is incorrect because it leaves out the comma that should follow “however” and uses a comma to connect two independent clauses, creating a comma splice. (C) is incorrect because it inserts an extra comma between a clauses subject, “the concept behind it,” and its verb, “is.” (D) is incorrect for one of the same reasons as (A): it creates a comma splice by using a comma instead of a colon to join two independent clauses.

3.

The Correct Answer is (D) — This question asks you to select the word that most precisely conveys the intended meaning of the sentence. Notice that the underlined word follows the adverb “extremely,” so you should consider the options together with that word. (D) is correct because describing the clock as “extremely precise” conveys that it keeps very accurate time, which makes sense in context. (A) is incorrect because “extremely particular” suggests that the clock is just picky or fussy about things; this personifies the clock by suggesting that it has preferences, and it doesn’t make sense in context. (B) is incorrect because “extremely methodical” suggests that the clock takes great care to follow rules and procedures in its work. It’s true that clocks follow rules, but, like (A), this personifies the clock by suggesting that it chooses or prefers to follow rules, and that doesn’t make sense in context. (C) is incorrect because “right,” in the sense that most nearly matches the meaning of the sentence, is merely an informal way of saying “correct.” The clock either is right or it isn’t: there are not degrees of being “right” in this sense, so this choice doesn’t make sense in the context of the word “extremely,” which expresses a degree of something.

4.

The Correct Answer is (B) — To answer this question correctly, look for pronouns, transition words, or other words or phrases that relate the sentence to other information in the passage, and consider its most logical relationship to each other sentence. Sentence 4 explains that the satellites are in very precise orbits, and explains that their own positions are encoded in an “almanac.” (B) is correct because sentence 2 mentions “this digital almanac,” a reference to the “almanac” described in sentence 4. This reference doesn’t make sense unless the idea has already been introduced, so it is logical to place sentence 4 before sentence 2. (A) and (C) are incorrect because they both place sentence 2 after sentence 4. The reference to “this almanac” would make even less sense if sentence 4 were deleted, so (D) is also incorrect.

5.

The Correct Answer is (A) — This question asks you to recognize the limits of complete sentences and avoid fragments or run-on sentences. (A) is correct because the first clause, which starts with “when,” is a dependent clause, and (A) correctly connects the dependent clause at the beginning to the independent clause at the end without adding any unnecessary words. (B) is incorrect because it adds the dependent marker word “while” to the beginning of the second clause. That makes both clauses dependent, and you need at least one independent clause to make a complete sentence. (C) is incorrect because it adds the conjunction “and” between the two clauses, even though the dependent marker word “when” already connects them. “And” is a coordinating conjunction: it is used to connect equal parts of a sentence (items in the same list, or independent clauses in the same sentence). A dependent clause is subordinate to an independent clause, so you can’t connect them with a coordinating conjunction. (D) is incorrect because it splits the two clauses into their own sentences. The second clause is independent, so it makes sense as its own sentence. However, the first clause is not independent, so this choice turns the first clause into a sentence fragment.

6.

The Correct Answer is (D) — To answer this question correctly, consider how each choice relates to and develops or supports the specific idea in the prompt, and how each choice relates to the context of the paragraph. The prompt asks you to select the choice that “best develops the explanation of how a receiver works.” (D) is correct because it describes the specific operation that the receiver carries out to determine its distance from the satellites, which is an important idea about how the receiver works. Without this information, the description is incomplete. (A) is incorrect because it only provides information about the signals, and does not explain the key idea of how the receiver determines its distance from the satellites. While (B) mentions the receiver’s computer, it also fails to explain the key piece of information missing from the description of how the receiver works. (C) is incorrect because it provides information about the satellites rather than the receiver, which is not relevant to the prompt or at this point in the passage.

7.

The Correct Answer is (A) — This question asks you to distinguish between commonly confused words and select the version that best expresses the intended meaning of the sentence, and to select the most correct pronoun in context. “Its” is the possessive form of “it,” while “it’s” is the contraction of “it is.” (A) is correct because it uses the possessive form of “it” to modify the phrase “own position.” (B) is incorrect because it uses the contraction “it’s” instead of the possessive “its.” “It can calculate it is own position” does not make sense. (C) is incorrect for the same reason as (B). (D) is incorrect because “itself” is a reflexive pronoun. That means that it can only be used when the subject and object of the clause or sentence are the same, but the subject of this clause is the pronoun “it” (which refers to “the receiver”) and the object is “position.” Also, reflexive pronouns are never possessive.

8.

The Correct Answer is (D) — To answer this question correctly, consult the graphic and ensure that you understand the information that's displayed and the units, labels, and other elements. The graphic that accompanies this passage consists of two elements: a diagram showing how distances from satellites with known positions can allow you to determine your own position, and a table that shows data for signals from three satellites. The table shows the travel time of the signals in milliseconds and the travel distance in kilometers. (D) is correct because this choice correctly identifies the travel distance of a signal that has traveled 74.4 seconds. On the table, this is shown as the travel time of the signal from Satellite A. (A) is incorrect because the table shows distances between each of the satellites and the receiver, not distances between two satellites. (B) is incorrect because it uses the wrong unit, expressing the travel distance in miles instead of kilometers. (C) is incorrect because it combines the errors of (A) and (B), incorrectly suggesting that the table shows the distance between satellites in miles.

9.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question asks you to recognize the limits of complete sentences and avoid fragments or run-on sentences. There are two independent clauses here. The first independent clause is “With a second satellite’s signal, you can draw two circles.” The second independent clause is “the points where they touch are your possible positions.” (B) is correct because it correctly connects the introductory phrase to the first clause with only a comma and splits the sentence so that the second of the two independent clauses stands on its own as a full sentence. (A) is incorrect because it places an unnecessary coordinating conjunction, “and,” between an introductory phrase and the rest of the first independent clause, and because it fails to either place a necessary conjunction between the two independent clauses or separate them into two sentences. (C) is incorrect because it places a period at the end of an introductory phrase that has no verb, creating a fragment, and connects two independent clauses with only a comma, creating a comma splice. (D) is incorrect because it omits any conjunctions or punctuation at all, creating a fused sentence.

10.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This question asks you to select the transitional word or phrase that best describes the relationship between ideas in the passage. The sentence before this transition indicates that the calculation described in the preceding paragraph may be “complicated by other factors.” The sentence following the transition describes problems that can mean that you might need “more satellites” than described in the calculation in the preceding paragraph, so it extends the idea of the preceding sentence with specific examples. (C), “for example,” is correct because it captures this relationship. (A), “nevertheless,” is incorrect because it does not express that relationship. “Nevertheless” expresses a contrast, but these two sentences agree with each other. (B), “similarly,” is tempting but incorrect. It expresses a relationship in which the two sentences express ideas that are alike in some way, but not identical. The second sentence here expands on the idea of the first by providing a specific example, so it’s actually continuing the discussion of exactly the same idea. (D) is incorrect because “in summary” suggests that this sentence expresses a shorter version of something that came before. This sentence is actually longer than the first one, and it doesn’t provide a summary.

11.

The Correct Answer is (D) — This question asks you to select the phrase that most precisely conveys the intended meaning of the sentence. (D) is correct because “rely on” conveys the sense that it is safe for you to depend on fewer satellites to produce the predictable, or “reliable,” outcome that you need. (A), “put your faith in,” suggests taking a gamble on an uncertain outcome or trusting in the good will or abilities of a person, organization, or other entity. The first sense doesn’t express the reliability of the satellites, while the second sense personifies them and suggests trust in their intentions--not just their accuracy or precision. (B) is incorrect for reasons that are similar to (A); it suggests that you can have a feeling of confidence in the satellites. However, the sentence is more about being able to depend on the satellites to produce an outcome than having a deep feeling towards them. (C) is incorrect because, while “bargain for” can express the idea that you can anticipate a certain outcome, that outcome is the thing you bargain for; in this context, that would mean that you could expect fewer satellites, which isn’t logical.

12.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This question asks you to distinguish between some commonly confused words while observing pronoun-antecedent agreement. (C) is correct because “their” is a plural possessive pronoun. Its antecedent is “most thinkers,” which is plural, and it correctly shows that the “voices” belong to the “thinkers.” (A) is incorrect because “there” means “in that place,” which does not make sense in context. (B) is incorrect because “they’re” means “they are,” which also does not make sense here. (D), “his or her,” is a singular pronoun phrase, so it fails to agree with the plural “thinkers.”

13.

The Correct Answer is (A) — To answer this question correctly, consider the relevance of the material in the question to the paragraph as a whole. (A) is correct because the previous sentence mentions the dialogue format without explaining what a dialogue is, and this sentence provides that necessary explanation. Without this sentence, readers have no way of knowing what a dialogue is, so cutting it would make the paragraph much less clear. (B) is incorrect because scientists and philosophers are mentioned in this paragraph as examples of authors, not characters. (C) is incorrect because although this sentence could describe plays, that doesn’t mean it can’t also describe dialogues. (D) is incorrect because the dialogue format is introduced in this paragraph in the sentence immediately before this one.

14.

The Correct Answer is (A) — This question asks you to select the word or phrase that most precisely conveys the intended meaning of the sentence. (A) is correct because “exclusively” in this context shows that, unlike earlier Greek philosophers, Plato did not write poems or essays—but, rather, only wrote dialogues. (B) is incorrect because it suggests that Plato wrote dialogues in a way that cost very much, but that doesn’t make sense in context. (C) is incorrect because, while it does suggest a kind of contrast, it suggests that Plato wrote dialogues because he was a snob—someone who is very concerned with wealth and status, and associates only with people of high status and wealth. Nothing else in the context suggests that this is the writer's opinion; in fact, the writer seems mainly to praise Plato, so this insulting word doesn’t make much sense in context. (D) is incorrect because “privately,” which suggests that Plato wrote his dialogues in a non-public way, doesn’t create a clear contrast with the earlier philosophers who wrote in other forms.

15.

The Correct Answer is (B) — (B) is correct. The sentences immediately before and after this point describe Plato’s dialogues; it would be distracting to add just one sentence here about another author and then jump back to Plato. (A) is incorrect because how Aristotle and Plato’s views relate to each other are irrelevant; introducing Aristotle here is distracting for the reason above. (C) is incorrect because this paragraph focuses on only one historical thinker, Plato, not many. (D) is incorrect for the same reason as (A): Aristotle’s views are irrelevant here because Aristotle himself is not relevant in this paragraph.

16.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question asks you to correctly link two independent clauses. (B) is correct. “The dialogue form...arguments” and “he was keenly aware...talk and think” can both stand on their own as complete sentences. A semicolon can be used to join two complete sentences. (A) links the sentences with a comma, which creates a comma splice. (C) uses no punctuation at all, creating a run-on sentence. (D) makes the same mistake as (A) and also adds a colon between a verb and its predicate, which is never correct.

17.

The Correct Answer is (D) — This question asks you to consider several ways of arranging a sentence and choose the clearest option. (D) is correct because it orders its words clearly and logically. (A) is confusing because it separates the notion of being “experts” from being “in some field.” (B) also separates “experts” from “in some field.” (C) separates “think of themselves” from “experts,” making it very hard to understand that these people think of themselves as experts.

18.

The Correct Answer is (D) — This question asks you to choose the appropriate transition word. (D), “however,” is correct. The fact that Socrates’ conversation partners think of themselves as experts contrasts with the fact that they can’t answer questions about their field of expertise. “However” captures this contrast. (A), “therefore,” suggests a cause-and-effect relationship, which is not the same as a contrast. (B), “indeed,” and (C), “additionally,” suggest that the second sentence agrees with the first one, which is not correct.

19.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question asks you to select the pronoun than grammatically agrees with its antecedent and maintains consistent pronoun usage. (B), “him,” agrees with the masculine singular antecedent “Protagoras,” who we already know should be referred to using a singular masculine pronoun because the students are described as “his.” (A), “them,” is plural and therefore does not agree with “Protagoras.” (C), “himself,” and (D), “themselves,” are reflexive pronouns: they are appropriate only when the subject and object of a verb refer to the same person or thing. Since the students, who are paying, are not the same as Protagoras, who is getting paid, a reflexive pronoun is inappropriate.

20.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This question asks you to correctly punctuate a list within a sentence. This sentence provides a list of three things Socrates does that suggest he isn’t always an authority: he “makes bad arguments,” he “ends conversations as confused as everyone else,” and he “claims that he only has questions, not answers.” (C) is correct because it correctly places a comma between the second and third items in this list without adding any unnecessary punctuation. (A) is incorrect because it inserts a semicolon before the final item. In lists whose items have their own internal punctuation, you can use semicolons to separate list items for clarity. However, in that case, semicolons must come between all of the items in the list—you can’t switch from commas to semicolons halfway through. (B) incorrectly inserts a comma in the middle of the second item in the series. (D) inserts a comma after the word “and,” which is not correct in a list.

21.

The Correct Answer is (A) — To answer this question correctly, consider the main topics of both paragraphs, and their relationship to one another. Consider circling this type of question and coming back to it after answering later questions. (A) is correct because the rest of this paragraph makes it clear that readers are supposed to come to their own conclusions rather than try to work out what Plato himself believed, and this choice provides a direct answer to the rhetorical question at the end of the preceding paragraph that clearly expresses the main idea of the follow paragraph. (B) is incorrect because it offers a fact about something that Plato often referred to that seems vaguely related but provides a much less clear transition than (A). (C) is incorrect because it says that Plato would tell us himself if he could, but the rest of the paragraph directly contradicts this idea by suggesting that Plato intentionally avoided giving us the answer so that we would have to figure things out on our own. (D) is incorrect because it changes the subject by mentioning Socrates, even though Plato is the focus of the paragraph.

22.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This question tests your understanding of dependent and independent clauses. (C) is correct because it is the only option that makes the first clause of this sentence a dependent clause, by adding the dependent marker word “if.” The two clauses in this sentence are joined by a comma, and the second clause (“we wouldn’t really learn anything”) is an independent clause. Therefore, this sentence will be a comma splice unless the first clause is a dependent clause. (A), (B), and (D) all make the first clause an independent clause, so they all result in comma splices.

23.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question asks you to maintain a sentence structure that is parallel with that already used. (B), “remembering,” is correct because it parallels the “-ing” forms used earlier in this same list of actions: “litigating,” “fighting,” and “finding.” (A), (C), and (D) all use a verb tense of “remember” with the pronoun “they,” creating a clause instead of another “-ing” verb describing an action the lawyers “spend their days” doing. This breaks the parallel structure of the list.

24.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This question asks you to select the word choice that most precisely conveys the intended meaning of the sentence. The best choice is (C) “complex,” which implies that the rules not easy to understand—and that explains why lawyers might be needed to help people and business avoid running afoul of the rules. While (A) “composite” could be tempting because it means a thing made up of various parts or elements, it is not the most precise choice in this context because a composite rule would not necessarily be difficult for people or business to understand on their own. (B) is incorrect because, while “busy” can refer to complexity, that sense of the word usually refers to the visual complexity of a design—not the abstract complexity of rules. (D) is incorrect because “unfathomable” means “impossible to understand.” Since real estate attorneys “make it possible for people...to buy and sell property with running afoul” of the rules, it would be an overstatement to say that they are literally impossible to understand.

25.

The Correct Answer is (B) — To answer this question correctly, consider the relevance of the material in the question to the paragraph as a whole. (B) is correct. The proposed new sentence explains why particular courses of study provide a benefit to the aspiring real estate lawyer. This aligns well with the paragraph’s wider focus on preparing for such a career. (A) is incorrect because the sentence doesn’t actually explain why a bachelor’s degree, as such, is required. Instead, it discusses the advantages of certain kinds of bachelor’s degrees. (C) is incorrect because there’s no reason why “suggestions” aren’t appropriate here; elsewhere in the paragraph, the author discusses some of the things that an aspiring real estate lawyer “may” do. (D) is incorrect because the information about possible degrees also relates to career preparation.

26.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This question asks you to correctly punctuate a list within a sentence. (C) is correct because the comma between “issues” and “and” makes it clear that there are three separate courses being discussed. (A) is incorrect because a semicolon should never be placed between “or” and a noun. (B) is incorrect because the comma comes between “or” and “land use regulations,” and the comma should come before the conjunction—not after it. (D) is incorrect because, in a simple list such as this, the items should be separated by commas rather than semicolons, and the same punctuation should be used between different items, but this choice places a semicolon between the first and second items and nothing between the second and third.

27.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This question asks you to select the choice that is most consistent with the style and tone of the passage as a whole. (C) is correct because “Wherever she works” maintains the informative tone already established in the passage. (A), “whatever gig she gets,” uses language that is distinctly more informal than the rest of the passage. (B) is tempting, but the style is archaic and the “nature” of the employer is not relevant here. (D) is incorrect because it is vague and colloquial, and because “the job” is difficult to distinguish from the “day-to-day work” with which that phrase is being contrasted.

28.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question asks you to correctly punctuate a nonessential clause within a sentence. When a clause serves to describe another part of the sentence, it is essential if the information is necessary to identify the object the clause is describing, and it is nonessential if the clause just adds extra information. Nonessential clauses should be separated from other clauses with a comma. (B) is correct because the clause beginning with “which” is a nonessential subordinate clause: it adds extra information about title searches, but “title searches” isn’t unclear without the information. (A) is incorrect because the period turns the subordinate clause starting at “which” into a sentence fragment. (C) incorrectly places a colon in the middle of a clause. (D) incorrectly uses a semicolon; semicolons can be used to join independent clauses, but cannot be used to join a nonessential dependent clause to an independent clause.

29.

The Correct Answer is (B) — To answer this question correctly, consider the stated goal of the question, and how well each answer choice satisfies that goal. The question states that the writer would like to provide “additional, relevant details about the kinds of work that real estate lawyers perform.” (B) is correct because this option provides new information about the kind of research that is involved in title searches. The information is an addition to what has already been described, and clearly relates to the “kinds of work” mentioned in the prompt. (A) is incorrect because it describes an rare and unusual side to title searches, rather than the real estate lawyer’s work as such. The information is “additional,” but it’s not exactly “relevant.” (C) is incorrect because the sentence doesn’t actually provide any additional information about the work. The previous sentence mentions that the specialty “a great deal of research,” and this choice just observes that those who don’t enjoy research won’t enjoy the specialty. (D) is incorrect because it doesn’t provide information that’s directly relevant to the kind of work real estate lawyers perform. Instead, it focuses on titles themselves.

30.

The Correct Answer is (A) — This question asks you to maintain a sentence structure that is parallel with that already used. The underlined portion of the passage is a list of actions, and they should all be expressed with verbs in the same form. The correct answer is (A) because it keeps all of the verbs in an -ing form. (B) is incorrect because the word “prepare” is not parallel with “providing.” (C) is incorrect because “make” is not parallel with the other verbs. Semicolons are only used to separate items in lists when some items in the list also contain commas. (D) is incorrect because “they prepare” isn’t parallel with other verbs in the list.

31.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question asks you to select the transitional word or phrase that best describes the relationship between ideas in the passage. The preceding paragraph goes through a list of tasks that real estate lawyers carry out from the beginning of a deal to the end, and ends with a conclusive-sounding list of the final steps. This passage opens with the idea that “that’s not all” they do. This creates a slight contrast between the idea of the completeness of the tasks in a given process, and the incompleteness of the description of the career. (B) is correct because “However” indicates that the information to follow contrasts with the previous idea. (A) is incorrect because “Moreover” implies that the information that follows is in agreement with the previous idea. (C) is incorrect because “In addition” states that the information that follows is just extra: it only adds on to the previous idea. While this information is extra, it also contrasts, so “in addition” doesn’t fully capture the relationship. (D) is incorrect because “Insofar as” implies that one idea limits another, or that one idea is true only to the extent that another one is true, and that doesn’t make sense in this context.

32.

The Correct Answer is (A) — This question asks you to maintain a logical and consistent verb tense. The paragraph as a whole and this sentence are describing general facts about real estate attorneys in the present tense. (A) is correct because the present tense of “offers” is the most logical and consistent tense. (B) is incorrect because it uses the past tense “offered.” (C) is incorrect because it uses another kind of past tense with “has offered.” (D) is incorrect because “is offering” is in the present progressive tense, which is not consistent with the simple present tense used elsewhere.

33.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This question asks you to choose the answer that uses the most logical sequence of information. (C) is correct because it places Sentence 2, which describes the specialized field of international real estate, after a sentence listing some of the special fields real estate lawyers can enter into. The big giveaway is Sentence 2’s “even,” which suggests that it follows from descriptions of other special fields. (A) is incorrect because it comes immediately before the account of the “many specialties.” (B) is incorrect because the relationship between this paragraph and the preceding paragraph slightly contrasts, but the word “even” would imply that the sentence about international real estate law builds on the remarks in the previous paragraph by providing a surprising or extreme example. (D) is incorrect because Sentence 4 functions as a concluding sentence, making it wrong to put anything else after it.

34.

The Correct Answer is (D) — This question asks you to select the most concise version of the underlined portion that still expresses the intended meaning. (D) is the correct answer because it avoids both the repetition of the idea that the script is new and the idea that it is a writing system. (A) is incorrect because it uses the phrase “writing system” twice. (B) is incorrect because “novel” and “new” express the same idea. (C) is incorrect because it is wordy and redundantly emphasizes that the writing system was something the Maya “wrote”.

35.

The Correct Answer is (D) — This question asks you to select the word or phrase that most precisely conveys the intended meaning of the sentence. The sentence expresses the idea that the Maya Script “remained in ... use” from the period mentioned in the previous sentence (“the third century BCE”) until the Spanish conquest. The correct answer should describe the use of the script in a way that makes sense in that context. (D) is correct because the word “continuous” aptly suggests that the script was used without interruption from the time it was developed to the time of the Spanish conquest, and that makes sense in context. (A) and (B), “everlasting” and “eternal,” are both incorrect because they suggest that the script remained in use forever—but the sentence clearly indicates that the script only remained in use “until the Spanish conquest.” (C), “consecutive,” is incorrect because, while it does connote a lack of interruption, refers to the order in which more than one thing happens rather than how long one thing lasts.

36.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This question asks you to pick the correct supporting information for the claim that the Maya script is different from many other scripts. To answer this question correctly, consider the claim and whether each option offers direct support for that claim. (C) is correct because it discusses the Maya script’s differences from two other script types: the abjad and the abugida. (A) is incorrect because it merely lists types of scripts without discussing any differences. (B) and (D) are incorrect because they both elaborate on the immediately preceding sentence by giving more information about alphabets rather than providing any additional support for the specific claim that Maya script is different from many other scripts.

37.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question asks you to recognize the limits of complete sentences and avoid errors with subordinating conjunctions. The clauses, without any dependent marker words, are “a logogram stands for an entire word” and “a syllabogram stands for a syllable.” (B) is correct because it makes the first clause dependent with the dependent marker word “while,” and joins a dependent and an independent clause using a comma. (A) is incorrect because it makes both clauses dependent using “while.” Remember that a sentence needs at least one independent clause. (C) is incorrect because the clauses are once again both dependent; this time, one starts with “while” and one starts with “as.” (D) is incorrect because it tries to join two independent clauses with a comma alone.

38.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This question asks you to select the most conventional form of the expression, using the clearest and most typical prepositions. You also need to choose between “similar” and “similarly.” “Similar” is an adjective, and “similarly” is an adverb. (C) is correct; “similar to” is the conventional way to express similarity between several things when the preceding word is “is,” and the words in the comparison are nouns rather than verbs, so it is correctly to use the adjective “similar.” (A) is incorrect because “as” is not the conventional preposition in this context. (B) is incorrect because “similarly as” combines the errors of using an adverb and an unconventional preposition. (D) is incorrect because “similarly to” uses the adverb “similarly” instead of the adjective “similar.”

39.

The Correct Answer is (A) — This question asks you to maintain a logical and consistent verb tense. (A) is correct answer because the scholars are reasoning about a hypothetical that would likely have been the case in the past, so it is logical to use “would have made it.” The perfect tense (shown by the helping verb “have”) and the conditional mood (shown by the helping verb “would”) make it clear that they are reasoning hypothetically about actions completed in the past. (B) is incorrect because “will be making it” relates to the future rather than the past. (C) is incorrect because “is making it” relates to the present instead of the past. (D) is incorrect because “”will make it” also relates to the future.

40.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This question asks you to select the transitional word or phrase that best describes the relationship between ideas in the passage. The idea before the underlined transition emphasizes positive aspects of bark fiber paper: it was easy to make and very high in quality. (B) is the correct answer because “indeed” signals that the following sentence agrees with and expands on the previous point. Since the first point relates to the “high quality” of bark fiber paper and the second point agrees with and expands on that idea by specifying two ways in which it was of a higher quality than writing materials used by other civilizations. (A), (C), and (D) are all incorrect because they indicate some form of contrast, but there’s no contrast between the papers high quality and popularity and its superiority to other writing materials.

41.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This question asks you to determine whether nouns should be possessive or not based on the context of the sentence, and to correctly punctuate possessive or non-possessive nouns. In this case, the underlined noun should not be possessive. While the sentence does discuss the papyrus possessed by “Mediterranean civilizations,” the relationship between “papyrus” and “civilizations” is shown by the phrase “favored by,” rather than by using a possessive form of “civilization” to modify “papyrus.” (C) is correct because in context the plural word “civilizations,” without an apostrophe, is needed. (A) and (B) are incorrect because they are the singular and plural possessive forms of “civilization,” both of which are incorrect because the possessive is not required. (D) is incorrect because it uses “of the” in a way that doesn’t make sense in context.

42.

The Correct Answer is (C) — To answer this question correctly, read ahead and consider the main topic of the paragraph. Consider circling this type of question and coming back to it after answering later questions. The paragraph discusses a “delay,” and the changes which scholars made in order to speed things up again. It also states that the Maya script is now mostly deciphered. For this reason, the paragraph needs a topic sentence dealing with the time frame of the decipherment of Maya writing. (C) is correct because it discusses that time frame. (A) is incorrect because it deals with a totally different script, Linear A, which is not relevant to the discussion of Maya script. (B) is incorrect because, even though it does describe a potential reason for the delay in deciphering the script, it doesn’t introduce the time frame itself in such a way as to make “this delay” seem sensible, and it’s not general enough to relate to all of the ideas in the paragraph. (D) is incorrect because it relates to a totally different topic: Maya studies at the University of Texas, Austin.

43.

The Correct Answer is (D) — This question asks you to select the transitional word or phrase that best describes the relationship between ideas in the passage. Since the preceding sentence discusses how modern Maya people are relearning the script, and the subsequent sentence discusses a classroom where this learning happens, none of the suggested transition words are suitable. They all inappropriately indicate a contrast in ideas. (D) is therefore correct.

44.

The Correct Answer is (D) — This question asks you to recognize the limits of complete sentences and avoid fragments or run-on sentences. The phrase “under the guidance of their teacher” falls between two independent clauses: “Maya students are learning how to read and write” and “they press the once-suppressed script of their ancestors into fresh clay.” This question is especially tricky because the prepositional phrase that begins in the underlined portion would sound sensible modifying either the clause before it or the clause after it. Note, however, that the second independent clause is connected to the phrase using only a comma. (D) is correct because it creates two complete sentences by placing a period after “script.” This turns “Under the guidance of their teacher” into a dependent clause attached to the second independent clause with a comma. (A) is incorrect because it causes a comma splice later on in the sentence, after “teacher.” The clause that begins “they press…” is an independent clause, but so is the clause that ends with “...their teacher.” The prepositional phrase doesn’t work to connect these two independent clauses, so this is just a long comma splice. (B) is incorrect because it also doesn’t solve the splice problem between “teacher” and “they press.” (C) is incorrect because it misuses a colon, placing it immediately between the word “under” and the noun phrase that it modifies, “the guidance of their teacher.”