Question Explanations For
NEW SAT PRACTICE TEST 4 (Writing and Language Test)
The Correct Answer is (D) — This question asks you to choose the most correct punctuation for combining two sentences into a single sentence with two independent clauses. (D) is correct because the second clause explains the first clause, which is one proper use of a colon. (A) is incorrect because it introduces an unnecessary comma after the word "each". (B) is incorrect because it omits the necessary punctuation and creates a run-on sentence. The use of the comma in (C) may seem correct, however, there is no coordinating conjunction joining the independent clauses of the new sentence, so a comma is inadequate.
The Correct Answer is (B) — The question asks you to identify the detail that best supports the information that follows the claim that professors feel lucky in their choice of careers. (A) identifies the number of professors in the United States, which is not directly related to claims about their job satisfaction. (C) comments on the expertise required of professors, but does not support the claim about their job satisfaction. While (D) may be true, it is too general a point to provide strong support. (B) is correct because it provides evidence that supports the claim in a way that is logical.
The Correct Answer is (A) — (B) is incorrect here because there is a shift from the third person voice used in the rest of the passage to the first person voice, which would be appropriate if Prof. Swanson were being quoted, but she is not. (C) is both excessively colloquial, and written in the passive voice, which is inconsistent with the rest of the passage. The tone of (D) is distinctly more casual than the tone of the passage as a whole. (A) NO CHANGE is the most effective choice because the tone and style is consistent with the rest of the passage.
The Correct Answer is (C) — This question asks for the word that means something related to languages, most likely proficiency with languages. The answer options look and sound similar, but have very different meanings. (A) "affluent," means wealthy; (B) "effluent," means liquid waste; and (D) "fluid," means liquid or free-flowing. “Fluid” can apply to speech, meaning that someone speaks freely and easily, but it’s not as appropriate in this context as (C), "fluent," which means proficient and comfortable with a language.
The Correct Answer is (B) — The question asks for the correct verb tense of "to do." The rest of the sentence is in the present simple tense. Answer (A) is the perfect conditional tense; Answer (C) is the past tense; Answer (D) is the present conditional tense. Answer (B) is the correct simple present tense.
The Correct Answer is (B) — The question asks for the correct parallel structure for the underlined portion of the sentence in context of the sentence as a whole. Answer (A) interrupts the list with the prepositional phrase "along with." Answer (C) creates a tense shift and the repetition of the pronoun "she" is inconsistent with the single use of the noun "students". Answer (D) incorrectly combines the last two items of the list behind a single shared verb. Answer (B) is correct because it maintains the structure introduced in the first list in the sentence.
The Correct Answer is (A) — "Once the semester begins" provides a transition form the previous sentence while the sentence as a whole introduces the topic explored in this paragraph, specifically, the work Prof. Swanson does during the semester, Answer (A) is correct. Because moving the sentence elsewhere in the paragraph would cause two organizational problems, answers (B), (C), and (D) are incorrect.
The Correct Answer is (B) — The question asks you to identify the most concise option for revising the sentence. Answer (A) is incorrect because it is redundant; (C) is not a good choice because it repeats information already expressed in the sentence; (D) is incorrect because deleting the underlined portion would omit the information about the students using the online classroom. Answer (B) is the best option because it is complete and concise.
The Correct Answer is (A) — The question requires choosing the correct pronoun for the sentence. Because Prof. Swanson is being quoted, the singular "she says" in (A) is correct. The use of "one" in (B) references a generic person rather than Prof. Swanson specifically; (C) "I say" is incorrect because it implies incorrectly that Prof. Swanson wrote the passage; (D) "they say" is incorrect because it is the plural pronoun.
The Correct Answer is (D) — This question asks for the most precise word choice for this sentence. We can guess from the context that we need a word that means something like “doing” or “carrying out.” Although the four possible words have similar meanings, only (D), "performing," provides the most precise choice in the context of the passage. (A) "staging" means presenting, and not doing the sort of tasks discussed in the passage; (B) "achieving" in this context means completing goals, not carrying out services which may include open-ended tasks; (C) "discharging" in this context means fulfilling a duty, but has a more formal connotation than is called for.
The Correct Answer is (A) — This question asks whether the proposed addition would provide necessary information about the number of hours Prof. Swanson spends on specific tasks. Answer (A) is correct because, without additional support, the final quotation from Prof. Swanson doesn’t make much sense. We’ve just been told that she “spends just nine hours in the classroom and another nine creating lesson plans and lectures,” so an additional accounting of how she spends the rest of her time is useful to support the claim that she “work[s] a lot more than 40 hours a week.” Although (B) provides information about the hours the majority of professors dedicate to their responsibilities, that answer is too general. (C) and (D) focus on insignificant points; neither this paragraph nor the passage as a whole demand exacting precision, and whether or not Prof. Swanson always teaches summer classes is irrelevant to the sentence in question.
The Correct Answer is (A) — Because the passage explores the significance of Sybil Ludington's ride, (A) is the correct answer because it provides evidence that supports and develops the main topic of the passage: that Sybil Ludington made as significant a contribution to the war effort as the more famous Paul Revere. (B) introduces irrelevant biographical details about Ludington, (C) is a general statement which detracts from the focus of the passage and discounts the significance of the story, and (D) introduces additional biographical details about Revere which emphasize his importance over Ludington’s—contrary to the general tone of the passage.
The Correct Answer is (D) — This question asks us to select the transitional word that best introduces the final sentence. (A) and (B) imply that Washington visited the Ludingtons in spite of Sybil’s ride, but that relationship would make little sense. As the sentence indicates, Washington was a general, so it is more reasonable to assume that he would appreciate Sybil’s contribution rather than dislike it. While (C) implies that Ludington's ride was helpful in winning the battle to an extent significant enough to warrant Washington's visit, the phrase “insofar as” implies an ongoing relationship in which Washington visited the Ludingtons as long as, or to the extent that, Sybil helped in the war effort. The correct transitional phrase is (D), which correctly expresses that Sybil’s contribution to victory prompted Washington to visit and thank her for it.
The Correct Answer is (C) — Although the four possible words have similar meanings, only (C) "broke out," which means to have developed suddenly, provides the most precise choice in the context of the passage. (A) "inaugurated" most commonly implies a ceremonious induction or beginning; (B) "initiated" means to start something, but events generally are not considered able to initiate themselves; (D) "blew up" implies a physical explosion or eruption.
The Correct Answer is (A) — Because "when he joined the rebel cause" is a dependent clause, (A) correctly combines the underlined parts of the sentence. (B) would create a run-on sentence; (C) create a sentence fragment (“When he joined the rebel cause.”); (D) add unnecessary commas.
The Correct Answer is (C) — The homophones “their,” “there,” and “they’re” are often confused, and this question asks you to select the correct word for this sentence. The sentence refers to the munitions that were stored at Danbury, a specific location; thus, (C) "there" is correct. (A) and (D) refer to a state of being while (B) is the possessive form of "they."
The Correct Answer is (B) — The paragraph explains how Sybil Ludington came to make her ride, listing events in chronological order. Placing sentence 2 where it is now (A) implies that riders were dispatched before Tryon's attack, which doesn’t make sense in the sequence of events. Sentence 4 refers to the arrival of the riders, so placing sentence 2, which is about the departure of the riders, after that sentence put the orders in the wrong chronological order. (C) and (D) both place sentence 2 somewhere after sentence 4, and therefore in the wrong chronological order. Placing the sentence after sentence 3 (B) maintains the chronological order and creates cohesion within the paragraph.
The Correct Answer is (D) — In this sentence, the phrase "made even darker by a powerful rainstorm" is a nonrestrictive element describing the already dark night. It is therefore necessary to set it off from the main cause with a comma. The comma after "night" in answer (D) is placed correctly, and so (D) is correct. (A) and (C) both add an unnecessary comma, while (B) creates a run-on sentence.
The Correct Answer is (D) — In order to maintain the consistency of the verb tense within the sentence, the tense of this verb should match the past tense “stopped.” (D) is the past tense and so it is the correct answer. (A) is present tense; (B) is the past progressive tense; (C) is the future progressive tense.
The Correct Answer is (C) — This question asks whether the underlined sentence should be deleted or kept. (A) is incorrect, because, while it does make sense that Sybil would be wet, the plausibility of the sentence is not a sufficient reason to keep it in the passage. (B) might be tempting if you notice that an explanation of how the troops were inspired to march could provide a good transition between the sentences around this one, but the information in the sentence does not actually explain how that happened. (D) may be tempting once you notice that the sentence doesn’t sound right in context, but Sybil’s comfort is part of what made her ride so dramatic and heroic—it’s simply addressed elsewhere. Because the underlined sentence provides parenthetical information that detracts from the focus of the paragraph, (C) is the correct answer.
The Correct Answer is (B) — (B) is the correct answer because it maintains agreement between the pronoun and the antecedent, “Sybil,” and because it is possessive. Neither (A) nor (D) agrees with the noun “Sybil,” and (C) is not possessive, so they are all incorrect.
The Correct Answer is (B) — This question requires you to select the correct transitional word, given the relationship between two sentences. The first sentence makes the claim that Sybil Ludington never became as famous as Paul Revere, while the second sentence describes various ways in which Ludington has been honored. There is a contrast between these two sentences, so (B), “however,” is the correct choice. (A) and (C) both suggest a relationship in which the first sentences causes the second, which is incorrect. (D) suggests that the information in the second sentence is merely additional information, and would be appropriate if the two sentences were expressing very similar ideas, but fails to correctly express the contrast between the two sentences.
The Correct Answer is (B) — The phrase “Daedelus and Icarus” is compound subject, which is punctuated as a list. Lists with only two items do not require commas or other punctuation. Because there is no need for any punctuation in the underlined part of the sentence, (B) is the correct answer. Answer (A) incorrectly inserts a comma; Answer (C) incorrectly inserts a semicolon; Answer (D) incorrectly inserts a dash which implies that Icarus is parenthetical to Daedalus.
The Correct Answer is (B) — This paragraph explores the myth of Daedelus and Icarus. (B) provides the information necessary to understand how the two escaped, developing the series of events that led to the fall of Icarus. Although (D) explains that wings were made, it does not reveal the significance of the wings. (A) and (C) provide more information about the imprisonment of Daedelus and Icarus, but do not develop the series of events effectively by explaining how they come to fly.
The Correct Answer is (D) — Although the four possible words have similar meanings, only "inspired" provides the most precise choice in the context of the passage. (A) "induced" means to persuade, and “work” is not really an appropriate subject for a word with that meaning; (B) "driven" means compelled, which is excessively strong in this context; and (C) "provoked" means to incite, but has connotations of conflict or hostility which are not appropriate in this context. Because (D) "inspired" in this context means to motivate, is tonally appropriate, and can take “work” as a logical subject, it is the most precise choice.
The Correct Answer is (C) — This question prompts us to select the correct form of the word “Icarus.” Because the “spectacular fall into the sea” belongs to Icarus, the possessive form, (C), "Icarus's," is correct. (A), “Icarus,” is not possesive; (B), “Icaruses,” is the plural of “Icarus,” not the possessive; (D) offers an option that could be used to indicate that the fall belongs to Icarus without using the possessive “Icarus’s,” and such phrases are often good style choices, but the phrase would be misplaced here and the sentence would have to be more extensively rewritten to accommodate the phrase.
The Correct Answer is (C) — The question prompts you to select the option that best combines the sentences; (C) is the best answer, because it correctly uses a semicolon to join two independent clauses without introducing a conjunction that misconstrues the relationship between the two clauses. While (D) uses the colon to direct readers' attention to a list, this choice is incorrect because the first part of the sentence does not directly introduce the second. (A) incorrectly uses a comma between compound independent clauses without a conjunction, creating a comma splice. (B) introduces the coordinating conjunction "but," which implies a contrast or contradiction that is not present.
The Correct Answer is (B) — The question requires you to choose the correct pronoun for the antecedent “W.H. Auden.” (A) is incorrect because the plural pronoun “they” does not agree with the singular proper noun “W.H. Auden;” (C) is incorrect because the pronoun “him” should be used as the object of a verb, but this pronoun is the subject of the verb “wrote.” and (D) is incorrect because this sentence refers to Auden specifically, rather than a generic "one." (B) is correct because "he" is the nominative case, referencing Auden as the subject of the sentence.
The Correct Answer is (B) — This question requires you to select the correct position for the modifying phrase “as an allegory.” In this sentence the subject is Auden's interpretation of the painting as an allegory, and so the modifier ought to be placed directly behind the phrase "interpreted the painting." (A) creates a dangling modifier, which could create the mistaken impression that Auden himself or the act of interpretation is allegorical. (C) clearly and incorrectly makes Auden himself the allegory. (D) creates a squinting modifier, which could be interpreted to apply to either the act of interpretation or the painting. (B) is the correct answer because it places the modifier next to the phrase being modified.
The Correct Answer is (C) — This question asks you to determine how best to improve the focus of the paragraph. (A) suggests deleting sentence 1, but this would eliminate the introduction of the topic of the paragraph. (B) suggests deleting sentence 2, which supports the claim that the poem refers to the painting. (D) suggests deleting sentence 4, which explains the significance of Auden's interpretation of the painting. (C) correctly suggests deleting sentence 3, which is both unnecessary and too informal in the context of the passage.
The Correct Answer is (C) — This question requires you to select the most concise and correct wording. Each incorrect option includes redundant words: in (A), “adding” is redundant with “as an addition,” in (B), “name” is redundant with “title,” and in (D), “to the title” is repeated later in the sentence. Only (C) is free of redundancies.
The Correct Answer is (C) — The main argument of the passage is that Bruegels' painting was an inspiration to artists working in other genres. (A) is tempting because it argues that the underlined sentence should be kept, yet it is concerned only with this paragraph rather than the passage as a whole. (B) could be tempting, because the idea that “each artist offers his own view” is consistent with the main idea of the paragraph, but that information has already been provided. (D) erroneously claims that the underlined sentence fails to support the main argument of the passage. (C) is correct because the short sentence “Each artist offers his own view” simply paraphrases the first sentence of the paragraph, without adding any new information.
The Correct Answer is (C) — This question asks you to identify the correct word in the context of the sentence. Based on the context, we can see that Bruegels didn’t share his opinion, so he remained silent about his intentions. (A), "moot," means “debatable” or “controversial;” you could say that the interpretation of the paining is “moot,” but Bruegels was not. (B), "mood," refers to a state of mind, which is not related to whether Bruegels shared an opinion or not. (D), "mused," in this context, could mean that Bruegels remained thoughtfully pondering his intentions for the painting, which is tempting—but not the most likely choice. (C), "mute," means silent and, in the context of the sentence, it is the most accurate choice.
The Correct Answer is (B) — The question asks for the proper punctuation for the items in a series, and in this case, those items are verb phrases: “is 1,000 times less dense …,” “has been used …,” and “can collect ….” These three verb phrases should be separated with commas. (A) improperly omits a necessary the comma between "glass" and "has"; (C) improperly inserts a semi-colon where a comma is required; (D) is incorrect because it creates one sentence, “What is 1,000 times less dense than glass.”, with incorrect terminal punctuation (a period instead of a question mark), and a sentence fragment. (B) correctly separates the items in the list.
The Correct Answer is (D) — The original "an impossible invention in a book" is both too wordy and too informal in the context of the passage. (B) and (C) are also too informal; they are colloquial phrases which are not appropriate in the context of this written passage. (D) best matches the style and tone of the passage as a whole, because “the stuff of science fiction” is a conventional phrase which is acceptable in a journalistic writing style.
The Correct Answer is (C) — The question asks you to identify to correct parallel structure in the underlined sentence. (A), (B), and (D) all incorrectly combine gerunds and verbs; only (C) provides the proper parallel structure.
The Correct Answer is (D) — Although all of the four options have similar meanings, in the context of the sentence, (D), "wispy," which means very fine or thin (remember that “thin” can have the sense of being spread sparsely over an area, not just having little thickness), provides the most precise choice. (A) means slender, and while there may be slender clouds that it not a typical property of clouds; (B) is a strong word for very thin, and would not typically be applied to clouds or other inanimate objects; (C) means fragile, but the next part of the sentence clearly indicates that aerogels are “strong enough to survive … a rocket launch.” While some contrast is implied by “but,” the two parts of the sentence shouldn’t have exactly opposite meanings.
The Correct Answer is (A) — The question asks for the conventional expression. (A) is correct because convention calls for "which" in nonrestrictive clauses. (B) "who" refers to a person and so it is incorrect; (C) "what" is incorrect in this case because it is an unconventional use of the identifier; and (D) "whom" also refers to a person rather than a thing.
The Correct Answer is (D) — The correlative conjunctions “either” and “or” should be followed by phrases with parallel structure; since “either” is followed by the verb “to be,” “or” should also be followed by that verb. The tense and form of the verb phrases of “to be” should also remain consistent. The initial “be” is in the subjunctive mood. (A) is a present tense phrase of “to be,” (B) is a present participle phrase of “to be,” and (C) omits any phrase of “to be” at all. Only (D) includes a subjunctive phrase of “to be.”
The Correct Answer is (C) — The question asks you to interpret the quantitative information presented in the graph. (A) is tempting, because the passage is primarily about aerogel and the evidence from the graphic is clearly being instructed to support the argument for aerogel’s value as an insulator. However, (A) is incorrect because the graphic indicates that Vacuum Insulated Panels actually have a higher r-value than aerogel. (B) is a misreading of the graphic: r-value is indicated by grey bar, and the bar for aerogel extends to 30 while the bars for fiberglass or rock wool do not even extend to 10, thus indicating a higher r-value for aerogel. (D) is a plausible statement which supports the use of aerogel as an insulator, but fails to represent information from the graphic. (C) is correct, because it provides the most correct interpretation of the graphic: aerogel does, in fact, have a higher r-value than either rock wool or fiberglass.
The Correct Answer is (D) — The question asks you to determine where sentence 1 should be placed for the sake of cohesion in the paragraph. Because sentence 1 addresses the various ways aerogels can be used in older buildings and new construction, Answer (D), which places the sentence between one that mentions aerogel’s use as insulator and one that lists an additional form of insulation made from aerogel, is the most logical placement for the sentence. Answers (A) is not correct because it describes how aerogel can be used as an insulator before the idea of aerogel as an insulator has been introduced, (B) is incorrect for the same reason as (A), and (C) are all incorrect because they create an illogical order for the information.
The Correct Answer is (B) — This paragraph mainly discusses on-going research into possible uses for aerogels in environmental cleanups. (A) explains the current capabilities of the researchers rather than focusing on the research being conducted. (C) focuses on how and where aerogels are made now, rather than focusing on research into future applications. (D) could serve to introduce the idea of research into improving certain aspects of the aerogel production process by setting up a contrast, but has an unsuitably strong negative tone, and doesn’t actually establish the main point. (B) is the correct choice because it focuses on the new possible uses for aerogels.
The Correct Answer is (A) — Although the options have similar meanings, only (A) provides the most precise word choice in the context of the question. All of the word choices would mean that harmful organic solvents are not used, but most also have additional connotations that make them inappropriate choices. (B), "dodge," implies to move quickly to get out of the way; it can be used metaphorically to talk about “dodging” things other than physical objects by means other than physical movement, but still has a connotation of rapid action to narrowly escape a consequence, which is inappropriate in this context. (C), “foreswear,” and (D) "renounce," both mean to give something up, but also both mean to do it by oath or affirmation—to proclaim that one is giving something up, rather than just abstain from its use. A process can’t make such a declaration, so these are inappropriate word choices. (A) "avoid," in this case, means to keep away from doing something, which is an appropriate word choice in this context.
The Correct Answer is (A) — This question requires you to select the option which correctly punctuates a list of properties that future aerogels might possess. (A) correctly separates the items in the list with commas. (B) incorrectly uses semi-colons. Semicolons can be used to separate items in a list when the items within the list contain commas, but these items do not contain commas. (B) also inserts a semicolon between “aerogels” and “with.” (C) may be tempting, because it includes commas and lists are often introduced with colons. However, in order for a colon to be used before a list the clause that directly precedes the colon must be a complete independent clause. In this case, the colon is incorrectly placed between the preposition “with” and its object (the list, which is a compound object). (D) omits punctuation entirely, which is correct only when a list is limited to two items. This list contains three items, and therefore requires commas.