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SAT reading comprehension practice test 11

    I chose to wander by Bethlehem Hospital; partly, because it lay
    on my road round to Westminster; partly, because I had a fancy
    in my head which could be best pursued within sight of its
    walls. And the fancy was: Are not the sane and the insane
5   equal at night as the sane lie a dreaming? Are not all of us
    outside this hospital, who dream, more or less in the
    condition of those inside it, every night of our lives? Are
    we not nightly persuaded, as they daily are, that we associate
    preposterously with kings and queens, and notabilities of all
10  sorts? Do we not nightly jumble events and personages and times
    and places, as these do daily? Said an afflicted man to me,
    when I visited a hospital like this, ‘Sir, I can frequently
    fly.’ I was half ashamed to reflect that so could I - by night.
    I wonder that the great master, when he called Sleep the death
15  of each day’s life, did not call Dreams the insanity of each
    day’s sanity.

Passage adapted from: The Uncommercial Traveller, C Dickens (1860)

1. It can be correctly inferred that Bethlehem hospital

I is very close to Westminster
II has patients who are regarded as insane
III is a place the author has visited before

A. I only
B. II only
C. III only
D. I and II
E. I, II and III

2. The author makes his point with the aid of all of the following except

A. rhetorical questions
B. personal anecdote
C. allusion
D. frequent use of metaphor
E. repetition and parallel construction

    Now, it is clear that the decline of a language must ultimately
    have political and economic causes: it is not due simply to the
    bad influence of this or that individual writer. But an effect
    can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing
5   the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely.
    A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a
    failure, and then fail all the more completely because he
    drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the
    English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our
10  thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language
    makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.

Passage adapted from: Politics And The English Language, George Orwell

3. The example of the man who takes to drink is used to illustrate which of the following ideas in the paragraph?

A. foolish thoughts
B. the slovenliness of language
C. political and economic causes
D. an effect becoming a cause
E. bad influences

4. The author would most likely agree that

A. individual writers can never have a bad influence on the English language
B. imprecise use of language is likely to make precise thought more difficult
C. the English language is ugly and inaccurate
D. all language declines for political reasons
E. failure generally leads to more failure in a downward spiral

Paragraph one

    All the sound reasons ever given for conserving other natural
    resources apply to the conservation of wildlife – and with
    three-fold power. When a spendthrift squanders his capital it
    is lost to him and his heirs; yet it goes somewhere else.
5   When a nation allows any one kind of natural resource to be
    squandered it must suffer a real, positive loss; yet
    substitutes of another kind can generally be found. But when
    wildlife is squandered it does not go elsewhere, like
    squandered money; it cannot possibly be replaced by any
10  substitute, as some inorganic resources are: it is simply an
    absolute, dead loss, gone beyond even the hope of recall.

Paragraph two

    The public still has a hazy idea that Nature has an overflowing sanctuary
    of her own, somewhere or other, which will fill up the gaps
    automatically. The result is that poaching is commonly
15  regarded as a venial offence, poachers taken red-handed are
    rarely punished, and willing ears are always lent to the cry
    that rich sportsmen are trying to take the bread out of the
    poor settler's mouth. The poor settler does not reflect that
    he himself, and all other classes alike, really have a
20  common interest in the conservation of any wildlife that
    does not conflict with legitimate human development.

Both passages adapted from: Animal Sanctuaries in Labrador, W Wood (1911)

5. The author of paragraph one probably uses the expression ‘three-fold power’

A. because there are three-times as many reasons for conserving wildlife
B. to be more dramatic that saying “double-power”
C. to emphasize the contrast between loss of money, loss of other resources, and loss of wildlife
D. to stress the need for saving money, resources and time
E. to indicate the magnitude of the problem without intending the expression to be taken literally

6. From the context, the word ‘venial’ in paragraph two most nearly means

A. major
B. criminal
C. frequent
D. trivial
E. natural

7. Both paragraphs apparently imply that

A. there is no source from which wildlife, once exterminated, can be replaced
B. poachers must be punished
C. wildlife has much in common with other natural resources
D. conservation is in conflict with human development
E. preserving wildlife is expensive

8. It can be inferred that the spendthrift in paragraph one and the poor settler mentioned in paragraph two are alike in that they are

A. in conflict with the aims of conservation
B. inclined to waste natural resources
C. more concerned with the present than the future
D. unable to control their spending
E. unaware of conservation

Test information

Q 8 questions

Time 12 minutes

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