ANSWER SHEET FOR MULTIPLE-CHOICE QUESTIONS - PRACTICE EXAM 2 - Build Your Test-Taking Confidence - AP English Language

AP English Language

Build Your Test-Taking Confidence



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Section I

Total Time—1 hour

Carefully read the following passages and answer the questions that follow.

Questions 1–10 are based on the following passage from Annie Dillard, What an Essay Can Do.


1. Which technique does the author employ to focus the reader’s attention on the specific topic of the passage?

A. use of parallel structure

B. identifying herself with her audience

C. beginning each paragraph with the same subject

D. use of passive voice

E. use of anecdote

2. Based on a careful reading of the first paragraph, the reader can conclude that the author blames the death of the “novel of idea” on

A. real life and situations

B. simplicity

C. appeal to philosophy

D. reliance on historical data

E. artificiality

3. The primary rhetorical strategy the author uses to develop the first paragraph is

A. process

B. narration

C. description

D. cause and effect

E. definition

4. Near the end of the third paragraph, Dillard states, “The essayist does what we do with our lives; the essayist thinks about actual things. He can make sense of them analytically or artistically.” The most probable reason for the author choosing to write two separate sentences rather than constructing a single, longer sentence using a listing, is

A. to reinforce cause and effect

B. both subjects are of equal importance, although separate processes

C. to create a parallel situation

D. to contrast the two ideas

E. to highlight the criticism of fictional writing

5. In paragraph 3, in the sentence beginning with “The real world …,” the word “there” refers to

A. the fictional world

B. novels

C. poetry

D. “the real world”

E. short stories

6. The primary rhetorical strategy the author uses to develop the second paragraph is

A. contrast and comparison

B. narration

C. argument

D. description

E. analogy

7. In terms of her position on her subject, the author can best be categorized as

A. an adversary

B. a critic

C. an advocate

D. an innovator

E. an artist

8. An example of parallel structure is found in which of the following lines taken from the passage?

A. “But eschewing it served to limit fiction’s materials a little further, and likely contributed to our being left with the short story of scant idea.”

B. “The essay may deal in metaphor better than the poem can, in some ways, because prose may expand what the lyric poem must compress.”

C. “The elements in any nonfiction should be true not only artistically—the connections must hold at base …”

D. “… that is the convention and the covenant between the nonfiction writer and his reader.”

E. “In either case he renders the real world coherent and meaningful; even if only bits of it, and even if that coherence and meaning reside only inside small texts.”

9. The contrast between the short story writer and the essayist is based on which of the following?

A. reflection

B. presentation

C. fundamental reality

D. content

E. clarity of purpose

10. The tone of the passage can best be described as

A. impartial and critical

B. condescending and formal

C. candid and colloquial

D. clinical and moralistic

E. confident and informative

Questions 11–21 are based on the following passage in which Henry James responds to a literary critic’s ideas about the state of the English novel.

There is one point at which the moral sense and the artistic sense lie very near together; that is in the light of the very obvious truth that the deepest quality of a work of art will always be the quality of the mind of the producer. In proportion as that intelligence is fine will the novel, the picture, the statue partake of the substance of beauty and truth. To be constituted of such elements is, to my vision, to have purpose enough. No good novel will ever proceed from a superficial mind; that seems to me an axiom which for the artist in fiction, will cover all needful moral ground: if the youthful aspirant take it to heart it will illuminate for him many of the mysteries of “purpose.” There are many other useful things that might be said to him, but I have come to the end of my article, and can only touch them as I pass. The critic in the Pall Mall Gazette, whom I have already quoted, draws attention to the danger, in speaking of the art of fiction, of generalizing. The danger that he has in mind is rather, I imagine, that of particularizing. I should remind the ingenuous student first of the magnificence of the form that is open to him, which offers to sight so few restrictions and such innumerable opportunities. The other arts, in comparison, appear confined and hampered; the various conditions under which they are exercised are so rigid and definite. But the only condition that I can think of attaching to the composition of the novel is, as I have already said, that it be sincere. This freedom is a splendid privilege, and the first lesson of the young novelist is to learn to be worthy of it. “Enjoy it as it deserves,” I should say to him; “take possession of it, explore it to its utmost extent, publish it, rejoice in it. All life belongs to you, and do not listen either to those who would shut you up into corners of it and tell you that it is only here and there that art inhabits, or to those who would persuade you that this heavenly messenger wings her way outside of life altogether, breathing superfine air, and turning away her head from the truth of things. There is no impression of life, no manner of seeing it and feeling it, to which the plan of the novelist may not offer a place; you have only to remember that talents so dissimilar as those of Alexander Dumas and Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Gustave Flaubert have worked in this field with equal glory. Do not think too much about optimism and pessimism; try and catch the color of life itself. If you must indulge in conclusions, let them have the taste of a wide knowledge. Remember that your first duty is to be as complete as possible—to make as perfect a work. Be generous and delicate and pursue the prize. (1884)

11. James draws a distinction between the purpose of the novel and

A. the moral theme

B. the artistic sense

C. the mind of the producer

D. obvious truth

E. the substance of beauty

12. From the opening of the passage, it is clear that the author’s attitude toward the creation of a work of art is

A. democratic

B. indifferent

C. superficial

D. reverent

E. elitist

13. According to James, beauty and truth are directly related to

A. the novel

B. intelligence

C. a picture

D. a statue

E. vision

14. According to the fourth sentence, the word “axiom” can best be defined as

A. a mystery

B. an anecdote

C. a paradox

D. a rule of thumb

E. a proverb

15. In the fifth sentence, “There are many other useful things that might be said to him, but I have come to the end of my article, and can only touch them as I pass,” the pronoun “him” refers to

A. “youthful aspirant”

B. “the critic”

C. “the producer”

D. the artist in fiction

E. the author

16. In the seventh sentence, “The danger that he has in mind is rather, I imagine, that of particularizing,” the word “rather” is used to establish

A. a paradox

B. an analogy

C. an ambiguity

D. a syllogism

E. an antithesis

17. According to Henry James, the freest form of art is

A. sculpting

B. painting

C. speaking

D. writing

E. photography

18. In the middle of the passage, the sentence “‘Enjoy it as it deserves,’ I should say to him; ‘take possession of it, explore it to its utmost extent, publish it, rejoice in it,’” includes an example of

A. a complex sentence

B. parallel structure

C. an analogy

D. inversion

E. passive voice

19. In the second half of the passage, if the student follows the logic and advice of James in the set of sentences beginning with “This freedom is a splendid …” and ending with “the truth of things,” that student would have to

A. imitate the great writers

B. pray for inspiration

C. recognize that only after death can a writer be assessed properly

D. ignore James’s advice

E. turn away from writing

20. Also in the middle of the passage is a sentence beginning with “All life belongs …” and ending with “the truth of things.” The metaphor, “this heavenly messenger,” contained in this sentence refers to

A. freedom

B. the teacher

C. sincerity

D. art

E. the critic

21. The overall tone of the passage can best be described as

A. informal and sarcastic

B. condescending and sardonic

C. didactic and exhortative

D. reverential and laudatory

E. indignant and contemptuous

Questions 22–35 are based on the following passage from Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick.”





22. The controlling analogy of the passage is

A. Nantucket:Illinois

B. sea:land

C. Noah:Nantucket

D. moon:Earthsman

E. legends:reality

23. Melville describes Nantucketers as all of the following except:

A. conquerors

B. natives of the sea

C. farmers of the sea

D. strangers to the land

E. exploiters of the Native American claims

24. The tone of the passage can best be described as

A. self-congratulatory and confident

B. formal and pompous

C. admiring and hyperbolic

D. informal and cynical

E. pedantic and objective

25. The most probable reason for repeating and italicizing “There” in the middle of paragraph 4 at the beginning of two main clauses in the same sentence is to

A. force the reader to look for an antecedent

B. sound poetic

C. provide a break in a long, complicated sentence

D. emphasize the sense of place

E. indicate sympathy for the plight of the Nantucketer

26. The shift in the focus of the piece occurs in which line?

A. The first sentence of paragraph 2

B. The first sentence of paragraph 3

C. The first sentence of paragraph 4

D. The third sentence in paragraph 4

E. The last sentence

27. The first paragraph contains an extended example of

A. parallel structure

B. anecdote

C. periodic sentence

D. generalization

E. argument

28. Melville retells the Native American legend of how the island was settled in order to

A. have his audience identify with the Native American population

B. make the passage seem like a parable

C. contrast with the reality of the Nantucketers

D. bring a mythic quality to the subject

E. highlight the plight of the Nantucketers

29. The development of paragraph 3 is structured around

A. spatial description

B. selection of incremental details

C. central analogy

D. parallel structure

E. paradox

30. Based on a careful reading of the passage, complete the following analogy: NANTUCKET:ILLINOIS ::

A. merchant ships:pirate ships

B. Native American:eagle

C. ivory casket:skeleton

D. backs of sea turtles:chairs and tables

E. walrus:prairie dog

31. One may conclude from the information contained in paragraph 3 that “Himmalehan, salt-sea Mastedon” refers to

A. the ocean

B. the whale

C. the power of nature

D. Biblical vengeance

E. emperors

32. The purpose of the passage is most probably to

A. encourage people to settle on Nantucket

B. use Nantucket as a model of ecological conservation

C. honor the indomitable spirit of the Nantucketers

D. plead for the return of Nantucket to the Native Americans

E. present a nostalgic reminiscence of the writer’s birthplace

33. Melville uses thus twice in this passage: once in the second sentence of paragraph 2 to begin the Native American legend about the island being settled. What is the reason for using thus a second time in the first sentence of paragraph 4?

I. to begin a comparative legend with the Nantucketers settling the sea

II. to balance the first part of the passage with the second part

III. to reinforce the formality of his presentation

A. I



D. I and II

E. I, II, and III

34. The subtle humor of the first paragraph is dependent upon

A. paradox

B. hyperbole

C. juxtaposition

D. irony

E. ad hominem argument

35. The last sentence of the passage continues the analogy between

A. reality:illusion

B. night:day

C. man:animal

D. gull:walrus

E. sea:land

Questions 36–44 are based on the following passage from Lucy Stone, “A Disappointed Woman,” a speech she gave to the national women’s rights convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, in October, 1855.


36. The tone of the passage can best be described as

A. pedantic and cynical

B. flippant and irreverent

C. reverent and somber

D. indignant and argumentative

E. ambivalent and resigned

37. A major hypothesis presented by the speaker is that

A. religion is the cause of women’s position in the United States

B. women are not as intelligent as men

C. education is the only way to cure the evils of society

D. the question of Women’s Rights is a philosophical issue

E. women and African Americans are on the same level

38. What can the reader infer based upon the sentence found in the middle of paragraph 1 that begins with “I was disappointed …” and ending with “and the housekeeper”?

A. Lucy Stone is not a religious person.

B. Teaching was not considered a worthy profession.

C. The speaker is an adventurer.

D. Stone values the opinions of others.

E. She is married with children.

39. The theme of the passage is best expressed in

A. paragraph 1, sentence 3 (“When, with my brothers …”)

B. paragraph 1, sentence 7 (“In education …”)

C. paragraph 2, sentence 1 (“The question …”)

D. paragraph 2, sentence 6 (“This is seen …”)

E. paragraph 3, sentence 9 (“Wendell Phillips says …”)

40. Stone develops her speech using all of the following except:

A. an ad hominem argument

B. an anecdote

C. direct quotations

D. facts

E. an ethical appeal

41. In light of the passage, how can the following sentence near the end of the first paragraph best be characterized? “It shall be the business of my life to deepen this disappointment in every woman’s heart until she bows down to it no longer.”

A. ironic and paradoxical

B. analytical and pedantic

C. formal and detached

D. informal and anecdotal

E. allegorical and ambivalent

42. Based on a careful reading of the passage, one can assume that the speaker

A. believes that women are superior to men

B. believes that religion is the salvation of women

C. believes in fate and destiny

D. believes that foreign countries are more enlightened about women’s rights than the United States

E. is disappointed with her female contemporaries

43. In the sentence beginning with “Wendell Phillips says …” in the middle of paragraph 2, Lucy Stone develops her point using

A. an analogy

B. a straw-man argument

C. a syllogism

D. an ad hominem argument

E. sarcasm

44. The speaker’s purpose is most probably to

A. explain

B. exhort

C. amuse

D. describe

E. narrate

Questions 45-54 are based on the following excerpt from a review and discussion by Christopher Jencks of American Dream: Three Women, Ten Kids, and a Nation’s Drive to End Welfare, written by Jason DeParle and published by Viking/Penguin in 2005. The review appeared in the December 15, 2005, edition of The New York Review of Books.




45. The essence of the argument presented in this passage can be found in lines

A. 5–6

B. 13–14

C. 16–17

D. 26–28

E. 29–32

46. The organizational pattern of the passage is

A. general to specific

B. specific to general

C. familiar to unfamiliar

D. most important to least important

E. cause and effect

47. The reader may infer from lines 35–38 that the writer

A. believes welfare is clearly a success

B. believes welfare is failing to meet dismal situations

C. admires the welfare programs of countries other than those of the United States

D. maintains that there has been little need for welfare reform since 1996

E. believes that the goals of the United States are the proper ones

48. The tone of the passage can best be described as

A. factual

B. sarcastic

C. laudatory

D. ironic

E. sentimental

49. Which of the given footnotes is a primary source?

A. 4

B. 5

C. 6

D. 7

E. 8

50. A critical reader of this passage should ask all of the following questions about footnote 7 except:

A. What is the relationship between Swingle and the author of this review?

B. How many estimates were actually constructed?

C. To what does the word all refer?

D. What are Swingle’s qualifications as a reliable source?

E. Can I locate an annotated citation about Swingle in another section of this review?

51. Another effective means of presenting the statistical material found in this passage would most probably be a(n)

A. personal anecdote

B. short story

C. one-act play

D. chart or graph

E. interview with a homeless mother

52. The footnote that most likely reflects a specific bias is found in

A. 4

B. 5

C. 6

D. 7

E. 8

53. In lines 35–38, the author’s bias/agenda is most clearly evidenced through

A. statistical information and interpretation

B. definition

C. description

D. diction and syntax

E. summarization

54. Based on a careful reading of footnote 5, the reader can correctly assume that Winship and Jencks are

A. recognized authorities in this field

B. social workers

C. students

D. welfare reformers

E. employees of the federal government


Section II

Question 1

Suggested Writing Time: 40 minutes

Based on the Constitutional First Amendment guarantee of the right to freedom of speech, some citizens and citizen groups have used public burning of the American flag as a means of political expression. A proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: “The Congress shall have the power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.” Is desecrating the flag a legitimate form of expression guaranteed by the Constitution? Should the Constitution be amended to protect the flag?

Carefully read the following sources (including any introductory information). Then, in an essay that synthesizes at least three of the sources for support, take a position that defends, challenges, or qualifies the claim that the flag should be protected under a constitutional amendment.

Make certain that you take a position and that the essay centers on your argument. Use the sources to support your reasoning; avoid simply summarizing the sources. You may refer to the sources by their letters (Source A, Source B, etc.) or by the identifiers in the parentheses below.

Source A (First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution)

Source B (The Proposed Amendment)

Source C (USA Today Survey)

Source D (Two Supreme Court Decisions)

Source E (Rehnquist’s Dissenting Opinion)

Source F (Editorial in the Los Angeles Times)

Source G (Congressional Votes)

Source H (Political Cartoon by Clay Bennett)

Source I (Editorial by Todd Lindberg)

Source A

From “The Bill of Rights,” The U.S. Constitution.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Source B

The Proposed Amendment to the U.S. Constitution taken from The Congressional Record. Available at

The full text of the amendment:

The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.

Source C

Results of a survey conducted by USA Today, June 23–25, 2006,

Some people feel that the U.S. Constitution should be amended to make it illegal to burn or desecrate the American flag as a form of political dissent. Others say that the U.S. Constitution should not be amended to specifically prohibit flag burning or desecration. Do you think the U.S. Constitution should or should not be amended to prohibit burning or desecrating the American flag?

Results based on 516 national adults in Form B:


Source D

Two Supreme Court Decisions related to the desecration of the flag. Available at

Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989), was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States. The question the Supreme Court had to answer was: “Is the desecration of an American flag, by burning or otherwise, a form of speech that is protected under the First Amendment?” Justice William Brennan wrote the 5–4 majority decision in holding that the defendant’s act of flag burning was protected speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The court held that the First Amendment prevented Texas from punishing the defendant for burning the flag under the specified circumstances. The court first found that burning of the flag was expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment. The court concluded that Texas could not criminally sanction flag desecration in order to preserve the flag as a symbol of national unity. It also held that the statute did not meet the state’s goal of preventing breaches of the peace, since it was not drawn narrowly enough to encompass only those flag burnings that would likely result in a serious disturbance, and since the flag burning in this case did not threaten such a reaction.

Subsequently, Congress passed a statute, the 1989 Flag Protection Act, making it a federal crime to desecrate the flag. In the case of United States v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310 (1990), that law was struck down by the same five-person majority of justices as in Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989).

Source E

Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s dissenting opinion in the Texas v. Johnson (1989) case. Available at

In his dissenting opinion in Texas v. Johnson (1989), regarding Texas law against flag burning, the late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist wrote,

The American flag, then, throughout more than 200 years of our history, has come to be the visible symbol embodying our Nation. It does not represent the views of any particular political party, and it does not represent any particular political philosophy. The flag is not simply another ‘idea’ or “point of view” competing for recognition in the marketplace of ideas. Millions and millions of Americans regard it with an almost mystical reverence regardless of what sort of social, political, or philosophical beliefs they may have. I cannot agree that the First Amendment invalidates the Act of Congress, and the laws of 48 of the 50 States, which make criminal the public burning of the flag.

Rehnquist also argued that flag burning is “no essential part of any exposition of ideas” but, rather “the equivalent of an inarticulate grunt or roar that, it seems fair to say, is most likely to be indulged in not to express any particular idea, but to antagonize others.”

Source F

“The case for flag-burning: An amendment banning it would make America less free.” An editorial that appeared in the Los Angeles Times, June 27, 2006.

THERE ARE MANY ARGUMENTS AGAINST a proposed constitutional amendment to outlaw “the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.” Let us count the ways in which the amendment, which is disturbingly close to the 67 votes required for Senate approval, is unworthy of that body’s support:

• It’s a “solution” to a problem that doesn’t exist. There has been no epidemic of flag-burning since the Supreme Court ruled in 1989 that destruction of Old Glory as a protest was symbolic speech protected by the 1st Amendment.

• As Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pointed out, “The First Amendment has served us well for over 200 years. I don’t think it needs to be altered.” Placing a no-flag-burning asterisk next to the amendment’s sweeping guarantee of free speech is a mischievous idea, and it could invite amendments to ban other sorts of speech Americans find offensive.

But the best argument against the flag amendment is the one some opponents are reluctant to make for fear of political fallout: It would make America less free.

Rare as flag-burning may be, a nation that allows citizens to denounce even its most sacred symbols is being true to what the Supreme Court in 1964 called the “profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.”

In that decision, and in 1989, the court interpreted the free-speech protections of the First Amendment generously but correctly. The Senate, including Feinstein and fellow Democrat and Californian Barbara Boxer (who has opposed a flag-burning amendment in the past), should let those decisions be.

Source G

Congressional votes regarding proposed constitutional amendment regarding desecration of the flag. Available at

The chronology of the House of Representatives’ action upon the flag-desecration amendment running over a period of more than ten years:


Source H

Political Cartoon by Clay Bennett, the Christian Science Monitor,

Boston, July 4, 2006. Available at


Clay Bennett, Christian Science Monitor, Boston 7/4/06

Source I

An excerpt from “The Star-Spangled Banner,” an editorial by Todd Lindberg that appeared in the Washington Times, July 4, 2006. Available at

… the last thing that a constitutional amendment banning flag-burning strikes me as is a slippery slope toward broader restriction on freedom of expression. There are two reasons for this.

First, the flag is the flag; the only reason to accord it special status (if that’s what you decide) is that it is, in fact, the singular national symbol. We are not even talking about a ban on burning red, white, and blue things, such as bunting, nor of suppressing the debate over whether banning the burning of the flag is a good thing. It’s not hypocrisy but rather a pretty good philosophical point to say that the flag, as the symbol of the freedom to burn, baby, burn, is the one thing you shouldn’t burn. For if you burn the freedom to burn, you have no freedom. For more on the danger that lies in this direction, see the collapse of the Weimar Republic in Germany.

On the other hand, the flag is not the freedom itself but its symbol. The freedom continues even if a particular flag is consumed in fire. To burn the flag is not to burn the only flag. There is no “the” flag, only flags; or if there is “the” flag, it is an idea of the flag and therefore beyond the reach of the flames.

Except that a perfectly acceptable way to dispose of a worn-out flag, according to the old Boy Scout manual Dad gave me, is by burning. The ceremony is to be at all times respectful and somber. Here, one reveres “the” flag by seeing to it that “a” flag gets decommissioned properly. So the symbolic content is always present. When someone burns a flag in protest, it’s just not about the fire and the piece of cloth. The flag is indeed a symbol of a political community, and I’m not sure that political communities can get by without symbols.

The second reason I’m not worried about a slippery slope constricting expression once you ban flag-burning is that in the current environment, socially enforced restraints on expression are far broader and more important than legal restraintsIn the case of flag-burning, if you do it now, most Americans will think you are an ingrate jerk, as noted above. But even if a constitutional amendment passes, no one is proposing the death penalty for flag-burning, nor life in prison. If you get busted, you can probably look forward to a few days in the clink, plus adulatory editorials in the New York Times.

So while I am not a great supporter of an amendment banning flag-burning, neither do I think that such an amendment would do harm if passed. If I were a member of the Senate, I would have voted for it. That’s because as an elected officeholder, I would feel more solicitous of the national symbol, as perhaps befits someone who has chosen to hold office in accordance with the principles and procedures of the political community in question.

Question 2

Carefully read the following two passages on London fog. In a well-structured essay, compare the two selections with regard to purpose and style. Consider such elements as diction, figurative language, organization, syntax, and manipulation of language.


Question 3

In one section of Walden, Henry David Thoreau ponders the advice offered by elders in a society. Carefully read the following passage from this American classic and construct a well-written essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies Thoreau’s point of view. Use your own knowledge and specific evidence from your own experience or reading to develop your position.

What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true today may turn out to be falsehood tomorrow, mere smoke of opinion, which some had trusted for a cloud that would sprinkle fertilizing rain on their fields. What old people say you cannot do, you try and find that you can. Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new. Old people did not know enough once, perchance, to fetch fresh fuel to keep the fire a-going; new people put a little dry wood under a pot, and are whirled around the globe with the speed of birds, in a way to kill old people, as the phrase is. Age is no better, hardly so well, qualified for an instructor as youth, for it has not profited so much as it has lost. One may almost doubt if the wisest man has learned anything of absolute value by living. Practically, the old have no very important advice to give the young, their own experience has been so partial, and their lives have been such miserable failures, for private reasons, as they must believe; and it may be that they have some faith left which belies that experience, and they are only less young than they were. I have lived some thirty years on this planet, and I have yet to hear the first syllable of valuable or even earnest advice from my seniors. They have told me nothing, and probably cannot tell me anything to the purpose. Here is life, an experiment to a great extent untried by me; but it does not avail me that they have tried it. If I have any experience which I think valuable, I am sure to reflect that this my Mentors said nothing about …