SAT CRITICAL READING
TESTS FOR PRACTICE
CRITICAL READING TEST 1
1. (D) One would expect restoration and cleaning to enhance or improve the murals’ colors. Instead, the colors deteriorated or grew worse.
2. (D) In contrast to the loneliness of writing, Mr. Doyle appreciates the sociability of working with others on films.
3. (B) This important trade involving vast quantities of textiles was so vital to the economy that not even a war could stop it. Thus, it continued or kept on taking place through the Revolutionary War.
4. (B) The astronomers resemble the doctors in their use of X rays to examine things that are concealed or hidden.
5. (A) The phrase “anything but” signals an extreme degree of contrast. When trees go dormant, the process is decidedly not sleepy or sluggish, and the change is extreme or radical.
6. (B) Lavish carvings decorating a throne are a form of embellishment (decoration; ornamentation).
7. (E) “But” signals a contrast. Though one can dispute the way the author treats certain details, one cannot find fault with her main arguments or theses. They are irreproachable (flawless; blameless).
8. (E) Oates has invented or coined a new word to describe a particular genre.
9. (C) By adopting a masculine pseudonym, a woman writer assumed it or took it as her own.
10. (E) The fact that a highly respected fellow poet like Southey could maintain that women should not pursue writing as a career suggests the Brontes’ decision to disguise their gender by using masculine pseudonyms was justified.
11. (D) The author’s remark that the dead or dying giant squid showed little vitality or life on surfacing is ironic : it wryly points up the contrast between the vigor of Verne’s fictional devilfish and the sluggishness of the squid trapped in nets or washed ashore.
12. (A) The squid’s actions in “aggressively attacking” its prey clearly suggest that it is a more active predator than previously supposed.
13. (D) The tutor, who is not related to the Moreens and is therefore an outsider to the group, is telling the story of his relationship to this unusual family.
14. (D) The Moreens’ sudden shifts are apparently motivated by financial problems, for the class they travel in and the apartment they stay in vary with their financial state.
15. (D) Living as he did in a small, uncomfortable apartment and dressing shabbily in threadbare clothes, Pemberton did not lead an elegant life during his visit to Paris. Use the process of elimination to answer this question.
• Pemberton’s visit to Paris was gratifying; he found his rambles with Morgan rewarding. You can eliminate (A).
• Pemberton’s visit to Paris was sudden; the Moreens suddenly gave up their villa in Nice and headed for Paris. You can eliminate (B).
• Pemberton’s visit to Paris was instructive; he and Morgan “learned to know their Paris.” You can eliminate (C).
• Pemberton’s visit to Paris was frugal; he and Morgan seldom had any money, and when they did have some, they were very careful about what they spent it on. You can eliminate (E).
16. (C) Lines 30–35 state that the Moreens “came back another year for a longer stay, the general character of which in Pemberton’s memory today mixes pitiably and confusedly with that of the first.” The narrator’s reference to “Pemberton’s memory today” indicates that he is speakingsome time after the events recounted in this tale. The narrator is telling the story of events his friend Pemberton remembers from years past.
17. (C) In telling his tutor that he does not wish to outshine him or cast him in the shade by dressing better than he does, Morgan is affectionately teasing Pemberton.
18. (E) To say that something is a chapter by itself is a way of saying that it would take an entire chapter of a book to deal with that subject fully. Thus, Pemberton is asserting that his wardrobe’s shortcomings are major. Clearly, he is sensitive about the disreputable state of his clothes.
19. (E) Mrs. Moreen does not spend money for new clothes for Morgan because he does not make public appearances, that is, does not appear in “polite society.” She does spend money on new clothes for the family members who move in polite circles. She loves Morgan and does not neglect him intentionally. This suggests that she has only enough money to buy clothes for the family members who must appear in polite society.
20. (B) Mrs. Moreen loves Morgan (“Morgan was dear to his mother”), but she shrewdly refrains from buying him new clothes when she realizes that nobody “important” will see how he is dressed. Her attitude is fond (loving) but pragmatic (practical).
21. (D) Morgan and Pemberton consider themselves “part of the vast vague hand-to-mouth multitude of” Paris and feel conscious of being part of a “democratic brotherhood.” Thus, on some levels, even if partly in jest, they identify with the poor.
22. (D) Here the irony lies in the contrast between the splendors of the great museum and the shabbiness of the poor and homeless who flock to it for shelter and a bit of warmth.
23. (C) A young patrician is the child of an aristocratic family. Given Morgan’s shabby clothing, he does not look smart or fashionable enough for people to consider him a member of the aristocracy.
24. (C) The opening sentence of the final paragraph states that Pemberton was “quite aware of how he and his comrade might strike people.” The paragraph then proceeds to give examples of Pemberton’s self-consciousness about appearances, as he wonders “what people would think they were” and fancies or imagines they are getting odd looks from people because they are such a mismatched pair. Clearly, the paragraph particularly brings home Pemberton’s concern for how he appears to others.
1. (D) Salt eats away iron bars, turning them into rusty mush, by the process known as corrosion; salt is a highly corrosive substance.
2. (A) The writer is criticizing Bloom’s book, which is marred (damaged) by its slipshod or sloppy style. Although is a contrast signal. Its use signals that the writer is not satisfied by Bloom’s book.
3. (B) Because sociobiology combines aspects of two fields it is a hybrid or combined discipline (just as a mule, the offspring of a horse and an ass, is a hybrid animal).
4. (C) By definition, a martinet (stickler for discipline) would want his subordinates to follow orders meticulously, treating every detail with extreme care.
5. (C) By definition, a monolith is something solidly uniform, an undifferentiated whole. Black America, however, is a mixture of different attitudes and opinions; it is not monolithic at all.
6. (B) The question has engaged or absorbed critics, occupying their attention.
7. (D) The author of Passage 1 maintains that Doctorow has capitalized on the fame or notoriety of real people. His attitude toward this “wholesale appropriation” is one of fundamental disapproval.
8. (D) The author of Passage 2 considers Freud and Jung’s trip through the Tunnel of Love “a fantastic idea.” To him it is a happy invention, one that he is delighted to commend.
9. (B) The author of Passage 1 states that “There is … a difference” between Defoe’s use of Selkirk and Doctorow’s appropriation of Washington, Goldman, and other historical figures. He draws a contrast between the practices of the two authors, pointing out how they differ.
10. (D) Picasso admitted that at the time he was working on Les Demoiselles “he was much interested in Iberian” or ancient Spanish sculpture. Thus, he may have been influenced by ancient Spanish art.
11. (C) Picasso had been moved in the past to rethink completed works. “Only a year before, stimulated by Iberian sculpture, he had repainted the head of Gertrude Stein’s portrait months after he had completed the rest of the picture.”
12. (C) In asserting that Picasso’s memory might have been inaccurate and that he might have repainted the heads after his discovery of African sculpture, the author is making a hypothesis about what actually took place.
13. (D) Picasso was in the sculpture galleries of the Trocadero when he ran across African carvings.
14. (D) The title “Negro Period” has been given to this period or used to designate it, distinguishing it from Picasso’s art of earlier times.
15. (D) The author asserts that experts today agree the Woman in Yellow is quite closely related to Iberian bronze statues. To back up this assertion, he cites Sweeney’s observation that the Woman in Yellow looks remarkably similar to an ancient votive figure from Despeñaperros. Thus, it seems most likely that Despeñaperros is a location on the Iberian peninsula associated with ancient Iberian bronzes.
16. (C) If “the best speaker” has the most influence in the Indians’ counsels, clearly the Indian leaders maintain their authority by means of their verbal prowess or skill.
17. (E) To dress food is to prepare it so that it can be cooked.
18. (D) You can answer this question by using the process of elimination.
• Statement I is untrue. Franklin never states that the Indians are more productive than the whites. Therefore, you can eliminate (A), (C), and (E).
• Statement II is true. According to Franklin, the Indians have abundance of leisure because they have “few artificial wants.” They work only to satisfy their simple physical needs. When compared with the whites’ laborious manner of life, theirs is a simpler, more natural lifestyle.
• Statement III is also true. The Indians do not value the time-consuming learning valued by the whites because they have a different, distinctive set of values. Therefore, you can eliminate (B).
• Only (D) is left. It is the correct answer.
19. (C) Just before he quotes the speech, Franklin states that the Indians look on the learning of the whites as useless. In recounting this instance of Indian diplomacy, he is giving an example of the Indian viewpoint on the benefits of white civilization.
20. (A) In assuring the commissioners that they recognize both the commissioners’ good intentions and wisdom, the Indians are being most diplomatic. However, they are not agreeing to the commissioners’ offer. Instead, they are declining or tactfully refusing it.
21. (B) While the education provided the Indians in the colleges of the northern provinces included all the white men’s sciences, it did not prepare these young men for life in the woods. Thus, it did not meet the Indian elders’ educational goals. It is clear that the Indians and the gentlemen of Virginia have different educational goals.
22. (D) To “take” a deer in this context is to kill or capture it; the speaker is describing how the white man’s education fails to prepare young men to become hunters.
23. (D) The Indians state that a white college education made worthless good-for-nothings out of young Indians. They also assert that they can make men out of the Virginian commissioners’ sons. Thus, it seems likely that the Indians would agree that they have a better way of educating young men than the commissioners do.
24. (E) In expressing their gratitude for the offer and thanking the Virginians for their intent, the Indians are being most courteous. In making the Virginians an offer they realize the Virginians are unlikely to accept, they are somewhat ironic as well.
1. (A) Until the 1960s, the work of African-American cartoonists was largely limited or confined to African-American publications; their cartoons generally did not appear in the mainstream, general press.
2. (A) The actress thinks out every move she makes. Consequently, her performance is not spontaneous (unplanned, impulsive).
3. (B) To wander away from one’s subject is to digress; the students enjoyed the professor’s digressions or departures from the assigned topic.
4. (C) Miss Watson pronounces (asserts) that Huck cannot be reformed; she calls him incorrigible (uncorrectable). Though is a contrast signal. Its use signals that, unlike her widowed sister, Miss Watson has no hope of being able to reform Huck.
5. (C) Rather than moving inexorably (relentlessly, unstoppably) closer to its goals, the field is stuck or mired in its usual problems. The phrase “far from” is a contrast signal. Its use signals that the second missing word means the opposite of “moving inexorably closer.”
6. (A) To be rebuffed is to be rejected or slighted. Being ignored by one’s coworkers could make an outgoing, sociable person become unsociable and withdrawn.
7. (D) The phrase refers to the task of differentiating “self and nonself.” In other words, the infant begins to locate his physical boundaries, learning where his own body ends and the rest of the world begins.
8. (A) The passage says that few scientists “can equal the infant for zeal and energy.” An infant, therefore, is tireless in his efforts to figure things out.
9. (B) Throughout the passage, the author points out the vital role of the baby’s senses in learning. See, for example, “sensory organs” (lines 15–17), “sense experiences” (lines 25–30), and “sensory discrimination” (lines 31–33).
10. (B) The infant conducts a step-by-step “series of complicated experiments,” which can be described only as highly structured and precise.
11. (E) In lines 47–52 the passage describes the infant’s discovery that his own hand is different from another person’s hand.
12. (D) The fundamental principle of stimulus-response behavior, which is discussed in the passage, is that organisms, including infants, naturally learn to respond to certain stimuli in the environment.
13. (C) Stimulus-response conditioning is a “classical,” universally acknowledged principle of behavioral psychology. We see evidence of it in newborns when they respond to their environments early in life. Pavlov, whose experiments with dogs is widely known, was one of the first scientists to describe the principle.
14. (A) The author states that newborns are capable of thought in lines 85 and 86.
15. (D) Because psychologists cannot agree on a precise definition of “thought,” the author suggests “symbolization” as an alternative word to describe the activity that takes place in an infant’s mind.
16. (A) Mature thought is that which allows the mind to consider “how things are different or might be different than they are.” Such speculation demonstrates a capacity to think abstractly.
17. (B) Much of Passage 1 discusses how newborns begin to differentiate between things that are not there and things that are. In Passage 2 the author states that “the baby begins with a primitive appreciation of what is there and what is not.”
18. (E) Passage 1 stresses the behavior that a parent might observe as a newborn infant learns to think. Passage 2, on the other hand, focuses on behavior in terms of the psychology of thought development.
19. (B) Passage 2 is written more tentatively; that is, the author recognizes that many assertions regarding infant thought are theoretical and that not all psychologists agree on every theory. In comparison, Passage 1 sounds like the voice of authority. This is probably as it should be, for nervous parents want to be told exactly what is going on with their newborns.