SAT 2016




Writing and Language Test


Turn to Section 2 of your answer sheet to answer the questions in this section.


Each passage below is accompanied by a number of questions. For some questions, you will consider how the passage might be revised to improve the expression of ideas. For other questions, you will consider how the passage might be edited to correct errors in sentence structure, usage, or punctuation. A passage or a question may be accompanied by one or more graphics (such as a table or graph) that you will consider as you make revising and editing decisions.

Some questions will direct you to an underlined portion of a passage. Other questions will direct you to a location in a passage or ask you to think about the passage as a whole.

After reading each passage, choose the answer to each question that most effectively improves the quality of writing in the passage or that makes the passage conform to the conventions of Standard Written English. Many questions include a “NO CHANGE” option. Choose that option if you think the best choice is to leave the relevant portion of the passage as it is.

Questions 1–11 are based on the following passage.

The Carrot or the Stick?

Good teachers want their students to do well, but getting students 1 responding is not always easy. Simple suggestion works occasionally, but not often enough. Reasoning sometimes works, too, but explaining the logical nuances of behavioral standards 2 is often time-consuming and too often falls on deaf ears.



B)   to become responsive

C)   to respond

D)   becoming more responsive



B)   are often time-consuming

C)   is consuming time

D)   consume time

So the practical question becomes: the carrot or the stick? It’s not always easy to choose 3 the potential motivator to consider: by punishment or incentive.

Most educators and psychologists agree that, as a teaching tool, 4 to reward is generally better than punishment, but a growing group of psychologists suggest that rewards can often be as 5 harmful, if not more so, than punishment. The introduction of a reward system, like gold stars on an attendance sheet or extra recess time for good behavior, can change the nature not only of the desired behavior, 6 but also of the student-teacher relationship.

Psychologist Edward Deci conducted a study in which people were given a challenging puzzle to solve. Some subjects were offered money as a reward for solving the puzzle, and others were not.

Afterward, both groups were observed secretly after the researcher left the room. Many of those who had not been paid as a reward for their work continued to play with the puzzle, presumably because they found it interesting for its own sake. 7 Those who had received the cash rewards, however, showed significantly less interest in returning to the puzzle.



B)   between punishment and incentive when considering potential motivators

C)   the potential motivator to consider: either punishment or incentive

D)   between punishment and incentive as potential motivators to be considered



B)   reward

C)   rewarding

D)   a reward



B)   harmful as, if not more harmful than,

C)   harmful, if not more harmful, than

D)   equally harmful, if not more harmful than,



B)   but also the nature of the student-teacher relationship

C)   but the student-teacher relationship as well

D)   but the nature of the student-teacher relationship is changed as well

8 Interpreting these results, the subjects who were paid probably construed the task as being manipulative: the experimenter was trying to get them to do something through bribery. The unpaid subjects, however, could engage the puzzle on their own terms simply because it was fun.

This study and others like it have profound 9 implications for the classroom. Several experiments have demonstrated that “pay-to-read” programs, where students are given money or gift credits to read books, have surprisingly negative effects on literacy. Such programs do get students to “read” more books, but the kind of reading they do is not ideal. Students tend to read superficially and only to get the reward. In follow-up studies, these students show not only lower reading skills but also less desire to read. 10 Nevertheless, the reward system turns reading from a fun activity into drudgery. Students think, if reading is such a rewarding experience, why do they need to pay us to do it?

It would be a mistake to conclude from a few experiments that all rewards are bad. Certainly, honest praise from a respectful teacher can do a great deal to encourage not only good behavior but also intellectual curiosity. Teachers must be aware of their students’ need to feel independent and in control. 11


The author is considering deleting the final sentence to make the paragraph more concise. Should the author make this change?

A)   Yes, because it conveys information that is already implied elsewhere in the paragraph.

B)   Yes, because it conveys information that distracts from the discussion of student motivation.

C)   No, because it explains why the experiment was so difficult to conduct.

D)   No, because it provides information that is essential to this discussion of student motivation.



B)   While interpreting these results

C)   One interpretation of these results is that

D)   In interpreting these results,



B)   indications

C)   improvisations

D)   instigations



B)   Evidently

C)   However

D)   Lastly


The final paragraph is notable primarily for its use of which two rhetorical devices?

A)   prescription and qualification

B)   illustration and quantification

C)   anecdote and metaphor

D)   irony and humor


Source: National Human Genome Research Institute:

Questions 12–22 are based on the following passage.

The Promise of Bio-Informatics

Although scientists have always been interested in data, modern biologists are increasingly becoming “information scientists.” Biological information science is the study of how chemical signals govern life processes. The most familiar biomolecular code is of course DNA, 12 serving as the chemical compound for the blueprint of life. Another biochemical code tells a fertilized egg how to differentiate into scores of unique cell types—heart, muscle, bone, nerve, gland, 13 blood—that assemble themselves into organs, which in turn assemble themselves into a complex organism.



B)   this is the chemical compound serving as

C)   the chemical compound that serves as

D)   which is the chemical compound that is serving as



B)   blood, that assemble themselves

C)   blood; assembling themselves

D)   blood—assembling itself

Yet another code governs 14 how the immune system “reads” the chemical signatures of invading pathogens and then manufactures specialized attack cells to fight infections.

15 Today we are seeing dramatic progress in all three of these areas of biochemistry. The science of genomics is developing better, cheaper, and faster ways to decode our DNA, and doctors are becoming more 16 apropos at using this information to create “personalized medicine.” Other researchers are learning how to turn the most rudimentary human cells, “stem cells,” into specialized tissues 17 for helping to repair damaged human organs. And oncologists—cancer specialists—are now coming to understand how the human immune system can be decoded to provide a crucial weapon against the most dangerous tumors.


Which of the following would not be an acceptable replacement for the underlined phrase?


B)   the way of the immune system

C)   the way the immune system

D)   the way that the immune system



B)   Therefore,

C)   Nevertheless,

D)   Ironically,



B)   adept

C)   liable

D)   essential



B)   in helping repair of

C)   in order to help repairing

D)   to help repair

18 In particular, the success of these new biological technologies 19 depends on our ability in translating vast quantities of chemical information into digital form. Specialized software and hardware 20 is needed to be developed to turn biochemical data into information that doctors and researchers can use to streamline research and make patients’ lives better. Fortunately, the progress has so far been good. Since the Human Genome Project was completed in 2003, the National Human Genome Research Institute has monitored the cost of decoding a single human-sized genome. A famous law in computer science, known as “Moore’s Law,” says that the cost of processing a given quantity of information should decline by 50% every two years or so. In fact, with “second generation” techniques developed in 2008, the cost of decoding human genomes has plummeted even faster than Moore’s Law predicted. 21


Which choice most effectively establishes the main topic of the paragraph?

A)   Some scientists are skeptical about the viability of such radical new therapies.

B)   Researchers from all over the world are collaborating in these new discoveries.

C)   These new therapies and cures depend heavily on progress in the computer sciences.

D)   Many forms of alternative medicine are being combined with traditional therapies to treat a wide range of diseases.



B)   depend on our ability to translate

C)   depends on the ability of our translating

D)   depends on our ability to translate



B)   must be developed

C)   must develop

D)   needs developing


Which of the following statements is best supported by the data in Figure 1?

A)   Since 2003, more people have been taking advantage of genome sequencing technologies, thereby reducing costs.

B)   By the start of 2014, the cost per genome was less than 1% what Moore’s Law had predicted.

C)   Nevertheless, it still costs more than $10,000 to decode a single genome.

D)   The cost of genome sequencing is declining more rapidly than that of any other information-based technology.

This integration of medicine and information technology is perhaps today’s most promising scientific development. Using these new resources, perhaps 22 treatments and even cures for the most intractable diseases can be discovered by researchers.



B)   researchers will discover treatments and even cures for the most intractable diseases

C)   treatments and even cures will be discovered by researchers for the most intractable diseases

D)   researchers have discovered treatments and even cures for the most intractable diseases

Questions 23–33 are based on the following passage.

What is Art?

Look around you. Do you see art in your immediate surroundings? What qualities 23 decide that certain things are art? Definitions of art vary widely, but most tend to fall within general notions 24 that have developed over the centuries. The technical ability of an ancient Egyptian potter to produce a well-made clay vessel defined his “art.” In Europe 600 years ago, trade and professional organizations from shoemaking to banking 25 would hold to this broad definition of art as skill in a particular field. The currently popular notion of the artist as the creator and definer of art—put simply, “Art is what artists create”—is a relatively recent one.

Some items and activities in our environment 26 stand out in a conspicuous way as somehow more “art” than others. The way that the visual elements of particular buildings, chairs, album covers, or athletic performances—their line, color, shape, texture, and other visual elements—combine to please the senses, is so satisfying that we call them beautiful. 27

Prior to the twentieth century, most philosophers of art believed that beauty was the defining feature of art. By the turn of the twentieth century, however, some aestheticians had begun to find this definition insufficient. Some said that the defining characteristic of art was the effective expression of 28 emotion; but others said the effective communication of ideas. One influential group, the formalists, argued that an object or activity qualifies as art 29 when its form is sufficiently compelling or inspiring or beautiful to provoke an intense sensory response. This echoed the ancient Greek definition of aesthetic: “of or pertaining to the senses” or “sensuous perception.”



B)   arrange

C)   regulate

D)   determine



B)   developing

C)   which are developed

D)   as developed



B)   hold

C)   had held

D)   held



B)   are conspicuous for how they stand out

C)   stand out

D)   stand out conspicuously


The end of the second paragraph could be best enhanced with a sentence about

A)   an alternate theory of beauty

B)   why a particular chair is beautiful

C)   how to design more beautiful buildings

D)   the benefits of art therapy

Aesthetic experiences are not as rare as you might think. If you have ever felt yourself swept away in the sensuous experience of a sports event, a musical performance, a film, a sunset, or a 30 painting: you have had an aesthetic experience. Look around again. Do any objects in your field of vision provoke an aesthetic experience? 31 Is it skill, beauty, expression, communication, compelling form, or all of the above that make these art for you? Or is it some other quality, such as originality or creativity, 32 that makes these objects or activities stand out as art?



B)   emotion; others said it was

C)   emotion, others said it was

D)   emotion; while others said it was



B)   if its form sufficiently compels

C)   if its form is sufficiently compelling

D)   if it’s form is sufficiently compelling



B)   painting; you

C)   painting—you

D)   painting, you



B)   Are they

C)   Do

D)   Are



B)   making these objects that stand out

C)   that make these objects stand out

D)   that stands out in these objects to make them

Does setting matter? Would a sports photo become more “artistic” if it were placed in an art museum? According to George Dickie’s “institutional theory of art,” major art institutions, such as museums, determine what is art in a given culture. 33

Perhaps art is a concept that cannot have a fixed definition. Perhaps, like a living organism, it must evolve.


Which of the following sentences serves as the most effective concluding sentence for this paragraph?

A)   Dickie, a professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Illinois, has championed the work of philosopher David Hume.

B)   Nearly every major city has museums dedicated to the display of works of fine art such as paintings, sculptures, and performance art.

C)   Other institutions, such as schools and governments, also provide definitions for concepts like education and public value.

D)   This theory forces us to ask: is art truly in the eye of the beholder, or is it in the eye of the artist, the curator, or some critical mass of the consuming public?

Questions 34–44 are based on the following passage.

The Little Tramp

Few people have had as strong an impact on an industry 34 as the impact that Charlie Chaplin had on the world of film. 35 Born in 1889 into an impoverished London family, Chaplin crossed the Atlantic and became a pioneer in silent comedic movies. 36 Early in his film career, Chaplin developed his signature character, the “Little Tramp,” who amused audiences repeatedly with his clever physical comedy and endearing sensitivity. Modest yet clearly intelligent, shy yet always at the center of action, the 37 Tramp’s embodiment was the genius of Chaplin’s artistry.



B)   as what Charlie Chaplin

C)   than Charlie Chaplin

D)   as Charlie Chaplin



B)   He was born in 1889 into

C)   Being born in 1889 into

D)   He was born in 1889 of


The author is considering inserting the following sentence at this point in the paragraph.

Charlie’s mother suffered from severe mental illness and was institutionalized for a significant part of Charlie’s young life.

Do you think this is appropriate?

A)   Yes, because it helps to explain how Chaplin became a pioneer in film.

B)   Yes, because it provides an important detail about health care in 19th-century London.

C)   No, because it detracts from the discussion of Chaplin’s impact on the film industry.

D)   No, because it diminishes the humorous tone of the paragraph.



B)   genius of Chaplin’s artistry was embodied by the Tramp

C)   Tramp embodied the genius of Chaplin’s artistry

D)   Tramp’s embodiment was of the genius of Chaplin’s artistry

38 Being writer, director, and editing his own work, Chaplin faced a daunting challenge with the rise of “talkie” films, which drew audiences away from silent stars like the Tramp. Chaplin responded by taking on the additional role of composer, writing beautiful scores to accompany his films and 39 thus allowing the Tramp to remain speechless. Chaplin managed to defy the odds and maintain a remarkable level of popularity and success in the face of technological advancement. 40 Not just a master of the craft of acting and filmmaking, but also the face of a character that resonated deeply with those suffering through the Depression.

A vocal liberal in a time of conservative domination, 41 he became a target for Senator Joseph McCarthy and his House Un-American Activities Committee. While he managed to avoid being named to McCarthy’s Hollywood Ten, a list of black listed entertainment industry figures suspected of Communist connections, he drew the ire of J. Edgar Hoover 42 in the messages imbedded within his films.

Chaplin saw the dangers in Hitler’s rise to power before most of the world had heard of the dictator. He also believed that the development of the atomic bomb was a crime. Outraged at what 43 they viewed as subversive propaganda created by an immoral man, the United States government 44 eradicated Chaplin’s reentry visa during a trip to London in 1952. Sixty-three years old and tired of fighting against a force unwilling to hear his message, Chaplin agreed to exile rather than going back to America and facing interrogation and lived the rest of his years in Europe. He returned twenty years later to receive an Academy Award for lifetime achievement.



B)   Writing, directing, and being editor of his own work,

C)   Writing his own work, as well as directing and editing it too,

D)   As the writer, director, and editor of his own work,



B)   therefore he allowed the Tramp to remain

C)   allowing the Tramp thus remaining

D)   he allowed the Tramp thus to remain



B)   Besides being

C)   He was not only

D)   In addition to being



B)   Senator Joseph McCarthy and his house Un-American Activities Committee targeted him

C)   the House Un-American Activities Committee of Senator Joseph McCarthy targeted him

D)   he became targeted for Senator Joseph McCarthy’s House Un-American Activities Committee.



B)   by

C)   because of

D)   from



B)   it

C)   would have been

D)   were



B)   revoked

C)   excluded

D)   abolished


If you finish before time is called, you may check your work on this section only. Do not turn to any other section of the test.