Cracking the New SAT with 4 Practice Tests, 2016 Edition (2015)
Part II. How to Crack the Reading Test
Chapter 5. Reading Drills
Use your new skills on these two drills, which use passages on science and literature topics. Then, check your responses against the answers and explanations provided at the end of the chapter.
Reading Drill 1
Questions 1-10 are based on the following passage.
This passage is adapted from Charles Anderson, “Conflict Minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo – Tin Processing Plants, a Critical Part of the Tin Supply Chain” © 2015 by U.S. Geological Survey
1.Based on the passage, the author would most likely consider tin to be
2.Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
A)Lines 14-18 (“Crushed…tin”)
B)Lines 38-40 (“Electrolytic…tin”)
C)Lines 58-61 (“Because tin…storage”)
D)Lines 65-66 (“The tin…opaque”)
3.The overall structure of the passage could best be described as
A)a complete analysis of a naturally occurring element.
B)an overview of the steps and results of a process.
C)an introduction written for a geology course.
D)an explanation of the solution to a problem.
4.The most likely application of tin produced by means of electrolytic processing would be
A)plating for commonly produced canned goods, to be widely distributed.
B)miniature figurines designed to be painted and displayed.
C)small amounts of material intended for scientific analysis.
D)solder sold worldwide as part of a campaign to market lead-free products.
5.Between the first and second paragraphs, the focus shifts from
A)meticulous attention to detail to broad, assumptive generalizations.
B)scientific analysis of the properties and uses of a material to industrial processes.
C)detailed description of a series of steps to implementation of a result.
D)overview of a specific cycle to its role in the mining industry.
6.What can most reasonably be inferred about the Safe Water Drinking Act from the passage?
A)It specified the nature and percentage of the components of solder.
B)It may have impacted what elements a company chose to use in making solder.
C)It promoted tin over lead for all applications.
D)It prompted shifts in the manufacture and distribution of canned goods.
7.The author indicates that the demand for tin in part exists because
A)tin can be found in nature.
B)tin of nearly 100% purity can be produced.
C)tin is the best conductor of electricity.
D)of tin’s impact on an individual’s health.
8.Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
A)Lines 1-2 (“Tin is…cassiterite”)
B)Lines 38-40 (“Electrolytic…tin”)
C)Lines 42-44 (“Solder…connection”)
D)Lines 58-61 (“Because tin…storage”)
9.As used in line 66, “opaque” most nearly means
10.The sentence in lines 79-81 (“Companies changed…business”) primarily serves to
A)indicate a continuation of an existing chain.
B)describe the many uses for a product.
C)show the sole difficulty in answering a question.
D)support an earlier statement through an example.
Reading Drill 2
Questions 1-11 are based on the following passage.
This passage is excerpted from the 1854 book Walden by Henry David Thoreau, which details Thoreau’s experiences living in a cabin alone for two years.
1.The main narrative point of view of the passage is of
A)a man adjusting to life in a big city after growing up on a farm.
B)a discussion of visitors to a small house away from city life.
C)a sailor discussing the pond on which he grew up and how it affected his friendships.
D)a man discussing the potential of big thoughts and their need to be expressed.
2.The passage suggested which of the following about the author?
A)He enjoyed living in the country near a pond.
B)He had more visitors to his home in the country than at any other time in his life.
C)He felt that having more than three people in his house was too many.
D)He needed to throw dinner parties to entice guests to come from town to his home.
3.Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous answer?
A)Lines 7-11 (“I had three…for them all”)
B)Lines 33-35 (“I have found…opposite side”)
C)Lines 72-73 (“You need…you give”)
D)Lines 75-76 (“I had more…in my life”)
4.As used in line 11, “economized” most nearly means
5.It can be inferred from the passage that “big thoughts” (line 21) must
A)become violent before settling down.
B)bounce around and break out of one’s head.
C)be mulled over and formulated before being heard.
D)have time to move around before being heard.
6.In the context of the passage, the phrase “as when you throw two stones into calm water so near that they break each other’s undulations” (lines 37-39) is best described as
A)a reference to the author’s childhood days when he threw stones into a lake.
B)an analogy used to elaborate on a previous statement.
C)a way to expand on the reasons national boundaries are always changing.
D)a reason that the author and his companion had to continually move their chairs to be heard.
7.As used in line 27, “plow” most nearly means
8.What happens when the author does not have enough food for his guests?
B)He turns them away.
C)He buys more food.
D)They refrain from eating.
9.The passage suggests that housekeepers most likely
A)are stuck in their ways and unable to change.
B)feel that traditions should not change.
C)believe there is a certain protocol that must be followed when hosting guests.
D)feel that pudding and bread are not a suitable meal.
10.What does the author mean when he said that “only the finest sediment was deposited” (lines 84-85) on him?
A)He was living far from town and his visitors were of a higher caliber.
B)He was covered in a fine dust while living in the woods.
C)The pond near his home frequently flooded, leaving sediment in his “best” room.
D)Many people came to see him about the dirty business of trivial matters.
11.What choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
A)Lines 48–50 (“a priceless…order”)
B)Lines 75-77 (“I had more…some”)
C)Lines 70–72 (“though many…old”)
D)Line 79 (“But fewer…business”)
READING DRILL ANSWERS AND EXPLANATIONS
Reading Drill 1
1. BBecause this is a general question followed by a “best evidence” question, Parallel POE lets you use the answers for the next question to help with this one. Remember: You can look at the lines given in the “best evidence” question and see if they support any of these answers. Choice (A) initially looks like it could be supported by (B) from the next question, so keep that pair. Choice (B) in this question is supported by (C) in the next question, so keep that pair. Neither (C) nor (D) in this question has support in the “best evidence” question, so eliminate those two. When you consider your remaining pairs of choices more carefully, you see that the author refers to the process of electrolytic processing as expensive, not the tin itself. Therefore, you can eliminate (A), which also eliminates (B) from the next question.
2. CBecause this is a “best evidence” question following a general question, Parallel POE lets you use the answers for this question to help with the previous one. Remember: You can look at the lines given in the “best evidence” question to see if they support any of these answers. Choice (A) does not support any of the answers in the previous question, so you can eliminate it. Choice (B) initially looks like it could support (A) in the previous question, so keep that pair. Choice (C) supports (B) in the previous question, so keep that pair. Choice (D) does not support any of the answers to the previous question, so you can eliminate it. When you consider your remaining pairs of choices more carefully, you see that the author refers to the process of electrolytic processing as expensive, not the tin itself. Therefore, you can eliminate (B), which also eliminates (A) from the previous question.
3. BThe passage discusses the nature of tin, the procedures of mining for tin, the uses of tin, and the supply chain of tin. While the nature of tin is discussed in extreme detail, the supply chain is described as complex, and given only a broad overview of some of the obstacles in determining the exact chain. Thus, the passage reviews several elements of tin in varying degrees of detail. Choice (A) is not the best answer, since the analysis of the supply chain is not complete. Choice (B) is the best answer because it matches the prediction. Choice (C) is not the best answer because—while the passage could be used for a geology course—it does not provide any information to describe the passage. Choice (D) is not the best answer, since it does not match the prediction.
4. CAccording to the passage, electrolytic processing is more expensive, but produces up to 99.9999 percent tin, which indicates that tin produced in this fashion would be less common (since it is more expensive), and appeals most to those who required a purer form of tin. Choice (A) is not the best answer because commonly produced items do not match the predicted answer. Choice (B) is not the best answer because—while small—there is no indication that the figurines would benefit from a purer form of tin. Choice (C) is the best answer, since it matches both the small quantity and the appeal of a purer form of tin. Choice (D) is not the best answer, as an item sold worldwide does not match the predicted answer.
5. CThe first paragraph of the passage discusses how tin is found in nature, mined, and processed into an industrial form. The second paragraph discusses the uses of tin. Choice (A) is not the best answer because assumptive generalizations do not match the specific numbers provided in the second paragraph. Choice (B) is not the best answer but can be eliminated as “mostly right, slightly wrong,” since industrial processes would be a better fit for the discussion in the first paragraph about refining tin, and the second paragraph can be more accurately described as detailing the uses for tin. Therefore, (B) can be most clearly seen to refer solely to the first paragraph of the passage. Choice (C) is the best answer because, though vague, it matches the prediction. Choice (D) is not the best answer, since it does not match the prediction.
6. BThe passage states that Solder has been made from lead and tin, but since the Safe Water Drinking Act, tin has become the primary metal in solder. This suggests that the Safe Water Drinking Act may have caused the change from solder being made with both lead and tin to primarily tin. Choice (A) is not the best answer because specified is extreme. Choice (B) is the best answer because it matches the prediction. Choice (C) is not the best answer because all applications is extreme. Choice (D) is not the best answer because it does not match the prediction.
7. DAccording to the passage, Because tin is not harmful to humans, it is a preferred method of canning and preserving food. Choice (A) is not the best answer, since it does not match the predicted answer. Choice (B) is not the best answer because it does not match the predicted answer. Choice (C) is tempting, as the passage indicates a demand for tin in solder, but the best is extreme and unsupported by the passage. Choice (D) is the best answer, since the impact on an individual’s health can be not harmful.
8. DThe answer to the previous question is that tin has a high demand because it is not harmful to humans. Choices (A), (B), and (C) are not the best answers because they do not match the previous answer’s prediction. Only (D) matches the predicted answer.
9. CAccording to the passage, companies…may not describe which of their plants use which starting materials, plants…may or may not consume and (or) produce all of the tin materials reported, and companies that were reported to have been tin suppliers could not be confirmed as such, among other descriptions of what results in an extremely difficult—if not impossible—trail to follow. Therefore, a phrase to use in place of opaque is “very difficult to understand.” Choices (A), (B), and (D) are not the best answer because they do not match the prediction. Only (C) matches the predicted answer, since impenetrable can mean “inaccessible to knowledge” or something that can’t be known.
10. DThe final paragraph discusses the complex nature of the tin supply chain, and lists a number of reasons why the tin supply chain is difficult—if not impossible—to follow. The sentence companies changed names, were referred to imprecisely, changed ownership, or went out of business serves to provide another example to support that the tin supply chain is complex. Choice (A) is not the best answer because it does not match the prediction. Choice (B) is not the best answer because it also does not match the prediction. Choice (C) is tempting, but it is not the best answer due to the extreme language sole. Choice (D) is the best answer and matches the predicted answer, since the earlier statement is that the tin supply chain is complex.
Reading Drill 2
1. BThe main narrative point of view in this passage is from a man who is living in a house next to a pond (as evidenced by his statement “I have found it a singular luxury to talk across the pond”), which is near the woods (as noted when he says, “…the pine wood behind my house”). Choice (A) is incorrect because the narrator is not in the city. Choice (C) is incorrect because there is no evidence that the author was a sailor. Choice (D) is incorrect because, while the author does discuss thoughts in the third paragraph, it is not the main subject discussed by the man in the passage. Therefore, (B) is the correct answer.
2. BBecause this is a general paired question, you can use the answers for the next question to help with this one. Remember, the correct answer for question 3 must support the correct answer for this question. Use the choices from question 3 to see which of these answers you can keep or eliminate. Choice (A) in question 3 might initially seem to support (C) for this question, so connect those two answer choices. Choice (B) in question 3 can connect to choice (A) here, so draw that line. Choice (C) in question 3 does not support any of the choices in this question, so you can eliminate that one. Choice (D) in question 3 supports (B) in this question. Because this question’s (D) had no support from question 3, you can eliminate that answer. Now go back and reread your question to make further POE decisions. The 2(A)-3(B) set does not address the author’s enjoyment of living near the pond, so you can eliminate it. The 2(C)-3(A) pair does not answer the question, so it can be eliminated. The remaining set of 2(B) and 3(D) does answer the question, so those are your correct answers.
3. DWhen solving general paired questions, match the line references to the answers available in the previous question. In this case, there are several possible matches. Choice (A) in this question seems to relate to (C) in question 2, but on further inspection, this line reference does not support this choice in a way that answers the previous question, so it can be eliminated. Choice (B) seems to relate to the previous question’s choice (A), but it is not addressing the author’s enjoyment of living near the pond, so it can be discarded. Choice (C) refers to the food that the author prepares but does not support the reference in the previous choice (D) and is therefore wrong. Choice (D) does support the previous choice (B) and is the correct answer.
4. BThe author notes that if there are more than three people in the room, they “economized the space by standing,” showing that they were making the most of the room available by using a method that allows more people to exist in the same amount of space. He further notes, “I have had twenty-five or thirty souls, with their bodies, at once under my roof, and yet we often parted without being aware that we had come very near to one another.” This again shows that there were many people in a small space. Choices (A), (C), and (D) do not match the prediction and should be discarded, making (B) correct.
5. DThe author says that big thoughts must have room to move around before being heard. He says that he enjoys talking across the pond because there is enough room for thoughts to be heard. There is no evidence in the passage that the big thoughts need to be violent, so eliminate (A). Eliminate (B) because the author does not state that big thoughts need to break out of the receiver’s head, only that they could if they are not given enough time to develop. Choice (C) is incorrect because it is too far from the text. The author is not literally saying that thoughts need more time to reach the hearer. Since (D) most closely matches the text, it is correct.
6. BThe phrase noted in the question is used to give a common experience by which the author can give more detail to his explanation of what happens when speaking inside his house. Words do not literally bump into one another. The author has made no reference to his childhood in this passage, so eliminate (A). While national boundaries are mentioned in this paragraph, they are just another analogy by which the author is describing his experience; therefore, (C) is incorrect. The reason that the author moves his chair is due to the conversation, not the analogy by which the author is trying to bring clarity to his ideas; thus, (D) is incorrect. Choice (B) most closely matches the prediction from the text, so it is correct.
7. AThe author notes that the ideas need to bounce around and settle, or they will plow and push their way out of the listener’s head. Therefore, (A) is the correct answer because it matches the prediction from the text, and the other answers do not.
8. DThe author states that when more than a few guests are present, they treat eating as a forsaken habit and practice abstinence. Choice (A) is incorrect because he shares his food only when there is enough to feed each guest adequately. Choice (B) is incorrect because there is no mention of the author ever turning away a guest. Choice (C) is incorrect because there is no mention of the author purchasing food in this passage. Choice (D) best matches the prediction from the text and is therefore the correct answer.
9. BThe passage mentions that the author was unable to feed large groups of visitors to his home, and that in such cases all guests, including the author, refrained from eating. He mentions the ease by which he has established a new custom. He also states that housekeepers may doubt the ease by which the social convention was changed. This prediction most closely matches (B), so it is the correct answer. Choice (A) is incorrect because the author makes no such statement about housekeepers. Choice (C) is incorrect because the author does not state that the housekeepers have a certain way in which to serve guests, only that they would doubt establishing “new and better customs in place of the old.” Choice (D) is incorrect because although the author is preparing pudding and bread for a guest, there is no mention of what the housekeepers would think of the meal.
10. AThe author says that because his house was located far from the town, he had fewer visitors coming to discuss trivial matters; therefore, (D) is incorrect. Because the sentence talking about sediment is figurative, any literal reference to dirt or dust can be eliminated, which eliminates (B) and (C). Choice (A) best matches the information in the last paragraph of the passage, where the author addresses the number of visitors he has received and how fewer guests came to see him about trivial business. Therefore, (A) is the correct answer.
11. DRemember that with specific paired questions, as long as you use the text to support your answer for the first question, you have an actual two-for-one deal. You used the reference “But fewer came to see me on trivial business,” to answer question 10, so you know the answer to this question is (D)! Done.