1,296 ACT Practice Questions, 3rd Edition (2013)

English Practice Section 3


45 Minutes—75 Questions

DIRECTIONS: In the five passages that follow, certain words and phrases are underlined and numbered. In the right-hand column, you will find alternatives for each underlined part. In most cases, you are to choose the one that best expresses the idea, makes the statement appropriate for standard written English, or is worded most consistently with the style and tone of the passage as a whole. If you think the original version is best, choose “NO CHANGE.” In some cases, you will find in the right-hand column a question about the underlined part. You are to choose the best answer to the question.

You will also find questions about a section of the passage or the passage as a whole. These questions do not refer to an underlined portion of the passage but rather are identified by a number or numbers in a box.

For each question, choose the alternative you consider best and blacken the corresponding oval on your answer document. Read each passage through once before you begin to answer the questions that accompany it. For many of the questions, you must read several sentences beyond the question to determine the answer. Be sure that you have read far enough ahead each time you choose an alternative.


André Bazin’s Nouvelle Vague

André Bazin died on November 11, 1958 after over 15 years of pioneering work in film criticism. His magazine, Cahiers du Cinéma (Cinema Notebooks), had been issued regularly since its founding in 1951, and it had become the premier journal in French for the serious discussion of films. Bazin, working and living in Paris, had become one of the cities1 premier intellectuals. Despite all of the achievements of Bazin’s lifetime, the true fruit of his labor did not begin to become truly apparent until the year following Bazin’s death. It was in 1959 in Paris2 that the nouvelle vague (new wave) in French cinema exploded3 onto the international film scene.

Bazin published his first piece of film criticism in 1943 and pioneered a new way of writing about film, he4 championed the idea that cinema was the “seventh art,” every bit as deserving as the more respected arts of: architecture,5 poetry, dance, music, painting, and sculpture. Many before Bazin’s time thought of the cinema as a simple extension of another art form: theatre. In fact, in many early writings about film, it is not uncommon to hear the authors speak of film.  Bazin, though, sought to show that the cinema had every bit as much creative vitality and craftsmanship as any of the other six arts. From this fundamental belief came what was possibly Bazin’s greatest contribution to film criticism: auteur theory. 

Auteur is the French word for author, and the suggestion contained in both the word and Bazin’s theory is that every film is “authored” by a single mind just as a novel or poem is the work of a single author. For Bazin, and the increasingly influential group of critics working with him at the Cahiers du Cinéma, the author of any film is its director, and to discern a director’s true style, perspective, or his sense of voice,8 the critic has merely to watch a group of the director’s films with an eye to similarities between them. Accordingly, Bazin and the Cahiers group were truly the first to discuss films and the practice of cinema in general as the masterwork of directors, rather than screenwriters or actors. With auteur theory, nonetheless,9 Bazin created a new way of looking at films, and his early works on10 such influential directors as Orson Welles, Vittorio de Sica, and Jean Renoir—remain, to this day, pioneering works of film criticism that are studied and emulated by film critics today. 

Bazin’s greatest achievement was the strong impression he left on a young generation of French filmmakers and critics who came on to the international scene all over the world12 just a year after Bazin’s death. In 1959, two films changed the landscape of international filmmaking:13François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows and Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless. In each film, the director has taken Bazin’s emphasis on auteur filmmaking to heart, and in every frame, the viewer is reminded of the director’s presence by the overwhelming stylistic personality of shots and scenes. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, independent and avant-garde filmmakers in places as disparate as France, the United States, Italy, and Japan were beginning to exercise the new cinematic freedom that Bazin had charted for them. At that time,14 whenever a national film industry completely reinvents itself, it is carried along by a group of auteur directors who refer to their films as part of a new wave. Now there are legions of filmmakers, Mohsen Makhmalbaf and Abbas Kiarostami in Iran or Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro in Mexico, for example, whose inspiration can in some way be traced back to Bazin and his humble work as editor of the Cahiers du Cinéma in France way back in the 1950s.

  1.  A. NO CHANGE

     B. citys

     C. cities’

     D. city’s

  2.  F. NO CHANGE

     G. in 1959 in Paris,

     H. in 1959, in Paris

     J. in, 1959 in Paris,

  3. Which of the following alternatives to the underlined portion is LEAST acceptable?

     A. emerged

     B. released

     C. erupted

     D. burst

  4.  F. NO CHANGE

     G. film. He

     H. film he

     J. film. Although he

  5.  A. NO CHANGE

     B. of, architecture,

     C. of architecture,

     D. of, architecture

  6. The writer is considering adding the following phrase to the end of the preceding sentence (deleting the period after the word film):

as a second-class substitute for the “legitimate theatre.”

Should the writer make this addition there?

     F. Yes, because it clarifies the sentence to show more specifically how critics talked about film.

     G. Yes, because it helps the reader to understand more clearly the subjects of Bazin’s writing.

     H. No, because it fails to maintain this paragraph’s focus on the Cahiers du Cinéma.

     J. No, because it speaks disparagingly about the practice of filmmaking.

  7. At this point the writer is considering adding the following true statement:

Bazin’s work is available in a text commonly read in Film Studies classes, the collection What Is Cinema?

Should the writer make this addition here?

     A. Yes, because it maintains the essay’s focus on an important figure in French film criticism.

     B. Yes, because it gives a good sense of the type of reading students can expect in Film Studies classes.

     C. No, because it interrupts the discussion of a specific theory of Bazin’s.

     D. No, because other information in the essay suggests that this statement is untrue.

  8.  F. NO CHANGE

     G. the director’s voice,

     H. his voice,

     J. voice,

  9.  A. NO CHANGE

     B. meanwhile,

     C. still,

     D. DELETE the underlined portion.


     G. works, on

     H. works: on

     J. works—on

11. Which of the following sentences, if added here, would effectively conclude this paragraph and introduce the topic of the next?

     A. Bazin himself never made any films, but he always preferred the Italian Neorealist style.

     B. While Bazin’s magazine was the place to read about classic films, Henri Langlois’s Cinematheque was the place to see them.

     C. Despite these great written achievements in the Cahiers du Cinéma, Bazin’s true and lasting influence lay elsewhere.

     D. Many film critics working in the later part of the twentieth century, such as Christian Metz and Gilles Deleuze, are clearly indebted to Bazin.


     G. in all parts of the world

     H. in every nation and country

     J. DELETE the underlined portion.

13. Which choice would most effectively guide readers to understand the great importance of the two films discussed?


     B. came out around the same time:

     C. joined the long list of films shot primarily in Paris:

     D. were created by directors who knew Bazin personally:


     G. Back then,

     H. Even now,

     J. In the end,

Question 15 asks about the preceding passage as a whole.

15. Suppose the author intended to write an essay that illustrates how the writings of one film critic have had an influence beyond the realm of film criticism. Would this essay successfully fulfill that goal?

     A. Yes, because the essay describes Bazin’s influence on the six arts of architecture, poetry, dance, music, painting, and sculpture.

     B. Yes, because the essay describes Bazin’s influence on both film criticism and filmmaking.

     C. No, because the essay discusses auteur theory and French films in general.

     D. No, because the essay states that Bazin’s greatest achievements were as a filmmaker.


Preventing Biblioemergencies

Before I move next week, I will unwillingly return the books that I have checked out from the library. Sadly, I never even opened a couple of them, and the return of16 them will be painfully abrupt. 

I know that I have plenty18 of other books to read. There are at least ten unread books of my own at home and ten more that I’m expecting in the mail. Still, whenever I return a book, I get that feeling of “what if”: What if I run out of books?

Some friends of mine recently coined the phrase biblioemergency to describe just such a situation. A biblioemergency is when an avid reader, such as myself, discovers that she has nothing left to read, which19 I know that to some people, that’s no big deal, but to me, its20 a disaster.

Ever since childhood, I’ve made it a point to carry at least21 one21 sometimes two or more, books with me at all times. People ask me why I can’t just make do with one book in my bag, or none. But, I always point out, what if I finish them22? What would I do then?

I think this all comes from a habit developed at an early age, due to my parents’23 use of books as pacifiers. Whenever my mother took me to a store or to an appointment, she brought along books. As soon as I got fidgety,24 she’d supply me with a new book to keep me entertained, hopefully until she had finished her business.  Now as an adult, I nevertheless26 find it nearly impossible to wait patiently unless, of course, I have reading material.

[1] When I’ve run out of books in the past, finding27 myself reading the backs of cereal boxes or the labels on my clothes. [2] Even though I will have to return my books to the library, I plan to packing28 at least four or five in my carry-on luggage, as I do every time I travel. [3] That, my friend, is an experience I never need to repeat. [4] If that sounds like a hassle, imagine the alternative. 


     G. returning

     H. to have returned

     J. returned

17. If the writer were to delete the words unwillingly, sadly, and painfully from this paragraph, the paragraph would primarily lose:

     A. evidence undermining the author’s later assertion that she loves to read.

     B. the sense that the author is unhappy about her move.

     C. an explanation of the motive behind the writer’s intended actions.

     D. its emphasis on the writer’s reluctance to lose any books.

18. Which of the following alternatives to the underlined portion would NOT be acceptable?

     F. a lot

     G. a number

     H. numerous

     J. a bunch


     B. read.

     C. read that

     D. read,


     G. theirs

     H. they’re

     J. it’s


     B. at least one,

     C. at least one:

     D. at least one;


     G. the book I’m reading

     H. it

     J. those


     B. parents

     C. parents’s

     D. parent


     G. I got fidgety

     H. After fidgeting,

     J. Getting fidgety,

25. At this point, the author is considering adding the following sentence.

The best ones were the ones that had both pictures and words.

If the information is taken to be true, should the author make this addition here?

     A. Yes, because it gives more information that is relevant to the previous comment.

     B. Yes, because it adds a detail that explains the main idea of the paragraph.

     C. No, because it contradicts information given in an earlier paragraph.

     D. No, because it is offensive and irrelevant to the passage as a whole.


     G. yet

     H. conversely

     J. consequently


     B. being that I’ve found

     C. I’ve found

     D. having found


     G. have been packing

     H. pack

     J. be packing

29. Which of the following sequences of sentences makes this paragraph the most logical?


     B. 2, 4, 1, 3

     C. 3, 1, 2, 4

     D. 4, 1, 2, 3

Question 30 asks about the preceding passage as a whole.

30. Upon reviewing the essay, the writer is considering removing the final paragraph. Should that paragraph be kept or deleted?

     F. Kept, because it returns to the opening idea and provides a conclusion.

     G. Kept, because it reveals the writer’s true motivation for refusing to return the books.

     H. Deleted, because it distracts from the focus of the passage.

     J. Deleted, because it repeats information already given without adding any new elements.


The Space Race


Writer and political commentator Robert Heinlein, writing31 about politics,31 stated that mankind needs to venture out into space as a matter of necessity: “The Earth is just too small and fragile a basket for the human race to keep all its eggs in.” In the 1960s, the Russians and the Americans were in a fierce political competition with one another, and this competition was the backdrop for the explosive race to the moon.  However, this was only the first step from our inner world33 on Earth toward outer space. A longer-lasting, and some say more important, achievement has been the development of the International Space Station.


However, the International Space Station was not created overnight. It can trace it’s34 lineage back to Salyut 1, the35 very first space station launched in 1971 by the Russians. In most respects, Salyut 1 was actually a failure. For example, before plummeting, to Earth, it orbited36 the planet for less than six months and was plagued by mechanical problems that ultimately resulted in the deaths of three cosmonauts.  Yet, the Salyut experiment proved that extraterrestrial habitation was possible and allowed the Russians to develop other, more technically successful space stations in the years that followed, the most famous of which was called Mir


Not to be outdone, the Americans looked to the mixed success the Russians enjoyed with Salyut 1 and launched their own space station in 1973 called Skylab. Like the Russian space station, however, Skylab too had operational difficulties. Hit by debris, severe damage was suffered by it39during the launch and was inoperable until astronauts repaired it during numerous spacewalks. Once it was repaired, however, astronauts focused on conducting mainly40 scientific experiments, and three separate crews successfully docked there throughout 1973 and 1974. Though41additional missions were planned, none were ever launched, and Skylab fell back to Earth in 1979 after about six years in orbit.


[1] This space station was successful and42 launched in 2000 and has hosted more than 17 crews from numerous countries since then. [2] The end of the Cold War in the 1990s meant that both nations43 could work together on the goal of achieving a sustainable habitat in outer space. [3] Ultimately, the Russian stations Salyut and Mir and the American Skylab laid the groundwork for the International Space Station


     B. Heinlein

     C. Heinlein who was writing about politics

     D. Heinlein—writing about politics—

32. The writer is considering adding the following phrase to the end of the preceding sentence (replacing the period after Americans with a comma):

because both the Russians and the Americans wanted to reach the moon first.

Should the writer add this phrase here?

     F. Yes, because it specifies that both groups were competing.

     G. Yes, because it emphasizes to the reader the ultimate goal of the race.

     H. No, because it is clear from earlier in the sentence that both groups were competing to reach the moon.

     J. No, because it provides additional information that distracts the reader from the primary focus of the passage.


     B. inside the atmosphere

     C. within our planet

     D. the interior


     G. its’

     H. its

     J. their


     B. Salyut 1 the

     C. Salyut 1; the

     D. Salyut 1. The


     G. plummeting to Earth, it orbited

     H. plummeting to Earth. It orbited

     J. plummeting to Earth; it orbited

37. The writer is considering adding the following clause to the end of the preceding sentence (replacing the period after the word cosmonauts with a comma):

who were honored as heroes at their funerals.

Should the writer add this clause here?

     A. Yes, because it was not the cosmonauts’ fault that they were killed.

     B. Yes, because it provides information that is not mentioned elsewhere in the passage.

     C. No, because it distracts the reader from the main focus of the paragraph.

     D. No, because no description of the funeral is provided.

38. Which of the following true statements, if added here, would best point out how successful Mir was?

     F. Mir, in fact, orbited the Earth for 14 years and hosted more than two dozen long-duration crews.

     G. The name Mir actually means peace in Russian.

     H. Unfortunately, Russian cosmonauts would stay on Mir for so long that they were unable to walk when they returned to Earth.

     J. Mir fell to Earth in 2001 and ended in a way reminiscent of Salyut thirty years earlier.


     B. it suffered severe damage

     C. severely damaged it suffered

     D. it was suffering from severe damage

40. The best placement for the underlined portion would be:

     F. where it is now.

     G. after the word Once.

     H. after the word focused.

     J. after the word three.


     B. and 1974 though

     C. and 1974, though

     D. and 1974 though,


     G. successfully

     H. successfully and

     J. successful

43. Which of the following alternatives to the underlined portion would be LEAST acceptable?

     A. countries

     B. states

     C. lands

     D. cities

44. Which of the following sequences of sentences will make Paragraph 4 most logical?


     G. 2, 1, 3

     H. 3, 1, 2

     J. 3, 2, 1

Question 45 asks about the preceding passage as a whole.

45. Suppose the writer had intended to write a brief essay about Robert Heinlein’s contributions to space exploration. Would this essay fulfill that purpose?

     A. Yes, because the essay quotes Heinlein on the importance of space exploration.

     B. Yes, because the essay describes the development of space stations.

     C. No, because the essay is about Mir, which Heinlein did not explicitly discuss.

     D. No, because the essay offers a broader focus on the development of space stations.


Inventions That Break Barriers

At the turn of the 20th century, Mary Anderson was a real-estate developer, rancher, and winemaker. We don’t know her name today for any of these reasons, however. Instead, Anderson made history for46 inventing automobile windshield wipers—a feat she accomplished in 1903, five years before Henry Ford even created the Model T. In 1902, while riding a trolley in New York City, she couldn’t help noticing that the driver had to continually stop in order to wipe47 snow and ice from the windshield. Anderson thought that there had to be a48 better way.48

However49 she, devised a swinging arm with a rubber blade that swung back and forth, swishing rain and snow from the windshield surface. Anderson’s model was different from todays models,50 though, because it was hand-activated by a lever from inside the car. Similar devices had been attempted and tried51 in the past, but Anderson’s was the first to work and the first to be successfully patented. Interestingly, she could not sell the rights to her invention. A Canadian company told her that drivers would find the movement of the arm52 too distracting. So even though Anderson’s windshield wipers became standard in cars after 1915, her53 invention did not make her much money.

Today, it is difficult for us to imagine driving without54 windshield wipers.54 In fact, women have been responsible for many practical inventions. Josephine Cochran, for example, declared, “If nobody else is going to invent a dishwashing machine, I will.” She presented her working dishwasher at the 1886 World’s Fair. At first not a huge success; the55 machine was used only by hotels and large restaurants. Household dishwashers did not become popular until the 1950s.

Historically, women have held a minority of patents. In early U.S. history, social and legal barriers often discouraged56 women from patenting inventions. In Anderson and Cochran’s time, women lacked the same legal rights as men, which compelled many women patented57 their inventions under their husbands’ or fathers’ names. Although the true number of women inventors in history may not ever be known, it is evident that women like Mary Anderson and Josephine Cochran saw problems58 and devised simple and imaginative solutions. It is unfortunate that the genius behind each of these innovations have not always been59 rewarded or recognized, because these women helped to create the efficient world we take for granted today.


     G. by

     H. to

     J. as


     B. to wiping

     C. for wiping

     D. and wiped

48. Which of the following alternatives to the underlined portion would NOT be acceptable?

     F. she could devise a better way.

     G. that there must be a better way.

     H. in which there had to be a better way.

     J. that a better way could be found.


     B. Instead she,

     C. On the contrary she,

     D. She


     G. today’s models,

     H. todays’ models

     J. today’s models


     B. attempted

     C. attempted, and later, tried

     D. attempted, that is, tried


     G. would, find the movement of the arm

     H. would find the movement, of the arm,

     J. would find the movement of the arm,


     B. its

     C. it’s

     D. their

54. Given that all the choices are true, which one would best introduce the new subject of this paragraph?


     G. Today, we are the lucky recipients of Anderson’s invention.

     H. Mary Anderson believed that driving could be made safer.

     J. Anderson was not the only female innovator of her time.


     B. success. The

     C. success, the

     D. success: the

56. Which of the following alternatives to the underlined portion would be LEAST acceptable?

     F. prevented

     G. disturbed

     H. dissuaded

     J. stopped


     B. to patent

     C. patenting

     D. patent


     G. problems demanding solutions

     H. dilemmas that could be solved

     J. ways to fix problems


     B. were not always

     C. was not always

     D. are not always

Question 60 asks about the preceding passage as a whole.

60. Suppose the writer’s goal had been to write a brief essay documenting key innovations in the automobile industry. Would this essay successfully fulfill that goal?

     F. Yes, because it highlights an important invention that changed the way cars are driven.

     G. Yes, because it tells readers how and when a key innovation in automobiles was introduced.

     H. No, because it does not include information about when the windshield wipers changed from hand-activated to automatic devices.

     J. No, because it addresses only one automobile invention.


Do Blue Bags Make a Green City?

In 1995, Chicago implemented its Blue Bag recycling program. This program was different from virtually any other throughout the world, particularly for a city of Chicago’s size. Muncie, Indiana instituted a similar program, but it is a much smaller city than Chicago.61 Chicago’s idea was that you could throw your recycling away with your garbage as part of a62 program that was new to the city.62 All you’d have to do is make sure that when you threw your recycling into the dumpster or put it out on the street, it was in a blue garbage bag rather than a standard white or black bag. Many embraced the program because they felt it wouldn’t inconvenience residents and the process would be similar to the normal garbage collection residents were used to;63 collecting all the recyclable waste into a bag, remembering the day for pickup, and then leaving the bag on the curb or in a dumpster. These bags would be picked up by the normal garbage collectors, and eventually, the blue bags would be removed from the garbage and rerouted to various recycling facilities.

This program hummed along, and was still going strong when I moved to Chicago. The city’s goal was to improve its 13−19% recycling rate to the point where, of all the waste collected, 25% of it would be recycled. In 2005, according to a report by city officials, they64 had reached that goal, and many believed that Chicago was becoming a truly “green” city. Unfortunately, independent researchers told a much different tale. According to their estimates, as little as 9% of the city’s waste was being recycled and the rates of recycling among residents were still around levels they had been in the 1980s. In65 other words, you could say that not much changes.66

[1] So what was wrong for67 this program? [2] The Chicago area is not overwhelmed by landfill issues as are some other major cities, so many people who live in the city didn’t think recycling or diverting waste was all that important. [3] Then there were the actual mechanics of running68the program. [4] The biggest problem was probably the residents’ lack of interest. [5] These turned out to be much more complicated than either the city or its various contractors ever expected. [6] Imagine, for example, the magnitude of manpower and financial investment with such a requiring69 to pull these select bags out of the more than 5 million tons of garbage Chicagoans dump every year! [7] What happens to all the bags that70 rip in transit, with all those recyclables then mixed in with all the other garbage? 

In May 2008, the city decided to discontinue its Blue Bag program and replace72 it with a new one. The cloud had a silver lining, though: the controversy surrounding the Blue Bag program, which was getting press alongside larger mounting concerns about global warming and other environmental issues, made the city’s residents and business owners more aware of the importance of recycling. Even during the Blue Bag program, a trip to one of the city’s public recycling centers were73 proof that Chicagoans were interested in recycling. Many times I’d go and, because the centers were so lacking in74 recyclables, I’d have to take my recyclables to another center that was not so full. Now, to replace the Blue Bag program, the city has begun to institute the Blue Bin program, and there are many of us whose75 hope that this program can right the wrongs of the last program and make Chicago the truly green city we know it can be.

61. Given that all the choices are true, which one provides the most specific support for the statement in the preceding sentence?


     B. Almost all other major cities ask their residents to sort recycling at centers or into specific receptacles.

     C. Nearly every major city in the United States has an aggressive plan for recycling, but they’re not all successful.

     D. Chicago implemented many garbage collecting advances in the 1980s to cope with rodent problems.

62. Given that all choices are true, which description of Chicago’s recycling process best supports the city’s logic in its choice of program, as described in this paragraph?


     G. which the garbage collectors would pick up every Wednesday.

     H. without the hassle of driving to a recycling center.

     J. instead of the old-fashioned way of throwing things away.


     B. to

     C. to,

     D. to:


     G. officials they

     H. officials. They

     J. officials; they

65. Which of the following alternatives to the underlined portion would NOT be acceptable?

     A. 1980s, so in

     B. 1980s; in

     C. 1980s: in

     D. 1980s, in


     G. not much had changed.

     H. not much would have changed.

     J. not much was to have changed.


     B. to

     C. with

     D. from

68. Which of the following alternatives to the underlined portion would be LEAST acceptable?

     F. maintaining

     G. operating

     H. sustaining

     J. hiring


     B. of which much was required

     C. that were requiring much of

     D. that was required


     G. still that they

     H. as they

     J. seeing as they

71. For the sake of the logic and coherence of this paragraph, Sentence 4 should be placed:

     A. where it is now.

     B. after Sentence 1.

     C. after Sentence 5.

     D. after Sentence 7.

72. Which of the following alternatives to the underlined portion would NOT be acceptable?

     F. program and to replace

     G. program they’ve replaced

     H. program, replacing

     J. program and decided to replace


     B. was

     C. is

     D. have been

74. Which choice presents this description in a way most consistent with the writer’s description of the recycling centers?


     G. undersupplied with

     H. neglected of

     J. overwhelmed by


     B. whom

     C. who

     D. that

English Practice
Section 3
Answers and Explanations


  1. D

  2. F

  3. B

  4. G

  5. C

  6. F

  7. C

  8. J

  9. D

10. J

11. C

12. J

13. A

14. H

15. B

16. G

17. D

18. H

19. B

20. J

21. B

22. G

23. A

24. F

25. A

26. J

27. C

28. H

29. B

30. F

31. B

32. H

33. A

34. H

35. A

36. G

37. C

38. F

39. B

40. H

41. A

42. G

43. D

44. J

45. D

46. G

47. A

48. H

49. D

50. G

51. B

52. F

53. A

54. J

55. C

56. G

57. B

58. F

59. C

60. J

61. B

62. H

63. D

64. F

65. D

66. G

67. C

68. J

69. D

70. F

71. B

72. G

73. B

74. J

75. C


Passage l

  1.  D  Bazin is described in this sentence as being the premier intellectual who belongs to or is part of a city. Since you need to show this possessive relationship, you can eliminate choices (A) and (B). To decide between choices (C) and (D), you need to figure out whether you’re dealing with a singular city or plural cities. In this situation, the city is Paris and none other, so the best answer is (D).

  2.  F  Don’t insert a comma into this sentence if you don’t need to. In this sentence, there is nothing in the sentence that has to be set off as unnecessary or interruptive, so no commas are necessary. Note how choices (G), (H), and (J) all break the flow of the sentence.

  3.  B  All the words in the answer choices can be synonyms for the word exploded, but in this case, the word release does not make sense. The films were released, but it doesn’t make sense to say that the films released, making choice (B) the LEAST acceptable alternative.

  4.  G  Note the context on either side of the punctuation. Before the comma, you have Bazin published his first piece of film criticism in 1943 and pioneered a new way of writing about film and after the comma you have he championed the idea that cinema was the seventh art. Since both of these are complete ideas, choices (F) and (H) cannot work because neither separates these complete ideas appropriately. Choice (J) introduces a period but, with the word although, turns the part after the period into a sentence fragment. Only choice (G) has the appropriate punctuation.

  5.  C  Architecture is the first word in a series here, and every word in a series must be succeeded by a comma, so you can eliminate choice (D). If you are to use a colon to introduce a list, the words directly before it must form a complete sentence, which every bit as deserving as the more respected arts of does not—eliminate choice (A). Choice (B) introduces an unnecessary pause before the word architecture. Only choice (C) preserves the flow of the sentence and properly situates the word architecture in a list.

  6.  F  Without the proposed addition, the sentence does not have any clear connection to its context. To include the proposed addition is to tie the sentence to the previous sentence’s mention of the word theatre. Because you’ll want to include the sentence, you can conclusively eliminate choices (H) and (J). You can also eliminate choice (G) because this sentence is not discussing Bazin’s own writing; rather, it is discussing the work of authors of many early writings about film. Only choice (F) advises that the writer add the clause and indicates that the writer do so because this will make this sentence more clear and precise.

  7.  C  The end of this paragraph introduces the concept of auteur theory, a subject taken up by the next paragraph. Accordingly, any sentence that does not discuss auteur theory directly should not be added at this point, eliminating choices (A) and (B). There is nothing in the rest of the essay that discusses either What is Cinema? or anything about Film Studies classes, so you can also eliminate choice (D). Only choice (C) advises that the writer omit the proposed sentence for the reason that it strays from the topic of the current paragraph.

  8.  J  Notice you’ve got a list of things here: style, perspective, and voice. All elements in this list must have a structure parallel to one another. To introduces extra words such as his or the director’s throws off the parallel structure of the list as written. Since you must keep the word voice parallel with style and perspective, choice (J) is the best answer.

  9.  D  When you get DELETE as an answer choice, as you do here, always give it special attention. Omitting a few words can often make a piece of writing more clear and concise. In this case, choices (A), (B), and (C) all indicate some kind of contrast in this sentence where no contrast is present. Accordingly, choices (A), (B), and (C) are incorrect, and only choice (D) preserves the flow and tone of the sentence by opting to DELETE the underlined portion.

10.  J  Look at the sentence as a whole. Notice there is a dash after the word Renoir. A dash in this context suggests that a certain part of the sentence is being set off as with commas or parentheses. Accordingly, since the phrase that is set off ends with a dash, it must also begin with a dash as in choice (J).

11.  C  This paragraph is about Bazin’s influence on film criticism, and the next paragraph is about his influence on filmmaking. Because you’ll need some mention of his role in both, you can eliminate choices (A), (B), and (D). Since the last paragraph indicates that Bazin’s most important influence was on later generations of filmmakers, choice (C) provides the best transition with its indication that Bazin’s influence lay elsewhere (i.e., somewhere other than film criticism).

12.  J  As in Question 9, always give DELETE special attention. Choices (F), (G), and (H) are all redundant because the sentence already contains the word international. Accordingly, the clearest and most concise fix for this sentence is to DELETE the underlined portion entirely.

13.  A  Choices (B), (C), and (D) give details about the films but no indication of why these films were important. Only choice (A) gives some indication of the films’ importance to the international film community.

14.  H  The verbs in this sentence are in the present tense, so any time words you use will have to indicate the present. Eliminate choices (F) and (G) which indicate the past, and eliminate choice (J) because what the end would be in this sentence is unclear, particularly given that the process is discussed as ongoing. Only choice (H) appropriately indicates the present tense with the word now.

15.  B  Choice (B) encapsulates this essay well: the first few paragraphs are about Bazin’s role and influence in film criticism, and the last paragraph is about his influence on filmmaking. Choice (A) is incorrect—the part of the text to which it refers discusses Bazin as wanting to show that cinema was a seventh art, not his influence on the other six. Choice (C) is untrue because the essay is primarily about Bazin, not auteur theory or French filmmaking in general. Finally, there is no support for the idea that Bazin was a filmmaker, only that he was a film critic, so choice (D) cannot be the answer.

Passage ll

16.  G  Choice (G) creates a subject for the verb, which we need, in a concise manner. The non-underlined part of the sentence already has a verb (will be) so the underlined portion functions as a noun. Choice (J) incorrectly makes it a verb, while choices (F) and (H) are both awkward and wordy.

17.  D  The three words (unwillingly, sadly, and painfully) are all adverbs describing the author’s feelings about returning her library books. They are all unhappy words, and choice (D) does the best job of linking these ideas. Choice (A) goes against the passage, and choices (B) and (C) incorrectly focus on the author’s move and motives, respectively.

18.  H  The word being replaced is plenty, used in the phrase plenty of other books. All of the answers are words that describe a good quantity, but choice (H), numerous, cannot be followed by the preposition of.

19.  B  Only choice (B) addresses the run-on problem in the original sentence. The previous sentence explains what a biblioemergency is, while the sentence after the underlined portion explains how problematic this is for the author. Since they are both complete sentences, they need to be separated with appropriate punctuation. Choice (C) adds only the word that, while choice (D) adds a comma, which changes the run-on to a similarly unacceptable comma splice.

20.  J  The original sentence uses the word its but the context of the sentence shows that the meaning is intended to be “it is.” Choice (J) contains the correct formation of that, it’s. Choices (G) and (H) complicate the problem by incorrectly making the pronoun plural.

21.  B  This question is testing punctuation, so you can use the non-underlined parts of the sentence to determine what kind you need. The underlined phrase refers to the books that are mentioned later in the sentence. You don’t want to end a sentence before getting to the end of your description, so you can eliminate choices (C) and (D). The underlined part also comes immediately before the descriptive phrase sometimes two or more. Because there is a comma after that phrase, and it’s additional information that does not change the basic meaning of the sentence, you need to have a comma before it as well. Choice (B) includes that comma.

22.  G  As written, this sentence has a pronoun that doesn’t really refer to anything, and even if properly singular could refer either to the book or the bag. Choice (G) replaces the pronoun with a short phrase that makes it clear what the author is discussing. Choices (H) and (J) repeat the initial pronoun problem.

23.  A  Choice (A) correctly uses the apostrophe at the end of a word to show possession. Parents’ is both plural and possessive, which is what the sentence needs. Choices (B) and (D) don’t have apostrophes, and choice (C) is not a correct formation.

24.  F  Choice (F) correctly uses the descriptive phrase as soon as to show the timeline of events in the sentence. The author, as a kid, got fidgety and then the mother gave her books to keep her quiet. Choice (G) takes away the time words, turning this into two complete sentences without anything linking them. Choices (H) and (J) also take away the pronoun, making it seem as though the mom is the one getting fidgety.

25.  A  The sentence that the author is considering adding makes sense in the context and is relevant. Choices (C) and (D) are incorrect because the new sentence doesn’t contradict anything, nor is it irrelevant (or offensive, for that matter). Choice (B) goes a bit too far—you can understand the rest of the paragraph without this sentence.

26.  J  This sentence is going into the present-day, explaining how the author’s childhood experiences still affect her as an adult. Since the childhood stuff is causing the adult reaction, you need a conjunction that shows this cause-effect relationship. That eliminates choices (F), (G), and (H).

27.  C  Only choice (C) correctly creates a parallel sentence and makes the second half of the sentence complete by adding a subject. Choice (B) adds a lot of unnecessary words that ruin the parallelism, while choice (D) repeats the problem in the original sentence.

28.  H  As written, this sentence is not parallel, nor does it contain the correct idiom. The phrase plan to needs to be followed by the rest of the infinitive in order to be correct. Only choice (H) contains the correct part of the infinitive and nothing else. Choice (G) is in the past tense, which does not agree with the other verbs in the sentence (plan and do). Choice (J) does have the infinitive, be, but is unnecessarily wordy compared to choice (H).

29.  B  When you have to reorder sentences, it’s best to see if there are any sentences that are clearly linked or that have to go first or last. In this case, Sentence 3 refers to an unpleasant experience, which is itself described in Sentence 1. Therefore, Sentence 1 needs to come directly before Sentence 3, which means you can eliminate choices (A), (C), and (D).

30.  F  When you are asked whether to keep or delete a paragraph, the best thing to do is just try to determine what the gist of that paragraph is and then focus on elimination. In this case, the final paragraph refers back to the topic of the first paragraph then proposes a plan based on her expected actions and past experiences. Choice (F) recognizes this. Choice (G) incorrectly states that the author is refusing to return the books. Choice (H) is incorrect because the paragraph doesn’t move away from the focus of the passage. Choice (J) is incorrect because the final paragraph does give new details.

Passage lll

31.  B  The first part of the sentence clearly states that Heinlein was a political writer. Therefore it is redundant to repeat this information, which is why choices (A), (C), and (D) are incorrect.

32.  H  Adding this phrase would be redundant, because the phrase race to the moon already conveys the same information.

33.  A  The underlined portion is correct as written, because our inner world both correctly describes our current location on Earth, and is parallel to the phrase outer space which appears later in the sentence. The other choices change the meaning of the sentence and are not parallel.

34.  H  As written, the underlined portion contains the contraction it is, which is not appropriate in this sentence, so choice (F) is incorrect. Only choice (H) correctly uses the possessive pronoun. Choice (G) is not a real word, and choice (J) uses a plural pronoun where a singular is necessary.

35.  A  Since the very first space station launched in 1971 by the Russians is not a complete thought or independent clause, it cannot be preceded by a semicolon or a period. This eliminates choices (C) and (D). However, some punctuation is needed to separate it from the rest of the sentence, so choice (B) is wrong as well.

36.  G  In this sentence, the phrase before plummeting to Earth is an introductory phrase and must be set off by commas (also note the comma after the first introductory phrase For example). Accordingly, you can eliminate choices (H) and (J) because they use the wrong type of punctuation to link the independent clauses. Choice (F) gives too many commas by creating an unnecessary break within the introductory clause.

37.  C  This clause provides extraneous information that is not essential to the passage. Therefore, it should not be included.

38.  F  Only choice (F) describes aspects of Mir which can be deemed successful. Choice (G) provides only the origin of the name. Both choices (H) and (J) focus on negative aspects of the space station.

39.  B  Since the sentence begins with the phrase Hit by debris, the first noun in the next clause needs to refer to space station. Choice (B) is the only option provided in active voice that doesn’t change the meaning of the sentence that implies the launch created the damage to the space station. Choice (A) doesn’t begin with the space station, and it is in passive voice. Both choices (C) and (D) imply that the space station was already damaged prior to launch.

40.  H  The adverb mainly should be moved to modify the verb focused, as in choice (H).

41.  A  The underlined portion is correct as written. To remove the period creates one long run-on sentence.

42.  G  This sentence requires an adverb to modify launched, which eliminates choices (F) and (J). No and is required between an adverb and the verb it is modifying, so choice (H) can also be eliminated.

43.  D  All the choices listed besides choice (D) can be used interchangeably to refer to a country.

44.  J  Sentence (3) needs to come first in the paragraph because it introduces the main topic. Sentences (2) and (1) logically follow, as they offer additional detail about how the Russians and Americans worked together to create the space station.

45.  D  This essay does not focus on Robert Heinlein. It uses only one of his quotations to frame a broader discussion of the development of space stations starting in the 1960s.

Passage IV

46.  G  Choice (G) corrects the idiom error in the sentence as written. Choices (F), (H), and (J) all give idiomatically incorrect prepositions that do not match with made history in this context.

47.  A  The underlined portion is correct as written; the phrase in order to should be coupled with the infinitive form of the verb. Choices (B), (C), and (D) all employ incorrect prepositions and conjugations of the verb.

48.  H  All choices preserve the meaning of the sentence, so none can be eliminated on those grounds. Only choice (H) is wordy and incorrectly conjugated by adding the phrase in which. Choice (H) is therefore NOT acceptable. Note: If you chose choice (J), you may have been on the right track—choice (J) is in the passive voice, to which active is always preferable, but in this case, choice (H) is far worse.

49.  D  The second paragraph continues the same line of thought as the preceding one. The transitional word however shows contrast, and is incorrect here. Likewise, choices (B) and (C) show disagreement, and would not be acceptable replacements. Eliminating a transition word altogether best preserves the agreement between the two paragraphs.

50.  G  Choice (G) corrects a punctuation error. The models are of today, which is to say, the models are today’s, in contrast to the model of Anderson, or Anderson’s. Choice (H) puts the apostrophe in the wrong place: today is singular not plural. Choice (J) is incorrect because it removes the comma before the linking word though.

51.  B  Choice (B) fixes the redundancy of the underlined portion, and is also the most concise of the answer choices, which is preferable. The wording in choice (D) is as redundant as the original, and adds the unnecessary phrase that is. Choice (C) changes the meaning of the sentence.

52.  F  The underlined portion of the sentence is correct as written. Choices (G), (H), and (J) all introduce unnecessary commas that break the flow of the sentence.

53.  A  The underlined portion is correct as written; the wipers were Mary Anderson’s invention, so the possessive pronoun her should be used. The possessive pronouns in choices (B) and (D) are incorrect, while it’s in choice (C) is the contraction of “it is.”

54.  J  The introductory sentence as written does not provide a smooth transition between the two paragraphs; it refers only to the previous paragraph. You should look for a sentence that links the two discussions—Mary Anderson and other female inventors. Choice (J) makes that transition, and is the best choice. Choices (G) and (H) do not add anything to link themselves to the new paragraph.

55.  C  Choice (C) corrects a punctuation problem. An introductory phrase, such as at first not a huge success, should be set off by a comma. Because at first not a huge success is not an independent clause or complete idea, choices (A), (B), and (D) can all be eliminated.

56.  G  Prevented and stopped may be slightly stronger than discouraged, but they would be in keeping with the original meaning of the sentence. Disturbed changes the meaning of the sentence and does not fit with the preposition from. Therefore, choice (G) is NOT an acceptable substitute for the underlined portion.

57.  B  Choice (B) corrects an error in the verb conjugation. Any verb following the main verb of this sentence, compelled, must be in its infinitive form.

58.  F  The underlined portion is correct as written. Choices (G), (H), and (J) do not add any new meaning to the sentence and are unnecessarily wordier than the original.

59.  C  Choice (C) corrects the subject/verb agreement error in the underlined portion. The subject genius is singular and should not be confused with the prepositional phrase behind their innovations. Choices (A), (B), and (D) are all verb forms for plural subjects.

60.  J  The primary subject of this essay is Mary Anderson and her invention of windshield wipers. Although there are some minor references to Henry Ford and the Model T, the focus of this essay could not be said to be advancements in the auto industry. While choice (H) is true, it does not address the question regarding the goals of this essay and advancements in the auto industry.

Passage V

61.  B  Since the previous sentence is The program was different from virtually any other in the world, you’ll need something that shows how Chicago’s recycling program was unique. Choices (A) and (C) show similarity more than difference, and choice (D) is not relevant to the passage. Only choice (B) shows how the program was unlike other programs.

62.  H  Notice this sentence: Many embraced the city’s program because they felt it wouldn’t inconvenience residents. So, the city’s logic is driven by the convenience of the program. Choices (F), (G), and (J) do not deal with the idea of convenience. Only choice (H) discusses how residents can participate in the program without the hassle.

63.  D  The punctuation in question introduces a list, so a colon is the best fit. The main restriction on the colon is that it must be preceded by a complete thought or independent clause, as this one is. Choice (D) works. Choices (B) and (C) create excessively long and wordy sentences with no strong breaks. Choice (A) uses a semicolon, which requires independent clauses both before and after it—(A) can’t work because the second part of the sentence, starting with the word collecting, is not complete.

64.  F  This sentence has two introductory phrases: In 2005 and according to a report by city officials. Both introductory sections should be punctuated the same way—that is, both should be set off from the rest of the sentence by commas, as in choice (F). Choice (G) omits the pause and breaks the flow of the sentence. Choices (H) and (J) introduce a period and semicolon, respectively, both of which must be preceded by an independent clause, which In 2005, according to a report by city officials is not.

65.  D  Although it is asked differently, this question tests many of the same concepts tested in questions 63 and 64. Recall that if you use a period or semicolon between two clauses, then both of those clauses must be independent or complete. The first begins with According to their estimates, and the second begins with In other words—both of these full clauses are independent, so choice (C) works interchangeably with the sentence as written. A colon functions similarly to a semicolon, but it must have an independent clause preceding it (which this one does) and must be closely connected to the later part of the sentence. In this case, the part of the sentence beginning with in other words is an extension of or elaboration upon the first part of the sentence. Choice (B) works. Now the last two choices involve the use of commas. The only time a comma can be used to link two independent clauses is when that comma is accompanied by a coordinating conjunction, such as andbut, or so. Since choice (A) has the comma and coordinating conjunction, it works, leaving only choice (D) as the alternative that is NOT acceptable.

66.  G  Note the tense of the verbs in the preceding sentence—were and was. Accordingly, this sentence will have to be in the past tense as well, eliminate (F) and (H). Choice (J) changes the meaning of the sentence, leaving only choice (G).

67.  C  Determine which preposition goes idiomatically with the word wrong. It must be with, as in what was wrong with this program. Choice (A), (B), and (D) use the incorrect idiom.

68.  J  Choices (F), (G), and (H) all mean roughly the same thing as running in this context. Only choice (J) gives a word that, although somewhat similar to the others, does not work in this context, so choice (J) is the LEAST acceptable alternative.

69.  D  Since all answer choices are trying to say roughly the same thing, start with the most concise, choice (D). It works well in the sentence, and as you go through the others, you’ll find that they either change the meaning of the sentence, as in choice (B), or do not make logical sense, as in choices (A) and (C).

70.  F  As in question 69, since all answer choices are trying to say roughly the same thing, start with the most concise, choice (F). The meaning in the sentence as written is clear, and the ideas presented are complete. As you go through the others, you’ll find they either change the meaning of the sentence, as in choices (H) and (J), or do not make logical sense, as in choice (G).

71.  B  The sentence cannot remain where it is, because it makes the word these in Sentence 5 ambiguous, so you can eliminate choice (A). Sentences 5, 6, and 7 seem to form a unit—primarily as a discussion of the mechanics of running the program, not any of the difficulties posed by the residents, so you can eliminate choices (C) and (D). If you place the sentence after Sentence 1, you’ll see it becomes an answer to the rhetorical question posed in Sentence 1 and leads in to what is discussed in Sentence 2.

72.  G  While choice (F) is probably the best substitute for the underlined portion, your task in this question is to find the worst. Choices (H) and (J) preserve the meaning of the sentence. Only choice (G) introduces the word they’veand makes the sentence a run-on. Accordingly, choice (G) is NOT an acceptable alternative.

73.  B  First, determine the tense of the sentence. The phrase during the Blue Bag program indicates that the verb will have to be past tense. Eliminate choice (C). Now determine the subject of the sentence. Although centers is right next to the verb, the subject of this sentence is actually trip, a singular subject which will require a singular verb. Only choice (B) can work.

74.  J  The writer says he had to go to other centers that were less full, suggesting that this recycling center was extremely full. Choices (F), (G), and (H) all suggest that there were few or no recyclables at these centers. Only choice (J) suggests that the recycling centers were full.

75.  C  The sentence as written uses the possessive pronoun whose, creating a sentence fragment, and choice (D) cannot work because the sentence explicitly refers to people. In this case, you need the subject who, as in many of us who hope that…, instead of the object whom.