ACT Practice Test 2015-2019 1572CPRE Reading Test Page 1

Below are answer explanations to the full-length Reading test of the previously released ACT from the current 2015-2016 “Preparing for the ACT Test” (form 1572CPRE) free study guide available here for free PDF download.

The ACT Reading test explained below begins on page 32 of the guide. Please note that the 2015-2016 ACT practice test is the same one used in the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 “Preparing for the ACT Test” guides. Other answer explanations in this series of articles:

When you’re finished reviewing this official practice ACT test, start practicing with our own 10 full-length practice ACT tests—absolutely free during the pandemic.

Answer Explanations to the 2015-2018 ACT Reading Practice Test

Passage 1

Question 1, “The passage as a whole can primarily be characterized…” The answer is “explanation of the relationship the narrator and his parents had with the city of Bombay.”

  1. Reading through the passage, it seems to be about how the narrator and his parents were connected to the city of Bombay and its construction.
  2. The answer choice “description of important buildings and locations in Bombay” is incorrect because the narrator does not go into depth about the specific buildings of Bombay past the first paragraph.
  3. The answer choice “argument for Bombay’s prominence in the world of architecture” is incorrect because the narrator doesn’t even mention Bombay’s presence in terms of architecture except in the first paragraph.
  4. The answer choice “concerns about the emotional environment in which the narrator was raised” is incorrect because the narrator never criticizes his upbringing as a child. He does confess that he was jealous of Bombay for being his parent’s other love, but this is not the main focus of the passage.
  5. The correct answer is “explanation of the relationship the narrator and his parents had with the city of Bombay.” Throughout the passage, the narrator describes the importance of Bombay to him and his parents, and how the city inspired him to pursue a certain photography style.

Question 2, “The narrator describes the photos by Bombay’s first great photographers…” The answer is “photograph subjects that depict everyday life on Bombay’s streets.”

  1. In lines 61-76, the narrator claims that the first great photographers “became [his] first artistic influence if only by showing [him] what [he] did not want to do. […] they inspired in [him] a desperate need to get back down to ground level. […] I yearned for life.”
  2. From this, we know that the narrator did not want to take large panoramas of the city as the “first great photographers” did. Instead, he wanted to take pictures of real life on the actual ground of Bombay.
  3. The answer choice “create grand panoramas of the new Bombay” is incorrect because the narrator states that he was inspired to do the opposite.
  4. The answer choice “turn away from a career in photography” is incorrect because the narrator claims that he was “his photographer son,” implying that he did pursue photography.
  5. The answer choice “produce images that his father would add to his collection” is incorrect because the narrator never mentions his desire to take pictures that his father would like. In fact, he claims that he “set out to prove him [his father] wrong” in line 85,  which implies that his photos likely wouldn’t be added to his father’s collection.
  6. The correct answer is “photograph subjects that depict everyday life on Bombay’s streets” because the narrator has made clear his desire to take pictures of “life” and of the “ground level” of Bombay.

Question 3, “In lines 25-31, the narrator muses over, then rejects…” The answer is “his anticipated birth was one of the causes of the rush to finish the building of Bombay.”

  1. In lines 25-31, the narrator says “in the ten years before my own coming into the world, the city had been a gigantic building site; […] as if it knew it had to provide itself in finished condition by the time I was able to start paying attention to it . . . No, no, I don’t really think along such solipsistic lines.”
  2. From this, we can tell that he was musing over the possibility that Bombay’s construction was rushed so that by the time the narrator was born, he would be able to appreciate the buildings.
  3. However, he rejects this musing by saying “no, no, I don’t really think along such solipsistic lines.” “Solipsistic” essentially means “egocentric,” so the narrator is rejecting his musing because he doesn’t mean to make the construction of a city about himself.
  4. The correct answer is “his anticipated birth was one of the causes of the rush to finish the building of Bombay” because this is the notion that he thinks over and then rejects.
  5. The other answer choices “Merchant & Merchant played an important role in the building of Bombay,” he started paying attention to Bombay at a young age,” and “Bombay had been a gigantic building site in the years before he was born” are all incorrect because these statements weren’t ever rejected by the narrator. He accepts these statements as facts.

Question 4, “In lines 32-43, the narrator uses which of the following literary devices…” The answer is “Personification.”

  1. In lines 32-43, the narrator describes Bombay as his “parent’s other love. […] They loved her (not so good). Bombay was my rival.” The narrator makes it seem as if Bombay is another person or another child that he has to compete with.
  2. This is the literary device of “personification,” which is the correct answer.
  3. The answer choice “alliteration” is incorrect because the narrator does not repeat any letters or sounds at the beginning of consecutive words in this section of the passage.
  4. The answer choice “allusion” is incorrect because the narrator does not make any references to anything beyond Bombay itself.
  5. The answer choice “simile” is incorrect because the narrator does not make any “like…as” statements in this section of the passage.

Question 5, “Which of the following statements best captures how the narrator’s parents balanced…” The answer is “The narrator’s parents traded off responsibility for taking care of the narrator and working at the construction company.”

  1. In the third paragraph of the passage, the narrator claims that when his mother wasn’t with him, she was supervising construction work in Bombay while he stayed with his father. 
  2. The narrator also says that “when his father handed me over to her, he went off […] to dig in the foundations of building sites […]” in lines 46-48, implying that his father also went to work with the construction company when he wasn’t with the narrator.
  3. From this, we can assume that the parents traded their responsibilities of looking after the narrator and working on their construction company.
  4. The correct answer is “The narrator’s parents traded off responsibility for taking care of the narrator and working at the construction company.”
  5. The answer choice “the narrator’s mother did the majority of the work at the construction company, while the narrator’s father took care of the narrator” is incorrect because the narrator claims that both parents took care of him, and both parents worked at the construction company.
  6. The answer choice “the narrator’s father worked at his designing board, while the narrator’s mother took the narrator along to building sites” is incorrect because the narrator never mentioned being taken to building sites with his mother. Instead, he was always with his father when his mother went to building sites.
  7. The answer choice “the narrator’s parents both worked at the construction company, while the narrator stayed home with a babysitter” is incorrect because the narrator never claimed that he was cared for by a babysitter.

Question 6, “As it is used in line 9, the word sweep…” The answer is “broad area.”

  1. In line 9, the narrator talks about how the “glittering Art Deco sweep of Marine Drive” was “something not even Rome could boast.”
  2. The answer choice “overwhelming victory” does not make sense because the buildings were not winners of a competition.
  3. The answer choice “wide-ranging search” does not make sense because nobody was searching the Marine Drive for Art Deco.
  4. The answer choice “complete removal” is incorrect because the narrator was talking about the different buildings and areas of Bombay, not about the removal of buildings.
  5. The correct answer is “broad area,” because the narrator is describing the general area of Marine Drive and how Art Deco influenced the buildings in that area.

Question 7, “In the context of the passage, the primary function of lines 6-10…” The answer is “compare architectural landmarks in Bombay to those elsewhere.”

  1. In lines 6-10, the narrator states that “Malabar and Cumballa hills were our Capitol and Palatine, and the Brabourne Stadium was our Colosseum.” 
  2. These lines do not explain where the term “art deco” came from, so the answer choice “help illustrate how the term ‘art deco’ was derived” is incorrect.
  3. The answer choice “contradict the idea that Bombay was in its golden age when the narrator was a child” is also incorrect because these comparisons of the buildings do not indicate that Bombay wasn’t in its golden age. 
  4. The answer choice “provide examples of ‘Bombay style’ architecture in Rome” is incorrect because the narrator is describing buildings that exist in Bombay. These buildings are not located in Rome, and they are not “Bombay-style,” they are actually Bombay.
  5. The correct answer is “compare architectural landmarks in Bombay to those elsewhere” because the narrator uses these lines to compare various buildings in Bombay to famous buildings elsewhere.

Question 8, “The narrator as a child viewed the work his parents did…” The answer is “jealousy; the work pulled the narrator’s parents away from him and directed their attention to the city.”

  1. In lines 32-34, the narrator claims “that, even as a child, I was insanely jealous of the city in which I was raised, because it was my parents’ other love.”
  2. From this, it’s clear that the correct answer is “jealousy; the work pulled the narrator’s parents away from him and directed their attention to the city” because the narrator directly states that he was jealous of Bombay and the work that his parents put into building the city.
  3. The other answer choices are incorrect because the narrator does not mention feeling “joy,” “fear,” or “respect” as a child when he considered his parents’ work.

Question 9, “As it is used in line 38, the phrase drew up most nearly means…” The answer is “prepared.”

  1. In line 38, the narrator states that “they drew up that weekly rota (list) of shared parental responsibilities.”
  2. The answer choices “approached” and “straightened” can be ruled out because a list is not really something to be approached or straightened.
  3. The answer choice “extended” is incorrect because the narrator implies that they made the list every week instead of extending a list continuously.
  4. The correct answer is “prepared” because it makes the most sense that the narrator’s parents prepared a list of parental duties every week.

Question 10, “In the last paragraph, the narrator’s father shows the narrator the photos of storefronts and piers…” The answer is “illustrate that photos of places can reveal as much about the people who spent time there as photos of the people themselves.”

  1. When the father showed the narrator pictures of storefronts and piers, he stated “see where people lived and worked and shopped […] and it becomes plain what they were like” (lines 80-83).
  2. The correct answer is “illustrate that photos of places can reveal as much about the people who spent time there as photos of the people themselves” because the father was trying to show the narrator that the pictures of the places revealed what the people who worked there were like.
  3. The answer choice “teach the narrator about the commercial progress the people who work in Bombay have made” is incorrect because the father does not mention commercial or economic success when he shows his son the pictures.
  4. The answer choice “convince the narrator that Dayal and Haseler were Bombay’s first great photographers” is incorrect because these pictures were not taken by Dayal and Haseler.
  5. The answer choice “clarify his claim that his photo collection was not about modern-day Bombay but rather about the early twentieth century” is incorrect because the father never makes any claims about the modernness of his photo collection.

Passage II

Question 11, “The author’s attitude toward the main subject of the passage…” The answer is “awe and fascination.”

  1. In the first paragraph (lines 6-8), the author claims that “the unperturbed surface offers no hint of the grand and sweeping energies hidden below.” 
  2. This language has a tone of “awe and fascination,” which is the correct answer.
  3. The answer choices “disbelief and cynicism” and “boredom and indifference” are incorrect because the author does not speak in a negative or neutral tone about the passage’s subject. 
  4. The answer choice “amusement and nostalgia” is incorrect because the author seems to be more curious and amazed by the subject, rather than amused by it.

Question 12, “The passage makes clear that ‘Middle Ground,’ ‘Telegraph Plateau,’ and ‘Dolphin Rise’…” The answer is “the immense mountain range in Atlantic’s basin.”

  1. The passage states that “people assumed that this ‘Middle Ground,’ ‘Telegraph Plateau,’ or ‘Dolphin Rise, […] was an ancient and drowned land bridge […] but sailors […] unknowingly produced evidence to prove otherwise” in lines 32-37.
  2. This means that the answer choice “an ancient and drowned land bridge” is incorrect because the passage denies that these names were referring to an actual land bridge under the sea.
  3. The answer choice “a transatlantic telegraph cable” is incorrect because the names ‘Middle Ground’ and ‘Dolphin Rise’ are not referring to the telegraph cable. The passage only mentions the telegraph cable to explain how the “ancient and drowned land bridge” assumption was proven incorrect.
  4. The answer choice “an island in Atlantic” is incorrect because people were referring to the basin of Atlantic under the surface, not an island above the surface.
  5. The correct answer is “the immense mountain range in Atlantic’s basin” because the narrator later states in lines 48-49 that “hidden beneath the waves is an immense submerged mountain range […]” This is what people were actually referring to when they said “Middle Ground” or “Telegraph Plateau; they just didn’t know it yet.

Question 13, “In the first paragraph, the author describes the stillness of the Sargasso Sea…” The answer is “is in dramatic contrast to the power of what exists on and under the seafloor far below.”

  1. In lines 4-8, the author claims that the “vast, unroughened surface, this breadth of uniform sea, deceives. But for a few lonely oceanic islands, the unperturbed surface offers no hint of the grand and sweeping energies hidden below.”
  2. The correct answer is “is in dramatic contrast to the power of what exists on and under the seafloor far below” because the author has clarified the contrast between the “uniform” and “unperturbed” sea and the “sweeping energies hidden below.”
  3. The answer choice “won’t last long for the sea will become rough when the wind rises” is incorrect because the author never mentions the duration of the stillness or whether it will be interrupted by the wind.
  4. The answer choice “makes it easy for a passenger on the Cramer to spot oceanic islands that break the water’s surface” is incorrect because the author never mentions passengers on the Cramer or the visibility of islands in the ocean.
  5. The answer choice “makes it seem as if the Cramer’s wake is dividing the unbroken expanse of water into two” is incorrect because the author claims that the Cramer is idle, meaning that it has no wake that divides the sea.

Question 14, “The passage states that compared to Arizona’s Grand Canyon, the canyon…” The answer is “longer.”

  1. In lines 65-67, the passage states that “a lesser-known canyon of similar depth but considerably greater length” compared to the Grand Canyon exists in the Atlantic basin.
  2. The answer choice “deeper” is incorrect because the passage states that the canyons are of similar depth.
  3. The answer choice “older” is incorrect because the passage never mentions the age of either canyon.
  4. The answer choice “wider” is incorrect because the passage never mentions the width of either canyon.
  5. The correct answer is “longer” because the passage states that the canyon in the Atlantic basin is of “considerably greater length” than the Grand Canyon.

Question 15, “The main purpose of the information in lines 71-76 is to…” The answer is “characterize the rift valley as an alien, seemingly barren place.”

  1. In lines 71-76, the rift valley is described as “bleak,” “forbidding,” “otherworldly,” and “distant.”
  2. The correct answer is “characterize the rift valley as an alien, seemingly barren place,” because the description of the rift valley in lines 71-76 does make it seem like a very foreign, bleak place.
  3. The answer choices “list the names that scientists gave to the volcanic hills in the rift valley” and “provide statistics about several geographic properties of the rift valley” are incorrect because lines 71-76 do not provide this information at all.
  4. The answer choice “describe in detail scientists’ expectations for their first trip to the rift valley” is incorrect because the passage does not describe the expectations of the scientists. The passage only states that scientists visited the rift valley and named the volcanic hills there.

Question 16, “One of the main purposes of the last paragraph is to…” The answer is “entire Atlantic seafloor has issued from the gashes in the rift valley.”

  1. The correct answer is “entire Atlantic seafloor has issued from the gashes in the rift valley” because lines 80-81 of the last paragraph state that “from the gashes has sprung the seafloor underlying all of Atlantic.”
  2. The answer choice “gashes in the rift valley continue to increase in width” is incorrect because the last paragraph does not mention the width of the rift valley.
  3. The answer choice “seafloor of Atlantic has cooled” is incorrect because the passage states that “heat […] rises toward earth’s surface.” The last paragraph claims that “Earth is still cooling” (line 82), but this does not mean that the seafloor has finished cooling, especially if heat is still rising to its surface.
  4. The answer choice “volcanoes on Earth’s dry land have created the newest, youngest pieces of Atlantic seafloor” is incorrect because the newest, youngest pieces of the seafloor are made from the gashes in the floor of the rift valley. The “dry land” has nothing to do with their formation.

Question 17, “The author most strongly implies that people commonly assume…” The answer is “at the middle of the ocean.”

  1. In lines 11-12, the passage states that “contrary to what one might guess, Atlantic’s deepest waters […] are along her edges.” 
  2. This implies that people would guess that Atlantic’s deepest waters are in the opposite place of “along her edge,” which would be the middle of the Atlantic.
  3. The correct answer is “at the middle of the ocean” because the author implies that people are most likely to guess that Atlantic’s deepest waters are not along her edges, but in her middle.
  4. The answer choices “about one thousand miles offshore,” “dotted with islands,” and “located in trenches” are incorrect because the passage does not mention that people would commonly think these things about the deepest waters of an ocean. 

Question 18, “As it is used in line 19, the phrase paid out most nearly means…” The answer is “dispensed.”

  1. Line 19 states that “one naval officer paid out eight miles (thirteen kilometers) of hemp rope from a drifting ship.” This implies that the officer let out that length of rope from the ship.
  2. The answer choice “ascertained” is incorrect because the officer did not “discover” or “find out” the rope. 
  3. The answer choice “suggested” is incorrect because the rope was not suggested from the ship, it was released from the ship in order to measure the depth of the sea.
  4. The answer choice “compensated” is incorrect because rope cannot be compensated or paid for its work.
  5. The correct answer is “dispensed,” because the naval officer released the rope from the ship in order to see how deep the ocean was.

Question 19, “According to the passage, the mountain range in Atlantic’s basin covers…” The answer is “the dry land of continents.”

  1. The passage states that the “immense submerged mountain range” (lines 48-49) covers “almost as much of earth’s surface as the dry land of continents” (lines 51-52).
  2. Therefore, the correct answer is “the dry land of continents,” as stated in the passage.

Question 20, “According to the passage, the white cover on the peaks of the mountains…” The answer is “skeletal remains of microscopic animals.”

  1. In lines 56-59, the passage describes how mountains are “lit only at their peaks by a thin, patchy covering of white, the skeletal remains of tiny microscopic animals that once lived at the surface.”
  2. From this, we know that the correct answer is “skeletal remains of microscopic animals” because it is stated in the passage.

Passage III

Question 21, “When Bradbury claims, ‘Thus I fell into surprise’ (line 46)…” The answer is “discovery that for him the secret to a creative out-pouring was to use a word-association method to write fiction.”

  1. Bradbury claims that he fell into surprise because he “came on the old and best ways of writing through ignorance and experiment […]” in lines 46-47.
  2. He’s talking about how he developed his writing style, which was to use a word-association method as a means of “creative outpouring.” 
  3. The answer choice “discovery that for him the secret to a creative out-pouring was to use a word-association method to write fiction” is correct because his writing style was the discovery that surprised him. He came upon it by accident.
  4. The answer choice “long-forgotten experiences he would remember when he would talk with his childhood friends in person” is incorrect because he was not surprised by remembering these experiences, but by the writing that came from remembering them.
  5. The answer choice “realization that he wrote more effectively about his current experiences than about his past” is incorrect because Bradbury never stated that he writes better about his present than his past. In lines 27-28, he said he “had to send [him]self back, with words as catalysts, to open the memories out…”
  6. The answer choice “several methods other writers taught him to help him write honest, authentic stories” is incorrect because Bradbury developed his style of writing by himself. He didn’t learn his writing style from other writers.

Question 22, “Passage A indicates that Bradbury believes all beginning writers think that they can…” The answer is “force an idea into creation.”

  1. In lines 2-4, Bradbury claims that “like every beginner, I thought you could beat, pummel, and thrash an idea into existence.”
  2. This implies that Bradbury believed most beginning writers think they can “force an idea into creation,” which is the correct answer.

Question 23, “Bradbury’s claim ‘I would then take arms against the word, or for it’ (line 12)…” The answer is “feel as though he were struggling to find a word’s significance to him.”

  1. In the second half of the sentence from line 12, Bradbury states that he would “bring on an assortment of characters to weigh the word and show me its meaning in my own life.”
  2. The answer choice “attempt to find the one word that for him was the key to understanding John Huff” is incorrect because not all of Bradbury’s writing or words were about John Huff.
  3. The answer choice “often reject a word as not being a catalyst for meaningful writing” is incorrect because Bradbury never implies that he got rid of words that weren’t meaningful. Rather, he wrestled with the words to find their meaning to him.
  4. The answer choice “deliberately choose to write only about a word that inspired his fears” is incorrect because Bradbury never claims to write only about his fears.
  5. The correct answer is “feel as though he were struggling to find a word’s significance to him” because Bradbury claims that he had to “weigh” the word and use various characters to show “its meaning” in his life. He also took “arms against the word, or for it,” which implies that he really wrestled with the words to see what they meant to him.

Question 24, “In the seventh paragraph of Passage A (lines 30-37), Bradbury…” The answer is “thinking about his grandparents’ property, hoping to remember something that would bring his past into focus.”

  1. Bradbury claims that “hardly a day passed when I didn’t stroll myself across a recollection of my grandparents’ northern Illinois grass, hoping to come across some old half-burnt firecracker […]” in lines 30-33.
  2. This implies that Bradbury got into the habit of thinking about his grandparents’ place every day, hoping to remember some old memento that would spark his memory.
  3. The correct answer is “thinking about his grandparents’ property, hoping to remember something that would bring his past into focus” because this is what Bradbury describes in the passage.
  4. The answer choice “looking at and writing about objects from his childhood that he had saved” is incorrect because Bradbury didn’t write about any physical objects that he had; they were all from his memory.
  5. The answer choice “wishing he had kept more letters from his childhood to trigger his memories” is incorrect because Bradbury never claims that he wishes he had more keepsakes and letters from his past.
  6. The answer choice “driving past his grandparents’ property, hoping to notice something that would remind him of his past” is incorrect because Bradbury did not physically visit his grandparents’ property. He only used his “recollection.”

Question 25, “Passage A explains that when writing about the character John Huff…” The answer is “‘moved John to a town other than the town in which the real-life John Huff had grown up.”

  1. In lines 39-42, Bradbury states that he “borrowed my friend John Huff from my childhood in Arizona and shipped him East to Green Town so that I could say good-bye to him properly.”
  2. The answer choice “placed John in a town in Arizona, where Bradbury himself had grown up” is incorrect because the passage implies that John Huff came from the same town in Arizona where Bradbury spent his childhood.
  3. The answer choice “included John in stories about a town in Arizona and in stories about Green Town” is incorrect because the passage never states that John was included in stories that were set in both Arizona and in Green Town. We only know that he was sent to Green Town for one of Bradbury’s stories.
  4. The answer choice “‘borrowed’ John to use as a minor character in many of his stories” is incorrect because the passage doesn’t clarify the magnitude of Bradbury’s use of John in his stories. John could be a major character in only one story, or he could be a minor character in many stories.
  5. The correct answer is “‘moved’ John to a town other than the town in which the real-life John Huff had grown up” because the passage states that Bradbury sent John from his childhood town in Arizona to Green Town.

Question 26, “In the first paragraph of Passage B (lines 52-63), the narrator…” The answer is “exaggerates John’s characteristics and actions, to reflect Douglas’s idolization of John.”

  1. The answer choice “emphasizes John’s physical strength and intelligence, to indicate John’s view of himself” is incorrect because the first paragraph does not give any indication of John’s view of himself.
  2. The answer choice “highlights John’s reckless behavior, to show that Douglas was most fond of John’s rebelliousness” is incorrect because the paragraph does not describe reckless or rebellious behavior on John’s behalf.
  3. The answer choice “showcases John’s talents, to make clear why both children and adults admired John” is incorrect because the first paragraph does not describe how children or adults viewed John (other than Douglas).
  4. The correct answer is “exaggerates John’s characteristics and actions, to reflect Douglas’s idolization of him.” This is supported by the statement in lines 61-63 that John “was, in fact, the only god living in the whole of Green Town, Illinois, during the twentieth century that Douglas Spaulding knew of.” This is clearly an exaggeration to show how Douglas Spaulding viewed John Huff.

Question 27, “Within Passage B, the image in lines 74-76 functions figuratively…” The answer is “the mood of the day changed dramatically and irreversibly once John shared his news.”

  1. Lines 74-76 state that “it was such a fine day and then suddenly a cloud crossed the sky, covered the sun, and did not move again.” These lines are clearly meant to parallel Douglas’s mood as he finds out that John is moving away.
  2. The correct answer is “the mood of the day changed dramatically and irreversibly once John shared his news” because the cloud that covered the sun is representative of Douglas’s mood.
  3. The answer choice “John’s leaving on a stormy night was fitting, given Douglas’s sadness” is incorrect because the storm is figurative and doesn’t exist in real life.
  4. The answer choice “John’s disappointment about moving was reflected in his mood all day” is incorrect because the weather does not represent John and his mood. The sudden change in weather is representative of Douglas’s sudden change in mood.
  5. The answer choice “the sky in Green Town became cloudy at the moment John told Douglas he was moving” is incorrect because the sky becoming cloudy was merely a metaphor. The sky wasn’t actually cloudy that day.

Question 28, “Both Passage A and Passage B highlight Bradbury’s use of…” The answer is “sensory details and imaginative description to convey ideas.”

  1. The answer choice “a first person omniscient narrator to tell a story” is incorrect because Passage B is not written in a first person omniscient perspective.
  2. The answer choice “satire and irony to develop characters” is incorrect because Passage A does not describe Bradbury’s use of irony or satire. He uses a bit of humor and exaggerations in Passage B, but Passage A does not contain these same elements.
  3. The answer choice “allegory to present a complex philosophical question” is incorrect because neither passage presented a super deep and complex philosophical question.
  4. The correct answer is “sensory details and imaginative description to convey ideas” because Passage A describes how Bradbury “learned to let my senses and my Past tell me all that was somehow true” (lines 50-51), while Passage B had many sensory details such as “whistling like an oriole, pegging the softball, as you horse-danced, key-jingled the dusty paths” (lines 70-72).

Question 29, “Based on Bradbury’s description in Passage A of his writing process…” The answer is “Writing down the words train ticket and then spending an hour writing whatever those words brought to his mind.”

  1. In Passage A, Bradbury describes his writing process as a “word-association process” where he would use words as catalysts for memories to inspire his writing.
  2. The correct answer is “Writing down the words train ticket and then spending an hour writing whatever those words brought to his mind” because this is the exact process that Bradbury described in Passage A.
  3. The other answer choices do not describe his “word-association” writing process.

Question 30, “Elsewhere in the essay from which Passage A is adapted, Bradbury writes…” The answer is “They reinforce that Bradbury used his life experiences to create fiction but also altered those experiences as he pleased.”

  1. The answer choice “They reveal that Bradbury believed that to surprise readers is a fiction writer’s most important task” is not correct because the story of John Huff is not very surprising, so it wouldn’t embody Bradbury’s supposed belief that writers must surprise their readers.
  2. The answer choice “they prove that Bradbury felt such pain over leaving John that he had to reverse events to be able to write the story” is incorrect because Bradbury never claims that he felt immense pain over leaving John to the point where he had to change the story.
  3. The answer choice “They indicate that Bradbury rarely used his life experiences to create fiction” is incorrect because Bradbury claims that he used a true life experience to write the story of John Huff.
  4. The correct answer is “They reinforce that Bradbury used his life experiences to create fiction but also altered those experiences as he pleased” because Bradbury states the story of John Huff is true in some ways and altered in other ways. 

Passage IV

Question 31, “The primary purpose of the passage is to…” The answer is “provide an overview of the mechanics and key operations of the jaws of trap-jaw ants.”

  1. The passage describes the jaws of trap-jaw ants and how the ants use their jaws for different purposes.
  2. The answer choice “analyze Patek and Baio’s techniques for filming two defensive maneuvers of trap-jaw ants” is incorrect because the video images by Patek and Baio are only described in one paragraph of the passage.
  3. The answer choice “compare the jaws of Odontomachus bauri to the jaws of other species of ants” is incorrect because the passage does not describe or compare the jaws of other species of ants to the jaws of Odontomachus bauri.
  4. The answer choice “describe the evolution of the ability of trap-jaw ants to perform an escape jump” is incorrect because the passage does not talk about the evolution of the trap-jaws until the last paragraph. 
  5. The correct answer is “provide an overview of the mechanics and key operations of the jaws of trap-jaw ants” because the passage uses the first few paragraphs to introduce trap-jaw ants and describe how their jaws work, while the last few paragraphs talk more about the uses for the trap-jaw.

Question 32, “The sentence in lines 73-75 and the last sentence of the passage are…” The answer is “interjecting a lighthearted tone into a primarily technical article.”

  1. The last sentence of the passage jokes that the evolution of the trap-jaw bouncer defense was “a rare instance in which banging one’s head against the ground got good results.”
  2. The rest of the passage is very focused on the facts about trap-jaw ants.
  3. The answer choice “weaving sarcasm into a mostly casual and playful article” is incorrect because the majority of the article is not casual or playful. The article is more informative than playful.
  4. The answer choice “integrating a slightly combative tone into an article that mostly praises two scientists’ work” is incorrect because lines 73-75 and the last lines of the paragraph do not criticize the scientists in any way. Additionally, the article is not dedicated to praising two scientists’ work because it talks more about the trap-jaw ants than about the scientists’ studies.
  5. The answer choice “incorporating personal anecdotes into an article that mostly reports data” is incorrect because lines 73-75 and the last sentence of the passage do not contain personal stories from the author.
  6. The correct answer is “interjecting a lighthearted tone into a primarily technical article” because lines 73-75 and the last sentence of the paragraph contain small jokes that lighten the tone of the mostly informative article.

Question 33, “As it is used in lines 81-82, the phrase well defended prey…” The answer is “have a hard outer shell.”

  1. Lines 81-82 describe how the trap-jaw ants store energy “in their jaws to penetrate well-defended prey.” This implies that they need energy to penetrate something strong.
  2. The correct answer is “have a hard outer shell” because it makes sense that the trap-jaw ants would use energy in their jaws to penetrate a hard outer shell that defends their prey.
  3. The answer choices “attack with a lethal bite,” “travel and attack in groups,” and “move quickly” are incorrect because these are not defense mechanisms that can be physically penetrated by a trap-jaw ant’s bite.

Question 34, “The passage makes clear that the main source of the speed of the jaws…” The answer is “release of energy stored by muscles of the jaw.”

  1. In lines 22-25, the passage states that “the key to the jaws’ speed (and their even more amazing acceleration) is that the release comes from stored energy produced by the strong but slow muscles of the jaw.”
  2. The correct answer is “release of energy stored by muscles of the jaw” because this is what the passage states.

Question 35, “The author uses the analogy of trying to grab popcorn as it pops…” The answer is “bounce around frantically when intruders approach.”

  1. The author notes in lines 40-45 that “catching O. bauri was like grabbing for popping popcorn. […] The insects bounced around in a dizzying frenzy and propelled themselves many times their body length when biologists or smaller intruders approached them.”
  2. The answer choice “generate heat with their jaw movements” is incorrect because the author does not describe the heat of their jaw movements when comparing the ants to popping popcorn.
  3. The answer choice “move to high ground in order to attack prey” is incorrect because the comparison of popcorn popping and ants moving to higher ground for attack was not made in the passage.
  4. The answer choice “attack intruders by tossing them out of the nest” is incorrect because when the passage compares the ants to popping popcorn, the passage describes the ants as escaping from intruders, not attacking intruders.
  5. The correct answer is “bounce around frantically when intruders approach” because the passage states that the insects “bounced around in a dizzying frenzy.”

Question 36, “One main purpose of the last paragraph is to suggest that unlike their bouncer-defense jump…” The answer is “an accidental behavior of the ants.”

  1. In lines 82-86 of the last paragraph, the passage states that “the horizontal, bouncer-defense jump could have arisen out of attempts to bite intruders, but the high, escape jump – with jaws aimed directly at the ground – must have arisen from a different, perhaps accidental kind of behavior.”
  2. From this, we know that the passage is suggesting that the escape jump may have arisen from an accidental kind of behavior.
  3. Thus, the correct answer is “an accidental behavior of the ants.”
  4. The other answer choices are incorrect because they are never mentioned by the passage.

Question 37, “As it is used in line 31, the word domain most nearly means…” The answer is “area of expertise.”

  1. In lines 30-33, the passage claims that “the biomechanics of energy storage is the domain of Sheila N. Patek and Joseph E. Baio, both biomechanists at the University of California, Berkeley.”
  2. This indicates that Sheila N. Patek and Joseph E. Baio are experts when it comes to the study of biomechanics of energy storage.
  3. The correct answer is “area of expertise,” because it makes sense that these biomechanists would be experts in the study of biomechanics.
  4. The answer choice “living space” is incorrect because the subject of biomechanics cannot be a living space.
  5. The answer choice “taxonomic category” is incorrect because “biomechanics of energy storage” is not a category of taxonomy. Additionally, Sheila N. Patek and Joseph E. Baio do not belong to the category of biomechanics of energy storage.
  6. The answer choice “local jurisdiction” is incorrect because the word “jurisdiction” implies that Patek and Baio have legal power over the biomechanics of energy storage. However, biomechanics of energy storage is a science to be studied, not a legal matter to be ruled over.

Question 38, “The passage points to which of the following as a characteristic of trap-jaw ants’ mandibles…” The answer is “the mandibles begin to decelerate before they meet.”

  1. In lines 49-51, the passage states that the “mandibles started to decelerate before they meet–possibly to avoid self inflicted damage.”
  2. Thus, the aspect of trap-jaw ants’ mandibles that prevents them from harming themselves with their powerful bite is that “the mandibles begin to decelerate before they meet.” This is the correct answer.
  3. The other answer choices are not mentioned in the passage as being mechanisms to prevent the ants from harming themselves.

Question 39, “As described in the passage, one benefit of the trap jaw ant’s escape jump…” The answer is “land in position to launch a new attack on a predator.”

  1. Lines 61-64 state that in the escape jump, “not only can the jumping ant gain height and sow confusion, but it may also get to a new vantage point from which to relaunch an attack.”
  2. From this, we know that the correct answer is “land in position to launch a new attack on a predator” because the passage makes this statement.
  3. The answer choice “confuse a predator with a quick, sudden sting” is incorrect because the escape jump does not sting the predator. Additionally, the predator is confused by the ants’ sudden escape, not by the ants’ sting.
  4. The answer choice “signal to other ants using a predictable movement” is incorrect because the passage does not state that the escape jump is used as a signal.
  5. The answer choice “point itself in whichever direction it chooses to escape” is incorrect because lines 58-59 state that “the ant doesn’t seem to go in any particular direction.”

Question 40, “When a trap-jaw ant uses the bouncer-defense jump effectively…” The answer is “The attacking ant and the intruder.”

  1. The passage states that the bouncer defense “propels the interloper (if small enough) in one direction, out of the nest, and the ant in the other” in lines 69-70.
  2. Thus, if the trap-jaw ant uses this defense jump effectively, then both the intruder and the ant would be propelled in some direction.
  3. The correct answer is “The attacking ant and the intruder.”