ACT reading practice test 23

DIRECTIONS: Each passage is followed by several questions. After reading a passage, choose the best answer to each question and fill in the corresponding oval on your answer document. You may refer to the passages as often as necessary.

HUMANITIES: This passage is adapted from the memoir Literary Tourism by Krista Prouty (© 2002 by Krista Prouty).

1. The author of the passage indicates that she has learned that the personal details of an author's life:

A. get in the way of the literary work.
B. are always discussed in the author's works.
C. contribute to a reader's appreciation of the author's works.
D. help a reader understand his or her own familial tragedies and childhood traumas.

2. As it is used in line 22, the word scouring most nearly means:

F. purifying.
G. obliterating.
H. scrutinizing.
J. cleansing.

3. It can reasonably be inferred that the author of the passage visited the House of the Seven Gables because she wanted to:

A. explore in person a location she had read about in a novel.
B. take advantage of all the tourist attractions in Salem.
C. gain a deeper understanding of how the details of Hawthorne's past influenced his writing.
D. learn what Hawthorne endured during the Salem Witch Trials.

4. According to the author of the passage, the college professors referred to in line 21 most likely believe that:

F. the interactions between an author's life and work provide the reader with a more complete understanding than does the text alone.
G. learning about an author's life is more important than reading his books.
H. knowledge of the background of an author interferes with enjoyment of the text.
J. reading for pleasure is less useful than is reading for cultural analysis.

5. According to the second paragraph (lines 9-31), the author of the passage chose to study literature in college in order to:

A. scour personal letters for an author's secret vices.
B. read a great number of literary works.
C. demonstrate the falsity of the scholars' approach.
D. better grasp the connection between an author and his work.

6. According to the author of the passage, the likely result of following her professors' assignments was:

F. to explore other realities (lines 14-15).
G. grasping "the personal truth the author was trying to convey" (line 29).
H. losing sight of the books in the forest of biographical details (lines 30-31).
J. to see the interactions between text and author (lines 76-77).

7. It can reasonably be inferred from the passage that "the building that had inspired one of his greatest works" (lines 6-7) refers to:

A. the home inhabited by relatives of Nathaniel Hawthorne.
B. a popular attraction for tourists in Salem.
C. the site of historically important events.
D. a site that has fallen into a state of disrepair.

8. As it is used in line 75, the word frame most nearly means the:

F. isolated goal.
G. ultimate purpose.
H. auxiliary data.
J. focal point.

9. Following her visit to Salem, the author's attitude toward studying the lives of writers could best be described as:

A. incredulous disdain.
B. healthy timidity.
C. keen acceptance.
D. resigned frustration.

10. If the third paragraph (lines 32-40) were omitted from the passage, how would the structure of the passage be affected?

F. The transition from the author's past to the present would be less explicit.
G. The reasons for the author's trip would not be clear.
H. The introduction to the discussion of literature in the final paragraph would be lost.
J. There would no longer be definite evidence supporting the author's conclusion.