ACT reading full-length practice test 26

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.


PROSE FICTION: This passage is adapted from the short story "A Prisoner in His Castle" by Curtis Longweather (© 2008 by Curtis Longweather).

1. As it relates to his friend's fear as described in the second paragraph, the narrator's description of a volcano (lines 13-19) most serves to:

A. elaborate the friend's inner torment.
B. speculate that his friend's thoughts will be unleashed.
C. explain why the friend is unable to speak.
D. imply the friend needs to be more patient.

2. Which of the following best describes the structure of the passage?

F. A detailed character study of two close friends by means of describing one extended argument between them.
G. A debate about a topic during which the two main characters take equal turns discussing their positions and reasons.
H. An exploration of the author's experience of his friend's speech impairment using their verbal and written exchanges as a primary source.
J. The depiction of a unique friendship that allows the narrator to explain his successes and struggles as a lawyer.

3. The erupting volcano simile refers to a dust cloud and a lava flow to portray:

A. intuition and logic.
B. simplicity and complexity.
C. instinct and deliberation.
D. vocal and non-vocal expression.

4. Based on the passage, which of the following statements most clearly portrays the respective attitudes of the narrator and his friend?

F. The friend is argumentative and cynical; the narrator is jaded and indifferent.
G. The friend is scornful and depressed; the narrator is apologetic and idealistic.
H. The friend is anxious and despondent; the narrator is sympathetic and encouraging.
J. The friend is shy and reclusive; the narrator is outgoing and nonchalant.

5. In the passage, the narrator most nearly describes Cyrano de Bergerac as:

A. someone who was afraid of losing the love of his life.
B. unable to produce any sound of his own due to a physical condition.
C. someone who had reason to communicate indirectly with a woman.
D. too caught up in the emotions of love to be able to describe them.

6. Which of the following statements about pirates is best supported by the narrator's characterization of them?

F. They have no rules of conduct that they must follow.
G. They succeed by means of confusing their enemies.
H. They are not accountable to anyone other than themselves.
J. They recognize the superior value of written language.

7. It can be most strongly inferred from the passage that the friend values which of the following in vocal speech?

A. Meaningful expression
B. Proper mechanics
C. Rich vocabulary
D. Clever humor

8. According to the passage, the friend is worried he may:

F. say something embarrassing if he speaks.
G. grow exasperated from his inability to vocalize thoughts.
H. be damaging the narrator's chances of courtroom success.
J. not be clever enough to compose a symphony of thought.

9. As it is used in (line 68), the word puppet most nearly means:

A. entertainer.
B. conversationalist.
C. toy.
D. mouthpiece.

10. Based on the narrator's account, the friend's reaction to watching the narrator during legal proceedings is:

F. appreciative and yearning.
G. confused and hopeless.
H. awestruck and overbearing.
J. bitter and resentful.

SOCIAL SCIENCE: This passage is adapted from the entry "Larsen B" in Down Off the Shelf: Recent Antarctic Natural Disasters (© 2009 Subzero Publications).

11. The author most nearly characterizes the role of human activity in regard to the collapse of ice shelves as:

A. a significant though previously unproven contributing factor.
B. insignificant in comparison to glaciological influences.
C. less of a contributor than initial evidence predicted.
D. the primary and irreversible cause of all detrimental effects.

12. The author lists all of the following as possible effects of sea level rise EXCEPT:

F. loss of island countries.
G. extinction of millions of species.
H. decreased crop yields.
J. surging glaciers.

13. The author indicates that the common factor in Dr. Marshall's study (lines 34-57) and that of Doctors Scambos and Glasser (lines 58-77) is that both studies:

A. cite global warming as a reason for the Larsen B ice-shelf collapse
B. discredit climate change as a reason for the Larsen B ice-shelf collapse.
C. found little compelling evidence to explain the Larsen B ice-shelf collapse.
D. agree that structural weaknesses caused the Larsen B ice-shelf collapse.

14. In his statement in lines 50-55, the author most nearly means that human activity:

F. is inconsequential compared to other factors influencing climate change.
G. could eventually affect weather patterns worldwide, doing great harm.
H. makes certain areas of the world much warmer than they would otherwise be.
J. will cause sea level to rise, wiping out entire countries and species of animals.

15. The author calls which of the following a stunning sign of worldwide climate change?

A. Worldwide sea-level rise
B. Melt-water on the Larsen B ice shelf prior to its collapse
C. The collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf
D. Increased temperatures in the western Antarctic Peninsula

16. The author includes the findings in lines (64-75) primarily in order to:

F. support the prevailing theory that global warming causes glacier break-up.
G. encourage people to make environmentally-friendly choices in their daily lives.
H. imply that ice shelf break-up is simpler than scientists originally thought.
J. highlight the interaction between factors in a major environmental event.

17. The main idea of the third paragraph is that the Larsen B ice-shelf collapse:

A. was not caused by global warming.
B. was foreshadowed for years prior to the event.
C. was caused by the uneven impact of climate change on the earth.
D. was caused in part by direct human activity.

18. Which of the following is NOT listed in the passage as a cause of ice-shelf collapse?

F. Global warming
G. Human activity
H. Spacing and location of crevasses and rifts
J. Deep ocean currents

19. The author calls the increased westerly winds in the northern Antarctic Peninsula:

A. irrelevant to the problem of ice-shelf collapse.
B. responsible for an increase in summer temperatures.
C. a common weather pattern in certain times of year.
D. an unmistakable warning of sea-level rise.

20. The author uses the remark "largest increase in temperatures observed anywhere on Earth" lines (56-57) to:

F. demonstrate how scientists are prone to exaggeration when talking about ice shelves.
G. give a strong incentive for people to change their behavior.
H. explain that global warming doesn't occur at the same rate in all regions.
J. clarify a common misconception about weather patterns in cold areas.

HUMANITIES: This passage is excerpted from the essay "Salman Rushdie: A Man of Multiple Worlds" by Paul Lopez (© 2010 by Paul Lopez). In this selection, the term partition refers to the British Empire's official relinquishment of its claim on India, at which point the area was divided into two self-governing countries: India and Pakistan. Also, the contemporary city of Mumbai was known as Bombay during the time this passage discusses.

21. The first paragraph establishes all of the following about Rushdie EXCEPT:

A. his intention to make Western readers more aware of what life in India and Pakistan is like.
B. the kinds of elements that might be included in Rushdie's writing.
C. whether or not he is well-known in his chosen profession.
D. some of the locations he tends to use in his writing.

22. The primary function of the second paragraph (lines 10-18) is to:

F. discuss Rushdie's religious upbringing and personal faith.
G. give some background information on Rushdie's childhood.
H. contrast the Hindi and Muslim belief systems.
J. list all the factors that led to Rushdie's emigration from India.

23. Which of the following statements most correctly identifies the main idea of the passage?

A. Rushdie is a highly talented writer but his personal failings prevent readers from empathizing with his characters.
B. The partition of India was a traumatic experience for the many people who were compelled to move in the years following the division.
C. Rushdie uses his personal life experiences to describe for readers what life is like in the part of the world where he grew up.
D. The book Midnight's Children is an insightful book about the events surrounding the official partition of India.

24. All of the following details are used in the passage to describe Rushdie's vision of Bombay EXCEPT that it:

F. is filled with scents, some of which can be very pungent.
G. is a place filled with many colors.
H. is typically very hot and humid, with temperatures reaching uncomfortable levels.
J. is overwhelmed with people and life.

25. One of the main points in the fourth paragraph is that, in his writing, Rushdie is trying to convey a sense of:

A. futility.
B. sadness.
C. struggle.
D. longing.

26. Which of the following questions is NOT answered in the passage?

F. In general terms, which parts of the world tend to be prominently featured in Rushdie's works?
G. How do Rushdie's descriptions of the Pakistani people differ from his descriptions of the Indian people?
H. In which part of the world was Rushdie himself born?
J. How many books had Rushdie, at the time of this essay's publication, written?

27. According to the passage, in which of the following countries did Rushdie attend school?

A. Pakistan
B. England
C. India
D. America

28. Which of the following words is the best characterization of Rushdie's Bombay, according to this passage?

F. Frustrating
G. Chaotic
H. Vibrant
J. Stark

29. The information in lines 69-71 is most likely included by the author in order to suggest:

A. that it is Rushdie's skill as a writer, rather than his subjects alone, that has brought him lasting fame.
B. Rushdie's tendency to rely too heavily on historical events for the plots of his novels.
C. Rushdie's likelihood of remaining a literary icon well into the future is very uncertain.
D. that the subjects that Rushdie writes about aren't actually very interesting to most people.

30. The passage suggests that Rushdie's most important contribution to literature is his:

F. description of Pakistan's landscapes.
G. portrayal of India's partition.
H. ability to draw readers into his world.
J. beautifully crafted prose.

NATURAL SCIENCE: This passage is excerpted from the article "Alternative Medicines: A New Perspective" by Audrey C. Tristan (© 2004 by Audrey Tristan).

31. The studies reviewed in the seventh paragraph (lines 73-82) have shown that hypnotic analgesia may be effective in:

A. restructuring the brain non-invasively.
B. fighting cancer and fibromyalgia.
C. decreasing depression in patients.
D. altering the experience of pain.

32. According to the sixth paragraph, (lines 56-72), when a door slams on a person's hand, the detection of pain results from:

F. the transmission of nerve signals from damaged tissue to the spinal cord and sympathetic nervous system.
G. the transmission of nerve signals from damaged tissue to the spinal cord and brain.
H. the sympathetic nervous system releasing chemical hormones, which reach the heart via the bloodstream.
J. the sympathetic nervous system releasing chemical hormones, which reach the brain via the spinal cord.

33. According to the passage, overall health may be improved in part through any of the following EXCEPT:

A. exercise combined with mental focus.
B. cardiovascular activity combined with nutritious diet.
C. awareness of the body.
D. movement synchronized with breath and mental imagery.

34. As it is used in line 33, the word engaged most nearly means:

F. stimulated.
G. taken.
H. obligated.
J. destined.

35. According to the passage, the limbic system would be directly involved in all of the following EXCEPT:

A. pain modulation.
B. stress management.
C. muscle movement.
D. memory.

36. Information in the second paragraph indicates that mind-body therapies in Western medicine have been:

F. increasingly used in place of biomedicine.
G. rejected because there has not been enough clinical studies.
H. an emerging field of scientific investigation.
J. successful in curing many conditions and diseases.

37. The mind-body therapies mentioned in the fifth paragraph (lines 48-55) function by:

A. preventing stress hormones from activating negative physiological responses.
B. engaging the sympathetic nervous system to reduce stress responses.
C. effectively eliminating emotional stressors.
D. counterbalancing the effects of flight or fight responses.

38. According to the passage, stress responses with adaptive functions, as would have evolved in ancestral conditions, can be expected to:

F. increase cortisol levels in the blood.
G. suppress immune activity.
H. perceive threats.
J. decrease muscle tension.

39. In the last paragraph, the author expresses the belief that mind-body therapy should be further investigated because results from research are:

A. carefully controlled to yield results consistent with expectations.
B. valid only when analyzing Western-originating therapies.
C. susceptible to external variables, the effects of which are yet to be determined.
D. proof of the effectiveness in fighting stress and eliminating pain.

40. According to the passage, healthy mind-body therapies would have been deemed ineffective if which of the following effects occurred after patients engaged in positive meditation to manage work-related stress?

F. Nociceptive signals were transmitted.
G. Parasympathetic nervous system was engaged.
H. Fight-or-flight response was prolonged.
J. Spinal cord activity diminished.