ACT Reading Practice Test 58: natural science

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.

NATURAL SCIENCE: This passage is adapted from the article Does an Amoeba Have a Choice? by Wilbur Stewart (©2007 WIlbur Stewart).

1. According to the author of the passage, "free will" describes behavior such as:

A. falling in love by a series of natural and biological processes.
B. the study of pattern behavior to understand criminal behavior.
C. the choice of one mate based on a mutual emotional connection.
D. group efforts by all members of a city to improve that city.

2. Based on the passage, what relationship does the recent discovery described in the third paragraph (lines 30–34) have to the electro-chemical theory?

F. It directly supports the electro-chemical theory.
G. It supports another theory that is connected to the electro-chemical theory.
H. It undermines the central claims of the electro-chemical theory.
J. It is unrelated to the electro-chemical theory.

3. The author characterizes scientific contributions to police work as:

A. charming but ultimately useless.
B. mundane but logically unconvincing.
C. alarming but theoretically persuasive.
D. new and potentially helpful.

4. The supporters of the electro-chemical theory claim that humans are like particles in that both:

F. are ultimately driven to action by biological impulses.
G. are potentially capable of conscious decision-making.
H. can more adequately be understood in groups than individually.
J. respond to outside stimuli without intermediate thought.

5. In terms of where and how frequently they occur, electrical impulses are described by the author of the passage as:

A. possible in humans and animals but not in other types of matter.
B. common to humans, animals, and other types of matter.
C. present in cellular interactions but absent from human interactions.
D. the basis of a theory of group activity for non-human matter.

6. The chemists and physicists define biological impulses as:

F. apparently unconnected to decisions based in free will.
G. apparently central to whether humans exercise free will.
H. the basis for chemical impulses, which in turn cause electrical impulses.
J. caused by chemical impulses, which are caused by electrical impulses.

7. Lines 26–30 are best characterized as describing an explanation that:

A. slowly developed as the primary method of childrearing among all higher-level organisms.
B. rapidly emerged as the leading cause of the successful evolution of lower-level animals.
C. alternatively offers a reason for behavior that had previously been attributed to free will.
D. recently undermined the traditional belief that human behavior was biologically motivated.

8. The main point of the sixth paragraph (lines 71–81) is that:

F. the new theories discussed in the passage have been put into practice effectively in at least one field.
G. recent research has indicated that academic theories tend to be difficult to put into practice.
H. academic theories can be evaluated more fully when they are put into practice.
J. police work has relied on academic help since before the debates over free will.

9. The passage states that in response to the suggestion that the tendency to remain with a single mate demonstrates humanity's free will, evolutionary biologists:

A. added several new elements to their theory.
B. accepted that their initial idea was deeply flawed.
C. redefined the term free will to fit their theory.
D. suggested an alternative interpretation of pair-bonding.

10. Lines 12–17 mainly emphasize what quality?

F. Confidence
G. Uncertainty
H. Ignorance
J. Contentment