ACT Reading Practice Test 66: Natural Science - The Great Pyramid at Giza: Its Composition and Structure

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.

1. From the author's reference to the Great Pyramid at Giza as both "fascinating and contentious," (line 2) it can be inferred that the Great Pyramid is seen as both:

A. captivating and flawless.
B. placid and disputable.
C. intriguing and controversial.
D. monotonous and statuesque.

2. According to the passage, the mortar used to build the Great Pyramid included all of the following EXCEPT:

F. charcoal.
G. processed limestone.
H. pollen.
J. processed gypsum.

3. The passage indicates that, unlike gypsum, limestone:

A. needs extremely high temperatures to be transformed into mortar.
B. would have been very easy for ancient Egyptians to mine.
C. was not nearly as resilient as gypsum.
D. was very soluble when mixed with water.

4. According to the passage, which of the following was NOT an application of the mortar used in constructing the Great Pyramid?

F. Assisting in the placement of stone blocks
G. Shielding the joints of the heavy stone blocks
H. Adhering heavy stone blocks together
J. Diminishing friction between the stone blocks

5. It may be reasonably inferred from the passage that for those studying ancient pyramids:

A. radiocarbon dating is a relatively simple method to find an exact date of construction.
B. analyzing the chemical composition of a building material allows scientists to recreate the material being evaluated.
C. there is typically a very large gap between the conclusions of scientific researchers and those of archaeologists.
D. when conclusive facts are not available, researchers must sometimes speculate about the nature of certain findings.

6. The passage indicates that the type of mortar used in the construction of ancient Egyptian pyramids was affected by:

F. the durability of the mortar.
G. the amount of mineral resources available.
H. the inferences drawn by the researchers.
J. the natural fuel sources available.

7. As it is used in line 6, the word expunging most nearly means:

A. eliminating.
B. restoring.
C. devising.
D. obscuring.

8. Previous to the research discussed in the passage, it was believed that the Great Pyramid was constructed in approximately what year?

F. 1980 BC
G. 2977 BC
H. 2577 BC
J. 2177 BC

9. The passage indicates that researchers believed that examination of the mortar would reveal information regarding the Great Pyramid's:

A. natural fuel sources.
B. construction.
C. chemical composition.
D. constant temperature.

10. According to the passage, which of the following is a reason that gypsum was used to create mortar instead of limestone?

F. Gypsum is more water-soluble than limestone.
G. Gypsum is less complicated to mine than limestone.
H. Gypsum is sturdier than limestone.
J. Gypsum is more costly to mine than limestone.