ACT english practice test 1

DIRECTIONS: In the passages that follow, certain words and phrases are underlined and numbered. In most cases, you are to choose the one that best expresses the idea, makes the statement appropriate for standard written English, or is worded most consistently with the style and tone of the passage as a whole. If you think the original version is best, choose "NO CHANGE."

I Am Iron Man

[1] The term "Iron Man" has many connotations, including references to a song, a comic book icon, even a movie. [2] Yet only one definition of the term truly lives up to its name: the Ironman Triathlon held annually in Hawaii1 a picturesque setting for a challenging race. [3] This grueling race demands amazing physical prowess and the ability to swim, bike, and run a marathon, all in less than 12 hours with no break. [4] Very few individuals are up to the task.

Otherwise,3 Gordon Haller is a notable exception. Growing up in the 1950s, Haller developed an interest in many sports categorized as endurance athletics, and welcomed their4 grueling physical demands. As he pursued a degree in physics he drove a taxi to pay the bills, but competitive training proved5 his passion. So when he heard about the race in 1978, the first year it was held, he immediately signed up.

The race somewhat6 originated in an amusing way. The members of two popular sports clubs, the Mid-Pacific Road Runners of Honolulu, and the Waikiki Swim Club7 of Oahu, had a long-standing and good-natured debate going over who made better athletes: runners or swimmers. However, some local bikers thought both clubs were wrong, while claiming8 that they, in fact, deserved the title. Wanting to settle the dispute once and for all, when9 they decided to combine three separate races already held annually on the island10 into one massive test of endurance. Thus, the Waikiki Roughwater Swim of 2.4 miles, the Around-Oahu Bike race of 112 miles, and the Honolulu Marathon of 26.2 miles were all combined to form the Ironman Triathlon.

Haller was one of only fifteen competitors to show up that February morning to start the race. He quickly scanned the few pages of rules and instructions, and while reading those pages11 on the last page he discovered a sentence that would become the race's famous slogan: "Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life!" Haller took that to heart, and at the end of the day, he had became12 the first Ironman champion in history.

In the approximately thirty years since that very first race, the Ironman has become a tradition in Hawaii and now boasts approximately 1,500 entrants every year. The competitors14 who complete the race don't have to be the first across the finish line to claim success: just finishing is a victory unto itself.


B. Hawaii,
C. Hawaii, being
D. Hawaii, it is

2. If the writer were to delete Sentence 4, the essay would primarily lose details that:

F. emphasize how difficult the race truly is.
G. mourn how few athletes are able to visit Hawaii in order to compete in the race.
H. highlight that most athletes prefer the run to the swimming or biking components of the race.
J. suggest that women are not truly competitive in the race.


B. As a result,
C. In addition,
D. However,


G. athletics and welcomed their
H. athletics, and welcomed there,
J. athletics and, welcomed there


B. verified
C. justified
D. certified

6. The best placement for the underlined word would be:

F. where it is now.
G. before the word in.
H. before the word amusing (changing an to a).
J. before the word way.


B. Runners, of Honolulu, and the Waikiki Swim Club
C. Runners of Honolulu and the Waikiki Swim Club
D. Runners, of Honolulu, and the Waikiki Swim Club,


G. and while claiming
H. they claimed
J. claiming


B. and
C. where
D. DELETE the underlined portion.

10. The best placement for the underlined phrase would be:

F. where it is now.
G. before the word Wanting (revising the capitalization accordingly).
H. before the word once.
J. after the word endurance (ending the sentence with a period).


B. and
C. and while perusing those pages
D. and in those sheets of paper


G. become
H. became
J. becamed

13. Which of the following true statements, if added here, would most effectively and specifically emphasize Haller's achievement as described in this essay?

A. Twelve other people also finished the race that day.
B. There were points in the race when Haller thought he couldn't possibly finish.
C. No women raced this year, but that was soon to change.
D. Haller's amazing physical strength had enabled him to do what no one else in the past had accomplished.

14. Which of the following alternatives to the underlined portion would be LEAST acceptable?

F. The individuals
G. That
H. The athletes
J. The people

15. This question asks about the preceding passage as a whole.

If the writer were to delete the final paragraph of this essay, the essay would primarily lose information that:

A. discusses the level of interest the race attracts in the present day.
B. describes the way the current race is different from the race that Haller ran in 1978.
C. describes how the victors respond when they cross the finish line.
D. explains why 1,500 people would be willing to compete in such a difficult race.