ACT english practice test 4

DIRECTIONS: In the passages that follow, certain words and phrases are underlined and numbered. In the right-hand column, you will find alternatives for the underlined part. 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.” In some cases, you will find in the right-hand column a question about the underlined part. You are to choose the best answer to the question.

You will also find questions about a section of the passage, or about the passage as a whole. These questions do not refer to an underlined portion of the passage, but rather are identified by a number or numbers in a box.

For each question, choose the alternative you consider best and fill in the corresponding oval on your answer document. Read each passage through once before you begin to answer the questions that accompany it. For many of the questions, you must read several sentences beyond the question to determine the answer. Be sure that you have read far enough ahead each time you choose an alternative.

Zora Neale Hurston, Independent Woman

Zora Neale Hurston proves to be a study in contrasts: a black writer reaching a white audience, a woman struggling in a man's profession, an independent thinker living in a conformist era. Now,46 almost 50 years since her death, her hard work and fabulous novels still have much to teach the modern audience. She overcame the challenges she faced and47 demonstrated that perseverance makes anything possible.

Hurston ascribed much of her deeply individualistic48 personality to the experience of growing up in Eatonville, Florida. The town was unique in that it was particularly hot in the summer, but mild at other times of the year.49 Hurston always said growing up in a community totally separate from the larger white society allowed her a freedom that50 independence not available to everyone in the south.

[1] Hurston began her undergraduate studies at Howard University, but her obvious intelligence and talent51 soon earned her a scholarship to Barnard College in New York City. [2] Moving north in the 1920s thrust52 her into the midst of the Harlem Renaissance, a black cultural movement that spawned exceptional achievements in literature, books, poems, and plays,53 art, and music. [3] Interacting with the likes of Langston Hughes, W.E.B. DuBois, Billie Holiday, and Duke Ellington, Hurston developed54 her skills as a writer and published numerous short stories and poems. [4] The most influential work that came to define her career grew out of her attempt to capture the black experience. [5] That novel, called Their Eyes Were Watching God, traced three generations of a family living in Eatonville. [6] Her interesting56 representation of the southern dialect caused her Harlem Renaissance contemporaries to belittle the work for what they saw as its propagation of inaccurate stereotypes. [7] Hurston, however, remained true to it,57 convinced that the accuracy of her representation would ultimately prevail over the political pressures her peers sought to inflict upon her.

History has shown that Hurston was right. However, modern59 critics admire her authentic and skillful representation of the language as well as her realistic portrayal of daily life in the early twentieth century. She is universally applauded, as one of the best writers of her era,60 ranked with Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, and Alice Walker as one of the most important African-American writers of all time.

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

F. Presently,
G. Currently,
H. Instantly,
J. At the present,

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

A. faced, and in so doing,
B. faced and, thus,
C. faced that
D. faced, an action that


G. personally individualistic
H. freely independent
J. truly egotistical

49. Given that all the choices are true, which one most effectively identifies why Eatonville has a history unlike any other city in the United States?

B. a fairly representative small town, founded in the mid-nineteenth century.
C. the first all-black town to be incorporated in the country.
D. not yet in existence at the start of the Civil War.


G. and was
H. it featured
J. and


B. intelligence, and talent
C. intelligence, and talent,
D. intelligence and talent,


G. 1920s, thrust
H. 1920s, thrust,
J. 1920s; thrust


B. literature, written records of stories once transmitted orally,
C. literature, which includes all forms of written expression,
D. literature,


G. developed up
H. develops up
J. develops

55. At this point, the writer is considering adding the following true statement:

Billie Holiday's music evokes such feeling and melancholy that it's no wonder she became so popular.

Should the writer add this sentence here?

A. Yes, because it provides an interesting detail about one of the other Harlem Renaissance artists.
B. Yes, because music was an important influence on Hurston's work.
C. No, because it doesn't clearly identify which of Billie Holiday's songs were popular.
D. No, because it distracts the reader from the main point of this paragraph.

56. Which choice would most clearly indicate that the dialect referenced in the passage was a realistic representation of the actual way language was spoken in Eatonville?

G. unusual
H. authentic
J. fascinating


B. her project,
C. that thing,
D. which,

58. The writer has decided to divide this paragraph into two. The best place to add the new paragraph break would be at the beginning of Sentence:

F. 4, because it would indicate that Hurston's writing was most strongly influenced by Langston Hughes.
G. 4, because it would signal the essay's shift in focus to one of Hurston's novels.
H. 5, because all the remaining sentences in the paragraph provide a detailed summary of the plot of Hurston's novel.
J. 5, because it would indicate that the essay is now going to focus on social conditions in Eatonville.


B. Modern
C. Thus, modern
D. In addition, modern


G. applauded as one of the best writers of her era and
H. applauded as one of the best writers of her era
J. applauded, as one of the best writers of her era, she is