ACT english practice test 16

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.

Building a Beauty Empire

In 1867, on an unassuming farm in tiny Delta, Louisiana, a daughter was born to1 former slaves Minerva and Owen Breedlove. Little did anyone realize that Sarah Breedlove, orphaned at age six when her parents died,2 would grow up to become one of the most successful African-American entrepreneurs in history.

At twenty, Sarah Breedlove found herself widowed with an infant daughter, A'Lelia. Sarah packed up her few belongings and moved to St. Louis, hoping to take advantage of its'4 more numerous opportunities.

She supported herself as a laundress there for the next eighteen years. In 1905, she came up with an idea that would revolutionize the cosmetics industry. By ten years,5 she would not only oversee a vast financial empire but also become one of the best-known women in the United States.

Sarah invented a scalp conditioning and healing formula, in part because she had suffered from a disease that resulted in hair loss. Sarah undertook countless journeys to sell her formula door-to-door. As well as6 in churches and lodges. She dubbed herself Madame C. J. Walker, taking the name of her second husband, Charles J. Walker, who worked in the newspaper publishing business and who also lived in St. Louis.7 She claimed that the secret formula for Madame Walker's Wonderful Hair Grower had come to her in a dream.

At this time, there were relatively few beauty parlors, so many women received beauty treatments at home. Sarah taught her methods to other women, they8 focused on sales and became known as the ""Walker Agents."" Below9 Sarah's supervision, these agents became familiar sights in their white shirts and black skirts. Sarah called them ""scalp specialists"" and hair and beauty ""culturists"" using10 these terms to emphasize the professional nature of the treatments.

[1] In 1913, she traveled to the Caribbean and to Central America, but before that11 Sarah concentrated on improving and developing the manufacture of her products. [2] One of the first of these charitable acts was her generous $1,000 donation to the city's YMCA. [3] In 1910, she established the Walker Company headquarters—which featured a factory in addition to salons and a training school—in Indianapolis. [4] Chosen12 because it was then the largest inland manufacturing city in the country, Indianapolis became both Sarah's home and the first beneficiary of her social activism and dedication to charitable causes.

Social efforts dominated the latter years of Sarah's life. She contributed the largest donation to the effort to save Frederick Douglass's home, maintaining,14 the building as a historical museum. In 1913, she organized her agent-operators into ""Walker Clubs,"" promoting these groups' philanthropic work by offering cash prizes to those doing the most good in their communities. Upon her death in 1919, ""Madame Walker""—now often regarded as the richest self-made woman in the United States during her lifetime—donated two-thirds of her company's net profit to charitable causes.


B. by
C. under
D. for


G. who became an orphan as a child at the age of six years old when her parents died,
H. whose parents died when she was just age six leaving her to be an orphan as a young child,
J. tragically when her parents died becoming an orphan at the young age of six years old,

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

Also born in Louisiana, Louis Armstrong went on to exert a similarly powerful influence on 1920s American culture as a jazz trumpeter.

Should the writer add this sentence here?

A. Yes, because it's important to know that other influential people were born in Louisiana besides the woman portrayed in this essay.
B. Yes, because this reference shows that music was important during this period.
C. No, because the role Louis Armstrong played in 1920s culture is irrelevant to the main topic of this essay.
D. No, because the 1920s were not significant years in American history.


G. it's
H. their


B. Up to ten years,
C. Within ten years,
D. Before ten years,


G. door-to-door; as well as
H. door-to-door, as well as
J. door-to-door: as well as


B. a man who lived in St. Louis and who worked in newspaper publishing.
C. a St. Louis newspaperman.
D. a newspaper publishing businessman who was very well known in the St. Louis area.


G. women, who
H. women, with whom
J. women those


B. Above
C. As
D. Under


G. culturists; using
H. culturists: using
J. culturists, using

11. Given that all the choices are true, which one provides the most effective transition from the preceding paragraph to this new one?

B. After her daughter A'Lelia built a magnificent townhome in an exclusive Manhattan neighborhood,
C. Aside from training a small "army" of agent-operators,
D. When Sarah had designed a special Walker Method treatment for celebrated dancer Josephine Baker,


G. chose
H. choosed
J. choosing

13. For the sake of the logic and coherence of this paragraph, Sentence 2 should be placed:

A. where it is now.
B. before Sentence 1.
C. after Sentence 3.
D. after Sentence 4.


G. home, maintaining
H. home; maintaining
J. home maintaining,

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

Suppose the writer's goal had been to write a brief essay focusing on the development of the beauty industry in the early part of the twentieth century. Would this essay successfully accomplish this goal?

A. Yes, because the essay focuses on the beauty industry of the 1920s, during which Madame C. J. Walker became wealthy.
B. Yes, because the essay describes how Sarah invented a new formula to facilitate hair growth and treat scalp problems.
C. No, because the essay focuses mainly on Sarah Breedlove Walker and her place in the history of American business and culture.
D. No, because the essay describes other events taking place during this time that were more significant.