ACT english practice test 24

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.

Inventions That Break Barriers

At the turn of the 20th century, Mary Anderson was a real-estate developer, rancher, and winemaker. We don't know her name today for any of these reasons, however. Instead, Anderson made history for46 inventing automobile windshield wipers—a feat she accomplished in 1903, five years before Henry Ford even created the Model T. In 1902, while riding a trolley in New York City, she couldn't help noticing that the driver had to continually stop in order to wipe47 snow and ice from the windshield. Anderson thought that there had to be a48 better way.48

However49 she, devised a swinging arm with a rubber blade that swung back and forth, swishing rain and snow from the windshield surface. Anderson's model was different from todays models,50 though, because it was hand-activated by a lever from inside the car. Similar devices had been attempted and tried51 in the past, but Anderson's was the first to work and the first to be successfully patented. Interestingly, she could not sell the rights to her invention. A Canadian company told her that drivers would find the movement of the arm52 too distracting. So even though Anderson's windshield wipers became standard in cars after 1915, her53 invention did not make her much money.

Today, it is difficult for us to imagine driving without54 windshield wipers.54 In fact, women have been responsible for many practical inventions. Josephine Cochran, for example, declared, "If nobody else is going to invent a dishwashing machine, I will." She presented her working dishwasher at the 1886 World's Fair. At first not a huge success; the55 machine was used only by hotels and large restaurants. Household dishwashers did not become popular until the 1950s.

Historically, women have held a minority of patents. In early U.S. history, social and legal barriers often discouraged56 women from patenting inventions. In Anderson and Cochran's time, women lacked the same legal rights as men, which compelled many women patented57 their inventions under their husbands' or fathers' names. Although the true number of women inventors in history may not ever be known, it is evident that women like Mary Anderson and Josephine Cochran saw problems58 and devised simple and imaginative solutions. It is unfortunate that the genius behind each of these innovations have not always been59 rewarded or recognized, because these women helped to create the efficient world we take for granted today.


G. by
H. to
J. as


B. to wiping
C. for wiping
D. and wiped

48. Which of the following alternatives to the underlined portion would NOT be acceptable?

F. she could devise a better way.
G. that there must be a better way.
H. in which there had to be a better way.
J. that a better way could be found.


B. Instead she,
C. On the contrary she,
D. She


G. today's models,
H. todays' models
J. today's models


B. attempted
C. attempted, and later, tried
D. attempted, that is, tried


G. would, find the movement of the arm
H. would find the movement, of the arm,
J. would find the movement of the arm,


B. its
C. it's
D. their

54. Given that all the choices are true, which one would best introduce the new subject of this paragraph?

G. Today, we are the lucky recipients of Anderson's invention.
H. Mary Anderson believed that driving could be made safer.
J. Anderson was not the only female innovator of her time.


B. success. The
C. success, the
D. success: the

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

F. prevented
G. disturbed
H. dissuaded
J. stopped


B. to patent
C. patenting
D. patent


G. problems demanding solutions
H. dilemmas that could be solved
J. ways to fix problems


B. were not always
C. was not always
D. are not always

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

Suppose the writer's goal had been to write a brief essay documenting key innovations in the automobile industry. Would this essay successfully fulfill that goal?

F. Yes, because it highlights an important invention that changed the way cars are driven.
G. Yes, because it tells readers how and when a key innovation in automobiles was introduced.
H. No, because it does not include information about when the windshield wipers changed from hand-activated to automatic devices.
J. No, because it addresses only one automobile invention.