ACT english practice test 27

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.

Road Trips Back Home

During my junior year of college, it became a kind of ritual for a group of us to hop in a car and "discover" a new suburb every month. At first, we all agreed, we had come to college in this major city to escape what we thought were our boring lives in our various places of origin, but after a time, we realized that it would be impossible for us to turn our backs on our old lives16 completely. I grew up in Pennsylvania, many parts of which look like the ones we drove to.17

The first stop was typically some old diner, which reminded each of us of one from our various hometowns. There we'd usually sit, chat with the restaurant's owners18 drink a cup of coffee, and figure out which new and exciting place we'd be driving to next. Even now I can remember one diner in Maryland, whose sign we could see flickering from the highway as we turned off looking forward to it in anticipation19. Although we had all agreed that it had to be a new town each time, we tacitly agreed a few times to break the rules and come back to this place.

After we had taken nourishment (usually a grilled cheese sandwich, a patty melt, or something similarly nutritious that could be ordered from21 the menu) for our "big night out," we would then drive on. We got to know the lay of the land so well that we could usually just follow our noses to the kinds of places we liked to visit in these towns, typically stopping by the biggest retailer we could find. There we'd buy industrial-sized packs from childhood22 of instant noodles, huge packs of soda, and other types of foods we all remembered but which we were either too embarrassed to buy in front of other people at the University market, or which were too expensive in the city, where there is a lot more variety.23 Going24 to as many places like this as we could, we were always sure to happen upon something strangely familiar to us. The place-whether it was one of a million grocery stores, movie theaters, or fast-food restaurants-were25 unimportant; it seemed that everywhere had something special for at least one of us, and even now, many years on, I still think of these trips fondly.26

Looking back, I'm still not sure why we took these trips. Nevertheless,27 I have been living in an urban environment now for almost eight years, and should I ever have to move back to the suburbs, I will certainly go reluctantly. Sometimes, though, even now that I live in a different city, I'll still sneak out to those kinds of places once in a while and just drive about the town28. I guess, in a way, many of those early memories are like that diner sign we could see from the highway; most people would never notice that old sign, but to those of us who cherish it in our hearts29 and what it represents, we all harbored a great hope that it would still be burning the same as we remembered every time we drove by or came back30.


G. lives,
H. live's
J. lives'

17. Given that all the choices are true, which one best supports the point that the narrator and his friends all shared a common background?

B. Many suburbs have become as populous as the cities they surround.
C. The first major migration of families from the city to the suburbs occurred in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
D. Our hometowns were all over the map, but they all shared a palpable likeness.


G. owners;
H. owners'
J. owners,


B. in anticipation.
C. excited and looking forward to it.
D. in anticipation and expectation.

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

Many diners have been forced to shut down to make way for larger, national chain restaurants.

Should the writer make the addition here?

F. Yes, because it provides important contextual information relevant to the passage.
G. Yes, because it helps readers to see why the narrator was drawn to this particular diner.
H. No, because it interrupts the flow of the paragraph, which is primarily a personal reflection.
J. No, because it alters the focus of the paragraph from a discussion of driving to a discussion of specific places.


B. whom could be ordered from
C. whom could order
D. that were ordering

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

F. where it is now
G. after the word noodles.
H. after the word soda.
J. after the word remembered

23. Which choice most effectively supports and elaborates on the description in an earlier part of this sentence?

B. where prices for such basic foods were steep.
C. where we didn't like to drive the car.
D. where most of us had only small refrigerators.

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

F. As we went
G. While going
H. While we went
J. We went


B. was
C. have been
D. are

26. Given that all the choices are true, which one most effectively signals the shift in focus that occurs when moving from this paragraph to the next?

G. We all remained friends until we graduated.
H. I regret not having spent more time in the city when I had the chance.
J. I haven't been back to any of those places since I graduated.


B. Therefore,
C. Nonetheless,
D. DELETE the underlined portion.

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

F. among the town.
G. about.
H. around.
J. around the town.


B. have a great fondness for it
C. have strong feelings of adoration for it
D. cherish it


G. we were coming back.
H. were returning.
J. there was a return by us.