ACT english practice test 38

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.

Why I Ride a Bicycle

I waited thirty-two years before I rode a bicycle for the first time, down a tree-lined street in Toronto. I had barely sat on one before, so there were a few false starts as my image out instructions beside 1 me. But then I found I was moving. And since I, more than most objects, seem to obey Newton’s first law of motion—an object in motion will remain in motion until acted upon by an external force—off I went, whizzing downhill, weaving like a drunk, and image idiotically.

I didn’t stop until three blocks image a car was speeding toward the intersection. I’d not yet learned to brake, so I just dropped both feet to the ground inelegantly. Then I got back on the bicycle and did the whole thing again.

I don’t know why I’d never learned to ride before, a rite of passage that most people image somewhere around age six. Clearly, not all middle-class parents in India teach image children to ride bicycles. Mine certainly didn’t. I had singing lessons and, briefly, dancing lessons. I had math tutors and physics tutors. I even had swimming lessons but no bicycles.

It’s strange to come to this mysterious activity as an adult. Most people my age image for so long they give little thought to an act that is nothing short of miraculous. But getting on a bike for the first time at thirty-three reveals the triumph of physics and human will that is cycling. Five hundred years ago, someone (the tireless Leonardo da Vinci, it was thought) drew a sketch of what was meant to be the image though both sketch and artist are now disputed. image Since then we’ve had the “walking machine” (Baron von Drais of Sauerbrun’s wooden two-wheeled contraption without pedals, designed to aid walkers—a bicycle even I could have ridden), velocipedes, ordinaries, and high-wheel tricycles. image of engineering and machine-age design, but also of something more intangible.

image is to balance image two tubes of rubber and wire, connected by a frame, and to propel them forward with no more than a little foot power and the conviction that you can. We think bicycles carry us forward, but they image them. It is largely human will that image bicycle and rider in motion, as well as image be adapted into an exhortation: move, because if you are moving, you will keep moving. image


B. boyfriend, Stephen called
C. boyfriend Stephen, called
D. boyfriend, called


G. smiling
H. had been smiling
J. smiles


B. later. Where
C. later, where
D. later, and—when


G. experience
H. practice
J. need


B. there
C. their
D. one’s


G. rode
H. had ridden
J. have been riding


B. worlds first bicycle
C. world’s first bicycle
D. worlds first bicycle,

8. The writer is considering adding the following true statement:

The sketch was done in pencil and charcoal.

Should the writer make this addition here?

F. Yes, because it helps support the idea that bicycles have an important place in history.
G. Yes, because it provides necessary insight into the variety of bicycles that exist.
H. No, because it is not relevant to the narrative at this point in the essay.
J. No, because this information has already been

9. Given that all of the choices are true, which one most strongly reinforces the writer’s attitude that bicycles are amazing inventions?

A. Each is a marvel
B. They are debacles
C. Each is a creation
D. Each is a product

10. Which choice provides the most concise and stylistically effective wording here?

G. Operating a bicycle one can say
H. A person riding a bicycle
J. To operate a bicycle

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

B. on top of
C. atop
D. on which


G. don’t we must carry
H. don’t: we carry
J. don’t, we are carrying


B. by keeping
C. keeps
D. kept


G. Newton’s Law, which can
H. Newton’s Law which is
J. Newton’s Law and that can

15. The writer is considering concluding the essay with the following statement: How much of our lives are lived like this?

How much of our lives are lived like this?

Should the writer end the essay with this statement?

A. Yes, because it adds to the writer’s persuasive goal of convincing the reader to learn to ride a bicycle.
B. Yes, because it sums up the main points of the essay in a memorable way.
C. No, because it does not have a meaningful connection to the topic of this essay.
D. No, because it conflicts with the overall tone and message of this essay.