ACT english practice test 47

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.

Genius at the Last Minute

He was born in Oregon in 1954, the son of a schoolteacher mother image in a Mennonite community. He image and chose to attend a “hippie college” in Washington State that had been founded only five years earlier and didn’t even give grades.

He stayed in college for five years, image writing articles and drawing cartoons for the campus paper.

image he moved to Los Angeles to try to become a writer, but couldn’t catch a break and wandered through a series of jobs: busing tables, washing dishes, and even working at a sewage treatment plant. Finally, he ended up working image a record store, a job he was able to stand. image

To amuse himself and make a little extra money, he drew comic books about how miserable he was in Los Angeles and sold photocopies of them in the store.

The image black-and-white doodles featuring a family of odd-looking, dysfunctional rabbits, became popular with neighborhood artists and intellectuals, and soon he was getting paid to draw a daily strip featuring his odd rabbits for a local alternative newspaper. (The paper also gave him a music column, but he lost that after admitting image just made up the names of all the bands and albums he reviewed as a joke.)

The rabbit strip, called Life in Hell, came to the attention of a successful image the thirty-one-year-old cartoonist about the possibility image animated shorts for television. The artist was thrilled, but while waiting in the lobby of the producer’s building before his big meeting, he had a series of terrifying thoughts. What if the television series bombed and ruined the reputation of his beloved comic? Or what if he had to give up the rights to the characters, and no longer had any control over how they were used?

image So just before being called into the meeting, he quickly drew another group of characters and named them after his own family: he used the real names of his parents and two little sisters, but invented another for the sarcastic, academically unmotivated male child, thinking that using his own name would image how little work he had put into the idea. To the animator’s great relief, the producer loved the hurriedly created new characters. Their first animated short debuted in 1987, and by the end of 1989 they had their own half-hour show.

By now, you may have guessed that the cartoonist’s image and that the family he invented off the top of his head in that lobby is now known to the whole world as The Simpsons. The image has become the longest-running sitcom in TV history, as well as one of the most beloved, by viewers and critics alike. Although it may not happen every image ever let anyone tell you that a work of genius was never done at the last minute.


B. and father grew up
C. and whose father grew up
D. and a father who’d grown up

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

F. never liked school or excelled in it,
G. neither liked nor excelled in school,
H. disliked school, which he didn’t excel in it,
J. disliked and failed to excel in school,


B. where
C. in which
D. DELETE the underlined portion.


G. Although after graduation,
H. After graduation, when
J. After graduation, however,

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

A. at
B. of
C. for
D. the register in

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

The name of the store was Licorice Pizza.

Should the writer make this addition?

F. Yes, because it helps explain why he was able to stand the job.
G. Yes, because otherwise readers will wonder which store it was.
H. No, because it is a minor detail that disrupts the flow of the paragraph.
J. No, because many readers will not believe that this was really the store’s name.


B. comics, sarcastic
C. sarcastically comic
D. sarcastic comic’s

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

F. he
G. he had
H. that he had
J. because he had


B. producer then contacted
C. producer, and contacted
D. producer contacted


G. of doing
H. he could do
J. that this would do

71. Which of the following sentences makes for the best transition between the first and second parts of the paragraph?

B. At times like this, he wished he were still at college in Washington.
C. It was probably silly for him to be worrying so much.
D. He wanted the TV gig badly, but didn’t want to risk losing Life in Hell.

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

F. betray
G. evince
H. mask
J. tip the producer off to


B. name was Matt Groening
C. name, was Matt Groening
D. name, Matt Groening


G. cartoon which they star in
H. cartoon, which they star in,
J. cartoon they star in which


B. day, but don’t
C. day; don’t
D. day, don’t people