ACT english practice test 55

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.

On the Borderline of History


The now-familiar imageimageimage in a fanciful history of England composed in the 12th century by a monk named Geoffrey of Monmouth. Since today we know that there

are no such things as wizards or magic image this version of events, but there are earlier works that mention Arthur as well. His first appearance in a surviving text is in the Historia Brittonum, composed by a Welsh monk around the year 830. Since

image are all supposed to have taken place over three hundred years prior, the fact that

no source in all those intervening years image him is suspicious. On the other hand, this was not a terribly literate age, and of the few histories that were

image many have been simply lost.


Most of the battles and people mentioned in the Historia can be historically verified, which seems to

support the historicity of Arthur. image And yet, the earlier texts that corroborate the accounts of the battles

make no mention of him. image the Historia does not even call Arthur a king at all, but only a “war

leader” who image the Britons in several battles against the invading Saxons. This would seem an account sufficiently humble at least to persuade us that someone named “Arthur” was involved in British history at this time, if not for the fact that the deeds attributed to him are so obviously exaggerated,



image can’t even remember being young enough not to have heard of him. His name is inseparable from all our romantic ideas about knights and chivalry. A majority of people think of him as an actual historical figure. But did King Arthur really exist?

It’s possible, but there is less evidence to support this


Every such early reference to Arthur image an insertion of popular legend into an otherwise historical text. The two most reliable

accounts of first-millennium imageAnglo-Saxon Chronicle and Bede’s Ecclesiastical History—make no mention of Arthur, though they do include accounts of the battles with which he was allegedly

involved. Countless scholars have labored for image of proving Arthur’s existence, only to meet with the frustration that caused archaeologist Nowell Myres to remark that “no figure on the borderline of history and mythology has wasted more of the historian’s time.” image


B. story, of King Arthur complete with Merlin the wizard and the magic sword Excalibur first appeared
C. story of King Arthur, complete with Merlin the wizard and the magic sword Excalibur, first appeared
D. story of King Arthur complete with Merlin the wizard and the magic sword Excalibur first appeared


G. swords discounted
H. swords, we had discounted
J. swords, we must discount


B. Arthur’s famous victories
C. Arthurs famous victories’
D. Arthur’s famous victories’


G. mention
H. have mentioned
J. were mentioning


B. composed, but
C. composed, we know that
D. composed. Unfortunately,

36. The author is considering adding the following sentence at the point indicated:

Vortigern, for example, was widely written about prior to the 9th century.

Should the author make this addition?

F. Yes, because without it the essay would contain no proof that the author has actually read any earlier texts.
G. No, because it is information that most people already possess.
H. Yes, because otherwise readers might assume that the author knows only about Arthur and no other famous kings.
J. No, because it is a minor fact that interrupts the flow of the paragraph.


B. Although,
C. Meanwhile,
D. Curiously,


G. successfully commanded
H. successful command
J. succeed commanding

39. The author is considering deleting the underlined portion and ending the sentence after the word exaggerated.

Should the author make this deletion?

A. Yes, because there is no point in including a claim that we know can’t possibly be true.
B. Yes, because the essay fails to explain the significance of the Battle of Badon.
C. No, because it provides support for the claim that Arthur’s deeds are clearly unrealistic.
D. No, because it establishes that even battles this long ago had high casualty rates.

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

F. Many of them
G. You probably
H. The odds are that anyone you might ask
J. Even today, people


B. claim then you might think
C. claim then there used to be
D. claim, and than most realize


G. seems strongly to be
H. seemed strong until
J. seems strong, but


B. England, the
C. England except for the
D. England—the


G. years hoped
H. years in the hopes
J. years and hoping

45. Question below asks about the preceding passage as a whole.

For the sake of logic and coherence, Paragraph 3 should be placed:

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