ACT English Practice Test 77: Peat: an Ancient and Modern Fuel

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.

Peat: an Ancient and Modern Fuel

For the country of Ireland, peat is natural resource that has been heating stoves and homes since the 8th century. The soft organic material lies in huge 17 percent of the Irish countryside. The plant, fungus, and animal detritus that composes peat is kept from fully decomposing the acidic environment of these marshlands. When xpeat is can be dried and compressed to form a solid fuel. Ancient inhabitants of Ireland relied on this combustible material in areas of the island where trees were scarce. Even today, stacks of freshly dug peat can be seen in rural Irish villages. Peat remains as useful as ever for heat production and soil enrichment. Ireland still generates 13 percent of its power from peat-fired turbines.

Prior to the advent of heavy farming machinery, peat farmers plowed trenches throughout a virgin bog to drain the peat, percent water. Following the several years that it took for the peat to dry sufficiently, farmers would undertake the arduous task of hand-carving peat blocks from the earth. Today, the Irish peat industry is overseen by the state-owned company Bord Na produces over four million metric tons of peat every year. About three-quarters is used for domestic energy is processed for horticultural applications.

Modern peat harvesting is a four-stage process. First, large tractors mill a thin layer of peat over a large area of bog. Over the next several days, moves over the milled peat, turning the crop several times to expedite drying. During the next step, a ridging machine moves over the dry peat, channeling it into straight rows ready for collection. Finally, the harvester its large vacuum over the ridges, into a large collection bin. The peat is then taken to processing facilities where it is further dried for briquette production or use in power plants.

With history of abundance and renewability as a fuel and nutrient source,


B. a plentifully abundant
C. an abundant
D. an abundant plentifully


G. bogs across
H. bogs-across
J. bogs: across


B. for
C. in
D. with


G. harvested. It
H. harvested; it
J. harvested it


B. drying
C. as dry
D. dry

6. Which of the following alternatives provides the contrast most appropriate and relevant to the essay?

G. Although the majority of its use is in smaller towns,
H. Even though no other countries use peat as a heat source,
J. In spite of modern coal, natural gas, and hydroelectric technologies,


B. which consisted of about
C. that is about
D. consistent with about


G. Móna; which
H. Móna which
J. Móna, which

9. Which of the following is NOT an acceptable way to write this sentence?

A. production; the remainder
B. production. The remainder
C. production, the remainder
D. production, and the remainder


G. a harrow
H. a machine that they call a harrow
J. a harrow, the machine type used,


B. passed
C. passing
D. passes


G. the harvester draws the peat
H. the peat is drawn by the harvester
J. and peat draws


B. it's
C. its
D. DELETE the underlined portion.

14. The writer wants to link the essay's opening and concluding sentences. Which one of the following alternatives to the underlined portion most successfully achieves this effect?

F. peat will surely remain a part of Irish culture for generations to come.
G. the renewability of peat will surely make peat last as a power source for a long time to come.
H. modern peat harvesting has greatly simplified the collection and utilization of peat.
J. peat is not as useful today as it was centuries ago.

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

Suppose the writer had been assigned to write a brief essay on the evolution of power sources. Would this essay successfully fulfill the requirements?

A. Yes, because it describes an alternative power source not usually considered by essayists.
B. Yes, because the writer describes clearly the historical development of peat.
C. No, because Ireland is a historically unimportant country in the development of power sources.
D. No, because the writer only focuses on the evolution of a single power source from one specific country.