ACT English Practice Test 80: Need for Speed

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.

Need for Speed

As an avid skier and inline skater, I thought I had already achieved some incredible downhill speeds. On a recent trip to Quebec City, , my concept of how fast humans can move was radically altered. It was Carnaval season, the time when people from across the province and the world to the old walled city for two weeks of food, drink, revelry, and winter sports. Normally, I go to Carnaval looking for the rare thrill, all the better if it requires a helmet and my signature on a release of liability. 34

The course looked a lot like a bobsled run. From the top of the mountain a sturdy metal chute descended that wound left and right on its way down. About eight inches of icepack covered the metal surface, which was wetted twice daily to maintain an ideal slickness. If by the time you reach the end of the chute you still haven't regained your to absorb your crash.

The thrill seeker in me was chomping at the bit to try out this new sport. I signed up and put on my helmet. The organizer quickly looked me over me a sarcastic grin. , I mounted the chair lift for the top of the mountain and prepared to watch the few heats that came before mine.

The first heat of the day and gave me a good idea of what was permitted and what was against the rules, as well as good and bad technique on the chute. They calmly and silently approached the starting line, which was at the head of a 20-meter flat strip of ice that racers use to gain speed before entering the downhill section. The starting gun rang out and a few men began with powerful strides, landing them at the head of the pack. When they all entered the chute, their striding stopped and the physical contact began. I learned then that full hockey-style body checks are perfectly legal, as one competitor veered sharply to his left, knocking the smallest racer up and over the wall of the chute and into the meters-deep powdery snow that lined the outside of the chute. with countless rounds of hip checks and slippery maneuvers. By the end of the race, only three men were on their feet-it was a photo large digital-display on both ends of the run showed that the men had approached speeds of sixty miles per hour.

Luckily, they seeded me in a heat with four other first-timers. When the starting gun sounded, I was quickly off to the . I shot down the track surprisingly smoothly when I suddenly realized I had no competition. I looked back and saw the other four skaters splayed out on the ice sliding helplessly toward the finish line. 44


B. thus
C. therefore
D. though


G. flock
H. flocked by
J. are flocking


B. It was full-contact for me this time, I was ice skating downhill.
C. Ice skating downhill this time for me, it was full-contact.
D. This time, I was full-contact ice skating downhill.

4. At this point, the author wants to add a sentence to the paragraph that further illustrates his adventurous nature. Which of the options does this best?

F. I certainly didn't know what I had signed up for!
G. Downhill ice skating sounded much more exciting than normal ice skating!
H. I could easily have been injured, but the thrill I got was worth the risk!
J. I normally wouldn't sign up for such a thing, but anything goes at Carnaval!


B. footing; there's a line of meter-thick foam padding
C. footing there's a line of meter-thick foam padding,
D. footing; there's a line of meter-thick foam padding,


G. and shoots
H. and shooting
J. and shot

7. Which of the following choices most appropriately characterizes the attitude of the organizer of the race?

B. His lack of confidence notwithstanding
C. Assured by his enthusiasm
D. With his exuberance empowering me


G. went smoother
H. went smoothly
J. went smoothing


B. The first five racers looked like professionals.
C. Looking like professionals, the first five racers.
D. They looked like professionals, the first five racers.


G. Now is when
H. When
J. DELETE the underlined portion.


B. Racing continuing
C. Continuing racing
D. Racing continues


G. finish and so the
H. finish, therefore the
J. finish! The


B. packs head
C. head of the pack
D. head pack

14. Which of the following statements, if added here, would best conclude the essay?

F. The next person to cross the finish line did so nearly forty seconds after I did.
G. I was much better at downhill ice skating than I thought I would be.
H. I would be the clear winner of that heat and planned to celebrate my victory on the town that night.
J. I would have lost if I hadn't been placed in a heat of inexperienced racers!

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

Suppose the writer had been asked to write a brief essay discussing extreme sports. Would this essay successfully fulfill the requirements?

A. No, because the author simply gives a description of a single extreme sport in which he has personally participated.
B. No, because the author does not discuss extreme sports, but rather his desire for speed.
C. Yes, because the author gives an in-depth description of the extreme sport of downhill ice skating.
D. Yes, because the writer details his own personal experiences in extreme sports.