ACT English Practice Test 84: A Flute in the Forest

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.

A Flute in the Forest

A quiet walk along a forest path during an early spring dusk revealed an unexpected gift of nature. The sound of a flute seemed to float from the tallest trees in the near distance. This flute song was like none ever made by man. Our guide quickly raised his hand in a signal for us to stop and remain still, and then whispered these simple words: "Wood Thrush." any attempts to describe this spectacular birdsong with words does a grave injustice to its unique vocalizations.

The Wood Thrush is a rather plain, brown, robin-like bird. Its most distinctive features are its white spotted chest and pinkish legs. Viewing these birds can be especially they enjoy perching on the tallest branch that is still able to offer seclusion among its leaves and twigs. Binoculars are a must. With each Wood Thrush song, a birdwatcher is able to track the bird's location. Because it is a migratory bird, early spring is generally the first opportunity to observe the Wood Thrush in the United States. 19 A mixed forest is its preferred habitat, one with both deciduous and evergreen trees of varying heights. Interestingly, while the Wood Thrush enjoys singing from the tallest branches, nest is often found much closer to the ground.

[1] settle into their spring nesting areas, the race to find a mate starts in earnest. [2] Fortunately for bird lovers, this is when the male Wood Thrush begins perfecting his song as he attempts to attract a willing female. [3] Starting in the late evening, just as dusk begins to encompass the landscape and most other birds have quieted down, the Wood Thrush tentatively begins his symphony of love. [4] and he can sometimes even sing two sweet notes simultaneously. [5] His concert generally lasts for a full 30 minutes, and he completes more than 100 songs in that time. [6] With each song, the listener this fancy flutist working on new combinations of notes, extending a particular collection of chords and changing pitch and volume at will. [7] Abruptly, the singing stops, the bird's pure exhaustion. 25

Early in the morning, before the other forest birds awaken, the Wood Thrush by starting his melody all over again, waking the world up to another long and It seems unimaginable that more than one such display is necessary to attract an interested partner, but the songs continue for the entire spring and even into the summer months. One can only determine that the Wood female and subsequent offspring are begging him As poet Henry David Thoreau wrote, the Wood Thrush "alone declares the immortal wealth and vigor that is in this forest."


G. by chance
H. unwittingly
J. DELETE the underlined portion.

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

A. Really,
B. Precisely,
C. Honestly,
D. Surely,


G. difficult; as
H. difficult as,
J. difficult. As

4. The writer is considering deleting the first part of the preceding sentence, so that the sentence would read:Early spring is generally the first opportunity to observe the Wood Thrush in the United States. If the writer were to make this change, the essay would primarily lose:

A. details that indicate to the reader what will eventually happen.
B. the contrast between the appearance of the Wood Thrush and the appearance of other forest birds.
C. an example of one of the features that makes the Wood Thrush such a special bird.
D. an indication of why bird watchers will usually see the Wood Thrush only during certain times of the year.


G. its
H. they're
J. their

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

A. While the birds
B. The birds
C. Once the birds
D. When the birds


G. His songs, come in distinct parts
H. His songs come, in distinct parts,
J. His songs, come in, distinct parts,

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

A. can hear
B. starts hearing
C. begins by hearing
D. hears


G. indicates
H. indicating
J. so indicates

10. Upon reviewing this paragraph and realizing that some information has been left out, the writer composes the following sentence:

All of these songs play an important role in the male bird's attempt to secure a mate, and the female Wood Thrush hears subtle nuances that escape the human ear.

This sentence should most logically be placed after Sentence:

A. 1.
B. 2.
C. 6.
D. 7.

11. Given that all the choices are true, which one most effectively introduces the information in this paragraph?

G. Subsequently, the male Wood Thrush requires several hours of sleep each night.
H. By this time, many other forest birds have settled in for the night.
J. It is hard to believe that the male Wood Thrush attracts only one mate with his beautiful songs.


B. had started
C. will have started
D. will start

13. Which choice provides the most specific and precise information?

G. solitary tune.
H. beautiful song.
J. sweet sound.


B. Thrush chooses
C. Thrush's chose
D. Thrush's chosen


G. to keep singing.
H. by keeping singing.
J. in keeping with singing.