ACT English Practice Test 88: Lil' Lou

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.

Lil' Lou

The old cedar chest hadn't been opened nor its contents examined in years, maybe even a decade or more. My grandmother had asked me to help her sort through some of her old belongings, giving me a rare opportunity to hear some of her stories from long ago and, consequently, revealing my own personal history. Grandma had been widowed long ago, and I knew very little about my grandfather other than what a wonderful man he had been. This was the recurring description of my to anyone who had known him: the person would slowly move his lowered head from side to side and softly mutter, "A wonderful man… he was a wonderful man."

[1] That afternoon, I found myself standing in front of the chest with my grandmother by my side. [2] Grandma had been putting off opening the chest, [3] She knew better than anyone else that vast memories were stored in this mere opening of its lid would stir up a flood of happiness and grief, spinning and growing like a hurricane out of control. [4] my grandmother needed when opening the chest was more likely emotional than physical. [5] I was ready and eager, and with my presence as a buffer, Grandma ready, too.

The moment the air hit the , a strong waft of cedar scent made its way to our noses.

My grandmother that the source of this forest-like aroma made it possible for the artifacts inside the chest to remain intact, with no moth holes or tattered fabric. Sure enough, as my grandmother lifted the first item out of its tomb, I could see that the garment was very old, but at the same time it appeared very new. It was my grandfather's wool flying jacket from World War II. Grandma hugged it to her chest for several moments before holding it out in front of her, as if she could see my grandfather wearing it. I simply sat and watched, waiting for her to tell me about it and about him.

Grandpa had been a pilot during the what was known as a Stinson L-5 Sentinel. Grandpa first decided to fly, his dream had been to man bomber planes; he desperately wanted to be on the frontline of the air defense. After taking the appropriate instruction, he was removed from the bombing corps because of his imperfect eyesight, and his dream was shattered. For Grandma, this was her dream come true; Grandpa's chances of returning home safely to his were much higher with his new as a liaison pilot. 12

As my grandmother told my grandfather's story, she mindlessly examined his jacket, putting her hand down one sleeve, turning to see its back, and sticking her fingers into each lined pocket. Tucked into the breast pocket of my grandfather's heavy flight jacket was a small black and white photo. It was my grinning grandfather standing in front of his , his "Lil' Lou," which was painted on the plane's nose, along with a happy little pink rabbit with a bright orange carrot. I knew instantly that the L-5's nickname was a loving reference to my grandmother, given name was Louise.


B. grandfather whenever his name should have been mentioned
C. grandfather whenever his name being mentioned
D. grandfather. Whenever his name was mentioned

2. Given that all of the choices are true, which one provides a detail that best leads into the description that follows in this paragraph?

G. which had been purchased from an old catalog long ago.
H. which was made of cedar and redwood.
J. which was kept locked to protect the contents from mice.


B. treasure trove, and, the
C. treasure trove, and the
D. treasure trove and, the

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

F. If the truth were told, the kind of help
G. Truth be told, the sort of help
H. Truth be told, the kind of type of help
J. To tell the truth, the kind of help


B. could of been
C. had been
D. was


G. wooden box's interior
H. wooden boxes interior
J. wooden boxes' interior


B. explains
C. explained
D. was explaining


G. war which was flying
H. war he was flying
J. war flying


B. After all, when
C. Instead, when
D. When


G. new wife and daughter
H. new wife, and daughter
J. new wife and daughter,


B. designation to be
C. designated and being
D. designation

12. Which of the following true statements, if added at the beginning of this paragraph would most effectively introduce readers to the information presented in the paragraph?

F. Good eyesight has always been an essential quality in a bomber pilot.
G. Men have always had their dreams of glory, and my grandfather was no different.
H. My grandfather joined the army soon after my mother was born.
J. My great-grandparents were pacifists, but that hadn't stopped my grandfather from enlisting.

13. Given that all the choices are true, which one provides information that is most relevant at this point in the essay?

B. pride and joy
C. bomber
D. war plane


G. who's
H. her
J. by her

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

Suppose the writer's goal had been to write a brief essay on the historical significance of air support in World War II. Would this essay successfully accomplish this goal?

A. Yes, because it describes the different types of air support used by the military in World War II.
B. Yes, because it explains the importance of liaison pilots to the overall military effort.
C. No, because it focuses instead on the personal significance of an individual World War II pilot.
D. No, because it fails to describe the relationship between the narrator's grandparents.