ACT Reading Practice Test 60: Social Science - The Gunpowder Plot

DIRECTIONS: Each passage is followed by several questions. After reading a passage, choose the best answer to each question and fill in the corresponding oval on your answer document. You may refer to the passages as often as necessary.

1. One of the points the author seeks to make in the passage is that some English Roman Catholics in 1605:

A. were convicted of treason for supporting the king.
B. sought religious freedom by rebelling against the current regime.
C. were forced into hiding by the powerful religious minority behind the monarchy.
D. gained notoriety by conspiring against the Roman Catholic church.

2. The author asserts that the Gunpowder Plot co-conspirators were generally:

F. capable and sufficiently covert.
G. inept but sufficiently covert.
H. capable but insufficiently covert.
J. inept and insufficiently covert.

3. The author uses the description of the modern Guy Fawkes Day to point out that some acts are:

A. too powerful to let their lessons fade into history.
B. so powerful that adults must make light of them for their children's sake.
C. more powerful for people today than they were at the time they occurred.
D. so powerful that children must be reminded of their depravity.

4. When the author asserts that Guy Fawkes had honest intentions (lines 21–22), he most likely means that members of parliament are:

F. not concerned about their perception among the people.
G. too detached from average citizens to provide effective leadership.
H. prepared to surrender power to religious minorities.
J. prone to exploiting their power by being deceitful.

5. According to the passage, when are citizens most pressed to act against the government?

A. When parliament meets in joint session
B. When there is collusion between the monarch and the judiciary
C. When personal beliefs are threatened
D. When there are bad economic times

6. As it is used in line 60, the word exotic means:

F. alluring.
G. mysterious.
H. unusual.
J. foreign.

7. According to the passage, under which of the following government actions would an uprising most likely occur?

A. Government troops are given permission to conduct unwarranted searches of suspected dissidents.
B. An average-looking murder suspect at-large prompts police to round up for interrogation anyone who looks like the perpetrator.
C. Sales and income tax rates are raised sharply at the same time due to budget shortfalls.
D. Chocolate, gold, and other precious commodities are strictly rationed during wartime.

8. The passage makes the claim that brutal threats from the government are not a solution to the risk of public rebellion because:

F. harsh punishment of dissenters only breeds further contempt.
G. there will always be certain individuals who risk the punishment to overthrow a government.
H. weapons of assassination are too easily concealed to provide reasonable security for government officials.
J. often the inciting rebels are impossible to locate.

9. As it is used in lines 33–34, the phrase stumbled upon most nearly means:

A. discovered.
B. tripped over.
C. walked on.
D. sought.

10. The mineshaft in line 35 refers to:

F. a tunnel dug to facilitate extraction of a particular mineral.
G. a metaphorical deep pit from which nothing can climb out.
H. an underground space to be filled with explosives.
J. a crawlspace to permit clandestine observation of Parliament.