Sporting Futures USA | SAT Prep | Critical Reading 1.5

Question 1 of 20

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Read the following passage carefully and answer the question at the bottom.

1 Mr. Bingley was good-looking and gentlemanlike; he
2 had a pleasant countenance, and easy, unaffected
3 manners. His sisters were fine women, with an air of
4 decided fashion. His brother-in-law, Mr. Hurst, merely
5 looked the gentleman; but his friend Mr. Darcy soon
6 drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person,
7 handsome features, noble mien--and the report which
8 was in general circulation within five minutes after his
9 entrance of his having ten thousand a year. The gentle-
10 men pronounced him to be a fine figure of a man,
11 the ladies declared he was much handsomer than Mr.
12 Bingley, and he was looked at with great admiration for
13 about half the evening, till his manners gave a disgust
14 which turned the tide of his popularity; for he was
15 discovered to be proud, to be above his company, and
16 above being pleased; and not all his large estate in
17 Derbyshire could then save him from having a most
18 forbidding, disagreeable countenance, and being
19 unworthy to be compared with his friend.

Question: In line 7, "mien" most closely means ________.

Select one of the following:

  • demeanor

  • sentiment

  • fortune

  • haughtiness

  • character

Question 2 of 20

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Question: Patrick Michael's The Satanic Gases alleges that the threat of global warming has been greatly exaggerated, a claim which many environmentalists find ________.

Select the word that best completes the sentence.

Select one of the following:

  • spurious

  • cogent

  • compelling

  • droll

  • veracious

Question 3 of 20

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Read the following passage carefully and answer the question at the bottom.

1 We shall not understand what a book is, and why a
2 book has the value many persons have, and is even
3 less replaceable than a person, if we forget how
4 important to it is its body, the building that has been
5 built to hold its line of language safely together
6 through many adventures and a long time. Words on
7 a screen have visual qualities, to be sure, and these
8 darkly limn their shape, but they have no materiality,
9 they are only shadows, and when the light shifts they'll
10 be gone. Off the screen they do not exist as words.
11 They do not wait to be reseen, reread; they only wait
12 to be remade, relit. I cannot carry them beneath a tree
13 or onto a side porch; I cannot argue in their margins;
14 I cannot enjoy the memory of my dismay when,
15 perhaps after years, I return to my treasured copy of
16 Treasure Island to find the jam I inadvertently smeared
17 there still spotting a page precisely at the place where
18 Billy Bones chases Black Dog out of the Admiral
19 Benbow with a volley of oaths and where his cutlass
20 misses its mark to notch the inn's wide sign instead.

21 My copy, which I still possess, was of the cheapest.
22 Published by M. A. Donohue & Co. of Chicago, it bears
23 no date, and its coarse pages are jaundiced and brit-
24 tle, yet they've outlived their manufacturer; they will out-
25 live their reader--always comforting yet a bit sad. The
26 pages, in fact, smell their age, their decrepitude, and
27 the jam smear is like an ancient bruise; but like a scar
28 recalling its accident, I remember the pounding in my
29 chest when the black spot was pressed into Billy
30 Bones's palm and Blind Pew appeared on the road
31 in a passage that I knew even then was a piece of
32 exemplary prose.

33 That book and I loved each other, and I don't mean
34 just its text: that book, which then was new, its cover
35 slick and shiny, its paper agleam with the tossing sea
36 and armed, as Long John Silver was, for a fight, its
37 binding tight as the elastic of new underwear, not
38 slack as it is now, after so many openings and clos-
39 ings, so many dry years; that book would be borne off
40 to my room, where it lived through my high school
41 miseries in a dime-store bookcase, and it would
42 accompany me to college too, and be packed in the
43 duffel bag I carried as a sailor.

44 Should we put these feelings for the object and its
45 vicissitudes down to simple sentimental nostalgia?
46 I think not; but even as a stimulus for reminiscence,
47 a treasure more important than a dance card, or the
48 photo that freezes you in at the edge of the Grand
49 Canyon, because such a book can be a significant
50 event in the history of your reading, and your reading
51 (provided you are significant) should be an essential
52 segment of your character and your life. Unlike the
53 the love we've made or meals we've eaten, books
54 congregate to form a record around us of what they've
55 fed our stomachs or our brains. These are not a
56 hunter's trophies but the living animals themselves.

57 In the ideal logotopia, every person would possess
58 his own library and add at least weekly if not daily to it.
59 The walls of each home would seem made of books;
60 wherever one looked one would only see spines;
61 because every real book (as opposed to dictionaries,
62 almanacs, and other compilations) is a mind, an
63 imagination, a consciousness. Together they com-
64 pose a civilization, or even several.

65 A few of us are fortunate enough to live in Logotopia,
66 to own our own library, but for many this is not possi-
67 ble, and for them we need a free and open public
68 institution with a balanced collection of books that it
69 cares for and loans, with stacks where a visitor may
70 wander, browse, and make discoveries; such an insti-
71 tution empowers its public as few do. In fact, it has no
72 rival, for the books in the public library are the books
73 that may take temporary residence in yours or mine.
74 We share their wealth the way we share the space of a
75 public park. My high school had no library worthy of
76 the name "book," so I would walk about a mile down-
77 town to the public one to borrow, in almost every case,
78 a new world. That's what a library does for its patrons.
79 It extends the self. It is pure empowerment.

80 The sciences, it is alleged, no longer use books;
81 neither do the professions, since what everyone
82 needs is data, data day and night, because data, like
83 drugs, soothe the senses and encourage us to think
84 we are, when at the peak of their heap, on top of the
85 world. Of course, libraries contain books, and books
86 contain information, but information has always been
87 of minor importance, except to minor minds. What
88 matters is how the information is arranged, how it is
89 understood, and to what uses it is put. In short, what
90 matters is the book the data's in.

91 Frequently, one comes across comparisons of the
92 electronic revolution with that of writing and printing,
93 and these are usually accompanied by warnings to
94 those suspicious of technology that objections to these
95 forward marches are both fuddy-duddy and futile. But
96 Plato's worries that writing would not reveal the writer
97 the way the soul of a speaker was exposed; that
98 spontaneity would be compromised; that words would
99 be stolen, and words would be put in other mouths
100 than those of their authors; that writing does not hear
101 its reader's response; that lying, hypocrisy, false
102 borrowing, ghostwriting, would increase so that the
103 hollow heads of state would echo with hired words;
104 and that, oddly, the advantages and powers of the book
105 would give power and advantage to the rich, who would
106 learn to read and would have the funds to acquire
107 and keep such precious volumes safe: these fears
108 were overwhelmingly realized.

109 The advent of printing was opposed (as writing was)
110 for a number of mean and self-serving reasons, but
111 the fear that it would lead to the making of a million
112 half-baked brains, and cause the illicit turning of a
113 multitude of untrained heads, as a consequence of the
114 unhindered spread of nonsense was a fear that was
115 also well founded. The boast that the placement of
116 books in many hands would finally overthrow supersti-
117 tion was not entirely a hollow hope, however. The gift
118 gave a million minds a chance at independence.

Question: The passage indicates that the act of reading can best be described as a way to:

Select one of the following:

  • lose oneself in a fantasy world and escape from difficult circumstances.

  • stimulate memories and integrate the past with the present.

  • contemplate large ideas about the meaning of life.

  • open up new vistas and enlarge one's self.

  • process and interpret new data.

Question 4 of 20

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Question: The ________ statements that politicians often give news reporters certainly ________ their image of kind, honest people.

Select the words that best complete the sentence.

Select one of the following:

  • fallacious . . wears

  • truthful . . undermines

  • erroneous . . bolsters

  • spurious . . strengthens

  • veracious . . enervates

Question 5 of 20

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Question: The company refused to publish the controversial book until the offending passages were ________.

Select the word that best completes the sentence.

Select one of the following:

  • terminated

  • expurgated

  • abbreviated

  • canonized

  • vilified

Question 6 of 20

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Question: The burglar turned and ran from the police as he realized that the stolen merchandise in his hands was ________ evidence of his guilt.

Select the word that best completes the sentence.

Select one of the following:

  • grievous

  • masochistic

  • incontrovertible

  • futile

  • underhanded

Question 7 of 20

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Read the following 2 passages carefully and answer question at the bottom.

Passage 1

1 Research focused on Sesame Street has provided
2 ample evidence to suggest that young children can
3 learn skills from the show, and that these skills will
4 contribute to their early educational success. Many
5 other programs produced by the Children's Television
6 Workshop, by public broadcasting stations, indepen-
7 dent producers, and state departments of education
8 have been constructed to teach educational concepts
9 ranging from reading to international understanding.
10 Related to these educational programs are prosocial
11 programs which model socially valued responses for viewers.

12 Even with the knowledge gained from research fo-
13 cused on television's ability to teach specific skills, the
14 medium is frequently castigated for interfering in the
15 education of children. However, the relationship be-
16 tween television viewing and academic performance is
17 not clear cut. Children who spend a great deal of time
18 watching television do poorly in school but children
19 who spend a moderate amount of time with TV perform
20 better than non-viewers. The small negative relation-
21 ship between IQ and television viewing masks some
22 important subgroup differences, such as age (high IQ
23 is positively correlated with viewing until the teens) and
24 gender (with the negative relationship holding stronger
25 for boys than for girls). Reading and television viewing
26 are positively correlated up to a threshold of about ten
27 hours of viewing per week. Only when television view-
28 ing rises above a certain level does it seem to be
29 related to less reading. Overall, the data suggest that
30 television has a small adverse effect on learning.

31 Socialization, especially sex role socialization, has
32 been a continuing concern because television so fre-
33 quently presents basic images of gender. In prime
34 time programming men outnumber women two or
35 three to one. Women are younger than men and tend
36 to be cast in more stereotypic roles, and tend to be
37 less active, more likely to be victimized, less aggres-
38 sive, and more limited in employment than men.
39 Children's programs are similarly sex stereotyped with
40 women generally underrepresented, stereotyped, and
41 less central to the program. Cultivation analysis sug-
42 gests that a relationship exists between viewing and
43 stereotypical conceptions about gender roles. Some
44 research examining race role socialization shows
45 similar patterns, suggesting that limited portrayals and
46 stereotyped roles can contribute to skewed percep-
47 tions by race. Although African-Americans have
48 frequently been portrayed negatively, other minority
49 groups such as Asians and Hispanics have simply
50 been missing from the screen world--a process some-
51 times called symbolic annihilation.

52 Beyond the content of fictional representations, all
53 parents would agree that children learn from television
54 advertising. Researchers initially assumed children
55 had minimal comprehension of the selling intent of
56 advertising and children verbally described advertise-
57 ment as an "informational service." Nonverbal mea-
58 sures, however, demonstrated that children under-
59 stood that commercials persuaded them to buy
60 products. Social scientists have studied a number of
61 potential effects of advertising. These include the
62 frequent requests for products, the modification of self-
63 esteem, the relations of advertising to obesity, and to
64 alcohol and cigarette consumption. This research has
65 been dominated by a deficit model in which children
66 are defined as unable to distinguish selling intent, or
67 as easily misled by what they see.

Passage 2

68 The average American child will witness 200,000
69 violent acts on television by age 18. TV violence
70 sometimes begs for imitation because violence is
71 often demonstrated and promoted as a fun and effec-
72 tive way to get what you want. And many violent acts
73 are perpetrated by the "good guys," whom children
74 have been taught to emulate. Even though children are
75 taught by their parents that it's not right to hit, television
76 says it's OK to bite, hit, or kick if you're the good guy.
77 Even the "bad guys" on TV aren't always held responsi-
78 ble or punished for their actions.

79 The images children absorb can also leave them
80 traumatized and vulnerable. According to research,
81 children ages 2 to 7 are particularly frightened by scary-
82 looking things like grotesque monsters. Simply telling
83 children that those images aren't real won't console
84 them, because they can't yet distinguish between fan-
85 tasy and reality. Kids ages 8 to 12 are frightened by the
86 threat of violence, natural disasters, and the victimi-
87 zation of children, whether those images appear on
88 fictional shows, the news, or reality-based shows.
89 Reasoning with children this age will help them, so it's
90 important to provide reassuring and honest inform-
91 ation to help ease your child's fears. However, you
92 may want to avoid letting your child view programs that
93 he or she may find frightening.

94 Alcohol ads on TV have actually increased over the last
95 few years and more underage children are being ex-
96 posed to them than ever. A recent study conducted by
97 the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at
98 Georgetown University found that the top 15 teen-
99 oriented programs in 2003 had alcohol ads. And
100 although they've banned cigarette ads on television,
101 kids and teens can still see plenty of people smoking
102 on programs and movies airing on TV. This kind of
103 "product placement" makes behaviors like smoking
104 and drinking alcohol seem acceptable. In fact, kids
105 who watch 5 or more hours of TV per day are far more
106 likely to begin smoking cigarettes than those who
107 watch less than the recommended 2 hours a day.

108 Health experts have long linked excessive TV-watching
109 to obesity - a significant health problem today. While
110 watching TV, children are inactive and tend to snack.
111 They're also bombarded with advertising messages
112 that encourage them to eat unhealthy foods such as
113 potato chips and empty-calorie soft drinks that often
114 become preferred snack foods. Too much educational
115 TV has the same indirect effect on children's health.
116 Even if children are watching 4 hours of quality edu-
117 cational television, that still means they're not exer-
118 cising, reading, socializing, or spending time outside.
119 But studies have shown that decreasing the amount
120 of TV children watched led to less weight gain and
121 lower body mass index (BMI - a measurement derived
122 from someone's weight and height).

Question: The author of Passage 2 would most likely agree with which of the following statements?

Select one of the following:

  • There is no way to prevent many young children from exposure to violent images and acts.

  • Parents often cannot console their teenage children when terrifying images frighten them.

  • The things that children do not understand are often the scariest.

  • Horrifying images can often cause permanent emotional damage to young children.

  • All parents should prevent their children from watching any kind of violence in fear of permanent emotional damage.

Question 8 of 20

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Question: A farmer drove to market on Friday morning at an average speed of 60 miles per hour. He returned home in the afternoon along the same route and averaged 40 miles per hour.

If the farmer spent a total of two hours driving to and from the market, how many miles did the farmer drive to the market in the morning?

Select one of the following:

  • 100

  • 36

  • 48

  • 50

  • 64

Question 9 of 20

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Read the following 2 passages carefully and answer question at the bottom.

Passage 1

1 Research focused on Sesame Street has provided
2 ample evidence to suggest that young children can
3 learn skills from the show, and that these skills will
4 contribute to their early educational success. Many
5 other programs produced by the Children's Television
6 Workshop, by public broadcasting stations, indepen-
7 dent producers, and state departments of education
8 have been constructed to teach educational concepts
9 ranging from reading to international understanding.
10 Related to these educational programs are prosocial
11 programs which model socially valued responses for viewers.

12 Even with the knowledge gained from research fo-
13 cused on television's ability to teach specific skills, the
14 medium is frequently castigated for interfering in the
15 education of children. However, the relationship be-
16 tween television viewing and academic performance is
17 not clear cut. Children who spend a great deal of time
18 watching television do poorly in school but children
19 who spend a moderate amount of time with TV perform
20 better than non-viewers. The small negative relation-
21 ship between IQ and television viewing masks some
22 important subgroup differences, such as age (high IQ
23 is positively correlated with viewing until the teens) and
24 gender (with the negative relationship holding stronger
25 for boys than for girls). Reading and television viewing
26 are positively correlated up to a threshold of about ten
27 hours of viewing per week. Only when television view-
28 ing rises above a certain level does it seem to be
29 related to less reading. Overall, the data suggest that
30 television has a small adverse effect on learning.

31 Socialization, especially sex role socialization, has
32 been a continuing concern because television so fre-
33 quently presents basic images of gender. In prime
34 time programming men outnumber women two or
35 three to one. Women are younger than men and tend
36 to be cast in more stereotypic roles, and tend to be
37 less active, more likely to be victimized, less aggres-
38 sive, and more limited in employment than men.
39 Children's programs are similarly sex stereotyped with
40 women generally underrepresented, stereotyped, and
41 less central to the program. Cultivation analysis sug-
42 gests that a relationship exists between viewing and
43 stereotypical conceptions about gender roles. Some
44 research examining race role socialization shows
45 similar patterns, suggesting that limited portrayals and
46 stereotyped roles can contribute to skewed percep-
47 tions by race. Although African-Americans have
48 frequently been portrayed negatively, other minority
49 groups such as Asians and Hispanics have simply
50 been missing from the screen world--a process some-
51 times called symbolic annihilation.

52 Beyond the content of fictional representations, all
53 parents would agree that children learn from television
54 advertising. Researchers initially assumed children
55 had minimal comprehension of the selling intent of
56 advertising and children verbally described advertise-
57 ment as an "informational service." Nonverbal mea-
58 sures, however, demonstrated that children under-
59 stood that commercials persuaded them to buy
60 products. Social scientists have studied a number of
61 potential effects of advertising. These include the
62 frequent requests for products, the modification of self-
63 esteem, the relations of advertising to obesity, and to
64 alcohol and cigarette consumption. This research has
65 been dominated by a deficit model in which children
66 are defined as unable to distinguish selling intent, or
67 as easily misled by what they see.

Passage 2

68 The average American child will witness 200,000
69 violent acts on television by age 18. TV violence
70 sometimes begs for imitation because violence is
71 often demonstrated and promoted as a fun and effec-
72 tive way to get what you want. And many violent acts
73 are perpetrated by the "good guys," whom children
74 have been taught to emulate. Even though children are
75 taught by their parents that it's not right to hit, television
76 says it's OK to bite, hit, or kick if you're the good guy.
77 Even the "bad guys" on TV aren't always held responsi-
78 ble or punished for their actions.

79 The images children absorb can also leave them
80 traumatized and vulnerable. According to research,
81 children ages 2 to 7 are particularly frightened by scary-
82 looking things like grotesque monsters. Simply telling
83 children that those images aren't real won't console
84 them, because they can't yet distinguish between fan-
85 tasy and reality. Kids ages 8 to 12 are frightened by the
86 threat of violence, natural disasters, and the victimi-
87 zation of children, whether those images appear on
88 fictional shows, the news, or reality-based shows.
89 Reasoning with children this age will help them, so it's
90 important to provide reassuring and honest inform-
91 ation to help ease your child's fears. However, you
92 may want to avoid letting your child view programs that
93 he or she may find frightening.

94 Alcohol ads on TV have actually increased over the last
95 few years and more underage children are being ex-
96 posed to them than ever. A recent study conducted by
97 the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at
98 Georgetown University found that the top 15 teen-
99 oriented programs in 2003 had alcohol ads. And
100 although they've banned cigarette ads on television,
101 kids and teens can still see plenty of people smoking
102 on programs and movies airing on TV. This kind of
103 "product placement" makes behaviors like smoking
104 and drinking alcohol seem acceptable. In fact, kids
105 who watch 5 or more hours of TV per day are far more
106 likely to begin smoking cigarettes than those who
107 watch less than the recommended 2 hours a day.

108 Health experts have long linked excessive TV-watching
109 to obesity - a significant health problem today. While
110 watching TV, children are inactive and tend to snack.
111 They're also bombarded with advertising messages
112 that encourage them to eat unhealthy foods such as
113 potato chips and empty-calorie soft drinks that often
114 become preferred snack foods. Too much educational
115 TV has the same indirect effect on children's health.
116 Even if children are watching 4 hours of quality edu-
117 cational television, that still means they're not exer-
118 cising, reading, socializing, or spending time outside.
119 But studies have shown that decreasing the amount
120 of TV children watched led to less weight gain and
121 lower body mass index (BMI - a measurement derived
122 from someone's weight and height).

Question:The author of Passage 1 would most likely respond to the statement in lines 114-115 of Passage 2 ("Too much...health") in which of the following ways?

Select one of the following:

  • Pointing to the lack of research to support this claim.

  • Agreeing that an excess of TV generally has adverse effects.

  • Agreeing that advertising snacks and soda to young children will make them crave junk food later in life.

  • Citing that the social benefits of watching educational TV outweigh the health risks.

  • Arguing that an excess of educational television only has health effects on older children.

Question 10 of 20

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Read the following passage carefully and answer question at the bottom.

1 The Clean Water Act of 1990 makes a distinction
2 between point and non-point sources of pollution. A
3 point source is one that can be easily quantified, such
4 as the discharge from a factory or from an electric-
5 generating facility; point sources also include sources
6 of urban runoff. A non-point source is more difficult to
7 quantify and usually encompasses a greater area; for
8 instance, pollution from agricultural fields is a non-
9 point source. Point sources have more strict regulation
10 and enforcement; therefore, cleaning up point sources
11 of pollution has progressed more quickly. Non-point
12 sources have been slower to improve, since looser
13 laws govern their discharge.

Question: Agricultural fields are currently the largest source of water pollution in the United States. How could the Clean Water Act of 1990 be amended to facilitate their improvement?

Select one of the following:

  • The Clean Water Act only covers non-point sources of pollution. If it was changed to include point sources as well, agricultural fields would have to meet a strict regulation.

  • Agricultural field pollution cannot be improved because it is too difficult to quantify the discharge into nearby waterways.

  • Pollution from agricultural fields has already been reduced dramatically by GIS technology. The Clean Water Act need not change.

  • Agricultural fields could be listed as a point source of pollution, therefore requiring them to meet stricter regulations

  • Agricultural fields could be listed as a non-point source of pollution, therefore requiring them to meet stricter regulations.

Question 11 of 20

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Read the following passage carefully and answer question at the bottom.

1 It has long been known that dolphins are intelligent
2 creatures with complex brains; however, recent studies
3 have shown that dolphins may be able to recognize
4 themselves in a mirror.

5 Such a finding would have major implications in the
6 study of evolutionary development, since very few
7 animals have demonstrated this ability. Between the
8 ages of 18-24 months, humans develop a sense of
9 mirror-self recognition (MSR). Studies have shown
10 that some primates, such as the chimpanzee and the
11 great ape, share this ability; however, attempts to prove
12 that non-primates can recognize their own reflections
13 have been unconvincing until now.

14 In their experiment, scientists Diana Reiss and Lori
15 Marino placed mirrors inside a pool housing two
16 dolphins that had been raised in captivity. They then
17 conducted a three-stage experiment. In the first stage,
18 they used a black ink marker to draw a geometric
19 shape on the dolphins' bodies in a place that they
20 could not see without the aid of a mirror. In the second,
21 they pretended to mark the dolphins with a sham
22 marker--an inkless marker that emits water. In the
23 control stage, the dolphins were left unmarked.

24 When the dolphins were marked, they immediately
25 swam to the mirror and spent a long time investigating
26 the area that had been marked. Sometimes they even
27 twisted and turned as they attempted to make the
28 marking visible in the mirror. When the dolphins were
29 sham marked, they displayed the same MSR behav-
30 iors, but spent less time investigating the marking in
31 front of the mirror, suggesting that they came to under-
32 stand the mark was a sham. Most other animals
33 would not display such behavior. Most often,
34 animals presented with a mirror show aggressive
35 social behavior, suggesting they think the figure in the
36 reflection is another animal.
37 Reiss and Marino claim that their study offers definitive
38 evidence that dolphins are capable of MSR. Thus, they
39 conclude, dolphins apparently have a sense of self
40 and a sense of the other, pointing to a psychological
41 complexity that few animals share. They also note that
42 this discovery is especially provocative because,
43 while human and primate brains have much in
44 common, human and dolphin brains feature some
45 significant differences due to divergent evolutionary
46 patterns. Therefore, they recommend further study into
47 the mental abilities and psychological complexities of
48 dolphins.

Question: The main purpose of this passage is to:

Select one of the following:

  • describe a recent scientific finding and explain its significance.

  • discuss two opposing sides in a debate about a recent scientific finding

  • put forth an argument and then use examples to support that argument.

  • criticize the methods used in a recent scientific study.

  • describe the importance of a particular scientist in the scientific community.

Question 12 of 20

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Read the following passage carefully and answer question at the bottom.

1 Everyone knows that American culture has under-
2 gone drastic changes over the last several decades.
3 Perhaps no cultural institution has changed more
4 drastically in that time than the art museum. Forty
5 years ago, the typical art museum was a staid and
6 stately place. Its architecture, often neo-classical,
7 tended to suggest grandeur and to elicit contempla-
8 tion. Soaring columns and marble halls bespoke an
9 opulence of purpose as well as material wealth. Even
10 museums that departed from the neo-classical model,
11 such as New York's Museum of Modern Art, strove to
12 embody a dignified seriousness about the vocation
13 of art.

14 At that time, the museum was widely regarded as a
15 'temple of art,' a special place set apart from the
16 vicissitudes of the quotidian. The decibel level was
17 low, decorum high, and crowds, generally, were
18 sparse. In the culture at large, there was broad agree-
19 ment that the art museum had a twofold curatorial
20 purpose: to preserve and exhibit objects of historical
21 interest and commanding aesthetic achievement, and
22 to nurture the public's direct experience of those
23 objects. 'Art,' not 'amenity,' came first on the museum's
24 menu. The seriousness of the art museum was a
25 reflection of the seriousness of the art world. If
26 some works of art were deliberately playful or even
27 frivolous, art itself was entrusted with the important
28 task of educating the imagination and helping to
29 humanize and refine the emotions. Accordingly,
30 art museums were democratic but not demotic
31 institutions. They were open, but not necessarily
32 accessible, to all. The bounty they offered exacted
33 the homage of informed interest as the price of
34 participation. Accessibility was a privilege anyone
35 could earn, not a right that everyone enjoyed. The
36 1960s put paid to all that. There are still a handful of
37 holdouts: odd institutions here and there that cling
38 stubbornly to the old ways. But the 'blockbuster'
39 mentality that began developing in the 1960s helped
40 to transform many art museums into all-purpose
41 cultural emporia. Increasingly, success was measured
42 by quantity, not quality, by the take at the box office
43 rather than at the bar of aesthetic discrimination.

44 Indeed, as the egalitarian imperatives of the 'sixties
45 insinuated themselves more and more thoroughly in-
46 to mainstream culture, the very ideal of aesthetic excel-
47 lence came under fire. Adulation, not connoisseur-
48 ship, was the order of the day. Many commentators --
49 even many artists -- rejected outright the pursuit of
50 aesthetic excellence; they saw it as an elitist holdover
51 from the discredited hierarchies of the past. Others
52 subordinated the aesthetic dimension of art to one
53 or another political program or intellectual obsession.
54 Notoriety, not artistic accomplishment, became the
55 chief goal of art, even as terms like 'challenging' and
56 'transgressive' took precedence over 'beautiful' and
57 and other traditional commendations in the lexicon
58 of critical praise. Art was still a talismanic necessity,
59 the presence of which underwrote an institution's
60 social pretensions as well as its tax-exempt status.
61 But increasingly art functioned more as a catalyst
62 than an end in itself -- one attraction among many
63 and not necessarily the most important. The coffee
64 bar or restaurant, the movie theater or gift store or
65 interactive computer center vied for attention. Art
66 merely added the desired patina of cultural
67 sophistication.

68 The triumph of quantity over quality showed itself
69 in other ways as well. It used to be that art museums
70 were like oases: relatively few and far between. But
71 in the 1960s it became an article of faith in some
72 quarters that anyone could be an artist; it is our mis-
73 fortune that so many people seem to have believed
74 that dogma. Suddenly there was a Niagara of new
75 art clamoring for attention. Established art museums
76 undertook ambitious building programs to house
77 the stuff; museumless towns and college campuses
78 scurried to remedy their lack. When it came to
79 anything that could be congregated under the banner
80 of 'the arts,' the watchword was 'more is better.'
81 Everywhere one looked there was a new or greatly
82 expanded museum or arts center. No self-respecting
83 population dared be without some visible 'commit-
84 ment to the arts.' But the curious logic that subordi-
85 nated aesthetic to political considerations also meant
86 that while possessing a museum became a badge of
87 social respectability, 'respectability' itself had become
88 a deeply suspect idea. Art museums are still monu-
89 ments to civic pride -- and, sometimes, assets to civic
90 coffers. The irony is that today many museums extol
91 values utterly at odds with the civilization that produced
92 and that continues to sustain them.

Question: According to the passage, the change in the art world that occurred in the 1960s can primarily be attributed to a shift in:

Select one of the following:

  • artists' status.

  • political attitudes.

  • class hierarchy.

  • aesthetic intentions.

  • museums' funding.

Question 13 of 20

Medal-premium 1

Read the following 2 passages carefully and answer questions at the bottom.

1 What's fundamentally wrong with the way animals
2 are treated isn't the details that vary from case to
3 case. It's the whole system. The forlornness of the
4 veal calf is heart-wrenching; the pulsing pain of the
5 chimp with electrodes planted deep in her brain is
6 repulsive; the slow, torturous death of the raccoon
7 caught in the leg-hold trap is agonizing. But what is
8 wrong isn't the pain, the suffering, or the deprivation.
9 These compound what's wrong. Sometimes--often--
10 they make it much, much worse. But they are not the
11 fundamental wrong. The fundamental wrong is the
12 system that allows us to view animals as our
13 resources, here for us--to be eaten, or surgically
14 manipulated, or exploited for sport or money. Once
15 we accept this view of animals--as our resources--the
16 rest is as predictable as it is regrettable. Why worry
17 about their loneliness, their pain, their death?

Passage2

18 The animal rights movement in the United States has
19 experienced notable success in recent years, includ-
20 ing the creation of a large number of organizations,
21 some of which claim hundreds of thousands of mem-
22 bers and annual budgets in the millions of dollars.
23 While the movement's contemporary emergence has
24 been uniformly characterized by criticisms of animal-
25 based biomedical research, the movement continues
26 to undergo metamorphosis. At present the animal
27 rights movement is notable for its diversity. And while
28 it encompasses a plethora of single- and multi-issue
29 interest groups that are concerned with animal use in
30 entertainment, recreation, agriculture, and research,
31 it is in the area of biomedical research using animal
32 subjects that activists have been able to effect the
33 greatest regulatory impacts.

Question: Which of the following aspects of the animal rights movement is addressed in Passage 2 but not in Passage 1?

Select one of the following:

  • Its popularity

  • Its diversity

  • Its controversial tactics

  • Its impact on hunting regulations

  • Its underlying belief system

Question 14 of 20

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Question: He ________ the ________ of California, wondering how they could ever be so foolish as to elect an actor as governor.

Select the words that best complete the sentence.

Select one of the following:

  • ridiculed . . sojourners

  • complimented . . residents

  • praised . . townspeople

  • worshipped . . inhabitants

  • derided . . denizens

Question 15 of 20

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Read the following passage carefully and answer question at the bottom.

1 The Waitomo Cave on the north island of New Zealand
2 is a popular tourist attraction. Inside this cave, one can
3 see a magical, but explicable, phenomenon. The
4 normally pitch black interior is transformed by
5 hundreds of tiny pricks of bright blue light. The cave
6 ceiling looks more like a starry night sky than a dark
7 cavern. What is the cause of this transformation? It is a
8 very natural phenomenon called bioluminescence, a
9 form of light emission from a living organism.
10 In this case, the source of the bioluminescence is the
11 New Zealand glow worm. The glow worm produces
12 the blue light through a chemical reaction involving one
13 of the worm's waste products. The chemical reaction
14 involves the combination of Luciferin, the waste
15 product, with the enzyme Luciferase, the energy
16 molecule ATP, and oxygen. This light produced is
17 used to attract other insects for eating or other glow
18 worms for mating, and also attracts many tourists to
19 caves, such as the Waitomo Cave, where thousands of
20 glow worms can be found, producing a spectacular
21 show.

Question: Which of the following best describes the author's purpose in the passage?

Select one of the following:

  • to question the existence of bioluminescence

  • to explain the process of bioluminescence

  • to encourage readers to visit the Waitomo Cave

  • to provide a visual of light emission for readers

  • to explain the appeal the Waitomo Cave has for tourists

Question 16 of 20

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Read the following passage carefully and answer the question at the bottom.

1 Since the dawn of fashion in the West some seven
2 hundred years ago, probably no other article of clothing
3 has in the course of its evolution more fully served as a
4 vehicle for the expression of ambivalences and
5 ambiguities than blue jeans. Some of the social history
6 supporting this statement is by now generally well
7 known. First fashioned in the mid-nineteenth-century
8 American West by Morris Levi Strauss, a Bavarian
9 Jewish peddler newly arrived in San Francisco, the
10 trousers, then as now, were made from a sturdy,
11 indigo-based cotton cloth said to have originated in
12 Nimes, France. A garment similar to that manufactured
13 by Levi Strauss for gold-miners and outdoor laborers
14 is said to have been worn earlier in France by sailors
15 and dockworkers from Genoa, Italy, who were referred
16 to as "genes;" hence the term "jeans." The distinctive
17 copper riveting at the pants pockets and other stress
18 points was the invention of Jacob Davis, a tailor from
19 Carson City, Nevada, who joined the Levi Strauss firm
20 in 1873, some twenty years after the garment's intro-
21 duction. Years later the working man's garment
22 attained the prominence and near-universal recogni-
23 tion it possesses today. For it was not until the late
24 1960s that blue jeans, after several failed moves in
25 previous decades into a broader mass market, strik-
26 ingly crossed over nearly all class, gender, age,
27 regional, national, and ideological lines to become the
28 universally worn and widely accepted item of apparel
29 they are today. And since the crossover, enthusiasm
30 for them has by no means been confined to North
31 America and Western Europe. In former Soviet bloc
32 countries and much of the Third World, too, where they
33 have generally been in short supply, they remain highly
34 sought after and hotly bargained over.

35 A critical feature of this cultural breakthrough is, of
36 course, blue jeans' identity change from a garment
37 associated exclusively with work (and hard work, at
38 that) to one invested with many of the symbolic
39 attributes of leisure: ease, comfort, casualness,
40 sociability, and the outdoors. Or, as the costume
41 historians Jasper and Roach-Higgins (1987) might put
42 it, the garment underwent a process of cultural
43 authentication that led to its acquisition of meanings
44 quite different from those with which it began. In
45 bridging the work/leisure divide when they did, jeans
46 tapped into the new, consumer-goods-oriented,
47 postindustrial affluence of the West on a massive
48 scale. Soon thereafter jeans penetrated those many
49 other parts of the world that emulate the West.

Question: The author cites the research of Jasper and Roach-Higgins (lines 40-44) primarily in order to:

Select one of the following:

  • demonstrate the impact that costume historians have had on the evolution of jeans' symbolism.

  • offer a viewpoint which differs from the author's own perspective on jeans' cultural authentication.

  • call into question the common understanding of jeans' symbolic meaning.

  • give examples of the kinds of leisure activities with which jeans are associated in today's society.

  • re-state the point about jeans' meaning made in the previous sentence with more erudite and theoretical language.

Question 17 of 20

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Question: A candidate may ________ her poll numbers by performing ________ in a time of crisis.

Select the words that best complete the sentence.

Select one of the following:

  • lampoon . . comically

  • bolster . . admirably

  • elevate . . contemptibly

  • promote . . ostentatiously

  • advocate . . honestly

Question 18 of 20

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Question: The politician had a tendency to ________ over potential voters, but they were ________ to his flattery and empty promises.

Select the words that best complete the sentence.

Select one of the following:

  • bolster . . impassive

  • exclaim . . scornful

  • fawn . . indifferent

  • disparage . . disinterested

  • censure . . discordant

Question 19 of 20

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Question: Maxine thought that Ted was being ________ because he refused to take her out dancing, even after begging him to get out on the dance floor; however, he felt that she was being too ________ .

Select the words that best complete the sentence.

Select one of the following:

  • insincere . . forgetful

  • mundane . . euphoric

  • boring . . enthralling

  • recalcitrant . . frenetic

  • taciturn . . lugubrious

Question 20 of 20

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Question: Sue found Mike to be a tough ________ when she challenged him in the early debates, but she did not find him to be as strong an ________ in the final round.

Select the words that best complete the sentence.

Select one of the following:

  • friend . . enemy

  • opponent . . adversary

  • audience . . orator

  • competitor . . adviser

  • challenger . . observer

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Sporting Futures USA | SAT Prep | Critical Reading 1.5

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