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3.2: Practice Questions

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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Directions: For this section, solve each problem and decide which is the best of the choices given. You may use any available space for scratchwork.

  1. (Improving Sentences) — Firefighters and police officers risk their lives often by stepping into the way of danger physically; therefore, professionals such as doctors and lawyers have an equally significant impact on individuals’ lives medically and legally.
    1. therefore
    2. but
    3. nevertheless
    4. as a result
    5. and

    EXPLANATION — The first clause (everything before the semi colon) definitely does not cause what is explained in the second clause (everything after the semi colon), so “therefore” is an inappropriate transition. This sentence is presenting contrasting professions (firefighter/police officer and doctor/lawyer) since two are viewed as blue-collar (working class) and the others are white-collar (professional); therefore, a contrasting conjunction is needed. Choice A (“therefore”), choice D (“as a result”) and choice E (“and”) do not present contrasting conjunctions. In this sentence “but” is not your best option for a conjunction. A semi-colon is used, so the three simple conjunctions (and/but/yet/etc.) are not as appropriate as the complex conjunctions (therefore/however/nevertheless/etc.). If just a comma was used, then “but” would have been appropriate (i.e. “...into the way of danger physically, but professionals such as doctors...”). So now it’s down to “nevertheless.” Choice C is your best answer.

  2. (Identifying Errors) \begin{align*}& \text{Even though I worked all day to clean the house and}\ \underline{\text{leave}} \ \text{it in} \ \underline{\text{immaculate}}\ \text{condition,}\\ & \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \text{A} \qquad \qquad \qquad \text{B}\\ & \text{my mother was not satisfied}\ \underline{\text{about}}\ \text{the job that I completed} \ \underline{\text{diligently.}}\ \underline{\text{No error.}}\\ & \qquad \ \quad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \text{C} \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \text{D} \qquad \qquad \text{E}\end{align*}
    1. leave
    2. immaculate
    3. about
    4. diligently
    5. No error

    EXPLANATION — The error is choice C. The proper idiom is “to be satisfied with” and not “to be satisfied about.” Knowing this proper idiom, one can see why choice C is erroneous. It is okay to say “leave it...” because it is in the same infinitive form as “to clean” so pick choice C.

  3. (Identifying Errors) \begin{align*}& \text{Boxing is}\ \underline{\text{arguably}} \ \text{the most physically demanding sports} \ \underline{\text{as}} \ \text{professional boxers must} \\ & \qquad \qquad \qquad \text{A} \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \ \ \text{B}\\ & \text{have}\ \underline{\text{strength, agility}} \ \text{and accuracy;} \ \text{without these skills, a boxer will just be someone }\\ & \qquad \qquad \quad \text{C} \\ & \text{that you never heard} \ \underline{\text{of}}. \ \underline{\text{No error}}.\\ & \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \quad \ \text{D} \qquad \text{E} \end{align*}
    1. arguably
    2. as
    3. strength, agility
    4. of
    5. No error

    EXPLANATION — This sentence tests how you apply prepositions to sentences. No sentence may end with a preposition, which includes “out,” “under” and especially “of.” This sentence would need to read something like “...without these skills, a boxer will be unknown.” At all costs, avoid placing “of” at the end of a sentence—especially on college and scholarship applications!

  4. (Improving Sentences) — Sports are a significant part of life for people all across the world, as was demonstrated in 2006 when billions of people came together to be involved with the World Cup either through playing, watching or thru advertising.
    1. World Cup either through playing, watching or thru advertising.
    2. world cup either through playing, watching or thru advertising.
    3. World Cup either through playing, watching or through advertising.
    4. World Cup either through playing, watching or advertising.
    5. World Cup either through playing, watching or advertising for it.

    EXPLANATION — This sentence tests your knowledge of capitalization and awareness of parallelism. The original sentence is incorrect because choice A destroys the parallelism (i.e. thru advertising instead of simply “advertising”) and uses the informal spelling of through (i.e. “thru”). Only choices D and E correct the parallelism error; however, the list should strictly contain gerunds in order to be parallel, so “advertising for it” is not the best choice. By ending with “for it” the author is also implying that one may “play for it” and “watch for it,” and although one may play for the World Cup through a grammar stretch, one cannot possibly “watch for it” and do the same thing as one who simply “watches it.” Choice D uses the appropriate capitalization (because the World Cup is a major sports event it is a proper noun that must be capitalized) and maintains strict parallelism in the concluding list of ways to be involved.

  5. (Improving Sentences) — During the summer many students go away to summer camps that teach them skills about camaraderie, perseverance and integrity.
    1. summer many students go away to summer camps that teach them skills about camaraderie, perseverance and integrity.
    2. Summer many students go away to summer camps that teach them skills about camaraderie, perseverance and integrity.
    3. summer many students go away to camps that teach them skills about camaraderie, perseverance and integrity.
    4. summer many students go away to summer camps that teach them skills about camaraderie, perseverance and maintaining integrity.
    5. Summer many students go away to camps that teach them skills about camaraderie, perseverance and integrity.

    EXPLANATION — Only choice C corrects the redundancy error in this sentence of writing “...summer camps...” after already stating that this event occurs “During the summer...” Choice A, B and D suffer such redundancy. Choice D also breaks the list’s parallelism (values such as camaraderie and perseverance that should be followed simply by “integrity”). Choice C and E remain, but choice E makes the same mistake of choice B by capitalizing a season. Although it may look better, seasons are NOT supposed to be capitalized unless they appear in a title or a proper noun.

  6. (Improving Sentences) — In countries such as China the government is recognizing the advantages of a capitalist market rather than communism and adjust economic policy accordingly.
    1. capitalist market rather than communism and adjust
    2. capitalist market rather than Communism and adjust
    3. capitalist market rather than a communist market and adjust
    4. capitalist market rather than a communist market and adjusting
    5. Capitalistic market nor a Communist market and adjusting

    EXPLANATION — The problem with this sentence is in parallel structure. The SAT is very particular about being consistent about the forms of words used. So specifically since the sentence refers to a capitalist market, then the sentence must refer to a communist market—not communism, which is an ideology rather than a market system in this context. Only choices B, D and E remain. Choice E commits terrible capitalization (neither “capitalist” nor “communist”) mistakes and structure errors (where does the “nor” fit in?! It does not!) Only choice B and choice D remain now, but B mistakenly capitalizes communism and does not change “adjust” to match the parallel verb (i.e. recognizing). Choice D uses the right adjective forms of capitalism and communism, does not make capitalization errors and maintains parallel sentence structure.

  7. (Improving Sentences) — Learning a new language can be difficult for people after one reaches a certain age; abilities needed to retain and apply new linguistic information deteriorate with time.
    1. after one reaches a certain age
    2. after they reach a certain age
    3. after they reaches certain ages
    4. after it reaches a certain age
    5. after you reach a certain age

    EXPLANATION — The underlined portion of this sentence is wrong because the sentence refers to people in general. Because a plural third person form of a pronoun is needed (because of the reference to “people”), “one” ,“it”, and “you” are all inappropriate responses. Choice A, D and E are all incorrect. Choice B is better than choice C because of the implied logic. People can reach a defined age; it is odd to say that multiple people are simultaneously reaching multiple ages—what is certain then? It’s almost an oxymoron to say certain ages in this context, although it is perfectly fine in other situations (i.e. This board game is only for people of certain ages). Yet the more defining difference is the singular verb form of choice C (i.e. reaches) mistakenly in place of the plural verb form of choice B (i.e. reach). Choice B is the best answer.

  8. (Identifying Errors) \begin{align*}& \underline{\text{Listening to music}} \ \text{while} \ \underline{\text{working on}} \ \text{homework is a} \ \underline{\text{dubious}} \ \text{habit that many students}\\ & \qquad \quad \ \text{A} \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \quad \text{B} \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \text{C}\\ & \text{have and do not want to} \ \underline{\text{break.}} \ \underline{\text{No error.}}\\ & \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \text{D} \qquad \ \text{E}\end{align*}
    1. Listening to music
    2. working on
    3. dubious
    4. break
    5. No error.

    EXPLANATION — This sentence is correct as written.

  9. (Identifying Errors) \begin{align*}& \text{Driving to school} \ \underline{\text{is}} \ \text{one of the special privileges of} \ \underline{\text{being}} \ \text{an} \text{upperclassman in high}\\ & \qquad \qquad \qquad \quad \ \ \text{A} \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \ \ \text{B}\\ & \text{school; however,} \ \underline{\text{concerns}} \ \text{many parents} \text{and teachers} \ \underline{\text{who}} \ \text{fear the dangers} \ \text{of the road}.\\ & \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \quad \text{C} \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \qquad \text{D}\\ & \underline{\text{No error}}.\\ & \quad \ \text{E}\end{align*}
    1. is
    2. being
    3. concerns
    4. who
    5. No error.

    EXPLANATION — This sentence is flawed because the sentence clause following “however” is not independent. If a sentence is separated by a semi-colon, then both “sides” of the sentence must be independent (which means they could be sentences on their own). When a transition such as “however” is used as it is here (preceded by a semi-colon and followed by a comma) it is created a division that demands two separate, independent clauses. The second clause has a verb (i.e. concerns) but it lacks a subject like “it” or “teen driving” before “concerns.” What concerns people? Whatever it is, MUST be properly identified. Choice C must be modified, so it is the right answer.

  10. (Improving Sentences) — A growing technology trend is to merge multiple devices with complimentary functions such as a phone, music player and the scheduling features of a planner.
    1. the scheduling features of a planner.
    2. and a planner with scheduling features.
    3. and scheduling features.
    4. scheduling features.
    5. a planner.

    EXPLANATION — Choice E is correct. The sentence is incorrect because it does not follow parallelism. A list that begins by naming devices (i.e. phone, music player) must continue and finish in that way. Although it is informative to include the details about a planner's features, it should be accompanied by the features of a phone and a music player if that is the way the sentence is being written. Therefore, choices A, B, C and D are incorrect. Choice B and C even add “and” again making the sentence read “...music player and and...” which is clearly wrong! Be careful; the SAT wants to catch you off guard. Only choice E is direct and maintains parallelism.

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Date Created:
Feb 23, 2012
Last Modified:
Jun 08, 2015
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