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Hard SAT Questions

Terms in this set (20)

Correct Answer: E
Explanation:
Explanation for Correct Answer E :
Choice (E) is correct. "Equitable" means fair and impartial. "Eulogy" in this context means high praise. The first part of the sentence describes a biography that is judicious, or fair; the part of the sentence after the comma further explains that description, naming two extremes that a fair biography avoids. If one were to insert the terms "equitable" and "eulogy" into the text, the sentence would read "A judicious biography must be an equitable representation that depicts both the strengths and the weaknesses of the subject, avoiding the two extremes of eulogy and indictment." This sentence is logical, because a biography that represents a balance between high praise and indictment, or harsh criticism, is indeed judicious and equitable.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :
Choice (A) is incorrect. "Polarized" means concentrated on two conflicting or contrasting opinions. "Vindication" means the clearing of blame. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "A judicious biography must be a polarized representation that depicts both the strengths and the weaknesses of the subject, avoiding the two extremes of vindication and indictment." A biography that is polarized, however, presents extreme views and thus is not judicious.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :
Choice (B) is incorrect. "Imaginative" means creative or fanciful, and "discernment" means the keenness of insight. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "A judicious biography must be an imaginative representation that depicts both the strengths and the weaknesses of the subject, avoiding the two extremes of discernment and indictment." Neither term is appropriate in this sentence. A judicious biography is based on fact, not imagination. Also, discernment is not the extreme opposite of indictment, or harsh criticism.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :
Choice (C) is incorrect. "Holistic" means concerned with wholes, rather than parts. "Censure" means harsh criticism. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "A judicious biography must be a holistic representation that depicts both the strengths and the weaknesses of the subject, avoiding the two extremes of censure and indictment." A representation that is holistic could be judicious, but "censure" is a synonym of "indictment," not an antonym.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :
Choice (D) is incorrect. "Complimentary" means expressing praise, and "animosity" means bitter hostility. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "A judicious biography must be a complimentary representation that depicts both the strengths and the weaknesses of the subject, avoiding the two extremes of animosity and indictment." A fair biography does not necessarily portray a person favorably, as it must represent both the strengths and weaknesses of the subject. In addition, animosity is not the opposite of indictment.
Correct Answer: D
Explanation:
Explanation for Correct Answer D :
Choice (D) is correct. "Smugness" means the exhibition of self-righteousness. "Legitimate" means to justify. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "A scientist should not automatically reject folkways that might at first seem silly or superstitious; scientific qualifications are not a license for smugness, nor do they legitimate prejudice or bias." The word "nor" links two clauses that express the same point of view about scientific qualifications. The first clause after the semicolon asserts that scientific qualifications do not excuse arrogance, just as they do not legimitate, or justify, prejudice or bias.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :
Choice (A) is incorrect. "Experimentation" means the act of conducting scientific tests. "Eliminate" means to remove or get rid of. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "A scientist should not automatically reject folkways that might at first seem silly or superstitious; scientific qualifications are not a license for experimentation, nor do they eliminate prejudice or bias." Experimentation has nothing to do with rejecting folkways or with prejudice, and there is nothing to indicate a relationship between scientific qualifications and the removal of prejudice or bias.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :
Choice (B) is incorrect. "Arrogance" means the state of feeling superior to others. "Pursue" means to follow or to strive for. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "A scientist should not automatically reject folkways that might at first seem silly or superstitious; scientific qualifications are not a license for arrogance, nor do they pursue prejudice or bias." It is logical to assert that scientific qualifications are not a license for arrogance, but it does not make sense to say that these qualifications do not pursue prejudice or bias.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :
Choice (C) is incorrect. "Humility" means modesty, and "advocate" means to argue in favor of. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "A scientist should not automatically reject folkways that might at first seem silly or superstitious; scientific qualifications are not a license for humility, nor do they advocate prejudice or bias." It would be incorrect to claim that scientific qualifications do not allow scientists to be modest.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :
Choice (E) is incorrect. "Rigidity" means inflexibility, and "console" means to comfort. If one were to insert these terms into the text, the sentence would read "A scientist should not automatically reject folkways that might at first seem silly or superstitious; scientific qualifications are not a license for rigidity, nor do they console prejudice or bias. The first part of the clause may be read that scientists should not rigidly reject folkways, but it is illogical to say that scientific qualifications do not comfort prejudice or bias.
In North America, bats fall into mainly predictable categories: they are nocturnal, eat insects, and are rather small. But winging through their lush, green-black world, tropical bats are more numerous and have more exotic habits than do temperate species. Some of them feed on nectar that bat-pollinated trees have evolved to profit from their visits. Carnivorous bats like nothing better than a local frog, lizard, fish or bird, which they pluck from the foliage or a moon lit pond. Of course, some bats are vampires and dine on blood. In the movies, vampires are rather showy, theatrical types, but vampire bats rely on stealth and small, pinprick incisions made by razory, triangular front teeth. Sleeping livestock are their usual victims, and they take care not to wake them. First, they make the classic incisions shaped like quotation marks; then, with saliva full of anti-coagulants so that the victims blood will flow nicely, they quietly lap their fill. Because this anticoagulant is not toxic to humans, vampire bats may one day play an important role in the treatment of heart patients that is, if we can just get over our phobia about them. Having studied them intimately, I now know that bats are sweet-tempered, useful, and fascinating creatures. The long-standing fear that many people have about bats tell us less about bats than about human fear.

Things that live by night live outside the realm of normal time. Chauvinistic about our human need to wake by day and sleep by night, we come to associate night dwellers with people up to no good, people who have the jump on the rest of us and are defying nature, defying their circadian rhythms.* Also, night is when we dream, and so we picture the bats moving through a dreamtime, in which reality is warped. After all, we do not see very well at night; we do not need to. But that makes us nearly defenceless after dark. Although we are accustomed to mastering our world by day, in the night we become vulnerable as prey. Thinking of bats as masters of the night threatens the safety we daily take for granted. Though we are at the top of our food chain, if we had to live along in the rainforest, say, and protect ourselves against roaming predators, we would live partly in terror, as our ancestors did. Our sense of safety depends on predictability, so anything living outside the usual rules we suspect to be an outlaw, a ghoul.

Bats have always figured as frightening or supernatural creatures in the mythology, religion, and superstition of peoples everywhere. Finnish peasants once believed that their souls rose from their bodies while they slept and flew around the countryside as bats, then returned to them by morning. Ancient Egyptians prized bat parts as medicine for a variety of diseases. Perhaps the most mystical, ghoulish, and intimate relationship between bats and humans occurred among the Maya about two thousand years ago. Zotzilaha Chamalcan, their bat god, had a human body but the stylized head and wings of a bat. His image appears often on their altars, pottery, gold ornaments, and stone pillars. One especially frightening engraving shows the bat god with outstretched wings and a question-mark nose, its tongue wagging with hunger, as it holds a human corpse in one hand and the humans heart in the other. A number of other Central American cultures raised the bat to the ultimate height: as god of death and the underworld. But it was Bram Stokers riveting novel Dracular that turned small, furry mammals into huge, bloodsucking monsters in the minds of English-speaking people. If vampires were semihuman, then they could fascinate with their conniving cruelty, and thus a spill of horror books began to appear about the human passions of vampires.
*circadian rhythms are patterns of daily change within ones body that are determined by the time of day or night.

The author makes the comparison to the novel in lines 21-24 in order to
A. point out television' s literary origins
B. underscore the general decline of culture
C. emphasize television's reliance on visual imagery
D. expose narrow-minded resistance to new forms of expression
E. attack the cultural shortcomings of television producers

The author responds to the four theories of television primarily by
A. offering contrary evidence
B. invoking diverse authorities
C. adding historical perspective
D. blurring the line between the manipulator and the manipulated
E. implying that no reasonable person could take them seriously

In mapping out categories of theories about television, the author uses which of the following?
A. Earnest reevaluation
B. Incredulous analysis of academic documentation
C. Somber warnings about the future
D. Intentional falsification of data
E. Description tinged with irony

In line 59, "sovereign" is best understood to mean
A. excellent
B. opulent
C. elitist
D. absolute
E. oppressive
Correct Answer: D
Explanation:
Explanation for Correct Answer D :
Choice (D) is correct. In these lines, the author suggests that the imitation thesis relies on the same morally simplistic arguments that were made about early novels.

Correct Answer: E
Explanation:
Explanation for Correct Answer E :
Choice (E) is correct. The author suggests throughout that the four theories are unconvincing, condescending to viewers, and even illogical.
The author sarcastically dismisses the arguments of the critics and highlights the foolishness of their claims.

Correct Answer: E
Explanation:
Explanation for Correct Answer E :
Choice (E) is correct. The author describes the four theories in detail, but peppers his criticism with irony. In lines 33-35, for example, his summary of the stupefaction thesis is loaded with sarcasm: "Television produces, therefore, a new type of human being, who can, according to taste, be imagined as a zombie or a mutant."

Correct Answer: D
Explanation:
Explanation for Correct Answer D :
Choice (D) is correct. "Absolute" in this context means not to be doubted. If one were to insert this term into the text, the sentence would read "Unlike everyone else, the theorist has remained completely intact morally, can distinguish in an absolute manner between deception and reality, and enjoys complete immunity in the face of idiocy that he or she sorrowfully diagnoses in the rest of us." The author uses the term "sovereign" to describe the absolute, unequivocal way in which he claims television critics make judgments.
(1) What person from the past would I most like to meet? (2) Not a famous or powerful person; I would prefer meeting a really good observer who lived in a faraway place at a dramatic moment in time. (3) Nancy Gardner Prince, a young African-American woman who went to live at the imperial Russian court in 1824. (4) Some of the most famous events in Russian history took place then, there was a time when people challenged the government, fought hardly for social reforms, risking being defeated and punished. (5) Nancy Gardner Prince was right there in Saint Petersburg. (6) Anyone can read about this period, but I would love to listen to that woman who was born and raised in Massachusetts who heard the rumors and felt the unrest.
(7) Her ability to speak several languages enabled her to gather stories from eyewitnesses of major events like the uprising of December 1825. (8) She shared in the hope and sadness of those long-ago people. (9) We know that she tried to learn about everything she found -- I believe she would have much to say about the many countries she lived in. (10) For nine years she worked and moved through all levels of society, from meeting with the empress on charitable projects to fostering poor children. (11) Talking to Nancy Prince would be just great.

In context, which revision appropriately shortens sentence 6 (reproduced below)?
Anyone can read about this period, but I would love to listen to that woman who was born and raised in Massachusetts who heard the rumors and felt the unrest.

A. Change "Anyone can read" to "Read".
B. Change "this period" to "this".
C. Change "I would love to listen" to "to listen".
D. Change who was born and raised in" to "from".
E. Delete "and felt the unrest".
Correct Answer: B

ANSWERS AND EXPLANATIONS
Explanation for Correct Answer B :
Choice (B) is correct. In this context the word "credit" means accept, or believe. This is relatively uncommon usage. This meaning of "credit" can perhaps be appreciated more readily through the related word "discredit" in contexts like "certain stories have been discredited as lies." What is at issue is whether the reports or stories are believable.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer A :
Choice (A) is incorrect. To "award prose" would mean to give prose to someone as an award. This does not make sense. Moreover, the context in which the word "credit" appears does not suggest that these newspaper reports have anything to do with someone receiving an award.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer C :
Choice (C) is incorrect. The phrase "to enter prose" does not have any real meaning. There is a sense of "credit" as a kind of bookkeeping entry, but the current context is neither about accounting nor about the auditing of accounts.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :
Choice (D) is incorrect. Newspaper reporters could perhaps be described as people who "supply prose," but the context indicates that the two groups being contrasted are the troops and those at home. Those at home are ordinary civilians, not war correspondents. For the civilians at home the challenge was not to judge whether to supply newspaper prose, but whether to accept what the newspapers wrote as factual testimony.

Explanation for Incorrect Answer E :
Choice (E) is incorrect. The phrase "enrich prose like that as factual testimony" is not readily intelligible. In bookkeeping terms, a credit entry in a profit-and-loss account registers a financial gain. But an awareness that "credit" can be used this way is of no help to anyone trying to interpret the above phrase.