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The sat critical reading section 8

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  1. 5658 SAT2006[03](fin).qx 11/21/05 6:42 PM Page 77 – THE SAT CRITICAL READING SECTION – P art 3: Paragraph-Length 1. In lines 1–2, the author refers to a list of pros and Critical Reading cons to a. show that there are both positive and negative aspects of utilitarianism Out with the old and in with the new: New paragraph- b. suggest that making a list of pros and cons is length critical reading questions have replaced the old not an effective way to make a decision analogies on the SAT. And that’s good news for you, c. emphasize that utilitarians consider both the because these paragraph-length critical reading pas- good and the bad before making a decision sages are essentially the same as those in the reading d. indicate that readers will learn how to make comprehension section, only much shorter and easier decisions using pro/con lists to manage. e. show readers that they are probably already The SAT has about eight paragraph-length criti- familiar with the principles of utilitarian cal reading questions. The questions should be divided reasoning more or less equally among the three Critical Reading sections. You can expect the passages for paragraph- So while you should continue to hone your gen- length critical reading questions to be just that—one eral reading comprehension skills and expect ques- paragraph. Most passages will be 100–350 words long tions about vocabulary, the main idea, inferences, and followed by two to five questions—a sharp contrast to specific details, you should also be prepared for more the half-dozen or more questions that follow the question stems like the following: 400–850-word reading comprehension passages. While the paragraph-length critical reading The passage is developed primarily through . . . ■ passages and questions are very similar to their long The author’s use of X (e.g., a specific word, list, ■ passage counterparts, there are a few important dif- quotation, etc.) suggests that . . . ferences to keep in mind and some specific strate- By comparing X to Y, the author implies that . . . ■ gies you can use to answer these questions more The author describes/presents/refers to X to . . . ■ effectively. Which of the following techniques is used in the ■ last sentence? Structure and Strategy The passage uses X (e.g., first-person point of ■ For paragraph-length critical reading passages, you view) to . . . can expect fewer questions about specific facts and details (which are easy to find in such short passages) In other words, structure and strategy questions and more questions about the structure of the pas- ask you to consider how the writer expresses his or her sage and the strategies the author uses to convey his ideas and what effect those writing strategies have on or her idea. These questions may ask you about the the reader. What kind of examples does the writer use order of ideas or the purpose of specific lines in the to support the main idea? What is the impact of com- passage. They may ask you to consider why the writer paring X to Y? uses certain words or includes a particular piece of It might help to think of writing as a series of deci- information. Here is a good example of this type of sions. Writers choose their words carefully. They think question: about how to punctuate and paragraph their sentences 77
  2. 5658 SAT2006[03](fin).qx 11/21/05 6:42 PM Page 78 Don’t Forget: General Critical Reading Strategies Keep in mind these general critical reading strategies as you prepare for the new paragraph-length criti- cal reading questions on the SAT. 1. Be sure to read each question carefully and understand exactly what it is asking. 2. Try to formulate an answer in your own words before looking at the answer choices. This will help you avoid choosing tricky distracters. 3. Remember that many answer choices are distracters that (1) are true, but do not answer the ques- tion; (2) are close to the correct answer, but wrong in some detail; or (3) use language from the pas- sage, but do not correctly answer the question. 4. Remember that any conclusion you draw from the passage must have evidence in the passage. An answer may be true, or you may believe it to be true, but if there is no evidence for it in the text, it cannot be a correct answer. 5. Remember to use the process of elimination. Rule out any obviously incorrect answers to narrow down the possible choices. for clarity and impact. They decide which example or before you actually read the text. Just read comparison or image will best convey their ideas, sup- quickly, carefully, and actively the first time. port their argument, or arouse the desired emotion in 2. To save time, keep your notes to a minimum, if their readers. These critical reading questions simply you take any at all. ask you to look at the decisions the writers made and 3. Do underline and circle key words and ideas as consider the impact of their choices. you read. On test day, you may come across a question or 4. Pay attention to strategic issues such as word two asking you to identify the specific strategy a writer choice and structure as you read. For example, uses in a particular line or phrase. You might be asked how are the ideas in the passage organized? What about the effect of a strategy, or you may need to draw support does the author offer for his or her ideas? an inference based upon the writer’s use of a specific Does the writer use certain words to suggest technique. ideas or elicit emotions from the reader? 5. After you finish the paragraph, try to sum up the main idea in your own words. Even if there isn’t a Active Reading for question about the main idea or purpose of the Short Passages Because the paragraph-length critical reading passages passage, at least one question will probably are so short, your active reading strategies should be depend upon your understanding of the passage slightly different from those for the longer critical read- as a whole. If you have trouble determining the ing passages. main idea, reread the first and last sentences— these are the most common places to find a topic 1. Each passage is usually only one paragraph (two sentence in a paragraph. at the most), so you don’t need to skim ahead 78
  3. 5658 SAT2006[03](fin).qx 11/21/05 6:42 PM Page 79 – LEARNINGEXPRESS ANSWER SHEET – 4 0 Practice Paragraph-Length Critical Reading Questions The passages below are followed by several questions about their content. Read each passage carefully and answer the questions based on what is stated or implied in the text. Use the answer sheet below to record your answers. ANSWER SHEET 1. a b c d e 21. a b c d e 2. a b c d e 22. a b c d e 3. a b c d e 23. a b c d e 4. a b c d e 24. a b c d e 5. a b c d e 25. a b c d e 6. a b c d e 26. a b c d e 7. a b c d e 27. a b c d e 8. a b c d e 28. a b c d e 9. a b c d e 29. a b c d e 10. a b c d e 30. a b c d e 11. a b c d e 31. a b c d e 12. a b c d e 32. a b c d e 13. a b c d e 33. a b c d e 14. a b c d e 34. a b c d e 15. a b c d e 35. a b c d e 16. a b c d e 36. a b c d e 17. a b c d e 37. a b c d e 18. a b c d e 38. a b c d e 19. a b c d e 39. a b c d e 20. a b c d e 40. a b c d e 79
  4. 5658 SAT2006[03](fin).qx 11/21/05 6:42 PM Page 80
  5. 5658 SAT2006[03](fin).qx 11/21/05 6:42 PM Page 81 – THE SAT CRITICAL READING SECTION – Questions 1–3 are based on the following passage about public art. Although all art is inherently public—created in order to convey an idea or emotion to others—“public art,” as opposed to art that is sequestered in museums and galleries, is art specifically designed for a pub- lic arena where the art will be encountered by people in their normal day-to-day activities. Public art can Line be purely ornamental or highly functional; it can be as subtle as a decorative door knob or as conspicu- (5) ous as the Chicago Picasso. The more obvious forms of public art include monuments, sculptures, foun- tains, murals, and gardens. But public art also takes the form of ornamental benches or street lights, decorative manhole covers, and mosaics on trash bins. Many city dwellers would be surprised to discover just how much public art is really around them and how much impact public art has on their day-to-day lives. 1. According to the passage, public art is differenti- 3. The main purpose of this passage is to ated from private art mainly by a. define public art a. the kind of ideas or emotions it aims to con- b. make readers more aware of the public art vey to its audience around them b. its accessibility c. argue that public art is more interesting than c. its perceived value private art d. its importance to the city d. describe the functions of public art e. the recognition that artists receive for their e. provide examples of public art work 2. The use of the word sequestered in line 2 suggests that the author feels a. private art is better than public art b. private art is too isolated from the public c. the admission fees for public art arenas pre- vent many people from experiencing the art d. private art is more difficult to understand than public art e. private art is often controversial in nature 81
  6. 5658 SAT2006[03](fin).qx 11/21/05 6:42 PM Page 82 – THE SAT CRITICAL READING SECTION – Questions 4–8 are based on the following passage about asbestos. Asbestos is generally made up of fiber bundles that can be broken up into long, thin fibers. We now know from various studies that when this friable substance is released into the air and inhaled into the lungs over a period of time, it can lead to a higher risk of lung cancer and a condition known as asbestosis. Asbesto- Line sis, a thickening and scarring of the lung tissue, usually occurs when a person is exposed to high asbestos (5) levels over an extended period of time. Unfortunately, the symptoms do not usually appear until about twenty years after initial exposure, making it difficult to reverse or prevent. In addition, smoking while exposed to asbestos fibers could further increase the risk of developing lung cancer. When it comes to asbestos exposure in the home, school, and workplace, there is no safe level; any exposure is considered harmful and dangerous. Prior to the 1970s, asbestos use was ubiquitous—many commercial building and (10) home insulation products contained asbestos. In the home in particular, there are many places where asbestos hazards might be present. Building materials that may contain asbestos include fireproofing mate- rial (sprayed on beams), insulation material (on pipes and oil and coal furnaces), acoustical or sound- proofing material (sprayed onto ceilings and walls), and miscellaneous materials such as asphalt, vinyl, and cement used to make products like roofing felts, shingles, siding, wallboard, and floor tiles. 4. In line 2, the word friable most nearly means 6. The word ubiquitous (line 9) and the list of a. ability to freeze building materials containing asbestos (lines b. warm or liquid 11–14) serve primarily to c. easily broken down a. allay fears of becoming ill from asbestos d. poisonous b. encourage reforms in building practice e. crunchy c. describe the effects of asbestos in the home d. urge readers to check their homes for asbestos 5. The main purpose of this passage is to e. show how common asbestos is in homes built a. teach asbestos awareness in the home and before 1970 schools 7. The tone of this passage is best described as b. explain the properties of asbestos c. encourage preventative measures such as early a. cautionary lung cancer screening b. apathetic d. provide a list of materials that may include c. informative asbestos d. admonitory e. use scare tactics to make homeowners move to e. idiosyncratic newer houses 8. For whom is the author writing this passage? a. professional contractors b. students c. school principals d. health officials e. lay persons 82
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