In this section, you will read three passages and answer reading comprehension questions about each passage. Most questions are worth one point, but the last question in each set is worth more than one point. The directions indicate how many points you may receive.
You have 60 minutes to read all of the passages and answer the questions. Some passages include a word or phrase followed by an asterisk (*). Go to the bottom of the page to see a definition or an explanation of these words or phrases.
DIAGNOSTIC TEST: Reading Section
Note: If you answered an item incorrectly, complete
the exercises listed for that item.
1. (B) To "prevail" means "to exist" or "to occur more prominently or notably." See Exercises R1-R3.
2. (D) The phrase "the three most prominent factors" indicates there arc other factors that may not be as prominent. See Exercises R15-R21.
3. (C) The phrase "these eccentricities" refers to the movements of the Earth. The pattern of insolation is not a movement of the Earth. See Exercises R9-R14.
4. (B) The phrase "the match between periods of peak insolation and most intense glaciation were not exact" means that the periods did not occur at the same time. See Exercises R9-R14.
5. (A) The author is using the flat plane image to show the reader how the Earth moves in and out of a plane. See Exercises R15-R21.
6. (D) The Earth, our planet, is plunged into cold periods periodically. See Exercises R4-R8.
7. (D) Space debris reduces the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth. This causes regular cold periods. See Exercises R9-R14.
8. (A) Muller and MacDonald’s theory is supported by the fossil record, whereas Milankovitch's theory is not. See Exercises R9-R14.
9. (A) When someone is "persuaded" or "convinced," they have been shown evidence that makes them believe something. See Exercises R1-R3.
10. (C) The problem with Muller and MacDonald's theory is that the amount of debris that reaches Earth in comparison to the debris from volcanoes appears too small to cool temperatures sufficiently. See Exercises R9-R14.
11. (D)The phrase "Earth is at its furthest from the sun” indicates that this is a detail related to the Earth's orbit around the sun. This would follow the sentence that discusses the elliptical nature of the Earth's orbit. See Exercises R4-R8.
12. Flaws in the Milankovitch Cycles Theory
(A) Milankovitch's predicted intervals of sunlight do not coincide with the climate records.
(B) The Nevada lake temperature increased before Milankovitch's predicted peaks of sunlight.
(D) Milankovitch's predicted cycles do not always match the periods of most glaciation.
(H) The data from the ocean sediments docs not coincide with Milankovitch's predicted years of glaciation.
Flaws in the Muller and McDonald Theory
(E) The mild effect of volcanic eruptions on the climate docs not support Muller and MacDonald's theory that interstellar debris affects the amount of sunlight that reaches the Earth.
(G) There is not enough interstellar debris reaching Earth to support Muller and MacDonald's theory that this dust blocks sunlight.
(I) Even though the glaciation corresponds to the periods of the Earth's moving through debris, Muller and MacDonald's theory is not supported by much physical evidence of changes in energy levels. See Exercises R22-R24.
13. (D) The passage mentions that some species are well-adapted to harsh living conditions. It can be understood that such birds don't migrate south. See Exercises R15-R22.
14. (D) The word "those" refers to the species of birds that find moving south in the winter advantageous. See Exercises R4-R8.
15. (D) According to the passage, "changes in the weather can trigger the start of the journey south." See Exercises R9-R14.
16. (A) When fat "accumulates" under the skin, it "builds up." See Exercises R1-R3.
17. (D) The passage does not mention birds migrating east-west toward a hotter climate. Sec Exercises R9-R14.
18. (B) "Precisely" refers to an action that is performed "exactly" without error. See Exercises R1-R3.
19. (C) Since the polarization patterns are visible at sunset and the passage mentions patterns in sunlight, we can infer that they are not visible at night. See Exercises R15-R21.
20. (B) The bowtie shape of the pattern has "fuzzy" ends which are reminiscent of a brush. See Exercises R15-R21.
21. (A) The term "subjected" here means that the birds were exposed to the projection on the inside of the planetarium. See Exercises R1-R3.
22. (C) According to paragraph 6, some research using projections on the planetarium ceiling indicates the birds are guided by the constellations. See Exercises R9-R14.
23. (A) The highlighted sentence means the same as "Birds needing to orientate seemed to use the information... from the stars that rotate around Polaris." See Exercises R9-R14.
24. (В) The word "this" refers to the fact that when fewer stars are visible on the planetarium ceiling, the birds) sense of direction worsened. See Exercises R4-R8.
25. S The particular landscapes such as river valleys and shapes of hills are examples of the topographic features mentioned in the previous sentence. See Exercises R4-R8.
26. (B) (E), and (F) The main ideas from the passage are all theories that scientists have studied in their attempt to understand the methods birds use to migrate. These theories are that birds may determine direction through detection of the gradations of polarization patterns in sunlight, through the rotation of stars around a fixed position, and through knowledge of landscape features. See Exercises R22-R24.
27. (C) The phrase "this element" refers to the parent element, uranium, mentioned in the previous sentence. See Exercises R4-R8.
28. (A) A liquid or gas "seeps" or "leaks" through holes or cracks. Sec Exercises R1-R3.
29. (A) According to paragraph 2, the health problems are caused by radon after it decays into its radioactive particles. If it has not had time to decay, radon is harmless. Sec Exercises R9-R14.
30. (A) When a substance "disintegrates" or "breaks down," it changes from one state into its simpler component parts. See Exercises R1-R3.
31. (B) According to the passage, heavy metals such as polonium, lead, and bismuth, which are products of the decay process of radon, are what cause health problems. See Exercises R9-R14.
32. (A) The гафп progeny are the products that gather together as the radon disperses. See Exercises R9-R14.
33. (B) According to paragraph 3, products of decay, especially alpha particles, arc dangerous because they accumulate into concentrations instead of
dispersing throughout the body. In these concentrations, they damage nearby cells. See Exercises R9-R14.
34. (B) Radon is described as a decay product of uranium and, therefore, is a uranium daughter Exercises R4-R8.
35. (B) It can be understood that radon is detectable because buildings are tested for the amount of radon that has accumulated. See Exercises R9-R34
36. (C) According to paragraph 6, a reduction of radon can be achieved by using concrete sealing and active ventilation systems. See Exercises R15-RI1
37. (A) A "prudent" or "sensible" action is one which wise under the circumstances. See Exercises RI-R-3
38. (c) The phrase "But this research" refers back to the research on radon accumulation and cancer rates See Exercises R4-R8.
39. (B) After radon enters a building, its decay produce form particles that can be breathed into the lungs
(D) The alpha particles, in particular, accumulate in the lung tissue and damage cells.
(F) It is possible to reduce radon exposure, but some of the gas stays in the atmosphere.
See Exercises R22-R24.