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CliffNotes Polls

Did the U.S. do the right thing by burying bin Laden at sea?

Yes, to make sure he was buried quickly.

Yes, to avoid his followers turning his grave into a shrine.

No, people need to see his body to believe he's dead.

No, he'll pollute the ocean.

Sample ACT English Test Reading Passage

The following is a shorter passage than appears on the exam, but it gives examples of the kinds of questions the English Test asks. Most of the questions offer alternative versions or "NO CHANGE" to underlined portions of the text. Remember, you must assume that only the underlined section can be changed and that the rest of the sentence that isn't underlined is correct.

The ancestor of our modern microscopes are nearly four hundred years old. The early 8. F. NO CHANGE
G. are near
H. is near
J. is nearly
microscopes were worked and operated by lenses that, by forcing light to bend, could focus and enlarge the image of whatever object 9. A. NO CHANGE
B. were worked and were
C. worked and operated by
D. worked by
reflecting the light. By improving lensmaking, microscopes could be made to enlarge an object as much as one thousand times its original size. The word "telescope" derives from the Greek meaning "to view" and "far off"; "microscope" comes from the Greek meaning "to 10. F. NO CHANGE
G. was reflecting
H. reflected
J. will reflect
B. By having improved lensmaking,
C. Lensmaking having improved,
D. With the improvement of lensmaking,
view" and "small." 12. F. NO CHANGE
G. OMIT the preceding sentence.
H. OMIT the semicolon and the part of the sentence preceding the semicolon only.
I. OMIT the semicolon and the part of the sentence following the semicolon only.
But—for a time microscopes could not be improved beyond that point. When the objects to be studied were smaller than the light waves that were used to see them, the objects could not be seen. The first attempt to solve this 13. A. NO CHANGE
B. But for a time:
C. But, for a time,
D. But, for a time;
14. What might most logically be added to the paragraph at this point?

F.A quotation from a famous scientist
G. A comparison of microscopes and telescopes
H. Examples of objects too small to be seen by these instruments
I. The names of the scientists who worked on microscopes
problem,in the 1920s, will use shorter light 15. A. NO CHANGE
B. (Delete the commas around "in the 1920s.")
C. (Move "in the 1920s" to the beginning of the sentence.)
D. (Move "in the 1920s" to after "attempt to.")
G. will have used
H. used
I. did use
waves, such as ultraviolet. And the improvement was negligible. Waves any shorter than these could not be focused properly. 17. A. NO CHANGE
B. Therefore,
C. But
D. Thus,
problem was unlocked and set free by using 18. F. NO CHANGE
G. problem was unlocked and opened
H. difficulty was unlocked
I. problem was solved
the much shorter electron waves, which can be 19. A. NO CHANGE
B. and these
C. and the waves
D. who
focused by magnetic fields. 20. The probable audience for this passage is:
G. elementary-school children.
H. advanced students of the history of science.
I. advanced students of mathematics.
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