New SAT Reading Practice Test 19

Home > SAT Test > SAT Reading Practice Tests

Test Information

Question 10 questions

Time 14 minutes

See All test questions

Take more free SAT Reading Practice Tests available from

This passage describes the life and work of Phyllis Wheatley (1753-1784), a poet from Massachusetts.

1. The primary purpose of the passage as a whole is to

  • A. criticize readers for not having read more works by authors subjected to adverse circumstances.
  • B. describe the life and work of an author while noting some of the complications of that life and work.
  • C. outline a general history of African-American literature and discuss its major figures.
  • D. praise one slaveholder for his particularly forward-thinking views by showing his kindness to slaves.

2. Based on the information in the passage, Phyllis Wheatley's life can best be described as

  • A. difficult, because she was never freed from slavery despite her fame as a poet.
  • B. charmed, because she was given so many wonderful opportunities upon arriving at the Wheatleys' home.
  • C. impressive, although it contains many aspects that are troubling or confusing to present-day readers.
  • D. contemplative, although some of the sentiments in her work show a refusal to think deeply about her own life.

3. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?

  • A. Lines 18-24 ("Although…Wheatley")
  • B. Lines 48-56 ("Wheatley's story…1805)")
  • C. Lines 57-69 ("Tragically…poet")
  • D. Lines 84-90 ("Wheatley's poems…groups")

4. The passage suggests which of the following about Phyllis Wheatley's popularity?

  • A. Her family was prominent in Massachusetts, and she gained all of her connections through the family.
  • B. She was admired in the United States, but she achieved greater fame in Europe.
  • C. She was considered one of the greatest poets in the country, but few people consider her a great poet today.
  • D. She was admired by prominent people, but such admiration did not make her life less difficult.

5. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?

  • A. Lines 1-6 and 84-90
  • B. Lines 24-32 and 73-83
  • C. Lines 44-47 and 84-90
  • D. Lines 48-56 and 57-65

6. The reference to Frederick Douglass in lines 13-14 serves primarily to

  • A. name a writer whose life story is less interesting than Wheatley's.
  • B. allude to a type of literary achievement distinct from Wheatley's.
  • C. note a discrepancy in literary history that is not often acknowledged.
  • D. refer to a friend of Wheatley's who encouraged the publication of her work.

7. In context, the "circumstances" in line 19 refer to

  • A. precise and complete biographical details.
  • B. unintended consequences and failures.
  • C. climate and weather conditions.
  • D. general context and historical events.

8. The information in lines 41-47 primarily illustrates Phyllis Wheatley's

  • A. remarkable aptitude.
  • B. poetic nature.
  • C. vicious subjection.
  • D. confounding life.

9. The word "progressive" appears in quotations in line 39 and line 66 in order to emphasize

  • A. the remarkable achievement of those who behave well before it is common to do so.
  • B. the awkwardness of using contemporary terms to described past events.
  • C. the difficult nature of describing negative behavior in a positive way.
  • D. the fact that the word comes from Wheatley's poetry and essays.

10. As used in line 86, "hallmarks" most nearly means

  • A. distinctive features.
  • B. cordial greetings.
  • C. political leanings.
  • D. troublesome qualities.