SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: Women's Ingenuity

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Women's Ingenuity

Until about 1840, only twenty-one patents for inventions were issued to women in the United States. 1 Yet by 1870, the number of patents granted to women had more than doubled. What spurred this increase of women as inventors?

[1]The secret lies partly in the stories of individual female inventors. [2] Some inventors—men and women—worked in teams, but many worked alone. [3] The most famous nineteenth-century female inventor became part of this patentee explosion. [4] She wasn't the first, but over her lifetime, Margaret Knight earned some twenty-six patents. [5] Her machine that made flat-bottomed paper bags is still in use.2

Knight spent her life working and inventing. As a child, she worked in the cotton mills and 3 many years later in her life, she was employed by the Columbia Paper Bag Company. While at the paper bag company, Knight perfected an idea for an automated machine that would cut, fold, and paste paper bags. 4 However, when a man stole her idea, Knight fought for her rights. In the Knight v. Annan dispute of 1871, she won 5 an odd victory for women. The Patent Office eventually issued the patent to her. Knight's 6 alternate inventions included a rotary engine and a shoe-cutting machine.

[1] In Knight's case, her profession helped her perceive the demand for an invention. [2] Plus, she acquired the skills to become a trailblazer. During the Industrial Age, many women, like Knight, were able to secure jobs in 7 factories, this resulted in their higher labor market participation.8

9 The progress of feminism in the twentieth century that improved women's rights and provided greater access to education also contributed to women's ingenuity. By 1998, some ten percent of all patents issued were to American women. 10 Nevertheless, Dr. Carol B. Muller founder of a nonprofit that promotes women in science states, "Until women are fully represented in the fields of science and engineering, society is losing out on the talents of a vast number of potential contributors."

In the future, if women can attain more university research positions, graduate-level degrees in science and engineering, and leadership positions in high-tech companies, the result may well be more participation as patentees.

1. Which choice completes the sentence with accurate data based on the graphic on page 113?

  • A. NO CHANGE
  • B. Yet by 1865, the number of patents granted to women had more than doubled.
  • C. Yet by 1870, the number of patents granted to women had surpassed those granted to men.
  • D. Yet by 1866, the number of patents granted to women had fallen short of the 1840 count.

2. Which sentence should be eliminated to improve the paragraph's focus?

  • A. Sentence 1
  • B. Sentence 2
  • C. Sentence 3
  • D. Sentence 5

3.

  • A. NO CHANGE
  • B. many years later on,
  • C. later,
  • D. later on in her life,

4.

  • A. NO CHANGE
  • B. Furthermore,
  • C. Also,
  • D. Therefore,

5.

  • A. NO CHANGE
  • B. an inconceivable
  • C. a trivial
  • D. a rare

6.

  • A. NO CHANGE
  • B. subsequent
  • C. former
  • D. ultimate

7.

  • A. NO CHANGE
  • B. factories, because this resulted
  • C. factories; this resulted
  • D. factories, but resulted

8. Which choice most effectively supports the claim made in sentence 1?

  • A. Knight's first invention was for a device that would stop machinery from injuring workers.
  • B. At least some of this can be attributed to her own qualities rather than social conditions.
  • C. This is obvious when one considers the impressive rate of her creations.
  • D. This was a quality few women had at the time, as it was considered unfeminine.

9.

  • A. NO CHANGE
  • B. The progress of feminism in the twentieth century, which
  • C. The progress of feminism in the twentieth century,
  • D. The progress of feminism in the twentieth century, it

10.

  • A. NO CHANGE
  • B. Nevertheless, Dr. Carol B. Muller, founder of a nonprofit that promotes women in science states
  • C. Nevertheless Dr. Carol B. Muller, founder of a nonprofit that promotes women in science, states,
  • D. Nevertheless, Dr. Carol B. Muller, founder of a nonprofit that promotes women in science, states,

11. Which sentence would most effectively conclude the paragraph?

  • A. Given that we all benefit from new inventions that improve the quality of our lives, let us hope this becomes reality.
  • B. Recent social changes have had a positive impact on today's women inventors.
  • C. Unfortunately, women today are barely doing better than in Knight's day.
  • D. The patent system is alive and well in the twenty-first century, thanks to women trailblazers such as Margaret Knight.