New SAT Reading Practice Test 15: Roman Architecture and Public Baths

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Question 11 questions

Time 14 minutes

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This passage is adapted from Daniel J. Boorstin, The Creators: A History of Heroes of the Imagination. © 1992 by Daniel J. Boorstin.

1. Which of the following best expresses the main idea of the passage?

  • A. Public baths in Roman society provided not only sanitary facilities but also social and cultural gathering places.
  • B. Roman architecture rejected the exterior-based Greek traditions in favor of large, public, interior spaces.
  • C. The large curved spaces that concrete made possible in Roman architecture were more appropriate for civic than for religious functions.
  • D. A combination of civic need and innovation in building materials led Romans to great architectural innovation.

2. In the first paragraph (lines 1-14), what is the most likely reason the author mentions Greek temple architecture?

  • A. To show how Roman architectural innovations improved upon the earlier Greek traditions
  • B. To locate the new trends in architecture developed by the Romans within architectural history
  • C. To prove that Roman architects were more creative in their imagining of interior space than Greek architects
  • D. To argue that the new interior spaces created by Romans were better suited to religious architecture than Greek temples were

3. As used in line 7, "omnipresent" most nearly means

  • A. large.
  • B. pervasive.
  • C. eternal.
  • D. imposing.

4. The author implies that which of the following was critical to Roman architectural developments?

  • A. The need for large, interior spaces where urban culture could be expressed
  • B. The convenience of public baths to people of all social strata
  • C. The development over time of construction techniques using concrete
  • D. The rapid expansion of baths into community and cultural centers

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

  • A. Lines 5-6 ("They…spaces")
  • B. Lines 15-18 ("This…error")
  • C. Lines 22-27 ("While…mystery")
  • D. Lines 42-47 ("Others…thousand")

6. What is the primary purpose of the third paragraph (lines 19-27) in relation to the structure of the passage as a whole?

  • A. To introduce a need that gave rise to innovations described elsewhere in the passage
  • B. To reinforce a contrast mentioned in the first paragraph and provide additional detail
  • C. To emphasize the mysterious nature of the innovations discussed in the passage
  • D. To dismiss an earlier thesis in favor of the one described in the following paragraphs

7. As used in line 31, "anticipated" most nearly means

  • A. foreshadowed.
  • B. expected.
  • C. prevented.
  • D. enjoyed.

8. It can be inferred from the description of public baths in the last paragraph that

  • A. a visit to the bath might be quite different from a visit to a modern bath.
  • B. they were much like modern gyms; patrons would first exercise, then bathe.
  • C. Romans believed in the benefits of exposing oneself to a variety of temperatures.
  • D. the convenience of having so many activities in one location is unparalleled in history.

9. The author believes that the most exemplary Roman baths provided

  • A. a venue for architectural experimentation.
  • B. important sanitary facilities for citizens.
  • C. fine arts enrichment to the public.
  • D. community gathering spaces.

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

  • A. Lines 15-18 ("This grand…error")
  • B. Lines 21-22 ("And the new…cities")
  • C. Lines 32-34 ("Grand public…provinces")
  • D. Lines 64-66 ("The baths…art")

11. Which of the following is supported by information in both the passage and the diagram?

  • A. Roman baths usually included frigidariums.
  • B. The palestrae were located on opposite sides of the building.
  • C. Commercial contractors always built public baths in a rectangular shape.
  • D. The natatio was often used for wrestling and hoop-rolling.