New SAT Reading Practice Test 7: Plate Tectonics

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

The following is from a passage about continental drift and plate tectonics from Science World.

This image shows the three main types of plate boundaries: divergent, convergent, and transform. Image adapted from the U.S. Geological Survey.

1. Based on the information in the passage it can be reasonably inferred that

  • A. geological theories are only proven with the help of technological advances.
  • B. improvements in satellite technology advanced plate tectonics theory.
  • C. the plate tectonics theory was created in 1965.
  • D. the San Andreas Fault proved the veracity of plate tectonics theory.

2. In the third paragraph (lines 20-25), what is the distinction the author draws between continental-drift theory and plate tectonics?

  • A. Fluidity versus immobility
  • B. Drifting along versus pushing with purpose
  • C. Moving through versus moving with
  • D. Sailing on oceans versus rafting through streams

3. As used in line 42, "convection" most nearly means

  • A. liquefying.
  • B. melting.
  • C. mobilizing.
  • D. transferring.

4. In line 56, what is the most likely reason the author introduces Yellowstone's hot springs?

  • A. As an example of a mid-plate volcano
  • B. As proof that plates slide past each other
  • C. As support for an opposing theory
  • D. As an example of a mid-ocean ridge

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

  • A. Lines 3-5 ("It was…activity")
  • B. Lines 54-55 ("The volcanoes…northeast")
  • C. Lines 60-62 ("As the…activity")
  • D. Lines 65-67 ("Plate…them")

6. As used in line 64, "compatible" most nearly means

  • A. consistent.
  • B. adaptable.
  • C. opposed.
  • D. skewed.

7. What is the most likely reason the author mentions Iceland?

  • A. To offer an example of an island created at a mid-ocean ridge
  • B. To show a contrast between an island and a continent
  • C. To prove that an island can also be a volcano
  • D. To assert that the Mid-Atlantic Ridge connects two plates

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

  • A. Lines 9-12 ("Plates…other")
  • B. Lines 41-44 ("Scientists…Earth")
  • C. Lines 49-52 ("Most…center")
  • D. Lines 69-72 ("As…islands")

9. The principal rhetorical purpose of the phrase "Some geologists…separate" (lines 80-84) is to

  • A. suggest that scientists are still investigating plate tectonic theory.
  • B. emphasize the lack of data supporting how fractures separate.
  • C. reveal that some scientists disagree with the major tenets of plate tectonics.
  • D. expose a weakness in the continental-drift theory.

10. It can be reasonably inferred from information in the passage and the diagram that

  • A. continental rift zones always occur beside the ocean.
  • B. hot spots are molten plumes that travel through the lithosphere to the surface.
  • C. mid-ocean ridges are caused by the presence of subducting plates.
  • D. oceanic crust is more rigid than continental crust.