New SAT Reading Practice Test 8: Paired Passages - Colorado River

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Question 11 questions

Time 14 minutes

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Passage 1 is adapted from Theodore S. Melis, Ed., "Effects of Three High-Flow Experiments on the Colorado River Ecosystem Downstream from Glen Canyon Dam, Arizona," published in 2011 by the U.S. Geological Survey. Passage 2 is adapted from Paul E. Grams, "A Sand Budget for Marble Canyon, Arizona—Implications for Long-Term Monitoring of Sand Storage Change," published in 2013 by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Passage 1

Passage 2

1. The author of Passage 1 most likely believes that the Glen Canyon Dam

  • A. is a useful tool for managing scarce water resources.
  • B. was built with a lack of foresight.
  • C. has decimated native fish populations.
  • D. has had a calming effect on the aquatic ecosystem.

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

  • A. Lines 1-4 ("At the time…Park")
  • B. Lines 17-23 ("The humpback…Canyon")
  • C. Lines 24-25 ("Annual…regime")
  • D. Lines 30-34 ("Pre-dam floods…transported")

3. The author of Passage 1 mentions scientists and river recreationists primarily to

  • A. provide support for the idea that post-dam river looks drastically different.
  • B. draw a contrast between scientific observations and casual observations of river conditions.
  • C. emphasize the spirit of collaboration between the science community and the public in conservation efforts.
  • D. prove that the Glen Canyon Dam has had a ruinous effect on the river.

4. Passage 1 suggests that the humpback chub

  • A. is now extinct in the Grand Canyon.
  • B. has a small, depressed skull.
  • C. can survive in changing environments.
  • D. thrives in high velocity river channels.

5. As used in line 25, "regime" most nearly means

  • A. government.
  • B. tenure.
  • C. system.
  • D. management.

6. As used in line 65, "suspended" most nearly means

  • A. stopped.
  • B. mixed.
  • C. withheld.
  • D. hanging.

7. It is reasonable to conclude that controlled floods

  • A. successfully simulate pre-dam snowmelt floods.
  • B. contain large amounts of suspended sediment.
  • C. may be detrimental to the health of the Colorado River.
  • D. should be done during the months that snowmelt floods typically occur.

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

  • A. Lines 58-59 ("Normal…sandbars")
  • B. Lines 66-68 ("The suspended…velocity")
  • C. Lines 71-73 ("Newly…sand")
  • D. Lines 77-79 ("Scientists…low")

9. The author of Passage 1 would most likely respond to the High Flow Experiments described in Passage 2 by

  • A. appreciating the efforts of scientists to maintain the sand supply below the dam.
  • B. warning of the calamity of interfering with the river ecosystem.
  • C. questioning the ability of controlled floods to build up sandbars.
  • D. worrying that reshaped habitats will harm native fish.

10. Which of the following best describes the structure of the two passages?

  • A. Passage 1 introduces a problem, and Passage 2 proposes a solution to the problem.
  • B. Passage 1 offers a historical discussion, and Passage 2 describes the implications of a scientific practice.
  • C. Passage 1 gives background information, and Passage 2 details recent changes.
  • D. Passage 1 describes an experiment, and Passage 2 offers suggestions for future action.

11. Which of the following statements is true of Passage 1, but not of Passage 2?

  • A. The passage gives details of scientific studies conducted on the river.
  • B. The passage offers documented evidence of topographic change in the river.
  • C. The passage indicates the importance of floods to the river ecosystem.
  • D. The passage gives specific examples of species affected by the dam.