New SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 14

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[1] Imagine you're texting someone, and the two of you get into a heated debate. [2] They correct our spelling. [3] Finally, to prove your point once and for all, you write a voluminous, paragraph-long text, only to see that your interlocutor has responded, "TL; DR." [4] Now, you might know that this means "too long, didn't read," but what if you don't? 1 [5] Well, Urban Dictionary can save the day. [6] Just type the phrase into Google and see what turns 2 down. [7] Dictionaries have a way of showing up in every facet of our digital lives. [8]They translate pages in foreign languages. [9] They define words that we think we know and those we've never heard of. [10] Dictionaries are everywhere.3

1. The writer is considering deleting the phrase what if you don't?, and adjusting the punctuation accordingly. Should this phrase be kept or deleted?

  • A. Kept, because it adds variety to a paragraph full of declarative sentences.
  • B. Kept, because it poses a question that is answered in the following sentence.
  • C. Deleted, because it is a rhetorical question to which the answer is already implied.
  • D. Deleted, because no part of the paragraph goes on to answer it.


  • B. in.
  • C. back.
  • D. up.

3. The best placement for sentence 2 would be

  • A. where it is now.
  • B. at the beginning of the paragraph.
  • C. after sentence 5.
  • D. after sentence 8.

In fact, dictionaries are so prevalent that it's easy to forget that they 5 have not always existed. The word "dictionary" was in fact not coined until John of Garland published his Dictionarius in 1220 to help readers with their Latin diction. 5 Furthermore, 6 numerous dictionaries appeared throughout the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period; the first noteworthy English dictionary came from Samuel Johnson, whose Dictionary of the English Language was published first in 1755. Johnson's opus remains the first modern dictionary, containing consistent spellings, variant definitions, textual 7 usages, and alphabetical, arrangements. Johnson's dictionary was the law of the lexicon until 1884, when the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) began its reign, which continues today.


  • B. were not
  • C. did not
  • D. did not have

5. The writer is considering replacing the word diction with pronunciation. Should the writer make the change or keep the sentence as is?

  • A. Make the change, because pronunciation is the more commonly used word.
  • B. Make the change, because diction has an imprecise meaning in the sentence.
  • C. Keep the sentence as is, because diction helps to explain the term given earlier in the sentence.
  • D. Keep the sentence as is, because pronunciation means something contrary to diction.


  • B. indeed, numerous dictionaries
  • C. a number of dictionaries
  • D. while numerous dictionaries


  • B. usages, and, alphabetical
  • C. usages, and alphabetical
  • D. usages and alphabetical,

Johnson's American counterpart was Noah Webster, who published his first dictionary in 1806. Webster's best-known 8 work An American Dictionary of the English Language, was published in 1828. The text was based in large part on Johnson's dictionary, though it included 12,000 9 words that had not appeared in previous dictionaries. In addition, Webster was a spelling reformer who thought English spellings were overly ornate and complex. As a result, when Americans write "color" and "gray" where the English write 10 other things, Americans have Noah Webster to thank.

11 What is interesting about these two dictionaries, and about the history of dictionaries in general, is how clearly they show the different directions that language can be pulled. On the one hand, a new dictionary should solidify the language in a new way—it should settle old disputes and give definitive definitions. On the other hand, each dictionary update shows that language is fluid and that no printed word can contain the varieties of language as it is actually used. After all, the OED may have told the world that "selfie" was the word of the year in 2013, but didn't the world know that already?


  • B. work, An American Dictionary of the English Language
  • C. work, An American Dictionary of the English Language,
  • D. work An American Dictionary of the English Language

9. Which of the following true statements would best emphasize the unique achievement of Webster's dictionary?

  • B. words that drew from languages varying from Old English to Sanskrit.
  • C. words, which is a heck of a lot of words.
  • D. words from many sources, including books and speeches.


  • B. colour and "grey,"
  • C. differently,
  • D. DELETE the underlined portion, placing the comma after the word write.


  • B. Both what is interesting about these two dictionaries and what is interesting about dictionaries in general,
  • C. About the history of dictionaries in general, but in particular about these two,
  • D. These two dictionaries are interesting, but so is the history of dictionaries in general,