SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: Unforeseen Consequences: The Dark Side of the Industrial Revolution

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Unforeseen Consequences: The Dark Side of the Industrial Revolution

There is no doubt that the Industrial Revolution guided America through the nascent stages of independence 1 and into being a robust economic powerhouse. Inventions like the cotton gin revolutionized the textile industry, and the steam engine ushered in the advent of expeditious cross-country distribution.

The Industrial Revolution marked a shift from an agrarian to an industry-centered society. People eschewed farming in favor of 2 more lucrative enterprises in urban areas which put a strain on existing local resources. Necessary goods such as 3 food crops, vegetables, and meat products also had to be shipped in order to meet the dietary needs of a consolidated population. And because there were fewer people farming, food had to travel farther and in higher quantities to meet demand. Issues like carbon dioxide emissions, therefore, arose not only as byproducts of industrial production but also from the delivery of these products. As a result, booming metropolises needed additional lumber, metal, and coal shipped from rural areas to sustain population and industrial growth.

4 [1] The negative effects of such expansion on humans were immediately apparent. Improper water sanitization led to cholera outbreaks in big cities. [2] Miners suffered from black lung after spending hours harvesting coal in dark caverns. [3] Combusted fossil fuels 5 released unprecedented amounts of human-made carbon dioxide into the air, resulting in respiratory ailments. [4] The fact remains that smog, now an internationally recognized buzzword, simply did not exist before the factories that produced it.

The critical impact on the environment must also 6 be taken into account. Proper regulations were either not in place or not enforced. Industrial waste was often disposed of in the nearest river or buried in landfills, where it 7 polluted groundwater essential for wildlife to thrive. Deforestation across the United States served the dual purpose of providing inhabitable land and wood, but it also caused animals to migrate or die out completely.

Although the Industrial Revolution heralded an age of consumer ease and excess, it also invited a cyclical process of destruction and reduced resources. 8 Greenhouse gases were released into the atmosphere. Numerous health problems caused by 9 depressing working conditions prevented rural emigrants from thriving. And the environment that had cradled humankind since its inception was slowly being 10 degraded. All in the name of progress.11


  • B. and into the role of a robust economic powerhouse.
  • C. and turned into a robust economic powerhouse.
  • D. and then became a robust economic powerhouse.


  • B. more lucrative enterprises in urban areas, which put a strain on
  • C. more lucrative enterprises in urban areas; which put a strain on
  • D. more lucrative enterprises in urban areas. Which put a strain on


  • B. food
  • C. food crops
  • D. vegetables and meat products

4. To effectively transition from paragraph 2, which sentence should begin paragraph 3?

  • A. Sentence 1
  • B. Sentence 2
  • C. Sentence 3
  • D. Sentence 4

5. Which graphic would best support the underlined claim?

  • A. A line graph plotting an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide over time
  • B. A pie chart comparing the present percentages of carbon dioxide and other atmospheric gases
  • C. A timeline tracking carbon dioxide emissions testing dates
  • D. A bar graph showing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide in different locations

6. Which choice most effectively combines the sentences at the underlined portion?

  • A. be taken into account, and proper regulations
  • B. be taken into account since without proper regulations
  • C. be taken into account, as proper regulations
  • D. be taken into account; however, proper regulations


  • B. disturbed
  • C. drained
  • D. enhanced

8. Which choice should be added to the end of the underlined sentence to better support the claim in the preceding sentence?

  • B. while carbon dioxide-consuming trees were cut down to make way for new living spaces.
  • C. and caused an increase in global temperatures as well as a rise in coastal sea levels.
  • D. faster than they could be absorbed by the atmosphere's shrinking ozone layer.


  • B. urban
  • C. substandard
  • D. developing


  • B. degraded; all
  • C. degraded! All
  • D. degraded—all

11. Which choice most effectively states the central idea of the essay on the previous page?

  • A. The Industrial Revolution created a new consumer society that replaced the existing farming society.
  • B. Politicians and historians today disagree about the true consequences of the Industrial Revolution.
  • C. Although some analysts suggest that industrialization had many problems, its immense benefits outweigh these concerns.
  • D. Unfortunately, progress came at the expense of environmental and ecological preservation and may well have ruined the future that once looked so bright.