SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 4

Home > SAT Test > SAT Writing and Language Practice Tests

Test Information

Question 11 questions

Time 9 minutes

See All test questions

Take more free SAT Writing and Language Practice Tests available from

And Justice for All

Her father got her the job. Amanda was between semesters at college, and her 1 work at the mall wouldn't do much for her when she got out of school. It was time to do something more serious, something that meant more to her. Many of her friends were getting internships in the city, working for this or that publishing house or TV studio. Amanda, however, wanted something different. She would start applying to law schools 2 soon and she wanted to know what the law looked like in action.


  • B. work, at the mall, wouldn't do much for her when
  • C. work at the mall wouldn't do much for her, when
  • D. work, at the mall, wouldn't do much for her, when


  • B. soon and,
  • C. soon, and
  • D. soon,

Fortunately, her dad knew someone from high school, a friend 3 named Ellen, who had then gone on to study at Duke University. It was a thankless job, and although the Department building itself covered almost one hundred acres (in New York City, there was an entire island devoted to it), no one paid the Department of Corrections much mind. Most people never come near a jail cell, so 4 it's easy for them to dismiss inmates as totally removed from society.

[1] At the Department, however, Amanda learned about prisoners' rights. [2] Or, by the same token, when was the use of force appropriate from the officers? [3] There is a clear provision in the Constitution that prohibits "cruel and unusual punishment." [4] The meaning of these four words 5 were nowhere more ambiguous than in prisons. [5] Everyone within these walls had been convicted of a crime and was now paying 6 they're debt to society, but how could a government ensure that the place would deliver the "reform" in a reformatory or the "penitence" in a penitentiary? [6] Should inmates with, for example, mental illnesses be treated differently from others?7

3. Which of the following true statements contains information most in keeping with the main idea of this passage?

  • B. who had gone on to law school and now worked at the County Department of Corrections.
  • C. with whom he had not spoken in twenty-five years, though with whom he still felt very close.
  • D. DELETE the underlined portion.

4. Which of the following best concludes this paragraph by reinforcing ideas presented in this sentence and the preceding one?

  • B. people often know literally nothing about prison life, though they are endlessly fascinated.
  • C. movie studios are famous for their sordid but often wrong depictions of prison life.
  • D. incarceration rates in the United States are some of the highest in the world.


  • B. have been
  • C. are
  • D. is


  • B. their
  • C. there
  • D. his or her

7. In the sequence of the paragraph, the best placement for sentence 2 would be

  • A. where it is now.
  • B. before sentence 1.
  • C. after sentence 3.
  • D. after sentence 6.

While Amanda did not gain any answers from her summer at the Department of Corrections, she 8 gathered together a whole new set of questions. She had uncovered questions and conundrums about the prison system itself, but she had begun to see prisoners' rights as central to the question of free rights as well. She began to wonder exactly what it was that a government owed its people and how much freedom was too much. Her internship that summer made her realize that politics and the law 9 was a living thing. As she applied to law schools the following fall, Amanda wrote passionately about what she had uncovered. "Although law has long been considered a profession of privilege and prestige," she concluded her essay, "I have seen firsthand how it affects the lives of all of us. We may believe that we never come into contact with the 10 law; however, it is written into everything around us, including how we see ourselves."


  • B. gathered up
  • C. collected up
  • D. gathered


  • B. were living things.
  • C. was a thing that was alive.
  • D. were things that were living.


  • B. law, however
  • C. law, however;
  • D. law, however,

11. Suppose the writer's goal had been to write an essay that criticizes the American justice system. Would this essay fulfill that goal?

  • A. Yes, because it refers to much of what Amanda learns as "conundrums."
  • B. Yes, because it shows that the U.S. justice system has some problems.
  • C. No, because it tells the story of one person becoming interested in the justice system.
  • D. No, because it suggests that working in the justice system inspired one person's entire career.