New SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 21

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Question 11 questions

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One of the most significant art discoveries of all time began in 1940, when a group of five teenagers and their dog [1] walk to a nearby hill in southern France, looking for hidden treasure. They definitely found [2] some, they discovered the Cave of Lascaux, home of the famous Lascaux prehistoric cave paintings.

[3] At around 15,000 BC, the climate on earth had warmed and the glaciers had receded. Rising sea levels were causing more rainfall that supported vegetation and small game animals. Groups of prehistoric people took advantage of these improved conditions and migrated to the Pyrenees of France. Among them were the artists of the Lascaux cave.

[4] The fact that many of the paintings are located more than a mile from the mouth of the cave has led us to believe that the paintings were part of “ritual’ activities and the cave was a type of sanctuary. To reach the painting site the artists had to go on an [5] expedition. Since it took days, provisions were needed. Lamps made of limestone or sandstone that burned animal fat, and torches made from wood coated with fat had to be brought along. The artists were not deterred by darkness, the lakes that had to be crossed, or the stalagmites that had to be removed to reach their destination.

The paintings are predominantly depictions of animals—almost 600 in all. The horse is the most popular animal. Others include aurochs, stags, ibex and bison and more rarely, bears and felines. There is only one human representation at the site, not unusual among paintings of this time period.

(#1) The images at Lascaux were created using primitive paints with pigments. (#2) The pigments at Lascaux include ochre, charcoal, iron oxide, hematite, manganese and other minerals that produced the browns, blacks, reds and grays in the paintings. (#3) A binder stabilized the paint and many have [6] forestalled permanent adhesion to the stone surface. (#4) No trace is left of the binder but possibilities are water, fat, saliva, blood or urine. (#5) These minerals were most likely ground into a powder using stone mortars and pestles. (#6) A vehicle liquefied the paint and allowed it to be applied to the surface. (#7) Water or oil are typical vehicles that might have been used. [7]

The artists may have applied the paint with brushes and [8] fingers or paint was blown through a straw. Some of the paintings seem to have been created by using a crayon to draw an outline of the [9] figures. And then filling it in with a brush. Crayons were produced by mixing pigment with a binder, molding it into the desired shape and letting it dry. [10] Brushes that may have been made from leaves with shredded ends enabled the artists to leave both wide and narrow strokes of paint on the cave’s walls. Moreover, bits of evidence indicate that the stone surface suggested shapes of animals and objects to [11] the artist that they could then perfect by applying paint.


  • B. walked
  • C. walks
  • D. had walked


  • B. some, having discovered
  • C. some they discovered
  • D. some; discovering


  • B. During approximately 15,000
  • C. Around roughly 15,000
  • D. By 15,000

4. Which of the following sentences most effectively and accurately expresses the main topic of this paragraph?

  • A. The cave could not have been used for everyday activities.
  • B. Cave artists were likely a select group of talented people.
  • C. To protect the paintings from vandalism, they were created as far as possible from the cave entrance.
  • D. The Lascaux paintings are religious in nature.

5. Which choice best combines the sentences where the segment of the passage is underlined?

  • A. expedition that since it took days it needed provisions.
  • B. expedition that took days and required provisions.
  • C. expedition, and since it took days, requiring artists to bring all the necessary provisions.
  • D. expedition, and provisions were needed, which took days.


  • B. proposed
  • C. promoted
  • D. prompted

7. For the sake of cohesion in this paragraph, sentence #5 should be placed

  • A. where it is now.
  • B. after sentence #1.
  • C. after sentence #2.
  • D. after sentence #6.


  • B. fingers, or blowing through straws
  • C. fingers and with straws through which they blew paint
  • D. fingers and with paint blown through a straw


  • B. figures. Then filling
  • C. figures, and then they filled
  • D. figures, then filling


  • B. Brushes, that may have been made from various leaves, with shredded ends,
  • C. Brushes that may have been made from various leaves, with shredded ends,
  • D. Brushes that may have been made from various leaves with shredded ends,


  • B. the artists that they could then perfect
  • C. the artist that he or she could then perfect
  • D. artists, who then could perfect shapes