New SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 25

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[1] How to explain the popularity of the Beatles, a group that broke up officially in 1970 in the 21st century? The Beatles break up was marked with rancor and resentment between Paul McCartney and [2] John Lennon. Lawsuits were filed and legal matters dragged out for years, during which time the principals hardly communicated.

(#1) This sour end to the most popular music group of all time has not cooled the ardor of their fans. (#2) Beatle fanatics continue to make pilgrimages to iconic Liverpool and London locations to experience the landmarks of Beatles history. (#3) Go to any Paul McCartney or Ringo concert and you’ll see fans of all generations, not just aging baby boomers. (#4) Many of these fans continue to gather at annual Beatles fests in America and Liverpool to pay [3] loyalty to their favorite band. (#5) This is the most powerful testament to the enduring legacy of the Beatles. (#6) As the magical melodies travel from generation to generation, you can be assured that the Beatles will remain as relevant today as they were in those halcyon days of 1963–70. [4]

Although the group’s musical innovations are often cited to account for [5] their continued popularity, inventiveness alone cannot be the whole story. Some observers insist they gain their importance in the history of music because of their refreshing humor. Of the popular rock artists [6] prior to the Beatles; they came across as dull, including the Beach Boys, and the Four Seasons. Even Elvis Presley and the Rolling Stones, when compared to the Beatles, lacked humor and insightfulness.

So where did their humor come from? One theory says that it was a natural coping mechanism of residents who used to rely on humor to relieve the hardships they experienced in Liverpool, England, their post-World War II blue-collar hometown. Liverpudlians, as the natives are called, [7] even make jokes about their city!

Why does the River Mersey run through Liverpool? Because it doesn’t want to get mugged. Their wit got a boost, too, from the screenwriter of their first movie, A Hard Day’s Night, who, in crafting the movie script, drew upon their sense of humor, their manner of talking, and [8] they had like a natural bond between them. Humorous quips, especially cutting ones from John Lennon, became their standard manner of speaking in public.

When the Beatles were about to debut on American television in 1964, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” had already sold a million copies [9] a larger number than any group. [10] Consequently, arriving at the airport in New York, [11] an avalanche of reporters greeted the group. That there were many reporters there to skewer these longhaired interlopers was not a delusion. As one CBS News commentator said, “They symbolize the 20th century non-hero as they make non-music, wearing non-haircuts, give non-mercy.” Luckily for the Beatles, their wit won over the American media—and helped ensure that we’d still be celebrating them more than a half century later.


  • B. When they officially broke up in 1970, can the popularity of the Beatles be explained in the 21st century?
  • C. Although they broke up in 1970 officially, in the 21st century can the Beatles’ popularity be explained?
  • D. Can the popularity of the Beatles, a group that broke up officially in 1970, be explained in the 21st century?


  • B. John Lennon. They filed lawsuits and legal matters were dragged out
  • C. John Lennon and lawsuits were filed and legal matters dragged out
  • D. John Lennon, who filed lawsuits and their legal matters dragged out


  • B. homage
  • C. kudos
  • D. servility

4. For the sake of the cohesion of this paragraph, sentence 5 should be placed

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


  • B. its enduring notoriety
  • C. its uninterrupted popularity
  • D. their interminable popularity


  • B. prior to the Beatles, the Beach Boys and the Four Seasons came across as dull.
  • C. prior to the Beatles, they came across as dull, including the Beach Boys and the Four Seasons.
  • D. prior to the Beatles, like the Beach Boys, and the Four Seasons, they all came across as dull.


  • B. regularly made jokes about their city:
  • C. are accustomed to making jokes about the city.
  • D. got into the regular habit of joking about their city;


  • B. they had a natural bond between them
  • C. their bond being natural between them
  • D. the natural bond between them


  • B. a higher amount than any song
  • C. more than the sales of any other song
  • D. the highest number of any group


  • B. In comparison
  • C. At the same time
  • D. As a matter of fact


  • B. a large amount of reporters greeted the group
  • C. the group was greeted by an avalanche of reporters
  • D. reporters in great numbers greeted the group