New SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 27

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Question 11 questions

Time 9 minutes

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Although history and the outdoors, including hiking in the mountains and deserts, [1] is Ari Drummond’s greatest joy, he hadn’t realized he wanted to be an archaeologist until he was 23 and was nearly finished with a totally unrelated college degree. He pinpoints his decision to be an archaeologist to a single day: Having been traveling overseas for a while and wandering around Izmir, Turkey, [2] a museum of archaeology caught his eye. The halls of the museum contained an impressive collection of ancient Greek artifacts, ancient statues, vases, stone carvings, and even long-buried sarcophaguses (coffins). The archaeologist’s job would be [3] to pull centuries-old objects like those out of the ground, and seemed like something he might like to try. By chance, he struck up a conversation with a Mr. Yilmaz, an archaeologist and one of the museum’s curators. They got along [4] very good; so good in fact that Mr. Yilmaz invited him to lunch next day. [5] He suggested that he study archaeology during lunch.

Ari followed through. It happens that Indiana Jones movies were the rage at the time. To Ari, Indiana Jones was a role model. The films portrayed the archaeologist’s routine with surprising accuracy. [6] Ari was an avid fan of Indiana Jones’ movies. Snakes, especially rattlers, are often an issue in wilderness areas where Ari works. Other dangers include spiders, bears, and stumbling upon back country drug-growing [7] areas while he is out on a survey perils such as those don’t deter him. The search for evidence of ancient humans totally [8] will totally devour his entire mind and body. Managing an active dig site, he says, is like keeping multiple plates spinning all at once. (#11) He spends most of the time tirelessly digging into the earth and getting completely [9] filthy, but there are not frequent discoveries of arrowheads or other objects.

For Ari, there’s nothing so thrilling as reaching into the dirt and picking up varieties of stone tools or weapons that human hands have not touched for 800 years or [10] more. Such artifacts link him instantly to those ancient people who left them there so long ago. In fact, finding an arrowhead once led Ari to discover a previously unknown Shoshone Indian village in Utah.

Archaeologists dig excruciatingly [11] slowly. They engage in a methodical process of shaving the ground just a few centimeters at a time so the soil and the artifacts can tell us the story of the past. It’s a destructive science, really, because once the earth is disturbed, it can never be returned exactly as it had been.


  • B. was Ari Drummond’s greatest joy
  • C. have been what have given Ari Drummond his greatest joy
  • D. were Ari Drummond’s greatest joy


  • B. his eye caught a museum of archaeology
  • C. he came across a museum of archaeology
  • D. an archaeological museum caught his eye


  • B. having the experience of pulling centuries-old objects like these ones
  • C. experiencing the pulling of ancient, centuries-old objects like those
  • D. to pull those ancient, centuries-old objects


  • B. very well, so well in fact that
  • C. very well. So well that
  • D. very good, so good that


  • B. He suggested to Ari that he study archaeology at lunch
  • C. As they ate, Mr. Yilmaz suggested that Ari study archaeology
  • D. Mr. Yilmaz made the suggestion to Ari that he should study archaeology at lunch

6. For the sake of paragraph cohesion, which choice is the most effective substitute for the underlined sentence?

  • A. No substitute; delete the sentence from the passage.
  • B. Ari’s hat is never far from his head, and khaki pants are part of his standard uniform.
  • C. The work entails travel to many remote places on the map.
  • D. Despite their education and training, archaeologists usually don’t get rich.


  • B. areas. While he is out on a survey,
  • C. areas while he is out on a survey,
  • D. areas, while he is out on a survey


  • B. has devoured his entire mind and body
  • C. devours his mind and body
  • D. will totally devour his mind and body


  • B. filthy, but he discovers arrowheads and other objects fairly infrequently.
  • C. filthy, and infrequently are arrowheads and other objects discovered.
  • D. filthy, but a discovery of arrowheads or other objects are not frequent.


  • B. more; artifacts that link him instantly to the ancient people who left them
  • C. more. Such artifacts, they are an instant link to the people which left them
  • D. more. These artifacts create an instant link-up with ancient people who have left them

11. For the sake of cohesion, which choice most effectively combines the sentences in the underlined portions?

  • A. slowly, and they engage
  • B. slowly; while digging, they engage
  • C. slowly, but they engage
  • D. slowly, engaging