SAT Literature Practice Test 20

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Question 9 questions

Time 9 minutes

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Directions: This test consists of selections from literary works and questions on their content, form, and style. After each passage or poem, choose the best answer to each question.

In the second year of the reign of Valentinian and Valens, on the morning of the twenty-first day of July, the greatest part of the Roman world was shaken by a violent and destructive earthquake.

1. Which of the following is NOT a result of the earthquake?

A. beached vessels
B. scorched earth
C. extensive property damage
D. many casualties
E. widespread flooding

2. The sentence "the impression was communicated to the waters" (lines 1-2) most nearly means

A. citizens sent distress signals via boats
B. the water carried the sound of the earthquake
C. the earthquake took place off shore
D. the earthquake caused water displacement
E. the sea parted with the power of the earthquake

3. It can be inferred from the passage that Rome's citizens

A. had never before seen such widespread destruction
B. placed a great deal of value on human life
C. thought the world was deteriorating
D. understood the causes of natural disasters
E. were not prone to confabulation

4. The author's tone can best be described as

A. detached
B. disparaging
C. amused
D. frightened
E. alarmist

5. It can be inferred from the passage that people affected by the earthquake were

A. homogenous
B. superstitious
C. reactionary
D. insightful
E. regretful

6. Which of the following quotes best describes the reason the Romans were so frightened by the earthquake?

A. they considered these alarming strokes as the prelude only of still more dreadful calamities (lines 27-29)
B. the city of Alexandria annually commemorated the fatal day, on which fifty thousand persons had lost their lives in the inundation (lines 17-20)
C. a curious spectator amused his eye, or rather his fancy, by contemplating the various appearance of valleys and mountains, which had never, since the formation of the globe, been exposed to the sun (lines 5-10)
D. great quantities of fish were caught with the hand; (lines 3-4)
E. But the tide soon returned, with the weight of an immense and irresistible deluge, which was severely felt (lines 10-12)

7. In context, "declining" (line 30) most nearly means

A. sinking
B. worsening
C. aging
D. shrinking
E. weary

8. Which of the following is true, according to the passage?

A. The Roman Empire lost 50,000 people.
B. Homes were destroyed by the rift in the earth.
C. The earthquakes in Bithnyia and Palestine were not as destructive as this earthquake.
D. The Mediterranean's tides were permanently affected.
E. The damage was primarily caused by a surge of water.

9. The line "great quantities of fish were caught with the hand" contains an example of

A. figurative language
B. colorful adjectives
C. passive verb construction
D. oxymoronic impossibilities
E. pastoral analogies