SAT Verbal Test – Solutions
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1. Because of his success as a comedian, directors were loath to consider him for …………… roles.
Correct Answer: (C)
Solution: If the public expects a comedian to always make them laugh, then they might not accept a comedian in a serious role. Hence, the directors would be loath (reluctant) to cast a comedian in a dramatic role. The answer is (C).
2. Man has no choice but to seek truth, he is made uncomfortable and frustrated without truth–thus, the quest for truth is part of what makes us …………… .
Correct Answer: (C)
Solution: If man has no choice but to seek truth, then this is an essential characteristic of man. In other words, it is part of what makes us human. The answer is (C).
3. Though he claimed the business was ……………, his irritability …………… that claim.
(A) sound . . belied
(B) expanding . . supported
(C) downsizing . . vindicated
(D) static . . contradicted
(E) booming. . affirmed
Correct Answer: (A)
Solution: If the business was not sound, his irritability would belie (contradict) his claim that the business was sound. The answer is (A).
4. The citizenry had become so …………… by the presidents …………… that the latest financial scandal did not even make the front page of the newspapers.
(A) fascinated . . impropriety
(B) disgusted . . peccadilloes
(C) distraught . . magnanimity
(D) regretful . . personification
(E) jaded . . indiscretions
Correct Answer: (E)
Solution: A financial scandal is an indiscretion; and it may not have made the front page because the public was jaded (worn out) by an excess of scandals. The answer is (E).
Passage for Question 5:
As Xenophanes recognized as long ago as the sixth century before Christ, whether or not God made man in His own image, it is certain that man makes gods in his. The gods of Greek mythology first appear in the writings of Homer and Hesiod, and, from the character and actions of these picturesque and, for the most part, friendly beings, we get some idea of the men who made them and brought them to Greece.
But ritual is more fundamental than mythology, and the study of Greek ritual during recent years has shown that, beneath the belief or skepticism with which the Olympians were regarded, lay an older magic, with traditional rites for the promotion of fertility by the celebration of the annual cycle of life and death, and the propitiation of unfriendly ghosts, gods or demons. Some such survivals were doubtless widespread, and, prolonged into classical times, probably made the substance of Eleusinian and Orphic mysteries. Against this dark and dangerous background arose Olympic mythology on the one hand and early philosophy and science on the other.
In classical times the need of a creed higher than the Olympian was felt, and Aeschylus, Sophocles and Plato finally evolved from the pleasant but crude polytheism the idea of a single, supreme and righteous Zeus. But the decay of Olympus led to a revival of old and the invasion of new magic cults among the people, while some philosophers were looking to a vision of the uniformity of nature under divine and universal law.
5. The main idea of the passage is that
(A) Olympic mythology evolved from ancient rituals and gave rise to early philosophy
(B) early moves toward viewing nature as ordered by divine and universal law coincided with monotheistic impulses and the disintegration of classical mythology
(C) early philosophy followed from classical mythology
(D) the practice of science, i.e., empiricism, preceded scientific theory
Correct Answer: (B)
Solution: Most main idea questions are rather easy. This one is not–mainly, because the passage itself is not an easy read. Recall that to find the main idea of a passage, we check the last sentence of the first paragraph; if it’s not there, we check the closing of the passage. Reviewing the last sentence of the first paragraph, we see that it hardly presents a statement, let alone the main idea. Turning to the closing line of the passage, however, we find the key to this question. The passage describes a struggle for ascendancy amongst four opposing philosophies: (magic and traditional rites) vs. (Olympic mythology) vs. (monotheism [Zeus]) vs. (early philosophy and science). The closing lines of the passage summarize this and add that Olympic mythology lost out to monotheism (Zeus), while magical cults enjoyed a revival and the germ of universal law was planted. Thus the answer is (B).
As to the other choices, (A) is false. “Olympic mythology [arose] on one hand and early philosophy and science on the other” (closing to paragraph two); thus they initially developed in parallel. (C) is also false. It makes the same type of error as (A). Finally, (D) is not mentioned in the passage.
Passage for Question 6:
If dynamic visual graphics, sound effects, and automatic scorekeeping are the features that account for the popularity of video games, why are parents so worried? All of these features seem quite innocent. But another source of concern is that the games available in arcades have, almost without exception, themes of physical aggression…. There has long been the belief that violent content may teach violent behavior. And yet again our society finds a new medium in which to present that content, and yet again the demand is nearly insatiable. And there is evidence that violent video games breed violent behavior, just as violent television shows do….
The effects of video violence are less simple, however, than they at first appeared. The same group of researchers who found negative effects [from certain video games] have more recently found that two-player aggressive video games, whether cooperative or competitive, reduce the level of aggression in children’s play….
It may be that the most harmful aspect of the violent video games is that they are solitary in nature. A two-person aggressive game (video boxing, in this study) seems to provide a cathartic or releasing effect for aggression, while a solitary aggressive game (such as Space Invaders) may stimulate further aggression. Perhaps the effects of television in stimulating aggression will also be found to stem partly from the fact that TV viewing typically involves little social interaction.
6. According to the passage, which of the following would be likely to stimulate violent behavior in a child playing a video game?
I. Watching the computer stage a battle between two opponents
II. Controlling a character in battle against a computer
III. Challenging another player to a battle in a non-cooperative two-person game
(A) II only
(B) III only
(C) I and II only
(D) II and III only
Correct Answer: (C)
Solution: Item I, True: Stimulation would occur. This choice is qualitatively the same as passively watching violence on television. Item II, True: Stimulation would also occur. This is another example of solitary aggression (implied by the second sentence of the last paragraph). Item III, False: No stimulation would occur. Two-player aggressive games are “cathartic” (again the needed reference is the second sentence of the last paragraph). The answer is (C).
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