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Lucas Fink

SAT Improving Paragraphs Practice Questions

Here’s some practice with SAT improving paragraphs questions. Remember not to spend too much time reading the passage—you only need to get the gist of it. After you skim it, use the questions to guide you through the reading passage to the pieces you should be focusing on.

Remember to watch for common SAT grammar problems, such as pronouns, introductory phrases, and fragments.

 

The paragraphs

(1) Until recently, I never thought much about my name, or names in general, for the most part. (2) We’re given our names when we’re too young to say them (never mind think about them), so they’re pretty easy to take for granted. (3) We understand that your “first name” is your personal name, but our “last names” are our family names. (4) But that changed for me when I met my friend Anny’s mother.

(5) Anny is Korean. (6) Her last name is Lee. (7) Of course, her mother’s last name is also Lee. (8) But in the point in time when I met Ms. Lee, I realized how subjective the “first” and “last” distinction is. (9) She introduced herself to me as “Lee Eun-Hye,” and I was a bit confused. (10) On the one hand, I had already known that Asian names can be reversed. On the other, I had expected her to use the western style, since she has lived in the United States for so long. (11) That made me wonder whether or not I would feel comfortable changing the order of my name.

 

The practice questions

1. In context, which is the best way to phrase the underlined section of sentence 1 (reproduced below)?

Until recently, I never thought much about my name, or names in general, for the most part.

  1. (As it is now)
  2. I have never thought much before about my name, or names in general, for the most part.
  3. I never thought much about my name; and I didn’t think much about names in general.
  4. I never thought much about my name or about names in general.
  5. I have never thought much before about names, generally.

2. Which of the following is the best version of sentence 3 (reproduced below)?

We understand that your “first name” is your personal name, but our “last names” are our family names.

  1. You understand that your “first name” is your personal name, but your “last name” is the one of your family.
  2. We understand that our “first names” are our personal names while our “last names” are our family names.
  3. We understand that, although our “first names” are our personal names, your “last name” is your family name.
  4. One would understand one’s personal name is a “first name” but one’s family name is one’s “last name.”
  5. Your “first name,” you understand, is your personal name; nonetheless, your “last name” is your family name.

3. In context, which is the best way to revise and combine sentences 5, 6, and 7 (reproduced below)?

Anny is Korean. Her last name is Lee. Of course, her mother’s last name is also Lee.

  1. Anny, who is Korean, is named Lee as her last name, so, of course, her mother is named Lee as well.
  2. Anny is Korean, her last name is Lee, and so is her mother.
  3. Anny is Korean, but her last name is Lee; of course, her mother’s last name is also Lee.
  4. Anny, because she is Korean, has the last name Lee, which, of course, is shared by her mother.
  5. Anny, who is Korean, has the last name Lee; of course, her mother’s last name is also Lee.

4. Which of the following best replaces the phrase “in the point in time when” in sentence 8?

  1. at the moment
  2. until
  3. at the point in time when
  4. after
  5. during

 

The answers

For the answers and explanations, continue on to the follow-up post.

 

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About Lucas Fink

Lucas is the teacher behind Magoosh TOEFL. He’s been teaching TOEFL preparation and more general English since 2009, and the SAT since 2008. Between his time at Bard College and teaching abroad, he has studied Japanese, Czech, and Korean. None of them come in handy, nowadays.


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