Science and Nature Critical Reading Practice Exercises Set 2 (page 2)

Updated on Sep 27, 2011


  1. d.   The anecdote contrasts with the ensuing quote in paragraph 1 and depicts a plausible reason for the apple story—Newton wanted to make his theory understood to the general public. Speaking in physics terminology is abstract, but using an illustration that regular people have witnessed again and again would aid in understanding. The quote gives credence to the anecdote, ruling out choice a. Choices b and e are never mentioned, and choice c is not backed up by the passage.
  2. e.   Lines 16–18 of the passage clearly state that Newton became Professor of Mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge.
  3. e.   In paragraph 4, Newton's Laws of Motion are said to govern the motion of objects and are the basis for the concept of the clockwork universe. Nowhere in the passage is it stated that Newton or his Laws are responsible for the international dateline (choice b), latitude (choice c), or longitude (choice d). Choice a plays on the word govern in line 34 and is misleading.
  4. b.   Lines 49–51 specifically state that Newton provided an explanation of Kepler's laws.
  5. d.   All of the other titles were bestowed on Newton during his lifetime.
  6. b.   William Stukeley published Memoirs of Sir Isaac Newton's Life in 1726, after Newton's death. The other choices are all accomplishemnts of Newton in his lifetime.
  7. a.   Choice a is correct because it lists the proper accolades and the proper timeframe in which he lived. Choice b is incorrect because he did not live in the Renaissance; choices c and d are incorrect because he was not a lord, but a knight; and choice e is incorrect because it is not the best summary of his vast accomplishments.
  8. c.   The phrase broken up into long, thin fibers is used to describe asbestos bundles in lines 10–11, prior to the word phrase friable substance supports that friable means easily broken down. All other choices are not supported in the passage.
  9. b.   This choice best describes the passage in its entirety, while the other choices describe individual points made throughout the passage.
  10. d.   Asbestosis usually occurs in people exposed to high levels of asbestos. Choice a is incorrect because not all insulation material contains asbestos fibers; choice b is incorrect because asbestos that is in good condition and not crumbled or breaking away does not need to be removed. Choice c is incorrect because the AHERA protects schools against asbestos exposure. Choice e is incorrect because asbestosis is a lung disease not a manmade substance.
  11. e.   The correct choice is universal. The sentence Many commercial building and home insulation products contained asbestos after the word ubiquitous shows that asbestos was commonly used.
  12. b.   The author explains that lung cancer and asbestosis are diseases of the lung in lines 11–16 of the passage. Choice a is not true because lung cancer and asbestosis are not dangerous fibers, asbestos is. Choice c is incorrect as both diseases may be fatal, but may be treated, as well. Choice d is incorrect because we know lung cancer can develop in ways other than asbestos exposure. Choice e is incorrect because asbestosis in not necessarily a common illness.
  13. a.   While the passage does include the other choices except choice e, the overall purpose of the passage is to teach asbestos awareness in the home and school.
  14. c.   The tone of this passage is informative, serving to instruct the general reader about asbestos. Choices a and d (cautionaryand admonitory) are synonyms, and while the passage does show the dangers of asbestos, the general tone is not cautionary. Apathetic (choice b) means indifferent and idiosyncratic (choice e) means distinctive, neither of which apply.
  15. b.   The author is writing for a layperson, meaning a homeowner, parent, or student. Choices a and e describe professionals, while c and d describe people you would find in a school setting, all of whom may be interested in this information, but none of whom is the specific, targeted audience.
  16. a.   The tone is best described as one of fascinated discovery unfolding during a lecture. A clue to the tone is the use of exclamation points and the excited, choppy delivery of Langdon's information. Choices b or e may be considered as the tone of Passage 1. Choice c and d are not supported by the text.
  17. c.   The mathematical ratio PHI is also known as the Divine Proportion. This is directly stated in lines 17–18 of Passage 1, and lines 22–23 of Passage 2.
  18. c.   Ubiquity is used here to show that even though the concept of PHI in nature seems unusual or unique at first, it is actually a very common and predictable occurrence. The other choices are not supported by the passage.
  19. b.   PHI is not the area of a regular pentagon. All other answers describe an aspect of PHI as found in the two passages.
  20. e.   The subject of both paragraphs is Fibonacci spirals. Sunflower seeds, pinecones, and pineapples are mentioned as examples of the Fibonacci spiral.
  21. d.   The answer for choices a, b, c, and e are all the same, according to Passage 2: 1.618. The ratio of head to floor divided by shoulder to floor (choice d) is not covered in the passage.
  22. a.   Both passage refer to the fact that early or ancient scientists perceived the Divine Proportion to be a magical number. Choices d and e could be correct, but they are not supported by the passage. Choices b and c are false.
  23. a.   This statement, while true, refers to the pentagram, not the pentagon. Choices be are all true statements about the pentagon.

For more science and nature critical reading questions, review:


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