WEST-B Test Review

Questions 1 to 4 refer to the following passage:

The invalidation of the Ptolemaic model of the solar system is owed chiefly to Nicolaus Copernicus, a 15th century astronomer from Poland. An early Renaissance man, Copernicus studied a wide range of subjects encompassing mathematics, astronomy, medicine, and law. He studied at the University of Krakow, and, later at the University of Bologna. While in Italy, his investigations led him to question the widely held belief of the time that the Sun and planets revolved around the Earth.

In Copernicus' time, people believed that the Earth was motionless and fixed at the center of the universe. This model had originated with the Greek astronomer Ptolemy 1000 years earlier and was supported strongly by the Catholic Church. Copernicus, a church canon himself, challenged the Ptolemaic theory. In its place, he proposed a heliocentric or Sun-centered astronomical model. From his observations, made with the naked eye, Copernicus concluded that all the planets-including Earth-revolved around the Sun. He also measured the Earth's daily axial rotation and proposed this motion as the cause of the apparent movement of heavenly bodies. Working before the advent of the telescope, Copernicus could not prove his theories. He died in 1543.

1. Which of the following sentences best states the main premise of this passage?

a. Copernicus was an astronomer who followed in the footsteps of Ptolemy.
b. Copernicus's observations revolutionized astronomy in the 16th century.
c. Copernicus concealed a heliocentric theory of astronomy.
d. Copernicus was a bishop in the Catholic Church.

2. The passage implies that Copernicus could not prove his theories because

a. they were wrong.
b. they were opposed by the Catholic Church.
c. he had no telescopes.
d. he was too busy with his work in law and medicine.

3. In the passage above, the word "heliocentric" means

a. with the naked eye
b. a motionless Earth
c. revolutionary
d. with the sun at the center

4. This passage is best labeled as a

a. cause and effect essay
b. persuasive essay
c. process analysis essay
d. description essay

WEST-B Practice Test

For this question, choose the underlined word or phrase that is unnecessary in the context of the passage.

5. Carter swung mightily at the third pitch and lofted a double to left field, over the head of the vegetarian shortstop.

a. mightily
b. to left field
c. over the head
d. vegetarian

For this question, choose the most appropriate word or phrase to complete the sentence.

6. Evan felt that he was always being ______________ for things that were not his fault.

a. castigated
b. lauded
c. interrogated
d. rescinded

For this question, choose the option corresponding to the word or phrase that expresses the meaning most fluently and logically. Note that the first choice represents no change from the original text.

7. Once he had determined the cause of the accident, the insurance investigator authorized payment of the claim.

a. accident, the insurance investigator
b. accident the insurance investigator
c. accident; the insurance investigator
d. accident: the insurance investigator

8. Andrea runs 4 miles every day, but she wants to increase her distance in order to run a 26-mile marathon. She decides to add 2 miles each day to her distance until she achieves her goal. If she starts with 6 miles today, how many miles will she have run, in total, by the time she achieves her 26-mile goal?

a. 156
b. 162
c. 170
d. 176

9. Let y vary inversely as x and equal 12 when x = 4. What is the value of x when y = 18?

a. 6
b. 8/3
c. 4/3
d. 2/9

10. Simplify the expression (2 + (4 / y)) / ((y + 2) / 3)

a. (y + 2)/3
b. 3y
c. 6 / y
d. (y - 2) / 6

Answers & Explanations

1. The correct answer is B. The passage describes how Copernicus made observations that contradicted the prevailing view of astronomy, held since the time of Ptolemy. The Ptolemaic theory asserted that the Sun and other planets revolved around the Earth. The passage states that Copernicus came to question the Ptolemaic theory, and that he challenged it. He did not conceal a heliocentric theory (Choice C), but rather propounded one.

2. The correct answer is C. The second paragraph in the passage states that Copernicus made his observations with the naked eye. The penultimate sentence states that he worked before the advent of the telescope and that he could not prove his theories. The paragraph implies that telescopes would have made this proof possible.

3. The correct answer is D. The third sentence of the second paragraph states that Copernicus put forward the principles of a "heliocentric or Sun-centered astronomy," in which the Sun was at the center of rotation of the orbiting planets.

4. The correct answer is D. The essay describes the history of Copernicus and his astronomical observations, telling the reader about his life and contrasting his astronomical observations to those previously made by the ancient Greeks. It does not seek to persuade or to promote a particular point of view. It does not describe or analyze a process or describe any cause-and-effect relationships.

5. The correct answer is D. All of the other underlined words add necessary detail to the description of a hit during a baseball game, but the fact that the shortstop may be a vegetarian is irrelevant to the rest of the depiction.

6. The correct answer is A. To castigate means to criticize severely, to rebuke. The use of the word "fault" in the sentence implies that Evan was chastised for detrimental events for which he bore no responsibility. As a result, "lauded," which means to praise, is not an appropriate choice.

7. The correct answer is A. The first portion of the sentence, preceded by the conjunction "once," is a dependent clause. The comma properly segregates the dependent clause, as in the original version.

8. The correct answer is D. Determine the average distance run per day. If Andrea runs 6 miles on day 1 and adds two miles per day, she will reach her goal on day 11, since (26-6)/2 = 10 , and 10 + 1 = 11. During these 11 days, the average distance she runs is (26+6)/2 = 16 miles. So, her total distance is equal to 11 x 16 = 176 miles.

9. The correct answer is B. If y varies inversely as x, then y = k / x, where k is a constant. Given the initial values, it is possible to determine the constant by solving k = xy = 4 x 12 = 48. Now, if y = 18, the inverse relationship is 18 = 48/x. Solving this equation for x yields x = 48 / 18 = 8 / 3.

10. The correct answer is C. First, find the least common denominator (LCD) for the numerator:
(2 + (4 / y) / ((y + 2) / 3) = ((2y / y)+(4 / y)) / ((y + 2) / 3)
Next, simplify the numerator:
((2y / y)+(4 / y)) / ((y + 2) / 3) = ((2y + 4 / y) / ((y + 2) / 3)
Next, rewrite the fraction as the product of the numerator and the reciprocal of the denominator:
((2y + 4) / y) / ((y + 2) / 3) = ((2y + 4) / y) · (3 / (y + 2))
Simplify by factoring:
((2y + 4) / y) · (3 / (y + 2)) = (2(y + 2) / y) · 3 / (y + 2) = 6 / y


Last Updated: 08/13/2018

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