Corrected: The multiple-choice example below is incorrectly marked. It should read, “The diving suit enabled marine biologist Sylvia Earle to explore the seafloor at 1,250 feet and she could ascend without stopping for decompression.”
Here are examples of the kinds of questions that students will be asked in the verbal section of the revised SAT:
SHORT READING PASSAGE
Dinosaurs have such a powerful grip on the public consciousness that it is easy to forget just how recently scientists became aware of them. A 2-year-old child today may be able to rattle off three dinosaur names, but in 1824, there was only one known dinosaur. Period. The word “dinosaur” didn’t even exist in 1841. Indeed, in those early years, the world was baffled by the discovery of these absurdly enormous reptiles.
The statement “Period” in the middle of the paragraph primarily serves to emphasize the:
(A) authoritative nature of a finding
(B) lack of flexibility in a popular theory
(C) stubborn nature of a group of researchers
(D) limited knowledge about a subject
(E) refusal of the public to accept new discoveries
Correct Answer: (D)
Directions: In each of the following questions, select the best version of the underlined part of the sentence. Choice (A) is the same as the underlined portion of the original sentence. If you think the original sentence is best, choose answer (A).
The diving suit enabled marine biologist Sylvia Earle to explore the seafloor at 1,250 feet and she could ascend without stopping for decompression.
(A) and she could ascend
(B) as well as ascending
(C) so she could ascend
(D) and an ascension
(E) and to ascend
Correct Answer: (E)
Novelty is often mistaken for progress.
Assignment: The statement above suggests that what is new and different is often confused with advancement. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this view? Write an essay in which you present the reasons for your position. To support your reasons, use an example (or examples) from history, literature, the arts, current events, politics, science and technology, or your experience or observation.
SOURCE: College Board
A version of this article appeared in the July 10, 2002 edition of Education Week as The New-Look SAT