Skill 1

EXERCISE 1: Study each of the passages and choose the best answers to the questions that follow.

PASSAGE ONE (Questions 1-2)

Fort Knox, Kentucky, is the site of a U.S. army post, but it is even more renowned for the Fort Knox Bullion Depository, the massive vault that contains the bulk of the U.S. government’s gold deposits. Completed in 1936, the vault is housed in a two-story building constructed of granite, Line steel, and concrete; the vault itself is made of steel and concrete and has a door that weighs more (5) than twenty tons. Naturally, the most up-to-date security devices available are in place at Fort Knox, and the army post nearby provides further protection.

PASSAGE TWO (Questions 3-4)

One identifying characteristic of minerals is their relative hardness, which can be determined by scratching one mineral with another. In this type of test, a harder mineral can scratch a softer one, but a softer mineral is unable to scratch the harder one. The Mohs’ hardness Line scale is used to rank minerals according to hardness. Ten minerals are listed in this scale, ranging (5) from talc with a hardness of 1 to diamond with a hardness of 10. On this scale, quartz (number 7) is harder than feldspar (number 6) and is therefore able to scratch it; however, feldspar is unable to make a mark on quartz.

PASSAGE THREE (Questions 5-6)

Hurricanes generally occur in the North Atlantic from May through November, with the peak of the hurricane season in September; only rarely will they occur from December through April in that part of the ocean. The main reason for the occurrence of hurricanes during this Line period is that the temperature on the water’s surface is at its warmest and the humidity of the air (5) is at its highest. Of the tropical storms that occur each year in the North Atlantic, only about five, on the average, are powerful enough to be called hurricanes. To be classified as a hurricane, a tropical storm must have winds reaching speeds of at least 117 kilometers per hour, but the winds are often much stronger than that; the winds of intense hurricanes can easily surpass 240 kilometers (10) per hour.

PASSAGE FOUR (Questions 7-9)

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) was perhaps the best-known American poet of the nineteenth century. His clear writing style and emphasis on the prevalent values of the period made him popular with the general public if not always with the critics. He was particularly recognized for Line his longer narrative poems Evangeline, The Song of Hiawatha, and The Courtship of Miles Standish, in (5) which he told stories from American history in terms of the values of the time.

Evangeline was set during the French and Indian War (1754-1763), when the British forced French settlers from Nova Scotia; two lovers, Gabriel and Evangeline, were separated by the British, and Evangeline devoted her lifetime to the search for Gabriel. With its emphasis on sentimental, undying love, Evangeline was immensely popular with the public.

(10) In The Song of Hiawatha, Longfellow depicted the noble life of the American Indian through the story of the brave Lf iawatha and his beloved wife Minehaha. The tear-inspiring poem follows Hiawatha through the tragedies and triumphs of life, ending with the death of Minehaha and Hiawatha’s departure into the sunset in his canoe.

The Courtship of Miles Standish takes place during the early period of the settlement of New

(15) England, a period which was viewed as a time of honor and romance. In this poem centered around a love triangle, Miles Standish asks his friend John Alden to propose to Priscilla Mullins for him; John Alden ends up marrying Priscilla Mullins himself, and it takes time for his friendship with Miles Standish to recover. As with Longfellow’s other narrative poems, the emphasis on high ideals and romance made the poem extremely popular.

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