SAT Reading: Practice Test 4

Directions: The SAT Reading test consists of five passages on a variety of topics. Each passage is followed by a series of eleven questions. Carefully read the passage that is provided and answer the multiple choice questions based on what is stated or implied. The answers and explanations will be provided at the end of the test

Questions 1–11 are based on the following passage.

The following passage is adapted from, “The Principles of Economics, with Applications to Practical Problems” by Frank Albert Fetter.

The earliest markets were established on the borders between tribes, villages, or nations as a common ground where strangers met to trade. At such markets were brought together from sparsely settled districts a comparatively large number of merchants and customers. Buyers had the opportunity of wide selection both in goods and quality, and the sellers found a large number of customers gathered at one point. Throughout the Middle Ages, purchases were made by the more prosperous farmers in great quantities once a year at the fairs or markets. As both the buyers and sellers came from widely separated places, there existed in most respects, the conditions of a competitive market.

The number of buyers and sellers that can constitute a single market is limited both directly and indirectly by the means of transportation. A dense population cannot usually be maintained without easy means of transportation to bring in a large supply of goods and to carry back manufactured goods great distances. The remarkable growth in the means of commerce since the invention of the wheel, and much later, the railroad, made it possible for goods to be gathered from extremely distant points. A market implies a common understanding among traders.

Modern means of communication, such as newspapers, television, the Internet, e-mail, are diffusing information widely. As a result of these changes, there has been a widening of the traditional village-market to the markets of the province, of the nation, and finally of the world. While a part of every one’s purchases continues to be made within a local neighborhood, a greater and greater portion of total business is done by traders who are widely separated and who are members of the world market. Various articles produced in the same locality may seek different markets. If a given product of any community is sold in different markets, the net prices secured must be very nearly equal.

“Normal price” is the price which, apart from exceptional conditions, is expected to prevail, and to which actual prices seem constantly striving to adjust themselves. As actual prices are nearly always either more or less than so-called normal price, and only momentarily ever correspond with it, the term “normal” would appear to be something of a misnomer. Moreover, as the circumstances of production change, this normal price itself is altered so that what is normal one day may be quite abnormal the next. The thought of “normal price” is an abstract one, but despite the inadequacy of the word it is not without some practical validity in today’s world market.

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Question 1
With which of the following statements would the author of the passage most likely agree?

A
Normal prices are predictably variable
B
Population density is a direct result of easy transportation of goods
C
Markets are steadily widening through the improvement of means of communication and transportation
D
The markets of the Middle Ages were just as competitive as today’s world markets
Question 1 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). This statement is directly supported by the details of the second paragraph. The author writes, “Modern means of communication, such as newspapers, television, the Internet, e-mail, are diffusing information widely. As a result of these changes, there has been a widening of the traditional village-market to the markets of the province, of the nation, and finally of the world.” If you chose (A): the author of the passage would certainly agree that “normal prices” are variable. In fact, he says the word “normal” is a misnomer. However, he does not provide any information that proves that the variability is predictable. If you chose (B): According to the passage, population density and transportation of goods are directly proportional, but the phrase “direct result” here indicates a cause and effect relationship that is not described in the passage. Choice (D) is outside the scope of the passage.
Question 2
According to the passage, all of the following are true about a market except?

A
A market is more competitive when a variety of consumers and producers are present
B
The number of its buyers and sellers is directly proportional to the ability to transport goods
C
It primarily represents a physical location for conducting trade
D
No matter how wide the world market grows, consumers will still purchase some goods locally
Question 2 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). This is a Detail question. The word “EXCEPT” indicates that 3 of the 4 answer choices WILL BE true statements about markets. Eliminate the answer choices that are clearly supported by the passage. The correct answer will be the option that is contradicted by an explicit detail from the passage. The passage describes the “earliest markets” as physical places of trade. However, in the second paragraph, the author expands this definition: “market implies a common understanding among traders.” A market is therefore more than just a physical location for conducting trade.
Question 3
Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?

(Previous question, “According to the passage, all of the following are true about a market except? It primarily represents a physical location for conducting trade.”)

A
Paragraph 2, Sentence 4 (“A market…traders.”)
B
Paragraph 3, Sentence 1 (“Modern…widely.”)
C
Paragraph 3, Sentence 2 (“As…world.”)
D
Paragraph 3, Sentence 3 (“While…market.”)
Question 3 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). In line 13, the author states, that a “market implies a common understanding among traders.” The passage states that even the entire “world” is a type of market. Note that the stock market is not a physical place, yet it is a market. As stated in the passage, a “market” is an understanding, which is not always a physical place.
Question 4
As used in paragraph 3, “locality” most nearly means

A
specific jurisdiction
B
general vicinity
C
similar state
D
adjacent region
Question 4 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). This is a Vocab-in-Context question. Always go back and re-read the relevant context so you can gain perspective on the author’s intended meaning. Never rely on memory alone for these types of questions! In context, the passage states, “While a part of every one’s purchases continues to be made within a local neighborhood, a greater and greater portion of total business is done by traders who are widely separated and who are members of the world market. Various articles produced in the same locality may seek different markets.” The word “locality” in the second sentence harkens backs to the phrase “local neighborhood” in the previous sentence. The best match for the idea of a “local neighborhood” is (B), “general vicinity.” The word “locality” in context here indicates the same general area, not a different state or region. The word “jurisdiction” in (A) lends a connotation of legal doctrine that is not included anywhere else in the passage.
Question 5
Which of the following is the function of the fourth paragraph?

A
Reveal the relationship between two common business terms
B
Describe the conditions of the earliest markets
C
Define an aspect of the market economy that prevailed in the past
D
Explore the connotation of a certain economic phrase
Question 5 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). This is a Function question. The correct answer’s scope will be confined to the author’s intentions in the fourth paragraph only. Incorrect answer choices will either not describe the purpose of the fourth paragraph, or they will describe the function of multiple paragraphs. Ask yourself: how does this paragraph function within the larger context of the passage? Often the answer choices for this type of question are presented as verbs, so try to come up with your own answer in verb-form. The passage introduces the term “normal price” by placing quotation marks around it, and then proceeds to define it and explain how it interacts with actual prices in economics. This is best described by answer choice (D), where “normal price” is the economic phrase in question, and the exploration of connotation is its relation to the market in general.
Question 6
Which of the following scenarios best illustrates the author’s description of locally produced products in the modern world market?

A
Farmers sell their wheat to large buyers in distant cities, while they sell their fruit and eggs in the village near their farm
B
Niche toy producers sell the vast majority of their products via Amazon and eBay
C
Military contracts once awarded to private armies are now available to governments worldwide
D
Independent music artists who once sold their cassette tapes and CD demos after shows now sell their music to a wider audience via iTunes
Question 6 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). This is an Inference question, as indicated by the phrase “best illustrates.” More specifically, this question is asking us to apply our understanding of the passage to hypothetical situations. The author describes locally produced products and the modern world market in the third paragraph. Go back and re-read the relevant facts, then eliminate any hypothetical situations that are contradicted by those facts. If you chose (B): The passage does mention how things like the Internet have created a vast world market, but the passage does not go so far as to support the idea that the “vast majority” of locally produced products would be sold via the Internet. If you chose (C): the use of the word “worldwide” does imply a global expansion of the market, but the question specifically asks about “products,” not “contracts.” If you chose (D): this choice describes a product that is now sold worldwide, but it doesn’t specifically describe how products are sold in different markets even though they are based in the same locality. Choice (A) does a better job of matching the specific description from the passage.
Question 7
Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?

(Previous question, “Which of the following scenarios best illustrates the author’s description of locally produced products in the modern world market? Farmers sell their wheat to large buyers in distant cities, while they sell their fruit and eggs in the village near their farm.”)

A
Paragraph 2, Sentences 3-4 (“The remarkable…traders.”)
B
Paragraph 3, Sentence 1 (“Modern…widely.”)
C
Paragraph 3, Sentences 2-4 (“As a result…market.”)
D
Paragraph 3, Sentence 5 (“If a given…equal.”)
Question 7 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (C). In the third paragraph, the author states, “there has been a widening of the traditional village-market to the markets of the province, of the nation, and finally of the world.” This indicates that local producers are selling more of their products abroad. However, the paragraph goes on to say, “Various articles produced in the same locality may seek different markets.” This hypothetical situation is a perfect example of the author’s description of the village-market functioning within the world market. The details that enabled us to correctly answer the previous question are located within these lines.
Question 8
Based on the two graphics provided, what inference can be drawn between population growth and world trade?

A
Trade had a significant effect on population growth
B
Trade and population growth are directly proportional
C
Population growth had a significant effect on trade expansion
D
Trade and population growth are inversely proportional
Question 8 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (B). Although the increase in markets coincided with the increase in population growth, we cannot say that one caused the other. The best inference we can draw is that trade and population growth are directly proportional, meaning that as population growth shows an increase, trade also shows an increase.
Question 9
Which of the following is true about the first graph?

A
It shows that between 1000 and 1500, China’s economic growth remained relatively stagnant
B
It shows that the GDP per capita for the U.S. in 1800 was more than twice that of China in 1800
C
It shows the GDP per capita for Eastern Europe in 1700 was more than three times that of India in the same year
D
It shows that Western European economic growth expanded more quickly than that of China and Japan during 1600-1800
Question 9 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (D). This is a Detail question. Go back to the first graph, and carefully eliminate incorrect answer choices. Only one choice will be supported by the data provided. Choices (B) and (C) are directly contradicted by the data in the graph. If you chose (A): though China’s GDP/capita growth did not rival that of Western Europe, it certainly increased between 1000 and 1500 (the light blue line).
Question 10
At the point in time where the “?” symbol appears on the second graphic, what portion of the world had the lowest GDP per capita?

A
United States
B
Japan
C
Eastern Europe
D
India
Question 10 Explanation: 
The correct answer is (A). The “?” appears halfway between 1000 AD and 2025 AD. We can estimate the date to be approximately 1500 AD. Look at the first graphic, and find which region had the lowest GDP/capita. The region with the lowest GDP/capita in 1500 was the United States.
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