PSAT Writing & Language 2

Directions: Each PSAT Writing & Language passage is followed by 10 questions. Read the passage and select the answer to each question that is most effective in improving the quality of the writing or in making the passage conform to the standard conventions of English.

Questions 1–10 are based on the following passage.

While Broadway plays and musicals  1  have boasted popularity for almost 100 years, Broadway productions have long had a difficult time reaching out to a broader audience. For better or worse, that seems to be changing. Broadway productions are beginning to broaden their appeal, much to the chagrin of traditional Broadway fanatics.

Broadway has always had productions that were popular enough to reach large audiences,  2  and much like the movie industry, these populous shows don’t garner a lot of respect from industry insiders. “Cats,” one of the longest running shows in Broadway history, is a good example of this. The longevity of its run  3  spoke volumes about its popularity, but it became a bit of a punchline on Broadway by the end of its run.

Broadway has evolved drastically since “Cats” was on the stage, specifically in terms of accessibility. Ticket prices for Broadway shows have sky-rocketed recently, with the average ticket price breaking $100 for the first time in history a few years ago. Broadway lovers in the 1990’s didn’t have to work very hard to find tickets for as little as $10–$20, an  4  idea which is unheard of now unless you’re willing to wait outside for hours and enter a show’s lottery. With prices rising, theater fans have to weigh the risk of buying an expensive ticket to an unknown show.  5  They’re still original shows that break the trend and reach incredibly wide audiences,  6  shows that make a lot of money, but producers who want to reach wide audiences need to entice them with a name fans recognize. Thus, the movie-turned-Broadway-show trend was born.

 7  In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, Broadway saw adaptations of movies that seemed to lend themselves to musicals, like “Sister Act,” “Lion King,” and “Mary Poppins.” In recent years, though, producers have realized that almost any movie can be adapted into a Broadway show, including movies like “Mean Girls,” “American Psycho,” and “School of Rock.”  8  People who love theater, but are wary about paying high ticket prices to an original show that they might not like now have a more conservative option. There’s less risk in buying a ticket to a show that adapts a movie you like. You already know generally what you’re getting, and while you may miss out on some great original theater, there isn’t much of a risk that you’ll hate the show.

The parallels between Broadway shows that rely on title recognition and blockbuster movie sequels are pretty clear. Producers realize that name-recognition is worth more  9  money and capital than quality. While many of these new Broadway shows are  10  incredibly well-done industry insiders will always worry that they’re taking business away from people who are creating new art.

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Question 1

 1  

A
NO CHANGE
B
boasts popularity
C
will boast popularity
D
has boasted popularity
Question 1 Explanation: 
Answer choice (A) is correct because the verb phrase “have boasted” is in the correct form as is. Broadway shows boasted popularity in the past, and still boast that popularity now. Answer choice (D) is also in the correct tense, but “has” is only appropriate when the noun it’s referring to is singular.
Question 2

 2  

A
NO CHANGE
B
but
C
though
D
for
Question 2 Explanation: 
Answer choice (B) is correct because the two ideas that the conjunction is linking are oppositional and therefore need a conjunction that expresses this contradiction. The other answer choices are more appropriate when linking to similar and/or connected ideas.
Question 3

 3  

A
NO CHANGE
B
will speak
C
has spoken
D
speaks
Question 3 Explanation: 
Answer choice (D) is correct because even though the show is not still running, the writer is discussing its popularity as she looks back from the present, so the verb needs to be in the present tense.
Question 4

 4  

A
NO CHANGE
B
idea who
C
idea, which
D
idea that
Question 4 Explanation: 
Answer choice (D) is correct because “that” is the correct word to use because the writer is commenting that the idea of a cheap ticket is unheard of in the sentence. If she were to change it to “idea, which” (C), she would be stating that having an idea at all is unheard of.
Question 5

 5  

A
NO CHANGE
B
There are
C
Their
D
They are
Question 5 Explanation: 
Answer choice (B) is correct because the sentence needs a word that refers to location. In this case, location doesn’t mean a specific place, but rather that these shows exist, hence the addition of the word “are” to the phrase. “Their” (C) would not fit in the sentence because it’s possessive, and “they are” (D) is just a broken apart version of “they’re,” neither of which fit in the sentence.
Question 6

 6  Which choice gives an example that most clearly supports the statement made earlier in the sentence?

A
NO CHANGE
B
even despite the high ticket prices,
C
like “Hamilton” and “Book of Mormon,”
D
and producers are funding predominately original shows,
Question 6 Explanation: 
Answer choice (C) is correct because it provides two examples of successful, popular original shows. Even if you are not aware of “Hamilton” or “Book of Mormon,” the other options don’t provide any direct support for the beginning of the sentence. Answer choice (D), in fact, completely contradicts the point of the passage.
Question 7

 7  Which choice best introduces the paragraph?

A
Broadway producers have been adapting movies for the stage for years, but the practice has really ramped up recently.
B
In order to be successful, original Broadway shows must rely on more than just name recognition.
C
The average Broadway show ticket price has increased by 30% over the last 15 years.
D
With attendance numbers at Broadway shows dropping, producers are investing money in a lot of riskier stories.
Question 7 Explanation: 
Answer choice (A) is correct because it is the only option that accurately introduces the topic of the paragraph. The writer will go on to discuss the popularity of Broadway shows that have been adapted from movies. The other answer choices either introduce a different topic, or introduce an idea that is opposition to the point of the paragraph and/or passage.
Question 8

 8  Which choice most effectively combines the underlined sentences?

A
People are more likely to like a show based on a movie, so they’re becoming a lot more popular.
B
There’s less risk in buying a ticket to show about a movie you know you like, so theater-lovers who are wary of wasting money on a show they don’t like will gravitate to a recognizable title.
C
People who love theater, but are wary about paying high ticket prices to an original show that they might not like now have a more conservative option, because there’s less risk in buying a ticket to a show that adapts a movie you like
D
People are more comfortable buying a ticket to a show they recognize because they want to have a good time.
Question 8 Explanation: 
Answer choice (B) is correct because it merges the sentences effectively without losing any meaning. Answer choice (A) and (D) are grammatically accurate, but they have condensed the two original sentences so much that the meaning is no longer the same. Answer choice (C) maintains the original meaning, but creates a run-on sentence.
Question 9

 9  

A
NO CHANGE
B
monetary capital
C
money
D
money or capital
Question 9 Explanation: 
Answer choice (C) is correct because “money” and “capital” are synonyms, so by removing one of the words, the writer can reduce redundancy.
Question 10

 10  

A
NO CHANGE
B
incredibly well-done; industry
C
incredibly well-done, industry
D
incredibly well-done. industry
Question 10 Explanation: 
Answer choice (C) is correct because there needs to be a comma separating the dependent clause at the beginning of the sentence from the independent clause at the end. A semi-colon (B) or period (D) would turn the initial dependent clause into a sentence fragment.
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