DIRECTIONS: In the passages that follow, some words and phrases are underlined and numbered. In the answer column, you will find alternatives for the words and phrases that are underlined. Choose the alternative that you think is best, and fill in the corresponding bubble on your answer sheet. If you think that the original version is best, choose “NO CHANGE,” which will always be either answer choice A or F. You will also find questions about a particular section of the passage, or about the entire passage. These questions will be identified either by an underlined portion or by a number in a box. Look for the answer that clearly expresses the idea, is consistent with the style and tone of the passage, and makes the correct use of standard written English. Read the passage through once before answering the questions. For some questions, you should read beyond the indicated portion before you answer.
Need for Speed
As an avid skier and inline skater, I thought I had already achieved some incredible downhill speeds. On a recent trip to Quebec City, nevertheless, Q1 my concept of how fast humans can move was radically altered. It was Carnaval season, the time when people from across the province and the world flocking Q2 to the old walled city for two weeks of food, drink, revelry, and winter sports. Normally, I go to Carnaval looking for the rare thrill, all the better if it requires a helmet and my signature on a release of liability. This time for me, it was full-contact downhill ice-skating. Q3 Q4
The course looked a lot like a bobsled run. From the top of the mountain a sturdy metal chute descended that wound left and right on its way down. About eight inches of icepack covered the metal surface, which was wetted twice daily to maintain an ideal slickness. If by the time you reach the end of the chute you still haven’t regained your footing, there’s a line of meter-thick foam padding Q5 to absorb your crash.
The thrill seeker in me was chomping at the bit to try out this new sport. I signed up and put on my helmet. The organizer quickly looked me over shooting Q6 me a sarcastic grin. Smiling back and giving him a brief nod, Q7 I mounted the chair lift for the top of the mountain and prepared to watch the few heats that came before mine.
The first heat of the day went smooth Q8 and gave me a good idea of what was permitted and what was against the rules, as well as good and bad technique on the chute. Professionals were what the first five racers looked like. Q9They calmly and silently approached the starting line, which was at the head of a 20-meter flat strip of ice that racers use to gain speed before entering the downhill section. The starting gun rang out and a few men began with powerful strides, landing them at the head of the pack. When they all entered the chute, their striding stopped and the physical contact began. This is the time Q10 I learned that full hockey-style body checks are perfectly legal, as one competitor veered sharply to his left, knocking the smallest racer up and over the wall of the chute and into the meters-deep powdery snow that lined the outside of the chute. Racing continued Q11 with countless rounds of hip checks and slippery maneuvers. By the end of the race, only three men were on their feet—it was a photo finish. As the Q12 large digital-display on both ends of the run showed that the men had approached speeds of sixty miles per hour.
Luckily, they seeded me in a heat with four other first-timers. When the starting gun sounded, I was quickly off to the pack’s head. Q13 I shot down the track surprisingly smoothly when I suddenly realized I had no competition. I looked back and saw the other four skaters splayed out on the ice sliding helplessly toward the finish line. Q14