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.
The Deer Fence
A family emergency took us across the country for several weeks during the spring of that Q1 year. We had left our first vegetable garden in the midst of early growing season, a time when careful monitoring of Q2 emerging seeds is essential to ensure their vitality. Only a serious family matter would have as an instigation for Q3 such a departure.
We arrived home three weeks later to witness Q4 an incredible transformation upon our return. Q5 Not only had the broccoli stalks and scarlet radishes come to bear fruit, but they are the local deer population Q6 had decided to make a meal of our freshly sprouted crop. Deer do not use a freshly sharpened kitchen knife to remove delicious morsels from their stems. Rather, the animals gnaw and shred at the plants with their vegetarian teeth, leaving a mess of rejected foliage, hoof prints, and raw vegetable soup. Q7 Our four-foot twig garden fence suddenly appeared comical and humorously purely decorative. Q8 There was obviously a lack of real deterring qualities, that Q9 needed to be remedied quickly. Even though we were now back home to stand guard, our absence had inadvertently established our kitchen garden as a food plot for the nearby wildlife. Deer are typically night eaters, and we weren’t about to change our own sleeping patterns to accommodate them! Stopping the deer would require a concerted, multi-pronged approach. Q10
Following Q11 a tedious journey to the local hardware store, we assembled our army’s ammunition: 350 feet of chicken wire; a box of four-inch screws; neon-orange plastic ribbon; and a heavy duty staple gun. Unrolling a 350-foot roll of chicken wire is no easy task. Constructing the bottom tier of the fence was just as daunting; Q12 one person unrolled the four-foot wide tube while another person followed behind, stapling the chicken wire to the existing fence posts. Tackling the second row was another story altogether. Since our original posts were a mere four feet high, each post needed a four-foot extension attached to it, followed by another round of chicken wire.
After hours of back-breaking work, we stood back to admire this new fence. Q13 The big test would come when darkness fell. Deer can and will leap over an eight-foot barrier if necessary, but our saving grace would be the intimidation factor of our new fence, with its metallic outline glinting in the moonlight and neon-orange tags flapping in the wind. Swift and beautiful leapers, the newness and appearance of the enclosure should nonetheless serve to frighten away our backyard deer. Q14
It has been two months since the transformation of our little twig-fenced garden into a chicken-wired vegetable prison. Each night we sit down to the likes of Q15 delicious sweet corn, baked zucchini, tomato and cucumber salad, and snap beans. No broccoli or radishes this year, but we’re already discussing the blueberry bushes and strawberry plants for next year. First, though, we will give some serious thought to the black bears that live in our woods.