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Writing and Language Test 4

Justice August 27, 2015

Writing and Language Test

8 Minutes, 11 Questions

DIRECTIONS: The passage below is accompanied by a number of questions. For some questions, you will consider how the passage might be revised to improve the expression of ideas. For other questions, you will consider how the passage might be edited to correct errors in sentence structure, usage, or punctuation. A passage or a question may be accompanied by one or more graphics (such as a table or graph) that you will consider as you make revising and editing decisions.

Some questions will direct you to an underlined portion of a passage. Other questions will direct you to a location in a passage or ask you to think about the passage as a whole. After reading each passage, choose the answer to each question that most effectively improves the quality of writing in the passage or that makes the passage conform to the conventions of standard written English. Many questions include a “NO CHANGE”option.

Choose that option if you think the best choice is to leave the relevant portion of the passage as it is.



More than One Way to Dress a Cat

From Michelangelo’s David to Vincent van Gogh’s series of self-portraits to Grant Wood’s iconic image of a farming couple in American (1) Gothic. These works byhuman artists have favored representations of members of their own species to those of other species. Indeed, when we think about animals depicted in well-known works of art, the image of dogs playing poker—popularized in a series of paintings by American artist C. M. (2) Coolidge, may be the first and only one that comes to mind. Yet some of the earliest known works of art, including paintings and drawings tens of thousands of years old found on cave walls in Spain and France, (3) portrays animals. Nor has artistic homage to our fellow creatures entirely died out in the millennia since, (4) despite the many years that have passed between then and now.

[1] The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, one of Russia’s greatest art museums, has long had a productive partnership with a much loved animal: the cat. [2] For centuries, cats have guarded this famous museum, ridding it of mice, rats, and other rodents that could damage the art, not to mention (5) scared off visitors. [3] Peter the Great introduced the first cat to the Hermitage in the early eighteenth century. [4] Later Catherine the Great declared the cats to be official guardians of the galleries. [5] Continuing the tradition, Peter’s daughter Elizaveta introduced the best and strongest cats in Russia to the Hermitage. [6] Today, the museum holds a yearly festival honoring these faithful workers. (6) 

These cats are so cherished by the museum that officials recently (7) decreed original paintings to be made of six of them. In each, a cat is depicted upright in a humanlike pose and clothed in imperial-era Russian attire. The person chosen for this (8) task, digital artist, Eldar Zakirov painted the cats in the style traditionally used by portrait artists, in so doing (9) presenting the cats as noble individuals worthy of respect. One portrait, The Hermitage Court Chamber Herald Cat, includes an aristocratic tilt of feline ears as well as a stately sweep of tail emerging from the stiff scarlet and gold of royal court dress. The wise, thoughtful green eyes of the subject of The Hermitage Court Outrunner Cat mimic those of a trusted royal advisor. (10) Some may find it peculiar to observe cats portrayed in formal court poses, but these felines, by (11) mastering the art of killing mice and rats, are benefactors of the museum as important as any human.

Writing and Language Test 4