Directions: In the following ACT English practice test, there is a passage with certain words and phrases that are underlined and numbered. The questions will provide alternatives for the underlined portion. You should choose the alternative that best expresses the idea in standard written English and is worded most consistently with the tone of the passage. If you believe that the original version is best, then choose “NO CHANGE.” There will also be questions about sections of the passage or about the passage as a whole. Read the entire passage before answering any of the questions. For some questions you may need to read beyond the underlined section in order to determine the correct answer.
My Old Fashioned Father
My father, though he is only in his early fifties, is stuck in his old-fashioned ways. He has a (1) general mistrust of any innovation or technology that he can’t immediately grasp and he always tells us, that (2) if something isn’t broken, then you shouldn’t fix it.
He has run (3) a small grocery store in town, and if you were to look at a snapshot of his back office taken when he opened the store in 1975, you would see that not much has changed since. (4) He is the most disorganized person I know and still uses a pencil and paper to keep track of his inventory. (5) His small office is about to burst with all the various documents, notes, and receipts he has accumulated over the years, his filing cabinets (6) have long since been filled up. The centerpiece of all the clutter is his ancient typewriter, which isn’t even electric. In the past few years, Father’s search for replacement typewriter ribbons has become an increasingly difficult task, because they are no longer being produced. He is perpetually tracking down the few remaining places that still have these antiquated ribbons in their dusty inventories. When people ask him why he doesn’t upgrade his equipment, he tells them, “Electric typewriters won’t work in a blackout. All I need is a candle and some paper, and I’m fine.” Little does Father know, however, is that (7) the “upgrade” people are speaking of is not to an electric typewriter but to a computer.
 Hoping to bring Father out of the dark ages, my sister, and I (8) bought him a brand new computer for his fiftieth birthday.  We offered to help him to transfer all of his records onto it and to teach him how to use it.  Eagerly, (9) we told him about all the new spreadsheet programs that would help simplify his recordkeeping and organize his accounts; and (10) emphasized the advantage of not having to completely retype any document when he found a typo.  Rather than offering us a look of joy for the life-changing gift we had presented him, however, he again brought up the blackout scenario.  To Father, this is a concrete argument, never mind the fact that (11) our town hasn’t had a blackout in five years, and that one only lasted an hour or two. (12)
My father’s state-of-the-art computer now serves as a very expensive bulletin board for the hundreds of adhesive notes he uses to keep himself organized. Sooner than later, (13) we fully expect it will completely disappear under the mounting files and papers in the back office. In the depths of that disorganized office, the computer will join the cell phone my mom gave him a few years ago. (14) Interestingly enough, every once in a while, that completely forgotten cell phone will ring from under the heavy clutter of the past. (15)
ways he has a
ways having a
ways, and still has a
tells us, that,
tells us that,
tells us that
not be likely to see very much that has changed since.
be able to see right away that not very much has changed since.
not change very much.
inventory of canned and dry goods.
inventory, refusing to consider a more current method.
inventory, which he writes down by hand.
inventory of goods on the shelves and in the storeroom.
years; besides that, his filing cabinets
years, and besides that, his filing cabinets
years and since his filing cabinets
know, besides, that
know, however, that
know, beyond that,
me and my sister
my sister and I
my sister and I,
On the other hand,
despite the fact that
before Sentence 1
after Sentence 1
after Sentence 4
after Sentence 5
Sooner rather than later,
Sooner or later,
As soon as later,
Deep in the disorganization of that office’s, the computer will join the cell phone my mom gave him a few years back.
In the disorganized depths of the office, the computer will soon be joined by the cell phone my mom gave him a few years ago.
The computer will join the cell phone my mom gave him a few years back in the disorganized depths of that office.
It’s hard to say what else might be lost in there.
We tell my father it’s a reminder that he can’t hide from the future forever.
We have no idea who might be calling.
Maybe one day I will try to find it and answer it.
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