1. Vocabulary I (A)
Q. The word traversed in the passage is closest in meaning to
Why? crossed can replace traversed in this context. -•See Clue 1(A)[lines 3-5]
• traverse v. to move across, pass over, or go through something
• cross v. to go or stretch from one side of something to the other
2. Inference I (B)
Q. Based on the information in paragraph 1 and paragraph 2, it can be inferred that the greatest obstacle to westward travel through New York in 1800 was
Why? (B) can be inferred from combining the information in lines 8-12 and lines 18-21. See Clue 2(B)
3. Vocabulary I (B)
Q. The word arduous in the passage is closest in meaning to
Why? difficult can replace arduous in this context. ~See Clue 3(B)[lines 25-30]
• arduous adj. requiring a lot of strength and effort
• difficult adj. hard to do or understand
4. Rhetorical Purpose I (D)
Q. Why does the author mention the immigrant laborers in paragraph 3?
Why? The author explains that the Erie Canal was built by hundreds of local and immigrant laborers, who were paid very little wages for their twelve-hour workday. Immigrant laborers are mentioned to show how much effort and time were required to construct the canal. «-See Clue 4(D)[lines 26-30]
5. Vocabulary I (D)
Q. The word repercussions in the passage is closest in meaning to
Why? impacts can replace repercussions in this context «-See Clue 5(D)[lines 44-45, 46, 50]
• repercussion n. effect, influence, or result of an action or event
• impact n. effect or influence of one thing on another
6. Inference I (A)
Q. According to paragraph 4, it can be inferred that, after it was created, the Erie Canal rapidly became
Why? (A) can be inferred from the information in lines 51-58. **See Clue 6(A)
Why Not? (B), (D) Not supported / (C) Incorrect See lines 51-58
7. Reference I (B)
Q. The word it in the passage refers to
Why? … the volume of shipping traffic quickly escalated. Even the widespread growth of the railroad as a viable form of land transportation in the mid-1800s did nothing to lessen it ~See Clue 7(B)[lines 54-58]
8. Rhetorical Purpose I (A)
Q. In paragraph 5, the author mentions Ohio, Indian and Illinois to
Why? Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois are mentioned in order to show that inhabitants in those regions could deliver their goods to the eastern markets thanks to the Erie Canal, and that the canal ultimately contributed to the westward expansion of the nation. ■*- See Clue 8(A)[lines 62-66,69-71]
9. Vocabulary I (A)
Q. The word facilitating in the passage is closest in meaning to
Why? aiding can replace facilitating in this context. —See Clue 9(A)[lines 68-71]
• facilitate v. to make it easier for something to happen
• aid v. to help or offer assistance
10. Sentence Simplification I (D)
Q. Which of the sentences below best expresses the essential information in the highlighted sentence in the passage? Incorrect choices change the meaning in important ways or leave out essential information.
Why? Within fifteen years of the canal’s construction, // the amount of goods flowing into New York City and the resultant blossoming of commercial activities had transformed the city into the country’s busiest port, // and ultimately helped it become the prosperous metropolis it is today.
Why Not? (A) Information that the Erie Canal helped New York become the prosperous city it is today is left out.
(B) Not mentioned
(C) Information about the effect of the Erie Canal on the commerce of New York is left out.
11. Factual Information I (B)
Q. According to paragraph 6, how was the canal modified in both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries?
Why? ■■’See Clue 1 lines 82-83, 86-88]
► Between 1836 and 1862, it was enlarged … The enlargement process was carried out again in the early 1900s…
Why Not? (A), (C) Mentioned in lines 90-94, but only true of the 20th century / (D) Not mentioned
12. Factual Information I (C)
Q. In paragraph 7, the author states that the Erie Canal currently
Why? -See Clue 12(C) lines 99-101]
► … in 1994, all commercial traffic on the waterway was stopped.
Why Not? (A), (D) Not mentioned / (B) Incorrect **See lines 99-103
13. Insert Text [D]
Q. Look at the four squares [■] that indicate where the following sentence could be added to the passage.
Why? [B]The substantial changes in elevation along the route required the installation of eighty-three locks that would lift or lower cargo to the level of the next section of canal. [C] it included eighteen raised aqueducts that allowed the waterway to cross ravines and rivers. [D] Also, bridges were built so that preexisting roads cut by the canal could remain in use. Cargo barges were usually pulled by a team of pack animals from a towpath that ran alongside the canal.
14. Prose Summary
Q. Directions: An introductory sentence for a brief summary of the passage is provided below. Complete the summary by selecting the THREE answer choices that express the most important ideas in the passage. Some sentences do not belong in the summary because they express ideas that are not presented in the passage or are minor ideas in the passage. This question is worth 2 points.
Why? In the early nineteenth century, the Erie Canal was created as a way to move goods across New York to points farther west.
|Correct Answer Choices||Clues in the passage|
|(B) A truly monumental project involving numerous construction tasks, the canal was finished in 1825 after about eight years of work.||Clue 14(B)[line 25] construction began in 1817 [lines 26-29] the arduous undertaking was carried out by hundreds of hardworking local and immigrant laborers
[lines 30-31] In 1825, the Erie Canal was completed
|(D) The Erie Canal provided a cheap means of shipping products between distant regions, significantly boosting the economies of both the Midwest and New York City.||Clue 14(D)[lines 51-54] transporting a ton of cargo by road from Buffalo to New York City cost around $100. By 1835, the canal had cut the figure to only four dollars per ton
[lines 69-72] the Erie Canal greatly contributed to the westward expansion of the American nation. However, the eastern endpoint of the route was affected as well.
|(F) Over the years, the canal was updated to address increases in traffic and remained in use until it was finally sidelined by the highway system.||Clue 14(F)[lines 80-82] As shipping traffic increased and new engineering technologies became available, the canal received many upgrades.
[lines 95-99] It was not until the second half of the twentieth century, when highways began to replace railways as the dominant form of land transport, that use of the Erie Canal began to decrease rapidly.
► The whole passage focuses on the construction of the Erie Canal and its effects on the economy of the U.S. And it follows that ((B) The construction of the Erie Canal —* (D) The effects of the Erie Canal on the economies of the Midwest and New York City —* (F) Updates to the Erie Canal and end of its commercial use) **See
Why Not? (A) Mentioned in lines 12-15, but minor / (C) Not supported / (E) Incorrect ~See lines 95-99