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Reading and Written Composition

Read the two selections and the viewing and representing piece. Then answer the questions that follow.

Use "The Miraculous Phonograph Record" to answer questions 1-12.

1 Read the following dictionary entry.
fix \ 1fiks\ v 1. to stabilize 2. to capture the attention of 3. to get ready for 4. to repair or mend
Which definition best matches the use of the word fixed in paragraph 8?
A Definition 1
B Definition 2
C Definition 3
D Definition 4
7 Mrs. Saroyan's statement about her son at the end of the story conveys —
A why she is dissatisfied with the way Willie manages his money
B how she secretly wishes that Willie will become a musician
C why she loses her temper so easily
D how her understanding of her son has changed


2 At first Mrs. Saroyan is upset about her son's purchase because —
F she is distrustful of new inventions
G she thinks he took time away from his job to shop
H she does not have time to listen to music
J she believes it is a foolish investment
8 In the first sentence of paragraph 8, the author states that Mrs. Saroyan's look suggested "an eight-ounce day." The author uses this description to —
F foreshadow that the Saroyans will soon experience financial difficulties
G establish the basis for a conflict between Willie and his mother
H imply that Mrs. Saroyan should begin looking for a new job
J expose the unhealthy conditions of Mrs. Saroyan's workplace


3 Paragraph 7 is mainly about —
A the varying weights and sizes of fig packs
B the different dried-fruit packinghouses that offer work
C the effect of the length of the fig season on Mrs. Saroyan
D the fluctuations in how much Mrs. Saroyan earns at work
9 Mrs. Saroyan is thankful that her son is not a businessman because —
A there are enough businessmen in the family already
B she has grown to appreciate Willie's values
C she wants him to choose a career in music
D the business community would probably reject him


4 When Mrs. Saroyan requests a second record, she asks Willie to —
F get a better deal than he got on his first purchase
G make sure that the songs on it are wonderful
H return the first record he purchased
J choose a record with banjo music
10 What tone does the author establish in paragraph 22?
F Fearful
G Sentimental
H Mysterious
J Humorous
5 The historical context of this story is important because it establishes that —
A ten dollars was a significant amount of money
B many immigrants were living in Fresno in 1921
C the phonograph was invented in 1920
D bicycles were the primary mode of transportation
11 The author uses Mrs. Saroyan's questions in paragraph 9 through 19 to —
A emphasize her displeasure with Willie's purchase
B portray her as a hardworking woman
C characterize her as a bitter person
D illustrate her confusion about Willie's actions
6 Which line from the story serves as an example of sarcasm?
F "Did you find the ten dollars in the street perhaps?"
G "Play it again, I beg of you."
H "Well, there's another song on the other side."
J "What is the meaning of that—'Cho-Cho-San'?"
12 Willie cherishes the record throughout his life because it —
F reflects the immigrant experience in America
G marks the beginning of his own love for music
H symbolizes his mother's recognition of what is important to him
J reminds him of his first job as a Postal Telegraph messenger

Use "Letter That Changed My Life" to answer questions 13-23.

13 In paragraph 2, the word calumny means —
A disappointment
B anecdote
C slander
D compliment
19 In what way is this selection ironic?
Smith shares the same Irish heritage as William Butler Yeats.
Smith's letter defending another writer is the start of his own writing career.
Firefighters now have a literary figure they can admire.
D The editor publishes Smith's letter only because it is on official stationery.


14 Before the publication of his letter, what had Smith written?
F A biographical essay on Yeats
G Poems, short stories, and part of a novel
H Reviews for the New York Times Book Review
J Report from Engine Co. 82
20 Smith believes that his philosophy about writing —
F can be applied to any pursuit
G comes from his Irish background
H can be replaced by education
J helps others appreciate poetry
15 Which of these is the best summary of the article?
A A firefighter working at the South Bronx’s Engine Co. 82 is distracted by the amount of fires in his neighborhood. He attempts to read the newspaper and write letters, but the constant alarms make concentration impossible. He is finally able to find time to write and becomes a best-selling author.
B A writer of Irish ancestry believes that William Butler Yeats is one of the finest poets who has ever lived. He is convinced that the Irish poet’s reputation should be defended, so he writes a letter to the New York Times stating his position. The writer is excited when his letter is eventually published in the newspaper.
C A firefighter disagrees with an article he reads about his favorite Irish writer. His strong feelings prompt him to write a response that captures the attention of the publishing industry. He credits his eventual success as a writer to the force of emotion that drove him to write the letter.
D A best-selling author is interested in the poetry of William Butler Yeats. Although this author has little confidence in his own ability, he writes a book titled Report from Engine Co. 82 and a memoir called A Song for Mary: An Irish-American Memory. He is surprised by his own success.
21 In paragraph 18, what does Smith mean when he advises his children to "measure the heat of the fire there"?
A They should compare their own goals to those of their father.
B They should pay attention to the intensity of their feelings.
C They should use writing as a tool to change lives.
D They should be inspired by their father's love.
16 What angers Smith when he reads the article about Yeats?
F The idea that Yeats is no longer considered primarily an Irish poet
G The presumption that firefighters cannot appreciate the poetry of Yeats
H The notion that Yeats did not deserve the Nobel Prize
J The belief that James Joyce was a better writer than Yeats
22 The reason the author alludes to the greatness of Homer and Shakespeare in paragraph 9 is to —
F boast about his knowledge of poetry
G apologize for Irish writing
H protect Yeats's reputation
J link Yeats to other famous writers


17 In paragraph 8, the author uses a simile to describe —
A the sickness he feels upon hearing the alarm
B the excitement he feels when he addresses his letter
C the fear he feels when sliding down the brass pole
D the relief he feels after writing the letter
23 Which line from the selection best explains the effect that the four-paragraph letter had on Smith's life?
A I wrote often to better control my writing skills, to master them.
B I'd like to think, though, that the editor silently agreed with my thesis.
C It was as if I was suddenly thrust into being someone whose views mattered.
D That's what I learned the day I stood up for Ireland's greatest poet.
18 It is clear from paragraphs 5 and 6 that Smith wrote his letter —
F impulsively
G cautiously
H thoughtlessly
J effortlessly

Use "The Miraculous Phonograph Record" and "Letter That Changed My Life" to answer questions 24 and 25.

24 The transformations of Mrs. Saroyan and Dennis Smith occur because of —
F their intense responses to art
G their conflicts with family members
H their strong ties to their heritage
J their willingness to change careers
25 "The Miraculous Phonograph Record" and "Letter That Changed My Life" both use a first-person point of view. In this way —
A the description of the conflicts is biased
B the reader is able to establish a close connection to the events
C details are omitted from the selections
D the reader has a clearer understanding of the complex dialogue

Use the visual representation to answer questions 26-28.

26 The photographer chooses to photograph a formally dressed man in order to —
F instill an objective tone
G portray a feeling of patriotism
H impart a tone of respect
J symbolize another era
28 The fact that most of the names on the wall are out of focus suggests that the photographer —
F wants to keep most of the names private out of respect
G wants to emphasize the significance of the hand touching a name
H could not photograph all the names on the wall
J took his photograph to honor a specific veteran who died in Vietnam


27 This photograph is an example of how —
A a picture can powerfully influence emotion and thought
B veterans have a strong understanding of the consequences of war
C travelers to Washington often visit the memorial
D a picture is not effective unless the entire person is visible

Answer the following questions on a separate piece of paper. These questions will not be scored as part of the interactive online versions of the released TAKS tests.

1.  In “The Miraculous Phonograph Record,” why does Willie keep the record for 42 years? Support your answer with evidence from the selection.

2.  Why is “Letter That Changed My Life” a good title for this selection? Explain your answer and support it with evidence from the selection.

3.  What is one characteristic shared by Mrs. Saroyan and Dennis Smith? Support your answer with evidence from both selections.

Written Composition
Write an essay explaining how one experience can have the power to affect a person’s life in a positive way.

Revising and Editing

Read the following passages and mark your answers. Remember that you are NOT permitted to use dictionaries or other reference materials on this section of the test.

29 What change, if any, should be made in sentence 1?
F Delete the comma after old
G Change had to has
H Change discourige to discourage
J Make no change
34 What change, if any, should be made in sentence 9?
A Change had to have
B Change then to than
C Change they to it
D Make no change
30 What change, if any, should be made in sentence 3?
A Change year's to years
B Change obtained to obtains
C Insert a comma after auction
D Make no change
35 What change, if any, should be made in sentence 14?
F Change decided to deciding
G Change he to they
H Change corporation to Corporation
J Make no change
31 The meaning of sentence 6 can be clarified by changing the first it to —
F them
G his passion
H success
J the machine
36 What change should be made in sentence 16?
A Change corporation's to corporations'
B Change attributing to attributed
C Change elimination to elimanation
D Change middleman to Middleman
32 What is the most effective way to improve the organization of the second paragraph (sentences 7-10)?
A Delete sentence 8
B Move sentence 8 to the end of the paragraph
C Move sentence 10 so that it follows sentence 7
D Delete sentence 10
37 What change, if any, should be made in sentence 17?
F Insert a comma after computers
G Change serviced to services
H Change occurred to occured
J Make no change
33 What is the most effective way to rewrite the ideas in sentence 7?
F In 1983, when Dell entered the University of Texas at Austin, his interest in computers led him to notice something that would change his life forever.
G Entering the University of Texas at Austin, Dell’s interest in computers led him to notice something that would change his life forever in 1983.
H In 1983 Dell entered the University of Texas at Austin, and his interest in computers led him to notice something it would change his life forever.
J Dell entered the University of Texas at Austin, and in 1983 his interest in computers led him to notice something, and it would change his life forever.
38 What change, if any, should be made in sentence 21?
A Change Although to Since
B Change have suffered to has suffered
C Change the comma after recently to a semicolon
D Make no change

39 What change, if any, should be made in sentence 4?
F Change Your to You're
G Delete the comma after there
H Change cousin's to cousins'
J Make no change
44 What change, if any, should be made in sentence 14?
A Change starts to started
B Change he to they
C Insert a comma after feet
D Make no change


40 What is the most effective way to combine the ideas in sentences 6 and 7?
A The wall was made of concrete and crushed granite, it looked just like a sandstone cliff.
B The wall was made of and looked just like concrete, crushed granite, and a sandstone cliff.
C The wall was made of concrete and crushed granite because it looked just like a sandstone cliff.
D The wall, made of concrete and crushed granite, looked just like a sandstone cliff.
45 What change, if any, should be made in sentence 15?
F Change didn't to doesn't
G Change the comma after feet to a semicolon
H Change too to to
J Make no change


41 How can the meaning of sentence 10 be clarified?
F Change studying to looking at
G Delete last
H Change thing to artificial rock wall
J Change it to them
46 Which transition should be added to the beginning of sentence 17?
A On the other hand,
B Therefore,
C Finally,
D In addition,
42 What change should be made in sentence 11?
A Delete the comma after top
B Change concentrate to consentrate
C Delete and think about
D Change was doing to is doing
47 Brian wants to add this sentence to the eighth paragraph (sentences 18-22).
The last time Dean had scaled a climbing wall, it had taken 15 minutes for him to muster the courage to rappel down.
Where should this sentence be inserted?
F At the beginning of the paragraph
G After sentence 18
H After sentence 20
J After sentence 21
43 What change, if any, should be made in sentence 13?
F Change Kurt to he
G Insert a comma after rope
H Change attatched to attached
J Make no change
48 What change, if any, should be made in sentence 19?
A Change broad to broadly
B Insert a comma after broad
C Change grew to had grown
D Make no change

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