This is a free resource I originally created to help New York City students to prepare for one significant aspect of the SHSAT test for free, without the need for expensive tutoring. Now that the city has (perhaps wisely) eliminated the scrambled paragraphs from the SHSAT, it is a resource for anyone looking to unscramble paragraphs for whatever reason! Daniel Gauss is an Ivy-educated teacher and tutor. Drop him a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
14 Amazing Practice SHSAT Scrambled Paragraphs
King Sigismund of Hungary, who became the Holy Roman
Emperor in 1410, founded a secret fraternal order of knights called the Order
of the Dragon to uphold Christianity and defend the Empire against the Ottoman
______(Q) From 1431 onward Vlad II wore the emblem of the order
and later, as ruler of Wallachia, his coinage bore the dragon symbol.
______(R) Vlad III’s father (Vlad II) was admitted to the Order
around 1431 because of his bravery in fighting the Turks.
______(S) Its emblem was a dragon, wings extended, hanging on a
______(T) Vlad III’s father thus came to be known as "Vlad
Dracul," or "Vlad the dragon."
______(U) The word for dragon in Romanian is "drac" and
"ul" is the definitive article.
One day in May 1212 there appeared at Saint-Denis, where King
Philip of France was holding his court, a shepherd-boy of about twelve years
old called Stephen, from the small town of Cloyes in the Orléannais.
______(Q) He brought with him a letter for the King, which, he
said, had been given to him by Christ in person, who had appeared to him as he
was tending his sheep and who had bidden him go and preach the Crusade.
______(R) But Stephen, whose enthusiasm had been fired by his
mysterious visitor, saw himself now as an inspired leader who would succeed
where his elders had failed.
______(S) King Philip was not impressed by the child and told him
to go home.
______(T) For the past fifteen years preachers had been going
round the country-side urging a Crusade against the Moslems of the East or of
Spain or against the heretics of Languedoc.
______(U) It was easy for an hysterical boy to be infected with
the idea that he too could be a preacher and could emulate Peter the Hermit,
whose prowess had during the past century reached a legendary grandeur.
(This is about The Children’s Crusade of 1212, where thousands of
European children thought God would help them defeat a Muslim army and
recapture the city of Jerusalem.They
were easily defeated and most of them were forced to become slaves.)
One of Machu Picchu's primary functions was that of astronomical
______(Q)At this period of time, the Incas held ceremonies at the
stone in which they formally "tied the sun" to halt its northward
movement in the sky.
______(R) At this precise moment the sun "sits with all his
might upon the pillar" and is for a moment "tied" to the rock.
______(S) The Intihuatana, in fact, is designed to hitch the sun
at the two equinoxes, not at the solstice (as is stated in some tourist
literature and new-age books).
______(T) The Intihuatana stone (meaning 'Hitching Post of the
Sun') has been shown to be a precise indicator of the date of the two equinoxes
and other significant celestial periods.
______(U) At midday on March 21st and September 21st, the sun
stands almost directly above the pillar, creating no shadow at all.
It just happens that the Moon and the Sun appear the same size in
the sky as viewed from the Earth.
______(Q) This is called a solar eclipse; if the alignment is
slighly imperfect then the Moon covers only part of the Sun's disk and the
event is called a partial eclipse.
______(R) Total eclipses of the Sun are relatively rare in North
______(S) Partial eclipses are visible over a wide area of the
Earth but the region from which a total eclipse is visible, called the path of
totality, is very narrow, just a few kilometers (though it is usually thousands
of kilometers long).
______(T) When it lines up perfectly the entire solar disk is
blocked and it is called a total eclipse of the Sun.
______(U) And since the Moon orbits the Earth in approximately the
same plane as the Earth's orbit around the Sun, sometimes the Moon comes
directly between the Earth and the Sun.
At the age of seven, Carl Friedrich Gauss started
elementary school, and his potential was noticed almost immediately.
______(Q) After receiving a stipend from the Duke of Brunswick-
Wolfenbüttel, Gauss entered Brunswick Collegium Carolinum in 1792.
______(R) Gauss left Göttingen in 1798 without a diploma, but by
this time he had made one of his most important discoveries - the construction
of a regular 17 sided polygon by ruler and compasses - the most significant
advance in geometry since the time of Greek mathematics.
______(S) In 1788 Gauss began his education at the Gymnasium with
the help of Büttner and Bartels, where he learned High German and Latin.
______(T) His teacher, Büttner, and his assistant, Martin Bartels,
were amazed when Gauss summed the integers from 1 to 100 instantly by spotting
that the sum was 50 pairs of numbers each pair summing to 101.
______(U) In 1795 Gauss left Brunswick to study at Göttingen
University. Gauss's teacher there was Kaestner, whom Gauss often ridiculed.
______(Q) People choose to be vegan for health, environmental,
and/or ethical reasons.
______(R) In addition to being vegetarian, they do not use other
animal products and by-products such as eggs, dairy products, honey, leather,
fur, silk, wool, cosmetics, and soaps derived from animal products.
______(S) That is, once dairy cows or egg-laying chickens are too
old to be productive, they are often sold as meat; and since male calves do not
produce milk, they usually are raised for veal or other products.
______(T) Vegans, however, are slightly different from your average,
every day vegetarian.
______(U) For example, some vegans feel that one promotes the meat
industry by consuming eggs and dairy products.
The little that is known about Kim Jong-il, North Korea's leader,
conjures up a caricature of a diminutive playboy, a comic picture at odds with
his brutal regime.
______(Q) The two men also shared champagne with a bevy of female
companions of "utmost beauty and intelligence", according to Mr
______(R) He even went so far as to engineer the kidnapping, in
1978, of a South Korean film director and his girlfriend.
______(S) He is said to have a library of 20,000 Hollywood movies
and to have even written a book on the cinema.
______(T) Konstantin Pulikovsky, a Russian emissary who travelled
with Mr Kim by train across Russia, reported that the North Korean leader had
live lobsters air-lifted to the train every day which he ate with silver
______(U) The “Dear Leader,” as North Koreans are forced to call
him, seems to be obsessed with movies, fine cuisine and liquor, while his
countrymen and women suffer and starve.
By the way, Kim Jung Il died last year...his son Kim Jong Un is now in power.
It is ironic: although ancient Athens is thought of as an
enlightened and sophisticated society, unlike the women of Athens, Spartan
women were taught reading and writing.
______(Q) Although these skills were scorned by Menander and the
Athenians,they were embraced by the
Spartans, who also expected their women to be able to protect themselves.
______(R) As opposed to domestic arts, a Spartan girl's education
was equally as brutal as a man’s; many athletic events such as javelin, discus,
foot races, and staged battles were also for both sexes.
______(S) In many such events, Spartan women would run naked in
the presence of their male counterparts and were respected for their athletic
______(T) In fact, Menander (an Athenian) once said, "Teaching
a woman to read and write? What a terrible thing to do! Like feeding a vile
snake on more poison."
______(U) This is in clear contrast to Athens, where no physical
education was provided for women and education for women was synonymous with
spinning, weaving, and other domestic arts.
The potato seems to us today to be such a staple food that it is
hard to believe that it has only been accepted as edible by most of the Western
world for the past 200 years.
______(Q) As well as being their staple source of food, the Incas
also used potatoes for telling time, treating illness and injury, and
______(R) Our story begins thousands of years ago, in South
America—Peru, Ecuador, and the Northern part of Chile, to be exact—where the
Andean Incas discovered potatoes growing wild in the highlands, and were
cultivating them as early as 750 BC.
______(S) Although the Incas did many things with their potatoes,
they did not fry them.
______(T) They worshipped potato deities, and when potato crops
failed, the noses and lips of a few unlucky Incas would be mutilated in
ceremonies designed to appease the potato gods.
______(U) Instead, their most popular potato dish involved laying
them out in the sun for a period of weeks, then trampling on them with their
bare feet to get all of the liquids out.
Epictetus (pronounced Epic-TEE-tus) was a Stoic teacher
who flourished in the early second century C.E. about four hundred years after
the Stoic school of Zeno of Citium was established in Athens.
______(Q) He felt the role of a Stoic teacher was to encourage his
students to live the philosophical life, whose end was eudaimonia
('happiness'), to be secured by living the life of reason, which meant living
virtuously and ‘according to nature.’
______(R) For the only thing that is good is acting virtuously
(that is, motivated by virtue), and the only thing that is bad is the opposite,
acting viciously (that is, motivated by vice).
______(S) The key to transforming oneself into the Stoic sophos is
to learn what is 'in one's power.’
______(T) The eudaimonia of those who attain this ideal consists
of ataraxia (imperturbability), apatheia (freedom from passion) and eupatheiai
('good feelings'); thus one became a “sophos” (wise person).
______(U) Learning what is within one’s power involves 'the
correct use of impressions' (phantasiai), which in outline involves not judging
as good or bad anything that appears to one.