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, May 28, 2013
11 AMAZING Practice Scrambled Paragraphs
Answers are below the exercises:
Some studies suggest that at least some bird species have evolved
mental skills similar to those found in humans and apes.
______ (Q) When such mirror-induced behavior in the magpie, a
songbird species from the crow family, was examined some individuals behaved in
front of the mirror similarly to apes.
______ (R) It is, however, not yet clear whether these skills are
accompanied by an understanding of the self.
______ (S) This is indicated by feats such as tool use,
episodic-like memory, and the ability to use one's own experience in predicting
the behavior of members of one’s own species.
______ (T) For example, when they noticed a color mark on their
bodies, magpies tried to remove the mark.
______ (U) In apes, behavior in response to a mirror, in which the
ape clearly recognizes himself, has been taken as evidence of self-recognition.
The lotus (Sanskrit and Tibetan padma), because of it’s conditions
and growth, is one of the most poignant representations of Buddhist teaching.
______ (Q) This pattern of growth symbolizes the progress of the
soul from the primeval mud of materialism, through the waters of experience,
and into the bright sunshine of enlightenment.
______ (R) According to another scholar, "In esoteric
Buddhism the heart of a being is like an unopened lotus: when the virtues of
the Buddha develop therein, the lotus blossoms; that is why the Buddha sits on
a lotus bloom."
______ (S) Though there are other water plants that also bloom
above the water, it is only the lotus which, owing to the strength of its stem,
regularly rises eight to twelve inches above the surface.
______ (T) Realizing the unique circumstances of the flower and
its differences from others,Lalitavistara states, "The spirit of the best of people is
spotless, like the lotus in the muddy water which has not become muddy."
______ (U) The roots of a lotus are, after all, in the mud, the
stem growing through the water, the heavily scented flower lying pristinely
above the water, basking in the sunlight.
On April 21, 1918 Baron von Richthofen followed the Sopwith Camel
of Wilfred May far into British territory.
______ (Q) Manfred von Richthofen crashed into a field alongside
the road from Corbie to Bray, his body was recovered by British forces, and he
was buried with full military honors.
______ (R) He did this even though the thrill of the hunt was all
but gone for Richthofen, as most of his peers had already been killed and his
own wounds agonized him.
______ (S) The shot is commonly believed to have come from
Australian gunners on the ground, but might have also come from the guns of
Canadian flier Arthur "Roy" Brown who was coming to May's aid.
______ (T) Though he had written that it was undignified to chase
an enemy who had fled, he chased his British quarry far deep into enemy
territory and far lower to the ground than was prudent.
______ (U) May later said that it was only his erratic, untrained
piloting which saved him and as Richthofen followed the erratic path of the novice
pilot, a single bullet, shot from behind him, passed diagonally through his
In an analysis almost 147 years after his death, doctors believe
that writer Edgar Allan Poe died as a result of rabies, not from complications
______ (Q) Poe's medical case was reviewed by R. Michael
Benitez, M.D., a cardiologist at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
(R) At first he had tremors and hallucinations, then slipped into a coma, emerged
from the coma, was calm and lucid, but then lapsed again into a delirious
state, became combative, and required restraint, finally dying on his fourth
day in the hospital.
______ (S) "No one can say conclusively that Poe died of
rabies, since there was no autopsy after his death," says Dr. Benitez, who
is also an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School
______ (T) "But the historical accounts of Poe's condition in
the hospital a few days before his death point to a strong possibility that he
______ (U) Poe was discovered lying unconscious on September
28outside a saloon on Lombard St. in
Baltimore, before being taken to Washington College Hospital.
______ (Q) This sense of cohesion is further enforced by the
elaborate communication system that elephants use.
______ (R) Afterwards young females are socialized into the
matriarchal network while young males go off for a time into an all-male social
group before coming back into the fold as mature adults.
______ (S) When communicating over long distances — in
order to pass along news about threats, a change of plans or, of the utmost
importance to elephants, the death of a community member — they use patterns of
subsonic vibrations that are felt as far as several miles away by sensors in
the padding of their feet.
______ (T) For example, young elephants stay within 15 feet of
their mothers for nearly all of their first eight years of life.
______ (U) They employ a range of vocalizations, from
low-frequency rumbles to higher-pitched screams and trumpets, along with a
variety of visual signals, from the waving of their trunks to subtle anglings of
the head, body, feet and tail.
In the 5th century BC, in Celtic Ireland, summer officially ended
on October 31, and this holiday was called Samhain (sow-en), the Celtic New
______ (Q) So on the night of October 31, villagers would
extinguish the fires in their homes, to make them cold and undesirable.
______ (R) Naturally, the still-living did not want to be
______ (S) One story says that, on that day, the disembodied
spirits of all those who had died throughout the preceding year would come back
in search of living bodies to possess for the next year.
______ (T) It was believed to be their only hope for the
______ (U) They would then dress up in all manner of
ghoulish costumes and noisily paraded around the neighborhood, being as
destructive as possible in order to frighten away spirits looking for bodies to
Michael Peter Fay, an American teenager visiting Singapore in
1991, plead guilty to vandalism charges, and was sentenced to four months in
jail, a $2,200 fine - and four strokes of the cane.
______ (Q) A prison official, a medical officer and the caner were
the only ones present, as the caner wound up and, using his full body weight,
struck with the 13mm-thick rattan rod, which had been soaked overnight to
prevent it from splitting.
______ (R) This sentence raised concerns about corporal punishment
around the civilized world, especially in light of how the punishment was
______ (S) News of this ritual angered many in the USA, who,
although not opposed to punishment, are opposed to what they feel is harsh,
______ (T) After the fourth and final stroke, say Singapore
officials, Fay shook hands with his caner and insisted on walking back to his
cell unaided because he “...wanted to act like a man.”
______ (U) In the caning room Fay was stripped naked, bent over
and his arms and legs were fastened to an H-shaped trestle by straps while a
protective covering was placed over his kidneys.
Finger-like divisions found in the fins of an ancient fish that
lived around 385 million years ago have been hailed by Swedish scientists as the
possible origin of human hands and fingers.
______ (Q) But this study has revealed that they were already
developing when our ancestors were fish.
______ (R) “Our study proves that fingers are not new to tetrapods
but that they evolved from distal radials, structures present in fish
______ (S) “It’s an important piece of evidence for the evolution
of fish to tetrapods and how ‘we’ also transformed from fish to land animals.”
______ (T) It had been concluded that digits only developed after
our ancestors made the jump from sea to land 380 million years ago.
______ (U) “For a long time, we thought that fingers were a
novelty for tetrapods; in the past two years, some evidence has come forward to
make us doubt this,” said Catherine Boisvert, lead scientist.
How great was Ferenc Puskas? Such things, necessarily, are
subjective - and, particularly when you're going on video footage, almost
impossible to judge - but for me he stands alongside Johan Cruyff as one of the
two greatest European soccer players of all time.
______ (Q) "If a good player has the ball, he should have the
vision to spot three team mates or options," the full-back Jeno Buzanszky
said; "Puskas always saw at least five."
______ (R) It is not even the fact that he had key parts in two of
the most celebrated games ever played on British soil - Hungary's 6-3 victory
over England at Wembley in 1953 and Real Madrid's 7-3 victory over Eintracht
Frankfurt in 1960.
______ (S) That is why his nickname, the 'Galloping Major', was so
appropriate - even if he hardly galloped and, at the time it was bestowed, was
only a lieutenant - because he was so good at marshalling his side towards a common
______ (T) It is the fact that that ability was allied to a brain
that understood how best to use his ability for the team.
______ (U) It was not just his technical ability because other
players have had that.