過去這個週末學生考了 2017 年 4 月的 ACT 考試。如果這是你最後一次考 ACT，恭喜你完成了一個艱難的任務！
我們整理了 2017 年 4 月 ACT 考試當中的 4 篇閱讀文章，幫助學生準備未來的考試。
首先，讀這些文章。你覺得他們讀起來很簡單還是很難？裡面有沒有很多生字，尤其是那些會影響你理解整篇文章的生字？如果有的話，雖然你可能是在美國讀書或讀國際學校、也知道 “如何讀跟寫英文”，但你還沒有足夠的生字基礎讓你 “達到下一個階段” （也就是大學的階段）。查一下這一些字，然後把它們背起來。這些生字不見得會在下一個 ACT 考試中出現，但是透過真正的 ACT 閱讀文章去認識及學習這些生字可以大大的減低考試中出現不會的生字的機率。
在我們的 Ivy-Way Reading Workbook（Ivy-Way 閱讀技巧書）的第一章節裡，我們教學生在閱讀文章之前要先讀文章最上面的開頭介紹。雖然你的 ACT 考試不會剛好考這幾篇文章，但你還是可以透過這些文章找到它們的來源，然後從來源閱讀更多相關的文章。閱讀更多來自這些地方的文章會幫助你習慣閱讀這種風格的文章。
所有 2017 年 4 月 ACT 考試閱讀文章
This passage is adapted from the essay “Rough Water” by David McGlynn (©2008 by David McGlynn).
One of my best races could hardly be called a race
at all. I was a senior in high school, gunning to qualify
for the USA Junior Nationals. The previous summer I
had missed the cut by less than a second in the mile,
and just the day before, at my high school regional
meet , I had come within three-tenths of a second in the
500-yard freestyle. The qualification time was 4:39.69;
I swam a 4:39.95. The next day, Sunday, l drove with
my mother to the far side of Houston where a time trial
was being held—an informal, unadvertised event
thrown together at the last minute. The only races
swum were those the swimmers requested to swim.
Most were short, flapping sprints in which swimmers
attempted to shave off a few one-hundredths of a
second. I didn’t have the courage to face the mile, and
since I’d struck out in the 500 the day before, I decided
to swim the 1,000-yard freestyle. Forty lengths of the
pool. It was a race I’d swum fast enough to believe that
given the right confluence of circumstances—cold
water, an aggressive heat, an energetic meet—I could
make the cut. I had fifteen seconds to drop to qualify.
By the time I stood up on the blocks, I was not
only the only one in the race, I was practically the only
one in the natatorium. The horn sounded and I dove in.
I was angry and disheartened at having missed the cut
the day before and I had little belief that I could go any
About six hundred yards in, my coach started to
pace. I stayed steady on, not in a hurry, not about to get
my hopes up. In my mind,.I had_ already missed the
time . Then a boy from a rival high school, whom I
hardly knew, unfolded his legs and climbed down from
the bleachers and started to cheer. He squatted low to
the water and pointed his finger toward the end of the
pool, as if to say, That’s where you’re going, now hurry
up. I thought, If he’s cheering, maybe I’m close.
Sometimes a moment comes along when the world
slows down, and though everything else moves around
us at the same frenetic speed, we’re afforded the opportunity
to reflect in real-time rather than in retrospect. It is as
though we slip into a worm-hole in the fabric of time
and space, travel into the past and then ack again·
to the present in the same instant. That morning, swimming,
I remembered a day in late September the year before,
the last day my swim team had use of an out-door pool.
All summer long my teammates and I swam under an
open sky. After this day we would spend the rest of
the season in a dank and moldy indoor pool.
The triangular backstroke flags were strung across
the lanes and the adjacent diving well. My teammates
liked to run down the long cement deck, jump out over
the diving well, and try to grab hold of the line. Many
of them could jump far enough to make it. I could not,
though I tried every day. I tried that day, and missed.
Since I would not have another shot until May, I
decided to try again. I squared up and ran, my feet wet
against the pavement, and just as my foot hit the water’s
edge, one of my teammates called out “Jump!” I bent
my knees and pushed off hard and got my hand around
the flag line. I pulled the whole thing into the water.
Autumn was coming and I wondered if there was a
metaphor in what I had just done; a fortune folded
inside a cookie: my greatest effort would come when I
was down to my last opportunity.
Now it was March and I was down to my last
opportunity, thinking about that day and hearing the
word “Jump!” as my eyes followed the finger of the boy
pointing me onward. What I understood— not later, but
right then, in the water—was how little this swim added
up to in the world. I had spent more than a year training
for this one swim, and when it was finished the world
would be no different than before it began. If no one
else cared, then the swim was mine alone. It mattered
because it was the task before me now, the thing I
wanted now. Swimming, I had long understood, is a
constant choice between the now and the later: exhaustion
now for the sake of fitness later, all those Friday nights
spent in the pool in pursuit of an end that seemed
always one step farther on. I was out of laters , this was
the end, and I made my choice. I cashed in the energy I
set aside for climbing out of the pool and unfolding my
towel and tying my shoes. I’ve never sprinted harder in
my life, not before and not since. I hit the wall. I knew
by instinct, by the spasm of my tendons and the ache in
my bones, before I ever turned toward the clock or
heard my coach scream, that I had made it.
Passage A is ad apted from the book Apple: A Global History by Erika Janik (©2011 by Erika Janik). Passage B is adapted fro m the article ” The Fatherland of Apples” by Gary Nabhan (©2008 by The Orion Society).
In early September of 1929, Nikolai Vavilov.
famed Russian plant explorer and botanist. arrived in
the central Asian crossroad. of Alma-Ata. Kazakhstan.
Climbing up the Zailijskei Alatau slopes of the Tian
Shan mountains separating Kazakhstan from China.
Vavilov found thickets of wild apples stretching in
every direction, an extensive forest of fruit coloured
russet red, creamy yellow, and vibrant pink. Nowhere
else in the world do apples grow thickly as a forest or
with such incredible diversity. Amazed by what he saw
Vavilov wrote: ‘I could see with my own eyes that I had
stumbled upon the centre of origin for the apple.’
With extraordinary prescience and few facts,
Vavilov suggested that the wild apples he had seen
growing in the Tian Shan were in fact the ancestors of
the modern apple. He tracked the whole process of
domestication to the mountains near Alma-Ata, where
the wild apples looked awfully similar to the apples
found at the local grocery. Unfortunately, Vavilov’s
theory would remain mostly unknown for decades.
Exactly where the apple came from had long been
a matter of contention and discussion among people
who study plant origins. Vavilov, imprisoned by Joseph
Stalin in 1940 for work in plant genetics that chatlenged
Stalin’s beliefs, died in a Leningrad prison in 1943.
Only after the fall of communism in Russia did
Vavilov’s theory, made more than half a century earlier,
become widely recognized.
As Vavilov predicted, it’s now believed that all of
the apples known today are direct descendents of the
wild apples that evolved in Kazakhstan. Apples do not
compnse all of Kazakhstan’s plant bounty, however. At
least 157 other plant species found in Kazakhstan are
either direct precursors or close wild relatives of
domesticated crops, including 90 per cent of all cultivated
temperate fruits. The name of Kazakhstan’s largest city.
Alma-Ata. or Almaty as it is known today,even translates
as ‘Father of Apples’ or. according to some. ‘where
the apples are’. So this news about the apple’s
origins was probably no surprise to residents,
particularly in towns where apple seedlings are known
to grow up through the cracks in the pavements. The
apple has been evolving in Central Asia for upwards of
4.5 million years.
Nikolai Vavilov is widely regarded as the world’s
greatest plant explorer, for he made over 250.000 seed,
fruit, and tuber collections on five continents. Kazakh
conservationist Tatiana Salova credits him with first
recognizing that Kazakhstan was the center of origin
and diversity for apples. “It is not surprising.” she con-
cedes, “that when Vavilov first came to Kazakhstan to
look at plants he was so amazed. Nowhere else in the
world do apples grow as a forest. That is one reason
why he stated that this is probably where the apple was
born, this was its birthing grounds.”
Discerning where a crop originated and where the
greatest portion of its genetic diversity remains extant
may seem esoteric to the uninitiated. But knowing
where exactly our food comes from—geographically,
culturally, and genetically—is of paramount importance
to the rather small portion of our own species that regulaxly
concerns itself with the issue of food security. The
variety of foods that we keep in our fields, orchards,
and, secondarily, in our seed banks is critically important
in protecting our food supply from plagues, crop
diseases. catastrophic weather, and political upheavals.
Vavilov himself was personally motivated to become an
agricultural scientist by witnessing several famines
during the czarist en of Russia. He hoped that by combining
a more diverse seed portfolio with knowledge from both
traditional farmers and collaborating scientists, the number
of Russian families suffering from hunger might be reduced.
In a very real sense, the forests of wild foragers
and the orchards of traditional farmers in such centers
of crop diversity are the wellsprings of diversity that
plant breeders, pathologists, and entomologists return
to every time our society whittles the resilience in our
fields and orchards down to its breaking point.
And whittle away we have done. Here in North
America, according to apple historian Dan Bussey,
some 16,000 apple varieties have been named and nurtured
over the last four centuries. By 1904, however, the
identities and sources of only 7,098 of those varieties
could be discerned by USDA scientist W. H. Ragan.
Since then. some 6,121 apple varieties—86.2 percent of
Ragan’s 1904 inventory—have been lost from nursery
catalogs, farmers’ markets, and from the American
This passage is adapted from the article “The Quiet Sideman” by Colin Fleming (©2008 by The American Scholar)
Near the end of his eight years as a recording-
session musician, tenor saxophonist Leon “Chu” Berry
landed a short-lived spot with Count Basic’s orchestra.
Standing in for one of the Basic hand’s two tenor
giants, Berry took a lead solo on “Oh. Lady Be Good”
the 1924 Gershwin song that Basic had played for
years. In the 28 seconds that the solo lasted on
February 4. 1939. we are treated to no less than the
musical personification of mind and body working
together in divine tandem. When you hear the recording
for the first time, you’re likely to wonder why you’ve
never heard of Chu Berry before.
Why you’ve never heard of him is pretty simple: a
lot of hard-core jazz buffs don’t know much about him.
Berry was a solid session player who turns up on
recordings with Basic, Bessie Smith. Fletcher
Henderson. and Billie Holiday. But he did not cut many
sessions himself as a leader, and when he soloed, he
worked within the recording constraints of the era and
the swing genre—fast-moving 78s with solos often
lasting for a mere 32 beats.
The people who loved Berry were, not surprisingly,
other tenor players, a situation leading to the dreaded
“musician’s musician” tag. But that’s not nearly praise
enough to describe Chu Berry, who, when given
opportunity, displayed a musical dexterity that would
be envied by future generations of horn men.
Berry faced the lot of other horn players: having to
grind it out long and hard until something memorable
burst through: the prejudices and expectations of the
listening public: and the accepted wisdom of what is
and isn’t art in a given medium. In this case, swing was
fodder for dance parties, not music worthy of study.
Oddly enough, Berry’s geniality might help
explain his failure to court history’s favor: it wasn’t in
his nature to call attention to himself or his playing.
Born in 1908 into the black middle class in Wheeling.
West Virginia, the laid-back, affable Berry attended
West Virginia State in Charleston. where he switched
from alto sax to tenor and exhibited the willingness to
fit in that characterized his presence in so many dance
bands. He was the rare artist who refused to put his
interests above those of the band, even if that meant
playing ensemble passages rather than taking a healthy
allotment of solo breaks.
College proved a training ground for Berry the
bandsman. as he teamed up with a number of amateur
outfits. He never played simply to show off. Instead, he
tried to bring out the positive attributes in any given sit-
nation or setting. Later, when Berry is performing with
the Calloway ensemble, we hear some ragged, out-of-
tune playing until Berry’s first few solo notes emerge.
The other players. no longer languidly blowing through
their charts, immediately surge up behind him, all
fighting-fit. Once Berry finishes his solo, the
After making his way to New York. Berry immediately
became a presence and soon was in demand. The
great jazz orchestras of the swing era were fronted by
musical directors/arrangers—Duke Ellington was pre-
eminent—who drew the acclaim. The sidemen were
musical traveling salesmen who sold someone else’s
wares in the best style they could manage. It was with
Fletcher Henderson that Berry began to ditch some of
the sideman’s subservient trappings. For starters,
Henderson wrote in keys that were rare for the jazz
orchestras of the day. and his somber, indigo-inflected
voicings were ideal for a player of Berry’s introspective
approach to his instrument: Berry sounds as if he’s
being swallowed by his sax. “Blues in C Sharp Minor,”
for instance, is odd, haunting, and ultimately relaxing.
A Berry solo in it is slightly off mike, making the
listener feel as though he’s been playing for some time
before we finally hear him. The effect is unnerving, as
if we weren’t paying close attention.
In June 1940, Cab Calloway granted Berry a show-
case piece. “A Ghost of a Chance.” the sole recording
in Berty’s career to feature him from start to finish. It
was his “Body and Soul.” a response to Coleman
Hawkins’s famous recording, intended not as a riposte
to a rival, but as the other half of a dialogue. Its rubato
lines are disembodied from the music meant to accompany
it, which is spartan to begin with. This may be
Berry’s one and only instance of indulgence on a
record, a cathedral of a solo in its flourishes, angles.
ornamentations, reflexivity. If sunlight could pass
through music, “A Ghost of a Chance” would funnel it
out in the broadest spectrum of colors.
This passage is adapted from the article “Warp Factor” by Charles Liu (©2003by Natural History Maga zine, Inc.).
Astronomers sometimes describe the shape of our
home galaxy. the Milky Way, as a thin-crust pizza with
a plum stuck in the middle. The plum is the slightly
oblong central bulge. protruding about 3,000 light-
years above and below the galactic plane, comprised
mostly of older stars: it makes up the core of the Milky
Way, and includes a black hole two and a half million
times the muss of the Sun. The crust of the pizza is the
galactic disk—the source of most of our galaxy’s light.
Thin and flat, the disk is 100,000 light-years across,
about 1.000 light-years thick, on average, and includes
more than 80 percent of the galaxy’s hundred billion or
The plum-and-pizza picture works well enough,
but like most simple metaphors, it breaks down if you
push it. For one thing, the galactic disk isn’t a rigid
body, but a loose agglomeration of matter streaming
around a common center of gravity. (The swirling pat.
tern of a hurricane far better resembles our spinning
galaxy.) For another thing, our galaxy’s disk isn’t flat;
it’s warped. Picture a disk of pizza dough spun into the
air by a skilled chef: our galaxy goes through the same
kind of floppy, wobbly gyrations, though at a rate best
measured in revolutions per hundreds of millions of
Why does the Milky Way have such an odd-
looking warp? No definitive answer has emerged. One
thing we do know: when it comes to warps, our galaxy
is hardly unique. About half of all spiral galaxies are
warped to some degree. Theoretical and computational
models have shown that a number of physical processes
can warp a galaxy, so it’s a matter of figuring out which
scenario applies. An innovative analysis of the problem
by Jeremy Bailin, an astronomy graduate student at the
University of Arizona in Tucson, has implicated a small
satellite galaxy, currently being ripped to shreds by the
gravity of the Milky Way.
The Sagittarius Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy was dis-
covered in 1994. It appears to be in a roughly polar
orbit around the Milky Way—that is, above and below
the galactic disk—about 50,000 light-years from the
galactic center. That orbit brings the dwarf galaxy far
too close to the huge gravitational tidal forces of the
Milky Way for the dwarf to remain intact. As a result.
the Sagittarius Dwarf now looks something like strands
of spaghetti spilling from the front of a pasta-making
machine, the galaxy’s matter being drawn out over hun-
dreds of millions of years by intergalactic tides.
Gravitational collisions between small satellite
galaxies and big spiral galaxies have long been
regarded as possible culprits in the warping of a larger
galaxy’s disk. The best known satellite galaxies orbit-
ing the Milky Way—the Large and Small Magellanic
Clouds—are too far away. and have the wrong orbital
characteristics, to have warped our galactic home. The
Sagittarius Dwarf seems a much more likely candidate,
simply because it is only a third as far from the center
Of the Milky Way as the Magellanic Clouds. But in
astronomy—unlike in real estate—location isn’t every-
thing: to show a direct connection between warp and
dwarf, the orbital motion of the Sagittarius Dwarf mast
be linked to the rotation of the Milky Way’s disk.
Bailin’s study is the first to find such a link. His
analysis of the galactic warp is based on angular
momentum—a measure of how much a system is
spinning or rotating. Just as objects moving in a straight
line have momentum, objects spinning or orbiting
around an axis have angular momentum: and just as the
momenta of two objects combine when they collide, so
too do their angular momenta. Imagine two figure
skaters coming together for a combination spit When
they make physical contact, their individual spiraling
motions combine to produce a single, unified whirl.
Starting with the latest measurements of the
struture and spin of the Milky Way, Bailin deduced the
angular momentum of the warped portion of the Milky
Way’s disk. He then compared that measure with the
angular momentum of the Sagittarius Dwarf—and
found for the first time, within the margins of measure-
ment error. that the two angular momenta are identical
in both quantity and direction. Such a coupling of the
angular momenta of two bodies almost never happens
by chance; usually, it takes place only when two spinning
systems, like the skaters, come into contact. The
coupling isn’t enough to prove cause and effect by
itself, but it’s solid circumstantial evidence that the
interaction of the Sagittarius Dwarf with the Milky Way
disk created the warp in our galaxy.