過去這個週末學生考了 2020 年 12 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 2020 年 12 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 2020 年 12月 ACT 考試閱讀文章
This passage is from the essay “InBetweens” by Diana Abu-Jaber. The narrator moves to Jordan with her Jordanian father, American mother, and two younger sisters.
One night after my sisters and I are in bed and the
baby cats have ceased their crying, my parents come to
our room, whispering and nudging each other, their
smiles sly, as if they shared a private joke. They shake
us out of sleep and say, “C’mon, we’re going to do
We yawn, slide out of the warm caves of our beds;
our parents are gesturing us out the front door, their
laughter lowered and mesmerizing. Then we are running
across the stone courtyard—my sisters and I bare-
footed in cotton pajamas, the stones waxy beneath our
feet. The neighbors and the street are all asleep, the
buildings shut up, rose-tinted under a brassy, round
moon. In one corner of the courtyard, tilted under the
staircase to the upper floors, is the scooter, its red
gleam muted now, private and soft. For a moment I
think of my grandmother back in New Jersey, who
wears a lipstick in the same fluid tones: red shot
through with an undercurrent of blue. I look back at it
as my parents open the car.
We drive through parts of the city that I’ve never
seen before, where the lights glow like melted butter
and the girls on the sidewalks are wearing brimmed
hats and high heels. Men smile and turn to watch our
car passing: I watch back, hands pressed to the window.
Then we race beyond the glowing streets—they dwindle
to a star—and the road ahead of us is long and dusty
blue and smells like a warm, blue must, like the heat of
a sheep’s back.
When we finally get out of the car, there’s a gravel
lot, an expanse of folding chairs, patios, sparkly restaurants
wedged in a long crescent along a flat blackness
like gleaming enamel. Dad holds his hand out toward
the gleam. “And what did I promise you kids?” he asks,
though I recall no promises related to anything like this.
“It’s the Dead Sea!”
We’ve come, as usual, with no preparation, so my
parents let us run into the water in our underpants—like
the Jordanian kids around us. The salt water is satiny,
so soft and dense it seems to bend beneath our arms.
My father, who is generally afraid of the water, comes
out and shows us how you can sit in the sea. He lazes
back in it, and my sister tows him around by his hair
while he makes boat sounds.
One of the restaurants on the lip of the water has a
string of red lights that drop their reflections in the
moonlit water; they make me think of the lonely red
scooter. After a while, I straggle out of the water, yank-
ing up my soggy underpants with their sprung elastic
waistband. Mom is stretched out on a canvas chaise
longue, holding a drink with a little parasol on the side.
She wraps me shivering into a beach towel and makes
room for me beside her on the lounge.
I blink out of my towel cave at this new place
around us, then touch my mother’s ribs through her
cotton shirt. “Mom, how long do you have to be best
friends with someone if you’re best friends?”
She flitters at my bangs; they’re drying stiff with
salt. “Well, honey, I don’t think there’s any rules about
that. I guess you can be best friends with someone your
whole life if you’re lucky.”
“Are you and Dad best friends?”
It’s hard to make out her expression under the
cherry lights. She seems to be thinking about it, staring
out to where Dad is still drifting around, piping and
tooting like a tugboat.
“You have to do whatever your best friend says,
Now I can see her face—amused and wary. “Why
do you say that?”
“Dad said to come to Jordan, right?”
There is even less sound now than before, if that is
possible, just a slip of waves on the shore, a sighing
wash like the sound of someone saying hush, hush, or
the rustle of the palm fronds arching over the sand.
“Your father . . . needed us to come here, he needed to
see—what it felt like.”
“What does it feel like?” I ask quietly, not quite
knowing what I’m asking, just following the path of the
“I don’t think—” she starts, then stops. My father
is climbing out of the dark wash of the sea. “I don’t
think it feels the way he remembers it.”
I put my hands on her waist—something that feels
a little like a spark of alarm bounces through me. “Does
he know that? That it doesn’t feel the same?”
She looks over her shoulder, my father’s shadow
falling toward us in a long, cool slip as he walks
beneath the neon lights. “He’s still finding out.”
The medicinal waters of the Dead Sea roll behind
us, and the wild, heavy scent of honey, rocks, and
thyme tempers the air. People come to dip themselves
in these waters, to be cured of everything from skin ailments
to spiritual wasting. I breathe it in deeply and
sense a sort of dawning sweetness—of loss and nostalgia.
Reprinted by permission of The Joy Harris Literary Agency, Inc.
This passage is from the article “The Awful Reign of the Red Delicious” by Sarah Yager.
In the 1870s, Jesse Hiatt, an Iowa farmer, discovered
a mutant seedling in his orchard of Yellow Bell-
flower apple trees. He chopped it down, but the next
season, it sprang back through the dirt. He chopped it
down again. It sprang back again. “If thee must grow,”
he told the intrepid sprout, “thee may.”
A decade later, Hiatt’s tree bore its first fruit. The
apples were elongated globes with red-and-gold striped
skin, crisp flesh, and a five-pointed calyx. In 1893,
when Stark Brothers’ Nursery of Louisiana, Missouri,
held a contest to find a replacement for the Ben
Davis—then the most widely planted apple in the coun-
try, strapping and good-looking but bland—Hiatt sub-
mitted his new variety, which he called the Hawkeye.
“My, that’s delicious,” Clarence Stark, the company’s
president, reportedly said after his first bite.
But not for the first time in apple lore, one sweet
taste precipitated a fall. Stark Brothers’ soon secured
the rights to the Hawkeye, changed its name to the
Stark Delicious (only after the branding of the Golden
Delicious, in 1914, did it become the Red Delicious),
and began an ambitious marketing campaign. Over the
next two decades, the nursery spent $750,000 to pro-
mote the new apple, dispatching traveling salesmen to
farms across the country and exhibiting the Delicious at
the 1904 World’s Fair. After the completion of the
Great Northern Railway, Clarence Stark sent trainloads
of seedlings to newly established orchards in the
Columbia River Valley, their leaves trembling as the
engines rumbled West.
With its hardy rootstocks and juicy, curvaceous
fruit, the Red Delicious quickly became a favorite of
growers and consumers from coast to coast—and as its
commercial success grew, so did its distance from
Hiatt’s Hawkeye. In 1923, a New Jersey orchardist
wrote to the Starks to report that one limb of a tree he
had purchased from the nursery was producing crimson
apples while those on the other limbs remained green.
A chance genetic mutation that made the apples redden
earlier had also given them a deeper, more uniform
color, and customers were lining up for a taste. Paul
Stark, one of Clarence’s sons, travelled up from Missouri
and laid down $6,000 for the limb. News of the
deal spread, and soon The Gettysburg Times reported
that more than 500 horticulturalists from 30 states had
gathered at the orchard to discuss the “freak bud” that
produced “the marvel apple of the age.” Their meeting
marked the beginning of an era of fruit improvement,
as growers began to seek out and cultivate similar
By the 1940s, the Red Delicious had become the
country’s most popular apple, with the broad shoulders
and lipstick shine of a Golden Age Hollywood star. The
cosmetic changes were a boon for industrial agriculturalists:
Apples that turned rosy before they were fully
ripe could be picked earlier and stored longer, and skins
with more red pigment tended to be thicker, which
extended shelf life and hid bruises. But as genes for
beauty were favored over those for taste, the skins grew
tough and bitter around mushy, sugar-soaked flesh.
Still, by the 1980s, the Red Delicious made up 75 percent
of the crop produced in Washington. By the time
selective breeding had taken its toll, according to apple
expert Tom Burford, a few big nurseries controlled the
market, planting decisions were made from the remove
of boardrooms, and consumers didn’t have many varieties
to choose from. The Red Delicious became “the
largest compost-maker in the country,” he said, as shop-
pers routinely bought the apples and threw them away.
Then in the 1990s, new varieties that American
growers had originally developed for overseas markets
began to edge into the domestic market. Shoppers had
been “eating with their eyes and not their mouths,”
Burford said. And now their taste buds had been awakened.
A sudden shift in consumer preferences, paired
with growing competition from orchards in China, took
the industry by surprise. Between 1997 and 2000, U.S.
apple growers lost nearly $800 million in surplus crop.
They had “made the apples redder and redder, and prettier
and prettier, and they just about bred themselves
out of existence,” a marketing director for one North-
western fruit company told The New York Times.
Since then, Red Delicious production has declined
by 40 percent. While the apple is still by far the most
common in the U.S.—growers produced 54 million
bushels of Red Delicious in 2011, compared to just
33 million bushels of its closest competitor, the Gala—
the industry is adjusting to a changing market.
© 2014 The Atlantic Media Co., as first published in The Atlantic Magazine. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC
This passage is from the article “Photography Changes the Movies We Choose to See” by Preminda Jacob.
For nearly five decades, huge photo-realistic bill-
boards of film stars towered over the streets of Chennai,
a major hub of the vibrant and prolific Indian film
industry. Expertly hand-painted on canvas banners and
plywood cutouts, these eye-catching advertisements
extracted dreamlike images of wealth, beauty, and
revenge from films screened in darkened and air-
conditioned theaters and displayed them in the sunlitglare
of urban thoroughfares.
The selection of these photographic stills, plucked
from films and enlarged to architectural proportions
(one hundred feet in length for banners and forty feet in
height for cutouts) was calculated to excite the public
and nourish a “spectatorial consciousness,” what
Roland Barthes, a French cultural critic who often
wrote about photography, described as the experiential
quality of still photographic images. Barthes recalled
being transfixed by still images from movies, but then
losing all memory of them while viewing the film they
came from. Our perception of a moving cinematic
image, he explained, is always determined by the
frames that both precede and follow it. In contrast, a
single and isolated film still that stands alone can be
viewed indefinitely and more carefully.
While the artists who crafted Chennai’s cinematic
billboards were probably unaware of Barthes’ theories,
interviews I conducted with them reminded me how
aware they were of distinctions between still and
moving images. I recall one anecdote in particular.
Mr. Vedachellam—a billboard artist and entrepreneur—
explained to me that his film-industry clientele routinely
attempted to circumvent censorship by protesting
to the authorities that the provocative still photographs
featured on billboards were simply taken from film
footage already cleared by the censors. The police com-
missioner’s canny rejoinder to the publicity agents’
appeals, Mr. Vedachellam recalled, was to remind them
that these questionable stills appeared on the cinema
screen for only a few seconds so viewers would soon
forget them, or may not even have quite “seen” them at
all. Freezing and enlarging such images, he argued, was
a different matter altogether. And displaying them
prominently on major thoroughfares would likely result
in costly traffic jams and additional accidents. The
police routinely censored these images by pasting
pieces of white paper over offending portions of the
In his work, Barthes made another, different point
about distinctions between photographic and painted
images. A photograph, he claimed, is indexical—it has
a direct and detailed correspondence to the subject,
whereas in a drawn or painted image, each mark or
brushstroke potentially takes on more symbolic value.
So, what happens when the conventions of three media
coalesce? A photograph of Mr. Vedachellam at work
records a complex nexus of photography, painting, and
the cinema. Each medium mimics some of the charac
teristics of the two others. Vedachellam’s painting style
is photorealistic; he copies a photograph that is, itself, a
composite of film stills. And these film stills reflect the
influence of the melodramatic look of nineteenth-
century European tableaux painting on the sets, costumes,
and lighting of the first full-length feature films
produced both in Hollywood and in India.
The hybridization of these media dates back to the
work of India’s earliest photographers. From the 1850s
to the present, local entrepreneurs operating photo studios
have employed painters to enhance portrait photographs
of their clients with drama and desirable
accoutrements that were absent in the original photographs.
The theatricality of Indian studio photo –
graphs, and the fantasies they fulfill, has in turn
influenced the idealized ways celebrities are represented
in the hand-painted cinema advertisements. Like
their counterparts in the world of studio photography,
banner artists also painted directly onto a photograph in
the process of creating studies for their spectacular
enlargements. Using black-and-white poster paints,
they first painstakingly outlined every detail in the photograph.
Next, a photographic negative of the outlined
image was projected onto the canvas or plywood sur-
face and a tracing was made. At every stage in the
process artists grasped a film still in one hand while
wielding a paintbrush with the other hand.
This method of transferring photographic stills
onto canvas encouraged artists to further manipulate
and idealize images of their celebrity subjects.
From the article “Photography Changes the Movies We Choose to See” by Preminda Jacob (©2012 by Preminda Jacob). Used with permission.
Passage A is from the book Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures by Virginia Morell. Passage B is from the essay “Big Love: The Emotional Lives of Elephants” by Carl Safina.
One of the more striking discoveries in neuro-
science in recent years is the finding that elephants,
whales, great apes, and humans all possess a peculiar
kind of brain cell. These neurons were first discovered
in human brains in the nineteenth century and were
named von Economo cells after the Romanian
anatomist Constantin von Economo, who identified
them. At first, these spindle-shaped neurons were
touted as the cells that “make us human,” because
they’re connected to our feelings of empathy, love,
emotional suffering, and sociality. Then, in 1999, two
other researchers, Patrick Hof and John Allman, spotted
von Economo cells in the brains of all the great apes;
others recently found them in monkeys. Allman has
searched without luck for the cells in more than a hundred
other species, from sloths to platypuses. So it was
big news when, in 2007, he discovered spindle cells in
the brains of whales, dolphins, and elephants. But it
was a puzzling discovery, too. Why should such a disparate
group of animals have these specialized cells?
From an evolutionary point of view, it’s not surprising
that primates and humans have von Economo
cells, since we are in the same lineage. But primates
and humans haven’t shared an ancestor with whales or
elephants since about the beginning of the mammalian
lineage, some sixty million years ago. It seems that
cetaceans and elephants evolved their spindle cells
independently. What factors would produce such emotionally
specialized brain cells?
Allman thinks part of the answer lies in the size of
the animals’ brains—most species that have spindle
cells also have notably large brains—and in the location
of the cells. Von Economo cells are always found in two
regions of the cortex associated with emotionally
charged, visceral judgments, such as deciding whether
a fellow animal is suffering. And part of the answer lies
in the size of the spindle cells. They are unusually
large, enabling them to act like high-speed circuits,
fast-tracking information to and from other parts of the
brain, while bypassing unnecessary connections. These
are the kind of cells, Allman argues, that would be
especially useful to an animal living in a complex society—
a society in which making accurate, intuitive decisions
about another’s actions (or facial or vocal
expressions) is crucial for your family’s and your
Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human motivation,
characteristics, or behavior to animals, inanimate objects, or
In establishing the study of animal behavior as a
science, it had originally been helpful to make anthro-
pomorphism a word that raised a red flag. But as lesser
intellects followed the Nobel Prize–winning pioneers,
anthropomorphism became a pirate flag. If the word
was hoisted, an attack was imminent. You wouldn’t get
your work published. And in the academic realm of
publish or perish, jobs were at stake. Even the most
informed, insightful, logical inferences about other ani-
mals’ motivations, emotions, and awareness could
wreck your professional prospects.
But what is a “human” emotion? When someone
says you can’t attribute human emotions to animals,
they forget the key leveling detail: humans are animals.
Human sensations are animal sensations. Inherited
sensations, using inherited nervous systems.
All of the emotions we know of just happen to be
emotions that humans feel. So, simply deciding that
other animals can’t have any emotions that humans feel
is a cheap way to get a monopoly on all of the world’s
feelings and motivation. People who’ve systematically
watched or known animals realize the absurdity of this.
But many others still don’t. “The dilemma remains,”
wrote author Caitrin Nicol recently, “how to get an
accurate understanding of the animals’ nature and (if
appropriate) emotions, without imposing on them
assumptions born of a distinctly human understanding
of the world.”
But tell me, what “distinctly human understand-
ing” hampers our understanding of other animals’ emotions?
Is it our sense of pleasure, pain, hunger,
frustration, self-preservation, defense, parental protection?
We never seem to doubt that an animal acting
hungry feels hungry. What reason is there to disbelieve
that an elephant who seems happy is happy? We can’t
really claim scientific objectivity when we recognize
hunger and thirst when animals are eating and drinking,
exhaustion when they tire, but deny them joy and happiness
as they’re playing with their children and their
families. Yet the science of animal behavior has long
operated with that bias—and that’s unscientific. In science,
the simplest interpretation of evidence is often
Passage A: Excerpt(s) from ANIMAL WISE: THE THOUGHTS AND
EMOTIONS OF OUR FELLOW CREATURES by Virginia Morell, copy-
right © 2013 by Virginia Morell. Used by permission of Crown Books, an
imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random
House LLC. All rights reserved.
Passage B: ©2015 by Carl Safina. Used by permission of Carl Safina in
care of the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, Inc.(firstname.lastname@example.org)