Writing Language

SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 24

Questions 1-11 refer to the following information.

An Official, Certified… Criminal?

[1] The image is as old as computers themselves. [2] These are the hackers, immortalized in the 1995 cult classic film Hackers. [3] Of late, these “cybercriminals” have become the scourge of the American public 1 in recent years because of huge security breaches at major businesses. [4] “Hackers” are the reason we password-protect our WiFi networks and feel a twinge of skepticism every time we pay for something with a credit card. [5] A ponytailed group of geeks, their computer monitors reflecting brightly off of their glasses, breaking into some “mainframe” from an evil corporation. 2

3 While the popular image of the hacker might not have changed, it has, in some cases, been given a bit of a makeover. Schools like Hack Reactor in San Francisco teach aspiring software engineers and wear the name “Hack” proudly, as if it’s a sign of 4 authenticity. In this line, a “hacker” is now seen as one whose powers can be used for good as well as ill. There is a new crop of hackers, called Certified Ethical Hackers (CEH), who can help to protect against 5 our evil counterparts and make computers safer for us all.

Certified Ethical Hackers follow a course of study either at an Accredited Training Center or by self-study. The final exam is a 125 multiple-choice exam: it takes four hours and requires 70% correct to receive a passing score. There is another 6 certification Certified Network Defense Architect which has the same basic course and test but is available only for certain U.S. Government agents. 7

CEHs combine many facets of computer study into 8 one typically. A company will hire a CEH to ensure maximum security of that company’s network, whether that’s company secrets or customer payment information or anything in between. Essentially, an ethical hacker does everything that an unethical one does, but he or she does so at the request of a particular organization. “We want you to hack us,” says that organization, “so we 9 will have known how to avoid being hacked.” It’s kind of like the old saying, “It takes a crook to catch a thief,” except in this case the “crook” is not a crook at all. 10

Some in the computing community disparage the term. They say that “hacker” is a criminal designation, so saying “ethical hacker” is like saying “ethical thief,” that is, a 11 contradiction of terms. This objection is of course overstated, and overwhelmingly, companies are happy to have “hackers” on staff. That designation can help to overcome the stodgy, impersonal image that corporations tend to have, and it can tap in to a kind of underground energy that many find irresistible.


2. The best placement for sentence 5 would be

3. Which of the following would best introduce this paragraph by linking it to ideas from the previous paragraph?

4. Which of the following alternatives to the underlined portion would be LEAST acceptable?



7. The writer is considering deleting the phrase but is available only for certain U.S. Government agents from the preceding sentence, ending the sentence with a period after the word test. Should this phrase be kept or deleted?




At this point, the writer is considering adding the following true sentence:

To Catch a Thief was directed by Alfred Hitchcock and released in 1955.

Should the writer make this addition here?


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