Read an Excerpt
From SAT Verbal Velocity
1. I began my illustrious career as a bodybuilder. I pumped iron day after day until my body was a mass of sculpted muscle. I had a mane of tawny brown hair and wore Speedo swimsuits. I rubbed oil all over my body. I was a bronze god.
a) easily influenced
b) unchangeable, invariable
c) famous, renowned
2. But being a bronze god was not enough for my massive ego. So I got into the movies, a career I had aspired to ever since I was a little kid in my hometown of Thal. My first movie part was playing the mythic hero Hercules. I was very good, fabulous, but they had to overdub my lines because at that time I had a thick Austrian accent.
a) hoped for; aimed at
b) feared, loathed
c) mocked; made fun of
3. Of course I soon conquered Hollywood. I was unbelievably buff and brilliant in action films like Terminator and True Lies, and I was a comic genius in funny movies like Twins and Kindergarten Cop. I married a Kennedy, too -- a famous one, but not as famous as me. I guess you could say I am a true behemoth, both because of my large body and because I conquer and dominate everything I put my mind to.
b) movie star
c) huge creature
Who am I?
I am Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Exercise answers: 1. C; 2. A; 3. C.
1. First off, I have a freakish voice. Not bad freakish -- good freakish. Eight octaves at last count. That's kind of how I got discovered. I had a demo tape, a big-time music executive popped it in his car stereo one night,and voila, I had a record contract. But there are tons of people with beautiful singing voices. I attribute my fame to assiduously courting mainstream pop music styles and not trying anything too, well, freaky.
2. My first album did really great. In 1991, I won Best New Artist and Best Female Vocalist. That almost never happens. Still, while it may seem like I am lucky, I have been very diligent in pursuing my career. I never go too long without a single, I put out an album or two every year, and I change my look to stay on top of current fashion trends. It's hard work!
b) aggressive, ruthless
c) careful and hard-working
3. I've had a pretty wild ride since. Besides my individual success with albums like Daydream and Butterfly, I have collaborated with all sorts of musicians, including Whitney Houston, Boyz to Men, and Puff Daddy. I even dated Derek Jeter! Not bad for a short girl with a good voice.
a) partied all night
b) work together
c) argued arcane philosophical points
Who am I?
I am Mariah Carey.
Exercise answers: 1. C; 2. C; 3. B.
1. I started playing golf when I was incredibly young -- two years old to be exact. My dad wanted me to be the best golfer ever. When I was 5, I went on the Tonight Show and showed Johnny Carson how well I could putt. At that time, it was almost inevitable that I would be a great golfer. But just how good I would get -- nobody could have predicted that.
a) certain, unavoidable
b) unheard of, rare
c) unlikely, slim chance of
2. I ended up going to college at Stanford University. While I was there, I obviously kept playing golf. I was tenacious on the golf course. No matter how bad a shot I had hit, I never gave up. Grinding -- that's what I call it. I always keep grinding. Anyway, I was the best amateur golfer around. I won everything, including the U.S. Amateur Championship. When I graduated Stanford, I turned pro.
a) lackadaisical, flippant
b) calm, cool, considered
c) determined, keeping a firm grip on
3. Just weeks after I turned pro, I entered the Masters golf championship. Whaddya know -- I won. By 12 strokes -- the greatest margin of victory ever in the tournament. I was only 21. I guess my dad was clairvoyant when he gave me my first set of clubs when I was a kid. I guess he knew I would become the best player in the world -- maybe the best player ever.
a) crazy, not in control of one's faculties
b) exceptionally insightful, able to see the future
c) intelligent, able to make the right decision
Who am I?
I am Tiger Woods.
Answers: 1. A; 2. C; 3. B.
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