SAT: designs for Star Wars creatures, vehicles, and locations

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An anonymous contributor was curious what the real and would-be copy-editors who hang around LL might make of the below — which may serve to represent for those unfamiliar what is actually going on within the so-called "Language & Writing" portion of our now-acclaimed, now-derided "Scholastic Aptitude [no wait Assessment] Test".

The anonymous contributor can give the correct answer later if it is not obvious; it was not to him.

SAT question

What do you make of it?

Selected readings


  1. Rod Johnson said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 10:57 am

    I feel like I'm missing something. Don't B, C and D say more or less the same thing?

  2. Laura Morland said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 11:11 am

    Dear LL,

    Evidently we are missing a crucial piece of data here. There must be a directive, somewhere above this question (likely above a series of questions), to choose the option that best fits the tone of the paragraph.

    A. is wrong, because a change *is* needed.
    B. is wrong, because the suggested edit is extremely colloquial.
    C. is wrong, because it substitutes one cliché ("different as night and day") for another ("were like apples and oranges").
    D. is correct, because its style matches that of the language of the rest of the paragraph.

  3. Grunschev said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 11:16 am

    Rod – B, C, and D are quite different. D is the best answer. B injects the author into the piece, C is cliche. D is better because it ties in earlier references to the "used universe". Answer A, too, is not great because the text is cliche.

  4. Dick Margulis said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 11:18 am

    Working editor here. I agree with Laura Morland.

  5. Michael M said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 11:22 am

    I did not figure out that I was supposed to replace 39 with something in a putative essay paragraph.

    Know that, D is definitely the right answer in that context – all the others, appropriately enough, don't look like they belong in the same text, aesthetically.

  6. Philip Taylor said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 11:57 am

    I agree with those who feel that the rubric is both missing and required, but given that we can intuit what it might have read, "D" is still wrong for me. I would re-cast "D" as "looked as if they belonged to (or "came from", or "originated in") different universes".

  7. Thomas Lee Hutcheson said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 12:06 pm

    I'd say no change. I find D unnecessarily didactic.

    I'd hate for my getting into college to hang on that kind of judgement.

  8. Ulf said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 12:30 pm

    I would say A, no change.

  9. Kenny Easwaran said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 12:57 pm

    My thought is that D would be the best, because it ties the differences back to the desire for similarity. However, A is fine also, just mentioning the differences without tying it in to the main point. B and C would basically say the same thing, but B suddenly jumps to a first-person point of view, which isn't there in the rest of the passage, and C just doesn't seem stylistically great.

  10. rpsms said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 1:04 pm

    I cannot see D as the answer, since a there is a gigantic leap between a difference in aesthetic sensibility and a different universe.

    Additionally using "a different universe" in this way is just as colloquial and cliche. This is Marvel Universe Speak.

  11. Doug said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 1:10 pm

    I found a practice test online at:

    and the instructions for the comparable section are:

    "Each passage below is accompanied by a number of questions. For some questions, you
    will consider how the passage might be revised to improve the expression of ideas. For
    other questions, you will consider how the passage might be edited to correct errors in
    sentence structure, usage, or punctuation. A passage or a question may be accompanied by
    one or more graphics (such as a table or graph) that you will consider as you make revising
    and editing decisions.
    Some questions will direct you to an underlined portion of a passage. Other questions will
    direct you to a location in a passage or ask you to think about the passage as a whole.
    After reading each passage, choose the answer to each question that most effectively
    improves the quality of writing in the passage or that makes the passage conform to the
    conventions of standard written English. Many questions include a “NO CHANGE” option.
    Choose that option if you think the best choice is to leave the relevant portion of the
    passage as it is."

    I think Laura Morland and Grunschev explain well why D would be best.

  12. David L said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 1:25 pm

    I agree with Thomas L Hutcheson's comment. This is a question about writing style, so of course there will be different opinions. The original phrasing is a cliche, but it's brief and to the point — and the comparison of night and day in the context of spaceships flying through emptiness seems, to me anyway, to be oddly appropriate.

    I can see why one could also argue for option D, but it's clumsily phrased and in a different register from the rest of the paragraph.

    At the very least I would score A and D equally.

  13. Roy Sablosky said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 1:41 pm

    I'm a professional editor. I agree with other commenters that the idea of college qualification depending on answers to questions like this one is frightening. In my view, two science-fiction single-pilot fighters can't possibly look as different as night and day. The expression is too strong. So I'm tempted to change it. BUT WAIT. Will the reader know what the author intended? Sure! This kind of change—technically correct but overly fastidious—is why a lot of writers have decided that they hate editors. So in my world, the the correct choice is A. But again, the real takeaway here is that these SAT people are out of control.

  14. Scott P. said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 1:55 pm

    I agree that C is a poor answer, but not because it is cliché. The point of the 'apples and oranges' idiom is that the difference is _not_ merely aesthetic, it is substantive — apples and oranges are different kinds of things. Whereas the two spaceships in question are both spaceships, just having a different appearance.

    'A' is a little odd, in that it usually isn't used in this sense, to compare two different things, but one thing that changes ('he got a haircut and the difference was night and day'), but I feel the author might be obliquely comparing the 'dirty' older spacecraft with the 'shiny' newer ones, and this using it in an unusual and creative sense.

  15. David C. said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 1:57 pm

    The responses for selection appear to be a bit too jokey to be from a real SAT practice question. I am ready to be corrected but would be astounded at the quality of the question if this came from the College Board or a reputable publisher.

    Not to be overly pedantic, but SAT hasn't stood for anything since the 1990s, at least not officially. It's just "the SAT". As the publishers like to say in their prep materials, the SAT tests how well you do on the SAT.

  16. GH said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 3:11 pm

    B and C are clearly unacceptable (C for the reason Scott P. gives), while it seems to me that the choice between A and D comes down to personal preference—at least in the absence of any further context.

    Since the excerpt is clearly from a reported article, all other things being equal I would prefer the phrasing that is closer to the words used in the interview that forms the basis for the statement. I feel that's more likely to be A.

    I also don't feel the rephrasing in D offers any great improvement in style. The "aesthetically" appended at the end is quite clumsy. And the "night and day" cliché in the original seems of a piece with other turns of phrase in the text (e.g. "mesh seamlessly" and "back to the drawing board," though the latter is used literally in this case).

    On the other hand, "night and day" usually implies a difference in "goodness," and that's not really what we're trying to express here. I'm not convinced this is fatal, but it is not quite ideal.

    May I propose:

    E. None of the above

  17. Jerry Packard said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 3:24 pm

    I thought A was the correct answer, because the other three imply too much of a difference.

  18. Bill Benzon said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 3:25 pm

    That's all well and good, but who's Chiang and where'd they come from? I gather Chiang was in charge of designs for the new film. I have to assume that paragraph was pulled from a place where Chiang had already been introduced.

  19. Jarek Weckwerth said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 4:21 pm

    In terms of content, I would say D, but then the comma before aesthetically bothers me. Also, is the spelling not considered British in America?

  20. David L said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 5:03 pm

    In my view, two science-fiction single-pilot fighters can't possibly look as different as night and day.

    Maybe one's all shiny and silver and the other's matte black. We need pictures to form a judgment as to the appropriate comparison.

  21. Daniel Barkalow said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 5:10 pm

    I think the answer is obviously D if the instructions are to fit the style of the paragraph. Any of the answers would be possible if this were the first sentence being changed when adopting a different style for the piece as a whole, but if we're intended to assume that the rest of the paragraph is in an appropriate style for the intended purpose of this writing, then D gives a corresponding amount of detail and concreteness.

    Without instructions, it's kind of tricky, because A is probably the most generally applicable style, and probably closest to the style you should use in answers to essay questions, but you shouldn't switch to that style 3/4 of the way through a paragraph.

  22. mollymooly said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 5:12 pm

    I prefer A to D but it's ridiculous to assert either is objectively superior to the other.

    Why object to the cliché of "night and day" when there are also "shiny and new" and "back to the drawing board"? I object more to having "aesthetically" when there is already "aesthetic".

  23. Doug said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 5:25 pm

    Some commenters have expressed dismay that questions like this might influence college admissions decisions. Two things to bear in mind:

    1. As David C. pointed out, we don't know where this question came from. It may not be from a real SAT. It may not even be from a practice test created by the publisher of the SAT. Anyone can read some old SATs and make up allegedly comparable questions for students to practice on.

    2. High School English teachers certainly grade students on things every bit as subjective as the judgment between A and D here. So if reliance on test questions similar to this one worries you, then maybe reliance on high school grades should worry you too. (One of my HS English teachers was a fan of the Strunk & White book that has been much condemned on this blog, yet the grades she gave out presumably influenced her students' college prospects.)

  24. Michael Watts said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 6:16 pm

    the comma before aesthetically bothers me. Also, is the spelling not considered British in America?

    The spelling aesthetically wouldn't be considered "British" so much as "correct". I'm sure not is a British spelling too, but it's not a uniquely British spelling.

    Merriam-Webster does recognize a hypothetical spelling "esthetic[ally]", but I have never seen that used.

  25. Michael Watts said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 6:23 pm

    The question is purported to be from the SAT given on March 12, 2022, which can for the moment be seen here:

    The directions for question 39 appear to be "Which choice best supports a point made earlier in the sentence?" (inherited from question 38, which explicitly asks that question). I share everyone else's discomfort with the SAT's move into questions with subjective answers.

  26. Doug said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 6:35 pm

    Thank you Michael Watts.

    I see that on the actual test, the relevant passage includes a paragraph before the one quoted here. (The earlier paragraph introduces Doug Chiang, thus addressing Bill Benzon's point that in the excerpt we originally saw, Chiang appears out of nowhere.) The passage also continues beyond what's in our excerpt. So students had more context than we were working with.

  27. CD said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 6:51 pm

    Is there more context? I would actually rephrase to clarify that Chiang's spaceship looked too new, assuming I read it right. But I agree A is far from wrong; the writing of the whole selection is cliche-ridden and A fits right in.

    Old person's rant: arrgh "iconic" used to have a lovely specific reference and now just means widely-known.

  28. Jim said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 7:08 pm

    I say it is A, no change needed.

    B doesn't work because the ship presumably did carry the Star Wars aesthetic, just not what Rogue One needed. No one would have have said it didn't look like Star Wars, just that it looked wrong. As well, the tone of that change doesn't match the rest.

    C doesn't work because "apples and oranges" doesn't produce a value judgement, just says that the two things are not very comparable. Here, the U-wing was actually wrong. ("Night and day" produces at least a temporal value judgement — it's day now, so the "night" one doesn't fit.)

    D doesn't work for the same reason as B — the design is presumably fine for Star Wars, just not for *this* place and time of Star Wars.

    "And which leaves us with A." (A Little Night Music)

  29. Jonathan Smith said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 7:15 pm

    Well, "D" is awful (even outside of ", aesthetically") since Star Wars is literally *about* universes; if one wanted to write a cheesy stylistically appropriate sentence in the style of D that was OK, you would need to acknowledge this fact and end it "… looked like they were from different universes — literally" or something. So, "A" and *storms out*

  30. Jonathan Smith said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 7:17 pm

    also, *scoffs* at the idea that more context somehow makes this a more meaningful question to puzzle over

  31. DaveK said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 7:20 pm

    I think that the answer the test makers are looking for is D; “apples and oranges” generally connotes an unfair comparison, not a tota

  32. Josh R. said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 7:23 pm

    Freelance copyeditor here. My personal inclination is A, in as much as there doesn't seem to be any pressing *need* for an edit. One might say the phrase is cliche, but one man's cliche is another man's useful idiom. That said, I suspect that the answer is D, and furthermore, I suspect that the reason an edit is deemed required is because "looked as different as night and day" is considered incorrect phrasing. Much more common is "the difference was like night and day," used to indicate a drastic degree of change. (2,470 Googits for the former, vs 172,000 for the latter.)

  33. DaveK said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 7:28 pm

    [sorry, my finger brushed the Submit button by mistake]
    …totally different situation. Choosing D demonstrates comprehension of what the passage means.
    I did well on standardized tests once I realized that the right answer wasn’t the one I thought was best but the one the test creators wanted. It turned out being a useful skill for dealing with bureaucracies

  34. JPL said,

    June 7, 2022 @ 9:10 pm

    If I had been the SAT question setter, I would have added a fifth choice:
    E. together looked like a denizen of Vermeer's world and a denizen of Picasso's world in the same painting.

  35. maidhc said,

    June 8, 2022 @ 3:52 am

    In this kind of test, what you are looking for is not what is correct (whatever that means), but which answer do the examiners want you to give. As DaveK says.

    This can usually be determined by a process of elimination.

    A. How can two space ships be like night and day? REJECT
    B. Too colloquial. REJECT
    C. What do apples and oranges have to do with space ships? REJECT
    D. Nothing obviously out of place here. Tame and inoffensive. SELECT BY DEFAULT

    Generally what you expect to see is one answer that is way off (B), two that are plausible but not quite right (A & C), and one that is better than the others (D). It doesn't do to spend too much time thinking about these things if you want to finish the test in the given time. Just identify your categories and move on.

  36. GH said,

    June 8, 2022 @ 9:06 am

    @maidhc, I find that argument entirely unpersuasive, since it fails to reckon with "night and day" and "apples and oranges" as fixed idioms.

    The problem with C is not that the objects of comparison have nothing to do with fruit, but that the idiom does not fit, since it would express that the two spaceships were incommensurable and any attempt to compare them inappropriate, which is not the point being made.

    On the other hand, two spaceships can be like "night and day" in the meaning of that idiom, expressing "a clear change or difference between two things," and this matches the meaning we seek fairly closely: that there was a clear difference in design between the two spaceships (creating a stylistic inconsistency). So this does not provide any good reason to reject this option.

  37. Gregory Kusnick said,

    June 8, 2022 @ 9:29 am

    maidhc's larger point is spot on. This isn't an essay question. The goal is not to convince anybody that your preferred answer is right; it's to guess the expected answer as quickly as possible.

    I'm obscurely reminded of Frederick Wiseman's film Missile, documenting the training of ICBM silo crews. There's one recruit who really wants to be the guy with his finger on the launch button, but he's failed the psych screening test. But instead of telling him "Sorry, you're the wrong guy for this," his CO enrolls him in a remedial test-taking course to improve his skill at guessing the expected answers.

    And you thought these SAT questions were scary.

  38. Doug said,

    June 8, 2022 @ 11:08 am

    I'd say the biggest problem with C is not that "apples and oranges" is a worse fit than "day and night", but that it's extremely unlikely that the point of an SAT question is to ask you to choose between these two tired similes. If they highlight something like this, they're likely to want you to change it to something entirely different. I doubt that the test-makers spent half as much time as commenters here spent considering the different implications of the two similes.

  39. GH said,

    June 8, 2022 @ 12:09 pm

    All the heuristics proposed for second-guessing the question writers are as various as the arguments in favor of one alternative over the other on their actual merits, so does that strategy actually simplify the job of the test taker?

  40. chris said,

    June 8, 2022 @ 12:30 pm

    I wouldn't be surprised for D to be the answer graded "correct", although I'm not sure in the context of an actual test I would have seen anything beyond "this is fine, next question"; but I agree with others in the thread that there is no truly correct answer and the English portion of the SAT maybe ought to stick to questions that *do* have correct answers over this kind of editorial judgment call.

    But that's why I scored higher on math.

    Apples and oranges are different but both fruits, so IMO it's not really parallel to the British "different as chalk and cheese". Does American English have a good equivalent of that one?

  41. Doug said,

    June 8, 2022 @ 1:36 pm

    Chris said:
    "the English portion of the SAT maybe ought to stick to questions that *do* have correct answers over this kind of editorial judgment call."

    That would be desirable, but perhaps difficult to achieve without trade-offs.

    From what I remember of my own long-ago SATs, the Verbal section had a lot of questions on analogies and antonyms. Those questions may well have been less subjective than the ones we're looking at here, but I can imagine a college professor wondering why they should care whether students are good at those sorts of questions.

    Testing students' ability to judge which potential edits to these passages are improvements seems more closely connected to what we actually want college students to be able to do, so perhaps it's good to shift to testing that, even though occasionally a good student will unfortunately get a "wrong" answer on an arguable subjective point.

  42. Jerry Packard said,

    June 8, 2022 @ 3:10 pm

    I agree with maidhc – I edited SAT questions several years ago and our strategy was generally to create one tricky distractor and two fairly irrelevants along with the correct answer.

  43. Alyssa said,

    June 8, 2022 @ 3:27 pm

    Answer D (which I assume is the phrasing from the original text this was pulled from) uses the word "universe" in the sense of "a setting for a work of fiction" (see, which is pretty jargony. Has this meaning even made it into dictionaries yet? I think most SAT-takers these days who are up to date on pop culture will be aware of this sense of the word, but it seems a little unfair to those who are not as plugged in.

  44. neil. said,

    June 8, 2022 @ 3:30 pm

    @Alyssa: It's not, though. It's using "from a different universe" to signify the large difference between the two designs and to play on the idea of "Star Wars," whose space setting is echoed in the word "universe."

  45. Stephen Hart said,

    June 8, 2022 @ 5:24 pm

    With a background in teaching high school and community college biology, science writing and editing (including copy editing of textbooks) and having edited (severely) a biology GRE prep book…

    I'd agree partially with Jerry Packard that "strategy was generally to create one tricky distractor and two fairly irrelevants along with the correct answer." However, teacher training courses specifically address how lame such answer sets are.

    I thought "night and day" stood out as we're talking about space, where there is no night and day (or it's always night). The literal meaning of a cliche can distract a reader.

    More needing a copy edit, I though was "creatures vehicles and locations described in the screenplay." At least one comma is necessary in this series.

  46. David P said,

    June 8, 2022 @ 5:25 pm

    I aced the SATs (800 math, 792 verbal), using strategies like those described by DavidK (something like – this is the answer they want me to fall for, so I'll go with this one, which is justifiably correct), and I'd go with A. D is an unwarranted amplification, and is clumsy as well. But my SAT was 50 years ago; it has probably changed since then.

  47. Beth O'Connor said,

    June 8, 2022 @ 7:02 pm

    I am neither a copy editor nor an educator, but I would say that D is correct, because it refers to universes. This ties into the previous sentence about The artists' desire for a "used universe feel." Example D clearly states that the issue with the u-wing was that it violated this feeling.

  48. Alexander Browne said,

    June 8, 2022 @ 8:49 pm

    @Stephen Hart: Presumably question 37 asks about punctuating that list.

    (And my guess is 38 asks about the colon, but that's less clear.)

  49. John Swindle said,

    June 8, 2022 @ 10:02 pm

    This isn’t about editing a paper on imaginary starships. It’s about picking answers on an SAT. The goal isn’t to communicate but rather to get a high score. The question is “Quick! What would someone who makes these tests expect?” It’s clear enough that the answer is “D,” for the reasons Laura Moreland listed.

  50. John Swindle said,

    June 8, 2022 @ 10:23 pm

    When I was in high school sixty years go we were led to believe that stellar scores on SAT, ACT, National Merit Scholarship qualifying tests and IQ tests (weren't they all the same thing?) were highly auspicious, as if they represented either an accomplishment or some important ability. I never found out what career path they were supposed to prepare us for.

  51. CD said,

    June 8, 2022 @ 11:19 pm

    "I never found out what career path they were supposed to prepare us for."
    As several commenters have noted, any career in which you have to anticipate what someone with power wants. This is much of what schooling teaches in general.

    I once had a boss who loved overwrought, pretentious prose. Took me a while to retrain after I quit.

  52. Hans Adler said,

    June 9, 2022 @ 5:50 am

    For me, A is the only acceptable answer.

    It's clear that B and C are out of the question. B is the wrong register and even switches to first person for inappropriately (or at least for the first time in the paragraph and probably in the entire text). C replaces one cliché by a stylistically equivalent one expressing something that does not apply at all.

    A and D are both sloppy ways to express the idea that the two spaceships are in some sense visually incompatible from a franchise designer's point of view.

    A: Very unspecific, using a somewhat hyperbolic metaphor. But the phrasing is crisp and short and makes it plain that some thinking in the context of earlier discussion is required to understand the intended meaning.

    D: The tacked-on "aesthetically" (which serves the same purpose as "looked" in the original version) is more stilted than anything else in the remaining paragraph. The replacement phrase pretends to be more precise than the original one, but it isn't. The intended reading for "universe" appears to be something like "aesthetic universe" (as an ad hoc term implicitly defined earlier in the paragraph). But the general context of Star Wars and spaceships also suggests "universe" in a physics or science fiction sense such as in "parallel universes". It is admittedly clear that this is not intended here, given that "universe" has only been used in the "aesthetic universe" sense before. Using it in a more standard sense would require some clear hints. The problem is that writing "universe, aesthetically" instead of just "aesthetic universe" can irritate because it comes so close to being just such a hint.

    For an edit to someone else's text to be justified, it needs to be a clear improvement or an arguable significant improvement. Since D is actually worse than no change, it doesn't even come close to this threshold.

    I would award full points for answer A, half points for answer D, and no points for answers B and C. This would be based on a desire to select individuals whose presence in academic departments is desired and who are likely to make contributions to their fields. However, if you want to select individuals who are less suitable but have better results in 'objective' tests during their undergraduate years, you may want to encourage hiding simple thoughts behind complicated 'academic' language that tends to impress while making the exchange of ideas more difficult. If that's what you want, you may want to award D more points than A.

  53. Doug said,

    June 9, 2022 @ 6:15 am

    Hans Adler said:
    "For an edit to someone else's text to be justified, it needs to be a clear improvement or an arguable significant improvement. "

    While that may be the right standard for real-world editing, I'm not sure it's applicable to the SAT.

    The test isn't trying to identify future editors. Questions like this are presumably more of a proxy to test the students' ability to read and understand texts, and write and revise their own work. SO far as I know, nothing in the instructions suggests that ties or close calls should go to the "A": choice. So I think we're justified in choosing D over A even if we think D is only very slightly better than A. So far as I can tell, the SAT standard is "which is best?" and not "Is B,C, or D better than A by a wide enough margin to justify messing with someone else's work?"

    Those (like Hans Adler) who actually prefer the "day and night" A version are justified in selecting A, but I think some other commenters are just saying "Both are OK, so I'd leave it unchanged." I don't think they're justified in saying they'd pick A. In the absence of any instruction to have a bias in favor of not making changes in close calls, really their position is that they are undecided between A and D.

  54. Doug said,

    June 9, 2022 @ 6:21 am

    Alexander Browne said:
    "@Stephen Hart: Presumably question 37 asks about punctuating that list."

    Yes it does.

    Alexander Browne also said:
    "(And my guess is 38 asks about the colon, but that's less clear.)"

    Actually it asks about replacing the underlined section:

    "Which choice best supports a point made earlier in the sentence?
    • A. NO CHANGE
    • B. a distinctive color palette: earth tones for the heroes, and black, gray, and red for the villains.
    • C. elements not only from Westerns and samurai films but also from World War II military uniforms.
    • D. distinct silhouettes based on basic shapes, such as circles and triangles."

  55. Haamu said,

    June 9, 2022 @ 7:38 am

    I have always preferred “apples and door hinges.”

  56. GH said,

    June 9, 2022 @ 7:52 am

    Question 38 actually affects some of the arguments in the comments about the question under consideration, 39, since it means that the part about "a 'used universe' feel: nothing looked shiny and new" is not part of the edited version of the text. (I assume that the correct answer to 38 is C.) Therefore, the specialized sense of "universe" in 39.D will not have been previously introduced in the text, making it a worse option.

    It is strange to me that question 39 does not include any introduction explaining the purpose of the edit. Other questions of this type, such as 38 given above (as well as 36, 42 and 44), almost all include an explicit question as context. In the questions that do not, the judgments made are typically much more clear-cut: they're usually simply about choosing the option with correct grammar and punctuation, sometimes the one saying the correct thing within the context of the text, or the one that avoids conspicuous redundancy ("initially at the beginning").

    The only other example I find in the whole test that is comparable to question 39 is question 11 (which relates to a different text):

    The archaeologists’ findings definitively {rewrote the history} of Viking exploration, confirming that Europe and North America had far older links than people had previously believed.

    B. revised, thanks to their discoveries, the history
    C. rewrote and reworked the history
    D. rewrote in an authoritative manner the historical account

    Here students have to make a subjective judgment, mainly on stylistic grounds, between options that are all grammatical (except perhaps for a pronoun reference error in B, but I consider that fussy) and that all express more or less the right idea.

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