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Writing and Language

Question 3 of 22

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Standard English Conventions


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Passage Content

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Questions 1-11 are based on the following passage and supplementary material.

A Life in Traffic

A subway system is expanded to provide service to a growing suburb. A bike-sharing program is adopted to encourage nonmotorized transportation. 1 To alleviate rush hour traffic jams in a congested downtown area, stoplight timing is coordinated. When any one of these changes 2 occur, it is likely the result of careful analysis conducted by transportation planners.

The work of transportation planners generally includes evaluating current transportation needs, assessing the effectiveness of existing facilities, and improving those facilities or 3 they design new ones. Most transportation planners work in or near cities, 4 but some are employed in rural areas. Say, for example, a large factory is built on the outskirts of a small town. Traffic to and from that location would increase at the beginning and end of work shifts. The transportation 5 planner’s job, might involve conducting a traffic count to determine the daily number of vehicles traveling on the road to the new factory. If analysis of the traffic count indicates that there is more traffic than the 6 current road as it is designed at this time can efficiently accommodate, the transportation planner might recommend widening the road to add another lane.

Transportation planners work closely with a number of community stakeholders, such as government officials and other interested organizations and individuals. 7 Next, representatives from the local public health department might provide input in designing a network of trails and sidewalks to encourage people to walk more. 8 According to the American Heart Association, walking provides numerous benefits related to health and well-being. Members of the Chamber of Commerce might share suggestions about designing transportation and parking facilities to support local businesses.

9 People who pursue careers in transportation planning have a wide variety of educational backgrounds. A two-year degree in transportation technology may be sufficient for some entry-level jobs in the field. Most jobs, however, require at least a bachelor’s degree; majors of transportation planners are 10 varied, including fields such as urban studies, civil engineering, geography, or transportation and logistics management. For many positions in the field, a master’s degree is required.

Transportation planners perform critical work within the broader field of urban and regional planning. As of 2010, there were approximately 40,300 urban and regional planners employed in the United States. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts steady job growth in this field, 11 projecting that 16 percent of new jobs in all occupations will be related to urban and regional planning. Population growth and concerns about environmental sustainability are expected to spur the need for transportation planning professionals.

The figure presents a bar graph titled “Urban and Regional Planners Percent Increase in Employment, Projected 2010-2020.” The percents that appear along the horizontal axis are from zero percent to 20 percent, in increments of 2 percent.  There are three horizontal bars along the vertical axis, and they are labeled, from bottom to top, as “Total, All Occupations,” “Urban and Regional Planners,” and “Social Scientists and Related Workers.” The percents for the three bars in the graph are as follows. “Total, All Occupations,” 14 percent, “Urban and Regional Planners,” 16 percent, and “Social Scientists and Related Workers,” 18 percent.

Adapted from United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections Program. "All Occpuations" includes all occupations in the United States economy.


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Correct Answer: 

to design

Correct Answer: 


Correct Answer: 


Correct Answer: 

Choice C is the best answer because “designing” maintains parallelism with “evaluating,” “assessing,” and “improving.”

Choice A is not the best answer because “they design” does not maintain parallelism with “evaluating,” “assessing,” and “improving.”

Choice B is not the best answer because “to design” does not maintain parallelism with “evaluating,” “assessing,” and “improving.”

Choice D is not the best answer because “design” does not maintain parallelism with “evaluating,” “assessing,” and “improving.”

Question Difficulty: 
Passage Complexity: 

Students must maintain parallel structure.