The following paragraphs may or may not be in the most logical order. Each paragraph is numbered in brackets, and question 45 will ask you to choose where Paragraph 5 should most logically be placed.

A Thirst for Knowledge

Benjamin Banneker, African American inventor and astronomer, grew up on his familys’ (31)farm in colonial Maryland. Though he had limited access to formal education, (32)Banneker nevertheless demonstrated a keen curiosity and a consuming interest in acquiring knowledge.

Banneker’s grandmother was an indentured servant from England whom, (33)after completing the term of her contract, bought some land and then married a freed slave. (34)Their daughter Mary—Benjamin’s mother— also married a freed slave. Benjamin’s grandmother taught him to read, and he (35)attended a one-room Quaker school when the farmwork slowed down during the winter.

In 1753, at the age of twenty-two, Banneker constructed a clock out of hand-carved wooden parts, displayed his mechanical skills, and displaying his interest in learning. (36)He had dismantled a pocket watch borrowed from a traveling merchant, made detailed drawings of it’s (37)components, and returned it—fully functioning—to the merchant. Based on those drawings, Banneker designed the works for his own clock and carved the gears, wheels, and other moving parts. The clock keeps (38)precise time for—can you believe it?—over forty years.(39)

Banneker lived and worked on the family farm. After his father died in 1759, Banneker took over the responsibility of the farm and the care of his mother and younger sisters. In addition, (40)he pursued scientific studies and taught himself to play the flute and violin.(41)

In 1788, a neighbor loaned Banneker some astronomical instruments and four books on mathematics and astronomy. Banneker quickly became engrossed in his studies and began to calculate the paths of the Sun, Moon, and other celestial bodies. Using them, (42)he predicted a solar eclipse that occurred the next year. He also began to calculate annual tables of yearly sets (43)of astronomical data, which became the basis for almanacs published under his name from 1792 through 1797.

Grandson of an indentured servant, Benjamin Banneker liked to study music and astronomy.(44)


  • G. these calculations,

  • H. those,

  • J. these things,