Digital SAT Practice Questions–Command of Evidence: Quantitative

Here are 10 original questions to practice the new Digital SAT Quantitative Command of Evidence questions.

  1. Consumption of Sugar, Coffee, and Tea:

CountrySugar (lbs)Coffee (lbs)Tea (lbs)
Great Britain35.960.903.190
United States24.635.68—–

The entire consumption of sugar in Europe has averaged, during the last few years, 3,410,000 pounds, and for the whole world is it set down at nearly twice that amount. It is estimated that three fourths of the sugar is made from cane, and one fourth from beet. The consumption of coffee has doubled in most countries during the last twenty years.

A scientist wishes to use data from the table to try to back up the initial claim of the author as to European sugar consumption. Which of the following procedures should the scientist undertake in order to utilize the data?

A. Add up all the sugar from European countries and see if it is roughly 3,410,000 pounds.
B. Add up all the sugar from all countries and see if it is exactly 3,410,000 pounds
C. Add up all the coffee from the European countries and see if it is double 3,410,000 pounds
D. Add up all the coffee from the all the countries and see if it is exactly 3,410,000 pounds.

2. Annual report to Congress of the Commissioner of Patents, 1876:

Number of applications for patents in 187621,425
Number of patents issued, including reissues and designs15,595
Number of applications for extension of patents2
Number of patents extended3
Number of caveats filed during the year2,697
Number of patents expired during the year814
Number of patents allowed but not issued for want of final fee3,353
Number of applications for registering of trademarks1,081
Number of trademarks registered959
Number of applications for registering of labels650
Number of labels registered402

The number of applications for patents was a little less than during the previous year. The Commissioner suggests that Congress should appropriate $50,000 to promote the printing of the old patents; that additional examiners be employed, and more clerks, for the purpose of expiating the business of the office; that the price of the Official Gazette be reduced, also the fee for trademark registration; that the library fund be increased; that more space be provided for models, and the transaction of business.

The author is requesting additional funds to hire employees for the patent office. Which answer, if true, would support his claim that more examiners and clerks are needed?

A. Of the 15,595 patents issued, most were to citizens of the United States.
B. Of the roughly 21,425 applications, over half could not be reviewed in time for the annual report.
C. Three patent extensions were needed in 1876
D. The 3,353 patents not issued for lack of fee were mostly to non-Americans


 Without ConductorWith Conductor
Moisture %78.2179.84
Tartaric acid0.8000.791
Bitartrate of potash0.1800.186

Macagno, also believing that the passage of electricity from air through the vine to earth would stimulate growth, selected a certain number of vines, all of the same variety and all in the same condition of health and development. Sixteen vines were submitted to experiment and sixteen were left to natural influences. In the ends of the vines under treatment, pointed platinum wires were inserted, to which were attached copper wires, leading to the tops of tall poles near the vines; at the base of these same vines other platinum wires were inserted and connected by copper wires with the soil. At the close of the experiment, the wood, leaves, and fruit of both sets of vines were submitted to careful analysis with the above results.

Which answer would be the best summary statement to make based on the results in the chart as they relate to Mocagno’s hypothesis?

A. The plants without the conductor and the plants with the conductor had no measurable difference in bitartrate of potash.
B. The plants with the conductor had higher levels of moisture, sugar, and bitartrate of potash, which created growth and proves Macagno’s hypothesis correct.
C. Because the plants without a conductor had higher tartaric acid levels, they would have grown more than the plans with the conductor, proving Macagno’s hypothesis incorrect.
D. Because we do not have data on the size or height of the plants, we can not draw conclusions as to the effect of the conductor on plant growth. Macagno’s hypothesis remains untested.

4. The following table gives the absolute sensitiveness of several of the best known kinds of American and foreign photography plates, when developed with oxalate, in terms of pure silver chloride taken as a standard. As the numbers would be very large, however, if the chloride were taken as a unit, it was thought better to give them in even hundred thousands.

Sensitiveness of Plates:

Carbutt transparency0.7
Allen and Rowell1.3150
Richardson Standard1.310
Marchall and Blair2.7140
Blair Instantaneous3.0140
Carbutt Special4.020
Wratten and Wainwright4.010
Eastman special5.330
Richardson Instantaneous5.320
Walker Reid and Inglis11.0600

It will be noted that the plates most sensitive to gaslight are by no means necessarily the most sensitive to daylight; in some instances, in fact,                                                                . It should be said that the above figures cannot be considered final until each plate has been tested separately with its own developer, as this would undoubtedly have some influence on the final result.

Which answer option best completes the passage with information consistent with the data in the table?

A. there is no gaslight sensitivity whatsoever
B. the gaslight and daylight sensitivity seem to be nearly the same
C. the reverse seems to be true
D. The daylight sensitivity is far below the gaslight sensitivity

5. So much has been claimed for natural gas as regards the superiority of its heating properties as compared with coal, that some analyses of this gas, together with calculations showing the comparison between its heating power and that of coal, may be of interest. These calculations are, of course, theoretical in both cases, and it must not be imagined that the total amount of heat, either in a ton of coal or 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas, can ever be fully utilized. In making these calculations I employed as a basis what in my estimation was a gas of an average chemical composition, as I have found that gas from the same well caries continually in its compositions. Thus, samples of gas from the same well, but taken on different days, _______________________________________  and so with all the component gases.

Analysis of Natural Gas- given as percents

Date tested10/28/8410/29/8411/24/8412/4/8410/18/8410/25/84
Carbonic Acid0.8.60.400.3
Carbonic Oxide1.00.8.580.41.00.30
Olefiant Gas0.70.80.980.60.80.6
Ethylic Hydride3.65.57.9212.305.24.8
March Gas72.1865.2560.7049.5857.8575.16
Heat Units728,746698,170627,170745,813592,380745,591

Which answer option best completes the passage with information from the chart?

A. vary in olefiant gas from .98 to .6, Ethylic Hydride from 12.3 to 3.6, heat units from 745,813 to 592,380,
B. vary in nitrogen from 23 percent to zero percent, carbonic acid from two percent to zero percent, oxygen from four percent to 0.4 percent,
C. vary in nitrogen from 23 percent to zero percent, carbonic acid from two percent to zero percent, heat units from 745,813 to 592,380,
D. vary in nitrogen from 23.41 to 0, carbonic acid from .08 to .3, Oxygen from 1.1 to 1.2

6. The following table gives some particulars of the Great Lakes and the discharge from them:

LakeElevation above mean tideArea of Basin (square miles)Area of lake (square miles)RainfallEvaporationDischarge
Huron and Michigan581.28121,94150,400262,96466,754216,435

The average variation in level of the lakes is from 18 inches to 24 inches during the year, and the range in evaporation from year to year is also very considerable; thus the evaporation per second on Huron and Michigan, as given in the table above, _____________________  but the figures for another year show nearly 89,000 feet per second, which would represent a difference of 6.5 inches in water level. As a discharge of 10,000 cubic feet a second into the new canal would lower the level of these two lakes by 2.87 inches in a year, it follows that the difference between a year of maximum and one of minimum evaporations is more than twice as great as would be required for the canal, and even under the most unfavorable conditions the volume taken from the whole chain of lakes would not lower them an inch.

Which answer option best completes the passage with relevant data from the table?

A. is nearly 67,000 feet,
B. is around 250,000 feet,
C. is nearly 14,000 feet,
D. is nearly 35,000 feet,

7. The portion of the flame which is supposed to be the hottest is about half an inch above the tip of the inner zone of the flame, and it is at this point that most vessels containing water to be heated are made to impinge on the flame; and it is this portion of the flame, also, which is utilized for raising various solids to a temperature at which they radiate heat.

In order to gain an insight into the amount of contamination which the air undergoes when a geyser or cooking stove is at work, I have determined the composition of the products of a combustion, and the unburned gases escaping when a vessel containing water at the ordinary temperatures is heated up to the boiling point by a gas flame, the vessel being placed, in the fist case, half an inch above the inner cone of the flame, and in the second, at the extreme outer tip of the flame.

Gases Escaping During Combustion:

 Luminous flame InnerLuminous flame Outer
Water Vapor11.8019.24
Carbon Dioxide4.938.38
Carbon Monoxide2.452.58
March Gas0.950.39

Based on the passage and the table, what inference could be made about the placement of the water vessel and the resulting effects on the air in the room the experiment was conducted?

A.  When water was heated in a vessel placed in the hottest part of the flame, less of every type of contaminant was released into the air, leading to better air quality than when the vessel was placed in a cooler part of the flame.
B. When water was heated in a vessel placed in the hottest part of the flame, more nitrogen, march gas, acetylene, and hydrogen were released into the air while less water vapor, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide were released. The resulting effect on air quality is unknown.
C. When water was heated in a vessel placed in the hottest part of the flame, less nitrogen, march gas acetylene, and hydrogen were released into the air while more water vapor, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide were released. The resulting effect on air quality is positive.
D. When water was heated in a vessel placed in the hottest part of the flame, more of every type of contaminant was released into the air, leading to poorer air quality than when the vessel was placed in a cooler part of the flame.

8. Eggs Laid and Gain in Weight in Hens over the course of three periods.

Live Weight, July 26th23.5323.56
Live weight, November 2721.3122.00
Number of Eggs laid79.0026.00
Weight of eggs laid (lb)8.252.92
Average weight of eggs (oz)1.671.80
Gain in weight, including eggs (lb)6.031.36

During the first week the carbonaceous fed hens laid three eggs while the others laid two. The two groups were, therefore, practically evenly divided at the start as to the condition of the laying stage. At the end of the first period the nitrogenous fed hens had laid forty-three eggs and the carbonaceous fed hens had laid twenty. During the next twenty-five days the former laid thirty and the latter six; ___________________________________     From this time on no eggs were received from either group. The decline in egg production was probably due in large part to the fact that the hens began to molt during the second period, and continued to do so during the rest of the experiment.

Which answer option best uses information from the table to complete the passage?

A. during the third period the former laid six and the latter not any.
B. during the third period the former laid 79 and the later laid 26.
C. during the third period the former laid non and the latter laid six.
D. during the third period it was no possible to tabulate the number of eggs laid.

9. Cost of living for a man in Great Britain and the United States, in shillings:

 Great BritianUnited States
Total:1200 Shillings
(60 pounds)
1536.2 Shillings (77 pounds, 16 shillings)

Having agreed that wages are probably 62 percent higher in Massachusetts than in Great Britain, it would be easy, if we could ascertain what proportion of a working man’s income is spent respectively in groceries, provisions, clothing etc., to determine what advantage an operative derives from the higher wages of the United States. Dr. Engle, the chief of the Prussian Bureau of Statistics, puts us in possession of this information, and, as the result of a laborious inquiry, has formulated a certain economic law which governs the relations between income and expenditure. We learn, consequently ___________________________ .

Which answer best uses information from the table and the passage to draw a conclusion about wage equity between the United States and Great Britain?

A. that a workman earning 1200 shillings per year in Great Britain would also have to pay more in food costs, thus further reducing his available funds, and making the advantage of working in the United States even stronger. 
B. that workers in the United States have to pay more for everything from food to Sundries, making their income lower than that of a man in a comparable job in Great Britain.
C. that a workman in Great Britain earns only 60 pounds per year while a comparable workman in the United States earns over 77 pounds, creating a wealth gap of 17 pounds, 16 shillings between English and American workers.
D. that a workman earning 60 pounds per annum in Great Britain would receive 99 pounds in the States, but living there would cost him 77 pounds, or 17 pounds more than here, giving him a net advantage of only 22 pounds.

10. The following table, which has been prepared by the French Ministry of Public Works, gives the railway mileage of the various countries of Europe and the United States up to the end of 1881, with the number of miles constructed in that year, and the population per mile:

CountryTotal MilesMiles Built in 1881Population per Mile
Great Britain18,1571641,939
Sweden and Norway4,6162731,408
United States104,8139,358502

It appears from this that the United States Mileage was only 2,493 less than the total of all Europe, and at the present time it exceeds it, as the former country has built about 6,000 miles this year, whereas Europe has not exceeded 1,500. The difference in the number of persons per mile in the two cases is also

Which answer, if true, would best complete the author’s thought, using data from the table?

A. generally minimal, with the difference between countries varying from 5,870 in Portugal to 1,405 in Sweden and Norway with two outliers: the United States and Greece.
B. very great: Greece has one mile of rail for every 28,000 people while Sweden and Norway have one mile of rail for every 1,408 people largely due to the density of their population.
C. very great, Europe taking six times as many persons to support a mile of railway as the States, and can only be accounted for by the fact that American railways are constructed much cheaper than the European ones.
D. marginal, with the average population per mile in Europe hovering around 4,750.

Answer Solutions

1.  A. The passage claims that Europe has, in the past few years, had a sugar consumption around 3,410,000 pounds. If a scientist wanted to support this, he or she could find the total European sugar consumption for the year in the table and see if it is close to the average. Of course, any given year might be an outlier, but given the limited data in the table, this is still the best option. Option B is incorrect because it includes non-European countries. Options C and D are correct because the scientist is trying to make a claim about sugar, not coffee.
2. B. In the passage, the commissioner requests additional funds in order to employ more examiners and clerks for the patent office “for the purpose of expiating the business of the office”. In other words, they need more people so that the office can move more quickly in processing the patent and other applications. If it were true that only half of the submitted patents had been able to be reviewed by the time the end of the year report came out, that would support the idea that more workers are needed, making option B correct. Option A is incorrect, as the citizenship of the applicants does not impact the need for more funds. Options C and D are incorrect for the same reason.
3. D. The hypothesis posited by Mscagno was that electricity would stimulate the growth of the plants. Because plant height, weight, or other indicators of growth were not measured, the data cannot be used to support Macagno’s hypothesis. This makes option D correct and the other answers incorrect. The presence of moisture, sugar, tartaric acid, and bitartrate of potash are not indicators of growth.
4. C. The first sentence points out that there seems to be no positive correlation between plate sensitivity to daylight and gaslight. The passage continues by saying that “in some instances, in fact”. This is leading into a contrasting statement from the first sentence, making option C the best answer. Answer option A is only correct for Carbutt transparencies, not for the plates in general. Answer B is incorrect as there is a clear and measurable difference between daylight and gaslight sensitivity for all the plates. Option D is incorrect as it does not contrast with the first sentence of the passage.
5. B. The correct answer must include the variances for different components of the gas. Heat units are not components of gas, but rather a measure of energy, and thus answers A, and C are incorrect. Answer option D incorrectly measures the highest and lowest measurements of the components, leaving only answer B as a correct option.
6. A. A careful reading of the graph shows that the evaporation on lakes Huron and Michigan is 66,754 which makes option A correct and the other options incorrect.
7. B. We learn in the first paragraph that the hottest part of the flame is about half an inch above the tip of the inner zone of the flame. This makes “luminous flame inner” our hotter option and “luminous flame outer” our cooler option. Based on this, we can see that the hotter option has higher outputs of nitrogen, march gas, acetylene, and hydrogen and lower outputs of water vapor, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide. However, we do not have evidence of the impact of these outputs on air quality. This makes option B the best answer. The other answer options are all incorrect as they misunderstand either which one is hotter, or they assume the impact on the air quality without evidence.
8. A. We learn in the table that the nitrogenous fed (former) hens laid a total of 79 eggs and the carbonaceous fed (later) hens laid a total of 26.  The passage tells us that in the first and second periods the nitrogenous fed hens laid 43 and 25 eggs and the carbonaceous fed hens laid 20 and 6. 79-43-25=6 therefore in the third period the nitrogenous fed hens laid six eggs. 26-20-6=0 therefore in the third period the carbonaceous fed hens laid 0. This is best stated in answer option A.
9. D. We see in the table that in Great Britain the cost of living is 1200 shillings, or 60 pounds. In the United States, the cost of living is 1536.2 shillings, or 77 pounds, 16 shillings. We learn in the passage that wages are higher in Massachusetts than in Great Britain. This makes answer D the most logical conclusion. A that pays 60 pounds in Great Britain would likely pay more in the United States, but some of that advantage would be eaten away by the higher cost of living.
10. C.  Note the word “also” before the blank. In the previous sentence, the author pointed out a large discrepancy in the 6000 miles built in the U.S. compared to the only 1500 built in Europe. We now need a similar comparison for that “also” to make sense. This would mean that answers A and D are incorrect as they do not show a similarly large difference. Answer B is incorrect as it compares one European country to another instead of continuing the author’s comparison of all of Europe to the United States.


All information and data are taken from or adapted from various editions of Scientific American and the supplements thereof. You can improve your reading skills by reading more of similar texts. Specific links for the information from each question can be found below.