Read the following passage, which contains some underlined or numbered words or phrases. Each of the answer choices contains alternatives for the underlines; choose the one that fits best grammatically or stylistically. If you think the original is the best answer, choose Choice ‘A’, or NO CHANGE.
Questions about specific parts of the passage or about the passage as a whole are identified by numbers only, not underlines. These will be associated with specific questions.
Teenagers Are Nuts!
Do you ever feel anxious, depressed, afraid, uncertain or wonder what the heck you were thinking when you did
something risky or stupid? Well, guess what? It’s not our fault! Recent research indicates that we’re not nuts and we
don’t need headshrinkers or drugs and the reason we have so many anxieties and fears is because we need more
time to develop. (4) Until just recently, when we behaved in a way that adults considered to be irrational or outlandish,
they sent us to a psychologist or a shrink. But its not our fault; our brains are all messed up.
The part of the brain that is able to regulates our response to fear is called the amygdala. This is a small structure in
the middle of the brain that processes our response to danger. Problem is, this structure develops most quickly than
the pre-frontal cortex, that is the center of reason, judgment and rational thought. This results in a teenage brain
that is hard-wired to be fearful and anxious, and with little ability to calmly reason through a problem. Dr. Richard
Friedman, whose a professor of clinical psychiatry and the director of pharmacology at the Cornell Medical College,
recently wrote an op-ed in the New York Times says that not only does the amygdala develop faster in the teenage
brain, but also the brain’s reward center. So your heightened sense of anxiety, plus your need to get a “rush” might
help explain why the top three things that kill teenagers are accidents, homicide and suicide.
The result of this research leads us to believe it’s not our fault that we behave in ways that seem self-destructive to
adults. Teenagers just need time for the different parts of their brains to grow and mature. The research also
suggests that if teenage anxieties are too great, drugs are not the answer. Behavior therapy is the better alternative,
where the fearful situation is repeatedly presented in a non-threatening environment, leading to an “unlearning” of
the fear response. So, if you think you’re a little crazy, you probably are – but hey! – that’s okay, you’re in good
Created for Albert.io. September 2014
(4) Until just recently, when we behaved in a way that adults considered to be irrational or outlandish, they sent us to a psychologist or a shrink.