AP English Literary Terms: Poetry! Practice Test

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AP English Literary Terms: Poetry! Practice Test - Quiz

A quiz to help AP English Literature & Composition students study for the AP exam.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    A literary work in which characters, events, objects, and ideas have secondary or symbolic meanings. One of the most popular examples from the 20th Century was George Orwell's Animal Farm, about farm animals vying for power. On the surface, it is an entertaining story that even children can enjoy. Beneath the surface, it is the story of ruthless Soviet totalitarianism. 

    • A.

      Allegory

    • B.

      Fable

    • C.

      Parable

    • D.

      Symbol

    • E.

      Tall tale

    Correct Answer
    A. Allegory
    Explanation
    An allegory is a literary work where characters, events, objects, and ideas have secondary or symbolic meanings. In the case of George Orwell's Animal Farm, the story of farm animals vying for power is not just an entertaining tale but also a representation of the ruthless Soviet totalitarianism. The animals and their actions symbolize real-life political figures and events, making it an allegory for the corruption and abuse of power.

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  • 2. 

    Reference to a historical event or to a mythical or literary figure. Examples: (1) Sir Lancelot fought with Herculean strength. (Reference to the  mythological hero Hercules). (2) "I have met my Waterloo," the mountain climber said after returning from a failed attempt to conquer Everest. (Reference to the Belgian town where Napoleon lost a make-or-break battle). 

    • A.

      Metaphor

    • B.

      Allusion

    • C.

      Simile

    • D.

      Symbol

    • E.

      Synechdoche

    Correct Answer
    B. Allusion
    Explanation
    The correct answer is "allusion" because an allusion is a figure of speech that makes a reference to a historical event, mythical figure, or literary work. In the given examples, the reference to Sir Lancelot and Hercules, as well as the mention of Waterloo, are both allusions. Allusions are used to add depth and meaning to a statement by drawing upon the reader's or listener's knowledge of the referenced source.

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  • 3. 

    Repetition of a word, phrase, or clause at the beginning of word groups occurring one after the other. Examples: (1) Give me wine, give me women and give me song.  (2) For everything there is a season . . . a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted.–Bible, Ecclesiastes. (3) To die, to sleep; to sleep: perchance to dream.–Shakespeare, Hamlet.  

    • A.

      Alliteration

    • B.

      Assonance

    • C.

      Anaphora

    • D.

      Consonance

    • E.

      Onomatopoeia

    Correct Answer
    C. Anaphora
    Explanation
    Anaphora is the correct answer because it refers to the repetition of a word, phrase, or clause at the beginning of word groups occurring one after the other. In the examples given, there is a clear repetition of words or phrases at the beginning of each group, such as "give me" in the first example and "a time" in the second example. This repetition creates a rhythmic and emphatic effect in the writing.

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  • 4. 

    Repetition of vowel sounds preceded and followed by different consonant sounds. Use of "bite" and "like" in a line of poetry would constitute this device. Examples: (1) There are no tricks in plain and simple faith.–Shakespeare. (2) But I am pigeon-livered, and lack gall to make oppression bitter. (3) John met his fate by the lake

    • A.

      Euphony

    • B.

      Cacophony

    • C.

      Alliteration

    • D.

      Consonance

    • E.

      Assonance

    Correct Answer
    E. Assonance
    Explanation
    Assonance refers to the repetition of vowel sounds, specifically in this case, the repetition of vowel sounds preceded and followed by different consonant sounds. The examples provided in the question demonstrate this device, as words like "bite" and "like" have similar vowel sounds but different consonant sounds. Therefore, the correct answer is assonance.

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  • 5. 

    A poetic form that has three four-line stanzas (quatrains) and a two-line unit called a couplet.  The meter is iambic pentameter (except in Sonnet 145). The rhyme scheme is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG.  

    • A.

      Villanelle

    • B.

      Sestina

    • C.

      Shakespearean Sonnet

    • D.

      Petrarchan Sonnet

    • E.

      Keatsean Sonnet

    Correct Answer
    C. Shakespearean Sonnet
    Explanation
    A Shakespearean Sonnet is a poetic form that consists of three four-line stanzas (quatrains) and a two-line unit called a couplet. It is written in iambic pentameter, except for Sonnet 145. The rhyme scheme of a Shakespearean Sonnet is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG.

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  • 6. 

    Lines of poetry written in unrhymed iambic pentameter. Most of Shakespeare’s plays are written in form. Robert Frost also routinely employs this technique.

    • A.

      Sonnet

    • B.

      Free verse

    • C.

      Slant rhyme

    • D.

      Lyric

    • E.

      Blank verse

    Correct Answer
    E. Blank verse
    Explanation
    Blank verse refers to lines of poetry written in unrhymed iambic pentameter. This means that each line consists of five pairs of unstressed and stressed syllables, creating a rhythmic pattern. Shakespeare's plays are known for their extensive use of blank verse, as it allows for a natural and flowing dialogue. Robert Frost also frequently utilized this technique in his poetry. Blank verse offers a balance between structure and freedom, allowing poets to convey their thoughts and emotions effectively while maintaining a sense of rhythm.

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  • 7. 

    A type of poetic foot characterized by this pattern of accented syllables: (Stressed + Unstressed). Examples: LOVE-ly;ONCE upON a MIDnight DREARy

    • A.

      Troche

    • B.

      Iamb

    • C.

      Dactyl

    • D.

      Anapest

    • E.

      Spondee

    Correct Answer
    A. Troche
    Explanation
    A trochee is a type of poetic foot that consists of a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable. This pattern is seen in words like "LOVE-ly" and "ONCE upON a MIDnight DREARy." The other options listed, iamb, dactyl, anapest, and spondee, do not follow this specific pattern of accented syllables.

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  • 8. 

      A term to denote an audible pause that breaks up a line of verse shown in scansion by two vertical lines ( || ). In most cases, technique is indicated by punctuation marks which cause a pause in speech: a comma, a semicolon, a full stop, a dash, etc. Punctuation, however, is not necessary for this technique to occur. Example: To err is human; || to forgive, divine.

    • A.

      Parallel structure

    • B.

      Caesura

    • C.

      Chiasmus

    • D.

      Apostrophe

    • E.

      Blank verse

    Correct Answer
    B. Caesura
    Explanation
    A caesura is a term used to denote an audible pause that breaks up a line of verse. It is shown in scansion by two vertical lines (||). While punctuation marks such as commas, semicolons, full stops, dashes, etc., can indicate this technique by causing a pause in speech, they are not necessary for a caesura to occur. The example given, "To err is human; || to forgive, divine," demonstrates the use of a caesura to create a pause in the line of verse.

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  • 9. 

    The type of poetic foot used in this line: "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day"

    • A.

      Trochaic

    • B.

      Dactylic

    • C.

      Spondaic

    • D.

      Iambic

    • E.

      Anapestic

    Correct Answer
    D. Iambic
    Explanation
    The line "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day" follows an iambic pattern, which means it consists of iambs. An iambic foot has two syllables, with the first one being unstressed and the second one stressed. In this line, "Shall I" is an example of an iamb, with the stress falling on the second syllable of each word. Therefore, the correct answer is iambic.

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  • 10. 

    An Italian verse form invented by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). It consists of a series of three-line stanzas in which Line 2 of one stanza rhymes with Lines 1 and 3 of the next stanza. The rhyme scheme progresses in the following pattern: aba, bcb, cdc, ded, efe, ghg, and so on.

    • A.

      Terza rima

    • B.

      Tercet

    • C.

      Iambic trimeter

    • D.

      Blank verse

    • E.

      Verse italiano

    Correct Answer
    A. Terza rima
    Explanation
    Terza rima is the correct answer because it is an Italian verse form invented by Dante Alighieri. It consists of a series of three-line stanzas in which Line 2 of one stanza rhymes with Lines 1 and 3 of the next stanza. The rhyme scheme progresses in the pattern of aba, bcb, cdc, ded, efe, ghg, and so on.

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  • 11. 

    Carrying the sense of one line of verse over to the next line without a pause. In the first four lines of "My Last Duchess," by Robert Browning, this technique joins the second and third lines (I call / That) and the third and fourth lines (Pandolf's hands / Worked):      That's my last Duchess painted on the wall,     Looking as if she were alive. I call     That piece a wonder, now: Frà Pandolf's hands             Worked busily a day, and there she stands.

    • A.

      Run-on verse

    • B.

      Carry-over verse

    • C.

      Enjambment

    • D.

      Synecdoche

    • E.

      Metonymy

    Correct Answer
    C. Enjambment
    Explanation
    Enjambment is the correct answer because it refers to the technique of carrying the sense of one line of verse over to the next line without a pause. In the given lines from "My Last Duchess," the second and third lines (I call / That) and the third and fourth lines (Pandolf's hands / Worked) are joined together without a pause, creating a sense of continuity in the poem. This technique adds fluidity and rhythm to the poem, allowing the ideas to flow seamlessly from one line to the next.

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  • 12. 

    A lyric poem on a serious subject that develops its theme with dignified language, originally intended to be sung. Famous examples are by Keats and Shelley. 

    • A.

      Sonnet

    • B.

      Villanelle

    • C.

      Ballad

    • D.

      Sestina

    • E.

      Ode

    Correct Answer
    E. Ode
    Explanation
    An ode is a type of lyric poem that explores a serious subject and uses dignified language. It is originally intended to be sung, and famous examples of odes are written by poets like Keats and Shelley. Odes often express intense emotions and celebrate a person, event, or idea. They typically have a formal structure and employ rich imagery and figurative language to convey their theme.

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  • 13. 

    The repetition of words with different vowel sounds that have the same final consonants. Example: best, first.

    • A.

      Alliteration

    • B.

      Onomatopoeia

    • C.

      Assonance

    • D.

      Euphony

    • E.

      Consonance

    Correct Answer
    E. Consonance
    Explanation
    Consonance refers to the repetition of consonant sounds, specifically the final consonant sounds, in words with different vowel sounds. This can create a harmonious or musical effect in the language. In the given example, "best" and "first" both end with the same consonant sound "st," even though they have different vowel sounds. This repetition of the final consonant sound creates a sense of unity and rhythm in the words.

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  • 14. 

    The poetic form employed by the following poem is known as... She ruled in beauty o'er this heart of mine, A noble lady in a humble home, And now her time for heavenly bliss has come, 'Tis I am mortal proved, and she divine. The soul that all its blessings must resign, And love whose light no more on earth finds room, Might rend the rocks with pity for their doom, Yet none their sorrows can in words enshrine; They weep within my heart; and ears are deaf Save mine alone, and I am crushed with care, And naught remains to me save mournful breath. Assuredly but dust and shade we are, Assuredly desire is blind and brief, Assuredly its hope but ends in death. 

    • A.

      Shakespearean Sonnet

    • B.

      Ode

    • C.

      Petrarchan Sonnet

    • D.

      Villanelle

    • E.

      Blank Verse

    Correct Answer
    C. Petrarchan Sonnet
    Explanation
    The given poem follows the structure and rhyme scheme of a Petrarchan Sonnet. Petrarchan Sonnets typically consist of an octave (eight lines) followed by a sestet (six lines). The octave presents a problem or conflict, while the sestet offers a resolution or conclusion. In this poem, the octave describes the speaker's love for a noble lady who has passed away, and the sestet reflects on the fleeting nature of life and desire. The poem also adheres to the Petrarchan Sonnet's rhyme scheme of ABBAABBA in the octave and CDCDCD in the sestet.

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  • 15. 

    Stanza or poem of four lines. It usually has a rhyme scheme, such as abab, abba, or abcb.

    • A.

      Couplet

    • B.

      Tercet

    • C.

      Quatrain

    • D.

      Cinquain

    • E.

      Sestet

    Correct Answer
    C. Quatrain
    Explanation
    A quatrain is a stanza or poem consisting of four lines. It is characterized by its rhyme scheme, which can be abab, abba, or abcb. This means that the first and third lines rhyme with each other, and the second and fourth lines rhyme with each other. The quatrain is a common form in poetry and is often used to convey a complete thought or idea within the four lines.

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  • 16. 

    Words in a second clause or phrase that invert or transpose the order of the first clause or phrase. Here are examples:  - I come from the rural north, from the urban south comes she.  - John is a good worker, and a bright student is Mary.  - A fop their passion, but their prize a sot.–Alexander Pope. Flowers are lovely, love is flowerlike–Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

    • A.

      Inversion

    • B.

      Litotes

    • C.

      Reverse verse

    • D.

      Chiasmus

    • E.

      Epithet

    Correct Answer
    D. Chiasmus
    Explanation
    Chiasmus is the correct answer because it refers to a rhetorical device where words in a second clause or phrase invert or transpose the order of the first clause or phrase. The examples provided in the question, such as "I come from the rural north, from the urban south comes she" and "John is a good worker, and a bright student is Mary" demonstrate this inversion of word order. Chiasmus is a specific term used to describe this type of rhetorical structure.

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  • 17. 

    Poetry that presents the deep feelings and emotions of the poet as opposed to poetry that tells a story or presents a witty observation. Sonnets, odes, and elegies are examples of these types of poems. William Wordsworth, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and William Blake are among the poets who wrote them. Shakespeare's sonnets are considered this type of poem, although his verse plays are not; they tell a story. This type of poetry often has a pleasing musical quality. 

    • A.

      Villanelle

    • B.

      Ballad

    • C.

      Lyric

    • D.

      Epigram

    • E.

      Blank verse

    Correct Answer
    C. Lyric
    Explanation
    Lyric poetry is characterized by its focus on the poet's emotions and feelings rather than telling a story or making witty observations. It often has a pleasing musical quality and is commonly seen in sonnets, odes, and elegies. Poets like William Wordsworth, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and William Blake are known for writing this type of poetry. Shakespeare's sonnets are also considered lyric poems. Therefore, the correct answer is lyric.

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  • 18. 

    An extended metaphor with a complex logic that governs a poetic passage or entire poem. The sonnet often employs this device in order to draw an exaggerated comparison of a lover or a loving situation. 

    • A.

      Conceit

    • B.

      Simile

    • C.

      Figure of speech

    • D.

      Synecdoche

    • E.

      Metonymy

    Correct Answer
    A. Conceit
    Explanation
    A conceit is an extended metaphor with a complex logic that governs a poetic passage or entire poem. In the context of the question, the sonnet often uses conceit to draw an exaggerated comparison of a lover or a loving situation. This means that the poet uses a conceit to create a vivid and imaginative comparison between the lover and something else, such as a beautiful landscape or a celestial body. The use of conceit adds depth and complexity to the poem, allowing the poet to explore the theme of love in a unique and creative way.

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  • 19. 

    A long poem in a lofty style about the exploits of heroic figures. Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, as well as the Old English poem Beowulf, are examples of this type of poem.

    • A.

      Novella

    • B.

      Poema larga

    • C.

      Sestina

    • D.

      Epic

    • E.

      Villanelle

    Correct Answer
    D. Epic
    Explanation
    An epic is a long poem that tells the story of heroic figures and their great adventures. It is usually written in a lofty and grand style, with a focus on the heroic deeds and larger-than-life characters. Examples of epics include Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, as well as the Old English poem Beowulf. These poems are known for their epic scale, narrative structure, and portrayal of heroic figures and their exploits.

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  • 20. 

    A type of poetic foot characterized by this pattern of accented syllables (Stressed + Unstressed + Unstressed). Example: MER-ril-ly

    • A.

      Iamb

    • B.

      Troche

    • C.

      Dactyl

    • D.

      Anapest

    • E.

      Spondee

    Correct Answer
    C. Dactyl
    Explanation
    A dactyl is a type of poetic foot characterized by a pattern of accented syllables, specifically one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables. An example of a dactyl is the word "MER-ril-ly," where the stressed syllable is "MER" and the two unstressed syllables are "ril" and "ly." This pattern of accented syllables is what distinguishes a dactyl from other types of poetic feet such as an iamb, troche, anapest, or spondee.

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  • 21. 

    A poem or song composed especially as a lament for a deceased person. Example: Walt Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!, written for Abe Lincoln. 

    • A.

      Epitaph

    • B.

      Elegy

    • C.

      Eulogy

    • D.

      Epigram

    • E.

      Epithet

    Correct Answer
    B. Elegy
    Explanation
    An elegy is a poem or song that is written specifically to mourn or lament the death of a person. It is a form of expression that allows the poet or songwriter to express their grief and pay tribute to the deceased. In this example, Walt Whitman's "O Captain! My Captain!" is a famous elegy written in honor of Abraham Lincoln. It serves as a lamentation for the loss of a great leader and expresses the poet's deep sorrow and admiration for the deceased.

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  • 22. 

    Form of poetry that ignores standard rules of meter and rhyme in favor of the rhythms of ordinary conversation. In effect, this form liberates poetry from conformity to rigid metrical rules that dictate stress patterns and the number of syllables per line. French poets originated it in the 1880s, although earlier poems of Walt Whitman (1819-1892) and other writers exhibited characteristics. Although this form generally contains no metrical patterns and end rhymes, it may contain other types of patterns, such as cadence and repetition.

    • A.

      Free verse

    • B.

      Blank verse

    • C.

      Open verse

    • D.

      Unmetered rhyme

    • E.

      Lyric

    Correct Answer
    A. Free verse
    Explanation
    Free verse is a form of poetry that does not adhere to the standard rules of meter and rhyme. Instead, it focuses on the rhythms of ordinary conversation, liberating poetry from rigid metrical rules. It originated in the 1880s with French poets, but earlier works by writers like Walt Whitman also exhibited its characteristics. While free verse does not have metrical patterns and end rhymes, it can still contain other types of patterns, such as cadence and repetition.

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  • 23. 

    Unit of two rhyming lines in iambic pentameter. Following is an example:     What dire offence from am'rous causes springs,     What mighty contests rise from trivial things  (Lines 1 and 2, The Rape of the Lock, by Alexander Pope)

    • A.

      Masculine rhyme

    • B.

      Blank verse

    • C.

      Terza rima

    • D.

      Epic couplet

    • E.

      Heroic couplet

    Correct Answer
    E. Heroic couplet
    Explanation
    The given example consists of two rhyming lines in iambic pentameter. This is a characteristic of a heroic couplet, which is a unit of two lines that rhyme and have a regular meter. The term "heroic" refers to the elevated and serious nature of the content often found in epic poetry. In this case, the lines are from "The Rape of the Lock" by Alexander Pope, which is an epic poem. Therefore, the correct answer is heroic couplet.

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  • 24. 

    Poem that presents a moment in which a narrator/speaker discusses a topic and, in so doing, reveals his personal feelings to a listener. During his discourse, the speaker intentionally and unintentionally reveals information about himself. The main focus of this device is this personal information, not the speaker's topic. It is a type of character study. Perhaps the most famous example in English literature is Robert Browning's "My Last Duchess."

    • A.

      Internal conflict

    • B.

      Dialogue

    • C.

      Rhetorical speech

    • D.

      Dramatic monologue

    • E.

      Apostrophe

    Correct Answer
    D. Dramatic monologue
    Explanation
    A dramatic monologue is a poem that presents a moment in which a narrator/speaker discusses a topic and, in so doing, reveals his personal feelings to a listener. The speaker intentionally and unintentionally reveals information about himself during his discourse. The main focus of this device is the personal information of the speaker, not the topic being discussed. This type of poem is a character study, where the speaker's emotions and thoughts are explored. Robert Browning's "My Last Duchess" is a famous example of a dramatic monologue in English literature.

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  • 25. 

    In verse and poetry, this is the recurring pattern of stressed (accented, or long) and unstressed (unaccented, or short) syllables in lines of a set length.

    • A.

      Meter

    • B.

      Rhyme scheme

    • C.

      Scansion

    • D.

      Repetition

    • E.

      Iambic pentameter

    Correct Answer
    A. Meter
    Explanation
    Meter refers to the recurring pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in lines of poetry. It is the rhythmic structure that gives a poem its musical quality. The correct answer is meter because it accurately describes the concept of stressed and unstressed syllables in poetry. Rhyme scheme refers to the pattern of rhymes at the end of lines, scansion is the analysis of poetic meter, repetition is the repeating of words or phrases, and iambic pentameter is a specific meter consisting of five pairs of unstressed and stressed syllables.

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  • 26. 

    Poem focusing on some aspect of rural life. It may center on the love of a shepherd for a maiden, on the death of a friend, or on the quiet simplicity of rural life. The writer of a this type of poem may be a highly educated city dweller who longs for the peace and quiet of the country or who extols the virtues of a shepherd girl. 

    • A.

      Ode

    • B.

      Sonnet

    • C.

      Pastoral

    • D.

      Ballad

    • E.

      Sestina

    Correct Answer
    C. Pastoral
    Explanation
    A pastoral poem is a type of poem that focuses on some aspect of rural life. It can center around various themes such as the love of a shepherd for a maiden, the death of a friend, or the quiet simplicity of rural life. The writer of a pastoral poem may be someone who is highly educated and lives in the city but longs for the peace and quiet of the countryside, or they may be someone who praises the virtues of a shepherd girl.

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  • 27. 

    The basic division of a Petrarchan sonnet; in other words, the way a Petrarchan (or Italian) sonnet is conceptualized in order to make its statement.

    • A.

      3 quatrains + 1 couplet

    • B.

      4 tercets + 1 couplet

    • C.

      1 sestet + 1 octave

    • D.

      1 octave + 1 sestet

    • E.

      7 couplets

    Correct Answer
    D. 1 octave + 1 sestet
    Explanation
    The basic division of a Petrarchan sonnet consists of 1 octave (8 lines) followed by 1 sestet (6 lines). This structure allows the poet to present an argument or idea in the octave and then provide a resolution or conclusion in the sestet. The octave typically sets up the problem or conflict, while the sestet offers a resolution or commentary. This division creates a balanced and organized form for the Petrarchan sonnet, allowing for a clear and effective presentation of the poet's thoughts and emotions.

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  • Mar 21, 2023
    Quiz Edited by
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  • Apr 10, 2010
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