MCAT verbal test (26)

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MCAT Section Tests Dear Future Doctor, The following Section Test and explanations should be used to practice and to assess your mastery of critical thinking in each of the section areas Topics are confluent and are not necessarily in any specific order or fixed proportion This is the level of integration in your preparation that collects what you have learned in the Kaplan classroom and synthesizes your knowledge with your critical thinking Simply completing the tests is inadequate; a solid understanding of your performance through your Score Reports and the explanations is necessary to diagnose your specific weaknesses and address them before Test Day All rights are reserved pursuant to the copyright laws and the contract clause in your enrollment agreement and as printed below Misdemeanor and felony infractions can severely limit your ability to be accepted to a medical program and a conviction can result in the removal of a medical license We offer this material for your practice in your own home as a courtesy and privilege Practice today so that you can perform on test day; this material was designed to give you every advantage on the MCAT and we wish you the best of luck in your preparation Sincerely, Albert Chen Executive Director, Pre-Health Research and Development Kaplan Test Prep © 2003 Kaplan, Inc All rights reserved No part of this book may be reproduced in any form, by Photostat, microfilm, xerography or any other means, or incorporated into any information retrieval system, electronic or mechanical without the written permission of Kaplan, Inc This book may not be duplicated, distributed or resold, pursuant to the terms of your Kaplan Enrollment Agreement ANSWER KEY D C A B C D D A C 10 C 11 C 12 B 13 B 14 D 15 A 16 B 17 D 18 C 19 C 20 A 21 D 22 C 23 B 24 B 25 C 26 B 27 B 28 D 29 D 30 C 31 A 32 A 33 B 34 C 35 A 36 A 37 D 38 B 39 A 40 C 41 B 42 D 43 A 44 D 45 C 46 D 47 D 48 C 49 B 50 C 51 D 52 B 53 D 54 B 55 A 56 A 57 B 58 A 59 B 60 B Passage I (Questions 1-6) Topic and Scope: The nature of Plato’s “tyrant” and Giovannini’s proposed interpretation Paragraph rewards the patient reader: only at the last sentence, after negotiating through two dense sentences about such broad subjects as the Enlightenment and democracy, we get a clear sense that the topic of the passage will likely be Plato’s view of the tyrannical character Paragraph begins by describing the view of tyranny traditionally associated with Plato The sentence that begins, “An argument recently propounded…” indicates a major development in the unfolding of the passage Buried mid-paragraph, this sentence, in classic MCAT style, should prompt a strong suspicion that the scope of the passage is to discuss Giovannini’s alternative view of platonic tyranny—a suspicion quickly confirmed by a glance at the remainder of the passage, in which the word “Giovannini” appears frequently A final point about the second paragraph: Note that the words “the traditional view, while sound as far as it goes, is incomplete” establish the opinion, not of the author, but of Giovannini Expect that, in the questions associated with the passage, some wrong choices will trip-up test takers who failed to make this distinction Paragraph gives the details of Giovannini’s alternative view Paragraph gives the first clear sense of the author’s opinion: Giovannini’s findings, “while ingenious and provocative, [are] not beyond question.” Notice that, like so much else in the content and structure of the passage, this opinion adheres to a familiar MCAT style: authorial voices that are reasoned and moderate, rather than intense and extreme D Choice (A) is a FUD Giovannini, not the author of the passage, sought a richer alternative (B) is also FUD The relationship between content and order is instrumental to a larger point pursued by the author in the fourth paragraph; it is not, in itself, the primary concern of the paragraph (C) is a Distortion The second sentence of the paragraph (as well as the larger passage) is balanced and measured, not, as this choice has it, dismissive (D) captures the structural role in the passage of the fourth paragraph: to pull together the author’s review of Giovannini’s study by: reiterating its aim in broad terms; broadly evaluating the extent of Giovannini’s success; and elaborating a significant potential deficiency in the study C Choice (A) is FUD This is the image of tyrannical regimes that is associated with Republic, not Lysis (B) is a Distortion Though tempting, this choice, on careful inspection, falls on the subtle grounds that tyranny cannot be reconciled with “healthy political community.” What’s more, such a reconciliation is “ultimately impossible,” not, as this choice has it, “typically incompatible.” (C) captures the heart of Giovannini’s claims about Lysis as expressed in the third paragraph, particularly the idea that “the tyranny found in Lysis is the wake of a doomed union between the needy masses and the singular, complete one.” (D) is Outside the Scope The discussion of Lysis provides no evidence for this claim In fact, to the extent that paragraph describes the relationship between the ruler and ruled as “doomed,” we have reason to believe that the ruled would not achieve such positive traits as strength and self-reliance A Choice (A) represents the narrative function of the Aristotle reference, which appears in the first paragraph, immediately following the words “the Greek philosophers contributed to this development less by their embrace of the democratic principle than by their rejection of tyranny.” (B) is FUD True, a broad connection is made in the first paragraph between the Greek philosophers and the Enlightenment But the purpose of the specific reference to Aristotle’s classificatory schema is, again, to amplify the claim that these philosophers tended to reject tyranny as a desirable form of government (C) is wrong Plato did greatly influence political thought, especially that of Aristotle But the passage explicitly mentions neither of these points, so to involve them in our thinking about a choice would be to allow outside knowledge to inform our reading of a passage—always a bad move (D) contradicts information in the passage Aristotle and Plato alike rate tyranny worst B (B), the exception (therefore the correct choice), might be tempting because it’s FUD The topic of friendship arises in the third paragraph, which treats Lysis, not the “best-known platonic description of tyranny.” The treatment in Lysis specifically grounds the tyrant’s status in his non-reliance on the populace Choices (A), (C), and (D) are all characteristics discussed in the second paragraph, which treats the “best-known platonic depiction of tyranny” in Republic: the tyrant’s slavishness includes the domination of “unnecessary appetites” over the tyrant (C), and the tyrant’s dependence ontaxation (A) and bodyguards (D) C Choice (A) contradicts information in the passage The supposition in the question stem strongly suggests that Plato may have recognized but chosen not to disclose the paradoxical conception of tyranny that emerges from comparative readings of Republic and Lysis This would lend support to, not undermine, Giovannini’s argument (B) is FUD and a Distortion Recall the observation from our analysis of the passage: at one point or another, a likely wrong choice will exist to tempt test takers who have not distinguished the opinion of the author of the passage (“ingenious and provocative, [but] not beyond question”) from that of Giovannini (“the traditional view, while sound as far as it goes, is incomplete”) This is that choice Giovannini, not the author of the passage, claimed that Republic and Lysis, taken together, provide a more accurate depiction of platonic tyranny than arises from consideration of Republic alone What’s more, note the distortion signified by the word “verify.” Even if the choice were about Giovannini, the question stem’s hypothetical would lend some support to, but certainly would not in itself verify, Giovannini’s claim Choice (C) is correct The author is concerned that “Giovannini may have invented, rather than discovered, subtle interconnections in Plato’s thought.” The basis of this concern is the fact that “if Plato intended the conception of tyranny that appears in Republic to be somehow bound up in a paradox with the conception in Lysis, he would presumably have hinted as much.” But if, as this choice has it, Plato by design may have avoided acknowledging his paradoxical finding, we have some grounds to discount the author’s criticism of Giovannini (D) contradicts information in the passage Again, the supposition in the question stem strongly suggests that Plato may have recognized but chosen not to disclose the paradoxical conception of tyranny that emerges from comparative readings of Republic and Lysis Were this the case, significant doubt would arise about the soundness of the author’s major criticism of Giovannini, who may have “right” in his finding of a paradox If we knew that indeed, he was right, we would have all the more reason to agree with the author’s estimation of Giovannini’s work as “ingenious and provocative.” D In paragraph 4, the author states that the most significant objection to Giovannini’s work is that works from Plato’s “formative” period are treated as “bound up in a paradox” wit the later treatment of tyranny in Republic Choice (D) is a paraphrase of this (A) and (B) are FUDs; they are both mentioned as aspects of the Republic version of the tyrant (C) is never mentioned in the passage, and clearly both the author and Giovannini are citing the original sources Passage II (Questions 7-12) Topic and Scope: Hobbes’ theory, including some ambiguities connected to it Paragraph introduces Hobbes “state of nature” Paragraph describes the state of nature Paragraph introduces the ambiguities D Choices (A), (B), and (C) are all FUD The relationship in (A) is addressed in paragraph three as one in which nature “derive[s]” from physics The conception in (B) is addressed in paragraph two as “matter and motion.” And the role in (C) is addressed in paragraph three as instrumental: through introspection we can know the “thoughts and passions of all other[s].” At no point does the passage treat the transition from the state of nature to civil society Note the potential trap Some readers may happen to know that the idea of a social contract is the key to this transition But does the passage address that? No A Read above and below the actual line reference, in order to contextualize it The billiard-ball depiction emerges immediately after acknowledgement that for Hobbes, the universe is simply matter and motion And soon following the billiard-ball reference is the implication for human behavior: “What is usually termed ‘will’ is unreal, nothing more than the final derivative of appetite or aversion…there is also no natural law in the scholastic sense of providentiallyprescribed rational commands of right conduct for everyone ‘Good’ is radically individual and utilitarian; it is always and only that to which appetite or aversion drives a person.” For Hobbes, neither Providence nor nature makes any pursuit or principle inherently good or bad Passions drive people to their interests as force drives one billiard-ball into another—and that’s all there is to it This view is consistent with choice (A) (B) is Outside the Scope This is a very broad claim, part of which—political society—is almost completely ignored in the passage (C) is FUD The passage mentions positive law and natural law, but makes no claim about the basis of one in the other (D) is opposite Again, Hobbes believes that will is unreal C Choice (A) is FUD The choice starts of fine, but goes wrong with the words “but groundless.” After all, the author agrees with the commonplace understanding of the state of nature as the foundation of Hobbesian thought (B) is FUD This choice is tempting, but falls under close examination: There’s nothing necessarily inconsistent between the views, on one hand, that a concept is seminal and, on the other, that it is ambiguous (C) captures the structural role of the “every social theorist” reference, which is a “rule” that appears immediately after reference to LaJoie and Saccente, who make similar claims with respect to Hobbes (D) is FUD and Distortion The tip-off to the Faulty Use of Detail is that this choice refers to paragraph two, while the reference in the question stem comes from paragraph one What makes Hobbes’s philosophy systemic is that it bases a political theory one a theory of nature, which in turn is a reflection of a theory of the nature of physical reality The choice is also a Distortion, in the sense that very little in this passage is a matter of demonstration in the sense of proving Even if the reference in the question stem bore on the systemic character of Hobbes’s thought, the reference would not prove that the thought is systemic 10 C We have four parameters here: covenants, compacts, civil society, and the state of nature In the passage we read much about the last, but next to nothing about civil society—a consideration that should prompt heavy doubt about choices (B) and (D) (Remember: We need the answer that “the passage suggest[s].”) We also know very little about compacts and covenants, other than the “key distinction” described in the question stem So the question is, Is the state of nature characterized by “good faith and the expectation of long-term future cooperation?” No So despite all that we don’t know, we can be very confident that a covenant of mutual trust is unlikely in the state of nature 11 C The situation in choice (A) implies cooperation and superior-subordinate relationships that bear no resemblance to the state of nature The situation in (B), though tempting by its reference to war, implies moral restraint and principled behavior—both without analogy in the state of nature (C) is analogous to the claims that in the state of nature, “because of limited resources and the absence of any summum bonum to fortify a moral order, anarchy rules.” Also, “‘Good’ is radically individual and utilitarian…Possessed of a natural liberty to compete for limited resources and to win what security they can by whatever means they choose, actors in the natural state vie, according to the famous phrase, for “Power after power.” The vigilantes and lawlessness in (D) give its situation anarchic overtones, but the reference to businesses and police—neither of which could exist in the state of nature—rule it out 12 B Begin by defining LaJoie’s characterization Paragraph one attributes to LaJoie the view that the state of nature “’sets in motion the dominoes of deduction’ from which ultimately issue the politics proper.” The last paragraph quotes LaJoie’s description of the state of nature as “a creation of logic, not history.” The point then becomes to identify the book in which understanding of the state nature is most clearly associated with logic and deduction Paragraph three associates Leviathan, choice (A), with direct experience, De Cive (C) with intuition, and Leviathan Logic—note the clever but misleading use of “Logic” in the title—with imagination, among other things But De Corpore (B) “derives” nature (as one might derive a proof of logic or math) and uses “ratiocination”—a perhaps unfamiliar term, but one that probably deals with reasoning and rationality (In fact, ratiocination is the deduction of conclusions from premises.) Passage III (Questions 13-18) Topic and Scope: Why Creationism should be discussed outside the science class Paragraph introduces the ancient roots of “evolution” theories Paragraph discusses Christian versions of earlier evolution theories Paragraph describes the increased acceptance of Darwin’s evolution theory Paragraph introduces the proposed “creation science” theory Paragraph concludes with where and how Creationism should be discussed 13 B The author here suggests that creationism is a movement localized to the United States among other industrialized nations by contrasting the importance of evolution in Britain’s classrooms with the banning of evolution from American classrooms Although choice (A) is an appealing possibility, the contrast between the two systems does not show necessarily that the Bible was unimportant in British education, simply that it figured largely into the design of American curricula There is no implication here that Darwin’s ideas needed a great deal of support to make their way into the British educational system (C) yet Huxley’s presence could not have hurt (D) is incorrect because natural theology was not based on a literal interpretation of the Bible, but rather was an attempt to reconcile nature’s beauty with God’s assumed benevolence 14 D Carl Sagan suggests in his quote that part of being human is that we create for ourselves a world filled with (haunted by) demons Because this quote can be found in the passage directly after a reference to Sagan as an advocate “of rationality and reason,” it would be safe to assume that Sagan does not himself believe in demons nor would he feel that human claims of demons should be supported, choice (A) In addition, (B) is too much of a sweeping generalization, somehow implying that we are born superstitious, and is incorrect Although Sagan would certainly agree with (C), his reference to a demon-haunted world does not imply anything about science teaching (D) makes the most sense given the quote, that part of the human condition is to surround ourselves with “demons” that we create in order to fill in gaps in our understanding of the world around us 15 A As stated in the question stem, Wallace’s ideas on evolution were nearly identical to Darwin’s Yet, he could not bring himself to include the complexities of the human brain along with other traits evolved by natural selection Thus his views are closest to Huxley’s, an ardent supporters of Darwin’s, with a little natural theology (an attempt to recognize God’s creation in nature) mixed in Wallace’s views were certainly not all creationist, which eliminates choices (B), (C), and (D) 16 B The author is clear that creationism does not belong in science classrooms and that it works counter to rationalism He builds up the discussion of evolution to show that evolutionary ideas are perhaps as old as creationist ones, yet maintains that the continued strength of creationist views today threatens “rationality and reason,” choice (B) The passage neither contrasts disparate creationist views, (A) and (C), nor attempts to explain the merits of a scientific approach over a creationist one, (D) 17 D The author here has nothing whatsoever to say of the Bible’s legitimacy in guiding moral principles and consoling people; yet, it is clear that the author does not support the use of the Bible in any endeavor having to with science education Thus, he would most likely agree with choice (D) here Be careful of (C), a tempting answer, since the author seems to imply that there is no room for any irrationality or superstition However, a close read of the passage shows that he reserves this statement for a specific instance: the teaching of creationism in science classrooms (A) is incorrect because the author states that creationism should be discussed, simply to show what it is and what it is not There is no evidence in the passage for (B) 18 C By simply legalizing the teaching of evolution as blocking attempts to ban evolution from science classrooms, the Supreme Court took a large step toward ensuring that proper science was being taught in science classrooms Yet, the case never touched upon issues such as creation science, which – with its “science” sounding name – was able to start infiltrating classrooms around the country Thus, choice (C) is correct Passage IV (Questions 19-25) Topic and Scope: Diversity in coral reef ecosystems and the diverse behavior exhibited by reef fishes Paragraph demonstrates the richness of coral ecosystems Paragraph concerns fish mimicry, camouflage, and symbiotic relationships between fish and other organisms Paragraph concentrates on different fish reproductive behaviors 19 C This global question asks for a general statement that the author would agree with Keep the passage’s scope and topic in mind when choosing the correct answer Choice (A) is outside the scope of the passage Choosing this answer would mean that you are privy to an awareness of the author’s intentions that is not contained in the passage Stick to what the passage states (B) is too extreme (C) is the correct answer The passage concerns the richness and diversity of coral reefs, and the author would agree with this statement (D) is an opposite answer The passage mentions the importance of scientific analysis of reef ecosystems Be careful with this answer, though It is appealing until it says “environments other than coral reefs.” If you are reading fast you might miss this important distinction 20 A First find the section of the passage discussing hermaphroditic reef fishes and study its context At the end of the third paragraph, the author describes hermaphroditic fish behavior and then concludes by mentioning that evolutionary biologists find coral environments to be rich in material for further study The author echoes this statement in the first sentence of the third paragraph by referring to how reef fishes intrigue scientists Look over the answer set keeping these sentences in mind Choice (A) builds on information in the passage Don’t get confused by “perciform.” Perciform families are mentioned in line 12 Biologists studying reproductive behaviors would be interested in the evolutionary development of these behaviors, which can be inferred from the final sentence of the passage (B) is way outside the scope of the passage (C) is FUD Spawning behavior of coral animals is mentioned in the opening sentence but would be outside the interest of fish biologists (D) is also FUD While temperature requirements for coral growth would interest some scientists, remember that the question asks about scientists studying fish reproduction 21 D Reread the section around line 17 to prepare to answer this logic question The question stem asks you why the author chose to provide an example of the number of worm species found on a head of coral You know that the passage’s purpose is discuss diverse fish behaviors and that the first paragraph sets up the inherent diversity in reef communities Choice (D) addresses the passage’s purpose and allows the author to demonstrate in an eye-opening way the diversity of a small section of reef There is no evidence for (A) since the author does not present the coral head as being an anomaly (B) is FUD The example demonstrates the diversity of worms, but the passage does not rank diversity or compare the coral head to fish species (C) is outside the scope of the passage 22 C To tackle this question, evaluate what the author says about the effect of water clarity and temperature of coral growth In the first paragraph the author mentions how these factors are necessary for coral growth but doesn’t give any specific requirements Choice (C) paraphrases what the passage states about these requirements and is the correct answer (A) contradicts the author’s point that while there are strict requirement for reef growth, ecological diversity is not limited by these requirements While it may look like a tempting answer, (B) is FUD Once you refer to the question stem, which asks why these criteria would interest scientists studying reefs, you can recognize that (B) doesn’t address the question (D) is outside the scope of the passage 23 B This question asks you to evaluate a detail within the passage and choose a statement that summarizes this information First, reread the section of the passage concerning the symbiotic relationship between anemonefish and sea anemones Choice (B) restates the author’s idea that these relationships are varied (A) is an opposite answer since the passage provides two examples of coral animals and fish operating together: the cleaner wrasse and the anemonefish (C) is too extreme The section mentions that the benefits to the anemone are not clear, which contradicts this choice (D) is outside the scope of the passage and fails to address the question stem 24 B To answer this question, you must first address what the author is arguing or attempting to convey The author demonstrates the diversity of coral reefs by discussing fish behaviors that can be found on a reef Look for the answer that weakens the concept of diverse behavior on a reef That would be choice (B) Don’t let the fact that the answer mentions a specific coral reef throw you off (A) is stated in the passage itself and FUD The author acknowledges that other organisms have more diverse representation on a reef, but this fact doesn’t relate to the author’s main point (C) is another faulty use of detail The passage mentions teleost species, but discovery of a new species would not weaken the author’s main point about diverse fish behaviors (D) is outside the scope of the passage 25 C This inference question refers to a statement in the first paragraph, line 15 Animals from more phyla can be found on coral reefs than in rainforests The first paragraph also emphasizes the diversity of coral reefs Choice (C) combines both the idea that an increase in the number of phyla means more biodiversity Analyze the other choices individually (A) is FUD The number of turtle species on a reef demonstrates its biodiversity, but this is only a detail in the discussion (B) is outside the scope of the passage A thriving population does not mean increased biodiversity You could have an ecosystem where one organism thrives to the detriment of the ecosystem’s diversity (D) is too extreme The passage contains no evidence that anyone would argue that biodiversity is restricted by location Passage V (Questions 26-31) Topic and Scope: The disadvantages of using “tracking” in our school systems Paragraph defines tracking Paragraph addresses the argument that students learn best in a group with comparable capabilities Paragraph describes how tracking can inadvertently limit a student’s options Paragraph concludes with the obstacles to eliminating tracking 26 B The author maintains in this passage that tracking encourages dumbing down, or teaching to the lowest common denominator If students perform better overall on standardized tests, this argument is weakened – hence, choice (B) is correct here (A) and (C) are arguments made in the passage, yet neither one is weakened by the finding in the question stem (D) is an argument put forth by administrators and not by the author himself; in addition, (D) is supported by the students’ success 27 B The author seems to assert in the passage that tracking can often cause students to get lost in the system, so to speak The passage implies that tracking may be okay if students can move from one track to another and if tracking does not result in dumbing down in any classroom; thus, choice (B) is correct here While the other choices describe ideas discussed in the passage, none of them are the main idea of the passage 28 D Only statement II would weaken the author’s argument, since students excelling on tests when tracked would support that idea that tracking helps students learn and excel Both statements I and III would strengthen the author’s argument, since statement I implies that it is harder for lower-level students to make it into higher-level classes, thus stunting their potential for higher-level learning; and, statement III would support the idea of tracking as creating lower-level classes that cannot move as fast as other levels, also stunting students’ learning 29 D Students may be tracked due to grades, learning speed and other learning issues, and the kinds of courses they enroll in early on in school; yet, although classrooms may differ in energy and conversation level because of the kinds of students in them, students themselves are not tracked by their talkativeness or energy – at least, not as specified by this author 30 C The author maintains that low track dumb down material to students Thus, it is reasonable to assume that the author’s first reaction to a student claiming boredom would be that the student is in a track that is too low, choice (C) There is nowhere in the passage that the author discusses anything about student discipline (B) nor would boredom be the likely response to being in a track that is too high (A) (D) is incorrect, since it is unlikely that the author would agree that a student should automatically be placed in the very highest classes just because s/he is in a track that is currently too low for them 31 A The author here is primarily concerned with contrasting his views on tracking with the general views of school administrators, choice (A) Although “dumbing down” is defined (B) and the author implies that all students need to be pushed together to excel (D), these choices are not the overall concern in paragraph (C) is also incorrect since the author mentions divergent experiences in passing, without going into much detail about it Passage VI (Questions 32-39) Topic and Scope: Two successive focuses for the Civil Rights Movements, the former of which influenced the latter Paragraph discusses how the civil rights movement, after the abolition of slavery, focused primarily on the interpretation and implementation of constitutional rights The main battleground for this fight was the court system Paragraph traces the development of pluralist politics, which focused on a struggle for resources This movement tried to interpret social law rather than constitutional law, but retained some of the terms and methods of its predecessor 32 A The reference to this case occurs at the very end of paragraph 1, and is preceded by a reference to Rosa Parks and the bus boycott, which are examples of civil disobedience The passage states that the Supreme Court upheld Parks’ refusal to sit in the back of the bus, so the case mentioned led to a change in the municipal law in Alabama Choice (B) is Outside the Scope, especially since the first paragraph focuses on how the early part of the civil rights movement concentrated on using the court systems to challenge and re-define constitutional law (C) is also FUD because it mentions the struggle for resources, a topic introduced in the second paragraph and this question is concerned with a specific reference from the first paragraph Finally, (D) is a Distortion of the lines in the middle of paragraph 1: “Congress and the presidency were not principal participants” but the passage never states that the federal government was completely uninvolved Indeed, the reference to the Supreme Court at the end of paragraph refutes such a claim 33 B The middle of paragraph tells us that the struggle for resources was “a struggle to capture and control public office” and focused on “precinct captains and patronage.” Choice (B) paraphrases this (A) is a Distortion of the same part of the passage, for the use of grass-roots activism is implied in the new emphasis on local politics, but the need for electoral power is also implied rather than shunned, as this answer choice suggests (C) is a Distortion since it specifically mentions “national” political positions and the passage suggests that local or regional elections were more important at the time (D) is Outside the Scope, since no mention of cooperation with immigrant groups is ever discussed 34 C The middle of paragraph tells us that both Congress and the presidency “were not principal participants, because the political constituencies supporting their elections did not favor such participation.” Elected officials in both the Legislative and Executive Branches of the federal government acted according to the opinions of their voters Keep in mind, however, that this question only asks about the Executive Branch, i.e the presidency For this reason, both choices (B) and (D) are incorrect, since they single out the Legislative Branch (A) is Outside the Scope, since the influence of civil rights advocates isn’t discussed 35 A Any time you get a “structure of the passage” question, look at the job each paragraph does Here paragraph discusses the Black “civil rights through the courts” experience, while paragraph discusses and compares the urban-ethnic experience (That comparison starts in the middle of paragraph 2; notice that each sentence there contains some sort of comparison word—“Instead of,” “while,” “both roles were critical but”—take advantage of such Keywords.) This structure is summarized in correct choice (A) (B) is right about “two examples”, but this author doesn’t consider them part of “a historical movement,” singular For example, in the first sentence of paragraph 2, the author refers to them as “the civil rights movement” and “pluralist politics”—two separate phenomena Also, “praise” is wrong The movements are described objectively (C) and (D) have a similar problem: they refer to “a struggle” and “a problem” The Black civil rights movement is the focus of this passage, not the more abstract category of “minority group participation.” 36 A Paragraph deals with the time period this question discusses: from the Civil War to 1965 The author characterizes the pre-sixties movement in midparagraph; we’re told that the civil rights struggle was conducted mainly through the court system That’s choice (A) (B) distorts the point; we’re told that constitutional lawyers supported the civil rights movement by overturning restrictions on Black voting Mobilizing electoral support (C) isn’t touched on until the end of paragraph 2—remember that we’re told that the main arena for civil rights action up until 1965 was the courts, not the political system (D)’s out for the same reason; we’re told quite explicitly in mid-paragraph that Congress was not involved in the movement until 1965 37 D You might get in trouble here if you have outside knowledge Recalling whatever you know about the Montgomery bus boycott can help you understand the author’s points about the civil rights movement But be careful in answering the question! What the author says about the incident is that it was an example of the legal focus of the pre-1960s civil rights movement: That emphasis is underlined in the little thumbnail history of the boycott that follows All this is summed up in correct choice (D) (A) and (B) play on your outside knowledge of the civil rights movement Montgomery was a turning point and did help launch Martin Luther King, Jr.’s career—but the author mentions neither of these facts Moreover, (A) misstates the turning point—the turn to “resources” came later, according to paragraph 2—and it’s inferable from the thumbnail history that Montgomery was important for other reasons besides the one given in (B) Choice (C) is based on the author’s description of the bus boycott as “famous”—but incorrectly states that its fame is the reason for mentioning it in the passage The fact that it ended up in court is the reason for mentioning the bus boycott 38 B Choice (B) is the only one that talks about the legal system rather than the political system The group in this passage most closely associated with the legal system is the Black civil rights movement So chances are that (B) is the answer you’re looking for—it is not a way in which the “politics of plural-ethnicity” differs from another movement because it is not a characteristic of those politics This is stated in one of the author’s contrasts in paragraph 2: the Black movement used lawyers “as sophisticated interpreters of new constitutional meaning” while “ethnics” used them to interpret rules, obtain licenses, etc In checking the other choices, remember those contrast Keywords—“while,” “but,” etc.—easy to find again when a question asks about those comparisons “But while the politics of race was characterized by a struggle for rights, the politics of plural-ethnicity was a struggle to capture and control public office and the ability to dispense patronage” begins the author This confirms (A), which mentions an “ethnic” concentration on elections, and (C), which mentions “patronage.” Early in paragraph the author states that “pluralist politics was infused with a heavy dose of ethnicity” (D) 39 A This question asks about the relationship between pluralist politics and the civil rights movement The best way to answer it is to remember the big points in the passage: (1) for nearly a hundred years the civil rights movement focused on the courts and constitutional rights—paragraph 1; (2) in the meantime pluralist politics concentrated on resources—paragraph 2; (3) finally (“The point is the following ”), in the 1960s “the civil rights movement evolved from rights to resources.” Clearly, then, it took on some of the characteristics of pluralist politics (A) The main characteristic was the focus on “resources”; this must have included a quest for urban political offices, control of patronage, and the like—all concerns of ethnic pluralism, according to the author (A) is also accurate in calling those characteristics “less legalistic,” since paragraph deeply emphasizes the legal nature of the early civil rights days, and paragraph the political nature of the urban-ethnic struggle Civil rights was legalistic in the old days; then it took on characteristics of another struggle; now it’s less legalistic (B) directly contradicts this viewpoint, saying that pluralist politics have not affected the civil rights movement Between (A) and (B), only one can be correct—and (A) is the winner (C) is easy to eliminate if you remember that until the ‘60s, the urban-ethnic politics and the Black civil rights struggle were different in method and goal; these politics did not influence the civil rights movement in the 1950s As for (D), we’re told that ethnics pursued resources, not constitutional rights; even if there were incidental civil or constitutional gains made by ethnic politicians, the author doesn’t let us know about them here Passage VII (Questions 40-47) Topic and Scope: Virtue is a performative knowledge, and as such can be difficult to define in words rather than in actions Paragraph introduces the subject of virtue and states that virtue is not defined by memorizing rules but rather by human activity Paragraph continues the discussion of the performative nature of virtue, introduces the subject of norms, and explains how norms of human behavior can result in successful or unsuccessful actions Since virtue is contextualized in normative terms, this includes the cultivation of human skills and actions Paragraph extends this argument to the teaching of virtue, which is the teaching of a skill, similar to training, rather than indoctrination based on certain principles or rules Since virtue consists of performative knowledge, it cannot be easily defined in the same way that an object is In this way, virtue is similar to language, since both are taught by example and their meaning cannot be easily articulated 40 C The author makes the point that virtue and language are similar because “Both are taught by example,” meaning that learning virtue or language is based on seeing and imitating other’s actions Choice (A) is a Distortion of the first sentence of paragraph 3, which uses the term “indoctrination.” (B) is Outside the Scope, as the ideal relative age of learning either virtue or language is never discussed by the author (D) is Outside the Scope because the author never mentions acquisition of language and simply uses language as a comparison in order to further explain the nature of virtue 41 B The citation in paragraph discusses the nature of human actions and how they can be performed correctly or incorrectly, but says nothing specifically about virtue For this reason, statement II is a Distortion of the contents of the citation, so choices (C) and (D) can be eliminated Statement I is opposite from what the author declares in paragraph about how virtue is an example of performative knowledge, so (A) can be eliminated 42 D In paragraph 3, the author declares that “our knowledge of virtue is a kind of performative knowledge – both knowledge acquired through action and knowledge expressed or revealed in action, in performing a task,” implying that certain skills, like virtue, can only be revealed through action Choice (A) is Outside the Scope since the author focuses on virtue, not on moral values in general (B) is too extreme is its use of the word “only” and is also Outside the Scope, since the author discusses the study of human actions, not of human nature (C) is opposite from the author’s assertion at the end of paragraph 3, through the reference to Socrates and Plato, that articulating the meaning of virtue may be impossible, but is not an indication that a knowledge of virtue is lacking 43 A The second sentence of paragraph defines norms as “ways of doing something, getting something done; these ways of acting are taught by doing and showing how to do;” choice (A) provides a paraphrase of this definition (B) is Outside the Scope since historical precedents of human activity norms are not mentioned (C) is a Distortion of the last sentence of paragraph 2, which mentions the cultivation of human skills and practices, but in reference to virtue rather than to human actions (D) is Outside the Scope, since comprehension of right and wrong is not given as part of the foundation of human actions 44 D The end of paragraph tells us that both meanings of virtue are “taught nondidactically, performatively.” Choices (A) and (B) are Distortions of other parts of the passage that discuss human actions (C) is the opposite of the author’s first definition of virtue given in paragraph 45 C This one focuses squarely on the author’s curious usage of “norms.” As we’ve stressed already, for our author, norms are “ways of doing something, getting something done” (paragraph 2); this idea is paraphrased in choice (C) In (A), “maxims” and “define” should have made you frown; maxims are related to the dreaded “rules or guidelines” in paragraph 3, “define” recalls the equally dreaded “propositional knowledge.” In other words, you should have recognized concepts in (A) that run counter to the author’s central points No author is going to agree with a statement about norms that contradicts his/her central points, so once you see this, don’t stop to puzzle out exactly what (A) is saying; reject it out of hand Behavioral norms (B) are never mentioned “Didactic teaching” in (D), like “maxims” and “define” in (A), should be a red flag—the author will not agree Specifically, sentence of paragraph says norms “are taught by doing and showing how to do”—not by didactic methods 46 D This one takes you to the end of the passage; the stem plus choice (D) straightforwardly paraphrases the sentence about Socrates The issue in (A) is not specifically mentioned; but since virtue is taught by “doing and showing how to do,” probably someone who knew virtue but couldn’t define it could teach it At least, we can’t say for sure that he/she couldn’t teach it (B) makes a distinction the passage won’t support Whatever is true of the person who can’t define virtue—whether he/she can or can’t teach it—would presumably apply to teaching virtue in both senses, not just one (C) makes exactly the wrong distinction Someone who can’t define the subject matter can’t teach didactically, where the main teaching method is to repeat definitions and explanations 47 D Reading the context here, the key thing to realize is that the “propositional knowledge” discussed is contrasted with the author’s main theme—the correct way to teach virtue From this standpoint, we can rule out choices (A) through (C), since they all fit the author’s definition of “performative knowledge”— “knowledge acquired through action and knowledge expressed or revealed in action, through performing a task.” Conducting experiments, imitating moral actions and learning a language are all ways of learning from actions—learning by example Choice (D), on the other hand, exemplifies the type of didactic learning the author contrasts with teaching virtue We can infer then, that memorizing definitions of virtue is an example of “propositional knowledge.” Passage VIII (Questions 48-53) Topic and Scope: The modern codification of laws and Edward Livingston’s first penal code, modeled after Jeremy Bentham’s legal concepts Paragraph provides a historical context for the discussion of modern penal codes, specifically describing the influence of Jeremy Bentham Paragraph introduces the penal code created by Edward Livingston, whose work was directly influenced by Bentham’s earlier theories Paragraph goes into greater depth about certain components of Livingston’s penal code, praises this work, and outlines its essential goals 48 C The first paragraph gives a brief history of the modern codification tradition, which “has its roots in the new rationalism of the eighteenth century Enlightenment,” so that changes in thinking during this time period were direct influences on the first penal codes Choice (A) is a Distortion of the discussion of Bentham’s influence on Livingston, and is inaccurate since Bentham preceded Livingston and the answer choice is phrased as if Livingston was Bentham’s predecessor (B) is outside the scope – the second sentence of paragraph declares that Enlightenment ideas were widespread in both England and in the rest of Europe, but the author never claims that lawmakers “agreed wholeheartedly” on the need for codification of penal codes (D) is half-right and half-wrong, since paragraphs and declare that Bentham’s influence has led to development of other penal codes and makes no mention of any lack of success of Benthamite’s codification 49 B The final sentence of paragraph gives a list of concepts that the author ascribes to Bentham’s legacy, and only the legalization of capital punishment, statement III or choice (B), is not included in the list Each of the concepts in statements I, II, and IV is included in the list 50 C Paragraph describes in detail the influences that led Livingston to develop his “great penal code,” and specifically mentions the fact that Livingston was “well read in Continental as well as English intellectual and social developments.” Choice (A) is a direct contradiction of the first sentence of paragraph 2, which claims that Livingston’s code was the first in the Benthamite tradition Similarly, (D) contradicts the author’s statement in paragraph that Livingston completed his work “unassisted.” (B) is Outside the Scope, since Livingston is the only American legal figure who is mentioned specifically as being influenced by English and Continental legal systems 51 D The first sentence of paragraph states that Livingston’s penal code was “never enacted,” so that choice (D) is the opposite of a strength in his code (A), (B), and (C), on the other hand, are all mentioned as “notable characteristics” of Livingston’s code 52 B The next to last sentence of paragraph tells us that the purpose of Livingston’s Code was “to leave as little as possible to judicial creativity,” and only choice (B) provides a paraphrase of this purpose (C) is a Distortion of the previous sentence of paragraph 3, which declares that Livingston wanted to avoid all use of common-law terms and definitions since they allowed judges to “infused their own moral views into the definition of crimes.” (A) is a Distortion of parts of the final sentence of paragraph 1, which details certain aspects of Bentham’s original code, so it’s also outside the scope for this question since here we are only concerned with Livingston’s Code (D) is FUD of the final sentence of paragraph – although Livingston’s Code did assert “freedom of speech and the rights of the accused,” this detail does not answer this particular question 53 D Only choice (D) correctly describes the main function of each paragraph (A) starts off well, with the historical background, but then goes off course since the author does not present any thesis statement based on the topic of the penal code in the second paragraph, nor does the third paragraph contain refutation of a thesis (B) can be immediately discarded, since no mention is ever made of a “controversial thesis.” And (C) is incorrect because the author only discusses one successor to Bentham, rather than several successive “stages.” Passage IX (Questions 54-60) Topic and Scope: How writing has influenced human consciousness; the necessity of writing for the enhancement of human life Paragraph introduces the differences between literate and oral cultures, and gives examples of the difficulty literates have in separating written words from the objects they represent Paragraph describes how people in a completely oral culture function Paragraph shows how the objections to writing voiced by Socrates are similar to objections to computers today Paragraph counters these objections, and concludes by claiming that interiorized technology enhances human life 54 B The sentence immediately before the one that contains the reference to Hesiod tells us that “sophisticated orally patterned thought” can be “marked by set expressions skillfully used.” The author continues with the reference to Hesiod, a pre-literate Greek, who was able to deliver “quasiphilosophic material in the formulaic verse forms.” The implication, then, is that Hesiod was able to produce some sophisticated expressions prior to achieving full literacy Choices (A) and (C) are both outside the scope, for no comparison of poets is mentioned, nor is there discussion of what constitutes the foundation of an ideal society (D) is a Distortion of the reference to mnemonic patterns that comes earlier in paragraph 55 A Paragraph explains how literate people process language and thoughts based on thinking of words as the “visual transformations of language” and as the “visible marks signaling words to decoders.” Only choice (A) paraphrases this process, which includes the idea of words as visual codes (B) is a Distortion of information in paragraph 1, for although literacy is an acquired trait, as explained in the final sentence of the paragraph, its basis does not lie in the interpretation of oral communication but rather in the use of writing as a structure for communication and understanding (C) is Outside the Scope since the exact time of life when a person learns literacy is not discussed (D) is a Distortion of parts paragraph because although objects represented by words may be transformed into a visual language, this process is never described as “conscious” on the part of literates 56 A The author concludes the passage by claiming that technology can enhance human life, implying that developments in computers and other informational technology will, like writing, eventually prove to be beneficial to human consciousness Choice (B) is the opposite of this answer choice, and is the opposite of what the author professes in this passage (C) is outside the scope, since the author never directly criticizes primary oral cultures for a lack of effective communication, but rather focuses on the advantages and progress made in cultures based on written literacy (D) is a Distortion of the first sentence of the last paragraph, which declares that “beautiful and powerful creations” need writing in order to be produced 57 B The author contends that writing, which is a strictly visual manner of rendering words and objects, is “absolutely necessary for the development not only of science, but also of history, philosophy, explicative understanding of literature and any art…” in paragraph Thus, any proof that people who have never been exposed to writing can excel in all of these areas to the same extent as people who have been exposed to writing would weaken the author’s argument Only choice (B) provides us with this sort of evidence (A) is on the right track, but only mentions advances in philosophy, not in all of the other fields to which the author refers (C) and (D) are both opposites for this question, since their evidence would strengthen the author’s conclusion 58 A In paragraph 2, the author states that an oral culture’s ability to recall information is limited by how much of it can be remembered Literate cultures, on the other hand, have access to information through written texts, which minimizes reliance on memory So choice (A) is the correct answer (B) is incorrect because the passage states in paragraph that thought in oral societies is quite structured— that “mnemonic patterns” mold language into “set expressions” and “formulaic verse forms” which are “shaped for ready recurrence.” And while the passage states in paragraph that written language has enabled the development of many complex modes of thought, the author suggests in paragraph that oral cultures are characterized by complex use of language, so (C) isn’t right And (D) is wrong because the author never brands oral culture as “barbaric”—he never expresses that kind of value judgment 59 B The author refers to Plato to support the notion that writing is an alien technology, and to suggest the possible disadvantages of this technology, choice (B) (A) is off-base because the author devotes much of the 3rd paragraph to Plato’s objections to writing, so it’s unlikely that he is mentioned as a mere example of literate Greek philosophy (C) is incorrect because the author never suggests that Plato’s views on writing are misconceived; he or she simply presents Plato’s views, and goes on to discuss the benefits that “nevertheless” can be attributed to writing (D) is wrong because the comparison between writing and computers is a detail that functions as an analogy, stressing a similarity, not a difference, between the two technologies in question 60 B The author’s position on the technology of writing becomes clear in paragraph 4, where he or she asserts that literature enables humanity to “achieve its fuller potentials” and produce “beautiful and powerful creations.” Choice (B) correctly expresses this view (A) is incorrect because the author suggests in the passage’s final line that far from conflicting with the human consciousness, technology can be interiorized, to our benefit (C) is incorrect because the author never agrees with Plato’s view that writing damages human resources (D) is a big exaggeration: although the 4th paragraph says that literacy is necessary for an “explicative understanding” of art, that’s a far cry from saying that literacy is necessary for the creation of art ... major development in the unfolding of the passage Buried mid-paragraph, this sentence, in classic MCAT style, should prompt a strong suspicion that the scope of the passage is to discuss Giovannini’s... Giovannini Expect that, in the questions associated with the passage, some wrong choices will trip-up test takers who failed to make this distinction Paragraph gives the details of Giovannini’s alternative... like so much else in the content and structure of the passage, this opinion adheres to a familiar MCAT style: authorial voices that are reasoned and moderate, rather than intense and extreme D Choice
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