MCAT verbal test (8)

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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 Verbal Reasoning ANSWER KEY: C B D A C 11 12 13 14 15 D C C A C 21 22 23 24 25 D C B C A 31 32 33 34 35 C A C D C 41 42 43 44 45 B B D C D 51 52 53 54 55 D B C B A 10 D B B D A 16 17 18 19 20 C A D C B 26 27 28 29 30 A D B B C 36 37 38 39 40 B B B B A 46 47 48 49 50 D B A A C 56 57 58 59 60 C B D B C Material used in this test section has been adapted from the following sources: Herman Belz, “Twentieth-Century American Historians and The Old South: A Review Essay.” © 1985 by History Civil War Kristen Shreder-Frechette, Book Review of Paul Taylor’s Respect for Nature © 1987 by Ecology Law Quarterly Wendy S Zeligson, “Pool Coverage, Press Access, And Presidential Debates: What’s Wrong With This Picture?” © 1988 by Cardozo Law Review From Thomas P McLish, “Tribal Sovereign Immunity: Searching for Sensible Limits.” © 1988 by Columbia Law Review Daniel Goleman, “Brain May Tag All Perceptions With a Value.” © 1995 by New York Times Paul Henry Lang, Critic at the Opera © 1971 by W W Norton and Co Jerry W McCant, “The Cultural Contradiction of Fathers as Nonparent.” © 1987 by Family Law Quarterly Thomas Levenson, Ice Time © 1989 by Harper & Row Publishers, Inc Sidney Verba and Gary R Orren, “The Meaning of Equality in America.” © 1985 by Political Science Quarterly KAPLAN Verbal Reasoning VERBAL REASONING TEST TRANSCRIPT Passage I (Questions 1-7) Topic and Scope: American historiography; specifically, the differences between past and present historiography Paragraph Structure: ¶1 describes the state of contemporary American historiography, asserting that nowadays professional historians are mainly concerned with “social history, intergenerational conflict, and human responses to structures of power.” ¶2 continues in the same vein, relating that current historians are no longer committed either to America or to scholarly objectivity, which puts them at odds with earlier historians In ¶3, the author argues that contemporary historians have overlooked the contributions of earlier 20th-century historians, whose work he calls “impressive” and “very usable.” ¶4 favorably contrasts this work with that of current historians Specifically, the author applauds the writing and storytelling ability of the earlier historians, as well as their willingness to make their work accessible to intelligent laymen Finally, ¶5 hails the efforts of a handful of current historians to remember the work of earlier 20th-century historians and to challenge the present intellectual orthodoxy by taking seriously an alternative point of view The Big Picture: Many MCAT passages revolve around a fundamental contrast between competing theories, scenarios, opinions, whatever On test day expect to see “contrast” passages And be absolutely sure to pick up on the basic contrast, because the questions will certainly test to see that you’ve grasped it Questions: (C) The first sentence of ¶2 reveals that contemporary historians have “repudiated” the nationalistic ideal Hence, they’d probably denounce a nationalistic interpretation of American history on the grounds that it conflicts with their philosophical outlook (A) To the contrary The New Left approach to history, the passage suggests, is one that repudiates the older commitment to American nationalism (B) National pride, the first sentence of ¶2 makes clear, is not part of the outlook of contemporary historians (D) is a half-right, half-wrong choice Yes, contemporary historians would probably denounce a nationalistic interpretation of American history; but not because it violates the principle of scholarly detachment—a principle they don’t endorse (B) In the last sentence of ¶4, the author praises earlier historians for making their works accessible to intelligent nonprofessionals Hence, he’s likely to endorse a book “written for an intelligent middle-class audience.” (A) In ¶5, the author doesn’t display a very positive attitude toward the orthodox liberal perspective Hence, he’s probably not going to be very enthusiastic about a work written from this perspective (C) and (D) The author thinks that history books should be open to intelligent non-professionals Thus, he’s unlikely to be overjoyed about books that violate this principle (D) No In ¶3, the author makes a point of saying that most contemporary historians have overlooked the works of these earlier historians (A) ¶3 makes this point KAPLAN Verbal Reasoning (B) Contemporary historians, the last sentence of ¶1 states, are “mainly” interested in social history Economic history, in other words, is less important to them (C) In ¶5, the author asserts that only a handful of current historians are receptive to conservative interpretations of history Strategy Point: To make sure that you’ve actually found the false statement, confirm that the other three are indeed true Don’t settle on any choice until you’ve looked all of them over (A) It would undermine the passage’s claim because “the American government’s decision to enter World War II” can’t be considered social history Rather, a volume on this topic would fall under the heading of diplomatic or military history (B) Such a volume, to repeat, properly fits under the category of diplomatic or military history (C) and (D) According to the passage, contemporary historians who belong to the American Historical Association concentrate mainly on social history (C) The first couple of ¶s discuss the efforts of professional historians to explore the historical development of their discipline The phrase “intellectual stocktaking” (line 28) refers to these efforts (A) The author does take issue with the AHA’s orientation; but the phrase in question doesn’t refer to the author’s opinion (B) and (D) are beyond the scope of the text The passage never discusses the specific ways in which the New Left has influenced the writing of American history (B) or the ability of middle-class Americans to follow historical debates (D) Strategy Point: Whenever a question provides a line reference, be sure to scrutinize the lines around that reference The correct answer is almost always to be found in the close vicinity of the line reference (D) Why else would the author be “heartened” by the knowledge that the work of earlier 20th-century American historians was read by intelligent laymen? (A) The author accuses contemporary historians, not earlier ones, of casting aside the concept of scholarly objectivity (B) To the contrary The author implies that contemporary historians almost never write from anything but a liberal perspective (C) If anything, the author would argue that New Left thinking has impoverished American history’s presentation (B) The author suggests that contemporary historians, in contrast to earlier 20th-century historians, haven’t made their works accessible to intelligent non-professionals Hence, if it was to be shown that their works were read only by other professional historians, the author’s claim of isolation from society at large would be strengthened (A), (C), and (D) None of these things, if true, would demonstrate that contemporary historians, as a group, are out of touch with the larger public Strategy Point: In STRENGTHEN/WEAKEN questions, double-check the question stem to be sure about whether you’re being asked to strengthen or weaken a claim made in the passage KAPLAN Verbal Reasoning Passage II (Questions 8-15) Topic and Scope: Taylor’s environmental ethics; specifically, the problematic implications of Taylor’s ethics Paragraph Structure: ¶s 1-4 essentially describe Taylor’s response to “speciesism,” the view that humans are superior to other living things Taylor condemns this view, advocating instead a “biocentric outlook,” which basically calls on humans to exercise proper respect for nature ¶s and discuss the author’s criticisms of Taylor’s ethics Basically, she argues that not only is his “biocentric outlook” extremely difficult to apply in the real world, but it’s also too narrowly conceived (because it doesn’t address the majority of interactions between humans, on the one hand, and plants and animals, on the other) Despite these problems, the author still praises Taylor’s ethics (in ¶7), asserting that it is “the most philosophically sophisticated theory of environmental ethics that has yet appeared.” The Big Picture: When the author offers an opinion be sure to pick up on it At least one question will quiz you on the author’s point of view And don’t panic if you don’t fully grasp every concept in the passage The questions will determine what’s important and what’s not Questions: (B) According to Taylor, a residential property isn’t a natural ecosystem and termites aren’t wild animals Thus, ridding a home of them wouldn’t violate one of his four rules (A) and (D) Both a rain forest (A) and a mountain wilderness (D) would qualify as natural ecosystems under Taylor’s scheme; therefore, collecting plant specimens or picking berries would violate his rule about not harming entities in natural environments (C) Even if it’s for a good purpose, keeping wild birds in captivity violates Taylor’s rule against preventing a wild species from living in a wild state (D) In ¶6, the author criticizes Taylor’s ethics for being too narrowly drawn, for concentrating solely on natural ecosystems and wild species in a world where there are few natural ecosystems and few wild species (A) and (C) To the contrary In ¶7, the author applauds Taylor for denying that humans have responsibilities to inanimate objects (A) and for being concerned with the welfare of individual organisms (C) (B) The author never endorses the view that humans are superior to other species Strategy Point: Wrong choices often express sentiments that are precisely the opposite of the one that you’re looking for Always read question stems carefully to make sure that you don’t fall for this common trap choice 10 (A) Speciesists, according to the passage, believe that plants and animals aren’t entitled to the same treatment as humans People who go to the zoo to see animals that aren’t permitted to live in their natural environment might justly be accused of speciesist behavior (B) and (D) People can’t be either accused or absolved of speciesist behavior based on what they eat or where they live It’s their attitude toward other species that determines whether or not they’re speciesists (C) Concern for the welfare of other species seems inconsistent with speciesist behavior KAPLAN Verbal Reasoning 11 (D) On the one hand, Taylor is against harming wild creatures in natural environments; but, on the other hand, his philosophy doesn’t necessarily require humans to suffer at the hands of other species In short, then, it’s really unclear what Taylor’s philosophy would prescribe in an instance like the one outlined in the question stem Thus, (A), (B), and (C) are incorrect Strategy Point: Keep in the mind that you’ve got to choose the best answer The best answer may not always be an ideal answer 12 (C) The first sentence of ¶3 indicates that “species impartiality” flows from the “biocentric outlook.” One of the basic principles behind the biocentric outlook is the idea that all wild species have the same rights as humans (A) Taylor’s philosophy doesn’t preclude human exploitation of non-wild plants and animals (B) Taylor specifically rejects the notion that inanimate objects are equivalent to living organisms (D) Taylor, according to the passage, is unclear about whether humans can be part of a natural ecosystem Besides, this issue has no connection to the phrase in question 13 (C) Taylor’s philosophy opposes human exploitation of wild species and natural environments Thus, he’d surely support measures to outlaw strip mining in wilderness areas, an activity that certainly harms the natural environment (A), (B), and (D) None of these proposed actions affects wild species, so it’s unlikely that Taylor would actively encourage them 14 (A) Taylor’s philosophy deals only with wild species and natural environments Thus, a family that kept its cat indoors would not be violating any of his rules because the cat isn’t a wild species (B) Taylor’s rules can still be violated, even if humans act in good faith (C) and (D) Taylor wouldn’t view the cat as a member of a wild species (C), nor would he claim that it, as a member of a non-wild species, has an inherent right to exist as a wild animal (D) 15 (C) In ¶7, the author supports Taylor in his claim that organicism (or the Gaia view) ignores the importance of individual organisms (A) paraphrases the last two sentences of ¶5 (B) In ¶6, the author points out that Taylor’s stringent definitions of “wild” and “natural” exclude most of the environment (D) At the end of ¶6, the author demonstrates that Taylor’s definition of the “natural world” excludes humans Passage III (Questions 16-21) Topic and Scope: Television news coverage of presidential debates; specifically, problems with the present system of television news coverage KAPLAN Verbal Reasoning Paragraph Structure: ¶s 1-3 describe the political context in which the “pool” coverage system operates, as well as the pool system itself Essentially, under the pool system, television news coverage of presidential debates is restricted to only one network, which then shares its coverage with other television news organizations ¶s and explain the author’s objection to the pool system Basically, she feels that it violates the public’s First Amendment right to receive information To right this wrong, she proposes (in ¶6) that a more pluralistic coverage system—one that would allow multiple television news organizations to cover presidential debates—be set up She suggests that such a system would better inform the public about the positions taken by presidential candidates because it would expose the public to different perspectives The Big Picture: This passage contains a straightforward structure The first part of the text describes a certain phenomenon; the second part provides the author’s view of that phenomenon, and the third part supplies recommendations for change Don’t be surprised if you run into a passage like this one on test day Questions: 16 (C) The point that the current pool system limits the public’s access to information about presidential debates is discussed in almost every ¶ (A) is beyond the scope of the passage, which restricts itself to the issue of television news coverage of presidential debates It doesn’t tackle the much larger issue of general cooperation among news organizations (B) is also beyond the scope of the passage Again, the passage is about television news coverage of presidential debates; it’s not about how presidential candidates fare in those debates (D), too, is beyond the scope of the passage The only point made about foreign news organizations is that they should be allowed to cover American presidential debates Strategy Point: When a question asks you to pick the statement that’s explained or supported in the passage, watch out for choices that focus on issues that the passage doesn’t ever really delve into Choices that are wrong because they’re “beyond the scope of the passage” are common on the MCAT 17 (A) In ¶6, the author advocates a news coverage system that would specifically allow more television news organizations to cover presidential debates (B) To the contrary The author wants more, not fewer, news organizations to cover presidential debates (C) and (D) The author doesn’t call for a ban on presidential debates until the current system of press coverage is reformed 18 (D) Presidential candidates would obviously be concerned with how the media portrays their debate performance But nothing in the passage says or suggests which coverage system—the current one or the author’s proposed alternative— would be kinder to presidential candidates in this regard Therefore, based on the passage’s information, one would not necessarily expect candidates to have an opinion either in favor of or against the pool system Strategy Point: Even when the correct answer logically excludes the other three choices, you should still give some thought to these other choices It’s always a smart idea to confirm that the answer you’ve settled on is indeed correct 19 (C) KAPLAN Verbal Reasoning The phrase “maximum insight” appears in the context of a sentence in which the author argues that the current pool system limits the amount of debate information available to viewers This phrase, then, refers to “the level of political awareness viewers could have” under an alternative system (A) and (B) are both beyond the scope of the passage, which doesn’t discuss either the thoroughness with which presidential candidates present their views (A) or the relative quality of debate coverage supplied by domestic and foreign networks (B) (D) ¶1 indicates that viewers are influenced by presidential debates; but the phrase in question has no connection to this particular detail 20 (B) In ¶6, the author argues that greater media access to presidential debates would result in a better informed public Hence, a Supreme Court decision that permitted this greater access would, according to the passage, result in a better informed public (A) To the contrary Independent broadcasters, along with other news organizations, would have more opportunities to cover presidential debates under a system that allows greater media access (C) and (D) are both beyond the scope of the passage, which doesn’t say anything about either the relative importance of newspapers and television to the public (C) or the preferences of presidential candidates (D) 21 (D) The author feels that the present pool system provides inadequate news coverage of presidential debates That’s why she proposes an alternative news coverage system (A) The passage doesn’t say whether domestic or foreign news services are favored under the current pool system Therefore, we can’t conclude that this statement is false (B) Safety concerns are mentioned in ¶2 (C) Candidate performance in debates as an influence on voter behavior is mentioned in ¶1 Passage IV (Questions 22-28) Topic and Scope: Native American legal immunity; specifically, the rationale behind and the extent of Native American legal immunity Paragraph Structure: ¶1 introduces the doctrine of tribal immunity, which protects Native American tribes from lawsuits, except under certain narrowly-defined circumstances ¶s and discuss the rationale behind this doctrine: the Supreme Court has argued that Native American tribes should have broad immunity from lawsuits because they are sovereign powers and because their resources need to be protected from outsiders The essential point of ¶s and is that Native American tribes have broader immunity than other sovereigns, including states, the federal government, and foreign governments Indeed, they even have immunity when they act in a private or commercial (as opposed to a governmental) capacity, a right that other sovereigns are apparently denied In ¶6, the author questions whether Native American tribes should have such broad immunity in this day and age, strongly implying that they should not The Big Picture: When a passage contains a mass of details (as this one does), don’t allow yourself to become bogged down in them Focus on the basic point and purpose of ¶s, not on details Remember, you’ll only get questioned about a few of the details; so, there’s no sense in trying to assimilate them all as you read through the passage When a question asks about a particular detail, use your general knowledge of ¶ topic, scope, and purpose to consult the relevant part(s) of the text KAPLAN Verbal Reasoning Questions: 22 (C) The author claims that Native American tribes have very broad immunity from lawsuits Hence, a decision to permit a corporation to sue a tribe would tend to contradict this claim (A) and (B) are beyond the scope of the passage, which isn’t about Native American efforts to sue other entities (D) A decision to prevent the federal government from suing a Native American tribe would uphold the author’s position that tribes have wide immunity from legal action against them 23 (B) The last sentence of both ¶s and indicates that Native American tribes have broader immunity than other sovereigns, including the federal government Hence, (B) is a false statement (A), (C) and (D) are all true statements It is more difficult to sue a tribe than a corporation (A); it is less difficult to sue a foreign government than a tribe (C); and it is less difficult to sue a state government that a tribe (D) Again, Native American tribes have more protection before the law than any other sovereign entity Strategy Point: When a question asks you to choose the statement that isn’t true, be sure to check that the other three statements are true 24 (C) The penultimate sentence of ¶4 suggests that Native American tribes have been able to purchase insurance (A) and (B) are the two basic reasons advanced by the judicial system to justify very broad immunity for Native American tribes (D) If the judicial system doesn’t believe that Native American sovereign powers differ from those of other sovereigns, why doesn’t it change the rules to bring tribal immunity into line with that of other sovereigns? 25 (A) In ¶6, the author reveals that he’s in sympathy with efforts to curb Native American immunity Indeed, in ¶4, he seems to take issue with the judicial system’s “uncritical” application of the current doctrine (B), (C), and (D) are all beyond the scope of the passage The author expresses no opinion on how much authority the Supreme Court ought to have over Native American tribes (B); on whether Native American resources ought to be protected more forcefully (C); or on how much authority the Congress ought to exercise over Native American tribes (D) 26 (A) In the first sentence of ¶5, the author makes a distinction between proprietary acts and governmental functions Hence, the phrase “proprietary acts” refers to “actions of a non-governmental nature.” (B) and (C) The passage does refer to Supreme Court (B) and congressional (C) actions; but these have no connection to the phrase in question (D) is beyond the scope of the passage, which discusses Native American tribes, not individuals Strategy Point: When a question provides a line reference, the correct answer to the question will almost always be found in the immediate vicinity of the line(s) in question KAPLAN Verbal Reasoning 27 (D) ¶6 focuses on judicial challenges to the legitimacy of the present doctrine of tribal immunity (A) The only point made about the Indian Commerce Clause is that it gives Congress authority over Native American tribes (B) is beyond the scope of the passage, which doesn’t explore corporate attitudes toward the doctrine of tribal immunity (C) is also beyond the scope of the passage, which doesn’t discuss the circumstances under which Native American tribes might be willing to waive their immunity 28 (B) The author claims that Native American tribes have broad immunity against lawsuits This claim would clearly be challenged by the knowledge that a state had been permitted to sue a tribe (A) and (C) are logically eliminated by choice (B) (D) The President’s attitude is of no relevance to the author’s claim Indeed, the President isn’t even mentioned in the passage Passage V (Questions 29-34) Topic and Scope: The human mind’s perception of images and words, and whether or not the mind assigns a value to these perceptions Paragraph Structure: ¶1 introduces the concept that the brain assigns a value to all perceptions, a conclusion formulated by psychologists ¶2 discusses the physiological mechanism of perception It also states that these positive or negative evaluations can be very helpful in predicting social interaction ¶3 offers an altered view that the only time humans assign values to stimuli is when the stimuli comes from a familiar source ¶4 points out that these valued perceptions are so fast that they can be integrated into the brain before reaching consciousness ¶5 concludes by proposing that information obtained from this research be used to determine social attitudes In addition, the author believes that we value these perceptions in the same way we value the senses The Big Picture: Don’t get confused by unfamiliar language, such as “preconscious processing” or “amygdala.” The meaning of the passage can become clear without understanding every word ¶s and are crucial to understanding why the author is discussing this material Questions: 29 (B) The initial perception of a stranger (or any stimulus) exemplifies preconscious processing (A) Nothing is mentioned in the passage concerning the subconscious (C) and (D) both require conscious and lengthy thinking, the opposite of preconscious processing Strategy Point: Beware of distracter words, such as subconscious, which have distinct meanings from words used in the passage, such as preconscious KAPLAN Verbal Reasoning 30 (C) This choice directly counters the author’s proposal in ¶s and that a person’s actions can be controlled by perceptions which occur outside of a person’s awareness (A) agrees with the author (B) is twisted logic, because the psychologists’ perception test was given to English-speakers, regardless of their ability in Swahili (D) agrees with the author’s argument because he feels that we perceive our surroundings subjectively, as indicated in the opening sentence 31 (C) The author proposes to use findings from perception experiments to determine socially sensitive attitudes, ¶5, and to evaluate social interactions, ¶2 (A) The author does not propose that this knowledge be used for language skills (B) The author does not propose to use data from these experiments to map out thought patterns Rather, he focuses on attitudes and interactions (D) Ability in education is never mentioned Strategy point: Since this question asks you to think like the author, you may need to look back at the passage and identify key terms, such as social interaction (lines 27–28), socially sensitive attitudes (lines 53–54), and ethnic biases (line 54) 32 (A) This choice paraphrases the idea in ¶3, that perceptions are given a value when stimuli come from areas of interest (B) This belief belongs to both groups of psychologists, as mentioned in the first sentence of ¶4 (C) There is no mention that any group of psychologists feels that preconscious processing would not affect behavior patterns (D) is a nonsense choice because it would be impossible for a human to evaluate a stimuli, such as a word or sound, without using their sight or hearing 33 (C) This directly contradicts the concept in ¶1 that “juvalamu” is intensely pleasing and “chakaka” is loathed by Englishspeakers (A) paraphrases the first sentence of ¶2 (B) restates the concept presented in ¶3 (D) paraphrases the ideas presented in ¶5 34 (D) ¶s and mention that the author would like to continue with research and use the findings to study human relationships KAPLAN 10 Verbal Reasoning (A) It is never implied in the passage that the author is interested in further physiological study (B) The author definitely believes that information in the passage is conclusive and should be studied further, as mentioned in ¶5 (C) The author would certainly agree that automatic judgments result in behavior patterns, as mentioned in the last sentence of ¶2 Passage VI (Questions 35-40) Topic and Scope: An opera is supposed to be staged and acted; just performing operatic music in concert is inappropriate Paragraph Structure: ¶1: Staging opera is too expensive to pull off for most communities (at least as well as they’d like), so operatic music is now being performed in concert The author objects on the grounds that opera is not opera without staging and acting ¶2: The author likes “semi-staged” performances even less than concert performances ¶3, ¶4, ¶5: The author continues his argument that staging and acting are essential to opera ¶6: Although he concedes that concert performances might be all right for inferior works, the author maintains his opposition to concert performances of the great operas 35 (C) Many “well-to-do” communities have the money to fund a modest opera theater, but they won’t it because it wouldn’t compare favorably with the Met (C)’s statement reflects this attitude 36 (B) The whole point of ¶2 is that partly staged performances are even worse than concert performances Therefore, the author would not agree with this statement (A) This is the author’s main argument (C) Throughout the passage, the author points out that much more goes into a true opera than goes into a concert performance, so the author would agree with this (D) This is a paraphrase of the author’s argument at the end of ¶2, that “partly staged” performances are bad because you can’t understand the characters’ emotions and motivations 37 (B) The author says that the term “opera” has a more inclusive meaning in Italian than in English He is assuming, then, that it is possible for the same word to have two different meanings in two different languages (A) Only the word “opera” has a broader meaning in Italian, as far as we know from the passage (C) This is wrong “Opera” in Italian refers to the whole theatrical work (D) The word “opera” may have a different meaning in the two countries, but opera itself is the same in Italy and America, as far as we know 38 (B) Go back to ¶5 The author asserts that without the stage: (1) a lack of musical ideas in the score becomes evident and (2) the whole thing looks ridiculous anyway because the orchestra is on stage with the singers Even though a lack of musical ideas isn’t a problem here, the orchestra is KAPLAN 11 Verbal Reasoning (A) and (C) ignore the problem of the orchestra (D) is wrong because the author never says that the music is secondary to the staging and acting in an opera 39 (B) Bellini comes up in the last ¶, when the author says that his works don’t qualify for concert performance because they are neither in danger of obscurity nor deficient in true theatrical qualities The information in the question stem supports the author’s claim (A), (C) and (D) The author never makes any of these claims 40 (A) In the last ¶, the author discusses the idea that concert performance serves a purpose even though it may be a poor substitute for opera Some think that the “end” of concert performance—exposing the public to operatic music in the absence of the opportunity to see real opera (see ¶1)—justifies the “means,” which is the concert performance itself, however faulty Passage VII (Questions 41-46) Topic and Scope: Fatherhood; specifically, the role of the father in raising children Paragraph Structure: ¶1 asserts that fathers haven’t been viewed as parents by society ¶2 explores this theme in more detail by pointing out that this view has been promoted by prominent psychologists ¶3, however, reveals that more recent research shows that parenting is a learned skill; hence, fathers have just as much potential to learn to be parents as mothers ¶4 indicates that young men are interested in being parents, a trend that the author himself supports The Big Picture: In passages that offer multiple opinions, be sure you’re clear on the differences among them The questions will test to see that you are It’s particularly important to separate the author’s opinion from those of others mentioned in the passage Questions: 41 (B) In ¶4, the author supports fathers who go beyond the traditional male role of provider and protector to “nurture” their children Reading bedtime stories to children is consistent with this expanded role (A) and (D) Purchasing toys (A) and working in order to pay family expenses (D) are inconsistent with the idea of “nurturing.” (C) Since the author wants fathers to spend more time with their children, he wouldn’t be too fond of fathers who left their children with babysitters, male or female 42 (B) In ¶2, we’re told that Freud believed that mothers, but not fathers, play a prominent role in infant development Hence, a finding that fathers in fact strongly influence the personalities of their offspring would contradict this belief (A) A finding that mothers strongly influence the personalities of their children is consistent with Freud’s opinion (C) and (D) are beyond the scope of the passage, which doesn’t discuss Freud’s opinions about the influence of siblings or grandparents KAPLAN 12 Verbal Reasoning 43 (D) ¶4 indicates that young men today are moving beyond the traditional role of fathers as providers and protectors to nurture their children (A) ¶3 contends that society isn’t making any effort to teach male children how to become nurturing parents (B) distorts information in ¶2, which says that divorced fathers are advised to hire surrogate mothers if they gain custody of their children We’re not told anything about whether they’ve accepted or rejected this advice (C) also distorts information in the passage True, today’s fathers want to become more involved in raising their children; but that’s very different from saying that mothers have turned over increased responsibilities to them The passage doesn’t make this point 44 (C) The phrase “maternal instinct” appears in ¶3 This ¶ discusses the controversy over whether the mother’s role is inherited or learned The phrase in question refers to thinking that holds that this role is based on inherited behavior (A) is beyond the scope of the passage, which never discusses the concept of “role reversal.” (B) and (D) highlight details in ¶3, but incorrectly link them to the phrase in question 45 (D) The first sentence of the passage suggests that Margaret Mead thought that males don’t have a major role in parenting (A) In ¶4, the author makes the point that both mothers and fathers should participate in raising children (B) Gadpaille’s belief that “maternalism is instinctual” can be found in ¶2 (C) Spock’s belief that males should play only a limited role in raising children also appears in ¶2 46 (D) To the contrary, the author points out in ¶3 that today’s men are rejecting traditional models of fatherhood and searching for ways to be parents (A) captures the essence of the passage (B) is directly stated in ¶4 (C) is directly stated in ¶3 Passage VIII (Questions 47-53) Topic and Scope: Since solid information about the ancient ice ages is hard to come by, all we have in the way of scientific explanation is a number of interesting but largely unprovable theories Paragraph Structure: Agassiz, who was the first to speculate about the most recent ice age, had plenty of evidence to go on, we find out in ¶1 It has been much more difficult, however, to pin down the timing and extent of earlier glaciations, even with the existence of telltale rock deposits (¶2) KAPLAN 13 Verbal Reasoning The first of several theories about the cause of the ancient ice ages—volcanic dust blocking the sun—appears at the end of ¶2 This one has some supporting evidence, but other theories that the author mentions later—a change in the earth’s orbit (¶3), continental drift toward the poles (¶4)—are pure speculation Questions: 47 (B) In ¶3, the author says that a richness of data ties you down, eliminating at least some theoretically plausible explanations, whereas theories abound when there is no data Therefore, the greater the amount of data you have, the fewer the number of theories you can have 48 (A) This can be inferred from the first couple of sentences of ¶2 (B) This cannot be true; what about deposits of ground-up rocks left after modern mining operations? (C) Practical consequences of ice age research, if there are any, are not mentioned in the passage (D) Don’t be fooled by all the different theories mentioned in the passage; there is no reason to think that each ice age had a different cause 49 (A) Geologists could be unsure about which area was coolest only if they had found glacial deposits both near the poles and near the equator (They would also be unsure if they didn’t find any deposits at either place, but we know they did) (B), (C) and (D) can all be eliminated because they have no basis in the passage 50 (C) At the end of ¶3, the author explains that the “change in orbit” theory is unprovable because there is no possible supporting physical evidence other than that which just shows that glaciers existed The “volcanic eruption” theory has some supporting evidence, however (A) This is not necessarily true; it depends on the way the orbit changed (B) There is no reason to think that this criticism is accurate (D) Yeah, right! 51 (D) The fossilized remains would be evidence of a change in orbit since the change in orbit would result in a period of reduced sunlight Thus glacier marks would not, as the author claims, be the only evidence (A) and (B) The info in the stem neither strengthens nor weakens the “volcanic eruption” theory (C) The author never makes this claim 52 (B) Don’t be fooled by this creative use of the word “signature”; you could replace it with the word “evidence” and still retain the sentence’s meaning KAPLAN 14 Verbal Reasoning 53 (C) Frakes has a theory to explain how glaciers grew and grew, but no explanation of how an ice age would end as more and more ice reflected more and more sunlight back into space (A) and (B) are irrelevant to an overall evaluation of the theory (D) is wrong because Frakes never claims that the continents will again drift toward the polar regions Passage IX (Questions 54-60) Topic and Scope: American egalitarianism; specifically, egalitarian v non-egalitarian movements in American history Paragraph Structure: ¶1 reveals that egalitarianism has been a regular theme in American history ¶2 demonstrates, however, that egalitarian values have frequently clashed with libertarian values ¶s and make the point that both egalitarian and libertarian movements have been motivated by a combination of naked self-interest and genuine conviction ¶5 illustrates that egalitarian and libertarian movements have struggled against each other over the course of American history Finally, ¶6 indicates that the American public’s commitment to a whole range of values ensures that conflict between egalitarian and non-egalitarian values is here to stay The Big Picture: This is a long passage, but it’s also straightforward All in all, not a bad passage to tackle earlier rather than later in the section Questions: 54 (B) ¶s and reveal that libertarians favor equal opportunity, not government-enforced redistributions of wealth Hence, they would most likely denounce any plan that is based on a redistribution of wealth (A) To the contrary Libertarians oppose “big government,” including programs to assist the disadvantaged (C) Libertarians are also concerned with economic issues (D) is beyond the scope of the passage There’s no information describing how libertarians would deal with the issue of looking after the disadvantaged 55 (A) A study that shows that Americans have always favored one value, equality, above all others would contradict the author’s opinion as stated in the first sentence of ¶6 (B) In the middle of ¶6, the author suggests that Americans have generally favored the concept of unequal wealth (C) ¶6 also suggests that Americans have made a “commitment to the disadvantaged.” Hence, an article suggesting that Americans would support taxation of the rich to help the poor would support the author’s position (D) is beyond the scope of the passage, which doesn’t discuss the issue of tolerance of minority political views 56 (C) The sentences immediately after the phrase in question note that, in egalitarian times, moneyed interests are thought of as the enemy, while, in anti-egalitarian times, big labor or government is thought of in this way In other words, the enemy consists of “those who oppose the prevailing view of American equality.” KAPLAN 15 Verbal Reasoning (A) and (B) Those who are associated with the political left (A) and those who promote the redistribution of America’s wealth (B) would be classified as the enemy in anti-egalitarian times, but not during egalitarian periods (D) distorts a detail in the wrong ¶—¶1 57 (B) The first sentence of ¶5 states explicitly that eras of egalitarian reform have been followed by eras of anti-egalitarian fervor (A) The passage never makes any connection between the Civil War and progressive ideals (C) To the contrary ¶4 indicates that anti-egalitarian types may be more committed to their ideals than egalitarian types (D) The author doesn’t express an opinion on the power of special interests He simply states the views of egalitarians and non-egalitarians on this issue Strategy Point: Always read the question stem very carefully Note that you’re asked to find the true choice in this instance, even though the word “false” appears in the stem 58 (D) In ¶3, the author mentions that egalitarian types are motivated in part by self-interest and in part by genuine belief Hence, the professor’s claim would partly contradict the author’s assertion about their motives (A) The professor’s claim is clearly relevant to the author’s assertion (B) To the contrary The professor’s claim partly contradicts the author’s assertion (C) is too strong a statement Both the professor and the author, after all, agree that self-interest is at work 59 (B) In ¶2, the passage mentions the egalitarian and libertarian claim about being confronted by special interests Subsequent paragraphs provide some evidence for this claim (A), (C), and (D) These choices are logically eliminated by choice (B) 60 (C) To the contrary, the first sentence of the last ¶ states the opposite (A) paraphrases the penultimate sentence in the final ¶ (B) is shown in ¶1 (D) ¶4 points out that the passion on the inegalitarian side may be quite strong, even stronger than the passion of those who seek equality KAPLAN 16 ... Meaning of Equality in America.” © 1985 by Political Science Quarterly KAPLAN Verbal Reasoning VERBAL REASONING TEST TRANSCRIPT Passage I (Questions 1-7) Topic and Scope: American historiography;... alternative point of view The Big Picture: Many MCAT passages revolve around a fundamental contrast between competing theories, scenarios, opinions, whatever On test day expect to see “contrast” passages.. .Verbal Reasoning ANSWER KEY: C B D A C 11 12 13 14 15 D C C A C 21 22 23 24 25 D C B C A 31 32 33
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