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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 VERBAL REASONING TEST Time – 85 Minutes 60 Questions DIRECTIONS: There are nine passages in this Verbal Reasoning test Each passage is followed by several questions After reading a passage, select the one best answer to each question If you are not certain of an answer, eliminate the alternatives that you know to be incorrect and then select an answer from the remaining alternatives 10 15 20 25 30 35 Passage I (Questions 1-7) The temperate conifer forests flanking the Cascade Mountains of the Pacific Northwest are a product of the regional climate Frequent rain and fog encourage the growth of lush vegetation in a part of the world where cool Pacific storms march relentlessly shoreward from the north and west A million years from now, a geoscientist examining the fossils and sediments of the rocks that are currently being formed in this region would be able to say confidently that the climate had been moist and cool Unless, that is, that scientist happened to be looking at rocks formed near Mount St Helens or another of the active volcanoes in the range Looking at these rocks, the scientist might think that the Pacific Northwest was a savannah or even a desert According to Judith Harris of the University of Colorado Museum and John Van Couvering of the American Museum of Natural History, volcanically influenced ecosystems may look, in retrospect, as if they developed in a much drier regional climate than actually existed They named the phenomenon “mock aridity.” Their idea may explain why computer models tend to predict wetter climates than those suggested by the fossils And it may mean that some paleoecologists will have to reevaluate their evidence The fact is, explains Harris, “Volcanic activity makes for a barren environment.” The sedimentary processes in that barren environment are very similar to or indistinguishable from processes in a desert After an isolated volcanic episode, a pioneering biological community will develop, followed by successional communities and, eventually, a climax community When an ecosystem has reached climatic climax, it is a steady-state community that reflects the regional climate But if volcanism is persistent, the biological community will never have the chance to reach climatic climax It will bounce around between several pioneer and successional stages 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 The possible implications are that some wellestablished paleoclimate stories might have to be rewritten The two most significant examples are equatorial East Africa from the Miocene epoch (about 23 million years ago) to the present and the North American Great Plains from the Oligocene epoch (about 38 million years ago) to the present Both have been interpreted as having woodland or savannah mosaic ecologies throughout each period A savannah mosaic may consist of woodlands, treed grasslands and grasslands Both areas, however, experienced persistent volcanism throughout each period Had there been no volcanic activity, both regions might have appeared wetter There might have been deciduous forests in North America and deciduous rain forests in East Africa The ecosystems in these two examples developed during the transition from globally warm and wet climates of the Cretaceous period, which ended about 65 million years ago, to the climatically fluctuating ice ages of the past few million years A big question among paleoecologists, particularly those who study human evolution, has been, when did the climate become cool and dry enough for forests to give way to savannah environments? Harris’s work suggests that this may have happened later than scientists have thought and that at least some of the Miocene savannah environments in the fossil record may be an effect of volcanism A test of this idea, asserts paleoanthropologist Richard Potts, is to look at the global climate record in places where volcanism is not a factor In the oceans, global temperature fluctuations are recorded in the oxygen-isotope ratios of marine sediments These records are relatively immune to the local effects of terrestrial volcanism “There you see the climatic change occurring later than what people have been seeing on land,” says Potts This is consistent with Harris’s suggestions about the regional climates of the North American Great Plains and equatorial East Africa However, Potts says, the change is not steady and, in fact, fluctuations in the global climate have increased over the past 50 million years GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE KAPLAN MCAT In using ocean records to test the idea that the Miocene savannah environments in the fossil record are an effect of volcanism, which of the following assumptions does Potts make? A supported by the fact that no evidence of biological activity has been found in volcanic regions B supported by an analogy of volcanic regions to another type of barren environment C perhaps true, but not explicitly supported in the passage D challenged by the author’s claim that biological communities develop in volcanic regions I Marine sediments form as the result of underwater volcanic activity II There is no reason to think the marine sediment record may have been disturbed III The ocean changes temperature more slowly than the atmosphere A B C D II only III only II and III I, II and III With which of the following statements would Harris and Van Couvering most likely agree? If a geoscientist were to discover fossils that indicated the Pacific Northwest was a savannah environment a million years ago, what effect would this development have on the argument of Harris and Van Couvering? A It would strongly support the argument B It would support the argument somewhat, but not conclusively C It would neither support nor weaken the argument D It would substantially weaken the argument Which of the following would most challenge the idea that equatorial East Africa may have had a wetter climate than was previously suspected? A Previous climate estimates were based on fossils from climax communities B The fossil record contains no evidence of deciduous rain forests C The level of volcanic activity in East Africa has never declined since the Miocene D Computer models suggest that the climate in East Africa was warm Suppose that the marine sediment record was found to show that global temperatures did not drop until well after the Miocene epoch How would this finding be relevant to the passage? A It would support the claim that volcanism had an extensive impact on global climate B It would weaken the claim that the transition to a cooler climate occurred later than scientists thought C It would weaken the claim that marine sediment records are immune to the effects of volcanism D It would support the claim that some Miocene savannah environments are an effect of volcanism A Ecosystems near volcanoes were more successful than fossils indicate B Computer models are more accurate gauges of ancient climate than fossils C Persistent volcanism destroys the fossils and sedimentary rocks in the surrounding region D There have been in fact no true deserts in the past few million years In the passage, Harris’s claim that volcanic activity makes for a barren environment is: Suppose that the fossil record in a Pacific Rim country suggests that the region had a savannah ecology 38 million years ago Harris and Van Couvering would most likely respond to this information by asserting that: A the record inaccurately reflects the regional climate due to persistent volcanism B the record may not be accurate if there was volcanic activity in the region C the fossil record should no longer be used a source of information regarding global climate D this supports their theory that volcanism can cause mock aridity GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE as developed by Verbal Reasoning 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Passage II (Questions 8-13) In a society little dedicated to sustaining relationships, encouraging cooperation and community, recognizing the value of collaboration, or rewarding altruism rather than greed, women have historically defined, defended, and sustained a set of insights, values, and activities which, if never dominant, at least provided a counterweight and an alternative ideal to the anomie, disconnectedness, fragmentation, and commercialization of our culture Many of us saw women’s experiences and concerns as the source of a sorely needed transformative vision Our vision of a more humane society was based on a profound commitment to caring—to the emotional and physical activities, attitudes, and ethical comportment that help people grow and develop, that nurture and empower them, affirming their strengths and helping them cope with their weaknesses, vulnerabilities and life crises American society has made it enormously difficult for women—or men—to hold to such an alternative ideal When America’s masculine-dominated, marketplace culture has not openly thwarted women’s hopes and dreams, it has often tried to co-opt women’s liberation Thus, while many women have remained faithful to this transformative vision and still struggle valiantly to make it a reality, it has been difficult for millions of others to resist a barrage of messages from corporate America and the media that define mastery and liberation in competitive, marketplace terms Corporate America and the media have declared that feminism triumphs when women gain the opportunity to compete in what Abraham Lincoln once called the great “race of life.” Following a classic pattern in which the victims of aggression identify with their aggressors, many prominent advocates of women’s liberation within the highly competitive capitalist marketplace have themselves embraced this masculinized corruption of feminist ideals Placing competition above caring, work above love, power above empowerment, and personal wealth above human worth, corporate America has created a latetwentitieth-century hybrid—a refashioned feminism that takes traditional American ideas about success and repackages them for the new female contestants in the masculine marketplace This hybrid is equal-opportunity feminism—an ideology that abandons transformation to adaptation, promoting male-female equality without questioning the values that define the very identity it seeks From the equal-opportunity feminism first envisaged in The Feminine Mystique to that promoted today by Working Woman and Savvy magazines, and the dozens of primers that promote the dress-for-success philosophy that often pretends to speak for all of feminism, progress and liberation have been defined in male, market terms While some equal-opportunity feminists pay lip service to the work of their more care-oriented sisters, claiming that 55 they would support a broad agenda that addresses our caring needs, the overarching mission of many is to help women adapt to the realities of the masculine marketplace In this environment, the goal of liberation is to be treated as a man’s equal in a man’s world 60 65 70 75 We had hoped that by going into the marketplace and taking our posts there as individuals, we would somehow subvert it Many believed that our femininity would protect us, that the force of our feminism would make us invulnerable to the seductive logic of either patriarchy or capitalism What we had not counted on was the strength of the marketplace, its ability to seduce and beguile the best and the brightest, and its capacity to entrap us in its rules and entangle us in its imperatives A few women have won great wealth and privilege But, not unlike men in similar positions, many of them are unwilling to jeopardize what they’ve acquired in order to work for change Some are so caught up in their own personal sagas that they have forgotten the women who have been left behind It is, of course, true that a great many professional women are deeply concerned about the fate of personal, political and social life in modern America They express great disenchantment but nonetheless seem caught in a gilded cage—unhappy with their lot but too fearful of losing what they’ve gained for the promise of a richer life or the fulfillment of a common morality 80 In the context of the sentence beginning “Following a classic pattern ,” (line 30) the word “aggressors” refers to: A B C D corporate America and the media equal-opportunity feminists advocates of women’s liberation male chauvinists GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE 50 KAPLAN MCAT Suppose an equal-opportunity feminist were to argue that the basic goal of feminism is to eliminate the barriers that keep women from competing with men on an equal basis The author of the passage would most likely counter this stance by arguing that: A many women have already been assimilated into the marketplace B the desire to compete is contrary to true feminist ideals C the greatest barrier is the dissension among the ranks of feminists D women should aim not for equality but for eventual dominance 12 The author’s claim that “some [women] are so caught up in their own personal sagas that they have forgotten the women who have been left behind” (lines 71-73) is: A supported by the personal experience of the author B supported by a comparison with the male experience of the marketplace C not supported by any specific evidence given in the passage D inconsistent with the assumptions and logical reasoning of the passage 10 Adopting the author’s views as presented in the passage would most likely mean acknowledging that: 13 Based on the information in the passage, which of the following opinions could most reasonably be ascribed to an equal-opportunity feminist? A feminism as a movement has lost touch with its roots B attainment of personal success in the traditional sense is not the highest of ideals C wealth and privilege have no intrinsic personal value D the marketplace is but one of the societal spheres that are male-dominated A The woman has to play by traditional rules in order to be a successful professional B The commitment to caring is bankrupt as a feminist strategy C The marketplace will become more humane as more women gain positions of power D Women have finally attained equality with men in the marketplace 11 Which of the following would the author most readily accept as an explanation of the fact that many professional women not speak out about the need to care? A Women who are deemed troublesome are often passed over for promotion B The philosophy of caring has been shown to be detrimental to business practice C Professional women prefer to lead by example rather than through activism D Equal-opportunity feminism has completely replaced transformative feminism GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE as developed by Verbal Reasoning 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Passage III (Questions 14-18) At its inception, a mass movement seems to champion the present against the past It sees in the established institutions and privileges an encroachment of a senile, vile past on a pristine present But, to pry loose the stranglehold of the past, there is need for utmost unity and unlimited self-sacrifice This means that the people called upon to attack the past in order to liberate the present must be willing to give up enthusiastically any chance of ever tasting or inheriting the present The absurdity of the proposition is obvious Hence, the inevitable shift in emphasis once the movement starts rolling The present—the original objective—is shoved off the stage and its place taken by posterity—the future More still: the present is driven back as if it were an unclean thing and lumped with the detested past The battle line is now drawn between things that are and have been, and the things that are not yet 50 55 60 .There can be no genuine deprecation of the present without the assured hope of a better future For however much we lament the baseness of our times, if the prospect offered by the future is that of advanced deterioration or even an unchanged continuation of the present, we are inevitably moved to reconcile ourselves with our existence—difficult and mean though it may be .All mass movements deprecate the present by depicting it as a preliminary to a glorious future; a mere doormat on the threshold of the millennium To a religious movement the present is a place of exile, a vale of tears leading to the heavenly kingdom; to a social revolution it is a mean way station on the road to Utopia; to a nationalist movement it is an ignoble episode preceding the final triumph To lose one’s life is but to lose the present; and, clearly, to lose a defiled, worthless present is not to lose much .Not only does a mass movement depict the present as mean and miserable—it deliberately makes it so It fashions a pattern of individual existence that is dour, hard, repressive, and dull It decries pleasures and comforts and extols the rigorous life It views ordinary enjoyment as trivial or even discreditable, and represents the pursuit of personal happiness as immoral To enjoy oneself is to have truck with the enemy—the present The prime objective of the ascetic ideal preached by most movements is to breed contempt for the present The campaign against the appetites is an effort to pry loose tenacious tentacles holding on to the present That this cheerless individual life runs its course against a colorful and dramatic background of collective pageantry serves to accentuate its worthlessness .The very impracticability of many of the goals which a mass movement sets itself is part of the campaign against the present All that is practicable, feasible and possible is part of the present To offer something practicable would be to increase the promise of the present and reconcile us with it Faith in miracles, too, implies a rejection and a defiance of the present When Tertullian proclaimed, “And He was buried and rose again; it is certain because it is impossible,” he was snapping his fingers at the present Finally, the mysticism of a movement is also a means of deprecating the present It sees the present as the faded and distorted reflection of a vast unknown throbbing underneath and beyond us The present is a shadow and an illusion 14 For which of the following statements does the passage provide some evidence or explanation? I Mass movements emphasize the future over the present II Most mass movements are controlled by a small leadership III Religious mass movements are generally more successful than nationalist mass movements A B C D I only II only I and II II and III GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE 45 KAPLAN MCAT 15 The author would most likely agree with which one of the following statements? A The future always turns out to be better than the present B Most mass movements eventually fail to achieve their ultimate goals C There are similarities among religious, social, and nationalist mass movements D The achievements of the past are too often invoked by mass movements 16 In the context of the passage, the phrase the campaign against the appetites (lines 30-31) refers to: A mass movement efforts to get their abstain from political involvement B mass movement efforts to get their go without pleasures and comforts C mass movement efforts to get their disavow belief in miracles D mass movement efforts to get their denounce the current government members to members to members to members to 17 Suppose that a certain mass movement in Heartland focuses its energy on reforming the present political system How would this information affect the author’s claim about mass movements? A It would support the author’s claim B It would contradict the author’s claim C It would neither support nor contradict the author’s claim D It would support the author’s claim only if the movement lacked a vision of the future 18 Based on information in the passage, which of the following is/are NOT true? I Mass movements consider it necessary to destroy the present II Nationalist mass movements generally glorify the past III Mass movements not ask members to sacrifice their lives on behalf of movement goals A I only B III only C I and II D II and III GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE as developed by Verbal Reasoning 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Passage IV (Questions 19-24) The planned expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization into Eastern Europe has been compared by one sour critic to the behavior of a couple in a crumbling marriage, who instead of going to a marriage counselor decide to try to save their relationship by having a baby, or possibly even several babies NATO itself is in the middle of a very confused debate about its identity and role, and partly as a result it is difficult to detect any honest, coherent discussion in the West of the necessity for expansion and of how it will affect relations with Russia, the security of the Ukraine and the Baltic States, and the peaceful integration of Ukraine into Europe A potential diplomatic debacle is in the making The official Western line at present is that NATO expansion is meant to “strengthen European security,” but not against Russia or against feared Russian aggression Nevertheless all public discussion in Poland, and much of it in the United States has been conducted in terms of the need to contain a presumed Russian threat and to prevent Russia from exerting influence on its neighbors—influence that is automatically viewed as illegitimate and threatening to the West The attitude of the entire Russian political establishment to the expansion issue is now strongly and unanimously negative, though the government hopes for the moment to continue exerting influence against expansion by cooperating with NATO—hence its agreement to join the Partnership for Peace The reasons for Russian opposition are twofold: In the first place, NATO expansion is seen as a betrayal of clear though implicit promises made by the West in 1990-91, and a sign that the West regards Russia not as an ally but as a defeated enemy Russians point out that Moscow agreed to withdraw troops from the former East Germany following unification after NATO promised not to station its troops there Now NATO is planning to leapfrog over eastern Germany and end up 500 miles closer to Russia, in Poland Western arguments that the 1990 promise to Mikhail Gorbachev referred only to East Germany, not to the rest of Eastern Europe, though strictly speaking correct, are not unnaturally viewed by Russians as purely jesuitical Russian officials say that the NATO expansion would lead to a reversal of the previous pro-Western policy of the Yeltsin and Gorbachev governments In the second place, Russians fear that NATO expansion will ultimately mean the inclusion of the Baltic States and Ukraine within NATO’s sphere of influence, if not in NATO itself—and thus the loss of any Russian influence over these states and the stationing of NATO troops within striking distance of the Russian heartland Most Western diplomats privately say that these fears are paranoid, but the West’s inability publicly to rule out the possible future inclusion of any country in NATO makes it very difficult to reassure the Russians 55 60 65 The overwhelming majority of Russian politicians, including most liberals, now believe it is necessary that most of the former Soviet Union (excluding the Baltic States) be within a Russian sphere of influence They see this not as imperialism but as a justifiable defense of Russian interests against a multiplicity of potential threats (radical Islam, future Turkish expansionism), of Russian populations outside Russia, and of areas in which Russia has long maintained a cultural presence—Ukraine, for example This does not necessarily involve demands for hegemony over Russia’s neighbors, but it certainly implies the exclusion of any other bloc’s or superpower’s military presence In justification Russians point to the Monroe Doctrine and to the French sphere of influence in Africa Most educated Russians now view Western criticism as mere hypocrisy masking Western aggrandizement 70 19 In the context of the analogy in the first paragraph, the couple is to the baby as: A NATO is to Russia B Russia and NATO together are to an Eastern European country C NATO is to an Eastern European country D Eastern Europe is to NATO 20 The author of this passage would probably give his greatest support to which of the following actions by NATO? A Admitting officially that NATO expansion is meant to contain the Russian threat B Halting expansion once Poland has been absorbed into NATO C Stating publicly that Ukraine will never be included in NATO’s sphere of influence D Reconsidering plans to establish a presence in Eastern Europe GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE 50 KAPLAN MCAT 21 Judging from the passage, the “clear though implicit promises” made by the West to Russia in 1990-91 were promises that: 24 Which of the following theories seems most in agreement with the Russian justification for maintaining a Russian sphere of influence? A the West would allow Russia to station troops in Poland B the West would not station troops in any East European country C the West would withdraw its troops from East Germany following unification D the West would leapfrog over East Germany into Poland A It’s all right to something if someone else has done it B If you want something done right, you have to it yourself C If you can’t beat them, you should join them D You can never accumulate too much power and influence 22 Based on the passage, which of the following could be considered true beliefs of the majority of Western diplomats? I Any expansion of Russia’s influence on its neighbors would endanger the West II Ukraine is not in any danger of being absorbed by NATO III Russia would not be justified in regaining control of former Soviet territories A B C D II only II and III I and III I, II and III 23 Based on the passage, which of the following could one most reasonably expect of a country that is attempting to expand its sphere of influence? A A complete cessation of communication with potential enemies B A declaration that the purpose of expansion is greater security C A stubborn refusal to admit defeat when it has been suffered D A prolonged period of careful planning and diplomatic negotiation GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE as developed by Verbal Reasoning 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Passage V (Questions 25-30) Self-government is in inverse ratio to numbers The larger the constituency, the less the value of any particular vote When he is merely one of millions, the individual elector feels himself to be impotent, a negligible quantity The candidates he has voted into office are far away, at the top of the pyramid of power Theoretically they are the servants of the people; but in fact it is the servants who give orders and the people, far off at the base of the great pyramid, must obey Increasing population and advancing technology have resulted in an increase in the number and complexity of organizations, an increase in the amount of power concentrated in the hands of officials and a corresponding decrease in the amount of control exercised by the electors, coupled with a decrease in the public’s regard for democratic procedures Already weakened by the vast impersonal forces at work in the modern world, democratic institutions are now being undermined from within by the politicians and their propagandists Human beings act in a great variety of irrational ways, but all of them seem capable, if given a fair chance, of making a reasonable choice in the light of available evidence Democratic institutions can be made to work only if all concerned their best to impart knowledge and to encourage rationality But today, in the world’s most powerful democracy, the politicians and their propagandists prefer to make nonsense of democratic procedures by appealing almost exclusively to the ignorance and irrationality of the electors “Both parties,” we were told in 1956 by the editor of a leading business journal, “will merchandize their candidates and issues by the same methods that business has developed to sell goods These include scientific selection of appeals and planned repetition Radio spot announcements and ads will repeat phrases with a planned intensity Billboards will push slogans of proven power Candidates need, in addition to rich voices and good diction, to be able to look ‘sincerely’ at the TV camera.” The political merchandisers appeal only to the weaknesses of voters, never to their potential strength They make no attempt to educate the masses into becoming fit for self-government; they are content merely to manipulate and exploit them For this purpose all the resources of psychology and the social sciences are mobilized and set to work Carefully selected samples of the electorate are given “interviews in depth.” These interviews in depth reveal the unconscious fears and wishes most prevalent in a given society at the time of an election Phrases and images aimed at allaying or, if necessary, enhancing these fears, at satisfying these wishes, at least symbolically, are then chosen by the experts, tried out on readers and audiences, changed or improved in the light of the information thus obtained After which the political campaign is ready for the mass communicators All that is now needed is money and a candidate who can be coached to look “sincere.” Under the new dispensation, political prin- ciples and plans for specific action have come to lose most of their importance The personality of the candidate and the way he is projected by the advertising experts are the things that really matter 60 65 In one way or another, as vigorous he-man or kindly father, the candidate must be glamorous He must also be an entertainer who never bores his audience Inured to television and radio, the audience is accustomed to being distracted and does not like to be asked to concentrate or make a prolonged intellectual effort All speeches by the entertainer-candidate must therefore be short and snappy The great issues of the day must be dealt with in five minutes at the most—and preferably in sixty seconds flat 25 According to the passage, which of the following is true about the relationship between population size and the amount of power held by officials? A The larger the population, the greater the amount of power held by officials B The larger the population, the smaller the amount of power held by officials C The smaller the population, the greater the amount of power held by officials D There is no systematic connection between population size and amount of power held by officials 26 With which of the following statements would the author most likely NOT agree? A Politicians could win elections without appealing to voters’ weaknesses B In a democracy the officials are supposed to take command of the electorate C Science can be perverted to further bad intentions D Propaganda that exploits voters’ weaknesses is effective GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE 50 KAPLAN 55 MCAT 27 Which of the following findings best supports the author’s belief that political principles and plans for specific action are no longer important in political campaigns? A Most Americans not watch televised political debates B Most candidates not follow through on their campaign promises when elected C Most Americans vote for candidates without knowing their stance on foreign policy D Most Americans remain undecided until the day of an election 30 Adopting the views and methods of the political merchandisers as presented in the passage would most likely mean acknowledging that: A the public will not accept surface without substance B each person has his or her own unique fears and desires C anyone can be molded into a political candidate with enough effort and money D a candidate is not needed in order to begin a political campaign 28 Suppose that just prior to an election one candidate’s campaign runs a commercial that portrays his opponent as “soft on crime.” What relevance would this information have to the passage? A It would support the claim that merchandisers will try to play on the public’s fears B It would support the claim that merchandisers have little regard for the truth C It would weaken the claim that merchandisers never appeal to the strengths of the voters D It would weaken the claim that merchandisers focus exclusively on their own candidates 29 Some people have suggested that politicians should appeal to their voters in a more rational manner by giving detailed explanations of their views in extended television appearances Based on the passage, the author would most likely NOT agree because: A the public never seems to respond to rational appeals B merchandising candidates has proved to be the most successful method C the radio would be a much better forum for imparting detailed information D the public’s attention span is too short for them to benefit GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE 10 as developed by Verbal Reasoning Passage VI (Questions 31-36) Is it possible ever for a two-sided argument to be more persuasive than a one-sided message? Or to put it more bluntly, what factors make a one-sided argument so effective that they seem to be the tactic of choice for most modern propagandists? 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 .Suppose you are about to make a speech attempting to persuade your audience that more spending on education is necessary or that the budget deficit should be reduced through cuts in domestic spending Would you persuade more people if you simply stated your view and ignored the arguments against your position, or would you be more persuasive if you discussed the opposing arguments and attempted to refute them? If a communicator mentions the opposition’s arguments, it might indicate that he or she is an objective, fair-minded person; this could enhance the speaker’s trustworthiness and thus increase his or her effectiveness On the other hand, if a communicator so much as mentions the arguments of the other side of the issue, it might suggest to the audience that the issue is a controversial one; this could confuse members of the audience, make them vacillate, induce them to search for counterarguments, and ultimately reduce the persuasiveness of the communication .With these possibilities in mind, it should not come as a surprise that there is no simple relation between onesided arguments and the effectiveness of the communication It depends to some extent upon how well informed the audience is and on the audience’s initial opinions on the issue .Research generally finds that the more well informed the members of the audience are, the less likely they are to be persuaded by a one-sided argument and the more likely they are to be persuaded by an argument that brings out the important opposing arguments and then attempts to refute them This makes sense: A well-informed person is more likely to know some of the counterarguments; when the communicator avoids mentioning these, the knowledgeable members of the audience are likely to conclude that the communicator is either unfair or unable to refute such arguments On the other hand, an uninformed person is less apt to know of the existence of opposing arguments If the counterargument is ignored, the less well-informed members of the audience are persuaded; if the counterargument is presented, they might get confused .The message-dense nature of the mass media often makes it difficult to respond intelligently to what we receive It takes considerable mental effort to process effectively the stream of one short message after another Advertisers have observed that consumers frequently find comparative advertising confusing; they mistake one brand for another, leading to a situation in which the advertiser is publicizing the competition For this reason, comparative 55 60 65 advertising is rarely used by the leading brand (why give an upstart free publicity?); it is used mostly by a challenger that might gain from being confused with the leader .Another factor influencing the effectiveness of oneversus two-sided persuasion is the partisanship of the audience As we might expect, if a member of the audience is already predisposed to believe the communicator’s argument, a one-sided presentation has a greater impact on his or her opinion than a two-sided presentation If, however, a member of the audience is undecided, then a two-sided refutational argument is more persuasive We should underscore that the research does not favor the effectiveness of a simple two-sided argument: It favors the effectiveness of presenting both sides and pointing out the weaknesses in your opponent’s position 31 Suppose that the President of the United States wants to persuade foreign policy experts in Congress to support the deployment of American troops overseas The President should which of the following to convince these experts to support troop deployment? A Make a one-sided argument that addresses only the potential benefits of such a policy B Make a one-sided argument that addresses only the potential costs of such a policy C Make a two-sided argument that addresses both the potential benefits and potential costs of such a policy D Make an argument that appeals to emotions rather than one that addresses the facts 32 Which one of the following is an example of “comparative advertising” (line 51) as this phrase is used in the passage? A The manufacturer of Brand V explains why consumers should prefer its product B The manufacturer of Brand W explains why its product is superior to Brand X’s product C The manufacturer of Brand Y explains why its product is the cheapest on the market D The manufacturer of Brand Z explains why its product is better than those of unnamed competitors GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE 50 KAPLAN 11 MCAT 33 Implicit in the authors’ discussion of audience receptivity to messages is the assumption that: A advertisements are an ineffective means to get people to buy consumer products B the mass media attempt to shape public opinion to suit their own interests C most people not generally think carefully about what they are told by others D the less people know about an issue, the more likely they are to accept the opinion of others 36 If the claims made in the passage are correct, how would a communicator who is aware of these claims be expected to react to a knowledgeable, open-minded audience? A The communicator would not try to make an argument B The communicator would present a one-sided argument C The communicator would present a two-sided argument D The communicator would appeal to the audience’s emotions 34 Based on information in the passage, which of the following statements is true? A One-sided arguments are generally less effective than two-sided arguments when the message is being delivered to a knowledgeable audience B Comparative advertising is always an effective way for a company to sell more of its products C Highly educated people are more receptive to two-sided arguments than less highly educated people D Communicators who employ one-sided arguments are usually not fair-minded people 35 The existence of which of the following phenomena would challenge the information in the passage? I A well-informed, unbiased person who reacts unfavorably to a one-sided message, but favorably to a two-sided message II A poorly-informed, unbiased person who reacts unfavorably to a one-sided message, but favorably to a two-sided message III A well-informed, unbiased person who reacts favorably to a one-sided message A B C D I only III only I and II II and III GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE 12 as developed by Verbal Reasoning 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Passage VII (Questions 37-42) Over the past five years, lawyers have increasingly sought to have juries award punitive damages to their clients in product liability cases The Supreme Court of the United States has expressed concerns that punitive damages have “run wild.” In California alone, juries awarded $1.6 billion in punitive damages between 1990 and 1994 In one county in Texas, lawyers in nearly one-half of all civil cases ask for punitive damages Punitive damage awards can be made in addition to many other payments that a claimant may receive— including payments for medical costs, for loss of past and future income, for “pain and suffering,” and payments for “fear of future harm.” Some states even allow payment for so-called hedonistic losses, that is, deprivation of future pleasure The concept advanced for adding punitive damages awards to all the other remedies is that the defendant is found by the jury to have caused damage that should be punished further to ensure that “a lesson has been learned” While five states prohibit any award of punitive damages—New Hamphire and Louisiana by statute and Massachusetts, Nebraska and Washington by common law—many observers believe that, under certain limited conditions, granting punitive damages can have merit, especially if there is a reasonable standard to define the conditions warranting their award and an appropriate cap on the amount However, the current practice of allowing them to be awarded over and over again to different plaintiffs against the same defendant for essentially the same issue seems to defy any logic That is, if the point of the punishment is to deter future behavior with a massive award to “warn the defendant,” can there be any conceivable logic to continue to “punish and warn” the same defendant over and over again in future cases for the same past act? Those who favor allowing multiple awards of punitive damages for the same set of events argue that, since each jury may be aware of only the facts of its own case, effective punishment may need multiple awards; that allowing only one punitive damage award will allow companies to avoid paying a just recompense by paying an earlier, lower award; that common law has permitted multiple punitive damages and that they therefore reflect the popular will Opponents of allowing the imposition of multiple punitive damage awards can easily counter all of these (appropriate legal measures can avoid the first two problems; common law did not evolve to have as wide an application as it does now, etc.) In 1995, a representative group of forty-three large U.S corporations—the deep-pocket targets of trial lawyers—reported that in the past five years a total of $4.4 billion was involved in settlements driven by punitive damages One company alone suffered $2 billion in 55 60 65 punitive damages Extrapolate that to the growing number of companies, large and small, involved as defendants in punitive damages trials, and you get some idea of the scope of the problem Punitive damages effects are hardly harmless, infrequent incidents as asserted so often by trial lawyers The real damage caused by multiple punitive damages is that the U.S public has been hit with a “hidden litigation tax.” The costs of the multiple punitive damages lottery are passed on to consumers in higher prices or unavailability of useful products How can we stop this incredible abuse of the legal system caused by multiple punitive damages? A number of proposals have been made, but most of them are unwieldy and impractical in either state or federal courts The Supreme Court has so far elected not to hear a case that might settle the issue The most practical answer available is federal legislation 70 37 The author of the passage would probably support most strongly a federal law that: A requires every state to prohibit awards of punitive damages B sets a cap on the amount that can be awarded for punitive damages in a single case C forbids the award of punitive damages for an act that has already earned punitive damages D limits the number of times a particular corporation can be sued 38 The author’s argument would tend to be more psychologically persuasive if it were generally known that the author is: A a successful plaintiff lawyer who specializes in product liability cases B a chief executive officer of a major pharmaceutical corporation C a former member of the jury in a civil court proceeding D a columnist who regularly covers legal affairs GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE 50 KAPLAN 13 MCAT 39 Proponents of punitive damages argue that the threat of punitive damages makes the introduction of unsafe products financially risky for corporations The author of the passage would most likely respond to this by pointing out that: 42 Suppose a survey shows that over sixty percent of Americans think that granting punitive damages awards serves as a deterrent of future corporate misbehavior How is this information relevant to the passage? A the amounts involved in punitive damages are minor in a corporation’s eyes B any losses incurred by taking this supposed risk are passed along to the consumer C very few unsafe products manage to make it to the marketplace D the threat of punitive damages has never stopped a corporation from marketing an item A It strengthens the claim that punitive damages ensure that corporations learn their lesson B It weakens the claim that most Americans are opposed to multiple damage awards C It weakens the claim that using punishment to deter future behavior is illogical D It strengthens the claim that many observers believe punitive damages can have merit 40 A RAND study that covered the years 1960-1984 came to the conclusion that punitive damages are seldom awarded and that judicial review prevented excessive awards What effect does this information have on the argument made in the passage? A It would strongly support the argument B It would support the argument somewhat C It would neither support nor weaken the argument D It would substantially weaken the argument 41 In arguing that “effective punishment may need multiple awards” (line 39) since each jury may be aware of only the facts of its own case, which of the following assumptions advocates of multiple awards make? I The defendant will have committed repeat offenses II The facts in a case may not reveal the full extent of the offense under scrutiny III Multiple cases will be brought against the same defendant for the same act A B C D 14 GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE III only I and II II and III I, II and III as developed by Verbal Reasoning Passage VIII (Questions 43-52) The following is an exchange between two art historians over the recent restoration of the Sistine Chapel 50 Scholar A 10 15 20 25 I shudder to think what Michelangelo’s reaction would be if he were to gaze up today at the famous frescoes he painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel over four centuries ago He was a practical man and would not have been surprised by the effects of time and environment on his masterpiece He would have been philosophical about the damage wrought by mineral salts left behind when rainwater leaked through the roof He would also probably have taken in stride the layers of dirt and soot from the coal braziers that heated the chapel—if that dirt had not been removed during the restoration But he would have been appalled at the ravages inflicted on his work by the restorers 55 The Vatican restoration team reveled in inducing a jarringly colorful transformation in the frescoes with their special cleaning solvents and computerized analysis equipment But this effect was not, as they claim, achieved merely by removing the dirt and animal glue (which was, by the way, employed by earlier restorers to revive muted colors) They removed Michelangelo’s final touches as well The ceiling no longer has its essential quality of suppressed anger and thunderous pessimism That quality was not an artifact of grime, not a misleading monochrome imposed on the ceiling by time Michelangelo himself applied a veil of glaze to the frescoes to darken them after he had deemed his work too bright I think the master would have felt compelled to add a few more layers of glaze had the ceiling radiated forth as it does now It is clear that the solvents of the restorers did not just strip away the shadows They also reacted chemically with Michelangelo’s pigments to produce hues the painter himself never beheld 65 Scholar B 30 35 40 You couldn’t be more wrong, I’m afraid The armament of the restorer is no longer limited to artistic sensibility and historical knowledge A chemist on the Vatican restoration team identified the composition of the layers covering Michelangelo’s original colors Since there was a stratum of dirt between the painting and the first layer of glaze, it was clear that several decades had elapsed between the completion of the ceiling and the application of the glaze This justified the use of cleaning solvents that would lift off all but that final layer of dirt, which was kept for the sake of protection of the frescoes The particular solvent they employed, AB 57, was chosen because of the overall neutral action of its two chemicals on pigments: one temporarily tones them down, but the other livens them up to the same degree Thus, the colors that emerged from the shadows are truly what Michelangelo intended to be seen 60 The luminous figures are without doubt the work of a master craftsman who executed typical Renaissance painting techniques to perfection This is the source of the difficulty you have with the restoration: the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel no longer seems to be the fruit of the wayward genius, defiant of Renaissance fresco-painting protocol, that you always thought Michelangelo was You don’t like the fact that the painter seems, like a vagabond given a good scrubbing, to be a complete stranger, rational and traditional and devoid of fearfulness and anger But the veil that led to the misperceptions of Michelangelo has now been lifted, and we may better acquaint ourselves with him Scholar A 70 Of course, the restorers left open an avenue for the reversal of their own “lifting of the veil.” Since the layers of animal glue are no longer there to serve as protection, the atmospheric pollutants from the city of Rome now have direct access to the frescoes In fact, we’ve already noticed significant darkening in some of the restored work, and it’s only been four years since the restoration was completed It remains to be seen whether the measure introduced to arrest this process—an extensive climate-control system— will itself have any long-term effect on the chapel’s ceiling 43 In the context of the passage, the word philosophical (line 6) means: A B C D knowledgeable abstract unruffled disturbed 44 Scholar B’s argument that the presence of dirt between the painting and the first layer of glaze justified the use of cleaning solvents to remove the glaze assumes that: A the dirt was laid down several decades after the painting’s completion B the cleaning solvents would never actually touch the frescoes C Michelangelo intended the glaze to be relatively temporary D Michelangelo could not have applied glaze to the ceiling decades after painting it GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE 45 KAPLAN 15 MCAT 45 Based on Scholar B’s claim that Scholar A is unhappy because the ceiling “no longer seems to be the fruit of [a] wayward genius, defiant of Renaissance-painting protocol,” it is reasonable to conclude that: A Michelangelo was not a fiercely independent thinker B the restoration has jeopardized Michelangelo’s position in history as a great artist C darkening colors to produce a gloomy effect was not characteristic of Michelangelo’s time D historical conceptions of Michelangelo overestimated his negative traits 46 Which of the following statements seems most in agreement with Scholar A’s arguments regarding the Sistine Chapel? A Artists achieve their immortality through their art B It is impossible to step inside the mind of an artist C Deterioration of an artwork may be an unfortunate but natural process D There is seldom an appreciable difference over time in the visual impact of an artwork 47 Scholar A’s claim that Michelangelo would have been appalled at the “ravages inflicted on his work by the restorers” (lines 12-13) is: A true, given that some damage to the ceiling was inevitable B supported by the assertion that the restoration team reveled in inducing a colorful transformation C quite possibly false, given the possibility that the ceiling was never intended to be dark D not supported by any further claims by scholar A 48 If it were discovered after a few years that the climatecontrol system had protected the frescoes from further pollution damage, one would expect Scholar A to contend that: A restorers should have allowed the frescoes to be darkened by pollution B pollution damage would not have occurred in the first place had there been no restoration C removal of the animal glue from the frescoes had turned out to be a wise undertaking D no further intervention on behalf of the frescoes would be likely to happen 16 49 What does Scholar B’s comparison of Michelangelo to a “vagabond given a good scrubbing” (lines 56-57) imply about the painter? A He is known to us almost exclusively through his art B He lived in poverty until he was commissioned to paint the Sistine Chapel C He was not appreciated as he should have been in his own time D He cared more about his art than about his personal well-being 50 Judging from the discussion, both Scholar A and Scholar B place a high value on: A relying on artistic sensibility and historical knowledge B challenging long-established traditions C understanding the artist’s original intentions D applying modern technology to art preservation 51 In arguing that some of the restored work has already been darkened by pollution, which of the following assumptions did Scholar A make? I Nothing except pollution could have caused the darkening II The darkening indicates that irreversible damage has been done III The atmospheric pollutants are more abundant now than they were before the restoration A I only B I and II C II and III D I, II and III 52 Scholar B would most likely argue that the “quality of suppressed anger and thunderous pessimism” mentioned by Scholar A was: A the product of a chemical reaction between solvent and pigment B not a feature of the original frescoes C nothing more than a typical Renaissance painting effect D the subject of many different and often contradictory interpretations GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE as developed by Verbal Reasoning 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Passage IX (Questions 53-60) In the frenzied hunt for ancient DNA, microbiologist Scott R Woodward may have bagged the biggest quarry Drawing on lessons learned while growing up among the fossil-rich rocks of eastern Utah, Woodward and his team became the first people to find genetic material belonging to a dinosaur DNA degrades quickly after an animal dies, so researchers once believed it impossible to find ancient genetic material The search for DNA took off in the late 1980s after the development of a technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which copies minute quantities of DNA Armed with PCR, scientists could look for tiny fragments of DNA that might have weathered the millenia unharmed .In recent years, researchers have isolated DNA from 20-million-year-old magnolia leaves and extracted DNA from a 135-million-year-old weevil found in amber However, Woodward’s team is the first to extract DNA from bone dating back millions of years Woodward, whose grandfather was a coal miner, knew that mines in the area often contained dinosaur traces After six months of looking Woodward pulled two bone fragments from a Cretaceous siltstone layer directly atop a coal seam Impeded by an unstable mine roof, Woodward’s team could not recover any more bone samples .The siltstone apparently inhibited fossilization and preserved much of the original cell structure in the bone Researchers isolated strands of DNA from both fragments and used PCR to copy a segment that codes for a protein called cytochrome b Once they had made many copies, they could determine the DNA sequence Throughout their work, the biologists took precautions to avoid contaminating the samples with modern DNA or ancient material found within the coal According to Woodward, circumstantial evidence indicates that the bone fragments belong to one or two species of dinosaurs Dinosaur tracks are abundant in this coal formation, and the bones visible in the mine were larger than those of a crocodile—the biggest nondinosaur known in these rocks .Utah’s state paleontologist believes that the fragments found by Woodward could definitely be dinosaur in origin Other researchers, however, question the identity of the DNA strands Because the copies of the cytochrome b sequence varied considerably, they wonder whether the DNA comes from several organisms Woodward explains the variation as a result of damage to the ancient DNA, which caused the PCR technique to alter the original sequence Scientists had hoped to use the DNA to resolve debate about the relationship among birds, dinosaurs, and other reptiles But the cytochrome b fragments were too 50 short to offer meaningful phylogenetic information, says Woodward For that, the dinosaur hunt must continue 53 For which of the following statements does the passage provide some evidence or explanation? I Polymerase chain reaction made it possible to search for ancient DNA II Dinosaurs became extinct before birds or reptiles evolved III Weevils were the first insect species to emerge on land A I only B III only C I and II D II and III 54 Researchers who believe that the DNA isolated by Woodward did not come from a dinosaur would most likely use which of the following discoveries as support? A Damage to the dinosaur DNA causes the PCR technique to alter the original sequence B Comparison of the discovered DNA with that of modern DNA reveals a variation in sequence C Birds, dinosaurs, and reptiles have no phylogenetic relationship D The cytochrome b sequence comprises DNA from several different animals GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE 45 KAPLAN 17 MCAT 55 Cytochrome b was useful to the scientists because: A it provided the scientists with a DNA template that could be studied B once broken into fragments, it provided the scientists with much phylogenetic information C after careful study of copies of the cytochrome b, scientists were able to assign its origin to one specific dinosaur D it allowed the scientists to realize that the DNA belonged to a dinosaur rather than a crocodile 56 Which of the following statements explains why Woodward’s research distinguishes itself from earlier research? A Results from Woodward’s experimentation finally clarified the evolutionary relationship between birds, dinosaurs, and reptiles B Woodward was the first researcher to extract ancient DNA from fossils C Prior to Woodward, researchers were unable to use PCR effectively in the recovery of ancient DNA D Previous researchers had only been able to extract ancient DNA from plants and insects 57 The author would agree with all of the following statements EXCEPT: A Utah provides paleontologists with ample opportunity to study fossils B Siltstone encouraged fossilization thereby maintaining the structure of the dinosaur DNA C Hazardous working conditions kept Woodward’s team from continuing their search D PCR allows researchers to study quantities of DNA that once were considered too small for accurate research 58 The passage suggests that researchers continue to look for dinosaur DNA because: A the DNA found by Woodward derived from several different species B the amount of DNA retrieved was too small to copy using PCR C the DNA fragments produced by PCR were too insignificant to determine substantial information about bird, dinosaur, and reptile phylogeny D the sites where Woodward excavated had never been highly populated with dinosaurs 59 The phrase “bagged the biggest quarry” (line 2) refers to Woodward’s A development of a technique called polymerase chain reaction, which allows researchers to copy minute fragments of DNA B extensive research into the phylogeny of reptiles and dinosaurs C discovery of a method for extracting ancient DNA from fossils D isolation of DNA from dinosaur bone 60 Which of the following findings, if true, would MOST contradict the researchers who question the identity of Woodward’s dinosaur DNA? A Variations in the cytochrome b sequence of Woodward’s DNA have been directly linked to hybrid DNA B Carbon dating proved that the bone fragments retrieved by Woodward were from the Cretaceous era C More elaborate PCR traced the cytochrome b sequence in Woodward’s sample to one species of dinosaur D Utah’s state paleontologist confirmed that dinosaurs were abundant in the areas where the researchers excavated GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE Material used in this test has been adapted from the following sources: 18 as developed by Verbal Reasoning “Science Observer.” © 1996 by American Scientist Suzanne Gordon, Prisoners of Men’s Dreams © 1991 by Little, Brown & Co Eric Hoffer, The True Believer © 1951 by Harper and Row Publishers, Inc Anatoly Lieven, “A New Iron Curtain.” © 1996 by The Atlantic Monthly Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited © 1958 by Harper & Row Anthony Pratkanis and Elliot Aronson, Age of Propaganda © 1992 by W.H Freeman and Company Richard J Mahoney, “Punitive Damages, Good Intentions, and the Road to Hell.” © 1995 by Society R Monastersky, “Dinosaur DNA: Is the Race Finally Over?” © 1994 by Science News KAPLAN 19 .. .Verbal Reasoning VERBAL REASONING TEST Time – 85 Minutes 60 Questions DIRECTIONS: There are nine passages in this Verbal Reasoning test Each passage is followed... climate have increased over the past 50 million years GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE KAPLAN MCAT In using ocean records to test the idea that the Miocene savannah environments in the fossil record are an... researchers excavated GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE Material used in this test has been adapted from the following sources: 18 as developed by Verbal Reasoning “Science Observer.” © 1996 by American Scientist
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