MCAT verbal test (14)

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MCAT Section Tests Dear Future Doctor, The following Section Test and explanations should be used to practice and to assess your mastery of critical thinking in each of the section areas Topics are confluent and are not necessarily in any specific order or fixed proportion This is the level of integration in your preparation that collects what you have learned in the Kaplan classroom and synthesizes your knowledge with your critical thinking Simply completing the tests is inadequate; a solid understanding of your performance through your Score Reports and the explanations is necessary to diagnose your specific weaknesses and address them before Test Day All rights are reserved pursuant to the copyright laws and the contract clause in your enrollment agreement and as printed below Misdemeanor and felony infractions can severely limit your ability to be accepted to a medical program and a conviction can result in the removal of a medical license We offer this material for your practice in your own home as a courtesy and privilege Practice today so that you can perform on test day; this material was designed to give you every advantage on the MCAT and we wish you the best of luck in your preparation Sincerely, Albert Chen Executive Director, Pre-Health Research and Development Kaplan Test Prep © 2003 Kaplan, Inc All rights reserved No part of this book may be reproduced in any form, by Photostat, microfilm, xerography or any other means, or incorporated into any information retrieval system, electronic or mechanical without the written permission of Kaplan, Inc This book may not be duplicated, distributed or resold, pursuant to the terms of your Kaplan Enrollment Agreement ANSWER KEY: C B D B A 11 12 13 14 15 B D B A C 21 22 23 24 25 B C A B B 31 32 33 34 35 D D C C A 41 42 43 44 45 A B B B B 51 52 53 54 55 C B A C D 10 C B A B B 16 17 18 19 20 A D D A A 26 27 28 29 30 C B B A C 36 37 38 39 40 D B D C D 46 47 48 49 50 A B B B D 56 57 58 59 60 C B B A D “Test Transcript” VERBAL REASONING TEST EXPLANATIONS Passage I (Questions 1-8) Topic and Scope: This passage focuses on the topic of euthanasia, or mercy killing The scope entails the discussion of different arguments concerning mercy killing Paragraph Structure: In the introductory paragraph, the author describes the paradox of physicians who “believe” in mercy killing but are unwilling to partake in mercy killing This paragraph also introduces the idea that mercy killing taints the healing image most physicians want to portray The next paragraph discusses the idea of painful death and physician involvement in capital punishment Some physicians express objection to involvement with capital punishment due to the pain sometimes experienced by lengthy deaths The next paragraph introduces the concept of “designated killers” and whether or not they should be physicians or “mere technicians.” The fourth paragraph quotes a NEJM editor’s view that mercy killing may bring the end of good patient care The final paragraph defines two schools of thought regarding those physicians who are in favor of euthanasia who will not perform it Some believe these physicians to be hypocritical while others see nothing wrong with this stance Finally, the passage concludes, based on Milgram’s studies, that humans in general are reluctant “to personally inflict death.” Questions: (C) The question asks for the overriding theme, or main idea, of the passage (A) is only discussed to illustrate physician’s worries over the tainted image associated with mercy killing (B) is an opinion of one source quoted by the author (D) is only partially correct, in that the audience for this argument is unknown and is never discussed Thus, (C) best captures the main purpose of this passage—to discuss different viewpoints about the controversial issue of euthanasia (B) (B) sums up the reasoning behind the creation of “designated killers”: Doctors should keep their image as healer pure by distancing themselves from such tarnishing acts as mercy killing (A) is incorrect because it would be only true of those doctors who wish to administer mercy killings themselves (C) is incorrect in that it assumes all doctors have voiced an opinion here on capital punishment (the topic is only discussed in general in paragraph five) Lastly, (D) is not true of those favoring “designated killers”: it is true of those who oppose their creation (D) This question requires that you understand the argument of those who are against physicians performing euthanasia (D) would disrupt the patient-doctor trust that both schools of thought agree is important (A) is relevant to the discourse, but does not provide a reason why doctors should not be responsible for performing the act (B) is incorrect because it supports the argument against “designated killers” performing mercy killings (C) is a possible outcome of the approval of euthanasia, but not an argument against it (B) No mention is made of formalized widespread debate, only widespread opinion Thus, the passage offers no supporting evidence for the statement in (B) (A) is supported in the first paragraph by the sentence that state 60% of American physicians favor euthanasia This leads us to believe that the other 40% either are against euthanasia or have no opinion on the issue (C) is also supported in the first paragraph as the act of euthanasia “radically conflicts” with the mission of physician as healer (D) is reinforced by paragraphs four and five: Dr Angell of NEJM is against euthanasia and feels doctors in favor of euthanasia who are unwilling to perform it are hypocritical (A) As suggested by Dr Angell of NEJM (a primary opponent to euthanasia), mercy killing may lead to the end of a “continuum of good patient care,” regardless if it is performed by a “designated killer.” While (D) is contended in the passage, it is not an opinion proffered by someone opposed to the act of euthanasia—it is given by the author, who remains neutral throughout the passage (B) is considered a positive result of the use of “designated killers.” (C) goes beyond the scope of the passage “Painful, lingering deaths” are discussed in regard to capital punishment, not “designated killers.” (C) The passage implies that when doctors can guarantee a pain-free death—without qualification as to who would be the mediator of the death—that patient-doctor relationships may improve Therefore, some physicians (those not involved in mercy killings) would be more trusted by their patients (A) To the contrary, the NEJM does not condone the practice of mercy killing nor the idea of “designated killers.” Rather, NEJM disapproves of any form of euthanasia (B) is not supported by the passage There is no reason to believe that there would be a great increase in the number of physicians who would want to be mercy killers even if the AMA adopted the use of “designated killers.” Nor is there any reason to believe that more physicians would want to be involved with capital punishment deaths Thus, (D) is incorrect (B) One concern raised by those who oppose designated killers is that “mere technicians” would be in charge of the killings The assumption of the argument in paragraph three is that designated killers would not be trained physicians and would have little medical training (indicated by the adjective “mere”) (A) is incidental to the discussion; (C) and (D) are neither discussed nor assumed in the passage (A) The first paragraph describes this particular aspect of the main idea, in terms of the paradox of physician-endorsed euthanasia Paragraphs four and five also discuss in further detail the paradox of supporting euthanasia with an unwillingness to perform it (B) is not a paradox, merely a statement that may be true, as are (C) and (D) Passage II (Questions 9-13) Topic and Scope: The effect of the bubonic plagues of the 1300s on the farming economy of England Paragraph Structure: The first paragraph describes the escalation of plague across England and its gradual disappearance Paragraph two illustrates the sociological change in family life and population brought on by mass death The final paragraphs estimate the effect of the plague and argue how it fundamentally changed the farming economy Questions: (B) This is a straightforward detail question—the conditions that enforced high farming among the peasantry are discussed in paragraph three (B) is not mentioned as a factor that contributed to high farming—it is discussed entirely as a factor in high farming’s downfall In paragraph three, (A), (C), and (D) are discussed as the constituting factors for high farming 10 (B) The first paragraph states that the plague attacked along main communication routes and in London and other towns for three hundred years more, thus to about 1675 (A) is negated directly in paragraph four The Statute was in fact useless in the long run (C) is negated in paragraph three—the author notes that, with a declining population, the demand for food was less (D) is negated in paragraph four The author states that peasants often walked away from land commitments 11 (B) The passage states in the second paragraph that stalled population re-growth was caused by high mortality in young people (A) is incorrect Although plague was noted in England for more than 300 years, the author implies that the greatest impact on population occurred in the latter half of the 1300s (C) is incorrect because the landholdings could not be filled without more workers (D) is incorrect because the Statute’s effects are discussed in the passage as being negligible 12 (D) In paragraph three the author argues that the relationship between landowners and peasants was quickly altered; this affected not only the profits made, but also the employability of workers who migrated form farm to farm Thus the practice of high farming is reasoned to have ended soon after (A) is incorrect In fact the reverse was true after the plagues: there were fallow lands and less demand for food (B) is incorrect, as it is discussed only as a supporting point for the decreased profitability of farming after the plague (C) is incorrect because the Statute of Laborers is said to have had little effect 13 (B) The question asks which choice would make the central argument—that the plagues gutted the English practice of high farming—incorrect B is the most substantial response: in paragraph four, the author states that farming no longer brought high profits If in fact it did, then the contention that the plague decimated rural farming practices would be incorrect (A) may be correct but still occurred three decades prior to the plague (C) would negate the author’s supporting argument that the plague took away much of the available work force (D) is incorrect because the Statue of Laborers, even if strictly enforced, would not necessarily disprove that the plague brought an end to the practice of high farming Passage III (Questions 14-19) Topic and Scope: The orbit of Venus; specifically, the portion of its path which can be observed by the human eye and which is most commonly known as the “evening star.” Paragraph Structure: The beginning of this passage may lead the reader into believing that this is a humanities passage However, the reader quickly learns that the passage delves into the astronomical details of the Venusian planetary orbit The second paragraph describes the appearance of Venus in the evening sky, particularly, that it is “strangely bright.” Paragraph three addresses the difficulties of understanding the complex motions of the stars in the night sky The fourth paragraph describes, in detail, Venus’s orbit toward and away from Earth and when this occurs In conclusion, paragraph five indicates that Venus, also called Hesperus, is waning (at the time the passage was written) and will return to its present position in December Questions: 14 (A) The statement immediately after the phrase in question implies that, like Ptolemy, people on Earth see the stars rising and setting around themselves while “the earth remains fixed beneath our feet.” In the same paragraph, the author notes that, due to “unimaginable calculus,” it is “impossible” to discern the motions of the stars in the sky (B) distorts the information presented in paragraph three—the author does not imply that having as much knowledge as Ptolemy would help us to understand the complexities of celestial motion If anything, he does the opposite (Ptolemy had a very geocentric point of view.) (C) The passage does not specifically address the field of astronomy and what can be gained from its study, nor does this statement have anything to with the phrase in question (D) may be true, but has nothing to with the phrase in question Strategy Point: Use line references to find the exact location of the material in question Look for contextual clues before and after the quote to determine the correct answer 15 (C) The author of the passage suggests that most of us on Earth would have a difficult time understanding the complexity of celestial motions without astute astronomical skills Yet, the brightness of Venus does not prevent us from viewing it and enjoying its presence in the evening sky (A) The author does not specifically address the appearance of Venus in the night sky in terms of years (B) To the contrary—paragraph four states that the planet is not visible between May and late July (D) goes beyond the scope of the passage, the author does not address or suggest any form of environmental clean-up efforts 16 (A) Paragraph four notes, “When Venus moves toward Earth it is the evening star.” (B) To the contrary, when Venus moves away from Earth, it will be the morning star (C) To the contrary, when Venus passes between the sun and Earth, it will be invisible to the human eye (D) The passage does not mention the sun’s brightness as being a factor in the visibility or invisibility of Venus to the human eye when Venus appears as the evening star—only during the transitional period in which Venus passes between the sun and the Earth In addition, the use of telescopes is not mentioned in the passage 17 (D) The passage does not lead the reader to believe that the night sky is stationary Instead, it is composed of “interfering rotations” and “intersecting gravities,” implying that there is quite a bit of motion (A) In paragraph three, the night sky is described as the “simplest of celestial motions—the pivoting of constellations.” (B) The introductory paragraph describes the night sky as a “faded metaphor, the shopworn verse of an outdated love song.” (C) Paragraph four describes the night sky as “the ceiling of a celestial waiting room.” 18 (D) The introductory paragraph contends that, in Manhattan, it is possible to observe Venus in the evening descending in the West (A) The passage proposes the Venus is the evening star during the winter and spring months (B) Paragraph three notes that Venus is one of the points of light that surround the North Star (C) Paragraph four states that in late July, Venus will be observed in the sky as it moves away from Earth Thus, all these statements are true and are Therefore, not the correct answer choice 19 (A) As Hesperus, or Venus, passes between the sun and Earth, it will be invisible to the human eye Thus, the statement in (A) is untrue and would not be a reason for Hesperus to be called the evening star (B) and (C) are stated in paragraph four (D) is stated in paragraph two Passage IV (Questions 20-26) Topic and Scope: The rejection of racial pride and kinship in favor of being able to shape one’s identity and relationships without the constraints of loyalties to tradition, culture, race, etc Paragraph Structure: Paragraph one presents that author’s opposition to the concept of racial pride Specifically, he indicates that his pride in himself comes from his own accomplishments, not from the race, gender, or socio-economic status with which he was born In paragraph two, the author discusses the value of racial pride, but ultimately rejects it because it includes negative possibilities such as a manifestation in racial kinship in which some people are valued over others based upon race In paragraph three, the author flatly rejects the notion of racial kinship in order to be free to take on “the unencumbered self.” The remainder of paragraph three describes the “unencumbered self,” which is depicted in the work of Michael Sandel as an identity that is free from the ties of culture, tradition, social status, etc., to rule itself and to decide its own loyalties In addition, this paragraph reveals Sandel’s belief that the unencumbered self is an illusion, and that those loyalties that we are born with or that we don’t choose for ourselves are crucial to who we are and how we understand ourselves Finally, in paragraph four, the author opposes Sandel’s belief that the unencumbered self is an illusion, and indicates that Sandel has privileged connections to the past (e.g., traditions, customs, etc.) to such a great degree that he leaves no room for the individual to determine his or her own destiny The Big Picture: This is a tough passage, filled with academic jargon and abstract conceptions of self, identity, and community Try to connect these conceptions with real issues in your mind as you read (e.g., to certain groups, events, or individuals) so that you can begin to understand more literally the author’s recommendations for how people should form relationships with one another, how they should judge each other, and how they should regard themselves Questions: 20 (A) One of the central themes of this article is the opposition of racial pride/kinship with independent individualism The author argues that holding racial pride and kinship involves defining one’s goals and relationships in terms of one’s race He rejects such pride and kinship by supporting a pride in individual (as opposed to existing and historical) accomplishments (paragraph one) and by upholding a model of unencumbered individualism wherein the individual is free to select his or her own relationships and goals (paragraph three) (B) The author does focus upon the “unencumbered self,” YET he strongly disagrees with Sandel’s position on this type of self Sandel regards a yearning for the unencumbered self as a negative desire, “a manifestation of a shallow liberalism that ‘cannot account for certain moral and political obligations that we commonly recognize, even prize” The author, on the other hand, states in paragraph three that he wants to embrace this kind of self Thus, the author certainly does not find validity in Sandel’s position on the unencumbered self (C) The author correlates the rejection of racial kinship with freedom in paragraph three when he explains that he rejects racial kinship in order to be an unencumbered individual free from the ties of custom or tradition YET, the author never indicates that such freedom automatically results in great accomplishment He quotes Michael Sandel in the same paragraph as stating that the “unencumbered” self is “installed as sovereign, cast as the author of the only obligations that constrain.” Thus, the unencumbered individual rules himself and is, by implication, free to author his or her own success OR failure (D) The author does discuss individual consciousness in paragraph one (in terms of pride in personal accomplishment) and in paragraph three (in terms of ability to choose one’s own loyalties) Yet, while he notes the burdened and potentially prejudicial nature of racial kinship, he never indicates that individuals who embrace racial kinship form one single group consciousness 21 (B) In paragraph four, the author states that Sandel invests “unchosen attachments” (e.g., feelings of loyalty and solidarity that people don’t choose for themselves but which they still value) with moral weight The author concludes that he is not prepared to believe that these attachments should be accorded such weight, especially as he regards them as often representing “mere prejudice or superstition” (paragraph four) Hence, the author perceives Sandel as investing inherited interpersonal connections with a moral force that cannot be justified (A) This statement is contrary to what the author believes The author does believe that these connections are given a weight (if not too much weight) that they should not carry, as shown in the description to answer choice “B.” (C) First of all, while the author believes that Sandel “privileges” these connections and gives them too much deference (paragraph four), he never states that Sandel feels an actual reverence for them Secondly, Sandel does not accept these relationships blindly or unquestioningly As shown in the author’s quotations of Sandel’s work in paragraph three, there is much analysis behind Sandel’s opinion on inherited relationships and ties (D) The author never criticizes Sandel for a cursory treatment of individuals’ inherited interpersonal relationships In fact, in paragraph three, the author quotes Sandel’s opinions on this subject at length (implying that Sandel’s treatment is anything but cursory) and indicates in paragraph four that he admires Sandel’s work and has “learned much from it.” Strategy: Pay close attention to wording Question twenty-five asks about the “encumbered” self, not the “unencumbered” self that is discussed in the passage 22 (C) The encumbered self is defined in large part by its connections and relationships to existing cultures, traditions, or status that it has inherited (and thus, has not chosen for itself) As Sandel states at the end of paragraph three, these attachments “influence our identity.” On the other hand, the unencumbered self is described as “sovereign the author of the only obligations that constrain.” The unencumbered self shapes its relationships and identity; it is the sum of its own deeds and actions Thus, it can be deduced that the encumbered self is not the product of independent action and accomplishment (A) In paragraph four, the author indicates that feelings of attachment based upon tradition, culture, etc (those feelings held by “encumbered” selves), are often “a hangover of the childhood socialization from which many people never recover.” Hence, it can be inferred that “encumbered” individuals have maintained interpersonal relationships established in their childhood (B) In paragraph three, the author quotes Sandel as defining the unencumbered self as free from inherited goals and relationships; free from “the sanctions of custom and tradition and inherited status.” Thus, it is fair to extend that the identity of the “encumbered” individual, on the flip side, will be influenced by unchosen, history-based loyalties and ties Sandel says as much in paragraph three when he notes that “inherited” loyalties and responsibilities “influence our identity.” (D) That those who embrace racial kinship are “encumbered selves” (according to the author) is apparent in the opening of paragraph three The author indicates: “I reject the notion of racial kinship I so in order to avoid its burdens and to be free to claim what Michael Sandel labels ‘the unencumbered self.’” As the rejection of racial kinship allows for the adoption of an unencumbered self, it follows that the embrace of racial kinship (in the author’s view) is equated with having an encumbered self Certainly, it makes sense within the argument of the passage that in embracing racial kinship one is encumbered with ties to others of one’s race 23 (A) “Historical determinism” implies that present and future events will be predetermined by history Thus, the author suggests that Sandel’s deference to tradition works against or undermines the belief that individuals can determine the future or the events of their lives (B) The author himself never states that history has this influence; rather, he observes Sandel’s belief in history’s ability to shape the future and the actions of men (C) The author never directly correlates the respect of tradition with a harmful effect Note here the word respect, which could involve simply recognizing the past accomplishments of certain traditions, as opposed to defining one’s self and pride in one’s self because of connections to these traditions The author indicates that Sandel does not just respect tradition, he defers or submits to it as having the power to shape the present and future (D) There is a distinction between the author’s indication that Sandel “defers” to tradition and the concept of paying homage to people or events of significance in the past Deference implies a deep tie and submission to tradition, YET honoring an event or person does not necessarily mean that one is connected to that person or event 24 (B) The author distinctly notes at the beginning of paragraph one that he rejects the concept of racial pride and at the opening of paragraph three that he rejects “the notion of racial kinship.” Thus, he would most likely find the Million Man March, an event in which men gathered because of shared race and a pride in this race and not necessarily because they knew each other, antithetical to his stance on racial kinship and pride (A) There is no indication that because he rejects racial pride and racial kinship, the author would tolerate students being afforded different or prejudicial treatment by their instructors In fact, as the author feels that racial kinship involves valuing some individuals over others because of race (paragraph two), his rejection of racial kinship (according to his definition) would involve a rejection of the unequal treatment of people according to race (C) Again, as the author rejects the notion of valuing one race over another under the grounds of racial kinship, he would most likely not have trouble with hospital emergency rooms refusing to distinguish between people based upon ability to pay (D) As he rejects the notion of valuing one race over another within the dictates of racial kinship, the author (an African-American) would probably not find the recognition of a white abolitionist (rather than only African-American leaders) in the fight against slavery to be problematic 25 (B) The strength of the author’s disagreement is apparent throughout paragraph four His criticism of Sandel’s position is quite negative He observes a “major weakness” in Sandel’s argument, indicates that Sandel’s “deference to tradition lapses into historical determinism,” and reflects that the feelings of attachment that Sandel values “often represent mere prejudice or superstition.” Yet, the author tempers his strong disagreement by paying some deference to Sandel’s work in general First of all, he actually embraces the model of the unencumbered self that Sandel describes (paragraph three) Second of all, he refers to Sandel as a “distinguished political theorist” (paragraph three) Third, he admits that he admires Sandel’s work and has learned from it (paragraph four) (A) While the author’s consideration of Sandel’s argument is certainly academic in the sense that it analyzes and critiques specific components, the author can not be perceived as impersonal First of all, he writes in the first person throughout his critique Second of all, he indicates that he himself would like to embrace the model of unencumbered identity that Sandel faults (paragraph three) (C) Although the author certainly disagrees strongly with Sandel’s position, his detailed presentation of Sandel’s side of the argument (paragraph three) and his indication that “I admire Sandel’s work and have learned much from it” (paragraph four) are clear reasons why the author’s attitude is not hostile (D) One of Webster’s definitions for “dismissive” is “to bar from serious thought or consideration.” While the author disagrees with Sandel’s position on the unencumbered self (paragraph four), he explains Sandel’s argument in detail (paragraph three) and counters Sandel in detail, as well (paragraph four) In addition, the author indicates that he admires Sandel’s work, that Sandel is distinguished in his field, and that he has learned much from him Thus, the author’s careful (albeit negative) treatment of Sandel’s position can not be regarded as dismissive 26 (C) In paragraph one, the author defines “what should properly be the object of pride for an individual” as one’s personal accomplishments, not the attributes that one inherits This definition introduces the basis for the author’s rejection of racial solidarity in paragraphs two and three Specifically, the author rejects racial solidarity in part because it values the attributes that others have inherited (e.g., their race) and not necessarily their personal accomplishments (A) Actually, the author quotes Frederick Douglass in paragraph one as a means of backing up his own argument on racial pride Besides, this is a side reference, not deep enough to satisfy the question stem (B) The author does not want to undermine the model of the “unencumbered self”; in fact, he wishes to embrace it (paragraph three) In addition, the author’s definition of the true object of pride (one’s own accomplishments) accords well with the idea of the unencumbered self, which seeks to be sovereign of its self and the author of its own actions and ties (D) Actually, the author does manifest the feeling that Sandel labels as shallow liberalism In paragraph three, the author delineates Sandel’s belief that a yearning for the unencumbered self is a manifestation of shallow liberalism Thus, as the author wishes to assume the unencumbered self (paragraph three), it is clear that he manifests feelings that Sandel would designate as shallow liberalism In the end, then, there is no reason why the author would attempt to ensure that his readers perceive him as feeling otherwise In addition, it has already been established (in the response to answer choice B) that the author’s definition of the object of personal pride accords well with the longing for the unencumbered self (the feeling that Sandel labels as a manifestation of shallow liberalism) Passage V (Questions 30-36) Topic and Scope: The unequal treatment and harassment of women in rock and roll and the music industry Paragraph Structure: Paragraph one discusses a resurgence in feminist thought and theory in the early 1990s Paragraph two describes how the issue of harassment in the music industry came to light Paragraph three continues to support that argument with specific case examples Paragraph four discusses how the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame differs little from previous examples Questions: 27 (B) The author illustrates in paragraph three that the physical appearance of women in the music industry often has a negative effect on their being taken seriously, another factor pointing toward music industry’s discrimination toward women If it were found that there was little correlation between women’s success in the music industry and their physical appearance, as stated in choice (B), then this would not offer evidence that discrimination toward women exists within the music industry (A) would offer evidence of discrimination toward women within the music industry, by mentioning the lack of representation of qualified women in upper echelon positions (C) is cited in the last paragraph as evidence toward women’s unequal treatment within the music industry (D) highlights a specific case of discrimination toward women in the form of sexual harassment that went unpunished 28 (B) While this may be suspected, there is no direct evidence that can back this claim within the passage Therefore, (B) is correct (A) is negated in the third paragraph The author states that fewer women worked in those radio capacities (C) is incorrect because the author states that two women were represented in the 1988 inductions (D) is incorrect: a magazine poll cited in paragraph one confirms this opinion 29 (A) The examples of Lisa Lyon and Gail Colson are used by the author to indicate that women in radio and record production are expected to maintain a good physical appearance, and that their appearance played a great role in the perception of their ability Therefore, (A) is correct (B) is not discussed in the passage (C) is an incorrect answer Although it may be true, no correlation is drawn between women in the music industry and women in other industries (D) is an incorrect response The author feels quite strongly, based on the example in paragraph four, that women are underrepresented in the Hall of Fame 30 (C) The question asks which choice is not supported in the passage The discussion of the Hall of Fame inductions only highlights the lack of attention women have received Therefore, (C) is the appropriate response (A) is cited in the first paragraph (B) is indirectly argued in paragraph two, where the author says that the abortionrights battle has brought the scope of feminist gains under scrutiny (D) is supported in the first paragraph, and is Therefore, incorrect 31 (D) The question asks which argument in the passage is supported by the statement in the question stem The author argues throughout the passage that the music industry is an industry in which women face the pressures of discrimination and, thus, their capabilities continue to be unrecognized The statement in the question stem offers evidence that this lack of recognition, in the form of females being promoted to the executive level, does exist Therefore, (D) is the correct response (A) contradicts the author’s main argument that women are underrepresented within the music industry The statement in the question stem has no relevance to the statement in (B) (C) is supported neither by the passage nor by the question stem, and is contradicted by the author’s central thesis 32 (D) If the level of training and qualification is the same between women and men in the music industry, this would provide evidence that the abnormally low representation of women in the music industry could be a result of the discrimination toward women the author cites (A) is incorrect Even if true, hiring a male candidate over a female one is not evidence of gender bias (Conversely, the passage indicates that a female executive was appointed to a high-level Charisma job in the 1970s.) Even if true, (B) would only be incidental to this passage (C) would primarily strengthen the argument that the Hall of Fame is not representative of women’s contributions, less so the larger argument that sexual harassment is endemic in the music industry 33 (C) The question seeks an interpretation of the author’s opinion of the Hall of Fame’s inclusion of only two female musicians The author clearly considers this an inappropriate gesture, in number as well as in the inappropriate label “Forefathers.” Therefore, (C) is correct (A) is incorrect; the author would seem to suggest that it is only a token gesture (B) is probably true, but it does not follow the question’s lead The question requires a more precise response, that found in (C) (D) is also likely true, but not a proper answer for this question Passage VI (Questions 34-40) Topic and Scope: The topic of this passage of scientific fraud and its implications on the community, both scientific and layperson Paragraph Structure: The introductory paragraph begins with an analogy that compares science and villainy The author also mentions that science depends “uniquely on faith.” In the next paragraph, the author illustrates that some of the biggest frauds, due to their sheer audacity, receive recognition of the highest order, i.e., the Nobel Prize for realizing “intestinal worms cause cancer.” Next, the example of the Cardiff Giant is discussed both to show people’s sometimes blind desire to believe scientific “discoveries” and to feel a certain sense of patriotism toward these discoveries This patriotism is further discussed in paragraph four with Neanderthal Man’s nationalistic linking to Germany, illustrating the infiltration of nationalistic allegiance into science This passage continues with more analogies—in the fifth paragraph, to accountancy The mention of accountancy allows the author to discuss scientific inquisition (e.g., Office of Research Integrity) and its damaging effects on scientists who fall into its “clutches.” Unexpectedly, paragraph six states that fraud in science is actually rare With another analogy, the author relates science to a card game against Nature, in which scientists make discoveries based on the “clues” Nature gives In conclusion, another example of scientific inquisition is described, this time, in Britain Again, the author describes the downfalls of this inquiry and the pressure it places on scientists Questions: 34 (C) Bear in mind that the author’s main purpose in this passage is not to condemn scientific fraud or bemoan its occurrence, but to note that science tends to resist fraud Reread lines 53–59: “All this highlights the central truth about scientific fraud It is quite extraordinarily rare The reason is simple Science is a card game against Nature It is possible to win every time by faking one’s own cards, but that removes the whole point of playing the game.” When the banker or accountant cheats, the money he takes is nevertheless quite real When the scientist cheats, his results are counterfeit Choice (C) is correct because it best summarizes the author’s point that fraudulent science is self–defeating science Also note lines 5–6: “ science is a profession that depends uniquely on faith.” Choice (A) is wrong because the author understands accountancy as joyless drudgery (line 44), science as a game (literally) Choice (B) is wrong It is meant to distract test takers and trick them into taking a description of a specific group of scientists (paragraph 8) as a generalization typical of all scientists Choice (D) is wrong An external bureaucracy that scrutinizes scientific research (the Office of Research Integrity) is described as incompetent, meddlesome, and destructive (lines 48-50) 35 (A) The point of the second paragraph (never neglect to make a mental roadmap of each verbal reasoning passage!) is to show that even though scientific frauds are rare, and even though most of the frauds that are perpetrated are obscure and harmless, a few audacious frauds fool all of the people some of the time Choice (A) is correct Even experts who award Nobel Prizes are fooled some of the time Choice (B) is wrong The author is concerned with scientific fraud only as a phenomenon interesting in itself (he is a true scientist!) He is not a reformer who seeks to eliminate fraud and uncover corruption in the scientific establishment Also note that the word élite, which has something of a pejorative force here, gives this answer a cynical tone that clashes with the urbane tone of the passage Choices (C) is wrong because, as illustrated by paragraph two, Nobel Prizes are not always awarded based upon scientific merit Choice (D) is also wrong because of its cynical tone Throughout the passage, the author has a very high regard for his fellow scientists 36 (D) In the third and fourth paragraphs (lines 22– 42) the author relates two anecdotes, one about the Cardiff Giant as the American Adam, the other about Neanderthal Man as the first German philosopher, to show how eager people of the nineteenth century were to link scientific discoveries with their national identities Choice (D) is correct, for it addresses the point that the strange (to us) nationalism of the nineteenth century infected even scientific inquiry Choice (A) is especially wrong because the author of this passage never takes a derisive tone In fact, he begins the third paragraph with a warning against enjoying a smug amusement in the gullibility of others (lines 22–23) Choice (B) is wrong Before they were ready to accept the theory of evolution, Americans and Europeans alike were dismissive of good evidence; after they had been “entranced” by the theory, they misinterpreted evidence in new but essentially similar ways Choice (C) is wrong As stated above regarding choice (A), the author is taking a sympathetic look at the gullibility of people of the nineteenth century We must assume that the director of the New York State Museum was an honest scientist 37 (B) Oversight bureaucracies like the Office of Research Integrity are essentially irrelevant to this question Scientists may have contempt for oversight bureacracies; however, the author never mentions this as a motivating factor in attempts at fraud Choice (A) is wrong because the author believes that the scientists may attempt fraud when they are in need of money Choice (C) is wrong because the author cites the desire for international recognition as a driving factor toward scientists comitting fraud As mentioned in the last paragraph, many scientists attempt fraud just to maintain their job security, choice (D) 38 (D) The “spirit of the time” determines the overarching prejudices and interests of the people who live during a certain period of time Though they are generally not even conscious of how the spirit of their time shapes (and distorts) their perspective, people of subsequent ages, having the benefit of hindsight, can critique the dated perspective of their predecessors The author of this passage notes that the spirit of the nineteenth century involved patriotism and nationalism in a way that seems odd to us We, however, cannot know how our perspective will seem distorted to future generations Choice (D) is correct It specifies the nationalism that was characteristic of the spirit of the nineteenth century Choice (A) is wrong because the author shows at length how audacious frauds have been perpetrated both in the nineteenth century (e.g., the Cardiff Giant) and in the twentieth (e.g., carcinogenic, Nobel Prize–winning intestinal worms) Fraud occurs independently of the spirit of the age Choice (B) is wrong because the author shows how people in the nineteenth century were very curious about scientific discoveries and simultaneously had strange perspectives on them (e.g., the German Neanderthal philosopher) Choice (C) is wrong One should not infer that nineteenth–century scientists were any more or less ambitious for fame than their modern counterparts Like fraud, pride is independent of the spirit of the age 39 (C) Since the author promises to tell us “the central truth about scientific fraud” (line 53-54), this analogy warrants careful thought The author has personified Nature as “the ultimate opponent” in a cosmic card game: he must believe that the project of scientists is to glimpse the basic secrets of how the universe works Choice (C) is correct This is a high–stakes game against the “ultimate opponent” (at least as far as the author is concerned) Choice (A) is wrong The point of the analogy is that scientists compete against Nature, not against one another Choice (B) is wrong Cheating “removes the whole point of playing the game” (line 59) Choice (D) is wrong The author does not claim that most scientists “fake their hands.” He mentions that some dishonestly occurs, but that fraud is “quite extraordinarily rare” (line 54) 40 (D) To answer the question, focus on the last paragraph (lines 64–74) The Research Assessment Exercise has relegated certain scientists to second–class status To shore up their reputations and preserve their careers, they need to show their peers that they are quite competent Some will work extra hard; some, inevitably, will take short cuts Their petty frauds will be in part the result of their having to worry about their scores from Research Assessment Exercise It increases the pressure on scientists to come up with impressive research Choice (D) is correct The scientists who have been branded with low scores face added pressure to perform and are consequently more likely to cheat Choice (A) is wrong because its (startling) language is taken from the description of an entirely different bureaucracy (i.e., the American Office of Research Integrity) Choice (B) is absolutely wrong The author believes that Britain, by having bowed to market forces and instituting the Research Assessment Exercise, is unwittingly increasing the amount of scientific fraud Choice (C) is wrong The point is not whether or not the Research Assessment Exercise produces accurate scores, but that the mere ranking of scientists is counterproductive Passage VII (Questions 41-47) Topic and Scope: The prevalence of violent images in the media, and the efforts to curb that violent content Paragraph Structure: Paragraph one introduces the author’s attitude towards violent images in the media Paragraph two reasons that, although media violence is reprehensible, current criticism of it is misdirected Paragraph three builds the argument that the amount of violence generated by media images is being overblown Paragraph four gives historical precedent for the author’s opinion that the current “clangor” against media violence is misguided Paragraph five links the escalation of violence to increased competition among various media forms Paragraph six gives some concrete examples of violence directly influenced by the media Paragraph seven attempts to quantify the number of violent incidents that can be directly attributed to the media Finally, paragraph eight closes the argument that media violence, while a contributing source, is not the primary cause of cultural violence Questions: 41 (A) This is the summary of the argument in the final paragraph The author explains here, based on the statistics in the previous paragraph, that the number of violent acts caused by the media is over-represented in current discourse (B) is incorrect because the passage does not provide data or arguments that a reduction in media violence would reduce the rate of violent acts (C) is not discussed within the passage, although it is argued that a reduction in network personnel has resulted in an increase in media violence Although (D) is within the realm of possibility, it is not broached here, and instead the author compensates for the outcry by assuming that at least some media violence is translated into real situations 42 (B) Again, the final paragraph provides the proper response The author argues that the volume of criticism of media violence is unreasonable in light of the violence that can be directly linked to the images Therefore, (B) is correct (A) is asserted in the passage, but the argument is incidental to the question (C) might be inferred from the overall tone of the passage, but the specific examples presented here are not generalized as such by the author Therefore, (C) is incorrect (D) might also be inferred from the passage, but the author does not discuss the true causes of violence—only of violence directly caused by media images Therefore, (D) is incorrect 43 (B) The question asks which of the choices can not be directly attributed to the author’s opinion in the passage (B) is incorrect The author merely restates that liberals believe this to be a cause of violence His personal opinion is captured in choices (A), (C), and (D) 44 (B) The author uses statistics from only the United States to illustrate the concept that media violence has an insignificant impact on the overall death rate Statistics from another country, with conclusive evidence against the author’s argument, would most undermine or weaken the central argument (A) would weaken the argument that violence has dramatically increased in the past decade as in paragraph five, but this does not affect the central thesis (C) does not provide any evidence as to how these celebrities are doing this and does not weaken the central argument (D) is negated by information in paragraph five 45 (B) Since those celebrities and politicians are championing a cause they not seem to understand, the author’s opinion is properly determined to be (B) (A) is incorrect because we cannot assess the popularity of the stand against media violence (C) goes beyond the scope of the passage because the author does not discuss corruption within political campaigns (D) is incorrect because no change effected by the outcry against media violence is indicated in the passage 46 (A) Although it might be inferred by the context (and by the source of funding), the mention of the Payne Foundation study is not accepted or decried as a source of current, misguided concern over media violence (B) and (C) are successfully argued in paragraph five (D) is negated in paragraph five Networks did not RAISE their standards in response to increasing films violence—according to the author, they lowered them 47 (B) From paragraph five, we learn that censorship has been on the decline—first with movies, and consequently, with television The question stem further supports this information Failure of media violence opponents to influence networks in changing their content rating standards illustrates that their efforts have been unsuccessful, as described in choice (B) To the contrary, this action would not indicate more responsibility as stated in (A)—it would the opposite (C) is incorrect because no evidence is stated or even alleged (D) is incorrect because, with content rating systems similar to the movie industry, violence would be expected to increase not decrease Passage VIII (Questions 48-54) Topic and Scope: The discussion of Boccaccio’s Decameron as a marked transition from medievalist literature Paragraph Structure: The introductory paragraph assesses the importance of the Decameron, while the next paragraph describes the effect the work had on its author The third paragraph contrasts the Decameron with literature written shortly before its completion The content and tone of the Decameron are sketched in paragraph four Paragraph five assesses the moral character of Boccaccio’s main characters, while the following paragraph contrasts it with more modern examples Paragraph seven contains more discussion on character development The concluding paragraph moves the author’s argument toward the Decameron’s role as a milestone in the development of Renaissance literature Questions: 48 (B) Boccaccio’s feelings toward his work are discussed in paragraph two It describes how he was taken aback by its straightforwardness, and how he seemed to disavow its content through pious gestures (B) is the correct answer (A) is not discussed in the passage (C) is certainly true but it does not answer the question of Boccacio’s opinion of his own work (D) is incorrect The opposite effect on Boccaccio is noted in paragraph two 49 (B) The question asks which statement can not be assumed about The Divine Comedy The setting for the Decameron is acknowledged as a villa outside of Florence, but The Divine Comedy is never noted as such The reader can not assume that The Divine Comedy is set in Florence (A) is stated in paragraph two and can thus be assumed (C) is indirectly noted in the same paragraph, as the author contrasts The Divine Comedy with Boccaccio’s “undidactic” work (D) is incorrect, as the author discusses it (in contrast to the Decameron) in descriptive terms such as “entertaining” (paragraph two) Thus, the reader can assume that The Divine Comedy can have a tendency to be tedious 50 (D) The question asks the author’s intent in juxtaposing contemporary works, the fresco with the Decameron The author describes the divergence in the works’ content vividly: Traini’s painting is populated with characters “doomed to die,” while Boccaccio fills the Decameron with “stylish survivors” with “clear-eyed common sense.” Therefore, (D) is correct (A) is incorrect because the fresco and the literary work oppose each other in content, rather than correlate (B) is incorrect because the fresco reinforces the author’s notion of medieval religious art (C) is incorrect The subjects of the Decameron “seize the chance of the general disruption of the normal covenances,” certainly not exhibiting chastity 51 (C) A “reversal of standard morality” must mean that a code of conduct had been previously established and that Boccaccio’s work is in opposition to it Therefore, (C) is the appropriate answer (A), (B), and (D) may be true, but they not indicate a reversal of such a code 52 (B) (B) is not supported by the passage, rather, it is contradicted by the “anachronistic” sophistication of the Decameron’s girls The first sentence in paragraph six implies a state of decline in terms of sophistication, as mentioned in (A) The author’s contrast of Boccaccio’s cast and Victorian girls is meant to highlight the unusual sophistication displayed by the characters in the Decameron (C) correctly depicts the Decameron’s cast of women as mature beyond their contemporaries—anachronistic because they are far ahead of their peers (D) is accurate, describing the effects of the Decameron on later authors such as Shakespeare 53 (A) The author implies that the Canterbury Tales have a similar tone and vision to the Decameron If they were more alike in structure, the author could rightfully describe the pair as portents of a new literary movement Therefore, (A) is correct (B) is incorrect because the author treats the Decameron as atypical for its lesser sophistication that Boccaccio’s more high-minded works (see paragraph one) (C) is possibly true, but not a goal of the author’s argument (D) is incorrect Further discussion of the structure of Canterbury Tales and the Decameron would likely include more direct comparisons between their view of social mores, and not of their technical aspects, which would be a tertiary support at best, as in (D) 54 (C) If the Decameron were read ironically, the unchallenged behavior of its characters would be placed under suspicion by the readers Thus, it would become a didactic text like its predecessors—undercutting the passage author’s central thesis Therefore, (C) is correct (A) is incorrect, because although Boccaccio may have disliked the Decameron, it does little to change the author’s opinion of the work (B) is incidental to the argument (D) would certainly change the author’s perception of the work, but possibly not his opinion Unless these chapters were analyzed and their effects on plot and structure were detailed, the author’s response cannot be predicted Therefore, (D) is not an appropriate response Passage IX (Questions 55-60) Topic and Scope: The passage addresses the topic of health hazards; specifically, how society reacts to these health hazards Paragraph Structure: The introductory paragraph describes a variety of health hazards that have recently occurred In addition, the paragraph proposes the idea that some of the reactions to these hazards were overly intense The second paragraph introduces the latest health hazard–“dioxin and scores of other chemicals to human fertility.” The third paragraph describes the extreme viewpoints taken by opposing factions such as corporate lobbyists and Greenpeace environmentalists Paragraph four describes how “benefit-risk analysis” rarely occurs when it comes to government regulation Paragraph five uses the Alar incident to illustrate that the public can tend to overreact when not enough information is presented Paragraph six indicates that a similar hysteria could occur with dioxin In conclusion, the author quotes an authority to show that society should not let the dangers of perceived threats overshadow precautions that work, such as vaccinations and bicycle helmets Questions: 55 (D) This question requires an understanding of the main idea (D) is the correct answer because the author calls for more thorough research and wishes to prevent hysteria as mentioned in paragraph five (A) is incorrect because, if anything, the government chose to overreact to the threats of radon and asbestos rather than ignore them (B) goes beyond the scope of the passage (C) is partially true; however, the passage does not indicate that the government is involved in any form of modification of these stances 56 (C) (C) is not an expected danger from drastically reacting to a health hazard, certainly not from reading the passage Nowhere in the passage does the author indicate that intense reactions to health hazards will cause an increase in insurance premiums Therefore, (C) is the correct answer (A) is mentioned in the concluding paragraph, exemplified by “a mother worries about toxic chemicals, and yet her kids are running around unvaccinated and without bicycle helmets.” (B) would be expected to occur as it did in the Alar incident discussed in paragraph four (D) is described in both paragraphs three and four 57 (B) This question asks for the interpretation of text Consulting the immediate paragraph would indicate that “whipsaw public opinion” means to divide quite dramatically or to develop polarized viewpoints (those of corporate lobbyists and those of Greenpeace environmentalists) (A) and (C) have nothing to with the phrase in question, especially after reading paragraph three (D) is mentioned within the passage, yet it has no relation to the phrase in question 58 (B) The passage indicates that society has not reacted well to posed health hazards—the Alar incident illustrates that public announcements “fanned public fear before scientists had reached any consensus.” According to the author, this appears to be a problem (A) has nothing to with the Alar incident (C) To the contrary, the author does not believe overreaction (as in the Alar incident) is the best way to solve a crisis (D) may be inferred from the Alar incident, but the author certainly does not cite the Alar incident to illustrate this point 59 (A) The statement in (A) contradicts the author’s argument Much of her argument is based on the idea that the government reacts with unfounded information, often causing unnecessary strife (A) would indicate that the government makes rather well-informed decisions, and this would undermine the author’s claim that governmental agencies react without conclusive knowledge (B) goes beyond the author’s argument and the scope of the passage (C) and (D) are statements with which the author might agree Both (C) and (D) could support the author’s argument, and would not contradict it 60 (D) The author never comments on the amount of deaths in society, nor what would cause such deaths The statement in (A) is found in the concluding paragraph and is used to support the author’s argument The term “whipsaw public opinion” refers to (B), which the author uses as support for her argument that society does not know how to react to evironmental threats Finally, paragraphs three and six discuss the time and money that can be wasted by public over reaction, as in (C) ... C 36 37 38 39 40 D B D C D 46 47 48 49 50 A B B B D 56 57 58 59 60 C B B A D Test Transcript” VERBAL REASONING TEST EXPLANATIONS Passage I (Questions 1-8) Topic and Scope: This passage focuses... incorrect Although plague was noted in England for more than 300 years, the author implies that the greatest impact on population occurred in the latter half of the 1300s (C) is incorrect because the... sheer audacity, receive recognition of the highest order, i.e., the Nobel Prize for realizing “intestinal worms cause cancer.” Next, the example of the Cardiff Giant is discussed both to show people’s
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