Test: Reading Comprehension- 3


30 Questions MCQ Test Verbal for GMAT | Test: Reading Comprehension- 3


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QUESTION: 1

Many musicologists consider jazz the only purely American form of music. Others, however, argue that jazz is rooted in a history similar to that of America itself, a history of confluence.
The immigration of Europeans and the slave trade of West Africans to America resulted in a convergence of cultures, traditions, and art forms, including music. Jazz, first played in New Orleans in the early 1900s, borrowed heavily from the European musical scale and harmonic system. Jazz ensembles were built predominantly on European instruments, such as the trumpet, trombone, saxophone, and piano. The West African influence on jazz was manifested primarily in its performance. Scatting, a technique used by jazz vocalists to mimic the sounds of instruments, had its origin in West African vocal traditions.
The emphasis on improvisation in jazz music, in addition to group participation, also came from West African music.
Proponents of the argument that jazz is purely American often point to its genesis in New Orleans as evidence for this perspective. The irony, however, is that the essence of America lies in the plurality of its roots. To deny the rich and complex history of jazz, and the true origins of the art form, is in effect denying the very aspects of the art form that make it undeniably American.
Q.
The author of the passage would most likely agree with which of the following statements?

Solution:

This is a general question. In order to determine with which statement the author would be most likely to agree, we must determine the author’s main point in writing the passage. A breakdown of the purpose of each paragraph will help. The first paragraph highlights two differing views concerning the roots of jazz music, the second paragraph discusses the diverse origins of jazz, and the third paragraph states the author’s view concerning the origins of jazz: namely, that jazz is truly American because it is rooted in the confluence of West African and European music. More generally, the author believes “that the essence of America lies in the plurality of its roots,” or that to be American is to have a diverse background.
(A) The author believes that jazz should be called an American art form, but not because it was first played in America.  Furthermore, the author believes that because of its origins in Europe and West Africa, not despite these origins. The author believes “that the essence of America lies in the plurality of its roots.” Therefore, it is likely that the author would believe the same about American football, that it is American because of its origins, not despite these origins.
(B) The author believes that jazz should be called an American art form because of its origins in Europe and West Africa. The author believes “that the essence of America lies in the plurality of its roots.” Therefore, it is likely that the author would believe the same about American football, that it is American because of its origins.  Thus, this choice is backward. (C) We have no information about the beliefs of sports scholars.
(D) CORRECT. The author believes “that the essence of America lies in the plurality of its roots.” Therefore, it is likely that the author would believe that the diverse origins of American football make it essentially American.
(E) Because the author believes “that the essence of America lies in the plurality of its roots,” and because American football has diverse origins, the author would be likely to believe that American football should be called an American sport. Thus, this choice is backward.

QUESTION: 2

Many musicologists consider jazz the only purely American form of music. Others, however, argue that jazz is rooted in a history similar to that of America itself, a history of confluence.
The immigration of Europeans and the slave trade of West Africans to America resulted in a convergence of cultures, traditions, and art forms, including music. Jazz, first played in New Orleans in the early 1900s, borrowed heavily from the European musical scale and harmonic system. Jazz ensembles were built predominantly on European instruments, such as the trumpet, trombone, saxophone, and piano. The West African influence on jazz was manifested primarily in its performance. Scatting, a technique used by jazz vocalists to mimic the sounds of instruments, had its origin in West African vocal traditions.
The emphasis on improvisation in jazz music, in addition to group participation, also came from West African music.
Proponents of the argument that jazz is purely American often point to its genesis in New Orleans as evidence for this perspective. The irony, however, is that the essence of America lies in the plurality of its roots. To deny the rich and complex history of jazz, and the true origins of the art form, is in effect denying the very aspects of the art form that make it undeniably American.
Q.
Which of the following best outlines the general structure of the passage?

Solution:

The first paragraph introduces two sides of an issue, the second paragraph provides information relevant to the issue, but in a completely objective (or unbiased) manner, and the third paragraph concludes the passage by presenting the author’s take on the issue. 
(A) While the second paragraph presents background information relevant to the issue, it does so in an objective (or unbiased) way, not subjectively. The third paragraph does not “summarize points made earlier in the passage.”
(B) CORRECT. This answer choice correctly describes the structure of the passage.  The first paragraph introduces two differing viewpoints on an issue, the second paragraph objectively presents relevant information, and the third paragraph describes the author’s opinion on the issue.
(C) The second paragraph does not “give a comprehensive history of the debate.” This paragraph gives a brief history of jazz music, but not a history of the debate over the origins of jazz music. Also, “comprehensive” implies a complete and thorough history, an inaccurate description given the brief nature of this passage.
(D) We do not know that the information presented in the second paragraph is “newly discovered information.” Further, the third paragraph does not summarize points made earlier in the passage.
(E) While the first paragraph does present differing viewpoints, it does not necessarily introduce a “controversy.” “Controversy” implies a heated disagreement over an issue; this is a bit too strong given the tone of the passage. Further, even if it were a controversy, the last paragraph doesn’t “settle” anything; it merely gives the author’s opinion on the issue. 

QUESTION: 3

Many musicologists consider jazz the only purely American form of music. Others, however, argue that jazz is rooted in a history similar to that of America itself, a history of confluence.
The immigration of Europeans and the slave trade of West Africans to America resulted in a convergence of cultures, traditions, and art forms, including music. Jazz, first played in New Orleans in the early 1900s, borrowed heavily from the European musical scale and harmonic system. Jazz ensembles were built predominantly on European instruments, such as the trumpet, trombone, saxophone, and piano. The West African influence on jazz was manifested primarily in its performance. Scatting, a technique used by jazz vocalists to mimic the sounds of instruments, had its origin in West African vocal traditions.
The emphasis on improvisation in jazz music, in addition to group participation, also came from West African music.
Proponents of the argument that jazz is purely American often point to its genesis in New Orleans as evidence for this perspective. The irony, however, is that the essence of America lies in the plurality of its roots. To deny the rich and complex history of jazz, and the true origins of the art form, is in effect denying the very aspects of the art form that make it undeniably American.
Q.
The author of the passage would most likely agree with which of the following statements?

Solution:

This is a general question. In order to determine with which statement the author would be most likely to agree, we must determine the author’s main point in writing the passage. A breakdown of the purpose of each paragraph will help. The first paragraph highlights two differing views concerning the roots of jazz music, the second paragraph discusses the diverse origins of jazz, and the third paragraph states the author’s view concerning the origins of jazz: namely, that jazz is truly American because it is rooted in the confluence of West African and European music. More generally, the author believes “that the essence of America lies in the plurality of its roots,” or that to be American is to have a diverse background.
(A) The author believes that jazz should be called an American art form, but not because it was first played in America.  Furthermore, the author believes that because of its origins in Europe and West Africa, not despite these origins. The author believes “that the essence of America lies in the plurality of its roots.” Therefore, it is likely that the author would believe the same about American football, that it is American because of its origins, not despite these origins.
(B) The author believes that jazz should be called an American art form because of its origins in Europe and West Africa. The author believes “that the essence of America lies in the plurality of its roots.” Therefore, it is likely that the author would believe the same about American football, that it is American because of its origins.  Thus, this choice is backward. (C) We have no information about the beliefs of sports scholars.
(D) CORRECT. The author believes “that the essence of America lies in the plurality of its roots.” Therefore, it is likely that the author would believe that the diverse origins of American football make it essentially American.
(E) Because the author believes “that the essence of America lies in the plurality of its roots,” and because American football has diverse origins, the author would be likely to believe that American football should be called an American sport. Thus, this choice is backward. 

QUESTION: 4

Many musicologists consider jazz the only purely American form of music. Others, however, argue that jazz is rooted in a history similar to that of America itself, a history of confluence.
The immigration of Europeans and the slave trade of West Africans to America resulted in a convergence of cultures, traditions, and art forms, including music. Jazz, first played in New Orleans in the early 1900s, borrowed heavily from the European musical scale and harmonic system. Jazz ensembles were built predominantly on European instruments, such as the trumpet, trombone, saxophone, and piano. The West African influence on jazz was manifested primarily in its performance. Scatting, a technique used by jazz vocalists to mimic the sounds of instruments, had its origin in West African vocal traditions.
The emphasis on improvisation in jazz music, in addition to group participation, also came from West African music.
Proponents of the argument that jazz is purely American often point to its genesis in New Orleans as evidence for this perspective. The irony, however, is that the essence of America lies in the plurality of its roots. To deny the rich and complex history of jazz, and the true origins of the art form, is in effect denying the very aspects of the art form that make it undeniably American.
Q.
According to the passage, all of the follow ing statements about jazz music are true EXCEPT:

Solution:

This is a specific question. We should be able to find evidence in the passage to support the truth of four of the answer choices. The “odd man out” will be the correct answer. 
(A) The second paragraph states “the jazz first played in New Orleans in the early 1900s…” 
(B) The third paragraph states “proponents of the argument that jazz is purely American often point to its genesis in New Orleans …” (C) The second paragraph states “jazz ensembles were built predominantly on European instruments, such as the trumpet, trombone, saxophone, and piano.” The trumpet, trombone, and saxophone are horns, and the piano is a stringed instrument.
(D) The second paragraph states that there is an “emphasis on improvisation in jazz music.” 
(E) CORRECT. The passage clearly indicates that some musicologists believe jazz is “the only purely American form of music” while others “argue that jazz is rooted in a history similar to that of America itself, a history of confluence.” The point of disagreement is not whether jazz should be called American, but rather whether jazz should be called “purely” American. The author’s viewpoint is a good example. The author believes jazz comes from a complex convergence of traditions and cultures (not “purely” American). However, the author still believes jazz should be called an American art form: “to deny the rich and complex history of jazz, and the true origins of the art form, is in effect denying the very aspects of the art form that make it undeniably American.”  

QUESTION: 5

Many musicologists consider jazz the only purely American form of music. Others, however, argue that jazz is rooted in a history similar to that of America itself, a history of confluence.
The immigration of Europeans and the slave trade of West Africans to America resulted in a convergence of cultures, traditions, and art forms, including music. Jazz, first played in New Orleans in the early 1900s, borrowed heavily from the European musical scale and harmonic system. Jazz ensembles were built predominantly on European instruments, such as the trumpet, trombone, saxophone, and piano. The West African influence on jazz was manifested primarily in its performance. Scatting, a technique used by jazz vocalists to mimic the sounds of instruments, had its origin in West African vocal traditions.
The emphasis on improvisation in jazz music, in addition to group participation, also came from West African music.
Proponents of the argument that jazz is purely American often point to its genesis in New Orleans as evidence for this perspective. The irony, however, is that the essence of America lies in the plurality of its roots. To deny the rich and complex history of jazz, and the true origins of the art form, is in effect denying the very aspects of the art form that make it undeniably American.
Q.
Which of the following provides the best example of the scatting technique used in jazz performance?

Solution:

In the second paragraph, “scatting” is described as “a technique used by jazz vocalists to mimic the sounds of instruments.” 
(A) CORRECT. A vocalist attempting to vocalize the tone and melodic line just played by a trumpet is an example of a singer mimicking “the sounds of instruments.”
(B) This does not describe “a technique used by jazz vocalists to mimic the sounds of instruments.” 
(C) This is an example of an instrumentalist attempting to imitate the sounds of a vocalist. Scatting is the exact opposite: a vocalist attempting to imitate the sounds of an instrument. 
(D) This does not describe “a technique used by jazz vocalists to mimic the sounds of instruments.”
(E) This does not describe “a technique used by jazz vocalists to mimic the sounds of instruments.” 

QUESTION: 6

Many musicologists consider jazz the only purely American form of music. Others, however, argue that jazz is rooted in a history similar to that of America itself, a history of confluence.
The immigration of Europeans and the slave trade of West Africans to America resulted in a convergence of cultures, traditions, and art forms, including music. Jazz, first played in New Orleans in the early 1900s, borrowed heavily from the European musical scale and harmonic system. Jazz ensembles were built predominantly on European instruments, such as the trumpet, trombone, saxophone, and piano. The West African influence on jazz was manifested primarily in its performance. Scatting, a technique used by jazz vocalists to mimic the sounds of instruments, had its origin in West African vocal traditions.
The emphasis on improvisation in jazz music, in addition to group participation, also came from West African music.
Proponents of the argument that jazz is purely American often point to its genesis in New Orleans as evidence for this perspective. The irony, however, is that the essence of America lies in the plurality of its roots. To deny the rich and complex history of jazz, and the true origins of the art form, is in effect denying the very aspects of the art form that make it undeniably American.
Q.
Which of the following elements of jazz most likely has its origin in West African musical traditions?

Solution:

This is a specific question. The passage discusses the elements of jazz in the second paragraph, so that is where the justifying text should be found.  There, the author states that jazz “borrowed heavily from the European musical scale and harmonic system,” and that its “emphasis on improvisation…in addition to group participation…came from West African music.”
(A) The passage indicates that jazz “borrowed heavily from the European…harmonic system,” so an emphasis on a tonal harmonic structure was more likely a European influence.  
(B) The passage indicates that jazz “ensembles were built predominantly on European instruments,” so the use of the guitar was more likely a European influence. 
(C) The passage indicates that jazz “borrowed heavily from the European musical scale,” so the use of the dorian scale was more likely a European influence.
(D) The passage indicates that jazz “ensembles were built predominantly on European instruments,” so the make-up of a jazz ensemble most likely was influenced by European traditions.
(E) CORRECT. The passage indicates that the emphasis on “improvisation in jazz music, in addition to group participation…came from West African music.” Thus, it is likely that an impromptu call-and-response came from West African traditions. 

QUESTION: 7

The recruitment and development of talent is a growing priority for many organizations, and is increasingly regarded as an important competitive advantage. One example of this emphasis on talent development is the creation of so-called ‘C’ level executive roles—Chief Talent or Personnel Officer—that represent the interests of the Human Resources department. This is a significant change from past years, during which Human Resources was generally considered a lower priority, even a necessary evil, and a destination for executives that did not thrive in other departments.
This change has had an important beneficiary—women.
An extraordinarily high proportion of Human Resources departments are run by women, reflecting the composition of the departments themselves. For better or worse, Human Resources positions have long been perceived as natural roles for women, as women are generally regarded as more nurturing and service-oriented than their male counterparts. As these traits are considered core to the functioning of effective Human Resources personnel, the advancement of women within HR departments has been routine and that, in turn, has attracted more women. Additionally, the lifestyle of workers in the Human Resources department is often not as demanding in terms of hours and weekends worked as it is for workers in other departments; many women with children find this appealing.
The preponderance of female heads of Human Resources departments and the higher prioritization of talent development have combined to give many female executives increased authority and influence. Many women, after performing well in a Human Resources capacity, have been given additional responsibilities in other departments. Also, more female executives have been asked to represent their organizations at industry conferences, further increasing their visibility.
Q.
Which of the following best describes the structure of the passage?

Solution:

The question asks us to select the answer choice that best describes the structure of the passage. In order to answer this question, it is useful to identify the topic sentences and summarize each paragraph of the passage: 
Paragraph 1: The recruitment and development of talent is a growing priority for many organizations. Paragraph 2: This change benefits women, as women run many Human Resources departments.
Paragraph 3: Women have benefited from the emphasis on talent development in a number of ways. 
The correct answer choice will reflect this organization.
(A) One could reasonably describe the increased emphasis on talent development and recruitment as “an innovative idea.” However, the first paragraph does not “explain” this idea, as the idea is relatively self-explanatory; the first paragraph instead introduces the change and provides background information. Also, the remainder of the passage does not “list” results, and there is no indication that the impacts resulting from the increased emphasis on talent development and recruitment are “unexpected.”
(B) It might be possible to describe the increased emphasis on talent development and recruitment within many organizations as “a new theory.” However, the remainder of the passage does not present evidence to support this theory; rather, the passage explains and explores the impacts of the increased emphasis on talent development and recruitment.
(C) It is inaccurate to describe the increased emphasis on talent development and recruitment as a “challenge” to “an established practice,” as one would have to frame the previous lack of emphasis as “an established practice.” Also, the passage does not simply document results; paragraph 2 in its entirety explains why the change is having a particular impact.
(D) CORRECT. The first paragraph does introduce a “recent trend,” that organizations are increasingly attentive to the development and recruitment of talent. The second and third paragraphs explain and examine an impact of this trend, in this case the positive effect on some women professionals.
(E) It is possible to describe the increased emphasis of various organizations on talent development and recruitment as a “change of emphasis.” However, the bulk of the passage discusses the impact on women professionals, who are never identified as “advocates” of this change; rather, they are the beneficiaries of the change. 

QUESTION: 8

The recruitment and development of talent is a growing priority for many organizations, and is increasingly regarded as an important competitive advantage. One example of this emphasis on talent development is the creation of so-called ‘C’ level executive roles—Chief Talent or Personnel Officer—that represent the interests of the Human Resources department. This is a significant change from past years, during which Human Resources was generally considered a lower priority, even a necessary evil, and a destination for executives that did not thrive in other departments.
This change has had an important beneficiary—women.
An extraordinarily high proportion of Human Resources departments are run by women, reflecting the composition of the departments themselves. For better or worse, Human Resources positions have long been perceived as natural roles for women, as women are generally regarded as more nurturing and service-oriented than their male counterparts. As these traits are considered core to the functioning of effective Human Resources personnel, the advancement of women within HR departments has been routine and that, in turn, has attracted more women. Additionally, the lifestyle of workers in the Human Resources department is often not as demanding in terms of hours and weekends worked as it is for workers in other departments; many women with children find this appealing.
The preponderance of female heads of Human Resources departments and the higher prioritization of talent development have combined to give many female executives increased authority and influence. Many women, after performing well in a Human Resources capacity, have been given additional responsibilities in other departments. Also, more female executives have been asked to represent their organizations at industry conferences, further increasing their visibility.
Q.
The passage implies that an organization with a Chief Talent Officer:

Solution:

The passage mentions the creation of C-level roles such as Chief Talent Officer as an indication that certain organizations are placing a greater emphasis on the recruitment and development of talent. The correct answer choice will reflect this idea. 
(A) Though the passage does indicate that a high proportion of HR departments are led by women, it does not imply that any organization with a Chief Talent Officer employs a woman in the position. 
(B) The passage states only that HR was historically considered of lower importance and the CTO position indicates that HR has increased in stature since that time.  It does not imply that HR is now considered more important that other departments; the increase in stature could merely bring HR into line with other departments.
(C) CORRECT. The passage does imply that the creation of a role such as Chief Talent Officer or Chief Personnel Officer indicates a greater emphasis on the importance of Human Resources. Organizations that have not created analogous positions implicitly have not matched this emphasis.
(D) Although the passage indicates that effective talent recruitment and development are increasingly regarded as bestowing a competitive advantage, the passage does not suggest that organizations with a Chief Talent Officer actually enjoy a competitive advantage relative to other organizations.
(E) Although an organization with a Chief Talent Officer is presented as emphasizing effective Human Resources, the organization may or may not be attractive to prospective female employees overall. For example, the organization may have a record of poor treatment of women, or it could be in an industry that is unattractive to women for other reasons. 

QUESTION: 9

The recruitment and development of talent is a growing priority for many organizations, and is increasingly regarded as an important competitive advantage. One example of this emphasis on talent development is the creation of so-called ‘C’ level executive roles—Chief Talent or Personnel Officer—that represent the interests of the Human Resources department. This is a significant change from past years, during which Human Resources was generally considered a lower priority, even a necessary evil, and a destination for executives that did not thrive in other departments.
This change has had an important beneficiary—women.
An extraordinarily high proportion of Human Resources departments are run by women, reflecting the composition of the departments themselves. For better or worse, Human Resources positions have long been perceived as natural roles for women, as women are generally regarded as more nurturing and service-oriented than their male counterparts. As these traits are considered core to the functioning of effective Human Resources personnel, the advancement of women within HR departments has been routine and that, in turn, has attracted more women. Additionally, the lifestyle of workers in the Human Resources department is often not as demanding in terms of hours and weekends worked as it is for workers in other departments; many women with children find this appealing.
The preponderance of female heads of Human Resources departments and the higher prioritization of talent development have combined to give many female executives increased authority and influence. Many women, after performing well in a Human Resources capacity, have been given additional responsibilities in other departments. Also, more female executives have been asked to represent their organizations at industry conferences, further increasing their visibility.
Q.
The passage suggests which of the following about the “additional responsibilities” cited in the second sentence of the third paragraph?

Solution:

This question asks us to infer something about the “additional responsibilities” described in the third paragraph of the passage. The only information we are given about these “additional responsibilities” is that they are awarded to women who have performed well in a Human Resources capacity, and that they lie outside of the Human Resources department itself. The correct answer choice will be closely tied to one or both of these facts. 
(A) CORRECT. The passage explains, in paragraph two, that women have been strongly associated with the traits and characteristics valued in a Human Resources capacity.  If the "additional responsibilities" are in "other departments," then those responsibilities are likely to be in areas that are less traditionally associated with women than is HR. 
(B) We know only that the departmental responsibilities are not in the Human Resources area; we do not know that the women are taking over, or even merely expanding their responsibilities into, departments that "used to" be run by a man.
(C) The passage indicates that the “additional responsibilities” are given as a reward for strong performance; they may or may not be similar to those that these women have already performed. Indeed, they could very well be new types of responsibilities that are meant to stretch and challenge these executives.
(D) The activity of speaking at industry conferences is explicitly described later in the paragraph as an additional way that women have gained authority and influence.  The wording ("Also...") indicates a new thought compared to the “additional responsibilities” of the previous sentence, rather than an example of those responsibilities.
(E) The passage describes the increasing emphasis on the importance of Human Resources activities to many organizations. The new responsibilities in other departments may or may not be more important, particularly as they are in addition to these women’s prior responsibilities. For example, a successful Human Resources executive could be given the additional responsibility of producing marketing materials for the Company, which may or may not be more crucial to the Company’s success than her earlier responsibilities. 

QUESTION: 10

The tone of the passage suggests that the author regards the changes described in the passage as:

Solution:

This question asks for the best description of the way in which the author regards the changes described in the passage, namely, that talent recruitment and development has been increasingly emphasized by many companies, and that many female executives have benefited as a result. The tone of the passage does not seem to indicate a very strong positive or negative outlook on these changes. Therefore, we should look for an answer choice that adopts a balanced perspective.
(A) This answer choice is too extreme both in its description of the changes as “overdue redress”, which suggests an extremely strong point of view, and its reference to issues faced “historically” by women. The passage does not mention nor does the tone indicate any issues faced historically by women.
(B) CORRECT. The passage objectively describes the increasing emphasis of talent development and retention on the part of many companies, and the high proportion of women who lead Human Resources departments. It then presents the increasing authority and visibility of many female executives as a result of these trends. This answer choice suggests a balanced approach, consistent with the tone of the passage.  
(C) There is no indication in the passage that the author regards the changes described as “unfortunate.” The tone of the passage does not suggest a negative view of the changes described. Also, the advancement of female executives is not accurately described as a “continuation of pervasive misconceptions” by the tone or the content of the passage.
(D) The passage does not indicate that the author views the changes as “necessary,” the use of which would suggest that the changes are seen as vitally important. The tone of the passage does not suggest an advocacy to this extent. Also, neither the tone nor the content of the passage recommends the realignment of management as a goal.  
(E) As there is no suggestion of a negative perception of social changes, the tone would need to be quite negative in order to regard the described changes as a “formidable new impediment” to such changes. The tone of the passage does not suggest a negative perception of the described changes.  

QUESTION: 11

The recruitment and development of talent is a growing priority for many organizations, and is increasingly regarded as an important competitive advantage. One example of this emphasis on talent development is the creation of so-called ‘C’ level executive roles—Chief Talent or Personnel Officer—that represent the interests of the Human Resources department. This is a significant change from past years, during which Human Resources was generally considered a lower priority, even a necessary evil, and a destination for executives that did not thrive in other departments.
This change has had an important beneficiary—women.
An extraordinarily high proportion of Human Resources departments are run by women, reflecting the composition of the departments themselves. For better or worse, Human Resources positions have long been perceived as natural roles for women, as women are generally regarded as more nurturing and service-oriented than their male counterparts. As these traits are considered core to the functioning of effective Human Resources personnel, the advancement of women within HR departments has been routine and that, in turn, has attracted more women. Additionally, the lifestyle of workers in the Human Resources department is often not as demanding in terms of hours and weekends worked as it is for workers in other departments; many women with children find this appealing.
The preponderance of female heads of Human Resources departments and the higher prioritization of talent development have combined to give many female executives increased authority and influence. Many women, after performing well in a Human Resources capacity, have been given additional responsibilities in other departments. Also, more female executives have been asked to represent their organizations at industry conferences, further increasing their visibility.
Q.
Which of the following best describes the main idea of the passage?

Solution:

This question asks for the main idea of the passage. In order to answer this question, it is useful to identify each topic sentence and then briefly summarize each paragraph of the passage: 
Paragraph 1: The recruitment and development of talent is a growing priority for many organizations. Paragraph 2: This change benefits women, as women run many Human Resources departments, for a number of reasons.  Paragraph 3: Women have benefited from the emphasis on talent development in a number of ways.  
The correct answer choice will incorporate, or at least reference, these ideas.
(A) This answer choice correctly summarizes Paragraph 2 of the passage, but does not reference the increasing importance of talent development or how it has benefited women.  
(B) The passage does not make any claims regarding the relative efficacy of women to men in terms of developing and retaining talent. (C) CORRECT. This answer choice accurately describes the main idea of the passage -- that the increasing emphasis on talent development and recruitment (Paragraph 1) benefits many female executives (Paragraphs 2 and 3).
(D) The passage does not indicate that the rate at which women are being promoted to run Human Resources departments is increasing.
(E) This answer choice correctly summarizes Paragraph 1 of the passage, but fails to mention either women or that women are benefiting from the change described in Paragraph 1.   

QUESTION: 12

merican economists continually attempt to gauge the health of the economy, both for the gain of the private sector as well as for the global standing of the United States. Different elements of the economy react differently to changes in prosperity. Some elements rise and fall as the economy waxes and wanes. These are known as coincident indicators. Other elements are known as leading indicators and usually show a downturn before the economy does. A third group of elements are known as lagging indicators and lose vigor only after the economy has already begun to slow. Economists can predict the direction of the economy by monitoring these indicators.
Coincident indicators, such as manufacturing and employment rates, are the best gauge of the current state of the economy. A continued shift in these indicators allows economists to determine whether the economy itself is in the process of an upturn or a downturn. These indicators coincide with shifts in the economy because they are dependent on sustained prosperity. But since coincident indicators reflect only the current state of the economy, they are not especially useful in predicting how the economy will perform in the near future. Economists must look to other indicators for that.
The indicators with the greatest predictive power are leading indicators, such as mortgage applications and profit margins. When these indicators rise or fall, economists can often foretell similar changes in the country’s economic health. These indicators do not cause changes in the economy. Rather, they often signal changes in economic behavior that lead to shifts in the economic cycle. By contrast, the third type of indicator – lagging indicators – is useless as a harbinger of change. But these indicators can be helpful in confirming the assessments of economists.
Determining which elements of the economy fall into which category of indicator requires analysis of copious data and an understanding of the factors that propel the economy. One must determine which events surrounding a turn in the business cycle actually contributed to the change. Establishing a solid framework for understanding the behavior of these indicators helps economists to avoid miscalculations and to guide the country through periods of slow or negative economic growth.
Q.
The primary purpose of the passage is to

Solution:

Questions that ask about "primary purpose" must take into account the passage in its entirety. Overall, this passage is about the differing predictive uses of the various economic indicators. 
(A) CORRECT. The passage does indeed focus on the utility of "various economic indicators." 
(B) This choice mistakenly focuses on a process that is not discussed in the passage. 
(C) This choice focuses only on a few sentences in the last paragraph of the passage. 
(D) This choice mischaracterizes the intent of the passage in using the verb "trace", which implies a chronology. 
(E) This choice is incorrect in describing the author's purpose with the verb "to argue." The author does not present an argument in the passage, but rather an objective comparison. 

QUESTION: 13

merican economists continually attempt to gauge the health of the economy, both for the gain of the private sector as well as for the global standing of the United States. Different elements of the economy react differently to changes in prosperity. Some elements rise and fall as the economy waxes and wanes. These are known as coincident indicators. Other elements are known as leading indicators and usually show a downturn before the economy does. A third group of elements are known as lagging indicators and lose vigor only after the economy has already begun to slow. Economists can predict the direction of the economy by monitoring these indicators.
Coincident indicators, such as manufacturing and employment rates, are the best gauge of the current state of the economy. A continued shift in these indicators allows economists to determine whether the economy itself is in the process of an upturn or a downturn. These indicators coincide with shifts in the economy because they are dependent on sustained prosperity. But since coincident indicators reflect only the current state of the economy, they are not especially useful in predicting how the economy will perform in the near future. Economists must look to other indicators for that.
The indicators with the greatest predictive power are leading indicators, such as mortgage applications and profit margins. When these indicators rise or fall, economists can often foretell similar changes in the country’s economic health. These indicators do not cause changes in the economy. Rather, they often signal changes in economic behavior that lead to shifts in the economic cycle. By contrast, the third type of indicator – lagging indicators – is useless as a harbinger of change. But these indicators can be helpful in confirming the assessments of economists.
Determining which elements of the economy fall into which category of indicator requires analysis of copious data and an understanding of the factors that propel the economy. One must determine which events surrounding a turn in the business cycle actually contributed to the change. Establishing a solid framework for understanding the behavior of these indicators helps economists to avoid miscalculations and to guide the country through periods of slow or negative economic growth.
Q.
The information in the passage suggests that which of the following would most strongly indicate an imminent change in the business cycle?

Solution:

The third paragraph states that mortgage applications and profit margins are examples of leading indicators, which have the greatest predictive power. Therefore, we need to find an answer choice that relates to either mortgage applications or profit margins. (A) This choice focuses on the employment rate, which is a coincident indicator (paragraph 2). 
(B) This choice focuses on the number of new homes being built, which is not discussed in the passage. Do not assume that the number of new homes being built can be correlated with mortgage applications, which are indeed a leading indicator (paragraph 3). 
(C) This choice focuses on manufacturing, which is a coincident indicator (paragraph 2). 
(D) CORRECT. Imminent changes in the economic cycle are indicated by leading indicators, of which profit margins are an example (paragraph 3). The increase described in this choice is indeed a profit margin (revenue minus cost).
(E) This choice focuses on bankruptcies, which are not mentioned in the passage. 

QUESTION: 14

merican economists continually attempt to gauge the health of the economy, both for the gain of the private sector as well as for the global standing of the United States. Different elements of the economy react differently to changes in prosperity. Some elements rise and fall as the economy waxes and wanes. These are known as coincident indicators. Other elements are known as leading indicators and usually show a downturn before the economy does. A third group of elements are known as lagging indicators and lose vigor only after the economy has already begun to slow. Economists can predict the direction of the economy by monitoring these indicators.
Coincident indicators, such as manufacturing and employment rates, are the best gauge of the current state of the economy. A continued shift in these indicators allows economists to determine whether the economy itself is in the process of an upturn or a downturn. These indicators coincide with shifts in the economy because they are dependent on sustained prosperity. But since coincident indicators reflect only the current state of the economy, they are not especially useful in predicting how the economy will perform in the near future. Economists must look to other indicators for that.
The indicators with the greatest predictive power are leading indicators, such as mortgage applications and profit margins. When these indicators rise or fall, economists can often foretell similar changes in the country’s economic health. These indicators do not cause changes in the economy. Rather, they often signal changes in economic behavior that lead to shifts in the economic cycle. By contrast, the third type of indicator – lagging indicators – is useless as a harbinger of change. But these indicators can be helpful in confirming the assessments of economists.
Determining which elements of the economy fall into which category of indicator requires analysis of copious data and an understanding of the factors that propel the economy. One must determine which events surrounding a turn in the business cycle actually contributed to the change. Establishing a solid framework for understanding the behavior of these indicators helps economists to avoid miscalculations and to guide the country through periods of slow or negative economic growth.
Q.
According to the passage, the main purpose of economic indicators is which of the following?

Solution:

In the last paragraph, the author writes: "Establishing a solid framework for understanding the behavior of these indicators helps economists to avoid miscalculations and to guide the country through periods of slow or negative economic growth." 
(A) CORRECT. This choice is consistent with the information contained in the last paragraph. 
(B) This choice focuses only on a subpart of this analysis: the role of the indicators for the private investor.
(C) This choice is not reflected in the passage.
(D) This choice focuses only on downturns whereas the indicators are used for either upward or downward economic change.
(E) This choice is not reflected in the passage. 

QUESTION: 15

merican economists continually attempt to gauge the health of the economy, both for the gain of the private sector as well as for the global standing of the United States. Different elements of the economy react differently to changes in prosperity. Some elements rise and fall as the economy waxes and wanes. These are known as coincident indicators. Other elements are known as leading indicators and usually show a downturn before the economy does. A third group of elements are known as lagging indicators and lose vigor only after the economy has already begun to slow. Economists can predict the direction of the economy by monitoring these indicators.
Coincident indicators, such as manufacturing and employment rates, are the best gauge of the current state of the economy. A continued shift in these indicators allows economists to determine whether the economy itself is in the process of an upturn or a downturn. These indicators coincide with shifts in the economy because they are dependent on sustained prosperity. But since coincident indicators reflect only the current state of the economy, they are not especially useful in predicting how the economy will perform in the near future. Economists must look to other indicators for that.
The indicators with the greatest predictive power are leading indicators, such as mortgage applications and profit margins. When these indicators rise or fall, economists can often foretell similar changes in the country’s economic health. These indicators do not cause changes in the economy. Rather, they often signal changes in economic behavior that lead to shifts in the economic cycle. By contrast, the third type of indicator – lagging indicators – is useless as a harbinger of change. But these indicators can be helpful in confirming the assessments of economists.
Determining which elements of the economy fall into which category of indicator requires analysis of copious data and an understanding of the factors that propel the economy. One must determine which events surrounding a turn in the business cycle actually contributed to the change. Establishing a solid framework for understanding the behavior of these indicators helps economists to avoid miscalculations and to guide the country through periods of slow or negative economic growth.
Q.
The passage suggests that lagging indicators would be least helpful in determining which of the following?

Solution:

Lagging indicators have no predictive power. They serve simply as confirmation of the recent state of the economy. Therefore, lagging indicators would not be helpful in determining future courses of action.
(A) This does not require predictive power.
(B) CORRECT. This choice – cutting costs to avoid short-term losses – requires predictive power. And so lagging indicators would not be helpful in determining whether companies should follow this course of action
(C) This does not require predictive power.
(D) This does not require predictive power.
(E) This does not require predictive power. 

QUESTION: 16

Despite its 1989 designation as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act, the desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii, has declined in numbers by ninety percent since the 1980s. Although federal protection made it illegal to harm desert tortoises or remove them from the wild of the southwestern North American deserts, this measure has been insufficient to reverse the species’ decline, and further intervention is required.
Recovery has been slow, partly due to the desert tortoise’s low reproductive potential. Females breed only after reaching full size at fifteen to twenty years of age, and even then may only lay eggs when adequate forage is available. Although the number of eggs in each clutch varies, and each female might lay a few clutches in one season, the average mature female produces only a few eggs annually. From these precious eggs, hatchlings emerge wearing soft shells that will harden slowly into protective armor over the next five years. The vulnerable young are entirely neglected by adult tortoises, and only five percent ultimately reach adulthood.
Predators are blamed for most tortoise deaths; ravens, specifically, are estimated to cause more than half of the juvenile tortoise deaths in the Mojave Desert. Tortoise eggs and juveniles, with their delicate shells, can fall prey to many birds, mammals, and other reptiles. For protection from predators, as well as from desert temperature extremes, tortoises of all ages burrow into the earth.
However, if rabbits and rodents are scarce, larger mammalian predators may dig tortoises out of their burrows, devouring even mature tortoises despite their hardened shells.
Even with current protections from human interference, the desert tortoise faces a tough recovery, so additional measures must be taken. First, the limited habitat of desert tortoises, with soil suitable for their burrows, must be protected from development. Next, urban expansion often has the unintended effect of increasing raven populations, so aggressive measures to control the birds are necessary to increase desert tortoise hatchling survival rates. Finally, released captive tortoises typically perish, and can pass upper respiratory tract disease into the wild population with devastating consequences, so continuing education of pet tortoise owners is essential.
Q.
It can be inferred from the passage that the desert tortoise mortality rate would be most likely to decrease if which of the following were true?

Solution:

The passage cites several factors that negatively impact the desert tortoise population, mainly the threat of predators. The mortality rate would be most likely to decrease if one of those reasons were eliminated.
(A) The passage states that tortoises burrow into the ground for protection from “desert temperature extremes.” The passage does not state that tortoises are only vulnerable to heat. The “desert temperature extremes” may also refer to extreme cold, in which case tortoises burrow to keep warm. Thus, cooler burrows might actually be harmful to the tortoises.
(B) The passage does not mention the mating frequency of desert tortoises. Furthermore, while we might be able to infer that more frequent mating might increase the number of desert tortoise hatchlings, we cannot infer that more frequent mating would reduce the mortality rate of those tortoises.
(C) The vulnerability of hatchling and juvenile tortoises is mentioned, along with the fact that adult tortoises provide no care for their offspring. However, there is nothing in the passage to indicate that adult tortoises could have any positive effect on the survival rate of young tortoises by providing better care for them. It is entirely possible that adult tortoises are simply not equipped to protect the young from predators; feeding and caring for the hatchlings may have no effect on the juvenile survival rate. 
(D) The passage states that females “may only lay eggs when adequate forage is available.” If adequate forage were available, then females will be more likely to lay eggs than they would when forage is scarce. However, the passage does not indicate that the availability of abundant forage plants will make the desert tortoises any more likely to survive once hatched.
(E) CORRECT. The passage states that larger mammalian predators eat desert tortoises when rabbits and rodents are scarce. If rabbits were abundant, such predators would not seek out the desert tortoise, and the mortality rate would likely decrease. 

QUESTION: 17

Despite its 1989 designation as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act, the desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii, has declined in numbers by ninety percent since the 1980s. Although federal protection made it illegal to harm desert tortoises or remove them from the wild of the southwestern North American deserts, this measure has been insufficient to reverse the species’ decline, and further intervention is required.
Recovery has been slow, partly due to the desert tortoise’s low reproductive potential. Females breed only after reaching full size at fifteen to twenty years of age, and even then may only lay eggs when adequate forage is available. Although the number of eggs in each clutch varies, and each female might lay a few clutches in one season, the average mature female produces only a few eggs annually. From these precious eggs, hatchlings emerge wearing soft shells that will harden slowly into protective armor over the next five years. The vulnerable young are entirely neglected by adult tortoises, and only five percent ultimately reach adulthood.
Predators are blamed for most tortoise deaths; ravens, specifically, are estimated to cause more than half of the juvenile tortoise deaths in the Mojave Desert. Tortoise eggs and juveniles, with their delicate shells, can fall prey to many birds, mammals, and other reptiles. For protection from predators, as well as from desert temperature extremes, tortoises of all ages burrow into the earth.
However, if rabbits and rodents are scarce, larger mammalian predators may dig tortoises out of their burrows, devouring even mature tortoises despite their hardened shells.
Even with current protections from human interference, the desert tortoise faces a tough recovery, so additional measures must be taken. First, the limited habitat of desert tortoises, with soil suitable for their burrows, must be protected from development. Next, urban expansion often has the unintended effect of increasing raven populations, so aggressive measures to control the birds are necessary to increase desert tortoise hatchling survival rates. Finally, released captive tortoises typically perish, and can pass upper respiratory tract disease into the wild population with devastating consequences, so continuing education of pet tortoise owners is essential.
Q.
The passage mentions each of the following as reasons that the desert tortoise is a threatened species EXCEPT

Solution:

The passage discusses several reasons that the desert tortoise is a threatened species. In the second paragraph, the tortoise’s reproductive cycle is discussed, with an emphasis on its low reproductive rate. In the third paragraph, predators such as ravens are discussed. In the final paragraph, the author recommends additional measures to protect the desert tortoise from harm caused by urban expansion and the release of captive tortoises.
(A) In the last paragraph, the author does mention that urban expansion has the unintended effect of increasing the population of ravens, cited in the third paragraph as the primary predator of juvenile tortoises.
(B) The second paragraph discusses the low reproductive rate of desert tortoises as one reason for their population decline and slow recovery.
(C) CORRECT. Although desert temperature extremes are mentioned in the third paragraph, they are cited as a reason that desert tortoises burrow into the earth, not as a reason that the desert tortoise is a threatened species.
(D) The third paragraph discusses several predators of the desert tortoise, specifically ravens.
(E) The release of captive tortoises by pet owners is mentioned in the last sentence of the passage as a danger to the wild tortoise population. 

QUESTION: 18

Despite its 1989 designation as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act, the desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii, has declined in numbers by ninety percent since the 1980s. Although federal protection made it illegal to harm desert tortoises or remove them from the wild of the southwestern North American deserts, this measure has been insufficient to reverse the species’ decline, and further intervention is required.
Recovery has been slow, partly due to the desert tortoise’s low reproductive potential. Females breed only after reaching full size at fifteen to twenty years of age, and even then may only lay eggs when adequate forage is available. Although the number of eggs in each clutch varies, and each female might lay a few clutches in one season, the average mature female produces only a few eggs annually. From these precious eggs, hatchlings emerge wearing soft shells that will harden slowly into protective armor over the next five years. The vulnerable young are entirely neglected by adult tortoises, and only five percent ultimately reach adulthood.
Predators are blamed for most tortoise deaths; ravens, specifically, are estimated to cause more than half of the juvenile tortoise deaths in the Mojave Desert. Tortoise eggs and juveniles, with their delicate shells, can fall prey to many birds, mammals, and other reptiles. For protection from predators, as well as from desert temperature extremes, tortoises of all ages burrow into the earth.
However, if rabbits and rodents are scarce, larger mammalian predators may dig tortoises out of their burrows, devouring even mature tortoises despite their hardened shells.
Even with current protections from human interference, the desert tortoise faces a tough recovery, so additional measures must be taken. First, the limited habitat of desert tortoises, with soil suitable for their burrows, must be protected from development. Next, urban expansion often has the unintended effect of increasing raven populations, so aggressive measures to control the birds are necessary to increase desert tortoise hatchling survival rates. Finally, released captive tortoises typically perish, and can pass upper respiratory tract disease into the wild population with devastating consequences, so continuing education of pet tortoise owners is essential.
Q.
The primary intent of the passage is to do which of the following?

Solution:

To determine the author’s primary intent, we must look at the whole passage. The first paragraph introduces a problem (the decline of the desert tortoise species), and describes action taken by the government to address the problem while also indicating the need for further steps. The second paragraph explains why the species has been slow to recover. The third paragraph discusses non-human threats to the desert tortoise. Finally, the last paragraph advocates additional measures to protect the desert tortoise species. The author is primarily interested in advocating future actions to protect the desert tortoise (last paragraph), while the preceding paragraphs serve as background information necessary to make this point.
(A) The lifecycle of the species is partially discussed in the second paragraph, but this is not the primary intent of the entire passage.
(B) CORRECT. In the last paragraph, the author strongly states that “additional measures must be taken,” then advocates several actions to be taken in the future.
(C) The passage does discuss a problem (the decline of the desert tortoise species), but does not stop there. The author discusses a problem primarily to explain why future actions are advocated.
(D) The designation of the desert tortoise as a threatened species is one past action mentioned, but the passage does not evaluate it beyond saying that it is insufficient to address the decline of the species.
(E) The government is mentioned briefly in the first paragraph, but the passage does not criticize the government. 

QUESTION: 19

Despite its 1989 designation as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act, the desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii, has declined in numbers by ninety percent since the 1980s. Although federal protection made it illegal to harm desert tortoises or remove them from the wild of the southwestern North American deserts, this measure has been insufficient to reverse the species’ decline, and further intervention is required.
Recovery has been slow, partly due to the desert tortoise’s low reproductive potential. Females breed only after reaching full size at fifteen to twenty years of age, and even then may only lay eggs when adequate forage is available. Although the number of eggs in each clutch varies, and each female might lay a few clutches in one season, the average mature female produces only a few eggs annually. From these precious eggs, hatchlings emerge wearing soft shells that will harden slowly into protective armor over the next five years. The vulnerable young are entirely neglected by adult tortoises, and only five percent ultimately reach adulthood.
Predators are blamed for most tortoise deaths; ravens, specifically, are estimated to cause more than half of the juvenile tortoise deaths in the Mojave Desert. Tortoise eggs and juveniles, with their delicate shells, can fall prey to many birds, mammals, and other reptiles. For protection from predators, as well as from desert temperature extremes, tortoises of all ages burrow into the earth.
However, if rabbits and rodents are scarce, larger mammalian predators may dig tortoises out of their burrows, devouring even mature tortoises despite their hardened shells.
Even with current protections from human interference, the desert tortoise faces a tough recovery, so additional measures must be taken. First, the limited habitat of desert tortoises, with soil suitable for their burrows, must be protected from development. Next, urban expansion often has the unintended effect of increasing raven populations, so aggressive measures to control the birds are necessary to increase desert tortoise hatchling survival rates. Finally, released captive tortoises typically perish, and can pass upper respiratory tract disease into the wild population with devastating consequences, so continuing education of pet tortoise owners is essential.
Q.
Previous efforts to protect the desert tortoise are regarded by the author with

Solution:

The previous measure to protect the desert tortoise mentioned in the passage is the designation of the species as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. The author certainly agrees that the desert tortoise is a threatened species: the second and third paragraphs discuss several problems faced by the species. However, the author believes that the previous efforts have “been insufficient to reverse the species’ decline” (last line of the first paragraph) and that “even with current protections…the desert tortoise faces a tough recovery, so additional measures must be taken” (first line of the last paragraph).
(A) The author is not skeptical of the previous efforts; rather the author agrees with them but feels that they have not gone far enough.
(B) The author feels that the previous efforts to protect the desert tortoise have been insufficient, so while the author may have regard for those efforts, “complete satisfaction” is too strongly worded.
(C) The author does not imply opposition to the previous efforts to protect the desert tortoise; the author agrees with those efforts, but feels that they have been insufficient. 
(D) CORRECT. The author does approve of the designation of the desert tortoise as a threatened species, but qualifies that approval with the assertion that “additional measures must be taken.” 
(E) The author is not disdainful of the previous efforts to protect the desert tortoise; the author supports those efforts, but feels that they have been insufficient. 

QUESTION: 20

Scientific advances in the latter half of the twentieth century have allowed researchers to study the chemical activities taking place in the human brain during the sleep cycle in more detail. In the 1970s, Jacobs employed these advances to postulate that dreams and hallucinations share a common neurochemical mechanism with respect to the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine that accounts for the observable similarities between the two states of mind. To test the theory, researchers attempted to elucidate the role of these transmitters in the normal sleep cycle and the effect of hallucinogenic drugs on them.
Although scientists still have much to discover about the chemical complexities of the brain, serotonin appears important for managing sleep, mood, and appetite, among other important functions, while neurons release norepinephrine to facilitate alertness and mental focus.
Both are discharged in high quantities only during waking states. At the onset of sleep, the activity levels of neurons that release both the neurotransmitters drop, allowing the brain first to enter the four non-rapid eye movement (Non-REM) stages of sleep. When the brain is ready to enter the fifth stage, REM, which is associated with dreaming, the levels of these two chemicals drop virtually to zero. The Jacobs hypothesis held that the absence of norepinephrine was required to enable the brain to remain asleep, while the absence of serotonin was necessary to allow dreaming to occur.
Lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD, is a semi-synthetic psychedelic drug which causes significant alteration of the senses, memories and awareness; at doses higher than 20 micrograms, it can have a hallucinogenic effect.
LSD mimics serotonin well enough to be able to bind at most of the neurotransmitter’s receptor sites, largely inhibiting normal transmission. In addition, the drug causes the locus ceruleus, a cluster of neurons containing norepinephrine, to greatly accelerate activity. If the drug stimulates norepinephrine, thereby precluding sleep, and inhibits serotonin, which Jacobs had postulated was a necessary condition for dreaming, then the resulting hallucinations could merely be “dreaming while awake.” The research thus far is promising but inconclusive; future scientific advances should allow this theory to be tested more rigorously.
Q.
Which of the following, if true, would most undermine the central premise of the Jacobs hypothesis?

Solution:

We are asked to "undermine the central premise" of the presented hypothesis, which is summarized in the second sentence of the first paragraph. Jacobs proposed that dreams and hallucinations function via a similar brain mechanism involving the levels of two chemicals, serotonin and norepinephrine. Jacobs tried to prove this by demonstrating that the levels of these two chemicals fluctuate in a similar fashion while both dreaming (natural state) and hallucinating (via ingestion of a hallucinatory drug).
(A) In sentence 2, paragraph 3, we are told that LSD binds "at most of the neurotransmitter's receptor sites" (italics added), indicating that we (and Jacobs) already know that LSD does not completely inhibit serotonin transmission. This has already been taken into account, therefore, and does not undermine Jacobs' theory. 
(B) The theory in question does not require serotonin to be the only chemical, or one of only a few chemicals, involved in regulating sleep. It merely proposes that two of of the chemicals involved with sleep also function similarly when the brain is hallucinating. This choice is out of scope.
(C) This could undermine Jacobs' theory under certain circumstances, but it could also bolster the theory. Jacobs believed that the drop in norepinephrine levels enabled the brain to sleep. This choice merely says the "levels" are significant; it does not quantify these levels, so we do not know whether this choice supports or contradicts Jacobs' hypothesis.
(D) CORRECT. If other hallucinogens (i.e., drugs that cause hallucinations) are able to produce hallucinations without inhibiting serotonin, then the central premise of Jacobs' hypothesis--that dreams and hallucinations function via a similar brain mechanism involving the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine--would not hold.
(E) This choice says these stages are "crucial" to the overall process of dreaming (which we can already infer from the passage - we have to fall asleep before we dream), but it does not say anything else. Perhaps if we were told that dreaming occurs during the first four stages, when levels of the two chemicals are higher, we might conclude that this weakens the hypothesis; the information is too vague as presented, however, to conclude anything. 

QUESTION: 21

Scientific advances in the latter half of the twentieth century have allowed researchers to study the chemical activities taking place in the human brain during the sleep cycle in more detail. In the 1970s, Jacobs employed these advances to postulate that dreams and hallucinations share a common neurochemical mechanism with respect to the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine that accounts for the observable similarities between the two states of mind. To test the theory, researchers attempted to elucidate the role of these transmitters in the normal sleep cycle and the effect of hallucinogenic drugs on them.
Although scientists still have much to discover about the chemical complexities of the brain, serotonin appears important for managing sleep, mood, and appetite, among other important functions, while neurons release norepinephrine to facilitate alertness and mental focus.
Both are discharged in high quantities only during waking states. At the onset of sleep, the activity levels of neurons that release both the neurotransmitters drop, allowing the brain first to enter the four non-rapid eye movement (Non-REM) stages of sleep. When the brain is ready to enter the fifth stage, REM, which is associated with dreaming, the levels of these two chemicals drop virtually to zero. The Jacobs hypothesis held that the absence of norepinephrine was required to enable the brain to remain asleep, while the absence of serotonin was necessary to allow dreaming to occur.
Lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD, is a semi-synthetic psychedelic drug which causes significant alteration of the senses, memories and awareness; at doses higher than 20 micrograms, it can have a hallucinogenic effect.
LSD mimics serotonin well enough to be able to bind at most of the neurotransmitter’s receptor sites, largely inhibiting normal transmission. In addition, the drug causes the locus ceruleus, a cluster of neurons containing norepinephrine, to greatly accelerate activity. If the drug stimulates norepinephrine, thereby precluding sleep, and inhibits serotonin, which Jacobs had postulated was a necessary condition for dreaming, then the resulting hallucinations could merely be “dreaming while awake.” The research thus far is promising but inconclusive; future scientific advances should allow this theory to be tested more rigorously.
Q.
Which of the following best represents the author’s primary goal in writing the passage?

Solution:

We are asked to find the purpose of the passage. The first paragraph of the passage introduces a theory that seeks to show a link between dreams and hallucinations based upon two chemicals. The second paragraph elaborates on the role of the two chemicals in dreams and the third paragraph does the same for hallucinations. The third paragraph also concludes by noting that the theory remains unproven and would benefit from further testing.
(A) While the passage does outline a theory it does not suggest options for further research; it merely notes that further research would be beneficial.
(B) The author does not act as an advocate, or try to convince the audience of the need for additional research; instead, the author merely notes that further research would be beneficial. 
(C) CORRECT. A "theoretical construct" is equivalent to a theory; the author does introduce a theory that is "inconclusive," or not sufficiently proven.
(D) While the first sentence does imply that research associated with the brain is complex, the rest of the passage does not focus on this topic or attempt to demonstrate the specific complexities involved.
(E) While the passage does articulate a hypothesis, it only presents current research; it does not "lay out the case for proving it." In fact, the last sentence says the hypothesis is "inconclusive."

QUESTION: 22

Scientific advances in the latter half of the twentieth century have allowed researchers to study the chemical activities taking place in the human brain during the sleep cycle in more detail. In the 1970s, Jacobs employed these advances to postulate that dreams and hallucinations share a common neurochemical mechanism with respect to the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine that accounts for the observable similarities between the two states of mind. To test the theory, researchers attempted to elucidate the role of these transmitters in the normal sleep cycle and the effect of hallucinogenic drugs on them.
Although scientists still have much to discover about the chemical complexities of the brain, serotonin appears important for managing sleep, mood, and appetite, among other important functions, while neurons release norepinephrine to facilitate alertness and mental focus.
Both are discharged in high quantities only during waking states. At the onset of sleep, the activity levels of neurons that release both the neurotransmitters drop, allowing the brain first to enter the four non-rapid eye movement (Non-REM) stages of sleep. When the brain is ready to enter the fifth stage, REM, which is associated with dreaming, the levels of these two chemicals drop virtually to zero. The Jacobs hypothesis held that the absence of norepinephrine was required to enable the brain to remain asleep, while the absence of serotonin was necessary to allow dreaming to occur.
Lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD, is a semi-synthetic psychedelic drug which causes significant alteration of the senses, memories and awareness; at doses higher than 20 micrograms, it can have a hallucinogenic effect.
LSD mimics serotonin well enough to be able to bind at most of the neurotransmitter’s receptor sites, largely inhibiting normal transmission. In addition, the drug causes the locus ceruleus, a cluster of neurons containing norepinephrine, to greatly accelerate activity. If the drug stimulates norepinephrine, thereby precluding sleep, and inhibits serotonin, which Jacobs had postulated was a necessary condition for dreaming, then the resulting hallucinations could merely be “dreaming while awake.” The research thus far is promising but inconclusive; future scientific advances should allow this theory to be tested more rigorously.
Q.
According to the passage, all of the following are true EXCEPT

Solution:

"Except" questions require us to test the five answer choices to determine the "odd one out." It is beneficial to use the True / False technique: label each answer choice with a T or an F and look for the odd one out (which, in this case, we should expect to be an F).
(A) CORRECT. False. The second sentence of the second paragraph says of the chemicals that "Both are discharged in high quantities only during waking states." Later sentences tell us that the chemical levels drop during non-REM sleep, not that they disappear completely. 
(B) True. The first sentence of the third paragraph says that "at doses higher than 20 micrograms, [LSD] can have a hallucinogenic effect." This is equivalent to the statement that the dosage will cause hallucinations in some people (otherwise, we could not say that it "can have" a hallucinogenic effect).
(C) True. Sentence four in paragraph two tells us that REM (rapid eye movement sleep) "is associated with dreaming."
(D) True. The third sentence of paragraph three says that the neurons containing norepinephrine "greatly accelerate activity" when LSD is in someone's system. Sentence one of paragraph two tells us that "neurons release norepinephrine" - so if this neuronal activity is increased, then the rate at which norepinephrine is released must also increase. 
(E) True. The last sentence of the second paragraph says that Jacobs hypothesized that "the absence of serotonin was necessary to allow dreaming to occur." 

QUESTION: 23

Scientific advances in the latter half of the twentieth century have allowed researchers to study the chemical activities taking place in the human brain during the sleep cycle in more detail. In the 1970s, Jacobs employed these advances to postulate that dreams and hallucinations share a common neurochemical mechanism with respect to the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine that accounts for the observable similarities between the two states of mind. To test the theory, researchers attempted to elucidate the role of these transmitters in the normal sleep cycle and the effect of hallucinogenic drugs on them.
Although scientists still have much to discover about the chemical complexities of the brain, serotonin appears important for managing sleep, mood, and appetite, among other important functions, while neurons release norepinephrine to facilitate alertness and mental focus.
Both are discharged in high quantities only during waking states. At the onset of sleep, the activity levels of neurons that release both the neurotransmitters drop, allowing the brain first to enter the four non-rapid eye movement (Non-REM) stages of sleep. When the brain is ready to enter the fifth stage, REM, which is associated with dreaming, the levels of these two chemicals drop virtually to zero. The Jacobs hypothesis held that the absence of norepinephrine was required to enable the brain to remain asleep, while the absence of serotonin was necessary to allow dreaming to occur.
Lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD, is a semi-synthetic psychedelic drug which causes significant alteration of the senses, memories and awareness; at doses higher than 20 micrograms, it can have a hallucinogenic effect.
LSD mimics serotonin well enough to be able to bind at most of the neurotransmitter’s receptor sites, largely inhibiting normal transmission. In addition, the drug causes the locus ceruleus, a cluster of neurons containing norepinephrine, to greatly accelerate activity. If the drug stimulates norepinephrine, thereby precluding sleep, and inhibits serotonin, which Jacobs had postulated was a necessary condition for dreaming, then the resulting hallucinations could merely be “dreaming while awake.” The research thus far is promising but inconclusive; future scientific advances should allow this theory to be tested more rigorously.
Q.
According to the passage, which of the following is true of the drug lysergic acid diethlyamide?

Solution:

Paragraph three is about the effects of and research results on lysergic acid diethlyamide, or LSD. 
(A) The passage describes research into Jacob's theory as "promising but inconclusive," but does not make this statement about the drug LSD itself.
(B) CORRECT.  The second sentence of the third paragraph says that "LSD mimics serotonin well enough to... bind at most of [serotonin's] receptor sites."
(C) The passage says that the drug causes the locus ceruleus to accelerate activity, the opposite of the causation suggested by this choice – that the locus ceruleus affects the body’s response to the drug.
(D) The passage states that the drug stimulates norepinephrine but inhibits serotonin. 
(E) The passage says that "at doses higher than 20 micrograms, it can have a hallucinogenic effect."  This means that some people may have hallucinations, but it does not mean that everyone will, as this answer choice suggests.   

QUESTION: 24

Dogs are widely employed by the police as biological detection systems to detect the smuggling and storage of drugs. Yet, recent evidence suggests that insects, rather than mammals, may be used more effectively in this capacity. One of the disadvantages of dogs lies in the fact that these animals, like humans, may get bored and lose interest. Other problems may also result from the emotional relationship between a dog and its owner.
Insects, on the other hand, remain relatively free of these emotional attachments and, at the same time, possess biological detection mechanisms that are at least as effective as those of mammals.
Insects have olfactory systems that are very similar to those of vertebrates, detecting odors via finger-like protuberances on the antenna, called olfactory sensilla.
The odorant molecule passes through pores in the outer cuticle of the sensillum and becomes attached to an odorant binding protein. This protein carries the hydrophobic ligand through the lymph fluid found inside the cell and attaches it to a receptor on the dendritic projections of a sensory nerve cell. Finally, this receptor sends a signal to the central nervous system, allowing for easy detection by researchers.
The position of the insect olfactory organs on the surface of its body allows for direct investigation of the system’s response. A technique developed by German biologist Dietrich Schneider in the 1950s became the first method that enabled researchers to record the activity in insect olfactory nerves and identify the compounds that trigger a behavioral response. The recent developments in this direction suggest that the detection mechanisms of insects are likely to be applied in practice in the near future.
Q.
Which of the following statements can be most reasonably inferred from the passage above?

Solution:

When answering inference questions, make sure to look for an answer that can be inferred strictly based on the information given in the passage and without making any additional assumptions. Typically, the correct answer will be closely connected to the actual text and directly supported by one or two sentences. 
(A) This statement is directly contradicted by the text of the passage. In the concluding paragraph, the author states that “the detection mechanisms of insects are likely to be applied in practice in the near future,” thus suggesting that they have not been applied in practice to date. (B) The passage provides no information about the time when dogs were first used in the detection of smuggling.
(C) While the last sentence of the second paragraph mentions that signals sent by insects’ receptors allow for “easy detection by researchers,” the passage provides no information about the ease or difficulty of such detection in mammals.
(D) CORRECT. The second sentence of the concluding paragraph states that the technique developed by Dietrich Schneider in the 1950s “became the first method that enabled researchers to record the activity in insect olfactory nerves and identify the compounds that trigger a behavioral response.” Since this technique became the first method, we can infer that no reliable methods had existed prior to the development of this technique, i.e. in the first half of the twentieth century or earlier. 
(E) The passage provides no information regarding the distinctions between flying and crawling insects. 

QUESTION: 25

Dogs are widely employed by the police as biological detection systems to detect the smuggling and storage of drugs. Yet, recent evidence suggests that insects, rather than mammals, may be used more effectively in this capacity. One of the disadvantages of dogs lies in the fact that these animals, like humans, may get bored and lose interest. Other problems may also result from the emotional relationship between a dog and its owner.
Insects, on the other hand, remain relatively free of these emotional attachments and, at the same time, possess biological detection mechanisms that are at least as effective as those of mammals.
Insects have olfactory systems that are very similar to those of vertebrates, detecting odors via finger-like protuberances on the antenna, called olfactory sensilla.
The odorant molecule passes through pores in the outer cuticle of the sensillum and becomes attached to an odorant binding protein. This protein carries the hydrophobic ligand through the lymph fluid found inside the cell and attaches it to a receptor on the dendritic projections of a sensory nerve cell. Finally, this receptor sends a signal to the central nervous system, allowing for easy detection by researchers.
The position of the insect olfactory organs on the surface of its body allows for direct investigation of the system’s response. A technique developed by German biologist Dietrich Schneider in the 1950s became the first method that enabled researchers to record the activity in insect olfactory nerves and identify the compounds that trigger a behavioral response. The recent developments in this direction suggest that the detection mechanisms of insects are likely to be applied in practice in the near future.
Q.
Which of the following most accurately describes the primary purpose of the passage?

Solution:

On questions asking about the main idea of the passage, be sure to refer to the opening paragraph, which usually discusses the main theme of the passage. Also, when selecting your answer, avoid extreme answer choices that describe only a part of the passage or mention information that is beyond the scope of the text. 
(A) This answer choice is directly contradicted by the text. The passage provides an argument for a wider use of the detection mechanisms of insects rather than dogs.
(B) While possible disadvantages involved in using detection mechanisms of dogs are mentioned in the second paragraph, their discussion appears only in one paragraph and thus does not reflect the main idea of the passage.
(C) CORRECT. This answer choice accurately describes the main idea of the passage. Note that this idea permeates the entire passage and conveys the main intention of the author. Also, note that this theme is mimicked in the opening paragraph of the passage: “… recent evidence suggests that insects, rather than mammals, may be used more effectively in this capacity.”
(D) While the second paragraph of the passage is devoted to the discussion of the biological process used by insects to detect odors, this theme is discussed only in one paragraph and fails to reflect the content of the entire passage.
(E) First, the passage mentions only one method (rather than multiple methods): the technique developed by Dietrich Schneider. Secondly, this method is mentioned only in the concluding paragraph of the passage and does not reflect the main theme of the entire text.  

QUESTION: 26

Dogs are widely employed by the police as biological detection systems to detect the smuggling and storage of drugs. Yet, recent evidence suggests that insects, rather than mammals, may be used more effectively in this capacity. One of the disadvantages of dogs lies in the fact that these animals, like humans, may get bored and lose interest. Other problems may also result from the emotional relationship between a dog and its owner.
Insects, on the other hand, remain relatively free of these emotional attachments and, at the same time, possess biological detection mechanisms that are at least as effective as those of mammals.
Insects have olfactory systems that are very similar to those of vertebrates, detecting odors via finger-like protuberances on the antenna, called olfactory sensilla.
The odorant molecule passes through pores in the outer cuticle of the sensillum and becomes attached to an odorant binding protein. This protein carries the hydrophobic ligand through the lymph fluid found inside the cell and attaches it to a receptor on the dendritic projections of a sensory nerve cell. Finally, this receptor sends a signal to the central nervous system, allowing for easy detection by researchers.
The position of the insect olfactory organs on the surface of its body allows for direct investigation of the system’s response. A technique developed by German biologist Dietrich Schneider in the 1950s became the first method that enabled researchers to record the activity in insect olfactory nerves and identify the compounds that trigger a behavioral response. The recent developments in this direction suggest that the detection mechanisms of insects are likely to be applied in practice in the near future.
Q.
It can be inferred from the passage that dogs could be used more effectively in detecting drugs if which of the following were true?

Solution:

This question asks us to find a statement that, if true, would make dogs more effective in detecting drugs. To answer this question, it is useful to identify the issues that currently make them less effective. The first paragraph discusses two main disadvantages of dogs:
(1) their proneness to become bored or distracted and (2) their emotional attachment to their owners. A statement that would make dogs more effective is likely to address one of these two disadvantages. 
(A) The passage provides no information about the dogs’ ability to last without food for prolonged periods of time. This answer choice is beyond the scope of the passage.
(B) Nothing in the passage is mentioned about the dogs’ ability to recognize drugs visually. For example, it is quite possible that dogs are currently able to do so.
(C) The passage provides no information about the dogs’ ability to not only smell but also taste drugs. Therefore, it is unclear whether this ability would be helpful.
(D) Finger-like protuberances are mentioned in the opening sentence of the third paragraph as part of an insect’s olfactory system. Since the sentence states that “insects have olfactory systems that are very similar to those of vertebrates” it is unclear whether dogs already possess such protuberances. Even if they do not possess them, it would be difficult to speculate about the outcome of equipping dogs with such systems. 
(E) CORRECT. The first paragraph discusses the disadvantages of using dogs in detecting drugs and states that “… problems may also result from the emotional relationship between a dog and its owner.” Therefore, it can be inferred that if dogs could not develop emotional relationships with humans, this problem would be addressed, thus rendering their use more effective.

QUESTION: 27

Dogs are widely employed by the police as biological detection systems to detect the smuggling and storage of drugs. Yet, recent evidence suggests that insects, rather than mammals, may be used more effectively in this capacity. One of the disadvantages of dogs lies in the fact that these animals, like humans, may get bored and lose interest. Other problems may also result from the emotional relationship between a dog and its owner.
Insects, on the other hand, remain relatively free of these emotional attachments and, at the same time, possess biological detection mechanisms that are at least as effective as those of mammals.
Insects have olfactory systems that are very similar to those of vertebrates, detecting odors via finger-like protuberances on the antenna, called olfactory sensilla.
The odorant molecule passes through pores in the outer cuticle of the sensillum and becomes attached to an odorant binding protein. This protein carries the hydrophobic ligand through the lymph fluid found inside the cell and attaches it to a receptor on the dendritic projections of a sensory nerve cell. Finally, this receptor sends a signal to the central nervous system, allowing for easy detection by researchers.
The position of the insect olfactory organs on the surface of its body allows for direct investigation of the system’s response. A technique developed by German biologist Dietrich Schneider in the 1950s became the first method that enabled researchers to record the activity in insect olfactory nerves and identify the compounds that trigger a behavioral response. The recent developments in this direction suggest that the detection mechanisms of insects are likely to be applied in practice in the near future.
Q.
Which of the following best describes the author’s attitude towards the prospects of using insects’ biological detection systems in practice?

Solution:

When answering questions about the overall tone of the passage or attitude of the author, make sure to avoid extreme answer choices. Also, pay close attention to the qualifying words such as “moderately,” “mildly” or “slightly.” These words tone down the following adjective, thus making it more likely to be the correct answer.
(A) CORRECT. The whole passage provides an argument for the increased use of insects’ detection mechanisms. For example, in the second sentence of the first paragraph, the author states that “… insects, rather than mammals, may be used more effectively in this capacity.” Also, the author concludes the passage by saying that “… the detection mechanisms of insects are likely to be applied in practice in the near future.” These statements and the overall tone of the passage suggest that the author is generally optimistic about the use of the detection mechanisms of insects.  
(B) Since the whole passage makes an argument for a wider use of the biological detection systems of insects and discusses their advantages over mammals, the attitude of the author towards them is positive rather than completely neutral.
(C) Throughout the entire passage, the author discusses the advantages of insects’ detection systems and expresses optimism about their potential use in practice. For example, in the second sentence of the first paragraph, the author states that “… insects, rather than mammals, may be used more effectively in this capacity.” Therefore, the attitude of the author cannot be described as highly doubtful.
(D) This answer is likely to be incorrect for the vast majority of GMAT passages. By definition, if the author writes a passage on a certain subject, she is unlikely to be uninterested in the subject area.
 (E) Throughout the entire passage, the author discusses the advantages of insects’ detection systems and expresses optimism about their potential use in practice. For example, the author concludes the passage by saying that “… the detection mechanisms of insects are likely to be applied in practice in the near future.” Therefore, the attitude of the author cannot be described as mildly pessimistic. 

QUESTION: 28

Dogs are widely employed by the police as biological detection systems to detect the smuggling and storage of drugs. Yet, recent evidence suggests that insects, rather than mammals, may be used more effectively in this capacity. One of the disadvantages of dogs lies in the fact that these animals, like humans, may get bored and lose interest. Other problems may also result from the emotional relationship between a dog and its owner.
Insects, on the other hand, remain relatively free of these emotional attachments and, at the same time, possess biological detection mechanisms that are at least as effective as those of mammals.
Insects have olfactory systems that are very similar to those of vertebrates, detecting odors via finger-like protuberances on the antenna, called olfactory sensilla.
The odorant molecule passes through pores in the outer cuticle of the sensillum and becomes attached to an odorant binding protein. This protein carries the hydrophobic ligand through the lymph fluid found inside the cell and attaches it to a receptor on the dendritic projections of a sensory nerve cell. Finally, this receptor sends a signal to the central nervous system, allowing for easy detection by researchers.
The position of the insect olfactory organs on the surface of its body allows for direct investigation of the system’s response. A technique developed by German biologist Dietrich Schneider in the 1950s became the first method that enabled researchers to record the activity in insect olfactory nerves and identify the compounds that trigger a behavioral response. The recent developments in this direction suggest that the detection mechanisms of insects are likely to be applied in practice in the near future.
Q.
According to the passage, which of the following roles is played by an odorant binding protein?

Solution:

This is a detail question. On questions of this type, use detail words, such as “an odorant binding protein” to locate the answer in the text. Those words are found in the sentence in the second paragraph that describes the role of this protein: “This protein carries the hydrophobic ligand through the lymph fluid found inside the cell and attaches it to a receptor on the dendritic projections of a sensory nerve cell.”
(A) This answer choice describes the role played by a receptor on the dendritic projections of a sensory nerve cell rather than that played by the odorant binding protein.  
(B) CORRECT. The third sentence in the second paragraph states that “This protein carries the hydrophobic ligand through the lymph fluid found inside the cell and attaches it to a receptor on the dendritic projections of a sensory nerve cell.”
(C) This answer choice describes the role of played by the odorant molecule rather than that played by the odorant binding protein.
(D) This answer choice provides information about the odorant binding protein that is not mentioned in the passage.
(E) While the passage mentions finger-like protuberances in the third paragraph, nothing in the text suggests that it is the odorant binding protein that transmits odors via these protuberances. 

QUESTION: 29

In the 1950s, reading was taught to young children primarily through the use of simple primers depicting the middle-class non-adventures of “Dick and Jane.” Rudolph Fletch’s bestselling 1955 book Why Johnny Can’t Read attacked these primers, calling them “horrible, stupid, insipid, … tasteless little readers” and asserting that such boring stories gave no incentive for children to read on their own and learn to “sound out” each word phonetically.
Fletch also bemoaned the fact that there was not a single book in bookstores that first and second graders could read by themselves.
In response, a publisher commissioned Theodore Geisel, who wrote children’s books under the pen name “Dr.
Seuss,” to write a book that “a first grader can’t put down.” Geisel was given a list of a few hundred words considered important and asked to make a book out of them. Nine months later, Geisel, using only 220 different words, delivered The Cat in the Hat, a whimsical story about two bored children left at home with their talking fish who are suddenly visited by a havoc-creating six-foot-tall talking cat. In addition, Geisel wrote the entire book in a rhyming verse, making it fun to read aloud. The Cat in the Hat was a tremendous success and vaulted Geisel into instant celebrity. Another publisher bet Geisel that he could not write an entire book using only 50 different words. Geisel won the bet by publishing the classic Green Eggs and Ham.
The Dr. Seuss books revolutionized the children’s book industry by proving that it was possible to create engaging books with a limited vocabulary. Geisel has been credited with killing off “Dick and Jane,” replacing them with clever rhymes, plot twists and rebellious heroes who do the unexpected. Now one in four American children receives a Dr. Seuss title as his or her first book.
Q.
The main function of the first paragraph is

Solution:

In order to determine the main function of the first paragraph, it is helpful to analyze how this paragraph contributes to the entire article. The conclusion and main idea of the passage is that the Dr. Seuss books “revolutionized the children’s book industry”; i.e., they were a significant force of change. The first paragraph sets the stage for that conclusion by establishing the status quo of the early 1950s prior to that change. Be careful: an answer that is merely mentioned in the first paragraph, but does not describe the overall purpose of the paragraph does not qualify as its “main” or primary function. 
(A) The paragraph only describes Fletch’s criticism of the reading primers. It does not describe Fletch’s approach to writing children’s books.
(B) While the paragraph quotes Fletch’s strongly worded description of the “Dick and Jane” primers, this description is not the main or primary function of the paragraph; the description serves to support the more general criticism of the unsatisfactory state of children’s reading education in the early 1950s.
(C) While Fletch’s displeasure with the availability of first- and second-grade level books is mentioned, the paragraph does not directly advocate an increase in children’s books in bookstores. (D) CORRECT. The paragraph starts off by describing the preferred method of teaching reading in the 1950s, and then continues with some strong criticism of this method and the lack of available books in bookstores. By doing so, the author implies that the status quo was not satisfactory and sets the stage for the subsequent events which “revolutionized” the children's book industry. 
(E) While most of the paragraph describes Fletch’s point of view regarding the existing primers and lack of appropriate books in bookstores, the main purpose of the paragraph is not to praise Fletch; his opinions are used to support the overall premise that the status quo at the time was non-satisfactory. 

QUESTION: 30

In the 1950s, reading was taught to young children primarily through the use of simple primers depicting the middle-class non-adventures of “Dick and Jane.” Rudolph Fletch’s bestselling 1955 book Why Johnny Can’t Read attacked these primers, calling them “horrible, stupid, insipid, … tasteless little readers” and asserting that such boring stories gave no incentive for children to read on their own and learn to “sound out” each word phonetically.
Fletch also bemoaned the fact that there was not a single book in bookstores that first and second graders could read by themselves.
In response, a publisher commissioned Theodore Geisel, who wrote children’s books under the pen name “Dr.
Seuss,” to write a book that “a first grader can’t put down.” Geisel was given a list of a few hundred words considered important and asked to make a book out of them. Nine months later, Geisel, using only 220 different words, delivered The Cat in the Hat, a whimsical story about two bored children left at home with their talking fish who are suddenly visited by a havoc-creating six-foot-tall talking cat. In addition, Geisel wrote the entire book in a rhyming verse, making it fun to read aloud. The Cat in the Hat was a tremendous success and vaulted Geisel into instant celebrity. Another publisher bet Geisel that he could not write an entire book using only 50 different words. Geisel won the bet by publishing the classic Green Eggs and Ham.
The Dr. Seuss books revolutionized the children’s book industry by proving that it was possible to create engaging books with a limited vocabulary. Geisel has been credited with killing off “Dick and Jane,” replacing them with clever rhymes, plot twists and rebellious heroes who do the unexpected. Now one in four American children receives a Dr. Seuss title as his or her first book.
Q.
The author provides a brief synopsis of the plot of The Cat in the Hat primarily in order to

Solution:

This question asks for the motivation behind the author’s inclusion of the synopsis of the story. In order to infer the author’s motivation, it is usually helpful to analyze the statement in the context of the entire passage. The best answer will provide a reasonable explanation behind the inclusion of the synopsis consistent with the rest of the passage.
(A) While the characters in The Cat in the Hat are indeed introduced in the included synopsis, this introduction by itself does nothing to contribute to the overall main idea of the story; hence, it is not the primary motivation behind the synopsis’s inclusion.
(B) CORRECT. The passage starts by establishing the premise that the “Dick and Jane” reading primers were boring “sterile … non-adventures,” continues by discussing Geisel’s books, and then concludes by asserting that Geisel’s “engaging books” story about two children ... who are suddenly visitied by a havoc-creating six-foot-tall talking cat," the author emphasizes how the story is clearly different than those of the “Dick and Jane” primers. 
(C) Since the author concludes that Geisel’s books have had a significant positive influence on the children’s book industry, it is unlikely that he intends to characterize the story of The Cat in the Hat as “bizarre,” a word meaning "extremely odd" or "freakish" and carrying some negative connotations.
(D) The author alludes to a talking cat and fish in this particular story in order to emphasize the fanciful nature of the story, not to assert that such beings exist.
(E) The main topic of the story is how Geisel’s books revolutionized the children’s book industry. While the synopsis of The Cat in the Hat does describe a situation where children left home alone encounter havoc, this description is meant to emphasize the fanciful nature of the story, and not to serve as an implied parental warning. The safety of children left at home is not a topic at issue in this passage; therefore, an implied warning to parents is not a motivation of the author.

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