Test: Reading Comprehension- 4


30 Questions MCQ Test Verbal for GMAT | Test: Reading Comprehension- 4


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QUESTION: 1

Commonplace items sometimes play surprising roles in world development. For example, though most people today associate nutmeg with simple baked goods, this common spice once altered the course of political history.
For centuries, the nutmeg tree grew only in the Banda Islands, a small chain in the southwest Pacific. Locals harvested the aromatic nuts of the tree and sold them to traders. Eventually these nuts, from which the spice is made, ended up as a luxury item in the European market, via Venetian spice merchants. Eager to establish a monopoly over this valuable spice, the Dutch attacked the Bandas, subjugating the native people in a mostly successful attempt to control the nutmeg trade.
However, one island in the Banda chain remained in the hands of the British and was the object of much conflict between the Netherlands and England. After many battles, the British offered to cede control of the island in exchange for New Amsterdam, a Dutch outpost on the east coast of North America. At the time, the Dutch, inveterate traders, were more interested in the spice trade than in the mercantile value of New Amsterdam and so accepted the offer. In 1667, the Treaty of Breda gave the Dutch complete control of the Banda Islands, and thus of the nutmeg trade, and gave the British New Amsterdam, which they promptly renamed New York.
Q.
The second paragraph perfo rms which of the following functions in the passage?
 

Solution:

We are asked to determine the role that the second paragraph plays in the passage as a whole. In the first paragraph, the author introduces his main point -- that commonplace items sometimes play surprising roles in world development -- and begins a discussion about nutmeg. However, this discussion is incomplete at the end of the first paragraph. It is not until the second paragraph that we learn how nutmeg affected world development.
(A) CORRECT. The second paragraph offers specific information -- namely, the role that nutmeg played in the history of New York -- to support the claim that commonplace items play surprising roles in world history.
(B) The second paragraph does not summarize the evidence.
(C) The second paragraph does not present the author's main point - that commonplace items sometimes play surprising roles in world development. Also, the author's main point does not explain the importance of nutmeg as discussed in the second paragraph; rather, the importance of nutmeg is used as an example to illustrate the author's main point.
(D) The second paragraph demonstrates the relative importance of nutmeg in an event of historical significance, but it does not demonstrate the importance of historical change itself.
(E) The second paragraph does not discuss the outcomes, necessary or otherwise, of the author's claims. Instead, it offers evidence to support those claims. 

QUESTION: 2

Commonplace items sometimes play surprising roles in world development. For example, though most people today associate nutmeg with simple baked goods, this common spice once altered the course of political history.
For centuries, the nutmeg tree grew only in the Banda Islands, a small chain in the southwest Pacific. Locals harvested the aromatic nuts of the tree and sold them to traders. Eventually these nuts, from which the spice is made, ended up as a luxury item in the European market, via Venetian spice merchants. Eager to establish a monopoly over this valuable spice, the Dutch attacked the Bandas, subjugating the native people in a mostly successful attempt to control the nutmeg trade.
However, one island in the Banda chain remained in the hands of the British and was the object of much conflict between the Netherlands and England. After many battles, the British offered to cede control of the island in exchange for New Amsterdam, a Dutch outpost on the east coast of North America. At the time, the Dutch, inveterate traders, were more interested in the spice trade than in the mercantile value of New Amsterdam and so accepted the offer. In 1667, the Treaty of Breda gave the Dutch complete control of the Banda Islands, and thus of the nutmeg trade, and gave the British New Amsterdam, which they promptly renamed New York.
Q.
Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the claim that New Amsterdam would have remained a Dutch possession if not for the conflict over nutmeg?

Solution:

The question asks us to strengthen the claim that New Amsterdam would not have become a British possession if not for the conflict over nutmeg. We do not have to find an answer choice that proves that New Amsterdam would not have become a British territory, simply one that shows that New Amsterdam had attributes that the Dutch valued.
(A) This choice tells us that the nutmeg trade was limited to the Banda Islands, but it does not give us any information concerning New Amsterdam.
(B) The fact that New Amsterdam had a small population is not suggestive of anything relevant to the question.
(C) The fact that the British controlled trade in other spices does not give a reason to believe that New Amsterdam would have remained a Dutch possession if not for the conflict over nutmeg. 
(D) CORRECT. The passage tells us that The Netherlands ceded New Amsterdam in order to gain control of the valuable spice trade. This choice suggests that New Amsterdam was already a source of wealth for The Netherlands. So perhaps The Netherlands would have held on to New Amsterdam if they had not been offered something they perceived to be even more valuable (e.g., nutmeg).
(E) The fact that The Netherlands controlled no other North American territories is not relevant unless we have information suggesting that The Netherlands felt compelled to maintain a presence in North America. Since we do not have any such information, this choice is not relevant.

QUESTION: 3

Commonplace items sometimes play surprising roles in world development. For example, though most people today associate nutmeg with simple baked goods, this common spice once altered the course of political history.
For centuries, the nutmeg tree grew only in the Banda Islands, a small chain in the southwest Pacific. Locals harvested the aromatic nuts of the tree and sold them to traders. Eventually these nuts, from which the spice is made, ended up as a luxury item in the European market, via Venetian spice merchants. Eager to establish a monopoly over this valuable spice, the Dutch attacked the Bandas, subjugating the native people in a mostly successful attempt to control the nutmeg trade.
However, one island in the Banda chain remained in the hands of the British and was the object of much conflict between the Netherlands and England. After many battles, the British offered to cede control of the island in exchange for New Amsterdam, a Dutch outpost on the east coast of North America. At the time, the Dutch, inveterate traders, were more interested in the spice trade than in the mercantile value of New Amsterdam and so accepted the offer. In 1667, the Treaty of Breda gave the Dutch complete control of the Banda Islands, and thus of the nutmeg trade, and gave the British New Amsterdam, which they promptly renamed New York.
Q.
Which of the following is mentioned in the passage as a reason for the initial interest of the Netherlands in the Banda Islands?

Solution:

We are asked to find a stated reason for the initial interest of the Netherlands in the Banda Islands. The correct answer will have been explicitly mentioned in the passage, though perhaps in different words from those in the answer choice. 
(A) The passage does not mention increased competition with Britain as a reason for the initial interest of the Netherlands in the Bandas
(B) The passage does not state that the Dutch were disappointed with the economic development of New Amsterdam. Instead, it simply states that the Netherlands was more interested in the Bandas.
(C) The passage does not mention any frustration with Venetian spice merchants.
(D) The passage does not mention any attempts to cultivate nutmeg outside the Banda Islands. 
(E) CORRECT. The Netherlands attacked the Bandas in order to control trade in nutmeg, a valuable commodity at that time. It hoped to establish a monopoly in the spice, thus restricting access to it. 

QUESTION: 4

Commonplace items sometimes play surprising roles in world development. For example, though most people today associate nutmeg with simple baked goods, this common spice once altered the course of political history.
For centuries, the nutmeg tree grew only in the Banda Islands, a small chain in the southwest Pacific. Locals harvested the aromatic nuts of the tree and sold them to traders. Eventually these nuts, from which the spice is made, ended up as a luxury item in the European market, via Venetian spice merchants. Eager to establish a monopoly over this valuable spice, the Dutch attacked the Bandas, subjugating the native people in a mostly successful attempt to control the nutmeg trade.
However, one island in the Banda chain remained in the hands of the British and was the object of much conflict between the Netherlands and England. After many battles, the British offered to cede control of the island in exchange for New Amsterdam, a Dutch outpost on the east coast of North America. At the time, the Dutch, inveterate traders, were more interested in the spice trade than in the mercantile value of New Amsterdam and so accepted the offer. In 1667, the Treaty of Breda gave the Dutch complete control of the Banda Islands, and thus of the nutmeg trade, and gave the British New Amsterdam, which they promptly renamed New York.
Q.
The passage suggests which of the following about the Banda Islands?

Solution:

We are asked to infer something about the Banda Islands from the information given in the passage. The correct answer must be based only on information found in the passage. Any choice that requires additional information or assumptions cannot be correct. 
(A) CORRECT. The passage states that after the Dutch attacked the Bandas, "one island in the Banda chain, however, remained in the hands of the British." This implies that the British already had a presence in the islands.
(B) The passage tells us only that nutmeg trees grew in the Bandas. It does not tell us that no other spice was grown there.
(C) The passage states that nutmeg is made from the nuts of the nutmeg tree, but it does not state who converted the nuts to spice. According to the passage, the natives sold the nuts to traders, so it is unlikely that they were the ones to convert the nuts to spice. 
(D) There is no information in the passage about the current status of the Banda Islands. 
(E) The passage does not talk about the overall economy of the Banda Islands. 

QUESTION: 5

Commonplace items sometimes play surprising roles in world development. For example, though most people today associate nutmeg with simple baked goods, this common spice once altered the course of political history.
For centuries, the nutmeg tree grew only in the Banda Islands, a small chain in the southwest Pacific. Locals harvested the aromatic nuts of the tree and sold them to traders. Eventually these nuts, from which the spice is made, ended up as a luxury item in the European market, via Venetian spice merchants. Eager to establish a monopoly over this valuable spice, the Dutch attacked the Bandas, subjugating the native people in a mostly successful attempt to control the nutmeg trade.
However, one island in the Banda chain remained in the hands of the British and was the object of much conflict between the Netherlands and England. After many battles, the British offered to cede control of the island in exchange for New Amsterdam, a Dutch outpost on the east coast of North America. At the time, the Dutch, inveterate traders, were more interested in the spice trade than in the mercantile value of New Amsterdam and so accepted the offer. In 1667, the Treaty of Breda gave the Dutch complete control of the Banda Islands, and thus of the nutmeg trade, and gave the British New Amsterdam, which they promptly renamed New York.
Q.
In the passage, the author is primarily interested in

Solution:

We are asked for the purpose of the passage overall. Therefore, we must look for an answer choice that accurately describes the passage in its entirety. If an answer choice describes only part of the passage, it cannot be the correct answer.
At the beginning of the first paragraph, the author makes the claim that "commonplace items sometimes play surprising roles in world development." In the next sentence, the author offers nutmeg as an example. Though the rest of the passage elaborates on this example, the purpose of the passage as a whole is to support the claim that ordinary objects sometime cause extraordinary events.
(A) The passage is not primarily about the history of a major city, as it only mentions New Amsterdam/New York in passing. (B) The passage discusses nutmeg's role in world history, not that of spices more generally.  Also, the passage discusses nutmeg in service of the general claim that common items sometimes cause extraordinary events.
(C) CORRECT. Nutmeg is used as a specific example of the author's general claim that common items sometimes cause extraordinary events.
(D) The author does not argue for continued research into history, political or otherwise. 
(E) The author does present an historical background on a conflict involving nutmeg, but this is not an "innovative view of a commonplace item"; rather, it is one example of how a commonplace item can have an interesting and influential role in an historical development.  This answer choice addresses only the example of nutmeg, not the general principle; it is, therefore, too specific to function as the overall purpose of the passage. 

QUESTION: 6

The movement for women’s rights traces its origin to the first half of the nineteenth century. The Seneca Falls Convention, held in Seneca Falls, New York in July of 1848, is commonly regarded as the beginning of the women’s rights movement in the United States. This conference was preceded by a series of ground-breaking events that made possible this seminal milestone in the history of American women.
The idea for the convention emerged during the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, a conference that precluded its female delegates from participation in discussions. Lucretia Mott, a famous women’s rights activist, wrote in her diary that calling the 1840 convention a “world” convention “was a mere poetical license.” She had accompanied her husband to London but had to sit behind a partition with other women activists, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who later became one of the main forces behind the Seneca Falls Convention.
During the early 1840s, Elizabeth Cady Stanton composed the Declaration of Sentiments, a document modeled after the Declaration of Independence, declaring the rights of women. At the time of its composition, the Declaration of Sentiments was so bold that when Elizabeth Stanton showed the draft to her husband, he stated that if she read it at the Seneca Falls Convention, he would have to leave town. The Declaration contained several new resolutions. It proclaimed that all men and women are born equal and stated that no man could withhold a woman’s rights, take her property, or preclude her from the right to vote. This Declaration also became the foundation for the Seneca Falls Convention.
On July 19-20, 1848, the Seneca Falls Convention brought together 240 delegates between ages 22 and 60, including forty men, who spent the two days at the conference debating, refining and voting on the Declaration of Sentiments. Most of the declaration’s resolutions received unanimous support and were officially endorsed. Later in 1848, the Seneca Falls convention was followed by an even larger meeting in Rochester, New York. Thereafter, national women’s conventions were held annually, contributing to the growing momentum in the movement for women’s rights.
Q.
Which of the following best describes the main purpose of the passage above?

Solution:

On questions asking about the main idea of the passage, it is useful to refer to the opening paragraph, which usually provides a broad overview of the passage. Also, be sure to avoid extreme answer choices and those answers that refer to a part of the passage rather than the whole text.
(A) While the passage discusses the origin of the women’s rights movement, the text does not attempt to compare it to the contemporary state of affairs. Nothing in the passage is mentioned about the current-day situation.
(B) While the passage discusses the development of the women’s rights movement, it does not suggest further expansion of women’s rights.
(C) The passage mentions only a few restrictions on women’s rights and does so in a cursory way. Furthermore, the text merely describes rather than criticizes these restrictions.  
(D) The passage provides no information regarding the specific reasons for the opposition to women’s rights movement.
(E) CORRECT. The entire passage is devoted to the discussion of the early days in the women’s rights movement and the events leading up to the Seneca Falls Convention, which, according to the passage, "is commonly regarded as the beginning of the women's rights movement in the United States." Note that this idea is mimicked in the first sentence of the opening paragraph: “The movement for women’s rights traces its origin to the first half of the nineteenth century.” 

QUESTION: 7

The movement for women’s rights traces its origin to the first half of the nineteenth century. The Seneca Falls Convention, held in Seneca Falls, New York in July of 1848, is commonly regarded as the beginning of the women’s rights movement in the United States. This conference was preceded by a series of ground-breaking events that made possible this seminal milestone in the history of American women.
The idea for the convention emerged during the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, a conference that precluded its female delegates from participation in discussions. Lucretia Mott, a famous women’s rights activist, wrote in her diary that calling the 1840 convention a “world” convention “was a mere poetical license.” She had accompanied her husband to London but had to sit behind a partition with other women activists, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who later became one of the main forces behind the Seneca Falls Convention.
During the early 1840s, Elizabeth Cady Stanton composed the Declaration of Sentiments, a document modeled after the Declaration of Independence, declaring the rights of women. At the time of its composition, the Declaration of Sentiments was so bold that when Elizabeth Stanton showed the draft to her husband, he stated that if she read it at the Seneca Falls Convention, he would have to leave town. The Declaration contained several new resolutions. It proclaimed that all men and women are born equal and stated that no man could withhold a woman’s rights, take her property, or preclude her from the right to vote. This Declaration also became the foundation for the Seneca Falls Convention.
On July 19-20, 1848, the Seneca Falls Convention brought together 240 delegates between ages 22 and 60, including forty men, who spent the two days at the conference debating, refining and voting on the Declaration of Sentiments. Most of the declaration’s resolutions received unanimous support and were officially endorsed. Later in 1848, the Seneca Falls convention was followed by an even larger meeting in Rochester, New York. Thereafter, national women’s conventions were held annually, contributing to the growing momentum in the movement for women’s rights.
Q.
The passage provides information about each of the following, EXCEPT

Solution:

On detail questions, you can facilitate your decision process by looking for signal words. Since this is an “except” question, we can answer it by trying to find the statements that were mentioned in the choices and then eliminating those choices that were mentioned. In this process, make sure to use proper nouns (such as Rochester or the Seneca Falls Convention) and dates (such as 1848) as your signals. Since dates and capitalized nouns stand out in the text, they can speed up the process of verifying the answer choices.
(A) The first sentence of the concluding paragraph states that the Seneca Falls Convention was held on July 19 - 20, 1848.
(B) CORRECT. While the passage states that the convention in Rochester was held “later in 1848,” it does not mention the specific month of this event.
(C) The opening sentence of the second paragraph mentions that the World AntiSlavery convention was held in 1840.
(D) The opening sentence of the last paragraph states that “the Seneca Falls Convention brought together 240 delegates.
(E) The opening sentence of the second paragraph states that the World AntiSlavery Convention was held in London.  

QUESTION: 8

The movement for women’s rights traces its origin to the first half of the nineteenth century. The Seneca Falls Convention, held in Seneca Falls, New York in July of 1848, is commonly regarded as the beginning of the women’s rights movement in the United States. This conference was preceded by a series of ground-breaking events that made possible this seminal milestone in the history of American women.
The idea for the convention emerged during the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, a conference that precluded its female delegates from participation in discussions. Lucretia Mott, a famous women’s rights activist, wrote in her diary that calling the 1840 convention a “world” convention “was a mere poetical license.” She had accompanied her husband to London but had to sit behind a partition with other women activists, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who later became one of the main forces behind the Seneca Falls Convention.
During the early 1840s, Elizabeth Cady Stanton composed the Declaration of Sentiments, a document modeled after the Declaration of Independence, declaring the rights of women. At the time of its composition, the Declaration of Sentiments was so bold that when Elizabeth Stanton showed the draft to her husband, he stated that if she read it at the Seneca Falls Convention, he would have to leave town. The Declaration contained several new resolutions. It proclaimed that all men and women are born equal and stated that no man could withhold a woman’s rights, take her property, or preclude her from the right to vote. This Declaration also became the foundation for the Seneca Falls Convention.
On July 19-20, 1848, the Seneca Falls Convention brought together 240 delegates between ages 22 and 60, including forty men, who spent the two days at the conference debating, refining and voting on the Declaration of Sentiments. Most of the declaration’s resolutions received unanimous support and were officially endorsed. Later in 1848, the Seneca Falls convention was followed by an even larger meeting in Rochester, New York. Thereafter, national women’s conventions were held annually, contributing to the growing momentum in the movement for women’s rights.
Q. 
The second paragraph of the passage plays which of the following roles?

Solution:

This question asks us to summarize the role of the second paragraph. On this type of question, it is helpful to re-read the topic sentence of the paragraph at issue. The topic sentence is typically the first or second sentence of the paragraph.
(A) The Declaration of Sentiments is discussed in the third rather than the second paragraph.  
(B) While the second paragraph discusses the World Anti-Slavery Convention, nothing is mentioned about the events leading up to this convention.
(C) While the second paragraph mentions that Lucretia Mott accompanied her husband to the convention, it provides no information about his attitude towards her attendance.  
(D) CORRECT. The second paragraph discusses how the restrictions on women’s participation in the World-Antislavery Convention escalated their growing discontent with the limitations of women’s rights. Note that this idea is mimicked in the opening sentence of the paragraph: “The idea for the convention emerged during the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, a conference that precluded its female delegates from participation in discussions.”
(E) While the passage states that women were precluded from active participation in the discussions at the World Anti-Slavery Convention, the text provides no information regarding the reasons for these restrictions.

QUESTION: 9

The movement for women’s rights traces its origin to the first half of the nineteenth century. The Seneca Falls Convention, held in Seneca Falls, New York in July of 1848, is commonly regarded as the beginning of the women’s rights movement in the United States. This conference was preceded by a series of ground-breaking events that made possible this seminal milestone in the history of American women.
The idea for the convention emerged during the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, a conference that precluded its female delegates from participation in discussions. Lucretia Mott, a famous women’s rights activist, wrote in her diary that calling the 1840 convention a “world” convention “was a mere poetical license.” She had accompanied her husband to London but had to sit behind a partition with other women activists, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who later became one of the main forces behind the Seneca Falls Convention.
During the early 1840s, Elizabeth Cady Stanton composed the Declaration of Sentiments, a document modeled after the Declaration of Independence, declaring the rights of women. At the time of its composition, the Declaration of Sentiments was so bold that when Elizabeth Stanton showed the draft to her husband, he stated that if she read it at the Seneca Falls Convention, he would have to leave town. The Declaration contained several new resolutions. It proclaimed that all men and women are born equal and stated that no man could withhold a woman’s rights, take her property, or preclude her from the right to vote. This Declaration also became the foundation for the Seneca Falls Convention.
On July 19-20, 1848, the Seneca Falls Convention brought together 240 delegates between ages 22 and 60, including forty men, who spent the two days at the conference debating, refining and voting on the Declaration of Sentiments. Most of the declaration’s resolutions received unanimous support and were officially endorsed. Later in 1848, the Seneca Falls convention was followed by an even larger meeting in Rochester, New York. Thereafter, national women’s conventions were held annually, contributing to the growing momentum in the movement for women’s rights.
Q. 
Which of the following can be most reasonably inferred from the passage?

Solution:

Since this is an inference question, we will be looking 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 must be very closely connected to the actual text of the passage and directly supported by one or two sentences. 
(A) The concluding paragraph of the passage states that “the Seneca Falls Convention was followed by an even larger meeting in Rochester, New York,” but mentions nothing about the breakdown of the delegates for that convention.
(B) The third paragraph describes the rights proclaimed by the Declaration of Sentiments. While the declaration stated that “… all men and women are born equal and that no man could withhold a woman's rights, take her property, or preclude her from the right to vote,” it did not address occupational issues, according to the passage. 
(C) CORRECT. The opening sentence of the last paragraph states that “… the Seneca Falls Convention brought together 240 delegates between ages 22 and 60, including 40 men…” Since 40 of the 240 delegates were men, we can infer that the remaining 200 delegates must have been women. Further, since all the delegates were between ages 22 and 60, none of the delegates could have been younger than 22 years old. Therefore, we can infer that the convention gathered more than 190 women, none of whom were younger than 20.
(D) While the passage mentions that the husband of Elizabeth Cady Stanton stated that he would leave town of she read the Declaration of Sentiments at the Seneca Falls Convention, nothing in the passage implies that he actually did so.
(E) The opening sentence of the second paragraph states that “… the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention in London … precluded its female delegates from participation in discussions.” However, the passage provides no information regarding the number of either male or female delegates at that conference. 

QUESTION: 10

One often hears that biographies are autobiographies, that the biographer is always writing about himself. On the contrary, serious biographers seek and welcome the unfamiliar, however troublesome to account for. Ron Chernow, the author of rich biographies of the American businessmen J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller, remarks that biographers “like to stub their toes on hard, uncomfortable facts strewn in their paths.” Such encounters with the unaccountable are opportunities for breaking out and breaking through, in new directions, to fresh understanding.
One also often hears that biographers must like their subjects. That would of course rule out such vastly important subjects as Hitler or Stalin. In practice, the biographer must like the subject not as a person but as a subject. Some are good subjects for the author, some bad. And what makes one subject better than another for any particular biographer varies dramatically. Some of the reasons are purely practical. Does the subject need a biography? Are the materials available? How much time is needed? A biographer’s knowledge and ability also determine the choice. Great scientists are great subjects, but can one write about their achievements with insight and authority? Personal idiosyncrasies matter, too.
Biographers tend to be attracted to subjects who display particular personality traits, whether they be ambition, cruelty, ingenuity, or any other characteristic that separates a potential subject from the multitudes.
In choosing a subject, the biographer’s main question should be, “Can an effective book be made out of this person’s life?” Day after day for years, the biographer will try to untangle chronology, compress relationships without distorting them, and keep the main narrative clear while carrying forward several intricate strands of the subject’s life. What pushes most biographers on in this endeavor is not necessarily affection for the subject but the feeling that they are writing a good book.
Q.
It can be inferred that the author makes which of the following assumptions about biographies?

Solution:

The question asks us to identify an assumption that the author makes about biographies. The best approach to this question is simply to evaluate the choices one-by-one. Since an assumption is an unstated piece of evidence that is necessary to complete the logic of an argument, we are looking for an answer choice that completes the logic of the passage.
(A) While the author mentions in the second paragraph that “biographers tend to be attracted to subjects who display particular personality traits,” informing readers of these traits is never implied to be the “main” purpose of biographies.
(B) In the first paragraph, the author writes that “serious biographers seek and welcome the unfamiliar.” The author states in the second paragraph that “the biographer must like the subject not as a person, but as a subject.” Thus, the author probably disagrees with this answer choice. (C) The author concludes in the third paragraph that when choosing a subject, “the biographer’s main question should be, ‘Can an effective book be made out of this person’s life?’” The author most likely believes the opposite of this answer choice: that compelling biographies can be written about ordinary citizens.
(D) CORRECT. In the second paragraph, the author discusses the elements of a good biography, stating that “a biographer’s knowledge and ability also determine the choice” of subject. If the author did not assume that the biographer's credibility with readers is a factor in the critical success of a biography, then this part of the second paragraph would be meaningless.
(E) In the second paragraph, the author discusses the practical considerations a biographer faces when selecting a subject, though such considerations are never presented as “most” important. In addition, the author goes on to add in the third paragraph that when choosing a subject, “the biographer’s main question should be, ‘Can an effective book be made out of this person’s life?’” An adequate answer to this suggested question goes beyond practical considerations.  

QUESTION: 11

One often hears that biographies are autobiographies, that the biographer is always writing about himself. On the contrary, serious biographers seek and welcome the unfamiliar, however troublesome to account for. Ron Chernow, the author of rich biographies of the American businessmen J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller, remarks that biographers “like to stub their toes on hard, uncomfortable facts strewn in their paths.” Such encounters with the unaccountable are opportunities for breaking out and breaking through, in new directions, to fresh understanding.
One also often hears that biographers must like their subjects. That would of course rule out such vastly important subjects as Hitler or Stalin. In practice, the biographer must like the subject not as a person but as a subject. Some are good subjects for the author, some bad. And what makes one subject better than another for any particular biographer varies dramatically. Some of the reasons are purely practical. Does the subject need a biography? Are the materials available? How much time is needed? A biographer’s knowledge and ability also determine the choice. Great scientists are great subjects, but can one write about their achievements with insight and authority? Personal idiosyncrasies matter, too.
Biographers tend to be attracted to subjects who display particular personality traits, whether they be ambition, cruelty, ingenuity, or any other characteristic that separates a potential subject from the multitudes.
In choosing a subject, the biographer’s main question should be, “Can an effective book be made out of this person’s life?” Day after day for years, the biographer will try to untangle chronology, compress relationships without distorting them, and keep the main narrative clear while carrying forward several intricate strands of the subject’s life. What pushes most biographers on in this endeavor is not necessarily affection for the subject but the feeling that they are writing a good book.
Q.
The author is primarily concerned with

Solution:

This question asks for the author’s primary concern. The correct answer must take the entirety of the passage into account without misrepresenting its focus. Typically, the opening paragraph and the topic sentences of each paragraph will reveal the focus of the passage.  
(A) The author does not attempt to persuade biographers to change their methods. Rather, the author tries to dispel what he takes to be popular misconceptions about the work of biographers. 
(B) CORRECT. The first two paragraphs begin with statements such as “one often hears that biographies are…”, and the author goes on to explain why these beliefs are incorrect.  
(C) No “reform” of any endeavor is mentioned in this passage. The author simply argues against certain perceptions about biography writing.
(D) The claims that the author sets out to refute are simply assertions; they lack the complexity or internal coherence of a theory. Moreover, there is no indication in this  passage that the claims in question are outdated. The author says the claims are incorrect, but gives no indication that they were, at some earlier date, correct.
(E) The author discusses the concerns and motivations of biography authors in general, and of Ron Chernow in particular, but does not describe the working methods of any particular authors. 

QUESTION: 12

One often hears that biographies are autobiographies, that the biographer is always writing about himself. On the contrary, serious biographers seek and welcome the unfamiliar, however troublesome to account for. Ron Chernow, the author of rich biographies of the American businessmen J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller, remarks that biographers “like to stub their toes on hard, uncomfortable facts strewn in their paths.” Such encounters with the unaccountable are opportunities for breaking out and breaking through, in new directions, to fresh understanding.
One also often hears that biographers must like their subjects. That would of course rule out such vastly important subjects as Hitler or Stalin. In practice, the biographer must like the subject not as a person but as a subject. Some are good subjects for the author, some bad. And what makes one subject better than another for any particular biographer varies dramatically. Some of the reasons are purely practical. Does the subject need a biography? Are the materials available? How much time is needed? A biographer’s knowledge and ability also determine the choice. Great scientists are great subjects, but can one write about their achievements with insight and authority? Personal idiosyncrasies matter, too.
Biographers tend to be attracted to subjects who display particular personality traits, whether they be ambition, cruelty, ingenuity, or any other characteristic that separates a potential subject from the multitudes.
In choosing a subject, the biographer’s main question should be, “Can an effective book be made out of this person’s life?” Day after day for years, the biographer will try to untangle chronology, compress relationships without distorting them, and keep the main narrative clear while carrying forward several intricate strands of the subject’s life. What pushes most biographers on in this endeavor is not necessarily affection for the subject but the feeling that they are writing a good book.
Q.
The author mentions Ron Chernow most probably in order to

Solution:

This question concerns the context in which the author cites Ron Chernow in the first paragraph. The paragraph begins with the claim that “biographies are autobiographies.” However, that statement is followed by the phrase “on the contrary,” signaling that the subsequent mention of Chernow is intended to provide a counterexample to this claim.
(A) CORRECT. Chernow is cited as a counterexample to the general claim that “biographies are autobiographies.”
(B) The questionable assertion in the first paragraph is that “biographies are autobiographies.” However, the signal words “on the contrary” indicate that Chernow is not intended as an illustration of this assertion, but rather a counterexample.
(C) Chernow is the only biographer named in the passage, so the author never attempted to make a comparison between Chernow and any other established biographer.  
(D) The importance of research in biography is discussed in the second paragraph, while Chernow is cited in the first paragraph. Thus, it is likely that Chernow is cited for some other reason.
(E) The author is not challenging a new approach to biography; if anything, he is arguing that certain attitudes about biography are inaccurate. Chernow is cited to counter one such prevailing attitude.  

QUESTION: 13

As Internet marketing has matured, it has driven two trends: a narrower focus on pitching specific consumer groups and a more robust effort to measure the outcomes of marketing campaigns. In the pre-Internet world, advertisers were content to pay for television commercials whose audience was relatively broad and whose effect was not easily quantifiable. While a company might use viewership ratings to get general data about the size and demographics of the audience for its commercials, there was no way to measure the extent to which these commercials translated into actual sales.
In contrast, many companies are now moving their marketing dollars away from traditional advertising outlets towards Internet-based campaigns that can target specific consumer groups and quantify the return on marketing investments. For example, pay-per-click search engines allow companies to pay for small text advertisements that are displayed only when users search for specific words relevant to the products and services sold by that company.
A company is charged only when a consumer clicks on the ad and is directed to the company’s website, thereby ensuring that the company’s advertising dollars are spent capturing consumers that demonstrate some interest in its offerings. Further, using sophisticated web-analytic technology, companies can track a consumer’s online behavior and determine the exact amount of any online purchases made.
Though hailed as more cost-effective, Internet advertising has its limits. Proponents of print media argue that newspaper ads more effectively promote brand awareness and thereby provide better value. Further, fraud, intense competition, and the rise of ancillary services—such as firms that companies must hire to navigate complex webtracking tools—render Internet marketing more costly than some companies realize.
Q.
Each of the following can be inferred from the passage as a possible consequence of the rise of
Internet marketing EXCEPT

Solution:

A GMAT inference is one that can be clearly gleaned from the actual text. Since this questions asks for something that CANNOT be inferred from the passage, the correct answer will most likely go well beyond the statements in the passage.
(A) The passage states that “many companies are now moving their marketing dollars away from traditional advertising outlets towards Internet-based campaigns.” Since the passage mentions “television advertising” as a traditional advertising outlet, it can reasonably be inferred that the percentage of overall marketing dollars spent on television advertising has decreased, while the percentage of dollars spent on internet ads has increased.
(B) The passage directly states that the rise of Internet marketing has sparked a “more robust effort to measure the outcomes of marketing campaigns.”  (C) In the final paragraph, the passage mentions “the rise of ancillary services—such as firms that companies must hire to navigate complex web-tracking tools.” These clearly qualify as new marketing-related service firms. (D) CORRECT. According to the passage, “proponents of print media argue that newspaper ads more effectively promote brand awareness and thereby provide better value” than Internet ads. However, even if true, this does not mean that companies have devalued “brand awareness” as a marketing goal. Just because, according to some critics, companies might not be achieving that goal as effectively as in the past, does not mean that companies do not think that the goal is still important.  
(E) Pay-per-click search engines are described as a newly popular type of Internet marketing. Clearly, then, these search engines emerged as a direct consequence of the rise of Internet marketing. 

QUESTION: 14

As Internet marketing has matured, it has driven two trends: a narrower focus on pitching specific consumer groups and a more robust effort to measure the outcomes of marketing campaigns. In the pre-Internet world, advertisers were content to pay for television commercials whose audience was relatively broad and whose effect was not easily quantifiable. While a company might use viewership ratings to get general data about the size and demographics of the audience for its commercials, there was no way to measure the extent to which these commercials translated into actual sales.
In contrast, many companies are now moving their marketing dollars away from traditional advertising outlets towards Internet-based campaigns that can target specific consumer groups and quantify the return on marketing investments. For example, pay-per-click search engines allow companies to pay for small text advertisements that are displayed only when users search for specific words relevant to the products and services sold by that company.
A company is charged only when a consumer clicks on the ad and is directed to the company’s website, thereby ensuring that the company’s advertising dollars are spent capturing consumers that demonstrate some interest in its offerings. Further, using sophisticated web-analytic technology, companies can track a consumer’s online behavior and determine the exact amount of any online purchases made.
Though hailed as more cost-effective, Internet advertising has its limits. Proponents of print media argue that newspaper ads more effectively promote brand awareness and thereby provide better value. Further, fraud, intense competition, and the rise of ancillary services—such as firms that companies must hire to navigate complex webtracking tools—render Internet marketing more costly than some companies realize.
Q.
The author of the passage would be most likely to agree with which of the following statements?

Solution:

The author of the passage presents the information in a fairly objective manner. In the first paragraph, the author describes recent advertising trends. Then the author uses the second paragraph to detail some benefits of these trends before using the final paragraph to specify some disadvantages. Since the author’s tone in the passage is descriptive rather than prescriptive (that is, the author never offers her opinion about the trends), the correct answer should shy away from strong opinions.
(A) The word “only” renders this choice incorrect. The author, while clearly aware of the benefits of advertising to targeted consumer groups, never states that companies should invest “only” in this type of advertising. In fact, the author references “brand awareness” as one of the potential benefits of less directly targeted advertising
(B) The author never discusses whether traditional advertising outlets, in and of themselves, are worth the cost for large companies. The passage focuses on comparing traditional outlets to Internet advertising but it never stakes a claim about the intrinsic cost-benefit of traditional advertising.
(C) The total actual marketing dollars spent by companies is not mentioned in the passage. The author never discusses how pay-per-click advertising will effect a companies total expenditures; instead, the author focuses on the benefits and disadvantages of different types of advertising.
(D) CORRECT. The passage states that “many companies are now moving their marketing dollars away from traditional advertising outlets towards Internet-based campaigns that can target specific consumer groups and quantify the return on marketing investments.” Thus, the author clearly views effective measurement as one of the key advantages that Internet-based campaigns have over traditional advertising outlets.
(E) The passage never compares the actual costs of Internet vs. traditional ads. While the author discusses relative value and cost-effectiveness, a strict comparison of actual cost is never made.  

QUESTION: 15

As Internet marketing has matured, it has driven two trends: a narrower focus on pitching specific consumer groups and a more robust effort to measure the outcomes of marketing campaigns. In the pre-Internet world, advertisers were content to pay for television commercials whose audience was relatively broad and whose effect was not easily quantifiable. While a company might use viewership ratings to get general data about the size and demographics of the audience for its commercials, there was no way to measure the extent to which these commercials translated into actual sales.
In contrast, many companies are now moving their marketing dollars away from traditional advertising outlets towards Internet-based campaigns that can target specific consumer groups and quantify the return on marketing investments. For example, pay-per-click search engines allow companies to pay for small text advertisements that are displayed only when users search for specific words relevant to the products and services sold by that company.
A company is charged only when a consumer clicks on the ad and is directed to the company’s website, thereby ensuring that the company’s advertising dollars are spent capturing consumers that demonstrate some interest in its offerings. Further, using sophisticated web-analytic technology, companies can track a consumer’s online behavior and determine the exact amount of any online purchases made.
Though hailed as more cost-effective, Internet advertising has its limits. Proponents of print media argue that newspaper ads more effectively promote brand awareness and thereby provide better value. Further, fraud, intense competition, and the rise of ancillary services—such as firms that companies must hire to navigate complex webtracking tools—render Internet marketing more costly than some companies realize.
Q.
Which of the following can be inferred from the passage about the use of pay-per-click search engines ads?

Solution:

The second paragraph of the passage describes pay-per-click search engines as an example of the trend towards "campaigns that can target specific consumer groups and quantify the return on marketing investments." The correct answer will stick very closely to the text that describes pay-per-click search engines.
(A) The passage states that upon clicking an ad, a consumer “is directed to the company’s website.” This does not mean, however, that the consumer will necessarily purchase something on the company’s website. While some consumers may translate into paying customers, nothing in the passage suggests that this is the case for “most” consumers. 
(B) CORRECT. Ads that attract minimal interest will lead to minimal consumer clicks. Since “a company is charged only when a consumer clicks on the ad,” it follows that this company will incur relatively little cost for these few clicks.
(C) Since consumers do not actually see the websites of companies until after they have clicked on an ad, the relative merits of a company's website have no bearing on an individual’s interest in a particular ad.
(D) The passage provides no information about how a company’s brand impacts the benefit it receives from pay-per-click ads.
(E) While the passage states that companies “can track a consumer’s online behavior” using web-analytic technology, this technology is not a prerequisite for companies to advertise on pay-per-click search engines. The word “always” renders this choice incorrect. 

QUESTION: 16

As Internet marketing has matured, it has driven two trends: a narrower focus on pitching specific consumer groups and a more robust effort to measure the outcomes of marketing campaigns. In the pre-Internet world, advertisers were content to pay for television commercials whose audience was relatively broad and whose effect was not easily quantifiable. While a company might use viewership ratings to get general data about the size and demographics of the audience for its commercials, there was no way to measure the extent to which these commercials translated into actual sales.
In contrast, many companies are now moving their marketing dollars away from traditional advertising outlets towards Internet-based campaigns that can target specific consumer groups and quantify the return on marketing investments. For example, pay-per-click search engines allow companies to pay for small text advertisements that are displayed only when users search for specific words relevant to the products and services sold by that company.
A company is charged only when a consumer clicks on the ad and is directed to the company’s website, thereby ensuring that the company’s advertising dollars are spent capturing consumers that demonstrate some interest in its offerings. Further, using sophisticated web-analytic technology, companies can track a consumer’s online behavior and determine the exact amount of any online purchases made.
Though hailed as more cost-effective, Internet advertising has its limits. Proponents of print media argue that newspaper ads more effectively promote brand awareness and thereby provide better value. Further, fraud, intense competition, and the rise of ancillary services—such as firms that companies must hire to navigate complex webtracking tools—render Internet marketing more costly than some companies realize.
Q.
The third paragraph of the passage serves to

Solution:

The first paragraph speaks generally about two new trends in advertising. The second paragraph illustrates these trends through a discussion of one specific type of marketing – pay-per-click search engine advertising. The third and final paragraph then points out the limitations of Internet advertising. The correct answer choice will correctly state the general function of the third paragraph.  (A) CORRECT. The topic sentence of the third paragraph states that “Internet advertising has its limits.” The paragraph then goes on to detail two of those potential limits or disadvantages. The first is the fact that Internet ads may not do as good a job as traditional advertising at promoting brand awareness. The second is that various factors “render Internet marketing more costly than some companies realize.” 
(B) Although the third paragraph opens by mentioning that Internet advertising is “hailed as cost-effective” the entire remainder of this paragraph undermines this point. The paragraph mentions the possibility that print media provides “better value” and that Internet marketing is “more costly than some companies realize.”  
(C) Rather than arguing against proponents of print media, the third paragraph mentions these individuals to develop the claim that “Internet advertising has its limits.”  
(D) The example mentioned in the second paragraph is that of pay-per-click search engine advertising. Instead of further elaborating on this example, the third paragraph takes a step back from the example and looks at the limitations of Internet advertising. 
(E) Though newspaper ads are mentioned in the third paragraph, they are contrasted with Internet ads not with television commercials. 

QUESTION: 17

Before the age of space exploration, the size and composition of the moon’s core were astronomical mysteries. Astronomers assumed that the moon’s core was smaller than that of the Earth, in both relative and absolute terms — the radius of the Earth’s core is 55 percent of the overall radius of the Earth and the core’s mass is 32 percent of the Earth’s overall mass — but they had no way to verify their assumption. However, data gathered by Lunar Prospector have now given astronomers the ability to determine that the moon’s core accounts for 20 percent of the moon’s radius and for a mere 2 percent of its overall mass.
The data have been used in two ways. In the first method, scientists measured minute variations in radio signals from Lunar Prospector as the craft moved towards or away from the Earth. These variations allowed scientists to detect even the slightest changes in the craft’s velocity while the craft orbited the moon. These changes resulted from inconsistency in the gravitational pull of the moon on the craft, and permitted scientists to create a “gravity map” of both near and far sides of the moon. This map, in turn, revealed to scientists the distribution of the moon’s internal mass. Scientists were then able to determine that the moon has a small, metallic core, which, if composed mostly of iron, has a radius of approximately 350 kilometers. The second method involved examining the faint magnetic field generated within the moon itself by the moon’s monthly passage through the tail of the Earth’s magnetosphere. This approach confirmed the results obtained through examination of the gravity map.
The size and composition of the moon’s core are not academic concerns; they have serious implications for our understanding of the moon’s origins. For example, if the moon and Earth developed as distinct entities, the sizes of their cores should be more comparable. In actuality, it seems that the moon was once part of the Earth and broke away at an early stage in the Earth’s evolution, perhaps as the result of a major asteroid impact. The impact could have loosened iron that had not already sunk to the core of the Earth, allowing it to form the core around which the moon eventually coalesced.
Q.
The primary purpose of the passage is best expressed as

Solution:

The passage first talks about astronomers' assumptions regarding the earth's and moon's radii and core mass. The next two paragraphs detail the two methods astronomers employed to analyze their assumptions by using data collected by Lunar Prospector. The last paragraph discusses the implications of this data.  (A) This choice founders over the use of the  singular word "method" and the word "proved." There were two methods, and "proved" is too extreme.
(B) This choice uses the word "changed," which is factually wrong because the passage says that it confirmed an assumption.
(C) This choice fails because of the use of the singular "method," and because "planets" is too general for a passage only concerning the Earth and its moon.
(D) CORRECT. It is acceptable to equate "implications" and "deductions," as well as "hypothesis" and "assumption."  (E) This choice ignores the entire passage except for the last paragraph, and thus by definition can not be the passage's sum. 

QUESTION: 18

Before the age of space exploration, the size and composition of the moon’s core were astronomical mysteries. Astronomers assumed that the moon’s core was smaller than that of the Earth, in both relative and absolute terms — the radius of the Earth’s core is 55 percent of the overall radius of the Earth and the core’s mass is 32 percent of the Earth’s overall mass — but they had no way to verify their assumption. However, data gathered by Lunar Prospector have now given astronomers the ability to determine that the moon’s core accounts for 20 percent of the moon’s radius and for a mere 2 percent of its overall mass.
The data have been used in two ways. In the first method, scientists measured minute variations in radio signals from Lunar Prospector as the craft moved towards or away from the Earth. These variations allowed scientists to detect even the slightest changes in the craft’s velocity while the craft orbited the moon. These changes resulted from inconsistency in the gravitational pull of the moon on the craft, and permitted scientists to create a “gravity map” of both near and far sides of the moon. This map, in turn, revealed to scientists the distribution of the moon’s internal mass. Scientists were then able to determine that the moon has a small, metallic core, which, if composed mostly of iron, has a radius of approximately 350 kilometers. The second method involved examining the faint magnetic field generated within the moon itself by the moon’s monthly passage through the tail of the Earth’s magnetosphere. This approach confirmed the results obtained through examination of the gravity map.
The size and composition of the moon’s core are not academic concerns; they have serious implications for our understanding of the moon’s origins. For example, if the moon and Earth developed as distinct entities, the sizes of their cores should be more comparable. In actuality, it seems that the moon was once part of the Earth and broke away at an early stage in the Earth’s evolution, perhaps as the result of a major asteroid impact. The impact could have loosened iron that had not already sunk to the core of the Earth, allowing it to form the core around which the moon eventually coalesced.
Q.
According to the passage, scientists employed one research method that measured

Solution:

The information to answer this question must come from the second or third paragraph. As it turns out, the choices all relate to the second one. The second sentence of that paragraph reads "measured minute variations in radio signals from Lunar Prospector as the craft moved towards or away from the Earth."  (A) Changes in the craft's velocity were measured while the craft orbited the moon, not as A states as the craft "returned to Earth."
(B) Although measurements of the Lunar Prospector 's velocity allowed scientists to create a "gravity map," the scientists did not measure directly the gravitational pull on the craft. 
(C) This choice is incorrect because the passage does not discuss changes in the moon's gravity. 
(D) CORRECT. The phrase "changed position relative to the earth" is a fair equivalent of "moved towards or away from the Earth." 
(E) This choice is incorrect because the passage does not discuss changes in the moon's gravitational pull over time.  

QUESTION: 19

Before the age of space exploration, the size and composition of the moon’s core were astronomical mysteries. Astronomers assumed that the moon’s core was smaller than that of the Earth, in both relative and absolute terms — the radius of the Earth’s core is 55 percent of the overall radius of the Earth and the core’s mass is 32 percent of the Earth’s overall mass — but they had no way to verify their assumption. However, data gathered by Lunar Prospector have now given astronomers the ability to determine that the moon’s core accounts for 20 percent of the moon’s radius and for a mere 2 percent of its overall mass.
The data have been used in two ways. In the first method, scientists measured minute variations in radio signals from Lunar Prospector as the craft moved towards or away from the Earth. These variations allowed scientists to detect even the slightest changes in the craft’s velocity while the craft orbited the moon. These changes resulted from inconsistency in the gravitational pull of the moon on the craft, and permitted scientists to create a “gravity map” of both near and far sides of the moon. This map, in turn, revealed to scientists the distribution of the moon’s internal mass. Scientists were then able to determine that the moon has a small, metallic core, which, if composed mostly of iron, has a radius of approximately 350 kilometers. The second method involved examining the faint magnetic field generated within the moon itself by the moon’s monthly passage through the tail of the Earth’s magnetosphere. This approach confirmed the results obtained through examination of the gravity map.
The size and composition of the moon’s core are not academic concerns; they have serious implications for our understanding of the moon’s origins. For example, if the moon and Earth developed as distinct entities, the sizes of their cores should be more comparable. In actuality, it seems that the moon was once part of the Earth and broke away at an early stage in the Earth’s evolution, perhaps as the result of a major asteroid impact. The impact could have loosened iron that had not already sunk to the core of the Earth, allowing it to form the core around which the moon eventually coalesced.
Q.
The author mentioned “gravity map” in the second paragraph in order to

Solution:

This question asks why the author included this detail. The "gravity map" was a step in the determination of the size of the moon's core.  We must find a choice that reflects this.
(A) This choice is a distortion—the method was not used in this way.
(B) This choice not only comes from the third paragraph but also reverses the relationship--the magnetic field work confirmed the map.
(C) CORRECT. The author put in the detail to show a step in the investigation of the core ("composition") of the moon ("orbiting body").
(D) This choice contains the false word "earth"; in fact, the "moon" is the sole focus of the investigation of gravity's effects.
(E) This choice incorrectly states that an older theory was discarded; in fact the old assumption was confirmed.

QUESTION: 20

Before the age of space exploration, the size and composition of the moon’s core were astronomical mysteries. Astronomers assumed that the moon’s core was smaller than that of the Earth, in both relative and absolute terms — the radius of the Earth’s core is 55 percent of the overall radius of the Earth and the core’s mass is 32 percent of the Earth’s overall mass — but they had no way to verify their assumption. However, data gathered by Lunar Prospector have now given astronomers the ability to determine that the moon’s core accounts for 20 percent of the moon’s radius and for a mere 2 percent of its overall mass.
The data have been used in two ways. In the first method, scientists measured minute variations in radio signals from Lunar Prospector as the craft moved towards or away from the Earth. These variations allowed scientists to detect even the slightest changes in the craft’s velocity while the craft orbited the moon. These changes resulted from inconsistency in the gravitational pull of the moon on the craft, and permitted scientists to create a “gravity map” of both near and far sides of the moon. This map, in turn, revealed to scientists the distribution of the moon’s internal mass. Scientists were then able to determine that the moon has a small, metallic core, which, if composed mostly of iron, has a radius of approximately 350 kilometers. The second method involved examining the faint magnetic field generated within the moon itself by the moon’s monthly passage through the tail of the Earth’s magnetosphere. This approach confirmed the results obtained through examination of the gravity map.
The size and composition of the moon’s core are not academic concerns; they have serious implications for our understanding of the moon’s origins. For example, if the moon and Earth developed as distinct entities, the sizes of their cores should be more comparable. In actuality, it seems that the moon was once part of the Earth and broke away at an early stage in the Earth’s evolution, perhaps as the result of a major asteroid impact. The impact could have loosened iron that had not already sunk to the core of the Earth, allowing it to form the core around which the moon eventually coalesced.
Q.
It can be inferred from the passage that

Solution:

Because the question is open-ended, the best approach is to evaluate the choices.
(A) CORRECT. The information contained in A can be proven from the information in the passage. The ratios that it discusses can be found in the first paragraph: the earth's core contributes 55% of the earth's radius and 32% of its mass, compared to the moon's core contributing 20% of the moon's radius and 2% of its mass.  Like many correct answers to inferences, the inference is very small.
(B) This choice reverses the relationship suggested in the passage--that the moon might have broken away from the earth. (C) This choice does not have to be true both because said proof is not certain and because it is even less clear that the gravity map could be used for that purpose. (D) This choice is a typical GMAT flight of fancy that sometimes is given as a wrong choice; as dinosaurs are not mentioned at all, this answer is impossible.
(E) This choice does not have to follow from the information provided. The passage does not give any information about the percentage of iron in the earth's core nor does it compare that aspect of the two cores. 

QUESTION: 21

New research by Paul Fildes and K. Whitaker challenges the theory that strains of bacteria can be “trained” to mutate by withholding a metabolite necessary for their regular function. In particular, they consider the case of bacteria typhosum, which needs tryptophan in order to reproduce. Earlier researchers had grown the bacteria in a medium somewhat deficient in tryptophan and observed the growth of mutant strains of the bacteria which did not need tryptophan in order to reproduce.
Fildes and Whitaker argue that the withholding of tryptophan did not induce these mutant strains of bacteria.
Rather, these mutants were already present in the original sample of bacteria typhosum, albeit in a concentration too small to detect. In experimenting with the bacteria grown in agar cultures, they found that by plating out huge quantities of the bacteria, one could locate mutant strains. Because of the possibility that the lack of uniformity of the agar cultures had in fact trained mutant strains, they conducted similar experiments with liquid cultures and again found that mutant strains of the bacteria were present in the original sampling. From these experiments, Fildes and Whitaker conclude that the mutants are of genetic origin and are not induced by environmental training. They asserted that the concentration of tryptophan is unrelated to the appearance of these mutants in the bacteria.
To confirm these results, Fildes and Whitaker used an innovative plating technique using pile fabrics, such as velvet or velveteen, to accurately imprint the growth found on an original agar plate to a series of replica agar plates.
The process entails taking the original agar plate, inverting it onto the velvet while using light finger pressure to transfer growth, and then imprinting the fabric, with its pattern of growth, on the new agar plates. By using this replica plating method, Fildes and Whitaker demonstrated that the mutants were in fact genetically present or preadapted, as the locations of the mutant strains of bacteria on the replica plates were identical to the locations of the mutant strains on the original agar plate.
Q.
According to the passage, Fildes and Whitaker conducted the experiment with liquid culture because

Solution:

This is a specific detail question that asks what the passage states about the use of liquid culture. The use of liquid culture is discussed in the second paragraph.
(A) Both agar culture and tryptophan are mentioned in the passage, but are discussed separately: bacteria were grown in an agar culture, and certain bacteria require tryptophan in order to reproduce. The passage does not state that the agar culture contained tryptophan
(B) Although plating is discussed in the second and third paragraphs, the difficulty of plating was not mentioned. 
(C) The passage did not mention the number of bacteria that could be supported by the agar culture. 
(D) CORRECT. According to the second paragraph of the passage, "because of the possibility that the lack of uniformity of the agar cultures had in fact trained mutant strains, they [Fildes and Whitaker] conducted similar experiments with liquid cultures..." Thus, the liquid culture is a more consistent, or uniform, medium.
(E) In the third paragraph, it is stated that “Fildes and Whitaker used an innovative plating technique using pile fabrics…” The plating process and the results demonstrated by this method are subsequently explained. The liquid culture experiments are discussed separately, in the second paragraph. The passage did not state that the agar culture did not adhere well to pile fabric.  

QUESTION: 22

New research by Paul Fildes and K. Whitaker challenges the theory that strains of bacteria can be “trained” to mutate by withholding a metabolite necessary for their regular function. In particular, they consider the case of bacteria typhosum, which needs tryptophan in order to reproduce. Earlier researchers had grown the bacteria in a medium somewhat deficient in tryptophan and observed the growth of mutant strains of the bacteria which did not need tryptophan in order to reproduce.
Fildes and Whitaker argue that the withholding of tryptophan did not induce these mutant strains of bacteria.
Rather, these mutants were already present in the original sample of bacteria typhosum, albeit in a concentration too small to detect. In experimenting with the bacteria grown in agar cultures, they found that by plating out huge quantities of the bacteria, one could locate mutant strains. Because of the possibility that the lack of uniformity of the agar cultures had in fact trained mutant strains, they conducted similar experiments with liquid cultures and again found that mutant strains of the bacteria were present in the original sampling. From these experiments, Fildes and Whitaker conclude that the mutants are of genetic origin and are not induced by environmental training. They asserted that the concentration of tryptophan is unrelated to the appearance of these mutants in the bacteria.
To confirm these results, Fildes and Whitaker used an innovative plating technique using pile fabrics, such as velvet or velveteen, to accurately imprint the growth found on an original agar plate to a series of replica agar plates.
The process entails taking the original agar plate, inverting it onto the velvet while using light finger pressure to transfer growth, and then imprinting the fabric, with its pattern of growth, on the new agar plates. By using this replica plating method, Fildes and Whitaker demonstrated that the mutants were in fact genetically present or preadapted, as the locations of the mutant strains of bacteria on the replica plates were identical to the locations of the mutant strains on the original agar plate.
Q.
It can be inferred from the passage that the replica plating method is effective for which of the following reasons?

Solution:

The replica plating method is discussed in the third paragraph. The first two sentences describe the process, while the third sentence explains what was learned by using this method. The correct inference about the effectiveness of the replica plating method will be a virtual rephrasing of the facts presented in the third paragraph.  
(A) We cannot infer that the replica plating method allows researchers to determine the relative sizes of different populations of bacteria. The population sizes of various bacteria populations were never discussed.
(B) CORRECT. The last sentence of the passage states that “the locations of the mutant strains of bacteria on the replica plates were identical to the locations of the mutant strains on the original agar plate,” citing this as proof that “the mutants were in fact genetically present or preadapted.” In other words, the mutant strains did not develop after transfer from the original agar plate.
(C) The only type of bacteria mentioned in the passage was bacteria typhosum, so we cannot infer that the replica plating method eliminates the possibility that the agar culture was contaminated by a different type of bacteria.
(D) The role of tryptophan is discussed in the first and second paragraphs. This answer choice goes too far by asserting that “no tryptophan was present in the original agar culture.” We do not have enough information to make that inference.
(E) According to the first paragraph, “the necessary metabolites for bacterial reproduction” are defined as the substances “necessary for their (bacteria’s) regular function.” In the case of bacteria typhosum, that substance is tryptophan. We do not have enough information to infer that the replica plating method establishes that the original agar culture contained tryptophan. If fact, the presence of mutant strains of bacteria on the replica plates would contradict this statement rather than support it.  

QUESTION: 23

New research by Paul Fildes and K. Whitaker challenges the theory that strains of bacteria can be “trained” to mutate by withholding a metabolite necessary for their regular function. In particular, they consider the case of bacteria typhosum, which needs tryptophan in order to reproduce. Earlier researchers had grown the bacteria in a medium somewhat deficient in tryptophan and observed the growth of mutant strains of the bacteria which did not need tryptophan in order to reproduce.
Fildes and Whitaker argue that the withholding of tryptophan did not induce these mutant strains of bacteria.
Rather, these mutants were already present in the original sample of bacteria typhosum, albeit in a concentration too small to detect. In experimenting with the bacteria grown in agar cultures, they found that by plating out huge quantities of the bacteria, one could locate mutant strains. Because of the possibility that the lack of uniformity of the agar cultures had in fact trained mutant strains, they conducted similar experiments with liquid cultures and again found that mutant strains of the bacteria were present in the original sampling. From these experiments, Fildes and Whitaker conclude that the mutants are of genetic origin and are not induced by environmental training. They asserted that the concentration of tryptophan is unrelated to the appearance of these mutants in the bacteria.
To confirm these results, Fildes and Whitaker used an innovative plating technique using pile fabrics, such as velvet or velveteen, to accurately imprint the growth found on an original agar plate to a series of replica agar plates.
The process entails taking the original agar plate, inverting it onto the velvet while using light finger pressure to transfer growth, and then imprinting the fabric, with its pattern of growth, on the new agar plates. By using this replica plating method, Fildes and Whitaker demonstrated that the mutants were in fact genetically present or preadapted, as the locations of the mutant strains of bacteria on the replica plates were identical to the locations of the mutant strains on the original agar plate.
Q.
Which of the following most accurately states the purpose of the passage?

Solution:

The question asks for the purpose of the passage. The passage focuses on an experiment designed to challenge an existing theory about bacteria. The correct answer must take the entirety of the passage into account without misrepresenting its focus.  
(A) The “innovative technique” is the replica plating method discussed in the third paragraph. This technique was used to support the scientific hypothesis of Fildes and Whitaker. Thus, the passage did not need to “defend [Fildes and Whitaker’s] scientific hypothesis from attack by [the] innovative technique.” In addition, the passage did not even defend the theory that Fildes and Whitaker were challenging.
(B) The first sentence of the passage makes it clear that the focus will be to “challenge the theory that strains of bacteria can be “trained” to mutate,” not to describe a process by which such training was accomplished.
(C) CORRECT. The second and third paragraphs discuss the experiments performed by Fildes and Whitaker that were designed to test the established theory, mentioned in the first paragraph, that “strains of bacteria can be “trained” to mutate.” This answer choice summarizes the entire passage.
(D) Fildes and Whitaker argue against a theory, not an established protocol. There is no mention in the passage that a particular protocol is outdated.
(E) The passage does not state that either Fildes and Whitaker’s theory, or the theory they were challenging was questionable. The passage describes, but does not “challenge,” several scientific techniques. 

QUESTION: 24

When they first arrived in America as slaves in the 1600s, Africans joined a society that was divided between master and white servants brought from Europe. In most parts of the South, some of these first African slaves became free either through escape or through emancipation by their owners. It is therefore a misconception that all African Americans in the pre-Civil War South were slaves. Many researchers have also assumed that these free African Americans were the offspring of white slave owners who took advantage of their female slaves. However, these cases represent only a small minority of free African Americans in the South. Most free African Americans were actually the descendants of African American men and white servant women.
In fact, despite the efforts of the various colonial legislatures, white servant women continued to bear children by African American fathers through the late seventeenth century and well into the eighteenth century.
It appears that such births were the primary source of the increase in the free African American population for this period. Over two hundred African American families in Virginia descended from white women. Forty-six families descended from freed slaves, twenty-nine from Indians, and sixteen from white men who married or had children by free African American women. It is likely that the majority of the remaining families descended from white women since they first appear in court records in the mid-eighteenth century, when slaves could not be freed without legislative approval, and there is no record of legislative approval for their emancipations.
The history of free African Americans families in colonial New York and New Jersey, by contrast, is quite different from that of free African Americans in the South. Most were descended from slaves freed by the Dutch West India Company between 1644 and 1664 or by individual owners. Researchers have studied these families, especially a group of fourteen families that scholars have traced through at least three generations. None of the fourteen families appears to be descended from a white servant woman and an African American man. However, Lutheran church records from the eighteenth century show that a few such couples had children baptized.
Q.
Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?

Solution:

On the GMAT, a correct inference is not a guess about what might be true, but rather a statement of what must be true based on the facts presented in the passage. Be careful to justify your answer with proof from the passage.
(A) This statement is too extreme; we cannot infer that no free African Americans in the American colonies were the offspring of white slave owners. In fact, the first paragraph states that “these cases [offspring of white slave owners] represent only a small minority of free African Americans in the South,” and a small minority is certainly more than none. 
(B) CORRECT. The second paragraph begins with "despite the efforts of the various colonial legislatures, white servant women continued to bear children by African American fathers through the late seventeenth century and well into the eighteenth century." This implies that the legislatures took action to prevent these births.
(C) The first sentence of the passage states that “Africans joined a society that was divided between master and white servants brought from Europe,” but the number of people in each group was never discussed.
(D) The second paragraph focuses on the history of a number of free African American families in the South. However, the passage did not provide any information about the number of African American in the South who had been born into slavery. 
(E) This statement is too extreme; we cannot infer that all births of free African Americans in colonial America were documented, or that all such records still exist. The passage mentions some court records in the second paragraph, and some Lutheran church records in the third paragraph, but these references do not provide enough information to allow us to make this inference. 

QUESTION: 25

When they first arrived in America as slaves in the 1600s, Africans joined a society that was divided between master and white servants brought from Europe. In most parts of the South, some of these first African slaves became free either through escape or through emancipation by their owners. It is therefore a misconception that all African Americans in the pre-Civil War South were slaves. Many researchers have also assumed that these free African Americans were the offspring of white slave owners who took advantage of their female slaves. However, these cases represent only a small minority of free African Americans in the South. Most free African Americans were actually the descendants of African American men and white servant women.
In fact, despite the efforts of the various colonial legislatures, white servant women continued to bear children by African American fathers through the late seventeenth century and well into the eighteenth century.
It appears that such births were the primary source of the increase in the free African American population for this period. Over two hundred African American families in Virginia descended from white women. Forty-six families descended from freed slaves, twenty-nine from Indians, and sixteen from white men who married or had children by free African American women. It is likely that the majority of the remaining families descended from white women since they first appear in court records in the mid-eighteenth century, when slaves could not be freed without legislative approval, and there is no record of legislative approval for their emancipations.
The history of free African Americans families in colonial New York and New Jersey, by contrast, is quite different from that of free African Americans in the South. Most were descended from slaves freed by the Dutch West India Company between 1644 and 1664 or by individual owners. Researchers have studied these families, especially a group of fourteen families that scholars have traced through at least three generations. None of the fourteen families appears to be descended from a white servant woman and an African American man. However, Lutheran church records from the eighteenth century show that a few such couples had children baptized.
Q.
The passage suggests which of the following about African American slaves in the late 1700s?

Solution:

The eighteenth century is mentioned in the second paragraph, primarily to discuss the fact that “white servant women continued to bear children by African American fathers through the late seventeenth century and well into the eighteenth century.” What this paragraph suggests about African American slaves at that time will be the correct answer. 
(A) The passage discusses the births and family histories of free African Americans, not whether they were permitted to own land. (B) The passage discusses the births and family histories of free African Americans, not what trades they were or were not allowed to practice.
(C) In the first paragraph, the passage states that in the 1600s, “some of these first African slaves became free, either through escape or through emancipation.” The passage did not discuss how slaves could become free in the late 1700s, or whether they could buy their freedom from their owners. In fact, the last sentence in the second paragraph states that “slaves could not be freed without legislative approval,” so even if slaves could buy freedom, additional legislative approval would have been required. 
(D) CORRECT. The end of the second paragraph states that "it is likely that the majority of the remaining families descended from white women since they first appear in court records in the mid-eighteenth century, when slaves could not be freed without legislative approval, and there is no record of legislative approval for their emancipations." This implies that the African American men were not free when they fathered children with these white women.
(E) The statement that there were no African American slaves in colonial New York or New Jersey is too extreme; it cannot be supported by the passage. In the third paragraph, the passage discusses free African Americans in New York and New Jersey, but we cannot say with certainty that there were no enslaved African Americans in these states in the late 1700s. 

QUESTION: 26

When they first arrived in America as slaves in the 1600s, Africans joined a society that was divided between master and white servants brought from Europe. In most parts of the South, some of these first African slaves became free either through escape or through emancipation by their owners. It is therefore a misconception that all African Americans in the pre-Civil War South were slaves. Many researchers have also assumed that these free African Americans were the offspring of white slave owners who took advantage of their female slaves. However, these cases represent only a small minority of free African Americans in the South. Most free African Americans were actually the descendants of African American men and white servant women.
In fact, despite the efforts of the various colonial legislatures, white servant women continued to bear children by African American fathers through the late seventeenth century and well into the eighteenth century.
It appears that such births were the primary source of the increase in the free African American population for this period. Over two hundred African American families in Virginia descended from white women. Forty-six families descended from freed slaves, twenty-nine from Indians, and sixteen from white men who married or had children by free African American women. It is likely that the majority of the remaining families descended from white women since they first appear in court records in the mid-eighteenth century, when slaves could not be freed without legislative approval, and there is no record of legislative approval for their emancipations.
The history of free African Americans families in colonial New York and New Jersey, by contrast, is quite different from that of free African Americans in the South. Most were descended from slaves freed by the Dutch West India Company between 1644 and 1664 or by individual owners. Researchers have studied these families, especially a group of fourteen families that scholars have traced through at least three generations. None of the fourteen families appears to be descended from a white servant woman and an African American man. However, Lutheran church records from the eighteenth century show that a few such couples had children baptized.
Q.
The passage suggests which of the following about African American families in colonial New York and New Jersey?

Solution:

African American families in colonial New York and New Jersey are discussed in the last paragraph of the passage. The correct answer will be the one that can be supported by the facts presented in that paragraph.
(A) This statement is contradicted by the last sentence of the passage: “However, Lutheran church records from the eighteenth century show that a few such couples [white servant women and African American men] had children baptized."
(B) The topic sentence of the third paragraph states that “the history of free African American families in colonial New York and New Jersey, by contrast, is quite different from that of free African Americans in the South.” The focus is on the different histories of the two groups, but there is no discussion of their relative numbers.
(C) The dates 1644 and 1664 are mentioned in the paragraph as the years when the Dutch West India Company freed slaves in the area. This does not suggest that the families were started between 1644 and 1664.
(D) According to the last paragraph, researchers have studied fourteen families of free African Americans in New York and New Jersey, but the passage does not suggest that those fourteen families were the “initial group” from which the others grew.
(E) CORRECT. The last two sentences of the passage read: "None of the fourteen families appears to be descended from a white servant woman and an African American man. However, Lutheran church records in the eighteenth century show that a few such couples had children baptized." The last sentence especially suggests that although none of the fourteen families studied by researchers descended from white servant women, church records indicate that some such families seem to have existed at that time. 

QUESTION: 27

When they first arrived in America as slaves in the 1600s, Africans joined a society that was divided between master and white servants brought from Europe. In most parts of the South, some of these first African slaves became free either through escape or through emancipation by their owners. It is therefore a misconception that all African Americans in the pre-Civil War South were slaves. Many researchers have also assumed that these free African Americans were the offspring of white slave owners who took advantage of their female slaves. However, these cases represent only a small minority of free African Americans in the South. Most free African Americans were actually the descendants of African American men and white servant women.
In fact, despite the efforts of the various colonial legislatures, white servant women continued to bear children by African American fathers through the late seventeenth century and well into the eighteenth century.
It appears that such births were the primary source of the increase in the free African American population for this period. Over two hundred African American families in Virginia descended from white women. Forty-six families descended from freed slaves, twenty-nine from Indians, and sixteen from white men who married or had children by free African American women. It is likely that the majority of the remaining families descended from white women since they first appear in court records in the mid-eighteenth century, when slaves could not be freed without legislative approval, and there is no record of legislative approval for their emancipations.
The history of free African Americans families in colonial New York and New Jersey, by contrast, is quite different from that of free African Americans in the South. Most were descended from slaves freed by the Dutch West India Company between 1644 and 1664 or by individual owners. Researchers have studied these families, especially a group of fourteen families that scholars have traced through at least three generations. None of the fourteen families appears to be descended from a white servant woman and an African American man. However, Lutheran church records from the eighteenth century show that a few such couples had children baptized.
Q.
The author of the passage is primarily interested in

Solution:

When answering any question about the author’s primary interest, purpose, or intent, we must take the entirety of the passage into account without misrepresenting its focus. Typically, the opening paragraph and the topic sentences of each paragraph will reveal the focus of the passage. In the opening paragraph of this passage, the author discusses some misconceptions and assumptions about African Americans in the colonial and pre-Civil War periods, ending the paragraph with the statement that “most free African Americans were actually the descendants of African American men and white servant women.” The subsequent paragraphs are dedicated to discussing these descendants. (A) The author does not defend an accepted position, but instead provides evidence that contradicts some misconceptions and assumptions about colonial history.
(B) The author presents historical facts about African Americans. The author does not present or analyze an unproven hypothesis.
(C) CORRECT. The author presents facts, and the alternate view that can be drawn from them, of a historical period.
(D) The author does not critique an outdated theory, but instead presents facts that are contradictory to some stated misconceptions and assumptions. Also, the passage does not focus on “colonial development,” but rather a certain segment of the population in colonial times.
(E) The author does not discuss a “trend,” or describe its “culmination.”  

QUESTION: 28

When they first arrived in America as slaves in the 1600s, Africans joined a society that was divided between master and white servants brought from Europe. In most parts of the South, some of these first African slaves became free either through escape or through emancipation by their owners. It is therefore a misconception that all African Americans in the pre-Civil War South were slaves. Many researchers have also assumed that these free African Americans were the offspring of white slave owners who took advantage of their female slaves. However, these cases represent only a small minority of free African Americans in the South. Most free African Americans were actually the descendants of African American men and white servant women.
In fact, despite the efforts of the various colonial legislatures, white servant women continued to bear children by African American fathers through the late seventeenth century and well into the eighteenth century.
It appears that such births were the primary source of the increase in the free African American population for this period. Over two hundred African American families in Virginia descended from white women. Forty-six families descended from freed slaves, twenty-nine from Indians, and sixteen from white men who married or had children by free African American women. It is likely that the majority of the remaining families descended from white women since they first appear in court records in the mid-eighteenth century, when slaves could not be freed without legislative approval, and there is no record of legislative approval for their emancipations.
The history of free African Americans families in colonial New York and New Jersey, by contrast, is quite different from that of free African Americans in the South. Most were descended from slaves freed by the Dutch West India Company between 1644 and 1664 or by individual owners. Researchers have studied these families, especially a group of fourteen families that scholars have traced through at least three generations. None of the fourteen families appears to be descended from a white servant woman and an African American man. However, Lutheran church records from the eighteenth century show that a few such couples had children baptized.
Q.
According to the passage, which of the following is a difference between free African Americans in colonial New York and New Jersey and free African Americans in the colonial South?

Solution:

The correct answer is A. The last paragraph states: "The history of free African Americans families in colonial New York and New Jersey, by contrast, is quite different from that of free African Americans in the South. Most were descended from slaves freed by the Dutch West India Company between 1644 and 1664 or by individual owners." The first paragraph states: "However, these cases represent only a small minority of free African Americans in the South. Most free African Americans were actually the descendants of African American men and white servant women." Taken together, these excepts support choice A. 

QUESTION: 29

The fall of the Berlin Wall represented a political victory of the free market against a centrally planned economy.
Though highly interventionist and dependent on international defense and industrial subsidy, West Germany was a model of economic expansion in the post-war era.
East Germany, while relatively successful in comparison with other Eastern Bloc nations, was far behind West Germany with regard to the buying power of its people. It was hard to avoid obvious comparisons such as the fact that 1 in 4 East Germans did not even have an indoor toilet. Western German authorities were therefore committed to rapid integration of the two Germanys without resorting to massive controls on internal migration, external capital controls, or continuation of a large state-owned industrial sector.
Other nations were already wary of a united Germany.
France, a perpetual competitor, saw Germany’s size advantage increase overnight. In Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”) alone, an historical size advantage of 23% jumped to nearly 30%, with stronger growth promised when East Germany was fully integrated.
Within Germany, there should have been no doubt that integration would be costly. The question was whether the government was up to the task. In Italy, for example, the central government has invested tremendous resources in promoting the economy of its underperforming Southern region. In contrast, in the United States, the local population bears the burden of varying economic performance. For example, the American South is allowed to exist with much higher rates of poverty and lower education than the rest of the nation.
Rather than allow East Germany to fall into total disrepair, with millions fleeing to the West and a long-term negative impact on national GDP growth, West German authorities decided to try to spend their way out of the crisis, creating almost overnight an infrastructure in East Germany to provide a standard of living comparable to that in West Germany. The goal was to take an under-performing country and raise it to “first world” standards in only a few years. This goal would have been preposterous had not West Germany possessed the resources to accomplish the task.
Q.
According to the author, which of the following is the principal reason that German reunification could
succeed?

Solution:

The question asks us to identify the author's reason for believing that German reunification could succeed. According to the last sentence of the passage, "[reunification] would have been preposterous had not West Germany possessed the resources to accomplish the task." In other words, West Germany was prosperous enough to afford this major undertaking. (A) The correct principal reason for success does not include attributes of East Germany
(B) The correct principal reason for success does not include attributes of East Germany.
(C) Although this point is made in the passage, it is not the reason given for reunification's success. (D) This is not the reason given in the last sentence for reunification's success.
(E) CORRECT.  This choice reflects the information we were looking for: the country was "materially stable," or prosperous enough, to succeed. 

QUESTION: 30

The fall of the Berlin Wall represented a political victory of the free market against a centrally planned economy.
Though highly interventionist and dependent on international defense and industrial subsidy, West Germany was a model of economic expansion in the post-war era.
East Germany, while relatively successful in comparison with other Eastern Bloc nations, was far behind West Germany with regard to the buying power of its people. It was hard to avoid obvious comparisons such as the fact that 1 in 4 East Germans did not even have an indoor toilet. Western German authorities were therefore committed to rapid integration of the two Germanys without resorting to massive controls on internal migration, external capital controls, or continuation of a large state-owned industrial sector.
Other nations were already wary of a united Germany.
France, a perpetual competitor, saw Germany’s size advantage increase overnight. In Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”) alone, an historical size advantage of 23% jumped to nearly 30%, with stronger growth promised when East Germany was fully integrated.
Within Germany, there should have been no doubt that integration would be costly. The question was whether the government was up to the task. In Italy, for example, the central government has invested tremendous resources in promoting the economy of its underperforming Southern region. In contrast, in the United States, the local population bears the burden of varying economic performance. For example, the American South is allowed to exist with much higher rates of poverty and lower education than the rest of the nation.
Rather than allow East Germany to fall into total disrepair, with millions fleeing to the West and a long-term negative impact on national GDP growth, West German authorities decided to try to spend their way out of the crisis, creating almost overnight an infrastructure in East Germany to provide a standard of living comparable to that in West Germany. The goal was to take an under-performing country and raise it to “first world” standards in only a few years. This goal would have been preposterous had not West Germany possessed the resources to accomplish the task.
Q.
The author mentions the United States most probably in order to

Solution:

The question asks us to identify the reason that the author mentions the United States in the passage. In the third paragraph, the author asks whether West Germany was "up to the task" of re-unification. This is followed by the example of Italy as a government that does spend the necessary resources to help its underperforming regions. Then, the author mentions the United States as a counterexample with negative overtones: "In contrast, in the United States, the local population bears the burden of varying economic performance. For example, the American South is allowed to exist with much higher rates of poverty and lower education than the rest of the nation." [Emphasis added.] The use of the word "allowed" suggests that the author does not approve of the situation in the United States. Further, the very next paragraph begins . . ."Rather than allow East Germany to fall into total disrepair . . . " as if to further contrast the German government with that of the United States.
(A) The passage in general does not argue against any commonly held beliefs, including the specific example about the United States.
(B) CORRECT.  This choice echoes our above analysis: the author views the situation cited as "undesirable."
(C) The author disapproves of the cited example, so he would not offer it as a possible advantageous solution to Germany's reunification.
(D) The passage does not call the principle into question; rather, the author indicates disapproval of this particular approach.
(E) The author disapproves of the cited example; he would not offer it as a positive lesson. 

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