30% of GMAT RC Questions
What does a Purpose Question ask for?
Purpose questions ask you to identify the PURPOSE of all or part of the passage. With these questions, we’re trying to get inside the author’s head---why did you add this to the passage. What on Earth did you think adding this to the passage would do?
A 1998 German study published in the journal Risk Analysis analyzed the effect of all emissions from a given source of electricity on life expectancy. For the same amount of electricity generated, the years of life lost from the different major fuel sources compared with nuclear power are: coal power, about five times as much; oil, 14 times as much; and natural gas, about 1.7 times as much.
Which of the following best describes the function of the first paragraph?
A correct answer: To introduce the findings of a study
An incorrect answer: To highlight the difference in the loss of life expectancy from nuclear power, and natural gas.
This option is too narrow in focus because it only states that the goal is to discuss the distinction between nuclear power, and natural gas, when in reality the passage did so much more.
How are Purpose Questions typically asked? They will usually ask for any of the following:
The example in paragraph two was most likely mentioned “in order to”
Or any question that asks for the PURPOSE of the entire passage, or the purpose of a piece of the passage.