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READING

COMPREHENSION
PRACTICE SETS CHAPTER 17

READING COMPREHENSION SET 1


Time: 25 minutes—18 Questions
Directions: Each passage in this section is followed by several questions. After reading the
passage, choose the best response to each question and mark it on your answer sheet. Your
replies are to be based on what is actually stated or implied in the passage, and not on your
own knowledge. You may refer to the passage while answering the questions.

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The relevance of formal economic models to 1. The author is primarily concerned with
real-world policy has been a topic of some dis-
pute. The economists R. D. Norton and S. Y. (A) proposing a new type of economic
Rhee achieved some success in applying such a analysis
(5) model retrospectively to the Korean economy (B) criticizing an overly formal economic model
over a fourteen-year period; the model’s figures
(C) advocating the use of statistical models in
for output, prices, and other variables closely
determining economic policy
matched real statistics. The model’s value in pol-
icy terms, however, proved less clearcut. Norton (D) suggesting an explanation for Korean
(10) and Rhee performed simulations in which, keep- inflation
ing long-term factors constant, they tried to pin- (E) determining the accuracy of Norton and
point the effect of short-term policy changes. Rhee’s analysis
Their model indicated that rising prices for
imported oil would increase inflation; reducing
(15) expor ts by five percent would lower Gross 2. The author mentions “a fourteen-year period”
Domestic Product and increase inflation; and (line 6) in order to
slowing the growth of the money supply would
(A) indicate how far into the future Norton and
result in slightly higher inflation.
Rhee’s model can make accurate
These findings are somewhat star tling.
predictions
(20) Many economists have argued that reducing
exports will lessen, not increase, inflation. And (B) acknowledge the accuracy of Norton and
while most view escalating oil costs as inflation- Rhee’s model in accounting for past
ary, few would think the same of slower monetary events
growth. The Norton-Rhee model can perhaps be (C) explain the effect of reducing exports on
(25) viewed as indicating the pitfalls of a formalist inflation
approach that stresses statistical “goodness of
fit” at the expense of genuine policy relevance. (D) demonstrate the startling nature of Norton
and Rhee’s findings
(E) expose the flaws in Norton and Rhee’s
model

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3. The most significant criticism leveled against 4. It can be inferred that the most surprising finding
Norton and Rhee’s model is that it of the Norton-Rhee study is that

(A) excludes key statistical variables (A) reducing exports would reduce inflation
(B) is too abstract to be useful in policy (B) high oil prices worsen inflation
making (C) an increase in exports can slow the rate of
(C) fails to adjust for Korea’s high rate of growth
inflation (D) slower monetary expansion would worsen
(D) underestimates the importance of inflation
economic growth (E) long-term factors do not affect economic
(E) fails to consider the effect of short-term growth
variations in the economy

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A basic principle of ecology is that popula- 5. The author provides specific information to
tion size is partly a reflection of available food answer which of the following questions?
resources. Recent experiments suggest that the
relationship is more complex than formerly (A) What factors other than food supply affect
(5) thought. Specifically, the browsing of certain the population size of rodents?
rodents appears to trigger chemical reactions in (B) Why is the timing of the voles’
food plants which, in turn, affect the size of the reproductive effort important?
rodent populations. Two examples of such regu-
(C) Are phytochemical reactions found only in
lation have been reported.
northern environments?
(10) Berger has demonstrated the power of a nat-
urally occurring chemical called 6-MBOA to stim- (D) How does 6-MBOA trigger reproductive
ulate reproductive behavior in the mountain vole, activity in the mountain vole?
a small mouse-like rodent. 6-MBOA forms in (E) What are the causes of the periodic
young grass in response to browsing by voles. increase in the snowshoe hare
(15) Berger experimented by feeding oats coated with population?
6-MBOA to non-breeding winter populations of
voles. After three weeks, she found a high inci-
dence of pregnancy among females. Since the 6. The passage describes the effect of 6-MBOA on
timing of reproduction is crucial to the short-lived voles as a “significant biological adaptation”
(20) vole in an environment in which the onset of veg- (line 23) because it
etative growth may be considerably delayed, the
(A) limits reproductive behavior in times of
phytochemical triggering of reproductive behavior
food scarcity
represents a significant biological adaptation.
In an example reported by Bryant, plants (B) prompts the vole population to seek new
(25) appear to have developed a phytochemical food sources
defense against the depredations of snowshoe (C) supports species survival during periods
hares in Canada. Every ten years, for reasons of fluctuating food supply
that are unclear, the hare population swells. The
result is overbrowsing of certain deciduous trees (D) maximizes the number of offspring in
(30) and shrubs. Bryant found that trees favored by individual litters
the hare produce young shoots high in terpene (E) minimizes territorial competition
and phenolic resins, which discourage hare
browsing. After treating non-resinous willow twigs
7. Which of the following statements can be
with resinous extracts and placing treated and
inferred about plant shoots containing large
(35) untreated samples at hare feeding stations,
amounts of terpene and phenolic resins?
Bryant found that samples containing at least
half of the resin concentration of natural twigs I. They serve as a form of natural defense.
were untouched. The avoidance of resinous
shoots, he concludes, may play a role in the II. Their growth is stimulated by increases in
(40) decline of the hare population to normal levels. the hare population.
Both of these reports suggest areas for fur- III. They are unappetizing to hares.
ther research. For example, data should be (A) I only
reviewed to determine if periodic population
explosions among lemmings (another small (B) II only
(45) rodent living in a northern environment) occur (C) III only
during years in which there is an early onset of
(D) I and III only
vegetative growth; if so, a triggering mechanism
similar to that prompted by the vole may be (E) I, II, and III
involved.

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READING COMPREHENSION PRACTICE SETS

8. It can be inferred that the study of lemmings 10. Bryant’s interpretation of the results of his
proposed by the author would probably experiment (lines 36–38) depends on which of
the following assumptions?
(A) strengthen the conclusions of Bryant
(B) cast doubt on the conclusions of Bryant (A) The response of hares to resinous
substances may be different in nature
(C) support the specific findings of Berger than under experimental conditions.
(D) provide evidence as to whether Berger’s (B) The periodic rise in the hare population is
conclusions can be generalized triggered by an unknown phytochemical
(E) disprove common beliefs about the response.
relationship between population size and (C) Many hares will starve to death rather
food supply than eat resinous shoots.
(D) Hares alter their breeding behavior in
9. The author of the passage is primarily concerned response to the declining availability of
with food.
(A) reviewing findings about phytochemical (E) Significant numbers of hares die from
regulation of rodent populations ingesting the resins in shoots.
(B) outlining the role of 6-MBOA in regulating
population size 11. The experiments described in the passage did
each of the following EXCEPT
(C) summarizing knowledge on population size
of rodents (A) measure changes in the behavior of test
(D) explaining why earlier studies of animals
population size were wrong (B) measure changes in the populations of
(E) describing mechanisms used by plants to experimental animals
protect themselves (C) simulate a hypothesized phytochemical
effect in nature
(D) measure the consumption of foods by test
animals
(E) analyze the effects of food on breeding
behavior

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There is an intriguing note to the current call 12. In line 13, this most likely refers to
upon civil rights law to help remedy the underval-
uation of women’s work. Until fairly recently, gov- (A) increasing the wages of women and men
ernment was not expected to solve workers’ eco- in a single industry
(5) nomic grievances, however valid they might be. (B) bringing about changes in market
Many assumed that the responsibility lay with conditions
workers themselves. Collective bargaining was
(C) changing the dynamic of collective
the preferred instrument for pursuing pay equity
bargaining
for women. Rather than call upon the law to reg-
(10) ulate the market from the outside, one could try (D) relying on civil rights law to remedy
to reshape or otherwise influence the market so economic grievances
that women themselves would be better able to (E) applying group pressure on an employer
address the problem. This could be done by rais-
ing absolute wage levels in low-paying, predomi- 13. According to the author, the process of
(15) nantly female industries (such as retail clothing) unionization and collective bargaining could do
or by changing the pay relationship between all of the following EXCEPT
largely female and largely male occupations with-
in a single industry, such as auto manufacturing. (A) overcome market pressures that keep
Through union representation, employees in tra- wages in some industries lower than in
(20) ditionally female jobs in an industry could identi- others
fy the actual degree of underpayment of their
(B) encourage worker flexibility in adjusting a
work and then, as a group, pressure their employ-
new pay scale to economic conditions
er to remedy it. In addition, this process would
encourage those affected—men and women (C) help workers to apply group pressure on
(25) alike—to be sensitive to the limits of available employers
resources, to be pragmatic about the pace at (D) aid in determining the degree to which
which the wage structure could be revised. women are being underpaid
I do not mean to suggest that collective bar-
(E) sensitize workers to the limits of their
gaining is a foolproof means for closing the gen-
industry’s ability to institute change
(30) der gap in wages. To the extent that the problem
involves the undervaluation of nonunion female
occupations in an otherwise unionized industry, 14. Which of the following best summarizes the
political hurdles will discourage unionized author’s main point?
employees from supporting revisions in the wage (A) Pay inequity for women exists because of
(35) structure. And to the extent that the problem is the lack of unionization in traditionally
the concentration of women in low-paying indus- female occupations.
tries—textiles, for example—the product market
imposes serious economic constraints on a sub- (B) Government regulation of industry to
stantial closing of the wage gap. achieve pay equity for women is
(40) Despite the imperfections of tools like col- unnecessary because management has
lective bargaining for redressing wage disparities the power to effectively determine wages.
between men and women, a reliance on law or (C) Unionization would solve all industry
government is favorable for neither individual problems relating to the valuation of
firms nor our economy as a whole. Nonetheless, women’s work.
(45) although opponents of mandatory public reme-
(D) Government regulation of women’s wages
dies may correctly fear those remedies as being
is necessary only in those industries
a cure worse than the disease, they are wrong
where collective bargaining is ineffective.
when they imply that the current system of wage
determination by business management is per- (E) Collective bargaining is preferable to
(50) fectly healthy. government actions in redressing the
undervaluation of women’s work.

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15. The author mentions textiles (line 37) in order to 17. In the final paragraph, the author addresses
“opponents of mandatory public remedies”
(A) demonstrate the potential harm of (lines 45–46) by
government regulation of industry
(B) outline a strategy for achieving pay equity (A) arguing that those remedies would benefit
for women the economy

(C) indicate how quickly employees can (B) implying that alternative methods of
reasonably expect to achieve pay equity correcting wage disparities would be
worse
(D) give an example of a situation in which
collective bargaining may be ineffective (C) asserting that the present approach to
setting wages is flawed
(E) show why civil rights laws are the most
important tool for increasing women’s (D) defending civil rights legislation as a
wages solution to social problems
(E) insisting that those remedies are a viable
means of correcting wage disparities
16. It can be inferred that the author’s attitude
toward opponents of government regulation of
wage determination mentioned in the last 18. The passage refers to which of the following as
paragraph is characterized by which of the reasons for preferring collective bargaining to
following? legislation as a method of ending the
undervaluation of women’s work?
I. Distrust of their motives
II. Sympathy with some of their concerns I. The greater responsiveness of collective
bargaining to existing conditions that
III. Disagreement with some of their affect wage levels
assumptions
II. The general desirability of using private
IV. Opposition to their political principles rather than public remedies
(A) I only III. The potential of collective bargaining for
(B) III only achieving a uniform national solution to
the problem of gender wage disparities
(C) I and II only
(A) I only
(D) II and III only
(B) III only
(E) I, II, and IV
(C) I and II only
(D) II and III only
(E) I, II, and III

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ANSWER KEY
1. B
2. B
3. B
4. D
5. B
6. C
7. D
8. D
9. A
10. C
11. E
12. B
13. A
14. E
15. D
16. D
17. C
18. C

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READING COMPREHENSION SET 2
Time: 25 minutes—18 Questions
Directions: Each passage in this section is followed by several questions. After reading the
passage, choose the best response to each question and mark it on your answer sheet. Your
replies are to be based on what is actually stated or implied in the passage, and not on your
own knowledge. You may refer to the passage while answering the questions.

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215
P R A C T I C E S E T S A N D E X P L A N AT I O N S

The debt crisis affecting many developing 1. The primary purpose of this passage is to
countries has had three causes: imprudent man- discuss
agement and borrowing by debtor countries;
imprudent lending by banks; and rising interest (A) the causes of the debt crisis and potential
(5) rates. The rise in real interest rates to about 6 solutions to it
percent by 1982 increased the burden on bor- (B) the effects of rising interest rates
rowers and completely changed the nature of the
(C) American banking in the 1980s
debt problem. Such an increase had not been
seen previously. In past debt crises, when loans (D) the future of banking in the U.S.
(10) were made at fixed rates, real interest rates rose (E) economic conditions in developing
with deflation. But once price levels stabilized, countries
the interest burden would be higher only to the
extent of the proportional decline in price levels.
And it remained quite possible that inflation 2. The passage provides information that helps to
(15) would eventually reduce the burden. In this crisis, answer which of the following questions?
though, the real interest rate has risen and
I. Did errors of economic management by
stayed high, and inflation has brought no relief.
developing countries contribute to the debt
During the 1980s, fear of financial loss led
crisis?
U.S. commercial banks to sharply curtail their
(20) lending activity in debtor countries. In 1982, nine II. Are steps currently being taken to alleviate
large banks had over 250 percent of their capital the debt crisis?
in loans to developing countries; by mid-1986, III. Do taxpayers in lending countries support
the nine banks had reduced their activities to the the notion of debt relief?
point where they had sufficient equity and
(25) reserves to withstand potential losses. Although (A) I only
banks have stabilized their positions, many con- (B) II only
tinue to carry developing-country debt at face (C) I and II only
value.
Present bank strategies deal with the debt (D) II and III only
(30) crisis by extending the effective maturity of loans. (E) I, II, and III
Although any method that reduces the flow of
resources from debtor countries will help in the
short run, further lending promises little relief to 3. Which of the following characterized responses
the debt problem. So long as real interest rates to the debt crisis in the 1980s?
(35) remain high, developing countries will remain in (A) Increased pressure on debtor countries to
debt. There are two choices. Either the piecemeal pay interest due on loans
approach continues, or some form of debt relief
occurs. For years, developing countries have paid (B) An increase in the percentage of their total
the price of low growth and significant falls in real capital large banks devoted to foreign
(40) wages while making cash transfers to service loans
their debt. Citizens of developing countries are (C) A decrease in the funds designated by
kept at low levels of income for the sake of capi- banks to cover potential losses
tal gains for banks and their shareholders. With
(D) Reliance by banks on inflationary pressure
sensible debt relief, developing countries and
to reduce debt levels
(45) lending institutions can begin to formulate
growth-oriented development policies. This (E) A decline in bank lending and an increase
should be possible without increasing burdens on in capital reserves
taxpayers in lender countries.

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READING COMPREHENSION PRACTICE SETS

4. The author suggests that methods currently in 6. If the passage were to continue, the next topic
place for dealing with the debt crisis are the author would logically discuss would most
inadequate because they likely be

(A) increase the upward pressure on real (A) possible steps which might bring about
interest rates without allowing any effective debt relief
opportunity for reduction (B) options other than debt relief that might
(B) allow real wages to rise at the expense of alleviate the debt crisis
economic growth in debtor countries (C) current attitudes of bankers toward
(C) fail to address problems of international lending
mismanagement in debtor and creditor (D) measures currently taken by debtor
countries countries to reduce inflation
(D) lessen the immediate burden of debt (E) the effects of 1980s banking activities on
service but do not promote long-term debtor countries
growth
(E) sacrifice a reduction of real interest rates
for a short-term increase in loan maturity

5. In the passage, the author identifies all of the


following as contributing to the current debt
crisis EXCEPT

(A) self-interest on the part of commercial


banks
(B) sustained high real interest rates
(C) unwillingness of banks to extend the
maturation periods of loans
(D) unwise decisions made by commercial
lending institutions
(E) failure of inflation to reduce the interest
burden

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Deser t plant populations have evolved 7. The passage refers to the spines and thorns of
sophisticated physiological behavioral traits that desert plants as
aid survival in arid conditions. Some send out
long, unusually deep taproots; others utilize shal- I. genetically evolved structural adaptations
(5) low but widespread roots, which allow them to that protect against predation
absorb large, intermittent flows of water. Certain II. genetic modifications that aid in the
plants protect their access to water. The creosote reduction of water loss
bush produces a potent root toxin which inhibits
III. structures that do not participate directly
the growth of competing root systems. Daytime
in food production
(10) closure of stomata exemplifies a further genetic
adaptation; guard cells work to minimize daytime (A) I only
water loss, later allowing the stomata to open (B) III only
when conditions are more favorable to gas
exchange with the environment. (C) I and II only
(15) Certain adaptations reflect the principle that (D) II and III only
a large surface area facilitates water and gas (E) I, II and III
exchange. Most plants have small leaves, modi-
fied leaves (spines), or no leaves at all. The main
food-producing organ is not the leaf but the stem, 8. The author suggest that the guard cells of
(20) which is often green and non-woody. Thick, waxy desert plants act to do which of the following?
stems and cuticles, seen in succulents such as
cacti and agaves, also help conserve water. I. Facilitate gas and water exchange between
Spines and thorns (modified branches) protect the plants and their surroundings
against predators and also minimize water loss. II. Cause the stomata of desert plants to
remain closed during daytime hours
III. Respond to sudden, heavy rainfalls by
forcing the plants’ stomata to open
(A) I only
(B) II only
(C) III only
(D) I and II only
(E) I, II, and III

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READING COMPREHENSION PRACTICE SETS

9. The passage suggests that which of the 11. All of the following are mentioned as examples
following weather-related conditions would most of adaptation by desert plants EXCEPT
benefit plants with shallow root systems?
(A) deep roots
(A) An unusually prolonged drought (B) shallow roots
(B) A windstorm (C) poisonous roots
(C) A flash flood (D) food-producing leaves
(D) A light spring rain (E) spines and thorns
(E) A winter snowfall
12. The passage suggests that the adaptations of
10. The adaptations of desert plants to their desert plants function to do all of the following
environment would tend to support the EXCEPT
statement that
(A) protect the plants’ access to water
(A) the rate of genetic evolution is greater in (B) prevent the loss of water during the day
the desert than in more temperate
surroundings (C) maximize the water and gas exchange
(B) structures in a plant which usually perform (D) shield the plant from daytime heat
one function may, under certain (E) guard against predators
conditions, perform different functions
(C) while the amount of leaf surface area is
critical for a desert plant, it is much less
so for plants in most other environments
(D) desert plants do not have many
physiological and behavioral traits in
common with other plants
(E) desert plants could probably adapt to life
in a variety of harsh ecosystems

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The great migration of European intellectu- 13. The author’s main concern in the passage is to
als to the United States in the second quarter of
the twentieth century prompted a transformation (A) characterize the effects of migration on
in the character of Western social thought. The U.S. history
(5) influx of Continental thinkers fleeing fascist (B) show how Paul Tillich’s career was
regimes had a great impact on American acade- representative of the migration experience
mic circles, leading to new developments in such
(C) discuss the effects of the great migration
diverse fields as linguistics and theology. But the
on modern social thought
greatest impact was on the emigrés themselves.
(10) This “migration experience” led expatriates to (D) reveal the increased sophistication of
reexamine the supposedly self-evident premises post-migration thought
inherited from the Continental intellectual tradi- (E) contrast European social thought with that
tion. The result, according to H. Stuart Hughes in of the United States
The Sea-Change, was an increased sophistica-
(15) tion and deprovincialization in social theory.
One problem facing newly arrived emigrés in 14. The author probably mentions H. Stuart Hughes
the U.S. was the spirit of anti-intellectualism in (line 13) in order to
much of the country. The empirical orientation of
(A) give an example of a European intellectual
American academic circles, moreover, led to the
who migrated to America
(20) conscious tempering by many European thinkers
of their own tendencies toward speculative ideal- (B) cite an important source of information
ism. In addition, reports of oppression in Europe about the migration experience
shook many Old World intellectuals from a stance (C) demonstrate how one American academic
of moral isolation. Many great European social was influenced by European scholars
(25) theorists had regarded their work as separate
from all moral considerations. The migration (D) pay tribute to Americans who provided
experience proved to many intellectuals of the fol- European thinkers with a refuge from
lowing generations that such notions of moral fascism
seclusion were unrealistic, even irresponsible. (E) name a leading disciple of Paul Tissich
(30) This transformation of social thought is per-
haps best exemplified in the career of the German
theologian Paul Tillich. Migration confronted Tillich
with an ideological as well as a cultural dichotomy.
Hughes points out that Tillich’s thought was “sus-
(35) pended between philosophy and theology, Marxism
and political conformity, theism and disbelief.”
Comparable to the fusion by other expatriate intel-
lectuals of their own idealist traditions with the
Anglo-American empiricist tradition was Tillich’s
(40) synthesis of German Romantic religiosity with the
existentialism born of the twentieth-century war
experience. Tillich’s basic goal, according to
Hughes, was to move secular individuals by making
religious symbols more accessible to them. Forced
(45) to make his ethical orientation explicit in the con-
text of American attitudes, Tillich avoided the eso-
teric academic posture of many Old World scholars,
and was able to find a wide and sympathetic audi-
ence for his sometimes difficult theology. In this
(50) way, his experience in America, in his own words,
“deprovincialized” his thought.

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READING COMPREHENSION PRACTICE SETS

15. Which of the following statements describe 17. It can be inferred that postmigration social
Tillich’s achievement? thought is distinguished from premigration
thought by its
I. He elucidated religious symbols in a
secular context without sacrificing their (A) less secular nature
impact. (B) greater social consciousness
II. He shunned the esotericism of much (C) more difficult theology
theological scholarship.
(D) diminished accessibility
III. He adapted a traditional religiosity to the
temper of the modern world. (E) more theoretical nature
(A) I only
18. The passage suggests that the migration
(B) II only
experience
(C) I and II only
(A) had little major effect on American
(D) II and III only
academic circles
(E) I, II, and III
(B) led to the abandonment of the idealist
philosophical tradition
16. According to the passage, reports of (C) made American intellectuals sensitive to
“oppression in Europe” (line 22) affected social oppression in Europe
thinkers by forcing them to
(D) caused emigré social thinkers to question
(A) rethink their moral responsibilities certain of their beliefs
(B) reexamine the morality of European leaders (E) negated Tillich’s influence on modern
(C) analyze the effects of migration on morality social thought

(D) reconsider their anti-social behavior


(E) justify the moral value of social thought

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ANSWER KEY
1. A
2. C
3. E
4. D
5. C
6. A
7. E
8. D
9. C
10. B
11. D
12. D
13. C
14. B
15. E
16. A
17. B
18. D

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READING COMPREHENSION SET 3
Time: 25 minutes—18 Questions
Directions: Each passage in this section is followed by several questions. After reading the
passage, choose the best response to each question and mark it on your answer sheet. Your
replies are to be based on what is actually stated or implied in the passage, and not on your
own knowledge. You may refer to the passage while answering the questions.

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P R A C T I C E S E T S A N D E X P L A N AT I O N S

The astronomical study of hot gas—gas with 1. Which of the following can be inferred from the
a temperature of a million degrees Kelvin or passage about “recent study of hot gas” (line
greater—began with observations of the solar 18)?
atmosphere. In the 1930s, techniques were
(5) developed to perform optical studies of the solar (A) It has prompted the rejection of earlier
corona during solar eclipses. The detection of studies of the solar corona.
highly ionized atoms of iron, calcium, and nickel, (B) It has taken place largely outside the
as well as an extended gaseous region, implied earth’s atmosphere.
the presence of gas at temperatures of about a
(C) It has led to full understanding of the
(10) million degrees K. However, detailed study of the
production and evolution of hot gas.
solar corona had to await the advent of space
astronomy and the chance to observe the sun at (D) It was aimed primarily at gathering data
ultraviolet and X-ray wavelengths outside the related to the birth and death of stars.
earth’s opaque atmosphere. These wavelengths (E) It was hindered by astronomers’
(15) are crucial for studying hot gas because highly dependence on outdated research
ionized atoms are visible in these regions and techniques.
because most radiated energy is emitted there.
Recent study of hot gas began with the
launching in the 1970s of space observatories 2. Which of the following is mentioned in the
(20) which gathered data on ultraviolet and X-ray wave- passage as evidence for the presence of hot
lengths. These observations led to a new picture interstellar gas in our galaxy?
of the production and evolution of hot gas. Before
(A) The varying levels of radiation given off by
1970, direct evidence for the presence of hot gas
distant stars
in large volumes of space was lacking. Although
(25) there were theoretical arguments for pervasive (B) The large quantity of ionized atoms
interstellar gas, interstellar space in our galaxy detected during solar eclipses
was thought to be occupied by gas with a tem- (C) The presence of gas with a temperature of
perature of about 10,000 degrees K. In the about 10,000 degrees K in our galaxy
1970s, however, the observatory Copernicus
(30) revealed the widespread presence in our galaxy (D) The production of highly ionized oxygen in
of highly ionized oxygen that could only be pro- our galaxy
duced at high temperatures. At the same time, (E) The frequent occurrence of supernovae in
the Uhuru X-ray satellite discovered emissions our galaxy
from hot gas in the space between galaxies in
(35) clusters. Subsequent studies confirmed these
findings.
It is believed that interstellar gas is heated
through two mechanisms: the motions of stars
and matter ejected from them, and gravitational
(40) infall. Hot gas has been observed on a smaller
scale, between stars in our galaxy, and in large-
scale structures (clusters of galaxies). On a
smaller scale, supernovae, or exploding stars,
probably create an interstellar medium of hot gas
(45) within galaxies; they may also drive gas out of
galaxies. On a larger scale, gravitational infall—
during which gas slumps toward the center of a
galaxy—may play a role in the heating of gas.

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READING COMPREHENSION PRACTICE SETS

3. According to the passage, the Uhuru X-ray 5. Which of the following best describes how the
satellite has been instrumental in helping to second paragraph relates to the first paragraph?

(A) provide detailed images of the remnants (A) The second paragraph qualifies a
of supernovae in our galaxy conclusion stated in the first paragraph.
(B) determine the precise sequence of events (B) The second paragraph elaborates on
leading to a supernova developments identified in the first
(C) document the widespread presence of hot paragraph.
gas in interstellar space (C) The second paragraph examines in detail
(D) identify the different types of particles the particular studies referred to in the
commonly ejected by stars first paragraph.

(E) measure the varying strength of (D) The second paragraph identifies a more
gravitational fields at galactic centers fruitful area of study than that discussed
in the first paragraph.
(E) The second paragraph illustrates the
4. The author suggests that the studies of the solar
degree of speculation involved in the
atmosphere discussed in the first paragraph
studies mentioned in the first paragraph.
(A) conflict with current assumptions about
the extent of the gaseous region 6. The passage specifically mentions information
surrounding the sun relevant to all of the following questions EXCEPT:
(B) reached conclusions which were
overlooked by later studies (A) In what way does hot gas affect the
evolution of stellar systems?
(C) were constrained by the technology then
available to scientists (B) What may result from the migration of gas
toward the center of a galaxy?
(D) confirmed then-current beliefs about the
presence of hot gas between stars (C) What effect can the release of energy
during a stellar explosion have on
(E) are largely irrelevant to recent studies of interstellar gas?
hot gas
(D) What evidence have researchers gathered
for the presence of hot gas near the sun?
(E) Why is the ability to monitor ultraviolet and
X-ray wavelengths necessary for the study
of hot gas?

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We must question the assumption that for- 7. The author’s primary concern in the passage is
profit health care institutions are obligated to to discuss
provide free care for people who cannot afford to
pay for it. Supermarkets, after all, are not expect- (A) the level of expenditures required to
(5) ed to donate food to the hungry, and real estate ensure access to health care for all
developers are not expected to let people live (B) measures that might be enacted to carry
rent-free in their housing. Yet food and housing, out a program of subsidized health care
like health care, are necessities. If there is a
(C) differences among states and localities in
basic right to health care, it is reasonable to think
the provision of basic social services
(10) there are such rights to food and shelter.
Whose obligation is it to secure adequate (D) whether a national commitment to health
health care for those without it? There are sever- care can be reconciled with the federal
al reasons to believe that the obligation rests structure of the United States
with the federal government. First, the obligation (E) who bears the obligation for assuring
(15) to secure a just distribution of benefits and adequate health services for those who
burdens across society is a general societal lack it
obligation. Second, the federal government is the
institution society employs to meet society-wide
distributive requirements. It has the capacities to 8. The author mentions federal “food stamp
(20) finance a hugely expensive program for guaran- programs and housing subsidies” (lines 36–37)
teed adequate health care. The government’s primarily in order to
taxing power also allows the burden of financing
(A) modify a previous point in response to
health care to be spread across society and not
new information
to depend on the vagaries of how wealthy or poor
(25) a state or local area may be. The government (B) support his argument by mentioning a
also has the power to coordinate health care pro- comparable situation
grams across local and state boundaries. This (C) argue that these programs should be
would reduce inefficiencies that allow people to modified
fall between the cracks of the patchwork of local
(30) and state programs, and ensure that there are (D) make a concession to a contrasting opinion
not great differences in the minimum of health (E) acknowledge that not all programs would
care guaranteed to all in different locales. benefit from the same approach
If we are one society, then the level of health
care needed for all citizens should not vary in dif-
(35) ferent areas because of political and economic
contingencies. It is worth noting that food stamp
programs and housing subsidies, also aimed at
basic necessities, similarly are largely a federal
responsibility. These are reasons for the federal
(40) government having the obligation to guarantee
access to health care. It could provide this care
itself, or it could supply vouchers to be used in
the health care marketplace. How access should
be secured—and to what extent market
(45) mechanisms ought to be utilized—is a separate
question.

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READING COMPREHENSION PRACTICE SETS

9. According to the passage, the federal 12. It can be inferred from the passage that the
government possesses all the following powers author considers the method in which health
in regard to health care EXCEPT the power to care is guaranteed to people to be

(A) raise the revenue to finance health care (A) an issue that may prevent agreement on
expenditures the principle of securing health care for all
(B) distribute the costs of health care fairly (B) a responsibility primarily of state and local
among different parts of the country governments
(C) ensure that people have access to health (C) an issue that is distinct from the
care regardless of state and local guarantee of health care itself
boundaries (D) dependent on variations in market
(D) require businesses and charities to mechanisms among different locales
assume a greater role in providing health (E) a practical problem that may never
care to the needy satisfactorily be resolved
(E) set comparable and reasonable standards
for minimum acceptable levels of health
13. If the passage were to continue, the next topic
care
the author would logically discuss would most
10. The first paragraph serves primarily to likely be

(A) corroborate a theory (A) the duty of private hospitals to provide


free health care for the poor
(B) advocate new research
(B) the role of the federal government in
(C) reconcile differing views establishing standards of health care
(D) explain a procedure (C) various ways that the federal government
(E) introduce an opinion could assure all citizens access to health
care
11. Which of the following actions would be most (D) a plan for making health care the
consistent with the “society-wide distributive responsibility of the individual states
requirements” mentioned in lines 18–19?
(E) the argument that access to health care
(A) The revenue from a federal tax increase is should not be considered a basic human
used in part to raise standards of health right
care in less affluent regions and
communities
(B) The federal government consents to less
stringent health care standards for less
affluent communities
(C) The federal government disavows
legislation designating elementary health
care as a public responsibility
(D) A revenue shortfall caused by a federal tax
cut is compensated for by an increase in
state taxes
(E) The federal government transfers
allocated funds from its food stamp
program to a program which guarantees
health care

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P R A C T I C E S E T S A N D E X P L A N AT I O N S

A theorist of modernization in underdevel- 14. The author’s primary concern in this passage is to
oped countries has defined this process as one of
passing from “traditional authority,” derived from (A) describe a Nigerian society
long-standing custom and the authority of kinship (B) reveal a shortcoming in a theory
(5) leaders, to “legal-rational authority,” based on
(C) show how one form of authority gives way
procedures specifically established for particular
to another
goals. No doubt this scheme works well enough in
categorizing some societies, but how is one to (D) explain the interplay of colonialism and
classify the Ibo society of southeastern Nigeria? In capitalism
(10) precolonial Ibo society, village decisions were (E) prove that Ibo society is modern
reached in general meetings, and formalized by
striking the ground with an ofo, a staff possessed
by the head of a kinship group. This might seem to 15. Which of the following can be inferred to be
fit the theorist’s model; but the Ibo altered this consistent with the conception of “legal-rational
(15) procedure whenever appropriate—for instance, if authority,” as defined in this passage?
the senior kinship head forgot his ofo, any other
I. A procedure is acceptable if it is not
ofo could be used. The Ibo, too, freely revised any
forbidden by law and is suited to a
customary procedures in order to pursue trade—a
specified purpose.
flexibility that served them well in the new capital-
(20) ist economy introduced by colonialism. If this II. A leader has unlimited authority within an
theorist is to be consistent, he must concede that area determined by custom.
the Ibo were “modern” before the first colonist III. A practice is correct if is one that has
stepped ashore. always been used in the past.
(A) I only
(B) II only
(C) III only
(D) I and II only
(E) I and III only

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READING COMPREHENSION PRACTICE SETS

16. The author mentions the practice of substituting 18. The author implied that the categories used by
one ofo for another as an example of the theorist of modernization would compel him
to assert that precolonial Ibo society was
(A) the fixity of custom in a traditional
authority structure (A) not a valid example of “modern” authority
(B) behavior that does not fit the typology of structures
“traditional authority” (B) an example of a third type of society not
(C) the ability of the theorist’s categorization previously analyzed
to yield useful insights about society (C) dominated by established custom in
(D) the Ibos’ ability to adapt to a commercial activities other than meetings and trade
society (D) not suited to sociological analysis
(E) the lack of a defined kinship structure in (E) not “traditional”
Ibo society

17. The author would state that the categorization


used by the theorist of modernization is

(A) applicable in some cases


(B) totally without merit
(C) universally valid
(D) incapable of being empirically tested
(E) relevant only to societies that were never
colonized

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STOP! END OF TEST

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ANSWER KEY
1. B
2. D
3. C
4. C
5. B
6. A
7. E
8. B
9. D
10. E
11. A
12. C
13. C
14. B
15. A
16. B
17. A
18. E

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230
READING
COMPREHENSION
EXPLANATIONS CHAPTER 22

READING COMPREHENSION EXPLANATIONS SET 1


Answer Key:
1. B 7. D 13. A
2. B 8. D 14. E
3. B 9. A 15. D
4. D 10. C 16. D
5. B 11. E 17. C
6. C 12. B 18. C

PASSAGE 1—The Norton and Rhee Model 1. B


Topic and Scope: A discussion of the relevance of for- The passage begins by posing the question of how
mal economic models to real-world policy. The useful formal models are, and concludes by calling
author uses the model applied to Korea by Norton Norton and Rhee’s model an example of the “pitfalls”
and Rhee to show shortcomings of such models. of formalism. (B) captures this critical approach,
though it misses the broader implications hinted at in
Purpose and Main Idea: Author wants to reveal the the opening sentence. There’s nothing that indicates
shortcomings of formal economic models. that Norton and Rhee’s method of analysis was “new”
(A), nor is the author “proposing” it; on the other
Paragraph Structure: Paragraph 1 describes the hand, she doesn’t propose any other approach. (C) is
Norton and Rhee model. Paragraph 2 shows how the what the author is very skeptical about; certainly she
results of the application contradict the general doesn’t “advocate” using such models. (D) is a mess.
trends of real-world economic policy. N & R were not trying to explain Korean inflation as
a whole, but to see how various economic factors
would affect inflation; and the author is not even try-
ing to do that, but to discuss N & R’s work. (E) is
something the author does do, but it is incidental to
the broader purpose of criticizing “formalism.”

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2. B finding. N & R contended that reduced exports


The passage says that Norton and Rhee “achieved would increase inflation (AÑthe choice paraphrases
some success in applying such a model retrospective- the “orthodox” view). And they argued that lower
ly to the Korean economy over a fourteen-year peri- (not higher) exports would lower GDP (C)—no
od.” In other words, the model is fairly effective in finding about higher exports is implied. Lastly, keep-
analyzing past events, as (B) suggests. ing the long-term factors constant (E) does not mean
that they don’t affect growth, simply that N & R were
Since the “fourteen-year period” refers to the past, not examining their effects on growth.
not the future, (A) is clearly wrong; in fact, one of the
main points of the passage is that Norton and Rhee’s
model is not particularly useful for predicting the
future. Choices (C), (D), and (E) refer to matters
discussed later in the passage.

3. B
The whole passage is critical of Norton and Rhee, but
the last sentence offers the only explicit criticism:
their approach is “formalist” (or abstract) and lacks
“policy relevance.” (B) paraphrases this criticism. The
only economic factors specifically excluded from the
model (A) are the long-term factors mentioned in the
middle of paragraph 1; there is no suggestion that N
& R should be criticized for this procedure. (C) is
something that the model does do, since it is aimed at
finding the effect of various factors on inflation. The
“importance” of economic growth (D) is not dis-
cussed at all and certainly not underestimated. (E) is
contradicted by paragraph 1: these are exactly the fac-
tors N & R did consider.

4. D
The last paragraph calls N & R’s findings “startling,”
and then cites other economists’ views on three
points discussed in the preceding paragraph. The
most surprising finding is the one “few” economists
would agree with; the least surprising is the one
“most” economists would agree with; and the one
that “many” economists dispute lies somewhere in
between. The finding “few” economists would agree
with, that slower monetary growth is inflationary, is
summarized in correct choice (D). (B) refers to the
least controversial point, that rising oil costs are infla-
tionary (N & R share the orthodox view on this ques-
tion). Choices (A) and (C) refer to the “in between”
finding, on the effects of reduced exports, and are
wrong for this reason. In addition, they distort the

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PASSAGE 2—Ecology 6. C
Topic and Scope: A basic scientific principle: This question asks about a detail from paragraph 2.
“Population size is partly a reflection of available The cited sentence says that timing is crucial because
food resources.” Specifically, author uses two experi- voles are short-lived and the timing of plant growth
ments (one by Berger, one by Bryant) to illustrate is unpredictable. You can infer that the plant-rodent
how changes in food supply can dramatically affect relationship increases the vole population at times
the size of rodent populations. when food is more plentiful. The best restatement of
this inference is (C). (A) goes the wrong way. 6-
Purpose and Main Idea: Author wants to MBOA triggers breeding—it doesn’t discourage it.
demonstrate that the relationship between (B), (D) and (E) are never mentioned anywhere.
population and food supply “is more complex than
formerly thought.” 7. D
Paragraph Structure: In paragraph 1 the second The resinous shoots are discussed in the third para-
sentence is key: “Recent experiments suggest that the graph. There, we are told that these shoots function
relationship is more complex than formerly thought.” as part of “a phytochemical defense against the depre-
You can guess from these words that the passage will go dations of snowshoe hares in Canada.” This means
on to discuss these experiments. The next sentence that statement I is correct. We are also told the resins
identifies the nature of the complexity—rodent in these shoots “discourage hare browsing,” and that
browsing affects plant chemicals, which in turn affect hares avoid shoots artificially treated with these
the rodents. Paragraph 2 details Berger’s experiment, resins. This means that statement III must also
which studied how plant chemicals trigger appear in the correct answer. But the passage does not
reproductive activity among voles. Paragraph 3 details say that increases in the hare population cause plants
Bryant’s experiment, which studied the effect of plant to produce more resinous shoots, so statement II is
chemicals on declining populations of snowshoe hares. not supported by the passage. Therefore, the answer
Paragraph 4 discusses possible future research is (D).
involving lemmings, another rodent with fluctuating
populations. 8. D
The lemmings are mentioned in the last paragraph,
5. B which speculates that lemmings might, like voles, be
With a question like this, you need to check each affected by a plant trigger for breeding behavior.
choice against the passage. A faster way to eliminate Some answer choices mention Berger and some men-
choices is to remember that the right answer often fits tion Bryant. The lemmings are likened to voles, so
with the main idea, here the food-population rela- Berger is the pertinent researcher here. This elimi-
tionship. Thus, (A) is wrong because it ventures away nates (A) and (B). (E) conflicts with the main idea.
from this. (B) looks excellent, because the author The author wants to prove something, not disprove
devotes several lines at the end of paragraph 2 to it.
explaining the importance of timing for vole repro- That leaves (C), supporting Berger’s specific findings,
duction. (C) is simply never covered. (D) is wrong and (D), indicating whether Berger’s findings can be
because the author discusses the significance of 6- generalized. The paragraph doesn’t talk about
MBOA, but not its biologic mechanism. With (E), proving Berger’s specific results with the voles; those
why the hares overpopulate is dismissed in the third are accepted as given. It does say that the lemmings,
paragraph with the words “for reasons that are like voles, may be affected by a plant trigger. This
unclear.” The answer is (B). implies (D), that Berger’s findings may be applicable
to other animals.

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9. A PASSAGE 3—Civil Rights Law


The answer to this global question has to focus on Topic and Scope: Unfair differences between
something about the complex relationship between women’s and men’s wages; specifically, how to reme-
food and population size, including the rodent exam- dy such pay inequities.
ples; it should also encompass the entire passage.
Thus, the best answer is (A). (B) is a detail appearing Purpose and Main Idea: The author argues that
only in the second paragraph, while (E) appears only collective bargaining is a more desirable way of
in paragraph 3. (C) is too general, and (D) mentions solving wage disparities than are government-
a topic the author never covers. sponsored remedies such as civil rights laws.

Paragraph Structure: Paragraph 1 cites the use of


10. C civil rights law for remedying women’s pay inequities,
When you read about the hares, notice that Bryant’s but immediately jumps to the topic of collective
conclusion is pure speculation. He sees that the hares bargaining, asserting that it’s a better alternative. A
don’t eat resinous shoots, and concludes that this number of reasons are then given. Paragraph 2
“may play a role” in population decline. The assump- acknowledges that collective bargaining is not
tion is that there’s a connection between not eating foolproof and explains why. Paragraph 3 confirms the
the plants and a population reduction. Choice (C) author’s preference for collective bargaining. Note the
corresponds: The avoidance of plants would lead to conclusion: while the author agrees with opponents
starvation, and population decline. of “public remedies,” she also issues a warning: that
(A), if true, would weaken, not strengthen, Bryant’s “the current system of wage determination” is far
conclusion. (B) is irrelevant—the cause of the rise is from “perfectly healthy.”
unknown and doesn’t concern Bryant; it’s the decline
that interests him. (D) mixes up the hares with the 12. B
voles and their breeding behavior. The hare Since “This” is the first word in the sentence, you have
experiment has nothing to do with breeding and to check the previous sentence to determine its
reproduction. Finally, (E) is never suggested. Bryant meaning. The previous sentence says that instead of
concluded that the population decline was caused by invoking civil rights law, one could try to influence
avoiding the shoots, not by eating them. the market so that women could address their own
problems. The correct answer will paraphrase “influ-
11. E ence the market” (B).
For this question, you need to eliminate each choice (A) and (E) appear after “This” and thus cannot be
that was part of both experiments. Choice (A) was what the pronoun refers to. (C) mentions collective
part of both—Berger measured how voles changed bargaining, but “changing its dynamic” is never
breeding behavior and Bryant measured how hares discussed. (D) goes against the main idea, by favoring
changed eating behavior. (B) also appears in both: use of civil rights law over collective bargaining.
Berger measured the rise and fall of vole populations,
while Bryant measured hare populations. (C) and
(D) apply to both experiments, since both scientists 13. A
fed the animals chemically treated foods and noted Figuring out where in the passage to look for an
consumption. (E) is correct: Only Berger’s experi- answer is vital! For something that collective bargain-
ment dealt with the effect of food on breeding behav- ing can’t do, you look at paragraph 2, which lists the
ior. Bryant’s hare experiment dealt with the effect of shortcomings. There the author states that “the prod-
food on eating behavior. uct market imposes serious economic constraints on
a substantial closing of the wage gap,” which makes
(A) correct. Choices (B), (C), (D) and (E) are identi-

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fied in paragraph 1 as things that collective bargain- Statements I and IV suggest that the author’s hostile
ing can accomplish. to the opponents. The author generally agrees with
them! The author takes issue with one point only.
14. E
The bold and efficient approach here is to restate the 17. C
main idea in your own words and then look for an Questions are sometimes consistent with each other!
equivalent. Here, (E) is close to the idea we came up You examined the last paragraph in the previous
with earlier: Collective bargaining isn’t perfect but it’s question, and found that the author agrees with the
preferable to civil rights law for addressing women’s conclusion that public remedies are bad, but sharply
labor issues. (E) “jumps out.” questions the assumption that the present system is
fine just the way it is. (C) restates this latter point. The
With the wrong answers, (A) offers a detail. (B) four wrong choices run counter to the author’s argu-
distorts the passage—the author believes that ment—at no point does the author endorse any form
government regulation is bad, but not that of government regulation or civil rights law.
management should have unlimited power to set
wages. (C) is a sweeping generalization—a negative
sign in itself. Correct choices seldom use absolute 18. C
words such as “all,” “never,” “always” and “every.” And As always, knowing where to look is crucial. The
the passage explicitly states that unionization doesn’t answer to this question will appear in the first para-
solve all problems. (D) runs counter to the author’s graph, which lists all the reasons collective bargaining
attitude: The author never endorses any type of is good. Option I is implied at the end of the para-
government remedy. graph with “sensitive to the limits.” Option II occurs
at the beginning of the paragraph, which endorses
self-help over civil rights law. Option III, however, is
15. D not found here. In fact, option III appears in the dis-
The textile industry is mentioned in the course of the cussion of the weaknesses of collective bargaining in
author’s admission that collective bargaining is not paragraph 2.
“foolproof.” The passage says that “the concentration
of women in low-paying industries” raises problems
that are not easily resolved by collective bargaining.
Thus, (D) is the best answer.

Choice (A) is wrong, because the second paragraph is


not where the author makes a case against
government regulation. Choices (B) and (C) refer to
mattes discussed earlier in the passage. And (E)
contradicts the author’s argument.

16. D
The answer to this question is in the last paragraph,
where the author refers to the “opponents” of gov-
ernment regulation. The author says that they aren’t
right about everything, although they are right about
the evils of government intervention. This confirms
options II and III—the author is sympathetic, but
disagrees with part of their argument. Since only (D)
includes both II and III, it must be the correct answer.

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READING COMPREHENSION EXPLANATIONS SET 2
Answer Key:
1. A 7. E 13. C
2. C 8. D 14. B
3. E 9. C 15. E
4. D 10. B 16. A
5. C 11. D 17. B
6. A 12. D 18. D

PASSAGE 1—Debt Crisis 1. A


Topic and Scope: The debt crisis; specifically, the As we’ve seen, the purpose of the passage as a whole
causes of the debt crisis and the strategies for dealing is to state the causes of the debt crisis, and suggest
with it. what can be done about it. Choice (A) best conveys
this idea. The other answer choices focus on details:
Purpose and Main Idea: The author’s purpose is to (B) refers to the first paragraph, (C) to the second,
discuss both the causes of the debt crisis and the and (D) and (E) to the third.
strategies for handling it. This is a descriptive passage,
so there really isn’t a very focused main idea. The 2. C
author does say, however, that debt relief is a better This roman numeral question poses three questions
way to deal with the debt problem than current bank and asks which are answered in the passage. Question
strategies. I is about a cause of the debt crisis, which is covered
Paragraph Structure: The first paragraph lists the in the first sentence of the passage. The question asks
causes of the debt crisis and goes on to amplify the about management errors by developing countries,
third cause, rising interest rates. The second and the passage lists “imprudent management.” Since
paragraph outlines bank strategies for dealing with the passage answers question I, (B) and (D) can be
the debt crisis in the 1980s. The third paragraph eliminated. Question II asks if anything is currently
contrasts current bank strategies with debt relief, being done about the debt crisis. This question is
arguing that the latter is a more effective approach to answered in the last paragraph, which discusses cur-
the debt problem. rent bank strategies. So you can eliminate (A), too.

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Finally, question III asks how taxpayers in lending the third paragraph, which says that the economies of
countries feel about debt relief. In the last sentence of developing countries are being damaged in order to
the passage, the author says debt relief can be accom- profit the banks and their shareholders. That leaves
plished without burdening taxpayers, but never (C) as the correct answer. Indeed, not only is (C) not
addresses the attitudes of the taxpayers themselves. cited as a contributing factor to the current debt cri-
Because the passage does not answer question III, you sis, but it is contradicted by information in the pas-
can eliminate (E). Since the passage answers ques- sage as well.
tions I and II, but not III, the correct answer is (C).
Keep in mind that it’s usually possible to use option 6. A
combinations in the answer choices to eliminate For a “continuation” question, you need to look at
incorrect choices. where the passage leaves off and pick an answer con-
sistent with that issue. In this passage, the author fin-
3. E ishes by talking about debt relief. If the passage were
This question asks about bank responses to the debt to continue, it would take up the issue of debt relief.
crisis in the 1980s, the subject of the second para- That makes (A) the correct answer. (B) is not logical
graph. This paragraph says that banks curtailed their because the last sentence is about debt relief itself:
lending until they had sufficient reserves. (E) is a nice The author wouldn’t suddenly take up the issue of
paraphrase of this information. (B) and (C) are au alternatives to debt relief. (C), (D), and (E) play on
contraire choices. (A) and (D) bring up issues not issues brought up earlier in the passage.
dealt with in the second paragraph.

4. D
The key to most passages is not so much an overall
comprehension of their content, but rather knowing
where in them to look for information. In this pas-
sage, the author’s opinion appears in the last few sen-
tences, where he states that current approaches to the
debt crisis are inadequate because debt service pre-
vents long-term economic growth in developing
countries. A good paraphrase of this notion appears
in (D).
(A) and (C) distort information in the passage and,
moreover, relate to the first paragraph rather than the
third, which is the one you’re interested in here. (B)
and (E) contradict the passage.

5. C
Since this is an “all/EXCEPT” question, you’re look-
ing for the choice that is not contributing to the cur-
rent debt crisis. Begin by consulting the first para-
graph because it lists the causes of the debt crisis. The
author mentions high interest rates, imprudent lend-
ing, and no relief from inflation as causes of the cri-
sis. Therefore, you can eliminate (B), (D), and (E).
(A), self-interested commercial banks, comes up in

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PASSAGE 2—Desert Plants thus clearly suggested. The third option, however, is
Topic and Scope: Desert plant adaptations and how an unjustified inference. Nothing at all is stated to
aid in these plants’ survival. link the functioning of guard cells to sudden down-
pours.
Purpose and Main Idea: The author is trying to
describe the physiological traits that desert plants 9. C
have adapted in order to survive in arid conditions. The stem is looking for the weather-related condition
Paragraph Structure: The first paragraph describes that would especially benefit plants with shallow root
some general adaptations. The second paragraph systems. Shallow root systems are mentioned up in
discusses adaptations based on the principle that a the second sentence, and the point is that these spe-
large surface area facilitates water and gas exchange. cially adapted roots allow desert plants to take advan-
tage of heavy, irregular flows of water. One example
would be a very heavy, torrential downpour. The only
7. E choice that comes close to this is a flash flood. Flash
The whole passage focuses on structural and behav- floods result from unexpected, torrential rainfall. (A)
ioral adaptations that desert plants have made in and (B) are impossible; neither drought nor wind-
order to survive. While the word “genetic” is used storms involve water. (D won’t work because a light
only once (in the last sentence of paragraph 1), it’s rain doesn’t fit with the idea of a large, sudden quan-
clear that many of these modifications are genetic. tity of water. (E), finally, is pretty impossible , too.
Spines and thorns, which are identified in the second First, this choice doesn’t suggest a heavy, intermittent
paragraph as modified leaves and branches, are infer- snowfall, and second, nothing is said in the passage to
ably among these genetic adaptations. In the last sen- suggest snow would be of special benefit to shallow
tence, it’s further stated that they protect against pre- rooted plants.
dation (I) and also that they help minimize water loss
(II). Option III is confirmed in the third sentence of
the second paragraph: most of a desert plant’s food is 10. B
produced in its stem, not in its leaves, so it’s pretty The second paragraph contains several examples of
clear that spines and thorns (again, modified leaves structures that in desert plants perform different
and branches) have little or nothing to do with food functions than those they normally perform in plants
production. in other environments. Spines and thorns in desert
plants are modified leaves and branches, to reduce
water loss. And as a result of their lack of normal
8. D leaves, most desert plants produce their food in their
Like question 7, this is another detail question, this green, fleshy stems. As for the wrong choices, three of
time focusing on the functioning of guard cells, men- them—(A), (D), and (E)—simply can’t be answered.
tioned in the sentence that concludes paragraph 1. There’s no information to support any of these state-
This sentence discusses two closely related plant fea- ments. Finally, in choice (C), while the passage does
tures: the stomata and the guard cells. You read first indicate that a small leaf surface area is a critical fac-
that daytime closing of the stomata is an adaptation tor for desert plants, nothing suggests that leaf sur-
that helps to minimize daytime water loss. The sec- face area isn’t critical for plants in most other envi-
ond half of the sentence clearly implies that it’s the ronments. Since the general principle is that a large
guard cells that control this opening and closing of surface area facilitates gas and water exchange one
the stomata. So, the guard cells force the stomata to can infer that the larger leaf surface area of other
close during the day, to minimize water loss, and then plants helps in this process.
they later cause the stomata to open, when conditions
for gas exchange between the plant and its environ-
ment are more favorable. The first two options are

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11. D PASSAGE 3—Migration


We are told in the second paragraph that most desert Topic and Scope: The great migration; specifically,
plants produce food in their stems, not their leaves. how the migration experience transformed the social
Therefore, (D) is the correct answer: it names some- thought of European intellectuals who came to
thing that’s not mentioned in the passage. Choices America, especially Tillich.
(A), (B), and (C) are mentioned in the first para-
graph, and (E) is mentioned in the second paragraph. Purpose and Main Idea: The author’s purpose is to
describe the changes in the social thought of
12. D European intellectuals who immigrated to America,
The passage mentions several different adaptations using Tillich as an example. The main idea is simply
and the purpose of each. The creosote bush produces that, as a consequence of the migration experience,
a toxin which prohibits competing root systems from European thinkers in America transformed their
intruding on its space, therefore protecting its access ideas to have more relevance to “real world” issues.
to water. Guard cells function to “minimize daytime Paragraph Structure: The first paragraph introduces
water loss.” The second paragraph starts by talking the topic and scope of the passage. The second
about adaptations which facilitate gas and water paragraph describes in general terms how the social
exchange. Spines and thorns are adaptations which thought of European intellectuals was transformed.
protect against predators. There is no mention of any And the third paragraph provides a specific example
adaptation shielding plants from the heat, so (D) of this transformation by describing the case of
must be the answer. Tillich.

13. C
To answer this question, it’s important to realize that
the author’s purpose is to discuss the transformation
of social thought that resulted from the great migra-
tion. Tillich is merely an example of how this trans-
formation manifested itself among European emi-
grés; he is not the primary focus of the passage.
Therefore, (B), which places emphasis on Tillich, is
out. (A) and (D) fail to mention “social thought.” (D)
mentions only “thought,” not “social thought.”
Finally, (E) gets in the idea of social thought but
leaves out the migration experience. (C), which
includes the important elements of the author’s pur-
pose—the effects of the great migration on social
thought—is correct.

14 B
Hughes is mentioned in the first paragraph as the
author of a book that says something about European
expatriates in the United States. He’s also cited in the
third paragraph in the course of analysis of Tillich’s
thought. In other words, Hughes is cited as a source
of information, as (B) suggests.

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Choices (A), (C), and (D) can’t be right, because the choices, (A) and (C), allude to Tillich, but the ques-
passage doesn’t tell us whether Hughes was a tion asks about social thought in general, not about
European or an American, or whether he had any him. Besides, these choices distort Tillich’s approach.
direct contact with the emigrés. Choice (E) is a bit (D) and (E) are au contraire choices.
more tempting, since the author cites Hughes’
interpretation of Tillich’s ideas. But that doesn’t mean 18. D
that Hughes is a disciple—a follower—of Tillich. This question doesn’t zero in on a particular piece of
Choice (B) is the only answer that’s really supported the text, so just read through the choices and look for
by the passage. one that “jumps out” as consistent with the purpose
of the passage. (D) is consistent with what the
15. E author’s trying to accomplish. “prephrasing” his pur-
Before you check the options, review the information pose would have made it easy to pick this choice.
about Tillich in the last paragraph. He combined reli-
giosity with existentialism and made religious sym- Looking at the other choices, (A) is contradicted in
bols more meaningful to people. These achievements the first paragraph. Also, it deals with a minor point
are echoed in options I and III. None of the choices that the author doesn’t pursue in the remainder of
includes just I and III, so you know the correct the text. The word “abandonment” makes (B) too
answer must be (E), which includes all three options. broad a choice. Be suspicious of choices that make
To confirm option II, again look back at the passage, sweeping generalizations. (C) focuses on American
which does say that Tillich “avoided the esoteric aca- rather than European thinkers. Finally, (E) is an au
demic posture of many Old World scholars.” Option contraire choice. If anything, the migration
II makes more or less the same point, so it’s indeed experience enhanced Tillich’s influence.
part of the correct answer.

16. A
This is a detail question, so the correct answer is there
in the text—in this case, in the second paragraph,
which says that oppression forced social thinkers to
reject moral isolation. (A) gets at this notion. (B)
brings in “leaders,” but they aren’t mentioned in the
passage. (C) substitutes “morality” for “moral isola-
tion.” They are not the same, and the morality of the
emigrés was never in question. (D) is entirely
wrong—the passage doesn’t accuse the emigrés of
“antisocial behavior.” The most tempting wrong
choice is (E). However, “rethink” in (A) is much more
characteristic of the thrust of the passage than the
word “justify” in (E). Don’t answer detail questions
on a hunch. Go back to the text and find the answer.

16. 7
The passage uses the word “deprovincialization”
twice to characterize the transformation of social
thought. Among the choices, the closest paraphrase is
(B), greater social consciousness. Notice that two

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READING COMPREHENSION EXPLANATIONS SET 3
Answer Key:
1. B 7. E 13. C
2. D 8. B 14. B
3. C 9. D 15. A
4. C 10. E 16. B
5. B 11. A 17. A
6. A 12. C 18. E

PASSAGE 1—Hot Gas draws a distinction between small-scale and large-


Topic and Scope: Past and more recent astronomical scale masses of gas.
study of hot gas; specifically, how the technology for
studying hot gas has improved and what scientists 1. B
have learned about the gas. The answer to an inference question is generally not
explicitly stated in the passage, but will nonetheless
Purpose and Main Idea: Author shows how study be very close to it. (A) is out because earlier studies
techniques have undergone extensive changes since were not rejected—merely superseded. Checking (B),
the 1930s and that, as a result, our knowledge of hot you find in paragraph 1 the statement that “detailed
gas has been substantially extended. study...had to await...the chance to observe...outside
Paragraph Structure: Paragraph 1 defines hot gas the earth’s opaque atmosphere.” The next paragraph
and focuses on 1930s studies, which were then discusses recent study. You can infer that recent
speculative—scientists lacked technology for more study has taken place outside the atmosphere. This is
definitive study. Paragraph 2 moves to the 1970s. The the answer—not directly stated but adhering closely
technology has been invented, giving us “a new to the passage. (C) contradicts the passage with the
picture” of hot gas. The paragraph identifies evidence words “full understanding.” The wording in the last
for large volumes of hot gas in space; the observatory paragraph (“it is believed,” “probably,” and “may”)
Copernicus and satellite Uhuru (circle names like implies that we lack full understanding. (D) exagger-
these!) have provided such evidence. Paragraph 3 ates a detail in paragraph 3. (E) doesn’t fit the pas-
speculates about how hot gas may be heated, and sage’s progression—the studies in the ’70s didn’t use

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the techniques of the ’30s. 5. B


This question basically asks how the author’s focus
2. D changes through the first two paragraphs. Paragraph
The presence of hot gas in our galaxy is the topic of 1 discusses the limitations of ‘30s research and
paragraph 2, which states that the evidence for gas explains why new technology was needed. Paragraph
was the detection of “highly ionized oxygen.” (D) 2 describes how new technology was used in the ‘70s
restates that fact. (A), radiation emitted by stars, is to develop “a new picture” of hot gas.
never mentioned. (B) refers to information in para- Checking the choices, (A) is inaccurate. The word
graph 1 pertaining to earlier studies of the solar “qualifies” means “weakens”; the later studies didn’t
atmosphere, not to the galaxy as a whole. (C) refers to conflict with the earlier ones. (Note that the previous
a mistaken theory. (E) is cited as a cause of hot gas, question and its choices also picked up on this point.)
not as proof of its existence. (B) looks good with “elaborates on developments.”
The passage does emphasize development—
3. C “elaboration” means refining ideas on the same topic.
The detail in the stem—the Uhuru satellite—is easy (C) is faulty because paragraphs 1 and 2 deal with
to relocate for the answer. At the end of paragraph 2 completely different studies. (D) sounds as if the
the author states that data from Uhuru was evidence “area of study” changed. The author identifies new
for the intergalactic presence of hot gas. The choice technology, but not a more fruitful area of study. (E)
that coincides is (C). Note that the detail in question mentions the “degree of speculation,” which is
was from the second paragraph, while the four wrong incorrect—paragraph 1 cites speculation, but
answers all refer to the third paragraph. As always, paragraph 2 discusses new knowledge.
location is everything!
6. A
4. C Check each choice but be aggressive: Look for one
To answer this question, recall that a key point of that sounds different from all the others: Here, you
paragraph 1 is that the ‘30s research only “implied” want the question that wasn’t covered. Choice (A)
hot gas. The author stresses that no more could be refers to the effects of hot gas on stellar systems. The
known until better technology arrived. Among the possible role of stars in the heating of gas is men-
answers, (C) restates this with “constrained by the tioned in paragraph 3, but nothing’s said about “the
technology then available.” evolution of stellar systems.” Choices (B) and (C) are
covered in paragraph 3, while (D) and (E) appear in
(A) is out because the early studies didn’t conflict paragraph 1.
with later ones; they only preceded them. (B) is out
because later studies confirmed rather than
“overlooked” early ones. With (D), nothing was
confirmed until the recent studies. (E) conflicts with
the tone—the author emphasizes the progression of
study; he doesn’t dismiss the early studies as
“irrelevant.”

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PASSAGE 2—Health Care responsible for necessities like health care because it
Topic and Scope: Health care as a basic right; specif- has “similarly” assumed responsibility for food and
ically, who’s responsible for providing it to those who housing programs. The choice that best paraphrases
can’t afford it? this is (B)—the author supports her argument by cit-
ing a comparable situation.
Purpose and Main Idea: Author argues that it’s the
government’s job—not the job of for-profit health Notice some of the verbs in the choices. The author is
institutions—to provide health care to the needy. strengthening the argument, not “modifying” it (A),
or “making a concession” (D). (C) misses the point—
Paragraph Structure: The author expresses strong the author never calls for modifying anything. (E)
opinions about who should fund health care. implies that health care should be treated differently
Paragraph 1 stresses that for-profit institutions from food and housing programs; the author says
should not be responsible. You can guess that the next they should be treated alike.
paragraph will identify who the author thinks should
fund health care. The answer is: the federal 9. D
government, and the author gives several reasons This is an explicit detail question (“according to the
why, indicated by the keywords “First . . . second. . . passage”) which covers the federal government’s
also . . . also . . . ” The gist is that only the federal powers concerning health care, referred to in the last
government can effectively finance and evenly two paragraphs. Since it’s an EXCEPT question, look
distribute health care across society. Paragraph 3 for something that contradicts or is never mentioned.
advances the argument by analogy, saying that the Skim the choices, seeing if one stands out. In (D) you
feds already do this for other programs (food and find a statement that businesses should assume a
housing subsidies, e.g.). The final sentence is always greater role, whereas the first paragraph emphatically
worth noting; here it emphasizes what the author will asserts that businesses should not have this responsi-
not try to address: exactly how the government bility. The other choices all appear nearly verbatim in
should manage the job. paragraphs 2 and 3. Note that (D) refers to a different
part of the passage than the four incorrect choices.
7. E Location again!
For a global question, it’s wise to be bold and, in your
own words, decide what the author’s primary con- 10. E
cern is before looking at the choices. The whole pas- The author uses paragraph 1 to make two linked
sage deals with who should pay for universal health points: First, she criticizes “the assumption that for-
care. You then aggressively skim the choices for some- profit health care institutions are obligated to provide
thing like this, and find it in (E). free care...”; second, she asserts that health care is a
Two of the wrong choices, (A) and (C), mention basic right. Then, in the first sentence of paragraph 2,
details from the second and third paragraphs. Details she poses the central question that’s answered in the
are incorrect answers for global questions. (B) is out rest of the passage: Who, then, is obligated “to secure
because in the last sentence, as we noted, the author adequate health care for those without it?” (E) is the
explicitly refuses to address how the program should best choice: Paragraph 1 lays the groundwork for the
be carried out. (D) sounds plausible but the passage author’s argument—it introduces her opinion.
never mentions it. (A) and (C) have verbs—“corroborate” and
“reconcile”—that don’t fit the paragraph. (B) doesn’t
8. B work because the author never “advocates new
Return to the detail in paragraph 3. The author research.” Similarly with (D), the paragraph doesn’t
argues by analogy, saying that the government is explain any procedure.

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11. A 13. C
In the middle of paragraph 2, “society-wide distribu-
tive requirements” are mentioned in conjunction The passage ends with the question of how access
with broad taxing powers and guaranteed minimum should be secured and the extent to which market
health care to all locales, regardless of their poverty or mechanisms should be used. This sentence makes a
affluence. This “guaranteed minimum” for all areas is natural transition to a paragraph addressing this very
mentioned several times afterward. The answer most issue. Choice (C) most closely matches this idea.
consistent with this “minimum guarantee” is (A), Choice (A) is off the mark because the author has
using tax revenue to raise standards in poorer already questioned the role of hospitals in providing
areas.(B), (C) and (D) run counter to the thesis that free health care. (B) looks tempting, but paragraph 2
the government should finance universal health care. talks about why the government should be involved.
(E) is tempting because it refers, as does paragraph 3, Nothing in the passage points to state involvement, so
to other federal programs, but they’re mentioned to (D) is out. And (E) goes against the spirit of the
emphasize that the government already provides passage.
other services. There’s no suggestion that they should
be cut back.

12. C
The author deals with the method of health care pro-
vision in the last three sentences, and essentially dis-
misses the issue as a separate question, after men-
tioning two possibilities. (C) is a paraphrase: The
method of provision is distinct from the guarantee
itself. The concluding idea in any passage is worth
noting; you may be asked about it.

(A) is plausible, but the author never indicates what


people might agree on or even whether agreement is
required. (B) contradicts the idea that the feds are
responsible for health care. (D) marries two ideas—
market mechanisms and different locales—which are
unrelated. The idea’s plausible, but that’s no indicator
of correctness! (E) goes too far—the author never
sounds gloomy. Also note: Choices with words like
never are almost always wrong.

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PASSAGE 3—Ibo Society is a case where the theorist’s categories don’t work
Topic and Scope: Modernization in underdeveloped and don’t yield useful insights. (D) is off the topic:
countries. In particular, how one theorist’s definition adaptability to commercial (“capitalist”) society is
of modernization does not hold in at least one soci- mentioned in the next sentence, in a different con-
ety. text. (E) is never implied; the references to “kinship
heads” implies that there is a defined kinship struc-
Purpose and Main Idea: Author shows that the Ibo ture.
society was, according to the theorist’s definition,
“modern” before colonization took place. 17. A
The main point of the passage is to question the the-
14. B orist’s ideas, but this question doesn’t ask for the
The passage as a whole demonstrates that the theory main point—it asks for a point the author would
of modernization outlined at the beginning of the assert. The second sentence states, “No doubt this
passage fails to apply to at least one society. Choice scheme works well enough in categorizing some soci-
(B) best expresses this idea. eties...,” so the author agrees with choice (A). This
rules out (B), but (C) is ruled out by the case of the
The passage does describe Ibo society, as (A) says, and Ibo. So is (D)—Ibo society is an empirical test. (E)
prove that in some respects it should be classed as distorts the reference to the Ibos’ adapting to the
modern, as (E) suggests; but it does these things to post-colonization world, in the next-to-last sentence;
support the larger point that the theory under the author never implies what (E) says. On the con-
discussion is flawed. The passage does not do the trary, since the theorist’s categorization doesn’t apply
things indicated in (C) and (D). to the Ibo before colonization either, (E) would seem
to be ruled out.
15. A
The concept of “legal-rational authority” is defined in 18. E
the first sentence. The emphasis is on specificity and
intentionally in establishing rules or procedures. The last sentence makes this point explicitly. There,
Option I, which describes a pragmatic approach the author argues that if the theorist is consistent, he
much like that ascribed to the Ibo in the passage, isn’t will admit that the Ibo were “modern” all along;
a direct illustration of “legal-rational authority,” but hence, they were not “traditional,” in the specialized
is consistent with the concept, as required by the ques- sense used by the theorist. (We may think that the
tion. Options II and III, however, embody the idea of author of the passage is pushing things, but he or she
the constancy of tradition; this is closer to the con- is being polemical, as academics often are.) None of
ception of “traditional authority,” and inconsistent the other choices reflects the author’s actual
with the idea of “legal-rational authority.” statement, in the last sentence. Choices (A), (B), (C),
and even (D) (if he were desperate) are points the
unnamed theorist might make, to answer the author,
16. B
but they’re not implied by anything in the passage
The ofo is mentioned in the middle of the passage, as
and (more important) they are not what the author
a counter-example to the theorist’s idea that modern-
claims the theorist would be forced to say.
ization means a transition from “traditional authori-
ty” to “legal-rational authority.” The author first says
the custom of striking the ground with the ofo “might
seem to fit the theorist’s model,” but goes on to imply
that the willingness to alter the custom at need does
not fit the model. So (B) is correct and (A) is ruled
out: this custom is not fixed. (C) is dead wrong: this

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