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Thread: A RC passage a day

  1. #441
    Available on PM tusharsem's Avatar
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    @ Tushar 03-Sep-09 (Voltaire) - Answers

    1. d
    which he thought pointed to a supreme designer,…that idea was attacked by David Hume”, these lines point out Hume’s stance vis-à-vis Voltaire’s, making option d the correct answer.

    2. c
    Paragraph 2 highlights the strategy adopted by Hume in his writings, Refer the following lines “…recognized that only gentle and reassuring persuasion would work.”, c brings out this facet of his writing style very clearly making it the correct answer.

    3. e
    Hume is very clearly seen as a great strategist; all along he makes a fine show of piety whereas very subtly he is questioning the very rationale of religion in his writings. This makes option e the correct answer.

    4. d
    The main reason for Hume’s rejection was their- “intolerant zeal” and dogmas, making option d correct.

    5. d
    The last paragraph deals mainly with the advent of atheism in the world and explores the possible reasons that have led to this scenario. Option d is the correct answer as it deals with some of the deeper religious experiences. It is a reason for religion to persist and not ‘spread of unbelief’.

    Really sorry guys for not being regular here for the past week. Actually, I was in the process of shifting plus my workload at office was giving me no time whatsoever. Hopefully, will have net connection at home by Wednesday, and then will try and participate more.


  2. #442
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    Historically in American fiction, tackling work has fallen overwhelmingly to the realist novelist.
    Fancy and imaginative play don’t enter business, the earnest writer concludes. Why, then, should
    they inform a literature about business? In the 19th century, William Dean Howells, a contemporary
    of Henry James and Mark Twain, delivered the best example of this earnestness in The Rise of
    Silas Lapham. Howells split the difference between the worldly James and the folksy Twain and
    arrived at Lapham, a roughneck from Vermont who makes a fortune in the paint business, but fails
    miserably at negotiating the rarefied climes of Boston society.
    The gentle comedy of manners that follows is the calm before the storm: Lapham makes a series of
    foolish but principled business decisions that sends him to the brink of bankruptcy, and he’s forced
    to beat a retreat back to his Vermont sanctuary with a mere fraction of his wealth. He can rest
    soundly, however, in the knowledge that he is buttressed by a loving family and that he has
    conducted his business honourably - facts no doubt reassuring to Howells’s Gilded Age audience.
    The rise of Silas Lapham is not a financial one but a moral one, and less a rise than a reaffirmation.

    All that comfort ends in the new century with The Financier, Theodore Dreiser’s first instalment of
    his Cowperwood trilogy. Dreiser modelled Frank Cowperwood on the traction magnate Charles
    Tyson Yerkes, who owned half of Chicago’s public transport until he was jailed for embezzlement
    in the 1870s. Cowperwood’s life follows Yerkes’s like a remora upon a shark. When confronted
    with ruin, Cowperwood conspires to save himself, which sets off a domino effect in which all the
    other characters do the same - and to hell with everyone else. Again, realism carries the day, as The
    Financier updates Silas Lapham’s rise-and-fall paradigm with Dreiser’s depiction of the moral
    relativity of commercial life and the supremacy of the individual’s self-interest. The world presented
    was the real one, and Dreiser’s message, in stark journalistic prose, was its need for reform. With
    time to reflect upon Gilded Age excess, literature demanded someone with an advocating heart,
    savouring in exposé and social awareness.

    The rise-and-fall paradigm, which has modern-day iterations in Tom Wolfe’s satiric The Bonfire of
    the Vanities and Philip Roth’s bleak, beautiful American Pastoral, made the work novel feasible by
    turning it, first, into a comedy of manners, and then into a morality tale. It enters its next phase as
    a broad social indictment with Sinclair Lewis’s Babbitt. Whereas Silas Lapham and Frank
    Cowperwood were avatars of wealth, respect and power, Babbitt is a middling, middle-aged, middle
    American, “nimble in the calling of selling houses for more than people could afford to pay”. By
    turning his attention away from the elite towards the everyman, Lewis unveils the stultifying
    conformity of mowed lawns and motorcars and conservative political views that, to his dismay,
    had gripped middle America between the world wars. Despite Babbitt’s attempts to break free
    from that conformity, his nerve fails. He has no will to buck the trends of main street and no
    conviction if conviction comes at the expense of business. His fall is really just a sinking back into
    the social expectations established by his associates. What remains for him, if not the succour of
    Silas Lapham’s unified family - Babbitt, like Cowperwood, is an unfaithful husband - is the hope
    that his son will have the courage for independence he lacked.

    After Babbitt, war and economic depression take literary precedent as subjects over the pitfalls of
    business, and we get Hemingway and Steinbeck and Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. But when
    the second world war ends, Babbitt’s literary descendents are born: Tom Rath in Sloan Wilson’s
    The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, and the more vicious Frank Wheeler in Richard Yates’s
    Revolutionary Road. These two novels - the first ending with an affirmation of 1950s family values,
    the second ushering in the bleak divisions of the 1960s - depict with relentless fidelity the charade
    of business life in relation to the more gruesome work of the killing done in war, as well as the
    pettiness and oppression of social striving, financial concerns and attendant family strife.

    Rath and Wheeler both bemoan their deadening jobs (“the dullest job you can possibly imagine,”
    says Wheeler) and cast sceptical eyes on the earnest endeavours of those who find satisfaction in
    their work. If Babbitt could turn glum, the characters in The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit and
    Revolutionary Road are woefully disaffected - especially Wheeler, whose theatricality is on a par
    with Hamlet’s and who can barely contain several fancies of violent rage. Conformity bears down
    on both men worse than it did on Babbitt, but without Babbitt’s hope for the next generation. By
    Frank Wheeler’s time, children are nothing but an excuse, like the Veritype and the Dictaphone,
    for another drink. Rath and Wheeler are paradigms of characters who work merely as a means to
    an ever more hazy end, and they’re not happy about it. They romanticise the war (“It’s a little like
    the way I felt going up to the line the first time, in the war,” says Wheeler, “... this terrific sense of
    life. I felt full of blood”), in essence longing for the thrill and fulfilment of way-of-life work.

    In the context of American fiction, according to the passage, business can be best delivered

    a. The Imaginative
    b. The Earnest
    c. The Folksy
    d. The Society
    e. The Pragmatist

    According to the passage, The Rise of Silas Lapham, can be termed a success because:

    a. It is a comedy of manners.
    b. It marks a righteous moment
    c. Lapham is an invaluable roughneck.
    d. Silas is a failure at negotiating society.
    e. It is not just a financial success

    According to the passage, the domino effect in the Cowperwood story entrenches which of
    the following theories:

    a. The rise-and-fall paradigm.
    b. The moral excesses of commercial life.
    c. Pre-eminence of self-possession.
    d. The need for reform.
    e. The battle between the self and the society.

    Why, according to the passage, does Lewis turn his attention away from the elite towards the

    a. Lewis wanted to usher in social reform.
    b. Lewis wanted to make Everyman the center of social attention
    c. Babbit was established as the archetypal Everyman
    d. Lewis wanted to depict the chasm in the society
    e. Lewis wanted to bare the languish possessing the society.

    The statement “the dullest job you can possibly imagine,” best delineates which one of the

    a. The depiction of hard-core business.
    b. The pettiness and oppression of striving.
    c. The lamentably antagonistic frame of mind.
    d. The persistence of the bleak divisions of the ‘60s.
    e. The hankering for thrill and fulfillment

  3. #443
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    Hey guys, can ne1 provide me with the answer set with explaination..

    The Passage given below is followed by a set of three questions. Choose the most appropriate answer to each question.

    To discover the relation between rules, paradigms, and normal science, consider first how the historian isolates the particular loci of commitment that have been described as accepted rules. Close historical investigation of a given specialty at a given time discloses a set of recurrent and quasi-standard illustrations of various theories in their conceptual, observational, and instrumental applications. These are the community’s paradigms, revealed in its textbooks, lectures, and laboratory exercises. By studying them and by practicing with them, the members of the corresponding community learn their trade. The historian, of course, will discover in addition a penumbral area occupied by achievements whose status is still in doubt, but the core of solved problems and techniques will usually be clear. Despite occasional ambiguities, the paradigms of a mature scientific community can be determined with relative ease.

    That demands a second step and one of a somewhat different kind. When undertaking it, the historian must compare the community’s paradigms with each other and with its current research reports. In doing so, his object is to discover what isolable elements, explicit or implicit, the members of that community may have abstracted from their more global paradigms and deploy it as rules in their research. Anyone who has attempted to describe or analyze the evolution of a particular scientific tradition will necessarily have sought accepted principles and rules of this sort. Almost certainly, he will have met with at least partial success. But, if his experience has been at all like my own, he will have found the search for rules both more difficult and less satisfying than the search for paradigms. Some of the generalizations he employs to describe the community’s shared beliefs will present more problems. Others, however, will seem a shade too strong. Phrased in just that way, or in any other way he can imagine, they would almost certainly have been rejected by some members of the group he studies. Nevertheless, if the coherence of the research tradition is to be understood in terms of rules, some specification of common ground in the corresponding area is needed. As a result, the search for a body of rules competent to constitute a give normal research tradition becomes a source of continual and deep frustrations.

    Recognizing that frustration, however, makes it possible to diagnose its source. Scientists can agree that a Newton, Lavoisier, Maxwell, or Einstein has produced an apparently permanent solution to a group of outstanding problems and still disagree, sometimes without being aware of it, about the particular abstract characteristics that make those solutions permanent. They can, that is, agree in their identification of a paradigm without agreeing on, or even attempting to produce, a full interpretation or rationalization of it. Lack of a standard interpretation or of an agreed reduction to rules will not prevent a paradigm from guiding research. Normal science can be determined in part by the direct inspection of paradigms, a process that is often aided by but does not depend upon the formulation of rules and assumption. Indeed, the existence of a paradigm need not even imply that any full set of rules exists.

    1. What is the author attempting to illustrate through this passage?
    a) Relationships between rules paradigms, and normal science.
    b) How a set of shared beliefs evolve in to a paradigm.
    c) Ways of understanding a scientific tradition.
    d) The frustrations of attempting to define a paradigm of a tradition.

    2. The term ‘loci of commitment’ as used in the passage would most likely correspond with which of the following?
    a) Loyalty between a group of scientists in a research laboratory.
    b) Loyalty to a certain paradigm of scientific inquiry.
    c) Loyalty to global patterns of scientific inquiry.
    d) Loyalty to evolving trends of scientific inquiry.

    3. The author of this passage is likely to agree with which of the following?
    a) Paradigms almost entirely define a scientific tradition.
    b) A group of scientists investigating a phenomenon would benefit by defining a set of rules.
    c) Choice of isolation mechanism determines the types of paradigm that may emerge from a tradition.
    d) Paradigms are a general representation of rules and beliefs of a scientific tradition.

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    i guess the answers to RC of 7th september are:

    1.b- from the 4th line of para 1 i.e. delivered the best example of this earnestness...
    2.e- from the line: the rise of silas lapham is not financial one but...
    3.d- from the line: dreisiers message in stark journalistic prose was...
    4.d- from the line: lewis unveils the stultifying...
    5.e- from the last line of the passage.

    i have posted at this forum for the first time.

    found the passage very difficult to understand. doubtful about my answers. also took almost 20 minutes to complete the passage.

    whats ur opinion about it tusharsem?

  5. #445
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    Smile RC of 7th september are


    i guess the answers to RC of 7th september are


    Good Passage required a lot of attention Let discuss the answers too

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    My answers to the 7th sept RC:
    1- b
    2- e
    4- e
    5- a

    The answers to the second one:

  7. #447
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    @ Tushar 07-Sep-09 (American fiction) - Answers

    The lines from the passage “ tackling work has fallen overwhelmingly to the realist novelist”, makes option e correct.
    The Rise of Silas Lapham, is a saving grace with its display of moral rectitude. The ‘rise’ is seen in the passage as a ‘moral reaffirmation’.
    The line “depiction of the moral relativity of commercial life and the supremacy of the individual’s self-interest”, makes option c correct
    “Lewis unveils the stultifying conformity of mowed lawns and motorcars and conservative political views that, to his dismay, had gripped middle America between the world wars.’ This statement clearly supports option e and supports his reason for creating an Everyman
    The statement epitomizes the state of mind of the characters which in turn depicts the dissatisfaction present in the people of those times. The lines from the passage, “the characters in The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit and Revolutionary Road are woefully disaffected” makes Option c correct.

  8. #448
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    Paranoia neurosis is fast growing in modern utilitarian society where money is the be all and end all of all moral and spiritual values. In extreme cases, it drives people to murder, and even in mild ones, it nods them into a states of agitation. Paranoia is said to be the morbid and neurotic fear of being duped or abused. It is most prevalent in people who have been taken advantage of repeatedly, or belong to a group that has been discriminated against. People are often very sensitive and vulnerable; they lose their temper and become crazy on petty matters. For them it is a short step from taking warranted precautions to taking unwarrantedones, and it is believed that this syndrome consists essentially of overprotecting ourselves.

    This syndrome is also prevalent among people seldom exploited in actuality, whose fear of being taken advantage of has been generated by warnings from friends and parents. It is common among women, living and working in the big cities late hours. Their domestic life is often paralyzed .Those that have been repeatedly mistreated and abandoned become the victims of paranoia. The diagnosis of this neurosis is applied only in extreme condition, in state mental hospitals; it is made when there are delusions of grandeur or delusions of persecution. When either of these two syndromes becomes strong, it is nearly always accompanied by the other. If you think mistakenly that one person does not like you, you may become the victim of persecution. In case a man thinks he is a genius, and people are indifferent, he suffers the neglect of others; it would seem to him that other people are persecuting him. To be great without being celebrated is to be discriminated against and this creates a situation of being a paranoid.

    The common symptoms of this neurosis are feelings of transparency and delusions of reference. The sufferer from severe paranoia sometimes believes he is so transparent that people can read his mind. The victim often jumps to the conclusion that there is no way escaping his tormenters except killing them. A large number of crimes are committed every day because of the neurotic situations when people become crazy killers. Thoughts of reference are unrealistic presumptions that other people are talking about us. This consciousness makes us anxious. Even in mild cases of paranoia, we may observe all the symptoms together. No wonder, mild cases often flare up into acute cases of anxiety and restlessness. Whenever you have given a friend slight reason to he piqued, if there seems to you a major chance that he will want to end the relationship, you are suffering from a mild case of paranoia. Jealousy in love affairs is another major variant of paranoia and often the young students particularly the teenagers who are rash and impulsive and who cannot tolerate their rivals in love and sex, become the victims of neurosis, and commit unimaginable crimes in a fit of paranoia.

    Paranoid fears may be extensions of warranted concerns. In the beginning, unless it reaches psychotic proportions, the sufferer from paranoia senses that his conclusions about other people may be wrong. He may not voice his doubts, knowing that if they are not right he’ll appear foolish. He tries his best to be cautious, is well advised in his worry but little displeases him more than having his kindness called into question by someone. It is needless to contend that when he becomes certain of other’s malevolence, he gets irritated and becomes a victim of the neurosis. It is pertinent to note that not all suspicious people are victim of neurosis. Whether we become paranoid or not depends largely on how we handle a certain kind of situation. Often the victims of this syndrome make the wrong choices and handle the situation impulsively and not rationally; thus we produce paranoia and often intensify it, convincing ourselves that people are conspiring against us. Once the victims have embarked on the paranoid path, they do not listen to the rational arguments of others and tend to believe that what others are saying is wrong and misleading. The farther they move along this path, the more reasonable their paranoid acts appear. It follows that the decisions which would save them from becoming paranoid require only slight courage in the beginning and become increasingly more difficult to make. Psychologists such as Dr Karen Horney firmly believe that by the time the disease is severe, the course of getting out of the paranoid situation is lost forever. Hence, a clear and rational handling of the situation is required in the pre-paranoid situation. How the victims handle the situation is the best defense against paranoia.

    What can be best concluded from the passage about paranoia neurosis?

    a. The author’s study brings into focus an irrefutable link between temperament and paranoia.
    b. Paranoia can be an expression of a state of fear as mind is prejudiced against the judgment of others.
    c. Paranoia is a type of pathological dread of being ill-treated and neglected by others.
    d. Paranoia is abnormal psychotic feeling of being unsafe for an individual, the outcome of a psychological obsession
    e. Paranoia is essentially the growth of a mental neurosis when an individual takes unwarranted precautions against his fellow beings and avoids a situation

    What best describes the organization of the passage?

    a. The author highlights the features of a psychological study and discusses the future of his research
    b. The passage is a convergence of varying opinions on the different aspects of a phenomenon, with suggestive measures for guarding against it
    c. The author suggests the possible cures of paranoia and the ways to treat it.
    d. The author gives the findings of his research on paranoia, highlights its causes, but does not reach a concrete conclusion.
    e. The author gives his observations on the origin of a disease, highlights the symptoms, and emphasizes its psychological aspects.

    Which of the following are factors mentioned by the author that lead to the growth of paranoia in human

    a. The belief that not all human beings become the victims of paranoia, only weak individuals are prone to this neurosis.
    b. The belief, that the intensity of paranoia in women cannot be accurately measured
    c. The belief that the symptoms of paranoia are initially unobservable, and only in exigent circumstances is the diagnosis possible.
    d. The belief that hypertension and anxiety cause paranoia.
    e. The belief that neglect and megalomania cause paranoia.

    The author’s argument about paranoia is presented primarily by

    a. treating the disease as a mental aberration.
    b. providing experimental evidence against a conclusion
    c. presenting new findings about a malady and showing its defects
    d. presenting the diagnosis and suggesting means for protection.
    e. treating the disease as a common misunderstanding, lacking in true substance

    The primary purpose of the passage is to

    a. discuss paranoia as a neurosis and propose that prevention is the better part of valour
    b. analyze the symptoms of the disease from a general point of view
    c. present all possible causes of the disease and allow readers to draw a conclusion.
    d. outline a new idea about the disease in the context of latest research.
    e. raise several pertinent questions about the disease and offer personal tips.

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    answers to passage of 10th september
    the passage was quite easy but at the same time d options of the ques wer a bit mind ragging ...

    well ...
    here r ma answers for the passage :
    1. option e
    2. option e
    3. option e
    4. option a
    5. option b

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    @ Tushar 10-Sep-09 (Paranoia neurosis) - Answers

    1. option c
    a There is no talk of the stated link. b Paranoia is not necessarily a state of prejudice.
    c The statement can be directly concluded from lines 3 and 4. d Paranoia is obsessive fear, not obsessive sense of insecurity. e Ambiguous.

    2. option e
    a The passage is not about the author’s study or research. b There are no varying opinions and hence no convergence. c The statement is repetitive and unrepresentative of the passage. d ‘Findings of his research’ and ‘not reach a concrete conclusion’ render the statement incorrect. e This statement aptly summarizes the organization of the passage.

    3. option e
    a It is not weakness per se that leads to paranoia.b Nowhere stated or implied.c It is incorrect as the symptoms of paranoia are observable.d Nowhere stated or implied.
    e Para 2, lines 6 and 7.

    4. option d
    a Lacks focus.b There is no experimental evidence.c No defects shown.d Correct as the statement describes the theme of the passage and its concluding lines.e Against the flow of the theme of the passage.

    5. option a
    It is the best answer as per the theme and the last couple of sentences of the passage.

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    Default RC Strategy and Tips

    Hi Guys,

    Found this interesting Thing while searching for some RC Tips for CAT.Keeping in mind the CAT going CBT this can fit well into the scene.I have removed the less important details.for complete article GMAT Reading Comprehension - Strategies for Score Optimization

    Q: Turning to the Reading Comprehension questions themselves, what types of questions can test-takers expect to encounter? Are some question types inherently more difficult than others?

    A: Reading Comprehension questions fall into rather predictable categories, based on the various cognitive abilities tested under the rubric of "reading comprehension." Every GMAT-prep author comes up with his or her own labels for these categories. Here's my list (in descending order of frequency in which they appear on the GMAT):

    * Central idea and primary purpose questions (both of which test you on whether you understood the passage's overall thesis, or point — in other words, whether you can see the proverbial forest from the trees)

    * Specific recall questions (which test not so much whether you understood the passage's ideas as whether you recalled specific, detailed information contained in the passage)

    * Inference questions (which require you to understand what the passage's author means — but does not state explicitly — by a particular phrase or statement, as determined by the context in which it appears)

    * Author agreement questions (which gauge your understanding of the author's perspective, point of view, or position on the topic at hand, and to distinguish that position from others discussed in the passage)

    * Specific function questions (which call for you to understand the author's reason or purpose in mentioning specific facts or providing specific information, as determined by the context in which that information appears)

    * Method and structure questions (which go beyond the substantive ideas themselves, to focus on the author's method of argument or reasoning, or on the organizational structure of the passage)

    Expect to see at least one of each on your GMAT. Of course, you might encounter slight variations on these questions types as well, but nothing radically different from what I've listed here.

    It's important to recognize that, with the exception of specific-recall questions, GMAT Reading Comprehension is not about memorizing or remembering what you read; rather, it's about understanding the ideas conveyed and following the author's train of thought and reasoning. So the only questions that I would say are inherently easier than others are the specific-recall questions, because they're designed to gauge your memory — a comparatively low-level skill. Otherwise, no question type is inherently more difficult than any other. A question of any type can be designed to be very easy or very difficult. It's primarily a matter of how the answer choices are drafted — how subtle the distinctions between the best answer choice and the "runners-up" are.

    Q: It seems that all of the GMAT-prep books go into great detail about how to spot wrong-answer choices. Is this advice useful?

    A: To a point. Knowing how the test-makers draft wrong-answer choices gives you a sense for recognizing a wrong answer when you see it. The test-makers use two wrong-answer ploys with particular frequency. One is the answer choice that is unsupported by the passage — that brings in information not mentioned or ideas not suggested in the passage. This ploy can be quite insidious, because as you read the choice your initial reaction might be that you missed something when you read the passage; you'll then go back and waste time re-reading to find a bit of information that isn't even there. Test-takers most likely to fall for this ploy are those who lack confidence about they're reading comprehension, and those who skim the passages or read them too hurriedly.

    The second most common wrong-answer ploy is the answer choice that is supported by the passage but doesn't respond to the question. This type of answer choice can be tempting because on its face it looks accurate. As you read it, you might think, "Yes, I remember reading that" and be tempted to select the choice as a result.

    Q: What do these wrong-answer ploys suggest in terms of test-taking strategy?

    A: There are two lessons here. First, read the entire passage so you won't waste precious time going back to see if you missed certain information provided by an answer choice. If you're reasonably confident that your concentration was good while you read the passage, immediately eliminate any answer choice that brings in information or ideas that strike you as unfamiliar.

    Secondly, after you read the question stem — the question itself, apart from the answer choices — take a few seconds to formulate your own response to the question. Try to predict, or predetermine, what sort of "best" response you're looking for, before you scan the choices. By doing so you're far less likely to fall prey to wrong-answer ploys I've just described. You'll zero-in right away on the one or two most viable choices.

    Q: What inherent problems are involved in reading passages on a computer screen rather than on paper, and what test-taking strategies might help alleviate these problems?

    A: When it comes to Reading Comprehension, the computer interface poses three problems:

    * Text is more difficult to read, adding to eye strain and fatigue.
    * To view an entire passage you need to scroll vertically.
    * You can't annotate directly on the text.

    The testing service has tried to compensate for the first two drawbacks in two ways. First, the passages are shorter than on the old paper-based GMAT — about half the length — with about half the number of questions per passage. Secondly, the CAT is much shorter in total length than the old paper-based test, to account for the eye fatigue factor. The third problem is inherent to a computerized test, of course, and it suggests a basic strategy: Use your scratch paper to outline the passage, by which I mean simply some shorthand notes — not a formal outline per se.

    Q: Can you be more specific about the sort of note-taking that might be useful for responding to the questions, and why?

    A: Jot down key points as you read them — for example, key names, and the events or ideas associated with them, reasons that support a major point in the passage — that sort of thing. If the passage contains more than one paragraph, organize your notes by paragraph. When you've finished reading the passage, review your notes and formulate your own brief thesis statement for the passage, then jot that statement down on you paper.

    This note-taking process compels you to read actively, to anticipate the sorts of questions you already know you'll be asked, by continually asking yourself as you read the passage:

    * Based on what I've read so far, how would I express the central idea, or thesis, of this passage, in a brief sentence?

    * What is the author's purpose in mentioning this particular point in the passage? How does this point relate to the passage's central idea?

    * What is the author's point of view on this topic, vis-a-vis other viewpoints presented in the passage?

    Also, if you need to go back to the passage to respond to a particular question, your notes will help you identify where to look.

    Q: Assuming a test-taker has at least a few weeks until exam day, what's the best way to prepare for the Reading Comprehension portion of the GMAT?

    A: My best suggestion is to practice pushing your reading pace. Most people read at a far slower pace than optimal. Work on increasing your reading pace by taking practice sets — the ones you'll find in GMAT-prep workbooks and software products. My Reading Comprehension Workbook, which contains a large bank of passages and questions, is ideal for this purpose. Most people find that their overall comprehension actually improves as they quicken their reading pace — up to a point. That's because keeping yourself moving helps you see how the ideas flow from one to the next.

    Q: Finally, what is the single most important advice every test-taker should keep in mind when tackling Reading Comprehension sets on the GMAT?

    A: As you read any Reading Comprehension passage, think thesis. Remember: The majority of the Reading Comprehension questions will test you on your understanding of the passage's central idea and the major points that support that idea. If you're not careful, you can easily get bogged down in the detailed information and lose sight of the main gist. By focusing on thesis you'll have a compass by which to analyze every question in the set. In other words, regardless of the question, any answer choice that runs contrary to the thesis and major supporting ideas you can eliminate out of hand. This is the most useful way of ferreting out wrong-answer choices, making reasoned guesses, and optimizing your score.
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  16. #454
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    Talking new RC passage 12 sept 2010

    How many really suffer as a result of labor market problems? This is one of the most critical yet contentious social policy questions. In many ways, our social statistics exaggerate the degree of hardship. Unemployment does not have the same dire consequences today as it did in the 1930’s when most of the unemployed were primary breadwinners, when income and earnings were usually much closer to the margin of subsistence, and when there were no countervailing social programs for those failing in the labor market. Increasing affluence, the rise of families with more than one wage earner, the growing predominance of secondary earners among the unemployed, and improved social welfare protection have unquestionably mitigated the consequences of joblessness. Earnings and income data also overstate the dimensions of hardship. Among the millions with hourly earnings at or below the minimum wage level, the overwhelming majority are from multiple-earner, relatively affluent families. Most of those counted by the poverty statistics are elderly or handicapped or have family responsibilities which keep them out of the labor force, so the poverty statistics are by no means an accurate indicator of labor market pathologies.
    Yet there are also many ways our social statistics underestimate the degree of labor-market-related hardship. The unemployment counts exclude the millions of fully employed workers whose wages are so low that their families remain in poverty. Low wages and repeated or prolonged unemployment frequently interact to undermine the capacity for self-support. Since the number experiencing joblessness at some time during the year is several times the number unemployed in any month, those who suffer as a result of forced idleness can equal or exceed average annual unemployment, even though only a minority of the jobless in any month really suffer. For every person counted in the monthly unemployment tallies, there is another working part-time because of the inability to find full-time work, or else outside the labor force but wanting a job. Finally, income transfers in our country have always focused on the elderly, disabled, and dependent, neglecting the needs of the working poor, so that the dramatic expansion of cash and in-kind transfers does not necessarily mean that those failing in the labor market are adequately protected.
    As a result of such contradictory evidence, it is uncertain whether those suffering seriously as a result of labor market problems number in the hundreds of thousands or the tens of millions, and, hence, whether high levels of joblessness can be tolerated or must be countered by job creation and economic stimulus. There is only one area of agreement in this debate—that the existing poverty, employment, and earnings statistics are inadequate for one their primary applications, measuring the consequences of labor market problems.
    1. Which of the following is the principal topic of the passage?
    (A) What causes labor market pathologies that result in suffering
    (B) Why income measures are imprecise in measuring degrees of poverty
    (C) Which of the currently used statistical procedures are the best for estimating the incidence of hardship that is due to unemployment
    (D) Where the areas of agreement are among poverty, employment, and earnings figures
    (E) How social statistics give an unclear picture of the degree of hardship caused by low wages and insufficient employment opportunities
    2. The author uses “labor market problems” in lines 1-2 to refer to which of the following?
    (A) The overall causes of poverty
    (B) Deficiencies in the training of the work force
    (C) Trade relationships among producers of goods
    (D) Shortages of jobs providing adequate income
    (E) Strikes and inadequate supplies of labor
    3. The author contrasts the 1930’s with the present in order to show that
    (A) more people were unemployed in the 1930’s
    (B) unemployment now has less severe effects
    (C) social programs are more needed now
    (D) there now is a greater proportion of elderly and handicapped people among those in poverty
    (E) poverty has increased since the 1930’s
    4. Which of the following proposals best responds to the issues raised by the author?
    (A) Innovative programs using multiple approaches should be set up to reduce the level of unemployment.
    (B) A compromise should be found between the positions of those who view joblessness as an evil greater than economic control and those who hold the opposite view.
    (C) New statistical indices should be developed to measure the degree to which unemployment and inadequately paid employment cause suffering.
    (D) Consideration should be given to the ways in which statistics can act as partial causes of the phenomena that they purport to measure.
    (E) The labor force should be restructured so that it corresponds to the range of job vacancies.
    5. The author’s purpose in citing those who are repeatedly unemployed during a twelve-month period is most probably to show that
    (A) there are several factors that cause the payment of low wages to some members of the labor force
    (B) unemployment statistics can underestimate the hardship resulting from joblessness
    (C) recurrent inadequacies in the labor market can exist and can cause hardships for individual workers
    (D) a majority of those who are jobless at any one time to not suffer severe hardship
    (E) there are fewer individuals who are without jobs at some time during a year than would be expected on the basis of monthly unemployment figures
    6. The author states that the mitigating effect of social programs involving income transfers on the income level of low-income people is often not felt by
    (A) the employed poor
    (B) dependent children in single-earner families
    (C) workers who become disabled
    (D) retired workers
    (E) full-time workers who become unemployed
    7. According to the passage, one factor that causes unemployment and earnings figures to overpredict the amount of economic hardship is the
    (A) recurrence of periods of unemployment for a group of low-wage workers
    (B) possibility that earnings may be received from more than one job per worker
    (C) fact that unemployment counts do not include those who work for low wages and remain poor
    (D) establishment of a system of record-keeping that makes it possible to compile poverty statistics
    (E) prevalence, among low-wage workers and the unemployed, of members of families in which others are employed
    8. The conclusion stated in lines 33-39 about the number of people who suffer as a result of forced idleness depends primarily on the point that
    (A) in times of high unemployment, there are some people who do not remain unemployed for long
    (B) the capacity for self-support depends on receiving moderate-to-high wages
    (C) those in forced idleness include, besides the unemployed, both underemployed part-time workers and those not actively seeking work
    (D) at different times during the year, different people are unemployed
    (E) many of those who are affected by unemployment are dependents of unemployed workers
    9. Which of the following, if true, is the best criticism of the author’s argument concerning why poverty statistics cannot properly be used to show the effects of problems in the labor market?
    (A) A short-term increase in the number of those in poverty can indicate a shortage of jobs because the basic number of those unable to accept employment remains approximately constant.
    (B) For those who are in poverty as a result of joblessness, there are social programs available that provide a minimum standard of living.
    (C) Poverty statistics do not consistently agree with earnings statistics, when each is taken as a measure of hardship resulting from unemployment.
    (D) The elderly and handicapped categories include many who previously were employed in the labor market.
    (E) Since the labor market is global in nature, poor workers in one country are competing with poor workers in another with respect to the level of wages and the existence of jobs.

  17. #455
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    The argument that “women, including mothers, have served in the military, therefore women, including mothers, should serve in the military,” remains a blatant non sequitur. Of course women have, and can, and will serve bravely in all walks of life — including in combat and other violent situations if necessary. As news stories emphasized, for example, the murderous rampage by Major Nidal Malik Hasan at Fort Hood, also in November 2009, was interrupted by the courageous intervention of a female soldier — Sergeant Kimberly Munley, who charged him at point-blank range and fired her weapon till eventually he went down. Sgt. Munley, incidentally, is also a mother. Where was it ever written that men have a monopoly on courage, and if it has been, who knows so little as to believe it? The history of humanity and its literature and art abound with examples of extraordinary valor exercised by mothers in particular — typically, on behalf of their children.
    In fact, for that very reason, the ideological fervor over the years by feminists demanding women in the military betrays a bizarre kind of anxiety on the part of those exhibiting it. The literature advocating for female soldiers is shot through with breathless, romanticized insistence that women can indeed behave like men — changing truck tires, crawling through mud, urinating standing up, and killing and wounding as necessary. It is a pattern of protestation that raises questions of its own about the convictions of just such advocates. Did feminists and their allies think somewhere deep inside that women couldn’t do these very things — and more?
    Yet again, however, this question of whether certain people can tote guns and endure physical discipline and die for their country too is not the same as asking whether they ought to. Many children and teenagers, for example, could work competently through the workday doing menial labor — as many did throughout the centuries leading to relatively recent laws protecting them from child labor. But most people today would not champion that fact to invalidate the laws against child labor or truancy. And for those who might object that this analogy conflates women with children, consider a few more examples of activities that American law puts the brakes on, even though all involve potentially consenting adults: drugs, prostitution, gambling, suicide, assisted suicide, selling oneself into slavery, having sex in public. In all kinds of ways, the law imposes limits on what consenting adults can do.
    The reason is elementary: because American laws like most others delineate what kind of civilization ours is. And currently, ours is one in which military and political and cultural leaders appear to believe that there is nothing intrinsically wrong about deploying mothers away from their children and into the wars. This apparent near-consensus brings us to another reason the status quo has continued without public protest: because the parties that ordinarily might be expected to be paying attention to this military-social experiment have sidelined themselves for reasons of their own.
    1. The author of the passage
    A. questions the validity of a phenomenon and gives arguments in support.
    B. acknowledges existence of a phenomenon but questions its continuation.
    C. questions the existence of a phenomenon but offers arguments in support.
    D. acknowledges a phenomenon and draws analogies in support.

    2. By stating, “The literature advocating …….. killing and wounding as necessary.” the author
    A. highlights the evolution of military women in masculine roles equal to that of men.
    B. draws attention to excessive feminist clamour about gender equality in military.
    C. highlights the extreme demands that military rigour poses on women.
    D. derides the feminists’ approach to the issue of women in military.

    3. By stating that the law imposes limits on what consenting adults can do, the author
    A. wants the law to intervene and prevent mothers from joining military
    B. draws parallels between role of women in military to now illegal activities such as prostitution and suicide.
    C. wants to highlight that potentially consenting adults are prone to activities which defy decency
    D. wants to support his ideas about differentiating ability from willingness.

    4. By saying “In fact, for that very reason, … part of those exhibiting it” the author
    A. acknowledges the display of courage by women as equal to that of men.
    B. satires the presence of female courage displayed in arts and literature.
    C. underscores the anxiety of feminists to get women fully accepted by men in military.
    D. attributes the zeal of feminists asking for women soldiers to fears about gender equality
    P.S. I don't have answers..
    CAT 08 :97.77 CAT 09:96.12 XAT 10 :98.62

  18. #456
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    In 7 th y not b


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