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READING COMPREHENSION – Concepts

Reading comprehension includes the ability to identify main ideas, locate specific details, understand passage
structure, and make inferences regarding a written work. A deep understanding of a passage requires the reader to
understand not only the meanings of the individual words that comprise that text, but also the way that each
sentence functions within the context of the whole piece. Aside from basic literacy, there are a number of logical
reasoning competencies that aid in deeper comprehension, particularly with regard to making inferences and
understanding passage structure.

Typically, the Verbal Section on the GMAT includes 4 Reading Comprehension passages, with 3 to 4 questions per
passage, for a total of 13 to 14 Reading Comprehension questions out of the 41 verbal questions. Passages will
contain 3 or 4 questions and are about 200 to 400 words long. Each passage engages with a specialized topic or
opinion in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, or Business, but no specific outside knowledge of the material is
required; all questions refer to what is stated or implied in the text. The writing in these passages is serious and
sophisticated.

The Challenge:

Think of the reading comprehension section as if it were a reality TV show where you are dropped in the middle of a
jungle with no clues about where you are or how to proceed. On the GMAT, a reading passage will be dropped in
front of you and you will have no background on it whatsoever. Imagine encountering an essay where:

1. You don't know what the title is.
2. You don't know who the author is.
3. You don't know when or where it was published.
4. You can't see the paragraphs before or after the essay.
5. You don't have enough time to fully read it.
6. The content is dense, boring, and academic, smeared with jargon, and covers a topic you have little
knowledge about.
7. And your mastery of those 400 words will determine your future business school and career.

Moral: You're going to need a compass. That is, a planned strategy and a lot of preparation coupled with tons of
practice.

Distinguishing between Fact and Opinion

Often, your ability to answer a reading comprehension question correctly will depend upon your ability to distinguish
between fact and opinion. You may need to determine whether an author thinks something is true or whether the
author knows something to be true to determine the main idea or draw logical conclusions about the text. First, here
is a quick review of definitions. A fact is something known for certain to have happened, to be true, or to exist. An
opinion, on the other hand, is something believed to have happened, to be true, or to exist. The key difference
between fact and opinion lies in the difference between believing and knowing. Opinions may be based on facts, but
they are still what people think and believe, not what they know. Opinions are debatable; facts are not. Two different
people would have a hard time debating a fact, but they could debate forever about which opinion is more valid. Note
that people can also debate about how to interpret facts, but they would have to agree on the facts themselves. A
good test for whether something is fact or opinion is to ask two questions:

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1. Can this statement be debated?
2. Is this something known to be true?

If you can answer yes to the first question, it is probably an opinion. If you can answer yes to the second question, it
is probably a fact.

In addition, consider the nature of the claim. If the statement is prescriptive—if it is describing what someone should
or ought to do—then the statement is an opinion, as in the following examples:

1. You should try advertising on the radio.
2. We ought to offer a better severance package.
3. I had better confirm this appointment before I book a flight.

Words that show judgment or evaluation, like good, bad, interesting, and important, usually also signal an opinion.

Consider this example:

Employee benefits should include coverage for “alternative medicines” such as acupuncture and massage therapy.

This statement is clearly debatable and could be argued either way. In an effective argument, this opinion would be
supported by and based upon facts. For example, if you had chronic back pain that was not alleviated by traditional
medical approaches but that disappeared after three weeks of acupuncture, you could use this fact to support your
opinion. In addition, you could cite the fact that the alleviation of pain saved your insurance company hundreds to
thousands of dollars in additional visits to back pain specialists and other medical practitioners. You might also cite
statistics, such as a recent survey that showed more than 60% of patients with chronic back pain reported relief after
one month of acupuncture. These facts, which are non-debatable, would support your opinion, making it more
reasonable and therefore more valid. It is easy to see how this information is relevant to the critical-reasoning
questions (which ask you to evaluate arguments) and the AWA questions (which ask you to write your own
argument). It is also relevant to reading comprehension questions because knowing the author’s opinion and how the
author supports that opinion can help you draw appropriate conclusions from the text.

The finer aspects of the reading process: Comprehending a passage is an ebb and flow process. Analyzing a
passage to understand how it is constructed can be compared to dismantling an engine to understand how it was
built—you may stop occasionally and reassemble parts of it to review what you just did; then proceed again to
dismantle more. Likewise, when reading a passage, you may first read and mentally annotate a paragraph
(disassembling it) and then go back and skim to reassemble it. During this process, comprehension proceeds from the
global to the specific.

Conjecture (Main Idea)

General Understanding (author’s attitude, logical structure)

Specific Understanding (Logical Details)

Incorporation (What if?)

In the conjecture stage, we form a tentative main idea—one which we may have to modify or even reject as we read
more deeply into the passage. In the general understanding stage, we develop a feel for the author’s tone and
discover the schema that s/he uses to present her ideas. In the specific understanding stage, we fill in the minor gaps
in our understanding. Finally, in the incorporation stage, we integrate the ideas presented in the passage into our own
thought process. We now understand the ideas sufficiently to defend them, apply them to other situations, or
evaluate their validity in a hypothetical situation. Only with complete understanding of the passage can this be done.

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Normally all RC passage will do one of the following:

• Describe
• Evaluate
• Persuade / Suggest

Describe Evaluate Persuade

Essay arguing that the
Newspaper article on Book review of Margaret
Humanities romance is a distinctly
Harlem Renaissance Atwood novel
American literary genre
Newspaper opinion column Environmentalist’s op-ed piece
Textbook Section on Civil
Social Science about a politician’s arguing for tighter controls on
War
economic plan the use of a new chemical
Commentary in a physics A scientist’s explanation of why
Museum pamphlet on
Science journal on a new plan for he believes the Big Bang
volcanoes
solar power Theory is wrong
Harvard Business Review A corporate manager’s letter to
Newspaper account of the
assessment of a new a newspaper defending his
Business collapse of the real estate
theory of corporate company against accusations
market
leadership of mismanagement

If you’re like most GMAT test-takers, you’ll experience at least one of the following problems as you tackle Reading
Comprehension:

• Your concentration is poor—perhaps because of your lack of familiarity with or interest in the topic, or
perhaps due to general test anxiety.

• Your reading pace is slow—so you have trouble finishing the Verbal section in time.

• To answer each question, you find yourself searching the passage again and again to find the information you
need.

• You have trouble narrowing down the answer choices to one that’s clearly the best, especially between the
last two.

Believe it or not, all of these problems are due to the same bad habit: passive reading, by which you simply read the
passage from start to finish, giving equal time and attention to every sentence without thought as to what particular
information might be key in answering the questions. You might call this approach the “osmosis strategy,” since
you’re hoping to absorb what you need to know by simply allowing your eyes to glaze over the words.

What’s the likely result of this osmosis strategy? You might remember some scattered facts and ideas, which will help
you respond correctly to some easier questions. But the passive mind set won’t take you very far when it comes to
most of the questions, which measure your ability to understand the ideas in the passage rather than to simply recall
information. Understanding a passage well enough to answer all the questions requires a highly active frame of
mind—one in which you constantly interact with the text as you read.

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not willing to put in the requisite amount of work.

however. It might understate. The response is too narrow or specific. 5. The writers want to display opinions that are considered and reasonable. such as these. by contrast. The response confuses one opinion or position with another. correspondingly. ahead of. beforehand. or twist the passage’s information or the author’s point in presenting that information. just as. Furthermore. in that. 6. similarly. It calls for some measure of speculation in that the statement is not readily inferable from the information given. It contradicts the passage’s information or runs contrary to what the passage infers. now. some … but others. still. regardless. So if an author’s tone is negative. Sequence Words: after. Make sure you think aloud for students to model how these words can be used. it may be disapproving—not snide. Some signal words tell readers about the sequence. It focuses on particular information in the passage that is too specific or narrowly focused in terms of the question posed. equally. for example. while Restatement or Synonym Words Also. The response gets something in the passage backwards. If the answers were subjective. not spontaneous and off-the-wall. earlier than. It makes almost no logical sense in the context of the question. Students often overlook these clues. first. strong emotions are considered inappropriate and sophomoric. too Contrast or Antonym Words Alternatively. 8. others tell about a similarity or difference. 9.The Test-Makers’ Top 10 Wrong-Answer Ploys 1. nevertheless. The information cited from the passage isn’t useful to respond to the question at hand. contrary to that. it may be approving—not ecstatic. on the other hand. complaining that their test-scores are unfair. subsequently. notwithstanding. The response relies on speculation or an unsupported inference. equally so. afterward. in the same way. Or if her tone is positive. but. yet Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. overstate. Heartstrings: Beware of answer-choices that contain extreme emotions. in spite of this. 10. The response distorts the information in the passage. apart from. as before. throughout. 3. 4. it’s essentially gibberish. The response relies on information that the passage does not mention. It reverses the logic of an idea in the passage. especially. sooner than. despite. then. as well as. nonetheless. Keywords: Keywords tell readers what is about to happen next. It embraces information or ideas that are too general or widely focused in terms of the question posed. confuses cause with effect. in contrast. but does not answer the question. later. second. then again. 7. or otherwise turns information in the passage around. third … finally. the answers must be indisputable. even though. . The response is utter nonsense. the writers of the GMAT never allow the correct answer to be either controversial or questionable. To avoid such a difficult position. Remember the passages are taken from academic journals. 2. The response uses information from the passage. The response is too broad (general). In the rarefied air of academic circles. although. all through. It brings in information not found anywhere in the passage. likewise. prior to. then the writers of the GMAT would be deluged with mails from angry test takers. by the same token. during. It incorrectly represents the viewpoint of one person (or group) as that of another. The response is contrary to what the passage says. conversely.

Four basic tasks: The passage below demonstrates four basic capacities that factor into the reading of a new text. namely. They blame the starkness of the left-right political divide on the sensationalist presentation style employed by 24-hour news networks in their effort to make journalism more entertaining and palatable. . In other words. young people. cable news has been vindicated by its opponents. housewives and college students were less politically active than they are today. try employing the following four skills: • Identify the main idea • Locate a specific detail • Consider the organization of the paragraphs • Make at least one inference Many people argue that the rise of cable news has degraded national political discourse. the growth of its viewership has led to greater political participation by the very classes that denounce it. Passage Structure: The first paragraph explains that many people attribute a particular cause to a supposed problem. contribute to the hostile. Since the launch of CNN in 1980. cable news viewership rates have risen proportionally with greater political participation and activism by groups that were previously apolitical. A Detail: CNN launched in 1980. Main Idea: Though people blame cable news for the toxic political climate. An Inference: Before 1980. this attribution is undermined in the second paragraph. As evidence of the trend. Ultimately. married women. critics say. opponents point to the dramatic increase in the number of news commentators—partisan newscasters who argue vociferously for one party or another. Such programs. After a complete reading. however. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. detractors of cable news blame the very source of their political awakening for the frustrating political climate of which it has made them aware. Demographics show that its loudest detractors come from demographics that have been historically apolitical. Studies of TV ratings trends and polling data show that college students and housewives are the largest consumers of cable news. and lower-middle class workers. uninformed political climate that can be held responsible for the lack of bipartisanship in government.

• Don’t write anything at all: The mother of all wrong pieces of advice on the GMAT is: write / make a skeletal / make a structure / annotate etc. There is no substitute for a reasonable understanding. the mind refusing to understanding any word at all. o Why should you not write?  You are so pressed for time on the test day that you never use your notes. understand that there is no substitute for understanding. more often than not. you lose 3-4 questions in a row: Consecutive errors are penalized so severely on the test that. Why learn and rely upon something that will not work on the test day?  Invariably our experience says that students never use what they write. race against the clock. skip. UGH!! This is the WORST advice one can give a student. The best way to Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. Trust us: nothing works on the test day. • You cannot cross the 700 mark if your RC is bad: Our experience tells us that students really good at Quant. the victim (and the biggest culprit) is RC. the understanding vanishes. SC. skim. not passive note-taking. Why waste precious time?  Once your brain gets a subconscious signal that you can write. but average at RC tend to stop short of 700. • Must go back while solving the questions: A lot of times. 3-4 consecutive errors can bring your ‘current’ score by almost 100 points. Most of us tend to reread the first few lines. and the imperative to finish the test ensure that. Without reading everything. RC is about active application. at any given point on the test. Trust us: nothing could be more gimmicky. could just not breast the coveted 700+ Club tape. It may be curtains! Your natural speed must improve after practicing 300+ passages. These resources / books / instructors / test-prep companies take passages (that lend themselves to such gimmicks) and show the application of the gimmicks that work on a ‘particular’ passage. OUCH!! • Normal pace: Every conceivable resource possible on GMAT RC will ask you to speed-read. We have even seen such advice: read only the first line of each para etc. You are just taking notes passively. and CR. • Don’t reread: Develop a habit of reading the passage only once and understanding it well. Our RC blasphemies that WORK on the test day: • RC is the most crucial among all test areas: Our experience tells us that. Don’t speed-read GMAT RCs. We have seen countless 670-690 scorers. Nothing could be a bigger disservice to oneself. only for want of a superlative performance on RC. . • Don’t skip: You can’t afford to skip information. These people are masters of making the wrong answers that seem more attractive than the right answers. Bad RC ensures that you have at least 3-4 such chunks of score-drops. students rely upon their memory and miss out on the intentional distortion used so effectively by the test-makers (psychometricians). Your understanding of the passage will be distorted otherwise. The signal to our subconscious brain is: “let me not understand it fully. • When you don’t do well on RC. Anyway I have to come back and reread.” It may be tough to get rid of this habit but this is extremely crucial to train your brain not to reread. • RC under normal concentration and relaxed pace can be very different from RC under trying exam conditions: fourth hour on the test. etc. on average. • Read the full passage first: Some books / test-prep companies will be asked to read the questions first. how can one decide the grain from the chaff? Again. • Focus on understanding: Every conceivable resource possible on GMAT RC will ask you to understand only the main idea and skip the details. who. • Don’t skim: Skimming is a self-contradictory term. each RC question weighs almost twice as much as each CR question and almost thrice as much as each SC question.

So the best bet is to guess the meaning of a new word by the context. The efforts can be completely disproportionate compared to the returns. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. you must not take more than 5 minutes and for a passage with 4 questions. solve more RC exercises: The ubiquitous advice that people get when they do badly on RC is: READ. while reading the passage. or the LSAT. • Ideally for a passage with 3 questions. Extreme WORD JUSTIFICATION is the name of the game. There are at least 500 genuine such passages available for you to practice with. . you must not take more than 6. you would be answering the questions right in the first place. If you genuinely want the 740+ score. WRONG! If this were to be the case. You have been reading every day for at least the last 10 years. • Beware of the central opinion / theme / main idea / tone etc. avoid this is to go back to the passage to justify each word in the answer choices. the GRE. you can’t skip this piece of advice. READ. • Plan four-hour nonstop sittings only with RC to make sure you concentrate well on the test. at least. a good vocabulary can help you … but there is no point in developing superior vocabulary NOW. Indeed. and READ. • Don’t do more general reading.5 minutes. Solve more and more RC passages … RIGHT! • Don’t bother about vocabulary: A lot of people bother about understanding each word in the passage to an obsessional level. • Don’t solve anything else except what has officially appeared on Standardized American Tests such as the GMAT.

regardless. yet Tone: Always try to predict the tone of the passage as positive / negative / neutral. still. notwithstanding. on the other hand. apart from. The common contrast words are: Alternatively. Avoid superlatives / extreme words / strong words / emotional words in the option choices. but. OCTAVE A guaranteed formula for 100% success on GMAT RC OCTAVE stands for: Opinion: Always look for the personal opinion of the author or the main point made by the author. Follow elimination of wrong ones rather than selection of the “right” one. despite. in contrast. by contrast. Other people’s opinions are not so important. Contrast Words: Watch out for contrast words: these are important because usually there is surely a general / inference question from these locations. even though. then again. V erify each word: This is the heart of RC. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. . contrary to that. This is a big help. although. in spite of this. conversely. nevertheless. some … but others. Eliminate: Don’t be fixated on an answer choice if it seems attractive. You must make sure that each word written in the choices must be justifiable from the passage. nonetheless. These are almost always wrong. however. OCTAVE will be discussed over 100 passages in our classes.

Music education has the potential to strengthen students' academic skills. the main idea of a passage must encompass the entire passage. Possible Inferences: Valid inference: Japan's GDP is higher than South Korea's. . it follows logically that Japan's must be higher than South Korea's. D. The overall effectiveness of music education in improving a child's academic performance in mathematics is correlated with the age at which that child begins to receive instruction in music. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. Before we draw an inference from a detail. In fact. in turn. A recent study. If any major part of the passage does not seem to relate to a given answer choice. and extrapolations to connect a detail to an inference. all other statements in this passage serve as evidence to support this belief. while choices C and E represent unspoken assumptions that underlie the argument. Those students who began in third grade. The study regarding the effect of music education on academic success was conducted in an objective and scientific manner. Inference questions An inference is an idea that is not itself explicitly stated. If China's GDP is higher than South Korea's. Consider the example below: All available research points to the fact that music education can significantly bolster students' academic skills. All paragraphs and statements within the passage take on specific roles with regard to advancing the main idea. and Japan's is higher than China's. they are quite the opposite: they are statements that are logically implicated in the argument and should follow directly from the stated textual evidence. scored significantly higher than did those who received no music education at all. C. Choice B is correct. inferences are not leaps in logic. What is the author's main point? A. Further reading – more on RC Identifying main idea of the passage All passages center around one main idea. which compared students in school districts all around the world. that choice is most likely not the main idea. found that students who began receiving music education in kindergarten scored significantly higher on standardized math tests than did those who began after third grade.9 trillion USD. Remember. The author believes that music education can improve students' academic skills. An inference will sometimes make logical extensions using new language. Their GDP is higher than South Korea's but not as high as Japan's. An important research study determined that students whose music education commenced in kindergarten fared the best on standardized tests. occurs in affected student's performance in mathematics. particularly when this education is imposed during early childhood. Remember. Choices A and D are examples of this evidence. B. An inference for test purposes refers to something that must be true based on the evidence provided. Eliminate answers that require assumptions. Example below: Given Statement: China has a GDP of about $4. The most notable academic improvement associated with music education. correlation studies attempting to link several different factors to higher math test scores have found music education to be the most significant of these factors. generalizations. surprisingly. but that can be logically concluded from what is explicitly stated. E. the remainder of the text presents evidence that supports this primary point. In fact. we should ensure that we understand that detail (and its various ramifications) thoroughly. Schools are willing to employ strategies that have the potential of bolstering the academic performance of their students. so it is vital to understand the detail before parsing out any potential inferences.

the scientific community has not dismissed any of these theories as completely useless. The text says that these are the three basic categories into which all major competing theories can be grouped.9 trillion USD. and Cologne. Nevertheless. Van Gogh became gradually more famous among influential art critics in Europe. Whether or not this is true. he was known as one of the greatest painters in history. Many modern geologists point out that there are examples. . exports are not mentioned anywhere in the statement. it does not logically follow from the information in the given statement. that a small group of geologists believes in a fourth theory or none at all. first formed. it follows logically that Japan's GDP must be higher than $4. according to the passage. each with its origin in the 19th century: the offshore bar theory. yet. His original paintings are worth millions of dollars today. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. and Japan's higher GDP could come from any number of other sources of income. but none of them explain them all. become famous after death. Mississippi. The passage tells us that Van Gogh died in obscure poverty but became famous after his death. even within the United States alone. NOT a valid inference: Japan has the highest GDP in Asia. His work influenced a generation of artists. If China's GDP is $4. such as those found off the coasts of New York.9 trillion USD and Japan's is higher. It is entirely possible. The statement only compares three countries and does not negate the possibility that another Asian country's GDP might be higher. We can infer is this: It is possible to die penniless and unknown as an artist and. and by the middle of the 20th century. Paris. NOT a valid inference: Japan exports more products than China. geologists are divided on the issue of how barrier islands. Amsterdam. Check the example below: To this day. There are a number of inferences we can make from this passage. Even though this is true. The major competing theories can be divided into three basic groups. that both support and refute each of these three theories. His work was exhibited in galleries in New York City. between the years 1900 and 1915. and the submergence theory. and Alabama. This follows logically from the fact that scientists recognize evidence that both supports and refutes each of these theories and the fact that scientists have not outright rejected these theories. Consider the following passage: Vincent Van Gogh died penniless and unknown in 1890.9 trillion USD. Which of the following can be most properly inferred from the passage above? Possible correct answer: All of these theories explain the formation of at least some barrier islands. the spit accretion theory. Texas. Following his death.Valid inference: Japan's GDP is over $4. Possible incorrect answer: All geologists believe at least one of these three theories.

there exists no such solution to the complications arising from the recent rise in easily shareable digital music formats. Be sure to read question stems carefully: some of these choices (such as choice C) may be inferred from other parts of the passage but not from the second paragraph. If record companies raised their prices for individual. but this strategy does not generate nearly as much profit as have other methods in the past. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. consumers must have been buying full-length CDs just to listen to 3 or 4 songs. a number of major entertainment industries are in danger of near-extinction at the hands of the same technological forces. C. digital songs. we can logically conclude that. Compact discs were once at least as popular among music consumers as were cassette tapes. We can infer that those customers in the past would likely have been satisfied with the option of purchasing only those songs that they wanted. Which of the following can be properly inferred about music consumers from the second paragraph of the passage? A. still. . Technological breakthroughs in the music recording industry in the past have not decreased record company profits. B. consumers would continue to buy them at the current rate. it is unlikely that such consumers will purchase compact discs while inexpensive digital alternatives are available.Let’s see the example below: While effective exploitation of recent technological breakthroughs has been a winning strategy for the entertainment industry throughout the last century. Music consumers once purchased full-length compact discs when they may have been satisfied with only a few songs. However. Because the second paragraph mentions that fans who previously purchased full-length CDs for $15 now often purchase only 3 or 4 songs from those CDs for $1 each. and now he or she is far more likely to purchase only three or four of its songs for around $1 each. in the past. D. As evidenced by the evolution from record album to cassette to compact disc. Some companies have had limited success selling digital music one song at a time. Re-read the sections of the paragraph that refer to consumers before examining the answer choices. A decade ago. Although some experts point out that the increased availability of music will lead to higher profits for record companies in the long run. thereby incurring a massive loss in income for the record label. a music consumer could have purchased a full-length compact disc for $15. It may be true that this increased availability will garner more consumers for artists that are represented by record companies. Technologies that are profitable for record companies do not increase the number of music consumers that buy the music of a single artist. many within the industry are skeptical. even more profitable products to replace those that had been rendered obsolete. the music recording industry has been—until now—consistently able to find a new. Choice B is correct. The question stem refers both to a paragraph and a topic—music consumers. E.

consumers must have been buying full-length CDs just to listen to 3 or 4 songs. We can infer that those customers in the past would likely have been satisfied with the option of purchasing only those songs that they wanted. Re-read the sections of the paragraph that refer to consumers before examining the answer choices. A decade ago. in the past. Some companies have had limited success selling digital music one song at at time. the music recording industry has been—until now—consistently able to find a new. . many within the industry are skeptical. Although some experts point out that the increased availability of music will lead to higher profits for record companies in the long run. digital songs. thereby incurring a massive loss in income for the record label. we can logically conclude that. a number of major entertainment industries are in danger of near-extinction at the hands of the same technological forces. and now he or she is far more likely to purchase only three or four of its songs for around $1 each. (B) Music consumers once purchased full-length compact discs when they may have been satisfied with only a few songs. but this strategy does not generate nearly as much profit as have other methods in the past. Which of the following can be properly inferred about music consumers from the second paragraph of the passage? (A) Technologies that are profitable for record companies do not increase the number of music consumers that buy the music of a single artist. The question stem refers both to a paragraph and a topic—music consumers. Be sure to read question stems carefully: some of these choices (such as choice C) may be inferred from other parts of the passage but not from the third paragraph. However. even more profitable products to replace those that had been rendered obsolete. As evidenced by the evolution from record album to cassette to compact disc. It may be true that this increased availability will garner more consumers for artists that are represented by record companies. there exists no such solution to the complications arising from the recent rise in easily shareable digital music formats.Consider the following passage: While effective exploitation of recent technological breakthroughs has been a winning strategy for the entertainment industry throughout the last century. a music consumer could have purchased a full-length compact disc for $15. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. still. Choice B is correct. (C) Technological breakthroughs in the music recording industry in the past have not decreased record company profits. consumers would continue to buy them at the current rate. it is unlikely that such consumers will purchase compact discs while inexpensive digital alternatives are available. (D) Compact discs were once at least as popular among music consumers as were cassette tapes. Because the second paragraph mentions that fans who previously purchased full-length CDs for $15 now often purchase only 3 or 4 songs from those CDs for $1 each. (E) If record companies raised their prices for individual.

(E) Contemporary historians have become increasingly tolerant of negationist theories in light of recent historical discoveries. and in fact. so we should move directly to the answer choices. (C) The Dunning School is an example of a group of scholars engaging in legitimate historical revisionism.Consider the following passage: In recent years. Choice A: The word "always" signals that this is an extreme answer choice. whereas negationists "reject the entire foundation of historical evidence. that those who deny facts are illegitimate revisionists." Therefore. Choice D is correct. the author suggests that the scholar who studies the Dunning School in this hypothetical example is a "legitimate historical revisionist. The question stem does not direct us to a particular part of the passage. the author would most likely agree with which of the following statements? (A) Historical orthodoxies should always be considered true until new evidence arises to call them into question." not that the scholars in the Dunning School are. Based on the passage above. while a scholar who denies that plantation slavery was ever widespread in the United States should be considered a negationist—and. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. at the end of the passage. Choice D refers to "legitimacy. they should be understood as part of a "continuing dialogue between the present and the past. a scholar who argues against the racial biases of the Dunning School's view of post-civil war reconstruction in light of newly unearthed primary source evidence should be considered a legitimate revisionist. (B) Historical revisionists are primarily motivated by ideology rather than academic curiosity." and in fact. Choice C mistakes one group for another. The phrase "new evidence" refers to the end of the passage. (D) While he or she can question orthodoxies. an illegitimate movement that. in an attempt to support a particular ideology. . eliminating those with which the author would not likely agree. Choice C refers to a specific claim in the passage. Rather." Contemporary historians Deborah Libstadt and Alex Grobman are correct to distinguish between this sort of legitimate revisionism and outright negationism by pointing out the fact that legitimate revisionism acknowledges and respects a "certain body of irrefutable evidence" with regards to the occurrence of historical events. a revisionist historian must accept certain facts in order to be considered legitimate. the author states in the first paragraph that negationismis an illegitimate movement which seeks to deny the existence of historical facts and again. historians such as Pulitzer Prize-winner James McPherson argued that widely accepted views of history are fraught with their own biases and must not be considered immutable truths. Choice B introduces an irrelevant comparison. an illegitimate historian. which we should revisit: a scholar who argues against the racial biases of the Dunning School's view of post-civil war reconstruction in light of newly unearthed primary source evidence should be considered a legitimate revisionist. the author would certainly not necessarily agree that historical orthodoxies should be taken at face value. historians have struggled to differentiate between historical revisionism. On behalf of the American Historical Association. seeks to deny the existence of historical facts. and historical negationism. Choice E is an opposite choice—this author is staunchly against negationism. "academic curiosity" is never discussed in the passage. thus. McPherson argued. so we can take this cue to revisit that section of the text. which seeks to reinterpret orthodox views by considering new evidence and tones.

potentially true on their own but not implied by the passage (E. (C) Fitness center managers have to put the interests of prospective clients above those of trainers. (B) Because the work of personal training offers such low pay for high-stress physical labor. This question asks us to derive a general principle from a specific case. In this instance. (E) Each new membership that a gym earns generates enough revenue to cover the cost of paying a single trainer to give free tours and advice for that day. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. who would rather not work as salespeople. as it attracts new customers to the fitness center and provides low-stress. the passage states that trainers are happy with the arrangement). we are not looking for a very far-ranging abstraction. fully-paid rest time for the trainers. D). (D) Most prospective gym members prefer not to talk to dedicated salespeople and would rather get free advice from a professional trainer than spend money on a gym membership. The other choices are too extreme (B.Consider the following passage: Fitness center managers who hope to maximize profits have long known that one of the best ways to attract new members is to use personal trainers as salespeople. Choice A is correct. trainers spend a significant amount of time giving free advice to prospective clients and offering tours of the facilities. . Which of the following is best supported by the information above? (A) The hourly cost of paying personal trainers to act as sales staff is less than the revenue generated by the increase in membership fees paid by the newer gym users. Between workout sessions. or inaccurate inferences (C. the word "only" kills it). Managers and trainers are happy with this arrangement. trainers are only willing to exercise with clients for a specified number of hours per day. the answer will refer to some basic idea about gym memberships and free trainer tours.

(D) VBD tapes utilized a video home-recording and playback technology that offered distinct advantages when compared with Alphamax. This new recorder enjoyed only two short years of widespread use. it has often been the case that a company that has come to dominate a given market has reached that position by improving upon and rendering obsolete some existing technology. no longer seemed superfluous. a company can build upon the inventions of others—a practice resulting in a dramatic reduction of that company's development costs. Company Y's recorder featured tapes with large capacities that. In this same vein. Choice D is correct. . To the extent that patent law allows. is sufficient to allow us to infer that consumers preferred VBD technology because it was a new product that was both similar to one they had already embraced and distinct enough to offer new advantages. combined with the statement that VHS offered longer playback and more convenient recording. given the advent of full-length rental films. is a classic example of this phenomenon. At the time of its inception. before Company Y introduced the VBD recorder—a recorder which quickly proved more profitable. (C) More movies were available for rent in VBD format than in the Alphamax format. however. and though many examples can be unearthed in support of this maxim. (E) Companies with experience in the field of video recording began to move from the Alphamax market to VBD. In fact. Though this may seem intuitive. Because Company Y was able to create a product that was both similar to and that improved upon Company X's existing product.Consider the following passage: In the business world. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. it is not entirely true. The Alphamax video cassette recorder. it does not explain why consumers preferred VBD tapes to VHS (it is likely that consumers are not terribly concerned about patent law violations). It can be inferred from the passage that consumers came to prefer VBD tapes for which of the following reasons? (A) They were sufficiently different from Alphamax tapes to be offered to consumers without any possible risk of patent law violation. Company X's existing product soon became nearly obsolete. (B) They were introduced at a time when consumers were very fickle and eager to consume new products. a company can make improvements to a product that are sufficiently significant to shift the market decisively in that company's own favor. The evidence that VHS overtook the market previously dominated by Alphamax. Note that although choice A is true according to the passage. Company Y's desire to introduce a product that was extremely similar to Company X's new recorder—but different enough to avoid violating any patent laws—induced Company Y to create a recorder that offered longer playback and more convenient recording than the one put forth by Company X. many tend to consider technological innovation the main method by which a company comes to dominate a given market. bringing with them technological and marketing expertise. a device developed by Company X in the mid 1970s. the new recorder could boast a VHS format that was considered a revolutionary improvement over the previously ubiquitous 8mm recording devices that had been used for home movies and other amateur recordings.

C.Consider the following passage: The practice of deploying civilian journalists into combat zones within a troop of soldiers is known as "embedding. Choice B is correct. official military and journalistic standards have only been applied to the practice since the Cold War. such as colonels and lieutenants. most cable news stations rely heavily on embedded journalists for on-the-ground reporting and seek to expand the practice into more conflict areas around the world. Whether or not this comes to pass will depend upon how military officials view the practice. D. the news reports regarding prior wars are likely inaccurate and heavily biased. as they tend to be overly concerned with future political ambitions. E. Enlistees and low rank officers tend to be less reliable sources for news articles. Many media professionals feel that these upper level officers have more to lose from negative press and are more concerned with their future political ambitions than with accurate war reporting. We know that the "ostensible" reason for blocking embedded journalists from access to information is fear of unintentionally aiding the enemy. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. tend to be more suspicious of such journalists. and print news reporters traveled into the combat zone alongside soldiers. Military officials need to be convinced of the value of embedded journalists so that the practice can be expanded into more conflict zones around the world. as they appreciate the opportunity to tell their own stories. Informal surveys suggest that these soldiers respect reporters willing to put themselves in harm's way and feel that such reporters are in the best position to accurately represent a conflict and tell their stories. With the qualification would most likely agree with softening the blow. It is likely that army generals sometimes use the fear of disclosing potentially sensitive information to the enemy as a pretense for censoring embarrassing information. high ranking officers are easy to interview. Today. Non-commissioned officers and lower ranked soldiers tend to see the practice of embedding in a favorable light. The other answer choices are either opposite (D). They are not as quick to grant interviews or supply information to embedded journalists. It can be inferred from the passage that the media professionals mentioned in the second paragraph would most likely agree with which of the following statements? A. Because so many of them intend to run for political office upon completing their service. We also know that Many media professionals feel that high level officers only care about blocking negative press for the sake of their political ambitions. radio. Since there were no officially embedded journalists prior to the Vietnam War. B." Though the practice dates back to the 19th century. or pertain to the wrong group (E). ostensibly out of fear of divulging information that may be used by enemies. The Vietnam War was the conflict in which a large number of television. potentially true but not implied (A & C). Higher ranking officers. choice B connects these two ideas and is the most logical answer. .

Vitamin D is found both in fatty fish (including salmon. (E) It is safer to obtain Vitamin D from natural sources such as fish and beef than it is to take Vitamin D supplements. Choice D is correct.Consider the following passage: Young children are advised to consume Vitamin D. and it is plausible that a person might stop taking Vitamin D in order to increase intake of some other bone-beneficial substance. therefore. Such is the case with answer choice C. a necessary ingredient for the regulation of calcium and phosphate in the bloodstream. If we think about them carefully. Choices E and B both might be true. Also. The phrases "large amount" and "high risk" make this too strong to be a natural consequence. (D) Young children can reduce the risk of acquiring osteomalacia by consuming tuna or salmon. that detail is not suggested by any of the information in the passage. however. (C) Vitamin D is naturally produced by the skin when the body is exposed to sunlight. . even though both are probable. but nothing in the passage refers to seniors or vitamin D supplements. and mackerel) and in beef liver. it does not follow that not consuming Vitamin D generates a "high risk" of getting bone disorders. Osteomalacia is a bone disorder. We need to be careful of answer choices that fall into the "could be true but not implied by passage" category. neither can be inferred from the text. just because Vitamin D helps prevent bone disorders. Vitamin D is found in fatty fish. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. a statement that has no roots in the text cannot be considered an appropriate inference. Inference questions frequently devise plausible-sounding answer choices as distractors. Tuna and salmon are both fatty fish. choice A is too extreme. Choice A is a tricky distractor. in order to strengthen their immune systems and avoid bone disorders like osteomalacia. Children can avoid bone disorders by consuming Vitamin D. other foods may be equally helpful in the reduction of bone disease. it should be clear that D is the more logical inference. Though choice C states a true fact. Remember. This leaves us with answer choices A and D. By syllogism we can deduce: Young children consuming tuna and salmon ⇒ reduced risk ofosteomalacia. ultimately. because it seems to be vaguely implied by the excerpt. tuna. (B) Seniors should consume fatty fish and beef liver to strengthen their immune systems. Calling upon outside knowledge often leads test-takers astray. Which of the following statements can be inferred from the passage above? (A) Children who do not consume large amounts of fatty fish rich in Vitamin D run a high risk of developing bone disorders.

more bureaucratic process.Identifying author's tone Consider the following passage: The ability of the FDA to adequately monitor the information transmitted by drug companies to consumers through advertisements is. According to a 2006 report by the United States Government Accountability Office. the other party is the United States Government Accountability Office). People should not view drug company ads as reliable sources of information about a drug. In this example. Though many citizens indicate that urban development should accelerate to meet the demands of a growing population. and the organization could not confirm that the materials that underwent this review were those that had been identified as higher priority advertisements. though it is not always successful in this endeavor. this inference does not necessarily reflect something that the Accountability Office might think. as she mentions that the study's specific claims might be disputed. The second sentence begins with according to. the FDA reviewed only a small portion of the advertising materials it received. This loose inference aligns with the tone of the United States Government Accountability Office. as an increasing number of environmental and political concerns have arisen. Consider the following inference: The FDA accounts for the fact that it monitors only a small portion of drug company ads by attempting to identify high priority advertisements. the author begins by asserting the view that the FDA's ability to monitor drug company ads is questionable.. this short-term mentality is ultimately destructive. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. though the FDA could not confirm that it was these high priority materials that had been reviewed. might take issue with the information contained in this inference. . however. the second sentence suggests that at least some material had been identified by the FDA as higher priority advertisements. returns to the author's point of view. questionable. Certain details which can be inferred from the passage may be more reflective of one tone than another. the author's tone and the tone of "many citizens" are in conflict. The author. The author cites a study conducted by the the United States Government Accountability Office in order to lend credence to this point. The final sentence. the broader implications of such a finding should be clear: advertising materials from drug companies cannot be trusted. but we cannot assume that the United States Government Accountability Office would have drawn the same conclusion from its own study.. which indicates that the statement that follows reflects another party's tone—one which is distinct from the author's (in this case. Urban development should be submitted to a slower. Though the study's specific claims might be disputed. it is important to attribute these inferences to the correct party.. In other words. this inference describes a sentiment that the author likely believes. Since it is specifically the author who claims that the FDA's monitoring abilities are questionable and that advertising materials from drug companies cannot be trusted. In this passage. Consider the following passage: Urban planning in this county has increased in complexity of late. which points to the possible unreliability of the government office's study's claims. at best.

They are growing in importance and should be addressed by the establishment of more professional organizations.Consider the following passage: The new regulations proposed for the interstate trucking industry are convoluted and nonsensical. Current scholarship on Romantic literature focuses on only their most vital contributions to literature. asks about the author's tone: Government regulations in general seem to be regarded by the author with: A possible answer to such a question might read: Overt disdain. there are two tones: that of "Montgomery" and that of the author. her thesis about the creation of preservatives to transport perishable goods is particularly compelling.. All sensible citizens should write to their representatives and state their grievances. More professional organizations devoted to protecting their work from oxidization are necessary. she refuses to contend with the inherent difficulties in studying trade histories written by partial. All four wrong answer choices for this question attempt to use terms from the passage to confuse the test- taker. They agree on some aspects of the argument (the creation of preservatives) and disagree on others (partial observers may be less trustworthy).neglects [their] vital contributions. likely. is that the interstate trucking regulations are a bad idea.. GMAT passages tend to take on a characteristically neutral. D. This is a tragedy which should be addressed immediately by the establishment of annual conferences and professional organizations that focus on the achievements of women writers of the Romantic period. as they are burdened with rules that are difficult to follow and do little to increase safety. B. For this reason. These rules constitute a prime example of frivolous government regulation gone completely overboard. The author's tone on Romantic-period women writers is that current scholarship. C. However. . E. The author's main idea. Choice C is correct. Some GMAT passages compare the tones of two different passage sources. Consider the following passage: Montgomery's analysis of seventeenth century trade practices provides the best available analysis of intercontinental trade policy throughout Asia and the Middle East. journalistic tone. the author's purpose in this piece is to express this opinion. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. important texts that contain first-hand knowledge of early 19th century life written by females of the period are oxidizing in moldy libraries and are slowly disappearing. here. A tone question about this excerpt will read slightly differently than a main idea or purpose question. In this sample. Annual conferences and professional organizations should be established to advocate greater interest in writing among women. in these cases. Their achievements have not been fully appreciated by modern scholars. With which of the following statements about women writers of the Romantic period would the author most likely agree? A. The following. three tones must be noted. for example. Example: Current scholarship on Romantic literature neglects the vital contributions of female writers. nationalist observers.

I insist that the proposal is rudimentary. The current management strategy at Globatron. it is crucial to distinguish the tone of the author from that of the board of the trustees (since the question concerns the trustees' opinion. moreover. (E) The ideas of the political counsel are flawed and should not be implemented. for instance. Globatron's current strategy is vulnerable to failure on the grounds that young leaders are likely to encounter problems that require more experience than they can claim. often have the capacity to solve complex management issues that would ordinarily fall under the aegis of upper management. fails to address the most important issues at stake.Consider the following passage: Despite the emergence of a trend favoring flatter organization of human capital. A company should take careful consideration when deciding which organization of human capital is most appropriate for its purposes. and opts instead to present an optimistic picture that is dangerous in its naiveté. companies should seriously consider the possibility that more rigid hierarchies might be better-suited to their purposes. The author's tone on the cited general trend is mentioned in the first line: companies should seriously consider the possibility that more rigid hierarchies might be better-suited to their purposes. which believes the proposal will be effective and. Choice C is correct. What is the board of trustees' tone concerning the recommendations of the political counsel? (A) It is more important that a proposal unite the entire team than that it be highly effective. and. It remains to be seen whether the company will continue to perform well when its relatively inexperienced leaders encounter issues that require significant depth and breadth of industry knowledge. What is the author's tone on the current trend toward flatter organization of human capital? A. Here. not the author's). E. the example involving Globatron and the reference to weaknesses in its strategy both support the author's general stance that rigid hierarchies should not be dismissed out of hand— despite the general trend (conventional wisdom) favoring the opposite. (B) The proposal is rudimentary and naive. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. It clearly states in the passage that the board of trustees believes the proposal will be effective and will unite the team by reflecting a variety of interests. D. . Consider the following passage: The recommendations of our political counsel have been faulty. B. If we recall positive passage words such as effective and unite and associate them with the source "board of trustees. We should not implement their ideas despite unanimous approval of their proposal by the board of trustees. These newer employees. Words such as "naive" and "dangerous" reflect a staunchly negative tone. as they refer to tones on Globatron in particular and not to the trend that can be observed in companies as a whole. This is the statement of opinion put forth by the author. are incorrect. (D) The board of trustees will be more effective than the political counsel. Upper management should always resolve issues that require significant depth and breadth of industry knowledge." we will be able to eliminate wrong answer choices rather immediately. involves a dependency on the superior talents of its younger employees. C. Flat organizations of human capital are generally superior to more rigidly hierarchical ones. Note that choices A and C are too specific. that it will unite the team by reflecting a variety of interests. Choice D is correct. Globatron noticed. thus. Other companies should emulate the hierarchy of human capital that has been instituted at Globatron. (C) The recommendations of the political counsel will be effective and unite the whole team.

have instituted a policy stating that all students must wear uniforms to school. uniforms do not account for Asian students' achievements—their communal meritocratic culture. Football is the king of sports because it is fast-paced. then. hard evidence. when it comes to sheer athleticism and action." The rhetorical question at the end accentuates this paragraph's overall tone of passionate disdain. . which makes baseball an inferior sport. The second sentence takes on an irreverent attitude. Tone of Single Words and Phrases: 1. The passage introduces a topic and describes the opposing viewpoint. using melodramatic words like "alas"—not to mention the sarcastic phrase "lofty hopes. that surveys of students at schools that require uniforms consistently show more pronounced clique-forming behaviors and more persistent discipline problems. Some parents' views align with the school boards' on this matter. she presents the various viewpoints in support of the trend. First paragraph: The tone of this paragraph is calculated and objective. slowly simmering pace of baseball. but they are also hopeful that a mandatory formal attire will instill a sense of discipline and school pride in the students. The much-touted academic successes of Japanese students. It is no surprise. with its sophisticated vocabulary ("dynamism" and "physicality") and direct conclusion. In truth." however. Both: Together. more likely. It is thetone of each sentence that differs. the tones of these paragraphs make sense. or even outrage." Notice also the assertive language of debate. The third sentence shows a begrudging acceptance. seems to bolster optimism regarding this practice. The question is: when will the adults in charge start to listen? Three distinct tones are associated with this passage. both public and private. Administrators' reasons for this decision are two-fold: they believe the uniforms will aid in the reduction of violent bullying on school property and will diminish the effect of economic class as a divisive factor in social situations. In point of fact. Our dog-eat- dog competitive individualist society. 3. The overall passage tone is therefore best characterized as confident certitude." Notice the greater freedom with figures of speech. The author does not take a stance on the controversial issue that has been presented. Notice that each sentence makes the same point: Football is more exciting than baseball. Second paragraph: The second paragraph immediately converts to a polemical. differs astronomically from the Japanese model. Alas. The first sentence displays a dispassionate certainty. the tone of the first paragraph. The word "seems. almost contemptuous voice. in which one student's success is seen as everyone else's failure. is the root of their diligence. tactical. rather. an increasing number of K-12 schools. Not only are these parents thankful to be relieved of the burden of back-to-school clothes shopping. is a chief (and subtle) clue that the author's contrasting view is on the horizon. and violent. as evidenced by its use of a humorous comparison and figurative language. One has no choice but to admit that. all of whom are required to wear uniforms. 2. reality has a way of rudely disabusing us of such lofty hopes. and a bit of sardonic rhetorical flourish. the tone of the second paragraph. while baseball is about as exciting as watching grass grow. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. and the tone of the overall passage.Consider this example: Recently. the author dismantles this opposing tone with both logic. like "last chance" and "dog-eat-dog. then. evident in its qualifying language ("something of an edge") and euphemistic characterization of baseball. Baseball lacks the dynamism and physicality of football. football has something of an edge over the more measured. uniforms have been standard in inner-city "last chance" schools for decades. careful to attribute each opinion to a specific source ("administrators" and "parents"). and no measurable improvement has been the result. phrases like "in point of fact" and "it is no surprise.

sometimes the tone of a GMAT passage is very subtle. are offset by the claim in the last section of the passage. Positive words and phrases in the first section of the passage. and the inauguration of a newly elected board of directors. still. increased attention to its social media program. "Skepticism" effectively conveys the author's mixed attitude of consideration and doubt. a more direct focus on the customer would perhaps be a more likely—and far less expensive—means of achieving similar effects. Rather than looking for extreme. Don't expect especially passionate or emotional language on the GMAT. we should take our tone signals from words like the following: • Fortunately • Unfortunately • Preferable • Advantage • Defend • Foster • Victim • Triumph • Unrealistic • Protest • Appreciate • Instigate • Optimistic • Satisfy • Shortcoming Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. . on the contrary. in which the company's methods are questioned.Consider the following passage: By way of new promotional efforts. laudable. the company is attempting to achieve its laudable goal of capturing an even greater portion of the market. and undoubtedly. The author's use of the word "perhaps" in this statement might be characterized as conveying a tone of (A) indignation (B) admiration (C) confusion (D) indifference (E) skepticism Choice E is correct. overtly emotional language. choices like "indignation" and "admiration" are too strong. Since the tone is fairly neutral. such as cutting- edge.

Because the manager exhibits differing tones towards two different levels of management." Identifying purpose Several answer choices can be quickly eliminated on such questions—many purpose answer choices contain at least one of the following errors: • Too Narrow In Scope: Some answer choices refer to one section or paragraph in the passage. which purposely prevents certain employees from developing their own opinions about company strategy. claiming that an author intends to "prove" or "disprove" a topic that is merely being introduced and gently explored. Senior management determines our overarching strategy. The culture of our workplace is significantly improved by their vision. Most GMAT passages do not express strong opinions. but not to the passage as a whole. severely. are phenomenal. serious investment. an incorrect answer might refer to "history" or "the past. on the other hand. severely limits our growth as a company. and significantly improved suggest an admiring tone. Common Neutral GMAT purpose verbs include: • Explain – no opinion • discuss – no opinion • describe – no opinion • illustrate – no opinion • compare – no opinion • examine – no opinion • imply – no opinion • suggest – opinion • consider – no opinion Common Positive GMAT purpose verbs include: • defend – opinion • validate – opinion • support – opinion • advocate – opinion • recommend – opinion • argue for – opinion Common Negative GMAT purpose verbs include: • undermine – opinion Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. Their establishment of both a mentoring program and a two-month training program for new employees reflects a serious investment in human capital. If a passage is about a specific historical time period.Consider the following passage: Manager: The extent to which this company lacks transparency is disturbing. and those at the lower levels execute it—often with little or no sense of the larger context." • Extreme: Some answer choices overreach. for example. however. This practice. words such as disturbing. her tone can be said to be "balanced. . In the first paragraph. and limits indicate that the tone is extremely critical. In the second paragraph. words and phrases such aspraise. The manager's tone in the passage might be characterized as (A) Bitter and resentful (B) Proud and admiring (C) Critical and balanced (D) Engaged and sympathetic (E) Moderate and cautious Choice C is correct. • Too Broad in Scope: Some answer choices incorrectly refer to a broad. vague topic. The efforts of our middle management.

and industries are striving to uncover cost-effective. renewable energy and chemical product alternatives to those derived from petrochemical sources. pressures. • warn – opinion • dispute – opinion • dispel – opinion • critique – opinion • criticize – opinion • deny – opinion • argue against – opinion Consider the following passage: Among manufacturers who sell similar products. industrialization in emerging regions continues. of course. because heat is a measure of the energy transferred from one object to another. What is the primary purpose of this passage? Possible correct answer: To warn against the use of discounts to increase earnings. it has become a progressively more common practice to undercut competitors' prices by offering discounts—in an effort. to move toward streamlined. Traditional reliance on processes requiring high temperatures. As environmental concerns gain in popularity. to attract consumers. sustainable. and innovative technologies. many executives still ignore these studies and continue discount practices that damage their profit potential. While many people may know that heat is a measure of energy. Biological tools are increasingly replacing harsh chemical and physical means of synthesizing chemicals and processing materials. most fail to realize that an object or substance cannot technically contain its own measure of heat. This is a particularly egregious mistake. Words like unfortunately make it clear that the author has a decisively negative view of discount practices. since understanding "heat" is critical to maintain a grasp of the laws of thermodynamics that regulate an enormous percentage of the machines and systems we encounter on a daily basis. so the verb used to describe the primary purpose should also be negative. . the "cool" feeling is simply a result of the fact that the object is pulling heat away from a significantly warmer body—the observer himself. Consider the following passage: Many science historians have independently noted that the concept of "heat" is commonly misused outside of the science world. in addition to political and consumer pressure. A piece of metal that feels cool to an observer (who has been sitting in a room of equal temperature) does not lack heat. and energy costs continue to soar. or harsh chemical additives as reaction catalysts has resulted in high energy consumption and in the release of harmful byproducts that require significant financial investments to address. Many economic studies show that this practice actually ends up reducing revenue for the companies involved. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. Thermodynamics—the study of energy conversion from heat to mechanical work—is such a valuable field. partially because its underlying premises have been so badly misconstrued. Unfortunately. Possible answers: To explain a commonly misunderstood concept To relate a misunderstanding to the value of a field of study To discuss the confusion surrounding a scientific idea To explain the concept of heat and its implications for the understanding of the laws of thermodynamics Consider the following passage: Industries are facing increasing global competition.

The question. Evidently. to make economic decisions that benefit both themselves and the public in the long run. however. wind turbines. in particular. the phrase a more equitable policy indicates that the author agrees with the critics mentioned in the second paragraph. then. renewable. and other sources of renewable energy. Many such programs have been successful in recent years. as the third paragraph fails to reconcile the two opposing views mentioned in the previous paragraph. the author agrees that the energy cost to each individual should be proportional to that individual's energy usage. particularly in areas with high levels of sunshine and high electricity costs.Possible answer: • To describe several reasons for the increased adoption of biological synthesis tools • To explain the increasing preference for one scientific innovation over others Purpose / Role of specific paragraphs: Consider the following passage: The need to derive more of our energy from renewable sources is now almost universally acknowledged. Choice C is correct. is what—beyond the simple promise of long-term savings—will encourage energy companies and consumers to weather these short-term high costs. Feed-in tariffs are a unique type of agreement by which electric grid and other public utility companies agree to buy excess energy produced by a clean and/or renewable source on a multi-year contract at a guaranteed rate. This passage begins by describing a problem and proceeds to evaluate potential solutions to that problem. in order: The controversy is introduced in the first paragraph. and the geopolitical implications of dependence on foreign energy. and domestically produced are obvious. about the potential implementation of investment subsidies—subsidies paid by the government to energy producers to defray the cost of installation of solar panels. without regard to each taxpayer's individual energy consumption. including California and Japan. while proportionally distributing the financial burden among the utility consumers according to consumption. . we will focus on what the author is attempting to accomplish in the third paragraph. choice E makes a false statement. Due to the growing costs of traditional energy sources like oil and coal. not denouncing an opponent's solution. despite widespread knowledge of the possible long-term savings. not the third. The main obstacle impeding adoption of more renewable energy sources involves the short-term costs of installation of these new energy sources which. Consider the following passage: Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. The main purpose of the third paragraph of this passage is to (A) introduce a controversy (B) argue against an opponent's proposal (C) propose and evaluate a solution (D) describe a problem and offer a solution (E) reconcile two alternative proposals We should approach this question with an eye towards the purpose of the passage as a whole. so choice A is incorrect. This enables potential investors in renewable energy to see a faster and more reliable profit than they would otherwise. which are generally focused on their short-term revenue. the environmental impact of CO2 emissions. The author's opinion is not breached until the beginning of the third paragraph. can be high enough to be considered prohibitive. introducing and describing a solution that conforms to such a model. Proponents say that such subsidies are a unique way to encourage private companies. Let's take a look at the answer choices. choice D is incorrect because it moves beyond the third paragraph. specifically. Many disagree. the benefits of moving towards energy that is clean. The third paragraph expands upon this idea. A more equitable policy may be the enactment of feed-in tariffs. the third paragraph is spent describing the merits of a potential solution. so we cannot pick choice B. Critics counter that it is unfair to distribute the burden of a subsidy equally among taxpayers. here. instead describing the purpose of the passage as a whole.

Excessive growth of algae and other simple photosynthetic organisms can deplete water of available oxygen. eventually. High concentrations of nutrients. improving the efficiency of fertilizer applications. their biodiversity. Restoring these buffer zones between farm land and damaged aquatic systems is one step towards the reduction of eutrophic water. Which of the following best describes the role of the second paragraph above? (A) to provide evidence to emphasize the importance of the CPSC (B) to introduce specific examples of reports that have been made to the CPSC about dangerous products (C) to describe the process of identification and reporting of hazardous products (D) to inform the reader of the flaws in the enforcement policies of the CPSC Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. Which of the following best describes the role of the second paragraph above? (A) to highlight the relative advantages of alternative methods to combat a problem (B) to introduce a specific example of a previously introduced problem (C) to provide evidence that refutes the main idea of the passage (D) to explain a theory that is introduced in the first paragraph (E) to describe methods for solving a problem introduced in the first paragraph Choice E is correct. The second paragraph describes a number of methods that could provide a solution to the Eutrophication problem outlined in the first paragraph. the CPSC often relies on manufacturers of defective products to handle safety issues. are significant in many types of environmental management because of their role in soil conservation. The agency stays informed of unsafe products. partly by way of a consumer hotline and a website through which consumers may report concerns about unsafe products or injuries associated with products. and coastal ocean waters unnaturally high rates of plant production and. Riparian zones occur in many forms. these critics also maintain that the CPSC should be provided with improved product testing facilities. Riparian buffer zones. A comprehensive solution would also involve reducing livestock densities. but human activity. treating urban runoff from streets and storm drains. illnesses and injuries. has become known to the environmentally aware community as a key human stressor on the world's ecosystems. Consider the following passage: The Consumer Product Safety Commission was created in 1972 to protect the American public against unreasonable risks of injuries associated with consumer products. distributor or retailer who obtains information that reasonably supports the conclusion that the product fails to comply with a consumer product safety rule. developing uniform safety standards for consumer products. promote excess growth of primary producers. these surround freshwater. as it suggests that the second paragraph highlights the relative advantages of the methods the author introduces. that the CPSC is underfunded and understaffed. While several different solutions are presented. and their potential influence on aquatic ecosystems. woodlands and wetlands. an accumulation of organic matter that degrades water and habitat quality. The manufacturers. and reducing nitrogen emissions from vehicles and power plants.Eutrophication. The main functions of the CPSC include issuing recalls for products that have been reported to be unsafe. Choice A is probably the most tempting wrong answer choice. specifically the overuse of fertilizers causing runoff from farm land that distributes nutrients to nearby waters. including grasslands.” The Commission may impose civil penalties if there is a failure to report a substantial product hazard to the commission in a timely manner or if a company willfully fails to comply with a safety standard. Product defects must be reported to the CPSC by a manufacturer. causing the death of other organisms inhabiting the water. This water runoff causes in the local rivers. and promoting research and investigation into the causes and prevention of product-related deaths. the process by which a body of water acquires a high concentration of nutrients. additionally. they are not compared to each other or to any other methods. These critics suggest that the CPSC should be given more authority to order recalls and fine companies that put dangerous products on the market. slowly developing process. specifically phosphates and nitrates. is greatly speeding up the problem. as well as marine ecosystems. Unfortunately. Many believe. distributors and retailers are responsible for identifying any product that contains a defect that creates a “substantial product hazard” or creates “an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death. Eutrophication can sometimes be a natural. providing consumer education that assists consumers in evaluating the comparative safety of consumer products. and incidents have occurred wherein several children suffered injury before the CPSC acted on reports about the potential dangers of a product. . lakes. the interfaces between land and rivers or streams. however.

In many leadership roles or situations. This constitutes a flaw in the theory presented in the first paragraph. may also provide the definition of an unfamiliar word. the context clues tell us that gregarious means the opposite of introverted and unsociable. The word "shy. were named by such theories as the defining "qualities of a leader".(E) to describe the primary function of the CPSC Choice C is correct. This trend resulted in the emergence of trait theories. Providing definition for word or phrase in context The reclusive man rarely emerged from his apartment or greeted anyone in the hallway. Choice C is the only one that conforms to the logic of the outline. However. Intelligence. points out that these theories overemphasized certain traits at the expense of other. or generosity play a far larger role than do the classically defined qualities of leadership observed in statistical analyses. are far less likely to be analyzed with the same vigor. many of which heavily focused on statistical meta-analyses of previous studies and on the gathering of data on successful corporate cultures. these qualities. . which claimed that effective leaders tend to exhibit particular personality traits. extraversion and conscientiousness. humanitarian qualities such as humor. Trait theories. after acknowledging that trait theories (summarized in the first paragraph) represented a major step forward in empirical leadership studies. Josh hated that his sister. would make sense in this context and is fairly close to the definition ofreclusive. The second paragraph. A clause in the sentence. exaggerated every story she told." and "unlike" tell us that the word we are attempting to define is the opposite of what the rest of the sentence describes. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. Unlike his introverted and unsociable brother. Carl is gregarious In this example. A quick outline of the passage can be used to easily eliminate a number of wrong choices." "however. always hyperbolic. although a major step forward in empirical leadership studies. overemphasized the universality of these leadership traits. which are more personal and difficult to define or report. equally important ones. Contrast clues such as "but. new. among others. Which of the following best describes the role of the second paragraph in relation to the passage as a whole? (A) to introduce an alternative to the theory presented in the first paragraph (B) to provide a concrete example to support a more general argument made in the first paragraph (C) to point out a flaw in a theory presented in the first paragraph (D) to reconcile two conflicting theories discussed earlier in the passage (E) to apply a previously discussed theory to a different situation Choice C is correct." for example. empathy. exaggerated every story accurately expresses the meaning of the word hyperbolic. set off with commas. alternative theories of leadership were developed. In this case. Consider the following passage: In the 1980s.

Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. and many of these sources publicize information that is distorted and extreme. Choice E is actually an antonym—another common type of wrong answer choice for GMAT questions. As the training began. . we can conclude that being obtuse has something to do with being dim-witted. the manager said to his assistant.A sentence may describe a cause and its effect. but they are not appropriate in the context of the passage above. they are notorious for leaving out crucial bits of information. If an unfamiliar word represents the cause but the effect is stated in familiar words. On his lunch break. In this case. The strong feelings of antipathy that Julie felt from the other members of her class caused her to skip school What sort of feelings would cause Julie to skip school? The effect allows us to conclude that the other students' feelings towards her were negative. C. Vulgar television programs' focus on negative information appeals to viewers' desire for drama. we can infer the meaning of the unfamiliar word.. lesser known composers began experimenting with unorthodox modulations and aural textures. What's more. the word antipathy refers to something negative. and spectacle. As with this example. and D are all synonyms for "convey. lets us know that being deliberately obtuse is a similar explanation for this boy needing very simple tasks explained to him. a plant manager agreed to train his neighbor's delinquent son as an apprentice for a new position. therefore. In the above example. the boy asked numerous questions about every new task he was shown. including the most simple ones. "obtuse" clearly does not refer to an angle between 90 and 180 degrees! Occasionally. Which word below is closest in meaning to "convey" as used in the passage above? (A) transport (B) communicate (C) send (D) grant (E) hold Choice B is correct. the word "obtuse" most closely corresponds to which of the following? The context clue either extremely unintelligent or. These questions will often attempt to confuse the test-taker by providing several answer choices that are closer to the standard definition of the word but do not take into account the specific context in which it appears. the author uses the word "spectacle" to highlight the dramatic and vulgar nature of the TV programs. As the traditional understanding of tonality was challenged by brilliant musicians such as Beethoven and Mozart. the GMAT requires the test-taker to provide a synonym for a particular word as it is used in the context of the passage. scandal. The fixation on contrapuntal perfection gave way to more impressionistic soundscapes as composers strove less to make their work "right" and more to make their music convey complex emotions. Therefore. Against his better judgment. Consider the following passage: I don't understand the necessity of following the news these days. Choices A. News sources have proliferated." In the context of the passage.. Consider the following example: The 19th century saw a dramatic shift in the compositional conventions of orchestral music. "That new boy is either extremely unintelligent or deliberately obtuse." in isolation. there is often a possible definition for the word in question that is more familiar or common but that would not appropriately fit the context of the passage.

reading comprehension questions test one's ability to absorb and process detailed information.Consider the following passage: Though many scholars expected the food industry to employ an increasingly artificial mode of production and consumption after the discovery of new methods of preservation in the 1960s (when canned food became a standard part of the American family diet)." or "unrefined" in another contexts. as well as an emphasis on local farms and traditional methods of production. correct details will often be those that are a bit less specific—rather than more specific—as compared to the relevant text in the passage. the wholesome.") Locating and paraphrasing details in a passage A detail is a specific statement that is explicitly denoted somewhere in a passage. the next few decades actually saw a return to simple. or substituting one term from the passage for another. Remember. none of these accurately identify its role within this sentence. In fact. in the passage. the old-fashioned nature of the food Choice B is correct. right answer choices always refer solely to information in the text. The correct answer to a detail question must have explicit support in the text of the passage. here. Passage Detail: One of Isaiah Berlin's most valuable and original contributions to political philosophy was his differentiation of positive liberty—the freedom to choose who governs society—from negative liberty. In the passage above. distorting details. unrefined nature of the food B. such knowledge could color one's interpretation of the answer choices. Avoid the temptation to call upon any outside knowledge about a topic. the artificial. In the majority of cases. . popular nature of the food E. uninteresting nature of the food D." "uninteresting. the coarse. (Notice that. part of this skill includes a knack for locating details that might be buried within a passage. which he defined as freedom from external interference. "simple" means wholesome and natural. While the word "simple" could mean "bland." "coarse. the correct answer choice will be a "paraphrase" of a passage detail: a restatement of the original fact in different words. but without introducing extreme words or ideas. as well as an emphasis on local forms and traditional methods of production. the bland. organic foods. The correct answer will either be a verbatim restatement or a paraphrase of relevant passage statements. the author uses the word "simple" to indicate A. The passage states that the decades after the '60s saw a return to simple. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. In general. natural quality of the food C. "simple" is paired with "organic" and "local. The rule of thumb for paraphrasing details is to make sure that the statement in the answer choice conveys the same idea as the detail. introducing topics that were not mentioned in the passage. sometimes steering the mind in the wrong direction. organic foods.

to be characterized by extreme. Samuel Coleridge. Romanticism came. dramatic landscapes. the Commission decided to adopt the current auction process over its costlier and more bureaucratic alternatives. Some wrong answer choices will almost correctly paraphrase a detail. It does not. Coleridge." two classically Romantic concepts spotted repeatedly throughout the works of poets such as William Blake. The auction process was adopted over alternatives such as the lottery and competitive hearing processes because it was less bureaucratic. Answers A. The passage mentions all of the following EXCEPT: A. questions of this type can be more time-consuming (though not necessarily more difficult). the GMAT will sometimes make detail questions trickier by asking for a detail that is NOT in the passage. 3. however. spectrum auctions can last from a single day to several months. glorified the ordinary. A claim that Romantic poets engaged in excessive behavior E. Consider the following passage: A spectrum auction is a procedure whereby an organization uses an auction process to sell the rights to transmit signals over specific electromagnetic wavelengths. Lord Byron. In these cases. and John Keats. and was often set in gloomy. 2. Choice A refers to passage details that state that Romanticism encouraged individualism and glorified the ordinary. Consider the following passage: Romanticism was a literary and artistic movement that encouraged individualism. and reduced the average time between application and spectrum grant. over time. mention anything about the personal lives of these poets. which of the following is true about most technologies that undermine existing business-to-business paradigm structures?" 4. details are buried within dense prose and written in convoluted or overly wordy ways. According to the passage. Several textual characteristics that surface in a number of Romantic works Choice D is correct. they will almost never be direct quotes. Byron. and often included supernatural and mystical elements. less expensive. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. and Keats and that their poetry involved extreme emotions and awe-inspiring landscapes. save for one or two incorrect words. Lastly. Because Romantic poetry focused on the "beautiful" and the "sublime. C. B. therefore. and E can all be found in the passage and are. which might explain an emphasis on the common man. Open to any group or individual that submits an application and an upfront fee. The question stems themselves are sometimes confusing and wordy. "According to the passage. The answer choices will commonly be statements paraphrased from the passage. A definition of Romanticism that might explain its emphasis on the common man B. A sense of the setting one might find in a Romantic poem D. The GMAT increases difficulty on details questions in four distinct ways: 1. Often. A detail question may have a stem such as. the Federal Communications Commission has conducted auctions rather than awarding spectra through lotteries (or competitive hearings in which the merits of each contender is considered by a jury). sentimental and overwrought emotions. Since 1994. four of the answer choices will provide details that can be found in the passage. . A list of poets who embodied Romantic ideals C. incorrect.Paraphrase: Berlin's division of one political idea into two separate and distinct concepts was of great importance to the field of political philosophy. In order to reduce the time between application and grant. the Federal Communications Commission elected to use the auction process to license electromagnetic wavelengths because (A) the public could be made beneficiary of the collected auction funds (B) rights to specific electromagnetic wavelengths became available again in 1994 (C) competitive hearings were deemed more democratic than a lottery process (D) it reduced the time between spectrum award and license grant (E) it extended the decision-making process to a period that ranges from one day to several months Choice D is correct. The passage mentions that the "beautiful" and the "sublime" surfaced in the works of Blake. since finding and paraphrasing multiple details takes longer.

the fact that concerns about them were raised as early as the 1940s and then brought to national attention by Rachael Carson argues that they were not. in fact. which of the following was an almost entirely overlooked consequence of agricultural use of DDT? (A) decreased biodiversity. Many epidemiologists have observed that the ban on agricultural DDT has had the unexpected consequence of increasing its effectiveness for disease vector control. DDT's incredible potential as an insecticide was not fully understood until 1939. . particularly in agricultural communities (C) decreased effectiveness of DDT as a disease vector control agent (D) increased rates of malaria and other insect-borne diseases (E) destruction of animal habitats essential to the overall ecosystem Choice C is correct. particularly with regard to birds (B) increased rates of several cancers in humans. According to the passage.Consider the following passage: Though first synthesized in 1874. who used it extensively for vector disease control—to kill the insects that spread typhus and malaria. According to the passage. The book claimed that DDT was a persistent toxin—one that would remain in the atmosphere for many years after its use—and that it could cause several types of cancer in humans as well as problems associated with decreased biodiversity and habitat destruction. It was only after WWII that DDT began to gain popularity as an agricultural pesticide. These findings prompted an investigation by President Kennedy and eventually led to a nation-wide ban of the chemical in 1972. Following the Stockholm Convention of 2004. While several of these other consequences are mentioned in the passage. The most persistent obstacle facing those using DDT for disease vector control is the development of resistance among target insect populations. DDT is now restricted from agricultural use but is still employed for disease vector control in much of the world. the fact that agricultural use of DDT helped to increase resistance among mosquitoes and other insect populations (simply by exposing environments to high levels of the chemical)—therefore decreasing DDT's effectiveness as a disease vector control agent—was not widely known until the institution of the 2004 ban. almost entirely overlooked. It became an essential tool for the allied powers in World War II. It has done so simply by decreasing the overall volume of DDT in most environments. these concerns would not rise to the level of a national debate until twenty years later when early environmentalist Rachael Carson published her highly influential book Silent Spring. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. nearly eliminating these diseases in some areas. particularly for birds. While a fair amount of apprehension about its possible environmental hazards existed as early as the 1940s.

It is not extreme like answer choice C. D. Pro-capitalist economists argue that Smith's concept of the "Invisible Hand" contains the original idea of creative destruction. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. Though widely accepted in the western world in the 19th century. the author agrees with Schumpeter's adherents (who are critics of Keynes) in the sentence that begins "This is likely true. E. Schumpeter's adherents counter the notion that propping up dying industries only delays the inevitable and slows economic growth. Their characterization of Smith's work is inaccurate. consumer spending can supersede creative destruction and keep old producers in business. as studies of economic growth rates throughout the 20th century suggest that economies grow faster when businesses are allowed to fail naturally and when technological progress is unimpeded. the author is not sharply critical of Keynes and does not necessarily disagree with his model on any points beyond this specific detail. as this slows down future growth by discouraging innovation and increasing tax liabilities. What is the author's tone? The last paragraph gives us the answer: Here. . politicians have been encouraged to use public money to prop up failing industries for many decades. Choice B is correct. Smith's ideas were strongly criticized by proponents of the 20th century economic philosophy of John Keynes. based on this model." However. many argue that it was actually the famed English economic theorist Adam Smith who first identified the idea. since Smith's concept of the "Invisible Hand" predates the idea of creative destruction. According to Keynes' models. Their interest in supporting consumer spending by subsidizing faltering industries is misguided. which is both an opposite answer and a distortion. is doubly wrong. The author would be most likely to agree with which of the following statements regarding those who adhere to Keynesian economic models? A. By overemphasizing the value of consumer spending. it also does not distort passage details or confuse tones like answer choices A and B. They may underestimate the economic benefit of allowing certain industries to falter in the name of economic and technological progress. In his most famous work. The Wealth of Nations. as it only slows down an unstoppable process. One of the important aspects of this answer choice is its measured tone.. answer choice E. C. they overestimate the role that creative destruction plays in stimulating growth The key to answering this question correctly is to focus on the topic and the source: Keynesian economic models and the author. B. from the abandonment of typewriters in favor of PC's.Consider the following passage: The concept of "creative destruction" refers to the need for free economies to allow for the obliteration of older companies in order to make way for new and more innovative companies that might be entering a market. They argue that it is wasteful to try to boost consumer spending with public subsidies. There are myriad examples available in modern society. This is likely true. Though the term was coined by the German sociologist Werner Sombart and later popularized by Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter. They are unreliable because consumer spending has no predictable relation to economic growth.. to the mass conversion from Polaroid to digital photography. Smith explicitly argued for the need for business to fail—to get out of the way of newer technologies and more innovative producers.

in order to assuage consumer concerns. . wherein high levels of density positively correlate with high levels of mercury concentration. Choices A. This prediction is supported by evidence that measures of plankton density have shown to be effective predictors of mercury biomagnification. Many larger fishing companies. C. Such measurements have been shown to be effective predictors of mercury biomagnification. Another advantage of fish farming and other forms of aquaculture is that it counteracts the overfishing that has destroyed marine habitats in many ares while allowing commercial fishermen to keep up with the increasing market demand for fish. which involves raising fish commercially in tanks or enclosures with no exposure to mercury or other chemicals that are susceptible to biomagnification. If. but only very slowly excreted. (B) Small-scale coastal fishermen have reported lower levels of mercury in fish obtained from areas of low plankton density. if true. the mercury level accumulates. yet it still presents a potential danger to fish eaters. have combined their marine fishing efforts with farm fishing. and E are probably true according to the passage. Choice B is correct. then the prediction that large marine fisheries could use the same method to achieve lower levels of mercury in their fish is supportable. most strongly supports the prediction that fisheries that measure marine plankton density would reduce the amount of mercury in the fish they obtain from the ocean? (A) Fish that live in areas of high plankton density are easier to obtain. but none of these choices support the prediction. Miscellaneous (rare) types of questions Consider the following passage: Mercury is only present in small amounts in marine ecosystems. Mercury is efficiently absorbed. based on anecdotal statements. (D) Consumer concerns regarding mercury levels in fish have been greatly reduced due to the increase in fish farming. (C) High plankton density is also correlated with high mercury levels in fish farm tanks. which are relatively easy and inexpensive to estimate. Which of the following. Species of fish that are relatively higher on the food chain contain higher concentrations of mercury in their tissues than do smaller fish. When these small organisms are consumed by a predator. and those predators are consumed by other predators. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. small-time fishermen have observed a correlation between low mercury levels in fish and low plankton density. In order to reduce the natural occurrence of mercury biomagnification. by tiny organisms such as algae and phytoplankton. Choice D is irrelevant. (E) Fishing companies that use farm fishing raise fish that live in tanks with high levels of plankton but have no mercury in their tissues. fisheries could study measures of plankton density.

consuming almost half of what is accrued each year. While the automotive industry has brought innovation and consistent improvement to transportation design.Consider the following passage: The automotive industry is one of the most significant economic sectors in the world. (B) The sale of cars and trucks that use abnormally large amounts of fuel has not decreased in the last 10 years. Choice D is correct. (C) Greenhouse gas emissions caused by factories have not decreased in the last 10 years. It presents an alternative cause. which burns fossil fuel. taking more public transportation. Which of the following. urban sprawl and automobile dependence have led to a number of environmental problems. in turn. motorists can lower their own gas cost while simultaneously helping to reduce overall fuel consumption. would most weaken the author's claim that improvements in car technology have contributed to reduced greenhouse gas emissions? (A) Fewer hybrid and electric cars than standard cars have been sold in the last 10 years. which is. Cars and trucks are the largest users of petroleum. Other cars have placed signal lights on the dashboard to indicate to motorists when they are driving within the optimum acceleration range for fuel economy. people driving less often. the primary cause of greenhouse gas emissions. . (D) Studies have shown that people have been driving less often. thus calling the author's conclusion—that innovative technology is causing this effect—into question. and driving is the primary mode of transportation in the majority of developed nations. and carpooling more often in the past 10 years. The growing use of these innovative automotive technologies is clearly responsible for a significant portion of the reduction in greenhouse gases that has been observed over the last 10 years. with an electric propulsion system. Dependence on crude oil is largely due to the general public’s over-reliance on automobiles. This way. which is recharged by the motor itself. (E) Studies have shown that people who drive hybrid cars drive twice as much as people who drive non-hybrid cars. if true. Car companies are working on improving technologies that will reduce the amount of fossil fuel required by a car. Hybrid cars combine a conventional internal combustion engine. of the observed reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. the companies reason.

ultimately. Both states have relatively high income. more jobs in the lower tax region. and. This excerpt is pure abstraction. much to the chagrin of the fringe religious groups that long supported them. Low business costs make it easier for companies to increase their returns. growth. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. which awards an entire state's votes to the winner of the popular vote in a presidential election. has seen an influx of over millions of new residents. One example of this generalization would be ________ (A) the century-long struggle to attain equal voting and education rights for black Americans after the Civil War.Consider the following passage: High taxes in one region lead to a gradual migration of residents into a region with lower taxes. time period. in spite of a recent poll that shows that Americans support the formation of more political parties. regardless of the proportion of voters for the other candidate. people are moving away from coastal states. no specific town or state is cited. both groups that are pillars of the liberal party. nor is any specific business. or instance. Our concern is neither with interest group warfare (E) nor with slow change (A) in and of themselves. This is because capitalism incentivizes businesses to seek the highest possible return on investments. Choice B is out of scope. a state with historically low taxes. political parties are complicated amalgamations of various interest groups. . each vying for power. including New York and California. as each faction clings to power in spite of mounting public opposition. (B) the fact that the two-party system remains firmly in place. A specific case that exemplifies this idea might read something like this: Census data over the last data shows a clear migration trend within the United States. (C) the conservative party's long and difficult conversion to support for more liberal divorce laws. (E) the conflicting interests of health-care reform advocates and trial attorneys. By contrast. Choice C is correct. (D) the electoral college system. and it generally costs businesses less to work in regions with lower taxes. which translates to more investment. Remember that the principle we are trying to make manifest is the slow change of political parties due to factionalization. We can infer the second paragraph using the first. In general. political party platforms tend to change very slowly. As a result. Texas. and choice D is irrelevant to the argument. property. and sales tax rates.

respectively: The passage itself is about flex time. Choice D is correct. and other employees capable of doing the bulk of their work through telecommunication. To promote greater flexibility. traditionally). they are free to choose when they are at the office. and satisfaction with work. predictable schedule with the same start and stop time each day. have been found to suffer losses in efficiency and profitability after adopting flex time systems. the flex time system allows workers to arrive and leave times of their choosing. ________________________________________ Which of the following would provide the most logical continuation of the final paragraph of the passage? (A) We can conclude that all other types of workers would likely see a decrease in efficiency as a result of the adoption of a flex time system. Therefore. As long as employees work a set number of hours each week or complete a set number of tasks. have been found to become more efficient and content with their work in flex time systems. but not for others. many human resource managers have begun introducing flex time systems in favor of traditional work hours. such as travel agencies and consulting firms. systems analysts. Though it is not entirely clear why this is so. or “face time. Unlike the conventional work day.” in these fields. The concluding sentence. (D) Therefore. Service industries.Consider the following passage: Maintaining a happy and hard-working workforce is one of the core challenges for business managers in today’s competitive economy. and its effects on a few different types of companies. This passage presents a good opportunity to examine the contrast between a conclusion and a concluding sentence. (B) As a result. many have speculated that this may be a result of the emphasized need for one-one-one human interaction. The conclusion is basically that flex time works for some types of workers. as it recommends flex time for precisely these workers. Take a moment to consider appropriate conclusions and concluding sentences (for the 2nd paragraph). while somewhat trendy and popular with younger office managers. computer programmers. (E) Increases in salary and benefits have also been shown to motivate technology workers and improve their work satisfaction. most service sector industries do not allow their tech workers to participate in a flex time system. prefer to work a set. . Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. (C) This is because technology specialists. Research has shown that flex time. That last sentence states that workers who can function through telecommunication (tech workers are listed as examples) see efficiency gains and increased work satisfaction. wherein employees are required to arrive at work and leave at specific times (9 am to 5 pm. On the other hand. answer choice D is the most logical continuation. individual accountability. unlike most other employees. has to consider the specific context of the sentence before it. is not appropriate for all office environments. technology companies would likely benefit from the adoption of flex time systems for their employees. how it works. however.

(B) A bookstore opens a video rental business to appeal to customers who do not read books. the first organisms were maggots. thus creating new divisions and fomenting unprofitable competition within the company. Not only does the opening of new divisions increase company costs. In medieval and early modern medicine. the leech relieves venous congestion. Only choice D meets the necessary criteria. Which of the following titles best summarizes the contents of the passage? (A) Hirudo medicinalis: blood sucking Leeches (B) Medical uses of Hirudo medicinalis (C) Drawbacks to the use of Hirudo medicinalis in modern medicine (D) Hirudo medicinalis: A primary example of a return to medieval medicine (E) Advantages to the use of Hirudo medicinalis in microsurgery Choice B is correct. Such congestion. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. especially when they are operating within a limited geographical area. Consider the following passage: Companies that invest heavily in the expansion of their own infrastructure sometimes face an unexpected dilemma. Choice D is correct. they noticed a sluggishness in the surfer's blood circulation. the right answer will reflect a company that operates in a limited geographical area and that has expanded. that prevents the blood from accumulating. (D) A local bakery opens a nearby coffee shop that offers coffee and some baked goods. Currently. Hirudo medicinalis. medicinal leeches were used to remove blood from patients as part of a process meant to balance the "humors" and aid in the proper functioning of the human body. black bile. It is the only title that encompasses the entire passage and does not refer to anything outside of its scope. blood-sucking leeches. generally in microsurgery and plastic surgery. an operation which resulted in the recovery of the surfer's hand. This. the principle is far more specific. became the second living organisms permitted by the Food and Drug Administration to be used as a medical devices. . or the over-accumulation of blood in veins due to obstruction of flow. in turn. Choices A ("new regions"). Surgeons recently used leeches to help re-attach the hand of a surfer who had been attacked by a great white shark. phlegm. (E) A large fast food chain begins to offer delivery services to expand its customer base. As doctors were working to repair the damage to the victim’s wrist. (C) A print advertising company opens an elegant new office that provides web marketing services. This anti-clotting enzyme helps the leech feed on its host's blood and aids doctors in promoting blood flow in patients experiencing a blockage. Mainstream medicine uses leeches sparingly. The four humors were said to be blood. not only because they sucks out excess blood. leeches are used for their ability to attach to their hosts and feed off their blood.Consider the following passage: In June 2004. Leeches are especially well-suited to relieve venous congestion. They eventually decided to attach the blood-sucking creatures to the patient's arm. raises the company's overhead costs without increasing its revenue. In these cases. In this example. and yellow bile. hirudin. Which of the following situations best exemplifies the "dilemma" discussed in the passage? (A) An electronics store opens new branches in new regions as profits increase. B (no competition). but also because their saliva contains an anti-clotting enzyme. multiple arms of the same business often attract the same customer base. but it also creates a situation wherein divisions (within the same company) are in competition with one another. thereby saturating a market. C (different service) and E (no new competition) can all be eliminated. which results in harmful blood-clotting. can plug arteries that carry nourishment to body tissues—nourishment without which these tissues will die.

. The workers' union and the executives at FlexClick disagree about whether the loss of jobs at FlexClick will ultimately diminish the strength of the business. then lowering the price too much will simply reduce revenue without significantly increasing sales. this manufacturer would not have seen the need to engage in a pricing war." Consider the following passage: Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. Choice C is incorrect because we have reason to believe that the situation with the industrial metals manufacturer was real. However. The workers' union believes that FlexClick's plan to lay off employees. Were the industrial metals manufacturer to realize that it needed only to wait for the return of customers who value quality. Not that answer choices beginning with the words "undermine" and "refute" can be eliminated almost immediately. not "hypothetical. the layoffs will result in a simultaneous streamlining of operations and a doubling of profit margins. Executives at FlexClick are naive to believe they will be able to cut a good percentage of their staff and yet maintain their excellent public relations (and continue to attract business from clients who believe they are supporting local workers by supporting FlexClick). was not evaluated in its effect on customer perception of value. According to FlexClick. whether FlexClick needs to maintain excellent public relations E. whether the company's efforts to double profit margins is incompatible with its public image Choice B is correct. as well as the quality of that product.Consider the following passage: The workers' union is right to believe that lay-offs at FlexClick will ultimately diminish the strength of the business. To answer this question correctly. What the industrial metals manufacturer did not realize was that the dramatic price drop instituted by the competitors sent customers an implicit message that the competitors' metals were of lower quality than other metals on the market. however. a company simply needs to offer its product at a price slightly lower than that of its competitors—and no lower than that—in order to achieve the desired competitive advantage. The decrease in prices. job loss is inevitable in this region. The actions of this metals manufacturer serve as an example of the point made by the author in the first paragraph—that lowering the price of a product will not always lead to a competitive market advantage. the inevitability of job loss in the region concerned B. and the demand is stable. In cases of similar quality. shows that the author is about to introduce an "example" that illustrates the "assertion" in the first sentence. as it will tarnish FlexClick's ability to attract clients who believe they are supporting local workers by supporting FlexClick. the workers' union. If a product's quality is similar to that of others in the same field. job loss at FlexClick will negatively impact the local economy and will negate the company's efforts to revitalize the area. The phrase this fact [that lower price does not consistently lead to market advantage] was not apparent to one. whether the loss of jobs at FlexClick will ultimately diminish the strength of the business C. whether it is possible for FlexClick to streamline operations and decrease profit margins at the same time D.. whether the union agrees with the company's decisions or not. the workers' union and the executives at FlexClick disagree about which of the following points? A. and double profit margins will ultimately detract from the business. The demand for a product. if set at a lower price. . and the FlexClick executives and carefully note which tones the question stem is asking us to compare. streamline operations. will sell more effectively. who failed to stay competitive with others in the field after these competitors lowered their material prices below a certain point. Consider the following passage: The fact that lowering product price can create an advantage for one company in a competitive market does not indicate that every product. we need to identify the tones of the author. This fact was not apparent to one industrial metals manufacturer. must be considered when one is developing a marketing plan and setting a product's price point. The author includes the highlighted statement in the second paragraph in order to (A) describe an exceptional case in which the argument does not apply (B) undermine a position by illustrating the pitfalls of employing a particular strategy (C) offer a hypothetical situation to which the author's argument applies (D) refute an argument put forth in the first paragraph (E) introduce an example that illustrates the truth of an assertion outlined in the first paragraph Choice E is correct. According to the passage.

The author uses the phrase "the one positive outcome" at the end of the passage in order to: (A) highlight the peculiarity of the pharmaceutical companies' advertising strategy (B) emphasize the low value of prescription medication television advertisements (C) distinguish the positive outcomes of medication advertisements from the positive outcomes of psychotherapy (D) single out one example of medication advertisements leading a patient to recovery (E) deny the claim that medication advertisements are useless Choice B is correct. Rosen suggests that the one positive outcome of television advertisements for prescription medications is they have increased public awareness of the seriousness and prevalence of some of the diseases treated by these medications.The use of antidepressant medications in treating patients with depression has grown exponentially since the manufacturers of these prescription drugs began advertising their products on television. can lead to suicide. leads to potential overuse. All the other outcomes of television advertisements of prescription medications mentioned in the passage are negative. Rosen. A study completed by Dr. Ivy-GMAT – Exclusive GMAT-Prep for 99th percentile (760-800 range) aspirants – not for everyone! Don’t join us if you are not willing to put in the requisite amount of work. a psychologist at the University of XYZ. Patients turn to medications to treat their symptoms without seeking the therapy they need and. in extreme cases. as a result. . are experiencing negative side effects which. unfortunately. The phrase "one positive outcome" is used by the author to highlight the fact that there are many negative outcomes. Rosen emphasizes that this is particularly true of mood-altering medications for illnesses that could be better treated with cognitive psychotherapy. concludes that direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs serves to increase pharmaceutical sales and. Dr. Dr.