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MCAT Section Tests

Dear Future Doctor,

The following Section Test and explanations should be used to practice and to assess
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Verbal Reasoning
Time: 85 Minutes
Questions 1-60



DIRECTIONS: There are nine passages in the Verbal Reasoning test.

Each passage is followed by several questions. After reading a passage,
select the best answer to each question. If you are not certain of an
answer, eliminate the alternatives that you know to be incorrect and then
select an answer from the remaining alternatives. Indicate your selection
by blackening the corresponding oval on your answer document.

Passage I (Questions 1-6)

appointed them, and who will act in the same manner as

Some writers have so confounded society with the whole would, if present. That the interest of every part
government, as to leave little or no distinction between 45 of the colony may be attended to, the whole may be
them; whereas they are not only entirely different, but have divided into convenient parts, each part sending its proper
different origins. Society is a blessing brought forth number. And so that there be assured a common interest
5 naturally by our wants, uniting our affections and with every part of the community, on which the strength of
promoting our happiness. Government is a necessary evil government depends, prudence will point to the need for
originating from the need to restrain our vices. 50 frequent elections, thereby assuring that the elected return
and mix often with the community.
Considering the slavish times in which it developed
the form of government known as “constitutional Here then is the origin of government: the inability of
10 monarchy” is granted to have been a noble creation. When moral virtue to govern the world; here, too, is the design
the world was overrun with tyranny, the least remove and end of government: freedom and security. And since
therefrom was a glorious rescue. However, government, if 55 that the more simple anything is, the less liable it is to be
unchecked, evolves over time to a form so complex that a disordered and the more easily repaired when disordered, it
nation may suffer for years without being able to discover unanswerably follows that whatever form of government
15 in which part the fault lies; and every political physician which appears most likely to ensure the protection which
will advise a different medicine. constitutes government’s essential purpose, with the least
60 expense, is preferable to all others.
In order to discern the essential origin and end of
government, suppose a small number of persons
representing the first peopling of any country, or of the
20 world. In this state of natural liberty, a thousand motives
will excite them to society: The strength of one is so
unequal to his wants, and his mind so unfitted for
perpetual solitude, that he is soon obliged to seek
assistance and relief of another, who in turn requires the
25 same. Four or five united would be able to raise a
dwelling, but one might labor out the period of life 1. The primary purpose of the passage is to:
without accomplishing anything. Disease or misfortune
could soon reduce an individual to a state in which he
could easily perish. As time passes, however, in proportion A. chronicle the development of a particular form
30 as they surmount their early difficulties, the people will of government.
inevitably relax in their duty and attachment to each other; B. advocate a simple form of representative
and this laxity will point out the necessity for each to government.
surrender up a part of his property in order to establish C. contrast society and government.
some form of government to protect the rest. D. distinguish representative government from
constitutional monarchy.
35 At first, the whole community may assemble to
deliberate on public matters. However, as the community
expands public concerns will increase and the distance at
which the members are separated may render it
inconvenient for all to meet on every occasion. Thus the
40 members may consent to leave the legislative part to be
managed by a number of chosen representatives, who are
supposed to have the same concerns as those who
2. Which of the following best reflects the meaning of 5. It can be inferred from the passage that its author
the word “society” as used in the passage? would most probably respond to the view that the
resources of government should be employed to
relieve the effects of poverty by stating that:
A. social relationships, customs, and practices
B. the socially dominant members of a community A. since the strength of an individual must be
C. established organizations or foundations recognized to, at times, be unequal to his needs,
D. political practices and institutions. it is natural for government, once it has
evolved, to perform such functions.
B. these activities should be performed by
3. In concluding that the essential purpose of individuals or associations outside of
government is protection of property, the author government.
assumes that: C. since poverty is correlated with crime against
property government must perform these
I. there actually existed a time in which the functions if non-governmental efforts are not
disparity between an individual’s needs fully effective.
and wants motivated cooperation, and not D. this should be decided by the representatives
transgressions against property. elected by the people as a whole.
II. the part of property surrendered up to
establish some form of government is
less than that which would be lost if it 6. A contemporary of the author wrote: “Government
were left unprotected. is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for
III. the moral laxity resulting from reduction human wants. Men have a right that these wants
in hardship results in acts against should be provided for by this wisdom.” Based
property, rather than failure to assist entirely on this quotation and the passage above it
those experiencing disease or misfortune. can be inferred that the two authors would probably
agree with respect to:
A. I, II, and III
B. II and III only A. what constitutes the essential purpose of the
C. I and II only government.
D. I and III only B. whether government is justified because it is
necessary or because it is beneficial.
C. whether the best form of government is the
4. In the second paragraph, the author implies that simplest.
constitutional monarchy is a form of government D. whether certain rights of an individual should
be recognized in relation to the state.

I. is better than the form that immediately

preceded it.
II. could be improved by more disciplined
examination of the problems which it has
III. has outlived its usefulness.

A. I, II, and III

B. I and II only
C. I and III only
D. II and III only


Passage II (Questions 7–12)

matter in the stratosphere. The effects of the initial impact

In 1979, a team of scientists from Berkeley working would have been greatly multiplied, Alvarez argues, as
near Gubbio, Italy, discovered a layer of clay that photosynthesis was impeded by the blockage of sunlight;
revolutionized theories concerning the disappearance of there would then have been a massive disruption at the
the dinosaur, which had centered on the assumed gradual base of the dinosaur’s food chain.
5 climatic change. Beneath the two-centimeter-thick layer
lay limestone containing fossil organisms from the late
Cretaceous, while above it was limestone with early
Cenozoic fossils. Positionally, then, the clay could be
placed in a period roughly contemporaneous with the
10 disappearance of the dinosaur approximately 63 million
years ago.

The Berkeley group found that the clay stratum

contained an iridium level thirty times greater than that of
clays in adjacent strata. As iridium is distributed fairly 7. It can be inferred that the discovery described in the
15 evenly over time through micrometeoritic impact, the passage may “revolutionize” (line 3) which aspect
researchers knew that the anomalous matter in the clay of current theories about dinosaurs?
must have originated extra-terrestrially; the high iridium
level, moreover, indicated a sudden deposition in an
A. the geographical extent of the presumed
exceptional, catastrophic event. The subsequent finding of
20 similarly enriched marine rocks from the end of the habitation of the dinosaur
Cretaceous in Spain, Denmark, and New Zealand has led B. the approximate date at which dinosaurs are
the Berkeley group to the conclusion that 500 billion tons thought to have become extinct
of material was suddenly deposited on the earth in the C. the assumption that dinosaurs became extinct
period of less than 150 years represented by the two- because of a change in their natural
25 centimeter-thick stratum. environment
D. the rate at which the extinction of the dinosaur
Scientists are sharply divided on the possible is thought to have occurred
causes of so cataclysmic an event. The possibility that the
deposition occurred as an aftereffect of a supernova has
been discounted: radioactive isotope Pu-244 was absent
30 from the clay, and neither Ir-191 nor Ir-193 were present 8. According to the passage, the Berkeley group used
in significant proportions. Those who maintain that the which of the following to support their hypothesis
material came from within the solar system contend that on the disappearance of the dinosaur?
the earth must have collided during the late Cretaceous
with an astral body large enough to have distributed the
35 iridium-rich material over the globe. I. a comparison of the fossil records of
various marine strata
An asteroid of the required mass would have been II. a comparison of different clay strata near
approximately ten kilometers in diameter; a comet would Gubbio, Italy
have to have been twice as large, since comets are largely III. a comparison of marine strata in several
composed of ice water. To the argument that there is no locations
40 geological evidence of the impact of such massive objects,
Richard Grieve has replied that the clay layer could have
resettled after the impact in the form of fallout. Frank Kyte A. I only
of UCLA asserts that a comet, if disrupted by the earth’s B. III only
gravitational field, would have exposed the surface to a C. I and II
45 deluge of debris that would not have created major craters.
D. II and III
Alternatively, the Berkeley group suggests that an asteroid
may have landed in the sea; such a collision would have
produced tidal waves eight kilometers high, swamping
large areas of the earth.
Whatever the type of body and mode of impact,
Walter Alvarez of the Berkeley team argues that the
primary effect of the catastrophe was to disrupt the
planetary ecology through the suspension of vast clouds of


9. According to the passage, scientists used the 11. Judging from the information in the passage, the
analysis of the isotopes present in the clay theory of Walter Alvarez concerning the extinction
(paragraph 3) to: of the dinosaur would be most strengthened by:

A. discovery of plentiful dinosaur fossils in strata

A. estimate the age of the stratum more exactly. older than the clay layer.
B. determine the extent of meteoritic impact upon B. the absence of plant fossils in Cenozoic
the earth. deposits that were plentiful in Cretaceous
C. derive a hypothesis concerning the effect of the strata.
impact of an extraplanetary body on the earth’s C. discovery of elevated levels of iridium in rocks
ecology. above and below the Spanish and Danish clay
D. eliminate a possible theory concerning the strata.
enriched clay’s formation. D. the development of a consensus among
scientists on the probability of cometary
10. It can be inferred from the passage that scientists impact.
assessing the possible causes of the deposition of
iridium-rich material are most divided over:
12. Based on the information in the passage, which of
the following correctly states the relationship
A. the manner in which deposition of the clay between the hypotheses of cometary impact,
would have caused extinction of the dinosaurs. asteroid impact, and stratospheric suspension
B. whether the iridium originated from within or (paragraphs 4 and 5)?
outside the solar system.
C. whether the debris was deposited as a result of A. The hypothesis of stratospheric suspension is
the impact of a comet or an asteroid. consistent with both of the others and helps
D. whether a collision of the required magnitude explain how either might have led to the
could have occurred without leaving primary extinction of the dinosaur.
evidence of impact. B. The three hypotheses are mutually exclusive
and each adequately explains the extinction of
the dinosaur.
C. The theory of stratospheric suspension is
consistent with asteroid, not cometary, impact,
and necessary to explain how it could have led
to the extinction of the dinosaur.
D. The three hypotheses taken together provide a
possible explanation of the extinction of the


Passage III (Questions 13–18)
13. According to the passage, American migrants in the
mid-1840’s often:
American historians have argued that the myth of the
Great American Desert dominated the pre-Civil War view
of the Great Plains. It was this conception of the plains as A. doubted the economic potential of the Great
Desert, according to the traditional interpretation, that Plains.
5 caused the American folk migration westward to leap over B. had an overly optimistic image of the Great
the region during the 1840’s and the 1850’s. This Plains.
conventional understanding is neither completely invalid C. had geographical destinations other than the
nor necessarily incorrect; but it is too simplistic to be fully Great Plains.
satisfying. To claim the universal acceptance of D. were misinformed by newspaper stories.
10 stereotyped images of the Great Plains is to ignore the
presence of a considerable array of data to the contrary.
14. Which of the following can be inferred from the
In spite of the conventional interpretation that, by
passage about the diaries left by American migrants
1825, most Americans viewed the Great Plains as Desert,
in the mid-nineteenth century?
a survey of source material reveals that the image of the
15 plains as Desert was restricted to certain portions of the
country and to certain segments of the population. I. They described the transformation of the
Analysis of newspapers and periodical literature indicates Great Plains into productive farmland.
that the Desert image was strongest in the rural areas of II. Their contents have been ignored or
the Northeast and weakest in the rural areas of the South overlooked by some historians.
20 and trans-Appalachian West. Acceptance of the Desert III. They contain little useful information
concept was more likely among the well-educated elite, about the Great Plains.
particularly in the Northeast, and acceptance of a “Garden”
notion was greater among the rural populations,
particularly in the South and West. A. I only
B. II only
25 By the middle of the 1840’s, the concept of the plains C. III only
as Desert had become prevalent, but even then the Desert D. I and II only
image was not the exclusive one. The year 1845 is
critical, for it marked the beginning of the migration of
Americans across the Plains of Oregon and California. An 15. All of the following can be found in the author’s
30 examination of the sources of American images of the argument about the Great Plains EXCEPT:
plains in that year does not support the contention that the
folk migration failed to halt on the Great Plains because
A. a contrast between the views of Americans who
that region was viewed unfavorably by the migrants. By
1845 the American frontier was bursting with what one lived in different regions.
35 Missouri newspaper editor called “perfect Oregon fever.” B. a comparison of written and oral accounts of
But those who encouraged migration to Oregon did not the migration experience.
deny the agricultural potential of the Plains. They simply C. a general description of people who believed
made Oregon the logical and desirable culmination of the the Great Plains to be a Desert.
American drive to the Pacific. To substantiate the point D. an indication as to when westward migration
40 that the folk elements of American society did not see the activities increased in scope.
plains as Desert, one need only look at the records of those
who crossed the Plains on their way to Oregon or
California. A survey of the diaries from the years
preceding the Civil War uncovers only 17 references to
45 Desert conditions in the Great Plains.


16. Which of the following best summarizes the
author’s attitude toward the traditional view that
most Americans regarded the Great Plains as

A. It ignores conflicting evidence.

B. It is irrelevant to historical understanding.
C. It is substantially correct.
D. Its importance has been unappreciated.

17. The passage suggests that the image of the Great

Plains as Desert:

A. led to mass migration to the shores of the

B. developed in the aftermath of the Civil War.
C. was more common in the 1840s than in the
D. contributed to population growth in the South.

18. According to the passage, which of the following

individuals was most likely to think of the Great
Plains as Desert?

A. a banker in the Northeast in 1825

B. a farmer in the South in the 1820s
C. a Mormon migrant in the late 1840s
D. a gold miner in California in the 1850s


Passage IV (Questions 19-25)
A. The originality of Kepler’s early scientific
The early scientific career of Johannes Kepler (1571-
1630) is especially interesting because the ideas that work can be fully appreciated by studying its
seemed to him to be the most significant, and which he influence on the mature work of Newton and
tried to exploit for the rest of his life, appear to a modern Einstein.
5 reader to be almost completely mad. It was the fact that he B. Kepler's early beliefs were often erroneous, but
could never get them to work that drove him to make the his mysticism coupled with an attachment to
series of astronomical discoveries that appear to us to be scientific fact led to many of his later, key
so significant. From the beginning, he was convinced that discoveries.
the basic astronomical verities must have a geometrical C. Kepler laid the groundwork for our current
10 interpretation. This conviction has been shared by all the understanding of the universe in his early
great natural philosophers, from Pythagoras to Einstein— studies of the pure geometry of the Greeks.
the conviction that the cosmos was laid out according to a
D. An investigation of Kepler's youthful work
mathematical design and that this design is "simple" and
accessible to human intelligence. For Kepler, mathematics yield relatively few clues about the method he
15 meant the pure geometry of the Greeks. God was for him a employed in his most remarkable work.
master Greek geometer, and the "book of the world" must
therefore be contained among the theorems of Euclid. One
of them that there are only five "perfect solids." A perfect 20. The passage suggests that which of the following
solid (the most familiar example is the cube) is a solid all scientific beliefs held by Kepler in his youth was, in
20 of whose faces are "perfect" plane figures. (In the cube, fact, correct?
these figures are squares.) The other perfect solids are
tetrahedron, the octahedron, the dodecahedron, and the A. The planets are arranged concentrically, within
icosahedron. There were known to be six planets - perfect solids.
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, in order B. The orbit of the planets are circular.
25 of increasing distance from the sun, around which, Kepler
C. There are only five "perfect solids."
believed, the planets moved in circular orbits. Carrying on
with his geometry, he considered a universe in which a D. There is an underlying order to the cosmos
cube, a tetrahedron, a dodecahedron, an icosahedron, and which is accessible to the human intelligence.
an octahedron would be arranged concentrically, one
30 inside another; the orbit of Mercury would be fitted within
the first of these perfect solids, the orbit of Venus outside 21. It can be inferred from the passage that Kepler and
it, and outside each of the other solids the orbit of another most alchemists shared which of the following?
planet. This, he thought, might make it possible to
calculate the interplanetary distances and also explain why A. opposition to a union of science and religion
35 there were no more than six planets.
B. skepticism about the value of quantitative
C. disbelief in the idea that the cosmos
With the superior vision of hindsight, it is all too easy
corresponds to a mathematical design
for us to pass judgment on the weakness of Kepler's
youthful notion. (Apart from anything else, we know that D. reliance on the intuitive powers of the mind
there are nine planets.) In fact, however, if Kepler's
40 mysticism had not also been coupled with a fanatic
obsession to make his theory fit the observed facts 22. According to the passage, which of the following is
quantitatively, he might as well have gone down in true about the "five perfect solids" (lines 19-23)?
scientific history as just another visionary crank, along
with the more unenlightened alchemists who abounded at A. They have inspired the work of all great natural
45 that time. (It is interesting to note that Newton also philosophers.
devoted his "spare" time to alchemy.) This combination of
B. They are each formed by plane figures with
mysticism and devotion to the "facts" as he knew them was
Keplers' great strength. Einstein characterized the four equal sides.
interrelation between mystic intuition and the need to deal C. They were originally posited in a Euclidean
50 with hard facts in the formula that "Science without theorem.
religion is lame. Religion without science is blind." D. They yielded important measurements of
distances among six planets.

19. Which of the following most nearly captures the

author’s central argument in the passage?


23. As it is used in the passage, the phrase "the book of
the world"' is probably meant to refer to:

A. a mathematical account of the plan of the

B. a treatise written by Kepler explaining the pure
geometry of the Greeks.
C. a comprehensive history of human knowledge.
D. a text presumed to have been of divine origin.

24. The author's primary purpose in quoting Einstein in

the second paragraph is to:

A. suggest that Kepler's thought was misconstrued

by Einstein.
B. clarify a difference between scientific and
religious thought.
C. indicate the extent of Einstein's personal
admiration of Kepler.
D. emphasize a particular attribute of Kepler's
own method and outlook.

25. Which of the following statements is implied by the

author in the last paragraph?

A. The history of science is full of scientists who

have failed to esteem what was of greatest
significance in their own work.
B. It is during periods of youthful enthusiasm that
the fundamental guidelines to the most
important scientific discoveries nearly always
C. Such is the paradox of the human personality
that, despite such problems, Kepler became one
of the most determined seekers of cosmic
harmony in history.
D. Kepler, too, was aware of the dangers of pure
speculation conducted without taking into
consideration observed phenomena.


Passage V (Questions 26-32) 26. The author’s discussion of the Erfurtensis MS in
paragraph 1 is relevant to the claim that:
What a critic is, and what advantage he has over those
who are not critics, can easily be shown by one example. A. the Erfurtensis MS is not very reliable.
Cicero’s oration pro rege Deiotaro was edited between B. no single MS can be assumed to be always
1830 and 1840 by Klotz, Soldan, and Benecke. The best right.
5 MS then known was the Erfurtensis, and all three editors C. Madvig was a lazy editor.
pounced on this authority and clung to it, believing D. MSS must be weighed, not counted.
themselves safe. In 1841, Madvig, maintaining reason
against superstition in Cicero’s text as I now maintain it in
Juvenal’s, impugned 17 readings adopted from the 27. According to the passage, which of the following
10 Erfurtensis by these editors, and upheld the readings of are true about the editing of classics?
inferior MSS. We now possess MSS still better than the
Erfurtensis, and in 12 of the 17 places they contradict it;
they confirm the inferior MSS and the superior critic. I. It has not been undertaken in the case of
Authority itself has crossed over to the side of reason and Cicero.
15 left superstition in the lurch. II. It is sometimes undertaken by people who
are unable to do it correctly.
But there are editors destitute of this discriminating III. There were important advances in the
faculty, so destitute that they cannot even conceive it to field during the 19th century.
exist; and these are entangled in a task for which nature has
neglected to equip them. What are they now to do? Set to
20 and try to learn their trade? that is forbidden by sloth. A. I and II only
Stand back and leave room for their superiors? that is B. II and III only
forbidden by vanity. They must have a rule, a machine to C. I and III only
do their thinking for them. If the rule is true, so much the D. I, II and III
better; if false, that cannot be helped: but one thing is
25 necessary, a rule.
28. The passage indicates that the author is LEAST
A hundred years ago it was their rule to count the likely to agree with which of the following
MSS and trust the majority. But this pillow was snatched statements?
from under them by the great critics of the 19th century,
and the truth that MSS must be weighed, not counted, is A. It should not be assumed that the majority of
30 now too widely known to be ignored. The sluggard has the MSS of a classical text are correct.
lost his pillow, but he has kept his nature, and must needs
B. Madvig was a better editor than Klotz, Soldan,
find something else to loll on; so he fabricates, to suit the
change of season, his precious precept of following one or Benecke.
MS wherever possible. Engendered by infirmity and C. It is a mistake to think that one MS of a
35 designed for comfort, no wonder if it misses the truth at particular text is better than another.
which it was never aimed. Its aim was purely D. There is no simple rule for editing that
humanitarian: to rescue incompetent editors alike from the eliminates the need for critical discrimination.
toil of editing and from the shame of acknowledging that
they cannot edit.

40 Frailty of understanding is in itself no proper target

for scorn and mockery…. But the unintelligent forfeit
their claim to compassion when they begin to indulge in
self-complacent airs, and to call themselves sane critics,
meaning that they are mechanics. And when, relying upon
45 their numbers, they pass from self-complacency to
insolence, and reprove their betters for using the brains
which God has not denied them, they dry up the fount of
pity. If a hale man walks along the street upon two sound
legs, he is not liable to be chased by crowds of cripples
50 vociferating ‘Go home and fetch your crutch.’ If a
reasoning man edits a classic rationally, he is.


29. The bulk of the passage is devoted to showing: 31. Which of the following general theories would be
most consistent with the passage?
A. that incompetent editors have developed
methods for avoiding the difficulties of A. The editor of a classical text should select one
responsible editing. MS of that text at random, and follow that MS
B. that the Erfurtensis MS is no longer considered as closely as possible.
the best MS of Cicero’s pro rege Deiotaro. B. The editor of a classical text should compare
C. that it was discovered in the 19th century that all available MSS of that text, determine which
MSS must be weighed, not merely counted. is the best, and follow that MS as closely as
D. that Cicero was editing more often during the possible.
1830s than during any other decade. C. The editor of a classical text should compare
all available MSS of that text, and wherever the
MSS give different readings, follow the reading
30. As used in the passage, the word “mechanics” (in given by the majority of the MSS.
line 42) refers to: D. The editor of a classical text should compare
all available MSS of that text, and wherever the
A. people who do not study classical literature. MSS give different readings, follow the reading
B. the great critics of the 19th century. that seems most likely on its own merits to be
C. editors who follow fixed rules instead of using correct.
their own judgment.
D. able-bodied people who can walk without
crutches. 32. Suppose that a new MS of Cicero’s pro rege
Deiotaro were discovered, that agreed with the
Erfurtensis MS in all 17 places that Madvig
departed from it. What relevance would this
information have to the passage?

A. It would weaken the author’s claim that

Madvig was right to depart from the readings
of the Erfurtensis MS.
B. It would strengthen the author’s claim that
automatically following either a single MS or
the majority of MSS is a form of superstition.
C. It would have no relevance, because the author
argues that the editor’s judgement should
outweigh the authority of any MS.
D. It would have no relevance, because this
hypothetical new MS would not necessarily be
the best MS.


33. Which of the following could be a reasonable
defense of the practice of following one MS of a
classical text as closely as possible?

I. An editor’s task is to report the contents

of a MS, not to evaluate them.
II. A modern editor’s judgement is unlikely
to be more reliable than that of an ancient
or medieval scribe.
III. Use of a single MS makes it possible to
edit a text more quickly.

A. I and II only
B. II and III only
C. I and III only
D. I, II, and III


Passage VI (Questions 34–40)

55 sites. Since both diazinon and chlorpyrifos degrade very

Dramatic population declines in amphibian species rapidly in organisms, the detection of either compound
have occurred in California over the last 10-15 years. The indicates recent exposure to the chemicals.
red-legged frog is now listed as threatened under the U.S.
Endangered Species Act, and the mountain yellow-legged
5 frog and Yosemite toad have been proposed for listing.
Many amphibian population declines have occurred in
some of the state's most seemingly pristine areas, such as
the Sierra Nevada mountain range of eastern California
which includes Sequoia, Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and
10 Lassen Volcanic National Parks as well as Lake Tahoe and 34. All of the following are important to supporting the
Mt. Whitney. claim that insecticides are responsible for declines
in amphibian populations in the Sierra Nevada
Because the southern parts of the Sierra Nevada lie EXCEPT:
east of the intensely agricultural San Joaquin Valley,
environmentalists have suspected that pesticide use may be
A. incidence of measurable levels of organo-
15 responsible. Pesticides could be transported from the San
Joaquin Valley to the Sierra Nevada on the prevailing phosphates was higher in amphibians from sites
eastward summer winds, and then affect populations of east of the San Joaquin Valley than in sites east
amphibians that breed in mountain ponds and streams. of the Sacramento Valley.
B. the red legged frog is now listed in as
Pesticides (including insecticides, fungicides, threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species
20 nematicides, and herbicides) are chemicals used in Act.
agriculture to increase production by combating organisms C. incidence of measurable levels of organo-
that damage or destroy plants. However, pesticides by their phosphates was higher in Yosemite National
very nature can result in serious harm to wildlife both by Park than along the coast of California.
directly killing animals and through more subtle effects on D. cholinesterase activity levels were highest in
25 reproduction, development and behavior. coastal areas.
Organophosphates are pesticides that interfere with the
enzyme cholinesterase, which is essential for the proper
functioning of the nervous systems of insects, as well as of
humans and other vertebrates. Toxic exposure to 35. The author most likely mentions that population
30 organophosphates results in fatal respiratory failure. The declines have occurred in seemingly pristine areas
first indicator of toxic absorption is a reduction in the (line 7) in order to emphasize that:
enzyme cholinesterase in red blood cells, and contact with
insecticides is the only known cause of a marked A. while there has been some damage to the
depression of this enzyme. environment of the Sierra Nevada, it is not
35 In a recent study, researchers collected specimens of irreparable.
both adult and tadpole Pacific treefrogs from sites located B. appropriate action should be taken to restore
both within the Sierra Nevada (representing northern and the Sierra Nevada to its former purity.
southern areas) and also to its west (representing the C. environmental damage and its causes may not
foothills and the Pacific coast of California). When be apparent to casual observers.
40 cholinesterase levels were then examined they were D. because some amphibian species are still
significantly lower in tadpoles taken from the mountains abundant in the Sierra Nevada, casual observers
east of the San Joaquin Valley, such as Yosemite and
do not realize how many are seriously
Sequoia National Parks, than in those taken from similar
sites farther north in the Sierra Nevada, which lie east of threatened.
45 the Sacramento Valley where agricultural activity is less
intense. Moreover, lower cholinesterase activity levels
were correlated with distance away from the coast and
toward the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada. Similar,
although less significant, trends were seen in adult frogs.
50 Concentrations of particular organophosphate pesticides in
the collected tadpoles and adult frogs were also measured.
More than fifty percent of the adult frogs and tadpoles at
Yosemite National Park had measurable levels of diazinon
and chlorpyrifos, compared to only nine percent at coastal


36. Which of the following conclusions about Pacific
treefrogs can be most reasonably inferred from the 39. The function of the third paragraph in relation to the
passage? passage as a whole is to:

A. Pacific treefrogs are likely to be proposed for A. critique the scientific study alluded to in the
listing as threatened under the U.S. Endangered first paragraph.
Species Act. B. present evidence to support a hypothesis intro-
B. Phasing out use of organophosphates in the San duced in the first paragraph.
Joaquin Valley is warranted as it will prevent C. provide more details with respect to the
loss of Pacific Treefrog populations. geographical information introduced in the first
C. Pacific treefrogs are less abundant in the Sierra paragraph.
Nevada than in coastal areas. D. provide more specific examples of the harmful
D. Pacific treefrogs are currently more abundant effects of pesticides mentioned in the second
than red-legged frogs. paragraph.

37. If the author of the passage met a biologist who 40. An article about lawn care indicated that about 40%
argued that the decline in California amphibians of the nation’s private lawns are treated with
should not be attributed to pesticides as amphibian pesticides and that homeowners use three to six
species are declining world wide for unknown times as much pesticide per acre as farmers do. If
reasons, he would probably respond that: true, this would weaken the author’s argument by
casting doubt on the premise that:
A. while California amphibians may be subject to
factors that are causing world wide declines, A. organophosphates are dangerous to the nervous
their decline may also be exacerbated by system.
environmental factors particular to this area. B. organophosphate levels were measurable in
B. declines in California amphibians have been only nine percent of the coastal frogs.
more dramatic than those which have occurred C. there is a direct correlation between intensity of
in most other areas. agriculture and amount of pesticide discharged
C. pesticide use may be responsible for much of into the environment.
the world wide decline in amphibian D. the levels of cholinesterase activity were lower
populations. in amphibians from the coast and from areas
D. intensity of agricultural cultivation has been east of the Sacramento Valley.
increasing world-wide.

38. With respect to pesticides, the author asserts that


A. are transported for long distances by wind

B. are detrimental to both insects and vertebrates.
C. are not used in the Sierra Nevada.
D. have benefits in agricultural applications.


Passage VII (Questions 41–46)

55 has been important in raising productivity in the U.S. in

For the past five years the big news for the U.S. recent years.
economy has been a noticeable productivity growth spurt,
which many have attributed to new information and
communication technologies. The rate of growth in U.S. 41. According to the passage, a resurgence in
5 productivity had not been so high since the period productivity occurred in:
extending from the end of World War II through the
1960s. In the early 1970s, productivity growth dropped
suddenly. Apart from normal cyclical movements low I. the U.S. in the late 1990s.
productivity growth continued until the mid-1990s. Then, II. Ireland in the late 1990s.
10 performance of the U.S. economy accelerated to a truly III. developed countries other than the U.S. in
extraordinary level. From 1995 to 1999 real gross the 1981-95 period.
domestic product grew at an average rate of about 4
percent per year, and the rate of growth in labor
productivity returned to the pre-1970 rate of increase. A. I only
B. II only
15 The growth of productivity is defined as the rate of C. III only
growth in product less the rate of growth in the labor used D. I, II, and III
in production. Productivity can be affected by factors such
as: amount of capital invested in production, methods used
in production, educational or demographic composition of
20 the labor force, business climate, global competition, and
cost of environmental and safety regulations. Capital
investment was booming in the U.S. in the post-1995
period, nearing a historic peak as a percentage of the U.S.
gross domestic product. Furthermore, that part of capital
25 invested in information technology, including computers,
software, and communications equipment, rose to more
than fifty times what it had been in 1975. Because of its
high gross rate of return in improving methods of
production, capital investment in information technology
30 should have a particularly large impact on overall

The revolution in technology is, at least in some

sense, a worldwide phenomenon. Therefore, one would
expect the recent trend in the rate of growth in productivity
35 in the U.S. to be shared by other developed countries.
However, marked differences exist. Although the U.S. had
the lowest rate of overall productivity growth in the 1981-
95 period, in the post-1995 period the U.S. rate of
productivity rose to third among the countries, behind only
40 Ireland and Australia. In several other developed countries,
including France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the
Netherlands, and Spain, overall productivity growth
slowed quite sharply. The questions then arise: Why are
these trends in productivity growth so different; and does
45 this difference illuminate anything about the role of the
new technologies? Regression analysis of the rate of
growth in productivity in each of these countries in the late
1990s, both as a function of the country’s share of
spending devoted to information technology and as a
50 function of its number of internet servers, reveals a
positive correlation that passes the test for statistical
significance. Therefore, with due deference to the
problems of international comparison, the data appears to
reinforce the view that utilization of the new technologies


42. In concluding that utilization of the new 45. In paragraph 2, the author is primarily concerned
technologies has been important in raising with:
productivity in the U.S. in recent years the author
assumes all of the following EXCEPT: A. defining productivity and identifying the types
of factors that can affect its growth.
A. other factors affecting productivity did not B. noting a correlation between a peak in capital
become significantly more favorable in this investment and a peak in the growth of
period. productivity.
B. the revolution in technology is a world-wide C. emphasizing the impact of amount of capital
phenomenon. invested on the degree of improvement in
C. amount of spending on information technology methods used for production.
and number of internet servers are valid D. introducing a explanation that will then be
measures of utilization of new technologies in tested by further investigation.
D. share of spending devoted to information
technology and number of internet servers are a
cause of productivity growth. 46. The author provides evidence in the passage that
could help to identify:

43. If the passage were to continue, the next topic the A. the reason productivity growth in the late
author would discuss would most probably be: 1990s was greater in the U.S. than in some
other developed countries.
B. the reason productivity growth in the U.S. was
A. what factors caused the drop in the growth of
greater in the late 1990s than in the U.S. in the
U.S. productivity in the early 1970s.
period extending from the 1970s through the
B. whether the current productivity growth spurt
early 1990s.
in the U.S. will continue.
C. the reason U.S. productivity growth surged in
C. the relative importance of other factors in
both the late 1990s and in the period from the
fostering productivity growth in the U.S.
end of World War II through the 1960s.
D. why different developed countries invested
D. the reason productivity growth in France, Italy,
different shares of total spending on capital
Japan, United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Spain
investment in new technologies.
slowed in the post-1995 period.

44. With respect to the change in productivity growth in

the U.S. in the late 1990s the author would most
probably agree with which of the following

A. This change is typical of the type of change that

is a natural part of the tendency of economies
to cycle through periods of higher and lower
B. This particular change is more remarkable than
other changes that have occurred in the last
half-century and, therefore, warrants a
particular explanation.
C. The factors that caused this change should be
identified so that they may be fostered in
countries that are not experiencing strong
productivity growth.
D. Investment in information and communication
technologies has played a significant role in
fostering recent productivity gains in the U.S.


Passage VIII (Questions 47-54)

appreciation warm the current chilly atmosphere, flowers

There is probably no country in the world, making 55 of greater luxuriance and beauty would soon blossom
equal pretensions to natural intelligence and progress in forth, to beautify and enrich our literature. If these
education, where the claims of native literature are so little anticipations are not realized, it will not be because there
felt, and where every effort in poetry has been met with so is anything in our country that is uncongenial to poetry. If
5 much coldness and indifference, as in ours. The common we are deprived of many of the advantages of older
method of accounting for this, by the fact almost everyone 60 countries, our youthful country provides ample
is engaged in the pursuit of the necessities of life, and that compensation not only in the ways in which nature unveils
few possess the wealth and leisure necessary to enable her most majestic forms to exalt and inspire, but also in
devotion of time or thought to the study of poetry and our unshackled freedom of thought and broad spheres of
10 kindred subjects, is by no means satisfactory. This state of action. Whenever things are discovered that are new, in the
things is doubtless unfavorable to the growth of poetry; 65 records of creation, in the relations of phenomenon, in the
but there are other causes less palpable, which exert a mind’s operations, or in forms of thought and imagery,
more subtle but still powerful antagonism. some record in the finer forms of literature will always be
Nothing so seriously militates against the growth of
15 our native poetry as the false conceptions that prevail
respecting the nature of poetry. Stemming either from a
natural incapacity for appreciating the truths which find
their highest embodiment in poetry or from familiarity
only with more widely available, but lower forms, such
20 notions conceive of poetry as fanciful, contrived, contrary
to reason, or lacking the justification of any claim to
practical utility. These attitudes, which admittedly may 47. Which of the following inferences about the
have some origin in the imperfection that even the most country the author writes of is LEAST supported by
partial must confess to finding in our native poetry, evidence from the passage?
25 nevertheless also can have the effect of discouraging
native writers of undoubted genius from the sustained A. It was recently settled by immigrants.
application to their craft that is essential to artistic B. It possesses unspoiled beauty.
excellence. C. It lacks a system of higher education.
D. It is characterized by a relatively low standard
Poetry, like Truth, will unveil her beauty and dispense of living.
30 her honors only to those who love her with a deep and
reverential affection. There are many who are not gifted 48. The passage asserts that which of the following are
with the power of giving expression to the deeper reasons for the indifference toward native poetry
sensibilities who nevertheless experience them throbbing that he finds in his country?
in their hearts. To them poetry appeals. But where this
35 tongue-less poetry of the heart has no existence, or exists
in a very feeble degree, the conditions for appreciating I. There has been insufficient edification of
poetic excellence are wanting. Let no one, therefore, speak most of the population.
of disregard for poetry as if it indicated superiority. II. The highest achievements of native poets
Rather, it is an imperfection to be endured as a misfortune. do not rise to the level achieved by poets
of the immigrants’ homeland.
40 Despite prevailing misconceptions, there always III. Nostalgic feelings orient readers toward
remain at least a few who appreciate fine literature. Why the literature of their former home.
do these not provide sufficient nourishment for our native
artists? Here, we must acknowledge the difficulty that so
many of us, as emigrants from the Old Country, cling to A. I and II only
45 memories of the lands we have left, and that this throws a B. II and III only
charm around literary efforts originating in our former C. I and III only
home, and it is indisputable that the productions of our D. I, II, and III
young country suffer by comparison.
Despite the unpropitious circumstances that exist,
50 some true poetry has been written in our country, and
represents an earnest of better things for the future and
basis to hope that it will not always be winter with our
native poetry. Should the soft spring breath of kindly


49. An important contrast is made throughout the 53. Which of the following statements, made by poets
passage between: about the creative process, is closest to the opinions
expressed in the passage about what constitutes
A. the subtle and the palpable. “true” poetry?
B. false claims and real facts.
C. the appreciable and the insignificant. A. “Like a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem
D. the practical and the impractical. must ride on its own melting. A poem may be
worked over once it is in being, but may not be
worried into being.”
50. The passage is most likely excerpted from an B. “My method is simple: not to bother about
introduction to: poetry. It must come of its own accord. Merely
whispering its name drives it away.”
A. a textbook on the techniques for writing good C. “If there’s room for poets in this world . . .
poetry. their sole work is to represent the age, their
B. a volume comparing the poetry of two countries. own age, not Charlemagne’s.”
C. a volume of recent native poetry. D. “The only way of expressing emotion in the
D. a volume of essays on poetry and criticism. form of art is by finding an “objective
correlative”; in other words, a set of objects, a
situation, a chain of events which shall be the
51. The author most probably uses the phrase “tongue- formula of that particular emotion; such that
less poetry of the heart” (line 35) in order to: when the external facts, which must terminate
in sensory experience, are given, the emotion is
A. emphasize that poetry is more commonly immediately evoked.”
experienced through reading, rather by being
B. emphasize a defect that exists in those who 54. By “native literature” the author most probably
devalue poetry. means:
C. emphasize that appreciation of poetry is not
limited to those who can write it. A. literature authored by the aboriginal people of
D. express compassion for those who lack the gift his home country.
of writing poetry. B. literature authored by people who make his
country their home.
C. literature authored by people born in his
52. The author probably considers which of the country.
following “unpropitious circumstances” (line 50) D. literature produced in and reflecting the
most essential to explaining the state of native circumstances and environment of his country.

A. lack of available resources for the study of

B. failure of native poets to devote themselves to
learning their craft
C. prevalent misconceptions about poetry
D. nostalgia of emigrants for their home country


Passage IX (Questions 55-60)

That punctuation is important all agree; but how few It has its phasesits variation of the force described;
comprehend the extent of its importance! The writer who but the one principlethat of second thought or
neglects punctuation, or mis-punctuates, is liable to be 55 emendationwill be found at the bottom of all.
misunderstoodthis, according to the popular idea, is the
5 sum of the evils arising from heedlessness or ignorance. It
does not seem to be known that, even where the sense is
perfectly clear, a sentence may be deprived of half its
forceits spiritits pointby improper punctuation. For
the want of merely a comma, it often occurs that an axiom 55. According to the passage, which of the following
10 appears a paradox, or that a sarcasm is converted into a are true about the dash?
I. It is often replaced by printers.
There is no treatise on the topicand there is no topic II. It is overused by some writers.
on which a treatise is more needed. There seems to exist a III. It serves a unique, necessary function.
vulgar notion that the subject is one of pure
15 conventionality, and cannot be brought within the limits of
intelligible and consistent rule. And yet, if fairly looked in A. I and II only
the face, the whole matter is so plain that its rationale may B. II and III only
be read as we run. If not anticipated, I shall, hereafter, C. I and III only
make an attempt at a magazine paper on “The Philosophy D. I, II and III
20 of Point.”

In the meantime let me say a word or two of the 56. According to the passage, the practice by newspaper
dash. Every writer for the press, who has any sense of the printers of replacing dashes in authors’ manuscripts
accurate, must have been frequently mortified and vexed at with other punctuation marks is due to:
the distortion of his sentences by the printer’s now general
25 substitution of a semicolon, or comma, for the dash in the
MS. The total or nearly total disuse of the latter point, has A. the overuse of the dash by authors during the
been brought about by the revulsion consequent upon its period closely preceding writing of the passage.
excessive employment about twenty years ago. The B. the widespread ignorance of the importance of
Byronic poets were all dash. … punctuation.
C. the fact that the dash serves no function that is
30 Without entering now into the why, let me observe not better served by other punctuation marks.
that the printer may always ascertain when the dash of the D. the fact that authors seldom have second
MS. is properly and when improperly employed, by bearing thoughts about their work.
in mind that this point represents a second thoughtan
emendation. In using it just above I have exemplified its
35 use. The words “an emendation” are, speaking with 7. The passage indicates that the author is LEAST
reference to grammatical construction, put in apposition likely to agree with which of the following
with the words “a second thought.” Having written these statements?
latter words, I reflected whether it would not be possible
to render their meaning more distinct by certain other
40 words. Now, instead of erasing the phrase “a second A. There is a single ideal way in which any
thought can be expressed.
thought,” which is of some usewhich partially conveys
B. The rules of punctuation are simple and
the idea intendedwhich advances me a step toward my
full purposeI suffer it to remain, and merely put a dash C. Punctuation helps to convey the writer’s
between it and the phrase “an emendation.” The dash gives
intended meaning and tone.
45 the reader a choice between two, or among three or more
expressions, one of which may be more forcible than D. Most people do not understand the correct use
another, but all of which help out the idea. It stands, in of punctuation.
general, for the words“or, to make my meaning more
distinct.” This force it hasand this force no other point
50 can have; since all other points have well-understood uses
quite different from this. Therefore, the dash cannot be
dispensed with.


58. The author most likely mentions his intention to
write an article entitled “The Philosophy of Point”
in order to:

A. remind the reader that grammar is a branch of

B. indicate the possibility of explaining correct
punctuation concisely.
C. furnish his own credentials as an expert on
D. emend his statement about punctuation.

59. According to the passage, which of the following is

true of the relationship between words or phrases
separated by a dash?

A. Each word or phrase partially conveys the

author’s meaning.
B. The second word or phrase renders the first one
C. The first word or phrase states the main topic,
and the second states the sub-topic.
D. The two words or phrases pertain to separate

60. As used in the passage, the words “axiom” and

“paradox” (lines 9-10) refer to:

A. two kinds of statement that require the use of

the dash.
B. two kinds of Byronic poem.
C. two kinds of article that may be rejected by a
D. two kinds of statement that are different in