Question Explanations For
PRACTICE TEST 3 (Reading Test)
The Correct Answer is (C) — The passage focuses on how the process of writing by hand affects learning and cognition, making (C) correct. Answers (A) and (B) do not touch on writing by hand at all, while (D) misinterprets the main point of the passage by putting the emphasis on the quality of handwriting rather than its effects on learning and the brain.
The Correct Answer is (C) — The passage discusses skeptics in the final paragraph, where psychologist Paul Bloom is quoted. Though he himself is not convinced of the long-term benefits of handwriting, he does acknowledge the new research is thought-provoking, and adds, “Maybe it helps you think better.” Thus, we can conclude that (C) is the correct answer, since Bloom does indeed seem to be taking the topic seriously. Doubt among teachers is never mentioned (D), and the passage doesn’t suggest that any reservations either are being ignored (A) or should be (B).
The Correct Answer is (D) — From searching for our answer to the previous question, we know that skeptics are discussed in the final paragraph of the passage. Only answer choice (D) features a response from the skeptic psychologist Paul Bloom, acknowledging the potential usefulness of such research. Answers (A), (B), and (C) do not discuss doubts about the research.
The Correct Answer is (A) — The passage quotes from Dr. James, who explains that the variability in handwritten letters may help children learn them better, as the brain comes to understand each possible iteration of a letter. Answer choice (A) is therefore correct. Answers (B) and (C) are unsupported by the passage, while (D) is a false extrapolation from other parts of the passage that discuss different types of neural activity in relation to handwriting.
The Correct Answer is (C) — Dr. James talks about variability in handwriting and its effects in lines 33-46. Answer (C) cites lines in the passage that directly mention how the ability to decipher different versions of a letter may help establish representation of the letter in the brain, and so is the correct answer. Answers (A), (B), and (D) do not discuss variability in handwriting.
The Correct Answer is (B) — In context, “generate” here refers to the ability of children to come up with ideas and retain information better when they first learn to write by hand. Thus, we can see that (B), “produce,” most accurately captures this meaning of “generate.” Answers (A), (C), and (D) do not make sense in the context of the sentence.
The Correct Answer is (A) — In lines 11-17, Dr. Dehaene describes how a unique neural circuit is automatically activated when we write, resulting in easier learning. Since he is describing this process, answer (A), “explanatory,” is the best fit here. Answer (B) carries negative connotations not suggested by the passage, while (D) implies a degree of passion not shown in Dr. Dehaene’s explanation. Answer (C) does not make sense as Dr. Dehaene is not openly expressive.
The Correct Answer is (C) — In this sentence, “lent” is used to describe how a 2012 study provided evidence for Dr. Dehaene’s views. Answer (C), “gave,” best captures this meaning, since the support provided was not furnished (A), loaned (B), or adapted (D).
The Correct Answer is (C) — Lines 47-61 discuss a study of young children that found separate brain patterns involved in printing, cursive writing, and typing on a keyboard. Writing by hand helped children produce more words and express more ideas, and children with better handwriting exhibited greater neural activation. Answers (A) and (D) are irrelevant and can be eliminated. Answer (B) posits a relationship between handwriting and academic performance that, while may be true, is not the focus of the paragraph and can thus be eliminated. Answer (C) accurately summarizes the lines by stating their link between writing by hand and mental speed and creativity, and is therefore our correct answer.
The Correct Answer is (C) — The graphic that accompanies the passage looks at students’ performance on a comprehension test when they took notes on a laptop vs. notes on paper. Answers (A) and (D) directly contradict the results shown in the graph and can be eliminated. Answer (B) requires assumptions that, while potentially true, is too broad to be gleaned from the information presented. Answer (C) accurately concludes that students who take notes by hand “demonstrate better understanding” than those who type their notes. Since the study tested students’ comprehension, the graphic more directly supports this inference.
The Correct Answer is (B) — The passage discusses cortisol levels in monkeys’ breast milk and how this affects infant development. Answer choice (B) best captures this, while the topics of (A), (C), and (D) are all slightly different than what is actually found in the passage.
The Correct Answer is (A) — In the first paragraph of the passage, the author notes that “a new study of monkeys” shows that cortisol can affect infant development. The passage then goes into more depth about biologist Katie Hinde’s research and discusses the results, making answer choice (A) most accurate. Answer (B) does not mention a study at all, while answer (C) falsely states that the purpose of the passage is to announce and celebrate Hinde’s research. Since the focus of the passage is on Hinde’s research, and not an overarching debate about mothers’ milk and cortisol, we can also eliminate answer (D).
The Correct Answer is (A) — At the end of the passage, anthropologist Melissa Thompson notes “the relationship between maternal stress, breast milk and infant temperament in humans” is “relatively complex.” From this, we can see that answer choice (A) is accurate. The passage does not mention the need to improve infant formula or suggest mothers should try to decrease cortisol levels, eliminating (B) and (C). Though the passage notes the complexity involved in applying the research findings to humans, it does not go so far as to indicate they are irrelevant, and so (D) can be eliminated as well.
The Correct Answer is (D) — Only answer choice (D) quotes from Dr. Thompson in the passage, noting the point where she discuss the complex relationship between maternal stress, breast milk, and infant temperament in humans. Since our previous answer was about this complexity, we can select (D) as the correct choice here. Answers (A), (B), and (C) do not support the correct answer in 13.
The Correct Answer is (B) — In line 3, “hosts” is used to describe some of the different factors found in mothers’ milk, including microbes. Answer (B), “contains,” is the closest fit, as the microbes are not welcomed (A), moderated (C), or received (D) by the milk.
The Correct Answer is (C) — In context, “courses” here refers to how cortisol helps prepare us to handle certain situations when it flows through our body in response to stress. When we consider the answer choices, we see that (C) provides this definition, “flows,” and is thus the correct answer. The cortisol does not track (A), pour (B), or roll (D) through the body, eliminating the other answer choices.
The Correct Answer is (B) — The passage describes how increased cortisol leads to faster growth and a more nervous temperament in infant monkeys. It does not mention immune systems or physical strength, so (C) and (D) can be eliminated. Answer (A) reverses the causal relationship described in the passage: the more cortisol monkeys receive from their mothers, the faster they grow, not the opposite. We are left with answer (B), which states that the less cortisol babies monkeys receive, the more even their disposition. Since we know from the passage that increased cortisol causes a more nervous disposition in baby monkeys, we can conclude that answer (B) is correct.
The Correct Answer is (A) — Since our previous answer described the relationship between cortisol and temperaments, search for a line in the passage that addresses this. Answers (B), (C), and (D) do not mention temperaments. Answer (A) cites a section of the passage that mentions that high-cortisol milk made monkey infants more nervous and less confident, thus providing the necessary evidence to posit that lower levels of cortisol meant infants were more confident and less anxious.
The Correct Answer is (C) — At the end of the passage, Dr. Thompson discusses how research on baby monkeys may not be directly applicable to humans, since the relationship between maternal stress, breast milk, and infant temperament is complex in humans. Answer (C) accurately captures this opinion, mentioning Dr. Thompson’s interest in but caution towards the research on breast milk and infant monkeys. Answer (A) is too strong, and (B) and (D) are not supported at all by the passage.
The Correct Answer is (C) — The graphic shows the relationship between baby monkeys’ cortisol intake and confidence levels, showing how increased cortisol leads to a decrease in confidence. Answer (B) directly contradicts this and can be eliminated. Answers (A) and (D) discuss changes in confidence and cortisol concentration respectively over time; however, the graphic does not show changes over time, as neither axis is time-related, and so both of these choices can be eliminated. Answer (C) states the connection between lower cortisol levels and more confident behavior, a conclusion supported by both the passage and graphic.
The Correct Answer is (B) — The author of the passage is discussing future goals for the women’s rights movement. She is not focused on celebrating progress (A), nor is she berating any group (C) or trying to call people to action (D). Answer choice (B) most accurately captures her purpose: to outline these further goals the women’s rights movement has yet to accomplish.
The Correct Answer is (C) — In the passage, the author mentions her hope that the women’s rights movement will achieve additional goals after having achieved the right to vote. We can thus see that answer choice (C) most closely mirrors this type of situation, where a group has achieved one goal and seeks to achieve further ones. There is nothing in the passage to suggest a situation where a group is far from their starting point (A), or that the women’s rights movement was either well (B) or ill-prepared (D).
The Correct Answer is (A) — To find support for the previous answer, search for a line in the passage that references either the women’s achievement of one goal or their striving to reach further goals (or both). We can see that answer choice (A) contains one such line, referencing part of the passage where Eastman states that women can “now…say what they are really after,” adding that after the right to vote, women now seek freedom. Thus, (A) is the correct answer. Answers (B), (C), and (D) do not discuss the future goals of the women’s movement while alluding to the right to vote.
The Correct Answer is (D) — In this line, Eastman is discussing the necessity of accepting housework and child-raising as a form of work, deserving of economic reward. When we look at the answer choices, we see that she does not want these activities remembered (A), placed (B), or realized (C), but rather acknowledged, making (D) the right answer.
The Correct Answer is (C) — The author, though she mentions a variety of potential careers women might have, does not suggest they are predisposed to certain ones more than others, eliminating (A). She also does not in any way disparage child-raising or suggest women need loftier aspirations, nor does she say that men are not as qualified or capable of taking care of children, eliminating (B) and (D) respectively. However, since she does mention different occupations women may be suitable for, we can infer that (C) is the correct answer.
The Correct Answer is (B) — In the passage, the author mentions women’s “infinitely varied gifts” that can be used in “infinitely varied ways,” part of the line reference contained within answer choice (B). This choice effectively conveys the author’s belief that women are suited to a variety of occupations, thus providing support for the previous answer. The lines in answers (A), (C), and (D) do not talk about the variety of occupations women might pursue.
The Correct Answer is (C) — In lines 35-36, Eastman is discussing the various barriers for women entering and succeeding in the workplace. Answers (A) and (D) are unsupported by the passage, while answer (B) falsely states that Eastman is listing the “specific types of discouragement” that women face, when instead she is speaking generally. Instead, (C) correctly captures Eastman’s intention, which is to indicate the multiple “actual” factors that inhibit women’s success, besides laws.
The Correct Answer is (B) — Eastman uses “song” here when discussing ways to “change the nature of man” so homemaking can become a positive, harmonious enterprise, instead of a burden. She is not literally talking about singing, so answers (A) and (C) can be eliminated. Her purpose in using “song” is also not to draw attention to the challenges ahead (D), but instead to contrast “song” with “burden,” as captured in answer choice (B). Instead of a burden, homemaking could be “light and harmonious.”
The Correct Answer is (B) — Here, the author concludes her speech by suggesting that, with a few additional rights and removed barriers, women could “become almost a human thing.” Since we know from the passage that she considers men and women equal when it comes to various rights and responsibilities, we can infer that she is speaking sarcastically here. Even if you did not know that answer choice (B) means sarcastic, you could still eliminate answer (C) as contrary to her tone, and guess that Eastman’s rhetoric here is not skeptical of women’s status as a “human thing” or righteously asserting this, eliminating (D) and (A) respectively. This would leave you with the correct answer, (B).
The Correct Answer is (A) — The author of Passage 1 is discussing the harmful effects of 2,4-D, as well as reasons why it still presents a danger, due to a lack of strict legislation. Thus, the author would likely agree with (A), that not enough has been done to address the harmful effects of 2,4-D. Answer (B) and (C) are contrary to the author’s opinion on the pesticide, while (D) presents an overly strong opinion, widening the scope beyond that of the passage.
The Correct Answer is (D) — Since the answer to the previous question is about the author’s belief that not enough has been done to protect people from the harmful effects of 2,4-D, search for a part of the passage that discusses this inadequacy. Answers (A) and (B) are irrelevant, while (C) is too narrowly focused. Only answer (D) adequately addresses the previous answer, mentioning a portion of the passage when the author notes that the NRDC is filing a lawsuit against the EPA for delay in movement on this very issue.
The Correct Answer is (B) — In this line, “lingers” is used to indicate that, once trekked inside the house, the pesticide 2,4-D will remain for a long while. Answer (B) is thus the correct answer, as the connotations of (A) and (C) are not appropriate to the subject and situation, and (D) is irrelevant.
The Correct Answer is (B) — Passage 2 describes a paper that was retracted from a food safety journal due to concerns about the inconclusiveness of the research. The passage does not focus on the description and results of this study, eliminating (A), nor does it hypothesize about future events, eliminating (C). It is not structured as a dialog, as (D) indicates, but does first present the journal’s decision to retract the paper, followed by an explanation for this decision, making answer (B) correct.
The Correct Answer is (A) — In line 65, “rule out” is used to describe how, since the number of rats in the study was very small and the particular strain was prone to cancer, the journal could not say for sure whether the results the scientists obtained were explainable by “normal variability.” Since this means the journal could not exclude this possibility, answer choice (A) is correct. Answers (B), (C), and (D) do not capture this meaning.
The Correct Answer is (B) — In the passage, A. Wallace Hayes notes that there was “legitimate cause for concern” because the number of rats in the study was too small. Therefore, we can infer that increasing the number of rats would help assuage his worries, making (B) the correct answer. Answers (A), (C), and (D) describe interventions that do not address concern over the small number of rats in the study.
The Correct Answer is (B) — To find evidence for the answer to the previous question, look for the part of the passage where A. Wallace Hayes is discussed. This eliminates (C) and (D); from the two remaining choices, we can see that (A) focuses on Hayes’ assertion that he found no evidence of fraud, while (B) discusses his specific concern that shows what would need to be addressed before he would be comfortable with the results.
The Correct Answer is (B) — Since Passage 2 does not directly address the claims of Passage 1, or vice versa, (A) and (C) can be eliminated. Since Passage 2 is not focused on the drawbacks of a herbicide, (D) can be eliminated. (B) accurately states that Passage 1 is focused on the dangers of one herbicide and Passage 2 is focused on concerns about a study of another herbicide.
The Correct Answer is (A) — Both Passage 1 and 2 describe the health dangers of herbicides, though in different contexts, making (A) the correct answer. Passage 2 focuses on rats and studies about herbicides, eliminating (B), and similarly does not discuss actions taken to counteract herbicides’ effects, eliminating (C). Passage 1 does not discuss scientists who study herbicides’ effects, eliminating (D).
The Correct Answer is (B) — This passage is focused on a unique evening that Brackenbury has, which answer (B) most accurately captures. It is not focused on the cabman, eliminating (D), nor does it linger on Brackenbury’s nature or personal history, eliminating (A) and (C) respectively.
The Correct Answer is (C) — The passage begins with Brackenbury’s hailing of a cab to get out of the rain, and ends with his acceptance of a mysterious offer to go into the house of Mr. Morris. Thus, Brackenbury goes from aimless to decisive, shown by answer (C). He does not enter a “joyful community” but an unknown one, making (B) incorrect. Brackenbury is also not initially afraid of the unknown or worried about seeking stimulation or security, eliminating (A) and (D).
The Correct Answer is (B) — In the beginning of the passage, the author mentions “a plump of cold rain” that fell from the sky, right before Brackenbury decides to hail a cab. We can thus infer that he wanted to get out of the rain, answer (B). You can eliminate (A) as Brackenbury is in London. (C) and (D) can be eliminated as Brackenbury didn’t expect or plan to be taken to the mysterious party.
The Correct Answer is (B) — To find support for the previous answer, look for the portion of the passage that discusses the rain or Brackenbury’s reaction to it. Answer (A) references lines where Brackenbury hails a cab, but does not discuss the reason he does so. Answers (C) and (D) are irrelevant, while answer (B) cites a portion of the passage where Brackenbury likens the cab to a “London gondola,” and eagerly hails it, thus suggesting he is using it to avoid the rain.
The Correct Answer is (B) — Brackenbury and the cabman have a conversation at the end of the passage, one marked by mystery but friendliness. Answers (A) and (C) are thus incorrect, while (D) is too strong, leaving the correct answer, (B).
The Correct Answer is (C) — In line 13, “flying” is used to describe the speed of the hansom cab; we can infer this from the previous sentence, where the author describes the cab driving at “a pace of surprising swiftness.” Thus, answer (C) is correct. Answers (A), (B), and (D) are not supported by the passage.
The Correct Answer is (B) — Here, “decided” is used to convey Brackenbury’s decision to enter the house. The cabman’s words about an adventure have convinced Brackenbury of the excitement of such an endeavor, and thus (B) is correct. Answers (A), (C), and (D) do not make sense placed in the original sentence.
The Correct Answer is (A) — We know from the final lines that the cabman’s words have convinced Brackenbury to accept the invitation, and so can infer that Brackenbury is off to attend the party, answer choice (A). As Brackenbury has already left the cab, (C) and (D) do not make sense. Because he is already at the location of the mysterious party, it is more likely that Brackenbury will attend it rather than go elsewhere (B).
The Correct Answer is (D) — To find support for the previous answer, we can turn to the portion of the passage where Brackenbury makes his decision. Only answer choice (D) references this section, when Brackenbury descends from the hansom and reflects that he has not had to wait long for his adventure. The lines in answers (A), (B), and (C) do not provide insight into whether or not Brackenbury will attend the party.