Question Explanations For
Approaching the Reading Test (Approaching the Reading Test Practice Questions)
The Correct Answer is (D) — (D) is the correct answer. The authors say that the study detailed in the passage is the “first observation of American eels migrating in the open ocean to their spawning grounds” (lines 14–16), so (D) is correct. (A) and (B) are incorrect because the authors indicate that this study is the first of its kind, not the latest in a line of similar studies or a follow-up to a previous study done by the authors. The passage does not say that this study is one of a cluster, so (C) is also incorrect.
The Correct Answer is (B) — (B) is the correct answer. Toads are not mentioned in the passage, and are not mentioned as using countershading, so (B) is correct. (A), “Tigers,” and (C), “Tuna,” are both noted as using countershading in line 17, and so can be eliminated. Since toads are not said to display countershading, it cannot be true that all of the animals listed in this question use countershading, so (D) is incorrect.
The Correct Answer is (A) — (A) is the correct answer. The authors explain in the first paragraph (lines 1–10) that in spite of positive changes toward women’s equality, the “gender revolution” has stalled, citing as evidence the fact that “women still comprise only a small fraction of elite leadership positions in government and business” (6–8). In the second paragraph (11–20), they suggest that the stall may be because workplace policies, informed by the country’s laws, have not caught up with the progress toward gender equality. (A) is thus the correct answer. (B) is incorrect because the authors indicate that some men desire equal relationships, but often end up utilizing a fallback plan where they are the primary earners. However, the authors do not indicate that men “refuse to do their fair share of housework.” (C) is incorrect because the authors do not suggest that the gender equality movement has been impeded because women are distracted by more pressing economic concerns. (D) is incorrect because although the authors do say that women still have not achieved equal leadership roles, they frame this as an effect and evidence of the stalled gender revolution, not as something that helped cause this stall.
The Correct Answer is (F) — (F) is the correct answer. The phrase “in a vacuum” is used in the sentence: “This thinking is not taking place in a vacuum” (32–33), with “this thinking” referring to President Obama’s comments emphasizing the importance of access to childcare. The authors are saying that President Obama’s thoughts are not isolated, and that others are commenting on the same ideas about childcare and equality. The phrase “in a vacuum” then most nearly means “in isolation,” (F). The authors are not referring to thinking that may appear to only happen in the mind, (G), in the home, (H), or in laboratories, (J). The sentence in which the phrase appears introduces a paragraph that gives a broader context for the type of thinking described in the previous paragraph. (G), (H), and (J) do not offer phrases that carry that connection between a type of thinking and the broader context in which it appears. These answers are therefore incorrect.
The Correct Answer is (F) — (F) is the correct answer. Following the first two paragraphs, which talk broadly about color patterning in the animal kingdom, the third paragraph (lines 13–20) defines and gives examples of countershading. Because it is the first paragraph in the passage to mention this type of camouflage, the third paragraph introduces the concept of countershading, making (F) correct. (G) is incorrect because the third paragraph does not outline a narrative or tell a story. (H) is incorrect because the paragraph does not provide counterevidence, as it doesn’t contradict anything earlier in the passage. (J) is incorrect because the paragraph does not present a thesis, which is an argument—instead, it simply introduces a topic.
The Correct Answer is (H) — (H) is the correct answer. In the first paragraph, the authors say American eels’ journey to their spawning grounds is “one of biology’s greatest mysteries (lines 1–2), and that these eels “somehow” make the route from their rearing habitat to the Sargasso Sea (lines 6–9). The authors seem to find this feat curious as well as impressive, making (H) the correct answer. (F) is incorrect because the authors’ attitude isn’t so glowing as to suggest that eels’ migration is “majestic and elegant.” (G) is incorrect because while the authors may imply that the migration is lengthy, they don’t say that the eels are inefficient in carrying it out. (J) suggests that the authors find the question of the eels’ migration mundane, or dull and ordinary, but in fact the authors approach it with marked interest, so (J) is incorrect.
The Correct Answer is (B) — (B) is the correct answer. The passage mentions vertical migrations in lines 37–38, and then explains that this term refers to the American eels’ movement between shallow waters and deeper waters. The phrase “vertical migrations” therefore refers to movement from one depth of water to another depth, so (B) is the correct answer. (A) is incorrect because the passage does not indicate that vertical migrations refer to the journey from the northern to the southern hemisphere. (C) is incorrect because the passage does not assert that vertical migrations are performed upright. (D) is incorrect because vertical migrations do not refer to migration to the south, and the passage does not suggest that American eels migrate south for the winter.
The Correct Answer is (C) — (C) is the correct answer. Be mindful of the word “EXCEPT” in this question. The passage does not mention countershading as possibly serving to intimidate potential prey, so (C) is the correct answer. The passage indicates that countershading could provide visual camouflage in lines 29–31, (A), protection against ultraviolet light in lines 21–23, (B), and help with acquisition of heat from the sun in lines 26–28, (D), so these are all incorrect.
The Correct Answer is (A) — (A) is the correct answer. The passage talks about partners adopting a “fallback plan” in the fourth paragraph (lines 32–49), which describes Gerson’s study of a sample of young, unmarried women and men’s ideas about relationships. The paragraph shows that the men and women interviewed prefer equal division of earning, housework, and caregiving between partners. Many of the interviewees considered a “fallback plan” of traditional gender roles, with less equal division of responsibilities, only because they doubted their vision of equality would work. This shows that partners come to adopt a fallback plan “reluctantly,” making (A) correct. (B) is contrary to the attitude partners have about adopting fallback plans, and is incorrect. (C) is incorrect because people are not neutral or indifferent, but reluctant to adopt fallback plans. (D), “angrily,” is incorrect because it is too strong.
The Correct Answer is (H) — (H) is the correct answer. In the first two paragraphs of the passage (lines 1–12), the authors say that evolution has shaped the diversity of color patterns in the animal kingdom, but scientists are not sure if these color patterns evolved specifically for camouflage or for other reasons. These lines indicate that evolution’s role in the development of camouflage is not totally understood, so (H) is the correct answer. (F) is incorrect because the author suggests that evolution of color patterns may specifically have occurred to enhance camouflage, which would contradict an assertion that evolution works independently of changes in camouflage. (G) is incorrect because the passage does not say that rapid changes in coloration and camouflage spur evolution. (J) is incorrect because the authors do not indicate that evolution halts the development of countershading in most animals.
The Correct Answer is (F) — (F) is the correct answer. To answer this question, look for the areas in the passage where the authors mention the directions that the eels took on their path. The fourth paragraph (lines 32–39) shows that the eels initially head southeast, from the Nova Scotian Shelf to the edge of the continental shelf. The fifth paragraph (lines 40–50) shows that the eels then go east. Then, the sixth paragraph (lines 51–60) describe how the eels next move south, to their spawning site in the Sargasso Sea. Putting all this together, in order, the eels go southeast, then east, and then south. Thus, (F) is correct. (G), (H), and (J) do not describe the correct order, and are all incorrect.
The Correct Answer is (B) — (B) is the correct answer. The authors discuss horizontal gradients in relation to the American eels’ second phase of migration in the seventh paragraph (lines 61–75). Here, the authors say that during the second phase, “Gradients in salt levels and temperature might play a role, but these horizontal gradients are weak” (lines 63–65). The authors imply that horizontal gradients of salt and temperature probably do not significantly influence the eels’ second phase of migration, and that this is because the horizontal gradients in the area of this second phase are insubstantial. Therefore, (B) is the correct answer. The authors do not say that the eels become physically exhausted during the second phase, so (A) is incorrect. No vertical gradients—only vertical migrations—are mentioned in the passage, so (C) is incorrect. The passage does not suggest that eels rely on cues from the physical waves or currents of the ocean at any point in their migration, so (D) is also incorrect.
The Correct Answer is (C) — (C) is the correct answer. The sentence containing this phrase states that: “The animal kingdom contains a huge diversity of color patterns, from the near-perfect camouflage of the cuttlefish to the extravagant displays of birds of paradise” (lines 1–4). The authors use the phrase “from the near-perfect camouflage of the cuttlefish to the extravagant displays of birds of paradise” (2–4) to demonstrate what is mentioned in the preceding phrase—that is, the range and diversity of animal color patterning. Thus, (C) is correct. (A) is incorrect because the authors do not comment on the size of animal species in this paragraph or anywhere in the passage. (B) is incorrect because the authors do not talk about animal rivalries, and do not use the phrase in lines 2–4 to show a rivalry. Finally, (D) is incorrect because although the authors do talk about countershading in the passage, they do not introduce countershading here, and the camouflage of cuttlefish and displays of birds of paradise are not examples of countershading.
The Correct Answer is (G) — (G) is the correct answer. The passage says eel larvae drifted “on the Gulf Stream before eventually peeling off to search for estuaries and fresh waters” (lines 69–71). The term in context means moving away from their location, which is matched by (G), “dispersing,” the correct answer. In context, “peeling off” does not mean the eel larvae were “shedding,” (F), “aging,” (H), or “sounding,” (J), so all of these choices are incorrect.
The Correct Answer is (D) — (D) is the correct answer. The passage does not say anywhere that the bidimensional map aids in detecting predators, so (D) is the correct answer. The authors do suggest that the bidimensional map relies on geomagnetic fields (line 80), (A), is inherited (line 79), (B), and may involve the use of an internal compass (lines 83–85), (C). Thus, these are incorrect choices.
The Correct Answer is (F) — (F) is the correct answer. In lines 86–95, the authors explain the reason for the eels’ vertical migrations. They say that the eels perform these vertical migrations to balance the need to avoid predators and use energy efficiently. (F) is thus the correct answer. Although these lines are found right after the discussion of geomagnetic fields, the two ideas are not related; the authors do not associate the eels’ vertical migrations with responses to geomagnetic fields, so (G) is incorrect. The authors do not link vertical migrations to the necessity of exercise or the need to prey on other fish, so (H) and (J) are also incorrect.
The Correct Answer is (C) — (C) is the correct answer. The authors say that predation by Porbeagle sharks on eels “is easily detected by satellite tags because Porbeagle sharks have warm guts; when our tagged eels get eaten, the tags record the warm temperature inside these predators” (lines 102–106). They indicate that the eels were tagged, and from earlier in these lines, you can see that these tags were satellite tags. So, (C) is correct. (A) is incorrect: it may be tempting to suppose that the Porbeagle sharks were the ones who were tagged, but careful reading shows that the eels were tagged in this study, and moreover, the authors do not indicate that the tags were fluorescent. (B) is incorrect because the passage does not show the researchers looking closely at Porbeagle sharks in the wild. (D) is incorrect because the passage does not show the researchers studying Porbeagle predation of eels by comparing the numbers of eels at different points on their migration route.
The Correct Answer is (F) — (F) is the correct answer. The final paragraph begins by saying that for now, “we can only speculate about the orientation mechanisms used by eels” (108–110) in their migration to their spawning grounds. The paragraph then asks several questions and ends by saying that the authors are continuing to study the migration of the eels. Altogether, the paragraph suggests that the purpose of these questions is to note further possible areas of research about eel migration, so (F) is correct. (G) is incorrect because the authors say that the American eel “still has many secrets to reveal,” (line 117) and that they plan to study these secrets; this contradicts the idea that some secrets about eels will never be solved. (H) is incorrect because the final paragraph implies that these questions address secrets that have not yet been revealed, not the main questions answered by the passage. (J) is incorrect because the authors do not indicate that the questions listed in this final paragraph were addressed by an earlier study.
The Correct Answer is (B) — (B) is the correct answer. The author suggests that she agrees with what the The Fall of Language in the Age of English suggests—that translating non-English works into English may end up causing some truths in that work to be lost (lines 50–56). However, she also implies that translating the book into English will help highlight its point about translation to non-Japanese readers (lines 56–60). So, it can be reasonably inferred that the author believes that it is worth making this book accessible to all audiences, even though some material will inevitably be lost in translation. Therefore, (B) is the correct answer. (A) is incorrect, because though the author acknowledges that the book discusses how translating a text comes with the loss of some truths of that text, the author does not state that The Fall of Language claims that the English language inherently obscures truth. Instead, the author is involved in translating this book and thus clearly finds this task worthwhile. (C) is incorrect because the author does not say that Mizumura’s book is not accessible or relevant for most non-Japanese readers; on the contrary, the author indicates support for Mizimura’s message. The author does not situate The Fall of Language with the development of Hawaiian national literature, so (D) is also incorrect.
The Correct Answer is (J) — (J) is the correct answer. In the paragraph containing the term “perverse,” the author says that she is helping Mizumura translate The Fall of Language in the Age of English into English. She also shows that The Fall of Language is itself about how translating non-English works into English necessarily involves the loss of some truths. Thus, the author refers to translating this book into English as “perverse” because translating a book that highlights the shortcomings of translation is counterintuitive and contradictory. So, (J) is correct. The author’s tone does not match “disgusting,” so (F) is incorrect. She also does not go so far as to say this somewhat contradictory act of translation is “immoral,” so (G) is incorrect. (H) is incorrect, as it does not make sense to call an act of translation “stubborn.”
The Correct Answer is (C) — (C) is the correct answer. The author uses “day” in line 73 to refer to a specific session of translation that she and Mizumura participated in. The sentence states that “once, before a deadline, our ‘day’ concluded at 5 a.m.” (lines 72–73). The session—beginning during the waking hours, and then ending at 5 a.m.—indicates a long session. The author’s placing “day” in quotation marks is tongue-in-cheek, indicating that this particular session was clearly much longer than a typical working day, so (C) is the correct answer. (A) is contrary to the correct answer. The author does not place “day” in quotation marks to say she worked shorter than a full day on this occasion; rather, she worked longer than a full day. (B) is incorrect because the author does not indicate that “day” is an insider’s term in professional editing, or that professional editors tend to work through the night. Finally, (D) is incorrect because the author’s purpose in mentioning “day” here is not to indicate that she and the author of the book, Mizumura, worked in different time zones.
The Correct Answer is (H) — (H) is the correct answer. The passage says Mizumura is a Japanese author in line 40, and suggests that Mizumura is also a “major,” or distinguished, author in line 80. (H) is therefore the correct answer. (F) is incorrect, as the author of this passage does not say that either she or Mizumura works at the University of Hawaii; she only says that Mari Yoshihara, a translator, works at this university. The passage mentions Mizumura translating her own nonfiction work into English, but does not depict or mention Mizumura translating Japanese novels into English, so (G) is incorrect. (J) is incorrect because the passage does not mention a series of mid-18th century novels, let alone claim that Mizumura edits such a series.
The Correct Answer is (A) — (A) is the correct answer. The author says that “machine translation “has a role to play” (line 13) in translation, “and no doubt an increasing one” (lines 13–14). She uses the example of entering the phrase “Don’t hold your breath” into Google Translate to show that machine translation can give overly literal translations of language, and that a human element is needed in translation to capture certain connotations or underlying meanings of phrases. All in all, the author finds machine translation increasingly important but insufficient, making (A) the correct answer. The author does not indicate that she finds machine translation to be pleasurable, so (B) is incorrect. (C) and (D) are incorrect because the author says that machine translation is increasingly important, not unimportant.
The Correct Answer is (H) — (H) is the correct answer. The author talks about how entering “Don’t hold your breath” into Google Translate will produce a command to “not stop breathing” (lines 17–18). She says this with the understanding that a reader of English knows that “Don’t hold your breath” isn’t a recommendation to not stop breathing, but an idiom that suggests one should not wait for a certain expected, but probably unlikely, result. From here, she argues for the importance of a human element in translation, to catch layers of meaning in language. So, she uses this phrase in lines 17–18 to suggest that machine translation misses the more subtle meanings of phrases. Thus, (H) is correct. (F) is incorrect because the author does not mention copyright law, let alone relate it to translation. (G) is incorrect because the author uses the phrase in lines 17–18 to show how machine translation services such as Google Translate can be inaccurate, not accurate. (J) is incorrect because it takes the phrase in lines 17–18 too literally; the author is not talking about breathing in relation to public health.
The Correct Answer is (B) — (B) is the correct answer. In the passage, the author says in lines 64–65 that “usually I translate alone—most often between the hours of 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.” This shows that she typically translates alone starting at 9 p.m., so (B) is correct. (A), (C), and (D) do not reflect what the author says about her usual habits for translating, and are all incorrect.
The Correct Answer is (J) — (J) is the correct answer. In the final paragraph (lines 82–101), the author talks about how maintaining the heart of a text, such as the author’s main point or a character’s emotion, is important in translation. She then makes the comparison between translation and music, mentioning how music involves paying attention to different elements so that what occurs is not just individual notes, but music, and that this process is about “bringing a musical score to life” (lines 85–89). The comparison helps illustrate the earlier point about how it is important in translation to retain the meaning and unity of a text. (J) is therefore the correct answer. (F) is incorrect because the author does not indicate that either translation or classical music is soul-crushing. This is a confused content answer choices, as “soul-crushing” is someone else’s opinion on translation from paragraph 1 that the author disagrees with. (G) is incorrect because the author does not say that music theory influenced The Fall of Language in the Age of English. (H) is incorrect because the author does not say she sometimes dreads working with Mizumura, nor does she use the lines about music to talk about working with Mizumura.
The Correct Answer is (B) — (B) is the correct answer. The passage nowhere indicates the translator’s relationship with Mizumura is exhausting due to differing personalities, so (B) is the correct answer. In the final paragraph (lines 82–101), the author says that the relationship between translator and author is respectful (lines 95–97), (A), and involves consultation (line 93), (D), so these choices are incorrect. (C) is incorrect as the author also states that she collaborates with Mizumura (line 40).
The Correct Answer is (F) — (F) is the correct answer. The author discusses humility in translation in the third paragraph (lines 21–39). (F) displays an idea that the author does NOT mention in connection to humility (learning from past failures), and is the correct choice. (G) is incorrect as the author says that in trying to reproduce elements such as the wit and rhythm of an original text, one has to “settle for less” (line 29). (H) is incorrect because the paragraph says that humility helps you “see the original text in a new light” (lines 32–33). (J) is incorrect because the author says that humility in translation makes you aware of your limitations (line 23).