Question Explanations For

Passage Types (Passage Types Practice Questions)

1.

The Correct Answer is (C) — (C) is the correct answer. In lines 2–4, the narrator notes that the corporate storyteller “badly needs a story for the quarterly meeting of the board, a parable to open proceedings and set the tone.” It can therefore be inferred that the corporate storyteller has to use stories in service of her job, so (C) is the correct answer. The passage does not indicate that the corporate storyteller has more than one job, so (A) is incorrect. (B) is incorrect because the corporate storyteller’s experience is not compared to anyone else’s in the passage. (D) is incorrect because the passage does not suggest the storyteller is involved in advertising.

1.

The Correct Answer is (B) — (B) is the correct answer. The authors of the passage address a problem in scientific research: the surprising inability to replicate the results of published studies, and many researchers’ disinterest in trying. The authors note that this is a “problem” (line 74) that must be addressed, so (B) is the correct answer. (A) is directly contrary to the authors’ tone. (C) is tempting; however, the authors are not passionately advocating for a certain response, but rather voicing concern about an issue. (D) is incorrect because the authors nowhere express amusement at or make light of the situation.

1.

The Correct Answer is (B) — (B) is the correct answer. The passage notes that not many people discussed or contemplated the elevator as an audiovisual experience, or thought about its effect on our psyche (lines 12–14); Farman was the exception. Thus, (B) is correct. (A) is incorrect because the passage does not discuss Farman’s own habits in elevators. (C) is incorrect because it is too narrow; Farman is concerned with the impact of elevators on people in general, not with their impact in small cities. (D) is incorrect as Farman does not make any harsh judgments about elevators or imply that they are dangerous burdens.

1.

The Correct Answer is (D) — (D) is the correct answer. The third paragraph (lines 28–39) describes how the amount of bacteria transferred didn’t depend on length of time of contamination so much as “the overall amount of bacteria on the surface” (lines 33–34). (D) is thus the correct answer. (A) is incorrect because, though the fourth paragraph does note that the kind of surface matters as well, this was not the key factor in bacterial transfer. In addition, the author notes that the key distinction is between carpets and wood/tile, not between wood and tile. (B) is incorrect because the author states in the third paragraph that the amount of time the food was in contact with the floor was not the essential determinant for contamination (lines 28–33). (C) is incorrect because the passage doesn’t discuss different types of food and how they are affected.

1.

The Correct Answer is (D) — (D) is the correct answer. Passage B discusses the pressure of cuckoos on other cuckoos in lines 75–85, but Passage A does not discuss this at any point, so (D) is correct. (A) is incorrect because Passage A discusses the pressure of cuckoos on hosts in lines 12–18. (B) is incorrect because Passage A discusses the pressure of hosts on cuckoos in lines 22–24. (C) is incorrect because neither passage discusses the pressure of non-cuckoo brood parasites on cuckoos. Passage B only discusses the pressure of non-cuckoo brood parasites on hosts.

2.

The Correct Answer is (H) — (H) is the correct answer. The key to cuckoos’ evolutionary success is laying eggs that are undetectable in the host nest, so a brightly colored, visually appealing egg would hurt, not help, their purpose. Therefore, neither author would expect to find this, so (H) is correct. (F) is consistent with the cuckoos’ desire to hide their eggs in host nests, so the authors would expect to find this. The authors would also expect to find something like (G), as this ability would help cuckoos hide eggs in various hosts’ nests, and contribute to their camouflage. The authors would also expect to find something like (J), as they would expect hosts to adapt to protect themselves against the cuckoos’ deception, and something like a distinctive scent would help them ferret out any alien eggs.

2.

The Correct Answer is (F) — (F) is the correct answer. The passage is concerned with addressing whether the “five-second rule” is true—or, more broadly, whether one can safely eat food that has fallen on a contaminated surface. (F) is therefore the best answer. (G) is incorrect as the passage is not concerned at all with food safety laws. (H) is incorrect as the passage does not discuss the dangers of Salmonella, and only uses that bacterium as a supporting example. (J) is incorrect as the passage does not discuss ways to avoid food contamination, but instead examines the question of whether potentially contaminated food is safe to eat.

2.

The Correct Answer is (G) — (G) is the correct answer. Here, “cutting edge” is used to refer to the “developments in computer-based, immersive, and interactive works” (lines 25–26) occurring in the early 80s. (G) is therefore the correct answer. (F) is incorrect as the passage is talking about immersive, not sculptural, art. (H) is incorrect as “cutting edge” refers to movements within art, not changes in technology. (J) is incorrect because the phrase is meant to describe a change in style, not reactions of critics.

2.

The Correct Answer is (F) — (F) is the correct answer. Here, “novel” is used in the phrase “novel, cutting-edge research” (lines 10–11), describing research that journals prefer to publish. Novel thus most nearly means “new” or fresh, so (F) is correct. It does not make sense to use “narrative” to describe research, so (G) can be eliminated. (H) is incorrect as the authors as cutting-edge research does not necessarily mean it is strange or unusual. (J) is incorrect because the authors are addressing the novelty of the research produced, not its readability.

2.

The Correct Answer is (J) — (J) is the correct answer. The main character looks outside her building in lines 8–18. The view is described as “enclosed” and “devoid of life,” so (J) is the best option. (F) is incorrect as it describes the direct opposite of the view in the passage. (G) is incorrect as the view includes a paved square, parking garages, and a shopping mall—it is described not as manicured, but as empty. (H) is incorrect, as the view is not described as lush (luxurious) or heavily decorated, but instead seems plain as the storyteller does not like looking at it (line 10) and others do not like spending time there (line 18).

3.

The Correct Answer is (A) — (A) is the correct answer. After the main character thinks of Dumisane, she begins typing, hoping that the memory has sparked her imagination. Thus, (A) is the best answer. Nothing in the passage suggests that the main character hopes to invite Dumisane to join the company, so (B) can be eliminated. (C) is incorrect because the main character’s focus is on her task at hand, creating a story, not on reconnecting with friends. (D) is incorrect for a similar reason; the main character’s interest in Dumisane is in how the potential memory can aid her with her task, not in any reconnection with this friend.

3.

The Correct Answer is (B) — (B) is the correct answer. Lines 55–64 describe the low rate of replication of studies’ results, with only about 36% of rerun studies reaching statistical significance. In addition, lines 65–69 describe how “even when the new study found evidence for the existence of the original finding, the magnitude of the effect was much smaller—half the size of the original, on average.” Thus, (B) is the best choice. (A) is incorrect, as it is exactly opposite to the trends described in the passage. (C) is tempting, but the authors are not suggesting that replicated studies yield less scientifically accepted results, but rather results that are weaker than and likely be inconsistent with the results in the original studies. It is thus incorrect. (D) is incorrect because the passage is not concerned with the publicity levels of either type of study.

3.

The Correct Answer is (C) — (C) is the correct answer. Process of Elimination is a good way to approach this question. The final paragraph of the passage (lines 35–46) describes The Lift. It was “a sealed enclosure,” so (A) is incorrect. It featured “images and sounds” that “recreated the upward movement of elevators,” so (B) is incorrect. It also showcased “images” that “examined fears associated with elevator travel,” so (D) is incorrect. This leaves only (C), “reflective tiles,” which are not mentioned in the description. (C) is therefore the correct answer.

3.

The Correct Answer is (B) — (B) is the correct answer. Overall, the passage downplays the potential for food to be contaminated based on contact with the floor, stating “the odds are in your favor” (line 49) that dropped food will be safe. (B) best captures the spirit of this message. (A) is incorrect because the author gives no definitive timeframes. (C) is similarly incorrect because the author gives no definitive statistics about the likelihood of food becoming contaminated. (D) is incorrect because it contradicts the viewpoint of the author, who downplays the risks of food contamination.

3.

The Correct Answer is (A) — (A) is the correct answer. Passage B focuses on the issue of brood parasitism, even though it makes heavy reference to cuckoos. Passage A, however, does not discuss the wider phenomenon at all, instead focusing exclusively on cuckoos and hosts. (A) is therefore correct. (B) is incorrect because neither passage uses overly technical language, and both are focused on broader biological phenomena, not anecdotes. (C) is incorrect because Passage B is not focused on a single scientific study. (D) is incorrect because neither passage takes a negative view towards cuckoos; instead, they are concerned with describing an interesting phenomenon.