Question Explanations For
Practice Test 5 (Reading)
The Correct Answer is (C) — The passage describes Mr. Melladew’s crushing grief over his daughter’s death as he rushes to the narrator’s house to seek his support and sympathy. (A) is incorrect because the passage does not indicate that the town is distraught. In fact, there was likely no public knowledge of the incident at the time, since it hadn’t yet been published in the newspaper. (B) is incorrect because the passage does not introduce any character as a detective. (D) is incorrect because the passage does not indicate that the murder was an act of revenge.
The Correct Answer is (A) — At the beginning of the passage, the narrator makes mention of the “friendship” (line 5) shared between the two characters. The passage does not mention that the narrator is a relative (B). Although one of the characters was a newspaper reporter, the passage doesn’t support the fact that the narrator is one (C). The passage also provides no indication that the narrator is a neighbor (D).
The Correct Answer is (D) — The passage indicates that Mr. Melladew had “flown” to the narrator’s house “in an agony of horror and despair” (line 1), so it is most likely that Mr. Melladew “dashed” to the house in a hurry, rather than calmly “strolled,” making (B) incorrect. As used in this context, the word does not imply literal flying, so “fluttered” (A) and “soared” (C) are incorrect.
The Correct Answer is (C) — Although he pitied Mr. Melladew, the narrator indicates that he did not attempt to console him because he knew that no words could ease his agony at the moment (lines 25-26). Although the passage indicates that the narrator is still piecing the story together, this is not the reason for which the narrator did not attempt to console Mr. Melladew--(A) is thus incorrect. (B) is incorrect because there is no indication that the narrator was grieving deeply, nor that this grief kept him or her from consoling Mr. Melladew. (D) is incorrect because the passage makes no mention that the narrator could not sympathize with the grieving father. In fact, the narrator did feel very sorry for Mr. Melladew.
The Correct Answer is (B) — The narrator in these lines discusses why he did not attempt to console Mr. Melladew: “I did not attempt to console him—of what avail were mere words at such a moment?” (A), (C), and (D) are incorrect because they do not touch on this point.
The Correct Answer is (A) — The lines read, “When she went to bed, he kissed her. What kind of riddle was here, in the midst of the horrible tragedy, that the hapless girl should have wished her parents good-night and retired to rest, and be found ruthlessly murdered a few hours afterwards?” These lines indicate that the narrator finds it terribly puzzling that the girl had been murdered only shortly after she had wished her parents goodnight. (B) and (C) are incorrect because the lines do not suggest that the narrator finds the situation organized or amusing. (D) is incorrect because the narrator does not imply that the situation is problematic.
The Correct Answer is (B) — Prior to this line, the narrator indicates that Mr. Melladew and his daughter were up late discussing “joyful news” (line 37) and a “brighter future” (line 40), then indicates that this irony made it all the more difficult to cope with the tragedy. (A) is incorrect because while the passage indicates that the fact that the Mr. Melladew kissed his daughter goodnight a few hours before her murder made the situation a “riddle,” it’s what followed that made the riddle “all the more difficult.” (C) and (D) are incorrect because they are unsupported by the passage.
The Correct Answer is (D) — The passage indicates that upon first seeing the newspaper reporter, the narrator thought he was inconsiderate for intruding on Mr. Melladew at such a time. (A) is incorrect because initially, the narrator did not view the reporter as sensible. (B) is incorrect because this was a secondary—and not the initial—view that the narrator had of the reporter. (C) is incorrect because the passage does not indicate that the narrator viewed the reporter as clever.
The Correct Answer is (B) — These lines indicate that the narrator found the reporter inconsiderate and “scarcely decent” for intruding at such a time. (A), (C), and (D) are incorrect because they do not reflect this view.
The Correct Answer is (B) — The reporter indicates that his “mission is not one of idle curiosity” (line 56) and that he is “assisting the cause of justice” (line 59). Therefore, he is implying that his curiosity is not “futile”--or, in vain. (A) is incorrect because curiosity cannot be described as “occupied” or “unoccupied.” (C) is incorrect because “idle” is not used here to indicate unemployment. (D) is incorrect because the word in context does not imply such a physical interpretation of the word “idle,” such as “lazy” or “lethargic.”
The Correct Answer is (D) — The passage most clearly concludes that the introduction of automation into the economy has increased productivity, but has led to a decline in the number of working Americans. The passage states that “productivity growth and employment growth started to become decoupled from each other,” whereas previously they had grown together. (A) is incorrect because the passage does not indicate this trend in all industries, nor does it draw clear causality between long-term unemployment and automation. (B) is incorrect because while automation has revolutionized economic productivity, the passage suggests these changes have led to decreased employment opportunities, and have not been beneficial for all working Americans. (C) is incorrect because while the passage discusses stagnation of wages, it does not mention the poverty line.
The Correct Answer is (D) — Lines 72-77 indicate the trend of increased economic productivity alongside the lack of increased employment opportunities. (A), (B), and (C) all do not make mention of these two key trends.
The Correct Answer is (A) — The passage discusses how automated technology has contributed to productivity growth, but has eliminated the need for workers in many industries. The scenario in (A) is most similar: servers lose their jobs at a restaurant after an automated system replaces the need for them. (B) is incorrect because while the butterfly caused the child to drop her toys, it did not replace or eliminate the need for the child’s toys--a key element in the passage. (C) is incorrect because despite being replaced by a newer, larger tractor, the old tractor did not lose all value or purpose, as it was sold to a new user. (D) is incorrect because although this scenario indicates that technology helped improve efficiency, it does not touch upon the elements of replacement or elimination in any way.
The Correct Answer is (D) — The passage indicates that “globalization, deregulation, decline of unions” (lines 60-61) are all potential factors causing the economic decline of working Americans. (A) is incorrect because the author does not cite workplace inequality as a contributing factor to the decline. Rather, it lists such inequality as one of several negative effects of automation in the economy. (B) is incorrect because the industries themselves have not collapsed; rather, the need for manual labor has. (C) is incorrect because the “decline of unions,” rather than the rise, was cited as a contributing factor to the economic decline.
The Correct Answer is (C) — In this context, “two schools of economic thought” references two groups with differing opinions. Therefore, “groups” is the correct answer. The word “schools” here is not meant to reference anything as concrete or literal as an “institute” (A), “foundation” (B), or “university” (D). Therefore, (A), (B), and (D) are all incorrect.
The Correct Answer is (A) — The series of questions is introduced by the phrase “Two schools of economic thought have for many years been engaged in a debate,” and the questions highlight two different ways that automation could potentially impact us. (B) is incorrect because the author is detailing two sides of a debate in these questions, not expressing concern. (C) is an incorrect assumption because the lines do not explicitly invite readers to identify their own opinions. (D) is incorrect because the questions list various possible outcomes, not just negative effects.
The Correct Answer is (B) — As mentioned in Question 15, “two schools of economic thought” references two groups of economic thought. The series of questions as mentioned in Question 16 serves to define the two groups of thought in the debate. Therefore, the reference in (B), which explicitly states that there are two sides to this debate, provide the best evidence. (A) is incorrect because it does not touch upon the fact that there are two arguments--it merely states factual information about automation. (C) is incorrect because it only presents one side of the debate and shows no indication that there is an opposing side. (D) is incorrect because it does not mention the debate or the two schools of thought at all.
The Correct Answer is (B) — In the context of “driving productivity improvements,” the word most nearly means causing or pushing. Thus, “driving” in this context most nearly means “propelling.” The context does not suggest that technology is changing the direction of productivity improvements, so “steering” (A) is incorrect. (C) is incorrect because “hustling” implies rushing or hurrying, which is not implied. Since “driving” in this context does not suggest the physical act of driving, “transporting” (D) is also incorrect.
The Correct Answer is (B) — The first sentence of the fifth paragraph questions whether technological advancement is the main cause of the economic decline of Americans. The two studies support this claim by indicating that many economists and experts believe that technology is the principal cause of stagnant wages and inequality—contributing to the decline in employment. (A) is unsupported by the text, and (C) and (D) are extreme conclusions that the passage does not explicitly make.
The Correct Answer is (D) — The graph shows that economic productivity increased while average real earnings remained relatively constant. This supports the claim in the passage that wages have stagnated since the 1960s, despite increasing productivity. (A) is incorrect because neither the passage nor the graphic suggests a drop in workers’ wages. Both only suggest that average earnings have not increased. (B) is incorrect because although the passage does discuss the employment rate and its concurrent growth with economic productivity, the graph does not indicate any information about employment rate. (C) is incorrect because while the passage does make this claim, the graphic does not indicate the number of jobs being eliminated or created in the economy.
The Correct Answer is (B) — The graph clearly indicates that the line for average wages peaked in 1975. (A), (C), and (D) are all therefore incorrect.
The Correct Answer is (B) — The author indicates that manufacturers incorporated triclosan and triclocarban into products, marketing them as products that killed more bacteria than regular soap. (A) is incorrect because the passage makes no mention of alcohol, nor its effectiveness in comparison to triclosan. (C) is an incorrect assumption. The passage indicates a potential spread of multi-drug resistance, but not a direct trigger. (D) is incorrect because the passage states that triclosan was found in the urine of 75 percent of people tested in the 2003 survey. It does not indicate the percentage of soaps found containing triclosan.
The Correct Answer is (A) — Lines 7-12 indicate that manufacturers began to incorporate triclosan into household products “and many people were attracted by claims that these products killed more bacteria.” (B), (C), and (D) do not touch upon this marketing strategy.
The Correct Answer is (A) — The first paragraph introduces the ruling of the FDA, then the rest of the passage explores the concerns and the reasoning behind the ruling. (B) is incorrect because although the passage does discuss some history of triclosan in the market, then recent discoveries about it, the main concern of the passage is the FDA ruling and the reasons for the ruling. Further, triclosan is discussed as a chemical, not a drug in and of itself. (C) is incorrect because while the passage does discuss serious dangers, it does not mention possible benefits. (D) is incorrect because the passage doesn’t describe the ban of triclosan as addressing an issue of sanitation—in fact, the passage mentions that soap and water alone are sufficiently sanitary. Furthermore, investigation of drug resistance is a much too narrow description of the second half of the passage.
The Correct Answer is (B) — In describing the widespread addition of triclosan to household soaps, “prevalent” most nearly means “pervasive,” since the passage argues that the unwanted chemical had infiltrated household soap products and 75 percent of people in a study had come in contact with it. “Flourishing” implies a positive connotation, which would oppose the author’s negative view on the subject. Therefore, (A) is incorrect. (C) is incorrect because “prevalent” does not imply acceptance—triclosan was widespread, but people didn’t always know it was present, so could not explicitly accept it. (D) is incorrect because while “prevalent” in this context suggests common or widespread, it does not suggest “infamous”--which would require conscious and explicit knowledge of the chemical.
The Correct Answer is (B) — This sentence demonstrates the authors’ approval of the ruling against triclosan, especially since the chemical had been improperly advertised to uninformed customers. Their use of the term “victory” aligns with their consistently negative view of triclosan throughout the passage. (A) is incorrect because although the authors indicate a “victory of science over advertising,” the passage nowhere indicates their lack of respect for sales strategies in a general sense. (C) is incorrect because the text does not mention a “controversy.” (D) is incorrect because the authors do not posit a frequent conflict between science and advertising—only that in this instance, science disproved advertising.
The Correct Answer is (C) — In describing “natural estrogen,” the passage is indicating “biological” estrogen—estrogen as it is found in the body. The term “ecological” is used when describing the relationship between organisms and their physical environment, rather than the body, so (A) is incorrect. “Unprocessed” can be a synonym of “natural,” but is not the intended meaning in this context. In context, the word denotes “coming from or originating from the body”; therefore, (B) is incorrect. (D) is incorrect because the word “humanistic” is not often used to describe biological chemicals or hormones. Rather, it is used in contexts describing human systems of thoughts and values.
The Correct Answer is (D) — Both authors discuss the safety concerns of triclosan; Passage 1 explores the issue of drug resistance and Passage 2 studies its effects on the endocrine system. They would thus view antibacterial soaps as problematic or even dangerous due to their widespread use. (A) is incorrect because the authors do not discuss impracticality or the unstable nature of the chemical. (B) is incorrect because only the author of Passage 2 agrees that antibacterial soaps can be effective in a hospital setting. (C) is incorrect because authors of both passages agree that antibacterial soaps do not kill any more bacteria than regular soap.
The Correct Answer is (D) — Only Passage 2 discusses studies showing that triclosan can disrupt the human endocrine system by docking at estrogen receptors in human cells. Both passages mention marketing strategies (A), provide in-depth examinations of triclosan (B), and explore the effects of triclosan on human biological systems--the immune system in Passage 1 and the endocrine system in Passage 2 (C). (A), (B), and (C) are therefore all incorrect.
The Correct Answer is (B) — Since the author of Passage 2 also discusses safety and health concerns surrounding the chemical triclosan, she would most likely consider the FDA ruling a prudent decision. (A) is incorrect because although the author admits that the concerns have not yet been proven, she listed experimental results that showed negative effects of triclosan, and would not likely be against the ban. She suggests using soap and water until more research is performed on triclosan. (C) is incorrect because Passage 2 nowhere indicates a need for reduction of estrogen in soaps, only a concern about triclosan behaving like estrogen in the body. (D) is incorrect for the same reason as (A). Although the author believes that more research is required, she recommends that the public refrain from use of antibacterial soaps, and would more likely be supportive of, rather than against, the FDA’s ban.
The Correct Answer is (D) — Lines 79-82 indicate that the author does not support the use of triclosan in household soaps, and believes that more research is needed due to concerning results of experiments that have been conducted. She suggests sticking with plain soap and water. This line reference best shows that the author of Passage 2 would likely think of the FDA ruling as a prudent decision. (A) is incorrect because it does not offer insight into the author’s likely view on the ban. (B) and (C) are incorrect because although they mention specific findings highlighted by the author, they do not offer insight into the author’s view of the ban.
The Correct Answer is (A) — You can determine from the evidence within the passage that the piece is written in the voice of someone who was present for events described. What’s more, the passage description indicates that Deer “helped to overturn” the Termination Act. (B) is incorrect because the speaker describes participating in a social movement, and calls the Menominees her “people,” indicating that she is not detached. There’s no evidence in the passage for (C), and we can eliminate (D) because the passage indicates the speaker’s membership in the community.
The Correct Answer is (C) — This is an Explicit Meaning question, so the fact that Laird introduced the bill in Congress is directly stated in the passage. The other answers, (A), (B), and (D) all make claims that aren’t true.
The Correct Answer is (C) — Senator Watkins took the results of a poll of only 169 Menominees to Congress. The community had a population of 3,000 people, and those who didn’t attend the vote were not properly informed about the issue. This is similar to using a deliberately small, selective sample that one knows will give a desired result. (A) is incorrect because the idea of a “unanimous” agreement--or, one that is made by the whole group collectively--was not present in the given lines. Only a very small sample of people voiced their opinion. (B) is incorrect because the results of the poll only included responses from 169 of the 3,000 members, whereas in (B), the census-taker visited every house in the community. (D) is incorrect since in the given lines there was no community dialogue or other inclusive conversation conducted regarding the Termination Act.
The Correct Answer is (B) — Remember that your goal is to find the central idea, which is that Termination had multiple harmful ramifications. (A) and (C) offer overly specific ideas that are also not supported by the evidence in the passage. (D) is not mentioned in the paragraph either. Thus, (A), (C), and (D) are incorrect.
The Correct Answer is (D) — Since Deer also discusses how, “In contrast,” the Restoration Act “came from the people, from the bottom up,” it’s clear that she’s referring to local community members as a whole--rather than politicians (B) or the government (C). There’s no textual support for (A).
The Correct Answer is (A) — As in the previous question, Deer emphasizes how the Restoration Act came “from the bottom up,” meaning that tribal members had a role in the process, whereas previous policies came “from the top down.” (B ), (C), and (D) are not supported by the passage, and are in fact directly contradicted by Deer’s words.
The Correct Answer is (C) — At this point in the passage, Deer emphasizes how the tribe was able to work for a piece of legislation that represented their own wishes and aspirations. (A), (B), and (D) are not relevant in this context.
The Correct Answer is (A) — The “movement” worked to recover the Menominees’ tribal status, and is thus a political organization. (B) is incorrect; there’s no support for this idea in the passage. (C) is not accurate; since it took three or four years for the law to come about, we can safely infer that it involved much more than one march. (D) is also incorrect because there’s no indication or mention of charity in the passage.
The Correct Answer is (A) — Deer remarks, “when you think about how long it takes to get a law through Congress, it was a very short time,” and the process took three or four years--meaning that it’s typically lengthy. Options (B), (C), and (D) aren’t supported by textual evidence.
The Correct Answer is (D) — This option suggests that laws usually take more than three or four years to pass in Congress. (A), (B), and (C) are incorrect because they address different ideas.
The Correct Answer is (C) — After presenting a problem with the effectiveness of traditional techniques, the passage introduces a new technique that can increase the efficiency and thus the usefulness of pollen genetics in forensic investigations. (A) is incorrect because the passage does not indicate the usefulness of pollen exine analysis as evidence. (B) is incorrect because although this is factually true according to the text, this point is not the primary concern of the passage. (D) is incorrect because the passage does not indicate this. In fact, the authors indicate that it is “often impossible to determine the exact species of a grain by mere observation.”
The Correct Answer is (D) — These lines discuss how DNA barcoding can be used in the near future for forensic purposes. This new technique increases the efficiency and thus usefulness of pollen genetics in forensic investigations. (A), (B), and (C) are incorrect because they do not touch on this point that a new technique can increase usefulness.
The Correct Answer is (C) — The passage identifies a problem of efficiency with the existing technique of traditional observation under the microscope, then describes a potential solution with a new technique—DNA barcoding. (A) is incorrect because DNA barcoding is not a new field; rather, it is an innovative and advanced technique being introduced into the existing field of forensic palynology. (B) is incorrect because the passage is not concerned with a particular plant species, nor is it concerned with the evolution or the uses of that plant species. (D) is incorrect because the passage discusses the same field of work throughout—forensic palynology. While the passage discusses older, traditional methods, it does not explore the history of related fields of work.
The Correct Answer is (D) — The authors most clearly view the subject with optimism. This attitude is evident in the introduction and exploration of the new technique of DNA barcoding. (A) is incorrect because although the authors recognize the issue of inefficiency in the first half of the passage, there is no indication of frustration. (B) is incorrect because the passage does not support a feeling of relief. (C) is incorrect because the passage does not present the authors as concerned or worried about forensic palynology.
The Correct Answer is (D) — These lines indicate that the authors acknowledge the need to overcome some obstacles, but that they are optimistic about pollen DNA barcoding in forensic palynology. (A) is incorrect because it just discusses the “signature” of pollen grains. (B) is incorrect because it only discusses the ineffectiveness of traditional observation. (C) is incorrect because although the new technique is discussed, these lines do not indicate the authors’ optimism.
The Correct Answer is (B) — In the context of the passage, to “trace bodies to their original burial sites” is most reasonably defined as “track” the bodies to their origin. (A) and (C) are incorrect because “trace” in this context does not mean to “draw” or “copy” something. (D) is incorrect because “trace” in this context does not suggest any act of transporting.
The Correct Answer is (C) — The fifth paragraph explains the technical details of DNA barcoding. While the passage does mention specific sequences in pollen DNA, the paragraph does not seem to serve the purpose of describing the scientific background of pollen DNA. So, (A) is incorrect. (B) and (D) are unsupported by the text.
The Correct Answer is (C) — In context, the passage most likely indicates that high-throughput DNA sequencing has made DNA barcoding “possible.” (A) is incorrect because "likely" means something will happen with increased probability, while the passage is indicating that DNA sequencing merely makes pollen DNA barcoding possible, not how likely this possibility is. (B) is not correct because replacing "feasible" with "suitable" in this context means there is something the subject will be appropriate for, which isn't present here. (D) is incorrect because "beneficial" implies that DNA sequencing is helpful to pollen DNA barcoding, while the passage does not mention possible benefits of this relationship.
The Correct Answer is (B) — In the first stage in the graphic, it is clear that pollen samples contain a mix of different species. (A) is incorrect because the graphic indicates otherwise: the grains do not need to be separated. (C) is incorrect because the graphic indicates that pollen DNA must be isolated before it can be sequenced. (D) is incorrect; the graphic does not show this.
The Correct Answer is (A) — The final step in the technique is to search through geographic databases to “infer the origin of objects.” (B), (C), and (D) are unsupported by both the passage and the graphic.
The Correct Answer is (D) — As indicated in previous questions, and supported by the passage and the graphic, the first step in DNA barcoding is first isolating the pollen DNA. All the other answer choices describe subsequent steps in the process, making them incorrect.