Reading Test – Solutions
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As Xenophanes recognized as long ago as the sixth century before Christ, whether or not God made man in His own image, it is certain that man makes gods in his. The gods of Greek mythology first appear in the writings of Homer and Hesiod, and, from the character and actions of these picturesque and, for the most part, friendly beings, we get some idea of the men who made them and brought them to Greece.
But ritual is more fundamental than mythology, and the study of Greek ritual during recent years has shown that, beneath the belief or skepticism with which the Olympians were regarded, lay an older magic, with traditional rites for the promotion of fertility by the celebration of the annual cycle of life and death, and the propitiation of unfriendly ghosts, gods or demons. Some such survivals were doubtless widespread, and, prolonged into classical times, probably made the substance of Eleusinian and Orphic mysteries. Against this dark and dangerous background arose Olympic mythology on the one hand and early philosophy and science on the other.
In classical times the need of a creed higher than the Olympian was felt, and Aeschylus, Sophocles and Plato finally evolved from the pleasant but crude polytheism the idea of a single, supreme and righteous Zeus. But the decay of Olympus led to a revival of old and the invasion of new magic cults among the people, while some philosophers were looking to a vision of the uniformity of nature under divine and universal law.
1. The main idea of the passage is that
(A) Olympic mythology evolved from ancient rituals and gave rise to early philosophy
(B) early moves toward viewing nature as ordered by divine and universal law coincided with monotheistic impulses and the disintegration of classical mythology
(C) early philosophy followed from classical mythology
(D) the practice of science, i.e., empiricism, preceded scientific theory
Correct Answer: (B)
Solution: Most main idea questions are rather easy. This one is not–mainly, because the passage itself is not an easy read. Recall that to find the main idea of a passage, we check the last sentence of the first paragraph; if it’s not there, we check the closing of the passage. Reviewing the last sentence of the first paragraph, we see that it hardly presents a statement, let alone the main idea. Turning to the closing line of the passage, however, we find the key to this question. The passage describes a struggle for ascendancy amongst four opposing philosophies: (magic and traditional rites) vs. (Olympic mythology) vs. (monotheism [Zeus]) vs. (early philosophy and science). The closing lines of the passage summarize this and add that Olympic mythology lost out to monotheism (Zeus), while magical cults enjoyed a revival and the germ of universal law was planted. Thus the answer is (B).
As to the other choices, (A) is false. “Olympic mythology [arose] on one hand and early philosophy and science on the other” (closing to paragraph two); thus they initially developed in parallel. (C) is also false. It makes the same type of error as (A). Finally, (D) is not mentioned in the passage.
If dynamic visual graphics, sound effects, and automatic scorekeeping are the features that account for the popularity of video games, why are parents so worried? All of these features seem quite innocent. But another source of concern is that the games available in arcades have, almost without exception, themes of physical aggression…. There has long been the belief that violent content may teach violent behavior. And yet again our society finds a new medium in which to present that content, and yet again the demand is nearly insatiable. And there is evidence that violent video games breed violent behavior, just as violent television shows do….
The effects of video violence are less simple, however, than they at first appeared. The same group of researchers who found negative effects [from certain video games] have more recently found that two-player aggressive video games, whether cooperative or competitive, reduce the level of aggression in children’s play….
It may be that the most harmful aspect of the violent video games is that they are solitary in nature. A two-person aggressive game (video boxing, in this study) seems to provide a cathartic or releasing effect for aggression, while a solitary aggressive game (such as Space Invaders) may stimulate further aggression. Perhaps the effects of television in stimulating aggression will also be found to stem partly from the fact that TV viewing typically involves little social interaction.
2. According to the passage, which of the following would be likely to stimulate violent behavior in a child playing a video game?
I. Watching the computer stage a battle between two opponents
II. Controlling a character in battle against a computer
III. Challenging another player to a battle in a non-cooperative two-person game
(A) II only
(B) III only
(C) I and II only
(D) II and III only
Correct Answer: (C)
Solution: Item I, True: Stimulation would occur. This choice is qualitatively the same as passively watching violence on television. Item II, True: Stimulation would also occur. This is another example of solitary aggression (implied by the second sentence of the last paragraph). Item III, False: No stimulation would occur. Two-player aggressive games are “cathartic” (again the needed reference is the second sentence of the last paragraph). The answer is (C).
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Often, the central problem in any business is that money is needed to make money. The following discusses the sale of equity, which is one response to this problem.
Sale of Capital Stock: a way to obtain capital through the sale of stock to individual investors beyond the scope of one’s immediate acquaintances. Periods of high interest rates turn entrepreneurs to this equity market. This involves, of necessity, a dilution of ownership, and many owners are reluctant to take this step for that reason. Whether the owner is wise in declining to use outside equity financing depends upon the firm’s long-range prospects. If there is an opportunity for substantial expansion on a continuing basis and if other sources are inadequate, the owner may decide logically to bring in other owners. Owning part of a larger business may be more profitable than owning all of a smaller business.
3. The passage implies that an owner who chooses not to sell capital stock despite the prospect of continued expansion is
(A) subject to increased regulation
(B) more conservative than is wise under the circumstances
(C) likely to have her ownership of the business diluted
(D) sacrificing security for rapid growth
Correct Answer: (B)
(A) No. This is not mentioned in the passage.
(B) Yes. The passage states that “the owner may decide logically to bring in other owners”; in other words, the owner would be wise to sell stock in this situation.
(C) No. By NOT selling stock, the owner retains full ownership.
(D) No. Just the opposite: the owner would be sacrificing a measure of security for growth if she did sell stock.
The idea of stuff expresses no more than the experience of coming to a limit at which our senses or our instruments are not fine enough to make out the pattern.
Something of the same kind happens when the scientist investigates any unit or pattern so distinct to the naked eye that it has been considered a separate entity. He finds that the more carefully he observes and describes it, the more he is also describing the environment in which it moves and other patterns to which it seems inseparably related. As Teilhard de Chardin has so well expressed it, the isolation of individual, atomic patterns “is merely an intellectual dodge.”
…Although the ancient cultures of Asia never attained the rigorously exact physical knowledge of the modern West, they grasped in principle many things which are only now occurring to us. Hinduism and Buddhism are impossible to classify as religions, philosophies, sciences, or even mythologies, or again as amalgamations of all four, because departmentalization is foreign to them even in so basic a form as the separation of the spiritual and the material…. Buddhism … is not a culture but a critique of culture, an enduring nonviolent revolution, or “loyal opposition,” to the culture with which it is involved. This gives these ways of liberation something in common with psychotherapy beyond the interest in changing states of consciousness. For the task of the psychotherapist is to bring about a reconciliation between individual feeling and social norms without, however, sacrificing the integrity of the individual. He tries to help the individual to be himself and to go it alone in the world (of social convention) but not of the world.
4. What does the passage suggest about the theme of the book from which it is excerpted?
(A) The book attempts to understand psychotherapy in the context of different and changing systems of thought.
(B) The book argues that psychotherapy unites elements of an exact science with elements of eastern philosophy.
(C) The book describes the origins of psychotherapy around the world.
(D) The book compares psychotherapy in the West and in the East.
Correct Answer: (A)
(A) Yes, this is the most accurate inference from the passage. The passage discusses how the more carefully a scientist views and describes something the more he describes the environment in which it moves, and the passage traces similarities between psychotherapy and Eastern systems of (evolving) thought.
(B) No, this is too narrow an interpretation of what the whole book would be doing.
(C) No, too vague; the passage is too philosophical to be merely a history.
(D) No, also too vague, meant to entrap those of you who relied on the title without thinking through the passage.