Lesson: Reading Comprehension Question Types

Comment on Reading Comprehension Question Types

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Hi Brent,

In this question, I see both B and D as correct answers. Could you please explain why D is the correct one and B is incorrect.

Does this question ask for inference?

https://gmatclub.com/forum/during-the-1980s-many-economic-historians-studying-latin-america-fo-222699.html

Which of the following conclusions about the Great Depression is best supported by the passage?
A. It did not impede Latin American industrial growth as much as historians had previously thought.
B. It had a more severe impact on the Brazilian and the Mexican textile industries than it had on Latin America as a region.
C. It affected the Latin American textile industry more severely than it did any other industry in Latin America.
D. The overall impact on Latin American industrial growth should be reevaluated by economic historians.
E. Its impact on Latin America should not be compared with its impact on the United States


Thank you in advance,
gmat-admin's picture

Question link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/during-the-1980s-many-economic-historians-stu...

Yes, this is an inference question.

Answer choice B is tempting.

After all, the passage says that "recent analyses of previously unexamined data on textile manufacturing in Brazil and Mexico suggest that the Great Depression had a more severe impact on this Latin American industry than scholars had recognized."
In other words, the Depression hurt the Latin American TEXTILE INDUSTRY (LATI) more than was originally thought.

Notice that the passage limits the discussion to the TEXTILE INDUSTRY.
There's nothing that compares the Depression's impact on the LATI with the Depression's impact on Latin America as a region.

As such, we can eliminate B.

As for answer choice D...
We're first told that, during the 1980's, the theory was that the Depression didn't hurt Latin America as much as it hurt the US.
The passage then uses several examples that either question or disprove this old view.
The implied conclusion is that this matter should be reevaluated.
Answer choice D is best.

Cheers,
Brent

Hi Brent,

Very tricky,

So to restate what you have written, the last sentence of the passage only tells about reevaluated expectations of LATI, we don't have any comparison to other industries or Latine America.

Do you think that if the question was "Which of the following is supported by the passage?" then it wouldn't be an inference question, so that I can't infer "between lines" but have to find exact support to my question, which must be explicitly stated in the passage. Take a look at my modification of the question(I also modified B):

Which of the following about the Great Depression is best supported by the passage?
A. It did not impede Latin American industrial growth as much as historians had previously thought.
B. It had a more severe impact on the Brazilian and the Mexican textile industries than it had previously been thought.
C. It affected the Latin American textile industry more severely than it did any other industry in Latin America.
D. The overall impact on Latin American industrial growth should be reevaluated by economic historians.
E. Its impact on Latin America should not be compared with its impact on the United States

Do you think that then the correct choice must have been B and incorrect D?

What do you think?
gmat-admin's picture

With that rewording, I feel that B and D would be equally tempting.

Hi Brent,

https://gmatclub.com/forum/two-works-published-in-1984-demonstrate-contrasting-approaches-to-writ-83329.html

I have a problem with this question

The passage suggests that Lebsock believes that compared to nineteenth-century American women, eighteenth-century American women were
(A) in many respects less powerful in relation to men
(B) more likely to own real estate
(C) generally more economically independent
(D) more independent in conducting their private lives
(E) less likely to work as school superintendents

Why C is correct answer?

Lebsock, meanwhile, attempts ... to redirect two
decades of historiographical debate as to
*whether women gained or lost status in the
nineteenth century as compared with the
eighteenth century*.

**- here we see that 18-century women status is compared to the 19-century women status

"...She concludes that while
women gained autonomy in some areas,
especially in the private sphere, they lost it in
many aspects of the economic sphere.

here we can pick C as a correct choice, but after reading this sentence I got stuck because it was saying completely the opposite of the previously said things,

" Yet women also gained power in comparison with their previous status, owning a higher proportion of real estate, for example. "

How can women in 19 century own a higher proportion of real estate and at the same time be less economically independent?

Thank you in advance
gmat-admin's picture

Link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/two-works-published-in-1984-demonstrate-contr...

The key piece of information is here:

"She concludes that while women gained AUTONOMY in some areas, especially in the private sphere, they LOST it in many aspects of the ECONOMIC sphere"

If the 19th century women lost economic autonomy, then we can say that 18th century women were "generally more economically independent"

Does that help?

Cheers,
Brent

Hi Brent,

I think the reason why this portion of the passage should not influence my choice: " Yet women also gained power in comparison with their previous status, owning a higher proportion of real estate, for example. " is that the author interprets higher proportion of real estate as improvement in "power" to which I shouldn't add "economic independence",

Am I right,

Thank you,
gmat-admin's picture

Yes, I agree with your assessment.
Real estate ownership does not necessarily mean economic independence.

Hi Brent,

https://gmatclub.com/forum/acting-on-the-recommendation-of-a-british-government-committee-investi-220248.html


what does it mean to contrast views:

The passage is primarily concerned with

(A) presenting various groups' views of the motives of those proposing certain legislation
(B) contrasting the reasoning of various groups concerning their positions on certain proposed legislation
(C) tracing the process whereby certain proposed legislation was eventually enacted
(D) assessing the success of tactics adopted by various groups with respect to certain proposed legislation
(E) evaluating the arguments of various groups concerning certain proposed legislatio

As far as I understood WIDC and SPEW had aligned views about proposed legislation. To make C a correct choice I would replace "contrasting" with "presenting".

(B) presenting the reasoning of various groups concerning their positions on certain proposed legislation

There were no oppositions or argues between those two parties(I don't consider the last party WTUL)

Why A is incorrect then,(it has its flaws since the groups were not concerned about "motives", but the word "contrasting" in C was more repulsive

Thank you in advance
gmat-admin's picture

Link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/acting-on-the-recommendation-of-a-british-gov...

The WIDC and SPEW both opposed the proposed legislation, but the WTUL supported the proposed legislation.
This makes answer choice B look good.

(A) presenting various groups' views of the motives of those proposing certain legislation
A British government committee proposed the legislation.
There is no mention of the committee's motives.
The passage does state "viewing it as yet another instance of limiting women's work opportunities," but that still doesn't address the committee's motives.

Does that help?

Cheers,
Brent

Hi Brent,

Could you please tell why E is better answer than D. On my opinion both answers are equally viable:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/it-is-an-odd-but-indisputable-fact-that-the-seventeenth-century-englis-207145.html

The passage suggests which of the following about
the seventeenth‐century English women mentioned
in line 2 ?

The passage suggests which of the following about the seventeenth-century English women mentioned in line 2?

A: Their status as forerunners of modern feminism is not entirely justified.

B: They did not openly challenge the radical patriarchalism of Royalist Filmerian ideology.

C: Cavendish was the first among these women to criticize women's subordination in marriage and assert women's equality with men.

D: Their views on family organization and women's political rights were diametrically opposed to those of both Royalist and Parliamentarian ideology.

E: Historians would be less puzzled if more of them were identified with the Parliamentarian side in the English Civil Wars.

The argument against choosing D in the Official Guide is about Parlimentrian ideology about family organization not being mentioned in the passage, yet this sentence makes it clear what was their ideology "and indeed, there may have been no consistent differences between Royalists and
Parliamentarians on issues of family organization"

What do you think?

Thank you in advance,
gmat-admin's picture

Question link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/it-is-an-odd-but-indisputable-fact-that-the-s...

Great question!
As I see it, the passage doesn't say "...there WERE NO consistent differences between Royalists and Parliamentarians on issues of family organization"

Instead, it says "there MAY HAVE been no consistent differences between Royalists and Parliamentarians on issues of family organization"
Moreover, that sentence is followed by "but in that case one would expect early feminists to be equally divided between the two sides."

This second part suggests that Royalists and Parliamentarians must have had some differences.

Does that help?

Cheers,
Brent

Hi Brent,

Could you please explain why E is wrong and D is correct. Both of them are ok for me:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/it-is-an-odd-but-indisputable-fact-that-the-seventeenth-century-englis-207145.html

The phrase "a satellite orbiting a dominant male planet" refers most directly to

A: Cavendish's concept that each woman is a sovereign self

B: the complete political and social isolation of absolute singularity

C: the immaterial world that a writer can create on paper

D: the absolute subordination of women in a patriarchal society

E: the metaphorical figure of the absolute monarch

Thank you in advance,
gmat-admin's picture

Link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/it-is-an-odd-but-indisputable-fact-that-the-s...

(D) The satellite metaphor refers to this the subjugation of women. In contrast, Cavendish felt SHE was the center of her own universe. So, D looks good.

(E) The passage says "In justifying this absolute singularity, Cavendish repeatedly invoked the model of the absolute monarch, a figure that became a metaphor for the self-enclosed, autonomous nature of the individual person"

So, if the absolute monarch represents the self-enclosed, autonomous nature of the individual person, then the satellite metaphor wouldn't apply, since autonomous people don't orbit other people.

What do you think?

Cheers,
Brent

Hi Brent,

https://www.beatthegmat.com/og-there-are-recent-reports-of-apparently-drastic-t295828.html>

Could you please explain why C is a wrong answer and E is correct answer?

Is it because of Present Perfect Continuous tense that indecates that the amphibian population has been declining even now, which is not stated in the passage, but rather it was declining for sime time in the past?

506. It can be inferred from the passage that the author believes which of the following to be true of the amphibian extinctions that have recently been reported?
(A) They have resulted primarily from human activities causing environmental degradation.
(B)They could probably have been prevented if timely action had been taken to protect the habitats of amphibian species.
(C) They should not come as a surprise, because amphibian populations generally have been declining for a number of years.
(D) They have probably been caused by a combination of chance events.
(E) They do not clearly constitute evidence of general environmental degradation.

gmat-admin's picture

Link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/there-are-recent-reports-of-apparently-drasti...

The author suggests that there could be many causes for the decline, including chance events, or just an already-small population that struggles under difficult conditions. This lines up nicely with answer choice E.

The part that says "Its disappearance, however unfortunate, should come as no great surprise" refer only to endangered populations, not all populations. As such, answer choice C isn't as strong as E.

Hi Brent,

Could you please explain why A is a correct answer and B is incorrect:

The author of the passage uses the expression “are supposed to” in line 27 primarily in order to
(A) suggest that a contention made by constructivists regarding determinists is inaccurate
(B) define the generally accepted position of determinists regarding the implementation of technology
(C) engage in speculation about the motivation of determinists
(D) lend support to a comment critical of the position of determinists
(E) contrast the historical position of determinists with their position regarding the exchange modernization

https://gmatclub.com/forum/jon-clark-s-study-of-the-effect-of-the-modernization-of-a-telephone-ex-88689.html

Thank you in advance,

Hi Brent,

https://gmatclub.com/forum/jacob-burckhardt-s-view-that-renaissance-european-women-stood-on-218792.html

In the question:

According to the passage, feminist scholars cite
Burckhardt’s view of Renaissance women primarily for
which of the following reasons?

Why B is incorrect and C is the correct answer?

Thank you in advance,
gmat-admin's picture

Link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/jacob-burckhardt-s-view-that-renaissance-euro...

TOUGH!!!

Burckhardt felt that "Renaissance European women 'stood on a footing of perfect equality' with Renaissance men has been repeatedly cited by feminist scholars as a prelude to their presentation of rich historical evidence of women’s inequality.
In other words, Burckhardt felt that Renaissance European women had EQUALITY

The author then states that, "IN STRIKING CONTRAST to Burckhardt, Joan Kelly in her famous 1977 essay, “Did Women Have a Renaissance?” argued that the Renaissance was a period of economic and social decline for women relative both to Renaissance men and to medieval women."

So, Kelly says that the Renaissance saw a DECLINE in women's equality, and this is IN STRIKING CONTRAST to Burckhardt's position that women were EQUAL.

B) Burckhardt’s view has been discredited by Kelly.
This looks appealing. However, the passage notes "Many recent works by these scholars stress the ways in which differences among Renaissance women—especially in terms of social status and religion—work to COMPLICATE the kinds of generalizations both Burckhardt and Kelly made on the basis of their observations about upper-class Italian women."
This suggests that Kelly's AND Burckhardt’s conclusions may not have been ideal.
So, we really can't say that Burckhardt’s views were discredited
More importantly, we can't say that this is the REASON Burckhardt’s views were mentioned.

C) Burckhardt’s view is one that many feminist scholars wish to refute.
In other words, feminist scholars cite Burckhardt's views in order to show that he was wrong.

Does that help?

Cheers, Brent

Thank you very much, Brent,

High-quality explanation as always,

Hi Brent,

Could you please explain why the answer is B and how can I get to this conclusion?

https://gmatclub.com/forum/jacob-burckhardt-s-view-that-renaissance-european-women-stood-on-218792.html

It can be inferred that both Burckhardt and Kelly have been criticized by the scholars mentioned inline 12 for which of the following?

Thank you in advance,
gmat-admin's picture

Link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/jacob-burckhardt-s-view-that-renaissance-euro...

The passage says "Many recent works by these scholars stress the ways in which differences among Renaissance women—especially in terms of social status and religion—work to complicate the kinds of GENERALIZATIONS both Burckhardt and Kelly made on the BASIS of their OBSERVATIONS about UPPER-CLASS ITALIAN WOMEN"

In other words, Burckhardt and Kelly used their observations of RICH ITALIAN women to make their generalizations about ALL RENAISSANCE women.

Answer choice B is a good match:

B) Drawing conclusions that are based on the study of an atypical group of women

Cheers,
Brent

Very clear,

Thank you very much Brent for your time,

Hi Brent, do i need to put extra effort on vocabulary to tackle verbal section? I'm pretty fluent in spoken and written English but i don't use big words like "vacuous" or "tangential" in my daily use of English. In fact, i don't even know what they mean!

Thanks!
Kashaf
gmat-admin's picture

Good question. In many cases, other parts of the passage will help you determine the context of an unfamiliar word.
However, if you've read several (official) Reading Comprehension passages and find that there are many unfamiliar words, you might make a point of creating a list of such words (and their definitions).

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