New SAT Reading : Finding Explicit Details

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for New SAT Reading

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Finding Explicit Details

This passage is adapted from Jane Austen, Mansfield Park. Originally published 1814. Fanny has recently moved to live with her relatives at Mansfield Park.

The little girl performed her long journey in safety; and at Northampton was met by Mrs. Norris, who thus regaled in the credit of being foremost to welcome her, and in the importance of leading her  in to the others, and recommending her to their kindness.

Fanny Price was at this time just ten years old, and though there might not be much in her first appearance to captivate, there was, at least, nothing to disgust her relations. She was small of her age, with no glow of complexion, nor any other striking beauty; exceedingly timid and shy, and shrinking from notice; but her air, though awkward, was not vulgar, her voice was sweet, and when she spoke  her countenance was pretty. Sir Thomas and Lady Bertram received her very kindly; and Sir Thomas, seeing how much she needed encouragement, tried to be all that was conciliating: but he had to work against a most untoward gravity of deportment; and Lady Bertram, without taking half so much trouble, or speaking one word where he spoke ten, by the mere aid of a good-humored smile, became immediately the less awful character of the two. 

The young people were all at home, and sustained their share in the introduction very well, with much good humor, and no embarrassment, at least on the part of the sons, who, at seventeen and sixteen, and tall of their age, had all the grandeur of men in the eyes of their little cousin. The two girls were more at a loss from being younger and in greater awe of their father, who addressed them on the occasion with rather an injudicious particularity. But they were too much used to company and praise to have anything like natural shyness; and their confidence increasing from their cousin's total want of it, they were soon able to take a full survey of her face and her frock in easy indifference. 

They were a remarkably fine family, the sons very well-looking, the daughters decidedly handsome, and all of them well-grown and forward of their age, which produced as striking a difference between the cousins in person, as education had given to their address; and no one would have supposed the girls so nearly of an age as they really were. There were in fact but two years between the youngest and Fanny. Julia Bertram was only twelve, and Maria but a year older.

The little visitor meanwhile was as unhappy as possible. Afraid of everybody, ashamed of herself, and longing for the home she had left, she knew not how to look up, and could scarcely speak to be heard, or without crying. Mrs. Norris had been talking to her the whole way from Northampton of Fanny’s wonderful good fortune, and the extraordinary degree of gratitude and good behavior which it ought to produce, and her consciousness of misery was therefore increased by the idea of its being a wicked thing for her not to be happy.

The fatigue, too, of so long a journey, became soon no trifling evil. In vain were the well-meant condescensions of Sir Thomas, and all the officious prognostications of Mrs. Norris that she would be a good girl; in vain did Lady Bertram smile and make her sit on the sofa with herself and pug, and  vain was even the sight of a gooseberry tart towards giving her comfort; she could scarcely swallow two mouthfuls before tears interrupted her, and sleep seeming to be her likeliest friend, she was taken to finish her sorrows in bed.

“This is not a very promising beginning,” said Mrs. Norris, when Fanny had left the room. “After all that I said to her as we came along, I thought she would have behaved better; I told her how much might depend upon her acquitting herself well at first. I wish there may not be a little sulkiness of temper—her poor mother had a good deal; but we must make allowances for such a child—and I do not know that her being sorry to leave her home is really against her, for, with all its faults, it was her home, and she cannot as yet understand how much she has changed for the better; but then there is moderation in all things.”

It required a longer time, however, than Mrs. Norris was inclined to allow to reconcile Fanny to the novelty of Mansfield Park, and the separation from everybody she had been used to. Her feelings were very acute and too little understood to be properly attended to. Nobody meant to be unkind, but nobody put themselves out of their way to secure her comfort.

Fanny, whether near or from her cousins, whether in the schoolroom, the drawing-room, or the shrubbery, was equally forlorn, finding something to fear in every person and place. She was disheartened by Lady Bertram's silence, awed by Sir Thomas's grave looks, and quite overcome by Mrs. Norris's admonitions. Her elder cousins mortified her by reflections on her size, and abashed her by noticing her shyness: Miss Lee wondered at her ignorance, and the maid-servants sneered at her clothes; and when to these sorrows was added the idea of the brothers and sisters among whom she had always been important as playfellow, instructress, and nurse, the despondence that sunk her little heart was severe.

According to the passage, how do Sir Thomas’s and Lady Bertram’s reactions to Fanny differ?

Possible Answers:

 Sir Thomas understands Fanny’s reticence more than his wife does.

Lady Bertram is kinder to Fanny than is her husband.

Lady Bertram pays more attention to Fanny than does her husband

Sir Thomas is more talkative towards Fanny than is his wife.

Correct answer:

Sir Thomas is more talkative towards Fanny than is his wife.

Explanation:

To answer this question about a specific detail in the passage, you need to look back at where the author discusses the difference in Lady and Sir Bertram's reactions towards Fanny. In paragraph 2, the author states that Lady Bertram spoke "one word where [Sir Bertram] spoke ten." Based on this short detail, Sir Bertram was more talkative towards Fanny than was his wife, "Sir Thomas is more talkative towards Fanny than is his wife".

Among the other choices, "Lady Bertram is kinder to Fanny than is her husband" can be eliminated because the author does not make a judgement as to which of the Bertrams is kinder to Fanny. "Lady Bertram pays more attention to Fanny than does her husband" can be eliminated because both Sir and Lady Bertram pay attention to Fanny. And " Sir Thomas understands Fanny’s reticence more than his wife does." can be eliminated because there is no indication that either Sir or Lady Bertram understands Fanny's feelings.

Example Question #2 : Finding Explicit Details

This passage is adapted from Adam K. Fetterman and Kai Sassenberg, “The Reputational Consequences of Failed Replications and Wrongness Admission among Scientists", first published in December 2015 by PLOS ONE.

We like to think of science as a purely rational. However, scientists are human and often identify with their work. Therefore, it should not be controversial to suggest that emotions are involved in replication discussions. Adding to this inherently emotionally volatile situation, the recent increase in the use of social media and blogs by scientists has allowed for instantaneous, unfiltered, and at times emotion-based commentary on research. Certainly social media has the potential to lead to many positive outcomes in science–among others, to create a more open science. To some, however, it seems as if this ease of communication is also leading to the public tar and feathering of scientists. Whether these assertions are true is up for debate, but we assume they are a part of many scientists’ subjective reality. Indeed, when failed replications are discussed in the same paragraphs as questionable research practices, or even fraud, it is hard to separate the science from the scientist. Questionable research practices and fraud are not about the science; they are about the scientist. We believe that these considerations are at least part of the reason that we find the overestimation effect that we do, here.

Even so, the current data suggests that while many are worried about how a failed replication would affect their reputation, it is probably not as bad as they think. Of course, the current data cannot provide evidence that there are no negative effects; just that the negative impact is overestimated. That said, everyone wants to be seen as competent and honest, but failed replications are a part of science. In fact, they are how science moves forward!

While we imply that these effects may be exacerbated by social media, the data cannot directly speak to this. However, any one of a number of cognitive biases may add support to this assumption and explain our findings. For example, it may be that a type of availability bias or pluralistic ignorance of which the more vocal and critical voices are leading individuals to judge current opinions as more negative than reality. As a result, it is easy to conflate discussions about direct replications with “witch- hunts” and overestimate the impact on one’s own reputation. Whatever the source may be, it is worth looking at the potential negative impact of social media in scientific conversations.

If the desire is to move science forward, scientists need to be able to acknowledge when they are wrong. Theories come and go, and scientists learn from their mistakes (if they can even be called “mistakes”). This is the point of science. However, holding on to faulty ideas flies in the face of the scientific method. Even so, it often seems as if scientists have a hard time admitting wrongness. This seems doubly true when someone else fails to replicate a scientist’s findings. Even so, it often seems as if scientists have a hard time admitting wrongness. This seems doubly true when someone else fails to replicate a scientist’s findings. In some cases, this may be the proper response. Just as often, though, it is not. In most cases, admitting wrongness will have relatively fewer ill effects on one’s reputation than not admitting and it may be better for reputation. It could also be that wrongness admission repairs damage to reputation.

It may seem strange that others consider it less likely that questionable research practices, for example, were used when a scientist admits that they were wrong. However, it does make sense from the standpoint that wrongness admission seems to indicate honesty. Therefore, if one is honest in one domain, they are likely honest in other domains. Moreover, the refusal to admit might indicate to others that the original scientist is trying to cover something up. The lack of significance of most of the interactions in our study suggests that it even seems as if scientists might already realize this. Therefore, we can generally suggest that scientists admit they are wrong, but only when the evidence suggests they should.

The chart below maps how scientists view others' work (left) and how they suspect others will view their own work (right) if the researcher (the scientist or another, depending on the focus) admitted to engaging in questionable research practices.

Screen shot 2020 08 20 at 3.28.58 pm

Adapted from Fetterman & Sassenberg, "The Reputational Consequences of Failed Replications and Wrongness Admission among Scientists." December 9, 2015, PLOS One.

The author argues which of the following about the effects of social media?

Possible Answers:

It may give the illusion that feedback on a study is more negative than it really is.

It encourages unfounded criticism of studies that cannot be replicated.

Because its effect cannot be fully determined, it should be ignored.

Cognitive biases make it difficult to determine the exact effect social media has.

Correct answer:

It may give the illusion that feedback on a study is more negative than it really is.

Explanation:

To answer this detail-specific question, you need to know where to look back. If we look at the third paragraph, the author is discussing the effects of social media. This sentence specifically, "For example, it may be that a type of availability bias or pluralistic ignorance of which the more vocal and critical voices are leading individuals to judge current opinions as more negative than reality." leads us to our answer. "It may give the illusion that feedback on a study is more negative than it really is." is the correct answer choice.

Example Question #3 : Finding Explicit Details

This passage is adapted from Jane Austen, Mansfield Park. Originally published 1814. Fanny has recently moved to live with her relatives at Mansfield Park.

The little girl performed her long journey in safety; and at Northampton was met by Mrs. Norris, who thus regaled in the credit of being foremost to welcome her, and in the importance of leading her  in to the others, and recommending her to their kindness.

Fanny Price was at this time just ten years old, and though there might not be much in her first appearance to captivate, there was, at least, nothing to disgust her relations. She was small of her age, with no glow of complexion, nor any other striking beauty; exceedingly timid and shy, and shrinking from notice; but her air, though awkward, was not vulgar, her voice was sweet, and when she spoke  her countenance was pretty. Sir Thomas and Lady Bertram received her very kindly; and Sir Thomas, seeing how much she needed encouragement, tried to be all that was conciliating: but he had to work against a most untoward gravity of deportment; and Lady Bertram, without taking half so much trouble, or speaking one word where he spoke ten, by the mere aid of a good-humored smile, became immediately the less awful character of the two. 

The young people were all at home, and sustained their share in the introduction very well, with much good humor, and no embarrassment, at least on the part of the sons, who, at seventeen and sixteen, and tall of their age, had all the grandeur of men in the eyes of their little cousin. The two girls were more at a loss from being younger and in greater awe of their father, who addressed them on the occasion with rather an injudicious particularity. But they were too much used to company and praise to have anything like natural shyness; and their confidence increasing from their cousin's total want of it, they were soon able to take a full survey of her face and her frock in easy indifference. 

They were a remarkably fine family, the sons very well-looking, the daughters decidedly handsome, and all of them well-grown and forward of their age, which produced as striking a difference between the cousins in person, as education had given to their address; and no one would have supposed the girls so nearly of an age as they really were. There were in fact but two years between the youngest and Fanny. Julia Bertram was only twelve, and Maria but a year older.

The little visitor meanwhile was as unhappy as possible. Afraid of everybody, ashamed of herself, and longing for the home she had left, she knew not how to look up, and could scarcely speak to be heard, or without crying. Mrs. Norris had been talking to her the whole way from Northampton of Fanny’s wonderful good fortune, and the extraordinary degree of gratitude and good behavior which it ought to produce, and her consciousness of misery was therefore increased by the idea of its being a wicked thing for her not to be happy.

The fatigue, too, of so long a journey, became soon no trifling evil. In vain were the well-meant condescensions of Sir Thomas, and all the officious prognostications of Mrs. Norris that she would be a good girl; in vain did Lady Bertram smile and make her sit on the sofa with herself and pug, and  vain was even the sight of a gooseberry tart towards giving her comfort; she could scarcely swallow two mouthfuls before tears interrupted her, and sleep seeming to be her likeliest friend, she was taken to finish her sorrows in bed.

“This is not a very promising beginning,” said Mrs. Norris, when Fanny had left the room. “After all that I said to her as we came along, I thought she would have behaved better; I told her how much might depend upon her acquitting herself well at first. I wish there may not be a little sulkiness of temper—her poor mother had a good deal; but we must make allowances for such a child—and I do not know that her being sorry to leave her home is really against her, for, with all its faults, it was her home, and she cannot as yet understand how much she has changed for the better; but then there is moderation in all things.”

It required a longer time, however, than Mrs. Norris was inclined to allow to reconcile Fanny to the novelty of Mansfield Park, and the separation from everybody she had been used to. Her feelings were very acute and too little understood to be properly attended to. Nobody meant to be unkind, but nobody put themselves out of their way to secure her comfort.

Fanny, whether near or from her cousins, whether in the schoolroom, the drawing-room, or the shrubbery, was equally forlorn, finding something to fear in every person and place. She was disheartened by Lady Bertram's silence, awed by Sir Thomas's grave looks, and quite overcome by Mrs. Norris's admonitions. Her elder cousins mortified her by reflections on her size, and abashed her by noticing her shyness: Miss Lee wondered at her ignorance, and the maid-servants sneered at her clothes; and when to these sorrows was added the idea of the brothers and sisters among whom she had always been important as playfellow, instructress, and nurse, the despondence that sunk her little heart was severe.

The author mentions the girls’ difference in age in order to

Possible Answers:

emphasize Fanny’s relative development.

indicate why the Bertrams might be disappointed in Fanny.

criticize the Bertrams' behavior towards their cousin.

explain Fanny’s shyness towards her cousins.

Correct answer:

emphasize Fanny’s relative development.

Explanation:

The first question you should ask yourself with any question that asks you about a specific detail in the passage is where that detail occurs. Since it asks about the "girls'" ages, that should be an indication that you are looking for a point in the passage where both the Bertram sisters and Fanny are being discussed. The first place where the girls are compared is in paragraph 4, where the author states that "no one would have supposed the girls so nearly of an age as they really were." In other words, no one would guess that the three were nearly the same age, presumably because of their differences in appearance and in education. "Emphasize Fanny’s relative development" is correct.

Among the other answers, "explain Fanny’s shyness towards her cousins" can be eliminated because, although Fanny is indeed shy, it is not because she is nearly the same age as her cousins. "Criticize the Bertrams' behavior towards their cousin" can be eliminated because there is no discussion or judgment of the Misses Bertram's behavior. Additionally, there is no indication that Fanny's age would be any reason for the Bertram family to be disappointed in Fanny.

Example Question #4 : Finding Explicit Details

Passage 2 is adapted from Benjamin Rush, "Thoughts upon Female Education". Originally published 1787.

A philosopher once said, "let me make all the ballads of a country and I care not who makes its laws." He might with more propriety have said, let the ladies of a country be educated properly, and they will not only make and administer its laws, but form its manners and character. It would require a lively imagination to describe, or even to comprehend, the happiness of a country where knowledge and virtue were generally diffused among the female sex. Our young men would then be restrained from vice by the terror of being banished from their company. The loud laugh and the malignant smile, at the expense of innocence or of personal infirmities– the feats of successful mimicry and the low priced wit which is borrowed from a misapplication of scripture phrases– would no more be considered as recommendations to the society of the ladies. A double-entendre in their presence would then exclude a gentleman forever from the company of both sexes and probably oblige him to seek an asylum from contempt in a foreign country.

If I am wrong in those opinions in which I have taken the liberty of departing from the general and fashionable habits of thinking I am sure you will discover and pardon my mistakes. But if I am right, I am equally sure you will adopt my opinions for to enlightened minds truth is alike acceptable, whether it comes from the lips of age or the hand of antiquity or whether it be obtruded by a person who has no other claim to attention than a desire of adding to the stock of human happiness.

To you, young ladies, an important problem is committed for solution: whether our present plan of education be a wise one and whether it be calculated to prepare you for the duties of social and domestic life. I know that the elevation of the female mind, by means of moral, physical, and religious truth, is considered by some men as unfriendly to the domestic character of a woman. But this is the prejudice of little minds and springs from the same spirit which opposes the general diffusion of knowledge among the citizens of our republics.If men believe that ignorance is favorable to the government of the female sex, they are certainly deceived, for a weak and ignorant woman will always be governed with the greatest difficulty. It  will be in your power ladies, to correct the mistakes and practice of our sex upon these subjects by demonstrating that the female temper can only be governed by reason and that the cultivation of reason in women is alike friendly to the order of nature and to private as well as public happiness. 

According to the author of the passage, what is the role of women in regards to women’s education? 

Possible Answers:

They should make sure to prepare themselves for domestic rather than public life through education.

They must follow the lead of their teachers and husbands as to the proper course of education.

They should regulate the men and prevent them from being vulgar.

They must lead by example and show the importance of women’s education to convince men.

Correct answer:

They must lead by example and show the importance of women’s education to convince men.

Explanation:

This question asks for the author of the passage's opinions about the role of women in their own education. While it may seem that he is addressing young women the entire time, he only directly addresses them in the last paragraph, stating that they must prove to men that their education is worthwhile "by demonstrating that the female temper can only be governed by reason", "they must lead by example and show the importance of women’s education to convince men."  Among the other answers, "they must follow the lead of their teachers and husbands as to the proper course of education" can be eliminated because this is not a direct charge laid upon women by Rush. While Rush does include "they should regulate the men and prevent them from being vulgar" as a potential consequence of bettering the education of women, he does not say that they are required to do so to better their own education. "They should make sure to prepare themselves for domestic rather than public life through education" is incorrect because his intention is to create an education that prepares women for "social and domestic" life, not just their social life.

Example Question #5 : Finding Explicit Details

The following passage and corresponding figure are from Emilie Reas. "How the brain learns to read: development of the “word form area”", PLOS Neuro Community, 2018.

The ability to recognize, process and interpret written language is a uniquely human skill that is acquired with remarkable ease at a young age. But as anyone who has attempted to learn a new language will attest, the brain isn’t “hardwired” to understand written language. In fact, it remains somewhat of a mystery how the brain develops this specialized ability. Although researchers have identified brain regions that process written words, how this selectivity for language develops isn’t entirely clear. 

Earlier studies have shown that the ventral visual cortex supports recognition of an array of visual stimuli, including objects, faces, and places. Within this area, a subregion in the left hemisphere known as the “visual word form area” (VWFA) shows a particular selectivity for written words. However, this region is characteristically plastic. It’s been proposed that stimuli compete for representation in this malleable area, such that “winner takes all” depending on the strongest input. That is, how a site is ultimately mapped is dependent on what it’s used for in early childhood. But this idea has yet to be confirmed, and the evolution of specialized brain areas for reading in children is still poorly understood.

In their study, Dehaene-Lambertz and colleagues monitored the reading abilities and brain changes of ten six-year old children to track the emergence of word specialization during a critical development  period. Over the course of their first school-year, children were assessed every two months with reading evaluations and functional MRI while viewing words and non-word images (houses, objects, faces, bodies). As expected, reading ability improved over the year of first grade, as demonstrated by increased reading speed, word span, and phoneme knowledge, among other measures.

Even at this young age, when reading ability was newly acquired, words evoked widespread left-lateralized brain activation. This activity increased over the year of school, with the greatest boost occurring after just the first few months. Importantly, there were no similar activation increases in response to other stimuli, confirming that these adaptations were specific to reading ability, not a general effect of development or education. Immediately after school began, the brain volume specialized for reading also significantly increased. Furthermore, reading speed was associated with greater activity, particularly in the VWFA. The researchers found that activation patterns to words became more reliable with learning. In contrast, the patterns for other categories remained stable, with the exception of numbers, which may reflect specialization for symbols (words and numbers) generally, or correlation with the simultaneous development of mathematics skills.

What predisposes one brain region over another to take on this specialized role for reading words? Before school, there was no strong preference for any other category in regions that would later become word-responsive. However, brain areas that were destined to remain “non-word” regions showed more stable responses to non-word stimuli even before learning to read. Thus, perhaps the brain takes advantage of unoccupied real-estate to perform the newly acquired skill of reading.

These findings add a critical piece to the puzzle of how reading skills are acquired in the developing child brain. Though it was already known that reading recruits a specialized brain region for words, this study reveals that this occurs without changing the organization of areas already specialized for other functions. The authors propose an elegant model for the developmental brain changes underlying reading skill acquisition. In the illiterate child, there are adjacent columns or patches of cortex either tuned to a specific category, or not yet assigned a function. With literacy, the free subregions become tuned to words, while the previously specialized subregions remain stable.

The rapid emergence of the word area after just a brief learning period highlights the remarkable plasticity of the developing cortex. In individuals who become literate as adults, the same VWFA is present. However, in contrast to children, the relation between reading speed and activation in this area is weaker in adults, and a single adult case-study by the authors showed a much slower, gradual development of the VWFA over a prolonged learning period of several months. Whatever the reason, this region appears primed to rapidly adopt novel representations of symbolic words, and this priming may peak at a specific period in childhood. This finding underscores the importance of a strong education in youth. The authors surmise that “the success of education might also rely on the right timing to benefit from the highest neural plasticity. Our results might also explain why numerous academic curricula, even in ancient civilizations, propose to teach reading around seven years.”

The figure below shows different skills mapped to different sites in the brain before schooling and then with and without school. Labile sites refer to sites that are not currently mapped to a particular skill.

Screen shot 2020 08 20 at 3.23.45 pm

Based on the passage, the researchers used which of the following forms of evidence most within their research?

Possible Answers:

Experimental data gathered over a period of time

Experimental data gathered at a single date

Historical data gathered over several points of a child’s development

Historical data gathered at a single point of a child’s development

Correct answer:

Experimental data gathered over a period of time

Explanation:

This question asks about the type of data used within the study. To determine whether the data is historical or experimental, look at the set up of the study itself. Paragraph 3 states that the researchers monitored reading abilities and brain changes in a set of children - indicating that the data is experimental. This allows you to eliminate answer "historical data gathered at a single point of a child’s development" and "historical data gathered over several points of a child’s development". And since the study is about how children's brains change over a period of time, the data must have been gathered over a period of time rather than at a set point. This eliminates "experimental data gathered at a single date" and leaves you with " experimental data gathered over a period of time".

Example Question #1 : Finding Explicit Details

The following passage is adapted from a speech delivered by Susan B. Anthony in 1873. The speech was delivered after Anthony was tried and fined $100 for voting in the 1872 presidential election.

Friends and fellow citizens: I stand before you tonight under indictment for the alleged crime of having voted at the last Presidential election, without having a lawful right to vote. It shall be my work this evening to prove to you that in thus voting, I not only committed no crime, but, instead, simply exercised my citizen’s rights, guaranteed to me and all United States citizens by the National Constitution, beyond the power of any State to deny.

The preamble of the Federal Constitution says: “We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union. And we formed it, not to give the blessings of liberty, but to secure them; not to the half of ourselves and the half of our posterity, but to the whole people— women as well as men. And it is a downright mockery to talk to women of their enjoyment of the blessings of liberty while they are denied the use of the only means of securing them provided by this democratic-republican government—the ballot.

For any State to make sex a qualification that must ever result in the disfranchisement of one entire half of the people is a violation of the supreme law of the land. By it the blessings of liberty are forever withheld from women and their female posterity. To them this government had no just powers derived from the consent of the governed. To them this government is not a democracy. It is not a republic. It is an odious aristocracy; a hateful oligarchy of sex; the most hateful aristocracy ever established on the face of the globe; an oligarchy of wealth, where the right govern the poor. An oligarchy of learning, where the educated govern the ignorant, or even an oligarchy of race, where the Saxon rules the African, might be endured, but this oligarchy of sex, which makes father, brothers, husband, sons, the oligarchs over the mother and sisters, the wife and daughters of every household—which ordains all men sovereigns, all women subjects, carries dissension, discord and rebellion into every home of the nation. 

Webster, Worcester and Bouvier all define a citizen to be a person in the United States, entitled to vote and hold office. The one question left to be settled now is: Are women persons? And I hardly believe any of our opponents will have the hardihood to say they are not. Being persons, then, women are citizens; and no State has a right to make any law, or to enforce any old law, that shall abridge their privileges or immunities. Hence, every discrimination against women are citizenswomen in the constitutions and laws of the several States is today null and void, precisely as is every one against African Americans.

According to Anthony’s speech, which of the following was the most important reason that women should be allowed to vote?

Possible Answers:

They are people, and the constitution applies to all people equally.

They would increase the validity of every election in the U.S.

They are as well informed as men on important political issues.

They are more educated than men and can make better political decisions.

Correct answer:

They are people, and the constitution applies to all people equally.

Explanation:

According to Susan B. Anthony, women are people and the constitution should apply to all people equally. We know that this is Anthony’s primary support for her argument, as the second paragraph directly cites the constitution as support, and the third paragraph goes on to provide the context for this support. While Anthony might have believed that the female vote would increase the validity of every election, she does not use this as a primary source of support. Furthermore, while it is likely that Anthony would like women to have the opportunity to be as well-informed and educated, we do not know that this was the case at the time (and unfortunately, very likely wasn’t,” so the corresponding answer options are certainly not our correct answer. Thus, we’re left with “they are people, and the constitution applies to all people equally.”

Example Question #1 : Finding Explicit Details

The passage is adapted from Carter G, Leffer L (2015) “Social Grooming in Bats: Are Vampire Bats Exceptional?” © 2015 Carter, Leffer

Long-term cooperative relationships are most evident in primates, but evidence for similar social relationships has been accumulating for several other social vertebrate groups including cetaceans, bats, elephants, hyenas and ravens. The functional importance of these complex social relationships across different species may have led to similar cognitive or behavioral mechanisms for manipulating social bonds. A prime example of such a mechanism is social grooming—the cleaning of the body by a partner. Experimental and observational studies show that primate social grooming can be ‘exchanged’ for multiple social benefits, including reciprocal grooming, social tolerance, access to food, and agonistic support. Individuals can spend up to 20% of their time grooming others, and the behavior provides proximate physiological rewards for both givers and receivers. Although most of what is known about social grooming comes from studies of primates, evidence for a role of social grooming in maintaining social ties is emerging from several other mammals (marsupials, deer, cows, horses, voles, mice, meerkats, coati, lions) and group-living birds.

In bats, adult social grooming is female-biased in species with female philopatry and has been most studied in the common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus). Kerth et al. compared social grooming rates of vampire bats with the temperate and insectivorous Bechstein’s bat (Myotis bechsteinii). These two species both have long lifespans and demonstrate fission-fusion social dynamics, where individuals maintain long-term social associations while moving between several roost trees.  In both species, social grooming rates among individuals were not predicted by self-grooming or numbers of parasites. Bechstein’s bats spent more time grooming themselves (38% of their time in roosts) compared with vampires (23% of their roosting time), but wild vampire bats spent about 5% of their roosting time grooming others, which is 2–4 times higher than Bechstein’s bats.

Patterns of social grooming among categories of individuals also differed between the two species. In the Bechstein’s bat, adult female social grooming was not detectably symmetrical, and was predicted by kinship, occurring mostly between adult mothers and daughters, sometimes between sisters, and only rarely between non-kin. In vampires, female social grooming was highly symmetrical and relatively common among non-kin, where it correlated with co-roosting association and food sharing.

It is not entirely clear if vampire bat social grooming is typical or exceptional when compared to other bats or non-primate mammals. One hypothesis is that social grooming in vampire bats is exceptional in quantity and quality, because it is related to their uniquely cooperative food sharing behavior. Like many primates, reciprocal patterns of vampire bat food sharing and social grooming extend beyond mother-offspring bonds, suggesting they may provide both direct and indirect fitness benefits. Among bats, the common vampire has an extraordinarily large brain and neocortex for its body size. In primates, increased neocortex size has been linked to higher metrics of social complexity, such as social grooming network size and strategic deception.

Alternatively, the apparent distinctiveness of vampire bat social grooming might stem from purely ecological factors. Social grooming may be more obvious in vampire bats due to higher levels of ectoparasite infestation. Bat fly density has been linked to species-level grooming rates and the two vampire species that were observed ranked 5th and 6th place out of 53 neotropical bats for average number of parasitic streblid flies per bat.  A sampling bias could also over-emphasize social grooming in vampire bats, because there is much effort focused on studying vampire bat social behavior and a lack of data on social grooming in other bats.

Comparing social grooming data across studies can be difficult due to study differences in ectoparasite density, temperature, sampling method, visibility, and level of human disturbance.  Still, there are important conclusions that can be made regarding social grooming among vampire bats from the studies that have been conducted.  With even better studies in the future – for instance, ones that compare groups of adult bats that have fixed levels of social association (stable group composition) and no insect ectoparasites – we will get a clearer picture of social grooming among vampire bats and its significance.

According to the passage, Bechstein’s bats and vampire bats differ in their grooming habits in which of the following ways?

Possible Answers:

Vampire bats only engage in social grooming among kin.

Vampire bats spend less of their time self-grooming.

In Bechstein‘s bats, social grooming is highly symmetrical in nature.

Male Bechstein’s bats do not engage in any social grooming but male vampire bats do.

Correct answer:

Vampire bats spend less of their time self-grooming.

Explanation:

In the context of the passage, we are able to determine that “Vampire bats spend less of their time self-grooming.” Paragraph two of the passage includes the results of a study conducted comparing the two types of bats, and those results include the findings that “Bechstein’s bats spent more time grooming themselves (38% of their time in roosts) compared with vampires (23% of their roosting time).” This directly supports our correct answer. Terms like “only” and “any” are too extreme for the data provided, and “In Bechstein‘s bats, social grooming is highly symmetrical in nature” is the opposite of what is given to us in the context of the passage.

Example Question #8 : Finding Explicit Details

The following is an excerpt from Agnes Grey, an autobiographical novel by Anne Bronte that follows the life of a governess working in wealthy British households in the 19th century.

To avoid trouble and confusion, I have taken my pupils one by one, and discussed their various qualities; but this can give no adequate idea of being worried by the whole three together; when, as was often the case, all were determined to ‘be naughty, and to tease Miss Grey, and put her in a passion.’ 

Sometimes, on such occasions, the thought has suddenly occurred to me—’If they could see me now!’ meaning, of course, my friends at home; and the idea of how they would pity me has made me pity myself—so greatly that I have had the utmost difficulty to restrain my tears: but I have restrained them, till my little tormentors were gone to dessert, or cleared off to bed (my only prospects of deliverance), and then, in all the bliss of solitude, I have given myself up to the luxury of an unrestricted burst of weeping. But this was a weakness I did not often indulge: my employments were too numerous, my leisure moments too precious, to admit of much time being given to fruitless lamentations.

I particularly remember one wild, snowy afternoon, soon after my return in January: the children had all come up from dinner, loudly declaring that they meant ‘to be naughty;’ and they had well kept their resolution, though I had talked myself hoarse, and wearied every muscle in my throat, in the vain attempt to reason them out of it. I had got Tom pinned up in a corner, whence, I told him, he should not escape till he had done his appointed task. Meantime, Fanny had possessed herself of my workbag, and was rifling its contents—and spitting into it besides. I told her to let it alone, but to no purpose, of course. ‘Burn it, Fanny!’ cried Tom: and this command she hastened to obey. I sprang to snatch it from the fire, and Tom darted to the door. ‘Mary Ann, throw her desk out of the window!’ cried he: and my precious desk, containing my letters and papers, my small amount of cash, and all my valuables, was about to be precipitated from the three-story window. I flew to rescue it. Meanwhile Tom had left the room, and was rushing down the stairs, followed by Fanny. Having secured my desk, I ran to catch them, and Mary Ann came scampering after. All three escaped me, and ran out of the house into the garden, where they plunged about in the snow, shouting and screaming in exultant glee.

What must I do? If I followed them, I should probably be unable to capture one, and only drive them farther away; if I did not, how was I to get them in? And what would their parents think of me, if they saw or heard the children rioting, hatless, bonnetless, gloveless, and bootless, in the deep soft snow?

According to the passage, which of the following best describes Miss Grey’s attitude and actions towards the three children?

Possible Answers:

She disliked them strongly and always had to fight them when the three were together.

She was utterly frustrated by their poor behavior and did everything she could to prevent it.

She was resigned to their poor behavior and did little to prevent it.

She preferred dealing with each child alone and had few problems when she did.

Correct answer:

She was utterly frustrated by their poor behavior and did everything she could to prevent it.

Explanation:

This example requires us to utilize context to find support for Miss Grey’s attitude and actions toward the children. We can find direct, continued, support for the answer “She was utterly frustrated by their poor behavior and did everything she could to prevent it,” as frustration expresses Miss Grey’s tone throughout the passage as she recounts her experiences, and paragraph three gives us very vivid imagery of Miss Grey doing everything she can to attempt to control the children and prevent their poor behavior. Thus, we certainly cannot say that “She was resigned to their poor behavior and did little to prevent it,” or that she had few problems with the children individually. In fact, paragraph one seems to imply that the children were quite unruly even when alone. Finally, while we can identify a clear tone of frustration, we cannot be certain that Miss Grey “always had to fight” the children when they were together.

Example Question #9 : Finding Explicit Details

This passage is adapted from “Flagship Species and Their Role in the Conservation Movement” (2020)

Until recently, two schools of thought have dominated the field of establishing “flagship” endangered species for marketing and awareness campaigns. These flagship species make up the subset of endangered species conservation experts utilize to elicit public support - both financial and legal - for fauna conservation as a whole. 

The first concerns how recognizable the general public, the audience of most large-scale funding campaigns, finds a particular species, commonly termed its “public awareness.” This school of thought was built on the foundation that if an individual recognizes a species from prior knowledge, cultural context, or previous conservational and educational encounters (in a zoo environment or classroom setting, for instance) that individual would be more likely to note and respond to the severity of its endangered status. However, recently emerging flagship species such as the pangolin have challenged the singularity of this factor. 

Alongside public awareness, conservation experts have long considered a factor they refer to as a “keystone species” designation in the flagstone selection process. Keystone species are those species that play an especially vital role in their respective habitats or ecosystems. While this metric is invaluable to the environmentalists in charge of designating funds received, recent data has expressed the more minor role a keystone species designation seems to play in the motivations of the public. 

Recent scholarship has questioned both the singularity and the extent to which the above classifications impact the decision making of the general public. Though more complicated to measure, a third designation, known as a species’ “charisma,” is now the yardstick by which most flagship species are formally classified. Addressing the charisma of a species involves establishing and collecting data concerning its ecological (interactions with humans/the environments of humans),  aesthetic (appealing to human emotions through physical appearance and immediately related behaviors), and corporeal (affection and socialization with humans over the short- and long-terms) characteristics. This process has been understandably criticized by some for its costs and failure to incorporate the severity of an endangered species’ status into designation, but its impact on the public has been irrefutable. While keystone and public awareness designations are still often applied in the field because of their practicality and comparative simplicity, charisma is now commonly accepted as the most accurate metric with which to judge a species’ flagship potential. 

According to the passage, which of the following species best matches its flagship process and why?

Possible Answers:

The prairie dog is an example of a keystone species because it churns the ground as it burrows, making the soil more arable for plant life and the overall ecosystem

The starfish is an example of a species with high public awareness because it is responsible for maintaining the biodiversity of its ecosystem

The tiger is an example of a charismatic species because it is well-known from popular media and culture

The arctic fox is an example of a keystone species because it has a particularly high level of socialization and relatability with people

Correct answer:

The prairie dog is an example of a keystone species because it churns the ground as it burrows, making the soil more arable for plant life and the overall ecosystem

Explanation:

In this case, we need to match the designation to its explanation. From the context of the passage, we know that the designations are as follows:

Public awareness - “how recognizable the general public, the audience of most large-scale funding campaigns, finds a particular species.”

Keystone species - “those species that play an especially important role in their respective habitats or ecosystems.”

Charismatic species - “establishing and collecting data concerning its ecological (interactions with humans/the environments of humans),  aesthetic (appealing to human emotions through physical appearance and immediately related behaviors), and corporeal (affection and socialization with humans over the short- and long-terms) characteristics.”

Given this context, the only designation that matches with its explanation is: “The prairie dog is an example of a keystone species because it churns the ground as it burrows, making the soil more arable for plant life and the overall ecosystem.”

Example Question #1 : Finding Explicit Details

This passage is adapted from “Flagship Species and Their Role in the Conservation Movement” (2020)

Until recently, two schools of thought have dominated the field of establishing “flagship” endangered species for marketing and awareness campaigns. These flagship species make up the subset of endangered species conservation experts utilize to elicit public support - both financial and legal - for fauna conservation as a whole. 

The first concerns how recognizable the general public, the audience of most large-scale funding campaigns, finds a particular species, commonly termed its “public awareness.” This school of thought was built on the foundation that if an individual recognizes a species from prior knowledge, cultural context, or previous conservational and educational encounters (in a zoo environment or classroom setting, for instance) that individual would be more likely to note and respond to the severity of its endangered status. However, recently emerging flagship species such as the pangolin have challenged the singularity of this factor. 

Alongside public awareness, conservation experts have long considered a factor they refer to as a “keystone species” designation in the flagstone selection process. Keystone species are those species that play an especially vital role in their respective habitats or ecosystems. While this metric is invaluable to the environmentalists in charge of designating funds received, recent data has expressed the more minor role a keystone species designation seems to play in the motivations of the public. 

Recent scholarship has questioned both the singularity and the extent to which the above classifications impact the decision making of the general public. Though more complicated to measure, a third designation, known as a species’ “charisma,” is now the yardstick by which most flagship species are formally classified. Addressing the charisma of a species involves establishing and collecting data concerning its ecological (interactions with humans/the environments of humans),  aesthetic (appealing to human emotions through physical appearance and immediately related behaviors), and corporeal (affection and socialization with humans over the short- and long-terms) characteristics. This process has been understandably criticized by some for its costs and failure to incorporate the severity of an endangered species’ status into designation, but its impact on the public has been irrefutable. While keystone and public awareness designations are still often applied in the field because of their practicality and comparative simplicity, charisma is now commonly accepted as the most accurate metric with which to judge a species’ flagship potential.

Which of the following is cited in the passage as an important use of the keystone species designation?

Possible Answers:

Endangered species identification

Marketing platforms

Funding allocation

Charisma measurement

Correct answer:

Funding allocation

Explanation:

In the passage, the author cites that “While this [keystone designation] metric is important to the environmentalists in charge of distributing funds received, recent data has expressed the more minor role a keystone species designation seems to play in the motivations of the public.” So the keystone designation is important because it helps environmentalists understand how to best allocate funding when attempting to help protect endangered species by understanding which species are most vital to their ecosystems. The designation doesn’t help identify endangered species… we’re looking at identifying flagship species among a pool of species that are all endangered! The keystone designation is also not a part of the charisma measurement, and there is no mention in the passage that the designation informs what types of marketing organizations use.

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