Example:

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泛美国际
Name_
Date
• A na l o g i e s 1
Level 12
Directions: Choose the pair of words that
best express a relationship similar to that
of the original pair. Then write the bridge
sentence(s) to the right.
By definition, a platitude is cliché.
By definition, a sage is wise.
Example:
Bridge Type: Definition
#) PLATITUDE : CLICHÉ
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
dogma : accurate
theater : dramatic
sage : wise
legerdemain : obvious
portent : beneficial
Bridge Type: Characteristic
1) VITRIOL : BITTER
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
hindsight : perfect
alabaster : white
buoyancy : light
equilibrium : just
jubilation : biblical
Bridge Sentence:
A characteristic of vitriol is to be bitter.
A characteristic of
_.
is to be
Bridge Type: Function
2) INVECTIVE : BLAME
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
homage : copy
grandeur : admire
duplicity : increase
depravity : corrupt
masonry : construct
Bridge Sentence:
The function of invective is to blame.
The function of
is to
.
Bridge Type: Characteristic
3) VERNACULAR : REGIONAL
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
leaf : autumnal
senator : dissentious
fluctuation : irregular
budget : austere
autopsy : fatal
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
Bridge Sentence:
A characteristic of a vernacular is to be
regional.
A characteristic of a
_.
is to be
1
Bridge Type: Degree
4) VIRULENT : POISONOUS
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
autonomous : free
disparate : different
botanical : flowery
dormant : tired
unique : eccentric
Bridge Sentence:
Virulent is an extreme form of poisonous.
is an extreme form of
_.
Bridge Type: Part to Whole
5) GRENADIER : ARMY
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
inkling : pen
wheelchair : paraplegic
couch : lethargy
count : nobility
insurrection : government
Bridge Sentence:
A grenadier is part of the army.
A
is part of the
_.
Bridge Type: Lack
6) FAKE : AUTHENTICITY
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
latent : manifestation
impenetrable : defense
lacteal : milk
preponderant : thought
retrograde : direction
Bridge Sentence:
Something that is fake lacks authenticity.
.
Bridge Type: Definition (Antonyms)
7) NEFARIOUS : VIRTUOUS
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
stringent : solid
subliminal : secret
reticent : talkative
jocular : humorous
haggard : old
8) CASTIGATE : CRITICIZE
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
dishevel : destroy
brutalize : attack
legalize : filibuster
predict : forecast
kill : massacre
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
Bridge Sentence:
By definition, nefarious is the opposite of
virtuous.
.
Bridge Sentence:
.
.
2
Answers and Explanations
1) B
Vitriol is cruel and bitter criticism. Thus, a characteristic of vitriol is to be bitter. Alabaster is a white, fine-grained form of gypsum.
Thus, a characteristic of alabaster is to be white. Therefore (B) is correct.
2) E
Invective is insulting or abusive language intended to blame someone. Thus, the function of invective is to blame. Masonry is the
craft of a mason, a person who builds structures. Thus, the function of masonry is to construct. Therefore (E) is correct.
3) C
Vernacular is regional dialect or speech. Thus, a characteristic of vernacular is to be regional. A fluctuation is a variation or
deviation from the norm. Irregular means atypical or nonstandard. Thus, a characteristic of a fluctuation is to be irregular.
Therefore (C) is correct.
4) B
Virulent means extremely severe or harmful in effects. Poisonous means harmful. Thus, virulent is an extreme form of poisonous.
Disparate means very different. Thus, disparate is an extreme form of different. Therefore (B) is correct.
5) D
A grenadier is a soldier armed with grenades. Thus, a grenadier is a part of an army. A count is a European nobleman. Nobility
is the group of people belonging to the noble class. Thus, a count is part of the nobility. Therefore (D) is correct.
6) A
Authenticity is the state of being real or genuine. Thus, something that is fake lacks authenticity. Latent means existing but not yet
manifest or visible. Manifestation is something that is visible or clearly shown. Thus, something that is latent lacks manifestation.
Therefore (A) is correct.
7) C
Nefarious means wicked or criminal. Virtuous means having high moral standards. Thus, nefarious is the opposite of virtuous.
Reticent means not talkative or willing to reveal one’s thoughts. Thus, reticent is the opposite of talkative. Therefore (C) is correct.
8) A
Castigate means to severely criticize. Thus, castigate is an extreme form of criticize. Brutalize means to attack someone
savagely and excessively. Thus, brutalize is an extreme form of attack. Therefore (A) is correct.
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
3
泛美国际
Name_
Date
• A na l o g i e s 2
Level 12
Directions: Choose the pair of words that
best express a relationship similar to that
of the original pair. Then write the bridge
sentence(s) to the right.
By definition, a platitude is cliché.
By definition, a sage is wise.
Example:
Bridge Type: Definition
#) PLATITUDE : CLICHÉ
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
dogma : accurate
theater : dramatic
sage : wise
legerdemain : obvious
portent : beneficial
Bridge Type: Lack
1) POWERLESS : EFFICACY
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
turbulent : violence
anomalous : irregularity
homogenous : similarity
effluent : water
explicit : ambiguity
Bridge Sentence:
Something that is powerless lacks efficacy.
Something that is
_.
lacks
Bridge Type: Characteristic
2) RIVULET : SMALL
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
dissertation : plagiarized
bird : fledgling
bankruptcy : indebted
hooligan : athletic
citadel : fortified
Bridge Sentence:
A characteristic of a rivulet is to be small.
A characteristic of a
_.
is to be
Bridge Type: Definition (Antonyms)
3) WRETCHED: CHEERFUL
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
territorial : terrestrial
innocuous : dangerous
floundering : struggling
redacted : censored
solitary : confined
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
Bridge Sentence:
The opposite of wretched is cheerful.
The opposite of
is
_.
1
Bridge Type: Part to Whole
4) LEVEL : HIERARCHY
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
installment : serial
halo : messiah
vinaigrette : salad
courtroom : drama
misnomer : definition
Bridge Sentence:
A level is part of a hierarchy.
A
is part of a
_.
Bridge Type: Type/Kind
5) PECCADILLO : SIN
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
masquerade : party
peasant : serf
sarcophagus : funeral
letdown : devastation
hex : wizard
Bridge Sentence:
A peccadillo is a type of sin.
.
Bridge Type: Characteristic
6) TYRO : INEXPERIENCED
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
headmaster : principled
scapegoat : blameworthy
forgery : valuable
sycophant : servile
risk : worthwhile
7) BLANDISHMENT : COAX
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
directory : telephone
pavilion : promenade
surplus : squander
eulogy : praise
controversy : placate
8) PRAGMATISM : PHILOSOPHY
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
Bridge Sentence:
A characteristic of a tyro is to be
inexperienced.
.
Bridge Sentence:
.
.
Bridge Sentence:
elevation : pinnacle
cancer : malady
electricity : outlet
cacophony : opera
chemistry : element
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
.
.
2
Answers and Explanations
1) E
Powerless means lacking any power or ability to influence something. Efficacy is the ability to produce a desired result. Thus,
something that is powerless lacks efficacy. Explicit means very clear. Ambiguity is a lack of clarity. Thus, something that is explicit
lacks ambiguity. Therefore (E) is correct.
2) E
A rivulet is a very small stream. Thus, a characteristic of a rivulet is to be small. A citadel is a fortress. Thus, a characteristic of
a citadel is to be fortified. Therefore (E) is correct.
3) B
Wretched means in a very unhappy or unfortunate state. Thus, wretched is the opposite of cheerful. Innocuous means harmless.
Thus, innocuous is the opposite of dangerous. Therefore (B) is correct.
4) A
A hierarchy is a system of organization that involves levels and tiers. Thus, a level is part of a hierarchy. An installment is a part of
something that is published, broadcast, or made public in sequence at intervals. A serial is a story or play appearing in regular
installment on television or in a print publication. Thus, an installment is part of a serial. Therefore (A) is correct.
5) A
A peccadillo is a minor, unimportant offense or sin. Thus, a peccadillo is a type of sin. A masquerade is a masked ball. Thus, a
masquerade is a type of party. Therefore (A) is correct.
6) D
A tyro is a novice or beginner. Thus, a characteristic of a tyro is to be inexperienced. A sycophant is someone who is overly
servile or toady. Thus, a characteristic of a sycophant is to be servile. Therefore (D) is correct.
7) D
A blandishment is a flattering or pleasant statement used to persuade someone to do something. Coax means to persuade
someone to do something using flattery. Thus, a blandishment is used to coax. A eulogy is a laudatory or praising speech.
Thus, a eulogy is used to praise. Therefore (D) is correct.
8) B
Pragmatism is a philosophical approach that assesses the truth of meaning of theories in terms of their practical applications.
Thus, pragmatism is a type of philosophy. Cancer is a disease caused by uncontrolled division of abnormal cells. A malady is a
disease or ailment. Thus, cancer is a type of malady. Therefore (B) is correct.
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
3
泛美国际
Name_
Date
• A na l o g i e s 3
Level 12
Directions: Choose the pair of words that
best express a relationship similar to that
of the original pair. Then write the bridge
sentence(s) to the right.
Example:
Bridge Type: Definition
#) PLATITUDE : CLICHÉ
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
By definition, a platitude is cliché.
By definition, a sage is wise.
dogma : accurate
theater : dramatic
sage : wise
legerdemain : obvious
portent : beneficial
Bridge Type: Part to Whole
1) ELEMENT : AGGREGATE
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
fresco : painting
foreground : landscape
benefactor : fortune
mandate : ruler
diet : nutrient
Bridge Sentence:
A sect is part of a religion.
A
is part of a
.
Bridge Type: Function
2) DECANTER : POUR
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
monument : venerate
criminal : deviate
nunnery : convert
pharmacy : prescribe
stiletto : walk
Bridge Sentence:
The function of a decanter is to pour.
The function of a
_.
is to
Bridge Type: Lack
3) UNPRECEDENTED : FORERUNNERS
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
unnecessary : prerequisites
nauseating : medicine
bloodthirsty : anemia
holistic : proof
adulterated : purity
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
Bridge Sentence:
Something that is unprecedented lacks
forerunners.
Something that is
_.
lacks
1
Bridge Type: Definition (Antonyms)
4) ERUDITE : UNEDUCATED
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
fiery : flagrant
fervid : dispassionate
loquacious : talkative
gullible : naive
dissonant : discordant
Bridge Sentence:
By definition, erudite is the opposite of
uneducated.
.
Bridge Type: Characteristic
5) TRUISM : OBVIOUS
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
waiver : safe
president : tyrannical
daredevil : audacious
novel : ingenuous
pedant : imaginative
6) LACONIC : CONCISE
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
betray : trust
philander : donate
waver : falter
deride : praise
corroborate : doubt
8) CONCESSION : PLACATE
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
A characteristic of a truism is to be obvious.
.
Bridge Sentence:
obdurate : cooperative
ephemeral : fleeting
malleable : unchanging
vindictive : forgiving
equivocal : certain
7) LIE : PREVARICATE
A)
B)
C)
D)
E)
Bridge Sentence:
.
.
Bridge Sentence:
.
.
Bridge Sentence:
female : engender
artillery : bolster
catalyst : precipitate
exercise : enervate
adjudicator : mitigate
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
.
.
2
Answers and Explanations
1) B
An element is a part or component of something. An aggregate is a whole formed by several different elements. Thus, an element is
part of an aggregate. A foreground is the part of a landscape painting that is nearest to the observer. Thus, a foreground is part of a
landscape. Therefore (B) is correct.
2) A
A decanter is a stoppered glass container used to pour wine. Thus, the function of a decanter is to pour. A monument is something
made in tribute to someone else. Venerate means to celebrate or revere. Thus, the function of a monument is to venerate.
Therefore (A) is correct.
3) E
Unprecedented means never done or known before. Forerunners are people or things that precede the coming of something or
someone else. Thus, something that is unprecedented lacks forerunners. Adulterated means impure or reduced in quality. Purity is
freedom from contaminants or a lack of spoilage. Thus, something that is adulterated lacks purity. Therefore (E) is correct.
4) B
Erudite means very learned. Uneducated means unlearned. Thus, erudite is the opposite of uneducated. Fervid means intensely
enthusiastic or passionate. Dispassionate means unenthusiastic or uninterested. Thus, by definition, fervid is the opposite of
dispassionate. Therefore (B) is correct.
5) C
A truism is a statement that is obviously true. Thus, a characteristic of a truism is to be obvious. A daredevil is a reckless person
who makes a show of doing dangerous things. Audacious means bold. Thus, a characteristic of a daredevil is to be audacious.
Therefore (C) is correct.
6) B
Laconic means using very few words in writing or speech. Concise means giving a lot of information clearly but in few words. Thus,
by definition, laconic is synonymous with concise. Ephemeral means lasting for a very short while only. Fleeting means lasting for a
very short time. Thus, by definition, ephemeral is synonymous with fleeting. Therefore (B) is correct.
7) C
Prevaricate means to tell a lie or bend the truth. Thus, by definition, to lie is synonymous with to prevaricate. Waver means to shake
with a quivering motion. Falter means to move unsteadily. Thus, by definition, to waver is synonymous with to falter. Therefore (C) is
correct.
8) C
A concession is a thing granted in response to demands or as an effort to concede something to someone else. Placate means to
make someone less angry or hostile by granting someone a favor or meeting a demand. Thus, the function of a concession is to
placate. A catalyst is something that causes an event to happen. Precipitate means to cause or bring about an event. Thus, the
function of a catalyst is to precipitate. Therefore (C) is correct.
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
3
泛美国际
Name_
Date
• Antonyms 1
Level 12
Directions: Choose the word that is most nearly opposite in meaning to the word in capital letters.
1. ASSUAGE
6. ADROIT
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
mitigate
inflame
inhibit
conciliate
aver
gauche
lumbering
amateurish
adept
uncouth
2. ROMANTIC
7. YOKE
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
frivolous
pensive
earthy
tacit
scathing
mar
fell
pervert
split
conjoin
3. INFIRM
8. INANE
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
hospitable
equestrian
tremulous
robust
anemic
tawdry
keen
vacuous
innocuous
pellucid
4. ANOMALY
9. INDULGE
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
recurrence
aberration
recapitulation
felicity
consistency
abstain
quaff
regress
absolve
imbibe
5. MELANCHOLY
10. REPULSION
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
exuberant
composed
lugubrious
fetid
esteemed
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
repugnance
aversion
destitution
petulance
attraction
1
Answers and Explanations
1) B
The word assuage means to ease or make less severe. A massage can assuage pain in one’s muscles. The opposite of
assuage is to worsen or agitate. Because inflame means to make more heated or violent, choice (B) is correct.
(A) is incorrect because mitigate means to soften. This is practically synonymous with assuage, not the opposite of it.
(C) is incorrect because inhibit means to hold back. This is not the opposite of assuage.
(D) is incorrect because conciliate means to placate. This is not the opposite of assuage.
(E) is incorrect because aver means to declare to be true. This is not the opposite of assuage.
2) C
The word romantic means fanciful or unrealistic. For example, most utopian ideas are considered romantic, since they are
idealized and practically impossible to carry out fully. The opposite of romantic is practical or realistic. Because earthy
means realistic or practical, choice (C) is correct.
(A) is incorrect because frivolous means petty or trivial. This is not the opposite of romantic.
(B) is incorrect because pensive means dreamily thoughtful. This is nearly synonymous with romantic, not the opposite of
it.
(D) is incorrect because tacit means silently understood or implied. This is not the opposite of romantic.
(E) is incorrect because scathing means harshly critical. This is not the opposite of romantic.
3) D
The word infirm means feeble or weak in body or health. A very old dog would likely be infirm. The opposite of infirm is
strong in health. Because robust means strong and healthy, choice (D) is correct.
(A) is incorrect because hospitable means receptive or open. This is not the opposite of infirm.
(B) is incorrect because equestrian means mounted on horseback. This is not the opposite of infirm.
(C) is incorrect because tremulous means quivering or fearful. This is not the opposite of infirm.
(E) is incorrect because anemic means listless or weak. This is synonymous with infirm, not the opposite of it.
4) E
The word anomaly means irregularity or deviation from the norm. For example, snow in July would be a weather anomaly
in most parts of the Northern Hemisphere. The opposite of an anomaly is something that happens routinely. Because
consistency is a steadfast adherence to routine or form, choice (E) is correct.
(A) is incorrect because a recurrence is something that has occurred more than once. This is not the opposite of anomaly,
since the fact that something has occurred more than once does not mean it happens routinely.
(B) is incorrect because an aberration is something different from the usual. This is synonymous with anomaly, not the
opposite of it.
(C) is incorrect because a recapitulation is a brief summary that restates the main points of an argument. This is not the
opposite of anomaly.
(D) is incorrect because felicity is feeling great happiness. This is not the opposite of anomaly.
5) A
The word melancholy means sad or depressed. The opposite of depressed is cheery. Because exuberant means happy
or having high spirits, choice (A) is correct.
(B) is incorrect because composed means acting sober or calm. This is not the opposite of melancholy.
(C) is incorrect because lugubrious means sorrowful. This is practically synonymous with melancholy, not the opposite of
it.
(D) is incorrect because fetid means foul-smelling. This is not the opposite of melancholy.
(E) is incorrect because esteemed means highly valued or regarded. This is not the opposite of melancholy.
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
2
6) C
The word adroit means skillful. An expert carpenter would be described as an adroit carpenter. The opposite of adroit is
unskilled or maladroit. Because amateurish means inept or having the faults of a beginner, choice (C) is correct.
(A) is incorrect because gauche means crude or socially awkward. This is not the opposite of adroit.
(B) is incorrect because lumbering means moving clumsily. This is not the opposite of adroit, since it is too limited in
meaning. One can be skillful at tasks that do not require motion.
(D) is incorrect because adept means very skilled. This is synonymous with adroit, not the opposite of it.
(E) is incorrect because uncouth means unmannerly or socially awkward. This is not the opposite of adroit.
7) D
The word yoke means to unite or join together. Two oxen are yoked if they are tied together to pull a wagon. The opposite
of yoke is separate. Because split means to divide or separate, choice (D) is correct.
(A) is incorrect because mar means to damage. This is not the opposite of yoke.
(B) is incorrect because fell means to chop down. This is not the opposite of yoke.
(C) is incorrect because pervert means to misuse. This is not the opposite of yoke.
(E) is incorrect because conjoin means to join together. This is synonymous with yoke, not the opposite of it.
8) B
The word inane means foolish or silly. An idiot might make an inane comment. The opposite of inane is insightful or
intelligent. Because keen means smart or insightful, choice (B) is correct.
(A) is incorrect because tawdry means gaudy or cheap. This is not the opposite of inane.
(C) is incorrect because vacuous means lacking in intelligence. This is synonymous with inane, not the opposite of it.
(D) is incorrect because innocuous means harmless. This is not the opposite of inane.
(E) is incorrect because pellucid means clear in meaning. This is not the opposite of inane, because clarity in meaning
does not necessarily imply intelligence.
9) A
The word indulge means to give in to a craving or desire. To indulge is to willingly give in to a temptation. The opposite of
indulge is to refrain from a desire. Because abstain means to refrain deliberately from something, choice (A) is correct.
(B) is incorrect because quaff means to drink deeply or with pleasure. This is not the opposite of indulge.
(C) is incorrect because regress means to move backward. This is not the opposite of indulge.
(D) is incorrect because absolve means to clear from blame. This is not the opposite of indulge.
(E) is incorrect because imbibe means to consume. This is practically synonymous with indulge, not the opposite of it.
10) E
The word repulsion means the state of wanting to repel or reject something. For example, one might feel repulsion
towards eating insects. The opposite of repulsion is to be drawn to something or to desire something. Because attraction
is the state of drawing one in or being alluring, choice (E) is correct.
(A) is incorrect because repugnance is a strong distaste. This is synonymous with repulsion, not the opposite of it.
(B) is incorrect because aversion is a strong feeling of dislike. This is synonymous with repulsion, not the opposite of it.
(C) is incorrect because destitution is deprivation or poverty. This is not the opposite of repulsion.
(D) is incorrect because petulance is rudeness. This is not the opposite of repulsion.
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
3
泛美国际
Name_
Date
• Antonyms 2
Level 12
Directions: Choose the word that is most nearly opposite in meaning to the word in capital letters.
1. CANDOR
6. ALTRUISM
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
nuance
veracity
diplomacy
sincerity
guile
malevolence
churlishness
largess
bombast
kismet
2. OPAQUE
7. RESTORATIVE
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
enigmatic
translucent
scholarly
esoteric
capacious
tonic
sallow
inevitable
fickle
pernicious
3. TRANSITORINESS
8. RESPITE
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
evanescence
vacillation
impertinence
longevity
truculence
pretext
cessation
continuance
moratorium
windfall
4. ADULATE
9. OBTUSE
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
stupefy
lambaste
commend
implicate
moderate
sagacious
banal
estimable
seminal
insipid
5. OBVIATE
10. GAUNT
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
beseech
supplant
feign
necessitate
rail
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
lanky
lithe
brawny
rangy
pliant
1
Answers and Explanations
1) E
The word candor means frankness. When one speaks with candor, he or she is completely honest. The opposite of
candor is dishonesty. Because guile is trickery or deception, choice (E) is correct.
(A) is incorrect because nuance is a subtle distinction in meaning. This is not the opposite of candor.
(B) is incorrect because veracity is accuracy or truth. This is practically synonymous with candor, not the opposite of it.
(C) is incorrect because diplomacy is tact. This is not the opposite of candor.
(D) is incorrect because sincerity is truth or honesty. This is synonymous candor, not the opposite of it.
2) B
The word opaque means not clear, obscure, or difficult to understand. Astrophysics is a field that is opaque to most
students. The opposite of opaque is clear or easy to understand. Because translucent means clear or easy to understand,
choice (B) is correct.
(A) is incorrect because enigmatic means puzzling. This is not the opposite of opaque.
(C) is incorrect because scholarly means concerned with academic learning. This is not the opposite of opaque.
(D) is incorrect because esoteric means understood only by a learned few. This is not the opposite of opaque.
(E) is incorrect because capacious means extensive or large. This is not the opposite of opaque.
3) D
The word transitoriness means the state of lasting for only a short time. For example, the mayfly is noted for its
transitoriness, since it lives for just one day. The opposite of transitoriness is the state of lasting a long time. Because
longevity is a lengthy or great duration of individual life, choice (D) is correct.
(A) is incorrect because evanescence is the state of fading away or vanishing gradually. This is practically synonymous
with transitoriness, not the opposite of it.
(B) is incorrect because vacillation is a state of indecision. This is not the opposite of transitoriness.
(C) is incorrect because impertinence is rudeness. This is not the opposite of transitoriness.
(E) is incorrect because truculence is fierceness or readiness to fight. This is not the opposite of transitoriness.
4) B
The word adulate means to praise highly. An honoree at an award show is usually adulated by the host. The opposite of
adulate is to denounce or criticize. Because lambaste means to disapprove angrily, choice (B) is correct.
(A) is incorrect because stupefy means to stun or astonish. This is not the opposite of adulate.
(C) is incorrect because commend means to praise. This is synonymous with adulate, not the opposite of it.
(D) is incorrect because implicate means to involve in a crime. This is not the opposite of adulate.
(E) is incorrect because moderate means to make less excessive. This is not the opposite of adulate.
5) D
The word obviate means to make unnecessary. For example, preventive medicine might obviate the need for future
medical procedures. The opposite of obviate is to make something required. Because necessitate means to make
necessary or unavoidable, choice (D) is correct.
(A) is incorrect because beseech means to beg or implore. This is not the opposite of obviate.
(B) is incorrect because supplant means to substitute. This is not the opposite of obviate.
(C) is incorrect because feign means to pretend. This is not the opposite of obviate.
(E) is incorrect because rail means to scold with abusive language. This is not the opposite of obviate.
6)
A
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2
The word altruism means unselfish concern for the wellbeing of others. Donating money to a charity for the sole purpose
of helping the charity out would be an act of altruism. The opposite of altruism is selfishness. Because malevolence
means wishing evil or harm to others, choice (A) is correct.
(B) is incorrect because churlishness is rudeness or boorishness. This is not the opposite of altruism.
(C) is incorrect because largess is generosity. This is practically synonymous with altruism, not the opposite of it.
(D) is incorrect because bombast is speech too pompous for an occasion. This is not the opposite of altruism.
(E) is incorrect because kismet is fate. This is not the opposite of altruism.
7) E
The word restorative means having the power to revitalize. For example, the mythical Fountain of Youth has restorative
powers, since it can make an older person instantly youthful. The opposite of restorative is harmful or having the power to
cause degeneration. Because pernicious means extremely harmful, choice (E) is correct.
(A) is incorrect because tonic means invigorating or refreshing. This is practically synonymous with restorative, not the
opposite of it.
(B) is incorrect because sallow means sickly yellow in color. This is not the opposite of restorative.
(C) is incorrect because inevitable means unavoidable. This is not the opposite of restorative.
(D) is incorrect because fickle means unreliable or erratic. This is not the opposite of restorative.
8) C
The word respite means a short break or interval of relief. A timeout during a basketball game would be an example of a
respite. The opposite of a respite is not taking a break. Because a continuance is the act of going on without stopping,
choice (C) is correct.
(A) is incorrect because a pretext is an excuse. This is not the opposite of respite.
(B) is incorrect because a cessation is a temporary stopping or pause. This is synonymous with respite, not the opposite
of it.
(D) is incorrect because a moratorium is a suspension of activity. This is synonymous with respite, not the opposite of it.
(E) is incorrect because a windfall is a sudden, unexpected bit of good fortune. This is not the opposite of respite.
9) A
The word obtuse means stupid. An obtuse comment is one that lacks intelligence. The opposite of obtuse is intelligent.
Because sagacious means keen or shrewd, choice (A) is correct.
(B) is incorrect because banal means trite and overly common. This is not the opposite of obtuse.
(C) is incorrect because estimable means admirable. This is not the opposite of obtuse.
(D) is incorrect because seminal means relating to the beginning of something. This is not the opposite of obtuse.
(E) is incorrect because insipid means bland or lacking flavor. This is not the opposite of obtuse.
10) C
The word gaunt means thin and bony. One might appear gaunt after not eating for a long period of time. The opposite of
gaunt is thick or muscular. Because brawny means muscular or strong, choice (C) is correct.
(A) is incorrect because lanky means bony or thin. This is synonymous with gaunt, not the opposite of it.
(B) is incorrect because lithe means graceful. This is not the opposite of gaunt.
(D) is incorrect because rangy means slender or long-limbed. This is practically synonymous with gaunt, not the opposite
of it.
(E) is incorrect because pliant means pliable or yielding. This is not the opposite of gaunt.
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
3
泛美国际
Name_
Date
• Antonyms 3
Level 12
Directions: Choose the word that is most nearly opposite in meaning to the word in capital letters.
1. ENFRANCHISE
6. ODIOIUS
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
quell
suppress
subjugate
liberate
resuscitate
abhorrent
palatable
infamous
munificent
nefarious
2. TORPOR
7. DOLE
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
alacrity
sloth
dormancy
chagrin
anguish
amass
dispute
mete
canvass
inundate
3. EFFERVESCENT
8. TRACTABLE
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
cadent
nuptial
phlegmatic
mettlesome
zippy
hale
tenacious
rickety
obedient
coquettish
4. ACRID
9. AFFABLE
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
poignant
astringent
emollient
saccharine
placid
cordial
conceited
sordid
pompous
surly
5. CHEERFUL
10. OBLITERATE
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
winsome
exultant
morbid
doctrinaire
livid
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exculpate
lacerate
bemuse
forge
extirpate
1
Answers and Explanations
1) C
The word enfranchise means to set free or grant citizenship. For example, the Thirteenth Amendment enfranchised former
slaves. The opposite of enfranchise is to enslave or make not free. Because subjugate means to conquer or enslave,
choice (C) is correct.
(A) is incorrect because quell means to subdue or crush. This is not the opposite of enfranchise.
(B) is incorrect because suppress means to end, inhibit, or subdue. This is not the opposite of enfranchise.
(D) is incorrect because liberate means to free or emancipate. This is synonymous with enfranchise, not the opposite of it.
(E) is incorrect because resuscitate means to bring back to life or revive. This is not the opposite of enfranchise.
2) A
The word torpor means lethargic indifference or apathy. When one procrastinates or works slowly and carelessly, he or
she is demonstrating torpor. The opposite of torpor is showing excitement and eagerness. Because alacrity is a cheerful
willingness, choice (A) is correct.
(B) is incorrect because sloth is laziness. This is practically synonymous with torpor, not the opposite of it.
(C) is incorrect because dormancy is inactivity. This is practically synonymous with torpor, not the opposite of it.
(D) is incorrect because chagrin is a feeling of vexation. This is not the opposite of torpor.
(E) is incorrect because anguish is excruciating pain. This is not the opposite of torpor.
3) C
The word effervescent means lively. An effervescent song would be jaunty and up-tempo. The opposite of effervescent is
slow or not spirited. Because phlegmatic means sluggish, choice (C) is correct.
(A) is incorrect because cadent means having a rhythmic beat. This is not the opposite of effervescent.
(B) is incorrect because nuptial means relating to marriage. This is not the opposite of effervescent.
(D) is incorrect because mettlesome means courageous. This is not the opposite of effervescent.
(E) is incorrect because zippy means lively. This is synonymous with effervescent, not the opposite of it.
4) D
The word acrid means harsh or bitter. Dark, leafy vegetables such as kale are acrid in taste, while a hurtful and blunt
comment could be acrid in tone. The opposite of acrid is sweet. Because saccharine means very sweet, choice (D) is
correct.
(A) is incorrect because poignant means emotionally moving. This is not the opposite of acrid.
(B) is incorrect because astringent means harsh or severe. This is practically synonymous with acrid, not the opposite of
it.
(C) is incorrect because emollient means having soothing qualities. This is not the opposite of acrid.
(E) is incorrect because placid means calm or still. This is not the opposite of acrid.
5) E
The word cheerful means happy. A cheerful person is in good spirits. The opposite of cheerful is upset. Because livid
means extremely angry, choice (E) is correct.
(A) is incorrect because winsome means charming. This is not the opposite of cheerful.
(B) is incorrect because exultant means extremely happy. This is practically synonymous with cheerful, not the opposite of
it.
(C) is incorrect because mordant means sarcastic. This is not the opposite of cheerful.
(D) is incorrect because doctrinaire means rigidly devoted to theories. This is not the opposite of cheerful.
6)
B
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2
The word odious means repugnant or deserving hate. For example, most people would agree that child abuse is an
odious crime. The opposite of odious is undeserving of hate. Because palatable means acceptable or agreeable, choice
(B) is correct.
(A) is incorrect because abhorrent means detestable. This is synonymous with odious, not the opposite of it
(C) is incorrect because infamous means having a bad reputation. This is not the opposite of odious.
(D) is incorrect because munificent means generous. This is not the opposite of odious, since generosity is not the
opposite of repugnance.
(E) is incorrect because nefarious means evil. This is not the opposite of odious.
7) A
The word dole means to distribute or give out. When one makes a donation to charity, he or she doles out money to that
charity. The opposite of dole is to take or accrue. Because amass means to acquire for oneself, choice (A) is correct.
(B) is incorrect because dispute means to debate or quarrel. This is not the opposite of dole.
(C) is incorrect because mete means to distribute. This is synonymous with dole, not the opposite of it.
(D) is incorrect because canvass means to examine thoroughly. This is not the opposite of dole.
(E) is incorrect because inundate means to overwhelm. This is not the opposite of dole.
8) B
The word tractable means obedient or yielding. A tractable dog, for instance, would be one that follows all of its owner’s
commands. The opposite of tractable is intractable or unyielding. Because tenacious means stubborn or unyielding,
choice (B) is correct.
(A) is incorrect because hale means robust or vigorous. This is not the opposite of tractable.
(C) is incorrect because rickety means shaky or likely to fall. This is not the opposite of tractable.
(D) is incorrect because obedient means yielding or complaisant. This is synonymous with tractable, not the opposite of it.
(E) is incorrect because coquettish means flirtatious. This is not the opposite of tractable.
9) E
The word affable means friendly. An affable person is someone who is kind and easy to approach. The opposite of affable
is unfriendly or mean. Because surly means unfriendly or rude, choice (E) is correct.
(A) is incorrect because cordial means courteous. This is practically synonymous with affable, not the opposite of it.
(B) is incorrect because conceited means arrogant or impressed with oneself. This is not the opposite of affable.
(C) is incorrect because sordid means filthy. This is not the opposite of affable.
(D) is incorrect because pompous means self-important. This is not the opposite of affable.
10) D
The word obliterate means to destroy completely. For example, dynamite is used to obliterate structures or rocks. The
opposite of obliterate is to create. Because forge means to form or make, choice (D) is correct.
(A) is incorrect because exculpate means to clear of blame. This is not the opposite of obliterate.
(B) is incorrect because lacerate means to cut or wound. This is not the opposite of obliterate.
(C) is incorrect because bemuse means to confuse. This is not the opposite of obliterate.
(E) is incorrect because extirpate means to remove or destroy totally. This is synonymous with obliterate, not the opposite
of it.
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
3
泛美国际
Name_
Date
• Reading Comprehension 1
Level 12
Directions: Read the passage. Then answer the questions below.
The word euthanasia is of Greek origin and literally means “a good death.” The American
Heritage Dictionary defines it as “the act of killing a person painlessly for reasons of mercy.” Such killing
can be done through active means, such as administering a lethal injection, or by passive means, such as
withholding medical care or food and water.
In recent years in the United States, there have been numerous cases of active euthanasia in the
news. They usually involve the deliberate killing of ill or incapacitated persons by relatives or friends who
plead that they can no longer bear to see their loved ones suffer. Although such killings are a crime, the
perpetrators are often dealt with leniently by our legal system, and the media usually portrays them as
compassionate heroes who take personal risks to save another from unbearable suffering.
The seeming acceptance of active forms of euthanasia is alarming, but we face a bigger, more
insidious threat from passive forms of euthanasia. Every year, in hospitals and nursing homes around the
country, there are growing numbers of documented deaths caused by caregivers withholding lifesustaining care, including food and water, from vulnerable patients who cannot speak for themselves.
While it is illegal to kill someone directly, for example with a gun or knife, in many cases the law
has put its stamp of approval on causing death by omitting needed care. Further, many states have “living
will” laws designed to protect those who withhold treatment, and there have been numerous court rulings
which have approved of patients being denied care and even starved and dehydrated to death.
Because such deaths occur quietly within the confines of hospitals and nursing homes, they can
be kept hidden from the public. Most euthanasia victims are old or very ill, so their deaths might be
attributed to a cause other than the denial of care that really killed them. Further, it is often relatives of the
patient who request that care be withheld. In one court case, the court held that decisions to withhold lifesustaining care may be made not only by close family members but also by a number of third parties, and
that such decisions need not be reviewed by the judicial system if there is no disagreement between
decision makers and medical staff. The court went so far as to rule that a nursing home may not refuse to
participate in the fatal withdrawal of food and water from an incompetent patient!
“Extraordinary” or “heroic” treatment need not be used when the chance for recovery is poor and
medical intervention would serve only to prolong the dying process. But to deny customary and
reasonable care or to deliberately starve or dehydrate someone because he or she is very old or very ill
should not be permitted. Most of the cases coming before the courts do not involve withholding heroic
measures from imminently dying people, but rather they seek approval for denying basic care, such as
administration of food and water, to people who are not elderly or terminally ill, but who are permanently
incapacitated. These people could be expected to live indefinitely, though in an impaired state, if they
were given food and water and minimal treatment.
No one has the right to judge that another’s life is not worth living. The basic right to life should
not be abridged because someone decides that someone else’s quality of life is too low. If we base the
right to life on quality of life standards, there is no logical place to draw the line.
To protect vulnerable patients, we must foster more positive attitudes towards people with serious
and incapacitating illnesses and conditions. Despite the ravages of their diseases, they are still our fellow
human beings and deserve our care and respect. We must also enact
positive legislation that will protect vulnerable people from those who consider their lives meaningless or
too costly to maintain and who would cause their deaths by withholding life-sustaining care such as food
and water.
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
1
Questions
1) The tone of the author can best be described as
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
pleading
argumentative
compassionate
emphatic
empathetic
2) In paragraph 3, the author finds starvation and dehydration induced euthanasia is to be “more
insidious" because
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
euthanasia is legally considered to be a criminal act
the public’s attitude toward euthanasia is becoming more positive
it often involves those who cannot protest
the patient has asked to die with dignity
its perpetrators are viewed as kindly caregivers
3) As used in paragraph 3, what is the best synonym for insidious?
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
mischievous
treacherous
seductive
apparent
cumulative
4) The author maintains that death by withholding care is
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
largely confined to hospitals
largely confined to the terminally ill
often requested by family members
approved by living wills
difficult to prove if prosecuted
5) As used in paragraph 7, which is the best definition of abridged?
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
trimmed
curtailed
lengthened
extended
compressed
6) Using the passage as a guide, it can be inferred that the author would find euthanasia less
objectionable in cases in which
I. the patient’s death is imminent
II. the patient has left instructions in a living will not to provide care
III. the patient refuses to accept nourishment
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
I only
II only
I and II only
II and III only
I, II and III
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2
7) The main idea of paragraph 7 is that
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
lawyers will be unable to prosecute or defend caregivers
no comprehensive right or wrong definition of euthanasia will exist
using a subjective standard will make the decision to end an individual’s life arbitrary
no boundary will exist between euthanasia and care omission
‘quality of life’ will no longer be able to be rigidly defined
8) In the final paragraph the author writes, "Despite the ravages of their diseases, they are still our fellow
human beings and deserve our care and respect." The main purpose of this statement is to
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
prove a previous argument
illustrate an example
gainsay a later statement
object to a larger idea
justify an earlier statement
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
3
Answers and Explanations
1) C
A passage with a compassionate tone is written with the awareness of the suffering of others along with a desire to stop that
suffering. Here, the author is writing out of the desire to protect the lives of those who cannot speak for themselves. Since the author
is acting on behalf of others who suffer, the tone is compassionate. This means (C) is the best choice. A pleading tone is one where
the author begs the reader to adopt his or her position. Since the author of the passage above does not beg the reader to do
anything, (A) is incorrect. An argumentative tone is one where the author writes in opposition to a different viewpoint. Here, the
author simply presents his or her side to the issue and does not discussing opposing points, so (B) is not the best choice. If the tone
were emphatic, the author would make his or her points forcefully and with great emphasis. Here, the author clearly takes a side on
an issue, but is not particularly forceful, so (D) is not the best choice either. If the tone were empathetic, the author would write with
sensitivity to someone else’s feelings. Since the author is simply presenting his or her opinion on the issue, the tone is not
empathetic and (E) is incorrect.
2) C
In paragraph 3, the author writes, “we face a bigger, more insidious threat from passive forms of euthanasia. Every year, in hospitals
and nursing homes around the country, there are growing numbers of documented deaths caused by caregivers withholding lifesustaining care, including food and water, from vulnerable patients who cannot speak for themselves.” We can infer from this
information that euthanasia caused by withholding care is especially insidious because it is often done to people who cannot protest.
This means (C) is correct. While the author does note in paragraph 4 that active euthanasia is illegal, the author only uses the word
‘insidious’ to refer to euthanasia by withholding care. This means (A) is incorrect. Again, the author does write about the public’s
attitude towards euthanasia in the first paragraph, but states that the trend toward withholding care is insidious in paragraph 3. This
rules out (B). The author finds withholding food and water insidious because it is often done to patients who cannot speak for
themselves, so (D) is incorrect. The author does object to the perpetrators of euthanasia being viewed as compassionate, but does
not call this insidious. This rules out (E).
3) B
insidious (adjective): treacherous; spreading in a harmful and stealthy way.
In paragraph 3, the author writes, “we face a bigger, more insidious threat from passive forms of euthanasia. Every year, in hospitals
and nursing homes around the country, there are growing numbers of documented deaths caused by caregivers withholding lifesustaining care, including food and water, from vulnerable patients who cannot speak for themselves.” Since the numbers of these
cases is getting larger, we can infer that the practice is spreading. Since the author considers euthanasia through withholding care a
‘threat,’ we can infer that the author thinks that it is bad. Since the victims cannot speak for themselves, this practice can spread
quietly, without notice. This means that the word insidious means something bad that spreads quietly. Something that is treacherous
is dangerous because it has unforeseen hazards. Something with unforeseen dangers is similar to something dangerous that
spreads stealthily, so treacherous is a good synonym for insidious. (B) is the best answer. Something mischievous might cause
damage, but it does so in a playful way. This is different from spreading harm in a stealthy way, so mischievous is not a synonym for
insidious. (A) is incorrect. Something seductive is alluring. This is different than spreading harm, so (C) is not the best answer.
Something apparent is visible. This is different from being stealthy, so (D) is incorrect. Something cumulative is the accumulation of
many things. Although something cumulative grows, it doesn’t necessarily grow stealthily. This rules out (E).
4) C
In paragraph 4, the author explains that withholding care has been sanctioned by law in many places. Then, in paragraph 5, the
author writes, “it is often relatives of the patient who request that care be withheld.” The reader can infer from this information that it
is often family members who request that care be withheld, so (C) is the correct answer. In paragraph 4, we learn that withholding
care is largely confined to nursing homes as well as hospitals, so (A) is incorrect. In paragraph 6, the author writes, “Most of the
cases coming before the courts do not involve withholding heroic measures from imminently dying people, but rather they seek
approval for denying basic care, such as administration of food and water, to people who are not elderly or terminally ill, but who are
permanently incapacitated. These people could be expected to live indefinitely, though in an impaired state, if they were given food
and water and minimal treatment.” Since withholding care happens with those who could live indefinitely, (B) is also incorrect. The
only mention of living wills occurs in paragraph 4, where the author writes, “many states have "living will" laws designed to protect
those who withhold treatment.” Since this sentence is talking about laws and not about living wills themselves, we can understand
that (D) is incorrect. The author does not discuss the difficulty of prosecuting euthanasia cases, so (E) is also incorrect.
5) B
abridged (adjective): shortened; curtailed; reduced.
In the first 6 paragraphs, the author argues that euthanasia by withholding care is problematic when it is used on those who cannot
communicate their wishes. This means that when the author writes in paragraph 7, “The basic right to life should not be abridged
because someone decides that someone else's quality of life" is too low,” the author is reinforcing his earlier points, saying that the
right to life should not be curtailed, or cut short, for those who cannot protest. (B) is correct. Trimming suggests cutting of excess.
Since the author is concerned with the loss of basic rights, not excess rights, (A) is not the best answer. Euthanasia does not
lengthen life, so (C) is incorrect. Extended means drawn out. Euthanasia does not draw out life, so (D) is also incorrect. Something
that is compressed is condensed. The author is not concerned about life being condensed, so this rules out (E).
6) E
In paragraph 6, the author argues that caregivers should not be permitted to deny customary care simply because someone is very
old or ill. The author writes, “These people could be expected to live indefinitely, though in an impaired state, if they were given food
and water and minimal treatment.” We can understand from this information that the author thinks it is wrong to deny care if the
patient could continue to live indefinitely if given the customary care. This means the author should find it less objectionable to deny
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
4
care to someone who was terminally ill. This supports option (I). Since the author is primarily concerned with care being withheld
from those who cannot make their wishes known, the author should find it less objectionable to withhold care from a patient who has
specified in a living will that he or she did not want care. This supports option (II). Again, the author is worried that care is withheld
from those who cannot object. If a patient were to refuse care, they would be making their wishes known. This supports option (III).
Therefore (E) is correct.
7) C
In paragraph 7 the author writes, “No one has the right to judge that another's life is not worth living. The basic right to life should not
be abridged because someone decides that someone else's quality of life is too low. If we base the right to life on ‘quality of life’
standards, there is no logical place to draw the line.” This means the author thinks allowing care to be withheld because the patient
has poor quality of life is a bad idea because people may not agree on what qualifies as a life worth living. The author thinks this will
lead to the decision being made with no real standard at all, so (C) is the best answer. The author is concerned that there will not be
a consistent standard for the decision to withhold care, not a consistent standard for the law, so (A) is incorrect. The author is not
arguing about what euthanasia means, so (B) is also incorrect. The passage is about euthanasia via withholding care, so we know
that care omission is a form of euthanasia. This rules out (D). The author argues that no one should decide that someone else’s life
isn’t worth living, not that the definition of ‘quality of life’ will be changed. This eliminates (E).
8) E
To answer this question correctly, it helps to use context. In the final paragraph the author writes, "To protect vulnerable patients, we
must foster more positive attitudes towards people with serious and incapacitating illnesses and conditions. Despite the ravages of
their diseases, they are still our fellow human beings and deserve our care and respect." In the latter sentence, the author tells us
that people suffering from terrible illnesses are still our fellow human beings and deserve our care and respect. This is used to justify
the earlier statement that we must foster more positive attitudes towards people with serious illnesses. This means choice (E) is
correct. The passage does not provide information to support choices (A), (B), (C), and (D). Therefore they are incorrect.
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
5
泛美国际
Name_
Date
• Reading Comprehension 2
Level 12
Directions: Read the passage. Then answer the questions below.
Concussions are brain injuries that occur when a person receives a blow to the head, face, or
neck. Although most people who suffer a concussion experience initial bouts of dizziness, nausea, and
drowsiness, these symptoms often disappear after a few days. The long-term effects of concussions,
however, are less understood and far more severe. Recent studies suggest that people who suffer
multiple concussions are at significant risk for developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a
degenerative brain disorder that causes a variety of dangerous mental and emotional problems to arise
weeks, months, or even years after the initial injury. These psychological problems can include
depression, anxiety, memory loss, inability to concentrate, and aggression. In extreme cases, people
suffering from CTE have even committed suicide or homicide. The majority of people who develop these
issues are athletes who participate in popular high-impact sports, especially football. Although new sports
regulations and improvements in helmet technology can help protect players, amateur leagues, the sports
media, and fans all bear some of the responsibility for reducing the incidence of these devastating
injuries.
Improvements in diagnostic technology have provided substantial evidence to link severe—and
often fatal—psychological disorders to the head injuries that players receive while on the field. Recent
autopsies performed on the brains of football players who have committed suicide have shown advanced
cases of CTE in every single victim.
In response to the growing understanding of this danger, the National Football League (NFL) has revised
its safety regulations. Players who have suffered a head injury on the field must undergo a “concussion
sideline assessment”—a series of mental and physical fitness tests—before being allowed back in the
game. In an effort to diminish the amount of head and neck injuries on the field, NFL officials began
enforcing stricter penalty calls for helmet-to-helmet contact, leading with the head, and hitting a
defenseless player. Furthermore, as of 2010, if a player’s helmet is accidentally wrenched from his head
during play, the ball is immediately whistled dead. It is hoped that these new regulations, coupled with
advances in helmet design, will reduce the number of concussions, and thus curb further cases of CTE.
Efforts by the NFL and other professional sports leagues are certainly laudable; we should
commend every attempt to protect the mental and physical health of players. However, new regulations at
the professional level cannot protect amateur players, especially young people. Fatal cases of CTE have
been reported in victims as young as 21. Proper tackling form—using the arms and shoulders to aim for a
player’s midsection—should be taught at an early age. Youth, high school, and college leagues should
also adopt safety rules even more stringent than those of the NFL. Furthermore, young athletes should be
educated about the serious dangers of head injuries at an early age.
Perhaps the most important factor in reducing the number of traumatic brain injuries, however,
lies not with the players, the coaches, or the administrators, but with the media and fans. Sports media
producers have become accustomed to showcasing the most aggressive tackles and the most intense
plays. NFL broadcasts often replay especially violent collisions while the commentators marvel at the
players’ physical prowess. Some sports highlights television programs even feature weekly countdowns
of the “hardest hits.” When the media exalts such dangerous behavior, professionals are rewarded for
injuring each other on the field and amateurs become more likely to try to imitate their favorite NFL
athletes. Announcers, commentators, television producers, and sportswriters should engage in a
collective effort to cease glorifying brutal plays. In turn, fans should stop expecting their favorite players to
put their lives on the line for the purposes of entertainment. Players must not be encouraged to trade their
careers, their health, their happiness, and even their lives for the sake of a game.
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
1
Questions
1) Based on information in the passage, it can be inferred that all of the following statements are true
except
A. tackling is not always dangerous; however, players who use improper tackling form may injure
others
B. scientists have established a definitive link between players who die untimely deaths and the
onset of CTE
C. NFL officials have done little to address the problem of CTE
D. athletes who are praised for exceptionally brutal hits are likely to continue engaging in such
dangerous behavior
E. the NFL has done more to mitigate future cases of CTE than youth, high school, or college
leagues have done
2) According to the passage, which of the following factors contribute(s) to the incidence of CTE in
amateur players?
I. inconsistent application of safety regulations for all levels
II. lack of education about the dangers of head injuries
III. amateur players’ desire to emulate professionals
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
l only
II only
I and II only
II and III only
I, II, and III
3) As used in paragraph 3, which is the best synonym for laudable?
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
praiseworthy
ineffectual
memorable
audacious
satisfactory
4) The author’s tone in the final paragraph can best be described as
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
remorseful
hopeless
perplexed
insistent
arrogant
5) As used in the final paragraph, which is the best antonym for exalts?
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
mitigates
venerates
mollifies
expedites
castigates
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
2
6) In describing the sports media, the author emphasizes its
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
responsibility
entertainment value
senselessness
danger
sensationalism
7) In the final paragraph, the author mentions “sports highlights television programs” as an example of
how
I. the media glorifies violence
II. amateurs learn to mimic professional athletes
III. professional athletes gain approval
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
I only
II only
I and II only
II and III only
I, II, and III
8) In the last sentence of this passage, the author writes, "Players must not be encouraged to trade their
careers, their health, their happiness, and even their lives for the sake of a game." Which of the
following literary devices is used in this quotation?
A. Irony, characterized by the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal
meaning. In irony, the deeper, real layer of significance is revealed by the situation and the
context in which they are placed and not by the words themselves.
B. Climax, characterized by the arrangement of words, phrases, or causes in an order of ascending
power that culminates into the highest or most intense point. This works to deliver the main action
or integral message to the reader in a powerful way.
C. Authorial intrusion, characterized by a point at which the author speaks out directly to the reader.
This establishes a one to one relationship between the writer and the reader where the latter is no
longer a secondary player or an indirect audience to the progress of the story but is the main
subject of the author’s attention.
D. Hyperbole, characterized by the use of specific words and phrases that exaggerate and
overemphasize the core of the statement in order to produce a grander, more noticeable effect.
This usually works to convey an action or sentiment that is generally not realistically possible or
plausible but helps to emphasize an emotion
E. Anastrophe, in which the order of the noun and the adjective in the sentence is exchanged. In
standard parlance and writing the adjective comes before the noun but when one is employing an
anastrophe the noun is followed by the adjective. This reversed order creates a dramatic impact
and lends weight to the description offered by the adjective.
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
3
Answers and Explanations
1) C
In paragraph 2, the author lists ways in which the NFL has tried to combat the problem of CTE, such as “concussion sideline
assessments,” “stricter penalty calls,” and a rule that the ball must be “whistled dead” as soon as a player accidentally loses his
helmet during play. This means it is false that the NFL has done “little to address the problem.” Therefore (C) is correct. In
paragraph 3, the author writes, “Proper tackling form—using the arms and shoulders to aim for a player’s midsection—should be
taught at an early age.” From this we can infer that there is a proper way to tackle others, which minimizes risk of injury and is not
necessarily dangerous. However, players who use improper tackling form may injure others, leading to more cases of CTE. This
means (A) is incorrect. In paragraph 2, the author writes, “Recent autopsies performed on the brains of football players who have
committed suicide have shown advanced cases of CTE in every single victim.” Based on this evidence, we can infer that scientists
have established a definitive link between players who die untimely deaths and the onset of CTE. This makes (B) incorrect. In
paragraph 4, the author writes, “NFL broadcasts often replay especially violent collisions while the commentators marvel at the
players’ physical prowess. Some sports highlights television programs even feature weekly countdowns of the ‘hardest hits.’ When
the media exalts such dangerous behavior, professionals are rewarded for injuring each other on the field.” From this we can infer
that athletes who are praised for exceptionally brutal hits are likely to continue such behavior. This means (D) is incorrect. In
paragraph 2, the author lists many things the NFL has done to try to combat the problem of CTE. Then, in paragraph 3, the author
writes, “New regulations at the professional level cannot protect amateur players, especially young people…Youth, high school, and
college leagues should also adopt safety rules even more stringent than those of the NFL.” Based on this information we can infer
that the NFL has done more to mitigate future cases of CTE than youth, high school, or college leagues have done. Therefore (E) is
incorrect.
2) E
In paragraph 3, the author notes that “youth, high school, and college leagues should also adopt safety rules even more stringent
than those of the NFL.” The author suggests that NFL standards may protect professional players, but the regulations for amateurs
are inconsistent with NFL standards. Therefore, increased NFL safety standards do not help prevent the injuries suffered by
amateurs. The inconsistent application of safety regulations for all levels contributes to the incidence of CTE in amateur players.
This supports option (I). In paragraph 3, the author claims, “Young athletes should be educated about the serious dangers of head
injuries at an early age.” This means there is a lack of education about the dangers of head injuries that contributes to the incidence
of CTE in amateur players. This supports option (II). In the final paragraph, the author argues that “amateurs” are “likely to try to
imitate their favorite NFL athletes” when they watch violent highlight reels on sports programs. This means that amateur players’
desire to emulate professionals can contribute to the incidence of CTE in amateurs. This supports option (III). Therefore (E) is
correct.
3) A
laudable (adjective): worthy of praise; commendable.
In paragraph 3, the author states: “Efforts by the NFL and other professional sports leagues are certainly laudable; we should
commend every attempt to protect the mental and physical health of players.” This tells us that we should commend laudable
attempts, meaning we should praise them, so a good synonym is praiseworthy. Therefore (A) is correct. Ineffectual means
ineffective or useless. While the author states that efforts by the NFL are not enough, he or she does not suggest they are useless.
This means (B) is incorrect. Memorable means unforgettable. The author is praising the NFL’s efforts, but he or she does not in any
way suggest that these efforts are unforgettable. This makes (C) incorrect. Audacious means bold or daring. The author is praising
the NFL’s efforts, but he or she does not in any way suggest that these efforts are particularly daring, only that they are worthwhile.
Therefore (D) is incorrect. Satisfactory means acceptable or adequate. While the author suggests that efforts by the NFL are a step
in the right direction, he or she explicitly argues that they are not adequate, and more should be done. This makes (E) incorrect.
4) D
The author’s main purpose in the final paragraph is to convince readers that fans and media alike should stop glorifying the violent
hits that make football so dangerous. The author’s tone is insistent as he or she compiles evidence supporting this position. The
final sentence in the paragraph is definitive, even dramatic: “Players must not be encouraged to trade their careers, their health,
their happiness, and even their lives for the sake of a game.” Choice (D) is correct. The author is blaming the media and the fans,
not him or herself. Therefore he or she is not remorseful so (A) is incorrect. Although the author describes a negative situation, he or
she ends with a call to action for the future, implying that this situation may indeed improve in the future. This means the author is
not hopeless. Therefore (B) is incorrect. A perplexed tone suggests that the author is confused about something. The author is quite
clear about his or her position, so (C) is incorrect. Although the author is assigning blame in this paragraph, he or she does not do
so in an arrogant manner. This means (E) is incorrect.
5) E
exalt (verb): to praise or glorify something or somebody.
In the final paragraph, the author writes: “Sports media producers have become accustomed to showcasing the most aggressive
tackles and the most intense plays. NFL broadcasts often replay especially violent collisions while the commentators marvel at the
players’ physical prowess. Some sports highlights television programs even feature weekly countdowns of the ‘hardest hits.’ When
the media exalts such dangerous behavior, professionals are rewarded for injuring each other on the field.” In the examples given,
the media is portrayed as “showcasing” aggression and “marvel[ing]” at violence. Furthermore, the author argues that professional
players are rewarded when the media exalts their hazardous behavior. Since the players are being rewarded, exalts must mean
praises or glorifies. If the players were being criticized or condemned for their violent behavior, then they would not be rewarded.
This means a good antonym is castigates. Therefore (E) is correct. Mitigates means makes less severe or painful. The media is
glorifying such behavior, not making it less severe, so (A) is incorrect. Venerates means glorifies, so it is a synonym for exalts. This
makes (B) incorrect. Mollifies means soothes or appeases. While this is different from glorifying violent behavior, it is not opposite,
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
4
so (C) is incorrect. Expedites means to hasten or speed up. The media is glorifying violent behavior, but it does not affect the speed
of the behavior. This means (D) is incorrect.
6) E
In the final paragraph, the author describes the media as follows: “Sports media producers have become accustomed to showcasing
the most aggressive tackles and the most intense plays. NFL broadcasts often replay especially violent collisions while the
commentators marvel at the players’ physical prowess. Some sports highlights television programs even feature weekly countdowns
of the ‘hardest hits.’ When the media exalts such dangerous behavior, professionals are rewarded for injuring each other on the field
and amateurs become more likely to try to imitate their favorite NFL athletes. Announcers, commentators, television producers, and
sportswriters should engage in a collective effort to cease glorifying brutal plays.” The author uses verbs such as showcase, marvel,
feature, exalt, reward, and glorify to describe what the media does. He or she uses language like “aggressive tackles,” “most intense
plays,” “violent collisions,” “hardest hits,” “dangerous behavior,” and “brutal plays” to describe what the media depicts. By studying
the language, we can determine that the author has chosen to emphasize the sports media’s sensationalism in praising brutality.
Therefore (E) is correct. Although the author is arguing that the sports media should be more responsible, he or she actually
describes its current behavior as irresponsible. This means (A) is incorrect. While some people may claim that glorifying violence
increases entertainment value in the sports media, the author would not likely agree with this position. Furthermore, the author does
not emphasize entertainment value, which is a positive characteristic. Rather, he or she focuses on the sensationalism of the sports
media, which is a more negative characteristic. This means (B) is incorrect. The author does not go so far as to characterize the
sports media as senseless, meaning completely foolish or absurd. Because it is too extreme, (C) is incorrect. While the author
describes the behavior of the players as “dangerous,” he or she does not go so far as to describe the media itself as dangerous.
This means (D) is incorrect.
7) E
In the final paragraph, the author writes, “NFL broadcasts often replay especially violent collisions while the commentators marvel at
the players’ physical prowess. Some sports highlights television programs even feature weekly countdowns of the ‘hardest hits.’”
Based on this information, we can understand that the author mentions “sports highlights television programs” as an example of how
the media showcases violence. Later in the paragraph, the author adds that the media “glorif[ies] brutal plays.” This supports option
(I). In the final paragraph, the author writes, “Some sports highlights television programs even feature weekly countdowns of the
‘hardest hits.’ When the media exalts such dangerous behavior,…amateurs become more likely to try to imitate their favorite NFL
athletes.” Based on this information, we can understand that the author mentions “sports highlights television programs” as an
example of how amateurs learn to mimic professional athletes. This supports option (II). In the final paragraph, the author writes,
“Some sports highlights television programs even feature weekly countdowns of the ‘hardest hits.’ When the media exalts such
dangerous behavior, professionals are rewarded for injuring each other on the field.” Based on this information, we can understand
that the author mentions “sports highlights television programs” as an example of how professional athletes gain approval. This
supports option (III). Therefore (E) is correct.
8) B
In the last sentence, the author urges players to stop trading “their careers, their health, their happiness, and even their lives for the
sake of a game.” The ideas progress from least crucial (careers) to most crucial (lives). Organizing ideas in order of ascending
power or importance is called climax. Therefore (B) is correct. The passage does not contain information to support choices (A), (C),
(D), and (E). Therefore they are incorrect.
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
5
泛美国际
Name_
Date
• Reading Comprehension 3
Level 12
Directions: Read the passage. Then answer the questions below.
The biggest house of cards, the longest tongue, and of course, the tallest man: these are among
the thousands of records logged in the famous Guinness Book of Records. Created in 1955 after a
debate concerning Europe's fastest game bird, what began as a marketing tool sold to pub landlords to
promote Guinness, an Irish drink, became the bestselling copyright title of all time (a category that
excludes books such as the Bible and the Koran). In time, the book would sell 120 million copies in over
100 countries— quite a leap from its humble beginnings.
In its early years, the book set its sights on satisfying man's innate curiosity about the natural
world around him. Its two principal fact finders, twins Norris and Ross McWhirter, scoured the globe to
collect empirical facts. It was their task to find and document aspects of life that can be sensed or
observed, things that can be quantified or measured. But not just any things. They were only interested in
superlatives: the biggest and the best. It was during this period that some of the hallmark Guinness
Records were documented, answering such questions as "What is the brightest star?" and "What is the
biggest spider?"
Once aware of the public's thirst for such knowledge, the book's authors began to branch out to
cover increasingly obscure, little-known facts. They started documenting human achievements as well. A
forerunner for reality television, the Guinness Book gave people a chance to become famous for
accomplishing eccentric, often pointless tasks. Records were set in 1955 for consuming 24 raw eggs in
14 minutes and in 1981 for the fastest solving of a Rubik's Cube (which took a mere 38 seconds). In 1979
a man yodeled non-stop for ten and a quarter hours.
In its latest incarnation, the book has found a new home on the internet. No longer restricted to
the confines of physical paper, the Guinness World Records website contains seemingly innumerable
facts concerning such topics as the most powerful combustion engine, or the world's longest train. What
is striking, however, is that such facts are found sharing a page with the record of the heaviest train to be
pulled with a beard. While there is no denying that each of these facts has its own, individual allure, the
latter represents a significant deviation from the education-oriented facts of earlier editions. Perhaps there
is useful knowledge to be gleaned regarding the tensile strength of a beard, but this seems to cater to an
audience more interested in seeking entertainment than education.
Originating as a simple bar book, the Guinness Book of Records has evolved over decades to
provide insight into the full spectrum of modern life. And although one may be more likely now to learn
about the widest human mouth than the highest number of casualties in a single battle of the Civil War,
the Guinness World Records website offers a telling glimpse into the future of fact-finding and recordrecording.
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
1
Questions
1) Which of the following statements would best serve as the headline for this passage?
A. The encyclopedia of the extremes reflects the changing interests of modern society.
B. A book of simple origins makes it to the top as sales total a staggering 120 million copies.
C. Facts are often displayed in a boring, uninteresting manner, but not in the Guinness Book of
Records.
D. The Guinness World Records website proves itself a valuable resource for insight into the full
spectrum of modern life.
E. Where other books fall short, the index of superlative sciences never ceases to amaze.
2) According to the author, the most significant difference between older editions of the Guinness Book
of Records and the new Guinness World Records website involves
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
an end to the use of facts as a means to promote Guinness
an overall increase in the total number of facts presented
a move from fact-finding to the recording of achievements
a shift in focus from educational to entertaining material
a departure from book sales being limited to local pubs and bars
3) As used in paragraph 2, which is the best definition for empirical?
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
natural
derived from experience
recordable
excellent or unmatched
convenient or handy
4) Based on its use in paragraph 2, which of the following best describes something that is superlative?
A. Students give presentations about their favorite subjects for a grade. Amy Newhouse receives an
87% for her presentation, while Dustin Lincoln receives a 92%.
B. Although sharks are significantly bigger and have razor-sharp teeth, dolphins are smarter and can
therefore successfully evade attack.
C. The lake holds a contest to see who can catch the biggest fish. Tommy wins, having caught a 6
lb. 5 oz. smallmouth bass.
D. A man built an enormous house of cards. It took him 44 days and 218,792 individual playing
cards to complete.
E. Ichiro likes tennis and practices every day. In his last tournament, he placed 3rd of over 350
competitors, winning the bronze trophy.
5) Using the passage as a guide, it can be inferred that the author most likely believes reality television
to be
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
corrupt
absurd
idiotic
invaluable
shallow
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
2
6) In the final paragraph, the author writes, "And although one may be more likely now to learn about the
widest human mouth than the highest number of casualties in a single battle of the Civil War, the
Guinness World Records website offers a telling glimpse into the future of fact-finding and recordrecording." Which of the following literary devices is used in this quotation?
A. Aphorism, characterized by the use of a concise statement that is made in a matter of fact tone to
state a principle or an opinion that is generally understood to be a universal truth. Aphorisms are
often adages, wise sayings and maxims aimed at imparting sense and wisdom.
B. Alliteration, characterized by the use of adjacent words that begin with the same sound or letter,
creating a repetition of similar sounds in the sentence. This is used to add character to the writing
and often adds an element of playfulness.
C. Amplification, characterized by the embellishment or extension of a statement in order to give it
greater worth or meaning. This is often used for rhetorical purposes.
D. Anagram, characterized by the jumbling of the syllables of a phrase or the individual letters of a
word to create a new word. Anagram is a form of wordplay that allows the writer to infuse mystery
and a fun into the writing so that the reader can decipher the actual word on his or her own and
discover enhanced depth of meaning.
E. Anthropomorphism in which a human quality, emotion or ambition is attributed to a non-human
object or being. This is often used in order to relate the object to the reader on a familiar level and
also to increase the level of relativity between the humans and objects while lending character to
the subject.
7) Which of the following best summarizes the organization of this passage?
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
introduction, history, conclusion
history, examples, explanations, conclusion
exposition, history, conclusion
introduction, thesis, supporting paragraphs, conclusion
introduction, history, exposition, conclusion
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
3
Answers and Explanations
1) A
In paragraph 3, we learn that the early authors of the Guinness Book of Records were attuned to the interests of their audience:
“Once aware of the public's thirst for such knowledge, the book's authors began to branch out to cover increasingly obscure, littleknown facts.” As the book has “found a new home on the internet,” the facts contained therein have changed to reflect the interests
of a new generation of readers. New records seem even more eccentric than previous ones, prompting the author to theorize:
“Perhaps there is useful knowledge to be gleaned regarding the tensile strength of a beard, but this seems to cater to an audience
more interested in seeking entertainment than education.” The author shows throughout the passage that the Guinness Book of
Records has always reflected the interests of its audience, and as society changes, so too do the records. A heading should capture
the main idea of a passage. The main idea of this passage is that the book has changed over time, and moreover that its changes
are in response to the changing interests of modern society. Therefore (A) is the correct choice. The fact that the Guinness Book of
Records sold 120 million copies is a detail in the introduction designed to catch the reader’s interest. It does not capture the main
idea of the passage, so it would not serve as a comprehensive heading. Therefore (B) is incorrect. While it may be true that facts
are often displayed in a boring, uninteresting manner, and the Guinness Book of Records is a departure from this display, the main
idea of this passage is not how the book differs from other factual publications. Rather, the focus here is on the ways the Guinness
Book of Records has evolved. Therefore (C) is incorrect. The author does claim that the Guinness World Records website “is a
valuable resource for insight into the full spectrum of modern life,” but this detail concerns only the website. Most of the passage is
about the history of the book and how it has changed, so this sentence does not capture the main idea of the passage. Therefore
(D) is incorrect. Though it may be true that The Guinness World Records “never ceases to amaze,” the main idea of the passage is
not that the book is compelling, but that is has evolved over time. Therefore (E) is incorrect.
2) D
In paragraph 4, we learn that the website includes new, more eccentric records in addition to the previous records, such as “the
record of the heaviest train to be pulled with a beard.” The author goes on to say that the addition of such types of records
“represents a significant deviation from the education-oriented facts of earlier editions.” Finally, the author claims that these new
records “cater to an audience more interested in seeking entertainment than education.” From these statements we can infer that
the author finds the most significant difference between the older editions and the website to be the shift in focus from educational to
entertaining material. Therefore (D) is correct. In paragraph 1, we learn that the Guinness Book of Records “began as a marketing
tool sold to pub landlords to promote Guinness, an Irish drink.” The story does not contain the information that the book is no longer
used to promote Guinness, whether in the form of older editions or the newer website. Therefore (A) is incorrect. In paragraph 4, we
learn that “no longer restricted to the confines of physical paper, the Guinness World Records website contains seemingly
innumerable facts concerning such topics as the most powerful combustion engine, or the world's longest train.” Here the author
implies that there is an overall increase in the total number of facts presented, as the website does not limit space in the way a
physical book does. However, though this is a difference between the website and the older editions, the passage does not contain
information to prove that it is the most significant difference, in the author’s opinion. The use of phrases like “what is striking” and
“significant” indicate that the author finds the most significant difference has to do with the types of facts, not the quantity. Therefore
(B) is incorrect. In paragraph 3, we learn that “the book's authors began to branch out to cover increasingly obscure, little-known
facts. They started documenting human achievements as well.” The move is not necessarily from fact-finding to documenting
achievements, but rather a move to include both types of records. Furthermore, the move towards including achievements occurred
well before the creation of the website. Therefore (C) is incorrect. The passage does not contain information that book sales were
limited to pubs and bars, nor does it say that the website represents a departure from this practice. Therefore (E) is incorrect.
3) B
empirical (adjective): originating in or based on observation or experience.
In paragraph 2 we learn that the “two principal fact finders, twins Norris and Ross McWhirter, scoured the globe to collect empirical
facts. It was their task to find and document aspects of life that can be sensed or observed, things that can be quantified or
measured.” From this information the reader can infer that empirical facts are those that can be sensed or observed. Our senses
and observations derive directly from our experience of the world. Therefore (B) is correct. Natural means existing in or found in
nature. Though some of the facts recorded in the Guinness Book of Records could be found in nature, things which we can sense or
observe through experience are not necessarily natural. Therefore (A) is incorrect. Recordable means able to be set down in writing.
Although empirical facts are recordable, not everything that is set down in writing can be sensed or observed, quantified or
measured. Therefore (C) is incorrect. While some of the records were no doubt excellent, excellent or unmatched can also describe
something that cannot be observed and quantified. Therefore (D) is incorrect. The twins had to scour the globe to collect facts,
which indicates that these facts were difficult to unearth, the opposite of convenient or handy. Therefore (E) is incorrect.
4) C
Comparative is used to show how one thing has some feature to a greater degree than another (used in a one-to-one comparison)
while superlative is used to show how one thing has some feature to the greatest degree of all of its kind. This is the case with
adjectives. There are standard adjectives, which are used to attribute features to an individual thing (ex. big). Then there are
comparative adjectives, which are used to indicate that one thing has some feature to a greater or lesser degree than another thing
(ex. bigger). Then there are superlative adjectives, which are used to used to indicate that one thing has some feature to a greater
or lesser degree than all others in a given context (ex. biggest). In this case, we are looking for a superlative situation, which would
be a situation in which one thing has some feature to a greater or lesser degree than all others. The lake holds a contest to see who
can catch the biggest fish, and Tommy wins because his fish weighs the more than any others. This makes Tommy’s fish the
superlative fish in the contest. Therefore (C) is the correct answer. In a situation where we know two students’ grades, we can
compare them to each other, but we do not know whether Amy or Dustin has the superlative score in the class, because we do not
know the scores of all the other students. The situation in answer choice (A) is a comparative situation, so this choice is incorrect. In
a situation where we know the advantages of sharks (bigger) versus the advantages of dolphins (smarter), we cannot determine
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
4
which of the two is superlative. This is another comparative situation. Therefore (B) is incorrect. The situation in answer choice (D) is
also incorrect. This is because it offers details about a man’s accomplishment, but we do not have any other situations to which we
can compare his accomplishment. We do not know if 44 days is a comparatively long or short time, and we do not know whether
218, 792 cards is a larger or smaller amount compared to other people’s attempts at this accomplishment. Since we have no
comparative information, we cannot determine whether this is a superlative accomplishment or not. Ichiro placed 3rd out of 350
competitors, which may be an impressive performance, but is neither the best nor the worst. Thus his situation does not describe
something superlative. Therefore (E) is incorrect.
5) E
In paragraph 3, the author states, “A forerunner for reality television, the Guinness Book gave people a chance to become famous
for accomplishing eccentric, often pointless tasks.” From this statement, we can infer that the author believes reality television also
gives people a chance to become famous for accomplishing eccentric, often pointless tasks. Something shallow lacks intellectual or
mental depth and is superficial. Since these tasks lack intellectual depth, and since being famous for doing something pointless is a
form of superficiality, we can infer that the author believes reality television to be shallow. Therefore (E) is the correct answer.
Corrupt means guilty of dishonest practices. While it may be trivial for people to gain fame for accomplishing pointless tasks, it is not
dishonest for them to do so. Therefore (A) is incorrect. Absurd means utterly senseless or illogical. The author may find reality
television absurd, but the passage does not offer any information that he or she believes the chance to become famous for
accomplishing pointless tasks is illogical. There is evidence that he considers the tasks themselves absurd or pointless, but there is
not concrete evidence that he finds reality television absurd. Therefore (B) is incorrect. Idiotic means foolish or stupid. It is a
negatively charged word. If the author is saying that the Guinness Book was a forerunner for reality television, and if he believes that
reality television is idiotic, then it logically follows that he believes the Guinness Book is also idiotic. But it is clear from his tone
throughout the passage that he does not hold such a negative view of the book. Therefore (C) is incorrect. Invaluable means
beyond calculable worth, or priceless. This answer choice represents a trap, as people often misunderstand invaluable to mean the
opposite of valuable, or worthless. However, when one considers the actual definition in this context, it is clear that the author does
not believe reality television to be priceless. Rather, he implies that it is superficial for people to gain fame for accomplishing
pointless tasks. Something superficial is not something that is priceless, or beyond calculable worth. Therefore (D) is incorrect.
6) B
The final phrase of this sentence includes multiple words beginning with f and r: “the future of fact-finding and record-recording.”
This repetition of initial letters or sounds in words in quick succession is called alliteration. There are two instances of it here.
Therefore (B) is the correct answer. An aphorism is a short saying generally understood to be a universal truth, such as a maxim or
adage. There is no universal truth contained in the given sentence. Therefore (A) is incorrect. Amplification occurs when a writer
embellishes a sentence by repeating words or expressions, and adding more information to increase the meaning and emphasis.
While the sentence does offer specific details, there is no such explicit repetition. Therefore (C) is incorrect. An anagram is a literary
device wherein the author jumbles the letters of a word to create a new word. There is no such example in the given sentence.
Therefore (D) is incorrect. Anthropomorphism is the act of lending a human quality, emotion or ambition to a non-human object or
being. There is no object or being in this sentence which is bestowed with a human quality, emotion or ambition. Therefore (E) is
incorrect.
7) E
Paragraph 1 introduces the subject of this passage, the Guinness Book of Records, by describing it and then giving an overview of
its history. Paragraphs 2 and 3 delve into this history, particularly the history of the types of facts collected and the methods of
collection. Paragraph 4 moves into exposition, informing the reader of the differences between the older editions and the current
website edition. Finally, in paragraph 5, the author offers his conclusion: that the publication “has evolved over decades” and that it
“offers a telling glimpse into the future of fact-finding and record-recording.” Since this structure follows the organizational patter of
introduction, history, exposition, conclusion, (E) is the correct answer. While the passage does begin with an introduction and
history, and it ends with the author’s conclusion, paragraph 4 is an important piece which describes the current state of the
publication. Answer choice A does not include exposition in the organizational pattern. Therefore A is incorrect. The passage does
include history and it does offer examples of the types of facts found in the book. However, there are no substantial explanations, of
either the history or the examples, offered. Therefore (B) is incorrect. The bulk of the exposition in this passage is not at the
beginning, but in paragraph 4. Therefore (C) is incorrect. Though the essay does follow the organizational pattern of introduction,
supporting paragraphs, and conclusion, the author’s thesis does not appear until paragraph 5, instead of near the beginning.
Therefore (D) is incorrect.
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
5
泛美国际
Name_
Date
• Reading Comprehension 4
Level 12
Directions: Read the passage. Then answer the questions below.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a range of psychological conditions characterized by
abnormalities in social interaction, behavior, interests, and communication. The five forms of ASD include
classical autism, Asperger syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Rett syndrome, and Childhood
Disintegrative Disorder. Although the number of reported cases of ASD has experienced a dramatic increase in
the past 25 years, the majority of doctors agree that this increase is due to changes in diagnostic practices and
advances in the understanding of psychiatric health. While there is no general consensus among medical
professionals about the underlying causes of ASD, theories range from genetic inheritance to environmental
factors. One of the most controversial theories to have emerged in recent times is the hypothesis that ASD
could be caused by the MMR vaccine, which is an immunization against measles, mumps, and rubella that was
first developed in the 1960’s. The vaccine is a mixture of three live viruses and is administered via injection to
children when they are one year old. By the late 1990’s, this vaccination had led to the near-eradication of
measles in countries that employed widespread inoculation. However, a combination of spurious scientific data
and alarmist media attention led to an entirely preventable resurgence in measles cases in the early 21st
century.
The first claims of a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism were made in 1998, when an
article in The Lancet, a respected British medical journal, reported on eight cases of autism that could possibly
be traced back to the administration of an MMR vaccine. The parents of the children in this study contended
that the symptoms of autism in their children developed within days of vaccination. During a press conference,
Andrew Wakefield, one of the authors of the article, called on British doctors to stop giving combined MMR
vaccines, instead advocating for individual inoculations against measles, mumps, and rubella.
Following the publication of this article, Wakefield published several follow-up papers that further
questioned the safety of the MMR vaccine. An onslaught of media coverage then began. Parents appeared on
television sharing anecdotal evidence linking their child’s inoculation to the onset of ASD. The popular press
quickly seized upon this story; in 2002, over 1200 articles were written about the link between MMR vaccines
and ASD. Less than 30% of these articles mentioned that an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence
suggested that these vaccinations were completely safe.
Since the initial panic, fears that MMR vaccines cause ASD have generally subsided. A survey
completed in 2004 showed that only 2% of people in the United Kingdom thought that there was a legitimate
link between MMR vaccines and ASD. Fears were most likely allayed when, in 2004, an investigative reporter
discovered that Andrew Wakefield had received a large sum of money from lawyers seeking evidence to use in
cases against vaccine manufacturers. It was then discovered that Wakefield had applied for patents on an
alternate MMR vaccine. These severe conflicts of interest damaged the credibility of Wakefield’s study beyond
repair. In 2010, Wakefield was tried by Britain’s General Medical Council under allegations that he had falsified
data and manipulated test results. The Council found that Wakefield had acted “dishonestly and irresponsibly,”
and consequently The Lancet officially retracted Wakefield’s 1998 article.
The anti-MMR vaccine panic that arose immediately after Wakefield’s article was published had a
significant negative effect on the health of thousands of children. Once the controversy began, the number of
parents in the United Kingdom who inoculated their children with the MMR vaccine experienced a sharp
decline. Not surprisingly, the number of reported cases of measles increased; while there were only 56
confirmed cases of measles in the UK in 1998; in 2008 there were over 1300. Between 2002 and 2008, there
were outbreaks of measles throughout Europe and North America. These outbreaks cost millions of dollars in
health care and resulted in the deaths of dozens of children and adults with compromised immune systems.
Who is to blame for these deaths? It is easy to hold Andrew Wakefield accountable, but the media
must also bear some of the responsibility. The media’s appetite for a sensational medical story overshadowed
the fact that there was very little scientific evidence behind Wakefield’s claim. Although Wakefield is certainly
not the first person to publish fraudulent scientific findings in a respected medical journal, the magnitude of this
event was anomalous, as most medical hoaxes are discredited before they can reach the popular media. While
The Lancet should not have published Wakefield’s article without checking it thoroughly, the popular media
should not have blown the study out of proportion without fully considering the consequences.
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
1
Questions
1) The primary purpose of the passage is to
A. warn parents about the dangers of not vaccinating their children against measles
B. criticize The Lancet for publishing Wakefield’s article without vetting it more thoroughly
C. provide an overview of the MMR vaccine controversy, including its consequences and
responsible parties
D. inform readers about the history of the MMR vaccine, especially in the U.S. and the UK
E. blame parents who believed alarmist media reports for the measles outbreaks
2) As used in paragraph 1, which is the best antonym for spurious?
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
reassuring
safe
clear
necessary
legitimate
3) Which of the following statements most accurately summarizes the author’s explanation for the
increase in reported cases of ASD over the past 25 years?
A. Over the past 25 years, parents have been more likely to have their young children inoculated
against MMR.
B. Since the results of Wakefield’s study were published, parents have been less likely to have their
young children inoculated against MMR.
C. In the past 25 years, doctors have developed a better understanding of genetics, which is thought
to be the leading factor in whether or not a child will develop ASD.
D. The drastic changes in our environment that have occurred over the past 25 years have most
significantly contributed to an increase in cases of ASD.
E. The increase in reported cases of ASD is mainly the result of an increased understanding of how
to recognize ASD.
4) Which of the following pieces of evidence from paragraphs 2 and 3 support(s) the author’s claim that
popular media is partially responsible for creating unnecessary panic?
“An article published in The Lancet, a respected British medical journal, reported on eight cases
of autism that could possibly be traced back to the administration of an MMR vaccine.”
II. “In 2002, over 1200 articles were written about the link between MMR vaccines and ASD. Less
than 30% of these articles mentioned that an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence
suggested that these vaccinations were completely safe.”
III. “Parents appeared on television sharing anecdotal evidence regarding the links between their
child’s inoculation and the onset of ASD.”
I.
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
l only
II only
I and II only
II and III only
I, II, and III
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
2
5) In paragraph 4, the author cites all of the following as ways that Wakefield’s study was discredited
except
A. investigators discovered that the parents of children in Wakefield’s study were litigants in a
lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company that made the MMR vaccine
B. The Lancet eventually retracted Wakefield’s original article
C. it was discovered that Wakefield accepted money from lawyers who were filing a suit against the
pharmaceutical companies responsible for making the MMR vaccine
D. an investigation into Wakefield’s research found that he had falsified data in his initial study
E. Wakefield himself had apparently been working on an alternate vaccine to compete with MMR
6) Based on its use in paragraph 4, it can be inferred that the phrase “conflicts of interest” means
situations in which people
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
unethically accept large sums of money
have interests that fail to accord with those of the mainstream media
falsify data and manipulate test results
have personal interests that threaten their official objectivity
stand to gain financially through illegal means
7) As used in paragraph 6, which is the best synonym for anomalous?
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
timely
calamitous
abnormal
unacceptable
coincidental
8) Which of the following pieces of evidence, if true, would best strengthen the author’s argument in
paragraph 6?
A. An estimated 1.4 million measles deaths are averted each year due to MMR immunization.
B. 90% of parents in the UK who decided not to immunize their children against measles reported
that they did so against their doctors’ wishes.
C. Measles outbreaks in Japan can be traced back to Japanese exchange students who were
studying in the UK.
D. In the United States, over 60% of children who are not immunized against MMR never exhibit any
symptoms of the measles.
E. Andrew Wakefield sued the investigative reporter who accused him of fraud.
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
3
Answers and Explanations
1) C
An author’s purpose is directly related to the content of the passage. In this passage, the author begins in paragraph 1 with
background information about ASD and the controversy surrounding a possible link between ASD and the MMR vaccine. In
paragraph 2, the author details how the possible link between ASD and the MMR vaccine was established. In paragraph 3, the
author describes the media’s role in heightening the controversy. In paragraph 4, the author identifies the reasons why the scientist
behind the research came to be discredited, and why subsequently most people no longer believed there was a connection between
ASD and vaccines. In paragraph 5, the author describes the negative consequences of parents choosing not to vaccinate their
children against MMR. In paragraph 6, the author suggests that not only was falsified science to blame, but also the popular media
that ran the story without fully checking the facts. Based on this content, we can determine that the author aims to provide an
overview of the MMR vaccine controversy, including its consequences and responsible parties. Therefore (C) is correct. The author
addresses a general audience, not parents specifically. He or she also uses an informative tone rather than a warning tone. This
means (A) is incorrect. Although the author does criticize The Lancet for publishing Wakefield’s article without checking it more
thoroughly, this criticism is not the author’s main point. The author’s tone throughout the passage is more informative than critical.
This means (B) is incorrect. The author focuses specifically on the controversy surrounding a possible link between the MMR
vaccine and ASD, not on the more general history of the MMR vaccine. This eliminates (D). At no point does the author blame
parents. This eliminates (E).
2) E
spurious (adjective): false, counterfeit, or bogus; not valid or well-founded.
The author writes in paragraph 1 that “a combination of spurious scientific data and alarmist media attention led to an entirely
preventable resurgence in measles.” Later in the passage, in paragraph 4, the author writes that Wakefield, the scientist, testified
that “he had falsified data and manipulated test results.” Based on this information, we can understand that because the scientific
data turned out to be false, spurious means fraudulent or illegitimate. This means a good antonym for spurious is legitimate.
Therefore (E) is correct. Reassuring means removing doubts and fears. Although the scientific data did provide doubts and fears,
the larger problem with the data was not that it caused fear, but that it was false in the first place. This means (A) is incorrect. Safe
means protected from danger. While the scientific data led to dangerous consequences (parents not vaccinating their children), the
data itself was false, not dangerous. This makes (B) incorrect. Clear means easy to understand or interpret. The scientific data was
false, not confusing. Therefore (C) is incorrect. Necessary means required or essential. The scientific data did turn out not to be
essential, but that is because it was false or unreliable. This makes (D) incorrect.
3) E
The author writes in paragraph 1: “Although the number of reported cases of autism has experienced a dramatic increase in the past
25 years, the majority of doctors agree that this increase is due to changes in diagnostic practices and advances in the
understanding of psychiatric health.” In other words, there has not been any increase in environmental or genetic risks that could
contribute to more cases of ASD; rather, doctors have just gotten better at recognizing and diagnosing it, which means more cases
are reported. Therefore (E) is correct. The passage ultimately discredits the link between ASD and the MMR vaccine, so the author
does not say this could be the explanation for the increase in reported cases of ASD. This makes (A) incorrect. Although it is true
that parents have been less likely to have their young children inoculated against MMR since the results of Wakefield’s study were
published, the author does not attribute the increase in reported cases of ASD to this fact. This means (B) is incorrect. Although in
paragraph 1, the author states there is a theory that “genetic inheritance” contributes to ASD, he or she claims that doctors agree
the increase is due to a better “understanding of psychiatric health,” not a better understanding of genetics. Therefore (C) is
incorrect. Although in paragraph 1, the author states there is a theory that “environmental factors” contribute to ASD, he or she
claims that doctors agree the increase is due to a better “understanding of psychiatric health,” not to environmental changes.
Therefore (D) is incorrect.
4) D
In paragraph 2, the author identifies The Lancet as a scholarly journal, not a popular media outlet. In the final paragraph, the author
writes, “While The Lancet should not have published Wakefield’s article without checking it thoroughly, the popular media should not
have blown the study out of proportion without fully considering the consequences.” From this information we can further determine
that the author considers The Lancet separate from the popular media. This eliminates option (I). In paragraph 3, the author implies
that by publishing articles that ignore “an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence,” the media is guilty of using sensationalist
news to create unfounded mass panic. This supports option (II). In paragraph 3, the author implies that by broadcasting parents
who have only “anecdotal,” or unproven, evidence to share, the media is guilty of using sensationalist news to create unfounded
mass panic. This supports option (III). Therefore (D) is correct.
5) A
Although the author claims that Wakefield accepted money from lawyers filing a suit against the companies that manufactured the
MMR vaccine, the author does not state that the parents of the children in Wakefield’s study were the litigants in the lawsuit. This
idea is never mentioned in the article. Therefore (A) is correct. In paragraph 4, the author writes, “The Lancet officially retracted
Wakefield’s 1998 article.” This eliminates (B).In paragraph 4, the author writes: “An investigative reporter discovered that Andrew
Wakefield had received a large sum of money from lawyers seeking evidence to use in cases against vaccine manufacturers.” This
eliminates (C).In paragraph 4, the author reports that “Wakefield was tried by Britain’s General Medical Council under allegations
that he had falsified data and manipulated test results.” This eliminates (D). In paragraph 4, the author writes: “Wakefield had
applied for patents on an alternate MMR vaccine.” This eliminates (E).
6)
D
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
4
In paragraph 4, the author writes: “Fears were most likely allayed when, in 2004, an investigative reporter discovered that Andrew
Wakefield had received a large sum of money from lawyers seeking evidence to use in cases against vaccine manufacturers. It was
then discovered that Wakefield had applied for patents on an alternate MMR vaccine. These severe conflicts of interest damaged
the credibility of Wakefield’s study beyond repair.” Based on this information, we can understand that the phrase “conflicts of interest”
refers to two incidents: the first is that Wakefield received a large sum of money from lawyers seeking evidence to use against
vaccine manufacturers, and the second is that Wakefield had applied for patents on an alternate MMR vaccine. From this
we can
infer that Wakefield had a financial incentive (money from the lawyers) to find evidence that something was wrong with the MMR
vaccine, and also that he stood to gain financially from an alternate vaccine he had created if the current vaccine could be
discredited. We also know from the passage that these conflicts of interest “damaged the results of his study beyond repair,” so they
had a negative impact. Because Wakefield had personal, financial interests that threatened his ability to be impartial in his official
role as a scientist, we can understand that the phrase “conflicts of interest” refers to having personal interests that threaten one’s
official objectivity. Therefore (D) is correct. Although the author claims that Wakefield did accept a large sum of money from lawyers,
this incident represents only one of the conflicts of interest described. This means (A) is incorrect. The passage does not suggest
that Wakefield had interests that failed to accord with those of the mainstream media, so (B) is incorrect. Although in paragraph 4
the author does state that Wakefield was tried under allegations that he falsified data and manipulated test results, the phrase
“conflicts of interest” does not refer to this trial. Rather, his conflicts of interest led the Britain’s General Medical Council to try him.
Therefore (C) is incorrect. Although the author claims that Wakefield stood to gain financially through what some would consider
unethical means, he or she does not go so far as to say what Wakefield did was illegal. Indeed, he was not tried in a court of law,
but by Britain’s General Medical Council. This means (E) is incorrect.
7) C
anomalous (adjective): deviant from the norm or from expectations.
In paragraph 6, the author argues: “Although Wakefield is certainly not the first person to publish fraudulent scientific findings in a
respected medical journal, the magnitude of this event was anomalous, as most medical hoaxes are discredited before they can
reach the popular media.” If, as the passage states, the magnitude of this event was larger than usual because the hoax was not
discredited before reaching the popular media, then we can infer that anomalous means unusual or deviating from the norm. This
means that abnormal is a good synonym. Therefore (C) is correct. Timely means done at a favorable or appropriate time. This
sentence discusses the size of this medical hoax, not the timing of it, so (A) is incorrect. Calamitous means disastrous. Although the
event did have disastrous consequences, this sentence is discussing the size of the event as compared to other medical hoaxes,
not the consequences of this specific event. This makes (B) incorrect. Unacceptable means not satisfactory. This sentence does not
contain judgment about the medical hoax, but rather objectively compares its magnitude to that of other hoaxes. This means (D) is
incorrect. Coincidental means accidental or resulting from a coincidence. We can infer from the passage, however, that the author
does not believe that the magnitude of the hoax was accidental. Rather, he or she blames Wakefield as well as the popular media.
This eliminates (E).
8) B
In paragraph 6, the author writes that “the media’s appetite for a sensational medical story overshadowed the fact that there was
very little scientific evidence behind Wakefield’s claim.” The author’s argument in this paragraph is that the media ignored scientific
evidence and thereby created a mass panic. Parents who ignored the advice of medical professionals were likely to have been
swayed by the media’s sensationalist reporting. If 90% of parents in the UK who decided not to immunize their children did so
against their doctors’ wishes, this evidence would support the claim that parents were swayed by the uninformed media, not by
doctors. The fact that the media had so much influence over people’s decisions implies that the media bore a significant
responsibility for creating this panic. Therefore (B) is correct. The author is not arguing for the benefits of the MMR vaccine, so (A) is
incorrect. The author is not tracing the spread of the latest outbreaks of measles back to the UK, so (C) is incorrect. The author is
not arguing that most children who aren’t vaccinated against MMR do not actually end up contracting the measles, so (D) is
incorrect. The author is not arguing about the legitimacy of the claims against Wakefield, so (E) is incorrect.
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
5
泛美国际
Name_
Date
• Reading Comprehension 5
Level 12
Directions: Read the passage. Then answer the questions below.
It is not uncommon for close synonyms to be understood to share the same meaning. The
difference between words like "hard" and "difficult", for example, goes tragically unnoticed. One may
employ one or the other with complete indifference, postulating no discrepancy between them. In general
this is well and good; most people lack the scrupulous pedanticalness to quibble over such trifles.
Nevertheless, for those of us with ample compulsiveness (and time), it is of significant value to
comprehend such nuances.
Take for example the following sentences: 1) The test was hard. 2) The test was difficult. Is the
difference between these synonyms readily apparent? Is there a noticeable difference between them at
all? Indeed, these questions are valid and warrant answer. For, what would be the point to having multiple
words with the exact same meaning? No, that would be superfluous; the English language being far too
economical. While many close synonyms share similar, if not the same, dictionary definitions, the feeling,
or mood, they convey is utterly singular. Although a dictionary can provide information about word
meanings, pronunciations, etymologies, inflected forms, derived forms, et cetera, it cannot communicate
how it feels to use a word.
So, if there is indeed a difference between words like "hard" and "difficult", what is it? To begin,
"hard" is pragmatic and realistic, firmly grounded in reality. It is a utilitarian word that gets the job done
and doesn't apologize for its brusque, uncouth nature. On the other hand, "difficult" is eloquent and
refined. It is civilized, willing to expend the effort necessary to appear urbane. Why, the mere difference in
sonic quality between them is striking enough. "Hard" makes a quick, unassuming sound, having but a
single syllable (voiced under certain inflections, it can even come across as harsh), while "difficult" is
more lengthy and melodic, its number of syllables totaling three times that of its counterpart. Furthermore,
"hard" is more likely to be used in casual, informal circumstances, or to communicate an idea "on the go"
or simply to "get it out" as the sayings go. It is used without pretense, and does not maintain a feeling of
being overly concerned. In terms of daily usage, "hard" may be employed by an exhausted brick mason
when posed with the question, "How was your day?" Conversely, "difficult" may be used by a military
general upon explaining to his or her superior the progression of a particularly taxing campaign.
Similar to "hard" and "difficult", the words "weird" and "strange" too are close synonyms, and may
seemingly be used interchangeably. Take for instance the following sentences: 1) Sea monkeys are weird.
2) Sea monkeys are strange. Contrary to popular belief, these sentences are not tautologous. So how do
they differ? Their dictionary definitions are nearly identical, so the difference does not lie there. Rather, the
difference involves the feeling, or mood, that these words convey. Notice that while "weird" and "strange"
both have but one syllable, the latter has a remarkably distinguished feel. Similar to "hard", "weird"
conveys a more basic, a more crude, sentiment. Something "weird" is crass or gross, and is typically
undesirable. No one wants to be associated with something "weird". If trying to impress someone, one
probably doesn't want to be categorized among the "weird". On the other hand, if something is labeled as
"strange", it is not necessarily bad. Rather, something "strange" is simply abnormal, or unusual—a
deviation from what is expected. This distinction between "weird" and "strange" is so pronounced that the
latter can be used as a euphemism for the former in certain situations. For example, notice how a simple
substitution is able to make the following sentence less offensive: "Your mother's cookies taste weird"
compared to ” Your mother's cookies taste strange". In the former sentence, the speaker sounds as
though he or she is insulting your mother's cookies, stating
that they taste bad. In the latter sentence, however, the speaker sounds as though the cookies simply
taste different, or unusual, compared to what he or she is used to—the difference owing to the innocuous
addition of too much flour, perhaps.
Finally, let's look at the synonyms, "happy" and "glad". As in the aforementioned cases, these
words seem to have little or no discernible difference between them. Take for example the following
sentences: 1) Tommy is happy because he got a new bike. 2) Tommy is glad because he got a new bike.
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
1
Most understand these sentences to have the same meaning. And again, upon consulting a dictionary,
one will find highly similar, if not the same, definitions. But these definitions lack the feeling, the unique
emotional charge that these words convey. The word "happy" conveys a sense of levity, or a carefree
attitude. The thought of someone who is "happy" conjures the image of a bright-eyed, ruddy, smiling face.
One is "happy" on the morning of his birthday, discovering a new puppy bounding into his bedroom. On
the other hand, the word "glad" conveys a sense of relief or contentment. The thought of someone who is
"glad" conjures the image of a man standing crossed-armed, nodding gently, a stoic grin crossing his
face. One is "glad" when he sees that the child's lost puppy has been found, and was merely frolicking too
far from home.
Granted, the notion that close synonyms can be used interchangeably is prevalent among
English speakers. And alas, the dictionary—the text purported to be responsible for clarifying such
issues—is of little assistance. In the end, it is left to us, the speakers of the language, those actively
responsible for maintaining its sustenance and generation, to understand how these words make us feel
and what mood we are inclined to attach to them. Using the examples and insights described above, one
may come to recognize these subtle, yet crucial, differences.
Questions
1) What is the thesis statement in this passage?
A. It is not uncommon for close synonyms to be believed to share the same meaning. (paragraph 1)
B. However, for those of us with ample compulsiveness (and time), it is of significant value to
comprehend such nuances. (paragraph 1)
C. While many close synonyms share similar, if not the same, dictionary definitions, the feeling, or
mood, they convey is utterly singular. (paragraph 2)
D. Although a dictionary can provide information about word meanings, pronunciations, etymologies,
inflected forms, derived forms, et cetera, it cannot communicate the energy of a word. (paragraph
2)
E. In the end, it is left to us, the speakers of the language, those actively responsible for maintaining
its sustenance and generation, to understand how these words make us feel and what mood we
are inclined to attach to them. (paragraph 6)
2) As used in paragraph 1, what is most likely meant by "scrupulous pedanticalness"?
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
mild curiosity
wry skepticism of
passionate indignation
stubborn reluctance
excessive concern
3) As used in paragraph 2, which of the following best describes something that is superfluous?
A. Yoko expects to have six dinner guests, so she sets the table with six places. On the side,
however, she keeps another two places just in case her guests bring friends.
B. The instructions say to fill the tires with 35-38 pounds per square inch of air, but Michele fills them
with 40 pounds per square inch because they are old and tend to leak.
C. Manufacture of Model 24A had been scheduled to begin on May 8. However, creditors failed to
forward much needed monetary advancements, delaying the start of production until May 10.
D. The passing of singer-songwriter Jonathan Orion Davis left thousands, if not millions, in
mourning. This was reflected by the astounding number of roses placed on his open coffin: a
veritable mountain that had to be relocated because those paying their respects could no longer
view the deceased.
E. Lavished with critical acclaim, the publication was slated to generate tremendous revenue in
sales. Unfortunately, demand had been overestimated, and as a result, ten thousand copies
never left store shelves.
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
2
4) In paragraph 3, the author writes: "To begin, 'hard' is pragmatic and realistic, firmly grounded in
reality. It is a utilitarian word that gets the job done and doesn't apologize for its brusque, uncouth
nature. On the other hand, 'difficult' is eloquent and refined. It is civilized, willing to expend the effort
necessary to appear urbane." Which of the following literary devices is used in this quotation?
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
onomatopoeia
hyperbole
metaphor
personification
oxymoron
5) Using information in paragraph 3 as a guide, which of the following describes someone who is
utilitarian?
A. Without fail, Edgar rises at daybreak, eats two eggs for breakfast, drinks a glass of orange juice,
laces up his boots and heads out into the field.
B. In hopes of impressing their classmates, most students wear their new winter jackets to the play.
Alyosha, however, knows it will be warm in the theater and therefore leaves his jacket at home.
C. Nikkos parks his car so that other cars cannot get out. Upon returning to his car, a woman is
waiting there on him to move. She looks upset. He tells her it's not his problem, gets in his car
and drives off.
D. Amy takes time to look nice in the morning. She brushes her hair, puts on light makeup, and picks
out the clothes she will wear for the day.
E. Jeremy disdains anything artistic. He feels that the appreciation of art is a waste of time, and
cannot understand how people spend their days lost in such a fruitless endeavor.
6) Using the information in paragraph 4, it can be inferred that which of the following statements
contains a tautology?
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
Paige received a free gift for her birthday.
Science tells us that humans evolved to use their thumbs.
Computers represent a significant technological advancement.
Hexagons have six sides.
Drugs are bad.
7) It can be inferred that the author believes there to exist a relationship between the vulgarity of a word
and the
I. number of syllables it has
II. way it sounds
III. way it is commonly used
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
I only
II only
I and II only
II and III only
I, II, and III
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
3
8) Which of the following sentences from the passage represents a fact, rather than an opinion?
A. One may employ one or the other with complete indifference, postulating no discrepancy between
them.
B. Although a dictionary can provide information about word meanings, pronunciations, etymologies,
inflected forms, derived forms, et cetera, it cannot communicate how it feels to use a word.
C. No one wants to be associated with something "weird".
D. The thought of someone who is "happy" conjures the image of a bright-eyed, ruddy, smiling face.
E. Using the examples and insights described above, one may come to recognize these subtle, yet
crucial, differences.
9) Which of the following statements best describes the main idea of this passage?
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
Close synonyms are difficult to comprehend, and are commonly used interchangeably.
Contrary to popular belief, close synonyms do not share the same meaning.
The difference between the words "hard" and "difficult" is indiscernible to most.
Absent a dictionary definition, the difference between close synonyms is difficult to discern.
Close synonyms can be ascribed their own individual feeling or mood.
10) Which of the following sentences from the passage is a fragment?
A. And in general, this is well and good; most people lack the scrupulous pedanticalness to quibble
over such trifles.
B. Is there a noticeable difference between them at all?
C. For, what would be the point to having multiple words with the exact same meaning?
D. No, that would be superfluous.
E. But not to worry.
11) Using information in paragraph 4 as a guide, it can be inferred that which of the following expressions
contains a euphemism?
I. The test was impossible. I scored a miserable 26%, far from a passing grade.
II. Dan's father passed away last spring. His funeral service was solemn yet beautiful.
III. The bride was pretty, I guess. Her dress struck me as a bit too informal.
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
I only
II only
I and II only
II and III only
I, II, and III
12) With respect to the way in which close synonyms are commonly understood, the author's tone can
best be described as
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
belligerent
supercilious
rueful
conscientious
blasé
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
4
Answers and Explanations
1) C
The thesis statement tells the reader what the passage is about. In this passage, the first paragraph tells us that people often think
that close synonyms mean the same thing. Paragraph 2 asks whether there are noticeable differences between close synonyms.
Then the author answers this question, stating that while the dictionary definitions might be the same, the words actually convey
different feelings or moods. The next three paragraphs give examples of synonyms that have the same definition yet convey
different moods. Paragraph 6 concludes the passage, reiterating the idea that synonyms do not have the exact same meanings.
Viewed in this manner, we see that the author devotes the majority of the passage to three examples of close synonyms that share
definitions but express different moods. Also, the author begins and ends the passage with the assertion that close synonyms are
not the same but instead convey different moods. We can understand from this that the passage is devoted to convincing the reader
that even close synonyms are not the same but instead convey different moods or feelings. This is reflected in choice (C), making it
the correct answer. Choice (A) provides background information but does not sum up the main idea of the passage, so it is
incorrect. The main idea of the passage is that even close synonyms have different meanings. The idea that some people find value
in studying these differences is merely a detail, so (B) is incorrect. Choice (D) is not the best choice because it supports the thesis
but is not itself the main idea. Choice (E) is incorrect because it is part of the conclusion.
2) E
scrupulous (adjective): detailed, careful and precise; morally principled
pedantic (adjective)): overly concerned with book learning, particularly its trivial aspects.
In paragraph 1, we learn that close synonyms are often thought to mean the same thing, even though they have subtle differences.
The author writes, “And in general this is well and good; most people lack the scrupulous pedanticalness to quibble over such trifles.
However, for those of us with ample compulsiveness (and time), it is of significant value to comprehend such nuances.” This lets us
know that the author thinks that being concerned with the minute differences between close synonyms amounts to quibbling over
something insignificant. The author goes on to say that, nevertheless, there is value in understanding these differences for those
with who are compelled to do so. Since the author says that these people must have “scrupulous pedanticalness” to be concerned
about the minute differences between synonyms, we can infer that scrupulous pedanticalness means being overly concerned with
minute details. This makes (E) the best choice. Mild curiosity is a vague desire to learn something. Since the author has explained
that the subtle meanings between close synonyms take a lot of effort to determine, it must take more than mild curiosity to pursue
these differences. This means (A) is incorrect. Wry skepticism is slightly mocking doubt. People who doubt the differences between
words don’t pursue them. This rules out (B). Passionate indignation is a strong feeling of injustice. Whether words have different
meanings or not is not a question of fairness. This means (C) is incorrect. Stubborn reluctance is a firm unwillingness. One would
have to be willing to seek out the subtle meanings of the close synonyms, so (D) is also incorrect.
3) E
superfluous (adjective): more than what is needed.
In paragraph 2, the author writes, “For, what would be the point to having multiple words with the exact same meaning? No, that
would be superfluous; the English language being far too economical.” This means that multiple words that mean the same thing
would be superfluous because the English language is efficient. Since something that is efficient uses only what is needed, we can
infer from this information that superfluous means more than what is needed. Since having ten thousand copies go unused is an
example of having more than what is needed, (E) is the best choice. Since Yoko’s guests might bring friends, her extra places might
be indeed be needed. This rules out (A). Since Michelle’s tires tend to leak, Michelle needs more air. The air is not extra, so (B) is
not the best choice. Since the creditors failed to send monetary advancements, there was less than what was needed, not more.
This means (C) is incorrect. Although there were a lot of roses, there isn’t really any particular amount of flowers needed. This
means (D) is also incorrect.
4) D
The words used to describe “hard” and “difficult” in this quotation are typically used to describe people. One can easily imagine a
person who is “pragmatic and realistic, firmly grounded in reality.” This person “gets the job done and doesn't apologize for [his or
her] brusque, uncouth nature.” Also, one can easily imagine a person who “is civilized, willing to expend the effort necessary to
appear urbane.” Personification is attaching human attributes to non-human objects. Since the author has described the words as
having typically human attributes, the author is using personification. This makes (D) correct. Onomatopoeia is using a word that
approximates the sound of an object or action, such as pop or buzz. The author does not use words that approximate sounds in the
paragraph, so (A) is not the best choice. Hyperbole is using exaggeration for effect, as when someone says, “I was so embarrassed,
I could have died.” (B) is incorrect because the author does not use exaggeration in paragraph 3. A metaphor is a comparison
created by using one thing to represent another, as in the sentence, His face was a neon sign. The author does not use one thing to
represent another in the paragraph, so (C) is also incorrect. An Oxymoron uses contradictory terms together, as in jumbo shrimp.
The author doesn’t use contradictory terms in the paragraph, so this rules out (E).
5) B
utilitarian (adjective): practical; designed for usefulness above all other values.
In paragraph 3, the author describes the word “hard” as “a utilitarian word that gets the job done and doesn't apologize for its
brusque, uncouth nature.” We can infer that the word utilitarian describes someone who is strictly practical, someone who values
only what is necessary. Since Alyosha will not need his jacket because it will be warm in the theater, he is being practical by leaving
it at home. (B) is the best answer because Alyosha is utilitarian.Although Edgar is predictable and sticks to routine, choice (A) does
not indicate that Edgar does only what is necessary, so it is incorrect. Nikkos’ behavior is rude, not practical. This makes (C)
incorrect. We do not know if it is necessary for Amy to look nice, so we do not know if Amy is utilitarian. This rules out (D). While
Jeremy hates anything artistic, this does not tell us that Jeremy behaves in a strictly practical way. This means (E) is also incorrect.
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
5
6) A
tautology (noun): needless repetition of an idea, especially in words other than those of the immediate context, without imparting
additional force or clearness.
In paragraph 4, the author writes, “Take for instance the following sentences: 1) Sea monkeys are weird. 2) Sea monkeys are
strange. Contrary to popular belief, these sentences are not tautologous. So how do they differ?” Since the author asks how the
sentences differ after telling the reader that they are not tautologous, we can infer that tautologous means the same, redundant, or
needlessly repetitive. Since gifts are free by definition, we can understand that this statement contains a tautology. Choice (A) is
correct. Choice (B) contains a factual statement that does not contain a tautology, so it is incorrect. Although it may seem as though
computers are a significant technological advancement themselves, this description is not part of the definition of a computer. So,
this description is not needlessly repetitive. Choice (C) is therefore incorrect. The While hexagons do, by definition, have 6 sides, it
is not a tautology to say so, it is merely descriptive. A hexagon is not six sides, it is an object that has six sides. This rules out (D).
Drugs are stereotypically considered to be bad, but they can also be good, as in medicine. What is more, this statement is
subjective, meaning that its truth varies from person to person. For example, a drug addict might think that drugs are actually good.
Since the word drugs does not necessarily mean bad, there is no redundancy here. This rules out (E).
7) E
In paragraph 3, the author writes, “’Hard’ makes a quick, unassuming sound, having but a single syllable (voiced under certain
inflections, it can even come across as harsh), while ‘difficult’ is more lengthy and melodic, its number of syllables totaling three
times that of its counterpart.” This sentence ties the number of syllables to the vulgarity of the word. This supports option (I). The
above sentence also makes a connection between the word’s vulgarity and the sound of the word. This supports option (II). The
author goes on to write, “Furthermore, ‘hard’ is more likely to be used in casual, informal circumstances, or to communicate an idea
‘on the go’ or simply to ‘get it out’ as the sayings go. It is used without pretense, and does not maintain a feeling of being overly
concerned. In terms of daily usage, ‘hard’ may be employed by an exhausted brick mason when posed with the question, ‘How was
your day?’ Conversely, ‘difficult’ may be used by a military general upon explaining to his or her superior the progression of a
particularly taxing campaign.” In these statements, the author connects the word’s vulgarity with how it is used. This supports option
(III). Therefore (E) is correct.
8) B
A fact is something known to exist or be true because of experience or observation. An opinion is a belief or judgment that rests on
grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty such as an emotion or personal bias. For example, it is a fact that roses are
flowers, but an opinion that roses smell nice. Of the above choices, only (B) conveys information that can be said to be true because
of experience or observation. Although a dictionary can provide a range of useful information concerning the facts or origins of a
word, this does nothing to communicate how it feels to use a word. The only way one can find out how it feels to use a word is to
actually use that word in conversation. This is reinforced by the notion that language is a living thing (which can give real time, real
life feedback), while a dictionary is merely an artifact, used to provide facts, not feelings, about living things. Although the author
states (A) as though it were a fact, this is merely a product of a sound, argumentative voice. However, given that this statement is
unsupported by experiences or observations (none are listed in the passage), it must be taken as the author's opinion. (C) is
incorrect because some people might actually want to be associated with something weird; again, the author makes this statement
in order to support his or her argument. In (D), the thought of someone who is "happy" conjures up different images for different
people, not necessarily the one described by the author. Therefore this choice is incorrect. Using the examples and insights
described above, may come to recognize these subtle, yet crucial, differences. But then again, one may not. There is no experience
or observation available to allow us to state this as a fact. This means (E) is incorrect.
9) B
In this passage, the first two paragraphs tell us that while people often think that close synonyms mean the same thing, the words
actually convey different feelings or moods. The next three paragraphs give examples of synonyms that have the same definition yet
convey different moods. Paragraph 6 is the conclusion, which repeats the idea that close synonyms are not exactly the same. We
can see that the author devotes the majority of the passage to three examples of close synonyms that have subtly different
meanings, and also begins and ends the passage with the idea that close synonyms actually have different meanings. We can infer
from this that the purpose of the passage is to convince the reader that even close synonyms are not the same, but instead convey
different moods or feelings. This means (B) is correct. Choices (A) and (C) provide us with background information used to
introduce the main idea. Since background information is not the main idea, these choices are incorrect. (D) is incorrect because the
passage actually argues that the difference between close synonyms cannot be discerned using a dictionary definition. While the
author does argue that close synonyms are different because they communicate a distinct feeling, that statement is made to back
up the main argument: that close synonyms do not share exactly the same meaning. This rules out (E).
10) E
A sentence expresses a complete idea and contains a subject, or actor, and predicate, or action. A sentence fragment is missing
one of these elements. The statement "But not to worry," contains an action, "to worry," but does not contain an actor. This
statement is therefore a sentence fragment, used to express the idea that you should not be overly concerned with the information
you have just heard or read because the next information you will be given will mitigate it. Since it is a fragment, (E) is correct. (A)
contains 2 complete ideas separated with a semicolon, each capable of standing alone as a complete sentence. This is a complete
sentence and is therefore incorrect. In (B), the subject is a difference and the verb is is. This is a complete sentence and is therefore
incorrect. In (C), the subject is the point and the verb is would be. The phrase to having multiple words with the exact same meaning
is a dependent clause. This is a complete sentence and is therefore incorrect. In (D), the subject is that and the verb is would be.
This, too, is a complete sentence and is therefore incorrect.
11) B
euphemism (noun): an inoffensive or mild word substituted for an offensive or harsh one. In the statement, The test was
impossible. I scored a miserable 26%—far from a passing grade, there are no less offensive words used in place of more offensive
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
6
ones. This eliminates option (I). In the sentence, Dan's father passed away last spring, the term passed away is used as a gentler
substitution for the word died. This supports option (II). There are no mild or inoffensive substitutions for harsh or offensive words in
the sentence, The bride was pretty, I guess. Her dress struck me as a bit too informal. This eliminates option (III). Therefore (B) is
correct.
12) D
conscientious (adjective): meticulous, careful, painstaking, particular.
To answer this question correctly, it helps to look for places where the author is likely to make general statements regarding the
way in which close synonyms are commonly understood. The author is most likely to do this in the introduction and conclusion of the
passage. In paragraph 1 the author informs us about the problem involving the use of synonyms. The author continues to inform us
that in general, the way in which people deal with this problem "is well and good; most people lack the scrupulous pedanticalness to
quibble over such trifles. Nevertheless, for those of us with ample compulsiveness (and time), it is of significant value to
comprehend such nuances." This lets us know that the author thinks that most people have good reason not to take time to fix this
problem. Moreover, the author thinks it is the responsibility of those of us with enough compulsiveness and time to fix. This shows
that the author feels responsible for fixing the problem. In the conclusion to the passage, the author writes, "And alas, the
dictionary—the text purported to be responsible for clarifying such issues—is of little assistance. In the end, it is left to us, the
speakers of the language, those actively responsible for maintaining its sustenance and generation, to understand how these words
make us feel and what mood we are inclined to attach to them." This lets us know that the author feels that the dictionary cannot be
held responsible for fixing the problem either. Then the author repeats the idea that those who are capable should be actively
responsible for maintaining the language. Using this information, it can be understood that with respect to the way in which close
synonyms are commonly understood, the author's tone can best be described as conscientious. Choice (D) is correct.(A) is incorrect
because the passage does not provide information to support the idea that the author is belligerent, or aggressive, about the way in
which close synonyms are commonly understood. Although the author may seem supercilious, or arrogant, the passage does not
provide information to support this idea. The passage does involve a problem exclusively meant for those with higher learning to
solve, yet the author does not press this point, or use language to this effect. The author actually does the opposite. In paragraph 1
the author informs us that in general, the way in which people deal with this problem "is well and good; most people lack the
scrupulous pedanticalness to quibble over such trifles." This lets us know that (B) is incorrect. In paragraph 1, the author writes that
"The difference between words like 'hard' and 'difficult', for example, goes tragically unnoticed." The author expresses this sentiment,
not because he or she is rueful, or sorrowful, but rather because he or she want to draw attention to the importance of the matter.
Therefore (C) is incorrect. The passage does not provide information to support the idea that the author is blasé, or nonchalant, with
respect to the way in which close synonyms are commonly understood. Therefore (E) is incorrect.
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
7
泛美国际
Name_
Date
• Reading Comprehension 6
Level 12
Directions: Read the passage. Then answer the questions below.
Given the sharp decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average with mega-cap corporations leading
the way, it seems the likelihood of hitting levels indicative of a double dip recession is probable, if not
imminent, in the upcoming months. Our analysts recommend that investors closely observe industry
ratings, take caution in their attempts to capitalize on yearly lows, and remain vigilant of the
aforementioned sell-off predictions. While it may be tempting to "stab" the market when it is down, be
wary; today's lows are often tomorrow's highs.
Questions
1) The author’s primary purpose is to
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
warn investors attempting to take advantage of market lows
outline the dangers involved in investing during a recession
advise investors to take caution in a volatile market
recommend that investors retreat from the market in the long term
reprimand investors interested in capitalizing on fragile market conditions
2) As used in the passage, which is the best synonym for imminent?
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
possible
feasible
plausible
impending
diminishing
3) As used in the passage, which is the best antonym for wary?
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
confident
unconscious
strong
ready
reckless
4) This passage would most likely serve as
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
the introduction to an essay
the conclusion to a report
the supporting evidence in a report
a quick summary presented to eager investors
an advisory notice posted in places of business
5) The author apparently believes that
A.
B.
C.
D.
the market will decline in the short term
now is definitely not a good time to invest
although the market is currently down, tomorrow prices will likely hit a record high
most investors are incapable of making good decisions, with current market conditions
E. it is certain that the economy will see another recession in upcoming months
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
1
Answers and Explanations
1) C
At the beginning of the passage, the author writes, "it seems the likelihood of hitting levels indicative of a double dip recession is
probable, if not imminent, in the upcoming months." From this, we can see that the author believes the market will decline in the
upcoming months. Next, the author advises us to "take caution in [our] attempts to capitalize on yearly lows," and to "remain
vigilant." This shows a clear caution from the author to investors. Finally, the author states that “today’s lows are often tomorrow's
highs," or in other words, prices could continue to decrease. In this statement, the author implies that regardless of recent declines,
there is always room for prices to further fall. This shows the volatile—meaning very inconsistent and fragile—nature of the market.
Using this information, we can see that the author’s primary purpose is to advise investors to take caution in a volatile market.
Therefore (C) is correct. In the middle of the passage, the author writes, “Our analysts recommend that investors closely observe
industry ratings, take caution in their attempts to capitalize on yearly lows, and remain vigilant of the aforementioned sell-off
predictions.” This shows that the author is making a recommendation, not a warning, to investors. A warning would utilize much
stronger language, and be delivered in a more emphatic tone. Using this information, we can understand that the author’s primary
purpose is not simply to warn investors attempting to take advantage of market lows, because this is too limited in scope. Therefore
(A) is incorrect. While we might infer that in earlier paragraphs the author outlines specific dangers involved with investing during a
recession, this paragraph does not provide any clear information outlining those specific dangers. For this reason, the author’s
primary purpose is not to outline the dangers involved in investing during a recession. This lets us know that (B) is incorrect. The
passage does not provide any information that would lead us to believe that the author’s primary purpose is to recommend that
investors retreat from the market in the long term. The word “retreat” implies that investors get out and stay out of the market, and
we don’t see that recommendation anywhere, so (D) is incorrect. The author does not rebuke or scold investors. Rather, he or she
merely recommends a course of action. From this we know that the author’s primary purpose is not to reprimand investors
interested in capitalizing on fragile market conditions. Therefore (E) is incorrect.
2) D
imminent (adjective): will occur at some point in the future, impending.
In the first sentence of the passage, the author writes, “Given the sharp decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average with mega-cap
corporations leading the way, it seems the likelihood of hitting levels indicative of a double dip recession is probable, if not imminent,
in the upcoming months.” We can use context clues to help determine a close definition for imminent. Even if we are unfamiliar with
the Dow Jones Industrial Average, or other investor jargon used in the passage, it is not necessary that we know this in order to use
context clues to help define imminent. The author states that the likelihood of a recession is probable, if not imminent. That is to say,
the author believes that the likelihood of a recession is not only probable, but may be more than probable. From this, we can infer
that imminent means more than probable. Impending means will occur at some point in the future, so this is more than probable,
making it a close adjective to imminent. Using this information, we can see that the best synonym for imminent is impending.
Therefore (D) is correct. Possible means may or might: exist, happen, occur or be done. Using the above information, we know that
a word that means nearly the same thing as imminent must reflect a likelihood of more than probable. Since something that is
possible, does not have a likelihood more than probable, we know that possible is not the best synonym for imminent, and (A) is
incorrect. Feasible means capable of being done, effected or accomplished. Using the above information, we know that a word that
means nearly the same thing as imminent must reflect a likelihood more than probable. Since something that is feasible does not
necessarily occur, we know that feasible is not the best synonym for imminent. Therefore (B) is incorrect. Plausible means having
an appearance of truth or reason. Using the above information, we know that we are looking for a word that means nearly the same
thing as more than probable, or will occur in the future. Since plausible is an adjective that describes the truth or reason of a thing,
and not the likelihood of an occurrence, we know that plausible is not the best synonym for imminent. This means (C) is incorrect.
Diminishing means to make or cause to seem smaller or less important. Using the above information, we know that we are looking
for a word that means nearly the same thing as more than probable, or will occur in the future. Something described as diminishing
reflects the opposite of something has a more than probable chance of occurring, therefore we know that diminishing is not the best
synonym for imminent. This rules out (E).
3) E
wary (adjective): characterized by or showing caution; cautious.
In this passage, the author writes, “While it may be tempting to ‘stab’ the market when it is down, be wary; today's lows are often
tomorrow's highs." We can use context clues in this sentence to help us arrive at a close definition—and then determine an
opposite—for wary. In this sentence, the author urges us to take caution when trying to "stab" (or make some sort of capitalizing
move against) the market. This lets us know that we are looking for the word that is the closest opposite to cautious. Reckless
means without caution, so we know it means something directly opposite to wary. Using this information, we can tell that the best
antonym for wary is reckless, and (E) is correct. Confident means having strong belief or full assurance. Using the above
information, we know that we are looking for the word that is the closest opposite to cautious. Confident would better describe the
poise with which someone approaches a situation, which does not mean the same thing as approaching recklessly or not cautiously.
Using this information, we can tell that confident is not the best antonym for wary. Therefore (A) is incorrect. Unconscious means
without awareness. Consciousness refers to awareness of the mind, whereas cautiousness refers to the particularly deliberate,
careful act of approaching a situation or thing. We know that we are looking for the word that is the closest opposite to cautious, and
since unconscious describes more of a lack of mental awareness than a lack of caution, we know that unconscious is not the best
antonym for wary. This means (B) is incorrect. Strong means having or showing great bodily or muscular power. Using the above
information, we know that we are looking for the word that is the closest opposite to cautious. Since strong refers to power, and not
caution, we know that strong is not the best antonym for wary. This eliminates (C). Ready means completely prepared for action.
Someone who is ready could also be described as cautious, because they are both expectant of something that will happen in the
future. From this, we can see that ready is a closer synonym to wary, rather than an appropriate antonym. Using this information, we
can see that ready is not the best antonym for wary, so (D) is incorrect.
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
2
4) B
In the first sentence, the author writes, "Given the sharp decline in the Dow..." Since the author uses the word "this" instead of "the"
or "a", we can infer that he or she is referring to something stated in an earlier paragraph. Later in the passage, the author writes,
“Our analysts recommend that investors observe industry ratings, take caution in their attempts to capitalize on yearly lows, and
remain vigilant of the aforementioned sell-off predictions." Because the author uses the word "aforementioned", we can infer that
once again, he or she is referring to something stated in an earlier paragraph. In addition to this, the author uses a logical structure,
typical of conclusions. Effective conclusions summarize the arguments or informative paragraphs that have been previously
outlined. We see this structure when the author writes, “Our analysts recommend that investors observe industry ratings, take
caution in their attempts to capitalize on yearly lows, and remain vigilant of the aforementioned sell-off predictions." In this sentence,
it appears the author is summarizing, or restating, the main points he or she has finished making in the previous paragraphs. Using
this information, we can tell that this passage would most likely serve as the conclusion to a report. Therefore (B) is correct. Using
the above information, we can see that the author refers to information that he or she has already presented. An introduction is the
first paragraph of an essay, so it would not refer to previous paragraphs. Words like “this” and “aforementioned” reference earlier
information. From this, we can tell that this passage would not likely serve as the introduction to an essay, which means (A) is
incorrect. In this paragraph, the author summarizes points that have previously been made when he or she writes, “Our analysts
recommend that investors closely observe industry ratings, take caution in their attempts to capitalize on yearly lows, and remain
vigilant of the aforementioned sell-off predictions.” Based on this passage’s particular topic, supporting evidence—which is usually
detailed elaboration—would go into more depth about the recommendations to “observe…take caution...and remain vigilant” as they
are summarized here. Using this information, we can tell that this passage would not likely serve as the supporting evidence in a
report. This means (C) is incorrect. In this paragraph, the author summarizes points that have previously been made when he or she
writes, “Our analysts recommend that investors closely observe industry ratings, take caution in their attempts to capitalize on yearly
lows, and remain vigilant of the aforementioned sell-off predictions.” A quick summary would not reference “aforementioned” topics,
because a summary should contain all necessary information, without referencing other facts. This lets us know that this passage
would not likely serve as a quick summary presented to eager investors. Therefore (D) is incorrect. In this paragraph, the author
summarizes points that have previously been made when he or she writes, “Our analysts recommend that investors closely observe
industry ratings, take caution in their attempts to capitalize on yearly lows, and remain vigilant of the aforementioned sell-off
predictions.” An advisory notice would not reference “aforementioned” topics, because it would contain all necessary information.
Notices tend to be less wordy than paragraphs—since they are often posted—and convey a more urgent tone, because they need
to get important information disseminated quickly. This lets us know that this passage would not likely serve as an advisory notice
posted in places of business. Therefore (E) is incorrect.
5) A
In the first sentence, the author states, "the likelihood of hitting levels indicative of a double dip recession is probable, if not
imminent, in the upcoming months." From this, we can infer that the author believes that a “double dip recession” is likely, if not
definitely, going to occur in the future. Since a recession is a decline, and the upcoming months constitutes the short term, we can
infer that the author believes the economy is in for a decline in the short term. Based on this information, the author apparently
believes the market will decline in the short term. Therefore (A) is correct. While the author seems to believe that now is not a good
time to invest, based on the information in the passage, it would be too strong and definitive to infer that the author apparently
believes that now is definitely not a good time to invest, since it is never conclusively stated. Therefore (B) is incorrect. While the
author ends the passage by stating, “today's lows are often tomorrow's highs,” we can tell that this is a common colloquialism—
trendy catchphrase—in stock market lingo. Generally speaking, it’s unlikely that a dramatic price shift will happen in one day,
reaching a record high within 24 hours, so we know that “today” and “tomorrow” are not meant to be taken so literally. We can see
that based on information in the passage, we cannot infer that the author apparently believes that although the market is currently
down, tomorrow prices will likely hit a record high. Therefore (C) is incorrect. The passage does not provide any information that
could lead us to infer that author thinks that most investors are incapable of making good decisions, with current market conditions.
Since the author issues a recommendation in this passage, it would actually indicate the opposite. Therefore (D) is incorrect. While
the author does think a "double dip"—a second—recession is highly likely, he or she does not state this conclusively. Therefore, to
infer that the author apparently believes it is certain that the economy will see another recession in upcoming months would be too
definitive of a conclusion for us to draw. This means (E) is incorrect.
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3
泛美国际
Name_
Date
• Reading Comprehension 7
Level 12
Directions: Read the passage. Then answer the questions below.
By the mid-nineteenth century, mass production of paper patterns, the emergence of the home
sewing machine, and the convenience of mail order catalogs brought fashionable clothing into the
American home. By the early twentieth century, home economists working in extension and outreach
programs taught women how to use paper patterns to improve the fit and efficiency of new garments as
well as how to update existing ones.
Teachers of home economics traditionally made home sewing a critical part of their curriculum,
emphasizing self-sufficiency and resourcefulness for young women. However, with the increasing
availability of mass-produced clothing in catalogs and department stores, more and more women
preferred buying garments to making them. As a result, home economists shifted their attention to
consumer education. Through field study, analysis, and research, they became experts on the purchase
and preservation of ready-to-wear clothing for the family, offering budgeting instruction targeted at
adolescent girls. Modern home sewing made it possible for American women to transcend their economic
differences and geographic locations with clothing that was increasingly standardized. The
democratization of fashion continued through the twentieth century as the ready-to-wear market
expanded and home sewing became more of a pastime than a necessity.
Questions
1) According to the passage, the advent of mail order catalogs altered the role of home economists
because
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
mass-produced clothing rendered their jobs obsolete
women ceased sewing so home economists had to teach other subjects
their focus shifted to instruction on budgeting and buying and preserving clothing
home economists had to compete with the ready-to-wear marketplace
the emphasis on field study and research increased for students in home economics courses
2) This passage focuses on the
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
historical shifts in home sewing from the mid-nineteenth century through the twentieth century
changing role of home economists as a result of changes in the world
impact of ready-to-wear and mass-produced fashion on home sewing
modernization of home sewing
effects of home economists on home sewing
3) As used in paragraph 2, which is the best definition for democratization?
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
transitioning to a more democratic political regime
altering or modifying in a beneficial way
becoming more affordable to the lower class
gradually becoming acceptable for an entire nation
becoming widely available to a populace
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1
4) Based on information in the passage, it can be inferred that home sewing allowed American women
to do all of the following except
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
continue to wear clothing that had gone out of style in stores
copy fashions they had seen elsewhere
create less expensive versions of current styles
create garments for pleasure rather than necessity
become experts on budgeting and consumerism
5) According to the passage, which of the following led to a decline in home sewing?
I. mail order catalogs
II. the availability of apparel in retail outlets
III. curriculum changes in home economics
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
I only
II only
I and II only
II and III only
I, II, and III
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2
Answers and Explanations
1) C
In paragraph 1, the author states that “the convenience of mail order catalogs brought fashionable clothing into the American home.”
In paragraph 2, the author explains the effects of these mail order catalogs: “With the increasing availability of mass-produced
clothing in catalogs and department stores, more and more women preferred buying garments to making them. As a result, home
economists shifted their attention to consumer education.” This means that because mail order catalogs made mass-produced
clothing readily available, home economists had to shift their focus from sewing to consumer education. The author further
elaborates that this consumer education consisted of information about “the purchase and preservation of ready-to-wear clothing for
the family,” and they also offered “budgeting instruction targeted at adolescent girls.” This means that the advent of mail order
catalogs altered the role of home economists because their focus shifted to instruction on budgeting and buying and preserving
clothing. Therefore (C) is correct. Although mass-produced clothing changed the focus of the curriculum of home economists, the
passage does not suggest that it rendered their jobs obsolete, or completely useless. This means (A) is not the best choice. Though
women stopped sewing as much, the passage does not suggest they ceased sewing entirely. Furthermore, home economists did
not have to teach other subjects; they were still able to adapt their courses to the changing world by becoming “experts on the
purchase and preservation of ready-to-wear clothing for the family, offering budgeting instruction targeted at adolescent girls.” This
eliminates (B). Home economists were not in direct competition with the ready-to-wear marketplace. Instead, they had to adapt to
changes in the marketplace. This means (D) is incorrect. Although the passage states that home economists became experts on the
new curriculum “through field study, analysis, and research,” this does not mean that the emphasis on field study and research
increased for students in home economics courses. This eliminates (E).
2) B
The main idea of a passage is its key concept or argument. Throughout the passage, the author describes the changing role of
home economists. In paragraph 1, he or she identifies the role of home economists in the early twentieth century: “Home
economists working in extension and outreach programs taught women how to use paper patterns to improve the fit and efficiency
of new garments as well as how to update existing ones.” In paragraph 2, the author writes: “Teachers of home economics
traditionally made home sewing a critical part of their curriculum, emphasizing self-sufficiency and resourcefulness for young
women,” but that as a result of the mass-production of clothing, their role changed. Specifically, the author writes that “home
economists shifted their attention to consumer education. Through field study, analysis, and research, they became experts on the
purchase and preservation of ready-to-wear clothing for the family, offering budgeting instruction targeted at adolescent girls.” From
this information, we can understand that the passage focuses on the changing role of home economists as a result of the changing
world. Therefore (B) is correct. While the passage does provide information about the ideas listed in choices (A), (C), and (D), they
do not mention the role of home economists in home sewing, which is the more specific focus throughout the passage. Because
they are too general, they are incorrect. The passage does discuss home economists and home sewing, but it considers the effects
of a changing world on the role of home economists and on home sewing rather than the effects of home economists themselves on
home sewing. This eliminates (E).
3) E
democratization (noun): the act or process of making something more accessible to everyone.
In paragraph 2, the author writes: “The democratization of fashion continued through the twentieth century as the ready-to-wear
market expanded and home sewing became more of a pastime than a necessity.” To infer the meaning of democratization, however,
we must look at the preceding sentence: “Modern home sewing made it possible for American women to transcend their economic
differences and geographic locations with clothing that was increasingly standardized.” This tells us that the “democratization of
fashion” refers to the fact that modern home sewing meant that American women with different amounts of money and in different
locations could all more or less make similar clothing. In other words, the democratization of fashion refers to the fact that fashion
became widely available to many different people. This means that becoming widely available to a populace is a good definition for
democratization in this context. Therefore (E) is correct. The passage does not discuss politics at all, so transitioning to a more
democratic political regime is not a good definition in this context. This means (A) is incorrect. Although some may consider the
democratization of fashion to be beneficial, the context does not imply that democratization necessarily means altering or modifying
in a beneficial way. It only implies that something becomes more widespread. This eliminates (B). While the passage suggests that
the democratization of fashion included fashion becoming more affordable to the lower class, it also included women in different
places being able to acquire the same fashions. This means (C) is incorrect. Democratization does not necessarily mean gradually
becoming acceptable for an entire nation, as we do not know whether the fashions were acceptable for the entire nation. We do
know, however, that they became widely available. Therefore (D) is incorrect.
4) E
Paragraph 2 states that once mass-produced clothing became widely available, “home economists shifted their attention to
consumer education” and “became experts on the purchase and preservation of ready-to-wear clothing for the family, offering
budgeting instruction targeted at adolescent girls.” Home sewing did not allow American women to become experts on budgeting
and consumerism. Instead, the changing world caused home economists to become experts on budgeting and consumerism.
Therefore (E) is correct. Based on information in the passage, it can be inferred that home sewing allowed American women to have
more control over the cost and type of clothing they created, so choices (A), (B), (C), and (D) are incorrect.
5) C
In paragraph 2, the author writes: “With the increasing availability of mass-produced clothing in catalogs and department stores,
more and more women preferred buying garments rather than making them.” This means that both mail order catalogs and the
availability of apparel in retail outlets led to a decline in home sewing. This supports option (I) and option (II). The passage states
that home economics teachers had to change their curriculum because most women preferred to buy their clothing rather than make
it. The change in curriculum did not affect home sewing; instead, the change in home sewing affected the curriculum. This
eliminates option (III). Therefore (C) is correct.
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3
泛美国际
Name_
Date
• Reading Comprehension 8
Level 12
Directions: Read the passage. Then answer the questions below.
In his thought-provoking work, Philosophical Investigations, Ludwig Wittgenstein uses an easily
conceptualized scenario in an attempt to clarify some of the problems involved in thinking about the mind
as something over and above the behaviors that it produces. Imagine, he says, that everyone has a small
box in which they keep a beetle. No one is allowed to look in anyone else’s box, only in their own. Over
time, people talk about what is in their boxes and the word “beetle” comes to stand for what is in
everyone’s box.
Through this curious example, Wittgenstein attempts to point out that the beetle is very much like
an individual’s mind; no one can know exactly what it is like to be another person or experience things
from another’s perspective—look in someone else’s “box”—but it is generally assumed that the mental
workings of other people’s minds are very similar to that of our own (everyone has a “beetle” which is
more or less similar to everyone else’s). However, it does not really matter—he argues—what is in the
box or whether everyone indeed has a beetle, since there is no way of checking or comparing. In a
sense, the word “beetle”—if it is to have any sense or meaning—simply means “what is in the box”. From
this point of view, the mind is simply “what is in the box”, or rather “what is in your head”.
Wittgenstein argues that although we cannot know what it is like to be someone else, to say that
there must be a special mental entity called a mind that makes our experiences private, is wrong. His
rationale is that he considers language to have meaning because of public usage. In other words, when
we talk of having a mind—or a beetle—we are using a term that we have learned through conversation
and public discourse (rooted in natural language). The word might be perceived differently in each of our
minds, but we all agree that it signifies something; this allows us to develop language for talking about
conceptualizations like color, mood, size and shape. Therefore, the word “mind” cannot be used to refer
specifically to some entity outside of our individualized conception, since we cannot see into other
people’s boxes.
Questions
1) Based on information in the passage, Wittgenstein apparently believes that
I. it is best to think of mental states as nothing over and above the behaviors they produce
II. the public use of language is responsible for misconceptions about the mind
III. through the use of precise language, it is possible to accurately describe the shared properties of
the mind
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
I only
II only
I and II only
II and III only
I, II, and III
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1
2) Which of the following literary devices best describes Wittgenstein’s use of the “beetle in a box”
scenario?
A. Authorial intrusion, characterized by a point at which the author speaks out directly to the reader.
B. Aphorism, characterized by the use of a concise statement that is made in a matter of fact tone to
state a principle or an opinion that is generally understood to be a universal truth.
C. Amplification, characterized by the embellishment or extension of a statement in order to give it
greater worth or meaning.
D. Allegory, characterized by the use of symbolic representation to convey the meaning of an often
abstract concept.
E. Ambiguity, characterized by the expression of an idea in such a way that it becomes possible to
glean more than one meaning from it.
3) Wittgenstein would most likely disagree with which of the following statements?
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
It is impossible to know another person’s thoughts.
The mind is a special mental substance.
The color green may actually look different to everybody.
Words do not always accurately represent the things they symbolize.
It takes time for public discourse to create a new word with a common meaning.
4) As used in paragraph 3, which is the best synonym for discourse?
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
exchange
conversation
announcement
knowledge
setting
5) Based on his use of the “beetle in a box” comparison in the passage, it can be inferred that
Wittgenstein might similarly compare a room full of people to a
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
deck of cards
box of chocolates
collection of rocks
library of books
group of drinking glasses filled with water
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2
Answers and Explanations
1) C
In paragraph 1, the author writes, “Wittgenstein uses an analogy in an attempt to clarify some of the problems involved in thinking
about the mind as something over and above the behaviors that it produces.” Since Wittgenstein sees a problem with thinking about
the mind in this way, we can infer that he thinks that mental states—which are also know as states of the mind—are best thought of
as nothing over and above behaviors. Using this information, we can see that Wittgenstein apparently believes that it is best to think
of mental states as nothing over and above the behaviors they produce. This supports option (I). In paragraph 3, the author
paraphrases Wittgenstein writing, “to say that there must be a special mental entity called a mind that makes our experiences
private, is wrong.” In explaining why Wittgenstein feels this way, the author writes, “Part of the reason…is because he considers
language to have meaning because of public usage.” We can see that Wittgenstein explains the public’s misconception about the
mind by citing public use as a cause. Using this information, we can infer that Wittgenstein apparently believes that the public use of
language is responsible for misconceptions about the mind. This supports option (II). In paragraph 2, the author paraphrases
Wittgenstein writing, “the mind is simply ‘what is in the box’, or rather ‘what is in your head.’” Next Wittgenstein’s argument is cited in
paragraph 3, when the author writes, “we cannot know what it is like to be someone else.” Since, according to Wittgenstein, we
cannot know what it is like to be someone else, or be in someone else’s head, this means we can only know what it is like to be in
our own minds. Because we use words and language to describe experiences, we can assume that there is no language to describe
the experience of being in someone else’s mind, since we can’t get there to see for ourselves. Using this information, we can infer
that Wittgenstein does not believe that through the use of precise language, it is possible to accurately describe the shared
properties of the mind. This eliminates option (III). Therefore (C) is correct.
2) D
In paragraph 1, the author references a curious scenario used by Wittgenstein: “Imagine, he says, that everyone has a small box in
which they keep a beetle. No one is allowed to look in anyone else’s box, only in their own. Over time, people talk about what is in
their boxes and the word ‘beetle’ comes to stand for what is in everyone’s box.” Through this symbolic representation, Wittgenstein
is able to convey the meaning of a very abstract concept; “the problems involved in thinking about the mind as something over and
above the behaviors that it produces.” An allegory is a literary device characterized by the use of a symbolic representation to
convey the meaning of an abstract concept. Using this information, we can see that the literary device that best describes
Wittgenstein’s use of the “beetle in a box” scenario is an allegory. This means (D) is correct. Authorial intrusion is characterized by a
point at which the author speaks out directly to the reader. At no point in the passage, does the author speak directly to us. Instead,
the author paraphrases and quotes work written by the famed philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein. Using this information, we can see
that the literary device that best describes Wittgenstein’s use of the “beetle in a box” scenario is not authorial intrusion. This lets us
know that (A) is incorrect. Aphorism is characterized by the use of a concise statement that is made in a matter of fact tone to state
a principle or an opinion that is generally understood to be a universal truth. The “beetle in a box” scenario does not constitute a
concise statement, because it is a scenario that is extrapolated and referred to multiple times throughout the passage. Also, it does
not state a principle or an opinion that is generally understood to be a universal truth. Using this information, we can see that the
literary device that best describes Wittgenstein’s use of the “beetle in a box” scenario is not aphorism. This means (B) is incorrect.
Amplification is characterized by the embellishment or extension of a statement in order to give it greater worth or meaning. The
“beetle in a box” scenario is not embellished in any way. Instead, we can see that it is a more simplified scenario that Wittgenstein
uses to help explain “the problems involved in thinking about the mind as something over and above the behaviors that it produces.”
Using this information, we can see that the literary device that best describes Wittgenstein’s use of the “beetle in a box” scenario is
not amplification. Therefore (C) is incorrect. Ambiguity is characterized by the expression of an idea in such a way that it becomes
possible to glean more than one meaning from it. The “beetle in a box” scenario is not an idea expressed in such a way that it
becomes possible to glean more than one meaning from it. In fact, the beetle in a box scenario is a more specific (less ambiguous)
way of explaining a difficult idea to conceptualize. Using this information, we can see that the literary device that best describes
Wittgenstein’s use of the “beetle in a box” scenario is not ambiguity. Therefore (E) is incorrect.
3) B
In paragraph 3, the author summarizes Wittgenstein’s argument writing, “the word [mind] we have learned can only ever mean
‘whatever is in your box’ (or ‘whatever is in your mind’) and cannot therefore be used to refer specifically to some entity outside of
our conception, or in the case of the word ‘mind,’ a special mental substance.” From this selection, we can see that Wittgenstein
does not believe that the mind is a special mental substance. Since we are looking for the statement that Wittgenstein would most
likely disagree with, we know that (B) is correct. In paragraph 2, the author summarizes Wittgenstein’s argument writing, “no one
can know exactly what it is like to be another person or experience things from another’s perspective.” If no one can know what it is
like to be in another person’s head—experience something from another person’s perspective—then this means it is impossible to
know another person’s thoughts. Using this information, we can see that Wittgenstein would most likely agree with the statement
that it is impossible to know another person’s thoughts. Since we are looking for the statement he would most likely disagree with,
(A) is incorrect. In paragraph 2, the author summarizes Wittgenstein’s argument writing, “no one can know exactly what it is like to
be another person or experience things from another’s perspective.” This means that the way that one person visualizes the color
green, might be different from how someone else visualizes that color, since “no one can know exactly what it is like to…experience
something from another’s perspective.” Using this information, we can see that Wittgenstein would most likely agree with the
statement that the color green may actually look different to everybody. Since we are looking for the statement he would most likely
disagree with, (C) is incorrect. In paragraph 3, the author summarizes Wittgenstein’s argument about the limits of language writing,
“the word we have learned can only ever mean ‘whatever is in your box’ (or ‘whatever is in your mind’) and cannot therefore be used
to refer specifically to some entity outside of our conception.” This means that words are only agreed upon signifiers, through “public
discourse” according to Wittgenstein, and they stand in for individualized conceptions in each of our heads. Since this means that
one word can be conceptualized differently by many separate individuals, Wittgenstein would most likely agree with the statement
that words do not always accurately represent the things they symbolize. Since we are looking for the statement he would most
likely disagree with, (D) is incorrect. In paragraph 1, the author summarizes Wittgenstein’s argument about how language comes to
© Copyright PICEC, 2013. All rights reserved.
3
signify an entity writing, “Over time, people talk about what is in their boxes [in their minds] and the word ‘beetle’ comes to stand for
what is in everyone’s box.” Here the word “beetle” is just used as a specific example that makes sense in the larger context of the
allegory used throughout the passage. Using this information, we can extrapolate Wittgenstein’s beetle example here to infer that he
believes that any new word would require time spent in a public discourse to develop a commonly accepted meaning. This means
Wittgenstein would most likely agree with the statement that words do not always accurately represent the things they symbolize.
Since we are looking for the statement he would most likely disagree with, (E) is incorrect.
4) A
discourse (noun): communication or thought by words, talk or conversation.
In paragraph 3, the author writes, “In other words, when we talk of having a mind—or a beetle—we are using a term that we have
learned through conversation and public discourse.” We can use context clues to help arrive at a close definition for discourse, as
it’s used in this sentence. Here we learn that humans also develop common meaning for words through conversation. The previous
sentence, “His rationale is that he considers language to have meaning because of public usage,” shows us that we have learned
meaning through “public usage” which could include exchanging words in a variety of ways. Since discourse means communication
or thought by words, talk or conversation, we know that in addition to conversation and talking, people can exchange ideas through
the written word. Based on this, a synonym for discourse must allow for a general exchange of ideas in various modes. Using all of
this information, we can see that the best synonym for discourse, as it’s used in paragraph 3, is exchange. Therefore (A) is correct.
In paragraph 3, the author writes, “In other words, when we talk of having a mind—or a beetle—we are using a term that we have
learned through conversation and public discourse.” If we replace the word “discourse” with conversation, we end up with a
repetitive sentence. It would not make sense for us to say, “we have learned through conversation and public conversation,” so we
can see that the best synonym for discourse, as it’s used in paragraph 3, is not conversation. This means (B) is incorrect. An
announcement is a public or formal notice. Usually it is a one-way vocalization of information, meaning there is no exchange of
ideas. For this reason, we can see that it would not make sense to say that we have acquired mutual understanding of words based
on public announcement, since this is not quite the same as conversation and exchange which both imply communication back and
forth using written or vocalized words. This means that the best synonym for discourse, as it’s used in paragraph 3, is not
announcement, so (C) is incorrect. Knowledge means acquaintance with facts, truths or principles. It does not imply any exchange
of words or ideas. For this reason, we can see that it would not make sense to say that we have acquired mutual understanding of
words based on knowledge, since knowledge isn’t necessarily exchanged from person to person. This means that the best synonym
for discourse, as it’s used in paragraph 3, is not knowledge. Therefore (D) is incorrect. Setting encompasses the surroundings or
environment of anything. It does not imply any exchange of words or ideas. For this reason, we can see that it would not make
sense to say that we have acquired mutual understanding of words based on public setting, since setting only implies the place
where a thing resides. This means that the best synonym for discourse, as it’s used in paragraph 3, is not setting. Therefore (E) is
incorrect.
5) B
Chocolates look different on the outside, like people’s faces or heads, so we can see that this is an adequate comparison on a
superficial level. They even come in various shades of color, which we could interpret as race. In addition, like Wittgenstein’s “beetle
in a box” example, there is no way to tell what is on the inside of a chocolate; it could be caramel, vanilla, chocolate, or even
nothing. To find out would be to compromise the integrity of the chocolate, destroying it (much like what would happen if we tried to
break open someone’s head to see what was going on in the mind). We can see that a chocolate is a comparable example to
someone’s head, and the mind that resides somewhere inside. Using this information, we can tell that based on his use of the
“beetle in a box” comparison in the passage, it can be inferred that Wittgenstein might similarly compare a room full of people to a
box of chocolates. Therefore (B) is correct. While a single card can only be viewed one side at a time, all we have to do is flip it over
to know everything about it. This is because cards do not contain anything inside of them. Cards do not contain the same level of
depth as Wittgenstein’s “beetle in a box” example. For this reason, we can see that based on his use of the “beetle in a box”
comparison in the passage, it cannot be inferred that Wittgenstein might similarly compare a room full of people to a deck of cards.
This means (A) is incorrect. The outside of a rock gives a good indication of what is found inside. This is because the outside of a
rock is usually of a similar quality to what is on its inside. A collection of rocks does not contain the level of depth as Wittgenstein’s
“beetle in a box” example. For this reason, we can see that based on his use of the “beetle in a box” comparison in the passage, it
cannot be inferred that Wittgenstein might similarly compare a room full of people to a collection of rocks. This means (C) is
incorrect. A book is somewhat similar to a “beetle in a box” because the outside is not the same as what’s inside. Unlike what’s in a
person’s mind, however, the outside of a book gives some indication of what’s inside. People’s faces or heads do not always give an
indication of what’s going on in their minds, so this is not necessarily the most similar comparison. In addition, books can be opened
and explored quite easily, without compromising their integrity. We cannot do this when we want to explore the mind. We can see
that based on his use of the “beetle in a box” comparison in the passage, it cannot be inferred that Wittgenstein might similarly
compare a room full of people to a library of books. So, we can rule out choice (D). A drinking glass filled with water is somewhat
similar to a “beetle in a box” in that what’s on the inside is different from what’s on the outside. What’s not similar, however, is that
we have access, quite easily, to what’s on the inside. The water can be viewed through the glass itself, we can see it directly from
the opening above, and we can taste it without compromising the integrity of the glass. We cannot do any of these things to better
understand, or to get to the matter of what goes on in a human’s head. Using this information, we can see that based on his use of
the “beetle in a box” comparison in the passage, it cannot be inferred that Wittgenstein might similarly compare a room full of people
to a group of drinking glasses filled with water. This means (E) is incorrect.
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4
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