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The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

Verbal Reasoning

  1. C. The entire passage presents the thesis that Fitzgerald created the American flapper through his short stories and novels. It is true that the flapper is a part of the social history of America in the post—World War I decade and thus a vehicle of social customs in America during the time; but this is not a major point of the passage. The author mainly attempts to establish the claim that Fitzgerald, not John Held, Jr. and not various flappers in film, invented or created this character type. Though there are allusions to Fitzgerald's novels, the passage mentions them only in passing, and thus B would be incorrect.
  2. B. Paragraph two of the passage chronicles the origin and evolution of the term “flapper,” clearly locating one of its early associations with women in Britain who had not yet been introduced into society, the answer supplied by B. It is actually also true, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, that the word may have originally come from the term that designated a young bird (A), a “flapper,” but this information is not supplied by the passage and, therefore, would not be a correct answer for this question. Some have also suggested that the flapping arm movements of dancing flappers prompted the name. Again, however, the passage does not include this bit of information, and C, therefore, would be an incorrect response.
  3. A. John O'Hara notes that the term “flapper” had been misused and that it had designated a girl who had not yet found a husband. His comment suggesting this variation is found in paragraph two.
  4. D. The social historian Frederick Lewis Allen cited numerous conditions, summarized in paragraph two, that contributed to the development of the flapper. All of those cited, as well as others, are included in paragraph two.
  5. A. As outlined in the explanation to question one (above), the central thesis of the passage is that Fitzgerald was the creator, through his fiction, of the type known as the American Flapper.
  6. B. The passage does not deal with comparative studies of the worth of Fitzgerald's novels as opposed to his short stories, nor does it address the relative merits of John Held, Jr.'s cartoons versus his writing. Therefore, I and III are neither supported nor contradicted by the passage, which does, however, deal in detail with Fitzgerald's role in developing the flapper and with his ultimate decision to discontinue the stereotype because it limited him in the creation of complex characters. This information is presented in paragraph one.
  7. B. Although it is a fact that literary critics were harsh in their evaluation of Fitzgerald's flapper stories (A), that Fitzgerald was an autobiographical writer (C) and that certain segments of the middle-brow reading public thought that the flapper was immoral (D), the passage addresses none of these issues. Paragraph three does, on the other hand, address the fact that there were well-known flappers in film. Thus the correct response is B.
  8. D. Paragraphs one and two could be entitled acute pharmacological experience, whereas paragraph three deals with drug effects as a prelude to dependency. Paragraph four discussed learning aspects, and paragraphs five and six deal with neurochemical aspects.
  9. B. Paragraph one makes it perfectly clear that the dependence process starts with the initial exposure. It is also emphasized that after taking a drug an individual may feel pleasure (or less pain), but that the word “pleasurable” has many meanings and may not be related to “feeling good.”
  10. D. Paragraph one emphasizes that people take psychoactive drugs for many reasons that essentially meet their own individual needs, whether it be feeling good, peer pressure, or whatever.
  11. C. Paragraphs two and five make the statement that most drugs produce their effects via an alteration of brain neurochemistry, which can lead to other more long-term problems. Alteration of the mind is not specific, and drugs do not act in a very predictable way.
  12. B. Paragraph three discusses the phenomenon of conditioned stimulus and points out that the use of a drug can come under environmental control. Although the role of ritual is mentioned, it certainly is not the order of the day. Placebo does not routinely replace the chemical substance. No mention is made anywhere in the passage as to side effects.
  13. C. Paragraph four deals with learned behaviors. There is no implication that learning or performing of tasks is enhanced by the consumption of psychoactive drugs. The point is made that there is the development of behavioral tolerance and that people learn to adapt to the drug state to a degree. The example is given of an individual having difficulty finding the liquor store when sober. No credence is given in the passage to the statement that behavioral tolerance lessens the effects of drug affliction.
  14. C. Paragraph two emphasizes that chronic drug use will introduce variables that may take over drug-taking behavior, and that individuals will lose ability to control this behavior. The last paragraph mentions that chemotherapy is a modality in use, but no cure is implied. The passage as a whole focuses on the neurochemical imbalance elicited by drug use; paragraph five states that drugs have profound effects on specific neuro-transmitter systems.
  15. B. Although the reader may reach similar conclusions as those presented in statements A and C, the only statement that is specifically made by the author is statement B. Paragraph two states that drugs do not always serve as primary reinforcers of behavior, but have important secondary reinforcing qualities.
  16. D. Paragraph one indicates that at Alexandria teaching was limited to only what was necessary to train researchers for the next generation. The focus was on improving understanding so that each generation could inherit a more advanced civilization.
  17. C. Paragraph two makes it clear that Plato marveled at the underlying principles of mathematics and tried to find underlying principles or “truths” in other fields of study.
  18. A. Paragraph three deals with the second librarian Eratosthenes, who measured the size of the earth; he measured the angle of the sun (six degrees) at midday on mid-summer's day at Alexandria because he knew from previous trips to Cyrene (near today's Aswan Dam) that the sun shone to the bottom of its wells (zero degrees) on that very day and time each year. He only had to measure the distance between these two places to calculate the circumference of the earth.
  19. B. Paragraph four indicates that Aristophanes, the third librarian, commissioned 70 scholars to translate the Bible into Greek and that this translation, which became known as the Septuagint, was used by Jesus Christ. The point is also made that evidence suggests that the “flight into Egypt” took place in Alexandria.
  20. C. Paragraph seven tells us that Ptolemy wrote 13 books on astronomy, and that in his books on astrology he summarized the beliefs of the Greeks, Egyptians, and Persians and gave us the horoscope and Zodiac signs used today.
  21. B. Paragraph nine makes the argument that wheras understanding could be accumulated in libraries and transmitted by books from generation to generation, wisdom has to be reinspired again and again by individuals in each generation.
  22. A. The last paragraph indicates that during periods of ebbing or pluralistic religious beliefs (like today), ethics become necessary to form a behavioral consensus, to “hold these truths.”
  23. B. Paragraph one describes the great library and museum of Alexandria. The remaining paragraphs discuss the great figures who played a role in making Alexandria the center of higher learning for almost a thousand years.
  24. A. The school of mathematics was founded by Euclid around 300 b.c.
  25. C. Paragraph one tells of his boyhood in Peoria, and of his early job as usher in a vaudeville house through which he first became interested in show business. His father was a bricklayer, and there is no evidence in the passage that either his mother or father ever worked in show business.
  26. B. In paragraph seven we are told that Correll's relaxed, gregarious half of the partnership balanced Gosden's more temperamental and creative temperament.
  27. D. The first sentence in paragraph nine informs the reader that listenership began to drop following the beginning of World War II.
  28. B. Though the passage provides few details regarding the possible evolution of the Sam 'n Henry Show into the Amos 'n Andy Show, the author of the passage states explicitly in paragraph four that the Tribune retained the rights to Sam 'n Henry and ran it with two other men.
  29. C. Both Correll and Gosden were surprised by the controversy surrounding the show, and the passage indicates in the last sentence of paragraph 11 that Gosden, especially, was wounded by it.
  30. B. We learn in the final paragraph that Correll and Gosden maintained a close friendship into their later years, living close to each other in Beverly Hills until Correll returned to Illinois and, at the age of 82, died.
  31. C. A thorough reading of the passage will leave the reader with only one major theme. The writer has clearly focused on the recovery process and its many facets.
  32. D. Paragraph one indicates that a long-term proposition is encountered in the recovery from addiction. It is a lifetime pursuit and, as AA points out, relapse frequently occurs when people stop attending meetings. Drug use and recovery depend on many factors, and the environment plays a major role in both. As is common with many compounds taken for a long period (psychoactive drugs or steroids administered under supervision), stoppage usually results in with-drawal symptoms.
  33. C. Under no circumstances is the point made that drug use enhances learning or the performing of tasks. Psychoactive drugs are definitely detrimental to all aspects of an individual's functioning. The point is made that there is a drug-induced state dependent learning and the example is that a person sober might have a problem finding the car, but when under the influence the person “may” remember where it is.
  34. D. Every statement is substantiated by the passage. Drugs or electrical stimulation produce their effects via an alteration of the brain's neurochemistry. The environment, it is pointed out in paragraph two, plays a key role in the addiction and recovery process. Paragraph four emphasizes that the individual determines to a great extent his/her own fate.
  35. D. Neither addiction nor recovery are simple or well-understood processes. Recovery, as paragraph four indicates, involves commitment on the part of the user to stop using the drug and to reinforce his actions by changing and utilizing environmental and social phenomena to help him in the lifelong process.
  36. C. The passage does not address treatment of drug addiction. Paragraph four does point out that many good professionals do not appear to appreciate the difference between treatment and recovery. No indication is given that AA is the appropriate avenue to cure alcoholics. Paragraphs three and four should leave no doubt in the reader's mind that neurochemical aspects are determining factors in addiction, treatment, and eventual recovery.
  37. D. Individual variations and commitment are emphasized. Animal experiments are essential. Organizations like AA, as is pointed out in paragraph four, help in the substitution of the drug with people and provide social reinforcement. Throughout the passage environmental aspects are highlighted.
  38. D. The passage in paragraph one emphasizes that the Golden Rule is not a sufficient ethical principle because it fosters the idea that what is good for the physician is good for the patient. Paragraph one also emphasizes that physicians must do the “right thing” and indicates that most feel that this means curing illness and postponing death. Gregory does point out that physicians are not perfect and should acknowledge and rectify their mistakes.
  39. D. Although the passage touches upon medical decision making, reasoning and autonomy of the patient, the application and interpretation of the Golden Rule, the central theme is philosophical and the best and most encompassing title would be “Moral Reasoning and Medical Decision Making.”
  40. D. None of the statements posed are supported by the passage. The passage points out that Hippocrates preached the Golden Rule and that certainly is part of the principle of human rights. A very strong argument is made in paragraphs four and five in favor of the physician explaining in an appropriate, understanding, sensitive, compassionate, and thorough manner the disease process to the patient and reaching a mutual consensus in order to deliniate an appropriate course of action suitable for the individual, the family, and accepted medical practice. Paragraph two makes it quite clear that the courts generally have held that the constitutional rights permit an individual to decide what happens to himself, and these rights have been called the “Patient's Bill of Rights.”
  41. C. Throughout the passage it is stressed that a give and take attitude must exist in the decision making process, and paragraph three points out that Rousseau advocated a social contract because human beings are different. Paragraph four leaves no doubt that beneficence and autonomy must be weighed and applied to reach a decision.
  42. D. Although every statement is correct and was espoused by Hippocrates, the passage does not deal with them, and so it neither contradicts nor supports the information presented in the question.
  43. A. Paragraph six emphasizes that burden/benefit aspects of treatment must be weighed. Sometimes life itself, or the treatment proposed to sustain life, is so problematical that patients opt for the right to die. It was previously pointed out that education of the patient is essential for proper medical practice. Paragraph six makes the point that the courts understand the concept of the right to die better than most physicians. The paragraph gives the example of artificial feeding, which may become so problematical in the respect that any benefit from the intervention is minimal.
  44. D. There should be no doubt in the reader's mind that the passage argues strongly for education, a balance in the decision-making process, consultation between physician and patient, and among physicians, and above all that patients' rights should never be negated.
  45. D. The last paragraph makes it perfectly clear that the history of a comic book (True Comics) is detailed.
  46. C. The last paragraph points out that the idea of a comic book with true stories was unique, but True Comics stood alone in the respect that it carried editorials.
  47. D. A thorough reading leads the reader to conclude that besides selling magazines, the publisher preached recycling, patriotism, and fitness.
  48. C. Paragraph three ends with the statement that the publisher was an avid internationalist, a globalist.
  49. B. Paragraph one clearly indicates that it was an editorial in the comic book that was the first acknowledgment of America's entry into World War II. The editor was interested in reaching the young and making them aware of how they could contribute to the national effort.
  50. C. Paragraph eight mentions that paper had become scarce and all comic books were forced to cut the number of pages, and editorials seemed dispensable.
  51. D. The last paragraph makes it perfectly clear that Mr. Hecht had confidence in the ability and willingness of American youth. It is pointed out in paragraph six that a linguist would be able to explain the principles of democracy. The whole passage deals with the ideas and ideals of a strong willed and daring individual; the first sentence of paragraph seven should be convincing. Although the editor talks about international courts and forces, he does not propose the notion that such cooperation would prevent all future wars.
  52. D. Of the four titles listed “Herbert Hoover — Relief, Politics, and War” is the most appropriate one. Herbert Hoover was the food czar of the United States during World War I and thereafter helped with international relief efforts. He became president in 1928 and after his loss to Roosevelt in 1932 continued to play a role in the political arena. He was afraid that the United States would enter World War II and hoped for a negotiated peace.
  53. A. Although it is true that Hoover had many contacts and was a brilliant organizer, our passage really does not focus on this issue at all. Paragraph one pictures Hoover as a humanitarian and paragraph two mentions that the Democrats ran a smear campaign. Hoover as is mentioned in many places in the passage actively sought the presidency continuously.
  54. D. Roosevelt ran a smear campaign against Hoover (paragraph two). No mention of humanitarianism and of being self-made is made in the passage. It is, however, clear from paragraph four that Roosevelt opposed the relief efforts.
  55. A. Paragraph two mentions that Hoover's name was blighted by the 1932 campaign. Hoover was influential from World War I until his death. Paragraphs three and five detail the convention defeats, and four indicates that Poland, Finland, Holland, Belgium, and Norway solicited his help.
  56. D. All three statements made are not addressed by the passage.
  57. A. Paragraph four mentions that a nasty set of rumors hinted that Hoover's relief efforts competed with the Red Cross; in this paragraph both Roosevelt's and Churchill's oppositions are mentioned. The National Committee on Food for the Small Democracies was a propaganda organization. Paragraph four points out that Hoover acted quickly to aid with money, food, and other such supplies.
  58. D. There can be no doubt in the reader's mind that Hoover was service oriented, had a long record, and was committed. No sides were taken by the author, and in that respect a fair and sympathetic job was done.
  59. D. The opening paragraph states the computer model was developed by the U.S.E.P.A.
  60. C. Paragraph two states that the primary difference was the loss on ignition.
  61. C. Paragraph six states that the coal contributed 3.71/3.86 or 96.1% of the total ash.
  62. D. Magnesium oxide was added in the hypothetical sample to increase resistivity as indicated in paragraph six.
  63. A. Paragraph one states that two ash samples were received September 1989 and two ash samples were received November 1989.
  64. A. Paragraph six indicates that magnesium oxide increased resistivity, whereas sodium oxide lowers resistivity.
  65. C. The laboratory work and the computer modeling work was done to predict the effects of a change in chemical composition of a waste fuel on the electrical resistance of the ash produced.

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