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GMAT Reading Comprehension Discussions

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One easy way that I use for timing RC questions is: Total Time for 1 passage = number of questions * 2 mins.
I think I read this in the manhattan guide. There can be more fine-grained planning about how to divide the time between reading the passage and reading the questions... Hope this helps.

i have been practising Gmat RC from OG and verbal review but my success ratio is less than 50% (can't get more than 2-3 question ryt)...what should i do to improve upon this part....also what should be the average time to complete an RC

Try the below RC:

At the end of the nineteenth century, a rising interest in Native American customs and an increasing desire to understand Native American culture prompted ethnologists to begin recording the life stories of Native American. Ethnologists had a distinct reason for wanting to hear the stories: they were

OA for the above RC..Sorry for the delay.



Hi All,

Can anyone tell me whether Kaplan premier 2010-11 with CD is useful? I'm looking for tough CR & RC questions for better practice. Will this book be helpful? Does it have 700-800 type questions in verbal? I found 1000 RC & 1000 CR quite easy.

Also,I've given a couple of Manhattan GMAT tests and wanted to know how easy/difficult its verbal is from actual GMAT tests. I've scored 670 & 710 in these tests and with 35 & 40 in verbal respectively. I know that its quant is tough, so 47 & 48 in quant is manageable.But verbal is a concern. Can anyone give his/her inputs?

Thanks in advance,

Here are the OA for the above passage

1. D
2. B
3. C
4. B
5. A
6. B
7. A


Why the answer for 7th Q. is A
I believe it should be E as it is mentioned that their metabolism rate is high to manage body heat. E can be drawn as a inference

Hi Deepakraam,
Plz post the OA...

Hi All,

I'm looking for some challenging questions in RC. Can anyone suggest where can I get it from?
Searched the net, but din find much info.

Thanks in advance,


Pls post OAs. then will post the explanations

Try the below RC:

At the end of the nineteenth century, a rising interest in Native American customs and an increasing desire to understand Native American culture prompted ethnologists to begin recording the life stories of Native American. Ethnologists had a distinct reason for wanting to hear the stories: they were after linguistic or anthropological data that would supplement their own field observations, and they believed that the personal stories, even of a single individual, could increase their understanding of the cultures that they had been observing from without. In addition many ethnologists at the turn of the century believed that Native American manners and customs were rapidly disappearing, and that it was important to preserve for posterity as much information as could be adequately recorded before the cultures disappeared forever.
There were, however, arguments against this method as a way of acquiring accurate and complete information. Franz Boas, for example, described autobiographies as being "of limited value, and useful chiefly for the study of the perversion of truth by memory," while Paul Radin contended that investigators rarely spent enough time with the tribes they were observing, and inevitably derived results too tinged by the investigator's own emotional tone to be reliable.
Even more importantly, as these life stories moved from the traditional oral mode to recorded written form, much was inevitably lost. Editors often decided what elements were significant to the field research on a given tribe. Native Americans recognized that the essence of their lives could not be communicated in English and that events that they thought significant were often deemed unimportant by their interviewers. Indeed, the very act of telling their stories could force Native American narrators to distort their cultures, as taboos had to be broken to speak the names of dead relatives crucial to their family stories.
Despite all of this, autobiography remains a useful tool for ethnological research: such personal reminiscences and impressions, incomplete as they may be, are likely to throw more light on the working of the mind and emotions than any amount of speculation from an ethnologist or ethnological theorist from another culture.

1.Which of the following best describes the organization of the passage?
(A) The historical backgrounds of two currently used research methods are chronicled.
(B) The validity of the data collected by using two different research methods is compared.
(C) The usefulness of a research method is questioned and then a new method is proposed.
(D) The use of a research method is described and the limitations of the results obtained are discussed.
(E) A research method is evaluated and the changes necessary for its adaptation to other subject areas are discussed.

2.Which of the following is most similar to the actions of nineteenth-century ethnologists in their editing of the life stories of Native Americans?
(A) A witness in a jury trial invokes the Fifth Amendment in order to avoid relating personally incriminating evidence.
(B) A stockbroker refuses to divulge the source of her information on the possible future increase in a stock's value.
(C) A sports announcer describes the action in a team sport with which he is unfamiliar.
(D) A chef purposely excludes the special ingredient from the recipe of his prizewinning dessert.
(E) A politician fails to mention in a campaign speech the similarities in the positions held by her opponent for political office and by herself.

3.According to the passage, collecting life stories can be a useful methodology because
(A) life stories provide deeper insights into a culture than the hypothesizing of academics who are not members of that culture
(B) life stories can be collected easily and they are not subject to invalid interpretations
(C) ethnologists have a limited number of research methods from which to choose
(D) life stories make it easy to distinguish between the important and unimportant features of a culture
(E) the collection of life stories does not require a culturally knowledgeable investigator

4.Information in the passage suggests that which of the following may be a possible way to eliminate bias in the editing of life stories?
(A) Basing all inferences made about the culture on an ethnological theory
(B) Eliminating all of the emotion-laden information reported by the informant
(C) Translating the informant's words into the researcher's language
(D) Reducing the number of questions and carefully specifying the content of the questions that the investigator can ask the informant
(E) Reporting all of the information that the informant provides regardless of the investigator's personal opinion about its intrinsic value

5.The primary purpose of the passage as a whole is to
(A) question an explanation
(B) correct a misconception
(C) critique a methodology
(D) discredit an idea
(E) clarify an ambiguity

6.It can be inferred from the passage that a characteristic of the ethnological research on Native Americans conducted during the nineteenth century was the use of which of the following?
(A) Investigators familiar with the culture under study
(B) A language other than the informant's for recording life stories
(C) Life stories as the ethnologist's primary source of information
(D) Complete transcriptions of informants' descriptions of tribal beliefs
(E) Stringent guidelines for the preservation of cultural data

7.The passage mentions which of the following as a factor that can affect the accuracy of ethnologists' transcriptions of life stories?
(A) The informants' social standing within the culture
(B) The inclusiveness of the theory that provided the basis for the research
(C) The length of time the researchers spent in the culture under study
(D) The number of life stories collected by the researchers
(E) The verifiability of the information provided by the research informants

8.It can be inferred from the passage that the author would be most likely to agree with which of the following statements about the usefulness of life stories as a source of ethnographic information?
(A) They can be a source of information about how people in a culture view the world.
(B) They are most useful as a source of linguistic information.
(C) They require editing and interpretation before they can be useful.
(D) They are most useful as a source of information about ancestry.
(E) They provide incidental information rather than significant insights into a way of life.

Try this RC:

The fossil remains of the first flying vertebrates, the pterosaurs, have intrigued paleontologists for more than two centuries. How such large creatures, which weighed in some cases as much as a piloted hang-glider and had wingspans from 8 to 12 meters, solved the problems of powered flight, and exactly what these creatures werereptiles or birdsare among the questions scientists have puzzled over.

Perhaps the least controversial assertion about the pterosaurs is that they were reptiles. Their skulls, pelvises, and hind feet are reptilian. The anatomy of their wings suggests that they did not evolve into the class of birds. In pterosaurs a greatly elongated fourth finger of each forelimb supported a wing-like membrane. The other fingers were short and reptilian, with sharp claws. In birds the second finger is the principal strut of the wing, which consists primarily of feathers. If the pterosaurs walked on all fours, the three short fingers may have been employed for grasping. When a pterosaur walked or remained stationary, the fourth finger, and with it the wing, could only turn upward in an extended inverted V-shape along each side of the animals body.
The pterosaurs resembled both birds and bats in their overall structure and proportions. This is not surprising because the design of any flying vertebrate is subject to aerodynamic constraints. Both the pterosaurs and the birds have hollow bones, a feature that represents a savings in weight. In the birds, however, these bones are reinforced more massively by internal struts.

Although scales typically cover reptiles, the pterosaurs probably had hairy coats. T. H. Huxley reasoned that flying vertebrates must have been warm-blooded because flying implies a high rate of metabolism, which in turn implies a high internal temperature. Huxley speculated that a coat of hair would insulate against loss of body heat and might streamline the body to reduce drag in flight. The recent discovery of a pterosaur specimen covered in long, dense, and relatively thick hairlike fossil material was the first clear evidence that his reasoning was correct.

Efforts to explain how the pterosaurs became airborne have led to suggestions that they launched themselves by jumping from cliffs, by dropping from trees, or even by rising into light winds from the crests of waves. Each hypothesis has its difficulties. The first wrongly assumes that the pterosaurs hind feet resembled a bats and could serve as hooks by which the animal could hang in preparation for flight. The second hypothesis seems unlikely because large pterosaurs could not have landed in trees without damaging their wings. The third calls for high waves to channel updrafts. The wind that made such waves however, might have been too strong for the pterosaurs to control their flight once airborne.

1. It can be inferred from the passage that scientists now generally agree that the
(A) enormous wingspan of the pterosaurs enabled them to fly great distances
(B) structure of the skeleton of the pterosaurs suggests a close evolutionary relationship to bats
(C) fossil remains of the pterosaurs reveal how they solved the problem of powered flight
(D) pterosaurs were reptiles Perhaps the least controversial assertion about the pterosaurs is that they were reptiles.
(E) pterosaurs walked on all fours
2. The author views the idea that the pterosaurs became airborne by rising into light winds created by waves as
(A) revolutionary
(B) unlikely The wind that made such waves however, might have been too strong for the pterosaurs to control their flight once airborne.
(C) unassailable
(D) probable
(E) outdated
3. According to the passage, the skeleton of a pterosaur can be distinguished from that of a bird by the
(A) size of its wingspan
(B) presence of hollow spaces in its bones
(C) anatomic origin of its wing strut The anatomy of their wings suggests that they did not evolve into the class of birds.
(D) presence of hooklike projections on its hind feet
(E) location of the shoulder joint joining the wing to its body
4. The ideas attributed to T. H. Huxley in the passage suggest that he would most likely agree with which of the following statements?
(A) An animals brain size has little bearing on its ability to master complex behaviors.
(B) An animals appearance is often influenced by environmental requirements and physical capabilities. Huxley speculated that a coat of hair would insulate against loss of body heat and might streamline the body to reduce drag in flight. Since the animal modifed it's hair/body whatever it gives an idea regarding the fact that environmental factors affect
(C) Animals within a given family group are unlikely to change their appearance dramatically over a period of time.
(D) The origin of flight in vertebrates was an accidental development rather than the outcome of specialization or adaptation.
(E) The pterosaurs should be classified as birds, not reptiles.
5. It can be inferred from the passage that which of the following is characteristic of the pterosaurs?
(A) They were unable to fold their wings when not in use.
(B) They hung upside down from branches as bats do before flight.
(C) They flew in order to capture prey.
(D) They were an early stage in the evolution of the birds.
(E) They lived primarily in a forest-like habitat.
6. Which of the following best describes the organization of the last paragraph of the passage?
(A) New evidence is introduced to support a traditional point of view.
(B) Three explanations for a phenomenon are presented, and each is disputed by means of specific information. This looks pretty simple ..3 hypothesis' are given and then each of them is disputed.
(C) Three hypotheses are outlined, and evidence supporting each is given.
(D) Recent discoveries are described, and their implications for future study are projected.
(E) A summary of the material in the preceding paragraphs is presented, and conclusions are drawn.
7. It can be inferred from the passage that some scientists believe that pterosaurs
(A) lived near large bodies of water was not very confident on this one, but selected this option as others seemed totally incorrect.
(B) had sharp teeth for tearing food
(C) were attacked and eaten by larger reptiles
(D) had longer tails than many birds
(E) consumed twice their weight daily to maintain their body temperature


Could not get the answer for the 5th question, working on it , will let you know once i get the drift. .

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