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RC Practice - 13th June  

“Popular art” has a number of meanings, impossible to define with any precision, which range from folklore to junk. The poles are clear enough, but the middle tends to blur. The Hollywood Western of the 1930’s, for example, has elements of folklore, but is closer to junk than to high art or folk art. There can be great trash, just as there is bad high art. The musicals of George Gershwin are great popular art, never aspiring to high art. Schubert and Brahms, however, used elements of popular music—folk themes—in works clearly intended as high art. The case of Verdi is a different one: he took a popular genre—bourgeois melodrama set to music (an accurate definition of nineteenth-century opera)—and, without altering its fundamental nature, transmuted it into high art. This remains one of the greatest achievements in music, and one that cannot be fully appreciated without recognizing the essential trashiness of the genre.

As an example of such a transmutation, consider what Verdi made of the typical political elements of nineteenth-century opera. Generally in the plots of these operas, a hero or heroine, usually portrayed only as an individual, unfettered by class, is caught between the immoral corruption of the aristocracy and the doctrinaire rigidity or secret greed of the leaders of the proletariat. Verdi transforms this naive and unlikely formulation with music of extraordinary energy and rhythmic vitality, music more subtle than it seems at first hearing. There are scenes and arias that still sound like calls to arms and were clearly understood as such when they were first performed. Such pieces lend an immediacy to the otherwise veiled political message of these operas and call up feelings beyond those of the opera itself.

Or consider Verdi’s treatment of character. Before Verdi, there were rarely any characters at all in musical drama, only a series of situations which allowed the singers to express a series of emotional states. Any attempt to find coherent psychological portrayal in these operas is misplaced ingenuity. The only coherence was the singer’s vocal technique: when the cast changed, new arias were almost always substituted, generally adapted from other operas. Verdi’s characters, on the other hand, have genuine consistency and integrity, even if, in many cases, the consistency is that of pasteboard melodrama. The integrity of the character is achieved through the music: once he had become established, Verdi did not rewrite his music for different singers or countenance alterations or substitutions of somebody else’s arias in one of his operas, as every eighteenth-century composer had done. When he revised an opera, it was only for dramatic economy and effectiveness.

1. The author refers to Schubert and Brahms in order to suggest

(A) that their works are examples of great trash

(B) a contrast between the conventions of nineteenth-century opera and those of other musical forms 

(C) the extent to which Schubert and Brahms influenced the later compositions of Verdi

(D) that popular music could be employed in compositions intended as high art

2. According to the passage, the immediacy of the political message in Verdi’s operas stems from the

(A) vitality and subtlety of the music

(B) audience’s familiarity with earlier operas

(C) portrayal of heightened emotional states

(D) individual talents of the singers

3. According to the passage, all of the following characterize musical drama before Verdi EXCEPT:

(A) arias tailored to a particular singer’s ability

(B) adaptation of music from other operas

(C) psychological inconsistency in the portrayal of characters

(D) music used for the purpose of defining a character

4. It can be inferred that the author regards Verdi’s revisions to his operas with

(A) regret that the original music and texts were altered

(B) concern that many of the revisions altered the plots of the original work

(C) approval for the intentions that motivated the revisions

(D) puzzlement, since the revisions seem largely insignificant

5. According to the passage, one of Verdi’s achievements within the framework of nineteenth-century opera and its conventions was to

(A) limit the extent to which singers influenced the musical compositions and performance of his operas

(B) portray psychologically complex characters shaped by the political environment surrounding them

(C) incorporate elements of folklore into both the music and plots of his operas

(D) introduce political elements into an art form that had traditionally avoided political content

6. It can be inferred that the author regards the independence from social class of the heroes and heroines of nineteenth-century opera as

(A) an idealized but fundamentally accurate portrayal of bourgeois life

(B) a plot convention with no real connection to political reality

(C) a plot refinement unique to Verdi

(D) a symbolic representation of the position of the bourgeoisie relative to the aristocracy and the proletariat

RC Practice - 19th June  

Cosmology used to be a classical subdomain of traditional philosophy: according to a well known partition of the whole of reality into three great spheres (Man, Nature and God), it became customary at a certain time to articulate the so-called systematic philosophy into three branches: anthropology or psychology (the philosophy of Man), natural philosophy or cosmology (the philosophy of Nature), and theology (the philosophy of God).

However, this partition became controversial with the development of modern science, since a certain effect of this development was the conviction that at least some of these domains of inquiry had been removed from the competence of philosophy and passed on to the competence of science. This was the case, in particular, with Nature: in fact, as is well known, the very notion of natural philosophy rapidly changed its meaning, in the sense that what became actually understood under this term was the new physical science initiated by Galileo and Newton. Of course, at least until the end of the 18th century things were not perceived in this light: those people whom we now qualify as scientists were considered — and considered themselves — to be natural philosophers; they were supposed to cultivate philosophy (or at least a part of it), and neither to develop an investigation of Nature which would stand besides (or even at variance with) the philosophical investigation of Nature, nor to promote a new kind of inquiry, which should replace or delegitimate the philosophical study of Nature. Only in the 19th century, and in particular with the positivistic movement, did “science” and “philosophy” become charged with very distinct and even almost opposite meanings.

One incident that could be seen as the germ cell of this conflict was the supernova explosion of 1604. A supernova is a brief stellar explosion so luminous that it can briefly outshine an entire galaxy. While the explosion itself takes less than fifteen seconds, supernovae take weeks or months to fade from view; during that time, a supernova can emit an amount of energy equivalent to the amount of energy the sun is expected to radiate over its entire lifespan. Supernovae generate enough heat to create heavy elements, such as mercury, gold, and silver. Although supernovae explode frequently, few of them are visible (from Earth) to the naked eye.

In 1604 in Padua, Italy, a supernova became visible, appearing as a star so bright that it was visible in daylight for more than a year. Galileo, who lectured at the university, gave several lectures widely attended by the public. The lectures not only sought to explain the origin of the “star” (some posited that perhaps it was merely “vapour near the earth”), but seriously undermined the views of many philosophers that the heavens were unchangeable..

1. With which of the following would the author of this passage most likely agree?

(A) The development of modern science should be credited with debunking superstitions of natural philosophy.

(B) The undoing of natural philosophy can be attributed, at least in some part, to the division, in the first place, of reality into three philosophical subdomains.

(C) Prior to the evolution of modern science, the study of reality was systematically divided into three domains.

(D) Cosmology rightfully belongs to the philosophers, rather than the scientists.

2. The author mentions the supernova explosion of 1604 in order to

(A) pit two conflicting disciplines against each other

(B) cite an example of the various mysteries of the cosmic world

(C) trace the genesis of a dichotomy that the passage as a whole talks about

(D) contradict the main point mentioned in the passage 

3. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) give the history of supernovae

(B) describe a shift in thought as a result of a natural event

(C) juxtapose two opposing views about supernovae

(D) explain how science and philosophy interrelate

4. Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?

(A) Supernovae can take over a year to fade from view.

(B) Prior to 1604, no one had ever seen a supernova.

(C) Galileo convinced philosophers of the incorrectness of their views

(D) Science and philosophy have never converged 

5. The author mentions which of the following as a result of the supernova of 1604?

(A) The supernova created and dispersed many heavy elements in the outer space.

(B) Galileo explained the origin of the supernova.

(C) The public was interested in hearing lectures about the phenomenon.

(D) Galileo’s lectures were opposed by philosophers.

Answers of today's RC :-

RC  Practice - 20th June 

Until about the dawn of twentieth century, the very idea that peptide hormones might be made anywhere in the brain besides the hypothalamus was astounding. Peptide hormones, scientists thought, were made by endocrine glands and the hypothalamus was thought to be the brains’ only endocrine gland. Because peptide hormones cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, researchers also believed that they never got to any part of the brain other than the hypothalamus, where they were simply produced and then released into the bloodstream.

But these beliefs about peptide hormones were questioned as laboratory after laboratory found that antiserums to peptide hormones, when injected into the brain, bind in places other than the hypothalamus, indicating that either the hormones or substances that cross-react with the antiserums are present. The immunological method of detecting peptide hormones by means of antiserums, however, is imprecise. Cross-reactions are possible and this method cannot determine whether the substances detected by the antiserums really are the hormones, or merely close relatives. Furthermore, this method cannot be used to determine the location in the body where the detected substances are actually produced.

New techniques of molecular biology, however, provide a way to answer these questions. It is possible to make specific complementary DNA’s (cDNA’s) that can serve as molecular probes to seek out the messenger RNA’s (mRNA’s) of the peptide hormones. If brain cells are making the hormones, the cells will contain these mRNA’s. If the products the brain cells make resemble the hormones but are not identical to them, then the cDNA’s should still bind to these mRNA’s, but should not bind as tightly as they would to mRNA’s for the true hormones. The cells containing these mRNA’s can then be isolated and their mRNA’s decoded to determine just what their protein products are and how closely the products resemble the true peptide hormones.

The molecular approach to detecting peptide hormones using cDNA probes should also be much faster than the immunological method because it can take years of tedious purifications to isolate peptide hormones and then develop antiserums to them. Roberts, expressing the sentiment of many researchers, states: “I was trained as an endocrinologist. But it became clear to me that the field of endocrinology needed molecular biology input. The process of grinding out protein purifications is just too slow.”

If, as the initial tests with cDNA probes suggest, peptide hormones really are made in the brain in areas other than the hypothalamus, a theory must be developed that explains their function in the brain. Some have suggested that the hormones are all growth regulators, but Rosen’s work on rat brains indicates that this cannot be true. A number of other researchers propose that they might be used for intercellular communication in the brain.
1. Which of the following titles best summarizes the passage?

(A) Is Molecular Biology the Key to Understanding Intercellular Communication in the Brain?

(B) Molecular Biology: Can Researchers Exploit Its Techniques to Synthesize Peptide Hormones?

(C) The Advantages and Disadvantages of the Immunological Approach to Detecting Peptide Hormones

(D) Peptide Hormones: How Scientists Are Attempting to Solve Problems of Their Detection and to Understand Their Function

2. The passage suggests that a substance detected in the brain by use of antiserums to peptide hormones may

(A) have been stored in the brain for a long period of time

(B) play no role in the functioning of the brain

(C) have been produced in some part of the body other than the brain

(D) have escaped detection by molecular methods

3. Which of the following is mentioned in the passage as a drawback of the immunological method of detecting peptide hormones?

(A) It cannot be used to detect the presence of growth regulators in the brain.

(B) It cannot distinguish between the peptide hormones and substances that are very similar to them.

(C) It uses antiserums that are unable to cross the blood-brain barrier.

(D) It involves a purification process that requires extensive training in endocrinology.

4. The passage implies that, in doing research on rat brains, Rosen discovered that

(A) peptide hormones are used for intercellular communication

(B) complementary DNA’s do not bind to cells producing peptide hormones

(C) products closely resembling peptide hormones are not identical to peptide hormones

(D) some peptide hormones do not function as growth regulators

5. Which of the following is a way in which the immunological method of detecting peptide hormones differs from the molecular method?

(A) The immunological method uses substances that react with products of hormone-producing cells, whereas the molecular method uses substances that react with a specific component of the cells themselves.

(B) The immunological method has produced results consistent with long-held beliefs about peptide hormones, whereas the molecular method has produced results that upset these beliefs.

(C) The immunological method requires a great deal of expertise, whereas the molecular method has been used successfully by nonspecialists.

(D) The immunological method can only be used to test for the presence of peptide hormones within the hypothalamus, whereas the molecular method can be used throughout the brain.

6. The idea that the field of endocrinology can gain from developments in molecular biology is regarded by Roberts with

(A) incredulity

(B) derision

(C) enthusiasm

(D) pride

RC Practice - 21st June  

A new controversial theory challenges the long-held view of most archaeologists that primitive European societies were patriarchal in both their social and religious structures, by suggesting that the people of ―Old Europe— from 8000 B.C. to 3000 B.C.—lived in stable agricultural societies in which women headed clans and men laboured as hunters and builders. This theory suggests that during the Stone Age there thrived in and around Europe peace-loving, matriarchal communities in which men and women lived together as equals, respected nature, and worshipped a nurturing deity called the Great Goddess.

Proponents of this theory contend that this peaceful and harmonious society was shattered in about the year 3000 B.C., when marauders from the Indo-European steppes replaced social and sexual egalitarianism by patriarchy and hierarchy, and warrior gods dethroned the Great Goddess. With the widespread decimation of Old Europe, the goddess-centred religion went underground. However, its symbols have reappeared over the centuries in the forms of the female deities of Greece and Rome, in the Virgin Mary, and in the belief in spiritual forces lurking within the natural world. 

The theory of the Great Goddess has been hailed by feminist social critics, artists, and religious thinkers for providing an important alternative to traditional, patriarchal mythologies and paradigms, as well as for providing a new and more positive model for the human relationship to the natural world.

Yet many other investigators into prehistoric Europe consider the theory an unsubstantiated and idealistic version of history. To a number of critics, the chief problem in this radical theory is one of method. Traditional archaeologists, taking issue with unorthodox speculation on ancient belief systems, contend that archaeological evidence may tell us something about what people ate in the small villages of prehistoric Europe, how they built their homes, and what they traded, but cannot tell us much about what the dwellers of the ancient world actually thought. To them, such speculation is illegitimate. 

 But supporters of the theory of a goddess-worshipping Old Europe counter that such critiques reveal a certain narrow-mindedness on the part of scientists rather than weaknesses on the part of their theory arguing that some degree of speculation is important, perhaps even necessary, for the sake of progress in archaeology and other fields. This element of speculation helps reveal the implications of a theory.
1. Which of the following most closely resembles the new theory’s view of the European society prior 3000 B.C?

A. A nomadic community of hunter-gatherer-builders in which women held positions of importance in clan, as men provided for the family.

B. A female-dominated society with men’s main role limited to labor

C. A warring community where groups were divided into two – one worshipping the male war gods and the other worshipping a kind feminine deity.

D. A pacific community of nature worshippers with well-classified roles for both sexes.

2. Based on the information in the passage, which of the following statements about prehistoric European society would traditional archaeologists most likely consider illegitimate?
A. The people were agrarian and not nomadic.
B.  Food was cooked in clay vessels over a fire.
C. The people were worried about invasion.
D. They had adopted a more patriarchal model

3. Which of the following maxims seems most in agreement with the argument that the supporters of the Great Goddess theory put forth in response to criticism?
A. Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.
B. A mind is like a parachute in that it only works when open.
C. He who does not understand his opponent‘s arguments does not understand his own.
D. The early bird gets the worm

4. Which of the following would be contrary to what a proponent of the theory of the Great Goddess most likely believes?

A. The available archaeological evidence does not rule out the idea that Old European matriarchal communities existed.

B. The field of archaeology has been dominated in the past by male- oriented scholarship.

C. Matriarchy is conducive to establishing a healthy relationship with the natural world.

D. The decimation of Old European society wiped away all traces of the Great Goddess religion.

RC Practice - 22nd June

In the 1960s, sociologist John McKnight coined the term "redlining" to describe the discriminatory practice of fencing off areas where banks would avoid investments based on community demographics. During the heyday of redlining, the areas most frequently discriminated against were black inner city neighborhoods. For example, in Atlanta in the 1980s, a Pulitzer Prize-winning series of articles by investigative reporter Bill Dedman showed that banks would often lend to lower-income whites but not to middle-income or upper-income blacks. The use of blacklists is a related mechanism also used by redliners to keep track of groups, areas, and people that the discriminating party feels should be denied business or aid or other transactions. In the academic literature, redlining falls under the broader category of credit rationing. 

The term came from the practice of banks outlining certain areas in red on a map — within the red outline, banks refused to invest. With no access to mortgages, residents within the red line suffered low property values and landlord abandonment; buildings abandoned by landlords were then likely to become centers of drug dealing and other crime, thus further lowering property values.

Redlining in mortgage lending was made illegal by the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which prohibited such discrimination based on race, religion, gender, familial status, disability, or ethnic origin, and by community reinvestment legislation in the 1970’s. However, redlining may have continued in less explicit ways, and can also take place in regards to constrained access to health care, jobs, insurance, and more. Even today, some credit card companies send different offers to homes in different neighborhoods, and some auto insurance companies offer different rates based on zip code.

Reverse redlining occurs when predatory businesses specifically target minority consumers for the purpose of charging them more than would usually be charged to a consumer of the majority group. Redlining can lead to reverse redlining — if a retailer refuses to serve a certain area based on the ethnic-minority composition of the area, people in that area can fall prey to opportunistic smaller retailers who sell inferior goods at higher prices.

1. All of the following can be inferred from the passage, EXCEPT

(A) Discriminatory denial of service and differential pricing are characteristic features of redlining

(B) The illegalization of redlining brought about a change in scope and nature of the act.

(C) Access to mortgages is related to higher property values.

(D) Redlining significantly subsided with the passing of the Fair Housing Act in 1968.

2. Which of the following, not mentioned in the passage, would qualify as an example of reverse redlining as defined in the passage?

(A) A hospital refuses to offer medical care to consumers in certain neighborhoods.

(B) Residents of low-income neighborhoods are less likely to be hired for positions than residents of higher-income neighborhoods, even when the applicants have the same qualifications.

(C) An auto insurance company hires an African American spokesperson in a bid to attract more African American consumers.

(D) A grocery store in a low-income neighborhood charges exorbitant prices for products that most residents are unable to buy elsewhere.

3. Which of the following correctly describes a sequence of events presented in the passage?

(A) Subprime mortgages lead to widespread defaults, which lead to landlord abandonment.

(B) Landlord abandonment leads to redlining, which leads to crime and drug dealing.

(C) Redlining leads to reverse redlining, which leads to constrained access to health care, jobs, insurance, and more.

(D) Redlining leads to landlord abandonment, which leads to the use of buildings for crime and drug dealing.

4. Which of the following is the best way to describe author’s description of redlining ?

(A) A vicious cycle of discrimination against certain neighborhoods bringing down their asset value and driving up the service prices.

(B) A linear chain of events starting in discrimination on the basis of race and ending in crime

(C) A complex situation causing social, economic, moral and emotional harm to a social group while benefiting another.

(D) A business practice exploiting an already socially disadvantaged group.

RC Practice - 23rd June

Boccaccio‘s donnée is of an upper-class milieu where girls and young men can meet socially at ease and move—thanks to wealth—out of plague-stricken Florence. In fact, it daringly reverses the standard form of morality, well summed up nearly contemporaneously by Traini‘s famous Triumph of Death fresco in the Campo Santo at Pisa. There, an upperclass, amorous, hedonistic group of young people is depicted as doomed to die. Boccaccio‘s group consists very much of stylish survivors.

The code of behaviour they assume and also promulgate is impressively liberal, civilized and un-prudish. Seven girls who have met by chance at Mass at Santa Maria Novella plan their adventure and then co-opt three young men who happen to enter the church. The three are already known to them, but it is the girls who take the initiative, in a tactful, well-bred way, making it clear from the start that this is no invitation to rape. One has only to try to imagine Victorian girls—in fiction or in fact—behaving with such a degree of sophistication to see that society by no means advances century by century. Boccaccio is a highly complex personality who, like many another writer, may have felt that his most famous work was not his best. But the Decameron became famous early on, and was avidly read and frequently translated throughout Europe.

The Decameron is a thoroughly Florentine book and a thoroughly social one, down to its structure. After the poetry of the Divine Comedy, it is very much prose, in every way. It glories in being undidactic, entertaining and openly—though by no means totally—scabrous. Eventually it shocked and frightened its creator, who thus unwittingly or not recognized the force of its literary power. He repented and turned moralist and academic, leaving Florence for the small Tuscan town of Certaldo where he had probably been born and where in 1375 he died. 

Part of his religious repentance was perhaps expressed by commissioning two altarpieces (sadly, not extant) for a local church. Whatever the medievalism enshrined in the Divine Comedy, the Decameron speaks for a robustly changed, relaxed vision, one set firmly upon earth. It is the opposite of lonely and ecstatic. It is a vision closer to that of Canterbury Tales than to the spiritual one of Piers Plowman. 

It has female protagonists who seem mundane if not precisely modern compared with the real women mystics and saints of central Italy of a few generations before, women whose fierce, intense, sometimes horrifyingly palpable and semi-erotic visions read like real-life cantos from Dante‘s poem. No doubt Boccaccio has idealized a little, but he puts forward a calm, sane case for freedom and humour and good manners between the sexes which, however palely, foreshadows the Shakespearean world of Beatrice and Benedick. 

The theme of the stories his group exchange is human behaviour—often as it is manifested under the pressure of lust or love. But the group is also shown indulging in chess and music and dancing (even bathing though separated by sex). The ladies frequently laugh and occasionally blush, while never losing their self-possession and their implicit command of the situation.

That the diversions of the Decameron are set brightly against the gruesome darkness of the Black Death is effective and also realistic. The plague is seen working psychologically as well as physically, horribly corrupting manners and morals, in addition to destroying life. Diversion and escape seem not frivolous but prudent, especially when provided by a pleasantly sited, well-stocked villa outside Florence, with amenities that extend to agreeable pictures in its rooms.

1. All of the following can be inferred about the narrative of Boccacio’s Decameron, EXCEPT:

A. The women’s conduct in the work is in stark contrast with the depiction of same in Victorian novels.

B. It is set in the realistic backdrop of a great affliction, which works the characters’ body and mind to the extent of moral liberation.

C. The indulgent and venturesome young women belong to an elite class and their adventurous journey takes them to their inevitable death.

D. The women characters are empowered and unrestrained by mores of their age.

2. Which of the following statements best summarizes the author‘s opinion in regarding Boccaccio‘s view of his own work?

A. Boccaccio held more regard for the Decameron than for his later works.

B. Boccaccio was later dismayed but nonetheless convinced by the literary power of the Decameron.

C. Boccaccio was heartened that the Decameron was avidly read and translated.

D. Boccaccio was overly critical of his own work

3. According to the author, the Decameron differs markedly from its Italian predecessor The Divine Comedy in all BUT that

A. It is set in Florence.

B. It is written in a didactic style.

C. It has a tendency to be tedious.

D. It was actually not humorous in content

4. Which of the following statements is true about Decameron in relation to works by other writers?

A. The semi-erotic visions in this work resemble those in Dante’s poem Divine Comedy. 

B. It was an unprecedented portrayal of spiritual freedom far away from the dogmatic Piers of Plowman

C. It anticipated the easy chemistry between two sexes of Shakespearean works.

D. It was not unlike the Triumph of Death in depicting the moral code of behavior considered appropriate for youth or women.

RC Practice - 24th June

The deep sea typically has a sparse fauna dominated by tiny worms and crustaceans, with an even sparser distribution of larger animals. However, near hydrothermal vents, areas of the ocean where warm water emerges from subterranean sources, live remarkable densities of huge clams, blind crabs, and fish.

Most deep-sea faunas rely for food on particulate matter ultimately derived from photosynthesis, falling from above. The food supplies necessary to sustain the large vent communities, however, must be many times the ordinary fallout. The first reports describing vent faunas proposed two possible sources of nutrition: bacterial chemosynthesis, production of food by bacteria using energy derived from chemical changes, and advection, the drifting of food materials from surrounding regions. Later, evidence in support of the idea of intense local chemosynthesis was accumulated: hydrogen sulfide was found in vent water; many vent-site bacteria were found to be capable of chemosynthesis; and extremely large concentrations of bacteria were found in samples of vent water thought to be pure. This final observation seemed decisive. If such astonishing concentrations of bacteria were typical of vent outflow, then food within the vent would dwarf any contribution from advection. Hence, the widely quoted conclusion was reached that bacterial chemosynthesis provides the foundation for hydrothermal-vent food chains—an exciting prospect because no other communities on Earth are independent of photosynthesis.

There are, however, certain difficulties with this interpretation. For example, some of the large sedentary organisms associated with vents are also found at ordinary deep-sea temperatures many meters from the nearest hydrothermal sources. This suggests that bacterial chemosynthesis is not a sufficient source of nutrition for these creatures. Another difficulty is that similarly dense populations of large deep-sea animals have been found in the proximity of “smokers”—vents where water emerges at temperatures up to 350℃. No bacteria can survive such heat, and no bacteria were found there. Unless smokers are consistently located near more hospitable warm-water vents, chemosynthesis can account for only a fraction of the vent faunas. It is conceivable, however, that these large, sedentary organisms do in fact feed on bacteria that grow in warm-water vents, rise in the vent water, and then rain in peripheral areas to nourish animals living some distance from the warm-water vents.

Nonetheless advection is a more likely alternative food source. Research has demonstrated that advective flow, which originates near the surface of the ocean where suspended particulate matter accumulates, transports some of that matter and water to the vents. Estimates suggest that for every cubic meter of vent discharge, 350 milligrams of particulate organic material would be advected into the vent area. Thus, for an average-sized vent, advection could provide more than 30 kilograms of potential food per day. In addition, it is likely that small live animals in the advected water might be killed or stunned by thermal and/or chemical shock, thereby contributing to the food supply of vents.

1. According to the author of the passage, which of the following best describes the source of nutrition for deep-sea vent fauna?

(A) It is independent of photosynthesis and relies on bacterial chemosynthesis.

(B) The huge amount of particulate matter falling form sea –surface fulfills much of the need

(C) The drifting of particulate matter from surrounding regions fulfills more nutritional needs than chemosynthesis by bacteria

(D) Photosynthesis may play no smaller role than chemosynthesis in fulfilling food needs near vents.

2. The information in the passage suggests that the majority of deep-sea faunas that live in nonvent habitats have which of the following characteristics?

(A) They do not normally feed on particles of food in the water.

(B) They are smaller than many vent faunas.

(D) They derive nutrition from a chemosynthetic food source.

(E) They congregate around a single main food source.

3. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) reconstruct the evolution of a natural phenomenon

(B) establish unequivocally the accuracy of a hypothesis

(C) survey explanations for a natural phenomenon and determine which is best supported by evidence(D)

(D) entertain criticism of the deep-sea research and provide an effective response

4. Which of the following does the author cite as a weakness in the argument that bacterial chemosynthesis provides the foundation for the food chains at deep-sea vents?

(A) Vents are colonized by some of the same animals found in other areas of the ocean floor.

(B) Vent water does not contain sufficient quantities of hydrogen sulfide.

(C) Bacteria cannot produce large quantities of food quickly enough.

(D) Smokers are usually found in the vicinity of warm-water vents..

5. Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the author’s argument?

(A) The number of large animals found in nonvent areas of deep sea is not high.

(B) Warm-water vents with phenomenal amount of bacteria are often present in the vicinity of smokers.

(C) The movement of matter associated with areas in and around deep sea vents with relation to oceanic surface is outward rather than inward.

(D) A considerable number of large animals are found in nonvent areas of deep sea.

RC Practice - 25th June

In recent years, a growing belief that the way society decides what to treat as true is controlled through largely unrecognized discursive practices has led legal reformers to examine the complex interconnections between narrative and law. In many legal systems, legal judgments are based on competing stories about events. Without having witnessed these events, judges and juries must validate some stories as true and reject others as false. This procedure is rooted in objectivism, a philosophical approach that has supported most Western legal and intellectual systems for centuries. Objectivism holds that there is a single neutral description of each event that is unskewed by any particular point of view and that has a privileged position over all other accounts. The law’s quest for truth, therefore, consists of locating this objective description, the one that tells what really happened, as opposed to what those involved thought happened. 

The serious flaw in objectivism is that there is no such thing as the neutral, objective observer. As psychologists have demonstrated, all observers bring to a situation a set of expectations, values, and beliefs that determine what the observers are able to see and hear. Two individuals listening to the same story will hear different things, because they emphasize those aspects that accord with their learned experiences and ignore those aspects that are dissonant with their view of the world. Hence there is never any escape in life or in law from selective perception or from subjective judgments based on prior experiences, values, and beliefs.

The societal harm caused by the assumption of objectivist principles in traditional legal discourse is that, historically, the stories judged to be objectively true are those told by people who are trained in legal discourse, while the stories of those who are not fluent in the language of the law are rejected as false.

Legal scholars such as Patricia Williams, Derrick Bell, and Mari Matsuda have sought empowerment for the latter group of people through the construction of alternative legal narratives. Objectivist legal discourse systematically disallows the language of emotion and experience by focusing on cognition in its narrowest sense. These legal reformers propose replacing such abstract discourse with powerful personal stories. They argue that the absorbing, nonthreatening structure and tone of personal stories may convince legal insiders for the first time to listen to those not fluent in legal language. The compelling force of personal narrative can create a sense of empathy between legal insiders and people traditionally excluded from legal discourse and, hence, from power. Such alternative narratives can shatter the complacency of the legal establishment and disturb its tranquility. Thus, the engaging power of narrative might play a crucial, positive role in the process of legal reconstruction by overcoming differences in background and training and forming a new collectivity based on emotional empathy.

1. Which of the following would be the closest to objectivism, as it has been defined in the passage?

(A) An editorial written in a newspaper column

(B) A travel blog describing a surreal place

(C) A historical text on events that may have led to the Russian revolution

(D) A biography of a famous painter

2. Which one of the following best states the main idea of the passage?

(A) Some legal scholars have sought to empower people historically excluded from traditional legal discourse by instructing them in the forms of discourse favored by legal insiders.

(B) Some legal scholars have argued that the basic flaw inherent in objectivist theory can be remedied by recognizing that it is not possible to obtain a single neutral description of a particular event. 

(C) Some legal scholars have proposed alleviating the harm caused by the prominence of objectivist principles within legal discourse by replacing that discourse with alternative forms of legal narrative.

(D) Some legal scholars have contended that those who feel excluded from objectivist legal systems would be empowered by the construction of a new legal language that better reflected objectivist principles.

3. According to the passage, which one of the following is true about the intellectual systems mentioned in the passage?

(A) They are inherently flawed, owing to the inaccuracy of an underlying tenet.

(B) They have generally remained unskewed by particular points of view.

(C) Their discursive practices have yet to be analyzed by legal scholars.

(D) They have shaped the philosophy of objectivism in legal discourse

4. Which one of the following best describes the sense of “cognition” referred to in the passage?

(A) the interpretation of visual cues 

(B) dispassionate logical thinking 

(C) sudden insights inspired by the power of personal stories 

(D) the reasoning actually employed by judges to arrive at legal judgments

5. It can be inferred from the passage that Williams, Bell, And Matsuda believe which one of the following to be central component of legal reform?

(A) incorporating into the law the latest developments in the fields of psychology and philosophy

(B) eradicating from legal judgments discourse with a particular point of view

(C) granting all participants in legal proceedings equal access to training in the forms and manipulation of legal discourse

(D) making the law more responsive to the discursive practices of a wider variety of people

6. Which one of the following statements about legal discourse in legal systems based on objectivism can be inferred from the passage?

(A) In most Western societies the legal establishment controls access to training in legal discourse.

(B) Expertise in legal discourse affords power in most Western societies.

(C) Legal discourse has become progressively more abstract for some centuries.

(D) Legal discourse has traditionally denied the existence of neutral objective observers.

7. Those who reject objectivism would regard “the law’s quest for truth” as most similar to which one of the following?

(A) the painstaking assembly of a jigsaw puzzle

(B) the search for a valuable diamond among trinkets

(C) hunt for a legendary animal

(D) comparing an apple with an orange

Passage analysis of today's RC :-

Answers of today's RC :-

RC Practice - 26th June

Eight times within the past million years, something in the Earth’s climatic equation has changed, allowing snow in the mountains and the northern latitudes to accumulate from one season to the next instead of melting away. Each time, the enormous ice sheets resulting from this continual buildup lasted tens of thousands of years until the end of each particular glacial cycle brought a warmer climate. Scientists speculated that these glacial cycles were ultimately driven by astronomical factors: slow, cyclic changes in the eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit and in the tilt and orientation of its spin axis. But up until around 60 years ago, the lack of an independent record of ice-age timing made the hypothesis untestable.

Then in the early 1950’s Emiliani produced the first complete record of the waxings and wanings of past glaciations. It came from a seemingly odd place, the seafloor. Single-cell marine organisms called “foraminifera” house themselves in shells made from calcium carbonate. When the foraminifera die, sink to the bottom, and become part of seafloor sediments, the carbonate of their shells preserves certain characteristics of the seawater they inhabited. In particular, the ratio of a heavy isotope of oxygen (oxygen-18) to ordinary oxygen (oxygen-16) in the carbonate preserves the ratio of the two oxygens in water molecules.

It is now understood that the ratio of oxygen isotopes in seawater closely reflects the proportion of the world’s water locked up in glaciers and ice sheets. A kind of meteorological distillation accounts for the link. Water molecules containing the heavier isotope tend to condense and fall as precipitation slightly sooner than molecules containing the lighter isotope. Hence, as water vapor evaporated from warm oceans moves away from its source, its oxygen-18 returns more quickly to the oceans than does its oxygen-16. What falls as snow on distant ice sheets and mountain glaciers is relatively depleted of oxygen-18. As the oxygen-18-poor ice builds up, the oceans become relatively enriched in the isotope. The larger the ice sheets grow, the higher the proportion of oxygen-18 becomes in seawater—and hence in the sediments.

Analyzing cores drilled from seafloor sediments, Emiliani found that the isotopic ratio rose and fell in rough accord with the Earth’s astronomical cycles. Since that pioneering observation, oxygen-isotope measurements have been made on hundreds of cores. A chronology for the combined record enables scientists to show that the record contains the very same periodicities as the orbital processes. Over the past 800,000 years, the global ice volume has peaked every 100,000 years, matching the period of the orbital eccentricity variation. In addition, “wrinkles” superposed on each cycle—small decreases or surges in ice volume—have come at intervals of roughly 23,000 and 41,000 years, in keeping with the precession and tilt frequencies of the Earth’s spin axis.

1. According to the passage, the large ice sheets typical of glacial cycles are most directly caused by

(A) changes in the average temperatures in the tropics and over open oceans

(B) prolonged increases in the rate at which water evaporates from the oceans

(C) steadily increasing precipitation rates in northern latitudes and in mountainous areas

(D) the continual failure of snow to melt completely during the warmer seasons in northern latitudes and in mountainous areas

2. It can be inferred from the passage that which of the following is true of the water locked in glaciers and ice sheets today?

(A) It is richer in oxygen-18 than frozen water was during past glacial periods.

(B) It is primarily located in the northern latitudes of the Earth.

(C) It is steadily decreasing in amount due to increased thawing during summer months.

(D) In comparison with seawater, it is relatively poor in oxygen-18.

3. The discussion of the oxygen-isotope ratios in paragraph three of the passage suggests that which of the following must be assumed if the conclusions described in the passage is to be validly drawn?

(A) The Earth’s overall annual precipitation rates do not dramatically increase or decrease over time.

(B) The various chemicals dissolved in seawater have had the same concentrations over the past million years.

(C) Natural processes unrelated to ice formation do not result in the formation of large quantities of oxygen-18.

(D) Water molecules falling as precipitation usually fall on the open ocean rather than on continents or polar ice packs.

4. The passage suggests that the scientists who first constructed a coherent, continuous picture of past variations in marine-sediment isotope ratios did which of the following?

(A) Relied primarily on the data obtained from the analysis of Emiliani’s core samples.

(B) Combined data derived from the analysis of many different core samples.

(C) Matched the data obtained by geologists with that provided by astronomers.

(D) Compared data obtained from core samples in many different marine environments with data samples derived from polar ice caps.

5. The passage suggests that the scientists mentioned in line 8 considered their reconstruction of past astronomical cycles to be

(A) unreliable because astronomical observations have been made and recorded for only a few thousand years

(B) adequate enough to allow that reconstruction’s use in explaining glacial cycles if a record of the latter could be found

(C) in need of confirmation through comparison with an independent source of information about astronomical phenomena

(D) incomplete and therefore unusable for the purposes of explaining the causes of ice ages

6. Which of the following best expresses the main idea of the passage?

(A) Marine sediments have allowed scientists to amass evidence tending to confirm that astronomical cycles drive the Earth’s glacial cycles.

(B) The ratio between two different isotopes of oxygen in seawater correlates closely with the size of the Earth’s ice sheets.

(C) Surprisingly, single-cell marine organisms provide a record of the Earth’s ice ages.

(D) The Earth’s astronomical cycles have recently been revealed to have an unexpectedly large impact on the Earth’s climate.

Passage analysis of today's RC :-

Answers of today's RC :-

RC Practice - 27th June  

The refusal of some countries to extradite persons accused or convicted of terrorist act has focused attention on the problems caused by the political offense exception to extradition. Extradition is the process by which one country returns an accused or convicted person found within its borders to another country for trial or punishment. Under the political offense exception, the requested state may, if it considers the crime to be a “political offense,” deny extradition to the requesting state.

Protection of political offenses is a recent addition to the ancient practice of extradition. It is the result of two fundamental changes that occurred as European monarchies were replaced by representative governments. First, these governments began to reject what had been a primary intent of extradition, to expedite the return of political offenders, and instead sought to protect dissidents fleeing despotic regimes. Second, countries began to contend that they had no legal or moral duty to extradite offenders without specific agreements creating such obligations. As extradition laws subsequently developed through international treaties, the political offense exception gradually became an accepted principle among Western nations.

There is no international consensus, however, as to what constitutes a political offense. For analytical purposes illegal political conduct has traditionally been divided into two categories. “Pure” political offenses are acts perpetrated directly against the government, such as treason and espionage. These crimes are generally recognized as nonextraditable, even if not expressly excluded from extradition by the applicable treaty. In contrast, common crimes, such as murder, assault, and robbery, are generally extraditable. However, there are some common crimes that are so inseparable from a political act that the entire offense is regarded as political. These crimes, which are called “relative” political offenses, are generally nonextraditable. Despite the widespread acceptance of these analytic constructs, the distinctions are more academic than meaningful. When it comes to real cases, there is no agreement about what transforms a common crime into a political offense and about whether terrorist acts fall within the protection of the exception. Most terrorists claim that their acts do fall under this protection.

Nations of the world must now balance the competing needs of political freedom and international public order. It is time to reexamine the political offense exception, as international terrorism eradicates the critical distinctions between political offenses and nonpolitical crimes. The only rational and attainable objective of the exception is to protect the requested person against unfair treatment by the requesting country. The international community needs to find an alternative to the political offense exception that would protect the rights of requested persons and yet not offer terrorists immunity from criminal liability.

1. In the passage, the author primarily seeks to

(A) define a set of terms and clarify the distinction involved

(B) outline a new approach in dealing with political offenders

(C) describe a current problem and plead for a remedial action

(D) expose an illegal practice of several nations

2. Which of the following best describes the author’s view of “political offense exception?”

(A) It is a dubious distinction open to discretionary interpretation

(B) It is the root cause behind spreading tentacles of terrorism

(C) It is an ambiguous territory used by nations to serve their propaganda

(D) It is an internationally recognized practice for fair treatment of criminals

3. Given the discussion in the passage, which one of the following distinctions does the author consider particularly problematic?

(A) between common crimes and “relative” political offense

(B) between “pure” political offenses and common crimes

(C) between “pure” political offenses and “relative” political offenses

(D) between terrorist acts and acts of espionage

4. According to the author, the primary purpose of the political offense exception should be to

(A) ensure that terrorists are tried for their acts

(B) provide political criminals immunity against persecution

(C) offer diplomatic immunity to political criminals

(D) limit extradition to those accused of “relative” political offenses

5. The author would most likely agree that the political offense exception

(A) has been a modestly useful weapon again terrorism

(B) has never met the objective for which it was originally established

(C) has been of more academic than practical value to political dissidents 

(D) has, in some cases, been stretched beyond intended use

6. Which one of the following, if true, would give the author most cause to reconsider her recommendation regarding the political offence exception ?

(A) More nations started extraditing persons accused or convicted of treason, espionage, and other similar crimes.

(B) The nations of the world sharply decreased their use of the political offense exception protect persons accused of each of the various types of “pure” political offenses.

(C) The nations of the world sharply decreased their use of the political offense exception to protect persons accused of each of the various types of “relative” political offenses.

(D) The nations of the world started to disagree over the analytical distinction between “pure” political offenses and “relative” political offenses.

Passage analysis of today's RC :-

Answers of today's RC :-

RC Practice - 28th June

Various tales in Herodotus’s The Histories display a circular means of the realization of fate.  In one story involving the birth of Cyrus and his rise to power in Asia, Herodotus tells us that  the Median king Astyages was having disturbing dreams about his daughter Mandane. We are told that his first dream, in which Mandane’s urine flooded all of Asia, was  interpreted ominously by the Magi. As a consequence, when the time came to marry  Mandane off, Astyages made what turned out to be a fatal mistake. While there were plenty  of wealthy and powerful Medes eligible for marriage, “his fear of the dream made him refuse  to marry her to any of them; instead, he gave her to a Persian called Cambyses, whom he  found to be of noble lineage and peaceful behavior, although he regarded him as the social  inferior by far of a Mede of the middle rank.” Essentially, Astyages altered what would be a  normal treatment of the marriage in order to marry his daughter to someone less threatening.  This attempt to avoid the prophesy of the first dream backfired however, and when Mandane  became pregnant, Astyages had another foreboding dream. This second dream was  interpreted to mean that Mandane’s son would rule in Astyages’s place. Herodotus tells us  that “[the prophecy of the second dream] was what Astyages was guarding against” when he  again took action, telling his advisor Harpagus to kill the baby. This plan backfired as well  since Harpagus refused to kill the baby, leading to a complicated chain of events whereby the  child—later to be named Cyrus—survived and returned to conquer his grandfather’s  kingdom. In this story, Astyages’s downfall is depicted as resulting directly from two major  mistakes—marrying Mandane to Cambyses and telling Harpagus to kill their offspring. These  mistakes in turn are shown to be motivated by fear of the prophesies of his downfall. Had not  some divine force planted the dreams in his head, he would not have taken the steps  necessary to fulfill those prophesies. Through this circular path, destiny is unavoidably  realized. 

1. Which of the following best describes the philosophical argument underlying the  passage? 

(A) There is no free will; humans all have a predetermined and unavoidable fate. (B) Divine revelations are His way of communicating with us. 

(C) Free will serves destiny. 

(D) Human’s circumstances are his own making. 

2. Which of the following cannot be inferred from the passage? 

(A) As a result of his first dream, Astyages believed the threat his daughter posed to him  could be through her husband. 

(B) Astyages believed that it was always best to observe the recommendations of the Magi. 

(C) Astyages believed that a Persian noble was less of a threat to his position than a Median  noble. 

(D) Had Astyages not acted upon his dreams, he might have averted the fate that befell him. 

3. Which of the following, if true, would most strongly undermine the claim that  Astyages’s downfall proceeded from two major mistakes? 

(A) Mandane’s husband would have deposed Astyages if he had known why his son was  killed. 

(B) Astyages’s first dream was in fact a warning against allowing his daughter to marry. 

(C) Harpagus would not have killed the baby regardless of whether he knew the prophesy. 

(D) Mandane’s son would have conquered his grandfather’s kingdom regardless of who his  father was 

Answers of today's RC : -


RC Practice - 29th June

The number of women directors appointed to corporate boards in the United States has  increased dramatically, but the ratio of female to male directors remains low. Although  pressure to recruit women directors, unlike that to employ women in the general work force,  does not derive from legislation, it is nevertheless real. Although small companies were the first to have women directors, large corporations  currently have a higher percentage of women on their boards. When the chairs of these large  corporations began recruiting women to serve on boards, they initially sought women who  were chief executive officers (CEO’s) of large corporations. However, such women CEO’s  are still rare. In addition, the ideal of six CEO’s (female or male) serving on the board of each  of the largest corporations is realizable only if every CEO serves on six boards. This raises  the specter of director over-commitment and the resultant dilution of contribution.  Consequently, the chairs next sought women in business who had the equivalent of CEO  experience. However, since it is only recently that large numbers of women have begun to  rise in management, the chairs began to recruit women of high achievement outside the  business world. Many such women are well known for their contributions in government,  education, and the nonprofit sector. The fact that the women from these sectors who were  appointed were often acquaintances of the boards’ chairs seems quite reasonable: chairs have  always considered it important for directors to interact comfortably in the boardroom. Although many successful women from outside the business world are unknown to corporate  leaders, these women are particularly qualified to serve on boards because of the changing  nature of corporations. Today a company’s ability to be responsive to the concerns of the  community and the environment can influence that company’s growth and survival. Women  are uniquely positioned to be responsive to some of these concerns. Although conditions have  changed, it should be remembered that most directors of both sexes are over fifty years old.  Women of that generation were often encouraged to direct their attention toward efforts to  improve the community. This fact is reflected in the career development of most of the  outstandingly successful women of the generation now in their fifties, who currently serve on  corporate boards: 25 percent are in education and 22 percent are in government, law, and the  nonprofit sector. One organization of women directors is helping business become more responsive to the  changing needs of society by raising the level of corporate awareness about social issues,  such as problems with the economy, government regulation, the aging population, and the  environment. This organization also serves as a resource center of information on  accomplished women who are potential candidates for corporate boards. 

1. The author of the passage would be most likely to agree with which of the following  statements about achievement of the “ideal” mentioned in the passage? 

(A) It has only recently become a possibility. 

(B) It would be easier to meet if more CEO’s were women. 

(C) It is very close to being a reality for most corporate boards. 

(D) It might affect the quality of directors’ service to corporations.

2. All of the following are examples of issues that the organization described in the last  paragraph would be likely to advise corporations on EXCEPT 

(A) long-term inflation 

(B) health and safety regulations 

(C) the energy shortage 

(D) emerging product trends

3. It can be inferred from the passage that, when seeking to appoint new members to a  corporation’s board, the chair traditionally looked for candidates who 

(A) had legal and governmental experience 

(B) had experience dealing with community affairs 

(C) could work easily with other members of the board 

(D) had influential connections outside the business world 

4. The passage suggests that corporations of the past differ from modern corporations in  which of the following ways? 

(A) Corporations had greater input on government policies affecting the business community. 

(B) Corporations were less responsive to the financial needs of their employees. 

(C) The ability of a corporation to keep up with changing markets was not a crucial factor in its success. 

(D) A corporation’s effectiveness in coping with community needs was less likely to affect its  growth and prosperity.

5. Which of the following best describes the organization of the passage? 

(A) A problem is described, and then reasons why various proposed solutions succeeded or  failed are discussed. 

(B) A problem is described, and then an advantage of resolving it is offered. 

(C) A problem is described, and then reasons for its continuing existence are summarized. 

(D) The historical origins of a problem are described, and then various measures that have  successfully resolved it are discussed. 

6. It can be inferred from the passage that all of the following factors make women uniquely  valuable members of modern corporate boards, EXCEPT 

(A) The nature of modern corporations 

(B) The increased number of women CEO’s 

(C) The careers pursued by women currently available to serve on corporate boards 

(D) The cultural context in which they were brought up 

Passage Analysis of today's RC :-

Answers of today's RC :-

RC Practice - 30th June

Because we have so deeply interiorized writing, we find it difficult to consider writing to be an  alien technology, as we commonly assume printing and the computer to be. Most people are  surprised to learn that essentially the same objections commonly urged today against computers  were urged by Plato in the Phaedrus, against writing. Writing, Plato has Socrates say, is inhuman, pretending to establish outside the mind what in  reality can be only in the mind. Secondly, Plato‘s Socrates urges, writing destroys memory.  Those who use writing will become forgetful, relying on external resource for what they lack in  internal resources. Thirdly, a written text is basically unresponsive, whereas real speech and  thought always exist essentially in a context of give-and-take between real persons. Without writing, words as such have no visual presence, even when the objects they represent are  visual. Thus, for most literates, to think of words as totally disassociated from writing is  psychologically threatening, for literates‘ sense of control over language is closely tied to the  visual transformations of language. Writing makes ―words‖ appear similar to things because we  think of words as the visible marks signalling words to decoders, and we have an inability to  represent to our minds a heritage of verbally organized materials except as some variant of  writing. A literate person, asked to think of the word ―nevertheless‖ will normally have some  image of the spelled-out word and be quite unable to think of the word without adverting to the  lettering. Thus the thought processes of functionally literate human beings do not grow out of  simply natural powers but out of these powers as structured by the technology of writing. Without writing, human consciousness cannot achieve its fuller potentials, cannot produce other  beautiful and powerful creations. Literacy is absolutely necessary for the development not only of  science, but also of history, philosophy, explicative understanding of literature and of any art, and  indeed for the explanation of language (including oral speech) itself. Literate users of a  grapholect such as standard English have access to vocabularies hundreds of times larger than  any oral language can manage. Thus, in many ways, writing heightens consciousness.  Technology, properly interiorized, does not degrade human life but enhances it. In the total absence of any writing, there is nothing outside the writer, no text, to enable him or  her to produce the same line of thought again or even verify whether he has done so or not. In  primary oral culture, to solve effectively the problem of retaining and retrieving carefully  articulated thought, you have to do your thinking in mnemonic patterns, shaped for ready oral  recurrence. A judge in an oral culture is often called upon to articulate sets of relevant proverbs  out of which he can produce equitable decisions in the cases under formal litigation under him.  The more sophisticated orally patterned thought is, the more it is likely to be marked by set expressions skilfully used. Among the ancient Greeks, Hesiod, who was intermediate between  oral Homeric Greece and fully developed Greek literacy, delivered quasiphilosophic material in  the formulaic verse forms from which he had emerged. 

Q1). In paragraph 5 of the passage, the author mentions Hesiod in order to: 

A. prove that oral poets were more creative than those who put their verses in written words. 

B. show that some sophisticated expressions can be found among the preliterate ancient Greeks. 

C. demonstrate that a culture that is partially oral and partially literate forms the basis of an ideal  society. 

D. no sophisticated expressions could be found among the pre-literate ancient Greeks. 

Q2). According to the author, an important difference between oral and literate cultures  can be expressed in terms of: 

A. extensive versus limited reliance on memory. 

B. chaotic versus structured modes of thought. 

C. barbaric versus civilized forms of communication.

D. presence and absence of books 

Q3). The author refers to Plato in the first and second paragraphs. He brings the  philosopher up primarily in order to: 

A. provide an example of literate Greek philosophy. 

B. suggest the possible disadvantages of writing. 

C. illustrate common misconceptions about writing. 

D. define the differences between writing and computer technology. 

Q4) Plato viewed writing with disdain because of all but which of the following reasons: 

A. It results in a wrong projection of human ideas in the external world 

B. It lacks the dynamism of human communication 

C. It undermines memory 

D. It brings about a cruel alienation of human from something that is his 

Q5) The passage is primarily concerned with 

A. criticising those who speak against writing‘ 

B. emphasising the importance of writing 

C. documenting the negative effects of writing 

D. discussing how writing has influenced human consciousness

Passage analysis of today's RC :-

Answers of today's RC :-

RC Practice - 1st July

Utilitarian models of the state, subordinating individual rights to a calculus of maximum social welfare, have long been a de facto orthodoxy among political philosophers. Yet they run counter to the basic liberal concept of fairness, which deeply characterizes the intuitive American response to injustice, and provide succor to those who espouse radical solutions to social problems—socialism on the one hand and the new conservatism on the other. Those comfortable with these dogmas should take note of the philosophical revival of the once discarded notion of the social contract. This idea receives its fullest exposition in John Rawls's "A Theory of Justice." Rather than adopt Rousseau's vision of naturalman—a picture almost impossible to conjure up in the face of more recent scientific knowledge—the new contractarians postulate a group of rational men and women gathered for the purpose of elucidating a concept of justice which will guide their affairs. They further assume that these people make their decision behind a veil of ignorance; that is, they are totally ignorant for now of their position in society—their race, their gender, their place in the social order. Yet the principles at which they arrive will bind them once the veil is lifted. Starting from this original position, it can be logically demonstrated that rational beings would arrive at a decision ensuring the maximum possible justice and liberty for even the meanest member of society. Thus, freedom of speech, for example, would be inviolable, whereas the utilitarian could easily justify its abridgment for a greater social good. Second, social and economic inequality, which are the inevitable result of the lottery of birth, should be arranged such that they inhere in offices and stations in life available to all and thus are, by consensus, seen to be to everyone's advantage. Injustice, then, is defined as an unequal distribution of good things, with liberty being first among them. While it can be and has been argued that the blind choosers envisioned by the new contractarians might well choose to gamble on the outcome of the social order, such arguments are ultimately lacking in interest. The point of the contractarian view does not lie in what real people "would" do in an admittedly impossible situation. Rather, it is to provide an abstract model that is intuitively satisfactory because, in fact, it corresponds to the ideas of "fairness" so deeply rooted in the American national psyche. 

1. The author most likely wrote this passage primarily to 

(A) outline and defend a contractarian view of justice 

(B) propose an alternative to radical solutions to social problems 

(C) compare the utilitarian and contractarian theories 

(D) resurrect the idea of the social contract 

2. Which of the following would NOT be classified as the utilitarian way of conducting social affairs, as it has been mentioned in the passage? 

(A) Prohibiting homosexual relationships because they pose a threat to the social fabric 

(B) Revoking free access to education in colleges and schools 

(C) Making vaccination against a communicable disease mandatory 

(D) Implementing a progressive taxation system 

3. Which of the following is an assumption of the contractarian model, as presented by the author? 

(A) The decision makers act before acquiring any place in the social order. 

(B) All members of the contracting group will place a high value on personal liberty. 

(C) Justice can only be secured by ensuring that all positions in the social order have equal power and status. 

(D) The contracting parties will seek to safeguard their own liberties at the expense of the rights of others. 

4. The author implies that a party to the social contract who "chose to gamble on the outcome of the social order" would select a principle of justice 

(A) allowing an unequal access to liberty and other social goods 

(B) based on the greatest possible equalization of both personal freedom and material circumstances 

(C) that explicitly denied inherent inequalities among the members of society 

(D) that valued the benefit of society in the aggregate over the freedom of the individual 

5. It can be inferred that the author feels the ideas of John Rawls are relevant today because 

(A) they present, in contrast to utilitarianism, an ethically-based concept of justice 

(B) they outline a view of justice which results in the maximum possible liberty for all 

(C) utilitarian ideas have led to social philosophies with which the author disagrees 

(D) new evidence has strengthened the idea of the social contract 

Passage anaylsis of today's RC :-

Answers of today's RC :-

RC Practice - 2nd July

Japanese firms have achieved the highest levels of manufacturing efficiency in the world automobile industry. Some observers of Japan have assumed that Japanese firms use the same manufacturing equipment and techniques as United States firms but have benefited from the unique characteristics of Japanese employees and the Japanese culture. However, if this were true, then one would expect Japanese auto plants in the United States to perform no better than factories run by United States companies. This is not the case; Japanese-run automobile plants located in the United States and staffed by local workers have demonstrated higher levels of productivity when compared with factories owned by United States companies. Other observers link high Japanese productivity to higher levels of capital investment per worker. But a historical perspective leads to a different conclusion. When the two top Japanese automobile makers matched and then doubled United States productivity levels in the mid-sixties, capital investment per employee was comparable to that of United States firms. Furthermore, by the late seventies, the amount of fixed assets required to produce one vehicle was roughly equivalent in Japan and in the United States. Since capital investment was not higher in Japan, it had to be other factors that led to higher productivity. A more fruitful explanation may lie with Japanese production techniques. Japanese automobile producers did not simply implement conventional processes more effectively: they made critical changes in United States procedures. For instance, the massproduction philosophy of United States automakers encouraged the production of huge lots of cars in order to utilize fully expensive, component-specific equipment and to occupy fully workers who have been trained to execute one operation efficiently. Japanese automakers chose to make small-lot production feasible by introducing several departures from United States practices, including the use of flexible equipment that could be altered easily to do several different production tasks and the training of workers in multiple jobs. Automakers could schedule the production of different components or models on single machines, thereby eliminating the need to store the buffer stocks of extra components that result when specialized equipment and workers are kept constantly active. 

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to 

(A) present the major steps of a process 

(B) clarify an ambiguity 

(C) chronicle a dispute 

(D) correct misconceptions 

2. The author suggests that if the observers of Japan mentioned in line 2 were correct, which of the following would be the case? 

(A) Japanese workers would be trained to do several different production jobs. (B) Culture would not have an influence on the productivity levels of workers. 

(C) The workers in Japanese-run plants would have higher productivity levels regardless of where they were located. 

(D) The production levels of Japanese-run plants located in the United States would be equal to those of plants run by United States companies. 

3. Which of the following statements concerning the productivity levels of automakers can be inferred from the passage? 

(A) Prior to the 1960’s, the productivity levels of the top Japanese automakers were exceeded by those of United States automakers. 

(B) The culture of a country has a large effect on the productivity levels of its automakers. 

(C) The greater the number of cars that are produced in a single lot, the higher a plant’s productivity level. 

(D) The amount of capital investment made by automobile manufacturers in their factories determines the level of productivity. 

4. Which of the following best describes the organization of the first paragraph? (A) A thesis is presented and supporting examples are provided. 

(B) Opposing views are presented, classified, and then reconciled. 

(C) A fact is stated, and an explanation is advanced and then refuted. (D) A theory is proposed, considered, and then amended. 

5. It can be inferred from the passage that one problem associated with the production of huge lots of cars is which of the following? 

(A) The need to manufacture flexible machinery and equipment 

(B) The need to store extra components not required for immediate use 

(C) The need for expensive training programs for workers, which emphasize the development of facility in several production jobs 

(D) The need to increase the investment per vehicle in order to achieve high productivity levels 

6. With which of the following predictive statement regarding Japanese automakers would the author most likely agree? 

(A) The efficiency levels of the Japanese automakers will decline if they become less flexible in their approach to production. 

(B) United States automakers will originate new production processes before Japanese automakers do. 

(C) Japanese automakers will hire fewer workers than will United States automakers because each worker is required to perform several jobs. 

(D) Japanese automakers will spend less on equipment repairs than will United States automakers because Japanese equipment can be easily altered. 

Answers of today's RC :-

RC Practice - 3rd July

In recent years much attention has been paid to distilling those factors that create a positive  work environment for corporate employees. The goal ultimately is to discover what allows  some companies to foster high employee morale while other companies struggle with poor  productivity and high managerial turnover. Several theories have been posited, but none has  drawn as much interest from the corporate world, or has as much promise, as value  congruence, which measures the "fit" between an employee's values and those of co-workers  and the company itself. The concept of value congruence is generally intuitive – when there is a match between  employee and organization value systems, positive outcomes will result. Although the link  between value congruence and positive organizational outcomes has been firmly established,  until recently it was not clear why this process takes place. Rather than directly causing  positive outcomes, value congruence primarily leads to positive outcomes through the  enhancement of communication and trust between the organization and the employee. Value  Congruence -> Trust + Communication -> Positive Outcomes That is, when value  congruence between an employee and the organization is high, there tends to be high levels  of trust and communication between the two parties. Value congruence can be broken into three main subcategories: person-environment ("P-E"),  person-person ("P-P"), and perceptual fit ("PF"). Person-environment congruence refers to a  harmony between the personal values of the employee and corporate culture of the company  in which he or she works. Someone with a high P-E congruence feels personally in tune with  his company's stated policies and goals. Conversely, someone with a low P-E congruence  feels a sense of disharmony between his own values and the stated policies and goals of his  company. A high P-P congruence indicates a sense of solidarity with one's co-workers in  terms of shared values and goals. A low P-P congruence indicates a sense of isolation from co-workers brought about by an absence of shared values. Finally, strong PF suggests a  strong correspondence between the values that an employee perceives his company to have  (whether or not the company actually does) and the values that his co-workers perceive the  company to have (again, whether or not it actually does). A weak PF implies that an  employee's perception of his company's values differs significantly from that of his co?workers. Research has shown that P-E and PF congruence are important measures of employee  satisfaction, commitment, and likelihood of turnover, although P-P congruence has little  bearing on these parameters. Moreover, PF is especially important in establishing harmonious  relations between workers and managers. These measures give corporations a robust  paradigm on the basis of which to create long-term personnel plans and productivity growth  targets: in particular, P-E and PF congruence allow companies to discover dysfunctional  work relationships and clarify misperceived company policies and goals. With these tools in  hand, companies can look forward to increased employee satisfaction and, ultimately,  improved company performance

1. The passage suggests that perceptual fit congruence would be most useful in determining  which of the following? 

A. whether a company ought to make its policies and goals more transparent 

B. whether a company ought to provide sensitivity training for its management C. whether a company ought to create more opportunities for interaction among workers 

D. whether a company ought to address employee grievances more directly 

2. Which of the following correctly represents the relationship between value-fit, communication and outcomes for a corporate in context of the passage? 

A. lack of communication between employee and organization could be a sign of low value fit 

B. transparency in peer-to-peer communication brings about positive outcomes C. the policy statement of an organization enhances trust in the company and brings about  positive results 

D. there is no way to enhance outcomes for a company without fostering employee trust. 

3. According to the passage, which of the following was a motivation in the creation of the  system of value congruence? 

A. a desire to minimize the liability of upper management for employee dissatisfaction 

B. a desire to help companies to improve their internal harmony 

C. a desire to foster awareness of factors influencing managerial success 

D. a desire to eliminate discrepancies between a company’s goals and the values of its  employees 

4. The primary focus of the passage is on which of the following? 

A. Comparing a new theory of corporate performance to a discredited theory and predicting  the usefulness of the new theory.

B. Illustrating a new approach to measuring employee satisfaction through a detailed analysis  of a particular case. 

C. Challenging an old view of employee commitment and suggesting that a new paradigm is  necessary.

D. Promoting a new method of measuring the likelihood of corporate success by explaining  its benefits 

Answers of today's RC :-