Friday’s GRE Reading Comprehension practice question allowed you to work on your RC skills. Working through practice questions is important, and reviewing the explanations carefully is just as important, so let’s talk about the answer.
The question asks you to determine which answer choice supports a particular argument: that Kanzi uses human language to communicate in abstract ways. You can predict that the correct answer will be an example of Kanzi using language in an abstract way.
A. When asking to be fed, Kanzi uses lexigrams to ask for “the same dinner I ate yesterday.”
Choice (A) is such an example. The passage indicates that “concept words” and expression of the past tense qualify as abstract communication. Referring to yesterday’s dinner, then, is an example of abstract communication, so choice (A) is correct.
B. Kanzi often points to the … Read full post
GRE Reading Comprehension Inference questions are often higher level difficulty questions because they ask you to analyze what you’ve read in a passage in order to find unstated conclusions. This requires strategic reading, paraphrasing, and critical thinking skills.
The question we gave you to try in this week’s practice question entry is an inference question, so you are looking for a statement that is implied by the passage but not explicitly stated.
The Kirov and the Bolshoi ballet companies are credited with the “Russification” of French ballet, so it is safe to infer that their productions included distinctly Russian elements. Thus, choice (A) is the correct answer.
It’s also important to understand why the incorrect answers are wrong, so keep reading.
- Answer choice (B) is not implied by the text. While the passage tells us that some European tourists went to Russia to see the ballet, it does not make
Did any of you get to see the Nutcracker ballet this year? I missed seeing it live, but I got to watch the beautiful Baryshnikov version that I’ve watched since my childhood. I’ve always been a ballet devotee – the skill and elegance, the physical strength and endurance, the beautiful music and costumes – they’re all captivating. My very favorite thing about ballet is…
Okay, who am I kidding? I’m just trying to get you on board with this GRE Reading Comprehension question because I know you need the practice. Everyone does. What’s the connection between ballet and GRE Reading Comprehension? Read on and find out.
GRE Reading Comprehension Practice Question
The earliest histories of the Russian ballet were written in the 18th century by European tourists to Moscow and St. Petersburg. Many of these travelers were drawn from their native Paris, Berlin, or London to see the highly touted … Read full post
What are your feelings on GRE Reading Comprehension? Good, bad, or indifferent, this is an important question type to master for success on the GRE verbal section. If you haven’t yet tried our GRE practice passage, take a look at it now and take a few minutes to answer the questions that we posted along with it. They are the questions you should work through each time you break down a reading comp passage.
Now, let’s talk analysis.
- The TOPIC of this passage, or the broad main idea, is Shirley Jackson’s fiction. GRE passages don’t contain a lot of filler, so you usually see the gist of the topic emerge in the first paragraph, if not in the first sentence.
- The SCOPE of the passage is a more detailed focus within the topic. In this passage, the scope is Jackson’s fictional techniques and how they illustrate her message
It’s always a good time to do some GRE Reading Comprehension practice. Our blog series will provide you with a GRE reading comp passage, and we’ll walk through it step-by-step to allow you to practice and get answers and explanations at each stage. First, we’ll break down this passage before moving on some practice questions. Let’s get started!
Although Shirley Jackson is perhaps best known for her macabre short stories and novels, she was, in fact, a master of several genres and a prolific and varied writer, composing essays, autobiographies, and magazine articles as well as fiction. While Jackson had a vast literary repertoire, however, she tended to use the same types of fictional elements in her stories.
For example, like Flannery O’Connor, another writer renowned for her dissection of genteel society, Jackson often paired hyper-realistic settings with surreal plots to expose the dark underside of Middle America. Many of … Read full post
Let’s practice GRE Reading Comprehension. First, read the passage. When you’re done, jot down a brief paraphrase of the main idea of the passage before going on to the practice questions. Share your answers in the comments, and we’ll post a blog entry with the full explanations in two days. Take your time here, and be sure to use the information in the passage and your passage notes to choose your answers carefully. Good luck!
Spelt is a type of wheat that served as a staple in European diets from the Bronze Age until well into the Middle Ages. Although considered the food of peasants for centuries, spelt has recently received attention as a healthier alternative to other grains, including common wheat. More easily digestible than ordinary wheat or other grains, spelt is also thought to be less likely to cause allergic reactions in individuals who cannot digest … Read full post
Last year, I wrote a series of entries about the critical reasoning problems that were recently added to the GRE. Since it’s been a while, let’s revisit that question type — and check out another aspect of critical thinking that confounds many of you.
Here’s a type of problem that’s caused no end of consternation to a lot of my students:
Residents of this state are obligated to renew their driver’s license in two circumstances only: if they accumulate six or more points in moving violations, or if they obtain citizenship in another country. Clarice, who is a citizen of only this country, has been involved in only one accident, which added three points to her license. Therefore, Clarice has no reason to renew her driver’s license at this time.
The argument above depends on which of the following assumptions?
I’m not going to show you the answer choices … Read full post
In this entry and in this one, I discussed two patterns of reasoning that can help you unravel tough problems in GRE reading comprehension. Today our logical journey continues with a look at a classic GRE reasoning flaw of a more quantitative bent: confusing numbers with percentages.
Here’s a silly argument that showcases the flaw nicely:
Common wisdom holds that crossing the street at a corner is safer than jaywalking (that is, crossing in the middle). But annual statistics show that many more pedestrians are hit by cars while crossing at a corner than while jaywalking. Hence, our common intuition is wrong: pedestrians who jaywalk are actually safer than those who don’t.
Are you convinced? I sure hope not, because if so you’ve just dramatically decreased your life expectancy. This argument supports a claim about safety — which is a matter of percentages — with evidence that deals in … Read full post
When asked recently for a student success story, I immediately thought of Heather (not her actual name). Like a sizable portion of students who come to Kaplan, Heather had already taken the GRE after preparing on her own, and her scores were not high enough. She was a senior in college, with a hefty course load and a time-consuming job in her field that required a lot of travel.
Right from the start of class, Heather and I were in frequent email contact, figuring out how she should structure her study time so she could take her test a couple weeks after the end of a twice a week class. She was a diligent, goal-oriented student.
Her Test Day came, and she fell short of the scores she needed to be considered for the grad program she wanted. Her math score was a little over what she needed, but her … Read full post
Recently a reader asked me to post about strategies for long Reading Comprehension passages and Bolded Statement questions. (Mohamed also asked about vocab strategies, which I will discuss soon. Be sure to see previous vocabulary-related posts from my Kaplan colleagues.)
The Kaplan New GRE Verbal Workbook includes a chapter devoted to Reading Comprehension, as well as sets of practice questions and additional resources. One of these resources is a list of additional tips for tackling the Reading Comprehension section, including Bolded Statements questions. These tips are found on pages 78-80, and I’m going to borrow from them here.
There are differences between real-world reading and reading GRE passages is that on the GRE:
- On Test Day, you don’t care about the facts in the passage — you only care about ideas. A passage might tell you that the character Superman first appeared in 1938. You don’t care what year