Comprehension Solutions 08

 

1. This question asks you to identify the primary focus of the passage. The best answer is B. The author describes the new theoretical model in the first paragraph; in the final paragraph the author states that the data obtained from actual observations, which are discussed in the second and third paragraphs, is consistent with the new theoretical model. Choice A is not correct; the computer model confirmed the astronomers’ hypothesis that meteor streams broaden with time, and although the model yielded an unexpected result, the passage does not contrast the predictions yielded by competing theories. Choice C and D are not correct because the passage makes no reference to further areas for research, and only a single phenomenon is described in the passage. And choice E is not correct because it reverses the order of events. The model yielded a prediction that was subsequently confirmed by observational data, the model was not constructed to explain the data.

 

2. This question asks you to identify an accurate statement about meteor streams. Choice C, the best answer, restates information about the composition of meteor streams from the first sentence of the passage. Choice A is not correct. The passage discusses the influence of planetary gravitation on meteor streams but says nothing about its influence on the orbits of comets. According to the passage, it is planetary gravitation, not the gravitational fields of comets, that causes meteor streams to increase in size, so choice B is not correct. And choice D and E are not correct answers because the passage says nothing about the composition of comets or the role that meteor streams play in their further disintegration.

 

3. This question asks what the author says about the purpose of the research described in the first paragraph. The best answer is D. According to the author, the purpose of the computer-modeling experiment was to test the hypothesis that meteor streams broaden with time. Choice A is not correct; although the observational data described in the last paragraph allowed scientists to estimate the age of the Geminid stream, this data was analyzed to confirm a surprising prediction made by the computer model. This analysis was not part of the original experiment. Choice B is also incorrect. Although the experiment yielded a surprising prediction about a particular feature of meteor streams, the purpose of the experiment was to determine whether meteor streams broaden with time, not to identify the various structural features of meteor streams. Choice C is not correct because the experiment was undertaken to test a general hypothesis about meteor streams. It was not undertaken to explore the nature of any particular meteor stream, and the passage never suggests that the actual meteor streams used in the computer model was “particularly interesting.” Choice E is not correct. Although the computer model did confirm the astronomers’ hypothesis, the purpose of the experiment was not to show that such models are useful.

 

4. This question asks you to make an inference about what would most probably be observed during the Earth’s passage through a meteor stream if the conventional theories mentioned in the passage were correct. According to line 18-20, the conventional theories predicted that the meteor stream would be most dense at the center. The computer model, one the other hand, predicted that a meteor stream would come to resemble a thick-walled, hollow pipe.The passage states that, if the computer model were correct, two peak periods of meteor activity would be observed as the Earth passed through the walls of the “pipe” . According to the passage, observational data confirmed the prediction of the computer model. If, on the other hand, the conventional theories were correct, it can be inferred that a bifurcation of meteor activity would not be observed; instead, it can be inferred that scientists would expect to observe a single peak of meteor activity as the Earth passed through the dense center of the stream. Choice A identifies this single peak of activity as the most likely observation if the conventional theories were correct. Choice B and D are not correct because they describe meteor activity that is either steady or erratic, neither of which is consistent with the conventional theories. Choice C describes meteor activity more in line with the bifurcation predicted by the computer model, rather than the single peak of activity that the conventional theories would suggest. Choice E is incorrect because the passage says that meteor showers occur whenever the Earth passes through a meteor stream; it cannot be inferred that either theory would predict otherwise.

 

5. This question asks for the reason given in the passage for a characteristic feature of meteor streams. According to the passage, the dust particles in a meteor stream eventually surround a comet’s original orbit because of the different velocities at which they are ejected, as stated in choice A, the best answer. Choice B is directly contradicted by information in the passage .The other answer choices re incorrect because the passage does not say that the dust particles become part of the meteor stream at different times, or that their velocity slows over time, or that their ejection velocity is slower than that of the comet.

 

6. This question asks you to identify a prediction that can be derived from both the conventional theories about meteor streams and the new computer-derived model. You must base your answer on information that is suggested by, but not expressly stated in, the passage. According to the passage, the conventional theories hypothesized that meteor streams should broaden with time, and the computer simulation confirmed this hypothesis. The passage also suggests that the time it takes for the Earth to cross a meteor stream (and, by implication, the duration of the resulting meteor shower) is directly related to the breadth of the stream. From these pieces of information, which are supported by both the conventional theories and the new computer-derived theory, it can be inferred that on average the meteor showers caused by older (and therefore broader) meteor streams would be longer in duration than those caused by very young (and therefore narrower) meteor streams, as stated in D, the best answer. Choice A is incorrect because it contradicts the predictions of both the conventional theories (that the particles will be most dense at the center of the stream) and the computer model (that the stream will resemble a thick-walled, hollow pipe). Choice C is also incorrect because it is inconsistent with the conventional theories that suggested the distribution of dust in a meteor stream is denser at the center. And choices B and E are incorrect because the theories discussed in the passage do not suggest anything about the likelihood that the Earth’s orbit will cross that of any particular meteor stream, nor do they suggest anything about the size of the dust particles that compose meteor streams.

 

7. This question asks you to draw an inference from information in the last paragraph of the passage. The best answer is C. According to the passage, the Geminid meteor shower occurs yearly; because meteor showers occur whenever the Earth passes through a meteor stream, one can infer that the Earth crosses the Geminid stream once every year. Choice A is incorrect because the passage provides no information from which to generalize about the age of meteor streams. Choice B, which is directly contradicted by the passage, is also incorrect. Choice D is incorrect. The passage says that the Earth would take just over a day to cross the stream if the stream were 5,000 years old. However, in the next few lines the passage states that in fact an average of only 19 houses elapsed between the time that the Earth entered the stream until the time that it exited, leading researchers to conclude that the stream is only about 3,000 years old. Choice E is incorrect because the passage says only that planetary gravitational fields perturb the orbits of dust particles in a meteor stream; it does not say that the effect of the Earth’s gravitation is greater than that of other planets.

 

8. This question asks you to identify an assumption underlying the last sentence of the passage. In this sentence, the author of the passage draws a conclusion about the age of the Geminid stream. This conclusion is based on two pieces of information. The first is the length of time the Earth would take to cross the computer-model Geminid stream if the stream were 5,000 years old. The second is the actual elapsed time between the two peaks of meteor activity predicted by the computer model .In concluding from this information that the Geminid stream is actually only 3,000 years old, the author is assuming the accuracy of the computer model, as stated in E, the best answer. Choice A is incorrect because the passage says that the time the Earth takes to cross the stream would vary from year to year and that 19 hours was the average time, not the exact time, observed from 1970 to 1979. Choices B and C are incorrect because the passage does not suggest anything about the current state of the comet associated with the Geminid stream or about the expected longevity of the stream. Choices D is incorrect because the computer model is said to confirm the broadening predicted by the conventional theories; the fact that the model projected the positions of the particles in the stream over a 5,000-year period does not suggest that researchers expected the stream to be older (and therefore broader) than it turned out to be.

 

9. This question asks you to determine the main task that the passage is designed to accomplish. The best answer is B. The passage identifies a problem (shareholder’ and manager’ failure to enhance companies’ long-term productivity) in the first paragraph, most pointedly in the last sentence of that paragraph. In the second paragraph, the author recommends certain actions as a means of solving that problem. Choice A is not correct. The author of the passage identifies a problem in the first paragraph, but the author does not compare two different approaches to that problem. Rather, in the second paragraph, the author proposes a single, unified approach to solving the problem. Choice C is incorrect. The author does not defend an established method of institutional shareholding in the United States and recommends a different method in the second paragraph. Choice D is also incorrect. The author describes a situation in the first paragraph but does not provide data or draw any conclusions from data. Choice E is not the correct answer. The author does not compare alternative analyses of the current situation discussed in the passage.

 

10. This question asks you to decide what the passage implies, rather than states directly, about majority shareholders in a corporation. The best answer is C. According to the passage, those individual capitalists who were once majority shareholders in a corporation would not be able to make a quick profit by selling a large amount of stock because such a sale would depress the stock’s value. It can be inferred from the passage that this would be true of any majority shareholders. Choice A is not the correct answer. The passage suggests, that majority shareholders can actively influence a company’s decision-making, but it does not suggest that this influence is equal to the absolute authority suggested by the language of this answer choice. The passage also does not discuss the “operational management decisions” of corporations. Choice B is not correct. The passage does not specify what percent of a corporation’s stock any one shareholder is allowed to own. Choice D is not the correct answer. The author does not imply that majority shareholders are more interested in profits than in productivity. In fact, the author argues the opposite, stating that majority shareholders such as the old-style capitalists concentrated more on long-term productivity than on quick profits. Choice E is also incorrect. The author proposes that shareholders of more than 20 percent of a company’s stock should be required to give advance public notice before a stock sale, but the passage does not suggest that majority shareholders are currently required to do so.

 

11. This question asks you to identify the stated purpose of the author’s suggestion that any institution holding 20 percent or more of a corporation’s stock be required to give the public one day’s notice of the intent to sell that stock. The best answer is C. The purpose of the requirement that institutions holding 20 percent or more of a company’s stock be required to give advance public notice of the sale of that stock is stated :to prevent insititutions from “trading shares at the propitious moment” and to encourage them to concentrate on increasing a company’s productivity. Choice A is incorrect. The suggested requirement that an institution give advance notice of its intent to sell a significant amount of stock tends to discourage institutional stockholders from selling stock they believe will decrease in value since, according to the passage, such an announcement would cause the stock’s value to plummet. Choice B is also incorrect. The author argues that insititutional stockholders should be “encouraged to take a more active role in the operations of the companies in which they invest.” The advance notice requirement discussed is proposed by the author as a means of fostering, not discouraging, institutional stockholders’ participation in the operation of the companies they invest in. Choice D is not the correct answer. The passage does not discuss ownership of company stock by that company’s employees. Choice E is also incorrect. The passage states only that institutions should be allowed to acquire “a dominant shareholding position in a corporation,” but it does not discuss whether investors should diversity their stock holdings by investing in different companies. 

 

12. To answer this question, you must use information contained in the passage to infer something about the “old-style capitalist” referred to. The best answer is B. According to the lines of the passage, the individual capitalists of the past, referred to later in the passage as “old-style” capitalists , could not “sell out for a quick profit” because to do so would depress the value of their stocks. From this statement it can be inferred that someone who typifies the “old-style capitalist” would be unlikely to engage in short-term stock trading. Choice A is incorrect. A comparison between the old-style capitalists and their modern counterparts is made in the passage, but the passage does not express an opinion about whether or not the management techniques used by these capitalists are outdated. Choice C is not the correct answer. The passage does not discuss the investment policies of the corporations in which financial institutions invest. Choice D is also incorrect. According to the passage ,the old-style capitalists were individual investors, not large institutions. While the passage stats that large institutions are affected by anti-trust legislation, it says nothing about whether this legislation affects individual investors. In addition, the passage does not mention anything about how great a role individual investors now play in the stock market. Choice E is also incorrect. The passage states that the old-style capitalists focused on long-term productivity , and hence not on short-term profitability.

 

13. This question asks you to infer, from information stated in the passage, what the author assumes about the companies once controlled by individual capitalists. The best answer is B. The author asserts that individual capitalists “had to concentrate on improving the long-term productivity of their companies.” Then, a bit later, the author identifies improved long-term profitability as a consequence of improved long-term productivity. From this it can be inferred that the author assumes that if the businesses controlled by individual capitalists had improved long-term productivity, they would also have become more profitable. Choice A is not correct. The author does not make any direct comparison between the profitability of past and present corporations. Choice C is not the correct answer. The first sentence of the passage states that most large corporations were once dominated by individual capitalists who owned large portions of the companies’ stock, but the passage does not specify whether many or few people owned the remainder of each company’s stock. Choice D is incorrect. The passage states that the individual capitalists who once dominated large corporations “could not sell out for a quick profits,” but the passage does not indicate whether or not the other shareholders of these corporations were involved in short-term trading of their stock. Choice E is not correct. The passage does not suggest that intuitions owned no stock in most large corporations, only that individual capitalist owned enough stock to dominate these corporations.

 

14. This question asks you to infer, from information stated in the passage, a way in which the role of large institutions as stockholders differs from that of the “old-style capitalist.” The best answer is B. According to the passage, the old-style capitalists were able to play a dominant role in the corporations in which they held stock because they owned enough stock to do so. The passage also states that large institutions are legally barred from owning a majority of a company’s stock. From this it can be inferred that large institutions, because their ability to own stock is limited, do not play as dominant a role in the corporations of which they are stockholders as did the old-style capitalists. Choice A is not correct. The passage does not indicate whether large institutions invest in many companies, few companies, or even just a single company. Choice C is not the correct answer. The passage does not mention brokers or any other parties who might influence the investment choices made by large institutions. Choice D is incorrect. The author notes that an institution’ sale of a large amount of stock would, in fact, decrease the stock’s value. Choice E is not the correct answer. The passage does not suggest any reason why large institutions are attracted to the stock of any particular corporations.

 

15. This question asks you to determine the main purpose served by the second paragraph of the passage in the context of the passage as a whole. The best answer is E. The second paragraph is devoted to the author’s recommendations of certain actions, namely, the adoption of new regulations concerning the holding and selling of stock by institutional investors. Choice A is not the correct answer. The author of the passage identifies a problem-short-term trading done by institutional shareholders-but does so in the first paragraph, not in the second. Choice B is incorrect. In the second paragraph, the author recommends new regulations regarding shareholding by institutions. Although the author mentions some consequences of the suggested regulations, the author clearly views these consequences as desirable. Choice C is not correct. The second paragraph contains suggestions about new ways to regulate shareholding by institutions. Although the author asserts that certain effects would result from the proposed regulations, these effects are not explained. Choice D is not correct. The second paragraph proposes measures to solve the problem presented in the first paragraph, but it simply describes, rather than evaluate, these proposed solutions.

 

16. (D) Illustrating a business strategy by means of a case history.

 

17. (E) emphasizing the development of methods for the mass production and distribution of a new technology.

 

18. (D) VHS prerecorded videotapes were more available than Beta-format tapes.

 

19. (D) Sharing control of the marketing of VHS-format VCR’s.

 

20. (C) The alignment of an automobile manufacturer with a petroleum company to ensure the widespread availability of the fuel required by a new type of engine developed by the manufacturer.

 

21. (A) It makes a general observation to be exemplified.