Verbal Reasoning

You have 40 minutes for this section.

Read each passage and answer the corresponding questions. 10 questions will follow each of the 4 passages, for a total of 40 questions. Choose your answer based on the evidence given in the passage; no outside knowledge is required.

The final two questions in each passage will be analogy questions. Use your knowledge of the passage and the relationships demonstrated within it to arrive at your answer and complete each analogy.

Show Paragraph Numbers

Philosophy/Religion

This passage is adapted from C.S. Lewis’s “Inaugural Lecture from The Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University,” given in 1954. C.S. Lewis had just accepted a newly created position within Cambridge University.

Speaking from a newly founded Chair, I find myself freed from one embarrassment only to fall into another. I have no great predecessors to overshadow me; on the other hand, I must try (as the theatrical people say) "to create the part.” The responsibility is heavy. If I miscarry, the University might come to regret not only my election—an error which, at worst, can be left to the great healer—but even, which matters very much more, the foundation of the Chair itself. That is why I have thought it best to take the bull by the horns and devote this lecture to explaining as clearly as I can the way in which I approach my work, my interpretation of the commission you have given me.

What most attracted me in that commission was the combination “Medieval and Renaissance.” I thought that by this formula the University was giving official sanction to a change which has been coming over historical opinion within my own lifetime. It is temperately summed up by Professor Seznec in the words: "As the Middle Ages and the Renaissance come to be better known, the traditional antithesis between them grows less marked." Some scholars might go further than Professor Seznec, but very few, I believe, would now oppose him.

From the formula "Medieval and Renaissance,” then, I inferred that the University was encouraging my own belief that the barrier between those two ages has been greatly exaggerated, if indeed it was not largely a figment of Humanist propaganda. At the very least, I was ready to welcome any increased flexibility in our conception of history. All lines of demarcation between what we call "periods" should be subject to constant revision. Would that we could dispense with them altogether! As a great Cambridge historian has said: "Unlike dates, periods are not facts. They are retrospective conceptions that we form about past events, useful to focus discussion, but very often leading historical thought astray."

The actual temporal process, as we meet it in our lives (and we meet it, in a strict sense, nowhere else) has no divisions, except perhaps those “blessed barriers between day and day,” our sleeps. Change is never complete, and change never ceases. Nothing is ever quite finished with; it may always begin over again. And nothing is quite new; it was always somehow anticipated or prepared for. But unhappily we cannot as historians dispense with periods. We cannot hold together huge masses of particulars without putting into them some kind of structure. Still less can we arrange a term's work or draw up a lecture list.

Thus we are driven back upon periods. All divisions will falsify our material to some extent; the best one can hope is to choose those which will falsify it least. But because we must divide, to reduce the emphasis on any one traditional division must, in the long run, mean an increase of emphasis on some other division. If we do not put the Great Divide between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, where should we put it? I ask this question with the full consciousness that, in the reality studied, there is no Great Divide. There is nothing in history that quite corresponds to a coastline or a watershed in geography.

About everything that could be called "the philosophy of history" I am a desperate skeptic. I know nothing of the future, not even whether there will be any future. I don't know whether past history has been necessary or contingent. I don't know whether the human tragi-comedy is now in Act I or Act V; whether our present disorders are those of infancy or of old age. I am merely considering how we should arrange or schematize those facts—ludicrously few in comparison with the totality which survive to us (often by accident) from the past. I am less like a botanist in a forest than a woman arranging a few cut flowers for the drawing room. So, in some degree, are the greatest historians. We can't get into the real forest of the past; that is part of what the word past means.

  1. In the passage, the author is primarily concerned with
  2. Which lines in the passage best support the answer to the previous question?
  3. What does the author mean in Paragraph 1, Sentence 2, when he states that he must try “to create the part”?
  4. In the first paragraph, the author admits he is concerned that his failure in his new role might mean the university would
  5. Based on the passage, the author views historical periods as
  6. The only exception that the author makes to the lack of divisions in our lives is
  7. Based on this passage, the author feels that the line between the Renaissance and Medieval periods
  8. The passage concludes with
  9. Medieval : Renaissance ::
  10. Teaching history : historical periods ::
Show Paragraph Numbers

Natural Science

This passage is adapted from George Stanciu’s “Wonder & Love: How Scientists Neglect God and Man.”

In a classic study at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lettvin, Maturana, McCulloch, and Pitts inserted tiny electrodes into a living frog’s optic nerve so that they could measure the electrical impulses traveling to the frog’s brain. Using this technique, the researchers formed a good picture of what the frog sees. They found that when a small object is brought into the frog’s field of vision and left immobile, the frog’s eye sends electrical impulses to the brain for a few minutes, but then ceases to do so. After a short time, then, the object is no longer there, as far as the frog is concerned. The reason for this disappearance is that the frog’s retina is designed to detect small moving objects. If a small object ceases to move in the frog’s field of vision, the retina cancels it out of the frog’s world. The researchers concluded that a frog cannot see a fly as such; it sees only small moving objects.

Ethologist Jacob von Uexküll, among the first to document the remarkable specificity of animal perception, discovered that a jackdaw is unable to see a grasshopper that is not moving: “A jackdaw simply does not know the shape of a motionless grasshopper and is so constituted that it can only apprehend the moving form.” This explains why so many insects feign death. The motionless form of an insect does not exist in the field of vision of frogs, birds, and snakes, so by shamming death, insects drop out of their prey’s world and cannot be found even if searched for.

Primates, considered the most intelligent of animals, also do not perceive what things are. Primatologist Wolfgang Kohler reports on the narrow perception of chimpanzees. He tested them with primitive stuffed toys on wooden frames padded with straw sewn inside cloth covers with black buttons for eyes. Kohler discovered that he could not get his normally docile chimpanzees near these small toys, which bore little resemblance to any kind of animal. The chimpanzees went into paroxysms of terror and threatened recklessly to bite his fingers when he tried to draw them towards the toys. The chimps perceived the shape, size, color, and design of the stuffed toys but could not see what they were—harmless cloth and wood. Psychologist Francine Patterson discovered the same thing while training her female gorilla Koko: “Although Koko has never seen a real alligator, she is petrified of toothy stuffed or rubber facsimiles. I have exploited Koko’s irrational fear of this reptile by placing toy alligators in parts of the trailer I don’t want her to touch.”

Because animals do not grasp what things are, their innate responses are keyed to a few external stimuli. To picture the impoverished perceptual life of an animal is extraordinarily difficult. We perceive the what and the why of things, substances and causes. Only extreme and rare pathology can cause the perceptual life of a human being to approximate that of an animal. From the scientific study of animal perception, Uexküll concludes that an animal’s world is not the world we see at all, but more closely resembles “a small, poorly furnished room.”

Of all the natural creatures, only human beings can grasp a whole. A frog cannot see the iridescent, filigreed wing of a fly, nor can the fly see the glistening head and jet black eyes of the frog. A ten-year-old boy seated on the bank of the pond can take in the frog and the fly, can see the puffy white clouds racing across the blue sky, and can feel the warm spring breeze. Without the presence of a human being, the scene does not exist.

We know from experience that human sensory perception is not limited to rigid categories of utility. Without human beings, the universe would be a drama played before an empty theater and thus would be pointless. Nature, without human beings, would be like a superb book with no reader. Remove humankind from nature and you erase the perception of all its wonder, its beauty, and its mystery—the world becomes meaningless.

The following is data collected by a set of researchers who were trying to replicate the MIT study of frogs’ perception of motionless or moving insects.

Length of Time Frogs' Perceptual Systems Sent Electrical Impulses to Brain
ExperimentTrial 1Trial 2Trial 3Trial 4
Experiment 1 (motionless insect)2 minutes3 minutes2 minutes 30 seconds2 minutes
Experiment 2 (moving insect)10 minutes10 minutes10 minutes10 minutes
  1. The author most likely views nature as
  2. Which lines in the passage best support the answer to the previous question?
  3. The passage opens with
  4. Which of the following is NOT a main topic of the passage?
  5. In Paragraph 3, Sentence 3, the word “primitive” most closely means
  6. The passage indicates that when Francine Patterson discovered Koko was afraid of toy alligators, she
  7. What does the author mean in Paragraph 5, Sentence 4, when he states that “Without the presence of a human being, the scene does not exist”?
  8. Based on the information from the passage and table, which of the following likely occurs after 10 minutes in each trial of the experiment?
  9. Animal perception : human perception ::
  10. Nature : beauty ::
Show Paragraph Numbers

Literature

This passage is adapted from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “White Nights,” translated by Constance Garnett. “White Nights” was first published in 1848.

I came back to the town very late, and it had struck ten as I was going towards my lodgings. My way lay along the canal embankment, where at that hour you never meet a soul. It is true that I live in a very remote part of the town. I walked along singing, for when I am happy I am always humming to myself like every happy man who has no friend or acquaintance with whom to share his joy. Suddenly I had a most unexpected adventure.

Leaning on the canal railing stood a woman with her elbows on the rail; she was apparently looking with great attention at the muddy water of the canal. She was wearing a very charming yellow hat and a jaunty little black mantle. "She's a girl, and I am sure she is dark," I thought. She did not seem to hear my footsteps, and did not even stir when I passed by with bated breath and loudly throbbing heart.

"Strange," I thought; "she must be deeply absorbed in something," and all at once I stopped as though petrified. I heard a muffled sob. Yes! I was not mistaken, the girl was crying, and a minute later I heard sob after sob. Good Heavens! My heart sank. And timid as I was with women, yet this was such a moment . . . I turned, took a step towards her, and should certainly have pronounced the word "Madam!" if I had not known that that exclamation has been uttered a thousand times in every Russian society novel. It was only that reflection that stopped me. But while I was seeking for a word, the girl came to herself, looked round, started, cast down her eyes, and slipped by me along the embankment. I at once followed her; but she, divining this, left the embankment, crossed the road and walked along the pavement. I dared not cross the street after her. My heart was fluttering like a captured bird. All at once a chance came to my aid.

Along the same side of the pavement there suddenly came into sight, not far from the girl, a gentleman in evening dress, of dignified years, though by no means of dignified carriage; he was staggering and cautiously leaning against the wall. The girl flew straight as an arrow, with the timid haste one sees in all girls who do not want any one to volunteer to accompany them home at night, and no doubt the staggering gentleman would not have pursued her, if my good luck had not prompted him.

Suddenly, without a word to any one, the gentleman set off and flew full speed in pursuit of my unknown lady. She was racing like the wind, but the staggering gentleman was overtaking—overtook her. The girl uttered a shriek, and . . . I bless my luck for the excellent knotted stick, which happened on that occasion to be in my right hand. In a flash I was on the other side of the street; in a flash the obtrusive gentleman had taken in the position, had grasped the irresistible argument, fallen back without a word, and only when we were very far away protested against my action in rather vigorous language. But his words hardly reached us.

"Give me your arm," I said to the girl. "And he won't dare to annoy us further."

She took my arm without a word, still trembling with excitement and terror. Oh, obtrusive gentleman, how I blessed you at that moment! I stole a glance at her; she was very charming and dark—I had guessed right.

On her black eyelashes there still glistened a tear—from her recent terror or her former grief—I don't know. But there was already a gleam of a smile on her lips. She too stole a glance at me, faintly blushed and looked down.

  1. Where do the events of the passage take place?
  2. The passage tells the story of
  3. When the narrator first notices the woman, he
  4. It can be inferred from the passage that the narrator
  5. Why does the narrator attack the gentleman in the passage?
  6. As used in Paragraph 4, Sentence 1, the phrase “dignified years” most closely means
  7. Over the course of the passage, it becomes apparent that the man takes action on behalf of the young woman
  8. Which lines in the passage provide the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
  9. Knotted stick : the narrator ::
  10. Staggering gentleman : the girl ::

Historical/Founding Documents

Passage 1 is adapted from H.R. James's translation of The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius, originally written in the sixth century. In this passage, Philosophy appears to Boethius as a woman and talks to him about the state of current thought and the human mind. Passage 2 is adapted from William Graham Sumner’s "The Challenge of Facts," first published in 1914.

Passage 1 Show Paragraph Numbers

Do you think that now, for the first time in an evil age, Wisdom has been assailed by peril? Did I not often in days of old, before my servant Plato lived, wage stern warfare with the rashness of folly? In his lifetime, too, Socrates, his master, won with my aid the victory of an unjust death. And when, one after the other, the Epicurean herd, the Stoic, and the rest, each of them as far as they could, went to seize the heritage he left, and were dragging me off protesting and resisting, as their booty, they tore in pieces the garment which I had woven with my own hands, and, clutching the torn pieces, went off, believing that the whole of me had passed into their possession.

And some of them, because some traces of my vesture were seen upon them, were destroyed through the mistake of the lewd multitude, who falsely deemed them to be my disciples. It may be that you do not know of the banishment of Anaxagoras, of the poison draught of Socrates, nor of Zeno's torturing, because these things happened in a distant country. These men were brought to destruction for no other reason than that, settled as they were in my principles, their lives were a manifest contrast to the ways of the wicked.

Though the host of the wicked is many in number, yet is it contemptible, since it is under no leadership, but is hurried here and there at the blind driving of mad error. But we from our vantage ground, safe from all this wild work, laugh to see them making prize of the most valueless of things, protected by a bulwark which aggressive folly may not aspire to reach.

Passage 2 Show Paragraph Numbers

It is by strenuous exertion only that each one of us can sustain himself against the destructive forces and the ever recurring needs of life; and the higher the degree to which we seek to carry our development, the greater is the proportionate cost of every step.

For help in the struggle we can only look back to those in the previous generation who are responsible for our existence. In the competition of life, the son of wise and prudent ancestors has immense advantages over the son of vicious and imprudent ones. The man who has capital possesses immeasurable advantages for the struggle of life over him who has none. The more we break down privileges of class, or industry, and establish liberty, the greater will be the inequalities and the more exclusively will the vicious bear the penalties. Poverty and misery will exist in society just so long as vice exists in human nature.

Some, however, step over such facts with a genial platitude, a consoling commonplace, or a gratifying dogma. The effect is to spread an easy optimism, under the influence of which people spare themselves trouble and reflection, which are hard things, and to admit the necessity for which would be to admit that the world is not all made smooth and easy, for us to pass through it surrounded by love, music, and flowers. Under this philosophy, "progress" has been represented as a steadily increasing and unmixed good; as if the good steadily encroached on the evil without involving any new and other forms of evil; and as if we could plan great steps in progress in our academies, and then realize them by resolution.

  1. In Passage 1, Philosophy indicates she believes Socrates was put to death primarily because
  2. Which lines in Passage 1 best support the answer to the previous question?
  3. In Passage 1, Philosophy states that she has
  4. The author of Passage 2 views common conceptions of “progress” with
  5. As used in Paragraph 2, Sentence 4 of Passage 2, the word “bear” most nearly means
  6. In the third paragraph of Passage 2, the author indicates that many people
  7. Which of the following best describes the difference in how the two passages conclude?
  8. Unlike the author of Passage 1, the author of Passage 2 uses the term “philosophy” to designate a
  9. Anaxagoras : the wicked ::
  10. Predecessors : modern struggles ::
Next Up - Grammar/Writing!

Grammar/Writing

You have 35 minutes for this section.

Read each of the 4 passages in this section and answer the corresponding questions (40 total). Each question will ask you to either correct an error or suggest an improvement in the passage. If no change is necessary, select the option "NO CHANGE."

Note: Most questions correspond to a numbered portion of the passage. In these questions, answer choices represent alternatives that could be substituted for the numbered portion. Select the best answer choice out of the given options.

Philosophy/Religion

This passage is adapted from Dwight Longenecker’s "Beauty or Bloodshed."

Dostoevsky famously wrote that “Beauty will save the world.” Yes, but how? Beauty opens the door to the transcendent. When we apprehend beauty, we become aware of all that is [41] bigger better, and more beautiful than we are. We love the beauty of nature, of a newborn child, of art, music, poetry, and liturgy [42] because the beauty opens the door to the sacred. If life is lowered to the utilitarian, the efficient, and the cost-effective, then there is no room for the transcendent. There is no budget for beauty. As a monk friend once [43] will exclaim to me with some anguish, “Oh, the vulnerability of beauty in a world of useful things!”

It is important for our churches, our music, and our liturgy to be beautiful because it is there in the liturgy that we are meant to apprehend not only the beauty, but the sacred life that is behind, in, and through all the physical things that we deem beautiful. In fact, to maintain the ideal of beauty in a world of useful things may be one of the few points of genuine usefulness and relevance in our technologically-driven utopia. If we do not [44] revere and restore beauty, then how can the world be saved?

To understand Dostoevsky’s thought more fully, it is useful to contemplate a world without beauty. When everything is reduced to utilitarian purpose, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness, then what is lost is not only beauty, but the sacred heart of everything. If a tree, [45] however, is not revered for [46] its’ innate beauty and the sacredness of the life of the forest, and if it is merely viewed as an obstacle to a commercial development or as a commodity to be exploited, then we will quite happily, in Saruman-esque fashion, fell the forests. If we extrapolate our attitude about the trees, and apply it to our neighbor, we will soon see that if we do not regard each person as sacred and transcendent in his beauty, then we might as well annihilate our neighbor in the same way that we [47] knock some stuff down.

If you do not regard a thing as sacred, [48] than you will not mind killing it. The choice, therefore, is between beauty and bloodshed. Consider the twentieth century: Why the genocide of Jews and gypsies, the starvation of millions, the trampling of children, the destruction of the disabled, and the devastation of the environment? Why the destruction of churches and monasteries and the construction of concrete bunkers? Because the murderers and maniacs revered only the five-year plan, the efficiency data, and the imposition of the utilitarian utopia. They did not consider the things they killed to be beautiful, transcendent, and sacred. Because there was [49] anything eternal, no heaven to win, no hell to fear, no soul that lives, and no beauty that is sacred, then the natural world, civilized society, and the people in it were no better than weeds to be pulled and vermin to be exterminated.

Consequently, something like [50] beautiful church architecture can be more than an exercise in ecclesiastical aestheticism. It can help keep the lamp of beauty alive in a world of useful things. It is important to do so, for if beauty dies, we all die.

  1. bigger better, and more beautiful
  2. The writer is considering deleting the underlined portion. Should the writer go through with this deletion?
  3. will exclaim
  4. revere and restore
  5. however
  6. its’
  7. knock some stuff down
  8. than
  9. anything
  10. beautiful church architecture

Historical Profile

This passage is adapted from Helen Macdonald’s “The tale of a spymaster and his avian double."

This is the story of Maxwell [51] Knight—the man called M, and a cuckoo called Goo. Knight was a tall, patrician British intelligence officer in charge [52] of MI5 departments dealing with counter-subversion on home ground. From the 1930s to the end of the [53] Second World War Knight placed agents in organizations such as the British Union of Fascists and the Communist Party of Great Britain.

After the war ended, Knight began a second career as a BBC radio naturalist. This new and much-loved Knight was an avuncular, tweed-clad expert, a regular fixture on programs such as Country Questions, The Naturalist, and Nature Parliament. From a clandestine career to an audience of millions, agent-runner to family naturalist, Knight appeared to have had a spectacular change of identity. But the worlds of naturalist and spy were closer than one might think. In his MI5 communications, Knight had once recommended that agents should be taught “when, where, and how to take notes, memory training and accurate description.” And on the radio he [54] made sure that the program ran smoothly and efficiently.

But it is Knight’s animals that are most [55] renowned to this story. He shared his London flat with a bear cub, a baboon, vipers, lizards, monkeys, exotic birds, and rats. Writers on Knight are fascinated by his animal-keeping, but the animals themselves are always treated as ciphers: we are never [56] gived an inkling of his motives for keeping them, apart from the animals being, perhaps, a kind of camouflage or misdirection. In the words of the literary critic Patricia Craig, they helped to gain him a reputation for eccentricity, certainly an asset in the devious world of MI5, where a lot depends on your ability to keep things dark, to impress your associates, and to spring surprises. But Knight’s animals were no simple camouflage.

[57] Including his own exotic pets, Knight championed the keeping of British wildlife. In his book Taming and Handling Animals (1959), he described them as “infinitely more instructive than creatures from far-away climes.” This sentiment is much in keeping with the sensibilities of the period, for, during the war, British wildlife had become firmly embedded in myths of national identity. As invasion anxiety and spy-fever swept the nation, concerns about allegiance and patriotic identity rapidly colonized both popular and scientific understandings of wildlife.

The boundaries between Knight and his animals were always [58] watched closely for any breaking of barriers, just as they were with his agents. In both cases, the aim was a familiar, expert, yet distanced, knowledge. However, Knight’s distanced model of animal-keeping ran into trouble when he decided to raise a cuckoo. It was a species for which Knight had a special regard. It’s not difficult to see why. Cuckoos doubled not only as symbols of deep and abiding Englishness (their spring arrivals noted each year in the letters page of The Times), but also of suspicion, mystery, and deceit. They laid their eggs in other birds’ nests and their newly hatched chicks, after ejecting the eggs and chicks of their hosts, were raised by foster-parents that seemed quite unaware of the deception played upon them.

In A Cuckoo in the House (1955), Knight tells the story of how he [59] jumped at the chance to rescue a cuckoo. He’d wanted to hand-rear a cuckoo for years. Why? Because they are interesting, he explained, and because they are familiar, but not well-known. Though everyone knows the cuckoo’s call, he continued, the bird itself was “not thoroughly understood.” It is “mysterious,” he explained, with evident relish.

A Cuckoo in the House ends, of course, with the defection of Knight’s avian agent. Young cuckoos migrate to Africa. Flying free in Knight’s garden, Goo returned to his handler less and less [60] frequent. Knight attached a numbered ring to the bird’s leg to identify it, should it return the following spring, and when Goo left for Africa, Knight mourned his loss. The cuckoo, he said, was “the most fascinating bird pet” he had ever owned. Of course it was: he identified with it hugely, saw it mostly as himself.

  1. Knight—the man called M, and
  2. of
  3. Second World War Knight
  4. Which of the following examples would best complete the sentence?
  5. renowned
  6. gived
  7. Including
  8. watched closely for any breaking of barriers
  9. jumped at the chance
  10. frequent

Natural Science

This passage is adapted from Roberta Kwok’s “One invading tree at a time, mountain meadows disappear.”

On a summer afternoon, the scene near the top of Washington’s Sauk Mountain appears [61] utter serene. Open meadows sweep downward, overrun with wildflowers and humming with snowberry checkerspot and silvery blue butterflies. In the distance, the Sauk River [62] curve around the base of the Cascade Range.

But these mountain meadows are the [63] site of a hostile invasion. On both sides of the slope, dark clumps of trees hem in the landscape. Some scientists worry that pines, firs, and mountain hemlocks will eventually take over the vibrant green vistas prized by hikers and home to a rich assembly of plants and animals. Meadows might vanish—and be replaced with forest.

A 2012 study led [64] over forest ecologist Harold Zald at Oregon State University in Corvallis showed that trees have expanded from 8 percent to 35 percent of the meadow area in part of Oregon’s Central Cascade Mountains over the past six decades. At two ridges in Canada’s Rocky Mountains, the average meadow size shrank by 78 percent from the 1950s to 1990s. Pines and larches are creeping into meadows in the European Alps too, [65] however a 2009 meta-analysis led by the biologist Melanie Harsch, then at Lincoln University in New Zealand, suggested that treelines have advanced to higher altitudes or latitudes at about half of surveyed sites worldwide.

The advance of forests would be a blow to biodiversity. In the United States’ Pacific Northwest region, subalpine meadows host asters, buttercups, lupines, cow parsnip, bistort, and Indian paintbrush. [66] American pikas forage for grasses and forbs, and bears feast on berries. Some animals need both forest and [67] meadow, deer can rest and take cover among the trees, then wander into meadows to graze.

In the 1990s, Charlie Halpern, an ecologist at the University of Washington, and a colleague studied tree invasions at 17 meadow sites in Oregon’s Cascade Range. Tree growth in north-facing subalpine meadows [68] were linked to warmer periods with lighter or early-melting snow. But in lower-elevation meadows, the invasion was also partly due to a decrease in grazing sheep, which trample and eat seedlings. At shrinking meadows in Canada’s Rocky Mountains, researchers chalk up tree establishment to a combination of climate change and fire suppression. Normally, regular fires kill newly sprouted trees.

The march of trees can quickly trample meadow-dwelling plants. In a 2007 study, Halpern’s team surveyed meadows invaded by lodgepole pines and grand firs at Bunchgrass Ridge in Oregon and found that forest herbs took over the ground cover within 60 to 80 years of the trees’ arrival. Trees might have changed local growth conditions to favor forest-dwelling species—for example, by [69] shielding life forms from the sun and tweaking the makeup of the ground they grow in.

Cutting down trees is “a losing battle”: even if they were removed, other plants could also advance up the mountain and displace meadow species. Whether it makes sense to freeze landscapes in time is another question. The boundaries between forest and meadow have ebbed and flowed for thousands of years.

A pair of black-and-white photos of Mount Rainier’s Paradise meadows illustrates [70] change. In the first picture, taken in 1929, a woman in a jaunty bowler hat stands grinning in front of an open field. In the second, taken six decades later in the same spot, dozens of small trees crowd the walking path.

  1. utter serene
  2. curve
  3. site
  4. over
  5. however
  6. The writer is considering inserting the following sentence here:

    Butterflies and bees depend on those flowers.

    Should the writer make this insertion?

  7. meadow, deer
  8. were
  9. shielding life forms from the sun and tweaking the makeup of the ground they grow in
  10. change

Modern/Influential Thinkers

This passage is adapted from Joseph Ratzinger, “The Feelings of Things, the Contemplation of Beauty.”

The consciousness that beauty has something to do with pain was present in the Greek world. For example, Plato's Phaedrus contemplates the encounter with beauty as the salutary emotional shock that makes man leave his shell and sparks his “enthusiasm” by attracting him to what is other than himself. [71] Man, says Plato, has lost the original perfection that was conceived for him. He is now perennially searching for the healing primitive form. Nostalgia and longing impel him to pursue the [72] quest, beauty prevents him from being content with just daily life. It causes him to suffer.

In a Platonic sense, we could say that the arrow of nostalgia pierces man, wounds him, and in this way gives him wings, lifting him upwards towards the transcendent. The beautiful wounds, but this is exactly how it summons man to his final destiny. What Plato said has nothing to do with superficial aestheticism and irrationalism or with the flight from clarity and the importance of reason. The beautiful is knowledge, but in a superior form, since it arouses man to the real greatness of the truth. To move from here [73] to disdain or to reject the impact produced by the response of the heart in the encounter with beauty as a true form of knowledge would [74] improvise us. We must rediscover this form of knowledge; it is a pressing need of our time.

The encounter with the beautiful can become the wound of the arrow that strikes the heart and in this way opens our eyes, so that later, from this experience, we take the criteria for judgment and can correctly evaluate the arguments. For me, an unforgettable experience was the Bach concert that Leonard Bernstein [75] conducts in Munich after the sudden death of Karl Richter. I was sitting next to the Lutheran Bishop Hanselmann. When the last note of one of the great Thomas-Kantor-Cantatas triumphantly faded away, [76] we looked spontaneously, each at the other, and said: “Anyone who has heard this, knows that the faith is true.” The music had such an extraordinary force of reality that we realized, no longer by deduction, but by the impact on our hearts, that it could not have originated from nothingness, but could only have come to be through the power of the Truth that became real in the [77] composers inspiration.

Now, however, we still have to respond to an objection. We have already rejected the assumption which claims that what has just been said is [78] not smart. Rather, it is the opposite that is true: this is the very way in which reason is freed from dullness and made ready to act.

[79] Today another objection has even greater weight. The message of beauty is thrown into complete doubt by the power of falsehood, seduction, violence, and evil. Can the beautiful be genuine, or, in the end, is it only an illusion? Isn't reality perhaps basically evil? The fear that in the end it is not the arrow of the beautiful that leads us to the truth, but that falsehood, all that is ugly and vulgar, may constitute the true "reality" has at all times caused people anguish.

This objection, which seemed reasonable enough when one realized all the atrocities of history, shows that in any case a purely [80] harmony concept of beauty is not enough. A beauty that is deceptive and false does not bring human beings out of themselves, but indeed locks them entirely into themselves. Such beauty does not reawaken a longing for the Ineffable, readiness for sacrifice, the abandonment of self, but instead stirs up the desire, the will for power, possession, and pleasure.

  1. The writer is considering inserting the following sentence here:

    Aristotle also wrote often about beauty.

    Should the writer make this insertion?

  2. quest, beauty
  3. to disdain or to reject
  4. improvise
  5. conducts
  6. we looked spontaneously, each at the other,
  7. composers
  8. not smart
  9. The writer wants to combine the two underlined sentences. Which choice best accomplishes this?
  10. harmony
Next Up - Quantitative Reasoning!

Quantitative Reasoning

You have 45 minutes for this section.

Answer each of the questions to your best ability (40 total).

You may not use a calculator for the math portion of this exam. Keep in mind that accompanying figures are NOT necessarily drawn to scale. You may use any of the following formulas to help you in your calculations.

  • Area of a circle = πr2, where r is the radius of the circle
  • Circumference of a circle = 2πr, where r is the radius of the circle
  • There are 360 degrees in a circle.
  • There are 2π radians in a circle.
  • Volume of a sphere = 43πr3, where r is the radius of the sphere
  • Surface area of a sphere = 4πr2, where r is the radius of the sphere
  • Area of a rectangle = length × width
  • Area of a triangle = 1 2 (base × height)
  • The sum of the measures of the interior angles of a triangle is 180°.
  • Pythagorean theorem (for a right triangle): If a, b, and c are the side lengths of the triangle, and c is the hypotenuse, then a2 + b2 = c2.
  • Trigonometry:
    • sin θ = opposite hypotenuse
    • cos θ = adjacent hypotenuse
    • tan θ = opposite adjacent
    • csc θ = 1 sin θ
    • sec θ = 1 cos θ
    • cot θ = 1 tan θ
    • tan θ = sin θ cos θ
    • sin2θ + cos2θ = 1
  1. Josephine’s ice cream shop always makes sure its sundaes maintain a ratio of 4:1 of ice cream to toppings. A group of friends orders sundaes and receives 5 cups of ice cream total. How many cups of toppings, total, did they receive?

  2. A family is packing for a move. They put all of their clothing into boxes that are 12 inches wide, 24 inches long, and 20 inches high. If their shipping container is 3 feet wide, 6 feet long, and 5 feet high, how many boxes can they fit inside it?

  3. A given circle has a circumference of x units and an area of x square units. Which of the following statements must be true?

  4. A scientist arrives at her lab only to find that 24 out of 250 samples have been improperly stored. If she is able to salvage 12 of the improperly stored samples, what percent of the total number of samples was she not able to salvage?

  5. For a given angle θ, sin θ = 1. What is cos θ?

  6. A bookstore decides to divide its space into three sections: nonfiction books, novels, and stationery. The bookstore wants to devote 1 6  of its space to stationery. If the total area of the bookstore is 288 square feet, and the stationery section will be 12 feet long, how wide will the stationery section be?

  7. What is the slope of the line 3x + 4y = 1?

  8. What is the next term in the following sequence?
    1 5 , 1 15 , 1 45 , …

  9. An isosceles triangle has one angle that measures 112°. What are the measures of its other angles?

  10. If a  ψ  b = a2 - 2b, then which of the following yields the largest value?

  11. Javier’s parents buy him a gridded mat, shown below. When he steps on any one of the boxes in the grid, that box and all eight adjacent boxes light up (or, if the box is on the edge, as many boxes as are adjacent). If Javier steps on A3 and A5, and at the same time his younger sister Sofia steps on C6 and C7, how many boxes are left unlit?


  12. A line in the (x,y) coordinate plane has a slope of 3. If the line is rotated 180°, what is the slope of the new line?

  13. How many numbers between 1 and 40 (inclusive) meet both of the conditions given in the statements below?

    Statement 1: The number is divisible by 2.
    Statement 2: Every digit of the number is prime.

  14. The expression 10(c + 2) is equivalent to which of the following?

  15. In the triangle below, the hypotenuse is 17 inches long, and BC is 8 inches long. What is cos A?


  16. If the circumference of a circle is represented by , which of the following expressions represents the area of that circle?

  17. Which of the following is the solution for the inequality |x – 5| > 7?

  18. A physicist is conducting experiments on the properties of light. The equipment that he uses projects two beams of light from a single source, forming an isosceles triangle with the wall (pictured below). He measures the angles formed in the triangle and collects the data.
    Light Source and Wall
    After performing some analysis, the physicist concludes that every isosceles triangle contains only acute angles.

    Which of the following is a counterexample that disproves the above statement?

  19. Which of the following is perpendicular to the line that passes through (3, 7) and (2, 2)?

  20. A summer camp takes a bus to the zoo. The first leg of the journey is 42 miles. The next leg of the journey is half the length of the first leg, plus an additional 9 miles. The final leg of the journey should have been 1 3  the length of the second leg, but the bus had to make a detour that added an additional 3 miles to the whole journey. How many miles did the bus travel in total, from start to finish, to get to the zoo?

  21. The perimeter of a rectangle is given by 4x + 5 units. One of the sides measures x units. Find the area of the rectangle, in square units.

  22. Which of the following is equivalent to e53 + e2 ?

  23. A regular hexagon has one side measuring 2 inches. What is the area of the hexagon, in square inches?

  24. An explorer discovers a new type of cat with purple and white stripes. Every cat with purple and white stripes also has a brown nose. If a cat does not have a brown nose, then which of the following is true?

  25. Which of the following is always true for the positive integers x and y, if x > y?

  26. An isosceles triangle has two sides that each measure 10 inches. What is the area of that triangle, in square inches?

  27. A group of three coaches is trying to determine who should get which practice field at the high school. All practices are held at the same time. Marta, the field hockey coach, and Russell, the soccer coach, each need a field with painted lines. Shreyas, the cross country coach, and Russell each need a grass field, while Marta would be fine with either grass or turf.

    Field A is grass with no lines, Field B is turf with lines, and Field C is grass with lines. If each coach is able to obtain a field meeting all of his or her requirements, which of the following must be true?

    • Marta takes Field A.
    • Russell takes Field B.
    • Shreyas takes Field C.


  28. Which of the following are the solutions to 36x2 + 30x - 24 = 0 ?

  29. At a hotel, there are two beds in every room. For each bed, the hotel provides one towel, one pair of slippers, and two bars of soap. There are 20 rooms on each floor, including the first. If the hotel has a total of 720 bars of soap distributed in its rooms, then how many floors are in the hotel?

  30. A group of biologists is studying the growth of a species of mold on trees. The particular species they are studying only grows in exact circles. They find one tree with two patches of mold, one with a radius of 5 inches and one with diameter of 6 inches. What is the difference in area between the two circles of mold?

  31. If x = y2, then which of the following is equivalent to x4y5?

  32. Every time there is a 70% chance of thunderstorms, a school closes its fields and cancels practice for all of its sports teams. To determine the percent chance of thunderstorms, the principal consults three different weather stations. On Tuesday, Weather Station A predicts a 100% chance of thunderstorms. Weather Station B predicts a 75% chance of thunderstorms. Weather Station C predicts a 50% chance of thunderstorms.

    If the principal makes his decision based on a weighted average of the forecasts of the three stations, and he weights Weather Station C twice as heavily as the other two stations, will he cancel practice that day?

  33. For a cube with a volume of 125 cubic centimeters, which of the following statements is false?

  34. If the sine of angle β of a right triangle is 1 3 , and the side adjacent to that angle measures 52 units, which of the following must be true?

  35. If a is an integer and a < –3, which MUST be a solution (x, y) of the following system of inequalities?

    y2 > x + 15
    y < 6x 5

  36. A right triangle in the (x, y) coordinate plane has one leg that passes through (2, 1) and (3, 2) and a hypotenuse that passes through (0, –2) and (6, 0). Which of the following is perpendicular to the line that contains the remaining leg of the triangle?

  37. In the triangle below, PS is 3 units, ST is 4 units, and QR is 8 units. What is the ratio of tan ∠ PRQ to sin ∠ PTS?
    math triangle

  38. A chemist determines the constant S for a particular solution. He calculates S using the following formula:
    S = p(t - 5)t2 + 1

    where p is the initial concentration of the solution and t is the conductivity of the solution. Under which of the following conditions would S be equal to 0?

  39. How many numbers between 200 and 1000 (inclusive) meet both of the conditions given in the statements below?

    Statement 1: The product of the digits is odd.
    Statement 2: The number is divisible by 5.

  40. Which of the following is a solution to the system of equations below?

    3x + 2= y
    2yz = 12x
    x + y + z = 4