Biologists have advanced two theories to explain : GMAT Reading Comprehension (RC)
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# Biologists have advanced two theories to explain

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08 Aug 2012, 16:07
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Biologists have advanced two theories to explain why schooling of fish occurs in so many fish species. Because schooling is particularly widespread among species of small fish, both theories assume that schooling offers the advantage of some protection from predators.
Proponents of theory A dispute the assumption that a school of thousands of fish is highly visible. Experiments have shown that any fish can be seen, even in very clear water, only within a sphere of 200 meters in diameter. When fish are in a compact group, the spheres of visibility overlap. Thus the chance of a predator finding the school is only slightly greater than the chance of the predator finding a single fish swimming alone. Schooling is advantageous to the individual fish because a predator's chance of finding any particular fish swimming in the school is much smaller than its chance of finding at least one of the same group of fish if the fish were dispersed throughout an area.

However, critics of theory A point out that some fish form schools even in areas where predators are abundant and thus little possibility of escaping detection exists. They argue that the school continues to be of value to its members even after detection. They advocate theory B, the "confusion effect," which can be explained in two different ways. Sometimes, proponents argue, predators simply cannot decide which fish to attack. This indecision supposedly results from a predator's preference for striking prey that is distinct from the rest of the school in appearance. In many schools the fish are almost identical in appearance, making it difficult for a predator to select one. The second explanation for the "confusion effect" has to do with the sensory confusion caused by a large number of prey moving around the predator. Even if the predator makes the decision to attack a particular fish, the movement of other prey in the school can be distracting. The predator's difficulty can be compared to that of a tennis player trying to hit a tennis ball when two are approaching
simultaneously.
1. According to the passage, theory B states that which of the following is a factor that enables a schooling fish to escape predators?
(A) The tendency of fish to form compact groups
(B) The movement of other fish within the school
(C) The inability of predators to detect schools
(D) The ability of fish to hide behind one another in a school
(E) The great speed with which a school can disperse

[Reveal] Spoiler:
B

2. According to the passage, both theory A and theory B have been developed to explain how
(A) fish hide from predators by forming schools
(B) forming schools functions to protect fish from predators ·
(C) schooling among fish differs from other protective behaviors
(D) small fish are able to make rapid decisions
(E) small fish are able to survive in an environment densely populated by large predators

[Reveal] Spoiler:
B

3. According to one explanation of the "confusion effect," a fish that swims in a school will have greater advantages for survival if it
(A) tends to be visible for no more than 200 meters
(B) stays near either the front or the rear of a school
(C) is part of a small school rather than a large school
(D) is very similar in appearance to the other fish in the school
(E) is medium-sized

[Reveal] Spoiler:
D

4. The author is primarily concerned with
(A) discussing different theories
(B) analyzing different techniques
(C) defending two hypotheses
(D) refuting established beliefs
(E) revealing new evidence

[Reveal] Spoiler:
A

[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #1 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #2 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #3 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #4 OA
If you have any questions
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11 Aug 2012, 04:37
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My take BBDA , cant believe got all correct
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11 Aug 2012, 04:57
same this was easier one

B Even if the predator
makes the decision to attack a particular fish,
the movement of other prey in the school can
(40) be distracting.

B both theories assume that
(5) schooling offers the advantage of some protection
from predators.

D This indecision
(30) supposedly results from a predator's preference for
striking prey that is distinct from the rest of the
school in appearance.

A 2nd proponents of A 3rd critics of a 1st two theories a and b
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11 Aug 2012, 13:01
In 5:30 Mins, I got BBDA (All correct). Question were very straight.
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14 Jul 2014, 04:38
Easy one all correct in 5 min very straight answers
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08 Oct 2014, 20:20
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1.B
2.B
3.D
4.A
time:8 minutes
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13 Jan 2015, 21:34
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First of all, how I would map this out and take notes while reading would be something like this:

2 theories why schooling occurs--both assume protection from predators
Theory A--predator's chance of finding a fish in school<finding one if dispersed
Theory B--"Confusion effect"- 2 explanations
---1) pred cannot decide
---2) sensory confusion

Question 1 asks about theory B, so we know its in paragraph 3.
A) is incorrect, because theory B says their are values beyond the group
B) seems promising, as sensory confusion from the movement is an explanation for the confusion effect
C) it incorrect, nowhere does it say that predators cannot detect entire schools
D) There is also nothing about hiding in theory B
E) also out of scope, because the passage says nothing about the groups dispersing

Question 2 asks about both theory A and B, so it it likely more dispersed throughout the passage or in paragraph one, which discusses both. This question also asks for something that is true for BOTH theories, so if it is not true for one, we can eliminate the whole answer
A) is wrong, because they are not hiding from predators, especially not in theory B.
B) this is promising, both theories do explain how forming schools protects from predators
C) there is no mention of other protective behaviors, so eliminate
D) nothing about small fish specifically, so eliminate
E) again, there is nothing about small and large, so eliminate

Question 3 asks about the confusion effect, so we know to look in paragraph 3
A) out of scope there is no mention of a specific number of meters
B) although this might be a logical leap in the real world, there is no mention of the fish's position in the school, so eliminate it
C)there is no mention of the size of the school, so eliminate
D) The fourth and fifth sentence in the 3rd paragraph explain why this is true
E) no mention of size, so eliminate

Question 4 is a general question, so there is no specific part to go back to
A) seems to be right, the author does discuss different theories
B) they are not techniques
C) defending is too strong a word
D) he does not refute anything
E) no new evidence is revealed
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20 May 2015, 03:39
Easy passage:
1)B
2)B
3)D
4)A
Time: 6:16
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10 Dec 2015, 11:59
Hello ,

Yes the answers are straight forward but can some one help me in understanding the flow for theory A in the passage.

Proponents of theory A dispute the assumption that a school of thousands of fish is highly visible. Experiments have shown that any fish can be seen, even in very clear water, only within a sphere of 200 meters in diameter. When fish are in a compact group, the spheres of visibility overlap. Thus the chance of a predator finding the school is only slightly greater than the chance of the predator finding a single fish swimming alone.

People in favor of theory A first dispute that School is highly visible and then they conclude that chance predator finding the school is slightly greater than finding individual fish.
To me the two statements seems to oppose rather than support .

Where am I going wrong ?
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22 Feb 2016, 07:49
BBDA
Got all right in less than 5 mins. The was an easy one.
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06 Jun 2016, 19:29
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Main idea:

Author is trying to provide two theories why schooling occurs among fishes. author gave two theories, which are about protection from predetors.

Tone: author is not biased and just gave two theories.

A)Theory B stats that how movement of different fish can save them.
B)This can be answered from main idea
C)Predators only go after distinct prey. fish take advantage of this revolve around to confuse them.
D)Go with the tone of the passage.
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02 Nov 2016, 04:12
I think the difficulty level of this RC should be below 600.
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14 Dec 2016, 00:12
4:36 on the clock
All correct
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Re: Biologists have advanced two theories to explain   [#permalink] 14 Dec 2016, 00:12
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# Biologists have advanced two theories to explain

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