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Far from being fixed on Earth, scientists now know that

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Far from being fixed on Earth, scientists now know that [#permalink] New post 12 May 2011, 12:23
Far from being fixed on Earth, scientists now know that Australia has
wandered over the face of the planet for billions of years, sometimes
lying in the northern hemisphere, sometimes in the south. For 40 million
years, after finally cutting the umbilicus with Antarctica, it slowly drifted
northwards, in isolation, at about half the rate at which a human hair
grows.

Now that the sheep has faltered, Australians ride more and more
upon the marsupial‘s back. To a large extent, but more difficult to
quantify, Australia‘s fauna and flora are being used as a unique
resource. In scientific disciplines from reproductive physiology and
evolutionary biology to medicine, Australia‘s native species are hailed as
a unique and priceless heritage. They are providing insights into the
way the world, and humans themselves, work.

Australia‘s rainforests—those ―unimportant appendages‖—are now
widely acknowledged as being the most ancient of humanity‘s landbased
ecosystems, which gave rise to most others. Botanical discoveries
of worldwide importance are being made in them every year. Australian
botanists have recently completed a catalogue of Australian plants, in
which they list 18,000 species. Their taxonomic work over recent years
has resulted in a 50 percent increase in the number of species in the
groups examined. Yet they estimate that about 7,000 undiscovered
plant species still exist in Australia. Many surely inhabit Australian
rainforests and are members of ancient and bizarre families, like the
southern pine (Podocarpus species) recently found growing in a steep
valley in Arnhem Land, thousands of kilometres distant from its nearest
relatives.

Research on newly discovered Australian dinosaur faunas is
challenging previous conceptions of what dinosaurs were like. So
important are these discoveries that an Australian dinosaur recently
made it onto the cover of a major international magazine. It was
discovered in one of only two deposits in the world which was laid down
near the South Pole during the age of dinosaurs. The chicken-sized
species survived three months of darkness each year in a refrigerated
world.

Scientists are finally understanding that evolution in Australia, in
contrast to evolution on some other continents, is not driven solely by
nature ―red in tooth and claw.‖ Here, a more gentle force—that of
coadaptation—is important. This is because harsh conditions force
individuals to cooperate to minimize the loss of nutrients, and to keep
them cycling through the ecosystem as rapidly as possible.

1. Based on information in the passage, which of the following is NOT true?
A. Australia has moved from one hemisphere to the other over time.
B. Most Australian plant species remain undiscovered.
C. Important information is being gathered by studying Australian plants.
D. Australian rainforests are different from other rainforests.
E. Dinosaurs had once existed in what is now Australia

2. Suppose that a previously unknown species of plant that is capable of producing medicine is found in an Australian rainforest. How would this information affect the author‘s opinion of Australian rainforests?
A. It would support the author‘s opinion.
B. It would contradict the author‘s opinion.
C. It would neither support nor contradict the author‘s opinion.
D. It would contradict the author‘s opinion only if this species of plant cannot be found anywhere else.
E. It would weaken the argument that Australian ecosystem is unique

3. According to the passage, all of the following are considered benefits of studying Australian ecosystems EXCEPT:
A. increasing knowledge of reproductive physiology and medicine.
B. gaining information concerning evolutionary trends.
C. furthering the understanding of the uses of hydroelectric power and solar energy.
D. providing insight into ancient ecosystems
E. providing an insight into the way humans work

4. What is the main purpose of the author in writing the passage?
A. to state that dinosaurs originated in what is now Australia
B. to criticise modern scientists for not understanding the unique importance of Australia
C. to discuss some unique ecological features of Australia
D. to assert that Australian rainforests are the oldest of them all
E. Australian flora and fauna are not found anywhere else in the world
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Re: Struggling with RC Timings, Need Comparative Data [#permalink] New post 13 May 2011, 00:40
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I am applying the GMAT Pil RC method and some advice of a 720 test taker here: name-of-the-game-do-not-giveup-112609.html

Actually, I don't feel comfortable when applying my strategy to this passage. I personally feel that it is not GMAT-like, because paragraphs are not tightly connected... besides, in almost all real GMAT RC passages, the first paragraph often clearly mentions the main point of the author, and the rest of the passage gives supporting ideas to the main point. However, I don't see that relation here and it takes time for me to find the passage structure.

just my 2 cents.
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Re: Struggling with RC Timings, Need Comparative Data [#permalink] New post 12 May 2011, 23:43
FYI:
1 B 03:57
2 B 01:48
3 C 02:02
4 C 01:04

total time: ~ 9 mins

3:57 includes time for reading the passage; i spent about 2 mins to read the whole passage.

Honestly, I am not good at RC and am still struggling to increase the accuracy as well as reading speed. Technically, we should spend about 1-2 mins to read the passage, around 1 min to answer the main idea questions, and about 2 mins to answer specific details/inference questions.
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Re: Struggling with RC Timings, Need Comparative Data [#permalink] New post 13 May 2011, 00:18
windofchange wrote:
FYI:
1 B 03:57
2 B 01:48
3 C 02:02
4 C 01:04

total time: ~ 9 mins

3:57 includes time for reading the passage; i spent about 2 mins to read the whole passage.

Honestly, I am not good at RC and am still struggling to increase the accuracy as well as reading speed. Technically, we should spend about 1-2 mins to read the passage, around 1 min to answer the main idea questions, and about 2 mins to answer specific details/inference questions.


Could you please let me know what Strategy you followed while attempted this passage?
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Re: Struggling with RC Timings, Need Comparative Data [#permalink] New post 13 May 2011, 01:03
MeinKampf wrote:
Hi Guys

I'm struggling with the GMAT RC Timings, may be because I'm a non-native English speaker, but I want to know how others do especially the people who are good in RC..(Not that I'm saying people who are NOT good in RC should NOT try this passage)

That's why I'm pasting a Passage here so that you can read it and solve the 4 questions following it. I want all of you who are going to try this passage record your time as it will be helpful for all of us to compare the timings. Since, ideally in GMAT we want the passage to be completed in 8-9mins, we will get to know what are our timings.

It took me 13 minutes to attempt this passage (I'm a bummer), do report your timings-

Far from being fixed on Earth, scientists now know that Australia has
wandered over the face of the planet for billions of years, sometimes
lying in the northern hemisphere, sometimes in the south. For 40 million
years, after finally cutting the umbilicus with Antarctica, it slowly drifted
northwards, in isolation, at about half the rate at which a human hair
grows.

Now that the sheep has faltered, Australians ride more and more
upon the marsupial‘s back. To a large extent, but more difficult to
quantify, Australia‘s fauna and flora are being used as a unique
resource. In scientific disciplines from reproductive physiology and
evolutionary biology to medicine, Australia‘s native species are hailed as
a unique and priceless heritage. They are providing insights into the
way the world, and humans themselves, work.

Australia‘s rainforests—those ―unimportant appendages‖—are now
widely acknowledged as being the most ancient of humanity‘s landbased
ecosystems, which gave rise to most others. Botanical discoveries
of worldwide importance are being made in them every year. Australian
botanists have recently completed a catalogue of Australian plants, in
which they list 18,000 species. Their taxonomic work over recent years
has resulted in a 50 percent increase in the number of species in the
groups examined. Yet they estimate that about 7,000 undiscovered
plant species still exist in Australia. Many surely inhabit Australian
rainforests and are members of ancient and bizarre families, like the
southern pine (Podocarpus species) recently found growing in a steep
valley in Arnhem Land, thousands of kilometres distant from its nearest
relatives.

Research on newly discovered Australian dinosaur faunas is
challenging previous conceptions of what dinosaurs were like. So
important are these discoveries that an Australian dinosaur recently
made it onto the cover of a major international magazine. It was
discovered in one of only two deposits in the world which was laid down
near the South Pole during the age of dinosaurs. The chicken-sized
species survived three months of darkness each year in a refrigerated
world.

Scientists are finally understanding that evolution in Australia, in
contrast to evolution on some other continents, is not driven solely by
nature ―red in tooth and claw.‖ Here, a more gentle force—that of
coadaptation—is important. This is because harsh conditions force
individuals to cooperate to minimize the loss of nutrients, and to keep
them cycling through the ecosystem as rapidly as possible.

1. Based on information in the passage, which of the following is NOT true?
A. Australia has moved from one hemisphere to the other over time.
B. Most Australian plant species remain undiscovered.
Botanists estimate the undiscovered species to be approximately 7000, a count far less than the number of species already discovered.

Snippet:
Australian botanists have recently completed a catalogue of Australian plants, in
which they list 18,000 species


C. Important information is being gathered by studying Australian plants.
D. Australian rainforests are different from other rainforests.
E. Dinosaurs had once existed in what is now Australia

2. Suppose that a previously unknown species of plant that is capable of producing medicine is found in an Australian rainforest. How would this information affect the author‘s opinion of Australian rainforests?
A. It would support the author‘s opinion.
Author's opinion about the uniqueness of Australian flora is instantiated by the finding mentioned in the question stem. Unknown species of plant means that the plant was not discovered before and is unique to the Australian rainforests.

Snippet:
Australia‘s fauna and flora are being used as a unique resource.

B. It would contradict the author‘s opinion.
C. It would neither support nor contradict the author‘s opinion.
D. It would contradict the author‘s opinion only if this species of plant cannot be found anywhere else.
E. It would weaken the argument that Australian ecosystem is unique

3. According to the passage, all of the following are considered benefits of studying Australian ecosystems EXCEPT:
A. increasing knowledge of reproductive physiology and medicine.
B. gaining information concerning evolutionary trends.
C. furthering the understanding of the uses of hydroelectric power and solar energy.
These were not mentioned anywhere, directly or indirectly.

D. providing insight into ancient ecosystems
E. providing an insight into the way humans work

4. What is the main purpose of the author in writing the passage?
A. to state that dinosaurs originated in what is now Australia--- Dinosaurs are mentioned only in one paragraph. Moreover, nothing about the origin of dinosaur is mentioned.

B. to criticise modern scientists for not understanding the unique importance of Australia. --Author didn't mention that modern scientists are denying any of the claims. And I don't remember seeing any statement from modern scientists.

C. to discuss some unique ecological features of Australia -- I am leaning more toward it because the author presents various ecological features, such as land displacements, rainforests, dinosaurs.

D. to assert that Australian rainforests are the oldest of them all -- Perhaps this is true but definitely not the main point.

E. Australian flora and fauna are not found anywhere else in the world -- Perhaps this is true but perhaps not the main point.

_________________

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Re: Struggling with RC Timings, Need Comparative Data [#permalink] New post 13 May 2011, 01:22
fluke wrote:
MeinKampf wrote:
Hi Guys

I'm struggling with the GMAT RC Timings, may be because I'm a non-native English speaker, but I want to know how others do especially the people who are good in RC..(Not that I'm saying people who are NOT good in RC should NOT try this passage)

That's why I'm pasting a Passage here so that you can read it and solve the 4 questions following it. I want all of you who are going to try this passage record your time as it will be helpful for all of us to compare the timings. Since, ideally in GMAT we want the passage to be completed in 8-9mins, we will get to know what are our timings.

It took me 13 minutes to attempt this passage (I'm a bummer), do report your timings-

Far from being fixed on Earth, scientists now know that Australia has
wandered over the face of the planet for billions of years, sometimes
lying in the northern hemisphere, sometimes in the south. For 40 million
years, after finally cutting the umbilicus with Antarctica, it slowly drifted
northwards, in isolation, at about half the rate at which a human hair
grows.

Now that the sheep has faltered, Australians ride more and more
upon the marsupial‘s back. To a large extent, but more difficult to
quantify, Australia‘s fauna and flora are being used as a unique
resource. In scientific disciplines from reproductive physiology and
evolutionary biology to medicine, Australia‘s native species are hailed as
a unique and priceless heritage. They are providing insights into the
way the world, and humans themselves, work.

Australia‘s rainforests—those ―unimportant appendages‖—are now
widely acknowledged as being the most ancient of humanity‘s landbased
ecosystems, which gave rise to most others. Botanical discoveries
of worldwide importance are being made in them every year. Australian
botanists have recently completed a catalogue of Australian plants, in
which they list 18,000 species. Their taxonomic work over recent years
has resulted in a 50 percent increase in the number of species in the
groups examined. Yet they estimate that about 7,000 undiscovered
plant species still exist in Australia. Many surely inhabit Australian
rainforests and are members of ancient and bizarre families, like the
southern pine (Podocarpus species) recently found growing in a steep
valley in Arnhem Land, thousands of kilometres distant from its nearest
relatives.

Research on newly discovered Australian dinosaur faunas is
challenging previous conceptions of what dinosaurs were like. So
important are these discoveries that an Australian dinosaur recently
made it onto the cover of a major international magazine. It was
discovered in one of only two deposits in the world which was laid down
near the South Pole during the age of dinosaurs. The chicken-sized
species survived three months of darkness each year in a refrigerated
world.

Scientists are finally understanding that evolution in Australia, in
contrast to evolution on some other continents, is not driven solely by
nature ―red in tooth and claw.‖ Here, a more gentle force—that of
coadaptation—is important. This is because harsh conditions force
individuals to cooperate to minimize the loss of nutrients, and to keep
them cycling through the ecosystem as rapidly as possible.

1. Based on information in the passage, which of the following is NOT true?
A. Australia has moved from one hemisphere to the other over time.
B. Most Australian plant species remain undiscovered.
Botanists estimate the undiscovered species to be approximately 7000, a count far less than the number of species already discovered.

Snippet:
Australian botanists have recently completed a catalogue of Australian plants, in
which they list 18,000 species


C. Important information is being gathered by studying Australian plants.
D. Australian rainforests are different from other rainforests.
E. Dinosaurs had once existed in what is now Australia

2. Suppose that a previously unknown species of plant that is capable of producing medicine is found in an Australian rainforest. How would this information affect the author‘s opinion of Australian rainforests?
A. It would support the author‘s opinion.
Author's opinion about the uniqueness of Australian flora is instantiated by the finding mentioned in the question stem. Unknown species of plant means that the plant was not discovered before and is unique to the Australian rainforests.

Snippet:
Australia‘s fauna and flora are being used as a unique resource.

B. It would contradict the author‘s opinion.
C. It would neither support nor contradict the author‘s opinion.
D. It would contradict the author‘s opinion only if this species of plant cannot be found anywhere else.
E. It would weaken the argument that Australian ecosystem is unique

3. According to the passage, all of the following are considered benefits of studying Australian ecosystems EXCEPT:
A. increasing knowledge of reproductive physiology and medicine.
B. gaining information concerning evolutionary trends.
C. furthering the understanding of the uses of hydroelectric power and solar energy.
These were not mentioned anywhere, directly or indirectly.

D. providing insight into ancient ecosystems
E. providing an insight into the way humans work

4. What is the main purpose of the author in writing the passage?
A. to state that dinosaurs originated in what is now Australia--- Dinosaurs are mentioned only in one paragraph. Moreover, nothing about the origin of dinosaur is mentioned.

B. to criticise modern scientists for not understanding the unique importance of Australia. --Author didn't mention that modern scientists are denying any of the claims. And I don't remember seeing any statement from modern scientists.

C. to discuss some unique ecological features of Australia -- I am leaning more toward it because the author presents various ecological features, such as land displacements, rainforests, dinosaurs.

D. to assert that Australian rainforests are the oldest of them all -- Perhaps this is true but definitely not the main point.

E. Australian flora and fauna are not found anywhere else in the world -- Perhaps this is true but perhaps not the main point.


Could you please report your timing and strategy for attempting this passage.
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Re: Struggling with RC Timings, Need Comparative Data [#permalink] New post 13 May 2011, 01:36
MeinKampf wrote:
Could you please report your timing and strategy for attempting this passage.


I didn't keep track of the timing. Guess between 8-9 mins.

Strategy:
Read the entire passage twice quickly. Noted some points from each paragraph. Ignored few statements from 2nd paragraph that I didn't understand "Now that the sheep has faltered, Australians ride more and more upon the marsupial‘s back". Most of my time was spent in reading and making notes; say 6 mins. Fortunately, I found the questions easy compared to the passage. I didn't have to revisit. Still wondering how many of them are correct but the answers made complete sense in my own head. Isn't that always the case? ;)

Ideal timing for reading and answering all questions in this passage should be 6-7 minutes.

Will keep track of the timing in my next RC.

I usually spend 13-15 minutes on LSAT RC's, yet manage to get couple of answers wrong. Got to find a way out.
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Re: Struggling with RC Timings, Need Comparative Data [#permalink] New post 13 May 2011, 02:05
For everyone, the answers are-
1.B
2.A
3.C
4.C
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Re: Struggling with RC Timings, Need Comparative Data [#permalink] New post 23 May 2011, 16:12
Total time : 6:21sec

Answers: BACC
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Re: Struggling with RC Timings, Need Comparative Data [#permalink] New post 24 May 2011, 12:28
newton9 wrote:
Total time : 6:21sec

Answers: BACC


Cool man...this is the time I would want to achieve...
Btw..after some practice now my time for this passage has come down to 8:19 min..but I got 1 wrong :(
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Re: Struggling with RC Timings, Need Comparative Data [#permalink] New post 30 May 2011, 12:31
I also scored about 6:32! Just start speed reading the economist. Try to do it actively... By the way, I find your nick really questionable. How do you come to this nick?
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Re: Struggling with RC Timings, Need Comparative Data [#permalink] New post 30 May 2011, 20:37
e1s wrote:
I also scored about 6:32! Just start speed reading the economist. Try to do it actively... By the way, I find your nick really questionable. How do you come to this nick?


Wow..that's incredible!! What strategy you are employing?

My "nick"..lol...basically at first I was strategyless then I tried few strategies(including the very famous Rhyme's strategy on this forum) and picked up the one that's benefitting me the most.
My strategy is simple, I read every para and paraphrase. Also, marking the details with references to line numbers just to create a map of what is where, I'm bad at remembering everything at once in the mind so it is helpful.

I would want to break my timings between 7 and 8 minutes. Could you please put some light on what you are doing?
Re: Struggling with RC Timings, Need Comparative Data   [#permalink] 30 May 2011, 20:37
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