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# HOW TO DESTROY READING COMPREHENSION PASSAGES BY RHYME

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20 Oct 2012, 05:01
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Hi Rhyme.

I have been trying to adapt to your technique of solving RC's as they are my pain points too!! (. But I am not getting how can you effectively skim. I have tried a few times and i ended up reading the paragraph and then paraphrasing the whole of it. which obviously not the intent of this technique. I also ended up losing a lot of time paraphrasing the first paragraph too! While your notes look like sentences, my paraphrases looked like a mini paragraph in its own!!

Can you help me with some tips on paraphrasing and skimming. While practicing i also realized that there are 'types'of passages depending on the tone, detail, intent et al of the passage! Is your technique equally applicable to all types and kinds of passages irrespective of the type of content stated.

For e.g I tried this technique on the very first RC in OG 10

I am pasting the RC below. Can you help me do it your way. I wasted too much time owing to the number of Detail and specific questions. I did not have much trouble comprehending the passage, given that I am a science graduate but the chemical jargon made me lose my mind and i had to write down each such term in my paraphrase. So all in all - it dint work for me! Please help if your technique can help in such detail oriented paragraphs or no

Passage 1
Caffeine, the stimulant in coffee, has been called
“the most widely used psychoactive substance on Earth .”
Synder, Daly and Bruns have recently proposed that
caffeine affects behavior by countering the activity in
(5) the human brain of a naturally occurring chemical called
in many areas of the brain. It apparently does this by
inhibiting the release of neurotransmitters, chemicals
that carry nerve impulses from one neuron to the next.

(10) Like many other agents that affect neuron firing,
adenosine must first bind to specific receptors on
neuronal membranes. There are at least two classes
of these receptors, which have been designated A1 and
A2. Snyder et al propose that caffeine, which is struc-
(15) turally similar to adenosine, is able to bind to both types
of receptors, which prevents adenosine from attaching
there and allows the neurons to fire more readily than
they otherwise would.

For many years, caffeine’s effects have been attri-
(20) buted to its inhibition of the production of phosphodiesterase,
an enzyme that breaks down the chemical
called cyclic AMP.A number of neurotransmitters exert
their effects by first increasing cyclic AMP concentrations
in target neurons. Therefore, prolonged periods at
(25) the elevated concentrations, as might be brought about
by a phosphodiesterase inhibitor, could lead to a greater
amount of neuron firing and, consequently, to behavioral
stimulation. But Snyder et al point out that the
caffeine concentrations needed to inhibit the production
(30) of phosphodiesterase in the brain are much higher than
those that produce stimulation. Moreover, other compounds
that block phosphodiesterase’s activity are not
stimulants.

To buttress their case that caffeine acts instead by pre-
(35) venting adenosine binding, Snyder et al compared the
stimulatory effects of a series of caffeine derivatives with
their ability to dislodge adenosine from its receptors in
the brains of mice. “In general,” they reported, “the
ability of the compounds to compete at the receptors
40)correlates with their ability to stimulate locomotion in
the mouse; i.e., the higher their capacity to bind at the
receptors, the higher their ability to stimulate locomotion.”
Theophylline, a close structural relative of caffeine
and the major stimulant in tea, was one of the most
(45) effective compounds in both regards.

There were some apparent exceptions to the general
and stimulation. One of these was a compound called
3-isobuty1-1-methylxanthine(IBMX), which bound very
(50) well but actually depressed mouse locomotion. Snyder
et al suggest that this is not a major stumbling block to
their hypothesis. The problem is that the compound has
mixed effects in the brain, a not unusual occurrence with
psychoactive drugs. Even caffeine, which is generally
(55) known only for its stimulatory effects, displays this
property, depressing mouse locomotion at very low
concentrations and stimulating it at higher ones.

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to
(A) discuss a plan for investigation of a phenomenon that is not yet fully understood
(B) present two explanations of a phenomenon and reconcile the differences between them
(C) summarize two theories and suggest a third theory that overcomes the problems encountered in the first two
(D) describe an alternative hypothesis and provide evidence and arguments that support it
(E) challenge the validity of a theory by exposing the inconsistencies and contradictions in it

2. According so Snyder et al, caffeine differs from adenosine in that caffeine
(A) stimulates behavior in the mouse and in humans, whereas adenosine stimulates behavior in humans only
(B) has mixed effects in the brain, whereas adenosine has only a stimulatory effect
(C) increases cyclic AMP concentrations in target neurons, whereas adenosine decreases such concentrations
(D) permits release of neurotransmitters when it is bound to adenosine receptors, whereas adenosine inhibits such
release
(E) inhibits both neuron firing and the production of phosphodiesterase when there is a sufficient concentration in
the brain, whereas adenosine inhibits only neuron firing

3. In response to experimental results concerning IBMX, Snyder et al contended that it is not uncommon for
psychoactive drugs to have
(A) mixed effects in the brain
(B) inhibitory effects on enzymes in the brain
(C) close structural relationships with caffeine
(D) depressive effects on mouse locomotion
(E) the ability to dislodge caffeine from receptors in the brain

4. According to Snyder et al, all of the following compounds can bind to specific receptors in the brain EXCEPT
(A) IBMX
(B) caffeine
210
(D) theophylline
(E) phosphodiesterase

5. Snyder et al suggest that caffeine’s ability to bind to A1 and A2 receptors can be at least partially attributed to
which of the following?
(A) The chemical relationship between caffeine and phosphodiesterase
(B) The structural relationship between caffeine and adenosine
(C) The structural similarity between caffeine and neurotransmitters
(D) The ability of caffeine to stimulate behavior
(E) The natural occurrence of caffeine and adenosine in the brain

6. The author quotes Snyder et al in lines 38-43 most probably in order to
(A) reveal some of the assumptions underlying their theory
(B) summarize a major finding of their experiments
(C) point out that their experiments were limited to the mouse
(D) indicate that their experiments resulted only in general correlations
(E) refute the objections made by supporters of the older theory""

Thank you
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29 Oct 2012, 09:34
This is very good and frankly really smart, it focuses on the weaknesses of the test itself instead of just forcing you to dive in to the passage and squeeze your brain as hard as you can. Some strategy guides advice the same basic strategy.
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01 Nov 2012, 06:47
Hi Rhyme, help me with the passage below:

Shaw’s defense of a theater of ideas brought him up against both his great bugbears—commercialized art on the one hand and Art for Art’s Sake on the other. His teaching is that beauty is a by-product of other activity; that the artist writes out of moral passion (in forms varying from political conviction to religious zeal), not out of love of art; that the pursuit of art for its own sake is a form of self-indulgence as bad as any other sort of sensuality. In the end, the errors of “pure” art and of commercialized art are identical: they both appeal primarily to the senses. True art, on the other hand, is not merely a matter of pleasure. It may be unpleasant. A favorite Shavian metaphor for the function of the arts is that of tooth-pulling. Even if the patient is under laughing gas, the tooth is still pulled.
The history of aesthetics affords more examples of a didactic than of a hedonist view. But Shaw’s didacticism takes an unusual turn in its application to the history of arts. If, as Shaw holds, ideas are a most important part of a work of art, and if, as he also holds, ideas go out of date, it follows that even the best works of art go out of date in some important respects and that the generally held view that great works are in all respects eternal is not shared by Shaw. In the preface to Three Plays for Puritans, he maintains that renewal in the arts means renewal in philosophy, that the first great artist who comes along after a renewal gives to the new philosophy full and final form, that subsequent artists, though even more gifted, can do nothing but refine upon the master without matching him. Shaw, whose essential modesty is as disarming as his pose of vanity is disconcerting, assigns to himself the role, not of the master, but of the pioneer, the role of a Marlowe rather than of a Shakespeare. “The whirligig of time will soon bring my audiences to my own point of view,” he writes, “and then the next Shakespeare that comes along will turn these petty tentatives of mine into masterpieces final for their epoch.”
“Final for their epoch”—even Shakespearean masterpieces are not final beyond that. No one, says Shaw, will ever write a better tragedy than Lear or a better opera than Don Giovanni or a better music drama than Der Ring des Nibelungen; but just as essential to a play as this aesthetic merit is moral relevance which, if we take a naturalistic and historical view of morals, it loses, or partly loses, in time. Shaw, who has the courage of his historicism, consistently withstands the view that moral problems do not change, and argues therefore that for us modern literature and music form a Bible surpassing in significance the Hebrew Bible. That is Shaw’s anticipatory challenge to the neo-orthodoxy of today.
1. The primary purpose of the passage is to discuss
(A) the unorthodoxy of Shaw’s views on the Bible
(B) the aesthetic merit of Shaw’s plays
(C) Shaw’s theory of art
(D) Shavian examples of the theater of ideas
(E) Shaw’s naturalistic and historical view of morals
2. The author sets off the word “pure” (line 9) with quotation marks in order to
(A) contrast it with the word “true,” which appears later (line 10)
(B) suggest that, in this context, it is synonymous with “commercialized” (line 9)
(C) underscore its importance
(D) strip away its negative connotations
(E) emphasize its positive connotations
3. According to the author, Shaw compares art to tooth-pulling (lines 12-14) in order to show that
(A) the moral relevance of a work of art must be extracted from the epoch in which it was created
(B) true art is painful to the senses
(C) even the best works of art go out of date
(D) pleasure is not the sole purpose of art
(E) all art has a lasting effect on its audience
4. According to the author, Shaw’s didacticism was unusual in that it was characterized by
(A) idealism
(B) historicism
(C) hedonism
(D) moralism
(E) religious zeal
5. It can be inferred from the passage that Shaw would probably agree with all of the following statements about Shakespeare EXCEPT:
(A) He wrote out of a moral passion.
(B) All of his plays are out of date in some important respect.
(C) He was the most profound and original thinker of his epoch.
(D) He was a greater artist than Marlowe.
(E) His Lear gives full and final form to the philosophy of his age.
6. Which of the following does the author cite as a contradiction in Shaw?
(A) Whereas he pretended to be vain, he was actually modest.
(B) He questioned the significance of the Hebrew Bible, and yet he believed that a great artist could be motivated by religious zeal.
(C) Although he insisted that true art springs from moral passion, he rejected the notion that morals do not change.
(D) He considered himself to be the pioneer of a new philosophy, but he hoped his audiences would eventually adopt his point of view.
(E) On the one hand, he held that ideas are a most important part of a work of art; on the other hand, he believed that ideas go out of date.
7. The ideas attributed to Shaw in the passage suggest that he would most likely agree with which of the following statements?
(A) Every great poet digs down to a level where human nature is always and everywhere alike.
(B) A play cannot be comprehended fully without some knowledge and imaginative understanding of its context.
(C) A great music drama like Der Ring des Nibelungen springs from a love of beauty, not from a love of art.
(D) Morality is immutable; it is not something to be discussed and worked out.
(E) Don Giovanni is a masterpiece because it is as relevant today as it was when it was created.
8. The passage contains information that answers which of the following questions?
I. According to Shaw, what is the most important part of a work of art?
II. In Shaw’s view, what does the Hebrew Bible have in common with Don Giovanni?
III. According to the author, what was Shaw’s assessment of himself as a playwright?
(A) I only
(B) III only
(C) I and II only
(D) II and III only
(E) I, II, and III
9. As it is revealed in the passage, the author’s attitude toward Shaw can best be described as
(A) condescending
(B) completely neutral
(C) approving
(D) envious
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01 Nov 2012, 10:46
Hi Rhyme:

Can you please elaborate your way of problem solving in case of RC's. It will be of great help.
Thanks
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03 Nov 2012, 07:53
Oh sounds great!!! but sounds quite bold approach...

Will surely try it out on official Qs.

My problem with RC is timing because a lot of time is lost on reading the passage, resulting in dip in my accuracy too since I have to go through the question in a very hurried manner.

Let me give it a try because this will solve timing prob if it works for me.

Thanks!!
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11 Dec 2012, 06:58
Sheer brilliance is all that comes to my head with this!
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17 Dec 2012, 23:19
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Thanks a lot, though taking notes well is also pretty key in this strategy.
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21 Dec 2012, 00:46
Hey Guys, Just chk out this website www(dot)rcprep(dot)com

It is by far the best simulator I've seen on the net and we can post our passages to..Anybody who has a list of passages with them can register and help people out.

FYI...Help me out too...
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27 Dec 2012, 17:19
Hi, I've got a question... how can you tell when the new paragraph starts? On the test text paragraphs are not separated by new lines, so sometimes it's not clear for me where the new paragraph starts how can I read only the 1st sentence of each new paragraph when I can't even tell which those paragraphs are?

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28 Dec 2012, 04:31
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sianissimo wrote:
Hi, I've got a question... how can you tell when the new paragraph starts? On the test text paragraphs are not separated by new lines, so sometimes it's not clear for me where the new paragraph starts how can I read only the 1st sentence of each new paragraph when I can't even tell which those paragraphs are?

Is not difficult at all

A new paragraph starts when, basically, a concept is explained or for instance a contrast word comes in

the passage above

Quote:
Shaw’s defense of a theater of ideas brought him up against both his great bugbears—commercialized art on the one hand and Art for Art’s Sake on the other. His teaching is that beauty is a by-product of other activity; that the artist writes out of moral passion (in forms varying from political conviction to religious zeal), not out of love of art; that the pursuit of art for its own sake is a form of self-indulgence as bad as any other sort of sensuality. In the end, the errors of “pure” art and of commercialized art are identical: they both appeal primarily to the senses. True art, on the other hand, is not merely a matter of pleasure. It may be unpleasant. A favorite Shavian metaphor for the function of the arts is that of tooth-pulling. Even if the patient is under laughing gas, the tooth is still pulled.
The history of aesthetics affords more examples of a didactic than of a hedonist view. But Shaw’s didacticism takes an unusual turn in its application to the history of arts. If, as Shaw holds, ideas are a most important part of a work of art, and if, as he also holds, ideas go out of date, it follows that even the best works of art go out of date in some important respects and that the generally held view that great works are in all respects eternal is not shared by Shaw. In the preface to Three Plays for Puritans, he maintains that renewal in the arts means renewal in philosophy, that the first great artist who comes along after a renewal gives to the new philosophy full and final form, that subsequent artists, though even more gifted, can do nothing but refine upon the master without matching him. Shaw, whose essential modesty is as disarming as his pose of vanity is disconcerting, assigns to himself the role, not of the master, but of the pioneer, the role of a Marlowe rather than of a Shakespeare. “The whirligig of time will soon bring my audiences to my own point of view,” he writes, “and then the next Shakespeare that comes along will turn these petty tentatives of mine into masterpieces final for their epoch.”
“Final for their epoch”—even Shakespearean masterpieces are not final beyond that. No one, says Shaw, will ever write a better tragedy than Lear or a better opera than Don Giovanni or a better music drama than Der Ring des Nibelungen; but just as essential to a play as this aesthetic merit is moral relevance which, if we take a naturalistic and historical view of morals, it loses, or partly loses, in time. Shaw, who has the courage of his historicism, consistently withstands the view that moral problems do not change, and argues therefore that for us modern literature and music form a Bible surpassing in significance the Hebrew Bible. That is Shaw’s anticipatory challenge to the neo-orthodoxy of today.

where you see bold is the beginning of a new one.

generally is the same always
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28 Dec 2012, 04:49
I see. It seems I just have to train my eyes to spot these words so I can get my way around the text. Thanks!
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28 Dec 2012, 05:23
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with a kudos you say thanks to the others help
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04 Jan 2013, 02:08
Does this amazing technique works also for short passages?.

Surpringly, I've found more complicated to apply that technique to short passages, but for long passages it defenitely works!!
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17 Jan 2013, 19:02
I wonder if any of the GMAC faculty monitor GMATClub's forums to see how students try and 'crack' their testing methods and rectify them in their tests. I guess this is where the questions that aren't marked on the official test that come into play. Since rhyme's method was established in 2006, I am just wondering if it is outdated? i.e. GMAC have become non the wiser to it.
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30 Jan 2013, 22:27
karanamin wrote:
I wonder if any of the GMAC faculty monitor GMATClub's forums to see how students try and 'crack' their testing methods and rectify them in their tests. I guess this is where the questions that aren't marked on the official test that come into play. Since rhyme's method was established in 2006, I am just wondering if it is outdated? i.e. GMAC have become non the wiser to it.

I was wondering the same thing!
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12 Mar 2013, 00:23
Hi Rhyme:
Thanks so much for your very detailed and interesting thread. After read and apply your strategies, I feel they're really helpful for long passages. For short and having only one paragraph passages (frankly, they're much trickier than long passages), however, I'm quite perplexed at applying your method. Please recommend how your strategies - reading first paragraph and 1st sentence of each following paragraphs - could be applied effectively for that kind of passage.

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30 Apr 2013, 08:08
Thanks so much Rhyme for the wonderful thread. I am taking lot of time to answer RC. I will try this approach.
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09 May 2013, 16:00
Hi,

Its amazing this strategy is working, but im always going wrong with inference questions. Is there any thing i could do with this. Request you to reply me and suggest if any.

Thanks & regards,
Sana
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15 Jun 2013, 21:13
Hi Rhyme,

Thanks for your post. It was helpful in certain RCs but I was not able to crack this RC pasted below. I've included my notes too. Could you help me out?

Passage -

Between the eighth and eleventh centuries A. D., the Byzantine Empire staged an almost unparalleled economic and cultural revival, a recovery that is all the more striking because it followed a long period of severe internal decline. By the early eighth century, the empire had lost roughly two-thirds of the territory it had possessed in the year 600, and its remaining area was being raided by Arabs and Bulgarians, who at times threatened to take Constantinople and extinguish the empire altogether. The wealth of the state and its subjects was greatly diminished, and artistic and literary production had virtually ceased. By the early eleventh century, however, the empire had regained almost half of its lost possessions, its new frontiers were secure, and its influence extended far beyond its borders. The economy had recovered, the treasury was full, and art and scholarship had advanced.
To consider the Byzantine military, cultural, and economic advances as differentiated aspects of a single phenomenon is reasonable. After all, these three forms of progress have gone together in a number of states and civilizations. Rome under Augustus and fifth-century Athens provide the most obvious examples in antiquity. Moreover, an examination of the apparent sequential connections among military, economic, and cultural forms of progress might help explain the dynamics of historical change.
The common explanation of these apparent connections in the case of Byzantium would run like this: when the empire had turned back enemy raids on its own territory and had begun to raid and conquer enemy territory, Byzantine resources naturally expanded and more money became available to patronize art and literature. Therefore, Byzantine military achievements led to economic advances, which in turn led to cultural revival.
No doubt this hypothetical pattern did apply at times during the course of the recovery. Yet it is not clear that military advances invariably came first, economic advances second, and intellectual advances third. In the 860’s the Byzantine Empire began to recover from Arab incursions so that by 872 the military balance with the Abbasid Caliphate had been permanently altered in the empire’s favor. The beginning of the empire’s economic revival, however, can be placed between 810 and 830. Finally, the Byzantine revival of learning appears to have begun even earlier. A number of notable scholars and writers appeared by 788 and, by the last decade of the eighth century, a cultural revival was in full bloom, a revival that lasted until the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Thus the commonly expected order of military revival followed by economic and then by cultural recovery was reversed in Byzantium. In fact, the revival of Byzantine learning may itself have influenced the subsequent economic and military expansion.

Questions -

1. Which of the following best states the central idea of the passage?
(A) The Byzantine Empire was a unique case in which the usual order of military and economic revival preceding cultural revival was reversed.
(B) The economic, cultural, and military revival in the Byzantine Empire between the eighth and eleventh centuries was similar in its order to the sequence of revivals in Augustan Rome and fifth century Athens.
(C) After 810 Byzantine economic recovery spurred a military and, later, cultural expansion that lasted until 1453.
(D) The eighth-century revival of Byzantine learning is an inexplicable phenomenon, and its economic and military precursors have yet to be discovered.
(E) The revival of the Byzantine Empire between the eighth and eleventh centuries shows cultural rebirth preceding economic and military revival, the reverse of the commonly accepted order of progress.

2. The primary purpose of the second paragraph is which of the following?
(A) To establish the uniqueness of the Byzantine revival
(B) To show that Augustan Rome and fifth-century Athens are examples of cultural, economic, and military expansion against which all subsequent cases must be measured
(C) To suggest that cultural, economic, and military advances have tended to be closely interrelated in different societies
(D) To argue that, while the revivals of Augustan Rome and fifth-century Athens were similar, they are unrelated to other historical examples
(E) To indicate that, wherever possible, historians should seek to make comparisons with the earliest chronological examples of revival

3. It can be inferred from the passage that by the eleventh century the Byzantine military forces
(A) had reached their peak and begun to decline
(B) had eliminated the Bulgarian army
(C) were comparable in size to the army of Rome under Augustus
(D) were strong enough to withstand the Abbasid Caliphate’s military forces
(E) had achieved control of Byzantine governmental structures

4. It can be inferred from the passage that the Byzantine Empire sustained significant territorial losses
(A) in 600
(B) during the seventh century
(C) a century after the cultural achievements of the Byzantine Empire had been lost
(D) soon after the revival of Byzantine learning
(E) in the century after 873

5. In the third paragraph, the author most probably provides an explanation of the apparent connections among economic, military, and cultural development in order to
(A) suggest that the process of revival in Byzantium accords with this model
(B) set up an order of events that is then shown to be not generally applicable to the case of Byzantium
(D) suggest that Byzantium represents a case for which no historical precedent exists
(E) argue that military conquest is the paramount element in the growth of empires

6. Which of the following does the author mention as crucial evidence concerning the manner in which the Byzantine revival began?
(A) The Byzantine military revival of the 860’s led to economic and cultural advances.
(B) The Byzantine cultural revival lasted until 1453.
(C) The Byzantine economic recovery began in the 900’s.
(D) The revival of Byzantine learning began toward the end of the eighth century.
(E) By the early eleventh century the Byzantine Empire had regained much of its lost territory.

7. According to the author, “The common explanation” (line 28) of connections between economic, military, and cultural development is
(A) revolutionary and too new to have been applied to the history of the Byzantine Empire
(B) reasonable, but an antiquated theory of the nature of progress
(C) not applicable to the Byzantine revival as a whole, but does perhaps accurately describe limited periods during the revival
(D) equally applicable to the Byzantine case as a whole and to the history of military, economic, and cultural advances in ancient Greece and Rome
(E) essentially not helpful, because military, economic, and cultural advances are part of a single phenomenon

My Notes
Byz cultural revival was striking because it was followed by long period of decline. between 600 and 8th century it lost 2/3rds and remaining area was raided by arabs ansd bulgs who threatened to take constantinople. wealth reduced and art/literary value production almost stopped.
things improved in 11th cent and empire regained more than half of lost stuff, seucre borders and greater influencem economy recovered, treasury full and scolarship advanced.

military,cultural and economic advances was becauseof common phenomenon but differentiated aspects.
rome, augustus, 5th cent, athens, dynamics of hist change

byz empire fought enemies and also conquered enemy terr resulting in more resourses and moremoney to support art and literature.
military and economic advances, cultural revival.

some hypothetical pattern did apply in course of victory. not sure what occured first- economic, military or cultural advances
860,872,abbasid caliphate, 810,830, fallof constatniople in 1453,

[Reveal] Spoiler:
OAs
E
C
D
B
B
D
C
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03 Jan 2014, 21:30
Dear rhyme,
Could you explain your RC strategy, for the OG Verbal Review 2nd Ed. paragraph in page #40 and questions from 50 to 55?

I tried your strategy in the following way for the above mentioned paragraph.
Notes:
Para#1:
superior service – competitive advantage, but not all time
inv in srvc – prod, dist = otr inv => direct, tangible – cost (--), revenue (++)
company = competitor by srvc avoid damaging repu=> inv in higher srvc wasted
srvc deciding factor – only xtrm
Para#2:
This truth, managers, regional bank – failed to ++ competitive pos eventhough inv in wait time –
manager, did not recog, inertia, inconvenience in switching banks
no analysis, srvc ++ attract new cust, difficult to copy
only merit, easy description

And I tried answering the Qs using this notes and got 5/6 wrongs.
For this total exercise I took 15m:46s.
Could you guide me where I went wrong?
Re: HOW TO DESTROY READING COMPREHENSION PASSAGES BY RHYME   [#permalink] 03 Jan 2014, 21:30

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# HOW TO DESTROY READING COMPREHENSION PASSAGES BY RHYME

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