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RC: Naked mole rates... LET'S DISCUSS THE BEST RC STRATEGIES

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RC: Naked mole rates... LET'S DISCUSS THE BEST RC STRATEGIES [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2006, 19:45
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Guys & Gals... This RC isn't overly complex, but it is loaded with 3 inference questions and a logical structure among the 7 questions... I propose to share your best strategies for RC here and use this passage as an example... The INFERENCE questions are particularly hard for me, so your tips on those would be helpful not only for me, but for many members here!!! You may share your notes and shortcuts and the logical flow to proceed to deal with this RC.

Rhyme, since you are one of the PROs for RC, can you apply your strategy here? Thanks


Until recently, scientists did not know of a close vertebrate analogue to the extreme form of altruism observed in eusocial insects like ants and bees, whereby individuals cooperate, sometimes even sacrificing their own opportunities to survive and reproduce, for the good of others. However, such a vertebrate society may exist among underground colonies of the highly social rodent Heterocephalus glaber, the naked mole rat.

A naked mole rat colony, like a beehive, wasp’s nest, or termite mound, is ruled by its queen, or reproducing female. Other adult female mole rats neither ovulate nor breed. The queen is the largest member of the colony, and she maintains her breeding status through a mixture of behavioral and, presumably, chemical control. Queens have been long-lived in captivity, and when they die or are removed from a colony one sees violent fighting for breeding status among the larger remaining females, leading to a takeover by a new queen.

Eusocial insect societies have rigid caste systems, each insect’s role being defined by its behavior, body shape, and physiology. In naked mole rat societies, on the other hand, differences in behavior are related primarily to reproductive status (reproduction being limited to the queen and a few males), body size, and perhaps age. Smaller non-breeding members, both male and female, seem to participate primarily in gathering food, transporting nest material, and tunneling. Larger nonbreeders are active in defending the colony and perhaps in removing dirt from the tunnels. Jarvis’ work has suggested that differences in growth rates may influence the length of time that an individual performs a task, regardless of its age.

Cooperative breeding has evolved many times in vertebrates, but unlike naked mole rats, most cooperatively breeding vertebrates (except the wild dog, Lycaon pictus) are dominated by a pair of breeders rather than by a single breeding female. The division of labor within social groups is less pronounced among other vertebrates than among naked mole rats, colony size is much smaller, and mating by subordinate females may not be totally suppressed, whereas in naked mole rat colonies subordinate females are not sexually active, and many never breed.


1. Which of the following most accurately states the main idea of the passage?
(A) Naked mole rat colonies are the only known examples of cooperatively breeding vertebrate societies.
(B) Naked mole rat colonies exhibit social organization based on a rigid caste system.
(C) Behavior in naked mole rat colonies may well be a close vertebrate analogue to behavior in eusocial insect societies.
(D) The mating habits of naked mole rats differ from those of any other vertebrate species.
(E) The basis for the division of labor among naked mole rats is the same as that among eusocial insects.

2. The passage suggests that Jarvis’ work has called into question which of the following explanatory variables for naked mole rat behavior?
(A) Size
(B) Age
(C) Reproductive status
(D) Rate of growth
(E) Previously exhibited behavior

3. It can be inferred from the passage that the performance of tasks in naked mole rat colonies differs from task performance in eusocial insect societies in which of the following ways?
(A) In naked mole rat colonies, all tasks ate performed cooperatively.
(B) In naked mole rat colonies, the performance of tasks is less rigidly determined by body shape.
(C) In naked mole rat colonies, breeding is limited to the largest animals.
(D) In eusocial insect societies, reproduction is limited to a single female.
(E) In eusocial insect societies, the distribution of tasks is based on body size.

4. According to the passage, which of the following is a supposition rather than a fact concerning the queen in a naked mole rat colony?
(A) She is the largest member of the colony.
(B) She exerts chemical control over the colony.
(C) She mates with more than one male.
(D) She attains her status through aggression.
(E) She is the only breeding female.

5. The passage supports which of the following inferences about breeding among Lycaon pictus?(A) The largest female in the social group does not maintain reproductive status by means of behavioral control.
(B) An individual’s ability to breed is related primarily to its rate of growth.
(C) Breeding is the only task performed by the breeding female.
(D) Breeding in the social group is not cooperative.
(E) Breeding is not dominated by a single pair of dogs.

6. According to the passage, naked mole rat colonies may differ from all other known vertebrate groups in which of the following ways?
(A) Naked mole rats exhibit an extreme form of altruism.
(B) Naked mole rats are cooperative breeders.
(C) Among naked mole rats, many males are permitted to breed with a single dominant female.
(D) Among naked mole rats, different tasks are performed at different times in an individual’s life.
(E) Among naked mole rats, fighting results in the selection of a breeding female.

7. One function of the third paragraph of the passage is to
(A) state a conclusion about facts presented in an earlier paragraph
(B) introduce information that is contradicted by information in the fourth paragraph
(C) qualify the extent to which two previously mentioned groups might be similar
(D) show the chain of reasoning that led to the conclusions of a specific study
(E) demonstrate that of three explanatory factors offered, two may be of equal significance
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 [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2006, 05:29
I am starting to be very frustrated about RC, are you sure that strategies really works,.... does not seem so in my case I have tried to apply ryme strategies but it seems that are missed part of the passage,... in addition doing a brief synthesis takes times I do not really know what to do about this test section it seems to be that the best is getting as mach as possible involved in the passage maybe signaling some key reference words needed for the specific questions and absolutally read as soon as possible before starting reading the passage the first question....
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 [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2006, 09:45
Here are my answers.

1 C

2 A

3 b
4 D

5 E

6 D
7 C

U2 do we have the OA's for these questions..i'll post my reasoning after seeing the right answers..

Took about 12 mins to finish the passage and the questions.
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 [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2006, 11:42
Ok here I go....

1) I started off by reading the first para carefully and read it twice I think,
since I got a bit confused with the vertebrates and altruism part.

2) Then i wrote not more than one line for each para...

Para 2: Description of the naked mole rat colony - Queen being the
mainstay of this para.
Para 3: General behaviour of the two groups being discussed : eusocial
insect societies and naked mole rat. (Noted specially the mention
of Jarvis' work..)
Para 4: (Got a bit confused here...with all the "unlike" stmnts and
negations in the initial sentences). But read it twice since it was
the last and imp para though i could manage to get only the
faintest of ideas :?

Answer 1 : C - pretty obvious since all the other choices are very specific

Answer 2: B - A hasty answer could have been "rate of growth". But the
variable is actually "Age".

Answer 3: B - Remember here, that "performance of tasks" is supposed to
be compared between the two groups. C,D,E talks more about
breeding,reproduction and distribution respectively which is not
what is required.

Answer 4: B - Obvious in the text - "..behavioral and, presumably,
chemical control
".

Answer 5: E - I had to read the last para very very carefully this time.Note
that "Lycaon pictus" is an exception mentioned. Thus the
answer has to be something like "not by a pair of dogs"

Answer 6: D - Explicitly mentioned in the 3rd para.

Answer 7: C - The answer actually lies where we started off - 1st para i.e.
discussing about the possible similarity between the 2 groups.
(I Dont Know if this is the right answer...Unsure about this :? )

Took me 12 min to do this one....

There you are...Hope this helps

Pls post the OA's asap...anxious to know if the above is correct :wink:
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 [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2006, 20:07
here is a somewhat strange strategy.

be very good in SC and RC -

take 1:20 min for SC and 1:45 in CR - have plenty of time -

you will not panic when you confront an RC and your performance will improve.
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 [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2006, 21:17
Gauss wrote:
I am starting to be very frustrated about RC, are you sure that strategies really works,.... does not seem so in my case I have tried to apply ryme strategies but it seems that are missed part of the passage,... in addition doing a brief synthesis takes times I do not really know what to do about this test section it seems to be that the best is getting as mach as possible involved in the passage maybe signaling some key reference words needed for the specific questions and absolutally read as soon as possible before starting reading the passage the first question....


Yes strategies work. I applied strategy explained by IHateTheGmat and it seem to be working. My hit rate and timing have improved by approx 10%. I used to finish 5-6 minutes late in 40 RCs and now I am finishing 3-4 minutes early.
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 [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2006, 23:05
dahiya....could you please paste the link of the RC strategy which you are talking about...???
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 [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2006, 23:26
jitu_ch wrote:
dahiya....could you please paste the link of the RC strategy which you are talking about...???

http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=31956

Second post of IHateTheGMAT.
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Re: RC: Naked mole rates... LET'S DISCUSS THE BEST RC STRATEGIES [#permalink] New post 03 Feb 2013, 22:18
I never really have a strategy to approach the RC. So far, I noticed that I just have to improve my reading comprehension.. Understand the argument of the author.. his/her points,... his/her support to his/her points...

One strategy also that has been helpful is --- "Did the author/passage mention this?" This seems to be a quick way to eliminate non-contender answer choices...

It's like listening to a blabbering friend with patience :D

My explanation is below:


1. Which of the following most accurately states the main idea of the passage?

THE FIRST SENTENCE of the passage introduce the main topic... "Until recently, scientists did not know of a close vertebrate analogue to the extreme form of altruism observed in eusocial insects like ants and bees, whereby individuals Line cooperate, sometimes even sacrificing their own oppor (5) tunities to survive and reproduce, for the good of others."

ANSWER: (C) Behavior in naked mole rat colonies may well be a close vertebrate analogue to behavior in eusocial insect societies.


2. The passage suggests that Jarvis’ work has called into question which of the following explanatory variables for naked mole rat behavior?

Jarvis says that growth rate and length of time of task are factors to be considered regardless of age.. - "Jarvis’ work has suggested that differences in growth rates (30) may influence the length of time that an individual performs a task, regardless of age."

ANSWER: (B) Age

3. It can be inferred from the passage that the performance of tasks in naked mole rat colonies differs from task performance in eusocial insect societies in which of the following ways?
"Eusocial insect societies have rigid caste systems, each (20) insect’s role being defined by its behavior, body shape, and physiology. In naked mole rat societies, on the other hand, differences in behavior are related primarily to reproductive status (reproduction being limited to the queen and a few males), body size, and perhaps age."

Insects is to body shape and physiology. Mole Rat is to reproductive status, body size and age.. Thus less on body shape

ANSWER: (B) In naked mole rat colonies, the performance of tasks is less rigidly determined by body shape.

4. According to the passage, which of the following is a supposition rather than a fact concerning the queen in a naked mole rat colony?
FROM THE PASSAGE: "The queen is the largest member of the colony, and
she maintains her breeding status through a mixture of
behavioral and, PRESUMABLY, chemical control."


ANSWER: (B) She exerts chemical control over the colony.


5. The passage supports which of the following inferences about breeding among Lycaon pictus?
Cooperative breeding has evolved many times in verte-
brates, but unlike naked mole rats, most cooperatively
breeding vertebrates (EXCEPT THE WILD DOG, Lycaon pictus)
(35) are dominated by a pair of breeders rather than by a single
breeding female.


ANSWER: (E) Breeding is not dominated by a single pair of dogs.

6. According to the passage, naked mole rat colonies may differ from all other known vertebrate groups in which of the following ways?
IN THE FIRST sentence, extreme altruism is defined - "Until recently, scientists did not know of a close verte-
brate analogue to the extreme form of altruism observed in
eusocial insects like ants and bees, whereby individuals
Line cooperate, sometimes even sacrificing their own oppor-
(5) tunities to survive and reproduce, for the good of others." - SACRIFICING OPPORTUNITIES TO SURVIVE AND REPRODUCE... Naked mole rat has one breeding females and other female mole rats are not breeders... UNLIKE other vertebrate who may more than one female who can reproduce..


ANSWER: (A) Naked mole rats exhibit an extreme form of altruism.

7. One function of the third paragraph of the passage is to
(A) state a conclusion about facts presented in an earlier paragraph
(B) introduce information that is contradicted by information in the fourth paragraph
(C) qualify the extent to which two previously mentioned groups might be similar
(D) show the chain of reasoning that led to the conclusions of a specific study
(E) demonstrate that of three explanatory factors offered, two may be of equal significance
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Re: RC: Naked mole rates... LET'S DISCUSS THE BEST RC STRATEGIES   [#permalink] 03 Feb 2013, 22:18
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