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# The Economist Reading Comprehension Challenge

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Manager
Joined: 27 Jan 2013
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23 Apr 2013, 09:42
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Hi All,

You are probably reading this because you want to improve your verbal performance on the GMAT. Great! One way to improve the entire verbal section: Improve accuracy and speed of reading. One way to do this is to read a challenging article every day. To my students I suggest the economist: the level of reading and the grammar structures are similar to the GMAT, the topics are varied, and a certain number of articles are free each week. A few things that will help:

1. Read for 100% comprehension. Read with a dictionary. Go as slow as you need to in order to understand everything. This is not what you will do on the GMAT but it is necessary to train your reading.

2. Think about how the author structures his/her arguments. What is the main point? What are the facts? What are the opinions? What are the assumptions?

3. Pay attention to grammar structures. Analyze lists, parallelism, and verb tenses. Get comfortable with sentences that have many structurally unnecessary descriptive clauses. Confirm verb agreement.

The main idea is: Be an active reader In the internet age everyone has gotten used to skimming and half-comprehension. For the GMAT we have to train ourselves for a more focused analysis of text.

I have been providing reading comprehension questions for my students based on economist articles. This process has really helped them improve. I thought that the questions might be helpful and even encourage people here on GMATClub to do more reading in preparation for the GMAT. Below are the questions and a link to the article. Feel free to discuss and ask questions. I'll try to post as many as I can. If this turns out to be helpful maybe we can make it a regular thing. Have great day!

Happy Studies,

HG.

PS: If you enjoyed that, here is the 2nd set of the Economist Reading Comprehension Challenge: http://gmatclub.com/forum/the-economist-reading-comprehension-challenge-151827.html

These questions are based on the first article in the series
http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21573529-small-models-cosmic-phenomena-are-shedding-light-real-thing-how-build

"Small models of cosmic phenomena are shedding light on the real thing"

1. It can be inferred from the article that some stars

A. have unlimited sources of fusion and can therefore last indefinitely

B. by increasing in mass create powerful magnetic fields which interfere with the energy creation capacities of other stars

C. have properties that affect light emitted by certain gasses

D. increase in temperature and mass but decrease in volume as they die

E. decrease in temperature but increase in mass and volume as they die

2. The author of the passage would most likely agree with which of the following statements?

A. There are some subjects for which it is impossible to gather direct scientific measurements

B. Experiments which are not based on direct evidence have a higher margin for error than experiments based on direct observation of phenomena

C. Magnetism is one of the few properties of White Dwarfs that scientists are able to accurately estimate

D. In some certain specialized laboratories the magnetism of a White Dwarf can be closely approximated

E. The most powerful man-made magnetic fields have a similar output to those of some stars

3. How does the 5th paragraph relate to the passage as a whole?

A. It elaborates on an example from the previous paragraph and puts forth a theory

B. It provides a series of examples in order to strengthen an assertion put forth by the author

C. It outlines an important detail of an experiment by which a theory in the passage is supported

D. It provides the background history of the scientific question being studied

E. It evaluates a scientific experiment which in itself is being used to test a theory proposed in the previous paragraph

4. It can be reasonably inferred that in a hydrogen atom

A. it is more difficult to manipulate the position of the protons compared to the protons in a pseudo-hydrogen atom

B. the electrons are bonded to each other more tightly than those of a psuedo-hydrogen atom are bonded

C. there are fewer electrons per available proton than in pseudo-hydrogen

D. the change in spectrum is directly proportional to the power of the magnetic field to which it is exposed

E. the extra electron would have behaved similarly to the extra electron in psuedo-hydrogen when exposed to a tesla-magnet of comparable power to a white dwarf

[Reveal] Spoiler:
1. C
2. A
3. C
4. E

_________________

"It is a curious property of research activity that after the problem has been solved the solution seems obvious. This is true not only for those who have not previously been acquainted with the problem, but also for those who have worked over it for years." -Dr. Edwin Land

GMAT vs GRE Comparison

If you found my post useful KUDOS are much appreciated.

Here is the first set along with some strategies for approaching this work: http://gmatclub.com/forum/the-economist-reading-comprehension-challenge-151479.html

Last edited by HerrGrau on 11 May 2014, 08:24, edited 9 times in total.
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Manager
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27 Apr 2013, 14:18
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Hi,

I hope you are well. Here are the explanations for questions 3 and 4. Let me know if you have more questions.

Happy Studies,

HG.

3. How does the 5th paragraph relate to the passage as a whole?

A. It elaborates on an example from the previous paragraph and puts forth a theory

B. It provides a series of examples in order to strengthen an assertion put forth by the author

C. It outlines an important detail of an experiment by which a theory in the passage is supported
The paragraph talks about a specific detail (the psudeo-hydrogen/silicon phosporous) of the experiment. The experiment is used to support the scientist's theory.

D. It provides the background history of the scientific question being studied

E. It evaluates a scientific experiment which in itself is being used to test a theory proposed in the previous paragraph
To evaluate means to judge. The experiment isn't judged. It is explained. Also, only a piece of the experiment is explained.

4. It can be reasonably inferred that in a hydrogen atom

A. it is more difficult to manipulate the position of the protons compared to the protons in a pseudo-hydrogen atom
We are told in the article it is more difficult to manipulate the EXTRA ELECTRON in hydrogen. The author does not say anything about manipulating the position of the protons.

B. the electrons are bonded to each other more tightly than those of a psuedo-hydrogen atom are bonded
We know that the extra electron is less tightly held to the proton by know nothing about the electrons bonded to each other.

C. there are fewer electrons per available proton than in pseudo-hydrogen

D. the change in spectrum is directly proportional to the power of the magnetic field to which it is exposed

E. the extra electron would have behaved similarly to the extra electron in psuedo-hydrogen when exposed to a tesla-magnet of comparable power to a white dwarf
The experiment with the psuedo-hydrogen involved exposing the psuedo-hydrogen to a tesla magnet which simulated a white dwarf. The tesla magnet was less powerful than a white dwarf but the extra electron in psuedo hydrogen required less power than the extra electron in regular hydrogen to be manipulated. We can infer that if the tesla magnet were as powerful as a white dwarf that the magnet could in fact produce that same change in a regular hydrogen atom.
_________________

"It is a curious property of research activity that after the problem has been solved the solution seems obvious. This is true not only for those who have not previously been acquainted with the problem, but also for those who have worked over it for years." -Dr. Edwin Land

GMAT vs GRE Comparison

If you found my post useful KUDOS are much appreciated.

Here is the first set along with some strategies for approaching this work: http://gmatclub.com/forum/the-economist-reading-comprehension-challenge-151479.html

Manager
Joined: 27 Jan 2013
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23 Apr 2013, 17:43
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Thank you! I feel like reading the economist is a real secret weapon for acing the GMAT verbal section. The first time that I meet with any student I always assign an economist article per day.

Have a great night,

HG.
_________________

"It is a curious property of research activity that after the problem has been solved the solution seems obvious. This is true not only for those who have not previously been acquainted with the problem, but also for those who have worked over it for years." -Dr. Edwin Land

GMAT vs GRE Comparison

If you found my post useful KUDOS are much appreciated.

Here is the first set along with some strategies for approaching this work: http://gmatclub.com/forum/the-economist-reading-comprehension-challenge-151479.html

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27 Apr 2013, 20:58
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The Economist is great for practicing RC. Here are some sources that supply some good science content to practice reading:

Scientific American
The University of Chicago Magazine
Harvard Magazine

KW

Posted from my mobile device
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Kyle Widdison | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | Utah

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27 Apr 2013, 21:24
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Sorry, here are the links to those sources:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/
http://mag.uchicago.edu/
http://harvardmagazine.com/

(Focus on the research articles, not the news with U of Chicago and Harvard magazines).
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30 Apr 2013, 22:29
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Hi Prassannajeet,

Good-morning. I hope you are doing well. Let me know if you need more advice on this. Happy Studies!

1. It can be inferred from the article that some stars

A. have unlimited sources of fusion and can therefore last indefinitely
We are not told this

B. by increasing in mass create powerful magnetic fields which interfere with the energy creation capacities of other stars
We are not told this

C. have properties that affect light emitted by certain gasses
In paragraph 4 the author talks about how magnetic fields affect the light emitted by Hydrogen. The white dwarfs have powerful magnetic fields. Also, the experiment in the passage is based on magnetic fields affecting the light of gasses.

D. increase in temperature and mass but decrease in volume as they die
Partly true, but in fact they decrease in temperature (paragraph 3)

E. decrease in temperature but increase in mass and volume as they die
Partly true, but they decrease in volume (paragraph 3)

2. The author of the passage would most likely agree with which of the following statements?

A. There are some subjects for which it is impossible to gather direct scientific measurements

The whole reason for using the tesla magnet and creating the experiment is that scientists are unable to observe/experiment with the white dwarfs directly (paragraphs 1 + 2)

B. Experiments which are not based on direct evidence have a higher margin for error than experiments based on direct observation of phenomena
We are not told this

C. Magnetism is one of the few properties of White Dwarfs that scientists are able to accurately estimate
We are not told this

D. In some certain specialized laboratories the magnetism of a White Dwarf can be closely approximated
We are told the opposite that the Tesla magnet is far weaker than the magnetism of a white dwarf thus the scientists must use pseudo hydrogen.

E. The most powerful man-made magnetic fields have a similar output to those of some stars
_________________

"It is a curious property of research activity that after the problem has been solved the solution seems obvious. This is true not only for those who have not previously been acquainted with the problem, but also for those who have worked over it for years." -Dr. Edwin Land

GMAT vs GRE Comparison

If you found my post useful KUDOS are much appreciated.

Here is the first set along with some strategies for approaching this work: http://gmatclub.com/forum/the-economist-reading-comprehension-challenge-151479.html

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11 Apr 2015, 07:14
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As a non native speaker, I'm always struggling with RC! Thank you HerrGrau for such helpful initiative!
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23 Apr 2013, 16:06
Great Initiative HerrGrau !

Many thanks +1
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26 Apr 2013, 23:38
this is great...

1) C
2) A
3) E...wrong
4) A...wrong

want to know your reasoning for the solution..

expecting more topics from you in future..
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27 Apr 2013, 09:40
Great job! I will post an explanation after I'm done teaching today.

Happy studies,

HG

Posted from my mobile device
_________________

"It is a curious property of research activity that after the problem has been solved the solution seems obvious. This is true not only for those who have not previously been acquainted with the problem, but also for those who have worked over it for years." -Dr. Edwin Land

GMAT vs GRE Comparison

If you found my post useful KUDOS are much appreciated.

Here is the first set along with some strategies for approaching this work: http://gmatclub.com/forum/the-economist-reading-comprehension-challenge-151479.html

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30 Apr 2013, 20:14
Hi HG...Good Morning
Please explain question 1 & 2 as well.

Rgds
Prasannajeet
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01 May 2013, 22:43
Hi HG
Undoubtedly +1....

You recommended to read at least one challenging article per day, so I want to know what to read particularly in online news paper and magazine...so as to improve the RC also seeking you feedback on vocab part as well.

Rgds
Prasannajeet
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02 May 2013, 04:35
Hi,

I would keep it simple and just pick an article from the economist every day. For vocabulary, read with a dictionary and keep a log of the words that you did not know. You can turn them into flash cards as well. Let me know if you need more advice on this.

Happy Studies,

HG.
_________________

"It is a curious property of research activity that after the problem has been solved the solution seems obvious. This is true not only for those who have not previously been acquainted with the problem, but also for those who have worked over it for years." -Dr. Edwin Land

GMAT vs GRE Comparison

If you found my post useful KUDOS are much appreciated.

Here is the first set along with some strategies for approaching this work: http://gmatclub.com/forum/the-economist-reading-comprehension-challenge-151479.html

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21 Jan 2014, 07:06
HerrGrau wrote:
Hi All,

You are probably reading this because you want to improve your verbal performance on the GMAT. Great! One way to improve the entire verbal section: Improve accuracy and speed of reading. One way to do this is to read a challenging article every day. To my students I suggest the economist: the level of reading and the grammar structures are similar to the GMAT, the topics are varied, and a certain number of articles are free each week. A few things that will help:

This is just an invaluable contribution to test-takers, thanks a lot for your effort. I am a non-native speaker and have been a subscriber to the print edition of the Economist since September 2013.
I plainly endorse your advices; just by reading the weekly issue I have been able to jump-start my progress on Verbal. Being "compelled" to comply with the weekly deadline-I hate leaving unread things hovering around the flat- both helped me in honing and tuning some skills I totally lacked and also equipped me with a critical view on international matters. Honestly, reading is one of the best choices I undertook since I have started my GMAT journey.
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learn the rules of the game, then play better than anyone else.

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03 Mar 2014, 13:07
Hi there gmat6nplus1,

Thanks for participating! Reading something tough every day is great for GMAT prep. Not to mention that you learn something new and may have something interesting to talk about in an interview. So lots of positive things. Unfortunately because the challenges don't follow the correct format for the verbal forum I'm unable to post them on GMATclub. So it goes. All new Economist Reading Comprehension Challenges will be at the Atlantic GMAT Blog. I'll post updates here for anyone who is following along. Here's the 7th installment of the Economist Reading Comprehension Challenge!

Happy Studies,

A.
_________________

"It is a curious property of research activity that after the problem has been solved the solution seems obvious. This is true not only for those who have not previously been acquainted with the problem, but also for those who have worked over it for years." -Dr. Edwin Land

GMAT vs GRE Comparison

If you found my post useful KUDOS are much appreciated.

Here is the first set along with some strategies for approaching this work: http://gmatclub.com/forum/the-economist-reading-comprehension-challenge-151479.html

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27 Mar 2014, 01:42
Hi All,

Thanks for participating in the Economist Reading Comprehension Challenge! I hope that you enjoy this week's article on the communication in Hyena societies. Fascinating stuff! Here is the link to the 8th Economist Reading Comprehension Challenge!

Happy Studies,

A.
_________________

"It is a curious property of research activity that after the problem has been solved the solution seems obvious. This is true not only for those who have not previously been acquainted with the problem, but also for those who have worked over it for years." -Dr. Edwin Land

GMAT vs GRE Comparison

If you found my post useful KUDOS are much appreciated.

Here is the first set along with some strategies for approaching this work: http://gmatclub.com/forum/the-economist-reading-comprehension-challenge-151479.html

Manager
Joined: 27 Jan 2013
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11 May 2014, 08:20
Hi All,

I hope everyone is doing well! I'm happy to announce a new Economist Reading Comprehension Challenge: Rise of the Robots. Will the robots finally reach their true potential and take over the planet (Terminator/Matrix style) or are they doomed to vacuuming our carpets? All this and more in this weeks challenge! Here is the link: Economist Reading Comprehension Challenge #9. If you're just getting started with the challenges then you might want to check out this article for some tips on using the Economist to improve your GMAT reading comprehension. Good luck!

Happy Studies,

A.
_________________

"It is a curious property of research activity that after the problem has been solved the solution seems obvious. This is true not only for those who have not previously been acquainted with the problem, but also for those who have worked over it for years." -Dr. Edwin Land

GMAT vs GRE Comparison

If you found my post useful KUDOS are much appreciated.

Here is the first set along with some strategies for approaching this work: http://gmatclub.com/forum/the-economist-reading-comprehension-challenge-151479.html

Manager
Joined: 27 Jan 2013
Posts: 230
GMAT 1: 780 Q49 V51
Followers: 48

Kudos [?]: 212 [0], given: 32

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13 Apr 2015, 09:07
Hi - Glad you are participating! Happy studies!!

A.
_________________

"It is a curious property of research activity that after the problem has been solved the solution seems obvious. This is true not only for those who have not previously been acquainted with the problem, but also for those who have worked over it for years." -Dr. Edwin Land

GMAT vs GRE Comparison

If you found my post useful KUDOS are much appreciated.

Here is the first set along with some strategies for approaching this work: http://gmatclub.com/forum/the-economist-reading-comprehension-challenge-151479.html

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16 Dec 2015, 05:55
so is it something like articles are accessible only after subscription by paying??
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16 Dec 2015, 06:00
Hi Shapla,

The last I checked, the Economist has five free articles per week. Also - note that you can read other magazines/newspapers. I like the Economist because it is a weekly so a bit denser than most dailies (New York Times, WSJ...). That said, if you are going to get your MBA, an Economist subscription wouldn't be a bad thing:)

Happy Studies,

A.
_________________

"It is a curious property of research activity that after the problem has been solved the solution seems obvious. This is true not only for those who have not previously been acquainted with the problem, but also for those who have worked over it for years." -Dr. Edwin Land

GMAT vs GRE Comparison

If you found my post useful KUDOS are much appreciated.

Here is the first set along with some strategies for approaching this work: http://gmatclub.com/forum/the-economist-reading-comprehension-challenge-151479.html

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