We have heard a good deal in recent years about the declining importance of the two major political parties. It is the mass media, we are told, that decide the outcome of elections, not the power of the parties. But it is worth noting that no independent or third-party candidate has won any important election in recent years, and in the last nationwide campaign, the two major parties raised and spent more money than ever before in support of their candidates and platforms. It seems clear that reports of the imminent demise of the two-party system are premature at best.
1. Which of the following is an assumption made in the argument above?
(A) The amount of money raised and spent by a political party is one valid criterion for judging the influence of the party.
(B) A significant increase in the number of third-party candidates would be evidence of a decline in the importance of the two major parties.
(C) The two-party system has contributed significantly to the stability of the American political structure.
(D) The mass media tend to favor an independent or third-party candidate over a candidate from one of the two major parties.（A）
(E) The mass media are relatively unimportant in deciding the outcome of most elections.
2.In 1980, a Danish ten-Ã¸re coin minted in 1747 was sold at auction for $8,000. Eleanor Bixby owns another Danish ten-Ã¸re coin minted in 1747. When she puts it on the market next week, it will fetch a price over $18,000.
Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the conclusion drawn above?
(A) Since 1980, the average price for rare coins has increased by over 150 percent.
(B) There are only four coins like the one in question in the entire world.
(C) Since 1980, the consumer price index has risen by over 150 percent.
(D) In 1986, a previously unknown cache of one hundred coins just like the one in question was found.（D）
(E) Thirty prominent, wealthy coin collectors are expected to bid for Bixbyâ€™s coin.
3.Determining the authenticity of purported pre-Columbian artifacts is never easy. Carbon-14 dating of these artifacts is often impossible due to contamination by radioactive palladium (which occurs naturally in the soils of Central and South America). However, historians and anthropologists have evolved two reliable criteria, which, utilized in combination, have proven effective for dating these artifacts. First, because authentic pre-Columbian artifacts characteristically occur in a coarse, granular matrix that is shifted by major earthquakes, they often exhibit the unique scratch patterns known as gridding. In addition, true pre-Columbian artifacts show a darkening in surface color that is caused by centuries of exposure to the minute amounts of magnesium in the soil of the Americas.
The criteria above would be LEAST useful in judging the authenticity of which of the following?
(A) An ax head of black obsidian, unearthed from a kitchen midden
(B) A pottery bowl with a red ocher design, found in the ruins of a temple
(C) A set of gold ear weights, ornamented with jasper pendants
(D) A black feather cape from a kingâ€™s burial vault（D）
(E) A multicolored woven sash found near the gravesite of a slave