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At the time Jane Austen's novels were published-between 1811 and 1818

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At the time Jane Austen's novels were published-between 1811 and 1818  [#permalink]

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New RC from 1988 Official Guide



    At the time Jane Austen's novels were pub-
    lished-between 1811 and 1818-English literature
    was not part of any academic curriculum. In
    addition, fiction was under strenuous attack.
(5)
    Certain religious and political groups felt novels
    had the power to make so-called immoral char-
    acters so interesting that young readers would
    identify with them; these groups also considered
    novels to be of little practical use. Even Cole-
(10)
    ridge, certainly no literary reactionary" spoke for
    many when he asserted that "novel-reading occa-
    sions the destruction of the mind's powers."

    These attitudes toward novels help explain why
    Austen received little attention from early nine-
(15)
    teenth-century literary critics. (In any case, a
    novelist published anonymously, as Austen was,
    would not be likely to receive much critical atten-
    tion.) The literary response that was accorded
    her, however, was often as incisive as twentieth-
(20)
    century criticism. In his attack in 1816 on novel-
    istic portrayals "outside of ordinary experience,"
    for example, Scott made an insightful remark about
    the merits of Austen's fiction. Her novels, wrote
    Scott, "present to the reader an accurate and exact
(25)
    picture of ordinary everyday people and places,
    reminiscent of seventeenth-century Flemish
    painting." Scott did not use the word "realism,"
    but he undoubtedly used a standard of realistic
    probability in judging novels. The critic Whately
(30)
    did not use the word realism either, but he
    expressed agreement with Scott's evaluation
    and went on to suggest the possibilities for moral
    instruction in what we have called Austen's real-
    istic method. Her characters, wrote Whately,
(35)
    are persuasive agents for moral truth since they
    are ordinary persons "so clearly evoked that we
    feel an interest in their fate as if it were our own."
    Moral instruction, explained Whately, is more
    likely to' be effective when conveyed through recog-
(40)
    nizably human and interesting characters than
    when imparted by a sermonizing narrator. Whately
    especially praised Austen's ability to create
    characters who "mingle goodness and villainy,
    weakness and virtue, as in life they are always
(45)
    mingled." Whately concluded his remarks by
    comparing Austen's art of characterization to
    Dickens', stating his preference for Austen's.
    Yet the response of nineteenth-century literary
    critics to Austen was not always so laudatory and
(50)
    often anticipated the reservations of twentieth-
    century critics. An example of such a response
    was Lewes' complaint in 1859 that Austen's range
    of subjects and characters was too narrow. Prais-
    ing her verisimilitude, Lewes added that nonethe-
(55)
    less, her focus was too often upon only the unlofty
    and the commonplace. (Twentieth-century Marx-
    ists, on the other hand, were to complain about
    what they saw as her exclusive emphasis on a lofty
    upper-middle class.) In any case, having been
(60)
    rescued by some literary critics from neglect and
    indeed gradually lionized by them, Austen steadily
    reached, by the mid-nineteenth century, the envi-
    able pinnacle of being considered controversial.

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) demonstrate the nineteenth-century preference for realistic novels rather than romantic ones
(B) explain why Jane Austen's novels were not included in any academic curriculum in the early nineteenth century
(C) urge a reassessment of Jane Austen's novels by twentieth-century literary critics
(D) describe some of the responses of nineteenth-century critics to Jane Austen's novels as well as, to fiction in general
(E) argue that realistic character portrayal is the novelist's most difficult task as well as the aspect of a novel most likely to elicit a critical response


2. The passage supplies information for answering which of the following questions?

(A) Was Whately aware of Scott's remarks about Jane Austen's novels?
(B) Who is an example of a twentieth-century Marxist critic?
(C) Who is an example of a twentieth-century critic who admired Jane Austen's novels?
(D)What is the author's judgment of Dickens?
(E) Did Jane Austen express her opinion of those nineteenth-century critics who admired her novels?


3. The author mentions that English literature "was not part of any academic curriculum" in the highlighted text in the early nineteenth century in order to

(A) emphasize the need for Jane Austen to create ordinary, everyday characters in her novels
(B) give support to those religious and political groups that had attacked fiction
(C) give one reason why Jane Austen 's novels received little critical attention in the early nineteenth century
(D) suggest the superiority of an informal and unsystematized approach to the study of literature
(E) contrast nineteenth-century attitudes toward English literature with those toward classical literature


4. The passage supplies information to suggest that the religious and political groups mentioned in highlighted text and Whately might have agreed that a novel
(A) has little practical use
(B) has the ability to influence the moral values of its readers
(C) is of most interest to readers when representing ordinary human characters
(D) should not be read by young readers
(E) needs the sermonizing of a narrator in order to impart moral truths


5. The author quotes Coleridge "novel-reading occasions the destruction of the mind's powers" in order to

(A) refute the literary opinions of certain religious and political groups
(B) make a case for the inferiority of novels to poetry
(C) give an example of a writer who was not a literary reactionary
(D) illustrate the early nineteenth-century belief that fiction was especially appealing to young readers
(E) indicate how widespread was the attack on novels in the early nineteenth century


6. The passage suggests that twentieth-century Marxists would have admired Jane Austen's novels more if the novels, as the Marxists understood them, had

(A) described the values of upper-middle-class society
(B) avoided moral instruction and sermonizing
(C) depicted ordinary society in a more flattering light
(D) portrayed characters from more than one class of society
(E) anticipated some of the controversial social problems of the twentieth century


7. It can be inferred from the passage that Whately found Dickens' characters to be

(A) especially interesting to young readers
(B) ordinary persons in recognizably human situations
(C) less liable than Jane Austen's characters to have a realistic mixture of moral qualities
(D) more often villainous and weak than virtuous and good
(E) less susceptible thanJane Austen's characters to the moral judgments of a sermonizing narrator


8. According to the passage, the lack of critical attention paid to Jane Austen can be explained by all of the following nineteenth-century attitudes toward the novel EXCEPT the

(A) assurance felt by many people that novels weakened the mind
(B) certainty shared by many political commen- tators that the range of novels was too narrow
(C) lack of interest shown by some critics in novels that were published anonymously
(D) fear exhibited by some religious and political groups that novels had the power to portray immoral characters attractively
(E) belief held by some religious and political groups that novels had no practical value


9. The author would most likely agree that which of the following is the best measure of a writer's literary success?

(A) The inclusion of the writer 's work in an academic curriculum
(B) Publication of the writer's work in the writer's own name
(C) The existence of debate among critics about the writer's work
(D) Praise of the writer 's work by religious and political groups
(E) Ability of the writer's work to appeal to ordinary people


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Re: At the time Jane Austen's novels were published-between 1811 and 1818  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Nov 2018, 20:17
1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) demonstrate the nineteenth-century preference for realistic novels rather than romantic ones
(B) explain why Jane Austen's novels were not included in any academic curriculum in the early nineteenth century
(C) urge a reassessment of Jane Austen's novels by twentieth-century literary critics
(D) describe some of the responses of nineteenth-century critics to Jane Austen's novels as well as, to fiction in general
(E) argue that realistic character portrayal is the novelist's most difficult task as well as the aspect of a novel most likely to elicit a critical response


The best answer is D. When asked to identify the primary purpose of a passage, you must select the answer choice that states what the passage, as a whole, achieves. Choice D correctly identifies the passage as descriptive and goes on to accurately state the broad categories of things described. The passage does not contrast realistic and romantic novels, as choice A suggests. Austen's absence from academic curricula is mentioned only to support a larger point; thus, choice B is incorrect. Choice C is incorrect because of the passage judges twentieth-century assessments satisfactory, leaving no reason to urge reassessment. Nothing is mentioned about the relative difficulty of realistic character portrayal or its tendency to attract more criticism than other aspects of novels; thus choice E can be eliminated.

2. The passage supplies information for answering which of the following questions?

(A) Was Whately aware of Scott's remarks about Jane Austen's novels?
(B) Who is an example of a twentieth-century Marxist critic?
(C) Who is an example of a twentieth-century critic who admired Jane Austen's novels?
(D)What is the author's judgment of Dickens?
(E) Did Jane Austen express her opinion of those nineteenth-century critics who admired her novels?


The best answer is A. In order to answer this question, you should work through each of the choices, checking whether or not the passage supplies enough information to answer the question posed in the choice. Lines 30-31 tell us that Whately "expressed agreement with Scott's evaluation" of Austen's fictions; in order to agree, Whately must have been aware of Scott's remarks. Thus, an answer to the question posed in choice A is provided. Although the passage mentions Marxists. none is specifically named, thus choice B can be eliminated. The same reasoning eliminates choice C. Choice D can be eliminated because, while Whately's opinion is mentioned, the author's own is not. Choice E can be eliminated because the passage nowhere indicates that Austen was even aware of criticism of her work.

3. The author mentions that English literature "was not part of any academic curriculum" in the highlighted text in the early nineteenth century in order to

(A) emphasize the need for Jane Austen to create ordinary, everyday characters in her novels
(B) give support to those religious and political groups that had attacked fiction
(C) give one reason why Jane Austen 's novels received little critical attention in the early nineteenth century
(D) suggest the superiority of an informal and unsystematized approach to the study of literature
(E) contrast nineteenth-century attitudes toward English literature with those toward classical literature


The best answer is C. This question asks you to identify a reason for the author's selection of a particular supporting detail in the passage. You can approach this question by first re-reading the part of the passage cited. Then, determine the reason for the author's selection and pick the answer choice that most nearly states what you consider the reason. Lines 13-15 are a straightforward indication of the author's reason for mentioning the absence of English literature in academic curricula: it is one indication of "attitudes . .. [that] help explain" why Austen was neglected by critics around the time her fiction was published. Choice C is very nearly a restatement of that idea.

4. The passage supplies information to suggest that the religious and political groups mentioned in highlighted text and Whately might have agreed that a novel

(A) has little practical use
(B) has the ability to influence the moral values of its readers
(C) is of most interest to readers when representing ordinary human characters
(D) should not be read by young readers
(E) needs the sermonizing of a narrator in order to impart moral truths


The best answer is B. This question requires you to start with a proposition not stated in the passage, i.e., that Whately and the groups mentioned share an opinion. The answer choices present possible opinions. Using the information given in the passage, you must determine which of the possible opinions could have been held in common. The passage indicates that the religious and political groups feared that readers would identify with immoral characters. It suggests that Whately thought that novels could be vehicles of moral instruction. Although they disagree about the value of such influence, they agree that novels can influence moral behavior. The other choices contain opinions that one or the other, but not both, holds (choices A, C, D) or an opinion that can not be attributed to either (choice E).

5. The author quotes Coleridge "novel-reading occasions the destruction of the mind's powers" in order to

(A) refute the literary opinions of certain religious and political groups
(B) make a case for the inferiority of novels to poetry
(C) give an example of a writer who was not a literary reactionary
(D) illustrate the early nineteenth-century belief that fiction was especially appealing to young readers
(E) indicate how widespread was the attack on novels in the early nineteenth century


The best answer is E. This question asks you to identify a reason for the author's choice of a particular quotation in the passage. You can approach the question by first determining the reason and then selecting the answer choice that most nearly states what you consider that reason. The reference to Coleridge appears in a paragraph devoted to outlining the extent of opposition to novel-reading at the time of the publication of Austen's fiction. The phrase "Even Coleridge, certainly no literary reactionary . . ." (lines 9-10) suggests that Coleridge might be expected to differ, but the quotation demonstrates that Coleridge, too, was suspicious of novels. It illustrates the point that fiction was under strenuous, and widespread, attack. Choice E is very nearly a restatement of that idea.

6. The passage suggests that twentieth-century Marxists would have admired Jane Austen's novels more if the novels, as the Marxists understood them, had

(A) described the values of upper-middle-class society
(B) avoided moral instruction and sermonizing
(C) depicted ordinary society in a more flattering light
(D) portrayed characters from more than one class of society
(E) anticipated some of the controversial social problems of the twentieth century


The best answer is D. The question requires you to determine a quality that Marxists find admirable in fiction, but that is missing from Austen's fiction. You should first look for the specific reference to Marxists. Lines 56-59 indicate that Marxists criticize Austen's fiction for its exclusive focus on the upper-middle class. This suggests that a Marxist criterion for judging novels involves the represents a novel represents a variety of social classes. If Austen 's novels had portrayed characters from more than one class of society, as choice D states, it can be inferred that Marxists would value them more highly. Choice A is incorrect, because it states precisely what the Marxists object to . There is no information to support any of the remaining choices.

7. It can be inferred from the passage that Whately found Dickens' characters to be

(A) especially interesting to young readers
(B) ordinary persons in recognizably human situations
(C) less liable than Jane Austen's characters to have a realistic mixture of moral qualities
(D) more often villainous and weak than virtuous and good
(E) less susceptible thanJane Austen's characters to the moral judgments of a sermonizing narrator


The best answer is C. This question requires you to infer Whately's opinion of Dickens' characters. It is important to note that Dickens' method of characterization is mentioned only in contrast to Austen's. Lines 41-45 indicate that Whately particularly admired in Austen's characters a mingling of "goodness and villainy, weakness and virtue, as in life they are always mingled." The passage then indicates that Whately preferred Austen's "art of characterization" to that of Dickens. Such a preference implies a significant difference between the two writers, suggesting that Dickens' method lacks a central characteristic of Austen's, that is, the portrayal of characters with realistically mixed virtues and flaws. Choice C is very nearly a restatement of that idea.

8. According to the passage, the lack of critical attention paid to Jane Austen can be explained by all of the following nineteenth-century attitudes toward the novel EXCEPT the

(A) assurance felt by many people that novels weakened the mind
(B) certainty shared by many political commentators that the range of novels was too narrow
(C) lack of interest shown by some critics in novels that were published anonymously
(D) fear exhibited by some religious and political groups that novels had the power to portray immoral characters attractively
(E) belief held by some religious and political groups that novels had no practical value


The best answer is B. This question requires you to evaluate each of the answer choices and to judge which is not mentioned in the passage as an explanation for the critical neglect Austen suffered in the nineteenth century. Each of the answer choices could conceivably serve as an explanation, so it is important that you carefully consider what the passage actually mentions. The explanations offered in the first paragraph of the passage are those stated in choices A, D, and E. Lines 16-18 indicate that books published anonymously were unlikely to be reviewed; thus, choice C is also one of the explanations cited in the passage. The passage does not suggest that concerns about the narrow range of Austen's novels resulted in critical neglect; in fact, the contrary is suggested (lines 51-56). Thus, B is the best choice.

9. The author would most likely agree that which of the following is the best measure of a writer's literary success?

(A) The inclusion of the writer 's work in an academic curriculum
(B) Publication of the writer's work in the writer's own name
(C) The existence of debate among critics about the writer's work
(D) Praise of the writer 's work by religious and political groups
(E) Ability of the writer's work to appeal to ordinary people


The best answer is C. This question requires you to determine, on the basis of ideas presented in the passage, what the author might think of an idea not presented in the passage, in this case, what constitutes the best measure of literary success. Although choices A, D, and E are plausible measures
of a writer's success, nothing in the passage suggests that the author considers any of the "best," while choice B is not clearly a criterion for judgment. Lines 61-63, however, indicate that Austen has reached the " enviable pinnacle of being considered controversial," that is, the highest point one can reach. Thus, from the author's point of view, the best measure of an author's success is, as paraphrased in choice C, the existence of the debate about the author.
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Re: At the time Jane Austen's novels were published-between 1811 and 1818  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Nov 2018, 05:18
1
P1 - some info on english lit. fiction not good
P2 - good point for JA. by multiple critique.
P3 - these good point were not so countable to controversial

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(D) describe some of the responses of nineteenth-century critics to Jane Austen's novels as well as, to fiction in general -- this one is best among all.

-------------------
2. The passage supplies information for answering which of the following questions?

The critic Whately did not use the word realism either, but he expressed agreement with Scott's evaluation and went on to suggest the possibilities for moral instruction in what we have called Austen's realistic method. Her

(A) Was Whately aware of Scott's remarks about Jane Austen's novels?

-----------------------------------------------

3. The author mentions that English literature "was not part of any academic curriculum" in the highlighted text in the early nineteen~h century in order to
1st para 1st line
(C) give one reason why Jane Austen 's novels received little critical attention in the early nineteenth century -

------------------------------------------------

4. The passage supplies information to suggest that the religious and political groups mentioned in highlighted text and Whately might have agreed that a novel

1. felt novels had the power to make so-called immoral characters so interesting that young readers would identify with them

2. moral instruction in what we have called Austen's realistic method. Her characters, wrote Whately, are persuasive agents for moral truth since they are ordinary persons "so clearly evoked that we feel an interest in their fate as if it were our own." Moral instruction, explained Whately, is more likely to' be effective when conveyed through recognizably human and interesting characters than when imparted by a sermonizing narrator.

B and E are main contender, Cause of 1 I inclined towards B.

(B) has the ability to influence the moral values of its readers

--------------------------------------------------

5. The author quotes Coleridge "novel-reading occasions the destruction of the mind's powers" in order to

No doubt it should be E.
(E) indicate how widespread was the attack on novels in the early nineteenth century

-------------------------------------------------

6. The passage suggests that twentieth-century Marxists would have admired Jane Austen's novels more if the novels, as the Marxists understood them, had

(Twentieth-century Marx- ists, on the other hand, were to complain about what they saw as her exclusive emphasis on a lofty upper-middle class.) In any case, having been rescued by some literary critics from neglect and indeed gradually lionized by them, Austen steadlJY reached, by the mid-nineteenth century, the enviable pinnacle of being considered controversial.

(D) portrayed characters from more than one class of society

--------------------------------------------------

7. It can be inferred from the passage that Whately found Dickens' characters to be

Whately especially praised Austen's ability to create characters who "mingle goodness and villainy, weakness and virtue, as in life they are always mingled." . Whately concluded his remarks by comparing Austen's art of characterization to Dickens', stating his preference for Austen's.

(A) especially interesting to young readers - no
(B) ordinary persons in recognizably human situations - no
(C) less liable than Jane Austen's characters to have a realistic mixture of moral qualities -
(D) more often villainous and weak than virtuous and good - no
(E) less susceptible than Jane Austen's characters to the moral judgments of a sermonizing narrator -

C wins over E.

------------------------------------------------

8. According to the passage, the lack of critical attention paid to Jane Austen can be explained by all of the following nineteenth-century attitudes toward the novel EXCEPT the

(A) assurance felt by many people that novels weakened the mind - T
(B) certainty shared by many political commentators that the range of novels was too narrow - Answer.
(C) lack of interest shown by some critics in novels that were published anonymously - "In any case, a novelist published anonymously, as Austen was, would not be likely to receive much critical attention" T
(D) fear exhibited by some religious and political groups that novels had the power to portray immoral characters attractively - T
(E) belief held by some religious and political groups that novels had no practical value - T

-----------------------------------------------

9. The author would most likely agree that which of the following is the best measure of a writer's literary success?

(A) The inclusion of the writer 's work in an academic curriculum - no
(B) Publication of the writer's work in the writer's own name - no
(C) The existence of debate among critics about the writer's work - best of the lot. ----- The literary response that was accorded her, however, was often as incisive as twentieth-century criticism.
(D) Praise of the writer 's work by religious and political groups - no
(E) Ability of the writer's work to appeal to ordinary people - no
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Re: At the time Jane Austen's novels were published-between 1811 and 1818  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2018, 00:57
Dear workout,

Thank you so much for posting many questions on the RC forum!! However, I find the formatting of the passages really confusing... I am not able to see when a paragraph begins or ends and the number of lines makes it really hard to read the passage...

Maybe it is possible to change it? Again, thank you for your great contribution:)
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Re: At the time Jane Austen's novels were published-between 1811 and 1818  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2018, 01:17
1
T1101 wrote:
Dear workout,

Thank you so much for posting many questions on the RC forum!! However, I find the formatting of the passages really confusing... I am not able to see when a paragraph begins or ends and the number of lines makes it really hard to read the passage...

Maybe it is possible to change it? Again, thank you for your great contribution:)


T1101

Thank you for bringing this up. The only reason I've included line number is because the official explanations refer to them. I will find a better way or reduce the usage of these line numbers.
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Re: At the time Jane Austen's novels were published-between 1811 and 1818  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2018, 01:22
1
workout Thanks again for your great contribution :) Really enjoyed the passages you have posted in the last month!
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Re: At the time Jane Austen's novels were published-between 1811 and 1818 &nbs [#permalink] 28 Nov 2018, 01:22
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