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Historians have long recognized the Japa-nese sword, or nihonto, as on

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Historians have long recognized the Japa-nese sword, or nihonto, as on  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2018, 05:06
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Historians have long recognized the Japanese sword, or nihonto, as one of the fin¬est cutting weapons ever produced. But to regard the sword that is synonymous with the samurai as merely a weapon Is to ignore what makes It so special. The Japanese sword has always been considered a splendid weapon and even a spiritual entity. The traditional Japanese adage the sword is the soul of the samurai" reflects not only the sword's importance to Its wielder but also its permanent connection to its creator, the master smith.

Master smiths may not have been considered artists in the classical sense, but each smith exerted great care in the process of creating swords, no two of which were ever forged in exactly the same way. Over hundreds of hours, two types of steel were repeatedly heated, hammered and folded together into thousands of very thin layers, producing a sword with an extremely sharp and durable cutting edge and a flexible, shock-absorbing blade. It was common, though optional, for a master smith to place a physical signature on a blade; moreover, each smith's secret forging techniques left an idiosyncratic structural signature on his blades. Each master smith brought a high level of devotion, skill, and attention to detail to the sword-making process, and the sword it¬self was a reflection of his personal honor and ability. This effort made each blade as distinctive as the samurai who wielded it such that today the Japanese sword is recognized as much for its artistic merit as for its historical significance.

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) challenge the observation that the Japanese sword is highly admired by historians
(B) introduce new information about the forging of Japanese swords
(C) discuss an obsolete weapon of great historical significance
(D) argue that Japanese sword makers were motivated by honor
(E) explain the value attributed to the Japanese sword

2. Which of the following is the primary function of the second paragraph?

(A) To present an explanation for a change in perception
(B) To determine the historical significance of Japanese swords
(C) To discuss the artistic aspects associated with creating Japanese swords
(D) To compare Japanese master smiths to classical artists
(E) To review the complete process of making a Japanese sword

3. Which of the following can be inferred about the structural signature of a Japanese sword?

(A) It is an inscription that the smith places on the blade during the forging process.
(B) It refers to the particular characteristics of a blade created by a smith's unique forging process.
(C) It suggests that each blade can be traced back to a known master smith.
(D) It reflects the soul of the samurai who wielded the sword.
(E) It refers to the actual curved shape of the blade.

4. Each of the following is mentioned in the passage EXCEPT

(A) Every Japanese sword has a unique structure that can be traced back to a special forging process.
(B) Master smiths kept their forging techniques secret.
(C) The Japanese sword was considered by some to have a spiritual quality.
(D) Master smiths are now considered artists by most major historians.
(E) The Japanese sword is considered both a work of art and a historical artifact.

5. The author explains the way in which swords were made in order to

(A) establish that the Japanese sword is the most important handheld weapon in history
(B) claim that the skill of the samurai is what made each Japanese sword unique
(C) support the contention that the master smiths might be considered artists as well as craftsmen
(D) illustrate that master smiths were more concerned with the artistic merit of their blades than with the blades' practical qualities
(E) demonstrate that the Japanese sword has more historical importance than artistic importance



Difficulty Level: 600

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Historians have long recognized the Japa-nese sword, or nihonto, as on  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Dec 2018, 12:30
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Hello ParthSanghavi csaluja

Official Explanation


1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) The passage does not challenge the idea that historians admired the swords; the entire passage reflects great admiration for the swords and their makers. (Direct contradiction)

(B) The second paragraph does talk about how swords are forged, but does not present this information as new. Moreover, information about the forging process is only one part of the passage; it is not the overall Point of the passage. (One word off)

(C) An obsolete weapon would no longer exist today; the passage does not indicate that Japanese swords are no longer used or no longer produced. (One word off)

(D) The passage does indicate that the swords were a reflection of the master smith’s personal honor, but this is a narrow detail; it is not the point of the entire passage. (True but not right)

(E) CORRECT. The passage does explain the value of the sword to the samurai (in the first paragraph—the sword is the soul of the samurai and to the master smith.


2. Which of the following is the primary function of the second paragraph?

(A) The passage does not indicate that a general change in perception has occurred. Rather, the author is putting forth his own idea that smiths might be considered artists. (Out of scope)

(B) The last sentence of the paragraph does mention the historical significance, but the rest of the paragraph focuses on the forging process and the artistic merit. The paragraph does not actually discuss the historical significance. (Out of scope)

(C) CORRECT. The paragraph begins by indicating that the smiths may not have been considered artists in the classical sense, but goes on to underscore the uniqueness of the finished products (no two were forged the same way, the swords were often signed, the finished product was not just a product but a reflection of the smith’s personal honor and ability). The last sentence indicates that the swords are highly regarded for their artistic merit.

(D) While the passage does imply that the smiths might be considered artists, there is no mention of actual classical artists, nor is any comparison made. (Out of scope)

(E) The passage does provide some details of the sword-making process, but it does not review the complete process. (Extreme)


3. Which of the following can be inferred about the structural signature of a Japanese sword?

(A) This refers to the physical signature, not the structural signature. (True but not right)

(B) CORRECT. This matches the information articulated ahead of time. Each smith's process resulted in a structural signature unique to that smith.

(C) Tricky! The passage does say that a structural signature is unique to one smith, but it does not say that records survive indicating specifically who that smith was. A historian might be able to tell that three blades came from the same smith, but she may not be able to tell who that smith was. (Out of scope)

(D) The first paragraph does include a quote about the soul of the samurai, but this information is not presented in relation to the information about the structural signature. (Mix-up)

(E) Careful: If you have ever seen a samurai sword, then you may remember that it is curved— but the passage doesn't say so! In any case, since the signature is individual to the smith, something that all swords had in common wouldn't be helpful here. (Out of scope)


4. Each of the following is mentioned in the passage EXCEPT

(A) True. This is mentioned in the second paragraph: each smith's secret forging techniques left an idiosyncratic structural signature on his blades.

(B) True. This is mentioned in the second paragraph: each smith's secret forging techniques.

(C) True. This is mentioned in the first paragraph: the sword has always been considered a splendid weapon and even a spiritual entity.

(D) CORRECT. False. The passage does not say this. Some people may recognize the smiths as artists (see (E) below), but there is no indication that this view is held by most major historians. (Extreme)

(E) True. This is mentioned in the last sentence of the second paragraph: the sword is recognized as much for its artistic merit as for its historical significance.


5. The author explains the way in which swords were made in order to

(A) The passage does call the Japanese sword one of the finest cutting weapons ever produced, but this is not quite as strong as calling it the most important handheld weapon in history. In any case, this is not the author's purpose in describing how the sword was made. (Extreme)

(B) The passage claims that the smith's secret forging techniques, not the skill of the samurai, made a blade unique. (Direct contradiction)

(C) CORRECT. The default definition for the smiths is craftsmen, but the detailed information about the forging process, as well as the opening and closing sentences, indicate that the smiths might also be considered artists as well.

(D) The passage discusses both the artistic merits and the practical qualities of the swords, but the passage does not indicate whether the smiths thought one was more important than the other. (Out of scope)

(E) The last sentence does talk about both of these concepts, but it does not indicate that one is more important than the other. (Out of scope)


Hope it Helps
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Re: Historians have long recognized the Japa-nese sword, or nihonto, as on  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2018, 10:35
SajjadAhmad wrote:
Historians have long recognized the Japanese sword, or nihonto, as one of the fin¬est cutting weapons ever produced. But to regard the sword that is synonymous with the samurai as merely a weapon Is to ignore what makes It so special. The Japanese sword has always been considered a splendid weapon and even a spiritual entity. The traditional Japanese adage the sword is the soul of the samurai" reflects not only the sword's importance to Its wielder but also its permanent connection to its creator, the master smith.

Master smiths may not have been considered artists in the classical sense, but each smith exerted great care in the process of creating swords, no two of which were ever forged in exactly the same way. Over hundreds of hours, two types of steel were repeatedly heated, hammered and folded together into thousands of very thin layers, producing a sword with an extremely sharp and durable cutting edge and a flexible, shock-absorbing blade. It was common, though optional, for a master smith to place a physical signature on a blade; moreover, each smith's secret forging techniques left an idiosyncratic structural signature on his blades. Each master smith brought a high level of devotion, skill, and attention to detail to the sword-making process, and the sword it¬self was a reflection of his personal honor and ability. This effort made each blade as distinctive as the samurai who wielded it such that today the Japanese sword is recognized as much for its artistic merit as for its historical significance.
1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) challenge the observation that the Japanese sword is highly admired by historians
(B) introduce new information about the forging of Japanese swords
(C) discuss an obsolete weapon of great historical significance
(D) argue that Japanese sword makers were motivated by honor
(E) explain the value attributed to the Japanese sword

2. Which of the following is the primary function of the second paragraph?

(A) To present an explanation for a change in perception
(B) To determine the historical significance of Japanese swords
(C) To discuss the artistic aspects associated with creating Japanese swords
(D) To compare Japanese master smiths to classical artists
(E) To review the complete process of making a Japanese sword

3. Which of the following can be inferred about the structural signature of a Japanese sword?

(A) It is an inscription that the smith places on the blade during the forging process.
(B) It refers to the particular characteristics of a blade created by a smith's unique forging process.
(C) It suggests that each blade can be traced back to a known master smith.
(D) It reflects the soul of the samurai who wielded the sword.
(E) It refers to the actual curved shape of the blade.

4. Each of the following is mentioned in the passage EXCEPT

(A) Every Japanese sword has a unique structure that can be traced back to a special forging process.
(B) Master smiths kept their forging techniques secret.
(C) The Japanese sword was considered by some to have a spiritual quality.
(D) Master smiths are now considered artists by most major historians.
(E) The Japanese sword is considered both a work of art and a historical artifact.

5. The author explains the way in which swords were made in order to

(A) establish that the Japanese sword is the most important handheld weapon in history
(B) claim that the skill of the samurai is what made each Japanese sword unique
(C) support the contention that the master smiths might be considered artists as well as craftsmen
(D) illustrate that master smiths were more concerned with the artistic merit of their blades than with the blades' practical qualities
(E) demonstrate that the Japanese sword has more historical importance than artistic importance




Can someone please posts the solutions of the passage?

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Re: Historians have long recognized the Japa-nese sword, or nihonto, as on  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2018, 18:13
SajjadAhmad, could you please post the OE for Q5? I am not quite sure why option C is incorrect and B is.
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Re: Historians have long recognized the Japa-nese sword, or nihonto, as on  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Dec 2018, 02:24
I want to say something for non natives
manhattan passages make great contribution to studying gmat RC. I realize this point recently.

manhattan passages are easy to understand structure and main idea. even the sentences in Manhattan passage are not long. but the hard part is answering the questions. answer choices are close and normally prethinking an answer before reading answer choices dose not help. we have to use POE ( power of elimination) to find the correct answer. POE requires higher level of inferring and understanding the information in the passage.

Manhantan passages , so, are typical of gmat passages and are very good for practicing.

if we anticipate this situation for gmat passage, we can master answering questions. a focus on reading hard passage is not neccessary for gmat passsage. of course, at 700+level, the passages are hard to understand and the questions are hard to answer. but at 650 level, a focus on reading hard passage maybe is wrong.

situation with lsat passages is different. lsat passages are difficult to understand but their answers are easy. anticipate this case when you read the lsat passages. if you want to practice reading hard passages, lsat passages are good for this job. but remember, being able to read hard lsat passage dose not assure you minimum success on gmat passages because you can lack the skill of inferring from the information in the passage into the information for answering the questions.

realizing 2 skills is key to success on RC section of gmat. skill to read hard passages is different from skill to infer and answer questions.
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Re: Historians have long recognized the Japa-nese sword, or nihonto, as on  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Dec 2018, 19:58
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Have to stop doubting myself! Switched choice D to B on question 4 at the last second (wasn't sure if the forging was secret and then smacked myself when I saw the word secret before forging :( I had that coming to me. Anyways, everything else was correct (4/5) in 8:30. Easy read but questions require some thinking and good POE skills. Again, if you think an answer is right OR wrong, prove it! Don't do what I did blindly if you realize your in a time crunch. Support your answer choice from the passage by either eliminating everything else of directly finding info that supports your choice.
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Re: Historians have long recognized the Japa-nese sword, or nihonto, as on  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2019, 10:06
1.(A) challenge the observation that the Japanese sword is highly admired by historians (Author did not challenge anything)
(B) introduce new information about the forging of Japanese swords (Author did not provide any new information about forging)
(C) discuss an obsolete weapon of great historical significance (Author did not mention obsolete)
(D) argue that Japanese sword makers were motivated by honor (Very Narrow )
(E) explain the value attributed to the Japanese sword( Correct)

2. (A) To present an explanation for a change in perception (There is no change in perception)
(B) To determine the historical significance of Japanese swords (Nope)
(C) To discuss the artistic aspects associated with creating Japanese swords(Correct)
(D) To compare Japanese master smiths to classical artists (Had not compared)
(E) To review the complete process of making a Japanese sword (he explained not reviewed and Complete process is too extreme)

3. (A) It is an inscription that the smith places on the blade during the forging process.(Nope)
(B) It refers to the particular characteristics of a blade created by a smith's unique forging process. (Correct)
(C) It suggests that each blade can be traced back to a known master smith. (I got this wrong, each blade can be tracked back to particular smith but who he was can not be tracked)
(D) It reflects the soul of the samurai who wielded the sword. (Not soul, come on !)
(E) It refers to the actual curved shape of the blade.( Exactly not)

4. (A) Every Japanese sword has a unique structure that can be traced back to a special forging process.
(B) Master smiths kept their forging techniques secret.
(C) The Japanese sword was considered by some to have a spiritual quality.
(D) Master smiths are now considered artists by most major historians.(Most major makes it too extreme)
(E) The Japanese sword is considered both a work of art and a historical artifact.

5. (A) establish that the Japanese sword is the most important handheld weapon in history (Most !)
(B) claim that the skill of the samurai is what made each Japanese sword unique (No)
(C) support the contention that the master smiths might be considered artists as well as craftsmen( correct)
(D) illustrate that master smiths were more concerned with the artistic merit of their blades than with the blades' practical qualities ( No comparison)
(E) demonstrate that the Japanese sword has more historical importance than artistic importance (Reverse )

SajjadAhmad wrote:
Historians have long recognized the Japanese sword, or nihonto, as one of the fin¬est cutting weapons ever produced. But to regard the sword that is synonymous with the samurai as merely a weapon Is to ignore what makes It so special. The Japanese sword has always been considered a splendid weapon and even a spiritual entity. The traditional Japanese adage the sword is the soul of the samurai" reflects not only the sword's importance to Its wielder but also its permanent connection to its creator, the master smith.

Master smiths may not have been considered artists in the classical sense, but each smith exerted great care in the process of creating swords, no two of which were ever forged in exactly the same way. Over hundreds of hours, two types of steel were repeatedly heated, hammered and folded together into thousands of very thin layers, producing a sword with an extremely sharp and durable cutting edge and a flexible, shock-absorbing blade. It was common, though optional, for a master smith to place a physical signature on a blade; moreover, each smith's secret forging techniques left an idiosyncratic structural signature on his blades. Each master smith brought a high level of devotion, skill, and attention to detail to the sword-making process, and the sword it¬self was a reflection of his personal honor and ability. This effort made each blade as distinctive as the samurai who wielded it such that today the Japanese sword is recognized as much for its artistic merit as for its historical significance.
1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) challenge the observation that the Japanese sword is highly admired by historians
(B) introduce new information about the forging of Japanese swords
(C) discuss an obsolete weapon of great historical significance
(D) argue that Japanese sword makers were motivated by honor
(E) explain the value attributed to the Japanese sword

2. Which of the following is the primary function of the second paragraph?

(A) To present an explanation for a change in perception
(B) To determine the historical significance of Japanese swords
(C) To discuss the artistic aspects associated with creating Japanese swords
(D) To compare Japanese master smiths to classical artists
(E) To review the complete process of making a Japanese sword

3. Which of the following can be inferred about the structural signature of a Japanese sword?

(A) It is an inscription that the smith places on the blade during the forging process.
(B) It refers to the particular characteristics of a blade created by a smith's unique forging process.
(C) It suggests that each blade can be traced back to a known master smith.
(D) It reflects the soul of the samurai who wielded the sword.
(E) It refers to the actual curved shape of the blade.

4. Each of the following is mentioned in the passage EXCEPT

(A) Every Japanese sword has a unique structure that can be traced back to a special forging process.
(B) Master smiths kept their forging techniques secret.
(C) The Japanese sword was considered by some to have a spiritual quality.
(D) Master smiths are now considered artists by most major historians.
(E) The Japanese sword is considered both a work of art and a historical artifact.

5. The author explains the way in which swords were made in order to

(A) establish that the Japanese sword is the most important handheld weapon in history
(B) claim that the skill of the samurai is what made each Japanese sword unique
(C) support the contention that the master smiths might be considered artists as well as craftsmen
(D) illustrate that master smiths were more concerned with the artistic merit of their blades than with the blades' practical qualities
(E) demonstrate that the Japanese sword has more historical importance than artistic importance


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Re: Historians have long recognized the Japa-nese sword, or nihonto, as on   [#permalink] 28 Mar 2019, 10:06
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