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Like our political society, the university is under severe attack toda

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Like our political society, the university is under severe attack toda  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 11 Apr 2019, 10:12
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based on 115 sessions

61% (03:30) correct 39% (03:15) wrong

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based on 147 sessions

68% (01:05) correct 32% (00:51) wrong

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based on 136 sessions

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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 39, Date : 20-FEB-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


Like our political society, the university is under severe attack today and perhaps for the same reason; namely, that we have accomplished much of what we have set out to do in this generation, that we have done so imperfectly, and while we have been doing so, we have said a lot of things that simply are not true. For example, we have earnestly declared that full equality of opportunity in universities exists for everyone, regardless of economic circumstance, race, or religion. This has never been true. When it was least true, the assertion was not attacked. Now that it is nearly true, not only the assertion but the university itself is locked in mortal combat with the seekers of perfection. In another sense the university has failed. It has stored great quantities of knowledge; it teaches more people; and despite its failures, it teaches them better. It is in the application of this knowledge that the failure has come. Of the great branches of knowledge—the sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities—the sciences are applied, sometimes almost as soon as they are learned. Strenuous and occasionally successful efforts are made to apply the social sciences, but almost never are the humanities well applied. We do not use philosophy in defining our conduct.

We do not use literature as a source of real and vicarious experience to save us the trouble of living every life again on our own.The great tasks of the university in the next generation are to search the past to form the future, to begin an earnest search for a new and relevant set of values, and to learn to use the knowledge we have for the questions that come before us. The university should use one-fourth of a student’s time in his undergraduate years and organize it into courses which might be called history, and literature and philosophy, and anything else appropriate and organize these around primary problems. The difference between a primary problem and a secondary or even tertiary problem is that primary problems tend to be around for a long time, whereas the less important ones get solved. One primary problem is that of interfering with what some call human destiny and others call biological development, which is partly the result of genetic circumstance and partly the result of accidental environmental conditions. It is anticipated that the next generation, and perhaps this one, will be able to interfere chemically with the actual development of an individual and perhaps biologically by interfering with his genes. Obviously, there are benefits both to individuals and to society from eliminating, or at least improving, mentally and physically deformed persons.

On the other hand, there could be very serious consequences if this knowledge were used with premeditation to produce superior and subordinate classes, each genetically prepared to carry out a predetermined mission. This can be done, but what happens to free will and the rights of the individual? Here we have a primary problem that will still exist when we are all dead. Of course, the traditional faculty members would say, “But the students won’t learn enough to go to graduate school.” And certainly they would not learn everything we are in the habit of making them learn, but they would learn some other things. Surely, in the other three-quarters of their time, they would learn what they usually do, and they might even learn to think about it by carrying new habits into their more conventional courses. The advantages would be overwhelmingly greater than the disadvantages. After all, the purpose of education is not only to impart knowledge but to teach students to use the knowledge that they either have or will find, to teach them to ask and seek answers for important questions.
1. The author suggests that the university’s greatest shortcoming is its failure to

(A) attempt to provide equal opportunity for all
(B) offer courses in philosophy and the humanities
(C) prepare students adequately for professional studies
(D) help students see the relevance of the humanities to real problems
(E) require students to include in their curricula liberal arts courses



2. It can be inferred that the author presupposes that the reader will regard a course in literature as a course

(A) with little or no practical value
(B) of interest only to academic scholars
(C) required by most universities for graduation
(D) uniquely relevant to today’s primary problems
(E) used to teach students good writing skills



3. Which of the following questions does the author answer in the passage?

(A) What are some of the secondary problems faced by the past generation?
(B) How can we improve the performance of our political society?
(C) Has any particular educational institution tried the proposal introduced by the author?
(D) What is a possible objection to the proposal offered in the passage?
(E) Why is the university of today a better imparter of knowledge than the university of the past?



4. Which of the following questions would the author most likely consider a primary question?

(A) Should Congress increase the level of Social Security benefits?
(B) Is it appropriate for the state to use capital punishment?
(C) Who is the best candidate for president in the next presidential election?
(D) At what month can the fetus be considered medically viable outside the mother’s womb?
(E) What measures should be taken to solve the problem of world hunger?




Source: Master GMAT (117)
Difficulty Level: 700

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Originally posted by SajjadAhmad on 12 May 2018, 11:34.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 11 Apr 2019, 10:12, edited 4 times in total.
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New post 13 May 2018, 03:03
Please explain q-4 .I marked E as world hunger is primary and long lasting problem.
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New post 13 May 2018, 23:10
1
gvij2017 wrote:
Please explain q-4 .I marked E as world hunger is primary and long lasting problem.


The correct answer is (B). This is an application question. The author uses the term “primary problems” to refer to questions of grave importance that are not susceptible to an easy answer. Each of the incorrect answers poses a question that can be answered with a short answer. (A) can be answered with a yes or no. (C) can be answered with a name. (D) can be answered with a date. (E) can be answered with a series of proposals. And even if the answers are not absolutely indisputable, the questions will soon become dead issues. The only problem that is likely to still be around after “we are all dead” is the one of capital punishment.

Hope it Helps
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New post 18 May 2018, 11:55
Formatted The Question
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New post 20 Feb 2019, 11:20
+1 Kudos to Posts containing answer explanations of all questions
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Re: Like our political society, the university is under severe attack toda  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2019, 05:24
Bumping up for discussion
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Re: Like our political society, the university is under severe attack toda  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2019, 08:20
explainations to question3 and Q1?

(I choose A in 1 and C in question 3)

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New post 03 Apr 2019, 09:41
Hi,

Can someone please explain Q3?

Thank you,
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New post 03 Apr 2019, 10:05
SajjadAhmad wrote:
gvij2017 wrote:
Please explain q-4 .I marked E as world hunger is primary and long lasting problem.


The correct answer is (B). This is an application question. The author uses the term “primary problems” to refer to questions of grave importance that are not susceptible to an easy answer. Each of the incorrect answers poses a question that can be answered with a short answer. (A) can be answered with a yes or no. (C) can be answered with a name. (D) can be answered with a date. (E) can be answered with a series of proposals. And even if the answers are not absolutely indisputable, the questions will soon become dead issues. The only problem that is likely to still be around after “we are all dead” is the one of capital punishment.

Hope it Helps


Hey Sajjad,

Given the format of the option, logically, B can also be answered with a simple "yes/no" right?
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New post 07 Apr 2019, 01:17
please explain question 1 ?
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New post 11 Apr 2019, 10:41
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Hello

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Official Explanation


1. The author suggests that the university’s greatest shortcoming is its failure to

Difficulty Level: 650

Explanation

This is a fairly easy inference question. We are asked to determine which of the problems mentioned by the author is the most important. (B) can be eliminated because the author’s criticism is not that such courses are not offered, nor even that such courses are not required. So we eliminate (E) as well. The most important shortcoming, according to the author, is that students have not been encouraged to apply the principles learned in the humanities. The support for this conclusion is to be found at the end of the second paragraph. As for (C), this is not mentioned by the author as a weakness in the present curriculum structure. Rather, the author anticipates that this is a possible objection to the proposal to require students to devote part of their time to the study of primary problems. (A) is indeed a weakness of the university, and the author does admit that the university has not yet achieved equal opportunity for all. But this is discussed in the first paragraph, where the university’s successes are outlined. Only in the second paragraph does the discussion of the university’s failure begin. This indicates that the author does not regard the university’s failure to achieve complete equality of opportunity as a serious problem.

The correct answer is (D)


2. It can be inferred that the author presupposes that the reader will regard a course in literature as a course

Difficulty Level: 650

Explanation

This is an inference question as well, though of a greater degree of difficulty. It seems possible to eliminate (C) and (E) as fairly implausible. The author’s remarks about literature (at the end of the second para graph), addressed to us as readers, do not suggest that we believe literature is required, nor that it is used to teach writing. As for (D), the author apparently presupposes that we, the readers, do not see the relevance of literature to real problems, for that it is relevant is at least part of the burden of his argument. (B) is perhaps the second best answer. It may very well be that most people regard literature as something scholarly, but that does not prove that (B) is a presupposition of the argument. The author states that literature is a source of real and vicarious experience. What is the value of that? According to the author, it relieves us of the necessity of living everyone else’s life. The author is trying to show that literature has a real, practical value. The crucial question, then, is why the author is attempting to prove that literature has real value. The answer is because the author presupposes that we disagree with this conclusion. There is a subtle but important difference between a presupposition that literature is scholarly and a presupposition that literature has no practical value. After all, there are many nonscholarly undertakings that may lack practical value.

The correct answer is (A).


3. Which of the following questions does the author answer in the passage?

Difficulty Level: 700

Explanation

This is an explicit idea question. It is important to keep in mind that an explicit idea question is almost always answerable on the basis of information actually stated in the text. With a format of this sort, this means that the question should be readily answerable without speculation, and that this answer should be fairly complete. (D) is correct because the author raises a possible objection in the final paragraph. (A) is incorrect because the author never gives any such examples. (B) is incorrect because the author never addresses the issue of political society. That is mentioned only as a point of reference in the introductory remarks. (C) is not answered since no university is ever named. And (E) is incorrect since the author makes the assertion, without elaborating, that the university is a better teacher today than in the past. There is a further point to be made. It is possible to argue that (B) is partially answered. After all, if we improve our students’ ability to pose and answer questions, is this not also a way to improve the performance of our political society? But that is clearly more attenuated than the answer we find to question (D). The same reasoning may be applied to other incorrect answers as well. It may be possible to construct arguments in their favor, but this is a standardized exam. And there is a clear, easy answer to (D) in the text, indicating that this is the answer the test-writer intends that you choose.

The correct answer is (D)


4. Which of the following questions would the author most likely consider a primary question?

Difficulty Level: 750

Explanation

This is an application question. The author uses the term “primary problems” to refer to questions of grave importance that are not susceptible to an easy answer. Each of the incorrect answers poses a question that can be answered with a short answer. (A) can be answered with a yes or no. (C) can be answered with a name. (D) can be answered with a date. (E) can be answered with a series of proposals. And even if the answers are not absolutely indisputable, the questions will soon become dead issues. The only problem that is likely to still be around after “we are all dead” is the one of capital punishment.

The correct answer is (B)


Hope it helps
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Re: Like our political society, the university is under severe attack toda   [#permalink] 11 Apr 2019, 10:41
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