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GRE Practice: Reading Comprehension Select In Passage GRE Practice Test 4


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Question 1:

Crude mineral oil comes out of the earth as a thick brown or black liquid with a strong smell. It is a complex mixture of many different substances, each with its own individual qualities. Most of them are combinations of hydrogen and carbon in varying proportions. Such hydrocarbons are also found in other forms such as bitumen, asphalt and natural gas. Mineral oil originates from the carcasses of tiny animals and from plants that live in the sea. Over millions of years, these dead creatures form large deposits under the sea-bed and ocean currents cover them with a blanket of sand and silt. As this material hardens, it becomes sedimentary rock and effectively shuts out the oxygen, so preventing the complete decomposition of the marine deposits underneath. The layers of sedimentary rock become thicker and heavier. Their pressure produces heat, which transforms the tiny carcasses into crude oil in a process that is still going on today.

Which sentence mentions the basic ingredients of Crude mineral oil?

Correct Answer: E (Mineral oil .................live in the sea.)

Explanation

The passage explains the process through which the manufacture of crude mineral oil takes place under the surface of earth. The author explains all the steps in its formation along with its basic ingredients, animal carcasses and plant remains that find a mention in the fifth sentence. The correct answer is therefore, option (e).

Question 2:

But perfect organization, faultless team-work, indomitable courage, super human endurance, even the latest equipment – all these are unavailing unless the weather is kind. In the mountains it is the weather that rules everything. It may be fair in the early morning when the climb begins, but unexpectedly blizzards may halt the climbers with inadequate protection on an exposed slope. The villains of the piece are cold wind and snow and in the Himalayas these conspire together for the whole year, except for short periods. In early May and in October there may be short intervals between the tremendous gales of winter and the treacherous snows of the monsoon. Only in these intervals is there any chance of finding the right weather conditions for assault upon a peak. Cold can at least be kept at bay by any warm thing and scientifically planned food and a certain amount of exercise; but against the wind and the snow of the worst Himalayan weather there is no defense.

Which sentence mentions the appropriate time to start a climb upon a Himalayan mountain?

Correct Answer: D (It may be.......... exposed slope.)

Explanation

The passage discusses the various kinds of weather conditions that have to be faced as one attempts to tread upon a peak in the Himalayas. It is in the third sentence that the author makes a passing reference to the early morning being the best time of the day that should be chosen to set out on a mountain climbing expedition in the Himalayas. The correct answer is thus, option (a).

Question 3:

Can economic progress and environmental conservation find an acceptable median? The discussions at the WCU Congress are centered on the universal value that people's welfare should guide all environmental policies. It follows that protection of incomparable natural resources is a prerequisite for such well being. The familiar example is that of the rivers and seas: if they are polluted, fish stocks decline and water security is also lost. As the WCU has emphasized, the priorities must, therefore, be protection of biodiversity and endangered species, pollution control, efficient management of renewable resources, and promotion of organic agriculture. There is considerable interest among consumers and governments in some countries in products manufactured through sustainable methods. Given the intricacies of global trade agreements today, new standards to identify such goods and services may be necessary. Such green certification methods can be built into international treaties and agreements to facilitate positive action by importing countries without risk of litigation under trade laws. The withdrawal of import restrictions on timber by some European countries owing to trade obligations is an example of the distortions that are created by such pacts, which could be used to interpret environmental safeguards as unfair barriers.

Which sentence suggests the basic point of argument in the WCU Congress?

Correct Answer: D (Can economic .......................... median?)

Explanation

The passage throws light at the major issues taken up at the WCU congress where the effort is to incline environmental concerns with human development. The argument involved finds a mention in the question that has been raised in the very beginning of the passage and thus option (d) is the correct answer.

Question 4:

Such criticism was seen not as an attack on the religion, but rather as a lesson in human failing to be drawn for the protection of the faith. In Islam, despite the recent attempts by the clergy in Iran, there is no unified or centralized religious institution and the role of the clergy is to lead the prayers in the mosques and interpret the koranic law. In Hinduism the veneration of the guru is carried farther than in most other religions though only a few traditions actually require a person to follow any particular one. Even here what commands respect is learning, asceticism and dedication demonstrated by a religious leader, and not by the mere fact of holding the office does an individual gain reverence. A great deal more of questioning and skepticism about individual religious leaders prevailed in the past. Kautilya in his Arthashastra speaks of ways in which holy men could be used as secret agents, with disciples sent to invent and spread tales of miracles so that kings can be enticed out of the safety of their guarded fortresses to places where they will be more vulnerable to assassination, which suggests a cynical attitude towards holy men in general.

Which sentence mentions the theme of the passage?

Correct Answer: C (Even here.................. reverence.)

Explanation

The passage brings out, through a comparative analysis of two faiths, the way in which the highest positions in religious institutions have taken inappropriate forms today. It is in the fourth sentence (option (c)) that the author comes out with this argument clearly and that is why we take it as the correct answer to the question.

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