Free Reading Comprehension Set I - 08 Practice Test - CAT
The primary focus of the passage is on which of the following?
Solution : B
This question asks you to identify the primary focus of the passage. The best answer is B. The author describes the new theoretical model in the first paragraph; in the final paragraph the author states that the data obtained from actual observations, which are discussed in the second and third paragraphs, is consistent with the new theoretical model. Choice A is not correct; the computer model confirmed the astronomers’ hypothesis that meteor streams broaden with time, and although the model yielded an unexpected result, the passage does not contrast the predictions yielded by competing theories. Choice C and D are not correct because the passage makes no reference to further areas for research, and only a single phenomenon is described in the passage.
According to the passage, which of the following is an accurate statement concerning meteor streams?
Solution : C
This question asks you to identify an accurate statement about meteor streams. Choice C, the best answer, restates information about the composition of meteor streams from the first sentence of the passage. Choice A is not correct. The passage discusses the influence of planetary gravitation on meteor streams but says nothing about its influence on the orbits of comets. According to the passage, it is planetary gravitation, not the gravitational fields of comets, that causes meteor streams to increase in size, so choice B is not correct. And choice D is not correct because the passage says nothing about the composition of comets.
The author states that the research described in the first paragraph was undertaken in order to:
Solution : D
This question asks what the author says about the purpose of the research described in the first paragraph. The best answer is D. According to the author, the purpose of the computer-modeling experiment was to test the hypothesis that meteor streams broaden with time. Choice A is not correct; although the observational data described in the last paragraph allowed scientists to estimate the age of the Geminid stream, this data was analyzed to confirm a surprising prediction made by the computer model. This analysis was not part of the original experiment. Choice B is also incorrect. Although the experiment yielded a surprising prediction about a particular feature of meteor streams, the purpose of the experiment was to determine whether meteor streams broaden with time, not to identify the various structural features of meteor streams. Choice C is not correct because the experiment was undertaken to test a general hypothesis about meteor streams. It was not undertaken to explore the nature of any particular meteor stream, and the passagenever suggests that the actual meteor streams used in the computer model was “particularly interesting”.
It can be inferred from the passage that which of the following would most probably be observed during the Earth's passage through a meteor stream if the conventional theories mentioned in line 18 were correct?
Solution : A
The best answer is option A.
(A) This is stated in the passage "Conventional theories, however, predicted that the distribution of particles would beincreasingly dense toward the center of a meteor stream.
Choice B is exactly opposite of A. Choice C is not true from the context of the passage. Choice D is not mentioned in the passage.
According to the passage, why do the dust particles in a meteor stream eventually surround a comet’s original orbit?
Solution : A
This question asks for the reason given in the passage for a characteristic feature of meteor streams. According to the passage, the dust particles in a meteor stream eventually surround a comet’s original orbit because of the different velocities at which they are ejected, as stated in choice A, the best answer. Choice B is directly contradicted by information in the passage. The other answer choices are incorrect because the passage does not say that the dust particles become part of the meteor stream at different times, or that their velocity slows over time.
The passage suggests that which of the following is a prediction concerning meteor streams that can be derived from both the conventional theories mentioned in line 18 and the new computer-derived theory?
Solution : D
This question asks you to identify a prediction that can be derived from both the conventional theories about meteor streams and the new computer-derived model. You must base your answer on information that is suggested by, but not expressly stated in, the passage. According to the passage, the conventional theories hypothesized that meteor streams should broaden with time, and the computer simulation confirmed this hypothesis. The passage also suggests that the time it takes for the Earth to cross a meteor stream (and, by implication, the duration of the resulting meteor shower) is directly related to the breadth of the stream. From these pieces of information, which are supported by both the conventional theories and the new computer-derived theory, it can be inferred that on average the meteor showers caused by older (and therefore broader) meteor streams would be longer in duration than those caused by very young (and therefore narrower) meteor streams, as stated in D, the best answer. Choice A is incorrect because it contradicts the predictions of both the conventional theories (that the particles will be most dense at the center of the stream) and the computer model (that the stream will resemble a thick-walled, hollow pipe). Choice C is also incorrect because it is inconsistent with the conventional theories that suggested the distribution of dust in a meteor stream is denser at the center. And choice B is incorrect because the theories discussed in the passage do not suggest anything about the likelihood that the Earth’s orbit will cross that of any particular meteor stream.
It can be inferred from the last paragraph of the passage that which of the following must be true of the Earth as it orbits the Sun?
Solution : C
This question asks you to draw an inference from information in the last paragraph of the passage. The best answer is C. According to the passage, the Geminid meteor shower occurs yearly; because meteor showers occur whenever the Earth passes through a meteor stream, one can infer that the Earth crosses the Geminid stream once every year. Choice A is incorrect because the passage provides no information from which to generalize about the age of meteor streams. Choice B, which is directly contradicted by the passage, is also incorrect. Choice D is incorrect. The passage says that the Earth would take just over a day to cross the stream if the stream were 5,000 years old. However, in the next few lines the passage states that in fact an average of only 19 hours elapsed between the time that the Earth entered the stream until the time that it exited, leading researchers to conclude that the stream is only about 3,000 years old.
Which of the following is an assumption underlying the last sentence of the passage?
Solution : D
This question asks you to identify an assumption underlying the last sentence of the passage. In this sentence, the author of the passage draws a conclusion about the age of the Geminid stream. This conclusion is based on two pieces of information. The first is the length of time the Earth would take to cross the computer-model Geminid stream if the stream were 5,000 years old. The second is the actual elapsed time between the two peaks of meteor activity predicted by the computer model. In concluding from this information that the Geminid stream is actually only 3,000 years old, the author is assuming the accuracy of the computer model, as stated in D, the best answer. Choice A is incorrect because the passage says that the time the Earth takes to cross the stream would vary from year to year and that 19 hours was the average time, not the exact time, observed from 1970 to 1979. Choices B and C are incorrect because the passage does not suggest anything about the current state of the comet associated with the Geminid stream or about the expected longevity of the stream.
In the passage, the author is primarily concerned with doing which of the following?
Solution : B
This question asks you to determine the main task that the passage is designed to accomplish.
The best answer is B. The passage identifies a problem (shareholder’ and manager’ failure to enhance companies’ long-term productivity) in the first paragraph, most pointedly in the last sentence of that paragraph. In the second paragraph, the author recommends certain actions as a means of solving that problem.
Choice A is not correct. The author of the passage identifies a problem in the first paragraph, but the author does not compare two different approaches to that problem. Rather, in the second paragraph, the author proposes a single, unified approach to solving the problem.
Choice C is incorrect. The author does not defend an established method of institutional shareholding in the United States and recommends a different method in the second paragraph.
Choice D is also incorrect. The author describes a situation in the first paragraph but does not provide data or draw any conclusions from data.
It can be inferred from the passage that which of the following is true of majority shareholders in a corporation?
Solution : C
This question asks you to decide what the passage implies, rather than states directly, about majority shareholders in a corporation.
The best answer is C. According to the passage, those individual capitalists who were once majority shareholders in a corporation would not be able to make a quick profit by selling a large amount of stock because such a sale would depress the stock’s value. It can be inferred from the passage that this would be true of any majority shareholders.
Choice A is not the correct answer. The passage suggests, that majority shareholders can actively influence a company’s decision-making, but it does not suggest that this influence is equal to the absolute authority suggested by the language of this answer choice. The passage also does not discuss the “operational management decisions” of corporations.
Choice B is not correct. The passage does not specify what percent of a corporation’s stock any one shareholder is allowed to own.
Choice D is not the correct answer. The author does not imply that majority shareholders are more interested in profits than in productivity. In fact, the author argues the opposite, stating that majority shareholders such as the old-style capitalists concentrated more on long-term productivity than on quick profits.
According to the passage, the purpose of the requirement suggested in lines * would be which of the following?
Solution : C
This question asks you to identify the stated purpose of the author’s suggestion that any institution holding 20 percent or more of a corporation’s stock be required to give the public one day’s notice of the intent to sell that stock.
The best answer is C. The purpose of the requirement that institutions holding 20 percent or more of a company’s stock be required to give advance public notice of the sale of that stock is stated: to prevent insititutions from “trading shares at the propitious moment” and to encourage them to concentrate on increasing a company’s productivity.
Choice A is incorrect. The suggested requirement that an institution give advance notice of its intent to sell a significant amount of stock tends to discourage institutional stockholders from selling stock they believe will decrease in value since, according to the passage, such an announcement would cause the stock’s value to plummet.
Choice B is also incorrect. The author argues that insititutional stockholders should be “encouraged to take a more active role in the operations of the companies in which they invest”. The advance notice requirement discussed is proposed by the author as a means of fostering, not discouraging, institutional stockholders’ participation in the operation of the companies they invest in.
Choice D is not the correct answer. The passage does not discuss ownership of company stock by that company’s employees.
The author suggests that which of the following is a true statement about people who typify the “old style capitalist" referred to in line**?
Solution : B
To answer this question, you must use information contained in the passage to infer something about the “old-style capitalist” referred to.
The best answer is B. According to the lines of the passage, the individual capitalists of the past, referred to later in the passage as “old-style” capitalists , could not “sell out for a quick profit” because doing so would depress the value of their stocks. From this statement, it can be inferred that someone who typifies the “old-style capitalist” would be unlikely to engage in short-term stock trading.
Choice A is incorrect. A comparison between the old-style capitalists and their modern counterparts is made in the passage, but the passage does not express an opinion about whether or not the management techniques used by these capitalists are outdated.
Choice C is not the correct answer. The passage does not discuss the investment policies of the corporations in which financial institutions invest.
Choice D is also incorrect. According to the passage ,the old-style capitalists were individual investors, not large institutions. While the passage stats that large institutions are affected by anti-trust legislation, it says nothing about whether this legislation affects individual investors. In addition, the passage does not mention anything about how great a role individual investors now play in the stock market.
It can be inferred that the author makes which of the following assumptions about the businesses once controlled by individual capitalists?
Solution : B
The best answer is (B).
The lines in the passage says "United States productivity is unlikely to improve unless shareholders and the managers of the companies in which they invest are encouraged to enhance long-term productivity (and hence long-term profitability), rather than simply to maximize short term profits."
The remaining options need not be assumed necessarily.
The author suggests that the role of large institutions as stockholders differs from that of the “old-style capitalist” in part because large institutions:
Solution : B
This question asks you to infer, from information stated in the passage, a way in which the role of large institutions as stockholders differs from that of the “old-style capitalist”.
The best answer is B. According to the passage, the old-style capitalists were able to play a dominant role in the corporations in which they held stock because they owned enough stock to do so. The passage also states that large institutions are legally barred from owning a majority of a company’s stock. From this it can be inferred that large institutions, because their ability to own stock is limited, do not play as dominant a role in the corporations of which they are stockholders as did the old-style capitalists.
Choice A is not correct. The passage does not indicate whether large institutions invest in many companies, few companies, or even just a single company.
Choice C is not the correct answer. The passage does not mention brokers or any other parties who might influence the investment choices made by large institutions.
Choice D is incorrect.The author notes that an institution’ sale of a large amount of stock would, in fact, decrease the stock’s value.
The primary function of the second paragraph of the passage is to:
Solution : D
This question asks you to determine the main purpose served by the second paragraph of the passage in the context of the passage as a whole.
The best answer is D. The second paragraph is devoted to the author’s recommendations of certain actions, namely, the adoption of new regulations concerning the holding and selling of stock by institutional investors.
Choice A is not the correct answer. The author of the passage identifies a problem-short-term trading done by institutional shareholders-but does so in the first paragraph, not in the second.
Choice B is incorrect. In the second paragraph, the author recommends new regulations regarding shareholding by institutions. Although the author mentions some consequences of the suggested regulations, the author clearly views these consequences as desirable.
Choice C is not correct. The second paragraph contains suggestions about new ways to regulate shareholding by institutions. Although the author asserts that certain effects would result from the proposed regulations, these effects are not explained.