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GMAT Sample Questions - Reading Comprehension

Each GMAT sample reading comprehension passage in this section is followed by questions based on the content of the reading passage. Read the passage carefully and chose the best answer to each question. The questions are to be answered on the basis of what is stated or implied in the passage.

First GMAT Sample Comprehension Passage

But man is not destined to vanish. He can be killed, but he cannot be destroyed, because his soul is deathless and his spirit is irrepressible. Therefore, though the situation seems dark in the context of the confrontation between the superpowers, the silver lining is provided by amazing phenomenon that the very nations which have spent incalculable resources and energy for the production of deadly weapons are desperately trying to find out how they might never be used. They threaten each other, intimidate each other and go to the brink, but before the total hour arrives they withdraw from the brink.

1. The main point from the author’s view is that

  1. Man’s soul and spirit cannot be destroyed by superpowers.
  2. Man’s destiny is not fully clear or visible.
  3. Man’s soul and spirit are immortal.
  4. Man’s safety is assured by the delicate balance of power in terms of nuclear weapons.
  5. Human society will survive despite the serious threat of total annihilation.

Answer: E

2. The phrase ‘Go to the brink’ in the passage means

  1. Retreating from extreme danger.
  2. Declare war on each other.
  3. Advancing to the stage of war but not engaging in it.
  4. Negotiate for peace.
  5. Commit suicide.

Answer: C

3. In the author’s opinion

  1. Huge stockpiles of destructive weapons have so far saved mankind from a catastrophe.
  2. Superpowers have at last realized the need for abandoning the production of lethal weapons.
  3. Mankind is heading towards complete destruction.
  4. Nations in possession of huge stockpiles of lethal weapons are trying hard to avoid actual conflict.
  5. There is a Silver lining over the production of deadly weapons.

Answer: D

4. ‘Irrepressible’ in the second line means

  1. incompatible
  2. strong
  3. oppressive
  4. unrestrainable
  5. unspirited

Answer: D

5. A suitable title for the above passage is

  1. Destruction of mankind is in evitable.
  2. Man’s desire to survive inhibits use of deadly weapons.
  3. Mounting cost of modern weapons.
  4. Threats and intimidation between super powers.
  5. Cowardly retreat by man

Answer: B

Second GMAT Sample Comprehension Passage

Disequilibrium at the interface of water and air is a factor on which the transfer of heat and water vapor from the ocean to the air depends. The air within about a millimeter of the water is almost saturated with water vapor and the temperature of the air is close to that of the surface water. Irrespective of how small these differences might be, they are crucial, and the disequilibrium is maintained by air near the surface mixing with air higher up, which is typically appreciably cooler and lower in water vapor content. The turbulence, which takes its energy from the wind mixes the air. As the speed of wind increases, so does the turbulence, and consequently the rate of heat and moisture transfer. We can arrive at a detailed understanding of this phenomenon after further study. The transfer of momentum from wind to water, which occurs when waves are formed is an interacting-and complicated phenomenon. When waves are made by the wind, it transfers important amounts of energy-energy, which is consequently not available for the production of turbulence.

1. This passage principally intends to:

  1. resolve a controversy
  2. attempt a description of a phenomenon
  3. sketch a theory
  4. reinforce certain research findings
  5. tabulate various observations

Answer: B

2. The wind over the ocean usually does which of the following according to the given passage?

I. Leads to cool, dry air coming in proximity with the ocean surface.

II. Maintains a steady rate of heat and moisture transfer between the ocean and the air.

III. Results in frequent changes in the ocean surface temperature.

  1. I only
  2. II only
  3. I and II only
  4. II and III only
  5. I, II, and III

Answer: A

3. According to the author the present knowledge regarding heat and moisture transfer from the ocean to air as

  1. revolutionary
  2. inconsequential
  3. outdated
  4. derivative
  5. incomplete

Answer: E

4. According to the given passage, in case the wind was to decrease until there was no wind at all, which of the following would occur?

  1. The air, which is closest to the ocean surface, would get saturated with water vapor.
  2. The water would be cooler than the air closest to the ocean surface.
  3. There would be a decrease in the amount of moisture in the air closest to the ocean surface.
  4. There would be an increase in the rate of heat and moisture transfer.
  5. The temperature of the air closest to the ocean and that of the air higher up would be the same.

Answer: A

Third GMAT Sample Comprehension Passage

The Food and Drug Administration has formulated certain severe restrictions regarding the use of antibiotics, which are used to promote the health and growth of meat animals. Though the different types of medicines mixed with the fodder of the animals kills many microorganisms, it also encourages the appearance of bacterial strains, which are resistant to anti-infective drugs.

It has already been observed that penicillin and the tetracyclines are not as effective therapeutically as they once used to be. This resistance to drugs is chiefly caused due to tiny circlets of genes, called plasmids, which are transferable between different species of bacteria. These plasmids are also one of the two kinds of vehicles on which molecular biologists depend on while performing gene transplant experiments. Existing guidelines also forbid the use of plasmids, which bear genes for resistance to antibiotics, in the laboratories. Though congressional debate goes on as to whether these restrictions need to be toughened with reference to scientists in their laboratories, almost no congressional attention is being paid to an ill advised agricultural practice, which produces deleterious effects.

1. In the present passage, the author’s primary concern is with:

  1. The discovery of methods, which eliminate harmful microorganisms without generating drug-resistant bacteria.
  2. Attempting an explanation of the reasons for congressional inaction about the regulation of gene transplant experiments.
  3. Portraying a problematic agricultural practice and its serious genetic consequences
  4. The verification of the therapeutic ineffectiveness of anti-infective drugs
  5. Evaluation of the recently proposed restrictions, which are intended to promote the growth of meat animals.

Answer: C

2. As inferred from the above passage, the mutual transfer of plasmids between different bacteria can result in which of the following?

  1. Microorganisms, which have an in-built resistance to drugs
  2. Therapeutically useful circlets of genes
  3. Penicillin like anti-infective drugs
  4. Viruses used by molecular biologists
  5. Carriers for performing gene transplant experiments.

Answer: A

3. According to the above passage the author believes that those who favor the stiffening of restrictions on gene transplant research should logically also.

  1. Approve and aid experiments with any plasmids except those, which bear genes for antibiotic resistance.
  2. Inquire regarding the addition of anti-infective drugs to livestock feeds
  3. Oppose the using of penicillin and tetracyclines in order to kill microorganisms
  4. Agree to the development of meatier live-stock through the use of antibiotics
  5. Approve of congressional debate and discussion regarding science and health issues.

Answer: B

4. The attitude the author has with reference to the development of bacterial strains that render antibiotic drugs in effective can best be described as

  1. indifferent
  2. perplexed
  3. pretentious
  4. insincere
  5. apprehensive

Answer: E

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