Monday, August 22, 2011

bizarre performance

I finished a large cluster of Verbal exercises in the Kaplan book. This particular section was devoted exclusively to Reading Comprehension work. Question types varied from "choose one correct answer" to "choose all that apply" to "select the correct sentence." As is typical with the Kaplan manuals, the exercises were grouped into Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced levels. Strangely enough, my best performance was at the Advanced level:

Basic: 7 out of 10
Intermediate: 7 out of 9
Advanced: 10 out of 11

Some of those questions were tough, requiring a subtlety of thought that's hard to bring to bear in an actual testing situation.

Here's the advanced-level question that I got wrong:

A study of children's television-watching habits by the federal Department of Education found that children aged 7-10 who watched more than 25 hours of television per week performed worse in school than children of the same age who watched fewer than 25 hours of television per week. Therefore, parents of children aged 7-10 should prohibit their children from watching more than 25 hours of television per week.

28. Which of the following, if true, would best strengthen the argument above? [NB: For this question, you're to choose only ONE answer.]

A. A separate study, by a renowned graduate school of education, found that when parents prohibited their children from watching any television, the children's reading scores increased rapidly and significantly, and stayed high indefinitely.

B. Children who watched more than 25 hours of television per week also performed worse on measures of physical fitness than children who watched fewer than 25 hours per week.

C. The television shows that children aged 7-10 are most likely to watch are saturated with advertisements for products, such as toys and candy, of little educational value.

D. The Department of Education study gave appropriate weight to children of backgrounds representative of children nationwide.

E. Children who develop a habit of extensive television watching are more likely than others to maintain that habit as an adult.

You chew on that while I do a practice set of the Verbal section, then turn my attention to the fourth Quant practice set in my other Kaplan book. Meanwhile, I'm changing my plans: I won't be doing the CD-ROM test until tomorrow night, when I'm back over at Sean's apartment. I'd rather not tackle the semi-official ETS test too late in the evening, when my wits are half-drained away. The CD-ROM comes with only one mock test, alas, so I have to make my one and only attempt a good one.



JSA said...

I'm going to guess "D".

Kevin Kim said...


I'll let other commenters venture their guesses before I provide the correct answer. Are you really guessing on this one, or do you feel your choice is pretty solid?

JSA said...

It's not a wild guess, but it's a tough choice between that and "A". I really liked A, but would have to choose "D" if I were taking the test.

hahnak said...

d as in dirty dog. and thats my final answer.

hahnak said...

what is the answer to this and what did you choose?

daeguowl said...

I'm going to say D. D shows that the study was conducted in a vaguely scientific way. A while tempting assumes correlation between the two studies and if presented as a supporting answer would be an example of journalistic speciousness.

daeguowl said...

For follow-up comments...

hahnak said...

so i saw how you answered another question you posted, why no love for this question? is it because it is the one time i tried to answer a question? feeling singled out...

Kevin Kim said...

Sorry, Hahna!

"D" is the correct answer. I had picked "A," but "A" doesn't really strengthen the argument because it's about prohibiting kids from watching any television.