MCAT CARS Practice Passage #3 Answers

Updated: October 1, 2020

1. The author apparently considers a theory of education that “has little to do with the learner:"

 A. practical but unethical.

B. ethical but not generally accepted.

C. generally accepted but ineffective.

D. effective but impractical.

Correct answer is C.

Discussion

This is a Foundation of Comprehension question, which requires you to have a general understanding of the passage to make deductions and assumptions based on the inferences made by the author throughout the passage. Question 1 asks you to deduce whether the assertion of a phrase in the text “has little to do with the learner”.

A. For answer option A, we look at the two terms “unethical” and “practical”. Both terms should be in agreement with the facts stated in the passage for this answer to be correct. Concerning "unethical", in the passage, the author implies that this education may be unethical by stating "it is the forgotten parents and children themselves who will pay for the short-sighted-ambition of this policy." However, the author does not seem to perceive this theory as practical since the author believes that the developmentally appropriate education has much to do with the learner. However, this theory “has little to do with the learner”. Therefore, this answer is incorrect.

B. In the passage, the author implies that they find the theory of education unethical as they state “it is the forgotten parents and children themselves who will pay for the short-sighted-ambition of this policy.” Furthermore, the author does not discuss this theory as one that is not generally accepted. Answer B is incorrect.

C. In the text, the author refers to the school readiness theory of education as “usual practice…of treating learning as an abstraction,”. This implied that this theory is a “usual practice” thus can be considered generally accepted. Moreover, the author points out that the theorists Piaget and Gesell opposed the outlook of this theory stating that “Most modern observers of children think that if a task is developmentally appropriate and has personal meaning for a child, it is approached as a pleasing challenge, not a struggle.” Therefore, implying this theory was ineffective. Answer C is correct as both terms are in agreement with what is in the text.

D. To be efficient, one can note that we have already reviewed the terms "practical" and "ineffective", the same verdict from answer A and answer C will remain true, and therefore answer D is incorrect.

2. The author argues that the reason for the approach taken by promoters of the Generalized School Readiness Program is their wish:

A. to control the education of U.S. consumers.

B. to defraud the schools of a great deal of money.

C. to promote the success of a corporate sponsor.

D. to win the support of school administrators.

Correct answer is D.

This is another Foundation of Comprehension question, which requires you to have an overall understanding of the passage. You are encouraged to piece together different components of the passage to demonstrate your overall comprehension of the author’s argument. In this question, you are asked to derive the reason for the approach taken by the promoters of the Generalized School Readiness Program.

A. The author mentions in the passage: “It is thus reasonable to be suspicious of the promoters of the Generalized School Readiness Program. What is their motivation? Are they agents of an unfriendly power bent on “dumbing down” U.S. education? Are educational entrepreneurs trying cynically to profit from the general dissatisfaction with the nation’s schools?” Although the author has mentioned many suspicions, they did not mention nor imply the control of the education of U.S. consumers. This answer is incorrect.

B. The author explicitly states in the text: “It is thus reasonable to be suspicious of the promoters of the Generalized School Readiness Program. What is their motivation? Are they agents of an unfriendly power bent on “dumbing down” U.S. education? Are educational entrepreneurs trying cynically to profit from the general dissatisfaction with the nation’s schools?” Among the many suspicions mentioned, to defraud schools is not mentioned. Therefore, this is not the correct answer.

C. Again, the author expresses that: “It is thus reasonable to be suspicious of the promoters of the Generalized School Readiness Program. What is their motivation? Are they agents of an unfriendly power bent on “dumbing down” U.S. education? Are educational entrepreneurs trying cynically to profit from the general dissatisfaction with the nation’s schools?” The act of promoting the success of a corporate sponsor was not mentioned nor insinuated in the passage. This is not the correct answer.

D. The author expresses in the literature promoting their approach that the advocates of generalized readiness are clearly directing their appeal to school administrators. This aligns with the statement in answer D; this is the correct response.

3. The most reasonable inference from passage statements is that administrators are relatively reluctant to institute developmentally appropriate instruction because:

A. it is favored by parents and therefore represents the views of those with little understanding of learning.

B. it is based on untested theories and therefore requires extensive research to demonstrate its effectiveness.

C. it is individualized and therefore involves an inconvenient process of changing traditional methods.

D. it is promoted in slick presentations and therefore justifies skepticism about its cost effectiveness.

Correct answer is C.

This is a Reasoning Beyond the Text question, which prompts you to be intuitive and deduce concepts from the passage. Considering the tone of the author and his claims, you must find the best solution mentioned in the answer key. Question 3 requires you to extrapolate the most reasonable inference concerning administrators’ reluctance to institute developmentally appropriate instruction.

A. In the passage, the author states: “In the literature promoting their approach, the advocates of the generalized readiness are clearly directing their appeal to school administrators. Parents who do not understand their ‘readiness’ concept are dismissed as ‘caring’.” This indicates that advocates for the Generalized School Readiness propose this kind of argument to school administrators. This answer is incorrect.

B. The text shows that the author doubts the expertise of the school readiness and questions their intentions, as well as the credibility of the research behind this program: “with comparative data on the results of alternative approaches as ambiguous as they are in the U.S., the odds favor acceptance…of a poorly researched but slickly presented program.” The author highlights the need for the credibility of reforms and also brings attention to the burden of proof for needing a new program- the opening two paragraphs illustrate that the school readiness advocates have not yet proven the need for their program. This answer is incorrect.

C. The author insinuates that uniformity is of more convenience than an individualized approach, as the text states: "Developmentally appropriate instruction….appears to be a hard sell to decision-makers concerned with uniformity." There is also an additional benefit which is “higher percentages on standardized tests”. As result, C is the correct answer.

D. In this passage, the author does not bring attention to the issue of cost-effectiveness in the program but focuses on credibility. This answer is incorrect.

4. One can infer from the passage that teaching in the Generalized School Readiness Program is to developmentally appropriate teaching as:

A. breaking farmland with a hand plow is to preparing the fields by riding on a mechanized cultivator.

B. sending a yearly form letter to one’s acquaintances is to sending personal notes to one’s friends.

C. casting a line into a lake with a fishing rod is to fishing with a net behind a boat.

D. preparing a variety of dishes in a restaurant is to cooking a family meal at home.

Correct answer is B.

This is a Reasoning Beyond the Text question. It prompts you to extrapolate concepts from the passage. Considering the tone of the author and his argument, the best way to approach this question is through the process of elimination. Question 4 requires you to make an inference on what the Generalized School Readiness Program appropriates teaching as.

A. This statement makes breaking farmland with a hand plow analogous to school readiness, and mechanized agriculture analogous with developmentally appropriate instruction. However, the reverse of this would be more representative and a better analogy. Regardless, even if the reverse was to be used, the land is unable to experience an interpersonal relationship as a friend can. Therefore this answer is incorrect

B. This analogy stands out because the author contends that much like a form letter, school readiness is much too impersonal and standardized, whereas developmentally appropriate instruction, similar to a personal note to a friend, is mostly focused on the needs of each individual child and is made to be of significance to each one. As a result, this answer is correct.

C. This analogy equates using a fishing line to school readiness: a personalized method is compared to fishing and developmentally appropriate instruction is compared to casting a net, which is a more generalized and impersonal way of fishing. The reverse of this would be more efficient. However, a personal note is an interpersonal interaction that treats the recipient of the note as an individual. This answer is incorrect.

D. This statement outlines that making the preparation of a variety of dishes in a restaurant is analogous to school readiness and cooking a family meal at home is analogous to developmentally appropriate education – this is a suitable analogy. However, the former suggests an impersonal form of interaction and the latter is more personalized. Although the latter is more personalized, it is also not an individualized approach. As result, this analogy is incorrect.

5. The performance of high school students on an examination noted for its reliability and validity is used to predict their success in college. The author’s views on such tests suggests that its scores could also be used to evaluate:

A. the usefulness of high school curricula.

B. the honesty of the grading in high schools.

C. the appropriateness of the testing principles.

D. the probable income of the students in later life.

The correct answer is A.

This is a Reasoning Beyond the Text question, which will prompt you to apply and derive concepts from the passage. The question asks you to find the best response that supports the author’s views on what else the test scores could help evaluate.

A. The author expresses in the passage the importance of developing a test to validate curricular reforms and educational effectiveness. This answer is correct as it clearly shows what else the test can be used to evaluate.

B. The honesty of grading, although a crucial point, was not discussed in the passage. Therefore this answer is incorrect

C. The author’s tone does not imply that the scores could be utilized in this way. If the tests were already reviewed on their legitimacy and reliability, there would be no need for that process to be undertaken. This answer is incorrect.

D. The author’s claims do not align with this view as probable income is not directly correlated to educational goals, which is the author’s main concern throughout the passage. This answer is incorrect.

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