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GMAT Verbal: Reading Comprehension Questions

For many years, scientists have been developing and conducting experiments to measure the intelligence of various animals. Self-awareness, referred to in animals and people as the state of knowing oneself as an individual apart from the rest of the world, is often thought of as one of the highest forms of intelligence. To determine whether an animal is self-aware, the mirror test is often used.

To pass the mirror test, animals must exhibit behaviors indicating that they know the reflection in the mirror is actually them. In elephants, this has been shown by placing a red dot on the foreheads of the creatures. When elephants touch their own faces upon looking in the mirror rather than the reflection itself, it is often interpreted as a sign of self awareness. Dolphins and certain primates have also passed the test.

Interestingly, human babies usually fail the mirror test until they are about 15 months old. After this time, they give indications that they are aware that the reflection is their own. It is also at this time that complex emotions such as embarrassment and empathy develop.

1. Based on the information, what can be inferred about elephants, dolphins, and primates?

A) They are not the only animals that are able to pass the mirror test.
B) A 15 month old animal is more intelligent than a human baby.
C) Captive animals perform better on the mirror test than wild ones.
D) They are the only creatures that have been able to pass the test.
E) They may have complex feelings like embarrassment and empathy.

Correct Answer: E

Explanation: The development of complex feelings in humans coincides with their ability to pass the mirror test. Since animals like dolphins and elephants can pass the mirror test, it may be reasonable to assume that they possess complex feelings as well.

2. Which of the following information would have strengthened the argument that certain animals are self-aware?

A) Presenting a detailed explanation of the methods used to complete the experiment.
B) Discussing other animals known to be highly intelligent that have passed the test.
C) Elaborating on the reasons why humans fail the mirror test before a certain age.
D) Discussing the fact that animals known to be of lower intelligence fail the test.
E) Presenting other methods that can be used to measure self-awareness in animals.

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: Self awareness is often associated with intelligence. For the mirror test to be accepted as a useful method of determining intelligence, it must be shown to be effective on only the most intelligent of animals. Therefore, identifying the fact that less intelligent animals fail the test would strengthen the argument.

To effectively market any product, it is usually accepted that there are four key factors to consider. They are product, pricing, promotion, and place. Paying attention to each of these when developing and marketing a new product increases the chances that it will be successful, as it will likely draw customers in and encourage them to buy the good.

Aside from the product itself, the price that is attached to the product is also extremely important. To calculate an effective price point, the affect of a price drop or increase on profits and sales must be considered. For example, a manager may find that decreasing the price of a product by 5% increases consumer demand by 10%. In this case, the increase in demand and therefore sales is greater than the profit that will be lost as a result of the decrease, so lowering the cost might be a good option.

3. What is meant when it is stated that a good marketing strategy will likely draw customers in?

A) Customers will likely become interested in the product.
B) Customers will become knowledgeable about the product.
C) Customers will be satisfied with the price of the product.
D) Customers will pay attention to how the product is marketed.
E) Customers will likely refrain from purchasing the product.

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: Drawing someone in usually refers to stimulating their interest or curiosity.

4. Based on the information regarding the effect of price on demand, how much would a 20% decrease in price increase demand?

A) 10%
B) 20%
C) 30%
D) 40%
E) 50%

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: A 5% decrease corresponds to a demand increase of 10%. A 20% decrease is four times this amount. Therefore: 10% (decrease in price) x 4 = 40% (increase in demand)

Last Updated: 11/20/2013