Sporting Futures USA | SAT Prep | Critical Reading 1.2

SportingFutures USA
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SportingFutures USA
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Sporting Futures USA SAT Study Program

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Question 1

Question
Esther could not believe her eyes; her once ________ little grandson had now become a(n) ________ man. Select the words that best complete the sentence.
Answer
  • obnoxious . . deferential
  • incorrigible . . unruly
  • excitable . . joyful
  • opinionated . . obstinate
  • depressed . . apathetic

Question 2

Question
Please Read Passage and Answer Question Below: 1 Don Hedger had lived for four years on the top floor of 2 an old house on the south side of Washington Square, 3 and nobody had ever disturbed him. He occupied 4 one big room with no outside exposure except on the 5 north. His room was very cheerless, since he never 6 got a ray of direct sunlight; the south corners were 7 always in shadow. In the front corner, the one farther 8 from the window, was a sink, and a table with two 9 gas burners where he sometimes cooked his food. 10 There, too, in the perpetual dusk, was the dog's bed, 11 and often a bone or two for his comfort. 12 The dog was a Boston bull terrier, and Hedger 13 explained his surly disposition by the fact that he had 14 been bred to the point where it told on his nerves. His 15 name was Caesar III, and he had taken prizes at very 16 exclusive dog shows. When he and his master went 17 out to prowl about University Place, or to promenade 18 along West Street, Caesar III was invariably fresh and 19 shining. His pink skin showed through his mottled 20 coat, which glistened as if it had just been rubbed with 21 olive oil, and he wore a brass-studded collar, bought 22 at the smartest saddler's. Hedger, as often as not, was 23 hunched up in an old striped blanket coat, with a 24 shapeless felt hat pulled over his bushy hair, wearing 25 black shoes that had become gray, or brown ones 26 that had become black, and he never put on gloves 27 unless the day was biting cold. 28 Early in May, Hedger learned that he was to have a 29 new neighbor in the rear apartment. His studio was 30 shut off from these rooms by double doors, which, 31 though they were fairly tight, left him a good deal 32 at the mercy of the occupant. The rooms had been 33 leased, long before he came there, by a trained nurse 34 who considered herself knowing in old furniture. She 35 went to auction sales and bought up mahogany and 36 dirty brass and stored it away here, where she meant 37 to live when she retired from nursing. Meanwhile, 38 she sub-let her rooms, with the precious furniture, to 39 young people who came to New York to "write" or 40 "paint"--who proposed to live by the sweat of the 41 brow rather than of the hand, and who desired artistic 42 surroundings. When Hedger first moved in, these 43 rooms were occupied by a young man who tried to 44 write plays,--and who kept on trying until a week ago, 45 when the nurse had put him out for unpaid rent. 46 A few days after the playwright left, Hedger heard 47 an ominous murmur of voices through the bolted 48 double doors: the lady-like intonation of the nurse-- 49 doubtless exhibiting her treasures--and another voice, 50 also a woman's, but very different; young, fresh, 51 unguarded, confident. All the same, it would be very 52 annoying to have a woman in there. The only bath- 53 room on the floor was at the top of the stairs in the 54 front hall, and he would always be running into her 55 as he came or went from his bath. He would have to 56 be more careful to see that Caesar didn't leave bones 57 about the hall, too; and she might object when he 58 cooked steak and onions on his gas burner. 59 As soon as the talking ceased and the women left, 60 he forgot them. He was absorbed in a study of para- 61 dise fish at the Aquarium, staring out at people through 62 the glass and green water of their tank. It was a 63 highly gratifying idea; the incommunicability of one 64 stratum of animal life with another,--though Hedger 65 pretended it was only an experiment with unusual 66 lighting. When he heard trunks knocking against the 67 sides of the narrow hall, then he realized that she was 68 moving in at once. Toward noon, groans and deep 69 gasps and the creaking of ropes, made him aware 70 that a piano was arriving. After the tramp of the 71 movers died away down the stairs, somebody touched 72 off a few scales and chords on the instrument, and 73 then there was peace. Presently he heard her lock her 74 door and go down the hall humming something; going 75 out to lunch, probably. He stuck his brushes in a can 76 of turpentine and put on his hat, not stopping to wash 77 his hands. Caesar was smelling along the crack 78 under the bolted doors. 79 Hedger encouraged him. "Come along, Caesar. 80 You'll soon get used to a new smell." 81 In the hall stood an enormous trunk, behind the 82 ladder that led to the roof, just opposite Hedger's 83 door. The dog flew at it with a growl of hurt amaze- 84 ment. They went down three flights of stairs and out 85 into the brilliant May afternoon. 86 Hedger strolled about the Square for the dog's health. 87 The fountain had but lately begun operations for the 88 season and was throwing up a mist of rainbow water. 89 Plump robins were hopping about on the soil; the 90 grass was newly cut and blindingly green. Looking 91 up the Avenue through the Arch, one could see the 92 young poplars with their bright, sticky leaves, and 93 shining horses and carriages,--occasionally an auto- 94 mobile, mis-shapen and sullen, like an ugly threat in 95 a stream of things that were bright and beautiful and 96 alive. 97 While Caesar and his master were standing by the 98 fountain, a girl approached them, crossing the Square. 99 Hedger noticed her because she wore a lavender cloth 100 suit and carried in her arms a big bunch of fresh lilacs. 101 He saw that she was young and handsome,--beautiful, 102 in fact. She, too, paused by the fountain and looked 103 back through the Arch up the Avenue. She smiled 104 rather patronizingly as she looked, and at the same 105 time seemed delighted. Her slowly curving upper lip 106 and half-closed eyes seemed to say: "You're gay, 107 you're exciting, you are quite the right sort of thing; 108 but you're none too fine for me!" 109 In the moment she tarried, Caesar stealthily ap- 110 proached her and sniffed at the hem of her lavender 111 skirt, then he ran back to his master and lifted a face 112 full of emotion and alarm, his lower lip twitching under 113 his sharp white teeth and his hazel eyes pointed with 114 a very definite discovery. He stood thus, motionless, 115 while Hedger watched the lavender girl go up the 116 steps and through the door of the house in which he 117 lived. 118 "You're right, my boy, it's she!" Question: Hedger's reaction to hearing the voice of his new neighbor implies that:
Answer
  • he is excited at the prospect of living next to a young, confident woman.
  • he usually disapproves of the artists to whom the nurse sub-leases her apartment.
  • he believes females to be more fastidious than males.
  • he has little experience with women.
  • he is embarrassed at the prospect of sharing space with a woman.

Question 3

Question
His ________ manipulation of the space shuttle's robotic arm demonstrated his skills as a seasoned astronaut. Select the word that best completes the sentence.
Answer
  • nefarious
  • adroit
  • parochial
  • efficient
  • inept

Question 4

Question
Please read the passage and answer the question below. 1 Ever since the Census Bureau released figures 2 showing that married-couple households are now a 3 minority, my phone has been ringing off the hook with 4 calls from people asking: "How can we save mar- 5 riage? How can we make Americans understand that 6 marriage is the most significant emotional connection 7 they will ever make?" 8 I think these are the wrong questions--indeed, such 9 questions would have been almost unimaginable 10 through most of history. It has only been in the last 11 century that Americans have put all their emotional 12 eggs in the basket of coupled love. Because of this 13 change, many of us have found joys in marriage our 14 great-great-grandparents never did. But we have also 15 neglected our other relationships, placing too many 16 burdens on a fragile institution and making social life 17 poorer in the process. In fact, according to the Census 18 Bureau's figures, the number of people who depended 19 totally on a spouse for important conversations, with no 20 other person to turn to, almost doubled, to 9.4 percent 21 from 5 percent. Not surprisingly, the number of people 22 saying they didn't have anyone in whom they confided 23 nearly tripled. 24 The solution to this isolation is not to ramp up our 25 emotional dependence on marriage. Until 100 years 26 ago, most societies agreed that it was dangerously 27 antisocial to elevate marital affection and nuclear- 28 family ties above commitments to neighbors, extended 29 kin, civic duty and religion. 30 From medieval days until the early 19th century, diaries 31 and letters more often used the word love to refer to 32 neighbors, cousins and fellow church members than 33 to spouses. Victorian novels and diaries were as 34 passionate about brother-sister relationships and 35 same-sex friendships as about marital ties. 36 By the early 20th century, though, the sea change in the 37 culture wrought by the industrial economy had 38 loosened social obligations to neighbors and kin, 39 giving rise to the idea that individuals could meet their 40 deepest needs only through romantic love, culminat- 41 ing in marriage. Under the influence of Freudianism, 42 society began to view intense same-sex ties with sus- 43 picion and people were urged to reject the emotional 44 claims of friends and relatives who might compete with 45 a spouse for time and affection. 46 The insistence that marriage and parenthood could 47 satisfy all an individual's needs reached a peak in the 48 cult of "togetherness" among middle-class suburban 49 Americans in the 1950s. Women were told that 50 marriage and motherhood offered them complete 51 fulfillment. Men were encouraged to let their wives 52 take care of their social lives. 53 But many men and women found these prescriptions 54 stifling. Women who entered the work force in the 55 1960s joyfully rediscovered social contacts and 56 friendships outside the home. And women's lead in 57 overturning the cult of 1950s marriage inspired many 58 men to rediscover what earlier generations of men had 59 taken for granted -- that men need deep emotional 60 connections with other men, not just their wives. 61 Researchers soon found that men and women with 62 confidants beyond the nuclear family were mentally 63 and physically healthier than people who relied on just 64 one other individual for emotional intimacy and 65 support. 66 So why do we seem to be slipping back in this regard? 67 It is not because most people have voluntarily em- 68 braced nuclear-family isolation. Indeed, the spread of 69 "virtual" communities on the Internet speaks to a deep 70 hunger to reach out to others. Instead, it is the expan- 71 sion of the post-industrial economy that seems to be 72 driving us back to a new dependence on marriage. 73 According to the researchers Kathleen Gerson and 74 Jerry Jacobs, 60 percent of American married couples 75 have both partners in the work force, up from 36 per- 76 cent in 1970, and the average two-earner couple now 77 works 82 hours a week. This increase in working 78 hours is probably why the time Americans spend 79 socializing with others off the job has declined by 80 almost 25 percent since 1965. Their free hours are 81 spent with spouses. 82 As Americans lose the wider face-to-face ties that build 83 social trust, they become more dependent on romantic 84 relationships for intimacy and deep communication, 85 and more vulnerable to isolation if a relationship 86 breaks down. In some cases we even cause the 87 breakdown by loading the relationship with too many 88 expectations. Marriage is generally based on greater 89 equality and deeper friendship than in the past, but 90 even so, it is hard for marriage to compensate for the 91 way that work has devoured time once spent cultiva- 92 ting friendships. 93 The solution is not to revive the failed marital experi- 94 ment of the 1950s, as so many commentators noting 95 the decline in married-couple households seem 96 to want. Nor is it to lower our expectations that we'll 97 find fulfillment and friendship in marriage. Instead, we 98 should raise our expectations for, and commitment to, 99 other relationships. Paradoxically, we can strengthen 100 our marriages the most by not expecting them to be 101 our sole refuge from the pressures of the modern work 102 force. Instead, we need to restructure both work and 103 social life so we can reach out and build ties with 104 others, including people who are single or divorced. 105 That indeed would be a return to marital tradition--not 106 the 1950s model, but the pre-20th-century model that 107 has a much more enduring pedigree. Question: Which of the following techniques is not used strategically at some point in the passage to develop the author's argument?
Answer
  • compare/contrast
  • persuasion
  • cause/effect
  • chronology
  • allegory

Question 5

Question
On July 16, 1935 parking meters were first installed on the business streets of Oklahoma City much to the _________ of the merchants of the city. Select the word that best completes the sentence.
Answer
  • chagrin
  • clamor
  • redress
  • haste
  • surmise

Question 6

Question
The employees had always thought their boss was ________ and fair, so they were shocked to hear of her ________ decisions. Select the words that best complete the sentence.
Answer
  • scrupulous . . unconscionable
  • truculent . . disingenuous
  • sympathetic . . haphazard
  • supportive . . saccharine
  • reprehensible . . magnanimous

Question 7

Question
Please read the passages and answer the question below. Passage 1 1 Even the most jaded observer of American corporate 2 culture had to blink when, earlier this month, Home 3 Depot's board of directors handed the company's 4 C.E.O., Bob Nardelli, more than two hundred million 5 dollars after pushing him out of his job. Nardelli had 6 not delivered for shareholders: Home Depot's stock 7 price went down about six percent during his tenure. 8 And, while his operating performance was actually 9 quite good, he would have made a lot of money even if 10 it hadn't been: most of his contract was guaranteed, 11 and, when he had a hard time meeting a particular tar- 12 get for his bonus, the board generously substituted an 13 easier one. 14 The size of Nardelli's severance was startling, but his 15 "heads I win, tails you lose" arrangement is far from 16 unusual in corporate America these days. For all the 17 talk of restraining C.E.O. pay, most compensation 18 committees remain what Warren Buffett once called 19 them--"tail-wagging puppy dogs." At some companies, 20 this is simply because the C.E.O. has packed the 21 board with cronies. But at Home Depot Nardelli did not 22 pick the board members, and most of them were what 23 are usually called independent directors--ones who 24 don't work for the company or do any business with it. 25 Even when an independent board negotiates a 26 C.E.O.'s contract, however, the directors are often, in a 27 sense, negotiating with themselves. Of the ten inde- 28 pendent members of Home Depot's board, for in- 29 stance, eight are or have been C.E.O.s. Since C.E.O. 30 pay is often driven by comparisons between compa- 31 nies, directors have a certain interest in keeping 32 executive pay high. Furthermore, the salaries keep 33 escalating because, board members argue, there just 34 aren't enough good C.E.O. candidates out there. 35 There's no evidence that this is actually the case, but 36 who is more likely to feel that good C.E.O.s are rare 37 other than C.E.O.s? 38 A more complex problem lies in the nature of the social 39 networks that bind directors and executives together. 40 Home Depot has an exceptionally well-connected 41 board. On average, its directors sit on two other out- 42 side boards, and the compensation-committee chair- 43 man sits on four. Connections are often beneficial-- 44 they insure that people are well-informed, creating 45 opportunities for new business. Unfortunately, the 46 more connected board members are, the likelier they 47 are to overpay for executive talent. In some cases, 48 which economists call "interlocking" directorates, this 49 is straightforward: I sit on your board and you sit on 50 mine, and we both have an incentive to be generous. 51 Sure enough, several studies have found that compa- 52 nies with interlocking directors pay C.E.O.s significantly 53 more. Surprisingly, though, connectedness remains 54 important even when the links are not direct. A study of 55 S&P 500 companies, by Amir Barnea and Ilan Guedj, 56 finance professors at the University of Texas, found 57 that, even after other factors were accounted for, 58 C.E.O.s at companies whose directors sat on a num- 59 ber of other boards were paid thirteen per cent more 60 than C.E.O.s at companies whose directors were not. 61 Why? One reason is that the more connections board 62 members have, the more likely they are to end up with 63 what you could call "friend of a friend" links to the com- 64 pany's C.E.O. A recent study by a team of business- 65 school professors mapped the social networks of 66 twenty-two thousand directors at more than three 67 thousand companies, charting the degrees of separa- 68 tion between directors and C.E.O.s, and found that 69 at companies where there are what the study's authors 70 termed "short, friendly" links between directors and 71 executives, C.E.O.s are paid significantly more. But 72 even in the absence of this kind of explicit back- 73 scratching, the tight connections between board 74 members insure that, once an idea takes hold at a few 75 companies, it's easier for it to spread, in a viral fashion. Passage 2 76 Unlike many Americans, whose salaries aren't keep- 77 ing up with inflation, chief executives are seeing their 78 compensation packages rise by 13 percent annually. A 79 tight market allows C.E.O.s to command top dollars, 80 since there are so few with the leadership skills 81 needed to run a public company, some experts say 82 Critics argue the system for setting C.E.O. pay is 83 flawed and does not give enough consideration to 84 performance. They worry that giving C.E.O.s large per- 85 centage increases year after year causes resent- 86 ment among many workers, who have endured 87 decreases in wages, increases in health care costs, 88 pension reductions, and the loss of jobs overseas 89 during a slumping economy. 90 "We believe all employees should be paid fairly and 91 that includes workers and the C.E.O.," said Brandon 92 Rees, a research analyst with the AFL-CIO, a national 93 association of labor unions. "The trend has been that 94 C.E.O.s take a disproportionate share of compen- 95 sation." In 2004, the average chief executive earned 96 $10 million in total compensation, a 13 percent 97 increase over 2003, according a survey by consulting 98 firm Pearl Meyer & Partners for The New York Times. 99 However, the average American worker in a non- 100 supervisory job earned a salary of $27,485 in 2004, 101 only a 2.2 percent increase over 2003, according to 102 the AFL-CIO. 103 Many experts insist that comparing an executive's job 104 to that of a front-line worker is unfair, since the 105 expectations are different. They add that many of 106 the increases in compensation are tied directly to 107 a company's performance in a given year. That's the 108 case with A.L. "Tom" Giannopoulos, head of informa- 109 tion systems company Micros Systems Inc., whose 110 total compensation grew 69 percent, to $3.5 million, 111 in 2004 from $2.08 million in 2003. The increase 112 reflected an 80 percent growth in the value of the com- 113 pany's stock during 2004, said Louise Casamento, 114 a company spokeswoman. Excluding stock options 115 and other perks, Giannopoulos' annual salary grew 19 116 percent to $820,000 in 2004, compared with average 117 workers, whose salaries increased by 5.5 percent to 118 6 percent each year, she said. 119 Defending CEOs, some argue: "Not everyone is 120 capable of running a truly global company. Companies 121 pay them for literally giving over their entire lives to 122 the company . . Yes, they make a lot of money, but 123 you have to compare what it takes to do it." Question: The description of Nardelli's compensation arrangement in lines 14-16 serves to suggest that:
Answer
  • Nardelli's compensation package, as a whole, is unusually generous.
  • mere chance determines a C.E.O.'s compensation package.
  • Nardelli's lawyers tricked Home Depot's board of directors into approving his compensation package.
  • American C.E.O.s are the highest paid C.E.O.s in the world.
  • many C.E.O.s are guaranteed high pay regardless of performance.

Question 8

Question
Please read passage and answer question below. Passage 1 1 Sarah Lam, an eighth-grader at Presidio Middle 2 School in San Francisco, has learned to manage her 3 time better since sixth grade, when she spent three to 4 four hours toiling over nightly assignments, she said. 5 But her schedule these days--which includes orches- 6 tra, working as a tutor, plus two to three hours of 7 homework--is packed. Her father has occasionally 8 had to use college texts to help her answer science 9 homework questions. 10 Yet there's no evidence that lobbing on the home- 11 work in elementary grades boosts test scores later, 12 according to Harris Cooper, a psychology professor 13 at University of Missouri, who reviewed dozens of 14 studies and concluded homework may begin to pay 15 off in junior high. Cooper said giving large amounts of 16 homework in elementary school may have "negative 17 benefits" such as frustration, negative self-image and 18 not enough time to do other important activities. The 19 National Parent Teacher Association has 20 recommended 10 minutes per grade level, but 21 acknowledges that some kids have less and some 22 have a lot more. So why are schools doing it? 23 "There seem to be two sources," said Cooper. "Some 24 of the pressure is coming from parents who are 25 highly achievement-oriented. The other source is new 26 state standards, which are requiring teachers to 27 teach more, while at the same time requiring more 28 non-academic activities. In my district, for example, 29 fourth-graders learn swimming." There are parents 30 who protest, but principals and teachers say just as 31 many ask for more homework. Many believe that 32 heavy homework, while stressful, is a necessary bur- 33 den in a world that's increasingly competitive. They 34 assist when they can. Some hire homework coaches 35 to help their kids keep up and relieve the stress that 36 arguing over doing it can cause. Others sign up their 37 kids for test-taking classes or enrichment courses. 38 Businesses like Kumon and Score--which give kids 39 test practice--and the Report Card in San Rafael, 40 which sells educational materials and offers both 41 regular tutoring and enrichment classes, have 42 sprouted around the Bay area. 43 "The amount of homework kids are getting is out- 44 rageous," said Donna Gray, a tutor who offers not 45 only remedial help to students, but also enrichment 46 work some parents feel is necessary for their kids to 47 stay competitive. "If you don't develop physically, 48 emotionally and socially as well, it's not good . . ." 49 said Gray, a retired teacher who has a waiting list of 50 clients in Tiburon. "It's society today. I believe that 51 teachers today wouldn't give homework like this if it 52 weren't for the parents. The young teachers here 53 worry about the parents. They're smart, high- 54 achieving. It's hard for them to live up to what the 55 parents expect." 56 Now that homework appears to be at a peak, the 57 pendulum is bound to swing in the other direction, 58 said Gill, who believes reasonable amounts of home- 59 work can be a useful learning tool and give parents 60 "a window into the classroom." There already may be 61 a modest backlash brewing. Take, for example, Gill's 62 research colleague Steven Schlossman, head of the 63 history department at Carnegie Mellon University. He 64 said he had pulled his ninth-grade son out of private 65 school near Pittsburgh because of the unwieldy 66 amount of homework. One week, as an experiment, 67 Schlossman did the homework himself. It took him 35 68 hours. "That's what stimulated my interest in the 69 subject of homework," he said. "This is one of the 70 dramas going on throughout middle class America 71 that very few people want to talk about. They fear if 72 their child can't do it, he's destined to failure. But the 73 amount of trauma, if anyone wants to measure it, I'll 74 venture is extraordinary." Passage 2 75 A comprehensive review of academic performance 76 around the world gives bad marks to excessive 77 homework. Teachers in Japan, the Czech Republic 78 and Denmark assign relatively little homework, yet 79 students there score well, researchers said this week. 80 "At the other end of the spectrum, countries with very 81 low average scores--Thailand, Greece, Iran--have 82 teachers who assign a great deal of homework," says 83 Penn State researcher David Baker. "American stu- 84 dents appear to do as much homework as their peers 85 overseas--if not more--but still only score around the 86 international average," said co-researcher Gerald 87 LeTendre. Baker and LeTendre examined the Third 88 International Study of Mathematics and Sciences 89 (TIMSS), which in 1994 collected data from schools 90 in 41 nations on performance in grades 4, 8 and 12. 91 Additional similar data from 1999 was factored in. 92 The homework burden is especially problematic in 93 poorer households, where parents may not have the 94 time or inclination to provide an environment condu- 95 cive to good study habits, the researchers conclude. 96 In particular, drills designed to improve memorization 97 may not be suited to many homes. 98 "An unintended consequence may be that those chil- 99 dren who need extra work and drill the most are the 100 ones least likely to get it," Baker said. "Increasing 101 homework loads is likely to aggravate tensions within 102 the family, thereby generating more inequality and 103 eroding the quality of overall education." 104 In the early 1980s, U.S. teachers began assigning 105 more homework, the researchers say. The shift was 106 in response to mediocre performance in comparison 107 to Japanese students. At the same time, the trend 108 was going the other way in Japanese schools. The 109 new study found U.S. math teachers assigned more 110 than two hours of homework a week in 1994-95, 111 while in Japan the figure was about one hour per 112 week. "Undue focus on homework as a national 113 quick-fix, rather than a focus on issues of instruc- 114 tional quality and equity of access to opportunity to 115 learn, may lead a country into wasted expenditures of 116 time and energy," LeTendre says. The homework 117 burden might also affect performance among children 118 of higher-income parents. "Parents are extremely 119 busy with work and household chores, not to mention 120 chauffeuring young people to various extracurricular 121 activities, athletic and otherwise," LeTendre said. 122 "Parents might sometimes see exercises in drill and 123 memorization as intrusions into time." Question: The first two sentences of Passage 2 imply that:
Answer
  • giving less homework allows students more time to prepare for standardized tests.
  • giving more homework does not raise test scores.
  • international test score comparison yields little helpful information.
  • large homework assignments help boost test scores.
  • American teachers are not as effective as their counterparts in foreign countries.

Question 9

Question
At nineteen, Derek Jacobi played the part of Julius Caesar only as an ________. Select the word that best completes the sentence.
Answer
  • acrobat
  • aristocrat
  • amateur
  • understudy
  • advocate

Question 10

Question
Please Read the passage bellow and answer question below. Passage 1 1 Even the most jaded observer of American corporate 2 culture had to blink when, earlier this month, Home 3 Depot's board of directors handed the company's 4 C.E.O., Bob Nardelli, more than two hundred million 5 dollars after pushing him out of his job. Nardelli had 6 not delivered for shareholders: Home Depot's stock 7 price went down about six percent during his tenure. 8 And, while his operating performance was actually 9 quite good, he would have made a lot of money even if 10 it hadn't been: most of his contract was guaranteed, 11 and, when he had a hard time meeting a particular tar- 12 get for his bonus, the board generously substituted an 13 easier one. 14 The size of Nardelli's severance was startling, but his 15 "heads I win, tails you lose" arrangement is far from 16 unusual in corporate America these days. For all the 17 talk of restraining C.E.O. pay, most compensation 18 committees remain what Warren Buffett once called 19 them--"tail-wagging puppy dogs." At some companies, 20 this is simply because the C.E.O. has packed the 21 board with cronies. But at Home Depot Nardelli did not 22 pick the board members, and most of them were what 23 are usually called independent directors--ones who 24 don't work for the company or do any business with it. 25 Even when an independent board negotiates a 26 C.E.O.'s contract, however, the directors are often, in a 27 sense, negotiating with themselves. Of the ten inde- 28 pendent members of Home Depot's board, for in- 29 stance, eight are or have been C.E.O.s. Since C.E.O. 30 pay is often driven by comparisons between compa- 31 nies, directors have a certain interest in keeping 32 executive pay high. Furthermore, the salaries keep 33 escalating because, board members argue, there just 34 aren't enough good C.E.O. candidates out there. 35 There's no evidence that this is actually the case, but 36 who is more likely to feel that good C.E.O.s are rare 37 other than C.E.O.s? 38 A more complex problem lies in the nature of the social 39 networks that bind directors and executives together. 40 Home Depot has an exceptionally well-connected 41 board. On average, its directors sit on two other out- 42 side boards, and the compensation-committee chair- 43 man sits on four. Connections are often beneficial-- 44 they insure that people are well-informed, creating 45 opportunities for new business. Unfortunately, the 46 more connected board members are, the likelier they 47 are to overpay for executive talent. In some cases, 48 which economists call "interlocking" directorates, this 49 is straightforward: I sit on your board and you sit on 50 mine, and we both have an incentive to be generous. 51 Sure enough, several studies have found that compa- 52 nies with interlocking directors pay C.E.O.s significantly 53 more. Surprisingly, though, connectedness remains 54 important even when the links are not direct. A study of 55 S&P 500 companies, by Amir Barnea and Ilan Guedj, 56 finance professors at the University of Texas, found 57 that, even after other factors were accounted for, 58 C.E.O.s at companies whose directors sat on a num- 59 ber of other boards were paid thirteen per cent more 60 than C.E.O.s at companies whose directors were not. 61 Why? One reason is that the more connections board 62 members have, the more likely they are to end up with 63 what you could call "friend of a friend" links to the com- 64 pany's C.E.O. A recent study by a team of business- 65 school professors mapped the social networks of 66 twenty-two thousand directors at more than three 67 thousand companies, charting the degrees of separa- 68 tion between directors and C.E.O.s, and found that 69 at companies where there are what the study's authors 70 termed "short, friendly" links between directors and 71 executives, C.E.O.s are paid significantly more. But 72 even in the absence of this kind of explicit back- 73 scratching, the tight connections between board 74 members insure that, once an idea takes hold at a few 75 companies, it's easier for it to spread, in a viral fashion. Passage 2 76 Unlike many Americans, whose salaries aren't keep- 77 ing up with inflation, chief executives are seeing their 78 compensation packages rise by 13 percent annually. A 79 tight market allows C.E.O.s to command top dollars, 80 since there are so few with the leadership skills 81 needed to run a public company, some experts say 82 Critics argue the system for setting C.E.O. pay is 83 flawed and does not give enough consideration to 84 performance. They worry that giving C.E.O.s large per- 85 centage increases year after year causes resent- 86 ment among many workers, who have endured 87 decreases in wages, increases in health care costs, 88 pension reductions, and the loss of jobs overseas 89 during a slumping economy. 90 "We believe all employees should be paid fairly and 91 that includes workers and the C.E.O.," said Brandon 92 Rees, a research analyst with the AFL-CIO, a national 93 association of labor unions. "The trend has been that 94 C.E.O.s take a disproportionate share of compen- 95 sation." In 2004, the average chief executive earned 96 $10 million in total compensation, a 13 percent 97 increase over 2003, according a survey by consulting 98 firm Pearl Meyer & Partners for The New York Times. 99 However, the average American worker in a non- 100 supervisory job earned a salary of $27,485 in 2004, 101 only a 2.2 percent increase over 2003, according to 102 the AFL-CIO. 103 Many experts insist that comparing an executive's job 104 to that of a front-line worker is unfair, since the 105 expectations are different. They add that many of 106 the increases in compensation are tied directly to 107 a company's performance in a given year. That's the 108 case with A.L. "Tom" Giannopoulos, head of informa- 109 tion systems company Micros Systems Inc., whose 110 total compensation grew 69 percent, to $3.5 million, 111 in 2004 from $2.08 million in 2003. The increase 112 reflected an 80 percent growth in the value of the com- 113 pany's stock during 2004, said Louise Casamento, 114 a company spokeswoman. Excluding stock options 115 and other perks, Giannopoulos' annual salary grew 19 116 percent to $820,000 in 2004, compared with average 117 workers, whose salaries increased by 5.5 percent to 118 6 percent each year, she said. 119 Defending CEOs, some argue: "Not everyone is 120 capable of running a truly global company. Companies 121 pay them for literally giving over their entire lives to 122 the company . . Yes, they make a lot of money, but 123 you have to compare what it takes to do it." Question: The primary purpose of Passage 2 is to:
Answer
  • debunk the idea that C.E.O.s' high salaries can be attributed to social networking.
  • exonerate C.E.O.s from the charges of unfair pay lobbed at them by critics.
  • question a widely-accepted view about why C.E.O.s are paid such a generous amount.
  • explain the workings of Micros Systems Inc.'s compensation plan.
  • describe two opposing views regarding C.E.O. compensation.

Question 11

Question
The venerable actor, believing that certain scenes in his new film's script were utterly ________, ________ argued for their deletion, managing to convince even the screenwriter to agree with his point of view. Select the words that best complete the sentence.
Answer
  • implausible . . cogently
  • circuitous . . haphazardly
  • scintillating . . vapidly
  • assiduous . . futilely
  • auspicious . . peremptorily

Question 12

Question
Please read passage and answer question below 1 Talk to the handful of "doughboys" who are still alive 2 today--the youngest of which is 105 years old, having 3 lied about his age in order to enlist as an ambulance 4 corpsman in 1917 and they still cannot bring them- 5 selves to discuss the brutal horror that was trench 6 warfare. "I don't want to think about it," one veteran 7 said, though he added that he thinks about his fallen 8 comrades every day of his unnaturally-long life. 9 The experience of any warfare, from our American 10 Civil War to the present conflicts in Iraq and 11 Afghanistan, often leaves veterans dumb, but there 12 was something exponentially more terrible, indeed 13 unspeakable, about the mass slaughter that marked 14 "The War to End All Wars," so named because it was 15 (to that point) that bloodiest conflict known to man. 16 Nearly 10 million soldiers died, and more than 20 17 million were wounded in four years of fighting. It made 18 folks so sick of war that they hoped against hope no 19 new war would ever erupt again. 20 The lethal drones and computerized smart-bombs of 21 today, the napalm and jungle warfare of Vietnam, the 22 frozen tundra and stalemate of the Korean peninsula, 23 or the aerial fire-bombing of The Second World War-- 24 for all their selective butchery, they are pale in com- 25 parison with the impassable mud, denuded land- 26 scapes, endless barbed wire and infected vermin, the 27 the mustard gas and killing field in between enemy 28 trenches forever known as "No-Man's Land" that 29 marked this particular conflict as the worst hardship 30 that soldiers ever had to endure. "All this madness," 31 the British philosopher Bertrand Russell once said, 32 "all this rage, all this flaming death of our civilization 33 and our hopes, has been brought about because a 34 set of official gentlemen, living luxurious lives, mostly 35 stupid, and all without imagination or heart, have 36 chosen that it should occur rather than that any one 37 of them should suffer some infinitesimal rebuff to his 38 country's pride." 39 Of course World War I did not "end all wars," but it did 40 awaken nations to unite initially as the League of 41 Nations and later as the United Nations in order to 42 take steps to correct some of the worst outrages of that 43 barbaric conflict, such as trench warfare, and in that 44 sense endures as the crucible of man's inhumanity to 45 man. Question: The author most likely chose the phrase "selective butchery" (line 24) to describe warfare because it is all of the following except:
Answer
  • ironic
  • graphic
  • harsh
  • noncommittal
  • emotionally charged

Question 13

Question
There is no doubt that Melissa is ________: her handwriting is as beautiful when she writes with her right hand as it is when she writes with her left. Select the word that best completes the sentence.
Answer
  • ambidextrous
  • enamored
  • attentive
  • foppish
  • meddlesome

Question 14

Question
In the years preceding World War II, the harsh totalitarian rulers in Europe used vicious means to ________ individualism and ________ opposition to the government. Select the words that best complete the sentence.
Answer
  • allow . . squash
  • extinguish . . support
  • control . . encourage
  • encourage . . destroy
  • crush . . obliterate

Question 15

Question
Looking to join forces with the dominate political club on campus, John's club asked to ________ with Tim's club, but Tim remained ________, refusing to change his club's course of action. Select the words that best complete the sentence.
Answer
  • proliferate . . salubrious
  • merge . . embraceable
  • bolster . . nonchalant
  • bolster..malleable
  • amalgamate . . obdurate

Question 16

Question
The celebrity's entourage was a bevy of self-serving ________ who endlessly fawned over him. Select the word that best completes the sentence.
Answer
  • sycophants
  • underlings
  • volunteers
  • inferiors
  • autocrats

Question 17

Question
Despite studying for weeks, Jenny found many questions on the exam to be ________. Select the word that best completes the sentence
Answer
  • lenient
  • impervious
  • arduous
  • redundant
  • sophisticated

Question 18

Question
Although it seemed the jury would surely convict him, there was sufficient ________ evidence to support a verdict of "not guilty." Select the word that best completes the sentence.
Answer
  • exculpatory
  • derisive
  • transitory
  • incriminating
  • ingratiating

Question 19

Question
Please read passage and answer question below. 1 In the retrospective "Drawn from Life" at the NAB 2 Gallery, Marion Kryczka, Tom Robinson, and Bob Horn 3 showcase their drawings, paintings, and mixed media, 4 reflecting their life-long fascination with the figure as 5 conceptual art. The artists pay homage to the NAB 6 tradition of "holding figure drawing workshops for art- 7 ists to hone their perception and to use drawing as a 8 starting point as well as a point of departure to see 9 what is possible." And what is remarkable about this 10 show is not just the focus on drawing and the use of 11 traditional materials, but also the depiction of a 12 "Baroque style" portraying drama, vitality, and move- 13 ment--filtered through a modern sensibility. This show 14 is an allegory of art as poetry, transformation, and 15 social commentary. 16 Marion Kryczka's series begins with "Emperor of Ice- 17 Cream," a study in pastel on paper and another in oil 18 on canvas. Kryczka believes that "painting is like poetry 19 because both are filled with symbolism and both tell a 20 story." His series is named after the Wallace Stevens 21 poem "The Emperor of Ice-Cream," which has been 22 interpreted by some as celebrating the triumph of life's 23 pleasures and sensualities over the absoluteness of 24 death. Stevens re-emphasizes in the poem's last line 25 that "the only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream," 26 perhaps meaning that what matters most is enjoying 27 life with all one's senses fully engaged, as they are 28 when eating ice-cream. Kryczka begins his story with a 29 chair in the foreground of a dimly-lit sitting room, beck- 30 oning the viewer to come into his world with a front row 31 seat. In the background, we see two women in profile, 32 one sitting and the other standing, both looking intently 33 at what appears to be a painting on the wall. 34 There is a bowl of ice-cream and a sheaf of wrapped 35 flowers on a long table, dividing the sitting room and 36 the doorway to the kitchen, which is bathed in natural 37 light. We are engaged in a painting that resembles the 38 17th-century Dutch master Pieter de Hooch with the il- 39 lusion of real perspective, portrayal of natural light, and 40 subtle use of color and tone. But, at the same time, the 41 painting also allows for a sense of modernism with 42 gestural drawings, a blend of realism and abstraction, 43 and a push and pull of intimate, close-up space and 44 receding space. Kryczka draws us deeply into the 45 world of poetry as painting. 46 Tom Robinson's series, including portraits, mixed me- 47 dia figures, and a video presentation of his models, 48 is "a newer form of art" for the artist. "Hannah" is a 49 larger-than-life portrait, first drawn gesturally with char- 50 coal on paper, then enhanced with Adobe Photoshop, 51 and finally printed on special paper, giving the portrait a 52 lithographic quality. The drawing resembles the real 53 person (seen on the video) but seems to emerge as a 54 character from a Kafkaesque landscape drawn in 55 Manga.* Her eyes are looking to the side as if she is 56 attempting to peer over her shoulder without moving 57 her head, trying to see if someone is following her. 58 We look closely at her enlarged pupils, trying to un- 59 cover any hidden images, but there is nothing there 60 except for reflected light. She could easily become a 61 Japanese anime heroine, with shifting features and 62 flowing hair, or a William Kentridge study of sustained 63 ambiguity. Robinson's drawings, enhanced by his use 64 of technology and mixed media, engage us with his 65 view of art as transformation. 66 Bob Horn's series includes large-scale frontal por- 67 traitures and smaller drawings of toys and cultural 68 icons, all drawn with charcoal and white pastel on fine- 69 art paper. Horn's "Expulsion from the Garden" brings to 70 mind the early-Renaissance artist Massacio's fresco 71 of Adam and Eve, and Michelangelo's "The Fall and 72 Expulsion from the Garden of Eden," with the entice- 73 ment of the snake and the fall occurring simultane- 74 ously in the same painting. What is memorable about 75 these Renaissance-era paintings is the artists' ability 76 to express real emotional turmoil in the figures--Adam 77 and Eve feel fear, shame, guilt, sadness, and despair. 78 But in Horn's tongue-in-cheek interpretation, the expul- 79 sion reveals a Humpty-Dumpty apple figure looking for- 80 lornly in the distance, as a bewildered Homer Simpson 81 in his underwear and a smiling "dime-store Barbie" 82 march in single file away to oblivion. 83 In another series, Horn's "Man with Ring" and "Woman 84 with Ring" evoke Rembrandt's use of chiaroscuro** 85 and his ability to bring a naturalness to his subjects to 86 highlight their personalities. Horn's realistic style 87 brings to mind the 19th-century realist Henri Fantin- 88 Latour, who painted traditional portraits with great 89 detail in austere, understated compositions. However, 90 in Horn's portraits, both the man and woman are wear- 91 ing rings not on their fingers, as they might have in a 92 Fantin-Latour portrait, but in their noses. Dressed in a 93 New York Yankees T-shirt, the young African-American 94 man carries an expression of intelligence, serious- 95 ness, and wonderment at the same time. Although the 96 young woman is wearing only a nose ring, her coun- 97 tenance tells us that she is strong, smart, outgoing, 98 and playful. Welcome to Bob Horn's world. Question: Which of the following statements about the artists discussed in this passage is probably true?
Answer
  • They have had long careers.
  • Being exhibited at NAB Gallery is the highlight of their careers.
  • They are extremely famous.
  • They are colleagues and friends.
  • They have influenced one another strongly throughout their careers.

Question 20

Question
The ________ vanilla ice cream was ________ to the real thing, which had a much better taste. Select the words that best complete the sentence.
Answer
  • fake . . superior
  • artificial . . dominant
  • substitute . . lacking
  • ersatz . . secondary
  • inimical . . inferior
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