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GRE RC Select Many Sample Questions

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RC Passage

Experiences of crowding and space are found in education. To sit in a class where the teacher stuffs our minds with information, organizes it with finality, insists on having the answers while being utterly uninterested in our views, and focus us into a grim competition for grades – to sit in such a class is to experience a lack of space for learning. But to study with a teacher who not only speaks but also listens, who not only answers but asks questions and welcomes our insights, who provides information and theories that do not close doors but open new ones, who encourage students to help each other learn – to study with such a teacher is to know the power of a learning space. A learning space needs to be hospitable not to make learning painless, but to make painful things possible, things without which no learning can occur – things like exposing ignorance, testing tentative hypotheses, challenging false or partial information, and mutual criticism of thought.

Directions: Consider each of the choices separately and select all that apply.

1. According to the author, which of the following types of classes is NOT an example of experiencing crowding in the realm of education?

  • A. A class with a teacher who does not accept the views of the students
  • B. A class with a teacher who emphasizes on securing good grades
  • C. A class with students who are free to deviate from what is being taught
  • D. A class with students who are encouraged to contemplate upon what they have learnt
  • E. A class with students who are unwillingly being overloaded with information
Answer

The correct answers are C and D.

The beginning of the passage clearly brings out A, B and E as examples wherein one experiences crowding or lack of space in learning. Therefore, A, B and E all are incorrect answer options. C and D are clearly examples of open space in learning as the students can weigh what they have learnt and subsequently come up with questions. Therefore, C and D are not examples of experiencing crowding in the realm of education and hence, C and D are the correct answers.

2. Which of the following best describes a situation in which a class is being taken by a teacher who accepts the opinions of students?

  • A. Crowding in education
  • B. Open learning space
  • C. Hospitable learning space
  • D. Hospitable but crowded learning space
  • E. Both crowded and open learning space
Answer

The correct answers are B and C.

A careful reading of the passage brings to light the fact that a teacher who accepts the views of students is one who creates an open learning space that is hospitable as well. It is definitely not an example of crowding in learning as the students are being given the liberty to think and come up with their opinions and queries. Therefore, it is obvious that A, D and E are incorrect and B and C are the correct answers.

3. An ideal learning environment is one that allows

  • A. people to confront dubious information
  • B. a teacher to impose his viewpoints on the students
  • C. people to criticize each other’s thoughts
  • D. crowding in learning
  • E. students to impose restrictions on teachers
Answer

The correct answers are A and C.

The author has clearly brought out that space in learning is more desirable as compared to crowding in learning. Therefore, it is evident that an ideal learning environment is one which has space. A and C refer to space in learning and B is an example of crowding in learning. D directly refers to crowding in learning. E is not implied or referred to anywhere in the passage. In view of the above, it is obvious that B, D and E are incorrect and A and C are the correct answers.

4. Why does a learning space need to be hospitable?

  • A. In order to make learning a pleasing experience
  • B. To facilitate the implementation of things which are otherwise agonizing
  • C. To train students how to overcome the fear of doing things that are painful
  • D. Learning space cannot exist if it is not hospitable
  • E. To curb the tendency of students to criticise each other
Answer

The correct answers are B and C.

The passage ends on the note that the aim of making learning space hospitable is not to make learning a painless experience; rather making a learning space hospitable will mean that people are free to resort to things like mutual criticism, exposing ignorance, challenging false information etc. which can otherwise be painful things or subjects for discussion. This clearly implies that A and E are incorrect and B and C are correct. D is clearly incorrect as learning space can definitely exist even if it is not hospitable. Therefore, B and C are the correct answers.

5. Which of the following conclusions based on the contents of the passage are justified?

  • A. Vying with each other for good grades is the result of a crowded learning space
  • B. A crowded learning space is one in which students are apathetic to each other’s grades
  • C. The entire process of learning is painful
  • D. Studying in a class has parallels with experiences of physical space
  • E. The attitude of a teacher is the major deciding factor for making a learning space open or crowded.
Answer

The correct answers are A, D and E.

It has been clearly brought out in the passage that students are forced into competing with each other for grades in a crowded learning space. This implies that A is correct, but B is incorrect. C is a vague conclusion in light of the fact that nowhere in the passage has the author implied that the entire process of learning is painful. He does mention that some aspects of learning are painful but that does not mean that the entire process of learning can be termed as painful. Therefore, C is clearly incorrect. D is correct as the passage deals with parallels between physical space and spaces in learning. Also, the entire passage deals with how a teacher is instrumental in making a learning space closed or open. Therefore, E is also correct. Hence, A, D and E are the correct answers.

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