DIRECTIONS Each passage below is accompanied by a number of questions. For som...
Each passage below is accompanied by a number of questions. For some questions, you will consider how the passage might be revised to improve the expression of ideas. For other questions, you will consider how the passage might be edited to correct errors in sentence structure, usage, or punctuation. A passage or a question may be accompanied by one or more graphics (such as a table or graph) that you will consider as you make revising and editing decisions.
Some questions will direct you to an underlined portion of a passage. Other questions will direct you to a location in a passage or ask you to think about the passage as a whole. After reading each passage, choose the answer to each question that most effectively improves the quality of writing in the passage or that makes the passage conform to the conventions of standard written English. Many questions include a “NO CHANGE” option. Choose that option if you think the best choice is to leave the relevant portion of the passage as it is.
A total of 11 questions are based on the following passage.
The Consolations of Philosophy
Long viewed by many as the stereotypical useless major, philosophy is now being seen by many students and prospective employers as in fact a very useful and practical major, offering students a host of transferable skills with relevance to the modern workplace. [Q1] In broad terms, philosophy is the study of meaning and the values underlying thought and behavior. But [Q2] more pragmatically, the discipline encourages students to analyze complex material, question conventional beliefs, and express thoughts in a concise manner.
Because philosophy [Q3] teaching students not what to think but how to think, the age-old discipline offers consistently useful tools for academic and professional achievement. [Q4] A 1994 survey concluded that only 18 percent of American colleges required at least one philosophy course. [Q5] Therefore, between 1992 and 1996, more than 400 independent philosophy departments were eliminated from institutions.
More recently, colleges have recognized the practicality and increasing popularity of studying philosophy and have markedly increased the number of philosophy programs offered. By 2008 there were 817 programs, up from 765 a decade before. In addition, the number of four-year graduates in philosophy has grown 46 percent in a decade. Also, studies have found that those students who major in philosophy often do better than students from other majors in both verbal reasoning and analytical [Q6] writing. These results can be measured by standardized test scores. On the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), for example, students intending to study philosophy in graduate school [Q7] has scored higher than students in all but four other majors.
These days, many [Q8] student’s majoring in philosophy have no intention of becoming philosophers; instead they plan to apply those skills to other disciplines. Law and business specifically benefit from the complicated theoretical issues raised in the study of philosophy, but philosophy can be just as useful in engineering or any field requiring complex analytic skills.
[Q9] That these skills are transferable across professions [Q10] which makes them especially beneficial to twenty-first-century students. Because today’s students can expect to hold multiple jobs—some of which may not even exist yet—during [Q11] our lifetime, studying philosophy allows them to be flexible and adaptable.
High demand, advanced exam scores, and varied professional skills all argue for maintaining and enhancing philosophy courses and majors within academic institutions.
What will be the most appropriate answer to Q2?
The correct answer is A.
Choice A is the best answer because it offers the most succinct comparison between the basic definition of philosophy and the fact that students can gain specific, practical skills from the study of philosophy. There is no need to include the participle "speaking" in this sentence, as it is clear from context that the writer is offering a different perspective.
Choices B, C, and D are incorrect because they provide options that are unnecessarily wordy.
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