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GMAT Tuesday: OG Reading Comprehension #1

Welcome! We are looking at the first question in the reading comprehension section of the Official Guide to the GMAT. This is the second video in a series of 5. In this video, I cover how to approach detail questions, the common wrong answers in detail questions, and of course, how to arrive at the right answer.

Video Transcript

Hello, welcome to GMAT Tuesdays. My name is Kevin and I’m here from Magoosh. I’m sure you guys all know about Pokemon Go, all the kids are playing it. I was like, man, I can play Pokemon Go. Look at this Mewtwo Pokemon I caught. They’re super rare, isn’t that awesome?

Let’s dive into reading comprehension. In the official guide to the GMAT, we’re looking at question number one, the very first one. We’re in this book. There are newer official guides, but you’ll find this question in there as well. The previous video we did was about the passage. So now, we’re diving into question number one.

Passage Review: GMAT Official Guide Reading Comprehension Question #1

So, one thing to review before we dive into the question is what we discussed in the previous video. We went over the main idea, which is there’s two theories about fish schooling. We talked about the structure, first paragraph’s the intro, second paragraph talks about idea or theory number A, not number A, idea A.

And then paragraph number three is the critics of theory A and introduces theory B and then the fourth paragraph is all about theory B, the confusion effect. And then we talk about the tone, it is balanced-ish. In that the author is, basically, just presenting two theories of schooling.

Official Guide Reading Comp Question #1

So, question number one. I’m gonna just read straight from the passage, cause that’s easy. The question says, according to the passage, theory B states that which of the following is a factor that enables a schooling fish to escape predators? Great. So, this question is a detail question. I know that, because of the phrase “according to the passage.”

And when I know I’m dealing with a detail type question, I know there are certain things I need to do. This is my plan. The first one, attack the passage, which we all ready did. Second one, we’re gonna rephrase the question, which we can do right now. The question is basically just asking, what does theory B say about schooling and escaping predators?

Then I’m gonna do some research in the passage, I’m going to anticipate what an answer might sound like. So, sort of predict what the answer might be. And then finally, step five, go into the answer choices. Eliminate wrong answers until I arrive at the right answer. One other thing to remember is that they like to have common wrong answers with specific question types.

So with detail questions, we have three typical wrong answers. One, an inference, if an answer choice is making an inference, it’s wrong, cause we’re looking for a detail in the passage, which means it’ll be written in the passage somewhere.

[Two] A distortion of the passage where they take something in the passage and twist it, make it wrong just a little bit.

And then finally [three], when they introduce new information. Sometimes it’s related to what the topic is, but it isn’t in the passage at all. So, keep an eye out for the new information. Let’s dive into the answer choices.

Answer Choices

So answer choice A mentions compact groups, as a reason and this is a distortion of the passage. Compact groups that’s just what schooling is, but it doesn’t, that’s not what theory B is talking about. Theory B is explaining why compact groups would help the fish to avoid a predator. So this is a good example of a distortion, we can eliminate it.

Answer choice B is awesome. It is the right answer, cause they mentioned movement of the fish and I know I’m looking for theory B. So, I’m looking in the fourth paragraph for an answer. And if you look at lines 35 to 40, that’s where you find the description about the movement of the fish allows them to avoid being chomped on by predators.

Answer choice C, inability to detect. This is a distortion of the passage, because this is what theory A says. So, this is a perfect example of how they’re distorting the passage. We have a question that’s asking about the second theory and they provide an answer choice that is about the first theory. So they wanna make sure you’re paying attention and reading closely and know what they’re actually asking about, cause you would find them in the passage, but it’s not related to theory B, it’s related to theory A.

And answer choice D says that the fish can hide behind each other, which is an interesting concept, but not mentioned in the passage. We have no details and no information about fish hiding behind each other.

And then finally, answer choice E, that the fish can move with great speed. Maybe that might be a reason, but it’s not brought up in the passage. There’s nothing in the fourth or third paragraph where we learn about theory A or theory B, excuse me, where the fish move really fast and that helps them do avoid the predator. So, this is new information not included in the passage. So, easy to eliminate. Alright, all you GMAT studiers.

I hope this was helpful. If you have any questions, leave comments down below. And if you need any more help, head over to Magoosh where there’s a lot of friendly and fun people who can help you with their GMAT studies and help you capture Pokemon.

This is how you play Pokemon Go right? You just capture, capture.

Official Guide Reading Comprehension

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3 Responses to GMAT Tuesday: OG Reading Comprehension #1

  1. KJ January 22, 2017 at 2:12 pm #

    Hi Kevin!

    Thank you for dissecting the OG questions. Very helpful!

    Would you mind going over/making videos on questions #20 and #22 from the OG 13th edition? They are both inference questions.

    Thank you in advanced and much appreciated!


    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert January 22, 2017 at 3:26 pm #

      Hi KJ,

      We actually have a forum dedicated to explanation videos for many of the questions in the GMAT OG! You can find our explanation videos for the 13th edition here. There is a lot of overlap between different editions of the GMAT OG, so if you don’t find your question answered there, you can scroll to the bottom of the page and check out other editions.

      If you don’t find the questions you are looking for right away, the easiest way to find our answers/explanations is just via Google. If you search “[the first few words from the question]”, you’ll find our explanation video near the top of the results, if we have one. Keep in mind that we don’t have video explanations for all of the questions at this time. Hope this helps 🙂

      • KJ January 23, 2017 at 6:51 pm #

        Awesome! Thank you!

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