Tip #19 to Get a Top SAT Critical Reading Score (page 2)
Every SAT includes at least one pair of passages and asks you to compare and contrast them. There is a superb strategy for these:
The questions usually contain trick answers from the other passage, and if you haven't even read it, then you can't be fooled by the tricks. They'll just seem irrelevant, and you'll immediately eliminate them.
After you read Passage 1, jot down or circle a phrase that identifies the main idea or the tone. Then after you answer Passage 1 questions, read Passage 2 for main idea and tone, and jot down or circle a phrase. This will help you keep the passages straight for the compare and contrast questions.
Also, generally, if the passages are about the same topic, they will have a slightly different take on it. And if they are about different topics, then they will share a common link uniting them. For example, if both passages are about MP3 players, they will have slightly different opinions or focus on different aspects of the topic, such as the benefits of portability versus the reduction in sound quality. And if they are on totally different topics, such as Shakespeare and Eminem, they will have something in common, such as praising the extraordinary poetry of each.
Medicinal systems can be examined by using the three models, biochemical, bioenergetic, and biospiritual. The biochemical model is the dominant approach used in the United States. Scientists using this approach analyze the chemical constituents of things. It views the human body as a chemical factory that can be adjusted according to the intake of the right chemicals. This model tends to employ medicinal drugs, called pharmaceuticals. These drugs are made by identifying therapeutic substances and isolating their active ingredients. These drugs often have a stronger potency and a more immediate effect on the body than nonisolated and natural remedies, but often, later, it is found that they have unanticipated side effects or that the pathogenic factors change, rendering the drug less effective.
Ayurveda is a 5000 year old natural healing system from India. The word "Ayurveda" translates from Sanskrit as "the science of life or longevity." It can be described as a natural holistic medical system. Dr. Andrew Weil describes natural medical systems as having a philosophy of healing based on the notion that the body has innate mechanisms of self-repair, for example, that a cut on the human body will naturally heal itself. The aim in Ayurveda is to observe and then encourage the self-repair process: to empower the body's natural healing potential. Ayurveda is also a type of holistic medicine, as it considers the effect of a whole substance on the whole of a person, rather than only a body part or system.
- In Passage 1 the author cites which of the following as an example of a biochemical medicine?
- nonisolated remedies
- holistic medicine
- natural remedies
- The author of Passage 1 would most likely regard the system of Auyrveda as described in lines 31 to 34 ("Aurveda . . . system.") in Passage 2 as
- a biochemical system
- superior to holistic models
- inferior to the dominant approach
- either bioenergetic or biospiritual
- Both passages serve to encourage
- the body's self-repair
- consideration of the whole effect of medicines on the body
- need for medical reform
- lack of continuity in medical systems
- problems with alternative medicine
- A primary difference between the two passages is
- the first begins to set up a basis to analyze any medical system whereas the second begins to detail one specific system
- the first is specific and the second is general
- the first encourages holistic health and the second discourages it
- the first discusses one system and the second discusses several
- the first cites authorities
- Unlike the author of Passage 1, the author of Passage 2 makes use of
- refuting a hypothesis
- commonly held beliefs
- citing an authority
- technical terms
Note: Notice that the passages in this Drill section were not introduced by italics. Sometimes passages, especially the shortest ones, are not proceeded by italics.
- E Usually there are a few questions that ask about only the first passage. That's why you read just the first and answer those questions before you even read the second passage. In this case, that eliminates choices C and D which are not even mentioned in Passage 1. The other choices are mentioned in the passage, but only pharmaceuticals is cited as an example of a biochemical medicine. This is a "direct info" type of question. Just find the proof. If you do, you can't go wrong!
- E This is a classic "two-passage" question. After you read the first passage, jot down or circle a word or two that identify both the main idea and tone; and after you read the second passage, do the same. This helps keep their differences and similarities clear. The author of Passage 1 mentions three systems and details the biochemical system. The author of Passage 2 describes the Indian system of Ayurveda as a natural and holistic medical system that considers a "whole substance." The biochemical model is described as isolating an active ingredient, so Ayurveda is not biochemical and the author of Passage 1 would consider it either bioenergetic or biospiritual.
- B Use the process of elimination. The only choice that is encouraged in both passages is the consideration of the whole effect of medicines on the body. Passage 1 describes biochemical medicine and states that a drawback of isolated active ingredients can be unanticipated side effects. Passage 2 discusses Ayurveda, which considers the whole effect of a medicine on a person. Don't overthink and choose choice C. Perhaps Passage 1 very lightly alludes to medical reform, but Passage 2 never mentions it at all.
- A As you read the second passage, you can pretty much predict all of these questions. You are watching for what is the same and what is different. We know they'll ask these questions. Use the process of elimination. I like this type of question. It is like a two-blank sentence completion; we can eliminate a choice if either is wrong. Here we can eliminate the choice if it is incorrect about either passage. Choice A is correct since the main idea of the first is the three-system model and the second passage is only about one system.
- D This is a very literal question. Just use the process of elimination and check each choice to see if the author used it or not. Choice D is correct since only Passage 2 cites an authority.
Go to: Tip #20
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