LSAT Reading Comprehension Sample Passage 1

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LSAT Reading Comprehension Sample Passage 1

If you have not yet read "Using LSAT to Study for the GMAT Part 3: Reading Comprehension" you might want to start there first: https://www.beatthegmat.com/lsat-to-stud ... tml#322872

Here is a sample reading comprehension passage from the LSAT. This is a medium difficulty passage. It is a multicultural passage, which is something that might well appear on the GMAT as well. It is longer than the average GMAT passage.

Source: December 1998 LSAT Test, Section 3, questions 8 - 14. I found the passage in "10 More Actual Official LSAT Prep Tests" LSAC, 2007.

I have include all 7 questions associated with this passage in the following post. The passage is mostly included for you to see the similarities and differences in this typical LSAT passage, compared to a GMAT passage.

OA are included as spoilers below. Good luck!

"Personal names are generally regarded by European thinkers in two major ways, both of which deny that names have any significant semantic content. In philosophy and linguistics, John Stuart Mill's formulation that "proper names are meaningless marks set upon...persons to distinguish them from one another" retains currency; in anthropology, Claude Levi-Strauss's characterization of names as being primarily instruments of social classification has been very influential. Consequently, interpretation of personal names in societies where names have other functions and meanings has been neglected. Among the Hopi of the southwestern United States, names often refer to historical or ritual events in order both to place individuals within society and to confer an identity upon them. Furthermore, the images used to evoke these events suggest that Hopi names can be seen as a type of poetic composition.

Throughout life, Hopi's receive several names in a sequence of ritual initiations. Birth, entry into one of the ritual societies during childhood, and puberty are among the name giving occasions. Names are conferred by an adult member of a clan other than the child's clan, and names refer to that name givers clan, sometimes combining characteristics of the clan's totem animal with the child's characteristics. Thus, a name might translate to something as simple as "little rabbit," which reflects both the child's size and the representative animal.

More often, though, the name giver has in mind a specific event that is not apparent in a name's literal translation. One Lizard clan member from the village of Oraibi is named Lomayayva, "beautifully ascended." This translation, however, tells nothing about either the event referred to-who or what ascended-or the name givers clan. The name giver in this case is from Badger clan. Badger clan is responsible for an annual ceremony featuring a procession in which masked representations of spirits climb the mesa on which Oraibi sits. Combining the name giver's clan association with the receiver's home village, "beautifully ascended" refers to the splendid colors and movements of the procession up the mesa. The condensed image this name evokes-a typical feature of Hopi personal names-displays the same quality of Western Apache place names that led one commentator to call them "tiny imagist poems."

Hopi personal names do several things simultaneously. They indicate social relationships-but only indirectly-and they individuate persons. Equally important, though, is their poetic quality; in a sense they can be understood as oral texts that produce aesthetic delight. This view of Hopi names is thus opposed not only to Mill's claim that personal names are without inherent meaning but also to Levi-Strauss's purely functional characterization. Interpreters must understand Hopi clan structures and linguistic practices in order to discern the beauty and significance of Hopi names."

8. Which of the following most accurately summarizes the passages' main point?

(A) Unlike European names, which are used exclusively for identification or exclusively for social classification, Hopi names perform both these functions simultaneously.
(B) Unlike European names, Hopi names tend to neglect the functions of identification and social classification in favor of a concentration on compression and poetic effects.
(C) Lacking knowledge of the intricacies of Hopi linguistic and tribal structures, European thinkers have so far been unable to discern the deeper significance of Hopi names.
(D) Although some Hopi names may seem difficult to interpret, they all conform to a formula whereby a reference to the name giver's clan is combined with a reference to the person named.
(E) While performing the functions ascribed to names by European thinkers, Hopi names also possess a significant aesthetic quality that these thinkers have not adequately recognized.

9. The author most likely refers to Western Apache place names in order to?

(A) offer an example of how names can contain references not evident in their literal translations.
(B) apply a commentator's characterization of Western Apache naming practices to Hopi personal names.
(C) contrast Western Apache naming practices with Hopi naming practices.
(D) demonstrate that other names besides Hopi names may have some semantic content.
(E) explain how a specific Hopi name refers subtly to a particular Western Apache site.

10. Which one of the following statements describes an example of the function accorded to personal names under Levi-Strauss's view?

(A) Some parents select their children's names from impersonal sources such as books.
(B) Some parents wait to give a child a name in order to choose one that reflects the child's looks or personality.
(C) Some parents name their children in honor of friends or famous people.
(D) Some family members have no parts of their names in common.
(E) Some family names originated as identifications of their bearer's occupations.

11. The primary function of the second paragraph is to

(A) present reasons why Hopi personal names can be treated as poetic compositions
(B) support the claim that Hopi personal names make reference to events in the recipient's life
(C) argue that the fact that Hopis receive many names throughout life refutes European theories about naming
(D) illustrate ways in which Hopi personal names may have semantic content
(E) demonstrate that the literal translation of Hopi personal names often obscures their true meaning

12. Based on the passage, with which one of the following statements about Mill's view would the author of the passage be most likely to agree?

(A) Its characterization of the function of names is too narrow to be universally applicable.
(B) It would be correct if it recognized the use of names as instruments of social classification.
(C) Its influence single-handedly led scholars to neglect how names are used outside Europe.
(D) It is more accurate than Levi-Strauss's characterization of the purpose of names.
(E) It is less relevant than Levi Strauss's characterization in understanding Hopi naming practices.

13. It can be inferred from the passage that each of the following features of Hopi personal names contributes to their poetic quality EXCEPT:

(A) their ability to be understood as oral texts.
(B) their use of condensed imagery to evoke events.
(C)their capacity to produce aesthetic delights.
(D) their ability to confer identity upon individuals
(E) their ability to subtly convey meaning.

14. The author's primary purpose in writing the passage is to

(A) present an anthropological study of Hopi names.
(B) propose a new theory about the origin of names.
(C) describe several competing theories of names.
(D) criticize two influential views of names.
(E) explain the cultural origins of names.


OAs[spoiler]
8. E
9. B
10. E
11. D
12. A
13. D
14. D[/spoiler]

Questions? Thoughts on how this compares to a typical GMAT passage?
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by 2nd time around » Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:03 pm
I think this is longer than a GMAT passage. It is certainly longer than any I had on my test. Seven questions seems like a lot. I had some trouble with a couple of these but they do seem like the type of questions that would be on the GMAT. I struggle with some official passages as well. I hope that studying longer passages like this one will help me score better next time.

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by [email protected] » Thu Dec 16, 2010 9:09 am
As long as you have a solid technique that you use on reading comprehension then studying good quality material will help. The longer passages on the LSAT will challenge you and maybe shorter GMAT passages will seem like a relief!
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by mundasingh123 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:00 am
[email protected] wrote:As long as you have a solid technique that you use on reading comprehension then studying good quality material will help. The longer passages on the LSAT will challenge you and maybe shorter GMAT passages will seem like a relief!
This RC was murder on the eyes .
Hi David , I want to know your opinion about the RCs in the following 2 snaps. I cant make out the year in which the test was published . Do they resemble GMAT RCs in terms of complexity
Image

Image
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by [email protected] » Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:21 pm
These are not really of the GMAT type. The one about legal theory is really not GMAT at all.

The vocabulary in the other passage is very tough as well. I would say that these two are not the best candidates for studying the GMAT. Long and complicated in a different way than the GMAT.

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by mundasingh123 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:35 am
Thanks for the Reply david , i found thw 2 RCs very complicated
Do we have RCS in LSAT that we can omit while studying for GMAT just the way we can omit a few CRs (I think Questions 16-20 ) in LSAT .
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