New SAT Reading : New SAT Reading

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for New SAT Reading

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : New Sat Reading

Passage adapted from The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade by Herman Melville (1857)

At sunrise on a first of April, there appeared suddenly a man in cream-colors at the water-side in the city of St. Louis.

His cheek was fair, his chin downy, his hair flaxen, his hat a white fur one, with a long fleecy nap. He had neither trunk, valise, carpet-bag, nor parcel. No porter followed him. He was unaccompanied by friends. From the shrugged shoulders, titters, whispers, wonderings of the crowd, it was plain that he was, in the extremest sense of the word, a stranger.

In the same moment with his advent, he stepped aboard the favorite steamer Fidèle, on the point of starting for New Orleans. Stared at, but unsaluted, with the air of one neither courting nor shunning regard, but evenly pursuing the path of duty, lead it through solitudes or cities, he held on his way along the lower deck until he chanced to come to a placard nigh the captain's office, offering a reward for the capture of a mysterious impostor, supposed to have recently arrived from the East; quite an original genius in his vocation, as would appear, though wherein his originality consisted was not clearly given; but what purported to be a careful description of his person followed.

As if it had been a theatre-bill, crowds were gathered about the announcement, and among them certain chevaliers, whose eyes, it was plain, were on the capitals, or, at least, earnestly seeking sight of them from behind intervening coats; but as for their fingers, they were enveloped in some myth; though, during a chance interval, one of these chevaliers somewhat showed his hand in purchasing from another chevalier, ex-officio a peddler of money-belts, one of his popular safe-guards, while another peddler, who was still another versatile chevalier, hawked, in the thick of the throng, the lives of Measan, the bandit of Ohio, Murrel, the pirate of the Mississippi, and the brothers Harpe, the Thugs of the Green River country, in Kentucky—creatures, with others of the sort, one and all exterminated at the time, and for the most part, like the hunted generations of wolves in the same regions, leaving comparatively few successors; which would seem cause for unalloyed gratulation, and is such to all except those who think that in new countries, where the wolves are killed off, the foxes increase.

Pausing at this spot, the stranger so far succeeded in threading his way, as at last to plant himself just beside the placard, when, producing a small slate and tracing some words upon if, he held it up before him on a level with the placard, so that they who read the one might read the other. The words were these:—

"Charity thinketh no evil.”

What is the best evidence of the path of the steamship, as assessed in the previous question?

Possible Answers:

"The Thugs of the Green River country" . . . "in Kentucky"

"on the point of starting for New Orleans" . . . "the bandit of Ohio"

"at the water side in the city of St. Louis" . . . "on the point of starting for New Orleans"

"at the water side in the city of St. Louis" . . . "in Kentucky"

"the bandit of Ohio" . . . "the pirate of the Mississippi"

Correct answer:

"at the water side in the city of St. Louis" . . . "on the point of starting for New Orleans"

Explanation:

In the first paragraph, we are told that the man in cream-colors arrives “at the water-side in the city of St. Louis.” He boards the steamboat in the next paragraph, so we can infer that the steamboat is traveling from St. Louis to somewhere else. This allows us to narrow our answer choices to just those beginning with “St. Louis,” so we need to figure out if the steamboat is going to New Orleans or Baton Rouge. This information is provided at the beginning of the second paragraph: “In the same moment with his advent, he stepped aboard the favorite steamer Fidèle, on the point of starting for New Orleans.” So, the correct answer is that the steamboat was traveling from St. Louis to New Orleans.

Example Question #2 : New Sat Reading

Passage adapted from The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade by Herman Melville (1857)

At sunrise on a first of April, there appeared suddenly a man in cream-colors at the water-side in the city of St. Louis.

His cheek was fair, his chin downy, his hair flaxen, his hat a white fur one, with a long fleecy nap. He had neither trunk, valise, carpet-bag, nor parcel. No porter followed him. He was unaccompanied by friends. From the shrugged shoulders, titters, whispers, wonderings of the crowd, it was plain that he was, in the extremest sense of the word, a stranger.

In the same moment with his advent, he stepped aboard the favorite steamer Fidèle, on the point of starting for New Orleans. Stared at, but unsaluted, with the air of one neither courting nor shunning regard, but evenly pursuing the path of duty, lead it through solitudes or cities, he held on his way along the lower deck until he chanced to come to a placard nigh the captain's office, offering a reward for the capture of a mysterious impostor, supposed to have recently arrived from the East; quite an original genius in his vocation, as would appear, though wherein his originality consisted was not clearly given; but what purported to be a careful description of his person followed.

As if it had been a theatre-bill, crowds were gathered about the announcement, and among them certain chevaliers, whose eyes, it was plain, were on the capitals, or, at least, earnestly seeking sight of them from behind intervening coats; but as for their fingers, they were enveloped in some myth; though, during a chance interval, one of these chevaliers somewhat showed his hand in purchasing from another chevalier, ex-officio a peddler of money-belts, one of his popular safe-guards, while another peddler, who was still another versatile chevalier, hawked, in the thick of the throng, the lives of Measan, the bandit of Ohio, Murrel, the pirate of the Mississippi, and the brothers Harpe, the Thugs of the Green River country, in Kentucky—creatures, with others of the sort, one and all exterminated at the time, and for the most part, like the hunted generations of wolves in the same regions, leaving comparatively few successors; which would seem cause for unalloyed gratulation, and is such to all except those who think that in new countries, where the wolves are killed off, the foxes increase.

Pausing at this spot, the stranger so far succeeded in threading his way, as at last to plant himself just beside the placard, when, producing a small slate and tracing some words upon if, he held it up before him on a level with the placard, so that they who read the one might read the other. The words were these:—

"Charity thinketh no evil.”

Which of the following is the most obvious demonstration of the narrator's subjective opinion?

Possible Answers:

"Pausing at this spot, the stranger so far succeeded in threading his way, as at last to plant himself just beside the placard, when, producing a small slate and tracing some words upon if, he held it up before him on a level with the placard, so that they who read the one might read the other."

"earnestly seeking sight of them from behind intervening coats"

"it was plain that he was, in the extremest sense of the word, a stranger."

"quite an original genius in his vocation, as would appear, though wherein his originality consisted was not clearly given"

"Charity thinketh no evil.”

Correct answer:

"it was plain that he was, in the extremest sense of the word, a stranger."

Explanation:

In this passage the narrator offers mostly factual descriptions and assertions, and little in the way of opinion; however, in the option "it was plain that he was, in the extremest sense of the word, a stranger," the narrator offers an subjective judgement both of how the crowd perceives the man, and also, importantly, what was "plain" or obvious about the scene. The other options are either simply factual descriptions. "Charity thinketh no evil" is not even a statement made by the narrator, but rather a phrase written on a placard.

Example Question #11 : Claims And Argument

Passage adapted from The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade by Herman Melville (1857)

At sunrise on a first of April, there appeared suddenly a man in cream-colors at the water-side in the city of St. Louis.

His cheek was fair, his chin downy, his hair flaxen, his hat a white fur one, with a long fleecy nap. He had neither trunk, valise, carpet-bag, nor parcel. No porter followed him. He was unaccompanied by friends. From the shrugged shoulders, titters, whispers, wonderings of the crowd, it was plain that he was, in the extremest sense of the word, a stranger.

In the same moment with his advent, he stepped aboard the favorite steamer Fidèle, on the point of starting for New Orleans. Stared at, but unsaluted, with the air of one neither courting nor shunning regard, but evenly pursuing the path of duty, lead it through solitudes or cities, he held on his way along the lower deck until he chanced to come to a placard nigh the captain's office, offering a reward for the capture of a mysterious impostor, supposed to have recently arrived from the East; quite an original genius in his vocation, as would appear, though wherein his originality consisted was not clearly given; but what purported to be a careful description of his person followed.

As if it had been a theatre-bill, crowds were gathered about the announcement, and among them certain chevaliers, whose eyes, it was plain, were on the capitals, or, at least, earnestly seeking sight of them from behind intervening coats; but as for their fingers, they were enveloped in some myth; though, during a chance interval, one of these chevaliers somewhat showed his hand in purchasing from another chevalier, ex-officio a peddler of money-belts, one of his popular safe-guards, while another peddler, who was still another versatile chevalier, hawked, in the thick of the throng, the lives of Measan, the bandit of Ohio, Murrel, the pirate of the Mississippi, and the brothers Harpe, the Thugs of the Green River country, in Kentucky—creatures, with others of the sort, one and all exterminated at the time, and for the most part, like the hunted generations of wolves in the same regions, leaving comparatively few successors; which would seem cause for unalloyed gratulation, and is such to all except those who think that in new countries, where the wolves are killed off, the foxes increase.

Pausing at this spot, the stranger so far succeeded in threading his way, as at last to plant himself just beside the placard, when, producing a small slate and tracing some words upon if, he held it up before him on a level with the placard, so that they who read the one might read the other. The words were these:—

"Charity thinketh no evil.”

What is the author implying in his discussion of wolves and foxes at the end of the third paragraph?

Possible Answers:

Con men are like wolves, whereas citizens of the general public are like foxes.

If wolves are found in an area, con men are likely also to be found there.

Wolves are typically only killed off well after humans have settled in an area.

Some believe that once the con men and criminals are removed from an area, others take their place.

Adjusting the balance of a natural ecosystem can have numerous unintended effects on the environment.

Correct answer:

Some believe that once the con men and criminals are removed from an area, others take their place.

Explanation:

The wolves-and-foxes discussion is perhaps the most difficult part of the passage to understand, because the author steps out of telling the story for a moment to make an abstract comparison about events that have already happened. Specifically, the author writes:

“another peddler . . . hawked, in the thick of the throng, the lives of Measan, the bandit of Ohio, Murrel, the pirate of the Mississippi, and the brothers Harpe, the Thugs of the Green River country, in Kentucky—creatures, with others of the sort, one and all exterminated at the time, and for the most part, like the hunted generations of wolves in the same regions, leaving comparatively few successors; which would seem cause for unalloyed gratulation, and is such to all except those who think that in new countries, where the wolves are killed off, the foxes increase.”

The wolves are clearly compared to the criminals in that each were “exterminated” in certain areas, but some people think that “where the wolves are killed off, the foxes increase.” The foxes take the place of the wolves (comparatively, the criminals), so we can infer that the “foxes” must represent some type of criminal too. We can ignore the answer choice “Adjusting the balance of a natural ecosystem can have numerous unintended effects on the environment” as wolves and foxes are mentioned to be compared to criminals, not to discuss the environment. Foxes are not being compared to citizens of the general public since they take the place of the wolves after the wolves are killed off, so “Con men are like wolves, whereas citizens of the general public are like foxes” cannot be correct either. While wolves are compared to con men, “If wolves are found in an area, con men are likely also to be found there” makes an association that goes beyond the author’s comparison. “Wolves are typically only killed off well after humans have settled in an area” is contradicted by the author’s use of the adjective “new” in describing “those who think that in new countries, where the wolves are killed off, the foxes increase.” This suggests that the wolves are killed off relatively quickly after humans settle in an area. This leaves us with the correct answer, “Some believe that once the con men and criminals are removed from an area, others take their place.” This accurately captures the author’s comparison and infers the role of foxes as another type of criminal taking the place of the “wolves.”

Example Question #11 : Excerpt Meaning In Context

Passage adapted from The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade by Herman Melville (1857)

At sunrise on a first of April, there appeared suddenly a man in cream-colors at the water-side in the city of St. Louis.

His cheek was fair, his chin downy, his hair flaxen, his hat a white fur one, with a long fleecy nap. He had neither trunk, valise, carpet-bag, nor parcel. No porter followed him. He was unaccompanied by friends. From the shrugged shoulders, titters, whispers, wonderings of the crowd, it was plain that he was, in the extremest sense of the word, a stranger.

In the same moment with his advent, he stepped aboard the favorite steamer Fidèle, on the point of starting for New Orleans. Stared at, but unsaluted, with the air of one neither courting nor shunning regard, but evenly pursuing the path of duty, lead it through solitudes or cities, he held on his way along the lower deck until he chanced to come to a placard nigh the captain's office, offering a reward for the capture of a mysterious impostor, supposed to have recently arrived from the East; quite an original genius in his vocation, as would appear, though wherein his originality consisted was not clearly given; but what purported to be a careful description of his person followed.

As if it had been a theatre-bill, crowds were gathered about the announcement, and among them certain chevaliers, whose eyes, it was plain, were on the capitals, or, at least, earnestly seeking sight of them from behind intervening coats; but as for their fingers, they were enveloped in some myth; though, during a chance interval, one of these chevaliers somewhat showed his hand in purchasing from another chevalier, ex-officio a peddler of money-belts, one of his popular safe-guards, while another peddler, who was still another versatile chevalier, hawked, in the thick of the throng, the lives of Measan, the bandit of Ohio, Murrel, the pirate of the Mississippi, and the brothers Harpe, the Thugs of the Green River country, in Kentucky—creatures, with others of the sort, one and all exterminated at the time, and for the most part, like the hunted generations of wolves in the same regions, leaving comparatively few successors; which would seem cause for unalloyed gratulation, and is such to all except those who think that in new countries, where the wolves are killed off, the foxes increase.

Pausing at this spot, the stranger so far succeeded in threading his way, as at last to plant himself just beside the placard, when, producing a small slate and tracing some words upon if, he held it up before him on a level with the placard, so that they who read the one might read the other. The words were these:—

"Charity thinketh no evil.”

When the author uses the phrase “unalloyed gratulation,” underlined in the third paragraph, he means __________.

Possible Answers:

absolute frustration

suspicious concern

unreserved celebration

untested ideas

careful cataloguing

Correct answer:

unreserved celebration

Explanation:

The author uses the phrase “unalloyed gratulation” in the following sentence:

“another peddler . . . hawked, in the thick of the throng, the lives of Measan, the bandit of Ohio, Murrel, the pirate of the Mississippi, and the brothers Harpe, the Thugs of the Green River country, in Kentucky—creatures, with others of the sort, one and all exterminated at the time, and for the most part, like the hunted generations of wolves in the same regions, leaving comparatively few successors; which would seem cause for unalloyed gratulation, and is such to all except those who think that in new countries, where the wolves are killed off, the foxes increase.”

So, what’s going on in this sentence? The author is discussing how the criminals who are the subjects of the books being hawked to the passengers have all been “exterminated” like wolves, “leaving comparatively few successors.” He then says that this “would seem cause for unalloyed gratulation.” Which of the answer choices would make sense as a response by the general public to criminals being captured and killed? “Ideas,” “frustration,” and “concern” don’t make sense, so we can ignore the answer choices “untested ideas,” “absolute frustration,” and “suspicious concern.” This leaves us with “careful cataloguing” and “unreserved celebration.” At this point, we need to focus on the last part of the sentence, where the author says, “which would seem cause for unalloyed gratulation, and is such to all except those who think that in new countries, where the wolves are killed off, the foxes increase.” So, everyone experiences “unalloyed gratulation” except for the people who think that after the wolves are gone, the foxes increase. Given that the wolves have been compared with criminals in the passage, foxes get a negative connotation as a sneaky animal taking the wolves’ place. The people believing the foxes increase seem to not be as happy about the criminals being captured as those experiencing “unalloyed gratulation,” suggesting that “careful cataloguing” is not the answer, and “unreserved celebration” is. After all, whether or not you thought more criminals would spring up, that would have nothing to do with “careful cataloguing,” but believing more criminals would show up would feasibly stop someone from celebrating unreservedly.

Example Question #2 : New Sat Reading

Passage adapted from The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade by Herman Melville (1857)

At sunrise on a first of April, there appeared suddenly a man in cream-colors at the water-side in the city of St. Louis.

His cheek was fair, his chin downy, his hair flaxen, his hat a white fur one, with a long fleecy nap. He had neither trunk, valise, carpet-bag, nor parcel. No porter followed him. He was unaccompanied by friends. From the shrugged shoulders, titters, whispers, wonderings of the crowd, it was plain that he was, in the extremest sense of the word, a stranger.

In the same moment with his advent, he stepped aboard the favorite steamer Fidèle, on the point of starting for New Orleans. Stared at, but unsaluted, with the air of one neither courting nor shunning regard, but evenly pursuing the path of duty, lead it through solitudes or cities, he held on his way along the lower deck until he chanced to come to a placard nigh the captain's office, offering a reward for the capture of a mysterious impostor, supposed to have recently arrived from the East; quite an original genius in his vocation, as would appear, though wherein his originality consisted was not clearly given; but what purported to be a careful description of his person followed.

As if it had been a theatre-bill, crowds were gathered about the announcement, and among them certain chevaliers, whose eyes, it was plain, were on the capitals, or, at least, earnestly seeking sight of them from behind intervening coats; but as for their fingers, they were enveloped in some myth; though, during a chance interval, one of these chevaliers somewhat showed his hand in purchasing from another chevalier, ex-officio a peddler of money-belts, one of his popular safe-guards, while another peddler, who was still another versatile chevalier, hawked, in the thick of the throng, the lives of Measan, the bandit of Ohio, Murrel, the pirate of the Mississippi, and the brothers Harpe, the Thugs of the Green River country, in Kentucky—creatures, with others of the sort, one and all exterminated at the time, and for the most part, like the hunted generations of wolves in the same regions, leaving comparatively few successors; which would seem cause for unalloyed gratulation, and is such to all except those who think that in new countries, where the wolves are killed off, the foxes increase.

Pausing at this spot, the stranger so far succeeded in threading his way, as at last to plant himself just beside the placard, when, producing a small slate and tracing some words upon if, he held it up before him on a level with the placard, so that they who read the one might read the other. The words were these:—

"Charity thinketh no evil.”

In context, the underlined word "plain" means __________________.

Possible Answers:

simple

underlined

unadorned

obvious

obscure

Correct answer:

obvious

Explanation:

In this context, "plain" means "obvious." It was "obvious" that "certain chevaliers ...  were on the captials" carefully reading the wanted poster. "Obscure" is an antonym for "plain" in this context."Simple" and "unadorned" are both synonyms for another meaning of "plain" that does not apply in this context. 

Example Question #2 : New Sat

Network theorists attempt to illustrate the social situation of individuals through the observation of their relationships with other people. They note relationships that individuals have with one another and use statistical measures in order to visualize them. Network analysts describe the relationships between individuals and use this information in order to make inferences and conclusions pertaining to the group based upon its observed dynamics. 

There has been debate over the importance of weak and strong ties in regard to an individual’s social situation. Network theorists have described a tie as a relationship between individuals that is characterized by four main components: time, emotional intensity, intimacy, and reciprocal services (i.e. “if you scratch my back, then I’ll scratch yours”). In network sociology, a weak tie is defined as local bridges between two disparate social groups. Some sociologists have argued that weak ties have a greater impact on an individual’s social capital because they are exposed to a group of individuals that are not part of their immediate social network. On the other hand, network theorists have argued that the importance of strong ties has been largely ignored. Sociologists have argued that these tight in-group relations between individuals of social groups are imperative for the transmission of information.

This theory was studied by observing employees in Silicon Valley that were attempting to unionize. Network theorists had individuals in the company write down two names: the name of the person they get advice from (i.e. a weak tie) and the person they consider as a friend (i.e. strong tie). The theorists attempted to understand the differences between whom individuals interact with at work and whom they choose to spend time with outside of the company’s walls. This distinction illustrates the difference between weak and strong ties—that is advice networks at work and friendship networks that extended beyond the physical space of the corporation. Using this information, the researchers were able to create network sociograms that depicted both the friendship and advisory networks of the company.

While sociologists were investigating this information, they were able to observe and apply their data to an attempt to unionize at the company. This group of employees’ attempt to unionize failed and the sociologists were able to use their network data to explain this phenomenon. They concluded that the unionization attempt failed because, while the individuals that were spearheading it were influential in the advice network, they lacked the strong ties in the friends network necessary to form the union. Specifically they did not have ties to influential members of the corporation (i.e. bosses and members of the board). Without the support of influential strong ties in their immediate social networks these individuals were unable to properly form a union. In other words, weak ties in the advisory network introduced them to individuals of power; however, their inability to form strong, friendship bonds with them detrimentally affected their attempts to form a union. 

What is the main idea of this passage?

Possible Answers:

Neither weak nor strong ties are needed in unionization attempts.

Strong ties in advice networks open doors for communication; however, weak ties in friendship networks are needed to gain the support of individuals.

Weak ties in advice networks open doors for communication; however, strong ties in friendship networks are needed to gain the support of individuals.

Weak ties are more important than strong ties in unionization attempts.

Network theory cannot explain failed unionization attempts.

Correct answer:

Weak ties in advice networks open doors for communication; however, strong ties in friendship networks are needed to gain the support of individuals.

Explanation:

The main idea of the passage is best encapsulated in the following answer choice: "weak ties in advice networks open doors for communication; however, strong ties in friendship networks are needed to gain the support of individuals." This is because researchers noted that weak ties in advice networks were only able to introduce members to one another; however, strong ties in friendship networks would have enabled the leaders of the unionization attempt gain influential allies to assist in accomplishing their goal. The researchers theorized that advice networks were not enough to complete this task and that strong ties in friendship networks were necessary to gain support for the union.

Example Question #1 : New Sat Reading

Network theorists attempt to illustrate the social situation of individuals through the observation of their relationships with other people. They note relationships that individuals have with one another and use statistical measures in order to visualize them. Network analysts describe the relationships between individuals and use this information in order to make inferences and conclusions pertaining to the group based upon its observed dynamics. 

There has been debate over the importance of weak and strong ties in regard to an individual’s social situation. Network theorists have described a tie as a relationship between individuals that is characterized by four main components: time, emotional intensity, intimacy, and reciprocal services (i.e. “if you scratch my back, then I’ll scratch yours”). In network sociology, a weak tie is defined as local bridges between two disparate social groups. Some sociologists have argued that weak ties have a greater impact on an individual’s social capital because they are exposed to a group of individuals that are not part of their immediate social network. On the other hand, network theorists have argued that the importance of strong ties has been largely ignored. Sociologists have argued that these tight in-group relations between individuals of social groups are imperative for the transmission of information.

This theory was studied by observing employees in Silicon Valley that were attempting to unionize. Network theorists had individuals in the company write down two names: the name of the person they get advice from (i.e. a weak tie) and the person they consider as a friend (i.e. strong tie). The theorists attempted to understand the differences between whom individuals interact with at work and whom they choose to spend time with outside of the company’s walls. This distinction illustrates the difference between weak and strong ties—that is advice networks at work and friendship networks that extended beyond the physical space of the corporation. Using this information, the researchers were able to create network sociograms that depicted both the friendship and advisory networks of the company.

While sociologists were investigating this information, they were able to observe and apply their data to an attempt to unionize at the company. This group of employees’ attempt to unionize failed and the sociologists were able to use their network data to explain this phenomenon. They concluded that the unionization attempt failed because, while the individuals that were spearheading it were influential in the advice network, they lacked the strong ties in the friends network necessary to form the union. Specifically they did not have ties to influential members of the corporation (i.e. bosses and members of the board). Without the support of influential strong ties in their immediate social networks these individuals were unable to properly form a union. In other words, weak ties in the advisory network introduced them to individuals of power; however, their inability to form strong, friendship bonds with them detrimentally affected their attempts to form a union. 

The researchers had individuals name their __________ and __________

Possible Answers:

manager. . . friend

coworker. . . occupation

boss. . . friend

best friend. . . boss

advisor. . . friend

Correct answer:

advisor. . . friend

Explanation:

The researchers asked individuals to name who they got advice from and who was their friend. The passage clearly stated this in the second sentence of the second paragraph. It said, "Network theorists had individuals in the company write down two names: the name of the person they get advice from (i.e. a weak tie) and the person they consider as a friend (i.e. strong tie)." This answer could have been deduced using process of elimination. The passage did not talk about: managers, bosses, or occupations. Answers containing these three terms could be immediately discarded. The essence of the passage is related to friend and advice networks; therefore, the best choice would be "advisor. . . friend."

Example Question #2 : New Sat Reading

Network theorists attempt to illustrate the social situation of individuals through the observation of their relationships with other people. They note relationships that individuals have with one another and use statistical measures in order to visualize them. Network analysts describe the relationships between individuals and use this information in order to make inferences and conclusions pertaining to the group based upon its observed dynamics. 

There has been debate over the importance of weak and strong ties in regard to an individual’s social situation. Network theorists have described a tie as a relationship between individuals that is characterized by four main components: time, emotional intensity, intimacy, and reciprocal services (i.e. “if you scratch my back, then I’ll scratch yours”). In network sociology, a weak tie is defined as local bridges between two disparate social groups. Some sociologists have argued that weak ties have a greater impact on an individual’s social capital because they are exposed to a group of individuals that are not part of their immediate social network. On the other hand, network theorists have argued that the importance of strong ties has been largely ignored. Sociologists have argued that these tight in-group relations between individuals of social groups are imperative for the transmission of information.

This theory was studied by observing employees in Silicon Valley that were attempting to unionize. Network theorists had individuals in the company write down two names: the name of the person they get advice from (i.e. a weak tie) and the person they consider as a friend (i.e. strong tie). The theorists attempted to understand the differences between whom individuals interact with at work and whom they choose to spend time with outside of the company’s walls. This distinction illustrates the difference between weak and strong ties—that is advice networks at work and friendship networks that extended beyond the physical space of the corporation. Using this information, the researchers were able to create network sociograms that depicted both the friendship and advisory networks of the company.

While sociologists were investigating this information, they were able to observe and apply their data to an attempt to unionize at the company. This group of employees’ attempt to unionize failed and the sociologists were able to use their network data to explain this phenomenon. They concluded that the unionization attempt failed because, while the individuals that were spearheading it were influential in the advice network, they lacked the strong ties in the friends network necessary to form the union. Specifically they did not have ties to influential members of the corporation (i.e. bosses and members of the board). Without the support of influential strong ties in their immediate social networks these individuals were unable to properly form a union. In other words, weak ties in the advisory network introduced them to individuals of power; however, their inability to form strong, friendship bonds with them detrimentally affected their attempts to form a union. 

In context, the underlined word "disparate" means __________.

Possible Answers:

compatible

warring

different

multiple

identical

Correct answer:

different

Explanation:

In this context, "disparate" means "different." Weak ties bridge or unite "different" social groups.  "Identical" is an antonym for "disparate" in this context. "Warring," "compatible," and "multiple" are not correct meanings for "disparate" that do not apply in this context. 

Example Question #4 : New Sat Reading

Network theorists attempt to illustrate the social situation of individuals through the observation of their relationships with other people. They note relationships that individuals have with one another and use statistical measures in order to visualize them. Network analysts describe the relationships between individuals and use this information in order to make inferences and conclusions pertaining to the group based upon its observed dynamics. 

There has been debate over the importance of weak and strong ties in regard to an individual’s social situation. Network theorists have described a tie as a relationship between individuals that is characterized by four main components: time, emotional intensity, intimacy, and reciprocal services (i.e. “if you scratch my back, then I’ll scratch yours”). In network sociology, a weak tie is defined as local bridges between two disparate social groups. Some sociologists have argued that weak ties have a greater impact on an individual’s social capital because they are exposed to a group of individuals that are not part of their immediate social network. On the other hand, network theorists have argued that the importance of strong ties has been largely ignored. Sociologists have argued that these tight in-group relations between individuals of social groups are imperative for the transmission of information.

This theory was studied by observing employees in Silicon Valley that were attempting to unionize. Network theorists had individuals in the company write down two names: the name of the person they get advice from (i.e. a weak tie) and the person they consider as a friend (i.e. strong tie). The theorists attempted to understand the differences between whom individuals interact with at work and whom they choose to spend time with outside of the company’s walls. This distinction illustrates the difference between weak and strong ties—that is advice networks at work and friendship networks that extended beyond the physical space of the corporation. Using this information, the researchers were able to create network sociograms that depicted both the friendship and advisory networks of the company.

While sociologists were investigating this information, they were able to observe and apply their data to an attempt to unionize at the company. This group of employees’ attempt to unionize failed and the sociologists were able to use their network data to explain this phenomenon. They concluded that the unionization attempt failed because, while the individuals that were spearheading it were influential in the advice network, they lacked the strong ties in the friends network necessary to form the union. Specifically they did not have ties to influential members of the corporation (i.e. bosses and members of the board). Without the support of influential strong ties in their immediate social networks these individuals were unable to properly form a union. In other words, weak ties in the advisory network introduced them to individuals of power; however, their inability to form strong, friendship bonds with them detrimentally affected their attempts to form a union. 

Which of the following best summarizes the third paragraph of the passage?

Possible Answers:

The employees' attempt to unionize succeeded due to the development of strong ties.

The employees' attempt to unionize failed due to a lack of weak ties.

The employees' attempt to unionize failed due to a lack of both strong and weak ties.

The employees' attempt to unionize succeeded due to the development of weak ties.

The employees' attempt to unionize failed due to a lack of strong ties.

Correct answer:

The employees' attempt to unionize failed due to a lack of strong ties.

Explanation:

The third paragraph contains the network researchers' conclusions. This paragraph states that after their analysis they were able to infer that weak ties were only able to introduce leaders of the unionization group to powerful bosses and CEOs; however, they needed strong ties to gain the support of these influential people and successfully establish a union. This is best encapsulated by the following answer choice: "the employees' attempt to unionize failed due to a lack of strong ties."

Example Question #3 : New Sat Reading

Network theorists attempt to illustrate the social situation of individuals through the observation of their relationships with other people. They note relationships that individuals have with one another and use statistical measures in order to visualize them. Network analysts describe the relationships between individuals and use this information in order to make inferences and conclusions pertaining to the group based upon its observed dynamics. 

There has been debate over the importance of weak and strong ties in regard to an individual’s social situation. Network theorists have described a tie as a relationship between individuals that is characterized by four main components: time, emotional intensity, intimacy, and reciprocal services (i.e. “if you scratch my back, then I’ll scratch yours”). In network sociology, a weak tie is defined as local bridges between two disparate social groups. Some sociologists have argued that weak ties have a greater impact on an individual’s social capital because they are exposed to a group of individuals that are not part of their immediate social network. On the other hand, network theorists have argued that the importance of strong ties has been largely ignored. Sociologists have argued that these tight in-group relations between individuals of social groups are imperative for the transmission of information.

This theory was studied by observing employees in Silicon Valley that were attempting to unionize. Network theorists had individuals in the company write down two names: the name of the person they get advice from (i.e. a weak tie) and the person they consider as a friend (i.e. strong tie). The theorists attempted to understand the differences between whom individuals interact with at work and whom they choose to spend time with outside of the company’s walls. This distinction illustrates the difference between weak and strong ties—that is advice networks at work and friendship networks that extended beyond the physical space of the corporation. Using this information, the researchers were able to create network sociograms that depicted both the friendship and advisory networks of the company.

While sociologists were investigating this information, they were able to observe and apply their data to an attempt to unionize at the company. This group of employees’ attempt to unionize failed and the sociologists were able to use their network data to explain this phenomenon. They concluded that the unionization attempt failed because, while the individuals that were spearheading it were influential in the advice network, they lacked the strong ties in the friends network necessary to form the union. Specifically they did not have ties to influential members of the corporation (i.e. bosses and members of the board). Without the support of influential strong ties in their immediate social networks these individuals were unable to properly form a union. In other words, weak ties in the advisory network introduced them to individuals of power; however, their inability to form strong, friendship bonds with them detrimentally affected their attempts to form a union. 

What is the best evidence of the conclusion drawn from the study, as assessed in the previous question?

Possible Answers:

"network theorists have argued". . . "importance of strong ties has been largely ignored"

"group of employees’ attempt to unionize failed ". . . "network data to explain this phenomenon"

"tight in-group relations". . . "are imperative for the transmission of information"

"Without the support of influential strong ties". . . "unable to properly form a union"

"tie". . . "is characterized by four main components: time, emotional intensity, intimacy, and reciprocal services" 

Correct answer:

"Without the support of influential strong ties". . . "unable to properly form a union"

Explanation:

The previous question asked for the summary of the third paragraph of the passage, which contained the conclusions of the network researchers. The best evidence of this conclusion is the sentence that stated the following: "Without the support of influential strong ties in their immediate social networks these individuals were unable to properly form a union." This sentence contains the information necessary to support the conclusion and summary of the third paragraph that was assessed in the previous question. The other choices point out important definitions and arguments; however, none of them adequately identify the conclusion drawn in the third paragraph.

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