Instructions to Candidates
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Answer each question.
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Information for Candidates
This test has 40 questions. Each question is worth one point.
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-14 , which are based on Reading passage 1 on pages 15 and 16.
THE CICADA’S SONG
Cicadas are insects famous for their ability to generate a distinct sound with an auditory power that can rival the decibel level of a rock music concert and exceed the engine roar of a motorcycle. With close to 3,000 species of cicada identified and documented, this family of insect is found worldwide. For the majority of its life, the cicada remains underground, where it is nourished and sustained through sap secreted by the roots of trees. When mature, the insect tunnels to the surface and sheds its skin to reveal its adult form. This life cycle varies among the species, with certain types maturing and ready to reproduce in just one year. One of the most eagerly anticipated and studied species of cicada is Magicicada Septendecim, a periodical brood that attracts plenty of media attention for its emergence every 13 or 17 years across the Midwestern United States in vast, swarming numbers. In these swarms, the cicadas generate their “music,” signaling their presence, and the onset of summer, for anyone and anything to hear for miles and miles around.
Only male cicadas are able to generate the sound their species is known for, utilizing a unique physical trait and noise-making process that differentiates them from crickets, which many people incorrectly assume to be similar to cicadas. While crickets generate their distinctive chirp through stridulation, or the rubbing together of body parts, cicadas essentially produce a drumbeat amplified very much in the same way that the sound of an acoustic guitar is created. Males are blessed with a body part known as a tymbal, which is a rigid and pliable exoskeleton-based appendage that can move in a wave-like manner, producing a clicking when it strikes the inside of the abdomen of the cicada. Because the abdomen of the cicada is for the most part hollow, the clicking sound is amplified, giving the cicada’s song its famous power.
The primary purpose of the male cicada’s song is to attract a female with which to breed. Cicadas tend to be very well camouflaged, and can blend into their surrounding tree-based environments easily. The song of the cicada provides the clues through which the female cicada can find the nearest male. However, the cicada also appears to use its song for defensive purposes in a unique way. Whereas most insects and animals aim to scare off potential dangers by increasing the volume of their warning sounds (e.g. the rattlesnake), cicadas, when threatened, actually diminish the noise that they make. The reason for this is that cicadas are hardly ever alone in a given area, and thus it is difficult for a hunter to pick out the song of an individual insect while distracted by its neighbors. Should a predator be detected, nearby cicadas become very quiet to decrease the odds that they will be singled out among the roar of their more distant kin.
Scientists who study the cicada raise interesting observations about the evolutionary development of the cicada song and the cicada’s short breeding period. Cicadas live underground for most of their lives and only rise to the surface for several days or weeks at most to find a mate and then die. The reason for this lies in the sedentary nature of the cicada, which makes the insect an easy target for birds and other predators, which consume the insects in great numbers. However, by emerging in the millions all at once, cicadas increase their chance of survival as a species into the next generation, as predators simply cannot significantly impact the numbers of their prey in such a brief period. Meanwhile, the power of the cicada song has proven to be an effective tool for collective breeding, as each insect must locate a mate quickly while outlasting potential predators.
Cicadas garner the attention, adoration, and sometimes scorn of the general public for the distinctive sound that they create and their occasionally suffocating abundance. In temperate environments all over the world, the ubiquitous buzz of the cicada’s song dominates the backdrop. One must be careful not to come too close to the most powerful of cicadas, whose sound, if heard from just outside the human ear, is known to cause long-term or irreversible physical damage. The cicada’s unique tymbal structure, hollow abdomen, and stamina allow it to generate noise for up to 24-hour cycles, leading to the love/hate relationship people may have with the insect. The cicada plays to its evolutionary strength, with the power and majesty of its song as the key to its survival.
The Art of Pompeii's Influence on Neoclassicism
Pompeii was an ancient Roman city that was famously destroyed and buried by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 CE. According to researchers and historians, ash and pumice rained down on the city and residents of Pompeii for over six hours, blanketing city streets and homes with up to 25 meters of sediment. Temperatures in the city during the eruption reached 250 degrees Celsius (480 degrees Fahrenheit) and many residents died due to exposure to the extreme heat. With Pompeii effectively preserved under a literal mountain of volcanic ash, many everyday items were kept intact, including several of the city’s mural paintings. The rediscovery of these paintings in Pompeii provided audiences in Europe with a genuine glimpse into ancient Roman art. These artifacts were idealized and romanticized, prompting an 18th century artistic movement that would be known as Neoclassicism, an imitation of classic Roman art.
Art historians have categorized the discovered art of Pompeii into four distinct styles. The first style, which prevailed from 200 to 80 BCE, is characterized by the way large plaster walls were painted to look like colorful, elegant stones; it is known as the “structural” or “masonry” style. The second style, which dates from 100 BCE to the start of the Common Era, is characterized by “illusionist” imagery, with murals featuring three-dimensional images and landscapes, seen through painted windows that conveyed a sense of depth. The third style, popular from 20-10 BCE, is known as the “ornate” style, and is characterized by two-dimensional, fantastical perspectives, rather than the realistic, three-dimensional vista-like views associated with the illusionist style. Murals painted in the ornate style focused less on realism and instead were created to depict whimsical scenes in highly structured arrangements. The fourth Pompeian style, which dates from 60-79 CE, combined the strict structures and complexity of the ornate style with the illusionist methods of the second style and the stonework of the first style; the fourth style was essentially a hybrid of its predecessors.
The art of Pompeii was first excavated in 1748 when archaeologists began the painstaking work of identifying, removing, and collecting artistic artifacts from the ash and soil. As knowledge of the art of Pompeii spread across Europe in the 1760s, interest in Greco-Roman art increased and captured the imagination of a new generation of artists in countries like England, Germany, and France, prompting them to emulate a “classical” style. The art of Pompeii most notably influenced an artist in Paris named Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825), who would become one of the most successful and dominant artists of his time. David worked through the lens of Pompeii’s illusionist style, with a sense of depth and realism generated in a number of his more famous works, echoing the three-dimensional landscape views typified by Pompeian art’s second style. A number of works put forth by other painters in England, Germany, and France would also contain elements of the four styles of the art of Pompeii.
The influence of Jacques-Louis David on his contemporaries and future artists only expanded the popularity of Roman art and the influence of Pompeii’s four artistic styles for most of the 1780s and 1790s. Neoclassical art proved to be wildly popular with art collectors and enthusiasts in Europe who commissioned more and more paintings from David and his contemporaries. David’s most famous piece, Oath of the Horatii (1784), contains elements from at least three of the four styles of Pompeian art. In this particular work, one can see the first style in the colored slabs of stone on the ground, the three dimensional perspective of the second style in the dimmed space behind the arches in the background, and the realistic yet fantastical look of the fourth style in the hero figure in the middle of the painting. David serves as just one example of the 18th century artists inspired by the classical Roman works exemplified in the four art styles of Pompeii; indeed, David would pass along his inspiration from Pompeian art to his students. English architect Robert Adam (1728-1792) would create stuccos with elements very similar to the first Pompeian style; he would become known as the leader of the revival of “classical” art in England. The extraction of the art of Pompeii took 32 years to complete, but once re-discovered and integrated into the work of artists of the 18th century such as David, its impact proved to be quite significant and abiding.
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 29-40 , which are based on Reading passage 3 on pages 25 and 26.
Consumer Purchasing Decisions
The psychologist Carl Jung posited that people make decisions in two distinct ways: by taking in a great deal of information and over time, rationally making a choice, or by making an intuitive decision quickly. However, these categories do not necessarily reflect the full complexity of decision-making, particularly when it comes to purchases. In general, purchasing goods or services involves five steps: problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase behavior. These steps can happen in an instant, and although they are seemingly only affected by taste and available resources, what looks like an intuitive process is actually more intricate and involves many decision points, both conscious and subconscious.
All purchases, from small to large, are affected on the most fundamental level by subconscious motivations—a set of factors that cannot be easily simplified. Psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed a hierarchy of needs to explain human motivation, in which necessities such as food and shelter must first be met in order for humans to seek fulfillment of higher order needs such as acceptance and love. Maslow’s hierarchy is usually shown as a pyramid, with fundamental physiological needs at the base, underpinning needs concerning safety, such as financial security and physical health. After those first two tiers have been satisfied, an individual can focus on needs for love and belonging. The penultimate tier consists of the need for esteem and self-respect. Only once someone has met the four more basic needs can he or she strive for the peak, self-actualization. If this final need is met, the individual has reached his true potential. Where one is on that scale may subtly affect what one will concentrate on in a purchasing decision. For instance, someone who aspires to be accepted by the members of a community will subconsciously start buying clothing that mimics what is worn by that group.
In terms of conscious decisions, psychologists have divided the process into three different styles: the single feature model, the additive feature model, and the elimination of aspects model. The single feature model means that the decision maker focuses on one aspect of a product. Here one might look at cost over all else, since it might be the most important factor to someone who is not quite secure economically. For this person, buying a set of plastic plates is a better decision than investing in fine porcelain dishware. This model works best for simple and quick decisions.
The additive feature model works better for more complex decisions, such as buying a computer. Here one would look at the types of computers and their range of features. A consumer might weigh the mobility of a laptop against the power of a desktop. This is all compounded, of course, by where the consumer is in Maslow’s hierarchy. If the person has a good job and is using the computer to develop community or find a relationship, that may affect what he is looking for.
The elimination of aspects model is similar to the additive feature model but works in reverse. Here the consumer evaluates various choices feature by feature, and when a selection doesn’t have that feature, it is eliminated until only one option is left.
Clearly, explaining purchasing behavior is a complex endeavor. In fact, beyond the subconscious factors and conscious decision models are mental shortcuts that help consumers reduce the effort in making decisions. Psychologists have identified a number of these shortcuts, or heuristics, which are used frequently and help with difficult choices in particular. For example, the availability heuristic comes into play when a consumer has a previous experience with a product or brand and then makes a decision to either buy that brand or avoid it the next time. Similarly, marketers frequently capitalize on the representative heuristic, in which a consumer presented with two products will often choose the more visually familiar option. This explains why the brandings of many products look similar to one another. And even more easily understood is the price heuristic, in which a product is perceived to be of higher or lower quality based on cost, as was shown in a recent study in which consumers were presented with the exact same wine at two price points, but preferred the taste of the “more expensive” sample.