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Test Prep MCAT Section 1 Verbal Reasoning Exam Actual Questions

The questions for MCAT Section 1 Verbal Reasoning were last updated at June 13, 2022.
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Question #1 Topic 1

In the early nineteenth century a large number of communal experiments, both secular and religious, sprang up in the northeastern United States. Perhaps the most famous secular commune was Brook Farm, founded by transcendentalists George Ripley and William H. Channing to promote the pursuit of leisure and culture through the proper application of time and labor. Its members (among the more notable were Nathaniel Hawthorne and Margaret Fuller) pursued field labor by day, art and philosophy by night. For a time the system worked so well that two afternoons a week were set aside for leisure and Brook Farm began outcompeting local farmers at the produce market. But by nature the Farms members were thinkers, not workers; despite their success they remained mainly interested in the theoretical and philosophical implications of the experiment. Thus, when a devastating fire brought the community considerable financial burdens in its fifth year, the members felt little compunction about closing shop and returning to their comfortable Boston homes.
One of the most notable religious utopias was the Oneida community. Its founder, John Humphrey Noyes, believed that Christs second coming had already occurred and that everyone alive was favored by Divine grace, which Noyes saw as an imperative to live a better life. Perhaps surprisingly, the Oneidans embraced industry and commerce, achieving success in fruit packing, trap making, and silk thread winding. They owned everything communally, and this principle extended to each other. The Oneidans saw monogamy as a selfish act and asserted that the men and women of the community were united in one "complex" marriage; sex between any two consenting members was perfectly acceptable. The Oneidans maintained order solely through "criticism"—anyone acting out of line was made to stand before the other members and hear his or her faults recounted. Oneida remained viable for some thirty years, until the leadership devolved on Noyes son, an agnostic. The old religious fervor died out, and the dream degenerated into a joint stock company.
Doubtless the most successful communalists were the Shakers, so called for the early propensity to tremble ecstatically during religious worship. Their guiding light, Mother Ann, espoused four key principles: Virgin Purity, Christian Communism, Confession, and Separation from the World. Though the Shakers were less adamant on the last pointmaintaining social relations and some commerce with heir neighborsthey insisted on the other three, and renounced both personal property and sex. Men and women lived in a single large "Unitary Dwelling" and were considered complete equals, but they occupied separate wings and could speak together only if a third person were present. Despite their religious strictness, Shakers were known as simple, sincere, intelligent people, healthy and long- lived, producers of lovely books and hymns, and of furniture still prized for its quality and durability. In their eyday, six thousand Shakers lived in fifty-eight separate
"families" throughout the Northeast. Later their celibacy, combined with their strict discipline, led to a decline in numbers, but even today a small number of elderly
Shakers in two communities in Maine and New Hampshire continue to keep the faith.
The passage implies that the end of the Brook Farm experiment was probably brought on by:

  • A. faltering commitment in the face of hardship.
  • B. a failure to attract members of sufficient intellect or ability.
  • C. the completion of the community’s aims.
  • D. the incompetence of philosophers at field labor.
Reveal Solution Hide Solution   Discussion  

Correct Answer: A 🗳️
This is an inference question regarding Brooke Farms demise. The last half of the first paragraph suggests that Brook Farm failed because the Farms members, although interested in the theoretical aspects of their community, were not committed to maintaining the Farm in the face of hardship, choice (A). The first paragraph does suggest that Brook Farm was successful in meeting its aims, but it does not imply that such success led to the end of the experiment, as choice
(C) suggests. You probably know that Margaret Fuller and Nathaniel Hawthorne were major American intellectuals of the 19th century; even if you dont, you are told that these two are among the Farms more notable members. Thus, you can infer that Brook Farm was indeed able to attract members of sufficient intellect or ability, so (B) is wrong. Although the author notes that Brook Farms members were thinkers, not workers, the fact that the members had more leisure than expected and outcompeted local farmers suggests that the Farms philosophermembers were competent field hands; therefore, (D) is incorrect.

Question #2 Topic 1

In the early nineteenth century a large number of communal experiments, both secular and religious, sprang up in the northeastern United States. Perhaps the most famous secular commune was Brook Farm, founded by transcendentalists George Ripley and William H. Channing to promote the pursuit of leisure and culture through the proper application of time and labor. Its members (among the more notable were Nathaniel Hawthorne and Margaret Fuller) pursued field labor by day, art and philosophy by night. For a time the system worked so well that two afternoons a week were set aside for leisure and Brook Farm began outcompeting local farmers at the produce market. But by nature the Farms members were thinkers, not workers; despite their success they remained mainly interested in the theoretical and philosophical implications of the experiment. Thus, when a devastating fire brought the community considerable financial burdens in its fifth year, the members felt little compunction about closing shop and returning to their comfortable Boston homes.
One of the most notable religious utopias was the Oneida community. Its founder, John Humphrey Noyes, believed that Christs second coming had already occurred and that everyone alive was favored by Divine grace, which Noyes saw as an imperative to live a better life. Perhaps surprisingly, the Oneidans embraced industry and commerce, achieving success in fruit packing, trap making, and silk thread winding. They owned everything communally, and this principle extended to each other. The Oneidans saw monogamy as a selfish act and asserted that the men and women of the community were united in one "complex" marriage; sex between any two consenting members was perfectly acceptable. The Oneidans maintained order solely through "criticism"—anyone acting out of line was made to stand before the other members and hear his or her faults recounted. Oneida remained viable for some thirty years, until the leadership devolved on Noyes son, an agnostic. The old religious fervor died out, and the dream degenerated into a joint stock company.
Doubtless the most successful communalists were the Shakers, so called for the early propensity to tremble ecstatically during religious worship. Their guiding light, Mother Ann, espoused four key principles: Virgin Purity, Christian Communism, Confession, and Separation from the World. Though the Shakers were less adamant on the last pointmaintaining social relations and some commerce with heir neighborsthey insisted on the other three, and renounced both personal property and sex. Men and women lived in a single large "Unitary Dwelling" and were considered complete equals, but they occupied separate wings and could speak together only if a third person were present. Despite their religious strictness, Shakers were known as simple, sincere, intelligent people, healthy and long- lived, producers of lovely books and hymns, and of furniture still prized for its quality and durability. In their eyday, six thousand Shakers lived in fifty-eight separate
"families" throughout the Northeast. Later their celibacy, combined with their strict discipline, led to a decline in numbers, but even today a small number of elderly
Shakers in two communities in Maine and New Hampshire continue to keep the faith.
According to the passage, the Oneidans believed that:

  • A. men and women were equal in the eyes of God.
  • B. monogamy was wrong in principle.
  • C. rules and standards of behavior were unnecessary.
  • D. they were destined to witness Christ’s second coming.
Reveal Solution Hide Solution   Discussion  

Correct Answer: B 🗳️
This is a detail question regarding the Oneidans beliefs. The Oneidans are discussed in paragraph 2. In the middle of that paragraph we learn that they felt monogamy was a "selfish act,’’ which implies (B). We are told that the Shakers held that men and women were equal, but the passage tells us nothing about what the Oneidans felt on that subject, so (A) is incorrect. John Humphrey Noyes, the founder of the Oneidans, believed Christs second coming had already occurred, not that they were going to witness it, as choice (D) suggests. The Oneidans apparently did have certain rules and standards; otherwise they would not have needed to apply "criticism’’ to those who acted out of line, so (C) is wrong.

Question #3 Topic 1

In the early nineteenth century a large number of communal experiments, both secular and religious, sprang up in the northeastern United States. Perhaps the most famous secular commune was Brook Farm, founded by transcendentalists George Ripley and William H. Channing to promote the pursuit of leisure and culture through the proper application of time and labor. Its members (among the more notable were Nathaniel Hawthorne and Margaret Fuller) pursued field labor by day, art and philosophy by night. For a time the system worked so well that two afternoons a week were set aside for leisure and Brook Farm began outcompeting local farmers at the produce market. But by nature the Farms members were thinkers, not workers; despite their success they remained mainly interested in the theoretical and philosophical implications of the experiment. Thus, when a devastating fire brought the community considerable financial burdens in its fifth year, the members felt little compunction about closing shop and returning to their comfortable Boston homes.
One of the most notable religious utopias was the Oneida community. Its founder, John Humphrey Noyes, believed that Christs second coming had already occurred and that everyone alive was favored by Divine grace, which Noyes saw as an imperative to live a better life. Perhaps surprisingly, the Oneidans embraced industry and commerce, achieving success in fruit packing, trap making, and silk thread winding. They owned everything communally, and this principle extended to each other. The Oneidans saw monogamy as a selfish act and asserted that the men and women of the community were united in one "complex" marriage; sex between any two consenting members was perfectly acceptable. The Oneidans maintained order solely through "criticism"—anyone acting out of line was made to stand before the other members and hear his or her faults recounted. Oneida remained viable for some thirty years, until the leadership devolved on Noyes son, an agnostic. The old religious fervor died out, and the dream degenerated into a joint stock company.
Doubtless the most successful communalists were the Shakers, so called for the early propensity to tremble ecstatically during religious worship. Their guiding light, Mother Ann, espoused four key principles: Virgin Purity, Christian Communism, Confession, and Separation from the World. Though the Shakers were less adamant on the last pointmaintaining social relations and some commerce with heir neighborsthey insisted on the other three, and renounced both personal property and sex. Men and women lived in a single large "Unitary Dwelling" and were considered complete equals, but they occupied separate wings and could speak together only if a third person were present. Despite their religious strictness, Shakers were known as simple, sincere, intelligent people, healthy and long- lived, producers of lovely books and hymns, and of furniture still prized for its quality and durability. In their eyday, six thousand Shakers lived in fifty-eight separate
"families" throughout the Northeast. Later their celibacy, combined with their strict discipline, led to a decline in numbers, but even today a small number of elderly
Shakers in two communities in Maine and New Hampshire continue to keep the faith.
The passage implies that Brook Farms economic system:

  • A. did not include the selling of produce outside the farm.
  • B. was based on the hiring of farm hands.
  • C. efficiently utilized time and labor.
  • D. was primarily intended to maximize collective profit.
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Correct Answer: C 🗳️
This is another inference question about Brook Farm. Brook Farm is discussed in the first paragraph of the passage. The passage states that Brook Farms system aimed to properly (hence efficiently) utilize time and labor, and we are told the system worked very wellchoice (C). One measure of this success was their sales at the produce market, so (A) is wrong. The description of Brook Farm in the third sentence of paragraph 1 implies that the commune members did all the work; there is no mention of hired labor, suggested by choice (B). As for choice (D), if the Farmers had intended to maximize financial profit, whether individual or collective, their emphasis on properly utilizing time so as to pursue "culture and leisure" would not make sense. Their "free time" would have been put to generating greater profits.

Question #4 Topic 1

In the early nineteenth century a large number of communal experiments, both secular and religious, sprang up in the northeastern United States. Perhaps the most famous secular commune was Brook Farm, founded by transcendentalists George Ripley and William H. Channing to promote the pursuit of leisure and culture through the proper application of time and labor. Its members (among the more notable were Nathaniel Hawthorne and Margaret Fuller) pursued field labor by day, art and philosophy by night. For a time the system worked so well that two afternoons a week were set aside for leisure and Brook Farm began outcompeting local farmers at the produce market. But by nature the Farms members were thinkers, not workers; despite their success they remained mainly interested in the theoretical and philosophical implications of the experiment. Thus, when a devastating fire brought the community considerable financial burdens in its fifth year, the members felt little compunction about closing shop and returning to their comfortable Boston homes.
One of the most notable religious utopias was the Oneida community. Its founder, John Humphrey Noyes, believed that Christs second coming had already occurred and that everyone alive was favored by Divine grace, which Noyes saw as an imperative to live a better life. Perhaps surprisingly, the Oneidans embraced industry and commerce, achieving success in fruit packing, trap making, and silk thread winding. They owned everything communally, and this principle extended to each other. The Oneidans saw monogamy as a selfish act and asserted that the men and women of the community were united in one "complex" marriage; sex between any two consenting members was perfectly acceptable. The Oneidans maintained order solely through "criticism"—anyone acting out of line was made to stand before the other members and hear his or her faults recounted. Oneida remained viable for some thirty years, until the leadership devolved on Noyes son, an agnostic. The old religious fervor died out, and the dream degenerated into a joint stock company.
Doubtless the most successful communalists were the Shakers, so called for the early propensity to tremble ecstatically during religious worship. Their guiding light, Mother Ann, espoused four key principles: Virgin Purity, Christian Communism, Confession, and Separation from the World. Though the Shakers were less adamant on the last pointmaintaining social relations and some commerce with heir neighborsthey insisted on the other three, and renounced both personal property and sex. Men and women lived in a single large "Unitary Dwelling" and were considered complete equals, but they occupied separate wings and could speak together only if a third person were present. Despite their religious strictness, Shakers were known as simple, sincere, intelligent people, healthy and long- lived, producers of lovely books and hymns, and of furniture still prized for its quality and durability. In their eyday, six thousand Shakers lived in fifty-eight separate
"families" throughout the Northeast. Later their celibacy, combined with their strict discipline, led to a decline in numbers, but even today a small number of elderly
Shakers in two communities in Maine and New Hampshire continue to keep the faith.
According to the passage, all of the following were characteristic of the Oneida community EXCEPT:

  • A. complex marriage.
  • B. maintenance of order through social pressure.
  • C. belief in present grace.
  • D. shared living quarters.
Reveal Solution Hide Solution   Discussion  

Correct Answer: D 🗳️
This is a detail question about the Oneida community in the "All of the Following Except" format. The Oneida community is discussed in paragraph 2. In the middle of that paragraph, the author states that the Oneidans believed that all the men and women of the community were united in one "complex’’ marriage, choice (A).
Order was maintained through "criticism", a sort of social pressure, choice (B). You can infer that present grace, choice (C), refers to the Oneida founder’s belief that the second coming of Christ had already occurred. But communal living, choice (D), is mentioned in relation to the Shakers, not the Oneidans.

Community vote distribution
A (35%)
C (25%)
B (20%)
Other
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