Lesson 13, CARS practice passage

asatish
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Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:23 pm

Lesson 13, CARS practice passage

Postby asatish » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:39 am

Hello!

I completed the CARS practice passage from lesson 13 (about the notion of "elder poetry" and body of poetry focused on experiences of the elderly) and I'd like some clarification on the thought process behind Q31.

The question is:

In the final paragraph, the author asserts that :
a) Rafiq treats dementia less seriously than he should.
b) poems by those who feel a strong connection to their grandchildren are more respectful of the elderly than works by other poets
c) senility and dementia serve different literary functions based on the position of the poet in society
d) poetry of higher quality is produced when a society accords respect to its older citizens.

It was easy enough to r/o A and B, and then between the remaining I went with C (but the correct answer was D)

Here was my rationale:
1) The passage presents us with works by two authors (Rood and Rafiq) in seemingly contrasting societies. In the first, "nearly senile elder patriarch" is used as a potential reflection of the author herself and demonstrates the more negative view of the position of the elderly
2) dementia of the poet in the society that respects their elders (as in Rafiq's view as a much older gentlemen) is seen more as a shelter to which an older individual retreats over time
3) Therefore, it seemed like both poets were reflecting on their own positions and using their understanding of dementia and senility to reflect the experiences of older folk in their respective societies, so C made sense. Is that one justification too many to support this answer? Or is there a more fundamental error in my logic?

For answer choice D "The poetry produced reflects the potent spark" - while I can see how that could mean that the poetry takes on the same higher quality, shares that "potent spark", my initial interpretation was that it was merely depicting or relaying that spark to showcase what elders bring to a society where they are respected vs. dismissed.

Appreciate any insights that could help me see where I go wrong in my thought process and/or further justification for why D is correct.

Thank you!
Anita
NS_Tutor_Andrew
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Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 1:47 pm

Re: Lesson 13, CARS practice passage

Postby NS_Tutor_Andrew » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:49 pm

Hi Anita,

Thanks for the excellent question! This is a textbook example of what I like to call being too smart for CARS. Your analysis is very thoughtful, and I think you make some excellent points. However, the question specifically asks for a summary of what the author says in the final paragraph, so you want to (1) stick close to the final paragraph and (2) stay close to what the author specifically says, or what you can imply from it based on a short logical leap. (The "short" part is crucial here -- in general, it's a warning sign when your reasoning is taking you >2 steps from what's specifically in the passage).

I think C would be by far the best answer choice in the context of a literature seminar or as a prompt to start a conversation about the passage, but the most interesting answer choice in CARS is not always the best answer choice, because it may go beyond the scope of what the Q is specifically asking for.

Hope this clarifies matters!
Andrew D.
Content Manager, Next Step Test Prep.
asatish
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:23 pm

Re: Lesson 13, CARS practice passage

Postby asatish » Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:23 pm

Thank you Andrew! That’s very helpful. I also totally just glazed over the fact that it said “last paragraph” so thanks for drawing attention to that.

Thank you!!
NS_Tutor_Andrew
Site Admin
Posts: 286
Joined: Mon May 23, 2016 1:47 pm

Re: Lesson 13, CARS practice passage

Postby NS_Tutor_Andrew » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:36 pm

You're very welcome! Definitely keep an eye out for that kind of wording...I don't want to call it "tricky," because it's straightforward, but it's certainly picky. You always want to be aware of how the wording of the question may limit the scope of the best answer. It's super easy to overlook, and being careful to always double-check that you have read every word in the Q can be an easy way to pick up a point or two that could otherwise be lost.
Andrew D.
Content Manager, Next Step Test Prep.

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