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Multiple Answer Questions

In this lesson video, we will go over a question type that is specific to the GRE reading comprehension section. That is, you won’t see it anywhere else, on any other test. This question type is called the multiple answer question. I like to sometimes call it the MAQ. How do we know we are dealing with the MAQ?

Well, there are exactly three answer choices, A, B, and C, that follow the question, there is no D and E. These answer choices have these brackets around them. So you’ll have A, followed by B, followed by C. Any one of these three answer choices can be correct. So you can mark A or perhaps the answer’s also B.

Sometimes the answer’s all three of them or sometimes the answer is just one of them. Now, how we go about this from a strategy standpoint is that, what I’ve noticed is that the answer choices in this multiple answer question take a little bit more time to sift through. They’re not as obviously wrong as some of the answer choices are on our five answer multiple choice questions.

So they take a little bit longer these questions and, from a pacing standpoint, you may wanna sometimes skip a multiple answer question if you are short on time to go to a question type that maybe doesn’t take quite so long. Of course, you have to go carefully through each answer choice as I mentioned, otherwise you will miss something important. Of course this is more time consuming, so again, go back to, or go on to another question type as for the general strategy approach, it’s basically the same.

Read the question, go to the relevant part of the passage, find that evidence, make sure your answer is based on that evidence. Today, I have for us a very difficult passage. The passages so far in this reading comprehension module, have been easy-medium, maybe medium difficult with the all the sites, and the rats, and the humans.

This one, though, is something you’d see on the hard section. Now, I don’t like you to become discouraged. What we’re gonna do is we’re actually gonna apply the techniques we’ve learned so far to this pretty difficult passage. As you can see, it’s a medium passage. And what I want you to do is, of course, to read it, but after you’re done reading it I want you to write down the primary purpose, why the author wrote that passage, and then three important points.

So I’m gonna take us back to the slide, and you should pause it. Okay, I assume you’re done with that. Write down the primary purpose and then three important points. Okay, primary purpose, what you’ve written doesn’t actually have to mirror what I’ve written word for word, but the gist has to be the same. Primary purpose was to provide evidence that A.T., notice I am not putting his full name down because it’s difficult to pronounce, is not a novelist, but works in the Nigerian folklore tradition.

So, that’s the part of the passage because that says scholars on both sides of the debate fail to recognize this. So, then the author tells us a little bit about the NFT, or the Nigerian Folklore Tradition. Notice I’m using shorthand there. NFT is about adding liberal embellishments, and he provides evidence for how A.T. does this.

For instance A.T. uses modern settings and operates within the constraints of the story. So there it is, these are three important points. Maybe you saw another important aspect of the passage, but it should probably in some way relate to what we have written here. On an actual passage, you wanna get used to either coming up with even a better shorthand than this; or using the mental snapshot so that you’ve In your head, come up with what the passage looks like, what these important points are, and of course what the primary purpose is.

So, there it is again, the reason I was showing it to you, is so you can come back, pause it, and read from here once you’ve actually read this question. Once you’ve read this question and attempted to answer it. Then we will go through each answer choice, and we will see, which one is right, and which one is wrong. And remember, more than one can be right and notice here, of course, the brackets around each answer choice.

Okay, I assume, that you have gone over the passage, and you have taken a look at each of the answer choices, remember, carefully going through each one. The first thing I would do though is a strategy that we learned at the very beginning. Which is, if the question is difficult, don’t keep re-reading the question, going to the passage, going back, re-reading it again.

Cuz that’s gonna waste time and it’s gonna make you confused. Slow down, look at the question and try to put it into your own words. So I will read the question. Which of the following provides the fence against those that believe that A.T. diminishes the original tales recast in his book? In other words, How are those who claim T.A ruins the original stories, how are they wrong?

And, the correct answer or answers will give us a reason why these people are wrong. So let’s start with the answer choice A. Again I’m showing you here the passage so in case you want to take another look at it, there it is, pause it. Okay, T, I’m just going to call him T, was aware of how his work was consistent with the idiom in which he was working, so he wasn’t just going about ruining his stories, and I find the evidence here.

T is highly aware of the tradition in which he is working, therefore in his retelling he is not ruining the original story because this tradition of course is about adding embellishments which we have here, answer choice B. Embellishments are integral to the folkloric tradition, tea and habits and here we have the evidence that the teller of folktales is admired for the ability to have this unique voice and the embellishments etc.

So therefore these two are right. What about the last one though? Tutola’s works deviate from the novel’s typical form. Now you can find evidence from this, or at least it’s mentioned in the passage, it’s not completely out of left field. But this is in the context of those who misunderstand him, who say oh, well, his novels aren’t like the typical novel.

And, on the other side of that they say, oh, well, his novel is actually a daring experimentation against the novel’s typical form, and so in a way, both of those sides agree that his works deviate from the novel’s typical form. What we wanna do is to disagree with one of those sides, to show that one of those sides is wrong in claiming that he ruins the story in the retelling. Again, he doesn’t, he’s working within the Nigerian folkloric tradition.

So this is not a defense, and therefore the answers would be both A and B. So that’s, again, getting very specific to this passage. The takeaway from this is to go slowly, to look for the evidence, to remember the question, what’s being asked, and to paraphrase it. If necessary. Broader strategy, as these do take time and then, in fact, in the next video, you’re gonna see the multiple answer question, inference question.

Which takes even more time. So again, Big picture strategy is skip these questions if you’re running short on time and move on to something that doesn’t take quite so long. But if you’re going to take a stab at it, be careful and look for your evidence.

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