Now that we’ve gone through the theory on author questions, it’s time to see if you have learned what we have taught you – Let’s now tackle some questions together. 

One of the most popular, enduring, and irritating myths about depression is that it means depressed people are sad all the time – and that by extension, people who are happy can’t be experiencing depression, even if they say they are. It is a skewed and horrible version of depression, and it’s one that further stigmatises the condition and isolates people with depression and related mental health conditions. This is because, put bluntly, depression doesn’t make you sad all the time – though the level of sadness a patient experiences can of course vary depending on the individual and the severity of depression.

When I’m having a depressive episode, I’m not walking around in tattered black clothes, weeping and wailing. I keep working and have friendly chats with the people I work with. Above all, I experience moments of happiness: a flash of delight as I’m walking on the beach with a friend and the sun is perfect and the breeze is just right; a warm, friendly, affectionate sensation at the touch of a friend, a hug at the end of an evening or a hand placed over mine as we lean forward to see something better.

Depression manifests differently in everyone and at different times. Various behaviours are not proof positive that someone is or isn’t depressed, and, as with any armchair diagnosis, insisting that someone is not actually depressed just because of a show of something other than deep, entrenched sadness is actively harmful.

(Adapted from The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/03/depression-doesnt-make-you-sad-all-the-time)

Which of the following opinions is expressed by the author?
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    9

    Explanation

    This is an author opinion question. Remember to read the first and last two sentences of the passage, as it’s more important in this type of question that you understand the gist of the article overall. Find keywords and assess the statements individually, this is an easy place for the examiner to trick you with passage adjustments so read carefully!

     Statement A is found in the final paragraph, where the idea that people are not depressed because they may show happiness is cited as not useful and an armchair diagnosis. It does not say that it is not useful because it is a diagnosis.

     Statement B follows the same idea as statement A, that things the author says in the text are not necessarily their opinion. Read around the statement to find that they call this ‘a skewed and horrible view of depression’.

     Statement C sounds a little like an extreme, without any softening words such as ‘often’. However, in opinion pieces extremes become a little more likely to be true because they are an opinion, not a fact, and opinions are often less tempered than facts. Here, in the final paragraph, the author says that ‘… as with any armchair diagnosis… is actively harmful’ – so they do believe these are not useful.

     Statement D is a direct contradiction with the text, which states that ‘depression manifests differently’, so is an easy statement to discount. However, there are no obvious keywords because the adjectives are not found in the text. Therefore, this would be a case in which you cannot find the adjectives and have to decide to move on or search for synonyms.

    Common trap!

    In opinion pieces, authors may quote the opposite opinion to theirs in context, to acknowledge it but not claim it. For instance, ‘one of the most irritating myths about depression (is that people are sad all the time)’. Just because you see this in the text, does not mean that the author thinks it!

    Post Comment

    One of the most popular, enduring, and irritating myths about depression is that it means depressed people are sad all the time – and that by extension, people who are happy can’t be experiencing depression, even if they say they are. It is a skewed and horrible version of depression, and it’s one that further stigmatises the condition and isolates people with depression and related mental health conditions. This is because, put bluntly, depression doesn’t make you sad all the time – though the level of sadness a patient experiences can of course vary depending on the individual and the severity of depression.

    When I’m having a depressive episode, I’m not walking around in tattered black clothes, weeping and wailing. I keep working and have friendly chats with the people I work with. Above all, I experience moments of happiness: a flash of delight as I’m walking on the beach with a friend and the sun is perfect and the breeze is just right; a warm, friendly, affectionate sensation at the touch of a friend, a hug at the end of an evening or a hand placed over mine as we lean forward to see something better.

    Depression manifests differently in everyone and at different times. Various behaviours are not proof positive that someone is or isn’t depressed, and, as with any armchair diagnosis, insisting that someone is not actually depressed just because of a show of something other than deep, entrenched sadness is actively harmful.

    (Adapted from The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/03/depression-doesnt-make-you-sad-all-the-time)

    Which of the following would the author most likely agree with?
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    11

    Explanation

    This is a different type of author question in which you are asked which the author would most likely agree with. Instead of direct contradictions with the text, some of the statements may sound reasonable and the author might agree, but it is up to you to decide which is most likely. You can do this by examining which view is cited with the strongest language, which view is cited most often, or which view is cited at the end of the passage.

    Statement A is something the author certainly agrees with in the first instance, that depression is variable, but scanning for keywords relating to biological processes will reveal nothing. Therefore, one cannot really say from the passage whether the author views biological processes as the cause of variability.

    Statement B may also be agreed with, the author says in the final paragraph that ‘various behaviours are not proof positive’. However, that is not to say that it is always harmful to assess behaviours. This statement goes too far with an extreme statement, so is not correct.

    Statement C is not an opinion stated by the author, rather it is implied by the first paragraph which says that the level of sadness can vary. This implies that depressed people will experience sadness on some level, so the author would not .

    Statement D has the keyword friend, which is discussed in the second paragraph. Although the author does not overtly list friends as important for depressed people, they do explain that the lighter points of depression are largely related to friends. We can therefore infer that this statement would be agreed with by the author.

    Post Comment
    Mr. Correct

    Fri, 05 Feb 2021 10:13:35

    I feel this statement is a generalisation right? Just because the author is recollecting their positive experience when they are walking with a friend doesn't make the sweeping generalisation that "Friends are an important factor in how (all) depressed people feel."

    Mike

    Fri, 05 Mar 2021 08:58:14

    In a sense it is, but it's the one the author is 'most likely' to agree with because in all the experiences the author relates to happiness that are mentioned there is a friend involved. It's quite a personal article, so it fits well

    UCAT peasant

    Tue, 13 Jul 2021 11:23:28

    it is way harder to extract information from questions here than medify and actual ucat questions.

    Zoe Medicmind Tutor

    Fri, 23 Jul 2021 09:06:25

    In the first line of the passage the writer states 'one of the most irritating' misconceptions about depression is that depressed people are sad all the time and those who are happy can't have depression. Surely this would show they agree with statement B rather than statement D which is a lot more of a generalisation?

    Whenever intellectuals gather round to discuss the causes of African underdevelopment, very rarely does anyone point a finger at the division and disunity caused by indigenous languages. Most African intellectuals are careful to avoid engaging the issue, so as not to be labelled as having what the legendary Fela Kuti called ‘Colonial Mentality’. This is quite unfortunate as the singular goal of intellectual discussion should be the pursuit of truth, even if unpalatable.

    The reality of the matter is if we look honestly at the facts: based on current and historic data, there is virtually no evidence in support of the idea that a country can create and sustain economic prosperity while equally maintaining the same level of linguistic diversity which is currently observable in most African countries — there is strong evidence to the contrary. This is not to say that having less languages in a country automatically translates into economic prosperity — the picture is obviously a lot more complicated than that. However, it is to say that there is such a strong correlation between linguistic homogeneity and economic prosperity.

    I have great sympathy for those whose approach to the problem of division is to advocate for the breaking up of African states into smaller nations. However valid as this suggestion may be in theory, it is undesirable and largely unworkable in practice. The millions of lives lost during the Biafran war in Nigeria have taught us that separation is not necessarily the easier option. Instead, we should direct our efforts towards nation-building. We should not see the breaking away of tribal barriers as a loss of identity, but as the creation of a new identity.

    (Adapted from International Policy Digest, https://intpolicydigest.org/2018/06/06/indigenous-african-languages-are-dying-out-and-it-s-a-good-thing/)

    According to the author, Africa struggles to sustain economic prosperity:
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    1

    Explanation

    This statement errs on the side of type 1, so you need to find references to Africa’s ‘economic prosperity’ or ‘financial prosperity’ or ‘success’ within the text. Careful searching will find this mention in the second paragraph, where the author says there is no evidence that a country can maintain economic prosperity ‘with the level of linguistic diversity in African countries’, so statement C is the correct answer.

    Fela Kuti is mentioned in the first paragraph, but more in the context of scholars fearing the label of a ‘colonial mentality’.

    Post Comment

    Whenever intellectuals gather round to discuss the causes of African underdevelopment, very rarely does anyone point a finger at the division and disunity caused by indigenous languages. Most African intellectuals are careful to avoid engaging the issue, so as not to be labelled as having what the legendary Fela Kuti called ‘Colonial Mentality’. This is quite unfortunate as the singular goal of intellectual discussion should be the pursuit of truth, even if unpalatable.

    The reality of the matter is if we look honestly at the facts: based on current and historic data, there is virtually no evidence in support of the idea that a country can create and sustain economic prosperity while equally maintaining the same level of linguistic diversity which is currently observable in most African countries — there is strong evidence to the contrary. This is not to say that having less languages in a country automatically translates into economic prosperity — the picture is obviously a lot more complicated than that. However, it is to say that there is such a strong correlation between linguistic homogeneity and economic prosperity.

    I have great sympathy for those whose approach to the problem of division is to advocate for the breaking up of African states into smaller nations. However valid as this suggestion may be in theory, it is undesirable and largely unworkable in practice. The millions of lives lost during the Biafran war in Nigeria have taught us that separation is not necessarily the easier option. Instead, we should direct our efforts towards nation-building. We should not see the breaking away of tribal barriers as a loss of identity, but as the creation of a new identity.

    (Adapted from International Policy Digest, https://intpolicydigest.org/2018/06/06/indigenous-african-languages-are-dying-out-and-it-s-a-good-thing/)

    Which of the following is not a view expressed by the author?
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    3

    Explanation

    This is a type 2 question, so you need to find keywords in each statement and assess them individually. This can be time consuming, so remember to assess easier statements first. Here, statements B and D have the best keywords so it may be a good idea to start here.

     Statement A has the keyword ‘the truth’ and ‘uncomfortable’. In the first paragraph, the author says that the goal of intellectual discussion should be ‘pursuit of truth, however unpalatable’, which is a synonym for uncomfortable. Therefore, they do think that the truth can be uncomfortable to consider.

     Statement B is a causation question – so treat it with caution and remember the differences! Here, using the keyword ‘prosperity’ we see that  ‘there is strong evidence to the contrary’ that countries can sustain this with so much linguistic diversity. However, the author goes on to say that the picture is more complex than this alone, but that there is a correlation between the two. Therefore, this view is not directly expressed by the author

     Statement C is a direct match with paragraph 3 which can be assessed using the key phrase ‘fragment’ for which a synonym is ‘break up’.

     Statement D has the keyword ‘conflict’, and the text mentions the Biafran war, from which the author takes a lesson. Therefore, they do think we can learn from conflict.

    Timing tip!

    This question does not have many great keywords, and on realising this you may choose to guess an answer then flag the question to return to later if you have time. Remember, this is not a game of perfectionism but of consistently answering the questions you can before returning to answer as many as possible given your very limited time.

    Top tip!

    Correlation and causation questions can be difficult – remember the difference! Drownings in the United states are correlated with Nicholas Cage films released in the same year – but to the very best of our knowledge there is no causative link here. Either the text may list a different cause for the statement or may reject the notion of a causative agreement altogether. In the case of this question, the author’s argument is that there is correlation between linguistic homogeneity and economic prosperity, but that the picture is more complicated than simple causation.

    Post Comment
    john the baptist Medicmind Tutor

    Thu, 01 Jul 2021 08:02:14

    nahhhh

    In 2001, nearly two decades into Pereira’s accidental specialisation in addiction, Portugal became the first country to decriminalise the possession and consumption of all illicit substances. Rather than being arrested, those caught with a personal supply might be given a warning, a small fine, or told to appear before a local commission – a doctor, a lawyer and a social worker – about treatment, harm reduction, and the support services that were available to them.

    The opioid crisis soon stabilised, and the ensuing years saw dramatic drops in problematic drug use, HIV and hepatitis infection rates, overdose deaths, drug-related crime and incarceration rates. HIV infection plummeted from an all-time high in 2000 of 104.2 new cases per million to 4.2 cases per million in 2015. The data behind these changes has been studied and cited as evidence by harm-reduction movements around the globe. It’s misleading, however, to credit these positive results entirely to a change in law.

    Portugal’s remarkable recovery, and the fact that it has held steady through several changes in government – including conservative leaders who would have preferred to return to the US-style war on drugs – could not have happened without an enormous cultural shift, and a change in how the country viewed drugs, addiction – and itself. In many ways, the law was merely a reflection of transformations that were already happening in clinics, in pharmacies and around kitchen tables across the country. Most importantly, an official policy of decriminalisation made it far easier for a broad range of services (health, psychiatry, employment, housing etc) that had been struggling to pool their resources and expertise, to work together more effectively to serve their communities.

    Which of the following statements would the author most strongly believe?
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    2

    Explanation

    In this author question, you need to find the statement that the author believes most strongly by using keywords to find where the author discusses different points in the text. As with any type 2 question, it may be useful to start with good keywords. Here, statement A is extreme and the author is therefore less likely to strongly agree with it. You may therefore want to start by assessing statement B.

     Statement A has the key phrase ‘a change in law’, which is found in the text at the end of the second paragraph. Here, it says that it is hard to attribute all the improvements to a change in law – that is to say the author credits some changes to the legal difference but not all of them.

     Statement B has the keyword ‘US-style’ which has an acronym so is easier to find. In the third paragraph, the author says that there was a huge cultural shift including in conservatives who would prefer this style of dealing with drugs. Importantly, the author does not provide an opinion per se on this ‘war’, so we cannot infer that they believe it is wrong.

     Statement C has the keyword ‘services’, which is found at the end of the passage. This is an immediate hint, because the strongest opinions are often housed at the end of the passage. The author directly says that the policy enabled services to improve the drug problem, which strongly implies that these services were the main effector of change driven by decriminalisation. This is the correct answer.

     Statement D has the key phrase ‘cultural shifts’, which is found in the second paragraph where it is explained that these were key in Portugal. However, the author does not speak about the United States therefore we cannot infer their opinions on how best to deal with drug issues there.

    Post Comment

    Computer science is wondrous. The problem is that many people in Silicon Valley believe that it is all that matters. You see this when recruiters at career fairs make it clear they’re only interested in the computer scientists and in the salary gap between engineering and non-engineering students. The fact that so many computer scientists are ignorant or disdainful of non-technical approaches is worrisome because in my work, I’m constantly confronting questions that can’t be answered with code.

    Here are some steps forward. Universities should start with broader training for computer science students. I contacted eight of the top undergraduate programs in computer science and found that most do not require students to take a course on ethical and social issues. Computer scientists often don’t take them seriously, are uncomfortable with non-quantitative thinking, or are convinced that utilitarianism is the answer to everything. But universities need to try.

    There are many steps tech companies should take as well. Organizations should explore the social and ethical issues their products create: Google and Microsoft deserve credit for researching algorithmic discrimination, for example, and Facebook for investigating echo chambers. Make it easier for external researchers to evaluate the impacts of your products: be transparent about how your algorithms work and provide access to data under appropriate data use agreements. Ask social or ethical questions in hiring interviews, not just algorithmic ones; if hiring managers asked, students would learn how to answer them.

    Companies should hire the people harmed or excluded by their products: whose faces their computer vision systems don’t recognize and smiles their emojis don’t capture, whose resumes they rank as less relevant and whose housing options they limit. In an era where even elections are won and lost on digital battlefields, tech companies need to move less fast and break fewer things.

    (Adapted from https://www.wired.com/2017/04/hey-computer-scientists-stop-hating-humanities/)

    Which of the following is a change the author would like to see in the computer science industry?
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    2

    Explanation

    This question asks specifically about changes the author would like to see – not about the change the author would most like to see. Therefore, you are expecting to see some statements which the author does not mention, some that they actively disagree with, and ultimately one which is true. Remember to not spend too much time as these questions can be really time consuming!

     Statement A has the keyword ‘political election’, which is found in the final sentence. The text says that we are in an era where such elections are won and lost on the digital battlefield, but the author does not express an opinion on this.

     Statement B has the keyword ‘utilitarian’, found in the second paragraph. Although the author says that students are often utilitarian, they do not express an overt opinion on whether they need to employ more or less.

     Statement C has the keyword Facebook found in the third paragraph, where it says Facebook deserves more credit for this exact reason.

     Statement D has the keyword salaries, which is found in paragraph 1 where the author uses the salary gap between engineering and non-engineering jobs as an example of a problem. We cannot infer that they want a higher salary for technical workers.

    Post Comment

    Computer science is wondrous. The problem is that many people in Silicon Valley believe that it is all that matters. You see this when recruiters at career fairs make it clear they’re only interested in the computer scientists and in the salary gap between engineering and non-engineering students. The fact that so many computer scientists are ignorant or disdainful of non-technical approaches is worrisome because in my work, I’m constantly confronting questions that can’t be answered with code.

    Here are some steps forward. Universities should start with broader training for computer science students. I contacted eight of the top undergraduate programs in computer science and found that most do not require students to take a course on ethical and social issues. Computer scientists often don’t take them seriously, are uncomfortable with non-quantitative thinking, or are convinced that utilitarianism is the answer to everything. But universities need to try.

    There are many steps tech companies should take as well. Organizations should explore the social and ethical issues their products create: Google and Microsoft deserve credit for researching algorithmic discrimination, for example, and Facebook for investigating echo chambers. Make it easier for external researchers to evaluate the impacts of your products: be transparent about how your algorithms work and provide access to data under appropriate data use agreements. Ask social or ethical questions in hiring interviews, not just algorithmic ones; if hiring managers asked, students would learn how to answer them.

    Companies should hire the people harmed or excluded by their products: whose faces their computer vision systems don’t recognize and smiles their emojis don’t capture, whose resumes they rank as less relevant and whose housing options they limit. In an era where even elections are won and lost on digital battlefields, tech companies need to move less fast and break fewer things.

    (Adapted from https://www.wired.com/2017/04/hey-computer-scientists-stop-hating-humanities/)

    Which of the following is an opinion expressed by the author?
  • 1
    1

    Explanation

    This question is not asking for the strongest opinion, just the correct opinion. Check carefully for passage adjustments, but also try to use common sense of the passage to select the most likely answer.

     Statement A has the keyword ‘beneficial’, which is not found in the text but the final paragraph does say that companies should hire people harmed by their products, so it can be reasonably inferred that the author does not think it is beneficial for everyone. This is an extreme statement which takes itself too far.

     Statement B has the keyword ‘ethics’, which is found in the second paragraph. The author says that few universities teach it, but then lists reasons that CS students have a problem with ethics, precluding the idea of it being easy.

     Statement C has the keyword Google, and on the contrary in the paragraph the author says Google deserves recognition.

     Statement D has the keyword ‘non-quantitative thinking’ found in the first paragraph, where it is listed as a characteristic of many CS students. However, it is followed by the author saying it ‘needs to change’, so this is the correct answer.

    Timing tip!

    You can use some degree of common sense in questions such as this. The article is about different ways of thinking in computer science and their importance, and on assessing the statements statement D fits the feel of the article best. If short on time, this common sense can be a real time saver!

    Post Comment

    Tolerance — which shaped my childhood and continues to mould how too many Americans talk about fighting for equity — might be an affirming term, but just barely. I know this from experience; as a brown woman I have felt tolerated for much of my life by white Americans, even though I was born and raised in this country and consider myself an American before anything else about me. Any room I’ve walked into, be it classroom or boardroom, I’ve remained aware of the ways in which I’m considered different and don’t belong. One of the most enduring impacts of teaching tolerance long enough is that it gets internalized.

    Tolerance is an underwhelming goal for a truly vibrant and just American society because, like diversity, it is satisfied by the mere presence of those with different experiences and perspectives. Instead, we should strive for inclusion, where people are accepted, welcomed and valued. We should prioritize equity, where opportunities are distributed based on an accurate understanding of our sociocultural history. Recent events make painfully clear how much further we have to go. To get to a better place, we must use the power of our imagination, compassion and intrepid spirit to look past tolerance and manifest what an inclusive and equitable America would look like across every sector of our society.

    I’m no longer content just being tolerated. I want more for black Americans, for fellow Americans of color and for my country. In order to stand up for this nation and its potential, I’m rejecting tolerance, the notion that the people who have historically had and abused their power and privilege should feel like they are benevolently putting up with people who have just as much claim to this country and its true ideals. I want to be included, why not even welcomed?

    Which of the following is a view expressed by the author?
  • 1
    1

    Explanation

    Here, statement D is an extreme statement so can be quickly discounted. Statement B has the most specific keyword – equity. A and C have acceptable keywords but America and American appears a few times, so they will take longer to assess.

     Statement A has the keyword America, which is seen a few times but at the beginning of the second paragraph, it details that tolerance is an underwhelming goal for America. The author does not explicitly say that tolerance is enough in any country, so we cannot infer A as truth.

     Statement B has the keyword equity, which is quite specific. It is found only twice, once in the second paragraph, which says ‘we should prioritise equity’, so this statement is true.

     Statement C has the keyword American, which is found in the first paragraph. The author explains that she considers herself an American ‘before anything else’, therefore this statement is untrue.

     Statement D has the key phrase ‘internalised tolerance’, found at the end of the first paragraph. The author only states that internalised tolerance is a result of teaching tolerance, not that it is a desirable one, so this is incorrect.

    Post Comment
    MM Tutor Medicmind Tutor

    Thanks for your comment J! The explanation has been edited to reflect this.

    j

    Sat, 10 Jul 2021 12:04:18

    equity is in the first paragraph as well

    Sudan is the last male northern white rhino on the planet. If he does not mate successfully soon with one of two female northern white rhinos at Ol Pejeta conservancy, there will be no more of their kind, male or female, born anywhere. And it seems a slim chance, as Sudan is getting old at 42 and breeding efforts have so far failed. Apart from these three animals there are only two other northern white rhinos in the world, both in zoos, both female.  

    It seems an image of human tenderness that Sudan is lovingly guarded by armed men who stand vigilantly and caringly with him. But of course, it is an image of brutality. Even at this last desperate stage, Sudan is under threat from poachers who kill rhinos and hack off their horns to sell them on the Asian medicine market – despite the fact that he has had his horn cut off to deter them.  

     Today, immense love is invested in rhinos, yet they are being slaughtered in ever greater numbers. The demand in Asian countries such as Vietnam for rhino horn as a traditional medicine believed to cure everything from flu to cancer is fuelling a boom in poaching. From 2007, when just 13 rhinos were killed by poachers in South Africa, the killings have grown horrifically. Last year 1,215 rhinos were slaughtered for their horns in South Africa.

     The vulnerable northern white rhino has been hunted virtually to extinction – in spite of every precaution, in spite of these guards and their guns – and other varieties of African rhino are under a sustained attack from poachers. The Javan rhinoceros is also on the verge of extinction. India has successfully protected the Indian rhinoceros after it was almost wiped out by British hunters in colonial times, but here too poaching is a menace. What futile human destructiveness has caused this. Can the better angels of our nature not defeat the impulse to kill? 

    Which of the following is an opinion expressed by the author?
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    2

    Explanation

    Here, few statements have keywords better or worse than the others. However, statement C is an extreme statement so I would recommend eliminating it early.

     Statement A has the keyword brutality, which is found in the second paragraph. This paragraph starts by saying that it seems to be an image of tenderness but is actually one of brutality. Therefore, this statement is correct.

     Statement B has the keyword ‘breed’, which is found in the first paragraph. The text actually says ‘it seems a slim chance’ that Sudan will be able to breed, therefore this is incorrect.

     In Statement C, rhino horn may seem a good keyword, but it is a little general given the piece is about a rhino. Medicinal benefit or any medical terminology is a lot better and found in the third paragraph where it says it is believed to be medicinal in Vietnam, not that it is.

     Statement D has the keyword ‘horn’, which is the only possible keyword here really. It is found at the end of the second paragraph, where the author details that Sudan is still at threat despite having had his horn removed. However, he does not express an opinion directly about this so we cannot infer it.

    Post Comment

    Theatre, ultimately, is not about buildings or props or sets – it’s about people. The people who make it, the people who engage with it, and the crossover between. The greatest threat to the vitality of plays, musicals and live performance once the lockdown ends is a drain of people leaving the arts. Audiences who can no longer afford ticket prices against a backdrop of economic strain, reinforcing the idea that culture is “not for them”. Skilled artists – particularly those from lower socioeconomic and working-class backgrounds (yes, we do exist in the arts) – who can’t afford to remain in the industry.

     In normal times, theatre is a hugely profitable industry, and one of the UK’s most successful cultural exports. But the industry has always been staffed by precariats. Despite the glamour of the trade, almost three-quarters of its employees, no matter what our backgrounds, are freelancers living from job to job. And a significant proportion of this workforce fell through the cracks of the government’s job retention schemes. Right now, nothing frightens theatre creatives more than a slowdown or reversal of even modest gains made in recent years in terms of the inclusivity and diversity of the theatre, on stage and off. There’s still so much left to do.

    There are justifiable suspicions, particularly from black, Asian and minority ethnic artists, that the term “class” is deployed as a proxy to mean exclusively “white, working-class men”. So it is vital that any discussions of class must wholeheartedly intersect with every community, identity and culture in Britain, and for white working-class writers to amplify and champion their even more neglected peers.

    Most importantly of all, of course, are cheaper tickets. We know this will be even more challenging for theatre companies barely able to make ends meet. Whatever new, inventive, convention-defying methods that artists, fundraisers, producers and sponsors can collectively devise, our new theatre culture can only claim to represent contemporary Britain if everyone who lives here is allowed to come and see it.

     

    Which of the following statements would the author most strongly agree with?
  • 0
    2

    Explanation

    Here, you are looking for the statement that the author would most strongly agree with. These statements are usually at the end, contain strong words such as most importantly or above all, and finally may be mentioned more frequently than others. Read the first 2 and last 2 sentences before tackling statements individually.

     Statement A has the keywords ‘community and culture’. These are found in the third paragraph, which essentially agrees with this directly. However, no extreme language is used in this agreement and it is only mentioned once.

    Statement B has the keyword ‘deceleration, which is synonymous with ‘slowdown’ found in the first paragraph. The author is worried that there may be a slowdown, but once again this is expressed as a somewhat settled view, without much extreme language.

     Statement C has the keyword ‘cheap’, which is found in the final paragraph. Moreover, the author says ‘most importantly of all’, which means this is the most strongly held view in the passage.

     Statement D has the keyword ‘job retention scheme’. Once again, the author does agree with this as evidenced by paragraph 2 which says a significant portion of the workforce are falling through the cracks. However, there is no extreme language, it is only mentioned once, and not at the end of the passage.

    Timing tip!

    In author questions, always read both the first and last two lines. This will give you an idea of both sides of the argument which the author acknowledges in these two areas.

    Post Comment

    Theatre, ultimately, is not about buildings or props or sets – it’s about people. The people who make it, the people who engage with it, and the crossover between. The greatest threat to the vitality of plays, musicals and live performance once the lockdown ends is a drain of people leaving the arts. Audiences who can no longer afford ticket prices against a backdrop of economic strain, reinforcing the idea that culture is “not for them”. Skilled artists – particularly those from lower socioeconomic and working-class backgrounds (yes, we do exist in the arts) – who can’t afford to remain in the industry.

     In normal times, theatre is a hugely profitable industry, and one of the UK’s most successful cultural exports. But the industry has always been staffed by precariats. Despite the glamour of the trade, almost three-quarters of its employees, no matter what our backgrounds, are freelancers living from job to job. And a significant proportion of this workforce fell through the cracks of the government’s job retention schemes. Right now, nothing frightens theatre creatives more than a slowdown or reversal of even modest gains made in recent years in terms of the inclusivity and diversity of the theatre, on stage and off. There’s still so much left to do.

    There are justifiable suspicions, particularly from black, Asian and minority ethnic artists, that the term “class” is deployed as a proxy to mean exclusively “white, working-class men”. So it is vital that any discussions of class must wholeheartedly intersect with every community, identity and culture in Britain, and for white working-class writers to amplify and champion their even more neglected peers.

    Most importantly of all, of course, are cheaper tickets. We know this will be even more challenging for theatre companies barely able to make ends meet. Whatever new, inventive, convention-defying methods that artists, fundraisers, producers and sponsors can collectively devise, our new theatre culture can only claim to represent contemporary Britain if everyone who lives here is allowed to come and see it.

     

    Which of the following statements would the author most likely agree with?
  • 1
    0

    Explanation

    Here, you are looking to find the statement which agrees with a presented view of the author. Remember to look for good keywords and eliminate extreme statements.

     Statement A has the key phrase ‘white, working-class’ which is found in the third paragraph. The author says that suspicions among people who do not fit this bracket are ‘justified’, so clearly they do not think it is unreasonable.

     Statement B has the same keyword as A. Indeed, the author suggests that such authors ‘amplify and champion their more neglected peers’, which clearly implies they have more opportunities than others.

     Statement C has the key phrase ‘people leaving the arts’, which you would see in the first few sentences of the passage. Here, it says people leaving the arts is the biggest threat to theatre once lockdown ends, so the author clearly does not agree with this.

     Finally, statement D has the keyword ‘culture’, which is found in the first paragraph. The author says that audiences who cannot afford tickets ‘think’ culture is not for them but does not say that it is not. Therefore, this is not the correct answer.

    Timing tip!

    Common sense is vital for author questions. Statements A and B both relate to equality for BAME arts workers – once you have gleaned the author’s opinion on this sensitive subject by looking at one of the statements you can safely assume what their opinion is on the other. For example: if you had started with statement A and seen that the author was arguing that it was unreasonable to assume the word ‘class’ had anything to do with race, you may also be able to assume that they do not believe in a disparity of opportunity between white and BAME workers. Using common sense can save you a lot of time by assessing the author’s general tone towards any topic!

    Post Comment

    The best thing about the news that the government is to fund a catch-up programme of tutoring in England, to compensate for learning lost due to the pandemic, is the proof it offers that ministers recognise the problem. Since pupils were sent home in March, it has been obvious that the impact would fall unequally, with poorer children suffering more than those from better-off backgrounds because of vast disparities between resources at home.

     So, it is good news too that the catch-up spend is to be targeted. Already, evidence suggests that pupils in the most disadvantaged areas are least likely to have engaged with remote learning, while private school pupils have received more online teaching than anyone else. But if the problem is clear, the solution is less so. Tutoring has been shown to be effective in boosting the results of low-income pupils. Spent wisely, a pandemic premium to top up their education could be an effective intervention. But delivering such a scheme will be an immense organisational feat.

     From the delayed lockdown, to the lack of personal protective equipment and testing, to the now-abandoned tracing app, at every stage of this pandemic ministers have been shown up as poor planners. If they are serious about repairing the damage to education, they must now be patient.  England’s tutoring industry, which is estimated to be worth £2bn a year, is barely regulated. If substantial taxpayer funds are to be spent on one-to-one or small-group coaching, this must be done properly. That means giving schools time to work out what is needed, while deciding which providers are best placed to deliver this.

     It would make sense to put in place measures for three years, not one. A second wave of infections remains a possibility. Even without it, many children will need time to get back into the swing of school life. Those returning to their final year of school will require special consideration. But for the rest it is more important to get the recovery plan right than to rush.

    (Adapted from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jun/18/the-guardian-view-on-tutors-for-all-easier-said-than-done)

    Which of the following is an opinion expressed by the author?
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    Explanation

    Here, you are simply looking for an opinion expressed by the author so you can expect some of these not to be mentioned, some to be disagreed with and one ultimately to be expressed. Here, statement A has no good keywords so it could be skipped and you could start on B.

    Statement A has no particularly useful keywords, so you could skip it and assess the other statements first. However, you will see in paragraph 2 that the text talks about disparity between high- and low-income students, as well as late year and early year students. The author clearly thinks that some students are more in need of tutoring.

    Statement B has the keyword ‘providers’, which is found in the third paragraph where the author says that schools should decide what providers to use for the tutoring scheme. Therefore, the author does not think the government must decide this, rather the schools themselves. 

    Statement C here has the keyword ‘last two years’, which is not discussed directly in the text. However, in the second to final sentence, the author says that ‘those returning to their final year… will require special consideration’, so this statement is a slight passage adjustment. 

    Statement D has the key phrase ‘plan’, which is broadly synonymous with ‘organisation’, or certainly an aspect of it. The text says that the tutoring rollout will be ‘an immense organisational feat’, so it is a reasonable inference that the author thinks it will not be easy to plan. 

    Post Comment

    The best thing about the news that the government is to fund a catch-up programme of tutoring in England, to compensate for learning lost due to the pandemic, is the proof it offers that ministers recognise the problem. Since pupils were sent home in March, it has been obvious that the impact would fall unequally, with poorer children suffering more than those from better-off backgrounds because of vast disparities between resources at home.

     So, it is good news too that the catch-up spend is to be targeted. Already, evidence suggests that pupils in the most disadvantaged areas are least likely to have engaged with remote learning, while private school pupils have received more online teaching than anyone else. But if the problem is clear, the solution is less so. Tutoring has been shown to be effective in boosting the results of low-income pupils. Spent wisely, a pandemic premium to top up their education could be an effective intervention. But delivering such a scheme will be an immense organisational feat.

     From the delayed lockdown, to the lack of personal protective equipment and testing, to the now-abandoned tracing app, at every stage of this pandemic ministers have been shown up as poor planners. If they are serious about repairing the damage to education, they must now be patient.  England’s tutoring industry, which is estimated to be worth £2bn a year, is barely regulated. If substantial taxpayer funds are to be spent on one-to-one or small-group coaching, this must be done properly. That means giving schools time to work out what is needed, while deciding which providers are best placed to deliver this.

     It would make sense to put in place measures for three years, not one. A second wave of infections remains a possibility. Even without it, many children will need time to get back into the swing of school life. Those returning to their final year of school will require special consideration. But for the rest it is more important to get the recovery plan right than to rush.

    (Adapted from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jun/18/the-guardian-view-on-tutors-for-all-easier-said-than-done)

    Which of the following would the author most likely recommend to the government?
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    1

    Explanation

    This question asks about what the author would likely recommend, so choose which statement to start with wisely. Using common sense, we can see that the article is about education, so it is unlikely to be statement A. Therefore, you could start on statement B.

     Statement A has the keyword ‘contact-tracing’, which is found in the third paragraph. This is cited as an example of ministerial ineptitude, and not anything to do with the article which is making recommendations about education.

     Statement B has more of a key phrase, about ‘taking time’, synonymous with mention of ‘patience’. Indeed, the third paragraph says the government should be patient, so the author would likely recommend this to the government.

     Statement C has the keyword ‘quickly’, which directly contrasts the message of the passage, that is to take time to roll out the tutoring scheme.

     Statement D has the key phrase ‘socio-economically’, which works with statements like ‘income’ and ‘private schools’. The author does not really mention an aversion to giving some time to socio-economically privileged areas, so we cannot infer that this is the most likely recommendation they would make.

    Post Comment

    Companies such as 23andMe have proliferated over the past decade, feeding people’s hunger to know who and where they come from, and what diseases their genes might predispose them to. Over that time, it has gradually become clear that the main source of revenue for at least some of these companies comes from selling the data on to third parties.

     Some DNA Testing Companies (DTCs), such as 23andMe, are transparent about the sharing of data. When you sign its contract, you are asked if you consent to your data being used for research, and roughly 80% of 23andMe’s customers do. Other companies are less forthcoming. The trouble is, a health tech company is not a doctor; their primary concern is not the patient. You can withdraw your consent at any time, but that withdrawal generally takes time to come into effect, and in the meantime your data may have been passed on – after which it is harder to get it back.

     Our data is being used in research designed to improve our health and wellbeing, and there is a legitimate question to be asked about compensation. 23andMe, for example, asks its customers to waive all claims to a share of the profits arising from such research. But given those profits could be substantial, so why should we be paying them to take our data? This should be the other way round! There are echoes of Henrietta Lacks here, the African-American woman whose cells became a workhorse of biomedical research after she underwent a biopsy in 1951, and who was never compensated.

     The larger issue, though, is that with all of these databases there is ambiguity about who has access to them, and for what purposes. 23andMe states that it does not grant access to the police and government, but other companies do. These are the privacy concerns that may be behind layoffs, not only at 23andMe, but also at other DTC companies, and that we need to resolve urgently to avoid the pitfalls of genetic testing while realising its undoubted promise. In the meantime, we should all start reading the small print.

    (Adapted from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/feb/16/dna-hugely-valuable-health-tech-privacy)

    Which of the following is an opinion expressed by the author?
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    2

    Explanation

    Here, all the statements except statement D have good keywords so you could safely start by assessing A.

     Statement A has the keyword DTC, but the article is about these companies so it does not make for a very solid keyword. Instead, search for patients to find that the primary concern of these companies according to the author is not the patients. Although there is vague implication from the tone that this is a problem, the author may not think that the solution is to put the primary focus on patients. Therefore, this is not the correct answer.

     Statement B has the keyword ‘pay’, which works with any mention of a transaction in the passage. Indeed, the text says that we pay DTCs to take our data, and this should be the other way round therefore this statement is true.

     Statement C has the key name Henrietta Lacks. This is a case which draws much controversy in the scientific community, however the text does not particularly express an opinion on it, just gives it as an example of a research subject not being compensated.

     Statement D has the keyword ‘police’, or ‘law enforcement’. We see that 23andMe does not provide data to the police, and it is unlikely that the author thinks they should, given the tone of the discussion. However, they do not overtly say either way and we cannot infer. 

    Post Comment

    At NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, engineers, scientists, and skilled technicians design interplanetary spacecraft and schemes to get them to their extraordinary destinations. Europa mission plans have always come in pretty expensive, because everybody figured that we’d have to land there and drill through many kilometres of solid ice, potentially contaminating any ecosystem that might already be there. But if we can analyse samples flung out into space, there’s virtually no chance of contamination, and there’s no need to build landing gear, drills, or complex anchor and tether systems. It would be much cheaper than anyone had calculated.

    People everywhere know and respect NASA. It’s the best brand the United States has. But like everything else, the agency’s budget has been reduced over the years; it hasn’t kept up with inflation.

    Within NASA’s budget is a line for planetary science. It’s the part of NASA that does the most amazing things. Other space agencies put spacecraft in orbit around the Earth; a few even go to Mars. But no other space agency on Earth can land anything on Mars, let alone lower a small car there from a rocket-powered crane. The expertise is here in the United States. It allows people here to solve interplanetary problems that have never been solved before. It leads to innovation that produces $3.60 for every dollar that goes in.

    Just think what it would mean if we were to find a living thing in a geyser of seawater on another world. Every one of us here on Earth would stop and ponder what it means to be a living thing. I hope it would fill each of us with reverence for the cosmos and for our place within it. A mission to Europa would bring humankind together—and perhaps change the world.

    (Adapted from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/6/140618-europa-bill-nye-jupiter-extraterrestrial-life-nasa/)

    Which of the following is an opinion expressed by the author?
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    0

    Explanation

    In this question, all the statements have quite good keywords. However, statements A and B are extreme. Therefore, you may want to assess C and D first.

     Statement A has the key phrase ‘Jet Propulsion lab’ which is found in the first paragraph. The author does not provide an opinion about whether it is ‘the most amazing part of NASA’, so you can quickly discount this statements.

     Statement B has the keyword ‘brand’, which is found in the second paragraph. Here, the author directly says that NASA is the best brand in the US, so this statement is correct.

     Statement C has the keyword Mars, but this is a little general. Therefore, you may be better off searching for ‘life’ or ‘humankind’. According to the author, a mission to Europa may bring humankind together, but no mention is made of life on Mars. Therefore, we cannot assume this statement is true.

     Statement D has the keyword US and Russia. The text actually details in the 3rd paragraph that the author thinks only the US has the expertise to land on Mars.

    Post Comment

    Many zoos conduct such studies, and also run captive breeding programmes for endangered species. However, critics say this doesn’t justify their existence.

    “Zoos are prisons for animals, camouflaging their cruelty with conservation claims,” Mimi Bekhechi, director of international programmes at PETA, explains. “Animals in zoos suffer tremendously, both physically and mentally. They often display neurotic behaviour, like repetitive pacing, swaying, and bar biting. Not surprising, perhaps, considering the typical polar bear enclosure is one million times smaller than the area they would naturally roam.”

    Some argue that children benefit from zoos. “We engage huge audiences with wildlife, inspiring the conservationists of tomorrow,” argues zoological director of ZSL, Professor David Field. That claim is up for debate. A 2014 study found that of over 2,800 children surveyed following visits to London Zoo, 62% showed no positive learning outcomes.

    But, for every story that casts zoos in a bad light — from Harambe, last year after a child fell into his enclosure to Copenhagen Zoo killing and publicly dissecting Marius, a two-year-old giraffe in 2014 — there are heart-warming tales too. Zoos across the US can take credit for reviving the wild Arabian oryx, golden lion tamarin and Californian condor populations, among many others. And Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo has an on-site Wildlife Hospital to save sick and injured native species. In the age of social media, high profile culls have sparked heated debates. When it comes to lethal force and animal welfare, at least, public opinion swiftly sides against zoos.

    But whether recent events have triggered a profound shift in public consciousness is harder to quantify. Regardless of the merits or ethics of zoos, one thing’s for certain: they’re going to be around for some years yet.

    (Adapted from https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/travel/2017/05/hot-topic-it-time-zoos-be-banned)

    Which of the following is an opinion expressed by the author?
  • 1
    0

    Explanation

    In this question, statements A and C have the best keywords so you could skip over B on your initial check.

     Statement A has the keyword ‘prison’, and the author quotes a PETA member calling zoos this. However, there is no indication it is their personal opinion.

     Statement B has the key phrase ‘the general public’, and this is seen in ‘public opinion’ at the end of the fourth paragraph. This section only says that public opinion is against zoos in matters of lethal force, not in general so we cannot infer this.

     Statement C has the keyword ‘children’, spoken about in the third paragraph. Once again, the author cites somebody else saying that children learn a lot from zoos, but does not say that this is their own opinion. Instead, they cite statistics to the contrary.

     Statement D can be understood by reading the first and last 2 sentences of the passage. The general sentiment of the article, exemplified by the final sentence, is that zoos ‘will be around for some years yet.

    Common trap!

    In opinion questions, quotes from other agencies may be used as examples of opinions that do not necessarily reflect the author’s own opinion. Don’t fall for these in questions which ask about the author’s opinion!

    Post Comment
    Q. Medicmind Tutor

    Thu, 15 Jul 2021 13:54:00

    B and C are the same options. (The general public disagrees with zoos )

    Many zoos conduct such studies, and also run captive breeding programmes for endangered species. However, critics say this doesn’t justify their existence.

    “Zoos are prisons for animals, camouflaging their cruelty with conservation claims,” Mimi Bekhechi, director of international programmes at PETA, explains. “Animals in zoos suffer tremendously, both physically and mentally. They often display neurotic behaviour, like repetitive pacing, swaying, and bar biting. Not surprising, perhaps, considering the typical polar bear enclosure is one million times smaller than the area they would naturally roam.”

    Some argue that children benefit from zoos. “We engage huge audiences with wildlife, inspiring the conservationists of tomorrow,” argues zoological director of ZSL, Professor David Field. That claim is up for debate. A 2014 study found that of over 2,800 children surveyed following visits to London Zoo, 62% showed no positive learning outcomes.

    But, for every story that casts zoos in a bad light — from Harambe, last year after a child fell into his enclosure to Copenhagen Zoo killing and publicly dissecting Marius, a two-year-old giraffe in 2014 — there are heart-warming tales too. Zoos across the US can take credit for reviving the wild Arabian oryx, golden lion tamarin and Californian condor populations, among many others. And Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo has an on-site Wildlife Hospital to save sick and injured native species. In the age of social media, high profile culls have sparked heated debates. When it comes to lethal force and animal welfare, at least, public opinion swiftly sides against zoos.

    But whether recent events have triggered a profound shift in public consciousness is harder to quantify. Regardless of the merits or ethics of zoos, one thing’s for certain: they’re going to be around for some years yet.

    (Adapted from https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/travel/2017/05/hot-topic-it-time-zoos-be-banned)

    Which of the following would the author likely suggest to improve public opinion of zoos?
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    1

    Explanation

    Here, the statements may not directly match the text but relate to statements made in the text. Therefore, this is likely to be a time-consuming question. Statement C has a great keyword and is a good jumping-off point.

     Statement A has the keyword ‘dissections’, which is discussed in the final paragraph. The author says that public opinion was generally against this, and does not use it as an example of something zoos should do more of. Therefore, they would likely disagree with this.

     Statement B has the keyword ‘euthanasia’. In the fourth paragraph, the author talks about culls and animal welfare being hot topics on social media. It is likely that the author would recommend less killing of animals to improve public opinion, in line with their opinion that public opinion is united against lethal force.

     Statement C has the keyword PETA, and although the text includes a quote from PETA representative Mimi Bekhechi, the author does not say that engaging with PETA would be more or less beneficial to public opinion.

     Statement D has the key phrase ‘captive breeding’, which is found in the first paragraph. However, the author uses this as something of an example of something which critics say is ‘not enough’. Therefore, it is unlikely from the authors point of view that increasing these programmes would improve public opinion.

    Post Comment

    Plato distinguished between opinion or common belief and certain knowledge, and that’s still a workable distinction today: unlike “there are no square circles,” an opinion has a degree of subjectivity and uncertainty to it. But “opinion” ranges from tastes or preferences, through views about questions that concern most people such as prudence or politics, to views grounded in technical expertise, such as legal or scientific opinions.

    You can’t really argue about the first kind of opinion. I’d be silly to insist that you’re wrong to think strawberry ice cream is better than chocolate. The problem is that sometimes we implicitly seem to take opinions of the second and even the third sort to be unarguable in the way questions of taste are. Perhaps that’s one reason (no doubt there are others) why enthusiastic amateurs think they’re entitled to disagree with climate scientists and immunologists and have their views “respected.”

    If “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion” just means no-one has the right to stop people thinking and saying whatever they want, then the statement is true, but fairly trivial. No one can stop you saying that vaccines cause autism, no matter how many times that claim has been disproven.

    But if ‘entitled to an opinion’ means ‘entitled to have your views treated as serious candidates for the truth’ then it’s pretty clearly false. And this too is a distinction that tends to get blurred. So next time you hear someone declare they’re entitled to their opinion, ask them why they think that. Chances are, if nothing else, you’ll end up having a more enjoyable conversation that way.

    (Adapted from https://www.qt.com.au/news/no-youre-not-entitled-your-opinion/3706178/)

    Which of the following is an opinion expressed by the author?
  • 1
    0

    Explanation

    For this question, statements A and D have quotes in them,  so they may be easy to locate as key statements in the text. Assessing these statements first may save time.

     You can find the key quote in Statement A in the third paragraph – where the author says that if it is taken a certain way, it may be valid (albeit trivial). Therefore, it is not invalid in all circumstances.

     Statement B has the key phrase ‘opinions of taste’, which is found in the second paragraph where the author describes such opinions as ‘inarguable’. Therefore, it is reasonable to say they think we cannot really argue opinions of taste.

     Statement C has the keyword ‘amateurs’, and the author says in the second paragraph ‘perhaps that’s one reason (no doubt there are others)’, therefore they do think there is more than one reason.

     Statement D has another quote which can be easily tracked down in the passage. This quote is defined as an example of a fact, not an opinion.

    Post Comment

    Plato distinguished between opinion or common belief and certain knowledge, and that’s still a workable distinction today: unlike “there are no square circles,” an opinion has a degree of subjectivity and uncertainty to it. But “opinion” ranges from tastes or preferences, through views about questions that concern most people such as prudence or politics, to views grounded in technical expertise, such as legal or scientific opinions.

    You can’t really argue about the first kind of opinion. I’d be silly to insist that you’re wrong to think strawberry ice cream is better than chocolate. The problem is that sometimes we implicitly seem to take opinions of the second and even the third sort to be unarguable in the way questions of taste are. Perhaps that’s one reason (no doubt there are others) why enthusiastic amateurs think they’re entitled to disagree with climate scientists and immunologists and have their views “respected.”

    If “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion” just means no-one has the right to stop people thinking and saying whatever they want, then the statement is true, but fairly trivial. No one can stop you saying that vaccines cause autism, no matter how many times that claim has been disproven.

    But if ‘entitled to an opinion’ means ‘entitled to have your views treated as serious candidates for the truth’ then it’s pretty clearly false. And this too is a distinction that tends to get blurred. So next time you hear someone declare they’re entitled to their opinion, ask them why they think that. Chances are, if nothing else, you’ll end up having a more enjoyable conversation that way.

    (Adapted from https://www.qt.com.au/news/no-youre-not-entitled-your-opinion/3706178/)

    Which of the following statements would the author most likely agree with?
  • 0
    1

    Explanation

    For this question, you may be able to use some degree of common sense to answer. Approaching it normally, you will see that D is an extreme statement whereas the rest have good keywords.

     Statement A has the key phrase ‘chocolate ice cream’, and the author is seen to say it would be silly to argue about such an opinion as preferring strawberry ice cream. The author actually makes no mention of their own preference.

     Statement B has the keyword ‘autism’, and the author clearly states that this claim has been extensively disproven.

     Statement C actually does not have keywords, but the author does say that the statement ‘everyone is entitled to their opinion’ does not equate to ‘entitled to have your views considered as serious candidates…’, therefore clearly does not believe all opinions are created equal.

     Statement D is extreme, and the author does not explicitly say climate scientists are always right, so this statement is incorrect.

    Top tip!

    In author questions, sometimes the correct answer can be deduced by common sense. Here, the author is speaking in the article about the value of objective truth so is unlikely to believe that vaccines cause autism, or that one group of scientists are always right. This leaves statements A and C, where A is pretty trivial even if it is true, but C fits the tone of the article. You could pretty safely mark C as true then flag the question to confirm later.

     

    Post Comment

    The day after attending A and E, Jane received an automated text message.  Two days later, while staying with my parents, we attended the Royal Surrey hospital for a follow-up scan to make sure everything was OK. Once again Jane received an almost-identical text message the following day, a system being used across different NHS authorities called “the friends and family test”. It’s difficult to describe how crass and inappropriate those messages were. Here’s the thing: Jane and I had already given our feedback. We had thanked the excellent doctor who witnessed our anguished hope, who entered into that space with us at the start of a long night in A&E and held our hands when our nightmare became reality. I can’t speak highly enough of her, and I say that knowing full well that we probably weren’t the last people whose lives she saw being shattered that night. That’s the best place for feedback: face to face, sincere thoughts and feelings expressed from one human to another.

     To the faceless bureaucrat who thought those text messages were a good idea, I would make the following plea: we come to you in the darkest moments of our lives. You see us through them, whatever the outcome, and then you move on to the next patient. You do this because that’s what the NHS is for, and it’s a beautiful institution. In the vast majority of cases we go to the nearest and most convenient hospital, which renders utterly redundant the notion of “recommending” your facility as if it were a restaurant or a B&B. Please, get rid of the gimmicks – the faux-concerned wording and impersonal feedback loop and the specious “choice” paradigm designed to soften us up for privatisation – and, most importantly, listen to your frontline staff. They know what’s really going on, and they’re the remarkable people who really care enough to face broken humans every single day.

    (Adapted from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/29/a-e-miscarriage-nhs-text)

    According to the author, the text messages to gather feedback are…
  • 0
    2

    Explanation

    The correct answer is C. Not appropriate for information gathering.

    This question is something akin to a type 1 question, in which you’re best off looking for references to ‘the text message’. The first paragraph describes these messages, so you will be best oriented here. We see that the author says ‘Jane received an almost-identical text message’, going on to describe this as ‘crass and inappropriate’. They clearly feel that it is bad, but do not say it is the worst thing about the NHS. Notably, the author makes no mention that they think the text messages should be used at all, stating that the NHS needs to listen to frontline staff. Therefore, A and B are not correct. 

    Post Comment

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