Directions (1-8): Read the following passage carefully and answer these questions. Certain words have been printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
Current feminist theory, in validating women’s own stories of their experience, has encouraged scholars of women’s history to view the use of women’s oral narratives as the methodology, next to the use of women’s written autobiography, that brings historians closest to the “reality” of women’s lives. Such narratives, unlike most standard histories, represent experience from the perspective of women, affirm the importance of women’s contributions, and furnish present-day women with historical continuity that is essential to their identity, individually and collectively.
Scholars of women’s history should, however, be as cautious about accepting oral narratives at face value as they already are about written memories. Oral narratives are no more likely than are written narratives to provide a disinterested commentary on events or people. Moreover, the stories people tell to explain themselves are shaped by narrative devices and storytelling conventions, as well as by other cultural and historical factors, in ways that the storytellers may be unaware of. The political rhetoric of a particular era, for example, may influence women’s interpretations of the significance of their experience. Thus, a woman who views the Second World War as pivotal in increasing the social acceptance of women’s paid work outside the home may reach that conclusion partly and unwittingly because of wartime rhetoric encouraging a positive view of women’s participation in such work.
Q1. The passage is primarily concerned with
(a) contrasting the benefits of one methodology with the benefits of another
(b) describing the historical origins and inherent drawbacks of a particular methodology
(c) discussing the appeal of a particular methodology and some concerns about its use
(d) showing that some historians’ adoption of a particular methodology has led to criticism of recent historical scholarship
(e) analyzing the influence of current feminist views on women’s interpretations of their experience
Q2. According to the passage, which of the following shapes the oral narratives of women storytellers?
(a) The conventions for standard histories in the culture in which a woman storyteller lives
(b) The conventions of storytelling in the culture in which a woman storyteller lives
(c) A woman storyteller’s experience with distinctive traditions of storytelling developed by the woman in her family of origin
(d) The cultural expectations and experiences of those who listen to oral narratives
(e) A woman storyteller’s familiarity with the stories that members of other groups in her culture tell to explain themselves
Q3. The author of the passage would be most likely to make which of the following recommendations to scholars of women’s history?
(a) They should take into account their own life experiences when interpreting the oral accounts of women’s historical experiences.
(b) They should assume that the observations made in women’s oral narratives are believed by the intended audience of the story.
(c) They should treat skeptically observations reported in oral narratives unless the observations can be confirmed in standard histories.
(d) They should consider the cultural and historical context in which an oral narrative was created before arriving at an interpretation of such a narrative.
(e) They should rely on information gathered from oral narratives only when equivalent information is not available in standard histories.
Q4. Which of the following best describes the function of the last sentence of the passage?
(a) It describes an event that historians view as crucial in recent women’s history.
(b) It provides an example of how political rhetoric may influence the interpretations of experience reported in women’s oral narratives.
(c) It provides an example of an oral narrative that inaccurately describes women’s experience during a particular historical period.
(d) It illustrates the point that some women are more aware than others of the social forces that shape their oral narratives.
(e) It identifies the historical conditions that led to the social acceptance of women’s paid work outside the home.
Q5. According to the passage, scholars of women’s history should refrain from doing which of the following?
(a) Relying on traditional historical sources when women’s oral narratives are unavailable
(b) Focusing on the influence of political rhetoric on women’s perceptions to the exclusion of other equally important factors
(c) Attempting to discover the cultural and historical factors that influence the stories women tell
(d) Assuming that the conventions of women’s written autobiographies are similar to the conventions of women’s oral narratives
(e) Accepting women’s oral narratives less critically than they accept women’s written histories
Q6. According to the passage, each of the following is a difference between women’s oral narratives and most standard histories EXCEPT:
(a) Women’s oral histories validate the significance of women’s achievements.
(b) Women’s oral histories depict experience from the point of view of women.
(c) Women’s oral histories acknowledge the influence of well-known women.
(d) Women’s oral histories present today’s women with a sense of their historical relationship to women of the past.
(e) Women’s oral histories are crucial to the collective identity of today’s women.
Directions (7-8): Choose the word which is most nearly the same in meaning as the word printed in bold as used in the passage.
Directions (9-15): Read the following passage carefully and answer these questions. Certain words have been printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
In recent years, teachers of introductory courses in Asian American studies have been facing a dilemma nonexistent a few decades ago, when hardly any texts in that field were available. Today, excellent anthologies and other introductory texts exist, and books on individual Asian American nationality groups and on general issues important for Asian American are published almost weekly. Even professors who are experts in the field find it difficult to decide which of these to assign to students; nonexperts who teach in related areas and are looking for writings for and by Asian Americans to include in survey courses are in an even worse position.
A complicating factor has been the continuing lack of specialized one-volume reference works on Asian Americans, such as biographical dictionaries or desktop encyclopedias. Such works would enable students taking. Asian American studies courses (and professors in related fields) to look up basic information on Asian American individuals, institutions, history, and culture without having to wade through mountains of primary source material. In addition, given such works, Asian American studies professors might feel more free to include more challenging Asian American material in their introductory reading lists, since good reference works allow students to acquire on their own the background information necessary to interpret difficult or unfamiliar material.
Q9. The author of the passage is primarily concerned with doing which of the following?
(a) Recommending a methodology
(b) Describing a course of study
(c) Discussing a problem
(d) Evaluating a past course of action
(e) Responding to a criticism
Q10. The “dilemma” mentioned in the passage can best be characterized as being caused by the necessity to make a choice when faced with a
(a) lack of acceptable alternatives
(b) lack of strict standards of evaluating alternatives
(c) preponderance of bad alternatives as compared to good
(d) multitude of different alternatives
(e) large number of alternatives that are nearly identical in content
Q11. The passage suggest that the factor mentioned in the passage complicates professors’ attempts to construct introductory reading lists for courses in Asian American studies in which of the following ways?
(a) By making it difficult for professors to identify primary source material and to obtain standard information on Asian American history and culture
(b) By preventing professors from identifying excellent anthologies and introductory texts in the field that are both recent and understandable to students
(c) By preventing professors for adequately evaluating the quality of the numerous texts currently being published in the field
(d) By making it more necessary for professors to select readings for their courses that are not too challenging for students unfamiliar with Asian American history and culture
(e) By making it more likely that the readings professors assign to students in their courses will be drawn solely from primary sources
Q12. The passage implies that which of the following was true of introductory courses in Asian American studies a few decades ago?
(a) The range of different textbooks that could be assigned for such courses was extremely limited.
(b) The texts assigned as readings in such courses were often not very challenging for students.
(c) Students often complained about the texts assigned to them in such courses.
(d) Such courses were offered only at schools whose libraries were rich in primary sources.
(e) Such courses were the only means then available by which people in the United States could acquire knowledge of the field.
Q13. According to the passage, the existence of good one-volume reference works about Asian Americans could result in
(a) increased agreement among professors of Asian American studies regarding the quality of the sources available in their field
(b) an increase in the number of students signing up for introductory courses in Asian American studies
(c) increased accuracy in writings that concern Asian American history and culture
(d) the use of introductory texts about Asian American history and culture in courses outside the field of Asian American studies
(e) the inclusion of a wider range of Asian American material in introductory reading lists in Asian American studies
Directions (14-15): Choose the word/phrase which is most opposite in meaning of the word printed in bold as used in the passage.
(b) Unqualified for
(d) Inept at
Sol. discussing the appeal of a particular methodology and some concerns about its use
Sol. The conventions of storytelling in the culture in which a woman storyteller lives
Sol. They should consider the cultural and historical context in which an oral narrative was created before arriving at an interpretation of such a narrative.
Sol. It provides an example of how political rhetoric may influence the interpretations of experience reported in women’s oral narratives.
Sol. Accepting women’s oral narratives less critically than they accept women’s written histories
Sol. Women’s oral histories acknowledge the influence of well-known women.
Sol. rhetoric- language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect, but which is often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content.
magniloquence-use of high-flown language.
Sol. pivotal- of crucial importance in relation to the development or success of something else.
Sol. Discussing a problem
Sol. multitude of different alternatives
Sol. By making it more necessary for professors to select readings for their courses that are not too challenging for students unfamiliar with Asian American history and culture
Sol. The range of different textbooks that could be assigned for such courses was extremely limited.
Sol. the inclusion of a wider range of Asian American material in introductory reading lists in Asian American studies
Sol. specialized- used by or intended for experts in a particular field of knowledge
Sol. interpret-to make plain or understandable
obfuscate-to make (something) more difficult to understand