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Sample GMAT Test Questions

By Peterson's Staff updated on Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Getting ready to take the GMAT? Try these sample GMAT test questions to see where to focus your preparation and study efforts. Answers are provided at the end of all the questions.

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Reading Comprehension

"Urodeles," a class of vertebrates that includes newts and salamanders, have the enviable ability to regenerate arms, legs, tails, heart muscle, jaws, spinal cords, and other organs. "Planaria," simple worms, can be sliced and diced in hundreds of pieces, with each piece giving rise to a completely new animal. However, while both "urodeles" and "planaria" have the capacity to regenerate, they use different means to accomplish this feat.

In effect, a "urodeles" specimen turns back the biological clock. First, the animal heals the wound at the site of the missing limb. Then various specialized cells at the site, such as bone, skin, and blood cells, lose their identity and revert to cells as unspecialized as those in the embryonic limb bud. This process is called dedifferentiation, and the resulting blastema, a mass of unspecialized cells, proliferates rapidly to form a limb bud. Ultimately, when the new limb takes shape, the cells take on the specialized roles they had previously cast off.

In contrast, "planaria" regenerate using cells called neoblasts. Scattered within the planarian body, these neoblasts remain in an unspecialized, stem-cell state, which enables them at need to differentiate into any cell type. Whenever "planari"a are cut, the neoblasts migrate to the site and form a blastema by themselves. It is interesting to note that this mechanism is similar to that following reproductive fission in these animals, and that species incapable of this form of asexual reproduction have poorly developed regenerative capacities.

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to:

(A) describe the roles of blastemas in regenerating "urodeles" and "planaria."
(B) describe how "urodeles" use the process of dedifferentiation to regenerate.
(C) contrast the mechanisms by which "urodeles" and "planaria" accomplish regeneration.
(D) show how methods of cellular regeneration have evolved in different animal species.
(E) explain the link between reproductive fission and regeneration in simple worms.

2. All of the following are true of dedifferentiation in regenerating "urodeles" EXCEPT:

(A) the cells recover their specialized roles after the limb bud takes shape.
(B) it involves a regression by cells to an earlier stage of development.
(C) specialized cells migrate to the site of the blastema and proliferate rapidly.
(D) the healing of the wound at the site of the injury is the first step of the process.
(E) dedifferentiation is characterized by a loss, and then recovery, of cellular identity.

Sentence Corrections

1. In the years after he left the White House, Richard Nixon strove to burnish his image for history more assiduously than did any former president.

(A) more assiduously than did any former president.
(B) more assiduously than any other former president.
(C) with an assiduousness unmatched by any former president.
(D) with more assiduousness than did any other former president.
(E) more assiduously in comparison to any former president.

Critical Reasoning

When the state of Tennessee passed a law prohibiting the teaching of the theory of evolution in its public schools, leaders of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) persuaded John T. Scopes, a teacher in Dayton, Tennessee, to teach evolution in his classroom in order to test the law in court. However, because Scopes did not break the law on his own initiative, he should never have been brought to trial.

1. Which of the following is an assumption underlying the conclusion of the passage above?

(A) Those who commit crimes at the suggestion of others should not be held responsible for their actions.
(B) Both Scopes and the ACLU leaders should have been tried for breaking the law.
(C) The ACLU leaders, rather than Scopes, should have been brought to trial.
(D) Groups like the ACLU should not encourage criminal activities as a means of testing laws.
(E) Tennessee did not have the right to make the teaching of evolution a crime.

Math Multiple-Choice

1. For which n is the remainder largest when the number 817,380 is divided by n?

(A) 4
(B) 5
(C) 6
(D) 8
(E) 9

Data Sufficiency

1. If x is an odd integer, is y an odd integer?

(1) The average of x and y is odd.
(2) The average of x, y, and (y + 1) is an integer.

(A) Statement (1) is, by itself, enough to enable you to answer the question, but statement (2) is not enough.
(B) Statement (1) is not enough, by itself, to answer the question, but statement (2) is enough.
(C) Combining statements (1) and (2) provides enough information to answer the question.
(D) Either statement, by itself, provides enough information to answer the question.
(E) Neither statement contains sufficient data to answer the question.

Analysis of an Issue (sample only)

Directions: Read the statement and the instructions that follow it, and then make any notes that will help you plan your response. Write your response on scrap paper or type it on a word processor.

"People often complain that the introduction of new labor-saving machines costs workers their jobs. However, most new technologies actually create more jobs than they destroy."

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the opinion expressed above? Support your views with reasons and examples drawn from your own experiences, observations, or reading.

Analysis of an Argument (sample only)

Directions: Read the statement and the instructions that follow it, and then make any notes that will help you plan your response. Write your response on scrap paper or type it on a word processor.

The following appeared as part of a plan proposed by an executive of the Stan Doncé Magazine Group to the company's president.

"Our need for printing services varies from month to month, depending on the size of our magazines and variations in scheduling. Working with outside printers has necessitated a constant scramble for adequate press time at reasonable prices. If we were to buy and operate our own printing operation, we would be better able to control both the availability and the cost of printing our magazines, which would have a favorable impact on the efficiency and profitability of our business."

Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion, be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and the use of evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion. You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refute the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.

GMAT Answers

Reading Comprehension

1. The correct answer is (C). The last sentence of the first paragraph sets forth this central theme. The paragraphs that follow give the relevant details.

2. The correct answer is (C). As paragraph two explains, the specialized cells "lose their identity and revert" to being unspecialized cells, forming a blastema. Only after this do they proliferate; so it's wrong to say that the "specialized cells . . . proliferate rapidly," as choice (C) does.

Sentence Corrections

1. The correct answer is (B). Since Nixon was himself a former president, he is a member of the group with which he is being compared in the final part of the sentence. Therefore, the word "other" is essential to make the comparison logical.

Critical Reasoning

1. The correct answer is (A). Reread the last sentence of the passage. The author contends that Scopes should not have been tried for his "crime" because he "did not break the law on his own initiative." The implication is that a person whose crime is originally suggested by another should not be held responsible for that crime.

Math Multiple-Choice

1. The correct answer is (D). 817,380 is divisible by all the numbers in the list except 8. Hence, 8 must give the largest remainder because it is the only one that is not zero. To start, 7,380 is divisible by 5 because it ends in 0. It is divisible by 2 because it is even and by 4 because 80 is divisible by 4. However, it is not divisible by 8 because 380 isn't. In addition, the sum of its digits is 27, which is divisible by 3 and by 9. Because it is divisible by both 2 and 3, it is also divisible by 6.

Data Sufficiency

1. The correct answer is (A). Statement (1) alone tells us more than we need to know. Simply knowing that the average of x and y is a whole number is enough to tell us that y is odd, since the only way for the average to be a whole number is for the sum of x and y to be even. Thus, if x is odd, so is y. Statement (2) alone is not sufficient. If y is odd, then y + 1 is even; and if y is even, then y + 1 is odd. In either case, x + y + (y + 1) is the sum of two odds and an even, which must be even. There are many even numbers that are divisible by 3, giving an integer for the average.

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