TEST - 1
SECTION - III
Each passage in this group is followed by questions based on its content. After
reading a passage, choose the best answer for each question. Answer all
questions following a passage on the basis of what is stated or implied in that
has been known for many decades that the appearance of sunspots
is roughly periodic, with an average cycle of eleven years.
Moreover, the incidence of solar flares and the flux of solar
cosmic rays, ultraviolet radiation, and x-radiation all vary
directly with the sunspot cycle. But after more than a century
of investigation, the relation of these and other phenomena,
known collectively as the solar-activity cycle, to terrestrial
weather and climate remains unclear. For example, the sunspot
cycle and the allied magnetic-polarity cycle have been stable as
rainfall, temperature, and winds. Invariably, however, the
relation is weak, and usually of dubious statistical
Information about the effects of solar variability over longer terms
has also been
sought. The absence of recorded sunspot activity in the notes
kept by European observers in the late seventeenth and early
eighteenth centuries has led some scholars to postulate a brief
cessation of sunspot activity at that time (a period called the
Maunder minimum). The Maunder minimum has been linked to a span
of unusual cold in Europe extending from the sixteenth to the
early nineteenth centuries. The reality of the Maunder minimum
has yet to be established, however, especially since the records
that Chinese naked eye observers of solar activity made at that
time appear to contradict it. Scientists have also sought
evidence of long-term solar periodicities by examining indirect
climatological data, such as fossil records of the thickness of
ancient tree rings. These studies, however, failed to link
unequivocally terrestrial climate and the solar-activity cycle,
or even to confirm the cycle's past existence.
If consistent and reliable geological or archaeological evidence
tracing the solar-activity cycle in the distant past could be
found, it might also resolve an important issue in solar
physics: how to model solar activity. Currently, there are two
models of solar activity. The first supposes that the Sun's
internal motions (caused by rotation and convection) interact
with its large-scale magnetic field to produce a dynamo, a
device in which mechanical energy is converted into the energy
of a magnetic field. In short, the Sun's large-scale magnetic
field is taken to be self-sustaining, so that the solar-activity
cycle it drives would be maintained with little overall change
for perhaps billions of years. The alternative explanation
supposes that the Sun's large-scale magnetic field is a remnant
of the field the Sun acquired when it formed, and is not
sustained against decay. In this model, the solar mechanism
dependent on the Sun's magnetic field runs down more quickly.
Thus, the characteristics of the solar-activity cycle could be
expected to change over a long period of time. Modern solar
observations span too short a time to reveal whether present
cyclical solar activity is a long-lived feature of the Sun, or
merely a transient phenomenon.
author focuses primarily on
(A) Presenting two competing scientific theories concerning
solar activity and evaluating geological evidence often cited to
(B) Giving a
brief overview of some recent scientific developments in solar
physics and assessing their impact on future climatological
the difficulties involved in linking terrestrial phenomena with
solar activity and indicating how resolving that issue could
have an impact on our understanding of solar physics.
out the futility of a certain line of scientific inquiry into
the terrestrial effects of solar activity and recommending its
abandonment in favor of purely physics-oriented research.
the specific reasons why a problem in solar physics has not yet
been solved and faulting the overly theoretical approach of
The question is a primary purpose or main idea question. The general
outline of the main idea of a passage can usually be discerned by
reading the initial parts of the paragraph and the concluding part of
(A) These are no two
competing scientific theories concerning solar activity in the passage.
The two models of solar activity mentioned in the third passage cannot
be mistaken to be two theories concerning solar spot activity and its
correlation with phenomena and earth. No geological evidence is cited in
support of the two models. Rather author wishes that geological evidence
tracing the solar activity cycle, (not the models of solar activity)
would be found.
(B) There are no new or
recent developments in solar physics mentioned in neither the passage
nor a brief overview given of these given. Therefore the question of
assessing their impact on future climatological research does not arise.
(C) The first two
paragraphs discuss the difficulty faced in correlating the solar cycle
activity and terrestrial phenomena. The third paragraph indicates how
specifically ascertaining the solar activity cycle would solve an
important problem in solar physics that of how to model solar
(D) The first two
paragraphs do make clear that there is indeed little correlation between
observed solar activity and terrestrial phenomena. Nowhere does the
author say that this line of enquiry that tries to understand the
terrestrial effect of solar activity is futile or useless. The author
also does not suggest abandoning this line of enquiry in favor of purely
physics oriented research. He merely mentions that a problem in solar
physics could be solved if definite pattern of solar activity were to be
(E) This choice speaks
only about why a problem mentioned in the third paragraph in solar
physics has not been solved yet; the problem of modeling solar activity.
This is because, there is no consistent and reliable geological or
archaeological evidence tracing the solar activity cycle.
The correct answer is option C.
Percent correctly answered: 63.
of the following statements about the two models of solar
activity, as they are described in lines 37-55, is accurate?
(A) In both
models cyclical solar activity is regarded as a long-lived
feature of the Sun, persisting with little change over billions
(B) In both
models the solar-activity cycle is hypothesized as being
dependent on the large-scale solar magnetic field.
(C) In one
model the Sun's magnetic field is thought to play a role in
causing solar activity, whereas in the other model it is not.
(D) In one
model solar activity is presumed to be unrelated to terrestrial
phenomena, whereas in the other model solar activity is though
to have observable effects on the Earth.
(E) In one
model cycles of solar activity with periodicities longer than a
few decades are considered to be impossible, whereas in the
other model such cycles are predicted.
This is a direct
(A) While it is true to
say that in both model solar activity is a long lived feature of the
Sun, it is incorrect to say that in both models solar activity persisted
with little as no change over billions of years. This is time for the
first model only. Ina the alternative model, the author states that the
characteristics of the solar activity cycle could be expected to change
over a long period of time.
(B) In the first model
the solar-activity cycle is generated when the sun's internal motion
interact with the sun's large-scale magnetic field. This produces a
dynamo, a device in which mechanical energy is converted into the energy
of a magnetic field. The passage states that, solar activity depends on the magnetic field. The second model is thought to have originated
when the sun formed. In this model also solar activity is dependent
sun's magnetic field.
(C) In both models it
is the sun's magnetic field plays the causative sole in solar activity.
The differences between the two models concern the origins of the sun's
magnetic field which drives the solar activity cycle.
(D) The passage states
that, the model of solar activity could be constructed if reliable and
consistent geological as archaeological evidence trains the solar
activity cycle of the distant past is found. This fact applies to both
the models. Finding terrestrial evidence would solve the problem of how
to model the solar activity. There are two models of solar activity, and
there might have been any number of them. All of these models would be
dependent for verification on the terrestrial evidence.
(E) The passage no
where says that in none model of solar activity long time periods
between solar activity cycles are considered impossible, and in the
other that such long time period longer than a few decades in fact will
occur. The current solar activity period is stated to be eleven years.
Whether this cyclical period is long lived or temporary feature of solar
activity is uncertain.
The correct answer is option B.
Percent correctly answered: 63.
to the passage, late seventeenth-and early eighteenth-century
Chinese records are important for which of the following
(A) They suggest that the data on which the Maunder minimum was
predicated were incorrect.
(B) They suggest that the Maunder minimum cannot be related to
(C) They suggest that the Maunder minimum might be valid only
(D) They establish the existence of a span of unusually cold
weather worldwide at the time of the Maunder minimum.
(E) They establish that solar activity at the time of the
Maunder minimum did not significantly vary from its present
This is a direct
question about the Chinese records of observations of solar activity.
(A) Some scholars
theorized that since there were no records of sun spot activity by
European observers of the phenomenon, there was a temporary break or
inactivity of sun spot activity, which was called the Maunder minimum.
The Chinese recorded solar activity during the time of the Maunder
minimum, which contradicted the theory that data or the back of it on
which scholars postulated the Maunder minimum were incorrect. Therefore
the Chinese records are important.
(B) Climatologically data
which the scientists examined and the Chinese records of the late
seventeenth and early eighteenth century are unrelated.
(C) It is incorrect to
state that since the Chinese observed sunspot activity, that this solar
activity is not valid for Europe. To state that the cessation of solar
activity called the Maunder minimum is applicable only to Europe is
absord. Sun spot activity takes place in the Sun irrespective of what
geographical regions exist on the earth.
(D) The Chinese naked
eye observations of sunspot activity in fact contradict the theory of
the Maunder minimum, which states that there was a cessation of sunspot
activity for some time. The Maunder minimum correlated with a span of
unusually cold weather in Europe. Since the Chinese records contradict
the maunder minimum there is no question of establishing what was
thought to be the effect of the Maunder minimum locally in Europe, much
(E) The Chinese records
do not indicate the time period of the sun spot cycle. Therefore it
cannot be concluded that the solar activity at the time of the Maunder
minimum did not differ significantly from the present pattern of an
The correct answer is option A.
Percent correctly answered: 64.
can be inferred from the passage that the argument in favor of
the model described in lines 37-45 would be strengthened if
which of the following were found to be true?
(A) Episodes of intense volcanic eruptions in the distant past
occurred in cycles having very long periodicities.
(B) At the present time the global level of thunderstorm
activity increases and decreases in cycles with periodicities of
approximately 11 years.
(C) In the distant past cyclical climatic changes had
periodicities of longer than 200 years.
(D) In the last century the length of the sunspot cycle has been
known to vary by as much as 2 years from its average periodicity
of 11 years.
(E) Hundreds of millions of years ago, solar-activity cycles
displayed the same periodicities as do present-day
The argument mentioned
in the specific lines is that of a self-sustaining magnetic field of the
sun, virtually undisturbed over billions of years.
(A) To state that when
the time span between solar cycles was long intense volcanic activity
was evident during solar activity does not in any way prone that solar
cycle activity has remained unchanged for billions of years.
(B) This choice states
that terrestrial climate activity i.e. global level of thunderstorms
increases and decreases corresponding to the present 11-year solar
cycle. This does not prone that the same 11 year solar cycle has
continued for billions of years. Terrestrial climate has an uncertain
relationship to solar activity.
(C) Whether cyclical
climate changes occurred at intervals of longer that 200 years or not,
does not in any way strengthen that the solar activity has continued in
undisturbed cycles for billions of years.
(D) What happened
during one century, or variations in solar cycle activity does not
strengthen the model that says solar activity has remained unchanged for
billions of years. It is fact contradicts the model.
(E) If the present day
periodicity of solar activity, roughly on 11 year cycle is the same
cycle that occurred hundreds of millions of years ago, and if the model
predicts a self sustaining magnetic field that regulates solar activity
with no change then this fact supports the solar activity model which
states that the sunspot activity has remained unchanged over billions of
The correct answer is option E.
Percent correctly answered: 64.