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PrepTest 73, Passage 1, Question 7


Question seven asks about the primary purpose of the passage. That's a question that we call a primary purpose question, because we are very creative in the way we name questions. The primary purpose question is a lot like a main point question. Really they're slightly different ways of asking the same thing. What was the author's overall agenda in writing this passage?

Generally speaking, primary purpose questions are going to be more abstract than main point questions. They're gonna describe it, not in terms of the concrete details, but more generally. You're gonna need to match the concepts from the answer choices to whatever happened in the passage. And the correct answer to this question will have to agree with the correct answer that you gave to question one, the main point question way back.

Because both of them are asking about the same thing. If you recall, the thing that our author was trying to do was attack the strict constructions. So we're looking for something that says that. Let's go to the answers. Answer choice A, argue in favor of a recently proposed hypothesis.

Well the author is on someone's side, but that would be Darwin. And Darwin's isn't the recently proposed hypothesis, Darwin is the old fashioned way. These newfangled strict constructionist, they're the ones who are wrong. So it's not A, look at B, summarize a contemporary debate. This is almost what we want, but the author isn't just summarizing, the author is taking a stand.

One sides right and the other side is wrong. So answer choice C, demonstrate that a particular view is incorrect. Yeah, the particular view, that's the strict constructionists, the author is trying to show that they're wrong. So C is what we wanted. What's wrong with D and E?

D says criticize the proponents of a traditional theory. Our author is criticizing the proponents of a theory, but not the traditional theory, that be Darwin. The author is criticizing proponents of a new theory, or an extreme version of an old theory. And answer choice E, explain why a particular theory is gaining popularity.

The author doesn't tell us why people are joining with the strict constructionists, the author explains why they're wrong. So the answer was answer choice C and that's the last question on the passage.

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