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PrepTest 73, Passage 4, Question 22


Question 22 inquires about the main purpose of both passages. So it's a main point question. It's also comparative. Each of the answer choices lists a main point for each passage in turn, so every answer choice is double. Here's passage A's main point, here's passage B's main point.

Remember, the main point doesn't have to mention every single concept that came up, it just has to be broad enough to cover all of them. And as you're reading, one of your goals should be to look for the main point. So you should have a pretty good pre-phrase or prediction before you go into the answer choices. And these passages weren't particularly shy about hiding their main points.

Passage A lays out some theoretical principles for property, the two that would exist in the ideal world, and the third that is needed for our world. And then passage B gives us a specific case to which those principles would apply. Specifically, the third principle, the case of the Native Americans and the Europeans.

So that's what we're gonna be looking for when we go to the answers. The nice thing about a comparative main point question is you do get two opportunities for elimination. So if the main point of A isn't right, it doesn't matter what it says for B, and vice versa. So answer choice A, passage A proposes a solution to a moral problem, passage B criticizes.

Well, passage B doesn't criticize anything, so that doesn't work. Answer choice B, passage A is sketching a general outline of a branch of moral theory. Well, sure, the branch of moral theory would be the just principles of property. And then passage B to give a moral analysis of a real case, that fits. The real case being the North Americans versus the Europeans, the invasion, and such.

So answer choice B fits what we're looking for, but why are the other answers wrong? Well, answer choice C forgets one thing, and that is that passage A had three principles, not two. They don't really spell out the details, just the theoretical framework. Passage B might be okay for this one. But they both have to match in order for the answer to be right.

Answer choice D, passage B isn't questioning assumptions. Passage B isn't questioning, it's an example of the original in practice. And then answer choice E, once again, passage B isn't doing any counter work. It's not providing counterexamples. It's an example. So the correct answer was answer choice B.

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