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GMAT RC Practice Questions

GMAT RC Practice | Long Passage 1

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This is a GMAT Reading Comprehension Practice Passage. This GMAT RC passage is a long passage and long GMAT RC passages are typically followed by about four questions. Here, we have included four reading comprehension questions for practice following this GMAT RC passage on a culture topic. Read the passage and try the four questions. These reading comprehension questions also test different RC question types – we have two RC inference questions, one GMAT Main Idea question, and one stated idea question. After reading the GMAT passage and answering the reading comprehension questions, check out the detailed explanatory answers at the bottom of the page.


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Passage

Over the past five decades, Spanish television has served as a microcosm, reflecting the transformative journey of women within Spanish society. From the vestiges of Franco’s conservative regime in the 1970s to the burgeoning progressive movements of the 21st century, the evolution of female characters and narratives on screen paints a compelling portrait of this societal shift.

Initially, women were largely confined to domestic spheres, conforming to the prevailing expectations of feminine subservience. Television programming of this era rarely ventured beyond portraying women as homemakers and caregivers, offering scant representation of female characters wielding authority or embodying multifaceted personalities. However, as Spain embraced democracy in the latter half of the 20th century, a discernible, albeit gradual, shift took root during the 1980s and 1990s. The influence of feminist ideology and the burgeoning presence of women in the workforce began to permeate the portrayal of women on television as lawyers, doctors, and business leaders – a stark departure from the earlier stereotypical depictions. These characters not only pursued careers but also navigated the complexities of personal lives, challenging the long-held notion that professional success was antithetical to a fulfilling family life.

The early years of the 21st century witnessed an acceleration of this trend. The portrayal of women on television grew more nuanced and diverse, showcasing single mothers, women in unconventional professions, and even female protagonists in action and drama genres. Furthermore, these shows began to tackle critical societal issues, including gender discrimination, domestic violence, and sexual harassment, reflecting a deeper engagement with contemporary concerns. Series like “Las Chicas del Cable” not only foreground the ongoing struggle for women’s rights but also seamlessly integrate these themes into captivating historical narratives, ensuring their accessibility and relevance to a global audience. These portrayals not only represents a dynamic evolution in character development but also underscores a broader cultural transformation towards a more egalitarian perspective on gender roles.

Questions

01. Which of the following can be inferred about the influence of feminist ideologies on Spanish television, mentioned in the second paragraph?
A. The ideology influenced the type of advertisements shown during television shows, especially ones targeted at women.
B. The ideology led to the development of characters that were predominantly unseen in Spanish television before then.
C. Feminist ideology led to Spanish television portraying women who were more interested in their careers than in their home life.
D. The influence of the ideology was less impactful than the increasing number of women in the workforce who wanted to see their lives reflected on TV.
E. The ideology had no impact in the early 1900s because it was ignored by television producers who opposed the school of thought.

02. Which of the following is not explicitly stated as a portrayal of women in Spanish television shows over the years?
A. As professionals in various fields
B. As the lead in action shows
C. As homemakers and caregivers
D. As single mothers
E. As victims of gender discrimination

03. It is likely that the depiction of single mothers in Spanish television reflects which of these broader societal changes?
A. A decline in government policies aimed at supporting and accommodating single-parent households.
B. An increase in economic independence of women and the declining need for a man in their lives.
C. An Increased acceptance of diverse family structures outside the traditional nuclear family model.
D. A decrease in the value placed by society on marriage and a departure from the Catholic Church influence on family values.
E. A demonstrable decrease in the overdramatization typically found in traditional storylines.

04. What is the primary focus of the passage?
A. Describe types of careers that women characters have had in Spanish television shows.
B. Portray the shift from traditional to modern roles of Spanish women as depicted in television.
C. Determine the influence of international audiences on Spanish television shows.
D. Discuss historical events that influenced television from the 1970s onward.
E. Evaluate the impact of feminist ideology on television programming.

Correct Answer and Explanation

Answers:
  1. B
  2. E
  3. C
  4. B
Question 1

The second paragraph states, “The influence of feminist ideology and the burgeoning presence of women in the workforce began to permeate the portrayal of women on television as lawyers, doctors, and business leaders – a stark departure from the earlier stereotypical depictions.” This directly supports the idea that feminist ideologies led to new types of female characters on television, making choice (B) the correct answer.

Why Other Options are Incorrect?

Option A. Advertisements: The passage doesn’t mention how feminist ideologies impacted advertising specifically. It primarily concerns the portrayal of women within television programs and plots.
Option C. Work vs. Home Balance: The passage mentions that female characters often balanced careers with family life, indicating a focus on portraying women in a more realistic, multifaceted context rather than exclusively prioritizing careers over home life.
Option D. Women in Workforce vs. Ideology: The passage credits both feminist ideology and the increasing number of women in the workforce as factors that influenced television. However, we do not know which one had the greater influence.
Option E. Early 1900s: This option introduces a time period (early 1900s) that is not discussed in the passage. The shift in character portrayal seems to be more around the 1980s and 1990s.

Question 2

While Spanish television shows might touch upon themes of gender discrimination or depict sexist attitudes, the passage doesn’t explicitly state that women are portrayed primarily or specifically as victims of discrimination. Option (E) is not explicitly given in the passage. Because the question asks for stated information, look for what is clearly given and not what ideas can be construed based on the information. The other options have stronger support from the text:

Option A. As professionals in various fields: Mentioned in the second paragraph, fourth sentence.
Option B. As the lead in action shows: Mentioned in the third paragraph, second sentence.
Option C. As homemakers and caregivers: Mentioned in the second paragraph, second sentence.
Option D. As single mothers: Mentioned in the third paragraph, second sentence.

Question 3

The passage repeatedly emphasizes the shift away from traditional family models in Spanish society. The inclusion of single mothers in television shows directly reflects a growing acceptance of diverse family forms outside of the “nuclear family” standard. This idea is supported throughout the text, with mentions of “transformative journey of women within Spanish society,” a movement away from “conservative regimes,” and Spain’s growing “egalitarian perspective on gender roles.” Choice (C) is the correct answer.

Why the Other Options Are Incorrect?

Option A. Government Policies: The passage doesn’t address government policies specifically. While they might play a role in real life, the passage does not discuss the government at all.
Option B. Economic Independence: When discussing single mothers, the passage makes no mention of economic independence. In fact, while economic independence is hinted at, it is not one of the broader changes in TV portrayal of women.
Option D. Decline of Marriage Values: The passage makes no mention of a potential decline in the influence of the Catholic Church, nor does it imply that portrayal of single mothers in TV indicates that there is a decrease in the societal value placed on marriage in general.
Option E. Overdramatization: This option isn’t related to the core message of the passage or the inclusion of single mothers in narratives.

Question 4

Option (B) accurately captures the overarching theme of the passage, which traces how Spanish television reflects the changing roles of women in Spanish society over time. It goes beyond merely listing careers and encompasses the move from traditional domestic portrayals to more diverse, modern representations.

Why Other Options are Incorrect?

Option A. Careers: While the passage mentions careers, it’s not the central focus. The emphasis is on the evolving nature of portrayals throughout history, not just a list of specific professions.
Option C. International Influence: The passage doesn’t explore the impact of international audiences at all.
Option D. Historical Events: While the passage touches on Franco’s regime and the transition to democracy, its primary focus is on the changing roles of women, not detailing a timeline of historical events. Also, the option does not mention Spanish television specifically.
Option E. Feminist Ideology: Although feminist ideology is mentioned as an influencing factor, the passage’s focus is broader. It’s about the overall shift in women’s roles, which feminist ideology likely contributed to, but doesn’t fully encompass.

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