According to the passage, which one of the following is true?

on November 24, 2019

Can someone please let me know where this is located?

I also was wondering if you have any tips on this besides practicing. This is by far my worst section (averaging about 20 questions correct in all other sections, but around 13-14 in RC). I read the passages thoroughly, but the more difficult passages I simply do not understand without re-reading multiple times, and even then I don't fully understand them. Anything helps, thanks!

1 Reply

Irina on November 24, 2019


This is a challenging passage, but like any reading comprehension passage it requires no outside knowledge. Instead of trying to understand every detail, try to focus on main points - what is the author trying to say? what is his main idea? what evidence does he use in support of his argument?
Do you tend to get the same number of questions correct/ wrong if you work on a timed versus untimed reading comprehension section?

The question asks us which of the following is true according to the passage. For this type of question, the answer would rarely be a direct quote from a passage, rather it is a paraphrase or summary of one or more ideas expressed in the passage. It is important to pay attention to answer choices that are too broad and force you to make unsupported inferences - the correct answer to this question is MUST BE TRUE according to the passage, thus we must be careful not to make any assumptions.

Let's look at each of the answer choices:

(A) Comparative clinical trials that meet the theoretical equipoise standard present no ethical problems.
Incorrect. The passage tells us that adherence to this standard only addresses the ethical mandate to prescribe the best available treatment (lines 1-14), but we have no information about any other ethical issues that may arise out of comparative clinical trials.

(B) Clinical researchers are often forced to suspend the trial prematurely because initial trial favors one treatment over the other.
Incorrect. The passage tells us that because of the stringent nature of the theoretical equipoise standard if at any point of the trial, the physician favors one treatment over another based on initial evidence, the study could not proceed to completion (lines 25-32), but we cannot conclude that this in fact happens "often" as (B) suggests.

(C) A clinical trial is not rendered unethical merely because one of participating physicians has come to favor one treatment over another.
Correct. The last paragraph states that if one or more researchers have developed a preference it is not an ethical bar to participation in the trial (lines 50-53).

(D) A comparative clinical study that meets the standard of clinical equipoise would also meet the standard of theoretical equipoise.
Incorrect. The passage tells us that theoretical equipoise is a more strict standard that requires that participating physicians have no opinion as to what treatment is superior, whereas under the clinical equipoise physicians are allowed to have preferences as long as divergent opinions exist within the broader medical community (lines 48-56). Thus, we can conclude that a study that meets the clinical equipoise standard would not necessarily meet the theoretical one.

(E) Medical researchers generally try to conduct studies in accordance with the standard of clinical equipoise.
Incorrect. Lines 8-13 and 33-35 suggest that traditionally, clinical researchers have adhered to the theoretical equipoise standard, and the author argues that a new standard of clinical equipoise should be developed, suggesting that it is not currently in use.

Let me know if this helps and if you have any other questions.