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AAMC Practice Test 11

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Physical Sciences

PHYSICAL SCIENCES ANSWER KEY

1. B 14. A 27. A 40. D

2. B 15. D 28. B 41. D

3. D 16. B 29. D 42. C

4. D 17. C 30. C 43. B

5. A 18. B 31. B 44. B

6. A 19. A 32. B 45. A

7. A 20. A 33. B 46. C

8. D 21. D 34. A 47. D

9. D 22. A 35. A 48. B

10. C 23. D 36. C 49. C

11. D 24. B 37. D 50. B

12. B 25. B 38. C 51. D

13. D 26. D 39. D 52. A

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AAMC Test 11 Explanations

AAMC TEST 11 PHYSICAL SCIENCES—KAPLAN EXPLANATIONS

Passage I (Items 1–6)

Passage Map

Passage Type: Informational


Topic: Ammonia production
Scope: Two mechanisms for commercial production
Mapping the Passage:
¶1/Reaction 1: Haber process; net reaction and thermodynamic constraints
¶2/Reactions 2–3: Electrolytic production using SCY
¶3: Operating temperatures and limitations

1. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to explain why the electrochemical cell can be operated at atmospheric pressure
unlike the Haber process, which requires high pressure.
THINK: First, we need to ask ourselves why the Haber process requires high pressure. Next, we must determine
why the electrochemical cell would not need a similar forward push for the same net reaction.
PREDICT: ¶1 states that because the volume of gas decreases in the forward reaction, high pressure is needed to
drive the reaction forward. If the electrochemical cell does not require high pressure, it must either not be affected
by the change in gas volume or it uses another mechanism to drive the forward reaction. Since the change in gas
volume would have just as much effect on the electrochemical cell, we must assume the latter.
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction that something other than high pressure is driving the reaction forward.
(A) Distortion. This is not true. Le Châtelier’s principle applies to all chemical equilibria.
(C) Distortion. SCY is simply the conductor, it does not catalyze the reaction.
(D) Distortion. This is not true. If it were true, then the Haber process, which is also a redox reaction, would be
equally unaffected by increased pressure.

2. (B)
STOP: The question wants us to identify the half-reactions that occur at each electrode.
THINK: We can determine which element is oxidized or reduced by analyzing half-reactions 2 and 3 from ¶2 and
remembering that oxidation is a loss of electrons and reduction is a gain. Also, keeping in mind that reduction
occurs at the cathode and oxidation at the anode, we can predict where these reactions will occur.
PREDICT: Looking at half-reaction 2 we can see electrons in the products, which indicates a loss of electrons; in
other words, hydrogen is being oxidized. Half-reaction 3 shows electrons in the reactants, which indicates a gain
of electrons, so nitrogen is being reduced.
MATCH: Answer choice (B) correctly identifies both the half-reactions that are occurring and where each occurs.

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Physical Sciences

(A) Distortion. This choice places the half-reactions at the correct locations but incorrectly identifies the half-
reactions that are occurring.
(C) Distortion. This choice correctly identifies the half-reactions that are occurring but incorrectly identifies
their locations.
(D) Distortion. This choice incorrectly identifies both the half-reactions that are occurring and their locations.

3. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to identify the concept underlying the effects described in the question stem.
THINK: The question stem tells you the product is removed from the reaction mixture, which will shift the
equilibrium to drive the reaction forward. If we can recall the principle or law concerning chemical equilibrium shifts
based on product and reactant concentrations, we will have our answer.
PREDICT: Le Châtelier’s principle should immediately come to mind. It states that if a chemical system at
equilibrium experiences a change in pressure, temperature, volume, or concentration, then a new equilibrium will
be established to counteract the change.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction.
(A) Out of Scope. Boyle’s law describes the inverse relationship between pressure and volume when temperature
is held constant: P1V1 = P2V2.
(B) Out of Scope. Charles’s law describes the direct relationship between temperature and volume when pressure
is held constant: T1/V1 = T2/V2.
(C) Out of Scope. Heisenberg’s principle (also called the uncertainty principle) says it’s impossible to
simultaneously know, with high precision, both the position and momentum of a particle.

4. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the property conferred on ammonia by its lone pair of electrons.
THINK: What are the properties of lone pairs? They are nonbonding electrons but can play a role in acid/base
reactions. They also can affect molecular geometry through repulsion of bonding electrons.
PREDICT: With a “which of the following” style question, it is difficult to predict exactly what the answer is, but
we know that it should agree with what we know about lone pairs.
MATCH: Choice (D) correctly claims that ammonia can act as a Lewis base (electron pair donor), donating its lone
electron pair to the aqueous H⁺ ions that act as the Lewis acid (electron pair acceptor).
(A) Distortion. The lone electron pair in ammonia forces its hydrogen atoms into a trigonal pyramidal configuration,
not a trigonal planar configuration.
(B) Distortion. An oxidizing agent needs to be capable of either readily transferring oxygen atoms or accepting
electrons. Ammonia does not contain any oxygen atoms and the presence of the lone pair of electrons means
that it is more likely to donate than accept electrons.
(C) Opposite. Lewis acids accept electrons; the presence of the lone electron pair means ammonia is more likely
to donate its pair than to accept another.

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AAMC Test 11 Explanations

5. (A)
STOP: The question asks us what the catalyst does in the Haber process.
THINK: What role does a catalyst play in a chemical reaction? Catalysts act by lowering activation energy and
increasing the rate of the reaction. Catalysts do not, however, affect the equilibrium or product of the reaction.
PREDICT: We are looking for the answer choice that mentions increasing the rate of the reaction.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction.
(B) Distortion. Catalysts do not affect the yield of chemical reactions.
(C) Distortion. Catalysts do not affect chemical decomposition.
(D) Opposite. Catalysts do not affect the yield of chemical reactions.

6. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the best combination of temperatures for the SCY conductor and the
electrode, assuming we could control them separately.
THINK: We need to ask ourselves how temperature would affect each component. ¶2 tells us that the proton
conductivity of SCY increases with temperature. There is no mention of how temperature directly affects the electrode,
but ¶1 and ¶3 tell you that the reverse or decomposition reaction of ammonia is favored at higher temperatures.
PREDICT: Since the SCY conductor favors higher temperatures and the forward reaction favors lower temperatures,
we should predict that the optimum configuration is one where SCY has a higher temperature than the electrode.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction.
(B) Opposite. This choice is the opposite of our prediction.
(C) Distortion. Temperature affects SCY and the reactions occurring at the electrodes in different ways so it would
not be best to have them at the same temperature.
(D) Distortion. It is stated in the passage that temperature affects the conductivity of SCY as well as the
favorability of the reaction occurring at the electrode.

Passage II (Items 7–12)

Passage Map

Passage Type: Informational


Topic: Nitroglycerin
Scope: Physical and chemical properties
Mapping the Passage:
¶1: Physical properties and structure
¶2: Decomposition reaction
¶3: Standard enthalpies for decomposition reaction products
¶4: Bond energies
¶5: Pharmacological effects

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Physical Sciences

7. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to identify the single bond with the shortest length.
THINK: Since bond order is not a factor the only other information we have to go on is the bend energies provided
in ¶4. How is bond energy related to bond length? As bond strength increases, atoms are pulled closer together;
therefore, there’s an inverse relationship between bond strength and bond length.
PREDICT: Since we want the shortest bond we should predict that our answer is the choice with the highest bond
energy.
MATCH: The highest bond energy mentioned in ¶4 is for the C–H bond, choice (A).
(B) Distortion. C–H has a higher bond energy than C–O and therefore a shorter bond length.
(C) Distortion. C–H has a higher bond energy than C–C and therefore a shorter bond length.
(D) Opposite. O–N has the lowest bond energy, and therefore is the longest bond.

8. (D)
STOP: The question asks for an approximate volume of an ideal gas at STP.
THINK: What do we know about the volume of an ideal gas at STP? You should recall that at STP a mole of any
ideal gas has a volume of 22.4 L. With this information and the molar ratios from ¶2 we can calculate the volume
of N2(g):
6 mol N2 22.4 L N2
1 mol C3H5N3O9 × ​ ___________
4 mol C H N   
_______
O  ​ × ​ 1 mol N   
​= 33.6 L N2
3 5 3 9 2

PREDICT: Our prediction is that the volume of N2(g) will be 33.6 L.


MATCH: We do not find an exact match but notice that the question stem asks which is the closest. Choice (D)
is closest to our prediction. Also, note that we’re multiplying 22.4 L by a number greater than one, and (D) is the
only answer greater than 22.4 L.
(A) Miscalculation. You might get this answer if you use a ratio of 1:4 instead of 6:4.
(B) Miscalculation. You might get this answer if you use a ratio of 4:6 instead of 6:4.
(C) Miscalculation. You might get this answer if you stop at “one mole of an ideal gas is 22.4 liters at STP.”

9. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to calculate the mass of HNO3 required to convert 1 mole of glycerol to nitroglycerin.
THINK: To calculate the mass needed we first need to know the number of moles of HNO3 needed. How can we
find the number of moles of HNO3 needed when all we know is the number of moles of glycerol? We need to
write a balanced equation. First, we write the unbalanced reaction based on the information in the question stem:
C3H8O3 + HNO3 → C3H5N3O9 + H2O

Then we balance the reaction to find the molar ratio between glycerol and HNO3:
C3H8O3 + 3HNO3 → C3H5N3O9 + 3H2O

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AAMC Test 11 Explanations

Additionally, we need the molar mass of HNO3:


H: 1 × 1 g/mol = 1 g/mol
N: 1 × 14 g/mol = 14 g/mol
O3: 3 × 16 g/mol = 48 g/mol
1 + 14 + 48 = 63 g/mol HNO3

With this information we can calculate the mass of HNO3 required:


3 mol HNO 63 g HNO
1 mol glycerol × _________
​  3

1 mol glycerol
 ​ × ________
  ​ 
1 mol HNO
3
  ​ = 189 g HNO3

3

PREDICT: The mass of HNO3 required should be approximately 189 g.


MATCH: Choice (D) is the best match for our prediction.
(A) Miscalculation. Using a 2:1 ratio instead of a 3:1 ratio would give you this answer.
(B) Miscalculation. The mass required is approximately 189 g.
(C) Miscalculation. The mass required is approximately 189 g.

10. (C)
STOP: The question asks us to identify the correct Lewis structure for nitric oxide.
THINK: When trying to draw a Lewis structure, we start by counting the number of valence electrons. Nitrogen has
5 valence electrons and oxygen has 6, for a total of 11.
PREDICT: Since we have an odd total number of electrons, our correct answer must have an unpaired electron.
We should also have a formal charge as close to zero as possible for each atom.
MATCH: Only choice (C) fits the bill: nitrogen has an unpaired electron, and the formal charge is zero on both
atoms.
(A) Distortion. There’s no unpaired electron and nitrogen has a formal charge of +1.
(B) Distortion. There’s no unpaired electron and oxygen has a formal charge of +1.
(D) Distortion. There’s no unpaired electron and nitrogen has a formal charge of −1.

11. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the signs of ∆G° and ∆S° at 25°C.
THINK: Do we have any information that relates ∆G° and ∆S°? We should immediately recall the formula for
Gibbs free energy, ∆G° = ∆H° − T∆S°. To figure out ∆G° we will first need to consider ∆H° and ∆S°. Since the
passage gives us ∆H°f values for the reaction we could use Hess’s law to determine if ∆H° is positive or negative,
but there is a faster way. The passage refers to nitroglycerin as “highly explosive” and states that it undergoes
decomposition “violently.” These are both indications that the reaction is exothermic, so ∆H° must be negative.
To determine ∆S° we can look at the number of moles of gas in the balanced reaction. The balanced reaction
shows zero moles of gas in the reactants and lots of moles of gas in the products (29, to be precise) indicating
that the change in entropy ∆S° for this reaction is positive.
PREDICT: We have already determined that ∆S° is positive, which eliminates (B) and (C). Using the previously
stated formula for ∆G° and the fact that ∆H° is negative, ∆S° is positive, and temperature T must be positive,
we get:

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Physical Sciences

∆G° = ∆H° − T∆S° = (negative) − (positive)(positive) = negative − positive = negative

So we can confidently predict that ∆G° is also negative.


MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. This choice incorrectly identifies ∆G° as positive.
(B) Opposite. This choice gets both parts of our prediction wrong.
(C) Distortion. This choice incorrectly identifies ∆S° as negative.

12. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the product that would cause the highest pressure in a 3-L tank at
constant temperature.
THINK: If we consider the ideal gas law we can identify the variables that will affect pressure:
P = ​ ___
nRT
 ​
V   

Because the question tells us temperature and volume are constant, the only variable that could affect pressure is
the number of moles of gas present (R is the ideal gas constant). Because we want the product with the highest
pressure we want to choose the product that will give the highest number of moles of gas.
PREDICT: We are given a set mass of product to consider. Therefore, in order to find the product with the largest
molar quantity of gas we want the product with the smallest molar mass.
MATCH: With a molar mass of 18 g/mol choice (B) H2O has the smallest molar mass and therefore matches
our prediction.
(A) Opposite. CO2 has a molar mass of 44 g/mol, which is the largest molar mass among the products, and
would thus have the lowest pressure.
(C) Distortion. N2 has a molar mass of 28 g/mol.
(D) Distortion. O2 has a molar mass of 32 g/mol.

7
AAMC Test 11 Explanations

Discrete Set I (Items 13–17)

13. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the resultant force of two electrostatic interactions.
THINK: Ion C will experience a repulsive force from ion A (FA) and an attractive force from ion B (FB). We can
represent these forces as vectors, and since all of the ions have the same magnitude of charge, both of the forces
should have the same magnitude and would look like the diagram below:

FA

Ion C

FB

The resultant force (Fnet) can be found if FA and FB are placed end-to-end as shown below:

FA FB

Fnet

The arrow on the upper left (FA) represents the repulsive force from ion A, the arrow on the upper right (FB)
represents the attractive force from ion B, and the gray dashed arrow (Fnet) represents the resultant of the two.
PREDICT: The acceleration or movement will be in the direction of the resultant force, which is to the right.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. The ion would move to the right.
(B) Distortion. The ion would move to the right.
(C) Opposite. A negatively charged ion C would move to the left.

14. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to identify the angular momentum quantum number for two electrons in a
magnesium atom.
THINK: First, what do we know about the angular momentum quantum number (l)? You should recall that this
quantum number, also referred to as the azimuthal quantum number, corresponds to the subshell in which
electrons are found:

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Physical Sciences

Angular momentum 0 1 2 3
quantum number (l)
Subshell s p d f

With this in mind, from which subshell will Mg lose electrons? A quick look at the periodic table should tell you
that Mg has two valence electrons in the s sub-shell.
PREDICT: When Mg forms an ion it will lose its valence electrons in the s sub-shell, which corresponds to an
angular momentum quantum number of 0.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction.
(B) Distortion. Magnesium has no valence electrons in the p sub-shell (l = 1).
(C) Distortion. Magnesium has no valence electrons in the d sub-shell (l = 2).
(D) Distortion. Magnesium has no valence electrons in the f sub-shell (l = 3).

15. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to identify the proper order of energy conversion in a particular circuit.
THINK: According to the question stem the power source of the circuit is a battery. Recalling that a battery is
simply a galvanic or voltaic cell we can identify the initial conversion of energy.
PREDICT: As the circuit is battery powered, we can predict that the initial energy conversion will be from chemical
to electric. We can eliminate any choice that does not list chemical to electric as the initial energy conversion.
MATCH: Choice (D) is the only choice that matches our prediction, so we can disregard the final energy conversion.
(A) Distortion. This choice incorrectly identifies the initial energy conversion as electric to thermal.
(B) Distortion. This choice incorrectly identifies the initial energy conversion as chemical to thermal.
(C) Distortion. This choice incorrectly identifies the initial energy conversion as electric to chemical.

16. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to calculate the enthalpy change of one step of a two-step reaction.
THINK: How are ∆H1, ∆H2, and ∆H3 related? You should recall that Hess’s law says that the enthalpy of the
net reaction, ∆H3, equals the sum of the enthalpy changes for steps 1 and 2:
∆H1 + ∆H2 = ∆H3

Note, though, that we need to find ∆H1. Rearranging this equation gives:
∆H1 = ∆H2 − ∆H3

We can then substitute the information we are given and solve:


∆H1 = (−23.48 kJ) − (−18.21 kJ)
∆H1 = −5.27 kJ

PREDICT: The value of ∆H1 is −5.27 kJ.


MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction. On Test Day, remember to read the question stem carefully so that
you’re answering the right question!

9
AAMC Test 11 Explanations

(A) Distortion. This equals ∆H3 + ∆H2 —which you might calculate if you misread the question.
(C) Distortion. This equals ∆H2 − ∆H3.
(D) Distortion. This equals ∆H2 − 2∆H3.

17. (C)
STOP: The question asks us to determine which substance will have the greatest temperature change under the
given conditions.
THINK: How can we relate specific heat and temperature change? You should recall the formula: Q = mc∆T.
According to the question stem, Q (5 cal) and m (1 g) are both constant, so we are left with c (specific heat) and
∆T (temperature change) as the only variables, which are inversely related.
PREDICT: If we are looking for the greatest temperature change, we need to choose the answer choice with the
smallest specific heat because of the inverse relationship between the two values.
MATCH: Choice (C), mercury, has the smallest specific heat at 0.1 J/g·°C.
(A) Distortion. Mercury has the smallest specific heat.
(B) Distortion. Mercury has the smallest specific heat.
(D) Opposite. Wood has the largest specific heat, and would have the smallest temperature change.

Passage III (Items 18–24)

Passage Map

Passage Type: Experimental


Topic: Classic experiments
Scope: 3 Classic experiments
Mapping the Passage:
¶1: Young’s modulus
¶2: Single-slit interference
¶3: Pendulum

18. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to identify the graph that correctly shows the relationship between stress and strain.
THINK: What do we know from the passage about stress and strain? Going back to the experiment concerning
Young’s modulus we can see that stress/strain = E, where E is a constant.
PREDICT: Knowing this we can predict that we are looking for the graph where the ratio of stress/strain is a
constant. We should also recognize that, since the graph plots stress on the y-axis and strain on the x-axis,
stress/strain = ∆y/∆x = slope. Therefore, we are looking for a graph with a constant slope.
MATCH: Choices (A) and (B) both have a constant slope. We can eliminate choice (A) though, because it has a
slope of zero (in other words, increasing strain doesn’t increase stress). Therefore, choice (B) is the correct choice.

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Physical Sciences

(A) Distortion. The graph does show a constant slope but does not represent a logical view of the relationship
between stress and strain.
(C) Distortion. This choice does not show a constant slope.
(D) Distortion. This choice does not show a constant slope.

19. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to identify the best conditions for studying the dependence of the period on mass.
THINK: If we want to study the affect of mass on the period we should make sure to control for all other variables.
What other variables are changing in the conditions in Figure 2? Both string length and initial angles vary in the
starting conditions.
PREDICT: If we are going to control for these additional variables we should find starting conditions in which the
initial angle and string length are constant but the mass varies.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction.
(B) Distortion. The initial angles vary in these conditions. Also, the mass remains constant.
(C) Distortion. The initial angles and string lengths vary in these conditions.
(D) Distortion. The initial angles and string lengths vary in these conditions. Also, the mass remains constant.

20. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to calculate the mass required to cause a given amount of strain.
THINK: The question stem gives us the “compressive strength” of human bone. Do we have a formula for
compressive strength? Either from the description at the end of ¶1 or from the units given (N/m2), we should
recognize “compressive strength” as E and immediately consider the equation given in the passage:

E = ​ ____
F/A
∆L/L  ​ 

E = 2.0 x 108 N/m2, A = 5 cm2, and the term ∆L/L = 1% or 0.01. Before we plug and chug, notice that E and
A include different units, which we must resolve:

( 1m 2
A = 5 cm2 × ​​ _____
100 cm )
​ ​ = 5 × 10⁻4 m2
   

If we rearrange the equation for E, we can solve for F:


F = EA(∆L/L)
F = (2.0 × 108 N/m2)(5 × 10⁻4 m2)(10⁻2)
F = 10 × 102 N

It is tempting at this point to make a prediction and match, but as we have solved for force but not mass, we
have one more step:
F = mg
m = F/g
× 102 N
________
m = ​ 10
10 m/s 2
  ​

m = 102 kg

11
AAMC Test 11 Explanations

PREDICT: The mass should be approximately 102 or 100 kg.


MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction. Note that if you left out the correction factor for centimeters to
meters, you’d get an answer (106 kg) that isn’t listed.
(B) Distortion. Choice (A) is closer to our prediction.
(C) Distortion. Choice (A) is closer to our prediction.
(D) Distortion. Choice (A) is closer to our prediction.

21. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to identify the wave property that is independent of the rest.
THINK: Are there any formulas that relate basic wave properties that come to mind? The simplest that comes to
mind is v = fλ. This formula shows the interdependence of velocity, frequency, and wavelength.
PREDICT: The answer cannot be one of the aforementioned properties.
MATCH: Choice (D), amplitude, is the only property not represented in the formula.
(A) Distortion. Wavelength is λ in the formula v = fλ.
(B) Distortion. Frequency is f in the formula v = fλ.
(C) Distortion. Velocity is v in the formula v = fλ.

22. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to identify an appropriate unit for Young’s modulus.
THINK: What does the passage tell us about Young’s modulus? It gives us a formula:
F/A
E = ____
​ ∆L/L   

We can see that ∆L and L should have the same units, which will cancel and drop out of the formula. Therefore,
we can base our units for E on F/A, which is the definition of pressure.
PREDICT: Young’s modulus should have units of force divided by area, or pressure.
MATCH: Choice (A), pascals, are typical units of pressure.
(B) Distortion. Watts are a unit of power, not pressure.
(C) Distortion. Newtons are a unit of force, not pressure.
(D) Distortion. Joules are a unit of energy or work, not pressure.

23. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to utilize the formula given to calculate the optical power (P) of the lens of the human eye.
THINK: We are given both the formula and the necessary information. Note that the question stem tells us that
in the formula, f is the focal length in meters, while the information provided is in centimeters. So we must not
forget to convert 2 cm to 0.02 m. Now we can substitute and solve:

P = 1/f
P = 1/0.02
P = 50

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Physical Sciences

PREDICT: The power of the lens in the human eye is approximately 50 diopters.
MATCH: Choice (D) is the closest to our prediction.
(A) Distortion. Choice (D) is closer to our prediction.
(B) Distortion. Choice (D) is closer to our prediction.
(C) Distortion. Choice (D) is closer to our prediction.

24. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to identify the best conditions for studying the dependence of the period on its
initial angle.
THINK: If we want to study the affect of the initial angle on the period we should make sure to control for all other
variables. What other variables are changing in the conditions in Figure 2? Both string length and mass vary in
the starting conditions.
PREDICT: If we are going to control for these additional variables we should find starting conditions in which the
mass and string length are constant but the initial angle varies.
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. The masses vary in these conditions. Also, the initial angle remains constant.
(C) Distortion. The masses and string lengths vary in these conditions.
(D) Distortion. The string lengths vary in these conditions

Passage IV (Items 25–31)

Passage Map

Passage Type: Experimental


Topic: Free fall
Scope: Terminal speed
Mapping the Passage:
¶1: Background info on terminal speed
¶2: Parachute jumper reaches terminal speed

25. (B)
STOP: The question wants us to explain why air resistance is ignored under these special circumstances.
THINK: What do we know about factors that affect air resistance? Our passage map should take us to ¶1 where
we see that air resistance is affected by air speed and the area presented by the object. The question refers to
a compact object that falls a “very short distance.” This indicates that our answer will be something that will vary
based on the length of the fall.
PREDICT: Of the two factors that affect air resistance, air speed is the only one that varies based on the distance
an object falls. Our answer should be based on the air speed.
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction.

13
AAMC Test 11 Explanations

(A) Faulty Use of Detail. The object’s mechanical energy being conserved is a result of air resistance being
ignored, not a justification for it.
(C) Distortion. This would certainly help reduce air resistance, but given sufficient air speed even small objects
can experience significant air resistance.
(D) Out of Scope. Gravity does not directly affect air resistance.

26. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to calculate the effect that surface area has on kinetic energy.
THINK: Does the passage describe the relationship between surface area and kinetic energy? No, but it does
relate surface area to terminal speed. Our background knowledge on kinetic energy can take care of the rest. The
passage tells us that by changing surface area, parachuters can reduce their terminal speed by a factor of 2. We
also know that KE = _​ 12 ​mv 2
PREDICT: So, if speed (or velocity) is reduced by a factor of 2, it follows that kinetic energy will be reduced by a
factor of 22, or 4.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. This represents no change in kinetic energy, indicating that there was no change in speed. ¶1 tells
you increasing surface area can reduce terminal speed.
(B) Faulty Use of Detail. This is the factor by which speed (not kinetic energy) can be reduced when maximizing
surface area.
(C) Distortion. This answer falls between the correct value and the trap answer of 2.

27. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to produce a formula for the power exerted by the force of air resistance after
reaching terminal speed (in terms of m, g, h, and vT).
THINK: What is the formula for power? Power equals work over time, or W/t. How can we manipulate this formula
to put it in the terms we require? Knowing that W = Fd, we can substitute to get P = Fd/t or more simply P = Fv.
Since the object has reached terminal speed v = vT, the force of air resistance must have the same magnitude
as the gravitational force, but be opposite in direction. Therefore, since FG = mg, FA = −mg.
PREDICT: Plugging everything into the power formula gives us P = −mgvT
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction. Note that we could also have attacked this question by examining
the four choices and looking for a set of units that multiplies out to those of power (watts, or joules per second,
or kg · m2/s3); only the correct answer, (A), does.
(B) Miscalculation. h would not affect the power exerted by the force of air resistance.
(C) Miscalculation. h would not affect the power exerted by the force of air resistance.
(D) Miscalculation. Gravity is not inversely related to power in this situation.

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28. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to choose the correct distance versus time graph for a falling object experiencing
air resistance.
THINK: How does air resistance affect a falling object? ¶1 tells us that as the object accelerates downward, the
upward force due to air resistance increases until the forces are balanced. If Fnet = 0, then a = 0 and velocity
becomes constant (vT). In a distance versus time graph the slope represents the velocity.
PREDICT: We are looking for a graph in which the slope increases in the beginning but eventually becomes
constant (linear).
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. This graph shows a constant velocity (a = 0) from rest.
(C) Distortion. The slope of this graph decreases as time increases.
(D) Distortion. The slope of this graph increases initially but then decreases instead of becoming constant.

29. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to calculate the change in gravitational potential energy.
THINK: What is the initial gravitational potential energy? Using the details found in ¶2 we get:

U = mgh
U = 75 kg × 10 m/s2 × 2000 m
U = 1.5 × 106 J

Knowing that h = 0 at the end of the fall, we can see that all of this gravitational potential energy has been
transformed during the course of the fall.
PREDICT: The change in gravitational potential energy equals 1.5 × 106 J.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction.
(A) Miscalculation. You obtain this result if you forget to convert km to m.
(B) Miscalculation.
(C) Miscalculation.

30. (C)
STOP: The question asks us to calculate the force of air resistance (FA).
THINK: What do we know about FA when the object is traveling at vT? ¶1 tells us that FA “balances” the weight
of the object, thus:
FA = FG = mg
FA = 75 kg × 10 m/s2
FA = 750 N

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AAMC Test 11 Explanations

PREDICT: The force of air resistance is approximately 750 N.


MATCH: Choice (C) matches our prediction.
(A) Miscalculation. This is the magnitude of vT mentioned in the passage.
(B) Miscalculation. This is the magnitude of the mass mentioned in the passage.
(D) Miscalculation. This is greater than the force of gravity and would cause the parachutist to accelerate upward.

31. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the sign (+ or −) of the work done on the person by gravity (WG) and
air resistance (WA) and also to compare their magnitudes (>, <, or =).
THINK: How do we determine the sign or direction of work? Work is considered positive when the force is parallel
to the direction of motion and negative when the force is anti-parallel. Since gravity pulls the object downward
and air resistance opposes motion we can say that WG > 0 and WA < 0. To compare the magnitude of work done
by each force we can compare the variables that determine work individually, namely force and distance (W =
Fd). Both forces are acting upon the object during the entire 600-meter fall; therefore, if there is a difference it
will be in the magnitude of the forces. The force of gravity will remain constant from the start while the force of
air resistance depends on the velocity of the object and will increase until it matches the force of gravity. Since
the force of gravity is always the same or bigger, and the two forces operate over the same distance, we can
conclude that |WG| > |WA|.
PREDICT: To sum up our conclusions, WG > 0, WA < 0, and |WG| > |WA|. Note that finding WG > 0 eliminates
(A) and (C).
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction (and, in fact, is the only choice with |WG| > |WA|).
(A) Opposite. This answer is opposite in both sign and magnitude to the correct answer.
(C) Opposite. This answer has the opposite sign and incorrectly compares the magnitude.
(D) Distortion. This answer correctly identifies the sign for each, but it is what we would expect to see after the
600-m mark once vT is reached and the forces are equal.

Discrete Set II (Items 32–36)

32. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the LEAST useful piece of information in trying to determine the identity
of the precipitate.
THINK: To determine the important information we can think through how we determine the identity of a
precipitate. First, since there are no common ions we can assume that the precipitate is not one of the original
ionic compounds. Next, we need to compare the molar solubility of each of the possible products to the actual
concentration in solution. The precipitate will be the product that has an actual concentration greater than the
molar solubility.
PREDICT: We want to find the choice that does not provide any of the previously mentioned pieces of information.
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction because it is the molar solubility of one of the original compounds,
not of the possible products.
(A) Distortion. This is the molar solubility of a possible product, an essential piece of information.

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(C) Distortion. This is the molar solubility of a possible product, an essential piece of information.
(D) Distortion. This is the actual concentration of one of the original compounds, an essential piece of information
if we wish to determine the concentration of each ion in solution.

33. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the mass of a product of a chemical reaction.
THINK: The question stem provides us with specific amounts for both reactants. With this in mind, our first step
will be to determine the limiting reagent. First, let’s calculate the number of moles of each reactant:

6.54 g Zn × ​ _______
1 mol Zn
65.4 g Zn   ​ = 0.1 mol Zn

50 mL HCl × ______
​  1L     ________
​× ​ 0.1 mol HCl
​= 0.005 mol HCl

1000 mL 1 L   

To determine the limiting reagent, as well as calculate the amount of H2(g), we will need to write the balanced
equation:
Zn + 2HCl → ZnCl2 + H2

Using the molar ratio between Zn and HCl (1:2) and the molar amounts of each we can identify the limiting reagent
as HCl. Starting with HCl we can calculate the amount of H2(g) produced:
1 mol H2 2 g H2
0.005 mol HCl × ​ _______
2 mol HCl    ______
 ​ × ​ 1 mol H  ​ = 0.005 g H2(g)

2

PREDICT: The mass of H2(g) produced is approximately 0.005 g.


MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction.
(A) Miscalculation. This is the result if you use the molar mass of H, 1 g/mol, instead of 2 g/mol for H2.
(C) Miscalculation. This is the result if you use Zn as the limiting reagent and the molar mass of H instead of H2.
(D) Miscalculation. This is the result if you use Zn as the limiting reagent.

34. (A)
STOP: The question asks you to decide whether you can conclude that the reaction is endothermic, and to explain why.
THINK: What does it mean to be endothermic? It means that energy is absorbed from the surroundings. Does the
question provide us with information regarding the exchange of energy during the reaction? Yes, ∆H = –197.8
kJ, which means energy is released to the surroundings, which makes the reaction exothermic, not endothermic.
PREDICT: The reaction is not endothermic because the negative ∆H tells us energy is released during this reaction.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction. Once you know the reaction is not endothermic, you can also
eliminate (C) and (D).
(B) Out of Scope. This is describing equilibrium reactions; since the reaction is not written as an equilibrium, this
is out of scope.
(C) Faulty Use of Detail. The enthalpy change is clearly stated in the question stem, so the spontaneity of the
reaction would not have a bearing on whether or not the reaction is endothermic.
(D) Faulty Use of Detail. The enthalpy change is clearly stated in the question stem, so the entropy of the reaction
would not have a bearing on whether or not the reaction is endothermic.

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AAMC Test 11 Explanations

35. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to choose the condition that will decrease the pressure inside of a sealed jar half-
filled with water.
THINK: We can use the ideal gas law, PV = nRT to determine the conditions that would decrease pressure.
Rearranging to solve for pressure:
P = ​ ___
nRT
 ​
V   

A decrease in pressure would be caused by decreasing n, decreasing T, or increasing V.


PREDICT: The correct choice should mention a decrease in the number of moles of gas, a decrease in
temperature, or an increase in volume.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction of a decrease in temperature.
(B) Distortion. An increase in temperature would increase pressure.
(C) Distortion. This would increase the number of moles of gas, increasing the pressure.
(D) Distortion. This would increase the number of moles of gas, increasing the pressure.

36. (C)
STOP: This Roman Numeral question asks us to identify the characteristics associated with strong ionic bonding.
THINK: On Roman Numeral questions we should start with the statement that appears most often and go from
there. In this case, all the numerals appear twice, so let’s start with (I). Do strong ionic bonds correlate better
with high melting points than covalent compounds with similar molecular weights? This should be a definitive yes,
as strong ionic bonds are generally much stronger than the intermolecular forces holding together molecules of
covalent compounds. This lets us eliminate (B) and (D), so we can skip (II) and head straight to (III). Do ionic
compounds conduct electricity when dissolved in water? Yes, when ionic compounds dissolve in water they create
mobile ions that can conduct electricity.
PREDICT: Statements (I) and (III) are both correct.
MATCH: Choice (C) matches our prediction. For the record:
(I) TRUE. See above.
(II) FALSE. Ionic substances, because of their highly polar bonds, tend to be relatively insoluble in nonpolar solvents.
(III) TRUE. See above.

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Passage V (Items 37–40)

Passage Map

Passage Type: Experimental


Topic: Redox reactions
Scope: Individual redox reactions and reactions in a galvanic/voltaic cell
Mapping the Passage:
Exp. 1: Metal solids placed in metallic solutions, monitored for formation of new solids
Fig. 1: Apparatus for Exp. 1
Table 1: Results for Exp. 1
Exp. 2: Basic galvanic/voltaic cell; E°red for Pb2⁺ and Cu2⁺
Fig. 2: Apparatus for Exp. 2

37. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to choose the situation that will increase the current passing through the apparatus
in Figure 2.
THINK: What conditions in an electrochemical cell affect the current? If we consider Ohm’s Law, I = V/R, we can
find two very good candidates for increasing the current.
PREDICT: Either an increase in potential difference (V) or a decrease in resistance (R) will increase current.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction.
(A) Opposite. Based on R = pL/A, this would increase the internal resistance of the wire.
(B) Opposite. This would also increase the internal resistance of the wire.
(C) Out of Scope. This might have an effect on how long the cell will run before reaching equilibrium, but it would
not affect the current of the circuit.

38. (C)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the overall balanced reaction of the cell given specific electrodes and
solutions.
THINK: First, we will need to determine which electrode will be oxidized and which will be reduced. As we are not
given reduction potentials for these metals we will need to take another approach. Does the passage provide
information regarding reduction potentials? While there are no numbers given, Table 1 does give us an indication of
the relative reduction potentials of different metals. If a new solid forms, it indicates that the reduction potential for
the ion in solution must be higher than the reduction potential of the ion of the immersed metal strip. If this were
not the case, the ions in solution would not be reduced to form the new solid. If we look at the interaction between
Al3⁺(aq) and Cu(s), we can see that no new solid forms, indicating that Cu2⁺ has a higher reduction potential. Just
to be sure, we can check the interaction of Al(s) and Cu2⁺(aq) and see that there is a new solid formed, confirming
our earlier conclusion. In order for E°cell to be positive, the ion with the higher reduction potential must be reduced.
PREDICT: We want to choose the balanced reaction that shows Cu2⁺(aq) being reduced and Al(s) being oxidized.
MATCH: Choice (C) matches our prediction.

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AAMC Test 11 Explanations

(A) Opposite. This choice shows the balanced reaction if Al3⁺ is reduced and Cu is oxidized.
(B) Distortion. This choice not only shows Al3⁺ being reduced and Cu being oxidized, but it is also not
balanced properly.
(D) Distortion. This choice shows the correct reactions but it is not balanced properly.

39. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to determine if a redox reaction will occur spontaneously and to calculate E°cell.
THINK: One way to determine if a reaction will occur spontaneously is by calculating the standard potential of the
cell. We are given reduction potentials for the half reactions so we can use the formula:

E°cell = E°red − E°ox = E°cathode − E°anode

Since copper has the larger reduction potential it will be reduced, which occurs at the cathode:

E°cell = +0.339 V − (−0.127 V)


E°cell = +0.446 V

An alternative is to remember that the half-reaction with the more negative reduction potential is always reversed
to make it an oxidation reaction.
PREDICT: The standard potential of the cell is positive (+0.466 V) so we can conclude that the reactions will
occur spontaneously.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. A spontaneous cell can never have a negative reduction potential.
(B) Miscalculation. This is the result of adding the standard reduction potentials, rather than subtracting the
potential of the oxidation reaction from that of the reduction reaction.
(C) Distortion. A spontaneous cell can never have a negative reduction potential. This is the result of placing the
reactions at the wrong electrodes.

40. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to calculate the current of the cell based on a given potential.
THINK: Do we know a formula that relates current and electric potential? Yes, Ohm’s law (I = V/R). Do we
know the resistance in the cell? Yes, Figure 2 tells us that the resistance of the lightbulb is 0.5 Ω. With this
we can calculate:
I = _​ RV ​
I = ​ ____
2.0 V
0.5 Ω​    

I = 4.0 A

PREDICT: The current through the circuit will be approximately 4.0 A.


MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. This is the magnitude of the resistance, not the current.

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(B) Miscalculation. This is the result of multiplying, instead of dividing, the potential and resistance.
(C) Distortion. This is the magnitude of the electric potential, not the current.

Passage VI (Items 41–45)

Passage Map

Passage Type: Informational


Topic: Human centrifuge
Scope: Basic information and applications of a human centrifuge
¶1: Background info – human centrifuge (HC)
Fig 1: HC schematic
Fig 2: Speed vs Time data for sample run
¶2: HC as basis for space station
Fig 3: Space station schematic

41. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the period of the human centrifuge in Figure 1 when it is moving at 20
m/s.
THINK: The question stem gives us the speed of the car. How can we relate this to the period or time (t) it takes
for one revolution? If we can determine the circumference of the circular path the car takes, we can use the
formula t = d/s to calculate the time required for one revolution, where d is the distance traveled in one revolution
(equivalent to the circumference of the circular path) and s is the speed. We are not given the circumference but
we do know from Figure 1 that R = 10 m. We can now calculate the circumference C:

C = 2πr
C = 2π(10 m)
C = 20π m

Since the circumference is the distance traveled in one revolution:

t = _​ ds ​
t = ​ _____
20π m
20 m/s   ​

t=πs

PREDICT: The period of its circular motion is π seconds, or approximately 3.14 s.


MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. t ≈ 3.14 s. You may have divided by 2 instead of multiplying by 2π.
(B) Distortion. t ≈ 3.14 s. This choice leaves out π.
(C) Distortion. t ≈ 3.14 s. This choice is half the actual value.

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AAMC Test 11 Explanations

42. (C)
STOP: The question asks us to choose the point in Figure 2 that will experience the strongest sense of gravity
(that is, where one would feel it the most).
THINK: The figure shows speed as a function of time. Do we have any information relating speed or time to the
strength of the artificial gravitational field? ¶1 states that “the speed of rotation sets the strength of the artificial
field.” In other words, as speed increases so does the sense of gravity.
PREDICT: If we are looking for the point with the highest sense of gravity we want to choose the point with the
highest speed.
MATCH: Choice (C) matches our prediction.
(A) Opposite. This choice has the lowest speed and therefore lowest sense of gravity.
(B) Distortion. Choice (C) has a higher speed and therefore higher sense of gravity.
(D) Distortion. Choice (C) has a higher speed and therefore higher sense of gravity.

43. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to identify the cause of the artificial gravitational acceleration in the space station.
THINK: This situation is similar to making a turn at high speed in a car. As we do this we experience a force
pulling us to the outside of the turn. What causes this experienced force? It occurs because the circular path that
is being traveled during the turn forces you in a different direction from the forward direction of your momentum.
PREDICT: It is the force of the space station changing the object’s direction, keeping it in a circular path, that
causes the artificial gravitational acceleration.
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction.
(A) Out of Scope. The space station would not feel the earth’s gravitational field.
(C) Distortion. The mass of the space station is much too small to provide a significant gravitational force.
(D) Out of Scope. Kinetic energy does not directly affect gravitation or acceleration.

44. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to define the range of possible angles for the car in Figure 1.
THINK: Based on the figure, what would θ be when the centrifuge is at rest? At rest the car would be in a vertical
position with the bottom of the car pointing straight down. According to the figure, in this position θ = 0. Is there
an upper limit to θ? As the centrifuge accelerates the car will begin to swing outward, increasing q. When the
car reaches a horizontal position, or when the bottom of the car is pointing directly away from the center, it has
reached its maximum displacement from rest. According to the figure, at this point θ = 90° or π/2 radians.
PREDICT: The suspension angle θ can range from 0 to π/2 radians.
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. This choice represents only the lower half of the range of θ.
(C) Distortion. This choice allows the car to move past the horizontal position. This would not happen, as the
momentum of the car, along with gravity, would continuously pull it toward the horizontal or back to vertical.
(D) Distortion. A negative value would represent the car being pulled toward the center of the centrifuge. There
are no forces present to pull the car in that direction.

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45. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to evaluate the change in frequency of a sound emitted from the centrifuge as
observed by someone standing outside the radius.
THINK: How does the frequency of sound change when the source is moving relative to the observer? The Doppler
effect tells us that the observed frequency is higher as the source moves toward the observer and lower as it
moves away. How does this relate to our situation? During one revolution of the centrifuge, the car would be
moving toward the observer during half of the revolution and away during the other half. This would cause the
frequency to jump back and forth between an increase and decrease from the original frequency emitted.
PREDICT: The observer would hear the frequency fluctuate between a higher and lower frequency.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction.
(B) Distortion. This would only occur if the car and observer were not moving relative to each other.
(C) Distortion. This would only occur if the car were continuously moving toward the observer.
(D) Distortion. This would only occur if the car were continuously moving away from the observer.

Passage VII (Items 46–49)

Passage Map

Passage Type: Informational


Topic: Water storage tank
Scope: Technical specifications of the tank
¶1: description of tank and inlet features; cross-sec. ratios of inlet pipe; tank wt. when empty
Fig 1: Schematic of inlet, tank, and other features

46. (C)
STOP: The question asks us to explain what happens at the molecular level to the pillars as the water level is
increased.
THINK: What happens to the system as the water level rises? As the volume of water increases so must the mass
of the water. This means that the system’s weight increases as well. This increased weight must be supported
by the pillars. What happens when additional weight or stress is added to a solid object? You should recall that,
as stress increases, the strain on the object increases as well, in a ratio consistent with the Young’s modulus
of the material comprising the object. Therefore, increased weight above the pillars will cause the compression
of the molecules in the pillar.
PREDICT: As the water level rises, the mass and weight of the tank will increase, resulting in compression of the
supporting pillars.
MATCH: Choice (C) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. The mass of the tank is not nearly large enough to exert a significant gravitational force.
(B) Distortion. As the pillars are compressed, the volume of the pillars decreases, which would cause an increase
in temperature (although an extremely small one).

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AAMC Test 11 Explanations

(D) Distortion. The electrostatic forces holding the molecules together are significantly stronger than the
gravitational forces exerting weight on the pillar.

47. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the speed of water in the third section of pipe when the speed in the
first section is given.
THINK: What information do we know about the inlet pipes? The passage tells us that the first section has twice
the cross-sectional area as the second section and the second section has twice that of the third. Therefore,
section 1 has four times the cross-sectional area of section 3. What do we know about the relationship between
cross-sectional area and the speed of a fluid traveling through it? We can use the continuity equation to solve
from here:
v1A1 = v2A2
v A
v2 = _____
​  1 1 ​


A2
The question stem tells us that v1 = 0.05 m/s. Also, we have already determined that the ratio of the cross-
sectional areas in section 1 to section 3 is 4, so we know A1/A2 = 4:

v2 = 0.05 m/s × 4 = 0.2 m/s

PREDICT: The speed of the water in section 3 will be approximately 0.2 m/s.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. This is half of the speed in section 1. The speed in section 3 must be faster because of its smaller
cross-sectional area.
(B) Distortion. This is equal to the speed in section 1. The speed in section 3 must be faster because of its
smaller cross-sectional area.
(C) Distortion. This is twice the speed in section 1 instead of 4 times.

48. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to calculate the change in gravitational potential energy (GPE) as water falls into the
storage tank.
THINK: What information do we need to calculate the change in GPE? As with any change, if we find the GPE
before and after the fall, we can calculate the change. GPE can be calculated using the formula U = mgh. We can
make life much easier by designating the surface of the water as h = 0. This way the GPE after the fall is zero,
and we simply have to calculate the GPE before the fall to find the change in GPE. Do we have enough information
to do this? Not quite: the passage tells us to use g = 10 m/s2 and the question stem tells us that h = 0.2
m, but we do not know the mass of water. How can we find the mass of water? As we are given the volume in
the question stem (4 × 10⁻4 m3) and the density of water in the passage (1000 kg/m3), we can make a quick
calculation to find the mass:
m = pV
m = 1000 kg/m3 × 4 × 10⁻4 m3
m = 0.4 kg

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We can now use this to find the GPE:


U = mgh
U = 0.4 kg × 10 m/s2 × 0.2 m
U = 0.8 J

PREDICT: The GPE will be approximately 0.8 J.


MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction.
(A) Miscalculation. You may have forgotten to multiply by g.
(C) Miscalculation. You may have used 1 m instead of 0.2 m.
(D) Miscalculation. You may have used the density in place of mass in U = mgh.

49. (C)
STOP: The question asks us to calculate the total force on the pillars given the volume of water in the tank.
THINK: What forces are acting on the pillars? Both the weight of the tank and the weight of the water in the tank
are being supported by the pillars. The weight of the tank, when empty, is given in the passage as 9500 N. The
weight of the water we will need to calculate using Fw = mg. First, since we are only given the volume of water,
we need to calculate the mass using the given density:
m = pV
m = 1000 kg/m3 × 10 m3
m = 10,000 kg

Using this we can calculate the weight:


Fw = mg
Fw = 10,000 kg × 10 m/s2
Fw = 100,000 N

Now we can combine this with the weight of the tank:


Ftotal = Fw + Ftank = 9,500 N + 100,000 N
Ftotal = 109,500 N

PREDICT: The total force acting on the pillars is approximately 109,500 N.


MATCH: Choice (C) matches our prediction.
(A) Miscalculation. 10,000 is the mass of the water in kg, not the force. This also excludes the weight of the tank.
(B) Miscalculation. Ftotal = 109,500 N. You might get this answer if you add the mass of the water to the weight
of the tank.
(D) Miscalculation. Ftotal = 109,500 N.

25
AAMC Test 11 Explanations

Discrete Set III (Items 50–52)

50. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to identify the true statement based on the provided graph.
THINK: Don’t be surprised if you see a question on Test Day asking you to interpret a graph you’ve never seen
before! The graph provided shows the predominant form of iron as a function of solution pH and applied potential.
The different areas clearly delineate which form of iron is dominant, but what would be the dominant form on the
solid lines? The lines represent the equilibrium between the two forms on either side.
PREDICT: As a “which of the following” question, it’s difficult to make an exact prediction here, but we should at
least know what we’re looking for: here, a statement that is supported by the graph.
MATCH: Choice (B) claims that the equilibrium between Fe and Fe2⁺ is independent of pH below pH = 6. If we
find the equilibrium line between Fe and Fe2⁺ below pH = 6, we can see that it is a horizontal line at a potential
of −0.44 V. This confirms that the equilibrium is independent of pH, so that is the correct answer.
(A) Distortion. This choice claims that at −0.4 V, Fe2⁺ is reduced to Fe(OH)3, but as we follow the graph to the
right, the dominant form switches from Fe2⁺ to Fe(OH)2, not Fe(OH)3.
(C) Opposite. This choice claims that, under the given conditions, Fe3⁺ is reduced to Fe2⁺. If we follow the vertical
path where pH = 1 from a potential of −0.2 V to +0.8 V we can see that Fe2⁺ is oxidized to Fe3⁺, not the other
way around.
(D) Distortion. If you find the intersection of pH = 8 and V = −0.1 V, you will see that the dominant form is
Fe(OH)3, not Fe(OH)2.

51. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to choose the reaction that properly shows the ionization of an X2 molecule; we also
need to know if energy is added or released.
THINK: By definition, ionization energy is the energy required to remove an electron completely from a gaseous
atom or ion, which is always an endothermic process. What will our product be when X2 is ionized? Ionization
removes an electron, which means our products should include an electron as well as the resulting cation, X2⁺.
PREDICT: The reaction will require an input of energy and result in an electron and the cation X2⁺.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. This reaction is missing free electrons entirely.
(B) Distortion. This is the ionization of the anion X2⁻, not of the neutral X2.
(C) Distortion. In this reaction, X2 remains unchanged. Also, the reaction releases energy instead of requiring it.

52. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the formula of the product of the given reaction.
THINK: What sort of product will form between calcium or radium and oxygen? Based on their very different
electronegativities, these atoms should form ionic compounds. So, the question now boils down to: What is the
empirical formula for an ionic compound of oxygen and a group II metal? Calcium’s oxidation state is +2, and
oxygen’s oxidation state is −2; since the magnitudes are the same, we need one atom of each to form an ionic
compound: MO.

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Physical Sciences

PREDICT: The formula of the product is MO.


MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction.
(B) Distortion. This would work if oxygen’s oxidation state were −1.
(C) Distortion. This would work if the metal’s oxidation state were +3.
(D) Distortion. This would work if oxygen’s oxidation state were −3.

27
Verbal Reasoning

VERBAL REASONING ANSWER KEY

53. A 64. A 75. A 86. B

54. A 65. C 76. A 87. A

55. C 66. B 77. C 88. B

56. C 67. D 78. A 89. A

57. A 68. A 79. A 90. D

58. C 69. B 80. C 91. D

59. A 70. D 81. D 92. A

60. D 71. A 82. C

61. D 72. C 83. A

62. B 73. B 84. D

63. D 74. D 85. D

29
AAMC Test 11 Explanations

AAMC TEST 11 VERBAL REASONING—KAPLAN EXPLANATIONS

Passage I (Items 53–57)

Passage Map

Passage Type: Social sciences


Topic: James Randi
Scope: How Randi exposed frauds
Purpose: To describe methods Randi used to expose them
Mapping the Passage:
¶1: Randi known for exposing fraud of “psychic” claims; especially Uri Geller
¶2: Physicists backed Geller, but Randi had unique expertise and saw through his tricks
¶3: Randi used public media to show ease of getting support for preposterous claims (ex.: flying objects)
¶4: Another example: biorhythms exposed on radio

53. (A)
STOP: This is a Detail question.
THINK: We must find the answer choice that is specifically mentioned in the passage as something Randi
demonstrated.
PREDICT: From our passage map we can see that Randi demonstrated the basis of several pseudoscience (Uri
Geller’s tricks, UFO sightings, biorhythms)
MATCH: Choice (A) is directly demonstrated in the passage by the example in ¶3. This is the correct choice.
(B) Out of Scope. The author does not make this comparison.
(C) Out of Scope. The author does not comment on the plausibility of extraterrestrials.
(D) Out of Scope. The author does not comment on the plausibility of extraterrestrials.

54. (A)
STOP: This is a Deduction question asking for an inference, as well as a Roman Numeral question.
THINK: We want to know which of these things the author would say. Kaplan strategy tells us to look first at the
Roman numeral that appears most often in the answer choices. In this case we will start with (II).
PREDICT: The author provides examples in ¶2, 3, and 4 that demonstrate that testimonials can, in fact, be
completely wrong. So it’s hard to say that they are “useful only” to show that customers are satisfied as (II)
claims, and therefore we can eliminate it.
MATCH: Since (II) is not a correct choice we can eliminate all of the answer choices except (A). For the record:
(I) TRUE. The author argues that testimonials are unreliable, and therefore aren’t “scientific evidence.”
(III) FALSE. The author never provides evidence regarding intent or frequency.

30
Verbal Reasoning

55. (C)
STOP: This is a Deduction question asking about the author’s tone.
THINK: We should look for key words or phrases that indicate the author’s feelings toward Uri Geller and psychics
in general. Strong words that immediately stand out are “fraud,” “charlatanism,” and “trickery.”
PREDICT: The author feels that Uri Geller is deceitful and dishonest.
MATCH: Choice (C) matches the tone of the key words we found.
(A) Distortion. The author does not mention a lack of talent and refers to Geller as a “good magician” (¶2).
(B) Distortion. The author never questions Geller’s intelligence and it would seem that he would have to be
somewhat intelligent to have fooled scientists and media outlets the world over.
(D) Distortion. In ¶1, the author mentions that Geller burst onto the scene with “grand claims” which implies
some pretension.

56. (C)
STOP: This is an Incorporation question asking us to weaken an argument.
THINK: To challenge the author’s views, we need to know: What are the author’s feelings about biorhythms? The
author discredits biorhythms in ¶4 by referring to an example where a radio listener twice claimed to have a very
strong correlation to “her” biorhythm chart. Both times it turned out to be a chart made for someone else.
PREDICT: The biggest challenge to the author’s views would be to contradict the provided example.
MATCH: Choice (C) matches our prediction and provides direct opposition to the example in ¶4.
(A) Out of Scope. The author never mentions how biorhythms affect behavior.
(B) Distortion. This may indicate an increase in popularity of biorhythms but does not address the author’s
argument.
(D) Distortion. This would demonstrate that people are buying into the idea of biorhythms but it does not address
the validity of their use and, therefore, does not challenge the authors’ ideas.

57. (A)
STOP: This is a Global question.
THINK: Global questions can typically be answered by just glancing at the Topic, Scope, and Purpose (TSP).
PREDICT: In this case we see that the purpose of the passage is to show that psychics and other areas of
pseudoscience have no validity and can be easily debunked.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction.
(B) Distortion. The author argues that “psychic powers” do not exist.
(C) Distortion.”Rarely proved” means that there is some proof, but the author argues that “psychic powers” do
not exist.
(D) Distortion. The author argues that “psychic powers” do not exist.

31
AAMC Test 11 Explanations

Passage II (Items 58–64)

Passage Map

Passage Type: Humanities


Topic: Great War poetry
Scope: Yeats’ criticism of Great War poetry
Purpose: To rebut Yeats’ criticisms
Mapping the Passage:
¶1: Yeats left out/disliked war poetry
¶2: Ex. of dismissed poets; reason: they were new
¶3: Great War poets very different from trad. war poets (except Kipling & Hardy)
¶4: Pre- and early Great War poets focused on exotic and romantic; eventually found new voice
¶5: Great War time seen as “lull” in poetry until recently; Auth: Yeats was wrong, war poetry necessary

58. (C)
STOP: This is a Global question.
THINK: Glancing at the TSP, we can get an idea of the main point of the passage.
PREDICT: The main point is to rebut Yeats’ criticism of Great War poetry.
MATCH: Choice (C) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. This was the way poetry was handled prior to 1914, but it is not the way the author feels that it
should be handled.
(B) Faulty Use of Detail. This is true, but it is a small detail, not the main point.
(D) Faulty Use of Detail. This is true, but it is a small detail, not the main point.

59. (A)
STOP: This is a Deduction question looking for an inference.
THINK: This is a “which of the following” question, so we will need to evaluate each answer choice, eliminating as
we go. Since it is a deduction question we will need to find something that is definitely true based on information
in the passage.
PREDICT: Be aware that the question asks what Yeats would agree with, not the author.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction. Yeats must have felt that there was outstanding poetry during that
time or he would not have compiled The Oxford Book of Modern Verse 1892-1935.
(B) Opposite. Yeats edited a book that included poetry dating back to 1892. He would not have done this if there
were little valuable poetry during that time.
(C) Opposite. ¶2 tells us that Yeats dismissed the war poetry of this time.
(D) Out of Scope. The passage does not provide information regarding Yeats’ opinions of Kipling and Hardy.

32
Verbal Reasoning

60. (D)
STOP: This is an Application question.
THINK: Where does the author mention contemporary literary critics? ¶5 mentions that recently the tides have
turned: critics are turning away from Yeats and giving the Great War poets the recognition they deserve.
PREDICT: If a contemporary critic agreed with Yeats he would not be in the mainstream.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. The author was very critical of Yeats and would not suggest that most readers would agree with him.
(B) Distortion. Yeats’ opinion was to dismiss war poetry, so the critic would definitely not direct attention to it.
(C) Distortion. The author did not agree with Yeats, so he would not suggest that one of Yeats’ contemporaries
be taken into account for the new anthology.

61. (D)
STOP: This is an Evaluation question.
THINK: We want to know why the author quotes the same line from Yeats’ introduction a second time. The first
time it appears is in ¶1, when the author presents this as what Yeats thinks people should do. The second time,
in the last paragraph, the author tells us this is something we should never do.
PREDICT: The author uses the quote to reject Yeats’ view.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction.
(A) Out of Scope. There is no mention of Yeats’ imagery in this passage.
(B) Distortion. As the author inserts “never” just before the Yeats quote in ¶5, it is likely that they are not in
agreement on any of the included points.
(C) Faulty Use of Detail. The author does mention trying to understand Yeats’ view, but this is in ¶2, a completely
different section that does not address the use of the quote.

62. (B)
STOP: This is a Deduction question looking for an inference.
THINK: Where does the author mention Great War poets being handicapped in writing? In ¶4, the author mentions
that they were ill-equipped poetically having “neither tradition to draw upon nor worthwhile models to imitate.”
PREDICT: The correct answer should suggest a lack of tradition and/or models.
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction.
(A) Out of Scope. The author does not mention a lack of education in the passage.
(C) Distortion. The author mentions that, because they lacked “worthwhile” models and tradition, they “aped
anthology pieces.” If the poets were copying anthology pieces, then this suggests that they were familiar with the
traditions that preceded them.
(D) Distortion. The author mentions that the poets relied on “well-established forms.” This shows that they were
not intimidated by earlier styles.

33
AAMC Test 11 Explanations

63. (D)
STOP: This is a Deduction question looking for an inference.
THINK: What does the author say about Kipling’s and Hardy’s poetry? The author mentions that they were
“outstanding exceptions” to the typical writing prior to 1914. Just before this, the author describes the typical
treatment of war poetry at the time as “exotically or historically removed from immediate experience.” He says
Kipling tried to give the “ordinary soldier” a voice, and that Hardy wrote “honestly” about the Boer War.
PREDICT: The poetry of Kipling and Hardy was unusual at the time because they wrote about the “immediate
experience”—in other words, about war as it happened.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction since it describes something that would be a part of the immediate
experience of war.
(A) Faulty Use of Detail. The author mentions Kipling using the “voice of the ordinary soldier,” but this does not
mean that he is writing of heroic acts of that soldier. That would fall under the “bardic commentaries” that he
was trying to stay away from.
(B) Out of Scope. Elegies are never mentioned in the passage.
(C) Faulty Use of Detail. “Commentaries on the glories of the nation’s victories” were mentioned by the author
as something that Kipling tried to get away from.

64. (A)
STOP: This is a Deduction question asking for an inference.
THINK: Where does the author mention the “long lull”? The long lull is mentioned in ¶5. The following sentence
claims that the view is “nonsense” because of the “just recognition” of the poets of the time.
PREDICT: The historians changed their assumptions because of the change in the way they viewed the poets of
the time.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction.
(B) Out of Scope. Modernism is never mentioned in the passage.
(C) Faulty Use of Detail. While the author does discuss the publication of the anthology, he does not imply the
book itself was responsible for the shift in attitude.
(D) Out of Scope. Kipling and Hardy were pre-1914 poets, before the lull was said to have occurred.

34
Verbal Reasoning

Passage III (Items 65–71)

Passage Map

Passage Type: Social science


Topic: Photography
Scope: Usefulness and dangers of overuse
Purpose: Demonstrate the need for a new type of conservation
Mapping the Passage:
¶1: Usefulness of photography
¶2: Ex: mundane subj. → art; facilitate estimates/predictions; ident. criminals
¶3: Aesthetic vs. instrumental approach
¶4: Importance to capitalism; “subjectivize” and objectify reality
¶5: Pics are used up, constantly need replacing; end up depleting the real world
¶6: Losing distinction between real obj. and image; advocates conservation of images as well as natural resources

65. (C)
STOP: This is an Evaluation question.
THINK: Where does the author mention this new form of conservation and what details are provided? The author
mentions this new conservation in ¶6. She explains that the increasing supply of images threatens to obliterate
reality and that her idea for conserving manufactured images as well as natural resources is the remedy.
PREDICT: The new form of conservation must be the remedy to the dangers posed by the increasing supply of
photographic images.
MATCH: Choice (C) matches our prediction.
(A) Faulty Use of Detail. This is mentioned in ¶2 as a characteristic of the camera, not the new form of
conservation.
(B) Opposite. This is the problem the author intends to remedy with her new form of conservation.
(D) Out of Scope. ¶4 mentions that the overproduction of images, which the author intends to remedy, reflects
the prevailing ideology. She does not, though, go so far as to suggest a new ideology for governing.

66. (B)
STOP: This is a Deduction question looking for an assumption.
THINK: Where does the author mention capitalist society? Capitalist society is the topic of ¶4. Based on the
question stem we know that we are looking for that society to separate something. Near the end of this paragraph
the author mentions the two essential ways that cameras define reality, as “a spectacle to absorb the attention
of the citizenry” and “an object of scrutiny to assist officials responsible for governing”. We can see from this that
the author sees a definite split between the citizens and the officials.
PREDICT: The author assumes that capitalist societies separate citizens from the group of governing officials.
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction. In the answer choice, “private perception” represents the citizens
and “social order” represents the governing officials.

35
AAMC Test 11 Explanations

(A) Distortion. The author feels that these two are connected. In ¶4, she refers to “forms of entertainment in
order to stimulate buying.”
(C) Distortion. The author feels that these two can be connected. In ¶5, she refers to cameras as “both the
antidote and the disease.”
(D) Distortion. The author feels that one of these has been traded for the other. In ¶4, she mentions the
“narrowing of free political choice to free economic consumption.”

67. (D)
STOP: This is an Application question.
THINK: What did the author mention regarding cameras being used to present information in a timely manner? In
¶2, the author mentions cameras enabling “quick, informed responses” and cites examples of identifying criminal
offenders and the use of X-rays to save lives.
PREDICT: The answer will be related either to catching criminal offenders or helping save lives.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction as it relates to catching criminal offenders.
(A) Out of Scope. This does not relate to catching criminal offenders or helping save lives.
(B) Out of Scope. This does not relate to catching criminal offenders or helping save lives.
(C) Out of Scope. This could be interpreted as helping to save lives but it does not incorporate the key concept
of needing to be “timely” as a medical emergency would.

68. (A)
STOP: This is an Evaluation question.
THINK: We’re looking for a claim in the passage that supports an idea. What does the author say about capitalist
society? This is dealt with in ¶4, in which the author says a great deal about cameras, photography, and their
use in capitalist society. We must be careful, though, to choose a statement that is both negative and is said
directly of capitalist society.
PREDICT: The answer will be something that is both negative and is said of capitalist society directly.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction.
(B) Out of Scope. This is not a criticism of capitalist society, but, rather, of the overuse of photography.
(C) Faulty Use of Detail. This is something the author mentions while talking about capitalist society, but it is
not a negative statement; it simply identifies a means of monitoring social change.
(D) Out of Scope. This is not a criticism of capitalist society but is something the author mentions when talking
about the camera’s ability to capture personal impressions.

69. (B)
STOP: This is an Application question.
THINK: Even though it doesn’t say the words, this is very much a “which of the following” question, so we will
need to evaluate each answer choice separately.
PREDICT: All we can really predict is that the answer will agree with the author’s views in the passage.
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction as it restricts the capitalist and consumerist image use that the
author criticizes.

36
Verbal Reasoning

(A) Distortion. This would fall under the “useful” category of image use, as the author mentions photographs’
usefulness in “facilitating estimates, decisions, and predictions.”
(C) Distortion. This would fall under the “useful” category of image use, as the author mentions photographs
being used to “identify criminal offenders.”
(D) Distortion. The artistic benefits of photography are mentioned in ¶2.

70. (D)
STOP: This is an Incorporation question, looking for an idea that is strengthened.
THINK: What does the author include about the camera’s ability to provide accurate information? In ¶2, the author
discusses the use of cameras to provide information and includes examples of indentifying criminals and helping
save lives.
PREDICT: The answer will be some conclusion that we can make based on these examples.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction as the examples provided show that society can be controlled
(identifying criminals through satellite imagery) and benefitted (helping save lives with PET scans).
(A) Out of Scope. This is not an assertion made by the author.
(B) Faulty Use of Detail. This is an assertion made by the author but it is not something that would be supported
by an extended capacity to provide information.
(C) Faulty Use of Detail. This is an assertion made by the author but it is not something that would be supported
by an extended capacity to provide information.

71. (A)
STOP: This is a Deduction question and a Roman Numeral question.
THINK: The quotes tell us the author explicitly used the word “subjectivize”; that happens in ¶4, in a contrast
with “objectify.” The author then links ”subjectivizing” to a “spectacle to absorb the attention of the citizenry”
(“objectifying” assists “governing”).
PREDICT: The correct choices will involve examples of things that would absorb citizens’ attention. On Roman
Numeral questions we should start with the statement that appears most often and go from there. In this case,
all the numerals appear twice, so let’s start with (I). Scenes likely to evoke emotion certainly sound like they
would absorb people’s attention, so (I) is correct. We can eliminate (B) and (D), leaving us only (III) to consider.
Special lenses to magnify tiny details would enhance reality rather than creating an absorbing spectacle, so (III)
is incorrect.
MATCH: (I) is the only choice that matches our prediction, so the correct answer is (A). For the record:
(II) False. This is an example of objectifying, as it captures reality.
(III) False. This is an example of objectifying. See above.

37
AAMC Test 11 Explanations

Passage IV (Items 72–76)

Passage Map

Passage Type: Social science


Topic: Professors
Scope: Problems with professors
Purpose: To provide solutions for issues with professors
Mapping the Passage:
¶1: Professors have no “home”; live where they can find work
¶2: Rootless profs rub off on students, don’t know value of “connectedness”
¶3: Ignorance of connectedness ® focus on abstract (bad); contrasted with concrete (good)
¶4: Acad. should allow native profs.
¶5: Profs. should include more local “concrete” content in classes
¶6: Profs. should work to focus on both local and universal (“dual citizenship”)

72. (C)
STOP: This is a Deduction question looking for an assumption.
THINK: Since this is a “which of the following” question, we can’t predict an exact answer, but we know we’re
looking for something the author must believe about professors.
PREDICT: We can keep in mind the author’s basic feelings regarding professors (rootless, disconnected, etc.).
MATCH: Choice (C) matches our prediction.
(A) Out of Scope. The author does not discuss the areas of study of the professors.
(B) Opposite. ¶1 states that “although they may have geographical preferences” they live where they can find work.
(D) Opposite. ¶2 explicitly states that the majority of US college students attend in their home state.

73. (B)
STOP: This is a Deduction question asking for the author’s attitude.
THINK: Can we find key words that the author uses to describe professors? A few examples are “transient” and
“ignorant.” The author also refers to their “rootlessness” and dedicates three paragraphs to improving professors.
PREDICT: The author mainly criticizes the professors for their lack of connectedness.
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction.
(A) Opposite. The author focuses mainly on subjective areas such as their lack of “connectedness” and their
“voice of the abstract.”
(C) Out of Scope. The author never expresses any ideas of superiority, but merely points out the faults of professors.
(D) Opposite. The author lists several ways that professors can personally improve their shortcomings, so the
author must assign some of the blame to the professors rather than feeling sympathetic toward them.

38
Verbal Reasoning

74. (D)
STOP: This is a Deduction question looking for an inference.
THINK: What is the author’s view of an exemplary professor? In ¶4, 5, and 6 the author lays out his suggested
improvements for professors. From this we can gather that the author’s exemplary professor should be a native
(¶4), should use the local community as a classroom (¶5), and should be a master of both her subject areas as
well as local “watersheds, growing seasons, migratory pathways, food chains, and dependency webs” (¶6).
PREDICT: The correct answer should relate to one of those three concepts. The third seems the most promising,
and sounds like a scientific field.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction. The items listed in ¶6 are all studied in ecology.
(A) Out of Scope. The author never mentions any aspects of a professor that would improve with increased
math skills.
(B) Out of Scope. The author never mentions any aspects of a professor that would improve with increased
sociology skills.
(C) Out of Scope. The author never mentions any aspects of a professor that would improve with increased
political science skills.

75. (A)
STOP: This is an Application question.
THINK: What does the author feel about universities hiring their own graduate students? The author does not
address this directly, but he does mention that universities need to hire more native faculty to improve faculty
connnectedness. Combine this with the author’s statement in ¶2 that most students attend universities in their
home states, and it would appear that the author would be very much in favor of this.
PREDICT: The author would strongly support this policy.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction.
(B) Out of Scope. While it does correctly conclude that the author would support the policy, the reasoning is
wrong. The author does not discuss the universities’ obligation to help graduates find a career.
(C) Out of Scope. The passage never discusses quantitatively the extent to which the author believes universities
should hire native employees.
(D) Out of Scope. The passage never discusses the author’s opinion of quota systems.

76. (A)
STOP: This is a Deduction question looking for an assumption.
THINK: This question wants an assumption underlying the author’s academic reforms, which are discussed in ¶4,
5, and 6. In ¶6, the author says we need “educators willing to live where they work and work where they live.”
PREDICT: The correct answer will explain this goal.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction.
(B) Faulty Use of Detail. The author mentions this as a statistic; the suggestions are aimed at the professors
and universities, not the students.
(C) Distortion. The author does state a desire to make the universities more local but in ¶6 suggests a balance
between the two, not a replacement.

39
AAMC Test 11 Explanations

(D) Distortion. The author wants to “keep what is good in both cosmopolitanism [the abstract] and provincialism
[the particular],” not to trade one for the other.

Passage V (Items 77–81)

Passage Map

Passage Type: Natural sciences


Topic: Pareiasaurs
Scope: Evolution of modern turtles
Purpose: To analyze how pareiasaurs may explain that evolution
Mapping the Passage:
¶1: Possible fossil bridge between oldest turtles and reptile ancestors
¶2: Pareiasaur description; oft overlooked by paleontologists
¶3: Evolution of the body
¶4: Evolution of the shell
¶5: The body dictated the shape of the shell, not the reverse
¶6: Evolution of the acromion process

77. (C)
STOP: This is an Evaluation question.
THINK: In what context does the author mention this? In ¶5, the author mentions that this region had just drifted
above the Antarctic Circle and was very cold. Therefore, the body plan of pareiasaurs was beneficial in terms of
conserving heat.
PREDICT: The author mentions pareiasaurs living in southern Africa to show their need to stay warm.
MATCH: Choice (C) matches our prediction.
(A) Out of Scope. This is never viewed as an assumption. In ¶4, the author clearly states, “the earliest turtles
were found in terrestrial deposits alongside dinosaurs.”
(B) Opposite. In ¶5, the author states that southern Africa had just moved above the Antarctic Circle, which
indicates that the landmass was not completely in place yet.
(D) Faulty Use of Detail. The distribution of turtle fossils was discussed in ¶4 while the location of the earliest
pareiasaurs was discussed as part of a completely different point in ¶5.

78. (A)
STOP: This is an Incorporation question.
THINK: What information does the author provide regarding the acromion process? In ¶6, the author mentions the
acromion process as another example of how turtles and pareiasaurs are evolutionarily linked. In modern turtles
it attaches the shoulder blade to the shell, but in the earliest turtles it was attached to the collarbone, just like
in pareiasaurs.

40
Verbal Reasoning

PREDICT: The additional information supports the author by showing that pareiasaurs could have evolved the
acromion process that attaches to the shell.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction.
(B) Distortion. Pareiasaurs did not have a true shell and, therefore, would not have been anchored to it.
(C) Out of Scope. The passage does not discuss the function of the collarbone.
(D) Opposite. The author suggests that the acromion process is an evolutionary adaptation for “life in the shell.”

79. (A)
STOP: This is a Scattered Detail question.
THINK: Because this is a Scattered Detail question we will need to evaluate each answer choice separately based
on the information in the passage.
PREDICT: The correct choice will be the one that is not addressed in the passage.
MATCH: Choice (A) is the only choice that is not addressed in the passage. (If you’ve studied anatomy, you may
know that there is a structure called the acromion in humans. Remember, though, that outside knowledge can
easily lead you into a trap!)
(B) Opposite. The author suggests that pareiasaurs are, in fact, lizard-like animals with shells, or, at least, the
evolutionary precursor to shells.
(C) Opposite. In ¶1, it is stated that details of their skull suggest they evolved from reptiles. This means that they
must resemble some of the earlier reptiles.
(D) Opposite. ¶5 explains that short, fat animals lose heat less rapidly than long, thin ones.

80. (C)
STOP: This is an Incorporation question asking us to weaken a hypothesis.
THINK: This is a “which of the following” question, so we will want to evaluate each answer choice individually
and eliminate incorrect answers as we go.
PREDICT: The question asks which would weaken the hypothesis, so we are looking for the choice that contradicts
something in the passage.
MATCH: Choice (C) matches our prediction because it suggests that as the pareiasaurs evolved, they lost their
back plates.
(A) Out of Scope. While interesting, this would not contradict any of the statements in the passage.
(B) Out of Scope. The hypothesis deals mainly with the evolution up to the point of the earliest turtles. It does
not really discuss turtle evolution after this point.
(D) Out of Scope. The passage does not discuss how long these evolutionary processes took, only that they
happened.

81. (D)
STOP: This is a Deduction question looking for an inference.
THINK: This is a “which of the following” question, so we will want to evaluate each choice individually, eliminating
incorrect choices as we go.
PREDICT: The answer will likely be something subjective that is based on objective information in the passage.

41
AAMC Test 11 Explanations

MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction as it is supported by the author’s less than flattering description in ¶2.
(A) Out of Scope. The author is certainly not complimentary of the pareiasaur’s looks, but falls way short of
describing it as “terrorizing.”
(B) Distortion. The author explains that the plates on the back of the pareiasaur help to keep its back from
sagging, but their use for protection is never discussed.
(C) Opposite. The author explains in ¶4 that the turtle actually evolved and adapted on land.

Passage VI (Items 82–87)

Passage Map

Passage Type: Humanities


Topic: Portugal
Scope: Portugal during the French Revolution
Purpose: How the French Revolution affected Portugal
Mapping the Passage:
¶1: Obstacles in Spain and Portugal block spread of French Revolution
¶2: The people—both high and low—supported the church and monarchy
¶3: Small group dreamed of freedom
¶4: Mixed reaction to news of the revolution
¶5: Chain reaction of events after French king is deposed

82. (C)
STOP: This is a Scattered Detail question and a Roman Numeral question.
THINK: The author discusses conserving the older social, religious, and political order in ¶2. Looking at our
answer choices, (III) appears in every answer but one, so start there.
PREDICT: The correct choices will be mentioned in ¶2.
MATCH: The royal family is mentioned in ¶2 as “guardians of the past,” so (III) is true. That eliminates (A).
Looking at (I) next, peasants are also mentioned, so (I) is true as well. That means choice (C) is the correct
answer. For the record:
(II) FALSE. The Freemasons are mentioned in ¶3 as part of the group that favored revolution.

83. (A)
STOP: This is a Deduction question looking for an inference.
THINK: What details does the author provide regarding the attention of Napoleon? Napoleon is not mentioned
until the very end of ¶5. The author states that Portugal drew Napoleon’s attention because they refused to join
his blockade of Britain.
PREDICT: Portugal may have avoided the attention if they had joined the blockade.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction.

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Verbal Reasoning

(B) Out of Scope. This was prior to Napoleon’s attention and does not match the clearly stated explanation of
Napoleon’s actions.
(C) Out of Scope. This was prior to Napoleon’s attention and does not match the clearly stated explanation of
Napoleon’s actions.
(D) Out of Scope. This was prior to Napoleon’s attention and does not match the clearly stated explanation of
Napoleon’s actions.

84. (D)
STOP: This is an Application question.
THINK: What information does the author provide regarding “divine-right monarchy”? This is mentioned at the end
of ¶2 when the author explains the protective nature of the Queen and her son toward the church. If the church
ceased to support divine-right monarchy they would have been lumped in with the rest of the revolutionaries.
PREDICT: The correct answer will involve the church being viewed as a revolutionary group.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. The common people were awed and comforted by the church; their love for the church was not
based on the church’s support of the monarchy.
(B) Distortion. The Freemasons were known to support a representative government, so they would not support
the monarchy.
(C) Distortion. If the church ceased to support the monarchy that would add to the strength of the revolutionary
group, requiring John to take even more stringent measures.

85. (D)
STOP: This is an Evaluation question.
THINK: The question is asking for a piece of evidence in the passage that supports a point. How can you support
the idea that a group is in the minority? Essentially, there are two ways: provide evidence that the group in
question is small, or provide evidence that the other group is large.
PREDICT: The answer will provide evidence that the liberals were a small group or that the conservatives were a
large group.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction since the commoners would have been a very large group.
(A) Distortion. This does not provide evidence of the number of people in the group; the queen and her son could
oppose the majority.
(B) Distortion. This does not provide evidence of the number of people in the group; John could easily have jailed
members of the majority.
(C) Distortion. This does not provide evidence of the number of people in the group. The Inquisition would likely
decrease the number of liberals, but that doesn’t show they were in the minority.

86. (B)
STOP: This is an Incorporation question, looking to strengthen an idea.
THINK: This is a “which of the following” question, so we will want to evaluate each answer choice individually,
eliminating incorrect answers as we do.

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AAMC Test 11 Explanations

PREDICT: The correct answer will demonstrate John’s resistance to social change.
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction since it shows that John claimed to agree to change, but when it came
down to it, he reverted to his old ways.
(A) Faulty Use of Detail. This does not relate to John’s views on social change. He did not have much of a choice
in this matter.
(C) Faulty Use of Detail. This does not relate to John’s views on social change. This was not a decision that
John made.
(D) Faulty Use of Detail. This does not relate to John’s views on social change. It does not suggest that John’s
reign ended as a result of his resistance to social change.

87. (A)
STOP: This is an Application question.
THINK: The question asks for an alternative explanation for one of the facts in the passage. The passage itself
does not give any additional information regarding the ambassador to France.
PREDICT: The answer will need to be alternative to the solution provided and not contradict anything in the passage.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction.
(B) Distortion. This would explain the ambassador’s sympathy but it does not provide an alternative explanation.
(C) Distortion. This would explain the ambassador’s sympathy but it does not provide an alternative explanation.
(D) Distortion. This would explain the ambassador’s sympathy but it does not provide an alternative explanation.

Passage VII (Items 88–92)

Passage Map

Passage Type: Natural science


Topic: Repenomamus
Scope: Its characteristics
Purpose: To discuss Repenomamus and how it was able to hunt
Mapping the Passage:
¶1: Mesozoic mammals always seen as dinosaur food; not always true
¶2: Fossil discovery shows baby dinosaur in the stomach of a mammal
¶3: Other ex. of mammals capable of this
¶4: Fossils formed in volcanic explosion → preserved position
¶5: Thought to be predators, not scavengers
¶6: Name, resemblance to reptiles, other physical characteristics

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Verbal Reasoning

88. (B)
STOP: This is a Detail question.
THINK: What is the context in which the author mentions the partially articulated remains? In ¶5, the author
states, “Some of the dinosaur’s long bones were still articulated, indicating they were swallowed in large chunks.”
PREDICT: The answer should say something about how R. robustus ate its food.
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction.
(A) Faulty Use of Detail. This was covered earlier in ¶5 when the author discussed the teeth of the mammal, and
the evidence cited would not distinguish scavenging from hunting.
(C) Faulty Use of Detail. This was covered in ¶2 when the author discussed the identification of the remains
as a young dinosaur. The teeth, limbs, and toes of the remains identified it as Psittacosaurus, not their partially
articulated nature.
(D) Out of Scope. This is not discussed in the passage.

89. (A)
STOP: This is a Deduction question looking for an inference.
THINK: What does the author have to say about the condition of fossils? Only one thing: in ¶4, the author explains
that the mammals were killed in a volcanic explosion, preserving their position.
PREDICT: They would be more likely to be found in an area with erupting volcanoes.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction.
(B) Distortion. This would not affect the condition of the fossil and was not mentioned in the passage.
(C) Distortion. This would not affect the condition of the fossil and was not mentioned in the passage.
(D) Distortion. This would not affect the condition of the fossil and was not mentioned in the passage.

90. (D)
STOP: This is an Application question, effectively asking us to strengthen an idea.
THINK: What information does the author present regarding studying behavior? Throughout the passage the
author uses what we know about modern mammals to draw conclusions about extinct mammals.
PREDICT: The author would advocate comparing observable behaviors of modern reptiles to the extinct reptile.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction.
(A) Out of Scope. Size would not illuminate any details about parenting behavior.
(B) Out of Scope. Diet would not illuminate any details about parenting behavior.
(C) Out of Scope. Feeding grounds would not illuminate any details about parenting behavior.

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AAMC Test 11 Explanations

91. (D)
STOP: This is a Detail question.
THINK: Where did the author discuss Psittacosaurus? ¶2 is the only place that the author discusses details of
Psittacosaurus.
PREDICT: The answer will relate to some detail in ¶2 describing Psittacosaurus.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction.
(A) Faulty Use of Detail. This would help readers understand R. robustus, not Psittacosaurus.
(B) Faulty Use of Detail. This would help readers understand R. robustus, not Psittacosaurus.
(C) Faulty Use of Detail. This is the mammal; it would not help readers understand Psittacosaurus.

92. (A)
STOP: This is a Deduction question looking for an inference.
THINK: What does the passage say about R. giganticus? In ¶3, the author states that R. giganticus is larger;
requires more food, a larger home range, and a better ability to resist predation; and has a longer life span.
PREDICT: The correct answer should say one of these things.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction.
(B) Out of Scope. The author never mentions this.
(C) Out of Scope. The author never mentions this.
(D) . Distortion. The author says R. giganticus needed more food, not that they needed to hunt bigger animals.

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Biological Sciences

BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES ANSWER KEY

95. D 108. B 121. D 134. B

96. D 109. A 122. C 135. C

97. A 110. D 123. B 136. C

98. B 111. A 124. C 137. D

99. B 112. B 125. B 138. A

100. C 113. B 126. A 139. B

101. B 114. D 127. A 140. A

102. A 115. C 128. B 141. B

103. A 116. A 129. C 142. A

104. D 117. A 130. D 143. B

105. B 118. D 131. B 144. A

106. C 119. D 132. A 145. A

107. A 120. C 133. B 146. D

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AAMC Test 11 Explanations

AAMC TEST 11 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES—KAPLAN EXPLANATIONS

Passage I (Items 95–99)

Passage Map

Passage Type: Experimental


Topic: Endothelial cells (ECs)
Scope: Effect of pericytes on EC growth
Mapping the Passage:
¶1: Coculture exps. to test the effect of pericytes on EC growth
Fig 1: Structure of capillary
Exp 1: EC mixed with growth arrested A) pericytes B) smooth-muscle C) fibroblasts
Fig 2: Results for Exp 1.
Exp 2: EC in coculture but separated by semi-perm barrier with D) pericytes E) smooth-muscle
Fig 3: Results for Exp 2.

95. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the phase of the cell cycle of the pericytes used in the experiment.
THINK: What information does the experiment give us regarding the pericytes? It is stated that the pericytes are
growth-arrested, meaning they do not divide but all other metabolic processes function properly.
PREDICT: So, we are looking for a phase of the cell cycle that is not involved with cell division and in which all
other metabolic processes function—in other words, interphase.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. Telophase is a stage of mitosis.
(B) Distortion. Metaphase is a stage of mitosis.
(C) Distortion. Anaphase is a stage of mitosis.

96. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to choose the best explanation for why pericytes would disappear prior to new blood-
vessel growth.
THINK: The question stem does not give us a whole lot to go on, but it does say that the answer should be “based
on the passage.” Our passage map tells us that the passage is all about experiments designed to test the effects
of pericytes on the growth rate of ECs.
PREDICT: Using the data in figure 2, Container A, we can see that pericytes inhibit the growth of ECs, which
explains why pericytes would disappear prior to new blood-vessel growth, a process that would require intense
EC growth.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction that pericytes inhibit EC growth.
(A) Out of Scope. The pericytes were growth-arrested so they did not grow at all.

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(B) Out of Scope. The pericytes were growth-arrested so they did not grow at all.
(C) Opposite. The data in Figure 2, Container A show that ECs cocultured with pericytes show significantly less
growth than the control.

97. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the purpose for growth-arresting the pericytes.
THINK: What do we know about the growth-arrest process? All we are told is that it prevents the cells from dividing
while all other cell processes function normally.
PREDICT: The purpose must be related to prohibiting the growth of pericytes.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction as it mentions preventing pericyte growth.
(B) Distortion. The experiment was designed to see whether or not pericytes would inhibit EC growth, and it
showed that they do.
(C) Distortion. In growth-arrest all other cell processes function properly, so there would still be metabolic wastes.
(D) Out of Scope. The experiment was designed to test the effect of pericytes on EC growth; pericyte growth is
not of interest.

98. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to determine whether a student’s hypothesis about EC growth is reasonable, and
why.
THINK: We can break down the student’s hypothesis to look for any weaknesses. First, could DNA affect the
growth rate of ECs? Sure. Do erythrocytes have access to ECs? Absolutely. Are there any other important details
about erythrocytes that we should consider? Indeed, erythrocytes don’t contain DNA, making the student’s
hypothesis an impossibility.
PREDICT: No; the student’s hypothesis is impossible because erythrocytes do not contain DNA.
MATCH:
(A) Distortion. Erythrocytes do not contain DNA.
(C) Distortion. Erythrocytes do not contain DNA.
(D) Distortion. Erythrocytes do not contain DNA.

99. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to identify the cells that are most important in the exchange of O2 between blood
and tissues.
THINK: We can use Figure 1 to visualize the movement of O2 between blood and tissues. What cells are directly
involved with this transfer? O2 is initially attached to circulating erythrocytes in the blood that flows through the
lumen of a capillary. It then passes directly through the ECs and into the surrounding tissue cells.
PREDICT: The question stem emphasizes Figure 1 and asks for the most important cells in O2 exchange between
blood and tissues, so you would expect that they would be cells depicted in Figure 1 that are also directly in
contact with the blood. The only type of cell that fits both these criteria are ECs.
MATCH: Choice (B), endothelial cells, is the only choice that matches our prediction.

49
AAMC Test 11 Explanations

(A) Faulty Use of Detail. Pericytes are featured in Figure 1 and are found around capillaries, but O2 transfer occurs
along the entire capillary whereas pericytes are only found periodically along the capillary and are separated from
the blood by a layer of ECs.
(C) Out of Scope. Smooth-muscle cells are not found in Figure 1.
(D) Out of Scope. Fibroblasts are not found in Figure 1.

Passage II (Items 100–106)

Passage Map

Passage Type: Informational


Topic: LH secretion
Scope: Regulation of LH secretion
Mapping the Passage:
¶1: APG secretes LH → stimulates sex hormones and ovulation
¶2: Secretion mechanism; stimulation by GnRH
¶3: Neuromodulators – change response of secretory cells to GnRH
¶4: Study tested the effects of NPY
Table 1: LH levels after control/NPY/GnRH/GnRH + NPY

100. (C)
STOP: The question asks us to describe the purpose of the study mentioned in the passage.
THINK: Our passage map tells us that this was described in ¶4. What information does the passage give us? We
are told that the LH levels were measured to examine the effects of NPY.
PREDICT: The study was designed to examine the effects of NPY on LH secretion.
MATCH: Choice (C) matches our prediction.
(A) Out of Scope. NPY levels were decided independently; its secretion levels were not measured as a
dependent variable.
(B) Out of Scope. NPY levels were decided independently; its secretion levels were not measured as a
dependent variable.
(D) Out of Scope. GnRH levels were decided independently; its secretion levels were not measured as a
dependent variable.

101. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to decide why NPY is not classified as a releasing factor.
THINK: What does the passage tell us about the term releasing factor? ¶3 mentions that neuromodulators, in
contrast to releasing factors, do not stimulate LH release on their own. So releasing factors directly stimulate LH
secretion. If NPY is not a releasing factor we can conclude that it cannot directly stimulate LH secretion. It also
indicates that NPY might be a neuromodulator: it cannot directly stimulate LH secretion, but it can affect it through

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Biological Sciences

modulation of GnRH. We can confirm this by looking at the data in Table 1: NPY on its own does not stimulate
secretion of LH, but when delivered with GnRH it has a significant effect.
PREDICT: NPY is not classified as a releasing factor because it lacks the ability to directly stimulate LH secretion,
but can have a significant effect through modulation of GnRH.
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. The data in Table 1 show that NPY can have a significant effect on LH secretion when GnRH
is present.
(C) Distortion. The data in Table 1 show that NPY can have a significant effect on LH secretion when GnRH
is present.
(D) Distortion. The data in Table 1 show that NPY does not have a significant effect on LH when administered
independently, unlike GnRH.

102. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to choose the proper graph that models estrogen levels in the blood after treatment
with NPY alone.
THINK: Does the passage provide any information regarding estrogen levels? It is mentioned in ¶1 that LH stimulates
sex hormone (estrogen) production. So, if we know what happens to LH, we can figure out what happens to estrogen.
If we consult Table 1 we can see that treatment with NPY alone does not stimulate LH secretion.
PREDICT: The graph will indicate no change in estrogen levels.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction.
(B) Distortion. Estrogen levels change in this graph.
(C) Distortion. Estrogen levels change in this graph.
(D) Distortion. Estrogen levels change in this graph.

103. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to choose the findings that best support the hypothesis that NPY is needed for the
generation of the preovulatory LH surge.
THINK: If the hypothesis is that NPY is necessary for the surge, what are some ways that we could demonstrate
its validity? There are basically two ways we could do this: by showing that NPY is present when the LH surge
occurs or by showing that the surge does not occur when NPY is removed or blocked. Of the two, showing that
NPY is present when the surge occurs could be simply coincidental, whereas the absence of a surge when NPY
is blocked or removed is more conclusive.
PREDICT: The best answer will indicate that the LH surge does not occur when NPY is removed or blocked. If
such an answer is not available, an acceptable answer will show that NPY is present when the LH surge occurs.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction as it shows that the surge does not occur when NPY is blocked.
(B) Faulty Use of Detail. This evidence supports our hypothesis but could be coincidental and is, therefore, not
the best support.
(C) Faulty Use of Detail. This evidence supports our hypothesis but could be coincidental and is, therefore, not
the best support.
(D) Out of Scope. The effect of NPY on male rats has no bearing on a hypothesis regarding the preovulatory LH surge.

51
AAMC Test 11 Explanations

104. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the likely location for NPY and GnRH receptors given that they are large
hydrophilic molecules.
THINK: What conclusions can we draw about NPY and GnRH based on the fact that they are large and hydrophilic?
Both of these characteristics will affect their membrane permeability. As large, hydrophilic molecules they will
most definitely not make it through the cell membrane.
PREDICT: The receptors must be on the cell surface since NPY and GnRH will not be able to enter the cell.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. NPY and GnRH will not be able to enter the cell to reach the cytosol.
(B) Distortion. NPY and GnRH will not be able to enter the cell to reach the nucleus.
(C) Distortion. NPY and GnRH will not be able to enter the cell to reach the mitochondria.

105. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to calculate the percent increase in LH levels when NPY modulated the effect of GnRH.
THINK: What change in LH levels do we see between GnRH alone and GnRH + NPY? We find that LH levels have
increased 7.03 ng/mL – 4.74 ng/mL = 2.29 ng/mL. We can then express this as a percentage of the original
LH level.
PREDICT: 2.29 is just slightly less than half of 4.74, so our answer should be just slightly under 50%.
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction.
(A) Miscalculation. This is too low; our answer should be just under 50%.
(C) Miscalculation. If you divide 4.74 into 7.03, you’ll get this answer; our answer should be just under 50%.
(D) Miscalculation. This is too high; our answer should be just under 50%.

106. (C)
STOP: The question asks us to choose the conclusion that can be drawn from information in the passage.
THINK: The question is quite open-ended, but there are two major topics regarding regulation of LH secretion that
are covered in the passage. One is the direct stimulation of LH secretion by releasing factors such as GnRH. The
other is the modulation of the secretory cells’ response to GnRH by neuromodulators.
PREDICT: The correct choice will include a true statement regarding either direct stimulation of LH secretion by
releasing factors or modulation of response to GnRH by neuromodulators.
MATCH: Choice (C) matches our prediction since it is a correct statement about modulation of response to GnRH
by neuromodulators.
(A) Out of Scope. The passage makes no claims as to the importance or role of NPY in female fertility.
(B) Distortion. This is not true; NPY modulates the response of GnRH receptor cells in the anterior pituitary.
(D) Out of Scope. The question stem asks specifically for conclusions about LH secretion in females; the male
response is not relevant.

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Biological Sciences

Discrete Set I (Items 107–111)

107. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to choose a mechanism that would compensate for the imbalance of sex chromosome
gene products.
THINK: What sort of imbalance can we identify in the situation described in the question stem? There are two
imbalances in this situation. First, the males of the species have an extra copy of all of the genes on the R
chromosome and will therefore have twice as many gene products. Second, the females of the species have only
one copy of the R chromosome and will therefore have half the gene products of the males.
PREDICT: The answer will either increase the female R production to match male production, or decrease the
male R production to match female production.
MATCH: Choice (A) fits the bill, as it appropriately reduces production from male R chromosomes to match
female production.
(B) Distortion. If anything, doubling the S chromosome products would make the imbalance worse.
(C) Opposite. This would make matters worse by leaving the males with two functioning R chromosomes and the
females with none.
(D) Opposite. This would make matters worse by increasing the R gene products for males, which are already
greater than those of females.

108. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to identify the choice that does not describe a function of the high acidity of
stomach acid.
THINK: The question is very open-ended but we can keep in mind the various properties and functions of the
stomach as we evaluate the answer choices.
PREDICT: As a “which of the following” question, an exact prediction is difficult, but we know we’re looking for
something that is incorrect or irrelevant about stomach acidity.
MATCH: Choice (B) claims that the high acidity of the stomach acid provides the optimal pH for trypsin. While
trypsin is a digestive enzyme, you should recall that it is released from the pancreas into the duodenum (first
part of the small intestine), and acts after the stomach acid has been neutralized. Its optimal pH is actually ~8.
(Make sure you know the differences between pepsin and trypsin for Test Day!)
(A) Opposite. This is true; very few microorganisms can survive the extreme pH of the stomach.
(C) Opposite. This is true; the acidic environment does denature proteins to make them more accessible for
proteases.
(D) Opposite. This is true; the HCl converts pepsinogen into its active form, pepsin.

109. (A)
STOP: The question asks us determine the structural differences between two disaccharides given that they are
both made up of the same two monosaccharides.
THINK: What do we know about disaccharide structure? Basically, they are composed of two monosaccharides
joined by either an α- or ϐ-glycosidic bond.
PREDICT: As both monosaccharides are the same in each disaccharide, their only structural difference will have
to do with the α- or ϐ- orientation of the glycosidic bond.
53
AAMC Test 11 Explanations

MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction.


(B) Distortion. The rings of each monosaccharide can interconvert between chair and boat, but that is a
conformational change, not a structural change.
(C) Distortion. Atoms in constitutional isomers are bonded in completely different orders, which is not the case
when two identical monosaccharides are joined at the same atom.
(D) Distortion. Five-membered glucose rings are very rare and only occur when six-membered rings are precluded.

110. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to describe the bond that forms between two nucleotides in a single strand of DNA.
THINK: What information do we know about the structure of DNA? The nucleotides in each strand make up the
alternating sugar-phosphate backbone. Adjacent nucleotides are joined by ester bonds between the sugar of the
5' nucleotide and the phosphate group of the 3' nucleotide.
PREDICT: To join the thymine to the adenine, we’ll need to connect the sugar of the thymine (i.e., the 5'
nucleotide) to the phosphate of the adenine (i.e., the 3' nucleotide).
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. This would not form an ester bond and would not result in the alternating sugar-phosphate pattern
of the DNA strand.
(B) Distortion. This would not form an ester bond and would not result in the alternating sugar-phosphate pattern
of the DNA strand.
(C) Opposite. This would form the proper ester bond structure but would place thymine at the 3' end and adenine
at the 5' end of the DNA strand.

111. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the location of the genes (either nucleus or mitochondria) that cause
two different myopathies.
THINK: What information are we given about these diseases? The question stem states that MDS exhibits
Mendelian inheritance while MERRF exhibits maternal inheritance.
PREDICT: The Mendelian inheritance pattern of MDS suggests that its genes are located in the nucleus with the
rest of the genetic material. The maternal inheritance pattern of MERRF suggests that its genes are located in
the mitochondria.
MATCH: Recognizing MDS genes as nuclear eliminates (B) and (D); choice (A) is the remaining choice that also
matches our prediction for MERRF.
(B) Opposite. This choice switches the locations of the genes based on our predictions.
(C) Distortion. This could only be true if both genes displayed Mendelian inheritance patterns.
(D) Distortion. This could only be true if both genes displayed maternal inheritance patterns.

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Biological Sciences

Passage III (Items 112–118)

Passage Map

Passage Type: Informational


Topic: Secretory lysosomes (SLs)
Scope: Ex. of SLs and possible adverse mutations
Mapping the Passage:
¶1: Importance of SLs
¶2: CTLs → lytic granules; melanocytes → melanosomes (melanin transport)
¶3: Griscelli. syndr. → poss. result of mutated SL in CTL; mouse model used for study
Table 1: Results of mouse mutations in melanocyte and microfilament motor protein

112. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to identify something that lytic granules do not require, but melanosomes do, that
is supported by the data in Table 1.
THINK: How does melanosome and lytic granule secretion relate to the data in Table 1? ¶2 links lytic granule
secretion to cytolytic protein secretion, or in terms of Table 1, killing by CTLs. ¶2 links melanosomes to the
secretion of melanin pigments. Table 1 refers to partial albinism, which would be caused by lack of melanin
pigment secretion.
PREDICT: If we search Table 1 for something that lytic granule secretion does not require we find that killing by
CTLs is still observed when myosin Va is inactivated, indicating that lytic granules are being secreted. Partial
albinism is also observed, indicating that melanosomes are not secreted when myosin Va is inactivated. So, lytic
granules don’t require myosin Va, but melanosomes do.
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction that lytic granule secretion does not require myosin Va.
(A) Opposite. Rab27a is required for lytic granule secretion, as killing by CTLs is not observed when Rab27a
is inactivated.
(C) Out of Scope. Table 1 does not provide information concerning microtubules.
(D) Out of Scope. Table 1 does not provide information concerning fusion with the plasma membrane.

113. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the structure that myosin Va binds.
THINK: Does the passage give us information regarding myosin Va binding? ¶2 tells us that melanophilin protein
binds myosin Va and that myosin Va is a motor protein on microfilaments; meaning myosin Va must bind to the
microfilaments.
PREDICT: Myosin Va binds directly to both melanophilin protein and microfilaments.
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction because actin is the structural building block of microfilaments.
(A) Distortion. A common mistake; tubulin is the structural building block of microtubules, not microfilaments.
(C) Distortion. Melanin is stored in the melanosomes, while myosin Va binding occurs outside of the melanosome.
(D) Distortion. ¶2 tells us that Rab27a binds melanophilin protein, which, in turn, binds myosin Va. Rab27a and
myosin Va are not directly bound together.

55
AAMC Test 11 Explanations

114. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to identify basic functional components of conventional lysosomes.
THINK: What are the basic components of a conventional lysosome? The “garbage dumps” of our cells, lysosomes
are simple vesicles that contain acidic hydrolytic enzymes.
PREDICT: The basic functional components are a membrane, hydrolytic enzymes, and an interior with a low pH.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction.
(A) Out of Scope. Ribosomes are found in the cytoplasm and function as protein synthesizers.
(B) Out of Scope. The Krebs cycle occurs in the mitochondrial matrix.
(C) Out of Scope. RNA and DNA are synthesized in the nucleus.

115. (C)
STOP: The question asks us to decide if leaden mutant mice, which lack melanophilin, would more resemble
ashen or dilute mice, and why. Note all the answer choices say “hypopigmented,” so we only need to consider
whether they’re immunodeficient; details like this can save you significant time on Test Day!
THINK: To determine whether leaden more closely resembles ashen or dilute we will need to compare the
details provided in the question stem to the data in Table 1. First, would killing by CTLs be observed in leaden?
Melanophilin is non-functional in leaden but the question states that melanophilin is unnecessary for lytic granule
exocytosis. Thus, we will observe killing by CTLs, indicating a functional immune system.
PREDICT: We can expect the immune system to function properly just as in the dilute mutants.
MATCH: Choice (C) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. This choice correctly determines the characteristics of leaden mutants but misinterprets the data
in Table 1 by choosing ashen as the closer match.
(B) Distortion. This choice incorrectly concludes that non-functional melanophilin will prevent lytic granule
exocytosis and lead to immunodeficiency.
(D) Opposite. This choice incorrectly concludes that non-functional melanophilin will prevent lytic granule
exocytosis and lead to immunodeficiency. In addition, it misinterprets the data in Table 1 by choosing ashen as
the closer match based on these conclusions.

116. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the origin of the microtubules that melanosomes travel along.
THINK: Where do microtubules originate? If we think back to mitosis we should remember that microtubules are
polymerized in the centrosome.
PREDICT: Microtubules radiate and originate in the centrosome.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction.
(B) Out of Scope. Kinetochores do interact with microtubules but only during cell division.
(C) Out of Scope. The Golgi apparatus is not involved in intracellular transport except in packaging macromolecules
into vesicles before transport.
(D) Distortion. Microfilaments tend to attach to the periphery of the plasma membrane and, like microtubles, are
part of the cytoskeleton, but microtubules do not originate and radiate from microfilaments.

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117. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to identify what stimulates lytic granule secretion by binding to T-cell receptors.
THINK: When released, lytic granules secrete cytolytic proteins that will kill cells. This is an immune response and
should occur when CTLs detect something foreign or harmful.
PREDICT: CTLs will be released when the T-cell receptors bind something foreign or harmful.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction since viral antigens would definitely be identified as foreign.
(B) Opposite. Growth factors from helper T lymphocytes would be recognized as self and would not trigger the
release of lytic granules.
(C) Opposite. B-cell receptors on activated B lymphocytes would be recognized as self and would not trigger the
release of lytic granules.
(D) Opposite. Antibodies would be recognized as self and would not trigger the release of lytic granules.

118. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to identify the stimulus that would lead to increased melanin secretion.
THINK: What role does melanin play in the skin? The passage tells us that melanin is a pigment and we should
recall that it is the primary determinant of skin color and serves to absorb harmful UV radiation.
PREDICT: It follows that melanin secretion will be stimulated when there is a greater need for melanin, or, in other
words, when the skin is subjected to UV radiation.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction.
(A) Out of Scope.The sympathetic nervous system would not benefit from increased pigment release.
(B) Out of Scope. Increased blood flow would have no effect on pigment secretion.
(C) Out of Scope. Increased tactile pressure on the skin would have no effect on pigment secretion.

Discrete Set II (Items 119–123)

119. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to identify the joint that allows the greatest freedom of movement.
THINK: This is straightforward content question, but even if you cannot recall the details of each type of joint, the
names are descriptive enough to give you an idea. The words pivot and hinge indicate one-dimensional movement
and the term plane indicates two-dimensional movement.
PREDICT: The ball-and-socket joint allows movement in all three dimensions.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. Pivot joints allow movement in only one dimension.
(B) Distortion. Plane joints allow movement in only two dimensions.
(C) Distortion. Hinge joints allow movement in only one dimension.

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120. (C)
STOP: The question asks where sperm become motile and capable of fertilization.
THINK: If we consider the life cycle of sperm, it follows that the sperm must gain motility after they are produced
but before they are ejaculated from the body.
PREDICT: Sperm gain motility and the ability to fertilize while in storage in the epididymis.
MATCH: Choice (C) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. Sperm are produced in the testes but do not mature until later, in storage in the epididymis.
(B) Distortion. Sperm travel through the urethra on the way out of the penis but have already developed motility
and the ability to fertilize prior to this location.
(D) Distortion. The prostate gland produces and secretes prostatic fluid, a component of semen, but the sperm
never actually enter the prostate.

121. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the condition LEAST likely to induce thirst.
THINK: Urges like thirst tend to be part of the body’s natural process for maintaining homeostasis. What condition
might thirst be a response to? Most likely, thirst is a response to dehydration.
PREDICT: We want to choose the condition that is NOT indicative of dehydration.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction since a decrease in blood osmolality would mean that the blood was
becoming more watered down.
(A) Opposite. Dry mouth or throat would be a direct sign of dehydration.
(B) Opposite. Decreased blood volume is a sign of dehydration.
(C) Opposite. Decreased blood pressure indicates decreased blood volume, which is a sign of dehydration.

122. (C)
STOP: The question asks us to calculate the fraction of offspring that will have a specific genotype given the
parents’ genotypes.
THINK: The question stem states that all of the genes are unlinked, which means we can determine the
frequencies of each gene independently and then calculate the probability of all 5 events happening together.
That said, when both parents are homozygotes, there is only one possible outcome. Thus, we can ignore genes
B, C, and E. Calculating the frequency of the remaining genotypes:
Aa × Aa: frequency of aa: _​ 14 ​
dd × Dd: frequency of dd: _​ 12 ​
PREDICT: The probability of all of the events happening together is the product of their frequencies, or _​ 14 ​ × _12​  ​= _​ 18 ​.
MATCH: Choice (C) matches our prediction.
(  )
5
(A) Miscalculation. This is ​_​ 12 ​ ​ , but we have to assess each genotype.
(B) Miscalculation. The probability is _​ 18 .​
(  )
2
(D) Miscalculation. This is ​_​ 12 ​ ​ , but the probability associated with the aa genotype is _​ 14 ​, not _​ 12 .​

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123. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the class of compound that will have the strongest interaction with
silica gel.
THINK: The question stem tells us that compounds interact with the gel through hydrogen bonding. The compound
with the strongest interaction will be the compound that develops the strongest hydrogen bonds.
PREDICT: Hydrogen bonding strength increases with polarity. Since classes of compounds are characterized by
their functional groups we want to choose the class of compounds with the most polar functional group.
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction because it is the most polar of the classes.
(A) Distortion. Carboxylic acids are more polar than alcohols.
(C) Distortion. Carboxylic acids are more polar than esters.
(D) Distortion. Carboxylic acids are more polar than ketones.

Passage IV (Items 124–128)

Passage Map

Passage Type: Informational


Topic: Toxin metabolism
Scope: Role of Cytochrome P-450 in toxin metabolism
Mapping the Passage:
¶1: cP-450 structure and general function
¶2: Toxin metab. rxn
Rxn 1: Mech. of toxin metab.
¶3: Toxins can compete for cP-450
¶4: Case study demonstrates toxin competition
¶5: Man ODs on barbitutates because cP-450 is busy processing alcohol

124. (C)
STOP: The question asks us to determine what sequence must be different in order to produce isoenzymes of
cP-450.
THINK: What sequence dictates the sequence/structure of a protein? mRNA sequences are directly responsible
for amino acid sequence and protein structure. Let us not forget, though, that mRNA sequences are based on
the original DNA sequences.
PREDICT: The correct answer should mention different sequences of DNA and/or mRNA.
MATCH: Choice (C) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. rRNA is responsible for binding the mRNA to the ribosome, but it does not affect the sequence.
(B) Distortion. DNA is not translated; it is transcribed. Even if it had correctly said transcribed, the sequence of
the amino acid doing the transcribing would not affect the outcome sequence.

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(D) Distortion. tRNA is responsible for bringing amino acids to the ribosomes for protein synthesis but it does
not affect the sequence.

125. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to determine how the alcohol caused the man to die.
THINK: ¶5 states that the actual cause of death was an overdose of barbiturates, so the alcohol must have
facilitated the overdose somehow. Does the passage give any additional information concerning the mixing of
alcohol and barbiturates? ¶3 mentions that alcohol acts as a competitive inhibitor of barbiturate metabolism.
PREDICT: We know from the rest of the passage that cP-450 is responsible for toxin metabolism so we can
conclude that alcohol caused the overdose by competitively inhibiting cP-450.
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction.
(A) Out of Scope. The passage does not address the denaturing of cP-450.
(C) Distortion. The passage does mention in ¶2 that cP-450 is inducible, but the man’s increased toxin levels
would have caused an increase in cP-450.
(D) Faulty Use of Detail. The passage does mention in ¶2 that cP-450 is inducible, and the man’s increased
toxin levels would have increased the concentration of cP-450. However, this would have helped metabolize the
excess barbiturate, not caused the man to die.

126. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to identify the part of aerobic respiration in which acetyl-CoA participates.
THINK: This is a straightforward pseudodiscrete question. Where do we find acetyl-CoA in the process of cellular
respiration? Acetyl-CoA forms during pyruvate decarboxylation and then immediately enters the Krebs cycle.
PREDICT: Acetyl-CoA participates in the Krebs cycle.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction.
(B) Distortion. Acetyl-CoA does not participate in glycolysis.
(C) Distortion. Acetyl-CoA does not participate in the electron transport chain.
(D) Distortion. Acetyl-CoA does not participate in oxidative phosphorylation.

127. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to identify the barrier that toxins must pass through before excretion.
THINK: How are toxins typically excreted? Most toxins are excreted in the urine.
PREDICT: The correct answer will be some barrier related to filtration and excretion in the urinary system. Also, the
answer must be something that is selectively permeable since the toxin can only pass through once it is oxidized.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction as Bowman’s capsule is the first barrier that filters blood during urine
formation and is selectively permeable.
(B) Distortion. While toxins are transported in the blood they do not actually enter the red blood cells.
(C) Distortion. Toxins do not need to cross cell membranes to be excreted, as Bowman’s capsule has a series
of pores and filtration slits that allow direct passage of select molecules.
(D) Distortion. Toxins do not need to pass through the cytoskeleton because they do not need to enter any cells
on their excretory journey.

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128. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the genetic material that will increase in concentration along with
cP-450 in the lung cells of heavy smokers.
THINK: The passage tells us that cP-450 can be induced, and we see from the question stem that cP-450
concentrations are increased in the lungs. How does a cell increase production of a specific protein? Protein
production is based on gene expression. As the number of mRNA transcripts increases, the number of proteins
being produced increases along with it.
PREDICT: An increase in cP-450 must be the result of an increase in cP-450 mRNA.
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. Unless it is in the process of dividing, each cell only has two copies of each chromosome. This
cannot be regulated to affect gene expression.
(C) Distortion. rRNA is nonspecific. Expression is not controlled by the rRNA that synthesize the protein but rather
by the mRNA that code for it.
(D) Distortion. tRNA for all amino acids will be in abundance. The concentration of cysteine or any other tRNA
would not affect expression.

Passage V (Items 129–132)

Passage Map

Passage Type: Informational


Topic: Nucleophilic substitution
Scope: Mechanisms, products and rates
Mapping the Passage:
¶1: Basic NAS info
Fig 1: SN2 mech.
Fig 2: SN1 mech.
¶2: Intermediates and products
Fig 3: Prod. dist. SN2 rxn (1-pentanol)
Fig 4: Prod. dist. rxn (2-methyl-2-butanol)
¶3: Rxn rates

129. (C)
STOP: The question asks us to name the product formed when the given compound goes through the mechanism
shown in Figure 3. Note that we will have to determine how many carbons are in the product and whether it is (R)
or (S); the answer choices tell us the product will contain bromine and deuterium.
THINK: What do we know about the mechanism in Figure 3? We can see in Figure 3 that the favored product has
a bromine substituted for the hydroxyl group in the reactant. Also, it is stated that it is an SN2 reaction, which ¶2
tells us involves an inversion of configuration at the carbon bearing the leaving group. Starting with Compound 1,
we can draw the new bromine-containing product, being sure to invert the configuration:

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AAMC Test 11 Explanations

Br

H3C

H D

Now, because we have a chiral center we will need to determine whether the molecule is (R) or (S). Fischer
projections are useful for this; here we rotate the molecule around a horizontal axis so that the R and Br groups
are pointing out of the page:
H

R Br

The priority of substituents from highest to lowest is Br > R > D > H, so the configuration is (S).
There is another route we could have taken: by counting carbons, we know that the parent molecule, and therefore
the product, should have five carbons; this rules out (A) and (B). Looking at the original chiral center, it’s (R),
because the priority is OH > R > D > H. A rule of thumb for SN2 reactions is that the chirality changes only if the
new substituent has the same priority in the new molecule as the leaving group did in the original molecule. In
this case, Br has the #1 priority, as did OH, so the chirality of the new product must be (S).
PREDICT: The product remains a five-carbon chain with the first carbon (S): (S)-1-bromo-1-deuteriopentane.
MATCH: Choice (C) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. This choice incorrectly identifies the parent alkane as hexane and has the wrong configuration.
(B) Distortion. This choice incorrectly identifies the parent alkane as hexane.
(D) Distortion. This choice incorrectly identifies the configuration as (R).

130. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to determine why the rate of substitution decreases when 2-pentanol replaces
1-pentanol.
THINK: What is the difference between 2-pentanol and 1-pentanol? The hydroxyl group moves from the end carbon
(C-1) to the adjacent carbon (C-2). What is the difference between these two positions? For the most part they are
the same except that C-2 is more substituted than C-1.
PREDICT: The reason will stem from C-2 being more substituted than C-1.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction as the extra carbon bonded to C-2 causes increased steric hindrance.
(A) Distortion. The more substituted carbon will be more electron rich, causing a weaker C–O bond.
(B) Out of Scope. There are no elimination products in Figure 3.
(C) Distortion. Steric hindrance is only a problem for the backside attack of the nucleophile, not protonation of
the leaving group.

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131. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to consider the energy profile of an SN2 reaction and determine whether it has a
single maximum or minimum, and whether that represents an intermediate or a transition state.
THINK: What do we know about SN2 reactions that might be of use? You should recall that SN2 reactions proceed
in a single, concerted step via a transition state; it has no true intermediate (which would make it a two-step
process). Would that transition state be a maximum or minimum on the reaction profile? A transition state, by
definition, is a local energy maximum and represents the highest energy state in the reaction.
PREDICT: The reaction profile will have a single energy maximum representing a transition state.
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. SN2 reactions do not have intermediates. Also, intermediates represent local minimums on the
reaction profile.
(C) Faulty Use of Detail. A reaction intermediate is represented by a local minimum, but SN2 reactions do not
proceed via an intermediate.
(D) Distortion. An SN2 reaction does proceed via a transition state, but in the reaction profile the transition state
is represented by a local maximum.

132. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to determine which structure will NOT be a product when the given compound is
reacted with HCl.
THINK: The question stem mentions Experiment 2 so we can use Figure 4 as a model for this reaction. What
products do we see in Figure 4? There are two substitution products (one each for bromine and chlorine) and
an elimination product. Will we see both substitutions in our reaction? No, since we only have Cl. What else is
different about our reaction? The leaving group in our starting compound is attached to a stereocenter. This will
affect the substitution product, as we will get a racemic mixture of the two enantiomers.
PREDICT: Our answer will not be one of the two chlorine substitution products (racemates), nor will it be the
elimination product.
MATCH: The two substitution products, (C) and (D), are easy to spot. The problem is that there are two
elimination products. Which one depicts the correct product? Since OH is our leaving group the double bond
(without rearrangement as stated) must include the carbon that once held the OH. This makes (A) the compound
that is not a direct product as it requires a rearrangement.
(B) Opposite. This is the elimination product we predicted.
(C) Opposite. This is one of the chlorine substituted racemates we predicted; its enantiomer is (D).
(D) Opposite. This is one of the chlorine substituted racemates we predicted; its enantiomer is (C).

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Passage VI (Items 133–138)

Passage Map

Passage Type: Informational


Topic: Ebola Virus (EboV)
Scope: Infection mechanism and treatment
Mapping the Passage:
¶1: EboV struc.
¶2: Mech. of infection
¶3: Exp. treatment with protease inhibitors → decreased infectivity
Fig 1: Results from ¶3 cell line transformations

133. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the results that would best support the conclusion that the protease
inhibitor treatment is specifically dependent on EGP.
THINK: What relevant results were presented in the passage? It states that VSV particles, engineered to contain
EGP in the envelope instead of VSV glycoprotein, were blocked by the protease inhibitors. What would be the best
way to support the conclusion that the inhibitors are specifically dependent on EGP? By controlling for all other
variables and changing only the envelope glycoprotein, we can test whether this treatment is EGP specific. If we
use a different glycoprotein and the results are the same, then it is not, but if the treatment loses its effectiveness
then we know that it was dependent on EGP.
PREDICT: Change the glycoprotein to something other than EGP and repeat the test. The protease inhibitors are
EGP dependent if infectivity is not decreased by protease treatment under the new conditions.
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction.
(A) Opposite. This means that the proteases worked equally as well with different glycoproteins, meaning they
are not specific to EGP.
(C) Distortion. This is a repeat of the original reaction conditions but with different results. The only thing this
supports is an experimental error in one of the two trials.
(D) Out of Scope. This introduces a new virus as well as a new envelope glycoprotein. In order to test the
specificity of the proteases to the envelope glycoprotein, all other variables must remain constant.

134. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to identify the difference between transcription of the EboV genome and the human
genome.
THINK: What do we know about the EboV genome? ¶1 states that EboV has a “single-stranded, negative-sense
RNA genome that is used as a template for the mRNAs.”
PREDICT: The difference is that human cells use DNA as a template instead of RNA.

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MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction.


(A) Distortion. Transcription involves the formation of RNA, not DNA.
(C) Distortion. This describes transcription of the EboV genome since it utilizes an RNA template.
(D) Distortion. Reverse transcriptase forms DNA from an RNA template, not RNA from DNA.

135. (C)
STOP: The question asks us to determine if CatL expression is sufficient for VSV-EGP infection and then to explain
our conclusion.
THINK: How can we test if CatL expression is sufficient for infection? We will need to compare the results when
both proteases were absent (column 5 from the left in Fig. 1) to the results when only a normal amount of CatL
was expressed (columns 2 and 7 in Fig. 1). Comparing the data, we can see that there is no significant difference
in the percent of total cells infected between the three.
PREDICT: This means that CatL is not sufficient for VSV-EGP infection because we have not seen an increase in
infections when it is expressed.
MATCH: Choice (C) matches our prediction.
(A) Faulty Use of Detail. This is only true when CatB is present as well, not when CatL is expressed alone.
(B) Faulty Use of Detail. This is true, but it ignores the affect of CatL on its own.
(D) Faulty Use of Detail. This is true, but it ignores the affect of CatL on its own.

136. (C)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the optimal conditions for VSV-EGP infection.
THINK: Aside from the wild type, which conditions result in the highest percentages of infection? According to
Figure 1, the highest results are the two conditions in which CatB and CatL are present together (columns 3 and
8 from the left).
PREDICT: This indicates that to achieve optimal infection you will want to include both proteases.
MATCH: Choice (C) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. Represented by column 6 in Figure 1. The infection percentage is considerably lower than when
both are present.
(B) Distortion. Represented by columns 2, 4, and 7 in Figure 1. The infection percentage is considerably lower
than when both are present.
(D) Distortion. Represented by column 5 in Figure 1. The infection percentage is considerably lower than when
both are present.

137. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the effect of CatB, CatL, or both on EGP.
THINK: What are CatB and CatL? They are proteases, which, by definition, are enzymes that hydrolyze peptide
bonds in proteins, breaking them into smaller fragments. ¶1 tells us that EGP is, in fact, a protein, but that does
not necessarily mean that these two proteases will have any effect on EGP. Is there evidence that CatB and/or
CatL have some sort of effect on EGP? Yes, ¶3 tells us that when the proteases were inhibited, the infectivity of
EGP was decreased 99-fold.

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PREDICT: We know that CatB and/or CatL have some effect on EGP, and since they are both proteases, we can
conclude that they will break down EGP into smaller fragments.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion.The infectivity of EGP is changed when the proteases are inhibited, so there must be some effect.
(B) Opposite. Infectivity is decreased 99-fold when the proteases are inhibited. Restoring function of CatB and
CatL would increase the activity of EGP.
(C) Distortion. Proteases cut proteins; they do not dimerize them.

138. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to compare the primary sequence of EGP, which the question states is the result of
a single nucleotide insertion into the transcript, and sGP, the product of the non-mutated transcript.
THINK: What sort of effect will the insertion of a nucleotide have on the transcript? This type of mutation is called
a frame-shift mutation and results in changing every codon that occurs after the point of insertion.
PREDICT: The sequence prior to the insertion will be the same, but everything after will be different.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction since the amino-terminal (N-terminus) is the beginning or front end of
a protein, and the carboxy-terminal (C-terminus) is the back end.
(B) Opposite. This would mean everything before the mutation is different and everything after the mutation is
the same.
(C) Distortion. The insertion of a single nucleotide would not lead to an additional amino acid since it takes three
nucleotides to code for one amino acid.
(D) Distortion. The insertion of a single nucleotide would not lead to a decrease in the number of amino acids. This
is supported by the fact that the question stem states that the mutation did not create a premature stop codon.

Passage VII (Items 139–143)

Passage Map

Passage Type: Informational


Topic: Lungs
Scope: Defense mechanisms of the lungs
Mapping the Passage:
¶1: Lung defenses in the airways
¶2: Alveolar defenses and macrophage resistance
¶3: Macrophage resistance transfer
¶4: Normal macrophage function

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139. (B)
STOP: The question asks us determine the cellular component that confers resistance in bacteria.
THINK: The passage doesn’t tell us much aside from the fact that non-resistant living bacteria can be
transformed into resistant bacteria. What background information do we know regarding bacterial resistance and
transformation? You should recall that genes for resistance are conferred by plasmids, small circular bits of DNA
that replicate independently of the nuclear genome.
PREDICT: The transformed bacteria must have acquired DNA from resistant bacteria.
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. Capsule proteins are directly responsible for macrophage resistance but could not be transferred
to a new cell to confer resistance, especially after being heat-killed as the passage indicates.
(C) Distortion. Ribosomes are neither directly involved in resistance nor are they transferred between cells.
(D) Distortion. Cytoplasmic enzymes most likely refer to the enzymes in the macrophages that the bacteria would
be resistant to.

140. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the composition of the alveolar walls.
THINK: What information can we gain from the passage? ¶2 refers to the thin walls of the alveoli being the best
place for bacteria to gain access to the body. You should also recall that in order to facilitate gas exchange the
walls of the alveoli consist of a single layer of epithelial cells.
PREDICT: The alveolar walls consist of a single layer of cells to promote gas exchange.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction.
(B) Distortion. Multiple layers of cells would hinder gas exchange.
(C) Distortion. Multiple layers of cells would hinder gas exchange.
(D) Distortion. Multiple layers of cells would hinder gas exchange.

141. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to determine which effect of cigarette smoking would LEAST likely influence the risk
of developing lung infections.
THINK: As a “which of the following” question, our strategy will be to evaluate each answer and eliminate incorrect
choices along the way.
PREDICT: The passage mentions a number of defense mechanisms, any of which, if inhibited, could influence the
risk of developing an infection. Therefore, we will want to find the answer choice that includes something that is
not mentioned as a defense mechanism. Choices (A) and (C) are mentioned specifically in ¶1, and choice (D) in
¶2. Sensory cells are never mentioned in the passage as a defense mechanism.
MATCH: Three of the four answers are specifically mentioned in the passage; choice (B), the only choice not
mentioned, must be our correct answer.
(A) Opposite. Mentioned in ¶1 as a defense mechanism.
(C) Opposite. Mentioned in ¶1 as a defense mechanism.
(D) Opposite. Mentioned in ¶2 as a defense mechanism.

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142. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the chamber of the heart that blood enters first upon returning from
the alveolar blood vessels, or more broadly, the lungs.
THINK: Upon returning from the body, does blood enter an atrium or ventricle first? Blood enters the heart via atria
and is pumped out of the heart via ventricles. You should also recall that blood returning from the lungs enters
the left side of the heart.
PREDICT: Blood returning from the lungs first enters the left atrium.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction.
(B) Distortion. Blood enters the ventricle after leaving the atrium.
(C) Opposite. Blood returning from the lungs enters the left atrium, not the right; blood returning from the rest of
the body enters the right atrium.
(D) Distortion. This is both the wrong side and wrong chamber.

143. (B)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the cause of swelling in the thorax region between the lungs in
anthrax sufferers.
THINK: Does the passage refer to the region between the lungs? ¶4 mentions that debris and organisms are
carried to the lymph nodes located where the trachea splits to form the left and right bronchi. The trachea splits
in the region between the lungs.
PREDICT: The swelling in the thorax region is related to the lymph nodes.
MATCH: Choice (B) matches our prediction.
(A) Out of Scope. The passage never mentions decreased blood flow in the lungs.
(C) Out of Scope. The passage never mentions blood plasma escaping capillaries.
(D) Distortion. This would not account for enlargement of the thorax between the lungs.

Discrete Set III (Items 144–146)

144. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to determine whether benzylamine is a primary amine, heterocyclic amine, both,
or neither.
THINK: What is a primary amine? Primary amines are formed when exactly one of the hydrogens in ammonia
is replaced by an alkyl group. What is a heterocyclic amine? A heterocyclic compound has a ring that contains
elements other than carbon in the ring.
PREDICT: Benzylamine is a primary amine, which eliminates (B) and (D), but it is not heterocyclic, as the benzyl
ring is only made of carbon.
MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction.
(B) Distortion. The ring structure in benzylamine only contains carbon.
(C) Distortion. The ring structure in benzylamine only contains carbon.
(D) Distortion. The amine has one alkyl group attached to it, so it is a primary amine.

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145. (A)
STOP: The question asks us to determine which compounds have a methyl group in the axial position.
THINK: What information do we have about the structures? They are all cyclohexane derivatives containing a
methyl group and a tert-butyl group. This works out well: we can use the bulky tert-butyl group as a reference point,
since we know it prefers an equatorial position.
PREDICT: This is a Roman Numeral question, but each statement appears exactly twice, so let’s start with (I).
The tert-butyl group, which we said is equatorial, is oriented out of the page. We know the adjacent carbon that
has our methyl group will have the opposite configuration. Therefore, since the methyl group is also oriented out of
the page, it must have the opposite conformation of equatorial, which is axial, so (I) is correct; we can eliminate
choices (B) and (D). That eliminates choice (II), so let’s move straight to (III). The tert-butyl group is three
carbons away from the carbon with the methyl group, so they will again have opposite configurations. This time,
though, the methyl group is oriented into the page, meaning that it will also be equatorial. (III) is thus incorrect.
Consult the figures below for further clarification:

I II III

MATCH: Choice (A) matches our prediction. For the record:


(II) Incorrect. Since the two substituted carbons are two carbons apart, they have the same configuration. The
tert-butyl group, projecting out of the page, is equatorial, so the methyl group, also out of the page, is equatorial.

146. (D)
STOP: The question asks us to determine the difference in charge between two amino acids at a pH of 1.
THINK: How will the pH affect charge? The lower pH means a higher concentration of protons. Therefore,
molecules are more likely to be protonated. Will lysine be protonated at low pH? Yes, both amine groups and the
carboxyl group will be protonated at such a low pH, giving lysine a charge of 2+. Will aspartic acid be protonated?
Yes, but it has only one amine, giving it a charge of 1+.
PREDICT: Lysine is 2+, while aspartic acid is 1+, so lysine is one unit higher.
MATCH: Choice (D) matches our prediction.
(A) Distortion. If lysine has a charge of 2+ and aspartic acid 1+, then aspartic acid is one unit less than lysine.
(B) Distortion. If lysine has a charge of 2+ and aspartic acid 1+, then aspartic acid is one unit less than lysine.
(C) Distortion. If lysine has a charge of 2+ and aspartic acid 1+, then aspartic acid is one unit less than lysine.

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