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Passage Reading and English Comprehension

Concussions are brain injuries that occur when a person receives a blow to the head, face, or neck. Although most people who suffer a concussion experience initial bouts of dizziness, nausea, and drowsiness, these symptoms often disappear after a few days. The long-term effects of concussions, however, are less understood and far more severe. Recent studies suggest that people who suffer multiple concussions are at significant risk for developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disorder that causes a variety of dangerous mental and emotional problems to arise weeks, months, or even years after the initial injury. These psychological problems can include depression, anxiety, memory loss, inability to concentrate, and aggression. In extreme cases, people suffering from CTE have even committed suicide or homicide. The majority of people who develop these issues are athletes who participate in popular high-impact sports, especially football. Although new sports regulations and improvements in helmet technology can help protect players, amateur leagues, the sports media, and fans all bear some of the responsibility for reducing the incidence of these devastating injuries.

Improvements in diagnostic technology have provided substantial evidence to link severe—and often fatal—psychological disorders to the head injuries that players receive while on the field. Recent autopsies performed on the brains of football players who have committed suicide have shown advanced cases of CTE in every single victim.

In response to the growing understanding of this danger, the National Football League (NFL) has revised its safety regulations. Players who have suffered a head injury on the field must undergo a “concussion sideline assessment”—a series of mental and physical fitness tests—before being allowed back in the game. In an effort to diminish the amount of head and neck injuries on the field, NFL officials began enforcing stricter penalty calls for helmet-to-helmet contact, leading with the head, and hitting a defenseless player. Furthermore, as of 2010, if a player’s helmet is accidentally wrenched from his head during play, the ball is immediately whistled dead. It is hoped that these new regulations, coupled with advances in helmet design, will reduce the number of concussions, and thus curb further cases of CTE.

Efforts by the NFL and other professional sports leagues are certainly laudable; we should commend every attempt to protect the mental and physical health of players. However, new regulations at the professional level cannot protect amateur players, especially young people. Fatal cases of CTE have been reported in victims as young as 21. Proper tackling form—using the arms and shoulders to aim for a player’s midsection—should be taught at an early age. Youth, high school, and college leagues should also adopt safety rules even more stringent than those of the NFL. Furthermore, young athletes should be educated about the serious dangers of head injuries at an early age.

Perhaps the most important factor in reducing the number of traumatic brain injuries, however, lies not with the players, the coaches, or the administrators, but with the media and fans. Sports media producers have become accustomed to showcasing the most aggressive tackles and the most intense plays. NFL broadcasts often replay especially violent collisions while the commentators marvel at the players’ physical prowess. Some sports highlights television programs even feature weekly countdowns of the “hardest hits.” When the media exalts such dangerous behavior, professionals are rewarded for injuring each other on the field and amateurs become more likely to try to imitate their favorite NFL athletes. Announcers, commentators, television producers, and sportswriters should engage in a collective effort to cease glorifying brutal plays. In turn, fans should stop expecting their favorite players to put their lives on the line for the purposes of entertainment. Players must not be encouraged to trade their careers, their health, their happiness, and even their lives for the sake of a game.

1669. Based on information in the passage, it can be inferred that all of the following statements are true except

(a) tackling is not always dangerous; however, players who use improper tackling form may injure others
(b) scientists have established a definitive link between players who die untimely deaths and the onset of CTE
(c) NFL officials have done little to address the problem of CTE
(d) athletes who are praised for exceptionally brutal hits are likely to continue engaging in such dangerous behavior

1670. According to the passage, which of the following factors contribute(s) to the incidence of CTE in amateur players?

I. inconsistent application of safety regulations for all levels
II. lack of education about the dangers of head injuries
III. amateur players’ desire to emulate professionals

(a) l only
(b) II only
(c) I and II only
(d) I, II, and III

1671. As used in paragraph 3, which is the best synonym for laudable?

(a) praiseworthy
(b) ineffectual
(c) memorable
(d) audacious

1672. The author’s tone in the final paragraph can best be described as

(a) remorseful
(b) hopeless
(c) perplexed
(d) insistent

1673. As used in the final paragraph, which is the best antonym for exalts?

(a) mitigates
(b) venerates
(c) mollifies
(d) castigates

1674. In describing the sports media, the author emphasizes its

(a) responsibility
(b) entertainment value
(c) senselessness
(d) sensationalism

1675. In the final paragraph, the author mentions “sports highlights television programs” as an example of how

I. the media glorifies violence
II. amateurs learn to mimic professional athletes
III. professional athletes gain approval

(a) I only
(b) II only
(c) I and II only
(d) I, II, and III

1676. In the last sentence of this passage, the author writes, "Players must not be encouraged to trade their careers, their health, their happiness, and even their lives for the sake of a game." Which of the following literary devices is used in this quotation?

(a) Irony, characterized by the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning. In irony, the deeper, real layer of significance is revealed by the situation and the context in which they are placed and not by the words themselves
(b) Climax, characterized by the arrangement of words, phrases, or causes in an order of ascending power that culminates into the highest or most intense point. This works to deliver the main action or integral message to the reader in a powerful way
(c) Authorial intrusion, characterized by a point at which the author speaks out directly to the reader. This establishes a one to one relationship between the writer and the reader where the latter is no longer a secondary player or an indirect audience to the progress of the story but is the main subject of the author’s attention
(d) Hyperbole, characterized by the use of specific words and phrases that exaggerate and overemphasize the core of the statement in order to produce a grander, more noticeable effect. This usually works to convey an action or sentiment that is generally not realistically possible or plausible but helps to emphasize an emotion

TOTAL

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1. Passage Reading 2. Verbal Logic 3. Non Verbal Logic 4. Numerical Logic

5. Data Interpretation 6. Reasoning 7. Analytical Ability 8. Basic Numeracy

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