(Spoiler) AAMC CARS Diagnostic Step 2 Practice Set (Political Sciences)

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Jun 14, 2020
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I have a tough time with political sciences passages... For this specific question, how would you reason through to get to the answer choice?
The question is: A skeptical reader would be unable to confirm the truth of which of the following passage ideas?
Option C is pretty easy to rule out, and I was stuck between A, B and D. I could not figure out between A and B, which one is fact and which one is opinion- is there a key word of some kind? I'm kind of stumped on D too and would not know that "wide questioning could certainly be verified".
I posted the passage below, and then the answer choices and the AAMC reasoning. Thank you so much for your help.




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The wording of this question and the explanations they provide are really something else. First off, don't get thrown too much by the "skeptical reader" part—this whole question is just a pretentiously dressed up version of "which of the following statements is NOT supported by the passage", which you'll see time and again.

A is clearly stated in paragraph 2: "it [liberalism] soon became bound to a certain conception of these rights, which have been called individual liberties."

As you pointed out, C can be directly eliminated based on paragraphs 5 and 6 "(This development [discussed in paragraph 5] is apparent in the French Constitution of 1848...")

D is also right there in the last sentence of the passage: "For many political theorists, an insistence on individual liberties was no longer the solution; it was, in fact, the problem", which indicates that the value of this concept is widely questioned.

Re: B, the thing to note here is that "individual liberties are superior to laws or preferences" is a very strong, opinionated claim. The key words here are "are superior to". The other 3 answer choices are factual (or at least empirically confirmable, which is what the question is getting at), and the author of the passage never quite makes the claim articulated in choice B either—at most, paragraph 3 could be interpreted as saying that such a view would be compatible with certain "idealized accounts" of liberalism, but even that's a stretch.

Anyway, to summarize, there are two ways to look at this: (1) choices A, C, and D have direct support in the passage, and choice B doesn't; or (2) choices A, C, and D are empirical claims with passage support, and choice B is an intense opinion.

Hope this helps!!
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