Questions 34-44 are based on the following passage.
Each passage below is accompanied by a number of questions. For some questions, you will consider how the passage might be revised to improve the expression of ideas. For other questions, you will consider how the passage might be edited to correct errors in sentence structure, usage, or punctuation. A passage or a question may be accompanied by one or more graphics (such as a table or graph) that you will consider as you make revising and editing decisions.
Some questions will direct you to an underlined portion of a passage. Other questions will direct you to a location in a passage or ask you to think about the passage as a whole.
After reading each passage, choose the answer to each question that most effectively improves the quality of writing in the passage or that makes the passage conform to the conventions of standard written English. Many questions include a “NO CHANGE” option. Choose that option if you think the best choice is to leave the relevant portion of the passage as it is.
The Consolations of Philosophy
Long viewed by many as the stereotypical useless major, philosophy is now being seen by many students and prospective employers as in fact a very useful and practical major, offering students a host of transferable skills with relevance to the modern workplace. Q34 In broad terms, Q34 philosophy is the study of meaning and the values underlying thought and behavior. But more pragmatically, Q35 the discipline encourages students to analyze complex material, question conventional beliefs, and express thoughts in a concise manner.
A 1994 survey concluded that only 18 percent of American colleges required at least one philosophy course. Therefore,Q38
between 1992 and 1996, more than 400 independent philosophy departments were eliminated from institutions.
More recently, colleges have recognized the practicality and increasing popularity of studying philosophy and have markedly increased the number of philosophy programs offered. By 2008 there were 817 programs, up from 765 a decade before. In addition, the number of four-year graduates in philosophy has grown 46 percent in a decade. Also, studies have found that those students who major in philosophy often do better than students from other majors in both verbal reasoning and analytical writing. These results can be Q39 measured by standardized test scores. On the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), for example, students intending to study philosophy in graduate school has scored Q40 higher than students in all but four other majors.
These days, many student’s majoring Q41 in philosophy have no intention of becoming philosophers; instead they plan to apply those skills to other disciplines. Law and business specifically benefit from the complicated theoretical issues raised in the study of philosophy, but philosophy can be just as useful in engineering or any field requiring complex analytic skills.
That these skills are transferable across professions which Q43 makes them especially beneficial to twenty-first-century students. Because today’s students can expect to hold multiple jobs—some of which may not even exist yet—during our Q44 lifetime, studying philosophy allows them to be flexible and adaptable. High demand, advanced exam scores, and varied professional skills all argue for maintaining and enhancing philosophy courses and majors within academic institutions.