DISCUSSION: There’s no way to prephrase this, so you should skim the answers and identify which ones seem most plausible, then check the passage to see if they were answered.
For me, D and E seemed most plausible. This shows why you shouldn’t consider any answers deeply until you have looked at every answer. The earlier answers are often there to distract you.
- I skipped this as I didn’t recall the passage placing any importance on timelines. While writing the explanation I checked, and can’t find any reference to how long dowsing has been around.
- I don’t believe the passage mentions rainstorms. The only mention of water is that dowsers often search in areas water is likely to be found. But that’s underground water, not rain.
- Lines 2-4 say that forked sticks are used, but that’s the only mention of them. No part of the passage mentions the frequency with which dowsers use particular tools.
- CORRECT. Lines 1-2 say that dowsing is used to locate resources or objects. Lines 4-5 say that water is merely an example of what dowsing is used to find. So dowsing is used to locate many things.
The first lines of a passage are often crucial. The whole passage seems to be about water, but really “dowsing” is the topic, and water merely helps illustrate a debate about dowsing.
- I had remembered that paragraph 2 mentioned surface clues (lines 20-24). So this answer seemed tempting. But, upon inspection, that paragraph didn’t give any examples of types of clues.
Paragraph 4 also mentions surface clues, in line 55. But that was only to say that the arid areas did not have surface clues.
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