IMAT 2012 Q8 [Conclusion | Renewable Resources]

Modern technology has given us the power to use renewable natural resources faster than they can be replaced. The decline of fish numbers provides one example of the way in which modern technology can rapidly use up a natural resource. Modern fishing ships equipped with fish detecting systems and huge nets can gather up vast quantities of fish quicker than the sea can renew them. Because high technology gives us such harmful powers, we must learn to use the renewable resources of the earth carefully, rather than waste them.

Which one of the following best expresses the main conclusion of the above passage?

A. Modern technology simply takes from the environment and destroys its resources.
B. Fishing is now a serious threat to the world’s environment and should cease.
C. Fish need to be carefully protected to prevent them from being destroyed.
D. Most people are unaware of the damaging effects of modern technology.
E. Humans must preserve renewable resources by learning how to use them carefully.

Key Steps

  1. Read the question (do this every question!)
  2. Read the passage
  3. In your own words, make a conclusion for the passage. What is the author’s main idea?
  4. Find a sentence in the text that matches the conclusion you made, and underline it.
  • Keep an eye out for giveaway words and phrases
  1. Find an answer that matches the underlined sentence.

After reading the text, we can pull out the main ideas. The focus of the passage is on the impact of modern technology on renewable resources. The main example used in the text is overfishing (fishing faster than fish can repopulate). We can conclude from the text alone something along the lines of: Although high technology has benefits, it can have negative impacts on the renewable resources of the earth, so we need to be careful with these new high technologies.

Now let’s go into the answer choices:

A. The wording of this answer can be a giveaway that it is incorrect. It is undermining modern technology and by using “simply”, it makes it seem as if modern technology has no other function other than to destroy earth’s resources. There are benefits to modern technology and the author is saying that we need to learn to control its use, not stop it entirely. Therefore A is not the correct answer.

B. and C. Although they are not exactly the same, they have the same issue that makes them both incorrect. The focus in the text is not about fishing, fishing is rather an example. The focus is on the harm that modern technologies can have on the renewable resources of the world. Fishing is not the focus of the text and therefore both these answers are wrong.

D. This is something logical that could follow from the text but be careful. Nowhere in the text is this explicitly said. For all we know, these problems are common knowledge. Regardless of whether or not this could be a conclusion, it would also not be the best fit to select for this answer because option E is much stronger and more related. Therefore D cannot be the answer.

E. This is the best fitting answer because it relates to our main topics (Modern technology and its effect on renewable resources) and gives the author’s opinion on what is the best solution (to control and prevent overuse). This is also very similar to the last sentence: Because high technology gives us such harmful powers, we must learn to use the renewable resources of the earth carefully, rather than waste them. Therefore E is the answer.