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Extension Questions

Extension questions are the most common. They require you to go beyond what is stated in the passage, asking you to draw an inference from the passage, to make a conclusion based on the passage, or to identify one of the author’s tacit assumptions.

You may be asked to draw a conclusion based on the ideas or facts presented:

  • It can be inferred from the passage that.
  • The passage suggests that.
​Since extension questions require you to go beyond the passage, the correct answer must say more than what is said in the passage.  Beware of same language traps with these questions: the correct answer will often both paraphrase and extend a statement in the passage, but it will not directly quote it.

“Same Language” traps: For extension questions, any answer-choice that explicitly refers to or repeats a statement in the passage will probably be wrong.

The correct answer to an extension question will not require a quantum leap in thought, but it will add significantly to the ideas presented in the passage.



The author views the prosecution’s role in the inquisitorial system as being

  1. an advocate for both society and the defendant
  2. solely responsible for starting a trial
  3. a protector of the legal rule
  4. an aggressive but fair investigator

This is an extension question. So the answer will not be explicitly stated in the passage, but it will be strongly supported by it.

The author states that the prosecutor is duty bound to present any evidence that may prove the defendant innocent and that he must disclose all pretrial evidence (i.e., have no tricks up his sleeve). This is the essence of fair play. So the answer is probably (D).

However, we should check all the choices. (A) overstates the case. Although the prosecutor must disclose any evidence that might show the defendant innocent, the prosecutor is still advocating society’s case against the defendant—it must merely be measured advocacy. This is the second-best answer. As for (B), although it is implied that in both systems the right to initiate a case is extended to all people through the prosecutor, it is not stated or implied that this is the only way to start a case.  Finally, (C) is not mentioned or implied in the passage. The answer, therefore, is (D).


Application: (Mini-passage)

Often, the central problem in any business is that money is needed to make money. The following discusses the sale of equity, which is one response to this problem.

Sale of Capital Stock
: a way to obtain capital through the sale of stock to individual investors beyond the scope of one’s immediate acquaintances. Periods of high interest rates turn entrepreneurs to this equity market. This involves, of necessity, a dilution of ownership, and many owners are reluctant to take this step for that reason. Whether the owner is wise in declining to use outside equity financing depends upon the firm’s long-range prospects. If there is an opportunity for substantial expansion on a continuing basis and if other sources are inadequate, the owner may decide logically to bring in other owners. Owning part of a larger business may be more profitable than owning all of a smaller business.



Small-Business Management, 6th Ed., © 1983 by South-Western Publishing Co.


The passage implies that an owner who chooses not to sell capital stock despite the prospect of continued expansion is

  1. subject to increased regulation
  2. more conservative than is wise under the circumstances
  3. likely to have her ownership of the business diluted
  4. sacrificing security for rapid growth
  1. No. This is not mentioned in the passage.
  2. Yes. The passage states that “the owner may decide logically to bring in other owners”; in other words, the owner would be wise to sell stock in this situation.
  3. No. By NOT selling stock, the owner retains full ownership.
  4. No. Just the opposite: the owner would be sacrificing a measure of security for growth if she did sell stock.

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