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A recent study of college students shows that, contrary to

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Re: CR: Nutrition Study [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2010, 09:31
TallJTinChina wrote:
These are the kind of questions that make me hate multiple guess exams.

None of the choices are good. I choose F.

F) The control group (no special diet) had higher average grades before the study was conducted.


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Re: CR: Nutrition Study [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2010, 11:35
(A) Performance of business executives was shown to improve drastically after major alterations were made in their diets.
-- Irrelevant since its nothing related to business executives. Hence A is not a correct answer choice.

(B) Honors students, after altering their diets, maintained that they did not change their study habits.
-- This is not weakening the study. You can logically negate the answer choice and see if it is strengthening the study. Hence B is not a correct answer choice.

(C) Students who participated in various fitness regimens found that their grades improved appreciably after they altered their exercise habits.
-- Irrelevant. Hence C not a correct answer choice.

(D) High school students who previously had low grades found that after they altered their diets, their grades improved dramatically.
-- If this is true, it is stating exactly opposite to study's conclusion. Hence D is a correct answer choice.

(E) All of the college students who volunteered for the study were either in their first or second year of college.
-- This cannot predict the accuracy of study. Hence E is not a correct answer choice.

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Re: CR: Nutrition Study [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2010, 17:42
The answer is D.

A) Is out of scope because we are discussing business performance versus grades
b) mentions study habits instead of grades
c) out of scope
e) out of scope

If D is correct, then the author's conclusion is incorrect. So the accuracy of the argument depends on whether or not D is correct.
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Re: CR: Nutrition Study [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2010, 11:01
chan4312 wrote:
@bhatiasanjay01

what is the OA and the Source ?



i agree. we need the source to determine the structure of the question

IMO (B)
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Re: CR: Nutrition Study [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2010, 05:55
We really should have a source on this question or throw it out.

D cannot be the answer because we have no way of knowing if the study in D was conducted accurately. Therefore, we cannot use that study to determine the accuracy of the study mentioned above.
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Re: CR: Nutrition Study [#permalink] New post 01 Aug 2011, 05:35
Before even reading the question under the text I thought to myself - "Well, the study is nice but what about the performance of the second group before they took the diet? Was it the same or it helped to catch up the second group and become of the same level?"

So, when I read the statement "D", I was 100% sure that it was right.
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Re: CR: Nutrition Study [#permalink] New post 01 Aug 2011, 07:19
This is a kick-ass question. I selected D based on the 1st rationale that somebody added, but after reading more I can see how E might be the right choice. Although, when in doubt I tend to leave the choices that need very very strong inference to strengthen the argument. But this question stem is very tricky.

I try to keep it simple by thinking stem: Strengthen ConclusionX = Weaken conclusion. But here the Stem is not even referring to the conclusion but the validity of the sample used and hence the accuracy of the study. Too much mumbo jumbo in the question stem.

This question does NOT fall under any standard CR question, rather it wants us to weaken a part of the premise.

Anyways, if I get such complex question in my test, I will be happy to get it wrong as I will already be in my course for a good verbal score :)
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Re: CR: Nutrition Study [#permalink] New post 01 Aug 2011, 08:58
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Wait... So the fight is so hot b/w D and E. Let us analyze the weak points and strength points of each choice in "determining the accuracy of the study described above":

E: What makes this choice suitable is the fact that it points at some weaknesses in the methodology. Right. So let's put this choice aside for now since it may be the best choice. So, this choice helps us evaluate the accuracy of the study by evaluating the methodology. The methodology in part determines the accuracy of a study.

D:
The problem with E is that since it talks about a test result that was drawn about HIGHSCHOOLS students, it may be considered IRRELEVANT. BUT, on it's good side, choice E states a result from another study-no matter with what kind of subject/sample, that directly stands AGAINST that of the main study. Right? IanStewart, you are right that choice E is an obvious weakener to the conclusion, but what's wrong with it? This fact can not prevent this choice from "determining the accuracy of the study described above"? Not only it's not prevented but also weakening the results, and determining the accuracy of the results of a study are two concepts so close to each other. If we can weaken a conclusion, the perceived accuracy will be decreased.

The golden point is this: Look at the stem again; it says: A recent study of college students shows that, contrary to predicted results, special nutritional planning does not positively affect STUDENT'S grades. The counterargument (what we are to determine the accuracy of the results of a study against it) is about students' performance in general, NOT just performance of COLLEGE students. So a hypothesis about any kind of STUDENTS' performance can be tested by studying ANY KIND of students.

In sum, my choice is D. Though both D and E aim at accuracy of the conclusion, while E focuses on the defects of methodology, D focuses on the DIRECT opposite results found from another VALID study. Do not forget the point: we are talking about a conclusion about ALL students.

What is the source of this question?
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Re: CR: Nutrition Study [#permalink] New post 01 Aug 2011, 09:49
thanks for the explanation....tricky one...my answer is D
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Re: CR: Nutrition Study [#permalink] New post 02 Aug 2011, 02:46
I also feel that D should be the answer.

I was confused b/w B and D but later realized that D is correct.

A, B and E I feel are irrelevant

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Re: CR: Nutrition Study [#permalink] New post 02 Aug 2011, 03:35
+1 for D.

We are talking about determining the accuracy of the study described above and D helps us to see that the altered diet helps students with low grade to increase their grade. Thus this helps us in determining the accuracy of the study.
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Re: CR: Nutrition Study [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2011, 00:03
D for me
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Re: CR: Nutrition Study [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2011, 11:12
Another D
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Re: CR: Nutrition Study [#permalink] New post 27 Sep 2011, 13:35
D is def. the right answer.
It is the only statement that makes a direct reference to students who alter their diets which results in an improved performance.
The fact that that their grades improved serves to weaken the conclusion and is 100% relevant to the question at hand.
The answer D also sheds light on the sixty students, half of whom had a better diet but scored no better than the others, since it suggests that the half that had the same grades as the others were in fact students who previously scored much lower than their peers.
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Re: A recent study of college students shows that, contrary to [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2012, 04:37
I used elimination technique

(D) High school students who previously had low grades found that after they altered their diets, their grades improved dramatically.- I thought may be it is also to do with age !
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Re: A recent study of college students shows that, contrary to [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2012, 19:43
Gotta ask, where is this question from? because, if it's from the OG, fine, I'll accept the OA (and I'd like to see the Official Explanation!). If this is from some random collection of CRs, then my answer has to be: NOTA (None Of The Above). Consider:

(A) Performance of business executives was shown to improve drastically after major alterations were made in their diets.
Biz Execs are out of scope for this study. Nor are grades the same as biz performance. No Good.

(B) Honors students, after altering their diets, maintained that they did not change their study habits.
The study does not mention "Honors" students; we don't know how the Honors students altered their diets; we don't know the resulting grades, regardless of study habits. No Good.

(C) Students who participated in various fitness regimens found that their grades improved appreciably after they altered their exercise habits.
Exercise & fitness regimens are not the same as nutritional planning (if someone can show how exercise IS part of nutritional planning, this unquestionably becomes the right answer). Out of scope, so No Good.

(D) High school students who previously had low grades found that after they altered their diets, their grades improved dramatically.
Sorry, but "High school" students are totally out of scope. This is a basic rule of the GMAT: the Argument from Analogy (some other study/law/locality/whatever did X, so we should do X) is never permitted because that other study is out of scope. Further, we have no idea how the high school students altered their diets; this is not the same as "nutritionally balanced". No Good.

(E) All of the college students who volunteered for the study were either in their first or second year of college.
I suppose this answer is the best of a bad lot; at least it's about the same group of students that were studied. Even so, knowing that the students were freshman or sophs tells us nothing directly about the accuracy of the study. Even if every student was a freshman, that tells us nothing about the effects of diet on grades. So No Good.
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Re: A recent study of college students shows that, contrary to [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2012, 16:19
Pretty heated comments and discussions on this question. :roll:

When I read the argument my first instinct was that the study was inaccurate i.e. it is possible that the students who were not considered in the study were already brilliant students / high scoring students. To think of it is this not a clear weakness in the given argument? The "on the contrary" actually led me to think on this aspect.

So when I went through the answer choices, D is the only options which actually helps evaluate the reasoning above and that the study done on the college students was not representative of the actual results.

Hence chose D.
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Re: A recent study of college students shows that, contrary to [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2012, 20:09
(A) Performance of business executives was shown to improve drastically after major alterations were made in their diets. - The focus of discussion is limited to college students - Out of scope - Incorrect
(B) Honors students, after altering their diets, maintained that they did not change their study habits. - This information would not help determine whether the revised diet plans worked for college students - Irrelevant - Incorrect
(C) Students who participated in various fitness regimens found that their grades improved appreciably after they altered their exercise habits. - Additional information is added in this option which is irrelevant to the information provided in the passage - Incorrect
(D) High school students who previously had low grades found that after they altered their diets, their grades improved dramatically. - Since high school leads to college and the diet plan worked for high school students in improving their grades, this information would help determine the legitimacy of the argument made - Correct
(E) All of the college students who volunteered for the study were either in their first or second year of college. - The year of student in college is irrelevant to the passage - Incorrect

Hope this helps
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Re: A recent study of college students shows that, contrary to [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2012, 20:26
We have to determine the accuracy of the study;
Was the study accurate or inaccurate? So we need something which can either seriously weakens or strongly supports the results of the study. (B) & (E) doesn't give the clarity of the study result . (D) wins
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Re: A recent study of college students shows that, contrary to [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2012, 20:30
Expert's post
bhatiasanjay01 wrote:
A recent study of college students shows that, contrary to predicted results, special nutritional planning does not positively affect students’ grades. Sixty students, half of whom were given a nutritionally balanced diet, had grades no higher than did those students who were not placed on the diet plan.

Which of the following, if true, is most useful in determining the accuracy of the study described above?

(A) Performance of business executives was shown to improve drastically after major alterations were made in their diets.
(B) Honors students, after altering their diets, maintained that they did not change their study habits.
(C) Students who participated in various fitness regimens found that their grades improved appreciably after they altered their exercise habits.
(D) High school students who previously had low grades found that after they altered their diets, their grades improved dramatically.
(E) All of the college students who volunteered for the study were either in their first or second year of college.

I marked the answer at ii), because if no changes were made to the study habits then we can conclude that there was no effect of study habits on the study, hence effect of diet can be correctly determined (Whether it had some effect or not). But this answer is wrong :(. Can anybody explain the correct answer).


Actually, there is no ambiguity in the question.

What was the study? 60 students were put on nutritious diet. 60 were not.
What was the result? The 60 students who were put on nutritious diet did not have higher grades than other 60.
What did they conclude? Special nutritional planning does not positively affect students’ grades.

Now, we need to evaluate the accuracy of the study. What will help us figure out whether what we concluded from the study is valid or not?
Because 60 students with diet plans did not get better grades, can we say nutrition does not have any positive affect on grades? Perhaps not. What if nutrition can improve low grades (by giving students more energy and making them more active) and bring them up to average (but not improve average to take them to above average since they need to work hard too)? If this were true, the conclusion of the study would not be valid. Special nutritional planning WOULD have a positive affect on students’ grades. "If grades were low, they could become better by nutritional planning"
Hence option (D) is useful in determining the accuracy of the study.

As for other options, focus on what was concluded from the study. Are they relevant to the conclusion "Special nutritional planning does not positively affect students’ grades."?

(A) Performance of business executives was shown to improve drastically after major alterations were made in their diets.
Not relevant to students' grades.

(B) Honors students, after altering their diets, maintained that they did not change their study habits.
Students saying that they did not alter their diet doesn't mean anything. It is true that they said it but did they actually maintain their study habit or not, we don't know. So not relevant. No need to think further.

(C) Students who participated in various fitness regimens found that their grades improved appreciably after they altered their exercise habits.
Nothing to do with fitness regime and grades. Only food and grades connection is our concern.

(E) All of the college students who volunteered for the study were either in their first or second year of college.
Again, not relevant.
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Re: A recent study of college students shows that, contrary to   [#permalink] 05 Aug 2012, 20:30
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