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According to the enrollment statistics published by U.S. [#permalink]
16 Jan 2005, 03:24

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According to the enrollment statistics published by U.S. medical schools, the number of female medical students is equivalent to the number of male medical students currently enrolled in medical school.

a)

b) as many female as male students are currently enrolled in medical school

c) the number of female students is as many as that of male students currently enrolled in medical school

d) as great as the number of female is the number of male students currently enrolled in medical school

e) female and male students are currently enrolled in equal numbers in medical school

1. A is too wordy. B is sexier and does the trick.
2. I'm not sure about this, but is it right to say 'the no. of males is equivalent to the no of females?' Sounds somewhat clumsy.

[quote="Arsene_Wenger
1. A is too wordy. B is sexier and does the trick.
2. I'm not sure about this, but is it right to say 'the no. of males is equivalent to the no of females?' Sounds somewhat clumsy.[/quote]

I think I will buy it to an extent. I was also thinking the same. Any other suggestion is welcomed.

Official explanation [#permalink]
23 Jan 2005, 14:08

This problem is quoted from Kaplan's GMAT 800 book. Here's the official explanation:

"Options C and D are grammatically incorrect because each uses the wrong idiom to describe the number. None of the remaining choices is grammatically incorrect, so focus on their expression. Answer choice B is clearly the most succinct option, and since it is still faithful to the original meaning of the sentence, it is the correct choice as well."

Actually, ETS really does not like the use of "equal". (A) is wordy. In this case, (C) is wrong b/c we cannot say "the number is many...". (D) sounds weird b/c it compares the "great" quality of a number of female to "the number" of male.

(A) is wrong because it incorrectly uses "equivalent" to compare the number of male and female students. Equivalence is established when we talk of two different entities e.g. a 1 molar solution of X is EQUIVALENT to a 2 molar solution of Y because they confirm to certain established norm. We could, however, say that the volume of solution X is EQUAL to the volume of solution Y because volume is an attribute which can be directly measured and is universally accepted (at least in the terrestial, non-relativistic domain).

Apply the same analogy to the number of students. EQUAL is the correct expression to use here because we're directly comparing numbers here.

(E) is not appropriate here because it shifts the focus from the key message being conveyed. The author wants to drive home the point that the number of male and female students is the same. Whereas, (E) starts off with "female and male students are currently enrolled in equal numbers .... ". It's like saying "female and male students..." or "aliens and terrestial beings..." or "dolphins and blue whales..." are enrolled in equal numbers. The drift is clear - this option does not focus on the key message.

(A) is wrong because it incorrectly uses "equivalent" to compare the number of male and female students. Equivalence is established when we talk of two different entities e.g. a 1 molar solution of X is EQUIVALENT to a 2 molar solution of Y because they confirm to certain established norm. We could, however, say that the volume of solution X is EQUAL to the volume of solution Y because volume is an attribute which can be directly measured and is universally accepted (at least in the terrestial, non-relativistic domain).

Apply the same analogy to the number of students. EQUAL is the correct expression to use here because we're directly comparing numbers here.

(E) is not appropriate here because it shifts the focus from the key message being conveyed. The author wants to drive home the point that the number of male and female students is the same. Whereas, (E) starts off with "female and male students are currently enrolled in equal numbers .... ". It's like saying "female and male students..." or "aliens and terrestial beings..." or "dolphins and blue whales..." are enrolled in equal numbers. The drift is clear - this option does not focus on the key message.

Absolutely agree!!
The use of "equivalent" left out certain characteristics between A and B. The use of "equal" makes A = B perfectly. When talking about number, GMAT prefers to use comparison words such as "many", "much, "as...", "than" rather than "equal".

Greenandwise:
I understand your concern.
But you are not comparing the absolute numbers because the values are not given.
The OA should be B only. There is a similar example in OG too comparing the number of people who are enrolled.
sleek

Re: SC: Female and male medical students [#permalink]
06 Jun 2008, 04:19

According to the enrollment statistics published by U.S. medical schools, the number of female medical students is equivalent to the number of male medical students currently enrolled in medical school.

b) as many female as male students are currently enrolled in medical school

e) female and male students are currently enrolled in equal numbers in medical school

IMO, B has some comparison issues with 'as many female as male students'. I would have gone with B if we, instead, had 'as many female students as male students'. E does not have this problem: 'female and male students...'

I picked E.

gmatclubot

Re: SC: Female and male medical students
[#permalink]
06 Jun 2008, 04:19