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# As an experienced labor organizer and the former head of one

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Re: Grayson to chair the new council [#permalink]

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03 Jul 2010, 01:19
Extremely informative and well-meaning, well-reasoned discussions between the two experts. My kudos on your spirit. Exactly as Eli reasoned following the exact same steps as he did, I chose B. I wasn't convinced however - again exactly as Eli pointed out that GMAC would build ambiguity in choices. If a choice is wrong/incorrect/inappropriate - there's got to be a solid reason behind it. Looking at B - while it does well to bridge the gap - it further requires TWO more assumptions - 1) That the good relations Grayson maintained with the business leaders during his last tenure - would mean he would be able to do so in the current tenure also. This may or may not be the case and hence he may or may not be an appropriate choice now.
2) In fact he may not be an appropriate choice now even, because he might have done well in his last assignment but may have simply lost the touch to be a good leader now.

Choice E states that past experience in understanding of the labor problems is the ONLY prerequisite for the job. This immediately obviates the need for the two assumptions cited above - viz - that he should have good relations even now (or be able to forge good relations now)
and that he be good at his job even now (because this is clearly discarded as a prerequisite by choice E).
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Re: Grayson to chair the new council [#permalink]

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03 Jul 2010, 09:35
Hey Dwi,

Eli's explanation on this one is great. Our argument was more about the idea that GMAT wouldn't throw in ANY kind of ambiguity on a strengthen/weaken. Again, you can see my examples if you don't believe it, but the very wording of the questions is setting you up for more than one possible strengthen or weaken. Now I'll admit that it happens surprisingly rarely, but it does happen, as the book states, and my example exemplifies. I feel that Eli was too hard on himself for missing it, as if there were nothing attractive about B. It simply doesn't strengthen in regards to the underlying logic, but does provide a strengthening example. As for Suvorov pointed out, this is how the LSAT works, and LSAT "CR" has a lot in common with GMAT "CR".

Okay. Consider it put to rest. Eli is absolutely right that it's a highly rare occurrence, but I want room to be made for the few times it DOES happen.

-tommy
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Re: Grayson to chair the new council [#permalink]

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03 Jul 2010, 09:54
Wow, what a discussion!

Note that this is not an officially released GMAT question.

On real GMAT, We can always ignore the word "most". Only one choice will strengthen, while the other four will not. If this were not so, then the task would be that of comparing two choices both of which strengthen, and then using external criteria to judge which one is a "better" strengthener. Then the test would lose its meaning; would cease to be an objective barometer of test-takers' critical thinking skills. This would compromise the goals of the test-maker.

As everywhere else on the GMAT, there is one and only one answer that satisfies all the conditions of the question.

If this is not the case, then the question is bad. And, I have encountered a ton of bad questions from the 1000CR series. So, in any officially released GMAT materials, as Eli points out, there is only one correct answer to any type of question anywhere throughout the test. The burden of proving otherwise would rest on Tommy!

As an aside, Eli: "extreme" answers can easily be correct in strengthen/weaken, and in sufficient assumption questions. We should be wary of extreme answers in necessary assumption and in inference questions.
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Re: Grayson to chair the new council [#permalink]

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03 Jul 2010, 12:13
Hi Tommy,

sorry for not checking into that question. Frankly, I'm surprised at GMAC's explanation.

However, while it is strongly suggestive, I don't think it quite establishes that a choice will be wrong ONLY because it does not strengthen as much as another choice.

If we look at choice E of the question you cite, we see right away that it is outside the scope. The scope of the argument was "bowerbirds' building styles" while choice E discusses "song dialects".

Is a song dialect the same thing as a building style?...obviously not.

Choice E supports the more general idea that some things are learned rather than genetically transmitted. But it does not "strengthen the conclusion drawn by researchers" which is that "bowerbirds' building styles are a culturally acquired, rather than a genetically transmitted, trait."

Thus, despite GMAC's (surprising) explanation, there is a much better reason justifying chioce E's incorrectness:

it does not relate to the researchers' conclusion, and thus cannot be something that strengthens the researchers' conclusion. It, like the other three choices, simply fails to satisfy the conditions of the question.

In the OG question, while the GMAC's explanation is mystifying, again, the design of the question does not establish the inference that:

a choice will be wrong ONLY because it does not strengthen as much as another choice.

I will be convinced if I ever see an officially released question in which the ONLY reason to eliminate a choice is because it does not strengthen as much as another choice (still haven't).

While you may consider my position stubborn, I invite you to respond to or contemplate my observation that choice E of question 21 of OG12 is clearly outside the scope. Again, in every official question I've seen one and only one choice satisfies the conditions of the question. This question does NOT prove otherwise (although GMAC's explanation is baffling).

The reason I am defending this position strongly is that I think it is something very important for the test-taker to understand and trust: there is only one correct answer!

EDIT: In retrospect, GMAC's explanation isn't all that surprising. Their explanation is certainly one way of looking at it. But, as I wrote above, considering scope is another way of eliminating E. Again, I don't think GMAC's explanation of that question supports the more general (and more ambitious) idea that a choice will be wrong ONLY because it doesn't strengthen as much as another choice.
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Re: Grayson to chair the new council [#permalink]

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03 Jul 2010, 12:37
Okay Kaplan,

Question #35 also cites an answer choice, "This information is sufficient to justify a little doubt about the conclusion-but not at all specific enough to undermine the argument's conclusion as much as does (B).

As well as the one I already cited, in addition to the Chicago question, which I still think reveals two answer choices that strengthen (Profit = Revenue - Costs...if Revenue goes up OR if Costs go down, possibility of profit is strengthened), proves that this does occasionally happen.

Here's where we agree: CR is not subjective. There is always one correct answer choice. However, sometimes certain answer choices will strengthen some of the premises that support the main conclusion, leading to a bit of overall strengthening. This does not mean that these are the answers, or that there should even be confusion. However, that was the trap that Eli fell into when he first answered this question incorrectly, so I think it's important to note it as a trap. It is very possible that with just a bit of logical inference, multiple answer choices can be described as possible strengtheners. Only one answer choice will get at the heart of the conclusion and really strengthen that, without add-on assumptions.

Fair enough?

-tommy
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Re: Grayson to chair the new council [#permalink]

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03 Jul 2010, 12:41
Hi Manhattan,

again, you are citing from their explanations. None of their explanations assert that those are the ONLY logical explanations. Show me a question whose design proves that the ONLY reason to eliminate a choice is because it does not strengthen (or does not weaken) as much as another choice.

And "sufficient to justify a little doubt about the conclusion" is NOT the same as "weakening the conclusion.

Anways, perhaps scope vs. allowing for "better and worse" are just two different ways of looking at it.

But this:

[quote2tommywallach]Only one answer choice will get at the heart of the conclusion and really strengthen that, without add-on assumptions.[/quote2]

is exactly my point!
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Re: Grayson to chair the new council [#permalink]

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03 Jul 2010, 22:36
Testluv wrote:

As an aside, Eli: "extreme" answers can easily be correct in strengthen/weaken, and in sufficient assumption questions. We should be wary of extreme answers in necessary assumption and in inference questions.
Definitely a mistake on my part; I found a 'right' answer, and then tried to eliminate the other.

I dropped out of this thread in hopes of keeping things peaceful, since I'm fairly confident a problem like the one in the OP won't make it into anyone's Test Day. But thanks you, Testluv for making my point about right and wrong answers a little bit clearer than I was able to! What I wasn't clearly explaining is that while incorrect answers may in some loose sense have a vague, theoretical impact on the author's assumption, the GMAT will have four wrong answers that are wrong for a specific reason--and that's not the case for the original problem here.

Incidentally, the OG is a wonderful source for problems, but NOT for explanations. Tommy, the problem you cite did explain that the answer doesn't 'undermine the conclusion as much', but the answer choice will still have a categorical flaw; not being strong enough is one, but not the only, reason to eliminate it. Take a look at the problem and explanation on page 83 of the 12th edition, a strengthen/weaken question, to see why I am hesitant to take OG explanations at face value: The statement that would strengthen one hypothesis and weaken the other is correctly identified, but the explanation misidentifies which hypothesis is strengthened and which is weakened.
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Prepare with Kaplan and save $150 on a course! Kaplan Reviews Manhattan GMAT Instructor Affiliations: ManhattanGMAT Joined: 21 Jan 2010 Posts: 354 Location: San Francisco Followers: 497 Kudos [?]: 1317 [0], given: 11 Re: Grayson to chair the new council [#permalink] ### Show Tags 03 Jul 2010, 22:43 I don't think I ever said that it would be the only reason. I just said there could be more than one answer that has a strengthen/weaken effect, though it may be fairly nebulous and not nearly as good as the correct answer. I think I've proven that point, through the GMAC explanations and my own. I say we leave it at that. Decide for yourselves, fair members of the gmatclub website! -tommy _________________ Tommy Wallach | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | San Francisco Manhattan GMAT Discount | Manhattan GMAT Reviews Manager Joined: 25 Dec 2009 Posts: 66 Followers: 4 Kudos [?]: 36 [0], given: 2 Re: Grayson to chair the new council [#permalink] ### Show Tags 24 Aug 2010, 04:13 Testluv=800 scorer? your answers on beaththegmatt are awesome. just wanted to ask a 800 scorers, how many mistakes can one get away to score a 800 :D? can you give a de-brief about your score? Manager Joined: 28 Feb 2010 Posts: 176 WE 1: 3 (Mining Operations) Followers: 7 Kudos [?]: 32 [0], given: 33 Re: Grayson to chair the new council [#permalink] ### Show Tags 25 Aug 2010, 04:10 A very nice and enriching debate between the instructors. I also went for B. I thought that : 1) A labour nominated for business relation post. Thought process: I need to show that this guy have some business sense. and B phrased that B) During his years as a labor leader, Grayson established a record of good relations with business leaders. He is a Labor leader : Got It !!!..He is expert on Labor Side. Record of Good relation with Business leaders : Done for sure !!! What else I need for the post like Business Labour Relation ???? Now E states that "Understanding labor....necessary".....well.this is a fact, and we are qualifying Head of Labor Relations that he understands the problem. Do we mean to say that in option B "During his years as a labor leader" is not sufficient to qualify Mr.Grayson, who understand labor feelings...... Dont know, even after reading a lot of explanations, B remains an attractive. I pray such questions are not asked @ GMAT. _________________ Regards, Invincible... "The way to succeed is to double your error rate." "Most people who succeed in the face of seemingly impossible conditions are people who simply don't know how to quit." Manager Joined: 03 Jun 2010 Posts: 108 Followers: 2 Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 0 Re: Grayson to chair the new council [#permalink] ### Show Tags 25 Aug 2010, 09:22 E? Senior Manager Affiliations: Volunteer Operation Smile India, Creative Head of College IEEE branch (2009-10), Chief Editor College Magazine (2009), Finance Head College Magazine (2008) Joined: 25 Jul 2010 Posts: 471 Location: India WE2: Entrepreneur (E-commerce - The Laptop Skin Vault) Concentration: Marketing, Entrepreneurship GMAT 1: 710 Q49 V38 WE: Marketing (Other) Followers: 13 Kudos [?]: 145 [0], given: 24 Re: Grayson to chair the new council [#permalink] ### Show Tags 07 Sep 2010, 00:19 good one _________________ Kidchaos http://www.laptopskinvault.com Follow The Laptop Skin Vault on: Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheLaptopSkinVault Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/LaptopSkinVault Consider Kudos if you think the Post is good Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot. Nothing is going to change. It's not. - Dr. Seuss Intern Joined: 19 Aug 2010 Posts: 21 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 7 Re: Grayson to chair the new council [#permalink] ### Show Tags 10 Sep 2010, 20:28 praveenism wrote: A very nice and enriching debate between the instructors. I also went for B. I thought that : 1) A labour nominated for business relation post. Thought process: I need to show that this guy have some business sense. and B phrased that B) During his years as a labor leader, Grayson established a record of good relations with business leaders. He is a Labor leader : Got It !!!..He is expert on Labor Side. Record of Good relation with Business leaders : Done for sure !!! What else I need for the post like Business Labour Relation ???? Now E states that "Understanding labor....necessary".....well.this is a fact, and we are qualifying Head of Labor Relations that he understands the problem. Do we mean to say that in option B "During his years as a labor leader" is not sufficient to qualify Mr.Grayson, who understand labor feelings...... Dont know, even after reading a lot of explanations, B remains an attractive. I pray such questions are not asked @ GMAT. Hi! I'll give my shot answering your question about B As an experienced labor organizer and the former head of one of the nation’s most powerful labor unions, Grayson is an excellent choice to chair the new council on business-labor relations. Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the conclusion above? (A) The new council must have the support of the nation’s labor leaders if it is to succeed. (B) During his years as a labor leader, Grayson established a record of good relations with business leaders. (C) The chair of the new council must be a person who can communicate directly with the leaders of the nation’s largest labor unions. (D) Most of the other members of the new council will be representatives of business management interests. (E) An understanding of the needs and problems of labor is the only qualification necessary for the job of chairing the new council. How about this thought? Yes, B really says sth that imples Grayson's competence. But, who says "having a good relationship" garantee his competence as the chairman? In other words, if you consider this characteristic may help Grayson to be a good chairman, there's equal possibility that it may do little help to his chairman job. Who knows? we don't add on assumptions in CR, right. While, E, directly points out the relationship between the ability needed for the job post(chairman) and the ability possessed by Grayson. I just feel a little imperfection that ,here in E, we have to consider"an experienced labor organizer and the former head of one of the nation’s most powerful labor unions" equal to"An understanding of the needs and problems of labor". I also admit that this is kinda "asssumption" we need to add to equalize the above 2. well, at least this assumption is more acceptable than the one B used ,right? Manager Joined: 15 Apr 2010 Posts: 170 Followers: 4 Kudos [?]: 70 [0], given: 3 Re: Grayson to chair the new council [#permalink] ### Show Tags 11 Sep 2010, 08:03 +1 for E. Kaplan GMAT Instructor Joined: 25 Aug 2009 Posts: 644 Location: Cambridge, MA Followers: 83 Kudos [?]: 276 [0], given: 2 Re: Grayson to chair the new council [#permalink] ### Show Tags 12 Sep 2010, 10:50 Kaja wrote: Yes, B really says sth that imples Grayson's competence. But, who says "having a good relationship" guarantee his competence as the chairman? In other words, if you consider this characteristic may help Grayson to be a good chairman, there's equal possibility that it may do little help to his chairman job. Who knows? we don't add on assumptions in CR, right. While, E, directly points out the relationship between the ability needed for the job post(chairman) and the ability possessed by Grayson. I just feel a little imperfection that ,here in E, we have to consider"an experienced labor organizer and the former head of one of the nation’s most powerful labor unions" equal to"An understanding of the needs and problems of labor". I also admit that this is kinda "asssumption" we need to add to equalize the above 2. well, at least this assumption is more acceptable than the one B used ,right? Hi Kaja, The 'guarantee' in your argument is the crux of the issue. No one disagrees the (E) is the stronger answer; (E) guarantees that Grayson will be a good chair, while (B) merely implies it. I definitely jumped the gun when I ruled out (E) in my first post on this thread several months ago. However, the issue here is whether the GMAT will ever make the distinction between implying and guaranteeing. In Kaplan's experience, the answer is 'no'. All GMAT Strengthen/Weaken CR problems will have one answer that unconditionally strengthens/weakens the link between evidence and conclusion, and four that do not. In this problem, however, if Grayson can create strong business relations while heading a labor union, it unconditionally and absolutely strengthens his candidacy to head a council on union-business relations. Thus, the Kaplan teachers in this thread doubt the validity of this 1000 CR question; we believe it would not appear in this form on the actual GMAT. _________________ Eli Meyer Kaplan Teacher http://www.kaptest.com/GMAT Prepare with Kaplan and save$150 on a course!

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Re: Grayson to chair the new council [#permalink]

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12 Sep 2010, 18:18
i picked E .. I knew it was tough one ...but GURUs have taken it to a different level...cheers guys !! rockstars !!
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Re: Grayson to chair the new council [#permalink]

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12 Sep 2010, 23:44
KapTeacherEli wrote:
Kaja wrote:
Yes, B really says sth that imples Grayson's competence. But, who says "having a good relationship" guarantee his competence as the chairman? In other words, if you consider this characteristic may help Grayson to be a good chairman, there's equal possibility that it may do little help to his chairman job. Who knows? we don't add on assumptions in CR, right.

While, E, directly points out the relationship between the ability needed for the job post(chairman) and the ability possessed by Grayson.

I just feel a little imperfection that ,here in E, we have to consider"an experienced labor organizer and the former head of one of the nation’s most powerful labor unions" equal to"An understanding of the needs and problems of labor". I also admit that this is kinda "asssumption" we need to add to equalize the above 2. well, at least this assumption is more acceptable than the one B used ,right?
Hi Kaja,

The 'guarantee' in your argument is the crux of the issue. No one disagrees the (E) is the stronger answer; (E) guarantees that Grayson will be a good chair, while (B) merely implies it. I definitely jumped the gun when I ruled out (E) in my first post on this thread several months ago.

However, the issue here is whether the GMAT will ever make the distinction between implying and guaranteeing. In Kaplan's experience, the answer is 'no'. All GMAT Strengthen/Weaken CR problems will have one answer that unconditionally strengthens/weakens the link between evidence and conclusion, and four that do not. In this problem, however, if Grayson can create strong business relations while heading a labor union, it unconditionally and absolutely strengthens his candidacy to head a council on union-business relations. Thus, the Kaplan teachers in this thread doubt the validity of this 1000 CR question; we believe it would not appear in this form on the actual GMAT.

Hey,Eli!

I also hope I won't meet with this kind of problem in actual test! It is sooooo hard that I can't figure it out within 2 min~~

And about the dicussion between you and Tommy, I'd rather say the two theories are consistent, just discribing "relativity" in different scales. If the logical relationship underlying one CR question is the center of a circle, your circle and Tommy's circle are both around that center, only yours has a shorter radius than Tommy's. Therefore, in your theorecal realm, only one answer is relavant enough to get in your little circle whereas for Tommy's bigger circle, maybe 2 choices can get in, and one is nearer to the center than the other ,which you may "define" as "irrelavant" with stricter limit.

Actually, you two have the same view on those 2 choices about their "distances" to the center.

Well, I agree that if we can presicely find that little circle when doing CR problems, we can easily beat it because there's only one left for the right choice. But this little circle sometimes against our common sense therefore hard for people(or say ,for me) to set the boundary, especially considering the time pressure during exam.
Tommy's circle which seems is defined with the same radius with GMAC explanations, is more easily accepted as it more follows common sense. Also,this method is a little harder in the respect that we may always have to choose between 2 choices.

Back to the Grayson problem, I think if my understanding of B is right , B is irrelevant thus won't strenghthen the conclusion in your theory.

But is B relevant?
We can say B is irrelevant (as there's no bridge connecting the relationship between successful chairman and previnient established social network),
but meanwhile, we can say B is relevant, as it is ...just common sense(we don't even need to explain the belief that good social network within some industry helps a lot when you do a relevant job).

Then, which circle is better for us test-takers? I think it depends. Just take the one you feel better fit.
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Re: Grayson to chair the new council [#permalink]

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13 Sep 2010, 00:33
Nice discussion guys! Even if the 1000CR isn't worth it ...such discussions are totally worth it. Please debate.
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Re: Grayson to chair the new council [#permalink]

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13 Sep 2010, 11:27
Hi Kaja,

With only the evidence of the prompt, it's entirely possible the Grayson spent his entire career as a labor leader spitting in the face of businesses, fighting tooth and nail for every scrap of pay and benefits for his workers. If this were the case, as an enemy of business, he would be a poor choice to head a council on business-labor relations.

Choice (B) tells us that the above situation is NOT the case--although we still do not know the entirety of Grayson's background, we do know that he is both able and willing to maintain positive relations with business leaders.

I think the confusion is that you are looking for the answer that proves that Grayson will be a good leader. (E) does that, and (B) does not. But that isn't what the GMAT asks. Rather, the GMAT asks us to strengthen the argument. Anything that eliminates alternate possibilities or rules out alternate interpretations of the evidence, as (B) clearly does, counts as a strengthener for GMAT purposes. Or, in other words, if (E) were eliminated, (B) could be the correct answer. Thus, Tesluv and I both doubt the validity of this question.
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Re: Grayson to chair the new council [#permalink]

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13 Sep 2010, 17:25
KapTeacherEli wrote:
Hi Kaja,

With only the evidence of the prompt, it's entirely possible the Grayson spent his entire career as a labor leader spitting in the face of businesses, fighting tooth and nail for every scrap of pay and benefits for his workers. If this were the case, as an enemy of business, he would be a poor choice to head a council on business-labor relations.

Choice (B) tells us that the above situation is NOT the case--although we still do not know the entirety of Grayson's background, we do know that he is both able and willing to maintain positive relations with business leaders.

I think the confusion is that you are looking for the answer that proves that Grayson will be a good leader. (E) does that, and (B) does not. But that isn't what the GMAT asks. Rather, the GMAT asks us to strengthen the argument. Anything that eliminates alternate possibilities or rules out alternate interpretations of the evidence, as (B) clearly does, counts as a strengthener for GMAT purposes. Or, in other words, if (E) were eliminated, (B) could be the correct answer. Thus, Tesluv and I both doubt the validity of this question.

hi,Eli,

I agree that if E is eliminated then B will come out for the best one.
I think I know why you question the vadility of this CR problem, do you mean the only way in GMAT to strenghthen a conclusion is to"eliminates alternate possibilities or rules out alternate interpretations " , is it??

I was trying to make this CR a clearer and easier way to understand. E is strenghthening the conclusion by clarifying the relationship between the evidence and conclusion. I know, this kind of logic always appears in the kind of"which of the following best explain..." questions, but it IS a way to strenghen the conclusion isn't it?
so do you mean that this logic"clarifying the evidence and relationship" can't be the logic underlying in the "strenghen" problem?
I don't know, I think instructors as you must have much more experience to make that judgement.
Re: Grayson to chair the new council   [#permalink] 13 Sep 2010, 17:25

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