Frobisher, a sixteenth-century English explorer, had soil : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Frobisher, a sixteenth-century English explorer, had soil

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Director
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23 Sep 2007, 18:47
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Frobisher, a sixteenth-century English explorer, had soil samples from Canada’s Kodlunarn Island examined for gold content. Because high gold content was reported, Elizabeth I funded two mining expeditions. Neither expedition found any gold there. Modern analysis of the island’s soil indicates a very low gold content. Thus the methods used to determine the gold content of Frobisher’s samples must have been inaccurate.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. The gold content of the soil on Kodlunarn Island is much lower today than it was in the sixteenth century.
B. The two mining expeditions funded by Elizabeth I did not mine the same part of Kodlunarn Island.
C. The methods used to assess gold content of the soil samples provided by Frobisher were different from those generally used in the sixteenth century.
D. Frobisher did not have soil samples from any other Canadian island examined for gold content.
E. Gold was not added to the soil samples collected by Frobisher before the samples were examined.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Since the conclusion states that the samples used in accurately measuring the content of gold is incorrect, I choose D with the assumption that if we had a sample for other island it would have shown gold content and would have indicated that the method is incorrect. Is this a valid assumption?
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Last edited by JarvisR on 10 Jul 2015, 22:14, edited 1 time in total.
OA updated
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23 Sep 2007, 18:54
I think the only valid assumption here is "E".
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23 Sep 2007, 20:06
cruiser wrote:
I think the only valid assumption here is "E".

Agree w/ E.

I had a very similar CR on my previous MGMAT CAT: here it is. An oil field prospector and developer reported a large oil deposit in southwestern Texas. As a result, a large oil and gas company purchased the field with the intention of drilling oil wells in the area soon afterwards. However, the company found that what had been reported to be a large oil deposit was actually much smaller than had been indicated. Thus, the methods that the prospector had used to determine the size of the oil deposit must have been inaccurate.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. The company's methods of measuring the size of the oil deposit were determined by a third party to be more accurate than those used by the prospector.

B. The prospector did not purposefully fabricate or misrepresent the size of the oil deposit.
C. Though smaller than originally thought, the oil deposit contained enough oil to make drilling commercially feasible.
D. The prospector did not explore other oil fields and use the same methods to determine the magnitude of the oil present, if any.
E. The company had successfully drilled for oil in other large oil fields in Texas throughout the early twentieth century.

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23 Sep 2007, 20:12
Kodlunarn Island examined for gold content. Because high gold content was reported,
Elizabeth I funded two mining expeditions. Neither expedition found any gold there.
Modern analysis of the island’s soil indicates a very low gold content. Thus the methods
used to determine the gold content of Frobisher’s samples must have been inaccurate.
Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. The gold content of the soil on Kodlunarn Island is much lower today than it was
in the sixteenth century.
B. The two mining expeditions funded by Elizabeth I did not mine the same part of
Kodlunarn Island.
C. The methods used to assess gold content of the soil samples provided by
Frobisher were different from those generally used in the sixteenth century.
D. Frobisher did not have soil samples from any other Canadian island examined for
gold content.
E. Gold was not added to the soil samples collected by Frobisher before the samples
were examined.

Since the conclusion states that the samples used in accurately measuring the content of gold is incorrect, I choose D with the assumption that if we had a sample for other island it would have shown gold content and would have indicated that the method is incorrect. Is this a valid assumption?

E too
A looks like a trap. The assumption I wrote down for this is the Gold content never change over time. E seems to fit best.
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23 Sep 2007, 20:18
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Kodlunarn Island examined for gold content. Because high gold content was reported,
Elizabeth I funded two mining expeditions. Neither expedition found any gold there.
Modern analysis of the island’s soil indicates a very low gold content. Thus the methods
used to determine the gold content of Frobisher’s samples must have been inaccurate.
Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. The gold content of the soil on Kodlunarn Island is much lower today than it was
in the sixteenth century.
B. The two mining expeditions funded by Elizabeth I did not mine the same part of
Kodlunarn Island.
C. The methods used to assess gold content of the soil samples provided by
Frobisher were different from those generally used in the sixteenth century.
D. Frobisher did not have soil samples from any other Canadian island examined for
gold content.
E. Gold was not added to the soil samples collected by Frobisher before the samples
were examined.

Since the conclusion states that the samples used in accurately measuring the content of gold is incorrect, I choose D with the assumption that if we had a sample for other island it would have shown gold content and would have indicated that the method is incorrect. Is this a valid assumption?

Couldn't post faults of answer choices w/ previous post b/c too big.

The conclusion here is: Thus the methods
used to determine the gold content of Frobisher’s samples must have been inaccurate.

When answering assumption questions you must stick close with the conclusion and find a choice that supports, validates, or clarifys the conclusion. This is different than strengthening a conclusion b/c an assumption is usually NECCESSARY. however in strengthening a conclusion, an additional premise can further support a conclusion without being neccessary.

We need to find an answer that explains why the soil samples were inaccurate.

A: This doesn't explain why the soil content measurments would be inaccurate.
B. This may explain why no gold was found, but we are concerened w/ why the soil contents were inaccurate.
C. A possible answer choice, but very weak at best b/c it doesn't really explain why the soil was inaccurate. leave as a possibility b/c maybe no other choices.

D. This is irrelevant. We are concerned about the soil samples of this particular island. This choice may have some validity if there were more information on the soil samples taken from the other islands compared to this one etc..., but even then this choice would be weak.

E. Best choice. Explains that his measurments weren't inaccurate, but that the soil samples were either accidentially or purposefully changed.

(Check above CR i posted to see a similar answer choice and CR.)
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24 Sep 2007, 14:25
GMATBLACKBELT wrote :

E. Gold was not added to the soil samples collected by Frobisher before the samples were examined.

E. Best choice. Explains that his measurments weren't inaccurate, but that the soil samples were either accidentially or purposefully changed.

Alimad : maybe you wrote the opposite of the conclusion that the measurements were inaccurate because there were no wrong doing on part of Frobisher, right?

Similarly the other CR would follow the same pattern which states :

B. The prospector did not purposefully fabricate or misrepresent the size of the oil deposit.

Follows the same conclusion. There were no wrong doing just the techniques employed were screwed up. Correct me if I'm wrong. thanks-
Great stuff in helping me understand -
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24 Sep 2007, 18:50
GMATBLACKBELT wrote :

E. Gold was not added to the soil samples collected by Frobisher before the samples were examined.

E. Best choice. Explains that his measurments weren't inaccurate, but that the soil samples were either accidentially or purposefully changed.

Alimad : maybe you wrote the opposite of the conclusion that the measurements were inaccurate because there were no wrong doing on part of Frobisher, right?

Similarly the other CR would follow the same pattern which states :

B. The prospector did not purposefully fabricate or misrepresent the size of the oil deposit.

Follows the same conclusion. There were no wrong doing just the techniques employed were screwed up. Correct me if I'm wrong. thanks-
Great stuff in helping me understand -

The techniques used to find the initial data weren't screwed up. The people who used the techniques did something to the results to make them screwed up.
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04 Nov 2015, 05:39
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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17 Mar 2016, 08:58
But if we negate answer choice :
Gold was added to the soil samples collected by Frobisher before the samples were examined.
It implies soil samples had gold but the expedition did not find any => frobisher's methods were inaccurate.
Negating the argument is strengthening it rather than weakening.
Is this understanding wrong?
Re: Frobisher, a sixteenth-century English explorer, had soil   [#permalink] 17 Mar 2016, 08:58
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