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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19 Aug 2008, 03:22
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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: OA
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26 Nov 2010, 20:31
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fiesta wrote:
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.

Let us read the question stem first. We are looking for an assumption. An assumption is a necessary missing premise. We are looking for the option that needs to be true for the conclusion to be true.

Premises:
Frobisher 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.

Tell me, when you read the above premises, what possibilities come to mind? Frobisher had samples examined. High gold content was reported. No gold was actually found. Modern analysis show very low gold content.

The following possibilities come to my mind:
1. Either there was gold and before the expeditions were sent, it was mined (very unlikely!)
2. His methods were inaccurate.

Conclusion:
The methods used to determine the gold content of Frobisher’s samples must have been inaccurate.

If I am concluding that his methods were inaccurate, then I am assuming that no one added gold to his samples and gold was not mined before the expeditions were sent. (Technically, gold could have been added and his methods could have been inaccurate too but lets not mess with that.)
Hence option (E) is an assumption.
Also, use you can use assumption negation technique to see that it is the right answer.
I negate (E) : Gold was added to the soil samples collected by Frobisher before the samples were examined.

I can not conclude now that his methods were inaccurate.
Hence (E) is the correct answer.

Option (C) is not correct. We did not assume in the argument that his methods were different. They could have been the same ones generally used in the 16th century, It is possible that 16th century methods were not accurate.
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Get started with Veritas Prep GMAT On Demand for $199 Veritas Prep Reviews Director Joined: 12 Jul 2008 Posts: 518 Schools: Wharton Followers: 22 Kudos [?]: 153 [2] , given: 0 Re: CR: gold content [#permalink] ### Show Tags 19 Aug 2008, 03:27 2 This post received KUDOS 1 This post was BOOKMARKED fiesta wrote: 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. Premise shows discrepancy b/w Frobisher's soil sample and the two other data points (mining expeditions and modern soil samples). Correct answer must contain an alternate way for Frobisher's soil sample to test positive while explaining the other two data points. E Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor Joined: 16 Oct 2010 Posts: 7119 Location: Pune, India Followers: 2129 Kudos [?]: 13625 [1] , given: 222 Re: CR: gold content [#permalink] ### Show Tags 21 Dec 2010, 18:05 1 This post received KUDOS Expert's post 1 This post was BOOKMARKED chelliyil wrote: Frobisher could have mistakely examined for gold on any other island as well too. In that case D would be a choice. Please explain why this option is out. The argument says that he got soil from Kodlunarn island examined. The Queen sent two expeditions there. The argument does not have anything to do with the other islands. It does not assume that he did not get soil of any other island examined. Perhaps he did and found no gold there or perhaps he did find gold there. We do not know and do not care as far as this argument goes. Here we are only concerned with Kodlunarn. _________________ Karishma Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor My Blog Get started with Veritas Prep GMAT On Demand for$199

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14 Oct 2015, 22:40
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eiffel wrote:
(A) The gold content of the soil on Kodlunarn Island is much lower today than it was in the sixteenth century.

can someone help me why ( A) is wrong? we assume F's method was correct so, it can possible gold amount today is much lower than sixteenth century.

No gold was found in the 16th century either. The soil sent for analysis showed gold. It could have been because it was tampered with or the one analysing the soil messed up etc.
So we are not assuming that the gold content today is lower. Anyway, the comparison of gold content of today with 16th century has nothing to do with the conclusion. The conclusion is only about 16th century gold content.
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19 Aug 2008, 04:01
zoinnk wrote:

Premise shows discrepancy b/w Frobisher's soil sample and the two other data points (mining expeditions and modern soil samples). Correct answer must contain an alternate way for Frobisher's soil sample to test positive while explaining the
other two data points.

E

I am extremely confused
conclusion: the methods used to determine the gold content of Frobisher’s samples must have been inaccurate.
evidences:
- Frobisher had soil samples examined for gold content.
- Neither expedition found any gold there
- Modern analysis of the island’s soil indicates a very low gold content.

E: Gold was not added to the soil samples collected by Frobisher before the samples were examined. >>>> It clearly weakens the conclusion
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19 Aug 2008, 04:13
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fiesta wrote:
zoinnk wrote:

Premise shows discrepancy b/w Frobisher's soil sample and the two other data points (mining expeditions and modern soil samples). Correct answer must contain an alternate way for Frobisher's soil sample to test positive while explaining the
other two data points.

E

I am extremely confused
conclusion: the methods used to determine the gold content of Frobisher’s samples must have been inaccurate.
evidences:
- Frobisher had soil samples examined for gold content.
- Neither expedition found any gold there
- Modern analysis of the island’s soil indicates a very low gold content.

E: Gold was not added to the soil samples collected by Frobisher before the samples were examined. >>>> It clearly weakens the conclusion

The author says the divergent results is a result of the original test being accurate.

He assumes, then, that there is no other explanation for these results.

Which of the answers is saying that he assumes there are no other explanations?
E: Gold was not added to the soil samples collected by Frobisher before the samples were examined.
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19 Aug 2008, 04:39
I guess C, since the conclusion says the method was inaccurate.And one of the possibilty of that could be the method used by Frobisher and the one prevalent in 16th century were different.

Can any one plz point out the mistake in this reasoning.
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19 Aug 2008, 05:15
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fiesta wrote:
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. -> this even if negated does not make tyhe argument fall apart
B. The two mining expeditions funded by Elizabeth I did not mine the same part of Kodlunarn Island. -> this is again weakening the argument
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. -> This weakens the argument and is not an assumption
D. Frobisher did not have soil samples from any other Canadian island examined for gold content. -> this is opposing the written
E. Gold was not added to the soil samples collected by Frobisher before the samples were examined.-> IMO -> since if this were true we cannot comment on the authors view about Frobishers analysis

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19 Aug 2008, 05:19
fiesta wrote:
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?

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

For assupmtion questions: one has to find the link b/w the premise and the conclusion and the assumption has to support the conclusion.

Premises: had soil samples examined; found them to contain high gold content; exploration did not yield any gold
Conclusion: the methods to determine gold content were flawed.

Only E. supports the conclusion and makes it logical. If gold was added to the soil samples then the colclusion does not hold, hence only if we rule out the possibility that no gold was added to the soil sample will this conclusion be justifiable.
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19 Aug 2008, 05:52
OA: E
It is a ridiculous assumption. Anyway, when I read all explanations, I realize that E is the best. Thanks all
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19 Aug 2008, 07:24
fiesta wrote:
OA: E
It is a ridiculous assumption. Anyway, when I read all explanations, I realize that E is the best. Thanks all

I think one of the ways GMAT questions trick people is by using correct answers that seem absurd in real life. Remember, this is GMAT universe, not real world...
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19 Aug 2008, 12:49
This happened many times in the past, it's not rediculous at all. Just think, if your sponsor pays a ton of money for your expedition, you'd better have something to show for it. Else no more money for next time/beheading, depending on what era you live in.
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20 Aug 2008, 23:26
zoinnk wrote:
fiesta wrote:
OA: E
It is a ridiculous assumption. Anyway, when I read all explanations, I realize that E is the best. Thanks all

I think one of the ways GMAT questions trick people is by using correct answers that seem absurd in real life. Remember, this is GMAT universe, not real world...

Its just which best among the LOT hardly matters whether its feasible in real world DONT ever apply the personal fundae its just whats given in the premises
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25 Nov 2010, 18:46
fiesta wrote:
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.

E
Have come across this question quite a number of times.
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25 Nov 2010, 20:28
E fits best
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25 Nov 2010, 22:02
can anyone please explain why C is not a correct option??
i am agree with C.
E doesn't make sense to me.
can any one tell me, where can i find the correct solution of this question apart from this discussion.?
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26 Nov 2010, 11:33
321kumarsushant wrote:
can anyone please explain why C is not a correct option??
i am agree with C.
E doesn't make sense to me.
can any one tell me, where can i find the correct solution of this question apart from this discussion.?

321kumarsushant:
Option C says that when Frobisher examined the soil sample for gold he used a different method than anyone else was using back in the 1500s . Even if this is true, this statement does not affect the conclusion at all.
If choice C said "The methods used to assess gold content of the soil samples provided by Frobisher were different from those generally used in the twenty first century.", then it would be a contender for the correct answer.
Hope that helps.
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26 Nov 2010, 23:13
suesie970 wrote:
321kumarsushant wrote:
can anyone please explain why C is not a correct option??
i am agree with C.
E doesn't make sense to me.
can any one tell me, where can i find the correct solution of this question apart from this discussion.?

321kumarsushant:
Option C says that when Frobisher examined the soil sample for gold he used a different method than anyone else was using back in the 1500s . Even if this is true, this statement does not affect the conclusion at all.
If choice C said "The methods used to assess gold content of the soil samples provided by Frobisher were different from those generally used in the twenty first century.", then it would be a contender for the correct answer.
Hope that helps.

hey Suesie,
now i am agree with E.
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27 Nov 2010, 07:01
E.

Gold content in two studies can be different if one of the samples had been adulterated with gold while it was being shipped from the island to the lab where it was examined. This argument relies on properly identifying the conclusion (and premises) . Conclusion is that F's method were wrong. Only assumption mentioned in E, if negated, can defy the conclusion

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