And question 10...
It can be annoying when you see the whole sentence underlined, but never fear--that fact alone is a clue to what you're looking for. Often fully underlined sentences (especially ones containing lots of commas), contain modifier issues
The sentence as written (choice A) contains a red-flag chunk-- ", which
." Remember that ", which
" must be immediately preceded by the noun it is modifying (with one rare exception, which I won't go into here). What's the noun that precedes the comma? "Election"-- NOT the thing doing the estimating. Choice A is out.
Then for efficiency's sake, do a quick scan to see if any of the other choices repeat this error. Nope. On to choice B.
(B) begins with an -ing modifier
--that's a red-flag too! Whenever a sentence begins with an -ing modifier (or a string of them), make sure that the noun being modified immediately FOLLOWS the last comma in the list.
Running late that morning, the woman sped to work. CORRECT
(The woman was running late)
Running late that morning, her car went too fast. INCORRECT
(The CAR is running late, which doesn't make sense)
What's the noun being modified in (B)? "A new study"--this is ok. A quick scan tells us that B might be alright, so leave it for now.
However, notice that (C) has the same structure as (B), but the noun being modified
is "4 to 6 million"
votes-- (C) does NOT make sense, so lose it.
(D) and (E) both share similarities on both the front and back ends--"A new study" and "had not been counted".
The phrase "Had not been" is in the PAST PERFECT tense. Whenever the GMAT uses the past perfect it MUST be justified (used to show that something happened at a time in the past BEFORE
something else, which is expressed in the simple past)
Choice (D)'s core is "A new study HAS CITED...[stuff] in estimating that..votes...that WERE CAST HAD not BEEN COUNTED"
--the past perfect is used in that last clause. Yes, the clause uses both the simple past and past perfect, but what is the relationship expressed here? The votes HAD NOT BEEN
counted BEFORE they WERE CAST
? That doesn't make sense, so choice (D) is out.
Choice (E)'s core is "A new study...HAS ESTIMATED
..votes...HAD not BEEN COUNTED
..." (E) uses both the PRESENT PERFECT and PAST PERFECT; we would need that first verb to be in the simple past, so (E) is out.
(Also, in my experience, the GMAT strongly prefers "that" to follow "estimated.")
We've gotten rid of everything else, and (B) eliminates all our modifier issues as well as verb issues, so (B) is our answer.
Hope this helps.
JP Park | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | Los Angeles
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