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GMAT Prep Questions [#permalink] New post 24 Dec 2010, 11:40
00:00
A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

(N/A)

Question Stats:

50% (01:15) correct 50% (02:01) wrong based on 5 sessions
gmat prep questions
Please give reasons to discard the 4 options.
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Re: GMAT Prep Questions [#permalink] New post 27 Dec 2010, 20:05
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What's the core of the sentence here? Use the structure to help you out. If you ignore most of the modifiers (adjectives, adverbs, phrases that follow prepositions, etc),you come up with the following sentence (the essentials are in caps)--

DESPITE (recent) INCREASES (in sales and cash flow that have propelled....to new highs), (several industry) ANALYSTS EXPECT AUTOMAKERS(, in order to conserve cash,)...

You could even make an argument for ignoring "despite increases," since that phrase doesn't affect the following clause gramatically. So the core sentence is really ANALYSTS EXPECT AUTOMAKERS....

On to the choices...an obvious split at the front ends of the choices is "to" versus "that."

EXPECT...TO and EXPECT THAT can both be right in different contexts, but which context are we dealing with here?

I expect you TO feed my cat. (correct)
I expect THAT you will feed my cat. (correct)

But notice that when we use EXPECT THAT, the "that' must immediately follow the word "expect" (we can't say "I expect you that you will feed my cat). So the idiom we want here is EXPECT...TO. We can lose D and E.

I first tried to look at "to set" versus "to be"-- the latter forces a slightly longer construction, but not a necessarily wrong one, so I decided to leave it for now. The front ends didn't help, so what about the tails?

Both A and B conclude without repeating the verb--
(A) to set dividends more conservatively than they were (setting them? set?)
(B) to set dividends more conservatively than they were (setting them? set?)

We have a problem. The missing words cannot be "setting them," because we have not used that construction yet in the first "slot" of our parallel construction (more/than is a parallelism marker!).

But if we use the missing word that is in that slot, "set," we have changed the meaning of the sentence (to "analyst expect automakers to set dividends more conservatively than they (DIVIDENDS) were/have been set). The pronoun "they," which is in the SUBJECT case and position, must refer back to the subject of the clause, which is AUTOMAKERS, not dividends (which is the object of "set"). A and B are out.

That leaves C. Does everything check out?

"...analysts expect automakers to be more conservative than they (AUTOMAKERS) have been in setting dividends."

Yup, we're clear. The choice is longer than the others, but error-free.
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Re: GMAT Prep Questions [#permalink] New post 02 Jan 2011, 10:21
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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.

For example:

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.
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Re: GMAT Prep Questions   [#permalink] 02 Jan 2011, 10:21
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