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If Elvira Johnson agrees to testify against the defendant

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If Elvira Johnson agrees to testify against the defendant [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2011, 16:55
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If Elvira Johnson agrees to testify against the defendant and the prosecution is able to get a prestigious firm to take their case, then the defendant's chances will be greatly weakened, and he will most likely be given a lengthy sentence. But Charles Chase, a powerful witness for the defense, will only cooperate if Elvira Johnson testifies and a prestigious law firm takes the prosecution's case.

Under these circumstances, if the defendant's chances are NOT greatly weakened, then which of the following must be false?

Elvira Johnson testifies against the defendant.
The defendant will get a lengthy sentence.
A prestigious firm will take the prosecution's case.
Charles Chase will cooperate with the defense.
Elvira Johnson might testify against the defendant.
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Re: CR - Inference - 700-level [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2011, 17:18
bschool83 wrote:
If Elvira Johnson agrees to testify against the defendant and the prosecution is able to get a prestigious firm to take their case, then the defendant's chances will be greatly weakened, and he will most likely be given a lengthy sentence. But Charles Chase, a powerful witness for the defense, will only cooperate if Elvira Johnson testifies and a prestigious law firm takes the prosecution's case.

Under these circumstances, if the defendant's chances are NOT greatly weakened, then which of the following must be false?

Elvira Johnson testifies against the defendant.
The defendant will get a lengthy sentence.
A prestigious firm will take the prosecution's case.
Charles Chase will cooperate with the defense.
Elvira Johnson might testify against the defendant.


What does "their" refer to. Anyway,

Definitely true: Charles Chase didn't cooperate with the defense.

"Charles Chase" will testify only if "Elvira Johnson & prestigious firm" complies. The defendant didn't get long term; it means "Charles Chase" didn't cooperate. Because, had he complied, the defendant must have gotten long term, because other two prerequisites "Elvira Johnson testimony & firm's association" would be true at the time of his testimony.

Elvira Johnson testifies against the defendant.
>Not necessarily false. firm and Charles may have turned their backs.

The defendant will get a lengthy sentence.
>Question says; case NOT greatly weakened. Defendant may not get long term.

A prestigious firm will take the prosecution's case.
>Elvira J and Charles may not have complied.

Charles Chase will cooperate with the defense.
>Elvira & Firm-true
If this option true: case will greatly weakened. Thus, this can't be true.

Elvira Johnson might testify against the defendant.
>Okay!!! How about the other two?

Ans: "D"
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Re: CR - Inference - 700-level [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2011, 17:32
I arrived at D using Conditional Reasoning.

From the argument,

EJ AND Prestigious firm ------> CC -----> Defendant chances weakened AND most likely Lengthy sentence

Contrapositive of this is

~Defendant chances weakened OR ~most likely Lengthy sentence ---> ~CC ---> ~EJ OR ~Prestigious firm

From the contrapositive, the only thing that can be false is "Charlie Chase will Cooperate with the defence."
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Re: CR - Inference - 700-level [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2011, 19:52
I could get to D because the options are simple to understand... but the passage screwed my brain completely... is it real GMAT? source says GMAT prep
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Re: CR - Inference - 700-level [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2011, 02:51
If Elvira Johnson agrees to testify against the defendant and the prosecution is able to get a prestigious firm to take their case, then the defendant's chances will be greatly weakened, and he will most likely be given a lengthy sentence. But Charles Chase, a powerful witness for the defense, will only cooperate if Elvira Johnson testifies and a prestigious law firm takes the prosecution's case.

E.J. AGAINST defence + prestigious firm takes prosecution case --> defendant chance weakened --> lengthy sentence
E.J testify + prestigious firm ---> CC witneess ---> FOR defence.

In other words, CC will testify only if first statement holds true.

Under these circumstances, if the defendant's chances are NOT greatly weakened, then which of the following must be false?

Elvira Johnson testifies against the defendant. ---- WEAKENED
The defendant will get a lengthy sentence. ----- ??
A prestigious firm will take the prosecution's case. --- WEAKENED
Charles Chase will cooperate with the defense. ----- WEAKENED
Elvira Johnson might testify against the defendant. ----- WEAKENED

I am going with B. Can anyone tell me whats wrong with this...or tell me whats the OA.

Its a great problem!!



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Re: CR - Inference - 700-level [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2011, 09:36
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mourinhogmat1 wrote:
I am going with B. Can anyone tell me whats wrong with this


B is an outcome and we are supposed to identify a reasoning leading up the outcome. B is a distortion.

Here is my approach:

The question stems with many negative words tend to be confusing. I approach such questions a bit differently. I try to combine two negative words into a positive... sort of mathematically (-*-=+)

GMAT question stem: Under these circumstances, if the defendant's chances are NOT greatly weakened, then which of the following must be false?

My interpretation: If defendant's chances are slightly strengthened, then which of the following must be false?

In order for the defendant to win, Elvira Johnson should testify and the prestigious firm should take the prosecution's case, because that's when Charles Chase will cooperate. Charles Chase not cooperating will strengthen defendant's chances, because it means Elvira Johnson must not be testifying and the prestigious firm must not be prosecution's case.

So immediately pick D.
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Re: CR - Inference - 700-level [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2011, 10:51
i pick D. whats is the OA?
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Re: CR - Inference - 700-level [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2011, 00:24
bschool83 wrote:
mourinhogmat1 wrote:
I am going with B. Can anyone tell me whats wrong with this


B is an outcome and we are supposed to identify a reasoning leading up the outcome. B is a distortion.

Here is my approach:

The question stems with many negative words tend to be confusing. I approach such questions a bit differently. I try to combine two negative words into a positive... sort of mathematically (-*-=+)

GMAT question stem: Under these circumstances, if the defendant's chances are NOT greatly weakened, then which of the following must be false?

My interpretation: If defendant's chances are slightly strengthened, then which of the following must be false?

In order for the defendant to win, Elvira Johnson should testify and the prestigious firm should take the prosecution's case, because that's when Charles Chase will cooperate. Charles Chase not cooperating will strengthen defendant's chances, because it means Elvira Johnson must not be testifying and the prestigious firm must not be prosecution's case.

So immediately pick D.


Nice simple explanation for double negatives. +1 kudos.
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Re: CR - Inference - 700-level [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2011, 00:53
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I picked D.

My reasoning was this:
If the defendant's chances are NOT weakened then some or all of the following cases (without going into the answers as yet) must be true:
1. Elvira Johnson might not have testified
2. A prestigious firm has not been able to take up the case
3. Charles Chase may not have cooperated
4. The victim may not be given a long sentence

Now coming to answer choices:
A. Elvira Johnson testifies against the defendant --> We can't be sure. If this is so, then you can't definitively say the prosecution has been successful in finding a good law firm.
B. The defendant will get a lengthy sentence --> This is a consequence. If we picked this, we would be going beyond the scope of the argument to state that there is another element influencing the sentence. Therefore, wrong.
C. A prestigious firm will take the prosecution's case --> Again, you can't say whether this definitely false without ruling out the other two options
D. Charles Chase will cooperate with the defense --> This will be the tipping point in the case. If E.J. testified, if the prosecution succeeded in getting the right law firm, and if Charles Chase cooperated, then the defendant's chances are going to be greatly reduced.
E. Elvira Johnson might testify against the defendant --> This can be misleading, but ultimately would lead nowhere.
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Re: CR - Inference - 700-level [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2011, 00:57
@bschool83: Was there no official answer provided from where you got this?
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Re: CR - Inference - 700-level [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2011, 08:39
bschool83 wrote:
If Elvira Johnson agrees to testify against the defendant and the prosecution is able to get a prestigious firm to take their case, then the defendant's chances will be greatly weakened, and he will most likely be given a lengthy sentence. But Charles Chase, a powerful witness for the defense, will only cooperate if Elvira Johnson testifies and a prestigious law firm takes the prosecution's case.

Under these circumstances, if the defendant's chances are NOT greatly weakened, then which of the following must be false?

Elvira Johnson testifies against the defendant.
The defendant will get a lengthy sentence.
A prestigious firm will take the prosecution's case.
Charles Chase will cooperate with the defense.
Elvira Johnson might testify against the defendant.


So what we are trying to prove by choosing which statement is false is the line "if the defendant's chances are NOT greatly weakened".

The conditions for this to not be true are given in the body as "If Elvira Johnson agrees to testify against the defendant (Condition A) and the prosecution is able to get a prestigious firm to take their case (Condition B),"

with the added comment

"and he will most likely be given a lengthy sentence."

This is Condition A and Condition B will cause Outcome C and Outcome D.

At the end we are given

"But Charles Chase, a powerful witness for the defense, will only cooperate if Elvira Johnson testifies and a prestigious law firm takes the prosecution's case."

Which helps the prosection's case, but isn't relevant to the current argument. It more serves as icing on the cake.

So option A: Elvira Johnson testifies against the defendant.

Although this first appears to be part of Condition A necessary to get the outcome we desire (Outcome C), this is not the case. Elvira Johnson has to AGREE to testify, not just testify. He could be MADE to testify, and then condition A would not be fulfilled.

Option B: The defendant will get a lengthy sentence.

This is an outcome of Conditions A and Conditions B. The wording is "most likely" be given. The unlikely outcome that his defense is greatly weakened and he gets a short sentence has not been disproven.

Option C: A prestigious firm will take the prosecution's case

If no prestigious firm is willing to take the case, then Condition B cannot be met, and thus outcome C will not occur.

Option D: Charles Chase will cooperate with the defense.

Charles Chase only coorporates if both condition A and condition B are occuring. However, D has the same problem as A in it - he isn't agreeing to testify, he is just testifying. It is possible that Charles chase is testifying in the case where Condition B is met, but Condition A (agree to testify) is not met - instead he is forced to testify. We aren't told that Charles Chases testimony (despite him being a powerful witness) will or will not cause outcomes C or outcomes D, even though from a common sense point of view one would expect that.

Option E: Elvira might testify

This can be false (Elvira will agree to testify, or Elvira won't testify) and the argument will go one way or the other. To me this is clearly not an option, I don't feel like using my reasoning skills with it ;-).

Anyhow, if there are any holes in my argument or thinking let me know. I'm going with option C.
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Re: CR - Inference - 700-level [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2011, 08:43
bschool83 wrote:
mourinhogmat1 wrote:
I am going with B. Can anyone tell me whats wrong with this


B is an outcome and we are supposed to identify a reasoning leading up the outcome. B is a distortion.

Here is my approach:

The question stems with many negative words tend to be confusing. I approach such questions a bit differently. I try to combine two negative words into a positive... sort of mathematically (-*-=+)

GMAT question stem: Under these circumstances, if the defendant's chances are NOT greatly weakened, then which of the following must be false?

My interpretation: If defendant's chances are slightly strengthened, then which of the following must be false?

In order for the defendant to win, Elvira Johnson should testify and the prestigious firm should take the prosecution's case, because that's when Charles Chase will cooperate. Charles Chase not cooperating will strengthen defendant's chances, because it means Elvira Johnson must not be testifying and the prestigious firm must not be prosecution's case.

So immediately pick D.


I would agree with D if Charles chases cooperation was based on the fact Elvira Johnson had to AGREE to testify, rather than just testify.
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Re: CR - Inference - 700-level [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2011, 11:06
I prephased D, is that the right answer?
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Re: CR - Inference - 700-level [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2011, 11:16
Highly doubt this is a GMAT Prep question...this has the smell, flavor and taste of an LSAT question...Plus the logic used in this type of question is tested frequently on the LSAT...But that said -- lately I keep hearing that GMAC's CR questions are stretching the limits and are no longer sticking to the standard assumption, weaken/strengthen, inference and flaw questions.
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Re: CR - Inference - 700-level [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2011, 11:35
DevilDoggNC wrote:
Highly doubt this is a GMAT Prep question...this has the smell, flavor and taste of an LSAT question...Plus the logic used in this type of question is tested frequently on the LSAT...But that said -- lately I keep hearing that GMAC's CR questions are stretching the limits and are no longer sticking to the standard assumption, weaken/strengthen, inference and flaw questions.


So they give out more resolve the paradox type questions and boldface?
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Re: CR - Inference - 700-level [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2011, 11:36
bschool83 - can you confirm if this is GMAT prep question? the passage uses quite a few negative words - not, weakened, false & have not seen normally in official guide.
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Re: CR - Inference - 700-level [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2011, 15:46
dispatch3d wrote:
bschool83 wrote:
Option D: Charles Chase will cooperate with the defense.

Charles Chase only coorporates if both condition A and condition B are occuring. However, D has the same problem as A in it - he isn't agreeing to testify, he is just testifying. It is possible that Charles chase is testifying in the case where Condition B is met, but Condition A (agree to testify) is not met - instead he is forced to testify. We aren't told that Charles Chases testimony (despite him being a powerful witness) will or will not cause outcomes C or outcomes D, even though from a common sense point of view one would expect that.


dispatch3d,

I do not think this question requires too much deep thinking and analysis. You should refrain from spending more than two minutes on a CR question. Try to simplify the available information through paraphrasing.

The defendant's chances are not great weakened (or slightly strengthened) if condition A and condition B do not occur. If condition A and B do not occur, then Charles Chase will not cooperate. Hence, Charles Chase will cooperate should be the false statement.

Hence D

Last edited by bschool83 on 26 Jul 2011, 12:24, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CR - Inference - 700-level [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2011, 21:28
Mahtab wrote:
DevilDoggNC wrote:
Highly doubt this is a GMAT Prep question...this has the smell, flavor and taste of an LSAT question...Plus the logic used in this type of question is tested frequently on the LSAT...But that said -- lately I keep hearing that GMAC's CR questions are stretching the limits and are no longer sticking to the standard assumption, weaken/strengthen, inference and flaw questions.


So they give out more resolve the paradox type questions and boldface?


This is purely subjective -- so take it with a big scoop of salt. These are observations I have gathered from some colleagues and friends who have taken the GMAT within the last year or so.

Yes -- definitely more Boldface questions -- especially if you are doing well. A couple of my friends took the test a few weeks back -- and both mentioned they hardly saw 2, 3 or 4 strengthen / weaken questions tops. And even those were questions with "all of the following except" constructions. One of them said she got at least a couple of "evaluate the plan" and "the author is most likely to agree with all of the following except" type of questions.

Another interesting observation -- One of them said he saw just one probability question and zero combination questions (Quant 48). The general feedback was that co-ordinate geometry, number properties -- especially prime number, consecutive numbers, even-odd and integer properties, functions, percents and exponents seem to hold "high-value".
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Re: CR - Inference - 700-level [#permalink] New post 26 Jul 2011, 07:11
+1 B
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Re: CR - Inference - 700-level [#permalink] New post 26 Jul 2011, 12:27
metallicafan wrote:
+1 B


metallicafan,

B is incorrect.

The defendant not getting a lengthy sentence does not mean/relate to the fact that the defendant's chances will not be greatly weakened. B is clearly irrelevant.

Please see my explanation above re why D is correct.
Re: CR - Inference - 700-level   [#permalink] 26 Jul 2011, 12:27
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