In the vast majority of cases, when people are stopped by : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# In the vast majority of cases, when people are stopped by

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In the vast majority of cases, when people are stopped by [#permalink]

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19 Jan 2010, 01:08
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In the vast majority of cases, when people are stopped by airport security clearance, it is because they are carrying small bits of metal, such as coins, that cannot be used as weapons, but are large enough to be picked up by highly sensitive metal detectors. Since virtually everyone carries such pieces of metal, and the weapons that are smuggled onto planes are often not made of metal, highly sensitive metal detectors have outlived their usefulness. Lowering the sensitivity of these metal detectors so that they only detect large pieces of metal would reduce the frequency with which innocent passengers are stopped without hampering security’s ability to screen for weapons.

Which of the following, if true, is most useful to support the claim that this proposal would have its desired effect if it were carried out?

(A) Airport metal detectors, when set to higher levels of sensitivity, will not react to wristwatches, belt buckles, or the small rivets commonly used on travelers’ jeans.

(B) The maintenance and electricity costs associated with metal detectors are far lower when detectors are utilized at a high level of sensitivity than when they are used at a lower level of sensitivity.

(C) A metal detector with a low level of sensitivity can provide more information about what type of weapon a person is carrying, if they are carrying a weapon, than can a metal detector with a high level of sensitivity.

(D) In some cases, passengers who are stopped because they are only carrying coins are found to be smuggling non-metal weapons.

(E) Some weapons that are not made primarily out of metal include small bits of metal used as fasteners or serial number plates.
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Re: This CR really drives me Crazy!!! metal detectors [#permalink]

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19 Jan 2010, 05:50
aniec wrote:
In the vast majority of cases, when people are stopped by airport security clearance, it is because they are carrying small bits of metal, such as coins, that cannot be used as weapons, but are large enough to be picked up by highly sensitive metal detectors. Since virtually everyone carries such pieces of metal, and the weapons that are smuggled onto planes are often not made of metal, highly sensitive metal detectors have outlived their usefulness. Lowering the sensitivity of these metal detectors so that they only detect large pieces of metal would reduce the frequency with which innocent passengers are stopped without hampering security’s ability to screen for weapons.

Which of the following, if true, is most useful to support the claim that this proposal would have its desired effect if it were carried out?

(A) Airport metal detectors, when set to higher levels of sensitivity, will not react to wristwatches, belt buckles, or the small rivets commonly used on travelers’ jeans.

(B) The maintenance and electricity costs associated with metal detectors are far lower when detectors are utilized at a high level of sensitivity than when they are used at a lower level of sensitivity.

(C) A metal detector with a low level of sensitivity can provide more information about what type of weapon a person is carrying, if they are carrying a weapon, than can a metal detector with a high level of sensitivity.

(D) In some cases, passengers who are stopped because they are only carrying coins are found to be smuggling non-metal weapons.

(E) Some weapons that are not made primarily out of metal include small bits of metal used as fasteners or serial number plates.

My guess is A
B. out of scope
C, D, E weaken the claim. They give reasons why sensitivity shouldn't be lowered.
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Re: This CR really drives me Crazy!!! metal detectors [#permalink]

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19 Jan 2010, 07:48
Let's remember that we have to assume that the statements are true. We are asked for a statement that strenghtens the argument. The argument is: lowering the sensitivity of metal detectors will reduce the annoyance to passengers without negative impacts on security.

A) It says that metal detectors operating according to current practices do not pick up objects larger than coins, denying that they can pick up coins. Weakens, hence wrong answer.

B) The fact that the modification in operating levels carries negative consequences in terms of costs weakens the argument, hence wrong answer.

C) Lowering the level of sensitivity will make the detectors more powerful in picking up weapons (note: not necessarily METAL weapons!). This would result in a positive impact on security, which strenghtens the argument. Right Answer.

D) It says that although incidentally, current operating standards result in the discovery of actual weapons. Modifying the operating standards would prevent this from happening, with a negative effect on security. Weakens, hence wrong answer.

E) If non metal weapons carry metal bits, one would want to have very sensitive detectors to pick them up. Reducing sensitivity would result in a decrease in safety. Weakens, hence wrong answer.

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Re: This CR really drives me Crazy!!! metal detectors [#permalink]

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19 Jan 2010, 08:24
Option C
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19 Jan 2010, 11:07
should be C, OA plz?
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19 Jan 2010, 11:16
The conclusion is:

"Lowering the sensitivity of these metal detectors so that they only detect large pieces of metal would reduce the frequency with which innocent passengers are stopped without hampering security’s ability to screen for weapons."

With A, the conclusion is strengthened. Passengers will not be burdened because a lower sensitivity will not pick up items commonly found on people going through the metal detector.
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Re: This CR really drives me Crazy!!! metal detectors [#permalink]

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19 Jan 2010, 12:51
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19 Jan 2010, 12:58
Re-reading answer A I suspect it might be the right one since it reinforces the successfulness of the program's goal.
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20 Jan 2010, 01:54
Thanks guys!

OA is A.

But I still cannot fully understand why A is correct while C is wrong
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Re: This CR really drives me Crazy!!! metal detectors [#permalink]

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20 Jan 2010, 02:45
IMO C..do not understand how A can be the answer..

aniec wrote:
In the vast majority of cases, when people are stopped by airport security clearance, it is because they are carrying small bits of metal, such as coins, that cannot be used as weapons, but are large enough to be picked up by highly sensitive metal detectors. Since virtually everyone carries such pieces of metal, and the weapons that are smuggled onto planes are often not made of metal, highly sensitive metal detectors have outlived their usefulness. Lowering the sensitivity of these metal detectors so that they only detect large pieces of metal would reduce the frequency with which innocent passengers are stopped without hampering security’s ability to screen for weapons.

Which of the following, if true, is most useful to support the claim that this proposal would have its desired effect if it were carried out?

(A) Airport metal detectors, when set to higher levels of sensitivity, will not react to wristwatches, belt buckles, or the small rivets commonly used on travelers’ jeans. does nt guarantee that detectors will not detect coins..which seems to be the issue in the argument.

(B) The maintenance and electricity costs associated with metal detectors are far lower when detectors are utilized at a high level of sensitivity than when they are used at a lower level of sensitivity.cost is not an issue.

(C) A metal detector with a low level of sensitivity can provide more information about what type of weapon a person is carrying, if they are carrying a weapon, than can a metal detector with a high level of sensitivity. if lowering the sensitivity can better results why not do so.Seems correct to me.

(D) In some cases, passengers who are stopped because they are only carrying coins are found to be smuggling non-metal weapons.out of scope.

(E) Some weapons that are not made primarily out of metal include small bits of metal used as fasteners or serial number plates.out of scope.

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Re: This CR really drives me Crazy!!! metal detectors [#permalink]

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20 Jan 2010, 10:08
I would explain the preference for answer A as follows:

the passage makes the following logical argument: Lower accuracy setting of metal detector -> less annoyance for passengers, no impact on security.

We have to try to reinforce THIS argument, not another one, regardless whether this other argument is valid or not.

A says the following: lower accuracy setting of metal detector -> less annoyance for passengers due to items that are not a security threats.

C says the following: lower accuracy setting of metal detector -> increased detection capabilities, hence more security.

The argument in C may be a more compelling one to make the transition, but does not directly support the argument made by the passage, while A does just that.
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20 Jan 2010, 15:57
I agree A strengthens the argument that innocent passenger's pain will get reduced. However the proposal says of lowering the sensitivity while option A mentions about higher sensitivity metal detectors.

Can't understand answer as A. I would still think C as correct.
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Re: This CR really drives me Crazy!!! metal detectors [#permalink]

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21 Jan 2010, 10:21
Wat is the source???
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Re: This CR really drives me Crazy!!! metal detectors [#permalink]

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21 Jan 2010, 12:17
aniec wrote:
In the vast majority of cases, when people are stopped by airport security clearance, it is because they are carrying small bits of metal, such as coins, that cannot be used as weapons, but are large enough to be picked up by highly sensitive metal detectors. Since virtually everyone carries such pieces of metal, and the weapons that are smuggled onto planes are often not made of metal, highly sensitive metal detectors have outlived their usefulness. Lowering the sensitivity of these metal detectors so that they only detect large pieces of metal would reduce the frequency with which innocent passengers are stopped without hampering security’s ability to screen for weapons.

Which of the following, if true, is most useful to support the claim that this proposal would have its desired effect if it were carried out?

(A) Airport metal detectors, when set to higher levels of sensitivity, will not react to wristwatches, belt buckles, or the small rivets commonly used on travelers’ jeans.

(B) The maintenance and electricity costs associated with metal detectors are far lower when detectors are utilized at a high level of sensitivity than when they are used at a lower level of sensitivity.

(C) A metal detector with a low level of sensitivity can provide more information about what type of weapon a person is carrying, if they are carrying a weapon, than can a metal detector with a high level of sensitivity.

(D) In some cases, passengers who are stopped because they are only carrying coins are found to be smuggling non-metal weapons.

(E) Some weapons that are not made primarily out of metal include small bits of metal used as fasteners or serial number plates.

Impossible, I don't trust the source of this question. Clearly, "highly sensitive metal detectors have outlived their usefulness." is the conclusion of the entire stimulus. What follows next, "Lowering the sensitivity...blah...blah...blah" is like an additional premise, just adds to the discussion.

In this sense, definitely C should be the answer. C supports that lowering the sensitivity of the equipment also helps identifying the shape and size of the concealed weapon much better than a high sensitivity equipment, that clearlys seems to strengthen/support the claim that lowering sensitivity is for good. Add a new premise to an existing additional premise to strengthen the conclusion of the argument.
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22 Jan 2010, 04:13
What is the source ...even I think it is C.
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22 Jan 2010, 06:52
SudiptoGmat wrote:
What is the source ...even I think it is C.

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Re: This CR really drives me Crazy!!! metal detectors [#permalink]

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23 Jan 2010, 10:48
Hey All,

Just wanted to put my two cents in. I agree that the correct answer to this question ought to be C. Answer choice A confuses higher sensitivity and lower sensitivity. The question is whether or not LOWERING the sensitivity of the apparatus will have an effect, either through annoying passengers or failing to locate weapons. Answer choice A says that if the machine is set to HIGHER sensitivity, it won't pick up on rivets and such. Not only does this not make any sense (why would higher sensitivity NOT pick up those things?). It seems to me this question was perhaps copied incorrectly (here on the message board), and "higher" should be "lower". Answer choice C directly relates to the conclusion. OBVIOUSLY lowering the sensitivity will mean the machine picks up on fewer small objects, so we don't need our strengthen answer to address that. We just want to make sure it ALSO doesn't hamper the security abilities of the machine. Answer choice C tells us that this is the case.

Hope that helps!

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Re: This CR really drives me Crazy!!! metal detectors [#permalink]

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08 Jun 2010, 06:03
Thanks for the discussion everyone.

Your confusion is understandable since the question was actually copied incorrectly!

In our materials, answer choice A reads "(A) Airport metal detectors, when set to LOWER levels of sensitivity..."

And then the answer is clearly A (though C does remain a strong second-best option). Here's the whole explanation.

--
We are given a situation in which airport metal detectors are said to be too sensitive, forcing innocent passengers carrying coins to be stopped. The argument states that innocent passengers would be stopped less often (because the small bits of harmless metal they are carrying would not set off detectors) with no loss of security (because weapons are not always metal, and if they are, use a larger amount of metal than a coin) if the detectors were programmed to be less sensitive. The correct answer will be additional evidence that supports the first claim without undermining the second.

Choice A: This choice is correct. This choice bolsters the claim that passengers, presumably innocent, with small bits of metal that are not weapons (watches, belts or jean rivets) will not be stopped unnecessarily. Although this choice adds nothing to the claim that security will retain its ability to screen for weapons, it does not undermine it either.

Choice B: The cost of the proposed plan is not at issue. The desired effect of the plan is to retain security and reduce innocent passenger stops, and this choice does not effect either of those issues.

Choice C: This is a very tempting answer choice, because it is a positive aspect of low-sensitivity metal detectors, but this choice does not, in fact, directly address the claim that fewer innocent people will be stopped by the low-sensitivity detectors. This choice only applies to people already carrying weapons, who are not, by definition, innocent.

Choice D: This choice undermines the claim. If passengers who are stopped for having small amounts of metal are carrying weapons, then reducing security's ability to stop them would hamper the ability to screen for weapons.

Choice E: This choice also undermines the proposal. If only small pieces of metal are used in weapons, then a metal detector must be able to detect small pieces of metal to detect weapons.
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Re: This CR really drives me Crazy!!! metal detectors [#permalink]

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08 Jun 2010, 06:07
Thanks for the correction.
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Re: This CR really drives me Crazy!!! metal detectors [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2010, 10:01
Aha! Thanks for that correction, sir. I see now how A would be far better, given the right wording.

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Re: This CR really drives me Crazy!!! metal detectors   [#permalink] 09 Jun 2010, 10:01

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