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Integrated Reasoning Question

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Integrated Reasoning Question [#permalink] New post 17 Dec 2012, 04:34
Hi Ladies and Gentlemen,

It's my first post here although I often read your forums. I tried an integrated reasoning problem for the first time today and for the most part did fine. However, I'm confused by the answer on this sample problem from the GMAT site:

The board won't allow me to post pictures but the question is from the official GMAT site's integrated reasoning sample questions.

Attachment:
GID1023.gif
GID1023.gif [ 30.42 KiB | Viewed 1260 times ]
The diagram shows, in three column groupings, various divisions of Earth's geological history since its formation approximately 4,600 million years ago. In the leftmost column grouping, the Precambrian eon is subdivided into chronometric eons shown on the far left; but otherwise, in the rest of the graphic, each subsequent column to the right shows the subdivisions of the timeframes to its left. Each of the rightmost two column groupings is a magnification—with additional information—of a portion of the grouping directly to its left.

Fill each blank using the drop-down menu to create the most accurate statement on the basis of the information provided.

The Miocene epoch spans closest to (3%, 25%, 85%) of the era of which it is a part.

According to the diagram the beginning of the (Cambrian period, Triassic Period, Pliocene Epoch, Precambrian eon) marks the onset of a new eon, era, and period in geological history.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
25%, Cambrian Period





I'm confused by the answer to the second question. The beginning of the Cambrian period does not coincide with the onset of a new eon, era, and period. If I'm reading it wrong, I apologize for wasting your time.

Last edited by Bunuel on 17 Dec 2012, 04:38, edited 1 time in total.
Added the diagram
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Re: Integrated Reasoning Question [#permalink] New post 17 Dec 2012, 10:17
Expert's post
yatesri wrote:
Hi Ladies and Gentlemen,

It's my first post here although I often read your forums. I tried an integrated reasoning problem for the first time today and for the most part did fine. However, I'm confused by the answer on this sample problem from the GMAT site:

The board won't allow me to post pictures but the question is from the official GMAT site's integrated reasoning sample questions.

Attachment:
GID1023.gif
The diagram shows, in three column groupings, various divisions of Earth's geological history since its formation approximately 4,600 million years ago. In the leftmost column grouping, the Precambrian eon is subdivided into chronometric eons shown on the far left; but otherwise, in the rest of the graphic, each subsequent column to the right shows the subdivisions of the timeframes to its left. Each of the rightmost two column groupings is a magnification—with additional information—of a portion of the grouping directly to its left.

Fill each blank using the drop-down menu to create the most accurate statement on the basis of the information provided.

The Miocene epoch spans closest to (3%, 25%, 85%) of the era of which it is a part.

According to the diagram the beginning of the (Cambrian period, Triassic Period, Pliocene Epoch, Precambrian eon) marks the onset of a new eon, era, and period in geological history.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
25%, Cambrian Period





I'm confused by the answer to the second question. The beginning of the Cambrian period does not coincide with the onset of a new eon, era, and period. If I'm reading it wrong, I apologize for wasting your time.


Hi,

Though I am not sure where your confusion lies but let me have a try.

Basically, if you look at the first figure from the left, you can see that there are only two eons: Precambrian and Phanerozoic.

Now, for anything to start with an eon, it has to start with either Precambrian eon or Phanerozoic eon.

However, there is no information about eras or periods at the beginning of Precambrian eon.

So, the only solution possible which can start with eon, era and period, will be the one starting with Phanerozoic eon.

Now that is the case with Cambrian period. For this, Phanerozoic eon starts, Paleozoic era starts and Cambrian period starts. Therefore, this is the correct answer.

In addition, you can see that the answer also could have been Phanerozoic eon. (same three times start in this case also).

Hope this helps :)

e-GMAT has recently launched a full fledged course on IR encompassing 15+ hours of interactive audio visual content, 35 concepts, 120+ original questions, and 2 full length Mock Tests. Visit e-gmat.com for a free trial.

Thanks,
Chiranjeev
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Re: Integrated Reasoning Question [#permalink] New post 17 Dec 2012, 14:40
egmat wrote:
Hi,

Though I am not sure where your confusion lies but let me have a try.

Basically, if you look at the first figure from the left, you can see that there are only two eons: Precambrian and Phanerozoic.

Now, for anything to start with an eon, it has to start with either Precambrian eon or Phanerozoic eon.

However, there is no information about eras or periods at the beginning of Precambrian eon.

So, the only solution possible which can start with eon, era and period, will be the one starting with Phanerozoic eon.

Now that is the case with Cambrian period. For this, Phanerozoic eon starts, Paleozoic era starts and Cambrian period starts. Therefore, this is the correct answer.

In addition, you can see that the answer also could have been Phanerozoic eon. (same three times start in this case also).

Hope this helps :)

e-GMAT has recently launched a full fledged course on IR encompassing 15+ hours of interactive audio visual content, 35 concepts, 120+ original questions, and 2 full length Mock Tests. Visit e-gmat for a free trial.

Thanks,
Chiranjeev


Thank you for your response!

What is confusing for me is that the answer states that "According to the diagram the beginning of the Cambrian period marks the onset of a new eon, era, and period in geological history.

However, according to the expanded graph to the right, the beginning of the Cambrian period does not mark the onset, the end of the Cambrian period does.

This is also the beginning of the Precambrian Era; also an answer choice.

Doesn't the question wording prevent the Cambrian period from being a correct answer?

Thanks,
yatesri
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Re: Integrated Reasoning Question [#permalink] New post 17 Dec 2012, 23:55
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yatesri wrote:
egmat wrote:
Hi,

Though I am not sure where your confusion lies but let me have a try.

Basically, if you look at the first figure from the left, you can see that there are only two eons: Precambrian and Phanerozoic.

Now, for anything to start with an eon, it has to start with either Precambrian eon or Phanerozoic eon.

However, there is no information about eras or periods at the beginning of Precambrian eon.

So, the only solution possible which can start with eon, era and period, will be the one starting with Phanerozoic eon.

Now that is the case with Cambrian period. For this, Phanerozoic eon starts, Paleozoic era starts and Cambrian period starts. Therefore, this is the correct answer.

In addition, you can see that the answer also could have been Phanerozoic eon. (same three times start in this case also).

Hope this helps :)

e-GMAT has recently launched a full fledged course on IR encompassing 15+ hours of interactive audio visual content, 35 concepts, 120+ original questions, and 2 full length Mock Tests. Visit e-gmat for a free trial.

Thanks,
Chiranjeev


Thank you for your response!

What is confusing for me is that the answer states that "According to the diagram the beginning of the Cambrian period marks the onset of a new eon, era, and period in geological history.

However, according to the expanded graph to the right, the beginning of the Cambrian period does not mark the onset, the end of the Cambrian period does.

This is also the beginning of the Precambrian Era; also an answer choice.

Doesn't the question wording prevent the Cambrian period from being a correct answer?

Thanks,
yatesri


Hi Yatesri,

I now understand your doubt.

Let's pay attention to the question stem:

"The diagram shows, in three column groupings, various divisions of Earth's geological history since its formation approximately 4,600 million years ago."

The diagram gives information from the time since 4600 years ago. Now, if I ask you, what is the information given for the year "4600 million", would you tell me the information for the current year or the beginning year (i.e. the year which happened 4600 million years ago)?

It should be the beginning year because the language is phrased that way. You move from 4600 million years ago to present i.e. 0 years ago.

Besides, there is also a cue inside the diagram: the eon directly below "Cambrian period" is pre-cambrian eon. It means that this period occured before Cambrian period.

So, basically, you need to read the diagram downside-up if you want to read it chronologically. So, at the bottom, a time period (eon, era or period) starts and it ends at its top in the diagram.

Hope this helps :)

Thanks,
Chiranjeev
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Re: Integrated Reasoning Question   [#permalink] 17 Dec 2012, 23:55
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