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# One of the most vexing problems in historiography is dating

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Manager
Joined: 09 Jul 2007
Posts: 178
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One of the most vexing problems in historiography is dating [#permalink]  03 Oct 2007, 03:23
00:00

Difficulty:

5% (low)

Question Stats:

25% (02:02) correct 75% (02:18) wrong based on 16 sessions
One of the most vexing problems in historiography is
dating an event when the usual sources offer
conflicting chronologies of the event. Historians
should attempt to minimize the number of competing
sources, perhaps by eliminating the less credible
ones. Once this is achieved and several sources are
left, as often happens, historians may try, though on
occasion unsuccessfully, to determine independently
of the usual sources which date is more likely to be
right.
Which one of the following inferences is most
strongly supported by the information above?
(A) We have no plausible chronology of most of
the events for which attempts have been
made by historians to determine the right
date.
(B) Some of the events for which there are
conflicting chronologies and for which
attempts have been made by historians to
determine the right date cannot be dated
reliably by historians.
(C) Attaching a reliable date to any event requires
determining which of several conflicting
chronologies is most likely to be true.
(D) Determining independently of the usual
sources which of several conflicting
chronologies is more likely to be right is an
ineffective way of dating events.
(E) The soundest approach to dating an event for
which the usual sources give conflicting
chronologies is to undermine the credibility
of as many of these sources as possible.
VP
Joined: 09 Jul 2007
Posts: 1111
Location: London
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Kudos [?]: 63 [0], given: 0

The passage says not all the events can be successfully dated. thus some can not be dated.

B

E is tempting though
SVP
Joined: 28 Dec 2005
Posts: 1597
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i said B as well ...
Director
Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Posts: 647
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Will go for 'C'
Manager
Joined: 18 Aug 2007
Posts: 75
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Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 0

Only B can be inferred properly from this passage.

C and E are extreme.
VP
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Posts: 1474
Schools: Wharton (R2 - submitted); HBS (R2 - submitted); IIMA (admitted for 1 year PGPX)
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Kudos [?]: 81 [0], given: 13

B seems a reasonably balanced choice...

Could you reveal the source of this question? Seems a pretty good quality que.
Manager
Joined: 09 Jul 2007
Posts: 178
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Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 0

dwivedys wrote:
B seems a reasonably balanced choice...

Could you reveal the source of this question? Seems a pretty good quality que.

OA is B..went for C first but den realized my mistake. Actually i found dis que in powerscore lsat reasoning book. found it good so wanted to share..if u want i'll post d OE 2..
VP
Joined: 15 Jul 2004
Posts: 1474
Schools: Wharton (R2 - submitted); HBS (R2 - submitted); IIMA (admitted for 1 year PGPX)
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Kudos [?]: 81 [0], given: 13

12345678 wrote:
dwivedys wrote:
B seems a reasonably balanced choice...

Could you reveal the source of this question? Seems a pretty good quality que.

OA is B..went for C first but den realized my mistake. Actually i found dis que in powerscore lsat reasoning book. found it good so wanted to share..if u want i'll post d OE 2..

I'll ask my favorite question again for which I never got an answer - does any one have a copy of Powerscore's Sentence Correction Bible? Any news/feedback/update on it would be greatly appreciated.
Director
Joined: 18 Jul 2006
Posts: 534
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Kudos [?]: 20 [0], given: 0

12345678 wrote:
dwivedys wrote:
B seems a reasonably balanced choice...

Could you reveal the source of this question? Seems a pretty good quality que.

OA is B..went for C first but den realized my mistake. Actually i found dis que in powerscore lsat reasoning book. found it good so wanted to share..if u want i'll post d OE 2..

Do you have OE for this?
Manager
Joined: 09 Jul 2007
Posts: 178
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Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 0

OE

This is a very challenging problem, and only about a quarter of students answer this problem correctly.
The stimulus is a fact set and offers a solution for dating an event when the usual sources offer conflicting
chronologies:
1. Minimize the number of competing sources, possibly by eliminating the less credible ones.
2. Independent of the usual sources, determine which date is more likely to be right.
Notice how the test makers throw in the word “historiography” in order to be intimidating. As usual, you
do not need to know the meaning of this word (or any unusual word) in order to continue with the
problem. The remainder of the sentence makes clear that dating an event is the point of discussion, and
you can comfortably connect the “historio” word root to “date an event” and “historians” and confidently
move on with a good idea that historiography is connected to history in some way. By definition,
historiography is the writing of history.
Answer choice (A): The stimulus discusses dates where there is conflict between sources. In no way does
the stimulus support answer choice (A).
Answer choice (B): This is the correct answer. As stated in the last sentence, historians are on occasion
unsuccessful in determining independently the date of an event. If the usual sources offered are in conflict
about the date of a particular event and an analysis independent of the usual sources fails to confirm a date,
then a date cannot be reliably determined for the event.
of dating an event when the usual sources offer conflicting chronologies. The stimulus does not discuss
dating an event when there is no conflict of chronologies, and most likely many dates could be set with
certainty in the absence of any conflict. With this in mind, the language of the answer choice becomes
problematic because “attaching a reliable date to any event” would not “require determining which of
several conflicting chronologies is most likely to be true.”
Answer choice (D): The language of the answer choice is too strong in saying that an independent
determination is an ineffective way of dating events. There is simply not enough information about what
constitutes a “determination independent of the usual sources” to say it is ineffective.
Answer choice (E): This is another tricky answer, and just under a quarter of test takers incorrectly select
this answer. The answer claims that the soundest approach to dating an event is to undermine the
credibility of as many of the competing sources as possible. First, the stimulus suggests that the historian
should, perhaps, eliminate the less credible ones. No mention is made of eliminating as many as possible,
and the stimulus indicates that several remaining sources are to be expected. Second, that same section
discusses eliminating less credible sources, not undermining the credibility of those sources.
Manager
Joined: 07 Mar 2007
Posts: 199
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 0

Dwivedys- I'm not sure I have seen a copy of this floating around in the forum. I would say probably just best to buy it from amazon or something. --> Didn't want your question to go ignored again!
Manager
Joined: 30 Sep 2007
Posts: 144
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Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 0

To my opinion,

choices C, D & E are premises of stimulus.

Out of A & B - A is wrong. So B is the best answer.

thanks.
CEO
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Kudos [?]: 167 [0], given: 0

Re: CR:conflicting chronologies [#permalink]  03 Oct 2007, 22:44
12345678 wrote:
One of the most vexing problems in historiography is
dating an event when the usual sources offer
conflicting chronologies of the event. Historians
should attempt to minimize the number of competing
sources, perhaps by eliminating the less credible
ones. Once this is achieved and several sources are
left, as often happens, historians may try, though on
occasion unsuccessfully, to determine independently
of the usual sources which date is more likely to be
right.
Which one of the following inferences is most
strongly supported by the information above?
(A) We have no plausible chronology of most of
the events for which attempts have been
made by historians to determine the right
date.
(B) Some of the events for which there are
conflicting chronologies and for which
attempts have been made by historians to
determine the right date cannot be dated
reliably by historians.
(C) Attaching a reliable date to any event requires
determining which of several conflicting
chronologies is most likely to be true.
(D) Determining independently of the usual
sources which of several conflicting
chronologies is more likely to be right is an
ineffective way of dating events.
(E) The soundest approach to dating an event for
which the usual sources give conflicting
chronologies is to undermine the credibility
of as many of these sources as possible.

btwn B and D. I went for D. I thought B's wording was too extreme rather than D's. owell..
Senior Manager
Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 282
Concentration: Strategy, General Management
GMAT 1: 680 Q49 V34
GMAT 2: 730 Q49 V41
GPA: 4
WE: Consulting (Other)
Followers: 5

Kudos [?]: 29 [0], given: 23

Re: CR:conflicting chronologies [#permalink]  29 Aug 2011, 10:29
still not sure on why C is less preferable to B
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Manager
Status: Struggling hard to maintain focus
Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 122
Location: Kolkata
Schools: ISB, IIM
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Kudos [?]: 9 [0], given: 11

Re: CR:conflicting chronologies [#permalink]  29 Aug 2011, 10:48
+1 for B
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Test Description_______Date____Total___Quant_____ Verbal
GMAT PREP1_____________________610
GMAX online test 1____29.07.2011__540_____43________19
MGMAT CAT 1_________03.09.2011__580____42________28
MGMAT CAT 2_________02.10.2011__690____48________36
GMAX online test 2_____16.10.2011__640____48________32
MGMAT CAT 3_________23.11.2011__670____47________34
Veritas free CAT______ 31.10.2011___630___ 46________33
MGMAT CAT 4_________06.11.2011__690____48________36
MGMAT CAT 5_________13.11.2011__660____46________34
MGMAT CAT 6_________19.11.2011__680____51________33
GMAT PREP2__________23.11.2011__680
GMAT Exam___________24.11.2011__690____50________34

Math Forum Moderator
Joined: 20 Dec 2010
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Kudos [?]: 824 [0], given: 376

Re: CR:conflicting chronologies [#permalink]  29 Aug 2011, 12:19
yogesh1984 wrote:
still not sure on why C is less preferable to B

If I am not wrong, the OE posted by "12345678" above is taken from CR bible, authored by David M Killoran. This is one of the best explanations you can get.

_________________

~fluke

Re: CR:conflicting chronologies   [#permalink] 29 Aug 2011, 12:19
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