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# A new study of old data on roughly 30,000 U.S. children

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Re: A new study of old data on roughly 30,000 U.S. children [#permalink]
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Howdy! I think I can help out!

Quote:
A new study of old data on roughly 30,000 U.S. children found that children of older fathers have a reduced cognitive ability and an increased chance of schizophrenia or autism when compared to children of younger fathers.

feruz77 is right to eliminate (C) and (D) because they change the intend meaning of the sentence with "and." So let's get those out of the way.

Quote:
(A) of schizophrenia or autism when compared to children of younger fathers.
(B) of schizophrenia or autism as compared to children from younger fathers.
(E) of schizophrenia or autism, comparing it to children from young fathers.

Now let's narrow some more. Answer choice (E) is horribly worded and confusing. For one, what does "it" refer to? No idea. Let's cut this one. Now

Quote:
(A) of schizophrenia or autism when compared to children of younger fathers.
(B) of schizophrenia or autism as compared to children from younger fathers.

Now it seems that there are two things to address here:

1. "compared to" Vs "compared with"
2. and the usage of when or as for comparison

Let's start with the "compared to" and "compared with" distinction. This is what idiom.dictionary.com has to say on the isse:

compare someone or something to someone or something
to liken people or things to other people or things; to say that some people or things have the same qualities as other people or things. (See the comment at compare someone or something with someone or something.)
l can only compare him to a cuddly teddy bear.
He compared himself to one of the knights of the round table.

compare someone or something with someone or something
to consider the sameness or difference of sets of things or people. (This phrase is very close in meaning to compare someone or something to someone or something, but for some connotes stronger contrast.)
Let's compare the virtues of savings accounts with investing in bonds.
When I compare Roger with Tom, I find very few similarities.
Please compare Tom with Bill on their unemployment records.

MGMAT seems to think that the GMAT does not obey this distinction, though. I do not know how much validity there is to this. But thankful, we don't have to worry about it too much here. We have another way to narrow in on an answer.

Should we use "as" or "when" with a comparison?

We all know that we can use "as" for comparing two things. "When" does not really make sense as a comparison word. It places an event in time. It indicates time more than anything else, which might lead us to choose (B), but we need to look at what we have. We are already given a comparison word—"compared." So having "as" in the sentence would be hopelessly redundant. And we always want to avoid redundancy whenever possible.

We can also eliminate (B) for one other reason too. Do you notice the parallelism in the sentence? Should we say "...from younger..." or "...of younger..."? Well if we travel back in the sentence we find that we have a phrase to match—"...of older..." So we have another reason to throw out (B).

Does that all make sense?

I hope so! Let me know if I can make something more clear!
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Re: A new study of old data on roughly 30,000 U.S. children [#permalink]
KevinRocci wrote:
Howdy! I think I can help out!

Quote:
A new study of old data on roughly 30,000 U.S. children found that children of older fathers have a reduced cognitive ability and an increased chance of schizophrenia or autism when compared to children of younger fathers.

feruz77 is right to eliminate (C) and (D) because they change the intend meaning of the sentence with "and." So let's get those out of the way.

Quote:
(A) of schizophrenia or autism when compared to children of younger fathers.
(B) of schizophrenia or autism as compared to children from younger fathers.
(E) of schizophrenia or autism, comparing it to children from young fathers.

Now let's narrow some more. Answer choice (E) is horribly worded and confusing. For one, what does "it" refer to? No idea. Let's cut this one. Now

Quote:
(A) of schizophrenia or autism when compared to children of younger fathers.
(B) of schizophrenia or autism as compared to children from younger fathers.

Now it seems that there are two things to address here:

1. "compared to" Vs "compared with"
2. and the usage of when or as for comparison

Let's start with the "compared to" and "compared with" distinction. This is what idiom.dictionary.com has to say on the isse:

compare someone or something to someone or something
to liken people or things to other people or things; to say that some people or things have the same qualities as other people or things. (See the comment at compare someone or something with someone or something.)
l can only compare him to a cuddly teddy bear.
He compared himself to one of the knights of the round table.

compare someone or something with someone or something
to consider the sameness or difference of sets of things or people. (This phrase is very close in meaning to compare someone or something to someone or something, but for some connotes stronger contrast.)
Let's compare the virtues of savings accounts with investing in bonds.
When I compare Roger with Tom, I find very few similarities.
Please compare Tom with Bill on their unemployment records.

MGMAT seems to think that the GMAT does not obey this distinction, though. I do not know how much validity there is to this. But thankful, we don't have to worry about it too much here. We have another way to narrow in on an answer.

Should we use "as" or "when" with a comparison?

We all know that we can use "as" for comparing two things. "When" does not really make sense as a comparison word. It places an event in time. It indicates time more than anything else, which might lead us to choose (B), but we need to look at what we have. We are already given a comparison word—"compared." So having "as" in the sentence would be hopelessly redundant. And we always want to avoid redundancy whenever possible.

We can also eliminate (B) for one other reason too. Do you notice the parallelism in the sentence? Should we say "...from younger..." or "...of younger..."? Well if we travel back in the sentence we find that we have a phrase to match—"...of older..." So we have another reason to throw out (B).

Does that all make sense?

I hope so! Let me know if I can make something more clear!

I am not sure whether it is a valid usage on the GMAT..but I sure have heard " as compared to" quite often...
So per my understanding of what you said...this usage will always be incorrect?
Also the when usage for comparison in A is incorrect.So A & B both are incorrect options..??

If you can state whats the GMAC's stand on the usage of when?
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Re: A new study of old data on roughly 30,000 U.S. children [#permalink]
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Thanks for the question! It forced me to dig a little deeper and investigate this issue.

First off, this question came from GMAT Winners. I have no idea what this company is or how strong these questions are. From looking through their website, and from the troublesome nature of this question, I would say that they are not a trustworthy source of GMAT questions. The worst thing to do is practice with bad questions and that seems to be the case here. So

DO NOT USE THIS QUESTION TO PREPARE FOR THE GMAT!!!

JusTLucK04 wrote:
I am not sure whether it is a valid usage on the GMAT..but I sure have heard " as compared to" quite often...
So per my understanding of what you said...this usage will always be incorrect?
Also the when usage for comparison in A is incorrect.So A & B both are incorrect options..??
If you can state whats the GMAC's stand on the usage of when?

You are correct that "as compared to" is used and heard often, and it isn't necessarily wrong. It is just wordy. The MGMAT considers this formulation suspect. I assume that's because there is a more concise way to phrase the idea. In every situation I could think of, and my colleague could think of, you can drop "as" from the sentence. So this formulation is used, but not very concise. You can read more about this here, specifically the second answer given.

After doing more research, I found that "when compared to" is rarely correct. Most of the time when it is used, it changes the meaning of the sentence. There is the example from that I cited earlier where "when" is used correctly, but more often than not, it makes it sound like the comparison is only true when you compare the two things. Not that the the comparison is true regardless of whether someone decides to compare them or not. For example,

"When compared to a dolphin, a cat is not very smart."

This makes it sound like a cat is not very smart only during the comparison.

It was for these reasons that I started to do some research to find out the source of the question. I discovered that it was from an unreliable source. I couldn't find a reliable correct answer. Some people claimed it was (C) and some claimed that it was (B) neither of these answer choices would be considered correct on the GMAT. We have to consider the comparison words, parallelism, and wordiness when deciding an answer, and no answer choices meet all of this criteria.

The best way to phrase this sentence is as follows, and it is not an option given:

"A new study of old data on roughly 30,000 U.S. children found that children of older fathers have a reduced cognitive ability and an increased chance of schizophrenia or autism compared to children of younger fathers."

Again thank you for your probing questions! I think we can say that we now know a little bit more now, including myself.
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Re: A new study of old data on roughly 30,000 U.S. children [#permalink]
Hi Kevin, Thanks for such a detailed explanation.

I have a doubt here with respect to the usage of "As compared to/with"; you mentioned that as along with compared is redundant, but in MGMAT SC chpater-9, page 152 such usage is considered grammatically correct but under suspect category. I mean its very common to hear in day today life "as compared to x y is blah blah... " even MGMAT is also not considering it completely wrong.. then in that case can we consider (b) best among all worst choices.. though it is not completely parallel as you highlighted in your post above.

Further what should we do if we see "as compared to/with" in real gmat....
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Re: A new study of old data on roughly 30,000 U.S. children [#permalink]
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Howdy PiyushK!

Happy to help add some more detail. This is a sticky one for sure!

PiyushK wrote:
I have a doubt here with respect to the usage of "As compared to/with"; you mentioned that as along with compared is redundant, but in MGMAT SC chpater-9, page 152 such usage is considered grammatically correct but under suspect category.

You are correct! The MGMAT is not considering this construction totally incorrect. They consider it suspect. I tried to explain that here (but not very well):

Quote:
You are correct that "as compared to" is used and heard often, and it isn't necessarily wrong. It is just wordy. The MGMAT considers this formulation suspect. I assume that's because there is a more concise way to phrase the idea.

The reason that it is suspect is that it is not as precise and concise as it could be. You can always drop "as" from the phrase. And I recommend doing this in your writing.

PiyushK wrote:
I mean its very common to hear in day today life "as compared to x y is blah blah... " even MGMAT is also not considering it completely wrong..

You bring up an important point. But remember that everything we hear is not always the best English. And actually the GMAC likes to test concepts that are commonly used incorrectly in speech that no one notices, such as pronoun-antecedent agreement and modification errors. So you can't always rely on what you hear. It ultimately depends on who you are listening to and if they use academic grammar in their speech.

I think the only exception to this rule is idioms. We can rely a lot on what we hear for our choice of idioms. This question is testing a type of idiom and I think that is why MGMAT is allowing that it could be right and not completely wrong. It does pop up in speech, even though it is not the most concise phrasing.

PiyushK wrote:
then in that case can we consider (b) best among all worst choices.. though it is not completely parallel as you highlighted in your post above.

Again, I would encourage everyone to not use this question as practice. It is horrible and terrible! The GMAC would never, never, never write a question like this. We would like to choose (B) as the answer, but we can't. There is a blatant flaw in parallelism. The GMAC would never have us choose an answer choice that contains a flaw which they explicitly test. The GMAC wants to test our ability to identify faulty parallelism. How can we do that in this questions when there is an obvious flaw?

I think this question has been instructional. We have learned a lot about idioms and phrasing. I have learned a lot too. But unfortunately there is no right answer here. This is an extremely poor example of a GMAT question.

PiyushK wrote:
Further what should we do if we see "as compared to/with" in real gmat....

It is hard to say without an actual GMAC question. But this is what I recommend: If you were presented with the option of "as compared to" and "compared to," you should choose "compared to." That is, if everything else is the same. But if you are presented with "when compared to" and "as compared to" then we should choose "as compared to."

Does that all make sense?

Let me know if I can makes something more clear!
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Re: A new study of old data on roughly 30,000 U.S. children [#permalink]
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Thanks Kevin, You really churned out every possible concept applied and that leaves no space for doubt further.

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Re: A new study of old data on roughly 30,000 U.S. children [#permalink]
I think I learned that from e-Gmat

"when" cannot be used with "compare with". and it does truly makes sense. In my opinion, "when" and "as" in choices B and C are completely redundant. Simply compare with/to should be correct usage.
Also, compare to emphasizes similarity - compare with emphasizes difference. Thus, compare with should be used in this sentence.
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Re: A new study of old data on roughly 30,000 U.S. children [#permalink]
the question is bad, and neither of the answer choices is correct.

as per egmat, when we use as/when + compare/contrast - it is always incorrect.
A, B, C, and D - all can be eliminated because of the idiom error.
E is poorly worded, so E is out as well.
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Re: A new study of old data on roughly 30,000 U.S. children [#permalink]
I thing only choice A and C are best.

but I choose A because "or" is better than " and" in this context.
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Re: A new study of old data on roughly 30,000 U.S. children [#permalink]
I see this is an old post, but I am confused whether GMAT tests on "compared to" vs "compared with"?

I read some posts where folks say that GMAT doesn't distinguish, but this one seems like it does.

Does anyone know? What to watch out for in questions related to "compare to" vs "compare with"?

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Re: A new study of old data on roughly 30,000 U.S. children [#permalink]
Children are compared with children. same type so i prefer compare with than compare to.

C direct.
Re: A new study of old data on roughly 30,000 U.S. children [#permalink]
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