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Although there is no record of poet Edmund Spenser's parentage, we do

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Although there is no record of poet Edmund Spenser's parentage, we do  [#permalink]

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Although there is no record of poet Edmund Spenser's parentage, we do know that as a youth Spenser attended the Merchant Tailors' School in London for a period between 1560 and 1570. Records from this time indicate that the Merchant Tailors' Guild then had only three members named Spenser: Robert Spenser, listed as a gentleman; Nicholas Spenser, elected the Guild's Warden in 1568; and John Spenser, listed as a "journeyman cloth-maker." Of these, the last was likely the least affluent of the three—and most likely Edmund's father, since school accounting records list Edmund as a scholar who attended the school at a reduced fee.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?


(A) Anybody in sixteenth century London who made clothing professionally would have had to be a member of the Merchant Tailors' Guild.

(B) The fact that Edmund Spenser attended the Merchant Tailors' School did not necessarily mean that he planned to become a tailor.

(C) No member of the Guild could become Guild warden in sixteenth century London unless he was a gentleman.

(D) Most of those whose fathers were members of the Merchant Tailors' Guild were students at the Merchant Tailors' School.

(E) The Merchant Tailors' School did not reduce its fees for the children of the more affluent Guild members.


Verbal Question of The Day: Day 50: Critical Reasoning


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Practice Question
Question No.: CR 584
ID - CR12019


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Question No.: CR 584[/textarea]

Originally posted by notwithstanding on 01 Aug 2015, 10:33.
Last edited by Bunuel on 17 Oct 2018, 04:39, edited 1 time in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Although there is no record of poet Edmund Spenser's parentage, we do  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2015, 21:57
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EMPOWERgmat Enhanced Explanation:

Type: Assumption
Boil It Down: Attend at reduced fee -> Edmund’s father was the least affluent of the 3
Missing Information: There is no other reason than being poorer that the fee would have been reduced. The reasoning also assumes: child at Tailors’ School -> Parent in Tailors’ Guild
Goal: Find the option that presents information this argument requires for the logic to hold.

Analysis: This prompt leaves out a great deal of information in the evidence, such as how we magically are left to assume a connection between Edmund Spencer’s attendance at the school and that Edmund’s father would have to be a member of the guild. The prompt also presumes that Edmund went to the school on a reduced fee because he came from a lesser affluent household, and that based on that assumption, Edmund’s father would have had to have been John because he was the least affluent of the three Spensers.

We’re not concerned with ANYONE who made clothing professionally having to be a member of the guild, we’re concerned with the notion that: student is at the school → The father was a member of the guild. This option goes way too extreme.

Whether Edmund did or did not plan to become a tailor is in no way something that this argument hinges on. The argument works either way, so this couldn’t be an assumption made in this argument.

The argument doesn’t hinge on the parameters for someone to become a guild warden. TOTALLY irrelevant.

This option gets it backwards. The argument isn’t assuming that if you had a father in the Guild, that you were a student. It’s that if you were a student, then you had a father in the guild.

Yes! This option is absolutely assumed by the reasoning. The argument requires that only those who came from a lesser affluent family would receive a fee reduction, or in other words, the school did not reduce its fees for those who were more affluent. Let’s say that the school was also willing to reduce fees for academic merit? Then the whole argument that we can use the fee reduction to say that Edmund’s father had to have been the least affluent of the three collapses.
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Re: Although there is no record of poet Edmund Spenser's parentage, we do  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2017, 07:43
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Whenever I see assumption questions, I always start by figuring out exactly what the conclusion is, exactly in the author's own words. So in this case, the conclusion is basically a piece of the final sentence: "John Spenser was... most likely Edmund's father."

And what's the evidence to support the conclusion?

  • We know that Edmund Spenser attended the Merchant Tailors' School in London for a period between 1560 and 1570.
  • School accounting records list Edmund as a scholar who attended the school at a reduced fee.
  • The Merchant Tailors' Guild had only three members named Spenser: Robert Spenser, listed as a gentleman; Nicholas Spenser, elected the Guild's Warden in 1568; and John Spenser, listed as a "journeyman cloth-maker." Of these, the last was likely the least affluent of the three.

Great, that makes sense: the Merchant Tailor's Guild had only three members named Spenser, and only one seemed relatively poor -- and since young Edmund attended at a reduced fee, the least-affluent Spenser was most likely his father.

And we're just looking for "an assumption on which the argument depends."

Quote:
(A) Anybody in sixteenth century London who made clothing professionally would have had to be a member of the Merchant Tailors' Guild.

"Anybody" is a pretty strong word here. We definitely don't need to assume that anybody who made clothing professionally was a member of the guild -- that's not going to help us prove that John Spenser was the father. Eliminate (A).

Quote:
(B) The fact that Edmund Spenser attended the Merchant Tailors' School did not necessarily mean that he planned to become a tailor.

Sure, Edmund became a poet, but we definitely don't need to make any assumptions about his intentions while he attended the Merchant Tailors' School. Eliminate (B).

Quote:
(C) No member of the Guild could become Guild warden in sixteenth century London unless he was a gentleman.

This is mildly tempting, I suppose: this reinforces the idea that Nicholas Spenser was probably affluent, and therefore less likely to be Edmund's father. But we don't need to assume that Nicholas was specifically a gentleman to draw the conclusion. Nicholas could easily have been wealthy -- or at least more affluent than John Spenser, the "journeyman cloth-maker" -- without actually being a gentleman. Eliminate (C).

Quote:
(D) Most of those whose fathers were members of the Merchant Tailors' Guild were students at the Merchant Tailors' School.

I don't see any reason why we need to make this assumption, either. Sure, it might be helpful to assume that ALL students at the school had fathers who were members of the Merchant Tailors' Guild: that way, one of the three men mentioned in the passage MUST be Edmund's father. But that's not what (D) says: it's just saying that most members of the guild sent their sons to the Merchant Tailors' School. And there's no reason why we need to assume that to reach the conclusion. Eliminate (D).

I hope we like (E)...

Quote:
(E) The Merchant Tailors' School did not reduce its fees for the children of the more affluent Guild members.

Oh good, we have a winner. If (E) is true, then it's really unlikely the two more affluent Spensers -- Robert the gentleman and Nicholas the Guild Warden -- could have been the parent of young Edmund, who attended with reduced fees. We definitely need to know that the reduced fees actually meant hat a student had a less-affluent father. So (E) is our answer.
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Re: Although there is no record of poet Edmund Spenser's parentage, we do  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2015, 11:54
why not D, i think it is necessary for people to choose a person in MT guild.
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Re: Although there is no record of poet Edmund Spenser's parentage, we do  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2015, 12:15
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qwepoi wrote:
why not D, i think it is necessary for people to choose a person in MT guild.

Hi qwepoi,

Beyond the explanation above, this is an assumption question. As with all question types on the GMAT, having a VERY clear understanding of the type of information the question is asking for is central.

An assumption is a piece of missing information that has to be true for the logic of the argument to work. So here, does it need to be true that: Most of those whose fathers were members of the Merchant Tailors' Guild were students at the Merchant Tailors' School?

No. For the argument to work, we just need ONE case. The argument does require all or even most. The argument still works either way, so since this option is not essential for the argument to work, it's gone.

Compare that to option E) The argument's logic absolutely rests on the notion that The Merchant Tailors' School did not reduce its fees for the children of the more affluent Guild members because if the guild did reduce its fees for the more affluent, then there would be no way to make the leap that Edmund's father was the journeyman cloth-maker.
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Re: Although there is no record of poet Edmund Spenser's parentage, we do  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Apr 2017, 23:25
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notwithstanding wrote:
Although there is no record of poet Edmund Spenser's parentage, we do know that as a youth Spenser attended the Merchant Tailors' School in London for a period between 1560 and 1570. Records from this time indicate that the Merchant Tailors' Guild then had only three members named Spenser: Robert Spenser, listed as a gentleman; Nicholas Spenser, elected the Guild's Warden in 1568; and John Spenser, listed as a "journeyman cloth-maker." Of these, the last was likely the least affluent of the three—and most likely Edmund's father, since school accounting records list Edmund as a scholar who attended the school at a reduced fee.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

(A) Anybody in sixteenth century London who made clothing professionally would have had to be a member of the Merchant Tailors' Guild.
(B) The fact that Edmund Spenser attended the Merchant Tailors' School did not necessarily mean that he planned to become a tailor.
(C) No member of the Guild could become Guild warden in sixteenth century London unless he was a gentleman.
(D) Most of those whose fathers were members of the Merchant Tailors' Guild were students at the Merchant Tailors' School.
(E) The Merchant Tailors' School did not reduce its fees for the children of the more affluent Guild members.


OG2017, CR585, P522

guild (noun) = an organization of people who do the same job or have the same interests

Edmund Spenser
 
Step 1: Identify the Question

The word assumption in the question stem indicates that this is a Find the Assumption question.

Step 2: Deconstruct the Argument

No record ES parents, but he attended MT school
3 possible parents
Conclusion: ES paid less $, so dad was probably the least rich guy

This argument is basically a sleuth’s attempt to figure out who Edmund’s dad was. What is the author assuming when reaching this conclusion? First, he’s assuming that the journeyman member actually was the least affluent. Second, he’s assuming that the reduced fee Edmund paid was a result of some poverty, but that’s not necessarily true. What if, for example, one of the perks of being the Guild’s Warden was that you didn’t have to pay as much for your son to attend the school? The author is also assuming that one of these three is Edmund’s father; perhaps he was an orphan or his father had a different last name for some reason.

sleuth (noun) = someone whose job is to discover information about crimes and find out who is responsible for them

Step 3: Pause and State the Goal

On assumption questions, the goal is to find an answer that the author must believe to be true in drawing his conclusion.

Step 4: Work from Wrong to Right

(A) The argument revolves around the likely father of Edmund Spenser, not whether professional tailors were required to be members of the Guild.
(B) The author’s argument does not revolve around what Edmund eventually did for a living.
(C) The argument does not assume that the Guild Warden must also have been a gentleman, only that he was not the least affluent of the three potential fathers of Edmund.
(D) This choice goes too far. While the author is assuming that Edmund’s father was a member of the Guild, he does not have to assume that most members enrolled their children in the school.
(E) CORRECT. The author concludes that, because Edmund paid a reduced fee, his father is likely the least affluent. He is assuming that the more affluent members would not have paid reduced fees for their children.
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Re: Although there is no record of poet Edmund Spenser's parentage, we do  [#permalink]

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