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Boreal owls range over a much larger area than do other owls

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Re: Boreal owls range over a much larger area than do other owls [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2017, 10:47
mikemcgarry wrote:
vnigam21 wrote:
Here I have two sentences.
Could anyone tell me whether the comparison in the two sentences is different?

(1) Boreal owls range over a much larger area than do other owls of similar size.
(2) Some boreal owls range over an area eight times larger than the area over which any other owl of similar size ranges.


I have been told that the second sentence is comparing different groups of boreal owls, while the first one is making a comparison between boreal owls and other owls.
Also, the OG solution has mentioned the same.

Is there any difference?? are they actually not the same? :?:
Really confused. :roll: :? :? :?

mikemcgarry, can you please share your thoughts on this?

Dear vnigam21,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

There are a couple important differences in those two comparisons. Comparison #1 is very general, and by implication it discusses ALL boreal owls. Comparison #2 instead limits the scope to SOME boreal owls, not all, and it introduces a specific numerical measure for how much larger the area is. Those are the two most important differences between these comparisons.

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)


Thanks for the reply mikemcgarry. :) Sorry, But my question is still unanswered. :( I got the differences that you mentioned above....

(1) Boreal owls range over a much larger area than do other owls of similar size.
I am clear with this statement, it is making a comparison between boreal owls and other owls of similar size.

But I am not clear with this 2nd statement's explanation as given in the OG,

(2) Some boreal owls range over an area eight times larger than the area over which any other owl (how come this any other owl is boreal owl??) of similar size ranges.
the second sentence is comparing different groups of boreal owls??? how?
:? :? :?
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Re: Boreal owls range over a much larger area than do other owls [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2017, 16:48
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vnigam21 wrote:
Thanks for the reply mikemcgarry. :) Sorry, But my question is still unanswered. :( I got the differences that you mentioned above....

(1) Boreal owls range over a much larger area than do other owls of similar size.
I am clear with this statement, it is making a comparison between boreal owls and other owls of similar size.

But I am not clear with this 2nd statement's explanation as given in the OG,

(2) Some boreal owls range over an area eight times larger than the area over which any other owl (how come this any other owl is boreal owl??) of similar size ranges.
the second sentence is comparing different groups of boreal owls??? how?
:? :? :?

Dear vnigam21,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

First of all, I want to call your attention to a very important distinction: the official questions (in the OG, Q & V Reviews, and in GMAT Prep) vs. the explanations for the official question. These two different items are two different ages, come from two different sources, and vary tremendously in level of quality.
1) Every official question in some test prep product is a retired GMAT question. These questions were written maybe a decade or more ago, went through rigorous psychometric testing in the experimental phase, and then were on the official GMAT for many years before they were retired. Behind each official question is a mountain of data and rigorous statistical analysis. It is no exaggeration to say that these questions are some of the finest test questions in the world, some of the finest ever created. I write question for a living, and at my very best, I am lucky to come even near to the high quality of these question.
2) The official explanations are different. When the questions were retired, say, and put into a book, someone had to slap together some explanations for the book. These were written by, I don't know, maybe some poor graduate student somewhere, and it's not clear to me that these have undergone any kind of substantial quality check and probably essentially no psychometric analysis. Just about every explanation I write, for my own questions or for official questions is better than these official explanations, and I would say the same for many other experts on GMAT Club.

The difference in quality is immense. I am lucky, at my very best, to come close to the quality of the official questions. By contrast, it is almost as if I could far surpass the quality of the official explanations in my sleep!

The moral is: trust the high quality of the official questions, but don't put too much trust into the official explanations. Trust that there are deep legitimate principles governing the logic of any official question, but don't necessary expect to find that well articulate in the official explanations. Instead, come here to GMAT Club, and get better explanations from test prep experts such as myself.

Why does the second sentence of the official explanation saying what it was saying? What was the starving graduate student in the basement thinking when he wrote that? Frankly, this is not the most important question for your GMAT preparation. Rather than worry about what the official explanation was trying or not trying to say, focus on finding somebody who can elucidate the sound logic of the question itself.

Here's the prompt:
Evidence: Boreal owls range over a much larger area than do other owls of similar size.
Claim: The reason for this behavior is that the small mammals on which owls feed are especially scarce in the forests where boreal owls live, and the relative scarcity of prey requires the owls to range more extensively to find sufficient food.

That's the argument, an attempt to explain the boreal owls' behavior. Is the explanation given the best explanation?: Could there be a better explanation? Could we make this explanation more plausible? Those questions outline the fulcrum on which the evaluation of this argument pivots.

Then the prompt question says:
Which of the following ,if true, most helps to confirm the explanation above?
So, we want to strengthen this explanation.

(A) Some boreal owls range over an area eight times larger than the area over which any other owl of similar size ranges
First of all, this appears to strength the evidence. Strengthening the evidence in general is not a particularly effective way to strengthen the argument.
Also—and, who knows, this might be what the OE was trying fecklessly to say—this compares "some boreal owls" to all other birds. Group #1 is "some boreal owls" and Group #2 is every other bird on the planet. Of course, this latter group of all other birds, Group #2, includes, among many others, the rest of the boreal owls. Thus, "some boreal owls" have a particularly large range, but the others, included in Group #2, sound as if they might have small ranges. Hmm. If "some boreal owls" have gigantic ranges and the rest have relatively small ranges, then the explanation given might not be valid, because it wouldn't apply uniformly to all boreal owls.
These are the problems with (A).

(B), the OA, of course, does the job perfectly. I assume you understand that already.

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Boreal owls range over a much larger area than do other owls [#permalink]

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New post 16 Aug 2017, 12:45
Boreal owls range over a much larger area than do other owls of similar size. The reason for this behavior is that the small mammals on which owls feed are especially scarce in the forests where boreal owls live, and the relative scarcity of prey requires the owls to range more extensively to find sufficient food.

Which of the following ,if true, most helps to confirm the explanation above?

A. Some boreal owls range over an area eight times larger than the area over which any other owl of similar size ranges
Okay, some boreal owls might range over such a large area, but it doesn't talk about the entire boreal owl community. This is just a fact set.

B. Boreal owls range over larger areas in regions where food of the sort eaten by small mammals is sparse than they do in regions where such food is abundant.
Correct. If the small mammals on which these owls feed range over a large area, then definitely the owls will also have to range over a much larger area, since these small mammals are already scarce, making it even more difficult for the owls to feed on them.

C. After their young hatch, boreal owls must hunt more often than before in order to feed both themselves and their newly hatched young
Okay, let them take care of their family, but it doesn't say anything about the owls scattering over a large area.

D. Sometimes individual boreal owls hunt near a single location for many weeks at a time and do not range rather than a few hundred yards.
Okay, let them hunt in a single location. Out of context

E. The boreal owl requires less food, relative to its weight, than is required by members of other owl species.
Okay, let this owl require lesser quantity of food than other owls do. Out of context.
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Re: Boreal owls range over a much larger area than do other owls [#permalink]

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New post 23 Aug 2017, 04:20
Solution: The small mammals on which owls prey are relatively scarce in the forests where boreal owls live. That is why boreal owls range more extensively than do other, similarly sized owls in search of food.

B confirms the statement - It indicates that abundance of food for the boreal owls' small-animal prey in an area correlates with a smaller range for the boreal owls there.
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Re: Boreal owls range over a much larger area than do other owls [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2017, 09:59
Boreal owls range over a much larger area than do other owls of similar size. The reason for this behavior is that the small mammals on which owls feed are especially scarce in the forests where boreal owls live, and the relative scarcity of prey requires the owls to range more extensively to find sufficient food.

KEY TO NOTE: BOREAL OWLS NEED TO RANGE OVER A LARGER AREA TO EAT. THIS IMPLIES THAT OWLS OF SIMILAR SIZES LIVE IN AREAS WHERE FOOD IS MORE ABUNDANT, SO SIMILAR OWLS DO NOT NEED TO RANGE OVER AS LARGE A AREA.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to confirm the explanation above? --> STRENGTHEN

A. Some boreal owls range over an area eight times larger than the area over which any other owl of similar size ranges
- Only new info that is added here is that the range of boreal owls is 8x larger than any other owl of similar size. Who cares if its 5x or 20x?

B. Boreal owls range over larger areas in regions where food of the sort eaten by small mammals is sparse than they do in regions where such food is abundant.
- Ah ha! You can find this in the notes above. Basically says Boreal owls NEED to range over larger areas where food is scarce...and if this were not the case (if boreal owls lived in areas where food was more abundant), they would range over a smaller area

C. After their young hatch, boreal owls must hunt more often than before in order to feed both themselves and their newly hatched young
- Isn't this the case with ALL owls who have hatchlings? (All GOOD owl parents catch food for their young) ;)

D. Sometimes individual boreal owls hunt near a single location for many weeks at a time and do not range rather than a few hundred yards.
- That sucks, I know if I waited weeks to eat, I would get pretty grumpy...yes, I know this whole thing sounds ridiculous. So what? What is this adding to the argument? How does this strengthen their ability to find food in their environment?

E. The boreal owl requires less food, relative to its weight, than is required by members of other owl species.
- Who cares about the relative amount of food the boreal owl needs as compared to members of other owl species?

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Re: Boreal owls range over a much larger area than do other owls   [#permalink] 07 Sep 2017, 09:59

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