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# Court Records from medieval France

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Joined: 03 Dec 2012
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Court Records from medieval France  [#permalink]

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30 Oct 2013, 19:57
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00:00

Difficulty:

5% (low)

Question Stats:

85% (01:54) correct 15% (02:34) wrong based on 312 sessions

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Court records from medieval France show that in the years 1300 to 1400 the number of people arrested in the French realm for "violent interpersonal crimes" (not committed in wars) increased by 30 percent over the number of people arrested for such crimes in the years 1200 to 1300. The increase was not the result of false arrests; therefore, medieval France had a higher level of documented interpersonal violence in the years 1300 to 1400 than in the years 1200 to 1300.

Which one of the following statements, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

(A) In the years 1300 to 1400 the French government's category of violent crimes included an increasing variety of interpersonal crimes that are actually
nonviolent.

(B) Historical accounts by monastic chroniclers in the years 1300 to 1400 are filled with descriptions of violent attacks committed by people living in the French realm

(C) The number of individual agreements between two people in which they swore oaths not to attack each other increased substantially after 1300.

(D) When English armies tried to conquer parts of France in the mid- to late 1300s. violence in the northern province of Normandy and the south-western province of Gascony increased.

(E) The population of medical France increased substantially during the first five decades of the 1300s until the deadly bubonic plague decimated the population of France after 1348.
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Re: Court Records from medieval France  [#permalink]

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30 Oct 2013, 23:45
7
1
This question is about statistic in Critical Reasoning. Very common and classical in CR, you will see this kind of question over and over again in real tests. In reality, you see this type of CR mostly in newspaper, magazines or even in statistic researches.

The form of this question is:
X appears more often than Y
Conclusion: X is more important/serious/dangerous/… than Y

IMPORTANT Assumption: X and Y cover the SAME scope. If that is NOT the case, the comparison is invalid.

APPLY TO THE QUESTION.
Fact: Court records from medieval France show that in the years 1300 to 1400 the number of people arrested in the French realm for "violent interpersonal crimes" (not committed in wars) increased by 30 percent over the number of people arrested for such crimes in the years 1200 to 1300.
Fact: The increase was not the result of false arrests;
Conclusion: medieval France had a higher level of documented interpersonal violence in the years 1300 to 1400 than in the years 1200 to 1300.

Assumption: Court records in 1300-1400 and those in 1200-1300 covered the SAME scope.

Which one of the following statements, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

(A) In the years 1300 to 1400 the French government's category of violent crimes included an increasing variety of interpersonal crimes that are actually nonviolent.
Correct. A undermines the conclusion by showing that records in 1300-1400 covered a more broaden range than those in 1200-1300. Thus, the comparison of the argument is INVALID.

(B) Historical accounts by monastic chroniclers in the years 1300 to 1400 are filled with descriptions of violent attacks committed by people living in the French realm
Wrong. Irrelevant. Just the description of violent attacks does not help anything.

(C) The number of individual agreements between two people in which they swore oaths not to attack each other increased substantially after 1300.
Wrong. Irrelevant. Nothing about the agreement between two people.

(D) When English armies tried to conquer parts of France in the mid- to late 1300s. violence in the northern province of Normandy and the south-western province of Gascony increased.
Wrong. Does not weaken the conclusion. In fact, D may show that the comparison in the argument is valid.

(E) The population of medical France increased substantially during the first five decades of the 1300s until the deadly bubonic plague decimated the population of France after 1348.

Hope it helps.
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Re: Court Records from medieval France  [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2013, 02:56
1
The big advice I could give to a students is this: one thing among the millions of way to tackle a CR or ANY gmat questions (both quant and verbal ) is READING SUPER CAREFULLY A QUESTION. THAT'S IT.

This question is not super tough but quite tricky and under stress condition is easy to pick wrong.

You have to stay almost always very close to the stimulus; you have to try relate something is a subtle way.

A is the most relevant answer to that question.

Regards
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Re: Court Records from medieval France  [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2013, 04:06
1
You are absolutely right Carcass. Along with all the necessary techniques I believe learning to 'focus' is an equally important aspect on the GMAT.
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Re: Court Records from medieval France  [#permalink]

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14 Jul 2018, 01:19

I am bit frustrated that I got this incorrect in spite of understanding the argument (at least that's my gut).
Also weaken Qs seem to be far easier to handle than inference ones.

Quote:
Court records from medieval France show that in the years 1300 to 1400 the number of people arrested in the French realm for "violent interpersonal crimes" (not committed in wars) increased by 30 percent over the number of people arrested for such crimes in the years 1200 to 1300. The increase was not the result of false arrests; therefore, medieval France had a higher level of documented interpersonal violence in the years 1300 to 1400 than in the years 1200 to 1300.

Argument understanding:
Since this is a weaken question let us begin with identifying the main conclusion, which is: medieval France had a higher level of documented interpersonal violence in the years 1300 to 1400 than in the years 1200 to 1300.
How does author arrive here:
Bases on stats of court records: In years 1200-1300 crimes not committed in wars were for e.g. 100
then In years 1300-1400 crimes not committed in wars were for e.g. 130
Author further strengthens his claim by protecting it against possible objections, one of those is:
The increase was not the result of false arrests
Cool, so that makes the claim more genuine and believable.

I could reject B, C and E pretty quickly since they totally are irrelevant to the argument.

Quote:
(A) In the years 1300 to 1400 the French government's category of violent crimes included an increasing variety of interpersonal crimes that are actually nonviolent.

hmm, scope of arrest increased by arresting people who actually committed more non-violent crimes
but were labelled as having committed violent crimes and hence effectively the end number of people
documented to have committed violent crimes increased. Does not this weaken the claim?

Quote:
(D) When English armies tried to conquer parts of France in the mid- to late 1300s. violence in the northern province of Normandy and the south-western province of Gascony increased.

Does not this option provide alternate cause (English armies trying to conquer parts of France)
for the effect: violence in the northern province of Normandy and the south-western province of Gascony increased?
Is this option incorrect because of no mention of said provinces in main argument?
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Re: Court Records from medieval France  [#permalink]

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14 Jul 2018, 01:44
Top Contributor
I would say this

- for weaken focus on the conclusion.
- fo inference/conclusion focus on, actually, to the premise/s.

It is one of possible shortcuts.

Regards
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Re: Court Records from medieval France  [#permalink]

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14 Jul 2018, 04:57
1

I am bit frustrated that I got this incorrect in spite of understanding the argument (at least that's my gut).
Also weaken Qs seem to be far easier to handle than inference ones.

Quote:
Court records from medieval France show that in the years 1300 to 1400 the number of people arrested in the French realm for "violent interpersonal crimes" (not committed in wars) increased by 30 percent over the number of people arrested for such crimes in the years 1200 to 1300. The increase was not the result of false arrests; therefore, medieval France had a higher level of documented interpersonal violence in the years 1300 to 1400 than in the years 1200 to 1300.

Argument understanding:
Since this is a weaken question let us begin with identifying the main conclusion, which is: medieval France had a higher level of documented interpersonal violence in the years 1300 to 1400 than in the years 1200 to 1300.
How does author arrive here:
Bases on stats of court records: In years 1200-1300 crimes not committed in wars were for e.g. 100
then In years 1300-1400 crimes not committed in wars were for e.g. 130
Author further strengthens his claim by protecting it against possible objections, one of those is:
The increase was not the result of false arrests
Cool, so that makes the claim more genuine and believable.

I could reject B, C and E pretty quickly since they totally are irrelevant to the argument.

Quote:
(A) In the years 1300 to 1400 the French government's category of violent crimes included an increasing variety of interpersonal crimes that are actually nonviolent.

hmm, scope of arrest increased by arresting people who actually committed more non-violent crimes
but were labelled as having committed violent crimes and hence effectively the end number of people
documented to have committed violent crimes increased. Does not this weaken the claim?

Quote:
(D) When English armies tried to conquer parts of France in the mid- to late 1300s. violence in the northern province of Normandy and the south-western province of Gascony increased.

Does not this option provide alternate cause (English armies trying to conquer parts of France)
for the effect: violence in the northern province of Normandy and the south-western province of Gascony increased?
Is this option incorrect because of no mention of said provinces in main argument?

I see that your understanding of the argument is correct. Now let's have a look at the two options where you were stuck:
Quote:
(A) In the years 1300 to 1400 the French government's category of violent crimes included an increasing variety of interpersonal crimes that are actually nonviolent.

Let us prove this option with the help of an analogy. For example, in the year 2017, there were 3 types of accidents that were considered fatal: car crash, bike crash, and a bus crash. For the three types, the number of casualties was, let's say, 30. In the year 2018, the government extended the list to include 2 more types of accidents: trip over while walking on the road and slap someone on the face. Both the new "accidents" aren't fatal in nature. The number of accidents that took place in 2018 was 40 out of which 20 could be categorized under the newly added types. If you see, the number of fatal accidents actually reduced because the number of non-fatal accidents increased.

Similarly, we can say that the increase in the number of violent cases was because of the non-violent cases, weakening the argument.

I hope that helps!

Regards
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Court Records from medieval France  [#permalink]

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14 Jul 2018, 05:37
1

Let's review the question, as well as (A) and (D).

Court records from medieval France show that in the years 1300 to 1400 the number of people arrested in the French realm for "violent interpersonal crimes" (not committed in wars) increased by 30 percent over the number of people arrested for such crimes in the years 1200 to 1300. The increase was not the result of false arrests; therefore, medieval France had a higher level of documented interpersonal violence in the years 1300 to 1400 than in the years 1200 to 1300.

Green = background/premise
Light blue = subconclusion
Dark blue = primary conclusion

Which one of the following statements, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

(A) In the years 1300 to 1400 the French government's category of violent crimes included an increasing variety of interpersonal crimes that are actually
nonviolent. -- So a category was added. Because of this, we know right off the bat that more crimes were tallied than prior, so this clearly weakens it.

(D) When English armies tried to conquer parts of France in the mid- to late 1300s. violence in the northern province of Normandy and the south-western province of Gascony increased. -- While this is interesting, note that the premise says "not committed in war". Due to this, any crimes committed would not be tallied and this increase wouldn't matter. Now you are correct that it never specifies where in France the battles took place; however, the premise doesn't clarify if you need to be in that part of the country to have it not count. Because of this, we have to assume it means all of France, regardless of geography (this isn't a geography class and the GMAT isn't testing your knowledge of the world, haha). If the question specified, this would change the outcome of the answer.

Does this help?
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Court Records from medieval France &nbs [#permalink] 14 Jul 2018, 05:37
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