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# Disagreeing with the grammar of a Quant problem...

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Intern
Joined: 04 May 2015
Posts: 2
Disagreeing with the grammar of a Quant problem... [#permalink]

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04 May 2015, 11:01
This is from problem 20 from Section 6, V1 of the Official ETS GRE practice book.

The ratio of the number of males to the number of females in the senior class is less than 2 to 1

The correct answer is based on the parameters: ratio of males in the senior class to ratio of females in the senior class, both of which are provided in the problem itself.

So I take issue with the grammar. You could easily read it as ratio of number of total males to number of senior females. It would be much more clear if it stated:

- The ratio of the number of males in the senior class to the number of females in the senior class is less than 2 to 1

OR

- In the senior class, the ratio of number of males to the number of females is less than 2 to 1

What is the opinion of this board?
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Manager
Joined: 20 Apr 2013
Posts: 139
Re: Disagreeing with the grammar of a Quant problem... [#permalink]

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06 May 2015, 05:02
Would agree with you. By the way, I am just curious to know why you are posting this in the "GMAT" forum and not in the "GRE" forum, since you found this question in the GRE guide.

Also, I feel that in Quant and Critical reasoning sections of GMAT, the makers of GMAT do not conform to the "high standards" of English sentence construction that GMAT sets in the sentence construction section.

Obviously the writers of SC are different from the writers of CR and Quant. In most cases, this does not create a problem, but in I do agree, here the meaning is coming out as ambiguous.
GMAT Tutor
Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 1179
Re: Disagreeing with the grammar of a Quant problem... [#permalink]

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07 May 2015, 18:06
I agree you could read the sentence in two different ways, but if you interpret it incorrectly at first, I think the question might seem odd, because the answer is so obvious. Maybe that would direct you to the intended interpretation.

I've seen several thousand official GMAT questions (not nearly as many GRE questions), and I have seen about five which have ambiguous wording. It's very rare, but it happens in about 1 in 1000 questions. It's unlikely you'll need to worry about it on an actual test.
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Re: Disagreeing with the grammar of a Quant problem...   [#permalink] 07 May 2015, 18:06
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