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For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c

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For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 16 Nov 2017, 16:42
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For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural consequence of heavy summer rains on the Ethiopian Plateau; in the last century, as the population in the region exploded, the cycle of flooding interspersed with periodic drought caused widespread suffering for the local population. In the mid-1950s, the Egyptian government concluded that a significant dam was necessary to enable the country’s economic development to be on a par with that of Western nations. The Aswan Dam would prevent the annual flooding, generate hydroelectric power and supply a steady source of water for residents and agricultural activities, though it would also have other, less positive effects.

By the 1970s, most Egyptian villages had electric power, and the dam provided approximately half of Egypt’s entire output of electricity. The benefits were counteracted, however, by consequences which were sometimes slow to appear but ruinous in their long-term effects. Dams prevent silt from flowing through to downstream lands. The silt is essential for renewing the minerals and nutrients that make the land fertile; before the dam, the Nile floodplain was famously productive. Farmers have had to substitute artificial fertilizers, reducing profits and causing pervasive chemical pollution with deleterious effects for the human, animal and plant populations living near or in the river. It is difficult to draw definite conclusions about a project with such substantial and varied results, but it would be untenable to assert that the Egyptian government should never have built the Aswan Dam.

(C) CORRECT. The passage essentially states that, despite mixed consequences, we cannot defend the position that the dam should not have been built, as the last sentence indicates that "it would be untenable to assert that the Egyptian government should never have built the Aswan Dam." This mirrors the idea that
"unpredictable" or mixed results do not necessarily lead to "condemning the entire endeavor."

1. Based upon the content of the passage, the author would most likely agree with which of the following propositions?

(A) If a plan achieves its stated goals, it should still be carried out, even in the face of unintended negative results.
(B) Planners of highly complex projects should expect some unintended negative consequences, even if they cannot foresee what those consequences will be.
(C) Although a major undertaking may have unpredictable results, those results are not necessarily grounds for condemning the entire endeavor.
(D) Any potential positive and negative effects should be weighed before starting a project of considerable magnitude or complexity.
(E) It is necessary to determine the net impact of all outcomes, good and bad, before deciding whether to denounce the overall project


The passage is fairly balanced but turns positive at the end. The author first states the intended positive consequences and acknowledges the unintended negative
effects of the dam before stating, in the last sentence, that the dam was ultimately successful. The author concludes this last sentence by giving the opinion (very mildly stated) that the dam should have been built. (D) CORRECT. The author examines both sides of the issue before asserting that the dam should have been built; this reflects a mild endorsement

2. The author’s attitude toward the Aswan Dam Project is best reflected by which of the following phrases?

(A) inconsistent support
(B) strict neutrality
(C) keen enthusiasm
(D) mild endorsement
(E) cautious opposition


(C) CORRECT. In the second paragraph, the passage states "before the dam, the Nile floodplain was famously productive" and goes on to say that farmers now have to use artificial fertilizers. This implies that the land is not as fertile as it was before the dam was built.

3. The passage implies which of the following about the effects of the Aswan Dam?

(A) Crops cannot grow without silt.
(B) Although farmers are pleased with the absence of seasonal flooding, they would prefer that the dam not have been built because of the problems it has caused.
(C) The land around the river is not as fertile as it was before the dam was built.
(D) Egypt now competes successfully on an economic level with Western nations.
(E) The country would have been better off if the dam had not been built.


(B) CORRECT. The author quantified the output in order to demonstrate the magnitude of this particular benefit.

4. What is the significance of the author’s statement that the dam generated half of Egypt’s output of electricity by the 1970s?

(A) It proves that Egypt no longer needed to rely on other sources of electricity.
(B) It demonstrates the magnitude of the positive effects created by the dam.
(C) It argues that the positive energy output is more important than any negative effects.
(D) It shows that the dam fell short of initial expectations.
(E) It contrasts the positive and negative effects of the dam.


In the first paragraph, the passage introduces a problem (flooding) and a solution (the Aswan Dam). In the second, the passage notes that the dam had both the
intended positive effects and some unexpected negative consequences. The author concludes by noting that, despite the negative effects, the dam did accomplish its
primary intended goal; the author also explicitly rejects the idea that the dam should not have been built. (A) CORRECT. The passage discusses the "varied effects" (positive and negative consequences) that resulted from a plan that generally succeeded.

5. What is the primary purpose of the passage?

(A) to explain that varied effects can result even from sound business plans that accomplish their goals
(B) to demonstrate that advantages are usually outweighed by unforeseen disadvantages
(C) to assert that the Egyptian government should not have undertaken these plans for economic development
(D) to describe the implementation of a project with significant environmental effects
(E) to detail the negative effects suffered because of poor planning


One helpful technique is to label each answer choice with a T (for "true") if you find it in the passage and an F (for "false") if you cannot. (E) CORRECT. False. In fact, the opposite is true; the dam led farmers to use fertilizers which caused pollution and harmed the animal and plant life in the area

6. All of the following are mentioned as benefits of the Aswan Dam EXCEPT

(A) a constant source of fresh water for consumers and industry
(B) electrical power for a sizable portion of the population
(C) the facilitation of economic development possibilities similar to those in Western nations
(D) the elimination of annual flood cycles in the region
(E) the protection of animal and plant life in and near the river


Originally posted by BPHASDEU on 25 Dec 2016, 05:26.
Last edited by hazelnut on 16 Nov 2017, 16:42, edited 4 times in total.
Formatted and added OA
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Re: For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Apr 2017, 21:23
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arvind910619 wrote:
I answered question 2 wrongly .
Please explain why the author’s attitude toward the Aswan Dam Project is mild endorsement.


In last paragraph the author implies - Even though The dam construction is giving bad results in some. We cannot deny that the construction should be avoided. i.e. He is favoring the dam construction, though he is agreeing about the disadvantages.

This is a tone question.

+kudos if you liked my answer. :)
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Re: For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Apr 2017, 04:15
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9 min 42 seconds Including (3 min 3 seconds to read and map the passage.)
All correct.
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Re: For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Apr 2017, 19:05
I answered question 2 wrongly .
Please explain why the author’s attitude toward the Aswan Dam Project is mild endorsement.
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Re: For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c  [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2017, 21:27
So happy ^^
6min and all correct. This should be a surprise to me 'cause almost every time I practice, I use more time than needed x| x|

To me, getting tone of the passage is a key to answer some questions above. And author's tone is perfectly expressed at the end of the passage : )
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Re: For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2017, 18:31
Can anyone explain the 4th question?
I chose E.
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Re: For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Mar 2018, 20:52
Hi,
I got Q5 Wrong. I chose D. Please explain.
Thanks in advance.
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Re: For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2018, 21:48
Shivikaa wrote:
Hi,
I got Q5 Wrong. I chose D. Please explain.
Thanks in advance.


Shivikaa

In the first paragraph, the passage introduces a problem (flooding) and a solution (the Aswan Dam). In the second, the passage notes that the dam had both the intended positive effects and some unexpected negative consequences. The author concludes by noting that, despite the negative effects, the dam did accomplish its primary intended goal; the author also explicitly rejects the idea that the dam should not have been built.
(A) CORRECT. The passage discusses the "varied effects" (positive and negative consequences) that resulted from a plan that generally succeeded.
(B) The conclusion of the passage supports the idea that the author thinks the advantages outweighed the disadvantages, not vice versa. In addition, the adverb "usually" raises a red flag; the author presents only one example and makes no attempt to draw a universal conclusion.
(C) This choice contradicts the last sentence of the passage ("it would be untenable..."); the author does not agree with those who think the dam should not have been built.
(D) The passage discussed a problem (flooding), a solution (the Aswan Dam), and some positive and negative effects of the project. The passage did not focus on the
implementation of the project, i.e., the construction of the dam.
(E) The main idea encompasses both positive and negative effects, not just the negative ones. In addition, the author makes no comment or claim about poor planning.

Hope this helps!
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Re: For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Oct 2018, 21:49
ttdontcry wrote:
Can anyone explain the 4th question?
I chose E.


4.
The question asks for the significance of the author’s statement about the quantity of electricity produced by the dam, not just for the significance of the fact that the dam
generated electricity at all. The correct answer will have something to do with the author's desire to highlight the magnitude of this particular benefit of the dam.
(A) The passage does not comment on Egypt's other electricity needs (and, in fact, the passage tells us that the dam provided only half of the country's output, so Egypt did have other sources of electricity).
(B) CORRECT. The author quantified the output in order to demonstrate the magnitude of this particular benefit.
(C) Although the author concludes the passage by mildly indicating that the positive effects outweighed the negative, the only positive effect he mentions there is the lack
of flooding. Moreover, he does not argue that any one effect of the dam is more “important” than any other effect.
(D) The passage did not provide or imply any expectations for the magnitude of the electricity output.
(E) The sentence in question does not mention anything about negative effects, nor does it contrast the positive and negative effects. Although the second paragraph as a
hole might be considered a contrast of the positive and negative effects of the dam, the author would not need to quantify the electricity output in order to make such a
contrast.

Hope this helps!
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New post 28 Oct 2018, 22:57
seemed extremely easy passage to me. got all correct. time taken 3.51 including reading passage
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New post 02 Nov 2018, 22:11
DmitryFarber GMATNinja @everyone else

in theprimary purpose - where does the author say the dam is a "business plan " ... just because it is necessary for economic development, it doesnt mean " business plan " ... this is more of a general principle... if the author wanted to make such a claim then he shouldve mentioned the entire "dam" thing as an example of a generlisation.

I seriously doubt this question ... nowhere has author mentioned " business plan " ...
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For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2019, 11:48
1
OFFICIAL EXPLANATION

1.
The first paragraph of the passage introduces the reasons that the Egyptian government undertook to build the Aswan Dam and also lists the main benefits of the completed dam. The second paragraph begins with an example of a positive result, but then offers a significant and unexpected negative consequence. It ends by stating that "it is difficult to draw... conclusions" when there are strong positive and negative effects, "but it would be untenable" to say that the dam shouldn't have been built. The first half of this last sentence indicates the author's acknowledgment that this is a complex topic without any one right opinion or answer. The second half, though, states that the author disagrees with those who believe the dam should not have been built.

(A) The answer is too extreme; the author discusses only one example in the passage and does not make any sweeping conclusions. He does not imply that anything that achieves its goals should be carried out.
(B) Although this may be a reasonable stance in the real world, it is out of scope. The author does not discuss what planners should or should not expect anywhere in the passage.
(C) CORRECT. The passage essentially states that, despite mixed consequences, we cannot defend the position that the dam should not have been built, as the last sentence indicates that would be untenable to assert that the Egyptian government should never have built the Aswan Dam." This mirrors the idea that "unpredictable" or mixed results do not necessarily lead to "condemning the entire endeavor."
(D) Although this may be a reasonable stance in the real world, it is out of scope. Nowhere in the passage does the author discuss what actions should be taken before starting sizable projects.
(E) Although this may be a reasonable stance in the real world, it is out of scope. The author does not discuss what criteria to use in order to decide whether to denounce a project. In fact, the author states that it is "difficult to draw definite conclusions" even though the positive and negative outcomes are known in this circumstance.

2.
The passage is fairly balanced but turns positive at the end. The author first states the intended positive consequences and acknowledges the unintended negative effects of the dam before stating, in the last sentence, that the dam was ultimately successful. The author concludes this last sentence by giving the opinion (very mildly stated) that the dam should have been built.
(A) While the author does show mild support for the project, there is no sign of inconsistency in the author's support. The author does not switch viewpoints regarding the merits of the Aswan Dam, even while weighing the pros and cons.
(B) While most of the passage maintains a fairly neutral tone, the final sentence states the author's opinion that the dam should have been built. This undermines a position of "strict" neutrality.
(C) While the author does ultimately show support for the project, it is very mild. "Keen enthusiasm" is much too optimistic a phrase to describe this passage.
(D) CORRECT. The author examines both sides of the issue before asserting that the dam should have been built; this reflects a mild endorsement.
(E) Though the author mentions some negative effects of the dam, he ultimately concludes it should have been built; this cannot be categorized as "opposition" to the project.

3.
Inference questions require us to draw a conclusion based only upon the information presented in the passage.
(A) The passage states that "before the dam” was built, blocking the flow of silt, “the Nile floodplain was famously productive." However, this choice goes too far by stating that crops “cannot” grow without silt. In fact, the passage indicates that farmers still grow crops on the land, despite the lack of silt in the soil.
(B) While it is reasonable to suppose that some farmers feel this way, the passage does not provide any information about the farmers' approval or disapproval of the dam.
(C) CORRECT. In the second paragraph, the passage states "before the dam, the Nile floodplain was famously productive" and goes on to say that farmers now have to use artificial fertilizers. This implies that the land is not as fertile as it was before the dam was built.
(D) This idea was presented in paragraph one as a reason for the government to build the dam, but the rest of the passage does not address whether the government succeeded in this goal.
(E) This choice contradicts the last sentence of the passage, in which the author disagrees with those who think the dam should not have been built.

4.
The question asks for the significance of the author’s statement about the quantity of electricity produced by the dam, not just for the significance of the fact that the dam generated electricity at all. The correct answer will have something to do with the author's desire to highlight the magnitude of this particular benefit of the dam.
(A) The passage does not comment on Egypt's other electricity needs (and, in fact, the passage tells us that the dam provided only half of the country's output, so Egypt did have other sources of electricity).
(B) CORRECT. The author quantified the output in order to demonstrate the magnitude of this particular benefit.
(C) Although the author concludes the passage by mildly indicating that the positive effects outweighed the negative, the only positive effect he mentions there is the lack of flooding. Moreover, he does not argue that any one effect of the dam is more “important” than any other effect.
(D) The passage did not provide or imply any expectations for the magnitude of the electricity output.
(E) The sentence in question does not mention anything about negative effects, nor does it contrast the positive and negative effects. Although the second paragraph as a whole might be considered a contrast of the positive and negative effects of the dam, the author would not need to quantify the electricity output in order to make such a contrast.

5.
In the first paragraph, the passage introduces a problem (flooding) and a solution (the Aswan Dam). In the second, the passage notes that the dam had both the intended positive effects and some unexpected negative consequences. The author concludes by noting that, despite the negative effects, the dam did accomplish its primary intended goal; the author also explicitly rejects the idea that the dam should not have been built.
(A) CORRECT. The passage discusses the "varied effects" (positive and negative consequences) that resulted from a plan that generally succeeded.
(B) The conclusion of the passage supports the idea that the author thinks the advantages outweighed the disadvantages, not vice versa. In addition, the adverb "usually" raises a red flag; the author presents only one example and makes no attempt to draw a universal conclusion.
(C) This choice contradicts the last sentence of the passage ("it would be untenable..."); the author does not agree with those who think the dam should not have been built.
(D) The passage discussed a problem (flooding), a solution (the Aswan Dam), and some positive and negative effects of the project. The passage did not focus on the implementation of the project, i.e., the construction of the dam.
(E) The main idea encompasses both positive and negative effects, not just the negative ones. In addition, the author makes no comment or claim about poor planning.

6.
Specific detail EXCEPT questions require us to search the passage for four details which are mentioned in the passage; the fifth is not mentioned and is, therefore, the right answer. One helpful technique is to label each answer choice with a T (for "true") if you find it in the passage and an F (for "false") if you cannot.
(A) True. The last sentence of the first paragraph says the dam will "supply a steady source of water for residents and agricultural activities."
(B) True. The first sentence of the second paragraph says "the dam provided approximately half of Egypt's entire electricity output."
(C) True. The second sentence of the first paragraph says that the dam would "enable the country's economic development to be on a par with that of Western nations," and it is clear from the passage that the actual completion of the dam served to move Egypt toward this goal.
(D) True. The last sentence of the first paragraph says the dam "would prevent the annual flooding" and the last sentence of the second paragraph confirms that the dam succeeded in this goal.
(E) CORRECT. False. In fact, the opposite is true; the dam led farmers to use fertilizers which caused pollution and harmed the animal and plant life in the area.
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For millennia, the Nile River flooded nearly every year as a natural c   [#permalink] 30 Mar 2019, 11:48
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