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# Franklin's Super-Fly Critical Reasoning Question Thread

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09 Sep 2009, 20:07
Time taken - 2mins

Scientist: A controversy in paleontology centers on the question of whether prehistoric human ancestors began to develop sophisticated tools before or after they came to stand upright. I argue that they stood upright first, simply because advanced toolmaking requires free use of hands, and standing upright makes this possible.

Conclusion - Advanced toolmaking/sophisticated tools requires free use of hands, and standing upright makes this possible
Premise - Whether prehistoric human ancestors began to develop sophisticated tools before or after they came to stand upright
Question type - Weaken
Logic -Cause and effect question, so i would be on the look out for alternate reasons or cause/effect mismatch

Which one of the following statements, if true, most weakens the scientist's argument?

A) Many animals that do not stand upright have learned to make basic tools. - Wow Animals - Out of scope

B) Advanced hunting weapons have been discovered among the artifacts belonging to prehistoric human ancestors who did not stand upright. - Shell game answer -Ignore

C) Many prehistoric human ancestors who stood upright had no sophisticated tools. - Ok,fine but some ancestors who did not stand upright may still have sophisticated tools. Weak contender

D) Those prehistoric human ancestors who first came to stand upright had no more dexterity with their hands than did those who did not stand upright. - Out of Scope

E) Many of the earliest sophisticated tools did not require their users to be able to stand upright. - weak contender. The word "users" is causing some doubts. We are talking about development of tools

Between C and E, will go with C
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09 Sep 2009, 20:18
Tough one. Time taken < 2mins

Editorialist: Despite the importance it seems to have in our lives, money does not really exist. This is evident from the fact that all that would be needed to make money disappear would be a universal loss of belief in it. We witness this phenomenon on a small scale daily in the rises and falls of financial markets, whose fluctuations are often entirely independent of concrete causes and are the result of mere beliefs of investors.

Conclusion - Money does not really exist, despite its importance.
Premise 1 - all that would be needed to make money disappear would be a universal loss of belief in it
Premise 2 - Stock mkt fluctuations are often entirely independent of concrete causes and are the result of mere beliefs of investors.

The conclusion of the editorialist's argument can be properly drawn if which one of the following is assumed?

A) Anything that exists would continue to exist even if everyone were to stop believing in it. - This seems to work the other way around

B) Only if one can have mistaken beliefs about a thing does that thing exist, strictly speaking. - Out of scope

C) In order to exist, an entity must have practical consequences for those who believe in it. Practical what? -Out of scope

D) If everyone believes in something, then that thing exists. - Looks Ok

E) Whatever is true of money is true of financial markets generally. Out of scope

Will go for D, thou not sure. I am generally weak in Assumption questions
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10 Sep 2009, 00:23
Franklin wrote:
Okay, so I got a PM stating that the questions I've posted so far are too easy. I guess I need to rectify that!

It's bonus Wednesday ... I will post three questions since I will not be able to provide a question tomorrow (attending a seminar).

I thought about adding my reasoning to the discussion but I think that would be superfluous especially since snipertrader did such a fantastic job!

Quote:
In an experiment, researchers played a series of musical intervals - two-note sequences - to a large diverse group of six-month old babies. They found that the babies paid significantly more attention when the intervals were perfect octaves, fifths, or fourths than otherwise. These intervals are prevalent in the musical systems of most cultures around the world. Thus, humans probably have a biological predisposition to pay more attention to those intervals than to others.

Which one of the following, if true most strengthens the argument?

A) Several similar experiments using older children and adults found that these subjects, too, had a general tendency to pay more attention to octaves, fifths, and fourths than to other musical intervals.

B) None of the babies in the experiment had previous exposure to music from any culture.

C) All of the babies in the experiment had been exposed to music drawn equally from a wide variety of cultures around the world.

D) In a second experiment, these same babies showed no clear tendency to notice primary colors more than other colors.

E) Octaves, fifths, and fourths were played more frequently during the experiment than other musical intervals were.

A for me.
A: The conclusion uses "humans" to generalize the evidence from a study on babies. Hence, to strenghten the argument, we need a fact that humans (other than babies) have the inclination of choosing the intervals mentioned.
B: This strengthens the methodology used to prove that babies choose the intervals mentioned. Doesn't prove the conclusion about humans choosing the same intervals though.
C: Again proves that the methodology used was sound. No proof that the conclusion drawn applies to all humans and not just to babies.
D: Out of scope
E: Actually weakens the argument. If the babies were exposed more frequently to octaves, etc. then this increases their inclination to choose those over the others.

Spent around 1.5mins on this. Tough one!
What's the OA?
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10 Sep 2009, 00:40
1
Franklin wrote:
Quote:
Editorialist: Despite the importance it seems to have in our lives, money does not really exist. This is evident from the fact that all that would be needed to make money disappear would be a universal loss of belief in it. We witness this phenomenon on a small scale daily in the rises and falls of financial markets, whose fluctuations are often entirely independent of concrete causes and are the result of mere beliefs of investors.

The conclusion of the editorialist's argument can be properly drawn if which one of the following is assumed?

A) Anything that exists would continue to exist even if everyone were to stop believing in it.

B) Only if one can have mistaken beliefs about a thing does that thing exist, strictly speaking.

C) In order to exist, an entity must have practical consequences for those who believe in it.

D) If everyone believes in something, then that thing exists.

E) Whatever is true of money is true of financial markets generally.

D for me.
The assumption is actually quite clear from the statement in the stem "This is evident from the fact that all that would be needed to make money disappear would be a universal loss of belief in it."
Keywords used were "unversal loss of belief in it." So it assumes that if we don't believe that money exists, then it doesn't. The reverse of this is choice D in the options.

Sidenote: This reminds me of my Psychology class in college. For our finals exam, our professor put a single chair in front of all of us and asked us to prove that that chair did not exist. I wrote a 2-page essay to try and prove that the chair did not exist. I got a 3.0. My friend thought for one minute, answered a one-sentence answer and scored a 4.0! Guess what he wrote? In his answer sheet he wrote "What chair?"
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10 Sep 2009, 01:02
Franklin wrote:
Quote:
Scientist: A controversy in paleontology centers on the question of whether prehistoric human ancestors began to develop sophisticated tools before or after they came to stand upright. I argue that they stood upright first, simply because advanced toolmaking requires free use of hands, and standing upright makes this possible.

Which one of the following statements, if true, most weakens the scientist's argument?

A) Many animals that do not stand upright have learned to make basic tools.

B) Advanced hunting weapons have been discovered among the artifacts belonging to prehistoric human ancestors who did not stand upright.

C) Many prehistoric human ancestors who stood upright had no sophisticated tools.

D) Those prehistoric human ancestors who first came to stand upright had no more dexterity with their hands than did those who did not stand upright.

E) Many of the earliest sophisticated tools did not require their users to be able to stand upright.

My! This seems to be the most difficult one so far. I was torn among B, D and E!
But I'll go with D.
The statement states "...simply because advanced toolmaking requires free use of hands, and standing upright makes this possible." This theory/assumption is weakened if we prove that making tools by standing upright is not any easier than making tools by not standing upright. In D, it says that those who stood upright had no better skillfullness with their hands than those who did not stand upright.

What's the OA and OE? This is quite challenging!
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10 Sep 2009, 01:07
Franklin wrote:
2) after taking the GMAT last month I saw some questions that were much longer and much more difficult than those I encountered during my preparation. [/color][/b]
[/quote]

I couldn't agree more.

The CR questions were long, tougher and something I've never witnessed in either GMATPreps or OG's. I did lose track of time and confidence, may be, because I wasn't 100% confident in answering CR & RC questions, but nonetheless, IMO the real deal is tougher than GMATPrep.

I'd want to re-start my GMAT attempt, and this thread is definately a good start.

Kudos!
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10 Sep 2009, 01:07
Kudos by the way to Franklin for starting this challenging CR thread!
I've always wanted to practice LSAT CR but unfortunately the resource is not available in my country.

Thanks Franklin!
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10 Sep 2009, 02:57
Hrmm i am leaning towards D now. After reading the word dexterity.. i did not pay full attention to what was said there.

vanilla wrote:
Franklin wrote:
Quote:
Scientist: A controversy in paleontology centers on the question of whether prehistoric human ancestors began to develop sophisticated tools before or after they came to stand upright. I argue that they stood upright first, simply because advanced toolmaking requires free use of hands, and standing upright makes this possible.

Which one of the following statements, if true, most weakens the scientist's argument?

A) Many animals that do not stand upright have learned to make basic tools.

B) Advanced hunting weapons have been discovered among the artifacts belonging to prehistoric human ancestors who did not stand upright.

C) Many prehistoric human ancestors who stood upright had no sophisticated tools.

D) Those prehistoric human ancestors who first came to stand upright had no more dexterity with their hands than did those who did not stand upright.

E) Many of the earliest sophisticated tools did not require their users to be able to stand upright.

My! This seems to be the most difficult one so far. I was torn among B, D and E!
But I'll go with D.
The statement states "...simply because advanced toolmaking requires free use of hands, and standing upright makes this possible." This theory/assumption is weakened if we prove that making tools by standing upright is not any easier than making tools by not standing upright. In D, it says that those who stood upright had no better skillfullness with their hands than those who did not stand upright.

What's the OA and OE? This is quite challenging!

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10 Sep 2009, 07:15
1
Franklin wrote:
Okay, so I got a PM stating that the questions I've posted so far are too easy. I guess I need to rectify that!

It's bonus Wednesday ... I will post three questions since I will not be able to provide a question tomorrow (attending a seminar).

I thought about adding my reasoning to the discussion but I think that would be superfluous especially since snipertrader did such a fantastic job!

Quote:
In an experiment, researchers played a series of musical intervals - two-note sequences - to a large diverse group of six-month old babies. They found that the babies paid significantly more attention when the intervals were perfect octaves, fifths, or fourths than otherwise. These intervals are prevalent in the musical systems of most cultures around the world. Thus, humans probably have a biological predisposition to pay more attention to those intervals than to others.

Which one of the following, if true most strengthens the argument?

A) Several similar experiments using older children and adults found that these subjects, too, had a general tendency to pay more attention to octaves, fifths, and fourths than to other musical intervals.

B) None of the babies in the experiment had previous exposure to music from any culture.

C) All of the babies in the experiment had been exposed to music drawn equally from a wide variety of cultures around the world.

D) In a second experiment, these same babies showed no clear tendency to notice primary colors more than other colors.

E) Octaves, fifths, and fourths were played more frequently during the experiment than other musical intervals were.

IMO B. In B, we are eliminating the alternate cause, which strengthens the conclusion.
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10 Sep 2009, 09:33
1
Franklin wrote:
Quote:
In an experiment, researchers played a series of musical intervals - two-note sequences - to a large diverse group of six-month old babies. They found that the babies paid significantly more attention when the intervals were perfect octaves, fifths, or fourths than otherwise. These intervals are prevalent in the musical systems of most cultures around the world. Thus, humans probably have a biological predisposition to pay more attention to those intervals than to others.

Which one of the following, if true most strengthens the argument?

A) Several similar experiments using older children and adults found that these subjects, too, had a general tendency to pay more attention to octaves, fifths, and fourths than to other musical intervals.

B) None of the babies in the experiment had previous exposure to music from any culture.

C) All of the babies in the experiment had been exposed to music drawn equally from a wide variety of cultures around the world.

D) In a second experiment, these same babies showed no clear tendency to notice primary colors more than other colors.

E) Octaves, fifths, and fourths were played more frequently during the experiment than other musical intervals were.

Okay everyone the answer is B.

This question took me 1 minute 27 seconds to complete.

After reading the stimulus and the question stem I went through my step by step process.

First, I identified the conclusion: "Thus, humans probably have a biological predisposition to pay more attention to those intervals than to others."

Next I thought of ways that I could strengthen the conclusion. The way I go about this is by formulating answers (prior to reading the answer choices) that would strengthen the conclusion. Here are a few I came up with ... some of these get a little crazy!
- Humans are able to hear octaves, fifths, and fourths better as babies than as adults because human babies have eardrums that are less developed.
- A baby's brain becomes highly alert when music is played that primarily uses octaves, fifths and fourths because a baby's brain identifies and processes sound more efficiently than sight and touch.
- The babies selected for the study did not have any exposure to any type of music during the first six months of life.

Armed with those possible answer choices I look at the answer choices.

A) Several similar experiments using older children and adults found that these subjects, too, had a general tendency to pay more attention to octaves, fifths, and fourths than to other musical intervals.

Hmmm ... seems pretty good but I don't like the whole "had a general tendency to pay more attention" phrase.

B) None of the babies in the experiment had previous exposure to music from any culture.

I really like this one. If the babies had no exposure to music prior to the experiment then that really strengthens the conclusion that there is a "biological disposition."

C) All of the babies in the experiment had been exposed to music drawn equally from a wide variety of cultures around the world.

This weakens the conclusion because one can argue that since the babies heard the music prior to the experiment the disposition was influenced by other sources. It may be that a baby has a biological disposition to octaves, fifths and fourths but by exposing a baby to music leaves the door open for a counterargument.

D) In a second experiment, these same babies showed no clear tendency to notice primary colors more than other colors.

Irrelevant.

E) Octaves, fifths, and fourths were played more frequently during the experiment than other musical intervals were.

Weakens. If octaves, fifths and fourths are introduced more frequently an argument can be made that bias was introduced into the experiment and thus the reason for a baby's significant attention is familiarity with the octaves, fifths, and fourths.
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10 Sep 2009, 18:28
1
Franklin wrote:
Quote:
Scientist: A controversy in paleontology centers on the question of whether prehistoric human ancestors began to develop sophisticated tools before or after they came to stand upright. I argue that they stood upright first, simply because advanced toolmaking requires free use of hands, and standing upright makes this possible.

Which one of the following statements, if true, most weakens the scientist's argument?

A) Many animals that do not stand upright have learned to make basic tools.

B) Advanced hunting weapons have been discovered among the artifacts belonging to prehistoric human ancestors who did not stand upright.

C) Many prehistoric human ancestors who stood upright had no sophisticated tools.

D) Those prehistoric human ancestors who first came to stand upright had no more dexterity with their hands than did those who did not stand upright.

E) Many of the earliest sophisticated tools did not require their users to be able to stand upright.

Scientist's argument: Prehistoric human ancestors stood upright prior to the development of sophisticated tools.

What weakens the argument? Sophisticated tools were created before our prehistoric ancestors stood upright. (The mental image of how it must have looked caused me to chuckle.)

A) Who cares about many animals ... we only care about our prehistoric ancestors.

B) Correct. I find that the correct answer usually changes the wording just enough to make it appear different from the wording or terminology in the stimulus. For example, the stimulus uses the words "sophisticated tools" and in this answer choice the words "advanced hunting weapons."

C) Irrelevant.

D) How does this info weaken the scientist's argument? It doesn't.

E) Great ... but that still doesn't weaken the argument that prehistoric ancestors stood upright prior to the development of sophisticated tools.

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10 Sep 2009, 19:17
All there 3 were really tough and answer choices were confusing!
Franklin, do these questions come with grading wrt to difficulty?
I am just trying to co-relate them with the actual gmat difficulty level. Maybe these would land up in the 700+ bin?
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10 Sep 2009, 19:41
6
1
All there 3 were really tough and answer choices were confusing!
Franklin, do these questions come with grading wrt to difficulty?
I am just trying to co-relate them with the actual gmat difficulty level. Maybe these would land up in the 700+ bin?

Unfortunately, these questions don't come with a difficulty level but I can certainly give you an idea of where they would be in relation to the GMAT. On the actual test I had a couple similar to three you just did. I know I was in 700 level territory by the difficulty in CR and SC ... more than likely I hadn't missed any CRs at that point ... and that's how I screwed up my timing because I took longer to ensure that those questions were correct and got behind on the test. So back to question about the LSAT questions I posted ... I'm pretty sure that those three questions would be high 700 level type questions (when I say high I mean HIGH!) like 780+ high.

If I were you I would try to get the method of analyzing the question down pat, i.e., identify the conclusion, understand what the question is asking, and then formulate answer choices. If you can do this you'll rock the Verbal section. You may not get a 51 verbal score but who's looking for that? I know that I'm not. It would be nice but there comes a point where a 700 score is enough for any MBA program and after that point adcom members start looking at other things. Don't get me wrong I want to do as well as I can but I also realize there is a great deal of luck involved in terms of questions tested, etc. For example, I have a friend who got a 790 with a 51V score. He can't tell me how he got the score especially since he never scored above 700 on any practice tests. He just had a good day in the verbal. It happens. So just have confidence in how you approach a question and you should do very well.

If you didn't get any of three questions correct so what ... remember this is for practice and when you do the GMAT problems you'll be much faster and have a better understanding of how to attack the question types. The first two you did were really good. You followed the process and got the answer. I thought your analysis of both questions was spot on.

I'll try to find problems that are challenging but more on the GMAT's level. I think the first two I posted would definitely be 700 level questions. I will also continue to write out my reasoning in hopes that it will help you and the other GMATclubbers reading this thread. I'm no guru but I think I have something to offer for the CR question types.
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10 Sep 2009, 19:58
Thanks Franklin,

I am also learning a lot from your way of "thinking" when in comes to CR. The more difficult questions one sees (irrespective of getting it right or wrong), the more prepared he/she is for the exam

Cheers!
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10 Sep 2009, 21:43
Wow! Knowing the correct answers made me realize that these CRs require more than a two-step analysis...

I'm quite convinced with the OA for:
"In an experiment, researchers played a series of musical intervals - two-note sequences - to a large diverse group of six-month old babies..."
Although I feel that the reference on humans instead of just babies should have been addressed by the OA.
and
"Scientist: A controversy in paleontology centers on the question of whether prehistoric human ancestors began to develop sophisticated tools before or after they came to stand upright..."
But I'm still not so convinced with the OA of
"Editorialist: Despite the importance it seems to have in our lives, money does not really exist. This is evident from the fact that all that would be needed to make money disappear would be a universal loss of belief in it.."
We are asked what assumption is used. Since the conclusion is "All that would be needed to make money disappear would be a universal loss of belief in it" then the assumption has to support the purported fact that money will disappear if people stop believing in it. Right?
How does A fit into this?
Thanks!
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11 Sep 2009, 06:44
Those for sure felt like the ones from the real test as I felt very flustered taking the verbal part and scored way below what I scored on any practice exam on verbal. I even scored 2 43's on some Bell Curves exams.

Can some one please explain the Shell Game theory? I chose B on the prehistoric human question and then I saw that it could have been the Shell Game choice so ignore.
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11 Sep 2009, 07:44
I also did the same thing for the prehistoric human question. In fact, i even made a note of it!
I was uber confident that B was wrong as it was trying to slightly modify the wording to make it out of scope!
Obviously i was wrong

castrocmc wrote:
Those for sure felt like the ones from the real test as I felt very flustered taking the verbal part and scored way below what I scored on any practice exam on verbal. I even scored 2 43's on some Bell Curves exams.

Can some one please explain the Shell Game theory? I chose B on the prehistoric human question and then I saw that it could have been the Shell Game choice so ignore.

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11 Sep 2009, 08:06
So what is the Shell Game? Can you explain it?
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11 Sep 2009, 08:15
Shell Game answers are similar to the conclusion in wording but may touch on a different component or somewhat out of scope.

castrocmc wrote:
So what is the Shell Game? Can you explain it?

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11 Sep 2009, 09:15
Wow that is tricky bc it is an easy trap. Any suggestions on howto practice those types?
Re: Franklin's Super-Fly Critical Reasoning Question Thread &nbs [#permalink] 11 Sep 2009, 09:15

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