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# Franklin's Super-Fly Critical Reasoning Question Thread

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07 Sep 2009, 16:52
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65% (02:30) correct 35% (01:31) wrong based on 188 sessions

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Hi GMATclubbers!

I'm creating this thread because 1) Snipertrader gave me the idea; and 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. When I did the OG I missed 5 questions total and on GMATprep I usually missed one or maybe two questions on CR so I felt that CR wasn't a weak area. The difficult question types I mentioned reminded me of some of the questions on the LSAT. (I'm a reformed lawyer in case you're wondering).

So I decided to post LSAT questions that are similar to those I saw. I will limit the LSAT questions to the categories tested on the GMAT:

Assumption
Weaken
Strengthen
Draw a Conclusion
Analyze the Argument Structure

I hope that by doing this we all can benefit. Because I hadn't anticipated such difficult questions my timing was thrown off and my verbal score suffered. I plan to retake the GMAT in October so this will be good practice for me ... and I hope for all of you as well! I'll post one a day or every other day. Please write out your reasoning and I will write out mine. Just an FYI, I approach all CR problems the same way ... while reading critically I look for the conclusion ... I think of what the question stem is asking ... and then I think of potential answers. My goal is to complete these questions in a minute thirty or less.

Let's get started!

Quote:
For the last three years, entomologists have been searching for a parasite to help control a whitefly that has recently become a serious crop pest. Believing this new pest to be a variety of sweet-potato whitefly, the entomologists confined their search to parasites of the sweet-potato whitefly. Genetic research now shows the new pest to be a distinct species, the silverleaf whitefly. Therefore, the search for a parasite has so far been wasted effort.

Which one of the following is an assumption on which the argument relies?

A) All varieties of the sweet-potato whitefly are serious crop pests.

B) If a crop pest has a parasite, that parasite can always be used to control that pest.

C) The chances of successfully identifying a useful parasite of the new pest have increased since the proper identification of the pest.

D) No parasite of the sweet-potato whitefly is also a parasite of the silverleaf whitefly.

E) In the last three years, the entomologists found no parasites of the sweet-potato whitefly.

Last edited by Franklin on 08 Sep 2009, 14:47, edited 1 time in total.
If you have any questions
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07 Sep 2009, 19:11
1
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Let me start off

IMO - D

Conclusion - The search for a parasite has so far been wasted effort.
Why would this be so - If No parasite of the sweet-potato whitefly is also a parasite of the silverleaf whitefly and search is restricted to the silverleaf whitefly it will yield zero result.
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07 Sep 2009, 19:28
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Agree it's D. Good initiative Franklin!
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07 Sep 2009, 23:05
Good thread, would love to be a part of it!!
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07 Sep 2009, 23:31
1
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D here as well!

The search is indeed futile if no parasite of the sweet-potato whitefly is also a parasite of the silverleaf whitefly .

What's OA?

Great initiative Franklin!
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08 Sep 2009, 02:08
Kudos!

Also, new tag added to the list - LSAT.
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08 Sep 2009, 07:32
just curious...why is (E) incorrect?
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08 Sep 2009, 08:35
1
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Hi here's the reasoning why E is not right!!!

For the passage above:
CONCLUSION: search for a parasite to control white fly is wasted:
PREMISE : all the research for the parasite is done thinking it belongs to potato white fly which
indeed belongs to silver fly.

ASSUMPTIONS: 1.potato white fly and silver fly are no way related[similiar genes]
2.no similar parasites for both of them.

But for option E , the assumption actually says there are no potato fly parasites, which is a bit extreme.Moreover in line 2 the premise actually says there are some parasites on which the eptomologists had worked on.

Repp me if u like it!!!
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08 Sep 2009, 08:44
I think E just restates the stem of the question.

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08 Sep 2009, 09:10
2
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D is the correct answer! Good job everyone. I will post another question tonight.

I'm timing myself on these question types. Feel free to include how long it took you to correctly answer the question. I did this question in a minute and sixteen seconds.

The process of getting the right answer:

I first identified the conclusion which is easy on this particular question because of the conclusion indicator "Therefore".

Conclusion: Therefore, the search for a parasite has so far been wasted effort.

I next read the question stem which indicates an assumption question type. So I need to identify a missing piece that logically leads to the conclusion.

Summarizing the premises gives us the info that entomologists identified (incorrectly) the sweet-potato whitefly as the crop pest and looked for a parasite (out of an unidentified number of parasites) to control the whitefly population. Unfortunately for the entomologists the silverleaf whitefly was the culprit. In order for the 3 years of effort to be wasted none of the parasites identified for the sweet-potato whitefly are parasites for the silverleaf whitefly.

On to the answer choices ...

A) All varieties of the sweet-potato whitefly are serious crop pests.

This answer is irrelevant. It could very well be true but we want to know why the entomologists' effort was wasted.

B) If a crop pest has a parasite, that parasite can always be used to control that pest.

We don't care whether a parasite will control the pest population. We are trying to ascertain why the entomologists' effort was wasted.

C) The chances of successfully identifying a useful parasite of the new pest have increased since the proper identification of the pest.

We don't care about the chances. Totally irrelevant.

D) No parasite of the sweet-potato whitefly is also a parasite of the silverleaf whitefly.

Bingo.

E) In the last three years, the entomologists found no parasites of the sweet-potato whitefly.

This may seem like a good answer choice but it conflicts with the information in the passage which states that the entomologists confined their search to parasites of the sweet-potato whitefly. This essentially means that the sweet-potato whitefly has parasites.
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08 Sep 2009, 09:24
Great post Franklin. I am already learning a lot to think like a lawyer
Including timing is a great idea.

Found a neat site for that for those who are too lazy to look at watches.

http://www.online-stopwatch.com/
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08 Sep 2009, 12:54
1
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Expert's post
Great post Franklin. I am already learning a lot to think like a lawyer
Including timing is a great idea.

Found a neat site for that for those who are too lazy to look at watches.

http://www.online-stopwatch.com/

You can actually paste it into the question - we have the functionality on GMAT Club:

Click a button in the Message Post window that says "stopwatch" or write this:
Code:
[stopwatch][/stopwatch]

And the result will be a stopwatch like this:

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08 Sep 2009, 13:25
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I am not sure if it helps or not.

My approach for an assumption Question type is - the correct ans choice Must be True and connected to the conclusion for the conclusion to be true.

Based on this, only option D is satisfied.
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08 Sep 2009, 14:25
mrsmarthi wrote:
I am not sure if it helps or not.

My approach for an assumption Question type is - the correct ans choice Must be True and connected to the conclusion for the conclusion to be true.

Based on this, only option D is satisfied.

Thank you mrsmarthi. Anything that you can add helps the discussion. I'm certainly no guru when it comes to this stuff but I figure there are so many smart people on this site that if we put our heads together maybe we'll reach our goals to conquer the GMAT.
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08 Sep 2009, 14:45
For anyone who decides to answer the question please put down your reasoning ... even if you think it blows! Writing out how you approach the question will help everyone reading the thread.

The following question took me 1 minute 8 seconds to answer...
(This stimulus is approximately the length of the 3 CR questions I saw on the actual exam. Definitely threw me for a loop!)

Quote:
It is proposed to allow the sale, without prescription, of a medication that physicians currently prescribe to treat the common ear inflammation called "swimmer's ear." The principal objection is that most people lack the expertise for proper self-diagnosis and might not seek medical help for more serious conditions in the mistaken belief that they have swimmer's ear. Yet in a recent study, of 1,000 people who suspected that they had swimmer's ear, 84 percent had made a correct diagnosis - a slightly better accuracy rate than physicians have in diagnosing swimmer's ear. Thus, clearly, most people can diagnose swimmer's ear in themselves without ever having to consult a physician.

Which one of the following, if true, most undermines the conclusion?

A) Case in which swimmer's ear progresses to more serious infections are very rare.

B) Most of those who suspected incorrectly that they had swimmer's ear also believed that they had other ailments that in fact they did not have.

C) Most of the people who diagnosed themselves correctly had been treated by a physician for a prior occurrence of swimmer's ear.

D) Physicians who specialize in ear diseases are generally able to provide more accurate diagnoses than those provided by general practitioners.

E) For many people who develop swimmer's ear, the condition disappears without medical or pharmaceutical intervention.
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08 Sep 2009, 15:21
My take
C took me 2:41

Conclusion is easy on this one. So according to the 1000 people, you can self diagnose the illness. I need to show why I either can't self diagnose or attack the 1000 people premise.

A. Out of scope/who cares. And does not weaken premise.
B. Other illness - who cares
C. attacks the reason why the 1000 people had such a high rate of success, so if they didn't previously know how...maybe it wouldnt be so high.
D. Was stuck on this one too. I think its wrong bc it is comparing 2 types of doctors but doesnt attack why I still couldn't self diagnose.
E. Doesn't matter to the conclusion of self diagnosing.
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08 Sep 2009, 19:21
[stopwatch]2.2[/stopwatch]

Conclusion - Most people can diagnose swimmer's ear in themselves without ever having to consult a physician.
Premise - Of 1,000 people who suspected that they had swimmer's ear, 84 percent had made a correct diagnosis - a slightly better accuracy rate than physicians have in diagnosing swimmer's ear.

Question Type - Weaken

So immediately i start thinking of other possible reasons why this might be. I also see 1000 people, so something to do with survey/sample bias. Lets move on to the answers.

A) Case in which swimmer's ear progresses to more serious infections are very rare. - Really, who cares?

B) Most of those who suspected incorrectly that they had swimmer's ear also believed that they had other ailments that in fact they did not have. Ok, so it talks about the suspicion of people but leads us to other ailments. Will leave it as a weak contender

C) Most of the people who diagnosed themselves correctly had been treated by a physician for a prior occurrence of swimmer's ear. - Aha, this indicates bias - What if the people already new they had swimmers ear. So basically the sample is kinda self selected. Strong Contender

D) Physicians who specialize in ear diseases are generally able to provide more accurate diagnoses than those provided by general practitioners. - Totally out of scope

E) For many people who develop swimmer's ear, the condition disappears without medical or pharmaceutical intervention.
Totally out of scope

So IMO ans is C

EDIT : The stopwatch feature is not working...or am i missing something ?
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09 Sep 2009, 17:27
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.
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09 Sep 2009, 17:41
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good Q...I am going with B, as we need to prove that Babies has not been contaminated in this experiment...

tough one with A tho but didn't choose it because it doesn't eliminate the possibility of these samples has all been contaminated prior to this experiment...
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09 Sep 2009, 18:49
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.
Re: Franklin's Super-Fly Critical Reasoning Question Thread   [#permalink] 09 Sep 2009, 18:49

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