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GMAT Prep RC: The idea that equipping homes with electrical

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New post 24 May 2016, 10:33
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Question 1
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A
B
C
D
E

Question Stats:

52% (01:27) correct 48% (01:24) wrong based on 356

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Question 2
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A
B
C
D
E

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81% (00:17) correct 19% (00:12) wrong based on 361

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A
B
C
D
E

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70% (00:31) correct 30% (00:54) wrong based on 332

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The idea that equipping homes with electrical appliances and other “modern” household technologies would eliminate drudgery, save labor time, and increase leisure for women who were full-time home workers remained largely unchallenged until the women’s movement of the 1970’s spawned the groundbreaking and influential works of sociologist Joann Vanek and historian Ruth Cowan. Vanek analyzed 40 years of time-use surveys conducted by home economists to argue that electrical appliances and other modern household technologies reduced the effort required to perform specific tasks, but ownership of these appliances did not correlate with less time spent on housework by full-time home workers. In fact, time spent by these workers remained remarkably constant—at about 52 to 54 hours per week—from the 1920’s to the 1960’s, a period of significant change in household technology. In surveying two centuries of household technology in the United States, Cowan argued that the “industrialization” of the home often resulted in more work for full-time home workers because the use of such devices as coal stoves, water pumps, and vacuum cleaners tended to reduce the workload of married-women’s helpers (husbands, sons, daughters, and servants) while promoting a more rigorous standard of housework. The full-time home worker’s duties also shifted to include more household management, child care, and the post-Second World War phenomenon of being “Mom’s taxi.”

1) According to the passage, which of the following is
true about the idea mentioned in the highlighted text?
A. It has been undermined by data found in time-use
surveys conducted by home economists.
B. It was based on a definition of housework that was
explicitly rejected by Vanek and Cowan.
C. It is more valid for the time period studied by
Cowan than for the time period studied by Vanek.
D. It is based on an underestimation of the time that
married women spent on housework prior to the
industrialization of the household.
E. It inaccurately suggested that new household
technologies would reduce the effort required to
perform housework.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
A

2) The passage is primarily concerned with
A. analyzing a debate between two scholars
B. challenging the evidence on which a new theory is
based
C. describing how certain scholars’ work countered a
prevailing view
D. presenting the research used to support a
traditional theory
E. evaluating the methodology used to study a
particular issue

[Reveal] Spoiler:
C

3) The passage suggests that Vanek and Cowan would
agree that modernizing household technology did not
A. reduce the workload of servants and other
household helpers
B. raise the standard of housework that women who
were full-time home workers set for themselves
C. decrease the effort required to perform household
tasks
D. reduce the time spent on housework by women
who were full-time home workers
E. result in a savings of money used for household maintenance

[Reveal] Spoiler:
D

[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #1 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #2 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #3 OA

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Kudos [?]: 17023 [1], given: 1963

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Re: GMAT Prep RC: The idea that equipping homes with electrical [#permalink]

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New post 24 May 2016, 10:35

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New post 24 May 2016, 21:26
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Read the passage and answered the second and third question in 3 min 8 sec.
Please highlight the relevant text for Q1.

2) The passage is primarily concerned with
A. analyzing a debate between two scholars
Incorrect. The Passage puts forth the scholars arguments and findings but does not analyze these.
B. challenging the evidence on which a new theory is
based
Incorrect. The passage does not discuss a new theory but a prevailing belief.
C. describing how certain scholars’ work countered a
prevailing view
Correct. The prevailing view mentioned in the first sentence has been countered by the work done by 2 scholars.
D. presenting the research used to support a
traditional theory
Incorrect. Traditional theory is not supported. In fact, a prevailing view has been challenged.
E. evaluating the methodology used to study a
particular issue
Incorrect. The passage does not discuss methodology. It presents the findings of two scholars against a prevalent view.

3) The passage suggests that Vanek and Cowan would
agree that modernizing household technology did not
A. reduce the workload of servants and other
household helpers
Incorrect. In fact Cowen agreed that this thing did happen. Refer line: "Cowan argued that the “industrialization” of the home often resulted in more work for full-time home workers because the use of such devices as coal stoves, water pumps, and vacuum cleaners tended to reduce the workload of married-women’s helpers (husbands, sons, daughters, and servants)...."
B. raise the standard of housework that women who
were full-time home workers set for themselves
Incorrect. This is also something that Cowen agreed happened. Refer same line as A above: "Cowan argued that the “industrialization” of the home often resulted in .......while promoting a more rigorous standard of housework."
C. decrease the effort required to perform household
tasks
Incorrect. Again, Vanek agreed that this did happen. Refer lines: "Vanek analyzed 40 years of time-use surveys conducted by home economists to argue that electrical appliances and other modern household technologies reduced the effort required to perform specific tasks,...."
D. reduce the time spent on housework by women
who were full-time home workers
Correct. Both Vanek and Cowen agreed that this DID NOT happen. Refer lines: "but ownership of these appliances did not correlate with less time spent on housework by full-time home workers" and "Cowan argued that the “industrialization” of the home often resulted in more work for full-time home workers"
E. result in a savings of money used for household maintenance
Incorrect. Both scholars never discussed money being saved.

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New post 24 May 2016, 21:34
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Ok. Regarding the first question, I am guessing the idea mentioned in the highlighted text refers to the idea mentioned in the first sentence of the passage.

1) According to the passage, which of the following is
true about the idea mentioned in the highlighted text?
A. It has been undermined by data found in time-use
surveys conducted by home economists.
Correct. Findings from the surveys conducted byCowen and Vanek challenge the idea in the first sentence.
B. It was based on a definition of housework that was
explicitly rejected by Vanek and Cowan.
Incorrect. Definition of housework is not even discussed in the passage.
C. It is more valid for the time period studied by
Cowan than for the time period studied by Vanek.
Incorrect. The passage does not provide information to infer this.
D. It is based on an underestimation of the time that
married women spent on housework prior to the
industrialization of the household.
Incorrect. The passage does not say that the prevalent view or the idea is based on an underestimation of the time that married women spent on housework prior to the industrialization of the household. In fact, the passage says that the belief that time saved from industrialization meant more leisure time for women is not correct based on the findings of the two scholars.
E. It inaccurately suggested that new household
technologies would reduce the effort required to
perform housework.
Incorrect. In fact the scholars agreed that new household technologies reduced the effort required to perform housework.

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New post 24 May 2016, 23:10
Thanks for the question, here is my data:

Time = 4'55''
Ans:
1A
2C
3D

P/s: is it correct that this is 700-level question?
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New post 14 Jul 2016, 12:06
The passage suggests that Vanek and Cowan would agree that modernizing household technology did not

A. reduce the workload of servants and other household helpers
B. raise the standard of housework that women who were full-time home workers set for themselves
C. decrease the effort required to perform household tasks
D. reduce the time spent on housework by women who were full-time home workers
E. result in a savings of money used for household maintenance

Can anyone help me with the reasoning for option B here? Is it totally out of scope answer or 180-degree opposite? I am not sure if these lines from the passage helps to answer this question - 'Cowan argued that the “industrialization” of the home often resulted in more work for full-time home workers because the use of such devices as coal stoves, water pumps, and vacuum cleaners tended to reduce the workload of married-women’s helpers (husbands, sons, daughters, and servants) while promoting a more rigorous standard of housework. '

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Re: GMAT Prep RC: The idea that equipping homes with electrical [#permalink]

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New post 15 Aug 2016, 09:56
1) According to the passage, which of the following is
true about the idea mentioned in the highlighted text?
A. It has been undermined by data found in time-use
surveys conducted by home economists.
B. It was based on a definition of housework that was
explicitly rejected by Vanek and Cowan.
C. It is more valid for the time period studied by
Cowan than for the time period studied by Vanek.
D. It is based on an underestimation of the time that
married women spent on housework prior to the
industrialization of the household.
E. It inaccurately suggested that new household
technologies would reduce the effort required to
perform housework.

Vanek analyzed 40 years of time-use surveys conducted by home economists to argue that electrical appliances and other modern household technologies reduced the effort required to perform specific tasks, but ownership of these appliances did not correlate with less time spent on housework by full-time home workers.

How come the idea was undetermined - "It has been undermined by data found in time-use
surveys conducted by home economists."

Vanek analyzed these data and found that ownership of these appliances did not correlate with less time spent on housework by full-time home workers.
so it was somehow weakening against the idea.


E. It inaccurately suggested that new household
technologies would reduce the effort required to
perform housework.

what is wrong with it?

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Re: GMAT Prep RC: The idea that equipping homes with electrical [#permalink]

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New post 17 Aug 2016, 06:47
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abrakadabra21 wrote:
1) According to the passage, which of the following is
true about the idea mentioned in the highlighted text?
A. It has been undermined by data found in time-use
surveys conducted by home economists.
B. It was based on a definition of housework that was
explicitly rejected by Vanek and Cowan.
C. It is more valid for the time period studied by
Cowan than for the time period studied by Vanek.
D. It is based on an underestimation of the time that
married women spent on housework prior to the
industrialization of the household.
E. It inaccurately suggested that new household
technologies would reduce the effort required to
perform housework.

Vanek analyzed 40 years of time-use surveys conducted by home economists to argue that electrical appliances and other modern household technologies reduced the effort required to perform specific tasks, but ownership of these appliances did not correlate with less time spent on housework by full-time home workers.

How come the idea was undetermined - "It has been undermined by data found in time-use
surveys conducted by home economists."

Vanek analyzed these data and found that ownership of these appliances did not correlate with less time spent on housework by full-time home workers.
so it was somehow weakening against the idea.


E. It inaccurately suggested that new household
technologies would reduce the effort required to
perform housework.

what is wrong with it?


The passage states that the economists agree that the efforts have been reduced. Hence, we cannot say that the idea mentioned is inaccurately suggesting the efforts reduction. Hence, E is wrong.

The passage clearly states a prevailing view which was not questioned until 1930 and then it presents information that undermine this view. Thus, A is per our analysis.
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Re: GMAT Prep RC: The idea that equipping homes with electrical [#permalink]

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New post 17 Aug 2016, 06:51
Keats wrote:
The passage suggests that Vanek and Cowan would agree that modernizing household technology did not

A. reduce the workload of servants and other household helpers
B. raise the standard of housework that women who were full-time home workers set for themselves
C. decrease the effort required to perform household tasks
D. reduce the time spent on housework by women who were full-time home workers
E. result in a savings of money used for household maintenance

Can anyone help me with the reasoning for option B here? Is it totally out of scope answer or 180-degree opposite? I am not sure if these lines from the passage helps to answer this question - 'Cowan argued that the “industrialization” of the home often resulted in more work for full-time home workers because the use of such devices as coal stoves, water pumps, and vacuum cleaners tended to reduce the workload of married-women’s helpers (husbands, sons, daughters, and servants) while promoting a more rigorous standard of housework. '


B is completely opposite. It clearly suggests that the workload of married-women’s helpers has reduced and the standard of housework is promoted.

Notice that the questions asks DID NOT. So, we need to find something that is exactly opposite to what modernizing household technology would do.

It is mentioned in the passage that although the efforts have reduced, the time spend is almost the same.

Hence, Choice D "reduce the time spent on housework by women who were full-time home workers" is wrong.
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New post 24 Sep 2016, 04:41
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1) A. It has been undermined by data found in time-use surveys conducted by home
economists ... the analysis of the time-use surveys is said to be done by Vanek in order
to disprove (undermine) the idea (prevailing belief) mentioned in the highlighted text.
CORRECT
B. It was based on a definition of housework that was explicitly rejected by Vanek and
Cowan … the passage only mentions the idea in the first line and nowhere states the
basis of the idea.
C. It is more valid for the time period studied by Cowan than for the time period studied
by Vanek … a typical mathematical answer. There is nowhere a relative comparison of
the two scholar’s works. Moreover, both scholars have disproved the validity of the
highlighted idea through their arguments … 180 degree answer
D. It is based on an underestimation of the time that married women spent on housework
prior to the industrialization of the household … the idea talks explicitly about the post
industrialization of the household and certainly not about any underestimation.
E. It inaccurately suggested that new household technologies would reduce the effort
required to perform housework … the idea exclusively believes in reducing the time
not the effort … effort reduction is mentioned in the passage as an inference out of
Vanek’s analysis.

2) analyzing a debate between two scholars … there is no debate and certainly not
between the two scholars mentioned … they’re both on the same side.
B. challenging the evidence on which a new theory is based … challenging implies the
author must have an opinion and the tone should be negative. There is no theory.
C. describing how certain scholars’ work countered a prevailing view … Exactly what the
passage does. CORRECT.
Line 30
D. presenting the research used to support a traditional theory … there is no theory in the
passage … even if the idea were to be considered a theory the answer choice runs 180
degree.
E. evaluating the methodology used to study a particular issue … evaluating means a
balanced tone.

3)A. reduce the workload of servants and other household helpers … 180 degrees answer …
in lines 20 - 27 Cowan argues for the exact opposite
B. raise the standard of housework that women who were full-time home workers set for
themselves … full time home workers setting standards for themselves is nowhere
mentioned in the passage
C. decrease the effort required to perform household tasks ... 180 degrees … line 12
Vanek says the exact opposite to this choice.
D. reduce the time spent on housework by women who were full-time home workers …
lines 12 – 15 (Vanek) and lines 21 – 22 (Cowan) confirm this answer choice accurately.
CORRECT
E. result in a savings of money used for household maintenance … money savings is not
even remotely associated with the passage

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GMAT Prep RC: The idea that equipping homes with electrical [#permalink]

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New post 13 Feb 2017, 11:59
2 min 59 sec including reading time. All correct.

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Re: GMAT Prep RC: The idea that equipping homes with electrical [#permalink]

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New post 20 Aug 2017, 11:50
there is another question about this passage that I want to ask..

According to the passage, Cowan asserts which of the following about married women's helpers over the past two centuries ?

a) they were encouraged to participate more actively in the work of the household by the advent of modern conveniences
b) the industrialization of the home affected the time spent on housework in the same way
c) they spent more time on household tasks because of the more rigorous standards of housework promoted by the industrialization of the home.
d) they had less leisure time after the industrialization of the home than has been assumed by most historians
e) they spent less time on housework with the advent of such devices as the coal stove and the water pump.

I chose C, and the correct answer is E. Is there anybody who can explain the reasoning here?

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Re: GMAT Prep RC: The idea that equipping homes with electrical [#permalink]

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New post 20 Aug 2017, 23:52
bbb789 wrote:
there is another question about this passage that I want to ask..

According to the passage, Cowan asserts which of the following about married women's helpers over the past two centuries ?

a) they were encouraged to participate more actively in the work of the household by the advent of modern conveniences
b) the industrialization of the home affected the time spent on housework in the same way
c) they spent more time on household tasks because of the more rigorous standards of housework promoted by the industrialization of the home.
d) they had less leisure time after the industrialization of the home than has been assumed by most historians
e) they spent less time on housework with the advent of such devices as the coal stove and the water pump.

I chose C, and the correct answer is E. Is there anybody who can explain the reasoning here?


Cowan argued that the “industrialization” of the home often resulted in more work for full-time home workers because the use of such devices as coal stoves, water pumps, and vacuum cleaners tended to reduce the workload of married-women’s helpers (husbands, sons, daughters, and servants) while promoting a more rigorous standard of housework.

These devices were used by helpers and not married women. Now the helpers used to do the same things before, now with the new devices the standard went up and at the same time time for the work went down.

Hope this helps!
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Re: GMAT Prep RC: The idea that equipping homes with electrical   [#permalink] 20 Aug 2017, 23:52
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