GMAT Question of the Day - Daily to your Mailbox; hard ones only

It is currently 10 Dec 2019, 19:24

Close

GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track
Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

Close

Request Expert Reply

Confirm Cancel

In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported

  new topic post reply Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  
Author Message
TAGS:

Hide Tags

Find Similar Topics 
Retired Moderator
User avatar
Status: 2000 posts! I don't know whether I should feel great or sad about it! LOL
Joined: 04 Oct 2009
Posts: 924
Location: Peru
Schools: Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, MIT & HKS (Government)
WE 1: Economic research
WE 2: Banking
WE 3: Government: Foreign Trade and SMEs
In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post Updated on: 16 Jun 2019, 21:57
4
38
00:00
A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

  25% (medium)

Question Stats:

77% (01:52) correct 23% (02:12) wrong based on 3428 sessions

HideShow timer Statistics

In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported oil. Malvernia recently implemented a program to convert heating systems from oil to natural gas. Malvernia currently produces more natural gas each year than it uses, and oil production in Malvernian oil fields is increasing at a steady pace. If these trends in fuel production and usage continue, therefore, Malvernian reliance on foreign sources for fuel is likely to decline soon.

Which of the following would it be most useful to establish in evaluating the argument?


(A) When, if ever, will production of oil in Malvernia outstrip production of natural gas?

(B) Is Malvernia among the countries that rely most on imported oil?

(C) What proportion of Malvernia's total energy needs is met by hydroelectric, solar, and nuclear power?

(D) Is the amount of oil used each year in Malvernia for generating electricity and fuel for transportation increasing?

(E) Have any existing oil-burning heating systems in Malvernia already been converted to natural-gas-burning heating systems?


The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 13th Edition, 2012

Practice Question
Question No.: CR 72
Page: 522


Argument Evaluation

Situation
Malvernia has relied heavily on imported oil, but recently began a program to convert heating systems from oil to natural gas. Malvernia produces more natural gas than it uses, so it will probably reduce its reliance on imported oils if these trends continue.

Reasoning
Which option provides the information that it would be most useful to know in evaluating the argument? In other words, we are looking for the option which—depending on whether it was answered yes or no—would either most weaken or most strengthen the argument. The argument indicates that Malvernia will be using less oil for heating and will be producing more oil domestically. But the conclusion that Malvernia's reliance on foreign oil will decline, assuming the current trends mentioned continue, would be seriously undermined if there was something in the works that was bound to offset these trends, for instance, if it turned out that the country's need for oil was going to rise drastically in the coming years.

(A) Since both counteract the need for imported oil, it makes little difference to the argument whether domestic oil production exceeds domestic natural gas.

(B) Whether there are many countries that rely more on foreign oil than Malvernia would have little impact on whether Malvernia's need for foreign oil can be expected to decline.

(C) Since there is no information in the argument about whether Malvernia can expect an increase or decrease from these other energy sources, it does not matter how much they now provide.

(D) Correct. This option provides the information that it would be most useful to know in evaluating the argument.

(E) The argument tells us that a program has begun recently to convert heating systems from oil to gas. So, even if no such conversions have been completed, the argument still indicates that they can be expected to occur.

_________________
"Life’s battle doesn’t always go to stronger or faster men; but sooner or later the man who wins is the one who thinks he can."

My Integrated Reasoning Logbook / Diary: http://gmatclub.com/forum/my-ir-logbook-diary-133264.html

GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings

Originally posted by metallicafan on 26 Oct 2010, 08:51.
Last edited by Bunuel on 16 Jun 2019, 21:57, edited 3 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
Most Helpful Expert Reply
Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor
User avatar
Joined: 23 Oct 2013
Posts: 144
Re: In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 10 May 2015, 16:47
28
22
A "most useful to evaluate" question is typically best approached from a weaken mindset. Look to establish the conclusion and premises, decipher the gap in logic, and then think about how you would attack the gap. The correct answer will be focused on one of the gaps in logic.

Here the argument states that while Malvernia relied heavily on imported oil in the past, the company has implemented a program to convert heating systems from oil to natural gas, and the country is steadily increasing its oil production each year. From these premises the argument concludes that, if these trends continue, Malvernia is likely to experience a reduced dependency on foreign oil in the future. The primary gap in logic here is that this argument is focused on the supply of oil increasing and then one demand of the oil potentially decreasing (heating systems). However, there could be many other oil demands that increase drastically, potentially more than offsetting these factors. Answer D correctly addresses this, because if the amount of oil used for generating electricity and transportation increases greatly, Malvernia may end up depending even more on foreign oil, not less, and thus the conclusion would not hold.

Answer choice A is a pretty irrelevant comparison. Even though Malvernia currently produces more natural gas than it uses, it may just use essentially zero natural gas. Answer choice B is completely out of scope - other countries don't matter. Answer choice C is also out of scope - the argument is not discussing alternative energy sources. And answer choice E is irrelevant. Knowing whether any systems have currently been converted (may 1 has, maybe 1,000,000 have) or not doesn't affect this argument.

I hope this helps!
Most Helpful Community Reply
Manager
Manager
avatar
B
Joined: 27 Dec 2014
Posts: 57
Concentration: Leadership, Technology
Reviews Badge
Re: In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 10 May 2015, 13:16
14
26
In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported oil. Malvernia recently implemented a program to convert heating systems from oil to natural gas. Malvernia currently produces more natural gas each year than it uses, and oil production in Malvernian oil fields is increasing at a steady pace. If these trends in fuel production and usage continue, therefore, Malvernian reliance on foreign sources for fuel is likely to decline soon.

Which of the following would it be most useful to establish in evaluating the argument?

(A) When, if ever, will production of oil in Malvernia outstrip production of natural gas?
(B) Is Malvernia among the countries that rely most on imported oil?
(C) What proportion of Malvernia's total energy needs is met by hydroelectric, solar, and nuclear power?
(D) Is the amount of oil used each year in Malvernia for generating electricity and fuel for transportation increasing?
(E) Have any existing oil-burning heating systems in Malvernia already been converted to natural-gas-burning heating systems?

Malvernia

Step 1: Identify the Question

In the question stem, the words useful to establish in evaluating indicate that this is an Evaluate the Argument question.

Step 2: Deconstruct the Argument

Past: M lots I oil

Recent: heating oil → gas

Now: make > gas than use

oil prod incr steady

If trends cont → M rely less on foreign fuel

The conclusion is in the form of an if-then statement: If these trends continue, then something else will happen. It’s important to note that the author’s argument is predicated on the idea that the trends will continue. Don’t fall into a trap based on the possibility that the trends will not continue; the author hasn’t concluded anything about what might happen if the trends do not continue. The author is only claiming that her conclusion is true if M continues to produce more gas each year than it uses and if oil production keeps increasing at a steady pace.

What does this argument assume? M already has to import oil, but the argument assumes that increasing oil production at a steady pace will allow the country to reduce its oil imports. What if M’s oil consumption is increasing at a much greater pace than its oil production?

Step 3: Pause and State the Goal

On Evaluate questions, the answers will be in the form of a question or a “whether x is true” statement. The correct answer will address an issue on which the argument hinges, depending on whether that statement is true: one way, the argument will be strengthened; the other way, the argument will be weakened.

Step 4: Work from Wrong to Right

(A) The argument does not provide any detail about the relative amounts of oil vs. gas production. Whether M’s oil production outstrips gas production next year or in 20 years, it is still unclear whether the country needs more oil than it produces.

(B) The argument does not compare M to other countries. It is focused solely on whether M will continue to need to import foreign fuel.

(C) If 3% of M’s total needs are currently met by these other energy sources, nothing is changed about the current oil and gas needs as stated in the argument. If 50% of M’s total needs are currently met by these other energy sources, it is still the case that current oil and gas needs are the same as in the argument.

(D) CORRECT. If M needs an increasing amount of oil every year for other uses (electricity and transportation), then it may be the case that M’s oil production is not increasing at a fast enough rate to keep pace with demand. In this case, the argument is weakened. If, on the other hand, M does not need an increasing amount of oil every year for these other needs, then it may be the case that M’s oil production is increasing at a fast enough rate to keep pace with demand, in which case the argument is strengthened.

(E) If none have already been converted, the argument is not impacted because the conclusion is claimed to happen soon; the argument does not say that the conclusion has already occurred. If 1,000 have already been converted, the argument is still not impacted, because the conclusion is still set in the future.
General Discussion
Manager
Manager
User avatar
Status: Can't give up
Joined: 20 Dec 2009
Posts: 184
Re: In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 26 Oct 2010, 13:34
2
In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported oil. Malvernia recently implemented a program to convert heating systems from oil to natural gas. Malvernia currently produces more natural gas each year than it uses, and oil production in Malvernian oil fields is increasing at a steady pace. If these trends in fuel production and usage continue, therefore, Malvernian reliance on foreign sources for fuel is likely to decline soon.

Which of the following would it be most useful to establish in evaluating the argument?

(A) When, if ever, will production of oil in Malvernia outstrip production of natural gas? - evaluating this is irrelevant. this does not test if the replacing natural gas with oil, and with oil production increasing foreign dependency will stop.

(B) Is Malvernia among the countries that rely most on imported oil? - out of scope

(C) What proportion of Malvernia's total energy needs is met by hydroelectric, solar, and nuclear power? - again, introducing new elements. out of scope

(D) Is the amount of oil used each year in Malvernia for generating electricity and fuel for transportation
increasing? - same as C, introducing new elements. If the question was evaluating the conclusion THEN this would be the best to evaluate "indeed if reliance on foreign countries on oil will decrease"

(E) Have any existing oil-burning heating systems in Malvernia already been converted to natural-gas-burning
heating systems? - this helps to evaluate the argument as per stated in the argument "Malvernia recently implemented a program to convert heating systems from oil to natural gas - and required to evaluate the argument

E it is
Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor
User avatar
Joined: 20 Oct 2010
Posts: 2
Re: In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 05 Nov 2010, 15:41
16
Hi guys,

Looks like there's some confusion on this one, so let's give it a closer look. Thabk's emphasis on the conclusion is important (and correct). When a CR question asks what would be most useful to evaluate "the argument", really it is asking you what would help evaluate the conclusion. The conclusion here is clearly marked by the keyword "therefore": "Malvernian reliance on foreign sources for fuel is likely to decline soon."

And what would help evaluate the conclusion? An answer choice that will (depending on what is established) either strengthen or weaken that conclusion. So really, you can treat this kind of question as either Strengthen or Weaken, but in my experience it's usually easiest to treat these "useful to evaluate" questions as Weaken. Think of it this way: The author's argument is missing some information (what it would be useful to establish), and therefore there is a gap between his evidence and his conclusion. The correct answer would expose that gap, just as it would in a standard Weaken question.

To the stimulus. On first reading, it seems like a pretty reasonable argument. The Malvernians have relied on imported oil in the past, but they may be able to turn that around, for two reasons:

1. They're switching from oil to natural gas, of which they have a plentiful supply.
2. Domestic oil production is increasing.

If domestic oil supply is going up and demand is going down, it seems almost inevitable that their reliance on imported oil will decrease. However, note the limited scope of the first premise: they aren't switching ALL oil usage to natural gas, only the fuel used in their heating systems. We actually don't know anything about the overall demand for oil. That is the gap in the author's reasoning. Choice D exploits this gap: if the amount of oil used for non-heating purposes (generating electricity and transportation) is increasing, then the overall demand for oil might still be increasing too fast for domestic oil production to keep pace (even though production is increasing as well).

E seems to be the most popular wrong answer choice, so let's talk about that one too. It references the heating systems mentioned in the stimulus, so it's tempting. However, remember that we need to evaluate the conclusion. Will the fact that some oil-burning systems have already been converted to natural gas affect whether Malvernian reliance on foreign sources for fuel "is likely to decline soon"? Not really. Whether the conversions have already started or not, they will happen, so in effect this answer neither adds to nor takes anything away from the argument. Now, you could get into all sorts of complicated logic to convince yourself that E is the answer -- Like, maybe because the conversions have started, that means that the all the conversions will happen faster, and maybe if the conversions happen faster it's more likely that reliance on foreign oil will decline soon... Maybe, maybe, maybe. This kind of speculative thinking is never required on the GMAT (and in fact can be disastrous). The correct answer on a Strengthen or Weaken question must DIRECTLY affect the conclusion -- not after multiple steps. Don't overthink CR answer choices!

However, as this question shows, it is extremely important to read the stimulus carefully and note the specific wording involved. Better to spend a little extra time up front to understand the stimulus rather than flounder around with the answer choices, not knowing what you're looking for. Ideally on this question you would be able to predict, in vague from, what the answer will look like before reading the answer choices. However, this isn't always possible. As long as you have a good understanding of the stimulus you should be fine.

Hope that sheds some light on this question.

Happy studying...
Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 26 Feb 2015
Posts: 110
Re: In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 11 May 2015, 02:23
VeritasPrepBrandon wrote:
A "most useful to evaluate" question is typically best approached from a weaken mindset. Look to establish the conclusion and premises, decipher the gap in logic, and then think about how you would attack the gap. The correct answer will be focused on one of the gaps in logic.

Here the argument states that while Malvernia relied heavily on imported oil in the past, the company has implemented a program to convert heating systems from oil to natural gas, and the country is steadily increasing its oil production each year. From these premises the argument concludes that, if these trends continue, Malvernia is likely to experience a reduced dependency on foreign oil in the future. The primary gap in logic here is that this argument is focused on the supply of oil increasing and then one demand of the oil potentially decreasing (heating systems). However, there could be many other oil demands that increase drastically, potentially more than offsetting these factors. Answer D correctly addresses this, because if the amount of oil used for generating electricity and transportation increases greatly, Malvernia may end up depending even more on foreign oil, not less, and thus the conclusion would not hold.

Answer choice A is a pretty irrelevant comparison. Even though Malvernia currently produces more natural gas than it uses, it may just use essentially zero natural gas. Answer choice B is completely out of scope - other countries don't matter. Answer choice C is also out of scope - the argument is not discussing alternative energy sources. And answer choice E is irrelevant. Knowing whether any systems have currently been converted (may 1 has, maybe 1,000,000 have) or not doesn't affect this argument.

I hope this helps!


I actually understand this reasoning, but I can't drift away from considering (B) a valid option. I mean, if we evaluate this statement: Malvernia is a country that rely on imported oil. I was indecisive between (B) and (D) and eventually went with (B), it kinda makes sense, no? What if it relies heavily on imported oil, say, for any other production.
Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor
User avatar
Joined: 23 Oct 2013
Posts: 144
Re: In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 11 May 2015, 22:25
1
1
erikvm wrote:
VeritasPrepBrandon wrote:
A "most useful to evaluate" question is typically best approached from a weaken mindset. Look to establish the conclusion and premises, decipher the gap in logic, and then think about how you would attack the gap. The correct answer will be focused on one of the gaps in logic.

Here the argument states that while Malvernia relied heavily on imported oil in the past, the company has implemented a program to convert heating systems from oil to natural gas, and the country is steadily increasing its oil production each year. From these premises the argument concludes that, if these trends continue, Malvernia is likely to experience a reduced dependency on foreign oil in the future. The primary gap in logic here is that this argument is focused on the supply of oil increasing and then one demand of the oil potentially decreasing (heating systems). However, there could be many other oil demands that increase drastically, potentially more than offsetting these factors. Answer D correctly addresses this, because if the amount of oil used for generating electricity and transportation increases greatly, Malvernia may end up depending even more on foreign oil, not less, and thus the conclusion would not hold.

Answer choice A is a pretty irrelevant comparison. Even though Malvernia currently produces more natural gas than it uses, it may just use essentially zero natural gas. Answer choice B is completely out of scope - other countries don't matter. Answer choice C is also out of scope - the argument is not discussing alternative energy sources. And answer choice E is irrelevant. Knowing whether any systems have currently been converted (may 1 has, maybe 1,000,000 have) or not doesn't affect this argument.

I hope this helps!


I actually understand this reasoning, but I can't drift away from considering (B) a valid option. I mean, if we evaluate this statement: Malvernia is a country that rely on imported oil. I was indecisive between (B) and (D) and eventually went with (B), it kinda makes sense, no? What if it relies heavily on imported oil, say, for any other production.


So we already know that Malvernia relies heavily on foreign oil, that is given. Answer choice B only addresses other countries, and whether they rely more or less on foreign oil. Other countries don't matter at all, and that puts B very much out of scope.

I hope this helps!
Current Student
User avatar
V
Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 4276
Location: India
GMAT 1: 760 Q50 V42
GPA: 3.8
WE: Marketing (Non-Profit and Government)
Re: In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 06 Dec 2015, 22:32
3
1
Import = Demand – Supply

Import of Natural Gas and Oil = (Demand – Supply)NG + (Demand – Supply)oil

Now, we know that the first parenthesized expression is negative and in the second expression, we are only told about supply of oil, not the demand, so the answer choice must be talking about demand of oil.

We see that option D and option E talk about the demand of oil. So, options A, B and C can be eliminated right away.

While option D directly asks whether oil consumption is increasing or not, option E talks about shifting of consumption from oil to natural gas. Since, we are concerned about import of both oil and natural gas; a shift from oil to natural gas will not impact us. It’ll only change whether we need to import oil or natural gas.

Thus, option D is the correct choice.
_________________
Current Student
User avatar
V
Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 4276
Location: India
GMAT 1: 760 Q50 V42
GPA: 3.8
WE: Marketing (Non-Profit and Government)
Re: In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 06 Dec 2015, 22:33
Veritas Prep take on the problem

Let’s break down each answer choice:

(A) The question of when production of oil will outstrip production of gas isn’t really relevant. In fact, if you’re using less oil as a result of the change in heating systems, and oil production is up, it’s possible that you can reduce your dependence on foreign oil without having to produce more oil than gas. A is out.

(B) Whether you are among the most dependent countries on foreign oil doesn’t matter. You are now, and we’re trying to determine if you will be in the future. This doesn’t help. Eliminate B.

(C) Hydroelectric, solar, and nuclear power aren’t relevant for this argument. We know that you’re dependent on foreign oil now, irrespective of other energy sources. It’s increased oil production and switching to gas that will, according to the argument, reduce this dependence. C is out of scope.

(D) Let’s say your oil consumption for electricity and transportation is increasing. Suddenly, the fact that you’re switching heating systems from oil to gas might not help – if your oil needs are going up in other areas, you may remain dependent on foreign oil. But if your oil consumption in these other areas is not increasing, that would reduce your dependence on foreign oil because your heating systems are switching to gas. D looks good.

(E) This doesn’t matter at all. We know that the systems are going to switch from oil to gas, so the question of whether some systems have already made the switch sheds no light on whether you will remain dependent on foreign oil.

D is the answer. Once you have the answer to whether your oil consumption for electricity and transportation is increasing, you’ll be better able to assess whether you will remain dependent on foreign oil, and, consequently, whether your reign as supreme ruler of Malvernia will continue.
_________________
Senior SC Moderator
User avatar
V
Joined: 14 Nov 2016
Posts: 1347
Location: Malaysia
GMAT ToolKit User
Re: In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 17 Apr 2017, 00:58
1
gmat2015p wrote:
OG2013 CR Q # 72
OG2017 CR634 P536

In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported oil. Malvernia recently implemented a program to convert heating systems from oil to natural gas. Malvernia currently produces more natural gas each year than it uses, and oil production in Malvernian oil fields is increasing at a steady pace. If these trends in fuel production and usage continue, therefore, Malvernian reliance on foreign sources for fuel is likely to decline soon.

Which of the following would it be most useful to establish in evaluating the argument?

(A) When, if ever, will production of oil in Malvernia outstrip production of natural gas?
(B) Is Malvernia among the countries that rely most on imported oil?
(C) What proportion of Malvernia's total energy needs is met by hydroelectric, solar, and nuclear power?
(D) Is the amount of oil used each year in Malvernia for generating electricity and fuel for transportation increasing?
(E) Have any existing oil-burning heating systems in Malvernia already been converted to natural-gas-burning heating systems?


Malvernia
 
Step 1: Identify the Question

In the question stem, the words useful to establish in evaluating indicate that this is an Evaluate the Argument question.

Step 2: Deconstruct the Argument

Past: M lots I oil
Recent: heating oil → gas
Now: make > gas than use
oil prod incr steady
If trends cont → M rely less on foreign fuel

The conclusion is in the form of an if-then statement: If these trends continue, then something else will happen. It’s important to note that the author’s argument is predicated on the idea that the trends will continue. Don’t fall into a trap based on the possibility that the trends will NOT continue; the author hasn’t concluded anything about what might happen if the trends do not continue. The author is only claiming that her conclusion is true if M continues to produce more gas each year than it uses and if oil production keeps increasing at a steady pace.

What does this argument assume? M already has to import oil, but the argument assumes that increasing oil production at a steady pace will allow the country to reduce its oil imports. What if M’s oil consumption is increasing at a much greater pace than its oil production?

Step 3: Pause and State the Goal

On Evaluate questions, the answers will be in the form of a question or a “whether x is true” statement. The correct answer will address an issue on which the argument hinges, depending on whether that statement is true: one way, the argument will be strengthened; the other way, the argument will be weakened.

Step 4: Work from Wrong to Right

(A) The argument does not provide any detail about the relative amounts of oil vs. gas production. Whether M’s oil production outstrips gas production next year or in 20 years, it is still unclear whether the country needs more oil than it produces.
(B) The argument does not compare M to other countries. It is focused solely on whether M will continue to need to import foreign fuel.
(C) If 3% of M’s total needs are currently met by these other energy sources, nothing is changed about the current oil and gas needs as stated in the argument. If 50% of M’s total needs are currently met by these other energy sources, it is still the case that current oil and gas needs are the same as in the argument.
(D) CORRECT. If M needs an increasing amount of oil every year for other uses (electricity and transportation), then it may be the case that M’s oil production is not increasing at a fast enough rate to keep pace with demand. In this case, the argument is weakened. If, on the other hand, M does not need an increasing amount of oil every year for these other needs, then it may be the case that M’s oil production is increasing at a fast enough rate to keep pace with demand, in which case the argument is strengthened.
(E) If none have already been converted, the argument is not impacted because the conclusion is claimed to happen soon; the argument does not say that the conclusion has already occurred. If 1,000 have already been converted, the argument is still not impacted, because the conclusion is still set in the future.
_________________
"Be challenged at EVERY MOMENT."

“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.”

"Each stage of the journey is crucial to attaining new heights of knowledge."

Rules for posting in verbal forum | Please DO NOT post short answer in your post!

Advanced Search : https://gmatclub.com/forum/advanced-search/
Manager
Manager
User avatar
G
Joined: 22 Nov 2016
Posts: 205
Location: United States (CA)
Concentration: Leadership, Strategy
Schools: Haas EWMBA '22
GMAT 1: 640 Q43 V35
GPA: 3.4
Reviews Badge
Re: In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 13 Jul 2017, 18:38
(A) When, if ever, will production of oil in Malvernia outstrip production of natural gas? - What if it does outstrip? It does not mean the natural gas production is reducing. Eliminate.
(B) Is Malvernia among the countries that rely most on imported oil? - So what? The plan is to reduce the usage and we need to find out if this plan will be effective. Eliminate
(C) What proportion of Malvernia's total energy needs is met by hydroelectric, solar, and nuclear power? - Out of scope. There is no mention of renewable energy. Eliminate.
(D) Is the amount of oil used each year in Malvernia for generating electricity and fuel for transportation increasing? - Yes. If we find that the oil use is increasing, Malverina might have to keep importing oil at current levels even after spending all the effort to convert its heating to gas. Correct.
(E) Have any existing oil-burning heating systems in Malvernia already been converted to natural-gas-burning heating systems?- Restating the premise. We already know the a recent program has been implemented. The chances are that some systems are already running on gas. Does not affect the premise.
Intern
Intern
avatar
B
Joined: 08 Jul 2012
Posts: 9
Re: In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 16 Sep 2018, 04:12
gmat2015p wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 13th Edition, 2012

Practice Question
Question No.: CR 72
Page: 522

In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported oil. Malvernia recently implemented a program to convert heating systems from oil to natural gas. Malvernia currently produces more natural gas each year than it uses, and oil production in Malvernian oil fields is increasing at a steady pace. If these trends in fuel production and usage continue, therefore, Malvernian reliance on foreign sources for fuel is likely to decline soon.

Which of the following would it be most useful to establish in evaluating the argument?

(A) When, if ever, will production of oil in Malvernia outstrip production of natural gas?
(B) Is Malvernia among the countries that rely most on imported oil?
(C) What proportion of Malvernia's total energy needs is met by hydroelectric, solar, and nuclear power?
(D) Is the amount of oil used each year in Malvernia for generating electricity and fuel for transportation increasing?
(E) Have any existing oil-burning heating systems in Malvernia already been converted to natural-gas-burning heating systems?

Malvernia

Step 1: Identify the Question

In the question stem, the words useful to establish in evaluating indicate that this is an Evaluate the Argument question.

Step 2: Deconstruct the Argument

Past: M lots I oil

Recent: heating oil → gas

Now: make > gas than use

oil prod incr steady

If trends cont → M rely less on foreign fuel

The conclusion is in the form of an if-then statement: If these trends continue, then something else will happen. It’s important to note that the author’s argument is predicated on the idea that the trends will continue. Don’t fall into a trap based on the possibility that the trends will not continue; the author hasn’t concluded anything about what might happen if the trends do not continue. The author is only claiming that her conclusion is true if M continues to produce more gas each year than it uses and if oil production keeps increasing at a steady pace.

What does this argument assume? M already has to import oil, but the argument assumes that increasing oil production at a steady pace will allow the country to reduce its oil imports. What if M’s oil consumption is increasing at a much greater pace than its oil production?

Step 3: Pause and State the Goal

On Evaluate questions, the answers will be in the form of a question or a “whether x is true” statement. The correct answer will address an issue on which the argument hinges, depending on whether that statement is true: one way, the argument will be strengthened; the other way, the argument will be weakened.

Step 4: Work from Wrong to Right

(A) The argument does not provide any detail about the relative amounts of oil vs. gas production. Whether M’s oil production outstrips gas production next year or in 20 years, it is still unclear whether the country needs more oil than it produces.

(B) The argument does not compare M to other countries. It is focused solely on whether M will continue to need to import foreign fuel.

(C) If 3% of M’s total needs are currently met by these other energy sources, nothing is changed about the current oil and gas needs as stated in the argument. If 50% of M’s total needs are currently met by these other energy sources, it is still the case that current oil and gas needs are the same as in the argument.

(D) CORRECT. If M needs an increasing amount of oil every year for other uses (electricity and transportation), then it may be the case that M’s oil production is not increasing at a fast enough rate to keep pace with demand. In this case, the argument is weakened. If, on the other hand, M does not need an increasing amount of oil every year for these other needs, then it may be the case that M’s oil production is increasing at a fast enough rate to keep pace with demand, in which case the argument is strengthened.

(E) If none have already been converted, the argument is not impacted because the conclusion is claimed to happen soon; the argument does not say that the conclusion has already occurred. If 1,000 have already been converted, the argument is still not impacted, because the conclusion is still set in the future.




Total Energy required = Oil used from domestic + Oil imported + Other Factors

Now total energy = Natural gas + Domestic Oil + Oil imported + Other Factors

Premise: 1) Domestic Oil is increasing
2) Natural gas is increasing.

Therefore, argument concludes that Oil imported would decrease.

The assumption is that TOTAL ENERGY requirements remain same.

Therefore, D is the correct answer. To identify whether energy requirements are increasing or not.
Manager
Manager
avatar
S
Joined: 24 Dec 2017
Posts: 184
Location: India
Concentration: Strategy, Real Estate
Schools: Johnson '21
Re: In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 19 Sep 2018, 06:07
In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported oil. Malvernia recently implemented a program to convert heating systems from oil to natural gas. Malvernia currently produces more natural gas each year than it uses, and oil production in Malvernian oil fields is increasing at a steady pace. If these trends in fuel production and usage continue, therefore, Malvernian reliance on foreign sources for fuel is likely to decline soon.

Which of the following would it be most useful to establish in evaluating the argument?


(A) When, if ever, will production of oil in Malvernia outstrip production of natural gas?
Explanation: Not necessary to evaluate the argument. - INCORRECT

(B) Is Malvernia among the countries that rely most on imported oil?
Explanation: IRRELEVANT

(C) What proportion of Malvernia's total energy needs is met by hydroelectric, solar, and nuclear power?
Explanation: If Hydro+Solar+Nuclear is only 1 % and the remaining depends on oil, then Malvern's may have to rely on foreign sources but the situation would exact opposite if majority of the needs are met by other sources of power in Malveria.INCORRECT

(D) Is the amount of oil used each year in Malvernia for generating electricity and fuel for transportation increasing?
Explanation: Malveria may have to rely on foreign sources if the requirements are increasing every year. - CORRECT

(E) Have any existing oil-burning heating systems in Malvernia already been converted to natural-gas-burning heating systems?
Explanation: IRRELEVANT

Hence I chose D
Manager
Manager
avatar
B
Joined: 28 Jan 2017
Posts: 53
Re: In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 05 Aug 2019, 07:11
Dear GMATNinja,

I am unsure of what is given in the argument.

Is it given that the supply of natural gas will always be higher than the demand of natural gas?

So, we don't have to worry about the supply/demand of natural gas at all?

Thank you in advance sir!
GMAT Club Verbal Expert
User avatar
D
Status: GMAT and GRE tutor
Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 2999
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 780 Q51 V46
GMAT 2: 800 Q51 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 10 Aug 2019, 12:15
1
varotkorn wrote:
Dear GMATNinja,

I am unsure of what is given in the argument.

Is it given that the supply of natural gas will always be higher than the demand of natural gas?

So, we don't have to worry about the supply/demand of natural gas at all?

Thank you in advance sir!

The passage tells us that Malvernia currently produces more natural gas than it uses. We cannot infer from this that Malverrnia will always have an oversupply of natural gas -- maybe they will run out of natural gas stores, or maybe demand will greatly increase.

More to the point, we only have to "worry" about whether each answer choice can help us evaluate the argument. The only one that somewhat addresses the issue of supply/demand for natural gas is (A):
Quote:
(A) When, if ever, will production of oil in Malvernia outstrip production of natural gas?

The issue with this answer choice is that we have no idea how much natural gas Malvernia actually produces -- supply is greater than demand, but what if both supply and demand are very small? Or, what if natural gas supply decreases, and oil production comes out ahead simply by remaining static?

(A) won't help us evaluate whether "Malvernian reliance on foreign sources for fuel is likely to decline soon," so (A) is not the correct answer.

I hope that helps!
_________________
GMAT/GRE tutor @ www.gmatninja.com (we're hiring!) | GMAT Club Verbal Expert | Instagram | Blog | Bad at PMs

Beginners' guides to GMAT verbal: RC | CR | SC

YouTube LIVE verbal webinars: all videos by topic

SC articles & resources: How to go from great (760) to incredible (780) on GMAT SC | That "-ing" Word Probably Isn't a Verb | That "-ed" Word Might Not Be a Verb, Either | No-BS Guide to GMAT Idioms | "Being" is not the enemy | WTF is "that" doing in my sentence?

RC, CR, and other articles & resources: All GMAT Ninja articles on GMAT Club | Using LSAT for GMAT CR & RC |7 reasons why your actual GMAT scores don't match your practice test scores | How to get 4 additional "fake" GMAT Prep tests for $29.99 | Time management on verbal

SC & CR Questions of the Day (QOTDs), featuring expert explanations: All QOTDs | Subscribe via email | RSS

Need an expert reply? Hit the request verbal experts' reply button; be specific about your question, and tag @GMATNinja. Priority is always given to official GMAT questions.
Manager
Manager
avatar
B
Joined: 31 Aug 2018
Posts: 56
GMAT 1: 610 Q46 V28
Re: In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 21 Nov 2019, 05:03
GMATNinja AjiteshArun VeritasKarishma,

I chose option 'E', can you please help me in understanding the flaw in my reasoning.
I used 'Malvernia recently implemented a program to convert heating systems from oil to natural gas.' and option 'E' to arrive at the logic that,

As of now, only a program has been implemented and if after converting the heating systems, to natural gas-based from oil-based, it's found that the converted systems are not even running and that they need to switch back to oil-based system their plan to reduce their reliance on foreign oil will fail.


Thanks
Saurabh
Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor
User avatar
V
Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 9866
Location: Pune, India
Re: In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 22 Nov 2019, 00:27
1
Sarjaria84 wrote:
GMATNinja AjiteshArun VeritasKarishma,

I chose option 'E', can you please help me in understanding the flaw in my reasoning.
I used 'Malvernia recently implemented a program to convert heating systems from oil to natural gas.' and option 'E' to arrive at the logic that,

As of now, only a program has been implemented and if after converting the heating systems, to natural gas-based from oil-based, it's found that the converted systems are not even running and that they need to switch back to oil-based system their plan to reduce their reliance on foreign oil will fail.


Thanks
Saurabh


In the past Malvernia has relied heavily on imported oil.
Malvernia recently implemented a program to convert heating systems from oil to natural gas.
Malvernia currently produces more natural gas each year than it uses,
Oil production in Malvernian is increasing at a steady pace.

Conclusion: If these trends in fuel production and usage continue, Malvernian reliance on foreign sources for fuel is likely to decline soon.

Malvernia is converting heating systems from oil to gas. It has extra gas and is producing more oil every year. The conclusion is that if these trends continue, Malvernian reliance on foreign fuel will decrease.

Note that we are saying that supply of oil is increasing and gas is already extra. So converting heating systems to gas will reduce the demand of oil. So reliance on foreign oil will decrease. But what if oil demand increases due to other uses such as electricity generation and fuel. If the demand increases more than the supply, Malvernian reliance on foreign fuel may not decrease at all and may actually increase. This is what option (D) says.

As for (E), it doesn't matter whether any heating system has been converted yet. The program has been implemented recently. Perhaps it takes time to convert so no system has been converted yet. They may get converted in a while. Note that I understand your issue - do people actually execute the conversion. Had the question been something like - are people likely to execute as per the program? - that might be more relevant. But the question in (E) is whether any conversions have taken place yet. That is not relevant.
_________________
Karishma
Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor

Learn more about how Veritas Prep can help you achieve a great GMAT score by checking out their GMAT Prep Options >
GMAT Club Bot
Re: In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported   [#permalink] 22 Nov 2019, 00:27
Display posts from previous: Sort by

In the past the country of Malvernia has relied heavily on imported

  new topic post reply Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  





Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group | Emoji artwork provided by EmojiOne