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Re: Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught, [#permalink]
(B) It is not incompatible with the attainable goals of teaching history to spend very little class time on dates and statistics.
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Re: Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught, [#permalink]
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Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught, primarily because a large amount of time is spent teaching dates and statistic. The best way to teach history, therefore, is to spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures and very little on dates and statistics.

Stimulus: Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught primarily because a large amount of time is spent teaching dates and statistics. the best way would be to omit the dates and spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures and little on dates and statistics. The author assumes that the historical figures can be explained without giving date or statistics reference.
IMO C

Each of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends EXCEPT:


(A) One should avoid boring one’s students when teaching a history course.

(B) It is not incompatible with the attainable goals of teaching history to spend very little class time on dates and statistics.

(C) It is possible to recount the lives of historical figures without referring to dates and statistics.

(D) It is compatible with the attainable goals of teaching history to spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures.

(E) Students are more bored by history courses as they are usually taught than they would be by courses that spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures.
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Re: Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught, [#permalink]
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GMATNinja, @VeritasprepKarishma

NOT convinced with the explanations here.
C is in fact the assumption.
We are trying to find something that is NOT assumed in making the conclusion.
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Re: Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught, [#permalink]
MentorTutoring wrote:
In an effort to assist the community, I will offer my thoughts on this tough question, one that requires a very close reading, rather than one that is impressionistic. How about we start with the question itself?

Bunuel wrote:
Each of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends EXCEPT:


In general, I like EXCEPT questions, since the odd one out is the answer. Within an assumption framework, though, you have to be careful, since assumptions lie at the heart of most mistakes people make on CR questions. What does the passage present?

Bunuel wrote:
Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught, primarily because a large amount of time is spent teaching dates and statistic. The best way to teach history, therefore, is to spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures and very little on dates and statistics.


This is pretty straightforward, as far as two sentences on the GMAT™ go. Most students are bored by the way in which history courses are often taught. Why? The latter part of the first line tells us: a large amount of time is spent teaching dates and statistic [sic]. How can the problem be addressed? The passage proposes spending most class time recounting the lives of historical figures and very little on dates and statistics. I have placed emphases on all the quantifying words from the passage because when answering CR questions, it is vital to stick to exactly what the passage says. This question will prove no different.

Bunuel wrote:
(A) One should avoid boring one’s students when teaching a history course.

The course checks out, and so does the recommendation. Recall that the passage uses overstated, judgmental language at the head of the second line: the best way to teach history... The recommendation is meant to serve as a contrast to the way such courses are usually taught, a way that we are told bores the majority of students. Presumably, then, the best history teacher should avoid boring the students. This is NOT our exception.

Bunuel wrote:
(B) It is not incompatible with the attainable goals of teaching history to spend very little class time on dates and statistics.

I hate double negatives. So we are to understand that it is compatible... to spend just a bit of time in class covering dates and statistics. This is perfectly in keeping with the recommendation at the end of the passage, even repeating the very little in reference to time so dedicated. This is an assumption, as long as the best way to teach history from the passage is understood to be compatible with the attainable goals of teaching history. Keep moving.

Bunuel wrote:
(C) It is possible to recount the lives of historical figures without referring to dates and statistics.

The passage makes no such definitive statement. This is why I emphasized all the quantifying references to time above. The passage proposes that the best history teachers spend... very little [time] on dates and statistics. Do not confuse very little with none. The word without here is too strong, and the answer choice fails as a necessary assumption because of it.

Bunuel wrote:
(D) It is compatible with the attainable goals of teaching history to spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures.

At least we get the direct compatible with here, unlike that hard-to-follow phrasing in (B). Again, notice the quantifying in most class time. It is verbatim what appears in the passage when it discusses the best manner in which to teach history. We cannot get any more in line with the passage than that.

Bunuel wrote:
(E) Students are more bored by history courses as they are usually taught than they would be by courses that spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures.

The problem is identified in the beginning of the passage--most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught--and the solution is presented in the very next line--spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures and very little on dates and statistics. We can assume that the proposed solution, according to the argument, would address this very issue of student boredom.

I hope that helps. I would be happy to discuss the question further if anyone harbors doubts.

- Andrew


I understand why other answers are incorrect, but I don’t understand why C is correct.

For instance, we have 100 hours-long class (just for ease), and initially, like 80 hours were spent teaching dates and statistic (a large amount).
Now, in the worst scenario, 51 hours are spent recounting the lives of historical figures, and the rest, 49 hours, is spent on dates and statistics.

If we negate C, we get «It is NOT possible to recount the lives of historical figures without referring to dates and statistics»

If, again in the worst scenario, on each 1 hour spent recounting the lives of historical figures we have to spend 50 hours referring to dates and statistics, plus those 49 hours spent SOLELY on dates and statistics, then we have 99 hours in total spent on dates and statistics.

Wouldn’t the argument fall apart in this case?
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Re: Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught, [#permalink]
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UkrHurricane wrote:
I understand why other answers are incorrect, but I don’t understand why C is correct.

For instance, we have 100 hours-long class (just for ease), and initially, like 80 hours were spent teaching dates and statistic (a large amount).
Now, in the worst scenario, 51 hours are spent recounting the lives of historical figures, and the rest, 49 hours, is spent on dates and statistics.

If we negate C, we get «It is NOT possible to recount the lives of historical figures without referring to dates and statistics»

If, again in the worst scenario, on each 1 hour spent recounting the lives of historical figures we have to spend 50 hours referring to dates and statistics, plus those 49 hours spent SOLELY on dates and statistics, then we have 99 hours in total spent on dates and statistics.

Wouldn’t the argument fall apart in this case?

Hello, UrkHurricane. I think you are running amok with the negation technique, seeking to make relevant something that the passage simply does not take for granted. Furthermore, I do not follow the "worst scenario" that you outlined above. The last paragraph of your scenario, on each 1 hour spent..., violates the stipulation from the passage to spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures. I am not trying to be pugnacious; I simply do not understand the point you are hoping to make. The bottom line is that whether (C) is negated or left as is, it does not affect the argument, which does not create such a distinction. (I could say it is an "irrelevant" concern, if you would prefer that label, but I often feel as if people toss the word about too hastily, without thinking about whether it is applicable.) All the passage claims is that it is better to spend more time teaching in one way than in another.

- Andrew
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Re: Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught, [#permalink]
Thanks MentorTutoring

The explanation helped.
C is NOT an assumption related to the conclusion.
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Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught, [#permalink]
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TheGraceful wrote:
Thanks MentorTutoring

The explanation helped.
C is NOT an assumption related to the conclusion.

You are quite welcome, TheGraceful. I am not arguing that (C) could not work as an assumption to some argument, it just does not necessarily work for this particular argument. That is the real trick to CR, being incredibly careful with how you interpret the information presented. One assumption can lead to another really fast. (By the way, I really like the message in your signature about Experts. So true...)

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Re: Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught, [#permalink]
chaitralirr wrote:
Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught, primarily because a large amount of time is spent teaching dates and statistic. The best way to teach history, therefore, is to spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures and very little on dates and statistics.

Stimulus: Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught primarily because a large amount of time is spent teaching dates and statistics. the best way would be to omit the dates and spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures and little on dates and statistics. The author assumes that the historical figures can be explained without giving date or statistics reference.
IMO C

Each of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends EXCEPT:


(A) One should avoid boring one’s students when teaching a history course.

(B) It is not incompatible with the attainable goals of teaching history to spend very little class time on dates and statistics.

(C) It is possible to recount the lives of historical figures without referring to dates and statistics.

(D) It is compatible with the attainable goals of teaching history to spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures.

(E) Students are more bored by history courses as they are usually taught than they would be by courses that spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures.


How do you say C is not an assumption. the author says: we should focus on recounting figures and less on dates and statistics. This will make history less boring for students. So, here isn't the author assuming: recounting is possible without referring to dates that would make history less boring......
A - infact should be correct. It is not an assumption but a kind of reinstatement of a fact from passage or a conclusion to the whole passage....
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Re: Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught, [#permalink]
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Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught, primarily because a large amount of time is spent teaching dates and statistic. The best way to teach history, therefore, is to spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures and very little on dates and statistics.


Each of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends EXCEPT:


(A) One should avoid boring one’s students when teaching a history course.
> Assumption. If you negate this, it would say that one should not avoid boring one's student when teaching history. This negation will destroy the argument.

(B) It is not incompatible with the attainable goals of teaching history to spend very little class time on dates and statistics.
> Essentially, you can teach history effectively without overemphasizing on dates and statistics. Yeah, if you negate this then - it is incompatible with teach history effectively by spending little time on dates.

(C) It is possible to recount the lives of historical figures without referring to dates and statistics.
> I wasn't able to eliminate this so I decided to hold off on this and eliminate the others. Coming back, if you negate this - it is not possible to recount the lives of historical figures without referring to dates and statistics. So the negation says that if you're trying to teach about say Mahatma Gandhi then you need to refer to dates (like when he was born, when he was assassinated etc.). That's okay. The argument doesn't say that you need to do away with dates completely. See the underline - "very little on dates and statistics". So then C is not an assumption.

(D) It is compatible with the attainable goals of teaching history to spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures.
> Same thing as B. This says you can teach history effectively by spending time on recounting lives of historical figures.

(E) Students are more bored by history courses as they are usually taught than they would be by courses that spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures.
> Students will be bored more by history classes as they are currently taught than by history classes taught by recounting the lives of historical figures. If you negate this, then you're saying that the students will be even more bored by the new method of recounting historical lives than by the current method of using dates.
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Re: Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught, [#permalink]
Hi experts,
Please help to explain why each choice is right or wrong. Thanks.
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Re: Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught, [#permalink]
Expert Reply
tinbq wrote:
Hi experts,
Please help to explain why each choice is right or wrong. Thanks.

Hello, tinbq. I believe I have done just what you are requesting, in this post. (I thought the question looked familiar.) If it does not help you understand the question and answer choices, feel free to follow up with a specific inquiry.

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Re: Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught, [#permalink]
How do we negate a double negative?
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Re: Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught, [#permalink]
wali786 wrote:
How do we negate a double negative?


The answer choice that, when negated, doesn't break the argument will be the answer.

C says: It is possible to recount the lives of historical figures without referring to dates and statistics.

C negated: It is not possible to recount the lives of historical figures without referring to dates and statistics.

Is it necessary to recount the lives of historical figures without referring to dates and statistics? Not really. The conclusion is that the best way to teach history is to spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures and very little on dates and statistics -- we don't necessarily need to recount the lives of historical figures without referring to dates and statistics.
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Re: Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught, [#permalink]
Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught, primarily because a large amount of time is spent teaching dates and statistic. The best way to teach history, therefore, is to spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures and very little on dates and statistics.

Each of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends EXCEPT:

(A) One should avoid boring one’s students when teaching a history course. - WRONG. The words "avoid" is confusing if passage is misunderstood. But if this is not true then the conclusion doesn't make sense.

(B) It is not incompatible with the attainable goals of teaching history to spend very little class time on dates and statistics. - WRONG. Like D somewhat but addressed in a manner to trap if not read carefully.

(C) It is possible to recount the lives of historical figures without referring to dates and statistics. - CORRECT. Recounting is what we need to do but can it be done without referring dates and statistics. The latter half of the sentence is questionable as in it is not a necessary condition to refer dates and statistics.

(D) It is compatible with the attainable goals of teaching history to spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures. - WRONG. As plain as it can get. A required assumption.

(E) Students are more bored by history courses as they are usually taught than they would be by courses that spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures. - WRONG. Yes, that's why the recommendation. If not the passage breaks apart.

Answer C.
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Re: Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught, [#permalink]
(C) It is possible to recount the lives of historical figures without referring to dates and statistics.

This option is NOT an assumption on which the argument depends. The argument proposes that the best way to teach history is to spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures and very little on dates and statistics. However, the argument does not require that the lives of historical figures can be taught entirely without dates and statistics. It is possible that some dates and statistics may still be needed to provide context or clarify certain events, but the emphasis should not be on them.

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Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught, [#permalink]
Bunuel wrote:

Competition Mode Question



Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught, primarily because a large amount of time is spent teaching dates and statistic. The best way to teach history, therefore, is to spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures and very little on dates and statistics.

Each of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends EXCEPT:


(A) One should avoid boring one’s students when teaching a history course.

(B) It is not incompatible with the attainable goals of teaching history to spend very little class time on dates and statistics.

(C) It is possible to recount the lives of historical figures without referring to dates and statistics.

(D) It is compatible with the attainable goals of teaching history to spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures.

(E) Students are more bored by history courses as they are usually taught than they would be by courses that spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures.

­Quite easy. See, students are bored when they are taught dates more and events less. So we need to focus more on events and a bit less on dates to gain their interest. But we are not overlooking the latter at all.
Now, we need to identify the option choice which goes against the boldface. Let us look at option (C). It says we can talk about historical figures without even considering dates. This is equivalent to the British left and it caused India's independence. When? We do not know. This is absurd, isn't it? In some cases, dates may be omitted if not at all remembered. Other than C, all others are in favour of the argument. Option (C) is correct.­
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Re: Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught, [#permalink]
­Most students are bored by history courses as they are usually taught, primarily because a large amount of time is spent teaching dates and statistic. The best way to teach history, therefore, is to spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures and very little on dates and statistics.

Each of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends EXCEPT:


(A) One should avoid boring one’s students when teaching a history course. - Valid assumption. 

(B) It is not incompatible with the attainable goals of teaching history to spend very little class time on dates and statistics. - Valid assumption. 

(C) It is possible to recount the lives of historical figures without referring to dates and statistics. - "without referring to dates and statistics" is not correct. The proposal is to discuss the lives with minimum (not Zero) reference to the dates and statistics.  

(D) It is compatible with the attainable goals of teaching history to spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures. - Valid assumption. 

(E) Students are more bored by history courses as they are usually taught than they would be by courses that spend most class time recounting the lives of historical figures. - Valid assumption. 
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