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Numerous Ancient Mayan cities have been discovered in the

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Re: Numerous Ancient Mayan cities have been discovered in the [#permalink]

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New post 31 May 2017, 13:01
great question... those 700+level cr questions are bloody really tricky, and u gotta spot every minute info that you can glean from the question stem... this is what i suppose.. to crack them... thanks

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Re: Numerous Ancient Mayan cities have been discovered in the [#permalink]

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New post 05 Nov 2017, 15:36
Could anyone please explain to me why option A is incorrect?

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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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Re: Numerous Ancient Mayan cities have been discovered in the [#permalink]

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New post 06 Nov 2017, 10:06
csaluja wrote:
Could anyone please explain to me why option A is incorrect?

Dear csaluja,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, I am going to chide you. This is not a high quality question. Think about the amount of effort you put into writing this question--probably not much. The way education works is that you have to put in your own effort to move forward. Furthermore, if you don't understand (A), what don't you understand? Why doesn't it make sense to you about why (A) is wrong? What do you think it could be correct? If you explain yourself in detail, you make your question clearer to an expert who can answer it, but more importantly, explaining your thought-process helps you to understand the logic of the question more deeply, and that increased understanding would help you assimilate more deeply any answer. See:
Asking Excellent Questions
Here is my challenge to you. First, read this linked blog article. Then, come back to this thread, and study each entry, looking for discussion of (A). Finally, write the highest quality question you can, explaining your thought process thoroughly. If you do all this, I will be more than happy to answer you.

Mike :-)
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New post 06 Nov 2017, 22:30
mikemcgarry I have some doubts regarding this CR.It is mentioned in the argument that "Some archaeologists have theorized that the cities were abandoned due to a severe drought known to have occurred in the region between 800 and 1000 AD"

Option C directly strengthen the "theory by Some Archaeologists" by stating that ''........cores provide conclusive evidence''. D sounds more vague and it has to be further assumed that the monumental inscriptions created after 900 AD will never be found. It will be helpful if you clarify this doubt.

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New post 07 Nov 2017, 10:36
pkm9995109794 wrote:
mikemcgarry I have some doubts regarding this CR.It is mentioned in the argument that "Some archaeologists have theorized that the cities were abandoned due to a severe drought known to have occurred in the region between 800 and 1000 AD"

Option C directly strengthen the "theory by Some Archaeologists" by stating that ''........cores provide conclusive evidence''. D sounds more vague and it has to be further assumed that the monumental inscriptions created after 900 AD will never be found. It will be helpful if you clarify this doubt.

Dear pkm9995109794,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

First, let's look at that sentence from the prompt:
Some archaeologists have theorized that the cities were abandoned due to a severe drought known to have occurred in the region between 800 and 1000 AD.
That's a complicated sentence, because it contains both evidence & conclusion.

The factual, evidence part is the fact that a "severe drought . . . occurred in the region between 800 and 1000 AD." That's a fact, thoroughly know and beyond dispute.

The conclusion, the controversial part, is why these cities were abandoned, when they were abandoned, and whether the drought had anything to do with it. The argument is about that.

Yes, I agree that (C) is a strong statement, but the problem with (C) is that it tells us what we already know. From the prompt, we already had zero doubt about that "severe drought," so (C) simply piles more evidence for what already is certain. That's not particularly helpful.

You mentioned (D), but I think you meant the OA, (B). Another thing I want to make clear is that the GMAT CR arguments are not about proof. They are not about mathematical certainty. Sometimes a strengthener will be very strong and will come close to guaranteeing the argument. Other times, a strengthener simply adds further evidence or another line of support for something.

Think about the archaeologists: these people are academics and they are trying to build a plausible case for a scenario that occurred over a millennium ago. Nothing about archaeology involves proof beyond doubt: it's the very nature of the discipline that there's always a certain amount of uncertainty. We are looking for a story that most plausible, not for something that constitutes watertight proof.

With this mind, consider (B). Up until this point, the archaeologists knew about the drought and were trying to build a case that these ancient cities were abandoned in the 800 - 1000 AD period. Choice (B) provides a completely different category of evidence. "No monumental inscriptions created after 900 AD have been found in these cities, but inscriptions dating before that time have been found in abundance." In terms of archaeology, that's exceptionally strong evidence--lots of inscriptions up to about 900 AD, and they all of sudden, they stop. Wow! A sudden break in the historical record: this certainly would corroborate the story that the archaeologists were trying to build, that the abandonment of the cities was something that happened in a sudden catastrophic way, rather than, say, in a process of gradual attrition.

You said that choice (B) "sounds more vague and it has to be further assumed that the monumental inscriptions created after 900 AD will never be found." Keep in mind that these are inscription on monuments. One of the defining qualities of a monument is its large size--that's precisely why we have the English word "monumental." If we were discussing inscriptions on something small, then it would be conceivable that some would be found and some not found. Instead, we are discussing monuments, which as a general rule are very hard to miss. It sounds as if there are multiple monuments on which there are copious inscriptions from the time before 900 AD and then absolutely none after that point. It's not as if any inscriptions on a monument are going to be hidden: the whole point of inscriptions on monuments is to make them as visible as possible. It's not likely that there would be multiple monuments that the archeologists don't find, and it's not likely that they would miss a large number of inscriptions on any monument they find. Thus, it's not really an "assumption" that later inscriptions will not be found. Any familiarity with the tangible processes here would make this evident.

I am going to guess that you don't have detailed knowledge of archeology. I will recommend that whenever you encounter a GMAT Verbal Practice problem about a topic about which you know little, it can be very good reading practice to read a little more about that topic. Also, for the GMAT CR, it's very important to have some idea about real events in the real world. See:
GMAT Critical Reasoning and Outside Knowledge

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
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Re: Numerous Ancient Mayan cities have been discovered in the [#permalink]

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New post 07 Nov 2017, 17:42
mikemcgarry Thank you for the reply....

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Re: Numerous Ancient Mayan cities have been discovered in the   [#permalink] 07 Nov 2017, 17:42

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