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Springfield Fire Commissioner: The vast majority of false fire alarms

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New post 17 Apr 2018, 18:01
RonPurewal says: GMAT exam (include CR) is never tricky, or disingenuous, or purposely obtuse. Don't you think that the word ''we'' makes the CR tricky, or disingenuous, or purposely obtuse?
May I've your opinion, please?
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At a dinner party, 40 percent of the guests wore both jackets and ties  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Apr 2018, 20:15
AsadAbu wrote:
RonPurewal says: GMAT exam (include CR) is never tricky, or disingenuous, or purposely obtuse. Don't you think that the word ''we'' makes the CR tricky, or disingenuous, or purposely obtuse?
May I've your opinion, please?
Thanks__


I'm with RonPurewal in this case. :)

Going back to the prompt, let's ask ourselves one question: If "We" does not refer to the fire department, then whom could it possibly refer to in this prompt?

Prank callers are not on the Fire Commissioner's side. He wouldn't put himself in the same group as the people he's trying to stop.
If the pronoun were referring to people reporting fires, it would take the form "they." Also, people reporting fires are the group that the fire department is trying to serve. It makes no sense for the Fire Commissioner to put himself in the same grammatical group as them, especially when proposing a department decision.

Remember, this is not an SC question, so none of the pronouns in the prompt are open to question. If the GMAT were designing this question to make us doubt the reasonable usage of pronouns, then it probably would be obtuse. But what we see here is very straightforward usage, in line with what we'd expect in any managerial scenario.

Plus, the question we're asked does not call into question who is saying what, so we shouldn't spend precious time coming up with alternate interpretations or thinking of ways we'd prefer to write the prompt. We should stay focused on answering the the question about this proposal.

I hope this helps!
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At a dinner party, 40 percent of the guests wore both jackets and ties  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Apr 2018, 20:25
Are we sure this is an OG question?

I don't see the direct correlation between [A] and the question stem.

Ninja's explanation for [A]: "The commissioner claims that the number of prank calls would be reduced if people could only report fires with private telephones rather than with public fire alarm boxes. But what if people could still make anonymous reports from their private telephones? That would weaken the commissioners argument. Choice (A) assures us that the private calls will, in fact, be traced, likely discouraging people from making prank calls from their private telephones. Thus, (A) supports the commissioner's claim."

So the FD has the ability to trace calls from private phones... Okay, do we know for sure that this means that prank calls will be reduced? What if stupid kids think they can *69? What if it's not public knowledge that the FD can trace calls, then people would still do prank calls.

The premise talks about anonymous prank calls. The conclusion only talks about prank calls. It never explicit says "anonymous. I see this as a noteworthy gap.

[A] talks about removing anonymity. Okay... but the proposal only aims to reduce prank calls, anonymous or not anonymous. I feel like [A] is irrelevant. How can we just assume that tracing calls will lead to people not making prank calls?

I am new to CR, so I am just trying to understand what is wrong with my reasoning. Thanks!
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Springfield Fire Commissioner: The vast majority of false fire alarms  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Apr 2018, 22:33
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MikeScarn wrote:
Are we sure this is an OG question?

I don't see the direct correlation between [A] and the question stem.

Ninja's explanation for [A]: "The commissioner claims that the number of prank calls would be reduced if people could only report fires with private telephones rather than with public fire alarm boxes. But what if people could still make anonymous reports from their private telephones? That would weaken the commissioners argument. Choice (A) assures us that the private calls will, in fact, be traced, likely discouraging people from making prank calls from their private telephones. Thus, (A) supports the commissioner's claim."

So the FD has the ability to trace calls from private phones... Okay, do we know for sure that this means that prank calls will be reduced? What if stupid kids think they can *69? What if it's not public knowledge that the FD can trace calls, then people would still do prank calls.

The premise talks about anonymous prank calls. The conclusion only talks about prank calls. It never explicit says "anonymous. I see this as a noteworthy gap.

[A] talks about removing anonymity. Okay... but the proposal only aims to reduce prank calls, anonymous or not anonymous. I feel like [A] is irrelevant. How can we just assume that tracing calls will lead to people not making prank calls?

I am new to CR, so I am just trying to understand what is wrong with my reasoning. Thanks!


Welcome to the wonderful world of CR, where we sometimes spend way too much energy agonizing over logical perfection when all we have to do is pick the best of 5 choices -- or the least-bad of the 5 answer choices. :)

You might want to check out this article for some foundational approaches to these questions, but here are some thoughts about this particular question:

  • Anonymous prank calls are a subset of all prank calls. In fact, we're told immediately and explicitly in the passage that anonymous prank calls are the vast majority of false fire alarms.
  • Like you've pointed out, the key connection between the stem and choice (A) is that anonymity. The commissioner says that the vast majority of false fire alarms are prank calls made anonymously. Choice (A) states that the fire department traces all alarm calls. If you succeed in tracing a call, by definition it cannot be anonymous anymore. The logic of this argument focuses on the role of anonymous prank calls, and since we're asked what can strengthen the argument, it's OK for us to keep that focus.
  • The only gap left here is potential other ways that prank callers could remain anonymous. The content of the call, or the type of prank call, is irrelevant to the proposal's logic -- which is that you can deter the vast majority of prank calls by removing the ability to make those calls anonymously.

One more general takeaway is to remember what we're being asked:

Quote:
Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the claim that the proposal, if carried out, will have the announced effect?

We're looking for the choice that does the most to strengthen this argument. The right answer choice doesn't have to 100% prove the argument with airtight logic. In this case, sure, we can think of hypothetical prank callers who themselves don't care at all about being anonymous. But this doesn't change the fact that (A) is definitely doing more than any other choice to strengthen the argument.

If we approach this kind of question looking for a magic bullet, we may never be satisfied. But if we eliminate every choice that doesn't strengthen the argument and keep the one that does a better job than the other four, we'll be able to finish the question and move right along.

I hope this helps!
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Re: Springfield Fire Commissioner: The vast majority of false fire alarms  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Dec 2018, 14:33
GMATNinja wrote:
AsadAbu wrote:
RonPurewal says: GMAT exam (include CR) is never tricky, or disingenuous, or purposely obtuse. Don't you think that the word ''we'' makes the CR tricky, or disingenuous, or purposely obtuse?
May I've your opinion, please?
Thanks__


I'm with RonPurewal in this case. :)

Going back to the prompt, let's ask ourselves one question: If "We" does not refer to the fire department, then whom could it possibly refer to in this prompt?

Prank callers are not on the Fire Commissioner's side. He wouldn't put himself in the same group as the people he's trying to stop.
If the pronoun were referring to people reporting fires, it would take the form "they." Also, people reporting fires are the group that the fire department is trying to serve. It makes no sense for the Fire Commissioner to put himself in the same grammatical group as them, especially when proposing a department decision.

Remember, this is not an SC question, so none of the pronouns in the prompt are open to question. If the GMAT were designing this question to make us doubt the reasonable usage of pronouns, then it probably would be obtuse. But what we see here is very straightforward usage, in line with what we'd expect in any managerial scenario.

Plus, the question we're asked does not call into question who is saying what, so we shouldn't spend precious time coming up with alternate interpretations or thinking of ways we'd prefer to write the prompt. We should stay focused on answering the the question about this proposal.

I hope this helps!

Thanks for your broad explanation. :) :)
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Re: Springfield Fire Commissioner: The vast majority of false fire alarms  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Dec 2018, 14:44
Quote:
Springfield Fire Commissioner: The vast majority of false fire alarms are prank calls made anonymously from fire alarm boxes on street corners. Since virtually everyone has access to a private telephone, these alarm boxes have outlived their usefulness. Therefore, we propose to remove the boxes. Removing the boxes will reduce the number of prank calls without hampering people's ability to report a fire.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the claim that the proposal, if carried out, will have the announced effect?

(A) The fire department traces all alarm calls made from private telephones and records where they came from.
(B) Maintaining the fire alarm boxes costs Springfield approximately five million dollars annually.
(C) A telephone call can provide the fire department with more information about the nature and size of a fire than can an alarm placed from an alarm box.
(D) Responding to false alarms significantly reduces the fire department's capacity for responding to fires.
(E) On any given day, a significant percentage of the public telephones in Springfield are out of service.

Thanks GMATNinja for your above helpful comment.
Another query:
So, can I add another possible correct answer (F) for this CR? I mean: Is F legit choice for this CR?
F) Springfield just enacted a new law that mandates a minimum 30-year prison term for prank-calling the fire department.

Thanks__
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Re: Springfield Fire Commissioner: The vast majority of false fire alarms  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jan 2019, 16:43
GMATNinja wrote:

Quote:
(E) On any given day, a significant percentage of the public telephones in Springfield are out of service.


Choice (E) might strengthen the commissioner's claim that the "alarm boxes have outlived their usefulness," but it does not support the commissioner's claim that the proposal "will reduce the number of prank calls without hampering people's ability to report a fire." Eliminate (E).

The green part is okay (E doesn't support the commissioner's proposal) , because the correct choice is A :) . So, What E actually does? Does it weaken the commissioner's proposal only or is it irrelevant too?
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Re: Springfield Fire Commissioner: The vast majority of false fire alarms  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jan 2019, 05:13
AsadAbu wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:

Quote:
(E) On any given day, a significant percentage of the public telephones in Springfield are out of service.


Choice (E) might strengthen the commissioner's claim that the "alarm boxes have outlived their usefulness," but it does not support the commissioner's claim that the proposal "will reduce the number of prank calls without hampering people's ability to report a fire." Eliminate (E).

The green part is okay (E doesn't support the commissioner's proposal) , because the correct choice is A :) . So, What E actually does? Does it weaken the commissioner's proposal only or is it irrelevant too?
Thanks__

(E) has zero impact on the idea that removing the alarm boxes "will reduce the number of prank calls." The availability of public telephones has zero impact on that. So (E) is basically irrelevant to the commissioner's claim about the proposal, and that's what we really care about.

AsadAbu wrote:
Quote:
Springfield Fire Commissioner: The vast majority of false fire alarms are prank calls made anonymously from fire alarm boxes on street corners. Since virtually everyone has access to a private telephone, these alarm boxes have outlived their usefulness. Therefore, we propose to remove the boxes. Removing the boxes will reduce the number of prank calls without hampering people's ability to report a fire.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the claim that the proposal, if carried out, will have the announced effect?

(A) The fire department traces all alarm calls made from private telephones and records where they came from.
(B) Maintaining the fire alarm boxes costs Springfield approximately five million dollars annually.
(C) A telephone call can provide the fire department with more information about the nature and size of a fire than can an alarm placed from an alarm box.
(D) Responding to false alarms significantly reduces the fire department's capacity for responding to fires.
(E) On any given day, a significant percentage of the public telephones in Springfield are out of service.

Thanks GMATNinja for your above helpful comment.
Another query:
So, can I add another possible correct answer (F) for this CR? I mean: Is F legit choice for this CR?
F) Springfield just enacted a new law that mandates a minimum 30-year prison term for prank-calling the fire department.

Thanks__

To be honest, I don't recommend creating your own answer choices as a way of understanding the argument. That's nothing something we'd ever do when taking the test, and ultimately we're trying to improve our ability to answer each question as it is designed and presented. If your answer choice isn't something that the GMAT would actually include in a question, why spend your time worrying about it? So stick with EXACTLY what's in the question, and don't worry about the rest.

I hope this helps!
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Re: Springfield Fire Commissioner: The vast majority of false fire alarms  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Feb 2019, 09:34
So this question is asking to support the premise and not the conclusion? Isn't it? As I squared in A and D, A supports the premise and D supports the conclusion. One has to choose wisely.

Am I correct in holding this view?
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Re: Springfield Fire Commissioner: The vast majority of false fire alarms  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2019, 06:45
Shef08 wrote:
So this question is asking to support the premise and not the conclusion? Isn't it? As I squared in A and D, A supports the premise and D supports the conclusion. One has to choose wisely.

Am I correct in holding this view?

hi Shef08
No I don't think so.
Conclusion: Removing the boxes will reduce the number of prank calls without hampering people's ability to report a fire

We need to find the mission link, which is "in what sense private telephone is different from a box, so that prank calls will be reduced".

Option A provides that missing link "The fire department traces all alarm calls made from private telephones and records where they came from."
In private phone, we can trace all alarm calls whereas in public phone we don't know who raised the alarm.

I hope I make sense. :roll:
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Re: Springfield Fire Commissioner: The vast majority of false fire alarms  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Mar 2019, 13:17
GMATNinja wrote:
The "announced effect" is that removing the fire alarm boxes on street corners "will reduce the number of prank calls without hampering people's ability to report a fire."

Why does the commissioner believe that removing those alarm boxes will reduce the number of prank calls? "The vast majority of false fire alarms are prank calls made anonymously from fire alarm boxes." The commissioner implies that it would be more difficult to make anonymous prank calls from private telephones rather than from public fire alarm boxes on street corners, but what if that isn't the case?

Also, what if removing those public fire alarm boxes limits people's ability to report fires? According to the commissioner, this is not a problem "since virtually everyone has access to a private telephone."

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the claim that the proposal, if carried out, "will reduce the number of prank calls without hampering people's ability to report a fire."?

Quote:
(A) The fire department traces all alarm calls made from private telephones and records where they came from.


The commissioner claims that the number of prank calls would be reduced if people could only report fires with private telephones rather than with public fire alarm boxes. But what if people could still make anonymous reports from their private telephones? That would weaken the commissioners argument. Choice (A) assures us that the private calls will, in fact, be traced, likely discouraging people from making prank calls from their private telephones. Thus, (A) supports the commissioner's claim.


Dear GMATNinja,

I want to adress the question not about your choice, but more to the GMAT itself.
Despite of trying to test our ability to throw away ANY assumptions that seems to be outside of the text scope, it FORCE us to make such an assumptions.
Look into your logic (anyway, it is still right logic for this question):
- if the private calls be traced, it discourage people from prank calling.
This is clear assumption and this is something we should avoid. Maybe, we assume some after-tracking penalties, but we have nothing at the text about it. There is no factor in the text that helps to link tracking and discourage reaction.

I agree that another answer choices are incorrect as well.
But my point is that there is no right choice.

Looking for any response.
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Re: Springfield Fire Commissioner: The vast majority of false fire alarms  [#permalink]

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New post 01 May 2019, 10:43
Arseniy8 wrote:
GMATNinja wrote:
The "announced effect" is that removing the fire alarm boxes on street corners "will reduce the number of prank calls without hampering people's ability to report a fire."

Why does the commissioner believe that removing those alarm boxes will reduce the number of prank calls? "The vast majority of false fire alarms are prank calls made anonymously from fire alarm boxes." The commissioner implies that it would be more difficult to make anonymous prank calls from private telephones rather than from public fire alarm boxes on street corners, but what if that isn't the case?

Also, what if removing those public fire alarm boxes limits people's ability to report fires? According to the commissioner, this is not a problem "since virtually everyone has access to a private telephone."

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the claim that the proposal, if carried out, "will reduce the number of prank calls without hampering people's ability to report a fire."?

Quote:
(A) The fire department traces all alarm calls made from private telephones and records where they came from.


The commissioner claims that the number of prank calls would be reduced if people could only report fires with private telephones rather than with public fire alarm boxes. But what if people could still make anonymous reports from their private telephones? That would weaken the commissioners argument. Choice (A) assures us that the private calls will, in fact, be traced, likely discouraging people from making prank calls from their private telephones. Thus, (A) supports the commissioner's claim.


Dear GMATNinja,

I want to adress the question not about your choice, but more to the GMAT itself.
Despite of trying to test our ability to throw away ANY assumptions that seems to be outside of the text scope, it FORCE us to make such an assumptions.
Look into your logic (anyway, it is still right logic for this question):
- if the private calls be traced, it discourage people from prank calling.
This is clear assumption and this is something we should avoid. Maybe, we assume some after-tracking penalties, but we have nothing at the text about it. There is no factor in the text that helps to link tracking and discourage reaction.

I agree that another answer choices are incorrect as well.
But my point is that there is no right choice.

Looking for any response.

I see your point!

But because we are looking for the choice that "most strongly supports the claim that the proposal will have the announced effect," we don't have to assume that anything is true. Sure, it is entirely possible that removing the alarm boxes will NOT reduce the number of prank calls... maybe the pranksters won't know or won't care that their calls are being traced.

But what we do know for sure is that the current prank calls are made anonymously and, given (A), that "the fire department traces all alarm calls made from private telephones and records where they came from." So we know without a doubt that "a vast majority" of the prank calls are made anonymously and that, if the proposal is implemented, there will be no way to make anonymous prank calls (since ALL calls made from private telephones are traced).

Again, we don't have to assume that this will actually reduce the number of prank calls. But it gives us a strong reason for thinking that it will. More importantly, none of the other options give us ANY reason to believe that the proposal will have the announced effect. We are looking for something that MOST STRONGLY SUPPORTS the claim. From that perspective, (A) is absolutely the best answer choice.
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Re: Springfield Fire Commissioner: The vast majority of false fire alarms   [#permalink] 01 May 2019, 10:43

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