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Standardized Test Writer: The most difficult items on our ..

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Standardized Test Writer: The most difficult items on our most difficult standardized test average a correct response rate of 18%. But two questions that I have written are currently averaging a correct response rate of 7%, so they must be among the most difficult legitimate questions on any of our standardized tests.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the test writer’s argument?

A) The test questions are still in an experimental stage.
B) The test questions have not been vetted by any other test writers.
C) The standardized test writer is inexperienced.
D)No standardized test question with a rate below 20% is considered easy.
E) Both questions have multiple answers that are technically correct, but only one answer that is credited as correct.

I am looking forward to an explanation that the official answer is correct and other choices are wrong.
Thanks
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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solitaryreaper wrote:
Standardized Test Writer: The most difficult items on our most difficult standardized test average a correct response rate of 18%. But two questions that I have written are currently averaging a correct response rate of 7%, so they must be among the most difficult legitimate questions on any of our standardized tests.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the test writer’s argument?

A) The test questions are still in an experimental stage.
B) The test questions have not been vetted by any other test writers.
C) The standardized test writer is inexperienced.
D)No standardized test question with a rate below 20% is considered easy.
E) Both questions have multiple answers that are technically correct, but only one answer that is credited as correct.

I am looking forward to an explanation that the official answer is correct and other choices are wrong.
Thanks


Hi solitaryreaper,

This is a CR question which I can relate to very much. :)

Here's how I addressed the question: first I read the question stem and then identified the components in the passage.

Irrelevant: Standardized Test Writer:
Premise: The most difficult items on our most difficult standardized test average a correct response rate of 18%.
Premise: But two questions that I have written are currently averaging a correct response rate of 7%,
Conclusion: so they must be among the most difficult legitimate questions on any of our standardized tests.

Identifying the conclusion is easy because the keyword "So" draws your attention to it.

Now that I know my conclusion, I need to evaluate each answer choice for what attacks it directly.

A) The test questions are still in an experimental stage. | Being in experimental stage does not directly say that the question is illegitimate. The nature of the experiemental stage would be that there is a possibility that it is legitimate.
B) The test questions have not been vetted by any other test writers. | This is similar to the experimental stage answer choice. Just because the questions have not yet been vetted does not mean that they are not legitimate.
C) The standardized test writer is inexperienced. | This one is also similar to the previous two points. Also it employs the "ad hominem" logical fallacy, saying that the characteristics of the test writer undermine the legitimacy of the questions.
D)No standardized test question with a rate below 20% is considered easy. | This answer choice strengthens the conclusion, not weakens. It's a trap!
E) Both questions have multiple answers that are technically correct, but only one answer that is credited as correct. | This is the only remaining answer choice. If we double check and look at it, we can see that having multiple correct answers but not giving students credit for selecting either correct answer makes the question illegitimate. No doubt you may have felt this way on some practice GMAT questions! :)

Correct answer is E.

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Standardized Test Writer: The most difficult items on our .. [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2014, 22:16
i do not agree with the answer
E says: Both questions have multiple answers that are technically correct, but only one answer that is credited as correct.------>this can have varied interpretation. for instance "technically correct" in an Sentence correction question would mean "grammatically correct" . we can definitely have a situation wherein two answer choices are "grammatically correct" but still only one answer is credited as correct because of meaning reason. this does not make the question illegitimate but makes it TOUGH !!

on the other hand choice A seems very promising

A says: The test questions are still in an experimental stage---------> this choice opens up a window for us to realize that the question is still in testing stage and who know in testing stage up till now only "low level" students have attempted these question there by making them appear tough when in actuality it is not tough!!

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Hi LighthousePrep,

Thanks for the fantastic explanation. :)

Now, the way I look at this question is - we have to prove that the 2 questions author has written(averaging a correct response rate of 7%) are not the most difficult legitimate questions. The choice E states that marking done against these two questions is faulty( making the question altogether illegitimate). So a correct response rate of 7%(as mentioned and achieved by author) is lower than 18% not because of the difficulty level of the questions but because of the other reason.

I hope this reasoning makes sense .:)

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Standardized Test Writer: The most difficult items on our .. [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2014, 23:40
Standardized Test Writer: The most difficult items on our most difficult standardized test average a correct response rate of 18%.
But two questions that I have written are currently averaging a correct response rate of 7%, so
Conclusion:
they must be among the most difficult legitimate questions on any of our standardized tests.

To weaken the argument we need to put the arg in question or create doubt. A and E does that but IMO its E.
A) The test questions are still in an experimental stage.
E) Both questions have multiple answers that are technically correct, but only one answer that is credited as correct.
A Vs E?
In-fact this is something that i can correlate with my experience from different Gmat practice forum. :)
Even in GC there is a debatable questions TAG where a Q has multiple correct answers but only one answer is tagged as correct. There can be different reasons for that but certainly that doesn't mean that it has to be tough. It can be or cant be.
Now E exactly says that. The mentioned % is not the correct indicator abt the question level. Lots of people got it wrong because of the other reasons.

A: Just because a question is in experimental state doesn't mean that its of poor quality etc.It means that it's being evaluated.Sometime before adding new questions to question bank, Prep company throws new questions on their students to just get feedback on different factors but that doesn't mean that these questions r of not expected quality.
So i would say that compared to A, E is a strong contender.
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Last edited by JarvisR on 16 Sep 2014, 23:47, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Standardized Test Writer: The most difficult items on our .. [#permalink]

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aditya8062 wrote:
i do not agree with the answer
E says: Both questions have multiple answers that are technically correct, but only one answer that is credited as correct.------>this can have varied interpretation. for instance "technically correct" in an Sentence correction question would mean "grammatically correct" . we can definitely have a situation wherein two answer choices are "grammatically correct" but still only one answer is credited as correct because of meaning reason. this does not make the question illegitimate but makes it TOUGH !!

on the other hand choice A seems very promising

A says: The test questions are still in an experimental stage---------> this choice opens up a window for us to realize that the question is still in testing stage and who know in testing stage up till now only "low level" students have attempted these question there by making them appear tough when in actuality it is not tough!!


You are implying too much from very little information.

The argument doesn't say what the implications of experimental stage are. So as such, option (A) does not weaken the conclusion. We don't know yet how it is related to the conclusion.

Argument:
The most difficult items average a correct response rate of 18%.
My two questions are currently averaging a correct response rate of 7%.

Conclusion: They must be among the most difficult legitimate questions on any of our standardized tests.

What will explain the low correct response rate in spite of an easy question (or at least not one of the most difficult). What would explain mistakes made by majority of people in it even though the question is not hard?

A) The test questions are still in an experimental stage.
Implications are not clear. What happens when a question is in experimental stage? Nothing given so does not make conclusion weak.

B) The test questions have not been vetted by any other test writers.
Doesn't imply the question is wrong.

C) The standardized test writer is inexperienced.
Doesn't mean he couldn't have written a tough question.

D)No standardized test question with a rate below 20% is considered easy.
Doesn't do anything to our argument.

E) Both questions have multiple answers that are technically correct, but only one answer that is credited as correct.
"Technically correct" means correct (including accurate meaning). If there are multiple correct answers but only one is credited as correct, this could explain the low correct response rate. For example,
If |x| = 4, what could be the value of x?
(A) 3
(B) 4
(C) 6
(D) -4
(E) 0

Here, technically, both (B) and (D) are correct but what if the answer key has only (D) as the correct answer. Most people might mark (B) and hence the correct response rate will dip.

Answer (E)
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Re: Standardized Test Writer: The most difficult items on our .. [#permalink]

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New post 17 Sep 2014, 23:35
aditya8062 wrote:
i do not agree with the answer
E says: Both questions have multiple answers that are technically correct, but only one answer that is credited as correct.------>this can have varied interpretation. for instance "technically correct" in an Sentence correction question would mean "grammatically correct" . we can definitely have a situation wherein two answer choices are "grammatically correct" but still only one answer is credited as correct because of meaning reason. this does not make the question illegitimate but makes it TOUGH !!

on the other hand choice A seems very promising

A says: The test questions are still in an experimental stage---------> this choice opens up a window for us to realize that the question is still in testing stage and who know in testing stage up till now only "low level" students have attempted these question there by making them appear tough when in actuality it is not tough!!


E is the answer that attacks the "legitimacy" of the questions with more strenght

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New post 18 Sep 2014, 12:05
My answer was A, and this is how I got to it:
The test questions are still in an experimental stage.
Experimental stage - that means that only few people answered this question, while the tough one are 18% out of total!!!
ex:
question answered by 100 test takers - 7 answered correctly at the moment
in one month - 1000 answered correctly - the rate might be 60%!

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Re: Standardized Test Writer: The most difficult items on our .. [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2016, 00:11
solitaryreaper wrote:
Standardized Test Writer: The most difficult items on our most difficult standardized test average a correct response rate of 18%. But two questions that I have written are currently averaging a correct response rate of 7%, so they must be among the most difficult legitimate questions on any of our standardized tests.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the test writer’s argument?

A) The test questions are still in an experimental stage.
B) The test questions have not been vetted by any other test writers.
C) The standardized test writer is inexperienced.
D)No standardized test question with a rate below 20% is considered easy.
E) Both questions have multiple answers that are technically correct, but only one answer that is credited as correct.

I am looking forward to an explanation that the official answer is correct and other choices are wrong.
Thanks


Nice question, but better you focus on Officials only. OK?
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Re: Standardized Test Writer: The most difficult items on our .. [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2016, 00:12
aditya8062 wrote:
i do not agree with the answer
E says: Both questions have multiple answers that are technically correct, but only one answer that is credited as correct.------>this can have varied interpretation. for instance "technically correct" in an Sentence correction question would mean "grammatically correct" . we can definitely have a situation wherein two answer choices are "grammatically correct" but still only one answer is credited as correct because of meaning reason. this does not make the question illegitimate but makes it TOUGH !!

on the other hand choice A seems very promising

A says: The test questions are still in an experimental stage---------> this choice opens up a window for us to realize that the question is still in testing stage and who know in testing stage up till now only "low level" students have attempted these question there by making them appear tough when in actuality it is not tough!!


You are a very good student active on all the forums, are you still preparing?
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Re: Standardized Test Writer: The most difficult items on our .. [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2016, 18:22
solitaryreaper wrote:
Standardized Test Writer: The most difficult items on our most difficult standardized test average a correct response rate of 18%. But two questions that I have written are currently averaging a correct response rate of 7%, so they must be among the most difficult legitimate questions on any of our standardized tests.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the test writer’s argument?

A) The test questions are still in an experimental stage.
B) The test questions have not been vetted by any other test writers.
C) The standardized test writer is inexperienced.
D)No standardized test question with a rate below 20% is considered easy.
E) Both questions have multiple answers that are technically correct, but only one answer that is credited as correct.

I am looking forward to an explanation that the official answer is correct and other choices are wrong.
Thanks


Conclusion says that 2 questions must be most difficult legitimate ones. Reason - response rate for those questions is 7%.
This argument can be restated as :- Because the response rate for those 2 questions is 7%, they are considered as most difficult legitimate questions by write.
If by any means we are able to attack the reason ( and say that there is some issue with the response rate), that would weaken the final conclusion.

Option E exactly does that by mentioning a reason for low response rate for those 2 questions, and that reason mentioned by E is not difficulty of questions but something else. So, we get an option here which gives us an alternate reason for conclusion and thus this option is a perfect answer.

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Re: Standardized Test Writer: The most difficult items on our .. [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2017, 13:29
Standardized Test Writer: The most difficult items on our most difficult standardized test average a correct response rate of 18%. But two questions that I have written are currently averaging a correct response rate of 7%, so they must be among the most difficult legitimate questions on any of our standardized tests.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the test writer’s argument?

A) The test questions are still in an experimental stage.
The experimental stage only determines the toughness of the question rather than the legitimacy,Also one cannot question that the question is wrong only because its in experimental stage but may only cast doubt,it can be chose if no better anser is found.
B) The test questions have not been vetted by any other test writers.
The argument does not provide any evidnece or refernce about other test writers analysing a question therfore this choise is out of scope.
C) The standardized test writer is inexperienced.
Clearly out of scope.
D)No standardized test question with a rate below 20% is considered easy.
The choise does not weakens the argument but strengthens it.
E) Both questions have multiple answers that are technically correct, but only one answer that is credited as correct.
Most appropriate choice which questions the ligitimacy of the question on the test.

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New post 02 Dec 2017, 18:29
this question and the answer E together create a common and important pattern in gmat. E is all about the flaws in questions and answers.

B is wrong b/c of "any other test writers"
D is a strengthener
A and C are out of scope; both of them does not weaken the argument.

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Re: Standardized Test Writer: The most difficult items on our ..   [#permalink] 02 Dec 2017, 18:29
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