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V21-40

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V21-40  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Feb 2018, 14:35
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Question Stats:

86% (01:01) correct 14% (01:42) wrong based on 7 sessions

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In a taste test, participants were asked to try two versions of a cola: one regular and one called "Cola Extra" that contained an additional secret ingredient. Two different groups of tasters were told in advance which sample was "Cola Extra", but only the second group was told that the secret ingredient in "Cola Extra" was white vinegar. Members of the first group preferred “Cola Extra” by a margin of almost two to one, while over 80% of the members of the second group preferred the regular cola.

If the statements above are all true, which of the following can properly be inferred on the basis of them?


A. Knowing the identity of a beverage's ingredients may affect a consumer's enjoyment of that beverage.
B. The version of “Cola Extra” given to the second group contained a higher concentration of white vinegar than the version given to the first group.
C. Most members of the second group do not enjoy the taste of white vinegar.
D. Members of the first group were given the “Cola Extra” sample first, leaving an aftertaste that negatively influenced the taste of the regular cola.
E. Beverage companies producing colas should not reveal the identity of their colas' secret ingredients.
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Re V21-40  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Feb 2018, 14:36
Official Solution:


In a taste test, participants were asked to try two versions of a cola: one regular and one called "Cola Extra" that contained an additional secret ingredient. Two different groups of tasters were told in advance which sample was "Cola Extra", but only the second group was told that the secret ingredient in "Cola Extra" was white vinegar. Members of the first group preferred “Cola Extra” by a margin of almost two to one, while over 80% of the members of the second group preferred the regular cola.

If the statements above are all true, which of the following can properly be inferred on the basis of them?


A. Knowing the identity of a beverage's ingredients may affect a consumer's enjoyment of that beverage.
B. The version of “Cola Extra” given to the second group contained a higher concentration of white vinegar than the version given to the first group.
C. Most members of the second group do not enjoy the taste of white vinegar.
D. Members of the first group were given the “Cola Extra” sample first, leaving an aftertaste that negatively influenced the taste of the regular cola.
E. Beverage companies producing colas should not reveal the identity of their colas' secret ingredients.


Passages accompanied by inference questions often consist of nothing more than a list of facts or a description of a scenario. This makes it difficult or impossible to apply our usual advice, which is to start with the conclusion or the heart of the passage. Regardless, before diving into the answer choices, make sure you clearly understand the given information and pay close attention to the author's word choice

The taste test involved two different groups of testers and two different types of cola: regular and extra. The identities of the samples were revealed to both groups in advance, so the tasters all knew which sample was regular cola and which sample was Cola Extra. However, only the second group was told that the secret ingredient in the Cola Extra was white vinegar

The results of the taste test were as follows

Members of the first group (who did NOT know the identity of the secret ingredient) preferred “Cola Extra” by a margin of almost two to one

Over 80% of the members of the second group (who DID know the identity of the secret ingredient) preferred the regular cola

Based on this information, which of the following can be properly inferred

(A) Knowing the identity of a beverage's ingredients may affect a consumer's enjoyment of that beverage

Members of the first group did not know the identity of the secret ingredient, and most of them preferred Cola Extra. On the other hand, members of the second group DID know the identity of the secret ingredient, and most of them preferred the regular cola. This implies that knowing the identity of the secret ingredient impacted the tasters' enjoyment of Cola Extra. Choice (A) is consistent with the evidence in the passage, so let's hang on to it

(B) The version of “Cola Extra” given to the second group contained a higher concentration of white vinegar than the version given to the first group

Although this unlikely scenario, if true, could in fact explain the results of the taste test, there is nothing in the passage suggesting that this is the case. All we know is that one group knew the identity of the secret ingredient and the other did not, and this is not enough to support choice (B).

(C) Most members of the second group do not enjoy the taste of white vinegar

We know that most members of the second group preferred the regular cola, but we do not know why they preferred the regular cola. Choice (C) offers a possible explanation for the results, but there is no strong evidence suggesting that this is actually the case

Choice (C) might be tempting, but compare it to choice (A), which only says that knowing the identity of a beverages' ingredients may affect a consumer's enjoyment of that beverage. If choice (C) said that "most members of the second group might not enjoy the taste of white vinegar," it would be a safer inference. However, without further evidence, choice (C) cannot be properly inferred

(D) Members of the first group were given the “Cola Extra” sample first, leaving an aftertaste that negatively influenced the taste of the regular cola

Again, we have a possible explanation for the results. Even though choice (D) might make sense, the passage does not suggest that this is actually what happened. As with choice (C), this statement cannot be properly inferred without further evidence. Choice (A) is still a better option, so eliminate (D).

(E) Beverage companies producing colas should not reveal the identity of their colas' secret ingredients

The results of the taste test might suggest that beverage companies should not reveal the identity of their colas' secret ingredient IF that secret ingredient happens to be white vinegar, but we do not know whether, in general, it is a bad idea to reveal the secret ingredients. Perhaps a more pleasant-sounding secret ingredient would actually attract consumers and enhance their enjoyment of the beverage. Choice (E) is too general and can be eliminated

Even though some of the other choices might make sense, choice (A) is the best answer.


Answer: A
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Re: V21-40  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jul 2018, 17:10
jeffn wrote:
Official Solution:


In a taste test, participants were asked to try two versions of a cola: one regular and one called "Cola Extra" that contained an additional secret ingredient. Two different groups of tasters were told in advance which sample was "Cola Extra", but only the second group was told that the secret ingredient in "Cola Extra" was white vinegar. Members of the first group preferred “Cola Extra” by a margin of almost two to one, while over 80% of the members of the second group preferred the regular cola.

If the statements above are all true, which of the following can properly be inferred on the basis of them?


A. Knowing the identity of a beverage's ingredients may affect a consumer's enjoyment of that beverage.
B. The version of “Cola Extra” given to the second group contained a higher concentration of white vinegar than the version given to the first group.
C. Most members of the second group do not enjoy the taste of white vinegar.
D. Members of the first group were given the “Cola Extra” sample first, leaving an aftertaste that negatively influenced the taste of the regular cola.
E. Beverage companies producing colas should not reveal the identity of their colas' secret ingredients.


Passages accompanied by inference questions often consist of nothing more than a list of facts or a description of a scenario. This makes it difficult or impossible to apply our usual advice, which is to start with the conclusion or the heart of the passage. Regardless, before diving into the answer choices, make sure you clearly understand the given information and pay close attention to the author's word choice

The taste test involved two different groups of testers and two different types of cola: regular and extra. The identities of the samples were revealed to both groups in advance, so the tasters all knew which sample was regular cola and which sample was Cola Extra. However, only the second group was told that the secret ingredient in the Cola Extra was white vinegar

The results of the taste test were as follows

Members of the first group (who did NOT know the identity of the secret ingredient) preferred “Cola Extra” by a margin of almost two to one

Over 80% of the members of the second group (who DID know the identity of the secret ingredient) preferred the regular cola

Based on this information, which of the following can be properly inferred

(A) Knowing the identity of a beverage's ingredients may affect a consumer's enjoyment of that beverage

Members of the first group did not know the identity of the secret ingredient, and most of them preferred Cola Extra. On the other hand, members of the second group DID know the identity of the secret ingredient, and most of them preferred the regular cola. This implies that knowing the identity of the secret ingredient impacted the tasters' enjoyment of Cola Extra. Choice (A) is consistent with the evidence in the passage, so let's hang on to it

(B) The version of “Cola Extra” given to the second group contained a higher concentration of white vinegar than the version given to the first group

Although this unlikely scenario, if true, could in fact explain the results of the taste test, there is nothing in the passage suggesting that this is the case. All we know is that one group knew the identity of the secret ingredient and the other did not, and this is not enough to support choice (B).

(C) Most members of the second group do not enjoy the taste of white vinegar

We know that most members of the second group preferred the regular cola, but we do not know why they preferred the regular cola. Choice (C) offers a possible explanation for the results, but there is no strong evidence suggesting that this is actually the case

Choice (C) might be tempting, but compare it to choice (A), which only says that knowing the identity of a beverages' ingredients may affect a consumer's enjoyment of that beverage. If choice (C) said that "most members of the second group might not enjoy the taste of white vinegar," it would be a safer inference. However, without further evidence, choice (C) cannot be properly inferred

(D) Members of the first group were given the “Cola Extra” sample first, leaving an aftertaste that negatively influenced the taste of the regular cola

Again, we have a possible explanation for the results. Even though choice (D) might make sense, the passage does not suggest that this is actually what happened. As with choice (C), this statement cannot be properly inferred without further evidence. Choice (A) is still a better option, so eliminate (D).

(E) Beverage companies producing colas should not reveal the identity of their colas' secret ingredients

The results of the taste test might suggest that beverage companies should not reveal the identity of their colas' secret ingredient IF that secret ingredient happens to be white vinegar, but we do not know whether, in general, it is a bad idea to reveal the secret ingredients. Perhaps a more pleasant-sounding secret ingredient would actually attract consumers and enhance their enjoyment of the beverage. Choice (E) is too general and can be eliminated

Even though some of the other choices might make sense, choice (A) is the best answer.


Answer: A


Hi jeffn,

Isn't there a difference between "Knowing the identity of a beverage's ingredients may affect a consumer's enjoyment of that beverage" and "Knowing the identity of a beverage's ingredients may affect a consumer's choice of that beverage". In this argument, it seems like the consumer's choice is affected. Could you please explain me this subtle difference?
Re: V21-40 &nbs [#permalink] 19 Jul 2018, 17:10
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