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"Durability" is the measure of how long@veritas CR

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conquistador Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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"Durability" is the measure of how long@veritas CR

Post Sat Sep 17, 2016 9:53 am
Elapsed Time: 00:00
  • Lap #[LAPCOUNT] ([LAPTIME])
    "Durability" is the measure of how long a certain appliance remains functional without breaking down. Sixty years
    ago, average refrigerator durability was 15 years, whereas now refrigerators operate continuously for more than
    40 years on average. Thus, at that time, people must have considered refrigerators to be nearing the end of their
    operational life at an age that we now consider will leave many more working years.

    Which of the following, if true, undermines the argument above?

    A: Today, many more households own refrigerators than did households sixty years ago.
    B: Most of the improvements in durability in the past sixty years have been achieved through cutting down on the
    number of refrigerators that break down in the first year of ownership.
    C: Many of the refrigerators that last an extremely long time today do so only because of engineering technology
    that was not available sixty years ago.
    D: The proportion of refrigerators that break down when they are between 35 years and 40 years old is significantly
    smaller today than is the proportion of refrigerators that break down after 40 years.
    E: More refrigerators sixty years ago received regular service than receive it today.

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    elias.latour.apex Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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    Post Wed May 03, 2017 4:01 am
    As always, we start by reading the question, and we see that we are asked to undermine the question. Accordingly, we want to weaken the conclusion.

    What is the conclusion? It is: "At that time, people must have considered refrigerators to be nearing the end of their operational life at an age that we now consider will leave many more working years."

    Why? Because Sixty years ago, average refrigerator durability was 15 years, whereas now refrigerators operate continuously for more than 40 years on average. Durability is defined as the measure of how long a certain appliance remains functional without breaking down.

    Did you notice the subtle shift in language? The premises talk about "breaking down" but the conclusion talks about "the end of the operational life." If your new car breaks down after one year, has it reached the end of its operational life? Not necessarily. You can probably just take it to a mechanic or back to the dealer, get it serviced, and be on your way. This argument assumes that a broken down refrigerator has reached the end of its operational life.

    Which of the following answers suggests that a broken down refrigerator can be repaired and restored to working order? The only one that comes close is answer choice (E). Although it's not the best answer you could imagine, it is the best answer among the choices we have available.

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    gui_guimaraes Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
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    Post Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:14 am
    elias.latour.apex wrote:
    As always, we start by reading the question, and we see that we are asked to undermine the question. Accordingly, we want to weaken the conclusion.

    What is the conclusion? It is: "At that time, people must have considered refrigerators to be nearing the end of their operational life at an age that we now consider will leave many more working years."

    Why? Because Sixty years ago, average refrigerator durability was 15 years, whereas now refrigerators operate continuously for more than 40 years on average. Durability is defined as the measure of how long a certain appliance remains functional without breaking down.

    Did you notice the subtle shift in language? The premises talk about "breaking down" but the conclusion talks about "the end of the operational life." If your new car breaks down after one year, has it reached the end of its operational life? Not necessarily. You can probably just take it to a mechanic or back to the dealer, get it serviced, and be on your way. This argument assumes that a broken down refrigerator has reached the end of its operational life.

    Which of the following answers suggests that a broken down refrigerator can be repaired and restored to working order? The only one that comes close is answer choice (E). Although it's not the best answer you could imagine, it is the best answer among the choices we have available.
    Here is the official answer and explanation from Veritas:

    Correct Answer: B

    Solution: B. On this weaken question, look for a premise that challenges the conclusion that "people must have considered refrigerators to be nearing the end of their operational life at an age that we now consider will leave many more working years." This conclusion assumes the shorter durability resulted in very few refrigerators lasting beyond 15 years. Information that offers an alternate explanation for shorter durability will be the right answer. Choice A is out of scope, because the difference in the number of refrigerators does not affect their average durability. Choice B is correct, because it challenges the belief implicit in the argument that in the past, there were few refrigerators that lasted longer than 15 years. Choices C and D support the conclusion instead of weakening it. Choice E does not explain what the connection between regular service and durability might be and therefore does not have a direct bearing on the conclusion.



    Last edited by gui_guimaraes on Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:21 am; edited 1 time in total

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    elias.latour.apex Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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    Post Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:56 pm
    Hi, Gui. Thanks for your contribution. Let's see whether we can clear up your confusion.

    The first thing you need to realize is that only official questions have official answers. The only light you have shed on this problem is that the author of the problem wanted (B) to be the best answer. That doesn't mean that it is.

    You see, official questions are created by teams of Ph.D.s, some of whom have written doctoral dissertations on best practice in standardized test preparation. Then, after a question is created, it goes through extensive testing to ensure that it really does what it should do. Veritas questions, on the other hand, are written by MBA students or Veritas teachers according to a much looser standard. These teachers are given (or select for themselves) official GMAT questions. Then the teachers/students try to change the wording a little bit so that it looks original without disturbing the underlying logic of the problem. Then the questions are not tested at all.

    For example, let's look at the following official question:

    "Life expectancy" is the average age at death of the entire live-born population. In the middle of the nineteenth century, life expectancy in North America was 40 years, whereas now it is nearly 80 years. Thus, in those days, people must have been considered old at age that we now consider the prime of life.

    Which of the following, if true, undermines the argument above?

    a. In the middle of the nineteenth century, the population of North America was significantly smaller than is today.
    b. Most of the gains in life expectancy in the last 150 years have come from reductions in the number of infants who die in their first year of life.
    c. Many of the people who live to an advanced age today do so only because of medical technology that was unknown in the nineteenth century.
    d. the proportion of people who die in their seventies is significantly smaller today than is the proportion of people who die in their eighties.
    e. More people in the middle of the nineteenth century engaged regularly in vigorous physical activity than do so today.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    We may realize that some Veritas employee was tasked with altering this question to try to keep (B) as the answer while making it just different enough to ensure that Veritas wouldn't run into any copyright infringement problems. So the employee decided to change "Life expectancy" to "Durability," and "old age" to "end of its operational life."

    However, there is a serious problem with the concept shift. A person who dies in the first year of his or her life will never reach the age of 40, much less 80, whereas a refrigerator that breaks down in the first year of its operation can easily be repaired and continue to work quite well for years until it reaches the "end of its operational life." It's like comparing apples to oranges. As I pointed out in my original response, "breaking down" and the "end of operational life" are not the same thing at all!

    In conclusion, I think we'll have to give our Veritas employee a A for effort but a Fail for achievement. Additionally, I recommend that any serious student stay away from other counterfeit questions (from any source!) and focus on real GMAT questions such as those found in official GMAC publications.

    _________________
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    gui_guimaraes Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
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    Posted:
    12 messages
    Post Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:23 am
    elias.latour.apex wrote:
    Hi, Gui. Thanks for your contribution. Let's see whether we can clear up your confusion.

    The first thing you need to realize is that only official questions have official answers. The only light you have shed on this problem is that the author of the problem wanted (B) to be the best answer. That doesn't mean that it is.

    You see, official questions are created by teams of Ph.D.s, some of whom have written doctoral dissertations on best practice in standardized test preparation. Then, after a question is created, it goes through extensive testing to ensure that it really does what it should do. Veritas questions, on the other hand, are written by MBA students or Veritas teachers according to a much looser standard. These teachers are given (or select for themselves) official GMAT questions. Then the teachers/students try to change the wording a little bit so that it looks original without disturbing the underlying logic of the problem. Then the questions are not tested at all.

    For example, let's look at the following official question:

    "Life expectancy" is the average age at death of the entire live-born population. In the middle of the nineteenth century, life expectancy in North America was 40 years, whereas now it is nearly 80 years. Thus, in those days, people must have been considered old at age that we now consider the prime of life.

    Which of the following, if true, undermines the argument above?

    a. In the middle of the nineteenth century, the population of North America was significantly smaller than is today.
    b. Most of the gains in life expectancy in the last 150 years have come from reductions in the number of infants who die in their first year of life.
    c. Many of the people who live to an advanced age today do so only because of medical technology that was unknown in the nineteenth century.
    d. the proportion of people who die in their seventies is significantly smaller today than is the proportion of people who die in their eighties.
    e. More people in the middle of the nineteenth century engaged regularly in vigorous physical activity than do so today.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    We may realize that some Veritas employee was tasked with altering this question to try to keep (B) as the answer while making it just different enough to ensure that Veritas wouldn't run into any copyright infringement problems. So the employee decided to change "Life expectancy" to "Durability," and "old age" to "end of its operational life."

    However, there is a serious problem with the concept shift. A person who dies in the first year of his or her life will never reach the age of 40, much less 80, whereas a refrigerator that breaks down in the first year of its operation can easily be repaired and continue to work quite well for years until it reaches the "end of its operational life." It's like comparing apples to oranges. As I pointed out in my original response, "breaking down" and the "end of operational life" are not the same thing at all!

    In conclusion, I think we'll have to give our Veritas employee a A for effort but a Fail for achievement. Additionally, I recommend that any serious student stay away from other counterfeit questions (from any source!) and focus on real GMAT questions such as those found in official GMAC publications.
    [url]elias.latour.apex

    So, you don't recommend taking practice tests from any other sources than GMAT Prep?

    Tks!

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    elias.latour.apex Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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    Post Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:20 am
    Well, I think that the first step is for the student to determine what he or she is hoping to accomplish by taking a mock test. Some students have the idea that they can just take a week off of work before the day of their test, do a GMAT mock test every day, and get so good at taking the test that they will score 750+ with no problem. I have never seen this approach work, and I don't know of anyone who has reported success with this method.

    As my boss says, "You don't prepare for a marathon by running marathons."

    What is the point of taking practice tests? Here are some possible responses:

    1. To determine how I would do if I took the GMAT today.
    2. To find problem types that I am bad at for later study.
    3. To gain a sense of timing and pacing for use on the real test.
    4. To experiment with the food & drink I plan to consume during the test.

    So what's the point of taking the test? If it's reason 1, then I recommend that the student take a real GMAT mock test and rather than put out by a test prep company.
    If it's reason 2, then the student probably shouldn't take any test at all. The Official Guides offer a diagnostic section, and any skilled GMAT teacher can identify problem areas for students. Additionally, students can work through some questions in the official guides, looking for problem areas.
    If it's reason 3 or 4, then it doesn't really matter what kind of test the student takes. A student can just as easily get a sense of how fast he or she should go on a counterfeit test as on a real test. Similarly, the type of test is not really going to affect the student's experimentation with food and drink consumed during a test.

    _________________
    Elias Latour
    Verbal Specialist @ ApexGMAT
    blog.apexgmat.com
    +1 (646) 736-7622

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