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Multi-Source Reasoning

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DanaJ Site Admin
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Multi-Source Reasoning

Post Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:23 am
For info on IR, go to the official website: www.mba.com/the-gmat/nex-gen/integrated-reasoning-question-formats.aspx

The instructions for this new question type are as follows:

Click on the page to reveal different data and discern which data you need to answer the question.

This one looks a lot like investment banking case study interviews... Check out this question from the GMAC official website:

Techniques

Island Museum analyzes historical artifacts using one or more techniques described below-all but one of which is performed by an outside laboratory-to obtain specific information about an object’s creation. For each type of material listed, the museum uses only the technique described:

Animal teeth or bones: The museum performs isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) in-house to determine the ratios of chemical elements present, yielding clues as to the animal’s diet and the minerals in its water supply.

Metallic ores or alloys: Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is used to determine the ratios of traces of metallic isotopes present, which differ according to where the sample was obtained.

Plant matter: While they are living, plants absorb carbon-14, which decays at a predictable rate after death; thus radiocarbon dating is used to estimate a plant’s date of death.

Fired-clay objects: Thermoluminescence (TL) dating is used to provide an estimate of the time since clay was fired to create the object.

Artifacts

Island Museum has acquired a collection of metal, fired clay, stone, bone, and wooden artifacts found on the Kaxna Islands, and presumed to be from the Kaxna Kingdom of 1250-850 BC. Researchers have mapped all the mines, quarries, and sources of clay on Kaxna and know that wooden artifacts of that time were generally created within 2 years after tree harvest. There is, however, considerable uncertainty as to whether these artifacts were actually created on Kaxna.

In analyzing these artifacts, the museum assumes that radiocarbon dating is accurate to approximately ±200 years and TL dating is accurate to approximately ±100 years.

Budget

For outside laboratory tests, the museum’s first-year budget for the Kaxna collection allows unlimited IRMS testing, and a total of $7,000-equal to the cost of 4 TL tests plus 15 radiocarbon tests, or the cost of 40 ICP-MS tests-for all other tests. For each technique applied by an outside lab, the museum is charged a fixed price per artifact.

For each of the following artifacts in the museum’s Kaxna collection, select Yes if, based on the museum’s assumptions, a range of dates for the object’s creation can be obtained using one of the techniques in the manner described. Otherwise, select No.


So here we have 3 texts that we need to go through and then determine whether we can obtain a range of "manufacturing" dates for three objects.

1. Bronze statue of a deer - NO

Bronze is an alloy, so we look for the section in the text where this type of material is discussed. In the Techniques text, we have the following:

Metallic ores or alloys: Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) is used to determine the ratios of traces of metallic isotopes present, which differ according to where the sample was obtained.

This means that we can determine the place of origin of a bronze statue, but we can't date it.

2. Fired-clay pot - YES

Again, the clue is in the Techniques text:

Fired-clay objects: Thermoluminescence (TL) dating is used to provide an estimate of the time since clay was fired to create the object.

This means we can actually date a fired-clay pot.

3. Wooden statue of a warrior - YES

Getting the right answer to this one requires checking out both the Techniques text as well as the Artifacts text.

Plant matter: While they are living, plants absorb carbon-14, which decays at a predictable rate after death; thus radiocarbon dating is used to estimate a plant’s date of death.

Researchers have mapped all the mines, quarries, and sources of clay on Kaxna and know that wooden artifacts of that time were generally created within 2 years after tree harvest.

So we can date the plant's death and we also know that the artifacts were generally created within 2 years of that "death," which means that we can date the artifact itself.

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