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Register now and save up to $200 Available with Beat the GMAT members only code • 1 Hour Free BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE Available with Beat the GMAT members only code ## Official GMAT Prep RC Main Idea Passage tagged by: ceilidh.erickson This topic has 3 expert replies and 2 member replies richachampion Legendary Member Joined 21 Jul 2015 Posted: 678 messages Followed by: 24 members Thanked: 31 times Test Date: ∞ → Target GMAT Score: 760 GMAT Score: 740 #### Official GMAT Prep RC Main Idea Passage Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:54 pm Elapsed Time: 00:00 • Lap #[LAPCOUNT] ([LAPTIME]) Prior to 1965 geologists assumed that the two giant rock plates meeting at the San Andreas Fault generate heat through friction as they grind past each other, but in 1965 Henyey found that temperatures in drill holes near the fault were not as elevated as had been expected. Some geologists wondered whether the absence of friction-generated heat could be explained by the kinds of rock composing the fault. Geologists’ pre-1965 assumptions concerning heat generated in the fault were based on calculations about common varieties of rocks, such as limestone and granite; but “weaker” materials, such as clays, had already been identified in samples retrieved from the fault zone. Under normal conditions, rocks composed of clay produce far less friction than do other rock types. In 1992 Byerlee tested whether these materials would produce friction 10 to 15 kilometers below the Earth’s surface. Byerlee found that when clay samples were subjected to the thousands of atmospheres of pressure they would encounter deep inside the Earth, they produced as much friction as was produced by other rock types. The harder rocks push against each other, the hotter they become; in other words, pressure itself, not only the rocks’ properties, affects frictional heating. Geologists therefore wondered whether the friction between the plates was being reduced by pockets of pressurized water within the fault that push the plates away from each other The passage is primarily concerned with A. evaluating a method used to test a particular scientific hypothesis B. discussing explanations for an unexpected scientific finding C. examining the assumptions underlying a particular experiment D. questioning the validity of a scientific finding E. presenting evidence to support a recent scientific hypothesis _________________ R I C H A, My GMAT Journey: 470 → 720 → 740 Target Score: 760+ richacrunch2@gmail.com 1. Press thanks if you like my solution. 2. Contact me if you are not improving. (No Free Lunch!) Need free GMAT or MBA advice from an expert? Register for Beat The GMAT now and post your question in these forums! richachampion Legendary Member Joined 21 Jul 2015 Posted: 678 messages Followed by: 24 members Thanked: 31 times Test Date: ∞ → Target GMAT Score: 760 GMAT Score: 740 Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:55 pm I want experts to please chime in to help me to eliminate the answer choices. _________________ R I C H A, My GMAT Journey: 470 → 720 → 740 Target Score: 760+ richacrunch2@gmail.com 1. Press thanks if you like my solution. 2. Contact me if you are not improving. (No Free Lunch!) ### GMAT/MBA Expert GMATGuruNY GMAT Instructor Joined 25 May 2010 Posted: 13368 messages Followed by: 1780 members Thanked: 12891 times GMAT Score: 790 Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:55 am richachampion wrote: Prior to 1965 geologists assumed that the two giant rock plates meeting at the San Andreas Fault generate heat through friction as they grind past each other, but in 1965 Henyey found that temperatures in drill holes near the fault were not as elevated as had been expected. Some geologists wondered whether the absence of friction-generated heat could be explained by the kinds of rock composing the fault. Geologists’ pre-1965 assumptions concerning heat generated in the fault were based on calculations about common varieties of rocks, such as limestone and granite; but “weaker” materials, such as clays, had already been identified in samples retrieved from the fault zone. Under normal conditions, rocks composed of clay produce far less friction than do other rock types. In 1992 Byerlee tested whether these materials would produce friction 10 to 15 kilometers below the Earth’s surface. Byerlee found that when clay samples were subjected to the thousands of atmospheres of pressure they would encounter deep inside the Earth, they produced as much friction as was produced by other rock types. The harder rocks push against each other, the hotter they become; in other words, pressure itself, not only the rocks’ properties, affects frictional heating. Geologists therefore wondered whether the friction between the plates was being reduced by pockets of pressurized water within the fault that push the plates away from each other The passage is primarily concerned with A. evaluating a method used to test a particular scientific hypothesis B. discussing explanations for an unexpected scientific finding C. examining the assumptions underlying a particular experiment D. questioning the validity of a scientific finding E. presenting evidence to support a recent scientific hypothesis Temperatures in drill holes near the fault were not as elevated as had been expected. Some geologists wondered whether... Byerlee tested whether... Geologists therefore wondered whether... The passage is primarily concerned with B: discussing explanations for an unexpected scientific finding. The red portion in the passage matches the red portion in the answer choice above. The blue portions in the passage match the blue portion in the answer choice above. The correct answer is B. _________________ Mitch Hunt GMAT Private Tutor GMATGuruNY@gmail.com If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "Thank" icon. Available for tutoring in NYC and long-distance. For more information, please email me at GMATGuruNY@gmail.com. Free GMAT Practice Test How can you improve your test score if you don't know your baseline score? Take a free online practice exam. Get started on achieving your dream score today! Sign up now. ### GMAT/MBA Expert DavidG@VeritasPrep Legendary Member Joined 14 Jan 2015 Posted: 2301 messages Followed by: 115 members Thanked: 1069 times GMAT Score: 770 Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:55 am richachampion wrote: Prior to 1965 geologists assumed that the two giant rock plates meeting at the San Andreas Fault generate heat through friction as they grind past each other, but in 1965 Henyey found that temperatures in drill holes near the fault were not as elevated as had been expected. Some geologists wondered whether the absence of friction-generated heat could be explained by the kinds of rock composing the fault. Geologists’ pre-1965 assumptions concerning heat generated in the fault were based on calculations about common varieties of rocks, such as limestone and granite; but “weaker” materials, such as clays, had already been identified in samples retrieved from the fault zone. Under normal conditions, rocks composed of clay produce far less friction than do other rock types. In 1992 Byerlee tested whether these materials would produce friction 10 to 15 kilometers below the Earth’s surface. Byerlee found that when clay samples were subjected to the thousands of atmospheres of pressure they would encounter deep inside the Earth, they produced as much friction as was produced by other rock types. The harder rocks push against each other, the hotter they become; in other words, pressure itself, not only the rocks’ properties, affects frictional heating. Geologists therefore wondered whether the friction between the plates was being reduced by pockets of pressurized water within the fault that push the plates away from each other The passage is primarily concerned with A. evaluating a method used to test a particular scientific hypothesis B. discussing explanations for an unexpected scientific finding C. examining the assumptions underlying a particular experiment D. questioning the validity of a scientific finding E. presenting evidence to support a recent scientific hypothesis We get the gist of where this passage is going in the first sentence: Prior to 1965 geologists assumed that the two giant rock plates meeting at the San Andreas Fault generate heat through friction as they grind past each other, but in 1965 Henyey found that temperatures in drill holes near the fault were not as elevated as had been expected So we have this unexpected finding that contradicts prior expectations. (The "but" is a dead-giveaway here.) The remainder of the passage grapples with why such an anomalous finding may have resulted. Because clay tends to be cooler? Because of pockets of pressurized water?) The answer is B _________________ Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor Veritas Prep Reviews Save$100 off any live Veritas Prep GMAT Course

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### GMAT/MBA Expert

ceilidh.erickson GMAT Instructor
Joined
04 Dec 2012
Posted:
1633 messages
Followed by:
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Thanked:
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Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:34 pm
I got a private request to respond to this one. Since I saw that 2 other experts had responded already, though, I took a different approach: I tried to see if I could guess the answer without reading the passage! Here's my analysis of the language alone:

A. evaluating a method used to test a particular scientific hypothesis
When we're conducting scientific tests, we're usually concerned with 2 things: 1) the findings/data, and 2) what conclusions can be drawn from them. The methods used to gather data or test hypotheses are usually secondary. Even if a passage said effectively "this was a useful method," it would be because it allowed us to draw certain inferences. That would be the main idea instead.

B. discussing explanations for an unexpected scientific finding
This sounds plausible - passages very often discuss explanations for findings. The word "unexpected" skews a bit negative, so that's giving me pause. The passage would have to be like "We found this surprising thing. Here are a few things that might explain it."

C. examining the assumptions underlying a particular experiment
Assumptions underlying a hypothesis, sure. But underlying the experiment itself? I'm not sure what that would even mean. They're testing the wrong thing, or using a bad method to test it? Perhaps, but as with A, the methods of testing are almost always less important than the conclusions drawn.

D. questioning the validity of a scientific finding
Passages will often present evidence that questions a theory or a conclusion. It's more rare to question a finding. We can usually assume that findings are objectively true. This seems unlikely.

E. presenting evidence to support a recent scientific hypothesis
This seems perfectly plausible. Lots of science passages are structured to do exactly this.

So without reading the passage, I'd say that E and B seem the most plausible / have the fewest red flags. And when I scroll down... it turns out that B was correct.

This kind of analysis won't always work, of course. I'm not recommending that you skip reading the passage altogether! But it's a really good exercise: are you focused on the specific language of the answer choices, rather than just thinking about the general content?

(I have no idea why there's a picture of a frog!)

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richachampion Legendary Member
Joined
21 Jul 2015
Posted:
678 messages
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24 members
Thanked:
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Test Date:
∞ →
Target GMAT Score:
760
GMAT Score:
740
Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:01 pm
Dear Experts
GMATGuruNY
DavidG@VeritasPrep and
ceilidh.erickson

I have posted one more question here RC Mian Idea Question.

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