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## OG 11 Roland and Sharon

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iamcste GMAT Destroyer!
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OG 11 Roland and Sharon Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:47 pm
Elapsed Time: 00:00
• Lap #[LAPCOUNT] ([LAPTIME])
Roland: The alarming fact is that 90 percent of the people in this country now report that they know someone who is unemployed.

Sharon: But a normal, moderate level of unemployment is 5 percent, with 1 out of 20 workers unemployed. So at any given time if a person knows approximately 50 workers, 1 or more will very likely be unemployed.

1. Sharon's argument is structured to lead to which of the following as a conclusion?
(A) The fact that 90% of the people know someone who is unemployed is not an indication that unemployment is abnormally high.
(B) The current level of unemployment is not moderate.
(C) If at least 5% of workers are unemployed, the result of questioning a representative group of people cannot be the percentage Roland cites.
(D) It is unlikely that the people whose statements Roland cites are giving accurate reports.
(E) If an unemployment figure is given as a certain percent, the actual percentage of those without jobs is even higher.

2. Sharon's argument relies on the assumption that
(A) normal levels of unemployment are rarely exceeded
(B) unemployment is not normally concentrated in geographically isolated segments of the population
(C) the number of people who each know someone who is unemployed is always higher than 90% of the population
(D) Roland is not consciously distorting the statistics he presents
(E) knowledge that a personal acquaintance is unemployed generates more fear of losing one's job than does knowledge of unemployment statistics

Kindly explain your answers and have you applied take aways from this problem to any other problem? if so, pls let me to which problem and how..sorry too many questions

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vijay_venky Really wants to Beat The GMAT!
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Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:23 am
My answers are A and B respectively.

Ronald : 90% of the people in the country know someone who is unemployed --> Alarming

Sharon:
P1. moderate level of unemployment is 1 out of every 20.
P2. And if you consider that a person knows approximately 50 workers, 1 or more will very likely be unemployed
CLN(that could be drawn): So every person(>90%) in the country (if we assume he or she knows 50 workers) knows someone who is unemployed.

And this sets out to prove that the % is not as alarming as it was portrayed in the Ronald's Argument. So A is my answer for the first one.

For the second question, we need to look at the condition that we mentioned in the parenthesis. That is the assumption that Sharon makes. Now if we consider that a person does not know as many as 50 members then knowing one or more unemployed is not normal. Option B rightly states this by citing the geographically isolated population.

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Osirus@VeritasPrep GMAT Instructor
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Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:44 pm
For question 1 I would choose A

A- Correct. This accurately articulates that Sharon feels that assuming that 1 person knows at least 50 workers, if one of those workers is unemployed that is still below the 5% unemployment level that is considred nomral.

B- This is the opposite answer, she uses statistics and percentages to argue that knowing someone who is unemployed is consistent with a 5% unemployment level which is considered normal.

C- She doesn't do this, she in fact provides her own percentages to make her point

D- She never disputes Roland's sources

E- This is another opposite answer.

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lunarpower GMAT Instructor
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Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:53 pm
the first question is one of the less often encountered question types. here's what you have to realize about this sort of question: if you understand the argument, then you basically already know the right answer.

what this means is that the only way they can really lead you astray is to give you tricky answer choices that sound like they might be plausible, even if they have absolutely nothing to do with the goal of the argument.

here's how you can defend against those sorts of answer choices:
ALWAYS PREDICT THE ANSWER YOURSELF BEFORE YOU LOOK AT THE CHOICES for these kinds of problems.

this is also the same advice to you would use for "main idea" problems on reading comprehension. basically, unless you just don't understand the passage at all, you should already have a pretty good idea of what the main point is -- so get an answer to the question in your head, and ONLY THEN look at the choices.

--

on the other hand, if you don't really see the point of the argument, then it's going to be very difficult to answer these problems. unlike "draw the conclusion" problems, you are being asked about the gist of the argument; you are not being asked to produce an answer that is necessarily 100% provable.

on "draw the conclusion", on the other hand, you are normally being asked to select an answer that MUST be true -- something that's still possible even without a firm grasp of the argument, just by ruling out answers that are out of scope.

i guess what i'm basically trying to say here is that these problems are essentially going to be random guesses, unless you can understand what the author of the argument is driving at. unlike a couple of the other genres of critical reasoning (such as "draw the conclusion" and "find the assumption"), there's not really going to be a consistent way to reason these out formally.

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Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:31 am
What is the OA for these two questions?

bichoo Rising GMAT Star
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Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:27 am
IMO A for the 1st question

I'm stuck between A or C for the 2nd answer.

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lunarpower GMAT Instructor
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Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:19 am
1st question:

the point of sharon's argument is that the statistic that roland has cited as "alarming" is not, in fact, alarming.

this is sort of hard to do if you don't have an intuitive grasp of the argument, but i'll do my best to put forward a technique with which you might solve this sort of thing: pay attention to the way in which the speakers' CLAIMS are related.
in general, the speakers are not going to attack each other's facts; i've never actually seen a problem on which one speaker actually disputes the factual accuracy of the statements made by the other.
so, it follows that the purpose of any sort of dialogue, in these questions, is related to claims that the speakers are making, not to the facts underlying those claims.

this observation makes this problem much more accessible, since roland is only making one CLAIM: namely, that the given statistic is "alarming". (remember, unless the gmat decides to violate all previous precedents, the response is not going to dispute the factual accuracy of the 90% figure.)

sharon's argument starts with the word "but", so it's clear that sharon's purpose is to dispute roland's claim.
therefore, you should pick the choice that is closest to "sharon says that this statistic is not alarming". that would be (a).

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He wears white after Labor Day, gets 55% of his calories from protein, and takes standardized tests for fun.

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lunarpower GMAT Instructor
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Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:24 am
2nd question:

the correct answer to this problem should be (b).

* sharon cites a statistic that applies on a broad scale -- she's quoting an unemployment rate, which must apply over an extremely broad geographical area (probably nationwide).
* she then moves to a statement about individual people, assuming that the same percentages that apply on a nationwide basis must therefore apply to each individual.

if there are large variations in unemployment rates across different geographical areas, then this argument doesn't hold, since the number of unemployed people known by different individuals in different areas will vary wildly. therefore, sharon must assume that there are NO such large variations.

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Ron is a Director of Curriculum Development at Manhattan GMAT. He has been teaching various standardized tests for almost 20 years.

He wears white after Labor Day, gets 55% of his calories from protein, and takes standardized tests for fun.

Pueden hacerle preguntas a Ron o en inglés o en español.

If you send Ron a private message, please allow 1-2 weeks for a response.

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sashish007 Rising GMAT Star
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Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:43 am
lunarpower wrote:
2nd question:

the correct answer to this problem should be (b).

* sharon cites a statistic that applies on a broad scale -- she's quoting an unemployment rate, which must apply over an extremely broad geographical area (probably nationwide).
* she then moves to a statement about individual people, assuming that the same percentages that apply on a nationwide basis must therefore apply to each individual.

if there are large variations in unemployment rates across different geographical areas, then this argument doesn't hold, since the number of unemployed people known by different individuals in different areas will vary wildly. therefore, sharon must assume that there are NO such large variations.
Quantitatively speaking, does it mean Sharon’s assumption is that the standard deviation for the average unemployment rate mentioned is very small?

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singalong Rising GMAT Star
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Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:37 am
I chose A for the assumption question and actually crossed off B.It spoke of geographical locations which seemed out of scope.

GmatKiss GMAT Titan
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Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:52 am
IMO: 1(A) and 2(B)

lilyiann Just gettin' started!
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Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:48 am
Hi!

Sorry for pulling back an old thread... but I have a question for question 2 -- why isn't choice A correct?

2. Sharon's argument relies on the assumption that
(A) normal levels of unemployment are rarely exceeded

--> I think choice A is correct because Sharon's statement is made under the assumption that the country is operating on the "normal levels of unemployment." If I apply the denial test and say that "if normal levels of unemployment are often exceeded", then the unemployment rate must be higher than what Sharon claims to be.

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