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OG Frazier and Mosteller assert

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OG Frazier and Mosteller assert

Post Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:53 pm
Elapsed Time: 00:00
  • Lap #[LAPCOUNT] ([LAPTIME])
    Frazier and Mosteller assert that medical research could be improved by a move toward larger, simpler clinical trials ofmedical treatments. Currently, researchers collect far more background information on patients than is strictly required for their trials-substantially more than hospitals collect-thereby escalating costs of data collection, storage, andanalysis. Although limiting information collection could increase the risk that researchers will overlook facts relevant to a study, Frazier and Mosteller contend that such risk, never entirely eliminable from research, would still be small in most studies. Only in research on entirely new treatments are new and unexpected variables likely to arise.

    Frazier and Mosteller propose not only that researchers limit data collection on individual patients but also thatresearchers enroll more patients in clinical trials, thereby obtaining a more representative sample of the total population with the disease under study. Often researchers restrict study participation to patients who have no ailments besides those being studied. A treatment judged successful under these ideal conditions can then be evaluated under normal conditions. Broadening the range of trial participants, Frazier and Mosteller suggest, would enable researchers to evaluate a treatment's efficacy for diverse patients under various conditions and to evaluate its effectiveness for different patient subgroups. For example, the value of a treatment for a progressive disease may vary according to a patient's stage of disease. Patients' ages may also affect a treatment's efficacy.

    501) The passage is primarily concerned with
    A. identifying two practices in medical research that may affect the accuracy of clinical trials
    B. describing aspects of medical research that tend to drive up costs
    C. evaluating an analysis of certain shortcomings of current medical research practices
    D. describing proposed changes to the ways in which clinical trials are conducted
    E. explaining how medical researchers have traditionally conducted clinical trials and how such trials are likely to change

    502) Which of the following can be inferred from the passage about a study of the category of patients referred to in lines 20-22?
    (A) Its findings might have limited applicability.
    (B) It would be prohibitively expensive in its attempt to create ideal conditions.
    (C) It would be the best way to sample the total population of potential patients.
    (D) It would allow researchers to limit information collection without increasing the risk that important variables could be overlooked.
    (E) Its findings would be more accurate if it concerned treatments for a progressive disease than if it concerned treatments for a nonprogressive disease.

    503) It can be inferred from the passage that a study limited to patients like those mentioned in lines 20-22 would have which of the following advantages over the kind of study proposed by Frazier and Mosteller?
    (A) It would yield more data and its findings would be more accurate.
    (B) It would cost less in the long term, though it would be more expensive in its initial stages.
    (C) It would limit the number of variables researchers would need to consider when evaluating the treatment under study.
    (D) It would help researchers to identify subgroups of patients with secondary conditions that might also be treatable.
    (E) It would enable researchers to assess the value of an experimental treatment for the average patient.

    504) The author mentions patients' ages (line 32) primarily in order to
    A. identify the most critical variable differentiating subgroups of patients
    B. cast doubt on the advisability of implementing Frazier and Mosteller's proposals about medical research
    C. indicate why progressive diseases may require different treatments at different stages
    D. illustrate a point about the value of enrolling a wide range of patients in clinical trials
    E. substantiate an argument about the problems inherent in enrolling large numbers of patients in clinical trials

    505) According to the passage, which of the following describes a result of the way in which researchers generally conduct clinical trials
    A. They expend resources on the storage of information likely to be irrelevant to the study they are conducting
    B. They sometimes compromise the accuracy of their findings by collecting and analyzing more information than is strictly required for their trials.
    C. They avoid the risk of overlooking variables that might affect their findings, even though doing so raises their research costs.
    D. Because they attempt to analyze too much information, they overlook facts that could emerge as relevant to their studies
    E. In order to approximate the conditions typical of medical treatment, they base their methods on information collection on those used by hospitals.

    Q501: D
    Q502: A
    Q503: C
    Q504: D
    Q505: A

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    Post Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:50 am
    Paragraph Tone, and Quick Summary (Ladder):
    1 = Current (more background) vs F&M (large & simple)
    2 = Benefits of F&M

    Analysis:
    This passage describes a proposed new way to approach clinical trials that appears to simplify and streamline the process and that allows for a much larger sample that could include a more diverse pool of patients. The passage also contrasts the proposal with the current way clinical trials are conducted. Although the passage appears to present the more favorable aspects of the proposal, the passage is still descriptive in nature, but if you made your ladder with a =/+ for either paragraph, I certainly wouldn’t fault that.


    501) The passage is primarily concerned with
    A. identifying two practices in medical research that may affect the accuracy of clinical trials
    B. describing aspects of medical research that tend to drive up costs
    C. evaluating an analysis of certain shortcomings of current medical research practices
    D. describing proposed changes to the ways in which clinical trials are conducted
    E. explaining how medical researchers have traditionally conducted clinical trials and how such trials are likely to change

    Type: Passage Purpose
    As we noted in our breakdown of the passage, the purpose of this passage is to discuss the Frazier and Mosteller proposal.

    A. identifying two practices in medical research that may affect the accuracy of clinical trials
    The proposal has two aspects, but that doesn't necessarily equate to two different practices, so there's our first problem with A. The other issue is that we're not given any indication as to which of the two clinical trial methods (current or the F&M proposal) is any more accurate. In other words, accuracy is not necessarily a factor here at all. The F&M proposal centers on efficiency and simplification.
    B. describing aspects of medical research that tend to drive up costs
    Yes the passage discusses how current practices tend to drive up costs, but can that be described as the primary purpose of the passage? No way. This is a classic case of something that happened but that’s way too narrow in focus.
    C. evaluating an analysis of certain shortcomings of current medical research practices
    This option has two problems: 1, it literally says evaluating and analysis. Is this passage evaluating analysis? No, it's discussing the how the proposed F&M method could help improve efficiency of clinical trials. Two, the discussion on the shortcomings of current research practices is only a portion of the focus of this passage. The passage also discusses some of the benefits that might accompany the F&M approach.
    D. describing proposed changes to the ways in which clinical trials are conducted.
    Bingo. Point of this passage is to discuss the changes called for in the F&M proposal
    E. explaining how medical researchers have traditionally conducted clinical trials and how such trials are likely to change
    This is definitely the runner-up option. The passage does explain how medical researchers have traditionally conducted clinical trials. The first half of this option is correct in that regard, but do we know that the F&M proposal is likely to be implemented? So how do we know how such trials are likely to change? We don’t, and that’s why this option is wrong. This is a classic half right/half wrong option, and notice how the first half is lovely? That’s the elegance of the bait. GMAC knows that test-takers who lack thoroughness will be quick on the trigger to pick this option. There’s a good lesson here.
    D

    502) Which of the following can be inferred from the passage about a study of the category of patients referred to in lines 21-23?
    (A) Its findings might have limited applicability.
    (B) It would be prohibitively expensive in its attempt to create ideal conditions.
    (C) It would be the best way to sample the total population of potential patients.
    (D) It would allow researchers to limit information collection without increasing the risk that important variables could be overlooked.
    (E) Its findings would be more accurate if it concerned treatments for a progressive disease than if it concerned treatments for a nonprogressive disease.

    Type: Inference
    Before we even think about heading to the options, we need to make sure we’re clear on what we’re asked to infer something about. Lines 21-23: Often researchers restrict study participation to patients who have no ailments besides those being studied. Which method does this snippet refer to? The current practice, not F&M. We know that the current method targets exactly those who perfectly suffer from an illness rather than the population in general. Now that we’re clear on that, let’s check out our options.

    (A) Its findings might have limited applicability.
    Yes, this has to be true. Do we know that the current method’s findings WILL have limited applicability? No. BUT, do we know that they MIGHT? Yes, we can infer that it’s possible the findings might have limited applicability since we’re told that in F&M’s approach the trial would include groups well beyond those that would be covered in the current approach. This option is also a beautiful example of how a GMAT understanding of the word “might” (>0%), gives us an advantage over other test-takers.
    (B) It would be prohibitively expensive in its attempt to create ideal conditions.
    Yes, the current method tends to be more expensive, but is it prohibitively expensive? We have no support for such an extreme statement, and in fact, we can actually infer that the current method is not prohibitively expensive since it is actually used. Prohibitively expensive would mean that these studies are literally too expensive to take place at all. Definitely wrong.
    (C) It would be the best way to sample the total population of potential patients.
    This option is a smack in the face for people who weren’t careful enough to confirm which group lines 21-23 refers to. People who select this option think that it’s referring to F&M. BUT, wait. Even if that were true, do we actually even know that F&M is the BEST? No. Double trouble, and gone.
    (D) It would allow researchers to limit information collection without increasing the risk that important variables could be overlooked.
    Once more, this option sounds like those who think this question is referring to the F&M study. Even so, it appears that the F&M approach would be more likely of the two to miss important variables, so this option is a wacky mix of both methods, and definitely incorrect.
    (E) Its findings would be more accurate if it concerned treatments for a progressive disease than if it concerned treatments for a nonprogressive disease.
    Utter hogwash. Let’s put this option in proper context: The findings of the current method (not F&M) would be more accurate(?) if it concerned treatments for a progressive disease than if it concerned treatments for a nonprogressive disease (?). We’re asked about the current method, and the example about progressive disease was used to show an upside of the F&M method. Not only does this option deal with the wrong method, do we know that accuracy is boosted one way or another whether the study focuses on progressive or nonprogressive treatments? Not at all. Reading comprehension options will repeat information actually mentioned in the passage as a brutal punishment for those who merely skimmed through the passage. This option showcases that feature of RC questions.
    A

    503) It can be inferred from the passage that a study limited to patients like those mentioned in lines 21-23 would have which of the following advantages over the kind of study proposed by Frazier and Mosteller?

    Type: Inference
    OK, now we need to find the option that presents a benefit of the current method over F&M. Again the current method mentioned in lines 21-23 is one in which the variables are restricted to the illness in question.

    (A) It would yield more data and its findings would be more accurate.
    We have zero ability to ultimately comment on accuracy. That’s an unsupported leap.
    (B) It would cost less in the long term, though it would be more expensive in its initial stages.
    A 180. We’re specifically told in P1 that the traditional method escalates costs, and in contrast F&M could help limit those costs. We’re not given any indication about long-term costs. Unsupported.
    (C) It would limit the number of variables researchers would need to consider when evaluating the treatment under study.
    Yes. Again the current method mentioned in lines 21-23 is the one in which the variables are restricted to the illness in question. The current method tries to seek out a pure sample (i.e. remove/limit other variables).
    (D) It would help researchers to identify subgroups of patients with secondary conditions that might also be treatable.
    Wrong group. This option appears to highlight an advantage of F&M (identifying subgroups), rather than the current method described in lines 21-23.
    (E) It would enable researchers to assess the value of an experimental treatment for the average patient.
    This option also describes an advantage of F&M rather than the current method, although this option clouds that distinction a little bit better by using the paraphrase “average” instead of the “diverse” sample language used in the passage. The current method attempts to uncover value for patients with a specific set of criteria.
    C


    504) The author mentions patients' ages (line 32) primarily in order to

    Type: Item Purpose

    This question is asking us to explain what the author was seeking to accomplish by mentioning patient age. Here it is at the very end of the passage: For example, the value of a treatment for a progressive disease may vary according to a patient's stage of disease. Patients' ages may also affect a treatment's efficacy. Both of these examples were provided to highlight how having a broader spectrum of people in the study could help uncover factors that might not be revealed in a more traditional trial. Let’s find our right option.

    A. identify the most critical variable differentiating subgroups of patients
    Although the mention of different ages adds to the value of including a broader array of patients, we’re in zero position to conclude that the author mentioned ages to point to the MOST critical variable. Gone.
    B. cast doubt on the advisability of implementing Frazier and Mosteller's proposals about medical research
    180 because if anything, these examples are introduced to list some possible benefits of F&M---not to cast doubt on it.
    C. indicate why progressive diseases may require different treatments at different stages
    This option foolishly combines the two different examples. First the author mentions how F&M could help assess the value of a treatment for progressive diseases, and then second, the author also points out that F&M could be handy to measure effectiveness over a wider range of ages. Those are two distinct examples. This answer makes the mistake of saying that the author was mentioning different ages as an aspect of progressive illness.
    D. illustrate a point about the value of enrolling a wide range of patients in clinical trials
    Yes. Plain and simple. Perfect. Both of these examples, including age, are used to highlight how the F&M approach can help uncover information about a broader range of patients.
    E. substantiate an argument about the problems inherent in enrolling large numbers of patients in clinical trials
    Another 180. The author is using the age example to point out a potential benefit of F&M---not to provide proof of an argument against F&M. Nonsense. We can tell the author did the opposite.


    505) According to the passage, which of the following describes a result of the way in which researchers generally conduct clinical trials?

    Type: Detail
    This question is asking us to uncover a result of the current way of doing clinical trials. Now, that could include the drawbacks mentioned (cost, data storage, etc., or the ability to zero in on a specific group). Let’s find it.
    (A) They expend resources on the storage of information likely to be irrelevant to the study they are conducting.
    Yes. The passage says: “Currently, researchers collect far more background information on patients than is strictly required for their trials.”
    (B) They sometimes compromise the accuracy of their findings by collecting and analyzing more information than is strictly required for their trials.
    Yes, researchers collect and analyze more information than is strictly required for their trials, but there is absolutely no mention or ability to even infer that they’re compromising the accuracy of their findings in the process. Chuck it.
    (C) They avoid the risk of overlooking variables that might affect their findings, even though doing so raises their research costs.
    Dead wrong. The passage states that the risk of overlooking variables is never entirely eliminable from research, so to say “avoid” is an extreme misfire.
    (D) Because they attempt to analyze too much information, they overlook facts that could emerge as relevant to their studies.
    This option is another misfire. The passage tells us that researchers gather more information than is relevant, but that doesn’t mean that the information goes overlooked. That’s a crazy leap. In fact, one would imagine that the information can only be deemed irrelevant after it is first looked at.
    (E) In order to approximate the conditions typical of medical treatment, they base their methods of information collection on those used by hospitals.
    This is the sloppiest option of the entire bunch. Absolutely nowhere does the passage mention that the current method is based on information collection methods used by hospitals. This is option is a pure hogwash filler option.

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