• NEW! FREE Beat The GMAT Quizzes
    NEW! FREE Beat The GMAT Quizzes
    NEW! FREE Beat The GMAT Quizzes
    Hundreds of Questions Highly Detailed Reporting Expert Explanations TAKE A FREE GMAT QUIZ
  • 7 CATs FREE!
    If you earn 100 Forum Points

    Engage in the Beat The GMAT forums to earn
    100 points for $49 worth of Veritas practice GMATs FREE

    Veritas Prep
    VERITAS PRACTICE GMAT EXAMS
    Earn 10 Points Per Post
    Earn 10 Points Per Thanks
    Earn 10 Points Per Upvote
    REDEEM NOW

before Australia was Australia

This topic has 2 member replies

before Australia was Australia

Post
In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes, the opposite pole to civilization, an obscure and unimaginable place that was considered the end of the world.

(A) before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes
(B) before there was Australia, it was the antipodes
(C) it was the antipodes that was Australia
(D) Australia was what was the antipodes
(E) Australia was what had been known as the antipodes


This is one of the confusing SC question. Unable to apply any approach here.

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Legendary Member
Joined
03 Feb 2014
Posted:
2063 messages
Followed by:
133 members
Upvotes:
955
GMAT Score:
800
Post
vishalwin wrote:
In the minds of many people living in England, before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes, the opposite pole to civilization, an obscure and unimaginable place that was considered the end of the world.

(A) before Australia was Australia, it was the antipodes
(B) before there was Australia, it was the antipodes
(C) it was the antipodes that was Australia
(D) Australia was what was the antipodes
(E) Australia was what had been known as the antipodes


This is one of the confusing SC question. Unable to apply any approach here.
Perfect. That makes it a great SC question as in some sense the GMAT is not really about approaches anyway. It's about having at questions in whatever way you can come up with until you get to the answers.

Let's just start going through the answer choices and see what we can do.

A looks ok. I get the original sentence and I don't see any obvious flaws in it. There might be flaws, but I don't see them yet. So I am going to keep A for now and see what clues I might get as I go through the other choices.

B does not make as much sense as A does. Before there was something it was something? If something does not exist, it does not make sense that it would be something. So it does not make sense that before there was Australia, it was the antipodes. In fact what does it even really refer to? Nothing that I can clearly see. So this answer choice is out.

Making progress.

The meaning of C is weird. I am not entirely sure how to describe why this is wrong. Anyway, from the original I got the sense that the meaning we are working with here is that Australia was considered the antipodes, and choice C conveys a meaning different from that and a bit nonsensical. The sentence created using C conveys that in people's minds before Australia was Australia the end of the world was Australia. So C is out.

The sentence created using D has another meaning issue. Lemme get this straight. Before Australia was Australia, Australia was what was something? That does not make sense and there is no way to get this straight. So D is out.

The sentence created using E conveys that in the minds of people, before Australia was Australia, Australia was what had been known as the antipodes. My take is that the point here is not that something was known as the antipodes. The point is that the place now called Australia was in the minds of people actually the antipodes. Maybe I am using fuzzy thinking here, but I believe it's working. Also, the sentence created using E conveys that Australia was what had been known as the antipodes, but actually my take is that Australia still is what had been the antipodes. So there's another issue, was versus is.

So just by going at it and seeing what you can do to evaluate and eliminate choices you can hack your way to the answer, which in this case is A.

_________________
Marty Murray
GMAT Coach
m.w.murray@hotmail.com
https://infinitemindprep.com/
In Person in the New York Area and Online Worldwide

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
24 Jun 2015
Posted:
52 messages
Followed by:
1 members
Upvotes:
3
Post
[quote= My take is that the point here is not that something was known as the antipodes. The point is that the place now called Australia was in the minds of people actually the antipodes. Maybe I am using fuzzy thinking here, but I believe it's working. Also, the sentence created using E conveys that Australia was what had been known as the antipodes, but actually my take is that Australia still is what had been the antipodes. So there's another issue, was versus is.

So just by going at it and seeing what you can do to evaluate and eliminate choices you can hack your way to the answer, which in this case is A.[/quote]Nice explanation there. That is my take too. These doubts do arise. You wonder - is this actually fuzzy thinking, or 'over-precise' thinking? Are we being more precise than the question-writer? Was this their intention too? I guess our best bet is to go with the kind of meaning we 'sensed in the original sentence even if the sentence was incorrect grammatically/rhetorically.

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
  • Magoosh
    Magoosh
    Study with Magoosh GMAT prep

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Magoosh
  • Economist Test Prep
    Free Trial & Practice Exam
    BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Economist Test Prep
  • e-gmat Exclusive Offer
    Get 300+ Practice Questions
    25 Video lessons and 6 Webinars for FREE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    e-gmat Exclusive Offer
  • Veritas Prep
    Free Veritas GMAT Class
    Experience Lesson 1 Live Free

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Veritas Prep
  • The Princeton Review
    FREE GMAT Exam
    Know how you'd score today for $0

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    The Princeton Review
  • EMPOWERgmat Slider
    1 Hour Free
    BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    EMPOWERgmat Slider
  • Varsity Tutors
    Award-winning private GMAT tutoring
    Register now and save up to $200

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Varsity Tutors
  • PrepScholar GMAT
    5 Day FREE Trial
    Study Smarter, Not Harder

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    PrepScholar GMAT
  • Kaplan Test Prep
    Free Practice Test & Review
    How would you score if you took the GMAT

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Kaplan Test Prep
  • Target Test Prep
    5-Day Free Trial
    5-day free, full-access trial TTP Quant

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Target Test Prep

Top First Responders*

1 Brent@GMATPrepNow 56 first replies
2 fskilnik@GMATH 55 first replies
3 GMATGuruNY 50 first replies
4 Jay@ManhattanReview 38 first replies
5 Rich.C@EMPOWERgma... 23 first replies
* Only counts replies to topics started in last 30 days
See More Top Beat The GMAT Members

Most Active Experts

1 image description Scott@TargetTestPrep

Target Test Prep

198 posts
2 image description fskilnik@GMATH

GMATH Teacher

157 posts
3 image description Brent@GMATPrepNow

GMAT Prep Now Teacher

105 posts
4 image description Max@Math Revolution

Math Revolution

83 posts
5 image description GMATGuruNY

The Princeton Review Teacher

75 posts
See More Top Beat The GMAT Experts