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By applying optimization techniques commonly used to plan

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By applying optimization techniques commonly used to plan

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By applying optimization techniques commonly used to plan operations, it is possible to determine how much effort ought to be devoted to each of a company’s products in order to meet its goals in both the short and long terms.

(A) it is possible to determine how much effort ought to be devoted to each of a company’s products in order to meet its goals in both the short and long terms

(B) a company’s managers can determine how much effort should be dedicated to each of the company’s products in order to meet its short and long term goals

(C) it can be determined by company managers how much effort ought to be devoted to each of the company’s products in order to meet its goals, both short and long term

(D) it may be possible for company managers to determine how much effort should be dedicated to each of these products in order to meet the company’s short and long term goals

(E) managers at a company can determine how much effort ought to be dedicated to each of these products in order to meet the company’s goals in both the short and long term

OA B

Source: Manhattan GMAT

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This question is primarily testing OPENING MODIFIERS.

The sentence begins with the opening modifier By applying optimization techniques commonly used to plan operations,...
This must be followed by the SUBJECT being modified, i.e. the person(s) or thing(s) applying these techniques.

(A) it is possible to determine how much effort ought to be devoted to each of a company’s products in order to meet its goals in both the short and long terms
- here, the subject is "it." We cannot use "it" as a vague general pronoun after an opening modifier, because that "it" can't be applying a technique.
- "short an long term" is idiomatic, not "terms"

(B) a company’s managers can determine how much effort should be dedicated to each of the company’s products in order to meet its short and long term goals
- "managers" are correctly modified by "by applying..."

(C) it can be determined by company managers how much effort ought to be devoted to each of the company’s products in order to meet its goals, both short and long term
- same "it" issue as in A.

(D) it may be possible for company managers to determine how much effort should be dedicated to each of these products in order to meet the company’s short and long term goals
- same "it" issue again

(E) managers at a company can determine how much effort ought to be dedicated to each of these products in order to meet the company’s goals in both the short and long term
- correct subject with "managers," but...
- "these" would have to refer back to products already mentioned, but none were mentioned.

The answer is B.

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Ceilidh Erickson
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EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education


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