GMATPrep-Participles consideration + Parallelism + logic

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After decreasing steadily in the mid-1990's, the percentage of students in the United States finishing high school or having earned equivalency diplomas increased in the last three years of the decade, up to 86.5 percent in 2000 from 85.9 percent in 1999 and 84.8 percent in 1998.

(A) finishing high school or having earned equivalency diplomas increased in the last three years of the decade, up to 86.5 percent in 2000 from 85.9 percent in 1999 and
(B) finishing high school or earning equivalency diplomas, increasing in the last three years of the decade, rising to 86.5 percent in 2000 from 85.9 percent in 1999 and from
(C) having finished high school or earning an equivalency diploma increased in the last three years of the decade, and rose to 86.5 percent in 2000 from 85.9 percent in 1999 and from
(D) who either finished high school or they earned an equivalency diploma, increasing in the last three years of the decade, rose to 86.5 percent in 2000 from 85.9 percent in 1999 and
(E) who finished high school or earned equivalency diplomas increased in the last three years of the decade, to 86.5 percent in 2000 from 85.9 percent in 1999 and

OA is E; I can see good parallelism as well in this.

Question: There are two differences in A and E:

1. "up to 86.5" percent and "to 86.5 percent" -> Should it be a consideration ? I have seen this difference in other Qs as well.

2. "finishing high school or having earned equivalency diplomas" and "who finished high school or earned equivalency diplomas" ; Aren't both conveying the same meaning ?

Trying to understand how E is better than A.

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by Chaitanya_1986 » Sat May 07, 2011 7:56 am
How come WHO modify United states?????? Who will modify a noun immediate to it.....How come E be correct...Can any one explain?

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by clock60 » Sat May 07, 2011 9:38 am
hi GmatMadeEasy
i think the main reason why E is better then A is ||-ism
in A finishing high school or having earned equivalency are not ||
second issue but less important is that
increased .....up... looks like redundancy in A, ommiting up is harmless

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by cyrwr1 » Sat May 07, 2011 11:17 am
BCD can be eliminated because from ... and from

between A and E,
In A, "increased up to" is redundant
and the parts before and after the "or" are not parallel.

Hence, E

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by gmatmachoman » Sun May 08, 2011 1:44 am
Chaitanya_1986 wrote:How come WHO modify United states?????? Who will modify a noun immediate to it.....How come E be correct...Can any one explain?
Relative pronoun " who" modifies the Noun immediate to it. But you should always check that the Noun is NOT in a Prepositional phrase like this one.

Moreover, always look for logical reference of the noun. Here "who" obviously cannot mean to US..right???

In E , who finished high school or earned equivalency diplomas... "OR" is a Coordinating conjunction and properly maintains Parallelism on LHS& RHS. (finished //earned)

In A , Parallelism is NOT maintained in the FANBOYS construction. Moreover, Verb+ing (finishing) can refer back to Unites states or the percentage of students. So that's creates a confusion.

E overall handles the modifier + idiom issue

@OP,I just had sometime to look in to previous posts for this thread. Here u have

https://www.beatthegmat.com/gmatprep-t67516.html

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by GMATMadeEasy » Sun May 08, 2011 4:04 am
@gmatmachoman: thanks for your reply. Looking at the earlier post , interestingly, reminds me how one evolves in one's understanding.
In A , Parallelism is NOT maintained in the FANBOYS construction.
Part of answer choice A: "finishing high school or having earned equivalency diplomas"
Participle finishing high school
Participle having earned equivalency diplomas

Both of the above are parallel. I agree ,though, that "having earned" could be better written as "earning" but parallelism and meaning are same. What do you say ?
Moreover, Verb+ing (finishing) can refer back to Unites states or the percentage of students. So that's creates a confusion
I do no think one should interpret this by the same logic we use in interpretation of "finishing" by saying that it modifies "percentage of students" not "US" .

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by cyrwr1 » Sun May 08, 2011 8:40 am
Who is not referring to US.

who is referring to "students in the US".

i.e.

children of the public schools who misbehave will be punished.

"who" here is the same as it refers to "children of the public schools"

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by lunarpower » Mon May 09, 2011 5:27 am
GMATMadeEasy wrote:1. "up to 86.5" percent and "to 86.5 percent" -> Should it be a consideration ? I have seen this difference in other Qs as well.
"up to" is not incorrect by itself, but, in conjunction with "increased", it's redundant.

redundancy is very difficult to notice on its own, but in comparison to non-redundant choices it should stand out a little more.
2. "finishing high school or having earned equivalency diplomas" and "who finished high school or earned equivalency diplomas" ; Aren't both conveying the same meaning ?
the first of these has inferior parallelism: both of these things are happening in the same timeframe, and they are being compared so they should be expressed in exactly the same way.
i.e., you would want either
"finishing..." and "eaning..."
or
"having finished..." and "having earned..."

superior parallelism is always better than inferior parallelism!
the parallelism in (e) is perfect; the parallelism in (a) is not perfect. this should be clear; try not to get so deep into nitpicking small grammatical issues that you don't notice large things like "hey, those two things aren't written the same way".

and, no, they don't convey the same meaning.
if you say "the number of americans who did something", that generally refers to americans who actually did that thing during the specified interval of time; if you say "the number of americans having done something", that includes americans who had done that thing at any point prior to the specified timeframe.
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by GMATMadeEasy » Mon May 09, 2011 6:15 am
redundancy is very difficult to notice on its own, but in comparison to non-redundant choices it should stand out a little more.
@Ron: well said . thanks a lot. That's a good idea to deal redundancies through diferences among answer choices.

second point is very subtle ,neverthless, very important in my opinion.

the number of americans who did something - ok

the number of americans having done something or ,in general, noun/verb + having + Verb ed modifier has conotations of previous past (past perfect).

more examples on the same line
appear to have been
beleived to have been .. etc.

likewise,
the percentage of students the United States having finished high school or having earned equivalency diplomas increased in the last three years of the decade.

The above statement does not convey the intended meaning as the author meant the figures for the duration of time frame mentioned in the sentence not for the cumulative time frame from unspecified point in the past .

Let me know if I have misinterpreted anything.

Thanks once again.

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by lunarpower » Tue May 10, 2011 12:58 am
GMATMadeEasy wrote:the number of americans having done something or ,in general, noun/verb + having + Verb ed modifier has conotations of previous past (past perfect).
the modifier "having VERBed" can correspond to either of the perfect tenses, depending on the context of the rest of the sentence. if the sentence as a whole is written in the present, then "having VERBed" will be equivalent to the present perfect (has/have verbed), but, if the sentence as a whole is written in the past, then "having VERBed" will be equivalent to the past perfect (had verbed).
more examples on the same line
appear to have been
beleived to have been .. etc.
correct; these work largely the same way. if the sentence as a whole is in the present, then these are equivalent to the present perfect; if the sentence as a whole is in the past, then these are equivalent to the past perfect.

there's also the future perfect (will have verbed) -- to which these 2 constructions are equivalent if the sentence as a whole is written in the future -- but, as i've never seen that tested on the gmat, it's best to leave it alone until if and when it actually shows up in official materials.
likewise,
the percentage of students the United States having finished high school or having earned equivalency diplomas increased in the last three years of the decade.

The above statement does not convey the intended meaning as the author meant the figures for the duration of time frame mentioned in the sentence not for the cumulative time frame from unspecified point in the past .
given that the sentence contains the word "students", yes, it's clear that this is the intended meaning. (that's also why i changed "students" to "americans" for my examples: the word "students" is incompatible with "having verbed" in this instance, because in that case they wouldn't be students anymore.)

if the sentence said "people" rather than "students", then the meaning would make sense either way -- it's reasonable to tabulate the # of people who collected degrees during the period, but it's also reasonable to tabulate the # of people who had degrees that they had collected at any time (i.e., total high school graduates).
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by GMATMadeEasy » Tue May 10, 2011 4:21 am
lunarpower at his best. thanks. I am fan of your patience with us so wierd questions sometimes, your indepth analysis, and the insight you have about issues.