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SC: "Most of Portugal's..."

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me_1234 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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SC: "Most of Portugal's..."

Post Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:18 pm
Most of Portugal's 250,000 university students boycotted classes in a one-day strike to protest a law that requires them to contribute $330 a year toward the cost of higher education, previously paying $7 per year.


a/ year toward the cost of higher education, previously paying $7 per year

b/ year toward the cost of higher education, for which was previously paid $7 per year

c/ year, compared to the previously $7 per year, toward the cost of higher education

d/ year toward the cost of higher education, instead of the $7 per year required previously

e/ year as opposed to the $7 per year required previously for the cost of higher education


Answer: D


I'm not totally clear why D is the right answer?

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Top Reply
Post Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:20 am
Quote:
Most of Portugal’s 250,000 university students boycotted classes in a one-day strike to protest a law that requires them to contribute $330 a year toward the cost of higher education, previously paying $7 per year.

A. year toward the cost of higher education, previously paying $7 per year
B. year toward the cost of higher education, for which was previously paid $7 per
year
C. year, compared to the previously $7 per year, toward the cost of higher education
D. year toward the cost of higher education, instead of the $7 per year required
previously
E. year as opposed to the $7 per year required previously for the cost of higher
education
Generally, a COMMA + VERBing modifier serves to express CONTEMPORANEOUS action: an action attributed to the preceding subject and happening AT THE SAME TIME as -- and often as a result of -- the preceding action.
Thus, A implies the following:
When the students contribute $330 a year, they are AT THE SAME TIME previously paying $7 per year.
Not the intended meaning.

B states that students must contribute $330 a year toward their education, for which was previously paid $7 per year.
Here, it's unclear WHO previously paid $7 per year.
Also, a reader might construe that BOTH amounts are being applied to a student's education (the $330 a year AND the $7 previously paid).
To make it clear that one amount ($330 a year) is serving to REPLACE the previous amount ($7 per year), a word of contrast is needed (such as instead or whereas).
Eliminate B.

In C, previously (adverb) cannot serve to modify the $7 per year (noun phrase).
Eliminate C.

E: a law that requires them to contribute $330 a year as opposed to...
Here, it is unclear WHY the law requires students to contribute $330 a year.
Eliminate E.

The correct answer is D.

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Post Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:38 am
akara2500 wrote:
Hi Mitch, sorry for coming up this thread again. However in OA D, do we have ambiguous in the word "required", as it is in passive voice so who required previously?
This line of reasoning is faulty.
A past participle (VERBed) can serve as an adjective.
In the OA, required is an adjective serving to modify $7 per year.
The agent of VERBed modifier does not need to be identified.
That said, the OA makes the agent of required crystal clear:
Since it is stated that a LAW REQUIRES students now to contribute $330 a year, the implication is that the previous fee -- $7 per year -- was also required BY LAW.

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Marty Murray Legendary Member
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Post Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:10 pm
melanie.espeland wrote:
Most of Portugal's 250,000 university students boycotted classes in a one-day strike to protest a law that requires them to contribute $330 a year toward the cost of higher education, previously paying $7 per year.


a/ year toward the cost of higher education, previously paying $7 per year

b/ year toward the cost of higher education, for which was previously paid $7 per year

c/ year, compared to the previously $7 per year, toward the cost of higher education

d/ year toward the cost of higher education, instead of the $7 per year required previously

e/ year as opposed to the $7 per year required previously for the cost of higher education


Answer: D


I'm not totally clear why D is the right answer?
A) previously paying is not logically well connected to the rest of the sentence, and to the degree it is connected previously paying seems to be modifying education rather than whomever was paying. Eliminate.

B) If we look closely at the for which was previously paid, we realize that it's not clear who was paying the $7. Was it the students? One might assume that, but it's not clear. Eliminate.

C) Adverb previously incorrectly modifies noun $7, which error also makes the rest of the sentence structurally awkward. Also, compared with might be better than compared to here. Eliminate.

D) This works well. a law that requires them to contribute $330 a year...instead of the $7 per year required previously. Keep.

E) In this choice the $330 year is there all on its own unmodified, while the $7 a year is clearly for higher education. So the meaning is unclear. Eliminate.

Choose D.

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Post Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:32 pm
Hi melanie.espeland,

This SC implies a "comparison", which means that we'll need to use "parallelism" rules.

The first part of the sentence uses the phrase "contribute $330….", but we don't know what the students are contributing to/towards, so the sentence NEEDS to clarify that point; the phrase "…toward the cost of higher education" cleans that up. Eliminate C and E.

The second part of the sentence compares $7 to $330, but MUST also parallel the first part (so the second phrase also must mention what the $7 was for). Eliminate A and B.

The phrase "required previously" provides enough context to compare the current contribution to the past contribution.

Final Answer: D

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me_1234 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:19 pm
Thank you all!

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akara2500 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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Post Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:04 am
GMATGuruNY wrote:
Quote:
Most of Portugal’s 250,000 university students boycotted classes in a one-day strike to protest a law that requires them to contribute $330 a year toward the cost of higher education, previously paying $7 per year.

A. year toward the cost of higher education, previously paying $7 per year
B. year toward the cost of higher education, for which was previously paid $7 per
year
C. year, compared to the previously $7 per year, toward the cost of higher education
D. year toward the cost of higher education, instead of the $7 per year required
previously
E. year as opposed to the $7 per year required previously for the cost of higher
education
Generally, a COMMA + VERBing modifier serves to express CONTEMPORANEOUS action: an action attributed to the preceding subject and happening AT THE SAME TIME as -- and often as a result of -- the preceding action.
Thus, A implies the following:
When the students contribute $330 a year, they are AT THE SAME TIME previously paying $7 per year.
Not the intended meaning.

B states that students must contribute $330 a year toward their education, for which was previously paid $7 per year.
Here, it's unclear WHO previously paid $7 per year.
Also, a reader might construe that BOTH amounts are being applied to a student's education (the $330 a year AND the $7 previously paid).
To make it clear that one amount ($330 a year) is serving to REPLACE the previous amount ($7 per year), a word of contrast is needed (such as instead or whereas).
Eliminate B.

In C, previously (adverb) cannot serve to modify the $7 per year (noun phrase).
Eliminate C.

E: a law that requires them to contribute $330 a year as opposed to...
Here, it is unclear WHY the law requires students to contribute $330 a year.
Eliminate E.

The correct answer is D.
Hi Mitch, sorry for coming up this thread again. However in OA D, do we have ambiguous in the word "required", as it is in passive voice so who required previously?

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sana.noor Legendary Member Default Avatar
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Post Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:29 am
Mitch i need some further help regarding this question
In option C is "compared" right? usually comma + ed-modifiers modifies the noun it follows
In option A isnt comma +previously wrong because it should modify the effect of the action mentioned in previous clause where as it is modifying students that are not the main subject here.

GMATGuruNY wrote:
Quote:
Most of Portugal’s 250,000 university students boycotted classes in a one-day strike to protest a law that requires them to contribute $330 a year toward the cost of higher education, previously paying $7 per year.

A. year toward the cost of higher education, previously paying $7 per year
B. year toward the cost of higher education, for which was previously paid $7 per
year
C. year, compared to the previously $7 per year, toward the cost of higher education
D. year toward the cost of higher education, instead of the $7 per year required
previously
E. year as opposed to the $7 per year required previously for the cost of higher
education
Generally, a COMMA + VERBing modifier serves to express CONTEMPORANEOUS action: an action attributed to the preceding subject and happening AT THE SAME TIME as -- and often as a result of -- the preceding action.
Thus, A implies the following:
When the students contribute $330 a year, they are AT THE SAME TIME previously paying $7 per year.
Not the intended meaning.

B states that students must contribute $330 a year toward their education, for which was previously paid $7 per year.
Here, it's unclear WHO previously paid $7 per year.
Also, a reader might construe that BOTH amounts are being applied to a student's education (the $330 a year AND the $7 previously paid).
To make it clear that one amount ($330 a year) is serving to REPLACE the previous amount ($7 per year), a word of contrast is needed (such as instead or whereas).
Eliminate B.

In C, previously (adverb) cannot serve to modify the $7 per year (noun phrase).
Eliminate C.

E: a law that requires them to contribute $330 a year as opposed to...
Here, it is unclear WHY the law requires students to contribute $330 a year.
Eliminate E.

The correct answer is D.

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Post Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:20 am
sana.noor wrote:
Mitch i need some further help regarding this question
In option C is "compared" right? usually comma + ed-modifiers modifies the noun it follows
On the GMAT, it is VERY common for an SC to include COMMA + COMPARISON PHRASE.
The purpose of the comparison phrase will be to EXPLAIN or DEFINE a preceding data point.

Official examples:
Soaring television costs accounted for more than half the spending in the presidential campaign of 1992, a greater proportion than in any previous election.
Only seven people this century have been killed by the great white shark, fewer than have been killed by bee stings.
More than 43 percent of Californians under the age of eighteen are Hispanic, compared with about 35 percent a decade ago.


In each of the OAs above, the comparison phrase in red serves to explain the preceding data point in blue.
These comparison phrases can take on many forms.
How they are classified is unimportant.
What matters is how they all function:
Each serves to explain a preceding data point.
As long as it is clear what data points are being compared, consider the answer choice correct.

C: $330 a year, compared to...$7 a year
In C, it seems clear that the phrase in red serves to explain the preceding data point in blue.

Quote:
In option A isnt comma +previously wrong because it should modify the effect of the action mentioned in previous clause where as it is modifying students that are not the main subject here.
COMMA + VERBing serves to express an action that is a COMPONENT OF or a RESULT OF the nearest preceding action.
Generally, this type of modifier will refer not only to the nearest preceding action but also to the agent of this action.
A: students boycotted classes in a one-day strike to protest a law that requires them to contribute $330 a year toward the cost of higher education, previously paying $7 per year
Here, the COMMA + VERBing modifier in red seems to refer to the preceding action in blue and to the agent of this action (students).
It is logical for previously paying to refer to students, since the STUDENTS were previously PAYING $7 per year.
But C can be eliminated for the following reason:
The act of previously paying $7 per year is NOT a component of or a result of the preceding action in blue (to contribute $330 a year).

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