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Soon to be test taker seeking general advice re difficult CR

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markd4863 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Soon to be test taker seeking general advice re difficult CR

Post Sat Jan 06, 2007 4:31 pm
I'm wondering if anyone can comment regarding some of the more difficult CR questions they faced on either the real GMAT or OG11...

After nearing the end of OG11's CR section, I'm beginning to think the more difficult questions rely primarily on semantics. I see questions that rely heavily on picking up subtle connections between words, emphasis, and other variations in sentence structure. Do test takers need to use a critical eye similar to that needed for SC questions...i.e looking for antecedants, referants, etc.?

here's an example, albeit not the best illustration, but the most brief and quickest to type -

Although aspirin has been proven to eliminate moderate fever associated with some illnesses, many doctors no longer routinely recommend its use for this purpose. A moderate fever stimulates the activity of the body's disease-fighting white blood cells and also inhibits the growth of many strains of disease-causing bacteria?

If the statements above are true, which of the following conclusions is most strongly supported by them? (only two choices seemed remotely plausible)...

1) Aspirin can prolong a patients illness by eliminating moderate fever helpful in fighting some diseases.

2) Aspirin inhibits the growth of white blood cells, which are necessary for fighting some illness.


Again, this is one of the first questions I encountered where I realized I may have to hone my analysis...but many questions following in OG11, (more difficult) have relied on picking up even more subtle distinctions. THE CORRECT ANSWER IS 1

It's obvious in retrospect that in the narrative the relationship is growth....bacteria, and activity....white blood cells, so it may not be reasonable to assume aspirin inhibits growth. But, doesn't the correct choice 1 imply that the moderate fever itself is helpful in fighting disease and not the activity level of white blood cells in the presence of a moderate fever?

any illumination specific to this questions or general advice regarding difficult CR's would be appreciated

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Stacey Koprince GMAT Instructor
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Post Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:23 pm
This is a Draw A Conclusion question type. When they ask you to draw a conclusion, you cannot assume anything (if you could, who's to say that any one assumption is more valid than another?).

The correct answer will be something that you can conclude with 100% validity from the information presented. I call it the "no duh" answer - if you said it to someone else, they'd be likely to say, "Duh! That's what the argument said in the first place!"

Argument summary:

Aspirin proven to elim. moderate fever assoc. w/some illnesses
BUT doctors don't always use
B/C mod. fever stimulate (good) WBCs and inhibits (bad) bacteria

This says that aspirin prevents the mod. fever, which therefore prevents the mod fever from stimulating WBCs. Preventing WBCs from being stimulated is not the same thing as actually inhibiting them (as answer 2 says) - preventing them from being stimulated is just leaving them alone.

On the other hand, according to the argument, aspirin does elim mod fever. And if the fever is eliminated, it cannot help to stimulate disease-fighting WBCs, again according to the argument. This is basically what the first (and correct) answer choice says. No assumption necessary here.

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