Verbal questions from any Manhattan Prep GMAT Computer Adaptive Test. Topic subject should be the first few words of your question.
dlall2001
 
 

Citical Reasoning

by dlall2001 Fri Jan 18, 2008 6:06 pm

Recently in City X, developers have stopped buying land, contractors have found themselves going without work for longer periods, and banks have issued fewer mortgages. There must be fewer new residents moving to City X than there were previously.

Which of the following indicates a flaw in the reasoning above?
A This year several housing blocks have gone on the market after being held up for months by legal red tape.
B The average size of a new home has increased significantly over the past several years.
C Re-sales of condominiums have increased over the past six months.
DThe cost of materials such as lumber and cement has decreased over the past year.
E Sales of other big-ticket items, such as automobiles and boats, has remained steady over the past year.
answer is A

>>> this is one of the questions from the tests. i am unable to understand the reasoning of this questions. can anyone pls explain...
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Re: Citical Reasoning

by RonPurewal Sat Jan 19, 2008 3:04 am

dlall2001 wrote:>>> this is one of the questions from the tests.


we need the actual source of the question in order to answer it.

when you say 'the tests' you've got to tell us which tests! (gmatprep? official test? manhattangmat cat test?)

once you post a source, we'll be able to answer the question.

thanks.
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by dlall2001 Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:10 pm

This is a question from the manhattan practice tests. thanks!
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by StaceyKoprince Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:04 pm

Thanks. It's also useful if you can explain what you do get and what you don't get about a problem, so that we can address your needs very specifically (and so that we don't take the time to explain things you already understand - we have a lot of questions to answer every day!). Please try to do that in future.

Premises:
- developers aren't buying land
- contractors have less work
- banks aren't issuing as many mortgages

Conclusion: not as many people are moving into City X

Task: find a flaw. This should hinge on the gap between the premises and the conclusion. The premises we accept as true. The conclusion? Is that the ONLY reason why the premises could be occurring? Surely, there could be other reasons...

A) This says some housing was built but wasn't actually sold because there was some legal red tape. But now, all of a sudden, the legal issues have been worked out and all of these houses come on the market at once. That oversupply could explain why there's a bit of a lull in the building market - there are already a lot of houses sitting there waiting to be sold.

B) The argument concentrates on the numbers of homes built (or not built, actually), not the size of the homes.

C) This choice is a little problematic to me - I've emailed our curriculum director to suggest that we change the wording here, because although the explanation says that the argument concentrates on new homes, not existing structures, the argument does not say that explicitly.

D) If anything, if it's cheaper to build homes, you'd expect there to be more homes being built. But there aren't - the premises say that building has decreased. So there must be some alternate explanation for why the building has decreased... and the argument offers one such alternate explanation as its conclusion. Nothing in this choice specifically tears down that conclusion.

E) Out of scope - we have no data to tie auto or boat sales to home sales, nor how any of that would follow through to the conclusion stated here: that there are fewer new residents.
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DLALL2001
 
 

by DLALL2001 Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:06 pm

Thanks a lot i will keep that in mind while posting a question next time. Infact for this very question i was confused between answer A and C.
To be more specific , in questions of 'finding the weakness, finding the Flaw in the arguement', what should be checked for:

We take the premise always to be true, so the flaw that i am finding is always related to the conclusion or it is specific- related to specific questions only like ' weaken the arguement/conclusion'.

In general what should be the approach besides finding the premise and conclusion in finding the flaw??
Sorry if i sound confused!!
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by StaceyKoprince Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:58 am

No problem! When asked to find a flaw in the reasoning, you specifically want to find a flaw that, when exposed, would end up weakening the conclusion. So it's important to identify the conclusion correctly or you might get the question wrong! Most of the time, the flaw will expose some kind of problematic logic gap or assumption that lies between the premises and the conclusion. The second most common way to do this is to introduce a new premise / piece of info that weakens the conclusion.

Eg:
My tennis team won the state championship last year. This year, all the same players are returning and we've all gotten better. Therefore, we will win again this year.

The first sentence is a "fact" premise - can't challenge that. The second sentence is a "claim" or wishy-washy premise. What precisely does is mean to say we've gotten better? The third sentence is the conclusion.

Between the premises and the conclusion, I'm assuming that all other relevant factors have NOT changed - another team hasn't gotten better, etc. So if I introduced the information that last year's second and third-place teams combined their best players into one new super-team this year... that's going to hurt my claim that we'll win again this year. That's tearing down an assumption I'm making.

I could also introduce a new piece of info: because we won last year, we were moved up into a higher ranked division this year, and it is a much more challenging division (think moving from Tier II to Tier I in college athletics). That would also tend to hurt my claim that we'll win again this year.

Make sense?
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dlall2001
 
 

by dlall2001 Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:42 pm

this is very helpful...thanks a lot
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by StaceyKoprince Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:24 pm

You're welcome!
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Re: Citical Reasoning

by hmgmat Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:17 am

Hi Stacey,

You said that we can't challenge a "fact" premise.

However, I have a hard time to figure out whether a premise is a fact or a claim. For instance, OG11(yellow)#113 explanation refutes a premise -- aircraft are free-wheel systems. By reading the passage, such premise sounds like a fact to me.

Or do I misunderstand the explanation?

Is there an easy way to distinguish a "fact" premise from a claim premise?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Citical Reasoning

by esledge Mon Jun 15, 2009 2:00 pm

Three ways to distinguish fact premises from claim premises:

(1) Claims sometimes predict the future, so you might see a future tense verb in them.

Example:
(Claim premise) If the farmers don't take action, the frost will damage the orange crops. (Final conclusion) As a result, the cost of orange juice will certainly increase.

Be careful, though, because sometimes you will see a future tense verb in a strictly fact premise.

Example:
The librarian has proposed an increase in the overdue book fee. She argues that since the fee will be $7 a week (Fact premise), which exceeds the cost to purchase a paperback book, more people will return library books on time (Final conclusion).

Here, the future tense is used because the fee is not assessed yet. But the librarian is taking the fee as fact when making her prediction about library patron behavior.

(2) There is wiggle room in modifiers, which can indicate claim premises. This is the issue in the example you cite.

hmgmat wrote:However, I have a hard time to figure out whether a premise is a fact or a claim. For instance, OG11(yellow)#113 explanation refutes a premise -- aircraft are free-wheel systems. By reading the passage, such premise sounds like a fact to me.


Aircraft = Free-wheel system. True, and that means airplanes can fly anywhere. But it doesn't mean they can land anywhere. The correct answer to that question isn't so much refuting the premise as it is further clarifying the modifier "free-wheel system."

Other examples:
The difficulty with the plan is... (it's someone's opinion that there is a "difficulty")
Troubling developments at the school district... (what exactly makes them "troubling"?)

(3) Ask yourself whether the speaker/author is taking the premise as fact, or whether the author is aware that he/she is making a prediction or stating an opinion.

Finally, remember that the main reason to distinguish fact premises and claim premises is to avoid confusing claim premises with the final conclusion.
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Re: Citical Reasoning

by hmgmat Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:16 am

Thanks Emily.

The second point is a little bit hard to grasp because when I read a new term (which is "free-wheel systems" here) in a CR passage, I always assume that it is a fact (premise) since I have no knowledge about the new terms...

I think that I kind of get your point#2 but probably need a little bit more practice with the similar kind of questions that require the same technique. But I am not aware of any similar question in OG/Prep =(

Really appreciate your help.
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Re: Citical Reasoning

by kunal.gore Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:25 pm

A. explains that there are houses available so new houses are not being built. So new ppl may be moving into these existing houses. Then why are banks not issuing mortgage? Are houses in housing blocks always pre-built (no work for contractors)?

C. explains no new houses are built but there is re-sale activity suggesting new ppl are moving in. why are banks not issuing mortgage?

The reason I selected C as my answer is that it addresses 1 premise completely. It addresses why contractors do not have work. where as A does not address any of the premises when I ask are houses in housing blocks always pre-built.

where did I go wrong?
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Re: Citical Reasoning

by esledge Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:51 pm

kunal.gore wrote:A. explains that there are houses available so new houses are not being built. So new ppl may be moving into these existing houses. Then why are banks not issuing mortgage? Are houses in housing blocks always pre-built (no work for contractors)?

C. explains no new houses are built but there is re-sale activity suggesting new ppl are moving in. why are banks not issuing mortgage?

The reason I selected C as my answer is that it addresses 1 premise completely. It addresses why contractors do not have work. where as A does not address any of the premises when I ask are houses in housing blocks always pre-built.

where did I go wrong?

True, choice C may address one premise (contractor work load), but it's unclear exactly how it relates. The premise is just that "contractors have found themselves going without work for longer periods" which may indicate they are doing less new construction because new residents are replacing old residents in City X condos. If so, then C supports the premise, which in turn supports the argument.

I agree that A is not too satisfying, if we are looking for something that kills the argument. But we are looking for a flaw, which might just be something the argument didn't fully consider. To address your concern about the mortgages, A says "several housing blocks have gone on the market" not that several housing blocks have actually sold (yet). There could be many new residents in the process of moving to the city, despite the facts cited by the argument.
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Re: Citical Reasoning

by gs.abhinav Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:40 am

I missed this one because on first read I thought "housing blocks" were lands allocated for building homes and I reasoned that because more land is available for building it would have the opposite effect on all 3 -- more land to buy for builders, more work for contractors, more mortgage for banks.

Is it normal for question to contain such terms which may have vague meanings or different interpretations for different people? or is it just me?
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Re: Citical Reasoning

by tim Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:04 am

Hi gs,
Actually, if you look carefully at the question and the correct answer you’ll see that even if you interpret "housing blocks" as land the analysis holds and the correct answer still works. This is what happens more often than not - if the GMAT uses an ambiguous or technical term, you can define it in context and still be fine..
Tim Sanders
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