SC Drill: Ten Questions that Test Meaning

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Set a timer for 20 minutes, and try these ten SC questions. When you’re done, you can find the explanations on Google on GMATClub! 🙂

1) Minerva Consulting has a budget about the same as the largest consulting firms in the state, like Cost Stonehouse or McKidney’s, but only twenty four in workforce, all of whom have advanced degrees.

(A) about the same as the largest consulting firms in the state, like Cost Stonehouse or McKidney’s, but only twenty four in workforce, all of whom have

(B) of about the same as the largest consulting firms in the state have, as Cost Stonehouse or McKidney’s, but in Minerva there is only a workforce of twenty four, and all of them have

(C) that is about the same as the budgets of largest consulting firms in the state, such as Cost Stonehouse or McKidney’s, but in Minerva with a workforce of only twenty four, all of them having

(D) comparable to the budgets of the largest consulting firms in the state, like Cost Stonehouse or McKidney’s, but only twenty four in workforce, and all have

(E) comparable to those of the largest consulting firms in the state, such as Cost Stonehouse or McKidney’s, but a workforce of only twenty four, all of whom have

 

2) Quintus Flaccus (65 – 8 BCE), known in the English-speaking world as “Horace”, was a contemporary of Virgil and the preeminent lyrical poet of the Augustan age; his poems were known as the “common currency of civilization” because they were so widely read and quoted, and over the past two millennia have had a much greater influence than any poet from ancient Rome.

(A) than any

(B) than any other

(C) as any other

(D) as those of any other

(E) than those of any other

 

3) The state of Maine, in the extreme northeast corner of the continental United States, shares land borders with two Canadian provinces, Quebec and New Brunswick, but only is adjacent with one state, New Hampshire

(A) only is adjacent with one

(B) is adjacent only with one

(C) is adjacent to only one other

(D) only is adjacent to one

(E) is only adjacent to one other

 

4) Geophysically, Eurasia is Earth’s largest landmass, and their peaks, the Himalayas, are the highest corresponding mountains on Earth.

(A) their peaks, the Himalayas, are the highest corresponding

(B) its peaks, the Himalayas, are correspondingly the highest

(C) its peaks, the Himalayas, are the highest corresponding

(D) its peaks, the Himalayas, correspond to the highest

(E) their peaks, the Himalayas, are correspondingly the highest

 

5) By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, in 1797–1798 Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him to arrive at an astonishingly accurate figure for the weight of the earth.

A. By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, in 1797–1798 Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him

B. In 1797–1798, by devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish’s apparatus enabled him

C. Henry Cavendish devised an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employed uncommonly precise measurements, and in 1797–1798 was able

D. Having devised an instrument from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employment of uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish in 1797–1798 was able

E. By devising an instrument made from a rod, wire, and lead balls, and employing uncommonly precise measurements, Henry Cavendish was able in 1797–1798

 

6) Even-toed ungulates, including pigs, cattle, goats, and sheep, and odd-toed ungulates, such as horses and donkeys, account for all the mammals domesticated for agricultural purposes.

(A) including pigs, cattle, goats, and sheep, and odd-toed ungulates, such as horses and donkeys, account for

(B) including pigs, cattle, goats, and sheep, and odd-toed ungulates, including horses and donkeys, accounting for

(C) included among pigs, cattle, goats, and sheep, and odd-toed ungulates, such as horses and donkeys, account for

(D) included among pigs, cattle, goats, and sheep, and odd-toed ungulates, like horses and donkeys, are accounted for by

(E) like pigs, cattle, goats, and sheep, and odd-toed ungulates, like horses and donkeys, are accounted for by

 

7) While the marketing department projected robust sales throughout the summer, typically Allport Corporation’s biggest season, the drought in Midwestern states limited total revenue to only $300 million in the third quarter.

(A) typically Allport Corporation’s biggest season, the drought in Midwestern states limited total revenue to only

(B) Allport Corporation’s biggest typical season, the drought in Midwestern states limited only total revenue to

(C) which typically is Allport Corporation’s biggest season, the drought in Midwestern states only limited total revenue to

(D) which is typically Allport Corporation’s biggest season, the drought in Midwestern states limiting total revenue to only

(E) Allport Corporation’s biggest typical season, the drought in Midwestern states only limiting total revenue to

 

8) After establishing several lucrative deals in the Far East, the CEO of Brantford Industrial said that he wanted to encourage their expanding into promising overseas markets, the use of domestic suppliers for all materials besides oil products, and the acquisition of a more extensive distribution network.

(A) their expanding into promising overseas markets, the use of domestic suppliers for all materials besides

(B) their expansion into promising overseas markets, using domestic suppliers for all materials instead of

(C) its expansion into promising overseas markets, the use of domestic suppliers for all materials other than

(D) its expansion into promising overseas markets, using domestic suppliers for all materials other than

(E) its expanding into promising overseas markets, using domestic suppliers for all materials except

 

9) Daniel Bernoulli derived the famous fluid equation named after him, to explain an airplane’s wing’s generation of lift, and made a discovery that led to an early method of measuring blood pressure.

(A) equation named after him, to explain an airplane’s wing’s generation of lift

(B) equation named after him, and this principle explains the lift of an airplane’s wing

(C) equation, named it after himself, explained how an airplane’s wing is generating lift

(D) equation named for him, giving an explanation of the generation of the lift of an airplane’s wing

(E) equation named for him, which explains how an airplane’s wing generates lift

 

10) Based on records from ancient Athens, each year young Athenian women collaborated to weave a new woolen robe that they used to dress a statue of the goddess Athena and that this robe depicted scenes of a battle between Zeus, Athena’s father, and giants.

(A) Based on records from ancient Athens, each year young Athenian women collaborated to weave a new woolen robe that they used to dress

(B) Based on records from ancient Athens, each year young Athenian women had collaborated to weave a new woolen robe with which to dress

(C) According to records from ancient Athens, each year young Athenian women collaborated to weave a new woolen robe that they used to dress

(D) Records from ancient Athens indicate that each year young Athenian women collaborated to weave a new woolen robe with which they dressed

(E) Records from ancient Athens indicate each year young Athenian women had collaborated to weave a new woolen robe for dressing 

700+ Level: Practicing Geometry Word Problems

nbc jack chalkboard referenceAlgebraic translation (turning the description of relationships between x and y, apples and oranges, Todd’s income to Sarah’s income, perimeter to area, etc.) is a fundamental GMAT skill. Some students see this skill as a “trap” or some kind of nightmare. 😉

The truth is, you cannot avoid Problem Solving word problems on Test Day. BUT…you can conquer your fear of them by practicing specific types of Word Problems to hone particular skills. It’s always better to focus on one area at a time and build up your skill-set that way than do a million mixed Word Problems all at once.

Remember, word smarter, not harder!

Below are two GMAT questions that involve Geometry. Students get particularly frustrated with questions like these because Geometry is so inherently visual. When the GMAT doesn’t provide us with the diagram or image, we feel cheated. 😉

“What?! You mean I have to draw something AND come up with my own equations for it!”

These problems are especially good practice for anyone looking to break a Q40 or boost their Geometry abilities. Before you tackle these problems, you may want to read through my Reddit post of these types of questions.

Ready to go? Set a timer for 5 minutes, and see if you can get through both of them!

Question #1

A rectangular park has a perimeter of 340 feet and a diagonal measurement of 130 feet.What is its area, in square feet?

(A) 2500

(B) 1440

(C) 6000

(D) 7040

(E) 8080

Question #2

2017-11-07_0941

The above figure represents a square plot measuring x feet on a side. The plot consists of a rectangular garden, 48 square feet in area, surrounded by a walk that is 3 feet wide on two opposite sides and 2 feet wide on the other two sides. What is the value of x?

(A) 8
(B) 10
(C) 12
(D) 16
(E) 18

 

Scroll down for explanations!

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATIONS

Question #1

Let x and y equal the length and width of the rectangle. The perimeter is 340.

2x+2y=340

x+y=170

The diagnonal is 130.

x^2 + y^2 = 130^2

We want to find the value of xy, so let’s square both sides of the first equation to make it look like the second:

x^2 + 2xy + y^2 = 170^2

We can substitute 130^2 in for x^2 + y^2 in the second equation:

2xy + 130^2 = 170^2

2xy = 170^2 – 130^2

The right-hand side of our equation looks like our common Quadratic x^2 – y^2 = (x + y)(x – y).

2xy = (170 + 130)(170 – 130)

2xy = (300)(40)

xy = (300)(20)

xy = 6000

The correct answer is (C).

Question #2

We can say that the length of the rectangle is x – 4, and that the width is x – 6.

Area = (x-4)(x-6) = 48
x = 12

The correct answer is (C).

Here’s similar questions on GMATClub that you may want to practice:

Rectangular Yard + Hedge Question

Border and Photograph Question

Ratios with Brass Inlay Question

Math Things to Memorize: the Combinations Formula

For some questions on the GMAT, you will need to know the Combinations formula.

Combinations formula = n! / k! (n-k)!

n = the bigger number (what we’re choosing from) 
k = the smaller number (how many we’re choosing)

Check out this question from Math Revolution:

How many committees can be formed comprising 2 male members selected from 4 men, 3 female members selected from 5 women, and 3 junior members selected from 6 juniors?

A. 900
B. 1200
C. 1500
D. 1800
E. 2400

We could almost rephrase this as three different questions:

How many ways to choose 2 from 4?
How many ways to choose 3 from 5?
How many ways to choose 3 from 6?

Let’s start with the first question: how many ways to choose 2 from 4? 

4! / 2! (4-2)!
4! / 2!2!
(4 x 3 x 2 x 1) / (2 x 1)(2 x 1)
24/4 = 6

But if we counted this and said the four males were ABCD, we could just list AB, AC, AD, BC, BD, and CD, and you can see it also equals 6.

Anyway, finding the other two:

How many ways to choose 3 from 5?

5! / 3! (5-3)!
5! / 3! 2!
We can cancel out 3! from both numerator and denominator.
5 x 4 / 2
20/2 = 10

How many ways to choose 3 from 6?

6! / 3! (6-3)!
6! / 3! 3!
We can cancel out one 3! from both numerator and denominator.
6 x 5 x 4 / 3 x 2
120 / 6 = 20

Back to our original questions:

How many ways to choose 2 from 4? 6
How many ways to choose 3 from 5? 10
How many ways to choose 3 from 6? 20

Now, multiply all those numbers together! :)

6 x 10 x 20 = 1200

The correct answer is (B).

How to Strengthen an Argument in GMAT CR

There’s several ways to strengthen an argument. We can add new evidence, support the existing evidence, or perhaps even give a tidbit that might show an assumption is likely. Strengthen questions can be trickier than Assumption or Evaluate, because you can’t just hone in on the Conclusion and ignore or devalue everything else. With Strengthen (and Weaken) you have to take into account the ENTIRE picture. There might be 2-3 ways to strengthen, and the correct answer is not the first one that comes to your mind!

Let’s look at an argument:

The government is being urged to prevent organizations devoted to certain views on human nutrition from advocating a diet that includes large portions of uncooked meat, because eating uncooked meat can be very dangerous. However, this purported fact does not justify the government’s silencing the groups, for surely the government would not be justified in silencing a purely political group merely on the grounds that the policies the group advocates could be harmful to some members of society. The same should be true for silencing groups with certain views on human nutrition.

Which one of the following principles most helps to justify the reasoning in the argument?

(A) The government should not silence any group for advocating a position that a significant proportion of society believes to be beneficial.
(B) The government ought to do whatever is in the best interest of society.
(C) One ought to advocate a position only if one believes that it is true or would be beneficial.
(D) The government ought not to silence an opinion merely on the grounds that it could be harmful to disseminate the opinion.
(E) One ought to urge the government to do only those things the government is justified in doing.

Let’s break this down:

Evidence: Gov’t urged to stop anti-meat groups

Conclusion: Gov’t not JUSTIFIED in SILENCING them

Additional Evidence: Gov’t shouldn’t silence just because harmful to “some” — similarly, shouldn’t silence nutrition groups

The author is assuming that these “certain views” on nutrition might also be harmful to “some” members of society, so the gov’t might want to silence them. To strengthen, perhaps we could get additional evidence on the potential dangers of these pro-nutrition groups? Or perhaps brand-new info that shows why the gov’t is not justified in silencing the anti-meat groups?

PREDICTION: Certain nutrition groups also harmful and gov’t doesn’t silence them. Anything that shows the gov’t lacks “justification” to silence anti-meat. Perhaps a good thing about anti-meat? (I admit, I’m reaching a bit.)

We can have our Prediction but ALSO be a little more open to what the answer choices will bring with this one. :)

(A) The government should not silence any group for advocating a position that a significant proportion of society believes to be beneficial. (it’s not really about the proportion of society)
(B) The government ought to do whatever is in the best interest of society. (“best interest” doesn’t really relate to meat or nutrition groups or the idea of justification)
(C) One ought to advocate a position only if one believes that it is true or would be beneficial. (this kind of general “one” talk pops up a lot on LSAT questions, but not really on the GMAT. It’s wrong.)
(D) The government ought not to silence an opinion merely on the grounds that it could be harmful to disseminate the opinion.(more on topic, let’s keep for now)
(E) One ought to urge the government to do only those things the government is justified in doing. (don’t love the “one” talk, but it’s more on topic, so let’s keep for now)

Now that we have identified the Final Two, let’s take a closer look at which one is more focused on the specifics of the argument:

(D) The government ought not to silence an opinion merely on the grounds that it could be harmful to disseminate the opinion.
(E) One ought to urge the government to do only those things the government is justified in doing.

Let’s look at the conclusion again:

This purported fact (uncooked meat = dangerous) does not justify the government’s silencing the groups.

It’s really about the government’s actions, not really what the PEOPLE should be. Like (C), choice (E) has that weird “one ought” language. With CR, we aren’t really here to make moral judgments. We want to strengthen the idea that the GOV’T is not JUSTIFIED.

If we rephrase (D) it says: “gov’t shouldn’t silence opinions that could be alarming.” This re-states and re-energizes the idea that “gov’t shouldn’t silence just because harmful to ‘some'”.

The correct answer is (D).

GMAT DS: The Statements Cannot Contradict Each Other!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few good takeaways from this question:

-we can always rewrite integers as their factors, so we can say 9 = 3^2
-we can multiply across inequalities freely (without flipping the sign) when we know the variables are positive
-if a smaller integer is LARGER than a bigger integer and they both have unknown exponents, then the exponent of the smaller integer is obviously “making up” for the difference in value and must be larger than the bigger integer’s exponent

The answer is (D).

The flaw with the question: The statements are incompatible. It cannot be that x = 0 and y = 2, and Statement (2) is true. Because if we plug in x = 0 and y = 2, then Statement (2) reads:

1/16 > 16/9
1/16 is not larger than 16/9

So, while there’s good takeaways here, the fact that the statements contradict one another do not make this a great GMAT question. It is not an official GMAT problem for this exact reason.

Here’s a little more scratchwork, if you’re curious!

Backsolving Problem Solving “Work” Questions

One way to do these type of question is to Backsolve, or essentially “try out” the answer choices. Let’s look at a problem:

Working together, each at his or her own constant rate, Jeff and Ashley painted their apartment in 6 hours. Working at his constant rate, Jeff could have painted the whole apartment in 10 hours. How many hours would it have taken Ashley, working at her constant rate, to paint the apartment?

A. 4
B. 12
C. 15
D. 16
E. 20

Let’s say it takes Ashley 15 hours (choosing answer choice (C)). Ashley would have a 1/15 rate and Jeff’s rate is 1/10 each hour. Working together they would do 1/15 + 1/10 each hour, or 2/30 + 3/30 = 5/30 = 1/6 in one hour. Then, yes, it does make sense that together the would do the job in 6 hours.

We got lucky here that (C) ended up being the correct answer, but if our answer had not matched the given information, then we probably could have discerned the correct answer based on how “too big” or “too small” we were.

While not required, sometimes we forget how useful leveraging the answer choices can be! :)

Possessives on GMAT Sentence Correction

In the latter years of the Great Depression, colleagues of Franklin Roosevelt’s argued that his proposed Social Security Act has a good chance of succeeding due to its strong bipartisan support, sound fiscal plan, and widespread electoral approval.

A. Roosevelt’s argued that his proposed Social Security Act has
B. Roosevelt’s argued that his proposed Social Security Act had
C. Roosevelt’s have argued that his proposed Social Security Act had
D. Roosevelt argued that his proposed Social Security Act had
E. Roosevelt had argued that his proposed Social Security Act has

In the first phrase, we get a great clue about what time period these colleagues lived: the “latter years of the Great Depression.” This is obviously in the PAST, so we need the action that the colleagues did to be a past tense verb. Answer choice (C) is present perfect tense (used to describe something that started in the past and CONTINUE to the present. But these colleagues are dead now, so how can they still be arguing?)

In (E) we have Past Perfect, which is a kind of past tense, BUT we only use this tense to describe an event that occurred before a Simple Past Tense event. In (E), “has” is not past tense, and even if it were, the meaning wouldn’t make sense. The colleagues didn’t argue BEFORE the Social Security Act had a chance of success.

So, now we know it has to be (A), (B), or (D). Since (A) also uses the word “has” and we discussed this in (E), we can eliminate this, too.

Let’s focus on the differences of the Final Two:

(B) In the latter years of the Great Depression, colleagues of Roosevelt’s argued that his proposed Social Security Act had a good chance of succeeding due to its strong bipartisan support, sound fiscal plan, and widespread electoral approval.

(D) In the latter years of the Great Depression, colleagues of Roosevelt argued that his proposed Social Security Act had a good chance of succeeding due to its strong bipartisan support, sound fiscal plan, and widespread electoral approval.

Wow! Only one difference. :) So what do we know about the use of possessives? When a noun turns into a possessive, it becomes a modifier.

EX: Jill won the soccer game.
Meaning: Jill is the one who won.

EX: Jill’s team won the soccer game.
Meaning: The TEAM won, and “Jill’s” just describes the team.

So in (B), if “Roosevelt’s” is now a modifier, the question becomes, what is it modifying? The only logical option is “colleagues.” So the meaning of (B) is “colleagues of Roosevelt’s colleagues.” Um…what? That’s redundant.

The correct answer is (D).