Lesson: Structure Questions

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Public health expert: INCREASING THE URGENCY OF A PUBLIC HEALTH MESSAGE MAY BE COUNTERPRODUCTIVE. In addition to irritating the majority who already behave responsibly, IT MAY UNDERMINE ALL GOVERNMENT PRONOUNCEMENTS ON HEALTH BY CONVINCING PEOPLE THAT SUCH MESSAGES ARE OVERLY CAUTIOUS, and there is no reason to believe that those who ignore measured voices will listen to shouting.

The two sections in BOLDFACE play which of the following roles in the public health expert's argument?

(A) The first is a conclusion for which support is provided. but is not the argument's main conclusion; the second is an unsupported premise supporting the arguments main conclusion.

(B) The first is a premise supporting the only explicit conclusion; so is the second.

(C) The first is the argument's main conclusion; the second supports that conclusion and is itself a conclusion for which support is provided.

(D) The first is a premise supporting the argument's only conclusion; the second is that conclusion.

(E) The first is the argument‘s only explicit conclusion; the second is a premise supporting that conclusion.

could u pls explain this.
gmat-admin's picture

Many students will like answer choice C, since The first part ("The first is the argument's main conclusion") is correct. However, the second part (" the second supports that conclusion and is itself a conclusion for which support is provided") is incorrect. There is nothing that supports the second boldfaced part.

If we summarize the argument in basic terms, we get:
INCREASING URGENCY MAY BE COUNTERPRODUCTIVE. Here's why: (1) irritates some, (2) UNDERMINE ALL PRONOUNCEMENTS, and (3) who listens to shouting.

If we get even more generic, the structure goes like this:
Conclusion. 3 things that support the conclusion.

Answer: E

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Hi Brent,
what's your opinion on the third (650-800)? The OA is definitely confusing (E). IMO D is a more logical answer. Could you explain ?
gmat-admin's picture

You're referring to https://gmatclub.com/forum/scientists-typically-do-their-most-creative-w...

Although many people believe that aging reduces creativity, the author is trying to convince us that this is NOT the case.

The first bold part says "scientists who produce highly creative work beyond the age of forty, a disproportionately large number entered their field at an older age than is usual"

This bolded portion does NOT support the common notion that aging reduces creativity. Instead, it is evidence that the author uses to REFUTE the notion that aging reduces creativity.

Answer choice D says "The first is evidence that has been used to support an explanation that the argument challenges; the second is a competing explanation that the argument favors." In other words, answer choice D says that the 1st bolded part SUPPORTS the notion that aging reduces creativity.

As such, D is incorrect.

For a different take on this question, see Mitch's solution here: http://www.beatthegmat.com/scientists-go-their-work-mostly-before-the-ag...

Hi Brent, I am referring to the question below since i have absolutely no clue why the official answer is B. In the topic explanations there are many controversial opinions.

I picked A because C, D, E are out of scope and B simply doesn't make sense. Answer choice A seems to serve the same function as bolded part, clarifying that "Oxy" water i useless in improving physical performance and its only function is the same as normal water.


One of the limiting factors in human physical performance is the amount of oxygen that is absorbed by the muscles from the bloodstream. Accordingly, entrepreneurs have begun selling at gymnasiums and health clubs bottles of drinking water, labeled “SuperOXY,” that has extra oxygen dissolved in the water. Such water would be useless in improving physical performance, however, since the only way to get oxygen into the bloodstream so that it can be absorbed bye the muscles is through the lungs.


Which of the following, if true, would serve the same function in the argument as the statement in boldface?

A. the water lost in exercising can be replaced with ordinary tap water
B. the amount of oxygen in the blood of people who are exercising is already more than the muscle can absorb
C. world-class athletes turn in record performance without such water
D. frequent physical exercise increases the body’s ability to take in and use oxygen
E. lack of oxygen is not the only factor limiting human physical performance

Once again thank you for excellent videos and great explanations.
gmat-admin's picture

The original poster of that question incorrectly stated that the answer is B. The official answer is C.

For two nice solutions (by Marty and Mitch), see http://www.beatthegmat.com/replace-highlighted-text-with-alternate-sente...

Thank you for pointing this out. I took my original question from the recommended by you practice problems. However, the question stems are different for these similar problems. It seems to be that the author of my question replaced the question stem with the bold part in your question.

Anyways, Beatthegmat made it clear, thank you.

Brent, you deserve a statue on your honor. After applying the strategies of method reasoning question this kind of question seems easier now.
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