Test: Concision


10 Questions MCQ Test Verbal for GMAT | Test: Concision


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QUESTION: 1

Although amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, typically causes death within 3 to 5 years of theonset of symptoms, on average, the famous physicist Stephen Hawking has defied the odds, incontrast, by living more than 40 years after his initial diagnosis.

Solution:

The original sentence contains two instances of redundant wording. First, we have "typically causes death within 3 to 5 years of the onset of symptoms, on average..." "Typically" and "on average" are both supplying the same information and are, therefore, redundant. In addition, the word "although" at the beginning of the sentence indicates that a contrast will appear later in the sentence. In the second half, we also have "in contrast," which supplies the same information as "although." Again, this is redundant.
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) This choice removes "typically," thereby eliminating the first redundancy problem with "typically" and "on average." However, the sentence retains "in contrast." Since "although" is not underlined and cannot be removed from the sentence, "in contrast" must be removed in order to eliminate the redundancy.
(C) CORRECT. This choice removes "on average," thereby eliminating the first redundancy problem with "typically" and "on average." This choice also removes "in contrast," thereby eliminating the second redundancy problem with "although and "in contrast."
(D) This choice removes "typically," thereby eliminating the first redundancy problem with "typically" and "on average." The new placement of "average," however, incorrectly alters the meaning of the sentence, implying that sufferers will die within 3 to 5 years of the worldwide average onset, rather than within 3 to 5 years of the onset of their own disease. In addition, we still have the second redundancy problem ("although" and "by contrast") and a new problem is created by the use of "by contrast." In this usage, "in contrast" is the correct idiom.
(E) This choice removes "in contrast," thereby eliminating the second redundancy problem with "although and "in contrast." However, "typically" and "average" are both still present in the sentence and are, therefore, still redundant. In addition, the new placement of "average" incorrectly alters the meaning of the sentence, implying that sufferers will die within 3 to 5 years of the worldwide average onset, rather than within 3 to 5 years of the onset of their own disease.

QUESTION: 2

Between 1990 and 2000, the annual precipitation in Henan, one of the main agriculturalprovinces in central China, has fluctuated from 250 to 470 inches per year, causing substantialvariation in the productivity of local crops and making it difficult to predict whether or not the rapid economic growth of the province could be sustained in the future.

Solution:

The original sentence incorrectly uses the present perfect “has fluctuated” rather than the simple past “fluctuated” to describe a completed action that occurred in the past. Furthermore, the use of “annual amount” and “per year” is repetitive and wordy.
Finally, the original sentence uses the redundant construction “whether or not” rather than the more concise “whether.”
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) In this answer choice, the use of “annual amount” and “per year” is repetitive and wordy. Also, this answer choice uses the redundant construction “whether or not” rather than the more concise “whether.”
(C) The use of the possessive pronoun “its” is redundant in the phrase “its rapid economic growth” because the non-underlined “of the province” that follows already indicates that the “rapid economic growth” belongs to the
province.
(D) This answer choice uses the redundant construction “whether or not” rather than the more concise “whether.”
(E) CORRECT. This answer choice correctly uses the simple past “fluctuated” to describe a completed action that occurred in the past. Furthermore, this answer avoids the use of “per year,” a construction that is redundant after an earlier reference to “the annual amount of precipitation.” Finally, this answer choice replaces the wordy and unidiomatic phrase “whether or not” with the more concise “whether.”

QUESTION: 3

The process of digital remastering is the method by which analog sound recordings areconverted to digital files, edited to remove undesirable audio artifacts introduced during analogrecording, and filtered to enhance the overall quality of the sound.

Solution:

In the original sentence, the use of both “the process” and “the method” creates an unnecessary repetition. Both refer to the same digital remastering procedure; only one reference to this procedure is needed.
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) The use of both “the process” and “the way” creates an unnecessary repetition. Both refer to the same digital remastering procedure; only one reference to this procedure is needed.
(C) CORRECT. This choice uses only one reference to the digital remastering procedure: “the process.” Also, “process by which” is concise and idiomatically sound.
(D) “Digital remastering occurs when…” changes the meaning of the sentence. This phrasing implies that digital remastering occurs as a result of the converting, editing, and filtering of the analog sound recordings. However, the intended meaning is that the process of digital remastering is the converting, editing, and filtering of these
recordings.
(E) The subject “digital remastering” lacks a main verb, resulting in an incomplete sentence. The subject is modified by “the process by which analog sound recordings are converted…and filtered to enhance the overall quality of the sound,” but this nonessential modifier cannot substitute for a main action.

QUESTION: 4

That every worker has a clean criminal record is of some importance to investment bankswhich is why a stringent background check is a necessary prerequisite for all of their jobapplicants.

Solution:

The sentence has several errors of concision. First, the structure “X is of … importance which is why Y is a … prerequisite” is awkward and wordy, and can be more concisely written as follows: “Because [X is … important], [Y is … necessary].” Second, both “some importance” and “necessary prerequisite” are redundant: if something is “important” it has "some importance"; similarly, a “prerequisite” is by definition “necessary.”
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) The singular verb “is” does not agree with the plural subject “records.” In addition, the plural verb "are" does not agree with the singular subject "background check." Finally, the phrase “necessary prerequisite” is redundant.
(C) CORRECT. The redundant and passive clause “X is of significant importance to investment banks” is replaced by the more concise and active clause “they [investment banks] consider X important.” In addition, the redundant and passive clause “a background check is a necessary prerequisite [of investment banks]” is replaced by the more concise and active “investment banks require background checks.” Finally, the entire sentence is rewritten in the concise form “Because X, Y.”
(D) The phrase “some importance” is redundant and wordy. In addition, the meaning of the sentence has been changed to state that “many” of the employees underwent a background check; the original sentence asserted that the background check was required, and, therefore, was submitted to by all.
(E) The structure “the reason X is because Y” is redundant. The proper idiom is either “the reason X is Y” or “Y is because X.” In addition, it is not clear whether the pronouns “they” and “their” refer to “investment banks” or “applicants.”

QUESTION: 5

The maternal copy of Nesp55 may encourage the mice to take more risks on behalf of thegroup, whether that risk involves looking for food, finding a nest, or defending the group.

Solution:

The original is correct and clear, and the parallel structure of “looking. . .finding. . .defending” is concise.
(A) CORRECT.
(B) This choice has an awkward and wordy construction. “Acting in the defense of the group” is wordier than “defending the group” without making the meaning clearer. It also makes the choice less parallel: “looking. . .finding. . .acting in the defense.” Furthermore, the passive construction “may be encouraged by,” is unnecessarily wordy. Finally, the ending phrase "on behalf of the group" is unnecessary.
(C) This choice changes the meaning. “Encourages” implies a certainty that “may encourage” does not. Also, "looking. . .finding. . .the defense" is less parallel than “looking. . .finding. . .defending.”
(D) This choice is wordy and lacks clarity. Beginning with the long dependent clause "whether looking for food, finding a nest, or defending the group,..." detracts from the clarity. Also, the ending phrase “when doing such activities” is wordy and unnecessary.
(E) This choice uses the wordier passive construction “may be encouraged” instead of the active construction "may encourage." This choice uses the less concise “acting in the defense of the group” instead of “defending the group.” This change also makes the choice less parallel: “looking. . .finding. . .acting in the defense.”

QUESTION: 6

During the summer of 1778, seeking to find alternative explanations for the process ofevolution, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck repeated his initial experiment on mollusks once in every 4weeks but received exactly the same results 3 times in a row.

Solution:

The original sentence suffers from three redundancies. First, the verb “to find” is redundant of “seeking.” Second, the phrase “once in every 4 weeks” is wordy and can be replaced with the more concise form “every 4 weeks” without any loss of content.
Finally, the construction “exactly the same” is repetitive, since the word “the same”
already implies exact equivalence.
(A) This answer choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence
(B) In this answer choice, the phrase “once in every 4 weeks” is wordy and can be replaced with the more concise form “every 4 weeks” without any loss of content. Moreover, the construction “exactly the same” is repetitive, since the word “the same” already implies exact equivalence. "In a row 3 times" is awkward.
(C) CORRECT. This answer choice corrects all of the original redundancies, thus creating a concise and idiomatic sentence. Specifically, the repetitive construction “seeking to find alternative explanations” is reduced to the simpler form “seeking alternative explanations.” Further, the redundant phrase “once in every 4 weeks” is replaced with the more concise construction “every 4 weeks.” Finally, the wordy phrase “exactly the same” is replaced with the more concise construction “the same.”
(D) In this answer choice, the construction “exactly the same” is repetitive, since the word “the same” already implies exact equivalence.
(E) This answer choice corrects the original problems but introduces the redundant pronoun “he” in the second part of the sentence, thus unnecessarily repeating the original subject “Jean-Baptiste Lamarck.” Furthermore, the
construction “the same identical results” is redundant; the adjective “identical” can be omitted without any loss of content.

QUESTION: 7

Federal government financing is an essential key in the survival of the interstate rail system.

Solution:

Essential for not essential in
The original sentence contains the redundant phrase "essential key" where "essential" would suffice. In addition, the phrase "essential . . . in the survival" is unidiomatic. The proper idiom is "essential for the survival."
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) This choice correctly uses the idiom "essential . . .for the survival." However, the phrase "essential key" is redundant; something "key" is by definition "essential".
(C) CORRECT. This choice replaces the redundant phrase "an essential key" with the more concise "is essential." In addition, the idiom "essential . . .for the survival" replaces the unidiomatic "essential . . . in the survival."
(D) This choice replaces the redundant phrase "an essential key" with the more concise "is essential." However, it uses the unidiomatic "essential in the survival" instead of the idiomatic "essential for the survival."
(E) This choice replaces the redundant phrase "an essential key" with the more concise "is essential." However, the phrase "is essential the survival" is nonsensical without a connecting preposition between "essential" and "the survival."

QUESTION: 8

Recent studies suggest that an intake of vitamin E in excess of that found naturally in abalanced diet may actually increase the risk of developing certain illnesses, despite the claimsof thousands of people who swear by it as a dietary supplement.

Solution:

The original sentence is clear, and is phrased in the most economical way.
(A) CORRECT. This choice is correct as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) The phrase “actually increases” has a stronger meaning than the author intended - that high vitamin E consumption “may actually increase” certain risks.
(C) The phrasing of “certain illnesses may be at a higher risk” is awkward and has an unintended meaning. It is not the illnesses that are at higher risk, but rather people who consume too much vitamin E. In addition, the placement of the modifying phrase “according to recent studies” is awkward, seemingly referring to a “balanced diet” when it should be modifying vitamin E intake.
Finally, “if vitamin E is taken in excess of a balanced diet” should read “if vitamin E is taken in excess of that (vitamin E) found naturally in a balanced diet.”
(D) “The intake of vitamin E…may actually increase developing certain illnesses” is awkward and has an unintended meaning. It would be more accurate to state that excess intake of vitamin E may increase the risk of
developing certain illnesses. Even if this choice had the correct meaning, the choice of words would still have been faulty: it should read “increase the development of certain illnesses” not “increase developing certain illnesses.”
(E) “Vitamin E…may actually increase the development risk of certain illnesses” is awkward and has an unintended meaning. It would be more accurate to state that excess intake of vitamin E may actually increase the risk.
Additionally, “the development risk of certain illnesses” is misleading; it should be “the risk of (a person) developing certain illnesses.”

QUESTION: 9

To this day, researchers and theorists debate whether bubonic plague caused The BlackDeath, a pandemic that swept the world in the middle of the fourteenth century.

Solution:

"Whether" is the most concise way to indicate that researchers and theorists are debating between alternative causes of the pandemic.
(A) CORRECT. This sentence is correct as written for the reason stated above.
(B) "Whether or not" is redundant; "whether" by itself indicates the full meaning.
(C) "About whether" is both redundant and awkward.
(D) "As to whether" is both redundant and awkward.
(E) "If" is used to indicate a condition or a future possibility, but this sentence is not indicating either of these things. "Whether," which introduces a choice or an alternative, is the correct usage.

QUESTION: 10

The reason that certain spicy foods, such as the Habanero pepper, makes some people sweatis because they contain a chemical that stimulates the same nerve endings in the mouth asdoes a rise in temperature; this stimulation sometimes results in the activation of certainbiological cooling mechanisms, one of which is perspiration.

Solution:

There are three errors in the sentence. First, the plural subject “foods” does not agree with the singular verb “makes.” Second, the pronoun “they” has an ambiguous referent: it could refer either to “foods” or “people.” Third, “the reason X is because Y” is redundant.
(A) This choice is incorrect as it repeats the original sentence.
(B) The plural subject “foods” does not agree with the singular verb “makes.” In addition, it is not clear to what “a rise in temperature” is being compared; a clearer and more logical comparison is “a chemical that stimulates … as does a rise in temperature.”
(C) The pronoun “they” has an ambiguous referent: it could refer either to “foods” or “people.”
In addition, the clause “a rise in temperature does” should be introduced by “as” rather than “like,” which, in this context, should be used to introduce a noun. The correct forms of the idiom are “X behaves like Y,” “X behaves as Y does”, or “X behaves as does Y.”
(D) CORRECT. The choice corrects all three errors in the original sentence. The plural "foods" agrees with the plural "make." The ambiguous "they" is replaced by "these foods," and the redundant construction “the reason X is because Y” is gone.
(E) The pronoun “they” has an ambiguous referent: it could refer either to “foods” or “people.” In addition, the clause “the reason X is because Y” is redundant. The correct forms of the idiom are “X is because Y” and “the reason X is Y.”

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