From an experiment using special extrasensory perception cards

Question

From an experiment using special extrasensory perception cards, each bearing one of a set of symbols, parapsychologist Joseph Banks Rhine claimed statistical proof for subjects who could use thought transference to identify a card in the dealer's hand.

Option A
Option B
Option C
Option D
Option E

(This question is from Official Guide. Therefore, because of copyrights, the complete question cannot be copied here. The question can be accessed at GMAT Club)

Solution

Sentence Analysis

  • From an experiment (Prepositional phrase modifying the main verb “claimed”)
    • using special extrasensory perception cards, (verb-ing modifier modifying “experiment”)
      • each bearing one of a set of symbols, (Noun + Noun modifier modifying “cards”)
  • parapsychologist Joseph Banks Rhine claimed statistical proof for subjects (Main clause. Subject – “Joseph Banks Rhine”; Verb – “claimed”)
    • who could use thought transference to identify a card in the dealer's hand. (relative clause modifying “subjects”)

The sentence talks about a claim that JBR made from an experiment. He claimed statistical proof that people could use thought transference to identify a card in the dealer’s hand.

The problem with the sentence is that with the given structure, the sentence doesn’t communicate this meaning clearly. As is, the sentence says that JBR claimed statistical proof for subjects. The sentence then provides additional information about these subjects. If it were “statistical proof for the existence of subjects”, it might still make sense, but “statistical proof for subjects” doesn’t make a lot of sense. Besides, the given idea is communicated much more clearly in the form of a clause, as in option D.

For example: which of the following sentences seems better to you?

  1. I have found a proof for people who can master SC.
  2. I have found a proof that people can master SC.

 The second one. Right?

Option Analysis

(A) Incorrect. For the reason mentioned above.

(B) Incorrect. “statistical proof for a card” doesn’t make a lot of sense in the given context.

(C) Incorrect. Has the same problem as option A. Also, even if we have to use this twisted structure, we need to have verb-ing after ‘subjects’ i.e. “subjects being able to…”.

(D) Correct. This option communicates the meaning clearly. 

(E) Incorrect. For the following reasons:

  1. “capable to use” is non-idiomatic. The correct idiomatic structure is “capable of verb-ing” i.e. “capable of using” in this case. (For ‘able’, the correct idiomatic structure is “able to verb”)
  2. Since “identifying a card” is the purpose of using thought transference, the idea is better communicated using the purpose word ‘to’ i.e. “to identify a card”.

About Chiranjeev Singh

An Alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad and with scores of 780 (2017) and 770 (2013) on GMAT and 99.98%ile on CAT, Chiranjeev is one of the most qualified GMAT tutors in India. Chiranjeev has earlier served as Director of Curriculum at e-GMAT. Chiranjeev has been helping students ace GMAT since 2012. He follows a concept-based methodology to teaching GMAT and is very committed to student success. You may contact him for any private GMAT tutoring needs at CJ@GMATwithCJ.com. He conducts online sessions for students across the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

eight + 4 =