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#3- Must Be True, Author's Perspective

mbeatty
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So for this question, I narrowed it down to choices D and E. D seemed problematic because according to both passages currently-available computers technically are well-suited to running simulations--specifically when used together. But ultimately choice E seemed more problematic because passage B does not discuss climate trends, of which the author may have a first choice for simulation. So is there anything else about choice D that should have been a red flag, or is the problem I saw with choice D ultimately more important than the problem I saw with choice E?
Jonathan Evans
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MBeatty,

Good question and an excellent foray into one of the more difficult tasks of Reading Comprehension. Essentially, you must combine (1) your understanding of the question itself and (2) the information in the passages to support a credited response.

By (1) understanding of the question itself, I mean that you need to notice that that the authors of the two passages would be most likely to agree about which statement. Thus, you need something that can be supported by information in both passages but this need not cross a threshold of irrefutable truth. You need a statement that is strongly supported, that has direct evidence behind it, but you need not find something that is explicitly stated in both passages. Indeed, in the same manner that Must Be True questions do not usually simply restate facts from their stimuli, you will need to derive an inference from the information in these passages. In fact, were I to extend this Logical Reasoning metaphor further, I would suggest that your task here is akin to finding a response that conforms to a principle illustrated in the passage.

With this task in mind, let's turn to (2) the information in the passage itself. It is reasonable to infer (from lines 25+ of Passage A) that the author of the first passage would agree with the statement in Answer Choice (E). The question becomes whether the author of Passage B would concur. From lines 60-64 of Passage B we have direct evidence to suggest that parallel computing is the "best" model to solve an "inherently parallel problem." Even without the author of Passage B addressing climate modeling directly, we have strong evidence that given the validity of the information presented in Passage A when combined with the principle illustrated in Passage B, we have strong support for likely agreement about the statement in Answer Choice (E).

This is not an easy problem, but all the information is there in the passages. You have to put it all together to find the response that best answers the question.
hassan66
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Hi, I got E but I didn't like the word best. In line 63, I thought that the passage author was implying that it was the best of what is available but that doesn't necessarily mean it is the best ever, if that makes sense. Can you please explain how/why "best" in this sense is not too strong.

Thank you!
Adam Tyson
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Remember what the instructions tells us, hasan66 - that we are to select the best answer from among the five choices provided. Sure, it's possible that there is some third alternative, not mentioned in the passage, that the authors might say is actually the best one, but that doesn't mean that we have to reject answer E for being imperfect. We don't need to be certain that they would agree with the answer, but only that of these answer choices this is the one that they would be most likely to agree with.

Also, we have to base our answer entirely on what we read, and these authors both seemed to present the two paradigms (individual computers working in sequence vs. parallel computing) as being the only alternatives. What else could there be, other than "working alone" and "working together"? Those two options seem all-encompassing, so it's not an unreasonable leap to say that they find parallel computing to be the best option.

Don't overthink the answer choices, and don't try to fight with answers to poke holes in them and then shoot them down because they are imperfect. Instead, look for the best answer of the choices presented, and pick it even if you don't completely love it. Love the one you're with!
Adam M. Tyson
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