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 Post subject: GMAT Verbal
PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 2:02 am 
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There is an excess of cats and dogs in shelters that need homes. A solution to this problem, which would also benefit humans, would be to place these homeless animals with senior citizens who wish to own pets, and to provide help to those senior citizens who might not be able to take care of a pet on their own. Senior citizens who live alone tend to experience more health problems than those who live with spouses or family members. Animals have been shown to respond favorably to living with older persons, who are often able to provide more attention than a younger family.

In evaluating the proposed solution, it would be most useful to have data regarding
A. whether most of the animals that are currently in shelters would be suitable for adoption by senior citizens
B. what the costs would be of instituting such a program
C. whether senior citizens are capable of caring for a pet without assistance
D. whether family members and spouses who live with senior citizens tend to provide nursing care
E. whether there are other forms of companionship that might provide the same health benefits to senior citizens

(D) The author is arguing that placing homeless animals with senior citizens would help reduce the number of pets and bolster the health of their owners. The support for this solution is twofold; that seniors who live with others have fewer health problems, and that animals are frequently happier with older owners. The author makes the assumption that the connection between living with others and health problems is a causal one, and that it is the companionship of living with others, specifically, that provides the health benefits. If, instead, the benefit comes from those family members providing nursing care, then it is less likely that living with a pet would provide the same health benefits as living with another person. Knowing the reason for the health benefits is important to evaluating whether the proposed solution would actually benefit humans.

Choice (A) is incorrect because it addresses the feasibility of the solution and how widely it can be implemented. Whether or not most of the animals would be suitable is irrelevant, as long as those animals that are suitable are the ones that are placed with senior citizens.

Choice (B) is even further outside of the realm of the argument; the costs of the program are not at issue.

Choice (C) raises a potential concern about placing animals with seniors, but this concern is eliminated by the information that part of the solution would include providing assistance in caring for the adopted animals.

Choice (E) is incorrect because the author is not suggesting that the proposed solution is the only one, or the best one; merely that this solution would be of benefit to animals and people.
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Hi, I am having a bit of difficulty understanding the explanation to the correct answer.

How come it is an assumption that having pets (companionship) is a health benefit for senior citizens? Couldn't really grasp this assumption from the question stem which says "senior citizens who wish to own pets"

So sum it up – I am unable to understand that how it can be deduced from the question paragraph that having pets (just for companionship) would result in less health problems.


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 Post subject: Re: GMAT Verbal
PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 2:07 am 
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Quote:
So sum it up – I am unable to understand that how it can be deduced from the question paragraph that having pets (just for companionship) would result in less health problems.
The author is assuming that having pet companionship will provide health benefits to seniors. We can see that the author is making this assumption because he talks about the "benefits to humans" of placing animals with seniors who have more health problems when living alone. He is implying that having pet companionship would ameliorate these health problems. You are correct to doubt this assumption, which is precisely why choice D is correct – it points out that nursing care from family members might be what ameliorates health problems, not just simple companionship.


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