IR Explained: Q10-12: Sports Coverage

May 23, 2012

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This post is part of a series--IR Explained--that walks through the sample Integrated Reasoning questions provided in the latest edition of the GMAT Official Guide.

Unlike the previous two sets of Multi-Source Reasoning questions, neither of the two tabs in this example contains a table. Instead, the two tabs present opposing arguments. The first, "Sports Association" offers the perspective of a sports association spokesperson, while the second, "New Organizations" shares the differing opinion of the news organizations.

The sports association feels that, with the rise of online reporting and inclusion of various new types of resources (audio, video, etc.) in internet reportage, news organizations should be treated more like television networks, who pay for the privilege to broadcast sporting events.

In disagreement, new organizations argue that even with the added features, internet reporting encourages fan interest in sports and is not of the same type as full-fledged broadcasting.

As in a Reading Comprehension passage with multiple perspectives, we can expect many of the questions to focus on the specific differences in the two positions, as well as those areas in which the two sides might agree.

Question 10 gets straight to those comparisons. For each of three statements, you are asked whether both sides would accept a statement. There is no difference between "one side accepts" and "neither side accepts"--either both accept or "otherwise."

The first statement is that there should be "no restrictions" on sports reporting. As in all parts of the GMAT Verbal section, extreme statements like this one are almost never supported. While the news organizations might prefer a world where this statement is true, it is clear that the sports association would not support it. 10A is Otherwise.

The second statement is more nuanced, with the phrase "adequately reported ... without broadcasting the event in its entirety." The sports association seems to believe so, since it wants to limit how much news organizations can publish, and news organizations would agree, since they have no wish to broadcast events in their entirety. 10B is Both accept.

The final statement is more like the first in its stridency: "Any online activity ... benefits the association." The news organization might agree with that, though perhaps not so strongly, but the sports association, which is trying to limit online activities even though they may well increase interest in the sports, would not. 10C is Otherwise.

Question 11 again asks you to consider the differences in the two positions, though it is structured differently. Here, your choices are that the two positions disagree, or that disagreement cannot be inferred. "Cannot infer disagreement" does not necessarily imply that the two positions are in accord; it is possible that we don't have enough information to infer one or both positions.

The first issue is not very clearly addressed in the passages. The sports organization does not seem to claim that online sports reporting does not generate interest, just that news organizations should pay for the privilege of publishing certain things. Since the association's perspective is unclear, 11A is Cannot infer disagreement.

The second issue is more clear cut. The sports associations specifically take issue with news organizations posting live score updates. We don't know exactly how frequent they are, but for the association, they are too frequent. 11B is Disagree.

The third issue is also one that the passages address. News organizations believe they should have free access to sporting events and the ability to publish whatever they like; the sports association wants to limit publication or revoke access. 11C is Disagree.

Question 12 has only part, and asks specifically for the best-supported view held by the news organizations. Consider each choice. Choice (A) is irrelevant to the passage; neither side states a position about news consumers. (B) is the crux of the disagreement: consider the statement, "To charge news organizations or to place unnecessary conditions ... is to deny [them] their right to cover the news."

(C) is also irrelevant: There is no mention of exclusivity in the news organizations' passage. (D) is not specifically addressed, and it is more likely that the news organizations disagree that more live updates leads to lower attendance. Finally, (E) is a position held by the association, not by news organizations. Choice (B) is correct.

Stay tuned (or subscribe) for more Integrated Reasoning explanations.



About the author: Jeff Sackmann has written many GMAT preparation books, including the popular Total GMAT Math, Total GMAT Verbal, and GMAT 111. He has also created explanations for problems in The Official Guide, as well as 1,800 practice GMAT math questions.

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