Payal Tandon
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In this article, we’ll look at the solution to the 700-level GMAT Official Guide Sentence Correction question- SC24561.01- “An archaeological excavation at what might have been a workshop where statues…”.

Here is some general information about this OG question – An archaeological excavation at what might have been a workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including 7 intact statues.

• PQID: SC24561.01
• Difficulty level – Hard
• Most Common Incorrect option choice – Choice C
• Question type – Meaning

## 1. OG Question – SC24561.01- An archaeological excavation at what might have been a workshop where statues…

SC24561.01- GMAT OG question – An archaeological excavation at what might have been a workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including 7 intact statues.

[Refer to the Official Guide for options]

This sentence is one of my favorite SC problems in all the OGs. I love this question not only for the subtle but intelligent wordplay in the answer choices but also for the fact that the test takers know exactly how students approach a question. This question actually exploits this approach, and I will tell you how.

## 3. Is This Sentence Simple or Sinister?

Well, if you read every word in the sentence carefully, as we at e-GMAT always do, the sentence is very simple. But if you only focus on the underlined portion of the sentence, the chances are very high that you will mess it up. So, let’s focus on the meaning presented by the sentence.

The sentence says that a particular excavation site was probably a workshop for reproducing statues. Some 1,532 pieces of human figures were excavated from this site. These pieces included 7 complete statues.

Wait, what? Did I just read that 1,532 pieces of human figures included 7 INTACT statues? How is that even possible? How can pieces or fragments include INTACT or complete statues? The sentence certainly is illogical.

However, if you focus only on the underlined portion of the sentence and do not care much about the last three words in the sentence, you will probably miss this super illogical meaning. And the question creator has played on exactly this point. So, be careful and focus on every word when you read the original sentence.

## 4. Focal factors

1. including” messes up the meaning: Reading this sentence very carefully until the end makes it clear that the use of “including” makes the sentence illogical. Once you understand this point, you can get rid of THREE answer choices straight away without analyzing them. Imagine how much time you will save if you spend some time diligently on the original sentence.
2. a possible workshop” is a hoax: I mean, think about it. There can be “a ballet workshop,” “an acting workshop.” How can there be a “possible” workshop? Is “possible” a kind of workshop? It makes no sense. The sentence speaks of a site that was possibly a workshop.

I know many of you will say, but “what might have been a workshop” is so wordy, we have seen this structure in a bunch of incorrect answer choices. “A possible workshop” is so elegant. Logic knocks out elegance because the sentence must communicate logical meaning. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with our apparently wordy friend. In fact, our elegant contender messes up the meaning.

## 5. Choice C – Elegant but Erroneous

Choice C is the most popular incorrect choice for this question, and the reason, I hope, is pretty obvious by now. But I hope that you understand by now that “a possible workshop” is an incorrect phrase. It is absolutely illogical, no matter how neat it may appear. So, steer clear from this answer choice, and all the other answer choices that use this expression. Actually, the last three answer choices do so. So, just scratch them out at once. B is the clear winner. Only Logic, No Grammar Needed

(A) what might have been a workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including

(B) what might have been a workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures and

(C) the site of a possible workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures and

(D) the site of a possible workshop where statues were reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including

(E) the site of a possible workshop where statues might have been reproduced yielded 1,532 fragments of human figures, including

Once we crack the logical mystery of this sentence, solving this question is really a cakewalk. This sentence is one of those questions that can be solved without worrying about any grammatical rules. If we just read the sentence very carefully and understand the logic that the sentence intends to present, we can easily pick the correct answer confidently and move on.

This is the beauty of this sentence and many official sentences that drive home the point that logic trumps grammar. Why worry about tons of rules when a logical approach can help us solve such difficult questions in no time.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.

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