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A 4 min read

In this article, we’ll look at the solution to the 700-level GMAT Official Guide Sentence Correction question. SC81561.01- “Plausible though it sounds, the weakness of the hypothesis…”.

Here is some general information about this OG question – Plausible though it sounds, the weakness of the hypothesis is that it does not incorporate all relevant evidence.

• PQID: SC81561.01
• Difficulty Level: Hard
• Most Common Incorrect option choice: Choice B and Choice C
• Question Type: Pronouns

1. OG Question – SC81561.01- Plausible though it sounds, the weakness of the hypothesis…

Plausible though it sounds, the weakness of the hypothesis is that it does not incorporate all relevant evidence.

[Refer to the Official Guide for options]

I love this question because we can solve it efficiently if we do one thing — THINK! This question simply requires focusing on communicating the logical meaning to get to the correct answer. It is one of those rare SC questions in which our job is short and sweet!

2. OG Video Solution – SC81561.01- Plausible though it sounds, the weakness of the hypothesis…

Here is a short and sweet three-step approach that teaches you to use meaning and logic as the essential tools to get to the correct answer choice:

3. When the Meaning is Positively Preposterous:

Plausible though it sounds, the weakness of the hypothesis is that it does not incorporate all relevant evidence.

So, what is being discussed here? The author is trying to tell us that something is seemingly reasonable or probable. Now, we cannot help but stop and take note of the use of “it” sitting at the beginning of the sentence – “though it sounds.” Now, the pronoun demon (as I refer to them) “it” is a bit pernicious in this sentence because it is referencing the subject “the weakness.”

When we see the pronoun, we should instantly ask ourselves, “plausible though what sounds?” Immediately we get our answer — “the weakness of the hypothesis.” Do we even need to read any further to catch the absurdity? Can a weakness of a hypothesis be reasonable or credible? The very nature of a hypothesis is that it is likely to occur. The organization of the sentence almost seems to be contradicting itself. The use of “plausible” in reference to the weakness of a “hypothesis” is entirely illogical. Clearly, the author intends to state that though the hypothesis seems plausible, it does have a weakness. The author then presents the weakness —the hypothesis does not incorporate all relevant evidence. Now that makes sense. So, all we need to do is keep our logic in check, and it will be a quick trip to the correct answer choice because no other option presents this logical intended meaning.

4. The Most Common Mis-step- Option B

B. Even though it sounds plausible, the weakness of the hypothesis

This choice might mislead a few of you because of the slight structural change. Notice, “Even though it sounds plausible” is a clause and not an opening modifier in this option. Still, if we want our little pronoun demon “it” to appropriately refer to “hypothesis,” it should follow this clause for the proper logical and grammatical pronoun reference. However, the pronoun demon “it” still messes with the meaning here by referring to the “weakness.”

Thus, this option still gives us the same illogical meaning of the original sentence.

5. A Snapshot of the Meaning Mess in the Answer Choices

If you focus on the meaning, you will notice that all, but the correct answer choice, can be eliminated simply because of illogical meaning.

(A) Plausible though it sounds, the weakness of the hypothesis

(B) Even though it sounds plausible, the weakness of the hypothesis

(C) Though plausible, the hypothesis’ weakness

The possessive “hypothesis’” describes weakness, so we have the same issue as option A.

(D) Though the hypothesis sounds plausible, its weakness

(E) The weakness of the hypothesis which sounds plausible

Where is the contrast? And what is “which” referring to? “The weakness” or “the hypothesis“?

Eureka! An approach that is short, sweet, and to the point- if we keep the meaning in check, keep our pronoun demons under control, and make sure everything is logically and grammatically correct, we can quickly get to our answer choice.

Keep the learning going with our article on Debunking Pronoun Myths. Also, try your hand at another meaning-based question that tests how well you can handle the mischievous nature of the pronoun demons.

The above official OG question can be found on our blog with other OG solutions.

Happy Learning!

Cheers!

Stacey

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