This GMAT sample question is a verbal sentence correction practice question testing your understanding of word usage and prepositions.
Question 10: NASA reports that ancient observers took note of solar eclipses at least as far back as 2500 BC, as evidenced by surviving records from ancient Babylon and China.
Look for differences across the answer options to identify what is being tested in the sentence.
Different options use different constructions for “evidence” and “records”.
Also, the placement of these constructions varies across the options.
The sentence is referencing ancient records as proof to show that the ancients were aware of and taking note of solar eclipses.
The intent of the sentence is to not provide evidence of the ancient civilizations but of ancient observers noticing and recording the occurrence of eclipses.
“Surviving in” would imply that we are talking about an area or civilization currently in existence.
Option (B) can be eliminated because the underlined part, when fit into the rest of the sentence, is disjoint and does not make any coherent sense. There is no verb for the word “evidence”.
The sentence is discussing records of “ancient” Babylon and China. The preposition “in” has been used in options (C) and (E) and is incorrect. It means that the records are now in ancient Babylon, which is anachronistic.
“evidence of” in option (D) implies that we are showing evidence proving the existence of ancient Babylon and China.
“as evidenced” means “as shown” and the usage in option (A) conveys the right meaning.
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