Get detailed explanations to advanced GMAT questions.


Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now regularly contain millions of electronic switches. Unfortunately, electronic switches that are this small cannot withstand intense radiation. Micro-Mechanics plans to produce a chip that, because it uses only microscopic mechanical switches, will be invulnerable to radiation damage. The switches will, however, be slower than electronic switches and the chip will contain only 12,000 switches.

For there to be a market for Micro-Mechanics’ chip as a result of the apparent advantage described above, each of the following would have to be true EXCEPT:


Option A:

There will be applications in which the speed attainable by an electronic switch is not essential.

Option B:

Switches used on electronic chips that contain only 12,000 switches are more vulnerable to radiation damage than the switches on Micro-Mechanics’ chip will be.

Option C:

There will be applications for computer chips in environments where the chips may have to survive intense radiation.

Option D:

Some devices in which computer chips will be used will have other components that will be able to function during or after exposure to radiation.

Option E:

Manufacturers are able to protect electronic computer chips against exposure to intense radiation, where this protection is necessary.

Difficulty Level



Option E is the correct answer.

Option Analysis

Question type: EXCEPT Question.  

Summary of the argument: The argument talks about the plan of Micro-Mechanics company to incorporate a new type of switches that will withstand radiation but will be significantly slower.  


A) If this is true then the above plan will work because the speed isn’t necessary.  

B) This also tells us why Micro Mechanics chip should be used.  

C) If this is true then the best option would be to use the chips by Micro Mechanics.  

D) This again tells us why Micro Mechanic chips are the best.  

E) Correct Answer