## 20 Questions MCQ Test Verbal Reasoning for GMAT | Test: Paradox

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Attempt Test: Paradox | 20 questions in 40 minutes | Mock test for GMAT preparation | Free important questions MCQ to study Verbal Reasoning for GMAT for GMAT Exam | Download free PDF with solutions
QUESTION: 1

### At Achievers’ School, students from economically underprivileged backgrounds, who study free of charge under the company’s social responsibility clause, tend to spend less time in school on a school day than the financially well-to-do fee paying students. This is despite the fact that on average economically underprivileged children have more pressing academic needs than the fee paying-students. However, despite the mentioned circumstances, the state’s education board concluded that the economically underprivileged students are receiving proper academic attention at Achievers’ School. Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the situation above?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The author does not provide a conclusion as such. A paradoxical situation is presented in which the state’s education board concludes that the EUS are receiving proper academic attention at Achievers’ School. This conclusion is drawn despite the fact that EUS spend less time in school than FWS and have more pressing academic needs than FWS.

Pre-Thinking Approach

To resolve the paradox, let’s see how we can select a scenario in which both situations can be true without contradicting each other. To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on the seemingly contradictory situations and try to come up with potential explanations for the same.

• Potential explanations
• Instance 1: The two situations are possible if some other factor from the school’s side, apart from the time spent at school on school days, is also supporting the academic requirement of such students. In this case, even though these students tend to spend relatively less time in school on school days, their academic needs are getting fulfilled.
• Instance 2:  What if extra time spent by FWS in school is spent in non-academic activities, whereas the time spent by them in academic activities is roughly the same as that spent by the EUS?

With this understanding in mind, let’s take a look at the option statements.

A

The company’s social responsibility clause was established under pressure from non-profit organizations.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option tells us why the social responsibility clause was established. The reason for the clause is not relevant as it doesn’t explain the stated situation.

B

The school organizes free educational workshops on the weekends that are mostly attended by students who cannot afford private tuitions.

Correct

This option is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per explanation instance 1. It explains the situation by suggesting that the academic needs of EUS are being catered to through these weekend workshops.

C

The school has a lot of free of charge sports and extra-curricular activities designed especially for economically under-privileged children.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This choice is irrelevant as it talks about sports and extra-curricular activities of the EUS, whereas the situation deals with their academic needs.

D

The student-teacher ratio at Achievers’ School is the same for both the economically privileged and the economically underprivileged students.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The same student-teacher ratio does not explain the discrepancy between the time spent by the respective groups at school and the state’s education board’s declaration.

E

The average time taken to conduct a paid tutoring session is significantly lower than the average time taken to conduct a regularly scheduled class.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option presents an irrelevant comparison that does not deal with either of the two categories of students at Achievers’.

QUESTION: 2

### In this era of ever increasing oil prices, fuel-efficiency is the primary concern of most car buyers. Because of the increasing demand for fuel-efficient cars, many companies have entered this segment, leading to fierce competition. Recently, both Toyota and General Motors launched their latest cars in this segment on the same day. Even though the car from General Motors fared much better on fuel efficiency, its market share has remained low compared to that of the car from Toyota. Which of the following best explains the paradox presented above?

Solution:

A

Except higher fuel efficiency, the car from General Motors does not offer any other advantage over the car from Toyota

This option is incorrect.

Even with only one advantage, General Motors should not have sold less

B

On the same day when Toyota and General Motors launched their cars, a couple of other companies also launched their cars and, while one of them sold well, the other did not.

This option is incorrect.

Comparisons with other companies cannot explain the paradox.

C

With ever increasing range of products to choose from, consumers now rely much more on the brand name of a company than the promised features and, unlike General Motors, Toyota has been a known name in fuel efficient car industry.

This option is correct.

Toyota has a higher brand and therefore, sold more than General Motors. This option explain the paradox.

D

Since the total market for fuel-efficient cars has expanded a lot in the past, even companies with low market shares have made profits.

This option is incorrect.

Irrelevant

E

Even though General Motors can service all the existing demand, its production capacity is much lower than the production capacity of Toyota.

This option is incorrect.

If General Motors can service all the demand, then it should have had sold more. This option does not explain the paradox

QUESTION: 3

### Food prices have been rising in the US for the last couple of years. One of the reasons is the use of food stocks for making biofuels, which are used as automobile fuel along with gasoline. Even though the government has said that there will not be any decrease in the use of biofuels, most analysts predict that food prices will come down despite no increase in the food stock availability. Which of the following most helps to explain this apparent discrepancy?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The paradox here is that most analysts are predicting food prices would come down even when there is no increase in food stocks and there will be no decrease in the use of biofuels that consume food stocks, thereby contributing to the increase in food prices.

Pre-Thinking Approach

To resolve the paradox, let’s see how we can select a scenario in which both the situations can be true without contradicting each other. To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on the seemingly contradictory situations.

Food prices can come down when one of these two things happens:

1. Demand goes down i.e. overall food consumption in the US decreases
2. Supply goes up i.e. there is more availability of food stocks to make food

We know that there is no increase in food stocks and there will be no decrease in the use of biofuels. In such a case, the following instances may explain the situation.

• Potential explanations
• Instance 1:  The requirement of biofuels is fulfilled by some alternative of food stock. In this way, the use of biofuel will remain same but the use of food stock can be decreased, leading to a decline in prices.
• Instance 2: A decrease in the food consumption in the US can lead to a decline in food prices, explaining the paradox.
• Instance 3: The efficiency of the process that converts food stocks to biofuels increases so that the same amount of biofuels can be obtained with lower amount of food stocks.

With this pre-thinking in mind, let’s evaluate the answer choices.

A

A large number of analysts do think that food prices will continue their upward trend.

Incorrect - Doesn’t explain the situation

This statement talks about the analysts who do not believe in the prediction made in the argument.  Our task in the question is to look for a choice that explains the prediction. A contrary belief will not do so.

B

Biofuels are not the only alternatives to gasoline as automobile fuel.

Incorrect - Doesn’t explain the situation

Even if other alternatives to gasoline are present, the use of biofuels isn’t going to come down, as declared by the government. So we still can’t explain why food prices will come down when the use of biofuels, which use food stocks, wouldn’t.

C

Wood chips and prairie grass are expected to replace food stock for the production of biofuels.

Correct

This option is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per the explanation presented in instance1. If this happens, more food stocks can be used to make food, increasing the supply of food and bringing down the prices.

D

Analysts are not always correct in their predictions.

Incorrect - Doesn’t explain the situation

Knowing the fact that analysts can be wrong in their prediction doesn’t explain the prediction given in the argument. Our task in the question is not to cast doubt on the given prediction but to explain it.

E

There is a strong shift in the eating habits of the US population from home-made food to junk food.

Incorrect - Doesn’t explain the situation

As we don’t know the amount of food stocks which go toward making junk food v/s home-made food, we can’t say whether this shift will lead to more use of food stocks or less.

QUESTION: 4

Tryton, a trash bag manufacturer based in Tynon, introduced the X4bag that was larger in size than most trash bags. Tryton advertised that by using this bag, priced only marginally higher than most regular-sized trash bags by other companies, consumers could accumulate more trash before disposing of the bag, saving money by not using multiple smaller-sized bags for the same amount of trash. The sales of X4bags skyrocketed, but a survey conducted among Tryton’s customers showed that most customers were not spending less than before; some, in fact, were spending more.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain why the customers are not saving?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

To resolve the paradox, let’s see how we can select a scenario in which both situations can be true without contradicting each other. To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on the seemingly contradictory situations.

• Potential explanations
• Instance 1: The X4 bags were not efficiently utilized by the customers. For example: even though people can accumulate more trash in X4 bags, they might not be doing so for some reason. In such a case, if people are using multiple X4 bags as usual sized bags before, their spending may remain same or increase.
• Instance 2:  Some factor has led to an increase in trash per household. In such a case, people’s requirement of bags may increase to more than it was before, leading to an increase in spending.

A

If not for the cost-saving, most customers would have preferred using the normal sized trash-bags.

Incorrect - Opposite

This statement compounds the paradox since it implies that customers wanted to save money but ended up spending more.

B

Along with the X4 bags, Tryton introduced the XJ scented trash-disposal bags that are slightly more expensive than the X4Bags.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Even though XJ is more expensive than X4bags, we do not know about its capacity and the resultant cost impact on customers’ spending vis-à-vis other trash bags. Therefore, it does not explain why the customer spending did not decline.

C

Environmentalists have always raised concerns that Tynon generates the highest amount of trash per person in the country.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Concerns of environmentalists are not relevant to the given situation. Also, the fact that Tynon generates the highest amount of trash per person in the country doesn’t tell us whether there has been any increase or decrease in the level of trash generated.

D

Tryton is also one of the biggest manufacturers of the normal sized trash bags that are priced slightly higher than similar bags from other companies.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

As this option talks about another product of Tryton, it is not relevant to the seemingly paradoxical situation mentioned in the argument.

E

In Tynon the trash collection happens on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, so people throw out all their trash on these days, even if the trash bags are not full.

Correct

This option is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per explanation instance 1.It shows that X4bags were not utilized to the full capacity.

QUESTION: 5

Two years ago, after witnessing several consecutive years of excessive rent increases in the city and continual protests about the same, the city of Raylayer decided to fix an upper limit on these increases. Since then the landlords have not been able to increase the rent amounts substantially, but on an average the total amount people have been spending to rent similar accommodation has increased at a rate much higher than the increase in the rents.

Which of the following, it true, most helps to explain why the rent cap did not achieve its goal?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

To explain why the rental cap didn’t achieve its goal of limiting the amount spent on renting an accommodation, let’s see how we can select a scenario in which both situations can be true without contradicting each other. To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on the seemingly contradictory situations.

• Potential explanations
• Instance 1: What if there is some additional component that people had to spend on along with the rent while renting an accommodation?

If people’s spending on this component increases significantly, the total spending to rent a place of accommodation can increase at a higher rate than the increase in rent.

With this pre-thinking in mind, let’s evaluate the answer choices.

A

The demand for independent houses, houses that are typically rented at a much higher rate than apartments in a multi-storeyed buildings, has not gone down in the past two years.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Demand for certain type of houses doesn’t explain why despite the insubstantial increases in the rent amounts, the spending on renting an accommodation increased at a much higher rate.

B

Landlords have the liberty to hike maintenance charges, charges not limited by the ceiling on the rent.

Correct

This option is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per explanation instance 1. If landlords hike the maintenance charges, total spending (maintenance + rent) could increase at a higher rate than the increase in rent.

C

Seven years ago, a similar rent ceiling program was implemented in Raylayer, but it was subsequently cancelled because of the frequent protests by different associations that protect the interest of landlords in Raylayer.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The fact that a similar program was implemented 7 years ago and was subsequently cancelled doesn’t tell us why the program launched 2 years ago didn’t achieve its goal.

D

Raylayer is one of the most expensive cities to live in the country.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option talks about high living cost of the city in general; however, the given situation is based only on rental costs.

E

The overall demand for rented accommodation in Raylayer has been at an all-time low since many people decided to move to nearby cities two years ago when the city faced excessive hikes in rents.

Incorrect - Opposite

The all-time low demand for rented accommodation should go in favor of lower spending on renting accommodations. Hence, if anything, this choice compounds the paradox rather than resolving it.

QUESTION: 6

The Erythrovirus412, which affects farmed Atlantic salmon, infects human beings by adhering to red blood cells. The virus elevates the body’s white blood cell count, indicating that the body is fighting an infection. Surprisingly, when a group of recently-infected people were tested, the proportion of white blood cells compared to red blood cells in their bodies was similar to that of an uninfected person.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the surprising finding?

Solution:
QUESTION: 7

Many tourists and local vacationers come to the Heluma River for white water rafting from July to September every year. This year, there were several protests about the ecological harm caused by rafting activities in the river.  Even though a survey showed that people’s interest in rafting in the Heluma River area remained unaffected by the protests, the rafting companies in the area saw a significant decline in their sales in September, a month when they usually have the most sales during the year.

Which of the following, if true, best explains the apparent discrepancy described above?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

To resolve the paradox, let’s see how we can select a scenario in which both the situations can be true without contradicting each other. To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on the seemingly contradictory situations (ref: logical structure above)

• Potential explanation

What if the decline in sales was an outcome of some other factor? Clearly, if the decline happened because of a factor other than the protest, then both the facts do not lead to any discrepancy. It would essentially mean that the decline and protests had no correlation.

• Instance: Due to a land-slide the only route to river Heluma remained closed for most part of the rafting season.

With this pre-thinking in mind, let’s evaluate the answer choices.

A

The number of protests that happened against rafting was the largest this year.

Incorrect- Irrelevant

The passage clearly states that as per the survey, people’s interest in rafting was not affected by the protests. Therefore, the number of these protests is irrelevant.

B

The river Meluda, which is only a few hours from the Heluma, was announced suitable for rafting only three years ago.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Even if Meluda was announced fit for rafting, neither the option nor the passage gives us any link between this fact and the decline in the sales observed for the rafting companies.

C

Because of excessive rainfall this year, the Heluma became much rougher and more dangerous than usual.

Correct

This option is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per explanation instance 1.It provides a new piece of information that could possibly act as a cause for the observed decline in sales.

D

The protestors did not effectively explain all the ecological damage caused by rafting.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

We already know that as per the survey, the protests did not affect people’s interest. Hence, the details of the protests and why they may have not succeeded are irrelevant.

E

The forest department did not believe that the amount of rafting in the Heluma river would do any lasting damage to the ecological conditions in the area.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

A positive re-enforcement from the fire-department does not explain why the rafting companies experienced a decline in their sales.

QUESTION: 8

The daguerreotype, the earliest medium of photography that now exists only as a novelty for collectors and hobbyists, is created using photochemical processes that capture images formed on metal plates coated with bitumen. Even though bitumen is among the cheapest available materials in the market, a recent survey of hobbyists who create daguerreotypes in the twenty-first century revealed that the process is far more expensive than that of digital photography.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the above finding?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

To resolve the paradox, let’s see how we can select a scenario in which both the situations can be true without contradicting each other. To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on the seemingly contradictory situations.

• Potential explanation

Even though bitumen is among the cheapest available material, the process of using the material could be expensive.

• Instance 1: What if capturing images formed on metal plates coated with bitumen requires the use of some specific tools that are rare and expensive. In such a case, PDAG could be more expensive than PDP despite the low cost of bitumen.

With this pre-thinking in mind, let’s evaluate the answer choices.

A

The cost of bitumen has not increased significantly since the time in which the daguerreotype was first invented.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The argument already tells us that bitumen is among the cheapest available materials. The information about no increase in cost doesn’t explain why PDAG is more expensive than PDP.

B

Digital photography in the twenty-first century involves the use of costly SLR cameras that use multiple lenses, many of which are actually more expensive than the camera itself.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The fact that a certain aspect of DP is expensive doesn’t explain why PDAG is more expensive than PDP.

C

Many hobbyists are also collectors who are willing to purchase expensive equipment in order to preserve what they consider a dying art form.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Willingness to purchase expensive equipment is not relevant to the paradox.

D

The process to coat photographic plates to prepare them to capture images can only be carried out at specialized laboratories that charge extra rates for services that are not frequently in demand.

Correct

This option is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per explanation instance 1. The extra rate for services not frequently in demand explains  why PDAG in 21st C. could be more expensive than PDP.

E

Some hobbyists use materials other than bitumen to coat the metal plates on which the image is captured.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The fact that some hobbyist use different material to coat the metal doesn’t explain why PDAG is more expensive than PDP in cases in which bitumen is used to coat the metal.

QUESTION: 9

Last year, the economic downturn affected economies throughout the world. Several million people across nations lost their jobs. Accordingly, the tourism business in the country of Daland, a popular international tourist destination, was severely affected on account of limited business from foreign tourists. However, even though most countries are still trying to recover from the recession, hoteliers in Daland have found that the business this year is back to its original form.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the change between the first and the second year of the recession in the hotel business?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

In order to resolve this paradox between the seemingly contradictory situations, we need to find a new piece of information that shows that despite most countries still trying to recover from the recession, Daland’s tourism could have received enough business.

Potential explanations

• Explanation 1 : What if the situation of most countries is different from the situation of the countries that contribute most to tourism in Daland?
• Instance:  Even though most countries are recovering from recession, the countries that contribute the maximum to Daland’s tourism have fully recovered from it.
• Explanation 2: What if domestic tourism improved and compensated for the lack of foreign tourists?
• Instance: This year, the local population of Daland contributed the most to Daland’s tourism.

With this understanding in mind, let’s take a look at the answer choices.

A

The hotel business is one of the most profitable businesses in Daland.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option doesn’t help in explaining the situation. The profitability of hotel business compared to other businesses isn’t relevant.

B

Other businesses such as clothing and luxury products have been affected more severely than the hotel business.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The extent to which hotel business has been affected compared to other businesses isn’t relevant.

C

Most business sectors in Daland were affected by the recession only this year and hence many locals who typically travel to foreign countries chose to visit local destinations.

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per Explanation#2.

D

One of the historical sites in Daland features in the World Heritage List of the International Archaeological Society.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option doesn’t explain why hotel business is back to the earlier level in Daland when most countries are still struggling with economic recession. Also, the historical site must have always been present there and is not a new addition in the past year.

E

After suffering a setback last year, the Hotel Association of Daland considered decreasing the tariff rates to such a level that most hotels would have barely reached the break-even point.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option talks about a consideration. We don’t know if the Hotel Association of Daland actually did something. Moreover, if they had acted upon it, profitability would have been negatively affected which goes against the fact that hotel business is back to its earlier level.

QUESTION: 10

The revival of Kranland’s automobile industry is being pitched as a beacon of hope in an economy that has been broadly flat for the most part of the last two years. It is being suggested that the industry can help boost the country’s economy by increasing its manufacturing output and resultant exports, and create high quality jobs. However, many economists claim that even if automobiles companies help increase the country’s exports, they will not be a major source of new jobs over the long term.

Which of the following best explains the reason for the doubt expressed by the economists?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

The apparent paradox is that how can the auto manufacturing companies in Kranland not add many jobs in the long run despite an increase in the exports and the corresponding increase in the manufacturing.

Pre-Thinking Approach

To resolve the paradox, let’s see how we can select a scenario in which both the situations can be true without contradicting each other. To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on the seemingly contradictory situations.

Potential explanations

• What if the auto mobile manufacturing industry in Kranland outsources many of its jobs to other countries?
• What if the manufacturing companies become so efficient in their usage of workforce that an increase in production may not translate in to an increase in employment?

With this understanding in mind, let's take a look at the option statements.

A

The automobile industry does not create low-quality jobs.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

We are concerned about the number of jobs, not the quality of jobs. If the car industry creates a large number of high quality jobs, the economists’ doubt won’t be supported. Thus, incorrect.

B

Even though the exports of Sonic Automobiles, a manufacturing company in Kranland, grew more than 20% in the last year, its number of employees grew only by 5%.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This choice talks only about one company, while economists’ doubt pertains to the entire manufacturing sector. Even if we say that their doubt could be based on data from single company, a 5% growth in employment is probably not a small growth. This still indicates that as exports will grow, so will employment. Thus, this option is also inconsistent with the conclusion.

C

The automobile industry is a capital intensive industry and frequently goes through cycles of growth and recession.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This does not even talk about jobs.

D

To succeed in the global manufacturing industry, a company has to be extraordinarily efficient, requiring the use of the same workforce for more production.

Correct

This is right on track. This choice implies that to succeed in the global market (exports), a company needs to produce more using the same workforce. Therefore, even if exports increase, this increase may not lead to a corresponding increase in jobs. Thus, this statement supports the economists’ doubt.

E

Ranland’s automobile companies are financially well off than their Kranlandian peers and can cut down their prices to gain market share.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Like option C, this also doesn’t talk about jobs. Thus, incorrect.

QUESTION: 11

Organite is a kind of bioorganic fertilizer that is produced by harvesting wastewater from both households and industrial sources. The water is chemically treated at water reclamation facilities, where nutrients are extracted from the waste. These nutrients are then used to produce Organite, which has greatly decreased the need to produce synthetic nutrients. However, production of synthetic nutrients for fertilizers has increased by 60 percent over the last decade.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the apparent discrepancy?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

To resolve the paradox, let’s see how we can select a scenario in which both the situations can be true without contradicting each other. To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on the seemingly contradictory situations.

• Potential explanations
• Instance 1: Demand for fertilizers has been significantly more than the production of Organite (bioorganic fertilizer) in the last decade. In such a case, production of synthetic nutrients to meet the demand for fertilizers could be required. Thus, even if OG has reduced the need for SN, production of SN has still increased.
• Instance 2:  The production of OG, i.e. the process of harvesting wastewater and then chemically extracting nutrients from waste could be significantly more expensive than the production of SN. In such a case, despite the reduced need to produce SN, SN may be preferred, leading to its increased production.

With this pre-thinking in mind, let’s evaluate the answer choices.

A

Many farmers are not convinced that products created from recycled waste can be as effective as conventional methods of fertilizing crops.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

How the opinion of the farmers impacts the ultimate production of fertilizers is neither implied nor stated in either the argument or the choice.

B

The production rate of bioorganic fertilizers is significantly lower than the growth rate of the overall market for fertilizers.

Correct

This option is written along the lines of our pre-thinking as per explanation instance 1.

C

Bioorganic products have been proven to be more successful than synthetic products in the process of fertilization.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This choice presents an overall comparison between two different kinds of fertilizers but does not talk about Organite in particular.

D

Bioorganic materials are increasingly finding uses in processes other than agricultural fertilization.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Diverse use of bioorganic materials is not relevant to the argument.

E

Several nutrients can be extracted from sources other than wastewater from domestic and industrial sources.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Nutrients extracted from sources other than wastewater are not relevant to the discrepancy mentioned in the argument.

QUESTION: 12

Researchers have recently come across a phenomenon that they have named “the obesity paradox”.  The body mass index (BMI) is used as a statistical measurement to estimate healthy body weight and a high BMI is linked with multiple cardiovascular diseases. However, research data indicate that overweight people with a high BMI, compared to people with a normal BMI, have the lowest risk of cardiovascular mortality.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the paradoxical findings stated in the passage?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

To explain the result of the study, let’s see how we can select a scenario in which such a result can be possible without contradicting any fact given in the argument. To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on the seemingly contradictory situations.

• Potential explanation 1: The argument tells us that a high BMI is linked with multiple cardiovascular diseases but that the overweight people with a high BMI have the lowest cardiovascular mortality. So, it is possible that even though over-weight people have a high risk of such diseases, they never actually get such diseases because they get medical intervention at the right time.
• Instance: Overweight people are more likely to receive preventive medication against cardiovascular diseases as they run a high risk of developing them.
• Potential explanation 2: What if overweight people are likely to develop some other disease, which does not affect people with a normal BMI, for which they have to take regular medication and that medication also protects them against cardiovascular disease? So, technically they are not being treated for cardiovascular diseases but they are receiving preventive medications for the same and hence they have the lowest cardiovascular mortality.

With this pre-thinking in mind, let’s evaluate the answer choices.

A

Research shows that BMI divides the weight too much in short people, making short people think they are thinner than they actually are.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

There is no information given about the height of the people with a normal or high BMI. Hence, there is no link that we can establish between the information given in this choice and the argument.

B

People diagnosed with obesity are two times more likely to be preemptively prescribed cardioprotective medications than people with normal weight.

Correct

This is the correct choice and is close to the pre-thinking we came up with in Potential explanation 1.  If people with obesity (overweight people) are twice as likely to receive preventive medications for cardiovascular diseases then it could explain why they have the lowest mortality rate from such diseases.

C

There was little difference between the genetic pre-disposition to cardiovascular diseases for all the patients studied irrespective of whether they were over or underweight.

A possible explanation for the observed paradox could have been that the people with a normal BMI (who were studied for the purpose of the research) could have had a higher genetic pre-disposition to cardiovascular diseases. However, this choice rules out that possibility, compounding the apparent paradox.

D

The data also showed that sleep deprivation, a condition related with cardiac failure, was prevalent in most people studied under the research.

Incorrect - Insufficient information

The choice does not differentiate between people with a normal BMI and the ones with a high BMI. Hence, we cannot determine what impact it has on solving the apparent paradox.

E

The researchers also found that the risk of cardiovascular mortality was the highest in underweight patients.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Information about underweight people does not account for the low mortality rate observed in overweight people despite a high BMI in them.

QUESTION: 13

The government of the country of Marina has recently implemented several changes in its regulations governing the migration of people in and out of the country.  Even though the changed regulations will not result in any decline in immigration, one of the causes of high unemployment in the country, the government is confident that the unemployment will reduce in the coming months because of the changes.

Which of the following, if true, provides the best reason for the expectation?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

To resolve the paradox, let’s see how we can select a scenario in which both the situations can be true without contradicting each other. To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on the seemingly contradictory situations.

• Potential explanations

The action talks about changes in regulation on:

• Migration of people from Marina to other countries
• Migration of people from other countries to Marina

However, the prediction only talks about immigration (Migration of people from other countries to Marina) and says that immigration will not decline.

• Instance: What if the total number of people/job-seekers in Marina reduces, despite no reduction in the people migrating to Marina? Such a situation is possible if more people are likely to migrate out of Marina as a result of the recent changes.

With this understanding in mind, let's take a look at the option statements.

A

One of the main hurdles for the people of Marina seeking employment outside the country had been the recently removed government regulations requiring them to work within the country after their graduation for at least 10 years.

Correct

The option states that as a result of the changes in migration regulations, an increase in the migration of recent graduates from Marina to other countries could be expected, possibly decreasing the total number of job-seekers in marina who could have otherwise contributed to the overall unemployment in the country.This option is on the same lines as our pre-thinking.

B

Over the years, the government of Marina has made many significant changes to its immigration and emigration policies, impacting the overall unemployment rate every single time.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This statement only talks about an impact on unemployment rate every time the policies are changed. Neither does this explain the reason behind a possible decline in unemployment, nor does it really assure that such a change in unemployment is warranted.

C

Many Marinian companies have now stopped outsourcing their customer-service requirements from other countries, a change that will add thousands of new jobs to the economy.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option provides a reason for a decrease in the unemployment, a reason that is unrelated to the changes in migration policy. The correct option should explain how the stated policy changes shall lead to reduction in unemployment.

D

Because of the changed regulations, many people who would otherwise have immigrated to Marina will be discouraged to do so and will instead opt to immigrate to its neighboring country, Xamalia.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This options says that immigration can possibly fall since many people from other countries shall migrate to Xamalia instead of Marina. However, the passage already says that the immigration will not decline.

E

In the past few years, top universities in Marina have tied up with major multi-national companies around the world, which hire most of the fresh college graduates.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Just like option C, this option provides a reason that does not explain how the migration regulation changes shall lead to a decline in unemployment.

QUESTION: 14

It has been observed that sad music can trigger positive emotions. Under an independent study conducted to study the emotions evoked by different kinds of music, 44 volunteers, including musicians and non-specialists, were made to listen to two pieces of music - one sad and one happy. It was found that most of the volunteers reported experiencing emotions such as relief and calmness while listening to the piece of sad music.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the results of the study mentioned above?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

To explain the result of the study (positive emotions while listening to sad music), let’s see how we can select a scenario in which such a result can be possible without contradicting any fact given in the argument. To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on the seemingly contradictory situations.

• Potential explanation: What if the participants could not associate themselves with the piece of music? Or what if they felt better about their actual lives vis-à-vis the sadness in the piece of music they listened to?
• Instance: Most of the participants could not relate to the chosen piece of sad music as they found it overly morose and felt that their real life was far more peaceful and calm.

With this pre-thinking in mind, let’s evaluate the answer choices.

A

In various films centering on murder mysteries, happy music is used in the background of scenes that are visually disturbing.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The results asked to explain relate to listening to sad music and its contrary effect on people. This choice talks about happy music.

B

Participants were made to listen to the two pieces of music on different days.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Different time frames when pieces of music were listened to don’t explain the result of the study (emotions contrary to the tone of sad music).

C

While listening to the piece of sad music, participants of the study felt the piece of sad music was more tragic and less romantic than they felt about the situations in their lives.

Correct

This option is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per the stated instance. It implies that while listening to SM, participants felt relatively good about their real lives and hence experienced relief and calmness.

D

Most of the participants heard the two pieces of music for the first time in their lives.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

There is no stated or implied correlation between listening to a piece of music multiple times and the emotions generated because of the same.

E

Only a few people are good at separating the emotions experienced via art and those experienced in real life.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This choice does not give us any information to conclude anything about why people felt happy while listening to a piece of sad music.

QUESTION: 15

In an effort to propagate afforestation, the state of Tonilla started charging companies that cut down trees in forested land for wood to use as raw material. These charges included planting and growing costs. In the three decades since this law was enforced, the cost for planting and growing trees has not changed much. However, the average price paid by companies subject to this law has reduced from \$5 per ton of wood to \$2 per ton of wood obtained through cutting down trees.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the drop in price paid by the companies?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

To explain the drop in price paid by the companies while the P&G remained almost stable, let’s see how we can come up with a scenario in which both situations can be true without contradicting each other. To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on the seemingly contradictory situations.

• Potential explanations

Since we are talking in average costs, it is possible that there was a particular species of trees that was very expensive to grow and was being cut in large quantity. Accordingly, the charges paid by the companies for this tree were increasing the overall average amount paid for cutting trees. But now that the demand for goods from this tree has decreased, the cutting has too, bringing down the average amount paid for cutting trees.

• Instance 1: The cutting of trees that had high P&G has reduced significantly, leading to lower average price paid by companies subject to the law mentioned in the argument.

In the above case, despite the same P&G  in the 3 decades (since the law was enforced), the average price paid by the companies could have decreased over the years.

With this pre-thinking in mind, let’s evaluate the answer choices.

A

Most of the companies have been accurately reporting the kinds of trees being cut by them.

Incorrect - Opposite

We need to look for an option that explains the current situation. If anything, this choice compounds it as we know that most of the companies are not trying to misreport the kinds of trees cut by them. Such misreporting could lead to miscalculation of charges applicable to these companies, possibly leading to lower overall average charges.

B

These companies are unlikely to be in favor of the charges for planting or growing the trees that they are cutting.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The attitude of the companies towards the P&G doesn’t explain the drop in average price paid by them in spite of not much change in the P&G cost.

C

Trees such as teak and rosewood that have high planting and growing charges are less likely to be utilized for wood now than they were three decades ago.

Correct

This option is written along the lines of our pre-thinking as per explanation instance 1.  Decline in use of trees that have high P&G cost could be the reason for the decline in average price paid by companies.

D

Thorinilla, a neighboring state of Tonilla, also tried to execute the same procedure in its state, but failed because of strong opposition.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The failure of a neighboring state to execute the same procedure doesn’t explain the situation in SOT.

E

There is no harsh punishment in the state of Tonilaa for subverting laws related to afforestation.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Just because there is no harsh punishment for such cases doesn’t mean that companies are subverting these laws.

QUESTION: 16

Air Spectacular, known for its best service in the airline industry and top-rated travelling experience, has had a greater number of accidents than Aero Sensational over the past few years. Aero Sensational charges roughly the same price as Air Spectacular for its flights. However, most of the travellers have preferred Air Spectacular over Aero Sensational for their flights from Raylayer to Sensei during the same period.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the preference of the travellers despite the greater number of accidents referred to above?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

To resolve the paradox, let’s see how we can select a scenario in which both the situations can be true without contradicting each other. To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on the seemingly contradictory situations.

• Potential explanations
• Instance 1: The ratio of accidents to the total number of flights is smaller for Air Spectacular than for Aero Sensational.

In the above case, despite the greater number of accidents, Air Spectacular could be considered comparatively safer than Aero Sensational.

• Instance 2: What if most of the accidents at Air Spectacular happen on other flights and not on flights from Raylayer to Sensei? In such a case, travellers could prefer flights on this particular route. So the correct explanation could state that:

In this one sector (flights from Raylayer to Sensei), Air Spec.has a history of significantly lower number of accidents than Aero Sens.

With this pre-thinking in mind, let’s evaluate the answer choices.

A

Although the number of accidents is greater for Air Spectacular, some accidents do not cause serious injuries to travellers.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The occurrence of fewer serious injuries in some accidents doesn’t explain the preference of travelers for that particular sector.

B

Over the past few years, people have become highly sensitive to the cost of flying.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

As both airlines charge roughly the same price for their flights, this information is not relevant.

C

For its flights from Rayler to Sensei, the Air Spectacular uses a different model of airplane, with a smaller capacity, than the model Aero Sensational uses for its flight on the same route.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

A different model of plane doesn’t tell us if one of the models is better than the other and thus doesn’t give us a potential reason for the preference of travelers.

D

Most Air Spectacular flights, but not its flight from Raylayer to Sensei, use the Toncon airport, which, because of its short runway, is among the world’s most dangerous airports.

Correct

This option is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per explanation instance 2.Greater number of accidents could be a result of using the dangerous airport, a cause that’s missing from the sector for which people prefer to fly with Air Spectacular.

E

Unlike Aero Sensational, Air Spectacular is planning to implement a plan to provide insurance to travellers who are injured during an accident.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The plan that is yet to be implemented is irrelevant to the argument that is about the last few years.

QUESTION: 17

As the US increased the production of natural gas released from underground shale formations, creating more output of polyethylene, it was expected that makers of plastic products such as plastic trash bags, toys, containers etc., which use polyethylene as a raw material, would benefit from the same as a result of the decrease in the price of natural gas. However, makers of plastic products have instead reported no cost benefit as a result of the increase in the supply of natural gas.

Which of the following, if true, most explains the zero cost benefit as reported by the makers of plastic products mentioned in the above argument?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

To resolve the paradox, let’s see how we can select a scenario in which both the situations can be true without contradicting each other. To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on the seemingly contradictory situations.

• Potential explanations
• Instance 1: It’s possible that even though the production of NG has increased and its price has declined, the cost of converting NG to poly has increased leading to no reduction in price of poly (raw material for plastic products) for PM. Thus, as the price of the raw material is same for PM, it’s possible that they have had no cost benefit.
• Instance 2:  Even if the production of NG has increased and its price has declined, the poly makers may increase their profit margin resulting in the same cost price of poly for PM.

With this understanding in mind, let's take a look at the option statements.

A

To discourage people from using plastic products, many countries have started levying heavy taxes on the plastic industry as a measure to increase the cost of production and the resultant price of plastic products.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The argument deals with no cost benefit as a result of the increased production of NG. Cost increase because of heavy taxes is not relevant to the argument.

B

The price of ethane, a component of natural gas and raw material for polyethylene has decreased due to the increased supply of natural gas.

Incorrect - Opposite

Decline in price of ethane because of increased supply of NG should lead to a decline in price of poly leading to a cost benefit for PM. Thus, this option, if anything, compounds the paradox.

C

The makers of polyethylene have increased their profit margins and hence are not passing on lower cost benefits to their customers.

Correct

This option is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per explanation instance 2.  Same price of raw material implies no cost benefit to PM, who are the customers of poly makers.

D

It is predicted that plastic manufacturers will eventually realize cost benefits, once the production of natural gas is further ramped up.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option does not shed any light on the existing condition mentioned in the passage. It instead talks about a future, hypothetical situation.

E

Since the production of natural gas released from shale formation has increased, the demand for plastic products has decreased significantly.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Decrease in demand for plastic products doesn’t explain why PM have not benefitted because of increase in the supply of NG.

QUESTION: 18

Last year, football player James McGuel faced severe criticism for his poor show that contributed significantly to OldFort United’s worst performance in the history of National Premier League Football Championship. Despite the fact that OldFort United has been winning many more games this year and that James McGuel is averaging more goals per game than last year, critics continue to doubt McGuel’s capability and are voting against his inclusion in the team for the next season of the championship.

Which of the following statements most explains the paradox in the above argument?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Even though this year OU is  winning more games and JM has been scoring more goals per game than last year, , critics are doubtful about JM’s capability and are voting against his inclusion in OU next year - two apparently conflicting situations amounting to a paradox.

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can explain the situation at hand. To do so, we will look at the logical structure and the paradoxical pieces of information. Then we’ll try to come up with instances which can explain the coexistence of the seemingly conflicting pieces of information.

ParadoxCritics are doubtful about JM’s performance even when he has been averaging more goals/game and OU has been winning many more games.

• Instance #1 – JM is performing better than last year but he still might be performing much worse than what is expected from him. E.g. let’s say he was brought into OU with an expectation that he’ll score 1 goal/game and he scored 0.2 goals/game last year. Then, even if he scores 0.4 goals/game (double of last year) he’ll still fall short of expectations and critics would want him to be replaced by a better player.
• Instance #2– The overall playing conditions for OU could have changed. E.g. a lot of star players of other teams might not be playing in NPL, making OU a comparatively stronger team with weaker opponents or perhaps OU itself is not playing in NPL but in a lower league in which its chances of winning are much higher. In both these cases, it is possible that there is no improvement in JM’s performance and, therefore, critics don’t want him in the next season.

With this understanding in mind, let's take a look at the option statements.

A

OldFort United has not been playing more matches this year.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option is not relevant as the information about overall matches played is not required when the passage already talks about goals/match.

B

Football critics are often wrong in their predictions.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option is about whether critics’ predictions are right or wrong whereas we are interested in knowing why they are making these recommendations in the first place.

C

OldFort United’s decision to hire Wayne Bruce has turned out well for the team as he is the leading scorer for the team this year.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option is not relevant as it talks about another player and not JM.

D

Many critics have raised questions about the actual nationality of James McGuel, making it likely that he will be excluded from the World Championship squad for the country.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option is not relevant as it talks about a different issue (JM’s nationality) and not JM’s performance or the reasons for the critics’ opinion.

E

After last year’s poor showdown, OldFort United has been relegated from the premier league and is currently playing against weaker opponents.

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per Instance #2.

QUESTION: 19

Voter turnout is the percentage of eligible voters who cast a ballot in an election. US has seen a trend of increasing voter turnout in most states since 1960s until the most recent 2008 presidential election. Much of this analysis is predicated on voter turnout as measured as a percentage of the voting-age population.  California has the highest voting-age population as compared to any other state in US. However, while the voter turnout in California was lowest from 1972 till 1980, it shot up right after 1980 and has been increasing since then.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain the change between the voter turnout from 1972 till 2008 in California?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Voter turnout is the percentage of eligible voters who cast a ballot in an election. US has seen a trend of increasing voter turnout in most states since 1960s until the most recent 2008 presidential election. Much of this analysis is predicated on voter turnout as measured as a percentage of the voting-age population.  California has the highest voting-age population as compared to any other state in US. However, while the voter turnout in California was lowest from 1972 till 1980, it shot up right after 1980 and has been increasing since then.

A

The total voting age population was highest between 1960 and 1972.

The paradox is about trends observed in CA voter turnout.  Thus, the total voting age population trend does not even aim to address the paradox.

B

Between 1972 and 2004 US saw an overall increase in eligible voters.

This choice does not talk about CA voting age population to address the CA voting turnout paradox.

C

A considerable voting-age population in California was nationalized (made citizens) in 1980, and since then this population has been turning up in great proportions to vote.

This choice presents the reason why in 1980 the observed spike in voter turnout took place in CA.

D

After 1980 Govt. of California has steadily attempted to increase the rates of voting among young people by initiating programs such as MTV’s "Rock the Vote" and the "Vote or Die“.

This choice while attempting to address the paradox is not able to effectively address the paradox.  It simply states that there have been attempts to increase the rates of voting.  It does not conclusively indicate if these attempts have been successful or not.  The timing of this initiative is after 1980, while the increase was in 1980.  Furthermore, this attempt is only focused on young people, but if we do not know how much of voting age population, this segment constitutes, we would not know if even a successful attempt will have any considerable impact on the voter turnout.

E

In California the voter turnout in Presidential Elections is almost always more as compared to General Elections.

This choice compares voter turnout in two different elections.  This comparison does not help address the change in the voter turnout trends across all elections.

QUESTION: 20

Syldania, the world’s largest exporter of iron ore, annually ships about 30 million tons of iron ore to other countries. Experts predict that because of a recent global increase in the production of iron ore, the export market for iron ore will shrink significantly next year. However, the Syldanian government has recently issued a directive stating that the number of iron ore processing plants in the country is to be increased.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain this apparent discrepancy?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

To resolve the paradox, let’s see how we can select a scenario in which both the situations can be true without contradicting each other. To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on the seemingly contradictory situations. Now the apparent paradox is that even though experts have predicted that the demand for IO will decrease significantly in the coming year, the government of Syldania, world’s largest exporter of IO, has ordered for an increase in the number of IO processing plants in the country.

Potential explanations

• What if there is enough domestic demand for IO in Syladania to absorb the increase in the IO production? In such a scenario, even though the IO export market for Sylandaia may shrink, the government’s decision to increase IO plants will be reasonable.
• Instance : Local demand for IO in Syladania is expected to increase significantly the coming year.

With this understanding in mind, let's take a look at the option statements.

A

Syldania can compensate for the amount of revenue that it loses from reduced sales of iron ore by increasing the selling price of the ore

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The ability to make up for loses does not explain why the country would apparently want to reach a state of excess supply.

B

All the workers at Syldania’s iron ore processing plants are employed by the government.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Under which sector - private or public - the workers are employed does not help explain the paradox.

C

Bordia, the world’s second-largest exporter of iron ore, is soon expected to overtake Syldania in iron ore production.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Even if Syldania is concerned with losing its top position as an iron ore exporter, it still gives no reason to increase the number of iron ore processing plants since export market is expected to fall.

D

The domestic demand for iron ore and its by-products is expected to increase considerably in Syldania.

Correct

This matches the instance identified in pre-thinking and is the correct  choice. It suggests that even though the increased iron-ore production may impact the export market, there will be enough demand within Syldania to absorb the product generated by the new iron-ore processing units in the country.

E

The number of iron ore processing plants in Syldania is already greater than the number of such plants in most other countries.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Comparison with other countries with regards to the number of IO plants does not help us understand why the Syldanian government has decided to increase such plants despite an expected fall in the demand for IO in the export market.

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