Test: Critical Reasoning- 3

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Linda: In the 1800s, it was found that one in every six women who gave birth in hospitals died of a fever they had contracted after delivering the child and that the mortality was not as high if they gave birth at home with the help of a mid wife. It was found that the doctors had a poorer sense of hygiene and that their dirty hands and instruments were leading to pathogens entering a woman's bloodstream. Thankfully, hygienic conditions today are much better and women are safer.

Fiona: But doctors today are so overworked that a number of doctors, while aware of the need for better hygiene, barely find the time to wash their hands. The likelihood of infections caused by doctors is probably not any better.
Which of the following can be used by Fiona to further establish that Linda need not be correct in her reasoning?


Step 1: Analyzing the Argument
Look for differences across the answer options to identify what is being tested in the sentence.

Linda’s argument has a cause-effect relationship and a comparison element as well.
The causal argument is that the safety of women (or low mortality among women) is dependent on the hygiene awareness among the doctors.
The comparison element is that women today are better off than the women in the 1800s.
If Fiona is to question Linda’s argument, she has to establish that one of these two (the causal and the comparison) relationships do not actually hold true. This is the reason that Fiona’s argument tries to establish that awareness is not enough. Mortality is also affected by the actual practices of the doctors.
To further weaken Linda’s argument, the correct answer Option must extend this discussion or question whether women today are actually better off than the women from the 1800s.

Step 2: Eliminating Options
Option (B) can be eliminated because we do not know whether these hospital-acquired infections were because of poor practices of the doctors or because of other factors.
Option (C) can be eliminated because the option adds further support to Linda’s argument, when in fact the objective is to weaken her argument.
Option (D) can be eliminated because the option again adds support to Linda’s argument. Some people wonder about the usage of the words “self-reported”, which might imply that the 90% figure may not be accurate. However, it cannot be assumed that the doctors are lying or that the actual rate is much lower than 90%.
Option (E) seems to imply that the nurses do not have proper practices in place. At first glance, the option seems to work. However, the option assumes that doctors do not adhere to the schedules, implying that nurses are as bad. Nurses and doctors could both be GOOD at sticking to the cleansing schedules. Moreover, the focus of the discussion is on the practice of doctors and not of nurses.
Option (A) works because it establishes another reason for carelessness among doctors when it comes to hygiene. If doctors believe they do not carry pathogens, they are more likely to be careless about cleansing schedules.
Option A is the correct answer.


The Americans with disabilities act (ADA) was designed to ensure that there is no discrimination against and unfair termination of differently-abled workers in the workplace. However, after the act was introduced, there has been a marked increase in unemployment among the differently-abled.


Step 1: Analyzing the Argument
An Act that was designed to help the differently-abled seems to have had a detrimental effect on their employment levels.

This seeming contradiction in the argument has to be removed by adding information that will explain the lower employment levels after the introduction of the Act. The correct option should also accept that the law was designed to help the differently-abled and not question its motives.

Step 2: Eliminating Options
Option (A) can be eliminated because it does not explain why the differently-abled chose not to work at a time when the government is making things easier for them to work.
Option (C) can be eliminated because the option seems to imply that the Act tried to prevent the termination of the employment of the differently-abled, when the argument does not say so. Also, the option seems to imply that the differently-abled were treated unfairly – implying that the Act is a failure.
Option (D) does not explain why unemployment has increased. There has never been an Act guaranteeing jobs. So why has the unemployment among the differently-abled increased now?
Option (E) is irrelevant to the discussion. The Act and the discussion on unemployment is pertinent only to the differently-abled and the situation faced by the able-bodied has no impact on this scenario.
Option (B) resolves the paradox by explaining why the unemployment among the differently-abled has increased. Because companies want to avoid future complications (that may be caused by the Act), they have reduced employment.
Option B is the correct answer.


In an effort to curb drug abuse, the government has imposed strict laws to prosecute the dealers. However, such an initiative is unlikely to be effective. Prosecuting dealers will lead to a shortage of drugs. At the same time, because no efforts are being taken to curb demand, drugs will be sold at a premium, attracting more people to the very remunerative job of drug dealing. Therefore, to effectively reduce drug abuse, the government will have to prosecute the drug users and not dealers.

Which of the following is the most relevant information in evaluating the credibility of the argument?


Step 1: Analyzing the Argument
The author believes that the government should prosecute drug users and not dealers in order to control drug abuse.

In order to evaluate the argument, the answer option has to evaluate this suggestion made by the author. So, the correct option would be one that determines one or all of the following
whether prosecuting drug users is possible
if possible, then will such a measure be as or more effective than prosecuting drug dealers
whether for some reason, the current steps taken by the government are effective in tackling drug abuse.
Step 2: Eliminating Options
Option (A) can be eliminated because what worked in other countries need not necessarily work in this one. The answer option has to evaluate whether the recommendation would work in this particular scenario.
Option (B) can be eliminated because if the payoffs are outweighing the punishment, that would mean that there would be more dealers involved in drug dealing. The argument implies that this will already happen so this option does nothing to evaluate the author’s recommendation.
Option (C) does not evaluate whether drug abuse would reduce or increase. What needs to be evaluated is drug usage and not drug dealing. For similar reasons, Option (E) can also be eliminated. Keeping track of new dealers does not necessarily keep track of drug dealing or usage.
Option (D) evaluates the argument because the author’s primary argument against the government’s actions is that the current efforts will not curb drug usage, and that sale of drugs will continue happening at a premium. However, if most drug users do not wish to pay the premium charged, then the sale and usage of drugs will come down and the government’s current measures will prove to be effective enough.
Option D is the correct answer


Alan: In the last 15 years, most of the criminals who were convicted of theft or murder were from the lower income classes and had not completed high school. Therefore, the government has to spend more money on reducing poverty and increase funding to education. Because terrorism is the most severe of all crimes, such measures would bring down overall crime rate and reduce threat from terrorism.

Dylan: A study that was conducted in a country known to produce a number of terrorists showed that on average the terrorists were better educated than the overall population and that they did not necessarily come from lower income classes. This is probably because crimes such as theft are committed for personal gain while terrorism is for political or religious gain.


Step 1: Analyzing the Argument
Alan’s argument is that the government should take steps to reduce poverty in an effort to reduce all kinds of crime from petty theft to terrorism.

Dylan quotes a study in another country that showed that the motives behind theft and terrorism are not the same and that tackling one need not tackle the other.

Essentially, Dylan agrees with one part of Alan’s argument (that financial reasons motivate theft), disagrees with another part (terrorism is not motivated by financial factors but rather political or religious factors) and hence believes that the recommendation made by Alan to the government would not be effective.

Step 2: Eliminating Options
Option (A) can be eliminated because Dylan is not entirely changing the direction of the conversation. Even if the study he quotes is about another country, he is still focusing on the factors that motivate crime.
Option (C) can be eliminated because Dylan is not broadening but questioning Alan’s argument. For (C) to be true, Dylan must be saying something along the lines that the conclusion that Alan has drawn apply universally to all countries.
Option (E) can also be eliminated. The two are arriving at different conclusions but (E) claims that they are arriving at the same conclusion.
At first glance, both options (B) and (D) look like they are representing Dylan’s reasoning. However, Dylan is not refuting Alan’s recommendation itself but the effectiveness of the recommendation – He is not saying the government must not alleviate poverty but rather than alleviating poverty will not necessarily curb terrorism. Option (B) can therefore, be eliminated.
Option (D) works because Alan is assuming that what is true for theft is true for terrorism and Dylan is pointing out that it need not be the case.
Option D is the correct answer.


During the last 50 years in England, the national football team has had at least 60℅ of its players born during the months January to March. Similarly, in Germany, at least 50℅ of the team has been born during the first three months of the year. In fact, this statistic holds true for most European countries. This shows that in most European countries, parents with kids born early in the year are more likely to encourage a football career.

Which of the following best explains why the conclusion need not be the best explanation for the statistic?


Step 1: Analyzing the Argument
The author believes that the parents who have kids in the first quarter of the new year are more likely to encourage their kids to have a football career.

The question asks to identify an option that points out that the author’s reasoning may be flawed. Essentially, the correct option must provide an alternative explanation for the statistic that shows that a significant portion of the players on the teams were born in the first quarter.

Step 2: Eliminating Options
The correct option must explain why more members of the team were born in the first quarter and not just talk about the number or percentage of births during the other months of the year. Therefore, Options (A) and (E) are irrelevant to the discussion and do not refute or support the author’s reasoning.
Option (B) adds strength to the argument. If the parents who had kids in the second half of the year prefer that their kids have scholarly careers, it stands to reason that the number of team members born in the first quarter is high because their parents encouraged their football careers.
Option (D) is linking vacation months to encouragement to play football. The argument is discussing the link between birth month and encouragement to play football. The relationship discussed in the option has no ties to the argument and does not refute or strengthen the argument.
According to Option (C) the cut-off dates for trials is December 31. If that were the scenario, the kids born earlier in any year would be older than kids born later in the year and will have an edge over the younger kids. The option implies that there are more players born in the first quarter because they had an edge over the other players, as kids, and not because of parental support. The option thus questions the author’s argument.
Option C is the correct answer.


Studies have established that children who watched 2 more hours of TV on an average daily basis during the first 15 years of their life were 50℅ more likely to be arrested for property crimes in the country. Researchers believe that these studies clearly establish that violence in movies and TV contribute to aggressive behavior in real life. On the other hand, there is no clear evidence that the programs that the kids watched on TV were violent in the first place. Even if we were to accept that TV watching contributed to the increased crime rate, it need not have been because of the nature of the programs. Perhaps, children who watched programs such as Adams and Samson, a funny sit-com about two blundering cops began perceiving all cops as incompetent.

What is the role of the sentences in boldface?


Step 1: Analyzing the Argument
The argument begins by providing details of a study that shows that the kids who watched more TV were more likely to be violent. While a theory exists that the violence portrayed in TV shows is the contributing factor, the author believes that it need not have been violent TV shows but even funny ones that unintentionally motivated crime.

The first statement is the opinion expressed by researchers that the author does not accept. The author questions whether the violence portrayed in TV is the real reason for crime. The author then goes ahead and illustrates an alternative scenario in the second boldface statement.

Step 2: Eliminating Options
The second statement is a hypothetical scenario that leads to the author’s conclusion, which is that the violence in TV and movies need not necessarily contribute to real-life crime. The author’s opinion is not explicitly stated anywhere but simply implied. For this reason, Option (A), which says that the second statement is the author’s conclusion, can be eliminated.
The author is not completely in disagreement with the researchers’ belief. The author is willing to accept that TV watching has an impact, just not necessarily watching violent programs on TV. For this reason, Option (C) can be eliminated.
The first statement is an opinion expressed by the researchers and not a fact. Option (D), which suggests that the first statement is a fact, can be eliminated. Another problem with option (D) is that the second statement is not really the author’s conclusion.
Option (E). The opinion of the researchers is simply a belief and not a “clearly proven” opinion. This is reason enough to eliminate (E)
The researchers are interpreting the study results to conclude that the violence in TV is responsible for crime. The author disagrees with that contention and presents an alternative possibility in the second boldface statement. Option (B) correctly describes what is happening in the argument.
Option B is the correct answer.


During mediaeval times, the administrative system was organized such that jobs were traditionally held within the same family. The eldest son of the village's blacksmith will take up his father’s business and become the next blacksmith. The other sons would join the army or serve the king in some fashion while the daughters did what their mother did. Although the world has undergone innumerable changes, the dynastic system has not undergone any change whatsoever. Children who have fathers who played major league baseball are 800 times more likely than other kids to become major league players themselves.

Which of the following best refutes the author's reasoning?


Step 1: Analyzing the Argument
The argument draws parallels between the mediaeval and modern times and concludes that the dynastic system of sons taking on their fathers’ jobs has not changed over the years. To make the point, the author gives an example of blacksmiths in mediaeval times and baseball players today.

In order to question the credibility of the argument, the correct option must point out that the times are different and that there need not be a parallel between career systems today and in mediaeval times.

Step 2: Eliminating Options
Option (A) gives one more example of dynastic systems today. If anything, (A) lending further credibility to the argument and is not refuting it. For the same reason, Option (D) can also be eliminated.
Option (C) implies that having a father in the same profession increases the possibility of the son following the father’s footsteps. The reasoning and implication in (C) is probably not as evident as in (A) and (D) but ultimately, (C) lends credibility to the argument, if anything.
Option (E) is possibly a very attractive option. However, the argument does not state that genetic makeup was the reason that people chose a profession; rather it was the accepted practice of the day. Therefore, stating that genetic makeup does not influence the success of a career is irrelevant to the argument. Also, the argument does not discuss “success” in a career at all but just the choice of a career.
Option (B) works because it implies that there was no choice given to those who lived in mediaeval times. The argument, when discussing the “likelihood” of someone becoming a baseball player implies that anyone today has the choice to become one, if they wanted to. Thus, a difference in the systems today and then has been pointed out and the option weakens the author’s reasoning.
Option B is the correct answer.


A survey conducted recently in the city indicated that most college welfare-aid applicants understate the number of luxury items - such as cars and TVs – that their family owned, in an effort to maximize the amount of aid they can claim from the city. Paradoxically, the same study also found that many applicants claimed that they had running water and a gas connection even when they did not.

Which of the following best explains the apparent paradox?


Step 1: Analyzing the Argument
The argument presents a contradiction in the behavior of college welfare-aid applicants. While they understate the extent to which they have certain items, in order to maximize the loan, they also seem to overstate the extent to which they have some items.

To resolve the discrepancy, the correct answer option must explain their motivation to overstate certain things. Why they understate certain items is explained in the argument itself – to maximize the amount of loan. So, even though understating can possibly maximize their loan, why do many of these applicants overstate some items? That is the question that the correct option must answer.

Step 2: Eliminating Options
Option (A) does not work for a couple of reasons. The option states that the city wants people to already have certain things. That is contrary to the very notion of welfare-aid. Moreover, if the city just wants people to already have certain things, why not just claim that they have a TV? The option does not specify what the city expects the people to already have.
Option (B) explains why candidates for aid would understate the extent to which they have certain things. But why would they claim to have running water when they do not? If option (B) were true, would not their application be treated even more favourably if they do not have water. Essentially, the option repeats one part of what is already given in the argument and provides no justification for the other part.
Option (D) has no impact on the argument. What does the percentage of people understating or overstating matter when attempting to explain WHY they do so?
Option (E) like Option (D), has no impact on the argument. Whether the people were the same or different does not explain WHY they under or overstated what they had.
Option (C) explains why they would overstate certain things such as running water – they were too embarrassed to confide that they did not have necessities. However, they understated other things to maximize aid.
Option C is the correct answer.


Terrorist attacks invariably lead to tremendous losses in life, property, and morale of a country. The effects of a terrorist attack are not just immediate and can have long-lasting, trickle-down effects as well. The fear, for example, takes a long time to die down. However, some of these repercussions can be beneficial to the country. Take for instance, the recent terrorist attack on our capital city. In the weeks following the attack, the crime rate in the city came down significantly from what it was just before the attack. This must primarily be due to the increased presence of police resources that were moved to the area and is thus an indirect effect of the attack.

Which of the following options gives one more option as to why the crime rate decreased because of the terrorist attacks?


Step 1: Analyzing the Argument
The argument claims that there can be some benefits to terrorist attacks, such as the decrease in crime rates. The author argues that the crime rate was influenced by the recent terrorist attack.

In order to further add credibility to the author’s argument, the correct option must establish that the terrorist attack had some tie to the crime rate in the city.

Step 2: Eliminating Options
Option (A) repeats a fact that is mentioned in the argument – that there is an increase in policing. However, instead of saying that the increase in police forces is dissuading the criminals, the options states that they are getting caught red-handed. This option does not imply that the crime rate has come down – only that the criminals are being increasingly caught.
Option (B) extends a remark made in the argument about people feeling fear. However, what does this discussion have to do with the crime rate? The option makes no mention of the impact that the fleeing had on the crime rate.
Option (C) states that the crime rate has come down. However, this decrease in crime rate need not have anything to do with the terrorist attacks. The option does nothing to establish this link.
There need not necessarily be a link between crime and poverty. Even if that were the case, Option (E) would weaken the argument and not strengthen it. If the government had been taking measures to bring down the crime rate, then the crime rate has not come down because of the terrorist attack.
Option (D) implies that the terrorists had been contributing to the crime rate. This implies that, now that they have implemented their plan, they are no longer committing petty crimes to distract the police and that the crime rate has come down. Ultimately, the option strengthens the argument by establishing a link between the crime rate and the terrorist attacks.
Option D is the correct answer.


In 2009, there was a sharp increase in the number of people who were reported to have died in the country during the first week of the year, compared with the first week of the previous ten years. There seems to be no reason to explain this disproportionately high number of deaths especially because the reports were widespread in the country and there was no epidemic spreading through the country at that point in time. Moreover, most of the deaths were not among the young and could not even be attributed to binge drinking in celebration of the new year.

Which of the following can then explain the discrepancy?


Step 1: Analyzing the Argument
For no apparent reason, there seems to have been an increase in the number of reported deaths in the first few weeks of 2009. The argument eliminates some likely reasons, such as spreading epidemics. The correct option must explain the reason for the abnormal number of reported deaths.

Step 2: Eliminating Options
Option (B) does not seems to imply that people voluntarily died to satisfy the astrological predictions. Even if we were to accept that to be true, it does not explain why there was an increase in people dying right after the year begins. If the entire year is a good year to die in, why not die in December 2009?
The question asks for an explanation and saying that there is no valid explanation is no good. Option (C) can be eliminated.
Option (D) is an interesting, attractive option. However, the problem with the option is the timeline. If treatment became expensive only that year, why are people dying immediately? Could they not have done something to improve their health or sought other options?
Option (E) discusses only one city while the argument clearly states that this phenomenon was widespread and observed throughout the country. The option therefore, does not justify why the numbers went up in other parts of the country.
To understand why Option (A) works, understand that the argument does NOT state that the number of deaths went up but rather that the REPORTS went up. If option (A) is true and legal heirs do not have to pay any taxes from January 1, 2009, that would explain why the reports of deaths have gone up. Some people could have died in the last few days of 2008 and the heirs could have waited to report it. Also notice that the argument indicates that the reports were primarily about the older population.
Option A is the correct answer.


It seems that medical care is constantly improving and is far better today than it was a few years ago. New medicines are being developed, and at a lower cost. Technological advancements are being made and new treatments are devised. However, hospital care has not improved as much as expected. Most hospitals do not have a large enough ER that can handle a sudden influx of patients and the number of people who die in a hospital due to reasons other than what they got admitted for is staggeringly high.

All of the following underscore the author’s argument EXCEPT


Step 1: Analyzing the Argument
The argument states that medical care has improved but that does not mean that the hospitals have become better. At first glance, it may look like the argument counters itself. However, the first few sentences are discussing the development of medical care and the last few sentences are specifically about hospital care.

The question asks us to identify the option that does NOT underscore, which is to strengthen, the author’s argument. Not strengthening does not necessarily mean weakening the argument. So, find four options that strengthen and the one left out is the answer.

To strengthen the argument, we need to establish that hospitals are not so good and that people die in hospitals for reasons other than their illness.

Step 2: Eliminating Options
Option (A) implies that the hospitals have the doctors do so much other work that patient care takes a backseat. This can be used to strengthen the author’s argument that hospital care is not great. Therefore, option (A) can be eliminated.
If the hospitals recirculate air, making it easier for the diseases to spread, then that further justifies that people die of other diseases than the ones they get admitted for. Option (B) strengthens and can be eliminated.
If the doctors are not held accountable or held accountable for something other than patient care, then patient care takes a backseat. Both options (D) and (E) imply therefore, that the hospital care is not up to scratch.
The response time of ambulances do not reflect on extent of or quality of hospital care. This option does not weaken the argument nor does it strengthen. It is simply irrelevant to the discussion and is therefore the answer.
Option C is the correct answer.


Industrial and automobile pollution have long been thought to contribute to global warming. However, researchers have identified that the carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide released into the atmosphere are not as potent as the methane emitted by cud-chewing animals such as cows when they fart or belch. Therefore, if you drive a hybrid electric car to the grocery, any favor that you would do to the environment would be offset if you end up buying beef.

Which of the following best describes the author's reasoning?


Step 1: Analyzing the Argument
The argument discusses the various factors that cause global warming. The author refutes the popular belief that industrial and automobile pollution are the primary factors and presents an alternative theory that cattle belching has a greater impact. Although not explicitly stated, the author implies that cattle farming is a contributor by stating that beef consumption contributes to global warming. The correct answer must capture this reasoning used by the author.

Step 2: Eliminating Options
An analogy is a comparison. For the author to draw an analogy, he should be saying that what happened in the case of X is true again in the case of Y. However, the author does not make any such comparison and option (A) can be eliminated.
The author has presented a counter theory made by some researchers. The author has also presented a hypothetical scenario explaining the counter theory. However, at no point has the author provided any “evidence”. An evidence has to be some kind of data or irrefutable fact used by the author. Since the argument presents no evidence, option (B) can be eliminated.
While the author does present a theory that is contrary to another, the theory presented is not the author’s own but that of the researchers. The option that correctly describes the author’s reasoning must take into account the last statement of the argument, which is the primary statement that presents the author’s perspective. However, option (C) fails to capture this.
The example provided by the author is not done with the objective of comparing two theories but with the objective of justifying one. Option (E) can be eliminated.
The author is providing an illustration of the new theory in an effort to counter the long-established one. Choice (D) is an apt description of the argument.
Option D is the correct answer.


There are several scientific studies and research findings that are constantly discussed and publicized in the news media. Some of these are contrary to other research studies that are published. This conflict in information makes people believe that either science is inaccurate or that they can ‘choose’ which scientific result they want to believe in. However, neither of these beliefs is accurate. Science is not inaccurate or subjective. Most of the time, scientific studies show inconsistent results either because of inaccuracies in methodology adopted or because of misrepresentation of actual results by the news media. For example, a recent study done on just 15 women showed that eating chocolate was not necessarily harmful during pregnancy and the media reported that chocolate was actually beneficial to the foetus.

Which of the following best further corroborate the author’s argument?


Step 1: Analyzing the Argument
The author believes that scientific studies, when done right, are reliable and that the conflicting studies are the result of misrepresentation of data and inaccurate studies and not the problem with the scientific methodology itself.

To further underscore the reasoning, the correct option must establish one more situation in which the methodology adopted in the study is inaccurate and/or the news media misrepresents the actual results of the study.

Step 2: Eliminating Options
Option (A) presents a study result that has a conclusion that is seemingly wrong. However, there is nothing in the answer option that indicates that the study adopted inaccurate methodology. The answer might seem attractive because the information is contrary to real life information. However, real life information should not be brought into any critical reasoning question. The option can be eliminated.
Option (C) presents a study that further collaborates another study – there is no conflict and no sign of any inaccuracy in this option.
While Option (D) mentions that the news media made a study into a sensation, there is again nothing to indicate that the study was misrepresented or that the study involved incorrect methodology.
Option (E) indicates a seeming conflict in beliefs held by people. Again however, there is nothing to indicate that either of those studies are incorrect. There need not a conflict either, because the disease could be affected by both genetic and lifestyle factors.
Option(B) collaborates the author’s argument the best because it indicates that the study was done on a very small population and that the study, despite being unverified, is becoming popular. This extends the discussion in the argument and is the answer.
Option B is the correct answer.


John: A study has identified that many soldiers received less-than-honorable discharges from the army due to charges of misconduct that can actually be attributed to conditions such as PTSD and traumatic brain injury. This is a military practice that is unfair and must be avoided. The army must take responsibility for the same and stop discharging their soldiers dishonorably.

Christy: While it is true that it is unfair to the soldiers to be discharged so from the army, it has also been found that there are no sufficient measures or systems that have been created to identify whether the misconduct was due to trauma or due to other reasons. Moreover, to enforce discipline in the ranks, it is important for the army to follow a uniform rule for all the soldiers.

Which of the following statements can Christy further add to her argument?


Step 1: Analyzing the Argument
John’s argument is that it is unfair of the army to dishonorably discharge people for misconduct when such conduct could have been because of PTSD. While Christy accepts that such dishonorable discharge is unfair, she believes that the army has to have a uniform rule and cannot act partial to some soldiers, especially when the cases of misconduct due to PTSD are not easily distinguishable from the rest.

Christy’s argument is not entirely contradictory to John’s. Therefore, in order to further strengthen her argument, the correct answer option cannot just talk about the fairness of the discharge but should address the uniformity in rules that she advocates.

Step 2: Eliminating Options
Option (A) is more of John’s response to Christy. Claiming that the army must have developed a system already, implies that the army has not done.
Option (B) discusses the importance of monitoring and evaluating the soldiers and states that to be the reason dishonourable discharges cannot be done away with. However, Christy’s argument is that there has to be uniformity in the rules adopted by the army. This option does not discuss uniformity at all and can be eliminated.
While Option (C) seems to be supporting the army, the discussion by Christy is not about who is to blame but about the impossibility of having different rules for different people. Moreover, the option only repeats the implication behind the first statement in Christy’s argument. The answer option therefore, does not add further to Christy’s reasoning.
Option (E) partially contradicts Christy’s argument. If the army has identified the reasons behind misconduct earlier, then it can do so again. Christy’s argument is that it is not possible to identify the reason and therefore, act accordingly. Furthermore, her argument is that even if able to identify the reason, it is better off to have uniformity in rules.
Option (D) further stresses on the need for uniformity in rules – so that there is no misconduct by the ranks. Option(D) therefore, strengthens Christy’s reasoning.
Option D is the correct answer.


Jess: To be a woman in this century is far better than to be a woman in centuries past. Life expectancy for women has - for the first time - surpassed that for men and while only around 20℅ of college students in the late 1800s were women, today, almost 60℅ of college students are women.

Sam: However, women educated in the top-ranked colleges in the country earn only about 70℅ of what their male counterparts earn. Also, studies show that even today, in a number of industries, women are refused top management positions simply because they are women.

Which of the following is Jess most likely to say in response to Sam?


Step 1: Analyzing the Argument
Jess believes that women today are better off than in the past. Sam however, believes that women are not on par with men at the workplace.

The important difference between the two arguments is that Jess is making a time comparison (between the past and now) and Sam is making a gender comparison (between men and women).

Jess’ response to Sam must simultaneously strengthen her stance that women today are better off while establishing that Sam might not be entirely right and that women are treated equal to men, if not better.

Step 2: Eliminating Options
Option (A) states that life expectancy for women has gone up. However, Jess has already stated that it has. So, repeating the same point does not further strengthen her own or counter Sam’s argument.
Option (B) can be eliminated because it only discusses entry-level jobs. Stating that there are more women in the entry-level positions does not undermine Sam’s argument that women do not reach the higher-level positions.
Option (C) does not talk about professional success of women and only mentions that they are more successful at being single mothers. This statement still does not address Sam’s point that women are not treated equal to men professionally.
Similarly, women being “allowed” more freedom and not subjected to a witch hunt does not imply that women are equal to or better than men. Option (E) can also be eliminated.
Option (D) implies that women are doing well in other professions, if not in the corporate world. It also implies that women are able to get higher ranked positions in the country. This validates Jess’ argument that women are better off today than in the past and simultaneously questions Sam’s argument that women aren’t treated equal to men.
Option D is the correct answer.


Artistic success as an actor is directly dependent on how well an actor has developed his craft. This has been demonstrated by the discovery of a positive relationship between the number of classes taken by an actor and the number of professional productions in which the actor has appeared in the past two years.

Each of the following, if true, cast doubt on the author's argument about artistic success for actors EXCEPT:


First, examine the choices looking for answers that sever the link between taking a large number of Classes and having a well-developed craft. (C) effectively attacks this assumption by suggesting that the sheer number of classes is not enough to guarantee developed craft. (E) points out that an actor can achieve success even if he takes only a few classes. Both of these choices can be eliminated. Next, examine the choices seeking answers that sever the link between professional productions and artistic success. (B) suggests that success is determined by more than an actor's resume and (D) destroys the relationship explicitly. This leaves (A), which has no effect on the author's argument because it doesn't matter who provides the figures on the number of classes taken. Choice (A) is the correct answer.


Music Industry executives have claimed that online file-sharing networks are significantly hurting their business because potential consumers are getting music for free that they would otherwise purchase. However, after file-sharing networks started to become popular, CD sales actually increased.

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


(A) doesn't help because it doesn't explain why more CDs are being sold in traditional music stores. (B) mentions music that has already been purchased, so it doesn't explain why CD sales have increased after file-sharing networks grew in popularity. (C) deepens the mystery because it suggests that people would be unwilling to purchase more CDs. (D) suggests that many people discovered new artists through file sharing, but rather than just listen to these artists on file-sharing networks, they then purchased more music by these artists. This could certainly explain why CD sales increased After the file-sharing networks became popular, so this is our correct answer. (E) equalizes electronic music and music on CDs when it comes to audio quality, so why would people purchase more CDS after beginning to share music electronically for free? Choice (D) is correct.


Parents of high school students argue that poor attendance is the result of poor motivation. If students' attitudes improve, regular attendance will result. The administration, they believe, should concentrate less on making stricter attendance policies and more increasing students' learning.

Which of the following, if true, would most effectively weaken the parents' argument?


(B) posits that the author has confused a cause with an effect-that bad attendance causes bad motivation. That's reversal of causality, one of the classic weakeners. (B) is the correct answer. (A) suggests that parents can be vital to the development of motivation, but this has no direct link to attendance, so it doesn't weaken the argument. (C) is a 180. It agrees with the parents' position that a stricter policy will not lead to increased learning, the very position you are asked to weaken, so it doesn't have any effect; the parents aren't looking for the school to tighten attendance policies, so finding out that such tightening won't increase their motivation does nothing to the parents' argument. (D) introduces the idea of accepting responsibility, which sounds like a good thing overall but has no direct bearing on improving attendance. Finally, (E) mentions that unmotivated students have poorer performance, but the parents are only interested in ways to get students to improve their attendance, not their performance in school. Choice (B) is correct.


A study of children's television-watching habits by the federal Department of Education found that children aged 7-10 who watched more than 25 hours of television per week performed worse in school than children of the same age who watched fewer than 25 hours of television per week. Therefore, parents of children aged 7-10 should prohibit their children from watching more than 25 hours of television per week.

Which of the following, if true, would be best to strengthen the argument above?


(D) validates the representativeness of the sample directly. The author's conclusion is about all parents of children aged 7-10. A study that “gives appropriate weight” to kids with diverse backgrounds is therefore more representative. (D) is the correct answer. (A) is irrelevant because it deals with parents who prohibit their children from watching any television, rather than parents who hold their kids to a 25-hour-per-week limit. (B) is not relevant because it concerns physical fitness tests, not school performance. (C) does nothing to suggest that parents should limit their children's thing to 25 hours per week. It merely offers one reason that the shows kids watch are of little educational value. And (E) is irrelevant. The argument is not concerned with the habits of these children as they age; it deals only with the school performance of children from age 7 to 10. Choice (D) is correct.


When limitations were in effect on nuclear-arms testing, people tended to save more of their money, but when nuclear-arms testing increased, people tended to spend more of their money. The perceived threat of nuclear catastrophe, therefore, decreases the willingness of people to postpone consumption for the sake of saving money.
The argument above assumes that


On the basis of an observed correlation between arms testing and people's tendency to save money, the argument concludes that there is a causal connection between a perception of threat and the tendency not to save. That connection cannot be made unless C, linking the perception of threat to the amount of testing being done, is assumed to be true. Therefore, C is the best answer. The conclusion does not depend on there having been an increase in the perceived threat over time or on how many people supported the development of nuclear arms. Hence, neither of A and B is assumed. The argument does not deal with those who supported arms limitations or with the availability of consumer goods. Thus, D and E are not assumed.

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