# Test: Boldface

## 20 Questions MCQ Test Verbal for GMAT | Test: Boldface

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

### Astronomer: Among recently-observed stars, LV-426 has been exhibiting signs of turbulent activity. Prior to this observation, scientists speculated over whether LV-426 could become a supernova, but dismissed the possibility since the star was dormant for a prolonged period of time. It now seems likely that LV-426 will explode into a supernova, since turbulent surges of activity have been observed in every star that has transformed into a supernova. In the astronomer’s argument, which of the following roles do the boldfaced portions play?

Solution:

The first thing that we should do is to define the argument, without which we cannot decide whether a BF is supporting or dismissing the argument.

The core argument finally is that the LV-426 is ripe to explode. "because it is now showing signs of turbulence" is the grounds on which this conclusion or argument is drawn.

However, look at E, The choice says that the info given in the second BF counters the argument. This is not so and is enough to eliminate the choice.
We must not be swayed by the fact that the first BF may be true. In BF, the premise and the inference should be congruous.

C. The first describes an occurrence that does not contradict the main conclusion of the argument; the second provides the reason for that conclusion.

In C, the first BF does not talk anything about the recent occurrence of the turbulence. It only talks about the quiet period that prevailed earlier. The second provides a reason for the main conclusion of an imminent explosion that is likely to occur because of the newly observed turbulence.
The catch in C is that the first part is neutral. It neither contradicts nor supports the core conclusion.

QUESTION: 2

### The stock price of companies that have high earnings per share growth increases fast.  Because "CEO compensation is tied to the increase in stock price, many companies use cash from operations to buy back shares to increase the overall earnings per share."  However, in practice, this strategy is often counterproductive as this leaves little cash to be invested in developing new products and services. In the long run this reduces the overall earnings per share and the stock price. In the passage above, the two bold faced portions play the following roles:

Solution:

Argument Analysis

The stock price of companies that have high earnings per share growth increases fast.  Because CEO compensation is tied to the increase in stock price, many companies use cash from operations to buy back shares to increase the overall earnings per share.  However, in practice, this strategy is often counterproductive as this leaves little cash to be invested in developing new products and services. In the long run this reduces the overall earnings per share and the stock price.

Logical Structure:

Pre-Thinking

1. Statement 1 states the reason for the strategy employed in Statement 2.
2. The argument disapproves of this strategy.

A

The first is a reason to pursue a certain strategy to achieve an aim, the second is that strategy.

This statement correctly captures the roles played by the segments.

B

The first is a consideration raised to support a certain strategy that may be counter- productive; the second is a strategy that can help mitigate the consideration.

While first is the reason or consideration behind the strategy, the argument confidently states that this strategy is mostly counter-productive.  Thus use of “may” undermines the extent to which the argument refutes the strategy.  Second is the strategy but it does not mitigate the first.

C

The first is a reason to pursue a certain strategy to achieve an goal; the second is that goal

Second is not the goal but means to the goal.  Second is the strategy.

D

The first is inferred from the opening line of the passage while the second is the key to achieving the first

The opening line of the passage simply states a common principle.  In no way CEO compensation information can be inferred from this common principle.

E

The first is a consideration that is used to justify adopting a certain strategy, the second presents the intended outcome of that strategy.

Second is the strategy itself and not the intended outcome.

QUESTION: 3

### Fast food chains constantly face the problem of low employee retention, to counter which the companies offer high salaries. The companies have come up with the solution of hiring retired people who have a very low attrition rate. However, their time taken to service an order is more and they require going through long training programs at regular intervals. Thus, for most fast food chains the gain in employee retention does not compensate for the increase in time taken to serve each customer. Nevertheless, since the customers continue to be more appreciative when served by retired people, their employment is likely to become an industry-wide feature. In the argument above, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?

Solution:
QUESTION: 4

It is widely known that oxidants are toxic in large amounts, and our cells naturally generate their own anti-oxidants to neutralize them. Accordingly it is advised that people boost the intake of antioxidants to counter the effects of toxic "reactive oxygen species," or ROS, the elevated levels of which are connected with various cancers. However, such advice may not have any substantial medical grounds as new research shows that tumor-promoting ROS are produced at cellular energy factories called mitochondria whereas supplements and dietary antioxidants tend to accumulate at scattered distant sites in the cell not connected with mitochondria at all.

In the argument above, the two bold-face portions play which of the following roles?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

Main Conclusion of the argument: “However, such advice may not have any substantial medical grounds”. Therefore, the main conclusion provides an explanation and a piece of evidence that opposes the advice mentioned in the previous statement.

Pre-Thinking Approach

The question requires us to identify the role played by the two bold face portions in the argument. To do so, we will examine the argument structure and the relationship of the bolded portions with respect to the main conclusion of the argument.

BF1 – As explained in the passage analysis, BF1 presents a third party’s conclusion, which is opposed by the main conclusion.

BF2 – It presents evidence to support the main conclusion.

With the above understanding, let us analyze the option statements.

A

The first is a conclusion against the position taken by the argument; the second acts as evidence in support of that position.

Incorrect - 1st part wrong

The main conclusion opposes BF1, not the other way round. The description of BF2 is correct; BF2 acts as a piece of evidence to support the main conclusion – position taken by the argument, which is referred to as “that” position.

B

The first is evidence that the argument disputes; the second is an observation that supports the main conclusion drawn by the argument.

Incorrect - 1st part wrong

BF1 is not evidence. It is a claim that the argument disputes. BF2 can be called an observation/a piece of evidence that supports the main conclusion.

C

The first acts as evidence against the position taken by the argument; the second acts as a reason in support of the position taken by the author.

Incorrect - 1st part wrong

BF1 is not evidence/a fact. It is an opinion challenged by the main conclusion. The description of BF2 is correct.

D

The first is a conclusion that is disputed by the argument; the second is evidence that supports that conclusion.

Incorrect - 2nd part wrong

BF1 is a conclusion that the argument disputes. However, the description of the second part is incorrect; BF2 is evidence that supports the main conclusion which disputes the conclusion in BF1. Therefore, BF2 is evidence against that conclusion.

E

The first is a conclusion that the argument as a whole disputes; the second is evidence that supports the position taken by the argument.

Correct

As discussed in the pre-thinking analysis, the description of both the parts is correct. BF1 is a conclusion that the argument challenges. BF2 is evidence that supports the main conclusion, the position taken by the argument.

QUESTION: 5

When the world-wide economic recession began in December 2007, 60% of the under-25 population was in the labor force, meaning they were either working or looking for work. Today, that figure has fallen to 55%.The decline in the participation rate among the young cannot be fully attributed to the recession. Labor force participation among young people peaked at just under 70% in 1989 and has trended downward ever since, primarily because of rising rates of college attendance. The presence of other factors that have driven the decline in the last few years cannot be discounted. The number of young people saying they’re “discouraged” — meaning they aren’t looking for jobs because they don’t think they can find one — has been trending upwards.

In the argument given, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Let’s look at the relationship between the two boldface portions w.r.t. the conclusion of the argument.

BF1: The decline in the participation rate among the young cannot be fully attributed to the recession.

BF2: The presence of other factors that have driven the decline in the last few years cannot be discounted.

Both BF1 and BF2 present the author’s opinions. BF1 states an author’s position that recession is not the only reason behind the stated decline in the labour force participation rate of the under-25 population. This assertion is supported by the reasoning:

(i)  that the participation rate has been declining ever since it almost reached 70% in 1989 because of the rising rates of college attendance and

(ii) that other factors leading to the decline in the last three years have to be taken in to account as well; for example: the number of young people saying they are not motivated to find jobs and hence aren’t looking for any has been increasing.

As you can see, BF2 is part of the second reason stated above and is another opinion of the author that supports BF1. Since the author states 2 opinions –BF1 and BF2 and BF2 supports BF1, therefore, BF1 is the main conclusion of the argument.

Let’s combine BF2 with the next statement:

BF2 + Next Statement: The presence of other factors that have driven the decline in the last three years cannot be discounted. + The number of young people saying they’re “discouraged” — meaning they aren’t looking for jobs because they don’t think they can find one — has been trending upwards.

BF2 is an author’s opinion and is supported by the statement following it, which talks about “discouraged” young people. This statement supports BF2 since it talks about one such “other factor”. Also, BF2 supports BF1, the main conclusion of the argument.

Therefore, BF1 is the main conclusion and BF2 is an intermediate conclusion that supports BF1.

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

A

The first is a general opinion with which the author partially agrees; the second is a fact that supports that opinion.

Incorrect - Both parts wrong

BF1 is an opinion by the author and not a general opinion.  Also, as shown in our pre-thinking analysis, BF1 is the main conclusion presented by the author and therefore cannot be an opinion that he/she partially agrees to. BF2 does support BF1 but is another opinion of the author and not a fact.

B

The first is an opinion that is the main position taken by the author; the second is an intermediate conclusion drawn in order to support the main conclusion.

Correct

Both BF portions have been identified along the lines of our pre-thinking. BF1 is an opinion that is the main position taken by the argument (main conclusion).

BF 2 is an opinion used to support BF1 (main conclusion). Therefore, BF2 is an intermediate conclusion.

C

The first is evidence cited in order to support the main conclusion of the argument; the second presents the author’s opinion that also supports the main conclusion.

Incorrect - 1st part wrong

The first is an opinion of the author and not evidence (fact). BF1 doesn't support the main conclusion; it itself is the main conclusion of the argument. BF2 is an opinion by the author that supports the main conclusion.

D

The first is an opinion that is the main conclusion of the argument; the second provides evidence to support the intermediate conclusion, which in turn supports the main conclusion.

Incorrect - 2nd part wrong

BF1 has been identified correctly as the main conclusion of the argument. BF2 doesn’t provide evidence that supports the intermediate conclusion. Instead, BF2 is the intermediate conclusion itself.

E

The first is an intermediate conclusion drawn in order to support the main conclusion; the second is an opinion that is the main conclusion of the argument.

Incorrect - Both parts wrong

BF1 is not an intermediate conclusion that supports the main conclusion. Instead, it is the main conclusion. BF2 is an opinion but not the main conclusion. Instead, it is an intermediate conclusion that supports the main conclusion, BF1.

QUESTION: 6

Customers are aware that most of the faults that arise in their mobile phones are due to the excessive exposure of these phones to moisture or water. Accordingly, engineers at Talkit Inc. have developed a water-resistant phone that can stay underwater for at least 30 minutes without any resultant damage to either its hardware or software. However, since the manufacturing cost of the phone is anywhere between 25-30% more than that of an ordinary phone, the phone will be very expensive and as such not be able to find enough customers.

In the argument given, the two boldfaced portions play which of the following roles?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Let’s look at the relationship between the two boldface portions w.r.t. the conclusion of the trade analysts.

Conclusion: The author concludes that the phone will be very expensive and as such not be able to find enough customers.

Let’s take a look at BF1 below:

BF1: Customers are aware that most of the faults that arise in their mobile phones are due to the excessive exposure of these phones to moisture or water.

BF1 states a fact. The author presents the fact in statement 2 as a consequence of BF1. Statement 2:

Accordingly, engineers at Talkit Inc. have developed a water-resistant phone that can stay underwater for at least 30 minutes without any resultant damage to either its hardware or software.

BF2: the phone will be very expensive and as such not be able to find enough customers.

BF2 presents the conclusion of the author. The author draws the above conclusion on the basis of the fact stated in the first half of the sentence, which is:

However, since the manufacturing cost of the phone is anywhere between 25-30% more than that of an ordinary phone,

In the light of statement 2 and the support for BF2, we can see that BF1 does not support the conclusion of the argument, BF2.

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

A

The first is a reason provided to support a conclusion that the argument as a whole disputes; the second is an explanation that counters that conclusion.

Incorrect – Both parts wrong

BF1 doesn’t state a reason to support any conclusion. It states an observation. In the second half of this statement, “that” refers to the conclusion mentioned in the first half. As BF1 doesn’t support any conclusion, BF2 cannot be an explanation that counters that conclusion. In fact, BF2 itself is a conclusion drawn by the author.

B

The first is an observation that the argument disfavors; the second is the position that the argument seeks to establish.

Incorrect – 1st part wrong

BF1 is a fact and can be considered an observation, but the argument doesn’t disfavor it. BF2 is indeed the position that the argument seeks to establish- in other words the main conclusion of the argument.

C

The first is an observation that is not disputed by the argument; the second is a conclusion that is not supported by the first.

Correct

Both BF portions have been identified along the lines of our pre-thinking. BF1 can be described as an observation; this observation has not been challenged by the argument. BF2 is the conclusion of the argument, which is not supported by BF1 but by the fact that “the manufacturing cost of the phone is anywhere between 25-30% more than that of an ordinary phone.”

D

The first is an observation that is not disputed by the argument; the second is an explanation that the argument favors.

Incorrect – 2nd part wrong

As observed in option C, BF1 has been identified correctly. However, BF2 is not an explanation; it’s an opinion by the author.

E

The first is a reason provided to support a conclusion which the argument as a whole disputes; the second is that conclusion.

Incorrect – Both parts wrong

BF1 doesn’t state a reason to support any conclusion. In the second half of this statement, “that” refers to the conclusion mentioned in the first half. As BF1 doesn’t support any conclusion, BF2 cannot be that conclusion. BF2 is the conclusion drawn by the author.

QUESTION: 7

The sales of a product increases as the number of people who have used it increases. Sampling is a good method to increase the awareness of the products. Therefore, many energy drink manufacturers put stalls around each city they are targeting and distribute free energy drinks as each flavor is launched. Such distribution increases the demand for the new flavor, forcing competitors to come up with a similar flavor of the energy drink and reducing the overall sales and profits of that flavors. Eventually energy drink manufacturers are forced to keep producing new flavors.

In the argument above, the two portions play which of the following roles?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

1. First statement states a principle.
2. Second statement shows application of that principle
3. The passage concludes by applying this principle, sales increase only for a short duration and eventually the sales reduce because of competition.

A

The first is a consideration raised to show that adopting a certain strategy is unlikely to achieve the intended effect; the second is presented to explain the appeal of that strategy.

The first is the principle behind the strategy expressed in second.

B

The first is an assumption that has been used to justify a certain strategy; the second is a consideration that is used to cast doubt on that assumption.

First is principle used to justify the strategy expressed in second.  Second does not cast doubt on the first.

C

The first is a consideration raised in support of a strategy the argument endorses; the second presents grounds in support of that consideration.

First explanation is correct.  Second presents the strategy itself and not the ground to support the first.

D

The first is a consideration raised to explain the appeal of a certain strategy; the second is a consideration raised to call into question the wisdom of adopting that strategy.

The second is an application of the strategy suggested in the first. The second does not call into question the wisdom of adopting the strategy.

E

The first is a principle that forms the basis for a course of action that the argument indicates may not have the desired outcome; the second presents the course of action.

This choice identifies the roles played by both the bold faced portions correctly.

QUESTION: 8

Studies show that families in which both the husband and the wife are working normally tend to be single-child families. It is commonly understood that such partners prefer to have only one child because of the lack of time on their hands to raise more than one child. However, other studies have shown that in households that have both the husband and wife working but that have more than one child, the partners married each other in their early twenties. Since majority of the working parents in single-child households marry post the age of thirty-five, it is clear that the real reason such families have only one child is the age of the parents that does not biologically allow them to have more than one child.

In the argument given, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

Main Conclusion of the argument: “real reason such families (families where both husband & wife work) have only one child is the age of the parents that does not biologically allow them to have more than one child”. Therefore, the main conclusion provides an explanation for an observation that families in which husband and the wife are working normally tend to be single-child families.

Pre-Thinking Approach

The question requires us to identify the role played by the two bold face portions in the argument. To do so, we would examine the argument structure and the relationship of the bolded portions with respect to the main conclusion of the argument.

BF1: As indicated in the passage analysis, BF1 forms a part of a statement that presents an observation.  In this observation, the highlighted portion/BF1 provides a commonly believed reason for the stated correlation that families in which both the husband and the wife are working, normally tend to be single-child families. Now, we see that the main conclusion of the argument presents a different reason, which is not in line with BF1, for the observed correlation. Therefore BF1 is something that:

1. Is a possible cause of an observation that is
2. Opposed by the main conclusion

BF2: As discussed in the passage analysis, BF2 starts with “since”, a premise marker, and supports the main conclusion. Therefore, BF2:

1. Is a fact that
2. Supports the main conclusion

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

A

The first is an intermediate conclusion that supports the main conclusion of the argument; the second is used as a support for the position the argument seeks to establish.

Incorrect - 1st part wrong

As seen in the pre-thinking, BF1 is not a conclusion that supports the main conclusion of the argument. BF2 supports the main conclusion, i.e. the position the argument seeks to establish.

B

The first is evidence for a position that the author does not agree with; the second is the main position taken by the argument.

Incorrect - Both parts wrong

BF1 isn’t evidence/fact; it’s a commonly believed reason. It does not support any position.BF2 supports the main conclusion, it is not the main position itself.

C

The first is an explanation offered for an observation; the second is an observation that is used to support the position taken by the argument.

Correct

As discussed in the pre-thinking analysis, BF1 offers an explanation for an observed correlation. BF2 can be called an observation and it does support the main conclusion, i.e. the main position taken by the argument.

D

The first is an explanation offered for an observation; the second is that observation.

Incorrect - 2nd part wrong

The description of BF1 is correct. BF1 is an explanation of an observation. However, BF2 is a different observation; it is not the observation that is explained by BF1.

E

The first is a conclusion that supports the main conclusion of the argument; the second is a belief that too supports the main conclusion of the argument

Incorrect - Both parts wrong

As discussed earlier, BF1 does not support the main conclusion. BF2 is a fact, not a belief. It supports the main conclusion.

QUESTION: 9

Tenured professors at higher education institutions are certainly given more prestige than other lecturers are. But they are not better teachers as shown by a working paper published by National Education Research Institute (NERI).  NERI collected, from more than 15,000 students, ratings for both tenured and non-tenured professors. Even though we would expect tenured professors to get much better ratings because of their much greater experience, the results showed otherwise. Non-tenured professors got better ratings, slightly though, than tenured professors. This clearly shows that there is an immediate need to do course correction – after all, the whole purpose of the existence of the education system is to provide quality teaching to the students.

In the argument given, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?

Solution:
QUESTION: 10

Products that are full of novel features generally have higher profit margins than simpler products. Because the stock market rewards higher returns on research and development and a company’s decisions are driven by stock prices, incumbents in any industry invest their research and development efforts on making products more complex, leaving the products that provide the lowest profit margins to competitors. However, such a strategy can easily backfire since it allows competitors to build competence and slowly come after those high margin products. Therefore, the best strategy for an incumbent is to invest to maintain leading positions in both low margin and high margin products.

In the above argument, the two boldface portions play which of the following roles?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Argument Analysis

Let’s look at the relationship between the two boldface portions w.r.t. the conclusion of the argument.

The argument concludes that Therefore, the best strategy for an incumbent is to invest to maintain leading positions in both low margin and high margin products.

As shown in the passage analysis, BF1 (ref. below) presents a fact or an observation that is part of the reason proposed to explain the strategy adopted by the prominent companies.

Because the stock market rewards higher returns on research and development

Let’s consider BF2 below:

…such a strategy can easily backfire…

As discussed in the passage analysis, BF2 is an opinion expressed by the author regarding the strategy adopted by the prominent companies in any industry. The author uses this conclusion to support another opinion expressed by him/her, which is the main conclusion of the argument. Therefore, BF2 is an intermediate conclusion.

In all, BF1 presents a reason for a strategy adopted by the prominent companies in any industry and BF2 states an opinion that disfavors this strategy and that supports the main conclusion of the argument.

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

A

The first is a belief that the argument does not dispute; the second is a conclusion that supports another conclusion in the argument.

Incorrect - 1st part wrong

As seen in the passage analysis and the prethinking section, BF 1 is not a belief; it’s a fact. BF2 has been identified correctly. It is the intermediate conclusion that the author uses to support the main conclusion of the argument.

B

The first is part of a reason for an observed behavior; the second is evidence that supports the main conclusion of the argument.

Incorrect - 2nd part wrong

BF1 has been identified correctly. As explained in the passage analysis, it forms a part of the reason given for the behavior observed in prominent companies, companies that leave low profit margins for competitors to produce. However, the description of BF2 is incorrect. BF2 is not a piece of evidence (fact). It’s an opinion.

C

The first is part of a reason for an observed behavior; the second is a belief that supports the position taken by the author.

Correct

Choice C describes BF1 in the exact same manner as choice B does. As noted then, this description is correct. Also, as discussed in the pre-thinking section, BF 2 is a conclusion/belief/opinion expressed by the author to support the main conclusion of the argument or in other words the position taken by the author.

D

The first is an observation that the argument does not dispute; the second is a fact that supports the main conclusion of the argument.

Incorrect - 2nd part wrong

BF1 can be categorized as an observation about a particular trend observed in the stock market. However, BF2, as stated in the passage analysis and the prethinking section, is not a fact; it’s an opinion expressed by the author.

E

The first is a belief used to explain an observed behavior; the second is an intermediate conclusion that supports the main conclusion of the argument.

Incorrect - 1st part wrong

BF1 indeed has been used to explain the stated behavior of the prominent companies, but it is not a belief. The description of BF2 is correct. It is a conclusion drawn by the author to support the main conclusion of the argument.

QUESTION: 11

It may seem that no group has been hit harder by the recession than the young since the official unemployment rate for those under age 25 is 16.2%, more than double the rate for the population as a whole. However, the figures may not provide the correct picture. The worst – hit group could be people above 60, an age-group in which the impact has been so severe that people have stopped even looking for jobs. Since the government considers only those jobless people unemployed who are actively looking for work, people who stop looking are instead considered “not in the labor force,” even if they prefer to work given the opportunity.

In the argument given, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Let’s look at the relationship between the two boldface portions, keeping our analysis of the two bold-face portions (as presented in the passage analysis) in mind:

Bold-face portion 1 (BF1): the official unemployment rate for those under age 25 is 16.2%

Bold-face portion 2 (BF2): the government considers only those jobless people unemployed who are actively looking for work

Both BF1 and BF2 are facts. When combined with statements which immediately follow them, they are leading to two different conclusions. Let’s take a look at BF1, BF2 and the statements following them:

BF1 + Next portion of the statement: The official unemployment rate for those under age 25 is 16.2%, more than double the rate for the population as a whole.

BF2 + Next portion of the statement: Since, the government considers only those jobless people unemployed who are actively looking for work, people who stop looking are instead considered “not in the labor force,” even if they prefer to work given the opportunity.

Main conclusion: However, the figures may not provide the correct picture.

Intermediate conclusion: The worst – hit group could be people above 60…

BF 1 and the next portion lead to the conclusion that the young are the worst hit by the recession as they have a much higher unemployment rate than the general population. But this conclusion is disputed by the main conclusion of the argument.  The information presented in BF 2 and the adjoining portion support the intermediate conclusion drawn in favour of the main conclusion. BF2 and the connected portion suggest that says that a lot of people (above 60) are not even accounted for in the statistics as they have stopped looking for work. For such people, official unemployment rate won’t reflect their true condition. Hence, declaring that the young are the worst hit by the recession on the basis of official unemployment figures may not be correct.

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

A

The first and second are facts used in order to support a conclusion.

Incorrect

While BF1 and BF2 are both facts, they are not supporting the same conclusion as we saw during the pre-thinking phase.

B

The first is an observation that is challenged by other information in the argument; the second is that information.

Incorrect – Both parts wrong

BF1 is taken as a fact but is not challenged anywhere in the argument. Only an interpretation of BF1 is questioned. BF2 is part of the information that challenges the implication of BF1 and not BF1 itself.

C

The first is a consideration used to challenge the position taken by the author; the second provides an alternative explanation that supports the opinion of the author.

Incorrect – Both parts wrong

BF1 occurs earlier in the statement than the author' opinion. So it wouldn't be accurate to say it challenges the author's opinion. BF2 is part of the reasoning used to support the opinion of the author; however, BF2 doesn't provide any alternate explanation.

D

The first provides certain data whose implications are at issue in the given argument; the second challenges the authenticity of that data.

Incorrect – 2nd part wrong

While BF1 does provide data whose implications are at issue in the argument, BF2 doesn't challenge the authenticity of that data, only the implication of it.

E

The first is used as a basis to infer an implication, the validity of which becomes doubtful in light of the other information presented in the argument; the second is a part of that information.

Correct

BF1 is used as a basis to infer that young are the worst hit by the recession. This implication has been challenged by the information presented by BF2 and the statement immediately after it. Note the use of 'part of that information.'

QUESTION: 12

The US and New Zealand are the only two countries where direct to consumer (DTC) advertising of prescription drugs is legal.  Many research organizations and pharmaceutical industry groups contend that the ads are educational and provide consumers with important information that may benefit their health. Opponents counter that DTC drug ads are often just sales pitches which pressure doctors to provide unnecessary medications and cause patients to seek unhelpful and costly remedies. The recently published data speaks amply in favor of the latter group: the average number of prescriptions for new drugs with DTC advertising is currently nine times greater than prescriptions for new drugs without DTC ads. The claims that only the most reliable companies pursue DTC ads and therefore, this data is expected, are not rooted on facts since a number of such heavily advertised drugs have been shown to have long term safety problems.

In the argument given, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?

Solution:

A

The first is evidence that supports a judgment given in the argument; the second is an opinion that forms the basis of an objection to that support.

This option is correct.

Please refer to the audio-visual solution above.

B

The first is a fact that supports the main conclusion of the argument; the second is a judgment that increases the belief in the support.

This option is incorrect.

Please refer to the audio-visual solution above.

C

The first is a judgment that supports a claim that is supported by the argument; the second provides a counter-claim.

This option is incorrect.

Please refer to the audio-visual solution above.

D

The first is an observation that seems to support a judgment made in the argument; the second creates doubts on a conclusion that is challenged in the argument.

This option is incorrect.

Please refer to the audio-visual solution above.

E

The first is evidence that supports a conclusion which is challenged in the argument; the second provides another evidence to support that conclusion.

This option is incorrect.

Please refer to the audio-visual solution above.

QUESTION: 13

Artists who have won prestigious awards usually receive much more glowing praise from critics than do artists who have not won any noteworthy awards. Since popularity tends to be short-lived and artists desire to make the most of their reputations, several artists produce as much work as they can in a short span of time. However, too much output may lead critics to believe that the artist has compromised on the quality of his or her work. Therefore, the best course of action for artists who have received prestigious awards and who want to continue to receive positive critical reviews is to ensure that they do not produce too much work in too short a period.

In the argument given, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?

Solution:

Passage Analysis

Pre-Thinking

In the passage analysis, we have identified that the main conclusion of the argument is: the best course of action for artists who have received prestigious awards and who want to continue to receive positive critical reviews is to ensure that they do not produce too much work in too short a period.

Let’s look at the relationship between the two boldface portions w.r.t the main conclusion:

BF1: too much output may lead critics to believe that the artist has compromised on the quality of his or her work.

BF2: the best course of action for artists who have received prestigious awards and who want to continue to receive positive critical reviews is to ensure that they do not produce too much work in too short a period.

Both BF1 and BF2 are author’s opinion.

To understand BF1 clearly, let’s combine it with the previous statement:

Previous statement + BF 1: Since popularity tends to be short-lived and artists desire to make the most of their reputations, several artists produce as much work as they can in a short span of time. + However, too much output may lead critics to believe that the artist has compromised on the quality of his or her work.

We clearly see that BF1 is a derived statement. Since the statement preceding BF1 says that artists tend to produce as much work as possible in a short span of time, the author derives that critics may doubt the quality of work if the output over a short period is too much. Hence, BF1 is a conclusion.

Now let’s look at BF2. From BF1, the author arrives at BF2, which is the main conclusion of the argument. Using BF1, the author concludes that to ensure that critics continue to provide positive review to artists who have won prestigious awards, the artists should not produce too much work in a short span of time. The conclusion marker: “therefore” between BF1 and BF2 suggests that BF1 is a premise for the conclusion BF2.

Therefore, BF1 is an intermediate conclusion that supports BF2, the main conclusion.

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

A

The first is an observation that supports an intermediate conclusion made by the author; the second is that conclusion.

Incorrect - Both parts wrong

BF1 is an opinion of the author and not an observation. Also, it does not support an intermediate conclusion. Instead, it itself is the intermediate conclusion.The word "that" in the second half of the statement refers to the intermediate conclusion mentioned in the first part of the option; however, BF2 is the main conclusion, not the intermediate conclusion.

B

The first is an opinion that the argument challenges; the second is the position that the argument as a whole seeks to establish.

Incorrect - 1st part wrong

BF1 is an opinion but is not challenged by the argument. In fact, BF1 supports the main position of the argument.
BF2 has been identified correctly as the main conclusion of the argument

C

The first is an intermediate conclusion that supports the position taken by the argument; the second is that position.

Correct

BF1 is an intermediate conclusion, which supports the main conclusion (position taken by the argument).The word "that" in the second half of the statement refers to the "position taken by the argument" (main conclusion). BF2 has been identified correctly as the main conclusion of the argument.

D

The first is evidence that supports the intermediate conclusion drawn by the author; the second is the position taken by the argument.

Incorrect - 1st part wrong

The first is not evidence, but author's opinion. Also it does not support an intermediate conclusion; it is the intermediate conclusion itself. BF2 has been identified correctly as the position taken by the argument, i.e. the main conclusion of the argument.

E

The first is an intermediate conclusion that supports the main conclusion of the author; the second is another intermediate conclusion that supports the main position taken by the argument.

Incorrect - 2nd part wrong

The option says that both BF1 and BF2 are intermediate conclusions that support the main conclusion. However, while BF1 is an intermediate conclusion, BF2 is the main conclusion.

QUESTION: 14

Many people choose listening to a particular kind of music that is compatible with the mental state they are in. However, studies have shown that people can report feeling happier and calm after listening to sad music. Nevertheless, it is uncalled for to conclude that sad music actually makes people happy. The studies also found that the people only felt positive emotions after listening to sad music when the purpose of listening to it was to release emotions. Contrarily, when the purpose of listening to such music was to recall memories, people felt even more morose after listening to sad music.

In the above argument, the two boldface portions play which of the following roles?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

In order to understand the role played by the two highlighted portions, we need to consider the relationship between the two boldface portions w.r.t. the conclusion of the argument.

The argument concludes that it is uncalled for to conclude that sad music actually makes people happy.

As shown in the passage analysis, the author states that a certain conclusion cannot be drawn on the basis of the information given in BF 1(ref. below):

people can report feeling happier and calm after listening to sad music.

Thus, BF1 is a fact or an observation that, as per the author, does not support a particular conclusion.

Let’s consider BF2 below:

when the purpose of listening to such music was to recall memories, people felt even more morose after listening to sad music.

BF2 along with statement 4 (ref.: passage analysis) has been used to support the conclusion. Thus, BF2 is part of the reasoning used to support the argument.

Therefore, both BF1 and BF2 present facts. BF1 is a fact that, as per the author, does not support a particular opinion/implication and BF2 is a fact that is part of the author’s reasoning for the conclusion of the argument.

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

A

The first is an observation that the argument accepts as true; the second is a belief that forms part of the support for the main conclusion of the argument.

Incorrect - 2nd  part wrong

BF1 has been identified correctly. BF2 is not a belief but an observation that forms part of the support for the main conclusion.

B

The first is evidence against the main conclusion of the argument; the second is an intermediate conclusion used to support the main conclusion of the argument.

Incorrect - Both parts wrong

BF1 is evidence but it hasn’t been used to dispute the main conclusion. In fact, the main conclusion argues against an interpretation of BF1. BF2 is not an opinion; thus, it cannot be an intermediate conclusion. BF2 is part of an observation that has been used in support of the argument.

C

The first is evidence that is used to support a conclusion drawn in the argument; the second is part of the reasoning used to support another conclusion drawn in the argument.

Incorrect - Both parts wrong

BF1 has not been used in support of any conclusion. BF2 is used to support the conclusion of the argument; however, this is the only conclusion and hence the word “another” is not justified in this choice.

D

The first is an observation, an implication of which is disputed in the argument; the second is part of the reasoning used to support the position taken by the argument as a whole.

Correct

Both boldface portions have been identified along the lines of our pre-thinking.

E

The first is a belief that the argument does not dispute; the second is an observation that forms part of the support for the main conclusion of the argument

Incorrect - 1st part wrong

BF1 is not a belief; it’s an observation. BF2 has been identified along the lines of our pre-thinking.

QUESTION: 15

Although in the past the media had been abuzz with rumors that the famous film director Ben Zu would send his entry to the prestigious Film Directors’ Guild competition, which invites entries every year from script-writers/directors who are ready to sign the undertaking that their scripts are based on original-story plots, many critics dismissed these rumors, citing the signing of this undertaking as the main impediment to his entering the yearly competition. This year, it is possible that Zu, whose last few films were adaptations of some bestselling Chinese novels, will finally enter the competition as he has signed the required disclosure

Which of the following options best describes the functions of the statements in boldface?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Let’s look at the relationship between the two boldface portions w.r.t. the conclusion of the argument.

The argument concludes that this year, it is possible that Zu, whose last few films were adaptations of some bestselling Chinese novels, will finally enter the competition.

As shown in the passage analysis, the author reaches the above conclusion by taking in to account the fact presented in BF1 (ref. below):

BF1: many critics dismissed these rumors, citing the signing of this undertaking as the main impediment to his entering the yearly competition.

Thus, BF1 is a fact that is considered by the author while drawing his conclusion.

The author uses BF 1 as a basis for citing the fact mentioned in BF 2 and uses BF 2 to support his/her conclusion. Please consider BF2 below:

BF2: he has signed the required disclosure.

Therefore, both BF1 and BF2 present facts. BF1 is a fact that is considered by author while deriving the conclusion. BF2 is a fact that provides the author’s reasoning for the conclusion and we understand the relevance of the same in supporting the conclusion in the light of BF1.

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

A

The first describes an opinion which the argument as a whole opposes; the second provides a reason for the position that the argument seeks to establish.

Incorrect – 1st  part wrong

BF1 is not an opinion; it’s a fact and hence the argument does not oppose it. BF2 does provide a reason for the position that the argument seeks to establish, in other words, the main conclusion of the argument.

B

The first is a fact that is relevant in understanding the importance of the second, which has been used as a reason for the position taken by the author.

Correct

BF1 is a fact that helps to understand the importance of BF2, i.e. signing of the disclosure in predicting that Ben Zu will probably enter the competition this time. Also, as noted in the prethinking, BF2 has been used to support author’s conclusion.

C

The first is a consideration that opposes the position taken by the argument; the second is that position.

Incorrect – Both parts wrong

BF1 can be described as a consideration; however, it doesn’t oppose the main conclusion of the argument.. In the description of BF2, “that position” refers to the position mentioned in the first portion of the choice, i.e. the main conclusion. But BF2 is a reason for the author’s conclusion, not the conclusion itself.

D

The first is a position that is disputed by the argument; the second provides support for that position.

Incorrect – Both parts wrong

BF1 is not a position (opinion); it’s a fact and is hence not disputed by the argument. Also, BF2 provides support for the author’s position, and not for BF1.

E

The first provides support for an intermediate conclusion made in the argument; the second is that conclusion.

Incorrect – Both parts wrong

There is no intermediate conclusion in the argument and hence there is no question of BF1 suporting the same. In the second half of this statement, “that” refers to the conclusion mentioned in the first half. BF2 is not an intermediate conclusion; it is a fact that supports the author’s main conclusion.

QUESTION: 16

A prominent investor in a trading firm has alleged that stock exchanges, in a bid to generate more revenue, are tying up with trading firms and giving such firms unfair advantages over individual investors. The claim has resulted in an inquiry by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Since there have been previous claims about trading firms unfairly using computer algorithms to their advantage, the inquiry will likely lead to the finding that the investor’s allegations are justified.

In the above argument, which of the following functions are played by the portions in boldface?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Let’s look at the relationship between the two boldface portions w.r.t. the conclusion of the argument.

The argument concludes that the inquiry will likely lead to the finding that the investor’s allegations are justified.

As shown in the passage analysis, BF1 (ref. below) presents the position of a prominent investor.

stock exchanges, in a bid to generate more revenue, are tying up with trading firms and giving such firms unfair advantages over individual investors.

Let’s consider BF2 below:

BF2 is a fact that provides the author’s reasoning for the conclusion. In other words, it has been used to support the conclusion of the author. Now the author’s conclusion is that the claim mentioned in BF1 will probably be proven valid. So BF 1 and the main conclusion are in the same direction.

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

A

The first is a judgment that challenges the position taken by the argument; the second is that position.

Incorrect – Both parts wrong

BF1 doesn’t challenge the conclusion as discussed in the pre-thinking analysis above. In the second half of this statement, “that” refers to the position mentioned in the first half, i.e. the position taken by the argument or the main conclusion. As noted in the pre-thinking analysis, BF2 is a fact, not a position that supports the main conclusion.

B

The first is a conclusion that is disputed in the argument; the second is a prediction that provides support for the main conclusion of the argument.

Incorrect – Both parts wrong

BF1 can be considered the conclusion drawn by the investor; however, as noted in the pre-thinking analysis, this conclusion is not disputed by the author. BF2 does provide support for the main conclusion of the argument; however, it is not a prediction.

C

The first is a claim that is not disputed by the argument; the second is a prediction that provides support for the main conclusion of the argument.

Incorrect – 2nd  part wrong

BF1 has been identified correctly. It’s the investor’s claim that the argument does not dispute. However, as observed in option (B), BF2 is not a prediction.

D

The first is a claim that is not disputed by the argument; the second supports the main conclusion of the argument.

Correct

Both boldface portions have been identified along the lines of our pre-thinking.

E

The first provides evidence supporting a conclusion stated in the argument; the second supports the author’s main conclusion.

Incorrect – 1st part wrong

BF1 doesn’t provide any evidence, rather, it states the claim made by an investor. BF2 has been identified along the lines of our pre-thinking.

QUESTION: 17

Although the e-commerce industry in Inasia is not profitable as yet, as most companies in the sector suffer from challenges such as inefficient supply chains and insufficient funds,  Nile Corporation, a world leader in the e-commerce sector has recently made its foray into the Inasian market. Its decision to enter the market is correct regardless of all the opposing theories. Most analysts believe that e-commerce will gain a sizeable market share in Inasia as more young people with higher disposable incomes will start buying products online over the next five years.

In the argument given, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

The question requires us to identify the role played by the two bold face portions in the argument. To do so, we would examine the argument structure and the relationship of the bolded portions with respect to the main conclusion of the argument.

Main Conclusion:Its decision to enter the market is correct regardless of all the opposing theories.

BF 2 : e-commerce will gain a sizeable market share in Inasia

BF 1: as most companies in the sector suffer from challenges such as inefficient supply chains and insufficient funds

As we observed in the passage analysis, the author uses the analysts’ opinion expressed in BF2 to support the main conclusion. Therefore, BF2 supports the position taken by the author. Now BF1, as understood in the passage analysis, is a fact and as such the author can’t dispute it.

With this understanding in mind, let’s move on to the answer choice analysis.

A

The first is a belief that does not dispute the position taken by the argument; the second is that position.

Incorrect – Both parts wrong

BF1 is not a belief but a fact. BF2 isn’t the position taken by the argument. It’s the analysts’ opinion.

B

The first is a belief that goes against the main conclusion of the argument; the second is a judgment that favors the main conclusion of the argument.

Incorrect – 1st part wrong

BF1 isn’t a belief and it doesn’t comment on the main conclusion. BF2 can be called a judgment that favors the main conclusion.

C

The first is an observation that is not disputed by the argument; the second is a conclusion that supports the main conclusion of the argument.

Correct

BF1 is an observation and the argument doesn’t dispute it. BF2 is the analysts’ conclusion and it supports the main conclusion.

D

The first is evidence used to support the position that the argument does not oppose; the second is a belief that supports the position that the argument seeks to establish.

Incorrect – 1st part wrong

BF1 can be called evidence but it doesn’t support any position. BF2 can be called a belief that supports the main conclusion.

E

The first is the explanation for a belief that the author agrees with; the second is a prediction in favor of the main conclusion of the argument.

Incorrect – 1st part wrong

BF1 could be considered an explanation but not for any belief. It explains a circumstance. BF2 is a prediction made by the analysts and it does support the conclusion of the argument.

QUESTION: 18

The increasing costs of fossil fuels such as gas, coal and oil due to the depleting resources of such fuels have prompted many to suggest bio-fuels as a cheaper and greener substitute for them. While biofuels may be more environment-friendly, it is highly debatable whether such fuels will in fact present a significant cost advantage. For instance, many common crops used as resources for biofuels can be economically grown only in limited parts of the world; in other regions the same crops would be impossible or extremely costly to grow.

Which of the following, if true, would serve the same function in the argument as the statement in boldface?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The author concludes that “While biofuels may be more environment-friendly, it is highly debatable whether such fuels will in fact present a significant cost advantage”. The question requires us to identify a statement that plays the same role as the portion in bold-face, which provides support for the author’s opinion that biofuels might not present significant cost advantage over fossil fuels.

Pre-Thinking Approach

In order to identify a statement that serves the same function in the argument as the statement in boldface, we need to understand the linkage between the original statement and the conclusion of the argument. Therefore, we need to observe linkage 2 and identify the option that replaces the original statement in the linkage.

Condition: The link connects a piece of evidence to the main conclusion. We need to identify a suitable instance that supports the claim that it is highly debatable whether biofuels will in fact present a significant cost advantage over fossil fuels. In other words, we need to find a piece of statement that supports the author’s opinion that “… it is highly debatable whether such fuels will in fact present a significant cost advantage”.

Strengthener:

• The overall demand for the crops used as resources for biofuels is expected to grow at a significantly higher rate than the supply of these crops.

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

A

in their efforts to reduce the wastage of water, most countries are substantially increasing the price at which they provide waters to the farmers.

Correct

This option implies that the final price of crops might be high in most countries. Therefore, it supports the author’s claim and matches our pre-thinking analysis.

B

use of resources such as fertilizer to increase the production of crops used as sources to produce bio-fuels can lead to increased water pollution.

Incorrect -  Irrelevant

Increase in water pollution is not a concern in the argument.

C

the range of crops considered viable for bio-fuel production is wide enough to fit most agricultural zones.

Incorrect - Opposite

If anything, this choice presents a consideration that the raw-material for producing bio-fuels may be widely available. This piece of information is opposite to the one provided in the boldface portion.

D

researchers are investigating ways to genetically engineer crops that are good resources for bio-fuels but that require huge amounts of water to grow.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The statement does not indicate that biofuels might not provide significant cost advantages as compared to fossil fuels. It only highlights biofuels’ dependency on huge amounts of water. We do not know if water would be disadvantageous from cost perspective.

E

studies have shown that many unsaturated oils in bio-fuels leave gummy residues in car engines.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

We are only concerned with the cost of biofuels. This statement is irrelevant to the context of the argument.

QUESTION: 19

Achievers’ Administrative Officer: 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 than the financially well-to-do, fee-paying students. This is despite the fact that on average, economically underprivileged children generally have more pressing academic needs than the fee-paying students. Critics of the school have concluded that the economically underprivileged students are not receiving proper academic attention. However, this conclusion is almost certainly baseless. Careful investigation has recently shown two things: students from financially well to do households hang around in school premises to discuss their after-school parties, and tend to stay back in the school after classes to attend such optional sports activities that have nothing to do with a student’s academic development.

In the administrative officer’s argument, the two boldface portions play which of the following roles?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Let’s look at the relationship between the two boldface portions w.r.t. the conclusion of the argument.

The argument concludes that However, this conclusion is almost certainly baseless. Here “this conclusion” refers to the conclusion drawn by the critics.

As shown in the passage analysis, BF1 (ref. below) presents a general observation.

This is despite the fact that on average, economically underprivileged children generally have more pressing academic needs than the fee-paying students.

Let’s consider BF2 (ref. below):

…students from financially well to do households hang around in school premises to discuss their after-school parties,

BF2 is a fact that provides the author’s reasoning for the conclusion. In other words, it has been used to support the conclusion of the author. Now the author’s conclusion is that the conclusion drawn by the critics is baseless. Therefore, BF 2 presents a consideration against the critics’ conclusion.

In all, BF1 presents a general observation and as such the author doesn’t dispute it and BF 2 presents a reason in support of the main conclusion of the argument, which disputes another conclusion- the one drawn by the critics.

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

A.

The first states an observation that the argument as a whole disputes; the second is a fact that goes in favor of the position that the argument as a whole seeks to establish.

Incorrect – 1st part wrong

The author doesn’t doubt or dispute the general observation stated in BF1. BF 2 has been described correctly. It supports the main conclusion or the position that the author seeks to establish.

B

The first is an observation that disfavors the main conclusion of the argument; the second provides support for the position that the argument seeks to establish.

Incorrect – 1st part wrong

BF1 is an observation that doesn’t impact the strength of the main conclusion. The description of BF2 is correct. As noted in the passage analysis, it supports the main conclusion, i.e. the position that the argument seeks to establish.

C

The first is an observation that the argument does not question; the second is evidence used against a conclusion in the argument.

Correct

Both portions have been identified correctly. BF 1 is indeed a general observation and as such the argument can’t question it. The description of BF2 matches our pre-thinking analysis. As noted then, BF 2 presents evidence in favor of the main conclusion, which in turn disputes the critics’ conclusion. Accordingly, BF2 goes against “a” conclusion presented by the critics.

D

The first is the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second provides support for the conclusion of the argument.

Incorrect  1st part wrong

As seen in the passage analysis and the pre-thinking section, BF1 is a general observation that does not directly impact the main conclusion of the argument. BF2 has been identified correctly. It indeed has been used as a premise for the author’s conclusion.

E

First and second both have been used to support the main conclusion of the argument.

Incorrect  Half incorrect

Although BF2 has been used in support of the author’s conclusion, BF1 is a general observation that does not lend any strength to the conclusion of the argument.

QUESTION: 20

Editor: The Economic Council’s declaration that budget cuts are effectively insignificant because there is no evidence that such cuts lead to lower economic growth is irresponsible and self-serving. A recent study has shown that budget cuts lead to a reduction in a country’s income over a long term period.  Since these cuts are usually enforced following an increase in national debt, which in turn has an impact on a country’s income, budget cuts clearly curtail a country’s long-term economic growth.

In the editor’s argument, the statements in boldface play which of the following roles?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

The question requires us to identify the role played by the two bold face portions in the argument. To do so, we would examine the argument structure and the relationship of the bolded portions with respect to the main conclusion of the argument.

BF1 – As identified in the passage analysis, BF 1 is the main conclusion of the argument.

BF2 – It is an opinion that supports the main conclusion. This opinion is based on the statement preceding it, so it acts as an intermediate conclusion as well.

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

A

The first is an intermediate conclusion that supports the position taken by the argument; the second is that position.

Incorrect – Both parts wrong

BF1 isn’t the intermediate conclusion; it’s the main conclusion.

Here “that position” refers to the one mentioned in the description of BF1. BF2 isn’t the position taken by the argument (main conclusion); it’s an intermediate conclusion.

B

The first is the main conclusion of the argument; the second provides a reason to support an intermediate conclusion drawn in the argument.

Incorrect – 2nd part wrong

BF1 is the main conclusion.

BF2 isn’t a reason to support the intermediate conclusion; it is the intermediate conclusion.

C

The first and the second both provide evidence in support of the position taken by the argument.

Incorrect  Both parts wrong

BF1 doesn’t support the main conclusion; it is the main conclusion. BF2 does support the main conclusion but it isn’t evidence, it’s an opinion.

D

The first is the position taken by the argument; the second is an intermediate conclusion that supports that position.

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking. BF1 is the main conclusion, which can also be called the position taken by the argument. BF2 is indeed an intermediate conclusion and it supports the main conclusion.

E

The first provides evidence supporting a conclusion stated in the argument; the second is the author’s main conclusion.

Incorrect – Both parts wrong

BF1 doesn’t provide evidence, it is the main conclusion. BF2 is the intermediate conclusion and not the main conclusion.

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