Test: Critical Reasoning- 1

25 Questions MCQ Test Verbal Reasoning for GMAT | Test: Critical Reasoning- 1

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QUESTION: 1

The feedback collection boxes installed at the reception of our hotels do not really serve their real purpose. As these boxes are in plain sight, many customers do not feel comfortable depositing the feedback forms in front of the hotel staff. Moreover, the hotel staff can easily access and destroy the feedback form deposited by a guest who intends to report a negative experience. Accordingly, the hotel should make individual phone calls to guests after they have completed their stay, giving them a fair opportunity to express their real experience of staying at the hotel. Which of the following would it be most important to consider while evaluating the new proposed method of obtaining feedback?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The conclusion says that guests will get a fair opportunity to express their real stay experience if the plan of hotels making PC to guests post their stay is followed.

Pre-Thinking Approach

The question stem asks us to evaluate the new proposed method of obtaining feedback. Let’s examine the linkages and see what additional questions we need to ask in order to determine whether the linkages make logical sense. Please note, as we focus on a particular linkage, we’ll keep the other linkage in mind as well.

• Question 1: Will it be the HS making the PC? If yes, then they can edit any negative feedback. If no, then guests will get a fair opportunity to express themselves. If yes, then the problem persists and our belief in the plan is weakened.
• Question 2: Will the feedback shared by guests afterwards be as reflective of their experience at the hotel as it would have been had they shared it when they were going through the experience at the hotel? If yes, then our belief is strengthened; if no, then it’s weakened as their reactions/feedback might be diluted later.

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

A

Whether the staff at the hotels will be under pressure to provide better service, fearing that they may be reported in the feedback call

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The implications of the answers to this choice affect the actual experience of the guests, but it does not tell us anything about the opportunity to express this experience.

B

Whether the proposed feedback mechanism has been successful for other hotels catering to the same kind of customers

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This doesn’t tell us whether the plan will work for this hotel or not as there might have been problems in implementation of the plan in other places.

C

Whether there will be any cost implications for the hotels of executing the proposed change in the feedback mechanism

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The cost implications aren’t relevant; we are only interested in knowing whether the plan will elicit real FB and whether the FB will make it to the right authority.

D

Whether there will be any significant increase in the number of guests due to the proposed way in the feedback mechanism

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Similar to option C, the increase in number of guests does not affect the opportunity to express experience at the hotel.

E

Whether the feedback calls will be conducted by the staff of the hotel that the guest will have stayed in

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per Linkage #2, Question 1.

QUESTION: 2

In an effort to promote the culture of movie going, the media industry of Mumbai has decided to not release DVDs in India till about 5 weeks after the movie has been released. The industry director argues that this would force those individuals who are financially well off and wait eagerly for the movie to be released but are too lazy to go to a cinema hall to visit the cinema halls more often. Which of the following if true indicates that the plan to hold off the release of DVD's of a movie is ill designed to have the desired effect?

Solution:

Pre-Thinking

1. Assumptions:

• Plan will be implemented properly.  For example, there will not pirated DVDs available.
• There is increased seating capability in Cinema halls to accommodate increased inflow of people.

2. Weakeners:

• Evidence suggesting that such people will be able to get their hands on DVDs through alternate channels.
• Evidence suggesting that there is no capacity available for target population.

A

Since the cost of watching movies in a movie theater is much higher than that of watching it on the DVD, only a few people who prefer to watch the movie on DVD would go to the movie theater.

The passage specifically talks about financially well off people.  Thus, this choice does not weaken the argument.

B

If released 5 weeks late, the movie industry may have to reduce the price of the DVD to make it attractive for people to purchase the same.

The passage is not concerned about whether the DVDs are attractive to people to purchase.  The passage is concerned about making people visit the cinema halls.

C

A recent survey has indicated that 15% of the people may forgo watching a movie if the movie is not immediately released on the DVD.

This choice is again concerned with people watching movie on DVD. It does not have any impact on whether this movie if not released in the DVDs will result in target audience going to cinema halls.

D

Even if the DVDs are not released in India, there is a high probability that DVDs from neighboring countries will make their way to the country.

This choice states that the plan would not be implemented properly because eventually people will get their hands on the DVDs.  This choice thus effectively weakens the argument.

E

Movie theaters in a number of metropolitan cities are running at 70% capacity and may have to increase their capacity to accommodate the surge in demand.

This choice supports the conclusion because it states that the plan will be successful and the movie theatres may need to increase their capacity.

QUESTION: 3

Triumba birds reside in the polar regions and need to migrate to warmer areas in winters since winters in the polar regions are not conducive to the survival of the birds. In recent years, because of some unanticipated genetic changes, the flying capability of the birds has been declining and is expected to continue do so in the future.  Which of the following statements is best supported by the passage above?

Solution:

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The question stem says that “Which of the following statements is best supported by the passage above?”. The question requires us to draw a conclusion based on statements in the passage. Please note that the conclusion must be based only on the information provided in the passage.

Pre-Thinking Approach

In order to see what can be concluded from the argument, we need to observe all the facts given in the argument and see if the information in the passage is true, what must also be true.

Let us combine two pieces of information presented in the passage:

1. Triumba birds need to migrate to warmer areas in winters since winters in the polar regions are not conducive to the survival of the birds.
2. The flying capability of the Triumba birds is expected to continue to decrease in the future.

Understanding the situation: So we know that the birds have to migrate to other areas in winters because if they don’t do so, their survival is in danger. Combining this information with the fact that their flying capability is declining and is likely to keep declining in the future, we can see that the survival of the birds is in danger unless there is a positive development in their flying capability. Therefore, we can conclude that:

• The Triumba birds are likely to become extinct unless they develop something that enables them to counter the adverse impact of the genetic changes so that they remain capable of flying to warmer places during winter.

With this understanding in mind, let's move to the option statements.

A

At least one species that resides in the polar regions cannot survive in the summer by migrating to other regions.

Incorrect - No information given

This option talks about surviving the summers in the polar region. However, the argument only talks about the survival of Triumba birds in these regions during winter

B

If Triumba birds don’t develop measures to counter adversarial genetic changes, they face a likelihood of extinction.

Correct

This option says that it is likely that the birds will become extinct unless they are able to counter the genetic changes that are affecting their flying capability.It matches our prethinking analysis as it talks about an outcome that is dependent on a positive impact in the flying ability of the birds.

C

Over the past few years, some of the Triumba birds would not have flown back to the polar regions because of limited flying ability.

Incorrect - No information given

This option suggests that some Triumba birds may have already become incapable of flying back to the polar regions. However, the passage does not suggest that the decline in the flying capability is at a stage where some of these birds have or had become incapable of flying.

D

Unless Triumba birds develop an ability to live in the polar regions during winter, they will be extinct in some time.

Incorrect - No information given

Assuming that the decline in the capability of the birds will definitely carry on, this choice talks about a certainty about the future of these birds. However, as noted in the pre-thinking, the passage talks about a likelihood (expected to)of a further decrease in their flying capability. Also, the option does not consider that the birds might still avoid extinction by countering the adverse effect of the genetic changes.

E

The flying capability of Triumba birds is worse than that of other polar region birds that do not migrate to warmer areas in the winter.

Incorrect - No information given

The option statement presents an irrelevant comparison between the flying ability of the Triumba birds with that of other polar birds. The passage gives us no information about the flying ability of other birds.

QUESTION: 4

Analyst: The Mayor’s petition to revise existing pension systems has raised a significant amount of protest from the city’s labor unions, whose leaders fear that the revision will lead to reduced pensions for retired workers, citing as evidence the fact that the pay scales of government workers are often reduced when the economy experiences a downturn. However, in this case, the union leaders’ fears are baseless since the pension amounts have already been guaranteed to government workers.

The analyst’s argument depends on which of the following assumptions?

Solution:

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The conclusion says that the fears of LU leaders are baseless. This means that the author concludes that the revision of PS won’t lead to reduced pensions for RW.

Pre-Thinking Approach

To pre-think assumptions, we will falsify the conclusion or look for scenarios under which it is no longer valid even when the given premises are true. The assumption then will be that such conditions don’t exist.

What if, already guaranteed amounts can still change? Let’s say the government which promised these amounts has changed. The new government may not have the obligation to keep the promises made earlier.

Assumption 1: Guaranteed pension amounts can’t change.

Also, the conclusion here discards the comparison with the pay scales of GW because the amounts in case of RW are guaranteed. So, the author is assuming that:

Assumption 2: Pay scales of GW that are reduced under recession aren’t guaranteed.

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

A

Some benefits for government employees will continue regardless of the actual amount of pension that is paid to them.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The argument is only concerned with pension amounts, not other benefits.

B

The union leaders’ protests are a result of expectations from pensioners that their interests will be protected by the labor unions.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Reasons behind the union leaders’ protests are irrelevant.

C

A current economic downturn is the reason for the Mayor’s decision to revise the city’s existing pension system.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The reference to the revisions of the pay scales of GW in times of recession is only an example. It is not a must that the reason behind this revision of PS is the same.

D

The pay scales of government workers that are reduced in times of economic downturns are not already guaranteed by the government.

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per Linkage #1, Assumption 2.

E

Revisions of pension systems have not led to disadvantages for pensioners in the past.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

We aren’t concerned with the past. The argument is about the mayor’s plan to revise the PS at present.

QUESTION: 5

Since the last few years, bird watching has become increasingly popular as a hobby in Ohio. The National Parks in Ohio have also been conducting bird watch programs for the past decade. Certainly, the increased interest in bird watching among the Ohio residents is because of the bird watch programs conducted by Ohio State National Parks.

Each of the following, if true, provides some support for the historians’ account described above EXCEPT:

Solution:

Pre-Thinking

1. Assumptions:

• There is no other reason for the increased interest in bird watching.
• Increased interest in bird watching was not the motivation behind the bird watch programs.

2. Strengtheners:

• Evidence supporting the assumptions.

A

Ohio State has widely publicized the Bird Watch programs conducted by the National Parks.

This statement strengthens the conclusion since it indicates that the identified cause (in the conclusion) was executed well.

B

Ohio state is the house of many exotic and beautiful birds.

While this statement provides motivation for the interest in bird watching activities, it does not strengthen the conclusion that bird watch programs led to the increased interest in the activity. This in a way provides an alternate reason for the interest.  But it is questionable that why did the interest increase in the last few years when Ohio has been the house of many exotic and beautiful birds throughout.  This choice hence has no effect on the conclusion because it is not specific enough to weaken the conclusion.

C

The bird watch programs are being conducted regularly by most of the National Parks in Ohio.

This statement strengthens the conclusion since it indicates that the identified cause (in the conclusion) was executed well.

D

As part of the Bird Watch programs, the National Parks also provide good materials and help the bird watchers identify the birds.

This statement strengthens the conclusion since it indicates that the identified cause (in the conclusion) was executed well.

E

Before the National Parks started conducting Bird watch programs, not many people in the state of Ohio were interested in bird watching.

This choice strengthens the conclusion since it provides evidence that when the identified cause was not present, the effect also did not take place.

QUESTION: 6

The debate over whether obesity is a disease grows as obesity rates and the cost of treating obesity-related conditions increase in the United States. Proponents stress that obesity is a disease because it is a result of genetics and biological factors, or illnesses, including hypothyroidism and Cushing's syndrome, disorders that cause weight gain. Opponents argue that obesity is not a disease because it is the result of a person's chosen lifestyle, eating habits, and environment. However, in this ever flaring debate on the categorization of obesity, both the sides ignore the fact that categorization of obesity in either way would not address the underlying problems causing it, problems such as poverty, the prevalence of unhealthy processed foods, etc. The nation and its people would be benefited if we focus more on tackling the underlying issues than on debating the categorization.

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

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

After the passage analysis, we should be able to pre-think the correct answer choice quite comfortably. Let’s look at the two boldface portions once again w.r.t. the main conclusion of the argument.

Main conclusion: The nation and its people would be benefited if we channelize our energies more on tackling the underlying issues than on debating the categorization.

Bold-face portion 1 (BF1): The debate over whether obesity is a disease grows as obesity rates and the cost of treating obesity-related conditions increase in the United States

Bold-face portion 2 (BF2): categorization of obesity in either way would not address the underlying problems causing it

We know from the passage analysis that BF 1 states an observation made by author. It is stated in order to develop the argument.  BF2 is a part of author’s opinion. It is supporting the main conclusion by stating that it’s more important to focus our energies on tackling the root causes of obesity than on debating whether it is a disease or not. Since BF2 mentions that categorizing obesity is not going to help in addressing the causes behind it, it forms a strong basis for the main conclusion.

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

A

The first describes a circumstance whose validity is questioned in the argument; the second raises that question.

Incorrect – Both parts wrong

BF1 does describe a circumstance but its validity is never questioned. The author acknowledges that the debate regarding obesity is indeed growing. BF2 states that it’s not very useful to indulge in the debate mentioned in BF1.

B

The first is an observation that the argument as a whole seeks to explain; the second is a claim that explains one aspect of the observation.

Incorrect – Both parts wrong

BF 1 is an observation but the main purpose of the argument is not to explain why the debate over obesity is growing.  This information has been used as background information to develop the argument further. BF2 could be considered a claim but it doesn’t explain an aspect of BF1, rather it challenges the usefulness of  the growing debate mentioned in BF1.

C

The first is an observation, for which two possible explanations are presented in the argument; the second dismisses both of those explanations.

Incorrect – Both parts wrong

As discussed above, BF1 is an observation; however argument doesn’t present any explanations of this observation. Since there are no two explanations offered, the description of BF2 in this choice is completely invalid.

D

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

Correct

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

E

The first provides a reason to doubt the conclusion of the argument; the second is the opinion that creates that doubt.

Incorrect – Both parts wrong

BF1 does not provide any reason to doubt the conclusion of the argument. In fact it is the conclusion of the argument that questions the relevance of the growing debate mentioned in BF 1. As noted in the prethinking, BF2 is used to support the (main) conclusion and not create any doubt on the same.

QUESTION: 7

In Freud’s system of psychoanalysis, the human brain consists of three parts: the id, which is the part driven by instincts; the super-ego, which is the moral center of the brain; and the ego, which is the pragmatic or realistic part. Unlike the neurosciences, which categorize the brain into somatic units that correspond to physical areas in the brain, the Freudian system divides the brain into categories that exist solely at the symbolic or conceptual level.

The considerations above best serve as part of an argument that

Solution:

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The author does not provide any conclusion; we are given a fact set. The question stem says that “The considerations above best serve as part of an argument that”, requiring us to draw a conclusion based only on the information given  in the passage.

Pre-Thinking Approach

In order to see what can be concluded from the argument, we would need to observe all the facts given in the argument and see what must also be true if the information in the passage is true.

Let us combine a couple of pieces of information presented in the passage:

1. Neurosciences categorize the brain into somatic units that correspond to physical areas in the brain.
2. The Freudian system categorizes the brain into categories that exist solely at the symbolic or conceptual level.

Conclusion: Neurosciences and the Freudian system categorize the human brain from different perspectives.

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

A

somatic categories are more scientifically credible than symbolic categories.

Incorrect - No information given

The argument doesn’t tell us about the “scientific credibility” of somatic & symbolic categories. Therefore, this information cannot be inferred.

B

the neurosciences reject Freud’s categories as baseless.

Incorrect - No information given

Neurosciences and Freud’s categories present two different perspectives of human brain categorization – somatic and symbolic. This does not necessarily indicate that the two theories reject each other. Both perspectives can co-exist.

C

the Freudian system of psychoanalysis is not a neuroscience.

Correct

The two systems categorize human brains differently (from totally different perspectives - symbolic and somatic) without any overlap. Therefore, the Freudian system is not a neuroscience. This matches our pre-thinking analysis.

D

unlike Freud, neuroscientists do not believe that the brain has a somatic moral center

Incorrect - No information given

We know that neuroscience categorizes the brain into somatic units. The passage does not tell us whether the scientists believe that the brain has a somatic moral center.

E

science in Freud’s time was not developed enough to identify the brain’s somatic structure.

Incorrect - No information given

We do not know the extent to which science was developed when Freud developed the system for psychoanalysis. It is possible that Freud came up with the alternate categorization of the human brain even though neuroscience was already developed and known

QUESTION: 8

Editor: Posthumous publication of works is often problematic since the writer is not present to attest to some facts. The problem arises when writers forget to date the drafts of their manuscripts. Consequently, it becomes difficult for the editors handling their work to ensure that the latest version of the script is published. Therefore, to eliminate the problem, writers should not only date their scripts but also specify which previous version the new script replaces.

The editor’s argument is most vulnerable to the criticism that it

Solution:

The editor brought out in the first line that the main problem is the fact that the writer is not present to attest to some facts but then suggests answer to a problem with date which does not solve the problem that the writer needs to address. In other words, having date does not give solution to anything.

QUESTION: 9

Since the quality of a product is defined by the features and the lifetime it has, food processors produced by Japanese manufacturers are not, on an average, of a superior quality to those produced by Chinese manufacturers. The Japanese food processors offer similar features in comparative price ranges, and they have the same average life-time as the Chinese ones.

Which of the following, if true, most supports the assertion that Japanese food processors may be of a superior quality to the Chinese ones?

Solution:

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The author concludes that JFP are not, on an average, of a superior quality to CFP. The conclusion is based on the fact that the quality of a product is defined by its features and lifetime and that the JFP offer similar features in comparative price ranges, and have the same average life-time as the CFP.

Pre-Thinking Approach

We are required to support the assertion that JFP may be of a superior quality to the CFP. Note that this assertion is against the conclusion of the argument. Thus, we are required to weaken the argument.  Let’s see how we can make the conclusion less believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage 1 and the conclusion.  Thus the way to falsify the conclusion will be to break this linkage.

• Weakener –A new piece of information that suggests that the JFP could be of superior quality to the CFP.
• Instance 1: Studies have shown that even though both JFP and CFP have a lifetime of approximately 3 years, most of the features offered by CFP stop functioning after the first year of use itself.

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

A

The Chinese food processors are comparatively easier to use than the Japanese ones.

Incorrect - Opposite

This option says that CFP are relatively easier to use. This argues in favor of CFP, thus this piece of information is opposite to what we are looking for in the correct answer.

B

A survey conducted by the independent trade magazine Business Now showed that on average Japanese manufacturers have more service-centers for their products than their Chinese counterparts.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The only two features that the argument takes into account while gauging the quality of a product are its features and life-time.

C

Chinese food processors have a comparatively higher malfunction rate than that of Japanese food processors, and studies have proven that a lower malfunction rate is correlated with efficient functioning of the original features offered.

Correct

This option is written along the lines of our pre-thinking linkage weakener. It highlights a difference between JFP and CFP. As the functioning of the original features of a product is linked with the malfunction rate, a lower malfunction rate can make JFP relatively superior in quality.

D

Both the Japanese and the Chinese food processors use the FP-1000 technology, which is known to require constant servicing.

Incorrect - Opposite

If anything, this option supports the argument by highlighting a similarity between the food processors. Same shortcomings don’t show the superiority of Japanese food processors over Chinese ones.

E

The features of Japanese food processors that are in a higher price range than most Chinese food processors are far more advanced than those of Chinese food processors.

Incorrect -  Irrelevant

The argument compares the features of processors that are in comparative price ranges.

QUESTION: 10

The Observer is a newspaper company that has two divisions: The East Observer and The West Observer. All the employees at The Observer work in either of the two divisions. For the past five years, The East Observer has consistently accounted for 40% of the total workforce of The Observer while The West Observer has accounted for the rest. Over the same period, The West Observer has accounted for 50% of the total wages paid by The Observer.

Which of the following can properly be inferred about the past five years from the statements above?

Solution:

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/ A

Pre-Thinking Approach

In order to see what can be inferred about the past five years from the statements, we need to observe all the facts given in the argument and see if the information in the passage is true, what else must also be true.

Inferences: – From the above information we can infer the following:

• Fact #3 – For the past five years, The EO has consistently accounted for 40% of the total workforce of The Observer while The West Observer has accounted for the rest.
• Inference – For the past five years, The WO accounted for 60% of the workforce of The Observer.

• Fact #4 – Over the same period, The WO has accounted for 50% of the total wages paid by The Observer.
• Inference –Fore the past five years, the EO has accounted for 50% of the total wages paid by The Observer.

• Linkage #3 – (ref. logical structure)
• Inference –The average pay at EO was 50% higher (1.25/0.83 = 1.5) than the average pay at WO.

For example: Let’s assume that the total wages paid were \$100 while the total number of employees at The Observer was 100.  This means, the average pay at WO was \$50/60 = \$0.83, while the average pay at EO was \$50/40 = \$1.25.

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

A

The distribution of people across different hierarchical levels is different in The East Observer than in The West Observer.

Incorrect - No information given

This option can’t be inferred from the passage since we have no information regarding hierarchy.

B

The average motivation level of employees working in the two divisions is different, even though the difference in number is not significantly large.

Incorrect - No information given

This option can’t be inferred from the information given. The passage doesn’t talk about motivation level at all.

C

The average revenue generated per employee is expected to be greater in The East Observer than in The West Observer.

Incorrect - No information given

The passage doesn’t given any information about revenue generation.

D

The average wage paid to the workforce is greater at The West Observer than at The East Observer.

Incorrect - Against the given information

This option is opposite of statement 5, which we arrived at, during pre-thinking.

E

The number of people working at The East Observer is at least 25% less than the number of people working at The West Observer.

Correct

This option is written along the lines of our pre-thinking linkage 3. If there were 60 employees at WO, there would be 40 at EO. This means that the employee strength at EO is 40/60 ~= 66% of that at WO. Or in other words, there are nearly 33% less employees at The East Observer, compared to The West Observer. This number is higher than 25% as mentioned in this option.

QUESTION: 11

The red tramfish is an extremely rare species of fish that can be found only in some of the lake shores of the Silver Lakes region. A recent study has found that the oil extracted from the bones of the red tramfish can be used to develop an extremely effective medicine for arthritis. Since this finding has led to a sudden interest in this fish, the locals fear that the species will soon be extinct.

Which of the following, if true, supports the idea that the fear of the locals may not be misplaced?

Solution:

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The question stem asks us to support the idea that the fear of the locals may not be misplaced. In other words, we are to support the belief that the locals may be right in fearing that the species will soon be extinct.

Pre-Thinking Approach

To strengthen the conclusion, let’s look at the logical structure, focusing on linkages 1 and 2.  We will try to come up with an assumption by understanding the condition under which the conclusion is falsified.  The assumption then will be that condition does not exist and the conclusion can be strengthened by supporting this or any other assumption.

Linkage#1 & 2RT is a rare species and there is a sudden interest in it.

• Falsification Condition:  Yes, RT could be caught extensively to produce the oil.  But what if the rate at which it  reproduces is significantly higher than the rate at which it will be caught.  If this were true, then the conclusion will be falsified. Accordingly, a strengthener could say that:
• Instance: The rate at which RT reproduces is not higher than the rate at which it is being currently caught.

In the above scenario, the fear of the locals seem valid as surely if fishing RT at the above rate carries on then it is possible that the species may go extinct.

Linkage # 1 - RT is a rare species that can be found only in some of the lake shores of the Silver Lakes region.

• Strengthener : The fact that RT is a rare species and is naturally found only in a particular lake supports the locals’ fear. However, what if RT can be successfully bred in captivity? It could then be argued that their fear is not valid. Therefore, a possible strengthener could be to rule out this possibility.
• Instance:  All attempts to breed RT in captivity have been unsuccessful so far and there is no breakthrough technology in sight that provides hope in the matter.

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

It may not be possible to selectively catch red tramfish.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

A

This option does not impact the conclusion in anyway as we do not know that whether people who have a sudden interest in RT will be interested in catching only RT or may prefer getting hold of other fish alongwith it.

B

The cost of extracting oil from the bones of the red tramfish is higher than the cost of artificially developing the same oil.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Neither the choice nor the passage gives us any information to establish whether the cost of extracting oil is going to be a factor for the people interested in catching RT. Hence, the information here is completely irrelevant.

C

The oil extracted from the bones of a single red tramfish is sufficient to produce more than four weeks of medication for an arthritis patient.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

As we don’t know how the quantity of oil obtained from a red tramfish relates to its probability of going extinct, this option is not relevant.

D

At the levels at which the red tramfish is now being caught, the rate of reproduction of the fish is less than the rate of fishing.

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per Linkage #1 & 2.

E

The proportion of population that is most affected by arthritis is expected to stay the same in the near future.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

We cannot determine what impact the information given in this choice would have on the conclusion drawn by the locals. It doesn’t tell us whether the absolute number of people most affected by arthritis is expected to go up or not.

QUESTION: 12

MixIt, a company that manufactures smoothie-makers, has been manufacturing smoothie-makers as well as spare parts for its products. Since old smoothie-makers develop faults and spare parts are required to fix them, MixIt should continue manufacturing spare parts for its older models in the future.

Which of the following, if true, would best support the recommendation that the company should no longer manufacture spare parts for its models?

Solution:

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The conclusion presents a recommendation based on a given situation. The question stem presents another recommendation that goes against this conclusion.

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can make the conclusion less believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage 1and the conclusion.  Thus the way to weaken the conclusion will be to weaken or break this linkage by finding a new piece of information that will cast a doubt on the recommendation made in the passage.

Linkage#1Old smoothie-makers develop faults and spare parts are required to fix them.

• Weakener – What if for MixIt customers there is a better alternative than getting old SMs repaired?
• Instance 1: New models of SMs that are cost efficient can sway people away from getting the old SMs repaired.

• Weakener - What if MixIt can outsource the same quality of spare parts for its products at a cheaper price? In such a case, MixIt can cater to the demand of its customers while realizing cost savings.

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

A

After prolonged use, some of the older models of Mixit smoothie-makers become irreparable.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The argument makes a recommendation on the basis of a current requirement, which is the demand for spare-parts to fix old smoothie-makers. So even if some models cannot be repaired, the requirement for the spare-parts for the ones that can be is still valid.

B

Not many manufacturers of smoothie-makers produce spare parts for their older models.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This information doesn’t argue for or against the conclusion as the argument is specific to the business decision MixIt should make.

C

It is becoming increasingly cheaper to replace a smoothie-maker with a new one than to get it repaired.

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per Instance 1. If it’s becoming cheaper to replace a SM with a new model, it is quite possible that the demand for the spare parts to fix old models will decrease progressively.

D

The profit margins in the sales of spare parts are significantly lower than the profit margins in the sales of smoothie-makers.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The profit margins in the sales of spare parts may be lower yet significant enough that the company should continue manufacturing spare parts for its older models.

E

Excellent customer service is one of the necessary requirements for a company to be successful in the smoothie-maker market.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The argument makes no link between customer service and manufacturing of spare parts.

QUESTION: 13

Sustainable software is software that has been customized to meet the requirements of specific users, and many engineers in the field of information technology have been receiving accolades for producing sustainable software. But since one of the ideal requirements for software is that it be flexible, software engineers should concentrate more on the flexibility of the software. For this reason, software should not be made sustainable.

Which of the following is the assumption on which the argument depends?

Solution:

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The conclusion states that the SW should not be made sustainable. The conclusion is based on the opinion that engineers should focus more on the flexibility of the SW as SW should ideally be flexible.

Pre-Thinking Approach

To pre-think assumptions, let’s see how we can falsify this conclusion.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage 1 and the conclusion.  We will understand the condition under which the conclusion is falsified.  The assumption then will be that the condition does not exist.

• Falsification Condition:  What if there is no type of SSW that is not flexible? In other words, what if all kinds of SSW are flexible? In such a case the conclusion would not hold.
• Assumption: At least some customized software is not flexible.

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

A

A large number of engineers in the field of information technology want to produce sustainable software.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option talks about the willingness of the engineers to produce sustainable software. However, the exact reason behind the sustainability of the software is irrelevant till the time such software are being created and doing so is making at least some of them inflexible.

B

Some of the students developing sustainable software are already or will soon be engineers in the field of information technology.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option gives us information on some of the students developing sustainable software. The author doesn’t even mention such students in the argument.

C

If some action is not taken immediately, then sustainable software will become the primary product developed by software suppliers.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option talks about a hypothetical scenario in which the SSW will take over the SW supplying market. However, the author’s argument is not about the dominance of a product in the market. It is about an ideal feature of a software.

D

Specific users requiring sustainable software constitute a small proportion of the software industry.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The argument is not based on any consideration that requires factoring in the proportion of sustainable software users.

E

At least some kinds of sustainable software are not flexible.

Correct

This option is written along the lines of the assumption mentioned in the pre-thinking analysis. If we negate this option, we get:

None of the sustainable software types are not flexible, meaning that all sustainable software is flexible.

The above statement falsifies the conclusion.

QUESTION: 14

Consumers appreciate free products more than they appreciate discounted products when such products are paired with full priced high-end products. The reason behind the same could be the monetary value they attach to various goods. Research shows that consumers tend to believe that the monetary value of the free product is probably consistent with the value of the high end purchased product with which it is being offered for free. However, when a discounted product is paired with a high-end product, consumers attach less monetary value to it than they would have had the same product been offered for free.

Which of the following best supports the conclusion as stated above?

Solution:

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can increase our belief in the explanation proposed by the author.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage 1.

• Strengthener: A piece of evidence showing that the same product garnered different satisfaction levels in two different situations- when offered for free with an HE-P and when offered on discount with an HE-P.
• Instance: Those customers of a luxury hand-bag brand who were offered a free wallet with their purchase of hand-bags were more satisfied than those who were offered the same wallet on discount with their purchase of comparable hand bags.

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

A

Before making a purchase decision, consumers thoroughly check the price of the products with which free or discounted products are paired.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The argument deals with attaching monetary value to the free or discounted products and not the products with which they are paired.

B

It is highly unlikely that consumers would ever actually buy most of the products offered for free with the high-end purchased products.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

There is no reason given as to why these customers are not likely to buy these free products. So we can't understand anything about the customer psychology or the reason behind the stated behavior here.

C

Consumers are aware that the price of the product offered for free or on discount never exactly matches the cost of the high-end product to the retailer.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This choice doesn't differentiate between products in the two categories: free and discounted.

D

In an experiment, the customers of a gold jewelry shop who were given a free bottle of wine with a certain purchase expressed more satisfaction than the customers who were offered the same wine for one dollar when they made the same purchase.

Correct

This is the correct choice; it matches our pre-thinking analysis. It is an example of the consumer psychology the author has talked about in the argument and hence supports the author's logic.

E

Customers in general are aware of the actual price of the products even when these products are offered for free or on discount.

Incorrect - Against the given information

If the customers are aware of the actual price, then there's no question of attaching different monetary value to the same product when it is offered for free and when it's on discount.

QUESTION: 15

Chinese restaurants that offer free jasmine tea with meals do better business than similar Chinese restaurants that do not offer it for free. But since restaurants offering this free tea are more likely to offer food that doesn’t contain MSG, a substance that is blamed for causing severe headaches in some people after consuming Chinese food, it is the repeat business of patrons allergic to MSG that is responsible for higher business and not the attraction of free tea.

Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument above?

Solution:

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

This is a causal argument.

The author concludes that the repeat business of patrons allergic to MSG, not the attraction of free tea, is responsible for higher business of CR. The conclusion is based on the facts that CR-FT do better business than similar CR-NFT and that CR-FT are more likely to offer food that doesn’t contain MSG.

Pre-Thinking Approach

In order to strengthen the conclusion presented here, we’ll pre-think some assumptions and then look at ways of supporting them. To do so, let’s see how we can falsify this conclusion.  First, we will look at the logical structure of this argument, focusing on linkage 1. Then we will understand the condition under which the conclusion is falsified.  The assumption then will be that this condition does not exist.

• Falsification Condition: What if the combination of the two factors (repeat business of patrons allergic to MSG and attraction of free tea) is responsible for the higher business of CR-FT?

For example: What if the patrons who order MSG free food come to the restaurant not only because of this food but also because of the added advantage of the free tea? Would the author then be able to concretely conclude that only the availability of the MSG free food is responsible for the higher business? The answer is of course no!

• Assumption: The combination of the two factors (ref. falsification condition) is not responsible for the higher business done.

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

A

Although MSG is a taste enhancer, some people cannot make out the difference between the food prepared with and without it.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option talks about some people who cannot make out the difference in food prepared with and without MSG. The inability of some people to recognize MSG is irrelevant to the argument.

B

No study has been able to prove a conclusive relation between MSG and the associated headaches with consuming food that contains MSG.

Incorrect - Opposite

This option doesn’t support the causal relationship. In fact, it weakens the argument if we consider that there is no conclusive link between MSG and associated headaches.

B

A large majority of the customers of the Chinese restaurants offering free jasmine tea don’t end up requesting jasmine tea.

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking. It supports the conclusion that the jasmine tea is not the reason for higher business of the Chinese restaurants as a large majority of people do not request the tea.

D

Most restaurants that do not offer free jasmine tea end up not charging less than the usual price for the same when it is ordered by patrons.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option talks about restaurants not offering the free tea. The conclusion is concerned with the reason behind the better business of those that do offer it for free.

E

Some customers at Chinese restaurants that do not offer free jasmine tea complain of severe headaches right after having a meal at those restaurants.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

We need to find a piece of information that solidifies the link between the availability of MSG free food at the restaurants that offer free jasmine tea and their reason for doing higher business. The information provided in this choice does not help at all on this account.

QUESTION: 16

While John Webster is credited with having popularized the particular sub-genre of English theater known as the Elizabethan Revenge Tragedy, often characterized by the protagonist avenging the murder of a family member, his more acclaimed contemporary William Shakespeare, who wrote Hamlet, perhaps the most famous Revenge Tragedy in English literature, probably inspired Webster’s  works. Since Shakespeare himself based many of his works on the structure and style of plays by the Greek playwright Seneca, Seneca should be credited as the creator of the Revenge Tragedy.

In assessing the above argument, which of the following would it be most useful to determine?

Solution:

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The author gives two opinions in the passage. First, that JW’s ERTs were probably inspired by WS and second that  Seneca should be credited as the creator of the Revenge Tragedy since WS’ works were inspired by Seneca. It is the second opinion that forms the main conclusion of the argument.

Pre-Thinking Approach

In order to evaluate the argument, we’ll pre-think the assumptions made by the author and ask questions that can evaluate these assumptions. To find the assumptions, we will understand the conditions under which the conclusion is falsified.  The assumption then will be that these conditions don’t exist. Accordingly, let’s look at the logical structure, focusing on the stated linkage.

Falsification Condition:  A reason that shows that Seneca cannot be credited with being the creator of the Revenge Tragedy.

• Instance 1: Shakespeare based MANY of his works on the structure and style of plays by Seneca. However, Shakespeare did not base his works in Revenge Tragedy on the structure and style of plays by Seneca.
• Assumption 1: Shakespeare’s Revenge Tragedies were based on the structure and style of plays by Seneca.
• Instance 2: Seneca’s Revenge Tragedies were based on some other playwright’s structure & style.
• Assumption 2: Seneca’s Revenge Tragedies were not based on some other writer’s structure & style.

A

Whether any of Webster’s works were published before Shakespeare’s works

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Even if some of Webster’s works were published before Shakespeare’s works, it does not help us evaluate whether his ERTs in particular were inspired by Shakespeare.

B

Whether Webster was actually aware of Seneca’s work

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Checking whether Webster was actually aware of Seneca's work will not help us evaluate whether Seneca should be credited as the creditor of Revenge Tragedies. Let's say he wasn't aware of the same. Even then, it is possible that Webster's ERT's were inspired by Shakespeare's works. But does it helps us evaluate that Seneca should be so credited? No, it doesn't.

C

Whether Shakespeare’s Revenge Tragedies have any structural and stylistic similarities with Seneca’s plays

Correct

This helps us determine whether Shakespeare’s RTs were actually based on Seneca’s works or not. This option evaluates the first assumption that we identified in the pre-thinking analysis and the answers to this question will either increase or decrease our belief in the stated linkage.

D

Whether Shakespeare wrote at least as many Revenge Tragedies as did Webster

Incorrect - Irrelevant

There is no given or implied link between the number of works produced in a genre by an author and his/her claim to popularizing that genre.

E

Whether Seneca's Revenge Tragedies were more popular than Shakespeare's Revenge Tragedies

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The comparative popularity has nothing to do with whether Seneca's RTs inspired Shakespeare's RTs.

QUESTION: 17

Composite materials are synthetic materials made by combining multiple materials that have differing chemical compositions, and the resultant material has chemical properties that differ significantly from those of any of the original materials, and is stronger, less heavy, and less expensive than conventional materials. While composites have been commonly used throughout history to construct building materials, they are actually predated by natural composites such as shellac, which are cheaper than synthetic materials. Therefore, to minimize expenses, natural composites should be used whenever possible.

Which of the following would it be most useful to know in determining whether using natural composites would minimize expenses?

Solution:

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The plan of using NC would achieve the goal of minimizing expenses.

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s ask questions which would help us in examining linkage 1. We’ll think of scenarios where the conclusion isn’t valid and ask whether such scenarios exist or not.

Scenario 1: What if, even though NC are cheaper, it costs more to maintain buildings made using NC? The overall cost in this situation can be much higher. If that’s the case, we can’t conclude that the use of NC would minimize expenses.

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

A

Whether some natural composites cost more than synthetic composites

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The cost of some NCs isn’t relevant as we know that there are other NCs which are cheaper than CM.

B

Whether the long term costs of maintaining buildings made using natural composites is significantly higher than those made using synthetic composites

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per Scenario 1.

C

Whether some composites have properties that do not differ significantly from the properties of the base materials used to create the composite

Incorrect - Irrelevant

A comparison of the properties of composites with those of the base materials doesn’t tell us whether the use of NC will be cheaper or not.

D

Whether either natural or synthetic composites have uses in markets other than the one for building materials

Incorrect - Irrelevant

We aren’t concerned with other uses of composites.

E

Whether there are any natural composites that predate shellac

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The existence of such materials doesn’t tell us whether expenses would be minimized by using NC.

QUESTION: 18

Children with photosensitive epilepsy, a condition in which seizures are triggered by visual stimuli that form patterns in time or space, such as flashing lights or regular moving patterns, are usually not allowed to use computers as the images on the screens are continually refreshed. These images can hence move or flicker, triggering a seizure. However, laboratory tests have shown that the eyes of such children adapt very well to using computers. Parents, therefore, can safely let such children use computers to do extensive research work for school projects, if not for playing games.

Which of the following, if true, weakens the conclusion drawn above?

Solution:

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The conclusion suggests that parents of children with photosensitive epilepsy can safely (without raising the risk of triggering a seizure) let their children use computers for doing extensive research work.

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can make the conclusion less believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage 1 and the conclusion.Thus the way to weaken the conclusion will be to weaken or break this linkage i.e. find a new piece of information that may suggest that the parents should not let their children with PE use computers  to do extensive research work  for school projects.

Linkage#1Laboratory tests have shown that the eyes of such children adapt very well to using computers.

• Weakener 1 – What if the tests contained atypical use of computers by such children, use that has little in common with extensive research work for school projects.
• Instance 1:   Almost all the laboratory -tests conducted on such children employed reading text-based documents, material that is not representative of the kind of visuals children are likely to encounter while doing online research.
• Weakener 2 – What if the eyes are not the only sensitive organs triggering seizures in such children? What if the use of computers affects some other organ more severely than it affects the eyes?
• Instance 2: Latest research has shown that the brain of a photosensitive epileptic child is significantly more sensitive to processing continuous visual information than the eyes are and is hence more likely to trigger seizures.

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

A

Research typically requires the brain to use less energy to interpret visual stimuli than games do.

Incorrect – Irrelevant

The relative requirement of energy by the brain to interpret visual stimuli during research and during games is irrelevant to the argument as we do not know if energy expended is relevant in the context of what triggers seizures.

B

Parents of children with photosensitive epilepsy are unlikely to be aware of the latest findings made by scientists in the field.

Incorrect – Irrelevant

Whether the recommendation made by the author is actually put into practice or not is irrelevant to the validity of the recommendation.

C

Playing games is not as tiring a mental activity as doing research work on computers is.

Incorrect – Irrelevant

This option has no bearing on the argument as we do not know what effect mental fatigue has on triggering seizures in such children.

D

Preliminary results have shown that the brain of such children cannot process constant inflow of images for long hours, and such an inflow could trigger a seizure.

Correct

This option is written along the lines of our pre-thinking linkage weakener 2. It suggests that even if the eyes of such children adapt very well to using computers, parents should not let them use computers.

E

Seizures can also be triggered by sources such as smartphones, televisions and game stations, which display moving or flickering images in much the same way as a computer does.

Incorrect – Irrelevant

This option is about other sources that may trigger  seizures; however, as the argument focuses on the use of computer, these other sources are irrelevant to the argument.

QUESTION: 19

Unless more teachers are hired soon, the student-teacher ratio in schools is likely to increase. Such an increase is likely to interfere with Green Earth School’s declaration that it will always maintain a standard of quality in its teaching. So, the school’s management is considering hiring more teachers.

Which of the following would be the most important for the school’s management to consider before deciding on hiring more teachers?

Solution:

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

Per se, there is no main conclusion given in the argument. The argument gives us a situation and underlying reason for the same. However, the question stem takes the situation one step further and says: “Which of the following would be the most important for the school’s management to consider before deciding on hiring more teachers?” Therefore, we need to identify a question that can help the management take a firm decision on hiring more teachers. Hence the conclusion, for the purpose of evaluation, becomes: hiring more teachers is consistent with always maintaining a standard quality of teaching.

Pre-Thinking Approach

In order to evaluate the argument, we’ll pre-think assumptions and ask questions that can tell us whether they are correct or not. To do so, let’s see how we can falsify the conclusion.  Let’s look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage 1.  We will understand the conditions under which the conclusion is falsified.  The assumption then will be that these conditions don’t exist.

Falsification Condition:  A scenario that shows that hiring more teachers will not help maintain the standard quality of GES’s teaching.

• Instance: The new hires might not be capable of maintaining the standard of quality in GES’s teaching.
• Assumption: The new hires will be capable of maintaining the standard of quality in GES’s teaching.

Any question that helps us evaluate the fundamental assumption made by the author will be the correct answer.

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

A

Whether the new people who are hired as teachers would otherwise be hired at other competing schools

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The argument focuses on the decision to hire new teachers to address the student – teacher ratio. Whether the teachers would be hired by competitors or not if hiring doesn’t happen is irrelevant.

B

Whether the curriculum presently followed by the school matches the standards of quality that the management wants to set

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The argument focuses on the maintenance of standard of quality by maintaining student – teacher ratio. Therefore, curriculum quality is of no relevance.

C

Whether the need to hire new teachers would lead to the selection of applicants who lack the qualifications and experience required to meet the existing standards

Correct

This option questions the validity of the argument by questioning the assumption that we identified in our pre-thinking analysis.

D

Whether the parents of most students would be willing to compromise on the standards guaranteed by the school

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The argument talks about the management’s actions to adhere to the quality in teaching. Therefore, parents’ willingness to compromise is of no relevance.

E

Whether the school would be able to take in a greater number of students if more teachers are hired

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The option does not address the quality maintenance in teaching.

QUESTION: 20

Studies have shown that people are more likely to fall ill when they are stressed. Since companies lose out on precious business days when their employees are not well, it is advisable that they implement regular leisure trips to keep them in good health by organizing several group-bonding fun activities that colleagues can engage in. This way, the companies can save on the money lost as a result of the business they lose when their employees take sick-leaves.

Which of the following must be considered in order to determine whether the proposed plan will be a success in achieving its purpose?

Solution:

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The conclusion states that the co. can save on the money lost as a result of the business lost when their employees take SL if they follow a recommendation. The recommendation is to implement regular leisure trips to keep employees healthy by organizing several GBFs that colleagues can engage in.

Pre-Thinking Approach

In order to evaluate the plan, we’ll look at the linkages and pre-think assumptions. Any question that can help us evaluate a central assumption made by the author will be the correct evaluating question. To pre-think assumptions, let’s look at the linkages and understand the conditions under which they don’t hold.  The assumptions then will be that these conditions don’t exist.

• Falsification Condition: What if the leisure trips involving group activities do not help in stress reduction? We see that the plan is likely to fail in such a case. Hence, unless we know the impact of leisure activities with colleagues on stress reduction in employees, the proposed plan cannot be justified.
• Assumption 1: The leisure trips involving several group-bonding fun activities that colleagues can engage in help in stress reduction.

• Falsification Condition: What if the proposed leisure trips end up costing the company more business days than it would have lost in sick leaves? If so, the plan would not be successful.
• Assumption 2: The average days spent in the proposed leisure trips would not be greater than the average days lost by the company on account of the sick leaves taken by its employees.

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

A

Whether companies can organize seminars by motivational speakers who can increase the efficiency of employees

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The argument focuses on only one way (leisure activities with colleagues) to achieve a result. An alternate way (seminars) to achieve the same result does not help in evaluating the proposed plan.

B

Whether employees would find out of office get-togethers with colleagues de-stressing

Correct

This option is written along the lines of the assumption 1 mentioned in the pre-thinking analysis. If the answer to the question is yes, it would strengthen the proposal. If it’s no, the proposal would be weakened.

C

Whether the management of such companies would approve the plan to hold leisure trips

Incorrect - Irrelevant

We are concerned with the success of the plan in case it is approved & implemented. Therefore, whether the management will actually approve the plan or not is not our focus.

D

Whether there is any chance that despite these trips there will be a few employees who will fall ill.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The argument says “...people are more likely to fall ill when they are stressed.” Here, we are only concerned about higher chances of illness because of stress. Therefore, the argument does not rule out the possibility of illness because of other causes. Also, even if a few people still fall ill because of stress despite going on the leisure trips, the plan can still be successful if many employees who go to leisure trips do not fall ill because of stress.

E

Whether there are any good locations in the area the employees are based in that can be used for such trips.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The location of the trip doesn’t help us assess whether the company will be able to save on the money lost due to employees’ illness. Even if there aren’t any good locations in areas where the employees are based, such trips can be organized at some other locations.

QUESTION: 21

A new breed of computer viruses called Super-V are quite sophisticated in the sense that they can cause irreversible damage to data files on the computer. Hard drive of computer infected with such a virus is formatted to get rid of the virus. Since this virus cannot magically re-appear in the formatted areas, any subsequent damage caused to the data files after removal of such virus is not because of this Super-V virus.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the conclusion above?

Solution:

Pre-Thinking

1. Assumptions:

• Formatting the hard drive completely removes the virus.
• Virus cannot copy itself from the unformatted areas to formatted areas.

2. Weakeners

• Evidence suggesting virus is not completely removed when the hard drive is formatted.
• Evidence suggesting that virus can be copied from unformatted areas to formatted areas.

A

The main indications of Super-V virus are changes in sizes and contents of the data-files in the infected computer.

This choice merely states what the virus does and does not provide evidence that states that Super-V could damage files after formatting. Therefore, this choice is OFS.

B

Some online virus-removal tools provided by reputed anti-virus program developers does do a good job of deleting this virus from the computer.

This choice describes that some tools remove the virus completely and in that regard support the conclusion that any subsequent damage should not be attributed to previous infection by Super-V.

C

A few other indications of Super-V virus other than changes in size and contents of data-files in the computer can surface if anti-virus program is disabled on the computer.

This choice describes how the virus surfaces in the absence of an anti-virus program and does not touch the central issue. Therefore, this choice is OFS.

D

Sometimes the virus hides itself in the boot sector of the hard drive that is not touched during the formatting process.

This choice provides evidence that the virus is not completely removed during the formatting process and remains on the hard-drive. Therefore, after formatting, there is a probability that this virus may infect the hard drive by moving from the non-formatted area to the formatted area. Therefore, this is the correct answer.

E

It is quite possible that the size and content of some data files on the infected computer may not change.

This choice describes how the virus surfaces in the infected computer (in absence of an anti-virus program) and does not touch the central issue. Therefore, this choice is OFS.

QUESTION: 22

Per a recent survey carried out in Rambo City, capital of Papula country, an average middle-aged person drives his or her car for two thousand miles in a year and 99% of these people own a gasoline-run car. In addition, the survey suggested that if offered an economical option to switch to electric cars, most of these people would change their gasoline-run cars. The government of Papula is impressed with the environmental considerations shown by the citizens of Papula and is planning to implement a plan that would allow all the current owners of gasoline-run cars to switch to electric cars at a minimal cost.

Which of the following statements casts the most doubt on the ability of the plan to meet its required objective of reducing air pollution in Papula by 20% in the next 5 years?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Per a recent survey carried out in Rambo City, capital of Papula country, an average middle-aged person drives his or her car for two thousand miles in a year and 99% of these people own a gasoline-run car. In addition, the survey suggested that if offered an economical option to switch to electric cars, most of these people would change their gasoline-run cars. The government of Papula is impressed with the environmental considerations shown by the citizens of Papula and is planning to implement a plan that would allow all the current owners of gasoline-run cars to switch to electric cars at a minimal cost.

UNDERSTANDING THE PASSAGE:

1. As per a survey:
• an average middle-aged person drive 2000 miles a year and almost all of them own a gasoline-run car
• Most of these middle-aged guys would switch their cars to electric ones, if the costs of making the switch are not high
2. The government of Papula is planning to implement a plan that would allow all the current owners of gasoline-run cars to switch to electric cars at a minimal cost.

UNDERSTANDING THE QUESTION STEM:

The given question is a weaken question; however the conclusion is not stated in the passage but is given in the question stem. Basically, when we say that the conclusion is stated in the question stem, what we mean is that the statement that needs to be weakened is in the question stem.

So, the relevant conclusion is: The plan, as envisaged by the government of Papula, will be able to significantly reduce the air pollution in the country in the next five years.

Pre-Thinking

The author in this question makes predictions about the behavior of a population based on data from survey from a sample of the population – middle aged people. Hence, while making the prediction the author makes the assumption that the sample data must be representative of the population data or the preferences of the sample must be representative of the preferences of the majority.

One easy to spot weak point of the argument is that the plan of the government is based on the data of only middle-aged persons whereas the objective that needs to be achieved i.e. reduction in pollution will depend on other sections of population also. Besides, there is nothing to suggest in the passage that middle-aged population is responsible for a large proportion of the total pollution in the country. Thus, we can pre-think two weakeners for the given argument:

1. Any statement that suggests that other sections of population have preferences which are different from middle-aged population
2. Any statement that suggests that middle-aged population accounts for only a small proportion of the total population in the country

A

Though some of the citizens are concerned about the negative environmental impact of air pollution, they will not spend any extra money to protect the environment.

The success of the plan does not require each and every citizen to use the plan. There could be exceptions. This kind of answer choice is one of common type of incorrect choices used by GMAT in weaken question type. Incorrect.

B

The budget deficit of the government of Papula is already at alarming levels, and any further increase in the deficit could lead to the bankruptcy of the country.

We are concerned with the impact of the plan on the pollution in the country.  The impact the plan has on the financial status of the country is not the concern of the argument. Incorrect.

C

Since Papula is an aging country, with more than half its population near retirement age, the chief consideration for a large number of its citizens is the convenience to drive rather than the costs to do so.

This statement actually captures both the weakeners that we came up with during the pre-thinking stage. It not only tells that a majority of population is not middle-aged, it also tells that the majority of population prefers convenience, something that the government has not taken into consideration while coming up with it’s plan. Therefore, this statement weakens the conclusion. Correct.

D

In the last two decades, Papula has emerged as a major economic hub, leading to an increase in the living standard of its citizens and in the number of cars in the region.

This statement tell us that the number of cars have increased in the country. But as per the plan, these cars would be replaced with electric ones and once that is done, the pollution should decrease, doesn’t matter the number of cars. Therefore, this option doesn’t affect the conclusion. Incorrect.

E

Since people who don’t own gasoline cars would not be benefitted from the proposed plan, they may strongly oppose the use of taxpayer money on such a plan.

Like option 2, this option also tries to cast a doubt on whether the plan can be implemented. However, within the context of the conclusion, we are not concerned about such a thing. Incorrect.

QUESTION: 23

"Reliability of Personal Computer (PC) has increased multifold where now less than 1 in 10K computers fail before 3 years in service." At the same time, the cost of stress test as a percentage of overall cost of the PC has been steadily going up. "Board members at PC companies often contemplate reducing the need for stress testing to save costs and improve profits". However, such a move may be foolish, for PCs score such high marks for reliability only because bad actors are weeded out in the stress testing process.

In the passage above, the two bold faced portions play the following roles:

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

1. Statement 1 shows a recently observed performance trend.
2. Statement 2 shows a potential decision that the company board members are taking based on the improved performance trend expressed in Statement 1

A

The first is an observation the validity of which in the real world is disputed in the argument while the second is conclusion that is disputed in the argument.

The validity of first is not disputed.  Second is not a conclusion but merely a recommendation.  Clearly, the recommendation in second is disputed in the argument.

B

The first is evidence that is used to support a recommendation that the argument opposes as a whole; the second is a recommendation that is based on the evidence and is refuted by the author of the argument.

Based on data in first – reliability performance - the author presents recommendation made by the board members – cut down on stress testing.  This recommendation is opposed by the author.

C

The first is a claim, the accuracy of which is disputed in the argument, the second is a conclusion drawn to support the main conclusion of the argument.

First is an evidence – not a claim.  First is not disputed in the argument.  Also, second does not support the main conclusion.  In fact the main conclusion itself refutes the second.

D

The first is evidence used to support the main conclusion of the argument; the second is that conclusion.

Second is not the main conclusion of the passage.

E

The first is a prediction that is expected to come true while the second is a proposal drawn based on that prediction which is later squashed in the argument.

First is a hard evidence and not a prediction.  Similarly, second is the recommendation or proposal based on first –evidence and not prediction.

QUESTION: 24

While surgical tools are constantly being upgraded with the objective of making surgeries less invasive, a recent study has shown that in one out of every 300 cases, surgery performed using the power morcellator, a newly-developed tool used in treatment of uterine cancer, has actually resulted in the spread of the cancer in the patient’s body. However, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) plans to continue to allow the use of morcellators in oncological treatment as long as physicians stringently select the patients to whom such treatment is administered.

Which of the following would be most useful in assessing the CDC’s plan?

Solution:

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

Despite the fact that in one out of every 300 surgeries performed using the power MOR has resulted in the spread of the cancer in the patient’s body, CDC plans to continue to allow the use of MORs in cancer related treatments as long as a condition is fulfilled. The condition is that physicians stringently select the patients to whom such treatment is administered.

Pre-Thinking Approach

In order to evaluate the plan by CDC, we’ll evaluate the condition on which it is based.  Let’s look at the conditions under which the conclusion doesn’t hold.  The assumption then will be that these conditions don’t exist.

Falsification Condition:  What if it’s not possible for the physicians to determine the effect of the treatment using MOR on a patient beforehand? In such a case, physicians will not be able to stringently select the patients to whom such treatment is administered. Thus, the CDC’s plan will not be based on a sound condition. Accordingly, the CDC assumes that:

Assumption: It’s possible to determine the result of a medical treatment on a patient beforehand.

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

A

Whether banning the use of a surgical tool is a drawn-out process as it requires multiple levels of authorization

Incorrect – Irrelevant

The process of banning the use of surgical tool is not relevant to assessing the CDC's plan, which is based on a very specific condition.

B

Whether patients are aware of the risks associated with surgical procedures performed using minimally invasive techniques

Incorrect – Irrelevant

Patients' awareness of risk has no bearing on the evaluation of the plan, a plan that is based on the physician's calculation of the risk to the patient.

C

Whether some patients will continue to benefit from surgical treatments performed using power morcellators.

Incorrect – Irrelevant

Benefit to some patients doesn't help us assess the plan that is based on assessing the impact on each, individual patient.

D

Whether the effects of a surgical procedure can be determined before the procedure is performed.

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking. If effects of a surgical procedure can be determined before the procedure is performed, the conclusion is strengthened. Otherwise, it is weakened.

E

Whether other surgical tools currently in use have been known to cause negative side effects, but have not been banned by the CDC.

Incorrect – Irrelevant

The side effects caused by other surgical tools are not relevant in accessing the CDC's plan to continue to allow the use of MORs.

QUESTION: 25

A recent examination of the waters of the Southern Ocean showed a substantial increase in pollution levels, which is usually caused by routine oil spills during industrial drilling operations in the area. Last month, an article published in the biannual newsletter of a prominent environmental organization attributed this increase to the operations of Gaston Inc., an oil company with several large deep-water drilling operations. This claim is not undermined by the finding that none of Gaston Inc.’s oil plants in the Southern Ocean had any oil spills, because ____________.

Solution:

Even though Gaston Inc may not have any recorded spills, the transfer of oil from the plant to tanker may result in small residual oil spills occurring over a period of time resulting large quantities of oil discharged into the ocean.

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