Test: Evaluate

20 Questions MCQ Test Verbal for GMAT | Test: Evaluate

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QUESTION: 1

Virulent microbes, which are transmitted mainly through drinking water, are the most common cause of waterborne diseases. According to the World Health Organization, such diseases cause almost two million deaths every year, and an estimated 65 percent of these fatalities are caused by microbial organisms. Clearly, this number can be significantly reduced if drinking water is treated with anti-microbial agents before it is supplied to consumers. Which of the following would it be most useful to establish in order to evaluate the conclusion drawn above?

Solution:

Virulent microbes, which are transmitted mainly through drinking water, are the most common cause of waterborne diseases. According to the World Health Organization, such diseases cause almost two million deaths every year, and an estimated 65 percent of these fatalities are caused by microbial organisms. Clearly, this number can be significantly reduced if drinking water is treated with anti-microbial agents before it is supplied to consumers.

Which of the following would it be most useful to establish in order to evaluate the conclusion drawn above?

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The conclusion is that the number of fatalities caused because of MO can be significantly reduced. The conclusion is based on a condition: if drinking water is treated with anti-microbial agents before it is supplied to consumers.  We need to examine the link between the stated condition and its expected effect.

Pre-Thinking Approach

In order to evaluate the linkage, we’ll pre-think assumptions by thinking of conditions that will falsify the conclusion. The assumption then will be that these conditions don’t exist.  Accordingly, let’s look at linkage 1 and understand the conditions under which it doesn’t hold.

Linkage#1if drinking water is treated with anti-microbial agents before it is supplied to consumers.

• Falsification Condition:  What if the water is contaminated with MO after its supply to the consumer? If this were true, then the linkage would not hold.
• Assumption: The water is contaminated with MO before it is supplied to the consumers.

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

A

Whether treating drinking water with anti-microbial agents would be more expensive than treating it with conventional water purification processes

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The argument doesn’t make any connection between the cost of the plan and its success.

B

Whether the fatalities caused by waterborne diseases would be reduced if alternative forms of medical treatment were used

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The question asks us to evaluate whether treating the drinking water with anti-microbial agents would have the desired effect. Evaluating an alternate plan cannot shed any light on the merits of the current plan.

C

Whether the figures reported by the World Health Organization include the number of deaths caused by allergic reactions to medicines prescribed for the treatment of waterborne diseases

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The choice talks about an aspect that sets in after the people have contracted WBD. However, the argument talks about a scenario that deals with the prevention of WBD.

D

Whether drinking water is contaminated at water processing plants or while being delivered to consumers

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per Linkage #1. If, the water is contaminated with MO after or during its supply to the consumers, then the number of fatalities may not reduce.

E

Whether drinking water contains any harmful contaminants other than disease-causing microbes

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Contaminants other than disease-causing microbes are not relevant to the linkage based on MO.

QUESTION: 2

Annual performance reviews are often based on the misconception that employees’ performance is directly related to their pay scales, when in fact pay is usually determined by market forces. While some analysts correctly observe that the real determiner behind performance reviews is the level of objectivity that the manager performing the review is capable of, it is doubtful whether performance reviews have any productive value since objectivity is clearly impossible to achieve when one individual is evaluating another. Which of the following would it be most useful to know in order to evaluate the author’s conclusion?

Solution:

Annual performance reviews are often based on the misconception that employees’ performance is directly related to their pay scales, when in fact pay is usually determined by market forces. While some analysts correctly observe that the real determiner behind performance reviews is the level of objectivity that the manager performing the review is capable of, it is doubtful whether performance reviews have any productive value since objectivity is clearly impossible to achieve when one individual is evaluating another.

Which of the following would it be most useful to know in order to evaluate the author’s conclusion?

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

The question stem asks us to evaluate whether it’s doubtful that PR have any productive value. Let’s examine linkage see what additional questions we need to ask in order to determine whether the linkage makes logical sense or not.

Linkage#1Objectivity isn’t possible when one individual is evaluating another

• Question : What if, the reviewer has no scope of giving a subjective review? What if all that the reviewer has to do is to address objective parameters of evaluation? For instance, the reviewer just has to see how many times the employee turned up late for work and deduct set marks for the same accordingly. Surely, the scope of a biased or subjective opinion decreases considerably then and the author’s conclusion is greatly weakened. In the absence of objective parameters of evaluation, the author’s conclusion is strengthened.

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

A

Whether reviewers factor in the possibility that employees’ motives may be a result of self-interest rather than genuine commitment to their work

Incorrect - Irrelevant

What impact this consideration has on the attainment of objectivity by the reviewer is neither stated nor implied in either the passage or the choice.

B

Whether the reviewer’s motives are also based on the misconception that performance is directly related to pay scales

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Whether such motives lead the reviewer to be more objective while evaluation or less is not clear. Hence, the information obtained through this choice will not help us evaluate the author’s conclusion.

C

Whether market forces are taken into account by those who conduct performance reviews

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Whether accounting for market forces leads the reviewers to become more objective or less is not clear from this choice. Hence, it has no impact on the conclusion of the argument.

D

Whether performance reviews are devoid of  subjective parameters of evaluation

Correct

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

E

Whether employees are aware of the real determiner behind performance reviews

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Employees’ knowledge of PR doesn’t tell us whether PR are productive or not.

QUESTION: 3

While proponents argue about the benefits of vaccination for children, there is hardly any concrete data to back up their claims. Not only is the efficacy of the vaccines questionable but  there are also possible chances that vaccines cause various illnesses such as autism. Children who have been vaccinated have a probability of 0.5% of getting the diseases that they have been vaccinated against while the national average of all the children who get the disease, including the children who have not been vaccinated, is 0.52%. So, there is hardly any improvement in the prevention rate because of vaccination. Which of the following options would help the most to evaluate the given argument?

Solution:

While proponents argue about the benefits of vaccination for children, there is hardly any concrete data to back up their claims. Not only is the efficacy of the vaccines questionable but  there are also possible chances that vaccines cause various illnesses such as autism. Children who have been vaccinated have a probability of 0.5% of getting the diseases that they have been vaccinated against while the national average of all the children who get the disease, including the children who have not been vaccinated, is 0.52%. So, there is hardly any improvement in the prevention rate because of vaccination.

Which of the following options would help the most to evaluate the given argument?

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The argument concludes that there is hardly any improvement in the prevention rate because of vaccination. The argument is based on certain facts and one of these facts is that rate of disease in vaccinated children is 0.5% whereas that in all children is 0.52%, which isn’t substantially high.

Pre-Thinking Approach

In order to evaluate the linkage, we’ll pre think assumptions by thinking of the conditions that will decrease our belief in the conclusion. The assumptions then will be that these conditions don’t exist. To do so, let’s look at linkage 1 and understand the conditions under which it doesn’t hold.

Linkage#1Children who have been vaccinated have a probability of 0.5% of getting the diseases that they have been vaccinated against while the national average of all the children who get the disease, including the children who have not been vaccinated, is 0.52%.

Falsification Condition:  What if, a significant majority of the children are vaccinated? In such a case, the national average of all the children who get the disease would prominently be a reflection of vaccinated children and thus not likely to be considerably different from probability of vaccinated children. If we are to look at effectiveness of vaccination, we need to compare vaccinated children against non-vaccinated.

• Instance: What if 90% of all the children are indeed vaccinated?  In such a case, the overall probability rate (for all the children) will be dominated by this 90%, implying that the vaccinated children are responsible for bringing down the probability rate.

Accordingly, the author assumes that the VC did not form a significant majority of the children for whom the probability rate was calculated.

Therefore, any question whose answer will reveal the individual weight of the children in the two categories (VC and NVC) will help us evaluate the argument better.

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

A

What percentage of children is vaccinated in the country?

Correct

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

B

By what age are children generally administered all the required vaccinations?

Incorrect – Irrelevant

The answer to the question posed in this choice will not yield any relevant information as the author has not established a link between a child’s age and its contracting diseases.

C

What is the national average for the prevalence of autism in children?

Incorrect – Irrelevant

The prevalence of autism among children is not the main focus of the argument. The point regarding autism was raised by the author to make his/her case stronger regarding the apparent lack of benefits and possible side effects from vaccinating children. The actual conclusion deals with claiming that there is hardly any improvement in the prevention of disease from vaccination.

D

What are the possible measures to determine the efficacy of a vaccine?

Incorrect – Irrelevant

This question is about the methods which can help us in finding out the efficacy of a vaccine. But we are only concerned with the results of these methods i.e. the efficacy of vaccines, not in the methods themselves

E

Of the children who have been vaccinated, what proportion has access to proper medical care once they get infected with the diseases that they were vaccinated against?

Incorrect – Irrelevant

The focus of the argument is not the medical care that the children receive after they have contracted the disease they were vaccinated against. The focus is whether the children who have been vaccinated against a particular disease have better chances at not contracting that disease vis-à-vis those children who have not been vaccinating against it. Hence, the answer to his question will not yield any relevant information to evaluate the given argument.

QUESTION: 4

Rent stabilization laws usually protect tenants of apartment complexes, but the same laws are not acknowledged by most owners of mobile-home parks, who argue that renters of apartments cannot be compared to owners of mobile homes. While tenants in rent-stabilized apartment buildings cannot be subjected to frequent increases in rent, owners of mobile homes who rent space in mobile parks are often asked to agree to unreasonable increases in rent in order to renew their leases.

Which of the following would most help to determine whether rent stabilization should be applicable to mobile-home parks?

Solution:

Rent stabilization laws usually protect tenants of apartment complexes, but the same laws are not acknowledged by most owners of mobile-home parks, who argue that renters of apartments cannot be compared to owners of mobile homes. While tenants in rent-stabilized apartment buildings cannot be subjected to frequent increases in rent, owners of mobile homes who rent space in mobile parks are often asked to agree to unreasonable increases in rent in order to renew their leases.

Which of the following would most help to determine whether rent stabilization should be applicable to mobile-home parks?

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

We are not given a  conclusion in the passage; however, as the question stem requires us to evaluate whether rent stabilization should be applicable to mobile-home parks, the correct answer choice should help us make this determination.

Pre-Thinking Approach

In order to evaluate the linkage, we’ll pre-think assumptions and ask questions which can tell us whether they are correct or not. To do so, let’s look at linkage 1 and understand the conditions under which it doesn’t hold.  The assumption then will be that these conditions don’t exist.

Falsification Condition:  What if, RS laws put apartment complexes and MHP under the same category? In such a case, the rules and regulations that apply to the apartment complexes would apply to the MHP as well. Thus, the argument of owners of MHP will not hold.

• Assumption1: RS laws do not put apartment complexes and MHP under the same category, i.e. the same regulations that apply to apartment complexes do not apply to  MHP.

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

A

Do attorneys hired by owners of mobile-home parks cite as evidence for their case the fact that the law is usually in the landlords' favor?

Incorrect – Irrelevant

The arguments made by the lawyers hired by OMHP will not help us evaluate whether the rent stabilization laws should apply to OMHP.

B

Have rent stabilization laws changed significantly since they were first implemented?

Incorrect – Irrelevant

We do not know what the laws were originally. Hence, determining whether the laws have changed will not help us evaluate the specifics of the law. For example, if we say- yes the laws have changed significantly. It does not give us any reason to determine whether these laws should be applicable to MHP.

C

Can tenants living on rent-stabilized properties be evicted if they choose to renew their leases?

Incorrect – Irrelevant

There is no established link between the eviction criteria for tenants living on rent-stabilized properties and application of RS laws on mobile parks.

D

Do the existing rent stabilization regulations differentiate between laws applicable to owners of apartment complexes and owners of other forms of rental properties?

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking. If the existing regulations make such differentiation, the RS laws shouldn't be application to mobile parks; otherwise, they should be.

E

Are tenants in most apartment complexes protected by rent stabilization laws?

Incorrect – Irrelevant

We are already given that RS laws usually protect tenants of apartment complexes. This information doesn't address the applicability of RS laws to mobile parks.

QUESTION: 5

The common perception that a two-year degree is worth less than a credential from a four-year college is disproved by the recent data published by the government. The data shows that the average first-year salaries of graduates with a two-year degree are \$1,000 higher than those with a four year degree. Also considering that students with a two year degree earn for two more years than students with four year degrees, it is in the economic interests of the students to pursue two-year degrees rather than four year degrees.

Which of the following option statements would help the most to evaluate the given argument?

Solution:
QUESTION: 6

Two types of fuels, Bio X and Bio Y, both made from natural resources, are increasingly being used by vehicles around the country. Recent tests indicate that the complete combustion of a volume of Bio Y releases fewer pollutants in the air than the complete combustion of an equal volume of Bio X. Since both the government and the people of the country are determined to bring down the pollution levels in the long run, it can be expected that in 30 years from now, a significant number of cars will use only Bio Y.

Which of the following would be most useful to evaluate the argument’s conclusion?

Solution:

Two types of fuels, Bio X and Bio Y, both made from natural resources, are increasingly being used by vehicles around the country. Recent tests indicate that the complete combustion of a volume of Bio Y releases fewer pollutants in the air than the complete combustion of an equal volume of Bio X. Since both the government and the people of the country are determined to bring down the pollution levels in the long run, it can be expected that in 30 years from now, a significant number of cars will use only Bio Y.

Which of the following would be most useful to evaluate the argument’s conclusion?

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The argument predicts that it is likely that in 30 years from now, a significant number of cars will use only Bio Y. The expectation is based on the fact that both the government and people of the country are determined to bring down the pollution levels in the long run.

Pre-Thinking Approach

In order to evaluate the linkage, we’ll pre think assumptions by thinking of conditions that will decrease our belief in the conclusion. The assumptions then will be that these conditions don’t exist. To do so, let’s look at linkage 1 and understand the conditions under which it doesn’t hold.

• Falsification Condition:  What if the natural resources required to make Bio Y do not last for 30 years? In such a case, the expectation that 30 years from now, a significant number of cars will use only Bio Y is weakened. Clearly, the linkage will not hold then.
• Assumption: There will be enough natural resources required to make Bio Y to be able to fulfil the demand for the fuel 30 years from now.

An answer choice that evaluates any of the fundamental assumptions made by the author will be the correct choice.

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

A

Whether the vehicles that currently use Bio X can also use Bio Y

Incorrect – Irrelevant

This option seeks to assess whether vehicles can use both the fuels or only Bio X; however the conclusion talks about cars that will use only Bio Y.  Also, knowing about vehicles that currently use Bio X doesn’t help us evaluate the conclusion based on a time frame of 30 years.

B

Whether the present day cars that run on Bio Y consume less fuel than the cars that run on Bio X  to cover the same distance

Incorrect – Irrelevant

Knowing about the consumption of present days cars will not be very useful as the conclusion is talking about long term. Also if the answer to the stated question is no, consumption of Bio Y can be equal to/ more than Bio X to cover the same distance. Thus, this choice doesn’t help us evaluate whether 30 years from now, a significant number of cars will use only Bio Y.

C

Whether 30 years from now the manufacturers’ profit margin for cars that consume BioY will be significantly higher than the profit margin of cars that consume Bio X

Incorrect – Irrelevant

This option makes a superfluous comparison. Manufacturers’ profit margins are irrelevant to the argument based on the use of fuel.

D

Whether the resources used to make Bio Y are sustainable to cater to the demand of the fuel in the next thirty years and beyond

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per the stated assumption. If the answer to the question is yes, the argument is strengthened. Otherwise, it is weakened.

E

Whether the price of cars that run on BioY will increase in the coming years.

Incorrect – Irrelevant

The argument makes a long-term prediction whereas this answer choice talks about the coming years. Also, there is no information to make a link between the price of the cars and the impact it will have on people’s interest to use these cars. For instance- it’s possible that the price rises but the increase is insignificant.

QUESTION: 7

Manufacturers are welcoming the news that the ban on certain kinds of oil exports from the United States will soon be lifted, a move that will particularly benefit oil companies that produce unrefined oil such as condensate, allowing them to sell their oil overseas without having to make use of refineries. For this reason, the oil refining industry is likely to suffer heavy losses.

Which of the following questions most helps to evaluate the above argument?

Solution:

Manufacturers are welcoming the news that the ban on certain kinds of oil exports from the United States will soon be lifted, a move that will particularly benefit oil companies that produce unrefined oil such as condensate, allowing them to sell their oil overseas without having to make use of refineries. For this reason, the oil refining industry is likely to suffer heavy losses.

Which of the following questions most helps to evaluate the above argument?

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Pre-Thinking Approach

In order to evaluate the linkage, we’ll pre think assumptions. Any question that can help us evaluate a central assumption made by the author will be the correct evaluating question. To do so, let’s look at linkage 1 and understand the conditions under which it doesn’t hold.  The assumption then will be that these conditions don’t exist.

Linkage#1Manufacturers are welcoming the news that the ban on certain kinds of oil exports from the United States will soon be lifted, a move that will particularly benefit oil companies that produce unrefined oil allowing them to sell their oil overseas without having to make use of refineries.

• Falsification Condition:  What if the bulk of the business of the refineries does not come from the oil exported out of the country? In such a scenario, even though the manufacturers will be able to export unrefined oil, the refining industry will probably not be severely impacted by the lifting of the ban. Hence the author assumes that:
• Assumption: For the refining industry, a significant proportion of their business comes from the current export of refined oil by the US manufacturers.

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

A

Will the oil companies that want to export unrefined oil be able to do so using the same methods that they use to export refined oil?

Incorrect – Irrelevant

The method of export has no bearing on the likelihood of refiners suffering from heavy losses due to the export of unrefined oil.

B

Do the refineries that process oil for export themselves produce oil for supply to various buyers within the country?

Incorrect – Irrelevant

Whether the refiners themselves supply the oil within the country is insignificant, so far as the proportion of refined oil sold within the country is a significant source of business for these refiners.

C

Can companies currently seeking to export oil overseas do so without authorization from the Department of Commerce?

Incorrect – Irrelevant

The question is whether the export of unrefined oil significantly impact the business of the refining industry not how the manufacturers will be able to export oil.

D

Will lifting the ban on some kinds of oil products lead to increased sales of exported oil, thereby boosting the country’s economy?

Incorrect – Irrelevant

Even if the overall economy is boosted, it gives us no information to evaluate the specific impact on the refining industry.

E

Does the oil refined for exporting form a considerable proportion of the business for the refining industry?

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per Linkage assumption.

QUESTION: 8

Reporter: The municipal department spends a lot of money on constructing concrete roads. It is difficult to fathom the department’s choice to build concrete roads, when it can easily lay cheaper roads using permeable materials. Therefore, a petition should be written to the government to stop laying roads using concrete and start laying roads using permeable paving materials.

Which of the following, if known, would be most relevant in assessing the reporter’s argument?

Solution:

Reporter: The municipal department spends a lot of money on constructing concrete roads. It is difficult to fathom the department’s choice to build concrete roads, when it can easily lay cheaper roads using permeable materials. Therefore, a petition should be written to the government to stop laying roads using concrete and start laying roads using permeable paving materials.

Which of the following, if known, would be most relevant in assessing the reporter’s argument?

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

In order to evaluate the argument, we’ll pre think assumptions and ask questions which can tell us whether they are correct or not. To do so, let’s see how we can falsify the conclusion or intermediate conclusion.  Let’s look at the logical structure, focusing on linkages 1 and 2.  We will understand the conditions under which the conclusion and intermediate conclusion are falsified.  The assumption then will be that these conditions don’t exist.  Also note that as we focus on a particular linkage, we will keep the other linkage in mind as well.

• Falsification Condition:  What if there are other reasons which make the selection of concrete as the material for building roads quite natural? It could be that roads built with concrete allow vehicles to ply more smoothly than those built with other materials.  If this were true, then the intermediate conclusion will be falsified.
• Assumption: There are no other significant considerations besides the price of the material when it comes to the construction of roads.

• Falsification Condition:  What if there are other significant expenditures that the department saves on when building roads from concrete? For example, it could be that the wear and tear of roads built using concrete is low. In that case the overall costs of building and maintaining these roads could be lower than that in the case of roads built using PPM. If this were true, then there would no need to send a petition to government.
• Assumption: The overall cost benefits of PPM roads are higher than of roads built using concrete.

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

A

Whether the municipal department’s previous plans have been cost effective

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option talks about other plans of the municipal department whereas the reporter’s conclusion deals only with laying roads.

B

Whether the process of laying roads with concrete is similar to that of laying roads using permeable paving materials

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option compares the process of laying roads using the two different materials, but we don’t know whether similarity of processes is even important.

C

Whether the reporter supports the present government or is a proponent of the opposition party

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option is completely irrelevant as it doesn’t help us evaluate the merits of the proposal.

D

Whether other states have been using the permeable materials to construct their roads

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option doesn’t help us in evaluating the reporter’s proposal. Even if other states are not using permeable materials, they could still be a good substitute for concrete.

E

Whether the price the government has to pay for maintaining roads in good condition is more for roads paved using permeable paving materials versus roads paved with concrete

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per Linkage #2. If the answer to this question is: yes, government needs to spend more for maintaining roads paved using permeable paving materials in a good condition, then the reporter’s argument isn’t valid as the overall cost of building and maintaining roads using permeable paving materials can be much higher than in the case of roads where concrete is used.

But if the answer to this question is: no, government doesn’t need to spend more for maintaining roads paved using permeable paving materials in a good condition, then the reporter’s argument is valid as the government could save money on building and maintaining these roads.

QUESTION: 9

A new security software authenticates a person by scanning the person’s hand and matching the information obtained from the same with the information stored in the system. However, recent laboratory tests have shown that the software recognized and authenticated people whose information in the system was stored before they recently started suffering from chemotherapy-induced acral erythema, a syndrome that is associated with pain and peeling on the palms and soles of the feet, which even leads to a loss of fingerprints. Therefore, it is likely that the security system does not use the finger-prints of a person as a metric for authentication.

Which of the following would be most helpful to evaluate the argument?

Solution:

A new security software authenticates a person by scanning the person’s hand and matching the information obtained from the same with the information stored in the system. However, recent laboratory tests have shown that the software recognized and authenticated people whose information in the system was stored before they recently started suffering from chemotherapy-induced acral erythema, a syndrome that is associated with pain and peeling on the palms and soles of the feet, which even leads to a loss of fingerprints. Therefore, it is likely that the security system does not use the finger-prints of a person as a metric for authentication.

Which of the following would be most helpful to evaluate the argument?

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

In order to evaluate the argument, we’ll pre think assumptions and ask questions that can help us evaluate these assumptions. 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:  What if the people who have started suffering recently from CIAE have not been fully affected yet? It could be that the pain and peeling is there but they haven’t lost finger prints yet.  If this were true, then the conclusion will be falsified.
• Assumption: Even people who have recently been affected by CIAE have lost fingerprints.

Accordingly the correct choice could evaluate:

• Instance: Whether people who have just started suffering from CIAE have lost their fingerprints.

With this understanding, let’s approach the answer choices.

A

Whether the laboratory tests checked for correlation between other possible information gained from hand scans such as the length, width and thickness of the hand, fingers and joints

Incorrect - Irrelevant

A yes or no answer to this question will not lead to any conclusive piece of information.

B

Whether the people suffering from the syndrome were at an initial stage of the disease when the peeling of the skin is mostly limited to the feet

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per Linkage #1. If they are at a stage at which the peeling of the skin is limited to the feet, then it reduces our belief in the conclusion that the SS doesn’t use fingerprints as a method of authentication. If they are not at a stage at which the peeling of the skin is limited to just the feet, then it’s possible that their fingerprints were affected and this fact increases our belief in the conclusion.

C

Whether people currently suffering from chemotherapy-induced acral erythema are likely to be authenticated by other security software such as facial and voice recognition software

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The likelihood of authentication by other software is completely irrelevant.

D

Whether the software can be hacked by replicating features such as temperature and curvature of the hand

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option is not relevant as we don’t know if temperature and curvature of hand is even affected by CIAE.

E

Whether the software alternatively uses foot prints to authenticate people

Incorrect – Goes against a premise

We already know that SS scans a person’s hand for authentication. Therefore, it cannot use foot prints to match against a hand scan in order to authenticate people.

QUESTION: 10

Whenever a star transforms into a supernova, it exhibits surges of activity prior to the transformation. The star LV-426 has recently been exhibiting signs of turbulent activity. In the past, 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. Given the star’s recent activity, it is now certain that LV-426 will explode in to a supernova.

Which of the following would it be most useful to determine in order to evaluate the argument?

Solution:

Whenever a star transforms into a supernova, it exhibits surges of activity prior to the transformation. The star LV-426 has recently been exhibiting signs of turbulent activity. In the past, 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. Given the star’s recent activity, it is now certain that LV-426 will explode in to a supernova.

Which of the following would it be most useful to determine in order to evaluate the argument?

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The author’s conclusion that it is now certain LV-426 will explode into a supernova is based on the fact that the otherwise dormant star has been recently exhibiting signs of turbulent activities. The author has correlated this fact with the other fact that whenever the transformation from a star to a supernova occurs, there are surges of activity.

Pre-Thinking Approach

In order to evaluate the linkage, we’ll pre-think some assumptions made by the author and ask questions that will help evaluate whether the given assumption warrants the conclusion drawn. To do so, let’s look at linkage 1 and understand the conditions under which the conclusion doesn't hold.  The assumption then will be that these conditions don’t exist.

Falsification Condition:  What if the surge of activity is for some other reason, i.e. what if the turbulent activities in a star are not actually signs that the star will  transform into a supernova but are indicative of some other transformation? In that case the linkage would not hold. Accordingly the assumption is that:

• Assumption: Turbulent activity in a star is seen only when a star transforms into a supernova.

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

A

Whether LV-426 is of the same size as other stars that have exploded into supernovas

Incorrect – Irrelevant

The passage does not talk about the size of stars and there is no given link between the size of a star and its likelihood of transforming into a supernova.

B

Whether other stars that became supernovas also exhibited periods of dormancy

Incorrect – Irrelevant

The argument does not link the transformation of a star into a supernova and a period of dormancy it may go through.

C

Whether turbulent activity can indicate that a star is about to transform into an entity other than supernova

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking. It questions whether turbulent activity in a star can be a sign of something other than an impending transformation of the star into a supernova.

D

Whether a period of dormancy can reduce a star’s core temperature to a level at which the star can no longer exhibit surface-level activity

Incorrect – Irrelevant

First of all, we already know that in the case of LV-426, the star that had been dormant has now exhibited turbulent activity. Secondly, and more importantly, the main concern is regarding what can occur after the turbulent activity and not about the circumstances in which such activities may be absent.

E

Whether the scientists who studied LV-426 in the past considered the possibility that the star’s period of dormancy may not last

Incorrect – Irrelevant

Since this option deals with past speculations, it does not address the prediction that has been made on the basis of the current situation of the star.

QUESTION: 11

Out of those suffering from manic depression, patients who live at home have more bouts of depression than do patients at mental health care facilities. To test the hypothesis that the stress-free environment of such facilities is the sole reason for their success, some recently-diagnosed patients were relocated to a mental health care facility and others were studied in their home environments, from which stress-causing factors had been eliminated. It was found that both groups had an equal number of depression bouts.

The answer to which of the following questions would contribute the most to understanding the significance of the experiment results in relation to the hypothesis tested?

Solution:
QUESTION: 12

Dissociative Behavioral Disorder (DBD) is caused by malfunctioning neurons that effectively ‘short-circuit’ specific areas of the human brain that control the individual’s awareness of socially-acceptable behaviors, leading to cognitive dysfunction. In a controlled experiment to see whether following a daily routine impacts DBD patients, the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) found that such individuals were less likely to suffer from episodes of cognitive dysfunction when they followed a stipulated daily routine.

Which of the following, if true, would it be most important to take into account in assessing the result?

Solution:

Dissociative Behavioral Disorder (DBD) is caused by malfunctioning neurons that effectively ‘short-circuit’ specific areas of the human brain that control the individual’s awareness of socially-acceptable behaviors, leading to cognitive dysfunction. In a controlled experiment to see whether following a daily routine impacts DBD patients, the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) found that such individuals were less likely to suffer from episodes of cognitive dysfunction when they followed a stipulated daily routine.

Which of the following, if true, would it be most important to take into account in assessing the result?

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

Although there is no conclusion given in the passage, we have enough context to establish that the results indicate towards a causal link between following of a daily routine and the episodes of CD. Now the question stem asks us to find the option statement that will help us assess the results. So, the right option statement will either increases our belief in the link between the two or decrease it.

Pre-Thinking Approach

In order to evaluate the linkage, we’ll pre-think assumptions. The assumption then will be that these conditions don’t exist.  Please note that in the logical structure, the conclusion is with a question mark as we need to still evaluate the results.

Linkage#1People with DBD who followed the stipulated routine were less likely to suffer CD

• Falsification Condition:  What if it wasn’t the stipulated routine but some other factor that led to the lower instances of CD in such people? It could be that there was a change in environment for them which led to lower likelihood of CD.  If this were true, then the linkage will not hold.
• Assumption: No other factor was primarily responsible for the  lower likelihood of CD.

With this understanding in mind, let’s evaluate the answer choices.

A

The NIMH is renowned for its accomplishments in the field of mental health research.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Other accomplishments of the NIH do not shed any light on the merits of this research/experiment.

B

Not all the participants in the study had the same daily routine.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Whether they all followed the same routine or different routines, as long as it was stipulated/specified, doesn’t affect the linkage.

C

A few participants dropped out of the study since it was difficult for them to follow a stipulated routine.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The argument is concerned with participants who followed the routine and not with the ones who couldn’t.

D

The prescribed medication taken by the participants in the experiment was the same as the medication taken by them prior to the experiment.

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per Linkage #1.If the medication taken was different before and during the experiment, then that could be a reason behind lower CD and not the stipulated routine.

E

Cognitive dysfunction, unlike a few other symptoms of DBD, is treatable if the right medication is prescribed.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option talks about treatment of DBD, which we are not concerned with.

QUESTION: 13

The US government has recently taken an initiative to collect and publish information on the salaries of graduating students from colleges. The salaries of the students in their first year after graduation will be published for all colleges and subject fields the colleges offer. The idea is to help the students make more informed choices about the college and the field that they choose. While the intentions are good, the results might just be the opposite. Students who pick their field based primarily on post-graduation salaries, as opposed to passion for a field, will, in all likelihood, struggle in both school and career.

Which of the following options would help most to evaluate the given argument?

Solution:

The US government has recently taken an initiative to collect and publish information on the salaries of graduating students from colleges. The salaries of the students in their first year after graduation will be published for all colleges and subject fields the colleges offer. The idea is to help the students make more informed choices about the college and the field that they choose. While the intentions are good, the results might just be the opposite. Students who pick their field based primarily on post-graduation salaries, as opposed to passion for a field, will, in all likelihood, struggle in both school and career.

Which of the following options would help most to evaluate the given argument?

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The conclusion states that while the intentions of the government are good, the results might just be the opposite. The intention here is helping students in making an informed choice while the expected result by the author is opposite to it, i.e. the author expects that students are quite likely to struggle in school as well as career because they will choose a field of study based primarily on salary considerations instead of interest/passion.

Pre-Thinking Approach

In order to evaluate the linkage, we’ll pre think assumptions by thinking of conditions that will decrease our belief in the conclusion. The assumptions then will be that these conditions don’t exist. To do so, let’s look at linkage 1 and understand the conditions under which it doesn’t hold.

• Falsification Condition:  What if currently, students’ decisions about the college they want to attend and their respective subject fields are based primarily on the post-graduation salary? In such a case, the plan will not have any adverse effect on the current situation of the students and the author will not be able to conclude that the result might be opposite (of the good intentions). . Thus, the linkage will not hold.
• Assumption: At least some students currently don’t choose a field based primarily on salary considerations instead of their passions.

An answer choice that evaluates any of the fundamental assumptions made by the author will be the correct choice. With this pre-thinking in mind, let’s evaluate the answer choices.

A

What is the number of colleges that will be covered by the government initiative?

Incorrect – Irrelevant

The passage says that the salaries of the graduating students will be published for all colleges and subject fields the colleges offer. As all the US colleges have been covered, the number of colleges is irrelevant to the evaluation

B

Currently, what proportion of students who struggle in college also struggle in their careers?

Incorrect – Irrelevant

The proportion of students in this category is not important. What’s important is how students are currently making their choices about the college they want to attend and the field they want to study.

C

Do some students currently pick their subject fields based on their passion?

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking. If the answer to the question is yes, the argument is strengthened. Otherwise, it is weakened.

D

Are there currently any good websites providing average salaries data for the students?

Incorrect – Irrelevant

Even if there are websites doing so, there is no information given to believe that the students are accessing these websites currently or that they are already using such information to make decisions on the stated issues.

E

How will the government ensure that the data published on the salaries of the students is not biased against certain colleges?

Incorrect – Irrelevant

The method employed to ensure that the data is not biased will not help us evaluate the author’s argument, which is based on the possible effect of any such data could have on the mindset of the students and their future. Also, given the contents of the passage, there is no way to evaluate the answer yielded by this question.

QUESTION: 14

Studies in elementary schools have shown that introverted children actually crave attention, but are scared of it beyond a certain level. To effectively address this aspect of the problem, some child psychologists advise that elementary school teachers apply the “touch and go” approach to compliment introverted children; for example: bring up the achievement of such a student in front of the class, but do not give enough time to the student’s classmates to especially acknowledge the student’s presence.

In gauging the effectiveness of the “touch and go” method, as prescribed by the psychologists, which one of the following considerations needs to be evaluated?

Solution:

Studies in elementary schools have shown that introverted children actually crave attention, but are scared of it beyond a certain level. To effectively address this aspect of the problem, some child psychologists advise that elementary school teachers apply the “touch and go” approach to compliment introverted children; for example: bring up the achievement of such a student in front of the class, but do not give enough time to the student’s classmates to especially acknowledge the student’s presence.

In gauging the effectiveness of the “touch and go” method, as prescribed by the psychologists, which one of the following considerations needs to be evaluated?

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The author does not provide his/her own conclusion. However, we are given the advice of child psychologists, which the question stem asks us to evaluate. So for the purpose of  evaluation, we’ll consider this advice as the conclusion at hand.

Pre-Thinking Approach

For the method to be considered effective, it must address the stated aspect of the problem efficiently. In order to do so, the method must assure that introverted children get the required attention and at the same time, they must not get the attention beyond a certain level.

To do so, we’ll consider the given linkage, pre-think assumptions and ask questions that can evaluate these assumptions. To do so, let’s look at linkage 1 and understand the conditions under which it doesn’t hold.  The assumption then will be that these conditions don’t exist.

• Falsification Condition:  What if the introverted students appreciate only such attention that is given on a one-to-one level? If this were true, then the linkage will not hold.
• Assumption: The introverted students do not appreciate only such attention that is given to them privately.
• Falsification Condition:  What if introverted students get extra attention, brought on by the touch and go method, when the teacher is not present to monitor the situation? If this were true, then the linkage would not hold.
• Assumption: The touch and go method itself does not bring in extra attention when the teachers are not present to monitor the situation.

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

A

Whether besides the “touch and go” method there is a more effective method to address the special needs of an introverted student

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option talks about some other method. The argument focuses on evaluating the effective of the method under discussion, “touch and go”.

B

Whether introverted children crave attention of their teachers and their classmates alike

Incorrect - Irrelevant

A comparison between the magnitudes of attention sought from the two categories is irrelevant to determining whether the “touch and go” method works well for the stated problem.

C

Whether introverted elementary school children are aware of their introverted nature

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The argument doesn’t provide us any information to determine what impact this self-awareness may have on the effectiveness of the method.

D

Whether the parents of an introverted student will appreciate the use of such methods in schools

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Parents’ approval of the method has no bearing on the effectiveness of the method.

E

Whether because of the teacher’s praise, the classmates of the introverted student are likely to approach the student more frequently, showering the student with extra attention

Correct

This option is written along the lines of our pre-thinking assumption 2. We know that introverted students are scared of attention beyond a certain level. The option talks about extra attention shown to such students.

QUESTION: 15

Researchers have found that children as young as two year old toddlers use mathematical concepts such as probability to understand the world around them and make decisions accordingly. In an experiment conducted to study such behaviour, toddlers observed an experimenter play a game with two different colored buttons. The pressing of the button would sometimes release a marble and sometimes not. When these toddlers were asked to play the same game, 23 out of 32 toddlers chose to press the button that was more successful in generating a marble.

Which of the following, if true, is important to rule out the possibility that the toddlers made a choice purely based on frequency, i.e. the number of times a button returned marbles, rather than probability?

Solution:

Researchers have found that children as young as two year old toddlers use mathematical concepts such as probability to understand the world around them and make decisions accordingly. In an experiment conducted to study such behaviour, toddlers observed an experimenter play a game with two different colored buttons. The pressing of the button would sometimes release a marble and sometimes not. When these toddlers were asked to play the same game, 23 out of 32 toddlers chose to press the button that was more successful in generating a marble.

Which of the following, if true, is important to rule out the possibility that the toddlers made a choice purely based on frequency, i.e. the number of times a button returned marbles, rather than probability?

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

There is no conclusion given by the author per se. However, we are given the results of an experiment to illustrate that toddlers use mathematical concepts such as probability to make decisions in their life.

Pre-Thinking Approach

We are told that when the toddlers, who observed the experimenter, were asked to play the same game, most of them chose to press the button that was more successful in generating a marble. However, how did the children define this “success”? Did they consider only the number of times the marble was released on pressing a particular button or did they factor in the total attempts as well (number of times marble released/ total attempts = probability)?

Accordingly, the question stem asks us to rule out one such explanation- the frequency or the number of times a button released marbles (irrespective) of the total number of attempts for that button.

Now, the researchers’ conclusion about the use of probability by the toddlers to make their decisions while playing the stated game will be more validly drawn if we had some idea about both the total number of attempts for each button and the number of times a marble was successfully returned by each of the two buttons.

With this understanding in mind, let’s evaluate the given answer choices.

A

The toddlers who chose the button that returned a marble fewer number of times were measured to have the same IQ as the ones who chose the other button.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This choice talks about the IQ of toddlers, which has no established link in the argument with the choices they made. Secondly, this choice states that one of the two buttons released more marbles- a piece of information that is in the opposite direction to our stated task in the question.

B

None of the toddlers were found to have color-blindness and could differentiate between the two buttons on the basis of their colors.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

While this choice helps determine that a possible extraneous factor did not impact the choice of the toddlers, it does not help us establish anything about the frequency of the marbles returned on pressing the buttons.

C

During the experimenter's turn at the game, both the buttons generated a marble the same number of times, though the number of attempts for each button varied significantly.

Correct

This is the correct choice as it rules out the possibility that the toddlers considered only the number of times a button generated a marble. It gives the required information discussed in the pre-thinking analysis.

D

19 out of 23 toddlers who chose the button that was more successful in generating marbles belonged to families in which one of the parents was a Mathematics teacher.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The family background has no stated or implied link with the choice the toddlers made.

E

Both the buttons released marbles with the same number of unsuccessful attempts between two successful ones.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This choice does not help establish the overall number of attempts for both the buttons and the number of times each button returned a marble. Hence, it does not provide any relevant information.

QUESTION: 16

The film industry is no different from any other, and in the long run, products with low demand are abandoned for products for which the demand, and therefore the potential to maximize profits, is high. Accordingly, big-budget films will lead to the eventual demise of art-house cinema. While art-house films consistently receive critical appreciation by the media, audiences are invariably more drawn to blockbusters that are produced by multimillion dollar corporations that can afford to captivate viewers using special effects and the latest technologies.

Which of the following would it be most useful to know in order to assess the argument above?

Solution:

The film industry is no different from any other, and in the long run, products with low demand are abandoned for products for which the demand, and therefore the potential to maximize profits, is high. Accordingly, big-budget films will lead to the eventual demise of art-house cinema. While art-house films consistently receive critical appreciation by the media, audiences are invariably more drawn to blockbusters that are produced by multimillion dollar corporations that can afford to captivate viewers using special effects and the latest technologies.

Which of the following would it be most useful to know in order to assess the argument above?

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The conclusion states that BBF will lead to the eventual demise of AHF.  The basis of the conclusion is that products with high demand and thus with the potential to maximise profits adversely affects the production of products with low demand.

Pre-Thinking Approach

In order to evaluate the linkage, we’ll pre-think assumptions by thinking of conditions that will falsify the conclusion. The assumptions then will be that these conditions don’t exist. To do so, let’s look at linkage 1 and understand the conditions under which it doesn’t hold.

• Falsification Condition: Even if it is understood that the demand for BFF is high, the passage merely states that the audiences are invariably more drawn to BBF. So it is possible that even when the demand for BBF is more, the demand for AHF is not low?
• Instance:  The demand for AHF is not significantly lower than the demand for BFF.

Under the above condition, the author will not be able to make a link between the higher demand for BFF and its eventual impact on AHF. Therefore, the author assumes that:

• Assumption: The demand for BBF will eventually be substantially higher than that for AHF.

An answer choice that evaluates any of the fundamental assumptions made by the author will be the correct choice. With this pre-thinking in mind, let’s evaluate the answer choices.

A

Whether the most popular actors in the industry will prefer to act mostly in art house films

Incorrect – Irrelevant

First of all there is no stated link between the presence of popular actors and the demand for a film. Secondly, the preference for something does not necessarily determine final choice.

B

Whether the demand for art-house films will be considerably lower than that for blockbusters

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking assumption. If the demand for AHF will be significantly lower, the conclusion is strengthened. Otherwise, it is weakened.

C

Whether some films produced by large corporations will not use special effects

Incorrect – Irrelevant

Information about some BBF’s lack of special effects will not help us evaluate the comparative demands for BBF and AHF.

D

Whether the audiences in general will be aware of the budgets of the films produced by multimillion dollar corporations

Incorrect – Irrelevant

The audiences don’t have to be aware of the actual budgets of the films so far as the film uses latest technologies and special effects.

E

Whether big-budget films will also receive critical appreciation by the media

Incorrect – Irrelevant

The argument makes no link between critical appreciation and demand for films. Thus, it’s not useful to know whether BBF will also receive critical appreciation by the media.

QUESTION: 17

The Air Cushion Restraint System or airbag, as it is more commonly known, certainly does not function properly in most cases. A study conducted on the injury caused to drivers involved in accidents in which their vehicles were equipped with airbags showed that in seven out of ten cases the driver’s head was not prevented from hitting the steering wheel, the only function of the airbag installed in the dashboard.

Which of the following would it be most useful to consider while evaluating the claim made by the author above?

Solution:

The Air Cushion Restraint System or airbag, as it is more commonly known, certainly does not function properly in most cases. A study conducted on the injury caused to drivers involved in accidents in which their vehicles were equipped with airbags showed that in seven out of ten cases the driver’s head was not prevented from hitting the steering wheel, the only function of the airbag installed in the dashboard.

Which of the following would it be most useful to consider while evaluating the claim made by the author above?

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The conclusion states that airbag certainly does not function properly in most cases because a study showed that in 7/10 cases the driver’s head was not prevented from hitting the steering wheel, the only function of the airbag installed in the dashboard.

Pre-Thinking Approach

In order to evaluate the linkage, we’ll pre-think assumptions by thinking of conditions that will falsify our belief in the conclusion. The assumptions then will be that these conditions don’t exist. To do so, let’s look at linkage 1 and understand the conditions under which it doesn’t hold.

Linkage#1A study conducted on the injury caused to drivers involved in accidents in which airbags were installed showed that in seven out of ten cases the driver’s head was not prevented from hitting the steering wheel, the only function of the airbag installed in the dashboard.

• Falsification Condition:  What if, in an instance of an accident certain conditions need to be met in order to trigger an airbag to function? For example: certain crash sensors send signals to the airbag to function. Thus, if these censors are not working properly, the airbag wouldn’t get any signal to function. In absence of such signals, the driver’s head may not be prevented from hitting the steering wheel but in such a case, it cannot be concluded that airbag doesn’t function properly. Thus, the linkage will not hold.
• Assumption 1: In most of the accidents studied, there was no external factor that limited the proper deployment of the airbags.

An answer choice that evaluates any of the fundamental assumptions made by the author will be the correct choice.

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

A

Whether in most of the accidents studied the drivers had been wearing their seat-belts at the time of the collisions

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Neither the choice nor the argument makes any link between wearing set-belts and the full functioning of an airbag.

B

Whether in most of the accidents studied the vehicles faced a front-end collision, a condition necessary for the deployment of airbags installed in the steering wheel or dash-board

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking assumption. If the necessary condition for the deployment of airbags was met and still the driver’s head was not prevented from hitting the steering wheel the conclusion that airbags don’t work properly in most cases is strengthened. Otherwise, it is weakened.

C

Whether the airbags work efficiently in preventing the driver’s head from hitting the dashboard

Incorrect - Irrelevant

As the airbag’s only function is to prevent the driver’s head from hitting the steering wheel, whether or not it works efficiently in preventing the driver’s head from hitting the dashboard is not relevant.

D

Whether the drivers were aware that their vehicles had airbags installed in them

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The argument doesn’t tell us that the drivers need to set off the airbags. Thus, lack of awareness of the drivers cannot be linked with the functioning of the airbags.

E

Whether most of the drivers involved in the accidents studied were responsible for the collisions they were involved in

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Knowing who was responsible for the accidents doesn’t tell us why the driver’s head was not prevented from hitting the steering wheel in cars in which airbags were installed.

QUESTION: 18

Bans on smoking in public places discourage people from smoking in general and protect the rights of non-smokers to a clean smoke-free environment. A study found that in the nine months following a similar smoking ban introduced in England, there was a 5.5% fall in the number of smokers in the country; the decrease in the number of smokers in the nine months preceding the ban was only 1.6%. Clearly, the obligation to move out of public places to smoke and thereby possibly desert non-smoking friends and colleagues encourages smokers to smoke less frequently and even give up smoking.

Which of the following would it be most important to consider while evaluating the above argument?

Solution:

Bans on smoking in public places discourage people from smoking in general and protect the rights of non-smokers to a clean smoke-free environment. A study found that in the nine months following a similar smoking ban introduced in England, there was a 5.5% fall in the number of smokers in the country; the decrease in the number of smokers in the nine months preceding the ban was only 1.6%. Clearly, the obligation to move out of public places to smoke and thereby possibly desert non-smoking friends and colleagues encourages smokers to smoke less frequently and even give up smoking.

Which of the following would it be most important to consider while evaluating the above argument?

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

We see that the author has drawn a conclusion regarding the cause of the decline in the number of smokers. Accordingly, let’s look at some pertinent questions that can evaluate the validity of this causal relationship.

• Question 1:  Did any other event happen together with the smoking ban which could have affected the number of smokers negatively?  E.g. if there was a rise in price of cigarettes, that could have contributed to the higher decline in smokers and the conclusion won’t be valid that the decline is due to the BS in PP.
• Question 2: Whether NS friends usually accompany their smoker friends when the latter go for a smoke? If this were true, then the conclusion will be invalid that the situation of deserting friends encourages smokers to reduce or give up smoking.

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

A

Whether most of the people who contributed to the 5.5% decrease mentioned in the argument appreciated the ban in the first place

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Whether people ‘appreciated’ the ban or not is not relevant to determining what caused a decline in smoking.

B

Whether most of the people who contributed to the 5.5% decrease mentioned in the argument switched to other non-smoking forms of tobacco consumption

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This argument is only about smoking, not the usage of other forms of tobacco.

C

Whether there is any decrease in the number of people reported with lung-cancer due to passive-smoking since the ban on smoking at public places in England was implemented

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This argument isn’t concerned with lung cancer at all.

D

Whether a proportion of the people who contributed to the 5.5% decrease mentioned in the argument consisted of teenagers who are likely to smoke for recreational purposes.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The purpose behind smoking isn’t being discussed in the argument.

E

Whether in places where the ban on smoking is implemented, the non-smokers chose to accompany the smokers on their smoking breaks.

Correct

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

QUESTION: 19

Scientists have determined that Radon - a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas - is unstable because of its radioactive nature and continuously decays into Progeny.   Since it has been proven that there was no Progeny at the time of earth’s formation, one can accurately estimate earth’s age by determining the increase in Progeny in earth’s atmosphere over the last 200 years and using it to determine how many years it would have taken to reach current levels of Progeny.

The answer to which of the following questions would be most important in determining whether using the method would help in achieving the stated objective?

Solution:

Scientists have determined that Radon - a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas - is unstable because of its radioactive nature and continuously decays into Progeny.   Since it has been proven that there was no Progeny at the time of earth’s formation, one can accurately estimate earth’s age by determining the increase in Progeny in earth’s atmosphere over the last 200 years and using it to determine how many years it would have taken to reach current levels of Progeny.

The answer to which of the following questions would be most important in determining whether using the method would help in achieving the stated objective?

Argument Analysis

Scientists have determined that Radon - a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas - is unstable because of its radioactive nature and continuously decays into Progeny.   Since it has been proven that there was no Progeny at the time of earth’s formation, one can accurately estimate earth’s age by determining the increase in Progeny in earth’s atmosphere over the last 200 years and using it to determine how many years it would have taken to reach current levels of Progeny.

Pre-Thinking

While making his claim, the author assumes that the rate of change of Progeny over the past 200 years is representative of the rate of change of Progeny over the course of history of earth.  If this is not the case, i.e. if the rate of change today is much lower or much higher than what it used to be in the past, then the estimates would either be too high or too low.

A

Whether the rate of decay of Radon into Progeny is different during day time and night time?

This is irrelevant. Even if the rates are different during day time from night time, it doesn’t impact the estimate. Incorrect.

B

Whether Progeny is stable or gets converted into some other gas at constant rate?

Incorrect.

There are two cases to consider in this option statement:

1. Progeny is stable: In this case, the estimate should work perfectly fine. Progeny gets converted into some other gas at constant rate – Since this conversion happens both during the last 200 years and the time since the formation of earth, it doesn’t distort the estimate. This is because such constant conversion impacts the increase in gas in the last 200 years in the same proportion as the increase in gas in the time since the formation of earth. Thus, an estimate of the earth’s age, which would be calculated as below, will not be affected.
2. Earth’s Age: Total Amount of Progeny in the atmosphere currently*200/Increase in the amount of Progeny in the atmosphere in the last 200 years

C

Whether there have been any changes in the atmosphere in the past century that have increased the radioactivity decay level of all gases?

As we discussed in the Pre-thinking stage, if this given option statement is true, last 200 years of data regarding increase in progeny would not be representative of the time since the formation of Earth. Therefore, we need to find out the answer to this question to know whether the data of increase of Progeny in the last 200 years can be used to estimate the Earth’s age. Correct.

D

Whether there are methods, better than the method given, to estimate the earth’s age?

We are not concerned with an answer to this. Incorrect.

E

Whether amount of Radon or Progeny varies from region to region?

Since we are considering the earth’s atmosphere as a whole, even if Progeny varies from region to region, it doesn’t impact the estimate because we are taking into account all the regions. Incorrect.

QUESTION: 20

A recent study conducted by Armald company found that the main reason for the low conversion ratio (number of customers made to number of potential customers approached) is that the sales employees of Armald do not appear as serious and formal to the prospective customers as do employees of other companies. The company’s vice-president has suggested that the possible reason could be that the current uniform of sales people is perceived to be of lower quality by the people. The vice-president has therefore proposed replacing the existing uniform of salespeople with better and more expensive uniform.

Which of the following would it be most important to ascertain in determining whether implementing the vice-president’s proposal would increase the sales of the company?

Solution:
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