Test: Strengthen

20 Questions MCQ Test Verbal Reasoning for GMAT | Test: Strengthen

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

Experia Inc., a pioneer in online retailing in the cosmetics business, does not have a physical presence and sells all its products through its website. While evaluating its various marketing channels, the company discovered that it attracts two times as many visitors for every dollar spent on advertising on Google than on Cosmetico, an online beauty magazine. The company has, therefore, decided to shift some of its marketing funds from the magazine to Google to increase its overall profits.   Which of the following most strongly supports the ability of the company’s plan to increase its profits?

Solution:

Experia Inc., a pioneer in online retailing in the cosmetics business, does not have a physical presence and sells all its products through its website. While evaluating its various marketing channels, the company discovered that it attracts two times as many visitors for every dollar spent on advertising on Google than on Cosmetico, an online beauty magazine. The company has, therefore, decided to shift some of its marketing funds from the magazine to Google to increase its overall profits.

Which of the following most strongly supports the ability of the company’s plan to increase its profits?

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

There is no conclusion by the author per se. The question stem asks us to find a statement that will strengthen Experia’s plan to increase profits by shifting some marketing funds from Cosmetico to Google.

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can make the conclusion more believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage 1 and the conclusion.  Thus the way to support the conclusion will be to support this linkage i.e. find a new piece of information that suggests that the plan will be able to achieve its desired goal.

Linkage#1 – …it attracts two times as many visitors for every dollar spent on Google than on Cosmetico, an online magazine

• Strengthener 1 – What if not only is the number of visitors attracted greater for Google, but a significantly greater number of these visitors also become final customers of the company? Surely then it makes even more sense to shift some marketing funds from Cosmetico to Google.
• Instance 1: The visitor to customer conversion ratio is significantly higher for Google than for Cosmetico.
• Strengthener 2: What if for some reason the customers coming through Google vis-à-vis the ones originating from Cosmetico are more likely to do repeat business with Experia? Since the company’s objective is to increase profits, it makes sense to spend more on the marketing activities for such customers.

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

A

Customers originating from Google are twice as likely to write free online reviews for the company’s products as are customers originating from Cosmetico.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

There is no given information to determine the impact of such reviews on the sales of the company. Moreover, reviews could include both positive and negative reviews.

B

There is a significant difference between the visitors to customer conversion ratios for the two channels.

Incorrect - Not enough information

A significant difference between the ratios could have helped us determine the strength of the plan had the answer choice specified whether the ratio is higher for Google or lower. However, as of now it gives no concrete information regarding this aspect.

C

Currently, Google and Cosmetico are not the only two channels through which the company acquires customers.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The presence of other channels through which the company acquires customers doesn’t help increase or decrease our belief in the plan’s ability to achieve its goal.

D

Currently, very few other cosmetic companies advertise in Cosmetico.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The company’s decision to shift resources to Google is based on hard data points- the number of visitors it gets from the two stated channels. These numbers may be very specific to Experia Inc. and hence the reasons for other companies to not advertise with Cosmetico may not coincide with Experia’s decision to shift some resources.

E

Customer satisfaction, a factor leading to repeat business, is considerably higher for customers originating from Google than for customers through any other channel.

Correct

This is the correct answer and is written as per Strengthener 2 discussed in the pre-thinking analysis.

QUESTION: 2

In Tomensville, spending long hours sitting in a sedentary position has been a major cause of neck problems for young adults diagnosed with this health issue. The increased neck problems reported during the last two years must be the result of watching TV for long hours, because two years ago the government of Tomensville had mandated that the chairs provided for workers using computers be ergonomically designed. Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument?

Solution:

In Tomensville, spending long hours sitting in a sedentary position has been a major cause of neck problems for young adults diagnosed with this health issue. The increased neck problems reported during the last two years must be the result of watching TV for long hours, because two years ago the government of Tomensville had mandated that the chairs provided for workers using computers be ergonomically designed.

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

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

This is a causal argument.

The conclusion states that watching TV for long hours must be the reason for the increased neck problems reported during the last two years.

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can make the conclusion more believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage1. Note that linkage 1 links two facts in a causal relationship, leading to the conclusion.  Thus the way to strengthen the conclusion will be to support this linkage or causal relationship.

• Strengthener 1 – Watching TV for long hours requires a person to sit in a sedentary position.

Strengthener  2– It was found that the daily activities of most of the young people in Tomennsville who had day jobs that required extensive computer-work and who did not report neck  included limited TV viewing.

In the above strengthener, we show that when the cause was absent, the result was absent as well, thereby increasing belief in the causal relation.

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

A

Some companies in Tomensville still do not provide ergonomic chairs for their employees.

Incorrect - Opposite

If anything, this choice weakens the conclusion as it opens up the possibility that even though the government mandated the use of ergonomically designed chairs, the mandate hasn’t been carried out fully.

B

Tomensville has also been strongly encouraging TV watchers to exercise regularly.

Incorrect  -  Irrelevant

Encouraging TV watchers to exercise regularly doesn’t help us determine whether watching TV for long hours caused the increased neck problems reported during the last two years in Tomensville.

C

Last year Tomensville saw a hike in the number of people reporting neck problems during the season when most popular TV programs were off the air.

Incorrect - Opposite

This option  opens up the possibility that the neck problems were reported at a time when people could have been spending less than their usual time on watching TV.

D

Some people who do not watch TV at all also suffer from neck problems.

Incorrect - Opposite

If anything, this option weakens the argument by stating that watching TV is not the cause of neck problems in at least some cases as some people suffer from neck problem without watching TV.

A

During the holiday season in Tomensville, when many TV channels run mostly those programs that have popular viewer demand, there is a jump in the number of neck issues reported.

Correct

This choice indicates the likelihood of increased TV viewing as people are at home during the mentioned season. So the chances of the mentioned cause are high and the observed effect is also high.

QUESTION: 3

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) is rigorously working on eradicating the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) fungi that has damaged hemlock trees on the east coast of the country. In addition to other steps to eradicate the fungi, the EPA has conducted awareness sessions for hemlock growers on the extent of damage that HWA can cause and given the growers detailed instructions on how to identify and destroy the fungi.  Which of the following, if true, would provide the most support for the prediction that the EPA’s action will have its intended effect?

Solution:

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) is rigorously working on eradicating the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) fungi that has damaged hemlock trees on the east coast of the country. In addition to other steps to eradicate the fungi, the EPA has conducted awareness sessions for hemlock growers on the extent of damage that HWA can cause and given the growers detailed instructions on how to identify and destroy the fungi.

Which of the following, if true, would provide the most support for the prediction that the EPA’s action will have its intended effect?

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The passage doesn’t mention the conclusion; however, the question stem requires us to support the prediction that the EPA’s action will have its intended effect.

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can make the conclusion more believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage 1. Thus the way to strengthen the conclusion will be to support this linkage.

• Strengthener 1 – An option that shows that hemlock growers will be motivated to gett rid of the HWA. Unless the argument assumes so, there is no link between the EPA’s objective of eradicating the fungi and its efforts to educate the hemlock growers about the damage of the HWA and ways of identifying and destroying the same.

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

A

Some fungal infestations on pine trees closely resemble the HWA fungi.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Neither the choice nor the argument gives us any link between pine trees and hemlock growers whom the EPA has targeted in its actions.

B

Reports have shown that the HWA also affects another plant species known as the bleeding hearts, a species that is commercially cultivated by hemlock growers in the same area as hemlocks.

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per the Linkage. It provides a reason to believe that the HG will be motivated to get rid of HWA as it affects another species that is commercially grown by them, possibly affecting their income.

C

The eradication of HWA is likely to cause a serious imbalance in the ecosystem of the east coast area.

Incorrect - Opposite

A possible side effect of the eradication of the HWA in the mentioned area, if anything, works in the opposite direction.

D

Hemlock trees have also been considerably damaged by the fungus E. Coli, which is native to the east coast area and attacks trees through their roots.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option talks about another fungus E.Coli that can affect hemlock trees. We are concerned with the eradication of HWA fungi only. Therefore, the effect of any other fungus is irrelevant to the argument.

E

Some sub-species of hemlock trees can resist fungal infestations without human intervention.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

We already know from the argument that the hemlock trees under question are affected by the HWA fungi. Hence information about some sub-species that may not be affected by fungal infestations is irrelevant.

QUESTION: 4

To boost the sales of its insurance policies, the Geico insurance company has decided to run a promotion wherein the company will offer competitive pricing for car insurance if a new car owner signs a contract to stay with the same company for at least five years. Another condition of the offer will be that changing the insurance policy, which includes using the policy on a different vehicle, in the middle of the contract period will result in heavy fines that will be more than the money the customer would have saved by choosing this insurance in the first place.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the prediction that this promotion will have its intended effect?

Solution:

To boost the sales of its insurance policies, the Geico insurance company has decided to run a promotion wherein the company will offer competitive pricing for car insurance if a new car owner signs a contract to stay with the same company for at least five years. Another condition of the offer will be that changing the insurance policy, which includes using the policy on a different vehicle, in the middle of the contract period will result in heavy fines that will be more than the money the customer would have saved by choosing this insurance in the first place.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the prediction that this promotion will have its intended effect?

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

There is no stated conclusion by the author. However, the question stem asks us to supports the prediction that this promotion will be successful in increasing the sales of insurance policies. Under the promotion the company will offer competitive pricing for car insurance if the owner signs a contract to stay with the same company for at least five years

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can support the promotion’s chances of becoming a success.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage 1. Thus the way to strengthen the prediction will be to support this linkage by showing that the promotion will be successful in achieving its aim.

• Instance 1 – New car owners are not likely to replace their cars for five years (lock-in period).
• Instance 2  – Studies have shown that to recover the cost of buying a new car, most people tend to use it for at least 6 years before trading it for a new one.

In both the scenarios, new owners of cars would find the promotion attractive, thereby increasing the chances of increased sales for Geico.

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

A

The insurance company is just a start up and many people do not know this firm.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

There is no stated or implied link between customers’ familiarity with a company and their likelihood to buy products from it.

B

Most people will use a car for at least five years before they sell the car and obtain another one.

Correct

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

C

The previous promotional campaign run by the company achieved the desired goal.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The success of the company’s previous promotional campaign(s) doesn’t support that this promotional campaign will be successful too.

D

Geico is planning to spend a huge amount of money on this promotional campaign.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Neither the passage nor the choice makes any connection between the amount of money spent on a campaign and its chances of achieving success.

E

The market for car insurance has been at an all-time high during the past year.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Even if in the past the market has been conducive for the car insurance companies, it doesn’t increase our faith in this promotion that has some specific conditions attached to it.

QUESTION: 5

Although studies have found bamboo to be a better raw material than cement and mortar for use in the construction industry, as it is cheaper and more environment-friendly, most builders are concerned that home buyers will be resistant to the idea of houses built of bamboo. Nevertheless, experts predict that the use of bamboo in the construction industry will soon see a rapid increase.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the prediction outlined above?

Solution:

Although studies have found bamboo to be a better raw material than cement and mortar for use in the construction industry, as it is cheaper and more environment-friendly, most builders are concerned that home buyers will be resistant to the idea of houses built of bamboo. Nevertheless, experts predict that the use of bamboo in the construction industry will soon see a rapid increase.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the prediction outlined above?

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

There is no given conclusion by the author. However, the question-stem asks us to strengthen the prediction of the experts, which we’ll treat as the conclusion. The experts predict that the use of bamboo in the construction industry will increase rapidly despite the fact that bamboo’s potential has not been exploited by most builders even though it is a better raw material than cement and mortar.

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can make the conclusion more believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkages 1 and 2. Thus, the way to strengthen the conclusion will be to support linkage 1 or show evidence that breaks linkage 2, which does not go in favor of the experts’ prediction.

• Strengthener – An option that shows that home buyers stand to benefit from houses built of bamboo. In such a case, linkage 2 would be weakened, thereby, strengthening the experts’ prediction.
• Instance: When bamboo is used as a raw material for the house, it minimizes the expenditure on the maintenance of the house, a form expenditure that most home buyers are averse to.

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

A

Although it grows only in specific regions, bamboo is relatively easy to grow and does not require as much maintenance as other crops.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The ease of growing and maintaining bamboo gives us no information about its use in the construction industry. Thus, it provides no support to the conclusion.

B

Bamboo cannot be grown in coastal areas since salt water and humidity have been proven to have an adverse effect on the growth of the plant in such areas.

Incorrect  -  Irrelevant

This choice is similar to choice A. The fact that bamboo cannot be grown at certain areas doesn’t affect the experts’ prediction.

C

Many building materials sourced from natural resources can also be used to make items such as household furniture and farming implements.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The argument focuses on the use of bamboo only in the construction industry. Use of building materials for other purposes is not relevant to the argument.

D

According to recent studies, bamboo is much more resilient than it was previously believed to be, and houses made out of bamboo are expected to require much less maintenance than those made of more commonly used materials.

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our strengthener in the pre-thinking analysis. It highlights the advantages of houses made of bamboo over those made of other materials.

E

Environmental organizations have recently become much more vocal about the multiple ways in which the environment is being exploited.

Incorrect - Opposite

If the use of bamboo, a natural material, is also considered an exploitation of the environment, this option argues against the conclusion.

QUESTION: 6

Studies have shown that children with behavioral issues are more likely to commit the same kind of mistakes again when constantly asked not to repeat their past mistakes. An acclaimed study on child psychology hypothesizes  that since such children, on being repeatedly reminded of their mistakes, accept that people around them are “used to” a certain behavior from them, they lack the motivation to improve on their behavior, making it difficult for them to break free from the pattern.

Which of the following, if true, best supports the explanation given above for the behavioral pattern observed in such children?

Solution:

Studies have shown that children with behavioral issues are more likely to commit the same kind of mistakes again when constantly asked not to repeat their past mistakes. An acclaimed study on child psychology hypothesizes  that since such children, on being repeatedly reminded of their mistakes, accept that people around them are “used to” a certain behavior from them, they lack the motivation to improve on their behavior, making it difficult for them to break free from the pattern.

Which of the following, if true, best supports the explanation given above for the behavioral pattern observed in such children?

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The study proposes that CBI are more likely to commit the same kind of mistakes again when constantly asked not to repeat these mistakes. The explanation given behind the behavior is that on being constantly reminded of their past mistakes, the children accept that the people around them are used to a certain behavior from them and hence lack the motivation to improve on their behaviour. The question stem asks us to strengthen this explanation.

Pre-Thinking Approach

In order to strengthen the explanation discussed above,  we’ll examine the stated hypothesis closely.  Then we will understand the condition under which the hypothesis may not hold.  The underlying assumption then will be that this condition does not exist and a strengthener could support this assumption

Linkage#1Repeated reminding of mistakes leads CBI to accept that people around them are used to their making mistakes, and hence lack the motivation to improve on their behavior.

• Falsification Condition: What if   even when CBI aren’t reminded of their past mistakes, they aren’t motivated to improve and, hence,  keep repeating these mistakes?  If this were true, then the proposed hypothesis will not be valid. Accordingly a strengthener could provide evidence to show that when the cause is absent, the result is absent as well.
• Instance 1: Various guidance counsellors in schools agree that such children are more receptive to counselling when their past mistakes are not mentioned in counselling sessions.

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

A

The pattern of repeating mistakes is common to both children who do well in academics and those who don’t.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This comparison between children who do well in academic and those who don’t is irrelevant to the proposed hypothesis.

B

It was also found in the study that most such children came from dysfunctional families in which the inter-personal relations between the parents were unusually strained.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option is not relevant as the information about dysfunctional families doesn’t shed any light on whether the stated explanation  is valid.

C

Children with behavioral issues tend to find comfort in the company of similar children as they feel more accepted among such peers.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option talks about another behavior exhibited by CBI that doesn’t shed any light on whether the stated explanation for the pattern of making mistakes is valid.

D

The siblings of such children who do not have similar behavioral patterns sometimes end up making mistakes not very dissimilar to the ones made by children with behavioral issues.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Facts about a few mistakes made by the siblings  of CBI are irrelevant to determining the validity of the explanation proposed in the study, which deals with the psychology of CBI.

E

Therapy sessions for children with behavioral issues tend to be significantly more effective when their mistakes are not mentioned than when they are.

Correct

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

QUESTION: 7

During a recent excavation, fragments of a ceremonial urn dating back around 1500 years were discovered in a New Mexico canyon. Prior to this finding, it was believed that the Pueblo tribes who lived in the area around that time made their pottery by hand. However, further investigation revealed that the light brown clay used to create the urn, popularly known as ‘golden clay,’ could only have been fashioned into an urn with the use of a pottery wheel.

Which of the following, if true, would, together with the information above, provide the best basis for the conclusion that the fragments of the urn are evidence that the Pueblos used the pottery wheel?

Solution:
QUESTION: 8

The rapid technological progress has caused decline in the value of the unsold products at the end of year at Best Buy, a computer retails store.  The Operations Department has determined that this decline in value is caused primarily by the obsolescence of processors and memory chipsets.

The Operations Department has come up with multiple ideas to reduce Best Buy's loss due to unsold inventory.  Select the idea that you believe will minimize the loss at Best Buy.

Solution:

The rapid technological progress has caused decline in the value of the unsold products at the end of year at Best Buy, a computer retails store.  The Operations Department has determined that this decline in value is caused primarily by the obsolescence of processors and memory chipsets.

The Operations Department has come up with multiple ideas to reduce Best Buy's loss due to unsold inventory.  Select the idea that you believe will minimize the loss at Best Buy.

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

1. Assumptions:

• When a product gets obsolete, people do not prefer to purchase it.
• Plan will minimize the number of unsold obsolete parts

2. Strengtheners:

• Plan that minimizes the number of unsold obsolete parts at the end of the year will minimize the losses at Best Buy.

A

Best Buy will sell a select set of products at a discount in January every year.

This statement is not specific about selecting obsolete parts.  Moreover it talks about selling parts in January every year.  This will not address the losses that Best Buy experiences at the end of the year.

B

The Technology Team at Best Buy will constantly monitor parts obsolescence and notify the Operations Team accordingly.

The plan per this choice will keep the Operations Team abreast of the imminent problem but will not address the solution of the problem.

C

The OT (Operations Team) will periodically survey its inventory to determine how many products are obsolete and act accordingly.

This choice is also skirting the issue at hand.  The issue at hand is to come up with the plan to “act accordingly”.  This choice is simply collecting data supporting what the OT already knows – there are obsolete parts.

D

Before making product purchases, Best Buy will have a contract with the chip and memory manufacturers to receive upgrades free of charge for obsolete memory and processor chips for the unsold products in the inventory.

This choice states a plan that will help minimize the unsold obsolete inventory.  If the manufacturers provide upgrades for the unsold obsolete parts, then effectively, Best Buy will no longer have obsolete parts.

E

Before selling the products to customers, Best Buy will warn them of the pending obsolescence over the next few months.

The issue at hand is not the obsolescence of parts once the parts have been sold.  The issue is that the parts get obsolete while they sit in the inventory of Best Buy.

QUESTION: 9

An independent study comparing dispute resolution by the police forces in two countries, one in which the police officers are always armed and others in which police officers do not usually carry any fire-arms, found that the armed police force shot significantly more suspects than the unarmed one. The findings of the study clearly show that regular possession of a fire arm prompts police officers to disregard the use of less harmful alternatives such as tasers, CS spray etc.

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

Solution:

An independent study comparing dispute resolution by the police forces in two countries, one in which the police officers are always armed and others in which police officers do not usually carry any fire-arms, found that the armed police force shot significantly more suspects than the unarmed one. The findings of the study clearly show that regular possession of a fire arm prompts police officers to disregard the use of less harmful alternatives such as tasers, CS spray etc.

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

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s look at Linkage #1 and see what kind of information can strengthen the conclusion. Thus, the way to strengthen the conclusion will be to strengthen this linkage.

• Strengthener 1: Providing a reason to believe that the kind of cases compared between the two countries were similar in nature.
• Instance: There isn’t a significant difference in the proportion of armed suspects in the 2 countries.
• Strengthener 2: Since the author talks about absolute numbers, it is possible to rule out that the country in which more suspects are being shot does not have a significantly higher number of crimes and hence higher number of suspects. Otherwise, it is possible that even with more number of suspects shot, this country’s rate of shooting suspects could be lower or comparable to the other country’s. Hence, as a defender, the following information could strengthen the argument:
• Instance: The rate of suspects being shot in two countries is comparable.
• Strengthener 3:  No other factor led to the limited use of LHAs by the armed Police force. For instance, what if LHAs are significantly less easily available to the police force which is usually armed? It could go against the conclusion as then it is possible that the lack of availability and not the disregard prompts these police officers to use fire arms.
• Instance: Police forces in both countries can easily access the LHAs.

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

A

The unarmed police officers often undergo training programs related with sensitizing them towards people in general.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option does not provide us any basis to conclude anything about the armed police force. On the basis of this information, we cannot understand whether the armed police force goes through a similar training or not.

B

In the cases considered, the overall level of danger involved to the unarmed police officers was relatively lower than the overall level of danger involved in cases in which the armed police officers used their fire-arms.

Incorrect - Opposite

This option provides a possible alternate cause – higher level of danger present in case of PFAA – which could lead to the PF disregarding the use of LHA. This choice is opposite to our pre-thinking strengthener # 1.

C

In most of the cases studied, the use of the fire-arms was not initiated by the suspects being chased by the armed police.

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per Linkage #1, Strengthener 3. It basically rules out the possibility that the need of the situation was such that the police officers had to disregard LHAs and use fire arms.

D

In many countries, the police officers work in teams of two and more often than not, one of the officers always carries a fire-arm.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option isn’t relevant as the passage specifically compares countries where PF are always armed and countries where PF are not usually armed.

E

Studies show that in countries where the police forces are armed, the rate of death penalty is higher than in countries in which the police forces are unarmed.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This is not relevant as we don’t know how the rate of death penalty impacts the conclusion.

QUESTION: 10

Many marine organisms defend themselves from predators, using a dark ink-like pigment secreted from an inch-long sac attached to their epidermis. A fossil from the Jurassic period, dated at almost 155 million years old and discovered in the Wiltshire region, contains a perfectly-preserved ink-sac that was probably from a now-extinct species of squid, the Belemnotheutis Antiquus, whose exact origins had not been previously established. Therefore, this form of self-preservation in marine organisms is at least 155 million years old.

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

Solution:

Many marine organisms defend themselves from predators, using a dark ink-like pigment secreted from an inch-long sac attached to their epidermis. A fossil from the Jurassic period, dated at almost 155 million years old and discovered in the Wiltshire region, contains a perfectly-preserved ink-sac that was probably from a now-extinct species of squid, the Belemnotheutis Antiquus, whose exact origins had not been previously established. Therefore, this form of self-preservation in marine organisms is at least 155 million years old.

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

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The conclusion states that this form of self-preservation in marine organisms is at least 155 million years old.

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can make the conclusion more believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage1.. Thus the way to strengthen the conclusion will be to support this linkage.

The author draws a connection between the mentioned fossil and the date of the stated form of self-preservation in marine organisms on the basis of the link between the fossil and the Belemnotheutis Antiquus. Therefore, a possible way to strengthen the conclusion would be to strengthen this link.

• Strengthener 1 – Some additional evidence that suggests that the fossil from the Jurassic period, discovered in the Wiltshire region, was of the Belemnotheutis Antiquus species.

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

A

Ink-sacs in marine organisms have functions other than self-preservation.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Having functions other than self-preservation doesn’t tell us whether the mentioned form of self-preservation is at least 155 years old.

B

The Belemnotheutis Antiquus had physiological features that exist only as inactive organs in some present-day species of squid.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Information about other features in the present-day species of squid does not help us support that the mechanism is at least 155 million years old.

C

Marine organisms other than squids also have epidermal ink-sacs that the organisms use to ward off predators.

Incorrect - No new information

The fact that other marine organisms also have similar ink-sacs doesn’t tell us anything new; the passage already talks about “many” marine organisms using this technique.

D

Fossils found in the Wiltshire region have previously provided evidence that land-based organisms from the Jurassic period had epidermal organs with the function of self-preservation.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Forms of self-preservation in land-based organisms have no stated bearing on the argument that focuses on marine organisms.

E

Remains of a squid belonging to the Belemnotheutis Antiquus family were also found in the Wiltshire region and estimated to be from the Jurassic period.

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per Linkage #1, strengthener 1. The information provided in this choice increases our belief in the fact that the fossil mentioned in the passage could also be of a squid belonging to the Belemnotheutis Antiquus family.

QUESTION: 11

The agricultural market throughout the world is struggling with a significant reduction in the production of rice, and it is feared that demand will far outstrip supply in the coming months. However, Belvania’s export shipments of rice have increased from a total of \$21.2 million last quarter to \$27.6 million in this quarter. Clearly, Belvania’s production of rice has increased.

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

Solution:

The agricultural market throughout the world is struggling with a significant reduction in the production of rice, and it is feared that demand will far outstrip supply in the coming months. However, Belvania’s export shipments of rice have increased from a total of \$21.2 million last quarter to \$27.6 million in this quarter. Clearly, Belvania’s production of rice has increased.

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

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s look at Linkage #1 and see what kind of information can strengthen the conclusion.

Linkage#1Increase in BV’s rice exports from \$21.1 Mn to \$27.6 Mn

• Strengthener 1: What if the price of rice in the international market has increased significantly? In such a situation it could mean that the dollar increase in shipments is not due to higher quantity but due to higher price. Therefore, a possible strengthener could defend the argument against such a consideration.
• Instance: Price of rice in the export market hasn’t gone up significantly.
• Strengthener 2: What if the increase in there has been an increase in the amount of rice exported but this increase is not representative of any increase in the production of rice? Such a situation could arise if the internal demand in BV has gone down significantly. Therefore, a possible strengthener could defend the argument against such a situation.
• Instance:  BV’s domestic demand for rice hasn’t gone down significantly.

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

A

Some countries may be able to increase their production of rice by using innovative methods.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

We are not concerned with how to increase RP but whether RP has increased in BV.

B

Local demand for rice in Belvania has decreased by at least 15 percent during this quarter.

Incorrect - Opposite

This choice is opposite of our pre-thinking per Linkage #1, Strengthener 2.

C

Because of the shortage of rice, the cost of production of rice-products has also increased.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Relative proportion of international audience doesn’t help in evaluating the linkage based on the use of visual elements.

D

Increase in the demand for rice has not resulted in an increase in its selling price.

Correct

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

E

Belvania is the world’s largest exporter of rice.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This doesn’t tell us whether RP has increased in BV.

QUESTION: 12

Government spokesperson: To counter the malnutrition issues caused by insufficient iodine in people’s dietary intake, we plan to provide subsidies for salt manufacturers who opt to manufacture iodized salt, which will replace regular salt. Since many salt manufacturers have already signed up to produce iodized salt under the program, there will be a significant decline in health problems caused by the consumption of non-iodized salt in a few years.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the spokesperson’s conclusion?

Solution:

Government spokesperson: To counter the malnutrition issues caused by insufficient iodine in people’s dietary intake, we plan to provide subsidies for salt manufacturers who opt to manufacture iodized salt, which will replace regular salt. Since many salt manufacturers have already signed up to produce iodized salt under the program, there will be a significant decline in health problems caused by the consumption of non-iodized salt in a few years.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the spokesperson’s conclusion?

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

To strengthen the argument, we need to pre-think assumptions. The conclusion can be strengthened by supporting these assumptions.  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. Also note that as we focus on a particular linkage, we will keep the other linkage in mind as well.

• Falsification Condition:  What if, despite the subsidies, IS is priced at a significantly higher level than NIS, making it difficult for most NIS consuming people to afford it?
• Assumption : Iodized salt will be available at a comparable price, making it possible for a significant number of people consuming regular salt to switch to it.
• Strengthener:  What if it is not be able to replace NIS?  What if NIS has some other important nutrients that IS lacks? In such a case it’s possible that people would not want to substitute NIS with IS. A choice that defends the argument against such a situation would support the spokesperson’s prediction.
• Instance: Regular salt has no important health nutrients that are missing from iodized salt.

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

A

Some salt manufacturers are concerned that consumers will prefer regular salt to iodized salt.

Incorrect - Opposite

This choice raises a consideration against the consumption of IS.

B

Both freshwater and saltwater fish, which form a significant part of the staple diet of people in the country, are rich in iodine content.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The plan aims to counter the malnutrition issues caused by insufficient iodine in people’s dietary intake only by substituting regular salt with iodized salt.

C

Many physicians believe that direct iodine supplements are the only way to combat the iodine deficiency in the country.

Incorrect - Opposite

If anything, this choice weakens the argument by suggesting that substituting regular salt with iodized salt would not be successful in countering malnutrition issues caused by iodine deficiency.

D

Apart from iodine, other nutritional minerals that are essential for good health are found in equal amounts in regular salt as well as iodized salt.

Correct

This option is written along the lines of our pre-thought strengthener. It suggests that NIS can be substituted by IS without compromising on any important health nutrients and with an added advantage of iodine content. This fact increases our belief in the assumption that a significant number of NIS consuming people will consume IS.

E

Most companies are increasing the selling price of salt to compensate for the cost of the iodine added to the salt.

Incorrect - Opposite

If price is an important consideration for the consumers, they would be reluctant to replace regular salt with iodized salt. Thus if anything, this information weakens the plan.

QUESTION: 13

Using ratings of more than 15,000 undergraduate students for different introductory level courses, a recently published paper concludes that tenured professors don’t enhance student learning as much as non-tenured professors do. However, concluding that the tenure system (i.e. giving a professor a contractual right to keep the job for life) is counterproductive is clearly unwarranted since ___________________________________

Which of the following, if true, most logically completes the above argument?

Solution:

Using ratings of more than 15,000 undergraduate students for different introductory level courses, a recently published paper concludes that tenured professors don’t enhance student learning as much as non-tenured professors do. However, concluding that the tenure system (i.e. giving a professor a contractual right to keep the job for life) is counterproductive is clearly unwarranted since ___________________________________

Which of the following, if true, most logically completes the above argument?

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The author concludes that TS is not counterproductive i.e. working against the objective it wants to achieve. We can be fairly certain that the objective is to enhance student learning as the published paper makes a conclusion in this aspect (comparison of enhancement of student learning by TPs and NTPs) and tries to capture it using the ratings given by students.

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can increase the belief in the conclusion.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage 1 and the conclusion.  Note that linkage is based on the reasoning that is omitted from the argument. Thus, the way to strengthen the conclusion will be to support this linkage based on the missing reasoning.

• Strengthener – TS is working toward enhancing student learning. Any statement which provides evidence in this regard would act as a strengthener.

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

A

the chief objective of the tenure system is to produce better quality teachers.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option tells us that producing better quality teachers is the main aim of the TS. However, it doesn’t tell us whether TS is able to achieve its aim. If the TS is not able to achieve its aim, it may be counterproductive.

B

tenured professors produce a significant amount of good quality research every year.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This statement talks about  TPs contribution in good quality research every year. However, there is no link in the argument between quality research and the enhancement in students’ learning.

C

even though tenured professors are generally paid more than non-tenured professors, tenured professors also work for more hours every week.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This statement compares the salary and working hours of TPs and NTPs. But as we don’t know the impact of working hours on students’ learning, this option doesn’t strengthen the argument.

D

non-tenured professors put in their best efforts in teaching in order to get tenured.

Correct

This option is written along the lines of our pre-thinking linkage. The fact that TS is acting as a motivator and encouraging NTPs shows that the TS is achieving its objective of enhancing student learning.

E

not all tenured professors got a lower rating than their non-tenured counterparts.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The fact that not everyone from TPs got equal or better rating than NTPs doesn’t help the author’s argument. Also, the author’s already factored in the ratings to raise his/her consideration. Hence, this fact about not all or atleast 1 TP doesn’t help the author draw the given conclusion.

QUESTION: 14

Oil Company Spokesperson: Although wind, solar, biofuels and nuclear sources all compete with fossil fuels as primary sources of energy, their contribution to the world’s total energy demand is limited because they are more expensive than fossil fuels and in the case of nuclear, limited by waste and disposal concerns. While we recognize the risks of climate change, we also conclude that the world will continue to demand fossil fuels for a majority of its primary energy supplies for many decades to come.

Which of the following statements, if true, would most strengthen the conclusion of the Spokesperson?

Solution:

Oil Company Spokesperson: Although wind, solar, biofuels and nuclear sources all compete with fossil fuels as primary sources of energy, their contribution to the world’s total energy demand is limited because they are more expensive than fossil fuels and in the case of nuclear, limited by waste and disposal concerns. While we recognize the risks of climate change, we also conclude that the world will continue to demand fossil fuels for a majority of its primary energy supplies for many decades to come.

Which of the following statements, if true, would most strengthen the conclusion of the Spokesperson?

Solution

A

The risks of climate change will not force the governments across the world to levy heavy penalties on the use of fossil fuels.

This option is correct.

Eliminates scenario in which conclusion breaks down.

Also an assumption

B

The costs of disposing nuclear waste have not declined significantly in the last year.

This option is incorrect.

Does not address waste and disposal concerns.

C

In the last year, the combined contribution of wind, solar, biofuels and nuclear sources to the total energy requirement in the world was less than that of the fossil fuels.

This option is incorrect.

Expected given information in the passage.

Also, only talks about past, not future.

D

Many high ranking government officials are shareholders in the oil marketing companies.

This option is incorrect.

Irrelevant

E

World’s total energy requirements are going to increase slowly but steadily over the next few decades.

This option is incorrect.

Without information on growth of fossil fuels and other sources of energy, this option does not affect the argument

QUESTION: 15

Ferguson’s Disease, a disorder in redwood trees that is marked by a nutrient deficiency, is caused primarily by infestations of the fungus E. Coli but can also be a result of the use of fertilizers, which contain synthetic insecticides. Therefore, fertilizers should only be used on redwood trees when the soil surrounding them is proved to be rich in nutrients.

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

Solution:

Ferguson’s Disease, a disorder in redwood trees that is marked by a nutrient deficiency, is caused primarily by infestations of the fungus E. Coli but can also be a result of the use of fertilizers, which contain synthetic insecticides. Therefore, fertilizers should only be used on redwood trees when the soil surrounding them is proved to be rich in nutrients.

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

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The author concludes that fertilizers should only be used on redwood trees when the soil surrounding them is proved to be rich in nutrients. This means that, in all other cases where the soil surrounding redwood trees is not proved to be rich in nutrients, fertilizers should not be used.

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can increase the belief in the conclusion.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage 1 and the conclusion.  Now, we need to understand why the author’s recommending the use of fertilizers only in this case. The author states that the disease is marked by a nutrient deficiency that can be caused by certain fertilizers. So, essentially, the author wants to assure that the nutrient deficiency causing effect of such fertilizers be cancelled by the availability of nutrients in the soil so that FD is not caused. Thus, the way to strengthen the conclusion will be to support this aspect.

• Strengthener 1 – Any evidence that shows that fertilizer usage causes Ferguson’s Disease in only those redwood trees that are not surrounded by nutrient-rich soil.
• Instance:  A recent study covering 100 redwood trees showed that fertilizer usage caused Ferguson’s Disease in 20 trees out of which none was surrounded by nutrient-rich soil.
• Strengthener 2 – What if there was some other source for RT to derive nutrients? In such a case, the author’s argument would be weakened as now even if the soil is not nutrient rich, the deficiency causing effect of such fertilizers could be countered by some other source. Hence, a statement defending the argument against such a scenario would also be a strengthener.
• Instance: Redwood trees cannot derive nutrients from sources other than the surrounding soil.

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

A

E. Coli causes trunk and branch decay that can cause redwood trees to collapse when unsuspecting climbers attempt to climb infected trees.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The conclusion focuses only on the use of fertilizers. Therefore, the effect of E. Coli is not relevant.

B

Fertilizers themselves are often a significant source of nutrients.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Even if that’s the case, we are already told in the argument that in the case of RT fertilizers can lead to FD.

C

There is no way for redwood trees to gain nutrients except through osmosis via the soil.

Correct

This option is on the same lines as the example we came up for strengthener 2 in the pre-thinking analysis.

D

The effects of synthetic insecticides are sometimes indistinguishable from the effects of E. Coli.

Incorrect - Opposite

If anything, this choice indicates that in some cases the real cause of FD in RT may not be fertilizers.

E

Synthetic ingredients in fertilizers also impact the overall productivity and growth of trees.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

First of all we do not know the implications of the word “impact” in this choice – does it mean a positive or a negative impact? Secondly, even if we take the negative meaning, the argument focuses only on avoiding FD in RT by limiting the use of fertilizers. It does not wish to make a case against the general use of fertilizers in trees.

QUESTION: 16

Many stage actors follow a form of method-acting in which the emphasis is on understanding the psychology of the characters being played and keeping in mind how the characters would have reacted in various situations being enacted. In their pre-rehearsal stage, they go to extremes such as living in situations similar to their hypothetical characters’. Therefore, it is highly likely that such actors are very consistent in their initial performance in rehearsals and their final on-stage performance.

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

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can make the conclusion more believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage 1, and try to come up with assumptions. The strengthener could be based around these assumptions. Accordingly, the first step in the process is to think of a falsifying situation in which the conclusion doesn’t hold. The assumption then will be that this condition does not exist.

Falsifying condition: Any reason that shows that there can be a significant inconsistency between the initial rehearsal performance and final on-stage performance of actors following method acting.

• Instance: As rehearsals progress, some factor influences the performances, leading to a significant difference between the initial and final performance.
• Assumption: No factor influences a significant change in performance between the first rehearsal and final on-stage performances.
• Strengthener: The actors do not get significantly better in their performances as they progress in their rehearsals.

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

A

For an actor, the repetition of a performance in rehearsals adds little to the understanding of the character being played.

Correct

This choice is on the same lines as our pre-thinking analysis. It states that the actor’s understanding of the characters does not change with repeat rehearsals and hence furthers our belief in the conclusion.

B

There are some props that are available to actors only on the final day of the show.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

We do not know how these props affect the performance of the actor.

C

Many famous and highly paid actors are from acting schools that specialize in teaching method-acting.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The actors in method acting are not important. The difference in the performance is the focus of the discussion.

D

It is very likely for a method-actor playing the role of a beggar to actually dress up and wear torn and soiled clothes throughout the preparation stage to understand the psychology of the character.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

How the actors get in to character is not the main focus of the argument. The consistency in performance is the main question here.

E

These days many film actors prefer to do multiple rehearsals with their co-actors to fully understand the character they are portraying.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This statement does not talk about method acting or stage actors.

QUESTION: 17

Manager: A new machine that can bring down our operational costs by 20% has recently been launched in the market. Even though it costs much more to train a person to use this machine than the existing machines, and replacing the machines would lead to some loss in production since employees would be involved in training, the company should switch to the new machines because the savings over a year would more than compensate for the additional training costs for existing employees and the costs because of loss of production.

Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the manager’s position?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The author concludes that the company should switch to the new machines because the savings from their use would be more than the additional training costs for existing employees and the cost borne due to the mentioned loss in production.

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can make the conclusion more believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage1. Thus the way to strengthen the conclusion will be to support this linkage by providing a new piece of information that strengthens our belief in the same.

Linkage#1 – …the savings over a year would more than compensate for the additional training costs for existing employees and the costs because of loss of production.

• Strengthener –An option that supports that no other factor would increase the estimated costs of training and cost due to loss in production would defend the manager’s suggestion, strengthening it further.

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

A

The employee turnover rate in the company is almost negligible.

Correct

This option is written along the lines of our pre-thinking linkage. It states that the attrition rate at this company is low.  Thus, there wouldn’t be frequent replacements of existing employees, which could have increased the training costs. So this fact strengthens our belief in the manager’s position that the costs wouldn’t outweigh the savings.

B

Few existing employees would have some apprehensions in switching to the new machines.

Incorrect  -  Irrelevant

The apprehension of employees has no direct connection with the conclusion, which deals with the economic soundness of the switch.

C

The company can suffer production loss for over a month without reneging on its customer commitments.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This statement says that the company won’t dishonor its customer commitments due to production losses. The ability to honor customer commitments doesn’t have any relation to the cost or savings aspect of switching to the new machines.

D

There is no other machine in the market that can cut operational costs for the company by more than 20%.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

It tells us that there is no other machine in the market that cut the operational costs by more than 20%.  However, information about other machines is not relevant to the switch from EMs to NM.

E

The quality of the products produced by the new machine will not be higher than the quality of the products produced by the existing machines.

Incorrect- Insufficient information

This statement suggests that the quality of the products produced by the NM will be either of the same quality or of a lower quality than the ones produced by the EM. If quality of the product is a fact under consideration, then the choice does not give us sufficient information to evaluate what impact this information has on the economic viability of the plan.

QUESTION: 18

A manuscript of a novel titled The Stanhopes was recently discovered in an eighteenth-century English manor. An expert asked to assess the claim that the manuscript was written by Jane Austen has verified the claim, stating as evidence the fact that the manuscript is written in the form of hand-made booklets that exactly match the type used by Austen to write several of her manuscripts.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the expert’s assessment of the claim?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The question stem asks us to support the expert’s assessment of the claim. The claim is that the manuscript was written by Jane Austen and the expert agrees with this claim.

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can make the conclusion more believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage1. Note that linkage 1 is based on the fact that the recently discovered manuscript is written in the form of hand-made booklets that exactly match the type used by Austen to write several of her manuscripts.  However, what if some other writer from Jane Austen’s time used the same kind of tiny booklets to write manuscripts? Wouldn’t our belief in the assessment given by the expert decrease then? Therefore, by ruling out this possibility, we can strengthen the stated linkage and hence the expert’s assessment.

• Strengthener  –There is no other writer from Jane Austen’s period who is known to have used the hand-made booklets similar to the type used by her.

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

A

The expert has made several other accurate assessments over the course of an acclaimed career.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Other accurate assessments do not support that this assessment is also correct.

B

No other writer from Austen’s time is known to have used handcrafted booklets to write manuscripts.

Correct

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

C

The novel is likely to reach the top of the bestseller list as soon as the claim is verified and the book is published.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The novel’s likelihood of becoming a bestseller doesn’t help us determine whether it was written by Jane Austen.

D

Fiction was the most popular form of literature in the eighteenth century.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The given fact is irrelevant to the assessment made by the expert that deals with the authorship of the found manuscript.

E

Jane Austen has a reputation for having been a reclusive writer who rarely left her home.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Jane Austen’s reputation as a reclusive writer is irrelevant to determining the author of the discovered manuscript.

QUESTION: 19

Evaluating students by assigning individual ranks or percentiles instead of grading them into categories is followed by some schools. Such a system enables schools to help students realize their exact grade point and compete better.

For a school, any of the following is a reason for evaluating students by providing individual rankings EXCEPT:

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

1. Assumptions:

• Students are motivated to get a higher percentile.
• Students care about the individual ranks and do not consider these ranks as mere numbers

2. Strengtheners

• Evidence supporting the assumptions.

A

Many schools are opting for individual rankings nowadays.

This statement does not provide a reason for evaluating students by providing individual rankings.  It simply states that many schools are evaluating students in this manner.

B

Students can set small goals in moving up a couple of ranks instead of wide range grades.

This choice presents a good reasoning for why the individual ranking method should be implemented.

C

Parents prefer schools that provide individual rankings more than schools that provide grades.

Because parents prefer schools that use this method, this choice presents a good reasoning for why schools should use individual ranking method.

D

Recent surveys show that the stress level of students evaluated by providing individual ranking is less than stress levels of students who are provided grades.

This choice presents a good reasoning for why the individual ranking method should be implemented.

E

Individual ranking provides a healthy competitive environment for students that foster better learning.

This choice presents a good reasoning for why the individual ranking method should be implemented.

QUESTION: 20

Until last year, most applicants for the Ivy Arts Scholarship were graduates of the Finesse Talent School. However, last year, due to a decrease in the number of enrolments in the school the year before, Finesse was not able to provide its usual number of applicants for the scholarship. This year, after the aggressive promotional campaign launched by the school, the number of enrolments in the school is expected to go up significantly. Therefore, it is quite likely that Finesse graduates will again be able to dominate the scholarship applications next year.

Which of the following, if true, provides the best reason to believe in the prediction made above?

Solution:

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can increase the belief in the prediction.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage1 and the conclusion.

When we look at the logical structure, we see that the passage presents a likelihood that enrollments at Finesse School will go up this year. This possibility in turn forms a premise for the prediction that the school shall likely dominate the Ivy Arts Scholarship applications next year. We need to strengthen this linkage by making it more believable.

Strengthener 1– The profile of students enrolled in Finesse School this year will not be significantly different from the profile of students that generally apply for Ivy Arts Scholarship.

• For example, the promotional campaign has generated interest from a lot of potential students of Finesse School whose profiles are similar to those of the students who apply for Ivy Art Scholarship.

Strengthener 2 – Some external factor that may add to the chances of Finesse’s attracting more enrollments this year.

• For example, the biggest competitor of the Finesse Talent School has aggressive plans to enhance its campus and therefore will be shutting down for this academic year.

With this understanding, let us evaluate the option statements.

A

This year, the applicants to the school are mostly women who have a background in performing arts.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Neither the choice nor the passage makes any link between students with background in performing arts and applicants for the Ivy Arts Scholarship. For example, it is not known whether the background is suitable for applying for the scholarship or even that the students of this particular profile are interested in applying for the scholarship.

B

The management of the school has introduced some radical changes in the curriculum through which it hopes to cater to the specific needs of students who enroll for short courses such as story-writing and documentary filmmaking.

Incorrect -  Irrelevant

The option does not tell us whether the students of these courses are eligible to apply for Ivy Arts Scholarship.

C

The year before last, Finesse faced stiff competition from Poise Finishing School, which lost its education license earlier this year.

Correct

The option statement says that Finesse’s competition (a factor) will go down and matches Strengthener 2 in our pre-thinking analysis. This fact increases the chances of more enrollments for Finesse School and hence increases our belief in the conclusion.

D

The Ivy Arts Scholarship Board has relaxed its rules and is now inviting entries from high school students graduating this year.

Incorrect - Opposite

If anything, this option could be taken to suggest that there are more chances of other applications from other institutes now, hurting the chances of Finesse’s graduates dominating the scholarship applications next year.

E

To enroll in any of the courses offered by Finesse, an individual has to have at least five years of experience in that field.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option does not give us any information to establish whether such students are more likely to apply for the scholarship.

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