Test: Weaken


20 Questions MCQ Test Verbal for GMAT | Test: Weaken


Description
This mock test of Test: Weaken for GMAT helps you for every GMAT entrance exam. This contains 20 Multiple Choice Questions for GMAT Test: Weaken (mcq) to study with solutions a complete question bank. The solved questions answers in this Test: Weaken quiz give you a good mix of easy questions and tough questions. GMAT students definitely take this Test: Weaken exercise for a better result in the exam. You can find other Test: Weaken extra questions, long questions & short questions for GMAT on EduRev as well by searching above.
QUESTION: 1

Hopland, one of the world’s major producers of rose plants, exported about five tons of roses last year. In the year prior to last year, Hopland exported just 2.75 tons of roses. Therefore, it can be concluded that the demand for roses is on an upward trend and should be expected to keep increasing in the future.

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

Solution:

Hopland, one of the world’s major producers of rose plants, exported about five tons of roses last year. In the year prior to last year, Hopland exported just 2.75 tons of roses. Therefore, it can be concluded that the demand for roses is on an upward trend and should be expected to keep increasing in the future.

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

Argument Analysis

 

 

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The author concludes that the overall demand for roses is increasing and goes on to predict that it will continue to increase in the future.

Pre-Thinking Approach

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

Linkage#1 –The quantity of roses exported last year increased significantly to 5 tons from 2.75 tons, the quantity exported the year before. It’s on the basis of this increase that the author draws a conclusion about the overall demand for roses.

  • Weakener 1 – What if the significant increase in roses exported last year is not because of an overall increase in demand for roses?
    • Instance 1: This year because of an internal economic crisis the flower industry of Fleurland, a chief exporter of rose, suffered huge losses and could not compete in the international market.

In the above scenario, it is quite possible that even without any increase in the overall demand for roses, Hopland exported significantly more quantity of rose this year as it benefitted from Fleurland’s loss.

  • Weakener 2 – What if there was an increase in the demand for roses but it was only a one-time event? Surely then, the author cannot conclude that the demand is increasing and will continue to do so.
    • Instance 2: Last year, a significant proportion of the roses exported by Hopland were imported by Etreland for the coronation of their prince.

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

Answer Choices

A

The demand in the international market for tulips produced in Hopland has not increased in the last two years.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The argument deals with roses and not tulips. The trend in the demand for tulips produced in Hopland is irrelevant in determining the trend in the overall demand for roses.

B

No new export markets have opened up in the last few years for the export of Hopland roses.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Even if the information given in choice B is true, it does not change the fact that Hopland exported a significantly higher quantity of rose last year, a fact on which the author’s reasoning is based.

C

It is generally very difficult to predict the actual demand of roses in the international market in a given year.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The author makes no estimates about the actual demand for roses. The conclusion is about a trend in the demand for roses.

D

For the first time in nearly a decade, Roseland, the largest exporter of roses in the international market, suffered an unexpected infestation on its rose plantations last year.

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per the Linkage weakener 1. This choice introduces the possibility that Hopland benefitted from Roseland’s loss.

E

In a recently published paper on the cosmetic benefits of flowers, scientists have claimed that jasmine flowers have significantly more cosmetic benefits than roses.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Neither the answer choice nor the passage relates the reported cosmetic benefits of a species of flower and its demand in the international market.

QUESTION: 2

The most important concern in the minds of social media users is the protection of their privacy. Accordingly, as per the privacy policy released to customers, most social media companies use the latest 256-bit encryption techniques to transmit and store user data. However, recent tests done by several security companies show that 128-bit encryption is sufficient for all practical purposes.  Hence, if data security is the only objective, then by switching to the older and cheaper 128-bit encryption, media companies can increase their overall profits without compromising on the security of user data. 

Which of the following, if true, argues against the suggested change in the encryption techniques?

Solution:

The most important concern in the minds of social media users is the protection of their privacy. Accordingly, as per the privacy policy released to customers, most social media companies use the latest 256-bit encryption techniques to transmit and store user data. However, recent tests done by several security companies show that 128-bit encryption is sufficient for all practical purposes.  Hence, if data security is the only objective, then by switching to the older and cheaper 128-bit encryption, media companies can increase their overall profits without compromising on the security of user data. 

Which of the following, if true, argues against the suggested change in the encryption techniques?

Argument Analysis

 

Argument Analysis

Conclusion Clarification

The author concludesthat if data security is the only objective, then by switching to the older and cheaper 128-bit encryption, media companies can increase their overall profits without compromising on the security of users’ data.

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can make the conclusion less believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage 1 and the conclusion.  Thus the way to weaken the conclusion will be to break or weaken this linkage i.e. find a new piece of information that suggests that MC may not be able to increase their profits by switching to 128 bit ET.

Linkage#1 – (ref. logical structure)

  • Weakener – A monetary consideration that disfavors the switch from the 256-bit to the 128-bit ET.  In such a case, the conclusion will be weakened.
    • Instance 1: What if majority of the SMUs consider a switch from latest technology (256 bit ET) to older technology (128 bit ET), a drop in quality of data security? If this were to be true, such a switch could lead to a loss in number of users, leading to a decline in overall profits.  

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

Answer Choices

A

Surveys have shown that customers are also concerned about whether paid accounts at social media websites offer better features than do free accounts.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The argument focuses only on the users’ concern regarding protection of their privacy. Other concerns are irrelevant to the argument.

B

Most smartphones and tablets still use 128-bit encryption techniques and do not support the 256-bit versions.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Neither the option nor the passage makes any link between the compatibility of the ETs used by smartphone and those used by SMUs.

C

Although the companies will realize net cost benefits by switching to the 128-bit encryption technique, the companies will have to bear the initial cost of installing the new technique.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option is about the initial cost of installing the new technique. As such this cost must have already been factored in the net cost benefit, and so this choice doesn’t argue against the suggested change in encryption.

D

Most consumers do not read the privacy policy of the social media network they are active on.

Incorrect - Opposite

At best this option argues in favor of changing the encryption technique as now the chances of potential objections from consumers are probably fewer.

E

Customer surveys indicate that most users would switch their social networks in case of any perceived downgrade of security features.

Correct

This option is written along the lines of our pre-thinking weakener instance1.  It suggests that there are chances that most consumers may not appreciate the suggested change and hence the media companies may lose their customers, resulting in a decline in their overall profits.

QUESTION: 3

Because the municipal commission of City X expects a severe shortage of electrical power in the coming months, it has increased the rate at which it charges for the usage of electricity in the hope that people will decrease their usage. In the six weeks since this plan was implemented, one of the city’s prominent suppliers of electricity has reported that its customers are now using over 10 percent less power than they were before the price was raised. Clearly, the commission’s plan is working.

Which of the following, if true, supports the conclusion that the municipal commission’s plan is not the reason for the decrease in usage mentioned above?

Solution:

Because the municipal commission of City X expects a severe shortage of electrical power in the coming months, it has increased the rate at which it charges for the usage of electricity in the hope that people will decrease their usage. In the six weeks since this plan was implemented, one of the city’s prominent suppliers of electricity has reported that its customers are now using over 10 percent less power than they were before the price was raised. Clearly, the commission’s plan is working.

Which of the following, if true, supports the conclusion that the municipal commission’s plan is not the reason for the decrease in usage mentioned above?

Argument Analysis

 

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The question stem asks us to provide a statement that supports the conclusion that the municipal corporation’s plan is not the reason for the decrease in electricity usage. In other words, we have to identify a statement that weakens the conclusion that the municipal corporation’s plan is the reason for the decrease in electricity usage.

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can make the conclusion less believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage 1. We see that the conclusion is drawn regarding the cause of the reported decline in EP. Hence, to weaken the conclusion, we can show an alternate cause that could have been responsible for the decline.

Linkage#1

  • Weakener 1 – What if in those six weeks the weather has changed for the better and less air cooling/heating is required?
    • Instance: City X transitioned from summer to autumn, a season in which the climatic conditions favour limited use of electrical items such as air-conditioners.
  • Weakener 2 – What if customers are sourcing their EP from more than one supplier? In such a case the reported decline does not necessarily signify a decline in usage; it could instead mean that these people are sourcing more energy from some other source.
  • Weakener 3 – What if there were lots of holidays during these 6 weeks and several customers went out of the city? This would result in lower EP usage.

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

Answer Choices

A

Electricity supply in hospitals, train stations and other public service areas is provided free of charge by the city.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option doesn’t affect the conclusion in any way since the public spaces receiving free EP wouldn’t be affected by the MC’s plan that affects people paying for it.

B

The population of City X is among the lowest in the urban regions of the country.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This factor is constant for both the situations-situation before the plan was implemented and during the plan. Hence, it cannot account for an alternate explanation for the decrease in the EP.

C

Many industrial corporations that use extensive amounts of electrical power are soon going to open regional offices in City X.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option is not relevant as it talks about a future event whereas the conclusion is about the past.

D

Citizens of City X have increasingly been choosing the option of sourcing their electrical power from more than one supplier.

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking as per Weakener 2.

E

Per capita spending on electricity is no higher in City X than in other cities in the country.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The comparison between per capita spending on E in X and other cities is not relevant to the conclusion. The conclusion is only about E usage in X.

QUESTION: 4

Earlier, any trade relation between the ancient kingdoms of Sphylgor and Gorphyl was ruled out because of the inhospitable desert between them. The desert would have made it impossible for them to regularly travel such long distances at a time when the Syphlgorians were not aware of the use of the wheel. However, the discovery of large numbers of Sphylgorian coins in Gorphyl has prompted archeologists to conclude otherwise.

Which of the following, if true, weakens the archaeologists’ conclusion?

Solution:

Earlier, any trade relation between the ancient kingdoms of Sphylgor and Gorphyl was ruled out because of the inhospitable desert between them. The desert would have made it impossible for them to regularly travel such long distances at a time when the Syphlgorians were not aware of the use of the wheel. However, the discovery of large numbers of Sphylgorian coins in Gorphyl has prompted archeologists to conclude otherwise.

Which of the following, if true, weakens the archaeologists’ conclusion?

Argument Analysis

 

 

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The question stem says “Which of the following, if true, weakens the archaeologists’ conclusion?”. To understand their conclusion, let’s review the last statement – “However, the discovery of large numbers of Sphylgorian coins in Gorphyl has prompted archeologists to conclude otherwise”. Here, “otherwise” has been used to indicate an opinion that is opposite to the belief that no trade relation existed between Sphyglor and Gorphyl. Therefore, the archaeologists’ conclusion is that trade relation existed between Sphyglor and Gorphyl. Our objective is to weaken this conclusion.

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can make the conclusion less believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on the linkage 1 and the conclusion. 

Linkage#1

Treating the discovery of a large number of Sphyglorian coins in Gorphyl as evidence, the archaeologists have concluded that trade relations existed between the two kingdoms.

This conclusion can be weakened if we can make the logic less believable. The same can be done by:

  • Weakener: showing the possibility that an alternate cause may have been responsible for the existence of large number of Sphyglorian coins in Gorphyl
    • Instance: The coins were gifted by Sphyglorian ruler to Gorphyl after a huge inter-kingdom annual celebration at Gorphyl.

With this understanding lets evaluate the option statements.

Answer Choices

A

Sphylgorian and Gorphylians coins were so similar in appearance that it would take an expert archeologist to differentiate between the two.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The passage already tells us that the coins were Sphylgorian. Therefore, the information provided in this choice is not relevant.

B

Sometimes the local Gorphylians engaged in the barter system and as such exchanged goods among themselves for commercial purposes.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This statement talks about trade within the kingdom of Gorphyl and has nothing to do with explaining the presence of coins from another kingdom in Gorphyl.

C

It has been asserted that the Syphylgorians were part of a very secretive society and would not have easily given out any of their trade secrets.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Sharing of trade secrets is not relevant here as long as trade existed between the two kingdoms.

D

At the time of solemnizing marriages, royal families of different kingdoms would exchange local artifacts, garments, currency etc. in remarkable quantities.

Correct

This options talks about the possibility of exchange of a large amount of currency between the two kingdoms during marriages. It provides an alternate cause that could explain the presence of Sphylgorian coins in Gorphyl even if trade was absent.

E

No precedence exists in history where there were amiable relations between two kingdoms that did not engage in any trade relations.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The argument is concerned not with the existence of amiable relations between the two kingdoms but with the existence of trade relation between them.

QUESTION: 5

A recent study by Dealson on the shopping habits of Ringlandians revealed that word-of-mouth is a key source of awareness for almost 38% of Ringlandian shoppers.  The study also revealed that one in every three shoppers in Ringland goes online to the company website before making a purchase. As word-of-mouth recommendations can’t be directly influenced by companies, currently it makes sense for them to focus solely on increasing their online presence in order to create maximum awareness of their products.

Which of the following statements, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

Solution:

A recent study by Dealson on the shopping habits of Ringlandians revealed that word-of-mouth is a key source of awareness for almost 38% of Ringlandian shoppers.  The study also revealed that one in every three shoppers in Ringland goes online to the company website before making a purchase. As word-of-mouth recommendations can’t be directly influenced by companies, currently it makes sense for them to focus solely on increasing their online presence in order to create maximum awareness of their products.

Which of the following statements, if true, most seriously weakens the argument?

Argument Analysis

 

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The conclusion stated in the argument is “currently it makes sense for them (companies) to focus solely on increasing their online presence in order to create maximum awareness of their products.”

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can make the conclusion less believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage 1 and the conclusion.  Note that linkage 1 links few facts that the author uses to base his/her recommendation (conclusion) on.   Since the recommendation says that companies should ONLY focus on online presence, the way to falsify the conclusion will be to show that companies shouldn't focus only on online presence i.e. they should use other means as well to create maximum awareness.

Linkage#1

Weakener: What if there is some other factor that too can substantially create product awareness? Since the objective is to “create maximum awareness”, leaving out an important means to create awareness would weaken the argument.

  • Instance: Banner Advertisements have been found to be a key source of product awareness for around 23% of Ringlandian shoppers.

Weakener 2: What if OS do not create significant product awareness even though 1/3rd Ringlandian shoppers go online before making a purchase? We see that this weakens the argument.

  • Instance: Most Ringlandian shoppers who use OS to fetch product information do so only to validate their almost finalized purchasing decision. (product awareness created by some other means, OS used only for validation)

With this understanding lets evaluate the option statements.

Answer Choices

A

Social media consumers are very few in Ringland as the country has had a ban on various networking sites for the past five years.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The recommendation is based on the fact that 1/3rd of the shoppers in Ringland go online before making a purchase. Therefore, the existing scarcity of social media consumers has no impact on the conclusion.

B

A significant proportion of people went online to gather information about the products after receiving recommendations about those products from friends and family.

Correct

This option tells us that OS do notcreate product awareness for a significant proportion of people who go online before making a purchase. This option matches the 2nd weakener in our pre-thinking analysis.

C

A significant number of people don’t have access to the internet in Ringland.

Incorrect - Irrelevant 

Like choice A, this choice too is irrelevant for the same reason.

D

Not all companies need awareness among the kind of shoppers studied; some companies make products that are utilized by other businesses as raw material.

Incorrect - Irrelevant 

The recommendation is only for those companies that intend to create product awareness.

E

Several business-solution firms are working on a more efficient way to influence word-of-mouth recommendations.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option talks about future options that are not relevant to the current scenario since the conclusion starts with “currently it makes sense for them (companies)”.

QUESTION: 6

Economist: To increase exports, the government of Targania has planned to reduce the price at which it exports timber and has, therefore, reduced the price at which it buys timber from local manufacturers. Even though sales will increase, the plan, because of the lower profit margins, will lead to a decline in profits for timber manufacturers, forcing some of them into losses. Therefore, in the interest of the local manufacturers, the government should shelve the plan to increase the exports.

Which of the following, if true, casts the most doubt on the economist’s recommendation?

Solution:
QUESTION: 7

CEO of a newspaper company: In the last six months, we have faced a 20% increase in the delay of newspaper delivery. This issue will be resolved if we ensure that all our papers are packed and ready to be delivered by 3 a.m. every day.

Which of the following, if true, casts the most doubt on the effectiveness of the solution proposed by the CEO?

Solution:

CEO of a newspaper company: In the last six months, we have faced a 20% increase in the delay of newspaper delivery. This issue will be resolved if we ensure that all our papers are packed and ready to be delivered by 3 a.m. every day.

Which of the following, if true, casts the most doubt on the effectiveness of the solution proposed by the CEO?

Argument Analysis

 

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can make the conclusion less believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage 1.

Linkage#1Papers are packed and in delivery-ready state by 3 am every day.

  • Weakener – What if this doesn’t solve the problem? What if there is another factor,  say a weak supply chain, which is causing the delay and not the readiness of newspapers early in the morning? If that’s the case, then the CEO’s plan will be significantly weakened as the CEO’s plan will not have addressed the real issue behind the delay.

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

Answer Choices

A

Most branches of the newspaper deliver their papers well before the recipients wake up every morning.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Even if most of the branches deliver their papers well before the recipients wake up, the passage clearly states the issue of 20% increase in the newspaper delays. It is this issue that the CEO plans to address.  Therefore, the information given in this choice does not help us weaken the CEO’s plan.

B

Some of the company’s branch managers do not believe that the delays can be avoided.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

We don’t know the basis behind the beliefs of these branch managers. The mere disbelief of some people isn’t sufficient reason why the plan won’t be effective.

C

The inefficiency of the delivery service is what leads to the delay in delivery in most cases.

Correct - Provides an alternate cause

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per Linkage #1. This choice suggests that the CEO’s plan will not address the right cause behind the increase in the delay in the newspaper delivery.

D

Many location heads completely support the CEO’s suggestion.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Similar to option B, the support of many location heads isn’t sufficient reason to increase or decrease our belief in the success of the CEO’s plan.

E

Some of the company’s employees believe that the papers cannot be ready before 3.30 a.m.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

We are only discussing whether the issue will be resolved if the CEO’s plan is put into place, not whether the plan itself can be put into place or not.

QUESTION: 8

  Experia Inc., a pioneer in online retailing in the cosmetics business, sells all its products only 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 Google than on Cosmetico, an online magazine. The company also found that the average purchase of a customer does not depend on whether the customer came through Google or the 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 undermines the ability of the company’s plan to increase its profits? 

Solution:

Experia Inc., a pioneer in online retailing in the cosmetics business, sells all its products only 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 Google than on Cosmetico, an online magazine. The company also found that the average purchase of a customer does not depend on whether the customer came through Google or the 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 undermines 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 weaken 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 less believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage 1 and the conclusion.  Thus the way to weaken the conclusion will be to weaken this linkage i.e. find a new piece of information  that weakens the plan’s ability to achieve the desired goal.

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

  • Weakener – What if despite the difference in the number of visitors from the two channels, it is actually the visitors from the online magazine that form the bulk of the final customers? Surely, this linkage will not hold then and the author’s conclusion will be significantly weakened.
    • Instance 1: The visitor to customer conversion ratio is significantly lower for the visitors attracted by Google than for the visitors attracted by Cosmetico.

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

Answer Choices

A

An average reader of a Cosmetico magazine has income that is several times greater than the income of an average Google user.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

First of all, this choice does not even talk about Experia visitors from either of the two channels. Secondly, the passage already states that the average purchase of a customer does not depend on the channel the customer has come through. So this information has no bearing on the plan proposed by the company.

B

The conversion ratio from visitors to customers is several times higher in case of Cosmetico than in the case of Google.

Correct

This choice is based along the lines of our pre-thinking Instance 1 and seriously undermines the ability of the company’s plan to increase its profits.

C

Last time, when the company shifted more of its resources from Cosmetico to Google, it resulted in an immediate increase in its sales.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

First of all, we don’t know whether there is any similarity in the current and last situation referred to. Even if this fact is kept aside for the moment, this choice is in the opposite direction as it talks about a positive result that the company attained by shifting more of its resources to Google.

D

Given the large presence of Google across various geographies, the visitors that come from Google are much more spread geographically than those who come from Cosmetico.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

There is no stated or implied link between the geographical location of visitors and the profit made by the company. Therefore, the information given in this choice is completely irrelevant to the argument at hand.

E

By investing time and money on writing articles in Cosmetico, Experia can reduce its customer acquisition costs to half to what they are now.   

Incorrect - Irrelevant

We are only told that Google attracts 2 times as many visitors as Cosmetico. This piece of information is not indicative of what the customer acquisition costs are for these two channels; for instance, the customer acquisition cost for Cosmetico could be 5 times as high as that for Google. Under such circumstances, this piece of information will not act as a weakener.  Plus, this choice talks about spending more money on the magazine.

 

QUESTION: 9

Workers with master’s degrees usually hold more senior management positions and earn higher salaries than do workers without master’s degrees, even when those with master’s degrees have the same amount of experience as, or even less experience than, those without. A recent Economics Today editorial claims that seniority and pay scales should be determined on the basis of experience, not qualifications. However, this claim is baseless. Master’s students often undergo up to fifteen months of hands-on project work, and this period of internship should count as experience.

Which of the following, if true, weakens the author’s argument?

Solution:

Workers with master’s degrees usually hold more senior management positions and earn higher salaries than do workers without master’s degrees, even when those with master’s degrees have the same amount of experience as, or even less experience than, those without. A recent Economics Today editorial claims that seniority and pay scales should be determined on the basis of experience, not qualifications. However, this claim is baseless. Master’s students often undergo up to fifteen months of hands-on project work, and this period of internship should count as experience.

Which of the following, if true, weakens the author’s argument?

Argument Analysis

 

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The author concludes that the claim made by a recent Economics Today editorial is baseless because master’s degree students often undergo up to fifteen months of hands-on project work, and this period of internship should count as experience.

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can make the conclusion less believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage 1 and the conclusion. Thus, the way to falsify the conclusion will be to break this linkage i.e. find a new piece of information that may suggest that the comparison made in the intermediate conclusion is probably not relevant, i.e. the period of internship cannot be counted as experience.

Linkage#1Master’s students often undergo up to fifteen months of hands-on project work, and this period of internship should count as experience.

  • Weakener – What if the work done by students during their internship period is not comparable to work done by salaried workers? In such a case, the conclusion will not hold.
    • Instance 1: For example, what if the students work only on small in-house projects during their internship, whereas the work done by a salaried worker is very different as it involves client dealing and product development?

With this understanding in mind, let's move on to evaluating the answer choices.

Answer Choices

A

There is often little difference between the nature of the work done during internship and that of the work done by salaried employees.

Incorrect - Opposite

The similar nature of work suggests that the work done during internship period should count as experience.

B

The claims made in Economics Today have been challenged by various trade and business associations.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The basis for the conclusion drawn by the author needs to be weakened and not the claims made by ET. 

C

During the period of internship, students can earn salaries comparable to the ones earned by managers without master’s degrees.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Salary earned during internship does not indicate anything about the experience earned during that time.

D

Student interns are often assigned to administrative tasks such as accounting and record-keeping that do not give them any substantial exposure to product development or management.

Correct

This option is written along the lines of our pre-thinking linkage. The fact that student interns are not given the tasks that may expose them to product development and management highlights the difference in the nature of work done by a student and a salaried worker. 

E

Most of the companies where students do their project work offer full-time management positions to the students after they complete their internships.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The positions offered to the students have no bearing on the argument. The argument focuses on the nature of the work done by students during their internship.

QUESTION: 10

The demand for Korean horror films in America will fall considerably since American horror films are back in demand there, impacting the overall demand for Korean films. However, the American viewers’ demand for Korean films will increase again. Two years back when the American romance film genre went through a revival in popularity in America, the demand for Korean romantic films in America went down; however, the demand for Korean films has returned to its previous level since then.

Which of the following, if true, best supports the assertion that the demand for Korean films may not return to its previous level?

Solution:

The demand for Korean horror films in America will fall considerably since American horror films are back in demand there, impacting the overall demand for Korean films. However, the American viewers’ demand for Korean films will increase again. Two years back when the American romance film genre went through a revival in popularity in America, the demand for Korean romantic films in America went down; however, the demand for Korean films has returned to its previous level since then.

Which of the following, if true, best supports the assertion that the demand for Korean films may not return to its previous level?

Argument Analysis

 

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The question stem asks us to support the assertion that the DD for KF may not return to its previous level. This means we have to weaken the conclusion that American viewers’ demand for KF will rise again.

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can make the conclusion less believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage 1.

Linkage#1DD for KRF decreased 2 years ago but DD for KF is back to its previous level now

  • Weakener – What if the situation is different in the future? Maybe there were factors which were present 2 years ago that may be missing in the future and, therefore, the author’s conclusion cannot be drawn on the basis of what happened in the past.
    • Instance 1: Last time the DD for KF returned to its previous level due to a significant increase in the popularity of KHF.

In the above situation, the author’s argument is greatly weakened as the demand for KHF has been predicted to go down, meaning that the factor that was responsible for pushing up the overall demand for KF last time will soon be missing from the scene.

    • Instance 2: A significant proportion of viewers of Korean films in America are Korean students pursuing higher education in the country, a segment that has been increasingly forming a smaller proportion of the international students in America. 

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

Answer Choices

A

In the past two years some very successful American Horror films were actually based on successful Korean Horror films.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The basis of successful AHFs doesn’t provide us with a reason to believe that the overall DD for KF may not return to its previous levels.  

B

The Korean horror films were significantly responsible for contributing to the revival in demand for Korean films after it dropped two years back.

Correct

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

C

Various surveys show that the movie business in America is almost at its peak and is likely to go down after it booms in the next one year.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

At best, this option gives us a reason to believe that in the next one year, the overall DD for F in America will increase. We do not know how this affects the DD for KF in America. Therefore, this choice is irrelevant.

D

The demand for Korean romantic films has not decreased in the last two years.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

We need a reason to believe why the overall demand for Korean films will not rise just as it did the last time but this option doesn’t provide any relevant information.

E

American sci-fi films have always been more popular in America than Korean or American horror films have been.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option compares the popularity of American sci-fi films with American or Korean HFs but it says that the former have always been more popular. So it doesn’t affect the conclusion regarding the predicted changes in the demand for KFs.

QUESTION: 11

Dean of Talentia College: For the past few years, the reputation of our college has been declining, because of which we are now able to fill in only 70% of the total available seats. If more research work is done in the college, it will create more visibility and hence more students will start applying to our college. Accordingly, we will be able to increase the student count.

Which of the following, if true, raises the most serious doubt regarding the effectiveness of the Dean’s plan in increasing the student count at the college?

Solution:

Dean of Talentia College: For the past few years, the reputation of our college has been declining, because of which we are now able to fill in only 70% of the total available seats. If more research work is done in the college, it will create more visibility and hence more students will start applying to our college. Accordingly, we will be able to increase the student count.

Which of the following, if true, raises the most serious doubt regarding the effectiveness of the Dean’s plan in increasing the student count at the college?

Argument Analysis

 

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can make the conclusion less believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkages 1, 2, 3 and 4.  Note that as we focus on a particular linkage, we will keep the other linkages in mind as well.

Linkage#1Higher research work will lead to higher visibility

  • Weakener – What if despite the increase in research work, there is no increase in the visibility of the same among prospective students?
    • Instance: The research work done by various colleges is normally covered only by field specific journals that prospective students do not usually have access to. 

In the above scenario, it is possible that prospective applicants may not learn about the research activities undertaken by Talentia college.

Linkage#2Higher visibility will lead to higher student applications

  • Weakener – What if despite the increase in the visibility of the research work, there is no increase in the student application?
    • Instance: Various surveys have shown that most prospective college students consider institutions with high research work as incapable of providing a much sought - after holistic education experience that includes informal peer interaction along with academia.

Linkage#4Higher research work will lead to higher student count

  • Weakener – What if the research work taken by the college somehow discourages prospective students to apply at the college?
    • Instance: The college intends to make up for the expenditure incurred on new research activities by increasing the college fee, which is already considered quite high by prospective applicants.

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

Answer Choices

A

Increase in research will lead to increased expenditure to compensate for which the college will have to in turn increase the tuition fee that is already considered quite high by applicants.

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per Linkage #4.

B

To maintain the required teacher-student ratio, the college will have to hire many new professors.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This choice represents a consequence of getting more students. This doesn’t imply that the school will not get more students through the dean’s plan.

C

Almost 10% of the student applications are rejected by the college each year.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option doesn’t decrease our belief in the effectiveness of the dean’s plan. Even if 10% of the new applications are rejected, the student count can still increase substantially if the dean’s plan is effective.

D

Another college in the area that offers the same courses as Talentia was unsuccessful in increasing its visibility by increasing its engagement in research work.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Just because another college was unsuccessful in increasing visibility through research doesn’t mean the same will happen to Talentia. A conclusion can’t be drawn in this case because there is only one data point. It’s possible that there are several other colleges that have increased visibility through research. So we can’t comment on the effectiveness of the dean’s plan until we get data regarding whether visibility can usually be increased through research.

E

The Government will not increase the funding for Talentia, even if the college increases the research work it is doing.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Neither the passage nor the choice establishes a link between a lack of government funding and dean’s plan to carry on more research activities at the college. 

QUESTION: 12

Consultant: One of the most useful application areas for robot-based automation is in the manufacturing sector. Robot-based production enhances efficiency and productivity in various manufacturing processes. As a leading innovator in the field, Rockshell Corporation had launched Robo-X Automation System a few years back. Since then, Robo-X has reduced the manufacturing costs significantly for almost all the firms that are similar to Weinstein Corporation. Therefore, by switching from manual systems to the Robo-X automation system, Weinstein Corporation will be able to lower its costs and thereby ensure a significant growth in profits this year over last year. 

Which of the following statements, if true, most weakens the consultant’s proposal to purchase Robo-X?

Solution:

Consultant: One of the most useful application areas for robot-based automation is in the manufacturing sector. Robot-based production enhances efficiency and productivity in various manufacturing processes. As a leading innovator in the field, Rockshell Corporation had launched Robo-X Automation System a few years back. Since then, Robo-X has reduced the manufacturing costs significantly for almost all the firms that are similar to Weinstein Corporation. Therefore, by switching from manual systems to the Robo-X automation system, Weinstein Corporation will be able to lower its costs and thereby ensure a significant growth in profits this year over last year. 

Which of the following statements, if true, most weakens the consultant’s proposal to purchase Robo-X?

Argument Analysis

 

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

NA

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can make the conclusion less believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on the linkage 1 and the conclusion. 

From the logical structure we can see that the consultant concludes that by replacing current system with RXA, the company shall reduce costs and therefore improve profits this year over previous year. This prediction is based on the premise that almost all similar firms had reduced their costs by implementing RXA. To weaken the argument, we need to cast a doubt on  the conclusion by showing that even if the company purchases RXA, it may not be able to reduce costs soon enough to realize  a significant growth in profits this year

Linkage#1

Weakener – Due to some reason, the company might not be able to reduce costs this year.

  • Instance:  The cost of installation and maintenance of RXA is so high, that the company can reduce costs only from RXA’s third year of operations.

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

Answer Choices

A

It is expected that Weinstein will not experience any significant increase in its sales

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The option is talking about increasing sales while the argument is concerned with reducing costs and therefore ensuring profits. 

B

Weinstein’s profits for the first quarter of this financial year were lower than the expectation of the company's management.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The company management’s expectation is not known and insignificant.

C

Robo-NexGen, another Rockshell’s product, has not been successful in cost reduction for a large number of firms in the mining industry.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Talks about another product and an un-related industry.

D

Once Rockshell receives an order, it sends a team to perform a detailed and extensive analysis of customer processes for almost six months before building and customizing Robo-X automation system to suit customers’ needs.

Correct

This option matches our prethinking analysis and indicates that a ‘large period of time’ is required for setting up RXA for the company. It reduces the belief that the switch to Robo-X will be done within this year and sufficient costs would be reduced. RXA is a customized product. It will take large time to build and deploy it.

E

Robo-X Automation System comes with attractive payment plans that do not require any setup and maintenance cost for the first year.

Incorrect -  Opposite

This option increases our belief in RC’s realizing cost-savings in the current year. 

QUESTION: 13

Records of trade between ancient civilizations in Europe and the Americas indicate the use of seagoing ships along the trade over the Atlantic Ocean, which were the main arteries of contact between the various empires. Although the first sailing boats were built in 8000 B.C., it is likely that the earliest trade exchanges between Europe and the Americas started only after the first boats that could cross the sea were built 1000 years later. 

Which of the following, if true, casts doubts on the author’s conclusion above?

Solution:

Records of trade between ancient civilizations in Europe and the Americas indicate the use of seagoing ships along the trade over the Atlantic Ocean, which were the main arteries of contact between the various empires. Although the first sailing boats were built in 8000 B.C., it is likely that the earliest trade exchanges between Europe and the Americas started only after the first boats that could cross the sea were built 1000 years later. 

Which of the following, if true, casts doubts on the author’s conclusion above?

Argument Analysis

 

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The author concludes that it is likely that the earliest trade exchanges between E & A started only after the first boats that could cross the sea were built 1000 years after 8000 B.C. (i.e. 7000 B.C.) when the first sailing boats were built.

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can make the conclusion less believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage 1 and the conclusion.Thus the way to weaken the conclusion will be to break or weaken this linkage i.e. find a new piece of information that suggests that the trade exchanges between E & A could have started before the first boats that could cross the sea were built 1000 years after 8000 B.C..

Linkage#1

  • Weakener – What if it was not necessary to cross the sea for the purpose of a trade exchange between E & A? What if there was an alternate route that could have been used for the trade exchange before first boats that could cross the sea were built?
    • Instance 1: If the records show a land route between E & A that could have been used for the purpose of trade exchanges before the first seagoing boats were built, the argument is seriously weakened.

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

Answer Choices

A

The authenticity of the records that indicate the use of seagoing ships was challenged, but the accusation was dismissed subsequently because of the lack of substantial evidence.

Incorrect – Irrelevant

This option only tells us that the records were challenged; however, accusations do not prove that the records were not authentic.

B

There is no record of any sea-based trade along the trade routes over the Atlantic Ocean between 10000 and 9000 B.C.

Incorrect – Opposite

This option strengthens the argument since it hurts the possibility of any trade along the along the trade routes over the Atlantic Ocean before the first sailing boats were built in 8000 B.C.

C

There is enough evidence to prove that European empires used lakes and rivers as channels to maintain trade relations with their neighboring countries around 8000 B.C.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The argument is about long distance travel over sea.

D

During the last glacial event 12,000 years ago, parts of the Atlantic Ocean froze completely, allowing for land-based travel.

Correct

This option is written along the lines of the weakener  mentioned in the pre-thinking analysis.  It suggests that there could have been an alternate way of maintaining trade relations before the seagoing ships were invented.

E

Sea-routes were among the most viable means of maintaining trade between various empires in the ancient world.

Incorrect – Irrelevant

The viability of these routes has nothing to do with whether the first trade exchanges between the civilizations in E and A occurred only after the sea-going boats were built.

QUESTION: 14

The state of Orifiozis has been trying to increase the planting of trees in its prime cities. One of the reasons that residents hesitate to grow trees is the price of water. In order to increase the planting of trees in these cities, an environmental organization has suggested that the state reduce the water taxes on homes that have more than four trees that are older than three years.

Which of the following, if true, most threatens the plan’s prospects for success?

Solution:

The state of Orifiozis has been trying to increase the planting of trees in its prime cities. One of the reasons that residents hesitate to grow trees is the price of water. In order to increase the planting of trees in these cities, an environmental organization has suggested that the state reduce the water taxes on homes that have more than four trees that are older than three years.

Which of the following, if true, most threatens the plan’s prospects for success?

Argument Analysis

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

There is no stated conclusion by the author. The question stem asks us to weaken the plan’s prospects. So we need to weaken the plan’s chances of achieving the stated goal.

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can weaken the plan’s chances of becoming a success.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage 1. 

Linkage#1Residents hesitate to grow trees because of the price of water.

  • Weakener – As this linkage presents a challenge in achieving the goal of increasing the planting of trees in the prime cities, if this linkage is made stronger, the plan’s prospects for success are weakened. Weakener- What if the reduction in taxes is not significant enough to motivate people to plant more trees?
    • Instance 1: For example: The proposed cut in water taxes is 5% whereas most of the resident of the state of Orifiozis feel that the water taxes are inflated by at least 25%- 30%.  

Plan Reduce the water taxes on homes that have more than four trees that are older than three years.

  • Weakener - What if most of the homes were not be eligible to avail the reduction on water taxes?
    • Instance 1: Most homes in the prime cities do not have sufficient space to have more than four trees.

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

Answer Choices

A

Some residents are certain that the implementation of this suggestion will help.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The belief of some residents doesn’t tell us whether the plan would actually be helpful in achieving its aim.

B

While water costs is the number one concern for most of the residents of Orifiozis, some residents have other minor concerns as well, such as the time required to maintain the trees.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This choice says that some residents have other minor concerns as well. The passage already states that water costs is one of the concerns, allowing for the possibility that there are other issues. Also, the plan is designed to address one particular problem that this choice concedes is the biggest concern for the residents.

C

Most homes in the prime cities have space only for a maximum of two trees to grow.

Correct

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

D

Some trees grow to full length in less than three years.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Length of the trees is irrelevant to the argument.

E

Water taxes in Orifiozis are not as high as those in the neighboring state, which is known for its extensive greenery.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option presents a superfluous comparison between water taxes in Orifiozis and those in the neighboring states. We are already told that the residents of the state hesitate to grow trees because of the price of the water in the state.

 

QUESTION: 15

In order to improve the performance of students taking her course, the Statistics professor has introduced a weekly quiz for the new batch that started school this year. So far, she has found that the students’ performance has improved by 5% as compared to the performance of the senior batches in their first year. This improvement is certainly a direct result of her weekly quizzes.

Which of the following, if true, casts the most serious doubt on the conclusion drawn above?

Solution:

In order to improve the performance of students taking her course, the Statistics professor has introduced a weekly quiz for the new batch that started school this year. So far, she has found that the students’ performance has improved by 5% as compared to the performance of the senior batches in their first year. This improvement is certainly a direct result of her weekly quizzes.

Which of the following, if true, casts the most serious doubt on the conclusion drawn above?

Argument Analysis

 

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/ A

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can make the conclusion less believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage 1 and the conclusion. 

Note that linkage 1 links two facts in a causal relationship, leading to the conclusion.  Thus the way to weaken the conclusion will be to break/weaken this linkage or causal relationship i.e. find an alternate explanation that may have led to the effect (improvement in the students’ performance so far this year).

Linkage#1Students’ performance has improved by 5% as compared to the performance of the senior batches.

  • Weakener - What if there is some other factor that accounts for the improvement in the students’ performance?
    • Instance 1: For example, there could have been a change in the teaching methodology that might have led to the improved performance.  For example, what if this year the college introduced educational videos or extra classes for the new batch?

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

Answer Choices

A

Many students who would not have allotted much time to study Statistics are now spending extra time on the subject because of the weekly quizzes.

Incorrect - Opposite

The extra time spent in studying statistics because of the weekly quizzes could be taken to support the conclusion.

B

Some of the students in the new batch perform better in Statistics than they do in other subjects.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option presents a superfluous comparison between performance of some students in statistics and their performance in other subjects.

C

The Statistics textbook prescribed for the introductory course this year is considerably easier to understand than the textbook used previously.

Correct

This option is written along the lines of pre-thinking. It introduces another factor that can have a direct impact on students’ performance.

D

In a recent evaluation by the school board, the Statistics professor was ranked the best professor in the school.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The ranking of the professor doesn’t tell us whether there was a connection or lack of the same between the weekly quizzes by the professor and the performance of the new batch this year.

E

Most students feel that the weekly quizzes are making it difficult for them to concentrate on other subjects.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The difficulty in concentrating on other subjects is irrelevant to the argument, which deals only with the better performance in the subject of Statistics this year.

QUESTION: 16

Last year, the United States introduced compulsory vaccination for all children of a certain age against rotavirus. Without the vaccination, rotavirus hospitalized 55,000 to 70,000 children in the United States per year; this year, the number of hospitalizations has been reduced by 20%. Based on this data, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that the rotavirus vaccine prevents more than 50,000 doctor visits per year.

Which of the following, if true, casts the most doubt on the estimate prepared by the CDC?

Solution:
QUESTION: 17

Kidney transplantation is the organ transplant of a kidney into a patient suffering from acute renal failure (when both kidneys stop functioning).  Country X has recorded highest number of deaths due to kidney failure.  Lack of kidney donors has prompted Country X to seek help from Country Y.  To help Country X, the government of Country Y has planned awareness programs and campaigns to encourage its people to donate kidneys.  As more people of Country Y donate kidneys, deaths due to renal failure will decrease significantly in Country X.

Which of the following if true would raise the most serious doubt that the plan presented above would reduce the incidence of deaths due to renal failure in Country X?

Solution:

Kidney transplantation is the organ transplant of a kidney into a patient suffering from acute renal failure (when both kidneys stop functioning).  Country X has recorded highest number of deaths due to kidney failure.  Lack of kidney donors has prompted Country X to seek help from Country Y.  To help Country X, the government of Country Y has planned awareness programs and campaigns to encourage its people to donate kidneys.  As more people of Country Y donate kidneys, deaths due to renal failure will decrease significantly in Country X.

Which of the following if true would raise the most serious doubt that the plan presented above would reduce the incidence of deaths due to renal failure in Country X?

Argument Analysis

 

 

Pre-Thinking

1. Assumptions:

  • Country X will be able to do more transplants as as more kidneys flow it
  • Kidneys from country Y are transplantable to people of country X

2. Weakeners:

  • Evidence that increased flow of kidneys will not lead to higher number of transplants.

Answer Choices

A

The increased number of kidney-donors in country Y would not offset the number of deaths due to renal failure in country Y.

This statement talks about deaths in country Y while the passage is concerned about deaths in country X. Therefore this statement no bearing on the conclusion and is OFS.

B

The number of people suffering from Acute Renal Failure in Country Y has far surpassed the number of people suffering from the same disease in Country X.

This statement talks about deaths in country Y while the passage is concerned about deaths in country X. Therefore this statement no bearing on the conclusion and is OFS.

C

A McKinley report on Country X concluded that current healthcare infrastructure in country X is barely able to sustain the current volume of kidney transplants.

This statement provides evidence that weakens the conclusion.  Since the health infrastructure is barely able to support the current volume of transplants, it is unlikely that the infrastructure will be able to support additional transplants even when more kidneys are available.  

D

Even with campaigns and awareness programs, some people in Country Y will choose not to donate their kidneys.

The conclusion warrants flow of at least some Kidneys from country Y. It does not warrant that everyone in country Y donates kidneys. Hence, this choice is out of scope.

E

The campaign planned by Government and National Kidney Foundation of Country Y would be effective only in the urban areas of Country Y.

This choice is similar. The conclusion warrants flow of at least some Kidneys from country Y. As long as country X get more kidney’s than it already has, it should be able to perform transplants that reduce the incidence of deaths. This choice is an iSWAT since is uses similar terminology.

QUESTION: 18

About a decade ago, computer engineering was a lot more popular than biotechnical engineering as a field of choice for graduate studies. However, in the last few years, biotech has risen rapidly in popularity. Therefore, universities must increase their efforts to gain more students in the field of computer engineering, since, after all, computer-based industries are still the largest in the world today.

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

Solution:

About a decade ago, computer engineering was a lot more popular than biotechnical engineering as a field of choice for graduate studies. However, in the last few years, biotech has risen rapidly in popularity. Therefore, universities must increase their efforts to gain more students in the field of computer engineering, since, after all, computer-based industries are still the largest in the world today.

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

Argument Analysis

 

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

N/A

Pre-Thinking Approach

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

Linkage#1

  • Weakener 1 – What if, even though the proportion of students in CE has reduced, the overall number of students has gone up? E.g. if there were a total of 100 students a decade ago and 60% of them took up CE whereas currently there are 200 students but only 50% take CE. Even then the absolute number of students would increase from 60 to 100. Then efforts might not be needed to gain more students in CE.
  • Weakener 2 – What if, even though proportion of students in BE has gone up, CE is still the most popular GS course? E.g. BE and CE used to attract 20% and 60% of the students respectively a decade ago and now these numbers have changed to 30% and 52%. Even now CE is the most popular GS course and will produce the highest number of postgraduates who might join computer based industries. So efforts might not be needed to gain more students in CE.

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

 

Answer Choices

A

Those who opt for computer engineering in their graduate studies course are most likely to apply for a job in the same field after they graduate.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Even if that’s the case, the argument is based on the grounds that more people need to choose the field in the first place.

B

Biotechnical engineering has seen an unprecedented growth in the number of new companies that have sprung up in the field over the last few years.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Even if there are more companies in BE, the passage tells us that computer engineering industries are  still the largest. So it doesn’t affect the conclusion.

C

Most software companies insist on hiring only those people who have a master’s degree in the same field.

Incorrect - Opposite

This choice stresses the need for CE graduates and hence is in the opposite line of thought.

D

The total number of students opting for either computer engineering or biotechnical engineering as a field of choice for graduate studies has increased significantly over the last few years.

Correct

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

E

According to several prominent analysts, the computer-based industry is the largest in the world by far, with medicine and its related fields coming in at a distant second.

Incorrect - No new information

Doesn’t provide new information. The passage already states that the computer based industries are the largest in the world.

QUESTION: 19

The Intermountain chain of hospitals launched a program a few years back to reduce the incidence of employee and patient injuries during lifting and transferring of the patients. Reduction of such injuries is leading to an estimated savings of $500K annually; however, the extra training and equipment expenditure to implement the program cost around the same annually. Therefore, except for the intangible benefit of employee satisfaction and longer employee tenure, the program has not led to any economic benefit for the company.

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

Solution:

The Intermountain chain of hospitals launched a program a few years back to reduce the incidence of employee and patient injuries during lifting and transferring of the patients. Reduction of such injuries is leading to an estimated savings of $500K annually; however, the extra training and equipment expenditure to implement the program cost around the same annually. Therefore, except for the intangible benefit of employee satisfaction and longer employee tenure, the program has not led to any economic benefit for the company.

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

Argument Analysis

 

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The argument concludes that the injury reduction program has not resulted in any economic benefit for the company. There are other benefits in the form of employee satisfaction and longer employee tenure, but they are intangible and so don’t translate into any concrete economic gain.

Pre-Thinking Approach

Let’s see how we can make the conclusion less believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage 1and the conclusion.  Thus the way to weaken the conclusion will be to weaken this linkage i.e. find a new piece of information that will suggest that the program has led to some sort of economic benefit for the hospital.

Linkage#1Reduction of such injuries is leading to an estimated savings of $500K annually; however, the extra training and equipment expenditure to implement the program cost around the same annually.

  • Weakener – Show an economic gain that can accrue from the intangible benefits mentioned. If that happens, our belief in the author’s claim that the program hasn’t led to any economic benefit is greatly reduced.
    • Instance 1: Studies have shown that the lack of satisfaction at work for hospital employees results in their taking significantly more number of sick leaves, costing hospitals huge amounts of money in remunerating part-time back-up staff.

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

Answer Choices

A

In the hospital industry, hiring and training new employees is a costly affair.

Correct

This choice is written along the lines of our pre-thinking per Linkage 1 weakener. If the hospital retains employees for longer durations, it’ll have to spend less on hiring and training. This fact shows that ICH has been able to save costs on hiring and training new employees- a clear tangible, economic benefit.

B

The proportion of employees and patients who get injured during lifting and transferring of patients at the Intermountain chain of hospitals was stable before the program was launched.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This statement talks about the situation before the training program. Knowing whether this proportion was stable or variable earlier doesn’t help us as we already know the estimated savings and benefits after the injury reduction program.

C

There are ways to reduce the program costs while maintaining the same level of training and the same quality of equipment.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Knowing that there are ways that, if implemented, could reduce the costs doesn’t show that the program in its current form has contributed to the hospitals economic interests.

D

The incidence of employee and patient injuries can be reduced more by spending more money on the program.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

The argument doesn’t focus on the possibility of further reducing the injuries, i.e. it doesn’t conclude on whether program can reduce injuries but whether it has already led to a tangible economic benefit.

E

For the Intermountain chain of hospitals, the brand value in terms of patient care is very important.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

While the brand value could go up due to the injury reduction program as the program results in fewer injuries for patients, we can’t link this increase in brand value to a concrete economic benefit, which is required to show that the program has resulted in economic gains, thereby reducing our belief in the author’s conclusion.

QUESTION: 20

In parts of Africa, a new skin disease known as Bluemia has been discovered. People affected with this disease develop blue marks on their skin. The most prevalent medicine used to cure Bluemia is Pricin, which has been shown to be effective in curing blue marks. However, using Pricin for treating Bluemia is not wise since another medicine called Pheramycin not only treats the blue marks but also cures the mild fever generally associated with Bluemia.

Which of the following option statements, if true, would help support the continued use of Pricin as the cure for Bluemia?

Solution:

In parts of Africa, a new skin disease known as Bluemia has been discovered. People affected with this disease develop blue marks on their skin. The most prevalent medicine used to cure Bluemia is Pricin, which has been shown to be effective in curing blue marks. However, using Pricin for treating Bluemia is not wise since another medicine called Pheramycin not only treats the blue marks but also cures the mild fever generally associated with Bluemia.

Which of the following option statements, if true, would help support the continued use of Pricin as the cure for Bluemia?

Argument Analysis

 

Pre-Thinking

Conclusion Clarification

The conclusion states that though Pricin is the most prevalent medicine used to cure Bluemia, it is not wise to use Pricin for treating Bluemia. The author supports this conclusion by stating that there is another medicine called Pheramycin that not only treats the blue marks but also cures the mild fever normally associated with Bluemia.

Pre-Thinking Approach

We are required to support the continued use of Pricin as a cure for Bluemia. Note that this assertion is against the conclusion of the argument. Thus, we are required to weaken the argument.

Let’s see how we can make the conclusion less believable.  To do so, we will look at the logical structure, focusing on linkage 1 and the conclusion.  Thus, the way to falsify the conclusion will be to break this linkage i.e. find a new piece of information that suggests that using Pricin is wise even if Pheramycin has an added feature (curing mild fever) over Pricin.

  • Weakener – An option with more features may not necessarily be more advantageous.
    • Instance1: What if curing mild fever does not have a positive impact on the body of the person affected with Bluemia?
    • Instance2: What if as a cure for Bluemia, Pricin has an overriding benefit that Pheramycin lacks?

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

Answer Choices

A

Pheramycin has been shown to take less time than Pricin to cure Bluemia.

Incorrect - Opposite

This option highlights a benefit of Pheramycin over Pricin. Thus, this piece of information is the opposite of what we are looking for in the correct answer. 

B

Pricin is not as commonly available as Pheramycin.

Incorrect - Opposite

If anything, this choice can be taken to favor the conclusion made by the author. However, our job is to weaken the same.

C

Laboratory results have shown that Pricin can be used to treat not only Bluemia but also other skin diseases.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

Information about treatment of other skin diseases is not relevant to the argument.

D

Recent research has shown that in cases of Bluemia, an increased body temperature due to a mild fever actually aids the natural immunity to eliminate the disease faster.

Correct

This option supports the continued use of Pricin by showing thatPheramycin is doing a disservice by eliminating the beneficial mild fever, thereby weakening the author’s conclusion. It is on the same lines as our pre-thinking.

E

Although Pricin has its own side-effects, none of the side effects observed in Pheramycin have been observed in Pricin.

Incorrect - Irrelevant

This option tells us that both medicines have side-effects. We do not know if the side-effects of one are more serious than those of the other.

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