Question [6]: Columnist: There are several symptoms of depression. One symptom is sleeping more than 12 hours a day. Therefore, you should buy an alarm clock so that you do not sleep more than 8 hours a day to cure your depression.

If the article also noted that excessive sleeping is caused by reduced serotonin levels resulting from depression, then which of the arguments below best describes the logical flaw in the columnist’s reasoning?

 

A: Sleep has many beneficial effects such as raising serotonin levels.

B: The columnist has mistaken an argument for an explanation.

C: The columnist has mistaken a premise for a conclusion.

D: The columnist has failed to consider that an alarm clock may not be a reliable means of assuring a person wakes up.

E: The columnist has mistaken a symptom for a cause.

 

Hint: Do not take into account the factors of what may be true in the real world. On the LSAT, you do not need any outside knowledge of certain subjects such as mental illness.

Answer: E

link1: http://www.gmatp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=25006

link2: http://www.gmatp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=78651

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (E). Choice (A) is incorrect because the fact that sleep has beneficial effects does not address the potential problems resulting from too much sleep.

You can rule out choice (B) because the article did not make an argument for why people get depressed, nor did it explain the occurrence of depression. It merely listed behaviors associated with the illness. Choice (C) can be eliminated for the same reason: premises and conclusions are elements of an argument. Choice (D) is incorrect because whether an alarm clock is a reliable means of waking a person up is outside the scope.

That leaves choice (E). The newspaper story indicated that depression causes oversleeping, not that oversleeping causes depression. Oversleeping is therefore an indicator (a symptom) of depression, which the columnist has mistaken for a cause. Therefore, the answer must be choice (E).

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – flaw

 

 

Question [47]: Columnist: There are several symptoms of depression. One symptom is sleeping more than 12 hours a day. Therefore, you should buy an alarm clock to ensure that you do not sleep more than 8 hours a day.

Which of the choices below best describes the logical flaw in the columnist’s reasoning?

 

A: The columnist has failed to address that sleep has many beneficial effects.

B: The columnist has mistaken an argument for an explanation.

C: The columnist has mistaken a premise for a conclusion.

D: The columnist has mistaken a cause for an effect.

E: The columnist has mistaken an effect for a cause.

 

Answer: E

 

Link1: http://www.gmatp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=25006

link2: http://www.gmatp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=78651

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (E). Choice (A) is too vague and not directly relevant. (How much sleep?) You can rule out choice (B) because the article did not make an argument for why people get depressed, nor did it explain the occurrence of depression. It merely listed behaviors associated with the illness.

Choice (C) can be eliminated for the same reason: premises and conclusions are elements of an argument.

That leaves choices (D) and (E). The newspaper story indicated that depression causes oversleeping, not that oversleeping causes depression. Oversleeping is therefore an indicator (a sign) of depression, which the columnist has mistaken for a cause.

Therefore, the answer must be choice (E).

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – flaw

 

Question [88]: Some authors have challenged the common perception of the Italian Renaissance as a time of creativity and positive change. However, the Renaissance caused the death of the Latin language because cultural leaders insisted on using the archaic, classical form of Latin.

It can most reasonably be inferred from the passage that

 

A: Latin was still a living language at the beginning of the Renaissance.

B: Latin would not have died but for the Italian Renaissance.

C: The classical form of Latin was preferred during the Renaissance.

D: Other forms of Latin had been corrupted by the time of the Renaissance.

E: Classical Latin is a lesser form of Latin than the Latin spoken during the Renaissance.

 

Answer: A

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (A). The question asks you to find the statement that can be inferred from the information given in the passage. Inference questions are essentially must be true questions. First assume everything in the passage is true, and then find the one answer that must also be true based on the information in the passage. The passage informs you that some authors are challenging commonly held ideas about the Renaissance and then provides an example (one author’s idea on how the Renaissance affected Latin).

In this case, assuming the passage to be true doesn’t make any of choices (B), (C), (D), or (E) must be true. The statements in choices (D) and (E) have no foundation in the passage at all. Saying that the Renaissance killed Latin is not the same as saying Latin would still be alive were it not for the Renaissance, as in choice (B). Just because the leaders of the Renaissance insisted on using the classical form of Latin doesn’t necessarily mean that the classical form was preferred. It may have been preferred by leaders of the Renaissance but not by the populace. The leaders of the Renaissance may not have preferred it but rather felt some obligation to promote it (perhaps because of tradition or because the Pope demanded it). You simply can’t tell from the passage, so choice (C) is eliminated.

If the Renaissance brought about the death of Latin, it is inescapable logic that there was something alive to kill, namely, a living Latin language, at least at the beginning of the Renaissance. Choice (A) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – inference

 

Question [129]: Some authors have challenged the common perception of the Italian Renaissance as a time of creativity and positive change. However, the Renaissance caused the death of the Latin language because cultural leaders insisted on using the archaic, classical form of Latin.

It can most reasonably be inferred from the passage that

 

A: Latin was still a living language at the beginning of the Renaissance.

B: Latin would not have died but for the Italian Renaissance.

C: The classical form of Latin was preferred during the Renaissance.

D: Other forms of Latin had been corrupted by the time of the Renaissance.

E: Classical Latin is a lesser form of Latin than the Latin spoken during the Renaissance.

 

Answer: A

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (A). The question asks you to find the statement that can be inferred from the information given in the passage. Inference questions are essentially must be true questions. First assume everything in the passage is true, and then find the one answer that must also be true based on the information in the passage. The passage informs you that some authors are challenging commonly held ideas about the Renaissance and then provides an example (one author’s idea on how the Renaissance affected Latin).

In this case, assuming the passage to be true doesn’t make any of choices (B), (C), (D), or (E) must be true. The statements in choices (D) and (E) have no foundation in the passage at all. Saying that the Renaissance killed Latin is not the same as saying Latin would still be alive were it not for the Renaissance, as in choice (B). Just because the leaders of the Renaissance insisted on using the classical form of Latin doesn’t necessarily mean that the classical form was preferred. It may have been preferred by leaders of the Renaissance but not by the populace. The leaders of the Renaissance may not have preferred it but rather felt some obligation to promote it (perhaps because of tradition or because the Pope demanded it). You simply can’t tell from the passage, so choice (C) is eliminated.

If the Renaissance brought about the death of Latin, it is inescapable logic that there was something alive to kill, namely, a living Latin language, at least at the beginning of the Renaissance. Choice (A) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – inference

 

Question [7]: There are only two main manufacturers of light planes in this regional market: Speedstar and Lightning. Unlike the crash rate of Lightning-built airplanes, which has increased, the crash rate of SpeedStar-built airplanes has decreased in the last five years. Thus, although the number of passengers who refuse to take Lightning-built airplanes has not yet increased, it will inevitably increase.

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

 

A: The rate of SpeedStar airplane crashes that involve fatalities and serious injuries has increased in the last five years, while Lightning’s rate of fatalities has decreased.”;

B: Lightning-built airplanes make up most of the fleets of low-cost airlines, which charge travelers approximately 25 percent less per trip than do airlines that use SpeedStar airplanes.

C: The price that airlines pay for Lightning-built airplanes has remained constant in the last five years.

D: Changes in airline consumer preference always lag subtle trends in airplane safety rates.

E: The Federal Aviation Association has begun an investigation into safety practices at SpeedStar’s manufacturing plant.

 

Answer: A

 

Explanation:  The correct answer is (A). This is a Weaken question – your job is to find the argument that most weakens the overall argument.

The argument is straightforward. Because one type of plane has decreased its crash rate, and another hasn’t, the number of passengers who will take the second type of plane will go down. This a common type of Critical Reasoning setup. You should look for some other reason (not related to crash rate) why people will continue to take Lightning planes or why they will not switch to SpeedStar planes. Consider each choice:

If, while the SpeedStar crash rate has gone down, the number of fatal crashes has gone up as suggested with choice (A), it doesn’t really seem like SpeedStar planes are so much safer that they will cause passengers to switch from other types of planes.

Choice (B) does suggest that the Lightning planes are associated with cheaper tickets, but you don’t know how passengers weigh cost versus safety. It might give a reason why fewer trips would end up being taken on these planes, but it doesn’t give a reason for people to refuse to take them.

The cost to airlines given in choice (C) is irrelevant to this question.

Choice (D) strengthens the argument, suggesting that the delayed decline is common.

Without knowing how the practices at SpeedStar’s plant are related to the safety of the planes, it isn’t clear whether choice (E) is related to the topic of the passage at all.

Choice (A) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [48]: There are only two main manufacturers of light planes in this regional market: Speedstar and Lightning. Unlike the crash rate of Lightning-built airplanes, which has increased, the crash rate of SpeedStar-built airplanes has decreased in the last five years. Thus, although the number of passengers who refuse to take Lightning-built airplanes has not yet increased, it will inevitably increase.

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

 

A: The rate of SpeedStar airplane crashes that involve fatalities and serious injuries has increased in the last five years.

B: Lightning-built airplanes make up most of the fleets of low-cost airlines, which charge travelers approximately 25 percent less per trip than do airlines that use SpeedStar airplanes.

C: The price that airlines pay for Lightning-built airplanes has remained constant in the last five years.

D: Changes in airline consumer preference always lag subtle trends in airplane safety rates.

E: The Federal Aviation Association has begun an investigation into safety practices at SpeedStar’s manufacturing plant.

 

Answer: A

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (A). This is a Weaken question.

The argument is straightforward. Because one type of plane has decreased its crash rate, and another hasn’t, the number of passengers who will take the second type of plane will go down. This a common type of Critical Reasoning setup. You should look for some other reason (not related to crash rate) why people will continue to take Lightning planes or why they will not switch to SpeedStar planes. Consider each choice:

If, while the SpeedStar crash rate has gone down, the number of fatal crashes has gone up as suggested with choice (A), it doesn’t really seem like SpeedStar planes are so much safer that they will cause passengers to switch from other types of planes.

Choice (B) does suggest that the Lightning planes are associated with cheaper tickets, but you don’t know how passengers weigh cost versus safety. It might give a reason why fewer trips would end up being taken on these planes, but it doesn’t give a reason for people to refuse to take them.

The cost to airlines given in choice (C) is irrelevant to this question.

Choice (D) strengthens the argument, suggesting that the delayed decline is common.

Without knowing how the practices at SpeedStar’s plant are related to the safety of the planes, it isn’t clear whether choice (E) is related to the topic of the passage at all.

Choice (A) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [89]: Mary Mallon, known as “Typhoid Mary,” was a typhoid “carrier” who was infected with the typhoid bacillus for a prolonged period. She developed neither typhoid fever nor its symptoms; however, other people could, and did, develop this disease after contact with her.

If the statements are true, which of the following must be true?

 

A: Typhoid fever is not always fatal.

B: The usual symptoms of typhoid fever are not always a reliable indicator of typhoid fever.

C: Typhoid’s risk is overstated.

D: Typhoid fever sometimes occurs even when the typhoid bacillus is not present.

E: The typhoid bacillus does not always cause typhoid fever.

 

Answer: E

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (E). This is a Logic question, which means that you see choices that seem correct but contain a minor logical flaw.

Mary was a carrier of the typhoid bacillus yet never developed typhoid fever. This statement indicates that infection by the typhoid bacillus did not cause her to develop typhoid; therefore, infection by the typhoid bacillus does not always result in the disease.

Choice (A) is a trap because Mary was infected with the typhoid bacillus, which clearly is not always fatal, but you know nothing about those who get typhoid fever. Similarly, choice (B) would only be inferred if Mary had exhibited symptoms of typhoid fever without contracting the disease. You are told she had neither the disease nor its symptoms. Choices (C) and (D) are not stated or implied in the passage.

Choice (E) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – flaw

 

Question [130]: Mary Mallon, known as “Typhoid Mary,” was a typhoid “carrier” who was infected with the typhoid bacillus for a prolonged period. She developed neither typhoid fever nor its symptoms; however, other people could, and did, develop this disease after contact with her.

Which of the following is best supported by the passage?

 

A: Typhoid fever is not always fatal.

B: Typhoid fever is equally communicable whether the person infected with the typhoid bacillus has the disease or not.

C: The absence of the usual symptoms of typhoid fever is not always a reliable indicator that one does not have typhoid fever.

D: Typhoid fever sometimes occurs even when the typhoid bacillus is not present.”;

E: The typhoid bacillus does not always cause typhoid fever.

 

Answer: E

 

link1: http://www.8s.com.php53-15.dfw1-1.websitetestlink.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4075

link2: http://www.gmatp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=78652

Explanation: The correct answer is (E). This is a Logic question, which means that you see choices that seem correct but contain a minor logical flaw.

Mary was a carrier of the typhoid bacillus yet never developed typhoid fever. This statement indicates that infection by the typhoid bacillus did not cause her to develop typhoid; therefore, infection by the typhoid bacillus does not always result in the disease.

Choice (A) is a trap because Mary was infected with the typhoid bacillus, which clearly is not always fatal, but you know nothing about those who get typhoid fever. Similarly, choice (B) would only be inferred if Mary had exhibited symptoms of typhoid fever without contracting the disease. You are told she had neither the disease nor its symptoms. Choices (C) and (D) are not stated or implied in the passage. Mary didn’t have typhoid fever but was infected with the typhoid bacillus, so these choices are outside the scope of the passage.

Choice (E) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – flaw

 

Question [171]: Mary Mallon, known as “Typhoid Mary,” was a typhoid “carrier” who was infected with the typhoid bacillus for a prolonged period. She developed neither typhoid fever nor its symptoms; however, other people could, and did, develop this disease after contact with her.

Which of the following is best supported by the passage?

 

A: Typhoid fever is not always fatal.

B: Typhoid fever is equally communicable whether the person infected with the typhoid bacillus has the disease or not.

C: The absence of the usual symptoms of typhoid fever is not always a reliable indicator that one does not have typhoid fever.

D: Typhoid fever sometimes occurs even when the typhoid bacillus is not present.

E: The typhoid bacillus does not always cause typhoid fever.

 

Answer: E

 

link1: http://www.8s.com.php53-15.dfw1-1.websitetestlink.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4075

link2: http://www.gmatp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=78652

Explanation: The correct answer is (E). This is a Logic question, which means that you see choices that seem correct but contain a minor logical flaw.

Mary was a carrier of the typhoid bacillus yet never developed typhoid fever. This statement indicates that infection by the typhoid bacillus did not cause her to develop typhoid; therefore, infection by the typhoid bacillus does not always result in the disease.

Choice (A) is a trap because Mary was infected with the typhoid bacillus, which clearly is not always fatal, but you know nothing about those who get typhoid fever. Similarly, choice (B) would only be inferred if Mary had exhibited symptoms of typhoid fever without contracting the disease. You are told she had neither the disease nor its symptoms. Choices (C) and (D) are not stated or implied in the passage. Mary didn’t have typhoid fever but was infected with the typhoid bacillus, so these choices are outside the scope of the passage.

Choice (E) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – flaw

 

Question [133]: The administrators of a music downloading website were worried that the lack of downloadable movies and TV shows could diminish the popularity of their site. Accordingly, they decided to survey their existing customers to determine whether adding movies would increase interest. The survey found that only a small percentage of their current customers were interested in purchasing movies online, and the administrators concluded that adding movies would not significantly increase traffic to their site.

Which of the following, if true, shows a flaw in the administrators’ reasoning?

 

A: The perceived demand for online movie purchases has been overstated.

B: Customers who purchase music online are as likely to purchase movies as music.

C: Surveys conducted by email are the best way to assess interest in a new online product.

D: There is only one other website currently offering both music and movies.

E: This website’s existing customers are exclusively music aficionados.

 

Answer: E

Explanation: The correct answer is (E). This question asks you to find a flaw in the administrators’ reasoning that leads them to conclude that adding movies wouldn’t increase business for their site. They determined that few current customers were interested in purchasing movies. You need to be careful here because a statement that just undermines the conclusion does not necessarily indicate a flaw in the administrators’ reasoning. The correct answer must address why the conclusion is inappropriately drawn from the evidence given.

Choices (A) and (B) suggest that the conclusion was flawed; however, the information offered is irrelevant to the administrators’ reasoning. Choice (A) does not point out a logical flaw in reasoning (such as an inaccurate sample for the survey).

Choices (C) and (D) likewise address irrelevant issues.

Choice (E) shows that the survey sample was skewed in favor of people whose main interest is music. Therefore, the administrators were probably wrong to conclude that just because their existing customers don’t want to purchase movies, potential new customers don’t either. This is called a biased sample error. Choice (E) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – flaw

 

Question [174]: The administrators of a music downloading website were worried that the lack of downloadable movies and TV shows could diminish the popularity of their site. Accordingly, they decided to survey their existing customers to determine whether adding movies would increase interest. The survey found that only a small percentage of their current customers were interested in purchasing movies online, and the administrators concluded that adding movies would not significantly increase traffic to their site.

Which of the following, if true, shows a flaw in the administrators’ reasoning?

 

A: Websites with music and movies do 20% more business than websites offering only music or only movies.

B: Customers who purchase music online are as likely to purchase movies as music.

C: Surveys conducted by email are the best way to assess interest in a new online product.

D: There is only one other website currently offering both music and movies.

E: This website’s customers are primarily music aficionados.

 

Answer: E

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (E). This question asks you to find a flaw in the administrators’ reasoning that leads them to conclude that adding movies wouldn’t increase business for their site. They determined that few current customers were interested in purchasing movies. You need to be careful here because a statement that just undermines the conclusion does not necessarily indicate a flaw in the administrators’ reasoning. The correct answer must address why the conclusion is inappropriately drawn from the evidence given.

Choices (A) and (B) suggest that the conclusion was flawed; however, the information offered is irrelevant to the administrators’ reasoning. Choice (A) does not point out a logical flaw in reasoning (such as an inaccurate sample for the survey).

Choices (C) and (D) likewise address irrelevant issues.

Choice (E) shows that the survey sample was skewed in favor of people whose main interest is music. Therefore, the administrators were probably wrong to conclude that just because their existing customers don’t want to purchase movies, potential new customers don’t either. This is called a biased sample error. Choice (E) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

 

Question [11]: Golf in the United States is inherently a democratic sport. Not only does it accommodate players of all ages, strengths, economic backgrounds, and body types, but its professional ranks include a diverse mixture of people.

Which of the following is LEAST effective in weakening the argument?

 

A: In the United States, golf is an elite sport that is popular primarily among the rich.

B: Golfing equipment is significantly more expensive than equipment for other sports.

C: Major professional golf tournaments are often held at clubs with all-white membership.

D: Golf clubs are expensive to join and often demand steep fees for access to their courses.

E: Golf is a more egalitarian sport in Scotland than it is in the United States.

Hint: Think about the reasoning behind the author’s argument, and how best that reasoning can be tackled to weaken it. Remember that a way to think of these questions is as: Think of the reasoning + What would tackle the reasoning = Answer

Answer: E

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (E). This question asks you to find the answer that is least effective in weakening the argument. Accordingly, the best plan is to go through the choices one by one and eliminate them if they weaken the argument.

Choice (A) weakens the conclusion by stating that golf is an elite sport, which runs counter to “democratic” ideals. A sport that is restricted to the wealthy flouts a majority of the population.

Choice (B) weakens the conclusion as well as it suggests that golf equipment may not be available to everyone. If this is the case, then it can’t be true that golf is “in practice” a democratic sport.

Choice (C) weakens the argument by suggesting that despite golf’s professional ranks including a “diverse mixture of people,” the sport may endorse, at times, some decidedly un-democratic institutions.

Choice (D) implies that access to playing courses is not egalitarian, which weakens the argument in a similar manner.

Choice (E) is the only choice that does not significantly weaken the argument. The fact that golf is more egalitarian a sport in Scotland than it is in the United States has no bearing on the strength of the argument. This would only weaken the argument if you also had information about how egalitarian the sport is in the United States. (You must analyze each choice independent of the others.) Just because golf is more egalitarian in Scotland doesn’t mean that it is not egalitarian or democratic in the United States.

Every choice except choice (E) presents information that weakens the argument in some manner; therefore, choice (E) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [52]: Golf in the United States is inherently a democratic sport. Not only does it accommodate players of all ages, strengths, economic backgrounds, and body types, but its professional ranks include a diverse mixture of people.

Which of the following is LEAST effective in weakening the argument?

A: In the United States, golf is an elite sport that is popular primarily among the rich.

B: Golfing equipment is significantly more expensive than equipment for other sports.

C: Major professional golf tournaments are often held at clubs with all-white membership.

D: Golf clubs are expensive to join and often demand steep fees for access to their courses.

E: Golf is a more egalitarian sport in Scotland than it is in the United States.

 

Answer: E

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (E). This question asks you to find the answer that is least effective in weakening the argument. Accordingly, the best plan is to go through the choices one by one and eliminate them if they weaken the argument.

Choice (A) weakens the conclusion by stating that golf is an elite sport, which runs counter to “democratic” ideals. A sport that is restricted to the wealthy flouts a majority of the population.

Choice (B) weakens the conclusion as well as it suggests that golf equipment may not be available to everyone. If this is the case, then it can’t be true that golf is “in practice” a democratic sport.

Choice (C) weakens the argument by suggesting that despite golf’s professional ranks including a “diverse mixture of people,” the sport may endorse, at times, some decidedly un-democratic institutions.

Choice (D) implies that access to playing courses is not egalitarian, which weakens the argument in a similar manner.

Choice (E) is the only choice that does not significantly weaken the argument. The fact that golf is more egalitarian a sport in Scotland than it is in the United States has no bearing on the strength of the argument. This would only weaken the argument if you also had information about how egalitarian the sport is in the United States. (You must analyze each choice independent of the others.) Just because golf is more egalitarian in Scotland doesn’t mean that it is not egalitarian or democratic in the United States.

Every choice except choice (E) presents information that weakens the argument in some manner; therefore, choice (E) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – reasoning

 

Question [93]: This year, the total number of hotdogs sold at Henry’s Hotdog stands was higher than the total number sold last year. However, the accountant for the Henry’s chain claims that, when individual stands are considered, the number of hotdogs sold decreased at every stand that was in operation both this year and last year. The accountant believes that the evidence points to a weakening in demand for Henry’s Hotdogs.

Based on the evidence, which of the following must be true?

 

A: Henry’s Hotdogs opened at least one new hotdog stand in the past year.

B: Fewer people are eating hotdogs this year.

C: In some markets, Henry’s Hotdogs faces serious competition from another hotdog vendor.

D: Henry’s Hotdogs has changed its prices over the past two years.

E: This year, Henry’s Hotdogs is capturing a smaller portion of the market share for fast food than last year.

 

Answer: A

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (A). You are asked to identify the statement which explains the seeming paradox that, while the Henry’s Hot Dogs chain is selling more hot dogs, each individual vendor that has existed for the past two years is selling fewer hotdogs. Clearly, there must be an additional outlet for sales of hot dogs introduced sometime during the past year. That is, there must be additional Henry’s Hot Dogs vendors. Choice (A) provides this explanation.

Choice (B) would explain the accountant’s claim that individual vendors are selling fewer hotdogs, but it does not answer the question of increasing overall sales.

Choices (C) and (E) may be true, but even if they are, only choice (C) explains half the paradox (the reduction in sales at long-term Henry’s Hotdogs vendors) and choice (E) doesn’t necessarily explain either part of the paradox. (A business can lose market share and still increase its sales if the total market is expanding.)

Choice (D) is irrelevant because the passage discusses units (hotdogs) sold, not revenues.

Therefore, choice (A) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – paradox

 

 

Question [134]: All teas are served hot or iced. Most coffees are served hot or iced and always contain caffeine. Most teas and some coffees include guarana, but most teas don’t include caffeine. Taurine is found in most teas, but never in a beverage that includes milk or caffeine. Most coffees and teas include milk.

If the statements are true, all the following must be true EXCEPT

 

A: Some teas include taurine but not caffeine.

B: Some teas or some coffees are served iced with milk.

C: Some teas include guarana but not caffeine.

D: Some teas don’t include caffeine but include milk.

E: No coffee includes taurine.

 

Answer: B

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (B). This is an Inference question. It plays on the definitions of “all,” “most,” and “some” as used in the passage. These words carry meanings of “all,” “more than half,” and “at least one,” respectively. The key here is that when a beverage has two overlapping uses of “most,” “some” is automatically triggered logically. However, “at least one” cannot be automatically assumed in the absence of two overlapping uses of “most.” Look at the individual choices to determine which is the exception.

Based on the passage, choice (A) must be true because most teas include taurine and don’t include caffeine.

Choice (B) may be a possible exception. All teas are served hot or iced, but you don’t know how the percentages break out. It could be a 50/50 split. Furthermore, most coffees are served hot or iced. This means that more than half, but fewer than all, coffees, are served hot or iced, making it quite possible that 50% or fewer coffees are iced. (It could be that 26% of coffees are served hot and 25% of coffees are served iced, for example.) Even though more than 50% of coffees and teas include milk, it is not necessarily true that there is overlap between two uses of “most.” here. It is entirely possible that no teas and no coffees are served iced with milk. Therefore, choice (B) is an exception.

The passage indicates that choice (C) must be true because most teas include guarana and don’t include caffeine.

Choice (D) must be true because, as given in the passage, most teas don’t include caffeine, but they do include milk.

Even though the language in choice (E) is extreme, it must be true because coffee always contains caffeine and taurine is never included in a beverage with caffeine.

Therefore, choice (B) is the only exception and is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – inference

 

Question [175]: All teas are served hot or iced. Most coffees are served hot or iced and always contain caffeine. Most teas and some coffees include guarana, but most teas don’t include caffeine. Taurine is found in most teas, but never in a beverage that includes milk or caffeine. Most coffees and teas include milk.

If the statements are true, all the following must be true EXCEPT

 

A: Some teas include taurine but not caffeine.

B: Some teas or some coffees are served iced with milk.

C: Some teas include guarana but not caffeine.

D: Some teas don’t include caffeine but include milk.

E: No coffee includes taurine.

 

Answer: B

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (B). This is an Inference question. It plays on the definitions of “all,” “most,” and “some” as used in the passage. These words carry meanings of “all,” “more than half,” and “at least one,” respectively. The key here is that when a beverage has two overlapping uses of “most,” “some” is automatically triggered logically. However, “at least one” cannot be automatically assumed in the absence of two overlapping uses of “most.” Look at the individual choices to determine which is the exception.

Based on the passage, choice (A) must be true because most teas include taurine and don’t include caffeine.

Choice (B) may be a possible exception. All teas are served hot or iced, but you don’t know how the percentages break out. It could be a 50/50 split. Furthermore, most coffees are served hot or iced. This means that more than half, but fewer than all, coffees, are served hot or iced, making it quite possible that 50% or fewer coffees are iced. (It could be that 26% of coffees are served hot and 25% of coffees are served iced, for example.) Even though more than 50% of coffees and teas include milk, it is not necessarily true that there is overlap between two uses of “most.” here. It is entirely possible that no teas and no coffees are served iced with milk. Therefore, choice (B) is an exception.

The passage indicates that choice (C) must be true because most teas include guarana and don’t include caffeine.

Choice (D) must be true because, as given in the passage, most teas don’t include caffeine, but they do include milk.

Even though the language in choice (E) is extreme, it must be true because coffee always contains caffeine and taurine is never included in a beverage with caffeine.

Therefore, choice (B) is the only exception and is the correct answer.”;

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – inference

 

 

Question [15]: The practice of granting local tax rebates to businesses on the condition that they maintain offices or factories in the community usually leads to higher overall tax revenues for the community.

All the following, if true, would tend to support the statement above EXCEPT which statement?

 

A: Without tax rebates, many businesses would have difficulty persuading investors to provide capital.

B: Businesses in a community usually attract workers and other tax-paying citizens to their local area.

C: Overall tax revenues in a community generally rise in proportion to increased levels of business activity within the community.

D: Workers employed by local businesses usually spend money in the community, thus increasing sales tax revenues in the area.

E: An office or factory in a community leads to increased demand for the goods and services produced by other local tax-paying businesses.

 

Answer: A

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (A). Choices (B), (C), (D), and (E) all support the idea that business activity in an area leads to increased tax revenues. Choice (A) indicates that without rebates businesses would have trouble raising capital, but it does not indicate that rebates help businesses achieve profitability. Therefore, it does not address whether tax rebates result in any tax revenues, let alone enough to exceed the rebates.

Choice (A) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [56]: The practice of granting local tax rebates to businesses on the condition that they maintain offices or factories in the community usually leads to higher overall tax revenues for the community.

All the following, if true, would tend to support the statement above EXCEPT which statement?

 

A: Without tax rebates, many businesses would have difficulty persuading investors to provide capital.

B: Businesses in a community usually attract workers and other tax-paying citizens to their local area.

C: Overall tax revenues in a community generally rise in proportion to increased levels of business activity within the community.

D: Workers employed by local businesses usually spend money in the community, thus increasing sales tax revenues in the area.

E: An office or factory in a community leads to increased demand for the goods and services produced by other local tax-paying businesses.

 

Answer: A

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (A). Choices (B), (C), (D), and (E) all support the idea that business activity in an area leads to increased tax revenues. Choice (A) indicates that without rebates businesses would have trouble raising capital, but it does not indicate that rebates help businesses achieve *profitability*. Therefore, it does not address whether tax rebates result in *any* tax revenues, let alone enough to exceed the rebates.

Choice (A) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [97]: Scientist: “A certain drug, when taken by patients with high blood pressure, was found to lower blood pressure to high-normal levels (from an average of 30 percent to an average of 10 percent above normal). However, a survey of people with normal blood pressure found that almost 80% exercised for at least 30 minutes 5 times per week. Therefore, the drug is not as effective in reducing blood pressure in patients with high blood pressure as is exercise.”

Which of the following is an assumption which the scientist’s conclusion requires?

 

A: Frequent exercise sometimes may benefit high blood pressure.

B: No patient with high blood pressure successfully achieved below-normal levels with the drug alone.

C: Patients with normal blood pressure maintained healthy diets for the duration of the study.

D: The patients with high blood pressure do not exercise regularly.

E: The drug has little or no effect on patients with normal blood pressure.

 

Answer: D

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (D). The passage indicates that there are no absolutes — not every person with normal blood pressure exercises regularly (and exercise may not even be the factor that keeps their blood pressure normal).

Choice (A) is the author’s conclusion and not the assumption required to reach that conclusion. Choices (B), (C), and (E) may all be true, but they have no bearing on a comparison between the drug and exercise.

For a conclusion to be drawn as to the effect on blood pressure of the drug versus exercise, the assumption must be that, by and large, one test group takes the drug but does not exercise, and the other exercises but does not take the drug. Choice (D) is, therefore, the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – assumption

 

Question [138]: Scientist: “A certain drug, when taken by patients with high blood pressure, was found to lower blood pressure to high-normal levels (from an average of 30 percent to an average of 10 percent above normal). However, a survey of people with normal blood pressure found that almost 80% exercised for at least 30 minutes 5 times per week. Therefore, the drug is not as effective in reducing blood pressure in patients with high blood pressure as is exercise.”

Which of the following is an assumption which the scientist’s conclusion requires?

 

A: Frequent exercise sometimes may benefit high blood pressure.

B: No patient with high blood pressure successfully achieved below-normal levels with the drug alone.

C: Patients with normal blood pressure maintained healthy diets for the duration of the study.

D: The patients with high blood pressure do not exercise regularly.

E: The drug has little or no effect on patients with normal blood pressure.

 

Answer: D

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (D). The passage indicates that there are no absolutes — not every person with normal blood pressure exercises regularly (and exercise may not even be the factor that keeps their blood pressure normal).

Choice (A) is the author’s conclusion and not the assumption required to reach that conclusion. Choices (B), (C), and (E) may all be true, but they have no bearing on a comparison between the drug and exercise.

For a conclusion to be drawn as to the effect on blood pressure of the drug versus exercise, the assumption must be that, by and large, one test group takes the drug but does not exercise, and the other exercises but does not take the drug. Choice (D) is, therefore, the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – assumption

 

Question [179]: The practice of granting local tax rebates to businesses on the condition that they maintain offices or factories in the community usually leads to higher overall tax revenues for the community.

All the following, if true, would tend to support the statement above EXCEPT which statement?

 

A: Without tax rebates, many businesses would have difficulty persuading investors to provide capital.

B: Businesses in a community usually attract workers and other tax-paying citizens to their local area.

C: Overall tax revenues in a community generally rise in proportion to increased levels of business activity within the community.

D: Workers employed by local businesses usually spend money in the community, thus increasing sales tax revenues in the area.

E: An office or factory in a community leads to increased demand for the goods and services produced by other local tax-paying businesses.

 

Answer: A

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (A). Choices (B), (C), (D), and (E) all support the idea that business activity in an area leads to increased tax revenues. Choice (A) indicates that without rebates businesses would have trouble raising capital, but it does not indicate that rebates help businesses achieve profitability. Therefore, it does not address whether tax rebates result in any tax revenues, let alone enough to exceed the rebates.

Choice (A) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [16]: Geologists can show how continental drift has merged and separated the continents over hundreds of millions of years. The forces constantly at work on the plates that support the continents are well-known. Therefore, geologists can predict with certainty the shape of continents 100 million years into the future.

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

 

A: The continuous movements of the Earth’s plates produce observable and measurable results.

B: The accuracy of the instruments used to record tectonic movements has improved in accuracy in the last decade.

C: Higher mountains are newer examples of how plates collided; smaller ones have eroded longer.

D: The computers used to extrapolate the patterns of plate movement over time are highly powerful.

E: The predictions of continental mergers are based on extrapolations of imprecise data.

 

Answer: E

Explanation: The correct answer is (E). Choice (A) partly supports the writer’s ideas by stating that the evidence of plate movements is measurable. Choice (B) supports the paper’s thesis by implying that the precision of data recording has improved, which results in more accurate predictions. Choice (C) demonstrates one way the geological timeline of plate movements can be verified. Choice (D) simply indicates that researchers in this field have good tools, which does not disprove the thesis.

Choice (E) suggests much more variability about how the changes will occur than the writer acknowledged and, thereby, weakening the conclusion about making long-range predictions with certainty. Therefore, choice (E) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [57]: Geologists can show how continental drift has merged and separated the continents over hundreds of millions of years. The forces constantly at work on the plates that support the continents are well-known. Therefore, geologists can predict with certainty the shape of continents 100 million years into the future.

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

 

A: The continuous movements of the Earth’s plates produce observable and measurable results.

B: The accuracy of the instruments used to record tectonic movements has improved in accuracy in the last decade.

C: Higher mountains are newer examples of how plates collided; smaller ones have eroded longer.

D: The computers used to extrapolate the patterns of plate movement over time are highly powerful.

E: The predictions of continental mergers are based on extrapolations of imprecise data.

 

Answer: E

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (E). Choice (A) partly supports the writer’s ideas by stating that the evidence of plate movements is measurable. Choice (B) supports the paper’s thesis by implying that the precision of data recording has improved, which results in more accurate predictions. Choice (C) demonstrates one way the geological timeline of plate movements can be verified. Choice (D) simply indicates that researchers in this field have good tools, which does not disprove the thesis.

Choice (E) suggests much more variability about how the changes will occur than the writer acknowledged and, thereby, weakening the conclusion about making long-range predictions with certainty. Therefore, choice (E) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [98]: Store Representative: “Many consumers who do not shop at our specialty food store believe that our prices for staple items such as milk and sugar are excessively high. These consumers are ill-informed, as is obvious from the fact that each week our store has provided 50%-off coupons for staple items that allow consumers to save more money than at any other food store.”

Which of the following, if true, most seriously undermines the reasoning in the representative’s argument?

 

A: At the specialty food store, staples such as milk and sugar have accounted for about the same percentage of store revenue in every year since the store opened.

B:”Customers like the customer service at prestigious specialty stores.

C: Over the past three years, the prices of milk and sugar have increased by the same rate at the specialty food store as at other stores in the area.

D: In general, the price of staples at a food store depends on the store’s location and quality of service.

E: Only stores with extremely high undiscounted prices for staple items need to offer significant inducements for consumers to purchase those items.

 

Answer: E

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (E). This is a Weaken question.

The argument includes a subtle scope shift. The store representative claims that prices for staple items are not too high because the store offers coupons of up to 50% off. However, the original claims are of undiscounted “prices,” not what customers pay after using a coupon. Consider each choice:

With choice (A), how the present time compares to other times is irrelevant to the claim that some prices are too high.

Choice (B) might explain why the store is popular despite high prices for staples, but it doesn’t have any effect on the representative’s claim that staple prices aren’t too high as is the percentage of revenue coming from the staples.

In choice (C), that the rate of increase is the same may tell you that the prices haven’t become excessively high in the last few years. Because you don’t know how those prices compared to other stores’ prices before the last few years, you don’t know whether staple prices are excessively high now.

It is irrelevant to the argument why prices are what they are as given in choice (D). The question is whether they are excessively high.

Choice (E) uses the representative’s argument to undermine it by pointing out that, if a store offers inducements such as the 50%-off coupons, the initial prices must be excessively high. Choice (E) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [139]: Cellular components originating from endosymbionts, organisms living within organisms, are the result of the endosymbiont becoming dependent on its host. Organelles, components of cells with specialized functions, originate from bacterial endosymbionts if they have their own separate DNA.

If mitochondria, components of most eukaryotic cells, originate from bacterial endosymbionts, then what can be inferred?

 

A: Mitochondria have their own separate DNA.

B: Mitochondria are a kind of organelle.

C: Some bacterial endosymbionts become dependent on their cellular hosts.

D: Mitochondria are the only organelles with their own separate DNA.

E: DNA is the result of endosymbionts becoming dependent on their hosts.

 

Answer: C

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (C). This challenging question requires you to make sense of the logic in the passage. No direct argument is made in the passage, which merely lists facts in statement form about endosymbionts, organelles, and mitochondria. The trap is assuming that mitochondria are organelles, which isn’t stated in the passage. However, information may be derived from the connections between the statements. You need to sort out which of the five statements shown can be inferred from the information you’re given.

For choice (A), the passage indicates that organelles originated from endosymbionts if they have their own separate DNA and that mitochondria originated from endosymbionts.

Next look at choice (B). Although you might have assumed that mitochondria are organelles because of the juxtaposition of the last two statements in the passage, look carefully at the information to determine whether the passage states that mitochondria are organelles. According to the passage, organelles are components of cells *with specialized functions*. However, you’re told about the role of mitochondria in the cell is that they’re components of most eukaryotic cells. Without further information, you can’t infer that mitochondria have specialized functions, and so choice (B) isn’t necessarily true either. Choice (D) is, therefore, not necessarily true as well.

For choice (C), must it be true that some bacterial endosymbionts became dependent on their cellular hosts? From the passage, you know that cellular components originating from endosymbionts are the result of endosymbionts becoming dependent on their hosts and that mitochondria are cellular components originating from bacterial endosymbionts. You can then infer that mitochondria result from bacterial endosymbionts becoming dependent on their hosts. Choice (E) is illogical.

Choice (C) is, therefore, the best (and only correct) answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – inference

 

Question [180]: Cellular components originating from endosymbionts, organisms living within organisms, are the result of the endosymbiont becoming dependent on its host. Organelles, components of cells with specialized functions, originated from bacterial endosymbionts if they have their own separate DNA.

If mitochondria, components of most eukaryotic cells, originated from bacterial endosymbionts, then what can be inferred?

 

A: Mitochondria have their own separate DNA.

B: Mitochondria are a kind of organelle.

C: Some bacterial endosymbionts become dependent on their cellular hosts.

D: Mitochondria are the only organelles with their own separate DNA.

E: DNA is the result of endosymbionts becoming dependent on their hosts.

 

Answer: C

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (C). This challenging question requires you to make sense of the logic in the passage. No direct argument is made in the passage, which merely lists facts in statement form about endosymbionts, organelles, and mitochondria. The trap is assuming that mitochondria are organelles, which isn’t stated in the passage. However, information may be derived from the connections between the statements. You need to sort out which of the five statements shown can be inferred from the information you’re given.

For choice (A), the passage indicates that organelles originated from endosymbionts if they have their own separate DNA and that mitochondria originated from endosymbionts.

Next look at choice (B). Although you might have assumed that mitochondria are organelles because of the juxtaposition of the last two statements in the passage, look carefully at the information to determine whether the passage states that mitochondria are organelles. According to the passage, organelles are components of cells *with specialized functions*. However, you’re told about the role of mitochondria in the cell is that they’re components of most eukaryotic cells. Without further information, you can’t infer that mitochondria have specialized functions, and so choice (B) isn’t necessarily true either. Choice (D) is, therefore, not necessarily true as well.

For choice (C), must it be true that some bacterial endosymbionts became dependent on their cellular hosts? From the passage, you know that cellular components originating from endosymbionts are the result of endosymbionts becoming dependent on their hosts and that mitochondria are cellular components originating from bacterial endosymbionts. You can then infer that mitochondria result from bacterial endosymbionts becoming dependent on their hosts. Choice (E) is illogical.

Choice (C) is, therefore, the best (and only correct) answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – inference

 

Question [17]: To increase revenues, a local shopping mall plans to change the parking fees it charges at its hourly parking lots. Rather than charging $2.00 for a period of two hours or less and $1.00 for each additional hour, the mall will charge $4.00 for up to the first four hours and then will charge $1.00 for every additional hour.

Which of the following factors most strongly suggests that the plan will increase total parking fee revenues? ”

 

A: Most people park at the mall for fewer than two hours.

B: For the last four years, the parking lot facilities have not been profitable.

C: A local mall across the street only charges $2.00 for the first two hours.

D: The current cost structure does not cover the expenses associated with running the parking lot. An increase in revenues will create profitability.

E: The hourly parking lots at the mall have been expanded and have excess capacity.

 

Answer: A

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (A). Choices (B) and (E) state nothing about whether revenue will increase. (Profits and revenues are different.) Choice (C) is an argument against increasing parking rates. Choice (D) begins by effectively repeating the point in choice (B) and then continues by stating that, if revenues increase, the result will be profitability. But, this choice is silent on whether revenues will increase.

If most people park for fewer than two hours, then the current revenue from most parkers is $2 per instance of parking, and this will go up to $4 under the new plan. Choice (A) is correct.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [58]: Currently, prescription drug prices are set by drug companies according to market demands. A new regulation under consideration would allow the government to require drug manufacturers to sell certain drugs at lower prices in exchange for faster regulatory approval of the drugs themselves. This new practice would result in drug companies receiving less revenue per year for each drug available on the market and would therefore impede the development of new medicines.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly indicates that the new regulation favors drug manufacturers’ long-term economic interest?

 

A: The regulation eliminates numerous tax deductions for drug development.

B: Regulatory approval often takes longer than two years during which time a manufacturer cannot recover the heavy costs spent to develop the drug.

C: Two of the most expensive parts of the process by which manufacturers bring drugs to market are the testing and approval procedures.

D: A regulation like the one under consideration was first enacted in a country where there is no patent protection for drugs developed for human consumption.

E: The lower prices required by the government would still be higher than the prices of generic alternatives.

 

Answer: B

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (B). This is a Strengthen question. The question implies the conclusion that “the new regulation is in a drug manufacturer’s long-term interest.” You’re looking to strengthen that. It is related to an explanation question because you know that the regulation results in less revenue and less development of new medicines for drug companies, and yet you want a reason why the regulation will benefit drug manufacturers.

Choice (A) would likely hurt profits.

Choice (B) is correct. The argument is limited to revenue “per year for each drug available.” Therefore, if the regulation results in more drugs becoming available, it could clearly benefit drug makers.

With choice (C), you know this process will be faster, but the passage does not give reason to believe that it will be less expensive.

Without knowing more about the results, knowing that the regulation exists elsewhere, as given in choice (D), is irrelevant to the argument.

Also, with choice (E), comparison to the price of generic alternatives is irrelevant to the argument, which is limited to the effect of the regulation on drug makers.

Choice (B) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [99]: Currently, prescription drug prices are set by drug companies according to market demands. A new regulation under consideration would allow the government to require drug manufacturers to sell certain drugs at lower prices in exchange for faster regulatory approval of the drugs themselves. This new practice would result in drug companies receiving less revenue per year for each drug available on the market and would therefore impede the development of new medicines.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly indicates that the new regulation favors drug manufacturers’ long-term economic interest?

 

A: Prescription drugs are typically purchased based on advertising and efficacy and not pricing.

B: Regulatory approval often takes longer than two years during which time a manufacturer cannot recover the heavy costs spent to develop the drug.

C: Two of the most expensive parts of the process by which manufacturers bring drugs to market are the testing and approval procedures.

D: A regulation like the one under consideration was first enacted in a country where there is no patent protection for drugs developed for human consumption.

E: The lower prices required by the government would still be higher than the prices of generic alternatives.

 

Answer: B

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (B). This is a Strengthen question. The question implies the conclusion that “the new regulation is in a drug manufacturer’s long-term interest.” You’re looking to strengthen that. It is related to an explanation question because you know that the regulation results in less revenue and less development of new medicines for drug companies, and yet you want a reason why the regulation will benefit drug manufacturers.

Choice (A) would likely hurt profits.

Choice (B) is correct. The argument is limited to revenue “per year for each drug available.” Therefore, if the regulation results in more drugs becoming available, it could clearly benefit drug makers.

With choice (C), you know this process will be faster, but the passage does not give reason to believe that it will be less expensive.

Without knowing more about the results, knowing that the regulation exists elsewhere, as given in choice (D), is irrelevant to the argument.

Also, with choice (E), comparison to the price of generic alternatives is irrelevant to the argument, which is limited to the effect of the regulation on drug makers.

Choice (B) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [140]: A recent report predicts that the amount of freight shipped over railroad lines will increase by 44% in the next decade, a much greater increase than that shipped by truck or plane. Legislators have proposed a tax credit to motivate companies to upgrade railroad infrastructure.

Which of the following, if true, provides the most support for the view that legislators’ tax credit plan will not significantly increase the capacity of railroad lines to handle the increase in freight?

 

A: The report predicts that, unless the tax credit is passed, the amount of freight shipped over railroad lines will decrease over the next two years.

B: The proposed tax credit would likely induce some engineering firms who do not currently work on railroads to expand their business and accept contracts to improve railroad infrastructure.

C: Most existing railroad lines follow routes that are also covered by intercity highways.

D: Legislators do not plan to offer a similar tax credit to companies working to improve highway infrastructure, which would benefit the truck shipping industry.

E: Most of freight shipped over railroad lines travels on the small percentage of railroad lines that have always been maintained using the most up-to-date technology.

 

Answer: E

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (E). This is a Weaken question. You can infer from the question that the legislators plan to further increase railroad traffic by offering the tax credit. You need to select a choice that shows why the tax credit will not have the desired effect. Consider each choice:

Choice (A) tells you that the report’s writer agrees with the legislators, but you don’t know anything about the writer’s credibility or reasoning. Therefore, this doesn’t have a clear effect on the argument nor does it indicate what will happen if the tax credit is instituted.

Choice (B) suggests that the tax credit would have at least some of the desired effect, spurring some firms to spend more resources improving rail lines.

Choice (C) doesn’t say anything about the tax credit or the maintenance level of the lines that run along intercity highways, so the comparison doesn’t apply to this argument.

Choice (D) is entirely about a different industry, so it is completely off-topic.

Choice (E) is the correct answer. If most freight travels on certain lines that would not be improved by work supported by tax credits, the tax credits would be unlikely to influence the amount of freight that travels by rail. The rail lines are already upgraded.

Therefore, choice (E) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [181]: A local recycling plant is so efficient that it can recycle any kind of non-toxic material. However, when transporting items to the recycling room, the conveyor belt intermittently stops and then, a moment later, resumes its movement. Perhaps the conveyer belt is getting old and needs to be replaced. An alternative hypothesis is that constantly moving the conveyor belt requires large amounts of electricity to run; therefore, short pauses allow the plant to save energy.

Which of the following, if discovered regarding the recycling plant, would support one of the two hypotheses and undermine the other?”

 

A: When the conveyor belt was first installed in the recycling plant, it did not pause as often as it does now.

B: The intermittent pauses of the conveyor belt are not related to the types of materials transported by the belt.

C: The conveyor belt was recently installed to take advantage of technology that would reduce the resources required to move material around the plant.

D: If, when the belt pauses, the weight distribution of material on the belt suddenly changes, the belt does not resume movement as quickly as when the weight distribution remains the same.

E: New energy-saving technology no longer requires that conveyor belts periodically stop to save energy.

 

Answer: C

Explanation: The correct answer is (C). This is a Strengthen/Weaken question. By reading the question, you see that the passage has two hypotheses. The correct choice strengthens one hypothesis and weakens the other. (You don’t know which is until you find the right answer.) The first hypothesis is that the conveyor belt intermittently stops because it is old and needs to be replaced. The second is that this occurs because running the belt requires a lot of electricity and pausing is an energy-saving strategy. Consider each choice:

Choice (A) strengthens the first hypothesis but has no effect on the second. (It doesn’t mention energy usage at all.)

Choice (B) is irrelevant to both hypotheses as it only removes a third possible explanation for the stopping without supporting either of the other given explanations.

Choice (C) is the correct answer. If the belt were recently installed that weakens the first hypothesis. If the new technology reduces required resources that strengthens the second hypothesis.

Choice (D) is complicated, but once you understand it, you’ll determine that it’s not the answer. Your interpretation of choice (D) might support the first hypothesis (perhaps the weight shifting is harder for the old belt to deal with), but this choice doesn’t state anything about energy usage.

Choice (E) weakens the second hypothesis but provides no information about the age or maintenance level of the belt.

The correct answer is choice (C).

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [21]: A larger percentage of wealthy people are free from major ailments or diseases than non-wealthy people. This proves that money buys wealthy people access to better health care.

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

 

A: Healthy people can work longer hours for more years than people with similar incomes who happen to become disabled.

B: In many areas of the world, rural populations are healthier than their parents despite having incomes that have not advanced.

C: The most advanced, innovative, and life-prolonging medical treatments are often quite expensive.

D: Wealthy families can purchase larger quantities and varieties of ineffectual, spurious, and strictly cosmetic treatments.

E: International comparisons demonstrate that life expectancy is not substantially affected by the level of health care spending.

Answer: C

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (C). This is a Strengthen question.

Choice (A) implies that healthy people make more money, but this does not support the conclusion that money causes health. Choice (B) simply refers to children growing up to be healthier than their parents. You have no way of knowing how healthy or unhealthy they are in comparison to wealthy people. (In fact, you have no way of knowing how wealthy or poor they are!) Choice (D) is irrelevant. It doesn’t refer to issues relating to healthcare. Choice (E) refers to life expectancy. It might be reasonable to link better health with longer life; nonetheless, it is possible to live a long life filled with illnesses and ailments. Therefore, choice (E) doesn’t have any bearing on the conclusion reached in the passage.

Choice (C) is the only choice partially validating the conclusion that health is enhanced by great expenditures of money. “;

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [62]: A larger percentage of wealthy people are free from major ailments or disease than non-wealthy people. This proves that money buys wealthy people access to better health care.

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

 

A: Healthy people can work longer hours for more years than people with similar incomes who happen to become disabled.

B: In many areas of the world, rural populations are healthier than their parents despite having incomes that have not advanced.

C: The most advanced, innovative, and life-prolonging medical treatments are often quite expensive.

D: Wealthy families can purchase larger quantities and varieties of ineffectual, spurious, and strictly cosmetic treatments.

E: International comparisons demonstrate that life expectancy is not substantially affected by the level of health care spending.

 

Answer: C

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (C). Choice (A) implies that healthy people make more money, but this does not support the conclusion that money causes health. Choice (B) simply refers to children growing up to be healthier than their parents. You have no way of knowing how healthy or unhealthy they are in comparison to wealthy people. (In fact, you have no way of knowing how wealthy or poor they are!) Choice (D) is irrelevant. It doesn’t refer to issues relating to healthcare. Choice (E) refers to life expectancy. It might be reasonable to link better health with longer life; nonetheless, it is possible to live a long life filled with illnesses and ailments. Therefore, choice (E) doesn’t have any bearing on the conclusion reached in the passage.

Choice (C) is the only choice partially validating the conclusion that health is enhanced by great expenditures of money.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [103]: The plan to increase passenger airline traffic at the busiest airports is highly impractical. There is sufficient space to accommodate more takeoffs and landings, but not to handle the increased volume of passengers and baggage per hour that additional flights would create.

Which of the following, if true, will most seriously weaken this conclusion?

 

A: Studies have shown that plans to increase commercial airline traffic at airports are heavily dependent on the business development plans of the airlines themselves.

B: When one of the busiest airports increased commercial airline traffic by 15 percent last year, there were 10 percent more passengers per hour and 12 percent more baggage per hour.

C: If the plan to increase airline traffic is approved, the ten largest airports will serve an even higher proportion of air travelers.

D: At all airports, an increase in airline traffic does not correlate with an increase in passengers and baggage.

E: Most of the additional flights would be scheduled at times when airport traffic is at its lowest.

 

Answer:  E

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (E). This is a Weaken question. The argument, in concluding that the busiest airports could not handle the increased volume “per hour,” assumes that the hourly rate of passengers and baggage is constant or that even the slowest hour could not handle an increase in passengers and baggage. Consider each choice.

The business development plans of the airlines, as given in choice (A), are completely irrelevant to this argument.

Choice (B) simply confirms that increasing traffic increases passengers and baggage. This is no surprise, and nothing to weaken the argument.

Choice (C), like choice (B), comes as no surprise. More flights will result in a higher proportion of travelers. There is nothing to weaken the argument in this choice.

Choice (D) is the trap choice. It doesn’t tell you how the increase in traffic relates to the increase in passengers and baggage. Either one could be higher than the other, resulting in a choice that either strengthens or weakens the argument. This choice is too vague. It could result in substantially higher luggage or substantially less. You don’t know. Something this vague can’t undermine an argument as well as the next choice.

Choice (E) is the correct answer. In measuring traffic capacity, the per hour rate is not important. What matters is the amount of traffic at certain times. If the additional traffic is added at the slowest times of the day, the airports may well be able to accommodate additional traffic. Choice (E) is the best answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [144]: The plan to increase passenger airline traffic at the busiest airports is highly impractical. There is sufficient space to accommodate more takeoffs and landings, but not to handle the increased volume of passengers and baggage per hour that additional flights would create.

Which of the following, if true, will most seriously weaken this conclusion?

 

A: Studies have shown that plans to increase commercial airline traffic at airports are heavily dependent on the business development plans of the airlines themselves.

B: When one of the busiest airports increased commercial airline traffic by 16 percent last year, there were 10 percent more passengers per hour and 14 percent more baggage per hour.

C: If the plan to increase airline traffic is approved, the ten largest airports will serve an even higher proportion of air travelers.

D: At all airports, an increase in airline traffic does not result in the same percent increase in passengers and baggage.

E: Most of the additional flights would be scheduled at times when airport traffic is at its lowest.

 

Answer: E

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (E). This is a Weaken question. The argument, in concluding that the busiest airports could not handle the increased volume “per hour,” assumes that the hourly rate of passengers and baggage is constant or that even the slowest hour could not handle an increase in passengers and baggage. Consider each choice.

The business development plans of the airlines, as given in choice (A), are completely irrelevant to this argument.

Choice (B) simply confirms that increasing traffic increases passengers and baggage. This is no surprise, and nothing to weaken the argument.

Choice (C), like choice (B), comes as no surprise. More flights will result in a higher proportion of travelers. There is nothing to weaken the argument in this choice.

Choice (D) is the trap choice. It doesn’t tell you how the increase in traffic relates to the increase in passengers and baggage. Either one could be higher than the other, resulting in a choice that either strengthens or weakens the argument. This choice is too vague. It could result in substantially higher luggage or substantially less. You don’t know. Something this vague can’t undermine an argument as well as the next choice.

Choice (E) is the correct answer. In measuring traffic capacity, the per hour rate is not important. What matters is the amount of traffic at certain times. If the additional traffic is added at the slowest times of the day, the airports may well be able to accommodate additional traffic. Choice (E) is the best answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [185]: With the recent economic downturn, more students are opting to attend professional schools rather than to seek immediate employment after graduating college. However, so many students are graduating law schools that soon there will be many more lawyers than available jobs. Increasing law school tuition will deter many students from entering law school, thus making it easier for existing and future law school graduates to find jobs.

Which of the following is an assumption made in drawing the conclusion?

 

A: Recent law school graduates are less qualified for employment in law than those who have been working in law already.

B: There will be scholarships available for the most qualified students to meet the higher tuition costs.

C: Most students would not be able to pay the higher tuition.

D: There are a limited number of students who are willing to pay higher law school tuitions.

E: Tuition is the most important consideration in a student’s decision to attend law school.

 

Answer:  D

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (D). The author assumes that higher tuitions will result in lower enrollment in law schools and fewer law school graduates searching for jobs. Implicit in this argument is that the higher tuitions will not just change who enrolls in law school, but how many enroll. Consider each choice:

The qualifications of recent graduates versus those with more experience, as given with choice (A), does not affect whether the tuition increase will solve the problem.

Choice (B) certainly eliminates the concern that highly qualified students may not be able to pay the higher tuition, but it does not address the ability of the graduates to find jobs, which is dependent on the number of students graduating with law degrees.

With choice (C), it is not necessary that most students are unable to pay the higher tuition; it is necessary that the higher tuition result in an actual decrease in enrollment. It is possible that 49% of students can pay the higher tuition, yet law schools will still be full.

As given in choice (D), if there is another student always waiting to pay higher tuition in place of one who cannot, the enrollment and graduation rates are unlikely to change.

With choice (E), increased tuition must be a deterrent for the conclusion to be correctly drawn, but it need not be the most important consideration.

Therefore, choice (D) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – assumption

 

Question [26]: Capital punishment is a barbaric and outdated practice that fails to acknowledge that errors are possible in the judicial system. If it were possible to ascertain guilt without a shadow of a doubt, certain situations would surely warrant the death penalty; as it is, however, capital punishment is never justified.

Which of the following most logically supports the conclusion?

 

A: Our legal system offers alternative punishments.

B: It is immoral to punish any crime by death.

C: One must consider the cultural and political implications of the death penalty.

D: Capital punishment is wrong if the possibility exists of convicting an innocent person.

E: Our culture does not have a uniform morality.

 

Answer: D

Explanation: The correct answer is (D). This question requires you to identify the reasoning in the argument and then apply it by determining the implied meaning of the phrase as it is. Because the phrase is followed by the word however, the best answer will contrast the information contained in the modifier (“if” phrase) before it: if it were possible to ascertain guilt without a shadow of a doubt. The only answer choice that offers this contrast is choice (D). The other answer choices (A), (B), (C), and (E) all offer potential support for the conclusion that capital punishment is never justified.

Choice (D) is the only one that properly fits the context created by the “if” phrase and, therefore, is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – style of reasoning

 

Question [67]: Capital punishment is a barbaric and outdated practice that fails to acknowledge that errors are possible in the judicial system. If it were possible to ascertain guilt without a shadow of a doubt, certain situations would surely warrant the death penalty; as it is, however, capital punishment is never justified.

Which of the following most logically supports the conclusion?

 

A: Our legal system offers alternative punishments.

B: It is immoral to punish any crime by death.

C: One must consider the cultural and political implications of the death penalty.

D: Capital punishment is wrong if the possibility exists of convicting an innocent person.

E: Our culture does not have a uniform morality.

 

Answer: D

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (D). This question requires you to identify the reasoning in the argument, and then apply it by determining the implied meaning of the phrase as it is. Because the phrase is followed by the word however, the best answer will contrast the information contained in the modifier (“if” phrase) before it: if it were possible to ascertain guilt without a shadow of a doubt. The only answer choice that offers this contrast is choice (D). The other answer choices (A), (B), (C), and (E) all offer potential support for the conclusion that capital punishment is never justified.

Choice (D) is the only one that properly fits the context created by the “if” phrase and, therefore, is the correct answer.

 

Question Type:  Critical Reasoning – style of reasoning

 

Question [108]: Capital punishment is a barbaric and outdated practice that fails to acknowledge that errors are possible in the judicial system. If it were possible to ascertain guilt without a shadow of a doubt, certain situations would surely warrant the death penalty; as it is, however, capital punishment is never justified.

Which of the following most logically supports the conclusion?

 

A: Our legal system offers alternative punishments.

B: It is immoral to punish any crime by death.

C: One must consider the cultural and political implications of the death penalty.

D: Capital punishment is wrong if the possibility exists of convicting an innocent person.

E: Our culture does not have a uniform morality.

 

Answer: D

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (D). This question requires you to identify the reasoning in the argument, and then apply it by determining the implied meaning of the phrase as it is. Because the phrase is followed by the word however>, the best answer will contrast the information contained in the modifier (‘if’ phrase) before it: if it were possible to ascertain guilt without a shadow of a doubt. The only answer choice that offers this contrast is choice (D). The other answer choices (A), (B), (C), and (E) all offer potential support for the conclusion that capital punishment is never justified.

Choice (D) is the only one that properly fits the context created by the “if” phrase and, therefore, is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – style of reasoning

 

Question [149]: Capital punishment is a barbaric and outdated practice that fails to acknowledge that errors are possible in the judicial system. If it were possible to ascertain guilt without a shadow of a doubt, certain situations would surely warrant the death penalty; as it is, however, capital punishment is never justified.

Which of the following most logically supports the conclusion?

 

A: Our legal system offers alternative punishments.

B: It is immoral to punish any crime by death.

C: One must consider the cultural and political implications of the death penalty.

D: Capital punishment is wrong if the possibility exists of convicting an innocent person.

E: Our culture does not have a uniform morality.

 

Answer: D

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (D). This question requires you to identify the reasoning in the argument, and then apply it by determining the implied meaning of the phrase as it is. Because the phrase is followed by the word however, the best answer will contrast the information contained in the modifier (“if” phrase) before it: if it were possible to ascertain guilt without a shadow of a doubt. The only answer choice that offers this contrast is choice (D). The other answer choices (A), (B), (C), and (E) all offer potential support for the conclusion that capital punishment is never justified.

Choice (D) is the only one that properly fits the context created by the “if” phrase and, therefore, is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – style of reasoning

 

Question [190]: To fully appreciate Mississippi Blues music is to understand rock music more holistically. However, many musicians do not appreciate Mississippi Blues music. Therefore, those who value Mississippi Blues music possess a better understanding of rock music than do the many musicians who do not value it.

Which of the following is assumed in the argument?

 

A: Many talented musicians appreciate Mississippi Blues music.

B: The only method to increase one’s understanding of rock music is to understand it more holistically.

C: Many musicians highly value Mississippi Blues music.

D: Those who appreciate Mississippi Blues music are highly informed regarding it.

E: Those who highly value Mississippi Blues music understand the underpinnings of rock music.

 

Answer: B

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (B). Choice (A) is incorrect because “talented” musicians are not part of the argument.

As given in choice (B), those who highly value Mississippi Blues music possess a better understanding of rock music than the many musicians who do not appreciate Mississippi Blues music. This choice provides an assumption for the argument.

Choice (C) is incorrect because the argument tells you only that many musicians do not appreciate Mississippi Blues music, and in fact, because of this, they have a lesser understanding of rock music. There is nothing in the argument to connect with the idea that many musicians “highly value” Mississippi Blues music.

Nothing in the argument refers to being “highly informed” regarding Mississippi Blues music as given in choice (D). Apart from choice (E) being almost explicitly stated in the passage, and the fact that assumptions can never be stated, “underpinnings” are not part of the argument.

Therefore, choice (B) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – deductive

 

Question [27]:”Developers hold housing lotteries to induce residents of Cranford to attend their open houses with the hope that the Cranford residents who attend the open houses will buy property in their developments. In the initial marketing of its new condominium development, Whiting Developments should hold a lottery, thereby attracting many Cranford residents as potential buyers.

Which of the following, if true, casts the most serious doubt on the likelihood that the recommended marketing strategy will have the result that is claimed?

 

A: Many Cranford residents are unlikely to attend open houses unless offered an inducement to do so.

B: Cranford residents who participate in housing lotteries tend not to be in the market to purchase a home.

C: Many developers permit entry into their housing lotteries only to those people who attend open houses.

D: Typically, fewer than one in a thousand people who enter a housing lottery win free housing because of their entry.

E: A marketing campaign that includes a housing lottery is most effective when combined with high-pressure salespeople at open houses.

 

Answer: B

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (B). This is a Weaken question.

The argument creates a causal link between offering housing lotteries and attracting people who will buy property in developments. The assumption is that drawing people by the housing lottery will cause some of those people to buy condominiums. To weaken the argument, you need to show that this link is not valid:

Choice (A) strengthens the strategy to some extent. If people will only attend open houses if offered an inducement, it makes the housing lottery even more important as a marketing approach.

Choice (B) is correct. If the people drawn to a housing lottery are not looking to purchase a new home, the marketing strategy is flawed because the people it attracts are not potential customers.

Choice (C) doesn’t strengthen or weaken the connection between people drawn to the housing lottery and potential customers of the condominiums.

In choice (D), the results of the housing lottery are irrelevant. You care about whether entrants are potential customers for the developers.

In choice (E) because you don’t know whether high-pressure salespeople will be present at open houses, you don’t know what effect this evidence has on the possible success of the housing lottery strategy.

Choice (B) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [68]: Unlike fortune tellers, tarot card readers do not claim to be able to predict the future. Rather, they claim to offer an in-depth analysis of your present state of mind. Tarot reading is a legitimate practice, but fortune telling, on the other hand, cannot be said to be based on scientific principles.

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

 

A: Fortune tellers are often among the first to predict natural disasters and manmade catastrophic events.

B: Horoscopes, which also claim to predict the future, are based upon the motions of the sun and planets discovered during the golden age of ancient Greece.

C: Many tarot readers are unable to explain how they can provide such accurate readings.

D: Fortune telling has been practiced all over the world and in many different historical epochs.

E: Tarot readings are based on the language of symbols, whose effect on the subconscious is documented by Carl Jung, a well-known psychoanalytic theorist.

 

Answer: E

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (E). This is a Strengthen question.

Choice (E) offers the most support to the conclusion. The argument concludes that tarot card reading is a legitimate practice, but fortune telling cannot be said to be based on scientific principles (and, thus you can infer, is not legitimate). You can also infer from this argument that tarot reading is legitimate because it can be said to be based on scientific principles. A statement strengthening this conclusion will offer support to one of these ideas.

If, as choice (E) indicates, tarot readings are based on the language of symbols and if the symbols have a real effect on the subconscious, then the idea that tarot is based on scientific principles is strengthened. This is supported by the notion that an eminent theorist documented the effects of symbols on the subconscious.

Choices (B), (C), and (D) state irrelevant information. Choice (A) weakens the argument.

Choice (E) is the only answer to offer support to the conclusion and is the best answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [109]: Unlike fortune tellers, tarot card readers do not claim to be able to predict the future. Rather, they claim to offer an in-depth analysis of your present state of mind. Tarot reading is a legitimate practice, but fortune telling cannot be said to be based on scientific principles.

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

 

A: Fortune tellers are often among the first to predict natural disasters and manmade catastrophic events.

B: Horoscopes, which also claim to predict the future, are based upon the motions of the sun and planets discovered during the golden age of ancient Greece.

C: Many tarot readers are unable to explain how they can provide such accurate readings.

D: Many major events, like the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and the housing crash of 2008, were predicted by tarot card readers.

E: Tarot readings are based on the language of symbols, whose effect on the subconscious is documented by Carl Jung, a well-known psychoanalytic theorist.

 

Answer: E

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (E). This is a Strengthen question.

Choice (E) offers the most support to the conclusion. The argument concludes that tarot card reading is a legitimate practice, but fortune telling cannot be said to be based on scientific principles (and, thus you can infer, is not legitimate). You can also infer from this argument that tarot reading is legitimate because it can be said to be based on scientific principles. A statement strengthening this conclusion will offer support to one of these ideas.

If, as choice (E) indicates, tarot readings are based on the language of symbols and if the symbols have a real effect on the subconscious, then the idea that tarot is based on scientific principles is strengthened. This is supported by the notion that an eminent theorist documented the effects of symbols on the subconscious.

Choices (B) and (C) state irrelevant information. Choice (D) is problematic because it says that tarot card reading is not intended to predict the future and two accurate predictions could be a fluke. (How many were wrong?) Choice (A) weakens the argument.

Choice (E) is the only answer to offer support to the conclusion and is the best answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [150]: Southern Mesopotamia is an alluvial country, and the ancient cities, which doubtless marks the sites of the oldest settlements in the land, are situated in the alluvial marshy plain between the Tigris and the Euphrates; so that all traces of the Neolithic culture of the country has disappeared.

 

A: which doubtless marks the sites of the oldest settlements in the land, are situated in the alluvial marshy plain between the Tigris and the Euphrates; so that all traces of the Neolithic culture of the country has

B: which doubtless marks the sites of the oldest settlements in the land, are situated in the alluvial marshy plain among the Tigris and the Euphrates; therefore, all traces of the Neolithic culture of the country would have certainly

C: which doubtless mark the sites of the oldest settlements in the land, are situated in the alluvial marshy plain between the Tigris and the Euphrates, so that all traces of the Neolithic culture of the country have

D: which doubtless mark the sites of the oldest settlements in the land, are situated in the alluvial marshy plain between the Tigris and the Euphrates; however, all traces of the Neolithic culture of the country

E: that doubtless mark the sites of the oldest settlements in the land, are situated in the alluvial marshy plain among the Tigris and the Euphrates; however, all traces of the Neolithic culture of the country has

 

Answer: C

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (C). This is a Meaning question.

First, eliminate the grammatically incorrect choices. The original sentence requires the plural verb “mark” to agree with the plural noun “cities.” Answers with awkward and wordy constructions must be eliminated. The words “which” and “that” are both acceptable here, as the non-restrictive and restrictive uses, respectively, are both acceptable. The correct idiomatic usage is “between X and Y” because of mentioning two rivers. The verb “have disappeared” must refer to the plural noun “traces.”

Choice (A) incorrectly uses the singular verb, “marks,” to refer to the plural noun, “cities,” and the singular verb, “has disappeared,” to refer to “traces.” A comma should precede the conjunction “so.”

Choice (B) incorrectly uses the singular verb, “marks,” to refer to plural noun, “cities.” It incorrectly uses the idiom: “among X and Y.” (The word “among” is used when there are three or more objects of the preposition.) The conditional “would” is inappropriate because the reader wants to know what has happened, not what might have happened.

Choice (C) is correct. It correctly uses “mark” to refer to the plural noun “cities”, uses “have disappeared” to refer to “traces”, and uses the correct idiom “between X and Y.”

With choice (D), the context calls for the perfect tense form “have disappeared” rather than the past indicative form “disappeared.”

Choice (E) incorrectly uses the idiom “among X and Y” and incorrectly uses “has disappeared” where the plural “have disappeared” is required.

Choice (C) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [31]: Columnist: “Studies of fatal automobile accidents reveal that, in most of cases in which one occupant of an automobile is killed while another survives, it is the passenger, not the driver, who is killed. It is ironic that the innocent passenger should suffer for the driver’s carelessness when the driver often suffers only minor injuries or none.”

Which of the following is an assumption underlying the columnist’s reasoning in the passage?

 

A: In a significant number of fatal automobile accidents, the driver of a car in which an occupant is killed is at fault.

B: Drivers of automobiles are rarely killed in auto accidents.

C: Most deaths in fatal automobile accidents are suffered by occupants of cars rather than by pedestrians.

D: Auto safety experts should increase their efforts to provide protection for those in the passenger seats of automobiles.

E: Automobile passengers sometimes play a contributing role in causing auto accidents.

 

Answer: A

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (A). The passage assumes that a surviving driver is guilty of “carelessness” in causing an accident that is fatal to one of the passengers in the driver’s car. This is not necessarily so. The driver of another car might have been at fault, or a mechanical failure could have been responsible. Choice (A) provides the assumption that underlies the conclusion and is, thus, the correct answer.

Choice (B) is incorrect because it merely repeats the idea from the evidence that the driver is usually not the one who dies. Choice (C) makes an irrelevant comparison to pedestrians. Choice (D) fails because auto safety experts are outside the scope, and choice (E) would weaken the author’s argument.

Choice (A) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – assumption

 

Question [72]: Columnist: “Studies of fatal automobile accidents reveal that, in most of the cases in which one occupant of an automobile is killed while another survives, it is the passenger, not the driver, who is killed. It is ironic that the innocent passenger should suffer for the driver’s carelessness when the driver often suffers only minor injuries or none.”

Which of the following is an assumption underlying the columnist’s reasoning in the passage?

 

A: In a significant number of fatal automobile accidents, the driver of a car in which an occupant is killed is at fault.

B: Drivers of automobiles are rarely killed in auto accidents.

C: Most deaths in fatal automobile accidents are suffered by occupants of cars rather than by pedestrians.

D: Auto safety experts should increase their efforts to provide protection for those in the passenger seats of automobiles.

E: Automobile passengers sometimes play a contributing role in causing auto accidents.

 

Answer: A

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (A). The passage assumes that a surviving driver is guilty of “carelessness” in causing an accident that is fatal to one of the passengers in the driver’s car. This is not necessarily so. The driver of another car might have been at fault, or a mechanical failure could have been responsible. Choice (A) provides the assumption that underlies the conclusion and is, thus, the correct answer.

Choice (B) is incorrect because it merely repeats the idea from the evidence that the driver is usually not the one who dies. Choice (C) makes an irrelevant comparison to pedestrians. Choice (D) fails because auto safety experts are outside the scope, and choice (E) would weaken the author’s argument.

Choice (A) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – assumption

 

Question [113]: The Alpha Motor Company is set to release a new model at a slightly higher price than last year’s. The company claims that this year’s model will cost less in the long run due to its higher safety rating and improved mileage.

Which of the following assumptions has no bearing on the claim that the new model will cost less in the long run than its predecessor?

 

A: Gas prices will rise through the life of the car.

B: The new model will generally be as reliable as last year’s model.

C: Buyers can afford the new price.

D: The new car will have lower tire replacement costs.

E: A higher safety rating will lead to a lower price for insurance.

 

Answer: C

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (C). The passage implies that Alpha believes the reduction in running costs of the new model will, over the life of the car, more than offset the higher purchase price of the car. The savings Alpha foresees are related to gas mileage and the new model’s improved safety features.

If gas prices increase, given in choice (A), the offset will occur more quickly. True, Alpha will have had to assume as part of its calculations that buyers of the new model will drive a reasonable number of miles. If they never take the car out of the garage, improved gas mileage will have no financial effect whatever. Driving a reasonable number of miles is an appropriate assumption.

Choice (B) underpins Alpha’s claim: reliability could decrease and cost more in the long run or otherwise affect costs. Although it does not mean that the new model will cost less, it is still relevant for calculating costs.

Choices (D) and (E) will clearly help save running costs to compensate for the increase in purchase price.

Choice (C) is the only one that has no bearing on Alpha’s claim and is, therefore, the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – inference

 

Question [154]: The Alpha Motor Company is set to release a new model at a slightly higher price than last year’s. The company claims that this year’s model will cost less in the long run due to its higher safety rating and improved mileage.

Which of the following assumptions has no bearing on the claim that the new model will cost less in the long run than its predecessor?

 

A: Gas prices will rise through the life of the car.

B: The new model will generally be as reliable as last year’s model.

C: Buyers can afford the new price.

D: The new car will have lower tire replacement costs.

E: A higher safety rating will lead to a lower price for insurance.

Answer: C

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (C). The passage implies that Alpha believes the reduction in running costs of the new model will, over the life of the car, more than offset the higher purchase price of the car. The savings Alpha foresees are related to gas mileage and the new model’s improved safety features.

If gas prices increase, given in choice (A), the offset will occur more quickly. True, Alpha will have had to assume as part of its calculations that buyers of the new model will drive a reasonable number of miles. If they never take the car out of the garage, improved gas mileage will have no financial effect whatever. Driving a reasonable number of miles is an appropriate assumption.

Choice (B) underpins Alpha’s claim: reliability could decrease and cost more in the long run or otherwise affect costs. Although it does not mean that the new model will cost less, it is still relevant for calculating costs.

Choices (E) and (D) will clearly help save running costs to compensate for the increase in purchase price.

Choice (C) is the only one that has no bearing on Alpha’s claim and is, therefore, the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – inference

 

Question [195]: In the early stages of genetic research, a genetics company established a plan to sequence the genomes of every citizen within a certain 5-mile radius. The company’s goal was to cure a certain hereditary disease common to that area. This goal was far too ambitious; critics argue that this is a result of the company’s lack of scientific foresight.

Which of the following, if true, provides the strongest support for the conclusion of the argument?

 

A: Funds allocated for the project were sufficient to cover only a small percentage of the planned sequencings.

B: The company based their plan on models that eventually proved ineffective for other companies.

C: To date, only fifty genomes have been successfully sequenced.

D: Other genetics companies have managed to identify the genes responsible for certain illnesses.

E: The hereditary disease being researched is caused by a combination of inherited genetics and environmental conditions.

 

Answer: E

 

 

link1: http://www.8s.com.php53-15.dfw1-1.websitetestlink.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3971

link2: http://www.gmatp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=78656

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (E). This question asks you to find the answer that, when added to the passage, lends the greatest support to the conclusion. The first step is to find the conclusion. The first sentence of the passage establishes what the company’s plans were. The second sentence contains the conclusion. Often the conclusion follows the evidence, but in this case, the conclusion is presented first (“the operation was too ambitious”). Then the evidence intended to support that conclusion (“critics argue…”) follows.

Choice (E) explains how a lack of scientific foresight contributed to the ambitious expectation for this project (“curing a certain hereditary disease”). If the company had known that the illness was caused by a combination of both genetics and environmental conditions, the company’s plan to cure the illness by addressing only genetic causes could have been adjusted. Given this premise, the company’s scientists should have anticipated that the experiment would not be successful.

Choice (A) explains how the operation was financially too ambitious. However, because the author supports his claim with the statement that the charge of excessive ambition resulted from the company’s lack of sufficient scientific foresight, the answer needs to explain how the project’s excessive ambition was the result of a lack of scientific foresight. It is possible to argue that “scientific foresight” might have prevented cost overruns, but this is an extreme stretch and hardly the “strongest” support.

Choice (B) shows another way in which the project may have been poorly planned, but again it neglects to explain how the charge of excessive ambition is related to a lack of scientific foresight.

Choice (C) suggests one way in which the project may have been too ambitious, possibly because of a lack of scientific foresight. It mentions that only 50 genomes have been sequenced to date. However, because you do not know how many people the company was intending to include in the study, you cannot conclude that the company had excessively ambitious plans. Because of this, it cannot be assumed that the company exhibited a lack of scientific foresight. (The company may have planned to work with 5, 20, 25, or 5,000 citizens. Is the 5-mile radius in Antarctica?) Vague answers are weak answers, and you are looking for the “strongest” choice.

Choice (D) provides irrelevant information. Any successes experienced by other companies tell nothing about what was wrong with this company’s plans.

The statement in choice (E) effectively supports the conclusion and, therefore, is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [35]: A company sells rear-view mirrors and visors for a certain make of automobile. It also manufactures side-view mirrors, but these aren’t as popular a product as are rear-view mirrors. Because the company sells more rear-view mirrors than side-view mirrors, the company can increase sales by selling side-view mirrors and rear-view mirrors packaged together as one unit.

The claim made rests which presupposition?

 

A: Visors do not sell as well as rear-view mirrors.

B: No other company sells rear-view mirrors separately.

C: Sales of a product will not be affected by changing the way it is sold.

D: Mirrors should regularly be checked and replaced to maintained safety standards.

E: Demand for rear-view mirrors will not decline by as much as sales of side-view mirrors will increase.

 

Answer: E

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (E). This question asks you to identify the argument’s presupposition. The argument suggests that, because rear-view mirrors sell better than side-view mirrors, packaging the two together will necessarily increase overall sales.

The popularity of visors, as given in choice (A), is irrelevant to sales of rear-view and side-view mirrors. Choice (B) is closer to what you want, but it is not directly enough connected to the argument to be the correct answer. Choice (C) is correct regarding rear-view mirrors, but it is incorrect for side-view mirrors. (The sales of side-view mirrors should increase.) Choice (D) is not relevant to the argument.

Choice (E) is the best choice. If demand for the company’s rear-view mirror will not hold up in the face of customers being forced to pay for a side-view mirror to obtain one, it would not make sense to package the two mirrors together; therefore, choice (E) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – flaw

 

Question [76]: A company sells rear-view mirrors and visors for a certain make of automobile. It also manufactures side-view mirrors, but these aren’t as popular a product as are rear-view mirrors. Because the company sells more rear-view mirrors than side-view mirrors, the company can increase sales by selling side-view mirrors and rear-view mirrors packaged together as one unit.

The claim made above rests on which presupposition?

 

A: Visors do not sell as well as rear-view mirrors.

B: No other company sells rear-view mirrors separately.

C: Sales of a product will not be affected by changing the way it is sold.

D: Mirrors should regularly be checked and replaced to maintained safety standards.

E: Demand for rear-view mirrors will not decline by as much as sales of side-view mirrors will increase.

 

Answer: E

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (E). This question asks you to identify the argument’s presupposition. The argument suggests that, because rear-view mirrors sell better than side-view mirrors, packaging the two together will necessarily increase overall sales.

The popularity of visors, as given in choice (A), is irrelevant to sales of rear-view and side-view mirrors. Choice (B) is closer to what you want, but it is not directly enough connected to the argument to be the correct answer. Choice (C) is correct regarding rear-view mirrors, but it is incorrect for side-view mirrors. (The sales of side-view mirrors should increase.) Choice (D) is not relevant to the argument.

Choice (E) is the best choice. If demand for the company’s rear-view mirror will not hold up in the face of customers being forced to pay for a side-view mirror to obtain one, it would not make sense to package the two mirrors together; therefore, choice (E) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – flaw

 

Question [117]: A company sells rear-view mirrors and visors for a certain make of automobile. It also manufactures side-view mirrors, but these aren’t as popular a product as are rear-view mirrors. Because the company sells more rear-view mirrors than side-view mirrors, the company can increase sales by selling side-view mirrors and rear-view mirrors packaged together as one unit.

The claim made above rests on which presupposition?

 

A: Visors do not sell as well as rear-view mirrors.

B: No other company sells rear-view mirrors separately.

C: Sales of a product will not be affected by changing the way it is sold.

D: Mirrors should regularly be checked and replaced to maintained safety standards.

E: Demand for rear-view mirrors will not decline by as much as sales of side-view mirrors will increase.

 

Answer: E

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (E). This question asks you to identify the argument’s presupposition. The argument suggests that, because rear-view mirrors sell better than side-view mirrors, packaging the two together will necessarily increase overall sales.

The popularity of visors, as given in choice (A), is irrelevant to sales of rear-view and side-view mirrors. Choice (B) is closer to what you want, but it is not directly enough connected to the argument to be the correct answer. Choice (C) is correct regarding rear-view mirrors, but it is incorrect for side-view mirrors. (The sales of side-view mirrors should increase.) Choice (D) is not relevant to the argument.

Choice (E) is the best choice. If demand for the company’s rear-view mirror will not hold up in the face of customers being forced to pay for a side-view mirror to obtain one, it would not make sense to package the two mirrors together; therefore, choice (E) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – flaw

 

Question [158]: Doctor: “My patients have asked me for an alternative to the medication I currently prescribe for high blood pressure. They claim that the medication causes night sweats and loss of appetite.”

Pharmaceutical representative: “That is an illogical request. No medications come without side effects, especially those used to treat high blood pressure.”

The representative’s response to the doctor’s argument is ineffective because it does which of the following?

 

A: It indirectly refutes the doctor’s primary assumption.

B: It assumes without justification that all medications have side effects.

C: It fails to consider that other medications could have different side effects.

D: It treats the doctor’s argument as if it were about just a few patients rather than many patients.

E: It contradicts the doctor’s request without offering an explanation.

 

Answer: C

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (C). This is a Style of Reasoning question. Choice (C) does the best job showing how the pharmaceutical representative’s response is flawed. The argument fails to consider that other medications might have different (less harmful) side effects. Just because every medication has side effects doesn’t mean that those side effects are equally harmful or annoying to patients. A different medication might have less noticeable side effects, so the doctor’s request is not illogical as the representative claims it is.

Choices (A), (B), (D), and (E) offer inaccurate explanations of how the representative’s response to the doctor is flawed. Choice (A) is incorrect because the representative does not refute the doctor’s assumption. Choice (B) is incorrect because the representative states, rather than assumes, that all medications have side effects. Choice (D) is incorrect because the number of patients that are in question is irrelevant, and choice (E) is incorrect because the representative does offer an explanation, namely, that all drugs have side effects.

Choice (C) shows a flaw in the argument and is the best answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – style of reasoning

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – flaw

 

Question [199]: Doctor: “My patients have asked me for an alternative to the medication I currently prescribe for high blood pressure. They claim that the medication causes night sweats and loss of appetite.”

Pharmaceutical representative: “That is an illogical request. No medications come without side effects, especially those used to treat high blood pressure.”

The representative’s response to the doctor’s argument is ineffective because it does which of the following?

 

A: It indirectly refutes the doctor’s primary assumption.

B: It assumes without justification that all medications have side effects.

C: It fails to consider that other medications could have different side effects.

D: It treats the doctor’s argument as if it were about just a few patients rather than many patients.

E: It contradicts the doctor’s request without offering an explanation.

 

Answer: C

 

Explanation: (C) This is a Style of Reasoning question. Choice (C) does the best job showing how the pharmaceutical representative’s response is flawed. The argument fails to consider that other medications might have different (less harmful) side effects. Just because every medication has side effects doesn’t mean that those side effects are equally harmful or annoying to patients. A different medication might have less noticeable side effects, so the doctor’s request is not illogical as the representative claims it is.

Choices (A), (B), (D), and (E) offer inaccurate explanations of how the representative’s response to the doctor is flawed. Choice (A) is incorrect because the representative does not refute the doctor’s assumption. Choice (B) is incorrect because the representative states, rather than assumes, that all medications have side effects. Choice (D) is incorrect because the number of patients that are in question is irrelevant, and choice (E) is incorrect because the representative does offer an explanation, namely, that all drugs have side effects.

Choice (C) shows a flaw in the argument and is the best answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – style of reasoning

 

Question [36]: Of the 70 percent of Americans who applied or reapplied for automobile insurance last year, only 10 percent requested and read a booklet provided by the federal government that detailed strategies for reducing insurance costs. Therefore, at least 90 percent of Americans who bought auto insurance this year are paying too much for their policy.

The reasoning behind the conclusion is called into question by which of the following?

 

A: Consumers must pay a fee to obtain the federal booklet by mail.

B: The booklet offers ideas for reducing insurance costs that are unavailable elsewhere.

C: Some consumers can choose an economic policy without the aid of the booklet.

D: Of the 30 percent of Americans who do not have automobile insurance, 10 percent are uninsured drivers and 20 percent do not drive.

E: Knowledge of automobile safety techniques tends to reduce a driver’s monthly insurance payment.

 

Answer: C

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (C). You are asked to identify which of the five premises most weakens the conclusion that at least 90 percent of Americans are paying too much for their policy. To do this, you must show that the booklet is not the only safeguard against overpayment. It is necessary to show the possibility that fewer than 90 percent are paying too much. Accepting the premise that 10 percent of insured drivers are aided by information in the booklet, it must be shown that the other insured drivers have found other ways to minimize their insurance costs.

Choice (C) calls the reasoning in the conclusion into question. The argument’s main point is simple: you can’t pick affordable car insurance without reading this booklet. Effectively, the argument is assigning magic powers to this federal booklet.

Choice (A) neither supports nor calls into question the reasoning used in the conclusion. You know that 10 percent request the booklet. Why they request it is irrelevant.

Similarly, choice (B) does little to explain the error in the conclusion: even if it is true that the booklet contains “secrets,” only 10 percent of insured drivers read it. Nothing is mentioned about the other 90 percent. This doesn’t “call into question” the conclusion; in fact, it supports it. This is a “trick opposite” choice that gives you an answer the opposite of what the question wants. If you picked choice (B), you did not read the question closely enough.

Furthermore, the statement that 30 percent of Americans do not have insurance is irrelevant, so choice (D) is incorrect.

Choice (E), even if true, does not go as far in pointing to the flaw in the conclusion as choice (C) does. The passage states that automobile safety tips are provided by the booklet. For choice (E) to be a good answer, it would need to show, in addition to its current claim, that, of the 90 percent of non-readers, some are acquiring auto safety knowledge elsewhere.

Choice (C) indicates that it is possible to pick affordable car insurance without reading the booklet; therefore, choice (C) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [77]: Of the 70 percent of Americans who applied or reapplied for automobile insurance last year, only 10 percent requested and read a booklet provided by the federal government that detailed strategies for reducing insurance costs. Therefore, at least 90 percent of Americans who bought auto insurance this year are paying too much for their policy.

The reasoning behind the conclusion is called into question by which of the following?

 

A: Consumers must pay a fee to obtain the federal booklet by mail.

B: The booklet offers ideas for reducing insurance costs that are unavailable elsewhere.

C: Some consumers can choose an economic policy without the aid of the booklet.

D: Of the 30 percent of Americans who do not have automobile insurance, 10 percent are uninsured drivers and 20 percent do not drive.

E: Knowledge of automobile safety techniques tends to reduce a driver’s monthly insurance payment.

 

Answer: C

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (C). You are asked to identify which of the five premises most weakens the conclusion that at least 90 percent of Americans are paying too much for their policy. To do this, you must show that the booklet is not the only safeguard against overpayment. It is necessary to show the possibility that fewer than 90 percent are paying too much. Accepting the premise that 10 percent of insured drivers are aided by information in the booklet, it must be shown that the other insured drivers have found other ways to minimize their insurance costs.

Choice (C) calls the reasoning in the conclusion into question. The argument’s main point is simple: you can’t pick affordable car insurance without reading this booklet. Effectively, the argument is assigning magic powers to this federal booklet.

Choice (A) neither supports nor calls into question the reasoning used in the conclusion. You know that 10 percent request the booklet. Why they request it is irrelevant.

Similarly, choice (B) does little to explain the error in the conclusion: even if it is true that the booklet contains “secrets,” only 10 percent of insured drivers read it. Nothing is mentioned about the other 90 percent. This doesn’t “call into question” the conclusion; in fact, it supports it. This is a “trick opposite” choice that gives you an answer the opposite of what the question wants. If you picked choice (B), you did not read the question closely enough.

Furthermore, the statement that 30 percent of Americans do not have insurance is irrelevant, so choice (D) is incorrect.

Choice (E), even if true, does not go as far in pointing to the flaw in the conclusion as choice (C) does. The passage states that automobile safety tips are provided by the booklet. For choice (E) to be a good answer, it would need to show, in addition to its current claim, that, of the 90 percent of non-readers, some are acquiring auto safety knowledge elsewhere.

Choice (C) indicates that it is possible to pick affordable car insurance without reading the booklet; therefore, choice (C) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [118]: Of the 70 percent of Americans who applied or reapplied for automobile insurance last year, only 10 percent requested and read a booklet provided by the federal government that detailed strategies for reducing insurance costs. Therefore, at least 90 percent of Americans who bought auto insurance this year are paying too much for their policy.

The reasoning behind the conclusion is called into question by which of the following?

 

A: Consumers must pay a fee to obtain the federal booklet by mail.

B: The government booklet offers ideas for reducing insurance costs that are unavailable elsewhere.

C: Some consumers can choose a good policy without the aid of the booklet.

D: Of the 30 percent of Americans who do not have automobile insurance, 10 percent are uninsured drivers and 20 percent do not drive.

E: Knowledge of automobile safety techniques tends to reduce a driver’s monthly insurance payment.

 

Answer: C

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (C). You are asked to identify which of the five premises most weakens the conclusion that at least 90 percent of Americans are paying too much for their policy. To do this, you must show that the booklet is not the only safeguard against overpayment. It is necessary to show the possibility that fewer than 90 percent are paying too much. Accepting the premise that 10 percent of insured drivers are aided by information in the booklet, it must be shown that the other insured drivers have found other ways to minimize their insurance costs.

Choice (C) calls the reasoning in the conclusion into question. The argument’s main point is simple: you can’t pick affordable car insurance without reading this booklet. Effectively, the argument is assigning magic powers to this federal booklet.

Choice (A) neither supports nor calls into question the reasoning used in the conclusion. You know that 10 percent request the booklet. Why they request it is irrelevant.

Similarly, choice (B) does little to explain the error in the conclusion: even if it is true that the booklet contains “secrets,” only 10 percent of insured drivers read it. Nothing is mentioned about the other 90 percent. This doesn’t “call into question” the conclusion; in fact, it supports it. This is a “trick opposite” choice that gives you an answer the opposite of what the question wants. If you picked choice (B), you did not read the question closely enough.

Furthermore, the statement that 30 percent of Americans do not have insurance is irrelevant, so choice (D) is incorrect.

Choice (E), even if true, does not go as far in pointing to the flaw in the conclusion as choice (C) does. The passage states that automobile safety tips are provided by the booklet. For choice (E) to be a good answer, it would need to show, in addition to its current claim, that, of the 90 percent of non-readers, some are acquiring auto safety knowledge elsewhere.

Choice (C) indicates that it is possible to pick affordable car insurance without reading the booklet; therefore, choice (C) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – flaw

 

Question [159]: Many TV viewers own devices that can record shows automatically for viewers to watch later. Companies that advertise on television complain that the use of these devices hurts their businesses because the product makes it possible to watch television programs while selectively editing out commercials.

Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the advertisers’ argument that the use of these TV recording devices is hurting their businesses?

 

A: Methods for ascertaining audience size, which determine charges for advertising time, count households that are recording a program as well as households that are watching it live.

B: Television recording device manufacturers who advertise on television would also suffer damage, if any, caused using their own products.

C: Studies show that TV commercials are a more effective form of advertising than highway billboards.

D: The use of these devices increases TV’s popularity as an entertainment medium and boosts the repeat viewership of popular programs.

E: Some television commercials are as entertaining or informative as the programs they interrupt.

 

Answer: A

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (A). This is a Strengthen question.

Advertising rates are dependent on the number of viewers (calculated using some formula). If this formula includes recordings with commercials stripped out as normal viewings, then this would produce an inaccurate count of actual viewers, thus artificially inflating the viewership of the commercials. This would lead, in turn, to having the advertisers overpay given the rationale for the rates.

Choice (C) is exceptionally vague. Who are the advertisers? Are billboards a competitive option for them and their industries? Choice (C) is not nearly as clear as choice (A). Choices (B) and (E) are irrelevant, and choice (D) counters the advertisers’ argument.

Choice (A) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [200]: Many TV viewers own devices that can record shows automatically for viewers to watch later. Companies that advertise on television complain that the use of these devices hurts their businesses because the product makes it possible to watch television programs while selectively editing out commercials.

Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the advertisers’ argument that the use of these TV recording devices is hurting their businesses?

 

A: Methods for ascertaining audience size, which determine charges for advertising time, count households that are recording a program as well as households that are watching it live.

B: Television recording device manufacturers who advertise on television would also suffer damage, if any, caused using their own products.

C: Studies show that TV commercials are a more effective form of advertising than highway billboards.

D: The use of these devices increases TV’s popularity as an entertainment medium and boosts the repeat viewership of popular programs.

E: Some television commercials are as entertaining or informative as the programs they interrupt.

 

Answer: A

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (A). This is a Strengthen question.

Advertising rates are dependent on the number of viewers (calculated using some formula). If this formula includes recordings with commercials stripped out as normal viewings, then this would produce an inaccurate count of actual viewers, thus artificially inflating the viewership of the commercials. This would lead, in turn, to having the advertisers overpay given the rationale for the rates.

Choice (C) is exceptionally vague. Who are the advertisers? Are billboards a competitive option for them and their industries? Choice (C) is not nearly as clear as choice (A). Choices (B) and (E) are irrelevant, and choice (D) counters the advertisers’ argument.

Choice (A) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [37]: Economist: “The most advanced hybrid cars are several times less costly to operate per mile than similarly sized cars with ordinary gas-fueled engines. As gasoline prices rise, consumers are more likely to buy fuel-efficient vehicles instead of relatively inefficient models. If the price of gasoline reaches $5 per gallon by 2015, sales of hybrid vehicles will triple.”

Which of the following, if true, most weakens the economist’s prediction?

 

A: It is possible that the average price of a gallon of gasoline, including taxes, will top $6 by 2015

B: Alternate fuel delivery systems (for example, hydrogen or bio-diesel) will take five years to implement

C: Some technologies that are becoming more widely available operate more efficiently than hybrids

D: Interest in fuel efficiency has become a matter of ecological as well as economic interest

E: Though consumers are fickle about matters of style, they respond predictably to cost factors.

 

Answer:  C

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (C). This is a Weaken question.

The economist may have a correct model for predicting how a gasoline price trend line would prompt a certain number of consumers to move into fuel-efficient vehicles, but choice (C) suggests those wouldn’t be only gas-electric hybrids.

Choice (A) further supports the economist’s prediction about consumers buying more fuel-efficient cars. Choice (B) suggests that for those choosing high-efficiency vehicles, a gas-electric hybrid may still be the best choice, supporting the economist’s prediction. Choice (D) simply provides another motivating factor for consumers that might amplify the predicted effect but wouldn’t diminish it. Choice (E) is partly an economic observation supporting the economist’s position although it hedges its bet with the reference to taste and fickleness.

The best answer for weakening the prediction is choice (C).

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [78]: Economist: “The most advanced hybrid cars are several times less costly to operate per mile than similarly sized cars with ordinary gas-fueled engines. As gasoline prices rise, consumers are more likely to buy fuel-efficient vehicles instead of relatively inefficient models. If the price of gasoline reaches $5 per gallon by 2015, sales of hybrid vehicles will triple.”

Which of the following, if true, most weakens the economist’s prediction?

 

A: It is possible that the average price of a gallon of gasoline, including taxes, will top $6 by 2015

B: Alternate fuel delivery systems (for example, hydrogen or bio-diesel) will take five years to implement

C: Some technologies that are becoming more widely available operate more efficiently than hybrids

D: Interest in fuel efficiency has become a matter of ecological as well as economic interest

E: Though consumers are fickle about matters of style, they respond predictably to cost factors.

 

Answer: C

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (C). This is a Weaken question.

The economist may have a correct model for predicting how a gasoline price trend line would prompt a certain number of consumers to move into fuel-efficient vehicles, but choice (C) suggests those wouldn’t be only gas-electric hybrids.

Choice (A) further supports the economist’s prediction about consumers buying more fuel-efficient cars. Choice (B) suggests that for those choosing high-efficiency vehicles, a gas-electric hybrid may still be the best choice, supporting the economist’s prediction. Choice (D) simply provides another motivating factor for consumers that might amplify the predicted effect but wouldn’t diminish it. Choice (E) is partly an economic observation supporting the economist’s position although it hedges its bet with the reference to taste and fickleness.

The best answer for weakening the prediction is choice (C).

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

 

Question [119]: Columnist: In these times of fiscal correctness, it is a heresy to call for expansionary fiscal policy to revive the economy. Yet sound economic principles call for such a prescription, even if it sounds like the wild cry of a slump-struck corporation bothered only about its own bottom line.

Which of the following, if true, would most support the author’s views on fiscal policy?

 

A: In the past, most governments have adopted a conservative attitude in the face of an economic slump.

B: An expansionary fiscal policy has support among many editorialists.

C: An expansionary fiscal policy leading to more expenditure would encourage production in a depressed economy.

D: Sound economic principles suggest that to increase fiscal expenditure during a depression would raise the import bill and adversely affect the trade deficit.

E: Fiscal policy is often used to provoke a reaction in the market.

 

Answer: C

 

link1: http://www.8s.com.php53-15.dfw1-1.websitetestlink.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3592

link2: http://www.gmatp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=78657

 

Explanation: (C) This is a strengthen question. The author clearly endorses an expansionary fiscal policy.

Choice (A) fails to support this endorsement. Choice (B) merely restates the paragraph. Choice (D) negates the author’s suggestion. Choice (E) is a neutral statement and fails to provide reasoning as to why an expansionary policy makes sense.

Choice (C), the best choice, provides a sound reason for following an expansionary policy, even in a time of fiscal correctness.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – strengthen

 

Question [160]: Columnist: In these times of fiscal correctness, it is a heresy to call for expansionary fiscal policy to revive the economy. Yet sound economic principles call for such a prescription, even if it sounds like the wild cry of a slump-struck corporation bothered only about its own bottom line.

Which of the following, if true, would most support the author’s views on fiscal policy?

 

A: In the past, most governments have adopted a conservative attitude in the face of an economic slump.

B: An expansionary fiscal policy would be welcomed by companies that have been overwhelmed by an economic slump.

C: An expansionary fiscal policy leading to more expenditure would encourage the revival of a depressed economy.

D: Sound economic principles suggest that to increase fiscal expenditure during a depression would raise the import bill and adversely affect the trade deficit.

E: Fiscal policy is often used to provoke a reaction in the market.

 

Answer: C

 

link1: http://www.8s.com.php53-15.dfw1-1.websitetestlink.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3592

link2: http://www.gmatp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=78657

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (C). The author clearly endorses an expansionary fiscal policy.

Choice (A) fails to support this endorsement. Choice (B) merely restates the paragraph. Choice (D) negates the author’s suggestion. Choice (E) is a neutral statement and fails to provide reasoning as to why an expansionary policy makes sense.

Choice (C), the best choice, provides a sound reason for following an expansionary policy, even in a time of fiscal correctness.

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [201]: Super Steak House offers three types of steak dinners: Great, Greater, and Greatest. It sources the steaks for the Great and Greater dinners from the nearby Mulberry Meat Market, and the steak for its Greatest dinners are shipped by freight from Omaha On Ice. The prices of its dinners are $25 (Great), $35 (Greater), and $40 (Greatest). Even after accounting for freight costs, the gross margin on a Greatest Dinner is higher than a Greater Dinner, and twice as high as that of a Great Dinner.

If the above statements are true, which of the following must be true?

 

A: A Great Steak can’t cost Super Steak House more than $13.

B: Freight charges do not represent more than 20% of the total cost of a Greatest Steak.

C: When taking freight charges into account, a Greater Steak has an identical cost as a Great Steak.

D: A Greatest Steak, exclusive of freight costs, has a higher cost than a Great Steak.

E: If freight charges are less than $6 per steak, a Greatest Steak can cost the same as a Great Steak.

 

Answer: E

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (E). This inference question has a math element to it, and we can start with the prices of the dinners and the premise that the gross margin on the Greatest Dinner will be twice that of a Great dinner.

Choice(A) is not a must be true – it is possible for instance for a Great Steak to source for $15, be priced at $25, and to generate a gross margin of $10. Meantime, it is possible for a Greatest Steak, including freight, to have a total cost of $20 and to generate a gross margin of $20, double the $10 gross margin of the Great Dinner. From here, let’s utilize the following numbers for Great, Greater and Greatest, respectively.

dinner price:  25 35 40

cost of meat: 15 20 15

freight cost:         5

(B) is incorrect, as freight charges can represent 25% of the total cost of a Greatest steak. (C) is also incorrect because a Greater Steak can have a different sourcing cost than a Great Steak. (D) also, can be proven not the case, as a Greatest Steak can have an identical sourcing cost, exclusive of freight, as a Great Steak.

(E) is correct. If we assign $5 per steak for freight on a Greatest Steak, we can show numbers that generate a gross margin of $20, and if the actual sourcing costs of the Great and Greatest are $15 each, the Great Dinner will have a gross margin of $10 and the Greatest Dinner will have a gross margin double that of the Great Dinner.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – inference

 

Question [41]: Manager: “Matt is the hardest-working researcher at this firm. Matt has also made it a point to be forthcoming whenever he is given an assignment that he isn’t qualified to perform. It has come to our attention, however, that Matt misrepresented himself on his resume when we hired him. Although we would have hired him had he given us a correct resume, and there is nothing else objectionable about his work here, we must nevertheless fire him.”

Which of the following principles most strongly supports the argument’s conclusion?

A: There are no mistakes that cannot be mitigated by positive accomplishments.

B: Decisions regarding employment must take a variety of factors into account, including questions about an employee’s past work history and qualifications to perform assignments.

C: A resume should be the primary resource that an employer uses when making decisions on both new hires and employee terminations.

D: One dishonest action is sufficient to justify firing an employee.

E: An employee who has misrepresented himself in the hiring process should not be hired by another firm, no matter how great his level of intelligence.

 

Answer: D

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (D). According to choice (D), if the manager said it was necessary (as opposed to unnecessary) to have more than one factor to justify a decision, then the decision to fire Matt would not be justified. So, choice (D) must be true for the conclusion to be sound.

Choice (A) does the exact reverse in justifying the conclusion.

Choice (B) is the “trick opposite” of this question. It is the opposite of choice (D) in that it suggests several factors must be considered in hiring and firing. In this case, the decision to fire Matt is based on a single factor.

Choice (C) is incorrect because the issue seems to be about honesty, not on the relative importance of the resume in hiring and firing decisions.

Choice (E) is irrelevant because the argument has to do with the firing of Matt at this firm, not whether Matt should be hired by another firm.

Choice (D) best supports the conclusion and is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [82]: Manager: “Matt is the hardest-working researcher at this firm. Matt has also made it a point to be forthcoming whenever he is given an assignment that he isn’t qualified to perform. It has come to our attention, however, that Matt misrepresented himself on his resume when we hired him. Although we would have hired him had he given us a correct resume, and there is nothing else objectionable about his work here, we must nevertheless fire him.”

Which of the following principles most strongly supports the argument’s conclusion?

 

A: There are no mistakes that cannot be mitigated by positive accomplishments.

B: Decisions regarding employment must take a variety of factors into account, including questions about an employee’s past work history and qualifications to perform assignments.

C: A resume should be the primary resource that an employer uses when making decisions on both new hires and employee terminations.

D: It is unnecessary to have more than one factor to justify a decision when that factor deals with the question of honesty.

E: An employee who has misrepresented himself in the hiring process should not be hired by another firm, no matter how great his level of intelligence.

Answer: D

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (D). According to choice (D), if the manager said it was necessary (as opposed to unnecessary) to have more than one factor to justify a decision, then the decision to fire Matt would not be justified. So, choice (D) must be true for the conclusion to be sound.

Choice (A) does the exact reverse in justifying the conclusion.

Choice (B) is the “trick opposite” of this question. It is the opposite of choice (D) in that it suggests several factors must be considered in hiring and firing. In this case, the decision to fire Matt is based on a single factor.

Choice (C) is incorrect because the issue seems to be about honesty, not on the relative importance of the resume in hiring and firing decisions.

Choice (E) is irrelevant because the argument has to do with the firing of Matt at this firm, not whether Matt should be hired by another firm.

Choice (D) best supports the conclusion and is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [123]: A downturn in the economy after a decade of growth is encouraging more people to apply to graduate schools. Graduate schools, because of higher application numbers, are now able to select only the top applicants. Therefore, the future graduates from these incoming classes should be more qualified. As they exit school and return to the marketplace, they will play an important role in bringing the country out of the recession.

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

 

A: Graduate schools were forced to fill their classes with average students over the past decade.

B: Graduate schools welcome economic downturns as it gives them a chance to boost their reputations.

C: There is no correlation between market downturns and future job success for graduate school alumni.

D: There is a relationship between an influx of high-quality graduates into the job market and a general upswing in the economy.

E: This increase in prestige will allow graduate schools to obtain more grants and alumni donations, thus improving the quality of the education they bestow.

 

Answer: D

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (D). This is a Strengthen question.

The passage argues that, due to a downturn in the economy, more people are leaving the job market in favor of graduate schools, and that, when these elite candidates get out of school, their return to the market will help bring about a positive change. For this to be true, there must be a positive correlation between the entry into the work force of intelligent people with post-graduate degrees and the health of the economy. Although choices (A), (B), (C), and (E) may be true statements, only choice (D) correctly fills this logical gap in the argument.

Therefore, choice (D) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [164]: A downturn in the economy after a decade of growth is encouraging more people to apply to graduate schools. Graduate schools, because of higher application numbers, are now able to select only the top applicants. Therefore, the future graduates from these incoming classes should be more qualified. As they exit school and return to the marketplace, they will play an important role in bringing the country out of the recession.

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

 

A: Graduate schools were forced to fill their classes with average students over the past decade.

B: Graduate schools welcome economic downturns as it gives them a chance to boost their reputations.

C: There is no correlation between market downturns and future job success for graduate school alumni.

D: There is a relationship between an influx of high-quality graduates into the job market and a general upswing in the economy.

E: This increase in prestige will allow graduate schools to obtain more grants and alumni donations, thus improving the quality of the education they bestow.

 

Answer: D

 

Explanation: (D) This is a Strengthen question.

The passage argues that, due to a downturn in the economy, more people are leaving the job market in favor of graduate schools, and that, when these elite candidates get out of school, their return to the market will help bring about a positive change. For this to be true, there must be a positive correlation between the entry into the work force of intelligent people with post-graduate degrees and the health of the economy. Although choices (A), (B), (C), and (E) may be true statements, only choice (D) correctly fills this logical gap in the argument.

Therefore, choice (D) is the correct answer.

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

Question [205]: In animal shelters there is an excess of cats and dogs that need homes. Meanwhile, there are also many senior citizens who live alone and experience more health problems than those who live with spouses or family members. A solution to these problems, which would benefit both animals and seniors, is to place these homeless animals with senior citizens who wish to own pets, and to help those senior citizens who might not be able to take care of a pet on their own. Animals have been shown to respond favorably to living with older persons, who are often able to provide more attention than younger people with families.

In evaluating the proposed solution, it would be most useful to have data regarding

 

A: whether most of the animals that are currently in shelters would be suitable for adoption by senior citizens

B: what the costs would be of instituting such a program

C: whether senior citizens can care for a pet without assistance

D: whether family members and spouses who live with senior citizens tend to provide nursing care

E: whether there are other forms of companionship that might provide the same health benefits to senior citizens

 

Answer: D

 

link1: http://www.8s.com.php53-15.dfw1-1.websitetestlink.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9810

link2: http://www.gmatp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=78660

 

Explanation: The correct answer is (D). This is a very challenging question. The author is arguing that placing homeless animals with senior citizens would help reduce the number of pets and bolster the health of their owners. The support for this solution is twofold: that seniors who live with others have fewer health problems, and that animals are frequently happier with older owners.

The author assumes that the connection between living with others and health problems is a causal one and that it is the companionship of living with others, specifically, that provides the health benefits. If, instead, the benefit comes from those family members providing nursing care, then it is less likely that living with a pet would provide the same health benefits as living with another person.

 

A: is incorrect because it addresses the feasibility of the solution and how widely it can be implemented. Whether or not most of the animals would be suitable is irrelevant, if those animals that are suitable are the ones that are placed with senior citizens.

B: is even further outside of the realm of the argument; the costs of the program are not at issue.

C: raises a potential concern about placing animals with seniors, but this concern is eliminated by the information that part of the solution would include aiding in caring for the adopted animals.

E: is incorrect because the author is not suggesting that the proposed solution is the only one, or the best one; merely that this solution would be of benefit to animals and people.

Knowing the reason for the health benefits is important to evaluate whether the proposed solution would benefit humans. Therefore, choice (D) is the correct answer.

 

Question Type: Critical Reasoning – weaken

 

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