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Evaluate the argument

This topic has 2 expert replies and 1 member reply

Evaluate the argument

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While manufacturing tasks at Foldaco are performed by human workers, at Boksco they are all done by programmed robots. Because of this, fewer workers are needed at Boksco while the output levels of the company match those of Foldaco. Clearly, Boksco's operational expenses are lower than those of Foldaco.

The answer to which of the following would be most useful in evaluating the argument?

Do the robots used by Boksco require maintenance for them to achieve optimum output levels?

Do the workers at Foldaco undergo specialized training before they are allowed to perform their tasks?

Are retail prices for products manufactured by Boksco much higher than those manufactured by Foldaco?

How long ago did Boksco complete the process of integrating the robots into its manufacturing system?

Is the sum of the wages of the workers at Boksco higher or lower than that of the workers at Foldaco?

OA E

I thought that OA A was equally important. CAn someone pls explain this?

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HI vivekvijayan,

This CR question asks us to evaluate an argument, so we have to understand the logic and the focus of the argument.

We're told that:
-Foldaco uses humans to perform manufacturing tasks, while Boksco uses robots to perform manufacturing tasks.
-Fewer workers are needed at Boksco
-Output levels MATCH at the two companies

The Conclusion:
-Clearly, Boksco's operational expenses are LOWER than Foldaco's operational expenses.

The Logic:
-The prompt seems to connect the lower number of human employees at Boksco to the lower operational expenses (without stating this connection), so we're likely looking for an answer that focuses on the amount of money that is spent on those same human employees. The only answer that addresses this issue is Answer E

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

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The correct answer to a "Most Useful to Know in order to Evaluate" type of question will be a fact or question that can either strengthen or weaken the conclusion depending on the information.

Here is an example. "Restaurant X has more customers per night than Restaurant Y, so X must bring in more revenue per night." What would be most useful to know? "Do the customers at Restaurant Y spend, on average, more than the customers at Restaurant X?" If the answer is "No." Then this really strengthens the argument. X has more customers and they spend at least as much as at Y. If the answer is "yes" then you have presented a weakness of the argument. It does not destroy the argument but it presents some doubt about the conclusion. "There are more customers at X, but they spend less so this may not be more revenue."

Now the question at hand is similar. We know that there are fewer workers at Boksco. And we are told that therefore their expenses are lower. But what if each worker was paid more? It might be that their wages in total are higher. This is what choice E asks.

Now choice A on the other hand is NOT a question that can strengthen or weaken depending on how it is answered. "Do robots require maintenance?" does not tell you how often or how expensive the maintenance is. If they do require maintenance you do not know that this means that Foldaco has higher expenses. And if they require no maintenance they could still use lots of electricity, etc.

Choice E is aimed directly at the central advantage that Foldaco supposedly has: labor costs. If Foldaco does not have lower labor costs then the argument is substantially weakened.

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A is a little tempting. It would have made better sense if it had mentioned maintenance cost of machines adding up to greater than operation cost of Foldaco. We cannot assume that maintenance costs add and hence increase the total operational cost.

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