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Kaplan 800 Question

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Kaplan 800 Question

by karmayogi » Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:35 pm
Reading skills among high school students in Gotham have been steadily declining, which can only be the result of overcrowding in the schools.

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

A. The high school system in Gotham succeeds in giving students a good education at considerably less cost than do most systems.
B. Several cities have found that overcrowding in the schools is not always associated with lower reading scores.
C. Gotham schools have a greater teacher-to-student ratio than most other school systems.
D. Students’ reading skills have not declined in other cities where the high schools are just as crowded as those of Gotham.
E. Schools are not overcrowded in many cities where high school reading scores have declined more than they have in Gotham.

Expecting justification for your choice.
Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this divine within.
--By Swami Vivekananda

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Re: Kaplan 800 Question

by Vemuri » Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:41 pm
Conclusion: Reading Skills have steadily declined because of overcrowding in Gotham.

We have to look for an answer choice that will weaken this conclusion, somthing that says that overcrowding is the cause for declining reading skills.

I am confused between D & E.

A. Out of scope. Talks about cost
B. States that overcrowding is not always the cause for declining reading skills. So, there might be other reasons as well, but overcrowding can also be one of them. So, does not seriously weaken the arguement.
C. Greater teacher to student ratio that most other schools is a comparision & does not address the issue of overcrowding in a substantial way.
D. Reading skills have not declined in other schools that are as overcrowded as those in Gotham. This surely weakens the arguement. But, what could be a reason? Maybe the teacher to student ratio was high?
E. Reading skills have declined more than in Gotham, even though they are not as overcrowded. So, this statement says that there is some other reason for the decline in reading skills, not necessarily overcrowding.

My answer is E.

Is there a method we can use on weaking questions to verify if our answer is right? Something like a negation test that we perform on Assumption questions?

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by satish.nagdev » Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:53 pm
IMO its C

if Gotham has teacher to student ratio more than others then it weakens the argument.

whats OA?

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by delhiboy1979 » Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:40 pm
Reading skills among high school students in Gotham have been steadily declining, which can only be the result of overcrowding in the schools.

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

A. The high school system in Gotham succeeds in giving students a good education at considerably less cost than do most systems.
Out of scope
B. Several cities have found that overcrowding in the schools is not always associated with lower reading scores.
'Not always' not strong enough
C. Gotham schools have a greater teacher-to-student ratio than most other school systems.
Pretty close - hold it
D. Students’ reading skills have not declined in other cities where the high schools are just as crowded as those of Gotham.
Pretty close-hold it
E. Schools are not overcrowded in many cities where high school reading scores have declined more than they have in Gotham.
Best choice, better than C and D

IMO E

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by orel » Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:50 pm
how about D?

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by karmayogi » Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:42 pm
OA is E.

I was confused between D and E. I selected D. My line of thinking was:
X is cause of Y (Given in argument)
Option D: Y didn’t happened even in the presence of X.
Option E: Y happened even in the absence of X.

As D directly points out that Y didn’t happened even in the presence of X, I selected this. However, after giving some more thought to the explanation given in the book, I am convinced that E is the answer. The most critical word in the whole argument is “ONLY.” The arg says that overcrowding is the ONLY reason for declining reading skills. D shows reading skills didn’t decline even though schools were overcrowded. In more simplistic terms, X not always cause Y. E says reading skills declined even though schools were not overcrowded or Y is caused by something other than X or X is not the ONLY cause of Y.

Thanks everyone for participation.
Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this divine within.
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Re: Kaplan 800 Question

by dtweah » Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:23 pm
karmayogi wrote:Reading skills among high school students in Gotham have been steadily declining, which can only be the result of overcrowding in the schools.

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

A. The high school system in Gotham succeeds in giving students a good education at considerably less cost than do most systems.
B. Several cities have found that overcrowding in the schools is not always associated with lower reading scores.
C. Gotham schools have a greater teacher-to-student ratio than most other school systems.
D. Students’ reading skills have not declined in other cities where the high schools are just as crowded as those of Gotham.
E. Schools are not overcrowded in many cities where high school reading scores have declined more than they have in Gotham.

Expecting justification for your choice.
Choices D and E indicate an important principle in explaining causalities: The presence of a causal factor may be weaker in explaining causality than the absence of that factor. If it is alleged that A causes B to behave a certain way whenever A is around, A being around and B acting that way may be a weaker evidence than A not being around and B acting that way. If on One hundred occasions A is around and B Acts that way, we can never be 100% sure tha A's presence is the cause, though we might want to think so. But if on One ocasion A is not around and B acts that way, We are 100% sure A is not the Cause of B's action. The presence of Overcrowding when reading skills have not declined is a weaker evidence than the absence of overcrowding when reading skills have declined.

Good Question and thanks for posting.

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by vanessa.m » Sun May 15, 2016 2:12 am
Looking at it now, E makes sense