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Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that

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Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that

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Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that student-teacher ratios in government-funded schoolsnot exceed a certain limit. All Vargonian children are entitled to education, free of charge, in these schools. When a recession occurs and average incomes fall, the number of children enrolled in government-funded schools tends to increase. Therefore, though most employment opportunities contract in economic recessions, getting a teaching job in Vargonia's government-funded schools will not be made more difficult by a recession.

Which of the following would be most important to determine in order to evaluate the argument?

(A) Whether in Vargonia there are any schools not funded by the government that offer children an education free of charge

(B) Whether the number of qualified applicants for teaching positions in government-funded schools increases significantly during economic recessions

(C) What the current student-teacher ratio in Vargonia's government-funded schools is

(D) What proportion of Vargonia's workers currently hold jobs as teachers in government-funded schools

(E) Whether in the past a number of government funded schools in Vargonia have had student teacher ratios well in excess of the new limit

Source:OG

OA:B

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Key to getting a CR question right is understanding the flow of the argument. If you don't really understand the argument, you will have no solid means of finding the right answer. If you really understand the argument, you will likely see exactly which answer choices is best.

Here's what the argument in this prompt boils down to.

-There is a mandated student to teacher ratio in government funded schools. This is a fact.

-When a recession occurs, more students enter government funded school. This is a fact.

There is an unstated intermediate conclusion, underlined below.

-When a recession occurs, more students enter government funded schools. So, since there are more students and there is a mandated maximum student teacher ratio, when a recession occurs, government funded schools need more teachers.

Then comes the conclusion of the argument.

"Therefore, though most employment opportunities contract in economic recessions, getting a teaching job in Vargonia's government-funded schools will not be made more difficult by a recession."

The question asks which of the answer choices would be most important in order to evaluate the argument, and probably the right answer will be something that directly affects the validity of the conclusion of the argument.

(A) This is a trap answer. What is says may seem to affect the situation, possibly giving students other schools to attend during a recession, but we already know that in a recession more students enter the free of charge government funded schools.

(B) This affects the validity of the conclusion.

The conclusion is based on the idea that more teachers are needed at the schools, because there are more students at the schools. That's the demand side of the employment situation.

However, what about the supply side? What if in a recession not only are more students entering the schools but also more people are applying for teaching jobs at the schools? If the number of applicants were to increase by a proportion greater than that by which the number of students were to, then the conclusion could be incorrect.

So knowing about the supply of applicants is key to evaluating this argument.

(C) This does not matter. If there are more students, there is a greater need for teachers, regardless of what the ratio is.

(D) You could somehow come up with a story to make this seem important for evaluating the argument. The story would have to be pretty convoluted and complex though, and really there is not any direct, obvious, logical way that the proportion of workers who hold jobs as teachers in government funded schools is key for evaluating the conclusion.

(E) Whether in the past schools operated in accordance with the current mandate does not affect the need for teachers today. This answer choice might be valid were it about current adherence to the mandated ratios during recessions, because degree of adherence the the mandated ratios affects the need for more teachers.

The correct answer is B.

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Option C definitely affects the argument. If the current ratio is high (say max) then when recession hits -> more students -> more teachers (Strengthens). If current ratio is very low, then even is more students register, the ratio may still well be below maximum, therefore no more extra teachers needed (Weakens). How to reconcile then?

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