Saturday, October 7, 2006

CR Questions 11 - 20

Questions 11-12 are based on the following.

To protect certain fledgling industries, the government of country Z banned imports of the types of products those industries were starting to make. As a direct result, the cost of those products to the buyers, several export-dependent industries in Z, went up, sharply limiting the ability of those industries to compete effectively in their export markets.

11. Which of the following can be most properly inferred from the passage about the products whose importation was banned?

(A) Those products had been cheaper to import than they were to make within country Z’s fledgling industries.

(B) Those products were ones that country Z was hoping to export in its turn, once the fledgling industries matured.

(C) Those products used to be imported from just those countries to which country Z’s exports went.

(D) Those products had become more and more expensive to import, which resulted in a foreign trade deficit just before the ban.

(E) Those products used to be imported in very small quantities, but they were essential to country Z’s economy.

12. Which of the following conclusions about country Z’s adversely affected export-dependent industries is best supported by the passage?

(A) Profit margins in those industries were not high enough to absorb the rise in costs mentioned above.

(B) Those industries had to contend with the fact that other countries banned imports from country Z.

(C) Those industries succeeded in expanding the domestic market for their products.

(D) Steps to offset rising materials costs by decreasing labor costs were taken in those industries.

(E) Those industries started to move into export markets that they had previously judged unprofitable.

13. The difficulty with the proposed high-speed train line is that a used plane can be bought for one-third the price of the train line, and the plane, which is just as fast, can fly anywhere. The train would be a fixed linear system, and we live in a world that is spreading out in all directions and in which consumers choose the free-wheel systems (cars, buses, aircraft), which do not have fixed routes. Thus a sufficient market for the train will not exist.

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

(A) Cars, buses, and planes require the efforts of drivers and pilots to guide them, whereas the train will be guided mechanically.

(B) Cars and buses are not nearly as fast as the high-speed train will be.

(C) Planes are not a free-wheel system because they can fly upon between airports, which are less convenient for consumers than the high speed train’s stations would be.

(D) The high-speed train line cannot use currently underutilized train stations in large cities.

(E) For long trips, most people prefer to fly rather than to take ground level transportation.

14. Correctly measuring the productivity of service workers is complex. Consider, for example, postal workers: they are often said to be more productive if more letters are delivered per postal worker. But is this really true? what if more letters are lost or delayed per worker at the same time that more are delivered?

The objection implied above to the productivity measure described is based on doubts about the truth of which of the following statements?

(A) Postal workers are representative of service workers in general.

(B) The delivery of letters is the primary activity of the postal service.

(C) Productivity should be ascribed to categories of workers, not to individuals.

(D) The quality of services rendered can appropriately be ignored in computing productivity.

(E) The number of letters delivered is relevant to measuring the productivity of postal workers.

15. Male bowerbirds construct elaborately decorated nests, or bowers. Basing their judgment on the fact that different local populations of bowerbirds of the same species build bowers that exhibit different building and decorative styles, researchers have concluded that the bowerbirds’ building styles are a culturally acquired, rather than a genetically transmitted, trait.

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

(A) There are more common characteristics than there are differences among the bower-building styles of the local bowerbird population that has been studied most extensively

(B) Young male bowerbirds are inept at bower-building and apparently spend years watching their elders before becoming accomplished in the local bower style.

(C) The bowers of one species of bowerbird lack the towers and ornamentation characteristic of the bowers of most other species of bowerbird.

(D) Bowerbirds are found only in New Guinea and Australia, where local populations of the birds apparently seldom have contact with one another.

(E) It is well known that the song dialects of some songbirds are learned rather than transmitted genetically.

16. A greater number of newspapers are sold in Town S than in Town T. Therefore, the citizens of Town S are better informed about major world events than are the citizens of Town T.

Each of the following, if true, weakens the conclusion above EXCEPT:

(A) Town S has a larger population than Town T.

(B) Most citizens of Town T work in Town S and buy their newspapers there.

(C) The average citizen of Town S spends less time reading newspapers than does the average citizen of Town T.

(D) A weekly newspaper restricted to the coverage of local events is published in Town S.

(E) The average newsstand price of newspapers sold in Town S in lower than the average price of newspapers sold in Town T.

17. A drug that is highly effective in treating many types of infection can, at present, be obtained only from the bark of the ibora, a tree that is quite rare in the wild. It takes the bark of 5,000 tree to make one kilogram of the drug. It follows, therefore, that continued production of the drug must inevitably lead to the ibora’s extinction.

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

(A) The drug made from ibora bark is dispensed to doctors from a central authority.

(B) The drug made from ibora bark is expensive to produce.

(C) The leaves of the ibora are used in a number of medical products.

(D) The ibora can be propagated from cuttings and grown under cultivation.

(E) The ibora generally grows in largely inaccessible places.

18. High levels of fertilizer and pesticides, needed when farmers try to produce high yield of the same crop year after year, pollute water supplies. Experts therefore urge farmers to diversify their crops and to rotate their plantings yearly. To receive governmental price-support benefits for a crop, farmers must have produced that same crop for the past several years.

The statements above, if true, best support which of the following conclusions?

(A) The rules for governmental support of farm prices work against efforts to reduce water pollution.

(B) The only solution to the problem of water pollution from fertilizers and pesticides is to take farmland out of production.

(C) Farmers can continue to make a profit by rotating diverse crops, thus reducing costs for chemicals, but not by planting the same crop each year.

(D) New farming techniques will be developed to make it possible for farmers to reduce the application of fertilizers and pesticides.

(E) Governmental price supports for farm products are set at levels that are not high enough to allow farmers to get out of debt.

19. Shelby Industries manufactures and sells the same gauges as Jones Industries. Employee wages account for forty percent of the cost of manufacturing gauges at both Shelby Industries and Jones Industries. Shelby Industries is seeking a competitive advantage over Jones Industries. Therefore, to promote this end, Shelby Industries should lower employee wages.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the argument above?

(A) Because they make a small number of precision instruments, gauge manufacturers cannot receive volume discounts on raw materials.

(B) Lowering wages would reduce the quality of employee work, and this reduced quality would lead to lowered sales.

(C) Jones Industries has taken away twenty percent of Shelby Industries’ business over the last year.

(D) Shelby Industries pays its employees, on average, ten percent more than does Jones Industries.

(E) Many people who work for manufacturing plants live in areas in which the manufacturing plant they work for is the only industry.

20. . Some communities in Florida are populated almost exclusively by retired people and contain few, if any, families with small children. Yet these communities are home to thriving businesses specializing in the rental of furniture for infants and small children.

Which of the following, if true, best reconciles the seeming discrepancy described above?

(A) The businesses specializing in the rental of children’s furniture buy their furniture from distributors outside of Florida.

(B) The few children who do reside in these communities all know each other and often make overnight visits to one another’s houses.

(C) Many residents of these communities who move frequently prefer renting their furniture to buying it outright.

(D) Many residents of these communities must provide for the needs of visiting grandchildren several weeks a year.

(E) Children’s furniture available for rental is of the same quality as that available for sale in the stores.

Official answers and explanation --

11. In Z, when the government banned imports of certain products the cost of those produces rose, so the products
must have been cheaper to import than they were to make in Z. Therefore choice A is the best answer.
None of the other choices can be inferred. Country Z need have had no plan to export those products later (choice B), nor need the products have come previously from those countries to which country Z exported goods (choice C).
The products need not have become more expensive before the ban (choice D), and they could have been imported in relatively large quantities (choice E).

12. When the cost of the products rose, the competitive ability of those export-dependent industries that bought them was sharply limited. This fact strongly supports the claim that those industries did not have sufficiently high profit margins to enable them to absorb the price increase, so choice A is the best answer.
Given the limitation on their competitive ability, it is unlikely that those industries would be able either to expand
their domestic markets (choice C) or to enter into new export markets (choice E).
The other choices relate
situations that would be possible but that are not strongly supported: other countries could have continued to
permit imports from Z (choice B), and the industries may have unable to decrease labor costs (choice D).

13. The author argues that planes, since they are a free-wheel system, will be preferred to the high-speed train.
Choice C weakens the argument by pointing out that planes are not a free-wheel system and are les convenient than the high-speed train would be. Thus C is the best answer.
The special feature of the high-speed train described in A is not one that clearly affects consumer choice one way or the other way. Since it is planes that would compete effectively with the proposed trains, the fact that cars and buses might not do so is irrelevant. Non-availability of certain station (choice D) and the consumer preferences described in choice E tend to make the proposed train less, not more, attractive and so both choices strengthen the argument.

14. The critique of the proposed purely quantitative measure of productivity raises the issue of quality of service, which implies that quality of service is a potentially relevant consideration. Thus, choice D is the best answer.
The objection assumes that postal workers are a suitable illustrative example of service workers in general; thus,
choice A is inappropriate.
By delivery of letters, the argument treats letter delivery as the primary activity of
postal workers; thus, choice B is inappropriate. Because the passage explicitly ascribes productivity to entire
categories of workers, choice C is inappropriate. Choice E is inappropriate, since the objector does not question
the relevance of the number of letters delivered but implies that something else might also be relevant.

15. The information in choice B says that young bowerbirds progress slowly toward mastery of a bower-building
style, which suggests that the skill is one they must learn, rather than one whose transmission is wholly genetic.
Choice B also suggests a means of cultural transmission, namely, observation of older birds’ technique. Thus, B
supports the conclusion and is the best answer.
That differences within building styles are outnumbered by similarities (choice A) and that local populations have
little contact (choice D) are both equally consistent with building-style differences being culturally acquired or
genetically transmitted. Nor are differences among species of bowerbird (choice C) the issue. Finally, choice E
confirms the possibility of birds leaning skills, but it is not evidence that bower-building styles are learned.

16. The conclusion is based on comparing newspaper sales in Town S and Town T. Four answer choices indicate
why greater newspaper sales in S need not imply that citizens of S are better informed about world events.
Choice B suggests that many newspapers sold in S inform citizens of T, not S.
Choices A and C both show how
greater newspaper sales can occur without the average citizen having greater familiarity with the news. Finally,
choice D suggests that much newspaper reading in S is not a source of information about world events. The price differential noted in E might help to explain the difference in sales, but it does not undermine the conclusion based on that difference. Therefore, E is the best answer.

17. If the ibora can be successfully cultivated, it is possible to continue production of the drug without threatening the
ibora with extinction. Therefore, choice D is the best answer.
If production continues, the method for distributing the drug aftr it has been produced (choice A) is not likely, on its own, to have consequences for the continued existence of the ibora. Nor is the price of the drug (choice B). If the leaves of the ibora also have a use (choice C), the threat of extinction is strengthened rather than weakened. Finally, if the ibora is largely inaccessible (choice E), this bears on the question of whether production of the drug could continue, not on what would happen if it did continue.

18. Farmers benefit from governmental price supports only when they produce the same crops from year to year. Farmers who wish to receive the benefit of these price supports will be unlikely to reduce water pollution
because they will not follow the experts’ advice regarding diversification and rotation. Thus, A is the best answer.
Since the experts’ advice is evidently their favored solution, the notion that the sole solution is something else (choice B) is not supported. The statements mention neither farmers' costs and revenues nor development in farming techniques, and thus support no conclusions about prospects for profits (choice C) or future farming techniques (choice D). Because no information is given about either the amount of price support or farmers debt, choice E is not supported.

19. According to choice B, the effect of lowering wages is to reduce quality sufficiently to reduce sales. This is a good reason to doubt that wage cuts would give Shelby Industries any competitive advantage, so choice B is the
best answer.
Some of the other choices provide good reasons for, rather than against, lowering wages. Choice A implies that
reducing the cost of raw materials is not possible, choice D indicates that Shelby Industries’ wages are relatively
high, and choice E suggests that Shelby Industries would not lose many workers if it did reduce wages. Choice
C gives a reason for Shelby Industries to be concerned about its competitive position but no reason to think
wage cuts would not improve that position.

20. If many residents of these communities host visiting grandchildren several weeks a year, as D states, that in
itself might generate sufficient demand for rented children’s furniture to support thriving businesses. Thus, D
helps reconcile the apparent discrepancy and is the best answer.
The few households mentioned in choice B are unlikely to generate sufficient demand for rental businesses to
thrive. Similarly, choices A and E, though they provide information concerning the furniture that is rented in these communities, do not address the prior issue of why there should be such demand for children's furniture. Choice C helps explain why these communities have an unusually high demand for rental furniture, but not why such a demand would extend to children's furniture.

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