Friday, October 20, 2006

CR Questions 21 - 30

21). When limitations were in effect on nuclear-arms testing, people tended to save more of their money, but when nuclear-arms testing increased, people tended to spend more of their money. The perceived threat of nuclear catastrophe, therefore, decreases the willingness of people to postpone consumption for the sake of saving money.

The argument above assumes that

A). the perceived threat of nuclear catastrophe has increased over the

B). most people supported the development of nuclear arms

C). people's perception of the threat of nuclear catastrophe depends on the amount of nuclear-arms testing being done

D). the people who saved the most money when nuclear-arms testing was limited were the ones who supported such limitations

E). there are more consumer goods available when nuclear-arms testing increases

22). Which of the following best completes the passage below?
People buy prestige when they buy a premium product. They want to be associated with something special. Mass-marketing techniques and price-reduction strategies should not be used because____

A). affluent purchasers currently represent a shrinking portion of the population of all purchasers

B). continued sales depend directly on the maintenance of an aura of exclusivity

C). purchasers of premium products are concerned with the quality as well as with the price of the products

D). expansion of the market niche to include a broader spectrum of consumers will increase profits

E). manufacturing a premium brand is not necessarily more costly than manufacturing a standard brand of the same product

23). A cost-effective solution to the problem of airport congestion is to provide high-speed ground transportation between major cities lying 200 to 500 miles apart. The successful implementation of this plan would cost far less than expanding existing airports and would also reduce the number of airplanes clogging both airports and airways.

Which of the following, if true, could be proponents of the plan above most appropriately cite as a piece of evidence for the soundness of their plan?

A). An effective high-speed ground-transportation system would require major repairs to many highways and mass-transit improvements.

B). One-half of all departing flights in the nation's busiest airport head for a destination in a major city 225 miles away.

C). The majority of travelers departing from rural airports are flying to destinations in cities over 600 miles away.

D). Many new airports are being built in areas that are presently served by high-speed ground-transportation

E). A large proportion of air travelers are vacationers who are taking long-distance flights.

24). If there is an oil-supply disruption resulting in higher international oil prices, domestic oil prices in open-market countries such as the United States will rise as well, whether such countries import all or none of their oil.

If the statement in the passage concerning oil-supply disruptions is true, which of the following policies in an open-market nation is most likely to reduce the long-term economic impact on that nation of sharp and
unexpected increases in international oil prices?

A). Maintaining the quantity of oil imported at constant yearly levels

B). Increasing the number of oil tankers in its fleet

C). Suspending diplomatic relations with major oil-producing nations

D). Decreasing oil consumption through conservation

E). Decreasing domestic production of oil

25). If there is an oil-supply disruption resulting in higher international oil prices, domestic oil prices in open-market countries such as the United States will rise as well, whether such countries import all or none of their oil.

Which of the following conclusions is best supported by the statement in the passage?

A). Domestic producers of oil in open-market countries are excluded from the international oil market when there is a disruption in the international oil supply.

B). International oil-supply disruptions have little, if any, effect on the price of domestic oil as long as an open-market country has domestic supplies capable of meeting domestic demand.

C). The oil market in an open-market country is actually part of the international oil market, even if most of that country's domestic oil is usually sold to consumers within its borders.

D). Open-market countries that export little or none of their oil can maintain stable domestic oil prices even when international oil prices rise sharply.

E). If international oil prices rise, domestic distributors of oil in open-market countries will begin to import more oil than they export.

26). The average normal infant born in the United States weighs between twelve and fourteen pounds at the age of three months. Therefore, if a three-month-old child weighs only ten pounds, its weight gain has been below the United States average.

Which of the following indicates a flaw in the reasoning above?

A). Weight is only one measure of normal infant development.

B). Some three-month-old children weigh as much as seventeen pounds.

C). It is possible for a normal child to weigh ten pounds at birth.

D). The phrase "below average" does not necessarily mean insufficient.

E). Average weight gain is not the same as average weight.

27). Red blood cells in which the malarial-fever parasite resides are eliminated from a person's body after 120 days. Because the parasite cannot travel to a new generation of red blood cells, any fever that

develops in a person more than 120 days after that person has moved to a malaria-free region is not due to the malarial parasite.

Which is the following, if true, most seriously weakens the conclusion above?

A). The fever caused by the malarial parasite may resemble the fever caused by flu viruses.

B). The anopheles mosquito, which is the principal insect carrier of the malarial parasite, has been eradicated in many parts of the world.

C). Many malarial symptoms other than the fever, which can be suppressed with anti-malarial medication, can reappear within 120 days after the medication is discontinued.

D). In some cases, the parasite that causes malarial fever travels to cells of the spleen, which are less frequently eliminated from a person's body than are red blood cells.

E). In any region infested with malaria-carrying mosquitoes, there are individuals who appear to be immune to malaria.

28). Fact 1: Television advertising is becoming less effective: the proportion of brand names promoted on television that viewers of the advertising can recall is slowly decreasing.

Fact 2: Television viewers recall commercials aired first or last in a cluster of consecutive commercials far better than they recall commercials aired somewhere in the middle.

Fact 2 would be most likely to contribute to an explanation of fact 1 if which of the following were also true?

A). The average television viewer currently recalls fewer than half the brand names promoted in commercials he or she saw.

B). The total time allotted to the average cluster of consecutive television commercials is decreasing.

C). The average number of hours per day that people spend watching television is decreasing.

D). The average number of clusters of consecutive commercials per hour of television is increasing.

E). The average number of television commercials in a cluster of consecutive commercials is increasing.

29). The number of people diagnosed as having a certain intestinal disease has dropped significantly in a rural county this year, as compared to last year. Health officials attribute this decrease entirely to improved sanitary conditions at water-treatment plants, which made for cleaner water this year and thus reduced the incidence of the disease.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the health officials' explanation for the lower incidence of the disease?

A). Many new water-treatment plants have been built in the last five years in the rural county.

B). Bottled spring water has not been consumed in significantly different quantities by people diagnosed as having the intestinal disease, as compared to people who did not contract the disease.

C). Because of a new diagnostic technique, many people who until this year would have been diagnosed as having the intestinal disease are now correctly diagnosed as suffering from intestinal ulcers.

D). Because of medical advances this year, far fewer people who contract the intestinal disease will develop severe cases of the disease.

E). The water in the rural county was brought up to the sanitary standards of the water in neighboring counties ten years ago.

30). The price the government pays for standard weapons purchased from military contractors is determined by a pricing method called "historical costing." Historical costing allows contractors to protect their profits by adding a percentage increase, based on the current rate of inflation, to the previous year's contractual price.

Which of the following statements, if true, is the best basis for a criticism of historical costing as an economically sound pricing method for military contracts?

A). The government might continue to pay for past inefficient use of funds.

B). The rate of inflation has varied considerably over the past twenty years.

C). The contractual price will be greatly affected by the cost of materials used for the products.

D). Many taxpayers question the amount of money the government spends on military contracts.

E). The pricing method based on historical costing might not encourage the development of innovative weapons.

Official answers and explanations --

21). On the basis of an observed correlation between arms testing and people’s tendency to save money, the argument concludes that there is a causal connection between a perception of threat and the tendency not to save. That connection cannot be made unless C, linking the perception of threat to the amount of testing being done, is assumed to be true. Therefore, C is the best answer.
The conclusion does not depend on there having been an increase in the perceived threat over time or on how many people supported the development of nuclear arms. Hence, neither of A and B is assumed. The argument does not deal with those who supported arms limitations or with the availability of consumer goods. Thus, D and E are not assumed.

22). The incomplete passage calls for an explanation of why price-reduction and mass-marketing methods should
not be used for premium products. B, which states that sales of these products require that they appear specials,
provides such an explanation. Therefore, B is the best answer. No other choice offers an appropriate explanation. The diminishing proportion of affluent buyers cited in A argues for using price reductions to attract buyers of lesser means. C suggests that purchasers of premium products find reduced prices attractive, and it has not been established that the methods affect quality or perception of quality. D argues for, rather than against, using mass marketing.

E is inappropriate, since there is no indication that manufacturing costs are relevant.

23). The plan proposes that high-speed ground transportation would be a less expensive solution to airport congestion than would airport expansion. B indicates that between the cities to be served by the plan there is substantial air travel to which ground transportation would represent an alternative. Therefore, B is the best answer.

No other choice could be cited appropriately. A and D both provide some evidence against the plan. A by emphasizing the likely costs of providing high-speed ground transportation is not by itself a solution to airport

D by indicating that such an alternative is not by itself a solution to airport congestion.
C and E say that there are many travelers for whom the proposed system would actually provide no alternative.

24). If the statement about oil-supply disruption is true, domestic oil prices in an open-market country will rise when
an oil-supply disruption causes increased international oil prices. A reduction in the amount of oil an open-market country consumes could reduce the economic impact of these increases. D gives a way to reduce oil consumption and is thus the best answer.

A and E describe policies that could actually increase the long-term impact of increases in international oil prices, so neither of these choices is appropriate. No relationship is
established between the economic impact and either the number of oil tankers or diplomatic relations in B and C,
so neither of these choices is appropriate.

25). If the oil market in an open-market country were independent, fluctuations in international oil prices would not affect domestic oil prices. However, if the statement about oil-supply disruption is true, it is evidence that domestic oil prices are dependent on the international market and hence that the domestic oil market is a part of the international oil market. Therefore, C is the best answer.

B and D are not supported, since each contradicts the claim that an international oil-supply disruption will lead to rising oil prices in an open-market nation. Nor are A and E supported, since the statement provides information only about the effect of disruption on oil prices, not domestic producers or distributors.

26). The evidence on which the conclusion is based concerns only average weight, but the conclusion concerns average weight gain. Because there is not necessarily a connection between an absolute measurement-such as weight-and a rate of increase-such as weight gain-this argument is flawed. The relevant reasoning error is described in E, which is the best answer.

Neither of A and D identifies a reasoning error in the passage, since the passage makes no claim that weight is the only relevant measure of infant development in general, and no claim about sufficiency. B and C are consistent with the claims in the passage, and neither identifies a flaw in the argument.

27). The passage concludes that, because the malarial parasite cannot reside in red blood cells for more than 120
days, the malarial parasite cannot cause fever more than 120 days after infection. However, according to D, there is a site in the body where the parasite could reside for more than 120 days after infection. Therefore, D weakens the conclusion and is the best answer.

The resemblance between malarial-fever symptoms and those of other diseases, the existence of other malarial symptoms, and the possibility of immunity to malaria are irrelevant to the issue of the conditions under which malarial fever can occur. B provides confirmation for the existence of malaria-free regions but does not otherwise bear on the conclusion.

28). Because E indicates that the number of commercials in a cluster is increasing, it entails that proportionally more
commercials are aired in intermediate positions. Hence, E helps fact 2 explain fact 1 by showing that increasingly more commercials are aired in positions in which viewers find them difficult to recall. E is the best answer.

A testifies to the ineffectiveness of television advertising but does not help fact 2 explain fact 1.
B indicates that fact 2 contradicts rather than explains fact 1, since it suggests that the number of commercials per cluster is decreasing.
C and D help to explain fact 1-by describing a change in viewing habits and a change in programming-but neither relates fact 2 to fact 1.

29). The health officials’ explanation assumes that the decrease in the number of people diagnosed with the disease
accurately reflects a diminution in cases of the disease. By pointing out that this assumption is false, C undermines the officials’ explanation and thus is the best answer. Since A supports the view that sanitary conditions have been improving, it tends to support the officials’ explanation. B also tends to support the officials’ explanation, because it eliminates a factor that might have differentiated between those contracting and those not contracting the disease and thus rules out an alternative explanation. The reduction of the severity of the diagnosed cases does not bear on the officials’ explanation. So D is not correct. Since the standards in
neighboring counties might themselves have been inadequate, E does not weaken the officials’ explanation.

30). If the original contractual price for the weapons purchased incorporated an inefficient use of funds, then, since historical costing merely adds to the original price, it preserves these inefficiencies. An economically sound pricing method should at least allow the possibility of reductions in price as such inefficiencies are removed. Hence, A is the best answer. Because historical costing responds to inflation, B and C are consistent with the economic soundness of historical costing-the rate of inflation and costs that are reflected in inflation. D offers no grounds for questioning the economic soundness of historical costing in particular. Historical costing applies to standard weapons only, not to the innovative weapons that are mentioned in E.

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