by bashob August 1, 2016
Critical Reasoning - Set II
Critical Reasoning questions are designed to provide one measure of your ability to reason effectively in the following areas:- 1. Argument Construction -- Questions in this category may ask you to recognize such things as the basic structure of an argument, properly drawn conclusions, underlying assumptions, well supported explanatory hypotheses, and parallels between structurally similar arguments. 2. Argument Evaluation -- These questions may ask you to analyze a given argument and to recognize such things as factors that would strengthen or weaken the given argument; reasoning errors committed in making that argument; and aspects of the method by which the argument proceeds. 3. Formulating and Evaluating a plan of action -- These type of questions may ask you to recognize such things as the relative appropriateness, effectiveness or efficiency of different plans of action; factors that would strengthen or weaken the prospects of success of a proposed plan of action; and assumptions underlying a proposed plan of action.
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Astronomer: Most stars are born in groups of thousands, each star in a group forming from the same parent cloud of gas. Each cloud has a unique, homogeneous chemical composition. Therefore, whenever two stars have the same chemical composition as each other, they must have originated from the same cloud of gas. Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the astronomer's argument?
In some groups of stars, not every star originated from the same parent cloud of gas.
Clouds of gas of similar or identical chemical composition may be remote from each other.
Whenever a star forms, it inherits the chemical composition of its parent cloud of gas.
Many stars in vastly different parts of the universe are quite similar in their chemical compositions.
Astronomers can at least sometimes precisely determine whether a star has the same chemical composition as its parent cloud of gas.
Question 1 Explanation:
Option (A) negates the very first sentence of the argument. The argument clearly states that each cloud has a UNIQUE chemical composition. So option (B) which states that remote clouds of gases may have identical composition is against the argument. If Option (C) is true then all stars of a group inherit their chemical composition from the same parent gas and hence this option strengthens the argument. Option (D) does not talk about any relation between the cloud of gas and the resultant stars, so it is not related to the argument at all. Option (E) speaks about some of the times unlike the Astronomer. Moreover this option, if true, weakens the astronomer’s argument. So the correct option is (C)
Snow making machines work by spraying a mist that freezes immediately on contact with cold air. Because the sudden freezing kills bacteria, QuickFreeze is planning to market a wastewater purification system that works on the same principle. The process works only when temperatures are cold, however, so municipalities using it will still need to maintain a conventional system. Which of the following, if true, provides the strongest grounds for a prediction that municipalities will buy QuickFreeze's purification system despite the need to maintain a conventional purification system as well?
Bacteria are not the only impurities that must be removed from wastewater
Many municipalities have old wastewater purification systems that need to be replaced.
Conventional wastewater purification systems have not been fully successful in killing bacteria at cold temperatures.
During times of warm weather, when it is not in use, QuickFreeze's purification system requires relatively little maintenance
Places where the winters are cold rarely have a problem of water storage.
Question 2 Explanation:
(A) There is no basis in the passage for determining whether the QuickFreeze system will help remove impurities other than bacteria from waste water. Hence, due to this uncertainty this is not the correct option. (B) The passage states that municipalities using the QuickFreeze system would still need a conventional system. Thus, the old conventional systems would still need to be replaced with new conventional systems. Hence, this answer choice provides no reason to think municipalities would buy the QuickFreeze system. (C) Correct. This statement, if true, would strengthen the predication, because it provides a valid reason why the QuickFreeze system could be needed alongside conventional ones. (D) Although this claim does undercut one reason for thinking municipalities might not be likely to purchase the QuickFreeze system, it provides little reason to think that they will purchase such a system. Perhaps in times of cold weather, the QuickFreeze system is very expensive to maintain. (E) The issue of whether or not there are water shortages in places where winters are cold is not relevant. If conventional wastewater systems are sufficient to purify water in such places, municipalities would not need the QuickFreeze system (as they would still need to maintain a conventional purification system)
Editorial: The roof of Northtown's municipal equipment -storage building collapsed under the weight of last week's heavy snowfall. The building was constructed recently and met local building-safety codes in every particular, except that the nails used for attaching roof supports to the building's columns were of a smaller size than the codes specify for this purpose. Clearly, this collapse exemplifies how even a single, apparently insignificant departure from safety standards can have severe consequences. Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the editorial's argument?
The only other buildings to suffer roof collapses from the weight of the snowfall were older buildings constructed according to less exacting standards than those in the codes.
The amount of snow that accumulated on the roof of the equipment-storage building was greater than the predicted maximum that was used in drawing up the safety codes.
Because the equipment-storage building was not intended for human occupation, some safety-code provisions that would have applied to an office building did not apply to it.
The municipality of Northtown itself has the responsibility for ensuring that buildings constructed within its boundaries meet the provisions of the building-safety codes
Because the equipment-storage building was used for storing snow-removal equipment, the building was almost completely empty when the roof collapsed.
Question 3 Explanation:
Option (A) is irrelevant to the argument presented. Option (B) if true surely weakens the editorial’s argument as greater snowfall than maximum predicted would have resulted in similar results even if all safety standards were followed. Option (C) (D) and (E) neither strengthens nor weakens the editorial’s argument and thus are irrelevant.
Homeowners aged 40 and 50 are more likely to purchase ice cream and are more likely to purchase it in larger amounts than are members of any other demographic group. The popular belief that teenagers eat more ice cream than adults must, therefore, be false. The argument is flawed primarily because the author
fails to distinguish between purchasing and consuming
does not supply information about homeowners in age groups other than 40 to 50.
depends on popular belief rather than on documented research findings
does not specify the precise amount of ice cream purchased by any demographic group
discusses ice cream rather than more nutritious and healthful foods.
Question 4 Explanation:
A. Correct: The failure to make this distinction leads to the flawed assumption. B. Incorrect: The author clearly states that the age group from 40 to 50 purchase larger amounts of ice cream than any other demographic group. C. There is nothing in the argument to suggest that the argument is based on popular belief. D. Providing precise information about the quantity of ice cream purchased would not improve the argument at all. E. The subject is ice-cream and not nutrition, so this point is irrelevant.
Neuroscientist: Memory evolved to help animals react appropriately to situations they encounter by drawing on the past experience of similar situations. But this does not require that animals perfectly recall every detail of their experiences. Instead, to function well, memory should generalize from past experiences that are similar to the current one. The neuroscientist's statements, if true, most strongly support which of the following conclusions?
At least some animals perfectly recall every detail of at least some past experiences.
Perfectly recalling every detail of all their past experiences could help at least some animals react more appropriately than they otherwise would to new situations they encounter.
Generalizing from past experiences requires clear memories of most if not all the details of those experiences.
Recalling every detail of all past experiences would be incompatible with any ability to generalize from those experiences.
Animals can often react more appropriately than they otherwise would to situations they encounter if they draw on generalizations from past experiences of similar situations.
Question 5 Explanation:
Situation: A neuroscientist claims that memory evolved to help animals learn how to react appropriately by generalizing from past experiences but that this does not require animals to remember all details of those experiences. Reasoning: What conclusion would the neuroscientist’s theory about memory most strongly support? The neuroscientist asserts that the evolutionary function of memory is to help animals learn to react appropriately by drawing on generalization from similar experiences they have had. If memory is serve this function, drawing on generalizations must actually help animals learn to react more appropriately than they otherwise would, even when they do not remember all the details of past experiences. Answers (A) (B) (C) and (D) talk about recalling some or every detail of a past experience. Only option (E) restates the last line from the passage which talks about forming generalizations in order to be able to react to a given problem.
A provincial government plans to raise the gasoline tax to give people an incentive to drive less, reducing traffic congestion in the long term. However, skeptics point out that most people in the province live in areas where cars are the only viable transportation to jobs and stores and therefore cannot greatly change their driving habits in response to higher gasoline prices. In light of the skeptics objection, which of the following, if true, would most logically support the prediction that the government's plan will achieve its goal of reducing traffic congestion?
The revenue from the tax will be used to make public transportation a viable means of transportation to jobs and stores for far more people.
The tax will encourage many residents to switch to more fuel-efficient cars, reducing air pollution and other problems.
Because gasoline has been underpriced for decades, the province has many neighborhoods where cars are the only viable means of transportation.
Most residents who cannot greatly change their driving habits could compensate for high gasoline prices by reducing other expenses.
Traffic congestion is an especially serious problem for people for whom cars are the only viable means of transportation.
Question 6 Explanation:
If option (A) is true then the public transportation could be funded with the additional tax which will also resolve the problem of transportation from all areas. Option (B) does not address the issue of traffic congestion, which is part of government’s plan. Option (C) is not related to argument. Option (D) is again not related to the argument. Option (E) is simply restating the problem of traffic congestion again. Hence, the correct answer is (A).
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