30 Minutes 20 Questions
1. The school board has determined that it is necessary to reduce the
number of teachers on the staff. Rather than deciding which teachers will be
laid off on the basis of seniority, the school board plans to lay off the least
effective teachers first. The school board’s plan assumes that
(A) there is a way of determining the effectiveness of teachers
(B) what one individual defines as effective teaching will not be defined as
effective teaching by another individual
(C) those with the most experience teaching are the best teachers
(D) those teachers who are paid the most are generally the most qualified
(E) some teachers will be more effective working with some students than with
2. Since applied scientific research is required for technological
advancement, many have rightly urged an increased emphasis in universities on
applied research. But we must not give too little attention to basic research,
even though it may have no foreseeable application, for tomorrow’s applied
research will depend on the basic research of today. If the statements above are
true, which of the following can be most reliably inferred?
(A) If future technological advancement is desired, basic research should
receive greater emphasis than applied research.
(B) If basic research is valued in universities, applied research should be
given less emphasis than it currently has.
(C) If future technological advancement is desired, research should be limited
to that with some foreseeable application.
(D) If too little attention is given to basic research today, future
technological advancement will be jeopardized.
(E) If technological advancement is given insufficient emphasis, basic research
will also receive too little attention.
3. The First Banking Group’s decision to invest in an electronic network
for transferring funds was based on a cost advantage over a nonelectronic system
of about ten dollars per transaction in using an electronic system. Executives
reasoned further that the system would give them an advantage over competitors.
Which of the following, if it is a realistic possibility, most seriously weakens
the executives’ projection of an advantage over competitors?
(A) The cost advantage of using the electronic system will not increase
sufficiently to match the pace of inflation.
(B) Competitors will for the same reasons install electronic systems, and the
resulting overcapacity will lead to mutually damaging price wars.
(C) The electronic system will provide a means for faster transfer of funds, if
the First Banking Group wishes to provide faster transfer to its customers.
(D) Large banks from outside the area served by the First Banking Group have
recently established branches in that area as competitors to the First Banking
(E) Equipment used in the electronic network for transferring funds will be
compatible with equipment used in other such networks.
4. Which of the following best completes the argument below? One effect of
the introduction of the electric refrigerator was a collapse in the market for
ice. Formerly householders had bought ice to keep their iceboxes cool and the
food stored in the iceboxes fresh. Now the iceboxes cool themselves. Similarly,
the introduction of crops genetically engineered to be resistant to pests
(A) increase the size of crop harvests
(B) increase the cost of seeds
(C) reduce demand for chemical pesticides
(D) reduce the value of farmland
(E) reduce the number of farmers keeping livestock
5. In 1985 the city’s Fine Arts Museum sold 30,000 single-entry tickets.
In 1986 the city’s Folk Arts and Interior Design museums opened, and these three
museums together sold over 80,000 such tickets that year. These museums were
worth the cost, since more than twice as many citizens are now enjoying the
arts. Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the author’s
assertion that more than twice as many citizens are now enjoying the arts?
(A) Most visitors to one museum also visit the other two.
(B) The cost of building the museums will not be covered by revenues generated
by the sale of museum tickets.
(C) As the two new museums become better known, even more citizens will visit
(D) The city’s Fine Arts Museum did not experience a decrease in single-entry
tickets sold in 1986.
(E) Fewer museum entry tickets were sold in 1986 than the museum planners had
hoped to sell.
6. F: We ought not to test the safety of new drugs on sentient animals,
such as dogs and rabbits. Our benefit means their pain, and they are equal to us
in the capacity to feel pain. G: We must carry out such tests; otherwise, we
would irresponsibly sacrifice the human lives that could have been saved by the
drugs. Which of the following, if true, is the best objection that could be made
from F’s point of view to counter G’s point?
(A) Even though it is not necessary for people to use cosmetics, cosmetics
are also being tested on sentient animals.
(B) Medical science already has at its disposal a great number of drugs and
other treatments for serious illnesses.
(C) It is not possible to obtain scientifically adequate results by testing
drugs in the test tube, without making tests on living tissue.
(D) Some of the drugs to be tested would save human beings from great pain.
(E) Many tests now performed on sentient animals can be performed equally well
on fertilized chicken eggs that are at a very early stage of development.
7. Which of the following best completes the passage below? The
unemployment rate in the United States fell from 7.5 percent in 1981 to 6.9
percent in 1986. It cannot, however, be properly concluded from these statistics
that the number of unemployed in 1986 was lower than it had been in 1981
(A) help-wanted advertisements increased between 1981 and 1986
(B) many of the high-paying industrial jobs available in 1981 were replaced by
low-wage service jobs in 1986, resulting in displacements of hundreds of
(C) in some midwestern industrial states, the unemployment rate was much higher
in 1986 than it had been in 1981
(D) the total available work force, including those with and without employment,
increased between 1981 and 1986
(E) the average time that employees stay in any one job dropped during the
period 1981 to 1986
8. To reduce costs, a company is considering a drastic reduction in the
number of middle-level managers. This reduction would be accomplished by first
offering early retirement to those 50 years of age or older with 15 years of
service, and then by firing enough of the others to bring the overall reduction
to 50 percent. Each of the following, assuming that it is a realistic
possibility, is a possible disadvantage to the company of the plan EXCEPT:
(A) Loyalty to the company will be reduced among those surviving the
reduction, because they will perceive the status of even good managers as
(B) The restructuring of managerial jobs will allow business units to be adapted
to fit a changing business environment.
(C) The company will have a smaller pool of managers from which to choose in
selecting future senior managers.
(D) Some of the best managers, unsure of their security against being fired,
will choose early retirement.
(E) The increased workload of managers remaining with the company will subject
them to stress that will eventually affect their performance.
9. In order to relieve congestion in the airspace near the airports of a
certain country, transportation officials propose sending passengers by new
rapid trains between the country’s major airport and several small cities within
a 300-mile radius of it. This plan was proposed even though the officials
realized that it is the major airport that is congested, not those in the small
cities. The plan to relieve congestion would work best if which of
the following were true about the major airport?
(A) Rail tickets between the airport and the small cities will most likely
cost more than the current air tickets for those routes.
(B) Most passengers who frequently use the airport prefer to reach their cities
of destination exclusively by air, even if they must change planes twice.
(C) There are feasible changes in the airport’s traffic control system which
would significantly relieve congestion.
(D) Some of the congestion the airport experiences could be relieved if more
flights were scheduled at night and at other off-peak hours.
(E) A significant proportion of the airport’s traffic consists of passengers
transferring between international flights and flights to the small cities.
Questions 10-11 are based on the following.
An annually conducted, nationwide survey shows a continuing marked decline in
the use of illegal drugs by high school seniors over the last three years.
10. Which of the following, if true, casts most doubt on the relevance of
the survey results described above for drawing conclusions about illegal drug
use in the teen-age population as a whole?
(A) Because of cuts in funding, no survey of illegal drug use by high school
seniors will be conducted next year.
(B) The decline uncovered in the survey has occurred despite the decreasing cost
of illegal drugs.
(C) Illegal drug use by teen-agers is highest in those areas of the country
where teen-agers are least likely to stay in high school for their senior year.
(D) Survey participants are more likely now than they were three years ago to
describe as “heroic” people who were addicted to illegal drugs and have been
(E) The proportion of high school seniors who say that they strongly disapprove
of illegal drug use has declined over the last three years.
11. Which of the following, if true, would provide most support for
concluding from the survey results described above that the use of illegal drugs
by people below the age of 20 is declining?
(A) Changes in the level of drug use by high school seniors are seldom
matched by changes in the level of drug use by other people below the age of 20.
(B) In the past, high school seniors were consistently the population group most
likely to use illegal drugs and most likely to use them heavily.
(C) The percentage of high school seniors who use illegal drugs is consistently
very similar to the percentage of all people below the age of 20 who use illegal
(D) The decline revealed by the surveys is the result of drug education programs
specifically targeted at those below the age of 20.
(E) The number of those surveyed who admit to having sold illegal drugs has
declined even faster than has the number who have used drugs.
12. President of the United States: I have received over 2,000 letters on
this issue, and the vast majority of them support my current position. These
letters prove that most of the people in the country agree with me. Which of the
following, if true, most weakens the President’s conclusion?
(A) The issue is a very divisive one on which many people have strong
(B) Some members of Congress disagree with the President’s position.
(C) People who disagree with the President feel more strongly about the issue
than do people who agree with him.
(D) People who agree with the President are more likely to write to him than are
people who disagree with him.
(E) During the presidential campaign, the President stated a position on this
issue that was somewhat different from his current position.
13. Some governments have tried to make alcohol and tobacco less
attractive to consumers by regulating what can be shown in advertisements for
these products, rather than by banning advertising of them altogether. However,
the need to obey the letter of these restrictions has actually stimulated
advertisers to create advertisements that are more inventive and humorous than
they were prior to the restrictions’ introduction. which of the following, if
true, would, in conjunction with the statements above, best support the
conclusion that the government policy described above fails to achieve its
(A) Because of the revenues gained from the sale of alcohol and tobacco,
governments have no real interest in making these products less attractive to
(B) Advertisers tend to create inventive and humorous advertisements only if
they have some particular reason to do so.
(C) Banning advertising of alcohol and tobacco is a particularly effective way
of making these products less attractive to consumers.
(D) With the policy in place, advertisements for alcohol and tobacco have become
far more inventive and humorous than advertisements for other kinds of products.
(E) The more inventive an advertisement is, the more attractive it makes the
advertised product appear.
14. Which of the following, if true, best completes the argument below?
Comparisons of the average standards of living of the citizens of two countries
should reflect the citizens’ comparative access to goods and services. Reliable
figures in a country’s own currency for the average income of its citizens are
easily obtained. But it is difficult to get an accurate comparison of average
standards of living from these figures, because_____
(A) there are usually no figures comparing how much of two different
currencies must be spent in order to purchase a given quantity of goods and
(B) wage levels for the same job vary greatly from country to country, depending
on cultural as well as on purely economic factors
(C) these figures must be calculated by dividing the gross national product of a
country by the size of its population
(D) comparative access to goods and services is only one of several factors
relevant in determining quality of life
(E) the wealth, and hence the standard of living, of a country’s citizens is
very closely related to their income
15. The level of lead contamination in United States rivers declined
between 1975 and 1985. Federal regulations requiring a drop in industrial
discharges of lead went into effect in 1975, but the major cause of the decline
was a 75 percent drop in the use of leaded gasoline between 1975 and 1985. Which
of the following, if true, best supports the claim that the major cause of the
decline in the level of lead contamination in United States rives was the
decline in the use of leaded gasoline?
(A) The level of lead contamination in United States rivers fell sharply in
both 1975 and 1983.
(B) Most of the decline in industrial discharges of lead occurred before 1976,
but the largest decline in the level of river contamination occurred between
(C) Levels of lead contamination in rivers fell sharply in 1975-1976 and rose
very slightly over the next nine years.
(D) Levels of lead contamination rose in those rivers where there was reduced
river flow due to drought.
(E) Although the use of leaded gasoline declined 75 percent between 1975 and
1985, 80 percent of the decline took place in 1985.
16. George Bernard Shaw wrote: “That any sane nation, having observed that
you could provide for the supply of bread by giving bakers a pecuniary interest
in baking for you, should go on to give a surgeon a pecuniary interest in
cutting off your leg is enough to make one despair of political humanity.”
Shaw’s statement would best serve as an illustration in an argument criticizing
which of the following?
(A) Dentists who perform unnecessary dental work in order to earn a profit
(B) Doctors who increase their profits by specializing only in diseases that
affect a large percentage of the population
(C) Grocers who raise the price of food in order to increase their profit
(D) Oil companies that decrease the price of their oil in order to increase
their market share
(E) Bakers and surgeons who earn a profit by supplying other peoples’ basic
17. Since 1975 there has been in the United States a dramatic decline in
the incidence of traditional childhood diseases such as measles. This decline
has been accompanied by an increased incidence of Peterson’s disease, a hitherto
rare viral infection, among children. Few adults, however, have been affected by
the disease. Which of the following, if true, would best help to explain the
increased incidence of Peterson’s disease among children?
(A) Hereditary factors determine in part the degree to which a person is
susceptible to the virus that causes Peterson’s disease.
(B) The decrease in traditional childhood diseases and the accompanying increase
in Peterson’s disease have not been found in any other country.
(C) Children who contract measles develop an immunity to the virus that causes
(D) Persons who did not contract measles in childhood might contract measles in
adulthood, in which case the consequences of the disease would generally be more
(E) Those who have contracted Peterson’s disease are at increased risk of
contracting chicken pox.
18. Many plant varieties used in industrially developed nations to improve
cultivated crops come from less developed nations. No compensation is paid on
the grounds that the plants used are “the common heritage of humanity.” Such
reasoning is, however, flawed. After all, no one suggests that coal, oil, and
ores should be extracted without payment. Which of the following best describes
an aspect of the method used by the author in the argument above?
(A) The author proceeds from a number of specific observations to a
(B) The author applies to the case under discussion facts about phenomena
assumed to be similar in some relevant respect.
(C) A position is strengthened by showing that the opposite of that position
would have logically absurd consequences.
(D) A line of reasoning is called into question on the grounds that it confuses
cause and effect in a causal relation.
(E) An argument is analyzed by separating statements of fact from individual
19. It is widely assumed that a museum is helped financially when a
generous patron donates a potential exhibit. In truth, however, donated objects
require storage space, which is not free, and routine conservation, which is
rather expensive. Therefore, such gifts exacerbate rather than lighten the
demands made on a museum’s financial resources. Which of the following, if true,
most seriously weakens the argument above?
(A) To keep patrons well disposed, a museum will find it advisable to put at
least some donated objects on exhibit rather than merely in storage.
(B) The people who are most likely to donate valuable objects to a museum are
also the people who are most likely to make cash gifts to it.
(C) A museum cannot save money by resorting to cheap storage under less than
adequate conditions, because so doing would drive up the cost of conservation.
(D) Patrons expect a museum to keep donated objects in its possession rather
than to raise cash by selling them.
(E) Objects donated by a patron to a museum are often of such importance that
the museum would be obliged to add them to its collection through purchase if
20. Despite the approach of winter, oil prices to industrial customers are
exceptionally low this year and likely to remain so. Therefore, unless the
winter is especially severe, the price of natural gas to industrial customers is
also likely to remain low. Which of the following, if true, provides the most
support for the conclusion above?
(A) Long-term weather forecasts predict a mild winter.
(B) The industrial users who consume most natural gas can quickly and cheaply
switch to using oil instead.
(C) The largest sources of supply for both oil and natural gas are in
subtropical regions unlikely to be affected by winter weather.
(D) The fuel requirements of industrial users of natural gas are not seriously
affected by the weather.
(E) Oil distribution is more likely to be affected by severe winter weather than
is the distribution of natural gas.
30 Minutes 20 Questions
1. The country of Maravia has severe air pollution, 80 percent of which is
caused by the exhaust fumes of cars. In order to reduce the number of cars on
the road, the government is raising taxes on the cost of buying and running a
car by 20 percent. This tax increase, therefore, will significantly reduce air
pollution in Maravia. Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens
the argument above?
(A) The government of Maravia is in the process of building a significant
number of roadways.
(B) Maravia is an oil-producing country and is able to refine an amount of
gasoline sufficient for the needs of its population.
(C) Maravia has had an excellent public transportation system for many years.
(D) Ninety percent of the population of Maravia is very prosperous and has a
substantial amount of disposable income.
(E) In Maravia, cars that emit relatively low levels of pollutants cost 10
percent less to operate, on average, than do cars that emit high levels of
2. Consumer income reports produced by the government distinguish between
households and families by means of the following definition: “A family is a
household containing a householder and at least one person related to the
householder.” Except for the homeless and people in group living quarters, most
people live in households. According to the definition above, which of the
following must be true?
(A) All householders are members of families.
(B) All families include a householder.
(C) All of the people related to a householder form a family.
(D) Some people residing in group living quarters are members of families.
(E) Some homeless people reside in group living quarters.
Questions 3-4 are based on the following.
The proportion of manufacturing companies in Alameda that use
microelectronics in their manufacturing processes increased from 6 percent in
1979 to 66 percent in 1990. Many labor leaders say that the introduction of
microelectronics is the principal cause of the great increase in unemployment
during that period in Alameda. In actual fact, however, most of the job losses
were due to organizational changes. Moreover, according to new figures released
by the labor department, there were many more people employed in Alameda in the
manufacturing industry in 1990 than in 1979.
3. Which of the following, if true, best reconciles the discrepancy
between the increase in unemployment and the increase in jobs in the
manufacturing industry of Alameda?
(A) Many products that contain microelectronic components are now assembled
completely by machine.
(B) Workers involved in the various aspects of the manufacturing processes that
use microelectronic technology need extensive training.
(C) It is difficult to evaluate numerically what impact on job security the
introduction of microelectronics in the workplace had before 1979.
(D) In 1990 over 90 percent of the jobs in Alameda’s manufacturing companies
were filled by workers who moved to Alameda because they had skills for which
there was no demand in Alameda prior to the introduction of microelectronics
(E) Many workers who have retired from the manufacturing industry in Alameda
since 1979 have not been replaced by younger workers.
4. Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the labor
leaders’ claim concerning the manufacturing industry in Alameda?
(A) From 1979 to 1990, fewer employees of manufacturing companies in Alameda
lost their jobs because of the introduction of microelectronics than did
employees of manufacturing companies in the nearby community of Rockside.
(B) The figures on the use of microelectronics that were made public are the
result of inquiries made of managers in the manufacturing industry in Alameda.
(C) The organizational changes that led to job losses in all sectors of the
manufacturing industry in Alameda were primarily the result of the introduction
(D) Figures on job losses in the manufacturing industry in Alameda for the late
sixties and early seventies have not been made available.
(E) A few jobs in the manufacturing industry in Alameda could have been saved if
workers had been willing to become knowledgeable in microelectronics.
5. The number of musicians employed to play accompaniment for radio and
television commercials has sharply decreased over the past ten years. This has
occurred even though the number of commercials produced each year has not
significantly changed for the last ten years. Which of the following, if it
occurred during the past ten years, would contribute LEAST to an explanation of
the facts above?
(A) The type of music most popular for use in commercials has changed from a
type that requires a large number of instruments to a type that requires very
(B) There has been an increase in the number of commercials that use only the
spoken word and sound effects, rather than musical accompaniment.
(C) There has been an increase in the number of commercials that use a
synthesizer, an instrument on which one musician can reproduce the sound of many
musicians playing together.
(D) There has been an increase in the number of commercials that use prerecorded
music as their only source of music.
(E) There has been an increase in the number of commercials that use musicians
just starting in the music industry rather than musicians experienced in
6. Recent audits revealed that BanqueCard, a credit service, has erred in
calculating the interest it charges its clients. But BanqueCard’s chief
accountant reasoned that the profits that the company shows would remain
unaffected by a revision of its clients’ credit statements to correct its
previous billing errors, since just as many clients had been overcharged as
undercharged. Which of the following is a reasoning error that the accountant
makes in concluding that correcting its clients’ statements would leave
BanqueCard’s profits unaffected?
(A) Relying on the reputation of BanqueCard as a trustworthy credit service
to maintain the company’s clientele after the error becomes widely known
(B) Failing to establish that BanqueCard charges the same rates of interest for
all of its clients
(C) Overlooking the possibility that the amount by which BanqueCard’s clients
had been overcharged might be greater than the amount by which they had been
(D) Assuming that the clients who had been overcharged by BanqueCard had not
noticed the error in their credit bills
(E) Presupposing that each one of BanqueCard’s clients had either been
overcharged or else had been undercharged by the billing error
7. Not Scored
8. Residents of an apartment complex are considering two possible plans
for collecting recyclable trash. Plan 1 - Residents will deposit recyclable
trash in municipal dumpsters located in the parking lot. The trash will be
collected on the first and the fifteenth days of each month. Plan 2 - Residents
will be given individual containers for recyclable trash. The containers will be
placed at the curb twice a week for trash collection. Which of the following
points raised at a meeting of the residents, if valid, would most favor one of
the recycling plans over the other?
(A) Residents will be required to exercise care in separating recyclable
trash from nonrecyclable trash.
(B) For trash recycling to be successful, residents must separate recyclable
bottles and cans from recyclable paper products.
(C) Penalties will be levied against residents who fail to sort their trash
(D) Individual recycling containers will need to be made of a strong and durable
(E) Recyclable trash that is allowed to accumulate for two weeks will attract
9. In 1990 all of the people who applied for a job at Evco also applied
for a job at Radeco, and Evco and Radeco each offered jobs to half of these
applicants. Therefore, every one of these applicants must have been offered a
job in 1990. The argument above is based on which of the following assumptions
about these job applicants?
(A) All of the applicants were very well qualified for a job at either Evco
(B) All of the applicants accepted a job at either Evco or Radeco.
(C) None of the applicants was offered a job by both Evco and Radeco.
(D) None of the applicants had applied for jobs at places other than Evco and
(E) None of the applicants had previously worked for either Evco or Radeco.
10. The geese that gather at the pond of a large corporation create a
hazard for executives who use the corporate helicopter, whose landing site is 40
feet away from the pond. To solve the problem, the corporation plans to import a
large number of herding dogs to keep the geese away from the helicopter. Which
of the following, if a realistic possibility, would cast the most serious doubt
on the prospects for success of the corporation’s plan?
(A) The dogs will form an uncontrollable pack.
(B) The dogs will require training to learn to herd the geese.
(C) The dogs will frighten away foxes that prey on old and sick geese.
(D) It will be necessary to keep the dogs in quarantine for 30 days after
(E) Some of the geese will move to the pond of another corporation in order to
avoid being herded by the dogs.
11. When a person is under intense psychological stress, his or her
cardiovascular response is the same as it is during vigorous physical exercise.
Psychological stress, then, must be beneficial for the heart as is vigorous
physical exercise. The argument above relies on which of the following
(A) Exercise is an effective means of relieving psychological stress.
(B) The body’s short-term cardiovascular response to any activity indicates that
activity’s long-term effect on the body.
(C) Cardiovascular response during an activity is an adequate measure of how
beneficial the activity is for the heart.
(D) Psychological stress can have a positive effect on the body.
(E) Vigorous exercise is the most reliable method of maintaining a healthy
12. After graduating from high school, people rarely multiply fractions or
discuss ancient Rome, but they are confronted daily with decisions relating to
home economics. Yet whereas mathematics and history are required courses in the
high school curriculum, home economics is only an elective, and few students
choose to take it. Which of the following positions would be best supported by
the considerations above?
(A) If mathematics and history were not required courses, few students would
choose to take them.
(B) Whereas home economics would be the most useful subject for people facing
the decisions they must make in daily life, often mathematics and history can
help them face these decisions.
(C) If it is important to teach high school students subjects that relate to
decisions that will confront them in their daily lives, then home economics
should be made an
important part of the high school curriculum.
(D) Mathematics, history, and other courses that are not directly relevant to a
person’s daily life should not be a required part of the high school curriculum.
(E) Unless high schools put more emphasis on nonacademic subjects like home
economics, people graduating from high school will never feel comfortable about
making the decisions that will confront them in their daily lives.
13. Houses built during the last ten years have been found to contain
indoor air pollution at levels that are, on average, much higher than the levels
found in older houses. The reason air-pollution levels are higher in the newer
houses is that many such houses are built near the sites of old waste dumps or
where automobile emissions are heavy. Which of the following, if true, calls
into question the explanation above?
(A) Many new houses are built with air-filtration systems that remove from
the house pollutants that are generated indoors.
(B) The easing of standards for smokestack emissions has led to an increase in
air-pollution levels in homes.
(C) New houses built in secluded rural areas are relatively free of air
(D) Warm-weather conditions tend to slow down the movement of air, thus keeping
pollution trapped near its source.
(E) Pressboard, an inexpensive new plywood substitute now often used in the
construction of houses, emits the pollutant formaldehyde into the house.
14. The most important aspect of moviemaking is conveying a scene’s
rhythm. Conveying rhythm depends less on the artistic quality of the individual
photographic images than on how the shots go together and the order in which
they highlight different aspects of the action taking place in front of the
camera. If the statements above are true, which of the following must be true on
the basis of them?
(A) The artistic quality of the individual photographic image is unimportant
in movie photography.
(B) Photographers known for the superb artistic quality of their photographs are
seldom effective as moviemakers.
(C) Having the ability to produce photographs of superb artistic quality does
not in itself guarantee having the ability to be a good moviemaker.
(D) Movie photographers who are good at their jobs rarely give serious thought
to the artistic quality of the photographs they take.
(E) To convey a scene’s rhythm effectively, a moviemaker must highlight many
different aspects of the action taking place.
15. Human beings can see the spatial relations among objects by processing
information conveyed by light. Scientists trying to build computers that can
detect spatial relations by the same kind of process have so far designed and
built stationary machines. However, these scientists will not achieve their goal
until they produce such a machine that can move around in its environment. Which
of the following, if true, would best support the prediction above?
(A) Human beings are dependent on visual cues from motion in order to detect
(B) Human beings can often easily detect the spatial relations among objects,
even when those objects are in motion.
(C) Detecting spatial relations among objects requires drawing inferences from
the information conveyed by light.
(D) Although human beings can discern spatial relations through their sense of
hearing, vision is usually the most important means of detecting spatial
(E) Information about the spatial relations among objects can be obtained by
noticing such things as shadows and the relative sizes of objects.
16. In a study of the effect of color on productivity, 50 of 100 factory
workers were moved from their drab workroom to a brightly colored workroom. Both
these workers and the 50 who remained in the drab workroom increased their
productivity, probably as a result of the interest taken by researchers in the
work of both groups during the study. Which of the following, if true, would
cast most doubt upon the author’s interpretation of the study results given
(A) The 50 workers moved to the brightly colored room performed precisely
the same manufacturing task as the workers who remained in the drab workroom.
(B) The drab workroom was designed to provide adequate space for at most 65
(C) The 50 workers who moved to the brightly colored workroom were matched as
closely as possible in age and level of training to the 50 workers who remained
in the drab work-room.
(D) Nearly all the workers in both groups had volunteered to move to the
brightly colored workroom.
(E) Many of the workers who moved to the brightly colored workroom reported that
they liked the drab workroom as well as or better than they liked the brightly
17. Not Scored
18. Manager: Accounting and Billing are located right next to each other
and the two departments do similar kinds of work; yet expenditures for clerical
supplies charged to Billing are much higher. Is Billing wasting supplies? Head
of Billing: Not at all. Which of the following, if true, best supports the
position of the Head of Billing?
(A) There are more staff members in Accounting than in Billing.
(B) Two years ago, expenditures in Accounting for clerical supplies were the
same as were expenditures that year in Billing for clerical supplies.
(C) The work of Billing now requires a wider variety of clerical supplies than
it did in the past.
(D) Some of the paper-and-pencil work of both Accounting and Billing has been
replaced by work done on computers.
(E) Members of Accounting found the clerical supplies cabinet of Billing more
convenient to go to for supplies than their own department’s cabinet.
19. Most geologists believe oil results from chemical transformations of
hydrocarbons derived from organisms buried under ancient seas. Suppose, instead,
that oil actually results from bacterial action on other complex hydrocarbons
that are trapped within the Earth. As is well known, the volume of these
hydrocarbons exceeds that of buried organisms. Therefore, our oil reserves would
be greater than most geologists believe. Which of the following, if true, gives
the strongest support to the argument above about our oil reserves?
(A) Most geologists think optimistically about the Earth’s reserves of oil.
(B) Most geologists have performed accurate chemical analyses on previously
discovered oil reserves.
(C) Ancient seas are buried within the Earth at many places where fossils are
(D) The only bacteria yet found in oil reserves could have leaked down drill
holes from surface contaminants.
(E) Chemical transformations reduce the volume of buried hydrocarbons derived
from organisms by roughly the same proportion as bacterial action reduces the
volume of other complex hydrocarbons.
20. The wild mouflon sheep of the island of Corsica are direct descendants
of sheep that escaped from domestication on the island 8,000 years ago. They
therefore provide archaeologists with a picture of what some early domesticated
sheep looked like, before the deliberate selective breeding that produced modern
domesticated sheep began. The argument above makes which of the following
(A) The domesticated sheep of 8,000 years ago were quite dissimilar from the
wild sheep of the time.
(B) There are no other existing breeds of sheep that escaped from domestication
at about the same time as the forebears of the mouflon.
(C) Modern domesticated sheep are direct descendants of sheep that were wild
8,000 years ago.
(D) Mouflon sheep are more similar to their forebears of 8,000 years ago than
modern domesticated sheep are to theirs.
(E) The climate of Corsica has not changed at all in the last 8,000 years.
25 Minutes 16 Questions
1. Cable-television spokesperson: Subscriptions to cable television are a
bargain in comparison to “free” television. Remember that “free” television is
not really free. It is consumers, in the end, who pay for the costly advertising
that supports “free” television. Which of the following, if true, is most
damaging to the position of the cable-television spokesperson?
(A) Consumers who do not own television sets are less likely to be
influenced in their purchasing decisions by television advertising than are
consumers who own
(B) Subscriptions to cable television include access to some public-television
channels, which do not accept advertising.
(C) For locations with poor television reception, cable television provides
picture quality superior to that provided by free television.
(D) There is as much advertising on many cable-television channels as there is
on “free” television channels.
(E) Cable-television subscribers can choose which channels they wish to receive,
and the fees vary accordingly.
2. Wood smoke contains dangerous toxins that cause changes in human cells.
Because wood smoke presents such a high health risk, legislation is needed to
regulate the use of open-air fires and wood-burning stoves. Which of the
following, if true, provides the most support for the argument above?
(A) The amount of dangerous toxins contained in wood smoke is much less than
the amount contained in an equal volume of automobile exhaust.
(B) Within the jurisdiction covered by the proposed legislation, most heating
and cooking is done with oil or natural gas.
(C) Smoke produced by coal-burning stoves is significantly more toxic than smoke
from wood-burning stoves.
(D) No significant beneficial effect on air quality would result if open-air
fires were banned within the jurisdiction covered by the proposed legislation.
(E) In valleys where wood is used as the primary heating fuel, the concentration
of smoke results in poor air quality.
3. Within 20 years it will probably be possible to identify the genetic
susceptibility an individual may have toward any particular disease. Eventually,
effective strategies will be discovered to counteract each such susceptibility.
Once these effective strategies are found, therefore, the people who follow them
will never get sick. The argument above is based on which of the following
(A) For every disease there is only one strategy that can prevent its
(B) In the future, genetics will be the only medical specialty of any
(C) All human sicknesses are in part the result of individuals’ genetic
(D) All humans are genetically susceptible to some diseases.
(E) People will follow medical advice when they are convinced that it is
4. Most employees in the computer industry move from company to company,
changing jobs several times in their careers. However, Summit Computers is known
throughout the industry for retaining its employees. Summit credits its success
in retaining employees to its informal, nonhierarchical work environment. Which
of the following, if true, most strongly supports Summit’s explanation of its
success in retaining employees?
(A) Some people employed in the computer industry change jobs if they become
bored with their current projects.
(B) A hierarchical work environment hinders the cooperative exchange of ideas
that computer industry employees consider necessary for their work.
(C) Many of Summit’s senior employees had previously worked at only one other
(D) In a nonhierarchical work environment, people avoid behavior that might
threaten group harmony and thus avoid discussing with their colleagues any
dissatisfaction they might have with their jobs.
(E) The cost of living near Summit is relatively low compared to areas in which
some other computer companies are located.
5. Financing for a large construction project was provided by a group of
banks. When the money was gone before the project was completed, the banks
approved additional loans. Now, with funds used up again and completion still
not at hand, the banks refuse to extend further loans, although without those
loans, the project is doomed. Which of the following, if true, best explains why
the bank’s current reaction is different from their reaction in the previous
instance of depletion of funds?
(A) The banks have reassessed the income potential of the completed project
and have concluded that total income generable would be less than total interest
on the old plus the needed new loans.
(B) The banks have identified several other projects that offer faster repayment
of the principal if loans are approved now to get those projects started.
(C) The banks had agreed with the borrowers that the construction loans would be
secured by the completed project.
(D) The cost overruns were largely due to unforeseeable problems that arose in
the most difficult phase of the construction work.
(E) The project stimulated the development and refinement of several new
construction techniques, which will make it easier and cheaper to carry out
projects in the future.
6. Low-income families are often unable to afford as much child care as
they need. One government program would award low-income families a refund on
the income taxes they pay of as much as $1,000 for each child under age four.
This program would make it possible for all low-income families with children
under age four to obtain more child care than they otherwise would have been
able to afford. Which of the following, if true, most seriously calls into
question the claim that the program would make it possible for all low-income
families to obtain more child care?
(A) The average family with children under age four spends more than $1,000
a year on child care.
(B) Some low-income families in which one of the parents is usually available to
care for children under age four may not want to spend their income tax refund
(C) The reduction in government revenues stemming from the income tax refund
will necessitate cuts in other government programs, such as grants for higher
(D) Many low-income families with children under age four do not pay any income
taxes because their total income is too low to be subject to such taxes.
(E) Income taxes have increased substantially over the past twenty years,
reducing the money that low-income families have available to spend on child
7. Not scored
8. Although parapsychology is often considered a pseudoscience, it is in
fact a genuine scientific enterprise, for it uses scientific methods such as
controlled experiments and statistical tests of clearly stated hypotheses to
examine the questions it raises. The conclusion above is properly drawn if which
of the following is assumed?
(A) If a field of study can conclusively answer the questions it raises,
then it is a genuine science.
(B) Since parapsychology uses scientific methods, it will produce credible
(C) Any enterprise that does not use controlled experiments and statistical
tests is not genuine science.
(D) Any field of study that employs scientific methods is a genuine scientific
(E) Since parapsychology raises clearly stat able questions, they can be tested
in controlled experiments.
9. Hot co oil burners, designed to be used in asphalt plants, are so
efficient that Hot co will sell one to the Clifton Asphalt plant for no payment
other than the cost savings between the total amount the asphalt plant actually
paid for oil using its former burner during the last two years and the total
amount it will pay for oil using the Hot co burner during the next two years. On
installation, the plant will make an estimated payment, which will be adjusted
after two years to equal the actual cost savings. Which of the following, if it
occurred, would constitute a disadvantage for Hot co of the plan described
(A) Another manufacturer’s introduction to the market of a similarly
(B) The Clifton Asphalt plant’s need for more than one new burner
(C) Very poor efficiency in the Clifton Asphalt plant’s old burner
(D) A decrease in the demand for asphalt
(E) A steady increase in the price of oil beginning soon after the new burner is
10. Today’s low gasoline prices make consumers willing to indulge their
preference for larger cars, which consume greater amounts of gasoline as fuel.
So United States automakers are unwilling to pursue the development of new
fuel-efficient technologies aggressively. The particular reluctance of the
United States automobile industry to do so, however, could threaten the
industry’s future. Which of the following, if true, would provide the most
support for the claim above about the future of the United States automobile
(A) A prototype fuel-efficient vehicle, built five years ago, achieves a
very high 81 miles per gallon on the highway and 63 in the city, but its
materials are relatively
(B) Small cars sold by manufacturers in the United States are more fuel
efficient now than before the sudden jump in oil prices in 1973.
(C) Automakers elsewhere in the world have slowed the introduction of
fuel-efficient technologies but have pressed ahead with research and development
of them in
preparation for a predicted rise in world oil prices.
(D) There are many technological opportunities for reducing the waste of energy
in cars and light trucks through weight, aerodynamic drag, and braking friction.
(E) The promotion of mass transit over automobiles as an alternative mode of
transportation has encountered consumer resistance that is due in part to the
mass transit to accommodate the wide dispersal of points of origin and
destinations for trips.
11. An experiment was done in which human subjects recognize a pattern
within a matrix of abstract designs and then select another design that
completes that pattern. The results of the experiment were surprising. The
lowest expenditure of energy in neurons in the brain was found in those subjects
who performed most successfully in the experiments. Which of the following
hypotheses best accounts for the findings of the experiment?
(A) The neurons of the brain react less when a subject is trying to
recognize patterns than when the subject is doing other kinds of reasoning.
(B) Those who performed best in the experiment experienced more satisfaction
when working with abstract patterns than did those who performed less well.
(C) People who are better at abstract pattern recognition have more
energy-efficient neural connections.
(D) The energy expenditure of the subjects brains increases when a design that
completes the initially recognized pattern is determined.
(E) The task of completing a given design is more capably performed by athletes,
whose energy expenditure is lower when they are at rest than is that of the
12. A researcher studying drug addicts found that, on average, they tend
to manipulate other people a great deal more than no addicts do. The researcher
concluded that people who frequently manipulate other people are likely to
become addicts. Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the
(A) After becoming addicted to drugs, drug addicts learn to manipulate other
people as a way of obtaining drugs.
(B) When they are imprisoned, drug addicts often use their ability to manipulate
other people to obtain better living conditions.
(C) Some no addicts manipulate other people more than some addicts do.
(D) People who are likely to become addicts exhibit unusual behavior patterns
other than frequent manipulation of other people.
(E) The addicts that the researcher studied were often unsuccessful in obtaining
what they wanted when they manipulated other people.
13. One way to judge the performance of a company is to compare it with
other companies. This technique, commonly called “benchmarking,” permits the
manager of a company to discover better industrial practices and can provide a
justification for the adoption of good practices. Any of the following, if true,
is a valid reason for benchmarking the performance of a company against
companies with which it is not in competition rather than against competitors
(A) Comparisons with competitors are most likely to focus on practices that
the manager making the comparisons already employs.
(B) Getting “inside” information about the unique practices of competitors is
(C) Since companies that compete with each other are likely to have comparable
levels of efficiency, only benchmarking against no competitors is likely to
practices that would aid in beating competitors.
(D) Managers are generally more receptive to new ideas that they find outside
their own industry.
(E) Much of the success of good companies is due to their adoption of practices
that take advantage of the special circumstances of their products of markets.
14. Among the more effective kinds of publicity that publishers can get
for a new book is to have excerpts of it published in a high-circulation
magazine soon before the book is published. The benefits of such excerption
include not only a sure increase in sales but also a fee paid by the magazine to
the book’s publisher. Which of the following conclusions is best supported by
the information above?
(A) The number of people for whom seeing an excerpt of a book in a magazine
provides an adequate substitute for reading the whole book is smaller than the
number for whom the excerpt stimulates a desire to read the book.
(B) Because the financial advantage of excerpting a new book in a magazine
usually accrues to the book’s publisher, magazine editors are unwilling to
excerpts from new books.
(C) In calculating the total number of copies that a book has sold, publishers
include sales of copies of magazines that featured an excerpt of the book.
(D) The effectiveness of having excerpts of a book published in a magazine,
measured in terms of increased sales of a book, is proportional to the
circulation of the
magazine in which the excerpts are published.
(E) Books that are suitable for excerpting in high-circulation magazines sell
more copies than books that are not suitable for excerpting.
15. In Spartans territory, archaeologists discovered charred bone
fragments dating back 1 million years. Analysis of the fragments, which came
from a variety of animals, showed that they had been heated to temperatures no
higher than those produced in experimental campfires made from branches of white
stinkwood, the most common tree around Spartans. Which of the following, if
true, would, together with the information above, provide the best basis for the
claim that the charred bone fragments are evidence of the use of fire by early
(A) The white stinkwood tree is used for building material by the
present-day inhabitants of Spartans.
(B) Forest fires can heat wood to a range of temperatures that occur in
(C) The bone fragments were fitted together by the archaeologists to form the
complete skeletons of several animals.
(D) Apart from the Spartans discovery, there is reliable evidence that early
hominids used fire as many as 500 thousand years ago.
(E) The bone fragments were found in several distinct layers of limestone that
contained primitive cutting tools known to have been used by early hominids.
25 Minutes 16 Questions
1. The local board of education found that, because the current physics
curriculum has little direct relevance to today’s world, physics classes
attracted few high school students. So to attract students to physics classes,
the board proposed a curriculum that emphasizes principles of physics involved
in producing and analyzing visual images. Which of the following, if true,
provides the strongest reason to expect that the proposed curriculum will be
successful in attracting students?
(A) Several of the fundamental principles of physics are involved in
producing and analyzing visual images.
(B) Knowledge of physics is becoming increasingly important in understanding the
technology used in today’s world.
(C) Equipment that a large producer of photographic equipment has donated to the
high school could be used in the proposed curriculum.
(D) The number of students interested in physics today is much lower than the
number of students interested in physics 50 years ago.
(E) In today’s world the production and analysis of visual images is of major
importance in communications, business, and recreation.
2. Many companies now have employee assistance programs that enable
employees, free of charge, to improve their physical fitness, reduce stress, and
learn ways to stop smoking. These programs increase worker productivity, reduce
absenteeism, and lessen insurance costs for employee health care. Therefore,
these programs benefit the company as well as the employee. Which of the
following, if true, most significantly strengthens the conclusion above?
(A) Physical fitness programs are often the most popular services offered to
(B) Studies have shown that training in stress management is not effective for
(C) Regular exercise reduces people’s risk of heart disease and provides them
with increased energy.
(D) Physical injuries sometimes result from entering a strenuous physical
fitness program too quickly.
(E) Employee assistance programs require companies to hire people to supervise
the various programs offered.
3. Unlike the wholesale price of raw wool, the wholesale price of raw
cotton has fallen considerably in the last year. Thus, although the retail price
of cotton clothing at retail clothing stores has not yet fallen, it will
inevitably fall. Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the
(A) The cost of processing raw cotton for cloth has increased during the
(B) The wholesale price of raw wool is typically higher than that of the same
volume of raw cotton.
(C) The operating costs of the average retail clothing store have remained
constant during the last year.
(D) Changes in retail prices always lag behind changes in wholesale prices.
(E) The cost of harvesting raw cotton has increased in the last year.
4. Small-business groups are lobbying to defeat proposed federal
legislation that would substantially raise the federal minimum wage. This
opposition is surprising since the legislation they oppose would, for the first
time, exempt all small businesses from paying any minimum wage. Which of the
following, if true, would best explain the opposition of small-business groups
to the proposed legislation?
(A) Under the current federal minimum-wage law, most small businesses are
required to pay no less than the minimum wage to their employees.
(B) In order to attract workers, small companies must match the wages offered by
their larger competitors, and these competitors would not be exempt under the
(C) The exact number of companies that are currently required to pay no less
than the minimum wage but that would be exempt under the proposed laws is
(D) Some states have set their own minimum wages—in some cases, quite a bit
above the level of the minimum wage mandated by current federal law—for certain
(E) Service companies make up the majority of small businesses and they
generally employ more employees per dollar of revenues than do retail or
5. Reviewer: The book Art’s Decline argues that European painters today
lack skills that were common among European painters of preceding centuries. In
this the book must be right, since its analysis of 100 paintings, 50 old and 50
contemporary, demonstrates convincingly that none of the contemporary paintings
are executed as skillfully as the older paintings. Which of the following points
to the most serious logical flaw in the reviewer’s argument?
(A) The paintings chosen by the book’s author for analysis could be those
that most support the book’s thesis.
(B) There could be criteria other than the technical skill of the artist by
which to evaluate a painting.
(C) The title of the book could cause readers to accept the book’s thesis even
before they read the analysis of the paintings that supports it.
(D) The particular methods currently used by European painters could require
less artistic skill than do methods used by painters in other parts of the
(E) A reader who was not familiar with the language of art criticism might not
be convinced by the book’s analysis of the 100 paintings.
6. The pharmaceutical industry argues that because new drugs will not be
developed unless heavy development costs can be recouped in later sales, the
current 20 years of protection provided by patents should be extended in the
case of newly developed drugs. However, in other industries new- roduct
development continues despite high development costs, a fact that indicates that
the extension is unnecessary. Which of the following, if true, most strongly
supports the pharmaceutical industry’s argument against the challenge made
(A) No industries other than the pharmaceutical industry have asked for an
extension of the 20-year limit on patent protection.
(B) Clinical trials of new drugs, which occur after the patent is granted and
before the new drug can be marketed, often now take as long as 10 years to
(C) There are several industries in which the ratio of research and development
costs to revenues is higher than it is in the pharmaceutical industry.
(D) An existing patent for a drug does not legally prevent pharmaceutical
companies from bringing to market alternative drugs, provided they are
dissimilar to the patented drug.
(E) Much recent industrial innovation has occurred in products—for example, in
the computer and electronics industries—for which patent protection is often
Questions 7-8 are based on the following.
Bank depositors in the United States are all financially protected against
bank failure because the government insures all individuals’ bank deposits. An
economist argues that this insurance is partly responsible for the high rate of
bank failures, since it removes from depositors any financial incentive to find
out whether the bank that holds their money is secure against failure. If
depositors were more selective, then banks would need to be secure in order to
compete for depositors’ money.
7. The economist’s argument makes which of the following assumptions?
(A) Bank failures are caused when big borrowers default on loan repayments.
(B) A significant proportion of depositors maintain accounts at several
(C) The more a depositor has to deposit, the more careful he or she tends to be
in selecting a bank.
(D) The difference in the interest rates paid to depositors by different banks
is not a significant factor in bank failures.
(E) Potential depositors are able to determine which banks are secure against
8. Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the economist’s
(A) Before the government started to insure depositors against bank failure,
there was a lower rate of bank failure than there is now.
(B) When the government did not insure deposits, frequent bank failures occurred
as a result of depositors’ fears of losing money in bank failures.
(C) Surveys show that a significant proportion of depositors are aware that
their deposits are insured by the government.
(D) There is an upper limit on the amount of an individual’s deposit that the
government will insure, but very few individuals’ deposits exceed this limit.
(E) The security of a bank against failure depends on the percentage of its
assets that are loaned out and also on how much risk its loans involve.
9. Passengers must exit airplanes swiftly after accidents, since gases
released following accidents are toxic to humans and often explode soon after
being released. In order to prevent passenger deaths from gas inhalation, safety
officials recommend that passengers be provided with smoke hoods that prevent
inhalation of the gases. Which of the following, if true, constitutes the
strongest reason not to require implementation of the safety officials’
(A) Test evacuations showed that putting on the smoke hoods added
considerably to the overall time it took passengers to leave the cabin.
(B) Some airlines are unwilling to buy the smoke hoods because they consider
them to be prohibitively expensive.
(C) Although the smoke hoods protect passengers from the toxic gases, they can
do nothing to prevent the gases from igniting.
(D) Some experienced flyers fail to pay attention to the safety instructions
given on every commercial flight before takeoff.
(E) In many airplane accidents, passengers who were able to reach emergency
exits were overcome by toxic gases before they could exit the airplane.
10. In 1960, 10 percent of every dollar paid in automobile insurance
premiums went to pay costs arising from injuries incurred in car accidents. In
1990, 50 percent of every dollar paid in automobile insurance premiums went
toward such costs, despite the fact that cars were much safer in 1990 than in
1960. Which of the following, if true, best explains the discrepancy outlined
(A) There were fewer accidents in 1990 than in 1960.
(B) On average, people drove more slowly in 1990 than in 1960.
(C) Cars grew increasingly more expensive to repair over the period in question.
(D) The price of insurance increased more rapidly than the rate of inflation
between 1960 and 1990.
(E) Health-care costs rose sharply between 1960 and 1990.
11. Caterpillars of all species produce an identical hormone called
“juvenile hormone” that maintains feeding behavior. Only when a caterpillar has
grown to the right size for pupation to take place does a special enzyme halt
the production of juvenile hormone. This enzyme can be synthesized and will, on
being ingested by immature caterpillars, kill them by stopping them from
feeding. Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the view that
it would not be advisable to try to eradicate agricultural pests that go through
a caterpillar stage by spraying croplands with the enzyme mentioned above?
(A) Most species of caterpillar are subject to some natural predation.
(B) Many agricultural pests do not go through a caterpillar stage.
(C) Many agriculturally beneficial insects go through a caterpillar stage.
(D) Since caterpillars of different species emerge at different times, several
sprayings would be necessary.
(E) Although the enzyme has been synthesized in the laboratory, no large-scale
production facilities exist as yet.
12. Although aspirin has been proven to eliminate moderate fever
associated with some illnesses, many doctors no longer routinely recommend its
use for this purpose. A moderate fever stimulates the activity of the body’s
disease-fighting white blood cells and also inhibits the growth of many strains
of disease-causing bacteria. If the statements above are true, which of the
following conclusions is most strongly supported by them?
(A) Aspirin, an effective painkiller, alleviates the pain and discomfort of
(B) Aspirin can prolong a patient’s illness by eliminating moderate fever
helpful in fighting some diseases.
(C) Aspirin inhibits the growth of white blood cells, which are necessary for
fighting some illnesses.
(D) The more white blood cells a patient’s body produces, the less severe the
patient’s illness will be.
(E) The focus of modern medicine is on inhibiting the growth of disease-causing
bacteria within the body.
13. Because postage rates are rising, Home Decorator magazine plans to
maximize its profits by reducing by one half the number of issues it publishes
each year. The quality of articles, the number of articles published per year,
and the subscription price will not change. Market research shows that neither
subscribers nor advertisers will be lost if the magazine’s plan is instituted.
Which of the following, if true, provides the strongest evidence that the
magazine’s profits are likely to decline if the plan is instituted?
(A) With the new postage rates, a typical issue under the proposed plan
would cost about one-third more to mail than a typical current issue would.
(B) The majority of the magazine’s subscribers are less concerned about a
possible reduction in the quantity of the magazine’s articles than about a
possible loss of
the current high quality of its articles.
(C) Many of the magazine’s long-time subscribers would continue their
subscriptions even if the subscription price were increased.
(D) Most of the advertisers that purchase advertising space in the magazine will
continue to spend the same amount on advertising per issue as they have in the
(E) Production costs for the magazine are expected to remain stable.
14. A study of marital relationships in which one partner’s sleeping and
waking cycles differ from those of the other partner reveals that such couples
share fewer activities with each other and have more violent arguments than do
couples in a relationship in which both partners follow the same sleeping and
waking patterns. Thus, mismatched sleeping and waking cycles can seriously
jeopardize a marriage. Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens
the argument above?
(A) Married couples in which both spouses follow the same sleeping and
waking patterns also occasionally have arguments than can jeopardize the
(B) The sleeping and waking cycles of individuals tend to vary from season to
(C) The individuals who have sleeping and waking cycles that differ
significantly from those of their spouses tend to argue little with colleagues
(D) People in unhappy marriages have been found to express hostility by adopting
a different sleeping and waking cycle from that of their spouses.
(E) According to a recent study, most people’s sleeping and waking cycles can be
controlled and modified easily.
Questions 15-16 are based on the following.
Roland: The alarming fact is that 90 percent of the people in this country
now report that they know someone who is unemployed. Sharon: But a normal,
moderate level of unemployment is 5 percent, with 1 out of 20 workers
unemployed. So at any given time if a person knows approximately 50 workers, 1
or more will very likely be unemployed.
15. Sharon’s argument is structured to lead to which of the following as a
(A) The fact that 90% of the people know someone who is unemployed is not an
indication that unemployment is abnormally high.
(B) The current level of unemployment is not moderate.
(C) If at least 5% of workers are unemployed, the result of questioning a
representative group of people cannot be the percentage Roland cites.
(D) It is unlikely that the people whose statements Roland cites are giving
(E) If an unemployment figure is given as a certain percent, the actual
percentage of those without jobs is even higher.
16. Sharon’s argument relies on the assumption that
(A) normal levels of unemployment are rarely exceeded
(B) unemployment is not normally concentrated in geographically isolated
segments of the population
(C) the number of people who each know someone who is unemployed is always
higher than 90% of the population
(D) Roland is not consciously distorting the statistics he presents
(E) knowledge that a personal acquaintance is unemployed generates more fear of
losing one’s job than does knowledge of unemployment statistics
25 Minutes 16 Questions
1. A company is considering changing its policy concerning
daily working hours. Currently, this company requires all employees to arrive at
work at 8 a.m. The proposed policy would permit each employee to decide when to
arrive—from as early as 6 a.m. to as late as 11 a.m. The adoption of this policy
would be most likely to decrease employees’ productivity if the employees’ job
functions required them to
(A) work without interruption from other employees
(B) consult at least once a day with employees from other companies
(C) submit their work for a supervisor’s eventual approval
(D) interact frequently with each other throughout the entire workday
(E) undertake projects that take several days to complete
2. The amount of time it takes for most of a worker’s
occupational knowledge and skills to become obsolete has been declining because
of the introduction of advanced manufacturing technology (AMT). Given the rate
at which AMT is currently being introduced in manufacturing, the average
worker’s old skills become obsolete and new skills are required within as little
as five years. Which of the following plans, if feasible, would allow a company
to prepare most effectively for the rapid obsolescence of skills described
(A) The company will develop a program to offer selected employees the
opportunity to receive training six years after they were originally hired.
(B) The company will increase its investment in AMT every year for a period of
at least five years.
(C) The company will periodically survey its employees to determine how the
introduction of AMT has affected them.
(D) Before the introduction of AMT, the company will institute an educational
program to inform its employees of the probable consequences of the introduction
(E) The company will ensure that it can offer its employees any training
necessary for meeting their job requirements.
3. Installing scrubbers in smokestacks and switching to
cleaner-burning fuel are the two methods available to Northern Power for
reducing harmful emissions from its plants. Scrubbers will reduce harmful
emissions more than cleaner-burning fuels will. Therefore, by installing
scrubbers, Northern Power will be doing the most that can be done to reduce
harmful emissions from its plants. Which of the following is an assumption on
which the argument depends?
(A) Switching to cleaner-burning fuel will not be more expensive than
(B) Northern Power can choose from among various kinds of scrubbers, some of
which are more effective than others.
(C) Northern Power is not necessarily committed to reducing harmful emissions
from its plants.
(D) Harmful emissions from Northern Power’s plants cannot be reduced more by
using both methods together than by the installation of scrubbers alone.
(E) Aside from harmful emissions from the smokestacks of its plants, the
activities of Northern Power do not cause significant air pollution.
4. Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of
foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also
foragers. A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely
varied. Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has
had considerable contact with modern nonforager societies. Which of the
following, if true, would most weaken the criticism made above of the
(A) All forager societies throughout history have had a number of important
features in common that are absent from other types of societies.
(B) Most ancient forager societies either dissolved or made a transition to
another way of life.
(C) All anthropologists study one kind or another of modern-day society.
(D) Many anthropologists who study modern-day forager societies do not draw
inferences about ancient societies on the basis of their studies.
(E) Even those modern-day forager societies that have not had significant
contact with modern societies are importantly different from ancient forager
5. Mayor: In each of the past five years, the city has cut
school funding and each time school officials complained that the cuts would
force them to reduce expenditures for essential services. But each time, only
expenditures for nonessential services were actually reduced. So school
officials can implement further cuts without reducing any expenditures for
essential services. Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the
(A) The city’s schools have always provided essential services as
efficiently as they have provided nonessential services.
(B) Sufficient funds are currently available to allow the city’s schools to
provide some nonessential services.
(C) Price estimates quoted to the city’s schools for the provision of
nonessential services have not increased substantially since the most recent
school funding cut.
(D) Few influential city administrators support the funding of costly
nonessential services in the city’s schools.
(E) The city’s school officials rarely exaggerate the potential impact of
threatened funding cuts.
6. Advertisement: For sinus pain, three out of four hospitals
give their patients Novex. So when you want the most effective painkiller for
sinus pain, Novex is the one to choose. Which of the following, if true, most
seriously undermines the advertisement’s argument?
(A) Some competing brands of painkillers are intended to reduce other kinds
of pain in addition to sinus pain.
(B) Many hospitals that do not usually use Novex will do so for those patients
who cannot tolerate the drug the hospitals usually use.
(C) Many drug manufacturers increase sales of their products to hospitals by
selling these products to the hospitals at the lowest price the manufacturers
(D) Unlike some competing brands of painkillers, Novex is available from
pharmacies without a doctor’s prescription.
(E) In clinical trials Novex has been found more effective than competing brands
of painkillers that have been on the market longer than Novex.
7. A report that many apples contain a cancer-causing
preservative called Alar apparently had little effect on consumers. Few
consumers planned to change their apple-buying habits as a result of the report.
Nonetheless, sales of apples in grocery stores fell sharply in March, a month
after the report was issued. Which of the following, if true, best explains the
reason for the apparent discrepancy described above?
(A) In March, many grocers removed apples from their shelves in order to
demonstrate concern about their customers’ health.
(B) Because of a growing number of food-safety warnings, consumers in March were
indifferent to such warnings.
(C) The report was delivered on television and also appeared in newspapers.
(D) The report did not mention that any other fruit contains Alar, although the
preservative is used on other fruit.
(E) Public health officials did not believe that apples posed a health threat
because only minute traces of Alar were present in affected apples.
8. A new law gives ownership of patents—documents providing
exclusive right to make and sell an invention—to universities, not the
government, when those patents result from government-sponsored university
research. Administrators at Logos University plan to sell any patents they
acquire to corporations in order to fund programs to improve undergraduate
teaching. Which of the following, if true, would cast most doubt on the
viability of the college administrators’ plan described above?
(A) Profit-making corporations interested in developing products based on
patents held by universities are likely to try to serve as exclusive sponsors of
university research projects.
(B) Corporate sponsors of research in university facilities are entitled to tax
credits under new federal tax-code guidelines.
(C) Research scientists at Logos University have few or no teaching
responsibilities and participate little if at all in the undergraduate programs
in their field.
(D) Government-sponsored research conducted at Logos University for the most
part duplicates research already completed by several profit-making
(E) Logos University is unlikely to attract corporate sponsorship of its
9. Contrary to earlier predictions, demand for sugarcane has
not increased in recent years. Yet, even though prices and production amounts
have also been stable during the last three years, sugarcane growers last year
increased their profits by more than ten percent over the previous year’s level.
Any of the following statements, if true, about last year, helps to explain the
rise in profits EXCEPT:
(A) Many countries that are large consumers of sugarcane increased their
production of sugarcane-based ethanol, yet their overall consumption of
(B) Sugarcane growers have saved money on wages by switching from paying
laborers an hourly wage to paying them by the amount harvested.
(C) The price of oil, the major energy source used by sugarcane growers in
harvesting their crops, dropped by over twenty percent.
(D) Many small sugarcane growers joined together to form an association of
sugarcane producers and began to buy supplies at low group rates.
(E) Rainfall in sugarcane-growing regions was higher than it had been during the
previous year, allowing the growers to save money on expensive artificial
10. If the county continues to collect residential trash at
current levels, landfills will soon be overflowing and parkland will need to be
used in order to create more space. Charging each household a fee for each pound
of trash it puts out for collection will induce residents to reduce the amount
of trash they create; this charge will therefore protect the remaining county
parkland. Which of the following is an assumption made in drawing the conclusion
(A) Residents will reduce the amount of trash they put out for collection by
reducing the number of products they buy.
(B) The collection fee will not significantly affect the purchasing power of
most residents, even if their households do not reduce the amount of trash they
(C) The collection fee will not induce residents to dump their trash in the
(D) The beauty of county parkland is an important issue for most of the county’s
(E) Landfills outside the county’s borders could be used as dumping sites for
the county’s trash.
Questions 11-12 are based on the following.
Environmentalist: The commissioner of the Fish and Game
Authority would have the public believe that increases in the number of marine
fish caught demonstrate that this resource is no longer endangered. This is a
specious argument, as unsound as it would be to assert that the ever-increasing
rate at which rain forests are being cut down demonstrates a lack of danger to
that resource. The real cause of the increased fish-catch is a greater
efficiency in using technologies that deplete resources.
11. Which of the following strategies is used in the
presentation of the environmentalist’s position?
(A) Questioning the motives of an opponent
(B) Showing that an opposing position is self-contradictory
(C) Attacking an argument through the use of an analogy
(D) Demonstrating the inaccuracy of certain data
(E) Pointing out adverse consequences of a proposal
12. The environmentalist’s statements, if true, best support
which of the following as a conclusion?
(A) The use of technology is the reason for the increasing encroachment of
people on nature.
(B) It is possible to determine how many fish are in the sea in some way other
than by catching fish.
(C) The proportion of marine fish that are caught is as high as the proportion
of rain-forest trees that are cut down each year.
(D) Modern technologies waste resources by catching inedible fish.
(E) Marine fish continue to be an endangered resource.
13. Biometric access-control systems—those using
fingerprints, voiceprints, etc., to regulate admittance to restricted areas—work
by degrees of similarity, not by identity. After all, even the same finger will
rarely leave exactly identical prints. Such systems can be adjusted to minimize
refusals of access to legitimate access-seekers. Such adjustments, however,
increase the likelihood of admitting impostors. Which of the following
conclusions is most strongly supported by the information above?
(A) If a biometric access-control system were made to work by identity, it
would not produce any correct admittance decisions.
(B) If a biometric access-control system reliably prevents impostors from being
admitted, it will sometimes turn away legitimate access-seekers.
(C) Biometric access-control systems are appropriate only in situations in which
admittance of impostors is less of a problem than is mistaken refusal of access.
(D) Nonbiometric access-control systems—based, for example, on numerical
codes—are less likely than biometric ones to admit impostors.
(E) Anyone choosing an access-control system should base the choice solely on
the ratio of false refusals to false admittances.
14. Although computers can enhance people’s ability to
communicate, computer games are a cause of underdeveloped communication skills
in children. After-school hours spent playing computer games are hours not spent
talking with people. Therefore, children who spend all their spare time playing
these games have less experience in interpersonal communication than other
children have. The argument depends on which of the following assumptions?
(A) Passive activities such as watching television and listening to music do
not hinder the development of communication skills in children.
(B) Most children have other opportunities, in addition to after-school hours,
in which they can choose whether to play computer games or to interact with
(C) Children who do not spend all of their after-school hours playing computer
games spend at least some of that time talking with other people.
(D) Formal instruction contributes little or nothing to children’s acquisition
of communication skills.
(E) The mental skills developed through playing computer games do not contribute
significantly to children’s intellectual development.
15. One variety of partially biodegradable plastic beverage
container is manufactured from small bits of plastic bound together by a
degradable bonding agent such as cornstarch. Since only the bonding agent
degrades, leaving the small bits of plastic, no less plastic refuse per
container is produced when such containers are discarded than when comparable
nonbiodegradable containers are discarded. Which of the following, if true, most
strengthens the argument above?
(A) Both partially biodegradable and nonbiodegradable plastic beverage
containers can be crushed completely flat by refuse compactors.
(B) The partially biodegradable plastic beverage containers are made with more
plastic than comparable nonbiodegradable ones in order to compensate for the
weakening effect of the bounding agents.
(C) Many consumers are ecology-minded and prefer to buy a product sold in the
partially biodegradable plastic beverage containers rather than in
nonbiodegradable containers, even if the price is higher.
(D) The manufacturing process for the partially biodegradable plastic beverage
containers results in less plastic waste than the manufacturing process for
nonbiodegradable plastic beverage containers.
(E) Technological problems with recycling currently prevent the reuse as food or
beverage containers of the plastic from either type of plastic beverage
16. Commentator: The theory of trade retaliation states that
countries closed out of any of another country’s markets should close some of
their own markets to the other country in order to pressure the other country to
reopen its markets. If every country acted according to this theory, no country
would trade with any other. The commentator’s argument relies on which of the
(A) No country actually acts according to the theory of trade retaliation.
(B) No country should block any of its markets to foreign trade.
(C) Trade disputes should be settled by international tribunal.
(D) For any two countries, at least one has some market closed to the other.
(E) Countries close their markets to foreigners to protect domestic producers.