25 Minutes 16 Questions
1. The chanterelle, a type of wild mushroom, grows beneath host trees such
as the Douglas fir, which provide it with necessary sugars. The underground
filaments of chanterelles, which extract the sugars, in turn provide nutrients
and water for their hosts. Because of this mutually beneficial relationship,
harvesting the chanterelles growing beneath a Douglas fir seriously endangers
the tree. Which of the following, if true, casts the most doubt on the
conclusion drawn above?
(A) The number of wild mushrooms harvested has increased in recent years.
(B) Chanterelles grow not only beneath Douglas firs but also beneath other host
(C) Many types of wild mushrooms are found only in forests and cannot easily be
(D) The harvesting of wild mushrooms stimulates future growth of those
(E) Young Douglas fir seedlings die without the nutrients and water provided by
2. The reason much refrigerated food spoils is that it ends up out of
sight at the back of the shelf. So why not have round shelves that rotate?
Because such rotating shelves would have just the same sort of drawback, since
things would fall off the shelves’ edges into the rear corners.
Which of the following is presupposed in the argument against introducing
(A) Refrigerators would not be made so that their interior space is
(B) Refrigerators would not be made to have a window in front for easy viewing
of their contents without opening the door.
(C) The problem of spoilage of refrigerated food is not amenable to any solution
based on design changes.
(D) Refrigerators are so well designed that there are bound to be drawbacks to
any design change.
(E) Rotating shelves would be designed to rotate only while the refrigerator
door was open.
3. It would cost Rosetown one million dollars to repair all of its roads.
In the year after completion of those repairs, however, Rosetown would thereby
avoid incurring three million dollars worth of damages, since currently Rosetown
pays that amount annually in compensation for damage done to cars each year by
its unrepaired roads. Which of the following, if true, gives the strongest
support to the argument above?
(A) Communities bordering on Rosetown also pay compensation for damage done
to cars by their unrepaired roads.
(B) After any Rosetown road has been repaired, several years will elapse before
that road begins to damage cars.
(C) Rosetown would need to raise additional taxes if it were to spend one
million dollars in one year on road repairs.
(D) The degree of damage caused to Rosetown’s roads by harsh weather can vary
widely from year to year.
(E) Trucks cause much of the wear on Rosetown’s roads, but owners of cars file
almost all of the claims for compensation for damage caused by unrepaired roads.
4. Two experimental garden plots were each planted with the same number of
tomato plants. Magnesium salts were added to the first plot but not to the
second. The first plot produced 20 pounds of tomatoes and the second plot
produced 10 pounds. Since nothing else but water was added to either plot, the
higher yields in the first plot must have been due to the magnesium salts. Which
of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?
(A) A small amount of the magnesium salts from the first plot leached into
the second plot.
(B) Tomato plants in a third experimental plot, to which a high-nitrogen
fertilizer was added, but no magnesium salts, produced 15 pounds of tomatoes.
(C) Four different types of tomatoes were grown in equal proportions in each of
(D) Some weeds that compete with tomatoes cannot tolerate high amounts of
magnesium salts in the soil.
(E) The two experimental plots differed from each other with respect to soil
texture and exposure to sunlight.
5. Archaeologists have found wheeled ceramic toys made by the Toltec,
twelfth-century inhabitants of what is now Veracruz. Although there is no
archaeological evidence that the Toltec used wheels for anything but toys, some
anthropologists hypothesize that wheeled utility vehicles were used to carry
materials needed for the monumental structures the Toltec produced. Which of the
following, if true, would most help the anthropologists explain the lack of
evidence noted above?
(A) The Toltec sometimes incorporated into their toys representations of
utensils or other devices that served some practical purpose.
(B) Any wheeled utility vehicles used by the Toltec could have been made
entirely of wood, and unlike ceramic, wood decays rapidly in the humid climate
(C) Carvings in monument walls suggest that the Toltec’s wheeled ceramic toys
sometimes had ritual uses in addition to being used by both children and adults
decorations and playthings.
(D) Wheeled utility vehicles were used during the twelfth century in many areas
of the world, but during this time wheeled toys were not very common in areas
(E) Some of the wheeled ceramic toys were found near the remains of monumental
6. Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter
claim that the average per capita income in the country of Kuptala is
substantially lower than that in the country of Bahlton. They also claim,
however, that whereas poverty is relatively rare in Kuptala, over half the
population of Bahlton lives in extreme poverty. At least one of the
demographers’ claims must, therefore, be wrong. The argument above is most
vulnerable to which of the following criticisms?
(A) It rejects an empirical claim about the average per capita incomes in
the two countries without making any attempt to discredit that claim by offering
(B) It treats the vague term “poverty” as though it had a precise and
universally accepted meaning.
(C) It overlooks the possibility that the number of people in the two countries
who live in poverty could be the same even though the percentages of the two
populations that live in poverty differ markedly.
(D) It fails to show that wealth and poverty have the same social significance
in Kuptala as in Bahlton.
(E) It does not consider the possibility that incomes in Kuptala, unlike those
in Bahlton, might all be very close to the country’s average per capita income.
7. Normally, increases in the price of a product decrease its sales except
when the price increase accompanies an improvement in the product. Wine is
unusual, however. Often increases in the price of a particular producer’s wine
will result in increased sales, even when the wine itself is unchanged. Which of
the following, if true, does most to explain the anomaly described above?
(A) The retail wine market is characterized by an extremely wide range of
(B) Many consumers make decisions about which wines to purchase on the basis of
reviews of wine published in books and periodicals.
(C) Consumers selecting wine in a store often use the price charged as their
main guide to the wine’s quality.
(D) Wine retailers and producers can generally increase the sales of a
particular wine temporarily by introducing a price discount.
(E) Consumers who purchase wine regularly generally have strong opinions about
which wines they prefer.
8. The recent decline in land prices has hurt many institutions that had
invested heavily in real estate. Last year, before the decline began, a local
college added 2,000 acres to its holdings. The college, however, did not
purchase the land but received it as a gift. Therefore the price decline will
probably not affect the college. Which of the following, if true, casts most
doubt on the conclusion above?
(A) The 2,000 acres that the college was given last year are located within
the same community as the college itself.
(B) The college usually receives more contributions of money than of real
(C) Land prices in the region in which the college is located are currently
higher than the national average.
(D) Last year, the amount that the college allocated to pay for renovations
included money it expected to receive by selling some of its land this year.
(E) Last year, the college paid no property taxes on land occupied by college
buildings but instead paid fees to compensate the local government for services
9. Civil trials often involve great complexities that are beyond the
capacities of jurors to understand. As a result, jurors’ decisions in such
trials are frequently incorrect. Justice would therefore be better served if the
more complex trials were decided by judges rather than juries. The argument
above depends on which of the following assumptions?
(A) A majority of civil trials involve complexities that jurors are not
capable of understanding.
(B) The judges who would decide complex civil trials would be better able to
understand the complexities of those trials than jurors are.
(C) The judges who would preside over civil trials would disallow the most
complex sorts of evidence from being introduced into those trials.
(D) Jurors’ decisions are frequently incorrect even in those civil trials that
do not involve great complexities.
(E) The sole reason in favor of having juries decide civil trials is the
supposition that their decisions will almost always be correct.
10. Some species of dolphins find their prey by echolocation; they emit
clicking sounds and listen for echoes returning from distant objects in the
water. Marine biologists have speculated that those same clicking sounds might
have a second function: particularly loud clicks might be used by the dolphins
to stun their prey at close range through sensory overload. Which of the
following, if discovered to be true, would cast the most serious doubt on the
correctness of the speculation described above?
(A) Dolphins that use echolocation to locate distant prey also emit frequent
clicks at intermediate distances as they close in on their prey.
(B) The usefulness of echolocation as a means of locating prey depends on the
clicking sounds being of a type that the prey is incapable of perceiving,
(C) If dolphins stun their prey, the effect is bound to be so temporary that
stunning from far away, even if possible, would be ineffective.
(D) Echolocation appears to give dolphins that use it information about the
richness of a source of food as well as about its direction.
(E) The more distant a dolphin’s prey, the louder the echolocation clicks must
be if they are to reveal the prey’s presence to the hunting dolphin.
11. Advertisement: The world’s best coffee beans come from Colombia. The
more Colombian beans in a blend of coffee, the better the blend, and no company
purchases more Colombian beans than Kreemo Coffee, Inc. So it only stands to
reason that if you buy a can of Kreemo’s coffee, you’re buying the best blended
coffee available today. The reasoning of the argument in the advertisement is
flawed because it overlooks the possibility that
(A) the equipment used by Kreemo to blend and package its coffee is no
different from that used by most other coffee producers
(B) not all of Kreemo’s competitors use Colombian coffee beans in the blends of
coffee they sell
(C) Kreemo sells more coffee than does any other company
(D) Kreemo’s coffee is the most expensive blended coffee available today
(E) the best unblended coffee is better than the best blended coffee
12. The only purpose for which a particular type of tape is needed is to
hold certain surgical wounds closed for ten days—the maximum time such wounds
need tape. Newtape is a new brand of this type of tape. Newtape’s salespeople
claim that Newtape will improve healing because Newtape adheres twice as long as
the currently used tape does. Which of the following statements, if true, would
most seriously call into question the claim made by Newtape’s salespeople?
(A) Most surgical wounds take about ten days to heal.
(B) Most surgical tape is purchased by hospitals and clinics rather than by
(C) The currently used tape’s adhesiveness is more than sufficient to hold
wounds closed for ten days.
(D) Neither Newtape nor the currently used tape adheres well to skin that has
not been cleaned.
(E) Newtape’s adhesion to skin that has been coated with a special chemical
preparation is only half as good as the currently used tape’s adhesion to such
13. A severe drought can actually lessen the total amount of government
aid that United States farmers receive as a group. The government pays farmers
the amount, if any, by which the market price at which crops are actually sold
falls short of a preset target price per bushel for the crops. The drought of
1983, for example, caused farm-program payments to drop by $10 billion. Given
the information above, which of the following, if true, best explains why the
drought of 1983 resulted in a reduction in farm-program payments?
(A) Prior to the drought of 1983, the government raised the target price for
crops in order to aid farmers in reducing their debt loads.
(B) Due to the drought of 1983, United States farmers exported less food in 1983
than in the preceding year.
(C) Due to the drought of 1983, United States farmers had smaller harvests and
thus received a higher market price for the 1983 crop than for the larger crop
(D) Due to the drought of 1983, United States farmers planned to plant smaller
crops in 1984 than they had in 1983.
(E) Despite the drought of 1983, retail prices for food did not increase
significantly between 1982 and 1983.
14. In order to increase revenues, an airport plans to change the parking
fees it charges at its hourly parking lots. Rather than charging $2.00 for the
first two-hour period, or part thereof, and $1.00 for each hour thereafter, the
airport will charge $4.00 for the first four-hour period, or part thereof, and
$1.00 for each hour thereafter. Which of the following is a consideration that,
if true, suggests that the plan will be successful in increasing revenues?
(A) Very few people who park their cars at the hourly parking lot at the
airport leave their cars for more than two hours at a time.
(B) Over the past several years, the cost to the airport of operating its hourly
parking facilities has been greater than the revenues it has received from them.
(C) People who leave their cars at the airport while on a trip generally park
their cars in lots that charge by the day rather than by the hour.
(D) A significant portion of the money spent to operate the airport parking lot
is spent to maintain the facilities rather than to pay the salaries of the
collect the parking fees.
(E) The hourly parking lots at the airport have recently been expanded and are
therefore rarely filled to capacity.
15. In the course of her researches, a historian recently found two
documents mentioning the same person, Erich Schnitzler. One, dated May 3, 1739,
is a record of Schnitzler’s arrest for peddling without a license. The second,
undated, is a statement by Schnitzler asserting that he has been peddling off
and on for 20 years. The facts above best support which of the following
(A) Schnitzler started peddling around 1719.
(B) Schnitzler was arrested repeatedly for peddling.
(C) The undated document was written before 1765.
(D) The arrest record was written after the undated document.
(E) The arrest record provides better evidence that Schnitzler peddled than
does the undated document.
16. The recent upheaval in the office-equipment retail business, in which
many small firms have gone out of business, has been attributed to the advent of
office equipment “superstores” whose high sales volume keeps their prices low.
This analysis is flawed, however, since even today the superstores control a
very small share of the retail market. Which of the following, if true, would
most weaken the argument that the analysis is flawed?
(A) Most of the larger customers for office equipment purchase under
contract directly from manufacturers and thus do not participate in the retail
(B) The superstores’ heavy advertising of their low prices has forced prices
down throughout the retail market for office supplies.
(C) Some of the superstores that only recently opened have themselves gone out
(D) Most of the office equipment superstores are owned by large retailing chains
that also own stores selling other types of goods.
(E) The growing importance of computers in most offices has changed the kind of
office equipment retailers must stock.
25 Minutes 16 Questions
1. A report on acid rain concluded, “Most forests in Canada are not being
damaged by acid rain.” Critics of the report insist the conclusion be changed
to, “Most forests in Canada do not show visible symptoms of damage by acid rain,
such as abnormal loss of leaves, slower rates of growth, or higher mortality.”
Which of the following, if true, provides the best logical justification for the
critics’ insistence that the report’s conclusion be changed?
(A) Some forests in Canada are being damaged by acid rain.
(B) Acid rain could be causing damage for which symptoms have not yet become
(C) The report does not compare acid rain damage to Canadian forests with acid
rain damage to forests in other countries.
(D) All forests in Canada have received acid rain during the past fifteen years.
(E) The severity of damage by acid rain differs from forest to forest.
2. In the past most airline companies minimized aircraft weight to
minimize fuel costs. The safest airline seats were heavy, and airlines equipped
their planes with few of these seats. This year the seat that has sold best to
airlines has been the safest one—a clear indication that airlines are assigning
a higher priority to safe seating than to minimizing fuel costs. Which of the
following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?
(A) Last year’s best-selling airline seat was not the safest airline seat on
(B) No airline company has announced that it would be making safe seating a
higher priority this year.
(C) The price of fuel was higher this year than it had been in most of the years
when the safest airline seats sold poorly.
(D) Because of increases in the cost of materials, all airline seats were more
expensive to manufacture this year than in any previous year.
(E) Because of technological innovations, the safest airline seat on the market
this year weighed less than most other airline seats on the market.
3. A computer equipped with signature-recognition software, which
restricts access to a computer to those people whose signatures are on file,
identifies a person’s signature by analyzing not only the form of the signature
but also such characteristics as pen pressure and signing speed. Even the most
adept forgers cannot duplicate all of the characteristics the program analyzes.
Which of the following can be logically concluded from the passage above?
(A) The time it takes to record and analyze a signature makes the software
impractical for everyday use.
(B) Computers equipped with the software will soon be installed in most banks.
(C) Nobody can gain access to a computer equipped with the software solely by
virtue of skill at forging signatures.
(D) Signature-recognition software has taken many years to develop and perfect.
(E) In many cases even authorized users are denied legitimate access to
computers equipped with the software.
4. Division manager: I want to replace the Microton computers in my
division with Vitech computers. General manager: Why? Division manager: It costs
28 percent less to train new staff on the Vitech. General manager: But that is
not a good enough reason. We can simply hire only people who already know how to
use the Microton computer. Which of the following, if true, most seriously
undermines the general manager’s objection to the replacement of Microton
computers with Vitechs?
(A) Currently all employees in the company are required to attend workshops
on how to use Microton computers in new applications.
(B) Once employees learn how to use a computer, they tend to change employers
more readily than before.
(C) Experienced users of Microton computers command much higher salaries than do
prospective employees who have no experience in the use of computers.
(D) The average productivity of employees in the general manager’s company is
below the average productivity of the employees of its competitors.
(E) The high costs of replacement parts make Vitech computers more expensive to
maintain than Microton computers.
5. An airplane engine manufacturer developed a new engine model with
safety features lacking in the earlier model, which was still being
manufactured. During the first year that both were sold, the earlier model far
outsold the new model; the manufacturer thus concluded that safety was not the
customers’ primary consideration. Which of the following, if true, would most
seriously weaken the manufacturer’s conclusion?
(A) Both private plane owners and commercial airlines buy engines from this
airplane engine manufacturer.
(B) Many customers consider earlier engine models better safety risks than new
engine models, since more is usually known about the safety of the earlier
(C) Many customers of this airplane engine manufacturer also bought airplane
engines from manufacturers who did not provide additional safety features in
(D) The newer engine model can be used in all planes in which the earlier engine
model can be used.
(E) There was no significant difference in price between the newer engine model
and the earlier engine model.
6. Between 1975 and 1985, nursing-home occupancy rates averaged 87 percent
of capacity, while admission rates remained constant, at an average of 95
admissions per 1,000 beds per year. Between 1985 and 1988, however, occupancy
rates rose to an average of 92 percent of capacity, while admission rates
declined to 81 per 1,000 beds per year. If the statements above are true, which
of the following conclusions can be most properly drawn?
(A) The average length of time nursing-home residents stayed in nursing
homes increased between 1985 and 1988.
(B) The proportion of older people living in nursing homes was greater in 1988
than in 1975.
(C) Nursing home admission rates tend to decline whenever occupancy rates rise.
(D) Nursing homes built prior to 1985 generally had fewer beds than did nursing
homes built between 1985 and 1988.
(E) The more beds a nursing home has, the higher its occupancy rate is likely to
7. Firms adopting “profit-related-pay” (PRP) contracts pay wages at levels
that vary with the firm’s profits. In the metalworking industry last year, firms
with PRP contracts in place showed productivity per worker on average 13 percent
higher than that of their competitors who used more traditional contracts. If,
on the basis of the evidence above, it is argued that PRP contracts increase
worker productivity, which of the following, if true, would most seriously
weaken that argument?
(A) Results similar to those cited for the metalworking industry have been
found in other industries where PRP contracts are used.
(B) Under PRP contracts costs other than labor costs, such as plant, machinery,
and energy, make up an increased proportion of the total cost of each unit of
(C) Because introducing PRP contracts greatly changes individual workers’
relationships to the firm, negotiating the introduction of PRP contracts is
(D) Many firms in the metalworking industry have modernized production equipment
in the last five years, and most of these introduced PRP contracts at the same
(E) In firms in the metalworking industry where PRP contracts are in place, the
average take-home pay is 15 percent higher than it is in those firms where
have more traditional contracts.
8. Crops can be traded on the futures market before they are harvested. If
a poor corn harvest is predicted, prices of corn futures rise; if a bountiful
corn harvest is predicted, prices of corn futures fall. This morning
meteorologists are predicting much-needed rain for the corn-growing region
starting tomorrow. Therefore, since adequate moisture is essential for the
current crop’s survival, prices of corn futures will fall sharply today. Which
of the following, if true, most weakens the argument above?
(A) Corn that does not receive adequate moisture during its critical
pollination stage will not produce a bountiful harvest.
(B) Futures prices for corn have been fluctuating more dramatically this season
than last season.
(C) The rain that meteorologists predicted for tomorrow is expected to extend
well beyond the corn-growing region.
(D) Agriculture experts announced today that a disease that has devastated some
of the corn crop will spread widely before the end of the growing season.
(E) Most people who trade in corn futures rarely take physical possession of the
corn they trade.
9. A discount retailer of basic household necessities employs thousands of
people and pays most of them at the minimum wage rate. Yet following a federally
mandated increase of the minimum wage rate that increased the retailer’s
operating costs considerably, the retailer’s profits increased markedly. Which
of the following, if true, most helps to resolve the apparent paradox?
(A) Over half of the retailer’s operating costs consist of payroll
expenditures; yet only a small percentage of those expenditures go to pay
(B) The retailer’s customer base is made up primarily of people who earn, or who
depend on the earnings of others who earn, the minimum wage.
(C) The retailer’s operating costs, other than wages, increased substantially
after the increase in the minimum wage rate went into effect.
(D) When the increase in the minimum wage rate went into effect, the retailer
also raised the wage rate for employees who had been earning just above minimum
(E) The majority of the retailer’s employees work as cashiers, and most cashiers
are paid the minimum wage.
10. The cotton farms of Country Q became so productive that the market
could not absorb all that they produced. Consequently, cotton prices fell. The
government tried to boost cotton prices by offering farmers who took 25 percent
of their cotton acreage out of production direct support payments up to a
specified maximum per farm. The government’s program, if successful, will not be
a net burden on the budget. Which of the following, if true, is the best basis
for an explanation of how this could be so?
(A) Depressed cotton prices meant operating losses for cotton farms, and the
government lost revenue from taxes on farm profits.
(B) Cotton production in several counties other than Q declined slightly the
year that the support-payment program went into effect in Q.
(C) The first year that the support-payment program was in effect, cotton
acreage in Q was 5% below its level in the base year for the program.
(D) The specified maximum per farm meant that for very large cotton farms the
support payments were less per acre for those acres that were withdrawn from
production than they were for smaller farms.
(E) Farmers who wished to qualify for support payments could not use the cotton
acreage that was withdrawn from production to grow any other crop.
11. United States hospitals have traditionally relied primarily on
revenues from paying patients to offset losses from unreimbursed care. Almost
all paying patients now rely on governmental or private health insurance to pay
hospital bills. Recently, insurers have been strictly limiting what they pay
hospitals for the care of insured patients to amounts at or below actual costs.
Which of the following conclusions is best supported by the information above?
(A) Although the advance of technology has made expensive medical procedures
available to the wealthy, such procedures are out of the reach of low-income
(B) If hospitals do not find ways to raising additional income for unreimbursed
care, they must either deny some of that care or suffer losses if they give it.
(C) Some patients have incomes too high for eligibility for governmental health
insurance but are unable to afford private insurance for hospital care.
(D) If the hospitals reduce their costs in providing care, insurance companies
will maintain the current level of reimbursement, thereby providing more funds
(E) Even though philanthropic donations have traditionally provided some support
for the hospitals, such donations are at present declining.
12. Generally scientists enter their field with the goal of doing
important new research and accept as their colleagues those with similar
motivation. Therefore, when any scientist wins renown as an expounder of science
to general audiences, most other scientists conclude that this popularizer
should no longer be regarded as a true colleague. The explanation offered above
for the low esteem in which scientific popularizers are held by research
scientists assumes that
(A) serious scientific research is not a solitary activity, but relies on
active cooperation among a group of colleagues
(B) research scientists tend not to regard as colleagues those scientists whose
renown they envy
(C) a scientist can become a famous popularizer without having completed any
(D) research scientists believe that those who are well known as popularizers of
science are not motivated to do important new research
(E) no important new research can be accessible to or accurately assessed by
those who are not themselves scientists
13. Mouth cancer is a danger for people who rarely brush their teeth. In
order to achieve early detection of mouth cancer in these individuals, a town’s
public health officials sent a pamphlet to all town residents, describing how to
perform weekly self-examinations of the mouth for lumps. Which of the following,
if true, is the best criticism of the pamphlet as a method of achieving the
public health officials’ goal?
(A) Many dental diseases produce symptoms that cannot be detected in a
(B) Once mouth cancer has been detected, the effectiveness of treatment can vary
from person to person.
(C) The pamphlet was sent to all town residents, including those individuals who
brush their teeth regularly.
(D) Mouth cancer is much more common in adults than in children.
(E) People who rarely brush their teeth are unlikely to perform a weekly