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
examination of their mouth.
14. Technological improvements and reduced equipment costs have made
converting solar energy directly into electricity far more cost-efficient in the
last decade. However, the threshold of economic viability for solar power (that
is, the price per barrel to which oil would have to rise in order for new solar
power plants to be more economical than new oil-fired power plants) is unchanged
at thirty-five dollars. Which of the following, if true, does most to help
explain why the increased cost-efficiency of solar power has not decreased its
threshold of economic viability?
(A) The cost of oil has fallen dramatically.
(B) The reduction in the cost of solar-power equipment has occurred despite
increased raw material costs for that equipment.
(C) Technological changes have increased the efficiency of oil-fired power
(D) Most electricity is generated by coal-fired or nuclear, rather than
oil-fired, power plants.
(E) When the price of oil increases, reserves of oil not previously worth
exploiting become economically viable.
15. Start-up companies financed by venture capitalist have a much lower
failure rate than companies financed by other means. Source of financing,
therefore, must be a more important causative factor in the success of a
start-up company than are such factors as the personal characteristics of the
entrepreneur, the quality of strategic planning, or the management structure of
the company. Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the
(A) Venture capitalists tend to be more responsive than other sources of
financing to changes in a start-up company’s financial needs.
(B) The strategic planning of a start-up company is a less important factor in
the long-term success of the company than are the personal characteristics of
(C) More than half of all new companies fall within five years.
(D) The management structures of start-up companies are generally less formal
than the management structures of ongoing businesses.
(E) Venture capitalists base their decisions to fund start-up companies on such
factors as the characteristics of the entrepreneur and quality of strategic
16. The proportion of women among students enrolled in higher education
programs has increased over the past decades. This is partly shown by the fact
that in 1959, only 11 percent of the women between twenty and twenty-one were
enrolled in college, while in 1981, 30 percent of the women between twenty and
twenty-one were enrolled in college. To evaluate the argument above, it would be
most useful to compare 1959 and 1981 with regard to which of the following
(A) The percentage of women between twenty and twenty-one who were not
enrolled in college
(B) The percentage of women between twenty and twenty-five who graduated from
(C) The percentage of women who, after attending college, entered highly paid
(D) The percentage of men between twenty and twenty-one who were enrolled in
(E) The percentage of men who graduated from high school
25 Minutes 16 Questions
1. Since a rhinoceros that has no horn is worthless to poachers, the
Wildlife Protection Committee plans to protect selected rhinoceroses from being
killed by poachers by cutting off the rhinos’ horns. The Wildlife Protection
Committee’s plan assumes that
(A) poachers do not kill rhinos that are worthless to them
(B) hornless rhinos pose less of a threat to humans, including poachers, than do
rhinos that have horns
(C) rhinos are the only animals poachers kill for their horns
(D) hornless rhinos can successfully defend their young against nonhuman
(E) imposing more stringent penalties on poachers will not decrease the number
of rhinos killed by poachers
2. Crimes are mainly committed by the young, and for this reason merely
increasing the number of police officers or expenditures on police services has
little effect on reducing the crime rate. In fact, the only factor associated
with a crime-rate drop is a decrease in the number of people in the community
aged fourteen to thirty. The findings above can best serve as part of an
(A) the likelihood that any law enforcement program will be effective in
reducing the crime rate within a short time
(B) increasing prison terms for young people found guilty of crimes
(C) introducing compulsory military conscription for people aged seventeen to
(D) raising the age at which students are permitted to leave school
(E) a community’s plan to increase the number of recreational and educational
activities in which young adults can participate
3. A 20 percent decline in lobster catches in Maine waters since 1980 can
be justifiably blamed on legislation passed in 1972 to protect harbor seals.
Maine’s population of harbor seals is now double the level existing before
protection was initiated, and these seals are known to eat both fish and
lobsters. Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the
(A) Harbor seals usually eat more fish than lobsters, but the seals are
natural predators of both.
(B) Although harbor seals are skillful predators of lobsters, they rarely finish
eating their catch.
(C) Harbor seals attract tourists to Maine’s coastal areas, thus revitalizing
the local economy.
(D) Authors of the 1972 legislation protecting harbor seals were convinced that
an increase in that animal’s numbers would not have a measurably negative impact
on the lobster catch.
(E) The record lobster harvests of the late 1970’s removed large numbers of
mature lobsters from the reproductive stock.
4. Politician: Fewer people are entering the labor market now than
previously. If the economy grows, the demand for motivated and educated people
will far outstrip the supply. Some companies have already started to respond to
this labor-market situation by finding better ways to keep their current
employees. Their concern is a sure indicator that the economy is growing. Which
of the following is the best criticism of the politician’s reasoning?
(A) The fact that companies are making prudent preparations for a possible
future development does not mean that this development is already taking place.
(B) The fact that some companies now try harder to keep their employees does not
mean that they used to be indifferent to employee morale.
(C) The fact that demand will outstrip supply does not mean that there will be
no supply at all.
(D) The fact that the number of new entrants into the labor market is declining
does not mean that the number of new entrants is lower than it has ever been.
(E) The fact that current employees have become more valuable to some companies
does not mean that those employees will do their jobs better than they used to.
5. Under current federal law, employers are allowed to offer their
employees free parking spaces as a tax-free benefit, but they can offer
employees only up to $180 per year as a tax-free benefit for using mass transit.
The government could significantly increase mass transit ridership by raising
the limit of this benefit to meet commuters’ transportation costs. The proposal
above to increase mass transit ridership assumes that
(A) current mass transit systems are subject to unexpected route closings
(B) using mass transit creates less air pollution per person than using a
(C) the parking spaces offered by employers as tax-free benefits can be worth as
much as $2,500 per year
(D) many employees are deterred by financial considerations from using mass
transit to commute to their places of employment
(E) because of traffic congestion on major commuter routes, it is often faster
to travel to one’s place of employment by means of mass transit than by private
6. Which of the following best completes the passage below? “Government”
does not exist as an independent entity defining policy. Instead there exists a
group of democratically elected pragmatists sensitive to the electorate, who
establish policies that will result in their own reelection. Therefore, if
public policy is hostile to, say, environmental concerns, it is not because of
governmental perversity but because elected officials believe that______
(A) environmentalists would be extremely difficult to satisfy with any
policy, however environmentally sound
(B) environmental concerns are being accommodated as well as public funds permit
(C) the public is overly anxious about environmental deterioration
(D) the majority of voters vote for certain politicians because of those
politicians’ idiosyncratic positions on policy issues
(E) the majority of voters do not strongly wish for a different policy
7. Fresh potatoes generally cost about $2 for a 10-pound bag, whereas
dehydrated instant potatoes cost, on average, about $3 per pound. It can be
concluded that some consumers will pay 15 times as much for convenience, since
sales of this convenience food continue to rise. Which of the following, if
true, indicates that there is a major flaw in the argument above?
(A) Fresh potatoes bought in convenient 2-pound bags are about $1 a bag, or
2 1/2 times more expensive than fresh potatoes bought in 10-pound bags.
(B) Since fresh potatoes are 80 percent water, one pound of dehydrated potatoes
is the equivalent of 5 pounds of fresh potatoes.
(C) Peeled potatoes in cans are also more expensive than the less convenient
(D) Retail prices of dehydrated potatoes have declined by 20 percent since 1960
to the current level of about $3 a pound.
(E) As a consequence of labor and processing costs, all convenience foods cost
more than the basic foods from which they are derived.
8. Consumers in California seeking personal loans have fewer banks to turn
to than do consumers elsewhere in the United States. This shortage of
competition among banks explains why interest rates on personal loans in
California are higher than in any other region of the United States. Which of
the following, if true, most substantially weakens the conclusion above?
(A) Because of the comparatively high wages they must pay to attract
qualified workers, California banks charge depositors more than banks elsewhere
many of the services they offer.
(B) Personal loans are riskier than other types of loans, such as home mortgage
loans, that banks make.
(C) Since bank deposits in California are covered by the same type of insurance
that guarantees bank deposits in other parts of the United States, they are no
secure than deposits elsewhere.
(D) The proportion of consumers who default on their personal loans is lower in
California than in any other region of the United States.
(E) Interest rates paid by California banks to depositors are lower than those
paid by banks in other parts of the United States because in California there is
competition to attract depositors.
9. Technically a given category of insurance policy is underpriced if,
over time, claims against it plus expenses associated with it exceed total
income from premiums. But premium income can be invested and will then yield
returns of its own. Therefore, an underpriced policy does not represent a net
loss in every case. The argument above is based on which of the following
(A) No insurance policies are deliberately underpriced in order to attract
customers to the insurance company offering such policies.
(B) A policy that represents a net loss to the insurance company is not an
underpriced policy in every case.
(C) There are policies for which the level of claims per year can be predicted
with great accuracy before premiums are set.
(D) The income earned by investing premium income is the most important
determinant of an insurance company’s profits.
(E) The claims against at least some underpriced policies do not require paying
out all of the premium income from those policies as soon as it is earned.
10. Purebred cows native to Mongolia produce, on average, 400 liters of
milk per year; if Mongolian cattle are crossbred with European breeds, the
crossbred cows can produce, on average, 2,700 liters per year. An international
agency plans to increase the profitability of Mongolia’s dairy sector by
encouraging widespread crossbreeding of native Mongolian cattle with European
breeds. Which of the following, if true, casts the most serious doubt on the
viability of the agency’s plan?
(A) Not all European breeds of cattle can be successfully bred with native
(B) Many young Mongolians now regard cattle raising as a low-status occupation
because it is less lucrative than other endeavors open to them.
(C) Mongolia’s terrain is suitable for grazing native herds but not for growing
the fodder needed to keep crossbred animals healthy.
(D) Cowhide and leather products, not milk, make up the bulk of Mongolia’s
animal product exports to Europe.
(E) Many European breeds of cattle attain average milk production levels
exceeding 2,700 liters.
11. Any combination of overwork and stress inevitably leads of insomnia.
Managers at HiCorp, Inc., all suffer from stress. A majority of the
managers—despite their doctors’ warnings—work well over 60 hours per week,
whereas the other managers work no more than the normal 40 hours per week.
HiCorp gives regular bonuses only to employees who work more than 40 hours per
week. Which of the following conclusions is most strongly supported by the
(A) Managers at HiCorp work under conditions that are more stressful than
the conditions under which managers at most other companies work.
(B) Most of the employee bonuses given by HiCorp are given to managers.
(C) At HiCorp, insomnia is more widespread among managers than among any other
group of employees.
(D) No manager at HiCorp who works only 40 hours per week suffers from overwork.
(E) Most of the managers at HiCorp who receive regular bonuses have insomnia.
12. Holiday receipts—the total sales recorded in the fourth quarter of the
year—determine the economic success or failure of many retail businesses. Camco,
a retailer selling just one camera model, is an excellent example. Camco’s
holiday receipts, on average, account for a third of its yearly total receipts
and about half of its yearly profits. If the statements above are true, which of
the following must also be true about Camco on the basis of them?
(A) Its fixed expenses per camera sold are higher during the fourth quarter
than for any of the other three quarters.
(B) It makes more profit during the first and third quarters combined than
during the fourth quarter.
(C) Its per-camera retail price is lower, on average, during the fourth quarter
than during any one of the first three quarters.
(D) It makes less profit, on average, for a given dollar amount of sales during
the first three quarters combined than during the fourth quarter.
(E) The per-camera price it pays to wholesalers is higher, on average, during
the fourth quarter than during any of the other three quarters.
13. Canadians now increasingly engage in “out-shopping,” which is shopping
across the national border, where prices are lower. Prices are lower outside of
Canada in large part because the goods-and-services tax that pays for Canadian
social services is not applied. Which one of the following is best supported on
the basis of the information above?
(A) If the upward trend in out-shopping continues at a significant level and
the amounts paid by the government for Canadian social services are maintained,
Canadian goods-and-services tax will be assessed at a higher rate.
(B) If Canada imposes a substantial tariff on the goods bought across the
border, a reciprocal tariff on cross-border shopping in the other direction will
thereby harming Canadian businesses.
(C) The amounts the Canadian government pays out to those who provide social
services to Canadians are increasing.
(D) The same brands of goods are available to Canadian shoppers across the
border as are available in Canada.
(E) Out-shopping purchases are subject to Canadian taxes when the purchaser
crosses the border to bring them into Canada.
14. Surveys indicate that 52 percent of all women aged eighteen to
sixty-five are in the labor force (employed outside the home) in any given
month. On the basis of these surveys, a market researcher concluded that 48
percent of all women aged eighteen to sixty-five are full-time homemakers
year-round. Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the
(A) More women are in the labor force today than during any other period
since the Second World War.
(B) Many workers, both men and women, enter and exit the labor force frequently.
(C) Although only a small sample of the total population is surveyed each month,
these samples have been found to be a reliable indicator of total monthly
(D) Surveys show that more women than ever before consider having a rewarding
job an important priority.
(E) Women who are in the labor force have more discretionary income available to
them than do women who are not.
15. Left-handed persons suffer more frequently than do right-handed
persons from certain immune disorders, such as allergies. Left-handers tend to
have an advantage over the right-handed majority, however, on tasks controlled
by the right hemisphere of the brain, and mathematical reasoning is strongly
under the influence of the right hemisphere in most people. If the information
above is true, it best supports which of the following hypotheses?
(A) Most people who suffer from allergies or other such immune disorders are
left-handed rather than right-handed.
(B) Most left-handed mathematicians suffer from some kind of allergy.
(C) There are proportionally more left-handers among people whose ability to
reason mathematically is above average than there are among people with poor
mathematical reasoning ability.
(D) If a left-handed person suffers from an allergy, that person will probably
be good at mathematics.
(E) There are proportionally more people who suffer from immune disorders such
as allergies than there are people who are left-handed or people whose
mathematical reasoning ability is unusually good.
16. After observing the Earth’s weather patterns and the 11-year sunspot
cycle of the Sun for 36 years, scientists have found that high levels of sunspot
activity precede shifts in wind patterns that affect the Earth’s weather. One
can conclude that meteorologists will be able to improve their weather forecasts
based on this information. Which of the following, if true, most seriously
weakens the argument above?
(A) Weather forecasts are more detailed today than they were 36 years ago.
(B) Scientists can establish that sunspot activity directly affects the Earth’s
(C) Evidence other than sunspot activity has previously enabled meteorologists
to forecast the weather conditions that are predictable on the basis of sunspot
(D) Scientists have not determined why the sunspot activity on the Sun follows
an 11-year cycle.
(E) It has been established that predictable wind patterns yield predictable
25 Minutes 16 Questions
1. A publisher is now providing university professors with the option of
ordering custom textbooks for their courses. The professors can edit out those
chapters of a book they are not interested in and add material of their own
choosing. The widespread use of the option mentioned above is LEAST likely to
contribute to fulfilling which of the following educational objectives?
(A) Coverage of material relevant to a particular student body’s specific
(B) Offering advanced elective courses that pursue in-depth investigation of
selected topics in a field
(C) Ensuring that students nationwide engaged in a specific course of study are
uniformly exposed to a basic set of readings
(D) Making the textbooks used in university courses more satisfactory from the
individual teacher’s point of view
(E) Keeping students’ interest in a course by offering lively, well-written
2. Mechanicorp’s newest product costs so little to make that it appears
doubtful the company will be able to sell it without increasing the markup the
company usually allows for profit: potential clients would simply not believe
that something so inexpensive would really work. Yet Mechanicorp’s reputation is
built on fair prices incorporating only modest profit margins. The statements
above, if true, most strongly support which of the following?
(A) Mechanicorp will encounter difficulties in trying to set a price for its
newest product that will promote sales without threatening to compromise the
(B) Mechanicorp achieves large annual profits, despite small profits per unit
sold, by means of a high volume of sales.
(C) Mechanicorp made a significant computational error in calculating the
production costs for its newest product.
(D) Mechanicorp’s newest product is intended to perform tasks that can be
performed by other devices costing less to manufacture.
(E) Mechanicorp’s production processes are designed with the same ingenuity as
are the products that the company makes.
3. Companies in the country of Kollontay can sell semiconductors in the
country of Valdivia at a price that is below the cost to Valdivian companies of
producing them. To help those Valdivian companies, the Valdivian legislature
plans to set a minimum selling price in Valdivia for semiconductors manufactured
in Kollontay that is ten percent greater than the average production costs for
companies in Valdivia. Which of the following, if true, most seriously threatens
the success of the plan?
(A) The annual rate of inflation in Kollontay is expected to exceed ten
percent within the next year.
(B) Valdivia is not the only country where companies in Kollontay currently sell
(C) Some Valdivian companies that sell semiconductors have announced that they
plan to decrease their price for semiconductors.
(D) The government of Kollontay will also set a minimum price for selling
semiconductors in that country.
(E) Emerging companies in countries other than Kollontay will still be able to
sell semiconductors in Valdivia at a price below the cost to Valdivian companies
4. An experimental microwave clothes dryer heats neither air nor cloth.
Rather, it heats water on clothes, thereby saving electricity and protecting
delicate fibers by operating at a lower temperature. Microwaves are waves that
usually heat metal objects, but developers of a microwave dryer are perfecting a
process that will prevent thin metal objects such as hairpins from heating up
and burning clothes. Which of the following, if true, most strongly indicates
that the process, when perfected, will be insufficient to make the dryer readily
(A) Metal snap fasteners on clothes that are commonly put into drying
machines are about the same thickness as most hairpins.
(B) Many clothes that are currently placed into mechanical dryers are not placed
there along with hairpins or other thin metal objects.
(C) The experimental microwave dryer uses more electricity than future, improved
models would be expected to use.
(D) Drying clothes with the process would not cause more shrinkage than the
currently used mechanical drying process causes.
(E) Many clothes that are frequently machine-dried by prospective customers
incorporate thick metal parts such as decorative brass studs or buttons.
5. Airplane manufacturer: I object to your characterization of our X-387
jets as dangerous. No X-387 in commercial use has ever crashed or even had a
serious malfunction. Airline regulator: The problem with the X-387 is not that
it, itself, malfunctions, but that it creates a turbulence in its wake that can
create hazardous conditions for aircraft in its vicinity. The airline regulator
responds to the manufacturer by doing which of the following?
(A) Characterizing the manufacturer’s assertion as stemming from subjective
interest rather than from objective evaluation of the facts
(B) Drawing attention to the fact that the manufacturer’s interpretation of the
word “dangerous” is too narrow
(C) Invoking evidence that the manufacturer has explicitly dismissed as
irrelevant to the point at issue
(D) Citing statistical evidence that refutes the manufacturer’s claim
(E) Casting doubt on the extent of the manufacturer’s knowledge of the number of
recent airline disasters
6. Damaged nerves in the spinal cord do not regenerate themselves
naturally, nor even under the spur of nerve-growth stimulants. The reason,
recently discovered, is the presence of nerve-growth inhibitors in the spinal
cord. Antibodies that deactivate those inhibitors have now been developed.
Clearly, then, nerve repair will be a standard medical procedure in the
foreseeable future. Which of the following, if true, casts the most serious
doubt on the accuracy of the prediction above?
(A) Prevention of the regeneration of damaged nerves is merely a by-product
of the main function in the human body of the substances inhibiting nerve
(B) Certain nerve-growth stimulants have similar chemical structures to those of
the antibodies against nerve-growth inhibitors.
(C) Nerves in the brain are similar to nerves in the spinal cord in their
inability to regenerate themselves naturally.
(D) Researchers have been able to stimulate the growth of nerves not located in
the spinal cord by using only nerve-growth stimulants.
(E) Deactivating the substances inhibiting nerve growth for an extended period
would require a steady supply of antibodies.
7. The human body secretes more pain-blocking hormones late at night than
during the day. Consequently, surgical patients operated on at night need less
anesthesia. Since larger amounts of anesthesia pose greater risks for patients,
the risks of surgery could be reduced if operations routinely took place at
night. Which of the following, if true, argues most strongly against the view
that surgical risks could be reduced by scheduling operations at night?
(A) Energy costs in hospitals are generally lower at night than they are
during the day.
(B) More babies are born between midnight and seven o’clock in the morning than
at any other time.
(C) Over the course of a year, people’s biological rhythms shift slightly in
response to changes in the amounts of daylight to which the people are exposed.
(D) Nurses and medical technicians are generally paid more per hour when they
work during the night than when they work during the day.
(E) Manual dexterity and mental alertness are lower in the late night than they
are during the day, even in people accustomed to working at night.
Walter: A copy of an artwork should be worth exactly what the original is
worth if the two works are visually indistinguishable. After all, if the two
works are visually indistinguishable, they have all the same qualities, and if
they have all the same qualities, their prices should be equal. Marissa: How
little you understand art! Even if someone could make a perfect copy that is
visually indistinguishable from the original, the copy would have a different
history and hence not have all the same qualities as the original.
8. Which of the following is a point at issue between Walter and Marissa?
(A) Whether a copy of an artwork could ever be visually indistinguishable
from the original
(B) Whether the reproduction of a work of art is ever worth more than the
original is worth
(C) Whether a copy of a work of art is ever mistaken for the original
(D) Whether a copy of a work of art could have all the same qualities as the
(E) Whether originality is the only valuable attribute that a work of art can
9. Marissa uses which of the following techniques in attempting to refute
(A) Attacking his assumption that the price of an artwork indicates its
(B) Raising a point that would undermine one of the claims on which his
conclusion is based
(C) Questioning his claim that a perfect copy of a work of art would be visually
indistinguishable from the original
(D) Giving reason to believe that Walter is unable to judge the quality of a
work of art because of his inadequate understanding of the history of art
(E) Proposing alternative criteria for determining whether two works of art are
10. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)—a noninvasive diagnostic
procedure—can be used to identify blockages in the coronary arteries. In
contrast to angiograms—the invasive procedure customarily used—MRI’s pose no
risk to patients. Thus, to guarantee patient safety in the attempt to diagnose
arterial blockages, MRI’s should replace angiograms in all attempts at
diagnosing coronary blockages. Which of the following, if true, would most
support the recommendation above?
(A) Angiograms can be used to diagnose conditions other than blockages in
(B) MRI’s were designed primarily in order to diagnose blockages in the coronary
(C) Angiograms reveal more information about the nature of a blockage than an
(D) An MRI is just as likely as an angiogram to identify an arterial blockage.
(E) Some patients for whom an angiogram presents no risk are unwilling to
undergo an MRI.
11. Naturally occurring chemicals cannot be newly patented once their
structures have been published. Before a naturally occurring chemical compound
can be used as a drug, however, it must be put through the same rigorous testing
program as any synthetic compound, culminating in a published report detailing
the chemical’s structure and observed effects. If the statements above are true,
which of the following must also be true on the basis of them?
(A) Any naturally occurring chemical can be reproduced synthetically once
its structure is known.
(B) Synthetically produced chemical compounds cannot be patented unless their
chemical structures are made public.
(C) If proven no less effective, naturally occurring chemicals are to be
preferred to synthetic compounds for use in drugs.
(D) Once a naturally occurring compound has been approved for use as a drug, it
can no longer be newly patented.
(E) A naturally occurring chemical cannot be patented unless its effectiveness
as a drug has been rigorously established.
12. A public-service advertisement advises that people who have consumed
alcohol should not drive until they can do so safely. In a hospital study,
however, subjects questioned immediately after they consumed alcohol
underestimated the time necessary to regain their driving ability. This result
indicates that many people who drink before driving will have difficulty
following the advertisement’s advice. Which of the following, if true, most
strongly supports the argument above?
(A) Many people, if they plan to drink alcohol, make arrangements beforehand
for a nondrinker to drive them home.
(B) The subjects in the hospital study generally rated their abilities more
conservatively than would people drinking alcohol outside a hospital setting.
(C) Some people refrain from drinking if they will have to drive to get home
(D) The subjects in the hospital study were also questioned about the time
necessary to regain abilities that do not play an important role in driving
(E) Awareness of the public-service advertisement is higher among the general
population than it was among the subjects in the hospital study.
13. Investigator: XYZ Coins has misled its clients by promoting some coins
as “extremely rare” when in fact those coins are relatively common and readily
available. XYZ agent: That is ridiculous. XYZ Coins is one of the largest coin
dealers in the world. We authenticate the coins we sell through a nationally
recognized firm and operate a licensed coin dealership. The XYZ agent’s reply is
most vulnerable to the criticism that it
(A) exaggerates the investigator’s a claims in order to make them appear
(B) accuses the investigator of bias but presents no evidence to support that
(C) fails to establish that other coin dealers do not also authenticate the
coins those dealers sell
(D) lists strengths of XYZ Coins while failing to address the investigator’s
(E) provides no definition for the inherently vague phrase “extremely rare”
14. Both Writewell and Express provide round-the-clock telephone
assistance to any customer who uses their word-processing software. Since
customers only call the hot lines when they find the software difficult to use,
and the Writewell hot line receives four times as many calls as the Express hot
line, Writewell’s word-processing software must be more difficult to use than
Express’s. Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument above?
(A) Calls to the Express hot line are almost twice as long, on average, as
are calls to the Writewell hot line.
(B) Express has three times the number of word-processing software customers
that Writewell has.
(C) Express receives twice as many letters of complaint about its
word-processing software as Writewell receives about its word-processing
(D) The number of calls received by each of the two hot lines has been gradually
(E) The Writewell hot-line number is more widely publicized than the Express
15. Over the last century, paleontologists have used small differences
between fossil specimens to classify triceratops into sixteen species. This
classification is unjustified, however, since the specimens used to distinguish
eleven of the species come from animals that lived in the same area at the same
time. Which of the following, if true, would enable the conclusion of the
argument to be properly drawn?
(A) Not every species that lived in a given area is preserved as a fossil.
(B) At least one individual of every true species of triceratops has been
discovered as a fossil specimen.
(C) No geographical area ever supports more than three similar species at the
(D) In many species, individuals display quite marked variation.
(E) Differences between fossil specimens of triceratops that came from the same
area are no less distinctive than differences between specimens that came from
16. Many consumers are concerned about the ecological effects of wasteful
packaging. This concern probably explains why stores have been quick to stock
new cleaning products that have been produced in a concentrated form. The
concentrated form is packaged in smaller containers that use less plastic and
require less transportation space. Which of the following, if true, most
seriously undermines the explanation offered above?
(A) Few consumers believe that containers of concentrated cleaning products
are merely small packages of regular cleaning products.
(B) The containers in which concentrated cleaning products are packaged are no
harder to recycle than those in which regular cleaning products are packaged.
(C) Those concentrated cleaning products that are intended to be used diluted
have clear instructions for dilution printed on their labels.
(D) The smaller containers of concentrated cleaning products enable supermarkets
and drugstores to increase their revenues from a given shelf space.
(E) Consumer pressure has led to the elimination of wasteful cardboard packaging
that was used for compact discs.
||End of the
25 Minutes 16 Questions
1. In the first half of this year, from January to June, about three
million videocassette recorders were sold. This number is only 35 percent of the
total number of videocassette recorders sold last year. Therefore, total sales
of videocassette recorders will almost certainly be lower for this year than
they were for last year. Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens
the conclusion above?
(A) The total number of videocassette recorders sold last year was lower
than the total number sold in the year before that.
(B) Most people who are interested in owning a videocassette recorder have
already purchased one.
(C) Videocassette recorders are less expensive this year than they were last
(D) Of the videocassette recorders sold last year, almost 60 percent were sold
(E) Typically, over 70 percent of the sales of videocassette recorders made in a
year occur in the months of November and December.
2. Mud from a lake on an uninhabited wooded island in northern Lake
Superior contains toxic chemicals, including toxaphene, a banned pesticide for
cotton that previously was manufactured and used, not in nearby regions of
Canada or the northern United States, but in the southern United States. No
dumping has occurred on the island. The island lake is sufficiently elevated
that water from Lake Superior does not reach it. The statements above, if true,
most strongly support which of the following hypotheses?
(A) The waters of the island lake are more severely polluted than those of
(B) The toxaphene was carried to the island in the atmosphere by winds.
(C) Banning chemicals such as toxaphene does not aid the natural environment.
(D) Toxaphene has adverse effects on human beings but not on other organisms.
(E) Concentrations of toxaphene in the soil of cotton-growing regions are not
sufficient of be measurable.
3. Last year in the United States, women who ran for state and national
offices were about as likely to win as men. However, only about fifteen percent
of the candidates for these offices were women. Therefore, the reason there are
so few women who win elections for these offices is not that women have
difficulty winning elections but that so few women want to run. Which of the
following, if true, most seriously undermines the conclusion given?
(A) Last year the proportion of women incumbents who won reelection was
smaller than the proportion of men incumbents who won reelection.
(B) Few women who run for state and national offices run against other women.
(C) Most women who have no strong desire to be politicians never run for state
and national offices.
(D) The proportion of people holding local offices who are women is smaller than
the proportion of people holding state and national offices who are women.
(E) Many more women than men who want to run for state and national offices do
not because they cannot get adequate funding for their campaigns.
4. Samples from a ceramic vase found at a tomb in Sicily prove that the
vase was manufactured in Greece. Since the occupant of the tomb died during the
reign of a Sicilian ruler who lived 2,700 years ago, the location of the vase
indicates that there was trade between Sicily and Greece 2,700 years ago. Which
of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?
(A) Sicilian potters who lived during the reign of the ruler did not produce
work of the same level of quality as did Greek potters.
(B) Sicilian clay that was used in the manufacture of pottery during the ruler’s
reign bore little resemblance to Greek clay used to manufacture pottery at that
(C) At the time that the occupant of the tomb was alive, there were ships
capable of transporting large quantities of manufactured goods between Sicily
(D) The vase that was found at the Sicilian tomb was not placed there many
generations later by descendants of the occupant of the tomb.
(E) The occupant of the tomb was not a member of the royal family to which the
Sicilian ruler belonged.
5. In several cities, the government is going ahead with ambitious
construction projects despite the high office vacancy rates in those cities. The
vacant offices, though available for leasing, unfortunately do not meet the
requirements for the facilities needed, such as court houses and laboratories.
The government, therefore, is not guilty of any fiscal wastefulness. Which of
the following is an assumption on which the argument above depends?
(A) Adaptation of vacant office space to meet the government’s requirements,
if possible, would not make leasing such office space a more cost-effective
to new construction.
(B) The government prefers leasing facilities to owning them in cases where the
two alternatives are equally cost-effective.
(C) If facilities available for leasing come very close to meeting the
government’s requirements for facilities the government needs, the government
can relax its own
requirements slightly and consider those facilities in compliance.
(D) The government’s construction projects would not on being completed, add to
the stock of facilities available for leasing in the cities concerned.
(E) Before embarking on any major construction project, the government is
required by law to establish beyond any reasonable doubt that there are no
that are most cost-effective.
6. Potato cyst nematodes are a pest of potato crops. The nematodes can lie
dormant for several years in their cysts, which are protective capsules, and do
not emerge except in the presence of chemicals emitted by potato roots. A
company that has identified the relevant chemicals is planning to market them to
potato farmers to spread on their fields when no potatoes are planted; any
nematodes that emerge will soon starve to death. Which of the following, if
true, best supports the claim that the company’s plan will be successful?
(A) Nematodes that have emerged from their cysts can be killed by ordinary
(B) The only part of a potato plant that a nematode eats is the roots.
(C) Some bacteria commonly present in the roots of potatoes digest the chemicals
that cause the nematodes to emerge from their cysts.
(D) Trials have shown that spreading even minute quantities of the chemicals on
potato fields caused nine-tenths of the nematodes present to emerge from their
(E) The chemicals that cause the nematodes to emerge from their cysts are not
emitted all the time the potato plant is growing.
7. It is better for the environment if as much of all packaging as
possible is made from materials that are biodegradable in landfills. Therefore,
it is always a change for the worse to replace packaging made from paper or
cardboard with packaging made from plastics that are not biodegradable in
landfills. Which of the following, if true, constitutes the strongest objection
to the argument above?
(A) The paper and cardboard used in packaging are usually not biodegradable
(B) Some plastic used in packaging is biodegradable in landfills.
(C) In many landfills, a significant proportion of space is taken up by
materials other than discarded packaging materials.
(D) It is impossible to avoid entirely the use of packaging materials that are
not biodegradable in landfills.
(E) Sometimes, in packaging an item, plastics that are not biodegradable in
landfills are combined with cardboard.
8. Any serious policy discussion about acceptable levels of risk in
connection with explosions is not well served if the participants fail to use
the word “explosion” and use the phrase “energetic disassembly” instead. In
fact, the word “explosion” elicits desirable reactions, such as a heightened
level of attention, whereas the substitute phrase does not. Therefore, of the
two terms, “explosion” is the one that should be used throughout discussions of
this sort. Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument above
(A) In the kind of discussion at issue, the advantages of desirable
reactions to the term “explosion” outweigh the drawbacks, if any, arising from
reactions to that term.
(B) The phrase “energetic disassembly” has not so far been used as a substitute
for the word “explosion” in the kind of discussion at issue.
(C) In any serious policy discussion, what is said by the participants is more
important than how it is put into words.
(D) The only reason that people would have for using “energetic disassembly” in
place of “explosion” is to render impossible any serious policy discussion
(E) The phrase “energetic disassembly” is not necessarily out of place in
describing a controlled rather than an accidental explosion.
9. Mannis Corporation’s archival records are stored in an obsolete format
that is accessible only by its current computer system; thus they are
inaccessible when that system is not functioning properly. In order to avoid the
possibility of losing access to their archival records in the case of computer
malfunction, Mannis plans to replace its current computer system with a new
system that stores records in a format that is accessible to several different
systems. The answer to which of the following questions would be most helpful in
evaluating the effectiveness of the plan as a means of retaining access to the
(A) Will the new computer system require fewer operators than the current
(B) Has Mannis Corporation always stored its archival records in a computerized
(C) Will the new computer system that Mannis plans ensure greater security for
the records stored than does Mannis’ current system?
(D) Will Mannis’ current collection of archival records be readily transferable
to the new computer system?
(E) Will the new computer system be able to perform many more tasks than the
current system is able to perform?
10. Last year the worldwide paper industry used over twice as much fresh
pulp (pulp made directly from raw plant fibers) as recycled pulp (pulp made from
wastepaper). A paper-industry analyst has projected that by 2010 the industry
will use at least as much recycled pulp annually as it does fresh pulp, while
using a greater quantity of fresh pulp than it did last year. If the information
above is correct and the analyst’s projections prove to be ccurate, which of the
following projections must also be accurate?
(A) In 2010 the paper industry will use at least twice as much recycled pulp
as it did last years.
(B) In 2010 the paper industry will use at least twice as much total pulp as it
did last year.
(C) In 2010 the paper industry will produce more paper from a given amount of
pulp than it did last year.
(D) As compared with last year, in 2010 the paper industry will make more paper
that contains only recycled pulp.
(E) As compared with last year, in 2010 the paper industry will make less paper
that contains only fresh pulp.
11. In malaria-infested areas, many children tend to suffer several bouts
of malaria before becoming immune to the disease. Clearly, what must be
happening is that those children’s immune systems are only weakly stimulated by
any single exposure to the malaria parasite and need to be challenged several
times to produce an effective immune response. Which of the following, if true,
most seriously undermines the explanatory hypothesis?
(A) Immediately after a child has suffered a bout of malaria, the child’s
caregivers tend to go to great lengths in taking precautions to prevent another
this level of attention is not sustained.
(B) Malaria is spread from person to person by mosquitoes, and mosquitoes have
become increasingly resistant to the pesticides used to control them.
(C) A certain gene, if inherited by children from only one of their parents, can
render those children largely immune to infection with malaria.
(D) Antimalaria vaccines, of which several are in development, are all designed
to work by stimulating the body’s immune system.
(E) There are several distinct strains of malaria, and the body’s immune
response to any one of them does not protect it against the others.
12. An advertisement designed to convince readers of the great durability
of automobiles manufactured by the Deluxe Motor Car Company cites as evidence
the fact that over half of all automobiles built by the company since 1970 are
still on the road today, compared to no more than a third for any other
manufacturer. Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the
(A) After taking inflation into account, a new Deluxe automobile costs only
slightly more than a new model did in 1970.
(B) The number of automobiles built by Deluxe each year has not increased
sharply since 1970.
(C) Owners of Deluxe automobiles typically keep their cars well maintained.
(D) Since 1970, Deluxe has made fewer changes in the automobiles it manufactures
than other car companies have made in their automobiles.
(E) Deluxe automobiles have been selling at relatively stable prices in recent
13. Many state legislatures are considering proposals to the effect that
certain policies should be determined not by the legislature itself but by
public referenda in which every voter can take part. Critics of the proposals
argue that the outcomes of public referenda would be biased, since wealthy
special-interest groups are able to influence voters’ views by means of
television advertisements. Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the
(A) Many state legislators regard public referenda as a way of avoiding
voting on issues on which their constituents are divided.
(B) During elections for members of the legislature, the number of people who
vote is unaffected by whether the candidates run television advertisements or
(C) Proponents of policies that are opposed by wealthy special-interest groups
are often unable to afford advertising time on local television stations.
(D) Different special-interest groups often take opposing positions on questions
of which policies the state should adopt.
(E) Television stations are reluctant to become associated with any one
political opinion, for fear of losing viewers who do not share that opinion.
14. Advertisement: Of the many over-the-counter medications marketed for
the relief of sinus headache. SineEase costs the least per dose. And Sine Ease
is as effective per dose as the most effective of those other medications. So
for relief from sinus headaches, SineEase is the best buy. Which of the
following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?
(A) Most of the over-the-counter medications marketed for the relief of
sinus headache are equally effective per dose in providing such relief.
(B) Many of the over-the-counter medications marketed for the relief of sinus
headache contain the same active ingredient as SineEase.
(C) People who suffer from frequent sinus headaches are strongly advised to
consult a doctor before taking any over-the-counter medication.
(D) An over-the-counter medication that is marketed for the relief of symptoms
of head cold is identical in composition to SineEase but costs less per dose.
(E) The per dose price for any given over-the-counter medication marketed for
the relief of sinus headache is higher for smaller packages than it is for
15. In the United States, vacationers account for more than half of all
visitors to what are technically called “pure aquariums” but for fewer than one
quarter of all visitors to zoos, which usually include a “zoo aquarium” of
relatively modest scope. Which of the following, if true, most helps to account
for the difference described above between visitors to zoos and visitors to pure
(A) In cities that have both a zoo and a pure aquarium, local residents are
twice as likely to visit the aquarium as they are to visit the zoo.
(B) Virtually all large metropolitan areas have zoos, whereas only a few large
metropolitan areas have pure aquariums.
(C) Over the last ten years, newly constructed pure aquariums have outnumbered
newly established zoos by a factor of two to one.
(D) People who visit a zoo in a given year are two times more likely to visit a
pure aquarium that year than are people who do not visit a zoo.
(E) The zoo aquariums of zoos that are in the same city as a pure aquarium tend
to be smaller than the aquariums of zoos that have no pure aquarium nearby.
16. Which of the following, if true, is the most logical completion of the
argument below? The tax system of the Republic of Grootland encourages borrowing
by granting its taxpayers tax relief for interest paid on loans. The system also
discourages saving by taxing any interest earned on savings. Nevertheless, it is
clear that Grootland’s tax system does not consistently favor borrowing over
saving, for if it did, there would be no______
(A) tax relief in Grootland for those portions of a taxpayer’s income, if
any, that are set aside to increase that taxpayer’s total savings
(B) tax relief in Grootland for the processing fees that taxpayers pay to
lending institutions when obtaining certain kinds of loans
(C) tax relief in Grootland for interest that taxpayers are charged on the
unpaid balance in credit card accounts
(D) taxes due in Grootland on the cash value of gifts received by taxpayers from
banks trying to encourage people to open savings accounts
(E) taxes due in Grootland on the amount that a taxpayer has invested in
interest-bearing savings accounts
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