25 Minutes 16 Questions
1. The local board of education found that, because the current physics curriculum has little direct relevance to today’s world, physics classes attracted few high school students. So to attract students to physics classes, the board proposed a curriculum that emphasizes principles of physics involved in producing and analyzing visual images.
Which of the following, if true, provides the strongest reason to expect that the proposed curriculum will be successful in attracting students?
(A) Several of the fundamental principles of physics are involved in producing and analyzing visual images.
(B) Knowledge of physics is becoming increasingly important in understanding the technology used in today’s world.
(C) Equipment that a large producer of photographic equipment has donated to the high school could be used in the proposed curriculum.
(D) The number of students interested in physics today is much lower than the number of students interested in physics 50 years ago.(E)
(E) In today’s world the production and analysis of visual images is of major importance in communications, business, and recreation.
2. Many companies now have employee assistance programs that enable employees, free of charge, to improve their physical fitness, reduce stress, and learn ways to stop smoking. These programs increase worker productivity, reduce absenteeism, and lessen insurance costs for employee health care. Therefore, these programs benefit the company as well as the employee.
Which of the following, if true, most significantly strengthens the conclusion above?
(A) Physical fitness programs are often the most popular services offered to employees.
(B) Studies have shown that training in stress management is not effective for many people.
(C) Regular exercise reduces people’s risk of heart disease and provides them with increased energy.
(D) Physical injuries sometimes result from entering a strenuous physical fitness program too quickly.(C)
(E) Employee assistance programs require companies to hire people to supervise the various programs offered.
3. Unlike the wholesale price of raw wool, the wholesale price of raw cotton has fallen considerably in the last year. Thus, although the retail price of cotton clothing at retail clothing stores has not yet fallen, it will inevitably fall.
Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?
(A) The cost of processing raw cotton for cloth has increased during the last year.
(B) The wholesale price of raw wool is typically higher than that of the same volume of raw cotton.
(C) The operating costs of the average retail clothing store have remained constant during the last year.
(D) Changes in retail prices always lag behind changes in wholesale prices.(A)
(E) The cost of harvesting raw cotton has increased in the last year.
4. Small-business groups are lobbying to defeat proposed federal legislation that would substantially raise the federal minimum wage. This opposition is surprising since the legislation they oppose would, for the first time, exempt all small businesses from paying any minimum wage.
Which of the following, if true, would best explain the opposition of small-business groups to the proposed legislation?
(A) Under the current federal minimum-wage law, most small businesses are required to pay no less than the minimum wage to their employees.
(B) In order to attract workers, small companies must match the wages offered by their larger competitors, and these competitors would not be exempt under the proposed laws.
(C) The exact number of companies that are currently required to pay no less than the minimum wage but that would be exempt under the proposed laws is unknown.
(D) Some states have set their own minimum wages—in some cases, quite a bit above the level of the minimum wage mandated by current federal law—for certain key industries.(B)
(E) Service companies make up the majority of small businesses and they generally employ more employees per dollar of revenues than do retail or manufacturing businesses.
5. Reviewer: The book Art’s Decline argues that European painters today lack skills that were common among European painters of preceding centuries. In this the book must be right, since its analysis of 100 paintings, 50 old and 50 contemporary, demonstrates convincingly that none of the contemporary paintings are executed as skillfully as the older paintings.
Which of the following points to the most serious logical flaw in the reviewer’s argument?
(A) The paintings chosen by the book’s author for analysis could be those that most support the book’s thesis.
(B) There could be criteria other than the technical skill of the artist by which to evaluate a painting.
(C) The title of the book could cause readers to accept the book’s thesis even before they read the analysis of the paintings that supports it.
(D) The particular methods currently used by European painters could require less artistic skill than do methods used by painters in other parts of the world.(A)
(E) A reader who was not familiar with the language of art criticism might not be convinced by the book’s analysis of the 100 paintings.
6. The pharmaceutical industry argues that because new drugs will not be developed unless heavy development costs can be recouped in later sales, the current 20 years of protection provided by patents should be extended in the case of newly developed drugs. However, in other industries new-product development continues despite high development costs, a fact that indicates that the extension is unnecessary.
Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the pharmaceutical industry’s argument against the challenge made above?
(A) No industries other than the pharmaceutical industry have asked for an extension of the 20-year limit on patent protection.
(B) Clinical trials of new drugs, which occur after the patent is granted and before the new drug can be marketed, often now take as long as 10 years to complete.
(C) There are several industries in which the ratio of research and development costs to revenues is higher than it is in the pharmaceutical industry.
(D) An existing patent for a drug does not legally prevent pharmaceutical companies from bringing to market alternative drugs, provided they are sufficiently dissimilar to the patented drug.(B)
(E) Much recent industrial innovation has occurred in products—for example, in the computer and electronics industries—for which patent protection is often very ineffective.
Questions 7-8 are based on the following.
Bank depositors in the United States are all financially protected against bank failure because the government insures all individuals’ bank deposits. An economist argues that this insurance is partly responsible for the high rate of bank failures, since it removes from depositors any financial incentive to find out whether the bank that holds their money is secure against failure. If depositors were more selective, then banks would need to be secure in order to compete for depositors’ money.
7. The economist’s argument makes which of the following assumptions?
(A) Bank failures are caused when big borrowers default on loan repayments.
(B) A significant proportion of depositors maintain accounts at several different banks.
(C) The more a depositor has to deposit, the more careful he or she tends to be in selecting a bank.
(D) The difference in the interest rates paid to depositors by different banks is not a significant factor in bank failures.(E)
(E) Potential depositors are able to determine which banks are secure against failure.
8. Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the economist’s argument?
(A) Before the government started to insure depositors against bank failure, there was a lower rate of bank failure than there is now.
(B) When the government did not insure deposits, frequent bank failures occurred as a result of depositors’ fears of losing money in bank failures.
(C) Surveys show that a significant proportion of depositors are aware that their deposits are insured by the government.
(D) There is an upper limit on the amount of an individual’s deposit that the government will insure, but very few individuals’ deposits exceed this limit.(B)
(E) The security of a bank against failure depends on the percentage of its assets that are loaned out and also on how much risk its loans involve.
9. Passengers must exit airplanes swiftly after accidents, since gases released following accidents are toxic to humans and often explode soon after being released. In order to prevent passenger deaths from gas inhalation, safety officials recommend that passengers be provided with smoke hoods that prevent inhalation of the gases.
Which of the following, if true, constitutes the strongest reason not to require implementation of the safety officials’ recommendation?
(A) Test evacuations showed that putting on the smoke hoods added considerably to the overall time it took passengers to leave the cabin.
(B) Some airlines are unwilling to buy the smoke hoods because they consider them to be prohibitively expensive.
(C) Although the smoke hoods protect passengers from the toxic gases, they can do nothing to prevent the gases from igniting.
(D) Some experienced flyers fail to pay attention to the safety instructions given on every commercial flight before takeoff.(A)
(E) In many airplane accidents, passengers who were able to reach emergency exits were overcome by toxic gases before they could exit the airplane.
10. In 1960, 10 percent of every dollar paid in automobile insurance premiums went to pay costs arising from injuries incurred in car accidents. In 1990, 50 percent of every dollar paid in automobile insurance premiums went toward such costs, despite the fact that cars were much safer in 1990 than in 1960.
Which of the following, if true, best explains the discrepancy outlined above?
(A) There were fewer accidents in 1990 than in 1960.
(B) On average, people drove more slowly in 1990 than in 1960.
(C) Cars grew increasingly more expensive to repair over the period in question.
(D) The price of insurance increased more rapidly than the rate of inflation between 1960 and 1990.(E)
(E) Health-care costs rose sharply between 1960 and 1990.
11. Caterpillars of all species produce an identical hormone called “juvenile hormone” that maintains feeding behavior. Only when a caterpillar has grown to the right size for pupation to take place does a special enzyme halt the production of juvenile hormone. This enzyme can be synthesized and will, on being ingested by immature caterpillars, kill them by stopping them from feeding.
Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the view that it would not be advisable to try to eradicate agricultural pests that go through a caterpillar stage by spraying croplands with the enzyme mentioned above?
(A) Most species of caterpillar are subject to some natural predation.
(B) Many agricultural pests do not go through a caterpillar stage.
(C) Many agriculturally beneficial insects go through a caterpillar stage.
(D) Since caterpillars of different species emerge at different times, several sprayings would be necessary.(C)
(E) Although the enzyme has been synthesized in the laboratory, no large-scale production facilities exist as yet.
12. Although aspirin has been proven to eliminate moderate fever associated with some illnesses, many doctors no longer routinely recommend its use for this purpose. A moderate fever stimulates the activity of the body’s disease-fighting white blood cells and also inhibits the growth of many strains of disease-causing bacteria.
If the statements above are true, which of the following conclusions is most strongly supported by them?
(A) Aspirin, an effective painkiller, alleviates the pain and discomfort of many illnesses.
(B) Aspirin can prolong a patient’s illness by eliminating moderate fever helpful in fighting some diseases.
(C) Aspirin inhibits the growth of white blood cells, which are necessary for fighting some illnesses.
(D) The more white blood cells a patient’s body produces, the less severe the patient’s illness will be.(B)
(E) The focus of modern medicine is on inhibiting the growth of disease-causing bacteria within the body.
13. Because postage rates are rising, Home Decorator magazine plans to maximize its profits by reducing by one half the number of issues it publishes each year. The quality of articles, the number of articles published per year, and the subscription price will not change. Market research shows that neither subscribers nor advertisers will be lost if the magazine’s plan is instituted.
Which of the following, if true, provides the strongest evidence that the magazine’s profits are likely to decline if the plan is instituted?
(A) With the new postage rates, a typical issue under the proposed plan would cost about one-third more to mail than a typical current issue would.
(B) The majority of the magazine’s subscribers are less concerned about a possible reduction in the quantity of the magazine’s articles than about a possible loss of the current high quality of its articles.
(C) Many of the magazine’s long-time subscribers would continue their subscriptions even if the subscription price were increased.
(D) Most of the advertisers that purchase advertising space in the magazine will continue to spend the same amount on advertising per issue as they have in the past.(D)
(E) Production costs for the magazine are expected to remain stable.
14. A study of marital relationships in which one partner’s sleeping and waking cycles differ from those of the other partner reveals that such couples share fewer activities with each other and have more violent arguments than do couples in a relationship in which both partners follow the same sleeping and waking patterns. Thus, mismatched sleeping and waking cycles can seriously jeopardize a marriage.
Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?
(A) Married couples in which both spouses follow the same sleeping and waking patterns also occasionally have arguments than can jeopardize the couple’s marriage.
(B) The sleeping and waking cycles of individuals tend to vary from season to season.
(C) The individuals who have sleeping and waking cycles that differ significantly from those of their spouses tend to argue little with colleagues at work.
(D) People in unhappy marriages have been found to express hostility by adopting a different sleeping and waking cycle from that of their spouses.(D)
(E) According to a recent study, most people’s sleeping and waking cycles can be controlled and modified easily.
Questions 15-16 are based on the following.
Roland: The alarming fact is that 90 percent of the people in this country now report that they know someone who is unemployed.
Sharon: But a normal, moderate level of unemployment is 5 percent, with 1 out of 20 workers unemployed. So at any given time if a person knows approximately 50 workers, 1 or more will very likely be unemployed.
15. Sharon’s argument is structured to lead to which of the following as a conclusion?
(A) The fact that 90% of the people know someone who is unemployed is not an indication that unemployment is abnormally high.
(B) The current level of unemployment is not moderate.
(C) If at least 5% of workers are unemployed, the result of questioning a representative group of people cannot be the percentage Roland cites.
(D) It is unlikely that the people whose statements Roland cites are giving accurate reports.(A)
(E) If an unemployment figure is given as a certain percent, the actual percentage of those without jobs is even higher.
16. Sharon’s argument relies on the assumption that
(A) normal levels of unemployment are rarely exceeded
(B) unemployment is not normally concentrated in geographically isolated segments of the population
(C) the number of people who each know someone who is unemployed is always higher than 90% of the population
(D) Roland is not consciously distorting the statistics he presents(B)
(E) knowledge that a personal acquaintance is unemployed generates more fear of losing one’s job than does knowledge of unemployment statistics