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25 Minutes 16 Questions
1. Cable-television spokesperson: Subscriptions to cable television are a bargain in comparison to “free” television. Remember that “free” television is not really free. It is consumers, in the end, who pay for the costly advertising that supports “free” television.
Which of the following, if true, is most damaging to the position of the cable-television spokesperson?
(A) Consumers who do not own television sets are less likely to be influenced in their purchasing decisions by television advertising than are consumers who own television sets.
(B) Subscriptions to cable television include access to some public-television channels, which do not accept advertising.
(C) For locations with poor television reception, cable television provides picture quality superior to that provided by free television.
(D) There is as much advertising on many cable-television channels as there is on “free” television channels.(D)
(E) Cable-television subscribers can choose which channels they wish to receive, and the fees vary accordingly.
2. Woodsmoke contains dangerous toxins that cause changes in human cells. Because woodsmoke presents such a high health risk, legislation is needed to regulate the use of open-air fires and wood-burning stoves.
Which of the following, if true, provides the most support for the argument above?
(A) The amount of dangerous toxins contained in woodsmoke is much less than the amount contained in an equal volume of automobile exhaust.
(B) Within the jurisdiction covered by the proposed legislation, most heating and cooking is done with oil or natural gas.
(C) Smoke produced by coal-burning stoves is significantly more toxic than smoke from wood-burning stoves.
(D) No significant beneficial effect on air quality would result if open-air fires were banned within the jurisdiction covered by the proposed legislation.(E)
(E) In valleys where wood is used as the primary heating fuel, the concentration of smoke results in poor air quality.
3. Within 20 years it will probably be possible to identify the genetic susceptibility an individual may have toward any particular disease. Eventually, effective strategies will be discovered to counteract each such susceptibility. Once these effective strategies are found, therefore, the people who follow them will never get sick.
The argument above is based on which of the following assumptions?
(A) For every disease there is only one strategy that can prevent its occurrence.
(B) In the future, genetics will be the only medical specialty of any importance.
(C) All human sicknesses are in part the result of individuals’ genetic susceptibilities.
(D) All humans are genetically susceptible to some diseases.(C)
(E) People will follow medical advice when they are convinced that it is effective.
4. Most employees in the computer industry move from company to company, changing jobs several times in their careers. However, Summit Computers is known throughout the industry for retaining its employees. Summit credits its success in retaining employees to its informal, nonhierarchical work environment.
Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports Summit’s explanation of its success in retaining employees?
(A) Some people employed in the computer industry change jobs if they become bored with their current projects.
(B) A hierarchical work environment hinders the cooperative exchange of ideas that computer industry employees consider necessary for their work.
(C) Many of Summit’s senior employees had previously worked at only one other computer company.
(D) In a nonhierarchical work environment, people avoid behavior that might threaten group harmony and thus avoid discussing with their colleagues any dissatisfaction they might have with their jobs.(B)
(E) The cost of living near Summit is relatively low compared to areas in which some other computer companies are located.
5. Financing for a large construction project was provided by a group of banks. When the money was gone before the project was completed, the banks approved additional loans. Now, with funds used up again and completion still not at hand, the banks refuse to extend further loans, although without those loans, the project is doomed.
Which of the following, if true, best explains why the bank’s current reaction is different from their reaction in the previous instance of depletion of funds?
(A) The banks have reassessed the income potential of the completed project and have concluded that total income generable would be less than total interest due on the old plus the needed new loans.
(B) The banks have identified several other projects that offer faster repayment of the principal if loans are approved now to get those projects started.
(C) The banks had agreed with the borrowers that the construction loans would be secured by the completed project.
(D) The cost overruns were largely due to unforeseeable problems that arose in the most difficult phase of the construction work.(A)
(E) The project stimulated the development and refinement of several new construction techniques, which will make it easier and cheaper to carry out similar projects in the future.
6. Low-income families are often unable to afford as much child care as they need. One government program would award low-income families a refund on the income taxes they pay of as much as $1,000 for each child under age four. This program would make it possible for all low-income families with children under age four to obtain more child care than they otherwise would have been able to afford.
Which of the following, if true, most seriously calls into question the claim that the program would make it possible for all low-income families to obtain more child care?
(A) The average family with children under age four spends more than $1,000 a year on child care.
(B) Some low-income families in which one of the parents is usually available to care for children under age four may not want to spend their income tax refund on child care.
(C) The reduction in government revenues stemming from the income tax refund will necessitate cuts in other government programs, such as grants for higher education.
(D) Many low-income families with children under age four do not pay any income taxes because their total income is too low to be subject to such taxes.(D)
(E) Income taxes have increased substantially over the past twenty years, reducing the money that low-income families have available to spend on child care.
7. Not scored
8. Although parapsychology is often considered a pseudoscience, it is in fact a genuine scientific enterprise, for it uses scientific methods such as controlled experiments and statistical tests of clearly stated hypotheses to examine the questions it raises.
The conclusion above is properly drawn if which of the following is assumed?
(A) If a field of study can conclusively answer the questions it raises, then it is a genuine science.
(B) Since parapsychology uses scientific methods, it will produce credible results.
(C) Any enterprise that does not use controlled experiments and statistical tests is not genuine science.
(D) Any field of study that employs scientific methods is a genuine scientific enterprise.(D)
(E) Since parapsychology raises clearly statable questions, they can be tested in controlled experiments.
9. Hotco oil burners, designed to be used in asphalt plants, are so efficient that Hotco will sell one to the Clifton Asphalt plant for no payment other than the cost savings between the total amount the asphalt plant actually paid for oil using its former burner during the last two years and the total amount it will pay for oil using the Hotco burner during the next two years. On installation, the plant will make an estimated payment, which will be adjusted after two years to equal the actual cost savings.
Which of the following, if it occurred, would constitute a disadvantage for Hotco of the plan described above?
(A) Another manufacturer’s introduction to the market of a similarly efficient burner
(B) The Clifton Asphalt plant’s need for more than one new burner
(C) Very poor efficiency in the Clifton Asphalt plant’s old burner
(D) A decrease in the demand for asphalt(E)
(E) A steady increase in the price of oil beginning soon after the new burner is installed
10. Today’s low gasoline prices make consumers willing to indulge their preference for larger cars, which consume greater amounts of gasoline as fuel. So United States automakers are unwilling to pursue the development of new fuel-efficient technologies aggressively. The particular reluctance of the United States automobile industry to do so, however, could threaten the industry’s future.
Which of the following, if true, would provide the most support for the claim above about the future of the United States automobile industry?
(A) A prototype fuel-efficient vehicle, built five years ago, achieves a very high 81 miles per gallon on the highway and 63 in the city, but its materials are relatively costly.
(B) Small cars sold by manufacturers in the United States are more fuel efficient now than before the sudden jump in oil prices in 1973.
(C) Automakers elsewhere in the world have slowed the introduction of fuel-efficient technologies but have pressed ahead with research and development of them in preparation for a predicted rise in world oil prices.
(D) There are many technological opportunities for reducing the waste of energy in cars and light trucks through weight, aerodynamic drag, and braking friction.(C)
(E) The promotion of mass transit over automobiles as an alternative mode of transportation has encountered consumer resistance that is due in part to the failure of mass transit to accommodate the wide dispersal of points of origin and destinations for trips.
11. An experiment was done in which human subjects recognize a pattern within a matrix of abstract designs and then select another design that completes that pattern. The results of the experiment were surprising. The lowest expenditure of energy in neurons in the brain was found in those subjects who performed most successfully in the experiments.
Which of the following hypotheses best accounts for the findings of the experiment?
(A) The neurons of the brain react less when a subject is trying to recognize patterns than when the subject is doing other kinds of reasoning.
(B) Those who performed best in the experiment experienced more satisfaction when working with abstract patterns than did those who performed less well.
(C) People who are better at abstract pattern recognition have more energy-efficient neural connections.
(D) The energy expenditure of the subjects brains increases when a design that completes the initially recognized pattern is determined.(C)
(E) The task of completing a given design is more capably performed by athletes, whose energy expenditure is lower when they are at rest than is that of the general population.
12. A researcher studying drug addicts found that, on average, they tend to manipulate other people a great deal more than nonaddicts do. The researcher concluded that people who frequently manipulate other people are likely to become addicts.
Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the researcher’s conclusion?
(A) After becoming addicted to drugs, drug addicts learn to manipulate other people as a way of obtaining drugs.
(B) When they are imprisoned, drug addicts often use their ability to manipulate other people to obtain better living conditions.
(C) Some nonaddicts manipulate other people more than some addicts do.
(D) People who are likely to become addicts exhibit unusual behavior patterns other than frequent manipulation of other people.(A)
(E) The addicts that the researcher studied were often unsuccessful in obtaining what they wanted when they manipulated other people.
13. One way to judge the performance of a company is to compare it with other companies. This technique, commonly called “benchmarking,” permits the manager of a company to discover better industrial practices and can provide a justification for the adoption of good practices.
Any of the following, if true, is a valid reason for benchmarking the performance of a company against companies with which it is not in competition rather than against competitors EXCEPT:
(A) Comparisons with competitors are most likely to focus on practices that the manager making the comparisons already employs.
(B) Getting “inside” information about the unique practices of competitors is particularly difficult.
(C) Since companies that compete with each other are likely to have comparable levels of efficiency, only benchmarking against noncompetitors is likely to reveal practices that would aid in beating competitors.
(D) Managers are generally more receptive to new ideas that they find outside their own industry.(E)
(E) Much of the success of good companies is due to their adoption of practices that take advantage of the special circumstances of their products of markets.
14. Among the more effective kinds of publicity that publishers can get for a new book is to have excerpts of it published in a high-circulation magazine soon before the book is published. The benefits of such excerption include not only a sure increase in sales but also a fee paid by the magazine to the book’s publisher.
Which of the following conclusions is best supported by the information above?
(A) The number of people for whom seeing an excerpt of a book in a magazine provides an adequate substitute for reading the whole book is smaller than the number for whom the excerpt stimulates a desire to read the book.
(B) Because the financial advantage of excerpting a new book in a magazine usually accrues to the book’s publisher, magazine editors are unwilling to publish excerpts from new books.
(C) In calculating the total number of copies that a book has sold, publishers include sales of copies of magazines that featured an excerpt of the book.
(D) The effectiveness of having excerpts of a book published in a magazine, measured in terms of increased sales of a book, is proportional to the circulation of the magazine in which the excerpts are published.(A)
(E) Books that are suitable for excerpting in high-circulation magazines sell more copies than books that are not suitable for excerpting.
15. In Swartkans territory, archaeologists discovered charred bone fragments dating back 1 million years. Analysis of the fragments, which came from a variety of animals, showed that they had been heated to temperatures no higher than those produced in experimental campfires made from branches of white stinkwood, the most common tree around Swartkans.
Which of the following, if true, would, together with the information above, provide the best basis for the claim that the charred bone fragments are evidence of the use of fire by early hominids?
(A) The white stinkwood tree is used for building material by the present-day inhabitants of Swartkans.
(B) Forest fires can heat wood to a range of temperatures that occur in campfires.
(C) The bone fragments were fitted together by the archaeologists to form the complete skeletons of several animals.
(D) Apart from the Swartkans discovery, there is reliable evidence that early hominids used fire as many as 500 thousand years ago.(E)
(E) The bone fragments were found in several distinct layers of limestone that contained primitive cutting tools known to have been used by early hominids.
16. For a trade embargo against a particular country to succeed, a high degree of both international accord and ability to prevent goods from entering or leaving that country must be sustained. A total blockade of Patria’s ports is necessary to an embargo, but such an action would be likely to cause international discord over the embargo.
The claims above, if true, most strongly support which of the following conclusions?
(A) The balance of opinion is likely to favor Patria in the event of a blockade.
(B) As long as international opinion is unanimously against Patria, a trade embargo is likely to succeed.
(C) A naval blockade of Patria’s ports would ensure that no goods enter or leave Patria.
(D) Any trade embargo against Patria would be likely to fail at some time.(D)
(E) For a blockade of Patria’s ports to be successful, international opinion must be unanimous.