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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 trees.
(C) Many types of wild mushrooms are found only in forests and cannot easily be grown elsewhere.
(D) The harvesting of wild mushrooms stimulates future growth of those mushrooms.(D)
(E) Young Douglas fir seedlings die without the nutrients and water provided by chanterelle filaments.
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 rotating shelves?
(A) Refrigerators would not be made so that their interior space is cylindrical.
(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.(A)
(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.(B)
(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 the plots.
(D) Some weeds that compete with tomatoes cannot tolerate high amounts of magnesium salts in the soil.(E)
(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 of Veracruz.
(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 as 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 outside Veracruz.(B)
(E) Some of the wheeled ceramic toys were found near the remains of monumental structures.
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 additional economic evidence.
(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)
(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 competing products.
(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.(C)
(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 estate.
(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.(D)
(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 provided.
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.(B)
(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, regardless of volume.
(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.(B)
(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(C)
(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 individual surgeons.
(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.(C)
(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 coated skin.
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 of the preceding year.
(D) Due to the drought of 1983, United States farmers planned to plant smaller crops in 1984 than they had in 1983.(C)
(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 personnel who collect the parking fees.(A)
(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 conclusions?
(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.(C)
(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 market.
(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 of business.
(D) Most of the office equipment superstores are owned by large retailing chains that also own stores selling other types of goods.(B)
(E) The growing importance of computers in most offices has changed the kind of office equipment retailers must stock.