A certain baseball team has just completed its season. In stadiums that seat 20,000 or fewer people, the team
averaged 1 home run per game; in stadiums that seat between 20,000 and 40,000 people, the team averaged 2
home runs per game; and, in stadiums that seat 40,000 or more people, the team averaged 3 home runs per
game. Obviously, the excitement of playing in front of large crowds motivated the team to hit more home runs.
Assuming that all stadiums during the season were filled to capacity, which of the following, if true, most undermines
the argument above?
A0 The team’s leading home run hitter hit more home runs in mid-sized stadiums than in large stadiums.
B) The fans in the larger stadiums often cheered against the team.
C) The team averaged only 2 home runs per game when playing in the league’s largest stadium.
D) In order to create seating for the additional fans, the outfield walls in the larger stadiums were constructed closer
to home base.
E) The team’s announcer cited crowd noise as a major motivator for the team.
Some great responses to this question already, so I just wanted to chime in with a little general context. The assumption made here eliminates alternatives
. Be on the lookout for this category of assumption any time the Conclusion provides an explanation for some phenomenon:Premise:
The team hits more homeruns in stadiums with larger capacity. (This is a phenomenon that has been observed.)Conclusion:
The excitement of a larger crowd causes the team to hit more homeruns. (This is an explanation of the phenomenon.
The first question you should ask when you see this structure is "are there any other explanations?"
The correct answer to a Find the Assumption
or Strengthen the Conclusion
question should eliminate the alternatives. The correct answer to an Evaluate the Argument
question should ask if there are alternatives. And the correct answer to a Weaken the Conclusion
question should provide at least one such alternative – (D) does the trick in this problem.
Try to place assumptions into categories such as this one. It makes brainstorming much easier!
Mark Sullivan | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | Seattle, WA
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