Even though a lot of agreement on this one in terms of the answer, no one seems to have really gone all out to explain what's going on through technique. Because at least one person had questions, I figured I'd take them on. Let's do it!
A recent report on an environmental improvement program was criticized for focusing solely on pragmatic solutions to the large number of significant problems that plague the program instead of seriously trying to produce a coherent vision for the future of the program. In response the report’s authors granted that the critics had raised a valid point but explained that, to do anything at all, the program needed continued government funding, and that to get such funding the program first needed to regain a reputation for competence.
Criticism: Report criticized for focusing on fix problems, not thinking of future.
Response: To move forward, need funding, and funding comes with competence.
1.The basic position taken by the report’s authors on the criticism leveled against the report is that
(A) addressing the critics’ concern now would be premature
ANSWER: This argument is about the future, and the authors are focusing on the present. This is correct, because they're arguing that they need to get funding (in the present) before worrying about the future).
(B) the critics’ motives are self-serving
PROBLEM: No information is given on the motives of the critics.
(C) the notion of a coherent vision would be inappropriate to a program of the sort at issue
PROBLEM: We can't ignore that "critics raised a valid point". They agree about the vision, but only say they can't worry about it unless they continue to get funding.
(D) the authors of the report are more knowledgeable than its critics
PROBLEM: Whether or not this is true, the authors do not mention that they have any kind of special knowledge.
(E) giving the report a single focus is less desirable than the critics claim
PROBLEM: Again, they don't disagree with the critics, except to say that they need to worry about something else first.
2. Which one of the following, if true, would best serve the critics of the report in their attempt to undermine the position taken by the report’s authors?
(A) The government does not actually provide a full l00 percent of the program’s funding.
PROBLEM: Doesn't have to be a full 100%. Now, if it only provided 1%, that would be a different issue.
(B) The program will continue to have numerous serious problems precisely because it lacks a coherent vision for its future.
ANSWER: This means that they will never be seen as competent until they worry about the future, so the authors argument doesn't make any sense.
(C) The program had a coherent vision at its inception, but that vision has proved impossible to sustain.
PROBLEM: This wouldn't help at all. In fact, it might even hurt the argument to say that the vision is impossible to sustain (because then why would it be worth worrying about?).
(D) The government has threatened to cut off funding for the program but has not acted yet on this threat.
PROBLEM: Again, this would probably HELP the author's argument, because their worries about government funding in the present are critical.
(E) The program has acquired a worse reputation for incompetence than it deserves.
PROBLEM: This doesn't help anyone, because even if the program isn't as bad as it sounds, it still needs funding, and it still needs vision.
Hope that helps!
Tommy Wallach | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | San Francisco
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