According to a 1980 survey, ten percent of all United States : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# According to a 1980 survey, ten percent of all United States

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According to a 1980 survey, ten percent of all United States [#permalink]

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19 Mar 2009, 05:14
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According to a 1980 survey, ten percent of all United States citizens over the age of sixteen are functionally illiterate. Therefore, if the projection that there will be 250 million United States citizens over sixteen in the year 2000 is correct, we project that 25 million of these citizens will be functionally illiterate.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the conclusion drawn by the author of the passage above?

(A) The percentage of high school graduates who do not go on to college has grown steadily over the past two decades.
(B) From 1975 to 1980 there was a three-percent decrease in the rate of functional illiteracy among United States citizens over the age of sixteen.
(C) Many United States citizens included in the 1980 survey would be also included in a survey conducted in the year 2000
(D) Surveys that are improperly designed usually provide inaccurate results.
(E) In 1980 sixty-five percent of all United States citizens were over the age of sixteen.
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19 Mar 2009, 05:32
IMO -C

Not able to provide the right explanation. Eliminated other options
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21 Mar 2009, 01:04
B.
The argument assumes that the trend stays the same. B says that the trend was downwards between 1975-80.
rampuria wrote:
According to a 1980 survey, ten percent of all United States citizens over the age of sixteen are functionally illiterate. Therefore, if the projection that there will be 250 million United States citizens over sixteen in the year 2000 is correct, we project that 25 million of these citizens will be functionally illiterate.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the conclusion drawn by the author of the passage above?

(A) The percentage of high school graduates who do not go on to college has grown steadily over the past two decades.
(B) From 1975 to 1980 there was a three-percent decrease in the rate of functional illiteracy among United States citizens over the age of sixteen.
(C) Many United States citizens included in the 1980 survey would be also included in a survey conducted in the year 2000
(D) Surveys that are improperly designed usually provide inaccurate results.
(E) In 1980 sixty-five percent of all United States citizens were over the age of sixteen.
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21 Mar 2009, 03:18
B it is...
I eliminated it to A and B. Now A actually carries no signficance because it does not weaken the conclusion because it does not talk about the specific age group(above sixteen). Hence B...
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21 Mar 2009, 13:20
Hi mates,

IMO D

A out: the answer talks about high school students, therefore they are not illiterate
B out: period 1975-1980 is not in the scope of the question
C out: it was my second choice but I descarded it because the 2000-survey is not in the scope of the question
E out: nothing to do with the question

OA and Source?

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26 Mar 2009, 15:11
From which source this question is? It seems there is no meaningful answer here.
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27 Mar 2009, 05:13
IMO B.

if the pattern does not follow, conclusion will not perpetuate from pattern.
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27 Mar 2009, 08:11
Yes, certainly should be B here. We can see from B that illiteracy has already been trending downward leading up to 1980; this suggests that the illiteracy rate is not constant, and that there is no reason to expect a 10% illiteracy rate in twenty years.
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27 Mar 2009, 12:18
B it is.
Since rate has gone down so we cannot project same thing in 2000.
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27 Mar 2009, 14:22
IanStewart wrote:
Yes, certainly should be B here. We can see from B that illiteracy has already been trending downward leading up to 1980; this suggests that the illiteracy rate is not constant, and that there is no reason to expect a 10% illiteracy rate in twenty years.

While I agree that other choices do no make sense, this one needs us to estimate what happens in 20 years based on last 5 years. Even if the downward trend is true (as said in the gmat Q's) it does not necessarily mean that the trend in the 20 years will NOT remain constant. Who know? huh?
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27 Mar 2009, 14:57
icandy wrote:
IanStewart wrote:
Yes, certainly should be B here. We can see from B that illiteracy has already been trending downward leading up to 1980; this suggests that the illiteracy rate is not constant, and that there is no reason to expect a 10% illiteracy rate in twenty years.

While I agree that other choices do no make sense, this one needs us to estimate what happens in 20 years based on last 5 years. Even if the downward trend is true (as said in the gmat Q's) it does not necessarily mean that the trend in the 20 years will NOT remain constant. Who know? huh?

Bear in mind that we only need to weaken the conclusion - that is, cast some doubt on its validity. We don't need to do anything nearly as strong as disproving the argument. If the literacy rate hasn't been constant over the last five years, then it's reasonable to think that the rate could be quite different in twenty years. The projection in the argument assumes a constant literacy rate; if the literacy rate is not constant, the projection isn't likely to be correct. As you say, there's no way to be sure what the literacy rate will be in twenty years - the 25 million may turn out to be correct after all - but we have more reason to doubt that if we know that B is true.
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29 Mar 2009, 10:24
IMO C ..
OA pls !!
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29 Mar 2009, 14:28
Premise : 10% of the all population over the age of 16 are illiterates - as per 1980 survey.
Conclusion : If there are 250 millions americans over 16 in 2000, 25 million - 10% of them will be illiterates.

As per C : Many people included in the 1980 survey would also be included in the 2000 survey.
Please note that the survey talks about people in general and not about the 'people over 16 years of age'. So this has no impact on the conclusion. So what if many people of the 1980 survey get included in the 2000 survey ? The percentage of illeterates above 16 can be the same, can be less or can be more.

B - Provides an additional premise stating that between 1975 and 80, the rate of illiteracy among people over 16 years declined by 3%. So the conclusion can be modified as 'if this is true and if there will be 250 million americans over the age of 16 in 2000, 25 million ( which is 10%) of this population will not be illiterate." - Weakens the original conclusion.

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29 Mar 2009, 23:13
B and C.
C is also tempting as it suggests that since ppl will be included in the future survey the projection will be wrong.
But B is weaking the argument MORE based by attacking the assumption.
what is oA?
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08 Apr 2009, 06:51
Should be (B). Note especially IanStewart's explanation of weakening: We don't need to disprove the argument; just make it less likely by attacking one of the assumptions.
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10 Apr 2009, 10:13
I choose B, because it casts doubt on the rate of illiteracy.
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28 Oct 2009, 07:22
Although the declining rate during the past five year may not be the trend in the following 20 years but the other ans is irrelevant. So IMO B. What 's the OA?
Re: CR - Illiterate   [#permalink] 28 Oct 2009, 07:22
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