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# Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been

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22 Oct 2011, 13:26
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Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been required to pass a comprehensive proficiency exam before they are allowed to graduate. The exam requirement was intended to ensure that a minimum level of academic quality will be achieved by the students in the state. In 1997, 20 percent of the seniors did not pass the exam and were, therefore, not allowed to graduate. In 1998, the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from the previous year.

The argument above, if true, LEAST supports which of the following statement.

A. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam increased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors decreased during that time period.
B. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors increased during that time period.
C. Unless the number of high school seniors was lower in 1998 than in 1997, the number of seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was lower than 80 percent.
D. If the number of high school seniors who did not pass the exam decreased by more than 10 percent from 1997 to 1998, the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was greater than 80 percent.
E. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70 percent, the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than the number in 1998.

Please provide an explanation with actual numbers.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
If you have any questions
you can ask an expert
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2011, 09:36
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Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been required to pass a comprehensive proficiency exam before they are allowed to graduate. The exam requirement was intended to ensure that a minimum level of academic quality will be achieved by the students in the state. In 1997, 20 percent of the seniors did not pass the exam and were, therefore, not allowed to graduate. In 1998, the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from the previous year.

The argument above, if true, LEAST supports which of the following statement.

A. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam increased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors decreased during that time period.
B. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors increased during that time period.
C. Unless the number of high school seniors was lower in 1998 than in 1997, the number of seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was lower than 80 percent.
D. If the number of high school seniors who did not pass the exam decreased by more than 10 percent from 1997 to 1998, the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was greater than 80 percent.
E. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70 percent, the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than the number in 1998.

Please provide an explanation with actual numbers.

OA:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
B

1997 80% passed, 20% failed
1998 number who passed decreased by 10% from number who passed in 1997
Both in 1997 and 1998 we don't know what was the number of students.

Lets start by taking a number for 1997, say 100 students appeared and 80 passed, 20 failed.
In 1998, we 'll have 10% fewer passing than 1997, so 72 passed the exam.

Now, lets look at the choices.
A - If the percentage of students who passed increased in 1998... so 72 is > 80% of x (x being number of students in 1998.
72 > 0.8x or x<90 so Choice A is valid. Note that the question stem asks for LEAST possible conclusion.

B - %passing decreased. so, 72/x*100 < 80 or 72/x < 0.8 or x>90. x could be 91 or 120. Don't know.

C - Not necessarily true. Number of students can remain the same, say 100 and the number of students passing is less than 80%, ie. 72%.

D - We know that the number of students passing the exam decreased by 10%, lets not evaluate this.

E - The percentage of passing students in 1998 would be less than 70% is when number of students in 1998 is greater than number of students in 1997. >102 to be precise.

As in case of B, the conclusion may or may not be true depending upon how much the percentage has decreased. In case of E the number of students in 1997 can not be greater than that in 1998.

This analysis would take more than 5-10 minutes. What's the source and are you sure the OA is B? What's the explanation at the source?
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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17 Jul 2013, 13:29
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Omraan wrote:
hi there
I dont see why B is correct
sounds odd actually
Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been required to pass a comprehensive proficiency exam before they are allowed to graduate. The exam requirement was intended to ensure that a minimum level of academic quality will be achieved by the students in the state. In 1997, 20 percent of the seniors did not pass the exam and were, therefore, not allowed to graduate. In 1998, the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from the previous year.

The argument above, if true, LEAST supports which of the following statement.

A. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam increased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors decreased during that time period.
B. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors increased during that time period.
C. Unless the number of high school seniors was lower in 1998 than in 1997, the number of seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was lower than 80 percent.
D. If the number of high school seniors who did not pass the exam decreased by more than 10 percent from 1997 to 1998, the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was greater than 80 percent.
E. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70 percent, the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than the number in 1998.

This question is tough.
Understand the assumption (hidden statement) is KEY

ANALYZE THE STIMULUS:

Fact: The argument says: In 1997, 20 percent of the seniors did not pass the exam and were, therefore, not allowed to graduate.
Fact: In 1998, the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from the previous year.

What the argument implies?
It implies that from 1997 to 1998, the percentage of "NOT passed" the exam is still 20% (KEY), however, the number of seniors passed the exam decreased 10%. Therefore, the total number of high school seniors in 1998 was less than in 1997.

Example to back up
1997: total students: 100, passed: 80, not passed 20 (20%)
1998: total students: X, passed: 72 (less than 10% of 80) = 80% of X. KEY (the argument assumes the percentage of fails is still 20%)
Clearly, X must be fewer than 100.

How the argument can switch the object from "percentage of failed" (variable 1) to "the number of pass" (variable 2) without conflicts?
THE MAIN IDEA IS: The argument MUST FIX one variable to make the other variable be correct. If both variables are not fixed, the logic is out.

Now, we have an idea in mind “any answer that mention the number of students in 1997 is higher than that in 1998 is true”. Answer that mentions the total number of students in 1998 is higher than in 1997 will be out of logic ==> That's the option which will be LEAST supported by the stimulus.

A. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam increased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors decreased during that time period.
Wrong. A mentions the number of high school seniors decreased from 1997 to 1998. This is true. So A will be supported by stimulus, hence A is wrong.

B. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors increased during that time period.
Correct. B mentions the case in which the number of high school seniors in 1998 is higher than that in 1997. Thus, B will be least supported by the stimulus. Hence, B is correct.

C. Unless the number of high school seniors was lower in 1998 than in 1997, the number of seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was lower than 80 percent.
Wrong. C implies that if the number of high school senior was equal or higher in 1998 than in 1997, the percentage of “passed” will be lower than 80%. It’s correct because the number of “passed” is fixed (10% less than in 1997), total number increases, percentage decreases. That’s the normal logic. C is also supported by the stimulus, hence C is wrong.

D. If the number of high school seniors who did not pass the exam decreased by more than 10 percent from 1997 to 1998, the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was greater than 80 percent.
Wrong. Sure, it’s true. If the number of “NOT passed” decrease by more than 10% from 1997 to 1998, the percentage of “passed” increased. Thus, the number of high school who passed was greater. D is supported by the stimulus, D is wrong.

E. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70 percent, the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than the number in 1998.
Wrong. VERY TEMPTING. E mentions the case in which the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than in 1998. It’s clearly be supported by the stimulus, hence E is wrong.

Hope it helps.
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06 Aug 2013, 08:23
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The correct answer should be E. I am gonna show that E is not supported in any case and B is sometimes supported:

1997 People who failed 20 %, People who passed 80 % --> 80 (Let's suppose we are dealing with 100 students)
1998 People who failed ?? %, People who passed ?? % --> 72 (10 % fewer students)

B. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors increased during that time period.
Two cases: % of students who pass 75 % --> Total number of students 96 --> Not supported
% of students who pass 60 % --> Total number of students 120 --> Supported
As we can see B is not univocal.

E. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70 percent, the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than the number in 1998.

Kudos if you liked it!!!

% of students who pass 70 % --> Total number of students 103 --> Not supported
% of students who pass 20 % --> Total number of students 360 --> Not supported

We can see that E is never supported and B is sometimes.
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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30 Oct 2011, 21:01
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The answer is straight B. !
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2011, 08:24
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Wow. This is tough. Can someone explain this in detail?
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2011, 09:12
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This is a tough one but i'll share my 2 cents.

1997 - 80% pass/ 20% fail.
1998 - 72% pass/ 28% fail. (becasue the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from 1997)

After reading options we can observe that only option (B) talks inline with the facts - If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998. Rest all talks weird/inconsistent number or percentage.

Let me know your thoughts. Cheers!
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2011, 05:41
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Tough one. I make the mistake for A. A and B really contradict. So, the smart approach is to critical thinking between these two options.
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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26 Dec 2011, 11:28
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B
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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27 Dec 2011, 00:55
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1997 the students who didn't passed 20% (x)
1998 the students who didn't pass was inc. by 10% = X + 10 % of x = y

so how can this be possible, how can the number of passing students dec.
the no# 1. if the number of students decreased...

this is opposed by B

Hence B.
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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23 Feb 2012, 11:28
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Actually I see the light here. Sorry for my earlier posts. Come to think of it, this was pretty straightforward. It is highly confusing because you have to go through all the optins in any case in a question like this, since it asks for the least possible. So many numbers are being talked about and randomly, so I guess this was a reall cracker.

But here is the reason that I think. Here is how:

From Question Stem:
"In 1998, the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from the previous year". This is the key statement. We already know that the number of students is less in 1998 than in 1997. Just re-read the statement and it is obvious.

Now Option B says:

B. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors increased during that time period.

We already know that the number of student decreased so B is totally out of the question, the least likely.
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2012, 11:42
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It immediately read like a question beyond Einstein and so with 2.23 already on the clock, chose to say screw it, moving on and selected B because c,d and e suspiciously gave some precise, extra info, so left between A and B, i was like this question is a real B!tch, which starts with B. so imma choose B. where's that meme with a baby pulling a heck yeah fist punch.

devinawilliam83 wrote:
Eventually got the answer but this took me a lot of time.Is it possible to solve questions like these in under 2 minutes?
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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29 Oct 2013, 21:30
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I think the answer is E. My explanation is in the attached picture.
Attachments

20131030_002129.jpg [ 2.66 MiB | Viewed 2644 times ]

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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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17 Jul 2014, 05:04
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Yes it is;
The key is to understand that this question requires you to breakdown and assimilate confusingly represented data.
In such cases putting down the logic / data points into manageable bits in your scratch pad/paper will help immensely.

Here's what the data says (I'm assuming that 1997's student strength is 100)
We know that
Pass = 80
Fail = 20

But in 1998 number of pass reduced by 10% of previous year: therefore total number of pass = 72
(note that they haven't told us what the total number of students is)

So let's account for all possibilities:
Student population of 1998 was 1. lower, 2. same, 3. more

Let me assign numbers
1. 80 then
Pass = 72
Fail = 8

2. 100
Pass = 72
Fail = 28

3. 200
Pass = 72
Fail = 128

Now let's look at the options:

A. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam increased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors decreased during that time period. this refers to the second case and this statement is TRUE
B. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors increased during that time period. This is not necessary since if % of passing decreased - total could be equal OR more
C. Unless the number of high school seniors was lower in 1998 than in 1997, the number of seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was lower than 80 percent. Case 1 - TRUE
D. If the number of high school seniors who did not pass the exam decreased by more than 10 percent from 1997 to 1998, the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was greater than 80 percent. This is TRUE - extrapolation of case 1
E. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70 percent, the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than the number in 1998. This is TRUE - case 3

Hope that clarifies things!

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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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13 Aug 2014, 05:04
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PiyushK wrote:
Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been required to pass a comprehensive proficiency exam before they are allowed to graduate. The exam requirement was intended to ensure that a minimum level of academic quality will be achieved by the students in the state. In 1997, 20 percent of the seniors did not pass the exam and were, therefore, not allowed to graduate. In 1998, the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from the previous year.

The argument above, if true, LEAST supports which of the following statement.

Given:
In 1997 : 100 STUDENTS = 80 PASSED | 20 FAILED
In 1998 : X students = 72 PASSED | X - 72 FAILED (X CANNOT BE LESS THAN 72)

A. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam increased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors decreased during that time period.

72 = 80/100 X = 90 thus X should be less than 90, A supports the argument.

B. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors increased during that time period.

X must be greater than 90 to have number of seniors passed below 80% in 1998. number of high school senior increased or decreased can't say.

72---90--(X)--100--(X)-- value of X can lie anywhere above 90.

C. Unless the number of high school seniors was lower in 1998 than in 1997, the number of seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was lower than 80 percent.

72---(X)--90--(X)---100 Condition unless the number of seniors lower than 100 in 1998 then 1997... the number of seniors passed in 1998 was lower than 80%... lets say if X is between 90 - 100 pass percentage will be below 80%. e.g. 72 passed out of 95 = pass percentage 75%; if X is below 90 say 80 then 72 passed out of 80 = 90% passed.
Thus conditions does not support both possibilities.

D. If the number of high school seniors who did not pass the exam decreased by more than 10 percent from 1997 to 1998, the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was greater than 80 percent.
Number of high school seniors failed in 1997 = 20 decreased by more than 10%: means number of high school seniors failed in 1998 less than 18.

in 1998 72 passed + (less than 18 failed = 17 failed) = 89 max limit. 72/89 * 100 = 80.89% approx. if we further reduce failed between 0 - 17 inclusive percentage will increase. thus this option supports the argument.

E. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70 percent, the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than the number in 1998.

72 = 70/100 X
X = 102.85 Thus X must be greater than 102.

e.g. if I take X 69%
72=69/100 X
X= 104

SIMILARLY for any percentage below 70 to keep passed student equal to 72. I will have to increase the value of X.
Therefore number of high school seniors in 1997 (100) < number of high school seniors in 1998 (102++)

Therefore E LEAST supported among all.

Choice E can be supported by the argument.

From the argument:
"In 1998, the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from the previous year."

It doesn't matter what number of seniors there are in 1998.

The number of seniors in 1997 is always > the number of seniors in 1998.

The answer is Choice B.

I used 100 as my value for "passed students in '97": so, I'm left with 25 failed and 125 total for '97 ---- and, 90 passed for '98.
Now, Choice B says:

"If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998, the number of high schools seniors increased during that time period."

This statement is referring to the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in '97 and '98, respectively.
In '97, 80% passed ... that's: 100 (passed ~ my "smart number") + 25 (failed) = 125 total.
In '98, let's say: 80% passed ... Now, using the information from the argument: "In 1998, the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from the previous year." ...
we have ----> 90 passed ... the MAX value for percentage of seniors who passed in '98 HAS TO BE < 80%.

So ... Let's use 79% to calculate what the total number of students for '98 ... 90=.79T .... The total for '98 < 125 ---- No increase in total number of students.
And, that's all you really need to do, to prove that Choice B is the correct answer. This answer is not supported by the argument.
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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29 Apr 2015, 04:29
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Expert's post
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Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been required to pass a comprehensive proficiency exam before they are allowed to graduate. The exam requirement was intended to ensure that a minimum level of academic quality will be achieved by the students in the state. In 1997, 20 percent of the seniors did not pass the exam and were, therefore, not allowed to graduate. In 1998, the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from the previous year.

The argument above, if true, LEAST supports which of the following statement.

A. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam increased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors decreased during that time period.
B. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors increased during that time period.
C. Unless the number of high school seniors was lower in 1998 than in 1997, the number of seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was lower than 80 percent.
D. If the number of high school seniors who did not pass the exam decreased by more than 10 percent from 1997 to 1998, the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was greater than 80 percent.
E. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70 percent, the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than the number in 1998.

Please provide an explanation with actual numbers.

OA:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
B

Responding to a pm:

In 1997, 20 percent of the seniors did not pass the exam - So out of 100, 80 passed and 20 flunked
In 1998, the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from the previous year - Last year, if 80 had passed, this year, only 72 passed. We don't know how many flunked and hence we don't know the total number of students who appeared this year.

So the relative numbers are:
1997 - Passed: 80, Failed: 20, Total: 100
1998 - Passed: 72, Failed: Don't know, Total: 72 + Failed

A. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam increased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors decreased during that time period.

% of high school seniors who passed in 1997 = 80%
If % of students who passed in 1998 is greater than 80%, it means 72 constitutes more than 80% of the total number. 72 is 80% of 90. So total number of students is less than 90. This is true. If the % of students who passed in 1998 is greater than 80%, the total students must be less than 90 i.e less than total students in 1997 (which is assumed to be 100)

B. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors increased during that time period.
% of high school seniors who passed in 1997 = 80%
If % of students who passed in 1998 is less, say 72%, total number of students could be the same i.e. 100.
So (B) is not necessarily true.

C. Unless the number of high school seniors was lower in 1998 than in 1997, the number of seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was lower than 80 percent.

If the number of seniors was not lower than 100 - say it was 100 or more - the number of seniors who passed in 1998 was less than 80%. It was 72% in case number of students was 100 and even lower if number of students was more than 100. True

D. If the number of high school seniors who did not pass the exam decreased by more than 10 percent from 1997 to 1998, the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was greater than 80 percent.

If failed students decreased by more than 10% i.e. if failed students in 1998 was less than 18 (10% less than 20), the total number of students would be less than 90 (72 + 18) and hence % of students passed would be greater than 80%. True

E. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70 percent, the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than the number in 1998.

If the % of students who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70% i.e. the total number of students would be more more than 100 because 72 is 72% of 100. For the % to be less than 70, the total number of students should be more than 100. True.

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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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21 Sep 2015, 21:13
1
KUDOS
siddharthmuzumdar wrote:
BOWLED !!!...OMG !!! Are we supposed to solve this in 2 mins?...The person who solves such questions within 2 mins is bound to be at least 760...
I am still clueless about the answer...

Yeah but put yourself in a situation as if you were attempting thus question in GMAT .How would you think?

When I feel a question is too hard I just let myself think that every question is not that tough,sometimes answers are very simple.
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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24 Oct 2011, 05:27
can you please post OE for the question ?
Thanks,
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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29 Oct 2011, 10:28
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Can anyone explain the choices in detail how they are wrong
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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30 Oct 2011, 10:08
Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been required to pass a comprehensive proficiency exam before they are allowed to graduate. The exam requirement was intended to ensure that a minimum level of academic quality will be achieved by the students in the state. In 1997, 20 percent of the seniors did not pass the exam and were, therefore, not allowed to graduate. In 1998, the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from the previous year.

The argument above, if true, LEAST supports which of the following statement.

A. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam increased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors decreased during that time period.
B. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors increased during that time period.
C. Unless the number of high school seniors was lower in 1998 than in 1997, the number of seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was lower than 80 percent.
D. If the number of high school seniors who did not pass the exam decreased by more than 10 percent from 1997 to 1998, the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was greater than 80 percent.
E. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70 percent, the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than the number in 1998.

Please provide an explanation with actual numbers.

OA:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
B

Needs some explanation
_________________

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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been   [#permalink] 30 Oct 2011, 10:08

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