Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary

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Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary [#permalink]

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11 Oct 2007, 14:49
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Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools as cleaners or pesticides causes allergic reactions in some children. Elementary school nurses in Renston report that the proportion of schoolchildren sent to them for treatment of allergic reactions to those chemicals has increased significantly over the past ten years. Therefore, either Renston’s schoolchildren have been exposed to greater quantities of the chemicals, or they are more sensitive to them than schoolchildren were ten years ago.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. The number of school nurses employed by Renston’s elementary schools has not decreased over the past ten years.
B. Children who are allergic to the chemicals are no more likely than other children to have allergies to other substances.
C. Children who have allergic reactions to the chemicals are not more likely to be sent to a school nurse now than they were ten years ago.
D. The chemicals are not commonly used as cleaners or pesticides in houses and apartment buildings in Renston.
E. Children attending elementary school do not make up a larger proportion of Renston’s population now than they did ten years ago.
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11 Oct 2007, 15:06
ok. i hope i get this right

is it "B"?
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11 Oct 2007, 15:09
C - It eliminates an alternative explanation. If the schoolchildren are more likely to be sent to nurses now then they were ten years ago, they are not necessarily exposed to greater quantities of the chemicals nor more sensitive to them than schoolchildren were ten years ago. It could be that teachers are more aware of the situation or more concerned.

This is a classic cause and effect.

Cause - Either Renston’s schoolchildren have been exposed to greater quantities of the chemicals, or they are more sensitive to them than schoolchildren were ten years ago

Effect - The proportion of schoolchildren sent to nurses for treatment of allergic reactions to those chemicals has increased significantly over the past ten years.

The author does believes that the two causes are the only possible causes. There can ALWAYS be other causes. You will see this in strengthen weaken and assumption question.
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11 Oct 2007, 15:17
ttram wrote:
Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools as cleaners or pesticides causes allergic reactions in some children. Elementary school nurses in Renston report that the proportion of schoolchildren sent to them for treatment of allergic reactions to those chemicals has increased significantly over the past ten years. Therefore, either Renston’s schoolchildren have been exposed to greater quantities of the chemicals, or they are more sensitive to them than schoolchildren were ten years ago.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. The number of school nurses employed by Renston’s elementary schools has not decreased over the past ten years.
B. Children who are allergic to the chemicals are no more likely than other children to have allergies to other substances.
C. Children who have allergic reactions to the chemicals are not more likely to be sent to a school nurse now than they were ten years ago.
D. The chemicals are not commonly used as cleaners or pesticides in houses and apartment buildings in Renston.
E. Children attending elementary school do not make up a larger proportion of Renston’s population now than they did ten years ago.

C.
All the rest are irrelevant, but C and E.
E comes close and tries to trick you in thinking about the number of the students. It is true that if the number of students increase, then the number of reports will be greater. However, the stem states "proportion" of students. This makes E incorrect.
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11 Oct 2007, 15:18
Cooper2248817 wrote:
ok. i hope i get this right

is it "B"?

No clue compare b/w the allergic reactions to chemicals and to other substances. Thus, we should eliminate the answer B.
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11 Oct 2007, 15:39
JDMBA wrote:
C - It eliminates an alternative explanation. If the schoolchildren are more likely to be sent to nurses now then they were ten years ago, they are not necessarily exposed to greater quantities of the chemicals nor more sensitive to them than schoolchildren were ten years ago. It could be that teachers are more aware of the situation or more concerned.

This is a classic cause and effect.

Cause - Either Renston’s schoolchildren have been exposed to greater quantities of the chemicals, or they are more sensitive to them than schoolchildren were ten years ago

Effect - The proportion of schoolchildren sent to nurses for treatment of allergic reactions to those chemicals has increased significantly over the past ten years.

The author does believes that the two causes are the only possible causes. There can ALWAYS be other causes. You will see this in strengthen weaken and assumption question.

I agree. But can you please explain more clearly about the phase "not more likely than"?

Thanks a lot.
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11 Oct 2007, 16:29
ttram wrote:
JDMBA wrote:
C - It eliminates an alternative explanation. If the schoolchildren are more likely to be sent to nurses now then they were ten years ago, they are not necessarily exposed to greater quantities of the chemicals nor more sensitive to them than schoolchildren were ten years ago. It could be that teachers are more aware of the situation or more concerned.

This is a classic cause and effect.

Cause - Either Renston’s schoolchildren have been exposed to greater quantities of the chemicals, or they are more sensitive to them than schoolchildren were ten years ago

Effect - The proportion of schoolchildren sent to nurses for treatment of allergic reactions to those chemicals has increased significantly over the past ten years.

The author does believes that the two causes are the only possible causes. There can ALWAYS be other causes. You will see this in strengthen weaken and assumption question.

I agree. But can you please explain more clearly about the phase "not more likely than"?

Thanks a lot.

Lets say that today there is a 50% chance that a student will be sent to the nurse if they have the the allergice reaction. "Not more likely than" means that 10 years ago the students who had the allergic reaction were also at least 50% likely to go to the nurse. Its basically saying that a higher percentage of actual cases are not now being to be sent to the nurse.

If 100% of actual cases are now being sent to the nurse and 10 years ago only 10% were being sent to the nurse, then the evidence cited doent prove that more children now are contracting the allergy.
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11 Oct 2007, 17:27
why not A ?
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11 Oct 2007, 18:51
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ttram wrote:
Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools as cleaners or pesticides causes allergic reactions in some children. Elementary school nurses in Renston report that the proportion of schoolchildren sent to them for treatment of allergic reactions to those chemicals has increased significantly over the past ten years. Therefore, either Renston’s schoolchildren have been exposed to greater quantities of the chemicals, or they are more sensitive to them than schoolchildren were ten years ago.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A. The number of school nurses employed by Renston’s elementary schools has not decreased over the past ten years.
B. Children who are allergic to the chemicals are no more likely than other children to have allergies to other substances.
C. Children who have allergic reactions to the chemicals are not more likely to be sent to a school nurse now than they were ten years ago.
D. The chemicals are not commonly used as cleaners or pesticides in houses and apartment buildings in Renston.
E. Children attending elementary school do not make up a larger proportion of Renston’s population now than they did ten years ago.

This one is clearly C.

A. Irrelevant, We're concerned with proportion of students, nurses doesn't even come into the equation.
B. Irrelevant, we're talking about an increase in allergies to this particular chemical.
C. Without this assumption, we can successfully explain why a larger proportion of students are going to the nurse for allergens.
D. Irrelevant, we already know there is a higher exposure of the chemical, so further exposure wouldn't mean anything.
E. Irrelevant, we are concerned with proportion of students being sent to nurse and the number of students. The proportion of number of students vs. population is not relevant.
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11 Oct 2007, 18:55
i get C as well. B is irrelevant - we are not concerned with the comparison of what the children are allergic to
11 Oct 2007, 18:55
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# Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary

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