Most graduates of art schools go on to support themselves : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Most graduates of art schools go on to support themselves

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10 Aug 2010, 14:04
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Most graduates of art schools go on to support themselves with a variety of odd jobs that have little or nothing to do with the graduates’ artistic training. This has led to major doubts regarding how well the art schools are preparing their students for careers in art.

Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the author’s criticism of art schools?

A: The curricula of most art schools tend to reflect the needs of the art world.

B:There are some graduates of art schools who go on to careers within the art world.

C:The purpose of an art school education is to ensure that students will be able to secure jobs in their fields.

D:People who intend to earn their livings in the field of art choose to go to art school to increase the quality of their work.

E:Students attend art schools with the intention of earning their livings in the art field.

I'm still having problems with these if true questions. What's wrong with E? Is there a good shortcut to get them right like the negation test for assumptions?

THX!
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
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10 Aug 2010, 17:29
You're looking for the statement, that if true would prove how poorly the schools are doing to prepare their students for careers in art.

A - The curricula reflects the needs of the art world.. doesn't really say anything about preparing students for a job and doesn't really prove much.

B - Some graduates have careers in the art world.. This actually disproves the article so this one isn't a good answer.

C - Purpose is to ensure that students will secure jobs.. If the purpose of the school is to allow students to secure a job in their field and the schools are doing a poor job of it, then this would be a fairly strong statement proving the author's criticism.

D - Go to school to increase quality of their work.. This statement doesn't really prove the schools are doing a poor job when the quality of work is subjective in itself and doesn't really have a bearing on getting jobs.

E - Students attend to earn a living.. This is a possible answer but it doesn't really prove the schools are doing a bad job because it doesn't state the purpose of the school, only their students. If the article said the students were doing a bad job with their careers this would be a good statement.

My analysis of the 5 answers with C being the correct one. Hope this helps.
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10 Aug 2010, 17:52
A: The curricula of most art schools tend to reflect the needs of the art world.
<has not impact on the question>
B:There are some graduates of art schools who go on to careers within the art world.
<kind of weakens>
C:The purpose of an art school education is to ensure that students will be able to secure jobs in their fields.
<answer, fills in the void of whether the purpose of the school is to provide this type of eduction>
D:People who intend to earn their livings in the field of art choose to go to art school to increase the quality of their work. <there is not any mention of quality>

E:Students attend art schools with the intention of earning their livings in the art field.
<good contender, but we need to make sure that school is providing the right stuff to be successful as in question is the school/program>
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10 Aug 2010, 20:00
I was distracted and picking E, but I fully understand what kind of answer I need. C is surely the correct one
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10 Aug 2010, 20:14
C is correct
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10 Aug 2010, 22:41
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As I interpret the question, C is not at all a good answer here. Where does the OA come from?

The conclusion is that art schools are not preparing students for careers in art. That is, the conclusion is about what art schools *actually achieve*. Whether art schools are *trying* to train people for careers in art is irrelevant to what they actually *do*; intentions and results need not have any relationship. If I simplify the wording of the question, and insert answer choice C, I get:

Art school graduates are not getting jobs in the arts. The purpose of art schools is to train students for jobs in the arts. Therefore art schools are not successfully training students for jobs in the arts.

Inserting the second sentence does not change the argument in any way; the argument is just as successful if it is removed. Answer choice C would be a good answer if the conclusion was that art schools are not serving their purpose - we'd then need information about their purpose. But C does not strengthen the conclusion about career training. Whether art schools are trying to prepare students to work in the arts or to play backgammon, the conclusion can be just as true.

I'd add that the conclusion of the argument is open to different interpretations here, so I don't care for the wording of the question. If instead you interpret the conclusion as a general indictment of art schools - that is, you interpret it to mean 'art schools aren't doing what they're supposed to be doing' - then C is a more reasonable choice. But that's not how I interpret the question.

E is a much better answer. When reading just the stem, there's a perfectly plausible scenario that needs to be considered: perhaps art schools *are* doing a great job of preparing students for careers in the arts, but the students don't want those careers; maybe they do art as a hobby and they all want to be accountants. That is, the schools might not be to blame for the fact that their students don't choose a career in the arts. If that were the case, the criticism in the argument would be unfounded. We need to know here that the students actually *want* jobs in the arts -- if we know that the students *want* careers in art, and still can't get them after going to art school, then the art schools are truly failing to prepare these students for their chosen career. By addressing this issue, E strengthens the argument.

I'd add that one should ignore inessential differences in wording between the stem and an answer choice - you can't rule out E because it says 'earning their living' instead of 'making their careers'. Those phrases are synonymous.
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11 Aug 2010, 02:36
The question is from Princeton Review online. I'd say IanStewart is correct and this answer choice C is just wrong to me.

However, if we look at the evidence:
Students willing to work in art + they don't find a job in the field --> the schools they go to are bad

That doesn't look very sound to me too. What if they are all untalented or the art industry is in a recession. Nevertheless, this counter argument also applies to C...
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12 Aug 2010, 06:34
well , I pick C
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12 Aug 2010, 12:03
C makes sense.
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12 Aug 2010, 14:07
[quote="heyholetsgo"]Most graduates of art schools go on to support themselves with a variety of odd jobs that have little or nothing to do with the graduates’ artistic training. This has led to major doubts regarding how well the art schools are preparing their students for careers in art.

Premise: Most of art schools grads have to do little jobs to support themselves. Jobs have nothing to do with art.
Conclusion: The quality of education at art schools is not up to the level.
Assumption: Professional employment is the only purpose of arts schools and the only standard to be used to judge the quality of education at art schools

A: The curricula of most art schools tend to reflect the needs of the art world.
Strengthens it.

B:There are some graduates of art schools who go on to careers within the art world.
Well, there are some good cases, but the majority, evidently, are bad cases, according to the stem .
Strengthens it.

C:The purpose of an art school education is to ensure that students will be able to secure jobs in their fields.
That's the assumption

D:People who intend to earn their livings in the field of art choose to go to art school to increase the quality of their work.
Correct. It introduces the new possible purpose of art schools, and an alternative measure of education quality that can be or should be used to judge art schools.

E:Students attend art schools with the intention of earning their livings in the art field.
Strengthens. It indirectly suggests that arts schools should be judged according to their graduate employment numbers in industry.
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12 Aug 2010, 14:31
Sorry, somehow, I thought it's a eaken argument question. C it is. C is the assumption of the argument.
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12 Aug 2010, 15:49
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rlevochkin wrote:
heyholetsgo wrote:
Most graduates of art schools go on to support themselves with a variety of odd jobs that have little or nothing to do with the graduates’ artistic training. This has led to major doubts regarding how well the art schools are preparing their students for careers in art.

Premise: Most of art schools grads have to do little jobs to support themselves. Jobs have nothing to do with art.
Conclusion: The quality of education at art schools is not up to the level.
Assumption: Professional employment is the only purpose of arts schools and the only standard to be used to judge the quality of education at art schools

You've identified a conclusion here that I don't see in the stem. The stem never says that 'the quality of education' is poor at art schools. The stem says something far more specific: art schools are not 'preparing their students for careers in art'. Identifying the answer here hinges on correctly identifying the conclusion. I said above that I think it's a bad question, because you might reasonably interpret the conclusion in different ways. If, however, you take the conclusion to be that 'art schools are not preparing their students for careers in art', then E is the only answer which makes any logical sense. We have evidence: art school students aren't getting jobs in art. We have a conclusion: it's the schools' fault. That's not an airtight argument; it might be the students' fault. We need to know that the students actually want to get jobs in art, and not some other field. If all of the art school students only want to become astronauts or chefs, then the fact that they don't get jobs in art tells us nothing about how well art schools have prepared them for art careers; the students were never going to get jobs in art no matter how well the school did.

C is a perfectly good answer if instead you interpret the conclusion to be that generally 'art schools aren't doing a very good job'. That's just not how I interpret the conclusion here; the conclusion to my reading seems specifically about how well students are trained for careers, and not about how good art schools are in general.

I'd add further that there are other problems with the wording of this question. We're asked to 'strengthen the author’s criticism of art schools', but the author never makes any criticism of art schools. Instead the passage says that there are 'doubts' about art schools, but the passage never says who has those doubts - it certainly isn't clear whether the author shares those doubts, or whether the author is simply reporting doubts that other people have. All in all, it's a very poor question, and is even worse if the official answer is C.
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18 Aug 2010, 01:48
C FOR ME
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18 Aug 2010, 10:00
E makes much more sense to me...
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07 Sep 2010, 00:45
C...pretty straightforward
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15 Oct 2010, 21:28
Guys,
C makes sense..
as argument says ----"This has led to major doubts regarding how well the art schools are preparing their students for careers in art."

ans should favor this
c says "The purpose of an art school education is to ensure that students will be able to secure jobs in their fields."

here "their " does not point towards art..
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15 Oct 2010, 23:33
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heyholetsgo wrote:
Most graduates of art schools go on to support themselves with a variety of odd jobs that have little or nothing to do with the graduates’ artistic training. This has led to major doubts regarding how well the art schools are preparing their students for careers in art.

Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the author’s criticism of art schools?

A: The curricula of most art schools tend to reflect the needs of the art world.

B:There are some graduates of art schools who go on to careers within the art world.

C:The purpose of an art school education is to ensure that students will be able to secure jobs in their fields.

D:People who intend to earn their livings in the field of art choose to go to art school to increase the quality of their work.

E:Students attend art schools with the intention of earning their livings in the art field.

I'm still having problems with these if true questions. What's wrong with E? Is there a good shortcut to get them right like the negation test for assumptions?

THX!

I like the strengthen questions. You just have to separate the wheat (conclusion) from the chaff (premise) - and then find the underlying assumption and match it with the choices!

Here,
Premise:
Most graduates of art schools go on to support themselves with a variety of odd jobs that have little or nothing to do with the graduates’ artistic training.
Conclusion:
This has led to major doubts regarding how well the art schools are preparing their students for careers in art.
Assumption:
How well an art school prepares its students can be judged by the number of students getting jobs relevant to their artistic training..

So the purpose of an art school must be help its students get jobs pertaining to art.

C is a direct pre-phrase of this assumption.

E is incorrect because it states the assumption from students point of view. The argument is about art schools, not students.

Hope this helps
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16 Oct 2010, 02:04
I went for E.
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19 Oct 2010, 16:36
yossarian84 wrote:

Here,
Premise:
Most graduates of art schools go on to support themselves with a variety of odd jobs that have little or nothing to do with the graduates’ artistic training.
Conclusion:
This has led to major doubts regarding how well the art schools are preparing their students for careers in art.
Assumption:
How well an art school prepares its students can be judged by the number of students getting jobs relevant to their artistic training..

So the purpose of an art school must be help its students get jobs pertaining to art.

C is a direct pre-phrase of this assumption.

When you begin a sentence with 'so', 'thus' or 'therefore', you're stating a conclusion, not an assumption. You seem to have confused the two. I also don't know how you've reached, from the premises, the conclusion that 'the purpose of an art school must be help its students get jobs pertaining to art'. I can illustrate why this is not a logical deduction with a different example:

The average GMAT scores of undergraduate students in astrophysics are 100 points higher than the average GMAT score of all test takers. Therefore undergraduate astrophysics programs provide good GMAT preparation.

Could you conclude from this that the *purpose* of undergraduate astrophysics programs it to prepare people for the GMAT? Of course not. And what would we want to know to evaluate the argument? We'd clearly want to know something about the students. Perhaps they are already more intelligent than average, and that's the reason they do better on the GMAT; it may have nothing at all to do with what they learn in their astrophysics course. In the question above, you ruled out E:

yossarian84 wrote:
E is incorrect because it states the assumption from students point of view. The argument is about art schools, not students.

but the students are precisely what we want to know about in this question: are they trying to get jobs in art or not? If not, then of course they don't get jobs in art, no matter how well the school did training them. That's why the answer is E.

The question is based on what I call the intention/results fallacy, a logical fallacy that you often encounter in art criticism. When someone does something (teaches a course, makes a film, whatever), what he or she is *trying* to do (her 'purpose') need not have any relationship with what he or she *actually* achieves. To confuse someone's intentions with his or her results is a logical error. To give one example, we've all seen horror films that were so ridiculous they seemed more like comedies; that the filmmaker's purpose was to create a scary movie does not, logically, mean that the filmmaker actually *did* make a scary movie. The filmmaker's intentions are irrelevant; it's the result that matters. The art school question is entirely about results (students aren't getting jobs in art --> therefore the school failed to prepare them for jobs in art). Whether the school was *trying* to prepare them for jobs is logically irrelevant, so C is not a good answer. If the source claims C is the OA, then it's not a good question.
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19 Oct 2010, 17:32
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E is definitely not the answer. It's a pretty easy C, IMO.

heyholetsgo wrote:
Most graduates of art schools go on to support themselves with a variety of odd jobs that have little or nothing to do with the graduates’ artistic training. This has led to major doubts regarding how well the art schools are preparing their students for careers in art.

Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the author’s criticism of art schools?

The author states that people who graduate from art schools go on to work odd jobs that have nothing to do with what they studied in art school. The author thus concludes that art schools are not preparing their students for careers in art (because if the schools WERE preparing the students, then the students would have jobs that pertain to their training, rather than random odd jobs that have nothing to do with it). To strengthen that conclusion, we need an answer choice that shows that it's the schools failing to get the graduates jobs, rather than some other factor.

A: The curricula of most art schools tend to reflect the needs of the art world. This would weaken the conclusion, because if it were true, it would tend to imply that it's not the school's fault that the students aren't getting jobs

B:There are some graduates of art schools who go on to careers within the art world. Completely follows the passage, which states that MOST graduates work odd jobs - so clearly, SOME graduates work actual art jobs

C:The purpose of an art school education is to ensure that students will be able to secure jobs in their fields. Correct. Art school is supposed to guarantee ("ensure") a job in the chosen field. If the students are graduating from school and then not getting jobs in that field, the school must have failed.

D:People who intend to earn their livings in the field of art choose to go to art school to increase the quality of their work. Weakens the conclusion by showing that students don't necessarily go to school to get jobs, but instead to improve their work. If that's all the school is supposed to do, then it isn't failing its graduates by not getting them jobs.

E:Students attend art schools with the intention of earning their livings in the art field. Irrelevant, as it doesn't address whether it's the schools failing to adequately prepare the students, or if there's some other factor as to why they aren't getting jobs. Perhaps most art students just aren't good enough to cut it, regardless of whether they go to art school or not. Perhaps there just aren't enough jobs out there. In either case, it wouldn't be the school's fault that the students aren't getting art jobs.

I'm still having problems with these if true questions. What's wrong with E? Is there a good shortcut to get them right like the negation test for assumptions?

THX!

Last edited by TehJay on 20 Oct 2010, 03:27, edited 1 time in total.
Re: Strengthen-Art Schools   [#permalink] 19 Oct 2010, 17:32

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