Rather than bringing cash to school to pay for food : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Rather than bringing cash to school to pay for food

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Rather than bringing cash to school to pay for food [#permalink]

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30 Oct 2012, 05:49
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Rather than bringing cash to school to pay for food expenses, Kindergrade School children will now use
electronic cards that record students’ purchases so that parents can later be billed. The objective of
this new system is to provide children with cash alternatives that cannot profitably be stolen. To
ensure that the cards are worthless to thieves, each card will bear its owner’s picture, so staff at
cafeteria checkouts can easily identify stolen cards.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously undermine the ability of the card system to achieve its goal?

A. As a result of the cards’ introduction, the number of students who purchase food from school
cafeterias is expected to increase.
B. The replacement of cash with the electronic cards will not allow any reductions in staffing for the
checkouts at the schools’ cafeterias.
C. Staff at the cafeteria checkouts know by name many of the students who regularly use the cafeteria,
and the cards will bear the owner’s name as well as his or her picture.
D. The cost to the school system of issuing the cards and installing the checkout machines to read them will
be covered by the savings arising from no longer needing to handle cash.
E. The companies operating vending machines in the schools are adapting their machines so that the electronic
cards can be used for purchases.

OA
[Reveal] Spoiler:
after discussions.

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Re: Rather than bringing cash to school [#permalink]

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30 Oct 2012, 08:27
Answer should be E. Vending machines would not be able to recognize the user from pictures on the card and hence would allow the usage of stolen cards.

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Re: Rather than bringing cash to school [#permalink]

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30 Oct 2012, 13:21
C says (i) staff know many of the students by name, and (ii) the cards bear names and pictures
of the owner. Isn't this factor enough to undermine the ability of the card to achieve its goal?
D: talks about costs Vs benefits to the school authority- the initiator of the project. Its is a very
important factor; otherwise, the school will run at a lose.
E: Of course, the vending machines ought be useful for card operation.

In all C, D, and E remain potential contenders. Can someone provide insight as to which is the best
of the 3?
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Re: Rather than bringing cash to school [#permalink]

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30 Oct 2012, 20:09
gmatbull wrote:
C says (i) staff know many of the students by name, and (ii) the cards bear names and pictures
of the owner. Isn't this factor enough to undermine the ability of the card to achieve its goal?
D: talks about costs Vs benefits to the school authority- the initiator of the project. Its is a very
important factor; otherwise, the school will run at a lose.
E: Of course, the vending machines ought be useful for card operation.

In all C, D, and E remain potential contenders. Can someone provide insight as to which is the best
of the 3?

C can actually be used to strengthen the argument. If the staff know the names of the students, it provides even more safety against thieves as stolen card cannot be used.
D The cost implications are not within the scope of the argument. The main concern is to protect the kids from theft.

So E is the best answer.

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Re: Rather than bringing cash to school [#permalink]

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30 Oct 2012, 20:33
gmatbull wrote:
Rather than bringing cash to school to pay for food expenses, Kindergrade School children will now use
electronic cards that record students’ purchases so that parents can later be billed. The objective of
this new system is to provide children with cash alternatives that cannot profitably be stolen. To
ensure that the cards are worthless to thieves, each card will bear its owner’s picture, so staff at
cafeteria checkouts can easily identify stolen cards.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously undermine the ability of the card system to achieve its goal?

A. As a result of the cards’ introduction, the number of students who purchase food from school
cafeterias is expected to increase.
B. The replacement of cash with the electronic cards will not allow any reductions in staffing for the
checkouts at the schools’ cafeterias.
C. Staff at the cafeteria checkouts know by name many of the students who regularly use the cafeteria,
and the cards will bear the owner’s name as well as his or her picture.
D. The cost to the school system of issuing the cards and installing the checkout machines to read them will
be covered by the savings arising from no longer needing to handle cash.
E. The companies operating vending machines in the schools are adapting their machines so that the electronic
cards can be used for purchases.

OA
[Reveal] Spoiler:
after discussions.

E for me.
A - strengthening the conclusion and also sounds irrelevant to the issue at stake (which is less money stolen from kids).
B - irrelevant. We don't care how this change impacts staff (only kids).
C - irrelevant at the same time strengthening the conclusion with the assumption that the new cards will have names and staff can confirm that the picture corresponds to the name, as well.
D - Out of scope. We don't care about cost imposed on the school. Even if we did and it cost too much, it still does not weaken the conclusion directly that the plan will fail.
E - CORRECT. If vending machines are incompatible with the new cards, then purchases cannot be tracked. This means that cards are useless, which means that issue of using cash still exists. Hence, plan fails.
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Re: Rather than bringing cash to school [#permalink]

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30 Oct 2012, 21:19
+1 E.
Since the companies operating vending machines in the schools are adapting their machines so that the electronic
cards can be used for purchases, so it seems that the operating machines are just like the ATMs, its cards so designed that there is no need of any recognition. Just swipe and voila.
Anyways, if there is no need of any picture or name by the machines, which are used for purchasing purposes, then quite certainly there will be an increase in the number of stolen cards.
Hope that helps.
-s
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Re: Rather than bringing cash to school [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2012, 01:36
Yes, the objective does not focus on the benefits to the school authority.
So, D should be out.

What does the statement mean:
"to provide children with a cash substitute that CANNOT PROFITABLY be stolen"

Why do you think
[Reveal] Spoiler:
C
is wrong?
If staffs are unable to recognize students based on the pics + names match, won't that be a problem?

Meanwhile, OA is
[Reveal] Spoiler:
E

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Re: Rather than bringing cash to school [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2012, 02:30
gmatbull wrote:
Yes, the objective does not focus on the benefits to the school authority.
So, D should be out.

What does the statement mean:
"to provide children with a cash substitute that CANNOT PROFITABLY be stolen"

Why do you think
[Reveal] Spoiler:
C
is wrong?
If staffs are unable to recognize students based on the pics + names match, won't that be a problem?

Meanwhile, OA is
[Reveal] Spoiler:
E

The way I interpret "to provide children with a cash substitute that CANNOT PROFITABLY be stolen" is someone's misfortune becomes someone else's fortune. So, in context someone (a kid) that steals from (another) kid profits off of that kid. The purpose of the cards is so that even if stolen the card serves no good to the person who stole it (ie. no profitability).

In C, there is no requirement (it is not part of the goal) for the card to display a name. Therefore this answer becomes out of scope.
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Re: Rather than bringing cash to school [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2012, 02:33
gmatbull wrote:
Yes, the objective does not focus on the benefits to the school authority.
So, D should be out.

What does the statement mean:
"to provide children with a cash substitute that CANNOT PROFITABLY be stolen"

Why do you think
[Reveal] Spoiler:
C
is wrong?
If staffs are unable to recognize students based on the pics + names match, won't that be a problem?

Meanwhile, OA is
[Reveal] Spoiler:
E

Hii Gmatbull.
To answer your last question, the keyword is "many" in option C. Since the staff members know many of the students by their name, it will be very difficult for thieves to get away with purchases because there is a high chance that they will be caught.

Now the answer to your first question is, IMO, that the stolen card may not yield profit to the thieves. This is what I feel and certainly should be in IMO.

Hope that helps.
-s
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Re: Rather than bringing cash to school [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2012, 11:42
per option C:
(i) I agree staffs do not need to know students by name; just picture.
(ii) the stem does not provide for cards to have kids' names.

It was an interesting question though and am sure a good number of us
(myself especially) benefited from the discussions thereof.
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Re: Rather than bringing cash to school [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2012, 12:01
Keep up the good work bull.
Mutually helping each other can help us destroy the verbal.
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Re: Rather than bringing cash to school [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2012, 16:18
Come on guys, how can E be correct ? Since companies are adapting vending machines, we can infer that the vending machine will also be able to recognize the cards. This should actually support the argument, not undermine it..
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Re: Rather than bringing cash to school [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2012, 21:44
Ivan91 wrote:
Come on guys, how can E be correct ? Since companies are adapting vending machines, we can infer that the vending machine will also be able to recognize the cards. This should actually support the argument, not undermine it..

How did you make an inference from nowhere?
Just stick with the information that is given.
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Re: Rather than bringing cash to school   [#permalink] 31 Oct 2012, 21:44
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