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Top college graduates are having more difficulty

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Re: Top college graduates are having more difficulty [#permalink] New post 23 Aug 2012, 10:34
Expert's post
Yes, I don't think we will arrive at a consensus here.

For the benefit of those reading this discussion, here is my perspective:

The author says that the reason 50% of the class gets honors is grade inflation. He also says that we must control it. All this is the author's opinion. The assumption he is making here is that there is grade inflation i.e. the students are not higher achievers.
Read the argument and imagine someone is saying this to you. What would you say he has assumed? He has assumed that the students don't actually deserve the higher grades. He has suggested that we should control grade inflation because there is grade inflation. He has suggested that we should give lower grades. Why has he suggested this? He has suggested this because he is assuming that the students actually deserve the lower grades. He is assuming that they are not higher achievers.

Also, if you are wondering whether (E) is better, is (E) an assumption at all? Is it a missing premise required for the conclusion to be true? Is "colleges must do ..." an assumption?
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Re: CR: Top College Students [#permalink] New post 29 Aug 2012, 18:42
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
mrinal2100 wrote:
WHATS WRONG WITH B


B - Awarding too many honors degrees causes colleges to inflate grades.
Actually it is the reverse. Inflated grades lead to too many honors degrees. And this is already mentioned in the stimulus.
An assumption is a necessary premise that is missing from the stimulus. It strengthens the conclusion. If the assumption is negated, the conclusion breaks apart.

Conclusion here is: to restore confidence in the degrees they award, colleges must take steps to control grade inflation.

The author is assuming that grades are inflated. That today’s students are not higher achievers than the students of twenty years ago. If it is true, then his conclusion strengthens. Colleges must take steps to control grade inflation is they want to restore confidence in their degrees.

Let's negate the assumption (A)
If today's students are actually higher achievers and that is the reason why 50% of them get honors degrees, then author's conclusion - to restore confidence in the degrees they award, colleges must take steps to control grade inflation - has no merit. Then the grades are not inflated.

hello ma'am,
but in the conclusion there was nothing described about the achievement of the students
so i straightforward eliminated it ..
what sort of approach should i develope??
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Re: CR: Top College Students [#permalink] New post 29 Aug 2012, 20:17
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mohan514 wrote:
hello ma'am,
but in the conclusion there was nothing described about the achievement of the students
so i straightforward eliminated it ..
what sort of approach should i develope??


An assumption is a necessary missing premise. It is some information that is not given to you but you actually need it if you want to establish the conclusion. An assumption gives you new information i.e. it will not be present in the argument. Therefore, you cannot eliminate an option only because it gives you new info. It is actually meant to do that. You have to analyze whether the new info makes your conclusion stronger.

Say, I present this argument to you:
Every year new world records are set. Athletes must be taking performance enhancing drugs to set these records. All such drugs must be banned.

What have I assumed in my argument? I have assumed that the reason for the new records is not better training, diet and overall health.

So if you have 5 options, what could be your correct answer when you are looking for an assumption?
(A) Athletes do not get better training and diet each year.

Now just because my argument does not talk about 'training and diet', I cannot discard this option. It is an assumption I have made.
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Re: Top college graduates are having more difficulty [#permalink] New post 29 Aug 2012, 23:47
A healthy discussion has already ensued here. :shock:

I chose B as my answer and after going through the explanations in this thread I think A is the best option.

If A is negated then the argument falls through because then the increase in the number of honors is because of ability and not due to grade inflation. Good one.
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Re: Top college graduates are having more difficulty [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2013, 01:31
OA A.. supports the conclusion
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Re: Top college graduates are having more difficulty [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2013, 05:13
Medium difficulty

(A) Today’s students are not higher achievers than the students of twenty years ago. Good enough to not cancel out. Plays the defender role. Negation technique: If students today were higher achievers, then schools would not need to inflate grades, thereby weakening the conclusion.

(B) Awarding too many honors degrees causes colleges to inflate grades. Reverse causal relationship. It really weakens the conclusion, whereas an assumption would either defend or strengthen the relationship. We are looking for an assumption.

(C) Today’s employers rely on honors ranking in making their hiring decisions. Making hiring decisions is out of scope; furthermore, this weakens the conclusion.

(D) It is not easy for students with low grades to obtain jobs. Didn't feel right because the relationship that needs defending is grade inflation -> meaningless honors

(E) Colleges must make employers aware of the criteria used to determine who receives an honors degree Out of scope. That said, this would even weaken the relationship. If employers made decisions based off honors, then the criteria would be meaningful.
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Top college graduates are having more difficulty [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2014, 07:55
what's wrong with C. If I negate C and employer's don't rely on honors degree's rankings to make decisions than the colleges don't need to control inflated grades because it doesn't matter to employers.....
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Re: Top college graduates are having more difficulty [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2014, 22:03
Expert's post
bankerboy30 wrote:
what's wrong with C. If I negate C and employer's don't rely on honors degree's rankings to make decisions than the colleges don't need to control inflated grades because it doesn't matter to employers.....


The argument gives you "Today’s employers are less impressed with the honors degree. Thehonors degree goes to more than 50 percent of a graduating class."

then how can (C) be an assumption?
(C) Today’s employers rely on honors ranking in making their hiring decisions.

The argument clearly states that they don't rely much on honors degree anymore. An assumption needs to strengthen our argument. (C) doesn't do that.
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Re: Top college graduates are having more difficulty   [#permalink] 06 Aug 2014, 22:03
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