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A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was institu

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A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was institu  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 10 Oct 2018, 23:35
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A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was instituted last year. The program was clearly a success. Last year, the incidence of students smoking on school premises decreased by over 70 percent.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the argument in the passage?


(A) The author of this statement is a school system official hoping to generate good publicity for the anti-smoking program.

(B) Most students who smoke stopped smoking on school premises last year continued to smoke when away from school.

(C) Last year, another policy change made it much easier for students to leave and return to school grounds during the school day.

(D) The school system spent more on anti-smoking education programs last year than it did in all previous years.

(E) The amount of time students spent in anti-smoking education programs last year resulted in a reduction of in-class hours devoted to academic subjects.


"A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program" Assumption Question

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Originally posted by BrainLab on 27 May 2015, 08:48.
Last edited by Bunuel on 10 Oct 2018, 23:35, edited 2 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was institu  [#permalink]

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New post 27 May 2015, 09:59
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A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was instituted last year. The program was clearly a success. Last year, the incidence of students smoking on school premises decreased by over 70 percent.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the argument in the passage?

(A) The author of this statement is a school system official hoping to generate good publicity for the anti-smoking program.
Incorrect - this does not necessarily mean that the official falsified data.

(B) Most students who smoke stopped smoking on school premises last year continued to smoke when away from school.
Incorrect - this statement is a bit neutral. It neither strengthens the argument nor necessarily weakens it. Furthermore, if the ultimate goal of the program was to decrease on school incidences, then it was still a success.

(C) Last year, another policy change made it much easier for students to leave and return to school grounds during the school day.
Correct - We needed something that indicated another motivation outside of the program. This fulfills that necessity and weakens the argument. If we can positively associate the decrease in on-school incidences to another policy, then this weakens the argument made.

(D) The school system spent more on anti-smoking education programs last year than it did in all previous years.
Incorrect - This ultimately holds zero weight in the success of the program. If anything this helps the argument.

(E) The amount of time students spent in anti-smoking education programs last year resulted in a reduction of in-class hours devoted to academic subjects.
Incorrect - Can it still be stated that the program was worth it despite the decrease in class time? Yes. This is an example of an answer choice that gets you to unintentionally bring in real world experience/desire.

Kudos if my analysis was helpful! 8-)
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Re: A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was institu  [#permalink]

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New post 27 May 2015, 18:29
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I think C weakens the most as compared to other choices. Choice C states that another policy made it easier for students to come back to ground, etc-> and hence this probably made students(who smoke often) adhere more to the anti smoking campaign.....
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Re: A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was institu  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2015, 18:17
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BrainLab wrote:
A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was instituted last year. The program was clearly a success. Last year, the incidence of students smoking on school premises decreased by over 70 percent.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the argument in the passage?

(A) The author of this statement is a school system official hoping to generate good publicity for the anti-smoking program.
(B) Most students who smoke stopped smoking on school premises last year continued to smoke when away from school.
(C) Last year, another policy change made it much easier for students to leave and return to school grounds during the school day.
(D) The school system spent more on anti-smoking education programs last year than it did in all previous years.
(E) The amount of time students spent in anti-smoking education programs last year resulted in a reduction of in-class hours devoted to academic subjects.



Here is how I did it.

Cause: anti-smoking education program
Effect: decrease in incidence of students smoking on school premise

Assumption: 1. Only the Anti-smoking education program decreased the incidence of smoking in the school premise ( There is no other cause for the decrease )
Goal: Attack the assumption

A. Out of Scope
B. This shows a another effect of the Anti-smoking education program ( They smoked somewhere else )
C. Yep! Perfectly attacking the assumption. Another policy (Not anti-smoking program) lead to the decrease in incidence.
D.Cost??? Way out of scope
E. Time??? Nope

Hope it helps :)
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Re: A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was institu  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2015, 01:47
A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was instituted last year. The program was clearly a success. Last year, the incidence of students smoking on school premises decreased by over 70 percent.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the argument in the passage?

(A) The author of this statement is a school system official hoping to generate good publicity for the anti-smoking program.Even if this were true, it doesn't affect the argument.
(B) Most students who smoke stopped smoking on school premises last year continued to smoke when away from school. The smoking or not smoking outside of school is out of scope because we are concerned with smoking at school.
(C) Last year, another policy change made it much easier for students to leave and return to school grounds during the school day.This would suggest that students are still smoking at school, but where they cannot be detected.
(D) The school system spent more on anti-smoking education programs last year than it did in all previous years.How much was spent is not relevant to the argument.
(E) The amount of time students spent in anti-smoking education programs last year resulted in a reduction of in-class hours devoted to academic subjects.How much time students spent in the programs and the result of that is out of scope.
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Re: A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was institu  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Dec 2016, 23:21
This is a typical weakening structure:
Given: X and Y are observed to happen together.
Conclusion: X causes Y.
Weakening statement: Something else, Z causes Y.

Here X= anti-smoking program
Y= reduction in smoking
Z = easier return to school grounds

The conclusion is: X causes Y ( anti-smoking program caused reduction in smoking).
The weakening statement is: something else, Z causes Y ( easier return to school ground caused reduction in smoking).
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Re: A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was institu  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Dec 2016, 10:55
Isn't B and C trying to say the same thing. B says that student reduces on premise smoking but continued to smoke away from it. C says that a policy made it easier for students to leave school, go smoke and come back. But since B is more clear I selected it. Where is my understanding wrong ?
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Re: A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was institu  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Dec 2016, 01:01
ankujgupta, the idea is that we want to weaken the implied causal argument by showing some other possible cause for the reduction in smoking. C shows that students may simply be smoking less on campus because it's easier to get away. Perhaps the new program had no effect at all! B tells us that students who seemed to change their habits may not have cut down on their overall smoking, so we can read it as underlying the author's premise. However, it does nothing to help us understand why students have cut down on on-campus smoking, if the new program was not the cause.

So, I can see why C is the OA, but it's pretty hard to say that B doesn't weaken at all. I'm not sure we'd see a split like that on the GMAT--the wrong answers should be definitively wrong! However, if someone has an official example like this, I'd love to see it.
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Re: A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was institu  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2018, 07:53
Hi,

I believe the answer should be E. Conclusion says that "on School premise" smoking was reduced. C supports that students smoke outside the school premise and then came back.
I chose E because "Let's say 100 students smoke on average in 6 hrs, 50 would smoke in 3 hrs. so reduction in time could be the reason of decrease of percentage."

Can someone help me on this?
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Re: A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was institu  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2018, 13:00
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marvel3001 E isn't saying that the students spent less time in school. It's just saying that the smoking education took time away from other education. This would only weaken the argument if we were saying that the program was great for kids' overall education.
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Re: A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was institu  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Oct 2018, 23:32
BrainLab wrote:
A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was instituted last year. The program was clearly a success. Last year, the incidence of students smoking on school premises decreased by over 70 percent.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the argument in the passage?


(A) The author of this statement is a school system official hoping to generate good publicity for the anti-smoking program.

(B) Most students who smoke stopped smoking on school premises last year continued to smoke when away from school.

(C) Last year, another policy change made it much easier for students to leave and return to school grounds during the school day.

(D) The school system spent more on anti-smoking education programs last year than it did in all previous years.

(E) The amount of time students spent in anti-smoking education programs last year resulted in a reduction of in-class hours devoted to academic subjects.


Official Explanation:



C

Once again, your focus should be on the evidence supporting the causal link between the anti-smoking education program and the reduction in smoking on school premises. What, other than the effectiveness of the program, would explain the reduced incidence of smoking on school premises? Choice (C) provides a possible alternate explanation: School policy made it easier for students to leave and return to campus. It is therefore possible, then, that the reduction in smoking on school premises was simply the result of students leaving school premises to smoke, then returning afterward. Choice (B), while tempting, does not provide an alternate cause for the observed result. None of the incorrect answers addresses the evidence supporting the conclusion of the passage; therefore, none of them truly weakens the argument. The best answer is (C).
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Re: A system-wide county school anti-smoking education program was institu &nbs [#permalink] 10 Oct 2018, 23:32
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