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anti-smoking education program

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17 May 2008, 22:54
Guys, the following question has been discussed a few times in the past. However, I am yet to find a very conclusive answer. I hope we can discuss it out here.

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%.

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

A) The author of the statement is a school system official hoping to generate good publicity about the program.

B) Most students who smoke stopped smoking on school premises last year but 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 time available for sports.
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17 May 2008, 23:49
sanjay_gmat wrote:
Guys, the following question has been discussed a few times in the past. However, I am yet to find a very conclusive answer. I hope we can discuss it out here.

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%.

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

A) The author of the statement is a school system official hoping to generate good publicity about the program.

B) Most students who smoke stopped smoking on school premises last year but 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 time available for sports.

B is my choice!
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18 May 2008, 00:13
I was between B and C. I prefer C because in B the program has partial success, the students are not smoking during time when they are at school. Additionally, the argument needs the assumption that reduction of smoking on school premises = reduction of smoking in general as success of the program. Only C destroys the assumption.
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18 May 2008, 05:40
walker wrote:
I was between B and C. I prefer C because in B the program has partial success, the students are not smoking during time when they are at school. Additionally, the argument needs the assumption that reduction of smoking on school premises = reduction of smoking in general as success of the program. Only C destroys the assumption.

Hey Walker, thanks for the reply. Don't you think that B and C mean the same thing

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

this means that students who usually smoke stopped smoking in school but continued smoking outside.

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

this means that a new policy has allowed students to go out (and have a smoke) and come back.

Both B and C tell us that students have had the opportunity to smoke outside school.

Am I missing anything?
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18 May 2008, 09:29
B and C are close but B means that students reduced their smoking behavior by stopping smoking at school. In C the students would remain to smoke at the same level, on the same time but at other sites. Additionally, C provides another reason that explains reduction in 70%. I often saw GMAT CRs where another reason is the most weakening statement.

I'm not totally sure about C but it looks much better.
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18 May 2008, 10:05
walker wrote:
B and C are close but B means that students reduced their smoking behavior by stopping smoking at school. In C the students would remain to smoke at the same level, on the same time but at other sites. Additionally, C provides another reason that explains reduction in 70%. I often saw GMAT CRs where another reason is the most weakening statement.

I'm not totally sure about C but it looks much better.

Let's dissect both B and C

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

very direct. Students continued to smoke away from school. So, although the incidence of smoking on school premises decreased, the program wasn't 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.

the new policy allows the students to leave and come back to the school ground. So, they can either be away from school or at some other place in school. Now, considering that the incidents of smoking on SCHOOL PREMISES decreased, the students could have smoked/not smoked heavily when away from school. If they did smoke away from school, the argument is weakened. If they didn't smoke away from school, the argument is not weakened. So, the choice C doesn't conclusively tell us what's going on. So, I believe C can't be the answer.

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18 May 2008, 10:46
I think B

I think C is less conclusive because it requires you to make an inferrence that people who leave the school ground are leaving to get a smoke, which might or might not be true.

In B, the statement is more conclusive about smoking behavior.

Also, as I understand it, the goal of an anti-smoking program is to stop kids from smoking, and not reduce smoking per student.
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18 May 2008, 10:58
B says directly that the program partly works because students became to smoke less. B strengthens the argument indeed.
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18 May 2008, 11:37
walker wrote:
B says directly that the program partly works because students became to smoke less. B strengthens the argument indeed.

so you think that the intent of the program was to stop the students from smoking on school premises or was to stop them from smoking in general? It's not very clear, but it was to stop them from smoking anywhere.

guys, i'm sorry for stretching it. I still can't get why C and not B. somewhere on the forum, I saw that the OA is indeed C. I'm trying to find a reason...
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18 May 2008, 11:42
What is the OA?
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18 May 2008, 11:50
walker wrote:
B says directly that the program partly works because students became to smoke less. B strengthens the argument indeed.

c says the samething..students go off campus to smoke..
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18 May 2008, 12:05
undisputed B

C has nothing to do with Smoking, it allows students to go off NOT NECESSARILY for smoking.
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18 May 2008, 13:10
B for me.

The reasoning is that the question stem concludes "Anti Smoking Education Program" was "Clearly a Success".

B clearly says that most smokers still smoke, so how was the program a success? Hence B
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18 May 2008, 14:03
There's an assumption gap in C, where you have to assume kids go away to smoke. But since that is not explicitly stated, I'm going with B.
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18 May 2008, 20:21
walker wrote:
I was between B and C. I prefer C because in B the program has partial success, the students are not smoking during time when they are at school. Additionally, the argument needs the assumption that reduction of smoking on school premises = reduction of smoking in general as success of the program. Only C destroys the assumption.

I am with Walker on this one by choosing C. I also went searching for a decent explanation (something better than what I came up with) and found it on another forum (Beat the Gmat). check this out:
http://www.beatthegmat.com/weaken-argument-question-t3675.html#14220

Sanjay,
Hope this helps.
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18 May 2008, 20:24
prasannar wrote:
undisputed B

C has nothing to do with Smoking, it allows students to go off NOT NECESSARILY for smoking.

Prasanna, I am not sure where you live, but this implicit "time off" during the working hours is usually a subtle reference for smoking. The reference to allowing someone to go off campus and return to the school grounds refers that the break is often used by students for smoking, which destroys the assumption.
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18 May 2008, 21:23
Thanks wizard for that insight. My point is not to assume unless it is explicit in the question.
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18 May 2008, 22:19
wizardofwashington wrote:
prasannar wrote:
undisputed B

C has nothing to do with Smoking, it allows students to go off NOT NECESSARILY for smoking.

Prasanna, I am not sure where you live, but this implicit "time off" during the working hours is usually a subtle reference for smoking. The reference to allowing someone to go off campus and return to the school grounds refers that the break is often used by students for smoking, which destroys the assumption.

wizard, the point of the gmat CR is to test universal reasoning. It does not test to see whether you are familiar with a certain culture. What you said basically demonstrated the bias assumption in statement C. Therefore it introduces even more doubts to C.
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19 May 2008, 08:56
prasannar wrote:
undisputed B

C has nothing to do with Smoking, it allows students to go off NOT NECESSARILY for smoking.

I agree. This is another assumption everyone here is making and unnecessarily getting confused. DO NOT ASSUME anything in CR. B clearly defeats the argument.

B should be the answer. Enough discussed. What's the OA?
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19 May 2008, 09:09
prasannar wrote:
undisputed B

C has nothing to do with Smoking, it allows students to go off NOT NECESSARILY for smoking.

I agree. This is another assumption everyone here is making and unnecessarily getting confused. DO NOT ASSUME anything in CR. B clearly defeats the argument.

B should be the answer. Enough discussed. What's the OA?

the OA is C.

This question was discussed in the past too. I couldn't see any compelling reason to choose C; even now, I haven't found any reason to choose C.

the discussion is not over yet, but thanks everyone for chiming in.
Re: anti-smoking education program   [#permalink] 19 May 2008, 09:09

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