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Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been

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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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22 Sep 2015, 22:57
B is the OE.

Premise: 20% students failed, 80% students passed.
Premise: the NUMBER of students decreased by 10% from previous year.

CASE 1: in 1997, total number of students: 100
80 passed, 20 failed.
No. of total students remain same in 1998 : So 0.1 of 80 = 8 decrease ---> 72 students passed. so % passed = 72
Hence no. of senior decreased.

CASE 2: in 1997, total number of students: 100
80 passed, 20 failed.
No. of students increased : So again, 0.1 of 80 = 8 decrease ---> 72 students passed. Assuming there are 110 students now, % of students passed < 72 and AGAIN, no. of seniors decreased.

CASE 3: in 1997, total number of students: 100
80 passed, 20 failed.
No. of students decreased : So again, 0.1 of 80 = 8 decrease ---> 72 students passed. Assuming there are 110 students now, % of students passed > 72 and AGAIN, no. of seniors decreased.

So under all circumstances, no. of seniors decrease or increase is NOT A SURE SHOT consideration.

B States otherwise. and hence B = OA
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#Top150 CR: Beginning in 1997 high school seniors in State Q [#permalink]

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09 Jan 2016, 09:33
1
This is a messed up question.

Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been required to pass a comprehensive proficiency exam before they are allowed to graduate.( it is some fact and let us move on)

The exam requirement was intended to ensure that a minimum level of academic quality will be achieved by the students in the state. ( it is some fact and let us move on)

In 1997, 20 percent of the seniors did not pass the exam and were, therefore, not allowed to graduate. (ok game begins.it says in 1997 20% were not allowed to graduate)

In 1998, the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from the previous year.

(So in 1998 NUMBER of seniors decreased by 10%. Suppose there were total 100 seniors in 1997,80 were passed. So 80-8=72 passed in 1998.

Some facts
1.We dont know what % of seniors passed in 1998.
2.We don't know what is the number of seniors who did not pass in 1998.
3.We don't know total number of seniors in 1998

The argument above, if true, LEAST supports which of the following statement.

A. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam increased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors decreased during that time period.[color=#0000ff]
[/color]

It says IF % of students passed in 98 >% of students passed in 97,then total number of students in 98 is < total number of students in 97.

total students in 97=100
students passed in 97=80

Students passed in 98=80-8=72
total students in 98=X
72 is more than 80% of X.
There fore X<100
So A is supported by argument and a is not the answer.

B. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors increased during that time period.

It says IF % of students passed in 98 < % of students passed in 97,then total number of students in 98 is >total number of students in 97.

let us say

total students in 97=100
Students passed in 97=80
Students passed in 98=80-8=72
total students in 98=X
If 72 is less than 80% of X which means

X should be > 90

If X is between 90 and 100,X need not increase.

So the part of the argument 'then total number of students in 98 is >total number of students in 97.' is wrong.

So B can be the answer.

C. Unless the number of high school seniors was lower in 1998 than in 1997, the number of seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was lower than 80 percent.

unless(this is a strong condition) total students in 98 (let us say X) is less than that in 97( 100),number of seniors who passed in 98 (72) should be less than 80%
(These numbers are from calculation shown in B)

which means unless X < 100 then 72 should be less than 80% of X
Actually this need not be correct.

If we take values of X from 99 -91, then still 72 is less than 80% of X .

C can also can be the answer

D. If the number of high school seniors who did not pass the exam decreased by more than 10 percent from 1997 to 1998, the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was greater than 80 percent.
Let us break the D

If the number of high school seniors who did not pass the exam decreased by more than 10 percent from 1997 to 1998,

passed in 97=80
Total in 98=X

did not pass decreased by 10%=passed increased by 10%

Passed in 98= 88

then the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was greater than 80 percent.

Which means 88 should be more than 80% of X. But we don know the value of X

this is not supported. Either

D can also be the answer

E. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70 percent, the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than the number in 1998.

total in 98=X

Students passed in 98=80-8=72

Those who passed in 98=less than 70% of X

Then minimum value of X=103

so “the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than the number in 1998”

E is supported so E is not the answer
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Re: #Top150 CR: Beginning in 1997 high school seniors in State Q [#permalink]

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26 Feb 2016, 22:05
2
pkm9995109794 did a great job of breaking down each answer choice, but unfortunately he made a couple errors which led to not being able to answer the question. I do agree however, that this is a messed up question.

I'll go through it in the same way and use the same numbers so we can all see where the differences are.

Quote:
Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been required to pass a comprehensive proficiency exam before they are allowed to graduate. The exam requirement was intended to ensure that a minimum level of academic quality will be achieved by the students in the state. In 1997, 20 percent of the seniors did not pass the exam and were, therefore, not allowed to graduate. In 1998, the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from the previous year.

Firstly, let's pick a few numbers to make our lives easy.
Let the total number of high school seniors in 1997 = 100
Then the number of high school seniors who passed in 1997 = 80 (given)
Then the number of high school seniors who passed in 1998 = 72 (given, decrease of 10%)
Let the total number of high school seniors in 1998 = x

It needs to be noted here that the question is tricky in that it refers to the percentage of students who passed, and also to a percentage decrease in the number of students who passed. These are two different things. One previous poster incorrectly assumed that this meant that the percentage of students who passed in 1998 was 70%. That is not true.

In fact we don't know what percentage of students passed in 1998. What we DO know is that the percentage of students who passed in 1997 = $$\frac{80}{100} = 80\%$$ and that the percentage of students who passed in 1998 was $$\frac{72}{x}$$. It will also be helpful to note that if x=90, then the percentage of students who passed in 1998 = $$\frac{72}{90} = 80\%$$
This will be used as a reference when we evaluate the answer choices.

Ok, the question:
The argument above, if true, LEAST supports which of the following statements.

A. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam increased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors decreased during that time period.

This is saying that if $$\frac{72}{x}>80\%$$, then x<100. Is this true based on the argument?

$$\frac{72}{x}>80\%$$ means $$x<\frac{72}{0.8}$$ which means $$x< 90$$. So x<100, the statement is supported by the argument above. DISCARD

B. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors increased during that time period.

This is saying that if $$\frac{72}{x}<80\%$$, then x>100. Is this true?
Using the same logic as in A. we can see that here x>90. That means it MIGHT be greater than 100, but is not definitive. POSSIBLE ANSWER.

C. Unless the number of high school seniors was lower in 1998 than in 1997, the number of seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was lower than 80 percent.

This is a tricky one. The word "unless" is basically the opposite of "if", or can be read as "if not". So "unless A happens, B happens" should be read as "If not A, then B". Applied to the statement, it can be read as "If the number of high school seniors was NOT lower in 1998 than in 1997, then the number of seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was lower than 80 percent.

Using our numbers, it looks like this: if $$x>100$$, then $$\frac{72}{x}<80\%$$

We know if x=90, then 72/x = 80%, so if x>100, then 72/x must be < 80%. Statement is supported by the argument above. DISCARD

D. If the number of high school seniors who did not pass the exam decreased by more than 10 percent from 1997 to 1998, the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was greater than 80 percent.

Number of students who did not pass the exam in 1997 = 20. If this number decreased by more than 10% then the number of students who did not pass the exam in 1998 < 18. (20-10%=18)

Therefore the number of students who did not pass the exam in 1998 = x-72 < 18. Meaning x<90
And the percentage of students who passed the exam in 1998 was greater that 80%. $$\frac{72}{x}>80\%$$, and x<90. This is true, supported by the argument above. DISCARD

E. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70 percent, the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than the number in 1998.

If $$\frac{72}{x}<70\%$$, then 100>x

If $$x>\frac{72}{0.7}$$, then x<100

If $$x>102$$, then $$x<100$$. Obviously false. This statement cannot be true based on the argument above.

But now we have a problem. Answer choice B is only partially supported by the argument, and answer choice E is contradicted by the argument. The way the question is phrased, "The argument above, if true, LEAST supports which of the following statements." could be interpreted as "Which of the following statement IS supported by the argument above, but supported the least". That way one could argue that B is the answer. But I don't think that is the correct interpretation of the question, and I'm not sure you can support less than by contradicting, which would suggest to me that the correct answer should be E, not B.

There could also possibly be a typo in answer choice E, swapping 1997 and 1998 in the second half of the statement. That would result in the statement being fully supported by the argument and the answer would then be a unanimous B.

Can anyone find an error in my analysis?

By the way, to do this in under 2 minutes would take some serious powers of time manipulation...

Cheers
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Re: #Top150 CR: Beginning in 1997 high school seniors in State Q [#permalink]

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26 Feb 2016, 23:17
Hi,
davedekoos wrote:
pkm9995109794 did a great job of breaking down each answer choice, but unfortunately he made a couple errors which led to not being able to answer the question. I do agree however, that this is a messed up question.

Q argument may not be messed up but, the OA is actually messed up..

Quote:
But now we have a problem. Answer choice B is only partially supported by the argument, and answer choice E is contradicted by the argument. The way the question is phrased, "The argument above, if true, LEAST supports which of the following statements." could be interpreted as "Which of the following statement IS supported by the argument above, but supported the least". That way one could argue that B is the answer. But I don't think that is the correct interpretation of the question, and I'm not sure you can support less than by contradicting, which would suggest to me that the correct answer should be E, not B.

The Requirement -"The argument above, if true, LEAST supports which of the following statements."- does convey that the choice is likely to be supported in whatever little way.
So, B comes close to that requirement. But E is totally incorrect, overtaking B as the most appropriate choice but may not exactly fit into the requirement.
So my take would be that E was not intended by the source as it has turned out to be and, errorneously, 1997 has been mentioned as 1998 and vice-versa.

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Re: #Top150 CR: Beginning in 1997 high school seniors in State Q [#permalink]

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28 Feb 2016, 03:07
2
This question definitely needs fixing. As others have suggested, switching the years in E would easily make B the answer. If E is really the intended answer, then the question would need to clearly ask for an answer that "MUST BE FALSE." This is not something we'd usually see on the GMAT. In any case, when we're asked for an answer that is "least supported," there should really be four supported answers and one unsupported answer. The relative language "least" is just used to protect the test-writers in case we think of some slight exception or odd interpretation that might make two answers seem valid.
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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20 Apr 2016, 06:44
1
you can think of a least possible scenario as an except scenario. courtesy of powerscore CR guide.
So Question rephrased : all choices support except one doesn't follow from the argument.

Year Pass Fail Total
97 80 20 100
98 72 ? ?

A. %HSS who passed increased from 97 to 98 --> total number of HSS decreased from 97 to 98
we know number of HSS who passed decreased from 80 to 72. Only way % can increase is the total decrease!
B. %HSS who passed decreased from 97 to 98 --> total number of HSS increased from 97 to 98
if you think of it this is the inverse logic of A. So this should not be supported.
the total number need not decrease for the %HSS to decrease. It can stay the same and still decrease.
from our example with total as 100 in 1998 as well. % of HSS who passed is 72%. Decreased but total stays the same.
C. if total number of seniors who passed in 1998 was greater than or equal to 80%--> number of seniors was lower in 1998 than in 1997.
Only way for % of seniors who passed be greater than 72% in 1998 is if the total number of people decrease. Similar logic to A.
D. if number of HSS who failed decreased by more than 10% from 1997 to 1998 --> % of HSS who passed in 1998 was greater than 80%.
So number of people who failed in 1998 decreased by more than 2 from our premise. So the number decreased to 17,16,15...etc.. So total is 72+17=89, or 88 , or 87....(72/90 =80%) so in all the scenario the percentage of people who passed will be greater than 80%.
E. % of people who passed was less than 70% in 1998--> number of seniors was higher in 97 than in 98.
How can % be less than 70% in 1998? only if total number increase.
if total decreased % will only increase! So option is definitely not supported.

E for me....
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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20 May 2016, 23:43
sanjuro9 wrote:
Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been required to pass a comprehensive proficiency exam before they are allowed to graduate. The exam requirement was intended to ensure that a minimum level of academic quality will be achieved by the students in the state. In 1997, 20 percent of the seniors did not pass the exam and were, therefore, not allowed to graduate. In 1998, the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from the previous year.

The argument above, if true, LEAST supports which of the following statement.

A. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam increased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors decreased during that time period.
B. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors increased during that time period.
C. Unless the number of high school seniors was lower in 1998 than in 1997, the number of seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was lower than 80 percent.
D. If the number of high school seniors who did not pass the exam decreased by more than 10 percent from 1997 to 1998, the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was greater than 80 percent.
E. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70 percent, the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than the number in 1998.

Please provide an explanation with actual numbers.

OA:

1997 80% passed, 20% failed
1998 number who passed decreased by 10% from number who passed in 1997
Both in 1997 and 1998 we don't know what was the number of students.

Lets start by taking a number for 1997, say 100 students appeared and 80 passed, 20 failed.
In 1998, we 'll have 10% fewer passing than 1997, so 72 passed the exam.

Now, lets look at the choices.
A - If the percentage of students who passed increased in 1998... so 72 is > 80% of x (x being number of students in 1998.
72 > 0.8x or x<90 so Choice A is valid. Note that the question stem asks for LEAST possible conclusion.

B - %passing decreased. so, 72/x*100 < 80 or 72/x < 0.8 or x>90. x could be 91 or 120. Don't know.

C - Not necessarily true. Number of students can remain the same, say 100 and the number of students passing is less than 80%, ie. 72%.

D - We know that the number of students passing the exam decreased by 10%, lets not evaluate this.

E - The percentage of passing students in 1998 would be less than 70% is when number of students in 1998 is greater than number of students in 1997. >102 to be precise.

As in case of B, the conclusion may or may not be true depending upon how much the percentage has decreased. In case of E the number of students in 1997 can not be greater than that in 1998.

This analysis would take more than 5-10 minutes. What's the source and are you sure the OA is B? What's the explanation at the source?

for answer option E), if 72 is less than 70%, then total number must be greater than 100. So, E is valid.

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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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19 Jun 2016, 08:19
2
Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been required to pass a comprehensive proficiency exam before they are allowed to graduate. The exam requirement was intended to ensure that a minimum level of academic quality will be achieved by the students in the state. In 1997, 20 percent of the seniors did not pass the exam and were, therefore, not allowed to graduate. In 1998, the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from the previous year.

The argument above, if true, LEAST supports which of the following statement.

A. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam increased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors decreased during that time period.
B. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors increased during that time period.
C. Unless the number of high school seniors was lower in 1998 than in 1997, the number of seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was lower than 80 percent.
D. If the number of high school seniors who did not pass the exam decreased by more than 10 percent from 1997 to 1998, the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was greater than 80 percent.
E. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70 percent, the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than the number in 1998.

Please provide an explanation with actual numbers.

OA:

Hi,

Responding to a PM...
Lets take a friendly number to check on choices..
Total seniors in 1997 = 100...
80 passed and 20 failed..

1998 - Total = T...
Passed = 90% of 80 = 72 and failed = F...

lets check the statements -
A. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam increased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors decreased during that time period.
% in 1997 = 80%, and % in $$1998 = \frac{72}{T}$$....
$$\frac{72}{T}$$ > 80%.... $$\frac{72}{T}> \frac{80}{100} ..... T < 72*\frac{100}{80}.... T<90$$...
so YES the number of high schools seniors decreased from 100 to LESS than 90 during that time period

B. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors increased during that time period.
% in 1997 = 80%, and % in 1998 = 72/T....
$$\frac{72}{T} < 80$$%....$$\frac{72}{T}< \frac{80}{100} ..... T > 72*\frac{100}{80}.... T>90...$$
so YES if the number of high schools seniors was 91 and
NO if it was 101 or 110 etc..
So this may not be TRUE everytime....

C. Unless the number of high school seniors was lower in 1998 than in 1997, the number of seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was lower than 80 percent.
let T< 100..... so 72/T <80/100..... T>90.....
so if T is between 90 and 100... ans is NO...% <80...
if T is <90... ans is YES > 80%
again Can be TRUE of FALSE..

D. If the number of high school seniors who did not pass the exam decreased by more than 10 percent from 1997 to 1998, the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was greater than 80 percent.
% in 1997 = 80%, and % in $$1998 = \frac{72}{T}$$....
so # failed in 1997 = 20, and in 1998 #<18, say 17, so T = 72+17 = 89<90..
$$\frac{72}{(<90)}=x$$ .... so x> 80%.
so YES the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was greater than 80 percent.

E. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70 percent, the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than the number in 1998.
so $$\frac{72}{T}<\frac{70}{100}..............T> 72*\frac{100}{70}.......... T> 102...$$ so clearly ans is NO in every case..

Now we have B and C, which may be TRUE or FALSE, and E, which will always be FALSE..
so cleraly E is least supported...

OA given is B and many have found B to be correct..

But answer should be E, unless we mean LEAST supported means that the choice should be supported a bit but not completely..
And I do not think that should be the meaning
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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19 Jun 2016, 09:44
Thank you for replying to my private message Chetan
This is exactly what my answer was appearing.. No matter what numbers I used I was getting option E as the least supported one.
I don't know why B is the OA.
Anyway I will go stick to my answer and your mathematical proof and mark Option E as correct.
Thanks again

chetan2u wrote:
Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been required to pass a comprehensive proficiency exam before they are allowed to graduate. The exam requirement was intended to ensure that a minimum level of academic quality will be achieved by the students in the state. In 1997, 20 percent of the seniors did not pass the exam and were, therefore, not allowed to graduate. In 1998, the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from the previous year.

The argument above, if true, LEAST supports which of the following statement.

A. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam increased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors decreased during that time period.
B. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors increased during that time period.
C. Unless the number of high school seniors was lower in 1998 than in 1997, the number of seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was lower than 80 percent.
D. If the number of high school seniors who did not pass the exam decreased by more than 10 percent from 1997 to 1998, the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was greater than 80 percent.
E. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70 percent, the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than the number in 1998.

Please provide an explanation with actual numbers.

OA:

Hi,

Responding to a PM...
Lets take a friendly number to check on choices..
Total seniors in 1997 = 100...
80 passed and 20 failed..

1998 - Total = T...
Passed = 90% of 80 = 72 and failed = F...

lets check the statements -
A. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam increased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors decreased during that time period.
% in 1997 = 80%, and % in $$1998 = \frac{72}{T}$$....
$$\frac{72}{T}$$ > 80%.... $$\frac{72}{T}> \frac{80}{100} ..... T < 72*\frac{100}{80}.... T<90$$...
so YES the number of high schools seniors decreased from 100 to LESS than 90 during that time period

B. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors increased during that time period.
% in 1997 = 80%, and % in 1998 = 72/T....
$$\frac{72}{T} < 80$$%....$$\frac{72}{T}< \frac{80}{100} ..... T > 72*\frac{100}{80}.... T>90...$$
so YES if the number of high schools seniors was 91 and
NO if it was 101 or 110 etc..
So this may not be TRUE everytime....

C. Unless the number of high school seniors was lower in 1998 than in 1997, the number of seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was lower than 80 percent.
let T< 100..... so 72/T <80/100..... T>90.....
so if T is between 90 and 100... ans is NO...% <80...
if T is <90... ans is YES > 80%
again Can be TRUE of FALSE..

D. If the number of high school seniors who did not pass the exam decreased by more than 10 percent from 1997 to 1998, the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was greater than 80 percent.
% in 1997 = 80%, and % in $$1998 = \frac{72}{T}$$....
so # failed in 1997 = 20, and in 1998 #<18, say 17, so T = 72+17 = 89<90..
$$\frac{72}{(<90)}=x$$ .... so x> 80%.
so YES the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was greater than 80 percent.

E. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70 percent, the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than the number in 1998.
so $$\frac{72}{T}<\frac{70}{100}..............T> 72*\frac{100}{70}.......... T> 102...$$ so clearly ans is NO in every case..

Now we have B and C, which may be TRUE or FALSE, and E, which will always be FALSE..
so cleraly E is least supported...

OA given is B and many have found B to be correct..

But answer should be E, unless we mean LEAST supported means that the choice should be supported a bit but not completely..
And I do not think that should be the meaning

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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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16 Oct 2016, 08:45
"E. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70 percent, the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than the number in 1998.

If the % of students who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70% i.e. the total number of students would be more more than 100 because 72 is 72% of 100. For the % to be less than 70, the total number of students should be more than 100. True.

Can you explain this

If the % of students who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70% i.e. the total number of students would be more more than 100 because 72 is 72% of 100. For the % to be less than 70, the total number of students should be more than 100.

The text marked in red refers to the number of students in 1998 or 1997 ?
It me it looks it should refer to the number in 1998.
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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16 Oct 2016, 09:24
Capricorn369 wrote:
This is a tough one but i'll share my 2 cents.

1997 - 80% pass/ 20% fail.
1998 - 72% pass/ 28% fail. (becasue the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from 1997)

After reading options we can observe that only option (B) talks inline with the facts - If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998. Rest all talks weird/inconsistent number or percentage.

Let me know your thoughts. Cheers!

Hey dude.

The question is which of the following is least supported by the argument, meaning option B is least consistent with the question, the rest can be correctly inferred from the argument. Go home and read the question first.
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Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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04 Feb 2017, 08:55
To simplify the argument, let assume total number of seniors in 1997 is 100:

In 1997, 20% seniors did not pass the exam -> 80% pass -> it is 80 pass against 100 in total
In 1998, number of passed senior decreased 10% (of 80) -> it is 72 pass against "X" in total
=> If ratio of passed senior in 1998 equals to that in 1997, then X = 72/80% = 90
If X > 90, then 1998's ratio <80%
If X <90, then 1998's ratio > 80%

We have to eliminate all the answer choices which the above results support or partially support toward:

A/ If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam increased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors decreased during that time period.
If 72/X > 80%, then X<100 <=> If X<90, then X<100 (yes, it is always true)
SUPPORT

B/ If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors increased during that time period.
If 72/X <80%, then X>100 <=> If X>90, then X >100 (Yes, It is true in many cases, but if 100>X>90 it is false)
PARTIALLY SUPPORT

C/ Unless the number of high school seniors was lower in 1998 than in 1997, the number of seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was lower than 80 percent.
It means if X>=100, then 72/X <80% <=> If X>=100, then X>90 (yes, it is always true)
SUPPORT

D/ If the number of high school seniors who did not pass the exam decreased by more than 10 percent from 1997 to 1998, the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was greater than 80 percent.
It means if the number of no-passed senior (say "n") <18, then (X-n)/X >80% (opp! with variety value of "X" and "n" we know that it can be true or false)
PARTIALLY SUPPORT

E/If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70 percent, the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than the number in 1998.
If 72/X <70%, 100 > X <=> If X >102.8, then 100> X (wow! it is totally false)

It is such the time killer, all about math and easy to be confused, so I wont take time to resolve this kind of question in real test.
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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04 Feb 2017, 11:28
+1 E.

Guessed right. :D

Nice explanations!
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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17 Mar 2017, 11:03
Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been required to pass a comprehensive proficiency exam before they are allowed to graduate. The exam requirement was intended to ensure that a minimum level of academic quality will be achieved by the students in the state. In 1997, 20 percent of the seniors did not pass the exam and were, therefore, not allowed to graduate. In 1998, the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from the previous year.

The argument above, if true, LEAST supports which of the following statement.

A. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam increased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors decreased during that time period.
B. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors increased during that time period.
C. Unless the number of high school seniors was lower in 1998 than in 1997, the number of seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was lower than 80 percent.
D. If the number of high school seniors who did not pass the exam decreased by more than 10 percent from 1997 to 1998, the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was greater than 80 percent.
E. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70 percent, the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than the number in 1998.

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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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17 Mar 2017, 11:06
Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been required to pass a comprehensive proficiency exam before they are allowed to graduate. The exam requirement was intended to ensure that a minimum level of academic quality will be achieved by the students in the state. In 1997, 20 percent of the seniors did not pass the exam and were, therefore, not allowed to graduate. In 1998, the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from the previous year.

The argument above, if true, LEAST supports which of the following statement.

A. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam increased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors decreased during that time period.
B. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors increased during that time period.
C. Unless the number of high school seniors was lower in 1998 than in 1997, the number of seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was lower than 80 percent.
D. If the number of high school seniors who did not pass the exam decreased by more than 10 percent from 1997 to 1998, the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was greater than 80 percent.
E. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70 percent, the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than the number in 1998.

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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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21 Mar 2017, 21:54
Merging topics. Please, search questions before creating a discussion.
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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28 Mar 2017, 12:05
Hi experts,

kindly help us with the above question
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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03 Apr 2017, 14:08
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Aketa, please see the above explanations if you haven't already -- and I particularly agree with DmitryFarber.
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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02 May 2017, 07:36
took 4 min 45 seconds but got correct answer
My go :
Passed / fail
1997 : 80/20 - suppose 100 people are there.
1998 : 72/ ? - Don't know how many people are there but we know only 72 people passed.
A B C D - can be true in some cases . but E can never be true .
Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been   [#permalink] 02 May 2017, 07:36

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