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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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New post 02 May 2017, 09:43
One of the toughest. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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New post 20 Sep 2017, 21:23
pqhai wrote:
Omraan wrote:
hi there
can you please help me with this one?
I dont see why B is correct
sounds odd actually
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.


This question is tough.
Understand the assumption (hidden statement) is KEY

ANALYZE THE STIMULUS:

Fact: The argument says: In 1997, 20 percent of the seniors did not pass the exam and were, therefore, not allowed to graduate.
Fact: In 1998, the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from the previous year.

What the argument implies?
It implies that from 1997 to 1998, the percentage of "NOT passed" the exam is still 20% (KEY), however, the number of seniors passed the exam decreased 10%. Therefore, the total number of high school seniors in 1998 was less than in 1997.

Example to back up
1997: total students: 100, passed: 80, not passed 20 (20%)
1998: total students: X, passed: 72 (less than 10% of 80) = 80% of X. KEY (the argument assumes the percentage of fails is still 20%)
Clearly, X must be fewer than 100.

How the argument can switch the object from "percentage of failed" (variable 1) to "the number of pass" (variable 2) without conflicts?
THE MAIN IDEA IS: The argument MUST FIX one variable to make the other variable be correct. If both variables are not fixed, the logic is out.

:idea: Now, we have an idea in mind “any answer that mention the number of students in 1997 is higher than that in 1998 is true”. Answer that mentions the total number of students in 1998 is higher than in 1997 will be out of logic ==> That's the option which will be LEAST supported by the stimulus.

ANALYZE EACH ANSWER:

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.
Wrong. A mentions the number of high school seniors decreased from 1997 to 1998. This is true. So A will be supported by stimulus, hence A is wrong.

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.
Correct. B mentions the case in which the number of high school seniors in 1998 is higher than that in 1997. Thus, B will be least supported by the stimulus. Hence, B is correct.

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.
Wrong. C implies that if the number of high school senior was equal or higher in 1998 than in 1997, the percentage of “passed” will be lower than 80%. It’s correct because the number of “passed” is fixed (10% less than in 1997), total number increases, percentage decreases. That’s the normal logic. C is also supported by the stimulus, hence C is wrong.

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.
Wrong. Sure, it’s true. If the number of “NOT passed” decrease by more than 10% from 1997 to 1998, the percentage of “passed” increased. Thus, the number of high school who passed was greater. D is supported by the stimulus, D is wrong.

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.
Wrong. VERY TEMPTING. E mentions the case in which the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than in 1998. It’s clearly be supported by the stimulus, hence E is wrong.

Hope it helps.


" It implies that from 1997 to 1998, [u]the percentage of "NOT passed" the exam is still 20% " -- can someone please explain how this statement can be assumed?
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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New post 22 Sep 2017, 11:28
this question looks impossible at the first glance.
Having a closer look, A,B, C and E use the same logic. In fact, A and B are same. E contradicts with the logic. => E is the answer.

test takers still easily check whether D is correct.

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

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New post 26 Sep 2017, 04:53
Dear souvik101990, GMATNinja, Other experts,

It took me about 4 minutes to answer this question correctly. My concern is that if a similar question,which involves calculation in every answer choice, comes in the real test should I go for it or make a guess and move on.
Thanks in advance.

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

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New post 26 Sep 2017, 08:08
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CaptainJackSparr0w wrote:
Dear souvik101990, GMATNinja, Other experts,

It took me about 4 minutes to answer this question correctly. My concern is that if a similar question,which involves calculation in every answer choice, comes in the real test should I go for it or make a guess and move on.
Thanks in advance.

Don't worry, you will NEVER see a question quite like this on the actual GMAT. I still can't quite figure out if this is trying to be quant, CR, or IR; an actual CR question will never require actual calculation. And as DmitryFarber mentioned above, there are other problems with the question: https://gmatclub.com/forum/beginning-in ... l#p1651655.

Sure, if you get totally stuck on something on your actual test, you'll need to move on. But please don't worry about this particular question, Captain!
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been   [#permalink] 26 Sep 2017, 08:08

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