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

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

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

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New post 31 Oct 2011, 10:12
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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!
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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adhiraj 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:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
B


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.

Answer would (E)

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

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New post 26 Dec 2011, 23:58
So to make student graduate high school student need to pass an exam
1997 some 20% student failed
In 1998 the result was more bad 10 % “LESS” student pass in comparison to last year ..
So lets assume in 1997 100 high school student were there
1997 ) 80 , 20
1998 ) 72 , X
A ) If this has to be true then there has to be drop in high school student as any thing more then 88 student we cant reach higher %age so thus we can say A is not the least
B ) for this to be true we need passing % to be 79 or less then 79 = so student minimum required is 91 or more .. which makes B as can be or can be not .. defiantly LEAST possible
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New post 27 Dec 2011, 00:59
The answer has to be E. No matter what initial number you pick for the number of students, the range mentioned in E is not possible, hence I figure it is the least possible, possibility being 0. How is the answer B?
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prab wrote:
1997 the students who didn't passed 20% (x)
1998 the students who didn't pass was inc. by 10% = X + 10 % of x = y

so how can this be possible, how can the number of passing students dec.
the no# 1. if the number of students decreased...

this is opposed by B

Hence B.


My friend you are forgetting a basic premise of the question. The 10% decrease was in the "NUMBER OF STUDENTS" who passed. So it is 10 % less than the people who graduated in 1997. Lets say in 1997, the number who graduated was 80%. Now lets assume the number who graduated in 1997 was 200. Then the number who graduated in 1998 was 10 percent less, or with this assumed number (200), 20 less people graduated this year. On the opposite end, if the number of those who graduated in 1997 was 200, 200 is 80% of what? of 250. Do the math. So the number who failed were 50, right? So given the information, statement B could hold, or we can still come up with numbers that support the conclusion. The only statement where the maths does not work out is E. So e "LEAST SUPPORTS" the information given.
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Actually I see the light here. Sorry for my earlier posts. Come to think of it, this was pretty straightforward. It is highly confusing because you have to go through all the optins in any case in a question like this, since it asks for the least possible. So many numbers are being talked about and randomly, so I guess this was a reall cracker.

But here is the reason that I think. Here is how:

From Question Stem:
"In 1998, the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from the previous year". This is the key statement. We already know that the number of students is less in 1998 than in 1997. Just re-read the statement and it is obvious.

Now Option B says:

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.

We already know that the number of student decreased so B is totally out of the question, the least likely.
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It immediately read like a question beyond Einstein and so with 2.23 already on the clock, chose to say screw it, moving on and selected B because c,d and e suspiciously gave some precise, extra info, so left between A and B, i was like this question is a real B!tch, which starts with B. so imma choose B. where's that meme with a baby pulling a heck yeah fist punch.

devinawilliam83 wrote:
Eventually got the answer but this took me a lot of time.Is it possible to solve questions like these in under 2 minutes?
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New post 24 May 2013, 08:59
devinawilliam83 wrote:
Eventually got the answer but this took me a lot of time.Is it possible to solve questions like these in under 2 minutes?


I think the answer is (E)
Pass Fail Total
1997 80 20 100
1998 72( 10% of 80) ? X


Option(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 , lets say the percentage of the passed students is 69% (less than 70) ....so 72/ X *100 = 69 so x has to greater than 100 in order to produce a result =69 or less and the nbr of students in 1997 was 100 hence proved ( E) is least likely .

Option (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.
Let P be Pass percent in 1998 and X is total nbr of students , then P/100 * X =72 and P < 80% , without knowing P we cant for sure say whether X has increased or decreased as there are 2 unknown's .It may be possible or it might not be .

But (E) is impossible option so ans is (E)
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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.
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The correct answer should be E. I am gonna show that E is not supported in any case and B is sometimes supported:

1997 People who failed 20 %, People who passed 80 % --> 80 (Let's suppose we are dealing with 100 students)
1998 People who failed ?? %, People who passed ?? % --> 72 (10 % fewer students)

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.
Two cases: % of students who pass 75 % --> Total number of students 96 --> Not supported
% of students who pass 60 % --> Total number of students 120 --> Supported
As we can see B is not univocal.

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.

Kudos if you liked it!!!

% of students who pass 70 % --> Total number of students 103 --> Not supported
% of students who pass 20 % --> Total number of students 360 --> Not supported

We can see that E is never supported and B is sometimes.
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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I think the answer is E. My explanation is in the attached picture.
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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New post 06 May 2014, 10:36
The correct answer is (E). Can someone please change the OA?

Solution:
Define the following
X # of students in 1997
Y # of students in 1998

The question states that 20% of students did not pass the exam in 1997. Therefore, 80 percent did pass the exam.
And so 0.8X students passed the exam.
In 1998, the number of students who passed the exam was 10% lower in 1998 than in 1997.
Therefore, the number of students who passed the exam in 1998 was (0.9)(0.8)X = 0.72X

Now, (B) is ambiguous.
--> Assume the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998
That is, (0.72X)/Y < (0.8X)/X
We can cancel X from both sides (permissible since X > 0)
And so, 0.72/Y < 0.8/X
0.72X < 0.8Y
Then Y > (72/80)X (= (9/10)X)
And so this tells us that Y is greater than 90% of X
Thus Y could also be greater than X or X could be greater than Y.

Now, we can disprove (E) (using the same variables)
--> Assume the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70 percent.
Then (0.72X)/Y < 0.7
And so, 72X < 70Y
So, (72/70)X < Y
And X < (72/70)X < Y
Thus X < Y
This contradicts the statement given in (E)
Therefore (E) is NOT supported

I apologize for not using latex.
Also, if you're going to post your own questions, please make sure that they are concise, accurate, and unambiguous in order to avoid unnecessary confusion.
If the question were to to ask the reader to identify the answer choice posing the most ambiguity, then indeed (B) would be correct.
Someone please either correct this problem or correct the answer choice in part (E).
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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New post 08 May 2014, 02:23
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.

Given:
In 1997 : 100 STUDENTS = 80 PASSED | 20 FAILED
In 1998 : X students = 72 PASSED | X - 72 FAILED (X CANNOT BE LESS THAN 72)

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.

72 = 80/100 X = 90 thus X should be less than 90, A supports the argument.

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.

X must be greater than 90 to have number of seniors passed below 80% in 1998. number of high school senior increased or decreased can't say.

72---90--(X)--100--(X)-- value of X can lie anywhere above 90.


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.

72---(X)--90--(X)---100 Condition unless the number of seniors lower than 100 in 1998 then 1997... the number of seniors passed in 1998 was lower than 80%... lets say if X is between 90 - 100 pass percentage will be below 80%. e.g. 72 passed out of 95 = pass percentage 75%; if X is below 90 say 80 then 72 passed out of 80 = 90% passed.
Thus conditions does not support both possibilities.


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 high school seniors failed in 1997 = 20 decreased by more than 10%: means number of high school seniors failed in 1998 less than 18.

in 1998 72 passed + (less than 18 failed = 17 failed) = 89 max limit. 72/89 * 100 = 80.89% approx. if we further reduce failed between 0 - 17 inclusive percentage will increase. thus this option supports the argument.


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.

72 = 70/100 X
X = 102.85 Thus X must be greater than 102.

e.g. if I take X 69%
72=69/100 X
X= 104

SIMILARLY for any percentage below 70 to keep passed student equal to 72. I will have to increase the value of X.
Therefore number of high school seniors in 1997 (100) < number of high school seniors in 1998 (102++)

Therefore E LEAST supported among all.

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

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Yes it is;
The key is to understand that this question requires you to breakdown and assimilate confusingly represented data.
In such cases putting down the logic / data points into manageable bits in your scratch pad/paper will help immensely.

Here's what the data says (I'm assuming that 1997's student strength is 100)
We know that
Pass = 80
Fail = 20

But in 1998 number of pass reduced by 10% of previous year: therefore total number of pass = 72
(note that they haven't told us what the total number of students is)

So let's account for all possibilities:
Student population of 1998 was 1. lower, 2. same, 3. more

Let me assign numbers
1. 80 then
Pass = 72
Fail = 8

2. 100
Pass = 72
Fail = 28

3. 200
Pass = 72
Fail = 128

Now let's look at the options:

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 refers to the second case and this statement is TRUE
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 not necessary since if % of passing decreased - total could be equal OR more
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. Case 1 - TRUE
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. This is TRUE - extrapolation of case 1
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 is TRUE - case 3

Hope that clarifies things! :)

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

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New post 13 Aug 2014, 04:25
I think it is better to reduce the percentages to absolute numbers in case of year 1997.
It makes things easier to contradict:
In 1997:
Total = 100
Pass = 80
Fail = 20

In 1998:
Total = X
Pass = 72 (= 90% of 80 = 72% of total students in 1997)
Fail = ??

In case of option B, just assume the total number of students in 1998 remained same, ie, 100. We see that the percentage of students who passed has dropped (to 72% in 1998) WITHOUT an increase in number of students as statement B supposes. However, B is still feasible. If we take total number of students in 1998 as 1000, B holds true.

You can work out the other options, and they come out as true.
I take that back.

Pass in 1998 = 72% of total students in 1997 ...............................(a)

According to E, Pass in 1998 < 70% of total students in 1998
Let Pass in 1998 = 70% of total students in 1998 = 0.7X

From (a),
0.7X = 0.72 * 100
X > 100, ie, X HAS to be greater than 100.
=> E is not supported at all.

Last edited by gaurav90 on 03 Nov 2014, 06:15, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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New post 13 Aug 2014, 06:04
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PiyushK 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.

Given:
In 1997 : 100 STUDENTS = 80 PASSED | 20 FAILED
In 1998 : X students = 72 PASSED | X - 72 FAILED (X CANNOT BE LESS THAN 72)

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.

72 = 80/100 X = 90 thus X should be less than 90, A supports the argument.

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.

X must be greater than 90 to have number of seniors passed below 80% in 1998. number of high school senior increased or decreased can't say.

72---90--(X)--100--(X)-- value of X can lie anywhere above 90.


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.

72---(X)--90--(X)---100 Condition unless the number of seniors lower than 100 in 1998 then 1997... the number of seniors passed in 1998 was lower than 80%... lets say if X is between 90 - 100 pass percentage will be below 80%. e.g. 72 passed out of 95 = pass percentage 75%; if X is below 90 say 80 then 72 passed out of 80 = 90% passed.
Thus conditions does not support both possibilities.


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 high school seniors failed in 1997 = 20 decreased by more than 10%: means number of high school seniors failed in 1998 less than 18.

in 1998 72 passed + (less than 18 failed = 17 failed) = 89 max limit. 72/89 * 100 = 80.89% approx. if we further reduce failed between 0 - 17 inclusive percentage will increase. thus this option supports the argument.


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.

72 = 70/100 X
X = 102.85 Thus X must be greater than 102.

e.g. if I take X 69%
72=69/100 X
X= 104

SIMILARLY for any percentage below 70 to keep passed student equal to 72. I will have to increase the value of X.
Therefore number of high school seniors in 1997 (100) < number of high school seniors in 1998 (102++)

Therefore E LEAST supported among all.


Choice E can be supported by the argument.

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

It doesn't matter what number of seniors there are in 1998.

The number of seniors in 1997 is always > the number of seniors in 1998.

The answer is Choice B.

I used 100 as my value for "passed students in '97": so, I'm left with 25 failed and 125 total for '97 ---- and, 90 passed for '98.
Now, Choice B says:

"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 statement is referring to the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in '97 and '98, respectively.
In '97, 80% passed ... that's: 100 (passed ~ my "smart number") + 25 (failed) = 125 total.
In '98, let's say: 80% passed ... Now, using the information from the argument: "In 1998, the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from the previous year." ...
we have ----> 90 passed ... the MAX value for percentage of seniors who passed in '98 HAS TO BE < 80%.

So ... Let's use 79% to calculate what the total number of students for '98 ... 90=.79T .... The total for '98 < 125 ---- No increase in total number of students.
And, that's all you really need to do, to prove that Choice B is the correct answer. This answer is not supported by the argument.
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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New post 24 Mar 2015, 09:03
omerrauf wrote:
Actually I see the light here. Sorry for my earlier posts. Come to think of it, this was pretty straightforward. It is highly confusing because you have to go through all the optins in any case in a question like this, since it asks for the least possible. So many numbers are being talked about and randomly, so I guess this was a reall cracker.

But here is the reason that I think. Here is how:

From Question Stem:
"In 1998, the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from the previous year". This is the key statement. We already know that the number of students is less in 1998 than in 1997. Just re-read the statement and it is obvious.

Now Option B says:

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.


We already know that the number of student decreased so B is totally out of the question, the least likely.



Can you explain why "the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased" means the TOTAL number of students is also less? It is not necessarily true.

Let's give a number and play it out based on premise

1997
Total no of students: 100
no of students who passed: 80
% of students who passed: 80%
no of students who failed: 20
% of students who failed: 20%

1998
Total no of students: ? (because we don't know this from stem)
no of students who passed: 72 (-10% than 1997)

if ? = 150 ( which is more than 100 in 1997)
% of students who passed = 72/150 * 100% = 48% (much lesser than 80%)

HENCE, the paragraph SUPPORTS 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. Answer cannot be B IMO.

to test what you have said, let's decrease it
if ? = 90, % of students who passed = 80%
if ? = 80, % of students who passed = 90%
(as you can see as the number of students decreases, the % of students who passed increases, this actually SUPPORTS A and it is the opposite of your claim that if the number of student decreases, the % should increase NOT decrease. "In 1998, the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from the previous year. This is the key statement. We already know that the number of students is less in 1998 than in 1997. Just re-read the statement and it is obvious."

I still go with E. Can someone give a better explanation why OA is B? I am not convinced!
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Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2015, 00:28
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.

Pre think assumption More students graduated in 1998 from 1997 provided the total no.of students did not change from 1997 to 1998

[color=#6ecff6][color=#ffffff]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=#ff0000]This supports the argument.For e.g lets say the no. of students in 1997 was 1000 and the percentage passed was 80% then 800 students passed in 1997.In 1998 lets say the no.of students was 900 and the percentage passed was 90% then 810 students passed hence the number of passed students increased in 1998 but the total no.of students has decreased.

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 clearly contradicts the argument by saying the percentage of students passed has decreased in 1998 from 1997.This provides least support hence could be the correct answer
[color=#ffffff]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
[/color][/color]-This scenario can play out if the number of students are equal or higher.
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-This could support the case if the total no.of students in 1997 and 1998 were equal say 1000 then the no.of students who passed in 1997 will be 800 and in 1998 will be 900 which is greater than 80%
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.-Suppose the total no.of students in 1998 was 1000 and less than 70% passed e.g 690(69%) then it could be possible that the total no.of students in 1997 was 2000 and only 59% passed i.e 1180 then this scenario could be possible hence this statement somewhat supports the argument[/color][/color][/color]
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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 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
Re: Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been   [#permalink] 22 Sep 2015, 22:57

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