Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary

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Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2004, 07:41
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Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools as cleaners or pesticides causes allergic reactions in some children. Elementary school nurses in Renston report that the proportion of schoolchildren sent to them for treatment of allergic reactions to those chemicals has increased significantly over the past ten years. Therefore, either Renston ' s schoolchildren have been exposed to greater quantities of the chemicals, or they are more sensitive to them than schoolchildren were ten years ago.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A) The number of school nurses employed by Renstonâ€™s elementary schools has not decreased over the past ten years.
B) Children who are allergic to the chemicals are no more likely than other children to have allergies to other substances.
C) Children who have allergic reactions to the chemicals are not more likely to be sent to a school nurse now than they were ten years ago.
D) The chemicals are not commonly used as cleaners or pesticides in houses and apartment buildings in Renston.
E) Children attending elementary school do not make up a larger proportion of Renston ' s population now than they did ten years ago.

I'm stuck
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08 Jul 2004, 07:51
Boksana, clearly C

Let's assume the opposite to C: "children are now more likely than before to be sent to nurses". This is a very good explanation why a proportion of complaining kids increased. They are not necessarily more exposed or more sensitive, they are just more likely to be sent to nurses!
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08 Jul 2004, 07:53
E. To reach the conclusion we have to assume that the population of students is the same and so the whole blame goes on strength of chemical or its extra usage.

By negating this assumption, which means that if the student population has increased and the chemical usage is the same then more students are exposed to the chemical and we cannot derive the given conclusion.
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08 Jul 2004, 08:36

P.S. Paul, I'm waiting for your respond
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08 Jul 2004, 09:18
C it is, 1 minute flat
Children now are NOT any more likely to be sent to nurses than they were ten years ago. If they are, than the argument would fail -- just try negating it.
oleg did a great job explaining this one too.
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08 Jul 2004, 09:19
A talks about the number of nurses employed, but doesn't talk how children are more susceptible to allergies. Incorrect.
B is wrong. we are talking abt the allergies b/c of the chemical, not any other substance.
D doesn't prove anything. it is just wayward.
E could be a good hit, but is wrong. That's b/c premise states that "either schoolchildren are exposed to greater quantities or they are more sensitive". Even if children are in large proportion, the premise is not affected.

C's Base: now-a-days more children are sent to the nurses for treatment, 10 yrs back, no one cared to send them to the nurses. The percentage of children sent for treatment has increased from what it used to be 10 yrs back.
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08 Jul 2004, 10:05
dj,

it is not the premise rather the conclusion the conclusion of the argument that you have stated in option E.

I still stick to E until the OA is published (though I have a hunch that it is going to be C )

I chose E only because, if the number of children are more, then it is possible that with the same amount of exposure and sensitivity to chemicals, more children are taken to the nurses. However, this might not be true as it is only mentioned that "proportion" of children!!...meaning the number of children as a percentage of the population. We do not know whether the population has increased/decreased, so E is probably not correct!

This is a perfect example of the negation test to be applied to check whether a given statement is an assumption!
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08 Jul 2004, 10:09
yeeee, it 's a conclusion
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08 Jul 2004, 10:13
I still stick to E until the OA is published (though I have a hunch that it is going to be C

Sorry guys, I have no OA
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08 Jul 2004, 13:25
1 min and clearly C.
E) we are not interested in the proportion of the population made up of children. This is besides the point and does not need to be assumed anywhere. What we need to know is whether there is an increase in the likelihood of children being reported to nurses. Only that will affect the validity of the conclusion.
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Paul

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08 Jul 2004, 13:40
c FOR ME AS WELL

In E if population increases, then the # of children will also increase even though proportion is same. This kinda refutes the conclusion that "Renston ' s schoolchildren have been exposed to greater quantities of the chemicals, or they are more sensitive to them than schoolchildren were ten years ago" by providing explanation to why # children with allergy is higher.
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09 Jul 2004, 00:05
I will explain why E is clearly wrong

consider the opposite to E: "Children attending elementary school now make up a larger proportion of Renston's population now than they did ten years ago". Does the argument fall apart?

the number of children attending elementary school need not necessarily increased. It can be that old people have died out and that's how the proportion of children has grown

if the number of children has not changed (only the proportion has) the argument is still valid. The number of children is the same while the number of reports of illnesses is bigger. The author has all rights to make the conclusion he made
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09 Jul 2004, 00:09
C for me too. Other statements either out-of-scope or invalid.

C is the fittest of all.
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09 Jul 2004, 00:22
Till I read OlegC's last post, I was sure (E) is answer, but after reading Oleg's explanation, (C) is the best.

Good job Oleg
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09 Jul 2004, 06:52
It is a causal argument.
They have given us two premises leading to the conclusion. The first one says that the chemicals are commonly used in schools. If we say that the chemicals are commonly used even at home, then these two causes alone donot lead to the conclusion. Thus, if assume that the chemicals are NOT commonly used at home, then the argument is strengthened and thus D is a necessary assumption.

Let us take C. If we deny C, the argument has to be weakened because C is the necessary assumption. 'Are more likely to be sent'(opposite of C) is NOT giving us any room to be decisive(because of 'likely') so that we can deny the conclusion. Even otherwise, if the children are more sent to the nurses now than they were earlier, then the nurses report more. The denial of C is strengthening the argument instead of weakening it. Thus, C is not the answer.

A - irrelevant
B - Out of scope because of 'other substances'.
E - The total number does not matter here. Previously 1000/100000 used to suffer from the allergy. Now, 2000/50000 suffer from the allergy.

Do correct me if I am wrong.

boksana wrote:
Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools as cleaners or pesticides causes allergic reactions in some children. Elementary school nurses in Renston report that the proportion of schoolchildren sent to them for treatment of allergic reactions to those chemicals has increased significantly over the past ten years. Therefore, either Renston ' s schoolchildren have been exposed to greater quantities of the chemicals, or they are more sensitive to them than schoolchildren were ten years ago.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

A) The number of school nurses employed by Renstonâ€™s elementary schools has not decreased over the past ten years.
B) Children who are allergic to the chemicals are no more likely than other children to have allergies to other substances.
C) Children who have allergic reactions to the chemicals are not more likely to be sent to a school nurse now than they were ten years ago.
D) The chemicals are not commonly used as cleaners or pesticides in houses and apartment buildings in Renston.
E) Children attending elementary school do not make up a larger proportion of Renston ' s population now than they did ten years ago.

I'm stuck

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Awaiting response,

Thnx & Rgds,
Chandra

Re: CR 1   [#permalink] 09 Jul 2004, 06:52
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