It is a mistake to give post office employees individual discretion as to when to inspect or open suspicious packages. If individual employees are allowed to open “suspicious” packages without first following a strict protocol, it is only a matter of time before all packages will arrive having already been opened due to some postal employee’s idle curiosity.
The conclusion above is based on which of the following assumptions?
* Postal service managers are the only people with the authority to open suspicious packages.
* Suspicious packages are indistinguishable from all other kinds of package.
* The efficiency of the postal service will be greatly reduced if more packages are inspected.
* There is currently no protocol in place for the inspection of suspicious packages.
* Postal employees desire to open packages out of curiosity.
For assumption questions, we want to deconstruct the argument: paraphrase the conclusion and evidence. Once we have done so, we then identify the missing link between the two.
In this case, the author concludes that it's a mistake to allow postal workers discretion regarding inspecting packages. Why? Because (so here comes the evidence...) curiousity and boredom will lead to all packages being opened.
What does the author have to be assuming to reach his conclusion based on his evidence? That postal workers do, in fact, want to know what's inside the packages.
So, armed with that prediction, we attack the choices looking for a match.
A) nothing about motivation to open packages - eliminate.
B) nothing about motivation to open packages - eliminate.
C) nothing about motivation to open packages - eliminate.
D) nothing about motivation to open packages - eliminate.
E) aha! Here's exactly what we predicted, we know (E) is correct.Kaplan
's denial test can be a very useful tool for assumption questions. If we weren't already convinced that (E) is correct, we'd consider the opposite of (E):
Postal workers do not desire to open packages out of curiousity.
Well, if postal workers aren't curious, the author's argument makes no sense at all. Since the denial of (E) destroys the argument, (E) must be an essential element, the exact definition of an assumption.