PiyushK wrote:
It is ludicrous to assert that the math department's new policy, allowing the use of nonprogrammable calculators during exams, is discriminatory. Though a calculator can be expensive, and some students will not be able to purchase one, the department is not requiring that students use one, it is only allowing them to do so if they desire. Thus, any student who does not purchase a calculator for use on his exams will not be penalized; he or she will be no worse off at exam time than he or she was prior to the policy change.
To which of the following would the opponents of the math department's new policy be most likely to refer, in an attempt to have the new policy abolished?
A. The difference in speed between a top-of-the-line calculator and a bottom-end one is significant.
B. Each individual student's performance is evaluated against the performance of his or her fellow students on math department exams.
C. The university student services department will make available to all students calculators that can be borrowed as library books are.
D. Much of the math being tested on most of the exams in question is so complex that it requires a calculator-like mind to do the necessary computations.
E. When calculators were not allowed, more than half of all students failed their math exams.
Premises:
Some students cannot purchase a calculator.
Math department does not penalize people if they do not use a calculator.
So the situation of the people who cannot purchase calculators has not changed.
Conclusion: Math department's new policy is not discriminatory.
What comes to my mind here is that the argument is correct in stating that the person who cannot buy a calculator has no disadvantages compared with the previous scenario but other people are getting an advantage. They can use the calculator. So it is fine as long as the performance is not relative. Say, if some people are allowed to use a calculator and other are not in GMAT, it will affect the performance of those who cannot since the scores are in percentile i.e. relative performance.
Which option helps the people against the policy?
A. The difference in speed between a top-of-the-line calculator and a bottom-end one is significant.
The issue is between people with no calculators and those with calculators.
B. Each individual student's performance is evaluated against the performance of his or her fellow students on math department exams.
This tells you that the performance is relative. Hence, it is wrong if some people get an advantage. This is a good argument for people against the policy and hence, is the answer.
C. The university student services department will make available to all students calculators that can be borrowed as library books are.
This argument is useful for those pro-policy.
D. Much of the math being tested on most of the exams in question is so complex that it requires a calculator-like mind to do the necessary computations.
The people not using a calculator will not have any disadvantage. Their situation is the same - they had to do those calculations by hand before and they will have to do them the same way now. It doesn't help people who are against calculators.
E. When calculators were not allowed, more than half of all students failed their math exams.
This is irrelevant. We don't know how much the calculator helps. It certainly help the case of those who are against calculators. If anything, it says that calculators might help and hence should be allowed.
Answer (B)