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It is ludicrous to assert that the math department's new policy, allow

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Re: It is ludicrous to assert that the math department's new policy, allow [#permalink]
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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.

Stuck between B and D so guessed D, bad decision!! Should have gone with my gut. The claim is that students are no worse off if they do not have a calculator but if students are being evaluated against the performance of fellow students that do have calculators that clearly means that they would be worse off. (unless they had a calculator-like mind, which is why I foolishly went for D).

Note to self: state the claim to myself before making a decision! If I'm stuck between two, restate the claim to see if it becomes more clear.
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Re: It is ludicrous to assert that the math department's new policy, allow [#permalink]
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
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.

Nice explanation Karishma..Earlier I was able to narrow to E and D.Now I can figure out why B is best!
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Re: It is ludicrous to assert that the math department's new policy, allow [#permalink]
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
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.

But were it has been mentioned that using calculator will help in improving the performance of any student ??
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Re: It is ludicrous to assert that the math department's new policy, allow [#permalink]
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ishanraj20 wrote:
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
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.

But were it has been mentioned that using calculator will help in improving the performance of any student ??

The argument says that people who do not use are no worse off. But people who do use could be better off and that is a problem because merit is relative.
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It is ludicrous to assert that the math department's new policy, allow [#permalink]
Even though I selected B, I was definitely not very convinced with the option.. Though as per option B, relative performance matters, all students are allowed to use the calculators and hence a person who was scoring well before the policy came into effect would continue to do well.. Example: A and B are two candidates who scored 70% and 80% in their maths exams before the policy came into effect.. After that A scored 80% and B, 90%.. so, in relative terms, B is not worse off because of the policy.. That said, B seems the best amongst the given options..

Please let me know if my line of reasoning is correct..

Cheers!!
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Re: It is ludicrous to assert that the math department's new policy, allow [#permalink]
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rs47 wrote:
Even though I selected B, I was definitely not very convinced with the option.. Though as per option B, relative performance matters, all students are allowed to use the calculators and hence a person who was scoring well before the policy came into effect would continue to do well.. Example: A and B are two candidates who scored 70% and 80% in their maths exams before the policy came into effect.. After that A scored 80% and B, 90%.. so, in relative terms, B is not worse off because of the policy.. That said, B seems the best amongst the given options..

Please let me know if my line of reasoning is correct..

Cheers!!

The point is this:

A and B are two candidates who scored 70% and 80% in their maths exams before the policy came into effect..

After that A scored 90% (because he started using a calculator) while B still scores 80% because he cannot afford a calculator.

B is not worse off than before in absolute terms. He still gets 80%.

But, if the performance is measured in relative terms (as suggested by option (B)), then B is worse off. He was higher ranked than A prior to the policy but afterwards, he was lower ranked than A.
This is how option (B) helps the people who are against the policy.
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Re: It is ludicrous to assert that the math department's new policy, allow [#permalink]
rs47 wrote:
Even though I selected B, I was definitely not very convinced with the option.. Though as per option B, relative performance matters, all students are allowed to use the calculators and hence a person who was scoring well before the policy came into effect would continue to do well.. Example: A and B are two candidates who scored 70% and 80% in their maths exams before the policy came into effect.. After that A scored 80% and B, 90%.. so, in relative terms, B is not worse off because of the policy.. That said, B seems the best amongst the given options..

Please let me know if my line of reasoning is correct..

Cheers!!

Hi,
initial scores were 70 and 80..
after the students were allowed to use calculators, the argument states that " he or she will be no worse off at exam time than he or she was prior to the policy change.",
so If he remains at the same standard as there is no outside support, he can be expected to be at 70, but the use of calculator may help a student to increase his score..
this is where relativity comes into play..
we are talking of relativity, when all other scenarios/conditions are same apart from the usage of calculator by one of them.. So we cannot talk of an increase from 70 to 80 for one not using calculator..
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It is ludicrous to assert that the math department's new policy, allow [#permalink]
KarishmaB

Why is E incorrect ? Calculators will give an unfair advantage to students using them. This will help them pass the exam, which they probably would have failed if there were no calculators. So they have an unfair advantage over the ones who can't afford calculators.

Originally posted by Namangupta1997 on 29 May 2022, 10:40.
Last edited by Namangupta1997 on 05 Jun 2022, 00:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: It is ludicrous to assert that the math department's new policy, allow [#permalink]
KarishmaB wrote:
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.

KarishmaB sorry except, I cannot accept your explanation about D. Although students who don’t have a calculator can do exam by hand, but their speed to calculate is quite different. So I don’t think people not using a calculator will not have any disadvantage. Mind to elaborate further? Thanks in advance.
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It is ludicrous to assert that the math department's new policy, allow [#permalink]
Hello expert,
I donot know where D is wrong. To weaken the argument, we need to say the new policy is discriminatory/unfair. In D, according to common sense, calculation speed of students who use calculators must be more faster than that of students without a calculator, as the questions in exam are so complex. So students without a calculator will have disadvantages, and that is unfair.
Pls shed some light, much thanks.
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Re: It is ludicrous to assert that the math department's new policy, allow [#permalink]
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Mavisdu1017 wrote:
KarishmaB wrote:
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.

KarishmaB sorry except, I cannot accept your explanation about D. Although students who don’t have a calculator can do exam by hand, but their speed to calculate is quite different. So I don’t think people not using a calculator will not have any disadvantage. Mind to elaborate further? Thanks in advance.

We need to put our inherent biases aside before reading the question stem and ensure that we are reading exactly what is given.

A bias we all are likely to have - Calculators increase speed so if an exam allows calculators but some people cannot buy them, they are at a disadvantage compared to others who can buy them.

What the conclusion actually says: ... 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.

The conclusion says that he or she will be no worse off than before. So compared to her own performance of before, her performance will be the same. That is correct.
If Math is very tough and she used to get 50% before, she will still get 50%. Her performance will not change.
Yes, her performance will be worse off compared to others but the conclusion is not comparing performance relative to others. It is comparing performance relative to oneself only.
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Re: It is ludicrous to assert that the math department's new policy, allow [#permalink]
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Namangupta1997 wrote:
KarishmaB

Why is E incorrect ? Calculators will give an unfair advantage to students using them. This will help them pass the exam, which they probably would have failed if there were no calculators. So they have an unfair advantage over the ones who can't afford calculators.

Forget that exams are competitive (which is hard to do, I agree, but the question stem talks about individual performance only). Assume that exams only test your readiness to go to the next level of the course. There is no class ranking, comparison, percentile etc. No performances are evaluated on the basis of others performances. Only individual performances are looked at. Don’t assume that exams look at relative performance. If say you get 40%, you go to the next level. Whether 1 person gets it or the whole class is irrelevant. There is no restriction on the number of people who can advance. Each person is an individual.

Then a calculator, if introduced, helps those who buy it but has no impact on those who don’t. Hence overall, introducing calculators is a helpful step. It helps many people and hampers no one. Hence (E) is not correct. If many people fail without calculators, with calculators, more people may start passing. It’s good for the majority and has no impact on others.

Why would we still want to abolish it? That is what option (B) tells us - because exams are based on relative performance. Now everything you say holds. It is unfair to let some people use calculators while others can’t afford it. It many be good for the majority but it is bad for some. That is not acceptable.

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Re: It is ludicrous to assert that the math department's new policy, allow [#permalink]
KarishmaB much thanks for your kindly explanation, I totally understand now.
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Re: It is ludicrous to assert that the math department's new policy, allow [#permalink]
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