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More than 80% of the executives in the county attended high school in

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More than 80% of the executives in the county attended high school in [#permalink]

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Difficulty:

  65% (hard)

Question Stats:

65% (01:49) correct 35% (02:03) wrong based on 302 sessions

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More than 80% of the executives in the county attended high school in the county, and clearly they represent some of the brightest in the county. Among the seventeen high schools in the county, the three in the coastal towns have had the highest test scores in the county for several decades. A recent study shows that almost all of the county executives who attended high school in the county attended one of those three high schools in the coastal towns.

The argument above is most vulnerable to criticism on which grounds?

A) The argument does not take into account the significant salary difference between jobs in government and careers in the private sector.
B) The argument inappropriately posits a causal relationship between academic intelligence and the ability to govern effectively.
C) The argument assumes without basis that these county executives were above-average students at their respective high schools.
D) The argument does not consider that all county executive now work in the county seat, which has the lowest scoring high schools in the county.
E) The argument fails to note that one inland high has high scores similar to the three on the coast, and yet no current county executive attended it.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: More than 80% of the executives in the county attended high school in [#permalink]

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Harley1980 wrote:
More than 80% of the executives in the county attended high school in the county, and clearly they represent some of the brightest in the county. Among the seventeen high schools in the county, the three in the coastal towns have had the highest test scores in the county for several decades. A recent study shows that almost all of the county executives who attended high school in the county attended one of those three high schools in the coastal towns.

The argument above is most vulnerable to criticism on which grounds?

A) The argument does not take into account the significant salary difference between jobs in government and careers in the private sector.
B) The argument inappropriately posits a causal relationship between academic intelligence and the ability to govern effectively.
C) The argument assumes without basis that these county executives were above-average students at their respective high schools.
D) The argument does not consider that all county executive now work in the county seat, which has the lowest scoring high schools in the county.
E) The argument fails to note that one inland high has high scores similar to the three on the coast, and yet no current county executive attended it.

Dear Harley1980,
I'm happy to respond. :- ) This is another one I wrote, and it warms the cockles of my heart to see one of questions here. :-)

First of all think about it. What exact is the argument here? Sentences #2 and #3 are entirely factual statements. There is absolutely nothing debatable about them. The only argument is in the first sentence. The fact that "more than 80% of the executives in the county attended high school in the county" is also entirely factual and not debatable, but the debatable assertion is "clearly they represent some of the brightest in the county." That's the only part of the prompt that could be reasonably called a conclusion, the only part that is not 100% factual and beyond debate.

We can't criticize fact. We can only criticize something that is an argument. So we would have to criticize the conclusion that these executives are "some of the brightest in the county." We know these county-educated executives all went to one of the three high schools with the high test scores for decades. Does the fact that a student goes to a school with the highest test scores necessarily mean that this student is one of the best in the county? Well, if that student is close to the top at that top school, then yes, that student is very talented, but if that student is a mediocre or below average student at this top school, then maybe that student is not at the very top of the rankings in the county. How do the lower performing students at the top schools compare to students at the other schools? We don't know the how large the spreads are at each school, but if the spreads are large at each school, then it might be possible that top performing students at virtually all schools outperform the lower performing students at the top school.

This is precisely what (C) suggests.

Mike
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Re: More than 80% of the executives in the county attended high school in [#permalink]

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Wow Mike.
I am impressed. The solving of CR tasks is not so easy task and the crafting of such questions is completely beyond the human's powers ;)
Thank you for your work.
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Re: More than 80% of the executives in the county attended high school in [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2015, 00:51
mikemcgarry wrote:
Dear Harley1980,
I'm happy to respond. :- ) This is another one I wrote, and it warms the cockles of my heart to see one of questions here. :-)

First of all think about it. What exact is the argument here? Sentences #2 and #3 are entirely factual statements. There is absolutely nothing debatable about them. The only argument is in the first sentence. The fact that "more than 80% of the executives in the county attended high school in the county" is also entirely factual and not debatable, but the debatable assertion is "clearly they represent some of the brightest in the county." That's the only part of the prompt that could be reasonably called a conclusion, the only part that is not 100% factual and beyond debate.

We can't criticize fact. We can only criticize something that is an argument. So we would have to criticize the conclusion that these executives are "some of the brightest in the county." We know these county-educated executives all went to one of the three high schools with the high test scores for decades. Does the fact that a student goes to a school with the highest test scores necessarily mean that this student is one of the best in the county? Well, if that student is close to the top at that top school, then yes, that student is very talented, but if that student is a mediocre or below average student at this top school, then maybe that student is not at the very top of the rankings in the county. How do the lower performing students at the top schools compare to students at the other schools? We don't know the how large the spreads are at each school, but if the spreads are large at each school, then it might be possible that top performing students at virtually all schools outperform the lower performing students at the top school.

This is precisely what (C) suggests.

Mike


Hi Mike, I have to say that set aside Official Guide / GmatPrep question your questions are by far the best. They are clear, precise and usually there is no doubt between answers possible. Much better than those of e.g. EconomistGmat.
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Re: More than 80% of the executives in the county attended high school in [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2016, 15:28
HI,

I would like to answer this question like this.
Weaken Question. Find the assumption and check if the possibility of that leading to result can be falsified.
Here the assumption is these exec are bright and the schools pops out bright students.

this is assumption . Any possibility to falsify the conclusion trough this assumption is the answer
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Re: More than 80% of the executives in the county attended high school in [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2018, 23:27
To deal with such assumption questions, ones really need to comprehend what is going on in the argument. Once test takers grasp the idea that the author wants to say, they can easily eliminate option choices that are not really concerned with the heart matter of the argument.
" represent some of the brightest in the county." is the key word.
Re: More than 80% of the executives in the county attended high school in   [#permalink] 11 Jan 2018, 23:27
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