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Nalmed Province's plan is to reduce highway congestion by expanding

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Nalmed Province's plan is to reduce highway congestion by expanding  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 02 Jul 2016, 01:31
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Nalmed Province's plan is to reduce highway congestion by expanding the commuter rail system, so giving more people the option of travelling by train. When a recent opinion poll presented this plan to province residents, they overwhelmingly favored it, even though they knew that enacting the plan would mean substantial tax increases. Consequently, the plan, if enacted, is very likely to succeed, because if the people are prepared to pay, they expect to reap the benefit.

The inference made from the poll results is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds that
A) it overlooks the possibility that once the highways are consistently uncongested, some commuters might have no motivation to switch from using their car to using the rail system.
B) the favorable responses collected are entirely consistent with every one of those respondents expecting that it would be others who, by using the rail system, would ease highway congestion.
C) those respondents who opposed the plan might nevertheless become users of the rail system as a result of its expansion.
D) those respondents who opposed the plan might oppose it for reasons other than the tax increase required to carry it out.
E) residents responding to the poll are likely to overestimate the tax increase they themselves will experience if the proposed expansion occurs.

OA after some discussion. :)

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Originally posted by WaitingSurprises on 01 Jul 2016, 09:33.
Last edited by WaitingSurprises on 02 Jul 2016, 01:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nalmed Province's plan is to reduce highway congestion by expanding  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2016, 09:48
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Expand commuter rail system --> Reduce highway congestion.
To implement the plan, residents have to pay additional tax. --> Residents favored the plan --> Plan will succeed

Possible Weakener: If each resident thinks that others will use the commuter rail and favors to use the car, then the highway congestion will not reduce and the plan will fail.

A) it overlooks the possibility that once the highways are consistently uncongested, some commuters might have no motivation to switch from using their car to using the rail system. - Incorrect. This will reduce congestion on highways because some have motivation to use the rail system.

B) the favorable responses collected are entirely consistent with every one of those respondents expecting that it would be others who, by using the rail system, would ease highway congestion. - Correct

C) those respondents who opposed the plan might nevertheless become users of the rail system as a result of its expansion. - Incorrect - Strengthener

D) those respondents who opposed the plan might oppose it for reasons other than the tax increase required to carry it out. - Incorrect - Majority of Residents did not oppose the plan. So even if few residents oppose the plan, the plan will succeed. Not a weakener

E) residents responding to the poll are likely to overestimate the tax increase they themselves will experience if the proposed expansion occurs. - Incorrect - Out of context

Answer: B
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Re: Nalmed Province's plan is to reduce highway congestion by expanding  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2016, 21:09
A for me. It suggests that once the congestion on highways reduces, some people might switch back to using cars, which in turn might lead to the problem resurfacing. Options c, d, and even are clearly out. B looks a bit extreme. What's the OA?

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Re: Nalmed Province's plan is to reduce highway congestion by expanding  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2016, 21:18
I will go with B. As highways will still have low congestion , which is the intention

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Re: Nalmed Province's plan is to reduce highway congestion by expanding  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2016, 21:27
B for me. If every person thinks that others will use the rail but not himself, then the plan will fail. A doesn't guarantee that the highway will remain congested after implementation of new rails, cause we don't know how large is the number of some commuters

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Re: Nalmed Province's plan is to reduce highway congestion by expanding  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jul 2016, 01:30
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OA is B. A is a close contender but B does the most harm to the inference.

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Re: Nalmed Province's plan is to reduce highway congestion by expanding  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2017, 12:49
B - the favorable responses collected are entirely consistent with every one of those respondents expecting that it would be others who, by using the rail system, would ease highway congestion. -- Thus if each one expects the other to use the train (and not themselves) ;they essentially negate each other's intentions, and hence no one uses the train.
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Re: Nalmed Province's plan is to reduce highway congestion by expanding  [#permalink]

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Re: Nalmed Province's plan is to reduce highway congestion by expanding  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Dec 2017, 05:47
@Veritasprep Mind the gap technique could be used on this one.

Conclusion: plan is gng to succeed bcz those who pay will reap benefit by using rail.

Gap: congestion will dec ----- bcz people who paid will travel by train.

weaken: People wont travel by train. Plan will fail. No relief in congestion.
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Nalmed Province's plan is to reduce highway congestion by expanding  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2018, 08:11
Dear expert,
I have serious doubts about the correct answer choice. To me, the reading contends that the plan is very likely to succeed because if people are prepared to pay, they expect to reap the benefit.
The question asks for possible ways of weakening this argument. We can attack the argument by using its underlying assumption (when people pay more for something, they will probably use it more). What if people have over estimated the amount of tax that they should pay? If people have over estimated the amount of tax, they will no longer have enough motivation to use the rail system (because they have paid just a few), so the main conclusion of the argument which is success of the plan won't be achieved.
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Re: Nalmed Province's plan is to reduce highway congestion by expanding  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2018, 08:29
A) it overlooks the possibility that once the highways are consistently uncongested, some commuters might have no motivation to switch from using their car to using the rail system.
But it still means that people have started using the rail system enough that the roads are uncongested.

B) the favorable responses collected are entirely consistent with every one of those respondents expecting that it would be others who, by using the rail system, would ease highway congestion.
Correct. If the survey responses are flawed then the entire argument gets questioned.

C) those respondents who opposed the plan might nevertheless become users of the rail system as a result of its expansion.
Irrelevant.

D) those respondents who opposed the plan might oppose it for reasons other than the tax increase required to carry it out.
Irrelevent

E) residents responding to the poll are likely to overestimate the tax increase they themselves will experience if the proposed expansion occurs.
Irrelevant.
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Re: Nalmed Province's plan is to reduce highway congestion by expanding  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2018, 09:16
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heartbanger97 wrote:
Dear expert,
I have serious doubts about the correct answer choice. To me, the reading contends that the plan is very likely to succeed because if people are prepared to pay, they expect to reap the benefit.
The question asks for possible ways of weakening this argument. We can attack the argument by using its underlying assumption (when people pay more for something, they will probably use it more). What if people have over estimated the amount of tax that they should pay? If people have over estimated the amount of tax, they will no longer have enough motivation to use the rail system (because they have paid just a few), so the main conclusion of the argument which is success of the plan won't be achieved.


One thing I'd heavily caution against - and it seems like this mindset is picking up steam in the GMAT forums the same way it is in politics - is the "fake news" mentality when you get questions wrong. Not to call you out specifically but it just seems like more and more often when people get questions wrong their immediate reaction is to yell "flawed question!" instead of trying to reflect on what they can learn from the (probably not flawed) question. Every now and then you'll find that one of the really reputable companies (Veritas, Manhattan, Magoosh) has a little flaw in a question, but by and large I've found that the ratio of "hey they actually found a flaw" to "they made a pretty silly mistake but instead of learning from it they just sent an angry email trying to claim they were right" rounds to 0.

Which isn't to say "never question the question" but more to say that 1) if it's an official question you're probably not going to win and 2) if it's a question from a reputable company A) it's probably a pretty good question and you just made a mistake, but also B) even if there's a flaw or some ambiguity, the lesson that the solution is trying to teach you is probably still really valuable, so if your typical reaction is to reject the answer and campaign for yours, you're probably missing out on lots of helpful advice.

(end rant)

In this case, the big lesson you can learn here is that on Plan/Strategy questions, the goal of the plan is everything so you have to read it super carefully. Here the goal is "to reduce highway congestion."

And note: even if people end up paying less in taxes than they thought they would (E), if it's true that "if the people are prepared to pay, they expect to reap the benefit," then even if they're not paying *as much* they're still paying, so it's likely that at least some of them will still want to reap the benefit. And if any appreciable number of people take the train instead of driving the highway, then you'll get a REDUCTION (that's the goal) in congestion. You don't need to fully eliminate congestion - the goal is only a reduction, so even if the plan isn't as effective as they might have hoped, it can still accomplish the specifically-written goal.

On the other hand note that (B) shows a way in which you wouldn't get a reduction whatsoever. If everyone assumes that someone else will take advantage of rail, then you could end up with the same amount of congestion. So (B) shows that these survey results might not reflect a reduction at all, and *that* would undermine the specific conclusion of a reduction.

Note that this is super common in Plan/Strategy questions - the goal is something small (a reduction, an increase) but test-takers miss that specific wording and go after a bigger goal than was specified (the elimination of something as opposed to a reduction). So the huge lesson here is to pay very, very close attention to the specific goal outlined in Plan/Strategy questions.
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Re: Nalmed Province's plan is to reduce highway congestion by expanding &nbs [#permalink] 01 Nov 2018, 09:16
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