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QOTD: In the past, most children who went sledding in the winter

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QOTD: In the past, most children who went sledding in the winter [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jan 2018, 04:08
1
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  65% (hard)

Question Stats:

56% (01:03) correct 44% (01:37) wrong based on 353 sessions

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 192: Critical Reasoning


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In the past, most children who went sledding in the winter snow in Verland used wooden sleds with runners and steering bars. Ten years ago, smooth plastic sleds became popular; they go faster than wooden sleds but are harder to steer and slow. The concern that plastic sleds are more dangerous is clearly borne out by the fact that the number of children injured while sledding was much higher last winter than it was ten years ago.

Which of the following, if true in Verland, most seriously undermines the force of the evidence cited?

A. A few children still use traditional wooden sleds.
B. Very few children wear any kind of protective gear, such as helmets, while sledding.
C. Plastic sleds can be used in a much wider variety of snow conditions than wooden sleds can.
D. Most sledding injuries occur when a sled collides with a tree, a rock, or another sled.
E. Because the traditional wooden sled can carry more than one rider, an accident involving a wooden sled can result in several children being injured.


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QOTD: In the past, most children who went sledding in the winter [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jan 2018, 04:10
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Since we are looking for an answer choice that most undermines the force of the evidence cited, let's start by identifying that evidence: "the number of children injured while sledding was much higher last winter than it was ten years ago."

According to the author, this evidence "clearly" leads to the concern that plastic sleds, which became more popular ten years ago, are more dangerous than wooden sleds. To recap the author's argument:

  • Wooden sleds, with runners and steering bars, were used in the past.
  • Ten years ago, plastic sleds became popular.
  • Plastic sleds are faster, harder to steer, and harder to slow down.
  • "The number of children injured while sledding was much higher last winter than it was ten years ago." Remember that ten years ago plastic sleds had just become popular, so it is likely that wooden sleds were still prevalent as well (it's possible to have more than one popular option). But we can infer that plastic sleds are probably more popular now than they were ten years ago.
  • The evidence in the last bullet clearly leads to the concern that plastic sleds are more dangerous than wooden sleds.

Now let's look for the answer choice that most undermines the force of the evidence cited:

Quote:
A. A few children still use traditional wooden sleds.

Again, the evidence cited is "that the number of children injured while sledding was much higher last winter than it was ten years ago." This evidence seems to suggest that plastic sleds are more dangerous than wooden sleds. Even if a few children still use traditional wooden sleds, if injuries have increased since plastic sleds became popular, this still seems to suggest that plastic sleds are more dangerous.

The evidence cited does not require that ALL children use plastic sleds, so (A) can be eliminated.

Quote:
B. Very few children wear any kind of protective gear, such as helmets, while sledding.

This statement might explain why sledding is dangerous regardless of the type of sled. However, it doesn't give us any reason to suspect that plastic sleds are safer than wooden sleds or vice versa. Thus, choice (B) has no impact on the evidence cited and can be eliminated.

Quote:
C. Plastic sleds can be used in a much wider variety of snow conditions than wooden sleds can.

Imagine that plastic sleds and wooden sleds were both equally safe. But if plastic sleds can be used in a much wider variety of snow conditions, then children last winter might have simply gone sledding more times, on average, than children ten years ago. In other words, the odds of getting injured while riding a plastic sled could be the same as the odds of getting injured while riding a wooden sled. But if you can go sledding more times with a plastic sled, then you will have more opportunities to injure yourself.

Answer choice (C) provides an alternative explanation for the evidence, and this explanation does not require that plastic sleds are more dangerous than wooden sleds. So (C) undermines the force of the evidence cited. Keep this one.

Quote:
D. Most sledding injuries occur when a sled collides with a tree, a rock, or another sled.

As with choice (B), this is a general statement that presumably applies to sledding with both wooden and plastic sleds. It has no bearing on the evidence and can be eliminated.

Quote:
E. Because the traditional wooden sled can carry more than one rider, an accident involving a wooden sled can result in several children being injured.

We are GIVEN the fact that "the number of children injured while sledding was much higher last winter than it was ten years ago." Maybe there are more injuries per accident with wooden sleds, but this does not change the fact that, overall, there were more injuries last winter than there were when wooden sleds were more prevalent. We are not trying to change the evidence; rather, we are trying to undermine the force of the evidence. Choice (E) has no impact on the evidence and can be eliminated.

Choice (C) is the best answer.
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Re: QOTD: In the past, most children who went sledding in the winter [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jan 2018, 04:30
A. The statement explains the drop in the number of accidents with wooden sleds.
B. It refers to both plastic and wooden sleds. False
C. Irrelevant information about sleds. False
D. The way that sledding injuries occurred, cannot be correlated with the sled material. False
E. This fact about wooden cannot be correlated with time. False

A

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Re: QOTD: In the past, most children who went sledding in the winter [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jan 2018, 06:30
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C. Plastic can be used in harsh snow conditions as well resulting in more accidents.
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Re: QOTD: In the past, most children who went sledding in the winter [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jan 2018, 06:44
the force of the evidence = "the number of children injured while sledding was much higher"
the scope has shifted -> E is a trap.
B,D,E are all strengtheners for the evidence cited.
A is out of scope.
C is the answer.
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QOTD: In the past, most children who went sledding in the winter [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jan 2018, 11:42
IMO C

Choice C undermines the reasoning behind the claim as to why plastic sleds are more dangerous.

Choice C provides as alternate reason behind increased injuries last winter as compared to a decade ago, and it's due to thr increased usability and not the construction of plastic sleds as compared to wooden sleds.
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Re: QOTD: In the past, most children who went sledding in the winter [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2018, 08:52
This one is classic GMAT number/proportion problem.
C is the answer - Plastic sleds can be used in a much wider variety of snow conditions than wooden sleds can.
Example:
10 years ago (Wooden sleds) -
Only wooden sleds, Sled population 1000, Accidents 100. - Overall percentage 10%.
Now (Plastic sleds) -
Plastic sleds population: 10,000 (population is more because plastic sleds can be used in variety of snow conditions), Accidents/injures - 500. Overall percentage - 5%.
Re: QOTD: In the past, most children who went sledding in the winter   [#permalink] 03 Jan 2018, 08:52
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QOTD: In the past, most children who went sledding in the winter

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