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Rachel: The legal drinking age in America should remain at 21, because

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Rachel: The legal drinking age in America should remain at 21, because  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Feb 2019, 01:21
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Rachel: The legal drinking age in America should remain at 21, because teens have not yet reached an age where they are able to consume alcohol responsibly. Additionally, the actions of 18-year-olds are more likely to be imitated by teens aged 15 to 17 than are the actions of those who are significantly older, so lowering the drinking age to 18 would also result in increased alcohol consumption by younger teens trying to emulate the actions of their older peers.

Mackenzie: The drinking age in America should be lowered to 18, because keeping it at 21 has not only failed to curb teen drinking but has encouraged those teens who do drink to do so in private, uncontrolled environments where they are more prone to life-endangering behavior. Many youths in European countries drink from an early age, and those countries have substantially fewer alcohol-related problems than we do in America.

Which of the following, if true, would most significantly weaken Mackenzie’s argument?


(A) The idea that Europeans and other nations with low or no minimum drinking ages do not have alcohol-related problems is a myth.

(B) If Americans are allowed to give their lives for this country at age 18, then they should be considered old enough to make the proper decision as to what to put in their bodies.

(C) More American high-school students drink now than they did decades ago, when the drinking age was lower.

(D) In European culture, youths are taught at an early age that it is acceptable to either abstain from alcohol entirely or drink in moderation and that it is never acceptable for them to abuse alcohol, regardless of their age.

(E) European youths are just as likely as American youths to drink in private, uncontrolled environments.


SIMILAR "ASSUMPTIONS" QUESTION IS HERE.

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Re: Rachel: The legal drinking age in America should remain at 21, because  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Feb 2019, 10:22
[quote="Bunuel"]Rachel: The legal drinking age in America should remain at 21, because teens have not yet reached an age where they are able to consume alcohol responsibly. Additionally, the actions of 18-year-olds are more likely to be imitated by teens aged 15 to 17 than are the actions of those who are significantly older, so lowering the drinking age to 18 would also result in increased alcohol consumption by younger teens trying to emulate the actions of their older peers.

Mackenzie: The drinking age in America should be lowered to 18, because keeping it at 21 has not only failed to curb teen drinking but has encouraged those teens who do drink to do so in private, uncontrolled environments where they are more prone to life-endangering behavior. Many youths in European countries drink from an early age, and those countries have substantially fewer alcohol-related problems than we do in America.

Which of the following, if true, would most significantly weaken Mackenzie’s argument?


(A) The idea that Europeans and other nations with low or no minimum drinking ages do not have alcohol-related problems is a myth.

(B) If Americans are allowed to give their lives for this country at age 18, then they should be considered old enough to make the proper decision as to what to put in their bodies.

(C) More American high-school students drink now than they did decades ago, when the drinking age was lower.

(D) In European culture, youths are taught at an early age that it is acceptable to either abstain from alcohol entirely or drink in moderation and that it is never acceptable for them to abuse alcohol, regardless of their age.

(E) European youths are just as likely as American youths to drink in private, uncontrolled environments.


IMO the correct answer is option E.
If the European youths are as likely as American youths to drink in private, uncontrolled environment; then they are exposed to similar risks thereby refuting Mackenzie's claim.
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Re: Rachel: The legal drinking age in America should remain at 21, because  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Feb 2019, 02:21
Bunuel wrote:
Rachel: The legal drinking age in America should remain at 21, because teens have not yet reached an age where they are able to consume alcohol responsibly. Additionally, the actions of 18-year-olds are more likely to be imitated by teens aged 15 to 17 than are the actions of those who are significantly older, so lowering the drinking age to 18 would also result in increased alcohol consumption by younger teens trying to emulate the actions of their older peers.

Mackenzie: The drinking age in America should be lowered to 18, because keeping it at 21 has not only failed to curb teen drinking but has encouraged those teens who do drink to do so in private, uncontrolled environments where they are more prone to life-endangering behavior. Many youths in European countries drink from an early age, and those countries have substantially fewer alcohol-related problems than we do in America.

Which of the following, if true, would most significantly weaken Mackenzie’s argument?


(A) The idea that Europeans and other nations with low or no minimum drinking ages do not have alcohol-related problems is a myth.

(B) If Americans are allowed to give their lives for this country at age 18, then they should be considered old enough to make the proper decision as to what to put in their bodies.

(C) More American high-school students drink now than they did decades ago, when the drinking age was lower.

(D) In European culture, youths are taught at an early age that it is acceptable to either abstain from alcohol entirely or drink in moderation and that it is never acceptable for them to abuse alcohol, regardless of their age.

(E) European youths are just as likely as American youths to drink in private, uncontrolled environments.


SIMILAR "ASSUMPTIONS" QUESTION IS HERE.


OFFICIAL EXPLANATION:



E. First, a quick review of Mackenzie’s argument indicates that she is in favor of lowering the drinking age, not opposed, so you can quickly eliminate any answer choices that include support for doing so, such as Choices (B) and (C), because those choices actually strengthen Mackenzie’s argument.

Now, determine which of the remaining options best weakens Mackenzie’s argument that the legal drinking age should be lowered. The remaining answers focus on Mackenzie’s premise that because European countries have lower drinking ages and fewer problems with alcohol, lowering the drinking age in America would likewise lead to fewer alcohol-related problems. She makes her argument based on an analogy between Europe and America, so weaken her contention by showing that Europe and America are substantially similar in their approach to teenage drinking. It may sound surprising to weaken an analogy with a similarity, but in this case Mackenzie’s analogy seeks to liken the alleged present state of affairs in Europe to the supposed future state of affairs in America if the American drinking age is lowered. Showing a similarity between present-day Europe and present-day America can therefore weaken the argument that a change in the drinking age will reduce alcoholrelated problems in America.

Mackenzie doesn’t say that European countries have no alcohol-related problems, just that there are fewer, so Choice (A) is irrelevant to her argument. Choice (D) provides a concrete difference between European and American culture that reveals why European teens tend to be more responsible than American teens when it comes to alcohol consumption, so this is an answer choice that seems to lend support to Mackenzie’s argument that a lower drinking age won’t result in less-responsible drinking among American teens. On the other hand, Choice (E) reveals a similarity between European and American youth, which best serves to weaken Mackenzie’s analogy between the lower drinking age in Europe and the proposed lower drinking age in America. If both European and American youths drink in private, uncontrolled environments despite the difference in the drinking ages of the two cultures, it’s unlikely that changing the drinking age in America will affect the behavior that Mackenzie claims is dangerous (drinking in private).
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Re: Rachel: The legal drinking age in America should remain at 21, because  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2019, 01:48
E is the obvious choice for this answer and one of the few actually related to the question.
Especially ACs A&B are completely off.

Trivia:
As a European who has spent some time living in the US & CA, underage drinking seem to be much more common in Europe, to be honest.
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Re: Rachel: The legal drinking age in America should remain at 21, because  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2019, 05:52
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Rachel: The legal drinking age in America should remain at 21, because teens have not yet reached an age where they are able to consume alcohol responsibly. Additionally, the actions of 18-year-olds are more likely to be imitated by teens aged 15 to 17 than are the actions of those who are significantly older, so lowering the drinking age to 18 would also result in increased alcohol consumption by younger teens trying to emulate the actions of their older peers.

Mackenzie: The drinking age in America should be lowered to 18, because keeping it at 21 has not only failed to curb teen drinking but has encouraged those teens who do drink to do so in private, uncontrolled environments where they are more prone to life-endangering behavior. Many youths in European countries drink from an early age, and those countries have substantially fewer alcohol-related problems than we do in America.

Which of the following, if true, would most significantly weaken Mackenzie’s argument?


(A) The idea that Europeans and other nations with low or no minimum drinking ages do not have alcohol-related problems is a myth.

(B) If Americans are allowed to give their lives for this country at age 18, then they should be considered old enough to make the proper decision as to what to put in their bodies.

(C) More American high-school students drink now than they did decades ago, when the drinking age was lower.

(D) In European culture, youths are taught at an early age that it is acceptable to either abstain from alcohol entirely or drink in moderation and that it is never acceptable for them to abuse alcohol, regardless of their age.

(E) European youths are just as likely as American youths to drink in private, uncontrolled environments.


The right answer here is E. The question asks us to weaken McKenzie's argument, so let's identify what that is first. In this case, it is that "the drinking age in America should be lowered to 18, because keeping it at 21 has not only failed to curb teen drinking but has encouraged those teens who do drink to do so in private, uncontrolled environments". What's important to remember is that we don't want to say the drinking age should not be lowered. It could still be the case that the drinking age should be lowered, but NOT for the reason that McKenzie has stated.

So what we really need is "higher drinking age does NOT lead to drinking in uncontrolled environments".

A - Two problems with this option. First, you should NEVER attack the premises on the GMAT. Second, even if true, this is irrelevant because it does not address McKenzie's reasoning. OUT

B - This is an example of a real world red herring. It may be a belief you subscribe to, but not only do we have no info on this front, it addresses nothing about the argument. OUT

C - If anything, this strengthens the argument, because it suggests that a lower drinking age leads to lower high school drinking, not the other way around. OUT

D - While this provides an explanation for the reason why Europeans can live with lower age requirements, it doesn't necessarily attack McKenzie's idea that the higher drinking age specifically contributes to uncontrolled environment drinking. This answer is a trap because it does suggest that the conditions are different where the drinking age is lower, but it doesn't actually attack the reasoning given. OUT

E - If European youths are just as likely to drink in uncontrolled environments, then legal drinking age being high is not the cause of this problem. This affects McKenzie's reasoning and is therefore correct. Note that this statement doesn't necessarily suggest you should change/keep the legal drinking age, but attacks McKenzie's reason for her position.

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Re: Rachel: The legal drinking age in America should remain at 21, because   [#permalink] 19 Jun 2019, 05:52
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