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# Reading skills among high school students in Gotham have

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Manager
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12 Jan 2005, 02:21
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Reading skills among high school students in Gotham have been steadily declining, which can only be the result of overcrowding in the schools.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument expressed above?

a) The high school system in Gotham succeeds in giving students a good education at considerably less cost than do most systems.

b) Several cities have found that overcrowding in the schools is not always associated with lower reading scores.

c) Gotham schools have a greater teacher-to-students ratio than most other school systems.

d) Students' reading skills have not declined in other cities where the high schools are just as crowded as those of Gotham.

e) Schools are not overcrowded in many cities where high school reading scores have declined more than they have in Gotham.

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12 Jan 2005, 02:28

E is correct because it points out "a case in which skills have declined, yet there is no overcrowding. So something other than overcrowding can account for a decline in reading skills."

I'm confused about the explanation given for B and D:
"B and D point to overcrowding without declining skills. Yet the author didn't say that overcrowding always leads to declines in skills, but rather that declines in skills are always a result of overcrowding. Be careful to keep the causal mechanism straight!"

So the result of something is not always caused by that thing??

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Director
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12 Jan 2005, 07:48
I agree with E.

Here the arguement is overcrowding = decline in reading skills

to disprove this we need to provide info that states

decline in reading skills = something else and not overcrowding
only E provides this info

In B we can't assume decline in reading skills = lower reading scores
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Praveen

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12 Jan 2005, 18:31
Hi. Can someone explain why D is not a plausible answer? Doesn't it show that there's no correlation between overcrowding and the decline in reading skills?

Questor

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15 Jan 2005, 16:06
But (C) weakens the argument too. If the ratio of teacher to student is greater (unless i am misinterpreting this), doesn't that mean overcrowding is not the cause of declining reading skills among high school students in Gotham?

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Director
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19 Feb 2007, 08:20
Questor wrote:
Reading skills among high school students in Gotham have been steadily declining, which can only be the result of overcrowding in the schools.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument expressed above?

a) The high school system in Gotham succeeds in giving students a good education at considerably less cost than do most systems.

b) Several cities have found that overcrowding in the schools is not always associated with lower reading scores.

c) Gotham schools have a greater teacher-to-students ratio than most other school systems.

d) Students' reading skills have not declined in other cities where the high schools are just as crowded as those of Gotham.

D convincingly says that the decline is not due to overcrowdedness, as there are cities with same level of crowdedness yet without decline in reading skills. Hence, I think D is the answer.

e) Schools are not overcrowded in many cities where high school reading scores have declined more than they have in Gotham.

In some cities that are not overcrowded the reading scores have declined. There the decline could be because of some other reasons. But in Gotham that could be because of overcrowdedness. Hence, E need not weaken the argument.

Yet the consensus seems to be E. What do u think guys??

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19 Feb 2007, 13:08
Questor wrote:
Reading skills among high school students in Gotham have been steadily declining, which can only be the result of overcrowding in the schools.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument expressed above?

a) The high school system in Gotham succeeds in giving students a good education at considerably less cost than do most systems.

b) Several cities have found that overcrowding in the schools is not always associated with lower reading scores.

c) Gotham schools have a greater teacher-to-students ratio than most other school systems.

d) Students' reading skills have not declined in other cities where the high schools are just as crowded as those of Gotham.

e) Schools are not overcrowded in many cities where high school reading scores have declined more than they have in Gotham.

Go with D. In E, there is a small word change, Reading Scores is used instead of reading skills. The main argument doesnt talk about Scores but about skills. Hence D.

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Director
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19 Feb 2007, 23:56
Questor wrote:
Reading skills among high school students in Gotham have been steadily declining, which can only be the result of overcrowding in the schools.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument expressed above?

a) The high school system in Gotham succeeds in giving students a good education at considerably less cost than do most systems.

b) Several cities have found that overcrowding in the schools is not always associated with lower reading scores.

c) Gotham schools have a greater teacher-to-students ratio than most other school systems.

d) Students' reading skills have not declined in other cities where the high schools are just as crowded as those of Gotham.

e) Schools are not overcrowded in many cities where high school reading scores have declined more than they have in Gotham.

Go with D. In E, there is a small word change, Reading Scores is used instead of reading skills. The main argument doesnt talk about Scores but about skills. Hence D.

That is an interesting point u noticed in E..

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20 Feb 2007, 05:43
i think Madhu's reason is good enough to accept the answer as D

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20 Feb 2007, 12:44
I thought it was D - E to me is not a good example because it is only in "some cities" where as D is a statment that more directly compares cities in general without overcrowding are still experiencing skills drop.

Also as someone pointed out - D is comparing skills where E is comparing scores, and the statement is referring to skills so wouldnt that rule E out?

What is the OA???

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20 Feb 2007, 12:44
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