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# Reading skills among high school students in Gotham have

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VP
Joined: 10 Jun 2007
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05 Sep 2007, 14:09
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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-student 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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Senior Manager
Joined: 28 Jun 2007
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05 Sep 2007, 14:53
bkk145 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?

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

I would say the correct answer is E.

The argument claims that the ONLY reason for the decline of reading skills is the overcrowding. That means there can be no other valid reason for the decline.

E weakens that claim by pointing out that reading skills in schools of other cities have declined even more than they have in Gotham, but there is no overcrowding there. Clearly there can be other reasons for the skill decline.

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Intern
Joined: 04 Jul 2007
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05 Sep 2007, 15:36
IMO D

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Senior Manager
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06 Sep 2007, 09:45
bkk145 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?

I am not sure about the answer any more The choice is clearly between D and E. So lets look at some differences between both:

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

So basically the schools can be overcrowded, but there isnt any decline in reading skills. Clearly ONLY overcrowding is not enough to cause the decline. Hence weaken the argument.

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

This choice shows that there exist reasons OTHER than overcrowding for the decline in reading skills. Again overcrowding does not have to be the ONLY reason for the decline.

This is confusing as heck. What is the source for this CR? What is the OA?

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Senior Manager
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06 Sep 2007, 10:06
Argument claims that the result of overcrowding is poor reading skills. To weaken the argument, we need to show an example where overcrowding has not resulted in poor reading skills. The only answer that does that is D.

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Senior Manager
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Location: Greater New York City area
Schools: Tuck, Ross (R1), Duke, Tepper, ISB (R2), Kenan Flagler (R2)

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06 Sep 2007, 10:33
Its between D and E really.

E is wrong because although reading skills have declined in the absence of overcrowding, it doesn't really prove that overcrowding does not diminish the reading skills.

D gives reliable evidence to prove the point.

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VP
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06 Sep 2007, 10:37
OA=E

I want to talk about this problem as it tests critical concept that GMATer needs to know.
At work now, so can't write much. More later...

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Senior Manager
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06 Sep 2007, 10:45
Interesting.

D proves that overcrowding has not been the cause in other cities
E proves that factor(s) other than overcrowding is/are the cause in many cities.

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VP
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06 Sep 2007, 10:49
To give you guys a heads up, read this post by one of our godfather...

http://www.gmatclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=14547

It has the answer to this problem.

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Senior Manager
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06 Sep 2007, 11:31
r019h wrote:
Argument claims that the result of overcrowding is poor reading skills. To weaken the argument, we need to show an example where overcrowding has not resulted in poor reading skills. The only answer that does that is D.

i guess thinking like a simpleton won't do with this CR.

overcrowding results in poor skills is not the same as poor skills are due to overcrowding, which is why OA is not D, but E. got it.

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Director
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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06 Sep 2007, 11:37
Interesting... I got sucked in by Answer D as well (although I couldn't rule out E altogether!)

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Senior Manager
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06 Sep 2007, 12:15
Baaah... I need to have more confidence in my answers. I overanalysed the argument later.

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06 Sep 2007, 12:15
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