Official Solution: The number of students who play for Town X's high school sports teams is greater than the number of students who play for Town Y's high school sports teams. Because of their greater participation in school athletics, the high school student population of Town X is more physically fit than that of Town Y.
Each of the following, if true, weakens the conclusion above EXCEPT:
A. There are more high school students in Town X than in Town Y.
B. Most high school students in Town Y go to school in Town X and play on their high schools' sports teams.
C. High school sports teams in Town X play and practice for fewer hours per week than do high school sports teams in Town Y.
D. Many high school athletes from Town Y play only on club teams not affiliated with any high schools.
E. High school sports teams in Town Y accept freshman athletes, whereas high school sports teams in Town X do not.
We're told that there are more high school students on teams in Town X than in Town Y. Based on this, the author concludes that students in Town X are in better shape than students in Town Y. We're asked to identify the answer choice that does NOT weaken the argument.
Choice A states that there are more high school students in Town X; this weakens the argument because it means that the greater number of high school students on Town X's sports teams may simply be a result of the larger population.
Choice B states that most students in Town Y both go to school and play sports in Town X. This weakens the argument. Since high school sports teams in Town X are made up of students from
both towns, we cannot determine which town has more students who are physically fit.
Choice C states that the teams in Town X play and practice for fewer hours than do the sports teams in Town Y. This undermines the argument by casting doubt on the assumption that a student who is on a Town X sports team is in better shape than a student in Town Y.
Choice D states that many high school athletes in Town Y play on club teams and not on high school teams. This weakens the conclusion because it undermines the correlation between the number of students on school teams and the number of physically fit high school students.
Choice E states that the teams in Town Y accept freshmen athletes while the teams in Town X do not. If true, this fact
supports the argument by showing that although there is a portion of the high school population in Town X that is not eligible to play sports, high school sports teams in Town X still have more student athletes than high school sports teams in Town Y.
Answer: E
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