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# The career services office at a certain university found that its stud

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Re: The career services office at a certain university found that its stud [#permalink]
I'm stuck between B and C.B also seems correct as if those notes reach the recipient after the decision has been taken then the conclusion also falls apart...

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Re: The career services office at a certain university found that its stud [#permalink]
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Vyshak wrote:
techiesam wrote:
I'm stuck between B and C.B also seems correct as if those notes reach the recipient after the decision has been taken then the conclusion also falls apart...

Conclusion: If the university could require all of its student job applicants to send handwritten thank-you notes, the university would increase its job placement rate.

B: No handwritten thank-you notes sent by mail reached their recipients after the decision for a job offer had already been made
Negate B: Some handwritten thank-you notes sent by mail reached their recipients after the decision for a job offer had already been made --> The word some is very vague to conclusively negate the conclusion.
Out of a 100 handwritten notes, about 5 may have been sent after the decision --> The conclusion stands in this case
Out of a 100 handwritten notes, about 95 may have been sent after the decision --> In this case the conclusion falls apart.

Hence B cannot be the answer.

Vyshak

Thank you man.I was negating B with 95% possibility only.
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Re: The career services office at a certain university found that its stud [#permalink]
I eliminated B as we are not concerned about the interviewers receiving the mails. Is my reasoning correct?
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Re: The career services office at a certain university found that its stud [#permalink]
Could anyone please explain why option D is not correct? If we negate the answer choice and say, " Employers *are* more likely to discard a handwritten piece of mail than they are to delete or ignore a piece of unsolicited e-mail", then the entire conclusion breaks down. If the employers are simply tossing away the mail, then how can we conclude that by sending "handwritten thank-you notes, the university would increase its job placement rate"? Please help! Would greatly appreciate it!

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Re: The career services office at a certain university found that its stud [#permalink]
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NandishSS wrote:
The career services office at a certain university found that its student job applicants who mailed a handwritten thank-you note after a job interview were nearly 40% more likely to receive job offers than were those who used e-mail to express their gratitude for an interview. It stands to reason, then, that if the university could require all of its student job applicants to send handwritten thank-you notes, the university would increase its job placement rate.

Which of the following is an assumption required by the argument?

A) The 40% increase in job offer likelihood was consistent across all industries to which students applied for jobs.

B) No handwritten thank-you notes sent by mail reached their recipients after the decision for a job offer had already been made.

C) Student job applicants were no more likely to send handwritten thank-you notes after interviews they felt were successful than after those that they felt were not.

D) Employers are no more likely to discard a handwritten piece of mail than they are to delete or ignore a piece of unsolicited e-mail.

E) It does not take significantly more time and effort to send a handwritten thank-you note than it does to express gratitude via e-mail

Official Solution:

The defining flaw in this Assumption argument is one of correlation vs. causation: hand-written thank you notes are correlated with job offers, but does that mean that they're a reason the job offers were made? What if handwritten thank-you notes are just a symptom of the types of thoughtful, personable, proactive job applicants who are more likely to receive offers - they receive the offers because of who they are, and hand-written notes are just a byproduct of that? Or, as correct answer choice C says, hand-written thank yous are "self-selecting" - people only take the time to write the notes if they think they're already much more likely to get the job. By seizing on this correlation-vs-causation flaw, choice C is correct.

Among the incorrect answer choices:

Choice A is unnecessary, as even if a few industries are less likely to be "swayed" by personal notes, the conclusion can still stand that, on the whole, more handwritten notes will lead to more job offers.

Choice B is a good example of why universal (none/always/only) statements tend to make for poor Assumption answer choices. If you were to negate choice B, you'd have "some handwritten notes arrived after job offers were made" which doesn't impact the conclusion at all. Just like with choice A, as long as the practice of mailing thank yous leads to more job offers, the conclusion holds, even if the practice is not 100% effective in every case.

Choice D is incorrect as it is already "overruled" by the premises in the argument. As long as the practice of mailing letters leads to a higher percentage of job offers, it doesn't matter whether some of those letters are thrown out and never read - the data still shows that, on the whole, it's a more effective practice to mail handwritten letters than to send e-mail messages.

And choice E is incorrect as it relates to the specific conclusion, that the practice "would increase its job placement rate." Even if it takes significantly more time and effort, if the practice works then the conclusion holds. If the conclusion were "sending handwritten notes is a good idea" or the premise were "the time it takes to send handwritten letters does note prevent applicants from applying to a sufficient number of jobs" then the situation would be different, but with the specific conclusion of the argument, the additional effort does not matter.

Hello GMATNinja, mikemcgarry, GMATNinjaTwo,

I have 1 major doubt:

Consider a simple example. I gave one interview today. "ACCORDING TO" me the interview went fine and there are chances that I might get selected.
My expectation has ZERO impact on my actual result. I gave the interview; I might have committed silly mistakes while giving the interviewer answers (that I might think are correct and that are actually wrong) then the actual chances of getting a job are really low while I am still thinking that my interview was successful.

How in the world can C be correct? IMO B is better than C.

Please throw some light on this.
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Re: The career services office at a certain university found that its stud [#permalink]
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generis GMATNinja
VeritasPrepKarishma

Can you add two cents?

Here in my understanding:
Step 1:
In an assumption question, my first step is to identify the conclusion.
here, main conclusion is:
the university would increase its job placement rate
(Why?)
Conditional premise:
if the university could require all of its student job applicants to send handwritten thank-you notes.

Step 2: I try to answer either of two questions to find a valid assumption:

1. Under what circumstances, will the conclusion not hold true?
I am negating conclusion, not premise here.
The valid assumption is: Such circumstances DO NOT EXIST.
(Why) because if it exists, then my conclusion breaks down

E.g. What if students wrote just as a good will gesture back to authorities with no clue of what's going on in minds of recruiters. Students night not be aware that recruiters like hand written notes and perceive them as a positive note while recruiting new people.

2. What else NEEDS TO BE TRUE to bridge the gap between a premise
and conclusion? Or What ELSE MUST BE TRUE for my conclusion to be true
other than mentioned premises

The step -2 is taking me hell of at time and not very productive.
Can I think of assumption as one
strengthening my conclusion, with IMPORTANT note that this
NEEDS BE PRESENT for my conclusion to be valid one

Step 3: PoE

Quote:
A) The 40% increase in job offer likelihood was consistent across all industries to which students applied for jobs.

The highlighted text makes this answer choice incorrect.

Quote:
B) No handwritten thank-you notes sent by mail reached their recipientsafter the decision for a job offer had already been made.

We are concerned with what can lead to : same / lower placement rate in universities?
The correct negation is:
At least one handwritten thank-you note sent by mail reached their recipientsafter the decision for a job offer had already been made.
Not sure if it helps to break down my conclusion.

Quote:
C) Student job applicants were no more likely to send handwritten thank-you notes after interviews they felt were successful than after those that they felt were not

I am loosing my trust on negation.
Student job applicants were more likely to send handwritten thank-you notes after interviews they felt were successful than after those that they felt were not.
Or
Student job applicants were not more likely to send handwritten thank-you notes before interviews they felt were successful than after those that they felt were not.
How any of this helps to break my conclusion apart?

Quote:
D) Employers are no more likely to discard a handwritten piece of mail than they are to delete or ignore a piece of unsolicited e-mail.

Totally irrelevant to scope of argument.

Quote:
E) It does not take significantly more time and effort to send a handwritten thank-you note than it does to express gratitude via e-mail

Totally irrelevant to scope of argument.
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Re: The career services office at a certain university found that its stud [#permalink]
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generis GMATNinja
VeritasPrepKarishma

Can you add two cents?

Here in my understanding:
Step 1:
In an assumption question, my first step is to identify the conclusion.
here, main conclusion is:
the university would increase its job placement rate
(Why?)
Conditional premise:
if the university could require all of its student job applicants to send handwritten thank-you notes.

Step 2: I try to answer either of two questions to find a valid assumption:

1. Under what circumstances, will the conclusion not hold true?
I am negating conclusion, not premise here.
The valid assumption is: Such circumstances DO NOT EXIST.
(Why) because if it exists, then my conclusion breaks down

E.g. What if students wrote just as a good will gesture back to authorities with no clue of what's going on in minds of recruiters. Students night not be aware that recruiters like hand written notes and perceive them as a positive note while recruiting new people.

2. What else NEEDS TO BE TRUE to bridge the gap between a premise
and conclusion? Or What ELSE MUST BE TRUE for my conclusion to be true
other than mentioned premises

The step -2 is taking me hell of at time and not very productive.
Can I think of assumption as one
strengthening my conclusion, with IMPORTANT note that this
NEEDS BE PRESENT for my conclusion to be valid one

Step 3: PoE

Quote:
A) The 40% increase in job offer likelihood was consistent across all industries to which students applied for jobs.

The highlighted text makes this answer choice incorrect.

Quote:
B) No handwritten thank-you notes sent by mail reached their recipientsafter the decision for a job offer had already been made.

We are concerned with what can lead to : same / lower placement rate in universities?
The correct negation is:
At least one handwritten thank-you note sent by mail reached their recipientsafter the decision for a job offer had already been made.
Not sure if it helps to break down my conclusion.

Quote:
C) Student job applicants were no more likely to send handwritten thank-you notes after interviews they felt were successful than after those that they felt were not

I am loosing my trust on negation.
Student job applicants were more likely to send handwritten thank-you notes after interviews they felt were successful than after those that they felt were not.
Or
Student job applicants were not more likely to send handwritten thank-you notes before interviews they felt were successful than after those that they felt were not.
How any of this helps to break my conclusion apart?

Quote:
D) Employers are no more likely to discard a handwritten piece of mail than they are to delete or ignore a piece of unsolicited e-mail.

Totally irrelevant to scope of argument.

Quote:
E) It does not take significantly more time and effort to send a handwritten thank-you note than it does to express gratitude via e-mail

Totally irrelevant to scope of argument.

Premises:
Applicants who mailed a handwritten thank-you note after a job interview were 40% more likely to receive job offers

The Conclusion is conditional:
If the university could require all of its student job applicants to send handwritten thank-you notes, the university would increase its job placement rate

We are saying that simply making applicants write handwritten notes will increase their chances of getting job offer.
So we are assuming
- that the applicants writing handwritten notes on their own are not the ones who work harder anyway and hence have a higher probability of getting accepted
- that the applicants who did better in the interview are not the ones writing handwritten notes and hence have a higher probability of getting accepted etc.
We are saying that if anyone writes handwritten notes, they increase their chances of getting selected.

Choice (C): Student job applicants were no more likely to send handwritten thank-you notes after interviews they felt were successful than after those that they felt were not.

is

The second case - That the applicants who did better in the interview are not the ones writing handwritten notes and hence have a higher probability of getting accepted etc.

If we negate it, we get - Student job applicants were likely to send handwritten thank-you notes after interviews they felt were successful than after those that they felt were not.

If applicants are more likely to send hand written notes after successful interviews (as per their opinion), the probability of getting selected is anyway higher (due to successful interviews). So it would not be the handwritten thank you note doing the trick at all. Then our conclusion would fail.
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Re: The career services office at a certain university found that its stud [#permalink]
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NandishSS wrote:
The career services office at a certain university found that its student job applicants who mailed a handwritten thank-you note after a job interview were nearly 40% more likely to receive job offers than were those who used e-mail to express their gratitude for an interview. It stands to reason, then, that if the university could require all of its student job applicants to send handwritten thank-you notes, the university would increase its job placement rate.

Which of the following is an assumption required by the argument?

A) The 40% increase in job offer likelihood was consistent across all industries to which students applied for jobs.

B) No handwritten thank-you notes sent by mail reached their recipients after the decision for a job offer had already been made.

C) Student job applicants were no more likely to send handwritten thank-you notes after interviews they felt were successful than after those that they felt were not.

D) Employers are no more likely to discard a handwritten piece of mail than they are to delete or ignore a piece of unsolicited e-mail.

E) It does not take significantly more time and effort to send a handwritten thank-you note than it does to express gratitude via e-mail

VERITAS PREP OFFICIAL SOLUTION:

The defining flaw in this Assumption argument is one of correlation vs. causation: hand-written thank you notes are correlated with job offers, but does that mean that they're a reason the job offers were made? What if handwritten thank-you notes are just a symptom of the types of thoughtful, personable, proactive job applicants who are more likely to receive offers - they receive the offers because of who they are, and hand-written notes are just a byproduct of that? Or, as correct answer choice C says, hand-written thank yous are "self-selecting" - people only take the time to write the notes if they think they're already much more likely to get the job. By seizing on this correlation-vs-causation flaw, choice C is correct.

Among the incorrect answer choices:

Choice A is unnecessary, as even if a few industries are less likely to be "swayed" by personal notes, the conclusion can still stand that, on the whole, more handwritten notes will lead to more job offers.

Choice B is a good example of why universal (none/always/only) statements tend to make for poor Assumption answer choices. If you were to negate choice B, you'd have "some handwritten notes arrived after job offers were made" which doesn't impact the conclusion at all. Just like with choice A, as long as the practice of mailing thank yous leads to more job offers, the conclusion holds, even if the practice is not 100% effective in every case.

Choice D is incorrect as it is already "overruled" by the premises in the argument. As long as the practice of mailing letters leads to a higher percentage of job offers, it doesn't matter whether some of those letters are thrown out and never read - the data still shows that, on the whole, it's a more effective practice to mail handwritten letters than to send e-mail messages.

And choice E is incorrect as it relates to the specific conclusion, that the practice "would increase its job placement rate." Even if it takes significantly more time and effort, if the practice works then the conclusion holds. If the conclusion were "sending handwritten notes is a good idea" or the premise were "the time it takes to send handwritten letters does note prevent applicants from applying to a sufficient number of jobs" then the situation would be different, but with the specific conclusion of the argument, the additional effort does not matter.
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Re: The career services office at a certain university found that its stud [#permalink]
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Re: The career services office at a certain university found that its stud [#permalink]
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