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# The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significant

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The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significant  [#permalink]

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06 Nov 2019, 23:28
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The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significantly in a certain county over the last fifteen years. Education officials attribute this decrease entirely to improved conditions in the schools, which made for a better teaching environment, reducing the level of illiteracy.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the education officials' explanation?

A. Many similar improvements in school conditions have been made over the last twenty-five years in the county.
B. Home-schooling has not been more prevalent among the illiterate as compared to people who are not illiterate.
C. Because of a new assessment scale, many people who until this year would have been considered illiterate are now considered low-level readers.
D. The same percentage of the population has been tested every year for the last 30 years.
E. The conditions in the schools were brought up to the standards of the neighboring counties twenty years ago

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Re: The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significant  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 07 Nov 2019, 00:05
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Given : Illiteracy rate is reduced now. Schools have improved teaching conditions.

Conclusion : Illiteracy reduced because of School's improved conditions.

Pre-thinking : This is classic Causal and effect argument. If we can show another cause , we can weaken the conclusion.

Option C captures this succinctly by saying that because the scale for illiteracy has been relaxed, more people are considered literate

Originally posted by suchithra on 07 Nov 2019, 00:02.
Last edited by suchithra on 07 Nov 2019, 00:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significant  [#permalink]

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07 Nov 2019, 00:02
The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significantly in a certain county over the last fifteen years. Education officials attribute this decrease entirely to improved conditions in the schools, which made for a better teaching environment, reducing the level of illiteracy.

Conclusion: Illiteracy rate has gone down because of improved teaching conditions.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the education officials' explanation for the lower incidence of the disease?
Q Analysis: Look for the statement which weakens the conclusion i.e. provides some other reasoning for the low illiteracy rate other than mentioned.
A. Many similar improvements in school conditions have been made over the last twenty-five years in the county. So?
B. Home-schooling has not been more prevalent among the illiterate as compared to people who are not illiterate. So?
C. Because of a new assessment scale, many people who until this year would have been considered illiterate are now considered low-level readers.Yess..looks like correct ans
D. The same percentage of the population has been tested every year for the last 30 years.So?
E. The conditions in the schools were brought up to the standards of the neighboring counties twenty years ago.So?
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Re: The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significant  [#permalink]

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07 Nov 2019, 00:03
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C. Because of a new assessment scale, many people who until this year would have been considered illiterate are now considered low-level readers.....only assumption....that weakens the reason provided by education officials....so CORRECT

OA:C
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Re: The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significant  [#permalink]

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07 Nov 2019, 00:51
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The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significantly in a certain county over the last fifteen years. Education officials attribute this decrease entirely to improved conditions in the schools, which made for a better teaching environment, reducing the level of illiteracy.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the education officials' explanation?

conclusion : improved conditions in the schools= better teaching environment= number of illiterates reduced

underlying assumption: No other factors caused the number of illeterates to reduce!!

we can weaken the argument by showing that there are other factors involved!

A. Many similar improvements in school conditions have been made over the last twenty-five years in the county.- good! how does this weaken the argument but??- wrong!!
B. Home-schooling has not been more prevalent among the illiterate as compared to people who are not illiterate.- lets consider the two scenarios:
1)homeschooling is more prevalent among the illiterate- imagine a total of 2 illiterate students and 1 literate student- this is not a strong argument
2)homeschooling is not more prevalent among the illiterate- this does nothing to the option- wrong!
C. Because of a new assessment scale, many people who until this year would have been considered illiterate are now considered low-level readers.- ]CORRECT!the reason there is a drop is because of a new assessment scale and not because of improved school conditions!- new factor!
D. The same percentage of the population has been tested every year for the last 30 years.- since we are talking about the number of illiterates!- percentage is out of scope- wrong!
E. The conditions in the schools were brought up to the standards of the neighbouring counties twenty years ago- neighbouring countries is out of scope- wrong!
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Re: The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significant  [#permalink]

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07 Nov 2019, 02:51
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The right answer has to be option C in my view.

Premise 1: The number of young adults who are illiterate has dropped significantly in a certain county over the last 15 years.
Premise 2: Conditions have improved in schools in the county.
Conclusion: This decrease in illiteracy is entirely due to improved conditions in the schools, which made for a better teaching environment.

So, what about if it can be proven that illiteracy among young adults has reduced through other means apart from traditional school environments? That would greatly hurt the argument made by the Educational Officials.

Option C states that because of a new assessment scale, many people who until this year would have been considered illiterate are now considered low-level readers. Surely, if illiteracy has been redefined with a number of people considered illiterate over the years now upgraded into a new category of low-level readers, then this will account for some of the drop in illiteracy in the county. Hence this will greatly weaken the argument made by the Education Official.

Option B says that homeschooling is not more prevalent among literates compared to illiterates. Since this rate has basically remained the same over the years, it cannot account for the decrease in illiteracy. This is therefore irrelevant in my view.
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Re: The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significant  [#permalink]

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07 Nov 2019, 07:41
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Conclusion; The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significantly in a certain county over the last fifteen years.

Option C ; gives an alternate resoning and weakens the argument
Because of a new assessment scale, many people who until this year would have been considered illiterate are now considered low-level readers.
IMO C

The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significantly in a certain county over the last fifteen years. Education officials attribute this decrease entirely to improved conditions in the schools, which made for a better teaching environment, reducing the level of illiteracy.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the education officials' explanation?

A. Many similar improvements in school conditions have been made over the last twenty-five years in the county.
B. Home-schooling has not been more prevalent among the illiterate as compared to people who are not illiterate.
C. Because of a new assessment scale, many people who until this year would have been considered illiterate are now considered low-level readers.
D. The same percentage of the population has been tested every year for the last 30 years.
E. The conditions in the schools were brought up to the standards of the neighboring counties twenty years ago
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Re: The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significant  [#permalink]

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07 Nov 2019, 12:00
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Quote:
The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significantly in a certain county over the last fifteen years. Education officials attribute this decrease entirely to improved conditions in the schools, which made for a better teaching environment, reducing the level of illiteracy.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the education officials' explanation?

A. Many similar improvements in school conditions have been made over the last twenty-five years in the county.
B. Home-schooling has not been more prevalent among the illiterate as compared to people who are not illiterate.
C. Because of a new assessment scale, many people who until this year would have been considered illiterate are now considered low-level readers.
D. The same percentage of the population has been tested every year for the last 30 years.
E. The conditions in the schools were brought up to the standards of the neighboring counties twenty years ago

ARGUMENT
[prem] Num of young adults that are illiterate has dropped over a period;
[con] Officials conclude that this decrease was entirely because of improved conditions in schools.
[weaken] What if the present survey was biased somehow? Or, different than the one's before.

Ans. (C)
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Re: The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significant  [#permalink]

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07 Nov 2019, 17:58
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IMO Option C

It clearly weakens the argument most by saying that due to introduction of assessment scale, the word illiteracy is replaced and not due to improved conditions of the schools

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Re: The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significant  [#permalink]

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07 Nov 2019, 18:01
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The stimulus states that over the last 15 years the level of illtrracy has dropped significantly in a certain county. The drop is attributed to the improved school conditions.

We need to weaken this claim

Option A states that the improvements were from last 25 years
So this weakens the attribution that the school conditions were responsible for bringing down the illetracy rate

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Re: The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significant  [#permalink]

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07 Nov 2019, 18:27
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The change in the metrics of assessment as stated in C could well disprove the thesis of the Official. C is the eventual answer.
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Re: The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significant  [#permalink]

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07 Nov 2019, 21:01
I would go for A.

Similar improvement is going on for last 25 years. But, illiteracy has been reduced in last 15 years.
That means, at the initial 10 years, similar improvement didn’t reduce illiteracy.
So, those improvements may not be responsible for reducing illiteracy. There may have other factors that reduced illiteracy.
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Re: The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significant  [#permalink]

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07 Nov 2019, 21:07
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Imo. C

Effect: The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significantly in a certain county over the last fifteen years.
Cause: Education officials attribute this decrease entirely to improved conditions in the schools, which made for a better teaching environment, (reducing the level of illiteracy.)

A causes B can be weakened by mentioning C causes B/ C causes both A and B (alternate cause) or A happened but B not happened (or vice versa).

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the education officials' explanation?

A. Many similar improvements in school conditions have been made over the last twenty-five years in the county. - Out of scope
B. Home-schooling has not been more prevalent among the illiterate as compared to people who are not illiterate. - Out of scope
C. Because of a new assessment scale, many people who until this year would have been considered illiterate are now considered low-level readers. - ok, the measurement parameter for discrimination between illiterate and literate has change. So, alternate reason led the effect.
D. The same percentage of the population has been tested every year for the last 30 years. - Out of scope
E. The conditions in the schools were brought up to the standards of the neighboring counties twenty years ago - Out of scope
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Re: The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significant  [#permalink]

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08 Nov 2019, 00:22
Bunuel wrote:

Competition Mode Question

The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significantly in a certain county over the last fifteen years. Education officials attribute this decrease entirely to improved conditions in the schools, which made for a better teaching environment, reducing the level of illiteracy.

Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the education officials' explanation?

A. Many similar improvements in school conditions have been made over the last twenty-five years in the county.
B. Home-schooling has not been more prevalent among the illiterate as compared to people who are not illiterate.
C. Because of a new assessment scale, many people who until this year would have been considered illiterate are now considered low-level readers.
D. The same percentage of the population has been tested every year for the last 30 years.
E. The conditions in the schools were brought up to the standards of the neighboring counties twenty years ago

Official Explanation:

The best answer is C. The education officials assume that the decrease in the number of people who are illiterate reflects a diminution in cases of illiteracy. By pointing out that this assumption is false, choice C undermines the officials' explanation.
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Re: The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significant   [#permalink] 08 Nov 2019, 00:22

# The number of young adults that are illiterate has dropped significant

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