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Top college graduates are having more difficulty demonstrating their

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Re: Top college graduates are having more difficulty demonstrating their  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2012, 21:17
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mohan514 wrote:
hello ma'am,
but in the conclusion there was nothing described about the achievement of the students
so i straightforward eliminated it ..
what sort of approach should i develope??


An assumption is a necessary missing premise. It is some information that is not given to you but you actually need it if you want to establish the conclusion. An assumption gives you new information i.e. it will not be present in the argument. Therefore, you cannot eliminate an option only because it gives you new info. It is actually meant to do that. You have to analyze whether the new info makes your conclusion stronger.

Say, I present this argument to you:
Every year new world records are set. Athletes must be taking performance enhancing drugs to set these records. All such drugs must be banned.

What have I assumed in my argument? I have assumed that the reason for the new records is not better training, diet and overall health.

So if you have 5 options, what could be your correct answer when you are looking for an assumption?
(A) Athletes do not get better training and diet each year.

Now just because my argument does not talk about 'training and diet', I cannot discard this option. It is an assumption I have made.
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Re: Top college graduates are having more difficulty demonstrating their  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2013, 22:11
Therefore, to restore confidence in the degrees they award, colleges must take steps to control grade inflation.
Which one of the following is an assumption that, if true, would support the conclusion in the passage?

(A) Today’s students are not higher achievers than the students of twenty years ago.
(B) Awarding too many honors degrees causes colleges to inflate grades.

Negating (A).

Today's students are higher achievers than the students of twenty years ago, So definitely they deserve honors degree.However, in the argument the achievers are not linked to getting honors degree.So,this choice seems dubious to me

Negating B

Premise talks about Honors degrees
Conclusion talks about controlling degree inflation.

Awarding too many honors degree DOESN'T cause colleges to inflate degrees.Breaks the link between premise and conclusion.So,the conclusion has no legs.Hence, weaken it.


Plz Advice !!!!
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New post 22 Feb 2013, 23:52
targetgmatchotu wrote:
Therefore, to restore confidence in the degrees they award, colleges must take steps to control grade inflation.
Which one of the following is an assumption that, if true, would support the conclusion in the passage?

(A) Today’s students are not higher achievers than the students of twenty years ago.
(B) Awarding too many honors degrees causes colleges to inflate grades.

Negating (A).

Today's students are higher achievers than the students of twenty years ago, So definitely they deserve honors degree.However, in the argument the achievers are not linked to getting honors degree.So,this choice seems dubious to me

Negating B

Premise talks about Honors degrees
Conclusion talks about controlling degree inflation.

Awarding too many honors degree DOESN'T cause colleges to inflate degrees.Breaks the link between premise and conclusion.So,the conclusion has no legs.Hence, weaken it.


Plz Advice !!!!


An assumption is a necessary premise that is missing from the stimulus. It strengthens the conclusion. If the assumption is negated, the conclusion breaks apart.

Conclusion here is: to restore confidence in the degrees they award, colleges must take steps to control grade inflation.

The author is assuming that grades are inflated. That today’s students are not higher achievers than the students of twenty years ago. If it is true, then his conclusion strengthens. Colleges must take steps to control grade inflation is they want to restore confidence in their degrees.

'Higher achievers' means 'one who deservedly achieves higher grades' as far as academics go so there is no disconnect here.
Let's negate the assumption (A) - Today’s students are not higher achievers than the students of twenty years ago.
If today's students are actually higher achievers and that is the reason why 50% of them get honors degrees, then author's conclusion - to restore confidence in the degrees they award, colleges must take steps to control grade inflation - has no merit. Then the grades are not inflated so the point of controlling grade inflation has no merit.

As for B - Awarding too many honors degrees causes colleges to inflate grades.
Actually it is the reverse. Inflated grades lead to too many honors degrees (and this is already mentioned in the stimulus).

For a detailed discussion on this question, check out: top-college-graduates-are-having-more-difficulty-67546-20.html?hilit=control%20grade%20inflation
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New post 21 Aug 2013, 06:13
Medium difficulty

(A) Today’s students are not higher achievers than the students of twenty years ago. Good enough to not cancel out. Plays the defender role. Negation technique: If students today were higher achievers, then schools would not need to inflate grades, thereby weakening the conclusion.

(B) Awarding too many honors degrees causes colleges to inflate grades. Reverse causal relationship. It really weakens the conclusion, whereas an assumption would either defend or strengthen the relationship. We are looking for an assumption.

(C) Today’s employers rely on honors ranking in making their hiring decisions. Making hiring decisions is out of scope; furthermore, this weakens the conclusion.

(D) It is not easy for students with low grades to obtain jobs. Didn't feel right because the relationship that needs defending is grade inflation -> meaningless honors

(E) Colleges must make employers aware of the criteria used to determine who receives an honors degree Out of scope. That said, this would even weaken the relationship. If employers made decisions based off honors, then the criteria would be meaningful.
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New post 06 Aug 2014, 08:55
what's wrong with C. If I negate C and employer's don't rely on honors degree's rankings to make decisions than the colleges don't need to control inflated grades because it doesn't matter to employers.....
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New post 06 Aug 2014, 23:03
bankerboy30 wrote:
what's wrong with C. If I negate C and employer's don't rely on honors degree's rankings to make decisions than the colleges don't need to control inflated grades because it doesn't matter to employers.....


The argument gives you "Today’s employers are less impressed with the honors degree. Thehonors degree goes to more than 50 percent of a graduating class."

then how can (C) be an assumption?
(C) Today’s employers rely on honors ranking in making their hiring decisions.

The argument clearly states that they don't rely much on honors degree anymore. An assumption needs to strengthen our argument. (C) doesn't do that.
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New post 23 Oct 2017, 01:33
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
mrinal2100 wrote:
WHATS WRONG WITH B


B - Awarding too many honors degrees causes colleges to inflate grades.
Actually it is the reverse. Inflated grades lead to too many honors degrees. And this is already mentioned in the stimulus.
An assumption is a necessary premise that is missing from the stimulus. It strengthens the conclusion. If the assumption is negated, the conclusion breaks apart.

Conclusion here is: to restore confidence in the degrees they award, colleges must take steps to control grade inflation.

The author is assuming that grades are inflated. That today’s students are not higher achievers than the students of twenty years ago. If it is true, then his conclusion strengthens. Colleges must take steps to control grade inflation is they want to restore confidence in their degrees.

Let's negate the assumption (A)
If today's students are actually higher achievers and that is the reason why 50% of them get honors degrees, then author's conclusion - to restore confidence in the degrees they award, colleges must take steps to control grade inflation - has no merit. Then the grades are not inflated.


I understood your point, but could not understand, if today's students are actually higher achievers, then why they are facing difficulty in demonstrating their superiority to prospective employers than did the top students of twenty years ago. Would you please make me clear?
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New post 25 Oct 2017, 12:53
Top college graduates are having more difficulty demonstrating their superiority to prospective employers than did the top students of twenty years ago when an honors degree was distinction enough. Today’s employers are less impressed with the honors degree. Twenty years ago no more than 10 percent of a given class graduated with honors. Today, however, because of grade inflation, the honors degree goes to more than 50 percent of a graduating class. Therefore, to restore confidence in the degrees they award, colleges must take steps to control grade inflation.

Which one of the following is an assumption that, if true, would support the conclusion in the passage?

(A) Today’s students are not higher achievers than the students of twenty years ago. -Lets hold on to this one as it seems correct.
(B) Awarding too many honors degrees causes colleges to inflate grades. -Opposite of the premise
(C) Today’s employers rely on honors ranking in making their hiring decisions. -Out of scope
(D) It is not easy for students with low grades to obtain jobs. -Out of scope
(E) Colleges must make employers aware of the criteria used to determine who receives an honors degree -Out of scope
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New post 04 Feb 2019, 04:29
The answer is A.

B states the inverse of what the passage says. Grade inflation is why much more honors degrees are awarded, not vice-versa. The information that C presents goes against what the passage says. The passage says that today’s employers care much less about honors rankings, which implies that they are not relying on them. D is simply irrelevant. E goes against the conclusion. The conclusion states a course of action that the colleges must take to restore confidence in their degrees, but E suggests a different course of action. If the author was to make this assumption, they would not wrie this conclusion. A is the right answer because this assumption removes the possibility that the colleges are not inflating grades and that there are much more honors degrees being awarded because today’s students are just higher achievers.
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New post 04 Feb 2019, 10:45
Hi VeritasKarishma,

I was wondering could you please explain why option B is incorrect when we negate it?

Negated option B: Awarding too many honors degrees does not cause colleges to inflate grades. I know we are given the opposite of this in our argument but when we negate this option, doesn't it weaken the conclusion?

If you could please help clear my confusion, I would greatly appreciate it!
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New post 04 Feb 2019, 21:26
csaluja wrote:
Hi VeritasKarishma,

I was wondering could you please explain why option B is incorrect when we negate it?

Negated option B: Awarding too many honors degrees does not cause colleges to inflate grades. I know we are given the opposite of this in our argument but when we negate this option, doesn't it weaken the conclusion?

If you could please help clear my confusion, I would greatly appreciate it!



Negating an assumption needs to break the conclusion.

Negated (B): Awarding too many honors degrees does not cause colleges to inflate grades.

Conclusion: To restore confidence in the degrees they award, colleges must take steps to control grade inflation

What happens to grades when colleges award too many honors degrees is irrelevant. In fact, there is no connection. It is because of grade inflation that too many donors degrees are given. Hence, this statement does not make sense that awarding too many honors degrees causes (or does not cause) grade inflation.
Option (B) and its negation make no sense.
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