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Total contributions by individuals to political parties were up 25 per

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Total contributions by individuals to political parties were up 25 per  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2019, 09:25
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A
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  65% (hard)

Question Stats:

55% (01:42) correct 45% (01:26) wrong based on 55 sessions

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Total contributions by individuals to political parties were up 25 percent in this most recent presidential election over those of four years earlier. Hence, it is obvious that people are no longer as apathetic as they were, but are taking a greater interest in politics.

Which of the following, if true, would considerably weaken the preceding argument?

(A) The average contribution per individual actually declined during the same four-year period.

(B) Per capita income of the population increased by 15 percent during the four years in question.

(C) Public leaders continue to warn citizens against the dangers of political apathy.

(D) Contributions made by large corporations to political parties declined during the four-year period.

(E) Fewer people voted in the most recent presidential election than in the one four years earlier.

Source: Master GMAT

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Re: Total contributions by individuals to political parties were up 25 per  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2019, 09:41
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Total contributions by individuals to political parties went up than the previous presidential election.
Conclusion: people are no longer as apathetic => People taking a greater interest in politics.
What would weaken it? - any topic which defines that people are not taking an interest.

(A) The average contribution per individual actually declined during the same four-year period.
- Doesn't mean people are taking an interest - it could be due to a larger contribution from a single entity as well.

(B) Per capita income of the population increased by 15 percent during the four years in question.
- Does not affirm any idea in topic
(C) Public leaders continue to warn citizens against the dangers of political apathy.
- Not related
(D) Contributions made by large corporations to political parties declined during the four-year period.
- doesn't weaken the conclusion
(E) Fewer people voted in the most recent presidential election than in the one four years earlier. - matches the premise.
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Re: Total contributions by individuals to political parties were up 25 per  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jan 2020, 05:10
Can someone please explain how (E) is the correct answer.

I opted for option (A).

The reason I rejected option E is just because fewer people voted in the presedential election doesn't prove that people are apathetic towards politics. There could be a number of explanations for low voter turnout such as bad weather, environmental crisis, not likable presendential canditates to vote for and such.

On the other hand, option (A) states that even though there is a 25% increase in contributions, those contributions are attributable to just a few people who have accounted for the rise rather than people contributing more per head.
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Re: Total contributions by individuals to political parties were up 25 per  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jan 2020, 05:22
(A) The average contribution per individual actually declined during the same four-year period.

This would mean more individuals donated than 4 years ago. Strengthens the claim. Eliminated.

(B) Per capita income of the population increased by 15 percent during the four years in question.

It suggests or provides a reason for the increase in contributions. What we need is an argument that counters the "lower public apathy" claim.

Taking this to be right, it suggests that people are now contributing more to political parties. Strengthens the claim. Eliminated.

(C) Public leaders continue to warn citizens against the dangers of political apathy.

Irrelevant to the argument.

(D) Contributions made by large corporations to political parties declined during the four-year period.

The stem of the Q makes it clear that individual donations have risen. This is clearly out of scope. Eliminated.

(E) Fewer people voted in the most recent presidential election than in the one four years earlier.

This presents a contrary evidence to the one provided in question stem (increased donations) and is a more direct indicator of apathy to politics increasing. CORRECT.

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Re: Total contributions by individuals to political parties were up 25 per  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jan 2020, 05:24
Sarkar93 wrote:
Can someone please explain how (E) is the correct answer.

I opted for option (A).

The reason I rejected option E is just because fewer people voted in the presedential election doesn't prove that people are apathetic towards politics. There could be a number of explanations for low voter turnout such as bad weather, environmental crisis, not likable presendential canditates to vote for and such.

On the other hand, option (A) states that even though there is a 25% increase in contributions, those contributions are attributable to just a few people who have accounted for the rise rather than people contributing more per head.


Lower average would require more number of people donating to cause a total increase. That would indicate decreasing apathy.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Total contributions by individuals to political parties were up 25 per  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jan 2020, 10:11
Official Explanation

If you wanted to determine how politically active people are, what kind of test would you devise? You might do a survey to test political awareness; you might do a survey to find out how many hours people devote to political campaigning each week or how many hours they spend writing letters, etc.; or you might get a rough estimate by studying the voting statistics. The paragraph takes contributions as a measure of political activity.

(E) is correct for two reasons. First, the paragraph says nothing about individual activity. It says total contributions were up, not average or per person contributions. Second, (E) cites voting patterns which seem as good as or better an indicator of political activity than giving money.

This second reason explains why (A) is wrong. (A) may weaken the argument, but a stronger attack would use voting patterns.

(D) confuses individual and corporate contributions, so even if campaign giving were a strong indicator of activity, (D) would still be irrelevant.

(B) does not even explain why contributions in toto rose during the four years, nor does it tell us anything about the pattern of giving by individual persons.

Finally, (C) seems the worst of all the answers, for it hardly constitutes an attack on the author’s reasoning. It seems likely that even in the face of increased political activity, public leaders would continue to warn against the dangers of political apathy.

The correct answer is (E).


Hope it helps
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Re: Total contributions by individuals to political parties were up 25 per   [#permalink] 18 Jan 2020, 10:11
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