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V31-10

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V31-10  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Apr 2018, 08:57
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Several energy alternative research programs have recently suffered a variety of setbacks, particularly among larger scale research programs. Those larger scale failures also tend to involve a greater financial loss. Therefore, larger scale research programs should be phased out in favor of multiple smaller ones.

Which one of the following, if true, provides the most support for the reasoning above?

A. Larger scale energy research programs are more likely to uncover a relevant breakthrough, while smaller projects can investigate more aspects of energy generation and storage, though less thoroughly.
B. It is just as easy to adjust, and even abandon small programs as it is with large ones.
C. The cost of starting a new energy research program increases every year.
D. Project planners tend to favor work on smaller programs rather than larger ones.
E. Larger scale energy research programs are more likely to fail and so correspondingly involve greater financial risk than a comparably scaled collection of smaller programs.

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Re V31-10  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Apr 2018, 08:58
Official Solution:

Several energy alternative research programs have recently suffered a variety of setbacks, particularly among larger scale research programs. Those larger scale failures also tend to involve a greater financial loss. Therefore, larger scale research programs should be phased out in favor of multiple smaller ones.

Which one of the following, if true, provides the most support for the reasoning above?


A. Larger scale energy research programs are more likely to uncover a relevant breakthrough, while smaller projects can investigate more aspects of energy generation and storage, though less thoroughly.
B. It is just as easy to adjust, and even abandon small programs as it is with large ones.
C. The cost of starting a new energy research program increases every year.
D. Project planners tend to favor work on smaller programs rather than larger ones.
E. Larger scale energy research programs are more likely to fail and so correspondingly involve greater financial risk than a comparably scaled collection of smaller programs.

Question Type: Strengthen

Boil It Down (Simplified & Abbreviated Summary of the Prompt): Larger projects: more failures, bigger loss -> Replace large with many smaller projects

Missing Information (assumption): Switching to many smaller projects is ultimately better.

Goal: Find an option that supports the notion that smaller is ultimately better. The argument does a shockingly poor job of providing evidence that switching to many smaller projects actually is preferable. For all we know, what if it's only the large scale programs that can yield the most significant breakthroughs?

Ⓐ If larger scale programs are more likely to uncover a relevant breakthrough, that would run counter to the argument that we should switch to a multitude of smaller programs. Additionally, this option even undercuts the utility of smaller projects in stating that even though they can investigate a greater number of aspects, they do so LESS THOROUGHLY. Gone. A 180 option. This option seeks to penalize those who lose track of what the question is asking. People who pick this option do so because they think they're being asked to weaken.

Ⓑ If we're trying to strengthen the notion that we should switch from larger programs to smaller programs, how on earth would stating that it's just as easy to adjust or abandon small programs as it is large programs help? To at least lend some support to the argument, we'd want this option to say that it's EASIER to adjust or abandon small programs.

Ⓒ This option doesn't lend support to the argument that we should switch to smaller scale programs if the costs associated with STARTING programs goes up every year. We don't know how the start-up costs would compare between fewer larger programs, and a greater number of smaller programs. In fact, if start-up costs were similar per program regardless of the size of the program, then this option would actually weaken the argument since it would be more expensive to start a greater number of smaller programs.

Ⓓ Do we know that what project managers prefer matters? No. Whether project managers PREFER small or large scale programs is completely irrelevant to support the notion that switching to a greater number of smaller programs is more advantageous. This is a punishment option for those who make the assumption that preference matters.

Ⓔ Yes. This is our right option. The one thing that this argument lacked is some proof that switching from large scale programs to multiple smaller ones will actually be preferable. This option helps this argument in two specific ways: 1) It specifically spells out that larger scale programs are MORE LIKELY to fail, 2) It also explains that large scale programs entail a greater financial risk than a comparably scaled collection of smaller ones. This option is also careful to spell out that it's making a fair comparison in terms of size. We can't just compare a large program to a smaller one. If we're making the argument that we need to shift from large scaled programs to a greater multitude of smaller ones, a fair comparison would need to compare a large program to an equivalent collection of smaller ones. This option even takes care of that for us.

Answer: E
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Re V31-10 &nbs [#permalink] 23 Apr 2018, 08:58
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