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Difficulty: 605-655 Level,    Evaluate Argument,                               
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Re: Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that student-teacher [#permalink]
AkhilAggarwal wrote:
ChrisLele wrote:
This is a tricky question. We want to make sure we do not lose track of the conclusion, which can basically be boiled down to: in a recession getting a teaching job at Vergonia's government-funded schools will not become difficult.

Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that student-teacher ratios in government-funded schoolsnot exceed a certain limit. All Vargonian children are entitled to education, free of charge, in these schools. When a recession occurs and average incomes fall, the number of children enrolled in government-funded schools tends to increase. Therefore, though most employment opportunities contract in economic recessions, getting a teaching job in Vargonia's government-funded schools will not be made more difficult by a recession.

Which of the following would be most important to determine in order to evaluate the argument?

(A) Whether in Vargonia there are any schools not funded by the government that offer children an education free of charge

Schools that are not government-funded are irrelevant to the argument.

(B) Whether the number of qualified applicants for teaching positions in government-funded schools increases significantly during economic recessions

Here we have a reason that undermines the conclusion. If everybody is applying for a job at Vergonia's schools during a recession, getting a job there will not be easy. The assumption in the argument is that the increased demand for teachers will not be met with an increased supply of teachers. (B) exposes this assumption. Thus, in evaluating the argument, we need to know whether government-funded schools are inundated with a supply of teachers.

(C) What the current student-teacher ratio in Vargonia's government-funded schools is

This knowledge does not address the conclusion.

(D) What proportion of Vargonia's workers currently hold jobs as teachers in government-funded schools

Knowledge of the number of workers in Vargonia who currently work at government schools will not help us determine the validity of the conclusion. We need an answer choice that addresses the questions: Will it be easy to get a job at government-related schools in a recession.

(E) Whether in the past a number of government funded schools in Vargonia have had student teacher ratios well in excess of the new limit

Again, this answer choice does not help us address the conclusion.



Considering option C,if student-teacher ratio is already apt,wouldn't it will affect getting a teaching job in school?
Because if already sufficient strength of teacher is there,why will school hire new teachers,so,it will weaken the conclusion but if the strength of teacher is less,it will strengthen the conclusion

Could you please clarify this point


Hey AkhilAggarwal, I am no expert but see if this helps. A few points to note before rejecting C -

1. The conclusion is that the getting a teaching job will not be more difficult during a recession as opposed to normal times.
2. We are asked for the best/most important out of the lot, rejecting the other 4 will not mean that they do not provide any insight at all.

With the above points in mind, let's look at C. Assuming that the ratio is already low and the schools have enough numbers, the recession will not have an impact on the job opportunities at all. If the ratio is already high or close to the limit, the school may/may not need to hire new teachers. How does that make things more difficult? or easy? It doesn't really do either of these things. If the ratio remains under the limit during the recession, the difficulty of getting such jobs probably remains the same. If the ratio exceeds the limit during the ratio, and more teachers are required, does that mean that the finding a job does not become more difficult? What if the private teachers (who could have lost their jobs) want to switch to govt schools? What if other engineers, PHDs, MBAs, etc want to switch to teaching?

Now, I'm not saying that C is completely useless and of course in making such decisions IRL, you would evaluate countless things. B just ranks much higher than C.

Think about it if Harvard suddenly increases their class size to 4000, does that really make things easy/more difficult? Could be easy as there are more seats, but it could also be difficult as more people start would start applying. (Although, I will say that is almost impossible to find perfect examples that resemble a GMAT question, especially for a non-expert like me, so please ignore this example if it does not make sense).
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Re: Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that student-teacher [#permalink]
Let's look at the explanation - Government of Vargonia has reccently passed a law that limits the student- teacher ratio in a classrooms of a government funded schools. And it is given that during recession the number of students in government funded school increases as it is free of cost.

Conclusion: Getting a teaching job in Vargonia's government-funded schools will not be made more difficult by a recession.

As the law is applied students more than limit cannot be admitted in a classroom, so there is a chance that number of classrooms will be increased. Which will need more number of Teachers.

so, we can look for the difficulty level of getting the job by finding the number of applications.

Hence option D is correct.
(D) What proportion of Vargonia's workers currently hold jobs as teachers in government-funded schools.
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Re: Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that student-teacher [#permalink]
I believe the issue with A, and why most say it is irrelevant to the argument, is that we are specifically told in the facts of the argument that during a recession the number of students enrolled at govt. funded schools will increase. This is a factual, definitive premise we are given.

If there are other free schools that parents can enroll their kids in, then the only effect that this fact would have on the argument is the size of the increase in enrollment at the govt. funded schools. However, we will still have this increase and there will still be a demand (possibly) for more teachers because of this new “Ratio Law.”

Regardless of how large the increase is, there will still be an increase in students enrolled at the govt. funded schools. Answer (A) is attempting to get you to argue with the premises.

Whether getting a job will be made much harder (or not more difficult) for a teacher by a recession isn’t made any more clear if we know that there are also non-govt. funded free schools that children can attend.

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Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that student-teacher [#permalink]
VeritasKarishma GMATNinja
Hi,
How author is sure that number of vacancies released will be higher in recession than normal period.?
If we consider the current ratio well below the limiting value, then the number of vacancies generated either in normal or recession cant be concluded ?
He may not add any vacancy in recession and let the ratio slip near to limiting value or He may add vacancy in normal period and does not let the ratio slip to limiting value.

Please explain option C and D also.
Thanks

Originally posted by Abhivas on 26 Jul 2021, 08:00.
Last edited by Abhivas on 28 Jul 2021, 07:55, edited 2 times in total.
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Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that student-teacher [#permalink]
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Abhivas wrote:
VeritasKarishma GMATNinja
Hi,
How author is sure that number of vacancies released will be higher in recession than normal period.?
If we consider the current ratio well below the limiting value, then the number of vacancies generated either in normal or recession cant be concluded ?
He may not add any vacancy in recession and let the ratio slip near to limiting value or He may add vacancy in normal period and does not let the ratio slip to limiting value.

Please explain option C and D also.
Thanks

Abhivas:

The author does not say that the number of vacancies will be higher in recession.

She says:
"Therefore, though most employment opportunities contract in economic recessions, getting a teaching job in Vargonia's government-funded schools will not be made more difficult by a recession. "

That during recession, most employment opportunities contract (it gets more difficult to get a job in recession) but getting a teaching job will not become more difficult.

Number of students in Govt funded schools increase in recession and the student teacher ratio needs to be maintained so the vacancies will certainly not decrease. So it will not get more difficult to get a job.
If the current ratio is below limit value, the number of vacancies may remain the same for a while and then increase or it may not increase.
If the current ratio is at limit value, the number of vacancies will increase.
In any case, number of vacancies will not decrease so it will not get more difficult to get a job.

But here is the point - what if number of people applying increases a whole lot. Then for the same number of vacancies, you may have many more applicants and hence getting a job will actually become more difficult.
So we need to find whether more people apply to evaluate whether it gets harder to get a job.

(C) What the current student-teacher ratio in Vargonia's government-funded schools is

This would be relevant if we were to evaluate whether it will get easier to get a job or not. But this is not relevant in our current argument because we are talking about whether it will get more difficult to get a job.

(D) What proportion of Vargonia's workers currently hold jobs as teachers in government-funded schools

What percent of the work force is in teaching jobs currently is irrelevant. Whether 2% of the workforce is in teaching jobs or 3% or 10% doesn't matter at all.
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Re: Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that student-teacher [#permalink]
Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that student-teacher ratios in government-funded schools not exceed a certain limit. All Vargonian children are entitled to education, free of charge, in these schools. When a recession occurs and average incomes fall, the number of children enrolled in government-funded schools tends to increase. Therefore, though most employment opportunities contract in economic recessions, getting a teaching job in Vargonia's government-funded schools will not be made more difficult by a recession.


Conclusion of the passage: If recession occurs, the no. of kids in government funded schools will increase as education is free for them. Since there is a new legal requirement to maintain a ratio of students to kids, it will mean getting a teacher's job will be an option available even at the time of recession.

CA will be
a) Additional information
b) Answer to which will either attack or support the conclusion of 'securing job as a teacher will not be more difficult in recession'

Let's look at the answer options.



Which of the following would be most important to determine in order to evaluate the argument?

(A) Whether in Vargonia there are any schools not funded by the government that offer children an education free of charge

This is Out of scope: To evaluate the argument we must look at options pertaining to govt schools not other schools. For all you know, the other schools might not maintain a specific ratio of students to teachers.

(B) Whether the number of qualified applicants for teaching positions in government-funded schools increases significantly during economic recessions

This looks like a good option. If the number of qualified applicants increases SIGNIFICANTLY. it will make getting jobs tougher for others. Hence, weakening the conclusion. And if the number of qualified applicants doesn't increase, then it will strengthen the author's conclusion.

Let's keep it.

(C) What the current student-teacher ratio in Vargonia's government-funded schools is

How would knowing 'current' ratio help? The ratio is already changing.
Also, knowing the ratio will not help in this instance as we are aware the number of students will increase (fact). Hence requirement for teachers will increase.

(D) What proportion of Vargonia's workers currently hold jobs as teachers in government-funded schools

Proportion of teachers in Govt. funded schools won't help either, since even if the ratio is 90-10. Employment opportunities will contract for others and opportunities will increase for Govt. funded schools.

Let's remove this.

(E) Whether in the past a number of government funded schools in Vargonia have had student teacher ratios well in excess of the new limit.

Something that happened in the past, can't be used to evaluate the argument right now.


B looks like the best option out of the remaining ones.
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Re: Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that student-teacher [#permalink]
ThatDudeKnows avigutman not clear on why not E. If the ratio is not in excess, then of course they will not need to hire more teachers and hence it will be more or equally difficult to get more teaching jobs- weaken
If the ratio is in excess, then it is easy to get more teaching jobs and argument is strengthened. KarishmaB MartyTargetTestPrep
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Re: Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that student-teacher [#permalink]
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Elite097 wrote:
ThatDudeKnows avigutman not clear on why not E. If the ratio is not in excess, then of course they will not need to hire more teachers and hence it will be more or equally difficult to get more teaching jobs- weaken
If the ratio is in excess, then it is easy to get more teaching jobs and argument is strengthened. KarishmaB MartyTargetTestPrep


Did you notice that you’re using a different verb tense from the one in the actual answer choice, Elite097 ?

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Re: Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that student-teacher [#permalink]
avigutman I do not get it. Please elaborate your respons in light of my analysis

avigutman wrote:
Elite097 wrote:
ThatDudeKnows avigutman not clear on why not E. If the ratio is not in excess, then of course they will not need to hire more teachers and hence it will be more or equally difficult to get more teaching jobs- weaken
If the ratio is in excess, then it is easy to get more teaching jobs and argument is strengthened. KarishmaB MartyTargetTestPrep


Did you notice that you’re using a different verb tense from the one in the actual answer choice, Elite097 ?

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Re: Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that student-teacher [#permalink]
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Elite097 wrote:
avigutman I do not get it. Please elaborate your response in light of my analysis

This is answer choice (E):
Quote:
(E) Whether in the past a number of government funded schools in Vargonia have had student teacher ratios well in excess of the new limit

This is your analysis of answer choice (E):
Elite097 wrote:
If the ratio is not in excess, then of course they will not need to hire more teachers and hence it will be more or equally difficult to get more teaching jobs- weaken
If the ratio is in excess, then it is easy to get more teaching jobs and argument is strengthened

And this was the argument's conclusion:
Quote:
getting a teaching job in Vargonia's government-funded schools will not be made more difficult by a recession.

The conclusion is a prediction about what will happen in the future, but answer choice (E) proposes information about what happened in the past, prior to the new legal requirement regarding student-teacher ratios.
In your analysis of answer choice (E), Elite097, you changed the verb tense from "have had" to "is"; that may seem like an insignificant change to you, but the test writers predicted that some test takers will make that error and designed trap answer choice (E) accordingly.
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Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that student-teacher [#permalink]
parasena wrote:
Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that student-teacher ratios in government-funded schools not exceed a certain limit. All Vargonian children are entitled to education, free of charge, in these schools. When a recession occurs and average incomes fall, the number of children enrolled in government-funded schools tends to increase. Therefore, though most employment opportunities contract in economic recessions, getting a teaching job in Vargonia's government-funded schools will not be made more difficult by a recession.



First Step: As always, read the question stem first very carefully. and understand clearly Which type of question is being asked. hmm, evaluate question
Second Step: Read the passage carefully and understand the precise meaning of the passage in the author's words.
In Virginia, the student-teacher ratio in government-funded schools[GFS] isn't greater than a certain limit.
All children in Virginia are entitled to education, free of charge. Hums, that is good for children who are born in low-income families.
When a recession happens, average income fall and the number of children enrolled in GFS tends to rise.
Although most employment is Scattered by the economic recession, Getting a teaching job in VGFS will be easier. That is the author's opinion or point,
which we called a conclusion.
Third Step: Pause for a few seconds and mentally formulate your own ideas about this argument.
Conclusion: Getting a teaching job in VGFS will be easier
What if getting a teaching job isn't an easy occupation? it demands higher-qualification certificates, teaching experiences, and sometimes related people who also worked in the same teaching job.

Fourth Step: Read the options choices carefully and be careful.select the best out of them


Quote:
(A)Whether in Vargonia there are any schools not funded by the government that offers children an education free of charge
it is completely irrelevant.
. We don't know if any schools not funded by the government offer children an education free of charge or not.
it is completely irrelevant.

Quote:
(B) Whether the number of qualified applicants for teaching positions in government-funded schools increases significantly during economic recessions

That is matched with our pre-thinking phase.
If yes, the number of qualified applicants for teaching positions in GFS increases during economic recessions, it is likely to reduce your opportunities of getting
a teaching job because competition is high. it weakens the author's argument.
IF No, competition is low, your chances are high, and it strengthens the author's argument.

Quote:
(C) What the current student-teacher ratio in Vargonia's government-funded schools is

it doesn't matter the current student-teacher ratio in Vernonia to evaluate our argument.
Quote:
(D) What proportion of Vargonia's workers currently hold jobs as teachers in government-funded schools?

it also doesn't affect our conclusion because we need a reason why getting a teaching job at GFS is easier or harder

Quote:
(E) Whether in the past a number of government funded schools in Vargonia have had student teacher ratios well in excess of the new limit

what is to do with the past number of GFS Virginia teacher ratios with our conclusion? No way. it is completely out of our league.
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Re: Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that student-teacher [#permalink]
To evaluate the argument presented, we need to determine the most important factor to consider. Let's evaluate each option:

(A) Whether in Vargonia there are any schools not funded by the government that offer children an education free of charge.
This option is not directly relevant to the argument. It discusses the existence of schools not funded by the government, but it does not provide information about the impact of a recession on teaching jobs in government-funded schools.

(B) Whether the number of qualified applicants for teaching positions in government-funded schools increases significantly during economic recessions.
This option is relevant to the argument. If the number of qualified applicants for teaching positions increases significantly during recessions, it could make teaching jobs in government-funded schools more competitive and difficult to obtain, despite the increased number of enrolled students.

(C) What the current student-teacher ratio in Vargonia's government-funded schools is.
This option is somewhat relevant to the argument. Knowing the current student-teacher ratio would provide context, but it does not directly address the impact of a recession on teaching job availability.

(D) What proportion of Vargonia's workers currently hold jobs as teachers in government-funded schools.
This option is somewhat relevant. Understanding the proportion of workers holding teaching jobs in government-funded schools would provide insight into the potential impact of a recession on teaching job availability. However, it does not directly address the argument's claim.

(E) Whether in the past a number of government-funded schools in Vargonia have had student-teacher ratios well in excess of the new limit.
This option is somewhat relevant. If there have been instances in the past where government-funded schools had high student-teacher ratios, it could indicate potential challenges in maintaining the new limit during a recession. However, it does not directly address the argument's claim.

Based on the evaluation, option (B) is the most important to determine. Knowing whether the number of qualified applicants for teaching positions increases significantly during economic recessions would help evaluate the argument's claim that teaching jobs in government-funded schools would not be made more difficult to obtain during a recession.
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Re: Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that student-teacher [#permalink]
egmat KarishmaB GMATNinja why not E?

If the ratio is less means students < teachers and hence more difficult to admit teachers

2:1<3:1 so it means it will be difficult to get teaching job

If the ratio is in excess means there will be more scope to admit teachers

If 4:1>3:1 then they’ll need to increase teachers



egmat wrote:
rohanGmat wrote:
I had a doubt about option (C)
I narrowed down to B/C - But C was kinda my prephrased answer so picked it anyway
My Reasoning For C
If the current student:teacher ratio is very low , for instance schools have 10 students and 50 teachers.. So in an economic recession, the school will not need to hire teachers - because the ratio will not increase above the limit
Would really appreciate if somene can guide how I should avoid such issues, i have encountered this multiple times ....


Hi Rohan,

Let me try to address your doubt.

In all argument questions, it is very important to understand the conclusion very thoroughly. Let's look at the conclusion here:

Therefore, though most employment opportunities contract in economic recessions, getting a teaching job in Vargonia's government-funded schools will not be made more difficult by a recession.

Pay attention to the key words here: "more" and "not difficult"

"More" implies we are making a comparison. Comparison of what? Comparison of two time periods - recession and normal periods.
"Not difficult" means that job opportunities per applicant will not decrease during the recession. It does not mean that it will rise during the recession. So, anything which suggests that opportunities will not rise during recession is not a weakener because the conclusion is not talking about increase in opportunities.

However, anything that suggests that opportunities will decrease during the recession is a valid weakener.

Now, let's look at option C:

(C) What the current student-teacher ratio in Vargonia's government-funded schools is?

As your rightly observed, if the teacher-student ratio is very low, then the schools may not need to hire during the recession. But does that weaken the conclusion? Does this mean that the job opportunities will decline during recession? The answer is No. If the ratio is low, then the schools don't have requirement both in the normal and the recessionary periods. So, there is no decline in opportunities during recession. In case of low ratio, it would only mean that opportunities may not rise during recession; however, that would not weaken the argument as we understood before.

Now, let's look at option B:

(B) Whether the number of qualified applicants for teaching positions in government-funded schools increases significantly during economic recessions

This option specifically creates a difference between normal and recession periods. It says that during recessions, the number of applicants for teaching positions increases significantly. So, even if new jobs are created because of additional students, it may not make the job easier to get since the number of applicants has also increased. So, even if the supply of jobs increases, it will not make job easier to get because the demand would also increase.

Does this help?

Thank you.
Chiranjeev


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Re: Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that student-teacher [#permalink]
Expert Reply
Elite097 wrote:
egmat KarishmaB GMATNinja why not E?

If the ratio is less means students < teachers and hence more difficult to admit teachers

2:1<3:1 so it means it will be difficult to get teaching job

If the ratio is in excess means there will be more scope to admit teachers

If 4:1>3:1 then they’ll need to increase teachers



egmat wrote:
rohanGmat wrote:
I had a doubt about option (C)
I narrowed down to B/C - But C was kinda my prephrased answer so picked it anyway
My Reasoning For C
If the current student:teacher ratio is very low , for instance schools have 10 students and 50 teachers.. So in an economic recession, the school will not need to hire teachers - because the ratio will not increase above the limit
Would really appreciate if somene can guide how I should avoid such issues, i have encountered this multiple times ....


Hi Rohan,

Let me try to address your doubt.

In all argument questions, it is very important to understand the conclusion very thoroughly. Let's look at the conclusion here:

Therefore, though most employment opportunities contract in economic recessions, getting a teaching job in Vargonia's government-funded schools will not be made more difficult by a recession.

Pay attention to the key words here: "more" and "not difficult"

"More" implies we are making a comparison. Comparison of what? Comparison of two time periods - recession and normal periods.
"Not difficult" means that job opportunities per applicant will not decrease during the recession. It does not mean that it will rise during the recession. So, anything which suggests that opportunities will not rise during recession is not a weakener because the conclusion is not talking about increase in opportunities.

However, anything that suggests that opportunities will decrease during the recession is a valid weakener.

Now, let's look at option C:

(C) What the current student-teacher ratio in Vargonia's government-funded schools is?

As your rightly observed, if the teacher-student ratio is very low, then the schools may not need to hire during the recession. But does that weaken the conclusion? Does this mean that the job opportunities will decline during recession? The answer is No. If the ratio is low, then the schools don't have requirement both in the normal and the recessionary periods. So, there is no decline in opportunities during recession. In case of low ratio, it would only mean that opportunities may not rise during recession; however, that would not weaken the argument as we understood before.

Now, let's look at option B:

(B) Whether the number of qualified applicants for teaching positions in government-funded schools increases significantly during economic recessions

This option specifically creates a difference between normal and recession periods. It says that during recessions, the number of applicants for teaching positions increases significantly. So, even if new jobs are created because of additional students, it may not make the job easier to get since the number of applicants has also increased. So, even if the supply of jobs increases, it will not make job easier to get because the demand would also increase.

Does this help?

Thank you.
Chiranjeev


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(E) is irrelevant because what happened in the past has no bearing today. There is no point evaluating how today things are diff from the past. The point is to evaluate how things will be in a future recession.

Whatever the ratio of student:teacher is today, it cannot increase going forward. In recession, the number of students increases so number of teachers will need to increase as well. So in a recession, the likely outcome will be more teaching jobs, not fewer.
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Re: Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that student-teacher [#permalink]
ChrisLele wrote:
This is a tricky question. We want to make sure we do not lose track of the conclusion, which can basically be boiled down to: in a recession getting a teaching job at Vergonia's government-funded schools will not become difficult.

Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that student-teacher ratios in government-funded schoolsnot exceed a certain limit. All Vargonian children are entitled to education, free of charge, in these schools. When a recession occurs and average incomes fall, the number of children enrolled in government-funded schools tends to increase. Therefore, though most employment opportunities contract in economic recessions, getting a teaching job in Vargonia's government-funded schools will not be made more difficult by a recession.

Which of the following would be most important to determine in order to evaluate the argument?

(A) Whether in Vargonia there are any schools not funded by the government that offer children an education free of charge

Schools that are not government-funded are irrelevant to the argument.

(B) Whether the number of qualified applicants for teaching positions in government-funded schools increases significantly during economic recessions

Here we have a reason that undermines the conclusion. If everybody is applying for a job at Vergonia's schools during a recession, getting a job there will not be easy. The assumption in the argument is that the increased demand for teachers will not be met with an increased supply of teachers. (B) exposes this assumption. Thus, in evaluating the argument, we need to know whether government-funded schools are inundated with a supply of teachers.

(C) What the current student-teacher ratio in Vargonia's government-funded schools is

This knowledge does not address the conclusion.

(D) What proportion of Vargonia's workers currently hold jobs as teachers in government-funded schools

Knowledge of the number of workers in Vargonia who currently work at government schools will not help us determine the validity of the conclusion. We need an answer choice that addresses the questions: Will it be easy to get a job at government-related schools in a recession.

(E) Whether in the past a number of government funded schools in Vargonia have had student teacher ratios well in excess of the new limit

Again, this answer choice does not help us address the conclusion.



I think (A) Whether in Vargonia there are any schools not funded by the government that offer children an education free of charge is also useful to evaluate the argument my reason is below

If Vargonia there are any schools not funded by the government that offer children an education free of charge, getting a teaching job in Vargonia's government-funded schools will be made more difficult by a recession because students can go to any schools not funded by the government that offer children an education free of charge => number of students in government-funded schools may not increase => number of teacher in government-funded schools may not increase => it may not be easier to get a teaching job in Vargonia's government-funded schools

BUT
If Vargonia there are NO schools not funded by the government that offer children an education free of charge, getting a teaching job in Vargonia's government-funded schools will NOT be made more difficult by a recession because students cannot go to any schools not funded by the government that offer children an education free of charge => number of students in government-funded schools will increase => number of teacher in government-funded schools will increase => it will be easier to get a teaching job in Vargonia's government-funded schools
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Re: Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that student-teacher [#permalink]
ChrisLele wrote:
This is a tricky question. We want to make sure we do not lose track of the conclusion, which can basically be boiled down to: in a recession getting a teaching job at Vergonia's government-funded schools will not become difficult.

Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that student-teacher ratios in government-funded schoolsnot exceed a certain limit. All Vargonian children are entitled to education, free of charge, in these schools. When a recession occurs and average incomes fall, the number of children enrolled in government-funded schools tends to increase. Therefore, though most employment opportunities contract in economic recessions, getting a teaching job in Vargonia's government-funded schools will not be made more difficult by a recession.

Which of the following would be most important to determine in order to evaluate the argument?

(A) Whether in Vargonia there are any schools not funded by the government that offer children an education free of charge

Schools that are not government-funded are irrelevant to the argument.

(B) Whether the number of qualified applicants for teaching positions in government-funded schools increases significantly during economic recessions

Here we have a reason that undermines the conclusion. If everybody is applying for a job at Vergonia's schools during a recession, getting a job there will not be easy. The assumption in the argument is that the increased demand for teachers will not be met with an increased supply of teachers. (B) exposes this assumption. Thus, in evaluating the argument, we need to know whether government-funded schools are inundated with a supply of teachers.

(C) What the current student-teacher ratio in Vargonia's government-funded schools is

This knowledge does not address the conclusion.

(D) What proportion of Vargonia's workers currently hold jobs as teachers in government-funded schools

Knowledge of the number of workers in Vargonia who currently work at government schools will not help us determine the validity of the conclusion. We need an answer choice that addresses the questions: Will it be easy to get a job at government-related schools in a recession.

(E) Whether in the past a number of government funded schools in Vargonia have had student teacher ratios well in excess of the new limit

Again, this answer choice does not help us address the conclusion.



I think (A) Whether in Vargonia there are any schools not funded by the government that offer children an education free of charge is also useful to evaluate the argument my reason is below

If Vargonia there are any schools not funded by the government that offer children an education free of charge, getting a teaching job in Vargonia's government-funded schools will be made more difficult by a recession because students can go to any schools not funded by the government that offer children an education free of charge => number of students in government-funded schools may not increase => number of teacher in government-funded schools may not increase => it may not be easier to get a teaching job in Vargonia's government-funded schools

BUT
If Vargonia there are NO schools not funded by the government that offer children an education free of charge, getting a teaching job in Vargonia's government-funded schools will NOT be made more difficult by a recession because students cannot go to any schools not funded by the government that offer children an education free of charge => number of students in government-funded schools will increase => number of teacher in government-funded schools will increase => it will be easier to get a teaching job in Vargonia's government-funded schools


egmat KarishmaB GMATNinja could you also help clarify?
Thanks so much!
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Vargonia has just introduced a legal requirement that student-teacher [#permalink]
egmat wrote:
rohanGmat wrote:
I had a doubt about option (C)
I narrowed down to B/C - But C was kinda my prephrased answer so picked it anyway
My Reasoning For C
If the current student:teacher ratio is very low , for instance schools have 10 students and 50 teachers.. So in an economic recession, the school will not need to hire teachers - because the ratio will not increase above the limit
Would really appreciate if somene can guide how I should avoid such issues, i have encountered this multiple times ....


Hi Rohan,

Let me try to address your doubt.

In all argument questions, it is very important to understand the conclusion very thoroughly. Let's look at the conclusion here:

Therefore, though most employment opportunities contract in economic recessions, getting a teaching job in Vargonia's government-funded schools will not be made more difficult by a recession.

Pay attention to the key words here: "more" and "not difficult"

"More" implies we are making a comparison. Comparison of what? Comparison of two time periods - recession and normal periods.
"Not difficult" means that job opportunities per applicant will not decrease during the recession. It does not mean that it will rise during the recession. So, anything which suggests that opportunities will not rise during recession is not a weakener because the conclusion is not talking about increase in opportunities.

However, anything that suggests that opportunities will decrease during the recession is a valid weakener.

Now, let's look at option C:

(C) What the current student-teacher ratio in Vargonia's government-funded schools is?

As your rightly observed, if the teacher-student ratio is very low, then the schools may not need to hire during the recession. But does that weaken the conclusion? Does this mean that the job opportunities will decline during recession? The answer is No. If the ratio is low, then the schools don't have requirement both in the normal and the recessionary periods. So, there is no decline in opportunities during recession. In case of low ratio, it would only mean that opportunities may not rise during recession; however, that would not weaken the argument as we understood before.

Now, let's look at option B:

(B) Whether the number of qualified applicants for teaching positions in government-funded schools increases significantly during economic recessions

This option specifically creates a difference between normal and recession periods. It says that during recessions, the number of applicants for teaching positions increases significantly. So, even if new jobs are created because of additional students, it may not make the job easier to get since the number of applicants has also increased. So, even if the supply of jobs increases, it will not make job easier to get because the demand would also increase.

Does this help?

Thank you.
Chiranjeev

­I believe all the explanations given for why option-C is the wrong choice lack something. 

The red portion of the text mentioned in one explanation by ChiranjeevSingh, egmat "Does this mean that the job opportunities will decline during recession? The answer is No.". I believe the answer to this is, infact, yes. The argument says that most employment opportunities contract during times of recession. Now the reason given by the argument for why govt teaching jobs don't become more difficult is since the increased teacher demand (due to increased student influx) counters the general effect of a recession on employment opportunities. 
Now if the current S/T ratio is much below the limit and even after increased govt school students during recession keep the S/T ratio below the limit then there is no extraneous need to hire more teachers and the general effects of a recession ARE felt on govt teaching jobs and they become more difficult. (possibly the govt has less funds to employ teachers, or other general recession related reasons.) 

Now the reason why I believe that option-C is still incorrect is since simply knowing the current S/T ratio is not enough. We need to other information as well like the S/T limit set by the law, as well as the expected increase in S/T ratio due to increased students in recession if we are to think along the lines mentioned above.

I wonder if my reasoning is correct? MartyMurray , AjiteshArun

:) ­
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