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GMAT Question of the Day – 14/12/2020

QUESTION

The number of articles concerning the use of sensatorium dummies in crash testing published last year in consumer magazines was considerably less than in prior years. No longer manufactured, these dummies can be severely damaged in crash tests, and many of the sensatorium dummies damaged two years ago are still awaiting necessary repairs. It is clear, therefore, that the lower number of consumer magazine articles published last year about sensatorium dummies was due to the decline in their availability for use.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the news reporter’s argument?

ANSWER SELECTION

ANSWER EXPLANATION

The words “most seriously weakens” indicate that this is a Weaken question. The correct answer will make it less likely that the conclusion follows from the stated evidence.

The reporter concludes that the short supply of dummies is the reason for the lower number of magazine articles published about the dummies. His evidence is simply an observed correlation: there aren’t as many sensatorium dummies available lately, and fewer consumer magazine articles were published last year about the dummies.

The author is assuming there is no other explanation for the lower number of magazine articles. A GMAT argument is weakened by a choice that attacks the assumption. Here, the correct choice will suggest some other reason for the lower number of magazine articles besides the short supply of dummies.

(E) is correct, suggesting some other reason for the lower number of magazine articles, and therefore attacking the author’s assumption. A magazine format change is the reason for fewer articles on crash tests, not the number of dummies being used.

(A) is incorrect because the argument is about why a lower number of articles were published, not submitted for publication. (A) doesn’t indicate whether the magazines wanted more articles about dummies submitted or whether they would have published more articles about dummies had they been submitted. Without more information, (A) says nothing about the reason there were fewer articles published.

(B) just elaborates on the evidence that the dummies are in short supply. But it doesn’t make a connection with the number of articles published.

(C) is a 180, since it gets rid of a potential alternative explanation. Had the number of magazines on the market decreased, that could have explained the lower number of articles published last year on the dummies. Since the number of magazines did not decrease, the reporter’s explanation is at least a little more likely to be correct.

(D) doesn’t affect the argument, because it has nothing to do with why there would be a drop in articles last yearand not in previous years. The fact about the dummies described in (D) applied in previous years as well.

Clever Academy

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