Analytical Reasoning Questions

1. There has been a sharp increase in the subscription prices of many accounting school text books in the past five years. Many publishers ascribe the necessity for these increases to the easy availability of electronic books, which enable people to electronically copy the books they want rather than buying the printed text.

Which of the following, if true, would make this explanation more plausible?
  1. The great majority of student texts have a massive backlog awaiting publication. 
  2. Over the past five years there has been a substantial decline in the number of accounting school students, while electronic books have remained fairly stable. 
  3. In the five years immediately preceding the price surge, there was a substantial decline in the number of accounting school students requiring text books, while electronic book subscriptions remained fairly stable. 
  4. Many electronic publishers have recently begun cutting back on subscriptions of accounting school text books. 
  5. In almost every publishing company, there has been an increase in the number of accounting school texts available in the past few years.
2. A pesticide producing company states that their unused pesticide that gets dumped does not pose a threat to the aquatic life in the surrounding area. If this is correct, then why have local fish been dying in this region? Due to the fact that the pesticide company is not located in a highly fish-populated area, they implicitly admit that the pesticides they produce are relatively dangerous to the nearby aquatic life.

Of the following statements listed below, which one would be most likely to weaken the argument of the author if it were true?
  1. The possibility of pesticides filtering into the local water region was underestimated in the past. 
  2. Funds for environmental company cleanup, which concern waste dumps that are poorly run, are reserved for rural regions only. 
  3. It would be pointless to locate chemical dumps where they would be most harmful, unless they can be proven 100-percent safe. 
  4. Dumps that are located in areas without large fish populations have fewer government interventions and are also less expensive. 
  5. City people are most probable to sue the company if the dumps cause them health problems.
3. China wants to avoid financial collapse of their economy. In order to do this, China must raise their gross national product rate by 33 percent. China’s economy is structured so that if the 33 percent increase in GNP is reached, then it is possible for a 50 percent GNP increase.

Of the following statements listed below, which one must be true if is it to be believed that the above statements are also true?
  1. If China’s 50 percent increase in GNP is unattainable, then its economy will collapse. 
  2. China’s GNP will not have a 50 percent increase if its economy falls. 
  3. The economy of China will not fall if it can obtain an increased GNP of 50 percent. 
  4. A 17 percent GNP increase will be unattainable if China continues to suffer national conflict. 
  5. A 71 percent increase is possible if the 33 percent brink is achieved, and the 50 percent GNP increase is attainable.
4. Estelle states: When I went fishing the other day, every fish that I caught was a salmon, and every salmon I saw I caught.

Of the following statements listed below, which one can be concluded from the observations of Estelle?
  1. Salmon was the only fish that Estelle saw while she was fishing. 
  2. While Estelle was fishing, she caught no fish other than salmon. 
  3. In the area that Estelle fished, there were no other fish. 
  4. All of the fish that Estelle saw she caught. 
  5. Estelle did not see any other fish while she was fishing.
5. Either protesters must have restrictions placed on them, or particular revolutionary issues that arise in society will be used to destroy the country. Because allowing the occurrence of the revolutionary outcome is out of the question, we must restrict protesters.

The above conclusion is unsteady due to the fact that…
  1. Protesters do not really want to demolish the country. 
  2. There is too much emphasis placed on the importance of protesting. 
  3. An accommodation is failed to be considered between both alternatives. 
  4. The reasons for protesting have not been defined. 
  5. Protesters are, in truth, a real threat to the country’s survival.
6. The quarterly food inspection performed by the local health team observes the customer reactions to fast food restaurants and family dining restaurants. However, during each inspection they discover that there are more reports of food poisoning found in the family dining restaurants than in the fast food restaurants.

Of the following statements, which one best clarifies the apparent paradox?
  1. Customers are most likely to connect the illness they’ve experienced to their most recent meal if the illness has suddenly struck all of the people they ate with. 
  2. Customers complain less about the food poisoning they experience in fast food restaurants because they expect it. 
  3. More people choose fast food restaurants over family dining restaurants. 
  4. Food poisoning cases are not related to the time customers ate at the family dining restaurants, or to the number of people who all ate the same meal. 
  5. The family dining restaurants microwaves certain food items instead of cooking them on the stove.
7. We are well aware that there are warning signs concerning massive climate changes, and that these climate changes are reducing plant life. Many hopeful crop growers believe that there will not be an overall negative effect on the plant growth population due to the fact that rainfall should not be altered because of the climate changes. However, for the average plant, it is because of the climate change that agricultural technology has an overall yield in annual fluctuation.

On which of the following assumptions are these claims based?
  1. There is not an accurate way to predict a climate change. 
  2. If patterns of rainfall began to shadow the climate changes, there would be supplementary damaging effects. 
  3. Improved yields grow highly unlikely if technology is significantly influential in spite of climate change. 
  4. Rainfall patterns are not as predictable as patterns of temperature. 
  5. Plant life is threatened more from cool temperatures than warm ones.
8. Different life forms such as animals and plants are known to have certain breeds that have extended life spans compared to that of humans. Due to this fact, scientists pass away before they are able to study the complete life cycle of these certain breeds. This being the case, a single breed may be inferred by observation over various life stages. Geology or astronomy can be applied to using the same method. Scientists can also use this method to learn about desert evolution and rock formations.

Concerning this passage, what assumption can be made evident?
  1. The average subject uses the same ideals of observation. 
  2. Certain endangered breeds need to be studied more before they become extinct. 
  3. Various stage developments of different breeds are available to scientists as examples for both study and observation. 
  4. Through the use of today’s study technique there are many breeds in society that cannot be properly studied in the environment. 
  5. There are different techniques that scientists can use that are available in modern society.
9. A rich businessman runs a prosperous company. He is disappointed in his two children, Violet and Hazen, because he believes that neither of them presents the potential of having the ability to take control of his company. He thinks that both of his children lack common sense.

This belief formulates from the opinion that…
  1. Violet and Hazen are ignorant to the experience of controlling the company. 
  2. Even a person who is not brilliant can control a company if she or he has been able to obtain an MBA. 
  3. In order to run a company, a person needs common sense. 
  4. If Hazen showed any sign of common sense, he would have the ability to aid Violet in controlling the company. 
  5. A committee with an average of three trained personnel could assist either Violet or Hazen in controlling the company.
10. The regulation that is proposed for dental insurance will contribute only small assistance to patients in the reduction of costs for regular dental care. Although the bill limits the amount that the dentist can charge for a regular visit, it does not limit the expense amount that they can charge if a patient is in need of a special procedure, and it doesn’t place any limits on the amount of times that the dentist may see a patient for the same occurring problem. This being the case, instead of the patient being charged once, the dentist can bill the patient numerous times, and the total costs will not reduce.

The above argument is opposed to the new legislation based on…
  1. Identifying a loophole in the regulation proposal that allows dentists to charge patients the same amount of money on a continuing basis. 
  2. Implication that the regulation of dental care is impossible. 
  3. The suggestion that procedures which are specialized are frequently done when a simple, less-expensive procedure would work equally as well. 
  4. The suggestion that regular dental visits are much more expensive than specialized procedures. 
  5. The suggestion that patients cannot distinguish between what appropriate dental care expenses there are for any known dental problem.
11. The past three consecutive women’s U.S. tennis champions have all changed to Wilson’s new line of tennis rackets, exclusively made of oak wood for greater strength and durability. If this is the case, don’t you think it’s time to improve your tennis swing and trade your old racket in for a Wilson?

Which of the following claims is not made and cannot be used in conclusion to the above advertisement?
  1. Previous U.S. tennis champions know a considerable amount about their equipment and the sport of tennis. 
  2. Rackets that are strengthened by oak wood are used exclusively in Wilson’s new rackets. 
  3. Oak-wood-strengthened rackets help to make tennis rackets durable and stronger, allowing the player to make powerful swings. 
  4. With Wilson’s rackets, you will improve your tennis playing. 
  5. The status achieved by the past three consecutive women’s U.S. tennis championships was due to the assistance of Wilson’s rackets.
12. My family doctor said that he would be performing a blood test on me when I visit him today. I know I will feel pain today.

The above argument depends on which one of these assumptions?
  1. The use of a needle always causes pain in the patient. 
  2. The doctor will have a hard time finding the patient’s vein. 
  3. In the past, this patient has experienced pain at the family doctor. 
  4. The needle will leave a bruise. 
  5. The doctor will have to try different needles to perform the test.
13. An English school teacher requested her students to try and write children’s stories that are relevant to their everyday lives. The idea would be to give their stories a quality of “real life”. One of the students decided to base her story upon one of the fictional characters from her favorite novel.

Of the following criteria listed below, which would make the most logical sense as criticism against the student’s choice for her children’s story?
  1. The writing techniques that are successful for one writer are frequently unsuccessful for another. 
  2. A story based entirely on the writer’s knowledge of characters from another novel is not likely to include the writer’s personal feelings of real life. 
  3. The author of her favorite novel would not allow the student permission to use their character. 
  4. Children’s story writing requires examination of the self in order to develop innovative and original ideas. 
  5. A writer should concentrate on developing themes of teaching and significance, instead of simply aiming for prominence.
14. A monopoly is distinguished through the decline or lack of competition. The MANG Company recognizes that its operations are within a competitive field.

Of the following conclusions, which one may be an implication of the above statement?
  1. A one-seller market is the definition of a monopoly. 
  2. There is no family competition in the MANG Company. 
  3. The MANG Company’s focus is non-monopolistic. 
  4. The MANG Company operates within a service industry. 
  5. The MANG Company is owned publicly.
15. If Local AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) rehabilitation facilities are forced upon us-and society is determined that they should be forced-then it should be society that pays for them.

Which of the following statements would weaken the argument above?
  1. Many groups have been convinced by a government committee that the local rehabilitation facilities are unsuccessful. 
  2. The cost of AA facilities is too high to be funded locally. 
  3. Rehabilitation facilities are supported by many neighborhood groups. 
  4. The expense to maintain an AA rehabilitation facility is too costly. 
  5. Alcoholics may not want to accept treatment.
Refer to the following passage for questions 16 and 17:

While traveling to Japan, a low-ranking US ambassador asked a Japanese official why Japanese people were so inscrutable. The official looked calm and friendly, responding in a gentle voice that he much preferred to think upon his race as inscrutable than of his race as wanting in perspicacity such as in Americans.

16. Which of the following statements best describes the Japanese official’s comment?
  1. All people are inscrutable, not just the Japanese. 
  2. Most Americans don’t understand Japanese culture. 
  3. What a person lacks in perception may be a result of the carelessness of the observer, instead of the obscurity within the object being observed. 
  4. The Japanese distrust American ambassadors. 
  5. If the East and West are ever to understand one another, there will need to be a much better cultural understanding.
17. Which of the following words best describes both the attitude and the response made by the Japanese official?
  1. Fearful 
  2. Emotional 
  3. Angry 
  4. Indifferent 
  5. Compassionate
18. One day, a poet was requested to interpret an especially peculiar and obscure passage within one of his own poems. His response was “at the time that I was writing that particular verse, only God and myself knew its meaning. Now, it is only God who knows.”

What does the poet mean by his answer?
  1. God is much wiser than people are. 
  2. Most people can’t understand poetry. 
  3. Poets don’t often know where their creative inspiration comes from. 
  4. Great poems are inspired by a muse. 
  5. The poet has forgotten the meaning of his own verse.
19. All birds have beaks, and all sparrows are birds, so all sparrows must have beaks.

What is the basis of this author’s argument?
  1. Generalization 
  2. Syllogism 
  3. Special training 
  4. Induction 
  5. Ambiguity
20. Never again will you have to pay high prices for imported spring water. It is now bottled locally and inexpensively. You’ll never taste the difference, however. And if you’re likely to be embarrassed to serve domestic spring water, simply serve it in a leaded crystal decanter.

What is the assumption made by this ad?
  1. It’s not hard to tell domestic water from imported water based on its flavor.
  2. The majority of spring water is bottled at its source. 
  3. Restrictions on importing and customs duties make the price of imported water higher. 
  4. Spring water tastes best when it’s served from a decanter. 
  5. Some people purchase imported spring water instead of domestic as a status symbol.
21. Priest: Do you speak to the devil and follow his biddings?
Parishioner: Yes.

Priest: You must be lying. Nobody who is in league with the devil tells the truth.

Why can the priest’s behavior be considered paradoxical?
  1. He accused the parishioner of being in league with the devil, but he later changed his story. 
  2. He relied upon the answer of the parishioner in order to reject his response. 
  3. His behavior was entirely within accordance with religious law, but he was accusing the parishioner of violating that law. 
  4. While he is questioning the parishioner about possible association with the devil, he doesn’t actually believe in such a thing. 
  5. He was the one who asked the question, but he refused to accept the answer.


Answers and Explanations

1. C: If e-book subscriptions remained stable in the five preceding years while textbook purchases declined, this would support the explanation for textbook price increases in response to lower textbook sales. A publication backlog (A) would not raise prices. Student numbers declining (B) does not justify raising textbook prices when e-book sales did not decline. Electronic publishers would not reduce textbook subscriptions (D), since they don’t publish these. More available textbooks (E) should lower, not raise, prices.

2. D: The statement that dumping in lower-fish areas is less regulated and less expensive weakens the argument that dumping there implies the dumped pesticide is dangerous, by supplying two other motivations for dumping there. Previous underestimation of danger (A) does not weaken and could support the argument for implicitly admitting danger. The passage does not identify the area as rural (B). (C) contradicts itself, making no sense. The passage does not identify the area as urban (E).

3. A: The passage states China must raise its GNP by 33% to avoid economic collapse; if 33% is reached, 50% is possible. If 50% is impossible, 33% was not reached; the economy will collapse. China’s economy will fall without GNP increase, not vice versa (B); and by 33%, not 50% (B), (C). National conflict is not mentioned; neither is 17% (D) or 71% GNP increase (E).

4. B: If every fish Estelle caught was a salmon, all she caught were salmon. Salmon were not necessarily the only fish she saw (A); she could have seen but not caught other fish. Likewise there were not necessarily no other fish there (C); she just didn’t catch them. Estelle caught all the salmon she saw, not all the fish she saw (D). (E) is the same as (A)

5. C: The range of compromises between destroying the country and restricting protesters is ignored. Some protesters do not want to destroy the country (A), but some may. Therefore, emphasis on protesting’s importance does not necessarily weaken the conclusion (B). Defining reasons for protesting (D) is not required to support the conclusion, which is based on protesters destroying the country regardless of the issues. That protesters are truly threats (E) strengthens, not weakens, the conclusion.

6. A: More diners eating together are more likely to notice all subsequently experiencing food poisoning. Customers expecting food poisoning would not eat at fast food restaurants (B). Even if expecting more chance of it, they would still report occurrences. More people choosing fast food restaurants (C) would increase the probability of food poisoning complaints from fast food, not family dining, restaurants. Choice (D) simply contradicts (A). Microwaving (E) is not associated with food poisoning.

7. B: Although hopeful growers believe climate changes “should not” change rainfall, these cause annual agricultural yield fluctuations. This claim proceeds from the assumption that since yields already fluctuate from climate change, additional rainfall change would exacerbate fluctuations. That climate change cannot be accurately predicted (A) is not claimed. Technology’s significant influence despite climate change makes improved yields likely, NOT “highly unlikely” (C). That rainfall is less predictable than temperature (D), or cool temperatures more threatening (E), are not claims.

8. C: Scientists can observe and study various life stages of breeds too long-lived to study their full life span during scientists’ lifetimes. The passage indicates subjects’ using the same observational methods, but using the same ideals (A) cannot be assumed. Choice (B) is true, but not indicated in the passage. Today’s techniques preventing studying many breeds in the environment (D) is nowhere suggested. Various scientific techniques are available (E), but this cannot be inferred from the passage.

9. C: He believes neither child can take control of his company because of his opinion that they “lack common sense.” Therefore, he believes a person needs common sense to run a company. That his children are “ignorant to the experience of controlling the company” (A) is not indicated as his opinion. Nothing is mentioned about obtaining an MBA (B). He thinks both children lack common sense, not one (D). Committee assistance (E) is never mentioned.

10. A: The argument identifies the loophole of unlimited special procedure expenses, and unlimited repeat visit charges for the same problem. It does not imply dental care cannot be regulated (B). Substituting specialized procedures for less-expensive procedures (C) is never suggested. The passage never suggests that regular visits cost more than specialized procedures (D), or that patients cannot distinguish appropriate expenses (E).

11. E: Champions “have all changed to” Wilson’s new rackets; they did not win past championships with them. Champions are knowledgeable about tennis and their equipment (A): the ad uses their choosing Wilson’s as an example to follow. It indicates exclusive use of oak in Wilson’s new line (B). Durability and strength are named as oak’s benefits; from the suggestion these will “improve your tennis swing,” we can infer “powerful swings” (C) and “you will improve your tennis playing” (D).

12. A: To know one will feel pain from a blood test, we must assume needles always cause this patient pain. Having trouble finding the vein (B) is not the only cause of needle pain. Experiencing pain with this doctor before (C) does not guarantee s/he always will. Leaving a bruise (D) does not always mean the needle hurt. Having to try different needles (E) is not the only cause of pain.

13. B: The student’s real-life experience is unlikely to show in writing about fictional characters. Different writing techniques’ variable success among writers (A) is not criticism of her choice. Author permission (C) is irrelevant to her choice’s inappropriateness. Self-examination is important to originality (D), but misses the point: relevance to students’ everyday lives, not originality, was assigned. Instructive, significant themes’ precedence over fame (E) is irrelevant to her choosing fictional characters to describe her real-life experiences.

14. C: Monopoly means declining/ therefore, lacking competition. By recognizing its field is competitive, the company accepts competition and has a non-monopolistic focus. Monopoly’s definition as a one-seller market (A) is not implied: the statement indicates only that monopoly is “distinguished through the decline or lack of competition.” Family competition (B), service industry (D), and public ownership (E) are never implied in the statement.

15. A: If society believes local AA facilities are unsuccessful, society will not fund them. Cost exceeding local funding (B) does not weaken the argument: “society” does not necessarily mean local (and more likely means federal funding.) Neighborhood group support (C) would strengthen, not weaken, the argument for local facilities. Maintenance cost (D) strengthens the argument that if society wants to force facilities on communities, society should pay for them. Alcoholics’ treatment resistance (E) is irrelevant to forcing/funding facilities.

16. C: The official attributed Americans’ perception of Japanese as “inscrutable” to American lack of discernment, not Japanese inaccessibility. He never suggested all people are inscrutable (A). He did not say that most Americans don’t understand Japanese culture specifically (B), but that Americans lack understanding generally. He never said the Japanese mistrust American ambassadors (D). For the offensive “inscrutable” stereotype, he returned a reciprocal opinion of Americans as unperceptive, rather than calling for improved cultural understanding (E).

17. E: The official’s response and attitude were compassionate, indicated by his “calm and friendly” look and “gentle voice.” His words also demonstrated a sense of humor. The description of his behavior is not fearful (A), emotional (B), angry (C), or indifferent (D). While he deflected a racial stereotype of the Japanese by introducing a corresponding one of Americans, he is not described as doing so with fear, emotion, anger, or indifference.

18. E: The poet humorously couches the fact that he forgot what he meant by saying only he and God knew at the time, and now only God knows-i.e., now he himself does not know. He is not saying God is wiser (A), but remembers better. He never says people can’t understand poetry (B); he refers only to himself not knowing/remembering his meaning. He refers only to the verse’s meaning, not its inspiration (C), (D).

19. B: This is a syllogism. Syllogisms have three parts: major premise, minor premise, conclusion. Syllogism uses deductive reasoning, reducing general information (all birds have beaks, all sparrows are birds) to infer a more specific conclusion (all sparrows have beaks). Inductive reasoning (D), the opposite of deductive, accumulates specific facts to form generalizations (A). No special training (C) was required to make this conclusion. The argument involves no ambiguity (E): it is not open to multiple interpretations or unclear.

20. E: The ad assumes some people find imported spring water a status symbol by mentioning their embarrassment over serving domestic. It assumes it is hard to tell these apart by flavor (A): “You’ll never taste the difference…”. There is no assumption most spring water is bottled at its source (B). The only reason the ad assumes for higher prices is status, not regulations (C). The decanter conceals water’s domestic origin rather than improving its taste (D).

21. B: The paradox is the priest using the parishioner’s answer as a criterion for judging itself! He did not later change his accusation (A). Following/violating religious law (C) is irrelevant. There is no reason to think the priest doesn’t believe in the devil (D). The questioner rejecting the answer (E) is not necessarily paradoxical if he doesn’t like the answer. (This reflects the familiar conundrum: “Are you lying?” “Yes.” “Then you must be telling the truth…”).