1. In the past most airline companies minimized aircraft weight to
minimize fuel costs. The safest airline seats were heavy, and airlines
equipped their planes with few of these seats. This year the seat that
has sold best to airlines has been the safest one—a clear indication
that airlines are assigning a higher priority to safe seating than to
minimizing fuel costs.
Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument
(A) Last year’s best-selling airline seat was not the safest airline
seat on the market.
(B) No airline company has announced that it would be making safe
seating a higher priority this year.
(C) The price of fuel was higher this year than it had been in most of
the years when the safest airline seats sold poorly.
(D) Because of increases in the cost of materials, all airline seats
were more expensive to manufacture this year than in any previous year.
(E) Because of technological innovations, the safest airline seat on the
market this year weighed less than most other airline seats on the
2. A computer equipped with signature-recognition software, which
restricts access to a computer to those people whose signatures are on
file, identifies a person’s signature by analyzing not only the form of
the signature but also such characteristics as pen pressure and signing
speed. Even the most adept forgers cannot duplicate all of the
characteristics the program analyzes.
Which of the following can be logically concluded from the passage
(A) The time it takes to record and analyze a signature makes the
software impractical for everyday use.
(B) Computers equipped with the software will soon be installed in most
(C) Nobody can gain access to a computer equipped with the software
solely by virtue of skill at forging signatures.
(D) Signature-recognition software has taken many years to develop and
(E) In many cases even authorized users are denied legitimate access to
computers equipped with the software.
3. Division manager: I want to replace the Microton computers in my
division with Vitech computers.
General manager: Why?
Division manager: It costs 28 percent less to train new staff on the
General manager: But that is not a good enough reason. We can simply
hire only people who already know how to use the Microton computer.
Which of the following, if true, most seriously undermines the general
manager’s objection to the replacement of Microton computers with
(A) Currently all employees in the company are required to attend
workshops on how to use Microton computers in new applications.
(B) Once employees learn how to use a computer, they tend to change
employers more readily than before.
(C) Experienced users of Microton computers command much higher salaries
than do prospective employees who have no experience in the use of
(D) The average productivity of employees in the general manager’s
company is below the average productivity of the employees of its
(E) The high costs of replacement parts make Vitech computers more
expensive to maintain than Microton computers.
4. An airplane engine manufacturer developed a new engine model with
safety features lacking in the earlier model, which was still being
manufactured. During the first year that both were sold, the earlier
model far outsold the new model; the manufacturer thus concluded that
safety was not the customers’ primary consideration.
Which of the following, if true, would most seriously weaken the
(A) Both private plane owners and commercial airlines buy engines from
this airplane engine manufacturer.
(B) Many customers consider earlier engine models better safety risks
than new engine models, since more is usually known about the safety of
the earlier models.
(C) Many customers of this airplane engine manufacturer also bought
airplane engines from manufacturers who did not provide additional
safety features in their newer models.
(D) The newer engine model can be used in all planes in which the
earlier engine model can be used.
(E) There was no significant difference in price between the newer
engine model and the earlier engine model.
5. Between 1975 and 1985, nursing-home occupancy rates averaged 87
percent of capacity, while admission rates remained constant, at an
average of 95 admissions per 1,000 beds per year. Between 1985 and 1988,
however, occupancy rates rose to an average of 92 percent of capacity,
while admission rates declined to 81 per 1,000 beds per year.
If the statements above are true, which of the following conclusions can
be most properly drawn?
(A) The average length of time nursing-home residents stayed in nursing
homes increased between 1985 and 1988.
(B) The proportion of older people living in nursing homes was greater
in 1988 than in 1975.
(C) Nursing home admission rates tend to decline whenever occupancy
(D) Nursing homes built prior to 1985 generally had fewer beds than did
nursing homes built between 1985 and 1988.
(E) The more beds a nursing home has, the higher its occupancy rate is
likely to be.
6. Firms adopting “profit-related-pay” (PRP) contracts pay wages at
levels that vary with the firm’s profits. In the metalworking industry
last year, firms with PRP contracts in place showed productivity per
worker on average 13 percent higher than that of their competitors who
used more traditional contracts.
If, on the basis of the evidence above, it is argued that PRP contracts
increase worker productivity, which of the following, if true, would
most seriously weaken that argument?
(A) Results similar to those cited for the metal-working industry have
been found in other industries where PRP contracts are used.
(B) Under PRP contracts costs other than labor costs, such as plant,
machinery, and energy, make up an increased proportion of the total cost
of each unit of output.
(C) Because introducing PRP contracts greatly changes individual
workers’ relationships to the firm, negotiating the introduction of PRP
contracts in complex and time consuming.
(D) Many firms in the metalworking industry have modernized production
equipment in the last five years, and most of these introduced PRP
contracts at the same time.
(E) In firms in the metalworking industry where PRP contracts are in
place, the average take-home pay is 15 percent higher than it is in
those firms where workers have more traditional contracts.
7. Crops can be traded on the futures market before they are
harvested. If a poor corn harvest is predicted, prices of corn futures
rise; if a bountiful corn harvest is predicted, prices of corn futures
fall. This morning meteorologists are predicting much-needed rain for
the corn-growing region starting tomorrow. Therefore, since adequate
moisture is essential for the current crop’s survival, prices of corn
futures will fall sharply today.
Which of the following, if true, most weakens the argument above?
(A) Corn that does not receive adequate moisture during its critical
pollination stage will not produce a bountiful harvest.
(B) Futures prices for corn have been fluctuating more dramatically this
season than last season.
(C) The rain that meteorologists predicted for tomorrow is expected to
extend well beyond the corn-growing region.
(D) Agriculture experts announced today that a disease that has
devastated some of the corn crop will spread widely before the end of
the growing season.
(E) Most people who trade in corn futures rarely take physical
possession of the corn they trade.
8. A discount retailer of basic household necessities employs
thousands of people and pays most of them at the minimum wage rate. Yet
following a federally mandated increase of the minimum wage rate that
increased the retailer’s operating costs considerably, the retailer’s
profits increased markedly.
Which of the following, if true, most helps to resolve the apparent
(A) Over half of the retailer’s operating costs consist of payroll
expenditures; yet only a small percentage of those expenditures go to
pay management salaries.
(B) The retailer’s customer base is made up primarily of people who
earn, or who depend on the earnings of others who earn, the minimum
(C) The retailer’s operating costs, other than wages, increased
substantially after the increase in the minimum wage rate went into
(D) When the increase in the minimum wage rate went into effect, the
retailer also raised the age rate for employees who had been earning
just above minimum wage.
(E) The majority of the retailer’s employees work as cashiers, and most
cashiers are paid the minimum wage.
9. The cotton farms of Country Q became so productive that the market
could not absorb all that they produced. Consequently, cotton prices
fell. The government tried to boost cotton prices by offering farmers
who took 25 percent of their cotton acreage out of production direct
support payments up to a specified maximum per farm.
The government’s program, if successful, will not be a net burden on the
budget. Which of the following, if true, is the best basis for an
explanation of how this could be so?
(A) Depressed cotton prices meant operating losses for cotton farms, and
the government lost revenue from taxes on farm profits.
(B) Cotton production in several counties other than Q declined slightly
the year that the support-payment program went into effect in Q.
(C) The first year that the support-payment program was in effect,
cotton acreage in Q was 5% below its level in the base year for the
(D) The specified maximum per farm meant that for very large cotton
farms the support payments were less per acre for those acres that were
withdrawn from production than they were for smaller farms.
(E) Farmers who wished to qualify for support payments could not use the
cotton acreage that was withdrawn from production to grow any other
10. United States hospitals have traditionally relied primarily on
revenues from paying patients to offset losses from unreimbursed care.
Almost all paying patients now rely on governmental or private health
insurance to pay hospital bills. Recently, insurers have been strictly
limiting what they pay hospitals for the care of insured patients to
amounts at or below actual costs.
Which of the following conclusions is best supported by the information
(A) Although the advance of technology has made expensive medical
procedures available to the wealthy, such procedures are out of the
reach of low-income patients.
(B) If hospitals do not find ways to raising additional income for
unreimbursed care, they must either deny some of that care of suffer
losses if they give it.
(C) Some patients have incomes too high for eligibility for governmental
health insurance but are unable to afford private insurance for hospital
(D) If the hospitals reduce their costs in providing care, insurance
companies will maintain the current level of reimbursement, thereby
providing more funds for unreimbursed care.
(E) Even though philanthropic donations have traditionally provided some
support for the hospitals, such donations are at present declining.
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