1. A company is considering changing its policy concerning daily working hours. Currently, this company requires all employees to arrive at work at 8 a.m. The proposed policy would permit each employee to decide when to arrive—from as early as 6 a.m. to as late as 11 a.m.
The adoption of this policy would be most likely to decrease employees’ productivity if the employees’ job functions required them to
(A) work without interruption from other employees
(B) consult at least once a day with employees from other companies
(C) submit their work for a supervisor’s eventual approval
(D) interact frequently with each other throughout the entire workday
(E) undertake projects that take several days to complete
2. The amount of time it takes for most of a worker’s occupational knowledge and skills to become obsolete has been declining because of the introduction of advanced manufacturing technology (AMT). Given the rate at which AMT is currently being introduced in manufacturing, the average worker’s old skills become obsolete and new skills are required within as little as five years.
Which of the following plans, if feasible, would allow a company to prepare most effectively for the rapid obsolescence of skills described above?
(A) The company will develop a program to offer selected employees the opportunity to receive training six years after they were originally hired.
(B) The company will increase its investment in AMT every year for a period of at least five years.
(C) The company will periodically survey its employees to determine how the introduction of AMT has affected them.
(D) Before the introduction of AMT, the company will institute an educational program to inform its employees of the probable consequences of the introduction of AMT.
(E) The company will ensure that it can offer its employees any training necessary for meeting their job requirements.
3. Installing scrubbers in smokestacks and switching to cleaner-burning fuel are the two methods available to Northern Power for reducing harmful emissions from its plants. Scrubbers will reduce harmful emissions more than cleaner-burning fuels will. Therefore, by installing scrubbers, Northern Power will be doing the most that can be done to reduce harmful emissions from its plants.
Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?
(A) Switching to cleaner-burning fuel will not be more expensive than installing scrubbers.
(B) Northern Power can choose from among various kinds of scrubbers, some of which are more effective than others.
(C) Northern Power is not necessarily committed to reducing harmful emissions from its plants.
(D) Harmful emissions from Northern Power’s plants cannot be reduced more by using both methods together than by the installation of scrubbers alone.
(E) Aside from harmful emissions from the smokestacks of its plants, the activities of Northern Power do not cause significant air pollution.
4. Some anthropologists study modern-day societies of foragers in an effort to learn about our ancient ancestors who were also foragers. A flaw in this strategy is that forager societies are extremely varied. Indeed, any forager society with which anthropologists are familiar has had considerable contact with modern nonforager societies.
Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the criticism made above of the anthropologists’ strategy?
(A) All forager societies throughout history have had a number of important features in common that are absent from other types of societies.
(B) Most ancient forager societies either dissolved or made a transition to another way of life.
(C) All anthropologists study one kind or another of modern-day society.
(D) Many anthropologists who study modern-day forager societies do not draw inferences about ancient societies on the basis of their studies.
(E) Even those modern-day forager societies that have not had significant contact with modern societies are importantly different from ancient forager societies.
5. Mayor: In each of the past five years, the city has cut school funding and each time school officials complained that the cuts would force them to reduce expenditures for essential services. But each time, only expenditures for nonessential services were actually reduced. So school officials can implement further cuts without reducing any expenditures for essential services.
Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the mayor’s conclusion?
(A) The city’s schools have always provided essential services as efficiently as they have provided nonessential services.
(B) Sufficient funds are currently available to allow the city’s schools to provide some nonessential services.
(C) Price estimates quoted to the city’s schools for the provision of nonessential services have not increased substantially since the most recent school funding cut.
(D) Few influential city administrators support the funding of costly nonessential services in the city’s schools.
(E) The city’s school officials rarely exaggerate the potential impact of threatened funding cuts.
6. Advertisement: For sinus pain, three out of four hospitals give their patients Novex. So when you want the most effective painkiller for sinus pain, Novex is the one to choose.
Which of the following, if true, most seriously undermines the advertisement’s argument?
(A) Some competing brands of painkillers are intended to reduce other kinds of pain in addition to sinus pain.
(B) Many hospitals that do not usually use Novex will do so for those patients who cannot tolerate the drug the hospitals usually use.
(C) Many drug manufacturers increase sales of their products to hospitals by selling these products to the hospitals at the lowest price the manufacturers can afford.
(D) Unlike some competing brands of painkillers, Novex is available from pharmacies without a doctor’s prescription.
(E) In clinical trials Novex has been found more effective than competing brands of painkillers that have been on the market longer than Novex.
7. A report that many apples contain a cancer-causing preservative called Alar apparently had little effect on consumers. Few consumers planned to change their apple-buying habits as a result of the report. Nonetheless, sales of apples in grocery stores fell sharply in March, a month after the report was issued.
Which of the following, if true, best explains the reason for the apparent discrepancy described above?
(A) In March, many grocers removed apples from their shelves in order to demonstrate concern about their customers’ health.
(B) Because of a growing number of food-safety warnings, consumers in March were indifferent to such warnings.
(C) The report was delivered on television and also appeared in newspapers.
(D) The report did not mention that any other fruit contains Alar, although the preservative is used on other fruit.
(E) Public health officials did not believe that apples posed a health threat because only minute traces of Alar were present in affected apples.
8. A new law gives ownership of patents—documents providing exclusive right to make and sell an invention—to universities, not the government, when those patents result from government-sponsored university research. Administrators at Logos University plan to sell any patents they acquire to corporations in order to fund programs to improve undergraduate teaching.
Which of the following, if true, would cast most doubt on the viability of the college administrators’ plan described above?
(A) Profit-making corporations interested in developing products based on patents held by universities are likely to try to serve as exclusive sponsors of ongoing university research projects.
(B) Corporate sponsors of research in university facilities are entitled to tax credits under new federal tax-code guidelines.
(C) Research scientists at Logos University have few or no teaching responsibilities and participate little if at all in the undergraduate programs in their field.
(D) Government-sponsored research conducted at Logos University for the most part duplicates research already completed by several profit-making corporations.
(E) Logos University is unlikely to attract corporate sponsorship of its scientific research.
9. Contrary to earlier predictions, demand for sugarcane has not increased in recent years. Yet, even though prices and production amounts have also been stable during the last three years, sugarcane growers last year increased their profits by more than ten percent over the previous year’s level.
Any of the following statements, if true, about last year, helps to explain the rise in profits EXCEPT:
(A) Many countries that are large consumers of sugarcane increased their production of sugarcane-based ethanol, yet their overall consumption of sugarcane decreased.
(B) Sugarcane growers have saved money on wages by switching from paying laborers an hourly wage to paying them by the amount harvested.
(C) The price of oil, the major energy source used by sugarcane growers in harvesting their crops, dropped by over twenty percent.
(D) Many small sugarcane growers joined together to form an association of sugarcane producers and began to buy supplies at low group rates.
(E) Rainfall in sugarcane-growing regions was higher than it had been during the previous year, allowing the growers to save money on expensive artificial irrigation.
10. If the county continues to collect residential trash at current levels, landfills will soon be overflowing and parkland will need to be used in order to create more space. Charging each household a fee for each pound of trash it puts out for collection will induce residents to reduce the amount of trash they create; this charge will therefore protect the remaining county parkland.
Which of the following is an assumption made in drawing the conclusion above?
(A) Residents will reduce the amount of trash they put out for collection by reducing the number of products they buy.
(B) The collection fee will not significantly affect the purchasing power of most residents, even if their households do not reduce the amount of trash they put out.
(C) The collection fee will not induce residents to dump their trash in the parklands illegally.
(D) The beauty of county parkland is an important issue for most of the county’s residents.
(E) Landfills outside the county’s borders could be used as dumping sites for the county’s trash.
Questions 11-12 are based on the following.
Environmentalist: The commissioner of the Fish and Game Authority would have the public believe that increases in the number of marine fish caught demonstrate that this resource is no longer endangered. This is a specious argument, as unsound as it would be to assert that the ever-increasing rate at which rain forests are being cut down demonstrates a lack of danger to that resource. The real cause of the increased fish-catch is a greater efficiency in using technologies that deplete resources.
11. Which of the following strategies is used in the presentation of the environmentalist’s position?
(A) Questioning the motives of an opponent
(B) Showing that an opposing position is self-contradictory
(C) Attacking an argument through the use of an analogy
(D) Demonstrating the inaccuracy of certain data
(E) Pointing out adverse consequences of a proposal
12. The environmentalist’s statements, if true, best support which of the following as a conclusion?
(A) The use of technology is the reason for the increasing encroachment of people on nature.
(B) It is possible to determine how many fish are in the sea in some way other than by catching fish.
(C) The proportion of marine fish that are caught is as high as the proportion of rain-forest trees that are cut down each year.
(D) Modern technologies waste resources by catching inedible fish.
(E) Marine fish continue to be an endangered resource.
13. Biometric access-control systems—those using fingerprints, voiceprints, etc., to regulate admittance to restricted areas—work by degrees of similarity, not by identity. After all, even the same finger will rarely leave exactly identical prints. Such systems can be adjusted to minimize refusals of access to legitimate access-seekers. Such adjustments, however, increase the likelihood of admitting impostors.
Which of the following conclusions is most strongly supported by the information above?
(A) If a biometric access-control system were made to work by identity, it would not produce any correct admittance decisions.
(B) If a biometric access-control system reliably prevents impostors from being admitted, it will sometimes turn away legitimate access-seekers.
(C) Biometric access-control systems are appropriate only in situations in which admittance of impostors is less of a problem than is mistaken refusal of access.
(D) Nonbiometric access-control systems—based, for example, on numerical codes—are less likely than biometric ones to admit impostors.
(E) Anyone choosing an access-control system should base the choice solely on the ratio of false refusals to false admittances.
14. Although computers can enhance people’s ability to communicate, computer games are a cause of underdeveloped communication skills in children. After-school hours spent playing computer games are hours not spent talking with people. Therefore, children who spend all their spare time playing these games have less experience in interpersonal communication than other children have.
The argument depends on which of the following assumptions?
(A) Passive activities such as watching television and listening to music do not hinder the development of communication skills in children.
(B) Most children have other opportunities, in addition to after-school hours, in which they can choose whether to play computer games or to interact with other people.
(C) Children who do not spend all of their after-school hours playing computer games spend at least some of that time talking with other people.
(D) Formal instruction contributes little or nothing to children’s acquisition of communication skills.
(E) The mental skills developed through playing computer games do not contribute significantly to children’s intellectual development.
15. One variety of partially biodegradable plastic beverage container is manufactured from small bits of plastic bound together by a degradable bonding agent such as cornstarch. Since only the bonding agent degrades, leaving the small bits of plastic, no less plastic refuse per container is produced when such containers are discarded than when comparable nonbiodegradable containers are discarded.
Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument above?
(A) Both partially biodegradable and nonbiodegradable plastic beverage containers can be crushed completely flat by refuse compactors.
(B) The partially biodegradable plastic beverage containers are made with more plastic than comparable nonbiodegradable ones in order to compensate for the weakening effect of the bounding agents.
(C) Many consumers are ecology-minded and prefer to buy a product sold in the partially biodegradable plastic beverage containers rather than in nonbiodegradable containers, even if the price is higher.
(D) The manufacturing process for the partially biodegradable plastic beverage containers results in less plastic waste than the manufacturing process for nonbiodegradable plastic beverage containers.
(E) Technological problems with recycling currently prevent the reuse as food or beverage containers of the plastic from either type of plastic beverage container.
16. Commentator: The theory of trade retaliation states that countries closed out of any of another country’s markets should close some of their own markets to the other country in order to pressure the other country to reopen its markets. If every country acted according to this theory, no country would trade with any other.
The commentator’s argument relies on which of the following assumptions?
(A) No country actually acts according to the theory of trade retaliation.
(B) No country should block any of its markets to foreign trade.
(C) Trade disputes should be settled by international tribunal.
(D) For any two countries, at least one has some market closed to the other.
(E) Countries close their markets to foreigners to protect domestic producers