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Critical Reasoning

Directions: For each question, select the best answer from the choices given.
7. Unemployment in Winston County has risen only 4% since I took office. Under my
predecessor, unemployment rose 14%. Clearly, my economic policies are far more effective.
Which of the following must be true in order for this argument to be valid?
a. Winston Countys population dropped significantly during the current administration.
b. The national unemployment rate increased by 12% during the previous administration but
only 2% during the current administration.
c. Key socioeconomic variables such as the state of the national economy and the demographics
of Winston County are comparable for each administration.
d. Key policy changes, such as increased job training for the unemployed, were implemented
under the current administration.
e. Tax incentives have been implemented to bring new businesses to Winston County.
8. Morning Glory, the coffee shop on the corner, has lost nearly 50% of its business because a
national retail coffee chain opened up a store down the street. Instead of closing up shop, the
owner of Morning Glory plans to draw in customers by offering coffee, tea, and pastries at much
lower prices than the national coffee chain.
The owners plan of action is based on all of the following assumptions EXCEPT
a. some customers will choose the coffee shop that offers the lowest price.
b. the quality of Morning Glorys coffee is comparable to that of the national coffee chain.
c. Morning Glory can afford to cut its profit margin in order to lower prices.
d. Morning Glorys customers are very loyal.
e. the national coffee chain will not lower its prices in order to compete with Morning Glory.


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9. When romance novels were located in the back of the bookstore, they accounted for
approximately 6% of total sales. Since we moved romance novels close to the front of the store
and put several books on display, sales of romance novels have increased to 14% to 18% of total
sales.
All of the following conclusions can logically be drawn from this argument EXCEPT
a. customers who bought one romance novel are likely to come back for another.
b. customers are more likely to buy books located near the front of the bookstore than at the
back.
c. the display caught the interest of people who might not have otherwise purchased a romance
novel.
d. customers believe that bookstores put their best books near the front of the store.
e. sales of romance novels may increase even more if the section were moved all the way to the
front.
10. With more and more classes being offered online, more and more students will earn their
degrees in virtual universities. Students in California will graduate from schools in New York
without ever leaving their state. Because online courses offer flexibility without geographic
boundaries, virtual degrees will be in greater demand, and colleges and universities should invest
the bulk of their resources in developing online degree programs.
All of the following, if true, are valid objections to this argument EXCEPT
a. online courses are more time consuming for faculty to develop than regular courses.

b. many students need the ability to attend class outside of regular classroom hours.
c. some students prefer the traditional classroom to the virtual classroom.
d. not every course is suitable for an online environment.
e. there is no way to ensure the authenticity of a students work in an online environment.
11. Property values in South Orange, New Jersey, have nearly doubled in the last six years. South
Orange is located in Essex County, 17 miles from New York City.
Which of the following, if true, best explains the results described in the statement?
a. the proximity of South Orange to New York City
b. the completion of a direct rail line to New York City
c. the addition of 240 housing units in South Orange
d. improved schools and a renovated downtown in South Orange
e. the relocation of a major technical corporation to Union, New Jersey, two miles from South
Orange
12. One out of four heart surgery patients at St.Vincents dies from complications during surgery.
Only one out of six heart surgery patients at St.Marys dies from complications during surgery. If
you need heart surgery, make sure you go to St.Marys, not St.Vincents.
Which of the following, if true, is the best reason to reject this argument?
a. St.Vincents specializes in heart surgery for elderly and high-risk patients.
b. St.Marys surgical equipment is more up to date than St.Vincents.
c. St.Vincents has the most renowned heart surgeon in the country on its staff.
d. St.Vincents offers flexible payment options for balances not covered by insurance.
e. Two doctors who used to work at St.Marys now work at St.Vincents.

VERBAL PRETEST
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13. DNA evidence has increasingly been used in court to prove guilt and to exonerate the
innocent. Because so many convicted felons have been cleared by DNA evidence, all cases in
which someone was convicted largely on circumstantial evidence should be called into question
and reviewed.
Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen this argument?
a. One in three convictions today rests largely on DNA evidence.
b. DNA evidence is admissible even after the statute of limitations has expired.
c. Of every ten cases in which DNA evidence becomes available post-conviction, five
convictions are overturned.
d. DNA evidence is 99.8% accurate.
e. DNA evidence is very difficult to falsify or tamper with.
Sentence Correction
Directions: The following questions each present a sentence, part or all of which is underlined.
Beneath the sentence you will find five ways of phrasing the underlined portion. The first choice
repeats the original; the other four choices present different options for phrasing the underlined
text. Determine which choice best expresses the idea in the underlined text. If you think the
original is best, choose option a. These questions test both the correctness and overall
effectiveness of expression. In choosing your answer, pay attention to grammar, sentence
construction, and word choice and style. The correct answer is free of grammatical errors, clear,
precise, and concise.

14. Despite growing evidence of global warming; 34 different states plan to develop nearly 100
new coal burning electric plants in the next decade.
a. warming; 34 different states
b. warming. Thirty-four different states
c. warming: 34 different states
d. warming, 34 different states
e. warming, for 34 different states
15. Suggested by new research is the fact that people who achieve phenomenal success do so, not
only by visualizing their success in future endeavors, but also, by recalling their past successes,
creating a tremendous surge in confidence.
a. Suggested by new research is the fact that people who achieve phenomenal success do so, not
only by visualizing their success in future endeavors, but also, by recalling their past successes,
creating a tremendous surge in confidence.
b. New research suggests that people that achieve phenomenal success visualize their success in
future endeavors and also recall their past successes to create a tremendous surge in confidence.
c. New research suggests that the achievement of phenomenal success by persons is
accomplished not only by the visualization of success in future endeavors but also by the
recollection of past successes, which creates a tremendous surge in confidence.
d. New research suggests that people who achieve phenomenal success do so not only by
visualizing their success in future endeavors but also by recalling their past successes, creating a
tremendous surge in confidence.

e. New research suggests that people who achieve phenomenal success do so not only by
visualizing their success in future endeavors, but also they recall their past successes, creating a
tremendous surge in confidence.
16. Creating a fundamental shift in American foreign policy and establishing a policy of
containment that framed our foreign policy as a battle between the forces of good (America and
other democratic societies) and evil (the Soviet Union and other communist nations), was the
1947 Truman Doctrine.
a. Creating a fundamental shift in American foreign policy and establishing a policy of
containment that framed our foreign policy as a battle between the forces of good (America and
other democratic societies) and evil (the Soviet Union and other communist nations), was the
1947 Truman Doctrine.
b. The 1947 Truman Doctrine created a fundamental shift in American foreign policy,
establishing a policy of containment that framed our foreign policy as a battle between the
forces of good (America and other democratic societies) and evil (the Soviet Union and other
communist nations).
c. Creating a fundamental shift in American foreign policy was the Truman Doctrine, which was
put forth in 1947, and which established a policy of containment that framed our foreign policy
as a battle between the forces of good (America, along with other democratic societies) and the
forces of evil (the Soviet Union, along with other communist nations).
d. The 1947 Truman Doctrine created a fundamental shift in American foreign policy,
establishing a policy of containment that framed our foreign policy as a battle between
American and other democratic societies, which it considered the forces of good, and the Soviet
Union and other communist nations, which it considered the forces of evil.

e. A fundamental shift in American foreign policy was created in 1947 by the Truman Doctrine,
which importantly established a policy of containment, a policy that framed our foreign policy
in terms of a battle between good and evil, with the good forces being America and other
democracies and the evil forces being the Soviet Union and other communist nations.
17. The first science-fiction novel, Mary Shelleys Frankenstein, actually contains very little
science, but it masterfully explores the social and moral repercussions of what might happen if
certain scientific advances were possible.
a. but it masterfully explores the social and moral repercussions of what might happen
b. but it explores in a masterful way the social and moral repercussions of what might happen
c. but, exploring the social and moral repercussions, it masterfully considers what might happen
d. but it masterfully explores repercussions, social and moral in nature, of what might happen
e. but it masterfully explores what are the social and moral repercussions
18. The most important issue relating to computer technology and the Internet is the right of
individual privacy, this includes the privacy of our personal data and our actions in cyberspace.
a. Internet is the right of individual privacy, this includes the privacy
b. Internet is the right of individual privacy, being the privacy
c. Internet is the right of individual privacy, including the privacy
d. Internet is the right of individuals to have privacy, and included in this consideration is the
privacy
e. Internet is an individuals right to privacy. Including the privacy
19. While diabetes does not interfere with digestion, on the other hand, it does prevent the body
from converting an important product of digestion, glucose, which is commonly known as sugar,
into energy.

a. While diabetes does not interfere with digestion, on the other hand, it does prevent the body
from converting an important product of digestion, glucose, which is commonly known as sugar,
into energy.
b. Diabetes does not interfere with digestion, but it does prevent the body from using glucose,
which is commonly known as sugar, which is a product of digestion and which is converted into
energy.
c. Commonly known as sugar, glucose is an important product of digestion, which is prevented
from being converted by the body into energy by diabetes, although diabetes does not interfere
with digestion.
d. Diabetes does not interfere with digestion, but it does prevent the body from converting an
important product of digestion, glucose (commonly known as sugar), into energy.
e. Diabetes does not interfere with digestion, but glucose (commonly known as sugar) is an
important product of digestion and is unable to be converted into energy by the body because of
the disease.
20. With an increasing amount of vegetarians, more stores are beginning to stock their shelves
with standard vegetarian fare, such as soy milk and tofu.
a. With an increasing amount of vegetarians
b. With the number of vegetarians on the rise
c. With the number of vegetarians, which is on the rise
d. Increasingly, there are more and more vegetarians, so
e. Increasing in number are vegetarians, so
Critical Reasoning
Directions: For each question, select the best answer from the choices given.

26. Without a doubt, one of Americas greatest science-fiction writers is Kurt Vonnegut, who has
written dozens of stories and novels, including the masterpiece Slaughterhouse Five. Yet for
decades, Vonnegut denied that what he was writing was science fiction. Today, however,
Vonnegut embraces his rightful place as a master of the genre.
All of the following, if true, are helpful in accounting for the phenomenon described in this
passage
EXCEPT
a. early in Vonneguts career, science fiction was largely considered by critics to be an inferior
genre.
b. Vonnegut did not want to be pigeonholed as a science-fiction writer.
c. as a young author, Vonneguts favorite writers were all science-fiction writers.
d. science fiction has become a legitimate literary genre.
e. science fiction has become an increasingly popular genre (for readers and writers alike)
because of the increased importance of science and technology in our lives.
27. The greatest failure of modern American society is its rejection of the extended family. It is
no wonder our society is so violent and so many Americans feel a deep sense of isolation and
overwhelming stress.
This argument is based on all of the following assumptions EXCEPT
a. Americans value independence more than interdependence.
b. people who live in extended families feel less stress.
c. a large percentage of Americans feel isolated and alone.
d. living in an extended family engenders a strong sense of belonging.
e. deep feelings of isolation and overwhelming stress lead to antisocial and violent behavior.

28. The original Star Wars film (1977), in which Luke Skywalker saved Princess Leia and
battled against the evil Empire, was followed by two equally successful sequelsThe Empire
Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Nearly 25 years later, the Star Wars prequels have arrived,
and they are even more successful than the original series. The prequels (The Phantom Menace,
Attack of the Clones, and the soon-to-be released Episode III) have shattered box office records,
filling theaters with audiences of young children, teenagers, and adults alike.
Which of the following conclusions can properly be drawn from this statement?
a. The prequels are better than the original and its sequels.
b. The prequels have been marketed more effectively than the original and its sequels.
c. The Star Wars films have phenomenal special effects.
d. Fans of the original films have always wanted more Star Wars stories.
e. The themes and epic struggles of the Star Wars movies appeal to viewers of all generations.
29. For years, Americans have been told to stay away from fat. Feeding the market of those
anxiously watching their waistlines, food manufacturers have filled grocery store shelves with
low-fat and fat-free foods. Now, however, some researchers are blaming the fat-free craze for the
American crisis of obesity. Foods without fat, they argue, leave us feeling unsatisfied and craving
even more food. As a result, we end up eating a whole bag of low-fat potato chips when we
would have only eaten half a bag of regular (fat-laden) potato chips.
Which of the following is the most logical conclusion that can be drawn from the passage?
a. Avoid a no-fat diet, but eat low-fat foods.
b. You will likely eat less if you eat foods with fat.
c. Potato chips of any sort are unhealthy.
d. The key to weight management is to avoid cravings.

e. Fat-free foods should be banned from stores.


30. Nearly a decade ago, researchers at Brandeis University conducted an interesting experiment
with small robots. The robots were programmed to get as many individual points as possible by
finding small metal pucks and taking them to a nest in a corner of the lab. Robots were rewarded
with points whenever they found a puck. But their excessive self-interest led to poor
performance as robots repeatedly interfered with one another and battled over pucks.
Researchers then reprogrammed the robots to share information: Robots would announce when
they found a puck and listen to what other robots had to say. The robots were able to gather twice
as many pucks as they had before they were reprogrammed.
Which of the following conclusions can be drawn from the experiment described in this passage?
a. Robots can be taught human behaviors.
b. The robots were poorly programmed in the first experiment.
c. The researchers were shocked by the difference in results between the two experiments.
d. Sharing information can dramatically improve the productivity of a group.
e. Self-interest leads to unproductive behavior.
31. The late 1990s saw the comeback of many rock-n-roll bands that had enjoyed great fame in
the 1960s and 1970s, but had fallen into relative obscurity in the 1980s and early 1990s. Bands
such as Santana and Aerosmith released new albums at the end of the millennium and embarked
on worldwide tours to sold-out audiences.
Which of the following, if true, best explains the phenomenon described in this passage?
a. Not much good rock-n-roll was produced in the late 1990s.
b. These bands were able to blend elements of classic rock with the new sound of the late 1990s
to appeal to a wide audience.

c. The late 1990s saw an increasing nostalgia for the peace-loving era of the 1960s and early
1970s.
d. The bands simply got better with age.
e. A new generation of listeners discovered classic rock.
32. Two small-business owners, Jensen and Ling, could not be more different. Jensen is easy
going, easy to talk to, good at delegating responsibility, and quick to acknowledge the
contributions of others. Ling, however, is often high strung, generally unfriendly, and unable to
give up any authority; she is determined to be involved in every decision. This explains why
Jensens business is successful while Lings business has failed.
The conclusion of this argument is based upon all of the following assumptions EXCEPT
a. the personality of a business owner is the main factor in the success of the business.
b. a business leader with Jensens type of personality is more effective than one with Lings
personality.
c. Jensen and Ling were in direct competition with each other.
d. Jensen and Ling had similar educational backgrounds and a comparable level of business
experience.
e. Jensen and Ling had comparable businesses operating under comparable circumstances.
33. Although no conclusive scientific evidence proves that angels exist, many highly intelligent
and respectable people believe they exist and have even claimed to have spoken with angels. It is
therefore reasonable to assume that angels do exist, but we just dont have the means to prove
their existence.
All of the following, if true, are valid objections to this argument EXCEPT
a. even people who are usually honest lie on occasion.

b. well-respected people often have deep religious beliefs, so they are likely to believe in angels,
even if evidence suggests angels do not exist.
c. respectable people often want to be seen as highly moral people, and contact with angels
would make them seem chosen.
d. many people believe that angels are messengers of God, and a belief in angels therefore
provides evidence of their belief in God.
e. people who claim to see angels provide very similar descriptions of the angels.
34. In 1980, 18% of American families lived under the poverty line. In 1990, only 12% of
families lived under the poverty line. But that doesnt mean fewer families were living in
poverty. Indeed, the statistics hide the fact that more families were actually living in destitution.
The difference in percentages appears because the poverty line was redefined and the income
level was reduced. Thus, many families were above the poverty line even though they did not
earn any more income.
Which of the following statements, if true, would most strengthen this argument?
a. This kind of statistical manipulation is appalling.
b. A nationwide recession occurred in 1980 and an economic boom occurred in the 1990s.
c. Republicans were in power in 1980, whereas Democrats were in power in 1990.
d. The poverty line is regularly adjusted (income level raised) to account for inflation.
e. The number of welfare recipients in 1990 was 11% higher than in 1980.
35. Kylie eats at Moes Diner every Thursday, but last Thursday she ate at Joes. On Friday, she
was sick to her stomach. It must have been the food at Joes.
Which of the following is the best criticism of this argument?
a. It does not take into consideration other possible causes.

b. It confuses cause and effect.


c. It assumes that she would not have gotten sick eating the same food at Moes.
d. It does not identify the specific type of illness.
e. It does not describe how long the illness lasted.
36. Brianais has been feeling jittery over the last three weeks. She has also been putting in extra
hours at work, sometimes pulling double shifts. To stay alert, she has been drinking six or seven
cups of coffee a day rather than her usual two or three cups. The jitters are interfering with her
ability to do her work, so she has decided to stop drinking coffee altogether to eliminate the
jitters.
All of the following are valid criticisms of Brianaiss plan of action EXCEPT
a. the jitters may be due to lack of sleep, not excessive caffeine.
b. the jitters may be worsened by her total withdrawal from caffeine.
c. Briana is has never had the jitters before.
d. Briana is only gets the jitters when she drinks too much coffee.
e. the jitters may be caused by anxiety due to personal problems or stress at work.
37. Pop singer Clive Jones has been nominated for six Grammy Awards, and his new album is
enjoying its eighth consecutive week at number one on the charts. It is safe to say that Jones is
todays best pop artist.
Which of the following assumptions is most pivotal to this argument?
a. Joness previous albums were also chart-toppers.
b. Joness next album will outsell his current release.
c. Grammy nominations and record sales are accurate measures of an artists greatness.
d. Jones will win several of the Grammy Awards for which he has been nominated.

e. Jones is popular with both fans and music critics.


38. Anuj wants to lose about 15 pounds. He knows several people who have lost 10 to 20 pounds
in just one month with a particular over-the-counter diet pill. Anuj plans to buy the diet pill in
order to lose 15 pounds in the same time period.
Based on the previous information, for Anujs plan to succeed, which of the following must be
true?
a. Anujs body type, exercise regimen, and diet must be similar to those of the people who lost
15 pounds with the pill.
b. Anuj must avoid certain foods that may counteract the effectiveness of the pill.
c. Anuj must take the diet pill at the same time every day.
d. Anuj must adjust his diet to include more protein and fewer carbohydrates.
e. Anuj must monitor his weight loss very carefully.
39. In her old apartment, Hermione had trouble sleeping. She had difficulty falling asleep and
would wake up several times in the night. Since Hermione moved from that apartment into her
new home, she has been sleeping better. She is able to fall asleep quickly and usually stays
asleep through the night.
All of the following, if true, could account for the phenomenon described in the passage
EXCEPT
a. Hermione had loud neighbors when she lived in the apartment.
b. Hermione was suffering from anxiety about buying a house and moving.
c. Hermione discovered that she was allergic to cats and gave her cat away when she moved.
d. Hermiones apartment building was constructed prior to 1940, when stricter building codes
were put into law.

e. Hermione was having difficulties in her relationship with her boyfriend right before she
moved.
40. Toby has breakfast at Good Eats Diner every morning before work. He always orders the
same thing: two eggs over easy with three strips of extra crispy bacon, unbuttered wheat toast,
and a large coffee. Today, he ordered a bagel with light cream cheese and a large orange juice.
Something must be wrong with Toby.
All of the following, if true, are also plausible explanations for Tobys behavior EXCEPT
a. Toby has decided to limit the cholesterol in his diet.
b. a new cook started at Good Eats today.
c. Toby simply wanted a change of pace.
d. Toby has gone on a diet.
e. Toby has decided to become a vegetarian.
41. Zsa Zsa has just opened a beauty salon in her neighborhood. The neighborhood already has
two salonsone that caters mostly to older women and one that seems to cater to a general
clientele. Zsa Zsa has decided to cater to young clientele to create a niche for herself in the
neighborhood. Zsa Zsas plan of action is based on all of the following assumptions EXCEPT
a. enough young people live in the neighborhood to establish a large enough client base.
b. Zsa Zsa can provide the styles and services that will appeal to younger customers.
c. younger clients in Zsa Zsas neighborhood will be able to afford her services.
d. Zsa Zsa will establish friendly relationships with the owners of the other salons.
e. young clients desire services and styles that are not available at the other salons.
42. Mary Shelleys 1818 classic Frankenstein has been the most-taught novel on college
campuses in the country for the past 10 years. This is due primarily to the worries about

scientific responsibility brought on by the recent surge of advances in science and technology,
especially biotechnology.
Which of the following statements, if true, would be most helpful in evaluating this argument?
a. Frankenstein is considered the first science-fiction novel.
b. Most people who have not read the novel mistakenly assume that Frankenstein is the monster,
not the scientist who created the monster.
c. In the novel,Victor Frankenstein creates a monster and then abandons it, refusing to take
responsibility for his creation.
d. In the novel, Frankensteins creature causes a great deal of destruction because he is
constantly rejected by others.
e. Most Americans are opposed to cloning human beings.
43. Arthur: Do animals have rights? Well, they have feelings, and I think if you can feel pain,
you do have some rights, particularly the right not to have pain inflicted on you.
Brandon: Animals like lions would kill me if they were hungry for food. That inflicts pain on
me, all right!
Which of the following is the best criticism of Brandons response?
a. He assumes that because some animals kill humans, humans have a right to kill those animals.
b. He does not give specific examples to support his position.
c. He attacks Arthur rather than addressing the issue.
d. He takes an absolute position without allowing for exceptions.
e. He brings in a different issue rather than addressing the question of whether or not animals
have rights.

44. People who own dangerous pets such as poisonous snakes or ferocious dogs are morally and
legally responsible for their pets actions. If someone is hurt by such a pet, the owner should be
held 100% accountable.
All of the following statements, if true, would strengthen this argument EXCEPT
a. the physical whereabouts of pets are completely under the control of their owners.
b. a pet is the legal property of a person, and people are responsible for damages inflicted by
their property.
c. a pet is like a young child in that its whereabouts must constantly be controlled and behaviors
trained and monitored.
d. pet owners cannot completely control their pets behaviors.
e. a dangerous pet is no different from a dangerous weapon, and it must be cared for accordingly.
45. Since Lotta came out of her shell, she has made a lot of new friends.
Which of the following is the best criticism of this statement?
a. Lotta may have come out of her shell because she made new friends.
b. Lotta may have come out of her shell because of accomplishments at her new job.
c. Lotta may not have very close relationships with any of these new friends.
d. Lotta often has periods of introversion.
e. Lotta is a very likeable person.
46. Increasing the speed limit to 65 miles per hour or more on highways is dangerous and only
leads to more accidents. Whenever the highway speed has been increased, accident rates have
increased in that state. Maine raised its turnpike speed to 65 mph in November, and more fatal
accidents occurred in December than any other month in the year. Highway fatalities in
December and January combined were up 18% from November.

All of the following are valid criticisms of this argument EXCEPT


a. it does not explain why the speed limit was originally set at 55 mph.
b. it does not specify whether the accident rate increase was in accidents only on the highways
where the speed limit was increased or on all highways.
c. it does not consider other possible causes for increases in accidents, such as winter weather
driving conditions in Maine.
d. it only cites statistics for one state.
e. it does not acknowledge that speed is not the only cause of accidents.
48. Dont be surprised if we have an unusually cold winter this year. The last time we had a very
cold winter was 12 years ago, and the last time before that was 12 years earlier, and the time
before that was also 12 years earlier. Brace yourself for another cold one.
Which of the following would most strengthen this argument?
a. a chart showing the average temperature of winters over the last 11 years.
b. a chart comparing the actual winter temperatures to predictions for the last 36 years.
c. a chart with the average winter temperatures for the last 36 years.
d. weather predictions from the National Weather Center.
e. a discussion of weather patterns that create colder winters.