THE GRAVEL NETWORK In Acadia National Park, there is a large network of gravel carriage roads that are closed to vehicular traffic but open to a variety of other uses. In an attempt to substantially limit the damage that occurs to the carriage roads from overuse during the course of a year, park officials are imposing strict rules during the spring season. From March 15th to May 1st, when the roads are especially soft and more easily damaged, horses and bikes will be prohibited from all carriage roads, and walkers and runners will only be allowed on certain sections. In assessing whether the park officials' plan to limit the damage to the carriage roads will be successful, it would be most useful to know which of the following? A. Whether bikes and horses cause more damage to the carriage roads than walkers and runners do. B. Whether snowmobilers are allowed to use the carriage roads during the winter months. C. Whether a considerable percentage of carriage road usage occurs from March 15th to May 1st. D. Whether some sections of the carriage roads are more susceptible to damage from overuse than others. E. Whether a substantial percentage of visitors to the park ride their bikes on the carriage roads during their visit. SUPERWOMEN As they get older, women usually maintain their ability to hear higher frequencies longer than men do. This is only because men are usually exposed to more dangerously loud noises at work and during recreation. In societies that do not have hazardous noises, there is no difference in hearing loss between men and women. Nor is there a difference in hearing loss between males and female animals whose hearing has been studied. Which of the following choices MUST be true based on the information above? A. When women and men are exposed to the same level of hazardous noises while working, men experience greater loss of hearing. B. The difference between men and women in their ability to hear higher frequencies is entirely unrelated to any difference in the structure of the inner ear. C. If male animals were exposed to the same loud noises to which many men are exposed, the animals would experience greater loss of hearing than would female animals. D. In general, women and men do not differ in their ability to hear lower frequencies. E. Women who live in societies that do not have hazardous noises experience less loss of hearing than do women who live in societies that do have hazardous noises. IMMORTAL COLLEGE GRADUATES People who have a college degree tend to live longer than those who do not have a college degree. This is true for both men and women, and it is true across many different ethnicities and in many different geographical regions. This phenomenon is easily explained because it has been proven that people who have attended college have lifestyles and habits that are well known to increase lifespan: they eat balanced meals, they exercise often, they consider themselves happy, and they tend to have strong relationships. Therefore, if you want to have a longer lifespan, you should get your college degree. Which of the following, if true, weakens the argument above? A. Some people who attend college do not get their college degree. B. People with those four habits and lifestyles are more likely to go to college than those without them. C. People with college degrees tend to have more heart attacks than those without one. D. Women tend to live much longer than men do. E. People from certain geographical regions and certain ethnicities tend to have longer lifespans. BARELY LEGAL In an effort to reduce expenses, a law firm plans to lay off 40% of its attorneys and hire paralegal contractors as needed to replace them. In this way, the firm believes, it can avoid paying attorneys during slower periods and simply ramp up with contractors when the workload requires it. Which of the following, if true, would most increase the plan’s likelihood of achieving its objective? A. None of the firm’s existing clients would leave the firm to work with a laid-off attorney. B. Most of the attorneys to be laid off are among the lowest-performing attorneys on the firm’s roster. C. Paralegals can perform most of the functions of the attorneys that will be laid off. D. For any given amount of legal work, the cost of paralegal contractors does not exceed that of full-time attorneys. E. The firm’s outlook for the next few years suggests that demand for legal services will remain consistently lower than it has for the previous five years JUST DO-IT-YOURSELF The rise in free, do-it-yourself instructions on the Internet for home repairs has caused a decrease in revenue for home service technicians and an increase in the number of injuries caused by people who have attempted home repairs themselves. Unfortunately, not all of the do-it-yourself instructions on the Internet are written as well as they should be. Based on the statements above, which of the following is most likely to be true? A. The number of people who are not home repair technicians and who have been injured while attempting home repairs has increased. B. Most people who are injured while attempting home repairs have done so while following instructions found in free do-it-yourself instructions on the Internet. C. The overall sale of online do-it-yourself home repair instructions by home service technicians has not been equal to the loss of revenue the technicians have incurred due to free offerings of this sort of material. D. Most free do-it-yourself home repair instructions found on the Internet do not provide enough clear information regarding safety precautions. E. As more free do-it-yourself instructions for home repairs are made available on the Internet, home service technicians will suffer more losses in revenue. TOPNOTCH GRADUATE Everyone who has graduated from Topnotch High School has an intelligence quotient (IQ) of over 120. Most students with an IQ of over 120 and all students with an IQ of over 150 who apply to one or more Ivy League universities are accepted to at least one of them. The statements above, if true, best support which of the following conclusions? A. Every graduate of Topnotch High School with an IQ of 150 has been accepted to at least one Ivy-League school. B. If a person is a high-school graduate and has an IQ of less than 100, he or she could not have been a student at Topnotch High School. C. At least one graduate from Topnotch high school who has applied to at least one IvyLeague university has been accepted to one of them. D. If a high-school graduate has an IQ of 150 and is not attending an Ivy-League school, then he or she did not apply to one of them. E. If a person has an IQ of 130 and is attending an Ivy-League school, it is possible for him or her to have graduated from Topnotch High School. RENEWABLE ENERGY In response to the increasing cost of producing energy through traditional means, such as combustion, many utility companies have begun investing in renewable energy sources, chiefly wind and solar power, hoping someday to rely on them completely and thus lower energy costs. These sources require significant initial capital investment, but the operating costs are not so high; so the utility companies claim that they will provide stable energy supplies at low costs. As one can easily see, these sources will be less risky for the utilities than non renewable sources, such as gas, oil, and coal, whose prices can fluctuate dramatically according to availability. The claim of the utility companies assumes which of the following? A. B. C. D. The public will embrace the development of wind and solar power. No new deposits of gas, oil, and coal will be discovered in the near future. Weather patterns are consistent and predictable. The necessary technology for conversion to wind and solar power is not more expensive than the technology needed to create energy through combustion. E. Obtaining energy from non-renewable sources, such as gas, oil and coal, cannot be made less risky. CARPEL TUNNEL FOR GAMERS Doctor: Research shows that adolescents who play video games on a regular basis are three times as likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome as are adolescents who do not play video games. Federal legislation that prohibits the sale of video games to minors would help curb this painful wrist condition among adolescents. The doctor’s conclusion depends on which of the following assumptions? A. The majority of federal legislators would vote for a bill that prohibits the sale of video games to minors. B. Not all adolescents who play video games on a regular basis suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. C. Playing video games is the only way an adolescent can develop carpal tunnel syndrome. D. Most parents would refuse to purchase video games for their adolescent children. E. The regular playing of video games by adolescents does not produce such beneficial effects as better hand-eye coordination and improved reaction time. FLAGSHIP PRODUCT Profits for one of Company X’s flagship products have been declining slowly for several years. The CFO investigated and determined that inflation has raised the cost of producing the product but consumers who were surveyed reported that they weren’t willing to pay more than the current price. As a result, the CFO recommended that the company stop producing this product because the CEO only wants products whose profit margins are increasing. The answer to which of the following questions would be most useful in evaluating whether the CFO’s decision to divest the company of its flagship product is warranted? A. Does the company have new and profitable products available with which to replace the flagship product? B. What percentage of Company X’s revenues is represented by sales of the flagship product in question? C. Are there additional features which could be added to the product and for which consumers might be willing to pay a higher price? D. Will the rest of Company X’s management team agree with the CFO’s recommendation? E. Is there a way to alter the manufacturing or distribution processes in order to reduce the cost to produce the flagship product? THE CARPET BUSINESS There is relatively little room for growth in the overall carpet market, which is tied to the size of the population. Most who purchase carpet do so only once or twice, first in their twenties or thirties, and then perhaps again in their fifties or sixties. Thus as the population ages, companies producing carpet will be able to gain market share in the carpet market only through purchasing competitors, and not through more aggressive marketing. Which one of the following, if true, casts the most doubt on the conclusion above? A. Two of the three mergers in the industry’s last ten years led to a decline in profits and revenues for the newly merged companies. B. Most of the major carpet producers market other floor coverings as well. C. Most established carpet producers market several different brand names and varieties, and there is no remaining niche in the market for new brands to fill. D. Price reductions, achieved by cost-cutting in production, by some of the dominant firms in the carpet market are causing other producers to leave the market altogether. E. The carpet market is unlike most markets in that consumers are becoming increasingly resistant to new patterns and styles.