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After successfully completing the CAT 2016 sprint series and the SNAP 2016 sprint series, we are back with the XAT 2017 – Critical Reasoning, Decision Making Marathon – 1 to boost your prep. This series will consist of 15 sets of questions that will test your reasoning skills and will enable you to do well in the crucial Decision Making section of XAT 2017.

You may check out the entire series here: XAT 2017 – Critical Reasoning, Decision Making Marathon

# XAT 2017 – Critical Reasoning, Decision Making Marathon – 1

Directions: The questions in this section are based on the reasoning contained in brief statements or passages. For some questions, more than one of the choices could conceivably answer the question. However, you are to choose the best answer; that is, the response that most accurately and completely answers the question. You should not make assumptions that are by commonsense standards implausible, superfluous, or incompatible with the passage. After you have chosen the best answer, blacken the corresponding space on your answer sheet.

1. Jim’s teacher asked him to determine whether a sample of a substance contained iron. Jim knew that magnets attract iron, so he placed a magnet near the substance. Jim concluded that the substance did contain iron, because the substance became attached to the magnet. Jim’s reasoning is questionable in that it fails to consider the possibility that

(A) iron sometimes fails to be attracted to magnets

(B) iron is attracted to other objects besides magnets

(C) the magnet needed to be oriented in a certain way

(D) magnets attract substances other than iron

(E) some magnets attract iron more strongly than others

2. All the books in the library have their proper shelf locations recorded in the catalog. The book Horatio wants is missing from its place on the library shelves, and no one in the library is using it. Since it is not checked out to a borrower nor awaiting shelving nor part of a special display, it must have been either misplaced or stolen.

Which one of the following most accurately describes the method of reasoning used in the argument?

(A) An observation about one object is used as a basis for a general conclusion regarding the status of similar objects.

(B) A deficiency in a system is isolated by arguing that the system failed to control one of the objects that it was intended to control.

(C) A conclusion about a particular object is rebutted by observing that a generalization that applies to most such objects does not apply to the object in question.

(D) A generalization is rejected by showing that it fails to hold in one particular instance.

(E) The conclusion is supported by ruling out other possible explanations of an observed fact.

3. The level of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere is slightly higher than it was ten years ago. This increase is troubling because ten years ago the Interior Ministry imposed new, stricter regulations on emissions from coal-burning power plants. If these regulations had been followed, then the level of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere would have decreased.

Which one of the following can be properly inferred from the statements above?

(A) If current regulations on emissions from coal-burning power plants are not followed from now on, then the level of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere will continue to increase.

(B) There have been violations of the regulations on emissions from coal-burning power plants that were imposed ten years ago.

(C) If the regulations on emissions from coal-burning power plants are made even stronger, the level of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere still will not decrease.

(D) Emissions from coal-burning power plants are one of the main sources of air pollution.

(E) Government regulations will never reduce the level of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere.

4. Ecologist: Landfills are generally designed to hold ten years’ worth of waste. Some people maintain that as the number of active landfills consequently dwindles over the coming decade, there will inevitably be a crisis in landfill availability. However, their prediction obviously relies on the unlikely assumption that no new landfills will open as currently active ones close and is therefore unsound.

The claim that there will be a crisis in landfill availability plays which one of the following roles in the ecologist’s argument?

(A) It follows from the claim stated in the argument’s first sentence.

(B) It is the main conclusion of the argument.

(C) It establishes the truth of the argument’s conclusion.

(D) It is a claim on which the argument as a whole is designed to cast doubt.

(E) It is an intermediate conclusion of the argument.

5. Recent epidemiological studies report that Country X has the lowest incidence of disease P of any country. Nevertheless, residents of Country X who are reported to have contracted disease P are much more likely to die from it than are residents of any other country.

Which one of the following, if true, most helps to resolve the apparent discrepancy described above?

(A) There are several forms of disease P, some of which are more contagious than others.

(B) Most of the fatal cases of disease P found in Country X involve people who do not reside in Country X.

(C) In Country X, diagnosis of disease P seldom occurs except in the most severe cases of the disease.

(D) The number of cases of disease P that occur in any country fluctuates widely from year to year.

(E) Because of its climate, more potentially fatal illnesses occur in Country X than in many other countries.

6. After an oil spill, rehabilitation centers were set up to save sea otters by removing oil from them. The effort was not worthwhile, however, since 357 affected live otters and 900 that had died were counted, but only 222 affected otters, or 18 percent of those counted, were successfully rehabilitated and survived. Further, the percentage of all those affected that were successfully rehabilitated was much lower still, because only a fifth of the otters that died immediately were ever found.

Which one of the following, as potential challenges, most seriously calls into question evidence offered in support of the conclusion above?

(A) Do sea otters of species other than those represented among the otters counted exist in areas that were not affected by the oil spill?

(B) How is it possible to estimate, of the sea otters that died, how many were not found?

(C) Did the process of capturing sea otters unavoidably involve trapping and releasing some otters that were not affected by the spill?

(D) Were other species of wildlife besides sea otters negatively affected by the oil spill?

(E) What was the eventual cost, per otter rehabilitated, of the rehabilitation operation?

7. Psychologist: Research has shown that a weakened immune system increases vulnerability to cancer. So, cancer-patient support groups, though derided by those who believe that disease is a purely biochemical phenomenon, may indeed have genuine therapeutic value, as it is clear that participation in such groups reduces participants’ stress levels.

Which one of the following is an assumption required by the psychologist’s argument?

(A) Cancer patients can learn to function well under extreme stress.

(B) Disease is not a biochemical phenomenon at all.

(C) Stress can weaken the immune system.

(D) Discussing one’s condition eliminates the stress of being in that condition.

(E) Stress is a symptom of a weakened immune system.

8. Adobe is an ideal material for building in desert environments. It conducts heat very slowly. As a result, a house built of adobe retains the warmth of the desert sun during the cool evenings and then remains cool during the heat of the day, thereby helping to maintain a pleasant temperature. In contrast, houses built of other commonly used building materials, which conduct heat more rapidly, grow hot during the day and cold at night.

Which one of the following most accurately expresses the main conclusion drawn in the argument above?

(A) Adobe is a suitable substitute for other building materials where the heat-conduction properties of the structure are especially important.

(B) In the desert, adobe buildings remain cool during the heat of the day but retain the warmth of the sun during the cool evenings.

(C) Because adobe conducts heat very slowly, adobe houses maintain a pleasant, constant temperature.

(D) Ideally, a material used for building houses in desert environments should enable those houses to maintain a pleasant, constant temperature.

(E) Adobe is an especially suitable material to use for building houses in desert environments.

9. In one study of a particular plant species, 70 percent of the plants studied were reported as having patterned stems. In a second study, which covered approximately the same geographical area, only 40 percent of the plants of that species were reported as having patterned stems.

Which one of the following, if true, most helps to resolve the apparent discrepancy described above?

(A) The first study was carried out at the time of year when plants of the species are at their most populous.

(B) The first study, but not the second study, also collected information about patterned stems in other plant species.

(C) The second study included approximately 15 percent more individual plants than the first study did.

(D) The first study used a broader definition of “patterned.”

(E) The focus of the second study was patterned stems, while the first study collected information about patterned stems only as a secondary goal.

10. Letter to the editor: Sites are needed for disposal of contaminated dredge spoils from the local harbor. However, the approach you propose would damage commercial fishing operations. One indication of this is that over 20,000 people have signed petitions opposing your approach and favoring instead the use of sand-capped pits in another area.

Which one of the following most accurately describes a reasoning flaw in the letter’s argument?

(A) The argument distorts the editor’s view in a manner that makes that view seem more vulnerable to criticism.

(B) The argument fails to establish that the alternative approach referred to is a viable one.

(C) The argument attempts to establish a particular conclusion because doing so is in the letter writer’s self-interest rather than because of any genuine concern for the truth of the matter.

(D) The argument’s conclusion is based on the testimony of people who have not been shown to have appropriate expertise.

(E) The argument takes for granted that no third option is available that will satisfy all the interested parties.

1. D

2. E

3. B

4. D

5. C

6. B

7. C

8. E

9. D

10. D

Meanwhile, for those who want to solve quality questions from past year XAT papers, you may check out our ongoing XAT 2017 Sprint Preparation Series.

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