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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 – 13 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 – 13

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. Game show winners choosing between two equally desirable prizes will choose either the one that is more expensive or the one with which they are more familiar. Today’s winner, Ed, is choosing between two equally desirable and equally unfamiliar prizes, A and B. He will thus choose A, which is more expensive.

The reasoning in which one of the following is most similar to the reasoning above?

(A) With a book contract, an academic writer receives either an advance or a guarantee of royalties. Professor al-Sofi received an advance for a book contract, so al-Sofi did not receive a guarantee of royalties.

(B) When entering this amusement park, children always choose to take their first ride on either the Rocket or the Mouse. Janine insisted on the Rocket for her first ride. Thus, Janine would not have been standing near the Mouse during her first half hour in the amusement park.

(C) The elliptical orbit of an asteroid is only slightly eccentric unless it is affected by the gravitational pull of a planet. Asteroid Y is affected by Jupiter’s gravitational pull and asteroid X is not. Thus, the orbit of asteroid Y is the more eccentric of the two.

(D) New students in this program must choose either a physics class or an art class. Miyoko has no desire to take a class in either of those fields, so Miyoko will probably not enter this program.

(E) To avoid predators, rabbits will either double back on their pursuers or flee for nearby cover. The rabbit being pursued by a fox in this wildlife film is in a field that offers no opportunity for nearby cover, so it will try to double back on the fox.

2. Microbiologist: Because heavy metals are normally concentrated in sewage sludge during the sewage treatment process, the bacteria that survive in the sludge have evolved the unusual ability to resist heavy-metal poisoning. The same bacteria also show a strong resistance to antibiotics. This suggests that the bacteria’s exposure to the heavy metals in the sewage sludge has somehow promoted their resistance to antibiotics.

Which one of the following, if true, most strengthens the microbiologist’s argument?

(A) Most bacteria that are not resistant to antibiotics are not resistant to heavy-metal poisoning either.

(B) Bacteria that live in sewage sludge that is free of heavy metals, but is in other respects similar to normal sewage, are generally resistant to neither heavy-metal poisoning nor antibiotics.

(C) Antibiotic resistance of bacteria that survive in sewage sludge in which heavy metals are concentrated contributes to their resistance to heavy-metal poisoning.

(D) Sewage sludge that contains high concentrations of heavy metals almost always contains significant concentrations of antibiotics.

(E) Many kinds of bacteria that do not live in sewage sludge are resistant to both heavy-metal poisoning and antibiotics.

3. Ethicist: Marital vows often contain the promise to love “until death do us part.” If “love” here refers to a feeling, then this promise makes no sense, for feelings are not within one’s control, and a promise to do something not within one’s control makes no sense. Thus, no one—including those making marital vows—should take “love” in this context to be referring to feelings.

The ethicist’s conclusion follows logically if which one of the following is assumed?

(A) None of our feelings are within our control.

(B) People should not make promises to do something that is not within their control.

(C) “Love” can legitimately be taken to refer to something other than feelings.

(D) Promises should not be interpreted in such a way that they make no sense.

(E) Promises that cannot be kept do not make any sense.

4. Principle: If a food product contains ingredients whose presence most consumers of that product would be upset to discover in it, then the food should be labeled as containing those ingredients.

Application: Crackly Crisps need not be labeled as containing genetically engineered ingredients, since most consumers of Crackly Crisps would not care if they discovered that fact.

The application of the principle is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds that it

(A) fails to address the possibility that consumers of a specific food may not be representative of consumers of food in general

(B) fails to address the possibility that the genetically engineered ingredients in Crackly Crisps may have been proven safe for human consumption

(C) implicitly makes use of a value judgment that is incompatible with the principle being applied

(D) takes for granted that if most consumers of a product would buy it even if they knew several of the ingredients in it, then they would buy the product even if they knew all the ingredients in it

(E) confuses a claim that under certain conditions a certain action should be taken with a claim that the action need not be taken in the absence of those conditions

5. Editorial: The town would not need to spend as much as it does on removing trash if all town residents sorted their household garbage. However, while telling residents that they must sort their garbage would get some of them to do so, many would resent the order and refuse to comply. The current voluntary system, then, is to be preferred, because it costs about as much as a nonvoluntary system would and it does not engender nearly as much resentment.

The contention that the town would not have to spend as much as it does on removing trash if all town residents sorted their garbage plays which one of the following roles in the editorial’s argument?

(A) It is a claim that the editorial is trying to show is false.

(B) It is a fact granted by the editorial that lends some support to an alternative to the practice that the editorial defends as preferable.

(C) It is an example of a difficulty facing the claim that the editorial is attempting to refute.

(D) It is a premise that the editorial’s argument relies on in reaching its conclusion.

(E) It is the conclusion that the editorial’s argument purports to establish.

6. Inspector: The only fingerprints on the premises are those of the owner, Mr. Tannisch. Therefore, whoever now has his guest’s missing diamonds must have worn gloves.

Which one of the following exhibits a flaw in its reasoning most similar to that in the inspector’s reasoning?

(A) The campers at Big Lake Camp, all of whom became ill this afternoon, have eaten food only from the camp cafeteria. Therefore, the cause of the illness must not have been something they ate.

(B) The second prototype did not perform as well in inclement weather as did the first prototype. Hence, the production of the second prototype might have deviated from the design followed for the first.

(C) Each of the swimmers at this meet more often loses than wins. Therefore, it is unlikely that any of them will win.

(D) All of Marjorie’s cavities are on the left side of her mouth. Hence, she must chew more on the left side than on the right.

(E) All of these tomato plants are twice as big as they were last year. So if we grow peas, they will probably be twice as big as last year’s peas.

7. Populations of a shrimp species at eleven different Indonesian coral reefs show substantial genetic differences from one reef to another. This is surprising because the area’s strong ocean currents probably carry baby shrimp between the different reefs, which would allow the populations to interbreed and become genetically indistinguishable.

Which one of the following, if true, most helps to explain the substantial genetic differences among the shrimp populations?

(A) The genetic differences between the shrimp populations are much less significant than those between shrimp and any other marine species.

(B) The individual shrimp within a given population at any given Indonesian coral reef differ from one another genetically, even though there is widespread interbreeding within any such population.

(C) Before breeding, shrimp of the species examined migrate back to the coral reef at which they were hatched.

(D) Most shrimp hatched at a given Indonesian coral reef are no longer present at that coral reef upon becoming old enough to breed.

(E) Ocean currents probably carry many of the baby shrimp hatched at a given Indonesian coral reef out into the open ocean rather than to another coral reef.

8. Researchers have studied the cost-effectiveness of growing halophytes—salt-tolerant plant species—for animal forage. Halophytes require more water than conventional crops, but can be irrigated with seawater, and pumping seawater into farms near sea level is much cheaper than pumping freshwater from deep wells. Thus, seawater agriculture near sea level should be cost-effective in desert regions although its yields are smaller than traditional, freshwater agriculture.

Which one of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument above?

(A) A given volume of halophytes is significantly different in nutritional value for animal forage from the same volume of conventional forage crops.

(B) Some halophytes not only tolerate seawater but require salt in order to thrive.

(C) Large research expenditures are needed to develop the strains of halophytes best suited for agricultural purposes.

(D) Costs other than the costs of irrigation are different for halophytes grown by means of seawater irrigation than for conventional crops.

(E) Pumping water for irrigation is proportionally one of the largest costs involved in growing, harvesting, and distributing any forage crop for animals.

9. Principle: If an insurance policy is written in such a way that a reasonable person seeking insurance would not read it thoroughly before signing it, then the reasonable expectations of the policyholder concerning the policy’s coverage should take legal precedence over specific language in the written policy itself.

Application: The insurance company should be required to cover the hail damage to Celia’s car, even though specific language in the written policy Celia signed excluded coverage for hail damage.

Which one of the following, if true, most justifies the above application of the principle?

(A) Celia is a reasonable person, and she expected the insurance policy to cover hail damage to her car.

(B) Given the way it was written, a reasonable person would not have read Celia’s insurance policy thoroughly before signing it, and Celia reasonably expected the policy to cover hail damage.

(C) The insurance policy that Celia signed was written in such a way that a reasonable person would not read it thoroughly before signing it, but Celia did read the policy thoroughly before signing it.

(D) Celia did not read the insurance policy thoroughly before signing it, and a reasonable person in her position would assume that the policy would cover hail damage.

(E) Celia did not read the written insurance policy thoroughly before signing it, and a reasonable person in her position would not have done so either.

10. Researcher: Every year approximately the same number of people die of iatrogenic “disease”—that is, as a direct result of medical treatments or hospitalization—as die of all other causes combined. Therefore, if medicine could find ways of preventing all iatrogenic disease, the number of deaths per year would decrease by half.

The reasoning in the researcher’s argument is flawed because the argument fails to consider that

(A) prevention of noniatrogenic disease will have an effect on the occurrence of iatrogenic disease

(B) some medical treatments can be replaced by less invasive or damaging alternatives

(C) people who do not die of one cause may soon die of another cause

(D) there is no one way to prevent all cases of death from iatrogenic disease

(E) whenever a noniatrogenic disease occurs, there is a risk of iatrogenic disease

1. E

2. B

3. D

4. E

5. B

6. A

7. C

8. E

9. B

10. C

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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