Was really difficult for me to come to a conclusion in 2 minutes. How do I do it in two minutes or just make a guess and move??
Beginning in 1997, high school seniors in State Q have been required to pass a comprehensive proficiency exam before they are allowed to graduate. The exam requirement was intended to ensure that a minimum level of academic quality will be achieved by the students in the state. In 1997, 20 percent of the seniors did not pass the exam and were, therefore, not allowed to graduate. In 1998, the number of seniors who passed the exam decreased by 10% from the previous year.
The argument above, if true, LEAST supports which of the following statement.
A. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam increased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors decreased during that time period.
B. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam decreased from 1997 to 1998 , the number of high schools seniors increased during that time period.
C. Unless the number of high school seniors was lower in 1998 than in 1997, the number of seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was lower than 80 percent.
D. If the number of high school seniors who did not pass the exam decreased by more than 10 percent from 1997 to 1998, the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was greater than 80 percent.
E. If the percentage of high school seniors who passed the exam in 1998 was less than 70 percent, the number of high school seniors in 1997 was higher than the number in 1998.
For CR questions, one of the most important things to do to help speed up your approach is to keep yourself focused on finding the final conclusion arrived at. This keeps your elimination accurate and your focus on the question steady, and the final conclusion is present in every single type of question other than an inference one (where you have to supply the conclusion or ‘inference’ yourself). This is one such example, every statement is a premise or consideration here.
Since this is an EXCEPT/LEAST type of question, we know that there are 4 things that can be reliably inferred and ONLY ONE that cannot. Hence, any option that is possible can be eliminated here.
A – total number of passed students dropped, but %passed increased. Hence, it makes sense that the overall total number of high-school seniors dropped. Eliminate.
B – total number dropped, %passed dropped too. We cannot make any reliable claims about total number of seniors, because all three outcomes (dropped, increased, stayed same) are possible. Eliminate
C – states that unless there was a drop in total no of seniors, the %pass must have dropped. This makes sense since the total pass numbers has dropped. Eliminate
D – If the number who didn’t pass dropped by a greater percentage than the number who did pass, it stands to reason that the overall pass percentage went up, and this is what the statement claims. Eliminate.
E – If the %passed dropped to 70%, but the total number that passed only dropped 10%, it means there must have been more seniors in 1998. However, the option states the opposite, which is not possible. This is the right answer.
For inference questions, you wanna focus on whether an answer can be falsified, or can be possible (for inverse inference questions like this one). If so, eliminate immediately.