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#4 - One of the requirements for admission to the Lunnville

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Complete Question Explanation

Assumption. The correct answer choice is (D)

The argument in the stimulus is that since half of the applicants accepted into the club were women (and still are we presume), that is proof there was no discrimination against qualified women applicants.

The argument is unconvincing because it assumes that only about 50% of the most qualified applicants were women. If women actually composed a greater proportion of the highly qualified applicants, then even a "class" that is 50% women could represent discrimination.

You are asked to identify a necessary assumption, so you should focus on the statistical assumption in which the argument engages.

Answer choice (A): It is not necessary to know whether there were many qualified applicants; it is only necessary to know whether the qualified applicants were about half-and-half men and women.

Answer choice (B): This choice may have seemed attractive, but it is incorrect because we only need information about the applicants who were qualified to enter the club. Information about the town as a whole is totally unnecessary, so this choice is wrong. Furthermore, it is possible that 50% of the town, and 50% of the applicants could be women, while women still compose 90% of the qualified applicants, so this choice is not really even helpful.

Answer choice (C): This information is similarly unnecessary. The proportions of men and women in the town are not even helpful, because you cannot be sure whether they indicate the proportions of qualified applicants.

Answer choice (D): This is the correct answer choice. For this argument to be internally sound, you absolutely must assume that no more than half of the qualified applicants were women. If more than half of the qualified applicants were women, you could not be certain that discrimination occurred, because it is perhaps necessary that the club has equal numbers of men and women for staging purposes; however, the argument that anything is proven would be false.

Answer choice (E): The source of the decision is not necessarily relevant to whether the decision was biased, so this response is incorrect.
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After reading the stimulus and then the question stem, I correctly identified it as an assumption question. I did not know what to prephrase so I started reading the answer choices. I eliminated B and C because information about Lunnville is unnecessary, and eliminated answer E since the conclusion is not about who makes the decisions. I was left with answer A and D, and I correctly picked answer D but I'm still not sure why it is correct even after reading the explanations online.

Steve Stein
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Hi Brittany,

As you noted, this is an Assumption question, so the correct answer choice, when negated, will hurt the author's conclusion.

What is the argument?

The club president is concerned that there was discrimination in this year's selections.

The author of the stimulus makes this argument:

Premise: half of those accepted were women.
Conclusion: there was no discrimination.

Again, when the correct answer is negated, the negated version will hurt the author's argument.

Correct answer choice D provides that "no more than half of those qualified were women."

When we negate this choice, we get: "more than half of the qualified applicants this year were women."

If that is the case, then the number of women selected this year should have been even greater than half--this weakens the author's argument, which shows that this was indeed an assumption on which the author's argument relied.

Please let me know whether this is clear--thanks!

Steve Stein
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For this question, "half of the applicants admitted to the club this year were women" means half of the total applicants or half of the total admitted applicants? Not everyone who skate in Lunnville applied, right? I am confused how (D) fits into the question stem.
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"Half of the total applicants admitted to the club this year were women" means half of the total admitted applicants. So let's says there were 50 applicants and the club admitted 10 men and 10 women. That would mean half of the 20 admitted applicants were women.

The conclusion is that since half of the 20 (in our hypothetical) were women, that means that there was no discrimination against qualified women applicants. This assumes, however, that there were not more female applicants than male applicants. Which is what answer choice (D) says.

If you use the Assumption Negation technique and negate answer choice (D) to say that more than half of all the applicants were women, that would attack your argument. Going back to our hypothetical, if of the 50 applicants, 40 were women and 10 were men, then all of the men who applied would have been admitted and only a quarter of the women who applied were admitted. That would certainly indicate that there is likely some discrimination happening.

Hope that helps!

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I have a follow up question for the posted explanation . Sorry my question may be silly , but I had difficulty getting rid of answer choice C.

Answer choice C Negated... if it's true that more than half of the roller skaters are men then that changes the percentage of the women that were admitted. Thereby weakening the argument. HOWEVER , I could only get rid of this choice with the explanation above, stating that Lunville is referring to a Town. But how do we know Lunville is a town? What if it's just the name of the club?

c) " no more than half of all the roller skaters in Lunville are men".

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Good point! Okay, so let's assume that Lunnville is just the name of the club. Did the author have to assume that answer C is true - no more than half of the roller skaters in the CLUB are men, in making his argument about discrimination in admissions to the club THIS YEAR? Try negating C - what if MORE than half the roller skaters in the club are men? Does that show that there WAS discrimination? Maybe more than half the applicants were men? Maybe there was discrimination in PRIOR years, resulting in a gender imbalance in club membership, but this year everything was fair and balanced? Negating C, even with the idea that we might be talking about just the club instead of the town, has no impact on the argument about discrimination this year, and so it cannot be the correct answer.

Good thought! That one was worth playing with! Take nothing for granted on this test!
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I'm having a hard time understanding why answer choice E is incorrect. Can you please explain?