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#3 - Acme Corporation offers unskilled workers excellent

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Complete Question Explanation

Weaken. The correct answer choice is (B)

The argument is structured as follows:

    Premise: ..... The president of Acme, Ms. Garon, worked as an assembly line worker when
    ..... ..... ..... she first started at Acme.

    Premise: ..... An assembly line worker is an entry-level position requiring no special skills.

    Conclusion: ..... Acme offers unskilled workers excellent opportunities for advancement.

The author is arguing that Acme offers unskilled workers excellent opportunities for advancement.
As an example, we have Ms. Garon, who worked as an assembly line worker when she first started
at Acme. Because the conclusion rests entirely on the relevance of the example cited, the argument
is rather weak. Just because hers was an entry-level position requiring no special skills does not
mean that Ms. Garon was unskilled when she got the job. For instance, if the entry-level job were
a temporary assignment usually offered to top graduates of business schools, Ms. Garon would no
longer fall into the category of “unskilled workers.” This prephrase agrees with answer choice (B),
which is the correct answer choice.

Answer choice (A): This is the Opposite answer. By citing a similar example to the one provided in
the stimulus, this answer choice strengthens the conclusion of the argument.

Answer choice (B): This is the correct answer choice. If Acme regularly hires top graduates of
business schools and employs them briefly in entry-level positions, it is possible that Ms. Garon was
not an unskilled worker when she was hired. Consequently, her example would no longer support the
general claim that Acme offers unskilled workers excellent opportunities for advancement.

Answer choice (C): The fact that Acme hires its senior management staff “from within” would not
weaken the conclusion of the argument. If anything, it might lend some credibility to the claim that
Acme provides opportunities for advancement.

Answer choice (D): The length of time Ms. Garon worked for Acme has no bearing on whether
Acme offers unskilled workers excellent opportunities for advancement. What matters is her skill
level at the time of hire.

Answer choice (E): The fact that Acme’s employees receive competitive wages would help explain
why an assembly line worker might decide to work her way “up,” but is entirely irrelevant to the
conclusion of the argument.
stsai
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Q3. "Acme Corporation offers..."
I chose (D), for I didn't know if "unskilled graduates from top business schools" undermines the argument at all. It seemed to me that it doesn't.

Thanks so much!
Nikki Siclunov
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The author is arguing that Acme offers unskilled workers excellent opportunities for advancement. As an example, we have Ms. Garon, who worked as an assembly line worker when she first started at Acme. Although hers was an entry-level position requiring no special skills, that does not mean that Ms. Garon was unskilled when she got the job. If the entry-level job was a temporary assignment usually offered to top graduates of business schools, the example will no longer support the claim that Acme offers unskilled workers excellent opportunities for advancement, since Ms. Garon would not fall into the category of "unskilled workers."
Nikki Siclunov
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stsai
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Thanks, Nikki. I think what puzzles me is that whether being a top business school graduate would not qualify as "unskilled." One can receive education from a top-notch school but still have no experience, and hence, be "unskilled," isn't it?
eober
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Hi,

How does answer choice B weaken the argument? I thought of "skill" as being hands-on experience, I guess I should have thought of a business school graduate as having skills. Could you correct me if I am wrong?

Thanks!
BethRibet
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Hi Eober,

Thanks for the question. Yes, it certainly appears that the LSAT is also including educational training when assessing whether someone is "skilled". Generally "unskilled labor" refers to people who do not have any special skills, whether through education, or through certifications, or through apprenticeship or on the job training.

Hope this helps!
Beth
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How would we have known that skill=education? To me, it is common knowledge that skills would be experience and the education is separate from skills. Because of this, I picked D. Ms.Garon worked for a while so she does have experience/skills and this weakens the argument.
Eric Ockert
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Hi!

I don't think we need to assume skills=education or that skills=experience. I would treat them as three separate ideas. After all, skills may be obtained through experience, but they could be obtained via education as well. I don't think we need to assume any hard and fast connection here between these terms.

The argument claims they offer excellent opportunities for unskilled workers. If Ms. Garon is a top graduate of a business school, it is pretty fair to assume she has already gained many skills that go into being President of a company. This answer indicates that her starting at an entry level position is more of a company gimmick then really an indication that she worked her way up the corporate ladder. That would cast serious doubt on the conclusion, as it seems to eliminate Ms. Garon as an example of an unskilled worker gaining opportunity.

With answer choice (D), even if she has worked there for 20 years, she started in this entry level, unskilled position. That seems to indicate that she has worked her way up, much as the argument implies. She may have gained skills and experience over those 20 years, but that doesn't affect the fact that she started at the bottom. So answer choice (D) doesn't really do anything to this argument.

Hope that helps!
Eric Ockert
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