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## #24 - A smaller number of short documentary films than of full-length

• PowerScore Staff
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• Joined: Feb 02, 2011
#98269
Complete Question Explanation

Parallel Reasoning. The correct answer choice is (B).

This explanation is still in progress. Please post any questions below!
destinedtopractice
• Posts: 2
• Joined: Feb 01, 2023
#99100
I really don't understand what makes C wrong. I don't see anything wrong with B either, but what makes B better than C?
Rachael Wilkenfeld
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#99113
Let's start with the stimulus here, destined. We need to know the structure of the stimulus to see how it would be parallel.

Because the idea of short/small/long/large is easy to get confused, I'm going to try to avoid using them in my shorthand for the different elements. Our stimulus says that a smaller number of documentary films than sci-fi films achieve commercial success, even though there are more documentary films than sci-fi films. The author concludes that a higher percentage of sci-fi films are commercially successful than documentary films.

Let's look at some fake numbers to see if it makes sense. 5 documentary films and 10 sci-fi films achieve commercial success, out of 500 documentary films and 100 sci-fi films. That's 1% of the documentary films, and 10% of the sci-fi films. That makes sense. We'll use these same numbers with answer choices (B) and (C).

Answer choice (B): More Victorian apartments than modern apartments have freestanding bathtubs, even though there are more modern apartments than Victorian. Therefore a higher proportion of Victorian apartments have freestanding bathtubs than modern apartments. Again, our conclusion is about the proportion/percentage, not the number.

Using our numbers, that's 10 Victorian apartments to 5 modern apartments with freestanding bathtubs, out of 500 modern apartments and 100 Victorian apartments. We have the same 1% of modern and 10% of Victorian apartments that have freestanding bathtubs. This matches our stimulus.

Answer choice (C): A smaller number of modern apartments than Victorian apartments have freestanding tubs. There are more modern apartments than Victorian apartments, but a higher proportion of Victorian apartments have freestanding tubs. This goes wrong in the structure though! The stimulus draws a conclusion about the proportion of apartments with freestanding bathtubs, but this one draws a conclusion about the number of apartments. It's very very close. The structure here has the first sentence as the conclusion, because it continues with the phrase "for even though..." which is a premise indicator.

Hope that helps!
destinedtopractice
• Posts: 2
• Joined: Feb 01, 2023
#99128
Thank you!
katnyc
• Posts: 35
• Joined: Dec 22, 2020
#100051
can someone please explain why D is wrong.
Luke Haqq
• PowerScore Staff
• Posts: 747
• Joined: Apr 26, 2012
#100698
Hi katnyc!

This seems like it could have been a difficult, time-consuming question. In addition, it comes near the end of the section, so many students only get to it with little time left.

To see why (D) is wrong, try matching up the conclusion and premises in that answer choice with those in the stimulus. In the stimulus, the premises are about numbers, while the conclusion is about percentages/proportions.

In answer choice (D), by contrast, the conclusion is about numbers ("so there are more small modern apartments than there are large Victorian apartments"). Since this is a parallel the reasoning question, that puts (D) out of contention, since it doesn't match the conclusion in the stimulus, which is about proportions rather than numbers.

Finally, when faced with a lengthy parallel the reasoning question near the end of a section, that can be a good opportunity to use the Double the Conclusion technique. If you only had enough time to skim the answer choices to figure out the conclusion for each, that can often be enough to determine if the answer choice is right or wrong.
CFloyd
• Posts: 2
• Joined: Oct 09, 2023
#103581
I'm still not understanding. How do we know that C is talking about the number of apartments rather than the proportion? Answer C states that a higher proportion of Victorian apartments have a freestanding tub than modern apartments, not that more Victorian apartments have the tubs. I don't understand what makes this different than the way B is worded.
Rachael Wilkenfeld wrote: Thu Feb 02, 2023 6:54 pm Let's start with the stimulus here, destined. We need to know the structure of the stimulus to see how it would be parallel.

Because the idea of short/small/long/large is easy to get confused, I'm going to try to avoid using them in my shorthand for the different elements. Our stimulus says that a smaller number of documentary films than sci-fi films achieve commercial success, even though there are more documentary films than sci-fi films. The author concludes that a higher percentage of sci-fi films are commercially successful than documentary films.

Let's look at some fake numbers to see if it makes sense. 5 documentary films and 10 sci-fi films achieve commercial success, out of 500 documentary films and 100 sci-fi films. That's 1% of the documentary films, and 10% of the sci-fi films. That makes sense. We'll use these same numbers with answer choices (B) and (C).

Answer choice (B): More Victorian apartments than modern apartments have freestanding bathtubs, even though there are more modern apartments than Victorian. Therefore a higher proportion of Victorian apartments have freestanding bathtubs than modern apartments. Again, our conclusion is about the proportion/percentage, not the number.

Using our numbers, that's 10 Victorian apartments to 5 modern apartments with freestanding bathtubs, out of 500 modern apartments and 100 Victorian apartments. We have the same 1% of modern and 10% of Victorian apartments that have freestanding bathtubs. This matches our stimulus.

Answer choice (C): A smaller number of modern apartments than Victorian apartments have freestanding tubs. There are more modern apartments than Victorian apartments, but a higher proportion of Victorian apartments have freestanding tubs. This goes wrong in the structure though! The stimulus draws a conclusion about the proportion of apartments with freestanding bathtubs, but this one draws a conclusion about the number of apartments. It's very very close. The structure here has the first sentence as the conclusion, because it continues with the phrase "for even though..." which is a premise indicator.

Hope that helps!
Rachael Wilkenfeld
• PowerScore Staff
• Posts: 1358
• Joined: Dec 15, 2011
#103711
CFloyd, The problem with answer choice (C) is that the first sentence is the conclusion of that answer choice. The reason is because the second sentence gives support to that statement by using the phrase "for even though....". This phrase sets off a fact that is true, but not fully supportive, while the second part of that sentence is the actual support provided for the conclusion. Thus the second sentence of answer choice (C) is the support/premise, while the first sentence is the conclusion the author draws.

It all comes down to structure. In answer choice (B) as in the stimulus, the conclusion is the statement about proportions. In answer choice (C) the conclusion is the portion about the numbers.

Hope that helps!

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