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#24011
Complete Question Explanation

Strengthen. The correct answer choice is (E)

The author concludes that it is the redefinition of “top priority” which has led to the reduction in turnaround time for ambulance services rather than any sort of improvement as the mayor’s statements imply. The author bases this conclusion on the premise that the most time-consuming cases which were once considered top priority (gunshot wounds and electrocutions) are no longer classified as top priority under the new calculation of turnaround time. In strengthening this conclusion, look for an answer that suggest these time-consuming cases were a significant factor in calculating the old turnaround time.

Answer Choice (A): That the absolute number of incidents defined as top priority under the new definition (heart attacks and strokes) declined this year does not directly affect the average turnaround time for these incidents and as a result does not strengthen the author’s argument.

Answer Choice (B): Whether the mayor did or did not redefine the city’s financial priorities has no direct bearing on whether or not the redefinition of “top priority” is what contributed to the improvement in turnaround time for top priority cases.

Answer Choice (C): This answer choice states that experts do in fact disagree with the mayor’s definition of “top priority emergency” but offers no information as to how or why they disagree. Knowing only that experts disagree with the mayor’s definition suggests their may be some flaw in the mayor’s definition, but it does not establish that it is in fact this new definition that is responsible for the improved turnaround time.

Answer Choice (D): This answer choice indicates only that other cities include gunshot wounds under their categorization of top priority emergencies. That other cities do or do not utilize this categorization has no effect upon whether the redefinition of “top priority” is what has contributed to an increase in average turnaround time in the city in question.

Answer Choice (E): This is the correct answer choice. If one half of all of last year’s top priority emergencies were gunshots wounds and electrocutions, then fully one half of last year’s top priority emergencies were of the most time consuming type and are no longer counted in the new calculations. By eliminating these cases from consideration in new calculations of average turnaround time, it is very likely that this elimination is responsible for the lowering of the average turnaround time.
 harsh8686
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#65625
Administrator wrote:Complete Question Explanation
Answer Choice (A): That the absolute number of incidents defined as top priority under the new definition (heart attacks and strokes) declined this year does not directly affect the average turnaround time for these incidents and as a result does not strengthen the author’s argument.
Though I agree that E is also a strengthener, A seems to be a strengthener. The assumption here is that since some of the emergencies were excluded, the same number of emergencies vehicle would be available now rather than occupied in handling other cases. [A] says that there were fewer heart attacks. If both points (a) fewer number of reporting of heart attacks, and (b) greater number of emergency vehicles available to serve, it will take the average down. In fact, the former will actually create a meteoric effect, taking the average time even more down.

Am I thinking too much?
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 Dave Killoran
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#65628
Hi Harsh,

It seems you may indeed be overthinking this, as I don't follow this line of reasoning. Aside from the fact that we know LSAC does not see (A) as a strengthener, the discussion of turnaround time in the stimulus focus on the "average...time," and so having fewer heart attacks and strokes by itself won't affect that average. To further speculate about availability of greater numbers of emergency vehicles and how that affects the time is to go to far here :-D In one sense, you are walking a very narrow, specific path to get to a certain conclusion, and you aren't allowed to manipulate the situation (or assume that much) to make an answer choice feel right.

Thanks!
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 sdb606
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#86005
I'm still having a hard time understanding how E is correct. Two issues:

  • How do I know that "One half" is a large enough number to make E correct? What if E had said 10% instead? At what percentage does E become correct?
  • What if turnaround times went down because the city increased the ambulance staffing this year compared to last year? How would E strengthen the case that the mayor redefined "top priority" as opposed to increased staffing levels?
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 KelseyWoods
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#86062
Hi sdb606!

Remember that this is just a Strengthen question. We're not trying to prove the argument like we need to do in a Justify question. We're just trying to help this argument out as much as we can using the available answer choices.

So in that sense, there isn't a specific percentage at which answer choice (E) becomes correct. If any of the top priority cases from last year were gunshot wounds and electrocution cases and those are no longer counted as top priority, that strengthens the conclusion that redefining what counts as a top priority case is what has resulted in the reduction in the average ambulance turnaround time. It strengthens the argument more strongly the higher that percentage gets. But in a Strengthen question our correct answer can strengthen the argument anywhere from 1% to 100%. It doesn't have to strongly strengthen. Only more strongly strengthen than the other answer choices.

Similarly, it doesn't matter if there are other potential explanations for the reduction in ambulance turnaround time. We don't have to prove that the reduction was due to redefining "top priority" as opposed to increased staffing levels. We just have to provide some support for the idea that redefining "top priority" could explain the reduction in ambulance turnaround time. Answer choice (E) does that. It doesn't need to rule out every other possible explanation and it doesn't even need to prove that the redefining "top priority" explanation is better than any other potential explanation. It just needs to support the redefining "top priority" explanation more strongly than the other answer choice options.

Hope this helps!

Best,
Kelsey
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 sdb606
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#86148
I think I understand. When I read the question, I thought the author is asking for help proving that a redefinition happened at all and that the redefinition is the reason for the reduction in turnaround times. But redefinition happening at all is a premise located inside a sentence the question stem labels as a conclusion. So I treated it as the author's speculation that a redefinition happened at all. Hence, the source of my confusion.

I hope my thinking is straight on this.
 Jeremy Press
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#86163
Hi sdb,

Yes, it sounds like you've got it on this one! The last two sentences of the stimulus are premises that show us some kind of redefinition did, in fact, occur (so the occurrence of a redefinition by itself doesn't need to be strengthened).

Keep up the good work!
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 ElizabethSwanson
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#91064
Hello!

I am doing the Strengthen Drills: V1 and struggling with this question.

I think that the correct answer, E, would weaken, not strengthen, the argument in the stimulus. If one-half of all of last year's top-priority emergencies were gunshot wounds and electrocution cases, I would argue that this supports an alternate conclusion that the reduction in turnaround time was due to the ambulances attending to half as many cases in general, not just the redefinition of "top-priority" excluding specifically gunshot wounds and electrocutions.

Is anyone able to set me straight? Am I overthinking this question? :-D

Thanks in advance!
Elizabeth
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 Stephanie Oswalt
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#91067
ElizabethSwanson wrote: Wed Oct 06, 2021 11:40 am Hello!

I am doing the Strengthen Drills: V1 and struggling with this question.

I think that the correct answer, E, would weaken, not strengthen, the argument in the stimulus. If one-half of all of last year's top-priority emergencies were gunshot wounds and electrocution cases, I would argue that this supports an alternate conclusion that the reduction in turnaround time was due to the ambulances attending to half as many cases in general, not just the redefinition of "top-priority" excluding specifically gunshot wounds and electrocutions.

Is anyone able to set me straight? Am I overthinking this question? :-D

Thanks in advance!
Elizabeth
Hi Elizabeth,

Thanks for the post, and welcome to the forum! I have moved your post to the thread discussing this question. Please review the above explanation and discussion: viewtopic.php?f=705&t=9509, and let us know if this helps, or if you still have further questions!

Also, as a side note, I removed the full question text from your post, as LSAC copyright regulations unfortunately do not allow posting of the full question text.

Thanks!
 presleys
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#105536
I understand why E is correct but I don't necessarily understand why A is incorrect. My line of thinking was that if the number of heart attacks and strokes went down, they would make up a smaller proportion of the average turnaround time which would in turn raise the overall average because a higher relative number of cases would be more time-consuming, does that make sense? Am I just reading too much into this answer choice?

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