Critical reasoning 10 min test 2


Directions: choose the right answer for each of the following questions.

5 questions in 10 mins

Question 1/5

Editorial: Our city’s public transportation agency is facing a budget shortfall. The fastest growing part of the budget has been employee retirement benefits, which are exceptionally generous. Unless the budget shortfall is resolved, transportation service will be cut, and many transportation employees will lose their jobs. Thus, it would be in the employees’ best interest for their union to accept cuts in retirement benefits.

Which of the following is an assumption the editorial’s argument requires?

(A) The transportation employees’ union should not accept cuts in retirement benefits if doing so would not be in the employees’ best interest.

(B) The only feasible way for the agency to resolve the budget shortfall would involve cutting transportation service and eliminating jobs.

(C) Other things being equal, it is in the transportation employees’ interest to have exceptionally generous retirement benefits.

(D) Cutting the retirement benefits would help resolve the agency’s budget shortfall.

(E) The transportation employees’ union will not accept cuts in retirement benefits if doing so will not allow more transportation employees to keep their jobs.

Question 2/5

The Fieldpark nuclear power plant, cited three years ago by a governmentally led safety commission for exceeding safe levels of radiation, has recently allowed the media access to its facilities. A spokesperson for the plant has claimed that the media has full access to the plant and is not prohibited from taking pictures on the premises. The spokesperson promises that, as a result, the citizens of Fieldpark can rest assured that, until next year’s governmental inspection, the facility will not exceed the federal regulations on the amount of sieverts, or radiation, to which a person can be exposed.

Which of the following is an assumption upon which the spokesperson’s conclusion depends?

A) The media will publish all of the photos it deems incriminating.

B) The number of sieverts the plant releases has not increased since the last governmental inspection.

C) Communities are located close enough to the power plant to be harmed should the plant release more radiation than the regulations allow.

D) Photos can establish with the same reliability what a government safety commission can.

E) There were verifiable cases of radiation sickness in the year before the plant was cited by the safety commission.

Question 3/5

Exposure to certain chemicals commonly used in elementary schools as cleaners or pesticides causes allergic reactions in some children. Elementary school nurses in Renston report that the proportion of schoolchildren sent to them for treatment of allergic reactions to those chemicals has increased significantly over the past ten years. Therefore, either Renston’s schoolchildren have been exposed to greater quantities of the chemicals, or they are more sensitive to them than schoolchildren were ten years ago.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

(A) The number of school nurses employed by Renston’s elementary schools has not decreased over the past ten years.

(B) Children who are allergic to the chemicals are no more likely than other children to have allergies to other substances.

(C) Children who have allergic reactions to the chemicals are not more likely to be sent to a school nurse now than they were ten years ago.

(D) The chemicals are not commonly used as cleaners or pesticides in houses and apartment buildings in Renston.

(E) Children attending elementary school do not make up a larger proportion of Renston’s population now than they did ten years ago.

Question 4/5

Commentator: The theory of trade retaliation states that countries closed out of any of another country’s markets should close some of their own markets to the other country in order to pressure the other country to reopen its markets. If every country acted according to this theory, no country would trade with any other.

The commentator’s argument relies on which of the following assumptions?

(A) No country actually acts according to the theory of trade retaliation.

(B) No country should block any of its markets to foreign trade.

(C) Trade disputes should be settled by international tribunal.

(D) For any two countries, at least one has some market closed to the other.

(E) Countries close their markets to foreigners to protect domestic producers.

Question 5/5

Bank depositors in the United States are all financially protected against bank failure because the government insures all individuals’ bank deposits. An economist argues that this insurance is partly responsible for the high rate of bank failures, since it removes from depositors any financial incentive to find out whether the bank that holds their money is secure against failure. If depositors were more selective, then banks would need to be secure in order to compete for depositors’ money.

The economist’s argument makes which of the following assumptions?

(A) Bank failures are caused when big borrowers default on loan repayments.

(B) A significant proportion of depositors maintain accounts at several different banks.

(C) The more a depositor has to deposit, the more careful he or she tends to be in selecting a bank.

(D) The difference in the interest rates paid to depositors by different banks is not a significant factor in bank failures.

(E) Potential depositors are able to determine which banks are secure against failure.


Answer key:

1.D 2. D 3.C 4.D 5.E

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