QUESTION TEXT: High school students who feel that they…
QUESTION TYPE: Weaken
CONCLUSION: The morale boosting program has begun reducing dropout rates.
REASONING: Last year’s dropout rate was significantly lower than the previous year’s rate.
ANALYSIS: This is a causation-correlation error. There could have been something else that affected the dropout rate apart from the morale program.
- CORRECT. This weakens the argument because the stimulus tells us that students drop out and go work. If unemployment rises it will be much harder to go work. So the students may stay in school for that reason.
- So? We would expect people who drop out to have low morale. The morale boosting program was created to fix this problem. This answer choice doesn’t tell us if it worked or not.
- This confirms the argument’s evidence that the dropout rate was lower. That doesn’t weaken the argument.
- The argument is about people who drop out. This answer choice is about graduates. Graduates are irrelevant.
- This doesn’t add anything. The decline in dropout rates was spread across the whole city. We don’t know if more or fewer students dropped out in the schools with the lowest morale.
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MemberNate Nguyen says
I don’t know if this is the proper channel to ask questions, but I haven’t found an explanation for my question yet.
I’m having trouble seeing why A is more correct than D.
Answer choice A relies on assuming that people drop out in order to go work. It would make more sense to me if it said, “to go to work.” rather than, “and go to work.” Therefore, I eliminated A because I considered: if they aren’t successful in school AND there is high unemployment, they might just do nothing. There is nothing that indicates to me that work is a make or break factor to their decision.
Answer choice D, however, I saw as a resource that is only afforded to those who do NOT drop out. Regardless of what that resource is, I thought it could serve as an alternate explanation that requires less of a leap in logic.
I understand that I’m wrong, but any insight as to why would be helpful!
TutorRosalie (LSATHacks) says
So what we’re trying to weaken here is the conclusion (“the program is reducing dropouts”). We’re told in the first sentence that high school students would drop out to work.
A is correct because if there’s a recession, that means no one is hiring. If no one is hiring and you’re in high school, then dropping out wouldn’t be a good idea since then you wouldn’t have a job. This gives us another reason to explain the lowered drop-out rate: students don’t have a good reason to drop out. It weakens the idea that the program is working.
D is incorrect because it doesn’t do anything to the conclusion. A graduate (which doesn’t belong to the population we’re concerned with) isn’t a high school student anymore and literally cannot drop out anymore.