Difficult Trait #4

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LR Perfection Free Preview: Chapter 3 Part IV

Difficult Trait #4: Subtle scope shifts in wrong answer choices

PT23 S2 Q2

Veterinarian: a disease of purebred racehorses that is caused by a genetic defect prevents afflicted horses from racing and can cause paralysis and death. Some horse breeders conclude that because the disease can have such serious consequences, horses with this defect should not be bred. But they are wrong because, in most cases, the severity of the disease can be controlled by diet and medication, and the defect also produces horses of extreme beauty that are in great demand in the horse show industry.

The point of the veterinarian’s response to the horse breeders is most accurately expressed by which one of the following?

A. Racehorses that have the genetic defect need not be prevented from racing

B. There should not be an absolute ban on breeding racehorses that have the genetic defect

C. Racehorses that are severely afflicted with the disease have not been provided with the proper diet

D. The best way to produce racehorses of extreme beauty is to breed horses that have the genetic defect

E. There should be no prohibition against breeding racehorses that have any disease that can be controlled by diet and exercise

If we had been looking at this stimulus and categorizing each piece of information as they came up, while thinking about the structural relationship between each statement (which statement is supporting which other statement), then finding the author’s main point shouldn’t be too hard. Let’s get right to it:

A disease of purebred racehorses that is caused by a genetic defect prevents afflicted horses from racing and can cause paralysis and death.

This is a statement of fact, but what is it supporting? Let’s look at statement 2.

Some horse breeders conclude that the disease can have such serious consequences, horses with this defect should not be bred.

So statements 1 and 2 collectively form the argument of some horse breeders (opposing argument): because the disease is so dangerous, we should not breed these horses. Let’s keep on going.

But they are wrong

This is definitely the vet’s opinion, so what are they saying? Essentially, we should still breed these horses. Let’s see why they thinks so:

Because, in most cases, the severity of the disease can be controlled by diet and medication, and the defect also produces horses of extreme beauty that are in great demand in the horse show industry.

So why should we breed these horses? Because the disease can be controlled and the horses are so pretty. This statement directly supports the vet’s opinion, which in turn is the argument’s conclusion.

I wanted to take a more detailed look at this question primarily for the answer choices. We talked about the common trap answer choices the test makers like to throw in to confuse us, and this question is full of them.

A. Racehorses that have the genetic defect need not be prevented from racing

The vet’s argument is about allowing the breeding of these horses, not about allowing them to race. Beware out of scope answers and subtle term shifts.

B. There should not be an absolute ban on breeding racehorses that have the genetic defect

In other words, the breeding of these horses should be permitted. That is precisely the veterinarian’s main point and therefore the correct answer. Notice how even though the words are different, it expresses the same idea as the main conclusion in the stimulus?

Answer choices C and D are so far removed from our prediction that they are fairly easy to eliminate. Let’s look at answer choice E, which is also the most commonly selected wrong answer.

E. There should be no prohibition against breeding racehorses that have any disease that can be controlled by diet and exercise

This answer starts off okay, but again, its scope subtly shifts. The veterinarian’s argument is about this particular disease that afflicts purebred racehorses. Answer choice E is about ANY disease that can be controlled by diet and exercise.

The correct answer is B.