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CAT Critical Reasoning Practice question with Solution 29

The advanced technology of ski boots and bindings has brought a dramatic drop in the incidence of injuries that occur on the slopes of ski resorts: from 9 injuries per 1,000 skiers in 1950 to 3 in 1980. As a result, the remainder of ski-related injuries, which includes all injuries occurring on the premises of a ski resort but not on the slopes, rose from 10 percent of all ski-related injuries in 1950 to 25 percent in 1980. The incidence of these injuries, including accidents such as falling down steps, increases with the amount of alcohol consumed per skier.

Which one of the following can be properly inferred from the passage?

[A]. As the number of ski injuries that occur on the slopes decreases, the number of injuries that occur on the premises of ski resorts increases.
[B]. The amount of alcohol consumed per skier increased between 1950 and 1980.
[C]. The technology of ski boots and bindings affects the incidence of each type of ski-related injury.
[D]. If the technology of ski boots and bindings continues to advance, the incidence of ski-related injuries will continue to decline.
[E]. Injuries that occurred on the slopes of ski resorts made up a smaller percentage of ski-related injuries in 1980 than in 1950.
Answer: E

We’re told that, from 1950 to 1980, the percentage of all ski-related injuries at ski resorts that did not occur on the slopes increased from 10% to 25%. That must mean that the percentage of ski-related injuries at ski resorts that did occur on the slopes must have decreased over that same period. Think about it this way: there are only two possible alternatives for a skirelated injury: either it occurs on the slopes or it does not occur on the slopes. So if the share of ski-related injuries represented by one type of injury goes up, the share represented by the other type MUST go down. That’s choice (E).

(A) We have no information about the number of the different types of ski-related injuries occurring, only about the percentage of total injuries represented by the two different types of injuries. Since we don’t know how or whether the total number of injuries changed, we can’t infer (A).

(B) We can infer nothing about the amount of alcohol consumed. It’s true that increased alcohol consumption causes an increase in injuries off the slopes, but we don’t know that those injuries have increased numerically, nor do we know that alcohol consumption is the only thing that could bring about an increase.

(C) Although the stimulus says improved ski boots and bindings have decreased the incidence of injuries on the slopes, it never implies that they have any effect on off-slope injuries.

(D) is unwarranted for two reasons: first, the fact that better boots and bindings have reduced the incidence of on-slope injuries in the past is no guarantee that they will do so in the future and, second, (D) speaks of “ski-related injuries” in general, and we have no reason to believe that boots and bindings have any effect on the incidence of off-slope injuries.

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