CAT Critical Reasoning Practice question with Solution 39

QUESTION
In a large residential building, there is a rule that no pets are allowed. A group of pet lovers tried to change that rule but failed. The rule-changing procedure outlined in the building’s regulations states that only if a group of tenants can obtain the signatures of 10 percent of the tenants on a petition to change a rule will the proposed change be put to a majority vote of all the tenants in the building. It follows that the pet lovers were voted down on their proposal by the majority of the tenants.

The argument depends on which one of the following assumptions?

OPTIONS
[A]. The pet lovers succeeded in obtaining the signatures of 10 percent of the tenants on their petition.
[B]. The signatures of less than 10 percent of the tenants were obtained on the pet lovers’ petition.
[C]. Ninety percent of the tenants are against changing the rule forbidding pets.
[D]. The support of 10 percent of the tenants for a rule change ensures that the rule change will be adopted.
[E]. The failure of the pet lovers to obtain the signatures of 10 percent of the tenants on their petition for a rule change ensures that the rule change will be voted down by a majority of the tenants.
Answer: A
Explanation:

Another assumption question, with the conclusion clearly indicated by the Keywords “It follows that . . . ” So the author claims that the pet lovers were voted down by a majority of the tenants, but all we know is that their attempt to change the policy failed. They might have been voted down by the majority, but they also could have failed to obtain the signatures of the required ten percent of tenants that are required for a majority vote. Thus, if choice (A) is false, then the argument is defeated, and so (A) must be a necessary assumption.

(B) is the au contraire choice, since if the pet lovers had failed to obtain the required ten percent, then a majority vote could not have taken place.

(C) is not required, since a majority of less that ninety percent would also be capable of voting down the proposal.

(D) weakens the argument. If the support of only ten percent guaranteed success, then we would know that the measure was not supported by that percentage, since it in fact failed. Since it was not supported by ten percent, a majority vote could not have taken place, and the argument would fail.

(E) would strengthen the argument if it were true, but is not necessary. Even if the ten percent requirement did not guarantee a popular vote defeat (the denial of (E)), the measure could still be voted down by the majority if the pet lovers succeeded in obtaining the required ten percent.


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