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CAT Critical Reasoning Practice question with Solution 43

In Europe, schoolchildren devote time during each school day to calisthenics. North American schools rarely offer a daily calisthenics program. Tests prove that North American children are weaker, slower, and shorter-winded than European children. We must conclude that North American children can be made physically fit only if they participate in school calisthenics on a daily basis.

Which one of the following is assumed in the passage?

[A]. All children can be made physically fit by daily calisthenics.
[B]. All children can be made equally physically fit by daily calisthenics.
[C]. Superior physical fitness produces superior health.
[D]. School calisthenics are an indispensable factor in European children’s superior physical fitness.
[E]. North American children can learn to eat a more nutritious diet as well as to exercise daily.
Answer: D

The conclusion: North American children can be made physically fit only if they have daily calisthenics at school. The evidence: European children, who engage in calisthenics each day at school, are stronger, faster, and less easily-winded than North American children, whose schools rarely offer daily calisthenics programs.

The assumption: calisthenics are a key part of the European children’s physical fitness. Choice (D) neatly paraphrases this assumption, and is the correct choice.

(A) confuses necessity with sufficiency. The author assumes that calisthenics are necessary to insure physical fitness; whether they are sufficient to do so is a different question.

(B) This need not be so in order for the conclusion to remain valid; try the Denial Test, and you’ll be convinced.

(C) and (E) are beyond the scope of the argument. The author never mentions health (C) or nutrition (E), so he or she needn’t assume anything about either.

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