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CAT Critical Reasoning Practice question with Solution 07

Historically, monetary systems have developed only in population centers with marketplaces. Through the fourth century B.C. Mesopotamian cities engaged in trade, but had never had marketplaces. By that period, however, Greek cities all had marketplaces, or agorae. The Greek cities’ agorae were centrally located and goods were traded there either for money or for commodities.

If all of the statements in the passage are true, then which one of the following must also be true?

[A]. In the fourth century B.C. Greek cities were the only population centers with monetary systems.
[B]. The development of monetary systems has historically led to the development of marketplaces.
[C]. In the fourth century B.C. the Greeks and the Mesopotamians traded with each other.
[D]. After the fourth century B.C. Mesopotamian cities had marketplaces and monetary systems.
[E]. The Mesopotamian cities of the fourth century B.C. did not have monetary systems.
Answer: E

If, as sentence one says, a marketplace is a necessary condition of a monetary system, and if, as sentence two says, fourth century Mesopotamia lacked marketplaces, then clearly Mesopotamia during that period lacked a monetary system. And that’s (E), plain and simple. Frankly, a student reading the first two sentences and putting them together might have come up with the proper inference on her own, sought it among the choices, and fixed on (E) in record time. . . and if that describes the method that you employed here, well, good work!

(A) The argument leaves open the possibility that other fourth century B.C. populations besides Greek cities had monetary systems. Not Mesopotamia, though.

(B) is an improper inference of causation. In fact, since a marketplace is a necessary condition for a monetary system, it’s impossible to have a monetary system before the development of a marketplace.

(C) We’re told that both Greece and Mesopotamia traded. With each other? Who knows?

(D) Mesopotamia’s situation post-fourth-century-B.C. is outside the scope. We can’t infer anything about what developed later on.

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