Directions: Each GMAT multi-source reasoning question is based on a series of information contained in text, charts, or tables. For each practice question you should examine the relevant information and select the best answer of the choices given.
News article in an environmental publication.
July 19 – If current trends continue, fossil fuels will be exhausted by 2052. Industry and transportation and the inability of governments to put stricter emissions regulations in place means that there will be a greater demand for alternative energy sources. Additionally, recent concerns about the high-cost of implementing new systems such as public transportation in industrialized areas has led many voters to actually strike down propositions to subsidize alternative fuel research.
Interview with a well-known scientist.
August 3 – Dr. Lisa Goodman, one of the team of architects behind several new battery-operated commercial vehicles, has criticized the government’s unwillingness to aggressively lobby voters to pass measures to reduce fossil fuel usage. She suggests that without a significant reduction in per-person fossil fuel consumption, the rate of global warming could soon increase threefold.
“I know that voters continue to reject costly measures to reduce widespread fossil fuel consumption such as large-scale public transportation projects, and that politicians are naturally going to avoid stumping for unpopular policies. However, if something isn’t done soon, by 2055, a barrel of gasoline may become a luxury that only the rich can afford.”
Article from a weekly news magazine.
August 29 – The price of crude oil has jumped by 500% over the last decade as a decrease in supply has met with an increased demand. This demand has encouraged many new oil wells to launch in the Gulf of Mexico, and some American environmental groups have expressed concern that certain oil companies are not following the safest procedures, emphasizing that the companies are more concerned with the speed of extraction than the well-being of the ecosystem. Some scientists in the Gulf have called for an increase in safety regulations for oil companies drilling off the coast, but the companies warn that this may dramatically increase the cost of crude oil, at a time when many Americans are already struggling to pay the increased price.
Consider each of the following statements. Does the information in the three articles support the inference as stated?
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Politicians usually do not agree with one another on issues of global warming and fossil fuel consumption.
Question 1 Explanation:
The answer is No. The statement in question is not necessarily true, as we do not know what politicians “usually’ do, and therefore this is not a valid conclusion just based on the information provided.
An increase in worldwide demand for crude oil has made the oil companies' safety standards fall.
Question 2 Explanation:
The answer is No. In article 3, we are told that “environmental groups have expressed concern that certain oil companies are not following the safest procedures, emphasizing that the companies are more concerned with the speed of extraction than the well-being of the ecosystem.” However, if some oil companies are not following the safest procedures, we cannot infer that safety standards have fallen among oil companies due to the increase in worldwide demand. Perhaps those oil companies are choosing not to follow the safest procedures for other reasons.
Dr. Goodman would likely support a public referendum on whether to require the oil companies to have better safety and ecological regulations.
Question 3 Explanation:
The answer is No. In Article 2, Dr. Goodman is shown to have little faith in the public as the solution to the global warming issue, since the public has continually shot down measures it considered “costly.” Dr. Goodman is primarily interested in seeing a reduction in fossil fuel usage. However, we cannot infer based on the information in the article alone that she would also be interested or not interested in requiring oil companies to have better safety and ecological regulations.
The actions of the oil companies have led some voters to reject measures they consider costly.
Question 4 Explanation:
The answer is No. We cannot infer any direct links between the actions of the oil companies and the votes cast by the public.
An increase in demand for a product could incentivize companies to cut corners.
Question 5 Explanation:
The answer is No. In article 3, we are told that an increase in demand for crude oil “has encouraged many new oil wells to launch in the Gulf of Mexico, and some American environmental groups have expressed concern that certain oil companies are not following the safest procedures, emphasizing that the companies are more concerned with the speed of extraction than the well-being of the ecosystem.” We cannot infer a cause/effect relationship between two things just because they happened at about the same time. At about the same time that demand for crude oil increased, companies began to cut corners. Although it is likely that the two are related, we cannot infer causality based on mere correlation.
Politicians are unlikely to press the public to vote for unpopular measures.
Question 6 Explanation:
The answer is Yes. Article 2 states that politicians are naturally going to avoid stumping for unpopular policies.
An increase in supply would help reduce the impact the oil companies are having on the Gulf’s environment.
Question 7 Explanation:
The answer is No. The increased demand is implied to have caused the companies to drill more in the Gulf, but there is nothing in the articles to indicate that more supply would mean the companies would have better safety and environmental regulations.
If the change in oil price continues trending in the exact same way, by 2055, the price of oil will be 2000% higher than where it is now.
Question 8 Explanation:
The answer is Yes. The article states that in the past decade, the price rose 500%. There are approximately four decades until 2055, so the price can be expected to increase 4 x 500% = 2000% from where it is now, if current trends continue.
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