Speed as well as accuracy is important in this section. Work quickly, or you might not finish the paper. There are no penalties for incorrect responses, only marks for correct answers, so you should attempt all questions. Each question is worth one mark.

Calculators are NOT permitted.

Here you will find all TSA Flaws questions that have been written 2008-2019.

Over the past ten years, there has been a four-fold increase in the number of people killed in road accidents who are found to have illegal drugs in their bodies. The rate of increase is much greater than the corresponding rate for those people killed in accidents who were found with alcohol in their blood. This shows that the campaign against drink-driving has succeeded. Consequently, the Government ought now to concentrate on targeting those people who drive whilst under the influence of illegal drugs.

3. Which of the following is the best statement of the flaw in the argument above?
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Explanation

Passage is discussing how number of drug-related road deaths have increase more than drink-driving deaths in the past few years. The conclusion here is that the campaigns for drink-driving have been successful and thus it is time to begin campaigns against drug related driving

The answer here is D because it points out that the reasoning is flawed. Because we have no information on how much drink driving deaths would have increased without campaigns, we cannot say that drug driving has increased more because of the campaigns being successful.

B&E are completely irrelevant

Both A and C would weaken the argument because they refer to the chance that a campaign against driving on drugs may not be as successful as one that is against drunk driving so they can be seen as counterarguments rather than flaws

Post Comment

Mrs Jackson said that, if Mrs List were promoted, she would resign and we definitely do not want to lose Mrs Jackson. However, we are not going to promote Mrs List: we are going to offer the promotion to Mr Therefore Mrs Jackson will not resign.

10. Which of the following is the best statement of the flaw in the argument?
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Explanation

The argument is that they are going to offer the promotion to Mr Wade in order to prevent Mrs Jackson resigning, because Mrs Jackson would resign if the promotion was given to Mrs List. For the argument to be valid, it must be that Mrs Jackson would not resign if the promotion was given to anyone but Mrs List, however this may not be the case. Mrs Jackson may choose to resign even if Mr Wade is promoted, due to other reasons, which is highlighted by C and is therefore the flaw.

Post Comment

The government has announced that it wants to reduce the level of ill-health due to workplace stress. Ministers could learn a lot from a recent study of 8000 white-collar workers in America which found that men who had a high level of control over the way they carried out their jobs had a low rate of heart disease, a stress-related disease. Clearly, therefore, the most stressful jobs are those in which employees have little control over the pace of their work and how it is organised. If the government is serious about wanting to reduce the level of stress-related disease, then it needs to encourage employers to give their workers greater control over their work.

21. Which of the following is the best statement of a major flaw in the argument?
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Explanation

The argument is that the government needs to encourage employers to give their workers greater control over their work to reduce the level of stress-related disease. The support given for this is a study which found that men who had a high level of control over the way they carried out their jobs had a low rate of heart disease, a stress-related disease. But just because stress is one of the risk factors for developing heart disease, does not mean that low stress levels resulted in a lower rate of heart disease, which is highlighted by D. A is not a flaw because the argument does not say that the government is not serious about wanting to reduce stress-related disease. The argument does not assume that in general workers want to be given more control over the organisation of their work, but only that if they did have a greater degree of control this would reduce stress, so eliminate B. The argument does not specify how much control workers would need to be given to reduce stress, only that they need more control than they currently have, so C is incorrect. E is not a flaw because the argument does not make a conclusion that only refers to white-collar workers; instead the study used to support the conclusion is based on white-collar workers.

Post Comment

Membership of the European Union (EU) has resulted in the maintenance of economic growth and political stability for the countries that make it up. It is desirable that the countries that used to be part of the Communist Eastern Bloc become comparably prosperous and stable. Therefore the European Union should be enlarged as soon as possible to include more Eastern Bloc countries.

34. This argument is flawed. Which of the following identifies an error in its reasoning?
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Explanation

The argument is that we want Eastern Bloc countries become as prosperous and stable as countries that are members of the European union, so more Eastern Bloc countries should be included in the European Union to enable this. For this reasoning to be valid, it must be that including these countries in the European union will enable them to improve, and therefore they must already posses the capability to do so. But this may not be the case, which is highlighted by answer A. B is not a flaw because the argument specifies Eastern Bloc countries, not other countries which may not be apart of the Union. C is not a flaw because the argument just states what should be done and does not speculate on opposing views (the argument may not be balanced but that does not mean it is not valid). The argument does not suggest D, which is the reverse but not the same. E is not assumed; the argument refers to both political and economic changes but does not imply that the two are interchangeable.

Post Comment

The government blames schools and teachers for boys underperforming. However, science tells a different story. Evolutionary biology shows that females have evolved to have better verbal and emotional skills than males because of the need in prehistoric times for women to take the lead in child rearing. By contrast, the need for males in prehistoric times to hunt in packs for food has made males more prone to violence and also skilled at calculating and planning. Neurologists have added to this insight by showing that the male hormone testosterone has an adverse impact on language skills. So clearly differences in educational performance between boys and girls cannot be explained in terms of failing teachers.

3. Which of the following is the best statement of the flaw in the above argument?
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Explanation

The argument is that differences in educational performance between boys and girls cannot be the fault of teachers. The support given for the argument in the passage relates to biological influences on educational performance differing between males and females. However, no evidence is given which can exclude the idea that poor teaching could contribute to the differences in male and female educational performance, so this theory cannot be disregarded. Answer D highlights that biological causes may not be the only driving factors for the observed differences and hence highlights the flaw.

Post Comment

Observations of the brains of adult human subjects before and after periods of intense memory recall (for instance preparing for the exams taken by London taxi drivers testing their knowledge of London) have shown surprising When comparisons were made between brain scans taken at the start of their preparations and at the end, it was found that the parts of the brain responsible for memory had actually increased in size. This would seem to suggest that, just like a muscle, the brain increases in size and power the more it is used. People who want to improve their overall IQ (Intelligence Quotent), therefore, should simply take a very large number of IQ tests!

10. Which of the following is the best expression of the flaw in the above argument?
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Explanation

The argument is that people who want to improve their overall IQ should take a very large number of IQ tests, because the size and power of the brain increases with use. The support given for this is that .parts of the brain responsible for memory had increased in size after use in exam preparation. However, this example only suggests that the part of the brain responsible for memory increases in size with use, and this cannot be expanded to suggest the same happens with other parts of the brain involved in intelligence without evidence of this. This flaw is highlighted by C. A may be true, but the passage does not imply that taxi drivers are representative of the whole population, but only states what the results ‘suggest’. B is not assumed. D is irrelevant. E goes against the argument but is not an assumption.

Post Comment

The most common excuse for the poor performance of English school children at learning foreign languages is the fact that English is so widely spoken in the world. Thus, when the English travel to another country, they feel little need to become proficient in the local But that cannot explain why, amongst children who have never travelled outside their own country, the English are still out-performed by their overseas counterparts in foreign language acquisition. One is led to the inevitable conclusion that English schools are deficient in the teaching of languages.

21. Which of the following is the best statement of the flaw in this argument?
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Explanation

The conclusion given is that English schools are deficient in the teaching of languages. The reasoning given for this argument is that’s the fact that English is so widely spoken cannot explain why English are still out-performed by their overseas counterparts in foreign language acquisition. For this argument to be valid, it must follow that there are no alternative explanations for English people’s poor performance in languages other than inadequate teaching in English schools. But answer D highlights that this may not necessarily be the case and hence shows the flaw.

Post Comment

Education in this country has entered a spiral of In recent attainment tests, almost half of 11-year-olds performed at an under-average level. The government claims that standards are improving as a result of league tables and National Curriculum Strategies, but these results prove that tests are simply getting easier. We badly need to return to the teaching and assessment methods of the fifties.

34. Which of the following best explains a flaw in the above argument?
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Explanation

Post Comment

Every year in this country there are over 8000 personal accidents on golf courses, yet it is estimated that as few as five per cent of all golfers take out adequate insurance against claims for injury. If more golfers could be encouraged to take out appropriate insurance policies the number of accidents could be dramatically reduced.

3. Which one of the following identifies the flaw in the argument above?
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Explanation

The argument is that if more golfers took out the appropriate insurance then the number of golfing accidents would decrease. The support given in the passage for this argument is a correlation between a high number of accidents and low number of insured golfers. However, this correlation does not necessarily mean that the lack of insurance causes accidents, which is highlighted by C.

Post Comment

Alcohol is largely to blame for a rise in the incidence of breast cancer. Research from St. George’s hospital in Tooting shows the number of women with breast cancer rose significantly over a 10 year period. Researchers also found the average amount of alcohol women drank rose by more than 40% over the same period. The study used figures from a number of regional hospitals and compared drinking habits between 1997 and 2007.

10. Which one of the following best identifies the flaw in the above reasoning?
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Explanation

The argument is that alcohol is a one of the major causes of the increase in breast cancer cases. The support gi8ven for this in the passage is the positive correlation between the amount of alcohol women drank and the number of women with breast cancer over a certain time period. However, it a causation cannot be drawn directly from a correlation without a scientific explanation, which is highlighted by answer B.

Post Comment

Increasingly, the affluent middle classes are choosing private health care. This has been accompanied by steady decline in the National Health Service (NHS), evidenced by poor funding, understaffing, long waiting lists and substandard hygiene. The obvious solution would be to ban private healthcare, since its take-up by a privileged but growing minority is inevitably driving down standards in the NHS.

21. Which one of the following is the best illustration of the flaw in the above argument?
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Explanation

The argument favours the idea of banning private healthcare because its increased use is lowering NHS standards. But the passage has not given evidence to show that the increased use of private healthcare has been negatively affecting the NHS and has not given any indication that the consverse could not be true: that decreased NHS standards has resulted in increased private healthcare use. This flaw is highlighted by C.

Post Comment

While the benefits of cardio-vascular exercise are well known, studies have shown that strenuous exercise is actually damaging to the immune system. Athletes, although fit in general terms, are highly susceptible to colds and flu. What’s more, many sports people develop cancer at an early age despite their healthy diets and high levels of physical fitness. It is thought by doctors that a healthy immune system is the best way to prevent cancer. Therefore, to increase your chances of a long life, maintaining a high level of physical fitness is ill-advised.

34. Which one of the following identifies the flaw in the above argument?
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Explanation

The argument is that strenuous exercise should not be advised for those wishing to increase their chances of living a long life. Part of the support given in the passage for this argument is that many sports people develop cancer at an early age. But, the argument does not consider the possibility of strenuous exercise prolonging more lives than the number lost to early-stage cancer, which is highlighted by D.

Post Comment

Some recent films have been very expensive to make, but have not been the big box-office hits that would have justified the expense. At the same time, there have been films made very cheaply which have been received with both huge critical and popular acclaim. Indeed, some directors who have made successful low-budget films have gone on to make unsuccessful but expensive films. It is obvious then that if directors want to make popular films, they should stick to low budgets.

3. Which one of the following is the best statement of the flaw in the argument above?
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Explanation

The argument is that directors should keep film budgets low if they wish for them to be popular. A is not a flaw as the argument refers to popular acclaim as well. B is irrelevant as the argument refers to the actual budget/cost of the film rather than the original budget. D may be true, but the argument implies that low-budget films are often more popular than expensive films, and the cost comes before you know whether the film will be popular or not. Whether or not the public know the cost of the film is irrelevant, so E is not a flaw. Hence C is the flaw, as factors other than the cost could affect whether a film is popular.

Post Comment

“There are more police officers than ever before in the history of this country. We have more police officers and more community support officers. That is why, last week, crime was down. Crime is down 30 per cent.”

10. Which of the following states the flaw in the argument above?
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Explanation

The argument is that crime was down because we have more police and community support officers. But the argument does not give evidence for the casual relationship they have stated. The crime could have fallen regardless of whether or not there were more officers, which is highlighted by C. A is not a flaw because the argument still states that there were more police officers than previously. B is irrelevant as the method of measuring crime is not mentioned. D is also irrelevant because the argument focuses on the fact that crime has fallen, not that this trend will continue. E, again, is irrelevant because the argument refers to the level of crime not crime detection.

Post Comment

It would be a good idea if the police force was separated into two divisions, one for proper policing i.e. protecting citizens and upholding law and order, and the other for road traffic. This second division could be combined with traffic wardens as basically they are doing a similar job: obtaining money from road users. Perhaps then there would be a proper focus put on catching criminals and protecting the law-abiding public, and we would have a police force doing the job they were actually intended to do.

21. Which one of the following best describes the flaw in the above argument?
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Explanation

The argument is for the idea of dividing the police force into two groups, one for protecting citizens and the other for road traffic. However, it fails to acknowledge that they may be some cross-over between the two groups’ roles, which is highlighted by A. B is not a flaw because the argument reason for a better focus on catching criminals and does not suggest that this is currently non-existent, only that it may be minimal. C is not a flaw, because even though they have different powers, there is not a reason given against them working together. D cannot be a flaw because the passage does not do this, but rather mentions both. E may be implied by the final sentence of the passage, but this does not invalidate the argument so is not a flaw.

Post Comment

The museum has decided to spend money in the hope of staying profitable and, therefore, remaining open. It has opened an expensive new front hall, which is very big and well planned, and will undoubtedly impress new visitors. For serious students, however, it has nothing to offer that was not there before. All the scholars who want to do so already use the museum, they will continue to come however artistic the displays may or may not be. So, it was a waste to spend so much money on appearances, the money should have been spent on improving conditions for those who come to study.

34. Which one of the following is the best statement of the flaw in the above argument?
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1

Explanation

The argument is that the money spent to help the museum stay profitable should have been used to improve conditions for those who already come to the museum to study, rather than on building the new front hall to attract new visitors. For this argument to be valid, it must follow that more profit would be made by improving conditions for existing visitors than by building the new front hall. C recognises this flaw: if the visitors whom the conditions are improved for already come to the museum, no more money will be made from there attendance.

Post Comment

When the government issued its guidelines to the public to improve health by eating five portions of fruit and vegetables per day, it underestimated the possible negative consequences for farmers and the landscape. The reduction in the demand for meat and dairy products would impact on farmers’ livelihoods from raising cattle, and without cattle grazing, the countryside would become overgrown with weeds and The government should stop telling people what to eat!

3. Which of the following expresses the flaw in the argument?
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Explanation

The argument is that the government’s guidelines of eating 5 fruit/veg a day will have a negative impact on farmers and the landscape, by reducing demand for meat and dairy. For this argument to be valid, it must follow that the reduction in demand has been directly caused by increased fruit and veg consumption (due to the government’s advice). E highlights the flaw that decreased consumption of dairy products does not necessarily follow from increased fruit and veg consumption. Answers A, B and C may actually strengthen the argument. Whereas D is irrelevant as the argument does not suggest that this is will be the case.

Post Comment

The battery life of laptop computers means that they cannot be used for the duration of a long haul flight without needing to be recharged from an onboard power point. Not all aeroplanes have this Therefore, laptop computers should not be allowed as carry on items for long haul flights on planes that do not have onboard power points, regardless of whether they are intended for personal or business use, as they will be of limited use to their owners and take up a disproportionate amount of space in the cabin.

10. Which one of the following is the best statement of the flaw in the above argument?
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Explanation

The argument is that on planes that lack onboard power points, laptops should not be allowed on long haul flights. The support for this argument is given in the first and final sentences in the passage, stating that laptops are of limited use because they cannot be used for the duration of long haul flights without needing to be recharged. But for this argument to be valid, it must follow that laptops are only useful if they can be used for the entire duration of long flights, which is not the case; they could be used for part of the flight and this could still be helpful for the user. This is highlighted by answer E. A suggests that some people may be required to use their laptops, which is not a flaw. B is not a flaw because the argument is not wanting laptops to banned on long haul flights due to their risk of being damaged. C is not a flaw because is this argument focuses on long haul flights specifically. D may be true but does not mean that laptops shouldn’t be banned on planes lacking power points.

Post Comment

The problem of insect pests on crops is a difficult one and is often solved by spraying crops with However, there are many other insects which survive by feeding on the pests that we are trying to kill. The pesticides also kill these insects. It would be better to stop wasting money on pesticides and let other insects control the problem of pests for us.

21. Which one of the following is the best statement of the flaw in the argument above?
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Explanation

The argument is that we should let other insects control pests rather than using pesticides. The support given for the argument is that many insects survive by feeding on pests, so it is unnecessary to spend money on pesticides when these insects can control pests anyway. But this assumes that the insects would be just as good as the pesticides (or even better), which may not be the case, highlighted by answer A. B and C are not flaws because they just suggest other points that could have been used to strengthen the argument. D may be thought of as a flaw, but there may equally be problems presented by the use of pesticides. E is not a flaw because the argument is not that pests are a problem (this is assumed) but rather that a different method of pest control should be used.

Post Comment

When police raided a London nightclub known for selling illegal drugs, nine people were arrested. However, everybody was led outside, searched and photographed, whether or not drugs were found in their possession. Visiting a nightclub is not yet a crime, so it is a troubling breach of civil liberties that the police should keep a record of these Many of us are more comfortable with dealers operating in dark corners of nightclubs, rather than selling crack openly on busy daytime streets. Therefore, we should simply accept that drugs will be sold in nightclubs and hope they can be contained there.

34. Which one of the following best expresses a flaw in the argument?
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Explanation

The argument is that due to the effect of police powers on non-drug dealers present in night clubs, we should accept that drugs are being sold in nightclubs (stated in the final sentence). For this argument to be valid, it must follow that the only way to stop police using their power in the ways described is to excuse drug dealing in night clubs. Answer A highlights that there may be alternative methods of preventing this excessive use of police power, which is the flaw. B is not a flaw because the other actions of the police described in the passage (eg. leading people outside and searching them) may have abused people’s civil rights. C is not a flaw because the one example of a nightclub is used to support the argument, rather than confirm that nightclubs sell drugs (this seems to be assumed). D is not a flaw because it uses the selling of crack on the streets as a comparison point rather than stating it’s likelihood of occurring. E may be true, but it does not excuse the breech of civil rights of at least some of the people.

Post Comment
T Medicmind Tutor

Tue, 25 Oct 2022 14:41:50

The argument is that drugs will be sold so it is better to be sold in nightclubs than in open spaces or be raided by the Police when sold. The flaw is that since drugs cannot be sold in other places they must be sold in a nightclub. In reality, maybe drugs won't be sold underground if they are legalised, or drugs could be sold in other locations - nightclub is not the only alternative to police raids and daytime open dealing.

The most popular theory about the origin of the Moon is that it was formed from debris breaking off the Earth in a planetary collision 5 billion years ago. If this were true, the Moon would be made of the same material as is found on Earth. Examination of Moon rocks shows this to be the case, although there is little iron in Moon rocks. However, this can be explained because, according to the theory, the material that formed the Moon would have come from the Earth’s crust, not its iron-rich core. Thus we should accept the theory as true.

3. Which one of the following identifies the flaw in the above argument?
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Explanation

The argument is that we should accept the theory that the moon was formed from debris breaking off the earth 4.5 billion years ago, because if this were true the moon would be made of the same material as Earth, which it is. The flaw in this argument is that it implies that because the moon is made of the same material as the Earth, the theory has to be true, but there could be another explanation (a different theory of how the moon was formed) which the same evidence supports. Therefore D is the answer.

Post Comment

Another pair of British media personalities have announced their separation. Both are well-paid personalities who profit enormously from the publicity they attract from their behaviour. Media personalities like them usually employ agents who can generate publicity, arrange well-paid personal appearances and sell stories and photo shoots to glossy magazines. These agents probably generate more income for some media personalities than their original activity, such as Therefore it’s clear that talent is no longer rewarded.

10. Which one of the following is the best statement of the flaw in the above argument?
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Explanation

The argument is that talent is no longer rewarded because more money may be generated for some media personalities than for one’s original activity or talent. However, just because more reward (in this case money) may be given for items other than one’s talent, it does not mean that no reward is given for talent, just possibly less. Therefore B highlights the flaw. A does not affect the argument because the argument refers to only those who are talented, not those who are not. C is not a flaw because is does not indicate whether this income was rewarded for talent or not. D suggests there may be less talent but does not refer to reward. E does not refer to talent nor reward.

Post Comment

There is widespread dissatisfaction and disillusionment in Britain with politics and with politicians, who are seen as untrustworthy. Many of the electorate do not even bother to vote in a general In Switzerland democracy is more direct than in Britain, in the sense that many referendums take place, and many important political decisions are thus based directly on the votes of citizens rather than on those of their elected representatives. Surveys show that in those parts of Switzerland where more of these important decisions are made by referendum, the citizens are happier than in those areas where there is less opportunity to influence decisions. So if we were to adopt the Swiss system in Britain, the dissatisfied and disillusioned British electorate would be much happier.

34. Which one of the following identifies the flaw in the above argument?
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Explanation

The argument states that if Britain were to adopt the Swiss system of a ‘more direct’ democracy, the British electorate would be happier. The evidence given in support of this argument is that citizens are happier in areas of Switzerland in which decisions are made by referendum, compared to in areas where decisions involve citizen input to a lesser extent. For this argument to be valid, it must follow that these citizens are happier because of the influence they have in decisions, rather than any other factors. Therefore the flaw in the argument is that B must be an assumption.

Post Comment

Sales of printed books are steadily declining, with sales dropping to a seven-year low in 2011. Independent bookshops are closing all over the country and chain bookstores are likely to be hit Sales of e-books, meanwhile, are booming, with many predicting that 50 per cent of all books sold within 10 years will be digital downloads. Anecdotal evidence suggests that people enjoy the convenience of digital media. E-books have triumphed: they have led readers away from traditional forms of print to a digital world.

3. Which one of the following is a flaw in the above argument?
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Explanation

The flaw can be seen in the final sentence, as it states that ‘they have led readers away from traditional forms of print’ (books). This suggests that the booming sales of E-books are due to readers switching from reading traditional forms of print to E-books. However, they have not given evidence for this being the case, so an alternative scenario is possible in which new readers have been attracted to the E-books and is hence responsible for their success in sales, rather than the interest of previous readers switching from their books.

Post Comment

During the Industrial Revolution, savvy entrepreneurs realised canals were a cost-effective, efficient way to move goods around the country. Gradually, however, canal carriage was replaced with other modes of transportation that were faster and In twenty-first century Britain, most businesses choose to use road haulage as a means of transportation. With the rise in fuel costs and introduction of ‘low emission’ zones, road haulage is now becoming less practical and economical. As the roads grind to a halt, it will not be long before the canals once again become the backbone of goods transportation.

10. Which one of the following is the best statement of the flaw in the above argument?
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Explanation

The argument is that because road haulage is becoming less practical and economical, canals will soon become the primary route to transport goods. For this argument to be valid, canals must be the only alternative to road haulage, but E suggest the opposite and therefore highlights the flaw. The passage does not mention speed, nor convenience so A and B cannot be flaws. C and D oppose the argument that canals may be a cheaper option, but do not highlight a flaw.

Post Comment

The Government are transferring the cost of a university education from the state to the This is described as a reform which will put universities’ finance on a sustainable footing with more freedom and less bureaucracy. In addition it will lead to a greater choice for students with a focus on high quality teaching. The rise in tuition fees to £9,000 per year, making the cost of a three–year degree £27,000, should not be considered as too high. After all, the cost of a Mercedes Benz B-Class Sports Model is about the same price on the road as a three-year degree. This should put the rise in tuition fees into perspective and we can conclude that the tuition fees are very reasonable.

21. Which one of the following is the best statement of the flaw in this argument?
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Explanation

The argument is that tuition fees are reasonable, because the cost of the car model given as an example in the passage is a similar price to a 3-year degree. For this argument to be valid, the cost of the car described must be a good representation of an affordable price. However, the cost of a car is unrelated to tuition fees, so B is the flaw.

Post Comment

A recent peaceful demonstration against government cuts ended in violence caused by relatively small numbers of ‘anarchists’ attacking police and property. Anarchism is a political philosophy, and as a group, anarchists tend to be unable to agree among themselves on exactly what it means. But what does it tell us about these events or about those involved if we call everyone with a brick in their hand an anarchist? Given that the central idea all anarchists have in common is the abolition of the state (not necessarily by violence), ‘anarchist’ is a daft way to characterise the violent hangers-on of a demonstration protesting not for but against the shrinking of the state.

34. Which one of the following is the best statement of the flaw in the argument above?
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Explanation

Post Comment
anon Medicmind Tutor

Tue, 26 Sep 2023 21:58:00

All European countries have seen a decline in the number of people who vote in elections. In the 2005 General Election in the UK only 61% of those eligible to vote did so. When this percentage is further broken down to show the number of people who voted for the political party that went on to form the government, the number is even lower. Of those who did vote, only 35% voted for the party that won power. It becomes clear, therefore, that the party voted into government did not have legitimacy, if ‘legitimacy’ is defined as the government having the support of the majority of the people.

3. Which one of the following represents a flaw in the argument above?
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Explanation

The argument given is that because the party voted into government did not have the majority of people voting for it, it therefore did not have the support of the majority, and hence is not legitimate. This suggests that the votes reliably represent the people’s choice of party to support. However, because it is given that ‘only 61% of those eligible to vote did so’, the proportions of votes for each party may not reflect how much support they have, because not everyone who supported a party may have voted for them. This flaw is given by answer B.

Post Comment

Recurring dreams (those that you keep on having time after time) make good sense when you think of them as messages from your unconscious. Some messages are too important to send just once in case you don’t understand them first time around or don’t realise their importance. So, a recurring dream must contain a message that is worth repeating over and over.

10. Which one of the following identifies the flaw in the reasoning in the above argument?
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Explanation

The argument is that a recurring dream must contain an important message because it is worth repeating over and over, to ensure you understand it and recognise it’s importance. Answer A is irrelevant because it does not refer to dreams or their importance; eliminate A. Answer C is also irrelevant, because the passage does not state whether or not these important recurring dreams will be consciously remembered. The argument is that recurring dreams contain messages, not all dreams, so eliminate D. Answer E is really just a poor definition of a recurring dream, so it is not a flaw. Therefore, B is the flaw, because it suggests that even if you understand a dream (ie it makes sense) it may not be true, therefore cannot have an important message.

Post Comment

We need a fair policy for dealing with drivers whose ability is impaired by drugs, such as cannabis, amphetamines and cocaine. Setting limits for driving under the influence of drugs may be difficult. Tests would be necessary for the levels in the blood of each of these drugs. But, such limits may not reflect the complex interactions between drugs and their effect on driving: a driver may be severely impaired but under the limit for each individual drug. Also, setting a legal limit for the use of a substance that is illegal seems self-contradictory. So to solve the problem of drug-driving there should be a new offence of driving with any level of illegal drug in the body. This would make it much easier to catch and convict drug-drivers – the ultimate deterrent.

21. Which one of the following identifies the flaw in the above argument?
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Explanation

The overall argument is that ‘to solve the problem of drug-driving’ it should be illegal to drive with any level of illegal drug in the body. This suggests that drug-driving is only caused by driving after taking illegal drugs. Answer C challenges this by suggesting that legal drugs could also be a culprit, hence highlighting the flaw in the argument.

Post Comment

All British students should study a foreign language at school. We live in a rapidly expanding global market, where knowledge of a foreign language is essential if you want to work at the highest level. If all students studied a foreign language at school, there would be more British people at the heart of global business.

34. Which one of the following is the best statement of the flaw in the above argument?
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1

Explanation

Post Comment
T. Medicmind Tutor

Tue, 25 Oct 2022 14:16:16

Argument is that: A foreign language is NECESSARY for a high paying job, hence if you have a foreign language than that is SUFFICNENT enough for a high paying job. Hence why it treats a NECESSARY condition as a SUFFICIENT one.

Researchers have discovered the first physical evidence of structural brain differences that distinguish early risers from people who like to stay up late. Around 10 per cent of people qualify as ‘morning people’ or ‘larks’, and a further 20 per cent are ‘night owls’ – with the rest of us falling somewhere in between. The brain differences might help to explain why ‘night owls’ seem to be at greater risk of depression than ‘larks’. Brain scans have shown ‘night owls’ have a lower quality of white matter (tissue largely comprised of fatty insulating material that speeds up the transmission of nerve signals) in areas of the brain associated with depression. ‘Night owls’ should try to adjust their sleep patterns if they wish to avoid mental health problems.

3. Which one of the following best expresses the flaw in the above argument?
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Explanation

Answer C is implied by the final sentence ‘‘Night owls’ should try to adjust their sleep patterns if they wish to avoid mental health problems.’ Although the passage states that ‘Brain scans have shown ‘night owls’ have a lower quality of white matter’, it does not explain or give evidence for a relationship between the quality of white matter and sleep patterns.

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A recent study has found that those businesses which engaged more with social media had more financial success than businesses which did not. The businesses which were the most engaged saw their revenue grow by 18 per cent over the last year, while the least engaged saw losses of 8 per cent. Since social media is the future of communication, it can be seen that businesses should interact more with social media in order to maximise their profits.

10. Which one of the following is the best statement of the flaw in the above argument?
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Explanation

The overall argument is given by the final sentence of the passage: ‘businesses should interact more with social media in order to maximise their profits’. The evidence is given in the first sentence of the passage, suggesting that more social media is associated with more financial success for businesses, but does not indicate that more social media=more profit. In essence, there is a correlation between use of social media and financial success but this does not mean that increased use of social media causes financial success; there could be a third variable involved or the correlation could be due to chance. Answer A is incorrect because the argument does not refer to whether or not businesses use social media, only that in general businesses should use social media more. Answer B is incorrect because the argument only refers to maximising profits by using more social media and does not suggest that businesses will collapse if more social media is used. Answer D is not a flaw because ignoring forms of communication other than social media would not impact the overall argument. E is also not a flaw because this is used only as an example to support the overall argument.

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It is all very well for Europeans to expect African farmers and villagers to show the same enthusiasm for lion protection schemes as ‘wildlife tourists’ and armchair conservationists who deplore the killing or even the fencing-in of these noble and celebrated creatures. But it is estimated that the average farm in Tanzania loses the equivalent of £600 a year in livestock due to lions straying outside the boundaries of the national parks where they are protected and growing in numbers. When out hunting, lions do not respect the difference between another wild animal and a domesticated beast that is owned by someone and often of priceless value to that person. Most European countries would not tolerate the presence of huge, wild, man-eating cats roaming wild in the countryside, decimating their profits and killing their children. They have proved this by hunting many native species perceived as dangerous – wolves, bears, boar – to extinction, or by destroying their habitats. Why should Africa be different?

21. Which one of the following identifies a flaw in the above reasoning?
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Explanation

In the final two sentences, the argument is given that because ‘Most European countries’ have no tolerated many native species, neither should Africa. But the passage does not explain why knowing that other countries have taken this approach to wildlife, Africa should as well. Hence answer A is the flaw. Answer B is irrelevant to the passage. Answer C somewhat strengthens the argument so cannot be a flaw. The passage does not indicate any disadvantages to lions becoming an endangered species so eliminate answer D. Answer E may oppose the arguement given in the text, but does not highlight a flaw.

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When it comes to genius, the only possibilities are that it is something innate in people, or it is something to do with their upbringing. It is hard to imagine how simply bringing someone up in a certain way would be enough to turn them into a Mozart or a Shakespeare or an Einstein. Mozart after all was writing complex music as a young child; it is difficult to explain how environment could have had such a significant influence by the age of five. It must therefore be the case that genius is something that is wholly innate.

34. Which one of the following is the best statement of the flaw in the above argument?
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Explanation

The overall argument of the passage is emphasised in the final sentence ‘that genius is something that is wholly innate’ because is it is difficult to explain how upbringing could lead to a genius. However, the writer does not consider a third possible scenario, in which ‘genius’ both partially innate and partially influenced by the environment. Hence C is the flaw. A is not a flaw because it only uses a young age in an example, but is not part of the argument. There is nothing said in the passage which indicate B. Interpreting the term ‘genius’ differently would not cause the argument to collapse, so eliminate D. You may be tempted by E because of the second sentence in the passage, but after the semi-colon it explains further that ‘ it is difficult to explain how environment could have had such a significant influence’, so the point made by the writer does not wholly relay on something being hard to imagine, so E is also not a flaw.

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The decline in voter turnout at elections is chiefly explained by the decline in voting by younger people. Older people are much more likely to vote. If this trend continues, we will reach a point at which no government can be said to have a mandate to govern as the number of voters will be too small to indicate the wishes of the majority. We need, therefore, to find an alternative to conventional elections so that the wishes of the people can be heard.

3. Which one of the following best expresses the flaw in the above argument?
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Explanation

This is a confusing question, I would approach it in the following way: first, find the main argument underlying the conclusion: If this trend continues, we will reach a point at which no government can be said to have a mandate to govern”. We need to find the answer option that expresses the flaw in this argument. This is option E: if people who are young now become more likely to vote as they get older, then there should not be considerable further decline, as there will be a continuous supply in previously-young people who didn’t vote who are now older and voting.

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The UK Department of Education is encouraging pupils aged 14 to 18 to learn poetry by heart in order to recite it at a new national competition. This government initiative is designed to boost the confidence of young people and increase their awareness of poetry. By taking part in this initiative and by reciting poetry, young people will improve their appreciation of poetry.

10. Which one of the following identifies a flaw in the above argument?
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Explanation

The second sentence in the text states that the initiative is designed to improve awareness of poetry by encouraging poetry recitation. However, in the final sentence it assumes that by reciting poetry, young people will also have an improved appreciation of poetry. In doing so it uses the terms awareness and appreciation almost interchangeably and assumes that an increase in awareness of poetry will naturally equal an increase in the appreciation of poetry. As a result, option A identifies a flaw within the argument as awareness is not the same appreciation.

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Anyone who lends money to anyone else without a licence is committing an offence under UK law. Some unlicensed money lenders charge excessive rates of interest, and many use threats and violence to enforce payment. It is important to protect poor and vulnerable people from being exploited in this way. So anyone convicted of this offence should be sent to prison.

21. Which one of the following is the best statement of the flaw in the above argument?
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Explanation

The argument this text presents is that unlicensed money lenders should be punished heavily on the basis that they charge high interest rates and use violence and threats in their business. However this is a broad generalisation of unlicensed money lenders and is assuming this applies to all of them. This assumption is unproven and lacks evidence therefore option B is an appropriate flaw as this aligns with the concept of generalising unlicensed money lenders incorrectly. Option A,C and D are not relevant to the strength of the argument being made. Option E is conflicting with a point made in the passage and therefore cannot be taken as a flaw, and is instead a counter argument, therefore it is not an appropriate answer to this question.

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Television has had an adverse effect on family communication. Why? Because instead of talking together, as they did in the past, families now tend to sit round the small, or not-so-small, screen. They watch and listen rather than discuss. They are passive rather than active. Instead of participating, they are content to be entertained. Consequently, television dampens people’s ability to think for themselves.

34. Which one of the following identifies a flaw in the argument above?
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Explanation

The main point is about family communication but the conclusion is about people’s ability to think for themselves. Therefore B is correct.

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Thousands of parents have recently been prosecuted by local education authorities for taking their children out of school to go on holiday during term time. I took my daughter out of primary school for a two-week holiday every year. The headmistress made no objection and said it would give the other kids time to catch up with her! She was able to learn a foreign language and spend some rewarding time with her French pen-pal. She eventually achieved top grades at school and a degree in mathematics, so it obviously did her no harm! Parents, not governments, know best how to raise children. This law is quite unnecessary.

10. Which one of the following is the best statement of the flaw in the above argument?
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Explanation

The entire argument is based on a single example – it only has anecdotal evidence, which is a classical flaw. The author has based their opinion that parents should decide whether a child can go on a holiday or not on their own personal experience with who seems to be an exceptionally well achieving child, and this single example cannot be generalised to all other cases. The correct answer is therefore D

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When mobile phones first became relatively inexpensive many parents bought them for their teenage children on the grounds that having access to a phone would keep them safe. High profile cases of abduction at the time underscored the need to improve safety for young people. But today mobile phones invariably have access to the internet, which has made young people vulnerable to stalking and cyberbullying. Since the stated case for buying teenagers mobile phones was to keep them safe, we should now restrict their access to them.

21. Which one of the following is the best statement of the flaw in the above argument?
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0

Explanation

This question has a lot of jargon; what you need to take away from it: Phones kept people safe from abduction but now they don’t (as they’re used for cyberbullying) so they should be taken away. A – Cyberbullying doesn’t mean phones don’t keep people safe from abduction (valid and relevant argument). B – The extract isn’t talking about other devices (irrelevant). C – While the point here is valid the extract doesn’t mention that phones “don’t keep people from being attacked” , it mentions cyberbullying as unsafe (irrelevant). D – The extract is not talking about the “majority of teenagers” it talks about making “young people” vulnerable (irrelevant). E – the extract doesn’t mention other ways to keep children safe it is focusing on the idea of restricting access to phones as a potential safety measure; not the only safety measure (irrelevant)

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Welfare benefits create a culture of dependency and an unproductive workforce. There are people who stay on welfare benefits for years and never look for employment. Two years ago the government introduced tougher restrictions on the eligibility to receive benefits and the number of recipients has now fallen by 20%. The government should therefore toughen these restrictions even more to further reduce the number of welfare claimants.

34. Which one of the following identifies the flaw in the above argument?
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Explanation

In essence mobile phones lead to accidents ranging from motor accidents to being late . A – the article’s main point is not attention spans, B – the extract doesn’t talk say this strategy is “significant” nor “sufficient”. C – Phones can can help us with our day-to-day “cognitive” tasks so we should increase their use rather than the original argument of limiting their use (this is the best statement to represent the flaws). D – irrelevant (the use of mobile phones is not the crux of the argument). E – The article doesn’t compare risks of mobile phones for driving with the risk for cognitive failure (the argument is for phones vs. against phones not about their use explicitly).

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anon Medicmind Tutor

Wed, 11 Oct 2023 21:03:11

this explanation is not relevant to the question?

A high degree of self-discipline is one quality exhibited by all athletes who have reached the uppermost levels of competition, whatever the sport. This amount of self-discipline is in evidence long after the initial excitement of a sport has worn off, and an athlete has had to keep going through years of painful and repetitive training sessions. The example of top athletes suggests one approach to improving student behaviour and educational achievement. If more young people could begin training programmes akin to those of elite athletes, they too would develop exceptional levels of personal discipline to apply within their studies.

3. Which one of the following best expresses the flaw in the above argument?
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1

Explanation

This argument assumes that anyone who would pick up the training of athletes would develop high levels of self-discipline. This is a classic example of implying causation – the article assumes that athletes become self-disciplined due to their training, while it is very likely that the relationship is actually reversed: those atheletes with high levels of self discipline become a “top athlete”. Therefore, the best answer is E. Furthermore, if unsure, a technique of excluding other answers can be used here: A is false as the paragraph clearly explains why self discipline is important, while never stating that it is the sole factor in creating an elite athlete. B is not relevant as the argument does not suggest that sport is the only possible way to develop self-discipline. C is false as coaching is not a part of the argument, and is therefore irrelevant (elite coaching is not the key to self discipline according to this paragraph). D is also false as the connection between educational achievement and success in life is never mentioned in the paragraph and the argument does not rely on this.

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Texting is the preferred method of communication among young people, with 72% of teenagers saying they text regularly and one in three sending more than a hundred texts per day. Unfortunately, however, very few youngsters seem able to communicate using grammatically correct sentences. They seem to think it ‘gr8’ that correct spelling is no longer considered necessary. Many local employers have complained that school-leavers have no idea how to communicate appropriately, whether face-to-face or in business letters. Many written job applications are phrased so poorly that they go straight in the bin. Mobile phones were banned in my daughter’s school last year, a move which has proved fully justified. Since then test scores in English have improved. All schools need to introduce a similar ban.

9. Which one of the following best expresses the flaw in the above argument?
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0

Explanation

This argument is a classic example of wrongfully assuming that a correlation means a causation. The main point of the argument is that the ban on cell phones and the increase in English score are correlated, but there is no certain way of proving that this relationship is causative. The answer is therefore B.

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It is universally recognised that Africa’s conservation tourism provides employment, generates wealth and educates future generations while saving endangered species. So we should champion tourism for the sake of conservation. Tourism in the Arctic is thus to be welcomed. As the Arctic ice melts, new shipping routes are opening up. It is unfair to characterise the presence of a large cruise ship in the Northwest Passage as ‘extinction tourism’ that merely indulges people who want to view endangered animals before it is too late. The tourists will return home better informed about the Arctic’s fragile ecosystem.

21. Which one of the following best expresses the flaw in the above argument?
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Explanation

Option A demonstrates the flaw. The environment and ecosystem in Africa is very different to the environment and ecosystem of the Arctic. Thus stating that conservation tourism has improved conservation in Africa and therefore should be replicated in the Arctic cannot be applied to the situation in the Arctic.

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Much concern is paid to the hazards posed by people using mobile phones while operating motor vehicles. Although using a smartphone or other mobile phone behind the wheel of a car is most certainly dangerous, research is showing that very frequent usage of the phones is
harmful more generally. A study has found that individuals with relatively high levels of mobile phone usage are more likely to demonstrate cognitive failures, which can range from forgetting appointments to accidentally bumping into things in the environment. Cognitive failures are associated with the short attention spans also observed in high-frequency mobile phone users. Clearly, if people want to reduce their risk of cognitive failures, they should limit the amount of time they spend on their mobile phones.

34. Which one of the following is the best statement of the flaw in the above argument?
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0

Explanation

The argument is that people with high mobile phone usage = short attention spans = cognitive failures. Option A shows the flaw in the argument as we don’t know cause and effect. Perhaps it is is original short attention spans that drive people to have a high mobile phone usage. B doesn’t demonstrate flaw as the argument doesn’t quantify the amount of reduction aimed for. C, D and E are all irrelevant to the argument.

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