Question


The town council of North Tarrytown favored changing the name of the town to Sleepy Hollow. Council members argued that making the town’s association with Washington Irving and his famous “legend” more obvious would increase tourism and result immediately in financial benefits for the town’s inhabitants.

The council members’ argument requires the assumption that

(Because of copyrights, the complete official question is not copied here. You can access the question here: GMAT Club)

Difficulty: Medium

Accuracy: 71%

Based on: 4523 sessions

Solution


The Story

The town council of North Tarrytown favored changing the name of the town to Sleepy Hollow. 
The council of a town wanted to change the name of the town. 

Council members argued that making the town’s association with Washington Irving and his famous “legend” more obvious would increase tourism and result immediately in financial benefits for the town’s inhabitants.
This statement gives us the reason for why the council wishes to change the name.

  1. The town has an association with an author and his famous story (I have brought in my real-world understanding here. I know “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is a published story.) 
  2. Naming the town Sleepy Hollow will make the connection between the town and the famous legend more obvious.
  3. This will increase tourism.
  4. As a result, the town’s inhabitants will get immediate financial benefits.

Question Stem


The council members’ argument requires the assumption that

Well, the council members have made a prediction.
Let’s make the connection between our town and that story more obvious. Doing that will:

  1. Increase tourism
  2. And result immediately in financial benefits for the residents

As is the case with all predictions, there are inherent assumptions.

E.g. I will write another CR solution tomorrow.
I assume that nothing will happen that would prevent me from writing another CR solution tomorrow. E.g. What if some urgent family matter comes up that I need to tend to immediately and for the entire day? In that case I’ll not be able to write another CR solution tomorrow.

Here too, the council assumes that 

  1. Tourism will certainly increase (e.g. what if a pandemic strikes, and all travel is banned?)
  2. The residents will get immediate financial benefits (the word “immediate” stands out for me. E.g. What if initially there are certain capital expenditures, such as furniture and appliances, because of which the residents will not experience immediate profits.)

We are to look for an assumption. The correct answer choice will:

  1. Support the council members’ argument
  2. Be necessary for the council members’ argument

Answer choice analysis


Answer Choice: A

Incorrect

Selected by: 2%

The argument is not about whether the name should be changed. The argument is that the name change will increase tourism and result in immediate financial benefits for the residents. This answer choice has no impact on the argument. Thus, it is not an assumption.


Answer Choice: B

Incorrect

Selected by: 6%

So what? Would that information lead to more revenue? I don’t see a direct relation here. To be safe, I’ll check if the statement is necessary. Is it necessary for the council members’ argument that many inhabitants do this? No. Even if they are not ready to supply the said information, the argument still stands as is. 


Answer Choice: C

Incorrect

Selected by: 10%

This answer choice strengthens the argument. If the cost of the required improvements is low, I believe more than before that the increased tourism will lead to immediate financial benefits.
What if the per capita cost of making the required improvements is not very low (negation)? Even then, the residents could have immediate financial benefits as long as the increased revenue more than compensates for the incurred costs. Since the negation doesn’t break down the argument, this answer choice is not necessary for the argument. Thus, it is not an assumption.


Answer Choice: D

Incorrect

Selected by: 11%

This answer choice mildly strengthens the council members’ argument.

I am not sure that the Washington Irving connection is a ‘historical association’. For now, I’ll consider that it is. In that case, if other towns have had similar results as the ones this town’s council predicts, I do believe a tad bit more that perhaps this town will also experience a rise in tourism.

On to the second check. 

Is it necessary for the argument that other towns should have changed their names in this fashion and have experienced a rise in tourism too? 
Nah! That’s not necessary.

Let’s do the same check by negating this answer choice.
What if other towns in the region have not changed their names to reflect historical associations? Or, even if they have, what if they did not experience a rise in tourism as a result?

Even in those cases, the town in question could still experience a rise in tourism after the name change. So, the argument doesn’t break down.

Answer Choice: E

Correct

Selected by: 71%

Statement: For the inhabitants, the immediate cost would be less that the immediate revenue.

In that case, I do believe more than before that there will be an immediate financial benefit to the residents from the name change. This answer choice strengthens the council members’ argument.

Next, is it necessary?

What if the immediate per capita cost to inhabitants of changing the name of the town would be EQUAL TO OR MORE than the immediate per capita revenue they would receive from the change? (negation)

In that case, the inhabitants will not experience immediate benefits. Thus, the argument falls apart.

Since the answer choice supports the argument and is necessary for it, it is a required assumption.

If you have any doubts regarding any part of this solution, please feel free to ask in the comments section.

Anish Passi

GMAT Coach

With over a decade of GMAT training experience, top 1 percentile scores on the CAT and GMAT, and a passion for teaching, I’d like to believe I am quite qualified to be a GMAT coach. GMAT is learnable, and I help students master the GMAT through a process-oriented approach based on logic and common sense. I offer private tutoring and live-online classroom courses. My sessions are often sprinkled with real-world examples, references to movies, and jokes that only I find funny. You’ve been warned 🙂

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