IMAT 2011 Q15 [Flaw | Old Public Buildings]

Some disabled people find it difficult to gain access to some of our older public buildings
because the entrances have steps. The problem is most often solved by installing ramps. All
public buildings must be accessible to everyone therefore they must all install ramps.

Which one of the following identifies the flaw in this argument?

A. Disabled people must have access to all buildings not just public ones so all buildings
should have ramps.

B. Installing ramps in all public buildings would be extremely expensive.

C. It is unreasonable to suggest that disabled people should be able to access all public
buildings.

D. Some older public buildings without ramps may be accessible to disabled people.

E. Inaccessible public buildings should be replaced by buildings accessible to all.

Steps Reminder
  1. Read the question first
  2. Read the passage
  3. Find the conclusion, highlight keywords
  4. Find assumptions that the argument lies on
  5. Attack these assumptions with the answer options
  6. Discard any invalid options and you’ll have your answer

To start, let’s find the conclusion. The conclusion summarizes the main idea and what the author’s goal is. In this case, it is the last sentence: “All public buildings must be accessible to everyone therefore they must all install ramps”. Now that we have this, lets go further. The text says that people have difficulties accessing “some” (keyword) of the older buildings because they have steps. “Some” does not mean all! We can attack the conclusion because it generalized a larger group, it says all public buildings. The conclusion is not valid when there are older buildings that are accessible without needing to install a new ramp. Let’s break down our options:

A. Although this answer may seem logical, the main idea of the text is public buildings, and private buildings are not mentioned. It is also unreasonable to assume that disabled people need access to every single building (in the whole world).

B. Many questions will try to incorporate money to try and trick you. It does seem like adding many ramps would be very expensive however, there is no talk about cost at all in this question, and therefore it is not relevant.

C. This is not relevant because the text is talking about how to make the buildings more accessible, it does not talk about usage. The goal is to find a solution on how to increase accessibility, regardless of whether or not disabled people need to access the building or not.

D. This is the correct answer. First, we need to realize that it says “some of our older public buildings” this means that not all of them are inaccessible. When there is this problem, ramps can fix it, but why do we need ramps when they are not needed? It would be redundant to install ramps at every building if they are not needed. Therefore this is the flaw because “all” older buildings do not need ramps, only “some” do.

E. The author has already provided a solution to make inaccessible public buildings more accessible. There is no need to replace the full building because there is already a clear solution offered by the offer; installing ramps.