IMAT 2011 Q25 [Conclusion | Workers]

If more workers worked for only four days each week there would be fewer commuters, and therefore less traffic congestion and less pollution. Also, fewer people would be unemployed because there would be more work to go around. There is evidence that part-time workers are absent from work less often than full-time workers, so a person working a four-day week would be more productive. Less work means less pressure, which means less stress and people would be happier.

Which one of the following can be drawn as a conclusion from the above passage?

A. People choosing to work a four-day week would have to take a 20% pay cut.

B. There would be less pressure on the health services if most workers were on a four-day week.

C. The economy would be more competitive if people worked more productively.

D. The government should enforce a four-day working week.

E. There would be many benefits to working a four-day week.

Summary Steps for Drawing Conclusions

  1. Read the Question (Every question)
  2. Go through the text and underline evidence
  3. Read the answer and eliminate the outliers
    • (easiest to eliminate contradictory conclusions)
  1. Using the underlined evidence and examples, prove each conclusion. Ask yourself “is this another piece of evidence? Or is this proved and strengthened by what’s in the text?”
  2. Remember to ignore bias and disregard answers that may be true in the real world, but are not supported in the text.

First, lets start by getting the subject of the paragraph, which is the benefits of a 4 day work week. Now that we have this, we can easily spot the evidence supporting this: less traffic, less pollution, more work to go around, better productivity, etc… Now that we have a better grasp of what is going on in the question, we can more easily sort through our answer options:

A. This answer cannot be directly inferred from the text and it is not necessarily true, making it a weak assumption rather than a conclusion. There is no mention of pay in the text, and although you could think its logical because you work 4/5 days (which is a 20% reduction in hours), there is no evidence to support pay cuts. If anything there is evidence against this. It says in the text that a person working a four day week would be more productive, so if you can get the same amount of work done in four days why should you be paid less? Therefore this is incorrect.

B. There is no mention of health services in the text, and pressure in the health care system arises from the number of patients. A reduction in work week may mean that other people are more productive and have less work but in health care you cannot say this because it would likely not change the amount of people getting injured. All this being said, we cannot conclude this answer from the text.

C. This is another generalized statement that we cannot conclude from the text. There is no mention of economy in the text, and competition is going against what is said in the text, because it says that there would actually be MORE work to go around and therefore fewer people unemployed. Reaching this conclusion would also require too much outside knowledge, which should be a red flag in any question.

D. This could be a tricky answer because the author is giving us so much support for the argument of a four day work week, however there is no statement from the author pushing for it, nor plans to incorporate it. Although the author is providing supportive evidence to this cause, there is actually no opinion from the author pushing for or against, just evidence. Therefore we cannot conclude this answer because it shows an opinion that is not in the text.

E. This option is the best fit because it does not show too much opinion, it summarizes the evidence in the text without either overgeneralizing or formulating a strict opinion. The text is not arguing that we should implement a four day week, it is stating that there are many benefits to doing so. Therefore E is the correct answer.