IMAT 2012 Q26 [Arguments | Opera Seats]

The Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House has recently offered 100 seats on any Monday night for £10. Normally these seats can cost up to £175 therefore it represents a considerable saving. However the hopes of the Chief Executive that this will attract a broader audience are likely to be disappointed. It is not the financial costs that put people off opera ­ it is simply that they do not like it. Many young people spend considerable sums of money going to premier football matches or ‘clubbing’. This suggests, therefore, that the problem of attracting a more diverse audience to opera is more a question of culture than economics.

Which one of the following is an expression of the main conclusion of the above argument?

A. The ‘cheap seats’ policy is unlikely to attract a more diverse audience.
B. The intention of the ‘cheap seats’ policy is that it will attract a broader audience.
C. A considerable amount of money can be saved as a result of this offer.
D. Many young people do not like the idea of going to the opera.
E. Attracting a broader audience for opera is a problem of taste rather than expense.

Key Steps

  1. Read the question (do this every question!)
  2. Read the passage
  3. In your own words, make a conclusion for the passage. What is the author’s main idea?
  4. Find a sentence in the text that matches the conclusion you made, and underline it.
  • Keep an eye out for giveaway words and phrases
  1. Find an answer that matches the underlined sentence

Going over the text, we can see it is about the Royal Opera House’s cheap seat offer. The goal is to attract a broader audience to the opera, however the author is saying that even with these cheaper seats, it won’t broaden the audience because it is more about culture rather than price. If we want to make a conclusion for this, we can say that the Royal Opera House’s cheap seats policy is unlikely to attract a more diverse audience. Now lets ee if we can find a matching answer.

A. The ‘cheap seats’ policy is unlikely to attract a more diverse audience;

This option is relevant and specific because it talks specifically about the cheap seats policy. In addition, it is the expected result from the initial suggestion of this policy. Logic behind the answer: The Royal Opera House is offering cheaper seats to attract a more diverse audience, however it is not a problem of price but rather culture. In conclusion, the cheap seats policy is unlikely to attract a more diverse audience. As we can see, this is the conclusion and therefore A is the answer.

B. The intention of the ‘cheap seats’ policy is that it will attract a broader audience;

The intention is stated in the text, but we continue to build off of it. The text says that although this is the intention, it will not work. The intention is not a conclusion, the conclusion either proves or disproves the intention in this example (in our case the conclusion disproves the intention). The conclusion comes after the intention in this case, therefore B cannot be the answer.

C. A considerable amount of money can be saved as a result of this offer;

This is more of a fact, not a conclusion. The prices in the text are stated to show that they are trying to break a financial barrier in order to attract a broader audience, but the amount of money saved is not the conclusion. The conclusion has to be what is the final result, what will happen as a result of this offer. Therefore C is incorrect.

D. Many young people do not like the idea of going to the opera;

This is something said in the text that is used to help prove the conclusion. Because this is true, it shows that these cheaper tickets are less likely to attract broader audiences such as young people, because they do not like the opera. This statement shows that money is not the issue but rather taste. Therefore D is incorrect.

E. Attracting a broader audience for opera is a problem of taste rather than expense;

This is the trickiest answer to eliminate. The best strategy would be to eliminate all the others before choosing between A and E. Remember what the text is about, it is about this cheap seats initiative. The author does say that attracting a broader audience for opera is a problem of taste rather than expense, but this misses the key point: we must have a conclusion that gives some sort of closure/outcome on the cheap tickets initiative. This answer is too broad, it does not tell us whether or not the cheaper opera ticket plan will succeed in attracting broader audiences. This answer choice requires us to infer this, and in this question type (expression of the main conclusion), there needs to be a closer relationship between the conclusion and what is in the text. Therefore E is incorrect.