IMAT 2013 Q1 [Conclusion | Social Trend]

A significant social trend in the 20th century was for people to move away from their place of birth in order to access education and work. This gave individuals more opportunities and helped the economy by producing mobility within the workforce. The negative side of this is now being felt as more and more elderly people face the problems of old age without family members nearby to care for them. This has negative effects on the economy as well as on the individual, as more and more state funding for care is needed.

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

A The benefits of a mobile workforce have to be compared with the costs to elderly people and the economy.

B Elderly people are expecting the state to provide care for them rather than relying on their children.

C People should try to find education and work close to their place of birth.

D The state should provide care for elderly people to make mobility of the workforce possible.

E People should make caring for their elderly parents a priority over choice of work opportunities.

Summary of Steps to Solve Drawing Conclusion Type Questions:

  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.

The text is talking about the effects of people moving away to study and work on the elderly population. A Possible conclusion from what the author has said could be: Although there is more opportunity elsewhere, there is a negative effect on the ageing population who no longer have nearby family members to care for them. Now that we have familiarized ourselves with the text and have a general idea of what the conclusion should be, let’s look at the answers.

A The benefits of a mobile workforce have to be compared with the costs to elderly people and the economy.

This is what the author has said in the text and it is the most similar to the conclusion we came up with above. The benefits of the mobile workforce are access to education and work, while the negatives are that elderly people face the problems of old age without family members to care for them and then there is also the economical effect. This answer choice touches on all main topics in the text and relates them to one another (action: mobile workforce, reaction: Better education and jobs but detrimental for elderly and economy). Therefore A is the answer.

B Elderly people are expecting the state to provide care for them rather than relying on their children.

This is not mentioned in the text nor can it be inferred. The author states that one of the issues is that there are no family members left to care for the elderly. This would suggest that they are more reliant on their family than on state care. In addition, it says that more state funding is needed for care, likely pointing out that there is not adequate state care. Therefore B is incorrect.

C People should try to find education and work close to their place of birth.

This was not offered as a solution by the author. There is no solution offered, and we cannot infer this because the author admits that there is a benefit to people going away for work and study: “This gave individuals more opportunities and helped the economy by producing mobility within the workforce”. If it was pointless to leave your place of birth for work and study, this would be a more suitable option, however, we know that it does create opportunity and have benefited so without an argument from the author in favour of finding work and study near your place of birth, we cannot choose this answer. Therefore C is incorrect.

D The state should provide care for elderly people to make mobility of the workforce possible.

As previously mentioned, there is no solution offered so we cannot know what the best course of action is. It could be to have the state provide more care, but the author has not chosen aside. He does not seem to have said to be in favour of the mobile workforce nor having people stay closer to home to care for their ageing families. Because the author has not chosen a side or provided a solution, we cannot know if this answer option is the conclusion. Therefore D is incorrect.

E People should make caring for their elderly parents a priority over choice of work opportunities.

This is the other side mentioned, the side in favour of having people stay closer to their birth city for work and study. As we said in D, we do not know the author’s stance, therefore we cannot conclude whether or not this is the answer. E is incorrect.