IMAT 2015 Q14 [Conclusion | Congestion]

Although it is sometimes suggested that the congestion caused by the bunching of cars on motorways could be eased by increasing the speed limit to 150 km/hr, such an increase would not be a good thing. An estimated 35 per cent of drivers exceed the speed limit by 20 km/hr and would continue to do so if the limit were raised. Since bunching is caused by speeding drivers trying to pass those who observe the speed limit, raising the limit to 150 km/hr would result in the same amount of congestion, but at an increased speed. Moreover, a higher speed limit would encourage all drivers to drive faster, and thus would increase the existing danger from those who drive too close to the car in front.

Which one of the following best expresses the main conclusion of the above argument?

A. Congestion on motorways is caused by speeding drivers trying to pass those who observe the speed limit.

B. A higher speed limit on motorways would encourage all drivers to drive faster.

C. An increase in the speed limit would increase the existing danger from those drivers who drive too close.

D. Raising the speed limit to 150 km/hr would not reduce congestion on motorways.

E. It would not be a good thing to increase the speed limit to 150 km/hr.

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Key Steps

  1. Read the question (do this for 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
  5. Find an answer that matches the underlined sentence.

Looking at the paragraph, it is clear that the author believes that raising the speed limit is not a good thing to do. This is the main conclusion of the passage. The author supports his main argument by indicating that 35% of drivers do and will always exceed the speed limit by 20km/hr. The author also indicates that the increasing the speed will not reduce congestion, but rather increase the speed at which the same amount of congestion occurs. This is dangerous because drivers may drive too closely to the car in front, consequently having less time to react in an emergency situation.

Which one of the following best expresses the main conclusion of the above argument?

A. Congestion on motorways is caused by speeding drivers trying to pass those who observe the speed limit.
Statement A is true according to and is stated in the passage. However, we are required to find the main conclusion of the passage. Statement A is just explaining how congestion occurs and does not refer to increasing the speed limit or the effects thereof. Therefore Statement A is incorrect.

B. A higher speed limit on motorways would encourage all drivers to drive faster.
Statement B is taken directly from the passage. Even so, Statement B is explaining the consequences that would come with increasing the speed limit and is therefore used by the author to justify the main argument (increasing the speed limit will be bad). Therefore Statement B is incorrect.

C. An increase in the speed limit would increase the existing danger from those drivers who drive too close.
Statement C is taken directly from the passage. Even so, Statement C is explaining the consequences that would come with increasing the speed limit and is therefore used by the author to justify the main argument (increasing the speed limit will be bad). Therefore Statement C is incorrect.

D. Raising the speed limit to 150 km/hr would not reduce congestion on motorways.
Statement D is taken from the passage as well. Statement D is used as an intermediate conclusion and used to by the author to justify the main argument (increasing the speed limit will be bad). The author does this by saying that congestion will occur but at an increased speed. This supports the main conclusion because this will result in drivers driving too close to the car in front. Therefore, Statement D is incorrect.

E. It would not be a good thing to increase the speed limit to 150 km/hr.
Statement E’s meaning is reflected by this sentence taken from the paragraph: “such an increase would not be a good thing”. This statement is the main message the author wishes to convey and is justified throughout the passage by various statements. Therefore, Statement E is correct.

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