This is a unique question, and to solve it we should first identify the question type. We want to match the structure of what is in the text, so we will be dealing with a parallel reasoning question. What are the basic steps we should use to solve these types of problems?
- Read over the argument and break it into actions and reactions.
- Assign each part a variable.
- Simplify expression with variables.
- Put each answer option into the same variable format and see which are the most similar.
- Eliminate and solve.
Let’s break down what is given in the question. We want to buy a house in our local area with three bedrooms and a garage. This is what is going to be the ‘want’. The next sentence is going to be the constraint because we only ‘want’ it when it falls under this constraint. The constraint is that we only want to spend €150,000. Next, the passage gives us the real scenario. We already have what we ‘want’ and what is our ‘constraint’ in order to achieve this want, if we do not meet this constraint, then we cannot have our ‘want’. The scenario tells us that it is not possible to get a house with our ‘wants’ for less than €200 000, which does not mean our constraints, therefore we must change our constraints in order to meet our ‘want’. Alright, this all seems a bit complicated, let’s simplify.
We want a house in our local area with three bedrooms and a garage. Let this be X. We only want to spend €150,000. Let this be Y.
We want X, but only want to spend Y. X never costs Y, so if we want X, we need to pay more than Y.
As you can see we completely broke down the passage and simplified it into one simple and general sentence. Now let’s see if we can apply this logic to any of our answer choices.
A You want a well-paid job with lots of holiday and the chance to retire early. Such jobs do not exist, so you need to adjust your expectations.
Let X represent a well-paid job with lots of holidays and the chance to retire early.
You want X, but X does not exist. Instead, you must do Y.
This does not follow the logic because, in the passage, our ‘want’ is achievable. There are houses that meet our requirements, however, they just don’t meet the constraint (which is the price). If we wanted to make A follow the same logic, we could say that “you want a well-paid job with lots of holiday and the chance to retire early without having to work weekends. These jobs exist, but you will have to work weekends”. Therefore A is incorrect.
B You want to study mathematics but you don’t like numerical reasoning. Mathematics is essentially numerical reasoning, so you should choose a different subject.
Let X represent studying mathematics, and Y be numerical reasoning.
You want to X, but you don’t like Y. Because X=Y, you should not do X.
This again does not follow the logic because it is requiring you to give up on the original ‘want’. The constraint is too restrictive in this case because it undermines your ‘want’ in the first place. Why would you ‘want’ something if you do not like it? In the end, it is not possible to meet the initial ‘want’, therefore B is incorrect.
C You want a large powerful car that is fuel efficient. Large powerful cars are never fuel efficient, so you will have to spend more on fuel if you want a large powerful car.
Let X be a large powerful car, and let Y be a car that is fuel efficient.
You want X which is also Y. X’s are never Y, so if you want X you will have to spend more than you would with Y.
Let’s pull up the original variable sentence that we made from the text: We want X, but only want to spend Y. X never costs Y, so if we want X, we need to pay more than Y.
Notice how each case gives us a relationship between X and Y that cannot be met in the real world, so X becomes prioritized and we have to forget Y in order to achieve X. This is the exact logic that is given in the text, and therefore C is the correct answer.
D You want to buy the painting at the auction. Lots of other people want to buy it, so you have to be prepared to bid a lot of money to be successful.
Let X be buying the painting. Let Y be spending a lot of money.
You want to do X. Many people also want to do X, so you will have to do Y to get X.
This does not follow the initial logic because we are not given a clear restraint on our ‘want’. There is no limit set that will have to be broken in order to achieve X because we are not told what the budget is. If we wanted to make this follow the same logic we could say ‘you want to buy a painting at the auction but only want to spend €100. Such paintings go for at least €150 so you must spend more in order to buy the painting. Therefore D is incorrect.
E You want either the green jacket or the blue jacket. The green jacket looks good and the blue jacket is a bargain, so there are advantages in buying either one.
Let X be the green jacket, let Y be the blue jacket.
You want either X or Y. X looks good, Y is a bargain, therefore there are advantages to buying either.
Note that I did not deconstruct it as much as some of the others but it is not needed. We can clearly see that it does not match the initial logic structure because it is dealing with 2 choices and either will satisfy. The initial question gives us a ‘want’ with a constraint that must be broken, so there either has to be a compromise on the house or the cost. Here, we are given two options but there are advantages to either so it is not really a compromise. Therefore E is incorrect.