- Identify the question type. Although not phrased in the typical Cambridge format (“What is the assumption in the argument…”) we can easily identify that it is asking for an assumption.
- Strategy Tool Kit for solving assumptions
- Find the conclusions
- Find the reasons
- Find the unwritten link that the conclusion relies on
- Discard and decide (use negation test if needed)
The trick in this passage is the language, ‘should’ gives us a clear indication of what the author’s conclusion is. The last two sentences are suggestions from the author on what should be done based on the problem. What is the problem? The problem is that internet addiction is concerning because it can cause anger or depression if access is lost, etc… As a result, the author believes we should be careful about using computers in all aspects of learning, and that educationalists need to consider the risks first. Now that we have broken down the text, we can take a look at our answers.
A. All computer-based learning includes internet use.
The problem the author is speaking about is specifically internet addiction, and it does not talk about addiction to computers in general, therefore we are making the assumption that computer-based learning must involve internet use. Why must we assume this? The author provides no evidence that computers in general are damaging, just addiction to the internet is harmful. Because there is no written link, we must assume that this computer-based learning requires the internet, if not then the argument is flawed as just using a computer without the internet has no backing to show it’s harmful. Therefore A must be correct.
B. Students are unable to regulate their internet use.
This has no impact on the argument because the author is not considering the usage but rather the exposure. The author believes that it should be a decision made at the level of educationalists, not students. The constant exposure to the internet throughout computer-based learning is what the author thinks is putting children at risk. The student’s ability to regulate their own usage could also play a role, but it is a much weaker option than A as self-regulation is not spoken about at all. Therefore B is incorrect as it is irrelevant and too weak.
C. It is a bad idea to incorporate computer-based learning into education.
The author is not taking sides here, this is a classic trap. There is no mention of whether it is good or bad, the focus is on awareness. The author wants educationalists to reconsider in light of internet addiction being on the rise. They may decide to continue to implement the program still. Because the author is not stating their opinion and answer C is opinionated, we can eliminate it.
D. Classifiying internet addiction as a recognised psychiatric disorder will help lead to a cure.
This is irrelevant as it does not touch on the main point of the argument. If anything, the fact that internet addiction could be classified as a psychiatric disorder is evidence to reinforce the idea that internet addiction is a real problem and therefore educationalists should reconsider its use in classrooms. Therefore D is also incorrect.
E. Excessive internet use is the only cause of poor educational achievement.
This is too great of an assumption to make. We are told that a result of internet addiction can be a poor educational achievement but this is used as an example to show why it is dangerous. There is no other mention of educational achievement throughout the text because it is not the focus of the text but evidence instead. Therefore E is incorrect.