GMAT Across Town Lines

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GMAT Across Town Lines

When we read the question, we can use opinion-charged words to identify the pieces of the argument here. "Clearly" introduces the conclusion. The word "however" also is a clue: it tells us that the first sentence is a data point, not just filler. The logical structure is: A is true, but B is true, therefore C is true. A is the difference in cost in home insurance between these two cities, B is the rate of theft. The argument is not too strong.

We can make a prediction: somehow, the cost of theivery must be higher in one city. Maybe the thieves in Andover are more skilled and they manage to steal more per theft than in Wrightsville. That possibility is unlikely to be an answer choice, but we can still use it: "thieves in Andover are more skilled and steal more."

Applying the prediction, we evaluate the answer choices. Choice (B) is actually pretty close to our prediction. Choice (C) involves auto rates, which wouldn't shed light on this question without further information. (D) and (E) also involve comparisons with other things that we know nothing about, so they cause problems rather than solve problems. Back to (A), we can see it doesn't directly concern whether companies profit more from fewer thefts. Notice that our prediction was quite different from choice (B), but it was similar enough to help us spot (B) quickly.

We can look for logical confirmation of the correct answer: we can use analysis by extreme cases to establish that choice (B) is correct. If the losses per theft were identical in Wrightsville and in Andover, the conclusion would be true and the argument would stand; if they were wildly different, the conclusion could be false.

B is the correct answer.