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Source: Revised GRE PDF 2nd Ed. Section 4; #15 (p. 68)


Which of the following is an assumption

Extensive housing construction is underway in Pataska Forest, the habitat of a large population of deer. Because deer feed at the edges of forests, these deer will be attracted to the spaces alongside the new roads being cut through Pataska Forest to serve the new residential areas. Consequently, once the housing is occupied, the annual number of the forest’s deer hit by cars will be much higher than before construction started. Which of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends? The number of deer hit by commercial vehicles will not increase significantly when the housing is occupied., Deer will be as attracted to the forest edge around new houses as to the forest edge alongside roads., In years past, the annual number of deer that have been hit by cars on existing roads through Pataska Forest has been very low., The development will leave sufficient forest to sustain a significant population of deer., No deer hunting will be allowed in Pataska Forest when the housing is occupied.

5 Explanations


Alexandra Contreras

can someone please explain to me why this isn't B

Sep 2, 2019 • Comment

David Recine

B is somewhat out of scope, since the argument doesn't mention or depend on differences between the forest's edge around houses and the forest's edge around roads.

Suppose, for example, that the deer are significantly more drawn to the forest' edge around houses. Let's say that 400 of the deer decide to feed around the houses, and "only" 200 decide to feed along the roads.

Even in that case, that's still a significant number of deer closer to the roads, and likely more deer being hit by cars. And that's just one of many scenarios where B could be untrue and the argument would still stand.

Sep 13, 2019 • Reply


Saddam Hossain

The number of the forest's deer hit by cars each year will be much higher than before the construction began. It does mean before construction deer hit by cars in road was very low. so why not c is correct answer?

Apr 21, 2017 • Comment


Hi Fuad,

So, first, we don't know what "very low" means here. We cannot assume that because the argument says the number will go up, that the previous number was low. It could be that the previous number was high, and the argument is that the new number will be even higher. In any case, we are never told what "very low" means in terms of numbers.

The most important thing is to see that if Y is "much higher" that X, it doesn't tell us anything about the value of X. It just means that Y is more than X. X could be low or high (whatever that means).

Apr 21, 2017 • Reply


Mohammad Yaghini

The best way to tackle these "purely" assumption questions, is to negate each answer choice. (The negation techniques explained in one of videos is PA module). So,
the negated version of A says: "The number of deer hit by commercial vehicles (will not => will) increase significantly when
the housing is occupied." , if it will increase then this supports the argument => negated version supports it => original doesn't => A is eliminated.

For B, it goes along the same lines; however, the negated version does not fully support or undermine the argument; so it doesn't really "do any thing" => B eliminated.

Negated version of C, supports it => C eliminated.

Negated version of D: "The development (will => will not) leave sufficient forest to sustain a significant population of deer." So you see if there is not enough deer as before, then the number of hits will go down => clearly in contrast to the argument => original version supports the argument => D is the answer.

E is out of scope as Lucas has explained.

Good luck.
(as if there is such a thing.)

Oct 27, 2015 • Comment

Sam Kinsman

Yes, that's a good way to approach this question. Nice job!

Nov 9, 2015 • Reply


Lucas Fink

For anybody still stuck on (E), about hunting: we know nothing about its current state and its current effects. That is, We can't say whether the hunting ban would be a change or not. Maybe there is already plenty of hunting, but maybe there is no hunting. It's out of the scope of the passage.

Jun 20, 2013 • Comment


Chris Lele

Sep 22, 2012 • Comment

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