PT76.S2.Q20 - new university students chemistry majors

rockytoralrockytoral Alum Member
edited December 2015 in General 149 karma
Hi everyone! If anyone has some better insight as to why (E) is the correct answer I would greatly appreciate it! I see why (E) would be the right answer but I also believe (C) could be a correct answer. The only issue with (C) that I do see is possibly the word "many" but that's about it.

I recognize the phenomenon begging for the explanation would be the fact that even though the number of students who enter as chemistry majors and the job prospects but number of people earning chemistry degrees has declined.

Thanks again!


  • rockytoralrockytoral Alum Member
    149 karma
    Job prospects for graduates with chemistry degrees are better than ever, yet ***
  • c.janson35c.janson35 Free Trial Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    2398 karma
    C only tells us that many students are unsure. There's a few problems with this.

    First, many students could mean one student, which means that one student is unsure, and if this is the case, then how could this one student account for the dramatic decline?

    Second, this choice does not specify the students that are unsure, only that many are. This could mean that only philosophy majors are unsure, or it could mean that every non-chem major is unsure, so we have no way of knowing if the chem majors are included in this unsure group.

    Lastly, I don't think it's a fair assumption to make that unsure students mean that they will necessarily change majors. They can begin unsure, but begin to love their classes after the first day. Or they can remain unsure and just never change course because of academic inertia, outside pressure, or whatever other reason. That said, we don't have enough information to say that some vague sense of indecisiveness can account for the dramatic drop.
  • c.janson35c.janson35 Free Trial Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    2398 karma
    Another reason why C is incorrect, which can help show why E is correct, is that it does not address the issue of time that is involved in the stimulus. We are trying to explain a recent trend, but C gives no mention of time. The problem with that is C tells us what is true now and in the past. If we are trying to explain how a change came about, we would not want to point to an explanation that is consistent both before and after the change-- how could this general fact about students being unsure explain the recent trend then?

    E, on the other hand, says that the courses are being taught in an increasingly methodical fashion. So over the last ten years, it has become more methodical. The problem for the university is, as the class becomes more methodical, the intellectual appeal of the course is dampened. This can explain the recent (i.e. occurring in the last decade) downturn then, because it is now more methodical today than it was in the past. This gives us our change over time that can help explain how an observed effect occurred.
  • rockytoralrockytoral Alum Member
    149 karma
    This was amazing! Thank you, I see it completely now definitely need to keep in mind the concept of time in the stimulus @c.jason35
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    C is a classic trap answer in that it opens the door too wide for assumptions to be made. When an AC like this appears and you are allowed to choose one path or another and by choosing one path you can explain away the stimulus, but the other path would not, then it is a trap AC. You need an AC that keeps you on that one path and E helps to do that.
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