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Namaste Studio, founded in 1974, is widely regarded as one of the most trusted places for yoga instruction on the West Coast of America. With over 50 instructors, Namaste is also one of the largest yoga studios in America. Although Angela has been teaching yoga at Namaste Studio for three years, her performance as an instructor is inconsistent. In a satisfaction survey, her Tuesday afternoon class rated her as the best teacher in the studio, while her Thursday morning class rated her fourth.
Which of the following, if true, most weakens the argument above?
Correct Answer: C

In this statement, the conclusion does not follow from the premise. The difference in ratings between Angela's two classes can potentially be attributed to a number of factors other than her performance. Her performance could stay constant, but ratings could differ based on characteristics of the students, the environment, or other elements. In order to pick the best answer choices, it is key to stick to what you know and avoid making assumptions.

  1. This answer points to another factor that could explain the ratings disparity, which could weaken the argument that Angela’s performance is inconsistent. However, this choice wants you to assume that more advanced students have higher standards. Because this is only assumed and not known, this choice does not most strongly undermine the argument that Angela’s performance is responsible for the different ratings.
  2. This choice wants you to infer that a difference in Angela’s level of alertness could be responsible for a decline in performance. This sentence does not provide enough evidence to draw this conclusion; even if it did, this would support rather than weaken the argument.
  3. Because the ratings system depends on comparison, this is the most likely explanation for the difference in rankings and most strongly undermines the argument that Angela is doing anything different in her two classes. Students in the Thursday class have definitely studied with other teachers at the studio (she has only been teaching for 3 years) and so can compare her to others. This is the correct answer.
  4. This choice points to a factor other than Angela's performance that could potentially explain the difference in ratings: Perhaps a bigger class size takes away from the students’ experience, although Angela teaches at the same level. However, this is not stated in the answer choice and is only an assumption; therefore, it does not weaken the argument the most.
  5. This answer choice suggests that doing different poses makes Angela’s performance inconsistent. Although the poses could be different, Angela’s performance as an instructor could stay the same. Either way, this assumption supports rather than weakens the argument.

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