Computer manufacturers have sought to make computer chips ever smaller, since decreasing the size of a computer's cen...

ajs on January 21, 2020

#10 - Do Not Understand why A is correct

Hi - I don't understand why answer choice A is correct. Can this passage be broken down and an explanation provided as to why A is correct and the others are not? Thanks.

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Skylar on January 21, 2020

@ajs, happy to help.

P: Decreasing the CPU chip size without making the CPU chip any less sophisticated will significantly increase computer speed.
P: CPU chips cannot be made significantly smaller without also being made less sophisticated.
C: Computers cannot currently be made significantly faster.

You may notice a jump in logic here. How can we conclude that computers cannot currently be made significantly faster? Perhaps making the CPU chip smaller/equally sophisticated doesn't work, but how do we know that there are no other existing solutions? We don't, and the correct answer choice will point this out.

(A) is correct because it eliminates the jump in logic by clarifying that the only way computers can be made faster is by decreasing the CPU chip size. Therefore, we don't need to consider any other existing solutions, and we can safely reach our conclusion. We can check this by negating (A), which makes the logic in the passage fall apart.

(B) is incorrect because the passage is only concerned with chips that do not decrease sophistication to any extent. Information about chip size without this restriction is irrelevant to the passage.

(C) is incorrect because we are only concerned with increasing computer speed, and the passage explicitly states that a chip that is decreased in size but not in sophistication is the way to achieve this. Any information about decreasing chip sophistication or speed is therefore irrelevant.

(D) is incorrect because what computer manufacturers believe is irrelevant to whether or not computers can actually be made faster. Perhaps the manufacturers are mistaken. Either way, the passage does not depend on their beliefs as support for the conclusion.

(E) is incorrect because, if anything, it opposes the passage. Although it is not explicitly stated that increasing chip speed increases computer speed, if this is the case, (E) would provide a way to make computers faster. This is the opposite of the conclusion reached in the passage, and therefore does not support its logic.

Does that make sense? Please let us know if you have any other questions!

ajs on January 22, 2020

Hi Skylar -- This makes sense. Thanks for the clarification!