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PrepTest 73, Logical Reasoning 2, Question 16


Question 16, when a question ask you for what is strongly supported by the information above, then you're doing an inference question. An inference questions require us to prove an answer choice true with the information that we're given the stimulus. That means that you need to catalog or take stock of the information that you have, and here we have a few facts.

The first is that stress is a common cause of high blood pressure. The second is that by calming your mind and thereby reducing stress, some people, not all people, just some people, can lower their blood pressure. And then finally, most people can calm their minds by engaging in exercise. If you notice here, other than that first statement, we basically have a causal chain.

This leads to that, leads to that. So by calming your mind, you can reduce your stress, and reducing your stress can lower your blood pressure, and most people can calm their minds by engaging in exercise. So we can put that together and say, if you exercise it can calm your mind. If you calm your mind, it will reduce your stress, and if you can reduce stress that'll decrease your blood pressure.

Now note, this is not a formal chain, because we're not talking about all and only and never, but just most the time. So exercise can calm your mind. A calm mind tends to reduce your stress, and a reduction of stress tends to reduce your blood pressure. But since we have a causal chain, that's going to be our prediction when we go into the answer choices, we're looking for something we can prove with that chain.

Now answer choice A, for at least some people having lower blood pressure has at least some tendency to cause their stress levels to be reduced. This is the wrong way around. We know that stress or reducing stress can reduce your blood pressure, not that reducing your blood pressure can lower your stress. Answer choice B, most people with high blood pressure can lower their blood pressure by reducing their stress levels.

This would work, except for the word, most. We only know that some people can lower their blood pressure this way, not most people can do it. Answer choice C, most people who don't exercise, well that's gonna be enough to get rid of that completely. We don't know anything about people who don't exercise, just about some of them that do.

Some of them that do can calm their minds which reduces their stress, etc. So answer choice D, engaging in exercise can directly lower one's blood pressure. Well it's not direct, it's indirect. Exercise leads to a calm mind, not directly to a decrease in blood pressure. So that means the answer must be answer choice E. And we can see why, it's basically part of what we proved.

Though it's not the entire thing. So for at least some people engaging in exercise can cause their stress level to go down. So exercise leads to a reduction in stress. Now note, the inference doesn't have to use all the information there. It doesn't have to go all the way to reduce blood pressure to be right.

As long as it's provable, it's our answer, and we can prove it from what we've got there. So the answer is answer choice E

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