PrepTest 44 Section 2 No. 14

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PrepTest 44 Section 2 No. 14

Postby mz253 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:08 pm

Can anyone explain me the structure of the argument (especially if it's diagramable?)

How to deal with words like "consistent", "probably" stuff like that in a diagram?


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Re: PrepTest 44 Section 2 No. 14

Postby matt@atlaslsat » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:44 pm

This one teaches us a lot about inference questions. Look at the difference between the following two question stems

1. If each of the statements above is true, which one of the following must also be true?

2. Which one of the following inferences is most strongly supported by the information above?

Sometimes in the second phrasing the stimulus is not a series of facts, but rather an argument. It's not frequent, but it does appear consistently in the logical reasoning section. If this happens, treat the question like an Assumption question. Bridge the gap between evidence and the conclusion. For, if the conclusion is going to be true, the assumption must be true.

We have a real estate slump.
Car sales are at their lowest in years.

The economy is bad

Put into formal logic


if the argument were to look like


The assumption would be A --> B

In this case the assumption is

RES + CSL --> EB

by contrapositive

~EB --> ~RES or ~CSL

back into English

If the economy is in a healthy state (not bad), then it is unlikely that the real estate and car sales markets are both in a slump - answer choice (D).

(A) is missing a reference to the real estate market. We know that the two imply a bad economy, not that low car sales implies a bad economy.
(B) mistakes a necessary for sufficient condition. The relationship is backwards.
(C) discusses the economy as a whole. Never mentioned!
(D) is the contrapositive of the assumption bridging the gap between the evidence and the conclusion of the argument.
(E) mistakes a necessary for sufficient condition. The relationship is backwards.

To your other questions

"probably" gives us a likelihood. It implies greater than a fifty percent chance.
"consistent" does not mean implication. So if a healthy economy is consistent with a falling stock market, that just means that both events COULD happen together. But not that a healthy economy implies a falling stock market.

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