PT 32 LR1 #17

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PT 32 LR1 #17

Postby DrackedaryMaster » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:42 am

This is the Weaken-X question regarding embezzlement and accountants/actuaries. Apparently, it is semi-famous because from what I can find about on the search engine here and at other blogs, the choices always seem to come down to C/D. While I initially chose D for the reasons the response is correct, going back through the section untimed, I convinced myself to change it to C, because like a lot of other testers, I could just not see how the number of accountants/actuaries weakened the conclusion. Given how I've missed other weaken-x questions (like teens & Cars, Austrailia car laws, etc) because I failed to see an answer that weakened the conclusion due to an alternate cause, I thought D opened the door to the possibility that the embezzlement could have been committed by anyone.

The fact I missed this one is troubling, because I don't see how I can develop a clear and consistent strategy for attacking these types of x-questions. I know others that ruled out D more than likely felt the same way I did about the alternate cause. If I'm not on the active lookout for it, I miss the question. If I'm on the lookout for it, I still miss the question because it's irrelevant in this case.

Those of you going -0 on LR and took this preptest, how long did it take you to negotia these two answer choices and determine C was a weakener based on probability of numbers reducing the likelihood of actuary involvement in the embezzlement?

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Re: PT 32 LR1 #17

Postby 3|ink » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:06 am

A long-ass time. That was a very poorly written LR question. I was so pissed off.

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Re: PT 32 LR1 #17

Postby yzero1 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:52 am

I solved the question rather quickly. However, looking back on it, I can see the issues with this question. (C) is not a very good weakener. At the same time, I think this is the case for many weakenX questions (several sketchy weakeners with one non-weakener), so I was careful not to jump to conclusions.

When I first looked at (C), I figured that it directly weakened the conclusion rather than any of the premises or how the premises interacted with the conclusion. The wording of the stimulus is pretty weak - it uses "probably would not have" and "likely" - so it's not unreasonable that the conclusion can be weakened by showing a smaller proportion of actuaries.

(D) on the other hand, is completely out of the scope of the argument. Vulnerability to embezzlement is irrelevant to identifying whether the embezzler is an accountant or actuary. I chose this answer as soon as I saw it.

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