Red Herring Assumptions

JesusChrist
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Red Herring Assumptions

Postby JesusChrist » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:43 am

Sometimes, I'll read a stimulus and I'll identify a blatant flaw or a major gap in logic. This almost narrows my brain down when I get to the answer choices. I'm looking for an answer choice that fits my paraphrase of the answer (or at least what I think ought to be the answer). And then I'll get down to choice E and realize my predicted answer isn't there. So then, I have to go back and re-read the answer choices. What I notice is that, since I had already eliminated the first 4 choices my first time through, I'm biased when I re-read the answer choices.

Does anyone else notice this? And is this a problem for anyone else. I'd say more than half the time, my prediction is at least vaguely correct, or enough that it helps me. But about 1 out of every 7 times, it'll throw me off. Obviously the simple answer to my problem is to just stop doing predicting ahead, but I also feel that this practice probably helps more than it hurts. Regardless, I'd still like to get those few questions right.

Do you think LSAC does this on purpose? Or is it just something I"m making up in my head.

The title says red herring assumptions but I'm really talking about any kind of mis-directing stimulus.

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sundance95
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Re: Red Herring Assumptions

Postby sundance95 » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:52 am

JesusChrist wrote:Do you think LSAC does this on purpose?


Of course. This is a major way they distinguish between test takers in the 160s and the 170s. Often an argument will have multiple flaws. It's great when you've identified one, but your job may not be done then!

JesusChrist wrote:Sometimes, I'll read a stimulus and I'll identify a blatant flaw or a major gap in logic. This almost narrows my brain down when I get to the answer choices. I'm looking for an answer choice that fits my paraphrase of the answer (or at least what I think ought to be the answer). And then I'll get down to choice E and realize my predicted answer isn't there. So then, I have to go back and re-read the answer choices.


Here's your mistake. You should be going back to the stimulus, not the ACs. If you are trying to reverse engineer a question from the ACs, the LSAT is going to have fun with you. Go back, re-read the stimulus, and try to identify other flaws. Then look for your answer choice.

JesusChrist
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Re: Red Herring Assumptions

Postby JesusChrist » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:13 am

Hmm, thanks for the reply.

So then, should I be not making any predictions? Or continue making the predictions that I am. I guess ideally, I'd continue with the predictions but just don't let it narrow my focus. Idk, it's hard because most stimuli really do have only 1 flaw or gap.

Should I then be expecting multiple assumptions on every questions?

And lastly, how do you recommend I stop myself from jumping to conclusions about an assumption that's needed. That is, how do i prevent myself from narrowing my focus? Because at the moment, the way it's working is that it's just kind of instinct or second nature or whatever you wanna call it.

cartercl
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Re: Red Herring Assumptions

Postby cartercl » Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:21 am

So your only problem is with assumption/flaw questions?

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2014
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Re: Red Herring Assumptions

Postby 2014 » Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:42 am

Paraphrasing is important because if you don't do it, you run a much bigger risk of falling for an obviously incorrect answer without having properly thought through what the answer should look like.

You just need to have a more open mind when you read an argument and don't think that when you identify the first flaw that you have outsmarted the test, because like you said, they are aware of what test takers do.

fosterp
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Re: Red Herring Assumptions

Postby fosterp » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:21 pm

Paraphrasing is important for the earlier easier questions because it allows you to quickly go through them. However later most of the time the answers/questions aren't so obvious that you can usually prephrase a correct response. I see a lot of the time on arguments with an easily identifiable flaw, they will place an answer choice that has very similar wording to a common prephrased answer and then change it just a little bit to be incorrect, and then the correct answer is a much less obvious answer.




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