How do you answer assumption questions

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How do you answer assumption questions

Postby tmc07d » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:21 pm

Im just wondering what your strategy or thought process for attacking assumption questions in LR are.


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Re: How do you answer assumption questions

Postby Unshake » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:28 pm

1) Eliminate obvious wrong answers/Chose obvious correct answer (Requires repetition to learn which are obviously wrong etc...)

2) If 1 leaves me with more than one choice. I read the remaining choices one at a time and sort of plug it into the argument: "If I DON'T assume this, does the argument fall apart?"

If the assumption is something involving a quantity or something that can be similarly manipulated I usually use an extreme example.

Eg if the answer choice says 1) More than 10 of the patients studied were children. I think "well lets say all of the patients were children what happens, lets say 0 of them were children what happens." Sometimes this makes those choices more obvious.

2 can be time consuming and you should not do it on every question and definitely not with every answer choice.

Just what I do. I used the LR bible to study and haven't looked at it in months but it's likely that it says something similar.

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Re: How do you answer assumption questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:34 pm

The main goal of the LSAT writers in an assumption question is to trick the reader into synonymizing two ideas or terms that are not actually synonymous. Then, the necessary assumption made by the stimulus is that those two terms/ideas are synonymous.

Example: All boys smell bad after playing basketball. Richard just finished playing basketball. Therefore, Richard smells bad. Even though it seems obvious, the assumption is that Richard is a boy.

Clearly, this is a simplified version. The difficulty, as with all LR questions, comes with more complex language. The key (again, as with all LR questions) is to read critically. As soon as you've identified the question as an assumption, ask yourself what two terms or ideas they stimulus has falsely synonymized.

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Jack Smirks

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Re: How do you answer assumption questions

Postby Jack Smirks » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:37 pm

First you need to know whether you're answering a sufficient or necessary assumption question. Learn the difference here. ... cient.html

Here's how to approach sufficient assumption questions ... ption.html

Here's how to approach necessary assumption questions (use the negation test) ... -must.html

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Re: How do you answer assumption questions

Postby » Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:36 pm

Assuming you are talking about necessary assumption questions (rather than sufficient assumption questions):

You want to determine which one of the answer choices is necessary in order for the conclusion to be properly drawn. There will only be one answer choice that absolutely needs to be assumed for the argument to follow. If an answer choice does not necessarily have to be true, then you can rule it out.


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Re: How do you answer assumption questions

Postby PhiloLogicGames » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:18 pm

Think algebra:

Premise + Assumption = Conclusion

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