Anyone have tips for LR assumption questions???

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noleknight16
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Anyone have tips for LR assumption questions???

Postby noleknight16 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:08 pm

For some reason, assumption questions are the ones I miss a lot. Anyone have any quick tips for these?

Thanks :D

notaznguy
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Re: Anyone have tips for LR assumption questions???

Postby notaznguy » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:15 pm

The correct answer should always be able to weaken the argument when negated. Remember that it should weaken the conclusion and not the premises.

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noleknight16
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Re: Anyone have tips for LR assumption questions???

Postby noleknight16 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:38 pm

notaznguy wrote:The correct answer should always be able to weaken the argument when negated. Remember that it should weaken the conclusion and not the premises.


Okay!! I'll give that a try. Thanks

6lehderjets
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Re: Anyone have tips for LR assumption questions???

Postby 6lehderjets » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:54 pm

Necessary assumption questions tend to be a trickier concept in LR. As mentioned above when negated the correct answer will hurt the argument but it is also important to point out that only one of the answer choices will be the author relies on and needs to be true in order for their conclusion to be valid the other 4 choices the author could take them or leave them.

Answer choices within necessary assumption questions starting "at least one" generally tend to be correct and answer choices that say something was the most important thing or the primary purpose tend to be incorrect. Good luck.

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LSAT Blog
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Re: Anyone have tips for LR assumption questions???

Postby LSAT Blog » Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:00 pm

Negating the correct answer choice to see whether the argument falls apart is a technique you can use for necessary assumption questions, but it's not wise to use it for sufficient assumption questions. The correct answer to sufficient assumption questions is often something that does not actually need to be true, but if it is true, will fully justify the argument.

NightmanCometh
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Re: Anyone have tips for LR assumption questions???

Postby NightmanCometh » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:35 am

As stated above, the negation test should NOT be used for sufficient assumption.

One technique I found useful for Necessary Assumptions only, besides the negation test, is looking carefully at the language of the conclusion and the premises. The correct answer will always contain some element of the conclusion as well as some element of at least one of the premises.

So, if there is an answer choice that has no elements of the conclusion, it is not the right answer. Even if it bridges a logical gap between two premises. I've seen tempting wrong answer choices where they bridge a logical gap between premises, but don't address the conclusion.

This sometimes works with Sufficient Assumption but not always as they may give you something broader than the conclusion itself (so at first glance it may look like it doesn't address the conclusion).

Hope that makes sense...

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PDaddy
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Re: Anyone have tips for LR assumption questions???

Postby PDaddy » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:15 am

Yes to all of the above. Think of it like this: if A is "necessary" to B, the absence of B will kill A. Water is necessary for human survival, so humans die if they suffer from thirst. The same happens with an argument. Negate the essential assumption and it kills the argument. But that's the last test, not the first.

One caveat to add to the answer directly above:

The negation test comes only after you eliminate the answers that don't bridge the essential "elements" (i.e. key words) in the premises with the essential elements with the conclusion.

There will always be one right answer and one "trap" answer left over after you do the bridge elimination. Test the two remaining answers by negating them and inserting them right before the conclusion and quickly reading the squib/stimulus.

In its negated form, one of them will destroy the argument; that's the right answer. Sometimes you will be able to identify the assumption before even going to the answers. Read actively, note key words and transitions, trust your instincts, and prephrase answers whenever possible.

The key to solving all LR questions is correctly identifying the conclusions and the key words in those conclusions.

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tehrocstar
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Re: Anyone have tips for LR assumption questions???

Postby tehrocstar » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:02 am

This post is not to be exhaustive. But make sure you know the difference between sufficient and necessary assumption questions and attack them differently.

In particular, I'm a sucker for choosing sufficient assumption answers on necessary assumption questions under a time. I always (easily) realize this in retrospect, still working out the kinks with drilling.

bp shinners
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Re: Anyone have tips for LR assumption questions???

Postby bp shinners » Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:51 pm

tehrocstar wrote:This post is not to be exhaustive. But make sure you know the difference between sufficient and necessary assumption questions and attack them differently.

In particular, I'm a sucker for choosing sufficient assumption answers on necessary assumption questions under a time. I always (easily) realize this in retrospect, still working out the kinks with drilling.


If you see the word 'assumes', 'assumption', etc.. and:
1) You see the word 'if' in the prompt, then it's a sufficient assumption question
2) You see a word that means the same as necessary (depends, requires, must), then it's a necessary assumption question
3) You see 'The argument makes which of the following assumptions?', then it's a necessary assumption question

notaznguy
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Re: Anyone have tips for LR assumption questions???

Postby notaznguy » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:16 pm

I know a lot of people use different terms, but when you guys are saying "sufficient assumption" questions, do you mean the same thing as "justify" questions?

As in:

"Which one of the following, if assumed, would allow the conclusion to be properly drawn?"

Is this the "sufficient assumption" question ya'll are referring to?

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LSAT Blog
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Re: Anyone have tips for LR assumption questions???

Postby LSAT Blog » Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:17 pm

notaznguy wrote:I know a lot of people use different terms, but when you guys are saying "sufficient assumption" questions, do you mean the same thing as "justify" questions?

As in:

"Which one of the following, if assumed, would allow the conclusion to be properly drawn?"

Is this the "sufficient assumption" question ya'll are referring to?


Yes.

However, "sufficient assumption" is the preferable term because it's less confusing. Most sufficient assumption questions don't use the word "justify" in the question stem, and many strengthen principle questions *do* use the word "justify."

6lehderjets
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Re: Anyone have tips for LR assumption questions???

Postby 6lehderjets » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:17 pm

LSAT Blog wrote:
notaznguy wrote:I know a lot of people use different terms, but when you guys are saying "sufficient assumption" questions, do you mean the same thing as "justify" questions?

As in:

"Which one of the following, if assumed, would allow the conclusion to be properly drawn?"

Is this the "sufficient assumption" question ya'll are referring to?


Yes.

However, "sufficient assumption" is the preferable term because it's less confusing. Most sufficient assumption questions don't use the word "justify" in the question stem, and many strengthen principle questions *do* use the word "justify."



The word "if" may be helpful between distinguishing sufficient and necessary assumption. Necessary assumption questions don't use "if".

As mentioned above strengthen principle do use justify in the question stem. To avoid confusing the strengthen and justify principle questions look at what precedes the word justify. If you see "most justifies" that should be your indication that you have a strengthen question because justify question are looking to prove the conclusion outright if a sufficient assumption question used "most justifies" it leaves a grey area that the LSAT wants to avoid.




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