Contesting PT19 LR Questions

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PeanutsNJam
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Contesting PT19 LR Questions

Postby PeanutsNJam » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:45 am

It would be super helpful if people who have this PT could help me out!

Section 4 #5:

The answer is A. I chose E. I believe this question is ambiguous because when the government said "there is no evidence", it is not clear that the government didn't mean "there was never any evidence to begin with", as the latter statement would be the most reasonable response. If the government truly meant "there was never any evidence to begin with", which wasn't made clear, then answer choice E would be correct.

Section 2 #13:

The answer is A. It does not take into consideration the possibility that the cost to a company for pursuing its debtors on its own exists at all (The company could collect 16% of the outstanding bills, but incur a cost of 2% of the outstanding bills). I picked B, and although it is "misusing" the 15%, it still makes sense. If the company is owed $100, then the assumption that the cost of retrieving that money would be less than $15 supports the fact that pursuing the bills on its own would be profitable. Whether the company would be capable of recovering 100% of the bills is, again, not explicit (or implicit, for that matter) in the question.


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PeanutsNJam
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Re: Contesting PT19 LR Questions

Postby PeanutsNJam » Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:10 pm

Ah, thanks

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cc.celina
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Re: Contesting PT19 LR Questions

Postby cc.celina » Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:15 pm

Section 4 #5

It is clear that the government didn't say there was no evidence to begin with, simply because they didn't say there was no evidence to begin with. You picked up on the right thing - that a reasonable, airtight response would have been "There was never any evidence to begin with." Instead the government said "There is no evidence." The stimulus isn't ambiguous - the government meant exactly and only what it said. Therefore the government's response sucks and it doesn't effectively disprove anything.

No statement on the LSAT will "truly mean" something it doesn't explicitly say. If you think someone's counterargument sounds off because it doesn't directly reply to the accusation, then it's probably flawed.

Section 2 # 13

You're right that whether or not the company can collect 100% of the total amount on its own is irrelevant to the question. However, B does not imply that the company could collect ANY money -- all it says is that the cost wouldn't be more than 15%, and doesn't say anything about whether or not the pursuit would typically be fruitful. In other words, under B, companies could pursue all debtors for 12% of the cost of the total bill, but they're not guaranteed ANY return on that investment.

A seems like it doesn't take into account the cost of pursuing debtors on its own. But remember that this is a NECESSARY assumption, not a SUFFICIENT assumption - in other words, the answer choice must be true for the conclusion to be logical. (In general, when you're looking for necessary assumptions and you're down to to answer choices, the weaker is more likely to be correct, because all you need is the bare minimum to connect the premises together. In a sufficient assumption question, the stronger of the two is more likely to be correct.)

Logic goes: Since companies only get 15% of total bills when they use agencies, to reduce losses they should pursue debtors on their own.

Use the negation test: What would happen if A weren't true? Well, companies would typically get LESS of 15% of total bills. That means that on top of any additional costs they incur pursuing the debtors on their own, they are ALSO getting less money out of it than they would by just having an agency do it. Therefore, they HAVE to collect more than 15%.

You're right that, for it to be in their self interest, the costs of pursuing debtors on their own has to be low enough to allow them to net more than 15%. But let's try the negation test on B - the costs of pursuing exceed 15%. What if they typically extract 45%? Then they would net 30%, which is still more than the 15% they'd get with an agency, so it's still in their self interest to go for it on their own. B would be nice, but it's not an assumption on which the argument "depends."

In other words A may not seem like the best answer and certainly doesn't patch up ALL the holes in the argument, but it does patch up one. B doesn't really patch up any.

Hope that helped!

edit: scooped by nova lol, this is what i get for being long winded

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: Contesting PT19 LR Questions

Postby PeanutsNJam » Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:20 pm

That negation test thing helps alot, thanks! Will use that on assumptions that are confusing from now on.

totaltest.milan
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Re: Contesting PT19 LR Questions

Postby totaltest.milan » Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:43 pm

You want to look for shifts.

For q5 they key thing is to spot the shift between the two speakers - the attorneys for the defendant charge that the gov't HAD destroyed evidence and the gov't responds that THERE IS NO evidence. There's an evident difference in the tenses involved and you shouldn't assume that a sentence means something other than what it's reasonable to interpret as saying. It's important to pay attention to this kind of thing (shifts) because it pops up all over the place.

For q13 notice that there's a shift at work with choice B as well. As cc.celina pointed out the 15% in the choice actually refers to the cost of pursuing the outstanding bill, it doesn't say anything about the amount that will be recovered.

For necessary assumption questions more broadly you'll generally encounter two related variations. One is where the assumption is simply a fundamental requirement that people tend to overlook because it's generally not spelled out. Example:
If you study for the LSAT you'll do well.
PeanutsNJam studied for the LSAT.
Therefore PeanutsNJam did well on the LSAT

A fundamental requirement assumption could be PeanutsNJam took the test

The other kind of assumption is one where the choice brings up a potential problem and then shows that it's not a problem. For the LSAT argument above it could be PeanutsNJam wasn't abducted by aliens on the way to the test center.

The correct choice A for q13 above has elements of both but I would classify it more as the problem-resolution one.

Hope that helps.




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