Question about patterns in LR necessary/sufficient questions

jmart154
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:30 pm

Question about patterns in LR necessary/sufficient questions

Postby jmart154 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:12 pm

Hi all.

I have been studying for the upcoming LSAT in October and have a question for those of you who are strong with these types of questions. For the last couple of days I have been drilling necessary/sufficient questions, and I am finding that a large majority of these tend to confuse necessity and sufficiency - i.e. ignoring alternative explanations for occurrences.

Therefore, would you say pattern recognition has much to do with spotting these types of things? I am getting to the point where I can read a question and effectively predict what the right answer will sound like. I would love to hear some input as to what sorts of patterns are common with these question types.

Also, opinions of using the negation technique for attacking the question stem? I personally find it easier to start off with negating the answer choices, as opposed to simply scanning through them a la standard method.


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cc.celina
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Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: Question about patterns in LR necessary/sufficient questions

Postby cc.celina » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:36 pm

Sure. That's definitely a useful pattern to recognize. Another one that I found super helpful was shifts in language: if a word popped up in the conclusion, but it (or any of its synonyms) was not mentioned in the premises, there's an assumption I need to fill in there.

Personally, I relied on the negation test as a last resort, more of a double-checker than a primary method of solving the problem. I can see how it could work as a method, though, provided you're careful to justify it affirmatively to yourself as well just to make sure it makes sense. You also need to be careful not to use it on sufficient assumption questions.

Can't think of any others right now, but you're on the right track.

Oscar85
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Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:53 pm

Re: Question about patterns in LR necessary/sufficient questions

Postby Oscar85 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:32 am

cc.celina wrote:Sure. That's definitely a useful pattern to recognize. Another one that I found super helpful was shifts in language: if a word popped up in the conclusion, but it (or any of its synonyms) was not mentioned in the premises, there's an assumption I need to fill in there.

Personally, I relied on the negation test as a last resort, more of a double-checker than a primary method of solving the problem. I can see how it could work as a method, though, provided you're careful to justify it affirmatively to yourself as well just to make sure it makes sense. You also need to be careful not to use it on sufficient assumption questions.

Can't think of any others right now, but you're on the right track.

Great advice, cc.celina. My NA drilling has improved significantly since listening to you. I have gotten -3 out of the 100 that I've done, and some I can do without much thought (I haven't gotten to the harder ones, obviously).

Also, let's not forget to mention that assumption questions can double up as flaw questions. So, his approach is good, and you might recommend to him that it's also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the common flaw types. For example, one of the most common "assumptions" committed in necessary questions is that this is the only choice, or that there was no reverse in cause, etc. So, if you familiarize yourself with flaws and articulate these flaws as you read the stimulus, then you will get much easier at identifying the assumptions that have been made by the stimulus. Also, shift in language, at least form, usually works only when there is a chain of reasoning present (such as a -> b ; -D-->-C), etc.... Otherwise, it gets difficult for me. But yes, the negation technique is used as a last resort; it is very time consuming to use the negation technique onl every single answer choice and then plug it into the argument. It can also be used only to check the answer you've selected as correct.

jmart154
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:30 pm

Re: Question about patterns in LR necessary/sufficient questions

Postby jmart154 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:58 pm

Some good advice. Thanks TLS'ers!




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