ATTACKING Suff Assumptions

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ATTACKING Suff Assumptions

Postby gspiel1232 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:11 pm

Hey guys, does anyone have any more advanced strategies for attacking Suff Assumption qs? I feel like I am spending way way too much time on these, specifically. I realize this and inevitably skip the later ones to return, but I really feel like these should be attacked and guaranteed points, with the misses coming most from strengthen and weaken questions.

I started using a technique which involves starting at the conclusion, and essentially grabbing pieces of the paragraph to reach the conclusion (often negating these other parts). Anyone care to give their step-by-step personal method for attacking these questions?

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Re: ATTACKING Suff Assumptions

Postby boblawlob » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:22 pm

I don't have much advice, but all Sufficient questions require you to link evidence to the conclusion. Usually the conclusion will have a new term, and so just make sure the answer choice has that new term (usually will like to the evidence in the stim).

As with Sufficient questions and all questions in general (primarily the ones that are conclusion based), beware of term shifts (whether it's new terms or the degree of the term).

A good example of a very tricky one is PT 23, Sec 2, #9 where you go from evidence that states knowledge of something is good to a conclusion that talks about good actions. It's a slight change, but you have to be very aware of it.

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Re: ATTACKING Suff Assumptions

Postby gspiel1232 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:26 pm

Yeah, I'm far enough along that the "new" information is something I'm definitely looking at, along with eventually reaching the conclusion. I probably need to, more than anything, tighten up/speed up my conditional reasoning diagramming. I was just seeing if anyone has a methodical, step by step process that will eliminate, to an extent, the amount of "question by question brain activity" that i have to do.

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Re: ATTACKING Suff Assumptions

Postby NoodleyOne » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:43 pm

Manhattan LR guide is a huge help here.

Basically you're looking for something that completely fills the gap in the argument. Unlike N.A. questions, strong language (only, must, etc.) Are your friends here.

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Re: ATTACKING Suff Assumptions

Postby kaiser » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:54 pm

I think the most important thing in suff. assumption Q's is to remember precisely what you are looking for, and be cognizant of it the entire time that you are attacking the Q (the same can be said of necessary assumption Q's).

In a sufficient assumption Q, you are looking for the answer choice that guarantees the truth of the conclusion. It is a premise that, if explicitly added into the argument, makes it so the conclusion MUST follow, without any doubts. This is very different from a necessary assumption Q, where you are looking for the answer choice that merely makes it POSSIBLE for the conclusion to follow (the correct answer in a necessary assumption Q is sort of like a life vest that merely serves to keep the argument afloat. Without it, the argument would drown entirely). The correct answer in a necessary assumption Q does NOT guarantee the truth of the conclusion. So keep that distinction in mind when you are attacking suff. assumption questions, where you are looking for some premise that makes it so you have no choice but to reach the given conclusion.

I find that many sufficient assumption correct answers are fairly sweeping premises. They often sound very broad and wide in scope. This unfortunately causes many students to shy away from the right answer, since the scope seems to be too wide to be applicable. But even the broadest premise can still guarantee the truth of the particular argument given in many cases.

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Re: ATTACKING Suff Assumptions

Postby VUSisterRayVU » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:17 pm

I could be off, but here's my strat. I find the gap in terms. Like the conclusion has something that evidence/premise doesn't. Then I find an answer choice with the conclusion term as the necessary condition. Or I find it with the term negated as the sufficient condition. This normally reduces it to one answer. If it's two, then I make sure the other term is right also. I don't know that I really read or understand the stim, but I don't know that you need to for most of them that you can't just prephrase in your head.

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Re: ATTACKING Suff Assumptions

Postby gspiel1232 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:46 pm

Thanks guys,

I should've emphasized that I know everything that you guys are saying (I've read MLSAT and spent countless hours on here). Some things I do agree with

-Broad language
-Starting at the end of the conclusion and working backwards
-One of the question types where I feel it's relatively easy to eliminate wrong answers so don't spend an insane amount of time thinking before looking at the answers, as you can eliminate rather quickly.

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Re: ATTACKING Suff Assumptions

Postby LSAT Hacks (Graeme) » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:11 am

VUSisterRayVU is spot on about bridging the gap. About half of sufficient assumptions can even be diagrammed with a gap. They fit this structure:

Conclusion: A --> D

Reasoning: A B --> C --> D

Possible Answers: A --> B or ~B --> ~A

In some cases, it will be A --> B --> C D or other variants.

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Re: ATTACKING Suff Assumptions

Postby cahwc12 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:19 pm

Occasionally a SA question will just blow my mind. It's not often but it does happen. When that happens, I do the following, which I do find effective in most cases (but not enough to rely on all the time).

Take a look at an SA question (pt48 q21 is the most recent one I applied this to):

When you read a stimulus, you can see that certain terms connect to other terms. Maybe you don't see exactly how they correlate (which is S/N etc) but you see that they are connected.

In this stimulus you can see that the following are "concepts" to be connected:

unpleasant realities
small lies

The stimulus mentions all five of these concepts. Three of them are mentioned twice--they are linked to two other concepts. Two are only mentioned once, linked only to one other concept. These are "ends" to be tied.

THOSE TWO ARE WHERE YOUR GAP IS. So, I look for an answer choice that mentions and connects these two terms together (sincerity and trust).

In fact, (A) is the only choice that mentions these two, and so is the only choice that can be correct.

This method works for most SA questions quickly and effectively, but is not an "end all" trick by any means. I use it for disaster recovery so I don't spent 5 minutes staring at a question that I can't seem to get for whatever reason (sort of like how you can use the structure of a parallel reasoning stimulus to eliminate a few and sometimes all four incorrect answers).

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Re: ATTACKING Suff Assumptions

Postby afitouri » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:00 pm

My simplest tip would be to focus on the degrees, but not just words. I see you say you've noticed that, but typically this is the biggest give-away.

Sometimes the subject will be broadened, or narrowed like:

All people who sit on couches watch over three hours of TV, so people who sit on couches are lazy.

Sufficient assumption: People who do not stand or otherwise lay down to sleep for at least a total of 22 hours are lazy.

Here, it is a roundabout way of including people who sit. A lot of the answers do this. Instead of sit on couches it might be sit in general. Instead of watch tv it might be who look at screens, etc.

So, the broadening or narrowing of the answer is not always in the degree words, often it is in the subject matter.

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