Help with Sufficient Assumption Questions

albatross92
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:00 pm

Help with Sufficient Assumption Questions

Postby albatross92 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:31 pm

Hi everyone,
I've reviewed the Powerscore and Manhattan series on LR and LG, and have taken two full-timed PTs in the last week, 51 and 52. I'm hoping to take the LSAT in June, and I'm pretty satisfied with how I'm doing on logic games and reading comprehension. I'm getting anywhere from 0 to -2 in those sections; however, I have a huge problem with LR - particularly with sufficient (not necessary) assumption and flaw questions. My inability to grasp these questions is significantly affecting my score; in PT 51, for example, while I got 0 and -1 on LG and RC, my combined LR errors totaled -14.

Is there any strategy or tips anyone can suggest to tackle either sufficient assumption or flaw questions? Since I've gone through the Manhattan and Powerscore books, I don't know what much else I can do but pray the situation works itself out through constant drilling. Any insight you could provide would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!

bp shinners
Posts: 3091
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: Help with Sufficient Assumption Questions

Postby bp shinners » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:38 pm

albatross92 wrote:Is there any strategy or tips anyone can suggest to tackle either sufficient assumption or flaw questions? Since I've gone through the Manhattan and Powerscore books, I don't know what much else I can do but pray the situation works itself out through constant drilling. Any insight you could provide would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!


It's weird to me that you're struggling with Flaw questions but not with Strengthen/Weaken questions, as those questions are "Flaw+" questions - you have to recognize the flaw in the argument in order to strengthen or weaken it.

General advice:
SUFFICIENT ASSUMPTION questions:
1) You're looking for something that 100% guarantees the conclusion, so stronger answer choices are more likely to be correct.
2) The most common 'gap' that needs to be filled in a SA question is an equivocation between the premises and the conclusion. So spot the conclusion, and then compare the terms in it to the premises. If one of the terms doesn't show up in a premise, it MUST show up in the answer.
3) If 2 doesn't apply, then there's an equivocation/gap between two of the premises. Find out what terms aren't connected to another premise/the conclusion, and then find the answer choice that connects them.

FLAW questions:
1) Know the common list of flaws inside and out.
2) Step 1 - Hopefully, just spot the flaw. This isn't reliable.
3) If Step 1 doesn't work, then Step 2 - Look for common elements of arguments that feature specific flaws. For instance, if there's a study, it's likely a sampling or % vs. amt. fallacy. If the conclusion is very strong or a recommendation, it's likely an exclusivity fallacy.
4) If you're still stuck, Step 3 - Get the argument down. Then, explain a situation where the argument's premises are all true, but the conclusion isn't. You've got your flaw.

albatross92
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:00 pm

Re: Help with Sufficient Assumption Questions

Postby albatross92 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:58 pm

I am getting Strengthen/Weaken questions wrong, just not with nowhere near the same frequency. For example, out of the 14 I got wrong on PT 51, 8 or 9 of them were Flaw/Sufficient Assumption questions, as opposed to 1 incorrect strengthen and 1 incorrect weaken. I thought I should chiefly focus on those types of questions I'm messing up most on first - flaw and sufficient assumption questions, primarily - before I turn to other types. I'm just grateful I clearly know what types of questions need work - had it been one of every kind of question, I'd be panicking.
That being said, I have one more question - in your experience, should I do every PT, or should I do the Cambridge LR by type and then do PTs 38 and on? Any suggestion how I should transition from Manhattan and Powerscore toward drilling and PTs.

Thanks!

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Typhoon24
Posts: 649
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:09 pm

Re: Help with Sufficient Assumption Questions

Postby Typhoon24 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:30 pm

albatross92 wrote:That being said, I have one more question - in your experience, should I do every PT, or should I do the Cambridge LR by type and then do PTs 38 and on? Any suggestion how I should transition from Manhattan and Powerscore toward drilling and PTs.

Thanks!


Books first, maybe do some drilling from cambridge at the end of every chapter. Then maybe take PT 39. See how you did, and drill like a mad man from cambridge (PTs 1-38) focusing on accuracy first then timing all the while doing logic game and reading comp sections along the way to supplement your LR. After a period of heavy drilling then transition to full timed prep tests (40-recent). Do 1 or 2 prep tests a week and in your off-time re-read sections of the manhattan books and see where you're messing up and actively try and improve.

as for your Sufficient LR problem, bp shinners really hit it on the head. You're looking for an assumption that makes an otherwise FLAWED argument logically PERFECT. It's generally easy to see if you're able to see the gap in the argument core.




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