Need help on assumption questions

laww
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 10:08 pm

Need help on assumption questions

Postby laww » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:27 pm

Especially with EXCEPT questions.

I am using the assumption negation technique I learned after taking a powerscore course but I'm taking way too long on assumption questions.

I am taking about 1-1.25 min per question but I feel like I'm spending almost twice that on assumption questions. On most questions the language after logically negating a statement drives me insane. I have no idea whether I am weakening the argument with the logically negated answer choices.

If anyone has any tips on making these questions easy please let me know.

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Dr. Dre
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Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:10 pm

Re: Need help on assumption questions

Postby Dr. Dre » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:28 pm

Buy the MLSAT LR

read the first 6 chapters.

Come back and thank me.

laww
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 10:08 pm

Re: Need help on assumption questions

Postby laww » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:36 pm

Manhattan LSAT? Their forum is very helpful in understanding questions I got wrong.

I have the powerscore bibles for each section and this weekend I'll pick up the Manhattan books to guide me as well.

Do you have your own tricks that you're willing to share when it comes to LR? Maybe you have a method that is more efficient than what M or PS teach.

Thanks

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wtrc
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Re: Need help on assumption questions

Postby wtrc » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:48 pm

Definitely would also recommend Manhattan. Just drill and drill some more. Personalize the argument (..if someone said it to me it wouldn't make sense except if I assume...!). Make sure you can find the gap. Pre-phrase your answer (for everything other than except). Don't religiously follow methods in the books (negation technique can be helpful... but I don't really use it much anymore- find what works for you). So many N/A questions will start talking about one thing, and end talking about something similar but slightly different. Or leaves open another possibility. That's your gap, and that's what should be pre-phrased.

Most questions boil down to this simple gap. Start analyzing EVERYTHING you hear critically. While it's pretty obnoxious at times, always try to find a gap with whatever you hear. Live this shit. Oh, you're hungry so you want to eat to become less hungry? So... you want me to *just assume* that you don't have a health disorder that causes you to always be hungry?!

I'm at work now, and about to go to lunch. My entire office will go to lunch, so I'll be going with other people.

:wink: hope you instantly saw the gap there

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

Re: Need help on assumption questions

Postby bp shinners » Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:23 pm

laww wrote:Especially with EXCEPT questions.

I am using the assumption negation technique I learned after taking a powerscore course but I'm taking way too long on assumption questions.

I am taking about 1-1.25 min per question but I feel like I'm spending almost twice that on assumption questions. On most questions the language after logically negating a statement drives me insane. I have no idea whether I am weakening the argument with the logically negated answer choices.

If anyone has any tips on making these questions easy please let me know.


Quick question - are you separating them into Sufficient and Necessary Assumption questions? The negation technique only works on the latter. It's important to note the difference because, while the answers sometimes overlap, they don't always (and usually don't).

Necessary Assumption ?s:
-have the word "depends", "requires", "needs", or "makes" in the prompt (or any synonym)
-generally likes a weaker answer choice ("At least some..."), but not always
-benefits from the negation technique

Sufficient Assumption ?s:
-have the word "if" or Must be True language in the prompt
-generally likes a stronger answer choice (nearly always)
-does not benefit from the negation technique

The most common fallacy in either type of Assumption question is the equivocation fallacy - most often, a new term shows up in the conclusion that isn't in a premise. The correct answer for a Sufficient assumption question will connect a premise to the new term in the conclusion absolutely. The correct answer for a Necessary assumption question will say that it's possible to connect the premises to the new term in the conclusion.

If you have a different fallacy, then you have to go with another strategy. But this is a good start.

laww
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 10:08 pm

Re: Need help on assumption questions

Postby laww » Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:08 pm

bp shinners wrote:
laww wrote:Especially with EXCEPT questions.

I am using the assumption negation technique I learned after taking a powerscore course but I'm taking way too long on assumption questions.

I am taking about 1-1.25 min per question but I feel like I'm spending almost twice that on assumption questions. On most questions the language after logically negating a statement drives me insane. I have no idea whether I am weakening the argument with the logically negated answer choices.

If anyone has any tips on making these questions easy please let me know.


Quick question - are you separating them into Sufficient and Necessary Assumption questions? The negation technique only works on the latter. It's important to note the difference because, while the answers sometimes overlap, they don't always (and usually don't).

Necessary Assumption ?s:
-have the word "depends", "requires", "needs", or "makes" in the prompt (or any synonym)
-generally likes a weaker answer choice ("At least some..."), but not always
-benefits from the negation technique

Sufficient Assumption ?s:
-have the word "if" or Must be True language in the prompt
-generally likes a stronger answer choice (nearly always)
-does not benefit from the negation technique

The most common fallacy in either type of Assumption question is the equivocation fallacy - most often, a new term shows up in the conclusion that isn't in a premise. The correct answer for a Sufficient assumption question will connect a premise to the new term in the conclusion absolutely. The correct answer for a Necessary assumption question will say that it's possible to connect the premises to the new term in the conclusion.

If you have a different fallacy, then you have to go with another strategy. But this is a good start.


I get confused by the negated language so thinking about it in conditional terms just confuses me further.

Practice makes perfect though and tomorrow and Saturday are my LR/RC focus days so you can bet I will be reviewing these concepts like crazy! Mind if I send you a PM later about solving specific problems?

magickware
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:27 pm

Re: Need help on assumption questions

Postby magickware » Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:26 pm

There are except questions for assumptions? How would that work? Do you mean the entire assumption family?

With except questions for strengthen/weaken/etc, there are typically 2-3 choices that are just obviously right (in that they either strengthen or weaken or w.e.), and therefore wrong. So I find it easier to look for all the obviously right ones and just cross them out. Once you get them out of the way, you can take your sweet time looking at the actual contenders.

And do not use the negation test. It's a great tool, but only once you understand how the entire assumption family works, and what the negative test works on. Which is only necessary assumptions. Both PS and Manhattan LSAT only recommend that you use it when you're stuck between 2 answer choices, iirc.

With every assumption family questions, take the time to do this (Manhattan LSAT "strat" and abbreviated)
Write out the conclusion and write out the supporting premises. One below the other, whichever way you find it easier to see.

By doing this, you can effectively create a simple "chart" that gives you exactly what you need. All you need to do now is figure out what assumption is required to adequately connect the conclusion and the premises together. All assumption family questions have an assumption, and your task is to either identify/strengthen/weaken/point out the flaw of said assumption.

Do this for every single assumption questions until it becomes second nature and you can do it in your head for most simple assumption questions.

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

Re: Need help on assumption questions

Postby bp shinners » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:14 pm

laww wrote:Practice makes perfect though and tomorrow and Saturday are my LR/RC focus days so you can bet I will be reviewing these concepts like crazy! Mind if I send you a PM later about solving specific problems?


Go for it! Though I'd prefer if you posted them here: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=185758&p=6818680#p6818680 : so other can check out the explanations. If you want to shoot me a PM letting me know questions are up, I'm all for that.




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