sa questions - find the flaw and then account for it?

User avatar
flash21
Posts: 1536
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:56 pm

sa questions - find the flaw and then account for it?

Postby flash21 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:08 am

Is this a correct way of thinking of sa's? I did some last night and I felt like this is what I was doing

User avatar
Otunga
Posts: 1317
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:56 pm

Re: sa questions - find the flaw and then account for it?

Postby Otunga » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:21 am

Well, sa questions aren't so much flawed as a Flaw question or a Strengthen/Weaken question. Think of it this way. The assumption you're choosing for these questions helps the argument immensely, but it's not make or break for the argument, as a sufficient assumption is something that guarantees the conclusion, though it isn't something the argument must assume. But if this approach works for you...then sure, keep doing it. For me, when I think of a 'flaw of the argument', I think of something the argument is overlooking, an alternative explanation for the results of an experiment, for instance. But the arguments for these questions aren't overlooking what's in the answer choices, as sa's go above and beyond the call of duty. In a flaw question, or any other assumption family question, the argument is overlooking something that it shouldn't be. That's not necessarily the case on sa question, though conceivably right answers to these questions can be jointly necessary and sufficient, though it doesn't occur often.

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

Re: sa questions - find the flaw and then account for it?

Postby bp shinners » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:36 am

flash21 wrote:Is this a correct way of thinking of sa's? I did some last night and I felt like this is what I was doing


Yep. They're part of the flaw family*. You need to find the flaw, and then pick the answer that completely fixes the flaw.




*Flaw family - flaw, parallel flaw, strengthen, weaken, sufficient assumption, necessary assumption, cruz

The LSAT Trainer
Posts: 621
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 4:57 am

Re: sa questions - find the flaw and then account for it?

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:51 pm

just to add on to what shinners was saying -- (and I don't mean to disagree w/otunga -- i think we're just using the word flaw in slightly different ways) --

I think it's really useful to think about the process in two distinct steps --

1) know that the argument will be logically flawed in that there will be a clearly definable hole between the support and the point, one that prevents the point from being valid (it's helpful to know that sufficient assumption questions always have to have clearly definable issues -- otherwise, we wouldn't be able to "fix" them with a one-sentence answer choice -- that's why the majority of them deal with conditional logic -- the logic of absolutes).

2) know that there are commonly a variety of ways in which that hole can be fixed (the point being, once you understand the issue, go into the answer choices open-minded about different ways in which the hole can be addressed, or different ways in which the answer can be worded/presented to you).

Everyone is different, but I noticed that a lot of my students ran into trouble when they didn't keep those two steps distinct (as in, consciously or not, expecting the right answer to address the issue in a particular way) -- so, that's why I bring it up, and I hope it helps --

mike

User avatar
flash21
Posts: 1536
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:56 pm

Re: sa questions - find the flaw and then account for it?

Postby flash21 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:50 pm

Wow thanks everyone for the great replies. This helps a lot.

User avatar
Otunga
Posts: 1317
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:56 pm

Re: sa questions - find the flaw and then account for it?

Postby Otunga » Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:00 pm

I'd just like to add that I may not have the best conception of 'flaw' as it pertains to the LSAT, and it may confuse some people, but it is what works for me. I rarely miss s.a. questions. But if this sort of thinking didn't help me so much, then I simply would approach things differently.




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 7 guests