## MBT and MSS questions giving me trouble, suggestions?

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flash21

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### MBT and MSS questions giving me trouble, suggestions?

After reviewing my 7sage chart from LR sections, seems that inference type questions are giving me the most trouble (along with sufficient assumptions). Anyone have any particular advice for this type of question? I always find that the stimulus is massive and convoluted so generally I get lost .

mellow

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### Re: MBT and MSS questions giving me trouble, suggestions?

For MBT, I always try to be extremely conservative with the answer. You're not trying to link the premise with the conclusion or find a flaw in the logic or anything fancy. All you need to find is something that must be true. Anything that makes a leap in logic, no matter how logical, is wrong. Generally, you should avoid strong words such as only, always, etc. And many times they'll require diagramming so follow the arrows correctly and you should get your answer.

On the other hand, you want to overreach with sufficient assumption. You want anything that would prove the conclusion 100% so strong words are good here. For example, "Sam wants a cat. Thus, Sam has a cat." Answers that could be correct are "Anyone who wants a cat has a cat." or "Everyone named Sam has a cat."

MSS is like MBT but trickier because "most strongly" is much more flexible than "must." So in this case, you may actually have two answers that are good, but you'll have to choose the better one. Um that's all I have for MSS now haha

Now if you knew all this and the problem was just wordy stimuli, a better recommendation might be to practice recognizing key arguments and extraneous material. I personally make brackets around key arguments so that I don't get distracted by unnecessary information when I go back to the stimulus.

Otunga

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### Re: MBT and MSS questions giving me trouble, suggestions?

For MSS, I've noticed they slip in information at the beginning of the stim that's relevant to the answer choice. So if the stim is a long one, then you might be fixated on the middle and end of it, rather than the beginning part of it, where the support for the right answer is. Either way, that's just another reason why it's best to eliminate answers for these questions before proving the right answer. Almost always, the wrong answers go too far logically with relevant information or they add in unrelated information. By 'relevant information', I mean anything in the stim, since usually you're not focusing on an argument in MSS, so again, you just don't know what might turn up in the answer.

Personally, I've noticed a problem lately with tricky MBT questions, and I think the problem is that I'm not diagramming these out. Particularly if the stims are using formal or conditional logic, it's important to make sure you've got all the logic straight, as you just don't know what part of the logic is going to matter most in the right answer choice. Again, though, eliminating answers before proving the right answer is best here. Exceptions to this might be simple MBTs early in the section, but otherwise proving one answer prior to eliminating others doesn't promote efficiency. Either way, making sure you know what can be proven given the stim and what cannot necessarily be proven is immensely helpful with these.

flash21

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Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:56 pm

### Re: MBT and MSS questions giving me trouble, suggestions?

melodygreenleaf wrote:For MBT, I always try to be extremely conservative with the answer. You're not trying to link the premise with the conclusion or find a flaw in the logic or anything fancy. All you need to find is something that must be true. Anything that makes a leap in logic, no matter how logical, is wrong. Generally, you should avoid strong words such as only, always, etc. And many times they'll require diagramming so follow the arrows correctly and you should get your answer.

On the other hand, you want to overreach with sufficient assumption. You want anything that would prove the conclusion 100% so strong words are good here. For example, "Sam wants a cat. Thus, Sam has a cat." Answers that could be correct are "Anyone who wants a cat has a cat." or "Everyone named Sam has a cat."

MSS is like MBT but trickier because "most strongly" is much more flexible than "must." So in this case, you may actually have two answers that are good, but you'll have to choose the better one. Um that's all I have for MSS now haha

Now if you knew all this and the problem was just wordy stimuli, a better recommendation might be to practice recognizing key arguments and extraneous material. I personally make brackets around key arguments so that I don't get distracted by unnecessary information when I go back to the stimulus.

Hey good advice, I feel as though I know what to do with SA's but I'll still get torn apart on some of them . I'll try to find some examples later when I don't have work to do (working on essays for UG right now). Bracketing is a good idea, which I always do on other LR types, but I did find that with MSS there is a lot of the time no conclusion, or the conclusion doesn't really help you get the right answer. On the wordier stimulus's I try to break them up into two larger chunks, sort of like RC.

flash21

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Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:56 pm

### Re: MBT and MSS questions giving me trouble, suggestions?

Otunga wrote:For MSS, I've noticed they slip in information at the beginning of the stim that's relevant to the answer choice. So if the stim is a long one, then you might be fixated on the middle and end of it, rather than the beginning part of it, where the support for the right answer is. Either way, that's just another reason why it's best to eliminate answers for these questions before proving the right answer. Almost always, the wrong answers go too far logically with relevant information or they add in unrelated information. By 'relevant information', I mean anything in the stim, since usually you're not focusing on an argument in MSS, so again, you just don't know what might turn up in the answer.

Personally, I've noticed a problem lately with tricky MBT questions, and I think the problem is that I'm not diagramming these out. Particularly if the stims are using formal or conditional logic, it's important to make sure you've got all the logic straight, as you just don't know what part of the logic is going to matter most in the right answer choice. Again, though, eliminating answers before proving the right answer is best here. Exceptions to this might be simple MBTs early in the section, but otherwise proving one answer prior to eliminating others doesn't promote efficiency. Either way, making sure you know what can be proven given the stim and what cannot necessarily be proven is immensely helpful with these.

Thanks. I agree its usually some periphery information that ends up being key to the MBT quetsion. Even sometimes with process of elimination there is 2 and sometimes even 3 that I am a bit confused about. at times all the answers seem to be saying essentially the same things

RobertGolddust

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### Re: MBT and MSS questions giving me trouble, suggestions?

MBT-AC implied in the stimulus MSS- answer choice might not be implied in the stimulus

flash21

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### Re: MBT and MSS questions giving me trouble, suggestions?

RobertGolddust wrote:MBT-AC implied in the stimulus MSS- answer choice might not be implied in the stimulus

Thanks but I know the basics of these LR types. I am more looking for advice on harder MBT and MSS questions such as level 3 or level 4 difficulty.

mellow

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### Re: MBT and MSS questions giving me trouble, suggestions?

flash21 wrote:Hey good advice, I feel as though I know what to do with SA's but I'll still get torn apart on some of them . I'll try to find some examples later when I don't have work to do (working on essays for UG right now). Bracketing is a good idea, which I always do on other LR types, but I did find that with MSS there is a lot of the time no conclusion, or the conclusion doesn't really help you get the right answer. On the wordier stimulus's I try to break them up into two larger chunks, sort of like RC.

When I say I bracket, I meant specifically relevant information not just the conclusion. Many times, especially with wordier stimuli, they'll include random facts that are completely irrelevant to the argument. For example, a stimulus might say something like, "X type of birds are special because of the unique color of their wings. After a rise in temperature in a region they used to live in, they could no longer be found in that region. No other changes except for temperature."

But obviously this isn't for all stimuli. Just a tip that might help with the wordier ones.

flash21

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Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:56 pm

### Re: MBT and MSS questions giving me trouble, suggestions?

melodygreenleaf wrote:
flash21 wrote:Hey good advice, I feel as though I know what to do with SA's but I'll still get torn apart on some of them . I'll try to find some examples later when I don't have work to do (working on essays for UG right now). Bracketing is a good idea, which I always do on other LR types, but I did find that with MSS there is a lot of the time no conclusion, or the conclusion doesn't really help you get the right answer. On the wordier stimulus's I try to break them up into two larger chunks, sort of like RC.

When I say I bracket, I meant specifically relevant information not just the conclusion. Many times, especially with wordier stimuli, they'll include random facts that are completely irrelevant to the argument. For example, a stimulus might say something like, "X type of birds are special because of the unique color of their wings. After a rise in temperature in a region they used to live in, they could no longer be found in that region. No other changes except for temperature."

But obviously this isn't for all stimuli. Just a tip that might help with the wordier ones.

but how will I know what is relevant and what is not on the first read through?

sashafierce

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### Re: MBT and MSS questions giving me trouble, suggestions?

Otunga wrote:Bracketing is a good idea, which I always do on other LR types, but I did find that with MSS there is a lot of the time no conclusion, or the conclusion doesn't really help you get the right answer.

Do MSS questions ever have conclusions? Aren't they like MBT questions which just contain a set of facts? well at least that is what I thought

I read somewhere that MSS are sort of like Main Conclusion questions because the most strongly supported statement based on a stimulus/set of combined facts would be the main conclusion.

Jeffort

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### Re: MBT and MSS questions giving me trouble, suggestions?

sashafierce wrote:
Otunga wrote:Bracketing is a good idea, which I always do on other LR types, but I did find that with MSS there is a lot of the time no conclusion, or the conclusion doesn't really help you get the right answer.

Do MSS questions ever have conclusions? Aren't they like MBT questions which just contain a set of facts? well at least that is what I thought

I read somewhere that MSS are sort of like Main Conclusion questions because the most strongly supported statement based on a stimulus/set of combined facts would be the main conclusion.

The stimulus for MBT & MSS questions is usually just a set of information without a conclusion and no real reasoning pattern. Occasionally it will be an argument with a conclusion but not usually, and it doesn't change anything if it has one unless its a main point question. If it's not a main point question you still just treat the stimulus as a set of info and see which AC is a valid inference from it. You shouldn't waste time trying to figure out any type of main point/conclusion in the stimulus of MBT or MSS questions.

The CR can be supported just by a single tangential looking thing stated in the stimulus that looked unimportant first read. Things to be on the lookout for that typically lead to the CR are comparisons, definitions, numbers/%, cause and effect relationships and conditional premises. If you see one of those things in the stimulus, the CR will most likely be about it. There is a fairly small set of commonly repeated stimulus fact pattern types for MBT/MSS Qs, such as a stimulus with a general rule stated and a fact or two that relate to general rule so you can apply it, those are super common.

bp shinners

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### Re: MBT and MSS questions giving me trouble, suggestions?

Jeffort wrote: Things to be on the lookout for that typically lead to the CR are comparisons, definitions, numbers/%, cause and effect relationships and conditional premises. If you see one of those things in the stimulus, the CR will most likely be about it.

I wanted to second this, as it's the main advice I give for those questions. Especially comparisons, causal relationships, and conditional statements.

Also, if you don't have conditional statements, you should prefer a weaker answer choice.

flash21

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### Re: MBT and MSS questions giving me trouble, suggestions?

Thanks jeff + shinners, I'll be writing this down!

sashafierce

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### Re: MBT and MSS questions giving me trouble, suggestions?

bp shinners wrote:
Jeffort wrote: Things to be on the lookout for that typically lead to the CR are comparisons, definitions, numbers/%, cause and effect relationships and conditional premises. If you see one of those things in the stimulus, the CR will most likely be about it.

I wanted to second this, as it's the main advice I give for those questions. Especially comparisons, causal relationships, and conditional statements.

Also, if you don't have conditional statements, you should prefer a weaker answer choice.

Soooo I drilled Level 3 MBT questions this morning ...think 5am (could not sleep) and you guys are SO RIGHT I went through the questions focusing on the facts in the stimulus---> they questions I did were like 75% conditional logic (CR was a inference based on the conditional chain--->10% were comparison (CR was an inference based on the comparison made--->14% was cause and effect (CR was an inference based on the relationship) like those questions were super easy.

I literally cried after doing them..I went -1 out of like 15 Level 3 questions and my timing was not bad. Thank you

@Flash21 I really don't mean to piggy back on your post so much but I feel like we have some similar questions that need answering

Jeffort

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### Re: MBT and MSS questions giving me trouble, suggestions?

sashafierce wrote:
bp shinners wrote:
Jeffort wrote: Things to be on the lookout for that typically lead to the CR are comparisons, definitions, numbers/%, cause and effect relationships and conditional premises. If you see one of those things in the stimulus, the CR will most likely be about it.

I wanted to second this, as it's the main advice I give for those questions. Especially comparisons, causal relationships, and conditional statements.

Also, if you don't have conditional statements, you should prefer a weaker answer choice.

Soooo I drilled Level 3 MBT questions this morning ...think 5am (could not sleep) and you guys are SO RIGHT I went through the questions focusing on the facts in the stimulus---> they questions I did were like 75% conditional logic (CR was a inference based on the conditional chain--->10% were comparison (CR was an inference based on the comparison made--->14% was cause and effect (CR was an inference based on the relationship) like those questions were super easy.

I literally cried after doing them..I went -1 out of like 15 Level 3 questions and my timing was not bad. Thank you

@Flash21 I really don't mean to piggy back on your post so much but I feel like we have some similar questions that need answering

Awesome sauce! (I heard that phrase in a TV commercial last night lol)

One you start looking for and finding the basic patterns that are repeated on the LSAT, its amazing how predictable many things become. This is one of the big benefits you get from drilling by type along with thorough review of the structure of each question and the answer choices.

Fianna13

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### Re: MBT and MSS questions giving me trouble, suggestions?

Why am I just now finding this?!?! Today has been made.

flash21

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