## calling all people great at assumption Q's

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flash21

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

### calling all people great at assumption Q's

I know the basics of SA and NA. I've drilled. I plan on drilling more.

How are you guys doing it? I feel like when I go through a section for review, it'll be all missed assumption type questions (throw a paralell flaw in there too).

I am thinking of just doing a bunch of assumptions untimed, and forcing myself to find the assumption no matter how long it takes.. no sure if this is stupid or not. Let me know what you people who are good at assumptions think.

TheMostDangerousLG

Posts: 1545
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:25 am

### Re: calling all people great at assumption Q's

I think assumption Qs are one of the easiest once you get the hang of them. Sufficient assumption Qs, just go AC by AC and ask yourself: "If this AC is true, does the conclusion HAVE to be true?" If not, it's not the right choice.

For necessary assumption Qs, just go AC by AC and ask: "If this isn't true, is there any way it's possible for the conclusion to be true?" If so, then that AC isn't right. You have to find the one where the conclusion cannot hold.

As with all LR Qs, a large part of finding the answer is making sure you have a clear grasp of the conclusion before going in.

10052014

Posts: 590
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:12 am

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Last edited by 10052014 on Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

retaking23

Posts: 452
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:34 pm

### Re: calling all people great at assumption Q's

Practice the negation test. Practice discipline (i.e., learn to stay focused on the core of the argument so choices with similar, but ultimately tangential, ideas do not distract you).

TheMostDangerousLG

Posts: 1545
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:25 am

### Re: calling all people great at assumption Q's

jaylawyer09 wrote:
TheMostDangerousLG wrote:I think assumption Qs are one of the easiest once you get the hang of them. Sufficient assumption Qs, just go AC by AC and ask yourself: "If this AC is true, does the conclusion HAVE to be true?" If not, it's not the right choice.

For necessary assumption Qs, just go AC by AC and ask: "If this isn't true, is there any way it's possible for the conclusion to be true?" If so, then that AC isn't right. You have to find the one where the conclusion cannot hold.

As with all LR Qs, a large part of finding the answer is making sure you have a clear grasp of the conclusion before going in.

But MBT, MBF, and MSS question types dont need you to find the conc. - right?

You should always be on the lookout for a conclusion. Not every stimulus is going to have one, but if it's there, it's important.

flash21

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

### Re: calling all people great at assumption Q's

retaking23 wrote:Practice the negation test. Practice discipline (i.e., learn to stay focused on the core of the argument so choices with similar, but ultimately tangential, ideas do not distract you).

thanks, i think this is good advice. i do think i botch the negation test sometimes

Christine (MLSAT)

Posts: 357
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:41 pm

### Re: calling all people great at assumption Q's

retaking23 wrote:Practice the negation test. Practice discipline (i.e., learn to stay focused on the core of the argument so choices with similar, but ultimately tangential, ideas do not distract you).

Discipline is key. You want to have a clear cut system, so that you're not wasting a bunch of time trying to figure out what the next step of analysis should be. You should know immediately what the next thing you need to do is, after each step. Move through the question with purpose.

I don't think your planned untimed exercise is bad, but you need to be careful with it. It's reasonable to practice identifying and articulating what the gap is between the premises and the conclusion, but don't freak out if you're unable to predict specific necessary assumptions. Necessary assumptions could be all kinds of crazy things, and there are a lot out there that no rational person would just think of. You might be able to predict a generalized version of the assumption, but not the specific possibilities, and that's ok ("the argument assumes dancing is the only way to break your leg" vs "the argument assumes Jane did not break her leg skydiving").

But you also need to be aware of the fact that a lot of arguments have multiple assumptions. Even if you predict an awesome assumption, there might be another you didn't see - and that may be where the right answer is focused. Predicting is cool, but don't ever be so married to your prediction that you can't accept something else that works.

Which eventually just comes back to TheMostDangerousLG's point - ask yourself if each answer choice does the job you want it to do - make the argument work (SA) or without it the argument dies (NA)? Be systematic about it, and you'll get there.

flash21

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

### Re: calling all people great at assumption Q's

Christine (MLSAT) wrote:
retaking23 wrote:Practice the negation test. Practice discipline (i.e., learn to stay focused on the core of the argument so choices with similar, but ultimately tangential, ideas do not distract you).

Discipline is key. You want to have a clear cut system, so that you're not wasting a bunch of time trying to figure out what the next step of analysis should be. You should know immediately what the next thing you need to do is, after each step. Move through the question with purpose.

I don't think your planned untimed exercise is bad, but you need to be careful with it. It's reasonable to practice identifying and articulating what the gap is between the premises and the conclusion, but don't freak out if you're unable to predict specific necessary assumptions. Necessary assumptions could be all kinds of crazy things, and there are a lot out there that no rational person would just think of. You might be able to predict a generalized version of the assumption, but not the specific possibilities, and that's ok ("the argument assumes dancing is the only way to break your leg" vs "the argument assumes Jane did not break her leg skydiving").

But you also need to be aware of the fact that a lot of arguments have multiple assumptions. Even if you predict an awesome assumption, there might be another you didn't see - and that may be where the right answer is focused. Predicting is cool, but don't ever be so married to your prediction that you can't accept something else that works.

Which eventually just comes back to TheMostDangerousLG's point - ask yourself if each answer choice does the job you want it to do - make the argument work (SA) or without it the argument dies (NA)? Be systematic about it, and you'll get there.

Thanks appreciate it

elterrible78

Posts: 1119
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:09 am

### Re: calling all people great at assumption Q's

jaylawyer09 wrote:But MBT, MBF, and MSS question types dont need you to find the conc. - right?

For the majority of these questions, there won't be a conclusion in the stimulus...what you're actually tasked with is pretty much "concluding" something based on the information there.

bp shinners

Posts: 3086
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

### Re: calling all people great at assumption Q's

elterrible78 wrote:
jaylawyer09 wrote:But MBT, MBF, and MSS question types dont need you to find the conc. - right?

For the majority of these questions, there won't be a conclusion in the stimulus...what you're actually tasked with is pretty much "concluding" something based on the information there.

And if there is a conclusion, it's not really necessary to call it out as such, because the question is going to treat that conclusion as a fact (unlike other questions that require you to treat the conclusion as not proven by the premises).

To OP - biggest "trick" I can give you is this:
About 90%, and 25%, of all Sufficient, and Necessary, respectively, questions feature an equivocation fallacy - the conclusion brings up a new term/idea not referenced in the premises. This new term has to be referenced in the correct answer (for Sufficient; for Necessary, the rule is a little more lax, but generally holds). Try it out for a bit to see that it works. Then, figure out why it works. If you can, you'll be a pro.