Tips for Flaw Questions.

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SunDevil14

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Tips for Flaw Questions.

Postby SunDevil14 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:54 pm

Flaw and Parallel Flaw Questions, are likely going to be the last or one of the last LR Question types I look at before the test next weekend. I do not really any other big weakness on LR question types.

Over my last 4 PT's:

Flaw: 25 of 31 questions 81%
Parallel Flaw: 4 of 8 questions 50%

I am going to go through every flaw and parallel flaw question one at a time from PT's 40-60. Are there any really special things I should be doing before/after each question? Are there any pro tips or key things I should keeping an eye out for?

Unlike other question types, Flaw questions are a bit harder to really focus in on since the errors in the question do not contain the same consistent patterns as the other question type. A plethora of different things can be wrong with any given question. Furthermore any struggles I have on flaw questions are naturally compounded in parallel flaw questions.

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sethnoorzad

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Re: Tips for Flaw Questions.

Postby sethnoorzad » Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:33 pm

Yeah these seem to me to just be a difficult question type for me as well.

They occur a lot near the end of a section and I will be short on time. I rush frantically through the stimulus and the answer choices so as to be able to quickly take a stab and move onto the next question so I can finish in time. But when I'm reading so fast the formal qualities of the flawed argument won't really be apparent to me as I am just speeding frantically to understand the words. When I look at the questions later with unlimited time, I can find the right answer with confidence in about 2-3 mins. With adequate time I can really read the stimulus and be receptive to those qualities that need to be mirrored in the answer choice.

GL

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kindofcanuck

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Re: Tips for Flaw Questions.

Postby kindofcanuck » Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:27 am

SunDevil14 wrote:Flaw and Parallel Flaw Questions, are likely going to be the last or one of the last LR Question types I look at before the test next weekend. I do not really any other big weakness on LR question types.

Over my last 4 PT's:

Flaw: 25 of 31 questions 81%
Parallel Flaw: 4 of 8 questions 50%

I am going to go through every flaw and parallel flaw question one at a time from PT's 40-60. Are there any really special things I should be doing before/after each question? Are there any pro tips or key things I should keeping an eye out for?

Unlike other question types, Flaw questions are a bit harder to really focus in on since the errors in the question do not contain the same consistent patterns as the other question type. A plethora of different things can be wrong with any given question. Furthermore any struggles I have on flaw questions are naturally compounded in parallel flaw questions.


Parallel reasoning/flaw problems are best found through formal logic. Write out above the passage how it diagrams (e.g. Because A, B. And C. So not B). Now write out beside each of the options their own logic. Four of them will say things like 'A, so B. C. And D. Not E' 'If A, B and C. Not B, so not A'. One of them will have a pattern that matches the original.

Identifying flaw, one of the answer choices will attack either a fundamental premise of the passage, or the logic of its conclusion. If you undermine either of those, the conclusion is no longer safe.

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freekick

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Re: Tips for Flaw Questions.

Postby freekick » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:35 am

SunDevil14 wrote:

I am going to go through every flaw and parallel flaw question one at a time from PT's 40-60. Are there any really special things I should be doing before/after each question? Are there any pro tips or key things I should keeping an eye out for?


By now you would know there are broadly 2 types of Flaw Qs:
Those where the answer choices 'describe' the flaw - These typically involve the classic flaws with a few curveballs.
Those where the answer choices point out an additional consideration/fact/aspect etc (ignores the possibility/fails to consider/takes for granted) - I find it helpful to treat these as weaken Qs 'coz the answer choices work exactly the same way as in weaken Qs.

In your review of 40-60, you could examine the flaw questions in the above light?

For parallel Qs - Like another poster suggested, notate the structure AS YOU READ, note the ALL/most/some elements. Use these to eliminate the obvious howlers. Decide b/w the remaining 2 using a closer match with the structure.

Overall for LR (and RC too), I hope you pick answers using elimination, not selection. Shooting for the right answer is not what the test expects us to do. The test is designed to move from wrong to right because 80% of the answers are wrong.

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Re: Tips for Flaw Questions.

Postby Mikey » Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:05 pm

Know the most common flaws that the lsat likes to use (e.g. whole to part, generalizations, etc.).

Always identify the conclusion and look at what they did to get to it. You're right that flaw questions don't really have a set pattern of what it does like other Q types, but if you just practice a ton of flaw questions with identifying the conclusion, seeing how they got that conclusion, and get familiar with the most common flaws, you should be fine.

7sage has something that shows you 19 most commonly used lsat flaws, but I think its only for people who have their course. try googling the most common lsat flaws and see what you find.

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SunDevil14

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Re: Tips for Flaw Questions.

Postby SunDevil14 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:25 pm

Thanks for all the input guys. I will respond to some of the more general statements:

- As mentioned, the "classic flaw" questions, are the one's that I find the easiest. I am quite familiar with the most standard logical fallacies, though I will do a review of those.

-I make mistakes more often on the questions that are not describing a more standard flaw. Essentially questions in which stem states: "the arguments fails to consider... ", "The argument presumes without justification that..." and what follows are answer choices that are all describing faulty thought processes rather than stating more tradition reasoning flaws. Furthermore, only one of the faulty thought process is being used, and you have to select the one that correctly matches (hope that makes sense). I supposed I will try the weaken strategy stated above.

-Parallel flaw questions that deal primarily with formal logical are not the one's that give me the most trouble, though I will practice diagramming them out. What confuses me most are the parallel flaw questions that are similar to the flaw questions I described in the previous paragraph. Particularly, ones that use a more procedural faulty thought process rather than employing a more traditional logical fallacy. To elaborate, when I see a fallacy of composition, fallacy of division, or one of the many causation fallacies, then I have a very clear mental map in my head in what to look for in the answer choices. When the faulty reasoning is not a typical standard logical fallacy, then that very clear mental map is not present. As stated above I will focus in on some of the more nuanced argument formatting cues to eliminate incorrect answers.

I am about to photocopy a bunch of flaw/parallel flaw question this morning, keep you guys updated.

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SunDevil14

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Re: Tips for Flaw Questions.

Postby SunDevil14 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:35 pm

Perhaps also worth mentioning, I will come up with quick explanations why certain answer choices are wrong after finishing a question. Usually all 5 answer choices are flaws, and I think that just being able to correctly identify the flaw used in the incorrect choices will likely boost my familiarity and overall awareness.

Other than that, I use a pseudo wrong to right thought process on LR. Most of the questions I can figure out the correct answer while looking at the stimulus, and thus can quickly identify/anticipate what the answer choice will be. In that case, I work A to E and eliminate until I find the answer choice that correctly matches what I anticipated the answer choice would be. I feel that this helps me with speed and pacing. If there is any shred of doubt to what the answer choice is and or I cannot find the answer choice that I have clearly articulated in my mind and anticipated, then I use a wrong to right method. Naturally, as the section progress from easier to more difficult questions, the few questions I can quickly eyeball and anticipate the answer choice.

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34iplaw

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Re: Tips for Flaw Questions.

Postby 34iplaw » Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:31 am

I think parallel flaws come in two flavors. I apologize for any misnomers

Formal conditional logic (lots of if, only if, etc.)

Diagram it out. Sometimes, I write letters over words in each stimulus or answer choice, and, if I find it really hard, I will actually write the corresponding word from the stimulus over my answer choice before I finalize it and make sure every key word in the answer choice matches the stimulus 1 for 1. What I mean by 1 for 1 isn't the number of times the word is said, but rather that there is a 1:1 ratio of important words - things, concepts, etc. that figure into the argument.

Flawed parallel methods of reasoning

I don't think diagramming helps as much here. You want to recognize the type of flaw it is. This is harder, IMO.

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Blueprint Mithun

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Re: Tips for Flaw Questions.

Postby Blueprint Mithun » Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:48 pm

SunDevil14 wrote:Flaw and Parallel Flaw Questions, are likely going to be the last or one of the last LR Question types I look at before the test next weekend. I do not really any other big weakness on LR question types.

Over my last 4 PT's:

Flaw: 25 of 31 questions 81%
Parallel Flaw: 4 of 8 questions 50%

I am going to go through every flaw and parallel flaw question one at a time from PT's 40-60. Are there any really special things I should be doing before/after each question? Are there any pro tips or key things I should keeping an eye out for?

Unlike other question types, Flaw questions are a bit harder to really focus in on since the errors in the question do not contain the same consistent patterns as the other question type. A plethora of different things can be wrong with any given question. Furthermore any struggles I have on flaw questions are naturally compounded in parallel flaw questions.



In my experience, the best way to approach Flaw questions is to think closely about the structure of the argument. You have premises and at least one conclusion. Think about how the premises provide support for that conclusion. When you know it's a Flaw question, you can be confident that the premises are NOT sufficient for proving the conclusion. Your task is to figure out exactly why.

Ask yourself - what is missing from these premises that would guarantee the validity of the conclusion? If you know the answer to that question, it shouldn't be too hard to find the flaw.



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