Assumption Questions

CaitP
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Assumption Questions

Postby CaitP » Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:59 pm

I am terrible at the assumption questions in the Logical Reasoning section. I've read the Powerscore Bible, and I understand the basics, but I still get every single assumption question wrong.

Any pointers out there?

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vasiok
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Re: Assumption Questions

Postby vasiok » Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:02 pm

CaitP wrote:I am terrible at the assumption questions in the Logical Reasoning section. I've read the Powerscore Bible, and I understand the basics, but I still get every single assumption question wrong.

Any pointers out there?


Why you get them wrong? What is your method of approach?

zero1
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Re: Assumption Questions

Postby zero1 » Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:06 pm

Gotta prephrase those or you'll end up comparing answer choices forever. A lot of times these stimuli will just sound weird...as if something is missing from them.

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JazzOne
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Re: Assumption Questions

Postby JazzOne » Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:33 am

Try to recognize the language shift before you look at the answer choices. The most pertinent question is "What is mentioned in the conclusion but not in the premises?" The correct answer will usually tie that idea back to an idea in a premise. Also, learn the negation test. The only way to really learn the negation test is to use it on questions for which you don't need it. In other words, practice the negation test on all the easy assumption questions so that you have another tool in your belt for difficult questions. If you force yourself to explicitly write out the negation of the correct answer for each necessary assumption question, you will soon learn how to think about those without explicitly writing it out.

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blhblahblah
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Re: Assumption Questions

Postby blhblahblah » Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:38 am

To add to the above, look out for questions containing assumption EXCEPT--these questions will yield four assumption responses, albeit discredited responses, for trying out the 'negation technique' with observable implications on the conclusion. Or, you can make your own arguments, but the above is more of a surefire way...

goansongo
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Re: Assumption Questions

Postby goansongo » Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:13 am

It's ok to get the questions wrong when you're doing a preptest, but I hope you're actually going through the answer choices again and learning why you picked the wrong answer choice and why the correct answer is the only correct choice. By doing this, your brain will eventually get into that kind of thought process and soon you'll be able to knock out wrong answer choices right off the bat.

The negation technique is also one of the best methods to use when doing necessary assumption questions. Sometimes, when you apply the negation technique to the wrong answer choice, it will merely weaken the argument, but it will not destroy the argument. That is the key. Find the answer choice that totally destroys the argument when you use the negation technique.

Look for key words in the answer choices too. Answer choices that are too strong will usually (but not always) be the wrong answer. Typically, the correct answer is weak which is why applying the negation technique will destroy the argument.

CaitP
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Re: Assumption Questions

Postby CaitP » Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:49 am

This is all super helpful! It sounds like I need to spend more time looking back at my wrong answers and analyzing what I did wrong.

Thanks!

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mroyal
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Re: Assumption Questions

Postby mroyal » Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:06 pm

According to the spreadsheet I kept during my lsat preparation (don't laugh), assumption questions were also my weakest. However, by the end, I had dramatically improved in this area. The negation test in which you negate and check which weakens is a key method. Once you get used to these questions, they are actually quite easy, IMO.

Almost all of these questions flow like this:

Point A
Point B
Conclusion C, which relates back to the point A. The assumption will bridge these two.

It seems as though almost all assumption questions involve each "side" of the entire question: the first and/or second sentence(s) and the conclusion. The correct answer will almost always relate to the beginning of the passage, not the middle. This is the pattern that i've noticed.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Assumption Questions

Postby Helmholtz » Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:30 pm

JazzOne wrote:Try to recognize the language shift before you look at the answer choices. The most pertinent question is "What is mentioned in the conclusion but not in the premises?" The correct answer will usually tie that idea back to an idea in a premise. Also, learn the negation test. The only way to really learn the negation test is to use it on questions for which you don't need it. In other words, practice the negation test on all the easy assumption questions so that you have another tool in your belt for difficult questions. If you force yourself to explicitly write out the negation of the correct answer for each necessary assumption question, you will soon learn how to think about those without explicitly writing it out.


Very good advice. I've been using these methods more and more. I typically got -3 on ea. LR with all or most of those being assumption questions. Now that I've been using the negation test and asking "What is mentioned in the conclusion but not in the premises", I maybe miss one assumption per LR section (usually do to a stupid mistake/simple misread).

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northwood
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Re: Assumption Questions

Postby northwood » Mon May 17, 2010 9:35 am

[quote="CaitP"]I am terrible at the assumption questions in the Logical Reasoning section. I've read the Powerscore Bible, and I understand the basics, but I still get every single assumption question wrong.

Any pointers out there?

Im the same way, except everytime I take them, I think I have the righte answers, even when I go super slow ( and cant finish the section before 33 minutes-- i leave teh last 2 minutes to check the scantron to make sure I correctly bubbled in the answers)...... Ive read the pr, kaplans, and powerscore.... any other tips.... I find that if I get these right, my score will dramatically increase.....

youknowryan
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Re: Assumption Questions

Postby youknowryan » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:29 pm

JazzOne wrote:Try to recognize the language shift before you look at the answer choices. The most pertinent question is "What is mentioned in the conclusion but not in the premises?" The correct answer will usually tie that idea back to an idea in a premise. Also, learn the negation test. The only way to really learn the negation test is to use it on questions for which you don't need it. In other words, practice the negation test on all the easy assumption questions so that you have another tool in your belt for difficult questions. If you force yourself to explicitly write out the negation of the correct answer for each necessary assumption question, you will soon learn how to think about those without explicitly writing it out.


Looking at PT 22, S4, #22, I am not sure how to apply your advice.

The conclusion states, "Thus the paleontologists' claim is false."

The paleontologists are referenced in the premises either via the same word or the pronoun "their", and claim is also referenced in a premise.

How does one tackle this kind of problem?

kpuc
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Re: Assumption Questions

Postby kpuc » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:34 pm

I think if you do enough Assumption questions, the gaps in the stimulus' logic become easy to spot even as you're reading the question.

If you're unsure, the Negation Test that somebody already mentioned is a good double-checker: simply rephrase the A/C into a logical opposite, and if it weakens the argument, then it is the correct answer.

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JazzOne
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Re: Assumption Questions

Postby JazzOne » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:56 pm

If you PM the entire question to me, I'll explain how to spot the language shift.

I also feel compelled to note that the "negation" of a statement is not necessarily the same as its "opposite." For instance, consider the statement, "all men are mortal." I think the opposite would be, "no men are mortal." However, the correct negation is, "not all men are mortal." I realize that's a subtle point, but it can make all the difference for some questions.




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