The question that I do not fully understand is prep 33,Section 1, Question 24. Basically the stimulus says that the next budget proposal will probably be approved. The reasoning behind is usually about half of all budget proposals that are considered are approved, and the last five budget proposals have all been turned down.By POE, I got the question right. However, I do not quite fully understand the answer. The answer says that the fact that the last five budget proposals turned down affects the probablity of the next budget proposal will be turned down... My question here is that doesn't the last part in the answer have to be "will be approved?" Or is it kind of the same way of putting it in this case because likely of turning down will be the same as being approved??Please help me out!!

Just to point out quickly, the real point of the question isn't really the way they phrase the answer. It speaks to having a basic understanding of probability. If you have a certain probability of an independent event, then subsequent events are not affected by the previous one.For example, the probability of getting heads when flipping a coin is 50%. Thus, just because you have gotten five tails in a row, it doesn't mean that the probability of getting tails on the sixth try is any less (it still remains 50%).I really think the question is rewarding this type of understanding -- not so much in the way they phrase it (although, that certainly is a part of it).

Quote from: Changed Name on January 15, 2010, 12:51:54 PMJust to point out quickly, the real point of the question isn't really the way they phrase the answer. It speaks to having a basic understanding of probability. If you have a certain probability of an independent event, then subsequent events are not affected by the previous one.For example, the probability of getting heads when flipping a coin is 50%. Thus, just because you have gotten five tails in a row, it doesn't mean that the probability of getting tails on the sixth try is any less (it still remains 50%).I really think the question is rewarding this type of understanding -- not so much in the way they phrase it (although, that certainly is a part of it).Oh good point. I totally didn't catch that when reading the description of the stem. what you say is true, but it doesn't apply to this particular question. flipping a coin is always an independent event, so it doesn't matter what happens before it. In the case of this LSAT question, since about half are approved, knowing how many have not been approved could make a difference, but only if you know the total amount that are being considered in the first place.

The answer choice doesn't need to say "will be approved" because it's talking about the likelihood that the next budget proposal will be turned down. This probability can be zero, in which case the next proposal will be approved, or it could be as much as 100 in which case the next proposal will not be approved. Hence, stating the "likelihood that the next budget proposal will be turned down" is the same as saying "...will be approved".

The answer choice is simply stating that the last five budget proposals being turned down does not have any effect on what will happen next. This is mainly due to the fact that we don't know the total number of budget proposals.

If the total number of proposals is 11 and about half of the proposals are approved, and 5 are already turned down, isn't it very likely that the next one is going to be approved? In this case, the argument is justified. Since we don't know the total number, we can't say for sure whether the last 5 proposals being turned down is important.Edit: It is possible that there's a situation for budget proposals where a rulebook might say if the last five budget proposals were rejected, the next one must be approved. But this is out of the scope of the argument; the argument only states that about half are approved. The basic reasoning above is within the boundaries for the LSAT.

I think "changed name" and earlcat are on the money here. My first instinct was using changed name's reasoning, and it would lead you to the correct answer. Earlcat's explanation is even more precise though imo and the wording of what he said is very likely exactly what the lsat would use as the correct answer.