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Author Topic: Improving LR Necessary Assumption Questions  (Read 887 times)

uni-brow

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Improving LR Necessary Assumption Questions
« on: May 09, 2005, 02:40:06 AM »
I struggle most with LR necessary assumption questions and I'm not improving. During the test, I think I've nailed them by POE and then when I check my answers, I'm often shocked. I usually get the questions redoing them, and think I learned... but I still miss them the next test. What can I do ???

My strategy is the identification of the conclusion since it is key. The information in the passage (stimulus) tries to support the conclusion, but lacks something. So, is it good to have a prephased idea of what is needed to make the conclusion valid?

Amanda H.

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Re: Improving LR Necessary Assumption Questions
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2005, 08:12:06 AM »
Your general approach sounds good.  For most LR Q's, you generally want to identify the conclusion, and see if the premises really add up to the conclusion, or if there is a hole or flaw there. Pre-phrasing the right answer is also usually helpful.

However, try using the negation technique when you get to an attractive answer choice.  Take the opposite of the Answer, and see if it destroys the argument.  The negation of a necessary assumption will always destroy the argument.  If it does not, then it's not really a necessary assumption.

This should help increase your accuracy.

uni-brow

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Re: Improving LR Necessary Assumption Questions
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2005, 01:58:20 AM »
Thanks Amanda, I'll try negation on the choices I'm stuck with.

Point and Laugh

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Re: Improving LR Necessary Assumption Questions
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2005, 02:25:38 AM »
Oftentimes there are patterns to what the testmakers use as answer choices on these types of questions. While I wholeheartedly support the use of the assumption negation technique in deciding among attractive answer choices, prephrasing is also a powerful tool in anticipating what the correct answer might be.

For example, in many of the cause and effect questions, the correct answer often goes something as follows: there are no other causes that may have led to the observed effect.

In other cases, especially in which the argument advances a course of action, the correct answer simply affirms that it is actually possible for the action to be implemented.

Keeping some of these patterns in mind may help push you toward a right answer or shave off some time as you approach these questions.

theo

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Re: Improving LR Necessary Assumption Questions
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2005, 02:51:31 AM »
Oftentimes there are patterns to what the testmakers use as answer choices on these types of questions. While I wholeheartedly support the use of the assumption negation technique in deciding among attractive answer choices, prephrasing is also a powerful tool in anticipating what the correct answer might be.

For example, in many of the cause and effect questions, the correct answer often goes something as follows: there are no other causes that may have led to the observed effect.

In other cases, especially in which the argument advances a course of action, the correct answer simply affirms that it is actually possible for the action to be implemented.

Keeping some of these patterns in mind may help push you toward a right answer or shave off some time as you approach these questions.


Does prephrasing work here?

<<<<<
The folktale that claims that a rattlesnake's age can be determined from the number of sections in its rattle is false, but only because the rattles are brittle and sometimes partially or completely break off.  So if they were not so brittle, one could reliably determine a rattlesnake's age simply from the number of sections in its rattle, because one new section is formed each time a rattlesnake molts.

Which one of the following is an assumption the argument requires in order for its conclusion to be properly drawn?
>>>>>
quid leges sine moribus vanae proficiunt?

Nizzy

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Re: Improving LR Necessary Assumption Questions
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2005, 03:12:16 AM »
Oftentimes there are patterns to what the testmakers use as answer choices on these types of questions. While I wholeheartedly support the use of the assumption negation technique in deciding among attractive answer choices, prephrasing is also a powerful tool in anticipating what the correct answer might be.

For example, in many of the cause and effect questions, the correct answer often goes something as follows: there are no other causes that may have led to the observed effect.

In other cases, especially in which the argument advances a course of action, the correct answer simply affirms that it is actually possible for the action to be implemented.

Keeping some of these patterns in mind may help push you toward a right answer or shave off some time as you approach these questions.


Does prephrasing work here?

<<<<<
The folktale that claims that a rattlesnake's age can be determined from the number of sections in its rattle is false, but only because the rattles are brittle and sometimes partially or completely break off.  So if they were not so brittle, one could reliably determine a rattlesnake's age simply from the number of sections in its rattle, because one new section is formed each time a rattlesnake molts.

Which one of the following is an assumption the argument requires in order for its conclusion to be properly drawn?
>>>>>


The assumption would be that molting and age correlate, i would think.  This was never mentioned and is needed.

Point and Laugh

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Re: Improving LR Necessary Assumption Questions
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2005, 03:16:08 AM »
Oftentimes there are patterns to what the testmakers use as answer choices on these types of questions. While I wholeheartedly support the use of the assumption negation technique in deciding among attractive answer choices, prephrasing is also a powerful tool in anticipating what the correct answer might be.

For example, in many of the cause and effect questions, the correct answer often goes something as follows: there are no other causes that may have led to the observed effect.

In other cases, especially in which the argument advances a course of action, the correct answer simply affirms that it is actually possible for the action to be implemented.

Keeping some of these patterns in mind may help push you toward a right answer or shave off some time as you approach these questions.


Does prephrasing work here?

<<<<<
The folktale that claims that a rattlesnake's age can be determined from the number of sections in its rattle is false, but only because the rattles are brittle and sometimes partially or completely break off.  So if they were not so brittle, one could reliably determine a rattlesnake's age simply from the number of sections in its rattle, because one new section is formed each time a rattlesnake molts.

Which one of the following is an assumption the argument requires in order for its conclusion to be properly drawn?
>>>>>

What's your point?

If you're suggesting that prephrasing does not work all the time, you'll get no argument from me. Nowhere do I make the assertion that prephrasing is the only solution to solving all these problems, only that it is a powerful tool in a test-taker's arsenal that can be used to tackle such questions.

If you're suggesting that prephrasing is a total waste of time, I must respectfully disagree, given that recurring patterns do exist in the questions that appear on the test and recognizing these patterns may help in anticipating the correct answers in the future.

Atlas429

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Re: Improving LR Necessary Assumption Questions
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2005, 08:32:42 AM »
The assumption would be that molting and age correlate, i would think.  This was never mentioned and is needed.
Quote

Actually, it's funny that you mention that. If you look at the answer choices, one of them is basically a restatement of that idea.....but it's wrong.

The incorrect answer is something to the effect of "Rattle snakes molt exactly once a year". If you negate it, however, the argument still holds up. For example they could molt four times (NOT once) a year and the size of the  rattle would still be a way to determine age.

To me, this question showed me the power of the negation technique and why it is sometimes not necessary to prephase answers. It's only thanks to guys like Casa, AJ, and Theo that I managed to pick it up.

Nizzy

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Re: Improving LR Necessary Assumption Questions
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2005, 05:17:10 PM »
The assumption would be that molting and age correlate, i would think.  This was never mentioned and is needed.
Quote

Actually, it's funny that you mention that. If you look at the answer choices, one of them is basically a restatement of that idea.....but it's wrong.

The incorrect answer is something to the effect of "Rattle snakes molt exactly once a year". If you negate it, however, the argument still holds up. For example they could molt four times (NOT once) a year and the size of the  rattle would still be a way to determine age.

To me, this question showed me the power of the negation technique and why it is sometimes not necessary to prephase answers. It's only thanks to guys like Casa, AJ, and Theo that I managed to pick it up.

The thing about molting once a year is quite noticeably not the same as what i said.  I said they had to correlate, and a statement that says that they have to correlate a specific way goes too far and is incorrect.  Could you give the answer choices?

(BTW, i am making no comment about the good and bad of paraphrasing, I don't actually use any technique with these sections, i just pick the one that sounds write.  Go philosopy)

Intuition

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Re: Improving LR Necessary Assumption Questions
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2005, 06:47:00 PM »
 ;D I'm with you Nizzy. I always get so confused checking out these LSAT threads because I didn't learn any special "techniques". Just used the thought process I learned in Philosophy. Of course, it's a little more difficult to explain answers to others using our methods.