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Author Topic: Improving LR Necessary Assumption Questions  (Read 881 times)

mattb23

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Re: Improving LR Necessary Assumption Questions
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2005, 08:27:36 PM »
Most of this has been mentioned above, but my own quick thoughts on assumption questions. The method I find most effective:

-identify the conclusion and the evidence

-ID what the conc. and evidence have in common; and then, more importantly, ID where the conc. and evidence are mismatched. In any necessary assumption Q, there's gonna be a disconnect between the evidence and the conclusion or a "missing link" which, if included, would provide the logical bridge between evidence and conclusion.
 
-as for pre-phrasing. In my opinion, truly formal pre-phrasing is a tremendous waste of time. By that I mean someone actually sitting there and wasting valuable seconds trying to come up with the perfect pre-phrase. That's utterly nonsensical. What you want is to do enough of these types of questions that the pre-phrasing becomes a second-nature, automatic process, giving you a general idea of what you're looking for as you head to the answer choices. I've got no issues with taking a couple seconds thinking about a general pre=phrase--but don't male private part around playing with the phrasing.

-if you immediately recognize what the "missing link" is, then just find the answer choice that matches it. If not, then I think negation is the way to go, as noted above---take each choice, and plug it into the argument. Then ask yourself whether, if you were to take away the choice from the argument, does the argument still work logically? Do the evidence and conclusion match up? If they don't, you've got your correct answer.

Good luck, feel free to email me if I can be of any help.

Atlas429

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Re: Improving LR Necessary Assumption Questions
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2005, 08:48:01 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)

The one that sounds write, I see. Do they teach spelling in those philosophy classes too? ;D

Here are the answer choices for the rattlesnake question:
a- rattlesnakes molt exactly once a year
b- the rattles of rattlesnakes of different species are identical in appearance
c- rattlesnakes molt more frequently when young than old
d- the brittleness of a rattlesnake's rattle is not correlated with the length of the rattlesnake's life
e- rattlesnakes molt as often when food is scarce as they do when food is plentiful.

I agree the "exactly once a year" takes your idea too far. But for someone like me, its all to easy to go from "correlate" to "once a year" and get the question wrong.

Nizzy

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Re: Improving LR Necessary Assumption Questions
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2005, 01:51:47 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.

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)

The one that sounds write, I see. Do they teach spelling those philosophy classes too? ;D

Here are the answer choices for the rattlesnake question:
a- rattlesnakes molt exactly once a year
b- the rattles of rattlesnakes of different species are identical in appearance
c- rattlesnakes molt more frequently when young than old
d- the brittleness of a rattlesnake's rattle is not correlated with the length of the rattlesnake's life
e- rattlesnakes molt as often when food is scarce as they do when food is plentiful.

I agree the "exactly once a year" takes your idea too far. But for someone like me, its all to easy to go from "correlate" to "once a year" and get the question wrong.

 :'( Mean you are.  They do not teach spelling in those classes, though i would attribute that dumb mistake to my lack of proof reading more than anything else.  This question blows, actually, but I would have to go with E. (essentially using negation)  Got a 168 if that has anything to do with my opinion being valid.

the scientist

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Re: Improving LR Necessary Assumption Questions
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2005, 06:28:08 PM »
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.

im struggling with these questions even after reading LRB's chapters on these Q's . Its like most of the time i choose the right answer but i just dont know why i picked it ...maybe coz of my practice ...
HOw do you find a flaw or hole in the argument?
Also how do you pre-phrase...
just wanted to know your opinion!!!

tjking82

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Re: Improving LR Necessary Assumption Questions
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2005, 10:13:57 PM »
Prephrasing is NOT something you should have to consciously do.  Oh sure, at first you have to say "now what kind of answer am I looking for here?"  But eventually you get to the point where you can see the direction the question is going before it's even completed.  This is how you'll hear people say they finished the LR section 10 minutes early.  I'm quite certain that isn't possible if you evaluate each answer choice for each problem.  The only real way to accomplish that is to be so familiar with the LSAT logic and the question formats to be able to read a stimulus halfway through and know exactly what the flaw is, and what specific types of answers would solve the flaw.

Then, instead of evaluating each answer choice, you're able to simply look for the one that puts your answer into words.  This is also a highly accurate way to do things.