SOS: Need any + all help with strengthen + required assumption questions

kang_moyeon-1kang_moyeon-1 Free Trial Member

Hey everyone!

I've been struggling the last several days with these question types. I'm trying to score 175 on the exam. Right now my logic games section is good (0 or -1). My reading comprehension is my weak spot that I'm trying to compensate for. It ranges from -3 to -6. As a result, I'm trying to get as close to perfect on logical reasoning as possible. I'm at a range of 165-170 with logical reasoning varying from -10 to -6.

Difficult strengthen + required assumption questions are the ones I usually get wrong in logical reasoning, with some occasional flaw questions. I've tried negating the argument, but I don't think it works well for me and my mindset. With strengthen I usually come down to a right and wrong answer yet pick the wrong one. The flaw questions I get wrong I recognize the general source of the flaw yet I pick an answer with similar yet incorrect phrasing of the flaw. Any help/advice?

Thank you!


  • Lucas CarterLucas Carter Alum Member
    2798 karma

    For strengthen try to focus on what the conclusion is really saying. Often times trap answer choices will sound really good but be slightly inconsistent with what the argument is trying to conclude. Always ask yourself how to make the premise become more likely to lead to the conclusion. Additionally, try to pre phrase what you think the AC should be/look like before looking at the ACs.

    For Necessary Assumption, I think about whether we really need the assumption to be true for the argument to work, this helps eliminate ACs that are too specific or out of scope. I think that pre phrasing is most powerful and effective for NA questions and can alleviate a lot of confusion that trap ACs tend to cause.

  • jhbm_nycjhbm_nyc Alum Member
    568 karma

    For Strengthen Q's, I identify the P and C, and try to understand the gap in reasoning. Instead of predicting a specific answer choice, I just try to keep an open mind. If it's a causal or phenomenon/hypothesis argument, look for an answer choice that blocks an alternative explanation or strengthens covariation (cause + effect, or no cause + no effect). Don't dismiss an answer choice with new info too quickly -- figure out how it affects the argument. To confirm the answer choice, ask if it makes the P more relevant to the C, making the C more likely to be true. Eliminate answer choices that neither strengthens nor weakens, or where you can't determine one way or the other.

    For NA Q's, it's the same for identifying the P and C, and trying to understand the gap. You're task is to either bridge the gap between P and C (e.g. do they talk about the same groups? is there new info in the C not mentioned in the P?) or defend the argument against a potential objection (e.g. is there a factor/consideration the argument is overlooking?). Try to predict the answer choice if possible. Then for each answer choice, ask if it has to be true. If not, then eliminate. If yes, then confirm by negating to see if it destroys the argument.

  • kang_moyeon-1kang_moyeon-1 Free Trial Member
    12 karma

    Thank you both of you! I'll implement your strategies and see what clicks best for me :)

  • OhnoeshalpmeOhnoeshalpme Alum Member
    2531 karma

    If you negate a necessary assumption the conclusion is impossible to draw from the premises. Therefore, a good method to check your answer is to negate it and see if the conclusion can be properly drawn. If not, you got the right answer!

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