Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

trouble with weakening and flaw questions

veirshunterveirshunter Alum Member
edited December 2014 in Logical Reasoning 26 karma
I've reviewed JY's videos, but I'm having issues. On the most recent tests I've done, I'm getting ~55% of these questions. On the weakening, I'm trying to "punch the arguments in the face" and on the flaw I'm trying to imagine how I can "punch it in the face." This is an absolute immediate concern since test day is Saturday. I can't explain it. I'm doing acceptable on argument parts, MP/MC, so feel good about identifying argument structure and support. But I can't seem to figure out how to "punch" effectively. Anyone have similar issues and how did you overcame them?

On a side note (and not important to the above question), I've recently read the books; "lawyer bubble" and "learned optimism." In the lawyer bubble, he talks about lawyers having more pessimistic behavior than others. In learned optimism, which is a great book and I would highly recommend to those looking to increase their interpersonal communication effectiveness, someone is not solely either pessimistic nor optimistic. However, people tend to exhibit behavior that is closer to one side. I generally consider myself closer to the optimistic side, or open to exploring ideas, as opposed to shutting considerations down. Anyone who thinks they have a more optimistic personality have similar problems with these questions?


  • Vriver01Vriver01 Alum Member
    60 karma
    I'm in the same position. Weakening and flaws are the most difficult questions for me, too. Any tips from fellow 7sagers would be greatly appreciated.
  • harrismeganharrismegan Member
    2074 karma
    Weakening are my biggest problem too.
    To improve on flaw (I know this can't really help before Saturday), but I bought the book by Michael... I can't remember the title right now. It just went through a lot of flaw questions.

    My suggestion before Saturday... There are some notes on the common flaw types, maybe re read through those, do a handful of flaw questions.
    When attacking flaw, find the conclusion and the premise. There will ALWAYS be a problem between the two that you have to identify. Just look for why the premise doesn't support the conclusion. It doesn't have to be a punch, just why, when reading the premise, it doesn't help support you getting to the conclusion.
  • leeliseeleelisee Alum Member
    edited December 2014 92 karma
    I struggle with weakening and flaws q's too. You all may do this already but as soon as you read the conclusion, think of the anti-conclusion so you can get the ball rolling (toward weakening the argument in any way possible). So if the conclusion is: birth weight affects appetite, your anti-conclusion is birth weight does NOT affect appetite. And maybe take a second or two to quickly think of any reason how the anti conclusion could come about.

    I think the most important thing in Weakening/Flaws is to NOT get persuaded by the stimulus. And that's difficult to do given how well created some of the arguments are. Try to break and reverse the tendency to agree with the conclusion by immediately negating it.
  • veirshunterveirshunter Alum Member
    26 karma
    thanks leelisee, that seems very helpful. I'll give that a try!
  • BettyN123BettyN123 Alum Member
    8 karma
    I was struggling a whole lot with flaw questions too, so I got some tutoring from Jon, and he recommended I make an "error log" (I hope it's cool that I share this!).

    A part of it was going through the "types of flaws" list from one of the lessons and coming up with my own examples for each one. In addition to that, going through the past exams, picking out the flaw questions, and recording them in a "log".

    So for each flaw question, I categorized them, and then stuck them under their respective headings (e.g., attacking the source, part to whole, correlation-causation, etc.). The other headings include preptest number, section number, question number, answer choice, correct answer choice, and a screenshot of the actual question (which saved me a lot of time because I didn't have to flip back to the exam).

    You know how JY is always saying "the wrong answer choices are correct answer choices for other questions"? That's what I stuck under "answer choice"...all the wrong answer choices that a question has. I did this to see how a type of flaw could be described.

    So eventually I had this long list going...and the answer choices really do repeat themselves. Wrong and right answer choices.

    I also attempted to categorize weaken questions in there too.

    And of course, one must always identify the premise, conclusion, and major assumptions in an argument. And all that business about referential phrasing. Very important.

    My brain is tired, and so I hope all that made sense. I know there's only a couple days to go, but I hope it kind of helps. Cheers :).
  • mjjohns6mjjohns6 Member
    418 karma
    What's your email? I can share a google doc with you on some of the 19 common types of flaw questions.
  • mp_mcconnellmp_mcconnell Alum Member
    9 karma
    Leelisee - thinking of the "anti-conclusion" really helps clarify my thinking. Thank-you. I've also started reading the answer choices backwards for weakening questions: from E to A. I figure the LSAT writers must have a deliberate reason for the order they choose.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Free Trial
    578 karma
    when you see cause and effect for weaning your suppose to show an alternative cause that can explain the effect or show effect without the stated cause. If it's a non-cause & effect then go through each answer and ask yourself : will this call into question the stated conclusion?
Sign In or Register to comment.