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Quick question on NA and SA question types.

lsatyayylsatyayy Alum Member

Hi everyone. I have always thought NA questions are like inference questions in that their right answer will be true if the conclusion is true. And I thought the SA question types are the ones that the correct answer will bridge the broken conditional chains.

But over and over, from JY and others, I hear the comment that goes 'answer choice X is correct because it fills the gap between the premise and the conclusion" in the NA question expls..

Okay. So I guess that NA are sort of like SA, but NA right answers are minimum requirement while SA right answers are 100% air tight reason?

I have always thought NA are similar to inference. But now I'm just confused.... Is there a simple way to clearly distinguish NA from SA? HELP!


  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly + Live Member Sage 🍌 7Sage Tutor
    27867 karma

    Unlike Sufficient Assumptions which always and can only ever do one thing--bring an argument to validity--Necessary Assumptions exist on a spectrum. In some cases, they can actually be both necessary and sufficient. At other times they barely affect an argument at all, strengthening only in the slightest, most technical sense.

    I think your approach is one of several correct ways to think about these. It's my preferred way because I think it gets more to the real nature of what it means for something to truly be necessary. I think of them as conditional must be true questions: If the conclusion is to follow from the premises, then what must be true?

    If this works for you, keep doing it. It's strategically efficient and logically sound.

  • keets993keets993 Alum Member 🍌
    6050 karma

    There's two types of NA questions: bridging and blocking. Bridging are the ones that fill in a bridge between premise to conclusion, but the level doesn't have to be as strong as SA. Once in a while you'll get one where the assumption is both necessary and sufficient. Blocking types are the ones where you block something that the argument has taken for granted or failed to considered.

  • lsatyayylsatyayy Alum Member
    edited January 2019 178 karma

    I like your idea Cant Get Right. To think that NAQs is like conditional-MBTQs. That's brilliant!
    Thank you Keets993.

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