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Tips for Parallel Flaw Questions?

kilgoretroutkilgoretrout Alum Member

Anyone got any tips/strategies for tackling PF? They're my worst area. I do pretty okay when it's a common invalid argument form but often times I can't really see what the flaw is if it doesn't follow that. Also not sure when to map out the stimulus and when I shouldn't.


  • LogicianLogician Alum Member Sage
    2464 karma

    You can map it out if it’s conditional logic and you can’t keep it in your head, or generally if you think it would be quicker. There are also instances when it’s causal and you can map it out. If you can’t spot the flaw right away, skip it and come back to it later. In terms of tips and tricks, you can do what JY calls a “shallow dip” which is where you check to see if the conclusions of the answer choices match the stimulus- you can usually eliminate a few this way. You can also apply this strategy to the premises in certain cases. For example if there’s an “and” or “or” premise.

  • howdoichangemyavatarhowdoichangemyavatar Free Trial Member
    52 karma

    I put a lot of time in over a few months to get faster at them. The way I tackled parallel questions in general was by drilling as many as possible, translating the stimulus and answer choices into symbolic logic ‘proofs,’and not timing myself when i did so. After a certain point, I no longer had to write out the proofs. I could follow the logic in my head.

    If you take your time, write out the proof and still cant find the flaw, you probably need to brush up on your symbolic logic (some, most, all, sufficient & necessary statements, contrapositives).

    Also this is no secret, but they’re a real time-suck. Their position near the end of the test often means people are getting to them without much time left. I began at the end of LR to hit these and other difficult questions first. I figured the easiest questions near the beginning of the test were better to face when low on time. If you’re at or nearing 90%+, and have done a number of PTs, then I suggest trying this. You may just need more time.

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