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Flaw Questions

Jackie180Jackie180 Alum Member

Does anyone have a successful strategies in tackling this difficult question type? I always get them confused by one another and inevitably chose the wrong answer choice.


  • OlamHafuchOlamHafuch Alum Member
    2326 karma

    Do you usually have a good idea of what the flaw in the argument is before going to the answers and you are getting tripped up only because of confusing language, or do you find that you are often going to the answers without really having a solid idea of the argument's flaw?

  • Jackie180Jackie180 Alum Member
    20 karma

    Sometimes I get tripped up, I always assume the "most vulnerable to criticism" questions to be weaken questions. Furthermore, I have trouble just getting how each flaw works. I still don't really get the "is"/"out" flaw.

  • OlamHafuchOlamHafuch Alum Member
    edited November 2017 2326 karma

    @Jackie180 said:
    Sometimes I get tripped up, I always assume the "most vulnerable to criticism" questions to be weaken questions.

    Well, you have to knock that out of your system.

    I'm not sure what the "is"/"out" flaw is. At any rate, when you strip the fancy language away, every flaw is pretty much common sense logic. If I were you I'd double down and go back to the flaw part of the curriculum, and not leave until my understanding was rock solid. Understanding flaws is really the basis to understanding weaken and strengthen questions too, since the first step to properly attacking those is understanding where the weakness (read: flaw) of the argument is.

  • tanes256tanes256 Alum Member
    2573 karma

    @Jackie180 you really have to understand what each flaw type means. That was also my problem. How can I pick the flaw represented if I couldn't identify the flaw? And do you mean is/ought? The LSAT Trainer was golden for me for flaws but you can always just take the list and Google. You'll find different variations of the flaws. I pretty much just matched them up to what JY calls them. Keep searching until you find something that makes sense to you for each flaw type, write them down on flashcards and memorize them.

  • tanes256tanes256 Alum Member
    2573 karma

    @Jackie180 also print out all the flaw questions here (Flaw in the Reasoning) if you have them and work through each. The flaw type is listed beside each question. Not for all of them, but enough so you can get practice with each flaw type.

  • Trust But VerifyTrust But Verify Alum Member
    427 karma

    Take flaw questions and do question and answer analysis. Write down a summary of the stimulus. What the conclusion is, support, context etc. Then A through E, why each is wrong and why the correct is correct. Over and Over. Long tedious summaries.

  • Mo ZubairMo Zubair Alum Member
    391 karma

    I was having extreme trouble with flaw questions as well. Here is what I did. I took dozens of flaw questions. Hid their answers. And just analyzed stimulus is extreme detail.

    I broke down reasoning structure and wrote details
    On what is/are flaw(s) with the reasoning. After that I went and looked at the answers.
    This helped me understanding how same flaws are presented again and again in different questions and how to spot them.

    Second thing I did was to review grammar lessons. The answer choices are in abstract language using referential Phrasing refer back to stimulus. Paying at taney ion to grammar helped me get better at that.

  • joycool9567joycool9567 Alum Member
    edited November 2017 133 karma

    I think memorizing some common types of flaw are really helpful.

    1. The trap of degree/or comparative statement.
      The LSAT usually tries to confuse us by meddling with
      "Look A is much higher than B"
      "A is High. " or "B is low"

    One great example was.. I can't remember the exact question number. But it went like this. It was weakening question FYI.

    Conclusion: When a heavy tax is levied on smoking, the sales of cigarette dramatically decreases. Therefore, smoking is reduced by a heavy tax.

    The wrong answer choice said something like
    "People are still more likely to purchase cigarettes when cigarette price increases due to heavy tax than when it increases for other reasons."

    Why the statement above is completely irrelevant to conclusion is exactly because it is a comparative statement. And comparative statement tells us nothing about absolute number. The cigarette sales may still dramatically decrease, let's say 50% when 60% decrease would have been still possible if it were not due to heavy tax.

    It may not be flaw question but I think even in flaw questions this type of flawed reasoning is often employed.

    1. Proportion/ Absolute number

    "Only a very small fraction of competent women working in the 20 largest corporations who nonetheless have the same or even greater achievements compared to their male counterparts ever becomes the members of Board of directors. This clearly shows that women are under-represented in the most important key managerial positions of our country due to the glass ceiling that persists to be the chronic problem of South Korea. "

    This reasoning is flawed.

    My rule of the thumb is when we don't know baseline ( or base number) We don't know anything.

    Just because small number of women outperforming men makes it to BOD, this doesn't mean they are marginalized in BOD.

    Why? Because we don't know the absolute number of BOD positions. If there are only 5 positions of BOD and there are 1 million women outperforming men, even if all 5 positions are filled with women, only a small fraction of women get to make it to BOD.

    The analogy I used to understand this concept was congress.
    Just because less than 1 percent of californians ever get to be congressmen, that does not mean California is under-represented in Senate. Again, no base number, no conclusion.

    1. SC- NC confusion.

    It's sometimes hard but it gets really obvious. I think this is one of the most common types.
    Takes for granted that A is the only way to~~ is usually the wording I find (though not always.)

    1. Correlation- Causation error.

    A is correlated with B . Therefore A caused B.

    The answer says something like "the author disregards the possibility that B might cause A. ... or C caused A " something along that line.

    1. Minor errors
      -Ad hominem- attacking the person rather than argument~
      -Term shifts in meaning~~
      -Outlier argument-
      But we see a case where A is not B. Therefore, A must not be B.
      -Unrepresentative samples~ Biased individuals like movie guilds surveying about the movie policies and all..

    I believe these are some of the errors that usually repeat.
    Idk if that helps but I think it is one of the question types I now find "yes, it'll save me some time"
    though weakening strengthening question types are killing me.....

    I think once you get accustomed to how "flaws are expressed in words in answer choices" It'll get easier. What I did was I took all the answer choices in flaw question set and categorized them in the word document.

    Also I made up my own flawed-argument using the phrases and words I found in the sample question sets. I don't know it helped me but that's what I did and I don't find flaw questions so difficult now. What I wrote above is part of my own note from flaw question analysis in my own word document.

    Hope you found it helpful thanks.

  • Jackie180Jackie180 Alum Member
    20 karma

    Thank you all! You’ve all been amazing, I’m drilling through the question banks with the mid-tough leveled flaw questions. Also made some flashcards of question stems and flaw types, gonna try and nail it down!

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