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#13 - Several three-year-olds who had learned to count to

PowerScore Staff
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Complete Question Explanation

Must Be True-PR. The correct answer choice is (E)

This stimulus presents a set of facts that describe the experience of a class of three-year-old children who were having trouble learning their telephone numbers. The children knew how to count to ten, and so were “familiar with the names of all the digits.” The problem was not the children’s knowledge of the numbers, but rather that they could not remember the sequence of numbers that represented their respective telephone numbers.

However, the children’s teacher had a plan. She taught each child a song. The lyrics to the song learned by each child contained that child’s phone number. This plan worked, because by the end of the day each of the children could remember their respective telephone numbers.

The question stem tells us that this is a Must Be True—Principle question. The correct answer choice expresses the principle illustrated by the stimulus. Our prephrase is that learning a song containing his or her telephone number as the lyrics helped each child remember their telephone number.

Answer choice (A): The stimulus only discussed the narrow example of three-year-old children learning their telephone numbers. This answer choice, about “children” generally, and about things other than simply telephone numbers, is not supported.

Answer choice (B): The children knew the words for the numbers in their telephone numbers. The trouble came when they tried to remember the sequence of numbers that comprised their telephone numbers. So, the issue was memorization, not the fundamental knowledge.

Answer choice (C): While the teacher did use a mnemonic device to help the children, the stimulus did not compare the effectiveness of mnemonic devices to any other method for memorizing numbers.

Answer choice (D): While it may be true that children can learn to count without understanding the meaning of numbers, that possibility is irrelevant to this stimulus. Here, the children already knew how to count, and were attempting to memorize their telephone numbers.

Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice, because it describes what is illustrated by the children’s experience in learning their telephone numbers. The names of the numerical digits were “familiar words” for the children, and the strategy of using a song as a mnemonic device helped the children remember the order in which the digits occurred in their respective phone numbers.
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Hi, I was thrown off by the correct answer choice. I ruled out E, because I thought the statement was too strong for a must be true question. My issue with E is that it seemed like a good answer for a strengthen question stem, but not a must be true one. I don't see anything in the stimulus that would clearly lead me to believe the sequence is what's making it difficult for children to remember their phone number, without bringing in outside information to make assumptions. In the US we typically have 10 digit phone numbers. However, the stimulus doesn't tell us how long the three-year-olds' phone numbers are. In fact, a phone number in another country can be longer than 10 digits. Could it not be that the difficulty comes from remembering beyond a certain number of digits, rather than the sequence?
Brook Miscoski
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Stating that songs "are useful" is not particularly strong, but it is stronger than "may be useful." Here, that's okay, because if you look at the stimulus what happened applied to every single one (all) of the children.

Eliminating strongly worded choices on must be true questions is a technique that assumes the student can't match the stimulus. If the student does struggle to match the stimulus, it may help pick up some points. But using the technique will prevent high scores/is for students who only need a score in the 150s. If you are aiming high, do not eliminate choices simply because they are strongly worded. You need to consider whether the wording of the choice is supported by strong wording in the stimulus. I (and Powerscore) think(s) every student is capable of doing it the right way.