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#18 - The widespread staff reductions in a certain region’s

ellenb
LSAT Master
 
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Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:26 pm
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Dear Powerscore,

So, I got the answer correct, but once again want to make sure that my thought process is correct. So, I thought A to be the answer because if people still have jobs they do not pay their debts because they are trying to save money because of the bad economy.

Is my thought process along the right path?

Thanks

Ellen
Luke Haqq
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:28 pm
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Hi Ellen,

Yes your thoughts are certainly on the right track. I find that a quick way to gets to the right answer on this question is to use PowerScore's assumption negation technique. Consider the negation of answer choice A:

- if people in the region who continue to be employed have debts, they are now paying them off at an accelerated rate.

If they are paying off debts at an accelerated rate, the argument falls apart because the conclusion--that such people's spending is undiminished because their saving accounts remain unchanged--does not follow from the premises.
rcox24
LSAT Novice
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:47 am
Points: 2

So for my second prep test, I did not well. At all. Barely an improvement. An improvement, nonetheless, but still disappointing. Anyway, I am struggling with logical reasoning a lot. So I reviewed my answers in the experimental section of the June 2015 LSAT. I am confused by why the correct answer to number 18 is A.

"The widespread staff reductions in a certain region's economy are said to be causing people who still have their jobs to cut back on new purchases..." [text of problem removed due to LSAC copyright restrictions]

I chose letter E. How could I eliminate that as an answer?

Thank you!
Jonathan Evans
PowerScore Staff
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Location: DFW, Texas

Hi Rcox,

First off, let me make a quick note about your diagnostic test performance. Treading water or even seeing a score decrease on a first diagnostic test after beginning this course is not unusual. You are attempting to put into practice the techniques you are learning in your class. While this approach will pay dividends, it takes getting used to. You have a lot more going on in your head now when you take the LSAT than when you first took it cold. This test is actually a far more valuable learning tool than your first one. Now that you are getting the approach right, you should be better able to engage with the questions you got wrong or had difficulty with in order to see how you can adjust your approach to do them differently next time. You also should be getting a better sense of your pacing and what kind of adjustment you can make there. Review, review, review, and notice patterns that you can work on improving.

Now, with respect to this problem, we are looking at an Assumption question. In other words we are looking for something that is necessary for the author to believe in order for his conclusion to be valid. Because we are looking at what is required at a minimum for the author to believe in order for her conclusion to be true, you should be skeptical of strong language. Ask yourself, "Does this really have to be true in order for the conclusion to make sense?"

With respect to answer (E), it is evident that even if there were some statistics about the sales of goods in the region as a whole, the author's conclusion that "actual spending by such people (those who didn't lose their jobs) is undiminished" could still be true. Therefore (E) does not describe a necessary assumption.

Answer choice (A) rules out an alternate explanation for why their bank account balances have not increased. If we were to know that these people have been paying off debts instead of spending their money on new purchases, our conclusion about their level of spending would make no sense. Answer choice (A) describes a necessary precondition the author must believe in order for her conclusion to work.

Please let me know if I may provide further explanation.
rcox24
LSAT Novice
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:47 am
Points: 2

Thank you! I understand better now how E is wrong. It could apply to EVERYONE in that region vs just those people who are mentioned in the stimulus.

The only other question I have is: is it beneficial to do timed sections vs a timed LSAT preps? I can more easily make time to do the sections vs the entire prep tests. As far as pacing goes, I think that my pacing is generally okay but my accuracy is pretty terrible. I think that perhaps the two are not mutually exclusive. Could I be more accurate if I took more time? Highly likely.

Anyway, thank you for your help. Feel free to overshare studying advice, too. I can use all the help I can get.
Jonathan Evans
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
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Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:12 pm
Points: 570
Location: DFW, Texas

Rcox, If you are currently enrolled in a class, follow the guidelines set by your instructor. Look, the key to improvement on the LSAT is directed, targeted work. Therefore, you must focus on specific tasks you wish to improve on and build from there. At the risk of drifting into cliche, this is a "baby-steps" situation. Babies can get around much faster crawling then they can walking in fits and starts. You need to walk. Ground yourself in the fundamentals. Build on your progress by focusing on particular areas of weakness, but also notice areas of strength. Certainly, timed sections are superior (at least initially) to full practice tests as learning tools. The key is always to review, notice patterns not only in answers you get wrong but also in anything with which you had difficulty. Understand not only why the credited response is right but also why each wrong answer is wrong. Set manageable goals. Achieve them. Make progress incrementally to build up to mastery.