I am so sorry for posting such a long list of questions but I only recently discovered this forum and I have accumulated several practice questions that I am having difficulty with understanding the following questions given that there are no explanation notes for some of the take home tests;
December 2007, Section III,Logical Reasoning, Question 16
Thank you and so sorry for the sheer volume of questions!,
#16 - Editorial: Contrary to popular belief, teaching
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Answer B is the optimal answer here because it takes part of the stimulus and runs with it in a bad direction. The thing about "strict systems" is sort of a red herring, i.e., it is not really helpful in getting the right answer. If kids are intensely curious, and answer B makes that a bad thing instead of a good one (because of short attention span), then the stimulus is, obviously, weakened. (Answers A and C riff off the "strict systems" thing, but not in a way that really weakens the argument.)
Thank you David, I now understand it perfectly!
Hi PowerScore Team,
I had a particularly difficult time with this question, and I did not like any of the answer choices. It's still difficult for me to understand how a short attention span weakens the argument.
Conclusion: teaching preschoolers is not particularly difficult
Premise: they develop strict systems that help them learn
Premise: they are always intensely curious about something new in their world
Sure, preschoolers may have a short attention span, but does that prove that it makes it difficult to teach them? I didn't think so. Please help! Thanks in advance.
Thanks for your question.
You have correctly identified the conclusion and premises.
You are correct, in a sense: no, if B is true and preschoolers have short attention spans, that does not necessarily prove that it is difficult to teach them. But what are we being asked here? To disprove the conclusion? No - only to weaken it. It is absolutely plausible that - notwithstanding the information in the two premises - preschoolers' having short attention spans could make it difficult to teach them.
Thus, answer choice B is definitely correct. If it is true, the conclusion is definitely weakened.
I hope that helps! Always remember to be super specific and literal about what you are being asked in the question stem.
Thanks for your response. That clears it up quite well! I need to remember the point you made about the question stem. I messed up a few questions by interpreting them incorrectly.
I incorrectly chose answer choice A because I thought that it introduced an alternate cause. The stimulus says that preschoolers develop a strict system to learn so I thought that if they develop this tendency from adults and not inherently within themselves then this weakens the argument. But because the conclusion is that teaching preschoolers isn't difficult, it doesn't matter how the students learn because that doesn't have to impact the effect- that teaching them is still hard.
I wasn't sure if we could assume short attention spans would make teaching harder but given the other answer choices it seems to be part of a better answer choice than any of the other ACs.
A) the reason children have strict routines doesn't impact the strength of the argument. They could learn their strict routines from monkeys or by watching tv but as long as the routine is strict, it would still not dent the argument that teaching preschoolers isn't especially difficult.
C) we don't care about older children in this scenario, only the preschool teachers
D) we don't care about comparison purposes.
You got it, hasan! This isn't a causal argument, so don't look for alternate causes. Instead, look for new evidence that might suggest that the conclusion is wrong, and that teaching preschoolers could actually be difficult. Answer B fits that bill - if we know that preschoolers are intensely curious, and intensely curious people have short attention spans, then we could conclude that preschoolers have short attention spans. That might make them difficult to teach!
Adam M. Tyson
PowerScore LSAT, GRE, ACT and SAT Instructor
Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LSATadam
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