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#22 - If the price it pays for coffee beans continues to

BoomBoom
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Hello,

I was wondering why C is the best answer to this question. I answered A but I don't see what makes this answer wrong and why C is better than the rest.

Thanks,

Chris
Nikki Siclunov
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Chris,

Thanks for your question. Generally speaking, we need a bit more input from you before we delve into a discussion of a particular LR question. Ultimately, it won't be us who are taking the test; it's you! Our goal is to help you understand what's going on, which is why you first need to do the following:

    1. Describe your approach to the stimulus. Did you understand the argument, if any, from a structural standpoint? What is the conclusion, and what evidence is the author using in support of that conclusion?

    2. Did you prephrase an answer to the question in the stem? If so, what was your prephrase?

    3. What exactly made the two answer choices you have listed particularly attractive? Did you use any question type-specific test (e.g. Assumption Negation Technique) to differentiate between them?
Thanks,
Nikki Siclunov
PowerScore Test Preparation
BoomBoom
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Posts: 29
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Hello,

1. P/Fact: If the price it pays for coffee beans continues to increase, the Coffee Shoppe will have to increase its prices.

P/Fact: In that case, either the Coffee Shoppe will begin selling noncoffee products or its coffee sales will decrease.

P/Fact: But selling noncoffee products will decrease the Coffee Shoppe’s overall profitability.

P/Fact: Moreover, the Coffee Shoppe can avoid a decrease in overall profitability only if its coffee sales do not decrease.

I had trouble finding a conclusion so i assumed these were just facts.

2. I wasn't sure what to rephrase because there were a lot of premises, but i figured a logical statement that follows from all of it is that if profitability goes down, then coffee bean prices continued to go up.

3. So I went with A based on my prophase but I was also stuck between C and A and during the exam I couldn't distinguish much of a difference between C and A. They seem to be flipped or reversed now that I read it with time to spare. But I'm not sure how best to attack this question to be able to make the subtle distinction between these 2 answers.

Thanks,

Chris
Nikki Siclunov
PowerScore Staff
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Hi Chris,

This is a classic example of an argument containing conditional reasoning. The premises, when connected in a conditional chain, produce the following diagram:

Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 2.34.31 PM.png
Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 2.34.31 PM.png (22.73 KiB) Viewed 1686 times


Note that I used the contrapositive of the last sentence when creating the chain.

So, what's the bottom line? If the bean prices continue to increase, profitability will go down regardless of whether they decrease coffee sales or start selling noncoffee products.. Both options lead to the same result. This conditional construction is matched in answer choice (C).

Answer choice (A) contains a Mistaken Reversal of that construction. The profitability decrease is a necessary, not a sufficient condition, for the bean prices going up. A decrease in profitability could have resulted from many other factors, having nothing to do with the price of beans.

If this type of question is giving you trouble, make sure to return to Lesson 2 of the Full Length LSAT course and review the chapter on Conditional Reasoning.

Thanks,
Nikki Siclunov
PowerScore Test Preparation
BoomBoom
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Posts: 29
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ah ok thanks! That totally makes sense. Im going to have to work on the question type in particular.