- Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:20 pm
The reason you are having trouble, Blueballoon, is that there IS no conditional claim in the stimulus! We were given a premise Maria won - and a conclusion - she trained hard. That's not conditional, because there is no "if/then" element to the stimulus. It's just a fact and a conclusion that allegedly follows from that fact (but which might not - maybe she cheated, or got lucky, or the opponent slacked off, or the opponent threw the race after placing a large bet on Maria, or any number of other possible reasons for Maria winning).
Where conditionality shows up here is in the answer choices, or more accurately, in the way the answer choices will relate to the stimulus. It is the nature of all Justify questions that we are looking for a new bit of information - a new premise - that will, when added to the existing premises, make the conclusion necessary. We don't have a conditional argument at the outset, but we want to create one! So, look for the answer choice which, when added to the existing premise, makes the conclusion necessary. That's why these questions are also often called "Sufficient Assumption" questions: we are looking for something that is sufficient to make the conclusion necessary.
Here, the prephrase should be "winning requires hard training". If that's true, and if she won (which we know she did, because they told us so), then the conclusion that she trained hard follows logically (aka it must be true, it is necessary, it is required, etc.)
In short, a Justify question need not contain any conditional claims in the stimulus (although it certainly can), but the answer must create (or complete) a conditional relationship wherein the conclusion becomes the necessary condition.
I hope that clarifies the goal for you! Keep at it!
Adam M. Tyson
PowerScore LSAT, GRE, ACT and SAT Instructor
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