Rachael Wilkenfeld wrote:Hi Cuffy
Learning to find that gap in arguments takes work! Some of it will boil down to mindset. It sounds like you are reading the stimulus and trusting the author. Try reading it as if it was your worst enemy giving you that argument. It might make it easier to see those holes. Be tough on the conclusion. Make sure you see how the author supports each part of it (or not). Think about what is missing before you even get to the answer choices.
In order to get stronger at this skill, you need to practice it. Slowly. Try going through an LR section or a mix of problems giving yourself as much time as you need to fully analyze each argument. Look at it from every angle, and find where you see any gaps. Look for new words or ideas in the conclusion--that's often a great place to start. And most importantly, take all the time you need. It doesn't matter if a single question takes you 20 minutes. Your goal for this process isn't timing yet, it's understanding and accuracy. Once you get stronger at finding the gap in an argument, you'll be able to speed up for the timed section.
Let's think about a real world example of finding the gap. Do you remember the broom challenge on social media last year? If you don't, Google #broomchallenge for some pictures. People were taking pictures of their brooms standing straight up. The conclusion they suggested drawing was that there was something unusual about gravity on that day only! Here's the basic structure of the theory:
Premise: My broom can stand up!
Conclusion: There must be something special about gravity today.
There are all sorts of assumptions in there, but the biggest is that brooms can't typically stand like that. Normally, we would never try to stand our brooms up in the middle of the floor, so we have no reason to think they couldn't do so on other days. The gap here goes from seeing a phenomenon to jumping to the idea that it indicates something unusual about the laws of physics.
So focus in on that conclusion in your stimulus. What isn't supported? What else would you need to know? And what is the author trying to get you to assume?
Hope that helps!
Thanks Rachael for all of the tips. I do remember the broom challenge as well. I think for me, it is a mix of not fully understanding the stimulus which than leads to not fully seeing the gap. Perhaps it is the way the authors write it indiscreetly. To add to that, I think I was trying to rush through to meet the 1.25 per question or as close as possible. Often times I was not because again, if I did not fully understand what I was reading, making a prephrase would than take more time and further, reading tricky answers only adds to that.
So as a plan of action, I will not worry about time for the moment. I will read to fully understand and than look for a gap in the stimulus. Once I get good at that and feel confident, I will work on speed.
Are there any other recommendations that you think would help? I was searching through Youtube to find videos that help with pre-thinking an assumption. Do you think that is a good idea?