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  • Posts: 27
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"Long-distance runners use..."

I remember there's a question type that filling the blank to complete the argument most logically, but I couldn't recall which one. Can you tell me which question type this falls into?

Also, I am confused why (A) is the best answer---if the mental exhaustion caused by associative strategies will "last more than a day," then even if the runner refrains from it "the day before" would not help if they used it two days before, is it? Or am I just over-thinking this?

 Steve Stein
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Fill in the blank questions often require you to find the conclusion of the argument. In this case as you pointed out, the author provides that associative strategies can result in more than a day of exhaustion, and that it is important for runners to enter a race mentally refreshed. Therefore...runners should avoid such a mentally taxing approach for at least a day before a given race.

The author doesn't specify how much longer than a day one might expect to be exhausted--25 hours? who knows? It may be that runners would be better off to avoid associative strategies for a longer period prior to a race. Regardless, though, we can safely conclude that they should avoid associative strategies the day before running a race.

Let me know if that answers your question--thanks!

  • Posts: 27
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Yes, that was helpful. I guess I was a bit over-anticipating traps! When I saw "the day before," I treated it as a red flag, thinking it couldn't have been that easy. But perhaps it just is since it's the 2nd question of the section!

Thanks, Steve!
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  • Joined: May 19, 2017

I chose (A), the correct answer, but I am not sure why (E) is wrong. Can someone help explain why (E) is wrong?

Is it because the stimulus doesn't explicitly state that dissociative strategies are more effective?

I was thinking that maybe it could be inferred that dissociative strategies are more effective from the fact that the stimulus says, "associative strategies, UNLIKE dissociative ones, require so much concentration..." which I thought could mean that associative strategies less effective in that aspect, and dissociative strategies more effective.

Also, I kind of struggle with Fill in the Blank Questions in general. I'm not sure where I should be focusing.

Hope to hear from you guys soon. Thanks!
 Jamena Pirone
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You are correct: Answer Choice E is incorrect because the stimulus never states which method is more effective. It simply says that associative strategies can cause mental exhaustion. The author thus argues against the use of associative strategies the day before a race, not because they are less effective, but because one should enter a race mentally refreshed.

When filling in the blank, be sure to pay close attention to the portion of the sentence before the blank so that you have full context. Here, it says "Since it's important for the runners to enter a race mentally refreshed...". The sentence starts with the word "since" (essentially, "because"), so we are tasked with picking the answer choice that can be prefaced with "that's why...".

Answer Choice A fits the mold: BECAUSE it's important to enter the race mentally refreshed, THAT'S WHY runners should not use the mentally taxing strategy the day before a race.

Answer Choice E doesn't make sense in context: BECAUSE it's important to enter the race mentally refreshed, THAT'S WHY dissociative strategies are generally more effective than associative ones for a day's (any ole day's) run.

Hope that helps!
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  • Joined: Jan 21, 2022
The reason for why B is incorrect - is it because the beginning starts off with "unless they regularly train using associated strategies"? So this would contradict the stimulus that associated strategies ARE NOT mentally taxing?
 Luke Haqq
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Hi lauren81390!

For answer choice (B), the clause you mentioned doesn't necessarily contradict the stimulus, but it does suggest something beyond the scope of what we can know from the stimulus alone. Since this is a main point type of question, we want an answer choice that must be true and additionally makes sense as a completion of the stimulus where the blank is indicated.

You're right to note that (B) sort of seems in tension with the stimulus, though, since it mentions regularly using associative strategies in training, which the stimulus says are mentally taxing. However, we don't know in the end based off of the stimulus what regular training with that associative strategy would produce.

In addition, the final sentence of the stimulus to be filled in starts, "Since it is important for long-distance runners to enter a race mentally refreshed..." This is teeing up something about what long-distance runners ought to do as they "enter a race." Answer choice (B) is more a recommendation about what runners should do "during races." The regular training part of (B) might be understood as addressing matters prior to entering a race but again ultimately that part raises something that we don't know based off of the stimulus.

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