- Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:48 pm
I think it's a stretch to say that B weakens this argument, Peter, but to the extent that it does it would be nothing new on the LSAT. They have always asked for the answer that is the best of the bunch - not the right answer, not a good answer, but the best answer. On weaken questions this has pretty much always meant that they want the one that does the most damage, and they have used the word "most" to indicate that for a long time.
"Which one of the following, if true, could contribute most to a refutation of the argument?" - from an October 1992 question
"Which one of the following, if true, casts the most doubt on the author's hypothesis?" - that's from June 1991
There are countless examples. I also found plenty that did not include the word "most", but those appear to be in the minority. Get used to that idea, especially in weaken and strengthen questions, but also in, for example, Parallel Reasoning (which answer is most similar in its reasoning...) and Resolve the Paradox (which answer does the most to reconcile the apparent discrepancy...). Since we are looking for the best answer, we should expect to be asked frequently which one has the biggest impact. That means a lot of wrong answers may look like they could be right if nothing better came along, but then something does! I don't think they always intend to give two that weaken, but they are willing to concede that a second answer might also weaken while standing firm that one of them is clearly the better choice.
This makes it all the more important that we read all five answer choices! Can't pick the best answer until we've seen them all and had a chance to weigh the pros and cons of our various contenders, right?
Keep at it, you're doing great!
Adam M. Tyson
PowerScore LSAT, GRE, ACT and SAT Instructor
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