LSAT assumption questions are the backbone of the LSAT Logical Reasoning section— the argument principles underlying assumption questions form the basis of the whole shebang! It makes sense that getting really, really good at assumptions will get us to a very, very good place on test day, so make an adjustment to your strategy now that will rock your logical reasoning world!
Let’s start by identifying the conclusion and evidence to the following faux-LSAT argument-based question, and then predict the assumption. Go ahead and take a moment before continuing to read to break this baby down:
The Interview is two hours long, and I’ve been saving it until I could watch the whole movie with no interruptions. Thus, it must be true that I can watch the movie right now.
First, the breakdown:
Conclusion: I can watch the movie right now.
Evidence: Movie is two hours long, and I saved it until I could watch the whole thing.
Second, the assumption:
Assumption: I have time to watch the whole thing right now.
Now, if you’ve got this far, excellent. But there is something we can do on test day that we could not do in the above argument, because we don’t have a question stem, and that is to differentiate between two different kind of assumption questions. Each of them operate using the same basic principles, but their execution is slightly different– and realizing the difference will make you a much stronger LSAT test-taker, because it essentially gives you direct access to the test-maker’s point of view and how they put together the Logical Reasoning section as a whole. So, let’s give this whole situation the LSAT expert eyeball, and remember to apply these methods all the time from here on out.
If this were a necessary assumption question…
Question Stem: would include words like “relies”, “depends”, “requires”, etc., indicating that the answer choice MUST BE THERE for the author to draw his conclusion
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