Revisiting the SLAKR method

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LR Perfection Free Preview: Chapter 22 Part I

By now, we have covered all the material needed to attain perfection in the Logic Reasoning section. Armed with the knowledge and habits needed to successfully navigate each question type, our goal is to practice until both our timing and accuracy have reached the desired level.

Throughout this book, we have stressed the importance of both knowledge and habits. Both can be further separated into knowledge/habits specifically relevant to a particular question type, and more generalized knowledge and habits that can be helpful across the board.

For example, ranking answers and accepting an imperfect answer when there are no better alternatives is a habit that would be helpful regardless of the question type; whereas knowing that Type I/Type II answer choices are preferable to Type III answer choices is only relevant to Strengthen/Weaken Questions.

Similarly, parsing the answer choices carefully for keywords should be a universal habit. But when we get to Necessary Assumption answer choices, we know that strong adjectives/adverbs should be something to be especially wary about.

As such, the SLAKR method offers a nearly exhaustive repertoire of tools that we can throw at the most difficult questions. Whenever you are stuck, go down the list and find what you are missing.

Structure: Does the stimulus contain an argument? If so, we will probably need to determine the author’s premises and main conclusion. Regarding the question I am currently faced with, do I have to identify the premises and the conclusion; find the gap between the two; strengthen/weaken them; or match it up with an answer choice?

Logic: Does the author advance the argument via conditional or causal logic? What am I to do with this logic? Am I trying to strengthen/weaken it? Find flaws with it? Or deriving inferences from it?

Assumption: Does the author leave certain things unsaid? Are there gaps in the author’s reasoning? Can I fill in the gaps with additional information to make it clearer? If we are faced with an Assumption Family question, we must focus on the main gap between the premises and the main conclusion.

Keywords: What do the nouns in the answer choices refer to? If they are abstract and vague, can we link them to an idea that appeared in the stimulus? Is the answer choice out of scope? What about the verbs, adjectives, and adverbs?

Ranking: Have I found grounds for eliminating four of the answer choices? Is the answer choice that you have chosen perfect? If there’s something you still don’t like about it, is it a deal breaker? Compared to the other answer choices, does it have the least number of problems? What kind of answer choices are preferred in my specific question? What kind of answer choices should I be suspicious of?