The passage states which one of the following?

on December 11, 2019

Example #7

Why didn't we diagram anything on #7? I get that it was possible to answer the questions without doing so, as demonstrated, and I understand why the correct answer is correct. I just don't get how I'm supposed to know when not to waste time trying to diagram something. That could be a real time suck on the test. Is that covered in a different video that I maybe haven't watched yet?

3 Replies

Ben on December 12, 2019

Hi Reagleton, thanks for the question.

I see this question come up a lot and I'm not sure that there is a set in stone answer. I believe it is more a matter of judgment and experience to know when we should invest time into diagramming conditional statements.

What I do suggest to my students is the following, simply because it's a method I employ (flexibly, of course).

I think it is easiest not to diagram unless you think it will absolutely help. And the situations that I find it helps the most are for Must Be True, Error in Reasoning, and Parallel Questions. And this only applies if the question under consideration truly revolves around conditional language. You will see indicators quite clearly and your intuition should inform you that there are chains to be made and inferences to deduce.

Again, many Necessary and Sufficient assumption questions, as well as Strengthen or Weaken questions also employ conditional language. Over time, you will develop a sense for when to diagram, but this is mostly going to be based on whether or not the passage focuses purely (or mostly) on conditional language. If it does, then it very well makes sense to diagram. (Does employ mostly conditional language - > makes sense to diagram) ;)

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

on January 13, 2020

Thank you - that was a very helpful explanation.

Ravi on January 16, 2020

@reagleton, let us know if you have any other questions!