It would be nice to spend even a day with the deep pockets of Jeff Bezos. If hard-pressed, my Richie Rich fantasies could settle for the likes of a Richard Branson. However, I have learned the importance of staying within a limited budget. I am far more likely to be found shopping at Goodwill than at Gucci. But hey, that doesn’t rule out rocking a thrift store penguin suit to blend in with the locals in Antarctica.
Staying within our budget is just as imperative when choosing Must Be True answers. However, this budget doesn’t involve good old fashioned greenbacks or even the gold coins from Scrooge McDuck’s swimming pool. The limited budget we can spend on an answer is measured by the universal linguistic currency of logical force.
How to Thrift Must Be True Question Answers
A correct response in a Must Be True question is 100% proven by the information given in the stimulus. With the stimulus providing the premises, the correct answer serves as a valid conclusion. Any answer not 100% proven by the stimulus would then present an invalid, aka flawed, conclusion. This leads to frustration when a student falls for an incorrect answer that is even slightly unsupported. In other words, it falls outside of the logical budget we have to spend.
Therefore, a crucial factor in MBT answer choices is the logical force required for them to be validated. Our duty in attacking an MBT stimulus involves ascertaining the logical force budget we have to spend on an answer.
- Pop quiz: How is it possible that the correct response to a MBT question involves high levels of logical force?
- Answer: The stimulus MUST then contain sufficiently strong logical force to safely afford such an expensive answer choice.
Even if given strong logical force in the stimulus, “cheap” answers with low logical force are always attractive. Think Bill Gates. Despite unfathomable wealth, he’s usually rocking polo shirts that appear to be hot off the rack from The Gap. We can always choose a logically weak answer even though we have the budget to afford a stronger response. However, the LSAT doesn’t run on credit cards. Therefore, we can never select an answer in an MBT question that is out of our logical budget.
Words to Lookout For
“Cheap” words to be on the lookout for:
“Expensive” words to be wary of:
“Sale” items to keep your eye out for:
- Occasionally, some of those expensive words can be greatly softened with the right modifiers. In some cases, they can turn from dangerous to attractive.
- Not only… (implies that some other things can apply)
- Doesn’t require… (proving a lack of a requirement is far easier than proving a requirement)
Hopefully this discussion about bargain hunting on MBT questions can help boost your success in Logical Reasoning. Once you crush the LSAT, you can resume shopping for that dream yacht to buy with that big law firm signing bonus!