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Negate Test

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Negate Test [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2010, 08:34
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Can someone please explain the negate test if you are between two possible answers? Please provide examples if you could. Thanks.
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Re: Negate Test [#permalink] New post 06 Jul 2010, 08:12
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The negation test works on CR Assumption questions. Assumptions basically complete the argument (i.e. when verbalized, they become premises), and therefore they support the conclusion. On GMAT Assumption questions, it is common for several choices to support the argument, and often these choices all “sound good.” The trick is to sort out the truly necessary statement from the merely helpful statements.

Rather than being a supporting statement, the correct Assumption is a statement that’s opposite (negation) would kill the argument.

For example, here’s one from GMATPrep.
Attachment:
CR_18.JPG
CR_18.JPG [ 101.34 KiB | Viewed 3037 times ]

Notice the “on which the argument depends” language, not simply “what helps the argument?”

If we mistakenly look for answers that support, we might think the following:
(A) Supports: Large tranquilizer dose. Possible overdose? This does seem to indicate that the tranquilizer is a problem.
(B) Supports: If uncollared females have increasing fertility, then what else would explain the reduced fertility of the tranquilized/collared females? It would have to be the tranquilizer, the only other difference between the two groups.
(C) Supports: Rules out other factors involved in the tranquilizing, and allows us to conclude the reduced fertility is due to a substance in the tranquilizer.
(D) Supports (maybe): At least it suggests that female rhinos are tranquilized more frequently than males, and would be affected more by whatever substance is in the tranquilizer.
(E) Neutral: Just a fact about the tranquilizer.

You can see how unproductive this thought process is! The choices start to sound similar, and you could talk yourself into almost any one.

In contrast, if we negate each statement to see the effect on the conclusion (“some substance in the tranquilizer inhibits fertility”), the correct answer stands out. I’ve put the negated idea/word(s) in caps.

(A) The tranquilizer dose is NOT large. No effect on the conclusion.
(B) The fertility rate of uncollared female rhinos has been STEADY or DECLINING. No effect on the conclusion.
(C) The stress of being tranquilized and handled DOES have a negative effect on fertility. This kills the conclusion that some substance in the tranquilizer is to blame.
(D) Male rhinos lose their collars AS FREQUENTLY as females. No effect on the conclusion.
(E) The tranquilizer used on the rhinos is DIFFERENT than that used on other large mammals. No effect on the conclusion.

The correct answer is C.
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Re: Negate Test [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2010, 06:02
Thanks this was a lot of help. For assumption CR questions, is it beneficial to jump right to using the negate technique? The negate test doesn't work for any other type of CR question, correct?
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Re: Negate Test [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2010, 04:59
Correct, it only applies to Assumption CR. The same thinking, but not the test itself, could be applied a bit to Weaken the Conclusion questions, on which the correct answer sometimes is the explicit negation of an assumption.

I don't use the test right away, but I don't think it would wrong to do so necessarily. I tend to read the argument and anticipate the needed Assumption, based on whether there is a logic gap, weak premise, etc. For me, that is faster. Only if debating between a couple decent-sounding answers do I use the negation test to decide.
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Re: Negate Test [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2010, 12:10
790 8-) Thats an awesome score Emily !

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Re: Negate Test [#permalink] New post 06 Oct 2011, 00:56
The book CRITICAL REASONING BIBLE develops the concept of SUPPORTER ASSUMPTION, and DEFENDER ASSUMPTION.
the application of this concept is not explained clearly. here I want to share with you some application.

Supporter assumption is easy to realize when you read answer choices. However, you can not realize defender assumption when you read answer choices. The only way to realize defender assumption is the negation test. negate each answer choice to find defender assumption. This process will take much more time and defender is normally a hard question.

the lesion is that when you finish reading 5 answer choices and see no assumption, it is defender assumption and you have to use negation test and longer time.
Re: Negate Test   [#permalink] 06 Oct 2011, 00:56
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