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If one wants to succeed, then one should act as though one were

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If one wants to succeed, then one should act as though one were  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Mar 2019, 09:16
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  85% (hard)

Question Stats:

43% (02:03) correct 58% (01:54) wrong based on 120 sessions

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If one wants to succeed, then one should act as though one were genuinely confident about one’s abilities, even if one actually distrusts one’s skills. Success is much more easily obtained by those who genuinely believe themselves capable of succeeding than by those filled with self-doubts.

Which one of the following statements, if true, most strengthens the argument?

(A) Those who convince others that they are capable of succeeding usually have few self-doubts.
(B) Genuine confidence is often a by-product of pretended self-confidence.
(C) Success is usually more a matter of luck or determination than of skill.
(D) Many people who behave in a self-confident manner are genuinely confident about their abilities.
(E) Self-doubt can hamper as well as aid the development of the skills necessary for success.

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Re: If one wants to succeed, then one should act as though one were  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Mar 2019, 05:25
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This question is a fantastic example of precision-in-wording gaps, a really common way that the testmaker leaves a small gap between premise and conclusion that you have to either fill (Strengthen) or exploit (Weaken).

Notice here that the first sentence says that people should "act like they're genuinely confident" while the second says that people who "do genuinely believe" are better able to develop skills. So we have a gap between "acting like" and "actually being" genuinely confident. If you're reading quickly those two sentences seem to be talking about the same thing (they both mention genuine confidence/belief) but there's that little bit of difference between Sentence 1 being about acting/pretending and Sentence 2 being actual.

If you notice that, you're looking directly for B: how does pretending you're genuinely confident connect to actually being genuinely confident? Genuine confidence comes from (is a by-product of) pretend confidence. B provides that link to connect the gap.

One other thing I think is important here (and in any "wordplay gap" CR question) is that adjectives/adverbs/modifiers tend to always matter in these cases. For me, even though it wasn't the gap itself here (both sentences mention it) the adverb "genuinely" stood out as an extra word they didn't have to add (the general gist of the prompt is the same if you just say "people believe" vs. "people genuinely believe" and "confident" vs. "genuinely confident"). When the testmakers add adverbs/adjectives in the conclusion or the major premise, that usually tips off that that word is important. Here the gap is really "are you really confident or just faking" and the extra emphasis on "genuinely" can give you a clue to that. And note that, probably not coincidentally, the correct answer is one of only two answers that mention the word "genuine(ly)".
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Re: If one wants to succeed, then one should act as though one were   [#permalink] 21 Mar 2019, 05:25
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