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Wrong Answer Choices


In this video we're gonna talk about wrong answer choices. That's far, we've talked about plugging up the gap. Noticing the holes in the logic that tries to tie the premise to the conclusion. And then seeing how that whole has a recast in different types of questions such as weaken, strengthen, assumption, and evaluate, etc. Here though, we're simply going to take a weakening question, so it's business as usual now.

But we're really gonna focus on the answer choices. What makes answer choices incorrect? Now on the GRE, on the reading comp and by extension on these paragraph arguments, the wrong answers tend to fall into typical buckets. In fact, they're pretty predictable what the outline is going to look like, the outline of these answers.

So let's take a look here first at our paragraph. It says in August, the Williamstown main city parking garage was completely full every single day of the month. So remember i drew out little things here? Okay premise in August, parking lot full, okay. Again, once you get more adepts at these, you can do this mentally in your head, that is paraphrase the paragraph.

The next sentence, this phenomenon indicates that the main city parking garage in Williamstown is a popular place for parking. Fair enough, popular place for parking, these are premises, it doesn't really add to what we have here so I'm not gonna write anything down. But here's the conclusion, the big part. Therefore, Williamstown parking garage will be full every day of the month, except for September.

So because it's full in August, Therefore, for September. There is a big assumption here; there's a major hole. And that is, what holds true for August holds true for September. They can be very different months. August tends to be the end of summer, people are on vacation.

September, people are back in school. Very big hole. I think this question is probably a little bit easier than anything you see on the GRE. Or maybe there'll be one paragraph argument question that's this easy. But again, the whole point here is to show you how the wrong answers work.

So again, big assumption big hole, August and September are two similar things. So you go to the answer choices. Question is cast the most doubt, we have a weakener here, weaken the conclusion. And again, if the conclusion is September's also gonna be full every day, we wanna show something that hey, September's not gonna be that popular a month.

People aren't gonna be there parking, and so therefore the lot will not be full. So let's start with A. Capeville, neighboring city has only one parking garage, though it was not filled every day of the month. So we're dealing here with a different city. Who cares if it's neighboring?

Notice as well that it, says it has only one parking garage and it wasn't filled every day of the month. And so you may think well it shows that Capeville isn't a very popular place to be. And maybe next month, no one's gonna come over here to Williamstown. However, wait a second, Capeville could be a completely different city.

Capeville could be a boring industrial city that's next to the nice beach town of Williamstown. We don't know, it could be all of these things. What it is not is relevant. It is not relevant to the conclusion, Capeville irrelevant. And so this is one of the most common types of wrong answers.

Sometimes I also use the word out of scope, meaning that there is a scope of the argument, things that are relevant. And then there are those things that are irrelevant, which are out of scope. So those are the two terms, but for here I will use irrelevant. B, in July the Williamstown parking garages full every day of the month. Notice this is July.

What is that gonna tell us about September? Nothing, and so again, irrelevant, so let's get rid of both of those guys. Let's look at C. Williamstown is popular beach town and tourists across the nation flock to its beaches from June to August, but the city becomes virtually empty come September. Now you can already say, you've stolen your thunder cuz I can see it says answer here.

But ignore that for a second. Why is this the answer? Well It's trying to tell us something about September and again, how September differs from August. And now we know it's relevant. And how does it differ?

Well, it differs in a very relevant way. And it differs in terms of people coming there to park. Tourists across the country come to its beaches. And then what happens in September? Virtually empty, therefore it's saying, yes, September the parking lots are gonna be full as well, is incorrect.

And again, we're casting doubt, so C is the perfect answer. Now, let's look at some other wrong answers types that are a little trickier than the irrelevant ones, A and B. D, this coming September, the Williamstown City Council is inaugurating the first annual September rock festival, which will feature performances throughout the month by popular musicians.

And so this is clearly doing something. What is it doing? It's showing us that September is gonna keep being popular. People are still gonna flock to Williamstown. Yey, but don't circle it. Because we're not looking for something that strengthens the conclusion that September, the parking lot is probably gonna be filled.

We're looking for something that weakens it. So watch out. And this falls into the opposite. Does the opposite of what we're doing. So if it strengthen question, it weakens. In this case, it a weaken question, it strengthens.

Finally, we have E, the Grand Hotel, a popular hotel in Williamstown, expects to have a full garage the entire month of September. Now, I've classified this one as a SEEMS TO DO SOMETHING, and I think it's the trickiest one. Usually, when you get adept at these, you can narrow them down to two answer choices.

And instead of making it just a 50/50, it's good to notice that, hey, just because one of the answer choices looks like it's doing something, it's definitely pertinent or relevant to the argument, doesn't necessarily mean it's the answer. And so here, with the Grand Hotel, so what is it telling us? It's a popular hotel, and in September, it says, yeah our parking lot is gonna be filled.

So it's in the right city. But wait a second. A parking lot, general parking lot, and a hotel parking lot are two very different things. Maybe Williamstown or around at the Grand Hotel the parking lot is filled every day, every day of the year.

We don't know. But just because what's true for a hotel parking lot doesn't mean it's true for another parking lot. And therefore, this does not help us out at all and the answer is C.

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