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PrepTest 73, Logical Reasoning 2, Question 21


Question 21. When a question asks you for an argument with reasoning that is most similar to the argument you're given in the stimulus, then you're doing a parallel reasoning question, which means that you need to break the argument that you've been given down, understand its conclusion and evidence, and then find an answer choice that has the same structure.

You're going to match the argument structure from the original argument, to the new argument. These questions are often used by the test maker to slow you down. And this one in particular is a slow down question, so it's wise to skip these until you know you have time to do them. This particular parallel reasoning question is probably best handled algebraically, which means purely on the structure being very formulaic about it.

But before we do that, we do have to break the argument down originally, so Its conclusion is the last sentence. So if the next song Amanda writes is not a blues song, it probably will not involve more than three chords. We get two pieces of evidence to prove that conclusion. The first sentence, the only songs that Amanda has ever written are blues songs and punk rock songs, and most punk rock songs involve no more than three chords.

So if we reduce this down to the pure structure, replace all the nouns with letters, and we would get this, so far all of A's S are P or B. All of Amanda's songs are either punk or blues. Punk usually involves no more than three chords, so P is usually C. So if the next song Amanda writes is not a blues song, it will probably not involve more than three chords.

So, A's next S, if not B, will be C. Now, if we look at the answer choices, you should notice something. All of them are talking about the same terms. They repeat over and over. Parrot, Gupta, noisy and so on. So we can make a very strong prediction as to what the answer's going to look like by just pulling the terms from these answer choices and putting them into this structure.

So far all As S are P or B. So far all the Gupta's pets are fish or parrots. The Gupta's are Amanda, pets are her songs, fish are punk rock, and parrots are blues. Parrots are usually noisy. P is usually C.

So, the Gupta's next pet, like Amanda's next song, if it's not a fish, will be noisy. if it's not blues, it'll have fewer than three chords, that's what we're looking for in the answer choices. And when we go down there, answer choice A, pay is not the answer, because it says that if the next pet they own is a parrot, and we need it to be not a fish, so it doesn't work.

B also doesn't work, because it's talking about what the family has ever owned, not about their next pet. So if they've ever owned a noisy pet doesn't match. Answer choice C also doesn't match, because it says any pet they ever own, not their next pet, but any pet they ever own. Answer choice D, well, it at least gets that last part right, but it says it probably will not be very noisy, and we need it to probably be noisy.

Just one word, just one not ruins answer choice D. So that means the answer must be E. Let's look at it. So far all the Gupta's pets are fish or parents. Most parrots are noisy. So the next pet they own will probably be very noisy if it's not a fish.

That lines up exactly with what we predicted, and so it is our answer.

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