LSAT Kung Fu Blog / Three Jokes About Bankers

Three Jokes About Bankers

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[and a look at LSAT PrepTest 71, Logical Reasoning Section 1, Question 1]

First, LSAT SCORES ARE OUT TODAY I'M SO EXCITED I CAN HARDLY BREATHE.

Second, welcome to 2014! Before we move on, I just want one minute here to look back: 2013 was the best year ever for Velocity LSAT, and that's thanks to you guys. We know that we wouldn't be here without you, and we're glad that if we're going to do this whole LSAT thing, we at least get to do it together.

But enough about us. Let's have one of those jokes about bankers (I Googled "Jokes About Bankers" and clicked the first link. CREATIVE.)

What’s the difference between a tragedy and a catastrophe?

A tragedy is a ship full of bankers going down in a storm; a catastrophe is when they can all swim. HEY-OHH!

OK. That was fun. Now, let's cast a long, meaningful look at Question 1 from the first Logical Reasoning section of PrepTest 71, which, as it happens, is an argument about bankers.

First, note that the question here is a Sufficient Assumption question; the answer to this question will PROVE that the conclusion of the argument is true. So our goal is to prove the claim that they'll probably not strengthen the banking system (because the whole argument is set up to support that central claim; that the agency is likely not to do what it wants to do: make the banking system stronger).

Next, let's pause briefly to consider the nature of the right answer to this question. If we're going to prove that some claim is true, that's going to take us some doing. I mean, for example, just saying that SOMETIMES people who work at test prep companies are mouth-breathers isn't even close to enough to prove that if you work in test prep, you're probably a mouth-breather. If you really wanted to PROVE something, you'd not say "sometimes"; you'd be much better off saying "all the time." Because if it's really true that ALL the people in test prep are mouth-breathers, then by god anybody you've ever heard of in that industry is a moist and slobbering breather-by-mouth.

This is a principle of proof that applies broadly; the answer to all your Sufficient Assumption questions is VERY LIKELY to employ this big, heavy-duty language that I call Load-Bearing Language. Expect words like ALL, NONE, EVERY, NEVER. This is a useful bit of knowledge to have in your back pocket as you begin to examine answer choices.

Now, back to the argument; we've claimed that they probably won't strengthen banks by selling them, because IF THE FORMER OWNERS BUY THEM BACK, that won't help them get stronger. So, you can see how simple it would be to prove that selling the banks won't help, right? Using our knowledge about language cues and the evidence of this argument, we could put together an answer that says that ONLY the former owners are going to buy these banks back. If that's true—if ALL the buyers are former owners, and if former owners can't strengthen banks, well, then our conclusion is true: selling these banks WON'T make them stronger.

AND CHECK OUT ANSWER CHOICE (E). This is exactly what we wanted! It's like Christmas again all of a sudden up in here.

Now, let's celebrate with two more terrible jokes about bankers, and call it a day:

What do a banker and a slinky have in common?
They’re both fun to watch tumble down the stairs. BADA-BING.

What’s the difference between a banker and a trampoline?
You take off your boots to jump on a trampoline. NO HE DINT.

Yes he did! Thank you and goodnight.

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