The Dominate Test Prep Podcast

9. Finding Assumptions Using the "Big 6" Assumption Categories, with Brandon Royal

November 05, 2019 Brett Ethridge / Dominate Test Prep
The Dominate Test Prep Podcast
9. Finding Assumptions Using the "Big 6" Assumption Categories, with Brandon Royal
Show Notes Transcript

Brandon Royal, Ace the GMAT author, joins the podcast this week to share his expertise on an important logical reasoning skill that comes into play on numerous standardized tests — identifying assumptions. He has categorized logical fallacies into six common assumption categories, and he breaks them down for you in an easy-to-understand way so that you’re better able to tackle reasoning-related questions on your exam.

Specifically, Brandon covers:

  • The prep strategy of working “buckets of problems,” and why it’s a beneficial way to engrain concept understanding;
  • Classical argument structure vs. classifying problems according to assumption categories, and pros/cons of each approach;
  • Comparison/analogy assumptions, with examples;
  • Cause & effect assumptions, with examples;
  • Representativeness assumptions, with examples
  • Implementation assumptions, with examples
  • How to apply these assumption patterns to a typical “Analyze an Argument” essay prompt, including what a typical into paragraph might look like and how many body paragraphs are preferable;
  • And more!


Listen all the way to the end for this week’s “From the Mailbag” segment where we answer the question, “How do I manage anxiety on the math section?”


If you’re looking for a generic book to help you improve your logical reasoning skills for any standardize test, consider Brandon’s The Little Blue Reasoning Book.

If you’re studying for the GMAT specifically, we really like Brandon’s Ace the GMAT: Master the GMAT in 40 Days.

Question? Comments? Contact Dominate Test Prep HERE.


Here’s the quote we opened this week’s show with:

“Logic cannot comprehend love; so much the worse for logic.” ― N.T. Wright

Connect with Us

Questions? Comments? Email us at

spk_1:   0:00
logic cannot comprehend love so much the worse for logic and tea, right? Hello and welcome to another episode of the Dominate Test prep podcast. I'm bred Ethridge, your host. And today we're

spk_0:   0:16
going to

spk_1:   0:16
get into the weeds a little bit and get very practical around a crucial verbal concept. We're gonna be talking today about assumptions finding assumptions why assumptions are important when it comes to logical reasoning in critical reasoning, which plays a big role on most standardized tests. So if you're preparing for the G Matt, obviously there's an entire critical reasoning question type where this is important. Likewise, on the L sat, there is a logical reasoning section. And on the G, Matt, you write an essay where you have to analyze an argument on the G. R E. You have to write an essay where you analyze an argument and increasingly, even some reading comprehension questions on the G. R E involved logical reasoning and finding assumptions to a certain extent. And so it's a valuable topic. I think after listening to today's episode, you will be equipped with very practical and tangible kind of how twos that will hopefully translate into more right answers for you on test Day, which, of course, is the gulf. That's my goal for you in delivering the Dominate Test Test prep podcast. So I'm excited about this, and I have invited a special guest to help deliver this information. He has literally written a book on this subject, or at least part of a book, right? So his name is Brandon Royal. He is the author of a number of books, including a book I have long used in my G. Matt course called Ace. The G. Matt. And that's kind of a book I was referring to, where there's a section, a chapter in that book about critical reasoning, obviously in general. But he talks about what he calls the Big Six assumption categories, and that's what he's gonna be talking to you guys about today, kind of going through them, giving an example of each what to look for and so I'll let him do all of that. But he's got some other great books that'll link in the show notes. For those of you interested in Maur on logical reasoning, he has a great book called The Little Blue Reasoning Book, and so I just thought he would be a great guest tohave on. He has become a friend. We've done webinars over the years together. This is his first time appearing on the Dominate Test prep podcast. So hopefully it goes well and he enjoys it. Maybe you'll hear from him again in the future. He is the managing director of Maven Publishing. He got his MBA from the University of Chicago. He taught the Guilmette for a number of years in Hong Kong. He's lived overseas. He now lives. And I believe he is Canadian by birth. Hey can correct me on that if I'm mistaken. But I know he lives in Canada now. He loves to travel in languages. And so So I'm excited for you guys to learn from Brandon Royal. Braden. Welcome,

spk_0:   2:58
Bret. Great to be with you. So just let me just met, maybe say, First of all, um, you know, I got my I got my start in test prep working for one of the world's largest test prep center in Hong Kong, going wrong office and one of the things that really helped me. Really? You know, home my skills and test. Um, because of course, to go to business school. I did take a G. Matt, and of course I actually took a gr gr ee is well, and at one time I actually took an else That too. So I've taken all three exams. But one of the things that really gave me insights into test preparation was something called Sunday workshops in Hong Kong. And that is when an instructor could basically do whatever he or she wanted to with the top topic matter. And I was on, I started experimenting with the best way to teach on on the Sunday workshops, and one of the things I discovered was on a concept called buckets of Problems. And that's the idea that you try to classify the problems into categories and then isolate subcategories within those categories and then teach them According to that, it seemed to be the best way now when it came to critical reasoning. I kind of stumbled upon something which I later called the Big Six assumption categories for critical reason, and that became my basis of teaching critical reason. And so, for for the purposes of critical reason on the test preparation, which is kind of uniform across exams. I came up with six common categories of assumptions, and they include comparison and allergy assumptions to representative assumptions, cause and effect, assumptions for implementation assumptions, five number based assumptions and six logic basic basic, some options, logic based assumption. Sort. And so I'd like to just kind of delve into those a little bit and take now. First of all, one of my observations about teaching critical reasoning is to say that there's really two ways to approach critical recent problems on the standardized test. The first approaches according to classic argument structure. So in this approach, you identify on Argument has three parts. Of course it has a conclusion. Evidence an assumption. So you first identify the three parts. And since the game of the critical reasoning, questions on standardized test is to find the assumption. What we do first is we identify the conclusion and then the evidence, and then we drive to identify the assumption and in either weaken it or strengthen it or do something with that assumption. The inherent disadvantage of this approach is that it treats each and every problem has an individualistic and random event. None belonged to a particular group. The second approach is to classify the problems and see if they fit into common categories of assumptions. So you would identify the five or six common assumption categories, which I just mentioned I'll go back into, And the inherent strength of this approach is that it's fast. The only drawback is that it can't be used in every problem. But let's say it could be used for one in three critical reason problems on a standardized test. So I think that's a good a good jumping off point. And and now what I'd like to do is I'd like to kind of just kind of wet your appetite and show you how you would approach these different categories of assumptions on a standardized test.

spk_1:   6:17
All right, that sounds absolutely fantastic. And I know having that launching off point is always helpful for students. One of the main things I hear from my students if they're struggling in a certain area, sometimes a question will pop up on their computer screen, and it's like, Where do I begin? Right. And so what it sounds to me like, is you're gonna given them that launching off point if they can figure out what bucket or what category a particular question falls into. It will certainly help them. So So I'm looking forward to hear, and you kind of go one by one through them. I know you had mentioned to me that you might not be able to go through all six because a couple of them are a little bit more visual in nature and don't lend themselves well to kind of a podcast format. So I just wanted to kind of alert the students that that may be the case. But go ahead, start to dive in and let's work our way through these Big Six assumption categories.

spk_0:   7:05
Okay? Yeah. So for the Big Six assumption categories, the one song over right now and I believe that they're even more common is the 1st 4 So I went over the comparison analogy, assumptions, representativeness, assumption, cause and effect assumptions and implementation assumptions. The ones I woke, the two categories I won't over today are the number based assumptions and the logic based assumptions. So let's start off with comparison analogy, assumptions. Now, I'll tell you how it's about what it's about by explaining it, and I'm gonna give you a couple examples, which I think really well, bring it home. So what you doing? These kind of assumptions is you ask. You're asking yourself as you're reading at the critical reason question. Does the argument make logical comparisons? So if you assume if you think you have a comparison ality assumption, you're trying to see if they're comparing apples with oranges. So our apples being compared apples and oranges being compared oranges or apples instead being compared oranges or vice versa. At the most fundamental level, we must ensure that the meaning or definition of words in terms used in an argument are being defined in applied consistently. Also, watch for scope shifts, which occurred when one term changes as an argument unfolds. So let me get a couple examples. First of all, if someone were to say just some real life examples, I really like tennis, and I'm gonna take up golf in your mind. You're thinking, I wonder how similar tennis and golf are because if it quite similar, then I could see that that person is probably gonna be doing OK at golf after they started tennis. But if they're not, you're gonna be asked yourselves. Hey, I mean, that's a bit of a bridge too far now, Another example of a comparison analogy of something will be something like this. Say the arguments. Talking about pollution is talking about how one city, how one city has has defined pollution. And another city says their pollution has increased but one city's defining pollution on Leah's air pollution and another city's defining pollution as air, water, noise and garbage. Obviously, we cannot compare those things because one category has a lot more things in it to check off and call it pollution. No, let me give you another example. It's a little more sophisticated and relevant to say that Test prep field. It's like Let me boil it down for you. Just say that the arguments have basically saying, after all the preamble in the in the introduction to the Silk Road, increasing arguments, it says something like that. They suggest his Children today are more hyperactive than they were 20 years ago, and I'll say it will last. The question. Which of the following what most weak in the idea that Children today are more hyperactive than they were 10 years ago, or 23 20 years ago. And then there's one answer. Choice that says there are more types of behaviour deemed hyperactive today. Then there were 20 years ago. Well, obviously, if you have more ways to check off hyperactivity for today's Children, obviously today's Children will be deemed more hyperactive. So those those would be considered the idea that you have to be careful as the argument and folds to keep making sure that you're comparing apples with apples. So I think that that would be just a good introduction to what a comparison allergy assumptions are.

spk_1:   10:12
And let me let me interject really quickly, then tow weaken that argument. So the assumption is that the two things are actually similar, that they are analogous to weaken it. Then you would be trying to show that, actually, maybe they're not analogous that the author is in fact comparing apples to oranges.

spk_0:   10:29
Yes, that's very, very good point. I should have mentioned the rule When, before you ask. So the rule is showing her two things are not logical. Compare terrible, and the argument is weak under false part. Now, generally speaking, one of the most common type of question on critical reason is is it'll ask you to weaken the argument or or show some flaw in the argument. So generally being critical. Sometimes you were asked to strengthen it, but generally were after week in it. So they will basically set the argument up. Such that two things are fairly are said to be comparable, and you're gonna find out how they're not so comparable. Good point. Thank you.

spk_1:   11:07
Great. So that's the 1st 1 And that is a very common one. The comparison and analogy, assumptions. What's the next one?

spk_0:   11:15
Okay, yeah, The next one is called cause and effect assumptions. So they're very common as well. Um, and you ask yourself, Does a really lead to be That's the question you really ask yourself when you think of that one. And then the rule is this. Show that a does not necessarily lead to be, and the argument is weak under falls apart. This can be achieved by finding another cause, which explains the presume, cause effect relationship or by showing the two events in question are only strongly correlated but not causally related. Okay, so let's put some meat to this. Let's give a quick example. Um, now Let's let's do the one where there's really true things that you're gonna do a PSA test taker when you get a critical reason question and you believe you have caused either you're gonna weaken it by showing that there's an alternative explanation or you're gonna weaken it by saying that there is, in fact, reverse causation going on. So let's take the 1st 1 So we'll be an example of Weiqing in a cause and effect assumption by growing alternative causation. Okay, a simple, real life example that's easy to grasp is that there's this little argument says that our company advertises and we saw our business go up, and it says which of the following week in the idea that advertising is causing an increase in business and lo and behold, when the and situation will say something like this. Um, recently, a major competitor of the company went out of business, suggesting that the actual increase in business is due to the fact that a competitive went into business, not because of the fact that you started advertising, so that would be an example of an eternal instead of so they'll say that it caused B and you'll say no note week in this sea is actually causing me something is causing me. But it's not a costume you get C causing be. You see, it's a competitive went out of business. Okay, let's try one. Let's try one for a second that chose reverse causation, and I'll give you a kind of a simple, real life example. But the text from questions work the same way someone says you says, You know, you're good at the things you like, Okay, and let's just analyze it for a second. You're good at the things you like. So if we were to set this up as a test prep question, we're basically gonna say Okay, so the causes, I like things and the effect is I'm good at them. Anything that would show the actual reverse of that is going terribly weak in the argument. For example, if someone points out, you know, hang on a second, Is it possible? Uh, you you like things and therefore you find you're good at them. It's it's not really, you know, or you're good at things and therefore you like them. It's not so much that you like things and therefore become good at them. But you're good at things, and then you learn toe like this idea that the reverse causation is going on greatly weakens arguments. Okay, so those air, maybe two of examples to show cause and effect.

spk_1:   14:11
And I think one of the skills that a student is developed is recognizing when you have a cause and effect relationship. It's easy when you say, like in your first example, advertising causes business to go up. But a lot of times the question won't actually use the word cause. It will say something like in a recent study showed blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Therefore, you know, if we want to increase revenue next year, we should increase the amount of money we're spending on advertising. And then we, as the test taker, need to recognize that is a causal argument, they're saying, without using the actual words that a causes be that advertising causes revenue to go up. Or at least that's what I am assuming by deciding that we need to spend more money on advertising and then the rest of everything you said holds, Is there any Are there any recommendations you have for recognizing when you actually have a cause and effect argument.

spk_0:   15:09
Well, maybe your points are good on well taken. Perhaps it basically it's It's I would say some of them is leading to another event. Some event is leading to another event yet. You're right. It won't necessarily use the word cause. And it won't use the word effect, but something is leading to something else.

spk_1:   15:27
Very helpful. Uh, let's look at the next one.

spk_0:   15:30
Okay, The next category is representatives assumptions. So s So you ask yourself, does little a equal Big A. That's the That's the real question you're asking. They're gonna tell you about something small that's like something big. A sample, a survey, a subset, and the rule is show how apart does not equal the whole or that a sample is not representative of the larger population, and the argument is weakened or falls apart. So one of the things we say and test prep is that if you ever see the words survey surveys been done, you always ask yourself, Is this survey representative of what they're talking about? The larger population. So just some examples in real life. Okay, if you if you ever hear someone say I've eaten at ABC restaurant twice and it's great you say my wonder Maybe that the same dish twice in a row. Or can we really say that the whole restaurant has good food just because you ate there twice? You know, Remember that famous one where people say, You know, I really think Phoenix is a rainy place because I've been there twice and rain both times. Um, okay, Another example is this So it says, Let's do one with the survey if if the critical reason question said something like, You know, um, there was a survey done to see if the movie goers really like the Horton New Horror film. And it said that the survey was conducted on a Saturday night when they asked the, uh oh, going movie goers what they thought of the movie, and they really liked it. And if that were the survey, you would naturally question okay, is the survey representativeness of all movie goers? Well, maybe the people who go to the movie on Saturday night are different from the people who go to the Sunday matinee. And what about during the week? How are those kind of people who go to the movies. So you always wanted just as soon as you see the words serve a reason the senator's test. You're saying Do I have a representative? This assumption? Okay, Um, yeah, and you know, just something like another another one that happens sometimes, too. It's just I've seen test prep questions that talks vote in a given country. The stock market is very strong, and therefore it kind of concludes that the economy is strong and you have to ask yourself, Well, hang on a second. Here is the stock market a proper predictor of a strong economy because that is a SEPTA substantive. They call me the stock market certainly is a subset, but is this smaller? A representative for the larger the whole economy? That's a loser. So there's a couple of common real life examples,

spk_1:   17:54
and so when you see then a conclusion that seems to be drawn based on a small sample size, you have a representativeness assumption. Is that right?

spk_0:   18:04
Correct. Correct. Anytime you're going from something smaller to something larger, then you have yourself a representative, this assumption,

spk_1:   18:12
and to weaken it, you would just show how the small sample size is not somehow representative off all of the population,

spk_0:   18:20
right? You could say that it's your really either saying a sample is flawed either because it's qualitatively flawed. You're not. You're not really represent the right kinds of people or quantitatively. It's thought you just don't have enough people to make the to make the proper assumption. General, The senator's test won't be doing comma quantitative nous, but they will be going for the qualitative nous of the survey. It's just not qualitatively sound, so let's let's try another one. How about implementation assumptions? That's what I call my fourth category. And you ask yourself, Will a plan be implemented or used? So these are kind of practical assumptions. The rule is show that no one will act on a plan or how the plan cannot be implemented due to financial, physical, logistical or technological limitations, and the argument is weakened or falls apart. So, um, there's many different examples where I could find, But just say something like this. Um, you know, I'd say you were talking about. So I said to you, I said, You know, I'm about to build my dream home. You know it's it's this big house and it's got a solar roof itself. And you said and you started like, you know, asking me questions about you say, like, Hey, that sounds like an awful big host. You sure you have the financial wherewithal to go the host that big? And I go, uh, and then you say, Hey, you know those solar panels that are that are on the top of the roof? Are you sure that you have enough energy from the solar panels to make that house properly heated? And then you say, And did you say your building that three stories high? I mean h with city will allow you to do that in your zone. So you just start picking apart things because I just said, Oh, it's just gonna be wonderful. I'm gonna go this house and you're saying, Hang on a second here. It's not like it's a complete horseshit. Let's let's dig into this a bit. So here's some other examples that could come on like some real life examples is like when someone says like a high school soon will tell you whether I'm going to medical school or I'm going to join the military and become a member of the Special Forces. You're going like, Well, hang on a second. Your medical school is not just a cakewalk to get in. And if you want to join the Special Forces doesn't incur a little bit of a mental toughness and the temperament and draining, and, you know you can't just assume you could do it. And what about the financial wherewithal to go to medical school like ensure everything's lined up? Okay, so that's an example. Um, on maybe another one is like sometimes you. I've seen these in to end test prep questions as well as it'll say something to the effect of boiled down. It'll say, You know, um, the admissions office really wants to find the best candidates for graduate school. And so therefore they're implementing interviews across the board to identify Kennedy, tow the best personalities, and then when you dig into it, you're thinking like, Well, hang on a second here. How it is actually interviewing people. How do you actually determine personality from when you interview someone? You do they smile a lot. Do they track jokes? Sometimes? How is it that you're going to practically make sure you get the best candidates, even if you can interview them. These air implementation assumptions

spk_1:   21:23
All right, so that's incredibly helpful. Some details with examples of four of those most common assumption categories. And let's actually shift gears for a second and talk about how they might come up on the essay portion because most standardized tests haven't s a component. And a lot of times those essays involved analyzing arguments. And so do you see these kind of big six categories? A. Something students should be looking for on the essays as well. And if so, how might you actually use them in the context of writing an essay as opposed to answering multiple choice questions?

spk_0:   22:01
Well, it's great question bread. And there's a lot of overlap between the critical resync questions and an answering like a kn analyzed the argument question for an essay. There's a lot of overlap, and maybe I'll just give you an example of one, um, of oven essay question. So basically it was, State might say something that felt like the following appeared as part of a campaign to get local business to advertise on the infant and through social media and it said the phone. It said Yuppie Cafe began advertising on the Internet this year and was delighted to see its business increased but 15% over last year's total. Their success shows that you two can use the Internet to make your business or profitable. Now it's gonna basically ask you to analyze the argument and analyze the evidence and assumptions or whatever. But let's just let's let's take that example. If you, if you can recall when I'll try to highlight again, is let's take a look at the 44 common category assumptions and see how you could take that apart now as an opener. The way I like to open a KN answer to to an essay question is to basically restate the argument and it's evidence and then basically say, whether you found it logically persuasive or not. So here's what the conclusion sound like in just two sentences. The argument concludes that you two can use the Internet to advertise and make your business more profitable. The author uses his evidence. The fact that Yuppie Cafe advertised on the Internet and it's business increased by 15% over last year's total I do not find this argument well reasoned, as it rests on several debatable assumptions. Of course, for a practical matter, you're always going to say I don't find this argument well, reason because this is the game that you're playing. You're always going on and it just it just as a point, too. The the argument is, I believe the Garden is not well reasoned. No, because it has assumptions, but because it has debatable assumptions, all arguments have assumptions. But these are ones that are debatable. And let's face it, there's always a way to debate attentions. So I just wanted to point that out. So identifying the assumption. So in my head, I say, Okay, do I have a comparison or analogy assumption in there? And I'm looking to the argument, and then I have this to say as a bullet point when I go to right First, The argument assumes that a 15% in business 15% increase in business is the same as a 15% increase in revenue or profit. The term business increase in quotation marks must be clarified in order to enable a proper comparison. So when I saw the terms change in the argument, you know, it went from business, increased too profitable, you know, That's where I jumped in and said, Hey, wait a minute. Say, are those two things the same thing? Because obviously in the revenue formula, you just don't have any priest. You necessarily have any recent in profit. So that's how I came up with the comparison assumption there. Note. For a cause and effect, assumption might say this second, the argument soon's cause and effect relationship between advertising, an inter Internet and an increase in business. And this just might not be true.

spk_1:   25:06
And so thinking back to what you had just said about what we're trying to do to weaken a cause and effect argument not only might not be true that a causes B, you would then maybe in your essay talk about some other potential explanatory factor for why, in fact, business increased.

spk_0:   25:25
Yes, Brett. Very good point, in fact, just to just to give a little more detail there because, you know, it did kind of skip over that little bit. But in the actual essay, what I might write is something like the following. First, the argument assumes that there is a cause effect relationship between advertising on the Internet and increase in business. It could be that Yuppie Cafe saw increasing business for reasons not related to advertising interest, for example, a major competitor of yuppie that they may have gone out of business. The company may have started serving a higher quality coffee product. Business may have increased because of word of mouth advertising because we're about ever word of mouth advertising lured customers. Or perhaps there was a period of general economic prosperity. But the Internet may not have caused increasing business. Okay, good point. Okay, so the 3rd 1 is the 3rd 1 Justin Bullet Point. I'm looking for a representative, this assumption, and I'm looking around, and I'm thinking, third, Thea Argon assumes that yuppie cafe is representative of all other businesses, For example, your own business. Okay, So if I were to write that, um, I might say, Second, the argument assumes that yuppie cafe is representative of all the businesses, for example, your own business. This creates a representative sample assumption. It may even be true that the Internet does help highly customer oriented companies with their business. For example, coffee shops health spas and book distribution comes, well, what about oil and gas or mining companies? Obviously, it is difficult to generalize from a single example to other companies. Okay, so that's the representative assumption and pick that one up. So the last one is the implementation something something practical. So they kind of just say, Hey, I passed the Internet. This thing happens, so I would say the following forth. The argument assumes that companies have access to the Internet in order to place company advertisements and that they employed personnel capable of administering system. The argument also assumes that the company has the money to spend on Internet advertising. These considerations create implementation assumptions. Finally, the argument likely assumes that the cost of Internet advertising do not outweigh the revenues to be received. So those are the practical assumptions. Okay, so that's how that's basically how we would attack and the argument by using those categories of assumptions.

spk_1:   27:45
And I love that because it gives a student a mental checklist to say, Okay, here's this argument, and you kind of go one by one, as you just did through that mental checklist and identify Okay, yes, here's how there's Ah, analogy. Here's how there's cause and effect situation. My question for you is, does every argument prompt have all four or five or six categories, And how many should they actually write about? Is to body paragraphs enough if they can only identify two major assumption categories? Is three enough? Should they shoot for four? What are your thoughts on that?

spk_0:   28:19
I think you can always find three in a number of arguments. Remember, I said there were six of categories which include number based assumption on logic based assumptions. But I think you can. You can comfortably find three every time. If you have three and you have a proper introduction conclusion, you're you're basically scoring. You're scoring well in this in this particular,

spk_1:   28:42
I think this has been incredibly helpful. I love the way you went through the categories with examples. We talked about the essay kind of as we conclude. What advice do you have for a student on how to actually practice this stuff? So how will a student get better at identifying assumptions at critical reasoning questions in general?

spk_0:   29:02
Well, um, that is kind of the what? Why? I put together my book and because I didn't see anything else in the market place like it. But what what my my Easter gene that book does, uh, is it sets the conceptual framework. That's what my material does. Worry whether it's even a little bit reasonable and then from there. Once you set the conceptual framework and you kind of get the theory behind how you should what the's category assumptions are, then you really need to practice it. So you need to find the book. For example, in the gym at World, As you know, we have official guide your team at review, but the but the Educational Testing Service will have a book for each of the different standardized test. And that's when you're gonna fly through those problems and have lots of practice problems. So set in the concept of Famer and then finding a way to practice. And might I say, I've always been a big fan of test both companies, and that's exactly the kind of offering you're doing, Brett, because there's just something about having someone guide you through. So I've always been a fan of test prep. I just say that you know, all things being equal if you have the wherewithal, definitely find someone who can help you through these things. Yeah, navigate through the weeds.

spk_1:   30:11
Practice, practice, practice. That's what I hear you saying so with feedback. And we talked about that on an earlier podcast episode. You need a practice, but you also need to make sure you're in grain in good habits that comes with feedback and professional coaching and assistance, Which, of course, eyes what you're talking about. So thank you, Brandon. This has been incredibly helpful. I have no doubt that all of the listeners feel better equipped to tap all logic based questions on their standardized test. They have a better grasp of these assumption categories, which of course, are so crucial to answering all of these types of questions. So for you guys listening, get out there and practice it. Get your hands on some resource is to help you really perfect it so that you can get more right answers on Test day. And with that, Brandon, thank you for your time, as always. And we really appreciate you sharing your wisdom with everybody today.

spk_0:   31:01
Okay, Thank you very much. Bread things. Weeks

spk_1:   31:08
from the mailbag question comes from Chiana. Chiana is studying for the G R E, and she e mailed me worried about the careless error she's making on the quant section. And she says, I think I have a textbook case of test anxiety when it comes to the math section, and that honestly makes a lot of sense to me. Do you know if anything I could do to remedy this? My test date is in just under two weeks, so I'd really like to improve my Kwan score by then. Chiana, I understand completely because I hear that all the time. Anxiety is common on a test like this, and I do have a very simple remedy for you. A very simple strategy. But actually, first, let me remind you, if you haven't done this yet, go back and listen to the very first episode. Episode number one of the Dominate Test prep podcast, where talked about the five most essential test prep tips and one of them is to have proper perspective. I think if you really have that proper perspective and understand where the G r E fits into the larger scheme of of your life, life's gonna go one. It takes some of the pressure off of you because oftentimes we keep undue pressure on ourselves, and that leaves leads to anxiety. Now, one final thought before I share my strategy for you might tip for you. And that is that. Competence also alleviates some anxiety, meaning the Maur competent. You feel at the math section of the G R E. The better. You know something, the better you feel about your chances of getting right answers, the less anxious you're going to feel. Oftentimes we feel anxious, and we make those careless airs because we just don't know the material well enough, right? Think about the things that you know very well in life. You don't really get nervous about them or anxious about them because they're right in your wheelhouse. There's no reason to get anxious or nervous about something that you just no like the back your hands. So prep will definitely help you with the anxiety peace. But that brings me to my tip for all of you, and that is deep breathing exercises. Now we're going to do an entire episode of the Dominate test podcast about anxiety and how to deal with anxiety on test day and while you're preparing, so definitely be on the lookout for that. But here's kind of a little sneak peek for you. It's amazing what deep breathing can do to help calm your nerves and center yourself. And it's the type of thing you can do on a long term basis as you're preparing for your exam. So every morning, first thing in the morning, do 10 of those deep belly breaths, right? So I'm not necessarily educated on educate you on it right now. You might be familiar with a kind of meditation and mindfulness. Or maybe you've been taught this in nutrition or health classes. But amazing things happen when you take those deep belly breaths where your belly actually expands. Not your lungs, not your chest. But if you rest your hand on your stomach and you take a breath of the right way deep into your belly, you should feel your belly expand and then contract as you exhale. That's what we're talking about, and it has unbelievable calming impact in in your body and your mind set and your nerves and your anxiety levels. All of that comes under control, so do it 10 times every morning, 10 times middle of the day, 10 times at night before you go to bed. But it can also be used in the moment. So anytime anxiety springs up, you can do that. Now, you might not have time on test day, certainly to take 10 breaths. Because if you do it right, you know, four seconds in, hold it for four seconds. Four seconds out. You know, you're going kind of run out of time, right? But you could take two or three, and it's amazing how even just two or three good deep belly breast I can totally get your anxiety and your nerves back under control. And then you can proceed clear of thought and clear of focus. And so there you go. That's I know it will work for you because I know I use it all the time in all sorts of areas of my own life, and we're teaching it to our kids now. To my my son was getting all worked up over something the other day. I forget what it was, but he was. So he was getting so worked up. I couldn't even catch his breath and and we coached him through that process and calmed him down. And it works. It works wonders. So I know it'll work for you, Chiana, and let us know how it goes in a couple of weeks. And I know you know the material We've been working together. I know you're ready for test day. It's just a matter of making sure that you actually perform your best on test day and centering yourself. Controlling those those nerves will be a big part of that. And I know that deep belly breaths will help you get there. All right, here we are at the end of another episode of the Dominate Test prep podcast. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have. And here we are with your parting shot or your action item for this week, and it's absolutely unrelated to test prep. Well, kind of, Right. So here it is. Your action item for this week is to go do a random act of kindness for somebody. Why? Just because? Because we have the opportunity every single day when we wake up to either make the world a better place or a worse place and doing something for somebody else without expecting anything in return is a wonderful way to make the world a better place. And here's a kind of a tangential benefit. And that is that when you do something nice for somebody else, you feel good. And when you feel good, you perform better. So maybe in a way, it will actually help you on your standardized test. But that is not why we're doing it. We're doing it just because we can. So ah would love to actually hear what your random act of kindness is. So drop me a note. Contact information in the show notes below Go have some fun with that. Have a great week, everyone. And we will see you again next week on the Dominate test Prep podcast. Take care.