QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Reasoning
CONCLUSION: Students should have access to textbooks when they are taking exams.
REASONING: Professionals such as doctors and lawyers have access to their texts when they are being professionally evaluated.
ANALYSIS: A lawyer has already learned about the law and presumably knows it well except for the details. A student may not yet understand the law at all. They’re studying to be a professional: it’s a different situation.
And the professionals are being tested to see how well they do in their day-to-day practices. They would normally have access to the books while doing their jobs.
- Actually those examples are pretty good. They’ve convinced me that professionals generally have access to their books.
- The argument didn’t mention test scores. It’s only concerned with whether students should have access to the books.
- This is tempting, but incorrect. Maybe the professionals should have had access to their books when they were students too. Tradition alone doesn’t mean that something is a good idea.
- Lots of students (such as physics students) also devote many years of study to their subject. This doesn’t tell us much.
- CORRECT. A professional evaluation is to test if a professional is effective when they are doing their job. A student evaluation is to see how well a student knows the topic.
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