Less than half of students get this question right. To do this question well, you have to be comfortable with making quick drawings to see what’s possible.
Let’s look at who we have to place for this question:
- V, which goes third or fourth
- PS, which go together
- R_M, which form a block of three
- T_W, which form a block of three
Apart from V, there is no variable that just takes up one space! That’s very restrictive.
Once you see these are the restrictions, you must draw it. This is not the time for hesitation. I’ve seen students waste 40-60 seconds trying to work things out in their heads. This does not work! You will learn more in five seconds of drawing than ninety seconds of thinking. Watch this progression of drawings where I try to make a correct scenario with Vuillard fourth:
I put Vuillard fourth, and I placed the three remaining blocks. You can switch the order of R_M and T_W, but the result is the same: we’re missing the two open spaces required for PS.
So let’s try putting Vuillard third. Again, I’ll show the progression of my sketch:
I made this to prove that Vuillard can go third: it’s a way of confirming that we were right to think that Vuillard can’t go fourth.
This is just a could be true scenario. I know that PS can reverse positions, and R_M and T_W can also reverse positions. You don’t need to draw every possible scenario for a diagram to be useful.
Since PS, R_W and T_W can all switch positions, none of those letters are possible candidates for something that must be true. That leaves Vuillard. We saw that Vuillard can’t go fourth, so Vuillard must go third. E is CORRECT.
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