Simple Guide on Agree or Disagree Questions

Simple Guide on Agree or Disagree Questions

The takeaways
  • Approach it as a third perspective and be descriptively objective.
  • Use the T-Chart pass-through for categorizing and organizing the authors' opinions
  • Increase efficiency in looking at answer choices as your comfort level in this question type increases.

Intro to Agree or Disagree

This blog is a part of the “Approach Question Type” series and like all articles in this series will focus on step 4 of the “Analyze Stimulus” step. If you need a refresher on how to approach LR questions generally, make sure to check up on our blog "How to Approach the Logical Reasoning Section.”

Table of Contents:

  • What is an "Agree or Disagree" Question?
  • Systematic Steps for T-Chart
  • Improving Efficiency in Selecting Answers

What is an "Agree or Disagree" (A/D) question?

A/D questions can also be referred to as “point at issue” or “dispute” questions. This question type tests our ability to identify the central point of agreement or disagreement between two speakers or sources. The stimulus will introduce one person’s argument and a second person’s perspective.

Author A: Nicotine is addictive, and should be treated as a dangerous drug.

Author B: Other things are also addictive and aren’t restricted.

Answering an A/D question puts you in the position of a third perspective looking from the outside. Think of yourself like an arbiter: Imagine yourself as a neutral judge or mediator tasked with understanding and accurately describing the core disagreement between the two sides. What would you say is the primary issue they're debating? Oftentimes, you don’t even need to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each argument; there is no need to form an opinion on what is being argued. It’s not about what YOU agree with, or whose argument you think makes more logical sense; it’s about approaching the passage with a mindset of neutrality and objectivity, and then accurately being able to describe what is going on. This perspective can help you focus on the essential elements of the debate without being swayed by personal biases or preconceptions.

Q-Stem Examples

A/D questions are more descriptive and depend more on your ability to accurately assess the situation. Below you will find several examples of common question threads:

  • X and Y’s positions indicate that they disagree about the truth of which of the following… (dispute)
  • Which of the following most accurately expresses the point at issue between X and Y… (disagreement/dispute)
  • X and Y are committed to agreeing about which of the following… (agree)
  • The dialogue most supports the claim that X and Y agree with each other about whether… (agree)

Systematic Steps for T-Chart

In order to objectively assess the two arguments in an efficient manner, it is important to have a set system. For A/D questions, we recommend that you build a T-Chart, which crafts an objective third perspective that is quick to construct and easy to refer back to.

  1. Make a T-Chart for Author A and Author B
  2. For each answer choice (A through to E), we will write one of four symbols to display what we believe the respective author feels about the statement: some text
    1. “✓” for agree
    2. “𐄂” for disagree
    3. “—” for neutral or irrelevant (these answer choices can typically be dismissed if you categorized it correctly; if the author has no opinion, then there can’t be an agreement OR dispute!)
    4. “?” for uncertain. Optional: you can write out a second symbol for what you feel a slight leaning towards. For example: (?/✓) means “you’re not entirely sure, but maybe the author leans toward agree.”
  1. ONLY read Author A’s argument first. Take note of the conclusion and the flow of support.
  2. Pass through the answer choices (A through E) and mark a symbol about author A’s stance regarding the statement(s).
  1. We read author B.
  2. Pass through, and take stock of B’s opinion on each statement.
  3. Final T-Chart example:


Practice: Make a T-Chart with the following assertions about Author A and Author B. (Answer below)

  1. Both authors agree
  2. Both authors are neutral
  3. Author A disagrees, Author B agrees
  4. You are uncertain about Author A’s stance, but Author B leans toward agree
  5. Both authors disagree

T-Chart Example Answer

Your T-Chart should look something like this:

Improving Efficiency in Selecting Answers

To start off practicing A/D question types, we suggest you map out both authors’ opinions on the T-Chart for each statement. However, once you get comfortable and more confident answering agree/disagree questions, you’ll notice that after you do the pass-through of only Author A, you don’t necessarily even have to re-read some of the answer choices about Author B’s stance.

For example, let’s say you’ve just done your pass-through for ONLY Author A’s opinion, so your T-Chart looks like this right now (Author B blank):

Question Stem: Agree 

Let’s say the question stem is the following: “X and Y are committed to agreeing about which of the following statements…”

Goal: we’re looking for two “✓” marks for both authors agreeing on a statement.

If you did your T-chart properly, first off you can completely disregard answer choice “B” because if the author has a neutral or no opinion, then there cannot be an agreement or dispute with the second author. You should also be pretty dismissive about “C” and “E” as an answer, as they are categorized as disagree. Next, you should immediately realize that it’s most effective to set your sights on answer choice “A” in this case because that’s the only answer that Author A agrees with. This means we can mentally block out the other noise answer choices and focus on the likelihood of the answer being “A” and maybe reviewing “D.”

Logically, if we are 100% confident in our pass-through of Author A’s opinion in the T-Chart, we don’t even need to read Author B’s opinion because the answer here can only be “A.” However, we should still do our due diligence! All you need to do now is quickly verify that Author B also agrees with statement “A.” Since here we are uncertain about answer choice “D” with the question mark indication, it might also be wise to make sure that we didn’t miss something by cross-verifying with Author B’s opinion. 

After the pass-through of Author B, we realize that we are not certain of Author B’s stance on answer choice “D” either, with a slight leaning to ✓. Both authors agree with answer choice A, and that is most likely our answer; however, with the uncertainty in answer choice “D”, this would then be our indication that maybe we missed something in your first pass-through of Author A’s opinion. It’s perfectly fine to return to the stimulus and double-check, and really be confident that Author A has a neutral or irrelevant opinion for statement “D.”

Question Stem: Disagree 

What if the question stem said: “X and Y are committed to disagree about which of the following statements…”

Goal: we’re looking for two “X” marks for both authors disagreeing on a statement.

In this case, logically you’d want to set your sights on answer choices C and E first, and inversely disregard answer choices “A’ and “B.” We don’t even care about what Author B’s opinion is on those two answer choices, because, if we did the pass-through for Author A correctly, then it is logically impossible for “A” or “B” to be the correct answer! To be more efficient, we will try to find the correct answer in the other choices, trusting our own judgement in the pass-through T-chart. 

Answer choice “C” is wrong because Author A disagrees but Author B agrees

Answer choice “D” is wrong because 1) we’re uncertain about both authors’ opinions, but our leaning was neutral for Author A, and for Author B we had a leaning towards agree. If, however, we had categorized both authors as uncertain but maybe leaning towards disagree (“? / X”) then that would be an incredibly important indication for us to go back to review the stimulus.

Answer choice “E” both authors disagree, so that’s the correct answer! 

In summary, mastering Agree/Disagree questions involves honing your ability to identify the core point of contention or consensus between two perspectives. By approaching these questions with a neutral mindset and systematically utilizing a T-Chart, you can efficiently categorize and evaluate each author’s stance. For extra practice, you can directly drill just A/D questions on AdeptLR’s platform!

Happy studying!

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