How to estimate if a question will be closed?

This seems like a obvious question, with the obvious answer:

...if it doesn't meet the community guidelines.

But there are still some examples where I've been surprised by the reaction of the community.

Here are two questions, that are both asked similar, didn't use good formatting or mathjax before the edit and they are dealing with the same topic (computational complexity). To my surprise one was closed and the other one was upvoted.

I couldn't even choose one over the other in terms of how complex or trivial these questions are to answer, since I think they are pretty much the same (tags, title, etc.).

Question: Being somewhat of a new member (I'm not very consistently active on the site), I'm wondering if there is a way to estimate if a question will be closed, since I've just read that users shouldn't answer questions that will likely get closed.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't think the question to ask is "which ones will be closed?" but instead "which ones should be closed (according to the guidelines)?". I believe both should be closed, as both contain little more than the statement of a problem, with little or no context or effort on the asker's part. (You mention level of difficulty, but should not be a factor as people struggle at all different levels.) $\endgroup$ – user1729 Apr 12 at 8:29
  • $\begingroup$ [The second question is definitely better. It has some structure and gives some context. However, if a student came to my office and asked me that question (as written there) I'd say "okay, so did you look at your notes?" rather than answering the question immediately.] $\endgroup$ – user1729 Apr 12 at 8:35
  • $\begingroup$ So if I get that right: the context "..this is an old exam question and I don't remember" is more acceptable than "I don't understand how to determine"? I totally get what you are saying with the notes, since both questions could have been answered exactly that way, but that is the reason why I dont get the difference in the upvotes. $\endgroup$ – Algebruh Apr 12 at 8:40
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think the reasons are two-fold. Firstly, the second question is definitely better than the first, so we'd expect a more positive reaction (remember everything is a spectrum and nothing is black and white). Secondly, the questions will have been seen by different people, and different people have different opinions and vote for different reasons, and also vote in different ways (e.g. generous with their upvotes and will not downvote questions, or will downvote anything they deep unworthy and never, ever upvote). $\endgroup$ – user1729 Apr 12 at 9:01
  • $\begingroup$ Yes that makes sens, but why the one is way better than the other is still not clear to me...Thank you for commenting anyway :) $\endgroup$ – Algebruh Apr 12 at 11:37
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with @user1729, but, like you, Algebruh, I really can't say the second is better than the first. They should both be closed, and they are now both closed. $\endgroup$ – amWhy Apr 12 at 15:37

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