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wtrc
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby wtrc » Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:17 pm

BP,

I don't know if this is part of your regular "office hours," but if so, if you wouldn't mind explaining PT 63, section 3, #11 to me? I chose E.

Also, same section- #24- Why would B not be an equally valid answer? If milk raised blood pressure, then people would not be able to lower it by drink milk..

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Captain Rodeo
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby Captain Rodeo » Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:44 pm

bp shinners wrote:
You hit the main ones to watch out for in your post, along with many others that, while present, aren't things that will really help you get correct answers (as it's like getting into a battle of wits with a Sicilian when death is on the line - I know that you know that I know that you know, that I...).

So stop worrying about the tricks! Just worry on the ones you're already focusing on - logical force, equivocation, etc... The other ones are interesting from a meta standpoint, but they're as likely to cause you to bomb a test from thinking about them as they are to actually help you through the exam.


Thanks BP. You're right. I guess I was paranoid that there was some more esoteric trick(s) that were like lock-and-key models that were hard to spot. But, it seems that there are the basics-and that those basics are also used for more difficult questions- but they are hidden by over-complex and/or poorly composed sentences.
.
Thanks!

Oh, and nice analogy

Image

andreasmommy
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby andreasmommy » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:04 pm

bp shinners wrote:
andreasmommy wrote:I was wondering if you could discuss some more logical force words. I.E heavy wording for wrong answers to look out for.

I have been intensively studying without seeing a change in speed or scoring. Any advice?

Thank you so much


There are a TON of specific logical force keywords (might, can, could, some, most, maybe, etc...), but most of them mean exactly what you think they mean. What I try to point out here is that most people don't actually think about those words, so you need to start. Other than the small logical force keywords, recognize that EVERY SINGLE WORD in the English language has logical force to it. Every one. You need to start being aware of it, and not using words just because they're close enough. On the LSAT, they're not close enough. So when you say stuff like, "That's more likely than not", it shows a misunderstanding of "likely", as that phrase is redundant. "Completely independent", again, is redundant. Start being aware of this on everything.

As to the issue of intense prep without any change in speed or scoring, definitely reassess what you're doing. If you're spending a TON of time and seeing no improvement (and make sure you really are seeing no improvement - if your score is the same, but you're getting more questions right in the sections/question types you've covered, you are improving), then you're not studying in a good way. You'll have to figure out why what you're doing isn't working, and then change it so that it does work.

How have you been prepping so far?


I have been doing logical reasoning questions at my own pace, analyzing the argument to see what its asking, then aswering it by question type. Then more specifically, i. e- is the argument a necessary assumption argument, and ascriptive. My problem is I am always stuck between two questions, I can normally pick 2 wrong questions off the bat, leaving me with 3 questions to choose. I feel like I have been doing my 3 months of studying wrong the whole time, instead of analyzing arguments, I should be analyzing answer choices. What are common right answers, and what are common wrong answers. Any tips on wrong answer choices to look for besides the load bearing language, prediction, comparative. Anything specific I should be looking for in wrong answers?

What are common things found in wrong answers and right answers?

(I spent today trying to find some, and haven't had much luck. I think the 3 months of studying hard, and not seeing an improvement has really frustrated me to the point where it is hard to study. I am PT-ing at 150 and have been for 3 months. I still can only answer 16 questions in 35 mins and guess on the rest. What holds me up is the game section. I am killer at the games). A typical day consists of LR for 5 hours, answering the questions then seeing which ones I get wrong. I spend about 60 mins on 26 questions, get 4 wrong, usually different each time (no commonality on the wrong answers). But the right answer choice does not POP out to me like other students talk about.

Thank you so much for your help! That was a great tip! I am going to start keeping my eye out for redundancy.

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bp shinners
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:02 am

weathercoins wrote:if you wouldn't mind explaining PT 63, section 3, #11 to me? I chose E.


Alright, so I've got an illness and I'm researching it on the web. I can't tell the valid science ("Go see a doctor, you idiot!") from the quackery ("Buy this algae-based cure and you'll live forever!"); in fact, I prefer the quackery as it's written without big, Latin words.

From this, I conclude that people who rely on the web are likely to do themselves more harm than good.

Well, there's a big jump in that argument. I've never talked about harm before - where did that come from? I must be assuming that people who rely on quackery will end up doing themselves harm. That fills the gap between what I know (people read and like the quackery) and what I conclude (that these people will harm themselves).

I get that in answer choice B, which states (paraphrased), "If people don't rely exclusively on scientifically valid information, then they'll likely do themselves more harm than good when attempting to diagnose their medical condition." Bingo - these people, by not relying on scientifically valid info, are doing themselves more harm than good. To negate the answer, I'd replace 'are likely' with 'are not likely'; and then, looking at it, I see that I couldn't get to my conclusion.

E goes too far - I don't have to assume that they'll do themselves more harm than good ONLY IF they rely on quackery. They could rely on the science, but then try to mix up their own penicillin and die from mold poisoning (man, I've been out of science classes too long - I don't think that's a thing). So I don't need to assume that relying on quackery is the only danger involved, and thus E isn't necessary.

Also, same section- #24- Why would B not be an equally valid answer? If milk raised blood pressure, then people would not be able to lower it by drink milk..


So milk is good for you (the dairy council has infiltrated the LSAC).

Old people have higher BP because they have less calcium. This decrease in calcium comes from a decrease in vitamin D, which lets the body absorb calcium. There's enough calcium in 1 glass of milk to make up for the calcium deficiency.

From this, I conclude that old people can lower their BP by drinking milk.

Well, I know that milk has plenty of calcium. But my gap in the argument is that I also know you need Vitamin D to absorb calcium, and the argument never tells me that milk has Vitamin D. In order for me to know that drinking a glass of milk works, I need to know it has Vitamin D in it (along with anything Vitamin D needs to do its thing).

That's what A gives me. A tells me milk has all the other stuff old folks need to get their calcium, so it gets me to my conclusion.

For B, what you say is correct - if milk raises BP, then drinking it wouldn't help lower blood pressure. I have two problems with this as an answer, however:

1) Answer choice B doesn't talk about whether milk raises/lowers BP - it talks about substances in milk that raise/lower BP. Even if it contains substances that raise blood pressure, that doesn't mean blood pressure will go up - maybe the amount of calcium and Vitamin D in milk is enough to counteract the other substances that tend to raise BP, and even with these substances milk would still lower BP.

2) Even if milk doesn't contain stuff that raises blood pressure, that doesn't mean it lowers BP. I know it has some calcium in it, but I'm still missing that Vitamin D. So while B might get me closer to my conclusion, it's certainly not sufficient to get me there - I still need to know that the old people can absorb that calcium in the milk.

While these two questions are assumption questions, they're different types. The first was a necessary assumption question, and the second a sufficient assumption question. What you're looking for in an answer choice is pretty different, and I think you may need to look over strategies for them a bit because I think you might be missing the difference based on these two questions (for #24, you picked something that is closer to a necessary assumption - it's not a necessary assumption, but it's close to one - instead of a sufficient assumption).

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bp shinners
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:17 am

andreasmommy wrote:I feel like I have been doing my 3 months of studying wrong the whole time, instead of analyzing arguments, I should be analyzing answer choices. What are common right answers, and what are common wrong answers. Any tips on wrong answer choices to look for besides the load bearing language, prediction, comparative. Anything specific I should be looking for in wrong answers?


First, definitely don't stop analyzing the arguments. That's more important than analyzing answer choices, as it's impossible to analyze the ACs without having analyzed the argument. However, it is also important to spend time analyzing answer choices as well, so if you haven't been doing that, start adding that to your prep.

As far as wrong ACs, that's heavily question-dependent. For instance, I want a weak answer in a Soft Must be True question ("Which one of the following is most strongly supported by the information above?"), but a strong answer choice in a Sufficient Assumption question. What I can tell you is that each question type does have characteristically-correct answer choices and characteristically-wrong answer choices; start noticing these by reviewing a set of the same question type and comparing the strength/relevant features of the correct and incorrect answers.

(I spent today trying to find some, and haven't had much luck. I think the 3 months of studying hard, and not seeing an improvement has really frustrated me to the point where it is hard to study. I am PT-ing at 150 and have been for 3 months. I still can only answer 16 questions in 35 mins and guess on the rest. What holds me up is the game section. I am killer at the games). A typical day consists of LR for 5 hours, answering the questions then seeing which ones I get wrong. I spend about 60 mins on 26 questions, get 4 wrong, usually different each time (no commonality on the wrong answers). But the right answer choice does not POP out to me like other students talk about.

Thank you so much for your help! That was a great tip! I am going to start keeping my eye out for redundancy.


Spending that much time and not seeing improvement can be frustrating. However, if you're going 22/26 on LR without a time constraint, you understand the material. It seems that the majority of your problem is timing - leaving 10 questions/section is going to result in a lower score, no matter how you slice it.

While I can't say for sure as we haven't worked together, I dispute your analysis that there is no commonality to the questions you get wrong/wrong answers you pick. There's usually a pattern underlying the incorrect answers, even if it's not based on question type. Usually, students keep falling for the same tricks - they pick an AC that's too strong, or an AC that has another specific flaw (e.g. it equivocates between terms). So here, definitely start analyzing the ACs to see if there's a pattern. I'd bet money that there is.

Other than that, if you really do go 22/26 on LR sections untimed, it's just a matter of getting your timing faster. Figure out what you're spending that extra time on - is it making yourself sure of your AC, when you're 90% sure after 1:20? If so, that extra 10% isn't worth missing 10 questions at the end of the section; fill in the bubble and move on.

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NoodleyOne
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby NoodleyOne » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:08 pm

Heya shinners, love this topic.

Anyway, and this is going to sound annoying, but is there a "jump" from mid 170s to 180, or is it more of, at that point, just eliminating the mistakes. I've been PTing between 174-177 for awhile now, but have yet to break 177. I don't feel that I'm missing anything conceptually, and I feel like I really know the test, but getting over that last little bump is getting on my nerves.

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bp shinners
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:03 pm

NoodleyOne wrote:Heya shinners, love this topic.

Anyway, and this is going to sound annoying, but is there a "jump" from mid 170s to 180, or is it more of, at that point, just eliminating the mistakes. I've been PTing between 174-177 for awhile now, but have yet to break 177. I don't feel that I'm missing anything conceptually, and I feel like I really know the test, but getting over that last little bump is getting on my nerves.


First up, we're back in business.

Second up, I don't think there is a jump between the mid-170s and the 180s. Anything over 175 is pretty much gravy, and there's going to be a bit of a swing based on the room, the questions, etc... Mostly, at that point, it's eliminating/minimizing the stupid mistakes you make. Everyone gets questions wrong at times, so I would stop letting it get on your nerves.

vegso
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby vegso » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:06 pm

no offense taken at all mr shinners, that was exactly what i was looking for thank you!

andreasmommy
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby andreasmommy » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:57 am

bp shinners wrote:
andreasmommy wrote:I feel like I have been doing my 3 months of studying wrong the whole time, instead of analyzing arguments, I should be analyzing answer choices. What are common right answers, and what are common wrong answers. Any tips on wrong answer choices to look for besides the load bearing language, prediction, comparative. Anything specific I should be looking for in wrong answers?


First, definitely don't stop analyzing the arguments. That's more important than analyzing answer choices, as it's impossible to analyze the ACs without having analyzed the argument. However, it is also important to spend time analyzing answer choices as well, so if you haven't been doing that, start adding that to your prep.

As far as wrong ACs, that's heavily question-dependent. For instance, I want a weak answer in a Soft Must be True question ("Which one of the following is most strongly supported by the information above?"), but a strong answer choice in a Sufficient Assumption question. What I can tell you is that each question type does have characteristically-correct answer choices and characteristically-wrong answer choices; start noticing these by reviewing a set of the same question type and comparing the strength/relevant features of the correct and incorrect answers.

(I spent today trying to find some, and haven't had much luck. I think the 3 months of studying hard, and not seeing an improvement has really frustrated me to the point where it is hard to study. I am PT-ing at 150 and have been for 3 months. I still can only answer 16 questions in 35 mins and guess on the rest. What holds me up is the game section. I am killer at the games). A typical day consists of LR for 5 hours, answering the questions then seeing which ones I get wrong. I spend about 60 mins on 26 questions, get 4 wrong, usually different each time (no commonality on the wrong answers). But the right answer choice does not POP out to me like other students talk about.

Thank you so much for your help! That was a great tip! I am going to start keeping my eye out for redundancy.


Spending that much time and not seeing improvement can be frustrating. However, if you're going 22/26 on LR without a time constraint, you understand the material. It seems that the majority of your problem is timing - leaving 10 questions/section is going to result in a lower score, no matter how you slice it.

While I can't say for sure as we haven't worked together, I dispute your analysis that there is no commonality to the questions you get wrong/wrong answers you pick. There's usually a pattern underlying the incorrect answers, even if it's not based on question type. Usually, students keep falling for the same tricks - they pick an AC that's too strong, or an AC that has another specific flaw (e.g. it equivocates between terms). So here, definitely start analyzing the ACs to see if there's a pattern. I'd bet money that there is.

Other than that, if you really do go 22/26 on LR sections untimed, it's just a matter of getting your timing faster. Figure out what you're spending that extra time on - is it making yourself sure of your AC, when you're 90% sure after 1:20? If so, that extra 10% isn't worth missing 10 questions at the end of the section; fill in the bubble and move on.



I tried again, It took me 5 hours today to do another logical reasoning section, going through each questions trying to critique why I got it wrong, comparing it to my other questions and I havent found any commonality between wrong answer choices. If I time myself, my score goes out the window, I will only get half right. I've tried the post it method, it works for some questions, some questions it doesn't. For sufficient assumption questions, I use conditional logic. For strengthen/weaken questions I attack or assert the nec. assumption. I notice I spend a lot of time reading answer choices, then rereading the passage again, then rereading the 3 answer choices I have left, then knocking them down to two, but I spend a lot of time deciphering between two. From a generalization from students you worked with, what was the common mistake many students fall for when choosing the wrong answer. I really look for language indicators. For example, for a question that asks "each of the following, if true, provides some support for the researchers hypothesis EXCEPT" the passage may discuss Antarctic seals, then an answer choice switches language to "many species" or a passage may discuss students then an answer choice will switch over to "many people" this type of switch in language pops out to me that those are the wrong answers. any other specifics I should keep an eye out for?

I really appreciate all your help! I wish you taught an LSAT prep in southern cali!

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bp shinners
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:38 am

andreasmommy wrote:I notice I spend a lot of time reading answer choices, then rereading the passage again, then rereading the 3 answer choices I have left, then knocking them down to two, but I spend a lot of time deciphering between two.


Well that would explain the timing issues. From this, it appears to me as if you're reading the passage the first time, and not really internalizing it. You're seeing it more as a step to get through before you head to the answers instead of a place where you do most of your work. You should be reading the prompt so you know what it's asking, then heading to the stimulus with an idea of what you're looking for in mind. You should also be taking a few seconds before you head to the answer choices to pre-phrase an answer - you can come up with something at least 75% of the time (in reality, I think it's closer to 90%, but I might be overestimating based on my experience).

Also, it seems that you're re-reading the stimulus at least once to eliminate each answer choice. That's highly inefficient - you're not understanding the argument, but rather you're reading it for the sole purpose of knocking one answer choice out. That's always going to result in massive time overages. Stop back-loading the work - do most of it up front.

From a generalization from students you worked with, what was the common mistake many students fall for when choosing the wrong answer. I really look for language indicators. For example, for a question that asks "each of the following, if true, provides some support for the researchers hypothesis EXCEPT" the passage may discuss Antarctic seals, then an answer choice switches language to "many species" or a passage may discuss students then an answer choice will switch over to "many people" this type of switch in language pops out to me that those are the wrong answers. any other specifics I should keep an eye out for?


Language indicators are very important. They highlight the two most-common mistakes I see with students:
1) Logical force/scope - this is the one you talk about here
2) Equivocation - students tend to have imprecise definitions of a lot of words. In fact, most Americans do. We don't think about what we mean when we say certain things, and most of our language is learned conversationally. Because of this, it's really easy to get us to think that something means something it really doesn't by using it in a context that makes it seem like it means something else (that might be the single most confusing sentence I've ever written). In short, the LSAT is great at using words that mean something different than you take it to mean in the sentence. It's really important that you don't gloss over the language, and instead make sure that the sentences are actually saying what you think they say. Very often, they don't. Look out for minor shifts in what words are used.

I really appreciate all your help! I wish you taught an LSAT prep in southern cali!

[/quote]

I wish I taught a class in SoCal as well. I love San Diego.

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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby meandme » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:20 pm

Hey BP
Lately I have been working on games. I have redone few games 3 or more times. When I redo game I kind of remember the rules and setup. I still work through the questions. I don't remember the answers just the setup. Do you think I just need to space out the games so I don't see them in the same week? What is your tip in redoing games?

Thanks
God bless

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bp shinners
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:35 am

meandme wrote:Hey BP
Lately I have been working on games. I have redone few games 3 or more times. When I redo game I kind of remember the rules and setup. I still work through the questions. I don't remember the answers just the setup. Do you think I just need to space out the games so I don't see them in the same week? What is your tip in redoing games?

Thanks
God bless


Redoing a game a few times in a week is probably a bit of overkill. I'd try to space them out a bit more, and if you're going to do the same game a third time, space it out even more than between the first two.

Also, I'd probably recommend timing yourself through different methods of attacking the same game to see if any particular way is faster/more natural for you.

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bp shinners
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:26 pm

Another round on me.

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CardozoLaw09
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby CardozoLaw09 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:54 pm

Hey Shinners,

I was wondering if you could provide a good case for the answer on PT28 LR section 1, Question 1. I chose B) for that question and I guess can see how it somewhat stengthens the argument, albeit in a weak way. However, I'm not exactly sure why A) doesn't strengthen it as well. I understand he worked alone in the twelve courses so maybe outside help might be detrimental to the way he operates, but I'm not sure to what extent him receiving help would lessen the likelihood that he receives a B in this next course.

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bp shinners
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:09 pm

CardozoLaw09 wrote:but I'm not sure to what extent him receiving help would lessen the likelihood that he receives a B in this next course.


First off, strengthen EXCEPT questions aren't WEAKEN questions - you're looking for something that either weakens the conclusion OR does nothing to the conclusion.

Here, I've got answers that fall into 2 categories:

First category - It strengthens the argument by stating that the comparison between the old courses and the current course is a good one
Answer choice B does this by suggesting that the new course falls into a similar subject matter as the old ones (by stating they cover a broad range, it suggests that the student's already taken a course in the area in which the current course is focused).
Answer choice C does this by saying that the study habits will be similar, so no change there (and thus the trend can continue).
Answer choice E straight up says that the new course is similar to one of the old courses.

Second category - increase the strength of the premises
Answer choice D does this by saying that 'majority' actually means '11/12', which increases your view of her as a student.

Answer choice A, on the other hand, suggests that there is a change between the old courses and the new course - namely, she's receiving help on the new course. I don't know how this change is going to affect her ability to receive a good grades, so I can't determine how this affects the argument. Since I don't know how it affects the argument, I can't say it strengthens it. While it might strengthen the argument IF I assume that having help from outstanding students will help her perform well, I can't come to that conclusion without that assumption. So it's wrong.

Wherein all the others inherently (by themselves) strengthen the argument by either strengthening a premise that directly supports the conclusion OR making my comparison between the old courses and new course better.

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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby rakeshow » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:09 am

I tend to range from -2 to -4 on a given LR section, so I'm really trying to get that down to around a -1/-2 range within the next month. I've noticed that I miss a disproportionate amount of Resolve the Paradox questions. I've been drilling these (i have every paradox question from PT 1-38). Any general suggestions/tips for these? particularly when dealing with mentality/strategy for how to approach them.

For example, do you say in your head the 2 specific discrepancies you are looking to address and then check each answer choice against that? It's a little thing i've been trying to engrain so that I don't pick choices that only address one side of the argument (I tend to make these mistakes, kind of like the questions that ask for what the disagreement is between 2 speakers, how a wrong AC will address only one side but the other side you dont know whether or not they would agree at all, since theres no basis or mention for it).

However, I've also noticed that sometimes I end up paraphrasing the issue at hand, i.e. "ok so it worked better for X, but worse for Y" or something vague like that. But sometimes i end up equivocating/generalizing in the AC, i.e. pick something that mentions less books read, when the stimulus talked about less books bought.

Specifically, could you address PT23, S1, Q22 about oil spills and PAH. How is D correct? I get that pre-war dumping would make the pre- and post- war difference smaller, since there was a lot to begin with. But i don't get how that would explain how there is LESS oil contamination. Also, i got confused by the second part of the stim that talks about another comparison to Baltic sea (not temporal, but this time geographical). is this a trick/superfluous? i dont see why C or E wouldnt work.

Sorry for the roundabout explanation and rambling. Thanks!
Last edited by rakeshow on Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

meandme
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby meandme » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:48 pm

Hey BP
I have noticed while reading an RC passage I stay engaged. I don't get lost like I use to. Too bad that's not the case when it comes the questions of RC. Especially the questions with really long ACs. I am currently reading other material to increase my stamina for RC. Any tips?

Thanks
God bless

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bp shinners
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:33 pm

rakeshow wrote:For example, do you say in your head the 2 specific discrepancies you are looking to address and then check each answer choice against that? It's a little thing i've been trying to engrain so that I don't pick choices that only address one side of the argument (I tend to make these mistakes, kind of like the questions that ask for what the disagreement is between 2 speakers, how a wrong AC will address only one side but the other side you dont know whether or not they would agree at all, since theres no basis or mention for it).


Every time I do a resolve/explain question, I always write out each side of the paradox. "On the one hand,..." and "On the other hand,..." (probably not all those words). This way, I know what the two sides of the coin are. I need an answer that allows both hand to be true while also explaining how that's possible.

Another thing for resolve/explain questions (and this will come up again below) - you're not looking for 100% logical certainty on these like you are on the rest of the test. The requirements for a correct answer are a bit lower than for the rest of the LR section. You can chalk this up to most of the prompts saying something like "does the most to resolve", only actually meaning it for these questions. You don't have to fully resolve the paradox, just suggest a possible solution. However, there are still 4 answers that don't contribute to a resolution of the paradox.

However, I've also noticed that sometimes I end up paraphrasing the issue at hand, i.e. "ok so it worked better for X, but worse for Y" or something vague like that. But sometimes i end up equivocating/generalizing in the AC, i.e. pick something that mentions less books read, when the stimulus talked about less books bought.


Drop this. Go with "On the one hand, on the other".

Specifically, could you address PT23, S1, Q22 about oil spills and PAH. How is D correct? I get that pre-war dumping would make the pre- and post- war difference smaller, since there was a lot to begin with. But i don't get how that would explain how there is LESS oil contamination. Also, i got confused by the second part of the stim that talks about another comparison to Baltic sea (not temporal, but this time geographical). is this a trick/superfluous? i dont see why C or E wouldnt work.


Sure!

First off, that reference to the Baltic is just there to throw you off. There might be something to the fact that we're comparing the PAH levels to the Baltic levels only, but I doubt it.

Using my method above, I get this:
On the one hand, they were dumping oil all over the place during the Gulf War and setting it on fire.
On the other hand, evidence tells us that there were fewer oil spills and less PAHs from burning the oil after the war than before it.

To resolve this, I need to know either that the war did something crazy that destroyed these markers, or there was a ton of spilling/burning of oil before the war.

D does that - it tells me that there was a massive oil spills before the war. Could that be less than what happened during the war? Sure. But I'm just suggesting possible resolutions for resolve questions (see note above about being a little less logically rigorous here). And the fact that these pre-war oil spills are described as 'massive' gives me reason to believe that they were dumping more before the war than they ever did during the war.

C doesn't really help me because I'm comparing desert levels to desert levels. The faster dissipation rates would apply to both the pre-war and post-war levels that I'm comparing, so that doesn't help resolve my discrepancy.

E doesn't explain to me why pre-war levels were so high. Sure, it wasn't as bad as we thought, but I still have a paradox - we were dumping and spilling oil all over the place, and yet levels were lower than when we started doing that. The fact that it could have been worse doesn't explain why I can dump/burn oil with impunity during war, apparently, and improve the environment.

Quick tip on this type of resolve question - very often, a resolve/explain question will compare to things. It'll be shocking that something I thought would be better ends up being worse. In order to explain that, I need to find an answer that only applies to one of the two things being compared. If it applies to both things equally, then it doesn't resolve anything, as that's essentially a wash. For instance, here, C applies equally to both things being compared, so it can't be the answer.

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bp shinners
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:35 pm

meandme wrote:Hey BP
I have noticed while reading an RC passage I stay engaged. I don't get lost like I use to. Too bad that's not the case when it comes the questions of RC. Especially the questions with really long ACs. I am currently reading other material to increase my stamina for RC. Any tips?

Thanks
God bless


With the exception of the extremely generic questions ("With which of the following is the author most likely to agree?"), prephrase your answers. You should be able to get pretty close.

For the generic questions, remind yourself of the viewpoint of the person who shows up in the question. In my example above, just restate the author's main point.

This way, looking through the questions becomes more about finding the one that matches your prediction than about finding the one that's right after an analysis. It should keep you more engaged, because now you're invested in seeing if your prediction is correct.

rakeshow
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby rakeshow » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:48 am

Thanks so much for the help!

I have a question on comparative RC passage strategies. For the most part, i find these to be easier since the passages are shorter and thus easier to break down. I have a few questions on strategy though.

1) do you think it's ok if i quickly skim at the questions and look to see if there are any that only address one passage? for example there are somtimes ones that say "according to passage B, which of the follow is.." in which case it is useless to read passage A first, and instead i'll only read passage B and then try to answer that question (less chance of me incorrectly using information from passage A).

2) for detail questions that ask "which of the following is mentioned in both passages" how do you go about this? is it more like an educated guess/hunch on a specific answer choice that looks good, and then going back and explicitly finding that in both passages? i am often lost on these as they are so specific, and many of the answer choices seem plausible to be in both passages just because both passages are usually similar in some regard and thus there are false memory possibilities.

thanks again bp!

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bp shinners
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:11 pm

rakeshow wrote:1) do you think it's ok if i quickly skim at the questions and look to see if there are any that only address one passage? for example there are somtimes ones that say "according to passage B, which of the follow is.." in which case it is useless to read passage A first, and instead i'll only read passage B and then try to answer that question (less chance of me incorrectly using information from passage A).


No, I don't think that's OK. For two reason:
1) There's going to be a question like that. Not 100%, but there's a good chance that there will be questions about individual passages. So finding them first isn't going to be helpful. Also, if there's a question on both passages individually, your plan doesn't work.
2) That's going to take longer. Those questions are either a) specific, in which case you should be finding the reference in the passage before picking an answer, or b) general, in which case if you're getting the general ideas of the two passages mixed up, you're probably in bigger trouble. Whatever the case, just read both passages first, then go to the questions.

2) for detail questions that ask "which of the following is mentioned in both passages" how do you go about this? is it more like an educated guess/hunch on a specific answer choice that looks good, and then going back and explicitly finding that in both passages? i am often lost on these as they are so specific, and many of the answer choices seem plausible to be in both passages just because both passages are usually similar in some regard and thus there are false memory possibilities.


Whenever I see a concept mentioned that showed up in the other passage, I make a note of it (a little (+) in the margin). This way, I have a list of common terms to look up. If you miss it, then you'd have to go with your method. But in passage that are 3 paragraphs long, and less than half a column in length, you should be able to track those things if you're reading carefully and actively.

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bp shinners
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:23 pm

And we're open.

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NoodleyOne
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby NoodleyOne » Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:41 pm

PT 46 section 3 question 15...

I was stuck between B and E here, initially went with B and then with my extra time switched it to E. I see why E is wrong, but I wasn't able to convince myself why B (It is to the advantage of some individuals that they be concerned with contributing to societal good) is the correct answer. Any help?

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bp shinners
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:53 pm

NoodleyOne wrote:PT 46 section 3 question 15...

I was stuck between B and E here, initially went with B and then with my extra time switched it to E. I see why E is wrong, but I wasn't able to convince myself why B (It is to the advantage of some individuals that they be concerned with contributing to societal good) is the correct answer. Any help?


Sure!

Alright, first a quick breakdown of my argument:
Some books have anti-heroes.
Modern books treat these anti-heroes sympathetically (which didn't happen often with older lit).
Reading books with anti-heroes tells people that they shouldn't worry about contributing to societal good.
_____________________________
Modern literature can damage individuals who appropriate this attitude.
Modern literature can damage society at large.

So I've got a bit of equivocation going on here. I know that reading modern literature can make people believe it's not too important to contribute to society. From that, I conclude that these people will themselves be damaged, and society will be damaged. However, I don't know that having this attitude will do either of those things. It could be the case that everyone out for themselves actually makes everyone better off (just ask Ayn Rand).

Now, thinking about it, I personally find the second half of the conclusion to be more convincing. It's certainly not valid, but the first part is where I think they're going with the answer. To me, it just makes more sense that people not trying to help society will hurt society - it doesn't based on this argument, but I'm more concerned with this hurting them, since that flaw seems to be 'bigger'.

In short, I need an answer that lets me know adopting this attitude (disdain for society) is going to harm some individuals. That's what B does for me - it lets me know that some people out there would benefit from contributing to societal good. These people, should they adopt this attitude, would therefore be harmed by it.

If I negate the answer (as I should to test out answers to necessary assumption questions), I get that "It is to the advantage of no individual that they be concerned with contributing to societal good." If that's the case, then these people won't be harmed by adopting this detached attitude, and I can't get to my conclusion. Argument killed by negating that answer? It's the correct one.

If I look at E quickly, I've got a problem with a temporal/comparison fallacy. I know that in this one way, these books are being argued to be bad for society in a way that old literature isn't. However, that's only along one metric, and there may be other ways that older literature is bad for the societal good. Another, more universally applicable way of looking at it is that since my conclusion is solely about modern literature, I don't have to assume anything about older literature (or even modern literature as compared to older literature).

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sdwarrior403
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby sdwarrior403 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:28 pm

PT 66 section 3 #10 amino acid question. Why couldnt it be b? I made a thread about it but no takers.


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