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

Postby bp shinners » Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:43 pm

dreamofNYC wrote:Hi BP, have you ever formalized strengthen / weaken strategies around quantifiers and logical force? I still need to work on weaken / strengthen questions and around questions where the effect is a spectrum vs a binary function.

For example, would it be possible to provide strengthen / weaken guidelines for conclusions containing:

- some, most, all
- sometimes, generally, always
- can, likely, definitely

Or am I over-thinking? I think I need to work on this more on my own before I can ask a question that can make sense.

TY.


You need an answer with enough logical force to have an impact, necessarily, on the conclusion. The problem is that there are so many combinations of that, and so many ways that you can phrase an answer choice, that it's hard to have a set of rules.

I will say that I'd always prefer a "most" or "all" over a "some" (in other words, a stronger answer choice); however, I can pick a "some". The most common time to pick a "some" is when the answer choice is a counterexample to a strong (i.e. "all") conclusion, but that's not a complete list.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby dreamofNYC » Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:17 pm

bp shinners wrote:
dreamofNYC wrote:Hi BP, have you ever formalized strengthen / weaken strategies around quantifiers and logical force? I still need to work on weaken / strengthen questions and around questions where the effect is a spectrum vs a binary function.

For example, would it be possible to provide strengthen / weaken guidelines for conclusions containing:

- some, most, all
- sometimes, generally, always
- can, likely, definitely

Or am I over-thinking? I think I need to work on this more on my own before I can ask a question that can make sense.

TY.


You need an answer with enough logical force to have an impact, necessarily, on the conclusion. The problem is that there are so many combinations of that, and so many ways that you can phrase an answer choice, that it's hard to have a set of rules.

I will say that I'd always prefer a "most" or "all" over a "some" (in other words, a stronger answer choice); however, I can pick a "some". The most common time to pick a "some" is when the answer choice is a counterexample to a strong (i.e. "all") conclusion, but that's not a complete list.


Thanks. I had the feeling that would be the case. These are coming together in my head but I thought a set of rules might give me some extra "gloss". :) Very helpful though!

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby Thorcogan » Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:40 pm

2 General strategy questions.

1) Given a brief snapshot of where I am (-0/1 LG, -3 to -6 LR, and -2 to -8 RC) where should I be focusing the majority if my studies until December. I have previously seen the biggest improvement in my LR, as I used to get -5 or 6 per section and I'm down to -1 to -3 per section. I have always been good at the LG, and have been madly inconsistent with RC. A friend gave me the advice that I should focus entirely on LR and LG, trying to get -2 to 4 total in those 3 sections, and then focus on getting 3 passages perfect on the RC. This would leave me at around -10, which would get me my goal score (170+). Do you agree have different advice?

2) How do you suggest getting over the final LR hurdle (from -1 to -3 down to -0/-1). I hear these stories about guys who will finish LR in 30 minutes consistently. While I have made big improvement, I feel like I have plateaued. While I am finishing the sections, I finish with seconds to spare, and that small window scares me. Not a lot of cushion for something to go wrong on test day.

Thanks for doing this!

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:58 pm

Thorcogan wrote:1) Given a brief snapshot of where I am (-0/1 LG, -3 to -6 LR, and -2 to -8 RC) where should I be focusing the majority if my studies until December. I have previously seen the biggest improvement in my LR, as I used to get -5 or 6 per section and I'm down to -1 to -3 per section. I have always been good at the LG, and have been madly inconsistent with RC. A friend gave me the advice that I should focus entirely on LR and LG, trying to get -2 to 4 total in those 3 sections, and then focus on getting 3 passages perfect on the RC. This would leave me at around -10, which would get me my goal score (170+). Do you agree have different advice?


That is terrible advice. You're not going to reliably hit 170 while skipping an entire RC passage. You also can't plan for perfection (well, in LG you can...) - you might read a sentence wrong, or miss a word, or just have a tough time with a paragraph.

I would do almost the opposite - practice LG, but you're pretty much perfect at it. Spend a ton of time on RC so you can consistently get under -5 (-1 to -3 would be ideal). And work on LR to get that down to -2 to -4 (assuming you reported that per test, not per section).

2) How do you suggest getting over the final LR hurdle (from -1 to -3 down to -0/-1). I hear these stories about guys who will finish LR in 30 minutes consistently. While I have made big improvement, I feel like I have plateaued. While I am finishing the sections, I finish with seconds to spare, and that small window scares me. Not a lot of cushion for something to go wrong on test day.


It sounds like you've hit the point where you have the methods/logic down; you're just getting tricked on some questions. When that happens, you have to shift your strategy from understanding the logic to understanding the test. Each incorrect answer choice is written to "trick" a certain level of test-taker - they have common errors that people of varying levels of comprehension fall for. You need to understand which of those tricks you're falling for, and then fix them.

How do you do this?
Answer these two questions for any LR question you get wrong (after analyzing the logic):
1) What about the incorrect answer I chose made me think it was correct? This will show you how the LSAT is hiding elements of incorrect answers from you.
2) What about the correct answer made me think it was wrong? This will show you how the LSAT masks correct answers from you.

Track these tricks, and you'll start to notice when you're about to fall for them.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby Thorcogan » Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:16 pm

bp shinners wrote:
Thorcogan wrote:1) Given a brief snapshot of where I am (-0/1 LG, -3 to -6 LR, and -2 to -8 RC) where should I be focusing the majority if my studies until December. I have previously seen the biggest improvement in my LR, as I used to get -5 or 6 per section and I'm down to -1 to -3 per section. I have always been good at the LG, and have been madly inconsistent with RC. A friend gave me the advice that I should focus entirely on LR and LG, trying to get -2 to 4 total in those 3 sections, and then focus on getting 3 passages perfect on the RC. This would leave me at around -10, which would get me my goal score (170+). Do you agree have different advice?


That is terrible advice. You're not going to reliably hit 170 while skipping an entire RC passage. You also can't plan for perfection (well, in LG you can...) - you might read a sentence wrong, or miss a word, or just have a tough time with a paragraph.

I would do almost the opposite - practice LG, but you're pretty much perfect at it. Spend a ton of time on RC so you can consistently get under -5 (-1 to -3 would be ideal). And work on LR to get that down to -2 to -4 (assuming you reported that per test, not per section).

2) How do you suggest getting over the final LR hurdle (from -1 to -3 down to -0/-1). I hear these stories about guys who will finish LR in 30 minutes consistently. While I have made big improvement, I feel like I have plateaued. While I am finishing the sections, I finish with seconds to spare, and that small window scares me. Not a lot of cushion for something to go wrong on test day.


It sounds like you've hit the point where you have the methods/logic down; you're just getting tricked on some questions. When that happens, you have to shift your strategy from understanding the logic to understanding the test. Each incorrect answer choice is written to "trick" a certain level of test-taker - they have common errors that people of varying levels of comprehension fall for. You need to understand which of those tricks you're falling for, and then fix them.

How do you do this?
Answer these two questions for any LR question you get wrong (after analyzing the logic):
1) What about the incorrect answer I chose made me think it was correct? This will show you how the LSAT is hiding elements of incorrect answers from you.
2) What about the correct answer made me think it was wrong? This will show you how the LSAT masks correct answers from you.

Track these tricks, and you'll start to notice when you're about to fall for them.


Thanks for the advice! I'll try everything you suggested.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby dreamofNYC » Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:09 am

I have a quick question reagarding PT 33, Section 1, Q7: Consultant: Most workers do not have every item they produce..."

Premise 1: Workers (most) -> do not have every item they produce judged for quality
Premise 2: Freelance writers --> have every item they produced judged for quality
C: Freelance writers --> produce high quality work

I understand the correct answer, but I have a question about premise 1.

If I say most workers do something, does that imply that the rest do not?
So from Premise 1, does it follow that Workers (some) --> have every item they produce judged for quality; and Freelance writers fall into this category?

Thank you!

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby dreamofNYC » Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:37 am

Alright, this one's a bit tricky. When I'm trying to find effect without cause, what I'm really looking for is an alternative cause. If I get the effect without the cause, it makes me think something else is going on.

However, in this case, the argument doesn't assume that nothing else is going on. It simply says that too much TV can cause an overestimation of risk, based on a correlation. Answer choice (A) doesn't necessarily impact my conclusion because TV could lead to an even greater overestimation of risk, or simply impact the couch potato group. I have a spectrum of overestimation - it's not a binary function. When that happens, there can be multiple factors going into it.

We can distinguish this from PT53.3.9 because that answer choice specifically tells us the group with heightened risk of kidney damage is doing something else that might cause the damage, even though risk is also on a spectrum. Which is what we see in (E).


Hi BP, Thank you for helping me with this. I think I got this but I wanted to double-check with you. To me both questions appear similar in structure and in what they are looking for in an answer choice:

P: A correlates with B
C: A can cause B

To me the correct answer choices in both questions weaken the causal relationship by showing that there is a third factor "C" at play that may have an impact on both A and B? So doesn't that mean that the argument fails to consider that "C" is going on?

In PT70.3.16 "Watching too much TV can lead people to overestimate dangers" is weakened by saying that people in disaster-prone areas are more likely to watch above-average TV. Similarly, in PT53.3.9 the argument about camellia tea, the conclusion that "Regular consumption of this tea can result in heightened risk of kidney damage" is weakened by saying that that those at risk of developing kidney damage who drink camellia tea are also drinking other beverages that are "suspected" of (I think meaning "likely to") causing kidney damage.

Answer choice (A) doesn't necessarily impact my conclusion because TV could lead to an even greater overestimation of risk, or simply impact the couch potato group. I have a spectrum of overestimation - it's not a binary function. When that happens, there can be multiple factors going into it.


For PT70.3.16 , I am still trying to understand the explanation above :( and I am pretty sure I am reading it wrong :oops: . OK, I am trying to see this question as a spectrum of overestimation, but I do not see how it is. To me in this argument overestimation seem binary (I think that means "absolute" as opposed to a relative instance that doesn't let you know where you are at on the spectrum).

To me a similar argument would be "running a lot can lead people to become athletic" (absolute, as opposed to *more athletic* which is on a continuum). So a wrong answer choice similar to (A) would be "Many people are athletic regardless of how much they run". They can run a little or a lot and anywhere in between and still be athletic. So the fact that I cannot narrow the situation down to when people run a lot prevents me from trying to challenge the conclusion. And I think this is what (A) is getting at. But if I am wrong, pls help me see. :?

Thanks for reading. I appreciate your help.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:34 pm

dreamofNYC wrote:I have a quick question reagarding PT 33, Section 1, Q7: Consultant: Most workers do not have every item they produce..."

Premise 1: Workers (most) -> do not have every item they produce judged for quality
Premise 2: Freelance writers --> have every item they produced judged for quality
C: Freelance writers --> produce high quality work

I understand the correct answer, but I have a question about premise 1.

If I say most workers do something, does that imply that the rest do not?
So from Premise 1, does it follow that Workers (some) --> have every item they produce judged for quality; and Freelance writers fall into this category?

Thank you!


I didn't look up the question (so let me know if this doesn't answer your question), but I can't conclude that "some don't" from the conclusion that "most do" (or, in this case, that "some don't" based on the fact that "most do").

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:43 pm

dreamofNYC wrote:Hi BP, Thank you for helping me with this. I think I got this but I wanted to double-check with you. To me both questions appear similar in structure and in what they are looking for in an answer choice:

P: A correlates with B
C: A can cause B

To me the correct answer choices in both questions weaken the causal relationship by showing that there is a third factor "C" at play that may have an impact on both A and B? So doesn't that mean that the argument fails to consider that "C" is going on?

In PT70.3.16 "Watching too much TV can lead people to overestimate dangers" is weakened by saying that people in disaster-prone areas are more likely to watch above-average TV. Similarly, in PT53.3.9 the argument about camellia tea, the conclusion that "Regular consumption of this tea can result in heightened risk of kidney damage" is weakened by saying that that those at risk of developing kidney damage who drink camellia tea are also drinking other beverages that are "suspected" of (I think meaning "likely to") causing kidney damage.


That sounds right.


For PT70.3.16 , I am still trying to understand the explanation above :( and I am pretty sure I am reading it wrong :oops: . OK, I am trying to see this question as a spectrum of overestimation, but I do not see how it is. To me in this argument overestimation seem binary (I think that means "absolute" as opposed to a relative instance that doesn't let you know where you are at on the spectrum).


"Overestimation" is binary in that you're either overestimating, or you're not. However, within the "overestimation" side, there are varying degrees. I might have a 5% chance of dying to a natural disaster. If I believe that my risk is actually at 7%, that's an overestimation. If I believe the risk is actually at 97%, that's also an overestimation. There are different levels here, and even if I start out overestimating the risk, TV might increase that overestimation.

To me a similar argument would be "running a lot can lead people to become athletic" (absolute, as opposed to *more athletic* which is on a continuum). So a wrong answer choice similar to (A) would be "Many people are athletic regardless of how much they run". They can run a little or a lot and anywhere in between and still be athletic. So the fact that I cannot narrow the situation down to when people run a lot prevents me from trying to challenge the conclusion. And I think this is what (A) is getting at. But if I am wrong, pls help me see. :?


That's actually a great parallel argument/answer choice. However, the reason that your answer choice, as written, is wrong, is because the argument isn't setting out running as the only cause of increased athleticism - they could also lift weights, swim, bike, etc...

Let's look at two examples where your parallel answer choice would be right, and wrong, to see the difference.

First example (yours, above):
People who run a lot tend to be athletic. Therefore, running causes an increase in athleticism.
Incorrect answer: Many people are athletic regardless of how much they run.
Why is it incorrect? Because I never set out running as the only cause of increased athleticism. Those other people might be doing something else to get athletic. This one is hinting at another cause of the generic person's athleticism, but the argument doesn't rely on the running being the exclusive cause, so it fails.

Second example (new one):
Jared runs a lot. Jared is athletic. Therefore, Jared's running caused him to be athletic.
Correct answer: Jared also bikes a lot.
Why is it correct? Because this one necessarily has my groups - here, Jared - overlap. I now know another cause that might have led to his athleticism. This stimulus is specific to Jared (not to people, like the actual example).

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby dreamofNYC » Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:12 am

Let's look at two examples where your parallel answer choice would be right, and wrong, to see the difference.

First example (yours, above):
People who run a lot tend to be athletic. Therefore, running causes an increase in athleticism.
Incorrect answer: Many people are athletic regardless of how much they run.
Why is it incorrect? Because I never set out running as the only cause of increased athleticism. Those other people might be doing something else to get athletic. This one is hinting at another cause of the generic person's athleticism, but the argument doesn't rely on the running being the exclusive cause, so it fails.

Second example (new one):
Jared runs a lot. Jared is athletic. Therefore, Jared's running caused him to be athletic.
Correct answer: Jared also bikes a lot.
Why is it correct? Because this one necessarily has my groups - here, Jared - overlap. I now know another cause that might have led to his athleticism. This stimulus is specific to Jared (not to people, like the actual example).


OMG it clicked! So in these types of questions where I have X correlating with Y and the conclusion says that X causes Y (or Y causes X), a correct answer choice would be: in the world where both X and Y happen, there is also Z that may be the cause. yaya 8) You are the best! Thank YOU so much.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:48 pm

dreamofNYC wrote:
Let's look at two examples where your parallel answer choice would be right, and wrong, to see the difference.

First example (yours, above):
People who run a lot tend to be athletic. Therefore, running causes an increase in athleticism.
Incorrect answer: Many people are athletic regardless of how much they run.
Why is it incorrect? Because I never set out running as the only cause of increased athleticism. Those other people might be doing something else to get athletic. This one is hinting at another cause of the generic person's athleticism, but the argument doesn't rely on the running being the exclusive cause, so it fails.

Second example (new one):
Jared runs a lot. Jared is athletic. Therefore, Jared's running caused him to be athletic.
Correct answer: Jared also bikes a lot.
Why is it correct? Because this one necessarily has my groups - here, Jared - overlap. I now know another cause that might have led to his athleticism. This stimulus is specific to Jared (not to people, like the actual example).


OMG it clicked! So in these types of questions where I have X correlating with Y and the conclusion says that X causes Y (or Y causes X), a correct answer choice would be: in the world where both X and Y happen, there is also Z that may be the cause. yaya 8) You are the best! Thank YOU so much.


Generically, yes - though they could phrase things in a way that might mess with that at time. But that's just me hedging my bets.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby dreamofNYC » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:59 pm

Generically, yes - though they could phrase things in a way that might mess with that at time. But that's just me hedging my bets.


Great advice! Always need to keep that in the back of my head! :)

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:49 pm

dreamofNYC wrote:
Generically, yes - though they could phrase things in a way that might mess with that at time. But that's just me hedging my bets.


Great advice! Always need to keep that in the back of my head! :)


Yep!

And open for business!

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby ljoandc » Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:20 pm

1) What suggestions do you have for tackling author's attitude questions? I've been having trouble with that in reading comprehension, especially for questions where the answer choices are words pulled from the passage itself ("Which one of the following in its context in the passage most clearly reveals the attitude of the author towards the proponents of the Modern Movement?" PT 44, sec 1, passage 4). An explanation of that question might help, haha.

2) PT 44, LR section 4, question 8 - how do you approach questions that ask for "which one of the following is the most logical completion of the argument?" I find it difficult to determine which answers seem to be out of scope, or right on the point, especially since the answer choices are very similar.

3) PT 44 (lol, I just recently finished the PT), LR section 4, question 17 - Yet another ice age question, but with cosmic dust clouds. I picked C, but the correct answer is D. I just wanted to know why D is correct answer. I haven't figured it out.
Last edited by ljoandc on Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby dreamofNYC » Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:34 pm

bp shinners wrote:
dreamofNYC wrote:I have a quick question reagarding PT 33, Section 1, Q7: Consultant: Most workers do not have every item they produce..."

Premise 1: Workers (most) -> do not have every item they produce judged for quality
Premise 2: Freelance writers --> have every item they produced judged for quality
C: Freelance writers --> produce high quality work

I understand the correct answer, but I have a question about premise 1.

If I say most workers do something, does that imply that the rest do not?
So from Premise 1, does it follow that Workers (some) --> have every item they produce judged for quality; and Freelance writers fall into this category?

Thank you!


I didn't look up the question (so let me know if this doesn't answer your question), but I can't conclude that "some don't" from the conclusion that "most do" (or, in this case, that "some don't" based on the fact that "most do").


BP may I ask further clarification on this?

If for example I have a finite set of 100 marbles.
If I say marbles (most) --> Blue, let's say 60. Doesn't it mean that the rest of 40 are not blue?

I have been trying to conceptualize this in my head so that I can become well versed with logical force language like "most" and "some". For example I know now that when I have a conclusion that say "X can lead to Y", I will not choose an answer choice that says "most X do not lead to Y" because that answer choice still leaves open the possibility that some can lead to Y.

Any clarifying thoughts on this (or references to instructional materials) would be very welcome. Thank you!
[/quote]

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:35 pm

ljoandc wrote:1) What suggestions do you have for tackling author's attitude questions? I've been having trouble with that in reading comprehension, especially for questions where the answer choices are words pulled from the passage itself ("Which one of the following in its context in the passage most clearly reveals the attitude of the author towards the proponents of the Modern Movement?" PT 44, sec 1, passage 4). An explanation of that question might help, haha.


While reading the passage, you need to underline (or in some way denote) any segment where the author writes something in that shows her attitude towards what she's discussing. That should give you an overview.

First, you need to separate it into three categories - neutral, positive, negative. If you can get it down to one of those three, then you should eliminate 3 ACs right there. If you can't, then we've got bigger problems.

For the ones just asking for the attitude, then between the other two, unless you have a very specific reason, pick the one that's weaker. "Qualified approval" over "Unreasoned reverence", every single time.

For the specific one they asked about, there are two general forms of that question. The first asks for something in context; the second just asks for a phrase/word that, by itself, reveals the attitude. For the latter, it's the same process as above. For the former, however, you should have denoted one of those words as author's attitude when you read the first time through. If you didn't, you're going to have to read through each one.

Here, the author clearly has a negative attitude towards the Modern Movement, finding them to focus on ideology rather than, you know, building stuff.
A - More accurately reflected this functional spirit? That sounds positive to me, so this one's out.
B - "Tended" is a hard word to use to convey attitude; here, she's just noting a trend.
C - "innovators" is how people were referring to certain architects; it shows the culture's attitude, but not the author's (since she's not calling them innovators).
D - "other aspects were conveniently ignored." - Bingo. I definitely would have underlined this the first time through; saying someone "conveniently" ignored (or "conveniently" ______, when I'm not referring to something being easy to do) conveys attitude. The author thinks the members of the movement only paid attention to things that reinforced their beliefs, conveniently ignoring anything else. That reflects her negative view.
E - This is just talking about standards in each industry - it's a fact, not attitude. This is definitely the trap answer - "degree of inaccuracy" can be used to convey something negative. Here, however, the author isn't using it to talk about the Modern Movement, but rather the subcontractors.

2) PT 44, LR section 4, question 8 - how do you approach questions that ask for "which one of the following is the most logical completion of the argument?" I find it difficult to determine which answers seem to be out of scope, or right on the point, especially since the answer choices are very similar.


These are similar to "most strongly supported" and, weirdly enough, Resolve questions. They're going to present you with 2 facts/trains of thought, and you need to squish them together to get the right answer. The one important difference here is that I'm not just looking for something that has support - I'm looking for something related to what I'm talking about. This will become important in a minute.

So here, we have an insurgent party that doesn't like the dominant party's reign. Let's call them the T Party. However, within the T Party, factions exist - and those factions are as different from each other as the T Party is to the O Party (again, just making up random names...). So these insurgents are going to have some disagreements, but they're putting them aside for now to defeat the O Party. And then, INEVITABLY, the T Party factions will have these issues come up.

So I've got a divided party coming together to defeat what they view as a bigger threat (like a supervillian teaming up with superheroes to defeat Galactus). Then, they win. Now, they have a lot of differences. I need to find an answer that talks about the handling of these differences, because that squishes my two ideas together (they have huge differences; they came together and defeated the O Party).
A - This is comparative - I don't know how long they'll stay in power.
B - Here we go. The T party is having some issues; when the last party had similar issues with a different group, it resulted in them getting defeated. If the T Party doesn't want to succumb to the same fate, it's going to have to deal with these issues before one of the factions becomes a new insurgent party and defeats the T Party.
C - Here's where that issue comes up. If I treated this just as a Most Strongly Supported question, I'd go with this answer. Heck, this answer choice almost has to be true no matter what you say in the stimulus - it's so weak. However, this is making a prediction about what the T Party will do once in power, and I don't know anything about what they're going to do. We can distinguish this from B because it draws a parallel to the situation that we did learn about; this one, however, has no parallel in the stimulus.
D - Again, a prediction we don't have a basis for. Maybe they killed the O Party.
E - Impossible? That's a really strong prediction. We know there will be problems if they don't, but saying it's going to be impossible takes it too far.

3) PT 44 (lol, I just recently finished the PT), LR section 4, question 17 - Yet another ice age question, but with cosmic dust clouds. I picked C, but the correct answer is D. I just wanted to know why D is correct answer. I haven't figured it out.

[/quote]

So this is a Strengthen Except question, which means I'm looking for something that either weakens or does nothing to my argument.

And this is a causal fallacy argument - dust clouds are causing ice ages. I need to strengthen that causal relationship somehow.
A - No cause, no effect. Great way to strengthen an argument. We didn't start seeing the effect until we started seeing the cause.
B - Bam, an explanation for how the cause started. Again, that strengthens it.
C - Cosmic dust cloud:volcanic dust cloud::ice age:small temp. drop. I think that's how the SATs work? This strengthens my argument by showing a similar cause resulting in a similar effect. There's a huge difference in scale between the volcano situation (smaller dust, smaller temp drop), but it's a parallel situation that shows us dust blocking the sun can affect the temperatures on Earth. That strengthens my argument that a larger-scale version could happen.
D - So we have some rocks that hit Earth, and they raise some dust up. That doesn't tell me anything about the temperature, or about intergalactic dust clouds. This really has no effect on my argument because it doesn't speak to how dust clouds and ice ages are related. Can you give me a brief line about why you think this does strengthen the argument?
E - A correlation between space dust and ice ages. Again, correlation doesn't prove causation, but it is proof for causation. So it strengthens the argument.

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

Postby bp shinners » Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:41 pm

dreamofNYC wrote:If for example I have a finite set of 100 marbles.
If I say marbles (most) --> Blue, let's say 60. Doesn't it mean that the rest of 40 are not blue?


Nope - it means that, at the very least, 51 of the marbles are blue. That could be 51, it could be 65, or it could be all 100 of those marbles. "Most" doesn't signify "only most", if that makes sense.

In short, "some" and "most" set a minimum, not a maximum. "Some" means at least one, but it could be all. "Most" means at least 1 over half, but it could be all.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby dreamofNYC » Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:56 pm

bp shinners wrote:
dreamofNYC wrote:If for example I have a finite set of 100 marbles.
If I say marbles (most) --> Blue, let's say 60. Doesn't it mean that the rest of 40 are not blue?


Nope - it means that, at the very least, 51 of the marbles are blue. That could be 51, it could be 65, or it could be all 100 of those marbles. "Most" doesn't signify "only most", if that makes sense.

In short, "some" and "most" set a minimum, not a maximum. "Some" means at least one, but it could be all. "Most" means at least 1 over half, but it could be all.


Ok it's clear now. With that in mind I'm going to need to apply the concepts flexibly to the various question forms.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby alecks » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:28 pm

do you have any advice for flaw questions? I'm really struggling. I try to prephrase the flaw in my head but most times I can't even pick out the particular flaw or they don't seem to match any flaw I know of and I pick the wrong answer choice. Considering it's such a huge part of the test... ugh... I've also tried picking out the assumption but that doesn't seem to guide me to the correct answer choice.

Flaws are my biggest problem on this test. Easy ones I always get right but as soon as it becomes medium or hard difficulty I literally cannot get a right answer unless the flaw is super obvious, ad hominem, causality, etc.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:48 pm

alecks wrote:do you have any advice for flaw questions?


A ton!

There are 4 ways to go about flaw questions - find the assumption, find the flaw, use a "tell", and take the counterargument.

Find the Assumption
Figure out the unstated premise that would connect the premises to the conclusion. If you can spot the gap, you can find your answer.

Find the Flaw
If you can figure out what exactly is wrong with the argument, as it seems you can sometimes, then you have your flaw. Find the answer that expresses it.

Use a "Tell"
When people find the flaw, they usually do it by using a "tell". Here's my list of "tells" for each flaw - something about the stimulus that should make you think of a given flaw:
Exclusivity
o usually has a very strong conclusion that recommends one course of action, says that a factor is the only factor (primary factor), OR the determination that something must happen/you MUST do something

Sampling
o there is a study done in the stimulus

Composition
o the conclusion is about a member of a group or about a group

Sufficient/Necessary
o there is conditional reasoning in the argument, or it uses words like necessary/enough

Causal
o the conclusion is causal

Equivocation
o a new term is introduced in the conclusion that we haven’t seen before, or the same word shows up in two speakers, each using a different meaning

Bad Comparison
o there’s a comparison

Ad Hominem
o you laugh/someone gets called a name

Absense of evidence
o there are two viewpoints, and the second viewpoint concludes the exact opposite of what the first viewpoint concludes

Circular Reasoning
o you can underline the conclusion and the premise that say the exact same thing/it’s repetitive

Percentage v. amount
o there’s a conclusion about a number, or about a rate/percent; very often it will be associated with a study

Temporal
o you see any language in the stimulus that denotes past/present/future, and there’s a shift

Perception v. Reality
o there’s any language about beliefs/views/opinions/thoughts/promises/etc...

Logical Force
o the conclusion is strong (since there are probably weaker premises attempting to back it up)

Counterargument
When all else fails, pretend like you believe the conclusion to be false, and argue for your conclusion. If you can argue against the conclusion, you've found the flaw.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby ljoandc » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:49 pm

3) PT 44 (lol, I just recently finished the PT), LR section 4, question 17 - Yet another ice age question, but with cosmic dust clouds. I picked C, but the correct answer is D. I just wanted to know why D is correct answer. I haven't figured it out.

[/quote]




Ah - I didn't see C as a parallel situation. My thought process between C & D was that C had a smaller scale, and didn't relate to cosmic dust, so I thought it didn't support. I didn't think of it as a parallel.

I think for D - I thought that the first part of the sentence with large bits of cosmic rock made me think that it would support the argument more than C because it related to cosmic rock (which isn't the same as cosmic dust clouds now that I think about). Now that I read the other half, along with your explanation, I can see why it doesn't support (nothing about temperature or dust clouds itself).

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby ljoandc » Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:01 am

Ah, another question. Do you have any tips for timing for LG? For the "easier" LG games I can do it in about 7 minutes, for sure 8 minutes.

For some games though, it takes me almost 10 minutes to finish a game. I get it all correct once I check, so it's not really a problem of accuracy. Sometimes it just takes me a little while to get through deductions/scenarios. I'm not sure if I'm taking up too much time, to be honest.

I've taken BP Online course, and I've also read through BP LG book, so I'll understand any BP terminology.

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

Postby bp shinners » Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:46 pm

ljoandc wrote:Ah, another question. Do you have any tips for timing for LG? For the "easier" LG games I can do it in about 7 minutes, for sure 8 minutes.

For some games though, it takes me almost 10 minutes to finish a game. I get it all correct once I check, so it's not really a problem of accuracy. Sometimes it just takes me a little while to get through deductions/scenarios. I'm not sure if I'm taking up too much time, to be honest.

I've taken BP Online course, and I've also read through BP LG book, so I'll understand any BP terminology.


Your times seems spot on. If you have 2 games at 9:45 and 2 at 8 minutes, you're like 30 seconds over. A month out, that's a good place to be. Shaving 30 seconds off your total time is taking 1 second off of each question - a lot more doable when you hear it phrased in that manner.

You're likely to have 1 game that's a 10-minute game; 2 that are in the 7-8 minute range; and 1 that is somewhere around 9-9:30. Sounds like that's about where you're working.

ljoandc
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby ljoandc » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:24 pm

Ah, I see. That's reassuring!

Also I have some questions about LR.

1) Does "many" count as "some?" or is it "most?"

2) PT 45, LR Section 1, #19 (environmental policies): Kind of lost me here on why A is the answer. I picked B but looking back I know it's wrong because the resources are talking about social programs.

3) PT 45, section 4, #20 (9 year olds and cigarettes): So my thought looking into the answer choices was that the flaw dealt with unrepresentative sample. I was between A and D, but I ended up picking D because I thought that the answer choice only dealt with men, and not everyone.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby jmjm » Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:53 pm

Hey bp,
Is there a solid reason why 63.3.11 has B as a necc assumption? It seemed that "exclusively" in B makes prevents it from being a necessary assumption and the argument doesn't break even if B negated.

Question 63.1.15 uses 'if x then y unless z' in choice B. It so happens that this construct has the same meaning whether you align 'unless y' with only 'y' or with 'if x then y'. Isn't then choice B just as good as choice C in justifying the argument?
This same 'if x then y unless z' construct is also used in 62.sec4.18; how to parse it?

thanks in advance


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