Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

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WaltGrace83
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby WaltGrace83 » Fri May 02, 2014 12:07 pm

Christine (MLSAT) wrote:The critical detail, of course, is making sure you identify whether a majority/likelihood discussed is in fact relevant though. :wink:


What exactly do you mean by that? Wouldn't a majority/likelihood always be relevant? I would think that the relevant factor would be whether words like "sometimes" are relevant.

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Christine (MLSAT)
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Mon May 05, 2014 1:09 pm

WaltGrace83 wrote:
Christine (MLSAT) wrote:The critical detail, of course, is making sure you identify whether a majority/likelihood discussed is in fact relevant though. :wink:


What exactly do you mean by that? Wouldn't a majority/likelihood always be relevant? I would think that the relevant factor would be whether words like "sometimes" are relevant.


I just mean that you can't start auto-picking any answer that uses majority/most language. The majority comment in question still has to be checked to make sure it actually has a material impact on the argument at hand. PT30-S2-Q21 is a great example where FOUR of the answers have 'most' statements - only one of them targets the relevant group where the 'most' gives us a material effect on the argument.

I also want to clarify something regarding 'sometimes' type answers (which may tie in with some of the processing I know that you're doing on negating conditionals). If the argument contains an assumption embedded within it that is a conditional statement, then a 'sometimes' statement that is the negation of that conditional would, by definition, destroy the argument - and therefore it is a perfectly legitimate weakener.

Take this example:
    PREMISE: Roses are thorny
    CONCLUSION: Therefore roses are evil.

The necessary assumption here is that all thorny things are evil. The negation of that conditional is "some things are thornier and not evil". That statement, while just a 'sometimes' type statement, is enough to weaken that conclusion because it destroys the link between the premise and the conclusion.

Notice how different this type of 'sometimes' statement is from the defendant's blood example though. In that question, we did not need for all experts, ever, to be honest about their data - just the experts in this particular case. The argument doesn't rely on a blanket assumption about experts in order to move forward. As a result, negating that blanket 'always' with a 'sometimes experts fudge data' doesn't actually damage the argument.

Take a look at PT29-S1-Q16 for an example of this.

On the flip, if there's a conditional that would seriously damage or destroy the argument, then negating THAT conditional into a sometimes statement would strengthen.

Take my favorite example:
    PREMISE: All boys like sports
    CONCLUSION: Therefore, Andy likes sports

Now, if there were a rule somewhere that ALL people named Andy were girls, that totally destroy the argument. So, negating that conditional to "There are some boys named Andy" does, in fact, strengthen the argument.

Check out PT29-S4-Q11 for an example.

So, the moral of all this is that generally speaking a 'sometimes' statement simply doesn't give enough information to actually make the argument more or less likely to work. On occasion, though, the 'sometimes' statement is targeted at negated a specific conditional that the argument relies on (or one that the argument would be destroyed by). In those less common situations, a 'sometimes' statement will strengthen or weaken an argument.

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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby akechi » Wed May 14, 2014 4:17 am

Hi Christine,

It seems like its been a while since this thread has gotten some activity so I figured I would break the cold streak. :)

I am continually trying to apply and reinforce general LSAT archetypes during my drilling and was hoping to get some insight on a particular question that I thought was applicable. Its from PT6-S3-Q15:

This is a necessary assumption question so we know that the correct answer choice will usually either 1) support the argument by providing a missing link between premise and conclusion or 2) defend the argument by denying alternative possibilities. Keeping these in mind, after jumping into the stimulus we find out that:

1) Agri researchers didn't develop new higher-yielding strains of potatoes, 2) they have only been concerned with their own research. From this they conclude that the Agri researchers are to blame for the deficiency of last years harvest.

By noting that the author of the argument is concluding that the researchers, and the researchers alone, are to blame for this deficiency in the potato harvest, would it be safe to assume at this point that the correct answer choice will exploit this typical case of LSAT arrogance (arrogance here meaning that the author of the argument is confident that there is indeed only one cause / person to blame) by assisting the author by denying alternative possibilities for him?

That meta-issue aside, we also know that B is a necessary assumption because it denies an alternative possibility that would destroy the argument. The negation of B gives us the statement "strains of potatoes most commonly grown in Rosinia COULD have produced the yields last year they once did". If it is true that the crops COULD have produced the results (100millon tons), it would lessen our justification (or in other words, destroy the link between premise and conclusion) in asserting that the researchers are to blame. Because then the scientists would not NEED to be held responsible for finding new higher-yielding strains to begin with; namely, because it seems that the argument is assuming that harvest yields that are deficient, require additional help in order to achieve its non-deficient yield of 100 million tons (i.e. the involvement of the Agricultural researchers).

If we deny this possibility of the fully capable strains, then we are essentially saying that the plants could NOT have produced the the same yields as last year and therefore need additional help from the researchers in the form of the development of new higher-yielding strains.

I really hope this makes sense. I would also love some feedback on how to condense my approach and make it more efficient / less convoluted.

EDIT: Seems like I found a very similar explanation on the MLSAT forums for an almost identical problem. It is PT9-S4-Q25, for those that are interested. Experienced Scientists and replicated results. Again, just a re-iteration of the common argument form of Weird Event / Phenomenon (premise) + Explanation of Event / Phenomenon (conclusion). Feel free to ignore this post if you agree that these are essentially the same problem in format.

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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby WaltGrace83 » Thu May 15, 2014 5:30 pm

Quick question that probably won't elicit a quick/easy answer...

19.2.4 "Scientists analyzing air bubbles...ferrous material...algae":

    Large amounts of ferrous material + small amounts of CO2
    +
    Algae absorb CO2 from the atmosphere

    Hypothesis: Ferrous material promoted a great increase in the population of algae

How do we read this hypothesis? Do we read it like: "Ferrous material promoted a great increase in the population of algae" or "Ferrous material promoted a great increase in the population of algae?" Why? The correct answer obviously leads me to believe that we are supposed to read it like the latter but I feel like we could also undermine the argument by showing that something else spawned a great increase in algae. Is this wrong? I read through the forums but I wasn't really satisfied with any of the answers. Thanks!

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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Sun May 18, 2014 3:10 pm

akechi wrote:Hi Christine,

It seems like its been a while since this thread has gotten some activity so I figured I would break the cold streak. :)

I am continually trying to apply and reinforce general LSAT archetypes during my drilling and was hoping to get some insight on a particular question that I thought was applicable. Its from PT6-S3-Q15:

This is a necessary assumption question so we know that the correct answer choice will usually either 1) support the argument by providing a missing link between premise and conclusion or 2) defend the argument by denying alternative possibilities. Keeping these in mind, after jumping into the stimulus we find out that:

1) Agri researchers didn't develop new higher-yielding strains of potatoes, 2) they have only been concerned with their own research. From this they conclude that the Agri researchers are to blame for the deficiency of last years harvest.

By noting that the author of the argument is concluding that the researchers, and the researchers alone, are to blame for this deficiency in the potato harvest, would it be safe to assume at this point that the correct answer choice will exploit this typical case of LSAT arrogance (arrogance here meaning that the author of the argument is confident that there is indeed only one cause / person to blame) by assisting the author by denying alternative possibilities for him?

That meta-issue aside, we also know that B is a necessary assumption because it denies an alternative possibility that would destroy the argument. The negation of B gives us the statement "strains of potatoes most commonly grown in Rosinia COULD have produced the yields last year they once did". If it is true that the crops COULD have produced the results (100millon tons), it would lessen our justification (or in other words, destroy the link between premise and conclusion) in asserting that the researchers are to blame. Because then the scientists would not NEED to be held responsible for finding new higher-yielding strains to begin with; namely, because it seems that the argument is assuming that harvest yields that are deficient, require additional help in order to achieve its non-deficient yield of 100 million tons (i.e. the involvement of the Agricultural researchers).

If we deny this possibility of the fully capable strains, then we are essentially saying that the plants could NOT have produced the the same yields as last year and therefore need additional help from the researchers in the form of the development of new higher-yielding strains.

I really hope this makes sense. I would also love some feedback on how to condense my approach and make it more efficient / less convoluted.

EDIT: Seems like I found a very similar explanation on the MLSAT forums for an almost identical problem. It is PT9-S4-Q25, for those that are interested. Experienced Scientists and replicated results. Again, just a re-iteration of the common argument form of Weird Event / Phenomenon (premise) + Explanation of Event / Phenomenon (conclusion). Feel free to ignore this post if you agree that these are essentially the same problem in format.



You're doing great work here! I think you're right that PT9-S4-Q25 is similar in structure, and I'm loving that you're starting to be able to see similarities between questions based on structural issues. This is a prime example of the Phenomenon-Explanation argument core, and by their nature these argument rely on the general assumption that no other explanation could compete with the explanation that is concluded.

Great analysis!

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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Sun May 18, 2014 3:50 pm

WaltGrace83 wrote:Quick question that probably won't elicit a quick/easy answer...

19.2.4 "Scientists analyzing air bubbles...ferrous material...algae":

    Large amounts of ferrous material + small amounts of CO2
    +
    Algae absorb CO2 from the atmosphere

    Hypothesis: Ferrous material promoted a great increase in the population of algae

How do we read this hypothesis? Do we read it like: "Ferrous material promoted a great increase in the population of algae" or "Ferrous material promoted a great increase in the population of algae?" Why? The correct answer obviously leads me to believe that we are supposed to read it like the latter but I feel like we could also undermine the argument by showing that something else spawned a great increase in algae. Is this wrong? I read through the forums but I wasn't really satisfied with any of the answers. Thanks!



Really interesting question, Walt. Teeeeechnically, we could weaken the argument either way. But I would absolutely read this conclusion the latter way, and I'd be shocked if the LSAT went for a weakener that attacked the former reading, and here's why:

The ferrous material is the thing that we KNOW happened - it exists. The algae growth is something we're not even sure occurred - that's 100% conjecture on the scientist's part. So the conclusion is really focused on the idea that maybe this thing that we know happened then went on to cause another possible event. I expect the weakener to undermine the idea that the algae thing even happened.

I would read it the opposite way if we knew that the algae growth happened, but weren't sure if there had actually been ferrous material in the atmosphere - then, I've got a known phenomenon, and the conclusion would posit a possible explanation for that phenomenon. Here, a weakener might be that there *wasn't* actually ferrous material, or it might be that something else caused the algae growth (and thus it's less likely that ferrous material was responsible).

Lastly, if we KNEW that both ferrous material and algae growth occurred, then the author would simply be positing a causal relationship between two known events (correlation-causation). Now, I'd be looking for weakeners that 1) reversed the causal claim 2) introduced a third element that caused them both or 3) somehow established that it's just a coincidence that they both happened around the same time.

While all three of these situations are causal claims, they have very critical differences in what is and isn't known to have happened. That difference changes what the point of the conclusion is, and thereby changes what the common weakener patterns will be.

Thoughts?

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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby BaberhamLincoln » Mon May 19, 2014 9:34 am

Hi there!
I'm 3 weeks from my June LSAT and I have never bought a MLSAT book. I wasn't going to get any more books, was just going to PT. But I noticed that my RC is really bad lately.

Considering getting the MLSAT RC book. Any suggestions for a truncated 3 week plan with that book? (Sections to focus on, what to skip, etc)?

Thanks!

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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby flash21 » Mon May 19, 2014 10:32 pm

how do you guy suggest drilling reading comp for someone who currently sucks at it?

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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Tue May 20, 2014 2:42 pm

leigh912198972 wrote:Hi there!
I'm 3 weeks from my June LSAT and I have never bought a MLSAT book. I wasn't going to get any more books, was just going to PT. But I noticed that my RC is really bad lately.

Considering getting the MLSAT RC book. Any suggestions for a truncated 3 week plan with that book? (Sections to focus on, what to skip, etc)?

Thanks!



Absolutely! So, first, I'll say that the book is split into two 'halves', in a sense. The first section is the top to bottom structure for RC, in general, and the section section is all about applying that structure to various things (comparative passages, weird passages, crazy dense science passages, etc). Given your limited time frame and your goals, I would focus entirely on the first section.

Within that section there are four essential components:
1) Determine what content matters
2) Read for structure
3) Understand your task for each question type
4) Avoid traps

You want to cover each of these, but how deeply you engage with each one is going to depend a lot on what's really going *on* with you right now for RC. Self-diagnosis is absolutely critical for improvement, and (frustratingly) self-diagnosis on RC is particularly challenging.

1) Do you take entirely too long on passages and miss the main point? Do you get lost in the details? If so, then you're missing the important content of the passage, or the central tension. The chapter on Scale can help you refocus your efforts.

2) Do you miss questions that ask for the purpose of a paragraph, or why the author mentioned a particular detail? If so, then you're not reading for *structure* - You need a better passage map, and you need to be able to articulate that as an essential "table of contents" of the passage as soon as you are through reading it.

3) Do you miss detail and inference questions because you *thought* you remembered the passage talking about something, but in reality you sort of filled in the gaps with mental spackle? If so, then you are not clear on your JOB for each question type.

4) Do you get questions narrowed down to two answers and find yourself unable to determine what the difference is? You may be falling for classic traps that you need to get better at identifying.


You might spend this week really embracing the concepts of scale and passage map, and trying to do a quick-shock retooling of your essential reading *approach*. Then next week spend your time focused on the *task* of each question (identifying that task AND implementing the appropriate response), as well as doing substantial wrong answer analysis.As I said above, you've GOT to figure out *why* you are missing the questions you are missing - and "careless mistake" or "I suck at RC" aren't legitimate or useful responses!!

I don't have the book in front of me right now, but these categories align with specific chapters. I'll update later on when I can. Also, I'd love to hear from you a bit about what your own analysis is of your RC mistakes at this point. If you can delve into that a bit, I can give you much more specific advice!

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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Tue May 20, 2014 2:45 pm

flash21 wrote:how do you guy suggest drilling reading comp for someone who currently sucks at it?



Hey there flash21!

First, I think that my post I just wrote to Leigh would be extremely useful for you as a starting off point. But more importantly, I need to know *how* you suck at RC?

What kinds of mistakes do you make? What's your process currently like? What do you focus on as you read? Where do you feel your system/process fall down?

Give me some more information about exactly what you are experiencing, and I'll be more than happy to give you some specific advice!

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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby BaberhamLincoln » Tue May 20, 2014 2:54 pm

Thanks so much!

I will take a look at my notes and then reply back with a self-analysis.

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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby flash21 » Wed May 21, 2014 2:00 pm

Christine (MLSAT) wrote:
flash21 wrote:how do you guy suggest drilling reading comp for someone who currently sucks at it?



Hey there flash21!

First, I think that my post I just wrote to Leigh would be extremely useful for you as a starting off point. But more importantly, I need to know *how* you suck at RC?

What kinds of mistakes do you make? What's your process currently like? What do you focus on as you read? Where do you feel your system/process fall down?

Give me some more information about exactly what you are experiencing, and I'll be more than happy to give you some specific advice!



Hi Christine, I guess I'm not really sure how I suck at RC. I wish I could give you a better answer. However, I'll tell you how I approach it, and perhaps that will help?

Currently, I'll read the passage, and after paragraph I'll stop and summarize what I have just read in a quick note beside the paragraph, and then read the next, and do this throughout the passage. I try reading for "structure" but honestly, I'm not even sure if I fully understand what that means. I try and ask myself constantly as I'm reading "Why is the author writing this"?. I feel as though when I get to the questions, a lot of the time I just don't know them, or two answers seem so similar I cannot distinguish and get it wrong or right by chance.

I've been doing some untimed passages, but I'm not really sure if its even helping because I dont know if I am practicing the proper process in the first place. I'd hate to be instilling bad habits.

Again, I apologize I couldn't give you better information. If this gives you some insight, then great - and if you've got some follow up questions I'll be checking back periodically and will try to give you as detailed answers as possible.

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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby jmjm » Tue May 27, 2014 1:24 am

Hey mlsat

B.1.21. This is a necessary assumption question. In this question, choice A is a sufficient assumption but is it necessary?

One of the necessary assumption could be "the first doctrine precludes any psychological factors in explanations of historical events". Since the question asks for an assumption the argument depends on, isn't then choice A incorrect.

For example, non-economic factors can include both psychological and environmental factors. What A is saying is that for the conclusion to be drawn we must assume that all non-economic factors (psycho and environ) must be precluded by the doctrine. But it doesn't have to be so. Doctrine-1 can appeal to environmental factors along with economic factors and still be mistaken.
So negating A by saying that the first doctrine appeals to economic and environmental factors doesn't break the argument.

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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:58 pm

flash21 wrote:
Christine (MLSAT) wrote:
flash21 wrote:how do you guy suggest drilling reading comp for someone who currently sucks at it?



Hey there flash21!

First, I think that my post I just wrote to Leigh would be extremely useful for you as a starting off point. But more importantly, I need to know *how* you suck at RC?

What kinds of mistakes do you make? What's your process currently like? What do you focus on as you read? Where do you feel your system/process fall down?

Give me some more information about exactly what you are experiencing, and I'll be more than happy to give you some specific advice!



Hi Christine, I guess I'm not really sure how I suck at RC. I wish I could give you a better answer. However, I'll tell you how I approach it, and perhaps that will help?

Currently, I'll read the passage, and after paragraph I'll stop and summarize what I have just read in a quick note beside the paragraph, and then read the next, and do this throughout the passage. I try reading for "structure" but honestly, I'm not even sure if I fully understand what that means. I try and ask myself constantly as I'm reading "Why is the author writing this"?. I feel as though when I get to the questions, a lot of the time I just don't know them, or two answers seem so similar I cannot distinguish and get it wrong or right by chance.

I've been doing some untimed passages, but I'm not really sure if its even helping because I dont know if I am practicing the proper process in the first place. I'd hate to be instilling bad habits.

Again, I apologize I couldn't give you better information. If this gives you some insight, then great - and if you've got some follow up questions I'll be checking back periodically and will try to give you as detailed answers as possible.


Flash21 -

Apologies at my delay in responding to you!

It sounds like there may be a few issues at play here. You'll have to do some more introspection to determine whether one of these is more the culprit than another - or perhaps they are all contributing a bit.

The fact that you say that you aren't entirely sure what "reading for structure" means is a red flag. The question "why is the author writing this" is the correct idea, but it's potentially too vague to be helpful if you don't have a sense of what that question really means. For instance, "reading for structure" would be realizing that a passage is laid out as 1) introduction of a controversial theory about ducks 2) Potential ramifications for humans if the theory is correct 3) Reasons for doubting the validity of the theory and 4) introduction of an alternative theory about ducks. Notice that these comments for each paragraph are not just 'summaries' of the paragraph - each paragraph relates to the other paragraphs. When you ask yourself why the author wrote paragraph two, it shouldn't just be "to explore a bunch of bad things" but rather "to explore the bad things that will happen if the P1 Theory is valid" - the reason that paragraph two exists RELATES to paragraph one, and to the whole passage.

Think of it this way: when you sit down to write a thesis paper, you most likely didn't just sit down and start writing in stream of consciousness. In all likelihood, you started with a basic outline of the points that you wanted to make. It probably started out simple: maybe there were three main points you wanted to make in the paper. Then you fleshed each one out, and maybe one of the points broke into two sub-points, and so on. That outline was the skeletal structure underlying your eventual paper.

LSAT passage authors most likely wrote in the same manner. When we "read for structure", all we're really trying to do is get back to that outline that the author started with in the first place. I recommend taking a few passages you've read before and see if you can ferret out this outline structure.

As for the questions, that might (or might not) be a different issue. If this is happening a lot on general/big picture questions, then your ability to read for structure may be the ultimate culprit. However, if you actually have a pretty good sense of what the structure is and you STILL have difficulty distinguishing between two answers, that's a different issue. If this is happening on detail questions, it depends on whether 1) you are missing them because you didn't know where to go search for the information, 2) you are missing them because you failed to realize you NEEDED to go search for information in the passage, 3) you searched for the information but misinterpreted it when you found it or 4) you understood the information in the passage but misinterpreted the answer choices when you came to them.

If you hit a question where you cannot distinguish two answer choices from one another, how do you bring yourself to understanding for that problem? Do you simply drop it and move on? Or do you check an explanation source, like the Manhattan LSAT Forums, or by posting it here? (I've seen some of your threads, so I know that you do this at least some of the time, but is it your general attack pattern?) Once you *do* understand the answer choices correctly, are you able to determine what it was that originally prevented you from understanding?

Why don't you post a few examples of RC questions that you struggled with that you think are the most indicative of your tendencies, and we'll try to sort out what's happening together?

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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:12 pm

jmjm wrote:Hey mlsat

B.1.21. This is a necessary assumption question. In this question, choice A is a sufficient assumption but is it necessary?

One of the necessary assumption could be "the first doctrine precludes any psychological factors in explanations of historical events". Since the question asks for an assumption the argument depends on, isn't then choice A incorrect.

For example, non-economic factors can include both psychological and environmental factors. What A is saying is that for the conclusion to be drawn we must assume that all non-economic factors (psycho and environ) must be precluded by the doctrine. But it doesn't have to be so. Doctrine-1 can appeal to environmental factors along with economic factors and still be mistaken.
So negating A by saying that the first doctrine appeals to economic and environmental factors doesn't break the argument.


What an interesting question!

Technically, you're right - (A) doesn't absolutely have to be true to protect the logic of the argument. (I'm not sure that I would actually agree that it's truly sufficient, but that's a sideline argument for another day.) The first doctrine (eco-doctrine) does not have to bare ALL non-eco factors for the conclusion to be workable, it just has to preclude "early childhood experiences".

What the answer choice really should have said was something like "The first doctrine precludes at least some noneconomic factors in explanations of historical events."

What answer choice (A) really seems to be answering is the question of 'what was the author thinking?'. The author seems to be misreading the "must appeal to eco factors" as if it were "must appeal ONLY to eco factors". So, if I were to hazard a guess at what logical error the author was committing, I'd say it was probably that. But it doesn't perfectly fit the technical requirements for a necessary assumption - i.e., one that's required.

This sort of imprecision on an LSAT answer choice is rare, so good catch. It's an excellent reminder that sometimes answer choices aren't perfect, even though the LSAT is normally extremely careful in their parameters. The older the test, though, the more likely there will be issues. SuperPrep B isn't old enough to be let off the hook quite so easily, but still.

This brings up an excellent strategy issue though. We talk a lot on these forums (and in LR books, blog posts, etc) about the difference between Necessary and Sufficient Assumptions. But it's worth noting that the vast majority of assumption questions are not testing the distinction between the two. Many, many assumptions answers are actually both necessary AND sufficient. It's actually not all that common to have a Necessary Assumption question with an incorrect answer that is a Sufficient-but-not-Necessary Assumption. It's almost unheard of to have a Sufficient Assumption question with an incorrect answer choice that is a Necessary-but-not-Sufficient Assumption.

So, what does this mean for us in terms of practical and strategic thinking? Your first goal should always be to evaluate the premises and the conclusion and ask yourself what the GAP is between them. What's the fundamental disconnect that occurs between A and B? You should use this essential idea to eliminate things that aren't in the ball park. Now, if doing that gets you down to two answer choices, both of which are in the right vicinity and seem to address the gap, it's time to really slow down and hone in on the specifics -- including whether you're looking for something that will guarantee the argument will work, or whether you are looking for something that you require in order for the argument even have a chance.

In this case, only (A) actually addresses the essential gap between [an event having particular simultaneous causes] and [some doctrine being wrong]. If I were working through this question on test day, I would use that knowledge to eliminate the other four answers quickly. At that point, I'd double check (A), and to be 100% honest, in the heat of the exam at that point, I might not even notice that the answer was imperfect. If I did notice it, I'd allow myself just a split second of irritation before reminding myself that the other four answers were DEFINITELY not addressing that fundamental disconnect.

In short, this answer choice is imperfect, and the language really should have been softer/more careful, but the other four answers are still definitively and categorically wrong.

So, as I said above, good catch!

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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby WaltGrace83 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:27 am

I just got around to cracking the 4th edition RC guide (I'll post a review on Amazon after I'm done!). In the beginning it says that there is a reading list in the student center of recommended books for some general familiarity (middle of page 16). I couldn't find it - where is it?

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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby flash21 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:25 pm

PT 23 - S2 - Q21 (I read over the manhattan expl. which was quite extensive, just want to ask something here)

all revolves around the word "consistent" , and I am referring to answer choice (E)

This is the reason I eliminated E so fast, was between A/B for a while, chose B, only to be kinda shocked it was (E) -- so is it safe to think of the word "consistent" on the LSAT as basically, not eliminating the possibility of? So in this case, not eliminating the possibility of a great disparity in living conditions?

Oddly enough, this was the flaw I picked out right away, but I guess i struggled a lot choosing the AC that properly represented this.

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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:26 am

flash21 wrote:PT 23 - S2 - Q21 (I read over the manhattan expl. which was quite extensive, just want to ask something here)

all revolves around the word "consistent" , and I am referring to answer choice (E)

This is the reason I eliminated E so fast, was between A/B for a while, chose B, only to be kinda shocked it was (E) -- so is it safe to think of the word "consistent" on the LSAT as basically, not eliminating the possibility of? So in this case, not eliminating the possibility of a great disparity in living conditions?

Oddly enough, this was the flaw I picked out right away, but I guess i struggled a lot choosing the AC that properly represented this.


Great question, flash21!

Yes, "consistent" means merely "not prohibited" or "not violating" - if two things are consistent, they could exist simultaneously. You could think of it as meaning "could be true". Thus, (E) is essentially saying that the argument "fails to take into account the possibility that two cities can have identical overall population density while still having great disparity in living conditions."

Just as "consistent" means "not prohibited" or "could be true", "inconsistent" means "can't possibly be true". Thus, a question stem that asks us:
    Which of the following situations is inconsistent with the principle?
That means "which situation VIOLATES the principle?"

And if a question were to ask:
    Which of the following situations is consistent with the principle?
That would mean only one answer choice was even possible. The other four would necessarily VIOLATE the principle.

This is why when they want to ask you for a situation that actually follows the rule of the principle, as opposed to one that merely doesn't violate it, they'll use the word "conforms" instead of "consistent".
    Which one of the following situations conforms to the principle above?

Does that help? Nailing the definition of 'consistent' is very important for being able to sort out a few question stems, and the definition is a little counter-intuitive.

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Christine (MLSAT)
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:28 am

WaltGrace83 wrote:I just got around to cracking the 4th edition RC guide (I'll post a review on Amazon after I'm done!). In the beginning it says that there is a reading list in the student center of recommended books for some general familiarity (middle of page 16). I couldn't find it - where is it?



So glad you're enjoying it! I am quite fond of it myself. :)

I will find out where the elusive reading list is! Stay tuned!

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Clyde Frog
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Clyde Frog » Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:16 am

Image (LinkRemoved)


Pause. Evaluate. Anticipate. Reassess.




and I'm out...

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WaltGrace83
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby WaltGrace83 » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:09 am

Christine (MLSAT) wrote:
WaltGrace83 wrote:I just got around to cracking the 4th edition RC guide (I'll post a review on Amazon after I'm done!). In the beginning it says that there is a reading list in the student center of recommended books for some general familiarity (middle of page 16). I couldn't find it - where is it?



So glad you're enjoying it! I am quite fond of it myself. :)

I will find out where the elusive reading list is! Stay tuned!


Cool, thanks a lot!

FEyzaguirre
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby FEyzaguirre » Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:15 pm

Hello all! I have a question. LR, Chapter 11, page 467. I am having a difficult time understanding why answer choice (B) is NOT inferable, even after reading the explanation on page 468. Does it have to do mostly with the phrase "at least one common concern" and how this is different from "most important issue" I would appreciate an alternate explanation, if possible. Thanks!

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Christine (MLSAT)
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:39 pm

FEyzaguirre wrote:Hello all! I have a question. LR, Chapter 11, page 467. I am having a difficult time understanding why answer choice (B) is NOT inferable, even after reading the explanation on page 468. Does it have to do mostly with the phrase "at least one common concern" and how this is different from "most important issue" I would appreciate an alternate explanation, if possible. Thanks!


Hey FEyzaguirre, thanks for posting!

For anyone else reading along, this is page 467 of the 3rd Edition of the MLSAT LR book - the same exercise appears on page 511 of the 4th Edition.

The first challenge in this exercise is just parsing what exactly the answer choice is saying.
    "At least some voters who prefer Candidate B do not share at least one common concern with at least one voter who prefers Candidate A."
So, this would mean that at least one B-voter had no common concern with ANY A-voter. What does "common concern" mean? It simply means "a concern in common" - any concern in common will do, it doesn't have to be 'the most important concern' to the person in question.

Well, what do we know about the A-voters and B-voters from the givens?

    1) There are more A-voters than B-voters. not very useful here
    2) Some A-voters think school-budgeting is the most important issue
    3) All B-voters think school-budgeting is the most important issue

First, note the A-voters and B-voters could have a whole host of other concerns that we haven't been told about. So, it's entirely possible that ALL the voters share some common concern about, say, park maintenance - it may not be the most important issue to anyone, but it could easily be a common concern that everyone shares. So there's no reason to think that we can prove that there's at least one B-voter with NOTHING in common with an A-voter.

The explanation on the following page, though, points out that we can actually go even further. Every single B-voter is concerned with school-budgeting. There's also at least one A-voter that is concerned with school-budgeting. That means that every single B-voter has at lease one concern (school-budgeting) in common with those A-voters. So it's not only unsupportable to say there are some B-voters with nothingi n common with any A-voters, it's actually not even possible. EVERY B-voter must have some concern in common with at least one A-voter.

Does that clear it up a bit? I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on this!

FEyzaguirre
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby FEyzaguirre » Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:31 pm

Thank you very much, it makes clear sense now!

mymrh1
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby mymrh1 » Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:35 pm

Hi Christine,

Could you help me with PrepTest 45 - LR » Section #4- Q18?

I have some problem understanding the relationship between the premise, "decentralization always permits more realistic planning", and the correct answer choice.

The correct answer seems like the inverse to me. I believe the premise: decentralization ---> permits more realistic planning (I believe "always" indicates a necessary condition).

Thanks!


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