Can I rely on info in LR questions?

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BigA
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Can I rely on info in LR questions?

Postby BigA » Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:37 am

Okay, so this has nothing to do with studying or improving my score. I'm wondering if the information presented in these questions is actually factual or is it made up to test your reasoning? I've often wondered this while doing PTs. But the question that prompted me to ask this is PT 15 Sect. 3 #20. I want to know if I would be an idiot for spouting information like this because I "learned" it on the LSAT. Has anyone else wondered this when they've come across something interesting? I'd like to be able to learn something from these many hours of studying, especially science related; or do I need to just disregard everything?

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TheLuckyOne
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Re: Can I rely on info in LR questions?

Postby TheLuckyOne » Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:22 am

Haha, I was wondering the same thing. LSAC pulls out info from different editorials, however, we don't really know which abstracts are those to rely on and which ones are not well supported ideas, especially when it comes to LR.

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kaydish21
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Re: Can I rely on info in LR questions?

Postby kaydish21 » Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:31 am

I think on LR there is no way to know, most of the RC sections are factual though.

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eagles111
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Re: Can I rely on info in LR questions?

Postby eagles111 » Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:16 am

for the LR most of what might be "facts" are vague and general plus many of then rely on faulty conclusions as part of the question and it's hard to remember which ones are which. a lot of them are just mad-lib-style fill-ins of pure symobolic logic statements (x; if x then y; if not y then z) They do try to tailor them so they make some kind of sense but theoretically they could be semantically meaningless as long as their logical syntax is correct. ie All asteroids are perpendicular. But everything that is perpendicular takes 12 hours. Nothing that does not take 12 hours is vegetarian. or whatever. long story short I would not trust anything in there as a fact.
I'm pretty sure (though i might have just read it in an lsat question) that the RC sections are adapted from real articles so they actually reflect an intelligent person's opinion from some point in time, though they're likely to be outdated or even somewhat distorted by editing.

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JazzOne
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Re: Can I rely on info in LR questions?

Postby JazzOne » Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:57 am

I have always found LR stimuli to be remarkably accurate. I've looked up many of them on the web. They're not always completely factual. Many of them contain opinions (ie, What prevents cancer? What killed the dinosaurs?). But even the opinions are legitimate in that field. The example in the post above is absurd, and you will never find such a nonsensical stimulus on the LSAT.

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jpSartre
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Re: Can I rely on info in LR questions?

Postby jpSartre » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:21 pm

JazzOne wrote:Many of them contain opinions (ie, ... What killed the dinosaurs?).



No longer an opinion my friend: http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/science/03 ... .asteroid/

:lol:

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eagles111
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Re: Can I rely on info in LR questions?

Postby eagles111 » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:24 pm

my example was obviously absurd to make a point. I agree you would never find that on the lsat but in principle you could and there would still be a correct answer. it doesnt matter what "facts" are there. the logic is what's important. and unlike RC the LSAT people are just making these up to fit logical formulae. I'm sure they make an effort, but that's it.

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TheLuckyOne
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Re: Can I rely on info in LR questions?

Postby TheLuckyOne » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:26 pm

jpSartre wrote:
JazzOne wrote:Many of them contain opinions (ie, ... What killed the dinosaurs?).



No longer an opinion my friend: http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/science/03 ... .asteroid/

:lol:


haha, I remember that passage :lol:

eudaimondaimon
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Re: Can I rely on info in LR questions?

Postby eudaimondaimon » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:28 pm

eagles111 wrote:my example was obviously absurd to make a point. I agree you would never find that on the lsat but in principle you could and there would still be a correct answer. it doesnt matter what "facts" are there. the logic is what's important. and unlike RC the LSAT people are just making these up to fit logical formulae. I'm sure they make an effort, but that's it.


I wonder what psychometricians would say about such nonsense passages. I know I'd find that incredibly distracting were I taking a test with that. It could very plausibly skew a test's results.

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eagles111
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Re: Can I rely on info in LR questions?

Postby eagles111 » Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:17 pm

eudaimondaimon wrote:I wonder what psychometricians would say about such nonsense passages. I know I'd find that incredibly distracting were I taking a test with that. It could very plausibly skew a test's results.


interesting question. i imagine it would probably skew scores down pretty hard. 1. there are no practice tests like that so people would be like 'WTF?!' 2. it would slow you down a lot cause you would have to plot out even the simple ones that are currently almost gimmes. However, the questions in LR I'm most likely to miss are the ones that trick you into an inference due to the content of the question when it isnt explicitly written and therefore make a bad decision or sit there staring at it trying to figure it out. those you would more likely get right due to breaking things down into their logical pieces. assuming you had time to get to them.

It would be a terrible test. I had a question or two like that in an analytic philosophy class in college, which is what made me think of it.

TO THE OP: I feel like i kinda hijacked your thread. My real advice is treat it like something you read on wikipedia or some random article you found online. It's probably true but better to preface it with, "I think I read somewhere..." if you're really concerned about getting called out.

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JazzOne
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Re: Can I rely on info in LR questions?

Postby JazzOne » Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:25 pm

eagles111 wrote:my example was obviously absurd to make a point. I agree you would never find that on the lsat but in principle you could and there would still be a correct answer. it doesnt matter what "facts" are there. the logic is what's important. and unlike RC the LSAT people are just making these up to fit logical formulae. I'm sure they make an effort, but that's it.

OP asked about the actual LSAT, not some hypothetical that (by your own admission) will never exist.

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eagles111
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Re: Can I rely on info in LR questions?

Postby eagles111 » Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:07 pm

JazzOne wrote:
eagles111 wrote:my example was obviously absurd to make a point. I agree you would never find that on the lsat but in principle you could and there would still be a correct answer. it doesnt matter what "facts" are there. the logic is what's important. and unlike RC the LSAT people are just making these up to fit logical formulae. I'm sure they make an effort, but that's it.

OP asked about the actual LSAT, not some hypothetical that (by your own admission) will never exist.


ok. apparently my first post was unclear.

Unlike the RC sections, the LR's are completely written by the LSAT people. While they clearly make an effort to have them be at least highly plausible, there is no logical necessity to do even that. Thus my example. All the LSAT writers do is take a logical formula and match it with content. Their job is to make questions that test our logical reasoning abilities. Since factualness is completely irrelevant to the test, there is no particular reason for them to put any facts in. Given that it is irrelevant to the writers that the statements be true, I would not recommend trusting them as such.

that was my whole point. not that the lsat is full of nonsense. I hope this more explicit statement makes clearer my point.

tomwatts
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Re: Can I rely on info in LR questions?

Postby tomwatts » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:07 pm

I learned how polypyrrole forms from pyrrole in the presence of zeolite from the LR section of the LSAT. That might've been the most valuable thing.




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