Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

mst
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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby mst » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:16 am

I don't see that as a promise that test questions will follow those guidelines Cit, but merely as a statement that they try to ensure it. I don't see that as a "guarantee." So in the sense that I stated earlier, they still have never said that.

On the other point about it affecting scores, I wasn't speaking directly to you but to the rest of your hoard members who have even gone as far to claim it affected their performance on other sections...

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Barbie
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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby Barbie » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:35 am

mst wrote:I agree "field" can mean specific location. BUT I can't remember the last time I heard an anchor say "We have reporters in the fields". It just doesn't make sense.

YES, the word does have an alternate meaning. YES, I applaud you bringing that up to LSAC, they should be more careful (if not for the sake of having different answers, then for the sake of not having to defend their test against people who got nervous and didn't read the test clearly).

NO, I don't think you should have been confused if you approached the question with any standard of common sense. You don't have to argue that, it's just my opinion. I equate you guys misreading this to the following:

Question: Wal mart sells apples and oranges in 4 different seasons, Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, Season 4.***MORE INFO HERE*** What season did Wal Mart sell both oranges and apples?

You: What kind of seasons are they putting on their oranges and apples?! SALT?! PEPPER?! OREGANO?!


It's just not a truly legitimate problem. Yes, they didn't specifically state that they were talking about in the context that it was annual seasons. And yes, somebody that was speeding through the question and looking at the key terms while rushing to make a diagram could easily be confused. But LSAT doesn't have the duty to spell out every single gosh-darn thing for you like they're feeding you baby food. They never said they would. Your test prep book might have, your tutor might have. But I can't remember signing up for the LSAT, or beginning to take the games section, and getting a clause that says "THE RULES WILL BE ABUNDANTLY CLEAR WITH NO ROOM FOR ERROR." Law school's should be allowed to create tests that test some form of common sense.

I think we can all agree that the word has a double meaning that could have been clearer. We just don't agree with you that it posed such a severe risk to a test taker approaching the test with a standard level of awareness. Send your letter, but don't make a big deal out of this in the sense that it unfairly hurt your scores.



I love how you can't even use "seasons" as "seasonings" correctly and you have the nerve to criticize others and the way one might read something. By the way, I heard the anchor say that TODAY. which is why I brought it up in this forum. Thanks for your input :)

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bk1
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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby bk1 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:50 am

Ragged wrote:After thinking about it today I think I ended up misinterpreting this rule also, but not so much because of the word in question. Rather it was ambigous because A) of an inclusion of another word in the rule which seemed to imply physical location and B) because the very next rule used a different and a much clearer word to mean the same thing as in the previous rule. I'm not saying that the question was unfair, but it certainly could be phrased in a much simpler and clearer way. They should have just used the wording and the structur of the next rule, for the rule under question, that would rule out any possibility of misinterpretation whatsoever. I hope people who know whats going on can understand what I'm talking about here - trying to stay within the rules of the forum.

I just can't believe that I would fail to make such an easy inference and answer a single question in 9 minutes. That's something that is unprecedented for me. In fact, I seem to remember testing the set up for the inference that turned out to be key. Unfortunatly I came up empty because either I simply failed to account for all the rules, or because I had a rule wrong. The latter seems most likely to me.


Now a quesiton. Is there a way to get the LSAC to send me my question book from the test? I would really love to look at my diagrams to see what went wrong.


The first two rules used the same word and it cannot imply a physical location in the context of the game.

tomwatts
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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby tomwatts » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:58 am

Some people have talked about the implications of LSAC actually admitting serious error on their part in the wording of this rule, and the working assumption seems to be that it would be so bad for LSAC that it would bring down the entire organization or something. While it would be a drastic error on their part (and I didn't take the test in question, so I'm looking forward to seeing it when it gets released and formulating my own opinion), it wouldn't kill the entire organization. This wouldn't even be the first time this has happened on a major, high-stakes exam.

Back in January '07, when the MCAT first when computer-based, AAMC screwed up so badly that they got passage and questions mis-matched: they had a passage and then questions about a completely different passage (nowhere on the test) on the screen at the same time. It would be as though you got the Dworkin passage from one PT but the Harriet Jacobs questions from another PT. Students (no fools they) called foul, and AAMC withdrew the entire passage. They had to rescale the test based on the remaining passages, but they still gave out scores, and all that happened was they had to give all the affected students free retakes at the next test date. AAMC still makes the MCAT, and almost nobody remembers that they completely botched the first computer-based test that they offered.

LSAC has an incredibly high reputation for quality. Six questions withdrawn in nearly twenty years of testing is an unbelievable track record. In one bad stretch, the SAT had three questions withdrawn in a single year, two on the same test. (Not to mention the fiasco back in, er, '07, I think — might've been a different year — when they mis-scored thousands of tests, some by hundreds of points. When they needed a scapegoat, they blamed it on the humidity in the test-scanning rooms.) So while I think it's incredibly unlikely that they'll withdraw an entire game, they certainly could, and it would still leave them with a better track record than most test-making companies.

Just for some context from a test-prep professional.

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citrustang
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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby citrustang » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:20 am

mst wrote:I don't see that as a promise that test questions will follow those guidelines Cit, but merely as a statement that they try to ensure it. I don't see that as a "guarantee." So in the sense that I stated earlier, they still have never said that.

mst, the following appears at the bottom of the LSAC FAQ page (http://www.lsac.org/aboutlsac/faqs-and-support-lsat.asp)

How can I inquire about a test question?

If, while taking the LSAT, you find what you believe to be an error or ambiguity in a test question that affects your response to the question, report it to the test supervisor as soon as you finish the test and write immediately to: Law School Admission Council, Test Development, 662 Penn Street, Box 40, Newtown, PA 18940-0040. You may also contact us by e-mail at LSATTS@LSAC.org. The LSAC document, Policies and Procedures Governing Challenges to Law School Admission Test Questions PDF Icon can be found here.

My only claim is that I believe the sufficient clause (as outlined) has been fulfilled, and so I am justified in taking the necessary actions recommended above. This process is not of my own creation - the LSAC has set forth these guidelines for determining when a challenge may be warranted and how to go about bringing forth such a challenge. I have followed the correct procedure every step of the way. Unfounded expectations have played no part in my decision nor my submitted argument.
Last edited by citrustang on Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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FuManChusco
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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby FuManChusco » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:21 am

tomwatts wrote:Some people have talked about the implications of LSAC actually admitting serious error on their part in the wording of this rule, and the working assumption seems to be that it would be so bad for LSAC that it would bring down the entire organization or something. While it would be a drastic error on their part (and I didn't take the test in question, so I'm looking forward to seeing it when it gets released and formulating my own opinion), it wouldn't kill the entire organization. This wouldn't even be the first time this has happened on a major, high-stakes exam.

Back in January '07, when the MCAT first when computer-based, AAMC screwed up so badly that they got passage and questions mis-matched: they had a passage and then questions about a completely different passage (nowhere on the test) on the screen at the same time. It would be as though you got the Dworkin passage from one PT but the Harriet Jacobs questions from another PT. Students (no fools they) called foul, and AAMC withdrew the entire passage. They had to rescale the test based on the remaining passages, but they still gave out scores, and all that happened was they had to give all the affected students free retakes at the next test date. AAMC still makes the MCAT, and almost nobody remembers that they completely botched the first computer-based test that they offered.

LSAC has an incredibly high reputation for quality. Six questions withdrawn in nearly twenty years of testing is an unbelievable track record. In one bad stretch, the SAT had three questions withdrawn in a single year, two on the same test. (Not to mention the fiasco back in, er, '07, I think — might've been a different year — when they mis-scored thousands of tests, some by hundreds of points. When they needed a scapegoat, they blamed it on the humidity in the test-scanning rooms.) So while I think it's incredibly unlikely that they'll withdraw an entire game, they certainly could, and it would still leave them with a better track record than most test-making companies.

Just for some context from a test-prep professional.


I actually agree with you Tom, and I'm one of the few that has been adamant about LSAC's refusal to change anything. I think if they made a heinous mistake, they would fix it immediately. Nothing loses you more credibility than avoiding problems. You didn't see Jim Joyce sticking to his guns after he stole a perfect game. Obvious mistakes deserve recognition and solutions. When you see the phrase in question, I think you'll be able to see both sides of the argument. I understand how people could have misinterpreted it. At the same time, the ambiguity is a stretch at best and will not hold any water when, and if, LSAC reviews it. There is one clear, correct definition and one ridiculous stretch of a definition that could have resulted from rushed reading and diagramming. I just don't see there being a solid enough argument for the people who defined the term incorrectly. As in your examples, and I believe in previous omitted LSAT questions, the problem normally has to do with answer choices. Wrong ACs, possibility for 2 correct answers, etc. At best I could see them adjusting the curve slightly, if that's even possible, and if a ridiculous number of people got the entire game wrong. My mind has also been fried, plus I'm probably biased as I quickly understood the correct meaning. I'm just one man stating his opinion. Take it for what it's worth.

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citrustang
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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby citrustang » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:29 am

mst wrote:On the other point about it affecting scores, I wasn't speaking directly to you but to the rest of your hoard members who have even gone as far to claim it affected their performance on other sections...

"Hoard members"? That seems pejorative. mst, I know you're capable of disagreeing without being insulting.

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Ragged
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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby Ragged » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:32 am

Can someone answer my question with regard to getting my question booklet from the test? Thanks.

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citrustang
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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby citrustang » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:49 am

I think you might be out of luck, Ragged. Although not definitive, I have heard that they destroy the test booklets after they have accounted for all of them.

You could always try contacting the LSAC about your particular situation and see if they are willing to grant your request.

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FuManChusco
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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby FuManChusco » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:51 am

Ragged wrote:Can someone answer my question with regard to getting my question booklet from the test? Thanks.


I can't possibly see them giving it to you, but that is pure speculation.

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Ragged
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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby Ragged » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:52 am

citrustang wrote:I think you might be out of luck, Ragged. Although not definitive, I have heard that they destroy the test booklets after they have accounted for all of them.

You could always try contacting the LSAC about your particular situation and see if they are willing to grant your request.


oh damn.... yea I'll contact them tommorow. thanks.

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cigarman
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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby cigarman » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:56 am

Um... I have a different issue. Lets say just for a second we accept CitrusTangs assertion. And lets say they throw out the questions in that part. I worked too long on it, but solved those questions. But, because I skipped Mulch , I had to guess on those questions. So how would it be fair to me, to take away answers I got right and spent time on and overcount the part I purely guessed on? How is THAT fair? Didn't you just harm me? Then I would be VERY upset with LSAC. My game plan was three correct sections guess at fourth. You would take me from say 17 correct answers to 11. I would have a HUGE issue with that.
So how is withdrawing the question fair to others? And I can't retest or some other option. Need to start this fall. This is my one and only test to count. So splain that to me Lucy... :shock:

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whuts4lunch
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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby whuts4lunch » Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:41 am

cigarman wrote:Um... I have a different issue. Lets say just for a second we accept CitrusTangs assertion. And lets say they throw out the questions in that part. I worked too long on it, but solved those questions. But, because I skipped Mulch , I had to guess on those questions. So how would it be fair to me, to take away answers I got right and spent time on and overcount the part I purely guessed on? How is THAT fair? Didn't you just harm me? Then I would be VERY upset with LSAC. My game plan was three correct sections guess at fourth. You would take me from say 17 correct answers to 11. I would have a HUGE issue with that.
So how is withdrawing the question fair to others? And I can't retest or some other option. Need to start this fall. This is my one and only test to count. So splain that to me Lucy... :shock:


I didn't quite experience anything that bad, but I did have to guess a random choice on 2 questions in an earlier game that I am quite sure I would have had time to return to had I not had to rework the 4th game after realizing my error.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby Kohinoor » Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:03 am

This seems like the law school curve dynamic. It doesn't matter if it was broken since it was broken for everybody.

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slax
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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby slax » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:59 am

bk1 wrote:
FuManChusco wrote:haha, I've been bickering all day. I think I might need a better time killer for the next 3 weeks. this unhealthy addiction to tls is just torturing me more.


I'm in the same boat. Once I finish finals maybe I'll be able to actually relax.



Kudos to you guys for sticking with it so long. I gave up about ten pages of posts ago. Can't wait for this to be released so everyone realizes how dumb they are. It feels like fifth grade when everyone votes that they don't want the homework to be graded because they did poorly but I got every question right.

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FuManChusco
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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby FuManChusco » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:11 am

cigarman wrote:Um... I have a different issue. Lets say just for a second we accept CitrusTangs assertion. And lets say they throw out the questions in that part. I worked too long on it, but solved those questions. But, because I skipped Mulch , I had to guess on those questions. So how would it be fair to me, to take away answers I got right and spent time on and overcount the part I purely guessed on? How is THAT fair? Didn't you just harm me? Then I would be VERY upset with LSAC. My game plan was three correct sections guess at fourth. You would take me from say 17 correct answers to 11. I would have a HUGE issue with that.
So how is withdrawing the question fair to others? And I can't retest or some other option. Need to start this fall. This is my one and only test to count. So splain that to me Lucy... :shock:



For this and many other reasons, the main one being that the term was hardly ambiguous, LSAC will never omit the game. rest easy my son, you have nothing to worry about.

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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby queenlizzie13 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:50 am

FuManChusco wrote:
cigarman wrote:Um... I have a different issue. Lets say just for a second we accept CitrusTangs assertion. And lets say they throw out the questions in that part. I worked too long on it, but solved those questions. But, because I skipped Mulch , I had to guess on those questions. So how would it be fair to me, to take away answers I got right and spent time on and overcount the part I purely guessed on? How is THAT fair? Didn't you just harm me? Then I would be VERY upset with LSAC. My game plan was three correct sections guess at fourth. You would take me from say 17 correct answers to 11. I would have a HUGE issue with that.
So how is withdrawing the question fair to others? And I can't retest or some other option. Need to start this fall. This is my one and only test to count. So splain that to me Lucy... :shock:



For this and many other reasons, the main one being that the term was hardly ambiguous, LSAC will never omit the game. rest easy my son, you have nothing to worry about.


I did write LSAC concerning the matter. However, I do not expect that they will throw out an entire game. I just hope by writing, that future tests will not use ambiguous/semi-ambiguous word usage, that given the context of the question(s)/game, can be interpreted in a different way.

Speaking of which, given the fact that many people (not just a few) were thrown by the language at first, does mean that LSAC's terminology was a bit ambiguous. If it was not, then this many people would not have been thrown off. I realized my mistake given that I couldn't find the answer to the next couple of questions and was able to correct it (for the most part) during the test.

I don't know how it can be construed to argue the term wasn't ambiguous. Too many were thrown off. That being said, for those who thought the term meant something else, should not expect the entire game to be thrown out. If it killed the test for you then cancel, and hope that by writing the LSAC, the next test in October will not contain such wording that can easily be misconstrued by a large number of test takers. That is all.

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FuManChusco
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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby FuManChusco » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:05 am

These are the types of arguments I find ridiculous. If 20 people say that bananas are blue it doesn't make the evidence more compelling. In the context of the test, there really is only one viable definition. A large number of test takers thinking the term is ambiguous doesn't make it so. They were surely just confused. The term was not open to one or more interpretations and therefore it was not ambiguous.

I also don't think a large proportion of test takers made the mistake. It is likely a vocal minority.

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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby queenlizzie13 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:11 am

FuManChusco wrote:These are the types of arguments I find ridiculous. If 20 people say that bananas are blue it doesn't make the evidence more compelling. In the context of the test, there really is only one viable definition. A large number of test takers thinking the term is ambiguous doesn't make it so. They were surely just confused. The term was not open to one or more interpretations and therefore it was not ambiguous.

I also don't think a large proportion of test takers made the mistake. It is likely a vocal minority.


Excuse me, but I think it does. We were surely "confused?" Maybe, but I wasn't "surely confused" during the rest of the test. That word made me think of the wrong context of the word immediately. I definitely did not over think it, or refer back to multiple dictionary definitions to come up with what I thought the term meant. Sorry, but that's clearly a term that is subject to more than one interpretation.

Ambiguous, yes. Confused, not so much.

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suspicious android
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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby suspicious android » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:18 am

FuManChusco wrote:These are the types of arguments I find ridiculous. If 20 people say that bananas are blue it doesn't make the evidence more compelling. In the context of the test, there really is only one viable definition. A large number of test takers thinking the term is ambiguous doesn't make it so. They were surely just confused. The term was not open to one or more interpretations and therefore it was not ambiguous.


This is a good point. The number of complaints isn't really relevant, just whether or not any of them are valid. A lot of people misread statements on LR all the time, not because they are ambiguous, but because they are tricky, or even intentionally misleading. That doesn't constitute ambiguity.

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FuManChusco
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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby FuManChusco » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:21 am

queenlizzie13 wrote:
FuManChusco wrote:These are the types of arguments I find ridiculous. If 20 people say that bananas are blue it doesn't make the evidence more compelling. In the context of the test, there really is only one viable definition. A large number of test takers thinking the term is ambiguous doesn't make it so. They were surely just confused. The term was not open to one or more interpretations and therefore it was not ambiguous.

I also don't think a large proportion of test takers made the mistake. It is likely a vocal minority.


Excuse me, but I think it does. We were surely "confused?" Maybe, but I wasn't "surely confused" during the rest of the test. That word made me think of the wrong context of the word immediately. I definitely did not over think it, or refer back to multiple dictionary definitions to come up with what I thought the term meant. Sorry, but that's clearly a term that is subject to more than one interpretation.

Ambiguous, yes. Confused, not so much.


Your argument has become invalid because you don't know what ambiguous means. I could misinterpret a word in 20 different ways. That doesn't make any of those misinterpretations valid. Just because you took a word to mean something else, doesn't make that word ambiguous. Your incorrect definition has no validity in the context of the test unless you reword the sentence. Anecdotal evidence saying multple people found other interpretations doesn't mean those interpretations are right. There is a reason you are going to get the questions wrong and I won't. I bet you believe in big foot too because a bunch of people said he was real.

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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby citrustang » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:42 am

suspicious android wrote:
FuManChusco wrote:These are the types of arguments I find ridiculous. If 20 people say that bananas are blue it doesn't make the evidence more compelling. In the context of the test, there really is only one viable definition. A large number of test takers thinking the term is ambiguous doesn't make it so. They were surely just confused. The term was not open to one or more interpretations and therefore it was not ambiguous.


This is a good point. The number of complaints isn't really relevant, just whether or not any of them are valid. A lot of people misread statements on LR all the time, not because they are ambiguous, but because they are tricky, or even intentionally misleading. That doesn't constitute ambiguity.


The number of complaints can be relevant. If the complaints come from a diverse group of people (a large range of scores, different regional areas, different ethnic backgrounds, some ESL and some not, etc.), then the arguments that this situation arose due to a lack of skill or a poor understanding of the English language are weakened. The challenge can be strengthened by eliminating potential weakeners.

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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby apropos » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:44 am

FuManChusco wrote:
queenlizzie13 wrote:
FuManChusco wrote:These are the types of arguments I find ridiculous. If 20 people say that bananas are blue it doesn't make the evidence more compelling. In the context of the test, there really is only one viable definition. A large number of test takers thinking the term is ambiguous doesn't make it so. They were surely just confused. The term was not open to one or more interpretations and therefore it was not ambiguous.

I also don't think a large proportion of test takers made the mistake. It is likely a vocal minority.


Excuse me, but I think it does. We were surely "confused?" Maybe, but I wasn't "surely confused" during the rest of the test. That word made me think of the wrong context of the word immediately. I definitely did not over think it, or refer back to multiple dictionary definitions to come up with what I thought the term meant. Sorry, but that's clearly a term that is subject to more than one interpretation.

Ambiguous, yes. Confused, not so much.


Your argument has become invalid because you don't know what ambiguous means. I could misinterpret a word in 20 different ways. That doesn't make any of those misinterpretations valid. Just because you took a word to mean something else, doesn't make that word ambiguous. Your incorrect definition has no validity in the context of the test unless you reword the sentence. Anecdotal evidence saying multple people found other interpretations doesn't mean those interpretations are right. There is a reason you are going to get the questions wrong and I won't. I bet you believe in big foot too because a bunch of people said he was real.


Always striking how the most arrogantly phrased statements tend so much to also be the silliest. The point is not saying that a word is ambiguous if you, or one such person, interprets it in 20 different ways. Nor is this at all similar to believing in bigfoot, or thinking that claims that a banana is blue might make the banana blue. A good number of people misinterpreting a statement is evidence that that statement can be interpreted more than one way. And that is the definition of ambiguity, assuming that the interpretation is not wrong. I have a very strong feeling that the interpretation is not flat-out wrong. At most you could argue that the interpretation is strange enough that the ambiguity is within reasonable limits. Then this thread would have much fewer way-to-strong statements and more worthwhile arguments.

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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby Bildungsroman » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:47 am

Convincing one another that this term does or does not justify LSAC taking some sort of action will get you nowhere. Maybe you all should spend this time writing to LSAC with your respective arguments? I think everybody ITT has made up their minds, and would be better served by trying to do something productive about what is obviously a deep passion for them.

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Re: Official challenge to the 4th game in the scored LG section

Postby CryingMonkey » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:11 pm

apropos wrote:
FuManChusco wrote:
queenlizzie13 wrote:
FuManChusco wrote:These are the types of arguments I find ridiculous. If 20 people say that bananas are blue it doesn't make the evidence more compelling. In the context of the test, there really is only one viable definition. A large number of test takers thinking the term is ambiguous doesn't make it so. They were surely just confused. The term was not open to one or more interpretations and therefore it was not ambiguous.

I also don't think a large proportion of test takers made the mistake. It is likely a vocal minority.


Excuse me, but I think it does. We were surely "confused?" Maybe, but I wasn't "surely confused" during the rest of the test. That word made me think of the wrong context of the word immediately. I definitely did not over think it, or refer back to multiple dictionary definitions to come up with what I thought the term meant. Sorry, but that's clearly a term that is subject to more than one interpretation.

Ambiguous, yes. Confused, not so much.


Your argument has become invalid because you don't know what ambiguous means. I could misinterpret a word in 20 different ways. That doesn't make any of those misinterpretations valid. Just because you took a word to mean something else, doesn't make that word ambiguous. Your incorrect definition has no validity in the context of the test unless you reword the sentence. Anecdotal evidence saying multple people found other interpretations doesn't mean those interpretations are right. There is a reason you are going to get the questions wrong and I won't. I bet you believe in big foot too because a bunch of people said he was real.


Always striking how the most arrogantly phrased statements tend so much to also be the silliest. The point is not saying that a word is ambiguous if you, or one such person, interprets it in 20 different ways. Nor is this at all similar to believing in bigfoot, or thinking that claims that a banana is blue might make the banana blue. A good number of people misinterpreting a statement is evidence that that statement can be interpreted more than one way. And that is the definition of ambiguity, assuming that the interpretation is not wrong. I have a very strong feeling that the interpretation is not flat-out wrong. At most you could argue that the interpretation is strange enough that the ambiguity is within reasonable limits. Then this thread would have much fewer way-to-strong statements and more worthwhile arguments.


Here's an attempt that will convince no one and is kind of ludicrous, but I'm bored.

If a wide variety of people, from a wide variety of backgrounds, think that dolphins are fish, that does not make dolphins fish. Nor does it introduce ambiguity into whether dolphins are fish or not. Dolphins are not fish. You could interpret them as fish - they live under water, they have fins, they swim around and eat smaller fish. On its face, it's not an unreasonable thing to believe. It's just wrong.

That's how I see this question. I totally get how a lot of people could think that the word in question was referring to something else, much like I get how someone seeing a dolphin go by could think "oh, fish!" But I don't think that introduces any ambiguity into the meaning of the word in this context any more than there is ambiguity about whether a dolphin is a fish.

To get to the test, in context there was a clear meaning of the word. Some not insignificant number of people made a mistake and thought that the word meant something else. It was not an unreasonable mistake to make. If you stretch hard enough, you can almost make it fit. But it doesn't, no matter how many people think it might. The people who thought the term meant something else made a mistake, just as someone seeing a dolphin swim by and saying "oh, look at the fish" made a mistake.

How's that for a bulletproof example.




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