LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Manhattan LSAT Noah
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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:49 pm

hallbd16 wrote:PT 56 S2 Q8 "The boulder is volcanic..."

I see how D is a weakener because it shows that there is evidence that the rock was not deposited by a glacier.
I had a hard time eliminating both A and C.
A- It seems that it would lessen the chance it was moved hundreds of miles and thus reducing the probability the conclusion talks about, thus weakening.
I suppose because it is most, it allows for the exception that this rock was moved further. But doesn't the fact that most are not moved more than 100 miles reduce the likelihood/degree that the conclusion talks about?

C- Similarly, this suggests an alternate explanation for a rock being deposited from hundred miles away, aren't alternate cuases a type of weakener?
It seems the argument against C would be that it requires the assumption that the closer a rock is the more likely it was transported by a glacier.

I don't see definitive reasons for A and C being wrong. I do see reasons why D is better. A little help?

I've got to sign off, but Matt just wrote up an explanation on our forums - see if that gets at what you're asking: http://www.manhattanlsat.com/forums/post21433.html

Inferno
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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby Inferno » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:31 pm

Manhattan LSAT Noah wrote:What's being asked for here is a necessary assumption -- something that must be assumed for the argument to "work" (for us to be able to draw the conclusion from the premises). We don't need to find an answer that makes the argument air-tight (that's a sufficient assumption).


So given:

*Pancakes for breakfast make people happy
*People must be happy

-> People must eat four waffles for dinner

is "properly drawn" because there is nothing that prevents the following premises from being true:

*Waffles, being somewhat similar to pancakes, produce the same feelings in people
*What makes people happy for breakfast makes them happy for dinner
*There is nothing else people can eat for dinner except waffles
*I like the number four therefore people can only be happy if they eat the number of waffles I want them to for a given meal.

I guess what's at issue is that for the question to be properly drawn it need not to be shown that the conclusion must be drawn from the premises but rather simply that it could possibly, with the addition of other premises be true?

I suppose phrased differently:

*Tasing people always results in them having convulsions in any universe
*I am suddenly transported to an alternate universe whereupon I see a person having convulsions

->I conclude that the person has in fact (not may have been) been tased.

Because the question states that it "is safe" as opposed to "could be safe" I don't understand how it gets around this.

I understand the validity of saying that people must consume below a certain number of cans so as not to exceed the specified dosage.
I do not understand the validity of saying that people must consume below a certain specified number of cans which is determined solely through the addition of an imaginary premise without any relevant evidence. That is to say that I accept that C is true, if and only if we insert the imaginary unsupported premises of:
*The only, or lowest dose "not-safe" side-effect of Bevex in people is also carcinogenicity
*This side-effect manifests itself at the same dosage in mice as it does in people
*I'll let it off the hook for using cans instead of volume because I'm assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that in 1993 cans were the prevalent delivery system for sodas.

Otherwise how is it relevant at all?

Manhattan LSAT Noah
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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:25 pm

You've got some good points, but this Bevex question is a nice window into what the LSAT wants you to do (we actually use it in our course). When the LSAT asks for a necessary assumption, the right answer is something that when negated, makes the argument invalid (meaning we can't reach the conclusion based on the premises). (C) does that -- if people drink 25 cans, then how can we confidently draw that conclusion based on the premises given?

There's no issue of whether (C) is true (with or without other premises inserted). The issue is whether we have to assume it for the argument to make sense.

Inferno
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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby Inferno » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:07 am

Manhattan LSAT Noah wrote:You've got some good points, but this Bevex question is a nice window into what the LSAT wants you to do (we actually use it in our course). When the LSAT asks for a necessary assumption, the right answer is something that when negated, makes the argument invalid (meaning we can't reach the conclusion based on the premises). (C) does that -- if people drink 25 cans, then how can we confidently draw that conclusion based on the premises given?

There's no issue of whether (C) is true (with or without other premises inserted). The issue is whether we have to assume it for the argument to make sense.


My argument is not that one of the stated premises is incorrect and therefore the argument is invalid. My argument is that there is no related premise and therefore the argument is invalid regardless of how many cans of Bevex soda people drink.

From this, I interpret the premises stated be as follows:

*Bevex is used only in soft drinks
*Bevex is carcinogenic for mice when consumed in "very large quantities" which we will for the sake of argument abbreviate as X
*In order for a person to consume X of Bevex, they must consume 25 cans of Bevex-sweetened soft drinks per day.

From the above, the number of cans of Bevex that are consumed by a person on a daily basis is irrelevant because there is no indication of the "unsafeness" of Bevex for people.

Even if people were to consume less than 25 cans of Bevex-sweetened soft drinks per day, it does not in any way allow you to reach the conclusion that Bevex is safe for people. You could presumably reach the conclusion that it is possible that Bevex is safe for people - but there is no more meaning in the choice of 25 than 1, 25, 250, or 25E100. You could conclude that a giant mouse would be safe from the carcinogenic effects of Bevex provided that it did not consume more than 25 cans of Bevex-sweetened soft drinks. It would be, if I understand things correctly a necessary assumption that our giant mouse not consume 25 or more cans of Bevex-sweetened soft drinks, as it would similarly be a necessary assumption that our mouse only consumes Bevex-sweetened soft drinks from cans, and is not for instance consuming 24 cans and six bottles (assuming that six bottles contained at mimimum one can worth of Bevex).

If for instance people drank 50 cans of BSSD and Bevex was entirely "safe" for people it would mean that C was not a necessary condition.
Similarly, if drinking even 1 can of BSSD was "unsafe" for people the fact that people drink <25 cans does not attest to its safety.

It seems as though you may be under the impression that the premises are as follows:

*Bevex is used only in soft drinks
*Bevex is carcinogenic for mice when consumed in "very large quantities" which we will for the sake of argument abbreviate as X
*In order for a person to consume X of Bevex, they must consume 25 cans of Bevex-sweetened soft drinks per day.
*Mice and people respond to Bevex in an identical manner when the mg/kg are the same.

and that I am simply disputing the "truthfulness" of the stated premise that mice and people respond in an identical manner as a way of arguing my point which I am not doing (or rather, am not aware that I am doing). The notion that as long as people consume <25 cans of Bevex that it is safe for them presupposes, without evidence, fact or premise that X is the threshold at which Bevex becomes unsafe for people. In other words it doesn't work unless you resort to making poop up after the fact to support your argument.

Unless this is all irrelevant because the set of facts don't specifically prevent you from reaching the conclusion?
Last edited by Inferno on Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby willwash » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:05 am

LSAT Blog wrote:
Clearlynotstefan wrote:The one question I think when I hear this great scorers post: Did you go to LS? Where? If no, why the fuck not?


Great question. I never went to law school, although I did consider it at one point. That's why I picked up the LSAT in the first place. (I've found that few look at it without some intention of going to law school.) I'd previously tutored a variety of other subjects/exams. I found that I had a particular knack for standardized tests, so it just seemed natural to start tutoring the LSAT. Of course, the LSAT is much more of a niche subject than most, and I found it far more complex than any other exam or subject I'd previously tutored. As such, my tutoring practice quickly became dominated by the LSAT.

I did actually looked into applying and even took a stab at writing a personal statement about why I wanted to go to law school. However, 75% of it ended up being about why I was cynical about the power of international institutions like the UN to accomplish anything meaningful. (Once upon a time, I lobbied government delegates at UN conferences and watched them nitpick for days, weeks even, over language in documents that had no binding authority.) After it was pointed out to me by friends/family that my personal statement seemed to indicate that I didn't really want to go to law school, I realized that I didn't. I enjoyed tutoring far more than whatever I imagined life as a lawyer might be like.

After relying on little more than word of mouth for my tutoring business, I decided to join the 21st century and start a website for my tutoring business. I don't really know how to build websites, but blogs are easy to set up, so that's the route I took. Since blogs require updates, I decided to start posting free LSAT tips each week. Over the years, I've invested so much work into developing prep materials, unintentionally memorizing the page numbers of various LSAT problems, diagrams, variable names, etc., that I can't imagine leaving it all to go to law school. (I don't imagine that it'd be easy to maintain the blog and devote the necessary attention to law school at the same time.) I love working on my blog, and I continue to find that the LSAT, and everything related to it, fascinates me far too much for me to consider leaving it for casebooks and legal documents.

I mean, I'm sure all the stuff you read in law school is great, too, and I'll bet there are several areas of law that I'd enjoy practicing. Criminal law has always appealed to me - I can't get enough of TV shows and movies that feature it. (And I'm sure they're completely accurate portrayals of what it'd be like on a daily basis, right?)

But I've already got something I truly enjoy, so why leave it behind?


What will you do when 1991 happens again and they totally reformat the test?

Manhattan LSAT Noah
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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:01 pm

The question is whether you need to assume (C), not whether the argument works once (C) is in place or whether it's "true". You're right that there are many holes in the argument, but the question you're asked to answer here is whether (C) needs to be assumed. The test of this is whether when (C) is negated does it make the argument invalid.

This is the basic idea of this question type. If you were asked which answer guarantees the conclusion, then (C) would not work.

BTW, go back and delete the question text from your post - LSAC frowns upon copyright infringement.

Inferno wrote:From the above, the number of cans of Bevex that are consumed by a person on a daily basis is irrelevant because there is no indication of the "unsafeness" of Bevex for people.

Even if people were to consume less than 25 cans of Bevex-sweetened soft drinks per day, it does not in any way allow you to reach the conclusion that Bevex is safe for people.


You're right. We still might not get there. But, there's no reason to draw the conclusion now. I believe your saying that even if (C) is negated, we still might find that Bevex is unsafe or safe for humans. I agree (we don't know how mice and humans relate...). But, does the argument make "sense" with (C) negated? Why would you conclude Bevex is safe when the facts show humans would have to drink 25 cans to "match" this harmful level? You still may be able to conclude that for other reasons, but the given premises don't get you there.

Inferno wrote: You could presumably reach the conclusion that it is possible that Bevex is safe for people - but there is no more meaning in the choice of 25 than 1, 25, 250, or 25E100.


Since the argument talks about 25 cans, then the assumption--the one about the number of cans--should be about 25 cans as well.

Inferno wrote:If for instance people drank 50 cans of BSSD and Bevex was entirely "safe" for people it would mean that C was not a necessary condition.
There's a difference between the negated assumption making the conclusion false and the negated assumption making the argument invalid. Invalidating the argument means that the premises do not guarantee the conclusion. The conclusion might be true, but we can't tell that for sure based on the premises given.

For example: All men are mortal, thus Socrates is mortal.

It's necessary to assume that Socrates is a man. If we negate that--Socrates is not a man--do we know that he is not mortal? No, he might be a cat, and perhaps cats are also mortal (nine lives is just a myth). However, we can't conclude that Socrates is mortal based on the premise all men are mortal unless we assume that Socrates is a man.


Inferno wrote: In other words it doesn't work unless you resort to making poop up after the fact to support your argument.

I like this line! I'm going to use it in class.

Fun conversation. Thanks for geeking out with me. Necessary assumptions are one of the more fascinating parts of the LSAT.

lawschoolplease1
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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby lawschoolplease1 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:20 pm

Manhattan LSAT Noah wrote:
lawschoolplease1 wrote:FEB 96
section 4, #11.

Does "depends on" introduce a necessary condition?
If so, then the argument would read:
Premise: examine fossilized leaves of any prehistoric plant --> determine climate --> altitude.
Conclusion: fossilized leaf --> altitude
and this conclusion would be valid.

even before looking at the answer choices and question stem, however, i didn't feel 100% confident about my logic chain. i thought: it "depends on" the altitude, but is that equivalent to indicating an exact altitude? and when i got down to the answer choices, i was able to get to right answer by process of elimination and it "sounded right" to me (horrible way to pick an answer, i know).
So I was wondering... would anyone be willing to explain the correct reason? where am i going wrong with my logic chain?

thank you so much!

I wouldn't bust out so much formal diagramming on this one, but looking at your chain, I'd say the issue is that we know this:

examine fossilized leaves of any prehistoric plant --> determine climate, but we don't get that final "--> altitude" because the argument doesn't say that each climate has a unique altitude. "Depends on" usually does indicate that something is necessary, but here it's being used to say that climate is a factor, as in me saying that my mood depends on the weather. You wouldn't say "mood --> weather." This is another instance of when simply using key words for conditional logic can lead you astray.

Here's how I'd do this (I'm writing it up for our forums now, so excuse the broader tone of the explanation):

The conclusion of the argument in this ID the flaw question is that the size and shape of a leaf fossil indicate the altitude at which that leaf grew.

Why? Because the size and shape indicate the unique climate that the plant grew in, and climate is related to altitude.

This is a tricky argument in terms of finding the gap because it seems like a great argument if you're not careful. However, notice that the size and shape of a leaf are unique to a given climate, however, each climate isn't necessarily unique to an altitude. We only know that climate "depends on" altitude. Consider that velocity of a car depends on its mass and force applied (right?), however if a car is going 100 mph, there are no doubt various combinations of mass and force that could get there, so we can't deduce the car's mass (or force applied) from speed.

(B) hinges on this issue. Perhaps multitude altitudes have the same climate.

By the way, if you were thinking about what it means if the ground rises up because of tectonic plate movements, you were ignoring that the whole argument is about where the plant grew, not where the fossil was found.

As for the wrong answers:

(A) is out of scope 00 who cares about species surviving?

(C) is pointing out that there could be other ways to "read" a leaf to figure out the climate. Who cares? We're talking about one way.

(D) analogy?

(E) is tempting if you overlooked that the whole argument is about where the plant grew. Nowhere is the location of the fossil ever discussed. Out of scope.



thank you Noah!!!
if i may ask a general question then, do you have any advice as to when we shouldn't/should use key words like "depends on" to indicate suff/nec conditions?
in this example, i would say that common sense/background knowledge lead me to doubt the formal logic equation, but that's never a good thing to rely on for the LSATs.
thank you!!! :D

Manhattan LSAT Noah
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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:49 pm

lawschoolplease1 wrote:thank you Noah!!!
if i may ask a general question then, do you have any advice as to when we shouldn't/should use key words like "depends on" to indicate suff/nec conditions?
in this example, i would say that common sense/background knowledge lead me to doubt the formal logic equation, but that's never a good thing to rely on for the LSATs.
thank you!!! :D

Happy to help. (Once I answer enough questions, I'm officially an expert!)

Overall, my strategy with going with a formal diagram is that if I can't "hold" the argument in my head, and there are multiple conditional statements, then I diagram.

As for using key words, in the vast majority of cases, the usual conditional key words don't fool us, but we definitely see these conditional-robot-tripping questions from time to time. I don't think I can confidently say when to rely on key words , but if I were raising the supreme LSAT-killing being, for conditional logic, I would not teach it those key words and I would instead make it wrestle each conditional statement into a diagram. Only after months of this (and a special conditional diet made up only of things that require no pre-heating unless there is any chance of sustained heat in our training camp), our beast would not need these keywords, it would just "get" each statement. If in the sequel of this movie, I have to apply this training to a mortal, who has only a couple of months before the LSAT, I'd tell her to focus on what is "guaranteed" in any conditional statement--with that mindset, usually any tom-foolery with the wording becomes apparent.

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby Inferno » Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:08 pm

Manhattan LSAT Noah wrote:The question is whether you need to assume (C), not whether the argument works once (C) is in place or whether it's "true". You're right that there are many holes in the argument, but the question you're asked to answer here is whether (C) needs to be assumed. The test of this is whether when (C) is negated does it make the argument invalid.

You're right. We still might not get there. But, there's no reason to draw the conclusion now. I believe your saying that even if (C) is negated, we still might find that Bevex is unsafe or safe for humans. I agree (we don't know how mice and humans relate...). But, does the argument make "sense" with (C) negated? Why would you conclude Bevex is safe when the facts show humans would have to drink 25 cans to "match" this harmful level? You still may be able to conclude that for other reasons, but the given premises don't get you there.

Since the argument talks about 25 cans, then the assumption--the one about the number of cans--should be about 25 cans as well.


The only way you need C to be true is to have previously made the determination that Xmouse = Xhuman. The relevance of C is wholly dependent on this assumption.

Are we talking about "making sense" from a logical perspective? It's easy to go back and give the author the benefit of the doubt.

Logically speaking, without inferring that Xmouse = Xhuman why should the number of cans matter?

The reason I was stating that it isn't relevant to the question is that you stated:

What's being asked for here is a necessary assumption -- something that must be assumed for the argument to "work" (for us to be able to draw the conclusion from the premises).


In that it is not required for us to be able to draw the conclusion from the premises (I would argue you can't draw the conclusion from the given premises).
It would be necessary if you entered into fact that Xhuman=Xmouse beforehand.
If you entered into fact beforehand that Xhuman=infinite it would not be necessary.

It's a necessary assumption for a premise that you made up, not one that exists.

For example: All men are mortal, thus Socrates is always mortal.
It is a necessary assumption that Socrates is a man.
It is not a necessary assumption that Socrates refrain from wearing purple pants.

If I enter into evidence that when Socrates the man puts on purple pants he would turn into Socrates the cat wearing purple pants.
and cats wearing purple pants are immortal

It is now a necessary assumption that Socrates never wears purple pants in order to conclude that Socrates is always mortal, but only because I made a bunch of stuff up after the fact because I didn't want him to wear purple pants. This does not make it impossible under the first set of facts to determine the mortality of Socrates (aside from him being a man).

It's necessary to assume that Socrates is a man. If we negate that--Socrates is not a man--do we know that he is not mortal? No, he might be a cat, and perhaps cats are also mortal (nine lives is just a myth). However, we can't conclude that Socrates is mortal based on the premise all men are mortal unless we assume that Socrates is a man.

Fun conversation. Thanks for geeking out with me. Necessary assumptions are one of the more fascinating parts of the LSAT.


You can't conclude that Bevex is safe for people as long as they consume less than Xmouse unless you first determine that Xhuman<=Xmouse any more than you can determine the effects of Socrates' wardrobe on his mortality without making it up.

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:47 pm

Inferno wrote:You can't conclude that Bevex is safe for people as long as they consume less than Xmouse unless you first determine that Xhuman<=Xmouse any more than you can determine the effects of Socrates' wardrobe on his mortality without making it up.
You can conclude it from the premises given, but I agree that it's not assured we will (that's why the answer is a necessary assumption, not a sufficient one). Just because a necessary assumption doesn't fix every gap doesn't mean it's not necessary.

But, it sounds like you're smarter than me at logic, so I give! If you're out to prove that this answer is flawed, I think you'll find that the LSAT almost never writes a flawed question (later we can chew on what "almost never" means!). You're clearly bright, so it shouldn't be too hard for you to figure out what the LSAT is expecting, but I've found that arguing against the test doesn't help. Instead we must submit to our master, Law School Admission Council!

Good luck!

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby LSAT Blog » Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:07 pm

willwash wrote:
LSAT Blog wrote:
Clearlynotstefan wrote:The one question I think when I hear this great scorers post: Did you go to LS? Where? If no, why the fuck not?


Great question. I never went to law school, although I did consider it at one point. That's why I picked up the LSAT in the first place. (I've found that few look at it without some intention of going to law school.) I'd previously tutored a variety of other subjects/exams. I found that I had a particular knack for standardized tests, so it just seemed natural to start tutoring the LSAT. Of course, the LSAT is much more of a niche subject than most, and I found it far more complex than any other exam or subject I'd previously tutored. As such, my tutoring practice quickly became dominated by the LSAT.

I did actually looked into applying and even took a stab at writing a personal statement about why I wanted to go to law school. However, 75% of it ended up being about why I was cynical about the power of international institutions like the UN to accomplish anything meaningful. (Once upon a time, I lobbied government delegates at UN conferences and watched them nitpick for days, weeks even, over language in documents that had no binding authority.) After it was pointed out to me by friends/family that my personal statement seemed to indicate that I didn't really want to go to law school, I realized that I didn't. I enjoyed tutoring far more than whatever I imagined life as a lawyer might be like.

After relying on little more than word of mouth for my tutoring business, I decided to join the 21st century and start a website for my tutoring business. I don't really know how to build websites, but blogs are easy to set up, so that's the route I took. Since blogs require updates, I decided to start posting free LSAT tips each week. Over the years, I've invested so much work into developing prep materials, unintentionally memorizing the page numbers of various LSAT problems, diagrams, variable names, etc., that I can't imagine leaving it all to go to law school. (I don't imagine that it'd be easy to maintain the blog and devote the necessary attention to law school at the same time.) I love working on my blog, and I continue to find that the LSAT, and everything related to it, fascinates me far too much for me to consider leaving it for casebooks and legal documents.

I mean, I'm sure all the stuff you read in law school is great, too, and I'll bet there are several areas of law that I'd enjoy practicing. Criminal law has always appealed to me - I can't get enough of TV shows and movies that feature it. (And I'm sure they're completely accurate portrayals of what it'd be like on a daily basis, right?)

But I've already got something I truly enjoy, so why leave it behind?


What will you do when 1991 happens again and they totally reformat the test?


I think it's highly unlikely that LSAC will give the test a complete makeover anytime in the near future. The current format works well and serves as a reasonably good predictor of 1L grades.

However, if they did totally reformat the test, I suppose I'd just have to learn the new format :)

cripley50
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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby cripley50 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:57 pm

Can someone help me with this question? I cannot seem to figure out why D is correct.

PrepTest 25 (June 1998), LR 1, Section 2, Question 20

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby Dave Hall » Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:44 pm

cripley50 wrote:Can someone help me with this question? I cannot seem to figure out why D is correct.

PrepTest 25 (June 1998), LR 1, Section 2, Question 20

So, this physicist may be, like, a rocket scientist and all, but she's a really lame arguer.

First, we're told that if determinism were true, it would mean that everything is, well... determined ahead of time (first two sentences).

Then, she claims it can't be true because it is impossible to know everything.

Well, the fact that we can't know the precise conditions of the universe doesn't mean that the universe isn't in that precise condition! (I don't know where you like to eat dinner, but that doesn't mean you can't be eating dinner right now).

So, this physicist has confused the actual state of the universe with our knowledge about the state of the universe. Those two things are interdependent, but she acts like the impossibility of one (knowledge of the existence) indicates the impossibility of the other (actual existence).

Does that help?

d

Legallybronzed180
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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby Legallybronzed180 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:54 pm

Hi LSAT experts
Would you be able to explain question 27 from pt 65 reading comp. I am finding the answers choices to be ver confusing.
Thanks

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby matt@manhattanlsat » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:45 pm

Legallybronzed180 wrote:Hi LSAT experts
Would you be able to explain question 27 from pt 65 reading comp. I am finding the answers choices to be ver confusing.
Thanks


Here's the explanation written on our forum by one of our top instructors, Rina Goldfield...

This is a tricky question! We are asked to apply our understanding of the Netherlands study to a whole new scenario. More specifically, we need to consider the process of curtailing the growth of thistles, and identify an analogous situation. Before examining the answer choices, try to articulate a concise summary of this process. The process could be outlined like this:

• Introduce natural soil to restore the balance microorganisms underground
• Sow a broad variety of native plant seeds above ground
• As the native plants begin to flourish, thistles will be forced out

In other words, scientists suppressed the growth of thistles not by attacking the thistles themselves, but by supporting the growth of other species.

All of the answer choices concern the efforts of a newspaper to prevent Party A from winning a majority of seats in the legislature. Let’s see which method used by the newspaper is most similar to the process identified above.

(A) seems like it could fit. The newspaper undermines Party A by attempting to syphon votes away from it and towards a rival party. In other words, the newspaper bolsters an alternative to Party A, just as the Dutch scientists supported the growth of alternative species to thistles. Keep this answer choice for now.

(B) also seems like it could fit. Like answer choice (A), answer choice (B) describes a process of building support for an alternative to Party A. This approach is similar to the Dutch scientist’s process of curtailing the growth of thistles by supporting the growth of diverse species. Keep this answer choice for now, too.

(C) is less appealing than (A) or (B). Encouraging voters to stay home doesn’t clearly parallel the process of supporting microorganism diversity. Eliminate this answer choice.

(D) describes a process very different than the one used by the Dutch scientists. In this answer choice, the newspaper attacks Party A in editorial articles. The Dutch scientists never directly attacked the thistles. Eliminate this answer choice.

(E) also describes a process dissimilar to the one used to eliminate thistles. The newspaper tries to harm Party A by widening its internal divisions. The scientists described in the passage did not try to harm the thistles directly, but rather supported alternatives to it. Eliminate this answer choice.

We are left with answer choices (A) and (B). (B) is a better match because it describes the newspaper as directly nurturing an alternative to Party A. Answer choice (A), on the other hand, describes the newspaper as supporting other parties by redirecting support away from Party A. The Dutch scientists didn’t redirect nutrients away from thistles; rather, they nurtured the growth of other species. (B) is the correct answer.

For more information, check out the rest of the discussion here: http://www.manhattanlsat.com/forums/q27 ... 61187461b6

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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:56 pm

Just checking in to say thanks for doing this!

cripley50
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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby cripley50 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:02 pm

Dave Hall wrote:
cripley50 wrote:Can someone help me with this question? I cannot seem to figure out why D is correct.

PrepTest 25 (June 1998), LR 1, Section 2, Question 20

So, this physicist may be, like, a rocket scientist and all, but she's a really lame arguer.

First, we're told that if determinism were true, it would mean that everything is, well... determined ahead of time (first two sentences).

Then, she claims it can't be true because it is impossible to know everything.

Well, the fact that we can't know the precise conditions of the universe doesn't mean that the universe isn't in that precise condition! (I don't know where you like to eat dinner, but that doesn't mean you can't be eating dinner right now).

So, this physicist has confused the actual state of the universe with our knowledge about the state of the universe. Those two things are interdependent, but she acts like the impossibility of one (knowledge of the existence) indicates the impossibility of the other (actual existence).

Does that help?

d


It does.

I got this question correct, but only by eliminating the other answer choices.

Two follow ups:

1. Is the physicist more or less trying to say that the ability to know and/or knowing the complete state of the universe is necessary for a universe to exist? More broadly, that the ability to know something is necessary for that thing to exist e.g., that polar bears live in the arctic circle is dependent on my knowing that they live there?

2. I seem to have trouble with questions like this i.e., questions w/ terrible arguments. I read the argument in the stimulus and more or less say "WGAS. How the hell does that argument do anything to (in this case) determinism?!" The main premise so clearly does nothing to determinism that I don't spot it as the flaw.

Obviously, in the future when I come across a bogus premise I need to identify that as the flaw. Do you have any other tips?

Instinctive
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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby Instinctive » Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:42 pm

What do you suggest test takers do in the last couple of days leading up to the test? Review PTs, drill a weak area, tips for relaxation?

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Dave Hall
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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby Dave Hall » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:26 pm

cripley50 wrote:Two follow ups:

1. Is the physicist more or less trying to say that the ability to know and/or knowing the complete state of the universe is necessary for a universe to exist? More broadly, that the ability to know something is necessary for that thing to exist e.g., that polar bears live in the arctic circle is dependent on my knowing that they live there?

2. I seem to have trouble with questions like this i.e., questions w/ terrible arguments. I read the argument in the stimulus and more or less say "WGAS. How the hell does that argument do anything to (in this case) determinism?!" The main premise so clearly does nothing to determinism that I don't spot it as the flaw.

Obviously, in the future when I come across a bogus premise I need to identify that as the flaw. Do you have any other tips?


Hey,

1. Yeah, that seems to be what she's saying. Thing is, it's such a bad argument that assigning intent probably isn't very useful. But for whatever reason, the physicist says that things cannot be determined because we cannot know what they're like. Just like with the polar bears.

2. I find that a hyper-structural, sort of mathematical reading works best. It's almost like I'm not thinking about what the words mean; in most instances, I'm just saying: "Wait; this is an argument about how things are. Why are we now talking about what we know?"

I have loads of other tips!

Now, I'm going to post one in the "Just the Tip" thread I started a while back.

Edit: that thread is here.
Last edited by Dave Hall on Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Dave Hall
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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby Dave Hall » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:51 pm

Instinctive wrote:What do you suggest test takers do in the last couple of days leading up to the test? Review PTs, drill a weak area, tips for relaxation?

Hi!

Here's an excerpt from my test-week podcast that may help:

First: What to bring.

It helps to have a list that you can check off - we’ve split our list into three parts.

Part One. The four things you must have:
your driver’s license
your test-day ticket from lsac.org (print it the night before the test)
your passport photo
12 sharpened #2 pencils (no mechanical pencils are allowed!)

Part Two. The three things you should also have:
a small bottle of water
a snack for the break (a banana and a granola bar)
an analog wristwatch (no digital timers are allowed!)

Part Three. The three things you may have:
tissues (if you’re prone to sniffles)
tylenol (take a preemptive dose if you’re prone to tension headaches)
highlighter (though why anyone would want to switch between pencil and highlighter and back again during a test is beyond us)

And then, there’s the things you’re not allowed to bring:
mechanical pencils
butterfly knives
digital timers
earplugs
handguns
cell phones
ballpeen hammers

So, with your list checked off, we can start thinking about what’s ahead. This week is about having the opportunity to do something really great. Everything that you do for the next few days should be in service of getting into the mental space most conducive to kicking the test in the nuts.

This week, make sure you get to bed early and wake early, even if that’s not your normal habit. Make sure you eat healthful, balanced meals at regular intervals. Make sure that you get some exercise and some fresh air.

Here’s a suggestion for your final-week prep:

Every day, plan for two possible study sessions; one in the morning, and one in the evening. These will be short sessions - one or two test sections for each session.

View each session as an opportunity to succeed - it’s not a learning exercise anymore. In the morning, take a section (or two back-to-back). Grade them. If you do well (and at this point, you know what “well” means for you), then relax; you're done for the day! Spend some time reviewing any misses, but reward your performance with a pat on your back - you’ve earned it.

If, however, you do less than your expectations, remind yourself that the evening will bring another chance for success. Spend some time thinking about where your mistakes came from, and re-confirm what you will do in your evening session to overcome. If your evening session goes well, reward yourself with a frosty beer and get a good night's sleep. If your evening session goes poorly, remind yourself that tomorrow will give you the chance for redemption. Study your miscues, and plan for a morning session that will erase the bad performance of the night before.

Next day, repeat these exercises, keeping your focus on gliding through the work, knowing that success brings rewards and failure brings the opportunity for future success.

On the morning of the test, expect that there will be nerves, and maybe moments of full-on panic. Congratulations; this means that you are human. The test is a big deal, and you know it, and your body knows it, too.

You cannot stop the nerves by asking them politely to leave, but you can trust your training, know the nerves are coming, watch them come toward you, move over you, and pass. The nerves do not define you - what you do in their face is what says who you are. This is a chance for you to rise to the occasion, to meet the moment. Make yourself proud.

I hope this helps,

d

Instinctive
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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby Instinctive » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:13 am

^ Thanks, Dave. Appreciate it!

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BlaqBella
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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby BlaqBella » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:15 am

PT5, Section 1, Q12.

I chose A. Please explain how the correct answer choice fits into this sufficient assumption question. The correct answer choice sounds more like a strengthener!

Manhattan LSAT Noah
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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:10 pm

BlaqBella wrote:PT5, Section 1, Q12.

I chose A. Please explain how the correct answer choice fits into this sufficient assumption question. The correct answer choice sounds more like a strengthener!

As I posted on our forums - http://www.manhattanlsat.com/forums/q12 ... t4209.html? - I actually was just recently struggling with that question. I'm not too in love with it, myself. Good eye! Maybe some other geek has some slick way of thinking about it that I'm not seeing.

TTX
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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby TTX » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:28 am

Can someone show me how to take the contrapositive of the following conditional statement?

Original: If A but not B, then C.

It's from PT 62 (Dec. 2010), LR 1, Question 19.
I choose the wrong answer choice E, and I wonder why is it wrong for me to conclude that: if ~C, then either ~A or B.

Much thanks!

cripley50
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Re: LSAT Q&A: Ask the Experts

Postby cripley50 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:40 pm

Dave Hall wrote:
cripley50 wrote:Two follow ups:

1. Is the physicist more or less trying to say that the ability to know and/or knowing the complete state of the universe is necessary for a universe to exist? More broadly, that the ability to know something is necessary for that thing to exist e.g., that polar bears live in the arctic circle is dependent on my knowing that they live there?

2. I seem to have trouble with questions like this i.e., questions w/ terrible arguments. I read the argument in the stimulus and more or less say "WGAS. How the hell does that argument do anything to (in this case) determinism?!" The main premise so clearly does nothing to determinism that I don't spot it as the flaw.

Obviously, in the future when I come across a bogus premise I need to identify that as the flaw. Do you have any other tips?


Hey,

1. Yeah, that seems to be what she's saying. Thing is, it's such a bad argument that assigning intent probably isn't very useful. But for whatever reason, the physicist says that things cannot be determined because we cannot know what they're like. Just like with the polar bears.

2. I find that a hyper-structural, sort of mathematical reading works best. It's almost like I'm not thinking about what the words mean; in most instances, I'm just saying: "Wait; this is an argument about how things are. Why are we now talking about what we know?"

I have loads of other tips!

Now, I'm going to post one in the "Just the Tip" thread I started a while back.

Edit: that thread is here.


Thanks again for your your help Dave.




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