RC Inference/Synthesis Questions are Murder! PT60

JohnWycliffe
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Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:35 pm

RC Inference/Synthesis Questions are Murder! PT60

Postby JohnWycliffe » Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:19 pm

Sometimes when I look down at a RC problem, I see five wrong answers - that is none of the answers contain information that's directly approved of, either explicitly or through the rationale presented, in the passage. The LSAC in these questions seems to want to ask you to climb out of your usual approach to answer LSAT questions and stretch the boundaries of what you think is acceptable as an LSAT answer.

In LR questions, most of the time, though not always, correct answers can be arrived at simply by doing logic and reading the text.

Generally in LR problems, though not always, if an answer directly contradicts the text, you should eliminate it. If an answer goes off on a tangent about information not in the text, and the question doesn't say if true or purposefully invites tangential information, you should eliminate it.

The second part doesn't always apply in RC problems.

Case in point, RC questions 9, 15, 20 on PT60.

6: The correct answer (E) in RC question 6 has to do with increasing per capita grocery stores. The passage in question never mentions anything relating to per capita grocery stores, to store-person ratio, or even to idea that there should be more stores in the community. All it says is that stores and homes in communities should be closer together and that there should be open public spaces with those stores in suburban towns. There's a huge distinction between what the passage says the experts want and what the answer says the experts want. Yet (E) is the correct answer. The LSAT seems to ask you to make a leap of logic. I answered A on this question because I thought it was a slightly lesser leap of logic (experts think traffic based zoning laws are bad so it seems reasonable that they would want to eliminate those laws).

15: The correct answer (A) in RC question 19 states a worldwide boycott is the motivation for a form of theater. The problem for me is that the passage never states this. All the passages says is that the year the boycott gained recognition and the year the form of theater was created is the same. LSAT wants you to make a leap of logic. Here I answered (D) because at the very least, the passage says that scholars focused on Cesar Chavez's movement, even if it doesn't say anything about whether or not they focused on the theater movement.

20: Here I am just looking to illustrate my point/difficulty. The correct answer (C) talks about comedy being a prominent feature of Chicano theater. The passage states that the theater form "actos" became a quintessential form of Chicano theater and the that "actos" contained brief comic statements. That doesn't actually mean comedy was a prominent feature of Chicano theater. Brief comic statements does not make a play necessarily a comedy, and neither are they necessarily prominent. There seems to be a leap of logic here although I got the question correct.

The point is this, there are questions in the reading comprehension test where the correct answer asks you to make a leap of logic. I am not approching these questions correctly, in a way that allows me to achieve any sort of consistency. How do you tackle the existence of these questions on the LSAT?

bp shinners
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Re: RC Inference/Synthesis Questions are Murder! PT60

Postby bp shinners » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:07 pm

JohnWycliffe wrote:In LR questions, most of the time, though not always, correct answers can be arrived at simply by doing logic and reading the text.


I would argue that they can all be reached by simply using logic and the text (with the exception of Resolve/Explain questions, which are a little 'looser' with allowing you to bring in outside info).

6: The correct answer (E) in RC question 6 has to do with increasing per capita grocery stores. The passage in question never mentions anything relating to per capita grocery stores, to store-person ratio, or even to idea that there should be more stores in the community. All it says is that stores and homes in communities should be closer together and that there should be open public spaces with those stores in suburban towns. There's a huge distinction between what the passage says the experts want and what the answer says the experts want. Yet (E) is the correct answer. The LSAT seems to ask you to make a leap of logic. I answered A on this question because I thought it was a slightly lesser leap of logic (experts think traffic based zoning laws are bad so it seems reasonable that they would want to eliminate those laws).


But it says that these things should be small (in the case of schools) and within walking distance. If you want to find a suburban center and make the stuff smaller and within walking distance, you're going to have to make more of them. I don't see a leap of logic there at all.

As opposed to A, where they give you one negative of traffic-based zoning laws (they separate communities), and then A throws them out altogether. That's a huge jump, and one that you can't make.

15: The correct answer (A) in RC question 19 states a worldwide boycott is the motivation for a form of theater. The problem for me is that the passage never states this. All the passages says is that the year the boycott gained recognition and the year the form of theater was created is the same. LSAT wants you to make a leap of logic. Here I answered (D) because at the very least, the passage says that scholars focused on Cesar Chavez's movement, even if it doesn't say anything about whether or not they focused on the theater movement.


No leap of logic here either. That sentence functions within a larger paragraph. That second paragraph is clearly intended to show how the development of TC came out of the strike/social unrest. Even if you disagree with the success of that statement accomplishing that role, the author clearly feels that it serves that role in the passage. When asked about the function of a sentence, that's asking about what role the author intended it to serve.

D is invalidated by the first sentence of the next paragraph, where we're told that Yolanda wrote a book on theater history, and she had enough of a body of work from theater historians to criticize. The sentence in question also isn't put in there by the author to prove anything about theater historians - where do you see in the text him making that argument? You have to keep sight of what the question is asking in RC.

20: Here I am just looking to illustrate my point/difficulty. The correct answer (C) talks about comedy being a prominent feature of Chicano theater. The passage states that the theater form "actos" became a quintessential form of Chicano theater and the that "actos" contained brief comic statements. That doesn't actually mean comedy was a prominent feature of Chicano theater. Brief comic statements does not make a play necessarily a comedy, and neither are they necessarily prominent. There seems to be a leap of logic here although I got the question correct.


Prominent: Situated so as to catch the attention; noticeable

Valdez said an acto should use a brief comic statement to expose a problem. If the brief comic statement is exposing the problem the entire acto is designed to solve, it must be noticeable. So prominent is a good description of it. No leap again.

The point is this, there are questions in the reading comprehension test where the correct answer asks you to make a leap of logic. I am not approching these questions correctly, in a way that allows me to achieve any sort of consistency. How do you tackle the existence of these questions on the LSAT?


I think you're approaching these incorrectly by thinking that the LSAT is making leaps of logic, and thus they're not fair questions. They are fair questions, and there are quotes from the passage that directly support the answer choices. I think you've narrowed your view of what's acceptable as an AC on the LSAT too much (which is a common problem people run into once they realize that most people normally are too loose with their logic).




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