How To Do 69 Properly

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Dave Hall
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How To Do 69 Properly

Postby Dave Hall » Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:21 pm

So, the term leading up to PrepTest 69 (and the release of June 2013 test scores) was awesome for me:

My students did great work, I got my third 180, and then Andy Murray won Wimbledon.

Anyway, I intended to start this sooner, but you know, you do what you can. I thought it might be fun to go through that test (by which I mean 69. And yes, I am not going to pass up any possible opportunity to talk about 69. PrepTest 69).

I'll start with the Logical Reasoning section, because I think that's most interesting.

If you guys are into it, keep reading and I'll keep posting.

I'm going to pick questions I think are especially instructive - if there's something you'd like to see, let me know! Also, if you'd like to ask me a question about something different from PrepTest 69 (see? Did it again!), shoot away; I'm in.

I'm here to help.

d

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Dave Hall
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Re: How To Do 69 Properly

Postby Dave Hall » Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:21 pm

69.1.6

This is what I call a Sufficient Assumption question.

Here, we expect an argument that presents us a hole the size of a damn Brinks truck, and this passage does not disappoint in that regard.

Our job is to fix that hole - to provide an answer that will make the argument whole (see what I did there? IT’S BECAUSE I’M PUNNY).

So, let’s start by examining what it is we’re trying to prove: The conclusion is that the figurines cannot be reclassified as toys, but must remain collector’s items.

Why not? Well, the only bit of evidence we’re given, in the last sentence, is that those figures were marketed not as toys, but as collector’s items.

So I try to make the work visual by writing down the following:

~M (this is my abbreviation for “not Marketed as a toy”)

Thus ~C (my abbreviation for “not Classified as a toy”)

The problem comes, of course, when the evidence doesn’t fully demonstrate the truth of the conclusion. I mean, what does marketing have to do with tariff classification? And that’s where the right answer to this question comes in; it will prove the conclusion true.

I’ll use a bit of symbolic logic here (if you’re not down with that yet, you may want to watch the free video lessons on the subject starting here).

If I want to get to ~C from ~M, the quickest way to do it would be to connect them conditionally:

~M → ~C

Or, contrapositive:

C → M

In English, that would say “Classification depends on Marketing”.

And, hey - look at answer choice (A)!

Huzzah! Huzzah, I say.

Questions? Sock ‘em to me. I’ll be back with more, so if you’re interested, keep checking back.

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guano
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Re: How To Do 69 Properly

Postby guano » Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:48 pm

Dave Hall wrote:Photoshop

Fixed

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Dave Hall
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Re: How To Do 69 Properly

Postby Dave Hall » Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:55 pm

69.1.7

The thing I like about this question (it's a Necessary Assumption question, for those of you keeping score at home) is the clear instance of what I refer to as a False Choice flaw.

By my count, this is the fourth-most-common error in reasoning on the test (your count will vary a bit depending on how you classify things). The False Choice is that hot mess that happens when you try to argue by enumeration. Like this:

"I want to impress that girl. But I don't have the moves like Jagger, and I have only a wee willie (baseball card. Why? What were you thinking about?), so I need to do really well on the LSAT."

First, you might notice that there's certainly an assumption involved here about how much--or whether--a big LSAT score impresses girls. But even if we were to grant that it does*, why is that the thing you need to do? I mean, why not learn how to be funny? Or work up some feats of strength? Wear cologne? Drive a bitchin' Camaro? Grow some facial hair? Bathe properly?

For me, the most striking feature of the argument is the false choice it indicates: it assumes, without offering any evidence, that you must either have (A) Jagger-moves, (B) more than a wee willie (baseball card!), or else (C) a high LSAT score. The argument fails because it just assumes that those are the only three options for impressing girls. In order for this technique--ticking items off a list--to be successful, you've got to know what all your options are.

Same thing in Question 7 here.

The photos came out bad. Then we argue that if (A) the film was OK, if (B) the camera was OK, and if (C) the customer handled the film right, then the mistake must have been due to the store's processing technique.

This is a False Choice; maybe it was the store's fault, but only if we assume that those are the only four ways a photo can go bad.

Answer choice (B) states that assumption, and is therefore the right answer.

Questions about this?

Sock 'em to me.


*IT TOTALLY DOES.

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t-14orbust
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Re: How To Do 69 Properly

Postby t-14orbust » Sat Jul 27, 2013 5:56 pm

Just try to imagine what my face looked like when I read the title to this post on the active topics page.

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Dave Hall
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Re: How To Do 69 Properly

Postby Dave Hall » Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:08 pm

t-14orbust wrote:Just try to imagine what my face looked like when I read the title to this post on the active topics page.

Like this?

Image

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Re: How To Do 69 Properly

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:21 pm

t-14orbust wrote:Just try to imagine what my face looked like when I read the title to this post on the active topics page.


But then I opened it, and I got really disappointed

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Dave Hall
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Re: How To Do 69 Properly

Postby Dave Hall » Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:26 pm

Yeah, I would've been all Colbert-y, but my wife, upon learning the title, was more like this:

Image

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Re: How To Do 69 Properly

Postby kaiser » Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:30 pm

Well, young padawan, I shall explain...

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Re: How To Do 69 Properly

Postby Daily_Double » Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:42 pm

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Last edited by Daily_Double on Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Dave Hall
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Re: How To Do 69 Properly

Postby Dave Hall » Sat Jul 27, 2013 6:54 pm

Daily_Double wrote:Dave, out of morbid curiosity, what was your experimental?

Logical Reasoning.

It was my middle of three LR sections, and I agonized forever over a parallel question asking for a similar flaw, but I couldn't see a flaw in the argument. It was like this:

"The investigators haven't proved that black ice caused the accident. Nor have they proved that driver error caused the accident. Therefore, they have not proved that the accident was caused by either black ice or driver error."*

That's really a pretty good paraphrase; I remember it well because I skipped the question and came back and spent the last 7 or 8 minutes I had remaining just trying to figure it out.

In case you're interested, my personal preference for Exp, in descending order, is:

Games
LR
RC

BECAUSE READING IS BOOOAARRING.


*Edited so as to reflect the nature of the argument without disseminating copyrighted material.
Last edited by Dave Hall on Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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t-14orbust
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Re: How To Do 69 Properly

Postby t-14orbust » Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:00 pm

Dave Hall wrote:
Daily_Double wrote:Dave, out of morbid curiosity, what was your experimental?

Logical Reasoning.

It was my middle of three LR sections, and I agonized forever over a parallel question asking for a similar flaw, but I couldn't see a flaw in the argument. It was like this:

"The park rangers haven't proved that lightning started the fire. Nor have they proved that campers started the fire. Therefore, they have not proved that the fire was started by either lightning or campers."

That's really a pretty good paraphrase; I remember it well because I skipped the question and came back and spent the last 7 or 8 minutes I had remaining just trying to figure it out.

In case you're interested, my personal preference for Exp, in descending order, is:

Games
LR
RC

BECAUSE READING IS BOOOAARRING.


I think the flaw is that just because they haven't proved that either one of them specifically started the fire, it does not mean that they haven't proved that the fire was started by one or the other. As in, they could have proved(perhaps proving that any other cause was impossible, does it really matter?) that those were the only two possible fire-starters, without proving that either one specifically started the fire. Not sure if that makes sense, I would make a horrible LSAT teacher.

maybe this makes more sense:
P: cookie went missing from the cookie jar between 10 and 10:30
P: only a person in the kitchen between 10 and 10:30 could have taken/eaten/whatever else to cause said cookie to go missing

I haven't proved that Jason caused the cookie to go missing. I haven't proved that Johnny caused the cookie to go missing.

However, I have proved that Johnny and Jason were the only people in the kitchen between 10 and 10:30, and therefore have proved that either Jason or Johnny caused the cookie to go missing.
Last edited by t-14orbust on Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: How To Do 69 Properly

Postby Daily_Double » Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:06 pm

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Last edited by Daily_Double on Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How To Do 69 Properly

Postby t-14orbust » Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:13 pm

Daily_Double wrote:Dave, I remember that one as well. It reminded me of an LR question about fingerprints and footprints, though that one was a S/A question if I remember correctly, which was also about narrowing down a list of suspects in a way. I'm sure you already know this, but this one is flawed because while they don't know that A or B caused a certain outcome, it is possible that we narrowed down a list of suspects to only A or B. So while we don't have sufficient evidence to prove that A or B was the cause, it would be flawed to say that we haven't proved that either caused the outcome because the argument does not show that we have, or have not, ruled out all other causes. Perhaps we did, if so, the argument would collapse, or maybe we didn't, the argument assumes there exist other potential causes.

I completely agree with your ordered list of experimental sections, I only asked because there was a real pain of an RC experimental section that some, myself included, fell victim to, and I was wondering what other high scorers thought about that section as well. But since you didn't take it, I'll just keep wondering.


A much better explanation than my own lol

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Otunga
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Re: How To Do 69 Properly

Postby Otunga » Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:19 pm

Daily_Double wrote:Dave, I remember that one as well. It reminded me of an LR question about fingerprints and footprints, though that one was a S/A question if I remember correctly, which was also about narrowing down a list of suspects in a way. I'm sure you already know this, but this one is flawed because while they don't know that A or B caused a certain outcome, it is possible that we narrowed down a list of suspects to only A or B. So while we don't have sufficient evidence to prove that A or B was the cause, it would be flawed to say that we haven't proved that either caused the outcome because the argument does not show that we have, or have not, ruled out all other causes. Perhaps we did, if so, the argument would collapse, or maybe we didn't, the argument assumes there exist other potential causes.

I completely agree with your ordered list of experimental sections, I only asked because there was a real pain of an RC experimental section that some, myself included, fell victim to, and I was wondering what other high scorers thought about that section as well. But since you didn't take it, I'll just keep wondering.


Got this question right through POE, more or less doing it like a valid parallel question because I didn't see any concrete flaw. It seemed a reasonable conclusion to me.

Daily, you say that we can't rule out the possibility that we narrowed down the list of potential causes to A or B, and I agree. But I'm having trouble seeing your characterization of the flaw.

While we haven't yet proven A or B, we still could prove it. But the argument isn't denying that we still could prove it; all it's saying is that we haven't yet proven it, and that's valid to conclude. If the conclusion instead said something like 'so they've proven that x was not caused by x or y', then I'd say there's a clear flaw, as that's the classic absence of evidence flaw. As it stands, I don't see a flaw. Am I misunderstanding something? Your characterization suggests to me that, sure, there's no sufficient evidence to prove the causal relationship, but we may have every reason to believe that it's either one or the other and we've got evidence to support it. And now it's just a matter of putting all the particulars together. So no, the argument isn't warranted to conclude that they haven't proven the cause(s). Maybe they have but they just can't identify the exact nature of this particular event. Is this along the lines of what you're getting at?

Here's another thought. Could we perhaps say that while we haven't proven x or y is the cause, couldn't it still be the case that x and y worked in conjunction with each other to collectively cause the event? It doesn't appear we can rule out that possibility. And if we can't, then we can't conclude with certainty that they've not proven that the event was caused by x or y just because there's a lack of evidence for either x or y independently causing the event.

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Re: How To Do 69 Properly

Postby BigZuck » Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:35 pm

Daily_Double wrote:Dave, out of morbid curiosity, what was your experimental?


This + thread title

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Re: How To Do 69 Properly

Postby Daily_Double » Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:27 am

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Last edited by Daily_Double on Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How To Do 69 Properly

Postby Otunga » Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:17 am

Appreciate the post, DD. The Bateman example made it ultra-clear.

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Dave Hall
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Re: How To Do 69 Properly

Postby Dave Hall » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:11 pm

Oh, well done, Daily_Double (and t-14orbust)!

And D_D, please don't worry at all about sidetracking anything; I'm certainly of the mind that the best use of this space is to build a community in which we can interact.

Man, I got stuck but good on this one. I must have read it 30 times, but I could not jump out of my rut. Every time, this is what I saw: "They haven't proved that A caused it, and they haven't proved that B caused it, so they haven't proved that A caused it and they haven't proved that B caused it," AND IT WAS A GODDAMN CIRCLE GOING ROUND AND ROUND SAYING THE SAME THING.

Now, it's very clear: It's entirely possible that they have proved that the cause was either A or B, even if they haven't been able to prove which one of them it was.

Image

Has that happened to you guys, too? I've encountered it before in my own work, but always in the past, just moving on and then coming back was enough to clear my brain. This time, uggh.

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Dave Hall
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Re: How To Do 69 Properly

Postby Dave Hall » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:13 pm

69.1.13

This is what I refer to (rather presumptuously, I imagine) as a Strengthen Question.

Here's my expectation for all such questions: We will make the argument stronger by asserting one of its assumptions. In other words, we will suggest that one of the necessary but missing pieces of evidence is in fact true.

Here, we've been told that the tools are in the well on top of the coins in the well, and we've concluded that the tools must therefore be younger than the coins ("younger" meaning that they were thrown in more recently).

But, really? Just because one's on top doesn't make it necessarily younger than the one underneath (you insert your own Jack Nicholson joke here. I'm not broaching the subject.).

This argument has assumed that whatever's on top must be younger. We'll make that argument better by asserting that this assumption is true; by saying that the only way for the coins to be under the tools is if they were older than the tools.

Now, look: If answer choice (B) is true, then it does the job! It confirms our assumption - the coins must have been put in the well before the tools.

Et voila! We're home.

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Re: How To Do 69 Properly

Postby t-14orbust » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:28 pm

Dave Hall wrote:Oh, well done, Daily_Double (and t-14orbust)!

And D_D, please don't worry at all about sidetracking anything; I'm certainly of the mind that the best use of this space is to build a community in which we can interact.

Man, I got stuck but good on this one. I must have read it 30 times, but I could not jump out of my rut. Every time, this is what I saw: "They haven't proved that A caused it, and they haven't proved that B caused it, so they haven't proved that A caused it and they haven't proved that B caused it," AND IT WAS A GODDAMN CIRCLE GOING ROUND AND ROUND SAYING THE SAME THING.

Now, it's very clear: It's entirely possible that they have proved that the cause was either A or B, even if they haven't been able to prove which one of them it was.

Image

Has that happened to you guys, too? I've encountered it before in my own work, but always in the past, just moving on and then coming back was enough to clear my brain. This time, uggh.


This would happen to me occasionally on some of the more difficult or wordy LR questions. I would either misread or misunderstand something and wrack my brain over it, wasting precious time. Skipping the question and coming back usually helps give me a fresh outlook and gets me out of the thought-loop. Going over this stuff kind of makes me want to just take the Oct LSAT for the hell of it lol.

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Re: How To Do 69 Properly

Postby the_pakalypse » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:18 pm

Daily_Double wrote:I completely agree with your ordered list of experimental sections, I only asked because there was a real pain of an RC experimental section that some, myself included, fell victim to, and I was wondering what other high scorers thought about that section as well. But since you didn't take it, I'll just keep wondering.


I got a first RC experimental: volcano ashes, something?, making literature more evidence informed, some historical passage.

If it was the same, I didn't find it too be bad TBH. I actually thought it was kind of easy so I knew it was going to be an experimental.

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Re: How To Do 69 Properly

Postby Daily_Double » Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:55 pm

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Last edited by Daily_Double on Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How To Do 69 Properly

Postby the_pakalypse » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:55 pm

Daily_Double wrote:
the_pakalypse wrote:
Daily_Double wrote:I completely agree with your ordered list of experimental sections, I only asked because there was a real pain of an RC experimental section that some, myself included, fell victim to, and I was wondering what other high scorers thought about that section as well. But since you didn't take it, I'll just keep wondering.


I got a first RC experimental: volcano ashes, something?, making literature more evidence informed, some historical passage.

If it was the same, I didn't find it too be bad TBH. I actually thought it was kind of easy so I knew it was going to be an experimental.


That doesn't ring any bells. I barely remember what mine was about. But, I do remember some kind of feminism passage and another on clans maybe? Either way, in my opinion, it was definitely not easy. It was actually so dense, and some of the questions were so tricky, that I actually concluded that it was too difficult to be real. But I wondered if it was until I saw the real RC section. I've come to terms with it now and I won't sweat the sections and individual questions as much when I retake in October, but I was just wondering what other high scorers thought of it. If we had the same section, then congrats, you nailed it, but I had a rough time with it. I'd pay money to see it again though.


Damn, sounds like I got lucky.

OH there might have been a native passage on mine. Yes, the second passage was about natives. Maybe a question about furs. Natives and definition of land ownership.

Yeah the important thing is to not let a section worry you.

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Re: How To Do 69 Properly

Postby KD35 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:06 am

Title 180.
Topic 150.




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