Science questions are unfair

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walterwhite
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Science questions are unfair

Postby walterwhite » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:40 am

Just did question 13 from prep test 28 and it was total horse shit. It didn't have long complex scientific words-it was about warm-blooded birds and cold-blooded prehistoric birds. Still, it was impossible for me to get the correct answer (E) because I'm not Bill Nye. I thought the discussion of "genes" in choice E went way beyond the scope of the question. I assumed just because the birds have the "gene" for both traits doesn't mean they actually have both traits discussed in the stimulus (growth rings and dense blood vessels). Apparently not.

I was going to post the question but I'm not sure if I'm allowed to under the rules of the forum. Rest assured it's total fucking horse shit.

Chriz
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Re: Science questions are unfair

Postby Chriz » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:55 am

It can suck sometimes. On the other hand, I had an RC today involving magnetic fields and the ocean floor. I could have answered every question without reading the passage just because of what I already know about it. I wonder if that happens a lot if you know about the topic in question.

RodneyRuxin
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Re: Science questions are unfair

Postby RodneyRuxin » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:58 am

I had no science background and struggled on RC science questions as a result of being less-familiar with the topics. I think the LSAT is a bit biased in this regard.

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guano
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Re: Science questions are unfair

Postby guano » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:30 am

You don't need to have a science background to answer any question. However, the LSAT science questions do assume you know the basics - ie what you should have learned in high school

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RobertGolddust
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Re: Science questions are unfair

Postby RobertGolddust » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:38 am

If it's any consolation, 3 out of the 4 RC passages math and science majors encounter are probably unfamiliar.

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ScottRiqui
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Re: Science questions are unfair

Postby ScottRiqui » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:42 am

Chriz wrote:It can suck sometimes. On the other hand, I had an RC today involving magnetic fields and the ocean floor. I could have answered every question without reading the passage just because of what I already know about it. I wonder if that happens a lot if you know about the topic in question.


I would have thought so, but in my RC section, three of the four questions I missed were on a passage where I was intimately familiar with the topic. But, most of the questions I missed weren't really about the subject; they were crap like "what's the author's tone in writing the passage?"

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walterwhite
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Re: Science questions are unfair

Postby walterwhite » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:42 am

guano wrote:You don't need to have a science background to answer any question. However, the LSAT science questions do assume you know the basics - ie what you should have learned in high school


last time I dealt with animals and biology was 9th grade. the material isn't exactly fresh in my mind. would it kill the LSAT people to throw in a few history passages?

tomwatts
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Re: Science questions are unfair

Postby tomwatts » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:09 am

If the topic of the passage makes a difference in how well you do on the passage, you're doing RC passages wrong. Same — except much, much more so — in LR.

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Brettanomyces
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Re: Science questions are unfair

Postby Brettanomyces » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:24 am

tomwatts wrote:If the topic of the passage makes a difference in how well you do on the passage, you're doing RC passages wrong. Same — except much, much more so — in LR.


I disagree, at least for RC. Most prep material will tell you that familiarity with the subject matter can be slightly beneficial when answering questions. A lot of the questions feature complex language and understanding them can have a little to do with comprehension, and a little with prior exposure to the subject, imo. I can handle science and mathematical concepts much easier than those concerning the law or humanities.

bilbaosan
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Re: Science questions are unfair

Postby bilbaosan » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:33 am

RodneyRuxin wrote:I had no science background and struggled on RC science questions as a result of being less-familiar with the topics. I think the LSAT is a bit biased in this regard.


I have the science background and I do much better on those questions comparing to humanities or social science stuff.

What I can't understand is why RC doesn't just include four law questions. I don't really see how the ability to comprehend a passage about Mexican mural art (a really cool one I had to admit) could be indicative of one's ability to comprehend the law school materials in any way. I've read the first year textbook and there is nothing about art at all. In fact they're WAY easier to read than half of RC and 80% of LR questions.

So there are two possibilities:

1. LSAC believes that RC is an universal skill, and someone who is good in reading should be able to do good job with any material. Now this would be correct if there was a dictionary and no time limit. It is obvious that you can read the passage for the structure and brush off the words, but you can't do the same with questions, and they eat your time. So this doesn't look a reasonable belief.

2. Someone who sucked in law passages sued or threatened to sue LSAC because they believed they were unfairly prejudiced by the test. This doesn't look very believable either, as it wouldn't be difficult for LSAC to convince a judge that the passages about law are relevant for a future law school student, so using this as a criteria wouldn't be illegal discrimination.

Any other?

Trajectory
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Re: Science questions are unfair

Postby Trajectory » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:20 am

Ah sometimes the science stuff trips me up too. I did this question though and first thing that popped in my head after reading the stimulus was that theres some underlying "thing" that gives way to the bird having both dense vessels and rings. Happened to be E. Other choices dont really address both issues.

On another note I very much prefer the science stuff on the LSAT in comparison to art and humanities which drive me INSANE. In RC once they start blabbing on about some classic artwork or movement I literally want to drive nails through my eyes. Needless to say my 90% of my mistakes on RC come from that.

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finnandjake2
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Re: Science questions are unfair

Postby finnandjake2 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:50 am

I'm personally glad I didn't have to read 4 passages about art historians. Having passages from different categories increases the chance that everyone will read something they are familiar with. Science ones can be tough but I personally find the language in some of the other types to be more unfamiliar. FWIW I didn't major in sciences but I did take a few science courses my freshman year so it wasn't as bad as OP's lack of science familiarity between 9th grade and now.

Thankfully RC is only 1/4 of the test!

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mephistopheles
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Re: Science questions are unfair

Postby mephistopheles » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:57 am

Worst sections easily involve women authors or the like.

bp shinners
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Re: Science questions are unfair

Postby bp shinners » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:01 am

There are exceedingly few questions where prior scientific knowledge actively helps. What most people experience is that their brain just shuts off when they see science mentioned, whereas people who have spent years with similar material are more confident in their ability to comprehend it, so they can keep themselves focused instead of having their brain tell them that they'll never understand it. As someone above said, if you're approaching RC so that the actual science matters, you're doing it wrong.

This is why I recommend anyone who has the chance to take a Survey of Scientific Literature class. It'll get you used to reading scientific material. You won't be as fluent as someone who spent 3 years doing research, but your brain will no longer close down as soon as you see the word "mitochondria". And if you can get past that hurdle, the science passages will cease to be an issue.

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patfeeney
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Re: Science questions are unfair

Postby patfeeney » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:13 am

walterwhite wrote:Just did question 13 from prep test 28 and it was total horse shit. It didn't have long complex scientific words-it was about warm-blooded birds and cold-blooded prehistoric birds. Still, it was impossible for me to get the correct answer (E) because I'm not Bill Nye. I thought the discussion of "genes" in choice E went way beyond the scope of the question. I assumed just because the birds have the "gene" for both traits doesn't mean they actually have both traits discussed in the stimulus (growth rings and dense blood vessels). Apparently not.

I was going to post the question but I'm not sure if I'm allowed to under the rules of the forum. Rest assured it's total fucking horse shit.


At least you're not consistently getting only 2-3 wrong per RC section, and all three of those questions coming from the Legal passages.

That would be just embarrassing.

:x

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bbkk
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Re: Science questions are unfair

Postby bbkk » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:14 pm

Chriz wrote:It can suck sometimes. On the other hand,
I had an RC today involving magnetic fields and the ocean floor.
I could have answered every question without reading the passage just because of what I already know about it. I wonder if that happens a lot if you know about the topic in question.



Screw magnetic fields and ocean floor! Actually I find most science passages are fine but i just HATE ocean floor/continental drift etc.

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Otunga
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Re: Science questions are unfair

Postby Otunga » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:18 pm

bbkk wrote:
Chriz wrote:It can suck sometimes. On the other hand,
I had an RC today involving magnetic fields and the ocean floor.
I could have answered every question without reading the passage just because of what I already know about it. I wonder if that happens a lot if you know about the topic in question.



Screw magnetic fields and ocean floor! Actually I find most science passages are fine but i just HATE ocean floor/continental drift etc.


Well, it's just so damn boring. Give me evolutionary biology or physics but not that shit.

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the_pakalypse
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Re: Science questions are unfair

Postby the_pakalypse » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:00 pm

I loved science questions.

Art questions were so so difficult. I can't visualize the damn sculptures from reading.

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the_pakalypse
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Re: Science questions are unfair

Postby the_pakalypse » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:01 pm

RodneyRuxin wrote:I had no science background and struggled on RC science questions as a result of being less-familiar with the topics. I think the LSAT is a bit biased in this regard.


But visual art/literature are fair targets because....... ?

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laxbrah420
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Re: Science questions are unfair

Postby laxbrah420 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:02 pm

This is dumb. I took zero history, or arts, classes in college, and one literature course freshman year.

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walterwhite
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Re: Science questions are unfair

Postby walterwhite » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:27 pm

Not to sound like a whiner but it happened again. Prep test 42. Question 23. Question about ball lightning. What the fuck is ball lightning? It was an assumption question and the answer was "all types of ball lightning have the same cause." I guess I overlooked that since I don't know what ball lightning is, let alone what could possibly cause it. Fuck me I guess.

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NoodleyOne
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Re: Science questions are unfair

Postby NoodleyOne » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:00 pm

walterwhite wrote:Not to sound like a whiner but it happened again. Prep test 42. Question 23. Question about ball lightning. What the fuck is ball lightning? It was an assumption question and the answer was "all types of ball lightning have the same cause." I guess I overlooked that since I don't know what ball lightning is, let alone what could possibly cause it. Fuck me I guess.


You do sound like a whiner. I know that question, and have no scientific background. That question has a clear logical flaw. Stop being a pussy.

10052014
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Postby 10052014 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:04 pm

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Last edited by 10052014 on Sun Oct 05, 2014 1:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

bilbaosan
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Re: Science questions are unfair

Postby bilbaosan » Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:06 pm

walterwhite wrote:Not to sound like a whiner but it happened again. Prep test 42. Question 23. Question about ball lightning. What the fuck is ball lightning?


Are you serious?

It was an assumption question and the answer was "all types of ball lightning have the same cause." I guess I overlooked that since I don't know what ball lightning is, let alone what could possibly cause it. Fuck me I guess.


It doesn't matter for this question. Replace "ball lighting" with anything absurd, the weirder the better. What you're getting is something like "some scientists claim that smoking weed makes people gay. If this were so, then guys who smoked weed would date other guys. However the instances of guys who dated other guys that I observed have not smoked weed. Thus, smoking weed does not cause a guy to be gay".

And you obviously see the disconnection - the author concludes that W can't cause G because he never seen it. By nature, every "required assumption" question is also a flaw question - there is a hole in the argument the correct assumption would plug in. As soon as you see the flaw, you'll find the right answer.

Here the flaw it obvious, if it was a "find a flaw" question we'd probably get the correct answer among the lines "the sample the conclusion is based upon is not representative". So the job of the correct assumption is to plug in this hole, and confirm that indeed, the sample IS representative. In this case answer E does provide this assumption, although in a LSAT (i.e. weird) form: "all people became gay because of the same cause". Because the author claimed he observed gays who never smoked weed, it means something else caused them to become gay. But since this "something else" is the same for all gays - as our assumption states - the conclusion that smoking weed doesn't cause one to be gay stands.

The problem with this question was not the scientific terminology, it was that the correct answer was in a very weird form.

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walterwhite
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Re: Science questions are unfair

Postby walterwhite » Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:15 pm

while we're at it can anybody help me with Section C question 24 from the same prep test (42)?

This is a reading comprehension question and although the passage is about neurology that's not what tripped me up. It was just a really tricky RC question. Manhattan LSAT's explanation wasn't very helpful




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