This one’s simple, but critically important for LSAT Logical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension. After you’ve done all the work of arguing with the speaker and predicting an answer based on question type, it’s tragic to miss a question because you simply didn’t read all five answers.
Archive for the ‘LSAT Logical Reasoning’ Category
My sixth excerpt from “Introducing the LSAT” talks about a huge difference between LSAT experts and LSAT novices. Folks who are bad at the test usually spend way too much time comparing all five answer choices against one another. It’s an understandable mistake… the answer choices have to be a good place to look for the answer, right? Well, not really.
No matter what type of question you’re looking at on the LSAT’s Logical Reasoning, it’s critical that you argue with what you’re reading. But that’s only half the battle. Once you’ve argued with the speaker, and made sure you’ve comprehended what they’re saying, it’s critical to figure out what kind of question you’re dealing with. There’s no point in looking at the answers until you know what you’re looking for.
Section 3, Question 17 of the June 2007 LSAT is easy if you argue, and impossible if you don’t. Let me show you what I mean:
When exercising the muscles in one’s back, it is important, in order to maintain a healthy back, to exercise the muscles on opposite sides of the spine equally.
Oh reeeeeeeeeallllllly?!?! You might be right about that, but you also might be completely full of shit. Maybe I like working out just one side of my back, and maybe my back is in perfect shape. What’s your evidence for your assertion that I need to exercise both sides equally? Huh buddy? Let’s hear it.
Section 3, Question 16 of the June 2007 LSAT contains an incomplete argument:
Philosopher: Nations are not literally persons; they have no thoughts or feelings, and, literally speaking, they perform no actions. Thus they have no moral rights or responsibilities. But no nation can survive unless many of its citizens attribute such rights and responsibilities to it, for nothing else could prompt people to make the sacrifices national citizenship demands. Obviously, then, a nation _______.
It’s not an easy argument to swallow, so I’ll do my best to nibble at it piece by piece. Continue reading ‘June 2007 LSAT, III, #16’ »
Section 3, Question 15 of the June 2007 LSAT presents this stinker of an argument:
A consumer magazine surveyed people who had sought a psychologist’s help with a personal problem. Of those responding who had received treatment for 6 months or less, 20 percent claimed that treatment “made things a lot better.” Of those responding who had received longer treatment, 36 percent claimed that treatment “made things a lot better.” Therefore, psychological treatment lasting more than 6 months is more effective than shorter-term treatment.
Ideally, you’ll be able to poke holes in this one before proceeding to the answer choices. This isn’t the only way to do the test, but it’s the best one. Can you tell me why the above argument is bullshit?
LSAT arguments frequently don’t make sense, but sometimes they can be made to make a bit more sense by rearranging them slightly. Section 3, Question 13 of the June 2007 LSAT is a good example. Here’s the argument as it was presented on the test:
Therapist: Cognitive psychotherapy focuses on changing a patient’s conscious beliefs. Thus, cognitive psychotherapy is likely to be more effective at helping patients overcome psychological problems than are forms of psychotherapy that focus on changing unconscious beliefs and desires, since only conscious beliefs are under the patient’s direct conscious control.
That’s probably not how I would have structured my argument. Continue reading ‘June 2007 LSAT, III, #13’ »