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#25 - One way to compare chess-playing programs is to

PowerScore Staff
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Please post below with any questions!
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This was the most confusing question I have ever encountered in LR. I do not understand why D and A are wrong while C is right?

Usually w/ other questions I get wrong, I can understand it after a couple reads and deep thinking. But with this one, I'm lost.
Emily Haney-Caron
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Hi lll7,

I noticed you posted a few questions about this exam, which is great! I'm glad to see you're really working to figure out why you got questions wrong.

I want to make sure you also get the most out of this process, though, which means giving you a chance to think through the questions on your own and also making sure our answers are as tailored to you as possible. To do that, it really helps a lot if you:
1. explain how you understood the stimulus (what portions were premises? what was the conclusion?)
2. explain what you think of the logic of the argument (does the conclusion flow logically from the premises? if no, why not?)
3. tell us what type of question this is based on the question stem
4. identify what your prephrase was (if you didn't have one when you first did the question, that's okay! Now's a great time to go back and come up with one)
5. explain why you chose the answer you did and why you think it is correct now

Once you provide that info, you might find that you've answered your own question and caught your mistake. If so, great! If not, that's why we're here; post information related to each of the above five areas I've identified, and we can make sure the answer we give directly addresses the thing that tripped you up. This will allow you to get the most out of the studying process, because it will help you really think through questions thoroughly on your own (a great way to learn!) and then help us figure out how to help get you to the right answer.

I'll post this on a couple of other questions you asked about this exam, as well, so you have the list right there on each question. Once you answer with that info, we'll give a detailed answer to get you back on the right track.
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Actually I have the same question. I don't understand why A is not correct. Same computer, same time period, but more moves basically means better program, thus better chance of winning.
David Boyle
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Wersace wrote:Actually I have the same question. I don't understand why A is not correct. Same computer, same time period, but more moves basically means better program, thus better chance of winning.

Hello Wersace,

Answer A sounds close to some of the things in the stimulus, but doesn't exactly fit it. Answer A seems to be talking about two different programs on the same computer, while the stimulus seems to be discussing the same program on two different computers, one computer being faster than the other. Answer D is wrong because even if a computer is faster, maybe the program run on the slower computer is so much better, that the slower computer will actually be able to examine moves faster than the faster computer. And answer C is best because we're talking about only one computer program, and riffing off what the stimulus says about a faster computer letting more moves be examined under the same time constraints.

Hope this helps,
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Hi, can someone please clarify why it is okay to choose C even though it mentions "in general." I stayed away from C because it seemed to to broad, and it left room for other conditions (2 computers, 1 chess playing program) to be different from what is described in the stimulus. Am I reading too much into the phrase? We usually stay away from answers in MBT that say "in general"... can someone elaborate on when it is okay to chose "in general" for MBT questions.

I will admit that I did eliminate all answers at one point because I did realize A and D were different from what was being stated in the stimulus.

Thank you so much for all your help! :)
Steven Palmer
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Hi BK,

I can understand why you would stray away from "generally" on a MBT question, since we often look to limit ourselves only to what is being said directly in the stimulus. However, this is a very broad stimulus. It speaks only in generalities, which makes it okay to use the word "generally" in an answer choice. We know that (C) must be true because of two statements in the stimulus:

(1) the chess program on the faster computer will have a better chance of winning, because:
(2) that program will be able to examine more possible moves in the allotted time.

This creates the general statement described in (C).

Hope this helped!
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The statement says, the program run on the faster computer will have a better chance of winning because it will examine more moves.

Is A incorrect because the stimulus is a causal relationship but A changes it into a conditional one?
Vaidehi Joshi
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(A) is incorrect because it is basically a "shell game" type of incorrect answer choice (if you go back and review common categories of wrong answers as outlined by your Powerscore books).

that is to say, it is a trick question designed to sound almost like the right answer choice (C), but mixes the logic up a little just enough to be wrong. what we are looking for is "1 program on 2 different computers, one faster computer and one slower computer, the faster computer will probably do better" (which is what the stimulus infers and what answer choice (C) articulates)
Instead, (A) says "2 programs on 1 computer, the program that can go through more moves will probably do better"

the stimulus isn't telling us anything about comparing speeds of different programs! we are focused only on comparing the speeds of the computers. does that make sense? it's supposed to be a trap answer choice.
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I chose the correct answer, but was really hesitant (I almost chose A).

I have read the explanations and understood them. Just one question. The first sentence of the stimulus ("One way to compare chess playing programs is to compare how they perform with fixed time limits per move) gives one the impression that different chess-game programs are in question. But then again, comparing could also certainly denote comparing speed of one particular game in different computers (as the stimulus goes on to say).

Nevertheless, I can completely see LSAC purposely stating "one way to compare chess playing programs is to compare them with EACH OTHER" in the first sentence of a stimulus, and the go on to state the same propositions about one program on two computers. Admittedly, a weird stimulus, but I think the correct answer would not change (if the question is still MBT). Is such a scenario possible on an LSAT? or I am I being too cynical?