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#20 - Dana: It is wrong to think that the same educational

jared.xu
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I had B as a contender, but I eliminated it because it does not seem to pass the agree/disagree test. Dana would certainly not agree with B. Pat also states clearly, "No, not always," instead of "never." And so I don't think she would agree that "all" children should learn to adapt to various educational methods. My second problem with the agree/disagree test in this question is that no where are "various educational methods" mentioned. Only two alternatives are given: studying in groups or individual activities. I thought that multiple would have to be many or various. Does 2 fit under the category of multiple on the LSAT? Thank you in advance for replying.
Dave Killoran
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Hi Jared,

Let's answer your second question first. It's not like they release an exact definition list of LSAT terms, but I'd bet that as far as Law Services is concerned, "multiple" is going to be anything more than one, so two would count as "multiple."

As far as answer choice (B), I'd agree that Dana disagrees with (B). However, take a look at Pat's response again and see if you can determine why Law Services thinks Pat agrees with this answer.

Thanks!
Dave Killoran
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jared.xu
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Oops! I asked about the wrong word. The right answer B states: "All children should learn to adapt to various educational methods." Instead of the word "multiple," would you say the same thing about the word "various?" Could one say that "various" is going to be anything more than one, so two would count as "various."

Thank you for giving me a second chance on this problem. But I really do feel that the phrase "all children" is too extreme for Pat's position. She merely makes a statement that flexibility of being able to work in two types of conditions will be invaluable in the real world where both skills are in demand. If we are strict about her words, I am not sure we could infer that Pat would agree. Pat's words "not always" also seem to imply that she partially agrees with Dana, that Dana's position is right in a lot of cases, but just not always. And thus, Pat seems to be merely qualifying Dana's position a little bit. B, on the other hand, seems to contradict Dana's position completely. I am guessing that the assumption that Law Services make is that Pat believes that all children should develop as many skills that are invaluable in the real world as possible. I am probably disappointing you. :oops:

On a second rereading, I guess Pat's "not always" refers to Dana's conclusion that it is wrong to think that the same educational methods should be used with all children. So Pat is in fact saying that it is okay sometimes to think that the same educational methods should be used with "all children." And the reason she gives is that the two skills are in demand in the real world. Her assumption is that children should acquire skills that are in demand, which would make her agree with B. The problem of the phrase "all children" in answer B could be explained as an attempt to contradict Dana's conclusion. (In contradicting the conclusion, you have to restate parts of it). Please tell me if this is correct. And I would really appreciate any suggestions you might have for avoiding this type of mistake in the future. Thank you.
Dave Killoran
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Hi Jared,

Yes, I would say that "various" is anything more than one.

Regarding (B), the reason I asked you to consider it from their perspective is that, as you and I have discussed in other threads, their viewpoint is all that matters. So, knowing that (B) is the right answer, I wanted you to justify it from their perspective. I think that, based on your answer, you are still having a hard time accepting their view :D That's not a disappointment to me, but you have to stop fighting for your reasoning of why the answer is problematic, and start thinking about this test from their perspective. You are smart and insightful, but this is an exam where there are no points gained by making a good argument for why they are wrong!

Ok, with that in mind, let's look at (B) from their perspective. As we've established, Dana disagrees with (B). For Pat's perspective, go past the first three words of her response. She states that "The flexibility in being able to work either on one's own or in a group is invaluable." I think that Law Services takes that statement to mean that Pat believes that every child needs this ability and should be able to adapt. What then, of the "No, not always"? I think Law Services would say that her response there is a direct denial of Dana's statement that style of learning should "always" dictate the method. Basically, it's the classic idea of negation, where "not always" can mean "never." This is the view you came around to in the second paragraph--and that paragraph shows how you should be thinking about this test.

Please let me know if that makes sense. Thanks!
Dave Killoran
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jared.xu
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Hey Dave,

Thank you for your encouragement and your advice. I actually have been trying to think about the test from their perspective ever since you first told me to. I find that the nature of the logic reasoning sections demands one to be extremely precise about what is said in the stimuli, the questions, and the answers. I now tend to resist making any interpretations myself, and confine myself to the strict meaning of the words on the page. And for that reason, I cannot do what you just did, and interpret "The flexibility in being able to work either on one's own or in a group is invaluable" as saying that Pat believes that every child needs this ability and should be able to adapt. Your interpretation which is consistent with the correct answer actually turns what Pat said into a conditional statement: "children-->have the two skills + learn to adapt to various educational methods." In Pat's original statement, she never states that anything is "necessary" for all children. I think that it is quite possible that on another logic reasoning question, this type of interpretation is an attractive, misleading wrong answer. So while I think your interpretation is completely right and consistent with the way Law Services want us to interpret to get the right answer, I am also not sure that I would be able to make such a bold interpretation before knowing the fact that B is the right answer. So it seems the lesson here for me is that Law Services do not always demand precision, that sometimes to get the right answer, we have to move one step away from what is said on the page. But my problem is how to calibrate so that I do not make what is considered "unwarranted" interpretation from Law Services' perspective, and at the same time make the "correct" interpretation to get the right answer. I would appreciate any insights or advice you might have.

Gratefully,
Jared
Dave Killoran
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Hey Jared,

The interesting thing here is that I would never go down the pathway of turning that into a conditional statement, and I don't interpret it in that light in this question. Conditionality is one of the tough concepts on the LSAT, for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is that there are tons of conditional statements on the LSAT, but not every conditional statement is as important as every other, and there are times when Law Services doesn't use the conditionality to solve the problem (or even consider it when determining the answer). Thus, like an air traffic controller, you have to recognize it when it is present, but then you also have to make the determination as to whether it is playing a key role in the argument. That second skill is what you are really asking about, and that is a skill that derives in part from seeing the many ways that conditionality is presented on this test, and seeing when it is critical to a problem and when it is not critical (in this sense the question becomes one not of precision, but of emphasis). That takes some time and is always a struggle. However, I'm confident that you will get there because you do a good job of deeply analyzing these problems, and you have a strong ability to consider the question from different angles. This is why I have preached the "learn Law Services' view" approach to you, because the more you align with that, the better you will understand what they choose to emphasize and why they do it.

I hope that helps. Thanks!
Dave Killoran
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SherryZ
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Oct 2000 LSAT, Sec 4 LR, Q20:

I chose E because I thought Dana would say "Yes" to E and Pat would say "No" to it. However, the correct answer is B. Could you explain why B is right and E is wrong??? :-?

Thank you so much for your time! Have a nice evening :)

Sincerely,
Sherry
Steve Stein
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Hi Sherry,

Answer choice (E) provides another great example of vague language. it is "sometimes" desirable to tailor educational methods. This is a soft claim, and neither speaker's statements would imply disagreement with it. As for correct answer choice (B), Pat would agree, as a big fan of flexibility, but Dana would likely disagree, as she says that the style that the child is accustomed to should always be used.

I hope that's helpful! Please let me know whether this is clear--thanks!

~Steve
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sherrilynm
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I am very confused why A is wrong. My thought process was as follows:

Statement: "All children can learn valuable skills from individual activities."

Dana would disagree, as she thinks each child's learning needs are different and their own lessons should reflect that, so NO. (Also, if she does not disagree with this, wouldn't her whole argument fall apart, as there would be no need for individual tailored lesson plans for group learning-based children?)

Pat would agree, because children can learn valuable skills from both group and individual activities, so YES.

Can someone explain why I'm wrong? No one has brought this up yet, so clearly there must be something big that I'm missing.
Malila Robinson
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Hi Sherrilynm,
For Answer choice A the problem is with the absolute nature of the word "all", which means every child. Dana does not talk about all children, but she does say that many children would learn better through group activities rather than individual activities (we also don't know whether learning better equates to learning valuable skills). Pat also does not talk about whether all children would be able to learn valuable skills from individual activities, but instead notes that it would be useful for children in general to have the ability to work both alone and in a group.
Hope that helps!
-Malila