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#25 - Formal performance evaluations in the professional

LSAT Leader
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:19 pm
Points: 25

Hi, I am having trouble seeing why answer E is so much better than D.

I have read other sites online that merely suggest that D is "irrelevant." I happen to disagree... if professionals have devoted many years to studying one subject, they likely know everything cold... whereas students, who likely have only spent a few months studying a topic, shouldn't have textbooks because theyre expected to prove they know their facts.

Anyway, no explanation that I have found online so far has helped me definitively understand why D is wrong, thus I'm hoping someone here can!

Brook Miscoski
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
Posts: 422
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:38 am
Points: 421


This is a flaw question, so it's in Family #1. The stimulus must prove the correct choice true--a flaw choice will describe what occurred.

The stimulus states that professional evaluations test real world situations (first sentence). Thus, academic exams may not be similar. The correct choice, (E), describes that problem.

(D), on the other hand, claims that the stimulus neglects to consider that professionals have devoted more years of study than students have. Keeping in mind that flaw questions are descriptive, where does the stimulus rely on the time devoted to study? That is why people say that the choice is irrelevant--it fails to describe what might be wrong with the reasoning on which the stimulus relies.

There are other reasons to eliminate (D). If professionals have devoted many years to study, that would not help us understand why professionals should get to use reference materials while less knowledgeable people are forced to rely on memory. Thus, (D) is also irrelevant because it fails to clearly indicate a flaw in the reasoning. The right answer choice for a flaw question cannot simply indicate a factor the stimulus didn't consider. That factor has to have obvious importance to the outcome.

Another way of looking at this is that the stimulus is concerned performance reviews that focus on "realistic situations." In the professional world, it's realistic that people use reference material to do their work. The stimulus didn't show why that should be "realistic" in the academic world as well when people are taking exams.

The fact that professionals have devoted many years of study doesn't address that problem. The professionals are still using reference materials to do evaluations that mimic real world situations, and students are still using their memory to do exams that see whether they learned their limited universe class materials. Regardless of (D), (E) remains.