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General questions relating to LSAT Reading Comprehension.
 kuma-turtle
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#38989
I see questions that ask for the function of a passage, or the purpose, and in an answer choice there are some with "qualify an assertion"
what does that specifically mean?

Thank you very much in advance.
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 Dave Killoran
PowerScore Staff
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#39027
Hi Kuma,

The term "qualify" can be used in different ways, so a reference to a specific question number would be very helpful here, otherwise we're just guessing at the particular usage you mean :-D That said, "qualify" as often used on the LSAT means to modify, limit, or alter. So, a "qualified commitment" to something would be a less-than-complete commitment, or a commitment that has some stipulation or condition attached to it. "Qualify an assertion" would probably mean to change it or explain some part of it in a way that limits it. Again, depends on the exact context around it.

By the way, the other LSAT use of "qualify" is the standard "approval" or "certified" sense, as in "she is qualified for this job." That's not the use in your question stem, I'd wager, however.

Thanks!
 kuma-turtle
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#39076
Dear Mr. Killoran,

Thank you very much for your swift reply.
 Legalistic
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  • Joined: Aug 12, 2019
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#75030
Dave Killoran wrote:Hi Kuma,

The term "qualify" can be used in different ways, so a reference to a specific question number would be very helpful here, otherwise we're just guessing at the particular usage you mean :-D That said, "qualify" as often used on the LSAT means to modify, limit, or alter. So, a "qualified commitment" to something would be a less-than-complete commitment, or a commitment that has some stipulation or condition attached to it. "Qualify an assertion" would probably mean to change it or explain some part of it in a way that limits it. Again, depends on the exact context around it.

By the way, the other LSAT use of "qualify" is the standard "approval" or "certified" sense, as in "she is qualified for this job." That's not the use in your question stem, I'd wager, however.

Thanks!
Hello,

In regards to RC Bibe 2019 p. 249 Mini Passage #2B. I picked B as the correct answer because I thought qualifying meant something along the lines of reaffirm or further developing. As you mentioned in the book and in this post, "qualifying an assertion" would probably mean to change it or explain some part of it in a way that limits it. I'm confused about how "qualifying an assertion" would look if the passage was to be changed in favor of that answer (B)?

You said it would mean to "change it or explain some part of it in a way that limits it" -- would this mean reverse the adverse effect of this economic policy on developing countries? So, discuss some positive aspect of this implementation that would further limit the adverse effect?

Am I understanding this correct? :hmm:

Thank you for your response in advance!
 Jon Denning
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#75045
Hi Legalistic - thanks for posting!

I think you've mostly got the right idea here, yes! To qualify something generally means you add some further information that limits it or that allows for exceptions to the claim to exist. Like, "I'll absolutely be there by 7...unless traffic is completely and unexpectedly terrible." That last clause qualifies the promise of punctuality by offering a way the promise might not be met. People do this all the time, of course, as it softens language and permits guarantees/beliefs to be treated less as ironclad and more as highly-likely and well-intended.

For the passage in question, if the author were to use paragraph 2 to qualify a prior assertion—presumably that economic models frequently being adopted and discarded can adversely affect developing nations—then the second paragraph would admit to instances where that wasn't the case (changing models that helped a developing nation). So maybe something like, "Granted, the policy shift of 1964 brought greater prosperity and stability to Country X, however as a general rule..." That's how it could qualify, or lessen/diminish/mitigate/temper/soften, a statement the author originally presented as a wholesale truth.

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