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General questions relating to LSAT Reading Comprehension.
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Dear All,

May you be kind enough to shed some light on the meanings and differences between common words ( in LSAT's context )such as 'analyze', 'critique', 'discuss', 'compare' etc. These words often appear in question stems seeking primary purpose of a passage. I am asking these assuming that the differences between these words have a bearing on the ability to differentiate between wrong and the right answers. Also please enlighten if they are worth looking so closely at all.

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PowerScore Staff
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I suppose my answer would have to be the always delightful, "yes and no" to your latter question. I certainly think that having a working definition of those terms is helpful (not necessarily vital), but I think that understanding the differences between them, will, except on rare occasion (meaning the one question in five tests or something similar), won't significantly increase your proficiency in answering RC questions. And this is because the questions like purpose and author's intent won't hinge completely on verb usage, and will instead be separated on the predicate of the answer choice. In other words, you will rarely see two answer choices that have the same sentence predicate and separated only by the words "discuss" or "compare." I would focus on being able to prephrase the MP of the passage, the structure of the passage, and any arguments therein, and rely upon your everyday understanding of the terms you mentioned, rather than on their formal definitions.

Let me know if you have further questions on this.

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