LSAT and Law School Admissions Forum

Get expert LSAT preparation and law school admissions advice from PowerScore Test Preparation.

  • Posts: 47
  • Joined: Jul 01, 2018
Hi dear LSAT Masters:

I got it wrong because I failed to recognized the biconditional relationship. Now that I understand the correct way of drawing the diagrams are as followings:

(WOA + Mc of L) :dbl: P
(WOA + L, ~mc) :dbl: N
(WOA + Mc of s, ~L) :dbl: S
(~WOA + Mc of L) :dbl: L

and combine first and second premise === N :arrow: (WOA + L ~Mc) + (WOA + Mc of L) :arrow: P
[N (Mc + L) :arrow: WOA] :arrow: N + P gives us the correct answer cho.

My question is how am I gonna be able to detect the biconditional as soon as I see one? I missed few other questions that involves biconditional relationships.

Thank you for advising. Looking forward to hearing back from any of the experts.
 Robert Carroll
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 1659
  • Joined: Dec 06, 2013

Only the first statement is a biconditional. It is so because it is providing a definition of a poem. In other words, all poems have these qualities, and anything with these qualities is a poem. So a thing is a poem if and only if it has these qualities.

The second statement is not even a conditional, because it says what novels "may" be and what they "usually" lack. Conditionals are absolute statements.

The third statement again lacks the requisite necessity to count as a conditional.

The fourth statement, about limericks, contains a conditional (not a biconditional), but the part about "may exploit" is not a conditional, as that again lacks the requisite necessity. Further, you can't just drop that and still have a biconditional; if so, you'd be saying something like "a thing is a limerick if and only if it's not a work of art," which is not what that statement is saying. Instead, it's a conditional: "if something is a limerick, it's not a work of art."

Answer choice (C) then just depends on the first sentence. If a novel has the qualities sufficient to make something a poem, then it's a novel and a poem.

I think fully diagramming everything here will take more time than it's worth. Pay more attention to the connections between absolute statements. If you wanted to diagram, this would work:

(WOA + MCoL) :dbl: P

N :most: MCoL

S :most: MCoL

L :dblline: A

The "may" statements aren't even diagrammed here because I don't even know if anything that may be true IS true, even in some cases. So I would hesitate to diagram them even as the very weak A :some: B.

Again, I don't think the diagramming is as helpful as a more intuitive understanding of the actual English expressions used.

Robert Carroll
  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: Jul 08, 2019
Hello all,

Wanted to understand a more general principal; some users have said that the "poem :dbl: art+musical language" exists because it is a definition. Broadly speaking, are there any ways to identify biconditionals like that consistently through the LSAT (i.e., "is any" is the indicator?)

 Rachael Wilkenfeld
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 1315
  • Joined: Dec 15, 2011
Hi bengs,

Great question! Definitions have to be biconditionals, because both the term and the definition mean the same thing. Let's take a significantly easier word to define. A chair is a seat for a single person with four legs holding up the seating surface. That means if it's a seat, then it is for a single person with four legs holding up the seating surface. It also means that if something is for a single person with four legs holding up the seating surface, then it is a seat. It's the essence of a biconditional relationship---if you have one part of the relationship, you have the other.

Note however, that not all biconditionals are definitions. You can have a biconditional that isn't a definition. For example, "I will buy that mansion if and only if I win the lottery" is a biconditional that is not a definition.

Hope that helps
  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: Jul 08, 2019
Thanks Rachel! Super helpful :)
User avatar
  • Posts: 16
  • Joined: May 25, 2023
Hi, Powerscore,
I did not choose C because I think by choosing C, we have to assume that there is a type of work that could be both a novel and a poem. In other words, we have to assume that the mix of two types of art still follows the same rules mentioned in the stimulus. Could you explain to me why my concern should not prevent me from choosing this AC? Why my reasoning is not correct?
User avatar
 Jeff Wren
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 218
  • Joined: Oct 19, 2022
Hi CJ,

The key to this question (and every Must Be True question) is just focusing on the facts that are given in the stimulus and using them and only them to prove your answer.

In the stimulus we are told that "a poem is any work of art that exploits some the musical characteristics of language, such as meter, rhythm, euphony, and rhyme." This definition may be different than what you normally think of as a poem, but it is the definition in the stimulus, rather than the real world, that we care about.

As long as something (anything) matches that definition, then it is a poem according to the stimulus.

For example, if an answer tells us that "Moby Dick is a work of art that exploits some the musical characteristics of language, such as meter, rhythm, euphony, and rhyme, therefore Moby Dick is a poem" that would be correct based on the stimulus, even if it's not correct "in the real world."

There is nothing in the stimulus that states that a novel cannot be a poem, so as long as a novel meets the given definition of a poem, then it is also a poem according to the stimulus.

This question is trying to trick test takers into confusing real world ideas with the ideas presented in the stimulus. In Answer D, for example, in the real world, a limerick would often be thought of as a nonartistic poem, but according to the stimulus, there is no such thing as a nonartistic poem.

Get the most out of your LSAT Prep Plus subscription.

Analyze and track your performance with our Testing and Analytics Package.