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 ksandberg
  • Posts: 21
  • Joined: Sep 03, 2016
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#28308
Hello,

I chose C for this question. I thought that the question was saying that shortly after the Persian Gulf War, there was less oil contaminants present in the area than expected and that the levels were considered low even in comparison with the Baltic Sea. I thought the correct answer would need to resolve the discrepancy between the low levels of oils in the region and the expected high levels of oil in the region. I understand that answer choice C does not fully do this, as it only compares it to the baltic sea and does not actually compare the expected high levels with the actual low levels of oil. However, I do not understand how answer D is a better choice. Answer D suggests that the levels should have actually been higher. Aren't we looking for something that explains why the levels are lower?

Thank you for your time.
 Nikki Siclunov
PowerScore Staff
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  • Posts: 1364
  • Joined: Aug 02, 2011
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#28393
Hi ksandberg,

You understood the fact set correctly, but did not fully grasp the implications of answer choices (C) and (D). Let's take a closer look:

The paradox isn't that the level of oil contamination in the Persian Gulf was comparable to the areas of the Baltic Sea: this is really a side issue. The real question is this: why aren't these levels higher than before the war? After all, the Persian Gulf war caused smoky oil fires etc, which correlate with higher PAH levels. The key is in the first sentence: regular oil production slowed down during the war! So, if answer choice (D) is correct and peacetime oil production results in high levels of PAHs and oil dumping, then no wonder the levels of PAH decreased when oil production slowed down. Even if the burning oil wells increased the level of PAHs, this increase may not be sufficient to compensate for the massive decrease due to slowed oil production.

Hope this clears it up! :) Let me know.

Thanks,
 Jerrymakehabit
  • Posts: 52
  • Joined: Jan 28, 2019
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#63257
Can someone please explain why E is incorrect? E looks great to me.

I chose E because it implies that there could be a time difference or a window period between the time the war is happening and its oil fires and spills take effect to be measured. That is why post-war levels are displayed less than pre-war. Because it is surveyed "Shortly after the Persian Gulf War" and it takes time for the effects to be caught by the surveys.

Thanks
Jerry
 Jay Donnell
PowerScore Staff
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  • Posts: 144
  • Joined: Jan 09, 2019
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#63285
Hi Jerry!

War is hell, and for many students this question may not feel a whole lot easier!

However, I feel that answer choice D here presents an excellent point that helps to resolve this paradoxical situation. We know that during the war, oil wells were hit with deliberate fires and spills, but the contamination and levels of PAHs in the air were relatively low in comparison to normal production times. D resolves this by bringing up the idea that oil production and transport were curtailed heavily during the war, and the increased activity in peacetime would lead to massive oil dumping and higher levels of contamination and PAHs than were found shortly after the war.

To address E, I think you were on to something in regards to the window between the war ending and the study being done "shortly after." However, this idea falls short when absorbed carefully. Answer choice E says that there was a level of damage originally expected to be caused during the war, but the war ended before those levels were ever reached.
However, that doesn't imply that those levels DID actually get reached, and that we simply measured prematurely and let the war off the hook. Had E said something more along the lines of "The Persian Gulf War ended before we learned the full extent of the damage caused by its impact on the oil fires and spills," that would have been better suited to push your angle on the window between War and the study to provide resolution.

I hope that this helped clear up this question and motivate you to get back in the LR trenches!
 Jerrymakehabit
  • Posts: 52
  • Joined: Jan 28, 2019
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#63342
Jay Donnell wrote:Hi Jerry!

War is hell, and for many students this question may not feel a whole lot easier!

However, I feel that answer choice D here presents an excellent point that helps to resolve this paradoxical situation. We know that during the war, oil wells were hit with deliberate fires and spills, but the contamination and levels of PAHs in the air were relatively low in comparison to normal production times. D resolves this by bringing up the idea that oil production and transport were curtailed heavily during the war, and the increased activity in peacetime would lead to massive oil dumping and higher levels of contamination and PAHs than were found shortly after the war.

To address E, I think you were on to something in regards to the window between the war ending and the study being done "shortly after." However, this idea falls short when absorbed carefully. Answer choice E says that there was a level of damage originally expected to be caused during the war, but the war ended before those levels were ever reached.
However, that doesn't imply that those levels DID actually get reached, and that we simply measured prematurely and let the war off the hook. Had E said something more along the lines of "The Persian Gulf War ended before we learned the full extent of the damage caused by its impact on the oil fires and spills," that would have been better suited to push your angle on the window between War and the study to provide resolution.

I hope that this helped clear up this question and motivate you to get back in the LR trenches!
Hi Jay,

Thank you! I should pay attention to that "originally expected" is not "DID actually get reached". I forced that choice to something I was expecting which I should not have done that.

Thanks
Jerry
 gallacherdevon
  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: Oct 12, 2020
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#80236
Hey Powerscore!

As far as I know, the LSAT does not expect me to bring in outside information. Admittedly, I know very little about geography and history... I can see that the paradox is the oil levels, based on the stimulus, but the first three answer choices threw me off.

Answer choices A, B, and C mention "desert regions" which are not mentioned in the stimulus, but "temperate areas of the Baltic sea" are mentioned in the stimulus. I wasn't sure if I was expected to infer something based on this language. Especially when we are in Family 2, I am cautious to throw away answers that seem "irrelevant" because they are "new".

I don't have a specific question about why D is correct in this question, but rather, guidance on how best to handle "irrelevant" information in Family 2 question answer choices.

Thanks!
 Rachael Wilkenfeld
PowerScore Staff
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  • Posts: 571
  • Joined: Dec 15, 2011
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#80243
Hi gallacherdevon,

Great question. I think there's actually two questions in one here. How do you deal with outside information, and what sort of outside knowledge do you need?

Let's talk about outside information first. For help family questions, you'll need to use information from outside the stimulus. We are adding information to help the argument, or to explain the paradox. The stimulus as it is lacks a critical component in this family. Use of additional information from outside the stimulus is fair game in this family. The key test is relevance here---does the information in the answer choice relevantly impact the stimulus, and does it do so in the way you need it to? Answer choices A, B, C all contain information that is irrelevant for the stimulus, and we can bounce them for that reason. The stimulus doesn't talk about the desert region, and it wouldn't help solve the central paradox. The desert is irrelevant to solve our paradox.

You don't need to use outside knowledge. The test assumes no outside information about oil fields, the Persian Gulf War, or oil production. You just need to use the information the test gives you to approach the question.

In summary--for Resolve questions, focus on relevance to the paradox, and don't eliminate new but relevant information in an answer choice.

Hope that helps.
Rachael

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