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#35212
Complete Question Explanation
(See the complete passage discussion here: lsat/viewtopic.php?t=14217)

The correct answer choice is (B)

This question asks for the circumstances in which it would be LEAST advantageous to use the
methods researched in the Netherlands study. This means that the four incorrect answer choices
will provide circumstances under which the Netherlands study methods would be beneficial, and the
correct answer choice will be the only exception.

Answer choice (A): The research in the Netherlands dealt with over-farmed land, so in this
circumstance the methods researched would be beneficial.

Answer choice (B): This is the correct answer choice. If the topsoil can easily be removed and
replaced, then taking that approach would be the quickest way, according to the first paragraph of the
passage.

Answer choice (C): One of the issues with over-farmed land is over-fertilization, an issue with the
former cornfield studied in the Netherlands, so the methods researched in that study would be likely
to be beneficial in this circumstance.

Answer choice (D): The planting of various grass and herb species is one of the methods researched
in the study, so this choice presents a circumstance under which the use of such methods would be
likely to be beneficial, so this is one of the incorrect answers to this Must be True EXCEPT question.

Answer choice (E): The passage provides no reason to believe that under such circumstance the
Netherlands research methods would not be advantageous, so this choice should be ruled out of
contention.
 15veries
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#30418
Hi

I chose E thinking it is not mentioned, so we can not decide...meaning, the LEAST advantageous.
I do not understand why B is correct...isn't this actually the BEST way? I mean, THE FASTEST way to recover?
Or is it because in the question it says "in constant agricultural use" so we cannot use this method because it takes time to recover?

thanks
 Adam Tyson
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#30620
I think perhaps you misread the question on this one, 15, and that can happen to the best of us. The passage describes a method of restoring farmed land to a natural state by sowing in a wide variety of native seeds as well as a balance of microorganisms. We are being asked to find an answer that describes a circumstance where that approach is least advantageous, where it doesn't help much (relatively speaking). Find the situation where there is a better alternative.

Answer E describes a situation virtually identical to one discussed in passage - corn was grown on control plots adjacent to the experimental plots, and the experimental plots did much better. The presence of adjacent corn was not a problem, and we can still get a big advantage in that case. Adjacent corn did not minimize the advantages of the new method.

Answer B refers us back to somewhere around line 12, where we are told that "the quickest way to restore heavily fertilized land is to remove and replace the topsoil". The only reason we are looking at these experimental methods is because the project in Europe is so large that swapping the topsoil is impractical. If we were to come across a situation where doing so is relatively easy, as in answer B, then there's no point to going through all the trouble of following the experimental method. It gets us no advantage. That's what we want to find!

I hope that clears things up for you. Keep going!
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 Albertlyu
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#80642
Adam Tyson wrote:I think perhaps you misread the question on this one, 15, and that can happen to the best of us. The passage describes a method of restoring farmed land to a natural state by sowing in a wide variety of native seeds as well as a balance of microorganisms. We are being asked to find an answer that describes a circumstance where that approach is least advantageous, where it doesn't help much (relatively speaking). Find the situation where there is a better alternative.

Answer E describes a situation virtually identical to one discussed in passage - corn was grown on control plots adjacent to the experimental plots, and the experimental plots did much better. The presence of adjacent corn was not a problem, and we can still get a big advantage in that case. Adjacent corn did not minimize the advantages of the new method.

Answer B refers us back to somewhere around line 12, where we are told that "the quickest way to restore heavily fertilized land is to remove and replace the topsoil". The only reason we are looking at these experimental methods is because the project in Europe is so large that swapping the topsoil is impractical. If we were to come across a situation where doing so is relatively easy, as in answer B, then there's no point to going through all the trouble of following the experimental method. It gets us no advantage. That's what we want to find!

I hope that clears things up for you. Keep going!
thanks, Adam for the perfect explanation as always.

I was totally confused by this question when first saw it, as it seemed completely irrelevant from the context I just read, thus, I could not even begin my search, may I ask how you would approach this type of question?

I am thinking maybe I should test the validity of the answer choices one by one, with B, if I come back to the passage, I would most likely be noticing "the quickest way". May I ask if this approach sounds reasonable?

thanks. very much appreciated!

Albert
 Adam Tyson
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#84125
Happy to help, Albert! My approach was to ask myself "what is the advantage of this method?", and then try to imagine a situation where that advantage is outweighed by some other considerations. So I went back to the early part of the passage to remind myself why we were looking at this whole complex process in the first place. Why was this something worth doing?

I found it in those lines I referenced earlier in this thread from the first paragraph: we are doing this because the one good alternative we have is impractical on a large scale. So I wanted an answer that made that alternative more viable. Perhaps in a situation involving a very small scale, making removal and replacement more practical? That's what led to selecting answer B.

So, in short, I would not start with the answers, but with a prephrase. Start by finding your own answer to the question, and then look for an answer choice that matches what you are looking for. That's the key to most questions on the LSAT!
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 Albertlyu
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#84155
Adam Tyson wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 12:07 pm Happy to help, Albert! My approach was to ask myself "what is the advantage of this method?", and then try to imagine a situation where that advantage is outweighed by some other considerations. So I went back to the early part of the passage to remind myself why we were looking at this whole complex process in the first place. Why was this something worth doing?

I found it in those lines I referenced earlier in this thread from the first paragraph: we are doing this because the one good alternative we have is impractical on a large scale. So I wanted an answer that made that alternative more viable. Perhaps in a situation involving a very small scale, making removal and replacement more practical? That's what led to selecting answer B.

So, in short, I would not start with the answers, but with a prephrase. Start by finding your own answer to the question, and then look for an answer choice that matches what you are looking for. That's the key to most questions on the LSAT!
thank you very much for sharing this, Adam. I found that constant reviewing and questioning the approach to different questions to be very helpful.
I will try to employ and review more about this approach with more RC practices. thank you for your geneosity!
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 Angelak
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#91500
“While the quickest way to restore…is to remove and replace the topsoil. This is impractical on a large scale” Couldn’t fields’ topsoil be easily removed and replaced and also be impractical to do so on a large scale? I don’t see how these two contradict each other. So it could be that all fields topsoil are easy to replace but it is impractical on large scale (maybe they don’t have enough good soil or transportation cost is high). Thus, I eliminated B since it still falls under impractical on a large scale. Could you please explain why this can’t be the case? Thank you!
 Adam Tyson
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#91513
The question stem is asking about just one field, Angelak, and not a large scale project! If the topsoil in the field in question can be easily removed and replaced, what advantage would there be to going through all that other stuff? "Easily" is the key, along with the question being about one, singular field. Oh, you just have one field that has been in constant use, and you want to restore it to its natural state? That's easy, let's just remove and replace the topsoil. We don't need to sow in those organisms and natural grasses and all that hard work.

In short, if answer B is true about that one field that is being asked about, then there is little to no advantage to doing it any other way.
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 Angelak
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#91592
Adam Tyson wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 2:21 pm The question stem is asking about just one field, Angelak, and not a large scale project! If the topsoil in the field in question can be easily removed and replaced, what advantage would there be to going through all that other stuff? "Easily" is the key, along with the question being about one, singular field. Oh, you just have one field that has been in constant use, and you want to restore it to its natural state? That's easy, let's just remove and replace the topsoil. We don't need to sow in those organisms and natural grasses and all that hard work.

In short, if answer B is true about that one field that is being asked about, then there is little to no advantage to doing it any other way.
Tahnk you for clarifying, Adam. The emphasis on one field makes more sense to me now. Appreciate your help.

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