LSAT and Law School Admissions Forum

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

  • Posts: 67
  • Joined: Nov 07, 2011
Went back and forth between (A) and (D) on this one and unfortunately eliminated (D) because of the idea of the child being "given" something and then further "asking" for the additional money just didn't seem to gel with the intent of cosmologists and their approach.

Whereas, with (A), I reasoned that the child's search for information on how to play chess and his discovery of the book was analogous to the cosmologists and their neutrinos...That even tho they only allowed for 20% of the dark matter, they still offered the "best theoretical solution et to the dark matter problem"(l. 53-55)

Can someone set me straight on the correct approach to parallel questions like this one? The 2016 edition of Powerscore's RC book did suggest that the"intent of the author or group" was a valid element to parallel if one was down to two attractive answers. Did I misinterpret that?

Thanks in advance...
 Jonathan Evans
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 676
  • Joined: Jun 09, 2016
Hi, Cecilia,

Great question, and let's get right to the gist: when it comes to parallel problems such as these, you need to identify and extract the key components and describe their relationship in an abstract manner. Do not overly complicate your work with unnecessary details. Instead, focus on the mechanics of how the different components of the situation relate to one another.

For instance, here we know that the cosmologists have been unable to discover the entirety of what makes up the missing dark matter. However, they are convinced that even an incremental or partial explanation is advancing their attempt to explain the missing dark matter.

Now, translate this scenario into a more mechanical, abstract form without sacrificing the key relationships. Such prephrasing might look like this:

Person not able to achieve entire goal but views partial progress as positive step toward goal.

Now match this prephrasing with the answer choices.

Answer choice A lacks this "partial" quality. You could respond that the book itself is a partial step towards understanding chess, but such a book in fact might hold all the information necessary to learn how to play chess. Thus, this answer choice does not offer a good match.

Answer choice D presents a scenario in which the child is not able to achieve his goal outright (having enough to go to the movie) but instead receives only part and will need to seek more to achieve his desired outcome.

Notice here that the key distinction is not between "giving" and "discovering" but in the core relationship between the parts. Start with a skeletal outline of the structure of the situation. Then, if need be, proceed to give a more detailed description of the stimulus to be paralleled. Go from simple to complex without sacrificing the essentials.

I hope this helps.
  • Posts: 67
  • Joined: Nov 07, 2011
Thanks Jonathan, that helped a lot.

Get the most out of your LSAT Prep Plus subscription.

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