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## Could blocks be diagrammed as conditionals in some cases?

dsamad
• Posts: 13
• Joined: Mar 10, 2020
#74700
Hi,

I want to ask whether blocks could be diagrammed as conditionals in some cases. for example, the rule in this question that 'Z is a rock classic' would be diagrammed as a block or a conditional of Z--> R?

Thanks
Adam Tyson
• PowerScore Staff
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#74737
Technically that would be accurate, dsamad, but we generally reserve conditional diagrams for conditions that may not occur. Here, Z MUST be included in the game, so there is no "if" about Z. It is in, and it is a classic, so the block just makes more sense. Consider the contrapositive - if Z is not a rock classic, then Z is not included. Is that even an option? Nope! So there's no point to using a conditional approach. Save those for when the sufficient condition isn't guaranteed to occur!
leslie7
• Posts: 72
• Joined: Oct 06, 2020
#83260
Adam Tyson wrote: Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:37 pm Technically that would be accurate, dsamad, but we generally reserve conditional diagrams for conditions that may not occur. Here, Z MUST be included in the game, so there is no "if" about Z. It is in, and it is a classic, so the block just makes more sense. Consider the contrapositive - if Z is not a rock classic, then Z is not included. Is that even an option? Nope! So there's no point to using a conditional approach. Save those for when the sufficient condition isn't guaranteed to occur!
Hi Adam,

So if that is the case how come in the previous game 2004, october game 2

this rule "Exactly one of the sites was discovered by Gallagher, and it dates from the tenth century" is suggested to be written as a conditional ? G1-->10 in the textbook? (I had written it as a block and saw that comment so I changed my thinking about it)

But Z is a rock classic sounds very similar to the Gallagher rule in that it MUST occur (there is no "if")

So which one is it? Do we diagram as blocks or conditionals?

TY!!
Adam Tyson
• PowerScore Staff
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• Joined: Apr 14, 2011
#83304
I would draw it as a conditional because to draw it as a block would suggest that every 10 must be a G, which is not correct. There is one G, and it must be a 10, but there could be another 10 out there that is not a G. But you can combine these approaches by writing a conditional that shows G as sufficient and a G/10 block as the necessary condition, which would also be accurate!
leslie7
• Posts: 72
• Joined: Oct 06, 2020
#83344
Adam Tyson wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 7:01 pm I would draw it as a conditional because to draw it as a block would suggest that every 10 must be a G, which is not correct. There is one G, and it must be a 10, but there could be another 10 out there that is not a G. But you can combine these approaches by writing a conditional that shows G as sufficient and a G/10 block as the necessary condition, which would also be accurate!
Hi Tyson I think what I'm asking is in regards to the "Z is a Rock Classic" because that is drawn as a block which you explained why above however the "g" rule is written as a conditional in the textbook.

Neither of them have a conditional or sound like an "if" "then" statement so what I am asking is what is the difference between the Z is a Rock Classic" rule and "Exactly one of the sites was discovered by Gallagher, and it dates from the tenth century" (Where The rock classic rule is written as a block and the Gallagher rule is written as a conditional)?

Does my question make sense?

I want to know when looking at these how I can tell the difference between them and know whether to write them as a block or conditional. I'm using these two examples because to me they both appear very similar in what they are saying in that there are no indicators but one is written as a block (the Rock classic) and the Gallagher is written as a conditional.

Could you help me understand the difference between the two and why a block vs a conditional was chosen for each of them but in a comparative way?

I hope this makes sense this time - sorry if I wasn't clear.

Thanks so much
Adam Tyson
• PowerScore Staff
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• Joined: Apr 14, 2011
#83380
That's a really good question, leslie, and I see why you are a bit stuck on it. It does seem somewhat arbitrary, and to an extent perhaps it is. I often say that how you choose to diagram a rule is at least partly a matter of personal style. You have to do what works for you.

To compare these two rules, in terms of what works for me, I see it this way: In the game discussed in this thread, I know that every song is either a rock classic or new composition. I know that means there could be several of each. But I also know that each song appears just once. That's easily memorized, and I can also see it in my diagram because the number of songs I listed matches the number of spaces I drew in my base. To me, a ZR block would never make me think "every R must be a Z," because there will only be a single Z. What it does for me is create a more powerful looking "playing piece" that will completely fill a position in my sequence. It's more visual, and therefore more useful and powerful to me, than a conditional rule.

In that other game, there could be, but do not have to be, multiple 10s. Some of the archaeologists may be used more than once. Creating a block would, to me, invite some confusion about what triggers that block. Was it the G that required the 10, or the 10 that required the G? As I get a few questions into the game I don't want to have to go back and re-read that rule to be sure I understand it. For me, that level of greater uncertainty and flexibility makes the conditional diagram a safer approach. To do it as a block would not be wrong, but you would have to memorize what exactly it means and what it doesn't mean. That, to me, is a distinction that matters.

Ultimately, the choice of how to diagram it is up to you! It's not about what's right or wrong, but about what works for you.
leslie7
• Posts: 72
• Joined: Oct 06, 2020
#83422
Great, this was clear Adam - ty so much !

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