Reading Comprehension

June 2013 LSAT, Reading Comprehension, Q27

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project It's been a hell of a last nine days! The June 2013 LSAT was released last Monday, July 2. Since then, I've been working nonstop to get explanations posted for the entire test. I did video for all four logic games, crowdsourced the majority of the Logical Reasoning, and wrote the Reading Comprehension explanations myself because I wouldn't wish those on anybody. This is the last post in the series... 100 blog posts in all. Thanks so much for reading, for participating, and for telling a friend. I hope you've found the explanations helpful.

This question is a "Must Be True EXCEPT," which means that four of the answers will have support from the passage and one answer, the correct answer, will either be something that was never mentioned or the opposite of something that was mentioned. Here's my summary of the entire passage, if you need a refresher.

A. Just because the passage doesn't mention it doesn't necessarily mean that the author believes Temple's critics haven't definitely identified the causes of Calvaria's thick seed pods. But the author does seem to think that it's hard to definitively prove anything, especially when you're going back thousands or millions of years looking for evolutionary causes. It's a good bet that the author would agree with A. Let's see if we can find an answer that we know the author disagrees with.

B. I do think the author would agree with this, because the passage gave an example that suggests seeds germinate more easily when abraded. They wouldn't have to do this if their seeds weren't so thick, so maybe seed thickness has been hurting the Calvaria.

C. Wait, what? Isn't this the opposite of what's happening with the Calvaria? The seeds are germinating at a low rate, due to seed thickness. So why would it be surprising that the tree is not abundant? I bet this is the answer, since it seems to be the exact opposite of what the passage suggests.

D. I think the author would agree with this. Evidence in the final paragraph suggests that the Calvaria situation isn't as dire as Temple made it out to be.

E. The passage might not explicitly say this, but it does say that dodo-digestion wasn't necessary. If dodo-digestion isn't necessary, then why would bird digestion be necessary? Couldn't I take a pocketknife or some sandpaper and sufficiently abrade a Calvaria seed and get it to germinate? I bet the author would say I could.

This was a bit of a tricky question, because we're not sure that the author agrees with A, B, D, or E. But we do know that the author disagrees with C. So C is our answer for this EXCEPT question.

 

Please ask questions and/or suggest corrections to anything that seems confusing... we want to make this the best resource we can for LSAT students. We'll have all the June 2013 explanations up as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading. Tell your friends!

--nathan

About me: I'm  the owner of Fox LSAT and FoxTestPrep.com. Please email me at fox.edit@gmail.com, call me at 415-518-0630, Tweet me @nfoxcheck out my books here, and watch 15 hours of free LSAT classes here.

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project

June 2013 LSAT, Reading Comprehension, Q26

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project This seems like another cleverly-disguised Main Point question. Did you, or did you not, get the main idea? Here's my summary of the entire passage, if you need a refresher. What does the author think about Temple's hypothesis? Well, I think the author thinks that the dodo-Calvaria link would have been really cool, but probably didn't happen. The author also seems to think that Temple did some bad science in an effort to support his own hypothesis. Let's see.

A. No, the author definitely doesn't think that Temple was "essentially correct." The author thinks Temple was wrong.

B. No, the author doesn't think that Temple "vindicated" his hypothesis through research. The author thinks Temple was wrong.

C. No, the author thinks Temple was wrong and did bogus science. That's far from "a valuable scientific achievement."

D. No, the author doesn't think Temple was "precise."

E. Yes, exactly. The author thinks Temple came up with a cool hypothesis and then tried to create science to back it up even though it was, in fact, wrong. This is the answer.

 

Please ask questions and/or suggest corrections to anything that seems confusing... we want to make this the best resource we can for LSAT students. We'll have all the June 2013 explanations up as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading. Tell your friends!

--nathan

About me: I'm  the owner of Fox LSAT and FoxTestPrep.com. Please email me at fox.edit@gmail.com, call me at 415-518-0630, Tweet me @nfoxcheck out my books here, and watch 15 hours of free LSAT classes here.

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project

June 2013 LSAT, Reading Comprehension, Q25

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project Here, I don't think I have any choice but to examine the five answer choices. Apparently we're going to be asked about a detail that was presented in the passage regarding "Calvaria pit walls." I don't remember much about them, except that they were an integral part of Temple's hypothesis... which turned out to be bogus. Here's my summary of the entire passage, if you need a refresher.

A. Yep. Line 56 says "a minority of unabraded Calvaria major seeds germinate." This means that abrasion might help Calvaria germinate, but it's not necessary. If it were necessary, then zero unabraded seeds would germinate. This will turn out to be the answer.

B. No, the passage said that some seeds made it through the turkey test and were able to germinate. It did not say that all of the seeds made it successfully through the turkeys.

C. No, the passage doesn't say "dodos couldn't have abraded the pits enough to cause them to germinate." Rather, the passage said "the dodo extinction probably wasn't related to the Calvaria decline."

D. What? I don't remember the passage saying anything remotely close to this.

E. No, the passage never mentioned wind or rain or anything else abrading Calvaria seeds.

Our answer is A, because it's something that was directly supported by the passage.

 

Please ask questions and/or suggest corrections to anything that seems confusing... we want to make this the best resource we can for LSAT students. We'll have all the June 2013 explanations up as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading. Tell your friends!

--nathan

About me: I'm  the owner of Fox LSAT and FoxTestPrep.com. Please email me at fox.edit@gmail.com, call me at 415-518-0630, Tweet me @nfoxcheck out my books here, and watch 15 hours of free LSAT classes here.

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project

June 2013 LSAT, Reading Comprehension, Q24

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project Sweet! I totally noticed the phrase "semblance of rigor" on my first readthrough, because it seemed to me that the author was busting Temple's balls. Here's my summary of the entire passage, if you need a refresher. I think this question should be a piece of cake.

A. Hmm. I don't like the phrase "despite his attempts to use strict scientific methodology." Did the passage say that Temple was trying to be good scientist? I don't think it did. I'll read through the other four answers before spending any more time with this one.

B. No, the author wasn't like "it would be impossible to prove this." Rather, the author was skeptical of the methods Temple actually used. This one is out.

C. No, the passage never told us whether Temple's other research was any better than his dodo-Calvaria research. This is out.

D. Yep. When the author said "semblance of rigor," he was implying that Temple was padding his research with "superficially" scientific experiments that served only to support his own hypothesis. I like this one because it accurately captures the ball-busting the author was trying to deliver to Temple.

E. No, the author did not think that Temple was "precise." Quite the opposite.

Our answer is D, because it's the best description of the grounds on which the author was criticizing Temple.

 

Please ask questions and/or suggest corrections to anything that seems confusing... we want to make this the best resource we can for LSAT students. We'll have all the June 2013 explanations up as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading. Tell your friends!

--nathan

About me: I'm  the owner of Fox LSAT and FoxTestPrep.com. Please email me at fox.edit@gmail.com, call me at 415-518-0630, Tweet me @nfoxcheck out my books here, and watch 15 hours of free LSAT classes here.

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project

June 2013 LSAT, Reading Comprehension, Q23

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project This is a Must Be True question. We need to pick an answer that has direct evidentiary support from the passage. I'm not sure if we can predict this one in advance, since it seems to be asking us about a detail from the passage that may or may not be obscure. Still, I can always restate the Main Point... that can't ever hurt. What did the author think about Temple's research on birds? Well, the author seemed to think that the dodo-Calvaria link would have been cool, but probably didn't actually exist. (Here's my summary of the entire passage, if you need a refresher.)

Keeping the passage's main point firmly in mind, let's tackle the answer choices.

A. Yep. In the first paragraph, we're told that Temple's primary purpose on Mauritius was "research on endangered birds of Mauritius." This is probably it.

B. No, we weren't told that Temple's research on birds gave him any clues about how crush-resistant Calvaria pits are. He might have tested the pits by running them over with his Jeep, for all we know.

C. I have two reasons to dislike this answer. First, I'm not sure that Temple tested turkeys on Mauritius... he could have done his turkey-testing in the United States. Second, Temple didn't actually prove that turkey gizzards exert roughly the same force as dodo gizzards did. How could he, when he didn't have dodos available to test?

D. No way. The author was skeptical of Temple's methodology... remember when the author delivered the somewhat snide "semblance of rigor"? This one is out.

E. This feels like an attractive trap to me. In the first paragraph, we were told that Temple assumed the seeds couldn't germinate, because he couldn't find any young Calvaria trees. But I don't think that the hypothesis started with the seeds. I think the hypothesis started with a lack of trees.

Our answer is A, because it has direct support from the passage.

 

 

Please ask questions and/or suggest corrections to anything that seems confusing... we want to make this the best resource we can for LSAT students. We'll have all the June 2013 explanations up as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading. Tell your friends!

--nathan

About me: I'm  the owner of Fox LSAT and FoxTestPrep.com. Please email me at fox.edit@gmail.com, call me at 415-518-0630, Tweet me @nfoxcheck out my books here, and watch 15 hours of free LSAT classes here.

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project

June 2013 LSAT, Reading Comprehension, Q22

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project It's critical that you answer Main Point questions before tainting yourself by looking at the answer choices. To do so, you simply need to restate your understanding of the passage as a whole. I like to do this by pretending to ask the author, "Why are you wasting my time with this?" For this passage, I think the author would say "well, I wanted to tell you about what would have been a really cool link between the extinction of the dodo and the extinction of a species of tree... but even though it would have been cool, I'm pretty sure it wasn't true." That pretty much captures it, I think. (Here's my summary of the entire passage, if you need a refresher.)

Armed with a prediction, we can now head into the answer choices.

A. Huh? Nothing here about Temple, the misguided ecologist, and nothing about the dodo theory. No way.

B. Much better. This answer captures the idea that Temple's dodo theory was pretty cool, but probably wrong. I bet this is it.

C. No way. The passage wasn't about a "solution" to Calvaria's decline.

D. No, the entire fourth paragraph suggests that the theory is wrong.

E. Tricky, but no. The passage didn't say anything about what might have happened if the dodo had not gone extinct. This is speculative.

Our answer is B, because it's a very close match to our "why are you wasting my time with this" prediction.

 

Please ask questions and/or suggest corrections to anything that seems confusing... we want to make this the best resource we can for LSAT students. We'll have all the June 2013 explanations up as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading. Tell your friends!

--nathan

About me: I'm  the owner of Fox LSAT and FoxTestPrep.com. Please email me at fox.edit@gmail.com, call me at 415-518-0630, Tweet me @nfoxcheck out my books here, and watch 15 hours of free LSAT classes here.

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project

June 2013 LSAT, Reading Comprehension, passage 4 summary

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project Call me a nerd, but I'm actually halfway intrigued by the first paragraph. As far as the LSAT goes, this is about as good as it gets... there's a mystery here! The dodo went extinct three centuries ago. When the dodo went, did it take a species of tree (Calvaria major) with it? Ecologist Stanley Temple seems to think so. Let's check out the second paragraph and see what more we can learn.

Wow, yeah! In the second paragraph we get the causal mechanism by which the dodo might have killed off a species of tree. Basically, the dodo used to eat the trees' seeds all the time. To counteract the rough treatment doled out by the dodo's digestive system, the tree evolves a thick covering for its seeds. But then, when the dodo dies off, the trees still have seeds with these incredibly thick coverings... which, without dodo digestion, trap the seed inside, preventing germination! Sorry, I'm excited here. I like nature shows. Compared to the usual RC passage about 18th-Century poetry, this one is heaven.

The third paragraph talks about ways that Temple tried to validate his hypothesis. Of course he couldn't use dodos for testing, since they were extinct. So Temple did some "estimates" of the pressures that must have been present inside a dodo's gizzard, and compared this to crush tests on the Calvaria major pits. He also used turkeys as a stand-in for the dodo, and was able to sprout seeds that had made it through turkey digestion. But the author gives some clues here that suggest Temple might have actually been wrong in his dodo-Calvaria link. In line 33, the author says "semblance of rigor." This suggests that the author doesn't view the studies as actually rigorous. And in line 42, the author writes "which he saw as vindicating his hypothesis." Hmm... this sounds like the author thinks Temple might have been fooling himself. As I move toward the fourth paragraph, I'm expecting the author to say "actually, Temple was wrong and the extinction of the dodo had nothing to do with the decline of the Calvaria. That would be a bummer, because I was looking forward to telling people this story at cocktail parties! Oh well, maybe I'll just tell the story anyway... nobody will know the difference, right?

Yep, here we go. Line 46: "Strongly challenged by leading specialists." Line 50: "hundreds [of Calvaria], many far younger than three centuries." (So Calvaria has been reproducing since the dodo went extinct after all.) Line 57: "number [of seeds that germinate] is still probably sufficient to keep this species from becoming extinct." And finally, in the last couple lines of the passage, we find out about "other factors" like disease and nonindigenous animals that could have caused the decline in Calvaria.

I'm not gonna lie... I'm a bit disappointed. I was rooting for the dodo-Calvaria link, because it would have been an interesting story. Now I'm left with no likely connection between those two things, and the far more mundane "disease and nonindigenous animals" cause for Calvaria's decline. Boring! Oh well, at least I was engaged for the entire story. On to the questions.

 

Please ask questions and/or suggest corrections to anything that seems confusing... we want to make this the best resource we can for LSAT students. We'll have all the June 2013 explanations up as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading. Tell your friends!

--nathan

About me: I'm  the owner of Fox LSAT and FoxTestPrep.com. Please email me at fox.edit@gmail.com, call me at 415-518-0630, Tweet me @nfoxcheck out my books here, and watch 15 hours of free LSAT classes here.

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project

June 2013 LSAT, Reading Comprehension, Q21

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project It's not a problem if you have to look back at the passages to answer this question. What did the first paragraph of Passage B say about innovation in software? Yeah, basically "patents inhibit innovation." To answer the question, we need to find something that attacks that assertion.

A. Um, 20 years might be plenty of time to inhibit innovation. I don't think this is it.

B. This would only strengthen the idea that patents hurt innovation. We needed to weaken that idea. No way.

C. This is an inherently poor answer for this type of question, because "some" is very wishy-washy. All "some" means is "one or more." Wouldn't we prefer something like "most" or "all" if we were going to attack the idea that patents don't inhibit software innovation? Furthermore, the fact that software companies are "self-interested" doesn't mean that they are wrong.

D. OK, I can make a case for this answer. If software patents didn't exist, and if that made software innovation less profitable, isn't it conceivable that less companies would want to develop software? I think so, so I think this is a good answer.

E. No. Corporations vs. individual innovators is irrelevant.

Our answer is D, because it's the best counterpoint to the "patents inhibit software innovation" position.

Please ask questions and/or suggest corrections to anything that seems confusing... we want to make this the best resource we can for LSAT students. We'll have all the June 2013 explanations up as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading. Tell your friends!

--nathan

About me: I'm  the owner of Fox LSAT and FoxTestPrep.com. Please email me at fox.edit@gmail.com, call me at 415-518-0630, Tweet me @nfoxcheck out my books here, and watch 15 hours of free LSAT classes here.

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project

June 2013 LSAT, Reading Comprehension, Q20

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project I had to look back at the passages to answer this one. First, I looked at the use of "this same stance" in line 60. Basically, that entire paragraph was about tech companies adopting a defensive patent portfolio. Where was that mentioned in Passage A? After a quick skim, I see "nuclear stockpiling" in line 18. Let's see if we can find that in the answer choices.

A. Not what we're looking for.

B. Not what we're looking for.

C. Not what we're looking for.

D. Yep! This is the same general area as I predicted. In line 20, "credible deterrent" was referring to defensive patent portfolios. This is the one.

E. No, not what we're looking for. Our answer is D.

This is a great example of an answer that must be answered before you look at the answers. If you know what you're looking for, this question is really quite easy.

Please ask questions and/or suggest corrections to anything that seems confusing... we want to make this the best resource we can for LSAT students. We'll have all the June 2013 explanations up as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading. Tell your friends!

--nathan

About me: I'm  the owner of Fox LSAT and FoxTestPrep.com. Please email me at fox.edit@gmail.com, call me at 415-518-0630, Tweet me @nfoxcheck out my books here, and watch 15 hours of free LSAT classes here.

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project

June 2013 LSAT, Reading Comprehension, Q19

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project Both passages definitely mentioned the need for software companies to shore up their positions with defensive patent portfolios. That's not the only thing they agree on, but it would be a great answer. If you need a refresher on the two passages, I've got you covered.

A. Yes, boom, exactly.

B. No, Passage A actually said that it might be "prohibitively expensive" to do this. I'm not sure Passage B mentioned it either.

C. No, the two passages never mentioned offensive patent strategies. No way.

D. Nope. Passage A specifically said that it might be impossible to write software without infringing on other patents.

E. Nope. Passage A calls this "prohibitively expensive," and Passage B never mentions it. Bad answer.

Our answer is A, because it matches something that we knew before we even looked at the questions. It's an easy question if you grasped the main point of the two passages.

Please ask questions and/or suggest corrections to anything that seems confusing... we want to make this the best resource we can for LSAT students. We'll have all the June 2013 explanations up as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading. Tell your friends!

--nathan

About me: I'm  the owner of Fox LSAT and FoxTestPrep.com. Please email me at fox.edit@gmail.com, call me at 415-518-0630, Tweet me @nfoxcheck out my books here, and watch 15 hours of free LSAT classes here.

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project

June 2013 LSAT, Reading Comprehension, Q18

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project I'm going to rely on my summary of the two passages again here. Before I ever looked at the questions, I said "Passage A was more about the general problem of overbroad patents, using software as an example of the problem. Passage B was specifically about software, written by someone who works in the trenches of software patent litigation." Let's see if we can find an answer that embodies that.

A. No, I wouldn't call Passage A "objective." The author of Passage A definitely took a position, right off the bat, with the judging word "unfortunately." That's enough to make this answer wrong.

B. I can totally see this as the answer. Look again at my summary, above. That's a pretty good match for what this answer says. I like it.

C. No, Passage A isn't "critical" of the strategy of a company defending itself with a patent portfolio. This is out.

D. "Impasse"? What "impasse"? Passage A definitely mentioned a problem, but I don't think it was described as some sort of stalemate. And Passage B, while espousing the defensive strategy of a patent portfolio, wasn't talking about a "way out" of the problem... playing defense isn't the same thing as ending the war. No way.

E. Nope. Both Passage A and B were on the same side of the debate... the anti-patent side.

Our answer is B, because it's a fair description of the two passages. It matches our prediction quite nicely as well... I found this one pretty easy.

 

Please ask questions and/or suggest corrections to anything that seems confusing... we want to make this the best resource we can for LSAT students. We'll have all the June 2013 explanations up as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading. Tell your friends!

--nathan

About me: I'm  the owner of Fox LSAT and FoxTestPrep.com. Please email me at fox.edit@gmail.com, call me at 415-518-0630, Tweet me @nfoxcheck out my books here, and watch 15 hours of free LSAT classes here.

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project

June 2013 LSAT, Reading Comprehension, Q17

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project This question seems fairly easy at first glance, because I recall that Passage A was mentioning "invent around" in the context of "nonobviousness." In my summary of the two passages, I invented my own hypothetical about a patent on "flight." I said that this would be, according to the author of Passage A, obvious/overbroad because it would pre-empt other inventors from innovating in the entire aviation field. Passage A wanted patents to be narrower, like "aircraft engine powered by Jameson Irish Whiskey," so that inventors would still be able to create inventions in flight. That's what "invent around" means. No sweat.

A. No. The problem is obvious patents that are so broad they cannot be invented around.

B. No. Concealing infringement was never mentioned in either passage.

C. No. Other uses for existing patents was not mentioned.

D. No. I find it a bit difficult to say why this is wrong, other than "that's not what the passage was talking about." Sorry I can't do better than that. Sometimes, the incorrect answers are just a bunch of fancy words that seem vaguely related to the topic, but nonetheless miss the target we're aiming for.

E. OK, there we go. Yes, "invent around" might refer to an invention that serves the same basic function but uses a different mechanism. For example, if my patent was on "aircraft engine powered by Jameson Irish Whiskey," you'd be free to create an engine that runs on Wild Turkey 101. That engine would serve the same basic function, but wouldn't violate my patent. That's exactly what the author of Passage A wants. This is our answer.

 

Please ask questions and/or suggest corrections to anything that seems confusing... we want to make this the best resource we can for LSAT students. We'll have all the June 2013 explanations up as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading. Tell your friends!

--nathan

About me: I'm  the owner of Fox LSAT and FoxTestPrep.com. Please email me at fox.edit@gmail.com, call me at 415-518-0630, Tweet me @nfoxcheck out my books here, and watch 15 hours of free LSAT classes here.

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project

June 2013 LSAT, Reading Comprehension, Q16

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project This question asks about specifics... we're asked to pick an answer that was mentioned in Passage A but not in Passage B. Here's my summary of the two passages, if you need a refresher. I think it's going to be difficult to predict this one in advance, but I do have one idea at the top of my head: "obviousness." Passage A started off talking about that, and Passage B never mentioned it. I'm not saying that's the answer, but if it's in the answer choices I will be thrilled to pick it.

A. Nope. Both passages mentioned this.

B. This was mentioned at the end of Passage A, and I don't recall it being mentioned in Passage B. I can pick this if I can get past C-E.

C. Both passages mentioned patent problems in the software industry.

D. Passage B definitely mentioned this. We're looking for something that was mentioned in Passage A but not Passage B.

E. No. Passage B specifically mentioned "questionable," i.e. "dubious," software patents.

Great. Our answer is B, because it was specifically mentioned in Passage A (lines 32-33), and never mentioned in Passage B.

 

Please ask questions and/or suggest corrections to anything that seems confusing... we want to make this the best resource we can for LSAT students. We'll have all the June 2013 explanations up as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading. Tell your friends!

--nathan

About me: I'm  the owner of Fox LSAT and FoxTestPrep.com. Please email me at fox.edit@gmail.com, call me at 415-518-0630, Tweet me @nfoxcheck out my books here, and watch 15 hours of free LSAT classes here.

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project

June 2013 LSAT, Reading Comprehension, Q15

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project I enjoy this type of question. What titles would be good for the two passages? Obviously you have to have understood the main point of each passage in order to have any chance on this one. If you struggled with it, odds are that you didn't quite catch it the main point of the two arguments. Here's my summary, if you need a refresher.

Before I look at the answer choices, I'll revisit my understanding of the two passages. At the end of my summary, I said, "Passage A was more about the general problem of overbroad patents, using software as an example of the problem. Passage B was specifically about software, written by someone who works in the trenches of software patent litigation." I need to pick an answer that gets as close to possible to that summary.

A. I don't like either of these titles. Passage A wasn't so general as "the use and abuse of patents"... more like "one particular abuse of patents." Passage B didn't go so far as to say patents should be "eliminated." More like "software patents cause trouble, but they exist, and here's one thing that can be done about it." I'm hoping for something better.

B. I don't like this one either. Passage A was nowhere near as broad as "reforming patent laws." And Passage B is in opposition of software patents. Terrible answer.

C. Maybe. Passage A did talk about the "nonobviousness" requirement of patents, and expressed dismay at the current trend toward allowing broader (more "obvious") patents. Passage B did mention accumulating patent portfolios as a defensive measure. I like this one.

D. No. Passage A wasn't about a "misunderstanding," and Passage B wasn't about "safety." Terrible answer.

E. Wow, Passage B wasn't even close to an "apology." This might be the worst answer I have ever seen. Seriously... I don't think it's possible to actually read both passages and still choose this answer.

Our answer is C, because A, B, D, and E were all terrible. C doesn't provide amazing titles for the two pieces, but it's a hell of a lot better than the alternatives.

Please ask questions and/or suggest corrections to anything that seems confusing... we want to make this the best resource we can for LSAT students. We'll have all the June 2013 explanations up as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading. Tell your friends!

--nathan

About me: I'm  the owner of Fox LSAT and FoxTestPrep.com. Please email me at fox.edit@gmail.com, call me at 415-518-0630, Tweet me @nfoxcheck out my books here, and watch 15 hours of free LSAT classes here.

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project

June 2013 LSAT, Reading Comprehension, passage 3 summary

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project This is a so-called "Comparative Reading" passage; note the two shorter passages, "Passage A" and "Passage B." My approach here is scarcely different from my general Reading Comprehension approach: I'll simply ask both speakers "Why are you wasting my time with this?" As long as I can get the basic idea from each speaker, I'll be fine.

Passage A starts off talking about the "nonobvious" requirement of patents, and quickly gets into a specific case regarding "translations" between Internet addresses and telephone numbers. I don't know what either of these terms mean yet, but the speaker obviously is here to talk about patents and the legal standards surrounding them. Who's excited?

In the second paragraph, the author expresses dismay ("unfortunately") regarding a shift in the law. Apparently, the standard for "nonobviousness" has gotten more lax, which is causing some very broad patents to be issued. At this point, I tell myself a little story to understand what "nonobviousness" might mean. Imagine if I tried to get a patent for "flight." I think the author would describe this as obvious, or overbroad. If I patent the idea of "flight," it would preclude other inventors from entering the field. The author of Passage A thinks that's a bad thing. On the other hand, if I were to invent a new jet engine that runs on Jameson Irish Whiskey, and patented that, other inventors would still be able to create useful innovations in flight. The author of Passage A would rather that I be specific instead of general. That's what he seems to mean by "nonobvious."

The third paragraph talks about what happens when too many overbroad patents are issued: Companies will stockpile patents in order to do patent war. The author thinks this is bad, but says that companies should engage in this arms race, or find themselves "defenseless."

The fourth paragraph of Passage A talks about an industry where the patent wars are "particularly ripe": software. The author cites "modular components" as a particularly difficult issue. It's hard for software makers to avoid infringing patents; even if they tried to find licenses for all patents that might be infringed by their new software program, they might not be able to do so.

Mr. Passage A, I ask you: Why are you wasting my time with this? I think Mr. Passage A would respond with something like "we have a problem with overbroad patents, particularly in software."

On to Passage B.

Passage B seems to be written by somebody inside the software business. Where Mr. Passage A might be a law professor, Mr. Passage B seems to work for some sort of organization that does advocacy for software makers. A practicing IP attorney, perhaps? Or, just a PR person. We're not sure, but at the end of paragraph one of Passage B, it's obvious that the author is on the anti-patent side of things, at least where software is concerned.

In the second paragraph, Mr. Passage B shows a realist streak. It's apparent that Mr. Passage B is anti-patent, but his head is not buried in the sand. He acknowledges that patents exist, and understands the potential for "misuse," including "the hight cost of patent litigation."

The final paragraph of Passage B says that "one defense" against patent abuse is the aggregation of a defensive portfolio of patents... Passage A recommended this strategy as well. Surprisingly, Passage B says that even open-source software makers (including the author's company) accumulate these patent portfolios. The last sentence calls this strategy "prudent" while acknowledging potential perception of hypocrisy.

Well now, wasn't that a kick? A kick in the balls, perhaps. I did not find that interesting in the slightest. Well, maybe that's a lie. The very last sentence did catch a small piece of my curiosity. The idea of an open-source software company accumulating a war chest of patents was unexpected.

Why are you wasting my time with this, Mr. Passage B? Hmmmm... seems like Passage B is saying more or less the same thing as Passage A. Biggest difference, as far as I can see, is that Passage A was more about the general problem of overbroad patents, using software as an example of the problem. Passage B was specifically about software, written by someone who works in the trenches of software patent litigation.

On to the questions!

 

Please ask questions and/or suggest corrections to anything that seems confusing... we want to make this the best resource we can for LSAT students. We'll have all the June 2013 explanations up as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading. Tell your friends!

--nathan

About me: I'm  the owner of Fox LSAT and FoxTestPrep.com. Please email me at fox.edit@gmail.com, call me at 415-518-0630, Tweet me @nfoxcheck out my books here, and watch 15 hours of free LSAT classes here.

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project

June 2013 LSAT, Reading Comprehension, Q14

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project The last question is once again about Estabrook, who was mentioned in the passage as the guy who wants to create fake antiques and sell them at flea markets. We're asked to "strengthen" his choice of certain strategies in photography. What strategies did he choose? Well, he's the primary example of somebody who is out there using old photographic techniques instead of new ones. So we need to pick an answer that makes him look smart for doing so.

If you struggled at all with questions 8-14, odds are that you didn't quite catch the main point of the passage. Here's my summary, if you need a refresher.

 

A. This would be a good reason to use old techniques if you're going for an "imperfect" look, which Estabrook definitely is. So this might be the answer.

B. No, if techniques were "irrelevant to artistic value" then what would be the point of using old techniques? This isn't it.

C. If "accuracy" was all we were going for, then we definitely wouldn't use old-school techniques. No way.

D. If this is true, then Estabrook really shouldn't be trying to create fake antiques.

E. This provides no reason for Estabrook to use old techniques.

Our answer is A, because it's the only one that would provide Estabrook a reason to use old photographic techniques.

Please ask questions and/or suggest corrections to anything that seems confusing... we want to make this the best resource we can for LSAT students. We'll have all the June 2013 explanations up as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading. Tell your friends!

--nathan

About me: I'm  the owner of Fox LSAT and FoxTestPrep.com. Please email me at fox.edit@gmail.com, call me at 415-518-0630, Tweet me @nfoxcheck out my books here, and watch 15 hours of free LSAT classes here.

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project

June 2013 LSAT, Reading Comprehension, Q13

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project Estabrook, who was that again? Oh yeah, he's introduced in line 12 as the guy who has a "fantasy" of making fake antiques and selling them in flea markets. And in the fourth paragraph, the passage mentions Estabrook again, in the context of retaining imperfections in his works to "heighten the sense of nostalgia." Let's see if we can pick an answer that describes something Estabrook is associated with in the passage.

If you struggled at all with questions 8-14, odds are that you didn't quite catch the main point of the passage. Here's my summary, if you need a refresher.

A. I don't remember the subject of photographs ever being mentioned in the passage. Wasn't the whole thing about techniques?

B. I can come back to this one if I eliminate the other four answers. For now, I'm skeptical of it because I'm not sure that the passage had anything to do with "relinquishing control."

C. Nah. Photographers in the old days weren't trying to "exploit artistically the unpredictability" of the shitty technology they were using... they were using it because it was the best tech they had available at the time! Today's hipsters are trying to "artistically exploit" the unpredictability of the old tech. That's not what this answer is talking about though.

D. No. Estabrook believes the exact opposite of this, right? He's the hipster who is making fake antiques, after all.

E. No, I think Estabrook avoids manipulating photos after taking them. He's not Photoshopping images after they're made.

Circling back, I think the answer is probably B. When Estabrook uses old photographic techniques, he is "relinquishing control" over the photographic process.  (Newer technology would allow more control.) I didn't it immediately, but it's better than our other choices.

Please ask questions and/or suggest corrections to anything that seems confusing... we want to make this the best resource we can for LSAT students. We'll have all the June 2013 explanations up as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading. Tell your friends!

--nathan

About me: I'm  the owner of Fox LSAT and FoxTestPrep.com. Please email me at fox.edit@gmail.com, call me at 415-518-0630, Tweet me @nfoxcheck out my books here, and watch 15 hours of free LSAT classes here.

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project

June 2013 LSAT, Reading Comprehension, Q12

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project In order to pick something "analogous," we definitely needed to have a good understanding of the passage. Always remember the main point! "Hipsters are cool because they've revived old-school photographic techniques" was basically it. We need to find an answer that shows somebody doing something similar. Riding fixed-gear bikes or drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon would be perfect.

If you struggled at all with questions 8-14, odds are that you didn't quite catch the main point of the passage. Here's my summary, if you need a refresher.

A. Maybe, but I doubt it. Remember, one of the perceived advantages of old-school photographic techniques is that they're unpredictable and prone to error. I doubt that's what a biomedical researcher would be looking for. There's no "we're just doing this to be cool" factor in this answer... I don't think this can be it.

B. Investigating old stuff for inspiration isn't the same thing as using old techniques in the modern world. No way.

C. Nothing here about intentional unreliability... nothing here about coolness. Still looking.

D. Boom. A hipster fashion designer uses backwards technology to introduce irregularities on purpose. This is an excellent answer.

E. No way... this artist is using modern techniques to reproduce old figures. In order for this to be the answer, the artist would have to be doing the opposite, perhaps making a cave painting that depicts a computer.

Our answer is D. I found this to be a much easier question than number 11. All we really had to do here was understand the passage's main point.

Please ask questions and/or suggest corrections to anything that seems confusing... we want to make this the best resource we can for LSAT students. We'll have all the June 2013 explanations up as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading. Tell your friends!

--nathan

About me: I'm  the owner of Fox LSAT and FoxTestPrep.com. Please email me at fox.edit@gmail.com, call me at 415-518-0630, Tweet me @nfoxcheck out my books here, and watch 15 hours of free LSAT classes here.

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project

June 2013 LSAT, Reading Comprehension, Q11

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project Another Main Point question. I'm looking for "hipsters are pretty cool because they have revived old-school photographic techniques." Too easy.

If you struggled at all with questions 8-14, odds are that you didn't quite catch the main point of the passage. Here's my summary, if you need a refresher.

A. This looks pretty good. The author definitely seemed in favor of using the old techniques, and laid out several perceived aesthetic advantages. I'll be very happy with this answer, if I can get past B-E.

B. This seems to dry to me. The author seemed to be happy about the hipsters reviving old photographic techniques. This answer could be used to describe a passage that just said "here's how it's done"... I think the passage actually was more like "here's what's cool about this." I like A better.

C. Hmm. Now I'm in a bit of a pickle. The author most certainly did talk about a "recent development in photographic arts," and I do think it's fair to say that said development is "surprising." (Remember, we picked an answer for #8 that used the word "ironic." If we were right about #8, then I don't see how we can pass on this answer. Looking back at A, it doesn't really capture the idea that people are actually using the old techniques... A could just as easily be describing a piece lamenting the loss of the old techniques as describing the actual passage, which celebrates their revival. I like C best so far.

D. This one is easier to eliminate, because the author never said anything about hipsters receiving "acclaim" for their work. Next please.

E. This is another throwaway. The passage did mention two photographers, but the point of the passage was not to contrast those two. This is the type of answer you might pick if you read the questions first, and tried to answer them by skimming through the passage. It's a really terrible answer, if you actually read the passage.

Our answer is C, because it's the best match for the purpose of the passage. I found both A and B attractive here as well. That makes this a tough question.

Please ask questions and/or suggest corrections to anything that seems confusing... we want to make this the best resource we can for LSAT students. We'll have all the June 2013 explanations up as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading. Tell your friends!

--nathan

About me: I'm  the owner of Fox LSAT and FoxTestPrep.com. Please email me at fox.edit@gmail.com, call me at 415-518-0630, Tweet me @nfoxcheck out my books here, and watch 15 hours of free LSAT classes here.

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project

June 2013 LSAT, Reading Comprehension, Q10

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project There's no way to predict this one in advance. I'll just have to go through the answer choices one by one, and pick the one that seems like it was answered by the passage.

If you struggled at all with questions 8-14, odds are that you didn't quite catch the main point of the passage. Here's my summary, if you need a refresher.

A. I don't recall the passage talking about technologies that were not revived, only ones that were.

B. In the first paragraph, the author did mention the tintype emulsion. But other than saying "there's no tin," I don't think the chemical makeup of the emulsion was really described. I'll be surprised if this is it.

C. Nope. Pinhole cameras were definitely mentioned, but I never saw a list of hipsters who are using them.

D. Nope. Coating photographic paper with egg whites was mentioned, but there was no discussion of the result of that particular technique.

E. Yes. Starting in line 29, the passage states that new photographic techniques were simpler, cheaper, faster, and more consistent. Those are the advantages that led to the decline of old fashioned photography, until hipsters picked the old techniques back up.

Our answer is E, because it's the only question that was answered by the passage.

Please ask questions and/or suggest corrections to anything that seems confusing... we want to make this the best resource we can for LSAT students. We'll have all the June 2013 explanations up as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading. Tell your friends!

--nathan

About me: I'm  the owner of Fox LSAT and FoxTestPrep.com. Please email me at fox.edit@gmail.com, call me at 415-518-0630, Tweet me @nfoxcheck out my books here, and watch 15 hours of free LSAT classes here.

Crowdsourcing the June 2013 LSAT:  June 2013 LSAT Explanation Central | About this project