This is an explanation for passage 3 of LSAT preptest 71, the December 2013 LSAT. This passage is exceptional talent, and whether it is due to talent or training.
This section has paragraph summaries and an analysis of the passage, links to the explanations for the questions are below.
- Opposing view: Some people think that talent is innate.
- Recent studies suggest that talent only occurs within specific fields of expertise. E.g. Athletes have good reaction time in their sports, but not necessarily in general.
- Most high performers only became good through training. Even anatomical characteristics can be trained.
- Motivation is more likely than talent to be a predictor of great ability.
This passage is an argument. It’s important for you to understand why the author says the things they say.
Their overall point is this: talent is acquired, not innate. The paragraph summaries above show how each section fits into the argument.
The particular details used to support the argument are not that important. You should know where to find details, but you don’t need to memorize them. These are the important facts you should retain:
- Talent can be learned
- Top performers largely don’t rely on genetic talent
- Motivation and time are required for success
- Some innate talent is required (lines 55-56)
The passage is nuanced. The author does not say their theory is definitely right. Lines 62-64 just say that motivation is “more likely” to be important than innate talent.
And talent is a factor. Height, for example (45-47) definitely matters and can’t be changed. And lines 41-45 imply that some innate skills are useful for chess. They’re just not essential. If you lack certain innate talents, you can overcome them by training other skills.
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