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bp shinners
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:34 pm

Public service announcement:

Some exciting news! Some of you may have noticed the change in the name to this thread - from bp shinners' semi-weekly office hours, to Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours. That's because we're expanding our TLS staff - Laura (BPlaura), our veteran instructor out of Boston, is going to be joining us! I trained Laura years ago, and she's regularly one of our highest rated instructors. She scored a 178 on her LSAT after taking a Blueprint class, so she knows both the test and the curriculum well. She also ran track for NYU, because apparently they have sports teams :). She's going to be around the forum, posting replies to threads and holding office hours here. For now, she's going to be in this thread on Friday afternoons (I'll still be around Wednesday nights), but we'll be expanding that in the future so that we'll have even more times when you can get a quick response to a question.
Last edited by bp shinners on Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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alecks
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby alecks » Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:49 pm

Posting this now... Anyway I have a couple questions from PT 62.

Section 2 #8: I had trouble with this question because I didn't see the flaw, and still don't. Can you explain how A is correct?

Section 2 #21: I had trouble diagramming this one.

Thanks!!!!

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bp shinners
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:18 pm

alecks wrote:Section 2 #8: I had trouble with this question because I didn't see the flaw, and still don't. Can you explain how A is correct?


Statistics!

Alright, that's probably scarier than the question.

My conclusion here is that this critic is exaggerating the risk - in other words, there's a smaller risk than he's stating.

Why is this the case?

Because a fatal catastrophe is unlikely at each stage of the trip.

In short, the author is saying that each step is pretty safe, so the trip overall is pretty safe.

Well, even without the statistics lesson I'm about to give, what's going on here is a composition fallacy - just because a part of something has a quality, it doesn't mean the whole thing has that quality. Here, just because each step is unlikely to see catastrophic failure doesn't mean that the trip as a whole won't see catastrophic failure.

Why? Because let's say that the chance of each step failing is 1%. So you'll survive that step 99% of the time.

Well, add a second step on - the chance of surviving is now 98.1% (.99*.99) - still pretty good. But what if there are 100 steps, each with a 1% chance of failure? In that case, you only have an ~37% chance of survival. But we know the trip to Mars is long and complicated, so it might be 1000 steps - in which case, your chance of survival is .0000432% - never tell me the odds!

In short, small risks can add up over time to create a large risk. If you were to roll a die with 100 sides and get killed on a 1, would you feel safe rolling it once? Maybe. But each time you roll it, you're statistically a little closer to your number coming up.

Section 2 #21: I had trouble diagramming this one.


Large nurseries --m--> Sell Raspberries primarily to commercial growers
Large nurseries --m--> Sell only healthy plants (It's got Paul Anka's guarantee*)
(since it's an "and" statement in the necessary condition, I can break it up; and you should, because it's easier to deal with. Rules: an "or" in the sufficient can be split; an "and" in the necessary can be split)

Johnson's shipment: Not healthy and From Wally's Plants

A - we don't know anything if Wally's isn't a large nursery
B - we don't know the size of Wally's nursery
C - we can't draw a conclusion about things not being a large nursery (because it only shows up as a sufficient condition, and I can't take the contrapositive of a "most" statement)
D - well-run? Where'd that come from? Also, this is saying it's not a large nursery which, again, we can't conclude.
E - Bingo. If it's a large nursery, then it is likely to sell primarily to commercial growers and have a disease-free guarantee. Since the raspberries it sent to Johnson's were riddled with disease, then it is likely that it broke the guarantee.


*Void in Tennessee.

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Hotguy
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby Hotguy » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:13 pm

Thank you for all the help you provided me for this prep, Matt!

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bp shinners
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:17 pm

Hotguy wrote:Thank you for all the help you provided me for this prep, Matt!


Any time!

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BPlaura
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby BPlaura » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:00 pm

Happy LSAT Eve, everyone!

As Shinners mentioned, I'll be taking over for him on Friday afternoons. I'm here til 5, so hit me with your questions!

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Fianna13
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby Fianna13 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:15 pm

Any last minute advices on LR? what are some of the habits that you think are essential to follow in order to perform well?

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BPlaura
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby BPlaura » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:24 pm

Fianna13 wrote:Any last minute advices on LR? what are some of the habits that you think are essential to follow in order to perform well?


At this point, hopefully you already have a good idea of what works for you. However, here's my top test-day tip: Don't rush through the questions. It feels counterintuitive if you're worrying about finishing a section on time, but it's essential to go slowly enough to hit all the steps - make sure you take adequate time to do ALL of the following:

1. identify the precise question type (especially if the prompt is a little abnormal)
2. anticipate/prephrase the answer, and
3. read the answer choices thoroughly enough to not fall for any traps.

Many of my tutoring students have found that taking the time for the anticipation step, especially, prevents them from making stupid errors and actually saves them time overall.

Other than that, just stay calm! Obviously the pressure will be on, but as long as you've prepared well enough, you'll be able to handle whatever LSAT throws at you. If you read a question and initially have no clue what's going, just follow the usual steps that you'd follow for that question type. The worst thing you can do on test day is to get thrown for a loop by something and panic.

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BPlaura
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby BPlaura » Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:02 pm

Hey gang! I'm hanging out until 5, so whether you're putting the finishing touches on apps, pondering a February retake or beginning to think about June, hit me up with your questions.

dreamofNYC
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby dreamofNYC » Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:18 pm

BPlaura wrote:Hey gang! I'm hanging out until 5, so whether you're putting the finishing touches on apps, pondering a February retake or beginning to think about June, hit me up with your questions.


Hi Matt! Thanks for doing this, and for all your time.

I am waiting for my score to start preparing applications... I am still worried that I transferred the answers from the PT to the bubble-sheet wrongly (but hopefully it's just my paranoia). Other than that, I think I did better on this test than on the June and Oct tests.

Would Cardozo part-time accept a 160-165 LSAT score? I have 6-years of work experience in alternative investments and 3.9 GPA (calculated on a 2-year time-frame, b/c of transfer in junior year). I already have an MIA in Int'l Affairs and am looking at law as a way to prepare me for a career in social entrepreneurship...

Sigh... :)

dreamofNYC
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby dreamofNYC » Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:22 pm

BPlaura wrote:Hey gang! I'm hanging out until 5, so whether you're putting the finishing touches on apps, pondering a February retake or beginning to think about June, hit me up with your questions.


Hi Laura, I am so sorry. I remember now that you are helping people out on Fridays. Thanks so much. I hope you could answer the question I posed. It was directed at Matt because he prepared me for the LSAT. If you could answer me, I would be grateful. Thanks again for your time!

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BPlaura
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby BPlaura » Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:35 pm

Haha no worries! I have no problem with being mistaken for Matt on the internet - if we were in person, *then* we might have a problem. ;)

One quick note: I hope you have most of your application materials ready to go even if you're waiting to submit the applications! You're going to need them eventually, and it can take a long time to prepare that stuff, so it's a good idea to get everything ready while you're waiting for your score. That way, if it's the score you want (fingers crossed!), you can get those apps in ASAP.

Unfortunately I'm still working on my future-predicting-skills, so I can't give a good answer about whether Cardozo would accept you. However, you're above their median GPA and their median LSAT is a 162, so those numbers put you in good shape. I am a little confused about what you mean about calculating your GPA on a two-year timeframe - all college-level classes you took before earning your first undergraduate degree will be calculated as part of your GPA, so that includes your grades from before you transferred.

dreamofNYC
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby dreamofNYC » Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:45 pm

BPlaura wrote:Haha no worries! I have no problem with being mistaken for Matt on the internet - if we were in person, *then* we might have a problem. ;)

One quick note: I hope you have most of your application materials ready to go even if you're waiting to submit the applications! You're going to need them eventually, and it can take a long time to prepare that stuff, so it's a good idea to get everything ready while you're waiting for your score. That way, if it's the score you want (fingers crossed!), you can get those apps in ASAP.

Unfortunately I'm still working on my future-predicting-skills, so I can't give a good answer about whether Cardozo would accept you. However, you're above their median GPA and their median LSAT is a 162, so those numbers put you in good shape. I am a little confused about what you mean about calculating your GPA on a two-year timeframe - all college-level classes you took before earning your first undergraduate degree will be calculated as part of your GPA, so that includes your grades from before you transferred.


OK Thank you so much Laura. Yeah, it's a great advice to prepare everything in advance (this month!). I transferred most courses from Europe, and those courses show as "TR" on my transcript. The final GPA for my BA degree seems to be calculated based on the coursework I completed at the college here (University of Denver).

Thanks so much for your kind advice. I am going to reach out to BP for help with preparing the statements, etc..

Have a great day!

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bp shinners
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:59 pm

If you have any questions, I'm here 'til 8 EST.

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BPlaura
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby BPlaura » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:59 pm

I'm holding down the fort til 4. Fire away with any questions!

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alecks
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby alecks » Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:58 pm

Can you help me diagram this statement?

Being a good parent requires understanding and empathy. Those without experience cannot be empathetic.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby Baby_Got_Feuerbach » Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:08 pm

alecks wrote:Can you help me diagram this statement?

Being a good parent requires understanding and empathy. Those without experience cannot be empathetic.


Mind if I jump in on this? Would be nice to know if I'm getting it.

GP -> U&EMP and EMP -> EXP

Being a good parent requires experience.

~EXP -> ~EMP

~EXP -> ~GP

Those without experience cannot be a good parent.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby mymrh1 » Thu Dec 26, 2013 4:41 pm

PT 26 Section #2 Q6

Not sure why (D) must be true. Maybe it could false? Maybe Mars supports its largest volcano via other mean other than thicker crust. I don't see how the stimulus supports (D) to be MBT. Thanks.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby CardozoLaw09 » Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:03 pm

mymrh1 wrote:PT 26 Section #2 Q6

Not sure why (D) must be true. Maybe it could false? Maybe Mars supports its largest volcano via other mean other than thicker crust. I don't see how the stimulus supports (D) to be MBT. Thanks.


Let me see if I can help and then Laura/Matt can come in and add/amend my thought process on this Q.

For must be true questions, it's crucial that we have a strong understanding of what we know given the information provided to us in the stimulus. When I see a MBT question I am instinctively on the look-out for factual information that I can use to "test" the answer choice I select as must-be-true. I should be able to point to something in the stim and say "yeah answer choice X must be true because look..."

So for this question, let's jot down what we know:

1. there's a large volcano on mars that rises 27 km above the plain and covers an area roughly the size of Romania
2. this kind of volcano would not be able to exist on earth because the earth's crust is too thin to support it

What must be true?

A) we know nothing about erosion
B) nothing in the stimulus that would enable us to justify this
C) same issue as B
D) This has to be true. Why? Because we know that this volcano exists on mars -- it's a fact. We also know that this volcano would not be able to exist on earth, not because of the gravity, but because the earth's crust is too thin. So what can we infer given these two pieces of information? Well, the crust on mars MUST be thicker, at least at certain points, than the crust on earth, otherwise there's no way this volcano would be able to exist on mars.
E) the size of the volcano has nothing to with the thickness of crust.

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bp shinners
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:21 pm

Baby_Got_Feuerbach wrote:
alecks wrote:Can you help me diagram this statement?

Being a good parent requires understanding and empathy. Those without experience cannot be empathetic.


Mind if I jump in on this? Would be nice to know if I'm getting it.

GP -> U&EMP and EMP -> EXP

Being a good parent requires experience.

~EXP -> ~EMP

~EXP -> ~GP

Those without experience cannot be a good parent.


That all looks good. I'd probably do ~EXP -> ~EMP for that "without" statement, as I think it's easier to just replace "without" with "if not".
Contrapositive of the first is:
~U or ~EMP -> ~GP.

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bp shinners
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:26 pm

mymrh1 wrote:PT 26 Section #2 Q6

Not sure why (D) must be true. Maybe it could false? Maybe Mars supports its largest volcano via other mean other than thicker crust. I don't see how the stimulus supports (D) to be MBT. Thanks.


So we've taken gravity out of the equation ("Even if the Earth's gravity...); we've taken composition out of the equation ("essentially the same"). And we know Earth can't support it because its crust is too thin. The only thing we have left to explain how Mars supports it is a thick crust, like a delicious pizza.

You're not allowed to bring in specific, outside knowledge; you're absolutely expected to bring in general information. Ruling out gravity and a different composition, there really isn't anything else that would support a volcano on a planet.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby mymrh1 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:14 pm

LG: after finishing the basic setup and deductions, it seems to me that it makes sense to leave it untouched, so it could be duplicated to each question later. I want to know if I miss anything important with this method.

Thanks in advance!!

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alecks
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby alecks » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:38 pm

Two questions from PT 46, Section 3, Questions #23 and #24

23) I chose B, I thought that the correct answer was a little hard to understand

24) Can you explain D? Also found this question hard to understand.

Thanks!!!!!!

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bp shinners
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:17 pm

mymrh1 wrote:LG: after finishing the basic setup and deductions, it seems to me that it makes sense to leave it untouched, so it could be duplicated to each question later. I want to know if I miss anything important with this method.

Thanks in advance!!


Not at all - it's the method I STRONGLY recommend to all of my students.

With one exception.

If you figure out another deduction (most commonly by brute-forcing a "Which of the following must be true?" question), then you can add it in.

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bp shinners
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:24 pm

alecks wrote:23) I chose B, I thought that the correct answer was a little hard to understand


This one is really convoluted in the argument, but really simple when you break it down:
If ignore history -> Doomed to repeat
Law repeating history
_________________________________
Those who passed it ignorant of history

That's just a sufficient/necessary fallacy - converse style. So we want an answer that says you could still repeat history even if you're not ignorant of it - say you want to bring about that authoritarian regime, so you learned from history how to do so.

24) Can you explain D? Also found this question hard to understand.


Another weird question.

If everyone didn't believe in it, money would disappear.
______________________________________________
Money doesn't exist.

Well, for a sufficient assumption question, I'm looking for a new term in the conclusion. This one brings up the idea of existing based on a lack of belief. All I need to do is find the answer that connects them.

(D) says that if everyone believes in something, it exists. So if everyone believes in the Easter Bunny, according to (D), that bunny is hopping around somewhere. However, I'm trying to conclude that something DOESN'T exist, so (D) isn't helping me here.


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