Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

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darthrevan92
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby darthrevan92 » Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:28 pm

Hey Jason!

BP Student here! Overall, I have been noticing that I have been struggling with the more difficult Strengthen Questions. I have noticed that most of my errors arise from missing a subtle nuance in the stimulus or because the correct answer choices seem to be written in a way that didn't seem to encapsulate the gap in the stimulus from my point of view. On a more macro-scale, how would I become more discerning in approaching these problems? I do try to pre-phrase the gap before approaching the questions. For example, on PT 17, LR Section 2, Question# 7, I didn't initially catch that the government's policy predicated on the fishing industry's cooperation, since it wasn't explicitly stated. In future questions, how can I better catch these nuances and arrive at the correct answer more efficiently.

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BlueprintJason
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby BlueprintJason » Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:06 pm

On here for the next two hours! Fire away!

Jason

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby BlueprintJason » Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:55 pm

darthrevan92 wrote:Hey Jason!

BP Student here! Overall, I have been noticing that I have been struggling with the more difficult Strengthen Questions. I have noticed that most of my errors arise from missing a subtle nuance in the stimulus or because the correct answer choices seem to be written in a way that didn't seem to encapsulate the gap in the stimulus from my point of view. On a more macro-scale, how would I become more discerning in approaching these problems? I do try to pre-phrase the gap before approaching the questions. For example, on PT 17, LR Section 2, Question# 7, I didn't initially catch that the government's policy predicated on the fishing industry's cooperation, since it wasn't explicitly stated. In future questions, how can I better catch these nuances and arrive at the correct answer more efficiently.


Hey darthrevan92,

I'll start by talking about strengthen generally, and then that question more specifically in terms of how I would approach it.

First things first, strengthen questions are of the more difficult type of LR to master for most students, so you're not alone. This is because you need to already be good at spotting flaws in reasoning. If you are already doing that well, which it seems you are, then you are on the right track.

Second, when I teach students who come in asking to work on the hardest questions, I first have them master the easy ones first to the point where they are automatic--especially this far in advance. The main reason for that focus is that once you've perfected that model solving process for a particular question and internalized it so that you can do it WITHOUT THINKING, then you have the space in your brain to really highlight the more subtle and nuanced things you are talking about. Just noticing that you are dealing with finer points and nutty-gritty details sufficiently, because you have the time, is generally where you want to be. If you focus on mastering the process, you'll get a lot better with the harder stuff with experience.

That being said, there are some particular things that can make strengthen questions difficult. I'll illustrate by giving you my solving process for these questions, and highlight and discuss the difficulties along the way:

1. Read the question: you know you are going to have a flawed argument and the answer choices are taken for granted and will help fill in the gap in the reasoning that you spot.
2. Read the stem: What is the main conclusion? Is it causal?
3. What are the relevant premises the author tries to use to prove his/her conclusion?
4. What's the flaw/gap/assumption here? Why is this not 100% valid? How could it be hypothetically that the premises are indeed true, but the conclusion could still end up false? Does this fallacy have a name? Is this a cause and effect situation where there is a typical set of patterns?
5. Can you predict the kind of thing you would need to lead from something in the premises towards the conclusion being more likely to be true? Don't just pre-phrase the gap, pre-phrase something that would do what you need. Is there a cause and effect pattern you are looking for?
6. AC's (this is where it gets tricky and subtle)
Does the answer choice make it any more likely that these particular premises will lead to this particular conclusion?
Eliminate anything that either doesn't affect the conclusion (you can't just strengthen a premise, for example), and eliminate anything that does the opposite (weakens, makes the conclusion less likely to be true).

The things that trip people up on strengthen are various:
1) Make sure to review and internalize the conclusion. Most students go wrong, even good students working on difficult questions, by forgetting that the conclusion must be affected in some way for there to be any strengthening going on.
2) Remember, you don't have to prove this 100%, it's not a sufficient. You just need it to be 1% more likely that the conclusion is true if indeed the premises are.
3) Even when you go in with a strong prediction, stay flexible so that you can remain open-minded to the possibility that it may not be something that you though of. Particularly in the harder ones (as you've seen) the correct answer can be very subtle or seemingly tangential on first glance. Don't get too much tunnel vision here.
4) Remember logical force if you get stuck. Although it's not a perfect strategy, a stronger answer choice can do more help than a weaker one. So if you think two are strengtheners and you are truly stuck, go with the stronger one unless your gut tells you otherwise.

Now, in terms of how to become more discerning, the answer to that is an unsatisfying (but hopefully welcomed) one: PRACTICE YOUR FACE OFF!

The Blueprint packet of strengthen questions on your student account is actually very good. The more you do, the more patterns you see, and the more automatic things become.

Also, when you miss a question or if you weren't sure or if you struggled, cut that puppy out and come back and try it again in a couple weeks to make sure you really internalized it. Reviewing the "model thinking pattern" I described above over and over with hard questions will make you a force to be reckoned with on test day.

Now, as to the specific question you are asking about, I'll walk you through my process on it:

1. Ok, I'm looking for a flaw in the argument and how to fill the gap.
2. Ok what's the conclusion? There are a couple contenders, but any time they say someone should do something, that's pretty much the main conclusion, and the rest of them end up being secondary conclusions.

So main conclusion is: the government should institute a dead bird toxin examination program. Weird...

3. The premises justify why they should do that. There is a chain of secondary conclusions supporting the main conclusion, each with their own premises:

Fisherman don't have any incentive to help with the dead bird counting because of possible regulation. The program would provide this incentive by giving them valuable fish info from the turning in of bird carcasses.

4. The big flaw here is why do we need the fisherman's help at all? Why not just make the coast guard go out and bag a few and check them out? It's an exclusivity issue. Are there not other ways to accomplish this goal rather than trying to enlist the support of those who don't want to help you? Also, who's to say that the incentive you provide them is sufficient? What if the small incentive for cooperating is outweighed by the huge incentive for not cooperating already mentioned?

This is how I'm able to notice the necessity of the fishermen's cooperation at this stage. By attacking the argument and poking holes, I have a sense that we need them to go along with it for it to be something they SHOULD do. Why else would the author recommend that we go with this program? The program for counting toxins really needs the fisherman to go along with it, because they say in the second sentence "the dead birds" and the only dead birds they've talked about are the ones the fisherman have been axing off. What other dead birds could they be discussing? Whenever they use a generic thing like that after just talking about the same type of thing, they really have to be referring to the category they were just discussing. Otherwise that's just not fair because they haven't provided enough info. This kind of thing you pick up by reading a ton of questions and getting a sense of what's in bounds and what wouldn't make sense for them to be able to do on this exam.

5. With all of this it's easy to pre-phrase. There are two possible things: we need to show that the program will provide the necessary incentive to outweigh the cons for the fisherman, and even if we do that, we still have the whole issue of exclusivity. It would be even better if we knew that the fishermen's cooperation was important or that there weren't that many other options.

6. Elimination time.

A) Gone. If this were true, it would kill the incentive for the fishermen. They would get less out of the program if the birds weren't even eating the fish they are interested in.
B) Bye bye. This doesn't do anything. Even if they haven't done it before, it doesn't give us a reason to either do it or not do it. It could still be a shitty idea.
C) aha. This is a prediction. It should look attractive because it speaks to the conclusion (we need this program) and it talks about needing the fisherman (who we are trying to convince in the premises). Bingo.
D) Trap. It sounds like the kind of thing we were hoping for in terms of balancing the incentive scale, but this answer choice makes the stick more likely. In other words, if they are still worried about being punished under this plan they may not help the government.
E) This weakens. We need something that makes them cooperate, not information about what would happen if we increase regulation (because it again discourages them from participating in the program).

I hope that helps and let me know if there are any more subtle things you want me to look at.

Jason

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BlueprintJason
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby BlueprintJason » Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:56 pm

somethingelse55 wrote:Hey Jason,

Just read your above explanation for strengthen questions and found it extremely helpful! Strengthen, weaken, and flaw are probably my weakest LR question types relatively speaking. I was hoping I could get your opinion on my understanding of these questions plus a few more...

...Hopefully if what I'm saying makes sense it might help out some other people as well.


Thanks for posting! It's a lot to cover, but I'll do my best to catch everything. If I miss anything just ask again.

Glad you found the strengthen post helpful.

Correct, these questions make a good flow. The first is raw flaw spotting, the other three require flaw spotting as a pre-requisite for doing something to the argument.

For Flaw:

I think you are overcomplicating things in the first half of the paragraph, and pretty spot on in the second half.

As to flaws generally, a flaw is really a gap between the evidence and what it's meant to prove. The way you can think about and get down to it is by asking yourself: "How could all the evidence they are asserting be true, but the conclusion still fails?" You should be able to think of a hypothetical way this could happen. When you can do this, you know you've spotted a flaw in the reasoning--a gap between the support and conclusion.

Assumptions are essentially "unstated premises." This means it's something that they didn't say that could have been used to prove the conclusion. When they leave something out that's critical to the argument being true, you know you've found an assumption. Some assumptions would actually prove your conclusion to be true (sufficient) and others are needed for the conclusion to have a chance of happening (necessary). We'll come back to those.

As to anticipating, yes! This is a good thing for you to do. You should always try to spot the flaw and try to pre-phrase the flaw in your own words. At Blueprint, we use specific terms for the flaws that come up a lot on the LSAT. By giving them a name, it allows you to remember what kind of things you are looking for and move to and through the answers quickly. Otherwise, the best way is just to ask yourself either "what is this argument failing to take into account?" or "what is this argument presuming is true, but isn't necessarily?" If you can do that, you'll almost always get these correct.

Practicing flaw questions should take up the bulk of your prep time from the early middle to late middle of your logical reasoning development. For one, they are the most numerous type of LR question, and other plentiful question types (str/wk, nec/suff) rely on your flaw spotting abilities.

For STR/WK:

I don't necessarily agree that the problem won't always be as glaring in these. I've just never thought about it, maybe it's true? Once you get really good at blasting flaw questions and spotting flaws in stimuli you may find these flaws just was "glaring" because you're used to knowing what to look for.

I think there are certain flaws that come up in STR/WK in more prevalence though, for sure. Correlation/causation is one that gets a lot of play because those arguments have some really predictable LSAT-specific patterns for how they are strengthened and weakened. I didn't think equivocation was uncommon, but I've never thought about it. Maybe that's true? I wouldn't worry too much about that though, because you want to just know how to strengthen based on any fallacy. They could throw an ad hominem in one of these (and may have, I don't remember one off the top of my head).

Here's the thing though. You absolutely should break down what the flaw is and pre-phrase the "type" of thing that you need. You just have to be flexible because they could do something more subtle on the harder questions. But, I think the mental process of reading and thinking critically through the stimulus before the ACs should be absolute habit: it gets better with constancy and you also have thought through the dimensions of the flaw in a critical way. Even if they give you something you don't expect, pre-phrasing actually makes you more likely rather than less likely to figure it out.

Nec/Suf:

I'm glad you find these easier. Most students seem to have a harder time with Necessary than either Strengthen or Weaken, for whatever reason.

I would be cautious with the negation test as your go-to strategy. I think it's better to think about what is absolutely needed for the conclusion to have any chance at success. You should get good at pre-phrasing most of these by spotting the flaw and exploiting it like you mention above. I would use the negation test as a check to see if the AC that makes sense to you is actually necessary (more of a confirmation) or if you get stuck and need to battle it out a little. But it is powerful when used well. You can think of these as reverse-destroy questions, because if you take the opposite it obliterates the conclusion.

Exactly, there will be a gaping hole (usually some term in the conclusion that is not mentioned in the premises) and you have to fill the gap so that it is air tight. You can think of this like a super-strengthen question.

Your summary paragraph seems fine overall, but I'm not so sure that necessary questions will have just one flaw all the time. In fact, I'm pretty sure this is not true. There could be many necessary assumptions contrived from a situation and many flaws that have necessary assumptions underlying them. Let me give you a super simple example I use all the time about basketball to demonstrate:

A and B play basketball, A is better and has fancier sneakers, so A will win.

The main flaw here is either exclusivity or equivocation. Sneakers is just one aspect of basketball and being better =/= will definitely win. So there are multiple flaws and the correct AC could exploit either as a necessary assumption. But the necessary assumption could have nothing to do with the flaw. It's necessary to assume that they have a basketball to play with, a hoop, a court, for example. So, you have to keep an open mind here because it could also be something subtle. But, definitely still ID the flaw and pre-phrase bc that's usually how these go. And, yeah a lot of them just have one massive flaw and that's what gets worked on.

I would always try and spot the flaw and have it crystal clear in strengthen or weaken (or at least say, "oh yeah that's equivocation" or whatever). Also, a lot of trap choices in the harder questions seem to exploit the flaw, but it ends up missing the conclusion somehow. The correct response must have some direct bearing on the outcome of the conclusion, either explicitly or implicitly. It can't just massively strengthen a premise, because that does nothing for the validity of the argument. Again, nit-picking the shit out of arguments just makes you a better LSAT-taker in the long run either way. It will also help you get better at these questions, I believe.

If you run across any of these that are really giving you fits, please come back by and post!

Jason

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby BlueprintJason » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:04 pm

On here for the next couple of hours. Fire away folks!

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BlueprintJason
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby BlueprintJason » Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:23 pm

I'll be logged in until 10 in case anyone wants a quick answer to any/all LSAT related questions!

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby ltowns1 » Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:25 pm

Hi Jason, so I have a couple of question about preptest 35. So these games killed me after I studied/drilled every game type rather religiously. I ended up getting +11, -12 in the section. The only one I did pretty well was game three,I only got 1 wrong.

I was destroyed by game 4 lol. When I look back at the problems I realized that game 4 was really just routine linear game that I could have nailed, but that condition stating that the professors could join each other on the same year really confused me, and ultimately was the reason why I got so many wrong on that section. Looking back on it, that condition really wasn't that big of a deal.

Anyway, i was wondering for game 1, did you use a chart, and are there any strong indications In a game that tell you if you should do a chart?

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby BlueprintJason » Sun Aug 02, 2015 6:44 pm

ltowns1 wrote:Hi Jason, so I have a couple of question about preptest 35. So these games killed me after I studied/drilled every game type rather religiously. I ended up getting +11, -12 in the section. The only one I did pretty well was game three,I only got 1 wrong.

I was destroyed by game 4 lol. When I look back at the problems I realized that game 4 was really just routine linear game that I could have nailed, but that condition stating that the professors could join each other on the same year really confused me, and ultimately was the reason why I got so many wrong on that section. Looking back on it, that condition really wasn't that big of a deal.

Anyway, i was wondering for game 1, did you use a chart, and are there any strong indications In a game that tell you if you should do a chart?


Hi ltowns,

This is actually a great set of LGs. Game 4 reminds me of something that happens on a more recent LSAT, but I won't spoil the surprise in case you haven't gotten there yet.

As to G4, it's actually really important to keep in mind that you could put the profs in the same slot here. It's an unusual feature, but can be handled. I'd give it another go in a week or so just to be sure you got it (in fact I'd probably redo the section at some point since there is a lot to learn here for you). It doesn't play a huge role in my recollection, but I think it could have and so it's worth knowing how to handle it.

As to G1, I made a pretty big set up here and took my time, but then didn't have to work too hard after that since the distributions are incredibly clear.

The basic game board is in/out, but you have two secondary variables. Because I like to make things "fuck up proof" on the LSAT, I drew three "tiers" to the ordering board (so I guess it sort of looks like a chart, just with slots). It looks like this:

IN:
G/R: _ _ _ _
E/I: _ _ _ _
Ast: _ _ _ _

OUT:
G/R: _ _ _ _
E/I: _ _ _ _
Ast: _ _ _ _

I also list the variable out as game pieces so I can imagine how they will float onto the board:

G G G G R R R R
E I I I E E E I
F M P T J K L N

In doing the rules, I put the rules right on or right next to the board. For rule 1, I just draw in the middle tier distribution. For the second rule, I drew the distributions next to the top tier to keep track of that in that area. Then for the last rule, I just wrote that GIP or REL must be in.

The board looks like this now:

IN:
_ _ _ _ G G R R
E E I I
_ _ _ _

OUT:
_ _ _ _ G G R R
E E I I
_ _ _ _

G R
I OR E
P L

From here, the upfront deductions are a little easier to spot (especially because I have the upfront game piece listed as I do). In that list, you can see the mismatch is on the E/I tier. The Gs have three I astronauts, so all three of those can't be in. Hence, you can put G above one of the I slots in the OUT group, since at least one of the GI variables has to go out. The same thinking applies for the ERs, so you can put at least one of these ERs in the out group. It's really just a distribution game at this point and should flow pretty effortlessly without much other work involved. The only thing to watch is the OR rule at the bottom. If one of those ends up out, you have to force the other in. My final game board looks like this:

G G G G R R R R
E I I I E E E I
F M P T J K L N

IN:
_ _ _ _ G G R R
E E I I
_ _ _ _

OUT:
R _ _ G G R
E E I I
_ _ _ _

G R
I OR E
P L

It's a fair amount of writing, but I think it is essentially impossible to mess up with this much detail, and you get through the questions in no time.

Q1: just follow rules and eliminate. Nothing fancy.

Q2: Just distributions. You've put in a GF and a GI. The other two have to be Rs by our distribution, and one has to be a E and the other an I by the middle tier. No drawing necessary.

Q3: Easy breezy with the distributions teased out. with F and J you've used up your two E astronauts, one is a G and the other a R. Hence, there has to be two I astronauts, one of which has to be an R. The only RI available ever is N. Bam. Again, no need to draw.

Q4: This is just a naughty question (and I haven't seen much similar). It something that is a CBT but NOT an MBT. Weird. Anyhow, that aside... If there is a M and a T selected, then you have taken care of both Gs and both Is at once. This triggers the "OR" rule since P is now knocked out (bye bye (E)--no room for Gs or Is sadly for them). Thus L has to be in (so it can be eliminated since it is a MBT--no more (C)). (A) and (D) are just gone because they are either Gs or Is (or both). Not too bad, just have to avoid the trap (C). Again, no drawing required.

Q5: We haven't done any drawing in this game, and since this is the last question, we can just sketch it on the board easily on our main board since we won't be returning to this mission (if you wish, you don't even have to do this because it's just distributions). We need two Is and two Es in the game here as well as two Gs and one R. There are three Rs available that are Es, but we can only use one of them since N is also an R and has been used. Thus, we have to use a GE variable, and looking at our list, the only one available is F. Done and done.

Takeaway:

It is a lot of writing to get the main board with three tiers, but then there is literally nothing left to do in the game after the one quick deduction about the out group (which didn't even do much really). Take the time up front to get an accurate and "fuck up proof" setup and you'll be rewarded with easy money in the questions.

HTH!

J

EDIT: This forum takes away a lot of the spaces I inserted for some reason.. You'll have to use your imagination to see what I was getting at in the diagram. Let me know if it doesn't make sense bc of the formatting.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby ltowns1 » Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:15 pm

BlueprintJason wrote:
ltowns1 wrote:Hi Jason, so I have a couple of question about preptest 35. So these games killed me after I studied/drilled every game type rather religiously. I ended up getting +11, -12 in the section. The only one I did pretty well was game three,I only got 1 wrong.

I was destroyed by game 4 lol. When I look back at the problems I realized that game 4 was really just routine linear game that I could have nailed, but that condition stating that the professors could join each other on the same year really confused me, and ultimately was the reason why I got so many wrong on that section. Looking back on it, that condition really wasn't that big of a deal.

Anyway, i was wondering for game 1, did you use a chart, and are there any strong indications In a game that tell you if you should do a chart?


Hi ltowns,

This is actually a great set of LGs. Game 4 reminds me of something that happens on a more recent LSAT, but I won't spoil the surprise in case you haven't gotten there yet.

As to G4, it's actually really important to keep in mind that you could put the profs in the same slot here. It's an unusual feature, but can be handled. I'd give it another go in a week or so just to be sure you got it (in fact I'd probably redo the section at some point since there is a lot to learn here for you). It doesn't play a huge role in my recollection, but I think it could have and so it's worth knowing how to handle it.

As to G1, I made a pretty big set up here and took my time, but then didn't have to work too hard after that since the distributions are incredibly clear.

The basic game board is in/out, but you have two secondary variables. Because I like to make things "fuck up proof" on the LSAT, I drew three "tiers" to the ordering board (so I guess it sort of looks like a chart, just with slots). It looks like this:

IN:
G/R: _ _ _ _
E/I: _ _ _ _
Ast: _ _ _ _

OUT:
G/R: _ _ _ _
E/I: _ _ _ _
Ast: _ _ _ _

I also list the variable out as game pieces so I can imagine how they will float onto the board:

G G G G R R R R
E I I I E E E I
F M P T J K L N

In doing the rules, I put the rules right on or right next to the board. For rule 1, I just draw in the middle tier distribution. For the second rule, I drew the distributions next to the top tier to keep track of that in that area. Then for the last rule, I just wrote that GIP or REL must be in.

The board looks like this now:

IN:
_ _ _ _ G G R R
E E I I
_ _ _ _

OUT:
_ _ _ _ G G R R
E E I I
_ _ _ _

G R
I OR E
P L

From here, the upfront deductions are a little easier to spot (especially because I have the upfront game piece listed as I do). In that list, you can see the mismatch is on the E/I tier. The Gs have three I astronauts, so all three of those can't be in. Hence, you can put G above one of the I slots in the OUT group, since at least one of the GI variables has to go out. The same thinking applies for the ERs, so you can put at least one of these ERs in the out group. It's really just a distribution game at this point and should flow pretty effortlessly without much other work involved. The only thing to watch is the OR rule at the bottom. If one of those ends up out, you have to force the other in. My final game board looks like this:

G G G G R R R R
E I I I E E E I
F M P T J K L N

IN:
_ _ _ _ G G R R
E E I I
_ _ _ _

OUT:
R _ _ G G R
E E I I
_ _ _ _

G R
I OR E
P L

It's a fair amount of writing, but I think it is essentially impossible to mess up with this much detail, and you get through the questions in no time.

Q1: just follow rules and eliminate. Nothing fancy.

Q2: Just distributions. You've put in a GF and a GI. The other two have to be Rs by our distribution, and one has to be a E and the other an I by the middle tier. No drawing necessary.

Q3: Easy breezy with the distributions teased out. with F and J you've used up your two E astronauts, one is a G and the other a R. Hence, there has to be two I astronauts, one of which has to be an R. The only RI available ever is N. Bam. Again, no need to draw.

Q4: This is just a naughty question (and I haven't seen much similar). It something that is a CBT but NOT an MBT. Weird. Anyhow, that aside... If there is a M and a T selected, then you have taken care of both Gs and both Is at once. This triggers the "OR" rule since P is now knocked out (bye bye (E)--no room for Gs or Is sadly for them). Thus L has to be in (so it can be eliminated since it is a MBT--no more (C)). (A) and (D) are just gone because they are either Gs or Is (or both). Not too bad, just have to avoid the trap (C). Again, no drawing required.

Q5: We haven't done any drawing in this game, and since this is the last question, we can just sketch it on the board easily on our main board since we won't be returning to this mission (if you wish, you don't even have to do this because it's just distributions). We need two Is and two Es in the game here as well as two Gs and one R. There are three Rs available that are Es, but we can only use one of them since N is also an R and has been used. Thus, we have to use a GE variable, and looking at our list, the only one available is F. Done and done.

Takeaway:

It is a lot of writing to get the main board with three tiers, but then there is literally nothing left to do in the game after the one quick deduction about the out group (which didn't even do much really). Take the time up front to get an accurate and "fuck up proof" setup and you'll be rewarded with easy money in the questions.

HTH!

J

EDIT: This forum takes away a lot of the spaces I inserted for some reason.. You'll have to use your imagination to see what I was getting at in the diagram. Let me know if it doesn't make sense bc of the formatting.



Is that really what games that seem weird are all about? Spending time at the top to make sure you diagram is pretty good?

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby BlueprintJason » Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:42 pm

ltowns1 wrote:Is that really what games that seem weird are all about? Spending time at the top to make sure you diagram is pretty good?


The really unsatisfying answer to your question is the ever annoying: "It depends."

I think in general, on the weird games, I spend a little extra time on the front end making sure I have an effective setup and really understand everything that's going on. There are two reasons why I think this is (for me):
1) The weird games just have weird setups a lot of time.
2) Most games are not weird, so if you master the "normal" ones, then you can spend a little more time on the stranger games for safety's sake.

However, a lot of games that I would call weird are not difficult just because of the set up. Sometimes it's diagramming a rule that's goat weird structure, splitting the game board into two, making a key deduction, or just attacking a certain strange question in the most efficient way. Notice that most of these things are before the questions. In other words, up front work is the key. But, I think this is true of all LG (or almost all) rather than just weird game specific.

HTH

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How to write assumptions for +, - or N, S?

Postby lmcsjkt1225 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:26 pm

Hello.
I am having hard time with writing down assumption when doing +, - , necessary and sufficient questions.
after recognizing conclusion I am suppose to write down assumption and use it to do operation questions.
but I am not good with it. is there some few tips to write better assumption? what do I have to do?

-online BP student (was recommended to ask question from Sam Fox)

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BlueprintJason
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Re: How to write assumptions for +, - or N, S?

Postby BlueprintJason » Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:20 pm

lmcsjkt1225 wrote:Hello.
I am having hard time with writing down assumption when doing +, - , necessary and sufficient questions.
after recognizing conclusion I am suppose to write down assumption and use it to do operation questions.
but I am not good with it. is there some few tips to write better assumption? what do I have to do?

-online BP student (was recommended to ask question from Sam Fox)


Hey thanks for writing!

Ok, first off, it's quite alright to write down the assumption while you are doing untimed practice and learning your way around these questions. However, just to be clear, you don't have time on the actual test to write down the assumption as you go along.

That being said, you should always have in mind what the flaw of the argument is before you start trying to operate on it. This is because the thing that strengthens, weakens, is necessary to, or sufficient to prove the conclusion, it will almost always relate to the flaw.

In terms of getting better at spotting the assumption (or flaw), I would focus on two things:

1) The common flaws in the BP course.

2) The problem with the link between the support and the conclusion. In a valid argument, if the premises are true then the conclusion MUST be. Therefore, when an argument has a flaw, then there is a possible way that the premises could be true and the conclusion could end up FALSE. If you can think of a possible way that that could happen, then you have found something the argument has overlooked or assumed: that's the FLAW.

HTH, let me know if you need me to clarify!

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby ltowns1 » Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:39 pm

Hi Jason, I was wondering something that you mentioned in a thread I had a few weeks ago in terms of elimination. You said one of the main things is to focus on the conclusion,and yet I'm told that you should focus on the entire unstated assumption when eliminated, but I just feel like my mind doesn't handle keeping both elements of the unstated assumption in my head on SOME questions. How do you deal with that parallel, assuming that I'm not just unusual lol? I feel like the only way to really handle it for me is to focus on eliminating answers based on what clearly does not work for the conclusion, (having really not focused on the premise(s) at all) going back for the two or three answers left , and then checking each answers relevance to the entire argument. (Premise(s) + conclusion)

Thanks in advance

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Post removed...

Postby somethingElse » Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:54 pm

Post removed...
Last edited by somethingElse on Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby BlueprintJason » Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:21 pm

ltowns1 wrote:Hi Jason, I was wondering something that you mentioned in a thread I had a few weeks ago in terms of elimination. You said one of the main things is to focus on the conclusion,and yet I'm told that you should focus on the entire unstated assumption when eliminated, but I just feel like my mind doesn't handle keeping both elements of the unstated assumption in my head on SOME questions. How do you deal with that parallel, assuming that I'm not just unusual lol? I feel like the only way to really handle it for me is to focus on eliminating answers based on what clearly does not work for the conclusion, (having really not focused on the premise(s) at all) going back for the two or three answers left , and then checking each answers relevance to the entire argument. (Premise(s) + conclusion)

Thanks in advance


It's a subtle distinction here, but a good one.

So, you have to understand the conclusion before you can worry about getting the assumption or flaw clear in your head. The thing is, the flaw explains why the premises don't necessarily lead to the conclusion--there is some way where the premises could be true and the conclusion could end up false, that is the flaw.

I would just underline the conclusion in the stimulus, and then figure out what the premises are, and thus the flaw. When you get to the answer choices, look to eliminate things that don't impact the conclusion (this is in argument-based question types). Sometimes, there could be unstated assumptions underneath that you don't spot. Usually, it is related to the obvious flaw in the argument, but occasionally (for the harder ones) it is something subtle. No matter, having thought through the argument's structure and understanding it's issues, you'll will be able to spot the correct answer choice (which will have to impact the outcome of the conclusion).

HTH, let me know if you need me to clarify any of that.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby BlueprintJason » Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:34 pm

somethingelse55 wrote:Hey Jason,

Couple quick questions for you if you don't mind. Also, I realized I forgot to thank you for the awesome reply to my above question, so thank you!

1) The "famous" dioxin weaken question. Its number 12 on PT 45's first section. I actually completely understand this one, but I was not able to spot the "flaw" with it before jumping to the ACs. Is the flaw merely that its assuming that because the dioxin decomposes slowly that the dioxin must then have still been contaminating the water where the fish are?

Similarly, I always think of the common ways to + or - a casual argument, and for those casual type questions its pretty obvious what the flaw is...Correlation to causation. I guess for those kinds of questions I just try to come up with an AC as my "pre-phrase." Is that a solid way to go about it?

2) I've been noticing that for strengthen questions, sometimes the incorrect AC will be a "premise booster" (I think you mentioned this in you above post). Anyways...for a weaken question, if an AC only weakens a premise, couldn't that still weaken the overall argument? I think I can see why a premise booster wouldn't strengthen the argument: because we are looking for a way to make the connection between the premises and conclusion stronger, and so TCR has to involve the conclusion in some way. But for a weaken question, if you weaken just the premise side of things, it seems like that would actually weaken the argument.

EDIT: You know what, possibly disregard my second question, Jason. I actually think that there are in fact "premise weakeners". On that same question, PT 53 S1 Q8, answer choice A seems like it would be a "premise weakener". Furthermore, the conclusion says "this suggests" and the "this" just means the studies. So it does directly weaken the conclusion in that way. So I'm going to stick with making sure the AC weakens the conclusion directly.


Hey I'll answer 2) first bc I think you got it.

An AC that only affects a premise cannot be the correct answer in +/-. It has to impact the conclusion. I think you figured that out for the question you cite.

As to PT 45.1.12:

Here's how I break down the argument structure:

Perm:

Since fish go back to normal after mill shut down and dioxin decomposes slowly,

Con:

Therefore, dioxin is probably not the cause.

Flaw:

Well dioxin doesn't have to leave the area only by decomposing. We are in a moving current after all. This argument fails to consider that there is not another possible way for dioxin to leave the environment other than by decomposition (like floating off down the river). It's taking for granted that dioxin only can leave by decomposition. I'm looking for an answer choice that gives me another way that dioxin can leave, because then it could still have been causing all the fish problems before it did.

So, to answer your thought, I'm understanding it more along the lines of the fact that dioxin can just float away rather than decomposing in still waters. If (C) were true, then the evidence about the decomposition wouldn't really help its conclusion, because that's another way that it could leave the environment and thus not have the effect on the fish after a couple of hours.

HTH!

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby ltowns1 » Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:00 pm

BlueprintJason wrote:
ltowns1 wrote:Hi Jason, I was wondering something that you mentioned in a thread I had a few weeks ago in terms of elimination. You said one of the main things is to focus on the conclusion,and yet I'm told that you should focus on the entire unstated assumption when eliminated, but I just feel like my mind doesn't handle keeping both elements of the unstated assumption in my head on SOME questions. How do you deal with that parallel, assuming that I'm not just unusual lol? I feel like the only way to really handle it for me is to focus on eliminating answers based on what clearly does not work for the conclusion, (having really not focused on the premise(s) at all) going back for the two or three answers left , and then checking each answers relevance to the entire argument. (Premise(s) + conclusion)

Thanks in advance


It's a subtle distinction here, but a good one.

So, you have to understand the conclusion before you can worry about getting the assumption or flaw clear in your head. The thing is, the flaw explains why the premises don't necessarily lead to the conclusion--there is some way where the premises could be true and the conclusion could end up false, that is the flaw.

I would just underline the conclusion in the stimulus, and then figure out what the premises are, and thus the flaw. When you get to the answer choices, look to eliminate things that don't impact the conclusion (this is in argument-based question types). Sometimes, there could be unstated assumptions underneath that you don't spot. Usually, it is related to the obvious flaw in the argument, but occasionally (for the harder ones) it is something subtle. No matter, having thought through the argument's structure and understanding it's issues, you'll will be able to spot the correct answer choice (which will have to impact the outcome of the conclusion).

HTH, let me know if you need me to clarify any of that.


Ok so I wanna make sure I get this right, because I feel like I already do what you say (with the exception of underlining), but I just try to use the entire flaw to eliminate. (I think that's my problem) 1. Understand stimulus 2 Underline conclusion 3. Figure out flaw 4. Go to answer choices figuring out what does not impact the conclusion to eliminate.

I want to push back just a little. (Realizing that I'm disputing someone who clearly has a much more experienced view of the LSAT than I do) Because the answers by nature have to relate in someway to the conclusion, more often than not, you can eliminate a few answers having not really figured out the flaw, but just focus on what the conclusion says. So I just don't understand why on those questions I can't eliminate based on that, instead of trying to figure out a flaw that at times I may not be able to figure out clearly. Realizing of course that once I eliminate a few by the conclusion, I then have to go back and do the best I can in realizing what the flaw is the best I can


One more thing. I do tend to notice that I do better on argument based questions that have definitive statements such as "we should/should not do this", which tend to be Princ. questions
Last edited by ltowns1 on Fri Aug 07, 2015 12:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

Broncos15
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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby Broncos15 » Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:15 pm

Hello,

What is your advice about LSAT prepping for test takers with documented disabilities? I'd appreciate an answer with my long term view goals in mind (I'll expand at the bottom)

According to LSAC it seems if you have gotten past accommodations on another standardized test then, you will receive the same accommodations on the LSAT

http://www.lsac.org/docs/default-source ... ations.pdf

I have received extra time on the official GRE exam ( time and a half).....but i was not sure how to LSAT prep given the importance of timing on the LSAT compared to other tests?

Should I practice with the extra time?......The reason I saw that is because of my long term goals: Even though LSAC is stringent as to how they give extra time out , I would be very wary of taking the test under normal conditions .....because i would likely need extra time on the Bar exam, it would not be wise for me to enter Law School having LSAT under standard conditions because then I would be less likely to gain Bar exam accommodations making law school quite a gamble since opportunities would be severely limited without passing the bar


Lastly, do you think it would be in my best interests to take the LSAT within the next few years even if I am set on taking a few years off between UG and law school to get some work experience so my accommodations in college and GRE are valid when applying fro LSAT accommodations? Not sure how long college accommodations would be considered by LSAC

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby BlueprintJason » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:38 pm

ltowns1 wrote:Ok so I wanna make sure I get this right, because I feel like I already do what you say (with the exception of underlining), but I just try to use the entire flaw to eliminate. (I think that's my problem) 1. Understand stimulus 2 Underline conclusion 3. Figure out flaw 4. Go to answer choices figuring out what does not impact the conclusion to eliminate.

I want to push back just a little. (Realizing that I'm disputing someone who clearly has a much more experienced view of the LSAT than I do) Because the answers by nature have to relate in someway to the conclusion, more often than not, you can eliminate a few answers having not really figured out the flaw, but just focus on what the conclusion says. So I just don't understand why on those questions I can't eliminate based on that, instead of trying to figure out a flaw that at times I may not be able to figure out clearly. Realizing of course that once I eliminate a few by the conclusion, I then have to go back and do the best I can in realizing what the flaw is the best I can


One more thing. I do tend to notice that I do better on argument based questions that have definitive statements such as "we should/should not do this", which tend to be Princ. questions


I think the process you outline makes sense to me (for str/wk and surf/nec). Just remember that even if an answer choice doesn't mention the conclusion verbatim, it can still affect it. But yeah, I think you've got the idea, just reinforcing.

Push back is welcomed. I think you are on to something, but I'll also push back. Your scoring tier in Logical Reasoning is determined mostly by your ability to a) spot flaws and b) understand how those flaws can be utilized/exploited (most questions are flaw questions or questions that rely on your ability to understand flawed reasoning to do a second order reasoning task). You can't do questions well every time if you don't take care of a). Of course, in the heat of battle, sometimes you don't spot a subtle flaw (especially early on), so I think the technique of focusing on the conclusion will probably work in many cases. But realize that it is a half measure and not the best way to the answer.

By that I mean, if you have to use that technique sometimes, so be it. But when you review the question, make sure you are focusing on why you didn't spot the flaw the first time. Maybe you didn't read carefully enough so that you didn't really understand the gap in the support/conclusion relationship? If that's the case, focus on getting better at that task. It saves time and the more you do it, the better you get. Shortcuts are just that in the end.

I won't say that on the harder questions you may have to focus on other ways to get to the answer, but you want to practice the "best way" as much as you can and try to strengthen the "best way" thinking patterns. That way you are learning exponentially rather than by just learning one mini-concept that applies to one particular question sub-type at a time.

Does that make sense?

Also, that's good that you get principle questions. Those tend to be harder for students.

Let me know if you have follow ups to the above!

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby BlueprintJason » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:53 pm

Broncos15 wrote:Hello,

What is your advice about LSAT prepping for test takers with documented disabilities? I'd appreciate an answer with my long term view goals in mind (I'll expand at the bottom)

According to LSAC it seems if you have gotten past accommodations on another standardized test then, you will receive the same accommodations on the LSAT

http://www.lsac.org/docs/default-source ... ations.pdf

I have received extra time on the official GRE exam ( time and a half).....but i was not sure how to LSAT prep given the importance of timing on the LSAT compared to other tests?

Should I practice with the extra time?......The reason I saw that is because of my long term goals: Even though LSAC is stringent as to how they give extra time out , I would be very wary of taking the test under normal conditions .....because i would likely need extra time on the Bar exam, it would not be wise for me to enter Law School having LSAT under standard conditions because then I would be less likely to gain Bar exam accommodations making law school quite a gamble since opportunities would be severely limited without passing the bar


Lastly, do you think it would be in my best interests to take the LSAT within the next few years even if I am set on taking a few years off between UG and law school to get some work experience so my accommodations in college and GRE are valid when applying fro LSAT accommodations? Not sure how long college accommodations would be considered by LSAC


Hey Broncos (do you live in Denver/CO? I lived there for a year and LOVED IT there!),

First off, before I give any advice on this topic, I would not follow anything I say below until you have figured out if you are getting accommodations from LSAC. I also can't give advice on the barzam issue, as I haven't even started law school yet and know almost nothing about the bar (other than that there is some company called BarBri that a lot of firms pay for you to use).

You absolutely should practice with the time constraints that you will have on test day. But of course, you have to submit your appeal for these first, and then get official word from LSAC that you will get this extra time before you can prepare this way. Until then, you have no idea if they will approve it. Seems like the link suggests you have a good case, but nothing is sure until it happens--so get that taken care of pronto. Email them/do whatever they say immediately and figure out what you are working with.

If you do get extra time, then you want to practice only under those timing conditions. Timing is very important on the LSAT above other exams, because it is not a knowledge-based test. The other thing is that although there is a definitive advantage to having more time to think through problems (obviously warranted if you have a legit disability) there is also a disadvantage in that it takes a lot longer to finish the test. Fatigue, endurance issues, etc. are a real issue even for people with normal time. If you are getting time and a half, I would expect that you would be very worn out by the end of the exam. I would take as many timed exams as possible with your timing constraints so that you are ready for the potential marathon.

Also, I wouldn't worry about the LSAT as it relates to the barzam. If you can get extra time, you would be crazy not to take it because 1) your score will almost certainly be higher with more time to think through the questions (even with the potential fatigue issues mentioned above) and 2) with a higher score you'll likely get into better schools/get more $$$/get a better job, etc. That's probably the only thing you should be concerned with at this stage.

I'm not sure on LSAC's policy regarding accommodations and them expiring or something. I would email them and get clarification. If you can submit the request and get approval now, then why wait (unless they can expire)?

As to when to take the exam, I would take the LSAT when you have the maximum amount of space in your life to devote a major amount of time to studying. Ideally, studying for the LSAT should be like holding a full-time (or close to full-time) job. It is (arguably, but not by much) the single most important admissions factor. So, you want to give it your all. If you have the time in your life to kill it and study now, then go for it. The score is good for 5 years (I believe, you can double-check that on LSAC's website or the specific schools you are interested in).

HTH, let me know if you want me to clarify the above.

Jason

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby ltowns1 » Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:10 pm

.I think the process you outline makes sense to me (for str/wk and surf/nec). Just remember that even if an answer choice doesn't mention the conclusion verbatim, it can still affect it. But yeah, I think you've got the idea, just reinforcing.


1. I totally understand what you mean thanks for you further explanation.

2. I'm just curious about what you were saying in the above quoted statement. Just to clarify, did you mean the part where I discussed eliminating using primarily the conclusion until I get to two answers and then going back to the argument identifying what best matches the flaw in the argument?

3. PT 36, section 3 #13 has a great example of why I get frustrated using the entire "find the flaw in the argument" approach at times. I got this answer right,because I focused on the conclusion, and I was able to elminate, but for my life, I cannot see how this bridged our gap between :
treating patients with medication is the best way----->>> to the environment has no harm on psychotherapy

It's like I understand how this could weaken the conclusion, but how in the heck does it touch our premise lol???

This is my last question lol, thanks for your help Jason.

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby BlueprintJason » Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:50 pm

ltowns1 wrote:
.I think the process you outline makes sense to me (for str/wk and surf/nec). Just remember that even if an answer choice doesn't mention the conclusion verbatim, it can still affect it. But yeah, I think you've got the idea, just reinforcing.


1. I totally understand what you mean thanks for you further explanation.

2. I'm just curious about what you were saying in the above quoted statement. Just to clarify, did you mean the part where I discussed eliminating using primarily the conclusion until I get to two answers and then going back to the argument identifying what best matches the flaw in the argument?

3. PT 36, section 3 #13 has a great example of why I get frustrated using the entire "find the flaw in the argument" approach at times. I got this answer right,because I focused on the conclusion, and I was able to elminate, but for my life, I cannot see how this bridged our gap between :
treating patients with medication is the best way----->>> to the environment has no harm on psychotherapy

It's like I understand how this could weaken the conclusion, but how in the heck does it touch our premise lol???

This is my last question lol, thanks for your help Jason.


1: NP

2: Don't overthink it. I just mean that even if the conclusion is mentioned word for word, and answer choice can still affect its outcome.

3: The question you cite is the EXACT reason why you should be honing in you flaw spotting skills! I see this one from a mile away. Granted, I teach this stuff, but I don't think this is one of the more difficult to spot. Focus on spotting flaws, you want to be able to see this every time. You can get to this point with practicing reviewing questions looking for how to identify the flaw.

When you are having trouble spotting flaws, the best thing to do is go back and break it down to nuts and bolts like I do when I write out these explanations. Part of it is highlighting the key language that is the source of the flaw. You'll see what I mean:

Prem:

Fact-->Psychoses are treated better with medicine.

Con:

Thus, psychoses have NOTHING TO DO WITH environmental factors, and are caused by PURELY environmental conditions.

Flaw:

Exclusivity!!!! The argument fails to consider two things: 1) that there couldn't be other environmental factors having nothing to do with medication and 2) that medicine can't be a partial cause ALONG with some effects associated with physiology.

(Incidentally, there is another flaw here. The argument assumes that the way to tell an argument's cause is by looking at the type of treatment. This is an equivocation, because that doesn't necessarily have to be true. You might be able to treat physiology issues with drugs? I dunno. They don't test this one though, but it doesn't hurt to notice it, since they could have.)

Whenever I see exclusivity (an argument gives a possible explanation and then rules out any possible alternatives in a sweeping blow), I'm always looking for either or both of these immediately. This is why when I see (A), I know that I'm done with the question, and only need to make a pass through the other AC's to check my work. No need to do any fancy tricks here.

My method is way faster, and yours will be too when you get better at spotting errors in reasoning. Keep reviewing this way (and come back with other tricky ones if you have trouble!) and you'll see progress.

HTH

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby ltowns1 » Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:20 pm

BlueprintJason wrote:
ltowns1 wrote:
.I think the process you outline makes sense to me (for str/wk and surf/nec). Just remember that even if an answer choice doesn't mention the conclusion verbatim, it can still affect it. But yeah, I think you've got the idea, just reinforcing.


1. I totally understand what you mean thanks for you further explanation.

2. I'm just curious about what you were saying in the above quoted statement. Just to clarify, did you mean the part where I discussed eliminating using primarily the conclusion until I get to two answers and then going back to the argument identifying what best matches the flaw in the argument?

3. PT 36, section 3 #13 has a great example of why I get frustrated using the entire "find the flaw in the argument" approach at times. I got this answer right,because I focused on the conclusion, and I was able to elminate, but for my life, I cannot see how this bridged our gap between :
treating patients with medication is the best way----->>> to the environment has no harm on psychotherapy

It's like I understand how this could weaken the conclusion, but how in the heck does it touch our premise lol???

This is my last question lol, thanks for your help Jason.


1: NP

2: Don't overthink it. I just mean that even if the conclusion is mentioned word for word, and answer choice can still affect its outcome.

3: The question you cite is the EXACT reason why you should be honing in you flaw spotting skills! I see this one from a mile away. Granted, I teach this stuff, but I don't think this is one of the more difficult to spot. Focus on spotting flaws, you want to be able to see this every time. You can get to this point with practicing reviewing questions looking for how to identify the flaw.

When you are having trouble spotting flaws, the best thing to do is go back and break it down to nuts and bolts like I do when I write out these explanations. Part of it is highlighting the key language that is the source of the flaw. You'll see what I mean:

Prem:

Fact-->Psychoses are treated better with medicine.

Con:

Thus, psychoses have NOTHING TO DO WITH environmental factors, and are caused by PURELY environmental conditions.

Flaw:

Exclusivity!!!! The argument fails to consider two things: 1) that there couldn't be other environmental factors having nothing to do with medication and 2) that medicine can't be a partial cause ALONG with some effects associated with physiology.

(Incidentally, there is another flaw here. The argument assumes that the way to tell an argument's cause is by looking at the type of treatment. This is an equivocation, because that doesn't necessarily have to be true. You might be able to treat physiology issues with drugs? I dunno. They don't test this one though, but it doesn't hurt to notice it, since they could have.)

Whenever I see exclusivity (an argument gives a possible explanation and then rules out any possible alternatives in a sweeping blow), I'm always looking for either or both of these immediately. This is why when I see (A), I know that I'm done with the question, and only need to make a pass through the other AC's to check my work. No need to do any fancy tricks here.

My method is way faster, and yours will be too when you get better at spotting errors in reasoning. Keep reviewing this way (and come back with other tricky ones if you have trouble!) and you'll see progress.

HTH



I think I thought about the last flaw

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Re: Blueprint LSAT Prep's ongoing ask-an-instructor extravaganza

Postby BlueprintJason » Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:24 pm

ltowns1 wrote:I think I thought about the last flaw


That's good. IMO, that is the more subtle flaw. But that might be because the exclusivity flaw is so rampant in the way that they use it here that I'm just primed for it. Keep chugging and review, review, review (and please come back with any more!).

J


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