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bp shinners
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:46 pm

nmop_apisdn wrote:In short, How far out from October's test should I be focusing on full 5-section PTs and how many tests per week do you recommend?

Thanks again!


It depends on how much time you have to study. The review of those PTs is going to be significantly more important that the taking of the PTs themselves.

Also, when you're still in the low-160s, there are still some conceptual issues that need ironing out. That won't happen (necessarily) from just taking a ton of PTs. I would recommend a ramp-up process, wherein you start with 2 a week and fully review. Also, notice patterns in what you're getting wrong, and review whatever materials you have for those concepts (question type, common flaws committed by you, etc...). Do that for a week or two, and hopefully you can get the last one above your target.

Then, go up to 3 (maybe, MAYBE 4) a week, with the off-days being days to review. I would recommend taking the test one day and scoring it, then taking a break. If you must do something, review some concepts. Then, the next day, go back and redo the questions you got wrong without having the answer sheet in front of you (if you marked up the test booklet, just circle and cross out each answer so there's no hint). Whatever you got wrong on day 1, but not day 2, review a bit. Whatever you got wrong on both days, review a lot.

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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby BillsFan9907 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:30 am

Hey BP,

Do you have access to the February 1997 LSAT? If so, please breakdown logical reasoning question 16, from section 3.

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dowu
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby dowu » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:42 pm

bp shinners wrote:
nmop_apisdn wrote:In short, How far out from October's test should I be focusing on full 5-section PTs and how many tests per week do you recommend?

Thanks again!


It depends on how much time you have to study. The review of those PTs is going to be significantly more important that the taking of the PTs themselves.

Also, when you're still in the low-160s, there are still some conceptual issues that need ironing out. That won't happen (necessarily) from just taking a ton of PTs. I would recommend a ramp-up process, wherein you start with 2 a week and fully review. Also, notice patterns in what you're getting wrong, and review whatever materials you have for those concepts (question type, common flaws committed by you, etc...). Do that for a week or two, and hopefully you can get the last one above your target.

Then, go up to 3 (maybe, MAYBE 4) a week, with the off-days being days to review. I would recommend taking the test one day and scoring it, then taking a break. If you must do something, review some concepts. Then, the next day, go back and redo the questions you got wrong without having the answer sheet in front of you (if you marked up the test booklet, just circle and cross out each answer so there's no hint). Whatever you got wrong on day 1, but not day 2, review a bit. Whatever you got wrong on both days, review a lot.


Pretty close to what I had in mind. I appreciate the advice!

meandme
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby meandme » Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:50 pm

Hey BP
Pt19 S4 Q5. The attorney and coverup.

Thanks
God bless

M.M.
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby M.M. » Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:17 pm

bp shinners wrote:
M.M. wrote:Answer choice A fulfills the sufficient condition of undermining mutual trust, whereas answer choice D fulfills the sufficient condition of ~C.O. or not participating in civic organizations / groups outside the family.

How would I make sure I get this right?


The problem with answer choice A is that it goes too far. My conclusion doesn't say that everyone is relying on these things for entertainment, just that there's a widespread reliance on it. It also doesn't say democracy will be destroyed; just that there's a corrosive effect.

For necessary assumption questions, strong answers are usually wrong. Why? Because I usually don't have to assume all that much for the conclusion to be possible - and that's all I want out of a necessary assumption answer choice.

So in A, when it says 'ANYONE who relies on movies...is UNABLE to form a strong...', that's too much. I just have to know that there are some people out there who watch movies and thus have problems forming strong bonds in order to reach my conclusion that this type of entertainment has a corrosive effect.

D is great because it's much weaker - it just makes people less likely to participate. That's all I have to assume - that movies are somewhat detracting from group participation.

So, in the future, don't go for the strong answer choice in a necessary assumption question - it's very likely that it's too strong to be NECESSARY to the argument (though stronger answer choices are more likely to be sufficient to prove the conclusion, as here - A would be the answer to a sufficient assumption question).


Awesome. I'm finding that I do that alot -- going for the strong answer choice in necessary assumption questions, which constitute 40% of my missed LR questions! I will definitely keep this in mind.

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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby gg2 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:24 pm

hey bp shinners
I'm regressing in my logical reasoning section and taking the lsat in october.
I was getting -6 total in late june on the LR section but lately i've been getting -10,-13, and -9.
I used the powerscore LR bible and now switching over to manhattan lsat's guide to see if it'll help. I don't know what I'm doing wrong! any advice?

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bp shinners
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:59 pm

meandme wrote:Hey BP
Pt19 S4 Q5. The attorney and coverup.

Thanks
God bless


Alright, we've got a describe question here. Two points - an attorney and the government.

The attorney charges that the gov't. covered up some evidence.

The gov't. replies by saying, "There's no evidence we've covered up the evidence."

Well, that doesn't really make me feel any better. There's no proof that I've never made out with Katie Holmes. Doesn't mean that I've made out with her.

Here, the government is using an Absence of Evidence fallacy to distract you. Just because there's no proof of a coverup doesn't mean one didn't exist.

So we go with A - the government didn't deny that it destroyed evidence; it just said we have no proof for that proposition.

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bp shinners
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:03 pm

gg2 wrote:hey bp shinners
I'm regressing in my logical reasoning section and taking the lsat in october.
I was getting -6 total in late june on the LR section but lately i've been getting -10,-13, and -9.
I used the powerscore LR bible and now switching over to manhattan lsat's guide to see if it'll help. I don't know what I'm doing wrong! any advice?


It's really hard to give advice when I don't know anything about why you're seeing a decrease in score. It could be:
A) Separated from the rest - burn out. If you've been prepping intensely for awhile and are starting to see a drop in scores, it's probably burn out. Take some time away from the exam, relax, let your brain digest the info, and then come back to it.
1) Are those timed scores? When you first learn the methods, it slows you down a lot. So if you were having issues getting through the section, that could explain the drop in score.
2) You've overcalibrated with the tips/tricks given to you by PS. Sometimes, when you learn a little bit, it's dangerous. If you start applying methods you learned for one question to another, you'll get it wrong. The methods are tools, not shortcuts - make sure to use them right.
3) You're freaking out. After studying a bit, sometimes you know exactly when you're making a mistake, or when you get a question wrong. And this kills your confidence, which leads to a lower score.

If you give a more complete rundown of your prep/where you're making mistakes, I can try to give more specific advice.

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Captain Rodeo
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby Captain Rodeo » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:49 am

Hey Shinners! Thanks for doing this!

Could you explain the logical force fallacy a little bit more? The best I can think of it is when it is in a Q that has a scope shift from premise-to-conclusion- where the conclusion is is stronger than what the premises allow and then the Q has us fix this, strengthen it, or identify it in a method or parallel Q.

But on another thread about psychological stuff the LSAT does (viewtopic.php?f=6&t=192370), you explain it a little differently. I'll quote it here in case others want to read it. It's #2- and you also mention that "there are two flaws that students will commit at certain times" [my emphasis]. Could you explain the logical force fallacy, how students also commit it, and what you meant by "can"?

P.S.- I know you have a list of flaws and it mentions logical force, but it would still be great if you could clear it up!

Thank you!

bp shinners wrote:One of the most devious tricks that's extremely hard to pick up on (because it spans the entire section) is to present several questions of the same type spread out over the entire section, with answer choices in a similar pattern (think flaw - A-C are the same flaw in Q1, 5, 16, and 22), but then switch it up for the last one with a single word.

So without even realizing it, you start to associate C with a part vs. whole composition fallacy. Then, in 22, they give you a part vs. whole composition fallacy. And answer choice C will, instead, give you a whole vs. part composition fallacy. They switch it up, but your brain sees what it wants to see and disregards the rest (lie la lie lie lie la lie). And you get it wrong, even though you knew the right answer.

To the OP, though, there are usually 2 flaws that most students will commit at certain times, and I think that's the psychological trick that you're asking about (because this is the one that you really have to recognize and work on to fix).

1) Equivocation - the LSAT will use two words that are colloquially identical, but in reality have different meanings. One will be in the stimulus, and the other will be in the answer choice. You'll pick it because, to you and most Americans, the two mean the same thing. However, they actually don't, and so you're stuck with a wrong answer. The flipside of this is true, too - they'll use an esoteric word that means the same thing as a common word, and you'll throw the answer choice out because you think the concepts are distinct. For the former problem, you need to watch out ANYTIME your answer uses language different from the stimulus, and spend a second to make sure they actually do mean the same thing. For the second, you'll have to notice patterns in question types where this happens to you - for instance, it's much more likely to happen in a MBT question than a flaw question - and then be on the lookout for it there.

2) Logical force - they used to change up the logical force using small keywords that most Americans gloss over while reading (the biggest one being 'can'). However, they've started to use non-keyword logical force words in ways that make answer choice right/wrong. While you're looking for 'most' or 'might', the LSAT throws 'independently' at you. That's a very strong word. Ditto with words like 'irrelevant'. Watch out for these really strong words, as they'll guide what answers you can and cannot pick.

3) I'm feeling generous, so also watch out for committing an absence of evidence fallacy. As far as fallacies go, this is the one that sounds the best to most people, so it's easy to commit. But just because you haven't proven something doesn't exist, doesn't mean it's true. And, more insidiously, just because you pointed out someone was lying about something doesn't mean that their conclusion isn't true. If I'm on the stand for murder, and you prove my alibi (I was cleaning baby seals coated with oil) was BS, that doesn't mean I committed the murder. I could have been buying crack from a prostitute and just don't want to admit that on the stand.

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Captain Rodeo
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby Captain Rodeo » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:12 pm

Edit: I posted another Q here- but I think I just figured it out... Thanks
Last edited by Captain Rodeo on Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

meandme
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby meandme » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:41 pm

Hey BP
I am having trouble with PT33 S4 #7. The in and out game.

I: M H s/j
O: G W s/j

Is this the correct setup? If M & H are in the forest than doesn't mean that J is also in and S is out?

Thanks
God bless

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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby timeless » Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:49 am

Hi BP

thank you very much for answering questions for us.
Its helping me out a bunch!!!

This time, I have a question about superprep B RC question 7.
Im not a big fan of LSAC explanations, as they are long-winded and content based, just the opposite of what LSAT takers need.
So in this question i originally picked A but the correct answer is C.
I understand that C undermines the assumption more clearly and directly than A, but I cannot really articulate the specific reason that characterizes C as the better choice. Is it really because of the word 'many' in answer choice A?? Or do i have to just rely on the fact that C does the job better?
Could you explain the difference for me, so that I could be prepared to face similar elements/patterns in the future PTs i take?

Thanks!!!

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bp shinners
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:50 pm

austinyo wrote:Could you explain the logical force fallacy a little bit more? The best I can think of it is when it is in a Q that has a scope shift from premise-to-conclusion- where the conclusion is is stronger than what the premises allow and then the Q has us fix this, strengthen it, or identify it in a method or parallel Q.


That's exactly what I mean by a logical force fallacy - when the conclusion is stronger than the premises allow.

But on another thread about psychological stuff the LSAT does (viewtopic.php?f=6&t=192370), you explain it a little differently. I'll quote it here in case others want to read it. It's #2- and you also mention that "there are two flaws that students will commit at certain times" [my emphasis]. Could you explain the logical force fallacy, how students also commit it, and what you meant by "can"?

P.S.- I know you have a list of flaws and it mentions logical force, but it would still be great if you could clear it up!

Thank you!

bp shinners wrote:2) Logical force - they used to change up the logical force using small keywords that most Americans gloss over while reading (the biggest one being 'can'). However, they've started to use non-keyword logical force words in ways that make answer choice right/wrong. While you're looking for 'most' or 'might', the LSAT throws 'independently' at you. That's a very strong word. Ditto with words like 'irrelevant'. Watch out for these really strong words, as they'll guide what answers you can and cannot pick.



Sure! As I said before, the logical force fallacy is just having a conclusion that is stronger than the premises allow.

When a student commits a logical force fallacy, they will either pick an answer choice that is too strong based on the stimulus (e.g. pick the answer that says something "must" happen when the stimulus just lets you know that it "might" happen - this is very common when the stimulus has one example of something, and an answer choice makes a generalization to all actions of that type), ignore logical force keywords (I'll explain this below when I answer your question on 'can'), or pick an answer that is too weak based on the question type (e.g. if you're answering a sufficient assumption question, you need to ensure validity of the conclusion, so you want a strong answer choice).

As far as 'can' goes, it's a word that most Americans gloss over while reading because they feel it's unimportant, and many equivocate it with "will" ("I can go to the mall" is taken by most as you going to the mall). In class, I always say a sentence with 'can' twice to show the regular emphasis and the LSAT emphasis:
I can go to the mall. - normal
I CAN go to the mall. - LSAT
The second way emphasizes that it's a logical force keyword, and not a verb that you just use when nothing else will do.

On the LSAT, it will show up insidiously. For example, a stimulus might say, "You can interpret any action as being self-interested because even seemingly magnanimous actions are done just to boost one's self esteem." Many people will take this to mean that you should interpret actions in this way. On the LSAT, all we know is that you can interpret them in that way - however, it leaves open the possibility that I can interpret it in another way of my choosing.

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bp shinners
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:59 pm

meandme wrote:Hey BP
I am having trouble with PT33 S4 #7. The in and out game.

I: M H s/j
O: G W s/j

Is this the correct setup? If M & H are in the forest than doesn't mean that J is also in and S is out?

Thanks
God bless


For this one, I have the following rules:
H->~G (a hate relationship - I can't have both H and G; at least one must be out)
J or M->H
W->G
~J->S (an 'at least one' relationship - I need at least J or S in the forest, but both could also be in)

I can put them together in a chain:
~S->J->H->~G->~W (only missing M)
and the contrapositive:
W->G->H->~J (and ~M)->S (has M, but ~M doesn't guarantee me S - only ~J does)

So I'm told both M and H are in the forest. I look at my chains. M being in the forest tells me H is in the forest, which I already knew. H in the forest tells me that G and W are NOT in the forest. So I have:
In: M H
Out: G W
What's left? J and S. At least one has to be in, but both could be. So I put an option in the In group, but not in the Out group (since both could be in):

In: M H J/S
Out: G W

That gets rid of A-C (since I don't know what's in and what's out).
I'm between D and E. I know that either J, or S, or both, can be in. That means I can have at MOST two other birds (J and S). Not AT LEAST, because I might only have one between J and S.

Your original setup was wrong in that you had an option for J/S in the out group. If the rule is 'at least one', it could be both, so I can't do anything to the Out group.

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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:02 pm

timeless wrote:I understand that C undermines the assumption more clearly and directly than A, but I cannot really articulate the specific reason that characterizes C as the better choice. Is it really because of the word 'many' in answer choice A?? Or do i have to just rely on the fact that C does the job better?
Could you explain the difference for me, so that I could be prepared to face similar elements/patterns in the future PTs i take?

Thanks!!!


I actually don't have access to the SuperPrep tests (I know, I know...I really need to pick it up).

However, I can generally answer your question.

Even for RC, there are 4 wrong answers and 1 right answer. Not more right and more wrong - absolutely right/wrong. So you don't have to rely on the fact that C does the job better - if C is the right answer, it does the job while A does not.

Without knowing the question, I can't say for sure, but the logical force of an answer choice absolutely plays a large role in whether or not it's correct. So A saying 'many' might be the reason to discount it. You should always be on the lookout for logical force keywords like that.

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bp shinners
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:08 pm

Alright everyone, long weekend ahead. Get those question in, then take a day to relax and give your brain time to digest.

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Captain Rodeo
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby Captain Rodeo » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:17 pm

Thank you for the response BP! It was really helpful

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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby vegso » Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:23 pm

Do you have any general tips for dealing with complex language/deliberately written in a difficult form/style? I see you've sort of addressed specifics about it in here, but I feel like these are the only questions/passages that give me any grief and truly still feel difficult. Especially in RC these are the only passages where I'm getting any wrong answers but they can kill me at times

I feel like I'm gaining on them, but reading them just feels so unnatural compared to anything else that I feel like i have to reread any stimulus written like this several times and still find myself not entirely confident in what it's trying to say at times.

These topics seem to usually be something like philosophy/political stuff/or those evil lr questions related to happiness etc.

Thanks!
Last edited by vegso on Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby rakeshow » Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:14 pm

I'm just jumping in here so I'm not sure if you have ever answered these questions on these forums before so forgive me if you have...

PT52 Section3 Q20 on continuous maintenance/radical reconstruction. I don't get why C is incorrect. I understood it as "ok, so continuous is cheaper but never happens, why? well, C is saying that if continuous isnt done well then you have to do radical anyway, so people just do radical to be on the safe/conservative side" Am i missing something here?

PT54 S1 Q21. I just didnt understand this one at all and I don't really see the difference between answers A, B, E. the stim is saying that most X are Y, so therefore a Y was probably X, right?

thanks!

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Captain Rodeo
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby Captain Rodeo » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:36 pm

Hey BP, I don't know if you have answered this all of the way, but here is something you wrote on another thread:


bp shinners wrote: As far as patterns go, it's not just question types that can show you your pattern in answer questions incorrectly. It's also similar answer choices/tricks the LSAT uses to get you to pick them. Start keeping track of how the LSAT hid the right answer and made the wrong answer look good. They use the same tricks over and over, and students fall for the same tricks over and over. If you can figure out which tricks you're falling for (i.e. you keep picking the answer that would be right except for one logical force keyword, or one word that means something different than the stimulus, or has complex language meant to confuse you into picking it), you'll be a lot closer to not doing that anymore.


So- I have been doing this- it comes naturally when a difficult Q or a wrongly chosen AC for a Q pops up- you do start to notice patterns. Do you have a list of these at all that you can throw out from the top of your head? I guess this could be anything from the actual grammatical and logical tricks they pull, to the ones that are more psychological.

I know you have written about this before- mentioning: logical force; that there could be 4 Parallel Flaw Qs, A-C all have the same flaw for each question and then the last Parallel Flaw Question is a part-to-whole flaw, and (C) the entire time has been a whole-to-part flaw, and we erroneously choose it even though we know the flaw in the stim. is different; that they throw in a long Parallel Q like 3 questions before the last one at the section (I've seen that a lot).

One I just saw was where, let's say the correct answer is (A), they will make (D) and (E), for example attractive and different in slight ways so it seems like one of these two is actually the correct answer- they put the Test Taker in a False Dilemma, of sorts. They also seem to have many incorrect answers that are completely reverse or completely opposite (in LR and RC) of what the stim actually gives us. Half right (and therefore wrong answers); out of scope answers (huge category)... and others.

I know getting the argument down, seeing the logic, and getting the grammar correct is key (especially for some, most many, etc...) however I was just wondering if there are some things, that you would like us to know to look out for (that actually matter and aren't weird patterns that, while present, won't really aid in kicking butt).

I don't want to fall for any tricks. Are there any ones that are important, but maybe aren't so obvious?

Thanks dude!

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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby andreasmommy » Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:16 pm

I was wondering if you could discuss some more logical force words. I.E heavy wording for wrong answers to look out for.

I have been intensively studying without seeing a change in speed or scoring. Any advice?

Thank you so much

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bp shinners
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:49 pm

vegso wrote:Do you have any general tips for dealing with complex language/deliberately written in a difficult form/style? I see you've sort of addressed specifics about it in here, but I feel like these are the only questions/passages that give me any grief and truly still feel difficult. Especially in RC these are the only passages where I'm getting any wrong answers but they can kill me at times

I feel like I'm gaining on them, but reading them just feels so unnatural compared to anything else that I feel like i have to reread any stimulus written like this several times and still find myself not entirely confident in what it's trying to say at times.

These topics seem to usually be something like philosophy/political stuff/or those evil lr questions related to happiness etc.

Thanks!


For LR, it's all about taking your time and reading very slowly to make sure you pick up on the subtleties. Those questions are testing your ability to read stuff that is written in an intentionally dense manner to see if you can parse the poorly written English. Of all the questions on the test, those are the hardest to give advice for, because it really does rely on you just reading slowly and making sure that you understand each statement before moving on. The one tangible piece of advice I can say is that you should be very, very aware of synonyms in these passages - they really like to play on words that mean exactly the same thing and others that are similar but distinct (especially the happiness arguments) in order to confuse you. Take it slowly - I guarantee you that reading it once or twice carefully and slowly will be faster than re-reading 5 times.

For RC passages, it's all about picking your battles. Very often, the dense language is used in a sentence that is simply restating the idea presented in the preceding (or subsequent) sentence. Other times, the sentence by itself means almost nothing, but you need to read it in the context of the sentence immediately before/after it. While you want to understand the entire passage, there are times when it's worth it to just move on. If the sentence seems to just be building off of the previous idea (and not, for instance, showing a shift in opinion, or a caveat to an idea presented, or something similar), then it's probably not worth the time parsing the language until you're 100% sure on it. If, however, the sentence starts with a 'but' or a 'however', or any word that indicates this is a new and different idea, you should make sure to get it 100%.

Just as a caveat - these are strategies if you're having trouble understanding the language. In all honesty, if you can't figure out what a sentence means, there's very little I can do to help you - that's more of a comprehension issue, and that comes from experience reading dense material. These are tips for coping with trouble handling the language. And before you get offended at the preceding statement - don't; we all run into issues of comprehension with sentences on the LSAT. They're written by people with Philosophy Ph.Ds who have studied language more than Webster, and their job is to write something that we can't understand. They're going to succeed every once in awhile, no matter how much Tolstoy you've read.

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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:04 pm

rakeshow wrote:PT52 Section3 Q20 on continuous maintenance/radical reconstruction. I don't get why C is incorrect. I understood it as "ok, so continuous is cheaper but never happens, why? well, C is saying that if continuous isnt done well then you have to do radical anyway, so people just do radical to be on the safe/conservative side" Am i missing something here?

Definitely missing something. In this Explain question, I'm trying to explain why continuous maintenance is significantly cheaper, but we rarely do that. I need an answer that gives me a reason to not do continuous maintenance.

E gives that to me - it lacks urgency. That's why I don't do it.

C, on the other hand, tells me what happens if I half-ass it. Well, if I half-ass it, I'm still doing it, and I'm trying to explain why we don't do it. On top of that, C gives me another reason that I'd do continuous maintenance - EVEN IF I half-ass it, it still has a benefit - I don't have to do radical reconstruction until later than if I had done nothing at all.

PT54 S1 Q21. I just didnt understand this one at all and I don't really see the difference between answers A, B, E. the stim is saying that most X are Y, so therefore a Y was probably X, right?


You've got a good analysis of the stimulus - it's flawed because you can't just reverse a most statement. Most millionaires are people, but you can't say most people are millionaires.

Let's look at our incorrect answers, and why they're different from our correct answer, A:
B) This one is close; however, it shifts the terms a bit. It says 'Most X (vicious dogs) were Y (ill-treated).' However, then it starts talking about pet owners with vicious dogs. That's different than vicious dogs, as not everyone has raised their own dog (there are adoptions, rescue dogs, etc...). So my flaw here isn't that I just flip a 'most' statement - my flaw here is that I'm equivocating between a dog being ill-treated when young and a dog being ill-treated by his current owner while young.

E) This one isn't even flawed! It says most 8-week-old-or-older puppies are taken from their mother. Therefore, if you find me a puppy that is older than 8 weeks, it has probably been taken from it's mom. The second statement is just a valid affirmation of the first, so no flaw here!

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bp shinners
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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:07 pm

austinyo wrote:austinyo overthinking it.

I don't want to fall for any tricks. Are there any ones that are important, but maybe aren't so obvious?

Thanks dude!


You hit the main ones to watch out for in your post, along with many others that, while present, aren't things that will really help you get correct answers (as it's like getting into a battle of wits with a Sicilian when death is on the line - I know that you know that I know that you know, that I...).

So stop worrying about the tricks! Just worry on the ones you're already focusing on - logical force, equivocation, etc... The other ones are interesting from a meta standpoint, but they're as likely to cause you to bomb a test from thinking about them as they are to actually help you through the exam.

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Re: bp shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:10 pm

andreasmommy wrote:I was wondering if you could discuss some more logical force words. I.E heavy wording for wrong answers to look out for.

I have been intensively studying without seeing a change in speed or scoring. Any advice?

Thank you so much


There are a TON of specific logical force keywords (might, can, could, some, most, maybe, etc...), but most of them mean exactly what you think they mean. What I try to point out here is that most people don't actually think about those words, so you need to start. Other than the small logical force keywords, recognize that EVERY SINGLE WORD in the English language has logical force to it. Every one. You need to start being aware of it, and not using words just because they're close enough. On the LSAT, they're not close enough. So when you say stuff like, "That's more likely than not", it shows a misunderstanding of "likely", as that phrase is redundant. "Completely independent", again, is redundant. Start being aware of this on everything.

As to the issue of intense prep without any change in speed or scoring, definitely reassess what you're doing. If you're spending a TON of time and seeing no improvement (and make sure you really are seeing no improvement - if your score is the same, but you're getting more questions right in the sections/question types you've covered, you are improving), then you're not studying in a good way. You'll have to figure out why what you're doing isn't working, and then change it so that it does work.

How have you been prepping so far?


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