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chadbrochill
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby chadbrochill » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:46 pm

dang shinners,

I just took a look at your predictions for the Dec '12 test and it is eerily spot on with my experience of the test, down to the specific predictions as well. You are a prophet! (and hopefully correct about the curve as well :wink: )

lsatkid007
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby lsatkid007 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:19 pm

Dude I am having one hell of time with the "according to the passage.." and "the passage suggests.." questions in RC. Any words of wisdom?

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

Postby bp shinners » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:05 am

lsatkid007 wrote:Dude I am having one hell of time with the "according to the passage.." and "the passage suggests.." questions in RC. Any words of wisdom?


"According to the passage" answers will be explicitly mentioned in the passage. So this all comes down to tagging the passage well. If you don't have the specific piece of information tagged, you want to have the paragraph tagged so you know which one the answer is in.

"The passage suggests" might be explicitly stated, but it's also likely to have an inferential jump. For these, it's important to note keywords that allow you to draw inferences; the most common are absolute/strong language, and comparative statements.

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

Postby bp shinners » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:08 am

chadbrochill wrote:dang shinners,

I just took a look at your predictions for the Dec '12 test and it is eerily spot on with my experience of the test, down to the specific predictions as well. You are a prophet! (and hopefully correct about the curve as well :wink: )


Please tell me there was a werewolves and/or vampires question. That was my out-of-left-field prediction.

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

Postby bp shinners » Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:03 pm

Open for business.

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

Postby bp shinners » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:23 pm

Open for business.

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

Postby bp shinners » Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:36 pm

Anyone? Bueller?

lsatkid007
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby lsatkid007 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:17 pm

Hey BP
First, thanks for the help on how to review the wrong answers. Second, what do you recommend I do for losing track while reading RC passages. My UG was in finance so when I'm up against a humanities passages I get screwed. I try to engage (try to predict what's coming up) in what I'm reading but sometimes it doesn't work. I would love do an entire RC section with you walking me through. Is there any way we can make that happen? I'm currently in Midwest. Thanks for the help.

8)

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wtrc
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby wtrc » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:24 pm

Hi BP,

I was waiting for a time that I would be free when you had these. So glad I caught you, even though I have to run in a few :-/. Thank you so much for doing these.

PT 42. Section 4, #10.

Also Section 2 #14 and #18. I sort of have figured those out, but I think an explanation from you would clarify further. Thanks so much!

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

Postby bp shinners » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:25 pm

lsatkid007 wrote:Hey BP
First, thanks for the help on how to review the wrong answers. Second, what do you recommend I do for losing track while reading RC passages. My UG was in finance so when I'm up against a humanities passages I get screwed. I try to engage (try to predict what's coming up) in what I'm reading but sometimes it doesn't work. I would love do an entire RC section with you walking me through. Is there any way we can make that happen? I'm currently in Midwest. Thanks for the help.

8)


Doing a ton of them. Until your eyes bleed. Believe me, after forcing yourself to do 6 in a row, concentrating through 4 of them will be a cakewalk (although according to that passage, cakewalking sounds difficult).

Sometimes, taking a second to 'reset' between each paragraph can also keep you focused. Review your tag for the first two paragraphs, describe how the passage is progressing, and then start up again. This will help you stay in the passage and also solidify the structure in your head much better than just noting the passages as you go.

As to walking you through a section, that can honestly take 2+ hours, and it's the kind of thing we reserve for our students. But I'd be more than happy to give you pointers on a specific passage if you want to take a look at one on this thread!

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

Postby bp shinners » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:51 pm

weathercoins wrote:PT 42. Section 4, #10.


Good ol' Main Point questions. They always make you a little more difficult to spot the conclusion when that's the only thing being tested.

There's a huge give-away in this one: The author throws in a "but", and then evaluates someone else's argument. Whenever I see that in a MP question, I know I've got my conclusion.

However, I also know I'm not done. Here, the conclusion is, "But this would be a mistake" - it has the "But", and that's followed by a judgment call. However, i have a feeling the correct AC isn't just going to say "But it's a mistake" - I'm assuming I have to fill in the blank with what that mistake is. Here, it's the view of some social scientists who want to predict stuff accurately by making the same reduction. What reduction is that? The reduction to mathematical expressions.

So I had to go three levels deep to get it all together, but I end up with something along the lines of, "It would be a mistake to reduce the predictions of social sciences to mathematical expressions." And that'd nearly word-for-word what D says.

Also Section 2 #14 and #18. I sort of have figured those out, but I think an explanation from you would clarify further. Thanks so much!


14
Necessary assumption questions are the bane of many students' existence. However, they at least make this one about monkeys, and macaque is a funny word (I chuckle when I say it to myself. Macaque.).

Monkeys weren't seen in the hot springs (stupid monkeys). Then, a banana fell into the hot spring. An adventurous young macaque ventured in to get the delicious treat (sounds like a Disney film). 30 years later, the whole troop is relaxing in the spring, sipping on their banana daiquiris.

From this, I conclude that they can adopt/pass on behaviors, and they're not "complete captives" to their genes. Well, I have a situation described where a change happens, then I conclude that genes didn't control that change. Do you know enough genetics to say that's the case? I do, but I'm not telling.

For the purposes of the LSAT, you have to leave anything you know at the door. So I don't know that genes didn't play a role in this situation, even though 30 years seems a little short for some type of genetic solution. But ruling it out is too far, so I need to address that in my answer.

That's what B does. I absolutely must assume that changes in behavior aren't necessarily genetic if I have any chance of saying that this change wasn't genetic. If I negate this answer and say that any change in behavior for monkeys IS necessarily genetically predetermined, then I can never get to my conclusion that they're not complete captives to their genes. Negate the AC and it kills the argument? Bingo.

A is the opposite of what I want - something describing how this could be genetic. If I have an AC that explains how my conclusion could be false (i.e. it weakens it), it's not a necessary assumption.

C starts off very strong for a necessary question ("Only when"), so strike one. On top of that, this behavior has become typical, but I want to say it's not genetic. So, again, this is doing the opposite of what I want.

For D, I don't need to say that all social behaviors are completely independent of their genes; that goes way too far. I just need to connect this one behavior to a non-genetic explanation.

E is predicting the future - I don't need to do that for a necessary assumption question.

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wtrc
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby wtrc » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:59 pm

bp shinners wrote:
weathercoins wrote:PT 42. Section 4, #10.


Good ol' Main Point questions. They always make you a little more difficult to spot the conclusion when that's the only thing being tested.

There's a huge give-away in this one: The author throws in a "but", and then evaluates someone else's argument. Whenever I see that in a MP question, I know I've got my conclusion.
.


Thanks so much for all of this (only quoted the first bit so as not to clog)!!

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

Postby bp shinners » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:00 pm

weathercoins wrote: #18.


Whoops - missed 18!

18
If I'm supporting the statements above, I'm strengthening my argument.

So I've got a fact: bees can ID flowers by color very well with their vision.

There are two possibilities: either bees' vision developed this ability after the flowers became all pretty, or bees developed the vision first and then flowers developed to attract the bees. (I guess there's a third, where they developed simultaneously, but that doesn't come up in the argument so I'm not going to add it). The author thinks the latter is more likely: Bees developed a certain vision, then flowers adapted to attract bees.

Well, they pull a bit of a switch here. I know bees CAN identify stuff by color, and I know an explanation is that flowers developed color causing bees to adapt to identify it. But my actual explanation doesn't involve color at all - it just says the flowers developed in response to bee vision. Bee vision could also be good at finding shapes, or sizes, or any number of other things. So it seems like color might not play any role at all here.

And that's what (A) tells me - other insects have very similar vision to bees, but they don't depend on perceiving an object's color. If their vision is similar, but they don't rely on color, then maybe bees don't, either. In which case the bees wouldn't specifically adapt for that reason, and it's more likely that the flowers developed to attract the bees.

If anything, (B) weakens my argument by telling me that maybe bees aren't that important, so why would flowers adapt to them?

(C) is completely irrelevant, as every species of flower could be one of three colors/shapes/sizes/etc...

(D) - good for them. I'm talking flowering plants here.

(E) just tells me that flowers are important to bees. That doesn't tell me which came first - the flower or the vision. If anything, this would suggest that bees adapted to flowers, since those flowers are so important to them.

lsatkid007
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby lsatkid007 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:24 pm

Quick question.

Could I look a RC passage as LR stim? The passages in the earlier PT are long but the recent ones are broken down fairly equal. Do you have any techniques to breakdown the passages by paragraph and attacking the questions?

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

Postby bp shinners » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:09 pm

lsatkid007 wrote:Quick question.

Could I look a RC passage as LR stim? The passages in the earlier PT are long but the recent ones are broken down fairly equal. Do you have any techniques to breakdown the passages by paragraph and attacking the questions?


I wholeheartedly endorse looking at RC passages as really long LR stims with multiple questions attached. I also wholeheartedly endorse looking at RC questions as LR questions, since they require the same level of logical certainty as do LR questions.

As far as breaking it down by paragraph and answering the questions that way, it's why we have you tag the role of each paragraph. You don't want to read a paragraph and answer a relevant question. Rather, you want to know which paragraph is relevant to the question by using your tags. So if a question is asking about what the author uses to prove her conclusion, and the role of the last paragraph is the author arguing for her conclusion, you should know where to look.

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arcanecircle
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby arcanecircle » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:51 pm

Hey Matt, wanna give PT46-S3-Q24 a go?

And if you can think of some questions similar to this that'd be awesome

Thanks

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

Postby bp shinners » Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:05 pm

arcanecircle wrote:Hey Matt, wanna give PT46-S3-Q24 a go?

And if you can think of some questions similar to this that'd be awesome

Thanks


I love sufficient assumption questions. Once you accept the trick, you can drastically improve your accuracy in them.

That trick is either to find the new concept that shows up in the conclusion or, if the conclusion has concepts already mentioned, to connect the two premises.

So let's look at what this editorialist has to say:

He starts off with a crazy assertion: Money doesn't exist. When he says something like that, I'm expecting that to be the conclusion, as he really needs to back that up with some proof. And he does, starting with the next sentence - "This is evident" tells me he's about to give me an example that proves what he just said.

His example/explanation? If everyone stops believing in it, it would disappear (like the giant company mascots in Paul Anka's song on the Simpsons). We see this is the stock market every day.

So the argument:
Money on the stock market comes and goes based on the belief of investors.
Money would disappear if everyone stopped believing in it.
____________________________________________________________________
Therefore, money doesn't exist.

Whoa, big claim there. Doesn't exist. Do we see that at all in the premises? No. I see a belief that it doesn't exist, but again that's not the same as being non-existent (America existed before anyone believed it was here).

So I need to connect my premises to my conclusion. To do so, I'm going to have to say that something that exists will do so whether people believe in it or not. That connects my premises (the belief in a thing) and my conclusion (its actual existence).

And that's (A).

(B) tells me (the contrapositive of what's written) that if you can't have mistaken beliefs about a thing, then it doesn't exist. Do I know that I can't have mistaken beliefs about money? No, so (B) doesn't get me to non-existence.

(C) tells me that if it doesn't have practical consequences for those who believe in it, then it doesn't exist. But money does have practical consequences for those who believe in it, so I can't say it doesn't exist.

(D) doesn't help me conclude something doesn't exist; just whether or not it does exist.

(E) isn't even in the game.

This is a sufficient assumption question that plays with philosophical concepts. It also has concepts that are very similar (believing in existence vs. existing). Any sufficient assumption question about morality, right/wrong, happiness, feelings, etc... will be similar to this question.
Last edited by bp shinners on Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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arcanecircle
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby arcanecircle » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:13 pm

Treehouse of horror VI, apt analogy indeed.

What about our term "disappear"? I saw the argument just as you, but I couldn't see A matching up without equivocating not disappearing with existence.

Seems like it assures us if something's existence is contingent on people's belief in it, it doesnt really exist. That's great and all but aren't we only told money's appearance depends on that, not its existence.

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

Postby bp shinners » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:43 am

arcanecircle wrote:Seems like it assures us if something's existence is contingent on people's belief in it, it doesnt really exist. That's great and all but aren't we only told money's appearance depends on that, not its existence.


Ah, gotcha now. Two things:
1) It's not equivocating because one definition of disappear is "cease to exist".
2) Even if you saw an equivocation there, it's still heads and tails above every other answer choice, each of which gets you nowhere closer to concluding money doesn't exist.

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crazyrobin
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby crazyrobin » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:56 am

Hi BP, since you are online now, I really want to ask you this, what would you do if you came across a RC passage, after reading the first one or two paragraphs, you clearly have no ideas what it is about?

I bombed a RC passage today while practicng RC section( technically didn't get half of the meaning but only got -1 on PT 3 RC passage 4)

What do you recommend to hone my skill for LSAT RC passages? Practice with as many PTs as possible?

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

Postby bp shinners » Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:25 am

crazyrobin wrote:Hi BP, since you are online now, I really want to ask you this, what would you do if you came across a RC passage, after reading the first one or two paragraphs, you clearly have no ideas what it is about?


Don't get into that position in the first place. Honestly, none of the passages are rocket science. They may include difficult concepts to throw you off, but the basics are very straight-forward. And if you're two paragraphs in and just then determining you're lost, you haven't been paying attention along the way.

So a few things:
1) If you don't understand something, don't keep reading. You can't move on in RC until you know what you've just read.
2) If what you're reading is going over your head because of a complex concept, check to see if that concept is really important to the argument. Sometimes you could replace those complex concepts with nonsense words and the sentence would mean the same thing. Don't let them fool you with unimportant science.
3) When all else fails, understand the role of the sentence. Even if you're lost, if you can tell me it's proof for Schlichtman's Theory of Diminishing Evolution (you don't know why, but you know it's proof for it), you're in decent shape.

I bombed a RC passage today while practicng RC section( technically didn't get half of the meaning but only got -1 on PT 3 RC passage 4)

What do you recommend to hone my skill for LSAT RC passages? Practice with as many PTs as possible?


Practice is really the best medicine for RC. Especially for the passages in areas you feel uncomfortable (science passages are the most common here).

lsatkid007
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby lsatkid007 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:15 pm

bp shinners wrote:
crazyrobin wrote:Hi BP, since you are online now, I really want to ask you this, what would you do if you came across a RC passage, after reading the first one or two paragraphs, you clearly have no ideas what it is about?


Don't get into that position in the first place. Honestly, none of the passages are rocket science. They may include difficult concepts to throw you off, but the basics are very straight-forward. And if you're two paragraphs in and just then determining you're lost, you haven't been paying attention along the way.

So a few things:
1) If you don't understand something, don't keep reading. You can't move on in RC until you know what you've just read.
2) If what you're reading is going over your head because of a complex concept, check to see if that concept is really important to the argument. Sometimes you could replace those complex concepts with nonsense words and the sentence would mean the same thing. Don't let them fool you with unimportant science.
3) When all else fails, understand the role of the sentence. Even if you're lost, if you can tell me it's proof for Schlichtman's Theory of Diminishing Evolution (you don't know why, but you know it's proof for it), you're in decent shape.

I bombed a RC passage today while practicng RC section( technically didn't get half of the meaning but only got -1 on PT 3 RC passage 4)

What do you recommend to hone my skill for LSAT RC passages? Practice with as many PTs as possible?


Practice is really the best medicine for RC. Especially for the passages in areas you feel uncomfortable (science passages are the most common here).


love the advice

meandme
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby meandme » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:55 pm

How does reading for structure help? I have read it in several posts. I know of these structure
1. cause & effect
2. compare & contrast
3. sequence
4. problem & solution
5. description
Please let me know if I'm missing anything.

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

Postby bp shinners » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:09 pm

meandme wrote:How does reading for structure help? I have read it in several posts. I know of these structure
1. cause & effect
2. compare & contrast
3. sequence
4. problem & solution
5. description
Please let me know if I'm missing anything.


That's a list of secondary structures/features of passages, and it's nowhere near comprehensive. It also misses the bigger, primary structures that are defined by the number of viewpoints in the passage.

There's three levels to structure
1) Primary structure - defined by the viewpoints
2) Organization - how the viewpoints come up and argue for their sides
3) Secondary structure - recurring elements that show up in passages that usually also show up in questions

Reading for these three things will get you most questions on the LSAT.

You read for primary structure so you can know what the different viewpoints are on the topic, and who holds those viewpoints. They will help you answer the viewpoints questions.

You read for organization to help you understand the passage better and to answer question. It will help you understand the passage better because if you know what the sentence/paragraph is trying to accomplish (e.g. "This paragraph is listing reasons why Species-Specific Model is better than General Evolution Theory"), then even if you're lost in the content, you know what it's trying to do. Sometimes that's enough to break it open. It'll help you answer the questions in two different ways. First, it will just straight up answer the role questions. Second, it will tell you where to look for the specific reference questions.

You read for secondary structures because they always show up in questions. These structure are a) Cause/Effect, b) Question/Answer, c) Example, and d) Classifications. These lend themselves to particular questions. If they completely define the passage (if the conclusion is causal, for example), then they might lend themselves to the Main Point and other questions as well.

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

Postby bp shinners » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:10 pm

New Year's Eve Resolution - help people get into law school.

Hopefully yours is to study. Let's meet in the middle.


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