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

Postby bp shinners » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:37 pm

15chocolate wrote:Hi bp,

I have a question about infer/strengthen/weaken/Ex questions on RC...
So far those questions bother me the most.
Is there any ways we can predict which part would be asked or related to those questions while reading passages?
How should we tackle those Qs?
For infer question, it is particularly hard to find the related parts...I have to read all of them to answer the Q.
Also should we read all answer choices before go back to the passage or just read the question and skim the whole passage? :(

Thanks.


INFER QUESTIONS
These will either be completely open-ended ("Which of the following statements can be inferred from the passage?"), or specific ("Which one of the following inferences about Mexican nationalism during Frida Kahlo's life can be inferred from the passage?"). The former is all about using your Primary Structure (the viewpoints/main point) to quickly eliminate a few answers that don't align witht he passage while then using your tags to go back and find the one answer that is explicitly supported by the passage. The latter is all about having good tags so you can find where that information is, find the answer, and then find the correct answer choice.

STRENGTHEN/WEAKEN
These are difficult questions. However, a good sign that one is going to come up is if there is a strong, causal argument presented as the main viewpoint of one of the ... viewpoints. Use the same techniques you would in LR to +/- the argument. If it's not causal, the correct answer usually gives a counterexample (or provides another example, for strengthen).

I'm not sure what an Ex question is.

And as far as reading all the answer choices, that strongly depends on the question. For +/-, I'd probably re-read the argument you're trying to operate on and then go to the ACs. For Inference questions, it depends on how open-ended the question is (the more open-ended, the more likely I am to look at the ACs first; the more specific, the more likely to re-read the passage and then the ACs).

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:02 pm

jmjm wrote:S1 Q21:
the passage refers to deception in general and includes doctors/others deceiving people. It seems that A or C could also be right, no? If If people found easy to deceive themselves (negation test on D), then the argument doesn't break (as 'deception' in argument may mean doctors were deceiving people).


Nope, A and C don't work, and D does.

My argument essentially breaks down to this:
Some strategies to break bad habits involve deceiving the person engaged in the habit.
_________________________________________________________________________
These strategies require a doctor or a third party to be easily adopted
or, rephrased
If you don't have a doctor or third party, then these strategies cannot be easily adopted.

So, in other words, I need someone else to deceive me. The big assumption there is that I can't deceive myself, as that's the only person left who could put this strategy into place. I have an exclusivity fallacy here - we haven't ruled out the person who has the bad habit. We think we do because we say that it requires deception, but we never rule out the possibility that the person can easily deceive themself. In order for the argument to have a chance at working we need to assume that. Hello, (D).

(A) says that people tend to believe whatever a doctor tells them. I don't need to assume people believe anything a doctor tells them - just that they tend to believe them on medical issues. If the doctor starts talking about UFOs, and I don't believe them, I might still believe the doctor on the issue of smoking's effect on my health.

(C) says that it's a scale - the bigger the exaggeration, the more likely this strategy is to succeed. I don't need to know that - if you greatly exaggerate, you're more likely to succeed. I don't need to know that an even bigger exaggeration leads to an even bigger chance of success - deception is deception.

S4 q18: Chose B. I saw E as an equally strong choice but decided against it as co2 may be affected also by number of people on the plane even on a similar 'flight'. The CR is E. B can only be doubted if one distinguishes between 'illness spreading' vs 'contracting illness' but some lsat questions use such terms interchangeably.


Can you check the question cite here? And also find an example of what you're saying?

S4 Q23:
Even though A and C are partially true (supposition unintentionally does what is described in these options) they are not the role of the supposition. So eliminated them and the contender choices are D and E.
The argument does suggest E, which is that there is not sufficient reason for not eating meat (because 1st reason is negated due to supposition, and 2nd reason of aversion of living at the expense of conscious creatures is severely compromised by the supposition). why is E not CR?


E isn't CR because it says it that the supposition is used to show that there is NO sufficient reason for not eating meat. The argument doesn't conclude that there is absolutely no reason out there that's sufficient; just that the second claim listed isn't sufficient. E is way too strong to describe the role of anything in this specific argument.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:10 pm

jmjm wrote:a question about PT 14 section 2 Q7 about zebras signaling.

A strengthens as it says that size-vigor <--> stripes. So, signaling stripes --> enable signaling by mating with size-vigor zebras --> making them widespread.
I categorized A as a premise-boosting correlation (premise is that widespread zebras have best defined stripes)

D doesn't explain how if zebras are able to spot moving shapes with stripes better than ones without stripes, it helps zebras become widespread or stripes better defined.
I'd categorize D as a supporting evidence for conclusion (except for the issue stated in the previous line).

Are there any uniform criteria that can be applied to find which answer outweighs the contender? E.g. supporting evidence outweighs premise-boosting correlation.


Nope, because you won't have to figure out which AC is better. Here, (D) strengthens the argument and (A) doesn't.

For (A) - You're reading signalling into the AC. It never says that the stripes are used for any kind of signalling. It just tells me that this one subspecies with the best-defined stripes also has exceptional size and vigor. I don't know the stripes signal that - maybe the biggest/most vigorous zebras just happened to have the best-defined stripes, and the stripes have absolutely nothing to do with their success as a subspecies. It's not saying that size/vigor always go along with stripes; just that, in this case, they're correlated. So (A) has no effect on the argument

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby civis » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:14 pm

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby 15chocolate » Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:19 pm

Hi bp, thank you for your reply! Tags you mean notes right?
I'm trying to take notes less since I found when I take notes/underline, I do not remember the content well...I think I feel relieved and think I can read the part later :( But will try to take some notes...as guide.
Besides viewpoint what would you say to take notes at a minimum?

By saying "Ex" I meant those exception questions (such as infer EXCEPT).
Do you have any advise for those questions?

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby mvonh001 » Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:22 pm

BP is there anyplace I can get just BP's RC methods taught to me. Like a book? or an online section of videos? I hear its the best and I'm having severe problems with RC...

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:32 am

civis wrote:Hey bp shinners,

PT 59, Passage 3 - Noguchi and his unqualified brilliance, Q16.

I don't understand why I was supposed to come to answer choice (C). I ended up choosing (B). I figured one could make the case that "no metals ... could be relied upon to give off positive-light reflections" in the text was roughly equivalent to "not so suited" in the answer choice (B).

Where in the passage does it hint that other metals "lose their reflective properties over time"? Was I supposed to pick that up from "nonoxidizing gold"?

Thanks!


Essentially, yes.

The relevant quote is: "...precisely because no metals, other than expensive, nonoxidizing gold, could be relied upon to give off positive-light reflections." So gold is the only thing you can rely upon to be reflective. I know gold is expensive, but I also know that expense has nothing to do with being reflective. So the nonoxidizing must be the important part there that's relevant to the reflections. And if gold is the only metal that can be relied upon to give off a positive-light reflection, then the nonoxidizing part of it must give it the reliance. So other metals must be oxidizing, which sounds like a process through which things become nonreflective. That leads me to (C). And this question is a bit unfair, because anyone who took chemistry classes would have known that without having to rely on context.

The problem with (B) is it talks about metals that are and are not "technically suited for sculpture". I know that gold is nonoxidizing, but that's it. I know other metals are oxidizing, but that's it. I don't know which group, if any, is technically suited for sculpture; just whether or not they have a single feature that might make a certain type of sculpture possible. It's possible gold isn't technically suited for sculpture because it's too soft, even though it is reflective.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:35 am

15chocolate wrote:Hi bp, thank you for your reply! Tags you mean notes right?
I'm trying to take notes less since I found when I take notes/underline, I do not remember the content well...I think I feel relieved and think I can read the part later :( But will try to take some notes...as guide.
Besides viewpoint what would you say to take notes at a minimum?


Viewpoint and Role. If you get those two things down, you'll have a much easier time - even if you don't KNOW the answer, you will know where to find it quickly.

By saying "Ex" I meant those exception questions (such as infer EXCEPT).
Do you have any advise for those questions?


Those questions are usually inference/specific reference questions. They also usually get their answers from a paragraph with a list of examples/features/facts, or from the overall viewpoint of the passage. There should be 1-2 you can rule out from your Primary Structure, and the rest you should be able to rule out from finding the relevant paragraph and eliminating ACs as they come up. You'll have one left. That one will usually tangentially relate to something mentioned in the passage, but it won't be the same thing (or it will be the exact opposite of something in the passage, trying to confuse you that way).

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:36 am

mvonh001 wrote:BP is there anyplace I can get just BP's RC methods taught to me. Like a book? or an online section of videos? I hear its the best and I'm having severe problems with RC...


Unfortunately, no. The only way to get access to our RC curriculum/materials is to enroll in one of our courses. However, you can glean a lot about it from this free sample markup we have here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/147673587/PT3 ... xplanation

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby jmjm » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:15 pm

Thanks bp, useful explanation

Corrected cite to pt 32 S1 Q18 ("1985 commercial airlines"). Not clear why B is incorrect as when "illnesses spread easier" then more people will be "contracting illnesses".


bp shinners wrote:
jmjm wrote:S4 q18: Chose B. I saw E as an equally strong choice but decided against it as co2 may be affected also by number of people on the plane even on a similar 'flight'. The CR is E. B can only be doubted if one distinguishes between 'illness spreading' vs 'contracting illness' but some lsat questions use such terms interchangeably.


Can you check the question cite here? And also find an example of what you're saying?



Due to some reason most of my PT mistakes are in LR (both LR combined -5 to -6) after being in the middle of cambridge LR drills. Anything other than drills one can do to improve?
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby 15chocolate » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:17 pm

Thank you for the additional advice!

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby civis » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:40 pm

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:45 pm

jmjm wrote:Thanks bp, useful explanation

Corrected cite to pt 32 S1 Q18 ("1985 commercial airlines"). Not clear why B is incorrect as "illnesses spread easier". then more people will be "contracting illnesses".


First off, there's a disconnect between the stimulus and (B). The stimulus talks about commercial airlines; (B) talks about "[p]eople who fly". I don't know how much of an overlap there is between those two groups, so I can't support (B).

On top of that, I'm not fully on board with your assertion that "easier to spread" is the same as "more likely to contract illnesses". I can't think of any examples off the top of my head, so I'll have to think on it some more before I can say my thoughts for sure. Though I think I'm on the side that the causation on the first part ("the higher the level of CO2") is more direct (and thus not allowing for other factors) than the second ("the easier it is for airborne illnesses to be spread"), which might allow for other factors in the contracting of disease.

Due to some reason most of my PT mistakes are in LR (both LR combined -5 to -6) after being in the middle of cambridge LR drills. Anything other than drills one can do to improve?


If you're -5/-6 on the whole test, then you're at the point where you understand the intricacies of the logic, but they're getting you to fall for a few tricks. You need to start reviewing with that mindset - just don't figure out why the right answer is right and the wrong one wrong; also figure out what trick they used to get you to pick the wrong answer ("What about the wrong answer made me think it was right?") and discount the correct one ("What about the right answer made me think it was wrong?"). That's where you're losing your points; not on a misunderstanding of the material.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby civis » Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:53 pm

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:13 am

civis wrote:October 1996: Passage 4, Q26

I chose (A).

In the passage, the author states the following: "it is difficult to know how accurately the archaeological record reflects historic activity" (Lines 47-48)

I chose A over E because I thought that E's language was too strong modality wise. Isn't impossible greater than difficult? I figured that "with careful analysis" in answer choice A was closer to difficult than impossible was to difficult.


The problem is that, as you state, "it is difficult to know how accurately the archaeological record reflects" history. This is the outcrop of the central flaw of Lowe's explanation - "the assumption that the available evidence paints a try picture" of the collapse. This all comes from the statement not saying that finding the archaeological record is difficult, but even knowing if what you have is the whole picture is difficult. Even with careful analysis of the archaeological record, you might be missing some huge things. So (A) has the issue that, even with careful analysis, we might be missing some important evidence from history. That evidence could "radically alter[]" our view of the events of history.

So that's why we can jump it up to "impossible" in (E). You have to figure out how accurate the archaeological record is, and on top of that the archaeological record has to be complete, before you can confirm the accuracy of a reconstruction. The author, in that last paragraph, goes into how the entire thesis, which he has been all gung-ho about until now, rests on an assumption, so we don't actually know if it's correct. And while this seems strong, it's not that strong - it's just saying that I can't be 100% sure how accurate I am. That's actually a fairly weak statement.

Unrelated: if I'm getting some parallel and parallel flaw questions right, but not getting the exact flaw or argument right in my prep before diving into the answer choices, what should I do? Intuitively, I'm sensing the right answer, just not the exact flaw.


I would try to hone in on exactly what's tripping you up, as not spotting the right flaw can hint at a problem that might bleed into other questions types (like Flaw questions). I'd go back over to see exactly what's going on here - are you "misdiagnosing" the flaw in the stimulus and answer, or are you thinking it's one thing in the stimulus, then change your mind about the stimulus when you find an AC you like?

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby nothingtosee » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:20 am

I would be interested in the pro explanation... Pt 44 rc science passage


I've read, and reread, and reread this passage. RC is usually my strongest section, but really hard science sections can trip me up. I consider this one of the denser science passages.

Questions are on:

15. Is C insufficient because it doesn't cover the third paragraph?
D to me seems to not sufficiently cover the second paragraph.


18. E is correct, I said C. I know it's fishy to answer a question claiming "few" remain just because "many" perish. But I don't see where in the text is evidence that there are nerve cells that do not connect with any particular target cell.

19. I said B, instead of A. I see why A is a better answer, but I want to understand why B is WRONG. Is it because we are given the results of the research into the "Produce too many nerve cells" hypothesis, but are not presented with how the experiment was actually carried out?

To whoever decides to dive in to this...I owe you one.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:12 pm

nothingtosee wrote:Pt 44 rc science passage

15. Is C insufficient because it doesn't cover the third paragraph?
D to me seems to not sufficiently cover the second paragraph.


B is the correct answer here.

C is a little too narrow. Not all of RLM's experiments used tissue culturing, and it doesn't capture the full range of what NGF does.

D doesn't correctly capture what the passage says - the passage never says that NGF is ONLY produced in tissues that already have nerve cells attached (the third paragraph hints the opposite).

B gets at RLM's discovery (P1 and 2), hits what NGF does (P3), and tells us of the import of it (P1 and P3).

18. E is correct, I said C. I know it's fishy to answer a question claiming "few" remain just because "many" perish. But I don't see where in the text is evidence that there are nerve cells that do not connect with any particular target cell.


You've got the explanation for (C) right.

For (E), it comes from the last two sentences. In lines 49-51, I'm told that NGF directs the developing nerve cells towards their target cells. Then, in lines 55-56, I'm told that during periods of development, nerve cells die if NGF isn't present or they meet anti-NGF antibodies. If some are dying because there's no NGF around, then they also wouldn't be directed to their target cells, which would mean that some die before they connect to a particular target cell.

19. I said B, instead of A. I see why A is a better answer, but I want to understand why B is WRONG. Is it because we are given the results of the research into the "Produce too many nerve cells" hypothesis, but are not presented with how the experiment was actually carried out?


Yep. We get her conducting research, but it doesn't tell me a specific experiment she ran to get there. Unlike with (A), where it walks me through the experiment.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby melmoththewanderer » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:48 pm

I have a question about PT34-S3-Q14. This is a statement-role question.

For this question, I thought that the first sentence was the conclusion. I want to defend it a little from my obviously incorrect perspective and then I am curious to hear your opinion about where I erred. So here goes:

In my initial analysis, I thought what was going on in the stimulus was the author was outlining a position and the next two sentences provide examples supporting that position. Basically the fact that (1) people do not reelect inactive politicians and (2) people often reelect politicians whose behavior they resent both support the assertion in the first sentence that their behavior doesn't match their rhetoric.

Because of this I found it difficult to support B as the answer because I couldn't see how the fact that people don't reelect inactive politicians supports what B says is the conclusion, namely, people reelect others who possess behavior they resent. In fact, A seemed more reasonable to me, since the statement in question is an example and the first sentence is a generalization that explains the example. So where did I go wrong here?

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby snoopydances » Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:10 am

Thanks for holding these office hours, BP! Super helpful.

PT #68, Section 3, Problem 20
I'm having trouble even dissecting the stimulus and attempting to figure out what the exact argument is and how the scientist is structuring it.

PT #68, Section 4, the 4th LG
I finished this last LG section on time using a question-by-question approach. However, I was wondering if there is a faster and more efficient way to approach this ordering game (ie scenarios, etc) that would make the answers more obvious and less painful to rule out.

Once again, thank you!

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby crestor » Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:58 am

Hey BP,

General question here. Ever since I actually sat for the June exam which was a great learning experience, I feel that I now do not have the LSAT always on my mind or in the back of my mind for a significant portion of the day. I simply do not think about anything LSAT related when I am not studying which was very hard before I sat down the June test. Concurrently, my scores have shot up rather noticeably. I know the whole correlation should not be mistaken for a cause flaw which the course states, but do you think this is a big reason?

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:15 pm

crestor wrote:Hey BP,

General question here. Ever since I actually sat for the June exam which was a great learning experience, I feel that I now do not have the LSAT always on my mind or in the back of my mind for a significant portion of the day. I simply do not think about anything LSAT related when I am not studying which was very hard before I sat down the June test. Concurrently, my scores have shot up rather noticeably. I know the whole correlation should not be mistaken for a cause flaw which the course states, but do you think this is a big reason?


Definitely. Your brain doesn't learn nearly as well when it's stressed out, and your brain needs a break from the material to really learn it. Your brain also learns better when there is a variety of stimuli being provided to it - focusing solely on the LSAT is actually counterproductive.

So you took some time off which rested your brain, and now you're studying in a way that allows your brain to retain the information better, and find those patterns easier. Keep it up!

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:40 pm

melmoththewanderer wrote:I have a question about PT34-S3-Q14. This is a statement-role question.


First off, let's throw out (A). There, it tells me that the statement in question describes a phenomenon that the conclusion provides an explanation for. The statement in question says that people don't elect inactive politicians. At no point does it explain why this is the case. Even that first statement just sums up that statement and the one before it (another hint it's wrong - for (A) to have any chance at working, the prompt would need to include both parts of the second sentence). So (A) does not describe this argument at all.

As far as (B) goes, would you at least agree that "voters often reelect politicians whose behavior they resent" is A conclusion of the argument? It definitely has premises supporting it, and it's hard to get away from the lead-in ("Thus"), which is extremely indicative of a conclusion. If that's the case, then (B) is the answer even if the statement in question isn't the argument's main conclusion - it's still A conclusion, and as such that premise supports it.

I think the problem here stems from the fact that this is a garbage argument. Neither the first nor the last statements are really supported well by the premises offered. I learn about who they don't reelect, but that's not telling me who they do reelect - I could always vote in new people. And just because I'm not reelecting the inactive politician doesn't mean I'm reelecting the ones who pass laws that affect my life. Also, "resent" is a strong word here based on people complaining about politicians.

So I get where you're coming from, but that last sentence is clearly some type of conclusion (at the very least, a subsidiary one), which is supported by the premise in question, so I can pick (B). Especially since (A) brings up an explanation that I never really get.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:10 pm

snoopydances wrote:PT #68, Section 3, Problem 20
I'm having trouble even dissecting the stimulus and attempting to figure out what the exact argument is and how the scientist is structuring it.


Ugh, this question. One of the most ridiculous of all time.

When you see something like this, time to read slowly. The argument looks like this:
Some people say we're going to colonize the galaxy, and there will be trillions of humans.
_________________________________________________________________________
Author: If this is true, and there are trillions of humans throughout the galaxy, then the vast majority of humans from all time will exist during this time period (since, as of now, there have existed only approx. 105 billion people). So trillions will exist during this time period, which means the average person lives during this time period. Looking at yourself, there's no reason to think you're anything but an average person. So you should be alive during this time period. But you're not.
THEREFORE, this time period won't exist.

Yes, that's the argument.

From there, it's still hard to get to (D). However, once you get the argument down, you should eventually be able to see (D) as the correct answer if you substitute the ideas into it.

Doing so, you get: The argument infers that since we haven't colonized the galaxy yet, which would be likely if we were representative of the average human, which we should assume we are, we therefore won't colonize the galaxy.

Hmm, still convoluted. Welcome to question 20!

PT #68, Section 4, the 4th LG
I finished this last LG section on time using a question-by-question approach. However, I was wondering if there is a faster and more efficient way to approach this ordering game (ie scenarios, etc) that would make the answers more obvious and less painful to rule out.


There are some small scenarios you can make around Q and S, but this whole game really revolves around the different article types and that first rule. It puts constraints on Q and S (they can't be next to each other) and J and G (they also can't be next to each other). There's a reason that the first two conditionals ask about putting someone in the fourth slot - that breaks the game into two, 3 section fragments, which requires you to break up articles of the same type on each side! This usually resulted in each question breaking down into 1-2 hypotheticals which would answer the question.

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flash21
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby flash21 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:13 pm

Hi Shinners, I apologize if this has already been asked but, what is in your personal opinion the best way to review missed LR questions? \

7sage suggests cutting them out and reviewing them every so often, but I've heard of others typing them out in word documents. Would appreciate the reply!

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby magickware » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:45 am

Hi BP, I have a general question concerning what the cambridge LSAT packet would refer to as grouping (distribution) games.

For some reason, these games just mess with my mind. I think I miss a lot of the inferences that need to be made for the game, especially the harder ones. I just can't seem to get a handle on PT 27-S2-G3, for example.

Should I be actively looking to combine the rules and see what grouping of variables can or can't work? Is it recommended to spend a lot of time looking to create hypotheticals, or does it really depend on the game?

Thank you!


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