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

Postby bp shinners » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:18 pm

Sorry for the late start, and I'll have to pop out in a little while. So I'll be around until seven or so!

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby melmoththewanderer » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:57 pm

Hey BP. I have a question about how to not have misbubbling errors. They happen when I bubble in a number twice and also when I mistransfer answers to the wrong section. Do you have any advice on this front?

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

Postby bp shinners » Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:13 pm

melmoththewanderer wrote:Hey BP. I have a question about how to not have misbubbling errors. They happen when I bubble in a number twice and also when I mistransfer answers to the wrong section. Do you have any advice on this front?


Have you actually had bubbling errors on and administered LSAT before? The machines are pretty sophisticated at this point and you really have to leave some dark marks before they get picked up.

As far as the mistransferring goes, it sounds like you might have to reevaluate your bubbling strategy since it doesn't seem to be working out well if this is a recurring issue.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby melmoththewanderer » Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:28 pm

bp shinners wrote:Have you actually had bubbling errors on and administered LSAT before? The machines are pretty sophisticated at this point and you really have to leave some dark marks before they get picked up.

As far as the mistransferring goes, it sounds like you might have to reevaluate your bubbling strategy since it doesn't seem to be working out well if this is a recurring issue.


I mistransferred two answers on different sections. On one section, I double bubbled a number and another I had a section 3 answer on section 2. I've only recently started using the bubble sheet, so that might be a factor. Honestly, I never thought bubbling would be that big of a deal, but today proved me wrong. I retook an old test and would've gotten all of them right, except I had -10 and all of them were from mistransferred answers.

When I do LG by the game, it works well, but with RC I'm always worried I won't have enough time to answer them all, so I bubble 1 by 1.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:39 pm

melmoththewanderer wrote:
bp shinners wrote:Have you actually had bubbling errors on and administered LSAT before? The machines are pretty sophisticated at this point and you really have to leave some dark marks before they get picked up.

As far as the mistransferring goes, it sounds like you might have to reevaluate your bubbling strategy since it doesn't seem to be working out well if this is a recurring issue.


I mistransferred two answers on different sections. On one section, I double bubbled a number and another I had a section 3 answer on section 2. I've only recently started using the bubble sheet, so that might be a factor. Honestly, I never thought bubbling would be that big of a deal, but today proved me wrong. I retook an old test and would've gotten all of them right, except I had -10 and all of them were from mistransferred answers.

When I do LG by the game, it works well, but with RC I'm always worried I won't have enough time to answer them all, so I bubble 1 by 1.


I always recommend doing LG and RC by the game/passage. And I recommend doing LR by the page. I think most of this will go away with a little more practice with the answer sheet, so I wouldn't worry too much about.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby jmjm » Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:48 pm

bp shinners wrote:
jmjm wrote:A more specific example of what I am referring to in the post is pt-35, s1, q14 in which necessary assumption is the missing link. Quite likely this issue is not the difference between necessary and sufficient assumption based on ps lrb and manhattan guide. Also discussed on page 273 PS LRB under 'assumptions and conditionality.'

I'm not sure what you're getting at, but I never said that a necessary assumption can't also be sufficient - just that it doesn't have to be. If the necessary assumption is the missing link, however, it will be because the argument structure is set up in a way that forming that particular missing link, as you call it, is the only way to get to the conclusion based on the premises as presented.


I think my original question is worded a bit confusingly and it's more related to a nerdy aspect that's bugging me about the question paper. I agree that an assumption can be both necessary as well as sufficient. I posted this somewhere else and reproducing it here if this clarifies my question a bit.

If there's an argument with premises A-> B -> C which concludes A -> D, some lsat questions (and books, ref powerscore bible page 273) have C->D as the 'necessary' assumption. But, even if C->D were false and B->D (which is a weaker condition than C->D) were true, the argument stays valid. Thus, negation of C->D is not enough to destroy the argument and so it's not a necessary/required assumption.

As an example consider q 35.1.14
The conclusion is, novelist great -> ~acad
Premises are,
intuitive grasp -> (immersion everyday life)
immersion everyday life -> ~acad

The necessary assumption and the credited answer is,
novelist great -> intuitive grasp

But it's a necessary assumption only when argument is considered narrowly within the confines of most direct line to reach the conclusion of the argument. Else, one didn't need to have the (novelist great -> intuitive grasp) be true so long as (novelist great -> immersion everyday life) was true and still have the valid argument.

So (novelist great -> intuitive grasp) is not really a 'necessary' assumption in the general sense. It's a 'necessary assumption' only with certain qualifications as discussed above. Is my concern correct that lsac question paper never specifies these qualifications?

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:34 pm

jmjm wrote:If there's an argument with premises A-> B -> C which concludes A -> D, some lsat questions (and books, ref powerscore bible page 273) have C->D as the 'necessary' assumption. But, even if C->D were false and B->D (which is a weaker condition than C->D) were true, the argument stays valid. Thus, negation of C->D is not enough to destroy the argument and so it's not a necessary/required assumption.


I don't know what the Bible says, but I would say that C->D is not necessary in what you have cited.

As an example consider q 35.1.14
The conclusion is, novelist great -> ~acad
Premises are,
intuitive grasp -> (immersion everyday life)
immersion everyday life -> ~acad

The necessary assumption and the credited answer is,
novelist great -> intuitive grasp

But it's a necessary assumption only when argument is considered narrowly within the confines of most direct line to reach the conclusion of the argument. Else, one didn't need to have the (novelist great -> intuitive grasp) be true so long as (novelist great -> immersion everyday life) was true and still have the valid argument.

So (novelist great -> intuitive grasp) is not really a 'necessary' assumption in the general sense. It's a 'necessary assumption' only with certain qualifications as discussed above. Is my concern correct that lsac question paper never specifies these qualifications?


Conditional logic is a great tool, but it can sometimes miss some of the subtleties of logic in an argument. I think that's what's giving you trouble here. While you can definitely diagram it out like you have, I think it misses part of the argument. These aren't just conditionals, so treating them as simply conditionals is going to miss part of the argument.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby magickware » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:40 pm

bp shinners wrote:
magickware wrote:While I understand that means that both the current location and the new location are not safe, wouldn't the entire argument create the implication that the new location is safer than the old one?


That's exactly what answer choice (C) says!

I know that the current site clearly poses unacceptable risks; I know the objections are based on extremely implausible scenarios. I wouldn't pick (C) for a must be true question, but the implication is clearly there for a most strongly supported question that the new site is, at least a little bit, safer than the current site.

Or am I over-thinking this greatly and E is wrong because of the word "any"?


That "any" is exactly why answer choice (E) is wrong. I don't say that the current location is the least safe site, which is what I need before I could pick answer choice (E). Really strong answer choices are rarely correct in most strongly supported questions.


Yup. Thank you. I really need to continually remind myself that wording matters. In hindsight it seems awfully silly that I thought E might be viable when the argument doesn't even begin to say that any site is safer, but only keeps it in relation to the current site and the new site they want to move to.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:33 pm

magickware wrote:Yup. Thank you. I really need to continually remind myself that wording matters. In hindsight it seems awfully silly that I thought E might be viable when the argument doesn't even begin to say that any site is safer, but only keeps it in relation to the current site and the new site they want to move to.


It takes a while to get your brain to always pay attention to those little words, but when you do, you'll see your score takeoff. Keep at it and it will come!

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:52 pm

Any questions?

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby Fianna13 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:18 am

Yes. PT 60 - S3(2nd LR) - # 13


I don't see how D weakens the argument. The only reason is that I was able to eliminate the rest of them.

the conclusion is that : MANY of our inclinations are genetic, and not due to environmental influences.

premise: identical twins that are away from each other have same blah blah..

The reason why I don't think D weakens is the fact it may weaken that ALL of our inclinations are genetic, but not MANY of them as stated in the premise. Because it doesn't account for the fact that it is still true that they have different environment but have similar beliefs. To weaken it, don't we have to address another possibility that could lead to environmental influence for the similar beliefs for those particular cases? I feel D weakens conclusion by saying there are other influences besides genetic in other scenarios, but does not address the relationship between the premise and conclusion.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby wanderlust » Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:32 am

Hi Shinners,

Could you please take a look at a LR question, PT 20 S4 Q4. I've looked at it for an hour now, still can't figure out how H's argument is analogous to W's.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:39 pm

Fianna13 wrote:Yes. PT 60 - S3(2nd LR) - # 13


I don't see how D weakens the argument. The only reason is that I was able to eliminate the rest of them.

the conclusion is that : MANY of our inclinations are genetic, and not due to environmental influences.

premise: identical twins that are away from each other have same blah blah..

The reason why I don't think D weakens is the fact it may weaken that ALL of our inclinations are genetic, but not MANY of them as stated in the premise. Because it doesn't account for the fact that it is still true that they have different environment but have similar beliefs. To weaken it, don't we have to address another possibility that could lead to environmental influence for the similar beliefs for those particular cases? I feel D weakens conclusion by saying there are other influences besides genetic in other scenarios, but does not address the relationship between the premise and conclusion.


The problem here is that my conclusion is very strong - it has a weak quantifier (MANY inclinations), but it is strong when it says that these inclinations are NOT subject to environmental influences. In short, it's saying that these in inclinations are completely controlled by genetics. Specifically, it's saying that your beliefs, style, and job prospects are completely determined by genetics.

(D) definitely weakens this by telling us that in the situation of identical twins who grow up together, an environmental influence (the fact that they live together) affected these inclinations; the specific inclinations mentioned in the premise. If environmental influences sometimes influence these inclinations, it weakens my conclusion that these inclinations are not subject to environmental influence..

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:43 pm

wanderlust wrote:Hi Shinners,

Could you please take a look at a LR question, PT 20 S4 Q4. I've looked at it for an hour now, still can't figure out how H's argument is analogous to W's.


They are analogous and that they take the same relative argumentative form.

Whitaker argues that something is impossible (calculating a number) because an endpoint doesn't exist (a second year for students who never go to their second year).

Hudson argue something similar: something is impossible (not becoming rich) because an endpoint doesn't exist (dying before $1 million is in the bank).

To formalize this a bit, Hudson responds with what we would call a reductio ad absurdum response. He's using the same logic as the first argument to point out that the logic will, with other starting points, result in a ridiculous argument, and thus it must be flawed. It's not a common fallacy, but it will show up in flaw questions, so it's important to know.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby crestor » Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:51 pm

Hey BP, I just did PT 40 LR section one for drilling. I finished this section in 25 minutes and missed 3. I only saw 4 or 5 of the questions before. I am getting very frustrated because I want to slow down but I simply ignore this when I am taking sections. I know it's a problem that isn't necessarily a bad thing but I was wondering if you had any suggestions. Thanks in advance.

Funny thing is when I used to read stimulus for the first month of prep or so first I would usually hear the five minute warning and be on question 18-20.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby jmjm » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:46 am

hey bp,
Yes. Rc q19 on pt-65.
Why credited choice? Had a hard time choosing between D and E.

In such questions can one assume that the relationship in the analogy described in the credited answer choice is going to be in the same order as the stim? in other words, if stim says "relationship between the ways in which canadian and US law and classical Roman law treat..", the right answer choice will have the analogy in which the symbolism for "canadian and US law" is stated first and "roman law" second. If so that would help shave some useful time.
thanks in advance.

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

Postby bp shinners » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:23 pm

crestor wrote:Hey BP, I just did PT 40 LR section one for drilling. I finished this section in 25 minutes and missed 3. I only saw 4 or 5 of the questions before. I am getting very frustrated because I want to slow down but I simply ignore this when I am taking sections. I know it's a problem that isn't necessarily a bad thing but I was wondering if you had any suggestions. Thanks in advance.

Funny thing is when I used to read stimulus for the first month of prep or so first I would usually hear the five minute warning and be on question 18-20.


The best way to slow yourself down is to have a "ritual" you go through before picking the correct answer choice. Mine involves comparing the answer choice but to take to the conclusion of the argument. You will still probably finish ahead of time, but there are worse problems to have.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:29 pm

jmjm wrote:hey bp,
Yes. Rc q19 on pt-65.
Why credited choice? Had a hard time choosing between D and E.


In the US/Canada, blackmail is illegal. In Rome, there was no crime of blackmail because any revelation of information that caused harm was presumed to be unlawful so there was no need for it.

In (D), one country makes it illegal for felons to own guns. This is analogous to the US/Canadian ban on blackmail - a certain action is unlawful under a specific set of circumstances. The other country doesn't have a ban because no one can own guns (with a few exceptions). This is analogous to the Roman lack of blackmail laws because they also didn't have a band because there was a broader law that covered it.

(E) is out because the second entry is permitting something, and neither the US/Canada nor Rome allowed blackmail.

In such questions can one assume that the relationship in the analogy described in the credited answer choice is going to be in the same order as the stim? in other words, if stim says "relationship between the ways in which canadian and US law and classical Roman law treat..", the right answer choice will have the analogy in which the symbolism for "canadian and US law" is stated first and "roman law" second. If so that would help shave some useful time.
thanks in advance.


Nope, can't assume that.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby melmoththewanderer » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:28 pm

I have an RC question from Preptest 50, Section 1, question 13. This is the passage about bankruptcy law.

I selected A, but was torn between that and "E," the correct answer. When I went for differences, I noticed A addressed individuals whereas E addressed countries' economic health. I supported my choice, "A," by referring to lines 57-end, which clearly place the goal of modern bankruptcy law toward rectifying individual and corporate issues, not as "E" would have it, on the general state of a country's economy. So why am I wrong?

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:17 pm

melmoththewanderer wrote:I have an RC question from Preptest 50, Section 1, question 13. This is the passage about bankruptcy law.

I selected A, but was torn between that and "E," the correct answer. When I went for differences, I noticed A addressed individuals whereas E addressed countries' economic health. I supported my choice, "A," by referring to lines 57-end, which clearly place the goal of modern bankruptcy law toward rectifying individual and corporate issues, not as "E" would have it, on the general state of a country's economy. So why am I wrong?


The individual versus the overall economy is a non-issue for this question. The line you cite definitely talks about rectifying individual and corporate issues, but not because we care about them particularly. Check out the second sentence of that paragraph, where he talked about helping these people to promote the public good, which would be overall economic health.

The author argues against harsh punishment throughout the passage because it doesn't serve anyone well. Punishing people who are indebted feels good, but actually costs the individuals, it costs the people who want them money, and the cost society as a whole. So the author argues against harsh punishment for debtors because that harsh punishment hurts society.

(A) would be great if we knew that these people showing greater economic responsibility in some way helped that country's economy, and that a similar thing wouldn't happen with the alternative solutions put forward by the author as an alternative to harsh punishment. Maybe the greater economic responsibility demonstrated by people after being imprisoned was insignificant and couldn't affect the economy; or maybe the people who go through the processes that are alternative harsh punishment shown even greater level of economic responsibility. When my argument is that one thing is worse than another, to strengthen or weaken that I need an answer choice that necessarily impacts on both of them.

(E) tells me, straight up, that countries who still impose harsh punishment on debtors have greater economic health than ones that let them off the hook. There could be another factor going on, but this correlation adds some proof against the assertion that getting rid of harsh punishment will help the economy. That weakens the author's point.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby neprep » Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:41 pm

bp shinners wrote:When my argument is that one thing is worse than another, to strengthen or weaken that I need an answer choice that necessarily impacts on both of them.


Thanks for this! This is exactly what I try to do whenever I get a question wrong — to articulate a principle that, while precariously taking the question into a higher plane of abstraction, helps me with other questions too. Sometimes it's very hard to do this. Can you apply the reasoning above to PT51, S2, #13? It's a strengthen question asking you to bolster one theory and subvert its competitors.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby magickware » Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:21 am

Hi BP, I have a question about PT62-Sec. 2-Q.17.

I got the answer right, but mostly because I went along with the general idea that new words in the conclusion are significant, and A was the only answer choice that used it in a way that seemed even remotely relevant.

But I was wondering whether it's possible to diagram the conclusion in a way that we can actually make a connection between the conclusion and the supporting premise?

Oh, and I also have a question about Q26 on the same PT and section.

I cannot for the life of me understand why the answer would be E. Is it simply because the entire argument is that water shouldn't be supplied by people who want to make a profit, and as such only those who either do not want to make a profit/or purely want to help people (basically opposites of the private companies) should be allowed to help?

If that's the case, how we are supposed to arrive at that?

I eliminated B-D without too much difficulty, but then I got stuck between A and E. Both sucked, and both didn't make sense to me. So I just blindly guessed A.

In hindsight, I see why A is wrong (the whole "unless that commodity..." part cannot be true based on what the argument says), but I fail to see how E is supposed to be right.

Thanks again!

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby za51 » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:56 pm

Hello. I have a retake question. I scored a 173 on my first test a year ago. I studied about 2 months, a month and a half with a plan, while in school, doing ~4hrs a day max. My question is basically this: If I study 30 mins - 1hr a day for a very long time (say, 9 months), is a ~180 doable?

The theory behind the question (lots of assumptions): I'm asking you because this strategy seems more "habitual"--and it seems that, as an LSAT instructor, your expertise might derive from such constant, but not intense, exposure. That is to say, I'm assuming that you stay proficient at the LSAT without studying intensely (please correct me if I'm wrong--I'm making a lot of assumptions here). I've read about the intense studying that led to your initial score (and this "intense" phase is a phase I've gone through already to get my initial score, although mine was obviously not as intense as yours). But I'm assuming that your current mastery of the test doesn't derive from intense prep, but rather from the fact that you deal with the test on a daily basis. So I'm wondering about taking up a similar strategy. (Again, sorry for the many assumptions, just a theory).

Other reasons why I think it might work: Since I had limited time to study while in school, I basically only drilled LR consistently. On test day, I went -1 LR. I didn't drill LG consistently, and I really didn't drill RC, and my test score reflected that--I did worse the less time I spent. I just took a PT (first one after a year), with the same results (-1 LR, worse in LG, even worse in RC).

Thanks for any help.

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Postby 10052014 » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:29 pm

.
Last edited by 10052014 on Sun Oct 05, 2014 1:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby bp shinners » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:57 pm

neprep wrote:
bp shinners wrote:When my argument is that one thing is worse than another, to strengthen or weaken that I need an answer choice that necessarily impacts on both of them.


Thanks for this! This is exactly what I try to do whenever I get a question wrong — to articulate a principle that, while precariously taking the question into a higher plane of abstraction, helps me with other questions too. Sometimes it's very hard to do this. Can you apply the reasoning above to PT51, S2, #13? It's a strengthen question asking you to bolster one theory and subvert its competitors.


I think you're a little off on what the question is asking. This is just asking me for an answer choice which would lend support to one view, not something that would subvert the competing views. It's a subtle difference, but an important one. The answer choice here just have to support one theory; it doesn't have to hurt the others.


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