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neprep
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby neprep » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:05 pm

bp shinners wrote:
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.


Hmm, so ACs that directly strengthen a given proposition are always superior to those that merely weaken competing ones, if your general aim is to strengthen this proposition? (I'm no longer talking about the specific question on PT51 anymore, by the way.)

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:18 pm

magickware wrote: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?


You can, but it's problematic for a few reasons. First, that should in the conclusion throws a wrench in the works. In fact, it's so important that it means only an answer choice with should can be correct. We also have some low level conditionals that aren't presented but must be true (for instance, if you're happy then happiness is not unobtainable) which present difficulties. This one is so much easier if you skip the diagram and just find an answer that says something about when you should acquire money.

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?


That's exactly right. These principle/justify questions are just looking for an answer that connects my premise to my conclusion.

Here, my premises are that water is essential for health and the purpose of private companies is to produce profit. My conclusion is that water should not be supplied by private companies. I need an answer that says if something is essential for human health, then it should not be supplied by groups that have a purpose of producing profit. (E) doesn't say that directly, but by saying it should be provided by a group that doesn't match up with private companies, it is, in effect, saying private companies should not supply water.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:22 pm

za51 wrote: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.


While I am always becoming more proficient in the test, I think I hit the critical point where I was pretty sure of pretty much every answer about a year after I started working for Blueprint. That wasn't a period of 30 min. to an hour a day - that was a period of prepping at least four hours for each class, and teaching 12 hours a week. It also involved spending a lot of time working on other projects for Blueprint that increased my understanding. I would say I probably spent at least as much time prepping for those first classes as I did studying for the first LSAT, only it was spread over a much longer time. Made easier by my paycheck.

Now, I probably spent still at least 20 hours a week thinking about the test. Answering questions here, teaching it, etc.

So I don't think it was just constant exposure for a long time; it's been pretty intense exposure throughout the entire time.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:23 pm

neprep wrote:Hmm, so ACs that directly strengthen a given proposition are always superior to those that merely weaken competing ones, if your general aim is to strengthen this proposition? (I'm no longer talking about the specific question on PT51 anymore, by the way.)


So much so that I wouldn't pick an answer that merely weakened a competing theory unless there was something in the stimulus that made me think these theories were the only possible theories. Or my conclusion was comparative (i.e. theory A is more likely than theory B).

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby za51 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:37 pm

bp shinners wrote:
za51 wrote: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.


While I am always becoming more proficient in the test, I think I hit the critical point where I was pretty sure of pretty much every answer about a year after I started working for Blueprint. That wasn't a period of 30 min. to an hour a day - that was a period of prepping at least four hours for each class, and teaching 12 hours a week. It also involved spending a lot of time working on other projects for Blueprint that increased my understanding. I would say I probably spent at least as much time prepping for those first classes as I did studying for the first LSAT, only it was spread over a much longer time. Made easier by my paycheck.

Now, I probably spent still at least 20 hours a week thinking about the test. Answering questions here, teaching it, etc.

So I don't think it was just constant exposure for a long time; it's been pretty intense exposure throughout the entire time.


Thanks for your response, and for correcting my assumptions :). I suppose a lot more goes into this test than I had wanted. Wishful thinking on my part.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby magickware » Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:52 pm

bp shinners wrote:You can, but it's problematic for a few reasons. First, that should in the conclusion throws a wrench in the works. In fact, it's so important that it means only an answer choice with should can be correct. We also have some low level conditionals that aren't presented but must be true (for instance, if you're happy then happiness is not unobtainable) which present difficulties. This one is so much easier if you skip the diagram and just find an answer that says something about when you should acquire money.


So if you see a question that seems to be conditional logic, but can't be diagrammed properly, you should just write as much as you can and just go for the obvious connections?

I mean, the answer was rather obvious since every other answer choice clearly sucked, but the fact that it seemed like an obvious conditional logic question that I couldn't diagram it bothered me.

I suppose I'm just having a hard time getting over that it's #17 and it was easier than expected, so I'm thinking that I must have skipped a step somewhere. I''m worried that step I skipped will come bite me in the ass =(

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby civis » Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:20 am

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Last edited by civis on Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:27 am

magickware wrote:So if you see a question that seems to be conditional logic, but can't be diagrammed properly, you should just write as much as you can and just go for the obvious connections?


Yes. The LSAT has been using conditional language in questions that can't be completely diagrammed but still have interaction between the conditionals and the non-conditionals to throw people off. if you see that, and you can make sense of it without fully diagramming, go for it.

I suppose I'm just having a hard time getting over that it's #17 and it was easier than expected, so I'm thinking that I must have skipped a step somewhere. I''m worried that step I skipped will come bite me in the ass =(


That's one of the tricks the LSAT uses on you. But if you can prove your answer, don't worry about it.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:33 am

civis wrote:Every Q I get wrong in LR I ask why the right is right, the wrong is wrong, why I fell for the wrong and why I didn't go for the right. I have a running list and will go back


That's the advice I've been selling on this site for the past two years, so I think you're doing that exactly right.

RC is probably my strongest area and I'm struggling to find patterns of mistakes (I go -2 / -3 on most sections), but I go read through the explanations and see why I got it wrong, but nothing as formulaic as my LR mistakes.


Check your notations against the answers and the answers against your notations. Was there any question that you couldn't have answered based on an element of the passage you noted? Was there any notation you made that didn't help you answer any questions? That will help you get more efficient which increases accuracy since you'll feel less rushed.

LGs I re-do the game after I watch the explanation.


Also make sure that you can answer every absolute question from the deductions you made upfront. Those questions are essentially deduction questions, so figuring out how you could answer them without doing any work after the initial setup will help you find deductions in the future, and also help you cut out some time.

Would you recommend something like 7sage's blind review? BP's playbook has meshed with the way I think so far so I figured I'd ask if your HQ has any other useful strategies / tips.


I think if you have the time and patience for it, blind review is an excellent way to improve your understanding of the test.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:01 pm

Almost exactly one month until game day - any questions?

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby crestor » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:29 pm

bp shinners wrote:Almost exactly one month until game day - any questions?


Hola BP,

For the past few PTs I have realized I no longer looked for the conclusion first no matter what in LR which has in turn negatively effected my LR. It is great thou that i have realized this error and will not do it on october 5. Do you also always look and underline conclusion first forLR questions no matter what?

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:43 pm

crestor wrote:
bp shinners wrote:Almost exactly one month until game day - any questions?


Hola BP,

For the past few PTs I have realized I no longer looked for the conclusion first no matter what in LR which has in turn negatively effected my LR. It is great thou that i have realized this error and will not do it on october 5. Do you also always look and underline conclusion first forLR questions no matter what?


The only exceptions to this are Implication-family questions and Resolve/Explain questions. Otherwise, always look for the conclusion first.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby crestor » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:46 pm

bp shinners wrote:
crestor wrote:
bp shinners wrote:Almost exactly one month until game day - any questions?


Hola BP,

For the past few PTs I have realized I no longer looked for the conclusion first no matter what in LR which has in turn negatively effected my LR. It is great thou that i have realized this error and will not do it on october 5. Do you also always look and underline conclusion first forLR questions no matter what?


The only exceptions to this are Implication-family questions and Resolve/Explain questions. Otherwise, always look for the conclusion first.


OK. Thank god I caught this and didn't carry the habit to October. This also might explain to a certain extent why I was recently finishing sections so fast but accuracy always trumps speed. Thanks again.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby magickware » Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:46 pm

bp shinners wrote:That's one of the tricks the LSAT uses on you. But if you can prove your answer, don't worry about it.


Alright. Thank you!

I do get the sense that I'm trying too dogmatically to fit everything into something some preset form. I've been doing this more often recently, and in fact it's doing nothing but confusing me. I need to stop doing this.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:50 pm

magickware wrote:
bp shinners wrote:That's one of the tricks the LSAT uses on you. But if you can prove your answer, don't worry about it.


Alright. Thank you!

I do get the sense that I'm trying too dogmatically to fit everything into something some preset form. I've been doing this more often recently, and in fact it's doing nothing but confusing me. I need to stop doing this.


That's one of the steps on the LSAT learning curve. You become so familiar with those tips and tricks that generally work that you start falling for the questions that are designed specifically to cut against those tips and tricks. The final step on the learning curve is figuring out exactly why those tips and tricks work so you can spot when they're bringing something in that's going to break them. It sounds like you're right on the cusp, which is a great place to be with one month still to go.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby crestor » Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:55 pm

crestor wrote:
bp shinners wrote:
PotenC wrote:Do you have any advice for the RC section? I did PrepTest 58 today and it has the been the first time in a long while that my score dipped below a 170, since I missed a whopping 7 questions on the RC section. I've read that RC section has gotten more difficult over the past couple of years, and it has kind of destroyed my confidence.


People always say this, and I just don't see it. RC has changed, for sure, but I don't think it's become more difficult. To me, it's actually easier now for three reasons:
1) Comparative reading. You will have one of these passages. Most of my students find these passages easier than the other ones.
2) Fewer passages that are helped by specialized knowledge. Sure, it was great to get a passage on a topic with which you were familiar. But it sucked when everyone else was familiar with the topic and you weren't. Recently, I've been seeing more passages that are so esoteric/obscure that no one reading it really has a leg up. That evens the field.
3) Tighter answer choices. The questions have become LR-esque in how tight they are with the wording. This means that you should be better able to eliminate the incorrect answer and pick the correct answers based on strategies from LR, and be more certain of your answers than most people think you can be on RC.

Biggest change in strategy I can suggest is to approach each question as an LR question. Type it just as you would in that section. Most will be "Most Strongly Supported"-type questions (including the Main Point question, which should be viewed as a hybrid Main Point/Soft Must Be True ("Most Strongly Supported") question). There will be a smattering of Strengthen/Weaken/Parallel questions. Then a few Role and Organization questions. But use your LR strategies here.

When reviewing passages, don't just find why your answer was wrong and the other answer was right. Figure out what you could have done to quickly answer that question. This usually involves making a new tag on the passage that you didn't the first time through. You don't want every detail that shows up in a question tagged in the passage, but you do want to at least have the paragraph in which it appears tagged so that you could have quickly found that answer choice.

Finally, look at every passage as a progression. X used to be true/what we believed. Y happened. Now we believe Z.

Science:
We used to believe theory X.
Then some scientist did experiment Y.
Now we believe Z.

History:
X was the historical trend.
Then event Y happened.
After that, we saw Z.

Art/Literature:
X was the style at the time.
Then artist/movement Y happened.
Now we have style Z.

It's not universal, but it does apply to a ton of passage. If you understand the differences between X and Z, and you know what Y consists of (not necessarily all the specifics, but at least how it moved us from X to Z), then you should be solid on the RC.


this is gold



BP, as a former BP student, I am serious that the powers that be at BP (Teti and Shinners) should be told of this whenever a future adjustment to the course curriculum occurs as a potential inclusion. I know it sounds weird but whenever I read your OP I get excited to do RC.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:46 pm

crestor wrote:BP, as a former BP student, I am serious that the powers that be at BP (Teti and Shinners) should be told of this whenever a future adjustment to the course curriculum occurs as a potential inclusion. I know it sounds weird but whenever I read your OP I get excited to do RC.


I'm honored to be considered a power that be, though Matt Riley and Jodi might be sad to be left off the list! :)

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby crestor » Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:50 pm

Shinners, I mistyped. I meant the lg ninja riley because you have the same first name.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby neprep » Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:57 pm

crestor wrote:Shinners, I mistyped. I meant the lg ninja riley because you have the same first name.


I thought as much! After all, why would he need to be told something he already knew.

Btw, BP, I just wanted to check in again about a possible ebook version of your LG book. It might be too late for October, but if (heaven forfend) I have to retake the test in December, it will be really useful.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:49 pm

neprep wrote:
crestor wrote:Shinners, I mistyped. I meant the lg ninja riley because you have the same first name.


I thought as much! After all, why would he need to be told something he already knew.

Btw, BP, I just wanted to check in again about a possible ebook version of your LG book. It might be too late for October, but if (heaven forfend) I have to retake the test in December, it will be really useful.


We're looking into it, but we have no idea on a timeframe for that at this point, unfortunately.

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Postby 10052014 » Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:13 am

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Last edited by 10052014 on Sun Oct 05, 2014 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

magickware
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby magickware » Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:54 am

Hello BP! I have another question!

It's PT 63, Sec. 1, Q.14

I don't understand how Waller would agree with answer D. It's clear that Chin disagrees with it, but don't we have to make an assumption that Waller agree with D? Are we allowed to do that?

I thought point of disagreement questions had to go on the basis of the information given on the page, and that we shouldn't be assuming things based off what they say.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:42 pm

magickware wrote:Hello BP! I have another question!

It's PT 63, Sec. 1, Q.14

I don't understand how Waller would agree with answer D. It's clear that Chin disagrees with it, but don't we have to make an assumption that Waller agree with D? Are we allowed to do that?

I thought point of disagreement questions had to go on the basis of the information given on the page, and that we shouldn't be assuming things based off what they say.


It is, and you shouldn't be assuming things. Disagree questions are essentially implication questions - for one person, the answer MBT; for the other, it MBF.

Waller would definitely agree with (D). He thinks that if ESP existed, then it would be accepted by the public because the person with ESP would clearly demonstrate his powers, thus amassing wealth and renown. To Waller, the public's beliefs towards ESP reflect whether it exists or not. He would certainly agree that the public not believing in it is good evidence against its existence.

Additionally, (D) is very weak - it just says it's good evidence against its existence. Not that it definitively rules it out. Just that the public belief is relevant to the determination of whether ESP exists.

Can you state what you think the assumption is that (D) makes wrt Waller's argument?

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby josh321 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:14 pm

Hello BP,

I have a LR question

It's PT 11, Sec. 2, Q.16

Its a diagramming question.

Thank you.

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby josh321 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:16 pm

Also this one if you get a chance, thank you again.

It's PT 47, Sec. 1, Q.18


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