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dreamofNYC
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby dreamofNYC » Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:48 pm

bp shinners wrote:
dreamofNYC wrote:BP, is it possible to estimate when PT 70 will be published?


Soon :)


I am becoming so used to practicing LSAT questions that I started to feel the need to doing them every day. :roll:

Thanks BP Shinners!

dreamofNYC
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby dreamofNYC » Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:15 pm

bp shinners wrote:
dreamofNYC wrote:T 59, section 2, q 20 begins with "Quality control investigator: Upon testing samples..." and talks about biased sample selection.


Alright so B and D on this one actually say quite different things.

B says that the inspectors were just as likely to pick a defective as nondefective item. In other words, their selections didn't have a bias to them.

D, on the other hand, says that the inspectors were more likely to pick a defective item. In other words, there was a selection bias.

I encountered a similar question during the next test T 60, Section 3, Q 16 "Wildlife management experts should not interfere with the natural habitats of creatures in the wild..." there is a similar trap answer here answer "D". So there are tempting but wrong answers that say the author assumes something which she shouldn't (i.e., presumes, without providing justification), whereas the correct answer choice says that the author did not assume "i.e., failed to consider". I cannot put my finger on the "pattern" exactly, if there is one. If you could further cast some clarity on these nuances, I'd be grateful!


Ah, alright, so we have the flaw question answer constructs!

First things first - the argument/flaw itself. There are three ways you can express what's wrong with the argument:
The assumption being made - this would be the unstated premise on which the author is relying. So when you state the assumption, you're stating something that would help the argument. In this one, the assumption being made is that the inspectors were taking a representative sample of the products.
The flaw being made - this is a way of categorizing the assumption into similar realms of wrongness. So, for example, the assumption above would be categorized as a sampling fallacy.
The counterargument - this is what you would say in order to rebut the conclusion being made while still allowing the premises to be true. For this argument, the counterargument would be, "Well, maybe your inspectors picked out the ones that looked defective."

How does this impact our answer choices? Well, it aligns with the different answer constructs.

If the answer starts with "presumes" or "assumes" or anything similar, it's going to point out the assumption. It might also point out the flaw instead, making it a little more generic.
If the answer starts out with "overlooks the possibility" or anything similar, it's going to point out the counterargument.
If it starts out with neither, it almost always is just going to state the flaw.

Here, (A) is a flaw answer; (B) is an assumption answer; (C) is a counterargument answer; (D) is a counterargument answer; (E) is an assumption answer.

Hope this helps! I've never actually formalized this before.


Thanks. This is extremely clarifying.

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

Postby bp shinners » Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:10 pm

Anyone in need of some knowledge?

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Hotguy
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby Hotguy » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:42 am

bp shinners wrote:Anyone in need of some knowledge?

Sure... Any tips on how to deal with tricky argument part questions?

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby bp shinners » Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:49 pm

Hotguy wrote:
bp shinners wrote:Anyone in need of some knowledge?

Sure... Any tips on how to deal with tricky argument part questions?


I'm not 100% sure what you mean by argument part questions - can you give me an example/explanation?

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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby Hotguy » Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:52 pm

bp shinners wrote:
Hotguy wrote:
bp shinners wrote:Anyone in need of some knowledge?

Sure... Any tips on how to deal with tricky argument part questions?


I'm not 100% sure what you mean by argument part questions - can you give me an example/explanation?

The claim abcabcabc plays which role in the argument?
Just realized how ambiguous argument part sounds, my bad matt.

dreamofNYC
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby dreamofNYC » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:12 am

PT 53, Section 3, Q 9

This would fall under the identifying an alternate cause part of weakening a causal argument. I also don't have a strong causal relationship here - I just know that camellia tea-drinkers are more likely to get kidney damage than people in general - this could mean regular people have a .5% chance, while camellia tea drinkers have a 1% chance. But simply pointing out another possible cause of the damage is enough to weaken a causal relationship.



Would a correct answer choice also be: "people with kidney damage are more likely to drink camilla tea"?

Two more similar questions I have trouble with:

1) PT 70, Section 3, Question 16: "Evidently, watching too much television can lead people..." I see why answer choice E is correct. But why is A incorrect? To me it seems that A gives me the cause without the effect. E on the other hand says that people in areas prone to natural disasters are more likely to watch TV. Which seems correct (a more "standard" answer choice). But A tripped me b/c I couldn't eliminate it. Thanks!

2) PT 1, Section 4, Question 12: "A recent study found that snoring, though not common in either group, is more common among smokers than among nonsmokers..." I see why A is correct, because it is identifying another factor that causes both snoring and smoking. But why is D incorrect? Isn't D weakening the conclusion?
Last edited by dreamofNYC on Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:35 am, edited 2 times in total.

dreamofNYC
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby dreamofNYC » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:45 am

Hi BP, I am posting a few questions ahead of the office hours tomorrow.

PT 56, Section 2, Q 23: "Ecologist: Without the intervention of conservationists..." This is a ~MBT question. E is correct, but I don't see why B is wrong (would it be correct if this were a necessary assumption question? I see why E is correct though: habitat preserved --> monkeys not extinct --> intervention by conservationists. Thanks!

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

Postby bp shinners » Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:39 pm

Hotguy wrote:
bp shinners wrote:
Hotguy wrote:
bp shinners wrote:Anyone in need of some knowledge?

Sure... Any tips on how to deal with tricky argument part questions?


I'm not 100% sure what you mean by argument part questions - can you give me an example/explanation?

The claim abcabcabc plays which role in the argument?
Just realized how ambiguous argument part sounds, my bad matt.


Ah, gotcha!

Alright, there are really 3 possible answers - premise, subsidiary conclusion, or main conclusion. If you can't separate those three out, you're going to have issues. Use keywords to key you in, but also look for recommendations/opinions/predictions, or judgments on other viewpoints, as they're most likely the main conclusion. If you can't tell which one's the main conclusion vs. subsidiary, use the "Therefore" test - read the two options as "A, therefore B" and "B, therefore A" - whichever one makes more sense, the latter proposition is your main point.

If it's a premise, then you're going to have to parse out the answer choices. Try to substitute the specific language from the stimulus into the general/abstract language of the answer choice. If everything fits and it makes sense, you have your answer. If anything doesn't line up, then it's time to move on.

If an answer choice says it's an assumption of the argument, it can't be right - the simple fact that it is stated in the argument precludes it from being an assumption, i.e. an unstated premise.

That being said, the LSAT is getting tricky with this recently - it's presenting two arguments, with the author pointing out the assumption in another viewpoint. If that's the case, then an answer stating, "It's an assumption of the scientists used by the author to assault their reasoning," or something similar can be TCR.

dadownclub8
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby dadownclub8 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:44 pm

I'm having trouble with diagramming problems such as PT 39 Sec 2 #11. The part that throws me off is the first sentence which states "A gift is not generous unless it is intended to benefit the recipient and is worth more than what is expected or customary in the situation". When you diagram it "unless" means "if not" so wouldn't it be ~B and ~C-->~G? Why would it be "or" instead of "and" in that first premise given that you just simply negate the terms?

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

Postby bp shinners » Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:25 pm

dreamofNYC wrote:Would a correct answer choice also be: "people with kidney damage are more likely to drink camilla tea"?


I wouldn't expect it, since it's essentially restating a premise (albeit changing the development of kidney damage to actually having kidney damage). Hmm, I might have just talked myself into saying yes... I'd have to think about it more.

1) PT 70, Section 1, Question 16: "Evidently, watching too much television can lead people..." I see why answer choice E is correct. But why is A incorrect? To me it seems that A gives me the cause without the effect. E on the other hand says that people in areas prone to natural disasters are more likely to watch TV. Which seems correct (a more "standard" answer choice). But A tripped me b/c I couldn't eliminate it. Thanks!


Alright, this one's a bit tricky. When I'm trying to find effect without cause, what I'm really looking for is an alternative cause. If I get the effect without the cause, it makes me think something else is going on.

However, in this case, the argument doesn't assume that nothing else is going on. It simply says that too much TV can cause an overestimation of risk, based on a correlation. Answer choice (A) doesn't necessarily impact my conclusion because TV could lead to an even greater overestimation of risk, or simply impact the couch potato group. I have a spectrum of overestimation - it's not a binary function. When that happens, there can be multiple factors going into it.

We can distinguish this from PT53.3.9 because that answer choice specifically tells us the group with heightened risk of kidney damage is doing something else that might cause the damage, even though risk is also on a spectrum. Which is what we see in (E).

2) PT 1, Section 4, Question 12: "A recent study found that snoring, though not common in either group, is more common among smokers than among nonsmokers..." I see why A is correct, because it is identifying another factor that causes both snoring and smoking. But why is D incorrect? Isn't D weakening the conclusion?


Nope. The conclusion is that smoking can induce snoring. That could mean 1% of the time or 99% of the time. If it's 1% of the time, then most smokers wouldn't snore and you'd still be fine.

The reason (D) is wrong is akin to the argument, "Some say sex can cause pregnancy. But most of the time, sex doesn't cause pregnancy. Therefore, it is unlikely sex causes pregnancy." Without an establishment of frequency, just the idea that it doesn't happen most of the time doesn't weaken the argument. (A), on the other hand, specifically talks about people who both smoke and snore, saying that stress causes both. This necessarily impacts my study because it necessarily talks about members of the group in which I'm drawing the conclusion - it's about smokers who snore, and my answer choice is about smokers who snore.

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

Postby bp shinners » Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:26 pm

dadownclub8 wrote:I'm having trouble with diagramming problems such as PT 39 Sec 2 #11. The part that throws me off is the first sentence which states "A gift is not generous unless it is intended to benefit the recipient and is worth more than what is expected or customary in the situation". When you diagram it "unless" means "if not" so wouldn't it be ~B and ~C-->~G? Why would it be "or" instead of "and" in that first premise given that you just simply negate the terms?


You've negated "B" and "C", but you didn't negate the "and". When I'm negating a condition, I have to negate everything about it, including the conjunction/disjunction. So "If not A and B" is the same as saying "Not A or not B".

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Hotguy
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby Hotguy » Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:45 pm

Hey Matt,
Thanks for that response!
Another question

My question is about an alternative cause, and when it cannot be applied?
If I say eating a whole pizza causes me to not feel hungry.
Someone goes and says eating a bucket of Icecream causes you to not feel hungry. Therefore, your theory of eating pizza is wrong.

In a weakening question, showing an alternative cause is usually considered to weaken a question involving a causal relationship.

However, the problem that I'm having is that, such as the example above, both could very well be the cause and showing an alternative cause would not weaken either theory.
Image

It seems that the appropriate way to use an alternative cause to weaken a question should be something along the lines of this example:

I ate a whole pizza and that caused me to not feel hungry.
You also ate a bucket of Icecream, and that caused you to not feel hungry. Therefore, your theory of pizza is wrong.

(keep in mind that I understand that both examples are flawed, they are only being used to illustrate the issues)

So it seems that unless the second cause touches the occurrence of the effect(time-wise or not) that occurred on the first cause, it doesn't seem to weaken it.

Anyways, I guess it comes down to whether a causal relationship can be weaken, when the alternative cause doesn't occur within the occurrence of the first causation?

Please let me know your thoughts.

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

Postby bp shinners » Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:54 am

Hotguy wrote:Anyways, I guess it comes down to whether a causal relationship can be weaken, when the alternative cause doesn't occur within the occurrence of the first causation?


I was talking about this in the post prior to this one (or somewhere up there on this page). And yes, the alternative cause method for weakening/strengthening an argument has some subtleties to it that are difficult, especially when you're talking about causes that result in a spectrum of results instead of a binary state (i.e. loudness vs. on/off), and when you're talking about a single effect that necessarily has multiple causes (like your pizza/ice cream example). You need to know that the alternative cause is being presented in a way that necessarily impacts the conclusion - in other words, this new cause has to possibly be happening in the situation as described.

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Hotguy
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby Hotguy » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:05 am

bp shinners wrote:
Hotguy wrote:Anyways, I guess it comes down to whether a causal relationship can be weaken, when the alternative cause doesn't occur within the occurrence of the first causation?


I was talking about this in the post prior to this one (or somewhere up there on this page). And yes, the alternative cause method for weakening/strengthening an argument has some subtleties to it that are difficult, especially when you're talking about causes that result in a spectrum of results instead of a binary state (i.e. loudness vs. on/off), and when you're talking about a single effect that necessarily has multiple causes (like your pizza/ice cream example). You need to know that the alternative cause is being presented in a way that necessarily impacts the conclusion - in other words, this new cause has to possibly be happening in the situation as described.

Thanks again bp! That makes sense.

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

Postby bp shinners » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:10 pm

The doctor LSAT instructor is in.

$.05 per question.

dreamofNYC
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby dreamofNYC » Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:55 am

Hi BP, do you recommend training to speed-read in view of improving on the RC section? I downloaded a few apps on my ipad and they seem amazing. I wonder if they can also help me with LSAT studying. Thank you!

dreamofNYC
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby dreamofNYC » Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:55 pm

bp shinners wrote:
dreamofNYC wrote:Would a correct answer choice also be: "people with kidney damage are more likely to drink camilla tea"?


I wouldn't expect it, since it's essentially restating a premise (albeit changing the development of kidney damage to actually having kidney damage). Hmm, I might have just talked myself into saying yes... I'd have to think about it more.

1) PT 70, Section 1, Question 16: "Evidently, watching too much television can lead people..." I see why answer choice E is correct. But why is A incorrect? To me it seems that A gives me the cause without the effect. E on the other hand says that people in areas prone to natural disasters are more likely to watch TV. Which seems correct (a more "standard" answer choice). But A tripped me b/c I couldn't eliminate it. Thanks!


Alright, this one's a bit tricky. When I'm trying to find effect without cause, what I'm really looking for is an alternative cause. If I get the effect without the cause, it makes me think something else is going on.

However, in this case, the argument doesn't assume that nothing else is going on. It simply says that too much TV can cause an overestimation of risk, based on a correlation. Answer choice (A) doesn't necessarily impact my conclusion because TV could lead to an even greater overestimation of risk, or simply impact the couch potato group. I have a spectrum of overestimation - it's not a binary function. When that happens, there can be multiple factors going into it.

We can distinguish this from PT53.3.9 because that answer choice specifically tells us the group with heightened risk of kidney damage is doing something else that might cause the damage, even though risk is also on a spectrum. Which is what we see in (E).

2) PT 1, Section 4, Question 12: "A recent study found that snoring, though not common in either group, is more common among smokers than among nonsmokers..." I see why A is correct, because it is identifying another factor that causes both snoring and smoking. But why is D incorrect? Isn't D weakening the conclusion?


Nope. The conclusion is that smoking can induce snoring. That could mean 1% of the time or 99% of the time. If it's 1% of the time, then most smokers wouldn't snore and you'd still be fine.

The reason (D) is wrong is akin to the argument, "Some say sex can cause pregnancy. But most of the time, sex doesn't cause pregnancy. Therefore, it is unlikely sex causes pregnancy." Without an establishment of frequency, just the idea that it doesn't happen most of the time doesn't weaken the argument. (A), on the other hand, specifically talks about people who both smoke and snore, saying that stress causes both. This necessarily impacts my study because it necessarily talks about members of the group in which I'm drawing the conclusion - it's about smokers who snore, and my answer choice is about smokers who snore.


Thank you so much, BP. I understand everything except for question 16 of PT 70 (amount of TV and overestimation of risk) which is still giving me trouble. Still not convinced why A is wrong and E is correct. I need to digest a bit more. Will let you know when I am 100% clear.

dreamofNYC
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby dreamofNYC » Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:44 pm

dreamofNYC wrote:Hi BP, do you recommend training to speed-read in view of improving on the RC section? I downloaded a few apps on my ipad and they seem amazing. I wonder if they can also help me with LSAT studying. Thank you!


Actually I think I answered this question to myself. I don't think that speedreading works for the LSAT.

On the other hand I discovered this fantastic tool called "Mind Mapping" that I am using to diagram Reading Comprehension passages just so that I can get the process down (it takes about 30 minutes to go through a passage while mind-mapping it).

So with Mind Maps I can diagram the entire structure of the paragraph, by taking each passage, stating its role in the overall structure, the main point of the paragraph and any supporting evidence. I find works miracles in understanding the passage and answering the questions. For example I am able to predict what questions will be asked. If I have the passage organized around two views, I am going to have questions about these two views. If I am going to have the passage organized around a problem, but the author doesn't offer a solution, I find that one of the questions will ask me what would be a solution the author would agree with.

So with this method, I feel like I got into the minds of the test makers. I wonder if Blueprint's underlying logic for RC is similar -- when BP referS to "thesis" / "antithesis" / "synthesis" / paradox passages... to me it's the same idea - organizing the info in the passage around main views, supported by the evidence / details..

So I just wanted to say not to bother to answer this question about speed-reading, and more importantly I wanted to share with you my excitement about the MindMapping technique.

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

Postby bp shinners » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:56 pm

dreamofNYC wrote:Hi BP, do you recommend training to speed-read in view of improving on the RC section? I downloaded a few apps on my ipad and they seem amazing. I wonder if they can also help me with LSAT studying. Thank you!


Learning to speed-read is a sure-fire way to see a decrease in your RC section score. You do better by going through the passage slowly, a single time, and understanding it. Most people think that their reading speed is negatively affecting their score. For the most part, they're wrong.

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

Postby bp shinners » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:58 pm

dreamofNYC wrote:So with this method, I feel like I got into the minds of the test makers. I wonder if Blueprint's underlying logic for RC is similar -- when BP referS to "thesis" / "antithesis" / "synthesis" / paradox passages... to me it's the same idea - organizing the info in the passage around main views, supported by the evidence / details..

So I just wanted to say not to bother to answer this question about speed-reading, and more importantly I wanted to share with you my excitement about the MindMapping technique.


Welcome to the world of LSAT ninja-dom :)

But yes, that's exactly how you should be approaching RC, and it's why we structure our RC curriculum like that.

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Fianna13
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby Fianna13 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:23 pm

Hey BP, for LG section, do you recommend to take a few seconds to look for inference after each rule, or do you recommend to look for inferences after you go through all the rules? I remember you had a list of steps for it, I just can't seem to find it. I know it involves "Do your happy dance" as the last step LOL

dreamofNYC
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby dreamofNYC » Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:46 am

Hi BP, have you ever formalized strengthen / weaken strategies around quantifiers and logical force? I still need to work on weaken / strengthen questions and around questions where the effect is a spectrum vs a binary function.

For example, would it be possible to provide strengthen / weaken guidelines for conclusions containing:

- some, most, all
- sometimes, generally, always
- can, likely, definitely

Or am I over-thinking? I think I need to work on this more on my own before I can ask a question that can make sense.

TY.

dreamofNYC
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Re: blueprint shinners’ semi-weekly office hours

Postby dreamofNYC » Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:48 am

bp shinners wrote:
dreamofNYC wrote:So with this method, I feel like I got into the minds of the test makers. I wonder if Blueprint's underlying logic for RC is similar -- when BP referS to "thesis" / "antithesis" / "synthesis" / paradox passages... to me it's the same idea - organizing the info in the passage around main views, supported by the evidence / details..

So I just wanted to say not to bother to answer this question about speed-reading, and more importantly I wanted to share with you my excitement about the MindMapping technique.


Welcome to the world of LSAT ninja-dom :)

But yes, that's exactly how you should be approaching RC, and it's why we structure our RC curriculum like that.


Thank you. I feel like I've experienced an inflection point in my learning curve... it's very encouraging... it's all about structure... feels like I am walking on solid ground now. 8)

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

Postby bp shinners » Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:41 pm

Fianna13 wrote:Hey BP, for LG section, do you recommend to take a few seconds to look for inference after each rule, or do you recommend to look for inferences after you go through all the rules? I remember you had a list of steps for it, I just can't seem to find it. I know it involves "Do your happy dance" as the last step LOL


I do it after representing each rule and double-checking them. If you check after each rule, that's going to take a lot longer since you'll be checking and rechecking certain rules.


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