Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

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matt@manhattanlsat
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby matt@manhattanlsat » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:06 am

Hi 5ubv3rt!

The RC and LG Strategy Guides rely heavily on PT30's, while the LR Strategy Guide moves throughout the PT10's, PT20's, and PT30's.

That said, you may want to try modifying your strategy. Rather than taking those early PT's as practice tests, why not use them for building the fundamentals that you can measure in the PT50's and PT60's as practice tests? Honestly, there are some really good examples back in the pre-PT40's, but you'll also start running into some LG games that you just won't see on a modern LSAT. And because the LG is just different enough to screw up reflecting your score, it won't be a very good indicator for your actually stand on the LSAT.

We'd recommend you use the 3 Strategy Guides for building the understanding (even before you take a bunch of PT's) and then use the PT40's for building practice sets to get targeted, repeated practice of those ideas and concepts. Use the PT50's and PT60's for measuring your progress along the way. If you discover that you need some additional targeted, repeated practice of certain areas on the test, you can always build additional practice sets from the PT30's or even PT20's.

Good luck, and I hope you enjoy the books!

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Dr. Dre » Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:06 pm

MLSAT you are the best!

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Manhattan LSAT Noah
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:57 pm

Dr. Dre wrote:MLSAT you are the best!

Much appreciated.

Does this mean test day went well?

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Dr. Dre » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:57 pm

Manhattan LSAT Noah wrote:
Dr. Dre wrote:MLSAT you are the best!

Much appreciated.

Does this mean test day went well?


Taking it October :D

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Manhattan LSAT Noah
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:28 pm

Dr. Dre, and everyone else - I hope you got the score you need!

For our students (that includes you book-owners that registered their books on our site), we're hosting a live online workshop geeking out on PT70 on 11/13. You should have received an e-mail. Reach out if you didn't.

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lawschool22
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby lawschool22 » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:55 pm

Manhattan LSAT Noah wrote:Dr. Dre, and everyone else - I hope you got the score you need!

For our students (that includes you book-owners that registered their books on our site), we're hosting a live online workshop geeking out on PT70 on 11/13. You should have received an e-mail. Reach out if you didn't.


Thanks to you guys, I received a 173. Go MLSAT!

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Manhattan LSAT Noah
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:48 am

lawschool22 wrote:I received a 173.


Bravo!

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drawstring
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby drawstring » Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:39 pm

MLSAT you are the best!


Absolutely!

Manhattan Logical Reasoning was the best LSAT purchase I've made. It took me from around -6 overall to -1 on the real thing, which helped me get a 99th percentile score in October. The forums on the Manhattan site are also very helpful in explaining the answers to test questions. It seems the Trainer is the new hot thing, but everyone should take a look at Manhattan LR.

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Christine (MLSAT)
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:03 pm

Hey all! Bumping this thread to introduce myself!

I am a Manhattan LSAT geek - ahem, I mean, teacher - and I'll be hanging out from here on to help answer any questions y'all might have about strategies or about studying for the LSAT in general. Feel free to ask for help or advice on specific LSAT questions, too!

I'll be around, so please don't hesitate to post questions here, or PM me if there's something I might be able to help you with!

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Manhattan LSAT Noah
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:38 pm

Christine (MLSAT) wrote:Hey all! Bumping this thread to introduce myself!

I am a Manhattan LSAT geek - ahem, I mean, teacher - and I'll be hanging out from here on to help answer any questions y'all might have about strategies or about studying for the LSAT in general. Feel free to ask for help or advice on specific LSAT questions, too!

I'll be around, so please don't hesitate to post questions here, or PM me if there's something I might be able to help you with!

Bravo, Christine - I've been a TLS slacker.

lawschoolplease1
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby lawschoolplease1 » Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:52 am

Hi Manhattan LSAT,
I started a new thread about this but in case you don't catch it...

In the Manhattan RC book... I'm looking at page 61. It basically says..."most people prefer X to Y...we can infer: at least some people prefer Y to X." Isn't this against formal logic since most can mean all? Does formal logic not apply to RC?

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Christine (MLSAT)
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:54 pm

lawschoolplease1 wrote:Hi Manhattan LSAT,
I started a new thread about this but in case you don't catch it...

In the Manhattan RC book... I'm looking at page 61. It basically says..."most people prefer X to Y...we can infer: at least some people prefer Y to X." Isn't this against formal logic since most can mean all? Does formal logic not apply to RC?



Excellent catch! This was completely an error!

That issue is on the errata list for the RC book, and will be removed in the next edition of the book.

While it would be quite rare for an RC question to explicitly test this kind of formal logic distinction (they'll save it for LR!), it's absolutely NEVER permissible to infer that 'most' necessarily means 'not all'. As a practical and strategic point, I can't think of an example in RC where this kind of bad inference would lead you directly to a wrong answer, but it's possible, so your guard should always be up.

The fact that you noticed this bodes well for your critical reading skills. :p

Mr.Esquire
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Mr.Esquire » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:13 am

Do you recommend any specific way of going through MLSAT LR and then drilling the corresponding drill packet with the chapter?

This is what I am thinking of doing but let me know, if you see and weakness or inefficiency in the strategy.

Read a Chapter a day M-F.
After reading the Corresponding chapter, drill the corresponding packet from cambridge. So the 15 questions from the book plus 25 from the packet. Do this each day of the week. On the weekend then drill another 25questions from each of the 5 sections). Record missed problems or problems that I am having arriving at the right answer.

Any advice/comments/suggestions is welcomed.

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Christine (MLSAT)
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:21 am

Mr.Esquire wrote:Do you recommend any specific way of going through MLSAT LR and then drilling the corresponding drill packet with the chapter?

This is what I am thinking of doing but let me know, if you see and weakness or inefficiency in the strategy.

Read a Chapter a day M-F.
After reading the Corresponding chapter, drill the corresponding packet from cambridge. So the 15 questions from the book plus 25 from the packet. Do this each day of the week. On the weekend then drill another 25questions from each of the 5 sections). Record missed problems or problems that I am having arriving at the right answer.

Any advice/comments/suggestions is welcomed.


Thanks for asking Mr.Esquire!

First, I'll say that there are many different patterns and systems for layering in our Logical Reasoning book with practice sets, drills, or full PTing. To a certain extent, you have to be willing to try a setup, check in with yourself to see if it is getting results, and be ready to alter things if not - sometimes trying many different pathways before finding the one that really clicks for you.

That being said, the primary thing that concerns me is the sheer *ambitiousness* of your plan. As it is laid out, you would complete the MLSAT LR book in less than 2.5 weeks. Are you working or going to school as well, or is this a plan for full-time study? Even if it's the latter, I worry that a single day for each chapter is nowhere near enough time to digest, unpack, repack, and master the concepts. And if you push yourself to keep such a rigid schedule, the thing that will suffer will be the depth of your comprehension.

Students often make the mistake of assuming greater volume of drills/PTs is the single most important factor of their studying. Nothing could be further from the truth. The single most important factor of your studying is the quality and depth of your review. It would be far more useful to really wrestle with 5 or 10 Necessary Assumption questions during a review session, but come away with a rock solid AHA! moment, then it would be to blow through 25 or 50 question in the same time with only a cursory review and a 'mark it for later' notation.

So, in light of that, I would encourage you to simply work through the first substantive chapter of the LR book at the pace that allows you to fully comprehend it. If you can do it *honestly* in a day, great. If it takes you a week, but you really get it by the end of that week, that's great too. The hardest part of this equation is actually being totally honest with yourself.

This also raises the issue of proper review: don't just review questions you got wrong or struggled with. You need to do some review of questions you got correct also - this may not take as long as review of incorrect questions, but it is still important. If you got it right, and felt confident about it, but got it right for all the wrong reasons, that's still a big problem. Some of the questions that you need to ask yourself on review:

    1) Did I get this right for the right reasons?
    2) Did I follow a good process for working through the question, or did I just pick the right answer on gut instinct?
    3) Could I explain this to my roommate, little sister, mom?
    4) Did I work through the process *efficiently* and with confidence?

Another thing to think about on correct questions: What is it that you did well on this question that you can identify and replicate on other questions that look or feel harder?

It should be obvious that a truly thorough review of drilled questions will (and should) take you.... a while. You don't really want to set a strict time limit on that process. If you've wrestled with a question for a good bit, and the penny still hasn't dropped and it's starting to blur for you, then set that question aside to review later (add it to your pile) - but don't do it at an arbitrary clock out time.


TL;DR - the order of activities sounds fine, but don't go speed demoning through the chapters (or the drills) in order to achieve an arbitrary deadline. Engage fully in the reading, and do serious proper review (including of correct questions), and let that process take the time it must take.

Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions about anything I've written here - and if you have new questions, ask away! You sound like you are gearing up with some real dedication to the task at hand. :)

englandco
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby englandco » Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:12 am

Hi guys, great to see you on here.

I'm currently taking one of the in-person MLSAT courses in preparation for the February exam, but my progress has stagnated after a 163 cold diag (PTing about twice-3x a week and scoring around 166). We just finished Session 7 I believe (whatever one has the Principle type questions). I'm currently getting over 10 wrong per PT on LR, which is my weakest area.

I really want to score above 173+ and am thinking that I may have to postpone until the June administration. I really want to take it in February since I work full-time and between Feb. and June there may be more work distractions that I'd need to dedicate my full attention to. Do you still think it's possible to get 173+ by Feb?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Manhattan LSAT Noah
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:14 pm

englandco wrote:Hi guys, great to see you on here.

I'm currently taking one of the in-person MLSAT courses in preparation for the February exam, but my progress has stagnated after a 163 cold diag (PTing about twice-3x a week and scoring around 166). We just finished Session 7 I believe (whatever one has the Principle type questions). I'm currently getting over 10 wrong per PT on LR, which is my weakest area.

I really want to score above 173+ and am thinking that I may have to postpone until the June administration. I really want to take it in February since I work full-time and between Feb. and June there may be more work distractions that I'd need to dedicate my full attention to. Do you still think it's possible to get 173+ by Feb?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

166 -> 173 is possible in that time frame, but will require some work. You're well over the bump that exposure to the test gives you. I wonder if you should refocus for a couple of weeks on doing question-specific sets of questions (perhaps back down to 1 full pt a week). That might help you break through. Are there specific LR question types you're getting wrong? Also, how is your timing on that section going? A lot of times folks are not accepting that the impossible ones are impossible and end up rushing in the wrong places.

Christine and I are happy to keep talking you through this, but in the end your teacher will be a better resource as he/she will know you better than we do. Or, this is a decent topic for one of your office hour discussions.

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Christine (MLSAT)
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:18 pm

To those about to take the February LSAT, we salute you!

We've just posted a reminder article about how the experimental does (and doesn't) work, so check it out before the big day! http://www.manhattanlsat.com/blog/2014/ ... ection-qa/

Then stop studying, get enough sleep, eat well, and GO GET 'EM!







All of you are welcome to leave questions here, as I check this thread regularly. Feel free to ask questions about the LSAT in general, work out specific LSAT questions, ask for study advice, or ask questions about our books. Or anything else LSAT!

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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby jam313 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:30 pm

Hey MLSAT -- are you able to talk about (even vaguely) the changes that we can expect in the 4th edition guides? Being over a month away from shipment, I'm considering to just grab the 3rd edition and get rolling now if the basic strategies are unchanged.

Thanks!

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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby WaltGrace83 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:21 pm

I am continuing my quest to principle mastery, trying to understand how these questions work and the trends the occur within them. One thing I have noticed is this: in Identity the Principle Q's - those that "justify," "conform to," etc. - there seems to be a lot of trick answers that give you a conditional in which the sufficient condition is not supported by the argument. By the same token, the correct answers with conditionals will have slightly vaguer language giving us the sufficient condition and thereby granting us the necessary condition we need. While not to say that this is a "trick" to the questions per se as they are still hard, I do believe that this is very intentional on LSAC's part. My question is am I correct in thinking this way? Because this is probably confusing, I'll provide an example of one of the tricker Principle questions I have come across, PT29-S1-Q22 "The government claims that the country's nuclear power plants are entirely safe..."

(x) Govt. claims that the country's power plants are safe
(1) The govt's recent action to limit financial liability is justified by the need to protect from unlimited financial liability
(2) Unlimited liability poses a threat only if injuries can be sustained
(3) Injuries are only sustained from a nuclear accident

(C) The public's fear is well-founded

We get a lot of conditional language in here so let's break it down.

(1) Govt. wants to protect from threat
(2) Threat → Injuries are sustained
(3) Injuries sustained → Nuclear accident

(C) Public's fear is well-founded.

So what is going on here? Put simply, the hidden assumption here is that the govt. would never do something to protect against X unless there was a very real threat that X could occur.

(A) Government claims that X is unsafe → X should be assumed to be unsafe
The government actually claims that X is safe. The sufficient condition isn't satisfied thus this cannot be the correct answer.

(B) Those who have control over the occurrence of event X stand to benefit from the occurrence of event X → Fear is well-founded
This is a tempting answer because it talks about having a well-founded fear yet nowhere in the argument does it give us this sufficient condition. In fact, the argument implies that there will be some financial disadvantage if the occurrence actually happens.

(C) (Financial security of those responsible for its operation depends on it being safe → Potentially dangerous this is safe) → Eliminating the dependence is not in the best interests of the public
Despite being given the "best interests of the public" part which is clearly out of scope, once again the sufficient condition is not supported. We have no reference to dependence on something being safe

(E) Real financial threat exists → Govt. action to limit that threat is justified.
Okay this one is just a premise booster. We are given this from the argument "...justified by the need to protect the nuclear industry from the threat of bankruptcy."

Now if we look at what (D) does, it fits this "mold" so to speak.

Acts to prevent situation X → Real danger that situation X will arise
We know that the govt. has acted to prevent the situation, so the sufficient condition is satisfied. Thus, there is a real danger that the situation will arise! Ultimately, this means that the fear is in fact well-founded

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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:44 pm

WaltGrace83 wrote:I am continuing my quest to principle mastery, trying to understand how these questions work and the trends the occur within them. One thing I have noticed is this: in Identity the Principle Q's - those that "justify," "conform to," etc. - there seems to be a lot of trick answers that give you a conditional in which the sufficient condition is not supported by the argument. By the same token, the correct answers with conditionals will have slightly vaguer language giving us the sufficient condition and thereby granting us the necessary condition we need. While not to say that this is a "trick" to the questions per se as they are still hard, I do believe that this is very intentional on LSAC's part. My question is am I correct in thinking this way? Because this is probably confusing, I'll provide an example of one of the tricker Principle questions I have come across, PT29-S1-Q22 "The government claims that the country's nuclear power plants are entirely safe..."


WaltGrace83, I think you've just picked up on a great classic element of Principle-support questions (i.e., 'which of the following principles, if valid, would most justify the argument/conclusion'). These questions are really asking for a strengthening answer, but they have a strong tendency to write answer choices in conditional format. And when they do, you're going to be looking for a classic pattern of:

If (something in the premise), then (something in the conclusion)

This is also a classic pattern for Sufficient Assumptions, and because many Principle-support answers follow the pattern, sometimes people confuse the two question types. However, a Principle-support answer does not absolutely have to be a sufficient assumption - even though it often is one.

So, if you notice that the answer choices for a principle-support fall into conditional language, then you can absolutely eliminate answers solely on the basis that the sufficient condition has not be fulfilled in the argument. You can also eliminate answers because the result of the conditional does not match the conclusion. However, you do need to be careful that you are considering whether the contrapositive of the statement matches!

Consider if we had this argument:
PREMISE: Jim is wearing a green shirt
CONCLUSION: Therefore he must be Irish.

Wrong answer (A): If people have green eyes, they are Irish.
The has the right result, but the trigger is unfulfilled.

Wrong answer (B): If people wear green shirts, they are color-blind.
Right trigger, wrong result.

Correct answer (C): If a person is not Irish, they will never wear a green shirt.
This matches. But note that if you were moving too fast, and only looked at the trigger "if a person is not Irish", you might mistakenly think this trigger was never fulfilled in the argument.

Moral of the story: you can eliminate based on triggers not being fulfilled so long as you are considered both the conditional as written and its contrapositive!


You've got some great analysis going on here for the nuclear liability question!
WaltGrace83 wrote: PT29-S1-Q22 "The government claims that the country's nuclear power plants are entirely safe..."
(A) Government claims that X is unsafe → X should be assumed to be unsafe
The government actually claims that X is safe. The sufficient condition isn't satisfied thus this cannot be the correct answer.

Bingo! If you notice the the gov't never said anything was UNSAFE, this is a fast elimination!
WaltGrace83 wrote:(B) Those who have control over the occurrence of event X stand to benefit from the occurrence of event X → Fear is well-founded
This is a tempting answer because it talks about having a well-founded fear yet nowhere in the argument does it give us this sufficient condition. In fact, the argument implies that there will be some financial disadvantage if the occurrence actually happens.
I actually think this was is pretty tempting for people because they mistake 'limiting liability' for 'stand to benefit financially'. If you thought those were the same thing, you would think the sufficient condition here was fulfilled.
WaltGrace83 wrote:(C) (Financial security of those responsible for its operation depends on it being safe → Potentially dangerous this is safe) → Eliminating the dependence is not in the best interests of the public
Despite being given the "best interests of the public" part which is clearly out of scope, once again the sufficient condition is not supported. We have no reference to dependence on something being safe
You're totally right that the sufficient condition is not fulfilled here. As a strategic point, I think it's a little easier to quickly see how the result is mismatched ("best interests of public"). The sufficient condition here is a little confusing.
WaltGrace83 wrote:(E) Real financial threat exists → Govt. action to limit that threat is justified.
Okay this one is just a premise booster. We are given this from the argument "...justified by the need to protect the nuclear industry from the threat of bankruptcy."
I actually wouldn't call this a premise booster. It would boost the government's contention that their action is *justified*, but the author doesn't much care whether their action is justified or not. We know the government thinks it is, but so what?
Probably the easiest thing to see is that ' action justified' doesn't match with the conclusion we want ('fear well founded'). It's a bit more confusing to see this, but the trigger actually isn't fulfilled either - the premises don't give us that there is a real financial threat to a major industry. If you look closely, the argument is assuming there must be a real financial threat, not stating it as fact!

So, none of the four incorrect answers has a sufficient condition that is actually fulfilled! However, I do think it's more efficient to eliminate (C) and (E) on the basis of their results not matching the conclusion.

WaltGrace83 wrote:Now if we look at what (D) does, it fits this "mold" so to speak.

Acts to prevent situation X → Real danger that situation X will arise
We know that the govt. has acted to prevent the situation, so the sufficient condition is satisfied. Thus, there is a real danger that the situation will arise! Ultimately, this means that the fear is in fact well-founded


Exactly!


Now, this is often how Principle-support questions work (but not always!!). Principle-example ("which of the following most closely conforms to the principle above"), often work in a roughly similar, if somewhat backwards way. If the principle is given to you in conditional language, you can eliminate any answer choice that doesn't trip the conditional's trigger (or it's contrapositive).

You're working through some really interesting stuff! Keep it up, and let me know if you have additional questions about this!
















All of you are welcome to leave questions here, as I check this thread regularly. Feel free to ask questions about the LSAT in general, work out specific LSAT questions, ask for study advice, or ask questions about our books. Or anything else LSAT!

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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:50 pm

jam313 wrote:Hey MLSAT -- are you able to talk about (even vaguely) the changes that we can expect in the 4th edition guides? Being over a month away from shipment, I'm considering to just grab the 3rd edition and get rolling now if the basic strategies are unchanged.

Thanks!



Hey jam313, I'm glad you asked!

I'm happy to announce that the upcoming 4th Edition of the Manhattan LSAT Reading Comprehension book will reflect a major overhaul! Very significant changes to the book have been made, and I think you'll all be quite happy with the results!

The Manhattan LSAT Logical Reasoning and Logic Games books have been given a thorough buff, polish, and wax, but they will contain the same essential material in the 4th Edition that they did in the 3rd Edition.

Please stay tuned for more information about the upcoming new editions of the books!















All of you are welcome to leave questions here, as I check this thread regularly. Feel free to ask questions about the LSAT in general, work out specific LSAT questions, ask for study advice, or ask questions about our books. Or anything else LSAT!

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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby WaltGrace83 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:29 pm

I posted a question on the forums here for PT15-S2-Q6. I would love some feedback on it!

by the way, is there any way to edit the avatar to one of your own liking on the Manhattan forums? I heard the cooler your avatar, the more likely it is that you get a 180 :lol:

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Christine (MLSAT)
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:13 pm

Interesting question, WaltGrace1983!

First, questions that simply ask "what is the argument assuming" can always be thought of as necessary assumptions. Necessary assumptions are the things we know, for sure, the author is assuming to get to his/her conclusion - we know this, because without these assumptions, the argument wouldn't make any sense. Sufficient assumptions, on the other hand, are things *WE* bring to the table, as readers. It's a hypothetical exercise: well, if the author were to assume this thing, then their argument would totally work. We don't know that the author did assume that thing, but if they had, it would make sense. So if we're going to say the argument is actually assuming something, that needs to be a necessary assumption - since those are the ones we know the author must be making.

When we say that an argument is flawed because it assumes blahblahblah, that also has to be a necessary assumption, for the same reasons. You can't accuse the author of doing it until you know they assume it, and we only know they assume the necessary assumptions - because they are, by definition, necessary. :P

So, on to PT36-S2-Q6.

The argument is concluding that, since the jawbone was found in Namibia and since apes only lived in forests, then it must be true that Namibia used to be a forest. This answer choices tells us that the ape whose jawbone this was lived in or around Namibia. This helps the conclusion by strengthening it but is answer choice really necessary? After all, the ape could have originally lived in Sweden but died in Namibia during its migration to a densely forested space. Thus, it is not necessary for the ape to have lived in - or even around - Namibia.

I think you may have gotten yourself a little bit turned around in analyzing this. Your negation is spot on - what if AncientPrimateDude was just passing though, going from one lush forest far away to some other lush forest far away? If that were true, and he just happened to keel over in Namibia on his way, what happens to the argument? How in the world could we conclude anything about Ancient Namibia based on AncientPrimateDude's living arrangements in that case? We couldn't! In that case, Ancient Namibia could be the ice-covered land of sugar plum fairies for all we know. So the negation destroys the link between this evidence and the conclusion about Ancient Namibia. That's why assuming he actually LIVED in Namibia is necessary to the argument. Without that bit, the conclusion cannot possibly follow from the evidence that we have.

It seems to me like you made the appropriate negation, but you didn't make the final connection to see that that negation destroys the argument.

Does that help?







All of you are welcome to leave questions here, as I check this thread regularly. Feel free to ask questions about the LSAT in general, work out specific LSAT questions, ask for study advice, or ask questions about our books. Or anything else LSAT!

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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby WaltGrace83 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:23 pm

Christine (MLSAT) wrote:Interesting question, WaltGrace1983!

First, questions that simply ask "what is the argument assuming" can always be thought of as necessary assumptions. Necessary assumptions are the things we know, for sure, the author is assuming to get to his/her conclusion - we know this, because without these assumptions, the argument wouldn't make any sense. Sufficient assumptions, on the other hand, are things *WE* bring to the table, as readers. It's a hypothetical exercise: well, if the author were to assume this thing, then their argument would totally work. We don't know that the author did assume that thing, but if they had, it would make sense. So if we're going to say the argument is actually assuming something, that needs to be a necessary assumption - since those are the ones we know the author must be making.

When we say that an argument is flawed because it assumes blahblahblah, that also has to be a necessary assumption, for the same reasons. You can't accuse the author of doing it until you know they assume it, and we only know they assume the necessary assumptions - because they are, by definition, necessary. :P

So, on to PT36-S2-Q6.

The argument is concluding that, since the jawbone was found in Namibia and since apes only lived in forests, then it must be true that Namibia used to be a forest. This answer choices tells us that the ape whose jawbone this was lived in or around Namibia. This helps the conclusion by strengthening it but is answer choice really necessary? After all, the ape could have originally lived in Sweden but died in Namibia during its migration to a densely forested space. Thus, it is not necessary for the ape to have lived in - or even around - Namibia.

I think you may have gotten yourself a little bit turned around in analyzing this. Your negation is spot on - what if AncientPrimateDude was just passing though, going from one lush forest far away to some other lush forest far away? If that were true, and he just happened to keel over in Namibia on his way, what happens to the argument? How in the world could we conclude anything about Ancient Namibia based on AncientPrimateDude's living arrangements in that case? We couldn't! In that case, Ancient Namibia could be the ice-covered land of sugar plum fairies for all we know. So the negation destroys the link between this evidence and the conclusion about Ancient Namibia. That's why assuming he actually LIVED in Namibia is necessary to the argument. Without that bit, the conclusion cannot possibly follow from the evidence that we have.

It seems to me like you made the appropriate negation, but you didn't make the final connection to see that that negation destroys the argument.

Does that help?


So let me get this straight: I assumed the opposite of the answer choice; the opposite of the answer choice made it so that the conclusion does not follow from the premises; I then concluded that this would be a problem with the answer choice when really this would prove why it is correct. So in other words, I did what I was exactly supposed to do and just got turned around.

:lol:

HA, I think I forgot that I was evaluating the negated answer choice. Good thing I work from wrong to right and knew that everything else was 100% wrong! Thanks Christine!

EDIT: I forgot to ask about "assumption" questions. Mike Kim talks about plain old "assumption" questions in the LSAT Trainer and I think that I have heard them discussed on the Manhattan forums. Isn't there some kind of assumption question with a slightly different task? They come up like 0-1 times per test? Maybe I am confusing a tidbit of information...

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Sgt Brody.
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Sgt Brody. » Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:48 pm

Hello,

I have a question from the June 2007 Lsat that is available form the LSAC web site http://www.lsac.org/docs/default-source ... ptjune.pdf.

In section 3, question 25, as soon as I read it, I realized what the flaw was. I noted that the flaw was the reasoning that just because the human species had evolved the ability to cope with diverse natural environments, it does not mean that every species related to humans had to survive. Based on this, I thought answer choice C made the most sense to me as it had the theme of generalization and it also had the theme of that just because one thing happened for one species, it does not mean it has to happen for all species. But the correct answer is A. I dont get it. Whats scary is that I was super super confident in C and never really even remotely thought that this could be a sufficient/neccessary thing. Can you please help me here? Thank you!


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