Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

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

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:58 am

Adrian Monk wrote:Hey Christine, this is how powerscore classifies games types for all practice tests,
http://www.powerscore.com/gamesbible/ls ... ification/

this is a good list, but since i am only familar with just the way manhattan classfies games like basic ordering, relative ordering, 3d etc.. do you know if manhattan also has has a list like this? would u really appreciate if you could help me! thanks!


Hey Adrian!

So sorry to be tardy on my response to you. I've been trying to see if we have a more complete list, but here's what I have so far.

1) The games from PTs 41-50 are all categorized in the book 10 Real LSATs Grouped By Question Type - do you have that book? If not, I can type up the categorization.

2) PTs 46 on are categorized in our LSAT Tracker excel file. You can download it here: https://www.manhattanlsat.com/download/ ... ndows.xlsm
Just expand the rows for an LSAT, and you'll see how each game is categorized!

3) We don't have an official/public list for game categorization for PTs 1-40, I'm afraid. However, I often give my tutoring students an assignment at some point to take every game section in, say, the 20s and do nothing more than read the setup and rules and determine what type of game it is and roughly what the optimal diagram should look like. It's a great test of your recognition abilities, and helps you recognize how even weird games have relationships to standard game types.

Give this exercise a try, and if you aren't sure you categorized a game correctly, just ask!!

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby PeanutsNJam » Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:04 am

How do I know what kind of assumptions are acceptable to make when answering LR questions? For example, in PT63 Section 3 Q7, I have to assume that an increased demand in new technologies lead to an acceleration of technological change in order to justify B as a sufficient answer.

Adrian Monk
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Adrian Monk » Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:40 pm

Christine (MLSAT) wrote:
Adrian Monk wrote:Hey Christine, this is how powerscore classifies games types for all practice tests,
http://www.powerscore.com/gamesbible/ls ... ification/

this is a good list, but since i am only familar with just the way manhattan classfies games like basic ordering, relative ordering, 3d etc.. do you know if manhattan also has has a list like this? would u really appreciate if you could help me! thanks!


Hey Adrian!

So sorry to be tardy on my response to you. I've been trying to see if we have a more complete list, but here's what I have so far.

1) The games from PTs 41-50 are all categorized in the book 10 Real LSATs Grouped By Question Type - do you have that book? If not, I can type up the categorization.

2) PTs 46 on are categorized in our LSAT Tracker excel file. You can download it here: https://www.manhattanlsat.com/download/ ... ndows.xlsm
Just expand the rows for an LSAT, and you'll see how each game is categorized!

3) We don't have an official/public list for game categorization for PTs 1-40, I'm afraid. However, I often give my tutoring students an assignment at some point to take every game section in, say, the 20s and do nothing more than read the setup and rules and determine what type of game it is and roughly what the optimal diagram should look like. It's a great test of your recognition abilities, and helps you recognize how even weird games have relationships to standard game types.

Give this exercise a try, and if you aren't sure you categorized a game correctly, just ask!!



Hey Christine!, yes, i have the 10 real lsats' book. pt's 41-50 are entirely covered in the book?, and thank you for the lsat tracker excel file!. i will do the assingment you mentioned and ask you if im not familar with anything. thanks!

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

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Fri Sep 26, 2014 3:12 pm

Adrian Monk wrote:Hey Christine!, yes, i have the 10 real lsats' book. pt's 41-50 are entirely covered in the book?, and thank you for the lsat tracker excel file!. i will do the assingment you mentioned and ask you if im not familar with anything. thanks!


The PT40s should all be covered in that book! Now, the RC that's in there isn't split up by type, because that's kind of useless IMO, but the LR and LG are.

Let me know how it goes!

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flash21
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby flash21 » Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:45 pm

flash21 wrote:Hey Christine, I was hoping you'd help me lay out a PT schedule. I've got PT's 47 up to the most current. I'm guessing from your past forum posts, you wouldn't recommend using ALL of these as PT's, so I guess you could let me know where you think I should break them into timed sections? I know you're an advocate of quality over quantity and you said you believe timed sections may be just as effective in helping with timing, so I'll see what your thoughts are.

This is for December btw.


Hi Christine, sorry to bump myself, I'm only doing it because I am beginning to start to freak out a bit about laying out a PT schedule. I'd like to start consistently starting to write them next week. Thanks!

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

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:21 am

flash21 wrote:
flash21 wrote:Hey Christine, I was hoping you'd help me lay out a PT schedule. I've got PT's 47 up to the most current. I'm guessing from your past forum posts, you wouldn't recommend using ALL of these as PT's, so I guess you could let me know where you think I should break them into timed sections? I know you're an advocate of quality over quantity and you said you believe timed sections may be just as effective in helping with timing, so I'll see what your thoughts are.

This is for December btw.


Hi Christine, sorry to bump myself, I'm only doing it because I am beginning to start to freak out a bit about laying out a PT schedule. I'd like to start consistently starting to write them next week. Thanks!


Hey Flash21!

More than happy to help you lay this out!

So, I generally recommend doing 2 PTs a week in the final month, and 1 PT a week in the month before that. I also advocate pushing yourself to 6 section PTs during that final month.

In your situation, because you have all the modern exams available to you, untouched, I'd recommend using the moderns as the fodder for your experimentals - it gives you more chances to use more modern exams *without* Preptesting yourself to death, and it keeps you more honest/engaged on all sections, since they'll all be scored, they're all modern, and so they all 'count'! So, a 6 section exam might be PT60 +2 sections from PT 61. (Later that same week you could do PT 62 + the other 2 sections from PT61 - then you get to score 60, 61, and 62 in the same week.)

Next thing to consider is that you don't want to have all the very most recent exams right.before.the.LSAT.

So, a possible PT schedule could look like this:

Week-----------PrepTests
Oct 5-----------PT71 (1 section from PT60)
Oct 12----------PT68 (1 section from PT60)
Oct 19----------PT72 (1 section from PT60)
Oct 26----------PT65 (1 section from PT60)
Nov 2-----------PT69, PT64 (2 sections each from PT56)
Nov 9-----------PT73, PT62 (2 sections each from PT57)
Nov 16----------PT67, PT61 (2 sections each from PT58)
Nov 23----------PT70, PT63 (2 sections each from PT59)
Nov 30----------PT66 (2 sections from PT55)

That would leave you PTs 47-half of 55 for either drilling or full sections. Do you have the earlier exams as drilling sets (the Cambridge 1-39 breakdown, etc)?

I would only recommend a PT schedule this intensive if you have *already done* a fair amount of drilling by question type up to this point. If you haven't, the game changes. Can you lay out what you've been doing so far in terms of drilling and analysis?

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

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:06 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:How do I know what kind of assumptions are acceptable to make when answering LR questions? For example, in PT63 Section 3 Q7, I have to assume that an increased demand in new technologies lead to an acceleration of technological change in order to justify B as a sufficient answer.



Hey PnJ, good question.

There are a few things going on here.

First, notice that this is a "most strongly supported" question. For inference questions that ask for an answer that "must be true", we have a slightly higher burden of proof. But when we're asked just for "most strongly supported", something really, really likely is good enough.

How likely? Well, the idea is essentially that if you have to twist yourself in bizarro knots in order to come up with a scenario where the answer isn't true, that's good evidence it's a supported answer. Process of elimination is also your friend, here, but you do want to get sensitive to the permissible space here.

So, first, notice the softness of the language of (B). It doesn't say that there are DEFINITELY situations where new-tech businesses don't benefit. It merely says that they may not always benefit. In other words, it is possible that there is a time that a new-tech business doesn't benefit from economic growth.

So, how would this happen? Well, we know that economic growth pushes business demand for new tech. We also know that new tech can cause failure. You're right that we need some connection between business demand and actually meeting that demand.

Let's try to argue that (B) doesn't happen, and see if we have to twist ourselves into knots to make that possible, given the information we have to accept from the stimulus. Because (B) is talking merely about a possibility, to argue against it, we have to go to quite an extreme - we'd have to say that new-tech businesses MUST ALWAYS benefit from economic growth.

In order for that to be true, economic growth could NEVER lead to failures - and that would mean that accelerated business demand could NEVER lead to an acceleration of technological change. And that's just crazy!

Essentially, to support the possibility laid out in (B), we only have to assume that at least some of the time increased business demand for new tech will actually accelerate new tech. That not only seems perfectly reasonable (which really isn't enough, by itself), it seem unreasonable to say it doesn't happen!

Saying something "must be true" means that it's impossible for it to be false. Saying that something is "strongly supported" means it's highly unlikely, or unreasonable for it to be false.

What do you think?

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flash21
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby flash21 » Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:00 pm

Christine (MLSAT) wrote:
flash21 wrote:
flash21 wrote:Hey Christine, I was hoping you'd help me lay out a PT schedule. I've got PT's 47 up to the most current. I'm guessing from your past forum posts, you wouldn't recommend using ALL of these as PT's, so I guess you could let me know where you think I should break them into timed sections? I know you're an advocate of quality over quantity and you said you believe timed sections may be just as effective in helping with timing, so I'll see what your thoughts are.

This is for December btw.


Hi Christine, sorry to bump myself, I'm only doing it because I am beginning to start to freak out a bit about laying out a PT schedule. I'd like to start consistently starting to write them next week. Thanks!


Hey Flash21!

More than happy to help you lay this out!

So, I generally recommend doing 2 PTs a week in the final month, and 1 PT a week in the month before that. I also advocate pushing yourself to 6 section PTs during that final month.

In your situation, because you have all the modern exams available to you, untouched, I'd recommend using the moderns as the fodder for your experimentals - it gives you more chances to use more modern exams *without* Preptesting yourself to death, and it keeps you more honest/engaged on all sections, since they'll all be scored, they're all modern, and so they all 'count'! So, a 6 section exam might be PT60 +2 sections from PT 61. (Later that same week you could do PT 62 + the other 2 sections from PT61 - then you get to score 60, 61, and 62 in the same week.)

Next thing to consider is that you don't want to have all the very most recent exams right.before.the.LSAT.

So, a possible PT schedule could look like this:

Week-----------PrepTests
Oct 5-----------PT71 (1 section from PT60)
Oct 12----------PT68 (1 section from PT60)
Oct 19----------PT72 (1 section from PT60)
Oct 26----------PT65 (1 section from PT60)
Nov 2-----------PT69, PT64 (2 sections each from PT56)
Nov 9-----------PT73, PT62 (2 sections each from PT57)
Nov 16----------PT67, PT61 (2 sections each from PT58)
Nov 23----------PT70, PT63 (2 sections each from PT59)
Nov 30----------PT66 (2 sections from PT55)

That would leave you PTs 47-half of 55 for either drilling or full sections. Do you have the earlier exams as drilling sets (the Cambridge 1-39 breakdown, etc)?

I would only recommend a PT schedule this intensive if you have *already done* a fair amount of drilling by question type up to this point. If you haven't, the game changes. Can you lay out what you've been doing so far in terms of drilling and analysis?


Yeah I've got the cambridge sets. I've drilled through many of the LR types multiple times.

In terms of drilling RC (which needs work) I've been doing some individual passages to help get my process down better (after a discussion with jeffort about what that process should be) and I'll also be throwing in some RC timed full sections.

For LG, basically drilling like hell out of cambridge. I've done all game types (except the rare ones) multiple times over. I'll be spending time doing the rare/weird games more frequently though.

LR - lots of untimed drilling, I've got through many of the Q types multiple times as I've stated before. In terms of analysis, if I get to a point when drilling where I am between two, I'll get out my "word" document, and write down why I'm keeping or eliminating all of the answer choices, and also provide myself with a breakdown of the argument so I can make sure I get my reasoning on the page as explicitly as possible. If I got it wrong, I'll look at how I justified and answer, why that it was wrong, and from the advance of Mike Kim I try to walk myself backwards through the process I went through, seeing where exactly I went wrong, and what types of things I missed that would have been beneficial (like too strong of language, etc). If I get it right, I'll check if my reasoning was correct still because sometimes you just get a bit lucky. If I'm really stumped, I'll usually come on here and ask you haha.

Let me know if you need any more info. Essentially drilling has been 3/4 or more of my prep.


EDIT:: I always imagined a PT schedule would have more PT's, I'm not sure why. I think I've read too many "I took 30 PT's before test day" stories.

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WaltGrace83
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby WaltGrace83 » Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:19 pm

So this is one that I continually got wrong in the past and I want to ask you about it as a revisit it now: June 2007. 3.17 "When exercising one's back...exercise muscles on opposites sides...equally". I picked (C) instead of (B) after getting it down to two possible answers. I think I realized what I got wrong (for the first time, ever) but I want to make sure my understanding is solidified!

    P: Muscles on opposite sides of the spine must pull equally to keep the back in proper alignment/protect the spine
    IC: Balanced muscle development is needed to maintain a healthy back
    C: It is important, in order to maintain a healthy back, to exercise the muscles on opposite sides of the spine equally

I expect there to be (at least) two:
    (1) Who's to say that pulling equally is related to balanced muscle development? Maybe pushing equally is actually the secret to balanced muscle development?
    (2) The more obvious gap is between "balanced muscle development" and "exercising the muscles equally." Maybe we actually need to consciously exercise the muscles unequally in order to have balanced muscle development, because we tend to favor one side of the back over the others during everyday life.

General Question #1: I failed this question in large part because I did not understand the conditional relationships. Now I absolutely understand the conditional for the IC. The IC is basically saying, "If you are to have a healthy back, you NEED balanced muscle development." In other words, (HB → BMD). "Need" introduces the necessary condition.

However, what exactly is "in order to?" I would assume that if you said, "In order to ace the LSAT you must study," the conditional would say (A → S). However, what if I said, "In order to ace the LSAT, you can study." That - to me - looks like (S → A). Here, we have "In order to maintain a healthy back, it is important to exercise muscles equally." What does that exactly mean? Apparently it means (HB → EME). But why? Maybe "in order to" does not have an intrinsic meaning. Does the meaning of the word after "in order to" determine if "in order to" is introducing the sufficient or necessary? In other words, the "must" and the "can" above determine the "in order to's" meaning. I don't think this phrase pops up TOO often on the LSAT but I am also a bit worried that I might get a weird conditional come test day.

This distinction seems critical because it would determine if the argument is saying that exercising the parts equally is NECESSARY or merely SUFFICIENT. Huge distinction.

The Answer Choices:

    (A) We don't need to say much about being in "proper alignment." There is, I suppose, a gap between "pulling equally" and being in "proper alignment" but I am not really too concerned with that.

    (B) The reversal of this would be "Exercising the muscles on opposite sides of the spine unequally does not necessary lead to unbalanced muscle development." This is what we need because it shows that, while we must have balanced muscle development (the premise), we do not necessarily need to "exercise the muscles on opposite sides of the spine equally" (conclusion). The negation of (B) basically leads the premises to not justify the point.

    (C) General Question #2: Does "provided that" introduce a necessary condition? If I say "provided that you study, you'll ace the LSAT," wouldn't that imply (~S → ~A)? I know that (C) talks about sufficiency, not being necessary but this language really tripped me up. It terms like the reverse of what we need but, because I didn't understand the conditional language, it seemed like exactly what I needed.

I think I just got so tripped up with all of those conditionals! (A), (B) and (C) all have conditional language and the stimulus is incredibly to prioritize all the conditional language: "in order to"..."is needed"..."must pull."

What do you think?

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

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Sat Oct 25, 2014 1:46 am

Hey WaltGrace83! Interesting questions!

In Order To
The phrase "in order to" is often grammatically unnecessary, and actually does not have any strict logical meaning all on its own. Typically, can easily replace the phrase with a simple "to" and convey identical meaning - and that meaning is essentially 'as a way of achieving a particular outcome'.

So, if I say "in order to get to Bob's house, you need to take the train", I could have just as easily said "to get to Bob's house...." Notice that if we remove the "in order" from the first sentence of this stimulus, nothing changes logically:

    To maintain a healthy back, it's important to exercise the muscles equally

The thing that matters, here, is which item is important for the other thing.

[Grammar nerd note: I'm quite sure that they included "in order" here because without it, it's easy to misread the sentence as saying "it is important to maintain a healthy back, (in order) to exercise the muscles..." - the comma after 'important' SHOULD tell you not to do that, but it would be an unnecessarily confusing word order. Misreading it that way would have you thinking that the healthy back maintenance is important for exercising muscles, instead of the other way around.

So, if "in order to" just clarifies the element I have a purpose about, how do we know there's a conditional relationship? It's as you said above: the other words tell us. Your example "in order to ace the LSAT, you must study" gives us a conditional only because of the word "must".

"In order to ace the LSAT, you can study", however, does not. Simplifying the syntax a tad: "To ace the LSAT, you can study" might help us see that no promises, or guarantees are being made. I'm giving you one possible route to LSAT-acing, but it's not a sure thing. Consider the statement "to get to Hawaii, you can take a cruise". This is not a promise that taking a cruise will definitely, absolutely get you to Hawaii!! Rather, I'm just giving you one way that is possible.

The way to create a conditional with "in order to" as the necessary, you'd need some clear 'sufficient' language on the other side - something like "In order to ace the LSAT, it is enough to simply study." THAT would tell you (S-->A). It's kind of an awkward construction, but it would get the job done.

So, let's return back to the conclusion of the argument in June2007-3-17. "To maintain a healthy back, it's important to exercise the muscles equally." Does 'important' give us a strict conditional? Technically no. It's giving us what I sometimes think of a 'soft conditional' - it's following the essential format of a conditional (and it's best to treat is as one for the most part), but it does fall just shy of making an absolute guarantee.

Fortunately, the correct answer uses the exact same sort of 'soft conditional' language, with "X tends to lead to Y". You can absolutely get away with treating both the conclusion and the correct answer as conditionals, and that's the easiest way to break down this problem - but it is good to be aware that technically speaking, they are not perfect guarantees.

Provided That
Whenever you're tackling a conditional you're not 100% sure how to translate (or even whether it IS a conditional), it's best to return to the essential question: is there a promise here? If so, what is the thing getting promised (necessary), and what is the situation where the promise is active (sufficient).

"Provided that you study, you'll ace the LSAT."

What's getting promised here? I'm promising that you will ace the LSAT. But I'm not making a blanket promise - I'm only making that promise in a certain universe. "Provided that" might be thought of as saying "As long as it's true that" or "on the condition that". So, I'm making this promise to you, but only on the condition that you study.

In other words, I'm saying "If you study, then you'll ace the LSAT". "Provided that" introduces the sufficient condition, by suggesting that whatever promise I'm about to make to you only applies if certain conditions have been met.




So, to sum up: "in order to" has no intrinsic conditional meaning, and "provided that" is giving a sufficient condition. :mrgreen:

I'd love to hear your thoughts on all this!

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

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Mon Nov 03, 2014 3:35 pm

flash21 wrote:
Let me know if you need any more info. Essentially drilling has been 3/4 or more of my prep.

EDIT:: I always imagined a PT schedule would have more PT's, I'm not sure why. I think I've read too many "I took 30 PT's before test day" stories.


Hey Flash21!

I meant to respond to this long before now, but I wanted to respond specifically to your concerns about the drilling vs PT balance.

First, I think that the drilling you've been doing is great. Continue to challenge yourself to articulate precisely why wrong answers are wrong in LR and RC, and keep honing that process. A few exercises that you can add into the mix are:
    1) Work through a few sets of the first 10 LR questions from some older sections. Work to get to 10 in 10 minutes, but also make absolutely sure that you can see the fundamental argument structure - don't let yourself off the hook just because an easy question is kind of instinctual. If you can accurately identify the skeletal structure underneath that more obvious question, you'll be able to notice the same structure in the more difficult, more convoluted versions in questions 17-22.

    2) Identify the type of statement given in the premise and the conclusion. Is this a premise-fact, conclusion-prediction argument? Phenomenon-explanation? Premise-conditional, conclusion-result-fact? Premise-comparison, conclusion-behavior-recommendation? Premise-comparison, conclusion-value-judgment? There's only so many ways to use a limited number of legos to build an argument...

    3) Start looking for how game categories/families are similar to one another. Sometimes games are hard because they seem to defy game type, but sometimes that's because they have a little of this type and a little of that type. Being able to see the game types as branches on the same tree, rather than totally separate buckets, can help you be more flexible when a slightly (or very!) unusual game comes along.

    4) Remember to review LR problems that you got right, but weren't 100% confident on in the moment. I used to underline the question number of LR questions as I was taking an exam (or drill set), and the number of times it got underlined represented how pissed off I was at the question. :p As a result, after it was over, I had a very colorful sliding scale of my confidence level on questions, independent of which ones I got correct. Cleaning up my lack of confidence (which necessarily means higher chance for error and loss of efficiency) was just as important as anything else.

At any rate, I think it's great that your focus has been mostly on drilling so far - that's exactly what it should be. Students get hyper focused on taking more PTs, often to their detriment.

Taking full length exams does exactly two things: 1) it gives a reasonable snapshot of where you stand right this second in your performance (like stepping on a scale will tell you how much you weigh) and 2) it improves your overall stamina/endurance. What it doesn't do is actually build up your comprehension - that's like thinking that the act of stepping on a scale does something to reduce your fat level, or increase your muscle mass. To do that, you actually have to work out. Similarly, the only way to actually learn anything from a full-length exam is to review the living hell out of it. Blind review, then full review after checking answers, then adding the still sticky ones to your ongoing master pile of annoying LR questions that you rotate through, etc.

But notice that the part of that work that is actually meaningful (all the review) is the same work you should be doing when you drill. Thus, even as you get into the thick of the heavy PT schedule, the majority of your work should still be the review that you do whether it's a full PT or not.

Students start thinking that they are SUPPOSED to do an insane PT heavy schedule, and so to accomplish it they shortchange the review they should be doing. In so doing, they feel like they are accomplishing something (look how many PTs I've done! I've worked so hard!), but they have short-circuited the most important part of the learning.

The rule of thumb is 'never do more PTs than you can DEEPLY and THOROUGHLY review, alongside the targeted drilling work you are doing on known weaknesses'. And if someone thinks they can do that with a PT a day, I'm super skeptical about the true depth of their review process. :p

Just remember: once upon a time people didn't HAVE 70+ released LSATs to make themselves insane with, and they were able to prepare for the LSAT perfectly adequately. My LSAT was PT 40, and it was well-known at the time that the first 20 exams or so weren't really great as full length exams (but were fine for drilling). I probably used a lot of the 20s as sections or drill sets, and most of the 30s as full lengths. And that means I probably only took 10 or so full lengths total. But I did absolutely obscene review of what I worked on.

TL;DR - Quality review over PT quantity, my friend, always. :idea: :mrgreen:

ahri
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby ahri » Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:27 am

I got the 4 the edition logic games and in one of your drills is tripping me up.on page 53 you word a rule as " exactly two singers perform after s but before v" you diagram it as s_ _ v but shouldn't it be s_v.

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

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:36 pm

ahri wrote:I got the 4 the edition logic games and in one of your drills is tripping me up.on page 53 you word a rule as " exactly two singers perform after s but before v" you diagram it as s_ _ v but shouldn't it be s_v.


Hi there ahri! Thanks for asking!

This is a common question that comes up, and it's a really important thing to wrap your head around with ordering games early, as it's a rule type that does show up on a regular basis.

Since we need EXACTLY two singers in between s and v, we need two slots between them! If we only had a single slot, as you put above, we'd only have room for "exactly one singer" after s but before v.

Notice that this is very different from a rule that says that B must perform "two spots after" A. In that rule, "A _ B" would be correct. If A performs 2nd, "two spots after" that would be 4th!

In the example you raise, though, we need two singers in between them. So if s were 2nd, v would need to be 5th to allow for 3rd and 4th place to be the two singers after s, but before v.

The two rule types are similar, but fundamentally different in execution! What do you think?

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Motivator9
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Motivator9 » Sat Dec 27, 2014 8:19 am

Motivator9 wrote:Hey Manhattan experts,

I was wondering if you take a second to look at a question that is used in you LR book to demonstrate causal flaws that occur on the LSAT and how to tackle them. I believe the explanation in the book makes a mistake, one that I will try my best to demonstrate in my post. The question is PT 14, S 4, Q 18. I looked over the explanations on the forums and my question was not answered.

The argument talks about the whistling and minor accidents on small airplanes.

Conclusion: if passengers hear the pilot start to whistle, they should take take safety precautions.

WHY: according to government official last year, 75 percent of voice recorder takes taken from small airplanes involved in minor accidents record the whistling of the pilot 15 minutes prior to the accident.

Reasoning issues:

This is a terrible argument. One could point to minor issues, such as whether or not the voice recorders were on all of the airplanes that were involved in such accidents, but the major gap here is the causation issue. We don't know that the whistling ensured that the accidents were going to occur. Maybe it was the case, as your book suggests, that when the pilots get bored, they start whistling and get into accidents. That, however, would not mean that hearing whistling means that there will be an accident.

The correct answer choice here appears to be D. In the book, you guys write: "imagine that 75% of pilots just happen to always whistle while they fly. If that's the case, the author could'nt make the case that hearing whistling increases the likelihood of being in an accident." I agree, we do need D, but dont we need additional information as well!

Consider this:

1. 75% of time pilots whistle (per your hypo). Here, 75% of all flights involve the pilot whistling. What does this tell us? Absolutely nothing if we don't know what proportion of this are flights that resulted in minor accidents. Let's say all 75% percent of flights where the pilot whistles results in minor accidents. If that's the case, the author's conclusion is looking good. If only 1% of the 75% involves minor accidents, then that hurts the argument. However, all D tells us is what percentage we have whistling.

2. 50% of time pilots whistle. Here, we know that in half of all flights, the pilots whistle. Okay, so what. We still don't know anything about how many of these flights where the author whistles result in a minor accident. Let's say all of them do, that would be beneficial to the author. On the other hand let's say only 1% of this 50% percent are cases where there is a small accident, this would weaken the argument. However, we can't infer either of these choices through D alone.

3. 25% of time pilots whistle. Here we know that only in a quarter of all small airplane flights are pilots whistling. How does that help us? It dosent at all. It could be that all such cases occur when there is a minor accident. That is, all 25 percent of such flight's where the pilots whistle result in minor accident It's true than we would still have a stronger correlation here, but my point is that D, by itself, is insufficient.

Sorry for the redundancy but I really believe the LSAT made a mistake here. I know you probably might be thinking that D is still the best answer we have. However, the same issue arises in E, and it's just as good or just as bad as D, however way you want to look at it.

In the book, you guys write: "this answer choice is about the percentages of small airplane flights that involve minor accidents. Whether this percentage is .1% or 90%, it dosent impact the relationship between whistling and the likelihood of getting in an accident."

I would respectfully have to disagree.

Let me give you a similar hypo for E. Please bear with me.

1. 1% of flights result in minor accidents - Here, if we had 1000 flights, only 10 resulted in accidents. We can't make any kind of inference because we don't know the overall number of flights where the pilots whistled and there was an accident. If the pilot whistled in 1 percent of all flights, but it was that one percent where we had accidents, than the author's point is strengthened ( here there would be 7.5 cases where we had whistling and an accident, per the original premise). However, without the additional piece of evidence it's useless.

2. 99% of flights result in minor accidents - Here, if we had 1000 flights, 990 would have resulted in minor accidents. If we knew that 990 flights resulted in accidents, and of these 75 % (per the original premise) involved whistling, that would mean we had 742.5/1000 cases where there was whistling and a minor accident. That means 74% of the time when there was whistling there was an accident. This strengthens the argument without having the extra piece of information that we needed in the first example (knowing how many of the cases where we had whistling resulted in accidents).

THE POINT: My point here is not that the examples I gave strengthen the argument or provided more correlation to the causal claim; my point is that if we go based off why D is right, than E is just as good of an answer, IF NOT BETTER, due to the 99% example I just gave.

I hope you are still reading by now and that you understand my frustration with this problem. Can you please try to provide some clarity to this question. Isn't it inherently flawed by way of it's answer choices? How can D by itself be the correct answer choices if it requires more information, just as E does?



Bump

179orBust
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby 179orBust » Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:44 pm

On page 105 in the 3rd edition of the LR book, there is an assumption drill about bells and customers.
I negated the third assumption in that example and got the following: "The bell sometimes fails to ring when a customer enters the front door of the store." If that's true, then the conclusion is destroyed since one won't be able to accurately count the customers. I understand that it's a premise booster, but when you negate it, the argument falls apart. So why isn't it considered a NA?
Please let me know what I'm missing out on here. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Love the book so far!

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

Postby matt@manhattanlsat » Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:30 pm

Motivator9 wrote:Hey Manhattan experts,

I was wondering if you take a second to look at a question that is used in you LR book to demonstrate causal flaws that occur on the LSAT and how to tackle them. I believe the explanation in the book makes a mistake, one that I will try my best to demonstrate in my post. The question is PT 14, S 4, Q 18. I looked over the explanations on the forums and my question was not answered.
Motivator9 wrote:I hope you are still reading by now and that you understand my frustration with this problem. Can you please try to provide some clarity to this question. Isn't it inherently flawed by way of it's answer choices? How can D by itself be the correct answer choices if it requires more information, just as E does?


Hi Motivator9, the question you're discussing is one of my personal favorites, glad you brought it up!

I look at the reasoning structures in logical reasoning as belonging to one of three types: conditional logic, causation, and comparison. Sometimes the reasoning structures are exclusively one or the other and other times there may be a blend of two or more of them.

In this case, I see both causation and comparison, and the biggest issue here is comparison. What's being compared? Well there's a difference between the likelihood that a crash involves a whistling pilot and the likelihood that a whistling pilot will crash. The argument provides evidence that the likelihood of the former is high to support the conclusion that the likelihood of the latter is also high.

I like the way you looked at different scenarios, but rather than looking at the cases when 75%, 50%, and 25% of pilots whistle, lets look at 90%, 75%, and 60%.

1. 90% of pilots whistle: if this is the case, then whistling pilots are underrepresented in small airplane crashes. Whistling pilots are actually less likely to crash than non-whistling pilots.

2. 75% of pilots whistle: if this is the case, then whistling pilots are perfectly represented in small airplane crashes. Whistling and non-whistling pilots are equally likely to crash small airplanes.

3. 60% of pilots whistle: if this is the case, then whistling pilots are overrepresented in small airplane crashes. Whistling pilots are more likely to crash than non-whistling pilots.

Correct Answer
Answer choice (D) points out that we don't have information about what percentage of pilots whistle, which we'd need to know before we could say whether whistling pilots are more likely, less likely, or equally likely to crash a small airplane than non-whistling pilots.

Incorrect Answer
Answer choice (E) is out of scope. Even if we knew what percentage of flights were involved in minor accidents, we would still not know whether whistling pilots were more, less, or equally likely to be involved than non-whistling pilots.

Hope that helps!

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

Postby matt@manhattanlsat » Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:54 pm

179orBust wrote:On page 105 in the 3rd edition of the LR book, there is an assumption drill about bells and customers.
I negated the third assumption in that example and got the following: "The bell sometimes fails to ring when a customer enters the front door of the store." If that's true, then the conclusion is destroyed since one won't be able to accurately count the customers. I understand that it's a premise booster, but when you negate it, the argument falls apart. So why isn't it considered a NA?
Please let me know what I'm missing out on here. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Love the book so far!


Hi 179orBust,

This is tough stuff, but stick with it, it will eventually get more comfortable. I agree with you that negating the answer choice does suggest that the argument falls apart. But lets think about why that's the case. There are several possibilities, but both involve information that the argument needed. The question is whether the bell never failing to ring when a customer enters the door addresses stated (explicit) or assumed (implicit) information. In this case the premise stated that the bell rings whenever a customer entered Town Convenience, so the answer choice addresses stated information.

Remember that an assumption is by definition unstated within an argument. Since the answer choice addresses the truth of stated information, it does not address an assumption.

Finally, lets back up to look at why the negation test let you down. Keep in mind that unless the answer choice strengthens the argument (and information that supports a premise does not), the negation test should not be applied.

Hope that helps!

NonTradLawHopeful
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby NonTradLawHopeful » Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:59 am

Christine (MLSAT) wrote:Next thing to consider is that you don't want to have all the very most recent exams right.before.the.LSAT.

So, a possible PT schedule could look like this:

Week-----------PrepTests
Oct 5-----------PT71 (1 section from PT60)
Oct 12----------PT68 (1 section from PT60)
Oct 19----------PT72 (1 section from PT60)
Oct 26----------PT65 (1 section from PT60)
Nov 2-----------PT69, PT64 (2 sections each from PT56)
Nov 9-----------PT73, PT62 (2 sections each from PT57)
Nov 16----------PT67, PT61 (2 sections each from PT58)
Nov 23----------PT70, PT63 (2 sections each from PT59)
Nov 30----------PT66 (2 sections from PT55)

That would leave you PTs 47-half of 55 for either drilling or full sections. Do you have the earlier exams as drilling sets (the Cambridge 1-39 breakdown, etc)?

I would only recommend a PT schedule this intensive if you have *already done* a fair amount of drilling by question type up to this point. If you haven't, the game changes. Can you lay out what you've been doing so far in terms of drilling and analysis?


Why is it bad to take the most recent PTs before taking the exam for real?

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

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:11 pm

NonTradLawHopeful wrote:
Christine (MLSAT) wrote:Next thing to consider is that you don't want to have all the very most recent exams right.before.the.LSAT.

So, a possible PT schedule could look like this:

Week-----------PrepTests
Oct 5-----------PT71 (1 section from PT60)
Oct 12----------PT68 (1 section from PT60)
Oct 19----------PT72 (1 section from PT60)
Oct 26----------PT65 (1 section from PT60)
Nov 2-----------PT69, PT64 (2 sections each from PT56)
Nov 9-----------PT73, PT62 (2 sections each from PT57)
Nov 16----------PT67, PT61 (2 sections each from PT58)
Nov 23----------PT70, PT63 (2 sections each from PT59)
Nov 30----------PT66 (2 sections from PT55)

That would leave you PTs 47-half of 55 for either drilling or full sections. Do you have the earlier exams as drilling sets (the Cambridge 1-39 breakdown, etc)?

I would only recommend a PT schedule this intensive if you have *already done* a fair amount of drilling by question type up to this point. If you haven't, the game changes. Can you lay out what you've been doing so far in terms of drilling and analysis?


Why is it bad to take the most recent PTs before taking the exam for real?



Hey NonTradLawHopeful -

I think you might have misunderstood my comment above just a bit. I never said that it was bad to TAKE the most recent PTs before the real LSAT. :p

What's sub-optimal is to take the most recent PTs immediately before the real LSAT. Notice that in the sample schedule I outlined above (for prepping for the December 2014 exam), all the most recent exams are on the schedule, but they are not at the end of the schedule. Instead, the most recent ones are placed a wee bit earlier in the line up.

The reason that this is a good idea is that if there are any particularly sticky issues that pop up from the most recent exams, you want to give yourself enough time to fully explore those, and recover from any setbacks. Finding out a mere week before your LSAT that the most recent PT did something CRAZY that totally throws you off is not a great psychological place to be in. This is just an arrangement to give yourself some wiggle room to review the most recent material.

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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby ltowns1 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:59 am

Just curious, I was talking to someone who scored really well on test 73, and he basically said that the LR section was predicated on excellent elimination skils. (which I believe is absolutely true) you also tend to hear that some of the most recent preptests are harder in LR. I Think this is because students don't spend an adequate amount of time focusing on elimination skills. I just wanted to ask were there any earlier LR sections (as in earlier preptests) that focused primarily on elimination skills?

Side note: I'm on PT 24 currently.
Last edited by ltowns1 on Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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North
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby North » Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:06 pm

If you guys are interested in offering a prize for this year's rankings prediction contest, shoot me a PM. Here's this year's thread: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=243939. This is the third year I've put it on, and I'd like to continue the tradition of expanding the available prizes. In return for putting up prizes, you’ll get some pretty good exposure for your company in what is a perennially popular thread on TLS (last year’s thread had more than 25,150 page views – that’s more than almost any thread in the Professional’s forum) and also the goodwill of TLSers (I’ve been on this site for about 5 years, and people here love it when the people they ask for advice do this kind of stuff).

PM me if you're interested or have any questions.

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

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:14 pm

ltowns1 wrote:Just curious, I was talking to someone who scored really well on test 73, and he basically said that the LR section was predicated on excellent elimination skils. (which I believe is absolutely true) you also tend to hear that some of the most recent preptests are harder in LR. I Think this is because students don't spend an adequate amount of time focusing on elimination skills. I just wanted to ask were there any earlier LR sections (as in earlier preptests) that focused primarily on elimination skills?

Side note: I'm on PT 24 currently.


Hey ltowns1!

I know you posted this question quite awhile back, but it's a great question!

You're absolutely right that PT73 really pushed elimination skills to the limit on LR, and that worked really great for some people - and not so great for others! Too often, students focus on one set of skills to the exclusion of others. But one of the most important characteristics to hone for maximum LSAT improvement is flexibility.

The reality is that every LR question can be answered in two different ways: by proactively noticing and understanding the disconnect of an argument, and seeking something that touches on that disconnect in the right way, or by eliminating all the definitively incorrect answers for clear cut reasons. In other words, by predicting/ballparking the right answer or by killing off the bad ones.

Let me re-stress that: both mechanisms are available on every.single.LR.question. Now, sometimes one of the mechanisms is far easier than the other - like on PT 73. So, obviously, you want to be able to quickly switch gears on test day and use the one that's most beneficial. But you don't need to go find another PT like PT 73 to do that.

Since every LR question can be tackled in either way, you could force yourself to attack using elimination skills instead of prediction as an exercise. In fact, I would argue that the eliminations on PT73 weren't, on average, harder than eliminations on other exams. It's just that the right answers were far harder to predict/justify/understand, and people were forced to engage in elimination as a sole or primary solution mechanism, when they'd never or rarely done that before.

If the gap is easy to identify, and the correct answer is easy to predict, we get really really lazy, and let ourselves off the hook with regard to to the other answers. We justify why (D) is wrong as "well, it just seems off, and (A) is so much prettier". Other PTs haven't lacked in elimination possibilities - students just don't make use of them, typically, because they find the path of least resistance and don't dig deeper!

I'm not sure if any other PT has quite the same flavor as PT73, but I don't think that would be the best way to hone your elimination skills anyway. Instead, you should go back over LR questions that you've done (drilling, timed sections, full length PTs, anything) and get intimate. Go through every question articulating precisely what it is that makes each answer choice wrong. Never let yourself off the hook with things like "the right answer is better", or vague concepts like "it's out of scope". Each wrong answer is wrong, for a specific reason, not just 'not as good as the right answer', and if something is "out of scope", there's a specific item/word/phrase that makes it so!

Remember, when we select an incorrect answer, we're doing TWO SEPARATE incorrect things: we are incorrectly rejecting the right answer (perhaps we misunderstood the argument's disconnect?), and TOTALLY SEPARATELY we are accepting an answer that is definitively incorrect in some way. While this reality may have been more obvious on PT73, it's still present on every single LR question ever.

If you have the self-discipline to force yourself to use elimination even when there's an attractive answer choice staring you in the face, then you have over 70 useful PTs to choose from to test and hone your skills. :mrgreen: And this will benefit you on any LR section in the future - not just ones like PT73.

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

Postby Christine (MLSAT) » Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:19 pm

Hey guys!

I've been a bit off the radar for a little while, for personal reasons. (I got engaged! And I'm planning a wedding! And it's on a super short timeline! AAAACK!! Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!!)

But I'm back in the swing of things now! I'll be poking my nose into your business all over, if I think I can help 8) , and you can always post a question here or PM me.

Happy studying to all! With less than 6 weeks to go, it's starting to feel real, isn't it?

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ltowns1
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby ltowns1 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:55 pm

Christine (MLSAT) wrote:
ltowns1 wrote:Just curious, I was talking to someone who scored really well on test 73, and he basically said that the LR section was predicated on excellent elimination skils. (which I believe is absolutely true) you also tend to hear that some of the most recent preptests are harder in LR. I Think this is because students don't spend an adequate amount of time focusing on elimination skills. I just wanted to ask were there any earlier LR sections (as in earlier preptests) that focused primarily on elimination skills?

Side note: I'm on PT 24 currently.


Hey ltowns1!

I know you posted this question quite awhile back, but it's a great question!

You're absolutely right that PT73 really pushed elimination skills to the limit on LR, and that worked really great for some people - and not so great for others! Too often, students focus on one set of skills to the exclusion of others. But one of the most important characteristics to hone for maximum LSAT improvement is flexibility.

The reality is that every LR question can be answered in two different ways: by proactively noticing and understanding the disconnect of an argument, and seeking something that touches on that disconnect in the right way, or by eliminating all the definitively incorrect answers for clear cut reasons. In other words, by predicting/ballparking the right answer or by killing off the bad ones.

Let me re-stress that: both mechanisms are available on every.single.LR.question. Now, sometimes one of the mechanisms is far easier than the other - like on PT 73. So, obviously, you want to be able to quickly switch gears on test day and use the one that's most beneficial. But you don't need to go find another PT like PT 73 to do that.

Since every LR question can be tackled in either way, you could force yourself to attack using elimination skills instead of prediction as an exercise. In fact, I would argue that the eliminations on PT73 weren't, on average, harder than eliminations on other exams. It's just that the right answers were far harder to predict/justify/understand, and people were forced to engage in elimination as a sole or primary solution mechanism, when they'd never or rarely done that before.

If the gap is easy to identify, and the correct answer is easy to predict, we get really really lazy, and let ourselves off the hook with regard to to the other answers. We justify why (D) is wrong as "well, it just seems off, and (A) is so much prettier". Other PTs haven't lacked in elimination possibilities - students just don't make use of them, typically, because they find the path of least resistance and don't dig deeper!

I'm not sure if any other PT has quite the same flavor as PT73, but I don't think that would be the best way to hone your elimination skills anyway. Instead, you should go back over LR questions that you've done (drilling, timed sections, full length PTs, anything) and get intimate. Go through every question articulating precisely what it is that makes each answer choice wrong. Never let yourself off the hook with things like "the right answer is better", or vague concepts like "it's out of scope". Each wrong answer is wrong, for a specific reason, not just 'not as good as the right answer', and if something is "out of scope", there's a specific item/word/phrase that makes it so!

Remember, when we select an incorrect answer, we're doing TWO SEPARATE incorrect things: we are incorrectly rejecting the right answer (perhaps we misunderstood the argument's disconnect?), and TOTALLY SEPARATELY we are accepting an answer that is definitively incorrect in some way. While this reality may have been more obvious on PT73, it's still present on every single LR question ever.

If you have the self-discipline to force yourself to use elimination even when there's an attractive answer choice staring you in the face, then you have over 70 useful PTs to choose from to test and hone your skills. :mrgreen: And this will benefit you on any LR section in the future - not just ones like PT73.


Thanks Christine, and congratulations on your marriage!

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flash21
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby flash21 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:55 pm

Hi Christine,

Anyway- -- my question is about how often I should be PT'ing. I wrote in December got a 157, truly bombed reading comp (-11) so I'll be working on that a lot. Had a bit of anxiety on games too, missed the first three questions of LG on some very easy questions, -8 ultimately. LR went as usual which was -6 on both. Was also in the midst of undergraduate exams. There! You heard all my excuses. Anyway I'm digressing a bit but honestly I want you to know what factors were going on. Additionally, I was unable to study for the LSAT as much as I wanted to in the few weeks leading up and could definitely see the difference in my LSAT scores - the reason being I was in the midst of exams for undergraduate which took up a ton of my time unfortunately.

you helped me quite a lot on my last write which was the first time I wrote and I think you said one should always be PT'ing? Unless I'm thinking of someone else. But if I don't get into law school this year (I live in Canada), I'll re-write the LSAT as I'm all done undergraduate now. So I've got a little over 5 months, and I've only been drilling as of now, really focusing my efforts on reviewing thoroughly, I feel like thats where I could have done better along with drilling RC waaaaaay more.

Sorry for the rant, but would really appreciate the help.

PS, congratulations on your marriage!!


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