Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

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

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:10 pm

Hi everyone I have been studying for a retake using the Manhattan guides and have also been drilling my biggest weaknesses ( flaw and assumption )

I have been reviewing several PTs i have taken and my score is typically -10 avg on LR ultimately getting around 152/153. I would like to improve my score to at least 162. to do so I need go improve LR as my LG and RC have improved thanks to Manhattan.

I've been drilling flaw and assumption q's but when taking LR timed im missing 7 or 8 flaw and assumption questions that I personally know that i can get right if I was drilling untimed. I usually elim to 2 contendors and pick the wrong one.

I was wondering how to improve LR timed. do you guys improve just by drilling problems or is there a habit you guys develop , or strategy you use? if I can improve this section timed it would help massively in achieving my goal. when reviewing I can easily see my mistake and why I got it wrong, early diagnosis says that it may partially be due to short time left since traditionally I always get first ten right and majority of my wrong answers fall between 15 and 23

Here are a few ideas for you:

1. Work on speeding up on those first ten that you're getting right. In general, you earn time for tough questions by moving quickly through the easy questions and cutting bait quickly on the impossible ones. Your goal is that when you review your wrong answers you find yourself thinking "wow, that is a tough one!" - instead of "if I could have just had more than 50 seconds, I could have gotten that..."

So, for that, I'd pull up a bunch of old LSATs and do first 15 question drills -- can you do them in 18 minutes? Yes? So, can you do them in 16 minutes, and so on.

One other note on this, while wrong-to-right is the general approach you should take with most LR and RC questions, if time is the issue, experiment with pulling the trigger early on the easier questions--see if you can maintain your accuracy.

2. Figure out where you're spending your time where you don't need to. Some folks don't spend enough time understanding the stimulus, and then end up having to do that as they spin their wheels on answer choices. Some folks dawdle on confusing answer choices instead of deferring judgment. Identifying this can be difficult (this is one of those places that a teacher/tutor can help), but the way to do it is to think of your process as a series of steps, (though many of these start to happen simultaneously at times): 1) read the stem 2) read the stimulus 3) identify conclusion 4) identify premise 5) identify gap/how you'd debate it 6) first pass through answers 7) second pass. Then, start noticing where you time gets spent and whether the work there is effective.

3. When you're down to two answers, remind yourself of the basics of the core and use that more than you use a comparison of the two answers. Often folks forget their basic job or forget the usual wrong answer characteristics at that point. I wrote a blog post about all of this a while back: http://www.manhattanlsat.com/blog/2010/ ... /#more-543

I hope that's helpful

dkb17xzx
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby dkb17xzx » Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:03 am

Hey Noah,

PT 42, Section 4, Q. 21:

Can we look at that particular statement (recent research described only in esoteric terms) as an assumption? This is what I was thinking:

Premise: Principia understood only by few at the time before but now worldwide understanding.

Intermediate Conclusion: This shows barriers impermeable.

Conclusion: RECENT research may also become part of heritage.

It's making use of Principia to reach the conclusion about recent research. What we need to show is that these are somehow related. How are they related? Well, the language used is esoteric (hard to understand by people at the present).

I initially picked A. Reviewing it right now and I see why D is the correct answer if we view it from an assumption perspective.

Thanks

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

Postby matt@manhattanlsat » Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:19 pm

Hi dkb17xzx! I'll take your question if that's all right.
dkb17xzx wrote:Can we look at that particular statement (recent research described only in esoteric terms) as an assumption?

What's an assumption? An assumption is an unstated idea upon which an argument rests. Premises are stated support for the conclusion. Assumptions are unstated support for the conclusion. So the claim that most recent scientific research can be described only in esoteric terms should be identified as a premise.

Here's the argument:

1st Premise: A basic understanding of the ideas in Isaac Newton's Principia, which was hard to understand initially, spread throughout the world.

Intermediate Conclusion: Barriers to communication are not impermeable.

2nd Premise: Recent scientific research is hard to understand.

Main Conclusion: Recent scientific research may also be understood by the public in the future.

The 2nd premise draws a connection between recent scientific research and the ideas in Isaac Newton's Principia - best expressed in answer choice (D).

Incorrect Answers
(A) claims that the truth of the statement was called into question by preceding statements which does not happen.
(B) starts off great, but falls off a cliff at the end. There is no suggestion in the argument that the results in recent scientific research are only superficially different. This connection is stronger than that suggested in the argument.
(C) suggests this claim supports the intermediate conclusion. This claim, however, is used in conjunction with the intermediate conclusion, but does not support it.
(E) contradicts the argument. The claim draws a similarity between recent scientific research and Newton's Principia. It does not cast doubt on such a connection.

lsatkid007
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby lsatkid007 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:37 pm

Hey Guys
I am currently using the 2nd E of the LG guide. Which chapter shows strategy on grouping-matching games?

thanks

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

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:32 am

lsatkid007 wrote:Hey Guys
I am currently using the 2nd E of the LG guide. Which chapter shows strategy on grouping-matching games?

thanks

In the 2nd edition, binary grouping (in/out) are in chapter 6, and open and closed grouping are in chapters 7 and 8, respectively.

In the 3rd edition, we renamed binary grouping "conditional grouping", and it's in chapter 10, and the rest of the grouping games are in chapters 11-13 (basic-aka closed, open, and 3D). Hybrids are in chapter 14. I think the 2nd edition is strong, but the 3rd edition is a step up, and has solutions to all the games from PT40-66.

Theopliske8711
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby Theopliske8711 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:29 pm

What would you say differentiates the difficult logical reasoning from the easier-medium logical reasoning questions? What should be considered when doing the top difficulty ones? I find myself doing exceptionally well on the easy to medium, but I feel like I am missing something when doing the tough questions.

lsatkid007
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby lsatkid007 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:23 pm

Hey Team Manhattan
While doing a RC passages when encountered by more than 1 theory, hypothesis etc should I know and understand everything thing about the the theory or hypo. I am currently finding my self getting lost when there's more than 1 theory and it goes into detail. For example if a theory or hypo talks about annual air temp decreases by one degree and how that happened and what's the result of that decrease and then who and how was one effected with that result. I am sure you get the point. It's fine to follow one theory in that detail but when you get two or more it gets confusing. I know I could try and list the characteristic of the theory on the side (MRC scale) but I still get lost and it takes up too much time. Any tips on deal with this. Oh, and I love your blog on the RC section.

thanks
Lsatkid007

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

Postby matt@manhattanlsat » Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:34 pm

Theopliske8711 wrote:What would you say differentiates the difficult logical reasoning from the easier-medium logical reasoning questions? What should be considered when doing the top difficulty ones? I find myself doing exceptionally well on the easy to medium, but I feel like I am missing something when doing the tough questions.

There are many ways that the LSAC can increase the difficulty of LR questions. The most common is that the question can present some conceptual idead such as conditional logic or percentages/amounts. To help with this learn which question types feature which conceptual issues, which language cues imply which conceptual issue, and how to approach each one in the various question types.

Alos, be on the lookout for multiple gaps in the reasoning of an argument. Sometimes the most obvious gap is represented in an answer choice, though the choice is manipulated to make it incorrect - it looks right, but it is wrong. Another answer choice may address a less obvious gap, but do so in a way that correctly answers the question.

Finally, the topic can impact your understanding. When the question discusses mayoral elections, most people do not struggle so much, but when the question discusses endosymbiosis, it's another story. When the topic no longer familiar, you become dependent on understanding the logic and your intuition ceases to support your reasoning.

Look out for questions 9-13(ish) and 17-23(ish), there is a tendency to have these two areas push the difficulty level.

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

Postby matt@manhattanlsat » Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:02 pm

Theopliske8711 wrote:While doing a RC passages when encountered by more than 1 theory, hypothesis etc should I know and understand everything thing about the the theory or hypo.

The short answer to your question is no. We recommend that you reach for the big picture. Since you're familiar with our blog discussions of RC, you're familiar with our focus on the Scale and Passage Map. We leave the passage with an understanding of the important information and it's purpose in the passage. We define important information as the central arguments being advanced, the proponents advancing those positions, and the "critical" evidence (try not to get caught up in more than two or three things that represent evidence, stay big). After reading for the Scale, pause at the end of each paragraph (for 5 seconds or so) and ask yourself how that paragraph fits in with the purpose of the contents in other paragraphs. The reason to focus on the Scale and the Passage Map is that the majority of questions will ask you about this information. There will still be a question here and there for which you find yourself scanning for a detail you did not hold on to, but that's better than spending a ton of time holding on to detail after detail, only to have most of them ignored in the questions.

Just like in LG, good organization and some time spent up front will save you tremendous amounts of time as you move through the questions.

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

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:09 pm

A friendly reminder for anyone that signed up for tomorrow's review of PT 67 - we're excited to geek out.

And, Matt and I are open to any questions...

ready4180
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby ready4180 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:46 pm

This is a more specific question but could you should be how the answer to PT24-S2-Q4 is C? I couldn't find an explanation on the Manhattan LSAT LR Forum. Thanks!

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

Postby matt@manhattanlsat » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:11 pm

Happy to help with PT24, S2, Q4:

This question asks us to find the answer choice that does not offer support for the argument. 4 of the 5 answer choices will support it, the one that doesn't is correct.

The argument concludes that the key to quitting smoking is to replace an unhealthy activity with a healthy one. Why does the author believe this to be the case? First, quitting smoking is stressful and leads to weight gain, so it's difficult to do. Second, in a study, a comparison was made that showed a higher success rate for those who tried to quit smoking and included aerobic exercise than those who only tried to quit smoking.

Incorrect Answers
(A) provides support through the first premise by suggesting that one of the factors that makes quitting smoking difficult (weight gain) is mitigated by aerobic exercise.
(B) provides support through the second premise by helping to reduce the likelihood that the study was biased.
(D) provides support through the first premise by suggesting that another factor that makes quitting smoking (stress) is mitigated by aerobic exercise.
(E) provides support through the second premise by showing that the effects of aerobic exercise were not temporary - remember the conclusion is about quitting smoking (a permanent change).

This leaves answer choice (C) as the correct answer. Answer choice (C) might actually weaken the argument. If nonsmokers (lets say folks who have quit smoking) do not gain weight when they stop exercising, this severs the connection between the healthy activity and one of the issues that would make quitting smoking so difficult. If exercise does not prevent weight gain, how is it that exercise helps people quit smoking?

ready4180
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby ready4180 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:24 pm

Thanks so much! This definitely helped.

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JDndMSW
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby JDndMSW » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:39 pm

Hey sooo I just purchased all 3 of your books from Barnes and Noble and I am trying to figure out how best to use them. I'm doing a disaster relief program for the entire time I will be studying so studying will be wherever I can fit it in with my schedule. I took a in class Blueprint course before Oct'11 test. I definitely think I can improve since I did not do much of the homework. Anyways what. I am really asking is how to best utilize the books. Should I do one at a time or mix them up? I haven't looked at any LSAT material in almost a year but RC was my weakness before. Thanks for any input. Sorry for rambling I'm tired.

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BlaqBella
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby BlaqBella » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:40 pm

"if and only if" v. "if but only if"...is there a difference? My instructor said there is with "if and only if" introducing just the necessary while "if but only if" introduces both the necessary and sufficient. Other prep companies state there is no such difference. What is the right approach??????

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

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:42 am

JDndMSW wrote:Hey sooo I just purchased all 3 of your books from Barnes and Noble and I am trying to figure out how best to use them. I'm doing a disaster relief program for the entire time I will be studying so studying will be wherever I can fit it in with my schedule. I took a in class Blueprint course before Oct'11 test. I definitely think I can improve since I did not do much of the homework. Anyways what. I am really asking is how to best utilize the books. Should I do one at a time or mix them up? I haven't looked at any LSAT material in almost a year but RC was my weakness before. Thanks for any input. Sorry for rambling I'm tired.

Sorry for the delay - I was away for a long weekend with no internet connection.

The overarching story is that you want to learn a strategy for a question type, practice it with a concentrated set of questions of that type, and then mix in full practice tests. We recommend you move along with each book at the same time. I think the things you learn about each section, particularly LR and RC, help you develop your skills with the other sections.

If you're shooting for December, you'll need to identify your weaknesses and focus more on those. If you're shooting for Feb or later, you can do a more comprehensive program.

Either way, shoot me a pm with your e-mail and I'll pass you a syllabus to use, and we can discuss how to tailor it (it's designed for easy tailoring).

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

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:43 am

BlaqBella wrote:"if and only if" v. "if but only if"...is there a difference? My instructor said there is with "if and only if" introducing just the necessary while "if but only if" introduces both the necessary and sufficient. Other prep companies state there is no such difference. What is the right approach??????

No difference. (which irks me, as I have a really annoying pet peeve about people saying "but" when they mean "and")

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BlaqBella
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby BlaqBella » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:08 pm

Manhattan LSAT Noah wrote:
BlaqBella wrote:"if and only if" v. "if but only if"...is there a difference? My instructor said there is with "if and only if" introducing just the necessary while "if but only if" introduces both the necessary and sufficient. Other prep companies state there is no such difference. What is the right approach??????

No difference. (which irks me, as I have a really annoying pet peeve about people saying "but" when they mean "and")


Thanks Noah! I am gravely disappointed in my instructor who is disseminating such wrong information. :(

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hallbd16
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby hallbd16 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:28 am

I was wondering about the response by the last person, Goriano, on this Manhatton LR forum thread: PT 58 S.4 Q.18. They brought up an interesting point that to me seems to indicate a second flaw in the stimulus. Can someone correct my reasoning.

http://www.manhattanlsat.com/forums/q18 ... 8230a0a780

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

Postby matt@manhattanlsat » Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:19 pm

Hi hallbd16! I've posted a response to Goriano's question and copied it here for you as well:

goriano wrote:
I have a question about this explanation for (D). Doesn't (D) describe a gap in reasoning between evidence and the main conclusion? You cited one of the pieces of evidence (majority of students disapprove) but you left out the part about the union not effectively pursuing graduate interests, which too is a piece of evidence.
----------------------------------------------------
Good question Goriano! The problem is that the fact that the union might not effectively pursue graduate interests is not a premise that supports the main conclusion. Instead it supports the intermediate conclusion that the students disapprove of the attempt to union. The intermediate conclusion is then used to support the main conclusion that the students should not unionize. When we're looking to describe an error of reasoning we need to ask ourselves, what are they trying to prove? And why do they say it's true?

The argument does not say that because the union might not pursue graduate interests the students should not unionize. Instead it tries to establish that most students disapprove of unionizing. Why? Because most students are unaware of the attempts to unionize and that those students who are aware believe that it will not effectively represent their interests. The problem here is that just because most students are unaware that does not mean that they disapprove.

The main conclusion is that students should not unionize. Why? Because most students disapprove of unionizing. This argument is not so bad. If it were true that most students disapprove of unionizing the claim that the students should not unionize would actually be quite strong.

So the gap in the reasoning is not between that the union might not effectively lobby for the students and the students should not unionize. This is not the reason the argument puts forward for the main conclusion.

Hope that helps!

Check out the full discussion here:

http://www.manhattanlsat.com/forums/q18 ... 5677d7bbc0

lsatkid007
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby lsatkid007 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:38 pm

Hey Manhattan crew
When is Mike Kim going to post again?

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

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:03 pm

lsatkid007 wrote:Hey Manhattan crew
When is Mike Kim going to post again?

Mike's an enigma wrapped in a conundrum. :)

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BlaqBella
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Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Postby BlaqBella » Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:13 pm

Parallel flaw v. Parallel reasoning

Many advise that in parallel reasoning we can play a matching game, where we match how a conclusion or premise(s) are worded (ie if the stimulus' conclusion uses a qualifier/quantifier, we should look for a similar qualifier/quantifier in the conclusion in an answer choice).

Does matching apply in parallel flaws? Or is the sole task to match the flawed reasoning(s)?

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

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:31 pm

BlaqBella wrote:Parallel flaw v. Parallel reasoning

Many advise that in parallel reasoning we can play a matching game, where we match how a conclusion or premise(s) are worded (ie if the stimulus' conclusion uses a qualifier/quantifier, we should look for a similar qualifier/quantifier in the conclusion in an answer choice).

Does matching apply in parallel flaws? Or is the sole task to match the flawed reasoning(s)?

I find conclusion and premises mismatches often works nicely in parallel flaws as well, especially when you're down to two answers, but you also want to know the flaw. The third type of mismatch is a linkage mismatch, and that's basically a flaw mismatch.

I believe that stronger test-takers think of their approach less like a program and more like an arsenal of weapons they can use to destroy a building that poses various challenges. Use your weapons concurrently (like Rambo, holding both a machine gun AND a flame thrower) and use whatever makes sense in the moment.

Do a set of questions with that mind-set and tell me how it goes.

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

Postby Manhattan LSAT Noah » Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:18 pm

I think at this point most folks that were eager to figure out the PT67 games have done so and looked at some of the slick solutions that some other LSAT teachers have posted. But since we provide the solutions to every LSAT from PT40 on in our new LG book, we'll add any new solutions to our forums since we can't go and staple in new pages into your book (I asked our IT department, the issue is something about staples not fitting through my dial-up connection).

Here's the root forum for those: http://www.manhattanlsat.com/forums/pre ... -f980.html

For any of our students looking at this thread, PT67 is now up in your student center for download.


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