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Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:09 pm
by Manhattan LSAT Noah
Since a lot of folks here are now studying with our books and self-study programs, Matt and I figured we’d start a thread to answer any questions that come up that you’d like to hear our specific take on. Come on in…

Let's talk LSAT!

(non-MLSAT geeks are welcome to ask and answer questions too)

Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:01 pm
by lsatim
I've got a question. I've been working through the LR guide and I've had some problems with formal logic specifically in sufficient assumption questions. I've completed the chapter on it, but I often cannot translate that into questions. I can diagram the AC's in formal logic and the stimulus but have trouble looking at the two and recognizing the gap in terms of formal logic. Any remedy you can recommend?

Thanks

Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:06 pm
by Theopliske8711
Yea, I feel like I have very nearly grasped nec. vs. suff. but it always seems to elude me by just a little.

Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:10 pm
by matt@manhattanlsat
Hi lsatim! Noah and I will be helping each other out in this thread. Here's my suggestion. You can try a couple of approaches to finding the answer choice that represents the correct gap in the argument.

First, you could try plugging in the answer choice with the evidence and see if following the chain of conditional logic would permit the conclusion to be drawn.

For example, you have as evidence:

F --> G
H --> K

And you need to draw the conclusion:

H --> ~F

You diagram the answer choices and decide it's really a choice between (A) and (D):

(A) K --> ~G
(D) ~K --> G

If you plug in the assumptions, you'll find that only one of those assumptions completes the chain of reasoning and allows the conclusion H --> ~F to be drawn.

The other approach is to solve ahead. Arrange the premises such that if you have either the trigger of the conclusion, the outcome of the conclusion, or both, you line them up. With the preceding example it'd look like this:

H --> K

~G --> ~F
---------
H --> ~F

This makes it easier to see the gap as K --> ~G and then you can search for it or its conrapositive in the answer choices. Hope that helps!

Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:44 pm
by Manhattan LSAT Noah
Theopliske8711 wrote:Yea, I feel like I have very nearly grasped nec. vs. suff. but it always seems to elude me by just a little.

The big idea you need to grasp here is that a sufficient assumption will 100% definitely get you from the premises you're given to the conclusion. So, if you're using formal logic for one of these questions, then when you add in the correct answer, you'll lead definitively to the conclusion. If it's a question that doesn't warrant diagramming, your mind should think "hey, this argument totally makes sense now and is air-tight!"

With necessary assumptions--which are less often questions you'll want to diagram--the assumption is something that has to be true for the argument to work, but that assumption alone doesn't 100% definitely get you to the conclusion. (If it's both necessary and sufficient, it will though.) One big move you need to master here is negating a necessary assumption. Think about it like a bridge. If I were to tell you that a certain support is necessary for a bridge to stand, you could test if it's really necessary by removing it. Similarly, if an assumption is truly necessary, if you remove it (negate it), then there should be no way to get from the premises to the argument.

Two things to also chew on:

1. A necessary assumption can sometimes feel out of scope -- the rattlesnake question is a great example of this -- because it can be some possible issue in the argument that needs to be dealt with. Imagine you said "The Broncos have Manning, so they'll definitely win the Super Bowl" and some snot-nosed kid walks up and says "well, you need to assume that there's even going to be a super bowl this year, perhaps there'll be a strike, or the earth will evaporate." So true, little snot-nosed child, but very annoying, and definitely seems out of scope at first. These necessary assumptions can be hard to predict.

Sufficient assumptions should be straight up about the topic, and are usually easily predicted. Negating these suff. assumptions might not make the conclusion impossible to reach from the premises.

2. Assumptions are not about making the conclusion true, it's about making the argument true. Keep this in your mind, as it helps to eliminate answers that support the conclusion, but don't get us from the given premise(s) to the conclusion.

So, for example, if we say "All men are mortal, therefore Socrates is mortal," an answer to an assumption (or strengthen) question would not be "Socrates knows Greek, and all those who know Greek are mortal." That doesn't get you from the given premise to the conclusion.

Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:00 pm
by desiballa21
Purchased your LR guide the other night! Previously used Velocity and while I made significant gains, I have heard yours can bring me to where I need to be! Looking forward to posting in here during the next month or so!

Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:47 pm
by patienunderstanding
Me too, just got the LR and RC guides. Will certainly use this thread. :D

Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:32 am
by desiballa21
Is there any real difference b/w the 2nd and 3rd editions? I'm looking to get started this week on re-prepping for December and on Amazon the 3rd edition doesn't release 'til the 23rd. Any real reason to hold out 'til then? Would rather get started sooner rather than later.

Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:42 am
by togepi
I'm interested in using the guide for the December administration. However, I live in South Korea. Are there any ways around to purchasing the e-book formats and printing them? They're reasonably priced either way, but I didn't want to wait for shipping since the test is only two months away.

Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:01 am
by Manhattan LSAT Noah
desiballa21 wrote:Is there any real difference b/w the 2nd and 3rd editions? I'm looking to get started this week on re-prepping for December and on Amazon the 3rd edition doesn't release 'til the 23rd. Any real reason to hold out 'til then? Would rather get started sooner rather than later.

RC and LR just got cleaned up for typos and whatnot. The 3rd edition LG guide represents a pretty big step up from the 2nd. Most of the strategies are the same, but we went deeper into a lot of stuff, and added a lot more resources.

We'll start selling them a bit earlier than Amazon -- we'll actually start on the 15th.

But, if you start with our 2nd ed. LG, you won't learn anything that is contradicted, it's just that when you get the 3rd edition, you'll add a lot more to it. And, as earlier posts mention, if you buy 2nd edition, we'll swap out your LG book for free. But, frankly, I'd just wait a few days to avoid the hassle and the typos.

Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:06 am
by Manhattan LSAT Noah
togepi wrote:I'm interested in using the guide for the December administration. However, I live in South Korea. Are there any ways around to purchasing the e-book formats and printing them? They're reasonably priced either way, but I didn't want to wait for shipping since the test is only two months away.

The production team is working on the e-book version--I'll re-post when I get an eta on that. Usually it's pretty soon after we start selling the print version.

But, if the price is reasonable for print books, I'd go with them now and not wait -- people seem to learn better using print books anyway (though I notice you plan to print, a smart move). Someone in china pm'ed me and said that amazon china (amazon.cn) has our books already. Perhaps that's a better option for you? I just checked, and for some reason I don't know what this means:

Manhattan LSAT Set of 3 Strategy Guides, 3rd Edition Manhattan LSAT Manhattan Prep Publishing (2012-10出版)
平装:¥803.00 ¥511.00
预售商品:暂无上市时间,可预先订购。
用货到付款方式购买,即可参与预售低价保护 查看详细资料

but, it seems promising.

Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:10 am
by Manhattan LSAT Noah
desiballa21 wrote:Purchased your LR guide the other night! Previously used Velocity and while I made significant gains, I have heard yours can bring me to where I need to be! Looking forward to posting in here during the next month or so!


patienunderstanding wrote:Me too, just got the LR and RC guides. Will certainly use this thread. :D


Image

Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:45 am
by Theopliske8711
Hey, Noah, I sent an email last night to the student services. I ordered the LG book on amazon, what would be the best thing to provide as a receipt for the order? Also, when should I expect to hear back?

Thanks!

Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:59 am
by Manhattan LSAT Noah
Theopliske8711 wrote:Hey, Noah, I sent an email last night to the student services. I ordered the LG book on amazon, what would be the best thing to provide as a receipt for the order? Also, when should I expect to hear back?

Thanks!

You should e-mail them the e-mail receipt you received from Amazon (or, print the amazon receipt by going into your amazon account, scan, cute pdf, etc.). Don't worry if it take a bit of time for them to process it, they're swamped with book switch issues. If you haven't heard confirmation by Monday, ping me and I'll inquire for you. They won't ship out until Tues. anyway.

Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:50 pm
by Fianna13
Manhattan LSAT Noah wrote:
togepi wrote:I'm interested in using the guide for the December administration. However, I live in South Korea. Are there any ways around to purchasing the e-book formats and printing them? They're reasonably priced either way, but I didn't want to wait for shipping since the test is only two months away.

The production team is working on the e-book version--I'll re-post when I get an eta on that. Usually it's pretty soon after we start selling the print version.

But, if the price is reasonable for print books, I'd go with them now and not wait -- people seem to learn better using print books anyway (though I notice you plan to print, a smart move). Someone in china pm'ed me and said that amazon china (amazon.cn) has our books already. Perhaps that's a better option for you? I just checked, and for some reason I don't know what this means:

Manhattan LSAT Set of 3 Strategy Guides, 3rd Edition Manhattan LSAT Manhattan Prep Publishing (2012-10出版)
平装:¥803.00 ¥511.00
预售商品:暂无上市时间,可预先订购。
用货到付款方式购买,即可参与预售低价保护 查看详细资料

but, it seems promising.


it actually says the product is not currently available in market, but you could pre-order. then blah, blah, blah ( I couldn't read the rest of the stuff, but hey, I got the important part of the message down).

Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:51 pm
by bobbypin
Noah, is there some trick to printing the e-book version? A week or two ago, I purchased the LR book from your website and opened it on Adobe. But the print button is greyed out.

Thanks!

Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:47 am
by A.Taarabt7
am i able to swap e books? iliterally juat bought the lg book today i still have the receipt from amazon

Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:27 am
by Manhattan LSAT Noah
bobbypin wrote:Noah, is there some trick to printing the e-book version? A week or two ago, I purchased the LR book from your website and opened it on Adobe. But the print button is greyed out.

Thanks!

I'm not sure - I'm an LSAT geek, not a tech one.

I'll put you in touch with the other flavor of geeks.

Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:28 am
by Manhattan LSAT Noah
A.Taarabt7 wrote:am i able to swap e books? iliterally juat bought the lg book today i still have the receipt from amazon

I'm not sure. Shoot studentservices@manhattanlsat.com an e-mail.

Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:31 am
by Theopliske8711
Noah,

I asked this in another topic but I'd like to get your take:

It terms of a weekly basis, how did you go about a plan of attack? I am doing the Manhattan LR + The Cambridge, but there are simply too many questions and I feel that I have ignored some logic games and reading comps as a result. How do you space out the days? What would you recommend?

Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:00 pm
by Manhattan LSAT Noah
Theopliske8711 wrote:Noah,

I asked this in another topic but I'd like to get your take:

It terms of a weekly basis, how did you go about a plan of attack? I am doing the Manhattan LR + The Cambridge, but there are simply too many questions and I feel that I have ignored some logic games and reading comps as a result. How do you space out the days? What would you recommend?

The easy answer is that if you have one of our books, you can download our self-study syllabus and follow that (and if you reach out to me, I can help you adapt it if needed).

In general, the number one mistake I see self-studyers do is do too many LSATs in the beginning, and not enough at the end. There's no point in reinforcing bad strategies in the beginning, and in the final stretch, your improvements are usually 1-2 points per test on average, so you need to log the miles.

For where you're at, the general plan should be to learn a strategy, practice it with some drills, and then throw that into the mix (mixed sets or full LSATs). In terms of how many questions should be in that drill, that's hard to say. I'd say move on when 75% of them seem routine. It's nice to have some focused strategy sets undone for touch-ups later. In terms of leaving out LG and RC, if you're already where you want to be with those sections, then hitting them once a week should be fine. If you need to eek out a question or two more in either, do twice that much. If want to make serious gains, then you have to do what I'm suggesting for your LR work: learn strategies, practice in drills, add to the mix. Except for those that are naturally-gifted at standardized tests, it's hard to make real improvements without practicing a strategy because otherwise you're just exercising your brain (which helps, but doesn't provide a structure for your brain to work with).

Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:07 pm
by Theopliske8711
I typically take a test a week, I'll do more later on but I work full time and don't want to waste a test on a weekday, when my concentration is nowhere near up to par. I know some recommend doing tests in bad condition, but I personally find that to be very distracting; I doubt concentration will be much of an issue during the LSAT for most since adrenalin would be kicking in. In fact, I would assume that for many, over-concentration becomes an issue: focusing too hard and for too long on a single Q.

Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:16 pm
by ss3825
What makes a great LSAT tutor? How should we decide which tutor or company is best for test prep coaching for us?

Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:57 pm
by Manhattan LSAT Noah
ss3825 wrote:What makes a great LSAT tutor? How should we decide which tutor or company is best for test prep coaching for us?

We obviously think our standards are the right ones! You can check out our site, or pm me for more on what we do and our teacher standards.

There's tons of great tutors out there (we haven't been able to snatch them all), but there's a lot of amateurs. See if you can do an initial couple of hours before committing for a large package. Make sure they craft the work to what you need and already know how to do, but they should have a general vision for the LSAT.

Re: Geek thread - Manhattan LSAT Q & A

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:59 pm
by Manhattan LSAT Noah
Theopliske8711 wrote:I typically take a test a week, I'll do more later on but I work full time and don't want to waste a test on a weekday, when my concentration is nowhere near up to par. I know some recommend doing tests in bad condition, but I personally find that to be very distracting; I doubt concentration will be much of an issue during the LSAT for most since adrenalin would be kicking in. In fact, I would assume that for many, over-concentration becomes an issue: focusing too hard and for too long on a single Q.

I think you're spot on about the over-concentration issue. A lot of people end up not getting the score they "deserve" because they can't let go of the hardest questions on game day. It's essential to move fast through the routine problems and let go of the "impossible" question quickly to save time for the tough ones.