Mike's Trainer Thread

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Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:49 pm

appind wrote:A question about PT-C.LR1.2.

the conclusion is: I should stop drinking; only then I can ensure not getting cancer.
this translates to "Ensure no cancer" --> Stop drinking

the Q asks for a flaw in the argument.
E is the credited choice: "does not consider possibility of other causes of cancer."

but the conclusion is only saying that to ensure not getting cancer, i must not drink. One can still get cancer from other causes but to ensure that one doesn't get cancer, not drinking is a necessary condition.
since "X only then Y" means Y->X, the TCR is not supported based on it.

why this issue in this question?


The key here is the word sure.

The author is saying that taking this action will make it certain that he will not develop bone cancer.

This is not the case per the information given.

John is, in using information about one potential cause of bone cancer to reach a conclusion that avoiding that potential cause will completely get rid of all possibility of bone cancer, failing to consider other possible causes of bone cancer.

HTH - MK

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Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby appind » Fri Nov 13, 2015 1:28 pm

The LSAT Trainer wrote:
appind wrote:A question about PT-C.LR1.2.

the conclusion is: I should stop drinking; only then I can ensure not getting cancer.
this translates to "Ensure no cancer" --> Stop drinking

the Q asks for a flaw in the argument.
E is the credited choice: "does not consider possibility of other causes of cancer."

but the conclusion is only saying that to ensure not getting cancer, i must not drink. One can still get cancer from other causes but to ensure that one doesn't get cancer, not drinking is a necessary condition.
since "X only then Y" means Y->X, the TCR is not supported based on it.

why this issue in this question?


The key here is the word sure.

The author is saying that taking this action will make it certain that he will not develop bone cancer.

This is not the case per the information given.

John is, in using information about one potential cause of bone cancer to reach a conclusion that avoiding that potential cause will completely get rid of all possibility of bone cancer, failing to consider other possible causes of bone cancer.

HTH - MK


thanks mk.

s1: I should stop drinking; only then I can ensure not getting cancer
s2: I should stop drinking; only then I will not get cancer

there doesn't seem to a difference in these two statements. but according to your post s1 includes "The author is saying that taking this action will make it certain that he will not develop bone cancer", which is not what s2 is. s2 only says "I will not get cancer requires I stop drinking".

doesn't "X only then Y" denote Y->X?

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Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Sun Nov 15, 2015 1:40 pm

appind wrote:
The LSAT Trainer wrote:
appind wrote:A question about PT-C.LR1.2.

the conclusion is: I should stop drinking; only then I can ensure not getting cancer.
this translates to "Ensure no cancer" --> Stop drinking

the Q asks for a flaw in the argument.
E is the credited choice: "does not consider possibility of other causes of cancer."

but the conclusion is only saying that to ensure not getting cancer, i must not drink. One can still get cancer from other causes but to ensure that one doesn't get cancer, not drinking is a necessary condition.
since "X only then Y" means Y->X, the TCR is not supported based on it.

why this issue in this question?


The key here is the word sure.

The author is saying that taking this action will make it certain that he will not develop bone cancer.

This is not the case per the information given.

John is, in using information about one potential cause of bone cancer to reach a conclusion that avoiding that potential cause will completely get rid of all possibility of bone cancer, failing to consider other possible causes of bone cancer.

HTH - MK


thanks mk.

s1: I should stop drinking; only then I can ensure not getting cancer
s2: I should stop drinking; only then I will not get cancer

there doesn't seem to a difference in these two statements. but according to your post s1 includes "The author is saying that taking this action will make it certain that he will not develop bone cancer", which is not what s2 is. s2 only says "I will not get cancer requires I stop drinking".

doesn't "X only then Y" denote Y->X?


Hey appind --

I understand what you are saying and you are not wrong about the "only then" -- again, I think you are neglecting the impact of the word "sure."

Here's some simple examples of my own to illustrate -- notice the difference between these two statements --

"The museum is only open to visitors on Tuesdays, so visitors can enter it only then."

vs

"The museum is only open to visitors on Tuesdays, so only then are visitors certain to gain entry."

As long as we don't get into semantics about "open," "enter," etc. -- in the first case, the reasoning is fine -- in the second example it is flawed -- the author is failing to consider other reasons why a visitor might not be allowed entry even if it's a Tuesday.

The problem in question is like the second of the situations, and that's why (E) is the correct answer.

I hope that clears it up -- mk

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Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby appind » Mon Nov 16, 2015 7:30 pm

The LSAT Trainer wrote:Hey appind --

I understand what you are saying and you are not wrong about the "only then" -- again, I think you are neglecting the impact of the word "sure."

Here's some simple examples of my own to illustrate -- notice the difference between these two statements --

"The museum is only open to visitors on Tuesdays, so visitors can enter it only then."

vs

"The museum is only open to visitors on Tuesdays, so only then are visitors certain to gain entry."

As long as we don't get into semantics about "open," "enter," etc. -- in the first case, the reasoning is fine -- in the second example it is flawed -- the author is failing to consider other reasons why a visitor might not be allowed entry even if it's a Tuesday.

The problem in question is like the second of the situations, and that's why (E) is the correct answer.

I hope that clears it up -- mk


i think I see what you're saying.

the museum example needs to be changed a bit to illustrate the issue though as "can" in the first sentence is not same as "will".

"The museum is only open to visitors on Tuesdays, so visitors will enter it only then."

vs

"The museum is only open to visitors on Tuesdays, so only then are visitors certain to gain entry."

in this case if you think that certain/sure in the 2nd sentence makes it necessary that visitors definitely visit museum on tuesday, then so does the "will" in the 1st sentence. Will is no less a guarantee than sure.

thoughts?

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Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:42 am

appind wrote:
The LSAT Trainer wrote:Hey appind --

I understand what you are saying and you are not wrong about the "only then" -- again, I think you are neglecting the impact of the word "sure."

Here's some simple examples of my own to illustrate -- notice the difference between these two statements --

"The museum is only open to visitors on Tuesdays, so visitors can enter it only then."

vs

"The museum is only open to visitors on Tuesdays, so only then are visitors certain to gain entry."

As long as we don't get into semantics about "open," "enter," etc. -- in the first case, the reasoning is fine -- in the second example it is flawed -- the author is failing to consider other reasons why a visitor might not be allowed entry even if it's a Tuesday.

The problem in question is like the second of the situations, and that's why (E) is the correct answer.

I hope that clears it up -- mk


i think I see what you're saying.

the museum example needs to be changed a bit to illustrate the issue though as "can" in the first sentence is not same as "will".

"The museum is only open to visitors on Tuesdays, so visitors will enter it only then."

vs

"The museum is only open to visitors on Tuesdays, so only then are visitors certain to gain entry."

in this case if you think that certain/sure in the 2nd sentence makes it necessary that visitors definitely visit museum on tuesday, then so does the "will" in the 1st sentence. Will is no less a guarantee than sure.

thoughts?


Hey Appind --

I'm sorry they haven't clarified the issue for you -- since this doesn't have to do with the trainer, at this point I think it's best to continue in p.m.

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Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby manchas » Fri Nov 20, 2015 1:24 pm

Hi Mike - I have a LR question from 75.1.9 -- the one on butterflies. I have reread the chapter on strengthen/weaken and have struggled with this question for two days ( looking at it, relooking at it, putting it away, trying again) and still, don't think i could have arrived at the correct answer on my own for this one. Here was my thinking when I first saw (A), which turned out to be the c.a.:

How does havng “no” poisonous butterflies have irregular flight styles strengthen the conclusion that nonpoisonous adopt this strategy to elude predators. For ex, if, say, three or two or even just one poisonous buterrflies species had an irregular flight style- and a nonpoisonous butterfly adopted that same irreg flight style - wouldn’t this in a way help the nonpoisonous elude because the predator might think he’s a poisonous one because of his ability to act just like the poisonous ones? And so how would ruling out this scenario ("no species of poison butterfly has irregular style...") strengthen?

I had it down to (A) and (D) and ended up picking (D). Can you walk me thru what the correct process would have been to approach this? I obviously could not see the flaw after reading thru the stimulus. :cry:

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby contrabergin » Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:35 pm

Hi Mike, I have a question about correlation and causation.

In the Trainer you mention that correlation CAN be used to strengthen/weaken a causation problem (just not definitively (dis)prove it). So I was a bit confused about PT64 1.22, answer choice A seemed a little odd to me but it also seems to strengthen the correlation aspect of the question? Like a lack of antibiotic resistance and a lack of heavy metal poisoning is correlated which seems to further strengthen the correlation between heavy metal poisoning and antibiotic resistance which should strengthen the argument a bit?

I understand why B is a lot better and I initially skipped A because it looked off to me somehow but I can't definitively put my finger on exactly why it seems wrong.... I feel like if it had said "most bacteria that aren't resistant to heavy metal poisoning are also not resistant to antibiotics either" it would have been a lot more attractive to me somehow but I don't think that's really any logically different from what the answer choice actually says?

If it had said "most bacteria that are resistant to heavy metal poisoning are also resistant to antibiotics" or "most bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics are also resistant to heavy metal poisoning" would that change anything? Or would they both be equally as wrong as A actually is? This question really confused me on correlation for strengtheners/weakeners.

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Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby manchas » Sun Nov 22, 2015 12:34 pm

Mike - Thought I'd try and save you some time on this.....I think i see the error in my ways now and I have contrabergin's post below on causation/correlation (on a different question) that triggered the awakening. So 75.1.9 's conclusion has an implicit causal argument to it, yes? And that would help me understand why (A) is correct. It shows that without the cause (the need to elude predators) , the effect (the creation of weird flight styles) doesn't happen.

Would that be correct? Thanks.



manchas wrote:Hi Mike - I have a LR question from 75.1.9 -- the one on butterflies. I have reread the chapter on strengthen/weaken and have struggled with this question for two days ( looking at it, relooking at it, putting it away, trying again) and still, don't think i could have arrived at the correct answer on my own for this one. Here was my thinking when I first saw (A), which turned out to be the c.a.:

How does havng “no” poisonous butterflies have irregular flight styles strengthen the conclusion that nonpoisonous adopt this strategy to elude predators. For ex, if, say, three or two or even just one poisonous buterrflies species had an irregular flight style- and a nonpoisonous butterfly adopted that same irreg flight style - wouldn’t this in a way help the nonpoisonous elude because the predator might think he’s a poisonous one because of his ability to act just like the poisonous ones? And so how would ruling out this scenario ("no species of poison butterfly has irregular style...") strengthen?

I had it down to (A) and (D) and ended up picking (D). Can you walk me thru what the correct process would have been to approach this? I obviously could not see the flaw after reading thru the stimulus. :cry:

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby JazzyMac » Sun Nov 29, 2015 3:27 am

I FINALLY read through every single page of this thread!

Mike, great to see you're still answering questions and helping people. I'm not even in an area where many people are attending law school, but I still recommend this book on average about weekly. Thank you once again!

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Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Sun Nov 29, 2015 4:59 pm

manchas wrote:Mike - Thought I'd try and save you some time on this.....I think i see the error in my ways now and I have contrabergin's post below on causation/correlation (on a different question) that triggered the awakening. So 75.1.9 's conclusion has an implicit causal argument to it, yes? And that would help me understand why (A) is correct. It shows that without the cause (the need to elude predators) , the effect (the creation of weird flight styles) doesn't happen.

Would that be correct? Thanks.



manchas wrote:Hi Mike - I have a LR question from 75.1.9 -- the one on butterflies. I have reread the chapter on strengthen/weaken and have struggled with this question for two days ( looking at it, relooking at it, putting it away, trying again) and still, don't think i could have arrived at the correct answer on my own for this one. Here was my thinking when I first saw (A), which turned out to be the c.a.:

How does havng “no” poisonous butterflies have irregular flight styles strengthen the conclusion that nonpoisonous adopt this strategy to elude predators. For ex, if, say, three or two or even just one poisonous buterrflies species had an irregular flight style- and a nonpoisonous butterfly adopted that same irreg flight style - wouldn’t this in a way help the nonpoisonous elude because the predator might think he’s a poisonous one because of his ability to act just like the poisonous ones? And so how would ruling out this scenario ("no species of poison butterfly has irregular style...") strengthen?

I had it down to (A) and (D) and ended up picking (D). Can you walk me thru what the correct process would have been to approach this? I obviously could not see the flaw after reading thru the stimulus. :cry:

Thanks in advance.


You nailed it -- great work -- sorry for the delay and let me know if u have any lingering q's about the problem -- mk

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Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Sun Nov 29, 2015 5:36 pm

contrabergin wrote:Hi Mike, I have a question about correlation and causation.

In the Trainer you mention that correlation CAN be used to strengthen/weaken a causation problem (just not definitively (dis)prove it). So I was a bit confused about PT64 1.22, answer choice A seemed a little odd to me but it also seems to strengthen the correlation aspect of the question? Like a lack of antibiotic resistance and a lack of heavy metal poisoning is correlated which seems to further strengthen the correlation between heavy metal poisoning and antibiotic resistance which should strengthen the argument a bit?

I understand why B is a lot better and I initially skipped A because it looked off to me somehow but I can't definitively put my finger on exactly why it seems wrong.... I feel like if it had said "most bacteria that aren't resistant to heavy metal poisoning are also not resistant to antibiotics either" it would have been a lot more attractive to me somehow but I don't think that's really any logically different from what the answer choice actually says?

If it had said "most bacteria that are resistant to heavy metal poisoning are also resistant to antibiotics" or "most bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics are also resistant to heavy metal poisoning" would that change anything? Or would they both be equally as wrong as A actually is? This question really confused me on correlation for strengtheners/weakeners.


Great Q -- I just tried the problem and actually went through an experience similar to yours -- first time through the q, I didn’t think (A) was attractive, but then after I read your q and looked at (A) again it became much more attractive! --

My first instinct to eliminate (A) was driven by my sense that whatever is true of bacteria who are not resistant to antibiotics wasn’t directly relevant to this argument about those that have developed a resistance. A more proper way to think about that would be that whether (A) is true or not doesn’t have any impact on whether developing resistance to heavy-metal poisoning would also lead to developing resistance to antibiotics, and therefore (A) doesn’t impact the reasoning.

However, that’s very tough to see, and the reason why (A) is not actually relevant is that they have changed the subject-matter/groups in a very subtle way --

I think the best way to show you what’s going on with (A) is with a simpler analogous argument --

Imagine there is a certain teacher who decides to write a certain LSAT study guide (let’s call it “T”), and the students who tend to use this guide tend to improve their scores. And so certain people reach a conclusion that using this certain study guide has some impact on promoting an improvement in score.

Now imagine this equivalent of (A):

“Most students who don’t improve in score don’t use T.”

Does this have any impact on our conclusion? No it doesn’t. It could if we knew a lot more information about the number of students who improve vs. those who don’t, how many use guide T, and so on, but without that it doesn’t have any direct relation to our reasoning.

To illustrate, imagine that just a few dozen students have tried using T. Then, whether T was effective or not would have zero impact on the statement, “Most students who don’t improve in score don’t use T,” and so this statement wouldn’t tell us anything directly relevant (positive or negative) to the conclusion.

Again, super-clever answer choice, and great q -- because this is so unusual, I don’t think this is something particularly important to consider for test day, but I hope that helped clear up any concerns -- if you want to discuss this further, or see how your sample answers relate to the example I came up with, and so on, more than happy to do so (though I may have to wait until after the test to get back) --

HTH and take care -- Mike

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Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Sun Nov 29, 2015 5:44 pm

JazzyMac wrote:I FINALLY read through every single page of this thread!

Mike, great to see you're still answering questions and helping people. I'm not even in an area where many people are attending law school, but I still recommend this book on average about weekly. Thank you once again!


Hey JazzyMac -- thanks for all the support -- I've been spreading myself a bit too thin of late and I don't think I'll be able to come on tls as regularly moving forward, but glad to hear that my involvement is still appreciated -- hope you are doing well, my friend! and wish you the best with everything-- Mike

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Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Tue Dec 08, 2015 12:46 pm

Hey everyone --

I've created a new LSAT Questions By Type Tool that you can use to organize all LG and LR from exams 29-75 (I will be adding 76 soon) --

It's on my new site, Lsatters.com, and here's a video demonstration of how it works --

https://youtu.be/ac5MRUnGF7c

It's totally free and I hope you find it useful - MK

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Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby jessicapoul » Thu Dec 17, 2015 8:41 am

nice reviews!

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Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby 2460one » Wed Dec 23, 2015 7:43 pm

Hi Mike, I was wondering if you could give me a sort of simple explanation of 'takes for granted' v 'fails to consider'? I can't always seem to tell the difference/how they can't just be used interchangeably.

cheers!

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Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby GlennNelson » Fri Dec 25, 2015 5:24 am

Nice to reads different suggestions.

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Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Tue Dec 29, 2015 7:06 pm

2460one wrote:Hi Mike, I was wondering if you could give me a sort of simple explanation of 'takes for granted' v 'fails to consider'? I can't always seem to tell the difference/how they can't just be used interchangeably.

cheers!


Hey --

Both of those are general statements that can be applied to all flawed arguments -- a few benefits to thinking about flaws using these terms include --

a) the test writers themselves commonly use these terms in the answer choices
b) being able to see it both ways gives you a level of flexibility that can help on q's that don't work the way you might expect them to
c) the phrases can help you see a flaw in situations where it is hard to do so

In terms of what they mean, it might help to equate

"takes for granted" with "assumes (without enough justification)"

and

"fails to consider" with "forgets to think about"

If we take a simple argument --

"John likes baseball. Therefore, he must like basketball."

And if we think about it in terms of why the support doesn't guarantee the conclusion, and, more directly, what reasoning mistake the author made in thinking the support does guarantee the conclusion, we can say that he's

a) assumed something (without enough justification)

or

b) forgotten to think about something

Using "takes for granted" and "fails to consider," we could say he

"takes for granted that since John likes baseball he must like basketball."

or we could say the author

"fails to consider that John might not like basketball even though he likes baseball."

HTH, and if you have any follow-up just let me know -- Mike

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Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby Lhutton11 » Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:09 am

Hey Mike!
I'm currently on chapter 31 of the trainer. I know you said the Extreme Links Drill was challenging, and you weren't wrong! I'm just pretty confused about a couple inferences/questions.
So for the inferences, "Fred won't attend unless Leon does".. That led me to initially write L-->F and the contrapositive /F --> /L. I now see that this must be wrong, but I thought that was how we do contrapositives?

I missed a little less than half on the first challenge, so I stepped back and tried to figure everything out. I was able to figure them all out except "If Leon attends, Jessica will not." My thought process was this: if Leon attends, Fred will attend. If Fred attends, Jessica will not -per the "either Fred or Jessica, but not both, will attend". So with that reasoning, I thought the statement was provable. yet the answers say it's is not provable. So please help me understand!
Thanks,
Lauren

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Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby Lukky » Wed Jan 20, 2016 6:47 pm

Hey Mike! I bought your book, and I've been using it to study.

I actually came on the forum because I was also confused about the "takes for granted" and "fails to consider" difference. So, judging by your answer, any flaw can be thought of in either form?

It was a little bit confusing because, on the flaw drill (i.e p.74-75), it seemed like you wanted us to circle one or the other. Then, on pages 76-77, your answer key uses "Takes for granted" on some answers and "Fails to Consider" on other answers. Some of the answers you chose to think of as "Takes for Granted" I answered with "Fails to Consider" (and vice-versa). Therefore, I thought I was thinking of some of the flaws incorrectly and therefore tried to understand when I should be thinking in terms of "Fails to Consider" and when to think in terms of "Takes for Granted."

I guess it doesn't matter though, right? As long as I'm thinking in one of those two ways for the questions, I should be in good shape?

Thanks in advance for taking your time to answer these questions!

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Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:08 pm

Lhutton11 wrote:Hey Mike!
I'm currently on chapter 31 of the trainer. I know you said the Extreme Links Drill was challenging, and you weren't wrong! I'm just pretty confused about a couple inferences/questions.
So for the inferences, "Fred won't attend unless Leon does".. That led me to initially write L-->F and the contrapositive /F --> /L. I now see that this must be wrong, but I thought that was how we do contrapositives?

I missed a little less than half on the first challenge, so I stepped back and tried to figure everything out. I was able to figure them all out except "If Leon attends, Jessica will not." My thought process was this: if Leon attends, Fred will attend. If Fred attends, Jessica will not -per the "either Fred or Jessica, but not both, will attend". So with that reasoning, I thought the statement was provable. yet the answers say it's is not provable. So please help me understand!
Thanks,
Lauren


Hi Lauren,

Glad to be able to challenge you! --

For "Fred won't attend unless Leon does" --

let's think about the guarantees --

If Leon attends, MUST that mean Fred attends? No. Imagine a situation where Leon attends and Frank doesn't, and notice it doesn't contradict the statement "Fred won't attend unless Leon does."

If Fred attends, MUST that mean Leon attends? Yes. We are told Fred won't attend unless Leon does. To test this, imagine a situation where Fred attends but Leon does not -- notice this would contradict the statement: "Fred won't attend unless Leon does."

So, the guarantee in that statement is:

F -> L, and the contrapositive /L -> /F.

I have a feeling your other issues stemmed from misinterpreting that conditional -- give the q's a whirl with that translation instead, and I expect things will go better for you -- if you have any follow-up just let me know --

MK

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Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:16 pm

Lukky wrote:Hey Mike! I bought your book, and I've been using it to study.

I actually came on the forum because I was also confused about the "takes for granted" and "fails to consider" difference. So, judging by your answer, any flaw can be thought of in either form?

It was a little bit confusing because, on the flaw drill (i.e p.74-75), it seemed like you wanted us to circle one or the other. Then, on pages 76-77, your answer key uses "Takes for granted" on some answers and "Fails to Consider" on other answers. Some of the answers you chose to think of as "Takes for Granted" I answered with "Fails to Consider" (and vice-versa). Therefore, I thought I was thinking of some of the flaws incorrectly and therefore tried to understand when I should be thinking in terms of "Fails to Consider" and when to think in terms of "Takes for Granted."

I guess it doesn't matter though, right? As long as I'm thinking in one of those two ways for the questions, I should be in good shape?

Thanks in advance for taking your time to answer these questions!


Hey Lukky --

You are correct in understanding that you can use both takes for granted and fails to consider to describe pretty much every flaw, and it's totally fine for you to think of it one way when I've written a solution in the other way -- your goal isn't to choose one way of seeing it, but rather to understand the flaw as clearly as you possibly can, and you can use one or both of those phrases to help with your quest -- sorry the instructions for the drill were confusing, and I hope that clears it up --

Hope you enjoy the rest of the book -- MK

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Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby klaudiaxo » Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:02 am

Hi Mike,

I bought your book and love it so far.

I have a question: I will be taking the October LSAT .. I just had a baby so I am taking the extra months to spread out my studying. What is the best way for me to study? should I use your 16 week schedule and then do review, drill, practice tests after that? I should also mention I have taken the LSAT before so I know the gist of the exam.

Also I'm a bit confused how to best use your notebook organizer- from what I gathered there review pages are just to remember what questions I have trouble with and the question pages are for each INDIVIDUAL question? So how often should I use these while i'm studying? Also what kind of notes should I take on the lined pages?

Thank you! :D

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Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby Lukky » Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:01 pm

Hey Mike!

One more question, for the practice problems on the logic games, are they "fake" or real questions from actual tests?

Best,
Lukky

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Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:17 pm

klaudiaxo wrote:Hi Mike,

I bought your book and love it so far.

I have a question: I will be taking the October LSAT .. I just had a baby so I am taking the extra months to spread out my studying. What is the best way for me to study? should I use your 16 week schedule and then do review, drill, practice tests after that? I should also mention I have taken the LSAT before so I know the gist of the exam.

Also I'm a bit confused how to best use your notebook organizer- from what I gathered there review pages are just to remember what questions I have trouble with and the question pages are for each INDIVIDUAL question? So how often should I use these while i'm studying? Also what kind of notes should I take on the lined pages?

Thank you! :D


Hi there -- so sorry for the delay -- I had to take some time off work but I am now back, and I hope this gets to you in time to be of use --

I do think that the 16 week sched is the best way to go -- I generally suggest students go w/the 52-71 version, but if you want to start with the 29-71 version that’s fine as well --

Keep in mind that the schedule accounts for your entire study process, not just the Trainer work, so it accounts for additional drill work, pt’s,and so on -- so, ideally, I think your mindset should be that you are spreading out the 16 week schedule over a longer period (and slowing down and spending more time on certain topics and whatnot as you see fit), as opposed to finishing up the 16 week schedule then moving on to other things.

In terms of the notebook organizer pages -- I can offer a few suggestions but in general you should feel free to use them however you see fit -- one thing to keep in mind is that if your studying goes as planned, the way you think about and study problems will be very different later in your process than it is at the beginning, so you should expect your notes and what they focus on to also change.

So, with all those caveats laid out, some general thoughts --

a) if you want, you can note every single problem you try on these pages, or you can decide to take notes on just the ones that caused you the most trouble, or you can just take notes once in while to check in on how you are progressing / as part of particular drill assignments. You can try all this out and see what you prefer and what works best for you.

b) one thing these notes ought to serve as is a record of how you solved a particular problem. So, do what u can to take /create notes that show what u were thinking (as opposed to, for example, just writing down how you think you ought to have solved it). That way, if you go to solve that same problem again in 2 weeks, you have some way to assess what you did the same (maybe same traps you fell for, etc.) and what you did differently. This can be of tremendous benefit in helping you gain more wisdom from your review.

c) these notes should also help you in your attempt to see overall patterns in the problems that cause you trouble. When you are reviewing a particular q, it’s always much easier to see and accurately list all the trouble you had (“couldn’t decide between c and e” for example) and harder to see what caused the trouble in the first place (whereas you might believe you have trouble deciding between two answers, the main culprit for your issues could be something like the wording structure of that particular argument conclusion, which happened to make you lose sight of the conclusion’s exact meaning, which, in turn, made you attracted to an answer you shouldn’t have been attracted to).

Again, doing that sort of above assessment correctly in the moment is something none of us are very accurate at --

However, if you have an aggregate record of your work, and study it carefully, it can allow you to see certain patterns (like, wow, so many of these games that cause me trouble have this one thing in common, or so many of these LR q's from different q types that i miss happen to have same reasoning structure) that you may not see otherwise.

So, try to note your experiences in whatever way you think can be best for noticing these things later on.

d) One final specific suggestion I have is to make sure to accurately mark your process with the answers -- namely, which ones you eliminated, which ones you didn’t consider much, and which ones you picked, and so on.

For example, if on an LG q, after reading the q stem you could figure out the right answer immediately, you should indicate that on the page by circling that one right answer and leaving all others blank.

If, on another LG q, you used the process of elimination to get rid of 3 choices, then considered two answers carefully and selected one, you can notate that by crossing out those 3 choices, putting dashes next to the answers you considered carefully, then circling the one you chose.

Or you can use any other notation system you’d like -- the main point being, again, that the marks you make not only help you think through the answers in the moment, but also provide a record of which answers you eliminated, didn’t think about much, considered carefully and didn’t select, and selected. This will of huge use to you both when you review your work, and when you try the q again later and assess your progress.

Hope that helps and wish you the best -- sorry again for the delay and if you need anything else let me know -- mk


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