Mike's Trainer Thread

Special forum where professionals are encouraged to help law school applicants, students, and graduates.
User avatar
Nah B
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 3:31 pm

Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby Nah B » Sun Sep 04, 2016 7:15 pm

Hey Mike,

I just purchased The LSAT Trainer (I had skimmed a friend's copy prior to this; you're the man for this resource, thank you) and will be beginning comprehensive prep with your 12 Week Study Schedule tomorrow in preparation for the December exam. I'm familiar with Blueprint's methods and have just recently completed their Blueprint for LSAT Logic Games book which I found to be tremendously helpful. My question is, having grown comfortable with their games strategy and diagramming method, should I proceed with The Trainer in any special manner (i.e. skipping your earlier intro section to games or approaching differently/keeping in mind, etc.)? Thanks in advance.

User avatar
The LSAT Trainer
Posts: 621
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 4:57 am

Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Mon Sep 05, 2016 6:57 pm

Nah B wrote:Hey Mike,

I just purchased The LSAT Trainer (I had skimmed a friend's copy prior to this; you're the man for this resource, thank you) and will be beginning comprehensive prep with your 12 Week Study Schedule tomorrow in preparation for the December exam. I'm familiar with Blueprint's methods and have just recently completed their Blueprint for LSAT Logic Games book which I found to be tremendously helpful. My question is, having grown comfortable with their games strategy and diagramming method, should I proceed with The Trainer in any special manner (i.e. skipping your earlier intro section to games or approaching differently/keeping in mind, etc.)? Thanks in advance.


Hey! -- Good to meet you online and thanks for trusting in the Trainer --

My suggestion would be to go through the 12 week in the recommended order and as you would otherwise, but
a) obviously, feel free to go a bit quicker through parts of the LG you feel more comfortable with from having finished the BP book
b) when you get to the various drills and practice games and such -- if you'd like --go ahead and do them using the BP diagramming notations you've grown comfortable with -- the drills will work just fine with non-trainer diagramming methods, and, if anything, they can help you reaffirm methods that are working well for you, and also help you recognize areas where the methods aren't working as well for you --
c) in the latter situation, and throughout for that matter, you can see if certain Trainer methods will be more effective for you and combine and adjust as you see fit --

Hope that helps and good luck -- if you need anything else just let me know -- MK

User avatar
Nah B
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 3:31 pm

Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby Nah B » Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:21 pm

The LSAT Trainer wrote:
Nah B wrote:Hey Mike,

I just purchased The LSAT Trainer (I had skimmed a friend's copy prior to this; you're the man for this resource, thank you) and will be beginning comprehensive prep with your 12 Week Study Schedule tomorrow in preparation for the December exam. I'm familiar with Blueprint's methods and have just recently completed their Blueprint for LSAT Logic Games book which I found to be tremendously helpful. My question is, having grown comfortable with their games strategy and diagramming method, should I proceed with The Trainer in any special manner (i.e. skipping your earlier intro section to games or approaching differently/keeping in mind, etc.)? Thanks in advance.


Hey! -- Good to meet you online and thanks for trusting in the Trainer --

My suggestion would be to go through the 12 week in the recommended order and as you would otherwise, but
a) obviously, feel free to go a bit quicker through parts of the LG you feel more comfortable with from having finished the BP book
b) when you get to the various drills and practice games and such -- if you'd like --go ahead and do them using the BP diagramming notations you've grown comfortable with -- the drills will work just fine with non-trainer diagramming methods, and, if anything, they can help you reaffirm methods that are working well for you, and also help you recognize areas where the methods aren't working as well for you --
c) in the latter situation, and throughout for that matter, you can see if certain Trainer methods will be more effective for you and combine and adjust as you see fit --

Hope that helps and good luck -- if you need anything else just let me know -- MK


Perfect, will do. I appreciate the advice. Thank you.

User avatar
The LSAT Trainer
Posts: 621
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 4:57 am

Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Fri Oct 14, 2016 11:02 am

Hi everyone —

Wanted to let you know I’ve made and put up some solution videos for the 4 Logic Games from the free June ‘07 exam —

You can find them here —

http://www.thelsattrainer.com/sample-ls ... games.html

I designed the videos so that you can play along with them —

Whether you are just starting your prep, or already deep into it, I hope you find the videos useful —

Mike

klaudiaxo
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:18 pm

Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby klaudiaxo » Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:29 pm

The LSAT Trainer wrote:
klaudiaxo wrote:
Hi Mike!

I hope you are doing good. I am currently practicing sufficient assumption Q's and in my review I came upon one that I just cannot figure out why the right answer is correct.

It is PT35 S1 Q22:
No C's are T's, and all members of P are T. So no members of P belong to the family H.

a. all members of H are T
b. all members of H are C
c. all T's are P's
d. no members of the family H are C
e. no C are P

the right answers is B, and I just can't get the thought process correct. Here is what I have:

C-> NOT T
P->T
P->NOT H

CONVERSE:
T-> NOT C
T-> NOT P
H-> NOT P


Yikes, what a hairy problem -- just had a chance to try it out (haven't seen it in a while) -- here's the thought process I went through, and if you felt like trying to reason your way through it this is one way you could do it:

Task - suff assumption q

Conclusion
- If P, don't belong to H.

I know at this point that I am going to be given, in the premises, most of the chain from the "P" part to the "not H" part, with a piece of that chain missing --

So as I go to search for the --

Support - I do so by first starting by looking for what I know of P -- and I can see that

All P are T, and (from first part of stimuli) all T are not C.

Gap - So, the conclusion is --

If P, not H.

And the support all adds up to --

If P, not C.

So, I need a "link" that tells us either

"not C, then not H" or the contrapositive, which is "if H, then C."

answers - Of the answer choices, only (B) and (D) focus on H and C, and those are the ones I had to evaluate most carefully.

If you want to utilize notation as you solve this problem (and I think that for this problem that's a good idea for the vast majority of students) -- you can follow the same thought pattern --

1) recognize that task will be to fill gap -- thus you know that there will be, in the stimulus, a clearly definable gap to fill.

2) search out and seek to correctly understand the conclusion -- in this case:

P -> not H ; (also helpful to keep in mind contrapositive form H -> not P.)

3) seek to mimic the conclusion / find missing link by chaining support - in general, you will be able to "start" where the conclusion does, in this case with "If P..."

P -> T -> not C.

4) identify that missing link --

so, what we need is a "not C -> not H" -- notice this would allow us to create a complete chain --

P -> T -> not C -> not H

And this would allow us to properly conclude P -> not H as the conclusion does.

I could add a bit more color but I'll cut myself off here -- hope that helps and take care --

-- Mike



Hi Mike,

thank you for the explanation a few months ago! I am still studying and I came upon another problem I cannot figure out at all.

It is PT 24 S3 Q24

Do you happen to have this one on hand? I am very confused how to diagram this problem. I know that "when and only when" is a bi conditional, but I was wondering how I know to recognize those as well as how to digram the unless statement and put them together for this problem.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

ZVBXRPL
Posts: 258
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:15 pm

Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby ZVBXRPL » Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:17 am

Mike,

Great Trainer. I actually bought two of them! Any tips on dealing with abstract flaw questions?

User avatar
Barack O'Drama
Posts: 2159
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:21 pm

Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby Barack O'Drama » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:00 am

The LSAT Trainer wrote:


Hey Mike,

Just a quick question. A friend of mine who took the LSAT a year or so ago said your old schedule used to use PTs 29-71.
Looking at your website it seems like now it is PTs 52-71. I'm just wondering why the change?

Do you think it is better to focus on the newer tests?

User avatar
The LSAT Trainer
Posts: 621
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 4:57 am

Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:16 pm

klaudiaxo wrote:Hi Mike,


thank you for the explanation a few months ago! I am still studying and I came upon another problem I cannot figure out at all.

It is PT 24 S3 Q24


Do you happen to have this one on hand? I am very confused how to diagram this problem. I know that "when and only when" is a bi conditional, but I was wondering how I know to recognize those as well as how to digram the unless statement and put them together for this problem.


Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!





Hey --


A few thoughts --

1) when and only when is a play on if and only if --

There are just a couple of ways the test writers generally create a biconditional situation --

Either by combining two conditions into one:

"J if K" (J <-K)" + "J only if K" (J -> K) = "J if and only if K" (J <->K)

Or by giving us two separate rules that together combine to form the double arrow:

"If J then K." (J -> K, - K -> - J)
"If not J, then not K" ( - J -> - K, K -> J)

Added together they give us J <-> K (and -J <-> - K).

As long as u keep that in mind, you should be able to spot all bicons when they appear.

2) I would not diagram this problem, and in general would not recommend diagramming for answer conforms to principle/give example of principle q's (and most other q's for that matter) -- I think it’s an inefficient use of your time, and can lead to unnecessary drops in accuracy.

Here's the analogy that comes to mind --

Remember when you were little -- you probably played games in activity books where you were presented with two nearly identical pictures, and your task was to recognize what is different about the pictures? Or maybe you were given one main picture, and three or four copies -- one identical, the rest with some changes made, and you had to figure out which one was the right match? ---

Even if you didn't play such games, I hope the image presented is clear --

In our hypothetical walk down memory lane, the best way to go about finding a match / recognize discrepancies was to cross-check the pictures one small part at a time --

An inefficient way of playing such games would be to
a) draw out your own version of what the original picture was like and then
b) try and match the answer options with your drawing

I think unnecessary diagramming can play a similar role as creating an unnecessary drawing.

3) Instead, I think it's a better strategy to put more of your energy into carefully trying to match up parts of each answer choice with the stimulus, with the goal of finding mismatches.

Four of the answers will either have components that won’t match up (missing some key part required by the stimulus or more components than the stimulus has, etc) or reasoning that doesn’t match up (the answer uses reasoning that is opposite from that in the stimulus, or just different altogether ((about causation when original was about conditional logic, etc.)) --

Using this method to evaluate the answers for 24-3-24 --

A) Notice “open to most people” -- this directly contradicts “open to everyone” in the stimulus and so we know (A) is a mismatch and we can eliminate it.
B) goes from saying S has inequalities to concluding that S must be unjust -- it fails to account for the entire “unless…” (that is, fails to account for a way in which a society could have income inequality and still be just) and so we know (B) is a mismatch and we can eliminate it.
C) is missing the entire part about basic liberties, a necessary component, per the stimulus, of a just society. So we know (C) is a mismatch and we can eliminate it.
D) clearly violates a required condition of a just society -- equal right to basic liberties, and so matches the given information well. Let’s leave it.
E) is missing the part about the inequalities being to everyone’s advantage. And so since we are missing all the necessary criteria for determining that a country is just, (E) is a mismatch and we can eliminate it.

I think if one is too focused on trying to map out all the links, see all possible inferences, etc. (B) and (E) may seem like more attractive answers, and I think evaluating them with a mindset of just trying to find and focus in on a specific reason why the answer mismatches the stimulus hopefully puts you in a better position to correctly evaluate those most important differences between those answers and the original stimulus.

I hope that makes sense --

If you were to bring in diagramming on this q, I would recommend doing so at the stage of evaluating the answers -- that is, for example, imagine you can’t quite eliminate (B) with confidence -- well maybe at that point you diagram a bit to evaluate how it relates to the stimulus.

I’m sure there are contrary opinions on this, but those are my thoughts and HTH -- MK

User avatar
The LSAT Trainer
Posts: 621
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 4:57 am

Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:42 pm

ZVBXRPL wrote:Mike,

Great Trainer. I actually bought two of them! Any tips on dealing with abstract flaw questions?


Hey! - thanks and glad to hear you are finding the Trainer useful --

Some quick thoughts

1) Keep in mind that there are two distinct and separate challenges -- recognizing the flaw in the argument, and recognizing, among the answer choices, a correct way to represent the flaw.

2) In terms of recognizing the flaw -- I think it's helpful to keep in mind that every single flaw that appears on the LSAT is simple enough so that you can explain it using plain, everyday language -- and your goal is to always try to see the flaw as clearly and simply as possible.

3) It's much easier to evaluate answers when you go in with a clear sense of the flaw, as opposed to going in without a clear sense / expecting the answers to tell you how to think of the argument.

4) As always, work from wrong to right -- four of the answers will clearly misrepresent the flaw in some way.

5) You can find some discussion of abstract flaw language on page 246 of the Trainer --

6) Lastly, I think it can be helpful, if you'd like, to keep your own list of abstract language that you happen to run into as you solve flaw q's, and make sure you understand the correct definitions in each circumstance (feel free to ask if you ever need help) -- the list of options for LSAT writers is fairly limited, and I think, over time, keeping such a list and studying it will help ensure you feel confident about any abstract language that might appear.

HTH -- good luck with the rest of your studies and let me know if you need me -- MK

User avatar
The LSAT Trainer
Posts: 621
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 4:57 am

Re: Mike's Trainer Thread

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:50 pm

Barack O'Drama wrote:
The LSAT Trainer wrote:


Hey Mike,

Just a quick question. A friend of mine who took the LSAT a year or so ago said your old schedule used to use PTs 29-71.
Looking at your website it seems like now it is PTs 52-71. I'm just wondering why the change?

Do you think it is better to focus on the newer tests?


Hey --

The main reason I created such a schedule was because a lot of students wanted to use it in conjunction w/the Cambridge packets that were sold -- and the main reason I ended up taking it off the site was because at some point it became too difficult for students to get access to all those tests--

In terms of newer vs older tests -- while I do think newer tests are slightly more helpful, to me the differences are very minimal, and the older tests are just fine to study with --

I do think there is a danger in going into your prep with the built in expectation of doing too much practice -- I recently talked that about that a bit here --

https://www.reddit.com/r/LSAT/comments/ ... se_for_my/

The last thing you want to do is burn through all your pt's before you feel ready for the exam, and to me that's entirely avoidable with the right planning --

HTH and hope the studying is going well -- MK


Return to “Free Help and Advice from Professionals”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest