Mike's Trainer Thread

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The LSAT Trainer
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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:49 pm

Nice work! Since you asked... here's another one --

You have ten jars of nails -- each jar contains 100 nails. All of the nails look identical, and you can't tell them apart by looking at them, touching them, etc., but the nails in one of the jars are just a little bit heavier -- whereas 9 jars have nails that each weigh exactly 1 ounce, one jar has nails that weigh 1.01 ounces each, exactly.

You have one scale -- not a balance, but a standard electronic scale -- the type where you put something on and it tells you how much it weighs.

You can do anything you want with the nails -- you can put all ten jars on the scale, you can put one nail from each jar on the scale, half the nails from some of the jars on the scale, etc. --

But you only get to use the scale once, for one measurement --

How do you figure out which jar has the heavier nails?

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby Daily_Double » Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:56 pm

The LSAT Trainer wrote:Nice work! Since you asked... here's another one --

You have ten jars of nails -- each jar contains 100 nails. All of the nails look identical, and you can't tell them apart by looking at them, touching them, etc., but the nails in one of the jars are just a little bit heavier -- whereas 9 jars have nails that each weigh exactly 1 ounce, one jar has nails that weigh 1.01 ounces each, exactly.

You have one scale -- not a balance, but a standard electronic scale -- the type where you put something on and it tells you how much it weighs.

You can do anything you want with the nails -- you can put all ten jars on the scale, you can put one nail from each jar on the scale, half the nails from some of the jars on the scale, etc. --

But you only get to use the scale once, for one measurement --

How do you figure out which jar has the heavier nails?


Are the jars the same weight?

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby Reframe » Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:04 am

Edited so other people can give it a shot!
Last edited by Reframe on Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:07 am

that was quick.

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:20 am

Reframe wrote:Edited so other people can give it a shot!


thank you!

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:21 am

dd -- if u didn't see the answer :) -- yes, you can assume the jars all weigh the same -- mk

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby Daily_Double » Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:32 am

The LSAT Trainer wrote:dd -- if u didn't see the answer :) -- yes, you can assume the jars all weigh the same -- mk


Didn't catch it. I thought I was onto something... But I was, and am not. I'll tune back in tomorrow for the answer.

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby Daily_Double » Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:59 pm

Ok, after a day of on and off thinking, because I can't stand to not know something, I still am at a loss. Someone please post or PM me an explanation of how this can be done using the scale only once.

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby CardozoLaw09 » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:05 pm

Daily_Double wrote:Ok, after a day of on and off thinking, because I can't stand to not know something, I still am at a loss. Someone please post or PM me an explanation of how this can be done using the scale only once.


Take 1 nail from one jar and for each subsequent jar you take a nail from, take 1 additional nail. So, from jar 1 you'd take 1, jar 2 you'd take 2, and jar 3 you'd take 3, and so on.

You'd have 55 nails in total (1 + 2 + 3 +...+10) and you'd place them on the scale; because each nail in 9 of the jars is 1 ounce, and one of the jars has nails that weigh 1.01 ounces, the weight will determine which jar has the heavier nails ie) if it weighs 55.01 then you know the first jar that you took one nail from has the heavier nails, but if it weighs 55.10 then you know the 10th jar had the nails that weigh 1.01 (45 + 10.1). Makes sense?

ETA: Doesn't make sense?

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:07 pm

Nice job --

Here's another one -- maybe we set a loose 24 hour minimum before answers (though you should certainly feel free to gloat before then if you figure it out :)) -- Again, I'll do my best to word it for this particularly discerning crowd:

Four people have to get from one island to another, using just one boat. Only one or two people can ride on the boat at one time (do not read too much into the or -- this does not mean that the boat can magically appear on the other side if zero people ride on it, or that three people can ride in the boat!), and they will transport the four people by having one pair go from the original island to the destination, then having a person come back with the boat, then a pair go again, and so on. The boat can only go as fast as the slowest rower. The four people can row between the islands in 1 min, 2 mins, 5 mins, and 10 mins, respectively -- how can you use the boat to get all four people from one island to the other in a total of 17 minutes?

Again, no word-play involved -- pure math. Enjoy!

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby CardozoLaw09 » Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:52 pm

The LSAT Trainer wrote:Nice job --

Here's another one -- maybe we set a loose 24 hour minimum before answers (though you should certainly feel free to gloat before then if you figure it out :)) -- Again, I'll do my best to word it for this particularly discerning crowd:

Four people have to get from one island to another, using just one boat. Only one or two people can ride on the boat at one time (do not read too much into the or -- this does not mean that the boat can magically appear on the other side if zero people ride on it, or that three people can ride in the boat!), and they will transport the four people by having one pair go from the original island to the destination, then having a person come back with the boat, then a pair go again, and so on. The boat can only go as fast as the slowest rower. The four people can row between the islands in 1 min, 2 mins, 5 mins, and 10 mins, respectively -- how can you use the boat to get all four people from one island to the other in a total of 17 minutes?

Again, no word-play involved -- pure math. Enjoy!


Do they all have to be on the destination island at once or do they just have to go there once?

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:02 pm

CardozoLaw09 wrote:
The LSAT Trainer wrote:Nice job --

Here's another one -- maybe we set a loose 24 hour minimum before answers (though you should certainly feel free to gloat before then if you figure it out :)) -- Again, I'll do my best to word it for this particularly discerning crowd:

Four people have to get from one island to another, using just one boat. Only one or two people can ride on the boat at one time (do not read too much into the or -- this does not mean that the boat can magically appear on the other side if zero people ride on it, or that three people can ride in the boat!), and they will transport the four people by having one pair go from the original island to the destination, then having a person come back with the boat, then a pair go again, and so on. The boat can only go as fast as the slowest rower. The four people can row between the islands in 1 min, 2 mins, 5 mins, and 10 mins, respectively -- how can you use the boat to get all four people from one island to the other in a total of 17 minutes?

Again, no word-play involved -- pure math. Enjoy!


Do they all have to be on the destination island at once or do they just have to go there once?


Ah - good q- they all have to end up there together - mk

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby 15chocolate » Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:48 am

Hi Mike,
I'm interested in the book, but how can we get it outside the U.S?
Do you sell download ver. like cambridge lsat does?
Thank you in advance.

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:45 pm

Hi Chocolate -- Thanks for your interest! The book is currently only available on Amazon, but it will go into expanded distribution in a week or two, and hopefully that will mean you can purchase it wherever you are. A kindle version will also be available in a week or two as well. I won't be selling downloadable versions.

BTW -- Gelato pm'd me with the correct answer to the last riddle, and deserves some public credit -- anyone else figure it out?

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby littlegiant » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:39 am

Sorry to get off topic from the questions (fun by the way)

Do you think studying for the LSAT should focus more on repetition (as many questions, equally distributed between the 4 core sections, day after day, as is reasonable) or specific targeting of trouble questions for you? Which improves the score more at different levels, for example ~155, ~165, ~175?

Any insight would be appreciated

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:23 pm

littlegiant wrote:Sorry to get off topic from the questions (fun by the way)

Do you think studying for the LSAT should focus more on repetition (as many questions, equally distributed between the 4 core sections, day after day, as is reasonable) or specific targeting of trouble questions for you? Which improves the score more at different levels, for example ~155, ~165, ~175?

Any insight would be appreciated


Hi -- that's a great question -- if you don't mind, I'm going to give an answer that's probably a bit longer than reasonably warranted --

The LSAT is not a test of what you know. It's a test of how you think. It's a performance exam -- specifically, it measures your ability to mentally perform under pressure. Think shooting free throws at the end of a championship game, with the game tied (not to scare you or anything).

The reason I mention that, and the reason why it's so important to recognize that, is because it's different from most every other exam we've had to prepare for in our lives, and whether you are conscious of it or not, your instincts can be impacted by how you usually prepare for other tests.

In high school at least, tests are designed to see if we can regurgitate what we've been told, and we prepare for them by checking on our understanding -- if we understand something, we are ready for the test. In terms of the LSAT, this incorrectly translates into an instinct, on the student's part, to equate understanding with preparing, when in fact understanding is just one part of the preparation process (imagine if you prepared for shooting that free throw by just studying how to shoot that free throw -- sorry for really stretching that analogy way too far).

I think that the best way to think about your prep is in terms of developing skills and habits -- what you are trying to do during your three or four months of prep (or however long it is) is to develop the right skills and the right habits so that you can perform at your mental best under pressure. To put a more concrete image to this -- under the pressure of the exam, the weaker student reads an LR scenario and focuses on the wrong aspects, or, very commonly, on too many aspects -- the top student naturally focuses in on the parts that are relevant to the task at hand. For this to happen over and over again, you need the right skills, and the right habits.

Obviously, it makes sense that you should work to develop skills before working to develop habits -- if you are preparing effectively, you should feel a continuous cycle of skills and habits, skills and habits...

How do you develop skills? It's different for everyone and of course there is a whole lot of magic involved, but, on a practical level, you develop them by making sure you cover three key components -- understanding (for example, you know how conditional statements work), strategies (you have systems for thinking through them), and experience (you do questions and drills where you put your understanding to use). The most important thing -- the thing that actually grows your skills, is "flow" between these three components -- when you can actually "see" what you've just learned about in questions that you are solving, and when you get practice putting strategies into use, for example.

Once you feel you have the skills, that's when I would recommend you focus on developing the right habits. I think one effective path (though not the only path, but the one that I would recommend) is to first solidify habits for specific question types (by doing a ton of necessary assumption questions, for example) then to solidify general test habits (by doing a substantial number of practice exams toward the end of your prep).

Short summary of my recommendations: to develop skills, make sure you account for ways to develop your understanding of the test, make sure you account for strategies, do drill sets of questions specifically related to that understanding and those strategies, and make sure to be conscious of the flow between these arenas. Turn those skills into effective habits first by doing concentrated drill sets, then full exams.

In terms of some of the other things you mentioned --

At 155 you are missing about 40% of q's
At 165 about 20% of q's (at 160 you are missing about 30% of q's)
At 175 you are missing just a few questions.

If someone is at the 155 level, it's very unlikely the person has developed effective skills. That student should probably not focus on forming habits, and so should not focus on only drill sets and practice exams. As always, every student is different and it could be a lot of different factors, but that student should probably be focused on developing their understanding, learning effective fundamental strategies, and using questions to apply and solidify the understanding and strategies.

If someone is at the 160 - 165 level, most likely that person has developed some very strong LSAT skills (it's tough to score that well otherwise) but most likely doesn't have a complete skill set (for example, the student has developed firm reasoning skills, but his reading skills are underdeveloped). At this score level, another factor could be that the person just doesn't have enough experience at applying newly developed skills. Depending on the student, it makes sense to focus on some combination of continuing to develop a skill set and working to solidify habits.

BTW, in my experience, a lot of students hit a ceiling at around this level if
a) they haven't worked to really get better at the test, and instead rely on a series of tips and tricks, such as using "soft language markers" etc.
b) they think of the exam in a fuzzy or lazy sort of way (treating two different question types as being roughly the same when they aren't, for example, which can be okay for easier questions but won't be okay on harder ones).

If someone is at the 175 level, most likely the person has a complete, or almost complete, LSAT skill set. This is the person who should focus almost exclusively on solidifying habits, and addressing any last weaknesses.

Finally, I'm all in favor of both drilling and repetition (in the right role relative to your entire study process, of course) -- keep a list of questions that cause you trouble, and keep going back to them until you have them down -- it's great to go in the exam knowing that there is nothing you have ever seen that you didn't ultimately master. Not sure if you've already seen it, but on my website there is a free notebook organizer PDF with instructions that can help you keep track of the questions that you want to return to and solve again.

Hope that helps -- sorry for this being so long -- good luck, and please follow up if you have any further questions -- Mike

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby DEO3029 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:07 pm

Definitely enjoying the Trainer so far....as a retaker, I think it really fills in a lot of missing pieces. I actually think with a little revision, you could alter the book into the "Retake Trainer" or "ReTake Edition" and market it specifically to the 20+ percent of LSATers who retake. I don't think I have seen a book marketed to Retakers and think that it could make a lot of sense to specifically target that segment.

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:50 pm

DEO3029 wrote:Definitely enjoying the Trainer so far....as a retaker, I think it really fills in a lot of missing pieces. I actually think with a little revision, you could alter the book into the "Retake Trainer" or "ReTake Edition" and market it specifically to the 20+ percent of LSATers who retake. I don't think I have seen a book marketed to Retakers and think that it could make a lot of sense to specifically target that segment.


Glad you are enjoying it, and thank you so much for the suggestion -- I think it's a great idea. If you don't mind, if you have some thoughts about how you would like it see it altered for a re-takers edition, or if any ideas come to mind as you continue studying, please PM me -- I'd love to hear them --

And as always, reach out if you have any questions about the material in the book or if you need any further help --

Mike

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby CiFULA » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:44 am

Just dropping in to say thanks for your book and I hope to be able to pick your brain here/your thread from time to time :) I pushed off making the purchase in hopes that I wouldn't need to (used PSBs and Manhattan, and then PTs the final 2 months), but a somewhat disappointing score release from yesterday has provided me with the push to make the purchase now. I've been reading through the thread for the LSAT Trainer and it sounds great - I'm glad to hear other people say that it's the perfect mix of PS and Manhattan with even extra added value. I'm really looking forward to going through it.

edit: Originally thought it was a pm lol. Made it more post-like.

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:36 pm

CiFULA wrote:Just dropping in to say thanks for your book and I hope to be able to pick your brain here/your thread from time to time :) I pushed off making the purchase in hopes that I wouldn't need to (used PSBs and Manhattan, and then PTs the final 2 months), but a somewhat disappointing score release from yesterday has provided me with the push to make the purchase now. I've been reading through the thread for the LSAT Trainer and it sounds great - I'm glad to hear other people say that it's the perfect mix of PS and Manhattan with even extra added value. I'm really looking forward to going through it.

edit: Originally thought it was a pm lol. Made it more post-like.


Thanks for your public/private message -- sorry to hear that the score wasn't what you'd hoped for, especially after all that work, but I'm impressed that you are off the mat so quickly, and I certainly appreciate it that you are giving the trainer a shot -- those are some pretty lofty expectations you have for the book! I hope that I can live up to them --

I look forward to hearing about your progress -- please don't hesitate to get in touch if you need anything --

Mike

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:07 pm

Here's another non-LSAT time-waster -- I imagine a lot of you have already seen this/tried this -- it's supposed to work on about 80% of people, and in my experience trying it on my friends that's been about accurate -- certainly worked on me -- focus on counting the passes accurately! --

it's not a riddle, but i do think it's at least somewhat related to the lsat --

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJG698U2Mvo

MK

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby Megstew » Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:48 pm

I totally saw the gorilla, does that mean I'll ace the LSAT? lol

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby Ambitious1 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:04 pm

LSAT Trainer arrived today and went through about the first 50 pages. Great work Mike, I can tell you've put in a lot of hard work to put this thing together. I'll be sure to PM specific questions as I continue to read.

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The LSAT Trainer
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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:32 pm

Ambitious1 wrote:LSAT Trainer arrived today and went through about the first 50 pages. Great work Mike, I can tell you've put in a lot of hard work to put this thing together. I'll be sure to PM specific questions as I continue to read.


Glad you like it so far -- thanks for the update -- look forward to seeing you get better and better at this thing in the months to come -- please do reach out if you need anything -- MK

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Re: Mike, author of the LSAT Trainer, answering questions

Postby The LSAT Trainer » Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:32 pm

Megstew wrote:I totally saw the gorilla, does that mean I'll ace the LSAT? lol


What gorilla?!


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